Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 98

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

Standing at the Crossroads
By Regina

Proverbs 8:1-4
Doesn't Wisdom call out?
Doesn't Understanding make her voice heard?
2 At the heights overlooking the road,
at the crossroads, she takes her stand.
3 Beside the gates at the entry to the city,
at the main entrance, she cries out:
4 "People, I call out to you;
my cry is to mankind.

When at the Crossroads
Listen for the call
Salvation for one
Salvation for all.
Resist sin’s beckon
Look straight ahead
Walk in the footsteps
That our Savior tread.
The road of destruction
Grows wider each day
Her children are placed
Right in harm’s way.
They sound the message
In an effort to guide
Her children home
Past the road that is wide.
To reach the main road
We must travel this path
And accept the truth
To escape the wrath.
Once past the juncture
We will be at the gates
Admittance is waiting
And Eternity waits.

Trees That Wood
Submitted by Johanna

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty."

Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."

Finally the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter" … and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.

At the second tree a woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.

When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree so I'll take this one", and he cut it down.

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.

Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time. Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.

Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.

Inspired Writings

Honesty in Speaking Father's Good Name

Part of the Kingdom Message of Salvation that the ministry has been provided to continually share with all whom are open to receiving it is that one of the requirements for salvation is to declare Christ Jesus as their lord and savior. This being said, and as the Kingdom Message has so much truth and Wisdom in it, there are many facets to this single declaration to which there are huge meanings that pertain to oneself and even up to their perspective towards Father Yahweh.

One of the first facets that might be found includes the fact that one is declaring themselves to being subservient to the rules and regulations that are passed down by their lord. Now, as all the wisdom passed down from the Son comes from the Father, so are the rules and guidelines that also describe Christ's footsteps. One cannot just speak such a phrase as declaring Christ Jesus as their lord and savior without there being an enormous amount of significant meaning behind it.

Now, by further examination, one may find that if they do not fulfill the full obligation of following in Christ's footsteps in declaring Him as their lord, and as Christ also follows the very guidelines He has instructed His servants, then their declaration is invalid, and they not only make a fool out of themselves, but also of Christ, and furthermore, of Father. This, in itself, can leave a stain on all of positive creation. It would also be to further spread a lie, and to act in a way very contrary to how Father Yahweh would raise any of Her children.

If one delves deeper into the meaning of declaring Christ their lord, they will find that their obligation not only goes towards Christ, but also towards Father, as Christ will eventually subject all things to Father so that Father may be in all:

1 Corinthians 15:28 — And when everything is subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who subjected everything to Him, so that God may be all in all.

As this is the case, one must further consider that anything that they do under Christ would be exactly like what they do under Father, and if one willfully missteps under Christ, it would be even worse under Father. The current time that we have, now before the Rapture, and even thereafter, provides ample opportunity to practice good deeds and habits, both in speech and in further action. So when one speaks, they may not only give glory directly and indirectly to Father, but also to every facet of Father's being, reflecting all good traits of wisdom and understanding.

This is something that came to mind earlier this week:

Talking with others on their terms under their conditions can alter one's own attitudes and manner of speaking to mirror the one they are speaking with. Because words have such a profound affect on oneself and all around, careful consideration should be taken in all social situations. To speak firmly and profoundly in Father's Spirit, one must not bow down to heed another's mannerisms or attitudes, but rather keep a full focus towards Father.

In other words, staying strong in Father's good name, and not letting Him down in any way, shape, or form. This sort of skill takes much practice and time to grow, and also opportunity for which it is possible to grow and act upon. It also requires a good heart condition to further strengthen and nurture good habits and more good deeds. At the same time, it does not require one to be immediately great and capable in everything. Yet, to even begin, it requires one's own acceptance of Father's Way so that at least all that Father would build would be out of one's free will, and also wouldn't tear down all that Father had lovingly built. Having a solid foundation is something that is actually quite a gift that comes from Father, and this foundation is laid out in Christ.

