News for March 29, 2006
The Sino-Russian Strategic Romance (March 29, 2006) - A blossoming Sino-Russian romance is undercutting U.S. global interests on an unprecedented scale. But the relationship is about more than balancing American predominance in the post-9/11 world--Russia and China have their eyes on restraining European and Japanese power, too. A failure to connect the seemingly scattered dots of Russian-Chinese cooperation--and recognize its hazards--could put Moscow and Beijing’s power-hungry potentates in distasteful positions of increasing advantage over the U.S., its friends and allies. Just look at the U.N., where Russia and China are hampering U.S. and European Union-led efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program. While Iran was reported to the Security Council weeks ago, little progress has been made in, even, condemning Tehran, much less imposing economic sanctions. No surprise: Neither Moscow nor Beijing want to bully their buddy, Tehran. They’ve way too much at stake. China has billions invested in Iran's oil/gas fields; Russia wants to make its own billions in reprocessing Iranian reactor fuel. Both sell millions in advanced weapons to Iran. In Beijing, China hosts the Six-Party Talks (i.e., U.S., Russia, China, Japan, North/South Korea), aimed at containing and rolling back Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. Years of diplomatic chitchat have yielded almost nothing due to Russian/Chinese unwillingness to squeeze the defiant North Koreans. more...
Palestinian Replacement Theology Infiltrating The Church (March 29, 2006) - With the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA scheduled to convene in June for the first time since the 2004 GA passed a notorious anti-Israel divestment resolution, supporters and detractors of divestment are discussing whether the Church’s decision was anti-Semitic, or – somehow - anti-Israel without being anti-Semitic. Curiously, despite the storm caused by the divestment vote, most Presbyterians remain unaware of the extent to which the PCUSA leadership has involved itself in old-fashioned theological anti-Semitism. The anti-Semitic alliances undertaken by the national church are particularly surprising in light of the well-known open-minded and unbiased attitudes of the overwhelming majority of Presbyterians. One of the resolutions passed at the 2004 General Assembly included a list of recommended theological “resources.” The most troubling “resource” on the list is the Sabeel Center for Liberation Theology. Presbyterians are familiar with liberation theology, an approach that emerged after the Second Vatican Council, focusing on Jesus as liberator of the poor and oppressed. As political theory, it is often characterized by opponents as “might makes wrong,” positing, as it does, that the wealthy and the powerful are definitionally unjust, and that any claim made by the poor is necessarily just. Sabeel blends this theology with Replacement Theology, in which God rescinds His covenant with the children of Israel, replacing the Jews with Christians (rather than adding a New and more universal Covenant or Testament between God and the Church to the enduring Covenant between God and the Jewish people). Replacement theology last resurfaced in the work of proto-Nazi theologians, notably Adolf von Harnack. It is also known as Supercessionism. Mainstream theologians perceive a worrying reappearance of supercessionism (Replacement Theology) in the work of the Sabeel Center. more...
Secret World of Afghan Christians (March 29, 2006) - The case of Abdul Rahman, the Christian convert who faced a potential death penalty in Afghanistan, may have shocked Americans, but for thousands of Afghans, it was a glimpse of what could await them. Abdul Rahman, 41, was released from prison Monday after a court dropped charges of apostasy against him because of a lack of evidence. President Hamid Karzai had been under heavy international pressure to drop the case. Afghanistan’s parliament however, has demanded that the government prevent Rahman from being able to flee the country. His current whereabouts are unknown but he likely is still in the country. Rahman was put on trial last week for converting 16 years ago while he was a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in Pakistan. He was carrying a Bible when arrested and faced the death penalty under Afghanistan’s Islamic laws. The case caused an outcry in the United States and other nations that helped oust the hard-line Taliban regime in late 2001 and provide aid and military support for Karzai. Muslim clerics condemned Rahman’s release, saying it was a “betrayal of Islam,” and threatened to incite violent protests. Some 500 Muslim leaders, students and others gathered Wednesday in a mosque in southern Qalat town and criticized the government for releasing Rahman, said Abdulrahman Jan, the top cleric in Zabul province. He said the government should either force Rahman to convert back to Islam or kill him. “This is a terrible thing and a major shame for Afghanistan,” he said. more...
