July 5, 2008

News for July 5, 2008

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2008 ICA Conference Video Presentation Don McAlvany - In this Brand New DVD presentation Don and David McAlvany analyze the financial market chaos of 2008 and its immediate impact on the real world economy of 2009 and beyond. Order your FREE copy today at www.mcalvany.com/request.php
| Economic Crisis |


Magnitude 7.5 Earthquake Strikes in Sea Off Russia Bloomberg.com (July 5, 2008) - A magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck beneath the Sea of Okhotsk today, the U.S. Geological Survey said. No tsunami alert was issued. The earthquake happened at 1:12 p.m. local time, 384 kilometers (239 miles) west-northwest of Petropavlovsk- Kamchatskiy in Russia, and 2,273 kilometers north-northeast of Tokyo, the USGS said on its Web site. The quake was 605 kilometers beneath the earth's surface.
| Earth Changes |


Javier Solana: What Kind of Palestine? Middle East Times (July 4, 2008) - Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have now been talking to each other for more than six months, since the peace process was re-launched at Annapolis in November 2007, with the stated aim of reaching agreement on a Palestinian state before this year is out. The final status issues of borders, Jerusalem and refugees are back on the agenda, and the outlines of a two-state solution are visible. There have recently been some encouraging signals: Egypt has mediated a truce between Hamas and Israel in Gaza; there are signs of inter-Palestinian dialogue; and there appears to be movement on the Israeli-Syrian track. We have to grasp the opportunity for peace. Comprehensive peace in the Middle East is the strategic goal of the European Union, and resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict on the basis of a two-state solution is the key to achieving this. Europe wants, and needs, to see the creation of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel. For this, the foundations and the structures of a Palestinian state have to be created, which is where the European Union is playing a distinctive role. It is leading international efforts to assist the Palestinians with their state-building efforts under a major strategy adopted by the EU last year. An important part of this strategy is devoted to developing security and the rule of law, which are the cornerstones of the fledgling Palestinian state and the theme of a large international conference of foreign ministers hosted in Berlin on June 24. The EU is making a tangible difference on the ground. It is helping the Palestinians strengthen their civilian security capabilities not just with words or money but also with people. Our police mission, EUPOL COPPS, has been active in the Palestinian territories since November 2005, advising and mentoring the Palestinian Authority in its efforts to build up a civil police force and establish law and order. Canada, Norway and Switzerland are supporting the mission and we are working in close coordination with our U.S. partners. We are now about to increase the mission in size and expand its scope to the broader rule of law sector, embracing in particular the penal and judiciary systems. A democratic Palestinian state needs a properly equipped, trained and disciplined civil police and it needs functioning law courts and prisons. The EUPOL COPPS is not the only EU security mission in the Middle East. Our border assistance mission, EUBAM Rafah, established at the Rafah crossing point between Egypt and Gaza in 2005, is currently on standby and ready to deploy as soon as circumstances permit and EU member states form the backbone of the United Nations force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Our efforts are bearing fruit and are helping to make a real difference on the ground. In the past year alone, the EU mission has trained 800 civil police officers in public order, refurbished police stations and contributed to the communications network of the civil police. The Palestinian Authority has begun to deploy forces in major urban areas such as Nablus and is gradually taking over responsibility for security in the West Bank. Palestinian and Israeli security forces are cooperating and this cooperation must continue and increase. These measures in the area of security and rule of law are part of a wider effort to improve conditions for the Palestinian people and revive the economy. For democracy to take root, the people must see that their lives are improving. Roadblocks must come down, trucks must be able to transport goods freely, people must be able to travel to work, to school and to hospitals unhindered, farmers must be able to grow and sell produce, investors must be encouraged to come with foreign capital, and businesses must be set up. And, of course, it is not only the Palestinians who gain from this. Israel's security interests can only stand to gain from a peaceful, democratic, and ultimately prosperous Palestinian state. In truth, the entire region will be stabilized if the Israelis and Palestinians resolve their 60-year-old conflict. The EU is doing everything it can to help with this.
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | 1st Seal |


Satan Now Appearing Naked In Human History? Constance Cumbey (July 3, 2008) - From time to time I have seriously recommended Fr. Seraphim Rose's excellent book. It is published by the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood. It is entitled Orthodoxy And The Religion of the Future. He wrote the book from a Russian Orthodox perspective, but with a directness and a clarity that will benefit all seeking the truth. I wish I could have discussed the book with its author, but he died of pneumonia in a San Francisco hospital in 1982, the year my own work went national. A friend of mine, Marie Fisher, who then lived in Seattle checked the group out for me on a trip she made in the late 1980s to northern California. The difficult primitive living conditions of the author's monastic order no doubt made him more susceptible to the pneumonia that claimed him. He undoubtedly saw the same trends I viewed then with alarm -- the alarm that caused me to write The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow. He wrote that the years ahead promised to be more terrible than anyone could comprehend -- "it would appear that Satan is now entering naked into human history."