Further, in order to have anything solid built or grown in fertile soil, there needs to be a strong degree of honesty. Honesty helps to ensure that what is begun will be continued, and further built upon. A house can often be continually built up, and extensions added to it, and even extensions onto those extensions, so long as there is ample room. This also means that Father had to have had placed the honesty there to begin with. As one might see, it is a continual cycle of returning to Father, which is part of the point of speaking honestly in Father's name, not giving Her disgrace, and also closely intertwines with the Rapture that is just ahead.

In this, just as the Rapture can be seen as a rescue by Father to be freed from a world of tyranny and slavery to evil, it can be seen that our own words that are given by Father can be a credit to Her precious name that has been soiled. Throughout this Spiritual Conflict, we are given the opportunity to partake in clearing Father's good name, which is strongly a gift that we may even know our Mother's name. At that, Father has the opportunity to clear us of the soiling and sin that we currently must live with for a short period of time. These positive things are intertwined and converge in a perfect structure of unity that gives Father credit as an awesome Creator of a paradise that Father has yet to fully and continually reveal.

Preparations for Father's Rapture are continuous, just as everything can continually be prepared to be just right for our Lord's return. At the same time, each of the preparations are intertwined and correlate with the other in some way, just like Wisdom has many facets, and how Father always has many aspects to everything She does. By recognizing how big one small thing is, one can further be prepared to take on more and more responsibility and grant Father more and more of everything.

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.
    

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

Cherubic Commander: Now, I ask all of you this question: If you are perfect, must you know everything in order to have attained perfection? I'm residing in Prince of Yahweh II's fleshly vessel, yet I'm angelic and perfect in Father's eyes, so, do I know everything because of my true nature of being angelic and in good standing in Father's family?

Matthew 24:36 "[ No One Knows the Day or Hour ] "Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son —except the Father only."

Does this answer the question? If knowing everthing makes one perfect, then Michael would also be imperfect.

Perfection has to do with knowledge, but is in degrees of knowledge. Having basic knowledge of what Father expects. For example, the Ten Commandments were a summary of Father's will and what was expected of Her. Then came more laws that expanded on the basic ten laws given in those Ten Commandments. This is because of cirumstances that revolve around life in creation. You shall not murder, but killing is acceptable under certain circumstances.

However, murder is never acceptable. Therefore, if you know the basics of what Father expects then you will have time to learn the intricate things that go with the basics. Knowing everything is not a requirement to becoming or remaining perfect in Father's eyes. Living in creation is an ongoing learning process.

John 17:3 "This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent —Jesus Christ."

So what is eternal life hinged upon? To know Father. By that, She means that you must know what She expects. And now, you must also know Jesus Christ. Unlike before Satan sinned. Things have been altered because of what? Circumstance. In the beginning we knew Father's basic laws and Michael relayed them to us. Now, Michael's Christ personage has become all of our salvation because we angelic hosts must also submit ourselves to Christ as Father has willed. Michael must eventually rejoin his Christ's energy as one single entity. This represents unity within Father's arrangement. For now, Michael is not only in subjection to Father, but also to his other self that exists as Christ Jesus our Savior.

1 Corinthians 3:19, 20 " For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, since it is written: He catches the wise in their craftiness and again, The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are futile."

The wisdom of this world belongs to Satan who passed on his thoughts to mankind. Satan is also crafty and his plans are likewise futile.

Father does not like foolishness. Never once while on this planet during his mission did Christ Jesus find reason to joke or make light of anything he spoke about. He knew the seriousness of the dilemma mankind was faced with. Under Satan's rule, happiness is an illusion in this world. True happiness does not exist. People are constantly filled with heartache as loved ones die off for one reason or another. It results in pain from the loss and for many the feeling of confusion at being left behind as their loved ones leave the physical plane. Yet, it was never intended to be this way. Only because of circumstance is it this way. Satan chose on his own to sin and to drag the rest of creation into his web of resistance. Whether it be by choice or by circumstance, this is where we all find ourselves. We as members of Father's family are helping to work to wards Father's intended Plan for all of creation so that we can leave this nightmare behind us. Satan is the nightmare that started over six thousand years ago. His action taken on the eve of mankind's creation will eventually cost billions of lost lives that might never have lost out on the eternal hope had he not taken the first false step.

Prince of Yahweh II has updated me on his recent visit to Israel and other important sites.

