Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 88

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

Warnings
By Regina

Jeremiah 13:15 [ The LORD's Warning ] Listen and pay attention. Do not be proud, for the LORD has spoken.

A warning is defined as “to give notice, advice, or intimation to (a person, group, etc.) of danger, impending evil, possible harm, or anything else unfavorable” also “to urge or advise to be careful; caution” and “to notify, advise, or inform”.

When bad weather is approaching, we receive warnings from meteorologists to be careful, be alert, stay inside or drive carefully and overall to be safe. When driving recklessly, we might be pulled over by a police officer and issued a warning, or worse, a ticket. Children who are exhibiting bad behavior might receive a warning from a parent or guardian to straighten up and be good…or else.

Many of Father’s prophets of old declared warnings to mankind, kings and noblemen. Men like Noah, Moses, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel just to name a few. They were instructed by Father to issue these warnings because mankind was (and still is) so out of synch with our Creator and judgment was to come upon them.

We are shown examples in the scriptures of those who heeded the warnings. Here are just a few:

Genesis 6:9 God Warns Noah
Deuteronomy 9:1 Warning against Self-Righteousness
Deuteronomy 31:24 Moses Warns the People
Psalm 95:1 Worship and Warning
Proverbs 6:20 Warning against Adultery
Jeremiah 7:12 Shiloh As a Warning
Jeremiah 13:15 The LORD’s Warning
Jeremiah 21:8 A Warning for the People
Jeremiah 27:12 Warning to Zedekiah
Hosea 4:15 Warnings for Israel and Judah
Malachi 2:1 Warning to Priests
Malachi 4:4 A Final Warning
Mark 9:42 Warnings from Jesus
Mark 12:38 Warning against the Scribes
Luke 17:1 Warnings from Jesus
Luke 20:45 Warning against the Scribes
Acts 21:1 Warnings on the Journey to Jerusalem
Romans 16:17 Warning against Divisive People
1 Corinthians 10:1 Warnings from Israel’s Past
1 Corinthians 10:14 Warning against Idolatry
2 Corinthians 13:1 Final Warnings and Exhortations
2 Thessalonians 3:6 Warning against Irresponsible Behavior
Hebrews 2:1 Warning against Neglect
Hebrews 3:7 Warning against Unbelief
Hebrews 6:1 Warning against Regression
Hebrews 10:23 Warning against Willful Sin
Hebrews 11:7 Warning against Rejecting God’s Grace
James 5:1 Warning to the Rich
1 John 2:15 A Warning about the World

Warnings from Father Yahweh are given out of Love for Her creation. They are warnings to help us to become better people, to show love one another and grow spiritually and into righteousness as we learn to follow our Creator’s commands. They are issued for our own good and not as a form of control, but so that we might one day be worthy of existence in Christ our Savior’s Kingdom and have eternal life.

There is nothing new under the sun and we are given examples of what happened before, because it will happen again. Our Creator is a fair and righteous God in that She has instructed Christ’s Ministers of the Light of Life Ministry to yet again issue a warning to mankind of impending judgment, because it is not Her will that all should perish.

In addition to the scriptures, these warnings also come as signs that are witnessed by all. They come in dreams, visions, and unexplainable occurrences in the skies and on the earth and even in the weather. We declare that we are currently experiencing the Tribulation, which includes natural disasters and financial and economic collapse and we give notice that Father’s faithful will be raptured from this planet before the final judgment of Armageddon takes place in the very near future.

We also issue a warning in another way in that we notify, advise and inform mankind on exactly what is required for Salvation and that it is not the ritualistic dogmas that false religion should have you believe, but instead a declaration and acceptance of Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior and a good heart condition.

John 3:36 “The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.”

For those who do not believe, consider this: Hebrews 3:7-8 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested Me, tried [Me], and saw My works for 40 years. Therefore I was provoked with this generation and said, “They always go astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways.” So I swore in My anger, “They will not enter My rest.”

For those who do believe, hold fast to your faith: Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit, tasted God's good word and the powers of the coming age, and who have fallen away, because, to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding Him up to contempt.

And finally we give warning to all those who refuse to accept the truth, in that lives will be extinguished at the hands of Father’s Holy Angels at Armageddon.

Nehemiah 9:30 You were patient with them for many years, and Your Spirit warned them through Your prophets, but they would not listen. Therefore, You handed them over to the surrounding peoples.

Just as the rumbling in the distance and flashes of light in the horizon announce the oncoming presence of a thunderstorm, we urge you to prepare for what is ahead. Think long and hard and search your hearts because there is little time left. Father can only warn for so long before the last grain of sand falls to the bottom of the hourglass.

Everyone has the free will choice in the decision and are able to choose one way or the other and the truth will not be forced upon you. You will either accept or reject the truth that has been ministered to you and since everyone should come to understand that actions result in consequences, we have delivered the truth of these warnings to you.

Instruction Manual
By Johanna

James 1:19-20 Hearing and Doing the Word
My dearly loved brothers, understand this: everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man's anger does not accomplish God's righteousness.

Have you ever heard the saying “I wish life would have came with an instruction manual?” Before I turned my life completely over to Father to do as She wills I would either say the above or think it. Now that I have complete faith in Father and Her Word I have found that yes life does come with clear instructions we just have to apply them to our everyday lives. The above scripture clearly tells us how we should act. Why should everyone be quick to hear? Why should we be slow to speak, and slow to anger?

There are two main reasons why we should be slow to speak. (1) being that we should go to Father in prayer and ask for guidance, patience and understanding. (2) We should listen to Fathers guidance before speaking. This way you are also giving yourself some time to think before you speak.

There are a lot of times in my past where I spoke before praying or thinking and I would end up saying the wrong thing or something hateful and end up hurting someone because I didn't take their feelings into account or spoke to fast because I was angry at them. When things like that happened to me I would feel ashamed of myself.

James 1:22-23 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror.

The above scripture tells us that we need to be doers not hearers only. Why do you think that is? I'm a doer and what that means is that I apply what I learn from Father to my everyday life. In turn I am teaching my children and everyone I come in contact with by my actions. Now hearers hear the word of Father but don't apply it to their lives.

If you study and ponder Fathers word you will see that it is our instruction manual to life. When you apply the word to your life you will see a change within yourself. Once that happens and you become a doer and not just a hearer it will open your eyes to a whole new world. The words that I have written to you all come from my heart straight from Fathers.

Inspired Writings

Giving Up Too Easily

There are quite a few experiences I have had where people have given up too easily. Although I know that my experiences are quite limited, it never ceases to amaze me when people are so ready to give up and leave so quickly. Perhaps not only amaze, but also depress. When people commit to a certain cause, and then all of the sudden when things get too difficult, they disperse or give up because the cause they fought for became too hard. Now, in this, I am not saying that I support organizations that unlawfully kill innocents in an effort to try to save others or do something good. Such organizations are self destructive and defeat their own purpose all to their own self. Rather, I am saying that those people whose hearts are set on doing something right are defeated in trying to do the right thing by leaving their cause, which might have been pure to begin with.

An example might be those people that go to rallies, and then go home and continue living as they were, or those that suddenly become inspired to seek Yahweh, and then because of a little hardship, they give up their search. There is an organization called “ALF” that tries to do good for animals, and although this may be a pure inspiration, their methods of doing so are evil and unlawful. And then, when their cause is defeated not only because of equally armed resistance, but also their own self destruction, they may find themselves giving up on that original cause, which was not fought in the right way to begin with. I sympathize for those that find themselves defenseless or without a means to fight for pure causes, all in the right ways, but for those that show cowardice and give up so easily, I also find myself quite a bit upset over their choices.

This is not saying that I am any better myself. I may be the worst coward I have ever seen, for I do not even know how I would react in the midst of a losing battle, yet, to see those that do not rely on Father's undying strength and stability in their times of need, I am a bit disconcerted. There are movies where the hero or shows where the main character(s) will panic, frenzy, or hide in fear while in a fetal position, and I personally cannot really see how or why, except in that one has abandoned the One whom would protect them, even from themselves.

Now, if one in this situation of cowardice would take a moment to reflect on Father, rather than their own self, or anything else that has a potential for failure, perhaps an enlightenment may come through for them in what must or needs to be done to complete the pure inspiration that came into their heart, if it were to be pure to begin with.

Psalm 4:4 — Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still. Selah

Proverbs 3:6 — think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.

As anything that has happened, is happening, or will happen to any of us in the future has already been, is, and will be, all things can be considered, therefore, in scripture so that we may learn and lead a wise and understanding life full of Father's promise. In this, here is an example of when people found Christ, and then when things became too difficult, left:

John 6:60 — Therefore, when many of His disciples heard this, they said, "This teaching is hard! Who can accept it?"

This account can be fully read from John 6:60 to the end of this particular chapter. The point being is that if the other disciples had taken a moment and thought about their ways, and really thought about what it was that Father had shared through Her Son, then perhaps they would not have said what they said, or thought what they thought. Things can be really hard to begin with, but if one takes everything a word at a time, and focuses with Father in everything that they can, then Father may or may not reveal this or that. It is all within Father's plan, and each should fulfill their role, but not in disobedience or scorn towards their Creator.

Now, in this reflection, and quiet contemplation, there are a lot of details that may also be left out much of the time. There are things that we forget or do not keep considering, and we may be side even side tracked by one thought or the other. This not only requires endurance, but also concentration and realization. These are skills that all come in a huge package, and in order to do one thing, they may find themselves actually trying to do many things at once. This is because Father doesn't just create things on one level, but many levels, and with many aspects all tied into one. Just as Father Yahweh has so much about Her, so are all the things that are of Her own energy. Both visible and invisible. Much of the skill required to do many things at one time may already be developed as children, but as everything is a continuous learning process, we may be left with finding that we still have so much to learn and grow. For all this, it requires love for Father, because true love for Father endures regardless of the difficulty and hardship that is required to do the right thing. In this, Father's Spirit guides one's thoughts, so that they may reflect on what Father wants them to reflect on, such that those items that are forgotten in memory may be remembered, and those that are not required for that moment are still left in the back of one's mind. Thus, the memory is important, but Father's Spirit and Father, Herself, are most important in that whole process.