Today, ABC news reported a startling story. (WorldNet Daily story here) I don't know how much notice it obtained -- I had no opportunity to watch the news apart from just grasping what I could on the internet before retiring for the night (ok, the rest of the early morning at least -- it is now nearly 1 a.m.!). A former local Democratic party leader for Durham, North Carolina was arrested along with her husband. She was reportedly a former Vice-Chairman. Both were accused of torture and sex crimes through their Order of the Golden Dawn type Satanic cult, Order of the Morning Star. Pictures shown on the TV clip further indicated a link to something calling itself "Indigo Dawn." Here is a link to its site. You may view it for yourself by going to ABC News and viewing "world news" videos. It was further alleged that the couple trapped, chained and starved their victims first. This local Democratic party leader was an activist in the New Age Movement. She headed the local UN association. She wrote articles claiming that she had been told by her spirit guides that her role was to help usher in the New Age. Her articles detailing that may be read by clicking here. Here is a particularly interesting excerpt:

"Another trigger for the New Age will be peace in the Middle East . . . Do not underestimate what humanity can achieve. Keep in mind that civilization started in the Middle East, so peace there is imperative to peace worldwide . . . I invite all of you to look at the Temple Mount and tell me if you can see enough space in between the two mosques to add another place of worship. Imagine the Temple of Solomon sitting in between the five mosques, and you will have perfect harmony on the Temple Mount . . . "

I wonder what Fr. Seraphim Rose would have said about that? I suspect he would not be surprised. I also suspect he would tell us we should face these times with prayerful sobriety. I further wonder how his religious order is faring in the Northern California fires? Perilous times are clearly here. Stay tuned!
| Signs of the Times | America |


Crossfire War - Israel Estimates Iran-Syria to Fire 250-300 Long Range Missiles News Blaze (July 3, 2008) - "How Many Missiles will be Fired from Iran-Syria-Lebanon Against Israel in the Next War?" was the subject of a lecture given by Major-General (res.) Eitan Ben Eliahu at the Israel Missile Defense Association (IMDA) (www.imda.org.il) a new link with Crossfire War. Haaretz reports General Eliahu headed the Israel Air Force (IAF) from 1996-2000 and in his lecture earlier this week he estimated Syria-Iran will launch 250-300 long range Shahab-Scud missiles at Israel in the next war. Eliahu estimated Hezbollah in Lebanon will be able to launch 5,000 short range missiles, an increase from the 4,200 they fired in 2006. Hezbollah does possess some longer range missiles which can hit Tel Aviv and no doubt they will be used as quickly as possible since the IAF will make destroying the longer range missiles their top priority whether they are fired from Lebanon-Syria-Iran. Eliahu expects the full scale fighting to last 20 days. [HAARETZ] In the course of his discussion General Eliahu mentioned Israel operates under a security doctrine that does allow for An Initiated War (preventive strike) as in 1967 which was so successful the war lasted only six days and Israel was able to take the strategic Golan Heights, a Syrian obsession ever since and Damascus' main motive for entering the war this year. He then said if an Initiated War is not possible then the doctrine provides for a Pre-Emptive Attack to disrupt the enemy's preparation. The IAF attack on the Syrian nuclear base last September was an example. Eliahu then mentioned if war does result then Israel Defense Forces (IDF) must conduct a holding operation during which they must achieve Aerial Superiority. He probably realizes if/when Israel does conduct a pre-emptive attack on Iran, for disruptive purposes, it would mean full scale war, beyond the serious flare ups of the past two years which did not yet lead to Israel's offensive into Gaza. Eliahu stated Israel should expect the next war to require action on one to three fronts and in order to achieve victory the IDF must crush the enemy on one of the fronts, which would be either Hezbollah in Lebanon or Syria. Since the ground area to cover is smaller in Lebanon Israel's offensive there should not take as long as in the case with Syria. Jerusalem may also prefer a quick victory against the hated Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah even if it means using nuclear weapons. Concerning Palestinian units in Gaza Eliahu recommends a war of containment which would include a ground offensive. Against Iran he recommended long range attacks should be continued. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |


Israel in Jerusalem dilemma after bulldozer attack Reuters (July 3, 2008) - A deadly rampage in a bulldozer by a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem left Israel grappling on Thursday with the dilemma of how to maintain security in the city along with the premise it is undivided. Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it along with nearby villages in a move that is not recognized internationally, granting Palestinian residents Israeli identity cards that gave them wide freedom of movement. In issuing the same documents used by Jews, Israel was sending a signal that East Jerusalem -- which Palestinians want as the capital of a future state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- was part of the "indivisible capital" of the Jewish state. But Wednesday's attack on Jerusalem's busy Jaffa Road in which three Israelis died and a shooting spree, also in Jewish west Jerusalem, which killed eight Israelis in a religious seminary in March have combined to raise particular concern. Both attacks were carried out by Palestinians from areas Israel regards as part of East Jerusalem. Unlike Palestinians from the West Bank, where Israel has built a controversial barrier, the two men could work and travel in all of Jerusalem. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert proposed after Wednesday's incident the demolition of the homes of Arab East Jerusalem residents who carry out attacks against Israelis. "I think we need to be tougher in some of the means we use against perpetrators of terror," Olmert told an economic conference in the southern port city of Eilat. "If we have to destroy houses, then we must do so, and if we have to stop their social benefits, then we must do so. There cannot be a case where they massacre us and at the same time they get all the privileges that our society provides," he said. But demolition notices would likely draw legal countermoves by Palestinians from East Jerusalem in Israeli courts, as well as international protests that destroying a home the attacker shared with other family members was collective punishment. "Demolishing the home is not the answer. This is punishment for the family, which had nothing to do with this," Imad Muna, a 44-year-old resident of East Jerusalem, said in Hebrew, noting the bulldozer driver was shot dead during the attack. more...
| Israel | Islam |


Russian FM visits Turkey Kuwait News Agency (July 2, 2008) - In a visit which is the first of its kind for a high ranking Russian official following the presidential elections in Moscow last March, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has arrived at Turkey on an official visit to discuss a number of hot regional issues. During the two-day visit, Lavrov will meet with his Turkish counterpart Ali Babajan, the president Abdullah Gul, and the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The meetings will focus on ways to develop economic and bilateral ties between the two countries, in addition to discussing regional developments, especially in Iran, Iraq, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and the Balkan countries. Moreover, the topics up for discussion include Turkey's mediation efforts in indirect peace talks between Syria and Israel, which Russia supports.
| Gog/Magog |


Jews Inch Towards Their Temple Jerusalem Newswire (July 2, 2008) - Another step on the long road towards the restoration of Temple Worship in Jerusalem was reportedly taken Monday with the opening of a new workshop in which robes will be manufactured for practicing priests. According to a report in The Jerusalem Post Wednesday, a number of Kohanim, (Jews in the Cohen family line who trace their ancestry back to Aaron, the first High Priest) have already had measurements taken for the biblically-described vestments. One of them is the well-known chief rabbi of Efrat Shlomo Riskin. For the new garments, special flaxen thread is being imported from India, and worms from which just the right color crimson dye is obtained are being brought in from Istanbul, according to the report. The new workshop was inaugurated by the Temple Institute which is situated in Jerusalem's old City, just a stone's throw from the Temple Mount - the site of the first and second temples and the place where, according to the Bible, the Third Temple will be built to welcome the Messiah. Over the years the institute has worked to create - in strict accordance with the biblical pattern - many of the implements required for Temple worship, including the golden seven-branched Menorah, the Table for the Show Bread, and the Breast-Plate, Crown and Robe for the High Priest. Fully one-third of all the commandments handed down to the Jews through Moses cannot be kept without a functioning Temple, said the Post. more...
| Temple Mount |


Turkey's past is ruining hopes of a liberal future Times Online (July 2, 2008) - Turkey took a lurch towards turmoil yesterday as the chief prosecutor outlined his case for banning the governing party and police detained two retired commanders, among others, in their pursuit of a group alleged to be plotting a coup. For months, as this clash has been brewing, allies of Turkey hoped that it would fade away as an older generation of nationalist-minded generals gave way to younger, European-orientated politicians. It won’t. It now seems that the struggle for Turkey’s identity is going to get much worse, while its chances of a liberal, modern future dissolve. Ever since Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister, and his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) were elected enthusiastically six years ago, the country’s old-guard defenders of its historic secularism have been uneasy. That is an entirely fair starting point. Turkey’s secularism, a fervent refusal to allow religion to shape the institutions of state, has been the heart of the republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923. It has underpinned the extraordinary position that Turkey has chosen for itself: as the only Islamic member of Nato; as the only Islamic friend of Israel; as a bridge, culturally and diplomatically, between Central Asia and Europe. The Army has repeatedly intervened in Turkey’s history to protect that secularism. But this has clashed with its hopes of building a modern democracy. It has been coming to a head since 2002 when the people of Turkey overwhelmingly elected a government which, in the name of liberalism, set out to grant more licence for Islamic practices. It is fair for the generals – and others – to have been suspicious of the AK Party initially. The party’s roots were in two overtly Islamic groups. Its intentions, on arriving in Government, were unknown. The 1979 Iranian revolution next door added to these worries. Yet that is not how the AK Party has behaved in office (nor does its steady popularity appear to reflect any desire for it to turn Turkey into an Islamic state). The issue on which the Government began to clash with the courts was its move to overturn the ban on women wearing headscarves in universities. This might sound, to British ears for example, merely like one of the eye-catching cases where someone’s desire to wear religious dress clashed with the rules of their employer or school. But that would be to underplay the huge symbolic significance of the headscarf in Turkey, as the emblem of the religiously observant, and the long-standing principle that those who would not adapt their dress would not have access to university. It is increasingly hard to square that kind of prohibition with a modern, liberal democracy of the kind that Turkey has been becoming. Nor is it fair to portray the AK Party’s desire to make that one change as the insertion of Islam into the state. Of course, no one would want to be relaxed about any kind of constitutional change that might lay the ground for more Islamic-tinged reforms. But it is unfair to imply that this is the party’s intention, given its six-year record that has been liberal, more respectful of human rights and interested in joining the European Union. The courts have been erratic in their defence of the principle of secularism over the years. The decision by the chief prosecutor to accept the legal challenge of the opposition and to move ahead in seeking to ban the entire governing party – not simply to challenge the headscarf rule – is a disastrous one. It has taken Turkey towards a confrontation that will be hard to defuse, and almost certainly, farther from Europe.
| Islam | Gog/Magog |