Father's plan to lift the veil concerning Her existence to those that do not believe in a Creator's existence is being worked out even as I write this post. The Ark of the Covenant will be revealed by earthquake as it becomes exposed for full view to those in Israel and televised around the globe. Just as an earthquake occurred when Christ was sacrificed as a revelation he was truly Father's Son, an earthquake will be repeated for revelation that Father's Word speaks truth. The Ark of Salvation that Noah and his family entered for a safe journey to the new world will be unveiled as the ice continues to melt at its resting spot and rain washes away the melt from its mountainous location.

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

Bride's shock over UFO reports
Monday, 3 August 2009
BBC News

A bride-to-be has spoken of her shock after her engagement party led to reports of UFO sightings in her hometown of Coalisland, County Tyrone. The sight of what is now known to have been sky lanterns is said to have left some residents "astounded", according to the (Dungannon) Democrat newspaper. Bronwyn Gervin said she couldn't believe it when she was contacted by friends about the article. "I was so shocked to see such a story," said the 26-year-old. "I received text messages from numerous friends a couple of days after the event saying that there was a large picture in the Democrat of a mysterious sighting in Coalisland at around half eleven last Saturday night. "The lanterns were lit in memory of our close family and friends that predeceased us." Details of UFO sightings around the UK, including a number in Northern Ireland, were released by the Ministry of Defence last October.

Silver Disc Videotaped Near Barbury Castle
© 2009 by Linda Moulton Howe
Earthfiles.com

July 30, 2009 Yatesbury, Wiltshire, England – Being back in Wiltshire reminds me of the night back in the late 1990s when I was doing a live COAST report to Art Bell from a red English telephone booth in the countryside. With me were others who had joined me at the East Field silage pit for a night watch after a very rainy, stormy day. I had a powerful infrared scope that had been loaned to me by a former military friend – which was possible then before 9/11- and we had been looking into the dark mist over the East Field toward Golden Ball Hill to see if any mysterious lights might show up, since the small, glowing orbs have been seen before, during and after crop formations are created.

UFO with 'four distinct protrusions' low flying over Maryland
August 3,2009
The Examiner

The UFO Traffic Report for Monday, August 3, 2009, includes 14 selected sightings over 11 states, according to witness statements filed in the past 72 hours with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. Please keep in mind that most UFO reports can be explained as something natural or manmade. If MUFON investigates and reports back on any of these cases, I will update this page. The following reports and their headlines are unedited. You can read my selected cases by type of UFO report at the UFO Traffic Report index page. MD, August 1, 2009 – Unknown Aerial Vehicle. MUFON Case # 18440. Maryland MUFON State Director Ron Fink was enroute to Carroll County Airport after attending a Maryland MUFON meeting, and noticed an odd object in the sky, stopped his vehicle, and took photos. He states that the object was hovering at between 1,500 and 2,000 feet, and that it had four distinct protrusions. Fink then followed the silent object about 3 miles.

'UFO' photographed 'tracking' RAF Hercules
An amateur photographer believes he captured a UFO tracking an RAF Hercules as it approached RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.
Published: 2:57PM BST 03 Aug 2009
Telegraph.co.uk

John Powell, 56, claims an unusual silver orb was following the military craft as it came in to land at the base. The retired school teacher was gardening at his home in nearby Westbury when he noticed the sun glinting off the circular surface. "I don't believe in things from outer space but that thing was definitely tracking the plane," he said. "My neighbour was in the garden at the time and I wanted to shout to them, but I didn't want to say 'there's a flying saucer in the sky' so I didn't say anything in the end." Mr Powell, who taught computer sciences in Belfast for 30 years, added: "I thought at the time this is too good to miss but I didn't think the picture would come out as good as this.