For all of this, there is still so much more, and there will continue to be much more because there is always more to Father in all these things than one can dig. Just as one might try to dig to the center of the planet, so too may it be with digging into the knowledge that Father would provide to be available for learning and growing to understand. The most important factor in learning, however, is not to go off on one's own to learn, but realizing their dependence on Father and Christ, do so with their help, and with their love. Being in love with wisdom and righteousness, it helps to bring the knowledge that is gained to full circle, where an endless chain of righteousness and prosperity can be attained and grown for all to move forward in, through the current time in one's life, onward towards eternity.

Fruitage of the Spirit – Part 5
This week we will start to look at attitudes to be cultivated. 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.

You must show generosity just as Yahweh was generous in the undeserved kindness He offered mankind through the Ransom Sacrifice:
2 Corinthians 9:11
Luke 6:38

You must have and show Godly devotion to Yahweh your Creator:
1 Timothy 6:6
2 Peter 2:9

You must cultivate goodness in your heart. It too comes from Yahweh:
Galatians 5:22
Ephesians 5:9

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

Regina: http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2009/….barrow2009.html

Jeshaiah: I think there are a total of 40 lines that seem to be drawn in there, and the shape makes me think of a turtle. I think there are also a total of 10 circles, large and small, and overall, the center not only makes me think of a cross, but also a rotating fan, and a flower. Probably going to take some time, soon, to transfix on this image.

Deborah: Inside the downed rape area located behind the eyes toward the center (but not actually the center) there are smaller whirls with tufts still standing. Not sure if you can see it or not, but they are there. 🙂

Prince of Yahweh II: Also reps cross with hourglass down through the cross; fan means to sift when time has run out at the end of the hourglass; also forms the 8 for infinity, and it has some other hidden meanings. Like this enigma, all signs are to be meditated on:

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

Low flying UFO approaches and hovers over remote Oklahoma ranch
Examiner
May 25, 2009

An Oklahoma witness feeding horses at a remote ranch first noticed very low and slow moving lights approaching. The witness noticed distinct detail to the lights, but could not make out a shape of the object – and then it appeared that the craft was slowing down completely – reaching a nearby dirt road and crossing over some power lines. The witness ran from this coral area to a nearby pick-up truck – and looking back at the lights – estimated that they were about 150 feet away and had stopped completely and were hovering. The object looked like a single craft and was somewhere between 25 and 50 feet across. The panicked witness realized that the roadway toward town would take the truck close to the lights, so the only other option was to drive south. About a quarter of a mile down the road, the witness looked back and the lights were gone.

UFO video over Oregon May 25
Examiner
May 25, 2009

A rather short video was shot over Oregon skies May 25, 2009, after a man's son came into the house to report an object in the sky. The man used his Blackberry cell phone to make a recording of the slow moving object, which he said was silent, round and bright. Please keep in mind that most UFO reports can be explained as something natural or manmade. If Oregon MUFON investigates and reports back on this case, I will update this page. The following report and its headline is unedited. The video follows. You can read my selected cases by type of UFO report at the UFO Traffic Report index page. OR, May 25, 2009 – Lighted object in sky above our home.. On 5-25-2009 around 9:45 pm, we were watching tv, Our son had taken the dog outside, and came back in the house quickly to tell us to come outside as there is a lighted object in the sky, my wife, my daughter (age 13), my son (age 17), and myself went out and observed a bright object in the sky about south west of us and watched it come north to above us, then I grabbed my blackberry cell phone and took a video of it, when i started taken the video it was slowy moving away from us to the south east, it got smaller then disapeared.

UFO Traffic Report: Cylinder-shaped UFO low over Kansas
Examiner
May 27, 2009

The UFO Traffic Report for Wednesday, May 27, 2009, includes 13 selected sightings over 10 states, according to witness statements filed in the past 48 hours with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. Today's stories include: a cylinder-shaped UFO with lights on each end just a few hundred feet in the air over Kansas; a bright blue, round ball of light moving over Nevada; a brilliant light over Michigan with photos; a triangle UFO spotted over Connecticut; sphere-shaped objects over Arizona and Nebraska; interesting Bright Light cases over Oregon, Arizona, Washington, Nebraska and Pennsylvania; and a fireball-looking object over Ohio that seemed to attract the attention of helicopters and occurred in the same vicinity of a triangle UFO sighting reported on local news.

Ohio witnesses capture UFO event on video
Examiner
May 25, 2009

A group of people in Ohio celebrating a birthday noticed odd lights in the sky – three lights that appeared to form a triangle, according to witness testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The lights also changed form, from a triangle to a straight line, and then back to a triangle. At one point, the lights were not moving and remained stationary in the sky.

UFO Traffic Report: Hovering light photographed over Vermont
Examiner
May 29, 2009

The UFO Traffic Report for Friday, May 29, 2009, includes 17 selected sightings over 13 states, according to witness statements filed in the past 48 hours with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. Today’s stories include: A Vermont sighting of a blue and white light hovering in the sky with photos; four chevron-shaped objects photographed over California; a bright light videotaped over Oregon; two interesting accounts of a triangle UFO from the same Stephenville, Texas, witnesses; a boomerang object near Savannah, Georgia; discs spotted over South Carolina, Oregon and Arizona; an Orange Light hovering over a field near Rockville, Indiana; seven Bright Light cases over Texas, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Wisconsin and California; and an odd case of an invisible entity in the Missouri woods.

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

Times photographs expose Sri Lanka’s lie on civilian deaths at beach
Times
by Catherine Philp and Michael Evans
May 29, 2009

On Wednesday evening the Sri Lankan delegation at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva was celebrating after its victory in fending off an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by its army. Sri Lanka’s Government has consistently denied killing civilians in the battle to wipe out the Tamil Tigers and blamed the rebels for any deaths. It hailed the vote by the council as a vindication of its action. An investigation by The Times into Sri Lanka’s civilian casualties, however — which was conducted in a week-long visit to Sri Lanka — has found evidence of a civilian death toll of 20,000, almost three times that cited previously. The majority perished under government guns. Confidential UN documents, the testimony of witnesses who lived through the bombardment and expert analysis of photographs that were taken on a helicopter flight over the no-fire zone attest to the deaths of thousands of Tamils, killed while acting as unwilling human shields by the Tamil Tigers, who claimed to be their liberators.

Corpses lie exposed in retaken Swat town
USA Today
May 31, 2009

MINGORA, Pakistan (AP) — Corpses lay exposed in the Swat Valley's main town on Sunday, and residents rushed to mostly empty markets in search of food a day after the military claimed to have retaken the city from the Taliban. Elsewhere in the northwest, officials said scores of militants were killed in fighting with soldiers that could signal Pakistan is expanding the offensive from Swat into other parts of the northwestern border region with Afghanistan. Many buildings were damaged in parts of Mingora seen by The Associated Press, but not badly. Two decomposing bodies, apparently those of insurgents, lay unburied in a cemetery, while a third charred corpse lay close to a shopping mall. The smell of explosives hung in the air. "We have been starving for many days. We have been cooking tree leaves to keep ourselves alive. Thank God it is over," said Afzal Khan. "We need food, we need help. We want peace."

Uncle Sam's Human Lab Rats
Mother Jones
May 18, 2009

Their stories are a staple of conspiracy culture: broken men, suffering hallucinations and near-total amnesia, who say they are victims of secret government mind-control experiments. Think Liev Schreiber in The Manchurian Candidate or Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory. Journalists are a favorite target for the paranoid delusions of this population. So is Gordon Erspamer—and the San Francisco lawyer's latest case isn't helping him to fend off the tinfoil-hat crowd. He has filed suit against the CIA and the US Army on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans of America and six former American soldiers who claim they are the real thing: survivors of classified government tests conducted at the Army's Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland between 1950 and 1975. "I get a lot of calls," he says. "There are a lot of crazy people out there who think that somebody from Mars is controlling their behavior via radio waves." But when it comes to Edgewood, "I'm finding that more and more of those stories are true!"

ADHD treatment causes young boys to develop female sex organs
3News
May 26, 2009

A drug used to treat ADHD children is causing concern in the United States. It is called Risperdal and it is supposed to be used primarily for adults with sever psychological problems. But last year it was prescribed more than 6.5 million times. The side effects include young males developing female sex organs. Nineteen-year-old John was just seven when he began taking Risperdal for ADD. Even though the FDA approved the drug only for adult patients who were psychotic, John's doctor and others widely prescribed it to kids for less severe behaviour problems. Once taking Risperdal, John's mum says he became aggressive, sleepy, and developed bowel problems. But the biggest shock came when he was 14 and started developing women's breasts. “He asked me if he was a girl,” she says. It turns out Risperdal can increase production of a hormone called prolactin, which stimulates breast growth. It is called gynecomastia – and it is irreversible.

It Is Failing: ALL OF IT
The Market Ticker
by Karl Denninger
May 27, 2009

I have tried to warn people since the summer of 2007 that you cannot "print" your way out of a credit over-expansion, nor can you deny the ultimate contraction in the economy and assets. Bernanke and other policymakers, including both the Bush and Obama Administrations, have tried to deny reality. You can't. The Bond Market has had it with the games, and despite a "good" auction today signaled its disgust with the lies, the unending deficits and both bonds and stocks sold off at the same time: [image above] I know I keep pointing out this chart, and what it means, but you can't ignore it. It is, in fact, everything. This chart is not signaling economic recovery when on the same day the TNX jumps by 5% the market declines by 100 DOW points

Crop Circle Watch

Barbury Castle, nr Wroughton, Wiltshire. Reported 24th May

Field Report: I have used two cameras today but for some strange reason each camera produced over exposed images. So as much as I wanted to send some in I have only a couple which I can share. The formation at Barbury Castle is visible from Barbury Castle view point. Upon entering this formation it can easily be mistaken as a ` Ghost Circle ` as the growing and risen barley is stunted in growth within the main design of the formation. Almost all plant stems are upright and there are no visible signs of anyone having entered this `silent` creation. Barley outside the formation is growing equally all around the field. Also I cannot fully confirm due to the exposed images that Orbs were again present – as I was approaching this formation there were two shining (objects) rapidly leaving the formation. Similar to Steve Alexander's footage is the best I can describe it. The first Image shows crop circle from Barbury Castle View Point. Second image shows stunted and upright barley.

