Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 80
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Pride Part 3
Vanity denounced by Jesus
Matthew 23:6-12 They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘ Rabbi’ by people. “But as for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi,’ because you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is in heaven. And do not be called masters either, because you have one Master, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Mark 12:38-39 He also said in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes, and who want greetings in the marketplaces, the front seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets.
Fruit of the heart
Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, lewdness, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person.”
Parental pride of Joseph, Mary
Luke 2:33 His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about Him.
Desire to be greatest in kingdom
Luke 9:46-48 Then an argument started among them about who would be the greatest of them. But Jesus, knowing the thoughts of their hearts, took a little child and had him stand next to Him. He told them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in My name welcomes Me. And whoever welcomes Me welcomes Him who sent Me. For whoever is least among you – this one is great.”
Pride concerning wrong things
Luke 10:17-20 The Seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a lightning flash. Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will ever harm you. However, don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Vain man, humble man at worship
Luke 18:9-14 The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else: “Two men went up to the temple complex to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee took his stand and was praying like this: ‘God, I thank You that I’m not like other people – greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’ “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, turn Your wrath from me – a sinner! ‘I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Price paid for Herod’s pride
Acts 12:19-23 After Herod had searched and did not find him, he interrogated the guards and ordered their execution. Then Herod went down from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there. He had been very angry with the Tyrians and Sidonians. Together they presented themselves before him, and having won over Blastus, who was in charge of the king’s bedroom, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food from the king’s country. So on an appointed day, dressed in royal robes and seated on the throne, Herod delivered a public address to them. The populace began to shout, “It’s the voice of a god and not of a man!” At once an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give the glory to God, and he became infected with worms and died.
Intellectual pride in Athens
Acts 17:16-34 Paul in Athens
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was troubled within him when he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with those who worshipped God, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Then also, some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers argued with him. Some said, “What is this pseudo-intellectual trying to say?” Others replied, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign deities” – because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. They took him and brought him to the Areopagus, and said, “May we learn about this new teaching you’re speaking of? For what you say sounds strange to us, and we want to know what these ideas mean.” Now all the Athenians and the foreigners residing there spent their time on nothing else but telling or hearing something new.
The Areopagus Address
Then Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that you are extremely religious in every respect. For as I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar on which was inscribed: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it – He is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in shrines made by hands. Neither is He served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since He Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things. From one man He has made every nation of men to live all over the earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live, so that they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring. Being God’s offspring, then, we shouldn’t think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image fashioned by human art and imagination. “Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has set a day on which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He was appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.” When they heard about resurrection of the dead, some began to ridicule him. But others said, “We will hear you about this again.” So Paul went out from their presence. However, some men joined him and believed, among whom were Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
People of low position
Romans 12:16 Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Proper Christian pride
Romans 15:17 Therefore I have reason to boast in Christ Jesus regarding what pertains to God.
The Bird, The Tree & The Church
Across the street from the building I work in, is located a very large and well known Christian church. As I stood outside the other day, my attention was drawn to a large tree on the grounds of this church and a limb from which a bird was hanging upside down, fluttering its wings in an attempt to release its foot from a branch.
For several minutes I watched and prayed, my heart breaking for this poor bird who would certainly die of either exhaustion or starvation if it was unable to untangle itself and fly away. I cried out to Father from the depths of my heart, “Father please! Please release this bird from its entanglement! Help it!” I continued to watch; with sureness in my heart and complete faith that if it was Father’s will the bird would miraculously fly away. Nothing happened.
I went upstairs, my eyes swimming in tears and feeling so much pity and concern for this little bird, wondering what I could do for this bird! Did I call animal control? Our maintenance people? The fire department? I told a friend what I had seen and brought her to the window to look out. The bird was still there and still struggling to get away. I went to my desk and picked up the phone and called the church, figuring that since the tree was located on their property they should be the first to be alerted to the situation. After speaking briefly with the pastor and telling him the situation and hanging up, I went to the window and watched for the pastor to appear; making sure that something would indeed be done. Soon the pastor came out with another man with a ladder and long wooden pole.
It was windy that day, with gusts of 30 to 40mph and it was difficult to reach the bird but also to hold the pole steady. They tried to reach the bird with the pole but the pole was too short. That pole was soon accompanied by a much longer pole with a small hook on the end. All their efforts to help the bird failed and it was determined that they would need to cut the branch. At this point they had the idea to tape a serrated knife to the end of one pole that would be used to cut away the branch it was tangled up in.
I went back downstairs to join the efforts. My friend and her husband were already there. It took all of us working in unison to save this bird. One, the pastor, on a ladder with the serrated knife on the end of a pole. Another man holding the ladder to steady it. Yet another using the longer pole to steady the branch as it was cut. And then there was me, there to catch the bird when it fell from the tree. Across the street a small crowd gathered to watch the goings on and I knew that inside the building I worked in was yet another crowd of people watching through a second story window. It’s not every day that a bird gets caught in a tree and has to depend on the help of humans to release it from its snare.
Once the limb was cut, the bird fell onto the branches below, again caught by another limb. Those of us on the ground called up to the pastor of the church who was on the ladder telling him the bird was caught again as he couldn’t see it. Eventually after some direction he did and the bird was then shaken out of the second branch. As it fell, I watched as the bird spread its wings to break its fall and once it’d reached the ground I leaned down to gather the bird in my hands. I gently picked it up and saw that around its foot was wound a long piece of string and its ankle was bleeding as well. The string was also wound tightly around a small twig from the tree and would have to be cut off. Three of us gathered around while I held the bird in my hands and another gently cut away the string and twig tied to its foot.
I was amazed by this very common and very ordinary little bird. It was a Texas Grackle. Not a bird anyone would normally recognize or consider special in anyway. In fact, the Grackle is a bird with a range of very loud and raucous, cacophonous calls, and is widely considered to be a noisy pest species. The bird seemed calm as we worked away at removing the snare, looking back at each of us and making little if any effort at all to get away. Every now and then I would feel a slight attempted flutter of her wings under my hand as I held her, but it really seemed that this bird knew that we were there to help and not to harm. Eventually the string and the twig were cut away and I turned and gently released her to the ground. She fluttered her wings and quickly ran to a safe spot where I’m sure she could rest and get her strength and bearings back. She was now free of the snare she'd gotten caught up in.
Later that night, as I wrote in my journal and prayed, I pondered the experience. Because there are very, very few coincidences, I knew that there was something to learn from what I’d encountered that day, so I began to think on it more and pray for Father’s guidance in revealing what it was that She wanted to say and for me to gleam knowledge, understanding and wisdom from not just for myself, or our ministry but also for Christ's extended flock.
The Symbolisms of the Bird, The Tree & The Church
• The bird had become ensnared in the tree, just as Dawn Lucifer has ensnared much of humanity with falsehoods and lies.
• The bird was symbolic of the church congregation and all those ensnared by Dawn Lucifer’s lies.
• The tree was symbolic of a tree that bears bad fruit which is also symbolic of false religion.
• The tree was located on the grounds of a church that propagates these falsehoods and lies.
• The bird would have died from exhaustion or starvation. False religion does not provide the proper endurance and nourishment of Father’s truth.
• The pastor was symbolic of false shepherds.
• The pastor could not see that the bird had become ensnared his tree; his attention had to be called to it by those with a clear vantage point, who stand not in darkness but in the light of Father’s truth.
• Those with a clear vantage point were symbolic of Christ’s ministry and those in the light of Father’s truth.
• The bird was a common bird having little value in the eyes of mankind, but it had value in Father’s eyes – therefore it was rescued.
• The rescued bird was also symbolic of Father’s faithful who will be rescued via the 1st and possibly a 2nd Rapture.
The Corresponding Scriptures
Matthew 10:29-31 Aren't two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Don't be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12:4-7 "And I say to you, My friends, don't fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will show you the One to fear: Fear Him who has authority to throw [people] into hell after death. Yes, I say to you, this is the One to fear! Aren't five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows!
