June 5, 2006

News for June 5, 2006

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Jewish Leaders Buoyed by EU Interfaith Meeting (June 3, 2006) - Jewish leaders said they were optimistic following a high-profile interfaith meeting held by the European Union last week. The Tuesday meeting was attended by Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders from across Europe, as well as Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Fifteen delegates were invited to Brussels to represent their faith communities in a discussion focused on the role religious communities should play in the promotion of freedom, democracy and human rights across Europe. Organized by the EU Bureau of European Policy Advisers, the meeting was chaired by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, together with Wolfgang Schussel, chancellor of Austria, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU.


Presbyterian Church Leaders Admit Current Policy to Punish Israel through Divestments is Wrong (June 3, 2006) - I a stunning switch, the Jerusalem Post reports that a group of eleven Presbyterian Church (USA) leaders announced on Monday that the Church’s current policy to divest its $7 billion pension fund against the State of Israel is flawed. After completing a fact-finding mission through Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, the leaders reportedly called on the PCUSA’s over 500 voting commissioners to rescind the policy at its upcoming General Assembly June 15-22, 2006 in Birmingham, Alabama, and to replace it with a positive strategy to bring about genuine peace and justice for Palestinians and Israelis alike. “ile adoption of the divestment policy in 2004 created an important focus on the struggle for achieving a solution to the Middle East conflict, it is now time to put aside this one-sided, negative and counter-productive policy that threatens to cause great harm to both Israel and the Palestinians while creating unnecessary polarization within our own denomination,” stated NCLCI Executive Committee member Dr. John H. Cushman who is Pastor of the Presbyterian Church of the Roses in Santa Rosa, California. (Caterpillar on the West Bank, Israel) The report notes that controversy erupted throughout the PCUSA following its 216th General Assembly, held in 2004, after pushing through a last minute resolution to initiate phased, selective divestment in corporations conducting business in Israel. The Church's surprise action, adds the report, “met with immediate and widespread disapproval from many of the Church’s members, elders, pastors, and virtually every Presbyterian member of the United States Congress.” Said ‘End Divestment Now’ Executive Director Gary Green, “I just don’t see how our Church can, in the face of an overwhelming negative response, maintain any credibility whatsoever without correcting this seriously ill-conceived policy. I - and the End Divestment Now- are absolutely committed to seeing the Church’s divestment policy rescinded. We want our Church to pursue legitimate strategies that will contribute to the resolution of the conflict and end the dissention within our Church caused by those promoting divestment.” more...


Iran Chief Eclipses Power of Clerics (May 28, 2006) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is trying to consolidate power in the office of the presidency in a way never before seen in the 27-year history of the Islamic Republic, apparently with the tacit approval of Iran’s supreme leader, according to government officials and political analysts here. That rare unity of elected and religious leadership at the highest levels offers the United States an opportunity to talk to a government, however combative, that has often spoken with multiple voices. But if Washington, which severed relations with Iran after the 1979 revolution, opened such a dialogue, it could lift the prestige of the Iranian president, who has pushed toward confrontation with the West. Political analysts and people close to the government here say Mr. Ahmadinejad and his allies are trying to buttress a system of conservative clerical rule that has lost credibility with the public. Their strategy hinges on trying to win concessions from the West on Iran’s nuclear program and opening direct, high-level talks with the United States, while easing social restrictions, cracking down on political dissent and building a new political class from outside the clergy. Mr. Ahmadinejad is pressing far beyond the boundaries set by other presidents. For the first time since the revolution, a president has overshadowed the nation’s chief cleric, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on both domestic and international affairs. He has evicted the former president, Mohammad Khatami, from his offices, taken control of a crucial research organization away from another former president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, challenged high-ranking clerics on the treatment of women and forced prominent academics out of the university system. more...
| Iran | Islam |


