News for July 15, 2008
Speculators Website - Speculators and investment banks can game the
energy trading markets, using loopholes in commodities law to drive up the
cost of energy and reap record profits… at the expense of American families
and small businesses! One of the biggest factors in high oil prices, according
to many experts, is that investors, such as hedge funds and investment bankers,
can use loopholes in commodities law to manipulate the market and drive
crude oil, heating oil, gasoline and diesel fuel prices to new heights.
Congress is aware of the problem and lawmakers recently passed legislation
to address the “Enron Loophole,” one of the major loopholes that opens the
door to abusive trading practices, but the law didn’t go far enough. Unfortunately,
other loopholes exist that allow energy trading on completely “dark” exchanges.
For example, the “Foreign Markets Loophole” allows American energy commodities
to be traded overseas – exempt from U.S. oversight. These so-called “Dark
Markets” – commodities markets that are not policed by U.S. authorities
provide for an open the door to manipulation, even outright control of the
markets. For example, speculative investors can buy and sell millions of
barrels of U.S. destined oil and other energy products every day in the
United Kingdom and even in Dubai… but are not made subject to the transparency
and accountability laws that govern exchanges here in the United States!
Additionally, through the so-called “swaps loophole,” financial investors
can “game the markets” for pure profit by buying up positions in the energy
markets, without any limitation on the size of the positions they can take.
One recent estimate suggested that they now control one third of the commodities
markets, or $150 billion - a 1,000% increase in less than five years! Some
experts believe that as much as 60 percent of the cost of a gallon of gasoline
or heating oil can be attributed to pure speculation and abusive –even manipulative
– trading practices, yet most trading is “dark” and federal authorities
can neither fully police or see the data in the majority of the trading
markets. The energy trading markets were originally set up to provide energy
producers and distributors with an environment to manage risk and produce
the best possible price for their customers. But they are clearly no longer
the driving force in the market. Profiteering speculators and investment
banks care little about establishing a price for energy based on supply
and demand fundamentals – they care about turning a PROFIT. more...
Earthquake near Rhodes felt in Israel The Jerusalem
Post (July 15, 2008) - Tremors of a
powerful earthquake with an epicenter near the Greek island of Rhodes were
felt throughout Israel on Tuesday morning. According to Israeli reports,
the quake measured 6.8 on the Richter Scale, and was felt in Israel at 6:35
a.m, primarily in the northern and central parts of the country. While nobody
was wounded in Israel and no damage was reported, in Greece a 56-year-old
woman was killed after falling down a flight of stairs while she ran towards
safety. The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the quake struck at 6:26 a.m.
(0326 GMT) with its epicenter located 445 kilometers (275 miles) southeast
of Athens, beneath the seabed south of Rhodes, and was also felt on the
islands of Santorini and Crete. The US Geological Survey gave the magnitude
as 6.4. Magnitudes often differ in the first hours and days after an earthquake.
Local authorities in the affected areas appealed for calm, and seismologists
said that while Rhodes lies in a seismically active area, major aftershocks
were not expected. The quake occurred at a depth of about 70 kilometers
(about 45 miles). Recently in Israel, Health Ministry director-general Prof.
Avi Yisraeli issued a letter to all hospitals, health funds and Magen David
Adom asking them to ensure that they are prepared for the possibility of
an earthquake in the North. However, when contacted by The Jerusalem Post,
Yisraeli said there was absolutely no evidence of an imminent earthquake
in the North, despite reports of some unusual seismic activity of some 500
mini-quakes ranging from two to five on the Richter scale in southern Lebanon
during the past four months, most of which were not felt anywhere.
Euro soars to $1.60 against U.S. dollar, a new record high
(July 15, 2008) - The European single currency leapt to a record
high above 1.60 dollars here on Tuesday as investor fears grew over the
state of the US economy and its financial services sector, dealers said.
In late morning London deals, the euro jumped to 1.6038 dollars, which beat
the previous all-time peak of 1.6019 that was set on April 22.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Rescue a 'Disaster,' Rogers Says
Bloomberg (July 14,
2008) - The U.S. Treasury Department's plan to shore up Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac is an "unmitigated disaster" and the largest U.S.
mortgage lenders are "basically insolvent," according to investor
Jim Rogers. Taxpayers will be saddled with debt if Congress approves U.S.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's request for the authority to buy unlimited
stakes in and lend to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Rogers said in a Bloomberg
Television interview. Rogers is betting that Fannie Mae shares will keep
tumbling. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst Daniel Zimmerman said the mortgage
finance companies' shares may fall another 35 percent and lowered his share-price
estimate for Fannie Mae to $7 from $18 and for Freddie Mac to $5 from $17.