Matthew 7:15-23 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Hebrews 12:1 [The Call to Endurance] Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us,
Proverbs 27:27 there will be enough goat's milk for your food— food for your household and nourishment for your servants.
Daniel 4:14 He called out loudly: Cut down the tree and chop off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it, and the birds from its branches.
Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.
Multiple Forms of Drunkeness
Accounts of drunkenness are found in various areas of scripture, and each area is descriptive of what drunkenness implies, is related to, and what it does to a person's abilities to think and take action. In one instance, another minister, Regina, was led to a particular scripture that pulled together many more lessons, and this scripture is mirrored in multiple parts of the whole (the following may not have been the exact scripture she cited):
Isaiah 29:9 — Stop and be astonished; blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with beer.
Isaiah 51:21 — So listen to this, afflicted and drunken one—but not with wine.
Through the theme of these two scriptures, one can see how individuals in the past have been greatly afflicted to the point that they have lost much mental capability to act and stand straight, which are the same effects that alcohol has. Yet, at the same time, this could show that alcoholic beverages and Father's wrath could be directly related, and interestingly so. In this, alcohol, itself, is a poisonous agent if taken in too vast of quantities. Alcoholism could simply kill a person over a short period of time. And at the same time, alcohol can be used for medicinal purposes, in cleaning wounds and helping a horribly wounded person to not feel the pain of their surgery or go into shock. As well, alcohol used for medicinal purposes is not abused and certainly is not continued pattern in a pattern of use. In this, it can be seen that not only can Father's wrath destroy, which it shall in Armageddon, but Her discipline that may come in Her anger with us can also help cleanse us of the filth that we had been infected with.
Now, the one variable in the whole concept of drunkenness that one may be able to perceive is the difference in the quantity of affliction or alcohol that one has taken. If there is too little, then there is no effect from the substance, but if there is too much, there can be death. Only the proper amount, given in the proper time, can possibly be beneficial, and all for the proper reasons. This directly ties in with a passage in Ecclesiastes:
Ecclesiastes 7:16-18 — Don't be excessively righteous, and don't be overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself? Don't be excessively wicked, and don't be foolish. Why should you die before your time? It is good that you grasp the one and do not let the other slip from your hand. For the one who fears God will end up with both of them.
As Father's indignation and righteous wrath can be directly related to taking in alcohol, so can an individual overdose on any other aspect of life. For example, too much exercise can not only sap away from the other activities one would perform in a day or week, month even, but it can cause chemicals to flow in a person's system in excess of what would be normally healthy. If there is anything one would do that would cause them to begin to say things they shouldn't say, it could be just like drinking too much wine or beer. This, in itself, can show that there can be much more that can make one drunk, and regardless of the type of drunkenness, it can lead to affliction.
Coming to learn all causes of drunkenness in every way is also quite challenging, because this would require learning everything about life, and every aspect of it. This, in turn, means to come to understand everything about Father, and subsequently, everything about love, and that will be an ever-growing cycle of education. Yet, Father has also provided intuitive senses in Her Spirit to help us to learn and know when to stop, and when to keep going. In all of this, Father knows everything well more than each of us do, and in Her Spirit, She directs and guides us in things that we, ourselves, may not even completely understand. Without Her Spirit, and in drunkenness, one might imagine how lost and staggering one would be, much less, even able to stand. It is quite a humbling situation, and integrable humility is, perhaps, part of the point.
Another interesting concept is simply that multiple things can cause different types of drunkenness, but in all of those ways, the drunken concept remains the same. One feels groggy, one may say things that shouldn't be said, and one may not even be able to stand.
Proverbs 23:21 — For the drunkard and the glutton will become poor,
and grogginess will clothe [them] in rags.
Similar effects for different things, that, in different instances, may actually be the same in concept. As such, there truly is not anything different or new.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 — What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.
The Way – Part 14
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.
1 Peter 4:15
Avoid obscene jesting:
Ephesians 5:3, 4
Avoid physical strife:
Galatians 5:19, 20
Romans 1:28, 29
Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
Prince of Yahweh II: Galatians 4:9 "But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and bankrupt elemental forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?"
Dictionary: "bankrupt >adjective 1 declared in law unable to pay one's debts. 2 completely lacking in a particular good quality or value: morally bankrupt. >noun a person legally declared as bankrupt. >verb reduce to a bankrupt state."
The people of this world are unable to pay the debt owed to our Creator Yahweh; it had to be paid by Christ; those in Christ of true faith are legally declared solvent in Yahweh's eyes. The world of people who remain in darkness also remain morally bankrupt. All things in Father's plan have dual meanings; as morals are bankrupt, thus the society they've created with the archenemy's help will also become utterly bankrupt in the physical realm. But for those seeking salvation, these words should be upon their minds:
Psalm 69:18 "Draw near to me and redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies." But for the wicked and the treacherous, they will come to know this:
Proverbs 21:18 "The wicked are a ransom for the righteous, and the treacherous, for the upright."
But for you faithful kids as well as many others that are to be salvaged, know that this present evil world of people represent "Egypt" that was typified in ancient times:
Isaiah 43:3 "For I the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, and your Savior, give Egypt as a ransom for you, Cush and Seba in your place."
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
UFO fleet menaces east London
Street View sighting rocks Bethnal Green
30th March 2009
The Sun has mobilised a crack team of hacks and ufologists to probe a sensational sighting of a formation of extraterrestrial vehicles swooping over the mean streets of Bethnal Green: "Baffled" expert Nick Pope, who apparently "used to investigate sightings for the Ministry of Defence", described the visitation as “truly fascinating”. He said: “It appears to show nine objects flying in near perfect formation. About the only thing I know that can do this is the Red Arrows – and it’s not them. I’ve run through the list of possibilities that normally explain these things, but I can’t find an answer.” Shaken locals shared Pope's bafflement, with one telling an on-the-spot Sun reporter: “This is definitely the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in Bethnal Green.”
Multiple UFO witnesses at high security MO complex
March 30, 2009
More than 13 witnesses came forward this week – both military and civilian employees – who work at the Bannister Federal Complex in Kansas City, MO – reporting three UFO incidents at the base on March 1 and 2, 2009, according to testimony received by a Missouri Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) field investigator. Out of fear of reprisal, the witnesses all want to remain anonymous. Witnesses all agree that what they saw was a glowing gold-colored ball, but vary in their size and height descriptions as they were observing from different points. The Bannister Federal Complex is a series of 10 buildings on 310 acres in Kansas City, MO, occupied primarily by the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of Energy. One of the most secure production facilities in the country, it is home to Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, LLC for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). They produce non-nuclear, mechanical, electronic, and engineered material components for U.S. national defense systems. As of 2007, they had 2,711 employees.
Video shows UFO over CA
April 3, 2009
A witness claims to have taken video images of unusual lights in the sky over California on April 1, 2009. Two videos were posted at the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database on April 3. The video below is the first video, a better quality than the second. This case may be under investigation by MUFON. Please remember that many reports can be explained as natural occurrences or manmade. I will report back if there is a follow-up to this video from MUFON sources. Following is the unedited statement made by the witness. California, April 1, 2009 – Lights flashing in sw sky caught eyes walking friends out. "blinking flashing rotating red blue wnd white light to side no movement across horizon.. "I was walking friends out and just looking up in the sky we noticed the lights my friend got out a pair of binoculars I looked first then he asked if I had a camera to catch some video the objects were in the sw sky and kept flashing different color light red blue white rotating not moving like any fixed wing aircraft staying fixed in the sky also air traffic none in the area usually flight path for john wayne I grew up Air Force brat and seen lots of planes helecopters but this just is'nt right and after 20 min I just got tired and went in"
Fireball not Russian rocket debris, space center says
March 31, 2009
The “Big Bang” on Sunday night now appears to have been caused by a meteor, not a leftover bit of Russian rocket. The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California issued a statement Tuesday morning saying it tracks more than 19,000 manmade objects in space. “The ‘bright light’ that was reported on the East Coast on Sunday, 29 March at 9:45 p.m. EST was not a result of any trackable manmade object on reentry,” it said. A spokesman for the center said Tuesday morning: “If it was a meteorite, we don’t track that kind of thing.” The bright fireball, which was followed one or two minutes later by an enormous booming sound, was seen by many people between Maryland and North Carolina. Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., said on Monday he was nearly positive that it was caused by the booster of a Russian rocket falling back to Earth. That no longer seems to be the case.