Triangle UFO moves low over Staten Island
August 4, 2009
UFO Examiner

The UFO Traffic Report for Wednesday, August 5, 2009, includes 11 selected sightings over 11 states, according to witness statements filed in the past 24 hours with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. Please keep in mind that most UFO reports can be explained as something natural or manmade. If MUFON investigates and reports back on any of these cases, I will update this page. The following reports and their headlines are unedited. You can read my selected cases by type of UFO report at the UFO Traffic Report index page. NY, August 3, 2009 – Unknown triangular object flies over my house. MUFON Case # 18455. A Staten Island, New York, witness out walking his dog first noticed two lights in the sky "moving rather quickly." Once the object was overhead, they "noticed it it was actually 3 lights in a triangular shape with a blinking red light dead in the center. I could not see the outline of the object, but it was blocking out the stars above it." They said that this silent object was larger than a plane. They also report "a 4th light in between the 2 lights in the back of the craft. It seemed very odd that a 4th light would just illuminate suddenly."

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

In New Jobless Stats, Good News Hides the Bad
Fox News
August 7, 2009

The White House, reacting to the latest jobless report showing the unemployment rate fell unexpectedly to 9.4 percent in July, predicted that despite the good news the rate would still hit 10 percent before year's end. But in effect it already has. The actual percentage of Americans who remain unemployed — including those who have stopped looking for work — is considerably higher than 9.4 percent and surpassed 10 percent months ago. By one measure, the unemployment rate is really 10.7 percent. When you count those forced to settle for part-time work, the number is higher still. The 9.4 percent figure represents a very specific measurement of unemployed people that doesn't factor in everybody. The Labor Department report Friday was good news nevertheless. It showed the jobless rate fell one tenth of a point, the first decline in 15 months.

Brazil purchases 250 German Leopard tanks to guard its borders
Merco Press
August 4, 2009

The 42 tons tanks with a cannon capable of firing at a distance of four kilometres and with a unit cost of half a million US dollars, should begin arriving in Brazil in three months and the first batch will be dispatched to Santa Maria in the southern most state of Rio Grande do Sul. “The Leopard 1 A5 will be the backbone of the Brazilian Army, a unit which will give new dimension to Brazil’s armoured combat vehicles boosting our dissuasive powers”, according to the Juiz Fora Federal Univiersity strategic studies centre. Brazil currently has 40 tons Leopard 1 A1 tanks that will be reassigned once the A5 are refurbished in the country. Negotiations for the purchase were started back in 2006 and a few are already in Brazil for training and trial purposes. The NDS program is based on the investment of 15 billion US dollars in the next few years to reequip Brazilian armed forces including the building of the country’s first nuclear submarine with French technical aid, and the purchase of 24 fighter-bombers for the Air Force.

Diseased African Monkeys Used to Make Swine Flu Vaccines; Private Military Contractor Holds Key Patents
Natural News
by Mike Adams
August 5, 2009

To most people, vaccines sound medically harmless. “They’re good for you!” say the doctors and drug companies, but they never really talk about what’s in those vaccines. There’s a good reason for that: If people knew what was really in those vaccines, they would never allow themselves to be injected with them. Aside from the dangerous ingredients many people already know about (like squalene or thimerosal), one of the key ingredients used in flu vaccines (including the vaccines being prepared for the swine flu pandemic) is the diseased flesh of African Green Monkeys. This is revealed in U.S. patent No. 5911998 – Method of producing a virus vaccine from an African green monkey kidney cell line. (http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5…) As this patent readily explains, ingredients used in the vaccine are derived from the kidneys of African Green Monkeys who are first infected with the virus, then allowed to fester the disease, and then are killed so that their diseased organs can be used make vaccine ingredients. This is done in a cruel, inhumane “flesh factory” environment where the monkeys are subjected to a process that includes “incubating said inoculated cell line to permit proliferation of said virus.” Then: “harvesting the virus resulting from step (c); and… (ii) preparing a vaccine from the harvested virus.”

Australia considers mass killings of camels
USA Today
August 8, 2009

SYDNEY (AP) — Thousands of camels in Australia's remote Outback could be killed by marksmen in helicopters under a government proposal aimed at cutting down the population of the havoc-wreaking creatures. First introduced into Australia in the 1840s to help explorers travel through the Australian desert, there are now about 1 million camels roaming the country, with the population doubling every nine years. They compete with sheep and cattle for food, trample vegetation and invade remote settlements in search of water, scaring residents as they tear apart bathrooms and rip up water pipes. Last month, the federal government set aside 19 million Australian dollars ($16 million) for a program to help slash the population. Besides sending in sharpshooters in helicopters and on foot, officials are considering proposals to turn some of the creatures into tasty treats such as camel burgers.