Freddie Mac fell 64 cents, or 8.3 percent, to $7.11 in New York Stock Exchange
trading, while Fannie Mae fell 52 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $9.73. "I
don't know where these guys get the audacity to take our money, taxpayer
money, and buy stock in Fannie Mae," Rogers, 65, said in an interview
from Singapore. "So we're going to bail out everybody else in the world.
And it ruins the Federal Reserve's balance sheet and it makes the dollar
more vulnerable and it increases inflation." The chairman of Rogers
Holdings, who in April 2006 correctly predicted oil would reach $100 a barrel
and gold $1,000 an ounce, also said the commodities bull market has a "long
way to go" and advised buying agricultural commodities. Rogers, a former
partner of hedge fund manager George Soros, predicted the start of the commodities
rally in 1999 and started buying Chinese stocks in the same year. He traveled
the world by motorcycle and car in the 1990s researching investment ideas
for his books, which include "Adventure Capitalist" and "Hot
Commodities." Billionaire investor Soros said today that Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac face a "solvency crisis," not a liquidity one,
and that their troubles won't be the last financial disruption, Reuters
reported. "This is a very serious financial crisis and it is the most
serious financial crisis of our lifetime," Soros told Reuters in a
telephone interview. "It is an idle dream to think that you could have
this kind of crisis without the real economy being affected." "These
companies were going to go bankrupt if they hadn't stepped in to do something,
and they should've gone bankrupt with all of the mistakes they've made,"
Rogers said. "What's going to happen when you Band-Aid and put some
Band-Aids on it for another year or two or three? What's going to happen
three years from now when the situation's much, much, much worse?"
Paulson's proposal, which the Treasury anticipates will be incorporated
into an existing congressional bill and approved this week, signals a shift
toward an explicit guarantee of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt. The Federal
Reserve separately authorized the firms to borrow directly from the central
Fannie and Freddie Rescued? The “Con” fidence Game Continues McAlvany Report
Analysts say more U.S. banks will fail International
Herald Tribune (July 14, 2008) - As
home prices continue to decline and loan defaults mount, U.S. regulators
are bracing for dozens of American banks to fail over the next year. But
after a large mortgage lender in California collapsed late Friday, Wall
Street analysts began posing two crucial questions: Just how many banks
might falter? And, more urgently, which one could be next? The nation's
banks are in far less danger than they were in the late 1980s and early
1990s, when more than 1,000 federally insured institutions went under during
the savings-and-loan crisis. The debacle, the greatest collapse of American
financial institutions since the Depression, prompted a government bailout
that cost taxpayers about $125 billion. But the troubles are growing so
rapidly at some small and midsize banks that as many as 150 out of the 7,500
banks nationwide could fail over the next 12 to 18 months, analysts say.
Other lenders are likely to shut branches or seek mergers. "Everybody
is drawing up lists, trying to figure out who the next bank is, No. 1, and
No. 2, how many of them are there," said Richard Bove, the banking
analyst with Ladenburg Thalmann, who released a list of troubled banks over
the weekend. "And No. 3, from the standpoint of Washington, how badly
is it going to affect the economy?" Many investors are on edge after
federal regulators seized the California lender, IndyMac Bank, one of the
nation's largest savings and loans, last week. With $32 billion in assets,
IndyMac, a spinoff of the Countrywide Financial Corporation, was the biggest
American lender to fail in more than two decades. Now, as the Bush administration
grapples with the crisis at the nation's two largest mortgage finance companies,
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a rush of earnings reports in the coming days
and weeks from some of the nation's largest financial companies are likely
to provide more gloomy reminders about the sorry state of the industry.
In 2004 that the Bush administration was pushing the zero down-payment initiative. here and here Of course back when this was being pushed there were those making it known it would increase defaults. In hindsight, this push to get people into homes that couldn't really afford it along with adjustable rate mortgages that shift as they have, probably wasn't really a good idea. The push for everyone to get a house and the multitude of offers for low interest rate adjustable mortgages to those inexperienced home-buyers is a potent mix. Here's what a poster (Craig) said regarding where the majority of problems have come from:
I'm not going to try and place blame, but in the scheme of transitioning to a new global financial system via a bail-out this could really help out. Revelation 13:16-18 It seems to me that in a world run by money, being in debt is a good way to transition people to a New World Order - most maybe even unknowingly at first. Now we have the government bailing out these banks while at the same time working to harmonize international law and trade. I'm sure over the thousands of years the mystery of iniquity has been working to globalize control of the world that some well thought-out plans have been developed. Are we seeing them unfold now? It also strikes me that many don't seem to notice or want to notice. Perhaps I'm just seeing things or maybe I'm just seeing things, that's up to you to decide for yourself after researching these things. If I'm wrong, let me know! Just remember that in order to give the kingdoms to the man of sin, they must belong to the dragon. Keep watching!