UFO activity heats up in southern California
April 5, 2009
There has been a rash of recent UFO activity in the southern California region. Recent reports include: Los Angeles, CA – 4/4/2009 – Witness observed what they first thought to be a star, but noticed that the object was spinning. The object had flashing blue, white, and red lights and appeared to be far away, possibly travelling over the ocean. It hovered steadily, but would also move up and down. The red lights seemed to be more laser-like and would flash out. Witness said that there were times where the red light was pointed right on their eye. Santa Cruz, CA – 4/3/2009 – Witness noticed three lights moving exceptionally fast, from east to west, along the Monterey Bay coast. The lights moved in unison, changing directions several times, then disappeared after about ten seconds. The lights appeared to be a dull, dark red, and did not flash or blink. Witness estimated the altitude of several thousand feet. There was no sound, and the object appeared to travel at a much greater speed than a conventional aircraft or satellite. The witness stated that the speed was similar to a "shooting star", except that the three lights changed directions and moved together. And many more…
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
Giant laser experiment powers up
March 31, 2009
The US has finished constructing a huge physics experiment aimed at recreating conditions at the heart of our Sun. The US National Ignition Facility is designed to demonstrate the feasibility of nuclear fusion, a process that could offer abundant clean energy. The lab will kick-start the reaction by focusing 192 giant laser beams on a tiny pellet of hydrogen fuel. "It would mark the transition for laser fusion from 'physics' to 'engineering reality'," he said. The California-based NIF is the largest experimental science facility in the US and contains the world's most powerful laser. It has taken 12 years to build. "This is a major milestone," said Dr Ed Moses, director of the facility.
World stocks take turn for worse
March 30, 2009
Stock markets have fallen worldwide amid worries over the depth of the financial crisis and persistent problems in the US car industry. In New York, the Dow Jones slid 3.3% to close down 254.16 points at 7,522.02. General Motors plunged after President Barack Obama ordered the resignation of boss Rick Wagoner and took a hard line on aid for the car industry. Germany's Dax fell 5.1%, France's Cac 40 shed 4.3% and the UK's FTSE 100 declined 3.5%. Asian stocks also fell. European markets were rattled after Spain was forced into its first bank rescue. France's main faller was Credit Agricole, down 13.3%, while in Germany, the lead decliner was Commerzbank, which fell about 17%. The falls come after a period of recent gains for most stock markets.
Bankrupting the world
by Jerry Mazza
March 30, 2009
The so-called Public Private Partnership Investment Program (PPPIP) introduced last Monday, by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner not only stands to bankrupt America but the global financial system as well. This is the worst yet of the bailouts, a swindle if ever there was one, which will cause President Obama’s approval rating to plummet. In fact, count me among those coming to the president’s aid. I really don’t think he understands what this means. Consider Geithner as the face, the voice though not the brain, for this program which advocates turning over the keys to the banking system to a bunch of hedge fund sharks, and all at taxpayer’s expense. The cost could more likely end up being $6 trillion than the $1 trillion in starter money. In fact, it’s more likely that the dastardly plan was launched like a missile from jolly old London, which is in line to lose big if their offshore hedge fund empire is shut down.
Kenyan lions being poisoned by pesticides'
by Daniel Howden
April 3, 2009
Conservationists in Kenya are calling for a deadly pesticide to be banned after it was linked to the poisoning of a "staggering" number of lions and other wildlife. The East African nation famous for its immense game reserves is also home to traditional cattle herders whose livestock often comes under threat from predators such as lions and hyenas. In the past, this has seen lions shot or speared but more recently herders have switched to using deadly chemicals sprinkled over animal carcasses and left as traps for the big cats. The lion researcher Laurence Frank, from the University of California, said lions were dying at a "staggering rate" with as many as 75 poisoned in the past five years. Combined with other threats including loss of habitat, this could eventually see the lion become extinct, Dr Frank told CBS's 60 Minutes.
Pulitzer winner Seymour Hersh reveals Cheney's assassination ring, gets no press
by Fred Burks
March 28, 2009
Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is best known for breaking the shocking My Lai massacre story during the Vietnam war, in which hundreds of unarmed civilians in a Vietnamese village were slaughtered by U.S. soldiers in March 1968. His courageous reporting on this sad chapter in history won him a Pulitzer Prize. In recent years, his incisive coverage of the Abu Ghraib abuses and torture has also been widely followed and respected. So when Mr. Hersh spilled the beans earlier this month about an executive assassination ring which reported directly to Dick Cheney, why did the major media give this so little coverage? The news spread widely through alternative news websites, yet leading newspapers and other major media (with a few exceptions) gave little to no coverage. Could it be that there are powerful people who don't want the public to know about such things?
Signs in Humanity
U.S. jobless rate hits 25-year high
by Lucia Mutikani
April 3, 2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. unemployment rate soared to 8.5 percent last month, a 25-year high, as employers slashed jobs and cut workers' hours to the lowest level on record, the government said on Friday. In a report underscoring the economy's distress, the Labor Department said employers slashed 663,000 jobs in March and revised prior data to show job losses of 741,000 in January, the biggest decline since October 1949. February's drop in non-farm payrolls was unrevised at 651,000. But coming in the wake of recent economic data that has surprised on the upside, the report did little to alter perceptions that the economy's downward momentum is slowing, as unemployment tends to peak well after a recession ends. The economy, now in its 16th month of recession, remained on track to recover in the second half of this year and the intense phase of job losses is likely over, economists said.
Fear of regulation drives gun, ammo shortage
by Ben Neary, AP
March 30, 2009
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Concern that the Obama administration could impose a new ban on some semiautomatic weapons is driving worried gun owners to stockpile ammunition and cartridge reloading components at such a rate that manufacturers can't meet demand. Attorney General Eric Holder last month suggested that President Obama's administration favors reinstituting a U.S. ban on the sale of assault weapons. President Bill Clinton first signed such a ban into law in 1994, generally blocking some military-style guns with magazines that hold many cartridges. President George W. Bush had allowed the ban to expire. "We have heard from all across the country that there is a tremendous shortage of ammunition," said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "We've heard this from the manufacturers, that their customers are calling them trying to get supplies for inventory, and that the manufacturers are going full-bore, pardon the pun."
Ghana: Red Alert – Pedophiles All Over
Ama Achiaa Amankwah
March 30, 2009
Accra — The number of defilement cases in Ghana appears to be increasing, with a reported incident of forced sexual intercourse with a minor appearing almost daily in the media. Expert s say the rampant cases of defilement across the country could pass as pedophilia, when assessed which is being disguised as defilement. The Acting Chief Psychiatrist of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Akwasi Osei told Public Agenda that although pedophilia is against the law in Ghana, it is not treated as such; instead it is treated as defilement. If we really realize that some of these people are actually pedophiles, then the first point of call should be somebody requiring psychiatric treatment, Dr. Osei emphasized. According to Dr. Akwasi Osei, Ghana has overlooked this aspect of sex crimes for far too long and it is important to take it into consideration now. For now, Ghana is only scratching the face of the matter, he sai d.
One in 10 Americans gets help to buy food
April 2, 2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A record 32.2 million people — one in every 10 Americans — received food stamps at the latest count, the government said on Thursday, a reflection of the recession now in its 16th month. Food stamps, the major U.S. anti-hunger program, help poor people buy groceries. The average benefit was $112.82 per person in January. The January figure marks the third time in five months that enrollment set a record. "A weakened economy means that many more individuals are turning to SNAP/Food Stamps," said the Food Research and Action Center, an anti-hunger group, using the acronym for the renamed food stamp program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in February, the highest in 25 years. New claims for jobless benefits totaled 669,000 last week, the highest in 26 years, the government said on Thursday. Food stamp enrollment rose in 46 of the 50 states during January as the national total rose by 580,000 people, or 1.3 percent, from December, when the previous record was set, said Agriculture Department figures.
