Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 94
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Light versus Darkness
6 Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things God's wrath is coming on the disobedient. 7 Therefore, do not become their partners. 8 For you were once darkness, but now [you are] light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — 9 for the fruit of the light [results] in all goodness, righteousness, and truth— 10 discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Don't participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead, expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. 13 Everything exposed by the light is made clear, 14 for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said:
Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead,
and the Messiah will shine on you.
Each morning of each new day, the light and the dark have a competition, in which ultimately the light overcomes the darkness. This has been happening for thousands of years. But one day very soon, the light will expand and devour darkness for eternity.
Now, more than ever before, it is so important for each of us to not become partners with the disobedient. Whether we were once darkness, or are currently darkness, we must each walk as children of light – Yahweh’s light – which is goodness, righteousness and truth.
Truth does not hide from us. It is there for the discovery and acceptance within each of us. It only takes responding to the call and the willingness of an open heart and the strength to hold on tightly and fight back against the darkness that wishes us to remain, a part of it.
This means partnering with only what is good and turning our back on that which is fruitless and determining, with the help of prayer and the righteous instruction that is found in the scriptures, just what it is that is pleasing to Father Yahweh and doing all within our power to do only that. It can mean turning ourselves inside out and our lives upside down and for some, it can be the greatest struggle of our lives and…for our lives.
There is a proper time for all things under the sun and now it is time to prepare. Prepare our hearts, and our minds. Prepare in the same way we would prepare a wedding, the birth of a child, a great feast or a banquet, making sure that we are well equipped for what is to come and that nothing is overlooked or forgotten. For great preparation has been made for those who might be found to be wicked, but also for those who might be found to be worthy in Father’s eyes to be Raptured from this earth.
Let no one deceive us with empty arguments as to why we should not be fully prepared. The wise will listen to these words.
Wisdom versus Foolishness
1 Wisdom has built her house;
she has carved out her seven pillars.
2 She has prepared her meat; she has mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her servants;
she calls out from the highest points of the city:
Proverbs 16:4 The LORD has prepared everything for His purpose— even the wicked for the day of disaster.
Exodus 23:20 [ Promises and Warnings ] "I am going to send an Angel before you to protect you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared.
THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL
Submitted by Johanna
A weary mother returned from the store,
Lugging groceries through the kitchen door.
Awaiting her arrival was her 8 year old son,
Anxious to relate what his younger brother had done.
"While I was out playing and Dad was on a call,
T.J. took his crayons and wrote on the wall!
It's on the new paper you just hung in the den.
I told him you'd be mad at having to do it again."
She let out a moan and furrowed her brow,
"Where is your little brother right now?"
She emptied her arms and with a purposeful stride,
She marched to his closet where he had gone to hide.
She called his full name as she entered his room.
He trembled with fear–he knew that meant doom!
For the next ten minutes, she ranted and raved
About the expensive wallpaper and how she had saved.
Lamenting all the work it would take to repair,
She condemned his actions and total lack of care.
The more she scolded, the madder she got,
Then stomped from his room, totally distraught!
She headed for the den to confirm her fears.
When she saw the wall, her eyes flooded with tears.
The message she read pierced her soul with a dart.
It said, "I love Mommy," surrounded by a heart.
Well, the wallpaper remained, just as she found it,
With an empty picture frame hung to surround it.
A reminder to her, and indeed to all,
Take time to read the handwriting on the wall
Regardless of whether one has yet to be Raptured, or has already been Raptured, personal interest is a very strong aspect of an individual, whether they will have it in certain amounts or not. This self explanatory phrase is quite a concept because it actually has a strong influence on everything we do. From the small to the large, personal interest will either make or break a whole war band of fighters or even performers of a particular art. In this, one can see that personal interest is rather a factor of one's own self, and a measure of their own ego, or how high they see themselves. It might be easy for a fighter who has defeated many enemies to lose their sense of camaraderie. Yet, that is the same attitude one may have of their very own co-workers when they achieve a special bonus or promotion. The ease of this can provide for a measure of one's own reflection of their self and how they place their interests; which can, if unfortunate, be also one's own undoing and humbling, hopefully not their demise.
Matthew 16:25 — For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.
There are a lot of things we each do not know that we will do in certain situations. Some may flee in the face of terror, others may stand up against it. Father knows what is in each of our hearts to strengthen us, or weaken us, and knows what it takes to train each of us to prepare for whatever it may be that may come across the path that we try to walk, which, if it is following Christ's footsteps, is the narrow path. However, there are still many signs as to what we may do in many other situations.
Luke 16:10 — Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.
In quiet self reflection, with Father's guiding light, and only in reflection that is inspired by Her spirit, one may only be able to determine the small actions one may cause that may even happen the same way in a big action. One must not nitpick each of their actions, however, because that will surely cause them to go insane, and if anything, almost definitely open a path for evil to take hold and try to control. However, instead, recognition of one's weakness and lacking will overall humble oneself, especially in true recognition down to one's heart, and with repentance, may even be on the protected path towards salvation and the overcoming of those very weaknesses, even those that one may not even be aware of.
Thus, when one does something that is of self interest, they must consider where their action is coming from, whether it be from Father, or from their own heart. And if it is something that is involving themselves, they must really consider where they are placing their thoughts in during the activity. Failure to maintain one's thoughts towards Father rather than oneself in an activity involving themselves would be certainly disrespectful to Father. Such a disrespectfulness could only lead to further godlessness. And the less godly one is, the further they are from Father's Wisdom, and ultimately, from Father Herself. Humans born into Adamic sin are already born into a difficult situation, and making the situation worse could not possibly be helpful in any way, regardless of how it is. Yet, a person's own views in their own personal interest could fog that view, and thus hinder their hearts from feeling Father's love dissipating, which would only further ensnare oneself into their own evil desires if one does not snap out.
Evil does not truly rest. Just as Father, who personifies all that is just and righteous, is at work, so too can evil do so. These are deep spiritual things that surely Father stores up and readies to reveal as the time is ready to do so. One must not become selfish or greedy and try to snatch it all up, because Father will rebuke them for doing so, and they will have less than they had before.
If at any moment one finds themselves in a small or large situation where they must make a decision whether or not to take a risk for another person, regardless of that person's condition, behavior, or manner of being, they must truly consider where their priorities lie. There are many occasions where this happens, from simply holding the door for another person, to sharing a moment with someone who seems stressed or worn, even if oneself is also the same. Whatever the case, pray that Father inspires in your heart the right words and timing to take action with and have faith that Father will do so, and that it may take hold and sprout with many fruits multiplying many times over. Each of our times is coming to shine, and Father permitting, we will find the great opportunity to give our worship of Her forever, doing so in full love and faith in Her. One's personal interests, in any and all of this, must never interfere.
Fruitage of the Spirit – Part 10
We have started to look at attitudes to be cultivated and we are 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 should have prayerfulness towards Yahweh your Creator:
1 Peter 4:7
1 Thessalonians 5:17
You should always prove your faith by putting spiritual matters first:
You must always be ready to obey Christ – the Living Word – and Yahweh our Father:
Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
Nourishment From The Throne
Cherubic Commander: Deuteronomy 29:22 "Future generations of your children who follow you and the foreigner who comes from a distant country…" This dually refers to Satan and his demons who came from Heaven ("distant country") as a warning of Father's power over mankind. It is for not only mankind to view, but all of Father's intelligent creation.
You must all think back. What did Prince of Yahweh II teach each of you in the beginning of your relationships with spirit photos and Father's Way of doing things? That all things happen in a state of progression. Nothing happens quickly. It happens over time.
This earth each of you live upon was created in a slow manner. It went through many creative phases before it reached Father's desired outcome. It was hot at first, then it cooled over time. Much goes into the processes of creation.
Father taught Michael as Her master apprentice to create things over a period of time.
Each visible and invisible thing in both planes of existence were created on a scale of progression. This earth each of you live upon was created in a slow manner.