'UN report ignores Hizbullah violations' Jerusalem Post (July 1, 2008) - The quarterly report on UNSC resolution 1701 submitted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday does not accuse Hizbullah of violating the terms of the cease-fire, despite Israeli allegations that the Shi'ite militia has retaken its border positions and continues to amass rockets and other arms banned under the resolution. "Israel maintains that Hizbullah is continuing to build its military presence and capacity [not only] north of the Litani River but also in [the] UNIFIL area of operations, in both open and urban areas, including private houses," the report states. "To date, it [UNIFIL] has found no evidence of new military infrastructure in the area of operations." However, the report goes on to list a number of incidents, including one involving "armed elements," though it stops short of mentioning Hizbullah by name. The report states that UNIFIL did encounter "unauthorized armed personnel" on one occasion during the night of March 30-31. According to the report, when UNIFIL began following a suspicious truck towing a trailer near the village of Jubal al-Butum, "two cars with five armed elements arrived at the scene and blocked the road." Though "the armed elements" left three minutes later, the truck managed to escape. In the report, the Secretary General says he "continues to believe that the disarmament of Hizbullah and other militias should take place through a Lebanese-led political process." Deputy Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN Dani Carmon said "We attach great importance to the implementation of 1701, and these reports are an important instrument of the international community which could improve even more the implementation of the resolution." "As long as this UN report will paint a clear and comprehensive picture of the situation in South Lebanon where Hizbullah is redeploying and where the embargo is being violated, the better, because it will be apparent where implementation should be improved." Pieced together, the incidents mentioned in the report paint a picture of the situation South of the Litani River, but the UN Secretary General remains hesitant when it comes to drawing any conclusions. more...
| Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |


Israel authorities warn hospitals to prepare for earthquake Breitbart.com (June 30, 2008) - A strong earthquake could soon rock Lebanon and parts of Israel, authorities said on Monday, urging health officials in northern Israel to make preparations for such an event. "The probability of an earthquake of a magnitude of up to six on the Richter scale, originating in Lebanon and being felt in Israel has increased," the health ministry said in a letter sent to medical officials in northern Israel. Since February, abnormal seismic activity has been noted in southern Lebanon, which had suffered some 500 minor earthquakes in a three-month period, health ministry director-general Avi Yisraeli said in the letter. "In May, the tremors have become more intense and were felt in northern Israel," he said adding that "should an earthquake of such magnitude hit northern Israel, it may cause substantial infrastructural damage in the area. "All medical facilities and organisations must do everything they can to enhance the level of readiness," Yisraeli said in the letter published by the ministry on Monday. Similar concern was issued by Lebanon's national scientific research centre. The secretary general of the centre, Moueen Hamz, told AFP in Beirut that 800 tremors ranging in magnitude from 2.3-5.1 degrees on the Richter scale had shaken the south Lebanon regions of Tyre and Nabatiyeh since February 12. "The tremors increased significantly in May and June," he said, urging the Lebanese authorities to take "serious prevention measures." Experts in Lebanon expect a quake of between five and six degrees on the Richter scale to strike, like the tremor that shook Lebanon in 1956 killing 136 people and destroying 6,000 houses, Hamze said. Some seismologists in Israel say that quakes have historically rocked the region every eight decades, and the last one was nearly 81 years ago. About 300 people were killed in Jerusalem and nearby Jericho by the July 11, 1927 temblor. A similar quake measuring seven on the Richter scale and with an epicentre in the Hula Valley, today in northern Israel, devastated the town of Safed and killed some 4,000 people in 1837.
| Israel | Earth Changes |