– Andrew Pyrka ( Cheltenham)

Bishop Cannings, nr Devizes, Wiltshire. Reported 24th May

No Field Report Available at This Time

Windmill Hill, nr Avebury Trusloe, Wiltshire. reported 25th May

Field Report: This formation was discovered from the air around 10.00am on Monday May 25 2009. The formation measures approximately 350 feet in length. The crop is young Barley. On the ground the laid crop flows in multi directional sweeps. A small proportion of this young crop is already recovering to an upright position.

– Report by Charles R Mallett.

Waylands Smithy, nr Kingstone Coombs, Oxfordshire. Reported 29th May

No Field Report Available at This Time

ZIERENBERG, HESSEN (Hessia), Reported 21st May

Field Report: 21.05.2009 – Today we have the first crop circle in Germany. It's a flower design in a field of young barley in Zierenberg near Kassel. At the moment we have only some ground shots but no aerial shots, because we have thunder and lightning and much rain the whole day. More you can see on our homepage http://www.fgk.org

– Frank Peters webmaster fgk

Signs in Humanity

Kidnappers swoop on China’s girls
Times
by Michael Sheridan
May 31, 2009

WHEN Li Xiang Xiang, aged 2½, went out of her family's home on April 1 to the shop around the corner, as she did every day, her mother expected to see her back in minutes with a big smile and a bag of sweets. Instead, Xiang Xiang – whose rhyming name means “thoughtful” – vanished and her heartbroken mother and father joined the ranks of Chinese parents who fear they have lost their little girls to child kidnappers. Small boys have long been abducted for sale in China, but in recent years the country’s strict birth control policy, which has led to abortions of girls in families intent on having a boy, has left the countryside short of female babies. According to a recent report in the British Medical Journal, 124 boys are born for every 100 girls in the country as a whole, and in one province the figure has risen to 192. Stolen girls have therefore become increasingly valuable commodities in an cruel trade. Many are bought by farmers who want wives for their small sons when they come of age or by men who want a child bride without a dowry, say police and the state media.

Mother's body 'in freezer for 20 years
The Independent
May 27, 2009

An elderly woman was quizzed by police after apparently storing her mother's body in a freezer for up to 20 years, it emerged today. Officers interviewed Daulat Irani, 83, under caution after the grim discovery at the property in Sidcup, south-east London. It is understood the body was formally identified yesterday as that of her mother Gulbai Freedoon Murzan, who was born in 1901. Officers believe she could have been dead for up to 20 years. Her death was currently being treated as unexplained rather than suspicious, the Metropolitan Police said. Post-mortem examination results are expected later this week

North Carolina woman accused of dumping aunt, 96, on way to Disney
Orlando Sentinel
by Anika Myers Palm
May 23, 2009

A North Carolina woman reportedly dumped an elderly relative at a shelter in Bradenton on the way to Walt Disney World. Beverly Edwards is said to have dropped her aunt, Ruth Smith, at a Salvation Army homeless shelter Sunday evening — while indicating that she would not be returning to pick up the 96-year-old. Edwards, who told staff at the shelter that she could no longer care for the elderly woman, then traveled on a family vacation to Disney World. Details of her trip were not available. Salvation Army personnel at the shelter would not comment Friday. "This seems like a rather extraordinary and extreme case," said Jon Peck, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. "Dropping an elder and running is definitely not the best way to protect the interests of the elder."

Gay Curriculum Proposal Riles Elementary School Parents
Fox
by Katie Landan
May 22, 2009

A group of parents in a California school district say they are being bullied by school administrators into accepting a new curriculum that addresses bullying, respect and acceptance — and that includes compulsory lessons about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community that will be taught to children as young as 5 years old. The parents from the Unified School District in Alameda, a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland, say these issues are best learned at home and most definitely are not age-appropriate for elementary school children. The parents are also angry that they will not be allowed to keep their children out of the classes. “I believe these children are far too young to be learning about what these issues mean,” said Alaina Stewart, who has three children who attend elementary school in Alameda. “These are adult issues and they are being thrust upon the children.” But the school board says otherwise, and its attorneys say that if the curriculum is adopted, the parents will have no legal right to remove their children from class when the lessons are being taught. "By not allowing kids to opt out," says David Kirwin, who has two children in the system, "the school district is violating a First Amendment right for those who have a religion that doesn't support homosexuality."

Abu Ghraib abuse photos 'show rape'
Telegraph
by Duncan Gardham
May 28, 2009

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee. Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube. Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts. Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq. Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He has now confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. The graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President’s attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published.

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. 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.

bigjagsfan – Jacksonville, FL. – Hi. I am a 54 year old woman on social security disability looking for someone who could loan me 1500.00to help get my bills caught up, especially my rent and car payment. I really don't want to be living on the street. While I was waiting on my pay to get straightened out I got behind on everything and can't seem to get caught up no matter what I do. I live in Jacksonville Florida and I haven't been able to find any one here that can help. If there is anyone out there that can help me please let me know. I will be able to pay back 150.00 per month until it is paid back in full. I can be reached at bigjagsfan@hotmail.com. Thank you.

Pamsparadoxx – My LCEC which is the electric bill is past due and they are going to turn off my power if my bill is not paid immediately which is $250.00!! I didn't know what else to do!! I have been out of work for longer than I can remember now!! Day labor places are not sending people due to lack of jobs and churchs have run out of funds!! The goverment won't help you unless you have a child under 4 which means my two daughters ages 11 and 14 do not need any electricity I guess nor do I since I'am a grown up!! I just need help to keep our electric on!! If anyone can pay this bill or help me pay this bill because I'm not looking for a hand out I'am willing to do anything "LEGAL" and "NOTHING" else to get this bill paid!! I have cleaned homes and buisness and I was also a pet sitter/pet walker and a house sitter too and I can run errands for you, do your grocery shopping, anything!! Please I just need to help my family!! Thank You!!

winkler09 – Ft Myers, FL. – I am 20 years old, just moved to Ft. Myers, Florida. I am living in a condo paying $800.00 a month for rent, utilities, etc. I have a job that isn't even making ends meet. I have a car and insurance bill. I had a phone but that got shut off due to me not being able to make my monthly payments. I am now behind on my rent by $1400.00 and my car is going to be repossessed at the middle of the next month. I am trying to make ends meet but it is just not helping anymore. I have no family down here, and I was hoping to go back to school in the fall. If you can help me out in any way possible, please, please let me know. I really hate doing this because I never ask for help, but I am going to end up on the streets if I don't do something fast. Thank you and God Bless.

toby8818 – Ft Myers, FL. – I live in florida and I lost my job in february. i have been doing different jobs to make money but it can't help all the time to pay the bills. No one wants to hire a deaf kid I guess money is getting very hard. i have so many bills and some people take instalment for the bills, but i'm still fallen behind. The worst thing right now for me is that my puppy ate my hearing aides and there too expensive for me to pay for new ones. A minister sent me an email with this link so i think i would try it out.

idamom3 – Boise, Idaho – I have not been a good steward with the financial blessings that God has given me. In fact, I have been terrible. It started a year ago when gas was almost $5/gal. I ended up getting a payday loan to help pay the living expenses. Since then, I had to get more payday loans and a few short term loans. Now I don't have enough money to pay my living expenses because I have to pay so much for the loans and interest (about $450/mo). We are about 2-3 months behind on our mortgage. What I am looking for is a $2500 loan that I can pay back over the next 18 months (about $150/mo payment). I am a decent, hard working Christian. I have been at my current job for 12 years. I am married and have three children. We live just outside of Boise, Idaho in a small town called Kuna. I pray every night that God will help me to be more financially responsible. If anyone can help me and my family, I would really appreciate it. God bless!!!

Chaymons – Gulf Breeze, Fl – We are a family of four from Gulf Breeze, Fl near Pensacola in need of a blessing. My Wife and I have 2 children ages 6 & 8 that attend Oriole Beach Elementry. We have had some recent financial issuses due to our car breaking down and having to put a new motor in it so that our children would not have to ride in laps in my small truck. My Wife works here locally in Gulf Breeze and I haven't been able to work in the last year due to an 18 wheeler accident where i was severly burnt and suffered injuries to neck and back. We have exausted all of our money working on our car and now we dont have enough to pay our Rent and our Electricity is about to be cut off. We are not asking for money directly or solicitation we can give you all the contact info that you may need. Our rent is 595.00 and Electric is 220.00. We arent trying to scam we are just having a rough time due to recent troubles any help with this would be considered a blessing and greatly appreciated. Thank You very much God Bless You All. You can contact me via Phone or email 850-565-0700 or c_haymons@yahoo.com my name is Clarence if you have any questions please call.

bartwhit – Atlanta, GA. – I hope this is the Godsend we have been waiting for. Family of 4 will be evicted from the house they have lived in for 5 years. Daughter's are 18 and 15. Mother works two jobs that puts food on the table and pays most of the utilities. Father's job was lost due to the current economic situation and hasn't had a regular paycheck since last fall. Stayed around the company for 4+ months with promises that money would be coming in. Our rent is $1600 and owe $600 for February, $1600 for March, April, May and as of tomorrow-June. Landlord will reduce rent to $1200 but he needs to be paid up first. Total amount of $7000 is due by Friday 6/5 or he is "sending the Sherriffs over to put our things on the curb". We have located 2-3 potential places to move with rent in the $1200-$1400 range but we can't move because we have no money for rent or deposit. Father is more than capable & willing to work: Management, marketing, sales, can develop business plans, marketing plans, start-up plans, manage events, facilities, staffing plans, security…. Also willing to do labor, paint, yard work…anything. We will pay back. Father has 2-3 job prospects within the next few weeks…but no money in sight for at least 30 days… Please contact us for more information. Thank you very much 404-453-7979

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

191 Dead In Cyclone Aila's Wake
Rescue Operations Slowed By Deadly Mudslides In India, Bangladesh
CALCUTTA, India, May 27, 2009
CBS News

(AP) Heavy rains caused deadly mudslides and slowed rescue efforts Wednesday after Cyclone Aila pounded eastern India and Bangladesh, killing at least 191 people. The cyclone destroyed thousands of homes and stranded millions of people in flooded villages before it began to ease Tuesday. The death toll will likely rise in both countries as rescue workers reach cut-off areas. Mudslides in India's famed Darjeeling tea district killed at least 22 people overnight, said Asim Dasgupta, the finance minister of the worst-affected West Bengal state in India. The official death toll in India stood at 78 by Wednesday, Dasgupta told reporters, adding about 2.3 million people were affected or stranded in flooded villages.

