Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 73

The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Suicide – Just Don’t Do It.
By: Regina

Because we are currently experiencing the Tribulation, it is no surprise that suicides along with the crime rate is on the rise, and I could list many more stories and statistics but I would be digressing from the purpose of this article.

In a recent news article it was said that military suicides are at an extremely alarming rate; having risen for the fourth year in a row. The Army had 24 suspected suicides in January, which are 19 more than January 2008. And overall, more people die via suicide than on our roads.

Per the Suicide Prevention Hotline, it is becoming increasingly common for people to record their deaths on the internet for friends and loved ones to find; the most recent being a man in California, who is blogging and videotaping the last 30 days of his time here on earth before he commits suicide.

It was actually this man's story that prompted me to write this article, because regardless of if it's true or not, I must tell you that I was completely horrified as to the responses on a popular message board forum to the news of the man in California blogging his last 30 days on earth. The number of people, who were callous towards this man and what he planned to do, far outweighed the number of people who had compassion and concern for this man.

Perhaps it’s because the word suicide is found in the news articles of our newspapers and internet news sites on a daily basis…usually attached to the word terrorist. Or maybe it’s because as a whole, our society has become hardened and jaded; or maybe just plain evil.

Last week a friend wrote me to tell me that another mutual friend had decided to kill himself. He took a gun, placed it to his head and pulled the trigger. However, there was a problem and the sleeve of his shirt got caught on the gun itself somehow and the gun did not go off. This same friend said that in the past he himself had contemplated making himself a salad of Oleander leaves.

I told my friend, that I was glad that our mutual friend did not succeed in killing himself, because where he ended up would have been far, far worse than what he was currently experiencing here on earth.

Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.”

The Definition of Murder
v. tr.

1. To kill (another human) unlawfully.
2. To kill brutally or inhumanly.
3. To put an end to; destroy: murdered their chances.
4. To spoil by ineptness; mutilate: a speech that murdered the English language.
5. Slang To defeat decisively; trounce.

Not a single one of us has any right to take the life of another person, or ourselves and suicide is murder of oneself. (i.e. definition: To put an end to; destroy) But how do you convince someone who has no hope, not to commit suicide?

You do not say to yourself, “Well it’s his life and he has the right to take it if he wants.” Because our lives are NOT our own, but belong to our heavenly Father Yahweh who is our Creator.

You tell them the truth.

For those who believe in life after death and heaven and hell, most believe that when someone commits suicide that they still end up in heaven. That is not necessarily true. While Father is the final judge on what happens to any soul that passes over because She knows all things and reads the depths of our hearts, there could be some circumstances in which the person is forgiven, but this is not a guarantee.

In all truthfulness and in simplest terms, to commit suicide it to murder oneself and murder is a vile crime and those who commit vile crimes end up in the Abyss; which is confinement in complete darkness and total separation from God. If you have a hard time imagining this, think about being in solitary confinement in prison and then add to the scenario that the room you’re confined to is so pitch black that you cannot see your hand in front of your face; and on top of that, you have absolutely no interaction with another human being; for eternity.

When you look at any given situation and compare it in all truthfulness and honesty whatever it may be that you’re experiencing on earth, to an eternity spent in the Abyss, there is nothing on earth that would compare or could possibly be as bad as what the punishment would be for the crime of murder. And if you’re not certain that God truly does exist…do you really want to take that chance?

If you don’t believe, it’s a roll of the dice. Temporary sadness and hardship here on earth, or an eternity spent in darkness. Because remember, here on earth, everything really is temporary. We all go through a series of ups and downs, good times and bad times. Sometimes the bad seem to outweigh the good – but they are most certainly not for eternity.

So if you’re contemplating suicide – the murder of yourself – I’ll tell you plainly and truthfully, just don’t do it. Fear God. Know that She is righteous and that while She reserves the right to pass judgment on all of us, She will also wipe every tear away when the time comes. Until then, endure and keep moving forward with your eyes set on Her and She will redeem you and love you in ways you never imagined possible.

A Creed For Those Who Have Suffered
Submitted by Johanna

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey…
I asked for health, that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things…
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise…
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God…
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things…
I got nothing I asked for – but everthing I had hoped for;
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among men, most richly blessed!

Attributed to an unknown Confederate soldier

Truth through Prescriptive Lenses.
By Deborah

I visited a website recently that sold eyeglass frames online. It had a really neat feature that allowed you to upload a photo of yourself and virtually try out various frames and as I was playing around with the various options it struck me how what I was doing could be a metaphor for how people "try on" various religions and belief systems.

You see, if you don't have the Truth, you live your life in a blurred version of reality. It's in essense, the same as walking around with glasses of the wrong prescription. They simply won't do the job they're intended to do – which is to help you to see clearly. And if you're walking around with the wrong prescription, the lenses become just a fashion accessory.

As Heiki Klum says, with fashion one day you're in and the next day you're out. This is also the truth in regards to manmade religion. It comes and goes and circles back in on itself. There is nothing new under the sun, and people are still worshiping stone and tree and false gods. They still seek magic. They rely on their own version of wisdom rather than seeking, seeing and understanding Yahweh’s wisdom.

Romans 1:25 "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."

Some people try on religion or beliefs because they are the latest trend. Others are persuaded by those they trust that a belief system that appears ancient or from a far off country that is has some mystical powers. There are books, stores, websites and cults that peddle this consumer driven industry, but the Truth is not a trend to follow.

2 Timothy 4:4 "They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths."

2 Timothy 3:7 "always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth."

The Truth stands on its own. It is eternal and does not originate on earth, but from above. Whether you believe it wholly or only half believe it will not alter it. It will not morph to or accommodate mans desires. Man must change himself to walk in the Truth.

Ephesians 4:24 "you put on the new man, the one created according to God's [likeness] in righteousness and purity of the truth."

You’ve heard us say this many times. Our Ministry does not seek to convince or twist arms. We simply speak the Truth.

1 John 4:1-3
The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. But every spirit who does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist; you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now."

It is your free will choice to decide how you respond to what you hear. May Father Yahweh’s Will be done. Amen.

Inspired Writings

As foods are available just about everywhere one may look, including those things that one may not even know are edible (i.e.: natural herbs and vegetation that can grow in one's backyard…provided one has a backyard), it can be quite a difficult task to know and understand what foods can and should be eaten, as opposed to which foods are not foods and what foods are foods, but are not what one should eat. For example, in a survival book it was noted that the common cattail has a root that is high in fiber and other nutrients that are very healthy, and that Native Americans used to camp near places where these plants grew in abundance. At the same time, there are synthetic chemicals that have been developed to try to outdo or replace the natural foods that Father provides. Even the natural foods that have been provided by Father have been tampered with. Lastly, as moderation in all things is important, having French fries with a greasy hamburger might not make much sense based on the fat and grease content of the hamburger, itself. For a diet with fats, it may not take as much fat to have enough of it, as with sugars and starches. Yet, these are not the only foods one ingests on a daily basis.

There is also spiritual food that one ingests, and this food is so very abundant that it may not even be realized. Everywhere one may see with their eyes, hear with their ears, feel with their skin, or even taste and smell, there is some sort of reception of spiritual nourishment. Whatever one reads has an impact on the spirit, especially in how they respond; what they choose to do about/with what they have read. The same with what one hears, or feels, or any sense. A blank wall can have an impact on how a person feels, especially given what they choose in their attitude. And every detail makes a huge difference. If the very words that are written here were misspelled, it would make differences from here on through the rest of the article, if not even before; trailing into other things, even items that may not seem to have a direct relationship. At the same time, one word, a syllable, makes a difference, along with tone, stress, and a number of factors that cannot be counted. However, without careful observance of all the factors that can be seen in Father's light, one may be totally open to any poisonous substance that may be placed around them. This applies to any food.

For instance, without Father's truth, people would not know that lead was a bad substance to eat. Individuals had been drinking out of lead goblets and cups for years before it was learned that lead is poisonous. A ruler in China had died of mercury poisoning due to a false belief that eating a globule of mercury a day would extend his lifespan. It is not by man that any of these poisons came to light, because without Father's light, man has no light. In truth of this, spiritual foods also can have Father's light cast on them to learn about them. Unfortunately, evil also sheds darkness on things, which shares illusions about what it is one is surrounded with.

Matthew 7:16 — "You'll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles?"

So much can be said in relation to the great insight Christ shared in two sentences. How can one recognize a fruit without a light to see it, or Father's gifted senses of touch? Or smell? Some fruits don't smell very good to some people, or taste/feel/look, yet are very much edible. At the same time, if one's eyes are warped, their fingers numb, without a tongue or nose, and without Father's Spirit, how would they know to whether the food placed in their hand is nutritious? And this is only the beginning of food that may be illusive.

Proverbs 23:1 — "When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
consider carefully what is before you,"

Proverbs 23:3 — "don't desire his choice food,
for that food is deceptive."

It is said that looks can be deceiving. If one were to sit down and dine with Christ our King, and even before the LORD our God, one would know that the food before them is pure and good. There would be no doubt of it. However, when one looks at the food, the deception comes in one's own eyes, for Father does not tempt anyone. Rather, if one eats anything, do they eat it for themselves, or for their ruler? Do they gather energy into their stomach for self-satisfaction, or to use that energy to serve their Master? Energy comes from Father, and should be treated as such. Even if one eats, their strength may not return, because it is energy that only Father provides to digest the food. This brings to further meaning that one can deceive themselves. As well, that one can eat a hamburger and not correctly digest it, creating a poison in their body, as oppose to a healthful nutrient.

Verse one of the above cited chapter, the first clause, is very important, as well, because it has a tremendous impact on everyone. Not to mention the verse is very insightful and meaningful. As Father is always around us, even in the dreams we have, dining is not just a time of eating, but it is also a time where Father is directly feeding our bodies. Without Her energy, without Her consent, food would have no reason or nutrition. So if one even begins to cut or spoon out a portion of food from their plate, their heart must not be in parallel with their food, but with Father. If Christ were sitting at their table, would one be eating at their own pace, or by the pace that Christ sets? Would their manners also mirror Christ's? It must be understood that Father is always there, and one's manners reflect their attitudes towards those even who may not be seen, as everything influences the other.