Include them in your prayers Update on Abdul in Italy | “Surge of Interest” in Christianity among Afghans Following Recent Death-Sentence Case
Every campus to get birth-control nurse (March 25, 2006) - In a move that has outraged parents, the UK yesterday unveiled a plan to place nurses in every school in England with the authority to help students arrange for pregnancy tests, morning-after pills and abortions – without alerting their parents – in order to improve “sexual health.” While the plan does nothing to change minors’ access to birth control service – under-16s already have the right to contraception without parental consent – the attempt to place nurses in all schools with the authority and mandate to promote access to such services has drawn parents’ ire. Sue Axom, a mother-of-five who recently lost her court battle to change the law allowing girls under 16 to have abortions without their parents’ knowledge, told the London Daily Mail, “This is undermining the role of parents. I believe this will encourage children to have under-age sex. It will put even more pressure on young girls as boys can say, ‘It doesn’t matter, you can get the morning-after pill.’ I do believe it’s beyond the pale if these services go to primary schools. I imagine we will see the abortion age going down and down.” Presently, 2,409 nurses serve groups of primary and secondary schools across England. Placing a full-time qualified nurse in every school will require a massive increase in the number of personnel. Jack Scarisbrick, chairman of the charity group Life, said: “The Government is relentlessly pressuring young people to be even more sexually active. There are some school nurses who are not allowed to give out aspirin or put plasters on children without their parents’ permission. But they can whisk a young girl off for an abortion without her parents’ knowledge. This condones, if not encourages, promiscuity and sexual activity.” more...
Kadima Wins Underwhelming Victory, Parties React (March 29, 2006) - With the counting of the results of Tuesday’s election nearly complete, incoming and outgoing Knesset Members were quick to assign blame and take credit for the results. The results, after more than 99% of the votes were counted:
Based on past experience, these results might change slightly following the counting of special votes, such as those of the military and the hospital-bound, and the final distribution of the Knesset mandates. Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu said he would remain as party head and work to reform the party despite the “harsh blow” it was dealt at the polls. Netanyahu also laid part of the blame at Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s doorstep, saying that “Sharon left us with a broken party” when he split off to form the victorious Kadima faction. He held a brief consultation with his party faction, at which Silvan Shalom, Limor Livnat, Danny Naveh and Yisrael Katz were not present - signaling a likely attempt to unseat him in favor of Shalom. more...
Martian Cataclysm: Impact Energy Analysis in Support of the Origin of Multiple Anomalies on Mars (March 29, 2006) - In The Mars Mystery: A Tale of the End of Two Worlds (1998) Graham Hancock presented evidence of a hidden menace lurking in our solar system – the fragments of a giant comet that passed close to Mars and to the Earth some 20,000 years ago and that broke up into dozens of fragments kilometres across. Hancock argued that it was an intense bombardment of these fragments that “killed” Mars – not millions of years ago, as most scientists still suppose, but very recently – and that our own planet’s future may be threatened by the same orbiting cloud of debris. Now in a new study aerospace engineer Gary R. Spexarth re-examines the evidence of the Martian cataclysm. The heavily-cratered surface of Mars is generally estimated to be over 3 billion years old, he notes: “But what if it isn’t 3 billion years old. What if the impacts did not occur slowly throughout the life of the planet but rather occurred suddenly, in a short amount of time. We may find that the current surface of Mars may only be thousands of years old instead of billions! Maybe in the near past it still had running water and an atmosphere! The implications of such are astounding!”
Marchers say gringos, not illegals, have to go (March 29, 2006) - While debates about guest-worker programs for illegal aliens take place in the corridors of power, in the streets of America’s big cities no amnesty is being offered by activists calling for the expulsion of most U.S. citizens from their own country. While politicians debate the fate of some 12 million people residing in the U.S. illegally, the Mexica Movement, one of the organizers of the mass protest in Los Angeles this week, has already decided it is the “non-indigenous,” white, English-speaking U.S. citizens of European descent who have to leave what they call “our continent.” The pictures and captions tell the story.