Strong earthquake rocks Israel
Ynet news
May 31st, 2009

An earthquake registering 5.3 on the Richter Scale was felt by residents across Israel at 12:36 pm Friday. The trembling lasted for 19 seconds and shook structures in many major towns and cities. Reports of shaking were received from Nahariya in the north down to Beersheba. Magen David Adom emergency services said there were no reports of injuries, but several people suffered from shock. The quake's epicenter was located 15 kilometers (ten miles) northeast of the Lebanese town of Tyre, or 70 km (45 miles) northeast of Haifa. "It was really cool. The quake was pretty strong," Shahaf Cohen of Haifa told Ynet. "Everything in our house shook; so did the house itself. A few aftershocks followed the initial quake. It lasted for about 20 seconds."

Afghan floods kill 94, make thousands homeless
May 25, 2009
Reuters

KABUL (Reuters) – Heavy flooding and landslides have killed 94 people and left thousands of families homeless in northern Afghanistan since May 20, the United Nations said on Monday. Some 8,000 houses in 207 villages have been totally or partially destroyed after heavy rain across five provinces, affecting 13,689 families, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement. The flooding damaged more than 100 bridges and around 600 kilometers (370 miles) of roads. Around 30 people were also killed by flooding in northern areas of the country earlier this month. The mud-built homes that house most Afghans in rural areas are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters in a country at risk from earthquakes, floods and landslides.

Saudi Arabia evacuates 5 villages in volcano scare
May 19, 2009

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi authorities evacuated five western villages on Monday after tremors hit a volcanic region in the past weeks raising concerns of possible eruptions. "There was a large quake, the largest so far," Ahmed al-Attas, vice president of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), told Reuters after civil defence officials evacuated the villages near the town of al-Ais. Attas was referring to a 4.68 earthquake, which hit the region on Sunday. Al-Ais, 150 km (100 miles) northeast of the Yanbu on the Red Sea, is not close to the world's top oil exporter's oil and petrochemicals facilities. The region lies on a fault line, according to SGS, which declined to comment on current magma levels, but newspapers reported that in the past few days magma levels had risen to 4 km (2.5 miles) below the surface from 8 km. Fears of an eruption in dormant volcanoes in al-Ais have sent panic stricken residents voluntarily fleeing to the holy city of Medina and Yanbu last week.

Dozens of whales beached, shot dead in S. Africa
May 30, 2009

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Authorities have shot dozens of exhausted whales that beached on a shore near South Africa's storm-lashed southern tip amid scenes of grief and despair from volunteers who had tried to save them. Fifty-five false killer whales washed up on the shores of Kommitjie, near the Cape of Good Hope, early Saturday morning, prompting a massive all-day rescue effort. Hundreds of locals wearing wet suits or shorts braved high winds and rough waves to try to push the massive mammals from knee-deep water back into the open sea. To no avail. "I feel quite sad, but it is the right thing to do," Nan Rice, head of the Dolphin Action and Protection Group, told the South African Press Association. "They are huge animals and are stranded over a vast area. Unfortunately they (the volunteers) couldn't do it."

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

QUAKES –

5/30/09 –
5.4 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 STATE OF YAP, MICRONESIA
5.0 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION

5/29/09 –
5.6 SERAM, INDONESIA
5.1 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.6 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.2 MOLUCCA SEA
5.6 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
6.2 VANUATU
5.0 OFF COAST OF JALISCO, MEXICO

5/28/09 –
5.0 OFF COAST OF JALISCO, MEXICO
5.2 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
7.1 OFFSHORE HONDURAS
5.0 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.1 OFFSHORE CHIAPAS, MEXICO

5/27/09 –
5.2 ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE
5.1 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.2 TONGA REGION

5/26/09 –
5.2 NEAR COAST OF CENTRAL PERU
5.0 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 SOUTHWEST INDIAN RIDGE

5/25/09 –
5.5 OFFSHORE ATACAMA, CHILE

5/24/09 –
5.3 FYR OF MACEDONIA
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.6 CENTRAL EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.6 SOUTHEAST INDIAN RIDGE
5.0 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.3 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
6.1 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.1 LUZON, PHILIPPINES

BELIZE – aftershocks continue after Thursday morning’s powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake. The epicenter of the major quake was about 140 miles east of the Stann Creek Coast and caused major structural damage in the villages of Monkey River, Independence and Placencia. That structural damage was quite remarkable in Monkey River where many wooden houses on stilts simply sunk into the ground – some sunk as much as eight to ten feet. "Places like Monkey River, and Belize City as well, because it is on the coast and it lies on top of unconsolidated sediments or coastal sediments, those places are very vulnerable to liquefaction.” Water gushed out of the ground all over the village; it is the water from within the soil itself which is forced to the surface. A REMARKABLE AND PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN PHENOMENON here, but the earthquake’s epicenter was about 150 miles from the coast of Monkey River so that is to be expected.

HONDURAS & BELIZE
– The magnitude-7.1 quake struck at 2.24am local time on Thursday (9.24am BST) off the Caribbean coast. The offshore quake destroyed some 60 houses and damaged scores of other buildings across the north of Honduras, killing at least six people and injuring 40. "You could really feel it and you could see it – the water came out of the hotel's pool." Fourteen schools were damaged, as well as two Roman Catholic churches and three bridges. Democracy Bridge, which spans the country's largest river, the Ulua, collapsed in the town of El Progreso.

In Belize, about five homes collapsed and at least 25 others suffered severe damage. In Monkey River, parts of the ground opened up and left gaping holes up to 4ft deep.

MACEDONIA – A series of about 70 strong tremors have shaken the south-east of Macedonia, with some even being felt in southern Serbia. Dozens of earthquakes shook the southeast on Sunday (May 24th). The strongest measured 5.4 on the Richter scale at around 6 pm local.
New Bulgaria tremor takes quake tally close to 300 – A total of 300 earthquakes with an epicenter near the Bulgarian-Macedonian-Greek borders have been registered since Sunday afternoon. The shakes had a magnitude of between 2 and 5.4 on the Richter scale. The epicenter of the quakes was close to the Doiran Lake on the Macedonian-Greek border.

WASHINGTON – Over the past decade, scientists have discovered a dozen faults in western Washington. "We previously thought they were small, unconnected faults. Now we are sketching out connections." An earthquake fault previously believed to be limited to an area south of Washington state's Whidbey Island actually stretches 250 to 300 miles, from Victoria, B.C., to Yakima, Wash., crossing the Cascade Mountains and capable of producing a major earthquake, new research shows. Many of the other faults in western Washington could be connected to the South Whidbey Island Fault in a network similar to the San Andreas Fault system in California. "It appears there is a very large (fault) system in the Cascade arc." Scientists are trying to determine whether the South Whidbey Island Fault extends as far east as the Hanford nuclear reservation and if it could also be connected to the highly unstable Cascadia subduction zone off the coast. "This is big stuff… A lot of people are looking over our shoulder." The fault could be capable of producing a maximum earthquake registering 7.5 on the Richter scale, which would be the largest earthquake in the state's recorded history. In the spring of 1949, a 7.0 quake rocked the Olympia area, damaging nearly all the large buildings in the area and causing eight deaths. During a magnitude 7.3 earthquake in the Strait of Georgia off British Columbia in June 1946, the seabed sunk nearly 85 feet in some places. Scientists believe a 9.0 quake rocked the Cascadia subduction zone, where two tectonic plates collide just off the west coast, on Jan. 26, 1700, producing a giant tsunami that hit Japan. A similar quake, which could produce a tsunami of 60 to 90 feet that would hit the northwest coast in 15 minutes or less, is considered likely, though scientists aren't sure when. One of the most surprising things about the discovery is finding that a major fault crossed the Cascade Mountains in something now dubbed "trans-Cascade tectonics." Most faults run parallel to the Cascades. The South Whidbey fault could connect to offshore faults. In addition, the Seattle Fault, which is found mostly under Seattle, is now thought to hook around the south end of the Olympic Mountains and extend out to the coast.

Four earthquakes in three days across East Tennessee – Three earthquakes struck the Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

VOLCANOES –

A massive underwater mountain discovered off the Indonesian island of Sumatra could be a volcano with potentially catastrophic power, a scientist said Friday. The mountain was discovered earlier this month about 330 kilometres (205 miles) west of Bengkulu city during research to map the seabed's seismic faultlines. The cone-shaped mountain is 4,600 metres (15,100 feet) high, 50 kilometres in diameter at its base and its summit is 1,300 metres below the surface. "It looks like a volcano because of its conical shape but it might not be. We have to conduct further investigations." He denied reports that researchers had confirmed the discovery of a new volcano, insisting that at this stage it could only be described as a "seamount" of the sort commonly found around the world. "Whether it's active or dangerous, who knows?"

COLUMBIA – There were two minor earthquakes around volcano Nevado del Huila on Thursday morning. The earth quaked at 08:26 and 08:37 with local magnitudes of 4.8 and 4 respectively. People living in the surroundings of the volcano said they felt the quakes. There were also landslides near the epicenter. Since Thursday morning "25 seismic events" were reported. The possibility of raising the alert level from yellow to orange was discussed.