At the same time, careful consideration is also the LORD's, because thought is energy. Careful consideration wouldn't be if it weren't for Father, Who invented it. Careful consideration must be performed under Father's guidance, or it will not yield good fruit. Now, this fruit can come down one's mind and into one's heart. So, as it were, dining may not only occur when one sits to eat, but at every single moment when one's thoughts, planted by another (whether it be by Father or another), grow fruit and one's heart consumes it. Words share seeds that are grown in one's heart, so each word has the potential for planting a whole vineyard. That, and the potential to destroy or completely mutate and dissolve. Thus, a thought may even be an offering. If an offering made to Father must be pure and unblemished:

Leviticus 1:3 — "If his gift is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to bring an unblemished male. He must bring it to the entrance to the tent of meeting so that he may be accepted by the LORD."

Then so should their offerings be for Father's extensions of Herself. This, to itself, does not mean to not make any offerings at all because one does not think they have anything pure to offer, but it can mean a closer relationship with Father; it takes Father's purity to be able to offer anything clean to be made holy.

The Way – Part 8
This week we continue looking at Wrong Attitudes to be Avoided. We will be sharing what has been given to us, but in groups of 3. Before our Ministry holds Bible Study each week, we pray to Father Yahweh for guidance and help in understanding Her Word. We pray the wisdom imparted will find its way to your heart where it may be written up on it. Amen.

http://www.biblegateway.com can be used as a reference tool with the Holman Christian Standard Bible as the recommended version.

Avoid rebelliousness to the Truth:
1 Samuel 15:23 (The correct version is found in the NIRV version of the Scriptures. It is toned down in the HCSB version and is considered taking away from the Word.)

Avoid stubbornness and self-will in spiritual things:
Jeremiah 13:10
Titus 1:7
2 Peter 2:10

Avoid uncontrolled anger:
Colossians 3:8
Psalms 37:8-9
Proverbs 14:17
Proverbs 29:22

Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6

Judging – Part 4

Acts 10:40-42 God raised up this man on the third day and permitted Him to be seen, not by all the people, but by us, witnesses appointed beforehand by God, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people, and to solemnly testify that He is the One appointed by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead.

The Christians faithful to Christ whom receive life in the heavenly Kingdom share in the judging.

1 Corinthians 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest cases?

Matthew 19:28 Jesus said to them, "I assure you: In the Messianic Age, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.

Revelation 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and people seated on them who were given authority to judge. [I] also [saw] the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of God's word, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and who had not accepted the mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with the Messiah for 1,000 years.

Judgment to righteousness of those Crossing over, and death of those found unworthy – classified as "the dead." Dead in Yahweh's memory by adverse Judgment.

2 Timothy 4:1 Before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom, I solemnly charge you:

Revelation 20:12-13 I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works (by what was written in the books. Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works.

Acts 24:15 (Some Converts do an about face to life in the Kingdom.) And I have a hope in God, which these men themselves also accept, that there is going to be a resurrection, both of the righteous and the unrighteous.

Some who Christ said will be present on Judgment Day.

Matthew 10:14-15 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town. I assure you: It will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Matthew 11:20-24 Then He proceeded to denounce the towns where most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent: "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes long ago! But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until today. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."

Judgment Day of the Kingdom to last 1000 year in length to learn "The Way."

Revelation 20:4-6 Then I saw thrones, and people seated on them who were given authority to judge. [I] also [saw] the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of God's word, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and who had not accepted the mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with the Messiah for 1,000 years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over these, but they will be priests of God and the Messiah, and they will reign with Him for 1,000 years.

Some of Mankind prove worthy of everlasting life. Others receive condemnatory Judgment of everlasting destruction.

John 5:28-29 Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come out—those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of judgment.

Revelation 20:14-15 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Hebrews 6:2 teaching about ritual washings, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

Signs From Above
“He rescues and delivers, He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:27

Argentina: Remarkable UFO filmed with multiple witnesses.
allnewsweb
Feb 12, 2009

Buenos Aires: Astonished commuters stopped their vehicles to view one of the clearest sightings of a low flying UFO ever near Buenos Aires in Argentina. The event occurred at 8:41 PM on January 24 2009 besides the heavily polluted Cascallares Dam. Stunned witnesses dived into their cars for cell phones and one even was able to pull a pair of binoculars out of his boot. They then watched the most unworldly of objects rise and descend almost to road level while enthusiastically declaring it a UFO.

'I saw UFOs twice in one night!'
hucknalldispatch.co.uk
Feb 13, 2009

A HUCKNALL man claims to have had TWO brushes with UFOs – on the same night! Dean Keeton (40), of Bodmin Avenue, was out with friends in Eastwood on Wednesday February 4 when he saw four unexplained flame-coloured lights in the sky at 8 pm. An hour later, he drove to a shop in Langley Mill and a huge object "descended out of nowhere". Mr Keeton had two mobile phones with him but, mysteriously, the camera option on both malfunctioned and he wasn't able to get a clear photograph. He told the Dispatch: "It was like something out of the movie, 'Close Encounters Of The Third Kind'. "It really scared me. I cannot explain what they were. When I saw the one at Langley Mill, the dash lights on the car started to flash."

Greek fighter jets scrambled to intercept UFO
news.ninemsn.com.au
Feb 11, 2009

Declassified government files have revealed fighter jets were scrambled to intercept a UFO that was following a Greek airline passenger jet. In November 2007 the pilot of Olympic Airways flight 266 first spotted the UFO shortly after taking off from Athens en route to London. The flying object was also seen by staff at Athens airport, the pilots of two other passenger planes and people at a nearby air force base, The Sun newspaper reports. The breathless Greek pilot radioed the airport control tower in Athens to ask if there was another jet close by. "I see on my right, at approximately the same altitude, an unknown target flying from south to east," the unnamed pilot told the control tower. "Altitude and heading are not stable — it is increasing speed — headings are erratic." The Greek air force sent two fighters to investigate the UFO, which was described as looking like a star that moved erratically and constantly changed shape. However, it vanished into the upper atmosphere before the fighter jet pilots could get close enough to view it. "I can confirm the incident," an Olympic Airlines spokeswoman said.

Two satellites collide in orbit
spaceflightnow
Feb 11, 2009

In an unprecedented space collision, a commercial Iridium communications satellite and a defunct Russian satellite ran into each other Tuesday above northern Siberia, creating a cloud of wreckage, officials said today. The international space station does not appear to be threatened by the debris, they said, but it's not yet clear whether it poses a risk to any other military or civilian satellites. "They collided at an altitude of 790 kilometers (491 miles) over northern Siberia Tuesday about noon Washington time," said Nicholas Johnson, NASA's chief scientist for orbital debris at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "The U.S. space surveillance network detected a large number of debris from both objects."

Video Shows UFO Flying Over British Coastline
Fox News
Feb 12, 2009

Dramatic film of a UFO buzzing over the British coastline sent experts into orbit Wednesday. Vacationers spilled out of motor homes and drivers stopped in their tracks as a mysterious cylinder hovered over a campsite in Somerset, southwestern England. The gleaming grey object can be clearly seen against the cloudless blue sky. It has no visible sign of power — yet does not appear to be falling to earth. Local police reported no unusual activity but witnesses were left convinced they had seen an extraterrestrial spectacle. The unearthly incident happened around 1 p.m. on a sunny day last July, when tourists at a holiday park at Brean, near Burnham-on-Sea, spotted the object. UFO expert Malcolm Robinson said the object was "totally consistent" with other sightings.

Signs Down Below
"But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of religion but denying its power."  2 Timothy 3:1-5

Vitamin B-6 declared a "drug" by FDA; to be banned from vitamin supplements
Secrets of Natural Healing
by S. Spencer Jones
February 12, 2009

God help us, because the FDA has now opened the gateway for all vitamins to be declared “drugs” and removed from sale by the nutritional supplement industry. What they have done is declared that pyridoxamine (one of the three primary forms of vitamin B-6 found in nature, and the most widely used form in multi-vitamin supplements) is in reality a “new drug,” thus clearing the way for it to be banned from sale as a nutritional supplement.

Economic And Financial Systems Deliberately Destabilized
The International Forecaster
by Bob Chapman
February 11, 2009

Gold now the best currency, Madoff playing ball finally, devaluation continues, destabilization of the system continues, no-one is trying to save the economy, fear keeps many from seeing and saying the truth,many unemployed already out of benefits, names of those who will benefit from stimulus remain undisclosed, trillions out the back door, Several months ago we said the relationship between the dollar and gold was over. The days of a lower dollar and a higher gold price are no longer connected in the same way. Gold is now trading on its own as the best of all currencies. The world is headed for zero interest rates and massive increases in money and credit. The rally in the dollar versus other currencies over the past eight months ended a month ago as we forecast. December was the watershed month for gold as it began its present rally, which will soon take it to new highs. There isn’t a word to describe the tremendous amount of financial creation the US government will need. For that matter many other governments as well. That is why we are seeing competitive devaluations. Nation’s are carrying 64.5% of their foreign reserves in US dollars. It is no wonder they are manipulating their currencies.

Asia: The coming fury
Asia Times
by Walden Bello
February 11, 2009

As goods pile up in wharves from Bangkok to Shanghai, and workers are laid off in record numbers, people in East Asia are beginning to realize they aren't only experiencing an economic downturn but living through the end of an era. For over 40 years, the cutting edge of the region's economy has been export-oriented industrialization (EOI). Taiwan and South Korea first adopted this strategy of growth in the mid-1960s, with Korean dictator Park Chung-Hee coaxing his country's entrepreneurs to export. He did this by, among other measures, cutting off electricity to their factories if they refused to comply. The success of Korea and Taiwan convinced the World Bank that EOI was the wave of the future. In the mid-1970s, then-Bank president Robert McNamara enshrined it as doctrine, preaching that "special efforts must be made in many countries to turn their manufacturing enterprises away from the relatively small markets associated with import substitution toward the much larger opportunities flowing from export promotion."