EU's Solana Due in Iran late on Monday (June 5, 2006) - European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana is due in Tehran late on Monday to deliver a package of incentives that seek to persuade Iran to abandon its plans to make nuclear fuel, Iranian sources said. One of the sources, who all asked not to be identified, said Solana would meet Iranian officials on Tuesday. An EU diplomat also said Solana would be in Iran on Tuesday but gave no further details. Speaking during a visit to the West Bank city of Ramallah, Solana said he would travel to Iran “very soon”, but did not elaborate. He arrived in Israel late on Sunday as part of a previously planned trip that includes meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. His spokeswoman has said he would have dinner with Palestinian civil society leaders in Ramallah on Monday might. The incentives Solana will deliver to Iran stem from an initiative put together by the three biggest EU states - Britain, France and Germany - and were approved by a forum that also included the United States, China and Russia. Solana's office in Brussels said it was preparing an announcement about the details of the trip but for now could not be more precise about the timing. Details of the package have not been announced, but diplomats have been working on themes ranging from offering nuclear reactor technology to giving security guarantees. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday Iran would consider incentives but insisted the crux of the package -- that Iran must give up uranium enrichment -- was still unacceptable. Western nations fear Iran is enriching uranium to make an atomic bomb, but Iran insists its aims are entirely peaceful and that it wants to make fuel only to generate electricity.
| Iran | EU/UN | Israel |


Hamas Rejects Abbas Ultimatum Over Israel (June 5, 2006) - The Palestinian standoff intensified Sunday after Hamas rejected an ultimatum from President Mahmoud Abbas to endorse a plan implicitly recognizing Israel, and a pregnant woman was killed during a clash between the rivals’ forces in Gaza. In a rare dose of good news, some Palestinian public workers began withdrawing money from their banks, the first time they have been paid in three months because of a Western aid cutoff. Also, Israel’s premier talked to Egypt’s president about resuming peace talks with the Palestinians. Abbas will order a referendum on a plan drawn up by top Palestinian prisoners in an Israeli jail calling for a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem alongside Israel, a Fatah official said Sunday. Abbas set a Tuesday deadline for Hamas agreement. more...
| Israel | Islam |


IDF intelligence warns conflict with Palestinians to escalate (June 5, 2006) - The IDF estimates that it is headed toward another violent round of clashes with the Palestinians following a period of relative calm, senior security officials said. The dreary prognosis is based on the army's five-year plan for 2006-2011, which will be made public in July. According to the assessment, army intelligence officials believe Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s ambitious plan to withdraw from large parts of the West Bank will not do anything to decrease the scope of daily violence in the region. Instead, the army is moving forward based on a working plan that it is nearing another round of bloody violence with the Palestinians. “The Palestinian society has chosen a path in which there is no compromise,” a senior officer said, referring to the recent victory by Hamas in legislative elections. The officials said the assessment is based on intelligence but gave no further details. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the document has not been released. more...
| Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |


New film to prove accuracy of Bible? (June 4, 2006) - Recent films from “The Passion of the Christ” to the fictional “Da Vinci Code” may have reignited the public’s interest in matters of faith, but a newly completed movie could go far beyond the impact of both blockbusters, potentially verifying the historical accuracy of much of the Bible. The two-hour feature documentary titled “Exodus” has been in the making for five years, and is expected to be released in the spring of 2007. It covers events recorded in the books of Genesis and Exodus, beginning with the exploits of Joseph, the son of Jacob who was betrayed by his brothers into slavery but eventually became the second most powerful man in the known world, predicting seven years of famine in Egypt. It then moves on to biblical accounts involving Moses, the plagues on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and eventually Mount Sinai, where God is said to have given the Ten Commandments to the ancient Israelites. The film not only recounts what’s written in Scripture, but goes on a multinational mission to document the evidence for the events recorded in Scripture. “We have been at places no one else has ever been. We have found things no one else has ever found,” Moller told WND. Moller, who authored “The Exodus Case,” has been on a 10-year study, even looking into claims of ancient Egyptian chariot wheels found at the bottom of the Red Sea, but notes the claims of chariot wheels are just the beginning. “There are much more sensational finds on land,” he said. Appearing in the film with Moller is producer Tim Mahoney of the Mahoney Media Group in Minneapolis. He acts as sort of an “everyman” as he calls it, asking questions of Moller that the typical person on the street might have about the physical evidence discovered. more...
| Archaeology |

Watch The Exodus Case now on YouTube.