"Disrespected" Binghamton Shooter Bitter Over Job Loss
by Daniel Macht, Caitlin Millat and Tamer El-Ghobashy
April 5, 2009
The gunman at the center of the Binghamton, New York, massacre was described as an angry loner with a drug problem who was embarrassed and enraged by his inability to assimilate and hold down a job as authorities tried to piece together what set him off and lead him to murder 13 innocent people at an immigration center Friday, before committing suicide. What was clear is that Jiverly Wong was a registered gun owner who had recently become despondent over being fired from his job and had braced for a battle with cops after trapping his victims and shooting them methodically. He wore body armor but ended up killing himself at the sound of approaching police. Authorities also credited one of the first victims of the attack with preventing more bloodshed by pretending to be dead, calling 911 and giving police detailed information on the killer's path — all the while bleeding from a gunshot wound to her abdomen that left her in critical condition. "He must have been a coward," Binghamton's Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said, speculating that Wong decided to turn the gun on himself when he heard sirens. "He had a lot of ammunition on him, so thank God before more lives were lost, he decided to do that."
Arks of Safe Haven
"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. Visit http://www.arksofsafehaven.org and view the many posts from those in need to see if you're able to help with advice, prayers or goods & services.
Mimzy314 – O'Fallon, MO. – I'm struggling with basic bills, and cant things taking care of, does anyone know how i can get help, the church in my area only helps you 2 times a yr i think. a maximum of 200 bucks. i live in O'Fallon, MO. I'm needing a washer and dryer. along with some help with utilities.
tasiagirl – Lancaster CA. – I give up, I do not care anymore and I am sure now that there are not people out there that cares anymore either, my husband will lose his license tomorrow and I gave it everything I had to help him, I am so shocked not one person out there that cares about it either, I couldn't live with myself if someone needed help and I didn't help them, with my husband having gone thru so much these last six months and myself having endured so many trials and heartbreaks. that I am a stronger person for everything that has happened to me, he doesn' t deserve to lose his license, he has worked all his life he is 61 now and has not even had a traffic violation or any other kind except for the expired tags, that he couldn't pay the fine and he forgot the court date because he has had so much going on with his two heart defibrillator surgeries and needs a third and had to move twice because the landlord didn't tell us that the house he rented one month was being foreclosed on the next, and our car being repossessed on my birthday, my husband is a broken man and when I look at hm sitting he never smiles anymore, he is so depressed and to lose his license would be the last straw, I really believed in my heart that someone out there would help with the $800.00 by tomorrow boy was I wrong and I was really wrong about people with big hearts that would help someone in need, we were willing to pay back a small amount each month and put in on paper to make it legal, all we got was a bunch of insults and called names things that I cannot even repeat, we have been humbled by the fact that now this point in our lives we have been married 37 years, and it is because of our health problems, I have been in the hospital at least 26 times and take 13 medications a day because of my heart rate and blood pressure, I just cannot stand to see my husband so depressed and if they take his license tomorrow I really think he would give up on everything, and I do not think i could handle that to see him give up, I really believed and had faith that someone out there in cyperspace that would help my husband, but everybody has there own problems which I pray for everyone everyday, I know that now days that nobody feels safe in the working world or housing world we have lost so much, but I really believed there was that one special person out there with a big heart that had the money and they would say hey I think I am going to do something nice to day, we did not want the money directly just to go to the DMV or the courthouse I am not sure which one, and we would never scam anyone because we have been scammed ourselves and we would never wish that kind of pain on anyone, it almost tore our family apart, and to those people who reply with insults you are not saying anything that I already don't know so thanks have a great day and God Bless, we live in Lancaster CA
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
YEMEN: Anger over delays in food distribution to flood victims
SEYOUN, 1 April 2009 (IRIN) – Delays in distributing food aid are generating anger and despair among people in the southern Yemeni governorate of Hadhramaut affected by the October 2008 floods, flood-displaced people and community leaders say. “We only received food rations for one month after the disaster,” said Issa Awadh Sedan, a mason from Mashta, a severely affected part of Tarim District in Hardhamaut. Sedan lost his house in the floods which left 47 dead and displaced 25,000 others. People IRIN spoke to said that a few weeks after the flooding, food aid had become erratic and inadequate, despite government promises to distribute it until the displaced had settled back into their repaired homes or elsewhere.
Hispaniola Was A Tropical Cyclone 'Target' Five Times In 2008
ScienceDaily (Apr. 2, 2009) — In 2008, residents of Hispaniola experienced one of their worst hurricane seasons in recent memory. Hispaniola, the Caribbean island containing Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is located directly within the hurricane belt, and was pummeled by five tropical cyclones last year: Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike, and low over the Dominican Republic on Sept. 24 what would become Kyle after moving north. More than 800 people were reported dead or missing from these storms. Haiti occupies the western third of Hispaniola, while the Dominican Republic covers the eastern two-thirds. Hispaniola is the second-largest and most populated island of the Antilles. It's located between Cuba to its west, and Puerto Rico to its east. Hispaniola, famous as Columbus' first stop in the "New World" in 1492, has often been the target of Atlantic hurricanes. In 1979 Hurricane David claimed more than a thousand lives. On this mountainous island, landslides and flooding are usually the major causes of destruction. "Located right in the center of 'hurricane alley,' Hispaniola has a long and brutal history of hurricane destruction," notes climatologist Bill Patzert, Climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, suffers from severe environmental degradation which makes hurricane landfalls especially damaging and deadly," Patzert added.
Ice bridge ruptures in Antarctic – Update
5 April 2009
An ice bridge linking a shelf of ice the size of Jamaica to two islands in Antarctica has snapped. Scientists say the collapse could mean the Wilkins Ice Shelf is on the brink of breaking away, and provides further evidence or rapid change in the region. Sited on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, the Wilkins shelf has been retreating since the 1990s. Researchers regarded the ice bridge as an important barrier, holding the remnant shelf structure in place. Its removal will allow ice to move more freely between Charcot and Latady islands, into the open ocean.
China Tries to Control ‘Plague’ of Pikas with Contraceptives
Written by The Guardian Environment Network
Published on March 30th, 2009
The growing number of rodents have been blamed for destroying fragile high-altitude grasslands and accelerating the spread of deserts. Biodiversity experts warn, however, that the extermination campaign could worsen the problem of soil degradation and the poisons could damage other parts of the plateau ecosystem. China’s chemists custom-designed the drugs to induce abortions and prevent pregnancy in “gerbils”, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. It is possible they are referring to pika, a small cousin of the rabbit with rounded ears and long whiskers that has long been the target of government eradication campaigns. Government workers began spreading the contraceptive in the Gurbantunggut desert last May, leaving it in pellet form near the entrance of burrows. Since then they have reportedly distributed 200kg of the drug over 49,000 hectares in China’s western region of Xinjiang. They say the drug will have a minimal impact on other animals.
Eastern Congo volcanoes show eruption warning signs
Mar 30, 2009
KINSHASA, March 30 (Reuters) – Two volcanoes may erupt in heavily populated eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where years of fighting have already forced 1 million people from their homes, scientists and aid agencies said. Scientists in Goma, capital of the border province of North Kivu, have in recent weeks registered high levels of seismic activity, considered an early warning sign of an impending eruption, around the Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes. "There is heavy activity around Nyiragongo, but it's more centred on Nyamulagira, around 13 km (8 miles) away," Dieudonne Wafula, lead scientist at the Volcanological Observatory of Goma, told Reuters on Monday. Nyiragongo, which lies just outside Goma, erupted in 2002, sending a river of lava through the city, destroying thousands of homes and killing dozens of people.