Mass release for Californian prisoners
Herald Sun
From correspondents in San Francisco
February 10, 2009

CALIFORNIA has been tentatively ordered to release thousands of inmates in the next three years to stop dangerous overcrowding. A panel of federal judges said they planned to order the system, swollen to about double its capacity last year, to cut down to 120 percent to 145 percent of capacity within two to three years. They did not give a target headcount, but thousands would be released. Lawyers for the inmates had argued that conditions were constitutionally inadequate. "There is no relief other than a prisoner release order that can remedy the constitutionally inadequate medical and mental health care," the panel ruled.

Global Economy Top Threat to U.S., Spy Chief Says
The New York Times
by Mark Mazzetti
February 12, 2009

WASHINGTON — The new director of national intelligence told Congress on Thursday that global economic turmoil and the instability it could ignite had outpaced terrorism as the most urgent threat facing the United States. The assessment underscored concern inside America’s intelligence agencies not only about the fallout from the economic crisis around the globe, but also about long-term harm to America’s reputation. The crisis that began in American markets has already “increased questioning of U.S. stewardship of the global economy,” the intelligence chief, Dennis C. Blair, said in prepared testimony. Mr. Blair’s comments were particularly striking because they were delivered as part of a threat assessment to Congress that has customarily focused on issues like terrorism and nuclear proliferation. Mr. Blair singled out the economic downturn as “the primary near-term security concern” for the country, and he warned that if it continued to spread and deepen, it would contribute to unrest and imperil some governments.

Signs in Humanity

Alfie Patten becomes a father at 13 after one night of unprotected sex
From Times Online
February 13, 2009

These children could be brother and sister but they are father and daughter. Alfie Patten, 13, and his girlfriend Chantelle Steadman, 15, decided to keep Maisie who was conceived after one night of unprotected sex. Alfie, who is just 4ft tall, hasn't yet hit puberty and was 12 when the baby was conceived, said: "When my mum found out, I thought I was going to get in trouble. We wanted to have the baby but were worried about how people would react. "I didn't know what it would be like to be a dad. I will be good though, and care for it," he told The Sun newspaper. His daughter Maise Roxanne was born four days ago and weighed 7lb 3oz. The couple are from Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Rapelay virtual rape game banned by Amazon
A PC game that allows players to gang rape virtual women – and then force them to have an abortion – has been banned from Amazon.
By Matthew Moore
13 Feb 2009

In Rapelay, gamers direct a character to sexually assault a mother and her two young daughters at an underground station, before raping any of a selection female characters. The game was intended for release just in Japan, but was on offer to British buyers through Amazon Marketplace, the section of the online store's website open to third-party sellers. But Amazon has now withdrawn the game after complaints from users, deeming it to be inappropriate. "We determined that we did not want to be selling this particular item," a spokeswoman said.

Grab Your Torch ‘n Pitchforks!
At-risk homeowners storm mansions of mortgage CEOs
Associated Press / NBC New York
By JENNIFER MILLMAN
Feb 11, 2009

Hundreds of people trying to save their homes from foreclosure flocked to Connecticut's wealthy Gold Coast this weekend to give financial kingpins a piece of their mind. Stamford sits in the midst of one of the nation's wealthiest areas, and among the regions particularly hard-hit by the housing market collapse. Nearby Greenwich and other suburbs are home to many of Wall Street's wealthiest executives and financial managers. Homeowners are fed up – and many are frustrated that those who lead the companies that gave them their subprime mortgages live in luxury while they struggle so hard to meet their loan payments and not fall behind.

Even elderly are facing eviction
Complaints on rise of nursing homes forcing out residents
By VANESSA HO
P-I REPORTER
February 6, 2009

For two years, Irene Henderer lived at the West Woods boarding home in Olympia, where she was known for her lively stories and sharp wit. But in November 2007, the home gave Henderer an eviction notice, along with 20 other Medicaid residents. Henderer, 89, grew depressed and refused to leave her room for meals. As her move approached, she quietly asked her guardian: "Why can't I just die here?" Three days after moving out, Henderer's congestive heart failure worsened. A month later, she died. "That was her home," said Pam Privette, Henderer's legal guardian. "If she could have stayed there, we would not have gone through any of this — the depression, the giving up on life. This pre-empted a natural death, in my opinion."

Gunmen shot 12 in Mexico, including children
Feb 15, 2009
Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Suspected drug hitmen killed 12 people, including six children, in the southern state of Tabasco, which until now had escaped the spiraling violence of Mexico's drug war. A group of armed men fired large-caliber guns at three homes in the town of Macuspana, some 20 miles from the capital of Villahermosa, killing six children and six adults late on Saturday. A source at Tabasco's Justice Department told Reuters on Sunday that a police officer was among those shot but it was not immediately clear if the rest of the dead were his relatives.

Arks of Safe Haven
www.arksofsafehaven.org
"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and to not ignore your own flesh [and blood]?" Isaiah 58:7

The mission of Arks of Safe Haven is to connect via an extensive network and online message board forum, those individuals and families who have been affected by recent economic downfalls and are in need with those individuals who are ready, willing and capable of providing assistance to those in need with employment, shelter, work, food, clothing and other necessities.

Coupled with our primary mission of delivering the Kingdom Message of Salvation, the assistance of Arks of Safe Haven is available to all who are in need. Our purposeful intention is to follow in the footsteps of Christ as our example, by providing hope to the hopeless and answering the prayers of those who have been forced to live outside of society.

How You Can Help?

In order to provide for those whose outcry of prayers have reached our heavenly Father's ears, Arks of Safe Haven is seeking out those who are able to provide shelter, whether it be an extra bedroom, empty rental property or a work for room and board agreement. Additionally, we also act as a liaison in connecting those with tangible items to donate to those in need like Food, Water, Clothing, & Other Personal Items. We pray that your heart is motivated to make a contribution, no matter how small.

CURRENT CASES THIS WEEK:

Case #34: candysweet – Missouri – My name is Candy and I am needing help with getting our gas turned on-we just moved from Arkansas and we were on our first load of things from our house and our landlord took all of our belongings and needless to say he is in prison now but we lost all of our furniture,clothes,ect-we had to use all of our money because after we got to Springfield our fuel pump went out on our van so that was $200 we have 2 boys 9 and 10 and we are all sleeping in 1 room of the house because it is so cold -we are needing more blankets-we have no pots and pans to cook with and we need to get our water turned on -we found a really nice man on craigslist and we are going to buy this house from him on payments and we only had $1 so he took that as a down payment but as you see from the ad we have nothing and we are in need of help.

Case #35: clayton220 – Springfield, MO. – I had an old bill pop up in middle of jan was going to get shut of still owe $168.00 to southwest electric need help have tried everything.

Many turning to Web to ask for help
By Emily Bazar, USA TODAY
People who have lost their homes, jobs or economic stability are turning to the Internet to broadcast their troubles and plead for help.
"Please give me a chance. I'm looking for a job but to no avail," single mother Rachael Kirk, 32, of Las Vegas wrote on Craigslist last month in an attempt to find housing for herself and her two children.

"I was recently laid off from my job, and I am job hunting, but I am finding I have very few 'interview-worthy' outfits," said a Craigslist posting by Mary Ann Hurst, 24, of Hillsborough, N.C. She's seeking professional attire.

"We HATE asking for help but we don't have anywhere to go if we lose our house. … If everyone gave $1 or $2 we could get caught up!!" wrote a seller on eBay offering pictures of jellyfish drawn by her 4-year-old son for a minimum bid of $1 each.

Craigslist doesn't have hard data on appeals for help, but the trend is clear, spokeswoman Susan MacTavish Best said. "In the last six months, we've seen a significant increase in postings on Craigslist where users are asking fellow members of the community for help in making it through these dismal economic times," she said in an e-mail. EBay spokeswoman Evonne Gomez said the online auction company doesn't track such requests because users post millions of new listings every day.

Scams are rare, MacTavish Best said, but she cautioned people who want to help others to follow one primary rule: "Deal locally with Craigslist users you can meet in person," she said. "Virtually all scam attempts come from distant 'sellers' who try to entice people to wire money."

Ross Mayfield, president of Socialtext, a company that sells social-networking software to connect employees within businesses, said more people are using the Internet to share their stories because "cultural norms" have changed. Online communities that allow people to post for free also have increased.

"Today, it's common behavior for people to express themselves on the Web, engage in communities and seek support, even from strangers," Mayfield said.

Hurst, who was laid off from her job as a receptionist in November, said she posted on Craigslist because it offered "a great opportunity for me to get stuff other people are trying to get rid of." Two women have responded and supplied suits and other clothing for her job hunt.

Kirk, who said she lost her home through foreclosure about six months ago and lost her job in phone sales in November, was in a homeless shelter with one of her children, a 3-year-old boy. Her 4-month-old girl was being cared for by a grandmother.

"I didn't have anywhere else to go," Kirk said. "The fact that Craigslist is free helped, too."

Another single mother opened her home to Kirk. In return, Kirk watches the woman's children while she works.

Candy Hill, a senior vice president of Catholic Charities USA, said she's not surprised people in need are searching the Web. Her group's agencies around the country are seeing a "dramatic" increase in requests for food, housing and financial assistance. "Why wouldn't somebody turn to the Internet?" she said. "They're desperate and they don't know where else to find help."

Signs in Natural Disasters
“You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” Matthew 24:6-7

Antarctic Meltdown Would Flood Miami, D.C., New Orleans
Fox News
Feb 6, 2009

Washington, D.C., Miami, New Orleans and other coastal U.S. cities could find themselves under several more feet of water than previously predicted if warming temperatures destroy the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a new study based on a model predicts. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) towers about 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) above sea level over a large section of Antarctica. It holds about 500,000 cubic miles (2.2 million cubic kilometers) of ice, about the same amount of ice contained in the Greenland Ice Sheet. This vast swath of ice is the anchor for numerous glaciers that drain into the polar sea and is bounded by the Ross and Ronne Ice Shelves. Whether or when this ice sheet might melt is still very uncertain, but even a partial melt would have a bigger impact on some coastal areas than others. The new research found that sea level rise would not be uniform around the globe, owing to odd gravitational effects and predicted shifts in the planet's rotation.