U.S. Bank Failures Rise to 72 With Collapses in Florida, Oregon
Bloomberg
by Alison Vekshin and Ari Levy
August 8, 2009

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) — U.S. bank failures rose to 72 this year with the collapse of two lenders in Florida and one in Oregon amid the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. Regulators shut First State Bank and Community National Bank, both based in Sarasota, Florida, and Community First Bank in Prineville, Oregon, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in statements yesterday. The FDIC was named receiver. Closing the lenders, with combined assets of $769 million and deposits of $662 million, will cost the deposit insurance fund about $185 million. Regulators are closing banks at the fastest pace in 17 years as losses mount from unpaid real-estate debt. The FDIC is offering to share losses with potential buyers, reviving a practice used during the U.S. savings-and-loan crisis in the late 1980s. Stearns Bank of St. Cloud, Minnesota, will assume almost all deposits of the Florida banks, the FDIC said. First State, the biggest of the three failures with $463 million in assets and $387 million in deposits, had nine branches along Florida’s Gulf coast that will open Aug. 10 as Stearns branches, according to the FDIC.

Crop Circle Watch

Waden Hill (3), nr Avebury, Wiltshire. Reported 31st July

Field Report: We headed for Yatesbury today for a Live radio show on Coast to Coast with Linda Moulton Howe and George Noory. What happened next we just simply didn't expect. Just as we passed the White Horse at Hackpen Hill, Paul Jones shouted " look there is a crop formation" . We quickly turned around and entered this formation and took some ground shots. We had to rush as time was running out. We headed back towards Avebury and about 1 mile or so down the road Paul shouted the same words at me again. Bingo – there was another new formation by the one the farmer cut out couple days earlier ( crop circle makers came back and made another one). We quickly took some shots and continued with our journey. Just as we turned into Avebury we couldn't believe our eyes ` YET ANOTHER ` formation on top of Waden Hill right by the one that was cut out few weeks earlier. WOW – That's a HAT TRICK of discovery in matter of a few minutes. I started phoning everyone I could so they could fly as soon as possible as we knew that the Waden Hill formation had a short life span. We took couple of quick shots – by now we were running late for the show – so we had to leave this formation with hope that it was still going to be there later. We completed part of the radio broadcast and headed back to Avebury – IT WAS STILL THERE !.. We started to snap away – we were there no more than 10 minutes when the farmer turned up. He instantly started to cut the formation right in front of us – I just stood there with my arms open wide and shouted ` WHY ?. The farmer just shrugged his shoulders and carried on destroying this formation. Sorry folks we tried our best to bring you as many shots as we could. The formation had a mirrored `S` one on the left and one on the right – in the centre was an open circle surrounded by closed circle – indicating an `O` – so we can take a guess that this formation rather appropriately stated the `SOS` symbol. Hopefully someone out there with a bit of time and their hands might be able to reconstruct this formation via a diagram – PLEASE. On our way home ( THIS IS NO JOKE ) we were followed by a SILVER DISC UFO!!!!!!!! And best of all I have caught it on camera. Full report in the next few days on my site I have included this image with this report………………………..ITS TIME TO WAKE UP !! – Andrew Pyrka

Morgans Hill, Nr Bishop Cannings, Wiltshire. Reported 2nd August

Field Report: I entered this formation today (6th Aug), the whole of the laid crop is mud covered, consistent with the high volume of rain over the past few days, however there is little actual stem damage, with the overall lay is not entirely flattened. I found a few examples of stems curved at the second node. Other points of interest include: – Both the flattened outline and the main inner line are flowing clockwise. The main inner ring has a basket weave neatly woven approximately a foot away from the central raised crop. The intricate lines forming diamonds are carefully overlaid. The main central curved diamond has four lovely swirls in it. Although the farmer seemed ok with me being here, he did say however, he does not want further visitors. – JIC

Silbury Hill (2), Nr Avebury, Wiltshire. Reported 3rd August

FieldReport: Not available at this time.

