News for May 13, 2008
Etna Volcano Rumbles Back to Life in Sicily
Breitbart.com (May 13, 2008) - The
Etna volcano in Sicily rumbled back to life on Tuesday with a "seismic
event" followed by a burst of ash, volcanologists said three days after
minor eruptions shook the cone. A "seismic event provoking a strong
explosion was recorded Tuesday at 0424 GMT (6:42 am local) in parts of the
peak of the volcano," the National Geophysics and Vulcanology Institute
in Sicily's Catania region said in a statement. The explosion on Etna, Europe's
tallest active volcano at 3,295 metres (10,810 feet), was followed by a
rain of ash on the southeast crater, "where significant gas emissions
are occurring," the statement said. The institute dispatched experts
on Tuesday to the site, but "the phenomenon currently represents no
danger to people or property," it said. Saturday's eruption, accompanied
by streams of lava, was also at the volcano's southeast crater. The last
eruption of Mount Etna was in November 2007, two months after another eruption
forced a temporary closure of nearby Catania airport due to flowing lava
and clouds of ash. The last major eruption was in 2001.
Ahmadinejad: Israel to be 'swept away soon'
The Earth Times (May 13, 2008) - Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Israel would "be soon
swept away" from the Palestinian Territories by the Palestinians. It
is the second time within less than three years that the Iranian president
predicted the eradication of the Jewish state. The first time was in 2005
when Ahmadinejad hoped that Israel would be eradicated from the Middle East
map. "This terrorist and criminal state is backed by foreign powers,
but this regime would soon be swept away by the Palestinians," Ahmadinejad
said in a press conference in Tehran. Referring to worldwide celebrations
for the 60th anniversary of Israel's foundation, he said that "it would
be futile to hold a birthday ceremony for something which is already dead." "As
far as the regional countries are concerned, this regime does not exist,"
Ahmadinejad added. The Iranian president said last week that the anniversary
feasts could not save this "rotten and stinking corpse." Ahmadinejad
caused international outrage in the past by hoping for the eradication of
Israel, the relocation of the Jewish state to Europe or Alaska and questioning
the historic dimensions of the Holocaust.
to Syria says Israel in worst ever condition
Mathaba (May 13,
2008) - President's Advisor and IRI Ambassador in Syria said here
Monday occupying regime of Holy Qods is currently in its worst ever condition,
getting weaker with passage of each day, and moving towards extinction.
According to IRNA correspondent in Syria, Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Ahmad Moussavi
made the comment here on Monday night at the opening ceremony of a conference
titled "Repatriation, A Sacred And Legitimate Right", sponsored
by Damascus based Arab Writers Union. Moussavi added, "Israel has ever
since its establishment been serving the colonialist, and later on neo-colonialist
Western powers as a tool for strengthening their hegemony in this sensitive
region." The Iranian diplomat added, "The US President assumes
that the entire nations in this region are waiting for him to issue commands
and obey them, but the Americans are today beginning to realize that not
only that has been a simple minded assumption, but also the US and Israeli
plots for the region are facing humiliating defeats in the region one after
the other." Referring to the existence of numerous conflicts and difficulties
within the Islamic and Arab worlds, he said, "Despite all those problems
and challenges, the root cause of most of which is US and Israeli plots,
the victory of Muslims in the long run is easy to predict." The Islamic
Republic of Iran's ambassador to Syria emphasized that freedom and liberation
cannot be achieved without tolerating the hardships of Jihad (sacred defensive
war), resistance, and unity. He added, "In order to achieve independence,
freedom, and competence in facing the ever increasing challenges in today's
world, the world Muslims need to get acquainted with the culture of resistance,
and to keep alight the light of hope for embracing final victory in their
hearts." Hojjatoleslam Moussavi who was addressing the audience at
the conference on the verge of the 60th wretched anniversary of Israel's
illegitimate establishment meanwhile warned the Muslims to beware of the
incessant cultural onslaught of the West. He added, "The main objective
of this onslaught is annihilation of the Islamic and indigenous values of
our nations, as well as braking the bonds of unity within the Islamic and
Arab societies." The Zionists occupied the major part of Palestine's
lands on May 15th, 1948 and in 1967 seized the entire territory of that
oppressed nation. The Palestinians refer to the latter day, when they lost
their lands, became homeless, and were broadly massacred by the Zionists
as "Yaum ul-Nikba" (The Wretched Day), remembering it as the most
catastrophic day in their history, but the illegitimate Zionist state celebrates
the same day annually. Mousavi then referred to the occupation of Palestine
initially by the British forces, and then handing it to the agents of the
International Zionism, who facilitated for the three waves of the world
Jews' migration to that holy land as the most perilous plot hatched n the
West against the Islamic World. He emphasized, "Accusing the world
Muslims of nurturing terrorists and of having terrorist tendencies today,
is a stage in continuation of the same nasty plot." Mousavi said, "The
late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini (P) considered
defending the Palestinian nation, and their ideals a top priority of Iran's
foreign policy. Iran's ambassador to Damascus added, "A couple of signs
of remaining faithful to that policy is his announcement of the last Friday
of the fasting month of Ramadan as the International Qods Day, closure f
Israel's embassy in Tehran, and establishment of Palestine's Embassy in
its place soon after the victory of the Islamic Revolution." The two-day
conference is held in the presence of a large number of Iranian and Arab
Alims and thinkers. Among the prominent Arab personalities at the conference
there are the head of the Arab Writers Union, Hussain Jum'ah, Deputy Secretary
General of Palestine's Islamic Jihad Movement, Amal, and head of Iran-Arab
Friendship Committee, Adnan Abu-Nasser.
Blair unveils new 'West Bank package' The Jerusalem
Post (May 13, 2008) - Quartet envoy
Tony Blair on Tuesday unveiled a package of steps designed to allow greater
movement in the West Bank, and help the Palestinian economy grow in a way
in which he said would be consistent with protecting Israeli security. Blair,
speaking a day before the arrival of US President George Bush, said that
the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority, after weeks of negotiations,
have agreed on the steps which he said could begin to change the reality
on the ground. "For Palestinian statehood to be possible in the eyes
of Palestinians there must be hope that occupations will, over time, be
lifted," Blair said. "For Palestinian statehood to be possible
in the eyes of Israelis, there must be hope, over time, that the security
of Israel will be improved and not harmed by the way the Palestinians run
their territory." Blair, at a press conference at his headquarters
in the American Colony Hotel, said that the centerpiece of the package is
an area in and around Jenin which is greater in land mass than the Gaza
Strip, where the Palestinians will be given increased security authority
and a number of economic and social projects will begin there. In addition,
Blair said that the Israelis had agreed to remove four checkpoints throughout
the West Bank, upgrade seven others, and move one.
Tornado season deadliest in a decade USA Today
(May 13, 2008) - The USA has been ravaged
through mid-May by a near-record number of tornadoes that has pushed the
death toll — including 47 killer twisters over the weekend — to a 10-year
high. The deaths of 98 people attributed to tornadoes this year has made
2008 the deadliest year thus far for tornadoes since 1998 and the seventh
deadliest since modern recordkeeping began in 1950, The Weather Channel
said. Such a rate could make 2008 the year with the most tornadoes since
1950. "We are on a pace that continues a record number" of twisters,
said Greg Forbes, severe weather expert at The Weather Channel. Violent
storms over the weekend that spawned tornadoes left at least 22 people dead
from the southern Plains states eastward to Georgia, including seven deaths
in the tiny town of Picher, Okla., and 10 deaths in Seneca, Mo. Storms remained
active Sunday night as they swept eastward. The National Weather Service
said tornado watches were in effect for southern Georgia into northern Florida,
as well as south central Virginia, much of North Carolina and northern South
Carolina. The National Weather Service takes weeks to confirm actual numbers
of tornadoes but The Weather Channel said it believes there were 47 separate
twisters as of May 11 putting the count for the year at 636. That is second
only to the No. 1 year of 1999, when 669 tornadoes hit through the same
date, Forbes said. As for deaths by tornado, this year has seen the most
through May 11 since 115 were killed by tornado in 1998, Forbes said. That
year ended with 130 total deaths because of tornadoes. Meteorologists say
wind conditions and weather patterns have been ideal for creating twisters
this year. The jet stream, a shifting river of air at high altitudes, has
been moving from the southwestern USA toward the Great Lakes and pulling
moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. The contrast between the warm southern
air and cold air aloft creates winds that can spin turn into twisters.
Report: Death toll in China quake exceeds 12,000
(May 13, 2008) - Soldiers hiking over landslide-blocked roads reached
the epicenter of China's devastating earthquake Tuesday, pulling bodies
and a few survivors from collapsed buildings. The death toll of more than
12,000 was certain to rise as the buried were found. Rescuers worked through
a steady rain searching wrecked towns across hilly stretches of Sichuan
province that were stricken by Monday's magnitude-7.9 quake, China's deadliest
in three decades. Tens of thousands spent a second night outdoors, some
sleeping under plastic sheeting, others bused to a stadium in the city of
Mianyang, on the edge of the disaster area. Street lamps were switched on
in Mianyang on Tuesday night, but all the buildings were dark and deserted
after the government ordered people out of them for fear of aftershocks.