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
Incredible UFO activity for July in 2009 / Only the beginning
July 7, 2009
Just when we thought we have seen it all with the recent increase of UFO sightings, the month of July 2009 has been super hot for UFO enthusiast and reporters. Many UFO traffic reports have been hitting the INTERNET at breakneck speed leaving us all asking those questions as to what’s up. Not only has UFO traffic on the rise but the descriptions of what people are witnessing has without a doubt changed as well. People still want an answer as to what these objects are, be it black ops projects or objects of extraterrestrial origin. While we do our best to perpetuate the pressure on those who know the answers to our questions, we are now entering into a new phase to dazzle UFO enthusiast around the world. Is it not enough to just mention and report to the public on spontaneous luck that someone had in capturing a UFO? Is it not enough to understand that other people have incredible luck when it comes to filming UFO phenomena? The answer is no. Deep down inside we all want to witness something strange like a UFO. Well that time is coming for us all.
UFOs spotted over 10 states during July 4th celebrations
July 5, 2009
A spectacular display of UFO sightings hit the U.S. this Fourth of July weekend, with many reporting multiple objects in the skies and similar colors, according to witness testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. In Pennsylvania, State MUFON Director John Ventre is reporting that his teams are investigating five possibly related sightings, primarily on the eastern end of the state. Celebration of July 4th is possibly the most popular holiday to draw people out of their homes to look skyward at the thousands of fireworks displays produced by professional groups and individuals or at family gatherings. Like the UFO reports from April Fool's Day, ufologists look more cautiously at sightings that occur on a night when the skies are filled with manmade lights designed to entertain. Orange, flaming, or red objects were seen over Michigan, Illinois, Nevada, and Kansas. A round red/orange object was seen over Washington. A fireball was spotted over Ohio. Two glowing orange objects were seen over Connecticut. Five red lights were reported over California. A red, spherical and flashing object was seen over Washington. And a flashing red light was reported over the Larchmont, New York area.
20 baseball-sized UFOs 'invade' Indiana woods
July 6, 2009
The Fourth of July weekend overwhelmed the UFO Traffic Report switchboard – as cases were tracked from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. Weekend cases have already been covered in UFOs tracked across Pennsylvania on July 4 holiday, UFOs spotted over 10 states during July 4th celebrations, and Annual UFO over El Cajon makes Fourth of July appearance once again. While we have tracked two triangle-shaped UFOs, a cylinder-shaped object and a "dark" object over the holiday weekend, reports continue to come in from around the country of primarily orange-colored objects moving in a controlled manner. Many reports show the objects hovering and then moving away at tremendous speed. Many more reports provide firsthand accounts of multple objects shooting across the sky. There are many simularities in the selected 26 reports from 15 states for this UFO Traffic Report for Monday, July 6. Due to the number of sighting that we're covering, we will report on the first 16 cases in this story, and will follow up today with a second story to cover the remaining 10 cases.
Montana deputy sheriff reports orange 'torpedo' UFO
July 6, 2009
Coverage of the July 4th weekend UFO report surge continues with an additional 10 cases from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. You can read earlier reports in 20 baseball-sized UFOs 'invade' Indiana woods, UFOs tracked across Pennsylvania on July 4 holiday, UFOs spotted over 10 states during July 4th celebrations, and Annual UFO over El Cajon makes Fourth of July appearance once again. There are many simularities in the selected 26 reports from 15 states for this UFO Traffic Report for Monday, July 6. Due to the number of sighting that we're covering, we first reported on 16 cases, while this is the follow-up report on an additional 10 cases. If you filed a July 4 holiday sighting with MUFON, but do not see it reported here, and think it was significant, please email Roger Marsh at firstname.lastname@example.org with your MUFON case number as I may follow-up with a few more reports. In a related story, the Youtube video posted here was shot at Union Pier, Michigan, July 4. The story is typical of our reporting here. The witness writes on the YouTube page: "A group of us were on the beach in Union Pier, Michigan watching fireworks. At about 10:45pm Eastern, we saw a reddish light flying from the Northeast along the shore of Lake Michigan. It was moving slower than an airplane and too low for an airplane but too high for a helicopter. It was moving Southwest and then stopped right in front of us. It hovered there for a about a minute or two and then seemed to just fade into the black sky. Then I looked down the beach and saw two more of the exact same thing moving towards us, one behind the other a few hundred feet apart. They did the same thing. I got my camera when I saw a fourth one heading our way. It too moved along until it was almost directly in front of us and then stopped and eventually got smaller and smaller. The lights were pulsating and seemed to be mostly red but other colors were also appearing."
Bonvilston mum believes mystery lights were UFOs
Jul 6 2009 by Sarah Bunney, South Wales Echo
A SOUTH Wales mum captured these photographs of what she believes could be UFOs above her home. Diane Thomas, 45, from Bonvilston, Vale of Glamorgan, took the pictures on Saturday in her garden. She said she had checked if there were any balloon fairs or races in the area but had not found any. “It was such a hot and sticky day that it was too stuffy in the house, so I went outside and happened to glance upwards,” said Diane, who lives in Maes y Ffynnon. “It was late, between midnight and 12.30am, and I first saw one orange blob to start with, then there were three, then five. That’s when I thought I had better get my camera, and I managed to take a couple of pictures but I started to think they might have been balloons. “After looking at the shots I thought: ‘They are definitely not balloons.’ I had never seen that shape and colour before, and they were moving in sequence – it was really strange.”
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
Historic Bible pages put online
July 6, 2009
About 800 pages of the earliest surviving Christian Bible have been recovered and put on the internet. Visitors to the website http://www.codexsinaiticus.org can now see images of more than half the 1,600-year-old Codex Sinaiticus manuscript. Fragments of the 4th Century document – written in Greek on parchment leaves – have been worked on by institutions in the UK, Germany, Egypt and Russia. Experts say it is "a window into the development of early Christianity". Preservation secrets Dr Scot McKendrick, head of Western manuscripts at the British Library, said the wide availability of the document presented many research opportunities. "The Codex Sinaiticus is one of the world's greatest written treasures," he said.
Get Ready for 14 Percent Unemployment
by Louis Woodhill
July 6, 2009
The June "Jobs" report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on July 2 caused shock and dismay. Payrolls declined by 467,000 jobs, more than the 345,000 lost in May, and much more than the 363,000 that economists had predicted. The only reason that the reported unemployment rate rose by only 0.1 percentage points (to 9.5%) in June was that many jobless people became discouraged and stopped looking for work. As bad as the BLS report was, it should not have come as a surprise. The deteriorating employment situation could have been predicted as early as April 29, when the "Gross Domestic Product: First Quarter 2009 (Advance)" report was issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The BEA numbers (which were revised slightly on June 25) show an accelerating decline in "real nonresidential fixed investment". This measure decreased 37.3 percent in the first quarter of 2009, compared with a fall of 21.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. Given that employment is a direct, linear function of private business investment (PBI), unemployment can be expected to rise much farther in the months ahead. Here's why. Because a lot of PBI goes toward offsetting depreciation and increasing productivity, it takes a 5% year-over-year increase in PBI to produce a 1% increase in the number of jobs. Correspondingly, a 5% decrease in PBI will yield a 1% reduction in total employment.
Plan to restore rare trout sparks protests
by Jeff DeLong
July 9, 2009
WALKER, Calif. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game are moving forward with a plan to restore one of the country's rarest trout to its native habitat by poisoning a remote Sierra stream, despite ongoing criticism. An environmental impact report — ordered by a federal judge in 2005 — is in the comment period and expected to be finalized by October. The project, at Silver King Creek, a wilderness area south of Lake Tahoe, is scheduled for next summer. Since 2002, protests and legal action have delayed the project to restore the rare Paiute cutthroat trout. "They want to put an agent in the water that kills everything," says Patty Clary of Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, an opponent of the project. "That's not OK. This is a very precious area." Another lawsuit could be filed if the final impact report fails to adequately address concerns over the proposed fish poisoning, Clary says "It's still a very exciting project, and it's very viable," counters Bob Williams, field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Reno.