Ahmadinejad: We'll sever enemies' hands The
Jerusalem Post (July 13, 2008) - Iran's
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened on Sunday to "cut off the
hands" of any would-be attackers of the Islamic Republic. "Before
the enemies touch the trigger, the armed forces will cut off their hands,"
the state-run IRNA news agency quoted the leader as saying. Ahmadinejad
said that missile tests conducted last week exhibited "only a small
part" of Iran's defense capabilities, and that, if necessary, further
capabilities would be revealed. Ahmadinejad's statement comes amid a report
that US President George W. Bush has given Israel the "amber light"
to carry out an attack on Iran if diplomatic efforts are unsuccessful in
causing the Islamic Republic to back down and relinquish its nuclear program.
According to a senior Pentagon official quoted by the British Sunday Times
on Sunday morning, Bush has given Israel free rein to attack Iran's nuclear
sites if sanctions fail in spite of opposition from US generals and regardless
of the possible economic and political repercussions of such a strike. "Amber
means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate attack and tell
us when you're ready," the official said, adding however, that Israel
had been told that it could not count on the US to lend it military support.
Contradicting recent reports to the contrary, he also said that the IAF
would not be permitted to take off from American military bases in Iraq.
The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the report. Ahmadinejad's aggressive
statements contrasted strikingly with a report on Iranian state TV Sunday,
which quoted him as saying that Iran would welcome the idea of setting up
a US diplomatic office in Teheran. The report quoted the firebrand Iranian
leader as saying he would consider an American request to set up an interests
section in Iran. He said he "welcomes any move to expand ties."
But Ahmadinejad said his government hasn't received any official request
for such an office. Last month, US officials floated the idea but no formal
requests were made. more...
43 nations creating Mediterranean union Associated
Press (July 13, 2008) - French President
Nicolas Sarkozy urged the disparate and conflicted countries around the
Mediterranean Sea on Sunday to make peace as European rivals did in the
20th century, as he launched an unprecedented Union for the Mediterranean.
Yet the summit did not mask all the divisions that crisscross the region:
Syria's President Bashar Assad left the enormous table before Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert gave his speech to the more than 40 leaders seated
around it, Israeli government officials said on condition of anonymity because
of the sensitivity of the matter. It was the first time the two men had
sat at the same table. "The European and the Mediterranean dreams are
inseparable," Sarkozy told leaders from more than 40 nations in Europe,
the Middle East and North Africa. "We will succeed together; we will
fail together." The union Sarkozy championed as a pillar of his presidency
brought together around one table for the first time dignitaries such rival
nations as Israel and Syria, Algeria and Morocco, Turkey and Greece. Coping
with age-old enmities involving their peoples and others along the Mediterranean
shores will be a central challenge to the new union encompassing some 800
million people. "We will build peace in the Mediterranean together,
like yesterday we built peace in Europe," Sarkozy said. He insisted
the new body would not be "north against south, not Europe against
the rest ... but united." Sarkozy went to special efforts to bring
Syria into the international fold for the summit: Assad met Lebanese President
Michel Suleiman and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, separately, both for
the first time. And he met Sarkozy, after years of chill between their countries.
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, co-presiding the summit with Sarkozy, said: "We
are linked by a common destiny." He said the union has better chances
of success than a previous cooperation process launched in Barcelona in
1995 because the new body focuses on practical projects parallel to efforts
toward Mideast peace. more...
Strong quake hits Taiwan Breitbart.com
(July 13, 2008) - An earthquake with a magnitude
of 6.1 struck Taiwan late Sunday, the United States Geological Survey said.
The quake struck at 10:58 pm local time (1458 GMT) and was centred 188 kilometres
(120 miles) south of T'ai-tung in Taiwan, the USGS reported, at a depth
of 10 kilometres.
'We'll Take Land By Force if Talks Fail' The
Jerusalem Post (July 12, 2008) - Should
diplomacy fail to return "Israeli-occupied land" to Lebanon, the
Lebanese army (LAF) will take it by force, Lebanese President Gen. Michel
Sueleiman said on Sunday. Suleiman was speaking at a press conference after
meeting Syrian President Bashar Assad on the sidelines of the Mediterranean
conference in Paris. The Lebanese president stressed, however, that the
military option was the last resort. Assad said Lebanon had an important
role to play in the Middle East peace process and that any progress in future
Israel-Lebanon negotiations would be made in coordination with Syria. Meanwhile,
in what is being interpreted in Israel as a declaration of ownership, the
Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) has built a road and set up a military position
in the Shaba Farms/ Mount Dov area for the first time since Israel's withdrawal
from that part of Lebanon in 2000. Israeli defense officials confirmed the
move, which was first reported in the Lebanese media, but would not comment
on its significance.