Natural Disaster Update
5.4 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.2 TONGA REGION
5.6 TONGA REGION
5.3 BALLENY ISLANDS REGION
6.2 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.8 KEP. TANIMBAR REGION, INDONESIA
5.0 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.4 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.6 CATAMARCA, ARGENTINA
5.3 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.0 TONGA REGION
5.0 SOUTHWESTERN RYUKYU ISL., JAPAN
5.0 OFFSHORE ATACAMA, CHILE
5.1 NEAR N COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PNG
5.2 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA
5.5 SOUTHWEST OF SUMATRA, INDONESIA
6.3 NEAR N COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PNG.
5.0 WESTERN XIZANG
5.1 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.3 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.4 PAGAN REG., N. MARIANA ISLANDS
5.0 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.8 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS.
5.8 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS.
5.1 KODIAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA
6.0 KODIAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA
5.2 KODIAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA
5.1 BABUYAN ISL REGION, PHILIPPINES
5.9 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.0 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
5.1 WEST OF BONIN ISLANDS
5.0 JAVA, INDONESIA
5.3 TARAPACA, CHILE
5.2 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.3 GUERRERO, MEXICO
5.1 SOUTHERN YUKON TERRITORY, CANADA
Third quake shakes East Tennessee in eight days – The lastest was a 1.0 magnitude quake. The first was a magnitude 1.0 quake that hit near Madisonville on March 25th.
Tremors Trigger Panic in Northern Emirates – With continued rough weather conditions affecting life across the country, two minor tremors, measuring 2.9 and 3.5 on the Richter scale hit Fujairah in the morning hours on Tuesday. The first tremor took place at the Gulf of Oman at 6.21am while the second hit North Dibba at 9.35am. The tremors were felt by the residents of Dibba, Fujairah and Dibba Al Hisn. The ceiling of an under-construction building collapsed in Dibba Al Hisn and injured three workers. It was not clear if tremors or heavy rain caused the collapse – the pillars of the building might not have been strong enough which led to the collapse. Abu Dhabi witnessed a similar incident at 10.30am when a three storey building on Elektra Street shifted and partly ‘sunk’ into the ground. A wall on the ground floor of the building fell resulting in the floor sinking a metre-deep. Panicked occupants were evacuated by the Abu Dhabi civil defence to two other buildings close by as a precautionary measure. The continuous heavy rains may have caused the building to shift and collapse.
NEW ZEALAND – RARE quake strikes Mackenzie Basin – Key Mackenzie Country hydro power stations and canals were urgently checked for damage on Saturday after the region's SHARPEST EARTHQUAKE FOR MANY YEARS. The tremor struck at 5.46am on Saturday, measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale. It was centred about 10 kilometres west of Twizel, at a depth of 15km. Twelve people around the Mackenzie Basin reported ground movement strong enough to cause minor damage. Twizel police constable said it was "a fair shake" that had damaged his police house. "The house has cracking to the brickwork. Some of the plaster has been pulled off the basework too. It woke me up properly. I was talking to a guy who said it was the biggest one in 20 years." It appeared the tremor was not located on a previously known fault. "Seismically, it is quite a quiet area. You get very few earthquakes there." A 3.2 magnitude aftershock was recorded at 9.18pm on Saturday. More aftershocks might follow.
MACEDONIA – Some 30 earthquakes have been registered in Macedonia in 32 hours, the country's Seismological Obsertavory said on Wednesday. The first was with a magnitude of 3 degrees on the European Merkalli scale. It was registered Tuesday at 20:28 hrs. The second quake measured 3-4 degrees on the European Merkalli scale.
PERU – Thursday’s 5.8 earthquake was the fifth of medium intensity to rock Peru this week.
CHILE – Llaima volcano, one of the most active in South America, spewed out a river of lava more than 1,000 metres long on Saturday in a fresh eruption, prompting officials to order dozens of people to evacuate. The lava and hot gases from the latest eruption are melting snow on the sides of the volcano, and authorities say some towns are in danger of being hit by mudslides. An ash-swollen river near the volcano had swept away a pedestrian bridge, but there was no other damage. Bright red bursts of lava were visible in the night sky as Llaima erupted.
ALASKA – The Mount Redoubt volcano in Alaska has had another large eruption after being relatively quiet for nearly a week. The volcano erupted early Saturday. The radar indicated a plume of volcanic ash rose 50,000 feet into the sky, making this one of the largest eruptions since the volcano became active on March 22. The ash cloud was drifting toward the southeast and there were reports of the fine, gritty ash falling in towns on the Kenai Peninsula.
COSTA RICA – Experts Predicting Major Activity From Arenal Volcano – Experts of the Red Sismológica Nacional UCR-ICE are warning that the volcán Arenal could spew out lava and ash in the coming days and has asked area residents to be on the alert and follow the directions of the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias, in the event of an eruption. The alert is based on a prognosis following 45 tectonic earthquakes in the colossus, registered during the month of March.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Eastern Congo volcanoes show eruption warning signs – Two volcanoes may erupt in heavily populated eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where years of fighting have already forced 1 million people from their homes. Scientists in Goma, capital of the border province of North Kivu, have in recent weeks registered high levels of seismic activity, considered an early warning sign of an impending eruption, around the Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes. "There is heavy activity around Nyiragongo, but it's more centred on Nyamulagira, around 13 km (8 miles) away." Nyiragongo, which lies just outside Goma, erupted in 2002, sending a river of lava through the city, destroying thousands of homes and killing dozens of people. "Red Cross volunteers are on alert to help the population, which still has memories of the (2002) eruption … which displaced around 400,000 people." Goma itself did not appear to be at risk, as the level of lava in the Nyiragongo crater is relatively low. "It's less worrying. The higher the lava level, the higher the probability of a serious eruption. The risk is greater for the villages west of the Nyamulagira volcano."
ALASKA – Mount Redoubt changes eruption pattern, emitting a more steady ash plume rather than the violent explosions of the past week. The volcano has erupted 18 times since March 22, sending ash in various directions. A light dusting of ash fell for the first time on Anchorage on Saturday. But since then, the volcano has entered a new phase. Emissions generally have not risen above 20,000 feet and have not reached large population centers. Scientists say they can't predict how long Redoubt stays in this mode. "It could continue for some time, but this is also a very unstable system so we could also go back to seeing these large explosions."
Currently 6 million gallons of Alaska Crude Oil wait at the base of the volcano that has puked, spewed and gone half mad 19 times in the last 8 days. The crude oil storage facility in a volcanic floodplain poses a danger to one of the state's most important fisheries.
ALASKA – Mount Redoubt has erupted again, spewing an ash cloud 50,000 feet up into the air. The volcano had a significant eruption at 1:20 a.m. Saturday. The ash is expected to move north toward the Alaska Range, missing Anchorage which is about 100 miles from the volcano. The observatory says after the eruption, it detected strong seismic activity lasting 20 minutes or more followed by an hours-long low-level tremor. Mount Redoubt erupted several times on Saturday, with the most recent eruption occurring at just after 3:30 pm. The eruption of Mount Redoubt has many travelers stranded in Anchorage. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is closed. Since the series of eruptions began Sunday night, the volcano has had about a dozen bursts. Scientists say the explosions could go on for weeks. The last time the volcano erupted was during a four-month period in 1989-90.
The surprise eruption of Kasatochi Volcano in the central Aleutians this summer on August 7, turned a small green island rich with seabirds and ocean mammals into a sterile gray lump. Tens of thousands of fledgling auklets and petrels perished in their rocky nests, as Kasatochi erupted for the first time in centuries, smothering under a deep blanket of ash anything that couldn't flee. "Probably 20 percent of auklet chicks were still in their crevices and hadn't left. They were most likely entombed." A couple hundred adult sea lions still encircle the island, but all the year's pups have disappeared. As for the bird habitat? "It's gone pretty much completely."
INDONESIA – Three volcanoes put on second-level alert status – The Bandung-based Vulcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center has increased the status of Semeru volcano in East Java to the second-highest threat level, bringing the total number of volcanoes on that alert level in Indonesia to three. Semeru was the latest volcano to begin showing increased activity. In December last year, the office raised the status of North Sulawesi's Karangetang volcano, and Ibu volcano in North Maluku was also hiked in April that same year. Currently there are 68 active volcanoes in Indonesia, out of a total 129 volcanoes. Nearly 15 of the 68 active volcanoes, including Dempo in South Sumatra and Bromo in East Java, are grouped under the first-level alert status – the lowest of the three levels. The office has warned residents living near Semeru volcano to remain cautious of any potential volcanic disaster.