The Kingdoms of this World (March 28, 2006) - Biblical historians believe that Nimrod, the son of Cush and grandson of Ham, was responsible for building the city of Babel. In his quest to usurp God, he convinced the people to build the Tower of Babel. Spurred on by his vision of a world empire, he wanted to create a central headquarters from which he would keep all people under his ruthless and despotic authority. In the end, he believed they would worship him as God (Genesis 11). One of the ways that Satan tempted Yeshua (Jesus) during his 40 days in the wilderness was to offer Him all the kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4). But knowing that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18), the Son of God was undaunted by Satan’s treachery and rejected his world order. To receive the kingdoms of the world, Satan asked Yeshua to fall down and worship him. The devil tempted Jesus to abandon His mission to endure the shameful and excruciating death on the cross—the only way that mankind could be redeemed. Our human nature always gravitates toward the path of least resistance. We much prefer to listen to the voice offering comfortable choices, often not realizing at first that it’s the voice of the enemy of our soul. The father of lies is quite adept at deception. He didn’t hesitate to approach the Son of God, tempting him to gain the whole world without having to die for it. His sole requirement is that we bow down and worship him instead of God alone. After 10 million people lost their lives in World War I, another “tower”—the League of Nations—was created to prevent a second world war of such magnitude. The hope was to avoid the enormous price in human life in the future. But the League of Nations couldn’t prevent the outbreak of World War II. One man’s madness brought about the deaths of 55 million people! Adolph Hitler’s uncanny ability to cast his spell over the intelligentsia and church leaders is ample evidence of demonic powers working through this man and his comrades. more...
France Hit By Mass Job Protests (March 28, 2006) - There were reports of fighting as crowds took to the streets of the French capital amid a hail storm. Extra riot police had been deployed before the march. A rally in Paris last week led to running battles. A nationwide strike has closed large parts of France’s transport networks. Workers and students in more than 100 cities are calling for the government to scrap the controversial employment contracts. Unions reported a huge turnout for a march in Marseille, and large crowds were expected in other cities. more...
Brain Cells Fused with Computer Chip (March 28, 2006) - The line between living organisms and machines has just become a whole lot blurrier. European researchers have developed “neuro-chips” in which living brain cells and silicon circuits are coupled together. The achievement could one day enable the creation of sophisticated neural prostheses to treat neurological disorders or the development of organic computers that crunch numbers using living neurons. To create the neuro-chip/a>, researchers squeezed more than 16,000 electronic transistors and hundreds of capacitors onto a silicon chip just 1 millimeter square in size. They used special proteins found in the brain to glue brain cells, called neurons,, onto the chip. However, the proteins acted as more than just a simple adhesive. “They also provided the link between ionic channels of the neurons and semiconductor material in a way that neural electrical signals could be passed to the silicon chip,” said study team member Stefano Vassanelli from the University of Padua in Italy. more...
Africans Greet Solar Eclipse with Cries of “Hallelujah” and “Praise the Lord” (March 29, 2006) - “This shows the greatness of God. This shows the greatness of Nature. It is very, very beautiful,” said Ghanaian Nana Appah at Cape Coast beach, the first spot where the solar event was clearly visible. The longest view - four minutes and seven seconds - was reportedly at Libya’s Wao Namus settlement near the Chadian border 2000km south of Tripoli. According to a Reuter's report in The Australian, “The air cooled and a half-light descended over the ancient slave fort at Cape Coast, west of Ghana’s capital Accra, as the moon crept across the face of the sun. Cries of ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Praise the Lord’ rang out as watchers shouted and clapped in excitement, sharing protective glasses. Crowds turned out on streets, balconies and rooftops in more countries to the east....” “It’s like the end of the world. Night fell on the city very suddenly. I am glad it doesn’t happen very often,” said Roza, a medical professor from Turkey’s Cappadocia region.
“Be not overcome
of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
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