Windstorms batter France, Britain on flood alert
Herald Sun
Feb 11, 2009

SEVERE windstorms have left hundreds of thousands of homes without power across parts of France and forced authorities to shut down Paris' two main airports while Britain has gone on flood alert. Hurricane-force gusts of up to 140km/h battered France's west coast as the second major storm in two weeks barrelled in from the Atlantic. Bracing for severe winds, authorities shut down Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports overnight for the first time in 34 years, cancelling more than 200 flights. The airport reopened at 10am but Air France reported major delays for all incoming and outgoing flights. The storm left some 900,000 homes without electricity late on Monday and by midday Tuesday 400,000 households were still without power in central, eastern and northern France, the grid operator ERDF said.

Winds knock out power to thousands on East Coast
USA Today
Feb 13, 2009

Wild winds with gusts topping 65 mph blew from the Great Lakes to the East Coast on Thursday, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of customers, disrupting travel and killing at least five people. The high winds, attributed to a strong low pressure system, started Wednesday night and moved east overnight, kicking up gravel and sand from construction sites and hurling garbage cans onto busy New York City streets on Thursday. WEATHER GUYS: Winds whip through the Northeast "I got more sand in my eyes than a beach, and I almost got blown over backwards," said electrician Michael Lazzaro, who ducked into a bar on his way home from work in New York.

1,000 evacuated in Argentina mudslide
USA Today
Feb 9, 2009

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Officials say at least 12 people are missing and more than 1,000 residents have been evacuated after a massive mudslide swept away a railroad bridge and homes in a small town on Argentina's northern border with Bolivia. Policeman Dardo Ibarra told Buenos Aires-based Todo Noticias television station that heavy rains flooded the main river running through the town of Tartagal in the province of Salta, triggering landslides along the banks. Rooms in many homes were submerged in up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) of mud. Ibarra said rescue efforts were underway to find the 12 missing people.

Violent Tornado Kills at Least 8 in Oklahoma, More Than a Dozen Injured
Fox News
Feb 11, 2009

At least eight people are confirmed dead and more than a dozen injured in Oklahoma after a violent tornado ripped through a town in the southern part of the state. Rescuers dug through the rubble left in the twister's wake Wednesday to search for survivors. As many as 15 people may be dead, but that number couldn't be confirmed, Carter County Sheriff Ken Grace told the Oklahoman newspaper Tuesday night. Another 14 people sustained serious injuries, said Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Michelann Ooten.

Natural Disaster Update
Source: http://home.att.net/~thehessians/disasterwatch.html

QUAKES –

2/8/09 –
5.0 NEAR COAST OF NORTHERN PERU
5.5 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
5.1 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.1 EASTER ISLAND REGION

2/9/09 –
5.1 HALMAHERA, INDONESIA
5.3 MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA
6.0 NEAR COAST OF NORTHERN PERU
5.2 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION

2/10/09 –
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS

2/11/09 –

5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.9 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.4 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.3 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.5 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.8 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.3 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.7 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
7.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.1 KURIL ISLANDS
5.2 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G
5.4 TARAPACA, CHILE
5.0 NORTHERN COLOMBIA
5.4 FIJI
5.5 FIJI REGION
5.1 MOLUCCA SEA

2/12/09 –
5.0 FLORES REGION, INDONESIA
5.5 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.3 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
6.4 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
6.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.7 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.4 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
6.1 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.5 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.4 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.5 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
6.0 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.5 GUAM REGION
5.2 KURIL ISLANDS

2/13/09 –
5.5 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.4 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.5 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.3 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.4 KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 CENTRAL PERU
5.0 OFFSHORE ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE

2/14/09 –
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 BANDA SEA
5.3 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
5.5 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS

2/15/09 –
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 VANUATU REGION
6.1 NEAR COAST OF NORTHERN PERU
5.9 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
plus a swarm of 60+ moderate quakes in the Puerto Rico Region.

INDONESIA has lifted a tsunami warning after a powerful earthquake struck near the Talaud Islands north of Sulawesi Island. The 7.2 magnitude quake struck at 1.34 am (local time) and was followed by 64 aftershocks, the strongest of which reached 6.2 on the Richter scale. Fearing a tsunami, the islands population fled their homes in panic, seeking refuge in the coconut trees or on high ground. Nearly 500 buildings were damaged, including several schools, hospitals and churches. Of the 42 people receiving medical care, 10 suffered serious injuries. Thousands of others were seeking refugee in shelters. The Talaud island chain, in waters just south of the Philippines, felt the quake most intensely.

INDONESIA – A traumatized middle-aged woman is believed to have died on Friday from a heart attack triggered by the aftershocks of the 7.4-magnitude earthquake that struck North Sulawesi Province on Thursday. The number of people who suffered injuries had climbed to 64 by Friday, up from 42 the day before. The earthquake had damaged more than 1,000 houses by Friday. The Meteorology and Geophysics Agency recorded more than 100 aftershocks on Friday, the largest with a magnitude of 6.1. “Relief aid from the North Sulawesi governor was ready to be sent to Talaud on Thursday. But high waves of up to five meters halted the ship…Torrential downpours also have become a problem in distributing the relief aid…We are having difficulties communicating with the other five districts as the phone connections have been cut off since Thursday.” The Talaud district government estimated that the area suffered Rp 100 billion ($8.5 million) worth of losses. In early January, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake jolted Manokwari and Sorong in West Papua Province, killing five people and injuring dozens more.

MYSTERY BOOMS –


FLORIDA – MARCO ISLAND
– 2/4/09 & 2/5/09 – Is it a bomb? Is it a plane? Or is it a sonic boom? Loud bangs have Islanders looking to the sky with wonder. Occasional loud booms had Marco Islanders and others in Southern Collier County wondering what the noise was Wednesday and Thursday. Police officers heard the noise too, but they weren't sure what they were. "Some residents even thought it was an earthquake. We checked into it and there were no earthquakes in our area." While the military may not confirm or deny any jets in the area, residents were reporting Air Force sightings off the Gulf coast the last two days.

VOLCANOES –

ALASKA – Despite clear signs of unrest, the Alaskan Redoubt volcano still hasn’t erupted yet, but the color code remains Orange and the seismicity levels remain elevated.

INDONESIA – Mt. Kelud spews poisonous gas, lava – Foreign and local sightseers continued pouring into Kediri's popular tourist destination of Mt. Kelud on Saturday, despite the regency's warning to steer clear of the volcano, now spewing poisonous gases and lava. Local authorities have prohibited locals and visitors from approaching the restive mountain since it started emitting gases and lava late Friday. The poisonous gases could be dangerous if strong winds carried them into human settlements.

ALASKA – Tuesday – "The unrest at Redoubt Volcano is continuing. Volcanic tremor continues to dominate the seismic activity with occasional small earthquakes interspersed."

JAPAN – 7 more volcanoes to be put under 24-hour surveillance. The Coordinating Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruptions will put seven volcanoes in Japan under round-the-clock surveillance as they are likely to affect public life by erupting or becoming active in the coming 100 years. The seven volcanoes include Mt Shirane between Gunma and Tochigi prefectures and Mt Norikura between Nagano and Gifu prefectures. The committee monitors the volcanic activity of 108 volcanoes across Japan and has already put 34 of them, such as Mt Asama, straddling Gunma and Nagano prefectures, that experienced a minor eruption earlier this month, under 24-hour surveillance through seismographs and a global positioning system.

COLUMBIA – Galeras volcano in southwestern Colombia has erupted, blanketing the nearby provincial capital of Pasto in ash and prompting the evacuation of 7000 people living in its shadow. There were no reports of damage or injuries. Mount Galeras began erupting about an hour after dark, spewing "an abundant ashfall on urban Pasto and on some rural areas." The volcano last erupted in January 2008, but it was hard to compare the two eruptions because this time it was raining and the volcano was shrouded in clouds. No one was hurt in 2008 and most nearby residents refused to evacuate, fearing their homes would be looted. In 1993, an eruption of Galeras killed nine people, including five scientists who had descended into the crater to sample gases.

TROPICAL STORMS  –

Tropical Cyclone Freddy formed over the weekend of February 7-8 in the open waters of the Indian Ocean northwest of northwestern Australia and will stay at sea. Freddy won't bring any relief to the areas of Australia that are being ravaged by severe fires and a heatwave. In Australia's Queensland region, residents there hope not to see another tropical cyclone as they are still reeling from flooding. Monday, Freddy was packing sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph) with higher gusts, and moving southwestward near 13 knots (15 mph). Freddy is expected to continue in that general direction, where it will encounter cooler waters and a persistent easterly vertical wind shear (winds that can tear a storm apart). That means Freddy's life is expected to be cut short this week. This has been one very busy cyclone/hurricane season for Australia.

INDONESIA – Landslides killed at least two people and thousands of Indonesian homes were flooded by heavy rains caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy. Dozens of flights to Semarang were canceled after the airport's main runway was submerged, schools were closed and at least 4,500 people were evacuated from their homes. Railways and roads in central Java were submerged by up to 3 feet of water. In Jakarta, riverbanks overflowed Monday morning, forcing more than 900 people into emergency tent shelters.

AUSTRALIA – A tropical low developing on the Kimberley coast in far north Western Australia is expected to gain momentum as it moves offshore today. The low is centred over the Bonaparte Gulf and is expected to track west over the next 24 hours. The Bureau of Meteorology says there's a high chance of the low developing into a tropical cyclone either late Friday or on Saturday.

TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS –

INDONESIA – A large tidal wave damaged 37 houses in Marunda and Kalibaru, North Jakarta, on Monday forcing residents to flee their houses. After January's tidal wave that damaged 77 houses in the same area, the water forced families to take refuge at nearby Marunda Apartments. Some 700 families are currently living there. "We are used to tidal waves from way back. However, this time it was quite big and damaged our houses. Usually, we only experience flooding from the tides." There used to be a swamp near the beach to accommodate the raising sea level. Marunda Apartments are where the swamp was located. "The 1.5-meter-tall embankment is now only 50 centimeters due to the wave crushing it."

High waves and a whirlwind also battered houses on isolated islets off Sumenep in Madura early Saturday. The six islets off Sumenep have almost disappeared after high waves and punishing downpours hammered the villages. "Search and rescue workers from Sumenep regency are still trying to get out there to bring aid relief to the residents of these tiny islands." Thousands of residents of Kalitidu district sat tight in temporary shelters ever since flooding inundated their villages a week ago. The Meteorology and Geophysics Agency warned against typhoon Freddy which is predicted to threaten East Java waters from the Indian Ocean in a few days. "The typhoon will likely move into provincial waters in several days setting off waves up to four meters high." Rogue wave – An Indonesian naval vessel nearly sank after being slammed by a freak wave near Surabaya, East Java, on Sunday morning. "A sudden surge of water overcame KRI Kupang. The ship's captain quickly directed the ship to shore and dropped anchor, calling for help from a nearby ship." The vessel will be towed to Surabaya.

AUSTRALIA – The country's saturated north was inundated overnight Friday, with 350 millimetres of rain (14 inches) causing flash floods in the town of Innisfail and swelling engorged rivers. A tropical low off the northeastern coast is fuelling the rains, which were being compounded by ABNORMALLY HIGH "king tides" in the region.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Disaster officials warned of king tides in coastal areas this past weekend and right through this week that could cause destruction to property and lives in PNG coastal areas. PNG's National Weather Office says high tides measuring up to 3 metres will hit entire coastal areas and warned people not to go out at sea this month. The latest warning comes amidst efforts by PNG disaster officials in assisting three thousand people to rebuild and recover from the December's King tides.

Sources of future tsunamis can be predicted after analyzing seismic regions and detecting so-called “seismic gaps” – places, where earthquakes didn’t happen for a long time. A team of Russian scientists found several “seismic gaps” near the Kuril islands, the West Aleutian arch and near American shores close to the Cascade Mountains. Calculations show great energy accumulation at these sites, but there were no earthquakes to release this energy. One of these “gaps” has already worked – the earthquake which happened in the centre of the Kuril chain in November 2005, caused a giant wave. The wave traveled to the west coast of the United States and brought great damage. Scientists developed computer models which allow very accurate predictions of tsunami’s behaviour. However, the model cannot say when the “gap” will release its catastrophic energy.

Prehistoric mega tsunami deposited giant boulders in Tonga – In new research, scientists have determined that seven huge irregular boulders in an island in Tonga were deposited by a prehistoric mega tsunami thousands of years ago. The hugely puzzling coral limestone boulders sit 100200 meters from the shoreline on the island of Tongatapu in the southwest Pacific. These boulders, which have dimensions as large as 9 meters and weigh up to 1600 tons, originated at the shoreline about 120,000 years ago and have since been displaced by a prehistoric tsunami. A team analyzed undersea volcanic calderas in the Tofua arc west of Tongatapu and local slump features just offshore from the boulders and concluded that a caldera collapse was the likely cause of a tsunami large enough to move the boulders. A systematic census and analysis of erratic boulders and other tsunamigenic features along shorelines elsewhere in the world may provide a means for extending the historic record and thus more accurately assessing tsunami hazard.

HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –

FRANCE – Paris airports have shut overnight, for the FIRST TIME IN OVER 34 YEARS, following a storm alert and warnings of winds of up to 100km/h (62mph). Air France said it had cancelled 210 flights, with the Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Bourget airports not due to reopen until 1000 (0900GMT) on Tuesday. The storm was expected to hit France's Atlantic coast hardest, and ferries were also affected. Services between Brittany and nearby islands have been suspended. The French navy has put three rescue vessels on stand-by to help any shipping in difficulty. Sand bags have been deployed on sea-fronts exposed to possible flooding. Forecasters predicted however that the storm would not be as bad as the one that lashed France and Spain on 24 January, leaving 11 dead and causing widespread damage. In England, heavy rain sweeping across the country has left many councils on "full alert" in preparation for floods. The UK saw the heaviest snowfall for 18 years last week and forecasters warn more snow is on the way over parts of Wales and the Midlands. Forecasters are also predicting another freezing night in the Scottish Highlands, after temperatures on Sunday night dropped to -18C (-0.4F), which the Met Office said was the lowest temperature since January 2003.

MOROCCO – Flooding and heavy snowfalls left several regions of Morocco devastated and affected hundreds of families. Freak weather conditions continue to cause devastation in Morocco as authorities struggle to address the humanitarian crisis. A number of people have lost their lives, mainly in the countryside and in mountainous regions and areas near rivers and dams. In all, 14 people have died since January 31st after their houses collapsed under snow and torrential rain. Hundreds of families have been left homeless. A total of 56,000 hectares are under water in the fertile agricultural region of the Gharb. Flooding in Oued Beht submerged around 7,000 hectares of land and 12 villages inhabited by 5,000 people. It also affected 1,900 homes in Sidi Slimane, with 300 adobe houses partly or fully collapsing. The government said the country may not be over the worst of the bad weather and the authorities have warned of the threat of further floods, especially along Oued Sebou. "The exceptional rainfall that has occurred over the last 48 hours (February 4th) has led to significant run-off and has caused some dams to exceed their maximum capacities." Local authorities said they were doing all they could to help the victims. The devastation was much worse in rural areas, where homes are unable to withstand the effects of heavy flooding and snowfalls. The authorities should have taken precautions by evacuating people living in high-risk villages.

AUSTRALIA – A terrified man clung to a tree in raging floodwaters for an hour Friday when wild weather described as a "mini Cyclone Larry" hit communities south of Cairns. Flash floods, torrential rain and wind gusts of up to 80km/h caused chaos from Babinda to Cardwell by cutting roads, knocking down powerlines and flooding some homes during a dramatic four hours. The tropical low pressure system crossed the coast about noon at Babinda. Residents said it was the WORST RAIN THEY HAD SEEN IN ABOUT 30 YEARS. "Chains of lightning just about blinded me every time they struck." "This was worse than Sunday's cyclone (Ellie) for us … the water's gone under the house and the street was a river." The Bruce Highway was cut in at least 10 places south of Babinda, causing traffic chaos as vehicles, including school buses were turned back Towns on the Gulf of Carpentaria expect to be cut off by road for at least another six weeks. More heavy rain could extend the isolation at Normanton and Karumba. More rain is expected across the Far North this weekend and flood warnings are in place for the Tully and Murray Rivers. "It was like a cyclone, we must have had 12-14 inches in an hour-and-a-half." The storm was the talk of the small community, with many locals comparing it to the fury of Cyclone Larry three years ago. Roads were cut, shops were flooded and small creeks became raging torrents as nature unleashed its fury.

ARGENTINA – A massive mudslide set off by heavy downpours has swept away a railway bridge and swamped houses in the Argentine town of Tartagal. At least two people were reported missing after the river running through the town broke its banks, flooding roads and triggering landslides. Torrential downpours caused the River Tartagal to overflow, with floodwaters sweeping away vehicles and inundating roads. Some buildings were submerged in up to 1.5m (5ft) of mud. Some 10,000 people have been affected by the mudslide and flooding. The heavy rain is likely to continue through today.

The heavy rains come as parts of Argentina are suffering the WORST DROUGHT TO HIT ARGENTINA IN 70 YEARS which is scorching the fields during the growing season.

U.S. – OKLAHOMA – A line of severe storms and tornadoes ripped through central Oklahoma Tuesday night, killing four people and injuring up to 50 others. Winds of more than 60 mph caused dust storms in western Texas that reduced visibility so much some roads were closed.

FRANCE, BRITAIN – Severe windstorms have left hundreds of thousands of homes without power across parts of France and forced authorities to shut down Paris' two main airports while Britain has gone on flood alert. Hurricane-force gusts of up to 140km/h battered France's west coast as the second major storm in two weeks barrelled in from the Atlantic. The storm left some 900,000 homes without electricity late on Monday and by midday Tuesday 400,000 households were still without power in central, eastern and northern France. French weather services were forecasting severe winds of up to 120km/h in eastern France, but the storm was expected to peter out as it moved towards Germany and Belgium. France was still reeling from a major storm that left 11 people dead on France's southwest Atlantic coast on January 24.

In Britain, heavy rains and melting snow disrupted road and rail links and fuelled fears of flooding across parts of England and Wales. There were 276 flood warnings in place. London's Thames Barrier was also closed to protect the British capital from a rising tide.

SWITZERLAND was swept by high winds on Monday night and Tuesday morning, with gales reaching up to 150 kph in the Jura mountains on the border with France.

AUSTRALIA – Even as Ingham begins to emerge from the mud, locals are expecting just one more dry day – with more heavy rain forecast for tomorrow and Friday.

PENNSYLVANIA – Hurricane Strength Wind Gust Recorded In Pittsburgh. A fast-moving line of severe thunderstorms moved through southwestern Pennsylvania early Wednesday evening with wind gusts in excess of 60 mph, leaving thousands without power.

OKLAHOMA – February tornadoes are UNUSUAL, even in tornado-prone Oklahoma, but they are not unprecedented. 8 people died and residents on Wednesday confronted the wreckage of homes and businesses destroyed by the unusual cluster of February twisters.