52 mud volcanoes in the southwest corner of Cartagena that have been active in the recent weeks are causing panic among the residents of the area. 400 families want to be relocated. Representatives of the community have met several times with the authorities in the last ten days and asked to be relocated to another, safe, site. A resident of the volcano area is afraid every time she hears the glasses tinkle in her house when the earth quakes. For another the most uncomfortable thing is that his house cracks more and more every day. "Recently, a volcano, like we have here, erupted in the municipality of Necocli, Antioquia. There were no deaths, but only because there were no houses in the area". The mud volcanoes are only 12 to 20 meters high and have a diameter of up to 50 meters.

SAUDI ARABIA – A volcanic eruption in Saudi Arabia is “imminent” and COULD BE THE BIGGEST TO OCCUR IN MORE THAN 1000 YEARS, a leading seismologist warned last Thursday, as thousands evacuated quake-hit villages in part of the western Al-Madinah Province. At the epicentre of the tremors, a village called Harrah al-Shaqah, dangerous gases and UNUSUALLY HOT hot air and water in wells have started coming up from the ground. The last volcanic eruption in the region happened around the turn of the last millennium in the Rahat area of western Saudi Arabia. Records suggest the last eruption forced clouds of volcanic dust up to 15 km into the air. The tremors lasted for over a month. An earthquake or volcano eruption in Saudi Arabia, a leading energy supplier, has the potential to send fuel prices surging, worsening the global economy, which is already reeling under a severe recession. The epicenter of the tremors, Harrat Al-Shaqah (also known as Harrat Al-Lunayyir), is an extinct volcano, which recently showed signs of coming alive. Several rifts, some of them measuring up to 900 meters in length, have appeared. Local residents, who became worried as the area has been experiencing frequent tremors since mid-April, started panicking last Sunday when the tremors became more intense. Subsequently, the Civil Defense ordered the evacuation of residents of settlements within a 40 km radius of the epicenter and have set up camps to house them.

INDONESIA – In West Sumatra, Mt. Kerinci's volcanic activities have recently decreased although there are still tremors and a spew of black ashes. Small eruptions still happen every 15 minutes at the 3,800-meter volcano site. "However, the activities are already reduced compared to early April when the volcano became active again." The volcano remains at the second alert level it was designated on Sept. 9, 2007.

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

Was the 7.1 earthquake in Honduras connected to a 50 foot water retreat in Puerto Rico on Wednesday? The water level in Puerto Rico dramatically receded as much as 50 feet, which some feared was a precursor to a tsunami. Many areas around the Caribbean had also had dramatic water level drops. The tides are affected by the moon, which can be most affective in it's new and full phase. This week however, turns out to be the moon's aphelion, or closest approach to earth for the year. That is the explanation for the extremely low tides, but that water does have to go somewhere. After Thursday morning's major earthquake, some might speculate that perhaps the water drained into a chasm as a precursor. As of now, there is no evidence of that.

The original story from Wednesday – A tsunami? The apocalypse? No, it's just the moon, emergency officials in Puerto Rico are telling nervous islanders who have feared that recent extreme tides portend a tsunami or biblical catastrophe. Waters receded up to 50 feet (15 meters) this week during low tide on Puerto Rico's southern coast, sparking a flurry of calls to seismology and geological agencies from people worried about natural disasters or supernatural events. Tsunamis are sometimes preceded by a dramatic drop in sea level. "There are people who have said it's a biblical sign. There are others who don't dare go into the ocean because they believe it's a supernatural thing." Severe tide changes occur a couple of times a year worldwide, and are happening now because the moon is at its closest point to earth. The closer the moon is, the stronger its gravitational pull on water. People in the southern coastal town of Ponce have been seen walking over areas normally covered by water, studying exposed rocks, coral and sea shells. Officials are reminding residents that there have been no earthquakes to generate a tsunami. The extreme-tide phenomenon has been noted across the Caribbean and in Central America. Some beaches along the Pacific coast of El Salvador have seen tides that are 10 feet (3 meters) lower than usual. "We have received calls because people are a bit scared." Tides across the globe are affected, but the change is more noticeable on shallow beaches.

AUSTRALIA – One of Byron Bay's most prestigious rows of real estate is eroding away in king tides and massive swells that continued hammering the coast last night. Belongil Beach has copped a hammering since the start of the wild weather last Thursday, with erosion exposing car wrecks, rocks and hundreds of sandbags. The remains of car wrecks were dumped on the beach in the 1970s in an attempt to stabilise the dunes. Yesterday two rusted bodies poked through what little sand was left on the beach. Four residents were evacuated from their beachfront homes at Belongil on Saturday night and were on standby again last night as another high tide was predicted. "No one I've spoken to has ever seen it this bad."

TROPICAL STORMS –

Tropical depression 01 was 276 nmi SSE of Boston
, Massachusetts. [Dissipation is expected by 48 hours as the system is overtaken by another low pressure system currently near New England.]

The death toll from Cyclone Aila that battered eastern India and Bangladesh
in recent days has risen to at least 159. Tens of thousands of people in Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal are still struggling with the aftermath of Cyclone Aila.

TROPICAL STORM OVER NORTHERN ARGENTINA – A RARE cyclonic storm inundated Argentina and Paraguay. A low-pressure weather system over the heart of South America developed into an UNUSUAL cyclonic storm in mid-May. The storm “remained quasi-stationary for 48 hours and was incredibly symmetric, resembling a tropical cyclone in the middle of the continent.” On May 22, with clear skies all around, the ball of clouds hung over the border between Argentina and Paraguay. Near the top center of the storm, the clouds had a boiling appearance that is often associated with towering thunderstorms. Near the bottom of the storm, a few wispy streamers of clouds suggest the clockwise inward spiral of the storm. “Any kind of cyclonic formation is VERY RARE in the Chaco region of northern Argentina and Paraguay. This system…unleashed heavy rain (over 200 mm) in Paraguay and displaced 500 people."

More than one million people in Bangladesh are facing a "humanitarian crisis" after the cyclone slammed into the south of the country and neighbouring India earlier in the week. At least 237 people were killed after Cyclone Aila on Monday hit the low-lying coast north of the Bay of Bengal. Lack of clean drinking water is emerging as the biggest problem. "Although it was not a high-category cyclone, it's created a grave humanitarian crisis because of water-logging and inundation. All sources of drinking water have been destroyed. People are having to live without proper food and water." People in the worst-hit districts were being forced to migrate elsewhere because of salt-water flooding. "It's an emerging humanitarian crisis. And it's getting worse every day. Water hasn't receded from major parts of the districts even five days after the cyclone." Most of the embankments and levees that shielded people from tidal water had been washed away, leading to daily flooding of the districts. Some 167 people died in Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed, while 70 people were killed in India as a result of the cyclone. Some 20 of those killed in India's West Bengal state died a day after the storm in mudslides caused by rainfall.

INDIA – The death count in floods triggered by Cyclone Aila reached 100 in West Bengal Wednesday as the Sunderbans faced a severe drinking water crisis and lack of civic amenities led to protests in Kolkata. Two days after the cyclone pummeled coastal areas of the state, uprooting trees, snapping power cables and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, vast areas remained submerged affecting 4.6 million people as victims complained of lack of relief. Around 152,000 houses have collapsed, and 89,000 more partially damaged, while 500 km of embankment got breached as flood fury raged in 1.171 mouzas affecting nearly 800,000 people in the district. Putrid smell of animal carcasses filled the air, and saline water from the sea got mixed with river water to inundate villages, leading to a serious drinking water crisis. Though the weather has improved, the situation continued to be grim. 100,000 people have been left stranded between the Ichamati and Kalindi rivers in North 24 Parganas district. "They are in this situation from Monday. They have not got any relief. They are totally disconnected."

Did the National Hurricane Center miss a tropical storm last week? – There was definitely something tropical down by Florida. Rainfall totaled over 2 feet near Daytona with winds near Jacksonville topping around 50 mph. The flooding pictures in Daytona Speedway were suggestive enough. But when you analyze the circulation, it wasn't well organized. However, it must have had a tropical-like warm core to generate that kind of rain and hold together as it did when it made landfall in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Even the pressure level was lower than last year's first tropical storm, coincidentally in May. If this was named a tropical storm [Ana], then it would have been the earliest to make landfall in the US since 1916.

Cyclone Aila – More than 155 people have been killed by Cyclone Aila which hit Bangladesh and the eastern Indian state of West Bengal. At least 500,000 people have been made homeless by the storm. Soldiers and border guards have joined relief efforts, but they are yet to reach some of the devastated areas. Officials say the storm has weakened and is heading north, but heavy rains continue to damage crops and cause floods and landslides in many areas. Cyclone Aila made landfall in south-western Bangladesh on Monday afternoon. Coastal areas were flooded and uprooted trees caused chaos in Calcutta. River banks and mud houses in Bangladesh have been completely destroyed, and crops and fisheries have also been damaged. The fear in Bangladesh is that salt water from a tidal surge that followed the cyclone will contaminate non-saline surface water which is crucial for farming. Wildlife experts say they are concerned about the fate of nearly 500 tigers living in reserves in the affected area. Massive tidal waves ravaged scores of coastal villages and the seaside resorts of Digha, Mandarmoni and Kanthi throughout Monday.

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

HAWAII normally experiences 60 to 75% relative humidity.
Since last Sunday, humidity has shot up as high as 90% in the mornings and remained in the 70 to 80% range in the afternoons. The main culprit for the sauna-like conditions is a low pressure system to the north of the state, which cutoff the normal trade wind flow and allowed vog and moisture to build in from the south. “To have that kind of persistent low pressure system up north of the island – it's a bit UNUSUAL. High pressure will hopefully build back in next week and we'll get back our normal trades.”

NORTH CAROLINA – A month of wet weather combined with the steep terrain of Western North Carolina are combining to produce some UNUSUAL problems across the area. Two landslides have occurred on U.S. 64 in Henderson County this month. Trees have toppled over in saturated ground. Brevard Road buckled and collapsed after a culvert washed out. And officials aren’t certain, but they believe a train derailment in Mitchell County may have been caused by heavy rains. The mountains of North Carolina are particularly susceptible to landslides and other problems during prolonged periods of rain. Heavy rain may have slickened railroad tracks enough to cause Wednesday’s train derailment. The area received more than 3 inches of rain in the days leading up to the crash. A number of residents across the mountains have reported downed trees, with no significant wind involved. Asheville’s monthly rainfall total is a little over 8 inches, approaching the record 8.83 inches that fell in May 1973.