Security guards were posted at apartment blocks to keep people out. The
industrial city of 700,000 people — home to the headquarters of China's
nuclear weapons design industry — was turned into a thronging refugee camp,
with residents sleeping outdoors. "I'm cold. I don't dare to sleep,
and I'm worried a building is going to fall down on me," said Tang
Ling, a 20-year-old waitress wrapped in a borrowed pink down jacket and
camped outside the Juyuan restaurant with three co-workers. "What's
happened is so cruel. In one minute to have so many people die is too tragic."
As night fell, a first wave of 200 soldiers entered the town of Wenchuan,
near the epicenter, trudging across ruptured roads and mudslides, state
television said. Initial reports from troops said one nearby town could
account for only 2,300 survivors out of 9,000 people, China Central Television
said. At least 12,012 deaths occurred in Sichuan alone while another 323
died in five other provinces and the metropolis of Chongqing, state media
reported. That toll seemed likely to jump sharply as rescue teams reached
hard-hit towns. The devastation and ramped-up rescue across large, heavily
populated region of farms and factory towns strained local governments.
Food dwindled on the shelves of the few stores that remained open. Gasoline
was scarce, with long lines outside some stations and pumps marked "empty."
Global free market for food and energy faces biggest threat in decades
10, 2008) - The global free market for food and energy is facing
its biggest threat in decades as a host of countries push through draconian
measures to hold down prices, raising fears of a new "resource nationalism"
that could endanger world food security. India shocked the markets yesterday
by suspending trading in futures contracts for a range of farm products
in a bid to clamp down on alleged speculators and curb inflation, now running
at 7.6pc. The country's Forward Markets Commission said contracts for soybean
oil, chana (chickpeas), potatoes, and rubber had been banned for four months,
even though a report by the Indian parliament last month concluded that
soaring food costs had almost nothing to do with the futures contracts.
Traders in Mumbai slammed the ban as an act of brazen political populism.
The move has been seen as a concession to India's Communist MPs - key allies
of premier Manmohan Singh - who want a full-fledged ban on futures trading
in sugar, cooking oil, and grains. As food and fuel riots spread across
the world, a string of governments have resorted to steps that menace the
free flow of food and key commodities. Argentina has banned beef exports,
while Egypt and India have stopped shipments of rice. Kazakhstan has prohibited
wheat exports. Russia has slapped a 40pc export duty on shipments, and Pakistan
a 35pc duty. China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philipines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam
have all imposed export controls or forms of rationing to ease the crisis.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that this lurch towards national
controls is becoming a threat to the open global system we all take for
granted. "If not handled properly, this crisis could result in a cascade
of others and affect political security around the world," he said.
A new report by UBS says the scramble for scarce raw materials is turning
ever more political, with ominous implications for ill-endowed societies
that rely on imports. "The bottom line is that countries with resources,
particularly in food and energy are becoming more protective of these resources,"
it said. more...
Myanmar junta votes as cyclone victims starve AFP (May 10, 2008) - Myanmar's junta Saturday held a vote on a new constitution, ignoring pleas to focus on delivering urgently needed food supplies to 1.5 million cyclone victims facing disease and hunger. The referendum being held in all but the most devastated parts of the country is the first balloting to take place in Myanmar since the disallowed elections in 1990, in which democratic icon Aung San Suu Kyi secured a landslide victory. Voting was postponed by two weeks in the former capital of Yangon, as well as most of the Irrawaddy delta where Cyclone Nargis struck last week, leaving 65,000 dead or missing according to the junta's count. Although Myanmar says it will now accept aid from the United States, it has tussled with the World Food Programme over unloading UN supplies, triggering a brief suspension of the global body's relief flights Friday. "My understanding is that it has not yet been released into our hands, but we are working around the clock to get access," Marcus Prior, a Bangkok-based spokesman for WFP, said of a vital UN aid shipment impounded by authorities. "We have people who know how to work these channels, and they are," he said as the supplies -- enough high-energy biscuits to feed 95,000 survivors -- remained stuck at Yangon airport more than 24 hours after being delivered. "It is frustrating but that doesn't mean we're going to throw up our hands and give up. To the contrary -- we're going to work harder," he said. The UN has launched an emergency appeal for 187 million dollars to help the cyclone victims, but Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has not yet succeeded in speaking directly with the reclusive junta leader, Than Shwe, a UN source said. The junta has also refused to allow in foreign aid workers to direct the relief effort, drawing condemnation from the UN and world leaders who urged the ruling generals to open their doors. The situation on the ground is one of horror, with starving survivors looking for food in waterways littered with dead bodies and aid groups warning that time is running out. Countless masses are suffering in the waterlogged southern delta, where entire villages were washed away. "I am angry with the government," said Dowla Shwe, a single mother with five children who said her house was one of the many that simply vanished when the powerful storm tore through her village. She said the military had brought no aid or food -- and that she feared her children would now starve to death. "If they can't help, why not allow foreigners to come and help us?" more...
Hezbollah to end Beirut seizure BBC News
(May 10, 2008) - The army revoked two key
government measures that had led to four days of street fighting between
the two sides, leaving at least 37 people dead. But it has vowed to continue
civil disobedience until its demands are met. The fighting was sparked
by a government move to shut down Hezbollah's telecoms network and the removal
of the chief of security at Beirut airport for alleged Hezbollah sympathies.
Earlier, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora called on the army to restore law
and order, saying the country would not fall to Hezbollah after four days
of street battles which saw the Shia movement drive supporters of the government
out of western Beirut. In his first response to Hezbollah's de facto takeover
of the west of the capital, Mr Siniora said his government would never declare
war against the Shia group. The latest violence amounts to a humiliating
blow to the government, which appears to have badly overplayed its hand
in moving to close Hezbollah's telecoms network on Tuesday, our correspondent
gunmen seize large areas of Beirut Associated
Press (May 9, 2008) - Shiite Hezbollah
gunmen seized control of key parts of Beirut from Sunnis loyal to the U.S.-backed
government Friday, a dramatic show-of-force certain to strengthen the Iranian-allied
group’s hand as it fights for dominance in Lebanon’s political deadlock.
An ally of Hezbollah said the group intended to pull back, at least partially,
from the areas its gunmen occupied overnight and Friday morning — signaling
Hezbollah likely does not intend a full-scale, permanent takeover of Sunni
Muslim parts of Beirut, similar to the Hamas takeover of Gaza a year ago.
The clashes eased by Friday evening as Lebanon’s army began peacefully moving
into some areas where Hezbollah gunmen had a presence. But as Hezbollah
gunmen celebrated in the capital’s empty streets — including marching down
Hamra Street, one of its glitziest shopping lanes — it was clear that the
show-of-force would have wide implications for Lebanon and the entire Mideast.
Lebanon’s army largely stood aside as the Shiite militiamen scattered their
opponents and occupied large swaths of the capital’s Muslim sector early
Friday — a sign of how tricky Lebanon’s politics have become. In one instance,
the army stood aside as Shiite militiamen burned the building of the newspaper
of their main Sunni rival — acting only to evacuate people and then allow
firefighters later to put out the blaze. The army has pledged to keep the
peace but not take sides in the long political deadlock — which pits Shiite
Hezbollah and a handful of allies including some Christian groups, against
the U.S.-backed government, which includes Christian and Sunni Muslims.
Three days of street battles and gunfights capped by Friday’s Hezbollah
move have killed at least 14 people and wounded 20 — the country’s worst
sectarian fighting since the 1975-1990 civil war. Three more people were
killed in two separate incidents on Friday after the Hezbollah takeover.
Two of them were Druse allies of Hezbollah who died in a shooting in a hilly
suburb southeast of the capital late Friday, security officials said. For
Beirut residents and those across the Mideast, it was a grim reminder of
that troubled time when Beirut was carved into enclaves ruled by rival factions
and car bombs and snipers devastated the capital. more...
Happy Europe Day! (May 9, 2008) - On the 9th of May 1950, Robert Schuman presented his proposal on the creation of an organised Europe, indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. This proposal, known as the "Schuman declaration", is considered to be the beginning of the creation of what is now the European Union. Today, the 9th of May has become a European symbol (Europe Day) which, along with the flag, the anthem, the motto and the single currency (the euro), identifies the political entity of the European Union. Europe Day is the occasion for activities and festivities that bring Europe closer to its citizens and peoples of the Union closer to one another.
Just a reminder of what started the unification of Europe to the extent that it exists now, and how this could bode for America given the increased cooperation with Canada and Mexico here in the Americas. More on that here.