THAILAND – 'WEIRD WEATHER IN SATTAHIP MIGHT PRESAGE SOME ONCOMING CALAMITY.' Sattahip has experienced some VERY UNUSUAL weather, recently. Thick fog has blanketed the area in the direction of Pattaya, while in the opposite direction the weather has been dry and warm. Thai folklore has an interpretation of this phenomenon; local believers ominously predicted that the unusual weather in Sattahip area implied that it might presage some nasty event in this area. Locals living in Sattahip were surprised to wake up yesterday morning, February 11, to find widespread, thick fog totally covering the area along the Sukhumvit Road. It was dark enough to necessitate cars' headlights having to be turned on while driving. The locals were excited because they had never seen dark fog as thick as this before. Many vehicles on the road found it difficult to drive. Bizarrely, in the opposite direction from Sattahip, heading towards Rayong, the conditions were dry and warm and the sky was bright. People could both see and feel the difference in the weather.

AUSTRALIA – Floodwaters have steadied in the isolated Gulf of Carpentaria, as authorities estimate flood damage across Queensland will exceed $210 million.
More than 500 residents of the Bellinger Valley in northern NSW remain isolated by flood waters after heavy rain today.

SOLOMON ISLANDS – The death toll from the recent flooding in the Solomon Islands has reached 13 but could rise further as some villagers remain missing.

BRAZIL – More than 3000 people have been evacuated in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state as of Saturday following days of torrential rains, flooding and mudslides that prompted officials to declare a disaster area. One of the municipalities most severely affected was Itaborai, some 30 kilometres northeast of the city of Rio where 1,000 residents were evacuated from their homes and more than 280 buildings were damaged or destroyed. Meteorologists were forecasting renewed heavy rains for Sunday. Concern focused on the state's largest river, Paraiba do Sul, which had risen more than five metres since the rains began Thursday and inundated several adjacent communities. In neighboring Sao Paulo state the town of Tambau was on high alert over the risk of collapse of a dam that supplies water to the city. Waters that topped the dam's floodgates have already washed out a nearby bridge.

HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD –

FREAK ice storm hits Canada – An UNUSUAL bout of warm winter weather turned snow into freezing rain on Monday in western Canada, coating much of Manitoba and Saskatchewan provinces in ice, snapping power lines and stopping travel.

BRITAIN – Clash of weather systems and La Niña led to ONCE-IN-20-YEAR event, say forecasters. The freakish snowy conditions are the result of two clashing weather systems. Biting winds from the east, originally from Arctic regions, have collided with a damp patch of air moving north from France. The result? Massive snowfall. The warmer south-east of England, and especially London, often escapes the worst of winter weather, but this time the region took a direct hit because the two weather systems clashed immediately above. The unusual easterly winds have brought Britain a winter so cold it is classed as a one-in-20-year event. "This amount of snowfall is UNUSUAL, and getting more UNUSUAL." The 30cm of snow, as recorded in Epsom, was "remarkable" for low-lying areas.

A year's worth of snow fell in just two hours in some areas on the 5th. Roads, railways and airports ground to a shuddering halt as they struggled to cope with the second heavy snowfall of the week. In Devon the Army had to be called out to rescue hundreds of motorists stranded overnight in sub-zero temperatures on the A38 and A380 south of Exeter.

BRITAIN – Edinburgh is in the midst of ONE OF THE COLDEST FEBRUARYS ON RECORD, and the icy conditions are set to stay with them for up to a month. Weather experts say that with temperatures as low as -7C, and daily averages fluctuating between 2C and -3C, the city is in line to record its first sub-zero average February in more than a decade. As the UK is gripped by one of the coldest months in recent memory, on the other side of the world Australia is recording temperatures of up to 46C, something which has not been seen there in almost a century. In addition, the more tropical parts of the continent are suffering major floods as a result of relentless downpours. This kind of extreme weather, with colder winters and hotter summers seen around the world, is, the Met Office says, in line with some climate change predictions.

EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-

AUSTRALIA – At least 173 people are dead and 24 blazes remain out of control as Victoria's bushfire crisis enters its fourth day. Rescuers are resuming the search for victims of Australia's bushfires amid fears the death toll will rise futher. Hundreds of people have been injured, some critically. Residents in many areas are still on alert as more than a dozen fires continue to burn uncontrolled. Some fires are being treated as arson, which the Prime Minister said amounted to "mass murder". Detectives have sealed off a number of sites, including the devastated small town of Maryville, as possible crime scenes. "We have had whole communities just completely wiped out, completely obliterated, by what people would describe as literally a fireball that just came over the hills and devoured everything before them. It's the largest natural disaster in our state's history and Australia's history." A record heatwave and changing wind directions on Saturday helped fan the flames, which destroyed more than 750 homes, left 5,000 people homeless and burned 850 square miles (544,000 acres) of land.

The Victoria fires among THE MOST DEADLY IN THE WORLD in the last 150 years.

AUSTRALIA  – SUGAR – A significant amount of Queensland's sugar crop has been drowned by days under floodwaters. Canegrowers also fear there will be significant and widespread damage to the industry's infrastructure after a fortnight of monsoon rains and floods. Ironically, as eastern Australia's summer of extreme weather continues, sugar growing areas in the state's southeast are in need of rain.

The price of fruit and vegetables is set to rocket as the full effects of the deluge in the north and the heatwave in the south is felt.

INDIA – GREEN TEA – UNUSUAL weather conditions have resulted in a marked decrease in the production of green tea leaf in the Medhamahanuwara, Hunnasgiriya Rangala and Loolwatte areas in the Kandy district. Very little or no rain has fallen in these areas for the past two months making things worse in the extremely chilly conditions.

AUSTRALIA – More than a million native animals may have perished in Victoria's fire inferno.

Thousands of firefighters are battling to save communities still threatened by "an inland tsunami" of 23 wildfires raging across farms and tinder-dry bushland in southeastern Victoria state. The Thompson Reservoir in the Upper Yarra Valley, a wine-growing region and major catchment for Melbourne city's water supply, could come under threat. Fires near the rural towns of Bunyip and Kinglake could merge and threaten more towns if they are fanned by northerly winds forecast for Saturday. "We are closely monitoring the weather, which way the wind comes from, the speed of the wind and the temperature." Australian police were investigating fresh arson attacks and looting Wednesday as survivors returned to towns devastated by wildfires that continued to burn across vast areas. At least 181 people — and possibly more than 200 — died on the weekend in blazes. Media reports say police fear more than 300 people may have died. In the town of Marysville, flattened by the flames at the weekend, as many as 100 of its 500 or so residents are now believed to have been killed — a toll far higher than first reports suggested. The fires left 500 people injured, nearly 1,000 homes destroyed and 365,000 hectares (902,000 acres) burnt. More than 5,000 people have been left homeless, many seeking shelter in community halls, schools and churches.

The weather bureau has linked the extreme heat across southern Australia with climate change. The heatwave has already SMASHED RECORDS in some states, and the bureau says it will get worse. The hot weather is also combining with low flows into the Murray River to create the real risk of an outbreak of blue-green algae. Mildura has sweltered through eight consecutive days above 40 degrees, a new record which looks set to stretch to 13 days. Victoria and South Australia and New South Wales are still experiencing 40 plus degrees and they will continue to do that through to Saturday. So the good news is that the end is approaching but it will get worse before it gets better. The heat comes from a stubborn high pressure system which is pushing desert air over the south but global warming is to blame for making it more severe. "This event has really blown people out of the water. We broke the Tasmanian record by nearly a degree and on Thursday last week 41.5 at Flinders Airport and that only lasted one day. We saw 42.4 in Scamander in east coast Tasmania. You know, it really has blown those records out of the water…we're starting to see the really quite surprising weather patterns and they're becoming quite frequently. A case in point is what's happening in Adelaide. You know, in Adelaide up until March last year, we'd only ever seen eight 35 degree days in a row. In March last year, we got 15, so doubled out record again. And currently Adelaide's had nine 35 degree days in a row. So you see these things which are just SO REMARKABLE one would never anticipate them happening so I guess that's one of the messages. The world is changing, it's getting hotter and we're starting to see things which previously would have been very rare or not happen at all…It's going to get a lot hotter over this century and heat waves become a lot more severe and a lot more frequent. There really is a matter of getting used to it, anticipate it. This isn't as bad as it can get, you know, we can get hotter than this in the south east and the world's going to get a lot hotter over this century so look to more extreme heat waves coming in the future." "There's no doubt that we've got this alignment of long-term change, climate change. And we've got the short cycle, this incredible drought. And they've combined in the most wicked way."

The U.S. president has JUST FOUR YEARS TO SAVE THE PLANET. The planet will be in "huge trouble" unless Barack Obama makes strides in tackling climate change, says a leading scientist. If major policy changes do not happen within Mr Obama's term of office, they will not happen at all, he warned. "The calibre of scientific advice that is close to this man is truly exceptional. If in his first term, in the next four years, we don't make significant progress in these areas, then I think the planet is in huge trouble. Without US leadership, which has been sorely lacking, we will not get to where we need to be…I know many of my colleagues looking at the fiscal situation, have felt that these good ideas might be put on the back burner. That would be a terrible thing if that happened. This is our window, with the science advice he has, with the realisation that these issues are pressing, if they are made second order I think we have really lost it."

JAPAN – Temperatures shot up to summer levels Saturday as warm air moving in from the south SET RECORD HIGHS IN MORE THAN 105 PLACES throughout Japan, prompting the Meteorological Agency to issue an avalanche warning. The agency said the unseasonal heat wave could cause avalanches and mudslides in snowy regions, and that violent winds and tidal waves would pose a danger in northern areas through today. The heat shocked many on the Pacific coast, where Shizuoka hit 26.8 and Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, hit 26.1 in the afternoon, making their winters feel like early July. The sudden surge in temperatures is already being blamed for cracking a frozen lake in Ishikawa, Fukushima Prefecture, where two people fishing went missing. Meanwhile, in Yurihonjo, Akita Prefecture, a mountain stream flooded four houses as meltwater and heavy rain caused it to overflow. On the northern Pacific coast, strong winds forced the suspension of train runs in many areas. Erimo Cape in Hokkaido was hit by 128 kph winds at around 2 p.m., while Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, recorded 121 kph gusts at around 11:30 a.m.