The NYPD Training Elite Group Of Officers To Fight Terrorism
July 6, 2009
NEW YORK – It's one of the New York Police Department's most dangerous assignments–battling organized terrorists, and gangs. And now, an elite group of police officers is in training on Rodmen's Neck in the Bronx to learn how to deal with these scenarios. The heavy arms classes and training sessions became a necessity following the 2006 terror attacks in Mumbai, India where the suspects were blowing up commuter trains and were using their weapons in a controlled manner. The tactical lessons from that horrifying attack have been studied in hopes of preventing a similar tragedy here at home. "We have protocols in place ah 24/7 if a situation like that occurred. We also learned from that situation that there could be multiple locations at one time that you have to be prepared for," said Captain Anthony Maida with the NYPD. The skills the officers employ could eliminate the confusion that ensued in Los Angeles when armed gunmen in full body armor held th Los Angeles Police Department at bay for hours. "We conduct our own drills here to see how we would respond to those situations," said Capt. Anthony Maida.
Scientists claim sperm 'first'
by Fergus Walsh
July 7, 2009
Scientists in Newcastle claim to have created human sperm in the laboratory in what they say is a world first. The researchers believe the work could eventually help men with fertility problems to father a child. But other experts say they are not convinced that fully developed sperm have been created. Writing in the journal Stem Cells and Development, the Newcastle team say it will be at least five years before the technique is perfected. They began with stem cell lines derived from human embryos donated following IVF treatment. The stem cells had been removed when the embryo was a few days old and were stored in tanks of liquid nitrogen. The stem cells were brought to body temperature and put in a chemical mixture to encourage them to grow. They were "tagged" with a genetic marker which enabled the scientists to identify and separate so-called "germline" stem cells from which eggs and sperm are developed.
Crop Circle Watch
Silbury Hill, nr Avebury, Wiltshire. Reported 5th July
The Mayan Motif Returns to Silbury Hill.
This spellbinding event brings back memories of another wonderful formation also with a Mayan motif that appeared in the same field at Silbury Hill in 2004. Both these events could be making us aware of the date of the 21st December 2012. This is the date the Mayan calendar comes to an end.
The sheer beauty of this new formation takes ones breath away. The location with Silbury Hill as a backdrop has to be of great significance in itself.
Field Report: How stunning, and right in front of the Great Goddess! This formation reminds me of the Mayan formation in 2004, in the same field and so near to the exact location as well. If my memory serves me right, that one was created over two nights. Perhaps history will repeat itself and there will be more to come.
Having seen some aerial shots which blew me away, I set off, hoping to be as impressed at ground level. I certainly was. It was amazing in so many respects. It was complex and I kept getting disorientated in the formation. Parts of it are like a maze.
On entering the formation from the tram lines, I was immediately struck with how special it was. Just looking around at the fantastic landscape, Silbury Hill seemingly watching over and starlings singing created a magical atmosphere. There were a lot of things different about this formation compared to others. Walking around the outside section I noticed that the lay in this area was in an unusual anti-clockwise direction. The crop was flat, flowing and very neat and tidy. However, it still had a sense of being fluid and smooth.. Very little crop was standing up. I moved in towards the inner sections and generally the lay switched to a clock wise direction. However, what was so special was that in parts the lay of the crop seemed to go in different directions (I assume intentionally) which must create the stunning aerial effects. This aspect of the formations this year seems to be much more prominent than in previous years. It appears to create an almost holographic/shimmering effect to present them in a seemingly different dimension.
There were a few other interesting features I noticed. In some places along the edges, although the lay was flowing in a given direction, just by the side of this, it flowed in the opposite direction. There were some quite breathtaking swirling features which spread out from an epicentre.
There were lots of bent nodes but these were on or near the tram lines and as far as I’m aware that is a natural phenomenon of crop. Correct me if I am wrong. There were places where the nodes did appear elongated but difficult to say without proper testing etc. The white 'chip' marks I often mention were present too, whatever, if anything, this means. I saw no expulsion cavities.
However, what I did see was a complex and stunning ‘work of art’. A beautiful formation right next to one of my favourite sacred sites.
– Mike Callahan http://www.wiltshiretours.com
Momalle et Fexhe-Le-Haut-Clocher. Reported 2nd July
Field Report: Not available at this time.
Signs in Humanity
Sex slaves on Winnipeg streets
Winnipeg Free Press
by Ron Evans
July 8, 2009
The sexual enslavement of women and children is a global human rights issue in our own backyard. Manitobans and Canadians need not look to countries notorious for human trafficking for sexual exploitation, like Thailand, or developing countries, they only need to look at the streets of Winnipeg and other cities, especially those in Western Canada. The "Stop Sex with Kids" campaign website explains "sexual exploitation" as "the exchange of sex for food, shelter, drugs/alcohol, money and/or approval. Sexual exploitation is not a lifestyle choice — it's child abuse." Statistics at that site paint a picture of the extent of this abuse on the streets of Winnipeg and Manitoba: there are approximately 400 children and youth being sexually exploited on the streets of Winnipeg each year; 13 years old is the average age that children reported their first experience of being exploited; most (85-90 per cent) of sexually exploited children/youth are female; 70-80 per cent of adults involved in the sex trade were first exploited under the age of 18; most (70-80 per cent) of the children and youth exploited in Manitoba are of aboriginal descent; and about 72 per cent were in the care of Child and Family Services.
Sperm, egg donors increase during recession
by Judy Keen
July 7, 2009
CHICAGO — Sperm banks and donor agencies say the recession is prompting a surge in calls from people who hope to make money by donating their sperm or eggs. "We've seen a definite spike" of about 40% since February, says Kim Springfield, vice president of sales for Health News, an Irvine, Calif., company that operates a national referral service for donors. Once prospective donors learn that medical and psychological screening can take weeks or months and eliminates most interested men and women, many opt out, Springfield says. Compensation varies by region, state and donor agency. At Oregon Health & Science University Fertility Consultants in Portland, sperm donors get $100 per collection and can donate twice a week, says lab director David Battaglia. Egg donors, who undergo an outpatient extraction procedure, can get $5,000 for a donation, he says.
156 dead as Muslim uprising hits China
by Claire Soares
July 7, 2009
The Chinese authorities yesterday blamed exiled Muslim Uighur separatists for trouble in the restive western province of Xinjiang which killed at least 156 people and injured hundreds more. But the government was in turn accused of heavy-handed repression which, according to the claim of one Uighur representative, may have left up to 400 people dead. The violence, which may have been the deadliest in China since Tiananmen Square in 1989, began in the regional capital Urumqi on Sunday night when tensions between Uighurs and Han Chinese boiled over. State television showed images of rioters throwing rocks at police, smashing buses and setting fire to shops and cars, as well as bystanders holding faces streaming with blood. Burnt-out buildings and vehicles continued to smoulder yesterday, broken glass littered the roads and bloodstains dotted the concrete.It was the second major eruption of ethnic violence in China in less than 18 months. In March last year, protests and riots flared up in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, with authorities saying 19 people were killed and exile groups saying the real figure was 200. The latest trouble in Xinjiang also comes at an embarrassing time for the Communist Party in Beijing, just three months before it is due to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Greece arrests policemen for sex trafficking ring
July 8, 2009
ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek authorities have arrested four policemen for trafficking hundreds of Eastern European women for prostitution, police said on Wednesday. "It is Greece's biggest trafficking case in the last 15 years," a police official said, adding that a retired police officer, who recruited the women, was also arrested. "All five were the masterminds of the ring," said the official, who requested anonymity. The ring was responsible for bringing about 300 women to several night clubs in Athens over the past few months, he said.