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS –
AUSTRALIA – Massive five metre waves close Sydney beaches. Waves up to five metres high are hammering the coast of Sydney and surrounding areas, while heavy rain has brought down trees and damaged homes. Dangerous surf forced the closure of all Sydney beaches today, except for Bondi, with destructive waves expected to continue until tomorrow. More than 85mm of rain has fallen in the past 24 hours at Turramurra, in Sydney's north, and more than 60mm in the city's western suburbs.
TROPICAL STORMS –
Tropical storm Twenty six is forecast to strike Madagascar at about 02:00 GMT on 6 April.
Tonga is bracing for the onset of Tropical Cyclone Lin which is tracking a southeast path towards the country’s southern region.
AUSTRALIA – Coastalwatch features epic surf from tropical cyclone Jasper – Coastalwatch gathers up a few gems from the recent spat of waves with a feature on epic surf from the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and North Coast NSW courtesy of cyclone Jasper. Queensland and Northern NSW has been pumping over the past week thanks to Tropical Cyclone Jasper. The stories are large with reports like “ good as it gets”, “best for a decade” etc. The pictures tell the story and Coastalwatch has just launched a feature with more than 40 outstanding images of what has been happening.
INDONESIA – Tropical Cyclone Damages Houses, Crops in East Java – Strong winds damaged buildings and crops in East Java on Thursday afternoon. Thousands of hectares of crops and hundreds of houses in Malang, East Java were damaged by typhoon, one resident was hurt, losses were estimated reaching Rp 2 billion. The typhoon pounded Brongkal Village in Pagelaran district for about three minutes. Around 20,000 hectares of rice plants, 14,000 thousand hectares of sugar cane were flattened, and about 2,000 coconut, mohagony, and other trees were downed causing losses among dozens of farmers up to Rp 300 milion. About 150 houses, two small mosques, and one islamic school are lightly damaged. One resident was lightly injured after being hit by broken roof materials.
AUSTRALIA – Top end again on cyclone watch as a tropical low near Timor has begun to develop into a potentially dangerous system. WeatherZone yesterday observed winds gusting up to 85 kilometres per hour and a central pressure at 1008 hPa and dropping. This system certainly has the ability to intensify into a Tropical Cyclone sometime this week. The low is expected to track westward and speed up over the next day or two, with the central pressure falling to 998 hPa by Tuesday. It is predicted that this low has a moderate chance to form into a Tropical Cyclone within the next three days.
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –
CANADA – Fargo waters snake north to the ice of Winnipeg – Flood forecasters are expecting flood waters to reach LEVELS NOT SEEN SINCE 1979, Manitoba's second-highest flood.
ILLINOIS – WETTEST MARCH ON RECORD for Peoria. A new March monthly rainfall record has been established for Peoria. For the month 7.49 inches of rain fell.
AUSTRALIA – Homes flooded, residents stranded in SE Qld storms – Roads cut, blackouts in SE Qld Wild weather caused chaos across south-east Queensland Thursday afternoon. Homes have been inundated and there have been scores of rescues. The wild weather has caused power blackouts across south-east Queensland. Rain around Brisbane and the Gold Coast has also caused localised flooding and large swells have caused erosion on the region's beaches.
AUSTRALIA – RECORD DOWNPOUR batters New South Wales – Floodwaters raging through the NSW north coast have forced the evacuation of people from at least 100 properties in Coffs Harbour and left thousands of other residents stranded. At some Coffs Harbour homes, water reached chest height, with the town receiving 370mm of rain in 11 hours. "This has resulted in rapid rises in Coffs Creek approaching the levels of the record November 1996 flood." At Boambee, south of Coffs Harbour, 149mm of rain fell between 1pm and 2pm (AEDT) on Tuesday. A spokesman described it as a "ONE IN A 100-YEAR OCCURRENCE". The highest rainfall was at Red Hill, west of Coffs Harbour, which received 380mm of rain in 11 hours.
ANGOLA – The floods here could trigger a major food shortage, as harvest yields are expected to plummet 63%.
NORTH DAKOTA, MINNESOTA – RECORD-BREAKING FLOOD waters in North Dakota have breached a dike at a school, swamping the campus. Officials warn the Red River in the city of Fargo will stay at danger level for days, despite peaking on Friday and continuing to recede. The Red River, which crested at midnight on Friday at 40.82ft (12.4m), had dropped to 40.17ft (12.2m) by early Sunday – still more than 22ft (6.7m) above flood level. Officials say up to 30,000 people could be homeless if defenses fail in Fargo, and in Moorhead on the opposite bank. Up to 100,000 people may need to be evacuated in the area. Thousands of people have already fled their homes as the Red River swelled to its HIGHEST LEVEL FOR 112 YEARS, sending water rising to second-floor level in some homes. Emergency crews in boats had to rescue about 150 people from their homes in Minnesota, where about a fifth of households in Moorhead have been urged to leave. Experts say the huge rise in the river's levels was caused by an UNUSUALLY COLD winter, followed by a very quick thaw and heavy rain.
INDONESIA – The death toll from a burst dam in a Jakarta suburb rose to 97 as rescue workers continued to search for more than 100 people still missing.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
Antarctic ice shelf breaks up – An ice bridge which had apparently held a vast Antarctic ice shelf in place during recorded history shattered yesterday and could herald a wider collapse linked to global warming. "It's amazing how the ice has ruptured. Two days ago it was intact." The satellite picture showed that a 40 km long strip of ice believed to pin the Wilkins Ice Shelf in place had splintered at its narrowest point, about 500 metres wide. "We've waited a long time to see this." The Wilkins, now the size of Jamaica or the U.S. state of Connecticut, is one of 10 shelves to have shrunk or collapsed in recent years on the Antarctic Peninsula, where temperatures have risen in recent decades apparently because of global warming. "Charcot Island will be a real island for the first time in history." The loss of the ice bridge, jutting about 20 metres out of the water and which was almost 100 km wide in 1950, may now allow ocean currents to wash away far more of the Wilkins shelf. The loss of ice shelves does not affect sea levels – floating ice contracts as it melts and so does not raise ocean levels. But their loss can allow glaciers on land to slide more rapidly towards the sea, adding water to the oceans. The Wilkins does not have much ice pent up behind it. But bigger ice shelves to the south on the frozen continent, where no major warming has been detected, hold back far more ice.
INDIA – The entire state of Gujarat is reeling under the heat wave with temperatures higher by 3-4 degree Celsius than normal levels.
PENNSYLVANIA – Region SETS DRYNESS RECORD FOR FIRST THREE MONTHS OF THE YEAR – The first three months ended at the Reading Regional Airport with a meager total of 4.31 inches of precipitation.
MARYLAND – After nearly two months with only a few inches of snow and scant rainfall across most of Maryland, more than half the state officially fell into a drought.