Official: Jews expelled from Gaza ‘victims’ (June 2, 2006) - The thousands of Jews evacuated last summer from the Gaza Strip are “victims” of a government policy and are owed “almost anything” by the state of Israel, said the chief of the withdrawal authority in charge of evacuees’ compensation. The statement follows the release of a recent report that shows the majority of former residents of Gush Katif, the slate of Jewish communities of Gaza evacuated by Israel last August, are unemployed, have yet to find permanent housing and have not received full compensation promised by the Israeli government. As WND reported, leaders from Gush Katif have been turning to mainstream American Jewish organizations for immediate assistance, outlining to them a “humanitarian crisis.” But so far the organizations largely have refused to help. “The state of Israel owes the (Gaza) evacuees almost anything. I think that they are the victims of a government decision, which, while it was taken democratically, still hurt them badly. I laud them,” said Yonatan Bassi, head of the Disengagement Authority. more...
| Israel |


Bin Laden family gave $1 million to Carter (June 2, 2006) - Former President Jimmy Carter’s center in Atlanta received more than $1 million from the family of Osama bin Laden, according to an investigative report. A brother of the al-Qaida terrorist leader, Bakr M. bin Laden, funneled the money to the Carter Center in Atlanta through the Saudi Bin Laden Group, according to Melanie Morgan, chairman of a group opposing the Georgia Democrat called the Censure Carter Committee. Morgan, a WorldNetDaily columnist, based her claim on papers she acquired from the Carter Center. She points to a report showing Carter met with 10 of Osama bin Laden’s brothers early in 2000. The former president and his wife, Rosalyn, followed up the meeting with a breakfast with Bakr bin Laden in September 2000 and secured the first $200,000 towards the more than $1 million that has gone to the Carter Center. Morgan says the connection between Carter and the bin Laden family is exactly the kind of charge leveled by Michael Moore against President Bush in the film “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Morgan’s group commented in a statement: “If you think this news troubles Michael Moore and his friends in the liberal, anti-war crowd, think again. You see, they’re not interested in the truth – they only seem interested in advancing their defeatist political message: America is almost always wrong–America is the source of many of the world’s problems.” more...
| Islam | America |


New Orleans Sinking Faster Than Thought (June 1, 2006) - Everyone has known New Orleans is a sinking city. Now new research suggests parts of the city are sinking even faster than many scientists imagined - more than an inch a year. That may explain some of the levee failures during Hurricane Katrina and it raises more worries about the future. The research, reported in the journal Nature, is based on new satellite radar data for the three years before Katrina struck in The data show that some areas are sinking four or five times faster than the rest of the city. And that, experts say, can be deadly. “My concern is the very low-lying areas,” said lead author Tim Dixon, a University of Miami geophysicist. “I think those areas are death traps. I don’t think those areas should be rebuilt.” The blame for this phenomenon, called subsidence, includes overdevelopment, drainage and natural seismic shifts. For years, scientists figured the city on average was sinking about one-fifth of an inch a year based on 100 measurements of the region, Dixon said. The new data from 150,000 measurements taken from space finds that about 10 percent to 20 percent of the region had yearly subsidence in the inch-a-year range, he said. As the ground in those areas sinks, protection from levees also falls, scientists and engineers said. more...

And they want to rebuild the city? Let’s see, it’s in hurricane country, below sea level and sinking more than an inch per year with levees that have and probably still will fail. I think it’s time to just rebuild the city ABOVE sea level somewhere, call it New New Orleans.

Giving Up On Israel (June 1, 2006) - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plans for withdrawal from much of the West Bank is leading to erosion of political support within the one American group — the conservative, primarily Christian right —that had been most supportive of Israel, and reportedly the root of President Bush’s support, as well. Those conservatives who most cheered Israel’s history of defying Islamic terrorists are now the most disappointed by what they’re calling Israel’s “appeasement,” as exemplified by its policy of unilateral withdrawal; giving guns to a Palestinian security unit under PA President Mahmoud Abbas, even though such weapons were used in the past against Israel; and giving millions of dollars in medical assistance to Palestinian hospitals to thwart what is being called a “humanitarian crisis,” even though Olmert told the New York Times (May 19) that the “humanitarian crisis” was nothing but “total propaganda.” Several writers pointed out that Olmert was once again living up to his doctrine spoken at the time of the Gaza disengagement: “We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies.” Joseph Farah, editor of World Net Daily and once as enthusiastic a defender of Israel as anyone in the media, finally threw in the towel, writing, “I Give Up On Israel.” more...
| Israel |