'Obama is like the Messiah': Africans react to Obama's visit to Ghana
by David Smith
July 10, 2009
Sfiso Buthelezi, 26, customer services assistant from Soweto, South Africa You should have seen the celebrations here when Obama was elected. People are really hoping that he's going to come up with something. He has African roots and an instinct for Africa that he's shown by going to Kenya before. He'll come to Africa more than any other US president. What worries me is that there is still corruption in our governments. It's not easy to put money in and be sure that it will get to the poorest of the poor. It ends up being used by the ministers. I would love Obama to say this is his major concern and it is a reason not to invest in African countries. The African Union is playing hide and seek and we need people like Obama say he is not going to invest in Zimbabwe. If it can come from his mouth, people will be happy, because Obama is the Messiah of Africa.
Arks of Safe Haven
"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and to not ignore your own flesh [and blood]?" Isaiah 58:7
The mission of Arks of Safe Haven is to connect via an extensive network and online message board forum, those individuals and families who have been affected by recent economic downfalls and are in need with those individuals who are ready, willing and capable of providing assistance to those in need with employment, shelter, work, food, clothing and other necessities.
Coupled with our primary mission of delivering the Kingdom Message of Salvation, the assistance of Arks of Safe Haven is available to all who are in need. Our purposeful intention is to follow in the footsteps of Christ as our example, by providing hope to the hopeless and answering the prayers of those who have been forced to live outside of society.
How You Can Help?
In order to provide for those whose outcry of prayers have reached our heavenly Father's ears, Arks of Safe Haven is seeking out those who are able to provide shelter, whether it be an extra bedroom, empty rental property or a work for room and board agreement. Additionally, we also act as a liaison in connecting those with tangible items to donate to those in need like Food, Water, Clothing, & Other Personal Items. We pray that your heart is motivated to make a contribution, no matter how small. Visit http://www.arksofsafehaven.org and view the many posts from those in need to see if you're able to help with advice, prayers or goods & services.
ronnirae – Omaha, NE. – I am a 50 yr old single person in Omaha, Nebraska. I suffer from Meniere's Disease which causes episodes of vertigo that last from a few minutes to several hours. This has left me homebound, unable to drive or go anywhere alone. My employer terminated my position due to the length of time I needed off because I did not qualify for any leave of absence, I was 40 days short of being eligible at the time I was terminated. I did qualify for food stamps for the months of June and July. However, with no sources of income, my utilities, mortgage payments, insurance, car payments, etc are now all delinquent and I am in fear of losing all that I have worked so hard for. My homeowners insurance tells me my house is needs to be repainted by September. I cannot climb a ladder or buy the paint. It just seems to be one thing after another. The stress, financial burdens, medications and unknowns are adding to my depression and the days of uncontrollable tears, and endless, hopeless frustration are more frequent. Please be advised, I am not suicidal. I am at a point of desperation. I had surgery on June 30th that will gives me an 80% chance of alleviating the vertigo and saving what little hearing is left in my ear. However, I will not know for several months if the surgery will be considered a success. Today, I am trying to figure out how to survive, and not lose my small home and humble surroundings. I have not been in Omaha for more than 5 years, but it has become home. I am a hard working person, give what I am able to when others around me are in need. It is difficult to reach out and ask for help from others. I am just at a loss as to where to turn and what to do. My life has changed for reasons beyond my control. I need help. That is a fact that I can no longer deny or ignore. I am not one to look for handouts. I want to be able to earn whatever assistance I can get.
madigirl – Arnold, MO. – I recently lost my job and all of my bills are due. I am most concern with my rent. My landlord is not very understanding.I owe $600.00 and everyday Im late after the 5th, it goes up. Please pray for God to make a way for me. I believe in the power of prayer,
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
Chinese floods kill 15, displace 550,000
BEIJING, July 5 (Reuters) – Flooding and heavy rain in southern China have forced 550,000 people to evacuate their homes and killed at least 15, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday. The heavy rains that have raged for four days across southern provinces have destroyed houses, flooded crops, cut power, damaged roads and caused rivers to overflow. Worst hit was Guangxi, where 285,800 people were moved out of their homes. Parts of the region were experiencing the worst flooding since 1996. Workers dug sluices to relieve pressure on the Kama reservoir dam in Guangxi's Luocheng county, where a 13.5 metre (44 ft) section gave way under the weight of the water on Saturday. Chen Zhangliang, vice chairman of Guangxi region, said the sluices should alleviate the danger from the dam in a few days. Crops on 103,400 hectares were damaged and 3,600 homes had collapsed by 11:40 (0340 GMT) on Sunday, with total damage in Guangxi estimated at 1.34 billion yuan ($196.5 million), Xinhua said, citing the regional civil affairs department. The rain also flooded 62 schools in Guangxi, where 300 students were trapped in one boarding school alone. Local authorities had managed to restore power supplies and deliver food and drinking water. After four days of torrential downpours, the rain began to subside in some parts of Guangxi on Sunday, but local authorities warned of more flooding as river levels remained high. (Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Valerie Lee)
Swine flu-linked deaths double in three days
From The Times
July 10, 2009
The number of people known to have died after contracting swine flu has doubled in three days. Fourteen people have died in Britain after testing positive for the H1N1 virus. London and the West Midlands have emerged as hotspots after a marked rise in the number of suspected cases this week. In England and Wales, 27,000 people contacted their GP about “flu-like illness” in a single week, the latest figures suggest. It is estimated that, of these, 8,000 would have swine flu. The Health Protection Agency also disclosed that at least 335 people were having hospital treatment for serious infections, of whom 43 were receiving “critical care” as of yesterday. Sixty of those in hospital were aged under 5, and 47 were aged between 5 and 15. There were 189 aged between 16 and 64, and only 39 over 65.
Landslide caused by rain kills 30 in Myanmar
July 9, 2009
Overnight downpour fails to fix Mumbai water woes YANGON: A landslide caused by torrential rain killed about 30 people in northern Myanmar at the weekend when it swept away their homes, which were built on a mine dump, people in contact with the area said on Wednesday. The accident occurred at Lonkhin Jade Mine near Phakant, in an area about 1,500 km north of Yangon known as Jade Land. “So far as we heard from our field offices, about 30 people were killed when their houses built on the mine dump were swept away in the flash flood caused by torrential rain on July 4,” said a Yangon-based jade merchant, who has offices in Lonkhin and Phakant. A government official from Myitkyina confirmed the accident.
Brush fire near Castaic burns 75 acres
Associated Press – July 2, 2009
CASTAIC, Calif. (AP) – Fire officials say brush fire that burned 75 acres in the Angeles National Forest near Castaic is 75% contained with full containment expected by tomorrow. LA County Fire Capt. Mike Brown says the blaze started in three different locations off northbound Interstate 5 at around 4:50 this afternoon. The California Highway Patrol shut down all northbound lanes of the busy highway for more than an hour because of smoke from the fire. The Forest Service will investigate the cause of the fire and reports of a vehicle near where the fire started. Six helicopters and about 200 firefighters battled the flames, which burned through heavy brush and grass. Castaic is about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Russians order Flight Changes, after Massive Magnetic Shift downs Airliners…
30 June 2009
Macedonian International News Agency
Reports circulating in the Kremlin today are saying that Russian Air Force Commanders have issued warnings to all of their aircraft to exercise “extreme caution” during flights “in and around” an area defined as Latitude 17 North [North Atlantic Ocean] Latitude 3 South [South Atlantic Ocean] to Latitude 8 North [Indian Ocean] Latitude 19 South [Indian Ocean] between the Longitudes of 46 West, 33 West, 46 East and 33 East, and which covers the greater part of the African Tectonic Plate. The reason for this unprecedented warning, these reports state, are the rapid formations of “geomagnetic storms” emanating from the boundaries of the African Tectonic Plate that due to their intensity have caused the loss of two major passenger aircraft during the past month leaving nearly 300 men, women and children dead. The first aircraft to be downed by this phenomenon was Air France passenger flight 447, and which these reports say that upon encountering one of these geomagnetic storms, on June 1st, near the western boundary of the African Tectonic Plate close to Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha Islands, was “completely annihilated” causing the deaths of 216 passengers and 12 crew members as their plane plunged in pieces into the Atlantic Ocean.