6.7 Earthquake Rattles South Sandwich Islands AFP (June 30, 2008) - A strong 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck Monday near the South Sandwich Islands, a remote British territory near Antarctica and South America's southern tip, the US Geological Survey said. The earthquake, which was 10 kilometers (six miles) deep, took place 283 kilometers (176 miles) southeast of Bristol Island and 2,374 kilometers (1,476 miles) southeast of Punta Arenas, Chile, the USGS said. The quake occurred at 0617 GMT, USGS said.
| Earth Changes |


U.S. and EU near deal on sharing data International Herald Tribune (June 28, 2008) - The United States and the European Union are nearing completion of an agreement that would allow law enforcement and security agencies to obtain private information - including credit card transactions, travel histories and Internet browsing habits - about people on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Seeking to improve information-sharing to fight crime and terrorism, government officials have been meeting since February 2007 to reach a pact. Europe generally has more-stringent laws restricting how governments and businesses can collect and transfer personal data, which have led to high-profile disputes over American demands for such information. Negotiators have largely agreed on draft language for 12 major issues that are central to a "binding international agreement" making clear that it is lawful for European governments and companies to transfer personal information to the United States, and vice-versa, according to an internal report obtained by The New York Times. American and European Union officials are trying to head off future confrontations "by finding common ground on privacy and by agreeing not to impose conflicting obligations on private companies," said Stewart Baker, the assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security, who is involved in the talks. "Globalization means that more and more companies are going to get caught between U.S. and European law." Paul Schwartz, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said such a blanket agreement could transform international privacy law by eliminating a problem that has led to negotiations of "staggering" complexity between Europe and the United States. "The reason it's a big deal is that it is going to lower the whole transaction cost for the U.S. government to get information from Europe," Schwartz said. "Most of the negotiations will already be completed. They will just be able to say, 'Look, we provide adequate protection, so you're required to turn it over."' But the prospect that the agreement might lower barriers to sending personal information to the U.S. government has alarmed privacy-rights advocates in Europe. The Bush administration and the European Commission, the EU's executive body, have not publicized the talks. But in a little-noticed paragraph deep in a joint statement following a summit meeting between President George W. Bush and European leaders in Slovenia this month, the leaders hailed their progress. Issued June 10, the statement declared that "the fight against transnational crime and terrorism requires the ability to share personal data for law enforcement," and it called for the creation of a "binding international agreement" to facilitate such transfers while also ensuring that citizens' privacy is "fully" protected. In addition, businesses that operate on both sides of the Atlantic are pushing to eliminate the prospect of getting caught between conflicting legal obligations. "This will require compromise," said Peter Fleischer, the global privacy counsel for Google. "It will require people to agree on a framework that balances two conflicting issues - privacy and security. "But the need to develop that kind of framework is becoming more important as more data moves onto the Internet and circles across the global architecture." more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | America |


6.7-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks India's Andaman Islands Fox News (June 27, 2008) - The Indian Meteorological Department says a 6.7-magnitude earthquake has stuck the Andaman Islands off the east coast of India. The office said the undersea quake struck at 5:40 p.m. Friday. A police officer in Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman Islands, said the quake shook the islands causing panic among people. S. M. Tiwari said there were no reports immediate reports of damage of injuries and that no tsunami alert had been issued. The remote islands were among the many areas devastated by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
| Earth Changes |


Muslim Terrorists May Be Trying To Sink the Dollar Israel National News (June 27, 2008) - Mujahideen Muslim terrorists may be behind the sinking American dollar as part of a campaign to cripple the American economy, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported. The media watch group, which specializes in tracking Arabic language websites, said that postings on websites the past two years reflect a move toward waging an economic war against the United States. Mujahideen terrorist groups that operate in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries "have come to the conclusion that it is financial, rather than military, losses that will prompt the U.S. to change its policies in the Middle East and elsewhere," according to MEMRI. An article recently posted in Sada Al-Jihad (Echo of Jihad) magazine and posted on several Muslim websites, discusses the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. as having influenced the decline in the dollar. It also cited the cost of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan as draining the American economy. Another recent posting stated, "The dollar can expect two additional blows that will break its back... [namely] the announcement of the return of the [religious rule of the] Caliphate..." and the reinstatement of the gold standard in international monetary trade. It urged Mujahideen "to get rid of American dollars" before an "imminent" terrorist attack that "will put an end to the so-called United States of America and destroy its economy completely." MEMRI concluded, "Given that it is highly atypical for Al-Qaeda to give prior warning of its attacks, the message is probably an attempt to pressure Muslims to sell dollars, in order to generate pessimism in the dollar market and thus accelerate the drop in its value."
| Islam | America | Economic Crisis |