Coming Soon to U.S.: Mexican Customs Office (June 5, 2005) - Kansas City is planning to allow the Mexican government to open a Mexican customs office in conjunction with the Kansas City SmartPort. This will be the first foreign customs facility allowed to operate on U.S. soil. City leaders voted last month to give the facility an innocuous name to hide its true identity as an arm of the Mexican government, staffed by Mexican officials. In fact, Kansas City is so enthusiastic about the opportunity, the cost of building the $3 million dollar facility for Mexico will be paid for by Kansas City taxpayers, not by the Mexican government. The current plan for the NAFTA Super Corridor calls for the construction of a 12-lane highway (six lanes in each direction) along Interstate 35. The Kansas City SmartPort is designed to be the central hub in the planned NAFTA north-south superhighway cutting through the heart of the United States. Supercargo ships, carrying goods made by cheap labor in the Far East and China, will unload in the Mexican port at Lazaro Cardenas, eliminating the need to use costly union longshoremen workers in Los Angeles or Long Beach. Rather than transporting the containers by trucks from the West Coast, using Teamster drivers, or on rail, with the assistance of railroad labor in the United Transportation Union, the containers will be loaded onto Mexican non-union railroads at Lazaro Cardenas. At Monterrey, Mexico, the containers will then be loaded onto Mexican non-union semi-trailer trucks that will cross the border at Laredo, Texas, to begin their journey north along the Trans-Texas Corridor, the first leg of the planned continental NAFTA Super Corridor. To speed the crossing at Laredo, Texas, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America working groups within the U.S. Department of Commerce will allow Mexican trucks to be equipped with electronic FAST technology so the trucks can cross the border in express lanes. more...
| NewWorldOrder | America |


EU Nations to Issue Biometric Passports (June 5, 2005) - European Union nations will have to start issuing new secure biometric passports with a chip containing facial features by the end of August, EU officials said Thursday, and prepare to add fingerprint data to the travel documents by 2009. “By Aug. 26 of this year member states will need to be able ... to include a facial image in a chip,” said Friso Roscam Abbing, spokesman for EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini. He said Frattini would present plans to EU justice and interior ministers for adding fingerprints to the new biometric passports in two to three weeks time. Roscam Abbing said the new biometric features, which reduce patterns of fingerprints, faces and irises to mathematical algorithms stored on a chip, would go beyond security standards demanded by the United States. EU nations participating in the American visa-waiver program were given until October this year to comply with U.S. standards to have either a digital photo or a chip containing biometric data in their passports if they wanted to continue visa-free travel to the U.S.
| EU/UN |

This is the same principle that will be used in the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16-18) Nobody will be forced to do it at first, but anyone who doesn’t by default will be unable to buy any food at stores or anything from anyone who has implemented this system. Since nothing will work without the system, the choice will be cut and dry. Get the mark and rely on the world, or don’t and rely on God. God is clear about what happens to those who get the mark though, there is no forgiveness. I believe the actual mark will be more of a declaring allegiance to the beast and as a result, getting the mark with some technology like RFID to allow you to buy and sell. (Currency will be obsolete and the only way to pay is electronically with the RFID chips. In this way, you are forced to get the mark if you want to eat without begging or killing your own food.)

Russia to Establish Naval Base in Syrian Port of Tartus (June 2, 2006) - Russia has begun works in the Syrian port of Tartus seeking to built a full-scale naval base for the ships of the Black Sea Fleet, currently based in Ukraine’s Sevastopol, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Friday, quoting unnamed sources in the Defense Ministry and the General Staff of the Russian Navy. The paper noted that this is the first time Russia is setting up a military base outside the CIS since the fall of the USSR and that the base will allow Moscow to pursue its own line in the Middle East. Russia has also started work in the port of Latakia in Syria, the newspaper said. The base in Tartus and the new mooring in Latakia will be able to serve the needs of the Black Sea Fleet and possibly the North Sea Fleet as well. The newspaper quoted its sources as saying that in the nearest future the Russian Navy will form a squadron headed by the Moskva missile cruiser which will permanently operate in the Mediterranean, taking part in joint exercises with NATO forces. The sources said that the new base would allow Russia to strengthen its positions in the Middle East and also enhance Syrian security. However, the Russian Defense Ministry has refuted the report. Russia is not building a military base in Syria, spokesman for the Ministry Colonel Vyacheslav Sedov was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.
| Gog/Magog | Islam |