AUSTRALIA – 1831 houses were destroyed and more than 7000 people made homeless by the wildfires. Disaster victim identification teams combing Victoria have found large groups of bodies, including one with eight bodies huddled to protect a baby. Australians have been warned to brace for more bad news on bushfire death as more shocking details of the Victoria fires are revealed.

Global warming 'UNDERestimated' – The severity of global warming over the next century will be MUCH worse than forecast, a leading climate scientist warns. Future temperatures "will be BEYOND ANYTHING" PREDICTED. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report underestimated the rate of change. The 2007 report, which predicted temperature rises between 1.1C and 6.4C over the next century, seriously underestimated the scale of the problem. Warming is likely to cause more environmental damage than forecast. Fresh data shows greenhouse gas emissions between 2000 and 2007 increased far more rapidly than expected. "We are basically looking now at a future climate that is beyond anything that we've considered seriously in climate policy." A warming planet will dry out forests in tropical areas making them much more likely to suffer from wildfires. The rising temperatures could also speed up the melting of the permafrost, vastly increasing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

Changing ocean temperatures will force many fish species to migrate towards the poles, hitting fish stocks, scientists warn.

AUSTRALIA – Police have confirmed more bodies have been found in the carnage of Victoria's bushfires in the last three days, despite the death toll not being updated since Thursday.

The end of certainty – When hundreds of small, grey-headed flying foxes began falling from the sky at Yarra Bend in suburban Melbourne, for some it heralded the awful events that would later unfold. It was Wednesday, January 28, one day into the ferocious heatwave that would wax and wane before returning with terrible intensity last weekend. Bats were dying en masse in the city, ringtail possums were falling out of trees in the bush and distressed kangaroos, too weak to jump, were baulking at fences. "It was just unbelievable. The animals were behaving very strangely. We were telling people to leave dishes of water by the side of the roads." By January 30, Melbourne's temperature topped 45.1 degrees. The city's plane trees began to shed their leaves under the stress of the heat. In Tasmania, half the state recorded its HOTTEST DAY ON RECORD. In Adelaide, in the early hours of January 29, the city experienced its HOTTEST NIGHT ON RECORD, 33.9 degrees. Just north of the city, the air base at RAAF Edinburgh recorded an extraordinary 41.7 degrees at 3am. "Such an event appears to be WITHOUT KNOWN PRECEDENT in southern Australia." It was clear that Australia was experiencing "an EXTREME WEATHER EVENT". But few among the public realised at the time, these first awful days would be just phase one of the heatwave. As the nation reels from the toll in the bushfires, climate scientists are trying to carefully assess what lessons can be learnt from the unprecedented heatwave of 2009 and the deadly fires that accompanied it. On the day the bushfires started claiming lives, Melbourne reached a RECORD 46.4 degrees FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 154 YEARS OF RECORD-KEEPING.
While state authorities focus on the crucial investigations into arson, emergency advice, town planning and tree clearing, looming over all these is what role human-induced climate change is playing in Australia's weather patterns. And, critically, how much of country will become more at risk from bushfire because of climate change? "There is clear evidence now that the climate is becoming more extreme." Under a "no mitigation scenario", in which no action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there would be between five and 25 more days each year when Australians face extreme fire dangers by 2013, compared to the baseline year of 1990. And the threat would rise quickly. By 2030, it may rise to between 15 and 65 days a year. In 2067, when Australia's average temperature may be 2.9 degrees hotter than in 1990, there would be between 100 to 300 days of extreme fire danger.
Research shows that the Indian Ocean Dipole, a swirling current that circulates warm water off Australia's north-west coast, appears to have a major influence on their weather and can override La Nina. When "positive" dipole cycles send unusually hot, dry winds down to south-east Australia, drought is often the result. The big dry that straddled the start of the 20th century and ruined thousands of outback pioneers, corresponded to a positive dipole, and so did the drought that spanned World War II. The severe drought across southern Australia, the backdrop to this week's fires, has been accompanied by a run of three positive dipoles. Three consecutive positive cycles is UNPRECEDENTED. "As one of the hottest and driest continents on earth, Australia's economy and environment will be one of the hardest and fastest hit by climate change if we don't act now."

Level of climate change 'WITHOUT PRECEDENT' – Al Gore exhorted scientists to "get involved" in warning the public about the dangers posed by climate change. "This is a task for all of us. This is no time to sit back, this is a historic struggle." The current level of climatic change is "without precedent". The capacity to do something is there, all that is required is the political will to make it happen. "All three of these crises, the economic, security and climate all have a common thread, our dependence on imported oil." There is a need for urgent action given the dangers faced by low-lying regions as sea level rises. "For every one metre of sea level rise 100 million climate refugees are put on the move." Failure to act will see a sharp rise in the number of natural disasters. "This has a huge economic impact."

NORTH CAROLINA – Drought experts say all of North Carolina's counties are suffering from drought or abnormally dry conditions for the first time in seven months.

TEXAS – The WORST DROUGHT IN NEARLY 100 YEARS is racking three-quarters of Texas. Much of the state has not had a significant rainfall since August.

SOUTH KOREA – The country has been suffering from an eight-month-long drought since last July, which state weather authorities say is THE WORST IN 12 YEARS. The nation's average precipitation between July 1 and Feb. 3 was 579.2 millimeters, merely 68.2% of the average precipitation during the same period over the past 10 years. The low precipitation level was recorded due to the high atmospheric pressure overlying the peninsula and because only one typhoon had an impact here during the cited period, whereas an average of 3.4 typhoons hit the country per year in the past. Usually, 30 percent of the summer precipitation results from typhoons and 53 percent of the rain comes from rain showers in the summer, but that was not the case for this observation period, which began in July. The drought is expected to continue through May. "The average precipitation in the months of February-May takes up only 23 percent of the yearly average, which means it will be difficult for the nation to be relieved from the drought even if it rains like any other year."

CHINA – The region that produces 95 percent of the country’s wheat is facing its WORST DROUGHT IN 50 YEARS, threatening crops in at least 12 provinces. More than 3.5 million people and some 1.7 million livestock are facing water shortages. Northern and central China have had little precipitation since November. Many places have not had rainfall for more than 100 days. Over the long term, China plans to divert water from its two longest rivers to drought-stricken areas. However, it is still going to be difficult to get water to mountainous areas and remote farmland. Although irrigated farms may survive the drought, rain-fed farms are more seriously threatened. Some places are getting 80 percent less rain than they normally do.

FOOD / WATER / SUPPLIES-

AUSTRALIA – DAIRY – farmers in northern Victoria will need bailing out within weeks, the Federal Opposition has warned. All northern Victoria's dairy produce is exported and farmers were now being offered prices less than the cost of production. Farmers experiencing their 10th year of drought had no debt-raising capacity left. "I don't think we can stand by and watch an industry with 40,000 employees, worth billions go literally west."

HEALTH THREATS –


"Beware of what you eat. You are on your own."
– Senator Harkin to Americans, who can no longer count on the safety of basic food items. "To say that food safety in this country is a patchwork system is giving it too much credit. Food safety in America has too often become a hit-or-miss gamble, and that is truly frightening. Peanut butter that we put in our kids sandwiches that they take to school. If that's not safe then we have to ask, what is?" The outbreak could continue because peanut butter has a long shelf-life. "This could go on for a long time. Unless we can really actively get these products off the retail shelves but also out of people's homes." Recalled products now number more than 1,700. The conventional wisdom among epidemiologists is that for each case of salmonellosis that is reported, more than 38 other people get sick but don't go to their doctor or get tested. So this outbreak could be responsible for more than 20,000 illnesses.

Panasonic's pandemic-related move fuels concern – News reports that Panasonic Corp. has asked some of its overseas employees to send their families home to Japan because of the threat of pandemic influenza fueled puzzlement and speculation about the global H5N1 risk and whether other companies might follow suit. Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that in December 2008 Panasonic asked employees in some of its Asian offices (excluding Singapore), Africa, Eastern Europe, and South America to send their families back to Japan by September. "We chose areas after considering the prevalence of bird flu and the capability of medical facilities and access to them." China and Egypt have recently reported human H5N1 cases, a typical pattern during cooler seasons, but avian flu experts have not reported any mutations that would make the virus more transmissible among humans, and global health officials have not raised the H5N1 alert level. A senior US government official who asked to remain anonymous said that though the pandemic threat persists and the need for preparations is critical, officials see no increased threat that would prompt any revisions of their pandemic advice or warning messages to Americans living abroad. "If this was a real pandemic concern, companies would have minutes to hours, not weeks to months, to prepare for this."

Even after Peanut Corp. of America learned its products were tainted with salmonella, it kept shipping them to unsuspecting customers, apparently putting profits ahead of public safety, according to documents and testimony.

SPACE WEATHER-

A Mysterious Magnetar – a shock wave from a magnetar 30,000 light-years away was so powerful it ionized our upper atmosphere in late January. The question that arose was this: could a major stratospheric warming we saw have arisen from this extraterrestrial source? And, if that happened this time, could it have happened a number of times in the past? The dates don't completely match up. The warming apparently began in the stratosphere before the magnetar's energy arrived. This would tend to argue against any cause and effect. However, a 10 mb vortex reversal didn't really become that extreme until after the shock wave hit. Would that have happened anyway, or was the magnetar involved? Recent videos show the stunning reversal from a vortex to a high pressure area at the 10 mb level high in the atmosphere. Some research has indicated that this change can be used as a signal for an impending blocking pattern at high latitudes. When there is a blocking pattern (stalled high pressure areas that force the prevailing flow to detour to the south) it can mean colder than usual weather because the jet stream is south of its usual position. Back here on Earth, high winds are buffeting the Middle Atlantic states with tropical storm strength wind gusts. The winds have toppled trees in some areas, and there have been some casualties, power problems and quite a few branches down.