Rift Extends for 15 Km Along Ground After Tohoku Earthquake Mainichi Daily News (June 27, 2008) - A rift extending for about 15 kilometers has appeared on the surface of the ground in five districts following the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Japan's Tohoku region on June 14, it has emerged. The rift, creating a step 40 to 50 centimeters high, was confirmed Thursday in a survey by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. In the Mochikorogashi district of Koromogawa-ku in Oshu, Iwate Prefecture, a zigzag fault has appeared in the surface through two rice paddies, with the land on the west side about 45 centimeters higher. Across four of the five points, a rift extending for about 10 kilometers has appeared along an old fault on the border between Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. "There's a possibility that this fault caused the earthquake, but with an earthquake of this size it wouldn't be unusual for a step of about 2 meters to appear on the surface," said Masayuki Yoshimi, a member of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. "There is also a possibility that another fault caused the earthquake and the effects of that caused this rift to appear on the surface."
| Earth Changes |


Hamas says it will not police truce with Israel Associated Press (June 25, 2008) - The militant group Hamas said it remains committed to a cease-fire with Israel, but will not act as Israel's "police force" in confronting militants who breach the truce. The comments by Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya came shortly after Gaza militants fired three rockets into southern Israel Tuesday, lightly wounding two Israelis. It was the first attack since the truce took effect last Thursday. Israel responded by closing Gaza's border crossings, which are used to deliver food and basic supplies into the area. Hamas said it was exerting pressure on Islamic Jihad, which claimed responsibility for the attack, to stop the rocket fire and demanded that Israel open the crossings. But al-Haya said its forces would not confront rocket launching squads on the ground. "Even if there is a violation by some factions, Hamas emphasizes its commitment to the calm and is working to implement the calm," al-Haya said. "But Hamas is not going to be a police securing the border of the occupation," he added. "No one will enjoy a happy moment seeing Hamas holding a rifle in the face of a resistance fighter." Israel called the rocket attack a "gross violation" of the Egypt-mediated truce. As part of the cease-fire, Israel had on Sunday begun incrementally increasing the amount of goods entering Gaza. On Wednesday, all cargo crossings were closed, though a pedestrian passage was kept open. Hamas government spokesman Taher Nunu said the closure was a "clear violation of the calm" and called on Egypt, which mediated the truce, to intervene. "We will not accept leaving our people hostages to this policy," he said. Islamic Jihad said the rocket attack was a response to an Israeli raid on the West Bank that killed an Islamic Jihad commander. The West Bank is not included in the truce. Islamic Jihad and other Gaza factions reluctantly agreed to the truce but were angered that the deal didn't include an Israeli cessation of West Bank operations. more...
| Israel | Islam |


Israeli politicians avert elections Associated Press (June 25, 2008) - Israel stepped back from the brink of political turmoil Wednesday after the two main parties in the ruling coalition hammered out a last-minute compromise to prevent the passage of a bill calling an election. This gives Prime Minister Ehud Olmert a few more months to pursue peace talks with the Palestinians and to try to win release of three captured soldiers. But the price was agreeing to a primary election in September that is likely to end his reign. Olmert's main coalition partner, Labor, was poised to vote in favor of a bill to dissolve the parliament and call elections Wednesday. Labor's support would have guaranteed approval, mostly symbolic at this stage because the bill would have needed to pass three more parliamentary votes to become law. Olmert had threatened to fire Labor Cabinet ministers if they voted for the election bill. That would have removed his parliamentary majority and made elections inevitable. An election campaign would put peace efforts far onto the back burner. Instead, Olmert agreed to a Labor demand for primaries in his Kadima Party by Sept. 25 in exchange for Labor's dropping its support of the election bill. Olmert has lost most of his public support because of an inconclusive war with Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas in 2006 and several corruption investigations against him. Labor Party leader Ehud Barak, the defense minister, has repeatedly called for Olmert's ouster, only to back away from taking decisive action. The compromise allowed both Olmert and Barak to save face. Olmert can remain in office and keep his coalition intact, while Barak can tell supporters that he is forcing Kadima to replace its leader. Polls indicate that the hardline Likud, led by ex-premier Benjamin Netanyahu, would win an election now. Likud sponsored the election bill, and bitterness came quickly to the surface in the parliament after Labor withdrew its support, forcing Likud to withdraw the measure. Another Likud leader, Gideon Saar, called Labor lawmakers "wimps" from the podium, setting off an angry exchange with the parliament speaker, Dalia Itzik of Kadima. When Olmert got up to speak, the hardliners from Likud tried to shout him down. Olmert retorted, "You call any effort toward peace 'surrender' because you don't want peace." Olmert announced that his Cabinet will vote Sunday on a proposed prisoner exchange with Hezbollah, which is holding two Israeli soldiers it captured two years ago, setting off the 34-day war. The exchange is said to include freedom for Samir Kantar, a Lebanese serving multiple life terms for a 1979 attack in which four Israelis were killed. more...
| Israel |