BRAZIL – Four people have been killed and an unknown number are missing after heavy rainfall caused a dam to breach in Piaui state, in north-east Brazil. Crops and livestock have also been lost. The flooding around two towns which reached up to the level of three-storey buildings was described as a "tsunami". Almost 50bn litres of water escaped in less than an hour, devastating the valley below. Heavy rains in recent days swelled the reservoir behind the dam, increasing pressure that opened a 50m tear and eventually led to the rupture. People rushed to higher ground scrambling to rooftops as the floodwaters suddenly swelled a river. "I heard a very loud thundering noise, and when the dam broke a huge column of water shot up 50m into the air, and when it came down it swept away everything in its way." Heavy rains in the area had caused water behind the dam to overflow two weeks ago, but it seems a build-up of pressure eventually forced a section to give way. Flooding in the north and north east of Brazil, which began in April, is now said to have led to 56 deaths and displaced 426,000 people.

An UNUSUAL silence drapes U.S. Tornado Alley – An ALMOST UNPRECEDENTED tranquility has descended upon Tornado Alley over the previous week. For only the second time since 1955, not a single incident of severe weather – tornadoes, hail or strong winds – was reported on May 21. In fact, the Storm Prediction Center hasn’t issued a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch since May 16. If a watch wasn’t issued Saturday, it will be the first time since at least 1970 that a watch hasn’t been issued for the week of May 16-23. Considering that week falls in the heart of tornado season, such a feat would be almost unbelieveable. Weather patterns over the last several days were more characteristic of late summer. The jet stream has moved north, taking severe weather threats into the northern Plains.

NICARAGUA – Heavy rains – which in just three hours dumped 174 millimeters (6.85 inches) of water in the capital, when the average monthly rainfall is 159 mm (6.26 in.) – caused flooding in some capital neighborhoods, affecting 442 families, knocking out the sewage system, damaging more than 200 meters (yards) of streets, causing 180 meters of walls to collapse and destroying one home. The bad weather is the result of the first tropical wave to hit Nicaragua this rainy season, although experts have characterized this particular weather phenomenon as a “weak” one. The rains fell unevenly around the country, and – in fact – no precipitation was registered across most of Nicaragua, but weather authorities predict that rains will affect the entire nation this coming week. Emergency crews found the body of a 5-year-old boy who went missing after he was swept away by water in the downpour in Managua.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA –
Three bodies have been recovered and 16 people are missing, feared dead, after a massive landslide wiped out a remote Papua New Guinea village.

FLORIDA – RECORD RAINFALL floods towns. While hurricane season doesn’t officially start until June 1, recent tropical-like rainfall in Florida found many residents cleaning up from flooding, or waiting for the water to recede, instead of focusing on usual holiday activities over the Memorial Day weekend. Nearly two feet of rain has fallen in parts of central Florida (including Daytona) during the past two weeks. Less than a month ago, emergency officials were warning the severe drought could produce damaging wildfires, instead more than 1,000 buildings have been damaged following record May rains. In parts of the state, Volusia County (in which Daytona Beach is located) in particular, it is estimated that $52 million in damage has already been reported. The early estimate assessments show 967 buildings have already been reported damaged. As people return to their homes and businesses over the next few days, that number is expected to rise dramatically. "I've never seen this much rain," said the executive director of the Florida Coast to Coast chapter of the American Red Cross. "It's worse than with any hurricane or tropical storm I’ve seen." Some prognosticators are saying the UNUSUAL WEATHER PATTERNS they have already seen this year make it more difficult to predict the upcoming hurricane season.

AFGHANISTAN – A mudslide has killed five children in northern Afghanistan, where weeks of heavy rain has killed about 150 people and destroyed hundreds of houses.

BRAZIL – authorities say 408,000 people cannot return home after floods that began last month in the north of the country.

EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-

UNITED KINGDOM – Met Office experts have predicted long, hot dry spells this June, July and August, prompting the Department of Health to issue a Heatwave Plan to make sure residents are prepared in the event of a heatwave.

NEVADA – May will be in the weather record books in the Las Vegas Valley as THE WARMEST AND LEAST WINDY MAY ON RECORD.

INDIA – Heat waves in India may signal changing climate. India is being hit by more intense and longer heat waves that are taking a higher toll than usual on lives and the environment. In March-April, over 70 people reportedly died in Orissa due to sunstroke, with mercury soaring to 46 degree centigrade in April in some cities. The state’s health machinery was caught napping. In West Bengal, the heat wave killed nine. ‘ABNORMAL’ dry spells and dust storms swamped Guwahati in Assam, while the entire Malwa region in Madhya Pradesh reeled from a severe water stress. Disturbances in the air circulation pattern over India led to the mercury soaring across the country. Circulation of air helps distribute heat over the earth. The cyclonic storm, Bijli, which formed in the Bay of Bengal in mid-April, cut off the cool easterly winds blowing in from the Bay of Bengal. To add to it, an anticyclone hovering around Rajasthan blew hot winds from north–west to central and western India. Some scientists have attributed the heat wave to an exceedingly dry winter, while others have pointed to the UNUSUAL HEATING OF THE TIBETAN PLATEAU – which was two degrees warmer than normal in February this year. “Tropical cyclones in the peak cyclone months of May and November have increased, while those occurring in the rest of the year have decreased.”

CROATIA – Warnings issued as Croatia experiences early heat-wave. The heat-wave hitting Croatia for the past few days will continue for a at least a few more.

NORTH DAKOTA – WEIRD WEATHER SYSTEM pushes temps into 90s at night. A perfect storm of weather conditions caused temperatures to rise into the 90s seven miles south of St. Anthony at 2:35 a.m. Wednesday. The temperatures were accompanied by winds in excess of 50 mph. In Flasher, the temperature reached 86 degrees, though the wind was more tame. A meteorologist for 20 years has only seen the strange events that occurred in the areas south of Mandan on Wednesday morning happen once before. The weather event occurred along a warm front. The air about 2,000 or 3,000 feet above the ground was in the 80s, while the ground temperature was in the 50s. Since hot air rises, the pocket of warmer air, or inversion, stays above the cooler ground air. Rain was falling in southwestern North Dakota, and the moisture made it to the Flasher and St. Anthony areas – it just never hit the ground there. About 15,000 feet above the ground, the showers began forming. But as the rain fell through the atmosphere, it encountered the warm, dry air at 2,000 or 3,000 feet above the ground and evaporated. Evaporation is a cooling process, and as the 80-some degree air cooled, it became more dense. "As a result, you end up with cooler air beginning to accelerate down to the ground." Though the air was cooling due to evaporation, it was offset by warming caused by the acceleration of moving toward the ground. That happens through a process called adiabatic warming, in which the volume of a pocket of air shrinks due to increasing atmospheric pressure. The shrinking volume leads to air molecules ricocheting off each other faster, and the increase in movement leads to an increase in temperature. Sometimes, the air will float back up rather than continue to the ground. But on Wednesday morning south of St. Anthony, that didn't happen. "Once it started, it didn't stop. It just kept going to the ground." When the bubble of air hit the ground around 2:35 a.m., it caused the ground temperatures to spike. One thermometer seven miles south of St. Anthony registered 90.5 degrees, and another hit 94.6 degrees. Meteorologists were not sure how long the temperature stayed that high. The air also mixed up the winds, leading to southwest winds at 63 mph, which blew 8-foot corral walls 25 feet away from the railroad-tie posts to which they had been attached. Such events usually occur at night. "These are isolated cases. They're very hard to forecast. You have to have all the right ingredients." The strangely warm morning temperatures could have been a record for the communities.

'Climate change making Everest harder to scale' – A sherpa who holds the world record for climbing Everest has warned that climate change is making the mountain harder to scale. He said that rising temperatures have melted the snow trail to the peak, leaving just barren rocks which is more treacherous to climb.

Debate over: droughts and floods on the rise – Climate change has already claimed the lives of many thousands of people — and millions more are at risk — as severe weather events rage around the world and staple food crops are wiped out, meteorologists have told a world climate conference. More extremes of climate are bringing deadly floods, hurricanes, cyclones, droughts and ocean surges that are destroying vital food crops, leading to mass starvation in some countries. Debate about whether climate change is occurring or not is obsolete, as the effects of extreme weather incidents are clearly being felt across the globe.

Summer forecast: UNUSUAL HEAT expected for much of USA, according to federal forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center. The only cooler-than-average part of the USA this summer should be in the northern Plains, particularly in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Forecasters say that rainfall should be close to average across most of the nation over the next three months, with only the Pacific Northwest and northern Intermountain West enduring UNUSUALLY DRY weather. The only wetter-than-average areas this summer are predicted to be across central and southern Florida and near the Four Corners region of the Southwest. "ENSO-neutral" conditions are currently indicated in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which are expected to continue through the summer and even into early 2010. This means that ocean water temperatures there are neither above-average (El Nino) nor below-average (La Nina). ENSO is a climate pattern that stands for El Nino — Southern Oscillation, and is one of the world's most powerful influences on weather.

MINNESOTA & WISCONSIN – May is on schedule to be the third driest on record for the Twin Cities. So far this month only .46" of rain has fallen in the rain gauge at Twin Cities Airport. That's only about 14% of the monthly total of 3.24." There are some remarkable facts related to the growing drought. The UM St. Paul Campus recorded the third highest pan evaporation rate on record last Wednesday. The 94 degree temperature and dry gusty wind sucked an incredible .63" from the soil in one day. That's nearly three times the average daily evaporation for May. Records have been kept there since 1972. Lake levels in northern Wisconsin have dropped by as much as 8 feet. Some are now at the LOWEST POINT IN 70 YEARS. The dryness has helped farmers with a strong start planting corn and soybeans, but rapidly diminishing topsoil moisture will begin to adversely affect crops in the near future. The weather maps favor continued dryness in the Upper Midwest for the next 7 to 14 days. The area in Minnesota in the D0 (abnormally dry) category more than doubled from last week, from 14.7% to 31.5%. Drought conditions remain most severe in the Twin Cities. 40% of Wisconsin is now in moderate drought.