Natural Disaster Update
5.0 MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.0 YUNNAN, CHINA
5.2 NORTHWEST OF KURIL ISLANDS
5.2 OFF COAST OF OREGON
5.3 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION
5.5 YUNNAN, CHINA
5.5 SOUTHEAST OF EASTER ISLAND
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
6.0 BAFFIN BAY
5.2 COQUIMBO, CHILE
5.7 INDIAN OCEAN TRIPLE JUNCTION
5.1 OFF W COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA
6.0 SOUTHEAST OF RYUKYU ISLANDS
5.9 RAT ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
5.0 NEAR COAST OF NICARAGUA
5.0 ROTA REGION, N. MARIANA ISLANDS
5.2 SOUTH OF MARIANA ISLANDS
5.1 TONGA REGION
5.0 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.0 NEW GUINEA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
5.0 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.1 CERAM SEA, INDONESIA
5.1 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.6 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
6.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
5.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
5.0 TAIWAN REGION
CHINA – A 5.5 earthquake in a sparsely populated region of southwest China has killed one person, injured hundreds and flattened more than 10,000 houses. It was followed by eight aftershocks, driving residents outdoors during the warm night for fear of greater damage. More than 30,000 other homes were damaged in six counties of Yunnan. A massive 8.0 magnitude earthquake shook Sichuan province in China's mountainous southwest in May 2008.
CALIFORNIA – Deep tremors appear to have foreshadowed large 2004 quake. Under the central part of the San Andreas fault, the deep seismic whisperings known as tremors have increased after two recent large earthquakes, and a surge in tremors appears to have foreshadowed one of them. "It reaffirms the need to be ready. THE SAN ANDREAS FAULT IS CHANGING DOWN DEEP and it’s changing down deep in places where large earthquakes have happened in the past.” Among the findings was an UNUSUALLY strong tremor episode three weeks before the magnitude 6.0 Parkfield earthquake in 2004. If more of these kinds of signals are found before other large earthquakes, they could provide a kind of early warning. . “There have been plenty of tremor episodes that have not triggered earthquakes in other places. This one might make the strongest case.” Earthquakes typically generate clear seismic waves with sharp onsets, tailing off after a minute or two. Tremors vibrate quietly and can continue for days. Tremors also tend to happen in a deeper, softer part of the Earth’s crust than the upper part typically thought to generate earthquakes. Seismologists used to ignore tremors because they looked like noise in the data caused by wind or cars. Until recently, scientists also had difficulty storing the enormous amounts of data required to detect tremors. About 10 years ago, Japanese seismologists discovered deep tremors when they took a closer look at the background noise. Since then, scientists have detected tremors in the Pacific Northwest and below the San Andreas. Scientists still do not understand the exact relationship between tremors and quakes. But more tremors probably means more stress on the fault, and that suggests “an increased probability of an earthquake coming sooner rather than later.”
HAWAII – After being buried by rubble from a series of vent collapses on Tuesday, lava is bubbling back to life at Kilauea's summit. Geologists making observations on the rim of Halema`uma`u Crater could again see a small ponded lava surface and weak spattering deep within the vent. The lava was visible overnight on the Webcam perched on the rim of Halema`uma`u Crater above the vent. Meanwhile, the summit plume is "very thin and wispy" with a lower sulfur dioxide emission rate than has been typically seen over the past several months. The most recent measurement taken on July 3rd recorded 360 tonnes a day compared to over 800 tonnes a day that has been clouding the island in vog over the last few months. However, even at the lower emission rate, the volcano vent is still producing well over the 2003-2007 average rate of 140 tonnes/day.
RUSSIA – The sudden eruption of a NEW GEYSER in Russia’s Far East has taken scientists by surprise, underlining the distinctiveness of the remote but threatened Kamchatka peninsula. The new geyser – dubbed “Prikolny” or “Peculiar” in English – has appeared in the Kronotsky Nature Reserve, in Uzon Caldera, 14 kms away from the world-renowned Valley of Geysers. A reserve ranger was the first person to see the geyser – a column of boiling liquid shooting three meters high. Research on the geyser’s sudden appearance is ongoing, although scientists already have presented theories on its origin, including that serious changes affecting the entire Uzon thermal field caused its appearance, or that it was created from rising water levels in the field’s spring. Currently, scientists are measuring the temperature of the water, the periodicity of its cycle, its diameter, the depth of its underground structure and its exact geographical position. “The geyser erupts every 6 to 20 minutes, so is very convenient for observations.” The Prikolny Geyser is UNIQUE because it uses the same water over and over again. Water from the five meter fountain gets back into the funnel and then it "spits out" the same water again. There are four large geysers fields in the world: in Iceland, New Zealand, the US and Kamchatka. The last time a new geyser appeared on Kamchatka was in the 1960s, and in the United States’ Yellowstone National Park in the early 20th century. Altogether Kamchatka had 100 geysers (20 of them of significant size) before a mudslide covered them in June 2007.
PHILIPPINES – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Sunday said it is studying the possibility of raising the alert level of Mayon Volcano in Albay in the Bicol region after it recently showed signs of increased activity. The crater glow of the volcano has intensified from level one to two which means the glow is visible with the naked eye. The increase in the crater glow means the magma activity inside the volcano has increased. Aside from the crater glow, Phivolcs has also noted an inflation of the volcano's edifice in the ground deformation survey conducted this June compared to the 12 millimeter deflation recorded in the survey conducted last January. This also indicates an abnormal activity of the volcano. Meanwhile, in a 24 hour period, PHIVOLCS also recorded four low frequency volcanic earthquake. Alert level one however is maintained over Mayon volcano. With the recent abnormal activity of the volcano, a sudden phreatic explosion is possible. Phreatic eruptions are steam-driven explosions that occur when water beneath the ground or on the surface is heated by magma, lava, hot rocks, or new volcanic deposits. The alert level can be raised if there is a continuous increase in parameters such as seismic ground deformation and sulfur dioxide emission rate. Mayon Volcano’s last eruption happened in July until August of 2006 when the alert level of the volcano was raised to four.
MYSTERY QUAKES (?) –
INDIA – 7/7/09 – Panic gripped Chandrapur as brief tremors, similar to earthquakes, were felt in most of the city on Tuesday evening. There are reports of utensils tumbling down and people walking out into the open following the tremors. It is likely that the blasting in WCL mines in close vicinity of town might have caused the momentary shudder. The tremor was experienced for nearly five seconds. Experts claimed that there are little chances of earthquakes taking place in Chandrapur as there is no history of this part of country witnessing earthquake in the past. Hence, it is expected that the blasting in the mine is going to be blamed once again for the tremor. Mild tremors like those felt on Tuesday are not new to Chandrapur. In August-September 2005, a series of similar tremors panicked the people. Baffled administration had taken the help of Geological Survey of India (GSI) and an investigation team was set up to study geological movements. However, the investigating team in the end concluded that the shocks felt in the town were due to blasting taking place in the coal mines.
TROPICAL STORMS –
Tropical storm BLANCA was 356 nmi SSW of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
New type of El Nino – There's a new El Nino, but it's not exactly improved. The new form of the weather phenomenon could potentially cause more hurricanes, according to climatologists. Typically, El Nino years mean warmer temperatures and fewer hurricanes forming in the Atlantic Ocean. But the study suggests the new form is resulting in a greater number of hurricanes with greater frequency and a greater potential to touch down on land. Despite the study's suggested potential for more hurricanes to make landfall more frequently, the researchers say there is a positive angle to this development. The new form of the weather pattern that warms ocean waters is more predictable than its original form. "We're not sure why. But it means we could get months of advance warning for hurricanes." Whereas a typical El Nino forms in the Eastern Pacific, THE NEW FORM, called El Nino Modoki (from a Japanese word meaning "similar but different") FORMS IN THE CENTRAL PACIFIC. Climatologists recently started noticing a higher frequency of Central Pacific warmings, though there are still Eastern Pacific warmings. The change could either be El Nino's response to global warming, or part of its natural movement. During an Eastern Pacific warming, there is more wind shear – a change in direction and speed of wind between slightly different altitudes – in the tropical Atlantic. The shears tend to "cut off the top" of a hurricane, which keeps the hurricanes quiet. The new Nino moves the wind shear farther west – away from the Atlantic – which can lead to more hurricanes. The effects of El Nino are more pronounced in South America than in North America.