PLO Sees Bush's Exit as Chance for EU To Take Over One News Now (June 24, 2008) - Hind Khoury, French ambassador of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said Monday that next year's exit of American President George W. Bush from office will allow France and the rest of the European Union (EU) to exercise a more powerful role in the Middle East. Khoury noted that French diplomats have expressed they are prepared to "shake hands with Hizbullah." French President Nicolas Sarkozy met on Monday with Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders, including Khoury, at the French consulate in Jerusalem.
| Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | America |


Chinese renew interest in U.S. property Reuters (June 23, 2008) - Chinese interest in U.S. commercial property is back, and this time Chinese investors may become significant players as the nation devises a vehicle to divert large amounts of funds for foreign investment, a Cushman & Wakefield executive said on Monday. Flush with dollars from a huge trade imbalance, Chinese sovereign wealth funds are beginning to test the waters in New York real estate, said Scott Latham, executive vice president, Capital Markets group for real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield. "They are coming. We've seen them in the bidding process over the past four months on a number of assets we've handled," Latham said at the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit in New York. They were recently among the throng of bidders for three of seven former Equity Office properties marketed after Harry Macklowe defaulted on loans he used to buy them last year, he said. Latham is one of the most powerful commercial real estate brokers in Manhattan, the largest U.S. commercial real estate market. He has shepherded deals such as the $1.72 billon sale of the MetLife Building, the $1.8 billion sale of 666 Fifth Avenue and the $675 million sale of The Plaza Hotel. "I think that unlike the Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds, they have not yet figured out an efficient way to get the money out of their country," he said. Back in the depths of the real estate depression in the early 1990s, private individuals from Hong Kong were big players in New York real estate. A group headed by Henry Cheng, for example, was able to buy a distressed loan and control of the property from Donald Trump for less than $100 million along the West Side and make a killing when they recently sold it for $1.8 billion. "Almost every one of those investments was an absolute home run," Latham said. more...
| America | Economic Crisis |


Religious Americans: My faith isn't the only way One News Now (June 23, 2008) - America remains a deeply religious nation, but a new survey finds most Americans don't believe their tradition is the only way to eternal life -- even if the denomination's teachings say otherwise. The findings, revealed Monday in a survey of 35,000 adults, can either be taken as a positive sign of growing religious tolerance, or disturbing evidence that Americans dismiss or don't know fundamental teachings of their own faiths. Among the more startling numbers in the survey, conducted last year by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: 57 percent of evangelical church attenders said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life, in conflict with traditional evangelical teaching. In all, 70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation shared that view, and 68 percent said there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their own religion. "The survey shows religion in America is, indeed, 3,000 miles wide and only three inches deep," said D. Michael Lindsay, a Rice University sociologist of religion. "There's a growing pluralistic impulse toward tolerance and that is having theological consequences," he said. Earlier data from the Pew Forum's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, released in February, highlighted how often Americans switch religious affiliation. The newly released material looks at religious belief and practice as well as the impact of religion on society, including how faith shapes political views. The report argues that while relatively few people -- 14 percent -- cite religious beliefs as the main influence on their political thinking, religion still plays a powerful indirect role. The study confirmed some well-known political dynamics, including stark divisions over abortion and same-sex "marriage," with the more religiously committed taking conservative views on the issues. But it also showed support across religious lines for greater governmental aid for the poor, even if it means more debt and stricter environmental laws and regulations. more...
| America | Apostasy |


Scientist: 'Global warming' scheme to push global tax WorldNet Daily (June 19, 2008) - A scientist whose reservations about "global warming" have been officially endorsed by tens of thousands of other scientists is accusing the U.N. of using "mob rule" to generate fear-mongering climate change reports intended to scare national leaders into submitting to its worldwide taxation schemes. "Science has always progressed on the basis of observations, experiments, and thoughts published by individual scientists and sometimes pairs or small groups of scientific coworkers," Art Robinson, a research professor of chemistry and co-founder of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, said in a recent column in Human Events. Except at the U.N., he said. Robinson's concern over the political manipulation of science earlier led him to launch the Petition Project, a compilation of more than 31,000 scientists – with more names arriving daily – who have voluntarily signed their names to the following statement:

"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."