Strong Earthquake Hits Off Tonga (June 2, 2006) - A strong earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 6.1 struck Friday near the Pacific islands of Tonga, the US government said. The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the quake, which occurred at 0731 GMT, was located 363 kilometres (226 miles) west of the island nation’s capital Nuku’alofa. No reports of casualties or damage were immediately available.
| Earth Changes |


Ocean Vortex ‘Death Trap’ Discovered (June 2, 2006) - A MASSIVE ocean vortex discovered off the West Australian coast is acting as a “death trap” by sucking in huge amounts of fish larvae and could affect the surrounding climate. A team of scientists from The University of Western Australia Murdoch University, CSIRO and three American, French and Spanish research institutions announced the discovery of the vortex after a month-long research voyage in the ocean just west of Rottnest Island. Led by Dr Anya Waite, a biological oceanographer from UWA, the 10-member team found the vortex – 200km in diameter and 1000m deep – spinning at speeds up to 5kph just off the Rottnest Canyon. Dr Waite said the vortex, shaped like a giant child’s spinning top, was created by current movement down the coast and is one of the largest ever found off of WA. Visible from space, the vortex is acting as a “death trap” by sucking in fish larvae from closer to the shore, she said. more...
| Earth Changes |


Former CIA Analyst Says Iran Strike Set for June or July (June 1, 2006) - Former CIA analyst and Presidential advisor Ray McGovern, fresh from his heated public confrontation with Donald Rumsfeld, fears that staged terror attacks across Europe and the US are probable in order to justify the Bush administration’s plan to launch a military strike against Iran, which he thinks will take place in June or July. Appearing on The Alex Jones Show, McGovern was asked about the timetable for war in Iran and said that behind the diplomatic smokescreen, the final chess pieces were being moved into position. “There is already one carrier task force there in the Gulf, two are steaming toward it at the last report I have at least - they will all be there in another week or so.” “The propaganda has been laid, the aircraft carriers are in place, it doesn’t take much to fly the bombers out of British and US bases - cruse missiles are at the ready, Israel is egging us on,” said McGovern. McGovern said Iran’s likely response to a US air strike would be threefold - mobilizing worldwide terrorist cells that would make Al-Qaeda look like a girls netball team - utilizing its cruise missile arsenal to attack US ships and sending fighters into Iraq to attack US forces. “The Iranians can easily send three divisions of revolutionary guard troops right over....the long border with Iraq,” said McGovern, stating that the local Sunni population of Iraq would welcome such an invasion. more...
| Gog/Magog |


‘Moderate’ Earthquake Rattles New Brunswick (June 1, 2006) - Residents of western New Brunswick woke up to the ground shaking Thursday morning as the region was hit by what experts called a “moderate” earthquake. The quake, which had a magnitude of 3.6, hit at approximately 6:30 a.m. ADT. It originated 25 kilometres southeast of the village of Perth-Andover, near the Maine border. There were no immediate reports of damage. “We heard a rumbling from a distance, almost as though a train or a jet was low,” said Richard Newman, who lives in nearby Bristol. “And then, maybe a second or two, there was a rattling underneath our feet and the house shook and the dishes shook, and the windowpanes shook.” more...
| Earth Changes |


Allstate Dropping Earthquake Coverage in Washington (June 1, 2006) - A major Washington insurer will stop offering coverage for earthquakes in the state, a decision that will affect about 50,000 property owners. Allstate insures nearly 250,000 homeowners in the state and about one in five has quake insurance. The move by Allstate has state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler concerned that other carrier may follow suit. “I’m very concerned, because you never know, if Allstate is just the first of several that are going to take this step,” he said. Kreidler said Hurricane Katrina has the insurance industry re-thinking its exposure to mass disasters. And when they start pulling away from those risks, they start evaluating other risks as well, including tsunami's and earthquakes. So far, no other insurance companies in Washington appear to be following Allstate. more...