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –
MINNESOTA – Fewer Severe Weather Warnings in Minneapolis – St. Paul this year. There haven't been any thunderstorms, tornados or severe weather in the metro. That's UNUSUAL this deep into the summer.
FLORIDA – UNUSUAL rain pattern – Frequent mid-summer showers are nothing unfamiliar in Florida: there’s usually an afternoon downpour followed by sunshine. But that hasn’t been happening lately. Instead, the rains have been coming in the late evening or early morning hours, and on and off throughout the day. “What’s happening is unseasonable. Jet streams that normally go into Canada during these months are flowing in the eastern portions of the U.S. causing fronts to move down South helping the rain to form at any point during the day.” Most times the afternoon showers come from a coastal breeze. “We’re experiencing a very large stream of rain coming from the north."
NORTH VIETNAM 7 CHINA – More heavy rain is forecast to strike mountainous northern Vietnam after floods and landslides last week killed 22 people and left 14 others missing. The flood-stricken area bordering China is far outside Vietnam's main growing region for its key commodities rice and coffee.
On the Chinese side, flooding and heavy rain have forced 550,000 people to evacuate their homes and killed at least 15 .
Earth's most prominent rainfall feature creeping northward – The rain band near the equator that determines the supply of freshwater to nearly a billion people throughout the tropics and subtropics has been creeping north for more than 300 years, probably because of a warmer world. If the band continues to migrate at just less than a mile (1.4 kilometers) a year, which is the average for all the years it has been moving north, then some Pacific islands near the equator – even those that currently enjoy abundant rainfall – may be drier within decades and starved of freshwater by midcentury or sooner. Additional warming would mean that the situation could happen even sooner. "We're talking about the most prominent rainfall feature on the planet, one that many people depend on as the source of their freshwater because there is no groundwater to speak of where they live. In addition many other people who live in the tropics but farther afield from the Pacific could be affected because this band of rain shapes atmospheric circulation patterns throughout the world." The band of rainfall happens at what is called the intertropical convergence zone. There, just north of the equator, trade winds from the northern and southern hemispheres collide. The intertropical convergence zone hugged the equator some 3.5 centuries ago during Earth's little ice age, which lasted from 1400 to 1850.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
The El Nino warming trend of the Pacific Ocean waters has returned, bringing with it almost certain changes in weather patterns around the world. The El Nino climatological effect – the periodic warming of central and eastern tropical Pacific waters – occurs on average every two to five years and typically lasts about 12 months. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the current El Nino was likely to develop further during the next several months, with additional strengthening possible and is expected to last through early 2010. In past years, El Nino has been known to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity and typically brings beneficial winter rain to the arid US southwest. But the weather system also often brings damaging winter storms in California and turbulent weather across the southern United States. The traditional El Nino also has been associated with severe flooding and mudslides in Central and South America, and drought in Indonesia.
TEXAS – A "ONCE-IN-A-CENTURY" DROUGHT is baking a big swath of Texas, stunting crops.
FLORIDA – Miami's temperature matches 1963 record high. Wednesday's 94 degrees in Miami tied the highest temperature since 1963, and the 95 in Fort Lauderdale was two degrees shy of its 1963 record for the date. ''[Tuesday] we BROKE A HIGH THAT WAS SET IN 1963. The day before we BROKE A RECORD THAT WAS SET IN 1992, and the day before that, we tied one set in '92. It is UNUSUAL to have this hot weather here for such a long period of time.'' Sea breezes usually keep the temperature lower, but lately a fairly strong southwest wind has blocked the ocean's moderating influence.
ALASKA – Tuesday, Anchorage hit a high of 80 degrees, SETTING A RECORD FOR THE DATE. Unofficial readings across the city soared to nearly 90 degrees. The weather was expected to stick around for a few more days before the ridge starts to move and an ocean breeze kicks up. The wildfire danger is growing everyday. To date, nearly 354 fires have burned through more than 511,000 acres and a few smokejumping and firefighting crews are being brought in from the lower 48.
Millions hungry as warming shifts seasons – Rainfall more erratic, shorter. Interviews Oxfam carried out with farmers in 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America show that SEASONS ARE SHRINKING IN NUMBER AND VARIETY. This is destroying harvests, pushing farmers to abandon traditional crops and causing widespread hunger — which, the agency predicts, will likely be "climate change's most savage impact on humanity in the near future". Rainfall is reported to be more erratic, shorter and more violent. UNUSUAL weather events — including storms, drier spells and fluctuating temperatures — are happening more often. And farmers say winds and storms have got stronger. "We think that 'changing seasonality' may be one of the most significant impacts of climate change for poor farmers, and that is happening now." "In sub-Saharan Africa, (yields of) maize, which is a staple crop, will decrease by 15 percent by 2020 and that is a big number. Drought is now happening on a yearly basis, and there is increased hunger and starvation because of declining food stocks."
CANADA – June 2009 was the SUNNIEST JUNE IN VICTORIA WEATHER HISTORY. After bursting in with a TRIO OF ALL-TIME TEMPERATURE RECORDS on the second, third and fourth (the temperatures those days were 30.4, 31.3 and 30.9 degrees Celsius), the month kept on logging hours of sunshine. By the time the sun set on June 30, there were 335 total hours of sun, breaking the old record of 330.1 set just six years ago in 2003. The “normal” range for hours of sunshine in June is 251.6. “It was certainly an atypical June." The mean monthly temperature of 16.3 ranks fourth in the record book – and is well above the monthly norm of 14.4. June 2009 was the fourth-driest June on record with only six millimetres of precipitation, far below the normal of 32 mm. 2009 as a whole has been a dry year. “We’re halfway through the year and we’re 40 per cent under normal.”
El Nino weather cycle threatens to wreak more economic havoc and disrupt raw material production across a wide swath of the world, evoking memories of the killer edition of 1998. The timing could not be worse. This El Nino appears to be developing as the world is struggling to emerge from the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression. Eleven years ago, a damaging El Nino occurred in the middle of the Asian financial crisis which roiled financial markets. "El Nino is a little bit like recession: you are in it before you can say you have one. If it continues as it is now, the historians will say the El Nino started in May." They could declare an El Nino in weeks. During El Nino, an abnormal warming of the waters of the equatorial Pacific unhinges weather patterns in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. A La Nina weather pattern, in which waters cool, was in place last year. In 1998, El Nino-related storms, floods, tornadoes and mudslides killed more than 2,000 people and caused billions of dollars in damage to crops, infrastructure and mines. This version may not approach the one in 1998, the strongest weather anomaly in 150 years. If the anomaly does recur with severity, drought in Asia could lift grain prices, which are already near historic levels due to supply shortages. "This one has a little more going for it. But a year ago at this time it looked like we were building toward an El Nino and everything just totally fell apart toward the end of the summer, where all the Pacific circulation patterns changed and we actually slipped back into a La Nina."
Some forecasters fret that an early sign of this El Nino is the weak annual monsoon plaguing India, one of the world's biggest producers and consumers of everything from sugar to soybeans. Its faltering sugar crop is a prime reason why sugar prices are at their highest levels in three years. China typically turns to South America for soybeans during the U.S. growing season. But the 2009 crops from Brazil and Argentina are suffering from drought and U.S. soybean stocks are at a 32-YEAR LOW — less than two weeks of normal commercial supply. The El Nino could "dry out the second half of 2009 in Australia and it can also affect South American production. It's developing a little too late to really have much of an impact on the Northern Hemisphere, but the concern would be in the Southern Hemisphere (crops)."