He said the scientific process begins with the results of individuals' work and their distribution of their ideas. "A few of these published articles are especially valuable; a greater number, while not remarkable, provide relative mundane studies that add to the infrastructure of science; many are not useful at all; and some are completely wrong. As individual scientists read these articles, they use their own wisdom, knowledge, and judgment to separate new information that they find valuable from information that they find of no use," Robinson said. Eventually, the good, accurate and valuable information is advanced. "Always, scientific progress is a result of a large number of individual decisions that trend in a specific direction," he said. Not so, however, at the United Nations. Especially with the organization's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has generated many of the claims of catastrophic results of man's use of hydrocarbon fuels, including submerged coastlines and a deadly, massive expansion of African deserts. The IPCC website boasts of sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore Jr. for "efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change." It also notes its goals are to eradicate poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality, reduce child mortality, improve mothers' health, combat HIV/AIDS, ensure environmental sustainability and others. "The IPCC provides its reports at regular intervals and they immediately become standard works of reference, widely used by policymakers, experts and students," the organization itself says. "The primary requirement for selection is a willingness to participate in the United Nations' new 'process' and the agenda behind it," Robinson said. "These people study and discuss the current and past research literature concerning climate and climate prediction. … These emanations are closely observed by a very select small group of United Nations operatives." At the end of the meetings, "this small group of observers combines the products of the meeting into a large important-looking report – carefully editing the report so that it supports United Nations political objectives," Robinson said. "At no time is this report submitted to the 600-plus 'scientists.'" The results then are distributed as "settled science," he said, "regardless of the fact that the scientists involved do not agree upon the text. … The elite few who oversaw the meeting and interpreted its results are special. They are the U.N.'s anointed messengers of the truth." A spokeswoman for the United Nation's Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon declined to respond to WND questions about the process, referring those questions to the IPCC office in Geneva. There a spokeswoman confirmed for WND the process that has a small number of specially appointed U.N. operatives write reports following "scientific" meetings. Also, "science" has become devalued. "And nowhere is it more abused than in the United Nations, where institutionalized mob rule is called 'science,'" he said. "In its headlong drive to gain the power to tax and ration world energy (and thereby control world technology – sharing taxation authority with other governments in return for their support) the United Nations has created a 'process,' which it calls 'science,'" he said. In real science, however, "truths are never determined through such meetings; unsolved scientific questions are never resolved by such meetings; and scientific articles are never published unless every putative or listed author has personally approved every word of the publication," Robinson said. "Scientific truth is never decided by meetings organized to decide which ideas are true and which are false. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |


Senate Housing Bill Requires eBay, Amazon, Google, and All Credit Card Companies to Report Transactions to the Government Freedom Works (June 19, 2008) - Update: Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley is pushing the bill. Hidden deep in Senator Christopher Dodd's 630-page Senate housing legislation is a sweeping provision that affects the privacy and operation of nearly all of America's small businesses. The provision, which was added by the bill's managers without debate this week, would require the nation's payment systems to track, aggregate, and report information on nearly every electronic transaction to the federal government. FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey commented: "This is a provision with astonishing reach, and it was slipped into the bill just this week. Not only does it affect nearly every credit card transaction in America, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express, but the bill specifically targets payment systems like eBay's PayPal, Amazon, and Google Checkout that are used by many small online businesses. The privacy implications for America's small businesses are breathtaking." "Privacy groups like the Center for Democracy and Technology and small business organizations like the NFIB sharply criticized this idea when it first appeared earlier this year. What is the federal government's purpose with this kind of detailed data? How will this database be secured, and who will have access? Many small proprietors use their Social Security number as their tax ID. How will their privacy be protected? What compliance costs will this impose on businesses? Why is Sen. Chris Dodd putting this provision in a housing bailout bill? The bill also includes the creation of a new national fingerprint registry for mortgage brokers. "At a time when concerns about both identity theft and government spying are paramount, Congress wants to create a new honey pot of private data that includes Social Security numbers. This bill reduces privacy across America's payment processing systems and treats every American small business or eBay power seller like a criminal on parole by requiring an unprecedented level of reporting to the federal government. This outrageous idea is another reason to delay the housing bailout legislation so that Senators and the public at large have time to examine its full implications." From the Senate Bill Summary:

Payment Card and Third Party Network Information Reporting. The proposal requires information reporting on payment card and third party network transactions. Payment settlement entities, including merchant acquiring banks and third party settlement organizations, or third party payment facilitators acting on their behalf, will be required to report the annual gross amount of reportable transactions to the IRS and to the participating payee. Reportable transactions include any payment card transaction and any third party network transaction. Participating payees include persons who accept a payment card as payment and third party networks who accept payment from a third party settlement organization in settlement of transactions. A payment card means any card issued pursuant to an agreement or arrangement which provides for standards and mechanisms for settling the transactions. Use of an account number or other indicia associated with a payment card will be treated in the same manner as a payment card. A de minimis exception for transactions of $10,000 or less and 200 transactions or less applies to payments by third party settlement organizations. The proposal applies to returns for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2010. Back-up withholding provisions apply to amounts paid after December 31, 2011. This proposal is estimated to raise $9.802 billion over ten years.

| NewWorldOrder |