Are Emerging Church Critics Too Critical? Understanding The Times - Not every Christian is called to be a watchman. This is understandable. The body of Christ is made up of men, women and children with a variety of gifts and callings all important for the body of Christ to be healthy. The watchman or watchwoman is a person called by God to warn about the dangers of departing from the truth and being led astray. This calling is not without problems and difficulties. The watchman, even though his or her voice may be biblical, is almost always considered by the majority to be too critical. This is especially true today when so many Christian leaders are embracing a Christianity that is more seeker-friendly and purpose-driven rather than God-fearing and Spirit-led. A person who attempts to exhort stray sheep back to the fold is considered negative, judgmental, and unloving. Further, when someone has departed from the Word of God, they are not always grateful to someone who tells them they have departed. If a person knew they were being deceived, they wouldn’t have been seduced by the deception. It is also a fact there are many who profess to have faith in Christ but have very little faith in His Word. It is God’s Word that must be our plumb line in bringing us back to the truth. Following a man and his ideas may well lead us astray, especially if his ideas do not line up with God’s revelation as recorded in God’s Word. I have been attempting to sound a spiritual alarm by documenting facts associated with various ideas and trends that are sweeping the world in the name of Christ. We are living at a time in Church history when a new reformation is supposedly underway and Christianity is being reinvented so that it will be more relevant for the twenty-first century, but a Christianity that is not consistent with the Scriptures in not Christianity. Answering the Critics There are those who will read this and will not come to the conclusion that we are living in an age of apostasy before the return of our Lord. There will be those who accuse me of presenting an unbalanced view of the emerging church, in spite of the facts. There will be those who say that I concentrate only on the negative and that I have avoided all the good things about the Emerging Church. For example, I anticipate there will be statements similar to the following one made by Emerging Church supporter Darren King in an article he wrote titled “A Response to Reactionism Against the Emerging Church”:
This statement illustrates how someone with a rigid perspective (biblical perspective) is perceived by someone with an Emerging Church perspective (“fresh perspective”). From Darren King’s viewpoint, if someone is not willing to abandon their “faith infrastructure,” (the Bible) for the “fresh perspective,” (ideas that are unbiblical or anti-biblical) the person is considered a dangerous crackpot. Further, King, the editor of Precipice Magazine, states that he has a plan to deal with resistors who refuse to leave their “faith infrastructure” for the “fresh perspective”.
Following this article some examples of Emerging Church criticism were posted along with a response by Precipice Magazine. For example, as an answer to the criticism—“I feel like you can never pin down the Emerging Church on what they actually believe. That kind of slippery theology seems dangerous, cowardly, and way too convenient in our politically correct culture”—the following statement is made:
If Christianity is evolving, as this writer suggests, what is it evolving
into? Whether or not one names this trend a “church” or a “conversation”
is not the issue. What is important is whether or not the trend is based
on sound Christian doctrine. As we have discussed in previous commentaries,
faith in the Bible is not the basis for this “New Reformation”. Faith in
the Bible is not being promoted; it is it under attack. Faith is being undone.
Yes, it is true that the early church was called “The Way.” However, the
church was called “The Way” because the members of the church were following
Jesus, who said He was “The Way.” John 17:17 Jesus also said the “Way” is
a “narrow way” Matthew 7:13 and the “only way” John 14:6 to get into heaven.
The Emerging Church way or emergent conversation or whatever name is used
to describe this so-called New Reformation, in my view is a wide way that
many are traveling and heading in the wrong direction. more...
More on the "emerging church" here.
Severe storms cause damage in 4 Southern states
(May 9, 2008) - Amber Parker watched on television as the storm near
her home grew into a tornado threat. Then, when the roaring wind outside
suddenly fell silent, she grabbed her two toddlers and rushed to get under
the stairwell. "We just got inside the door frame when I was pushed
inside ... then everything went," said Parker, tears welling in her
eyes as she described the chaotic scene during a brief discussion with reporters
near her demolished home in central North Carolina. Neighbors helped the
36-year-old Parker and her two children — a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old
— out of the ruins that used to be their home, and the three survived with
barely a scratch. "We're blessed," she said. The powerful storm
system that swept through the Southeast and the mid-Atlantic states late
Thursday and into early Friday produced two tornados. In North Carolina,
the storm left one person dead, several injured and scores of homes and
businesses damaged. Donald Ray Needham, 51, of Jackson Springs, died when
his truck overturned in a parking lot just west of Greensboro, authorities
said. They said three others were injured, one when the storm knocked down
a wall at a distributing business, and two others when their vehicles flipped
off the road. In Greensboro, some homes and businesses on the outskirts
of town were damaged, and two FedEx airplanes were pitched off the tarmac
and into an airport construction site. No one was injured at the airport.
And while officials scoured through wreckage when daylight arrived Friday,
they found no new injuries or fatalities. "I thought we were going
to come back to something a lot worse than what we have out there,"
said David Douglas, assistant chief for the Greensboro Fire Department. "It
could have been much worse than it was." The National Weather Service
reported preliminary indications that the Greensboro tornado clocked in
as a category EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, meaning the funnel was packing
winds between 111 and 135 mph. Earlier Thursday, an apparent tornado wrecked
a shopping area in Mississippi and strong winds flipped a mobile home in
Alabama. In south-central Tennessee, at least four homes and a few barns
were reported damaged. The storm made its way to Virginia and Maryland late
Thursday and early Friday, leaving between 75 and 100 homes in northeastern
Virginia damaged — about 30 of them severely, said Stafford County spokeswoman
Cathy Riddle. She said two people were injured; one of them was taken to
a hospital and later released. Dozens of residents were taken to a temporary
shelter at a middle school. Weather service officials confirmed Friday that
a tornado also touched down Thursday night in Franklin and Henry counties
in western Virginia. The EF1 twister, with winds of 86 to 95 mph, downed
trees and damaged homes in a mile-long path, officials said. Portions of
northern and central Virginia and southern Maryland remained under a flood
warning Friday morning. more...
Ahmadinejad: Israel a 'stinking corpse' facing annihilation
The Jerusalem Post
(May 9, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that the state of Israel is a "stinking
corpse" that is destined to disappear, the French news agency AFP reported. "Those
who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli
regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken," the official
IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as having said. "Today the reason
for the Zionist regime's existence is questioned and this regime is on its
way to annihilation." Ahmadinejad further stated that Israel "has
reached the end like a dead rat after being slapped by the Lebanese"
- referring to the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.
Given Bible prophecy's stance on Iran's future actions in Ezekiel 38,39 I would take his rhetoric seriously. However, Israel was already a pile of bones, but God brought them back together again just a few chapters prior to the foretelling of Iran's attack on Israel.
Ezekiel 37:1-6; 11-14
And God has made it clear that just as the bones coming together again was a sign to the world that God is who He says He is and means what He says, so too will the destruction of the Magog invaders in the mountains of Israel be a witness to the world that He is God.
While the future does look bleak at times for Israel even after God intervenes on her behalf, in the end the promise that Israel will never again be removed from the Promised Land will be true, just like the rest of God's Word is. It is those that come against the Lord who will be the "stinking corpses" and will not receive the promise of eternal life through faith in Yeshua the Christ. Faith is not blind, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. May your faith be strengthened in these increasingly deceptive times as you see God's Word come to pass in this generation.
Burma death toll worse than Tsunami The Sun
(May 9, 2008) - THE death toll in cyclone-ravaged
Burma could hit 500,000 – more than twice the total killed by the Boxing
Day Tsunami. Last night’s warning came as it emerged that 17 Britons, including
ex-pats and backpackers, were still missing. The UN World Food Programme
said on Friday it would resume aid flights, despite the military government’s
seizure of deliveries at Yangon airport. "The World Food Programme
has decided to send in two relief flights as planned tomorrow, while discussions
continue with the government of Myanmar on the distribution of the food
that was flown in today, and not released to WFP", said Nancy E. Roman,
WFP’s communications and public policy director. The UN food agency had
previously said it would suspend aid flights over the seizure today. The
shipments of 38 tonnes of high-energy biscuits, enough to feed 95,000 people,
were intended to be loaded on trucks and sent to the inundated Irrawaddy
delta where most of the estimated 1.5 million victims of Cyclone Nargis
need food, water and shelter. Sources said 200,000 people were already dead
or dying. But the figure could rise to HALF A MILLION through disease and
hunger if the nation’s hardline army rulers continue to block aid for the
devastated lowlands of the Irrawaddy Delta. That would dwarf the 230,000
deaths across South East Asia in the 2004 catastrophe. Nyo Ohn Myint, of
exiled opposition party The National League for Democracy, told The Sun
at a border crisis centre: “Much of this will be a man-made disaster, caused
by the military regime. “The bodies need to be collected and burnt as soon
as possible or disease will claim many more lives. But the government has
organised nothing and its 400,000 soldiers are doing nothing while undistributed
aid piles up. “They are hoping bodies will be washed out to sea so the final
count is smaller – but it could kill half a million people within a matter
of weeks. The world must know what is going on.” Disaster struck on Saturday
when 120mph Cyclone Nargis forced ashore waves up to 20ft high. The Irrawaddy
town of Labutta – population 80,000 – was wiped off the map. Local doctor
Aye Kyu told how families clung to trees as their homes were swept away.
He said: “I asked survivors how many there were left. They said about 200.”
A spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid said:
“The entire lower delta region is under water. Teams are talking about bodies
floating around. This is a major, major disaster.” The UN World Food Programme
said up to a million may have been left homeless in the vital “rice bowl”
farming region alone. In the city of Bogalay, 95 per cent of homes are thought
to have been destroyed. In the township of Dedaye, south of the main city
Rangoon, desperate kids scavenged among the debris of their homes for anything
useful to survival. On the outskirts of Rangoon forlorn families, including
a mother cradling her screaming baby, queued for emergency handouts of rice.
In Britain, International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander told MPs
the situation was “grave”. more...
Strong quake rocks Tokyo Herald Sun
(May 8, 2008) - A SERIES of strong earthquakes
including one with a magnitude of 6.7 hit the Tokyo area early today, cutting
off power to more than 2000 homes and causing light injuries, officials
and reports said. Japan's meteorological agency warned that more moderate
aftershocks could strike, although there were no fears of a tsunami. The
strongest earthquake hit at 1.45am (2.45am AEST) in the Pacific Ocean off
Ibaraki prefecture, some 100km northeast of Tokyo. Public broadcaster NHK
said that two people were lightly injured, including an 18-year-old boy
who was hit by his falling stereo speaker. Power was cut off to 2100 households,
the network said, quoting local officials. The impact was strongest in Ibaraki
and adjacent Tochigi prefecture where the earthquake measured lower-five
on the seven-point Japanese scale - strong enough to crack holes in weak
Israel's Olmert admits taking cash but won't quit
Reuters (May 8, 2008)
- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert admitted on Thursday taking cash from
a U.S. businessman but resisted calls to resign over a police investigation
into alleged hefty bribes over almost a decade. As Israelis enjoyed festivities
marking Independence Day and the 60th anniversary of the founding of their
state, police lifted a week-old media gag order and announced details of
accusations that sparked opposition calls for Olmert to quit. He said he
would resign only if he were formally indicted. Whether he goes or not,
doubt over his future is likely to upset his faltering, U.S.-sponsored peace
negotiations with the Palestinians and will cast a heavy cloud over next
week's celebratory visit to Israel by U.S. President George W. Bush. The
White House said Bush still intended to make the trip. Olmert, in a late-night
televised address to the nation, said: "I look each and every one of
you in the eye and say, 'I never took bribes. I never took a penny for myself'."
His allies say there is a right-wing campaign to wreck the peace process,
but it was unclear if his fragile coalition would rally behind a man who
last year said he was "indestructible". Israelis are no strangers
to tales of corruption at the top in the Middle East's most feted democracy
and the latest case may fuel calls for an overhaul of political funding
rules. Olmert, who was questioned by police for an hour last Friday, has
weathered a string of investigations since he succeeded Ariel Sharon as
prime minister in 2006. Sharon's son is in jail for campaign funding misdeeds
on his father's behalf. On Thursday, Olmert said all the cash he received
-- put at hundreds of thousands of dollars by one judicial source -- was
legitimate support from New York financier Morris Talansky to fund various
election campaigns over nearly a decade from 1993. more...
Egypt extends ration cards due to high food prices
Reuters (May 8, 2008)
- Egypt has opened its ration card system to an extra 17 million people
and doubled the amount of rice that card holders receive in an effort to
counter the effects of rising food prices. The global prices of staple foods
have risen more than 40 percent in the last year causing shortages, hoarding
and riots in many developing countries and prompting the United Nations
to warn of malnutrition and social unrest. In Egypt, inflation has jumped
to 16.4 percent and the government is trying to contain growing public discontent
over rising food prices which are accentuated by low wages. Three people
were killed in a Nile Delta town last month in clashes with police after
textile workers tried to strike. Egypt had not added to the ration card
registry since 1988 before opening it up for new registrations until June
30. "Up to now we have received about 17 million additional citizens...
This means we will cover about 55 million people," Social Solidarity
Minister Ali Musailhi told Reuters. Egypt's population is about 75 million.
The poor spend a disproportionate amount of their income on food and in
Tajikistan, an impoverished Central Asian republic, their problems have
been worsened by a locust infestation which threatens maize and wheat crops.
Last month, the U.N. said locusts had infested an area of 150,000 hectares
-- 30 percent more than last year -- and could damage food supplies in a
nation of 7 million. Many countries have responded to high food prices by
imposing taxes and other restrictions on exports to try to ensure adequate
supplies at home. Export bans by India and Vietnam, the world's second biggest
exporter, have helped rice prices in Asia to treble this year and filled
the coffers of rice exporters in Thailand. Thailand, the world's biggest
rice exporter, is expecting to sell more than 9 million tonnes of rice overseas
this year, about the same as last year, but at far higher prices. Thai rice
prices eased this week from a record level above $1,000 a tonne. "Everybody
turns the spotlight on Thailand and this year will be the golden year for
Thai rice exports," Commerce Minister Mingkwan Sangsuwan told reporters.
Violence rekindles fears of Lebanese civil war
MSNBC (May 8, 2008)
- Shiite Hezbollah supporters and the Lebanese government’s Sunni backers
clashed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades Thursday in battles
that spread through Beirut’s streets soon after Hezbollah’s leader vowed
to fight any attempt to disarm his men. Lebanese security officials said
two people were killed and eight wounded in the sectarian clashes. The violence
first erupted in Muslim West Beirut, where masked gunmen on street corners
opened fire along Corniche Mazraa, a major thoroughfare that has become
a demarcation line between the two sides. It spread to Khandaq el-Ghamiq,
a neighborhood adjacent to downtown, which is home to the government’s offices.
Shootings and explosions were reported by witnesses and television stations
in the Aisha Bakkar neighborhood near the office of Lebanon’s Sunni spiritual
leader, who is allied with the government. Gunfire and explosions were also
heard in a nearby district where the opposition-aligned parliament speaker
has his official residence. Troops in armored carriers had earlier moved
in to West Beirut to separate people who were trading insults and throwing
stones at each other, but the troops did not attempt to stop the street
battles that then broke out. The army, which has been struggling to contain
the disturbances, warned of the consequences to the country and the military.
“The continuation of the situation as is is a clear loss for all and harms
the unity of the military institution,” a statement said. The clashes have
brought back memories of the devastating 1975-1990 civil war that has left
lasting scars on Lebanon. Beirut residents are now seeing fresh demarcation
lines, burning tires and roadblocks. The army has largely stayed out of
the broader political struggle between Hezbollah and the government for
fear of exacerbating the situation. The army’s commander is the two factions’
consensus candidate for president. Gen. Michel Suleiman so far has advised
the government not to declare a state of emergency. The clashes came close
on the heels of a defiant speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who
said his Iranian-backed militant organization would respond with force to
any attacks. “Those who try to arrest us, we will arrest them,” he said.
“Those who shoot at us, we will shoot at them. The hand raised against us,
we will cut it off.” It was the second day of fighting that has turned some
city neighborhoods into battlegrounds and spilled over to other parts of
the country. more...
What does this have to do with Gog/Magog? As was reported a while back, Southern Lebanon has been a location with many underground bunkers storing munitions and the Magog attack is supposed to come from the North into Israel. That there were Russian and Turkish "peacekeeping troops" sent in after the 2006 fighting with Israel and these bunkers are storing weapons, the instability in the nation now would seem to tilt into the hands of Hezbollah who is supported by Iran, a major player in the attack on Israel that God prevents.
Iran clerics rebuke Ahmadinejad over 'hidden imam'
7, 2008) - Clerics have told President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to stick
to more worldly issues after he was quoted as saying the "hidden imam"
of Shiite Islam was directing Iran. Ahmadinejad has always been a devotee
of the Mahdi, the twelfth imam of Shiite Islam, who Shiites believe disappeared
more than a thousand years ago and who will return one day to usher in a
new era of peace and harmony. But in a speech to theology students broadcast
by state television on Monday, Ahmadinejad went further than ever before
in emphasising his belief that the Mahdi is playing a critical role in Iran's
day-to-day politics. "The Imam Mahdi is in charge of the world and
we see his hand directing all the affairs of the country," he said
in the speech, which appears to date from last month but has only now been
broadcast. "We must solve Iran's internal problems as quickly as possible.
Time is lacking. A movement has started for us to occupy ourselves with
our global responsibilities, which are arriving with great speed."
Two leading clerics retorted that Ahmadinejad would be better off concentrating
on Iran's social problems -- most notably its double-digit inflation --
than indulging in such mystical rhetoric. "If Ahmadinejad wants to
say that the hidden imam is supporting the decisions of the government,
it is not true," sniped Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moghadam, the spokesman
of the conservative Association of Combatant Clerics. "For sure, the
hidden imam does not approve of inflation of 20 percent, the high cost of
living and numerous other errors," he said, according to the Kargozaran
daily. Ali Asghari, a member of the conservative Hezbollah faction in parliament,
told the president not to link the management of the country to the imam. "Ahmadinejad
would do better to worry about social problems like inflation ... and other
terrestrial affairs," Etemad Melli daily quoted him as saying. Since
becoming president in 2005, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly stated that his government
is paving the way for the return of the Mahdi and chided his foes for not
believing that his return is imminent.