Rollright Stone Circle, nr Chipping Norton. Oxfordshire. Reported 3rd August

Field Report: I visited the new crop circle at the Rollright Stones this afternoon. I have attached some ground shots and a field sketch to give an idea of what the formation may look like from the air. The formation is about 300-350 feet across with 22 laid circles comprising the outer ring and an additional 10 laid circles in the middle. There was a “signature” ring and swirl near the southern side of the formation. The largest circles are about 60’ in diameter and the smallest either 5 or 10’ across. Each of the centres was slightly different with several knotted, braided, and twisted designs in the shape of nests, boxes, ovals, triangles, as well as several standing centres. While the wheat heads in the field have begun to droop, the ones in the laid crop were nearly all straight. The formation lies tangent to a line between the Kings stone circle and the “Whispering Knights” chamber. Although not nearly as exquisite as the artwork in the new Silbury Hill formation, they share many common elements and geometry as well as showing up at about the same time. – Ross Holcomb

Windmill Hill, Nr Avebury Trusloe, Wiltshire. Reported 6th August

Field Report: Such a beautiful day to visit a spectacular formation! It’s always a lovely feeling to be in the Windmill Hill area and just try to imagine the ancient settlement that used to exist a thousand or more years before Avebury stone circle or Silbury Hill were built. Such a sacred place! On approaching the formation we noticed a donations container. Our thanks and gratitude to the farmer and we hope that you recoup at least the cost of your loss and hopefully more. From the aerial shots this promised to be impressive but there has been so much rain I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. On entering the formation, it was very messy. There has been a lot of rain and even if relatively few visitors have walked around, it was still muddy in places and well trampled. I think if it hadn’t of rained the lay and the features would have been even more impressive. Having said that, there was enough in there to keep me happy. The lay was generally neat, some areas it was flat, mainly in the circles and in other areas there were lots of tufts sticking up. The direction of the lay in the circles was clockwise. There was a lot of broken crop. I didn’t find any bent or expanded nodes, except a few near the tram lines which are quite ‘normal’. Having said that, I didn’t spend a lot of time examining nodes etc because I just wanted to enjoy the formation. There was plenty to enjoy. In many of the ‘circles’ the lay was very flat and it swirled in a clockwise direction and had a flowing ‘feel’ to it. What really impressed me about this formation was some of the intricate weaving that is present. In one of the large ‘circles’ there were four bunches of standing crop intricately woven into each other. It looked amazing and this was after all the rain. In the same ‘circle’ there was the same kind of weaving effect that we saw at Eastfield. In other circles, there were woven stems/bunches in the centre of them. As I moved to different parts of the formation I came across many intricate features of weaving and different lays. It was so good to be back in a formation and feel such a wonderful energy. There were quite a few people visiting when I eventually left and everyone seemed to be forgetting about ‘everyday life’ and just enjoying the formation. Thank you 'Circlemakers'! – Mike Callahan

West Overton, nr Lockeridge, Wiltshire. Reported 9th August

Field Report: Not available at this time.

Signs in Humanity

Prison population hits new high
The Independent
August 8, 2009

The prison population in England and Wales has risen to its highest ever figure, according to Ministry of Justice figures released yesterday. There are now 84,150 inmates behind bars – a rise 3,000 in the last two years despite around 63,000 prisoners being released early from jail since June 2007. Prisons are still 1,000 places below their capacity of 85,137, and the Government has pledged to increase this figure to 96,000 by 2014. But Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said: “It is difficult to see how Government can continue to waste billions building more prisons while ignoring the reasons why numbers have shot up. Investing in preventative work [with the vulnerable] would cut crime and improve public health at a fraction of the cost of vacuous prison-building.”

Iraqis speak of random killings committed by private Blackwater guards
Times
by Oliver August
August 7, 2009

Guards employed by Blackwater, the US security company, shot Iraqis and killed victims in allegedly unprovoked and random attacks, it was claimed yesterday. A Virginia court also received sworn statements from former Blackwater employees yesterday alleging that Erik Prince, the company’s founder, “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe”. They also accused the company of following a policy of deliberate killings and arms dealing and of employing people unfit or improperly trained to handle lethal weaponry. In Baghdad yesterday, some Iraqis said they believed that the case was a last chance for justice and an opportunity for America to divorce the behaviour of its military from the private guards. Farid Walid, who was shot in Nisour Square two years ago during a massacre that killed 17 Iraqis, said: “Everybody here knows of cases where Blackwater guards shot innocent people without a second thought. They are a symbol of the occupation. Nobody will forget. But Iraqis might think at least a little differently of America if the killers are put in prison.”