The magnetar began a series of modest eruptions on Oct. 3, 2008, but appeared to settle down. Then, on Jan. 22, 2009, it roared back to life with a more intense round of flares. "As a result of its recent activity, this object has been classified as a soft-gamma-ray repeater. It it is only the sixth soft-gamma-ray repeater discovered so far." The object is continuing to erupt and the scientists are continuing to observe it. The X-ray data from Swift have begun to show what appear to be expanding halos around the object. They recorded 68 outbursts from the object in the last week of January. In 2004, a giant flare from another magnetar, SGR 1806-20, was so intense it measurably affected Earth's upper atmosphere from 50,000 light-years away. [If you remember, it was on the same date and virtually the same time as the huge Indonesian quake and tsunami. Coincidence?? ]

TEXAS – 2/15/09 – What looked like a fireball streaked across the Texas sky on Sunday morning, leading many people to call authorities to report seeing falling debris. "We don't know what it was," said the Federal Aviation Administration spokesman. Callers said they thought they saw a plane crashing. "We don't doubt what people saw" but authorities found nothing. The U.S. Strategic Command said there was no connection to the sightings over Texas and Tuesday's collision of satellites from the U.S. and Russia. "There is no correlation between the debris from that collision and those reports of re-entry." The FAA notified pilots on Saturday to be aware of possible space debris after a collision Tuesday between U.S. and Russian communication satellites. The chief of Russia's Mission Control says clouds of debris from the collision will circle Earth for thousands of years and threaten numerous satellites.

KENTUCKY – 2/13/09 – a loud boom, or series of booms were heard Friday evening in Southern Kentucky. Emergency officals had calls from Jackson to London about a loud boom. They were told by the state police in London that according to the FAA, the boom was from falling debris, coming from the two satellites that collided in space. The debris re-entering the atmosphere caused the loud boom, and then burned up before hitting earth. It could have covered a 500 mile area.

Signs in False Shepherds & False Religion
"For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men who are corrupt in mind, worthless in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress, for their lack of understanding will be clear to all, as theirs was also." 2 Timothy 3:6-9

The Foundation for Christian Studies Launches Studychristianity.org
MSNBC.com
Thurs., Feb. 12, 2009

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – The Foundation for Christian Studies (FCS), a non-profit organization dedicated to the study and awareness of Christian theology, values, and service, today launched its global website at http://www.studychristianity.org. The FCS website includes a comprehensive doctrinal study program, downloadable theological essays, interactive discussion forums, and online stores for Christian books, music, and art. While the primary mission of the FCS is to encourage the study of Christianity, the FCS also commits itself to supporting outstanding global charities in hopes of inspiring ongoing Christian service. "The Foundation delivers easy to understand and use Christian study content and interactive discussion platforms for people around the world — regardless of theological differences," says Eric Shuster, the Foundation's Founder and Executive Director. "The foundation, an Amazon.com associate, offers a concentrated variety of quality study materials for our website visitors, with the promise of helping some of the world's best run outreach programs in the process," says Shuster. The FCS is currently spotlighting Choice Humanitarian, Nurse-Family Partnership, and the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) as institutions of excellence that exemplify Christian principles of individual and community self-reliance.

Invisible demons lurk all over Mali's remote Dogon country
Posted : Tue, 10 Feb 2009
Author: DPA

Bandiagara, Mali – Beads of sweat broke out on the tour guide's brow, and not because of the heat. A tourist's rucksack had just struck one of the sandstones loosely stacked in the wall of an enclosure, causing it to wobble. "For God's sake!" the guide cried. "If that stone had fallen, we'd have a discussion here lasting for hours. It would have been a serious breach of taboo." Behind the wall lived the hogon of the Dogon village of Djigibombo, a kind of high priest. And the Dogon people of Mali, West Africa, believe that a fallen stone from the wall will bring misfortune on the village. Said El Idrissi el Bechkaoui, a student tour guide and Islamic scholar from Munich, had laid down the ground rules before his group arrived at the first Dogon village: Never wander from the path. Always walk single file behind the local guide. Never sit on any stones without asking first.

Faith forms a bond for a lesbian priest and a Mormon father of three
Christina House, For The Times
By Duke Helfand
February 7, 2009

Who could have foreseen what would happen between the Mormon filmmaker and the lesbian priest? Not Douglas Hunter, even after he took a leap of faith and trained his camera on the Rev. Susan Russell. And maybe not even Russell, who had undergone a remarkable transformation from onetime suburban soccer mom to priest and outspoken champion of gay rights. But the friendship that took root when Hunter asked Russell to play the central role in his documentary about same-sex marriage and theology would lead two people from different worlds to a new understanding of themselves and their faiths. "We're all telling the same stories about God's work in our lives," said Hunter, 40, a father of three from Pasadena who discovered Russell on the Internet.

Austria: Priests criticize pope's bishop pick
By VERONIKA OLEKSYN, Associated Press Writer Veronika Oleksyn, Associated Press Writer – Wed Feb 11, 2009

VIENNA – A group of Austrian priests has vehemently criticized Pope Benedict XVI's decision to promote an ultraconservative pastor who suggested Hurricane Katrina was provoked by sin in New Orleans, the group's head said Wednesday. The Vatican announced Jan. 31 that the Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner, 54, would become auxiliary bishop in Linz, the capital of Upper Austria province. The decision has sparked an outcry from Catholics who warn the unexpected pick could push people to leave the church. Wagner, among other things, has questioned whether the "noticeable" increase of natural disasters such as Katrina was a result of pollution caused by humans or the result of "spiritual pollution." He also characterized Harry Potter novels as "Satanism."

Indonesia to extradite priest, 2 other paedophile suspects
JAKARTA
Saturday, February 14, 2009

INDONESIA will extradite three paedophile suspects, including an Australian Roman Catholic priest accused of abusing young boys, officials said yesterday. Benny Mamoto, the deputy head of Interpol Indonesia, said the men are among six foreigners who will be repatriated in coming weeks. Australian Charles Barnett, a priest accused of having sexual contact with six children between 1970 and 1994, was detained near the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, at the request of the Australian government.

Faith under Fire
“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  Matthew 5:11-12

“You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endured to the end will be delivered.” Matthew 10:22

'Praise Darwin' billboards spark reply
'Taking a pot-shot at organized religion' a 'fun-filled occasion'
February 10, 2009
WorldNetDaily

A best-selling author and TV host has decided not to sit still while an atheist advocacy group carries out a nationwide billboard campaign promoting a religion-free world and offering "praises" to Darwin ahead of the father of modern evolutionary theory's 200th birthday celebration. Ray Comfort, author of a new title by WND Books scheduled for release Thursday, "You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence but You Can't Make Him Think," now has a billboard of his own above the Interstate 105 spur near Los Angeles International Airport, and he's mobilizing believers to put one up in their own town. Autographed copies of Ray Comfort's new book, published by WND Books, are available exclusively in WND's online superstore. Comfort is countering a project of the Madison, Wisc.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, which has posted billboards in at least 15 states with messages such as "Imagine no Religion" and "Praise Darwin – Evolve Beyond Belief." The Foundation admitted in a statement that "coming up with a slogan to honor Darwin, while taking a pot-shot at organized religion, was a fun-filled occasion."

Report: House Church Persecution Increases 418 Percent in Beijing
By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Sat, Feb. 07 2009

Persecution of house church Christians in Beijing increased 418 percent in 2008 – the year of the Summer Olympic Games, according to a report released this week by a U.S.-based religious freedom group. The total number of reported people persecuted in Beijing was 539 from January to December 2008, up 418 percent from 104 people in 2007, China Aid Association reported. Overall in China, there were a total of 2,027 people persecuted because of their Christian faith, up 157 percent from 788 people in 2007. “The significantly worse persecution of Christians in 2008 had a direct relationship with the Olympic Games,” the report states. “This is not hard to understand, because whenever the government holds important social event, serious suppression is implemented to maintain the appearance of stability through spreading fear among people.”

'Gays' crush Christian speech
TV stations cave to homosexual lobby, refuse to reveal LGBT agenda
February 13, 2009
WND

Several television stations are caving to pressure from the homosexual community and refusing to run "Speechless: Silencing Christians," a one-hour paid program sponsored by the American Family Association. WOOD-TV 8, a television station in Grand Rapids, Mich., has decided against airing the special about the agenda of homosexual activists and their impact on families and freedom of religion. According to the Grand Rapids Press, "In a letter promoting the program, the American Family Association asserts that most Americans get their 'information about the homosexual movement from the secular news media and Hollywood, which not only support but promote the gay agenda. What people know is tainted by pro-homosexual propaganda.'"

The Untold Ordeal of a Christian Convert in Saudi Arabia
Success Kanayo Uchime
Special to ASSIST News Service
February 17, 2009

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA (ANS) — Christian converts in Saudi Arabia go through many untold ordeals at the hands of government officials and other Muslim fundamentalists because of their faith in Jesus Christ. As reported by Open Doors, the Saudi authorities have arrested 28-year-old Hamoud Bin Saleh simply because he gave testimony of his conversion from Islam to Christianity, and also of his critical posture of the kingdom's judiciary on his website. According to the Open Doors report, this arrest comes barely five months after the daughter of a member of Saudi Arabia's religious police was killed for writing online about her faith in Christ. In its report of Hamoud's arrest, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said that Hamoud had been detained for nine months in 2004 and again for a month last November, and was reportedly being held in Riyadh's Eleisha prison because of his faith in Christ.

Christian foster mother struck off after Muslim girl converts
A foster mother with 10 years' experience was struck off after a Muslim girl in her care converted to Christianity, it has emerged.
Telegraph.co.uk
15 February 2009
By Matthew Moore

The woman has been banned by her local council for failing to prevent the teenager from getting baptised, even though the girl was 16 and made up her own mind to change religion. The carer, a churchgoer in her 50s who has fostered more than 80 children, has now been forced to move out of her home. She has lost the farmhouse she rented to look after vulnerable teenagers, due to the loss of income. Another girl she was looking after has been taken back into care. The woman, who has launched a legal challenge to the council's challenge, told the Daily Telegraph: "I just want to get my life back. "I still hope to resolve this so that I can possibly foster again in the future as I simply enjoy helping young people."

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