State of Israel turns 60 YNet News
(May 7, 2008) - Israel's 60th anniversary
commenced Wednesday evening with a formal torch-lighting ceremony on Mount
Herzl in Jerusalem. The celebrations were held under tight security, due
to warnings received on terror organizations' plans to carry out attacks.
Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik said during the ceremony, "The nation of
Israel will never be able to pay off its debt to its fallen soldiers. "The
State of Israel is an extraordinary success story; a wonder by any historical
measure," she said. "We built this magnificent enterprise with
our own hands. There are countries that are wealthier and certainly more
peaceful, but there is no other country like the State of Israel. There
are flaws and we still have things to do, but behind these flaws is a great
country." Addressing the Palestinian terror organizations, Itzik said, "As
long as Israel has one Asher Tuito (eight-year-old boy who was seriously
wounded in a Qassam attack on Sderot) – you do not stand a chance. We want
peace not only for our children but for yours as well; however, you must
realize that we will know how to fight if needed." According to figures
released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on the eve of Independence
Day, 7,282,000 people live in Israel today. About 75.5% of them are Jews,
some 1,461,000 are Arabs, and 322,000 are defined as "others".
According to forecasts, Israel's population will include some 10 million
people in the year 2030. more...
Magnitude 6.7 earthquake jolts eastern Japan
Reuters (May 7, 2008)
- A earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 jolted eastern Japan
early on Thursday, and was felt over a wide area, including in Tokyo, Japan's
meteorological agency said. The quake, at 1:45 a.m. (1645 GMT, Wednesday),
was centered in the Pacific Ocean east of Tokyo. There were no immediate
reports of injuries or damage after the quake, which measured 5 on the Japanese
scale of 7 in some parts northeast of Tokyo, NHK said. No tsunami damage
was expected from the quake but there may be slight sea level changes, the
agency said on its website.
'Day of Silence' walkout a success OneNewsNow
(May 7, 2008) - The recent "Day of Silence"
event promoting homosexuality was a bust at one Washington State high school
thanks to the efforts of pro-family students, parents, and community leaders.
The Day of Silence is promoted by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network
(GLSEN) as an event to draw attention to alleged persecution suffered by
students who claim to be homosexual or confused about their gender. But
Pastor Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, Washington, claims
the event was actually designed by homosexual activists to promote their
lifestyle to students. So Hutcherson worked with other parents in the area
of his daughter's Mount Si High School to protest the event. Hutcherson
and his wife purchased a half-page ad in the local newspaper urging concerned
parents and Christians to join them in protest of the event. "Then
the word went out," he explains. "It went out to my prayer warriors.
And they prayed about it ... and last Friday [April 25], we had probably
about 250 to 300 parents there," he contends. But parents were not
the only ones opposed to an entire school day being used to promote a lifestyle
the Bible declares to be immoral, says Hutcherson. "There were 638
kids out of 1,410 kids that didn't come to school that day," he remarks.
In addition to 45 percent of the student body staying home on the Day of
Silence, Hutcherson and other parents convinced the school board to give
waivers to student athletes who did not want to be present during the pro-homosexual
event. Those waivers allowed the athletes to skip school but still participate
in sporting events held that school day. Eighty-five of the school's athletes
took advantage of the waiver, and less than 200 of the school's 1,400 students
actively participated in the Day of Silence activities. Hutcherson considers
his protest of the homosexual event a "very big success."
Secret documents detail post-WWII debacle OneNewsNow
(May 7, 2008) - A messianic Jewish ministry
leader says recent documents released by the British government have confirmed
a long-held belief. Jan Markell has long believed that God judged Britain
for its treatment of the Jews. She notes that 400 pages of formerly secret
documents -- recently made public by the British National Archives -- reveal
how the British government tried to send thousands of Holy Land-bound Jewish
Holocaust survivors back to post-war Germany without inflaming world opinion.
But despite the best efforts of early spin-doctors to portray the move in
a most sympathetic light, the decision to turn away more than 4,500 Jewish
refugees on board the Exodus refugee ship turned into a humanitarian and
public relations debacle for Great Britain. Markell, founder and director
Tree Ministries, believes Britain has paid a steep price for betraying
the Jews in 1947. "At one time [Britain] had so many nations and colonies
that the sun never set on [the British Empire]," she recalls. "Today
[Britain] is a broken and fractured empire, and I believe it is partly because
of the way that she dealt with the Jews ... during the Holocaust and post-Holocaust,"
says Markell. And the pro-Israel advocate warns this story ought to serve
as reminder to supporters of Israel today. "It should remind us that
the world to this day continues to hate the Jewish people," she continues, "because
they still are God's chosen people no matter what the Muslim world wants
to do to annihilate them. [The Jews] will not go away." Markell argues
the United States should take special heed to this story, considering its
continual efforts to force the Jewish people to turn over their covenant
land in order to create a Palestinian "state."
Georgia says "very close" to war with Russia
The Star Online (May
6, 2008) - Russia's deployment of extra troops in the breakaway Georgian
region of Abkhazia has brought the prospect of war "very close",
a minister of ex-Soviet Georgia said on Tuesday. Separately, in comments
certain to fan rising tension between Moscow and Tbilisi, the "foreign
minister" of the breakaway Black Sea region was quoted as saying it
was ready to hand over military control to Russia. "We literally
have to avert war," Temur Iakobashvili, a Georgian State Minister,
told reporters in Brussels. Asked how close to such a war the situation
was, he replied: "Very close, because we know Russians very well." "We
know what the signals are when you see propaganda waged against Georgia.
We see Russian troops entering our territories on the basis of false information,"
he said. Georgia, a vital energy transit route in the Caucasus region, has
angered Russia, its former Soviet master with which it shares a land border,
by seeking NATO membership. An April summit of the U.S.-led Western alliance
stopped short of giving it a definite track towards membership but confirmed
it would enter one day. Russia has said its troop build-up is needed to
counter what it says are Georgian plans to attack Abkhazia, a sliver of
land by the Black Sea, and has accused Tbilisi of trying to suck the West
into a war -- allegations Georgia rejects. Tensions have been steadily mounting
and escalated after Georgia accused Russia of shooting down one of its drones
over Abkhazia in April, a claim Russia denied. An extra Russian contingent
began arriving in Abkhazia last week. Moscow has not said how many troops
would be added but said the total would remain within the 3,000 limit allowed
under a United Nations-brokered ceasefire agreement signed in 1994. Diplomats
expect the reinforcement to be of the order of 1,200. more...
This story made me think given how close we could be to Russia, Turkey, Iran and others attacking Israel from the North. Take a look at this map below. Notice Georgia borders Turkey. I find it convenient to the attack scenario that these troops are building up for other reasons as far as the world is concerned. Keep in mind also that Hezbollah is causing problems and gaining control in Beirut while the rest of Lebanon is in turmoil currently and there are reports of weapons bunkers on the southern border of Lebanon, which borders Northern Israel. If Turkey is part of the invading force, then Russian troops could pass through Turkey with Turkish troops, through Syria and finally through Lebanon into Northern Israel. Keep in mind also that I believe scripture clarifies that these attackers are pulled into attacking Israel by the destruction of Damascus in Syria. So while Syria is not mentioned in the prophecy I'm sure any forces there would be more than willing to participate if not just allowing Russian, Turkish and Iranian troops to come down through her to Israel.
I'm not saying this will happen now, but the Bible says it will happen and this seems to be awfully set up currently for a sudden attack. If Israel were to catch wind of some plan being hatched in the terrorist-infested city of Damascus, would Israel strike first? Remember that Syria was building a nuclear reactor that Israel destroyed and that Israel hardly has any true friends in the region. There's also the story further down regarding Israel's threat to Syria regarding Hezbollah. Then there is the story from above regarding the troubles in Lebanon and the instability created by Hezbollah. For Israel, this is a fight for existence. Of course God won't allow them to be completely wiped out, but the mindset in the political realm of Israel is fairly secular in nature right now. I believe that will change once God steps in to save Israel from this invasion attempt. Keep watching!
evacuation ordered around Chile volcano MSNBC
(May 6, 2008) - The long-dormant Chaiten volcano
blasted ash some 20 miles into the Andean sky on Tuesday, forcing the last
of thousands to evacuate and fouling a huge stretch of the South American
continent. A thick column of ash climbed into the stratosphere and blew
eastward for hundreds of miles (kilometers) over Patagonia to the Atlantic
Ocean, closing schools and a regional airport. Citizens of both countries
were advised to wear masks to avoid breathing the dangerous fallout. Chilean
officials ordered the total evacuation of Chaiten, a small provincial capital
in an area of lakes and glacier-carved fjords just six miles (10 kilometers)
from the roiling cloud. Interior Minister Edmundo Perez said anyone still
in the area should "urgently head to ships in the bay to be evacuated."