It seems the alliances are continuing together and the idea of Israel stealing land is uniting those alliances against Israel further. The attack on Israel that is prophesied to take place comes from the North parts and they are decimated in the mountains of Israel. Lebanon is immediately to the North and Syria also borders Israel to the North, both in agreement against Israel and if Israel is responsible for the destruction of Damascus, I'm sure they will allow armies to come through there to the North of Israel and the mountains there.
map of mountains
Feds take over mortgage lender IndyMac. May become most expensive bank collapse
ever CNN Money
(July 12, 2008) - In what could turn out to
be the most expensive bank failure ever, troubled mortgage lender IndyMac
Bank was taken over by federal regulators on Friday. The operations of the
Pasadena, Calif.-based bank - once one of the nation's largest home lenders
- were shut down at 3 p.m. by the Office of Thrift Supervision and transferred
to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. According to the FDIC, 10,000 IndyMac
customers could lose as much as $500 million in uninsured deposits. The
agency says the failure will cost the Deposit Insurance Fund between $4
billion and $8 billion, based on preliminary estimates. "It's possible
this will be the most costly bank failure in history, but it's too soon
to say," FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said in a conference call late Friday
night. The failure could also affect premiums paid by all banks for deposit
insurance, she added. IndyMac, with assets of $32.01 billion and deposits
of $19.06 billion, is the fifth bank to fail this year. Between 2005 and
2007, only three banks failed. And in the past 15 years, the FDIC has taken
over 127 banks with combined assets of $22 billion, according to FDIC records. "There
will be increased failures, but it will be within range of what we can handle,"
Bair said. "People should not worry." IndyMac marks the largest
bank collapse since 1984, when Continental Illinois, which had $40 billion
in assets, failed, according to FDIC records. The two most expensive failures
were in 1988: American Savings and Loan Association in California ($5.4
billion) and involved First Republic Bank in Texas ($4 billion).
Sarkozy: Syria and Lebanon will open embassies
(July 12, 2008) - France's president says Syria and Lebanon will
open embassies in each other's countries. The nations have not had full-fledged
embassies in each other's countries since Lebanon became independent in
1943 and Syria in 1945. Syrian President Bashar Assad said last month that
establishing diplomatic ties with Lebanon would be possible if a national
unity Cabinet was formed in Beirut. Such a government, including members
of Syria's ally Hezbollah, was formed Friday after weeks of haggling. French
President Nicolas Sarkozy is hosting a summit among leaders of 43 nations
from Europe and the Mediterranean rim. Lebanon's new president said Saturday
he wants to establish diplomatic ties with Syria and exchange ambassadors,
calling for a major shift in long-hostile relations between the neighbors.
Michel Suleiman spoke before talks in Paris with his Syrian counterpart,
Bashar Assad — and on the eve of a rare summit among leaders of 43 nations
from Europe and the Mediterranean rim that France says could send a "wind
of hope" through the region. "We want an exchange of ambassadors
and diplomatic relations with Syria," Suleiman told reporters at the
French presidential palace. He said he was "satisfied" with relations
with Syria and that a visit there is "still on the agenda." The
two countries have not had diplomatic relations since 2005, when former
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was killed. Syria's critics accuse
Damascus of having a role in the slaying, a charge Syria denies. Suleiman
would not comment on a hoped-for timeframe for new ties or embassies. The
nations have not had full-fledged embassies in each other's countries since
Lebanon became independent in 1943 and Syria in 1945. more...
In looking at recent history in light of Bible prophecy, this is interesting that at this time Syria and Lebanon are showing signs of political cooperation. As we saw, the Hezbollah uprising in Lebanon led to an increase in cooperation between governments. more here Then there's the threat by Israel regarding this puppet group of Iran. more here In case you've just joined the newsletter, my current theory in light of what I've studied from the Bible and seen in current events reported here is posted here.
Iran says Solana nuclear talks July 19 in Geneva
AFP (July 11, 2008)
- Iran said on Friday that its top nuclear negotiator and EU foreign policy
chief Javier Solana will hold their next talks on ending the nuclear standoff
on July 19, despite Western concern over the test-firing of several missiles
by Tehran. "They are to continue their negotiations about the package
on Saturday, July 19" in Geneva, said Ahmad Khadem al-Melleh, spokesman
for the secretariat of Iran's supreme national security council, according
to the state-run IRNA agency. World powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany,
Russia and the United States -- last month presented Iran with a package
aimed at ending the five-year-old nuclear crisis, notably offering Tehran
technological incentives in exchange for suspending the sensitive process
of uranium enrichment. "The trip of Dr Jalili to Geneva is taking place
after the world powers welcomed the continuation of the talks on common
points in the two packages that have been proposed," the spokesman
added. Iran has proposed its own package -- a more all-embracing attempt
to solve the problems of the world including the nuclear standoff -- and
has made much of the common ground between the two proposals. The French
foreign ministry has, however, confirmed that Iran does not say in its response
that it is prepared to suspend uranium enrichment, which world powers say
they fear could be used to make a nuclear weapon. Solana's spokeswoman Cristina
Gallach declined to confirm the date, saying "we are continuing to
work on the meeting and we are in the process of holding discussions"
with Iran. But she reaffirmed that a meeting was still scheduled by the
end of this month. more...