NEPAL – Climate change 'fans Nepal fires' – The forest fires that flared UNUSUALLY VICIOUSLY in many of Nepal's national parks and conserved areas this dry season have left conservationists worrying if climate change played a role. At least four protected areas were on fire for an UNUSUALLY LONG TIME until just a few days ago. Nasa's satellite imagery showed most of the big fires were in and around the national parks along the country's northern areas bordering Tibet. The extent of the loss of flora and fauna is not yet known. More than the loss of plants and animals, the carbon dioxide emitted by the fires was a matter of concern. Some of the national parks in the plains bordering India were also on fire. Why were the fires so different this time? "The most obvious reason was the UNUSUALLY LONG DRY SPELL this year." For nearly six months, no precipitation has fallen across most of the country – the LONGEST DRY SPELL IN RECENT HISTORY. "We have seen winter becoming drier and drier in the last three or four years, but this year has SET THE RECORD." Rivers are running at their lowest, and because most of Nepal's electricity comes from hydropower, the country has been suffering power cuts up to 20 hours a day. Had it not been for recent drizzles, conservationists say some of the national parks would still be on fire. They point to "cloud burst phenomena" – huge rainfall within a short span of time during monsoons, and frequent, sudden downpours in the Himalayan foothills – as more examples of extreme weather events. "Seeing all these changes happening in recent years, we can contend that this dryness that led to so much fire is one of the effects of climate change." Are we waiting for a bigger disaster to admit that it is climate change? "The weather pattern has changed, and we know that there are certain impacts of climate change." Limited studies have shown that temperature in the Himalayas has been increasing on average by 0.06 degrees annually, causing glaciers to melt and retreat faster. The meltdown has been rapidly filling up many glacial lakes that could break their moraines and burst out, sweeping away everything downstream. In Nepal and neighbouring countries, these "glacial lake outburst floods" and monsoon-related floods resulting from erratic rainfalls are at present the most talked-about disasters in the context of climate change.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD –
MINNESOTA – International Falls has a NEW RECORD FOR ITS SNOWIEST WINTER. The 8.4 inches of snow Borderland received between Tuesday and Wednesday morning put the total amount of snow this winter at 123 inches. That amount beats the 1996 record of 116 inches of snow.
NORTH DAKOTA – A massive blizzard bore down on flood-ravaged North Dakota Monday as officials struggled to shore-up levees against potential erosion from high, powerful waves and swift moving waters.
Southeast U.S. states experience ‘UNUSUAL springtime storm’ – The spring snow storm that was blamed for two traffic deaths in Oklahoma prompted blizzard warnings and a disaster declaration in Kansas. Tens of thousands of Kansas utility customers were without power Saturday as an early spring blizzard buried parts of the state in snow and ice. The National Weather Service said the heaviest snow had fallen in southwest Kansas, including 28 inches in the Pratt area with 6-foot snow drifts. Heavy winds accompanying the snow forced authorities to close several local and state highways. In Texas, blizzard warnings were in effect until Saturday afternoon for parts of the Texas Panhandle as snow stranded people indoors and left highways closed. The storm also dumped heavy rains, baseball-sized hail and whipped up winds across the Southeast on Saturday, flooding homes and cars in parts of Mississippi and Alabama. About 100 roads in southern Mississippi were impassable at the height of the bad weather because of the flooding. Up to 17 inches had fallen over three days in isolated areas in Alabama and Mississippi. "We have springtime storms. But this is a VERY UNUSUAL springtime storm.”
MYSTERY BOOMS –
U.S. EAST COAST – 3/29/09 – The flashing lights and booming sounds seen over parts of the East Coast Sunday night were not a result of a man-made space object, according to the United States Air Force. It was first believed that the lights and sounds were caused by space junk related to the Russian rocket Soyuz docking with the International Space Stations Saturday. Whatever flashed through the sky followed the exact path the space junk was traveling over the eastern seaboard. Witnesses describe the flashes in the sky as being colored with yellows and oranges. Fireballs usually throw sparks that appear green followed by trains of blue and red. The loud explosion accompanying the balls of fire in the sky could be explained if the object was a rocket tank with residual amounts of booster fuel. The flashes and booms that people heard prompted calls to 911 and the National Weather Service late Sunday night. The calls were numerous enough for the National Weather Service to release this statement late Sunday night: "Numerous reports have been called in to this office and into local law enforcement concerning what appeared to be flashes of light in the sky over the Suffolk/Virginia Beach area. We are confident in saying that this was not lightning…and have been in contact with military and other government agencies to determine the cause. So far…we have not seen or heard of any damage from this and will continue to inquire as to the cause."
The bright fireball Sunday evening was UNUSUAL even by fireball standards. So far we've heard of sightings from Maryland to North Carolina. "At precisely 9:40 p.m. EDT… Suddenly the ground lit up a bright green color. Gazing skyward we saw what appeared to be brilliant fireball meteor. As it moved across the sky NNE between Ursa Minor and Ursa Major it turned from a green color to a brilliant orange, with a white core. Two and a half minutes later we heard a low-pitched rumbling sound. I've been observing more than 40 years but have never seen a meteor this bright. It was absolutely spectacular!" Meteor specialists perk up especially at reports of rumbling or booming in the minute or two after a fireball. If a meteoroid penetrates deep enough into the atmosphere that sounds can reach the ground (as opposed to being refracted upward), it's a sign that the meteoroid survived low enough that it likely dropped fragments on the ground. The fireball reportedly lasted only about 5 to 8 seconds. Re-entering satellites move more slowly, last much longer, and generally cross the whole sky. So the hunt for fallen meteorites is back on.
FOOD / WATER / SUPPLIES-
Three years of drought are threatening to destroy California farmers, and the state's multi-billion dollar agriculture industry. News of a smaller snowpack than usual doesn't improve the dry situation in the usually fertile Central Valley. That means farmers can't expect to see more water for their crops. It's heartbreaking to see the area that supplies 40% of the nation's food supply vanishing, with farmers refusing to plant or just ripping up their crops. Without more water, California's $37 billion dollar agricultural industry is on the line. Empty fields have cost thousands of jobs, with the unemployed pressuring Sacramento to solve the problem. Consumers will feel it next. "It's going to dramatically impact the supply of food, the cost of food and the availability of food."
Food shortage fears as Angola floods worsen – Aid agencies warned Friday that devastating floods that have hit 220,000 people in Angola could cause food shortages.
Tea prices are surging – demand exceeded supply in 2008, driving up the cost. Tea prices have soared as drought has hit Kenya hard in the past year, as well as Sri Lanka and India, which is the world's biggest producer of tea. "There've been reports of a 15% drop in production in Sri Lanka alone in January and February due to the drought." Traders are expecting the worst. "If the shortfall turns out to be as deep as expected, then prices will go through the roof." There is no reserve of tea.
Earth population 'exceeds limits' – humans have exceeded the Earth's "limits of sustainability". "We need to continue to decrease the growth rate of the global population; the planet can't support many more people." We have six-and-a-half-billion people on the planet, going rapidly towards seven.
SPACE WEATHER –
As April begins, the sun has been spotless for 24 consecutive days. How long can the blank spell continue? The longest stretch of blank suns in the past 100 years was 92 days in April, May and June of 1913. To match that streak, today's sun must remain spotless until early June 2009.
HEALTH THREATS –
The world is on the cusp of an explosion of drug-resistant tuberculosis cases that could deluge hospitals and leave physicians fighting a nearly untreatable malady with little help from modern drugs.
RECALLS & ALERTS:
The Kroger Co. is recalling Kroger Lite Mayo in 32-ounce plastic jars with a "Sell by" date of SEP-25-09 sold in Kroger stores in Southwestern Ohio, including Cincinnati and Dayton, and in Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.
Union International Food Co. is further expanding the recall of Lian How brand and Uncle Chen brand dry spices to include all types of dry spice products in 15-pound and smaller containers (boxes, plastic bags and wide mouth jars) and 30-pound boxes and smaller packages of crushed chili because of a possible health risk.
Stonyfield Farm is conducting a voluntary recall of Fat Free Plain Quarts in Stonyfield Farm branded containers limited to specific dates. The products are being recalled because they may contain a presence of food grade sanitizer.
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
Episcopal minister defrocked after becoming a Muslim
By Patrick Oppmann
SEATTLE, Washington (CNN) — Ann Holmes Redding has what could be called a crisis of faiths. For nearly 30 years, Redding has been an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church. Her priesthood ended Wednesday when she was defrocked. The reason? For the past three years Redding has been both a practicing Christian and a Muslim. "Had anyone told me in February 2006 that I would be a Muslim before April rolled around, I would have shaken my head in concern for the person's mental health," Redding recently told a crowd at a signing for a book she co-authored on religion. Redding said her conversion to Islam was sparked by an interfaith gathering she attended three years ago. During the meeting, an imam demonstrated Muslim chants and meditation to the group. Redding said the beauty of the moment and the imam's humbleness before God stuck with her. "It was much more this overwhelming conviction that I needed to surrender to God and this was the form that my surrender needed to take," she recalled. "It wasn't just an episode but …. was a step that I wasn't going to step back from." Ten days later Redding was saying the shahada — the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Mohammad as his prophet.