More than 4,000 people were evacuated over the weekend and 350 more headed
out Tuesday. Also emptied was the soot-coated border town of Futaleufu,
about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the volcano. The five-day-old eruption
is the first in 9,370 years, said Charles Stern, a volcanologist at the
University of Colorado-Boulder who has studied Chaiten. He said the nearby
town could end up buried, much like the Roman city of Pompeii following
Mount Vesuvius' eruption in 79 A.D. Volcanic material from Chaiten's last
eruption measured up to 5 feet in places. "What happens after today
is anybody's guess," Stern said. While volcanologists around the world
eagerly awaited data on the scope of the eruption, one local expert got
an up-close look when he accompanied police and air force teams over the
3,950-foot (1,200 meter) peak. Volcanologist Juan Cayupi told The Associated
Press by telephone that Chaiten's two small craters have morphed into a
large, single crater. Lava was rising within the crater but has not yet
spilled over, said Luis Lara, another volcanologist with the government's
Geology and Mining Service. more...
slow for victims in cyclone-hit delta MSNBC
(May 6, 2008) - Myanmar's Irrawaddy delta
remained largely cut off from the rest of the world Tuesday, four days after
a cyclone unleashed winds, floods and high tidal waves on the densely populated
region, killing nearly 22,000. State radio reported that more than 41,000
others were missing in the wake of Asia's deadliest storm since 1991. With
the death toll expected to mount and as many as 1 million possibly left
homeless, the international community was poised to deliver aid to the military-ruled
country, which normally keeps out most foreign officials and restricts their
access inside the country. Some aid agencies reported their assessment teams
had reached areas of the largely isolated region but said getting in supplies
and large numbers of aid workers would be difficult. Images from state television
showed large trees and electricity poles sprawled across roads and roofless
houses ringed by large sheets of water in the Irrawaddy River delta, which
is regarded as Myanmar's rice bowl. "From the reports we are getting,
entire villages have been flattened and the final death toll may be huge,"
Mac Pieczowski, who heads the International Organization for Migration office
in Yangon, said in a statement. Power remained cut for the fourth day for
almost all 6.5 million residents of Yangon, the country's largest city,
while water supply was restored in only a few areas. Buddhist monks and
Catholic nuns wielding knives and axes joined residents in clearing roads
of ancient, fallen trees that were once the city's pride. Concerns mounted
over the lack of food, water and shelter in the delta as well as diseases
spawned by Cyclone Nargis in a country with one of the world's poorest health
systems. President Bush urged Myanmar's military rulers on Tuesday to accept
U.S. disaster response teams that so far have been kept out and said the
United States stood ready to "do a lot more" to help. "The
military junta must allow our disaster assessment teams into the country,"
Bush told reporters. He said he was prepared to make U.S. naval assets available
to help in search and rescue efforts. "So our message is to the military
rulers: let the United States come and help you help the people," Bush
said. The White House later announced $3 million in aid after an initial
pledge of $250,000 on Monday. more...
Pray for them! Also check out Gospel for Asia on the ground there now and taking donations. "We are facing at least six months of continuous work ministering to the people. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to reach out in love to them just like we did after the tsunami in 2004."
Population Control and a World Food Authority Reshaping the International Order Part 5 Knowledge Driven Revolution (May 5, 2008)
The establishment of a World Food Authority to control the food supply of the world is a major goal of The Club of Rome's RIO report. This issue is intertwined with exaggerated fears of environmental collapse and the elite's obsession with population control.
The Environmental Scare
From RIO: Reshaping the International Order: [Italicised text is original emphasis and bolded text is added by author.]
The threat of environmental catastrophe to further the population control agenda is nothing new and continues to this day with the manmade global warming scare. Back in the 1970's the Club of Rome was not shy at using the environmental catastrophe card to push for population control. Below are some examples from RIO: Reshaping the International Order:
The endnote used to back up this claim is given below:
Do these types of arguments sound familiar?
Population Control and The World Food Authority
Food as a Weapon
The incredible power that would be accomplished from a massive concentration of food stocks under the control of a single agency did not escape the authors of this report to the Club of Rome. The reigning food situation in the world was dominated by the great dependence of many countries on the North American breadbasket. This gave the Americans a considerable amount of power over their dependent countries.
The further centralization of food stocks under a single international power would only increase the abuse of food supplies not decrease it. This, quite naturally, is the point. The result of this control is well described by Bertrand Russell (who strongly supported this idea) in his 1952 book The Impact of Science of Society :
final article in this series deals with a variety of issues including
global solidarity, regional unions, legal changes and a standing United
Nations Peace Force.
Germany 'business as usual' with Iran The Jerusalem
Post (May 5, 2008) - Critics of Germany's
pro-business policy toward Iran flocked to a conference in Berlin that for
the first time brought together Germans, Iranians-in-exile and Israelis
for two days of panel discussions that concluded late Saturday. The strong
trade relations between Iran and Germany are a source of great concern for
the speakers, who argued that Germany's overly cordial political and economic
relations with Teheran are endangering the security of Israel and stability
in the Middle East. The nonprofit Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin organized
the conference. Dr. Matthias Küntzel, a German political scientist who specializes
in German-Iranian relations, revealed that a controversial meeting between
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari and his German counterpart,
Reinhard Silberberg, took place in April. Küntzel cited a report in the
Tehran Times from April 19 in which "Silberberg noted that the two
countries enjoy good relations and called for continuation of dialogue between
Iranian and German officials." According to an April 20 report in the
Persian Journal, Silberberg invited Safari for a three-day visit that entailed
meetings with leading German politicians and business officials. A German
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post, "A meeting took
place with Silberberg" and Safari in Berlin on April 16, but the discussion
did not address "economic questions." Instead, "difficult
questions involving Iran" were raised. Silberberg reiterated Germany's
two-track Iranian position emphasizing sanctions and dialogue, she added.
A lighting-rod issue at the conference was the yawning gap between Chancellor
Angela Merkel's speech to the Knesset on March 18 declaring Israel's national
security to be part of Germany's "national interest," and her
government's refusal to clamp down on German firms supplying valuable technology
for Iran's infrastructure. According to the Iran Press TV Web site, representatives
from the German Economics Ministry and German industry met with Safari during
his visit and "the two sides discussed ways to expand economic cooperation
and agreed that a German delegation would visit Iran to follow up agreements
already signed between Teheran and Berlin." more...
Search Under Way for Missing in Boryeong, S.Korea Tidal Wave
The Korea Times (May
5, 2008) - Rescuers were unable to find additional survivors Monday
in seas off a breakwater in Jukdo, Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province,
where a giant tidal wave claimed nine lives and injured 27, Sunday. About
700 personnel, alongside divers and helicopters were mobilized from early
Monday morning to search for 13 people still listed as missing. Local authorities
initially announced a total of 50 had been swept into the seas by the abnormally
high tidal wave, but concluded the actual number was uncertain as the former
was based on witnesses' statements. The exact cause of the tidal wave is
still puzzling meteorologists and experts. The Korean Meteorology Administration
(KMA) said a fast moving underwater current being blocked by the breakwater
could have created the wave. However, oceanographers refute this, saying
the breakwater was incidental to the incident. "No earthquakes were
detected at the time and the velocity of the wind then ranged between 0.5-4
meters per second. Thus, weather conditions were not directly responsible
for the tidal wave,'' the KMA said Sunday, adding "it might have been
a man-made disaster.'' But professors of oceanography said the artificial
structure had nothing to do with the incident. Prof. Lee Jong-seop at Pukyong
National University said the breakwater had stood there for a long time,
but no other waves had been reported in the past. "This means other
unaccountable factors triggered the event.'' Also, Prof. Choi Byeong-ho
at Sungkyunkwan University said that he didn't think the breakwater caused
the wave. "We need to review various factors to discover its origin,''
he said. Witnesses said the tidal wave that slammed into the breakwater
was at least 10 meters high. "The sea water receded at once like an
ebb tide and then a high wave smashed into the breakwater and rocks sweeping
anglers and tourists into the sea,'' a witness said.
turnaround at Olmert-Abbas meeting Jerusalem
Newswire (May 5, 2008) - After initial
reports indicated a negative outcome, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
and PLO chief terrorist Mahmoud Abbas reportedly held an unexpectedly successful
meeting in Jerusalem Monday morning, with officials saying they had suddenly
made "considerable progress." Maps depicting the areas of Israel's
historic lands being demanded by the Palestinian Arabs for their state were
brought to the meeting, which was held at Olmert's official residence shortly
after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ended a two-day visit to the
land. According to The Jerusalem Post, after "warmly" embracing
Abbas, a man responsible for the deaths and wounding of untold numbers of
Israeli Jews - Olmert told him Israel now realized the need to make "tangible"
changes in Samaria and Judea because it was necessary that the months of
peace talks be accompanied by actions on the ground. Abbas' aides said earlier
the PA chairman was contemplating resigning within a few months unless noticeable
progress was made towards the creation of "Palestine." Palestine
is the name intended for the Arab state the international community is working
to establish in the biblical heartland of the Jewish people. Ha'aretz reported
that a senior Israeli official had told Army Radio that during the meeting,
Olmert and Abbas made "significant progress on the borders issue"
- the issue of where the borders of the new "Palestine" would
lie in relation to what would be left of Israel. Abbas' authority is also
being challenged by Hamas, which violently wrested control of Gaza from
the PLO last year and is spreading its influence across Samaria and Judea.
Officials in the Prime Minister's Office said "these were the most
serious talks the sides have ever conducted," according to Ynetnews.