Climate change kills about 315,000 people a year through hunger, sickness and weather disasters, and the annual death toll is expected to rise to half a million by 2030.

FOOD / WATER / SUPPLIES-

NORTH DAKOTA – HAY & BEEF – North Dakota ranchers are trying to rebound from a string of disasters: Drought last year shriveled their pastures and hayland followed by heavy winter snow, then spring flooding that turned roads and fields to mud. Hay supplies already low from last year's dry weather were depleted by cows that needed more energy than usual to survive ONE OF THE ROUGHEST WINTERS IN MEMORY. The Agriculture Department estimates hay stocks on North Dakota ranches this month total only about 700,000 tons – down 44 percent from last year. The hay was gone even before RECORD FLOODING hit this spring. It is not a crisis situation because many ranchers are starting to turn their cattle out to pasture. But pastures in some parts of the state are getting a slow start because of the cool spring. Some ranchers had to go to South Dakota to find enough hay. "It's sure been a struggle." South Dakota ranchers fared better over the winter. The Agriculture Department this month estimated hay supplies in that state at 1.9 million tons, down only 2 percent from the previous year. State and federal officials estimate that more than 90,000 cattle in North Dakota have been lost to the harsh winter and spring flooding, including as many as 72,000 calves. Many drowned. Others got sick from the wet, muddy conditions.

OKLAHOMA & TEXAS – WHEAT – Farmers dealing with drought and freeze damage to wheat. Drought and freeze have damaged the wheat crops in both states to the point many cutters are making the decision to cut their losses. Officials estimate Oklahoma’s crops will be about HALFOF ITS NORMAL YIELD. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oklahoma’s wheat crop is estimated to total 80.5 million bushels, less than half the 166.5 million bushels harvested last year. In a number of counties in the southwest, the majority of the crop has been destroyed. “It’s been an UNUSUAL situation. We will have fields appearing to have a good yield that won’t yield well because of freeze damage.” Quite a few farmers are turning their wheat into hay or destroying it. There also is a problem with invasive cool-season grasses due to the thinness of the wheat.

AUSTRALIA – crop production increased in 2007-08 in comparison to the previous year, but generally remains at among the LOWEST LEVELS IN FIVE YEARS. The numbers of livestock fell while the horticulture sector reported mixed results. Lack of water was labelled as the major contributor, with a NEAR COMPLETE SUSPENSION of rice production. Drought conditions and industry adjustments have lead to a decline in livestock, with sheep and lambs at yet ANOTHER HISTORIC LOW. Most fruit producers reported decreased production as a result of less than ideal conditions such as drought, lack of irrigation water and unseasonal weather including rain at harvest. Among the fruit crops with reported falls were mangoes (down 16%), peaches (16%), oranges (13%) and bananas (3%).

IRELAND – Atrocious weather is costing Irish farmers more than €2m each day. Experts warn this is only the beginning and it's too soon to estimate the real cost as the fallout will be felt well into 2010. Emergency measures have been employed on farms around the country and it's all about survival at this stage. Soil temperatures are currently two to three degrees BELOW NORMAL for this time of year and recorded growth rates at present are running way below what would be expected. At Teagasc's beef research facility in Grange in the past week, growth rates on the cattle grazing unit were running at less than half the normal rate for this time of year. Worsening ground conditions have also forced the re-housing of stock at the Co Meath unit. Silage prices have shot up to €30-40 a bale and there are even reports of farmers selling cut grass at €100 for each trailer load. Most farmers are now feeding 2-10kg of ration/animal/day. Even so, animal performance, particularly in dairy herds, has been badly affected. Grass shortages have reached "nightmarish" proportions, especially on mixed holdings. In parts of the west, rain levels are three times the normal rate for this time of year.

NORTH CAROLINA – Strawberry farms hit by economy and weather. Farmers say the ideal season for harvesting strawberries is mild temperatures, with a little bit of rain. But this year more extreme temperatures, and greater than expected rain fall, meant many of the berries rotted on the vine, which means fewer weeks of harvesting and less money for the farmers. This year the rain and extreme weather swings has cut the harvest down to six weeks.

2 studies tie disaster risk to urban population surge – A pair of new studies say that more people than ever lie in harm’s way from earthquakes, droughts, floods and other disasters, largely because of a surge in urban populations in developing countries. Smaller or poorer countries can be devastated by disasters that are relatively inconsequential in places shielded by size or wealth. While the economic cost from disasters has risen, the cost as percentage of the global economy has been flat. The mortality rate has been declining in many areas. But in hot spots combining dense populations with the risk of earthquakes, floods and other hazards, the potential for catastrophic impact is growing. “Without governance capacity, the faster you develop, it’s almost like the faster you’re building disasters.” The dominant factor raising death tolls and economic losses from disasters is humanity’s hastening transformation into a mainly urban species, with a surge of people in search of work settling in marginal urban lands and shoddy housing. “Some of the statistics are almost hallucinatory. Some time before 2050, the urban population of India will rise by 500 million people. Mumbai and Calcutta are already very poor about providing land and housing. How will they accommodate tens of millions more? And both cities are in very hazard-prone locations.”

HEALTH THREATS –

Swine flu has now infected 12,954 people in 46 countries since it was first uncovered last month.

Federal health officials will probably recommend that most Americans get three flu shots this fall
: one regular flu shot and two doses of any vaccine made against the new swine flu strain. Having had annual flu shots for the last several years gives “little or no immune benefit” against the new virus. Many people born before the 1957 Asian flu, and particularly those 65 or older, seem to have antibodies in their blood protecting them against the new virus. Only 1 percent of the 5,764 confirmed and probable swine flu cases thus far have been in people over 65. Across the country, “flu activity” seems to be going down. There has been no unusual increase in deaths from influenza, in general, or pneumonia. Historically, pandemics infect a third of any population over about two years, so unless a vaccine intervenes, 100 million cases of swine flu could be expected. Also, flu activity is still surging in New York, New Jersey and the rest of the Northeast.

AUSTRALIA – Up to 2 million people – 10 per cent of the population – could catch swine flu, warned Australia's chief medical officer. Modelling on a normal influenza season predicted about 10 per cent of the national population could be affected, though it was hoped measures already in place would significantly reduce that possible toll. But with 51 confirmed cases already, it is essentially a "mild disease" that was responding well to antiviral drug Tamiflu, rendering the patient non-infectious within 24 hours and greatly improving their condition to a "one or two day sniffle". "Australia has done tremendously well to delay the input into country. It's given us essentially a month's breather, we now know a lot about the disease. "The difficulty we're now seeing, which we anticipated, was that we are seeing the virus moving within the community with no known contact."

The global count of confirmed novel H1N1 cases grew to 13,398, including 95 fatalities, from 48 countries. Bahrain and Singapore are the two countries added to the list.

Fraudulent flu-related products
– Since May 1, when the Food and Drug Administration vowed to aggressively pursue businesses that promote unapproved or unauthorized products related to the novel H1N1 flu, the agency has added 72 items to its list of fraudulent H1N-related products. The products range from air filtration systems to protective equipment to nutrition supplements. The companies have received warning letters from the FDA, which urged consumers to be cautious about novel flu marketing pitches.

The WHO yesterday warned that the global stockpile of yellow fever vaccine will be depleted in 2010 and that there is no funding stream to replenish it. Only 5 of Africa's 12 most vulnerable countries have been targeted by the vaccine efforts. Without renewed resources for the vaccine, countries that haven't been reached by immunization campaigns would be unfairly burdened by the disease. Campaigns in Togo, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Cameroon have put a stop to outbreaks of the mosquito-borne virus that leads to 206,000 illnesses and 52,000 deaths each year. The global economic downturn has hampered funding efforts.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  is doing a superb job of explaining the current flu situation and how uncertain it is. The CDC's biggest failure is in not doing enough to help people visualize what a bad pandemic might be like so they can understand and start preparing for the worst. For the ordinary citizen, the US government has so far recommended only hygiene. It has told people to stay at home if they are sick and to wash their hands. It hasn't told people to STOCK UP ON FOOD, WATER, PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES AND OTHER KEY SUPPLIES. Two years ago in response to 'bird flu' worries, Mike Leavitt, the then US secretary of health and human services, was criss-crossing the country with that advice (http://www.pandemicflu.gov). We have a surreal situation in which the federal government has released one-quarter of the Strategic National Stockpile of antiviral drugs, so there will be enough oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to deploy to millions of sick Americans. But it hasn't yet asked those Americans to stock up on tinned fruit and peanut butter. The WHO's own guidance for phase 5 emphasizes that a pandemic is "imminent" and that the time to finalize preparations is short. That ought to mean more action than reducing hugging. Fundamentally, officials need to ask themselves whether they see the public as potential victims to be protected and reassured like young children, or as pandemic fighters – grown-ups – who can play an active part in the crisis that might be ahead. "This could get very bad, and IT IS TIME TO PREPARE in case it does."

West Virginia and Alaska are the only US states with no confirmed cases of H1N1 flu, as Wyoming has reported its first case.

Australian health officials said they were ordering enough doses of H1N1 vaccine to cover 10 million people, as cases rose to 103, up from 61.

Chile reported 46 new cases of novel H1N1 flu, raising its total to 165, and officials said the virus is firmly established in the country. The new virus, which was first confirmed in Chile 10 days ago, now accounts for 90% of flu cases in the country and may be replacing seasonal flu.

Slovakia and Romania have reported their first cases of the novel H1N1 flu.

Doctors have warned about the risks from "energy" chewing gum, citing the case of a 13-year-old boy who became moody and listless from caffeine intoxication.