RECORD NUMBERS of basking sharks have been spotted off the coast of Britain and Ireland after the recent hot weather boosted levels of their favourite food: zooplankton. Last year there were only 26 sightings of the 11-metre sharks in two and a half months off the most southerly headland of Cornwall. This year more than 900 sightings have been recorded since the beginning of June. Volunteers have also recorded sharks breaching the surface of the water five or six times. "That is VERY RARE." Off the coast of Ireland, a RECORD NUMBER of sightings was also recorded in June, with 248 basking sharks counted last month. Conservationists believe one of the reasons for the high numbers could be unseasonably warm weather increasing the amount of zooplankton. Around the coast of the Isle of Man, another basking shark hotspot, 400 sightings have been recorded since the beginning of May. They have also been turning up in unexpected places this year.
The moon jellyfish has appeared in larger than usual numbers around the British and Irish coasts in the past few weeks, sometimes in blooms over 500 strong. The bigger barrel jellyfish, which can reach a metre in diameter and weigh up to 40kg, has also been seen in UNUSUALLY high numbers. A "superpod" of about 1,500 dolphins was seen last week off Pembrokeshire.
U.S. ATLANTIC COAST – 7/6/09 – Meteor lights up Mid-Atlantic area's skies. Startled observers report brilliant flash for 3-5 seconds, 'thunderous' sonic booms. Scores of people in Maryland and Pennsylvania who lingered outdoors into the early morning hours Monday were startled by the brilliant flash of a meteor that soared over the Mid-Atlantic states. Many more were rattled in their beds by the series of sonic booms that followed the flash. Both phenomena were almost certainly caused by the entry of a relatively large meteor into the Earth's atmosphere. To produce a fireball bright enough to attract widespread attention, geologists say, the meteor would have to be perhaps a few yards in diameter. Based on descriptions, the object flew roughly south to north over Central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania before vaporizing about 1:10 a.m.
HEALTH THREATS –
The world's pandemic flu total reached 94,512 cases, 429 of them fatal. The number is 4,591 more cases and 47 more deaths than the last report on Jul 3. Countries reporting their first cases include Cook Island, Croatia, the French overseas territories Guadaloupe and St Martin, Guyana, Libya, and Macedonia. Countries reporting the highest numbers of new cases are Argentina (898), Australia (730), and Thailand (662).
Think You Have Swine Flu? What to Do – The telltale signs of H1N1 are: fever, cough, sore throat, stomach cramps, diarrhea, fatigue, and muscle aches. If you're experiencing these symptoms, it's probably a good idea to pay a visit to your doctor. (Folks with asthma, lung disease, heart disease, or diabetes should make a point to get their symptoms checked out because they're more at risk from a flu infection.) A rapid swab flu test will tell you if you're infected with a type A flu virus, the category that includes H1N1. At the moment, more than 90 percent of the type A flu infections in the United States are H1N1. If you test positive for the flu, taking an antiviral drug like Tamiflu can help reduce the symptoms and duration of the infection, especially if you start the medication within the first 48 hours after the onset of symptoms. You could remain contagious for up to a week after your symptoms resolve, but experts say there's no reason to quarantine yourself beyond a day or two after your fever breaks. "I would say treat it as you would a regular flu infection." You can also rest assured that, once infected, you're protected from H1N1 this winter, even if it mutates into a more severe form. There most likely will be an H1N1 vaccine that's widely available this winter to go along with the regular flu shot, so you don't need to get sick now to protect yourself later. "If you get sick, lie down and act sick. Catch up on sleep, read, avoid gatherings."
A profile of US military flu surveillance efforts, to appear in the September issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, illustrates the importance of global influenza surveillance and quick access to epidemiologic data. Military surveillance efforts began in the 1970s and have made notable contributions, such as detecting the first novel H1N1 cases in the United States. Military disease surveillance is active in 56 countries.
Canada finds another new flu strain in farm workers – Public health officials in Canada yesterday announced that they have detected a new influenza strain – one that contains human seasonal flu and a swine flu virus – in two workers on a Saskatchewan hog farm. The workers had mild illness and have recovered, and authorities are investigating a third suspected case. The new virus contains genes from the seasonal human H1N1 flu strain and a triple reassortant H3N2 strain that is common in swine populations. Initial testing on the pigs indicates they were infected with swine influenza A, common in swine herds, but not the new human strain found in the workers. Further surveillance will be conducted on Saskatchewan's hog industry workers, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is providing the province with guidance on swine herd surveillance. Saskatchewan's health agency said in a statement yesterday that additional responses include reinforcing biosecurity measures at the affected farm and vaccinating the hog farm's workers. It added that in most cases, viruses such as the one found in the hog farm workers are not transmitted easily between humans. "To date, there is no evidence that this strain has transmitted between humans." The reassortment event in Canada isn't surprising. "We know that humans pass influenza viruses to pigs on a regular basis." The human seasonal H3N2 influenza virus first entered North American swine herds in 1998 and multiple reassortment events have been detected since then. "This is just another demonstration of how dynamic these viruses are." The virus detected in Canadian hog farm workers is not a pandemic flu threat because it contains external human virus proteins – the part the immune system recognizes. "That's what matters most, and the flu vaccine provides good coverage. A large proportion of the population has some preexisting immunity." Sustained transmission of the new virus among humans is unlikely. However, the events highlight the need for ongoing surveillance in pig populations to monitor for changes.
Live feeds from today's White House flu summit – Two sessions of the White House pandemic H1N1 flu preparedness summit – a substantial portion of the event – will be broadcast over the Web via flu.gov, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM EDT and from 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM EDT. In addition, a biomedical informatics and social media expert will be providing live Twitter updates during the entire event. His Twitter name is lostonroute66. The day-long event starts at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. (lots of other info at flu.gov too)
US ready to spend billions on flu vaccine – The Obama administration said yesterday that it has billions of dollars available to help pay for a national H1N1 flu vaccine program that could be ready starting in mid-October.
Thailand's government has ordered more than 1,000 schools to close for 15 days starting Jul 13 and has asked Internet cafes, popular with youth, to close during the time to curb the spread of pandemic flu.
Elsewhere, Argentina will close financial markets and banks today to slow the spread of the virus. It encouraged private businesses to do the same. Yesterday was a national holiday in Argentina.
New Zealand: flu season eclipses 12-year high – flu activity has reached a 12-year high point and predictions are that the season hasn't peaked yet. A flu surveillance report for the week ending Jul 5 notes that novel H1N1 makes up 80% of circulating flu strains in New Zealand, an increase from the 48% reported in the previous week's report.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance on caring for people who are sick with novel H1N1 flu at home. The updated home care guidance suggests that all caregivers, not just those in high-risk groups, who must have close contact with a sick person try to use a facemask or N-95 disposable respirator. The update also lists where to buy the items.
RECALLS & ALERTS –
–Kowalke Family Sprouts of Los Angeles CA is recalling all Kowalke Family Sprouts Brand Alfalfa Products with sell-by dates from June 18 through June 30 because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.
–Lewis Laboratories International, Ltd. is voluntarily recalling Weigh Down Chocolate Flavor Nutrition Drink Mix because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
–Max Muscle Sports Nutrition has issued a voluntary recall for Max Muscle products containing whey protein concentrate due to potential Salmonella contamination.
–General Mills announced a voluntary recall of a limited quantity of "Nut Lovers" flavor Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters product containing pecans.