Commentators wondered whether Olmert was trying to bolster Abbas in the
face of the opposition against him, or whether the Israeli leader had perhaps
been spurred to make sudden concessions because his own position is threatened
in a new police investigation.
Mogadishu rocked by food demonstrations News
Daily (May 5, 2008) - A young man was
killed when thousands of Somalis protested in Mogadishu on Monday over food
traders' refusal to take old currency notes blamed for stoking spiraling
inflation, witnesses said. A shopkeeper shot the man dead after dozens of
demonstrators wielding clubs and stones broke into his store. Locals said
police wounded a teenage boy while trying to disperse hundreds of angry
residents. "The shopkeeper fired a pistol at the crowd and it hit the
young man's head," one witness in the Madina district in the southeast
of the capital said, refusing to give his name. Despite still being a legal
currency, many shopkeepers have been refusing to accept the worn out old
notes, saying wholesale traders were also refusing to take them. The Somali
shilling is valued at roughly 34,000 to the dollar -- more than double what
it is was a year ago -- and many blame the fall in value on counterfeiters.
With an interim government focused on containing islamist insurgency, there
is no one to control rampant counterfeiting of currency which is often exchanged
for real dollars that are then taken out of the country. The problem has
been compounded by sharply rising world food prices, leaving many in the
lawless Horn of Africa nation of 10 million short of money to buy food,
triggering several protests or riots in the past six months. On Monday,
thousands were on the streets of the bombed-out capital, clutching tattered
old notes while shouting "Down with traders" and "We want
to buy food." All shops remained closed and the streets empty as protestors
stoned the few vehicles moving around. more...
UN-American WorldNet Daily (May 5, 2008) - On the last day of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving Independence Hall, a lady asked him, "Well, doctor, what have we got?" Franklin pointedly responded, "A republic, if you can keep it." James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution, defined a "republic" to be "a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices ... for a limited period, or during good behavior." In other words, in our constitutional republic, the people possess the power to govern themselves by laws they enact through elected representatives. Today, the most serious threat to our nation's sovereignty and the republican form of government we cherish is the United Nations and other international organizations that work through ill-advised treaties and irresponsible bureaucrats to usurp the power of the American people to govern themselves. Unfortunately, more than a few politicians in our country are willing to cede power to foreign control. One of those powers is the right to control the oceans and seas. The president's proposed budget for 2009 includes a request for nearly $5 million to support the International Seabed Authority, an international tribunal established by the Law of the Sea Treaty. For years this treaty has been rejected by the U.S. Senate because it would take power away from the U.S. government and give an unfair advantage to countries like China, which uses the treaty's vague language to make claims about the waterways it controls far beyond its proper jurisdiction. This treaty would also impose a global tax on U.S. companies if ratified by the Senate. The presumptive Republican nominee for president, Sen. John McCain, wrote a letter in 1998 to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in favor of the Law of the Sea Treaty. As late as 2003, McCain submitted written testimony to the committee in favor of the treaty. But since seeking the Republican presidential nomination, McCain has been telling conservatives that he will "probably" vote against the treaty because its terms negatively affect U.S. sovereignty. Other politicians want the U.S. to fund welfare programs for the rest of the world. The leading Democratic candidate for president, Sen. Barack Obama, is presently sponsoring S.B. 2433: the Global Poverty Act of 2007. This bill would sanction spending as much as $845 billion in taxpayer money to reduce global poverty to meet the "U.N. Millennium Summit Goals." In addition to calling for a reduction in global poverty through unconstitutional foreign aid, the Millennium Summit Goals urge nations to sign many other dangerous treaties like the Kyoto Protocol and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child – both of which the Senate has rejected for many years. The Kyoto Protocol sets limits on the amount of "greenhouse gases" that nations can emit while specifically excluding countries like China that it categorizes as "developing nations." It also subjects participating nations to penalties for exceeding those limits. Japan, Italy and Spain face penalties totaling over $33 billion for failing to meet their obligations under Kyoto. Each of those countries admits that the cost will be covered by taxpayers and businesses. Thus, joining Kyoto would subject the American people and U.S. businesses to a global tax. As for Obama's rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton, her husband formally signed the Kyoto Protocol on Nov. 12, 1998, at a global conference in Buenos Aires. In February 2005, Sen. Clinton gave a speech on the "Future Role of the United Nations" in which she openly supported then-Secretary General Kofi Annan and the U.N.'s Millennium Summit Goals. Clinton has also long supported the adoption of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child even though the treaty would wreak havoc on parental rights. One thing all the leading presidential candidates for both major parties support is continued financial aid to the U.N. despite its dismal record of fraud and mismanagement. An audit last month discovered that the U.N. has wasted tens of millions of dollars in its "peacekeeping operations" in Sudan. Last year, a task force uncovered "multiple instances of fraud, corruption, waste and mismanagement at U.N. headquarters and peacekeeping missions ... with an aggregate value in excess of $610 million." A series of audits from 1996 to 2003 revealed "gross mismanagement" in the U.N.'s $100 billion oil-for-food program in Iraq. Yet, Clinton in her speech about the future role of the U.N. stated that she "deplored" Americans "who have sought to weaken, undermine and underfund the U.N." Actually, given the corruption and mismanagement of the U.N., monetary support for the U.N. is un-American. The obstinate support of the U.N. and continual reliance on treaties with foreign powers to solve our problems is reminiscent of the time when ancient Israel depended upon Egypt instead of the Lord for its protection. Isaiah prophesied:
The leading presidential candidates have repeated Israel's mistake: They
are looking to other nations for guidance and have failed to seek guidance
from God – the one upon Whom our nation was founded and our ultimate security
depends. In the process, "We the People" are losing our right
to self-determination and representative government through the encroaching
influence of the international community. George Washington declared in
his First Inaugural Address that "the preservation of the sacred fire
of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly
considered, perhaps, as deeply, and finally staked on the experiment entrusted
to the hands of the American people." If the American experiment fails,
republican government falls with it. We must call on our leaders to fight
for America and to rely upon God.
UNfortunately for us, the political leadership believes that uniting the world together is the best thing we can do. And indeed it sounds good on the surface. However we must also remember that there is a war in heaven about to be waged and what is set up here on earth will be taken over by those that fell from heaven and used to control the earth as prophesied. Of course to those who don't believe and rather trust only in man's works look to this as foolishness, but time will prove the Bible's foretelling of the end. Can we affect change in the course that is set? I don't think so, the more I learn the further along I see we are than I previously believed.
Getting people to open their eyes seems to be the hardest thing, I don't necessarily want to believe all this either, but I'm also not going to stick my head in the sand. I think we should focus on reaching the individuals around us with the Truth of the Gospel when we can. Learning what I have, I have too much faith in God's Word coming to pass to think we can change what is set for the appointed times. Let us rather be aware and speak the Truth in love. For those in Christ, our kingdom is not of this world.
The Bible foretells of Christ's kingdom that will come after a time of great tribulation when the man of sin is given power by Lucifer to come against those who hold the testimony of Christ. It is after this time that He will return to set up His eternal kingdom. From now until the time of great tribulation begins...
Unnatural Grid Appears in Nevada Earthquakes
Stan Deyo (May 2,
2008) - When we first posted an image last Saturday showing numerous
earthquakes hitting Reno's
Crystal Peak golf course, it was interesting. However, it was nothing
compared to the very distinctive earthquake grid that's formed in Nevada.
This simply can't be a natural event. There are many – literally hundreds
– of earthquakes on this main image, but you can't truly appreciate the
number until you look at the individual maps. To do so, click any of the
circles on the map below and you'll see many earthquakes hidden in
this onslaught. The unmistakable grid pattern looks as though the quakes
were deliberately targeted. Check this high altitude view of the Reno
earthquake "explosions". Red arrows indicate areas of highest
earthquake density on the grid. One would have to ask, why would Crystal
Peak Golf course be targeted?
You really have to go to the link and check out the grid of earthquakes. It certainly is bizarre. What does it mean? Beats me, but the existence of a pattern certainly catches the attention.
Illegal Aliens Demand 'Rights' and 'Reforms' The Loft (May 2, 2008) - I was planning to take the day off today and start my weekend a little bit early. However, I had the misfortune of reading the AP story on the May Day marches by thousands of illegal aliens who are demanding their "rights." Not only is the notion of lawbreakers taking to the streets to demand legal benefits completely outrageous, but the way the "news" story is worded is insane. When people break the law, there should be consequences. We should not close down streets in order for them to "show unity." What is going on here?!?! If you go by the AP's story, it's like there is no such thing as an "illegal" alien. For your humor and amusement, the AP story titled "Thousands rally in May Day effort for immigration reform" is filled with plenty of quotes that show the bias and the slant that the liberal media outlets take on this issue. In the second paragraph, the story talks about marchers across the country who "demanded citizenship opportunities for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. and an end to raids and deportations." Did I read that correctly? People come into this country illegally, and then "demand" citizenship and an end to enforcing the laws that are on the books to stop illegal activity? Here's one quote to start things off:
Of course, the AP refers to this person as an "undocumented factory worker." Give me a break! Undocumented? You mean the employer was having a bad day and lost Mr. Molina's paperwork? The person is an ILLEGAL ALIEN, and is not only being allowed to stay in the country, but is being interviewed about it. In addition, the whole use of the phrase "immigrated to" has been completely twisted by the liberal press. Immigrants are people who come to this country legally and work to become part of the American fabric. They are not people who sneak across the border, use fake Social Security cards, and wave signs of their home countries during marches. Here's another quote:
Isn't it the job of the Border Patrol and the police to enforce our laws
and protect our borders? Why are people surprised when a person who comes
to this country illegally is deported? The outrage! I'm sure jewelry thieves
don't take to the streets and start demanding their rights. How dare the
authorities take those diamond rings from them? In addition, the AP uses
more of their misleading language to account for the smaller number of protesters
from the previous year. The writer states, "Some said participation
likely was lower because many immigrants increasingly fear deportation."