Fears for new malaria drug resistance – Scientists are puzzling over why malaria parasites seem to be developing a resistance to drugs – and fearing the consequences. Scientists are particularly concerned because the last two generations of anti-malarial drugs were undermined by resistance. This resistance must be contained urgently, because its spread would be a global health disaster. Resistance to previous malaria drugs caused major loss of life in Africa. "If the same thing happens again, the spread of a resistant parasite from Asia to Africa, then that will have devastating consequences for malaria control." "There are no new drugs coming through the system in the next few years."

RECALLS & ALERTS –

Chang Farm, River Road, Whatley, MA
is issuing a voluntary recall of Bean and Soy sprouts produced from Chang Farms, with specific expired date codes because of the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

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

Scientology Trial in France: Can a Religion Be Banned?
By Bruce Crumley / Paris Thursday, May. 28, 2009

As a fiercely secular nation, France has always had an awkward relationship with religious groups. Officials often find themselves struggling to strike the delicate balance between maintaining church-state separation and honoring the right of citizens to express their faith. But in the current case against the U.S.-based Church of Scientology, authorities have abandoned their usual attempts at fine-tuning religion's standing in French society — instead, they want to ban Scientology from France altogether. In a long-awaited trial that opened this week, French prosecutors are charging Scientology's French affiliate with organized fraud. Six of Scientology's top French officials are defendants in the case that began May 25. When investigating magistrate Jean-Christophe Hullin filed the findings of a nine-year inquiry with prosecutors, he described Scientology as "first and foremost a commercial business" whose interactions with followers are defined by "a real obsession for financial remuneration." The church's bookstores and celebrity center were described by Hullin's investigation as instrumental in ensnaring psychologically fragile people "with the goal of seizing their fortune by exerting a psychological hold."

CofE accused of care cover up
By Angus Stickler
Today programme

The Church of England has been accused of conducting a cover up over allegations that it drugged girls in one of its children's homes in the 1970s and 1980s. Last month the BBC revealed that nine girls who were heavily drugged in Kendall House in Kent have gone on to have children with birth defects. Now Teresa Cooper, one of the women involved, has accused the Church of conducting a cover up – a claim the Church strongly denies. "The Church are very responsible. They haven't even said sorry," says Ms Cooper. "They all just go around and they hide, you know, they hide and pretend. They won't do it because they feel if they give any of the girls support they'll be sued."

Plea for unity after Assembly approves appointment of gay minister
Published Date: 24 May 2009
By David Leask

THE KIRK last night voted to appoint a gay minister to his new church in a ground-breaking move at the General Assembly. After an impassioned debate on the issue of allowing openly homosexual ministers to take clerical office, commissioners came down in favour of the Rev Scott Rennie, whose appointment to an Aberdeen church had threatened to cause a deep split in Kirk ranks. But the Church's future policy on the ordination of gay ministers remained uncertain, with Rennie's supporters insisting his appointment did not set a precedent. A debate on a motion that would prevent gays and lesbians being ordained as a general Kirk rule was postponed until tomorrow. Last night's vote followed a plea for unity from the Kirk's Moderator, William Hewitt, in an attempt to head off the biggest schism in the Church for more than a century. Some ministers had threatened to quit the Church of Scotland if Rennie's appointment to Queen's Cross Church was ratified. Despite the rupture, the Assembly's commissioners, sitting as a civil court on spiritual matters at the Mound in Edinburgh, found Rennie, a gay man in a stable relationship, to be fit to serve. After four hours of legal and theological arguments and a stirring rendition of the hymn "Spirit of Truth and Grace Come to us in this Place," they voted in Rennie's favour by 326 votes to 267.

Episcopal Church fires 61 Central Valley priests
STOCKTON
May 27, 2009

The Episcopal Church has fired, or in its words “deposed,” 61 priests and deacons in the Central Valley who followed former Bishop John David Schofield when he rebuked the national church and aligned with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, a conservative group based in South America. “I find the actions I was forced to take last Friday and Tuesday to be heartbreaking,” says the Rt. Rev. Jerry Lamb, Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin in written comments Wednesday. “I have known a few of these clergy personally and others by the stories I have heard about their ministry. But, the fact is, they chose to abandon their relationship with the Episcopal Church.” Mr. Schofield was deposed in March 2008. He and the various priests and deacons objected to the Episcopal Church’s ordination of gays to the priesthood among other things, "refusing to recognize the authority of the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church and of the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church," as the church puts it.

An unholy secret that still haunts Ireland
Its shame confirmed by an official report, it’s time to pronounce the last rites for the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland
From The Times
May 29, 2009
David Sharrock

A storm is blowing through Ireland, its moral outrage unprecedented in the state’s history. For the Roman Catholic Church and Irish society, its consequences will be profound. The plain-speaking of one man merits lengthy quotation. Michael O’Brien articulated the rage of a nation this week when he appeared on the RTÉ show Questions and Answers, the Republic’s equivalent of the BBC’s Question Time. He listened patiently to the answers given by politicians to his question about whether the assets of religious orders found guilty by a commission report of systemic, endemic child abuse should be frozen. Then he let rip. “I went to the commission and had seven barristers there questioning me, telling me that I was telling lies when I told them that I got raped of a Saturday, got a merciful beating after it and he then came along the following morning and put Holy Communion in my mouth.

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

Christians risk rejection and discrimination for their faith, a study claims
Christians are facing discrimination at work, and ridicule and rejection at home, according to new research.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 10:19PM BST 30 May 2009

The first poll of Britain's churchgoers, carried out for The Sunday Telegraph, found that thousands of them believe they are being turned down for promotion because of their faith. One in five said that they had faced opposition at work because of their beliefs. More than half of them revealed that they had suffered some form of persecution for being a Christian. The findings suggest a growing hostility towards religion in this country, which has been highlighted by a series of clashes between churchgoers and their employers. Church leaders, including the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, have urged Christians to "wake up" and defend their beliefs after the suspension of Caroline Petrie, a community nurse, for offering to pray for a patient. Churchgoers are likely to be further concerned by new guidelines that warn that employees face dismissal if they share their faith with colleagues at work.

Bottler caps Pepsi donations to 'God' group
Supply cut off from disaster relief ministry because of its religious name
May 30, 2009
By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

A Pepsi Company distribution center that has reportedly given close to 18 tractor trailer loads of its Gatorade product to an emergency relief ministry has now stopped the flow because it has a problem with the organization's name. According to WSET-TV in Lynchburg, Va., the distribution center dropped the donations because God's Pit Crew, which has distributed the Gatorade to people in need following natural disasters, has the word "God" in its name. "We make absolutely no excuses for being a faith-based, a religious-based organization," Randy Johnson, founder and director of God's Pit Crew, told the station. "We don't discriminate; we help those in need whether they're believers or non believers." According to the ministry's web site, God's Pit Crew is a non-profit organization of over 300 volunteers that trucks supplies and workers across the country to help victims of tornados, floods and hurricanes. Officials at the Pepsi distribution center in Wytheville, Va., however, reportedly told WSET-TV that they are cutting off donations to God's Pit Crew because plant policies governing giving prohibit continued donation to a relief organization with "God" in its name.

Is God Dead? Or Just Not Riding the Bus?
By Steven Gray / Chicago Thursday, May. 28, 2009

Dangling from the sides of Chicago public buses in recent days: large signs bearing the slogan, "In the beginning, man created God." Lo and behold, the atheist bus war that raged through London earlier this year has led to the opening of a front in the U.S. The Chicago ads were purchased this month (for a total of $5,000) by the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign. Despite Chicago's abundance of trains, the Indiana group preferred to buy ads that would appear on the outside of buses. "That way, cars can see them. People on the sidewalks can see them, as the buses go zipping by," says Charlie Sitzes, 73, the group's spokesman. Apart from the predictable blogosphere chatter, Chicago has largely greeted the ads with a quick, curious look and then a shrug. While the media attention has drawn donations to the group from across the country, there are no plans to extend the ads' run beyond mid-June. "You don't have to shake the believer tree too hard to get a discussion going," Sitzes says, adding, "We've already won."

Muslims vandalize Christian graves
Crosses smashed: 'We don't feel safe anymore'
May 25, 2009
By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

JERUSALEM – Palestinian Christians in a normally quiet village are reeling from a series of grave desecrations this week that they say are indicative of intimidation tactics from the town's growing Muslim population. "Christians don't feel free anymore. Our way of life is changing while the Muslim population grows," a local Christian told WND. The Christian would only give his first name, Anis, for fear of Muslim retaliation if he speaks out. He pointed out there are several other Anis's in his village, Jisna, which is located near the West Bank city of Ramallah. This week, 70 Christian grave sites in Jisna were vandalized, with the crosses on top of the graves found smashed off, local Christians told WND. Jisna is primarily a Christian village, but over the last 6 to 8 years, the town has seen a steady stream of Muslims, mostly due to Jisna's good quality of life. Two years ago, the first mosque was constructed in the village. If the Islamic influx continues, Jisna might go the way of so many other Palestinian cities, like Ramallah and Bethlehem, which used to be predominantly Christian but now have large Muslim majorities.

Campus evangelists clash with police
Dispute over signs, 1st Amendment rights prompts 4 arrests, including felony charge
May 23, 2009
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

A campus evangelism group is stunned today, as a ministry event at a community college in
Ohio resulted in four members being arrested, one on a felony assault charge that the ministry's leader claims is fabricated. "I've done ministries like this at more than 200 universities," said Jason Storms, director of Faithful Soldier School of Evangelism, a ministry of Mercy Seat Christian Church in Milwaukee, Wis. "We train people to do evangelism, and I have never seen an incident like this." Storms and a team of students earlier this week traveled to Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, with signs, literature and a message of faith. When they arrived, however, a student complaint led campus police to confront the evangelism team and demand that their signs and literature be put away in accordance with college policy. The evangelists insisted their materials were protected by the freedom of speech guaranteed in the First Amendment, and the officers arrested them on charges of disorderly conduct. "There are many times when police hassle us and intimidate or bully us on campus, and usually we stand them down and are successful in defending our rights to freedom of speech," Storms told WND. "I can count on one hand the number of times we've had an arrest situation."

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