–More non-fat dried milk products recalled that may contain Salmonella:
–Hot Chocolate Recovery Drink Mix from CLIF SHOT
–Calico Cottage, Inc. of Amityville, NY 10 oz. Gourmet Hot Cocoa Mix pouches
–Protica Inc. of Whitehall, PA, liquid protein dietary supplements and high energy products marketed under the IDS Sports' New Whey and iSatori's Hardcore Energize Bullet brands
–Plentiful Pantry of Salt Lake City, Utah, Almond Pound Cake
–Sturm Foods, Inc, several brands of one-quart instant nonfat dry milk.
Signs in False Shepherds & False Religion
"For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men who are corrupt in mind, worthless in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress, for their lack of understanding will be clear to all, as theirs was also." 2 Timothy 3:6-9
Episcopal Bishop calls individual salvation 'heresy,' 'idolatry'
One News Now
July 9, 2009
ANAHEIM, CA – Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says it's "heresy" to believe that an individual can be saved through a sinner's prayer of repentance. In her opening address to the church's General Conference in California, Jefferts Schori called that "the great Western heresy: that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God." The presiding bishop said that view is "caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus." According to Schori, it is heresy to believe that an individual's prayer can achieve a saving relationship with God. "That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy."
UK hate preacher converts 11-year-old Christian boy to Islam
Big News Network
July 12, 2009
London, June 29 : Britain's controversial Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary has converted an 11-year-old Christian schoolboy to Islam at a road show. A film shows Sean, 11, vowing to follow the religion by repeating words in Arabic. Sean, whose face is obscured by a coat hood and has been blacked out, is coached through the ceremony by hate preacher Choudary. Standing next to him, he says: "This young man here wants to become a Muslim. This is not the first time a young man has discovered the truth. Come forward to think about Islam."
Dawkins sets up kids’ camp to groom atheists
June 28, 2009
GIVE Richard Dawkins a child for a week’s summer camp and he will try to give you an atheist for life. The author of The God Delusion is helping to launch Britain’s first summer retreat for non-believers, where children will have lessons in evolution and sing along to John Lennon’s Imagine. The five-day camp in Somerset (motto: “It’s beyond belief”) is for children aged eight to 17 and will rival traditional faith-based breaks run by the Scouts and church groups. Budding atheists will be given lessons to arm themselves in the ways of rational scepticism. There will be sessions in moral philosophy and evolutionary biology along with more conventional pursuits such as trekking and tug-of-war. There will also be a £10 prize for the child who can disprove the existence of the mythical unicorn. Instead of singing Kumbiya and other campfire favourites, they will sit around the embers belting out “Imagine there’s no heaven . . . and no religion too”.
Sex, lies and Lutheran pastor: Stripper accused of extortion
An exotic dancer from Moorhead, Minn., demanded thousands in hush money from a clergyman, according to the charges.
July 8, 2009
Three years into a relationship that started with him watching her dance and progressed to money for sex, the Rev. Mark Ostgarden contemplated a proposal from exotic dancer Bunny Byington. How about the Lutheran pastor quit paying her and they consider their relationship an affair instead? But it wouldn't be long before Byington's need for cash allegedly forced her to extort $7,000 from him in exchange for her concealing their escapades from his wife and church. Now Ostgarden's 19 years as a Lutheran clergyman in Valley City, N.D., have come to a quick end after he felt forced to tell police in Moorhead, Minn., about 46-year-old Byington's extortion of money from him to keep quiet about their relationship.
Pope urges new world financial order guided by ethics
July 7, 2009
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI called Tuesday for a new world financial order guided by ethics and the search for the common good, denouncing the profit-at-all-cost mentality blamed for bringing about the global financial meltdown. In the third encyclical of his tenure, Benedict pressed for reform of the United Nations and international economic and financial institutions to give poorer countries more say in international policy. "There is urgent need [for] a true world political authority" that can manage the global economy, guarantee the environment is protected, ensure world peace and bring about food security for the poor, he wrote. The document, Charity in Truth, was in the works for two years, and its publication was repeatedly delayed to incorporate the fallout from the crisis. It was released a day before leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations meet to coordinate efforts to deal with the global meltdown, signaling a clear Vatican bid to prod leaders for a financially responsible future and what it considers a more just society. "The economy needs ethics in order to function correctly — not any ethics, but an ethics which is people centered," Benedict wrote.
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
UGANDA: THREATS, EXPULSIONS FOR CHRISTIAN COUPLE
July 11, 2009
NAIROBI, Kenya, June 26 (Compass Direct News) – When a young Muslim woman in northern Uganda heard about Jesus in February 2005 and began having dreams about the cross of Christ, it marked the beginning of a nightmare. Between the dreams and otherwise sleepless nights, Aleti Samusa of Yumbe district soon converted to Christianity; her family immediately kicked her out of their home. Economically devastated and deprived of that which is most valued in the communal culture, Samusa sought refuge in a local church in Lotongo village. There she found the man she would marry later that year, David Edema, who was raised a Christian but who began sharing in the sufferings of a convert from Islam by virtue of becoming one flesh with one. His bride’s family did not attend the couple’s wedding, Edema told Compass, and it wasn’t long before her relatives threatened to break up their marriage. With Samusa’s family threatening to forcibly take her from Edema, the couple fled Lotongo village to Yumbe town. Their troubles had just begun.
Christians attacked for non-participation in pagan festival
One News Now
July 8, 2009
Christians in one Indian state are once again targets of radical Hindus. Late last month, a group of believers in Orissa, India, was attacked by 40 to 50 people wielding weapons. The Christians were targeted because of their refusal to participate in a Hindu festival. According to missionaries who serve in the area through Gospel for Asia (GFA), the mob broke into the Christians' homes and began to beat them. In fact, the mob searched for a GFA pastor and threatened to kill him.
India Hindu Militants Attack Missionary School, Christians Say
July 8, 2009
NEW DELHI, INDIA (Worthy News)– Staff of a missionary school in India's eastern state of Andhra Pradesh faced another day of anxiety Thursday, July 8, after Hindu militants attacked and threatened to kill them for allegedly converting Hindus to Christianity, Christians said. Witnesses said at least three Hindu militants raided the Good Shepherd School in the village of Ippallapally on May 29, hitting several teachers and warning them to stop working in the village. They apparently also called them several derogatory names and threatened to kill them. Raj Kumar, the school's principal, suggested in published remarks he was shocked about the attack. "We have been doing social work in this village for the last three years, and have been involved in educational and community development programs," he said in a statement distributed by advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC).
Concerns Over Jailed Iranian Christians Amid Political Turmoil
July 7, 2009
TEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News) — As the world focuses on the political turmoil in Iran, two detained Christian women are "in danger of being forgotten" amid concerns they may face execution, Iranian Christians said Tuesday, July 7.
Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, and Maryam Rustampoor, 27, have been held for over four months in Tehran's notorious Evin prison apparently for converting to Christianity from Islam. Iranian Christians and rights investigators said the two young women, who were arrested March 5, suffered sleep deprivation as part of police interrogations and were held in solitary confinement for three weeks in May and early June. Later, they were put together in one small cell for about two weeks before being moved to a larger area to make place for other inmates as many protesters were detained following last month's disputed presidential elections, said Christians with close knowledge about the situation.
NEWS ALERT: Pakistan Christian Families In Hiding After Violence
July 4, 2009
BAHMANI, PAKISTAN (Worthy News) — Christian families in a volatile area of Pakistan's Punjab province were in hiding Saturday, July 4, after angry Muslim mobs burned and attacked hundreds of Christian homes and churches, injuring over a dozen people, including women and children, witnesses said. Rights investigators were on their way to the village of Bahmani in Punjab's Kasur District, where most of this week's violence took place, officials told Worthy News and its partner agency BosNewsLife. The violence, which began July 1, “left several Christian critically injured including children and women at Bahmani village,” explained Joseph Francis, the national director of Christian rights and advocacy group Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement’ (CLAAS). Francis said that he and his team hired two mini-vans “to ferry injured Christians from Bahmani village to a CLAAS rehabilitation center. “So far nine women and four children have been shifted for medical treatment,” he told Worthy News.