Wrong! I guarantee there is no immigrant in the United States of America
who fears deportation. There may be some illegal aliens who fear deportation,
but that is not the same thing, and the Associated Press should make that
clear. Illegal immigration hurts America. It is a national security concern
that must be addressed from top to bottom. The borders must be protected.
Immigration laws must be enforced. America welcomes more legal immigrants
than any other country in the entire world. We need to continue to do it
the right way!
EXPELLED Producers to Yoko Ono: Let It Be ChristiansUnite.com (May 1, 2008) - A new front has been opened in the culture wars. Ben Stein's EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed stunned detractors by opening as the nation's #10 movie last weekend. Out for less than one week, it has already become one of the top 25 documentaries of all time. Opponents of the film have attacked everyone and everything in it. They have attacked the producers, the star, the music, and film itself. They have even attacked those who have seen it. Now they want to change the Constitution. Yoko Ono and others have now filed lawsuits challenging the film's use and critique of John Lennon's song Imagine. One of the suits seeks to ban free speech through preliminary injunctive relief which essentially means that they are trying to expel EXPELLED as it is now being shown in theaters. "If you really listen to the lyrics of Imagine then you realize that it represents everything that the Neo- Darwinists want. 'Imagine there's no Heaven...No hell below us...Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too...' That's exactly what the Darwinist establishment wants to do: get rid of religion. And that's what we point out when we play less than 15 seconds of the song and show some of the lyrics on screen," said Walt Ruloff Executive Producer and CEO of Premise Media. Executive Producer and Chairman of Premise Media Logan Craft explained, "The fair use doctrine is a well established principle that gives the public the right to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for the purposes of commentary and criticism. While some may not like what we have to say or how we say it, we have the free speech right to do so - just as other political and social commentators have been doing for years." Premise did not pursue a license for the song and had no obligation to do so. Unbiased viewers of the film will see that the Imagine clip was used as part of a social commentary in the exercise of free speech. The brief clip - consisting of a mere 10 words - was used to contrast the messages in the documentary and was not used as an endorsement of EXPELLED. But the irony of this lawsuit was not lost on the film's star Ben Stein, "So Yoko Ono is suing over the brief Constitutionally protected use of a song that wants us to 'Imagine no possessions'? Maybe instead of wasting everyone's time trying to silence a documentary she should give the song to the world for free? After all, 'imagine all the people sharing all the world...You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the World can live as one.'" For more information on EXPELLED, visit www.getexpelled.com and www.expelledthemovie.com.
Also for more information on the Beatles and other music artists related to their stated beliefs and goals, watch They Sold Their Souls For Rock N' Roll online.
Report: Israel threatened to target Syria if Hezbollah attacks
YNet News (May 1,
2008) - Israel recently conveyed a warning to Syria through a third
party that it would hold Damascus accountable if Hezbollah launched attacks
on the Jewish state, Israeli and European sources said on Friday. The sources,
speaking on condition of anonymity, said the warning stemmed largely from
Israeli concerns that Hezbollah would launch salvoes of cross-border rockets
to coincide with any major Israeli offensive in the Hamas-controlled Gaza
Strip. The sources said the message was conveyed in February through at
least one European intermediary following the assassination of a top Hezbollah
commander and before this month's five-day Israeli offensive in the Gaza
Strip. After the group's senior commander, Imad Mugniyah, was killed in
a bombing in Damascus, Hezbollah leader Nasrallah threatened Israel with "open
war." A European source familiar with the matter noted that the message
conveyed to Damascus said Syria could be targeted by Israel even if Hezbollah's
attack emanated from Lebanese soil. An Israeli source with knowledge of
government affairs said: "The message was passed around late February,
before the last round of fighting in Gaza." "It has become clear
to us Syria has to understand there is a price for its use of proxy terrorism,
especially as Damascus is itself a proxy - the long-arm of Iran,"
the source said. Another senior Israeli government official with knowledge
of defence affairs declined comment on whether a message was sent to Damascus,
but told Reuters: "This is sound strategy. Syria has significantly
deepened its involvement with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon since the war."
Asked about the risk of an Israeli attack on Syria in response to a Hezbollah
attack, a British official said: "There is always a danger that a turn
of events here could prompt something on the northern border, which would
be a disaster."
Isaiah 17:1,2; 9
Gulf States May End Dollar Pegs, Kuwait Minister Says (Update4)
Bloomberg (May 1,
2008) - Gulf states are considering dropping their pegs to the dollar
after the U.S. currency's decline stoked inflation across the region, Kuwaiti
Finance Minister Mustafa al- Shimali said. "Yes, there are some'' Gulf
Cooperation Council states considering dropping their pegs to the dollar,
which has fallen 13 percent against the euro in the last 12 months, al-Shimali
said in an interview in Kuwait late yesterday without naming the countries.
``Some countries will do what we are doing.'' Al-Shimali's comments may
restoke speculation of a change in Middle East currency systems that eased
after the United Arab Emirates and Qatar last month ruled out any revaluation
or dropping the dollar peg in the short term. The issue will remain a key
issue as long as inflation remains high. "Inflation is rising in the
Gulf to a great extent because of loose monetary policy,'' said Marios Maratheftis,
head of research for Standard Chartered Plc in the Middle East in a telephone
interview from Dubai. "Tightening monetary policy can only happen if
they drop their currency pegs or strengthen the currency, preferably both.''
The U.A.E., Bahrain and Qatar lowered their benchmark interest rates today
by a quarter point, matching a cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve a day earlier.
The move is needed to maintain the dollar pegs. Saudi Arabia is on its weekend
while Oman moves its interest rates in line with the London Inter Bank Offered
Rate. Inflation is running close to 10 percent in Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.,
while Qatar's consumer prices rose 14 percent in the fourth quarter. The
Kuwaiti dinar has appreciated 7.9 percent against the dollar since the nation
in May became the only Gulf Arab state to drop its peg to the U.S. currency.
Contracts to buy U.A.E. dirhams in 12 months time are trading at a 2 percent
premium and Saudi riyal forwards are trading at a 1.3 percent premium to
the spot price, suggesting that some traders are betting that those countries
will follow Kuwait in revaluing. The link to the dollar meant that imports
in euros and other currencies that have strengthened against the dollar
became more expensive. The idea of dropping the peg "has been started
by other Gulf countries and they are partially going this way because the
dollar has been going down for some time,'' al-Shimali said yesterday.
Reshaping Public Opinion and the White Coated Propagandists Reshaping the International Order Part 4 Knowledge Driven Revolution (April 28, 2008)
Public opinion is not generated by the public it is driven into them by marketing and propaganda. One of the main aspects of generating public opinion is the use of experts or specialists to tell the public what to think and give them a false sense of security derived from the belief that there are armies of experts making all of the difficult decisions for them. What if the legions of experts are just white coated propagandists?
Importance of Public Opinion
Any attempt at creating a new international order requires the reshaping of public opinion from their current modes of thought into newer more appropriate forms. This important detail was not overlooked by The Club of Rome. From RIO: Reshaping the International Order: [Italicised text is original emphasis and bolded text is added by author.]
Reshaping Public Opinion
Public opinion is not generated from the public, but rather given to them from politicians, experts, fiction, news media, etc.
No Technocracy, Just White Coated Propagandists
The above quote clearly states that the "new experts" should form a league of white coated propagandists willing to subordinate their knowledge (the only thing they have to offer) to a desired political agenda. It should also be noted the use of the term "functional representation". This is significant because the Club of Rome redefines sovereignty from what they call "territorial sovereignty" to "functional sovereignty" completely changing the meaning of sovereignty. More on the redefinition of sovereignty here.
Using Other Groups
The Ministry of Third World Truth
The Club of Rome proposes the creation of a Ministry of Third World Truth to help shape international public opinion.
"Such reform [of news media] should include the creation of a Third World information centre to specifically serve Third World needs and to facilitate the dissemination of information on the Third World, both in industrialized and Third World countries." - 111
The creation of a World Food Authority and its use for population control
is examined in
part 5. The
final article in this series deals with a variety of issues including
global solidarity, regional unions, legal changes and a standing United
Nations Peace Force.
“Be not overcome
of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
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