Chile's Llaima volcano rumbles into action
Breitbart.com (July 11, 2008) - Chile's
imposing southern Llaima volcano roared into action Thursday, spewing rocks,
lava and clouds of ash and putting six nearby communities under a red alert,
the National Emergency office said. "Activity has strengthened, but
it is all taking place in the Calbuco river sector, where we have all precautionary
measures in place," Cautin Province Governor Andres Jouannet told reporters.
He said the 3,125-meter (10,253-foot) volcano 700 kilometers (1,100 miles)
south of Santiago erupted in the predawn hours, after six months of quiet
following its initial eruption on January 1. "You can see three (lava)
flows heading for the Calbuco river, which is constantly being monitored
for abnormal levels," the office said in a statement. It said six communities
in the vicinity of the volcano a week ago were placed under a red alert,
pending immediate evacuation should the situation worsen. Llaima was Chile's
second erupting volcano this year, after the 1,000-meter (3,280-foot) Chaiten
volcano, 100 kilometers (65 miles) further south awoke after centuries of
lying dormant in May.
McDonald's: Christian boycotters 'hate' homosexuals
11, 2008) - Those who oppose homosexuality for religious reasons
are participating in "hate," according to an official for McDonald's,
the worldwide purveyor of Big Macs and Happy Meals. "Hatred has no
place in our culture," corporate spokesman Bill Whitman told the Washington
Post in response to a campaign by the American Family Association for a
boycott of the burger-and-fries outlets because of the corporation's advocacy
for the homosexual lifestyle. "That includes McDonald's, and we stand
by and support our people to live and work in a society free of discrimination
and harassment," Whitman said. "Throwing out any pretense of being
neutral in the culture war, McDonald's has taken up the rhetoric of gay
activists, suggesting those who oppose same-sex marriage (SSM) are motivated
by hate," the AFA said in a new alert about its campaign today. "AFA
has asked for a boycott of McDonald's restaurants because of the company's
promotion of the gay agenda. AFA asked McDonald's to remain neutral in the
culture war. McDonald's refused," the group said. "McDonald's
has decided to adopt the 'hate' theme used by gay activist groups for years,"
said the AFA alert. "Mr. Whitman has intentionally avoided addressing
the reason for the boycott. This boycott is not about hiring gays or how
gay employees are treated. It is about McDonald's choosing to put the
full weight of their corporation behind promoting their agenda,"
the AFA alert said. McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner said the company will promote
issues they approve, the AFA said. "Being a socially responsible organization
is a fundamental part of who we are. We have an obligation to use our size
and resources to make a difference in the world ... and we do," Skinner
was quoted as saying. The American Family Association's earlier boycott
of Ford Motor Co. over its promotion of homosexuality was dropped after
company sales fell 8 percent per month for two years. AFA said McDonald's
donated $20,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in exchange
for membership in the NGLCC and a seat on the group's board of directors.
The NGLCC lobbies Congress on a wide range of issues, including the promotion
of same-sex marriage. AFA had asked the corporation to remove its name and
logo from the NGLCC website, where it is listed as a "corporate partner
and organization ally." AFA also requested that McDonald's remove the
endorsement of NGLCC by Richard Ellis, vice president of communications
for McDonald's USA, from the website. more...
I read another story about a gay bishop who was heckled during a sermon. His position:
“When someone stands up and says homosexuality is an abomination, does that make you want to get to know God?”