HATE PREACHER: I WANT SHARIA LAW IN BRITAIN
Sunday March 29,2009
By James Murray
RADICAL Muslim Anjem Choudary has brushed aside a Scotland Yard probe into his inflammatory speeches to demand that Britain should become a Sharia state. His voice rising with passion and vigour, he told his growing army of followers in central London on Friday night: “Let me tell you something – the Sharia will be implemented in Pakistan, it will be implemented in India and Bangladesh and even down the road in Downing Street.” He was sharing a platform with four other senior members of Islam4UK, a new organisation which is attracting the sort of believers who loyally followed hate preacher Abu Hamza before he was locked up. Muslims around the world will rise and eventually conquer the White House, said Choudary, comparing the struggle ahead with that faced by Muslims hundreds of years ago, who constantly brushed the dust of battles from their eyes as they conquered nations. Astonishingly, he compared himself to Noah from the Old Testament in one ranting outburst.
Abortion is a blessing and abortionists are doing holy work, says Anglican priest
Apr 2, 2009
The new Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massacusetts, has given a sermon describing abortions as a "blessing" for the women who undergo them. The Rev Katherine Hancock Ragsdale also thinks that the people who run abortion clinics are "heroes" and even "saints". Ms Ragsdale, speaking in Birmingham, Alabama, said that "when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight – only blessing." Here is the full text of her sermon. Do not, please, make the mistake of assuming that she is an unrepresentative extremist: liberal Anglicans in America are among the most fervent supporters of abortion in the world, outstripping even atheists in their enthusiasm for this gruesome procedure. Over to you, Ms Ragsdale: Well, Operation Save America came, they saw, they harassed, and they annoyed; but they did not close the clinic. The clinic stayed open, no patients were turned away, and the doors never closed. We remain victorious. And that victory is a good thing – but, make no mistake, even though OSA has gone home; our work is not done.
Catholic bishops warned in 1950s on child molesting priests
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Updated Wednesday, April 1st 2009
NEW YORK – The founder of a religious order that treats Roman Catholic priests who molest children concluded in the 1950s that offenders were unlikely to change and should not be returned to ministry, according to his letters, which were obtained by plaintiffs' lawyers. The Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald, founder of the Servants of the Paraclete, was so sure of the priests' inability to control themselves that he tried to buy an island to isolate them. Fitzgerald discussed the issue with Pope Paul VI and in correspondence with several bishops, according to the National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper that reported the full content of the letters Monday. The documents challenge recent statements by U.S. bishops that before the clergy sex abuse scandal erupted in the 1980s and again in 2002, they were unaware of the risks of moving predators among parishes. Fitzgerald wrote in a 1952 letter to Bishop Robert Dwyer of Reno, Nevada that "real conversions will be found to be extremely rare." "Hence, leaving them on duty or wandering from diocese to diocese is contributing to scandal or at least to the approximate danger of scandal," he wrote.
I love God, not church greed
By George Louie Brogdon Iv
For the Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
We Americans are not “losing our religion,” as syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts charges. Our religion is losing us. In a March 18 column, Pitts cited a 2008 survey suggesting Americans have been moving away from organized religion for the last two decades. Pitts blamed perverse church scandals, predatory preachers, violence in the name of religion and intolerant messages as the demons driving this departure from the divine. While harmful, the problems I and many of my fellow college students see are much more basic. It is not because priests are playing doctor with the altar boys that my generation is leaving the church. It’s because clergymen are playing politician with our country. Jerry Falwell’s bygone “Moral Majority” is not our majority. And the unholy union of evangelical Christians and the once-sensible Republican Party has confused the principles of both groups —- and their followers. It is not because a slew of shepherds have built expensive palaces on the backs of their flock. It is because churches have built palaces for themselves. How many multimillion-dollar megachurches did Christ —- or Muhammad —- need to attract people or do the works of their God, the God of Abraham?
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
Cartoon strip aimed at under-12s depicts Christian boy as Islamaphobe thug
By Jonathan Petre
04th April 2009
A Government-funded charity was at the centre of a row last night after a magazine it publishes for children appeared to depict Christians as Islamaphobes who regard Muslims as terrorists. In a cartoon strip, a boy wearing a large cross around his neck is shown telling a friend that a smiling Muslim girl in a veil looks like a terrorist. He later confronts her and shouts: ‘Hey, whatever your name is, what are you hiding under your turban?’ She replies that the garment is called a hijab and it is part of her religion, ‘like that cross you wear’. The girl is then shown standing up for another boy, who is being bullied, and her behaviour is contrasted with that of the boy wearing the cross.
Bishop of Rochester resigns to become defender of persecuted Christians
The Bishop of Rochester has surprised the Church of England by announcing that he will stand down this year to become a defender of persecuted Christians.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent
29 Mar 2009
Dr Michael Nazir-Ali is only 59 and could have stayed for another decade in his post, one of the most senior in the Church, but has chosen instead to devote the rest of his career to working in communities where Christians are in a minority. While this is likely to see him involved in the Middle East and Pakistan, the bishop revealed that he also plans to work with Muslim converts to Christianity in Britain. He said he has been inspired by the story of Hannah Shah, an Imam's daughter who faced being killed by her family for refusing an arranged marriage before becoming a Christian. "Bishop Michael is hoping to work with a number of church leaders from areas where the church is under pressure, particularly in minority situations, who have asked him to assist them with education and training for their particular situation," said a spokesman.
Iraq: The most dangerous place in the world for Christians
By: Canon Andrew White at Mar 27, 2009
The Christians of Iraq are some of the oldest and long standing Christians in the world. Here among these wonderful people is still spoken the language of our Lord. Ninety-eight per cent of my people at St George's, Baghdad originate from "Niniwah" (Nineveh) and are the result of the most miserable evangelist ever, who arrived by submarine transportation 2,700 years ago – Jonah. Another miserable person turned up 700 years later called doubting Thomas. He was on his way to India. He told the people that their Messiah had come. They believed him and, to this day, the Christians in Iraq revere Jonah and Mar Thoma. Yet I look around our church and most of our members (over 2,000) are women and children because our men have been killed or kidnapped. All of our members apart from me are Iraqis and all have suffered terribly. Last year alone, 93 of my people were killed. This year already, five of my people have been killed. All of my original church leaders were killed in 2005 and all Christians in the country who had the means have left and gone to Jordan, Syria or Sweden so that those left behind tend to be the poorer members of the community.
Mount Vernon teacher testifies she keeps Bible on desk
Written by M.Seither
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — A veteran Mount Vernon middle-school teacher said if anyone should be singled out for promoting religion in public schools, it should be her. Lori Miller testified yesterday during the termination hearing of John Freshwater that her colleague is a man of integrity and shouldn't be fired. "I still have a Bible on my desk and my administrators know that, and I have not been asked to remove them," said Miller, a seventh-grade math teacher, who taught middle-school science until three years ago. She displayed two large Bibles and two other devotional books that she typically keeps on the corner of her desk.
Muslim Morocco expels 5 Christian missionaries
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Authorities have expelled five Christian missionaries from Morocco on the grounds that they were illegally inciting Muslims to convert, the Interior Ministry said Sunday. The missionaries were caught Saturday during an assembly with Moroccan Muslims in Casablanca, the North African kingdom's economic capital, and have been sent to Spain by boat, the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the official MAP news agency. "Numerous pieces of evangelical propaganda material were also seized," including video cassettes in Arabic that advocated conversion to Christianity, the statement said. A senior Interior Ministry official said the missionaries were four Spaniards and a German woman. He insisted Morocco has nothing against the Christian faith, but that authorities felt the missionaries had gone too far. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with Interior Ministry rules, said the missionaries were expelled without being officially arrested or charged. He could not specify the Christian denomination to which they belonged.