News for July 16, 2005
Emily Strengthens to Category 4 Storm (July 16, 2005) - Hurricane Emily blasted out windows, flooded two hospitals and tore roofs from homes as it blew over Grenada and gathered force in the eastern Caribbean. At least one person was killed. The storm strengthened to a dangerous Category 4 after it cleared the Windward Islands, unleashing heavy surf, gusty winds and torrential rains on islands hundreds of miles away: Trinidad in the south, nearby Venezuela, to the west and Hispaniola in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. more...
Unborn babies carry pollutants, study finds (July 14, 2005) - Unborn U.S. babies are soaking in a stew of chemicals, including mercury, gasoline byproducts and pesticides, according to a report released on Thursday. Although the effects on the babies are not clear, the survey prompted several members of Congress to press for legislation that would strengthen controls on chemicals in the environment. The report by the Environmental Working Group is based on tests of 10 samples of umbilical-cord blood taken by the American Red Cross. They found an average of 287 contaminants in the blood, including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides and the Teflon chemical PFOA. “These 10 newborn babies ... were born polluted,” said New York Rep. Louise Slaughter, who spoke a news conference about the findings on Thursday. “If ever we had proof that our nation’s pollution laws aren’t working, it’s reading the list of industrial chemicals in the bodies of babies who have not yet lived outside the womb,” Slaughter, a Democrat, said. Cord blood reflects what the mother passes to the baby through the placenta. “Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical-cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests,” the report said. more...
China tilts to Russia to counter Uncle Sam - Last week, Chinese President Hu Jintao (JÀAÀÜ) and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a “China-Russia Joint Statement on the 21st Century World Order.” With this, China is returning to a strategy of depending on a single ally. But the deeper significance of this statement is that it contributes to China’s emerging strategy of unilateral threats, a bilateral defense and multilateral solutions to problems it sees in the international situation. more...
Biblical Scroll Fragments Found in Israel (July 15, 2005) - A secretive encounter with a Bedouin in a desert valley led to the discovery of two fragments from a nearly 2,000-year-old parchment scroll -- the first such finding in decades, an Israeli archaeologist said Friday. The finding has given rise to hope that the Judean Desert may yield more treasures, said Professor Chanan Eshel, an archaeologist from Tel Aviv’s Bar Ilan University. Iiticus, are from “refugee” caves in Nachal Arugot, a canyon near the Dead Sea where Jews hid from the Romans in the second century, Eshel said in an interview with The Associated Press. The scrolls are being tested by Israel’s Antiquities Authority. Recently, several relics bearing inscriptions, including a burial box purported to belong to Jesus’ brother James, were revealed as modern forgeries. More than 1,000 ancient texts -- known collectively as the Dead Sea Scrolls -- were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in 11 caves overlooking the western shores of the Dead Sea. “No scrolls have been found in the Judean Desert” in decades, Eshel said. “The common belief has been that there is nothing left to find there.” Now, he said, scholars may be spurred on to further excavations. more...
Over 10,000 Attend Western Wall Anti-Disengagement Prayer Rally (July 15, 2005) - 10,000 people attended the Thursday evening anti-disengagement prayer rally at the Western Wall in the presence of former Chief Rabbis Mordechai Eliyahu and Avraham Shapira. The rally involved the recital of Psalms and prayers in the hope of reversing the planned expulsion targeting Jews in Gaza and northern Shomron. A prayer event against the disengagement plan was also held at the Tomb of the Rashbi, Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai in northern Israel.
GGeneral says China ready to attack U.S. (July 15, 2005) - A Chinese general said Friday China will use nuclear weapons against the United States if it attacks his country over Taiwan, the Financial Times reported. “If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition onto the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons,” Gen. Zhu Chenghu said at an official briefing for foreign journalists in Beijing. Zhu, who said he was voicing his personal views and not government policy, said China would have no option but to respond with nuclear weapons in the event of an attack from Washington. more...
Palestinian TV sermon calls for genocide (July 15, 2005) - Less than a day after the terrorist bombings in London, the Palestinian Authority’s official television channel broadcast a sermon calling for extermination of all non-Muslims. “Annihilate the Infidels and the Polytheists! Your [Allah’s] enemies are the enemies of the religion!” said Suleiman Al-Satari in a July 8 broadcast translated by Israel-based Palestinian Media Watch, or PMW. “Allah,” the cleric continued, “disperse their gathering and break up their unity, and turn on them, the evil adversities. Allah, count them and kill them to the last one, and don’t leave even one.” Referring to the timing of the sermon, PMW’s Itamar Marcus noted that clerics in the Palestinian authority routinely include Britain in the “infidel” category. more...
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