What I want to know, is why does a gay man want to identify himself with a God who made His position clear on the matter? If God saying that homosexuality is an abomination to Him offends you, why preach the very Word of God that said it was an abomination to begin with? If that's who God is and you don't like it, don't pretend to accept Him as He is. Someone saying homosexuality is an abomination is just the messenger of the message given through the Bible. The messengers tend to be disliked however when the message isn't good from the hearer's perspective.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
I think the Biblical position is fairly clear. So is it hatred to warn about the Truth of what the Creator of all things says about homosexuality? For my part I don't "hate" anyone, I also believe there is a firm Truth and that there are consequences for actions. A leading gay advocate recently admitted that HIV/AIDS is mainly a homosexual disease, much to the opposition of his constituents. I believe God designed things the way He did for a reason and going against that is transgression of His design, sin, and holds a similar fate to the angels that rebelled, separation from Him eternally. The problem is that God IS love and so separation from Him is separation from any love - forever. It is out of love that I desire the Truth to be known because when it comes to judgment day, "I didn't really believe it was wrong" isn't going to cut it and I would rather that none perish. However, that takes repentance (changing of mind) and for many who only see in the physical and not eternally, the lusts of the flesh are a stronger pull than doing what is right in God's eyes. And so for reasons like this in a perverse generation:
U.N. scheme to make Christians criminals WorldNet
Daily (July 10, 2008) - Dozens of nations
dominated by Islam are pressing the United Nations to adopt an anti-"defamation"
plan that would make Christians criminals under international law, according
to a United States organization that has launched a campaign to defend freedom
of religion worldwide. "Around the world, Christians are being increasingly
targeted, and even persecuted, for their religious beliefs. Now, one of
the largest organizations in the United Nations is pushing to make a bad
situation even worse by promoting anti-Christian bigotry," the
American Center for Law &
Justice said yesterday in announcing its petition drive. The discrimination
is "wrapped in the guise of a U.N. resolution called 'Combating Defamation
of Religions,'" the announcement said. "We must put an immediate
end to this most recent, dangerous attack on faith that attempts to criminalize
Christianity." The "anti-defamation" plan has been submitted
to the U.N. repeatedly since about 1999, starting out as a plan to ban "defamation"
of Islam and later changed to refer to "religions," officials
said. It is being pushed by the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference
nations, which has adopted the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, "which
states that all rights are subject to sharia law, and makes sharia law the
only source of reference for human rights." The
ACLJ petition, which is to be delivered to the United Nations High Commissioner
on Human Rights, already had collected more than 23,000 names in just
a brief online existence. The ACLJ's European division, the European Center
for Law & Justice, also has launched its work on the issue. It submitted
arguments last month to the U.N. in opposition to the proposal to institute
sharia-based standards around the globe. "The position of the ECLJ
in regards to the issue of 'defamation of religion' resolutions, as they
have been introduced at the U.N. Human Rights Council and General Assembly,
is that they are in direct violation of international law concerning the
rights to freedom of religion and expression," the organization's brief
said. "The 'defamation of religion' resolutions establish as the primary
focus and concern the protection of ideas and religions generally, rather
than protecting the rights of individuals to practice their religion, which
is the chief purpose of international religious freedom law." "Furthermore,
'defamation of religion' replaces the existing objective criterion of limitations
on speech where there is an intent to incite hatred or violence against
religious believers with a subjective criterion that considers whether the
religion or its believers feel offended by the speech," the group continued.
Interestingly, in nations following Islam, the present practice is to use
such laws to protect Islam and to attack religious minorities with penalties
up to and including execution, the brief noted. "What should be most
disconcerting to the international community is that laws based on the concept
of 'defamation of religion' actually help to create a climate of violence,"
the argument explained. more...
What happens when the world is worshipping the man of sin foretold in scripture? Remember that most of the world will be deceived...
Revelation 13:4-5, 15
Britain okays human-pig embryo One News Now
(July 9, 2008) - A license to create human-pig
embryos has been granted in Great Britain. An American professor says the
moral and ethical implications of that decision have not been thought out.
There are moral ethics involved, says Dr. Mark Mostert of Regent University.
He believes that, in this case, technology has "outstripped our thinking,"
and contends that the creation of human-animal embryos presents the potential
for doing a great deal of harm. "...[W]e've not thought through on
a moral and ethical level what this means for the future," he maintains.
Plus, he points out that embryo research has not produced results. "The
truth, however, is that stem cells have provided very little to this point
for any kinds of diseases," says Mostert. "[W]hereas...cells from
[sources other] than embryos, for example in cord blood, [have yielded]
a number of successes," he notes. British law requires that the human-animal
embryos be killed after 14 days, but Mostert predicts some researchers will
violate that statute and let them grow even further. He emphasizes that
God created man and animals separately, intending for it to stay that way. "Species
were created to procreate among those of like kind, and now this takes us
a step closer to essentially saying, 'well, whatever the Bible says or whatever
a Christian perspective is doesn't really matter,'" he continues. "We
have now completely divorced what we do in biology and in human engineering
from acknowledging that we as human beings are creations of God and that
other species are made by the creator. Now we're saying we are taking that
role." Mostert argues that the creation of human-pig embryos will create
beings that God never intended to be. He also stresses that many scientists
are atheists or agnostics and care nothing about biblical ethics.
Did Ancient Biotechnology Create Nephilim? - "...The Book of Jasher, mentioned in the Bible in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18, says, "After the fallen angels went into the daughters of men, the sons of men taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order to provoke the Lord"(4:18). This clear reference to the Genesis 6 record illustrates that "animals" were included in whatever cross-species experiments were being conducted, and that this activity resulted in judgment from God. The Book of Enoch also supports this record, saying that after the fallen angels merged their DNA with women, they "began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish" (7:5,6). The Old Testament contains associated reference to genetic mutations, which developed among humans following this activity, including unusual size, physical strength, six fingers, six toes, animal appetite for blood and even lion-like features among men (2 Sam 21:20; 23:20)."
Hezbollah movement triples number of rockets - report
Russian News & Information Agency
(July 9, 2008) - Israel's state-controlled
radio claimed Wednesday that Islamic Hezbollah has increased its rocket
arsenal threefold since the start of an armed conflict with Israel two years
ago. Kol Israel radio made the claims citing Israel intelligence sources
and said that Hezbollah now has 40,000 rockets capable of reaching Israel.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a cabinet meeting Wednesday that the increase
in weapons by Shiite Hezbollah was in violation of UN Resolution 1701, which
ended the 34-day war in 2006. The UN resolution called for the disarming
of all militias and the prevention of gun-running and smuggling operations
in Lebanon. Over the past few days, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
has raised the issue with foreign ministers from France, Germany and Italy.
According to Kol Israel, he indicated that Israel would not tolerate violations
of peace agreements, which could damage "the fragile balance on the
Recall a previous news story, Report: Israel threatened to target Syria if Hezbollah attacks.
Hezbollah uprising exposed it as Iran's puppet in Lebanon
Ya Libnan (June 9,
2008) - Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Shiite mullahs executing Khomeini's
will to export the "Islamic revolution" remain on their self-assigned
mission to slay the "Great Satan," the U.S. They were finding
their campaign stumbling in all the pertinent places throughout the Sunni-dominated
Mideast. This forced the Iranians to concentrate on multi-religious Lebanon
in order to compensate for the major grounds lost lately in Iraq. The projection
of Iranian power comes mainly in the form of Hezbollah. Hezbollah's most
recent pretext to disrupt and dominate the nation was simple decisions of
sovereignty by the Lebanese government on May7, including extending control
over the Hezbollah communications network. Hezbollah refused. The group
launched an armed revolt in Beirut, conquering districts, trashing government
buildings, burning TV stations, and looting the city at will. But six days
of violent confrontations between the well-armed and trained Hezbollah fighters
and untrained individual Lebanese did not lead to the fall of the government
or plunge the country in complete chaos as it was intended. Lebanese citizens
improvised strategies to defend their neighborhoods. Hezbollah fighters
lacked necessary logistical support in order to remain in the areas they
invaded. So Hezbollah had to hand over the zones back to the Lebanese army.
The Arabs, realizing the gravity of the Iranian assault, started an initiative
culminating in a summit in Qatar. Ultimately, the factional and governmental
representatives left with the Doha Accord. Pacification returned to the
smoldering streets of Beirut. more...
Defense officials: UN Resolution 1701 on the verge of collapse
The Jerusalem Post
(July 9, 2008) - United Nations Security Council
Resolution 1701, passed to stop the Second Lebanon War, is on the verge
of collapse as Syria continues to rearm Hizbullah, senior defense officials
warned Tuesday night ahead of a scheduled security cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will convene the cabinet to discuss the rearmament
of Hizbullah since the Second Lebanon War and to discuss ways to curb the
flow of weapons from Syria to the guerrilla group. During the meeting, the
ministers will be briefed by Military Intelligence on Hizbullah's rehabilitation
and preparation for another round of violence with Israel. Defense officials
said Israel's only course of action at present was to attempt to place pressure
on diplomatic officials from European countries that contribute to UNIFIL. "Syria
is rearming Hizbullah at a rapid pace and this is proof that 1701 has completely
failed," one official said. The peacekeeping force's mandate will be
up for renewal next month and Israel is looking to see if it will be possible
to make changes that will give the force more freedom to prevent Hizbullah's
Congress' approval plunges to 9 percent WorldNet
Daily (July 8, 2008) - A major tracking
poll for the first time shows Americans' approval of Congress has dipped
below 10 percent.
The most recent Rasmussen Reports survey calculates a mere 9 percent
say Congress is doing a good or excellent job, while a majority of Americans,
52 percent, believe it is doing a poor job, which also ties a record high.
Against President Bush's much-publicized poor approval ratings, today's
poll shows Congress' numbers have plunged to less than a third of the president's.
The Democrat-controlled Congress enjoys its highest rating among Democrat
respondents, 13 percent of whom rated the Congress favorably. Only 8 percent
of Republicans were willing to say Congress is doing a good job, while an
almost non-existent 3 percent of unaffiliated voters gave Congress a positive
rating. The polling company also asked respondents if they thought Congress
has passed any legislation in the last six months to improve life in the
U.S.. Just 12 percent said yes, while 62 percent said Congress has done
nothing to improve life in America. A further 55 percent said it was unlikely
that Congress would do anything in the near future to address important
problems facing the nation. Despite dismal ratings for the Democratic Congress,
another Rasmussen Report released today shows Americans are unwilling
to vote the majority party out of office. When given the choice, 47 percent
of voters said they would vote for their district's Democratic candidate,
while 34 percent said they would vote Republican. In a related Rasmussen
Reports survey, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama holds a 6
percent lead over rival John McCain (46 percent to 40 percent) in a poll
released today, and President Bush scored a 32 percent approval rating in
a poll released last week.
EU Governments Endorse Capability Plan for Future Military Needs, Pledge
Joint Efforts European Defense Agency
(July 8, 2008) - European Union governments
today endorsed a Capability Development Plan (CDP) defining the future military
needs and priorities of European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) and
agreed to use it to guide future national defence investment decisions and
to seek opportunities to collaborate so as to address their short-to-longer-term
military requirements coherently. The CDP, developed over the past 18 months
by the European Defence Agency, its 26 participating Member States (pMS),
the EU Military Committee and the EU Council General Secretariat, contains
a significant body of analysis from which conclusions and an initial tranche
of practical proposals for action have been derived. It was presented to
a meeting of the EDA’s Steering Board, made up of directors of capability
planning from the 26 pMS. “The CDP provides the picture all Member States
need to take into account when planning future capability development agendas
and finding the right balance between ambition and resources. Linking theory
to practice is a job for everyone,” said Javier Solana, Head of the Agency.
“It is quite clear, however, that the CDP is not a supranational military
equipment or capability plan which aims to replace national defence plans
and programmes. It should support, not replace national decision-making,”
he added. The CDP is an attempt to address the well-documented fragmentation
in demand for European military capabilities, caused in part by a lack of
coordinated military requirements and comprehensive priorities. It builds
on the EDA’s Long-Term Vision report, published in 2006. Among its principal
conclusions are the importance of intelligence and information-sharing during
operations in complex environments; the need for flexible and agile responses
to unpredictable threats; the requirement to coordinate military and civilian
activities in crisis management operations; and the challenge of recruiting
talented and well-qualified personnel for the armed forces. more...
Strong quake strikes southern Peru Breitbart.com
(July 8, 2008) - A strong earthquake measuring
6.0 on the moment magnitude scale struck southern Peru near Arequipa early
Tuesday, the US Geological Survey reported. The quake struck at a depth
of 74 kilometers (46 miles) in a mountainous region 53 kilometers (33 miles)
north-northwest of Arequipa and 721 kilometers (448 miles) southeast of
Lima, the USGS said.
World Bank: Biofuels lift food prices 75 percent
CNet News (July 7,
2008) - Demand for biofuels in Europe and the United States has forced
up food prices 75 percent around the world, according to a World Bank report
that was leaked and
published in The Guardian newspaper on Friday. The number stands
in sharp contrast to the 3 percent contribution to higher food pricing estimated
by the United States Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, a study commissioned
by food manufacturers pegs the contribution of biofuels on food prices at
between 25 percent and 35 percent. (Click
here for PDF). The reports will surely heat up the debate on biofuels
policy one week before the scheduled G8 meeting in Japan. Both the U.S.
and Europe have biofuels mandates to lessen dependence on imported fossil
fuels. The World Bank argues that these policies have distorted the market
for grains in three ways, according to The Guardian. First, crops
that would have been sold for food have been diverted for biofuels production.
Second, land is now being used for fuels rather than food. And third, the
mandates have set off speculation in financial markets. "Without the
increase in biofuels, global wheat and maize stocks would not have declined
appreciably and price increases due to other factors would have been moderate,"
The Guardian quoted the report as saying. The World Bank earlier
issued a warning on biofuels and blamed them, in part, for food crises
in developing countries. The Guardian said that the food impact report
was delayed for political reasons, specifically not to discredit the Bush
Administration's strong support for biofuels, particularly corn-based ethanol.
The wide disparity in analysis among the different parties is hard to decipher.
At the very least, it demonstrates the public relations and political battles
we can expect over the coming years between supporters and detractors of
Report: Emirates calls on GCC countries to depeg currencies from US dollar
The Jerusalem Post
(July 6, 2008) - A newspaper in the United
Arab Emirates says the tiny Gulf state's government is lobbying neighboring
countries to depeg their currencies from the US dollar to curb inflation.
The National, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi ruling family, reported Sunday
that the UAE is calling on all six Gulf Cooperation Council member states
to "rethink" their monetary policy amid soaring inflation in the
oil-rich region. It cited an internal report by Abu Dhabi's Department of
Planning and Economy. The GCC members are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the
United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman. All of their currencies are pegged
to the dollar except Kuwait, which depegged its currency, the dinar, from
the dollar in May 2007 in favor of a basket of currencies.
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