Adult toys sell like hot cakes in recession-hit Britain
IANS
August 3, 2009

'Hello, how are you? Would you like to have tea or coffee?' That's not a waiter's line but the way customers are greeted at Sh! – London's first sex shop for women that has been doing roaring business since 1992. Despite recession, adult toys sell like hot cakes in London. The current adult toy market in UK is worth 250 million pounds as per the Hewson Group, a market analyst company based in Norwich in East Anglia. 'We have regular customers who come to the store and happily spend 300-500 pounds in an hour,' Renee Denyer, manager of Sh!, told IANS. Couples ranging from heterosexuals to LGBTs (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transvestite) come to the sex shop and choose from an array of products. There are trained staff to guide the customers to choose from hardcore DVD, lingerie, toys, magazines, fetish wear and bondage kit to name a few for both sexes.

Former sex slave seeks help as 4-year-old found in brothel
Reuters
by Belinda Goldsmith
August 3, 2009

CANBERRA (Reuters Life!) – A former sex slave on Monday launched a global campaign against trafficking, saying the age of girls forced into prostitution keeps getting younger. Cambodian Somaly Mam, whose eponymous foundation is dedicated to fighting the $12 billion a year sex-trafficking industry, said a four-year-old girl was found last month at a brothel in Cambodia after being reported by a male client. The youngster had been sold to the brothel by her mother, who is also a prostitute. She is now being cared for at one of the seven shelters run by the Somaly Mam Foundation in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam set up to protect and rehabilitate girls rescued from sex slavery. The group also has an office in Thailand dealing with repatriation. "You just have to hold her and stay with her and show her that you love her. Children can become children again," Mam told Reuters as she launched a joint venture with cosmetics retailer The Body Shop to raise awareness of sex trafficking.

Antidepressant use doubles in US, study finds
Reuters
by Maggie Fox
August 3, 2009

* Use doubles from 13 million to 27 million Americans * Increase in use not seen among blacks * More Americans may accept diagnosis of depression WASHINGTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Use of antidepressant drugs in the United States doubled between 1996 and 2005, probably because of a mix of factors, researchers reported on Monday. About 6 percent of people were prescribed an antidepressant in 1996 — 13 million people. This rose to more than 10 percent or 27 million people by 2005, the researchers found. "Significant increases in antidepressant use were evident across all sociodemographic groups examined, except African Americans," Dr. Mark Olfson of Columbia University in New York and Steven Marcus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia wrote in the Archives of General Psychiatry. "Not only are more U.S. residents being treated with antidepressants, but also those who are being treated are receiving more antidepressant prescriptions," they added.

Arks of Safe Haven
http://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.

guera05 – Spokane, WA. – Just moved to Spokane a few months ago and still have not found a job. Our bills are already due and we need help!!! If anyone has any side jobs, yard work, house cleaning, painting, etc. that they need done (as long as it is legal!), please email me. Basically we need to come up with a little over $600… Your help is greatly appreciated! Have a great day!

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

Tornado damages dozens of homes in Quebec.
By Tim Shufelt, Canwest News Service
August 5, 2009

MONT-LAURIER, Que. – As the winds began to howl on Tuesday afternoon, Roch Marcoux looked out his living room window and saw a swirling sky form into an ominous funnel almost directly over his house. Minutes later, the skies blackened and a powerful tornado touched down behind his home before tearing through the small western Quebec town. “It started as a typical day, it rained like it usually does. And then these winds came out of nowhere,'' Marcoux said. Environment Canada confirmed that a tornado hit Mont-Laurier around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The town of about 13,000 lies 180 kilometres north of Ottawa.

Blast From the Past: Plague Strikes China
Black Death Bacteria Can Spread From Human To Human
By JOSEPH BROWNSTEIN
ABC News Medical Unit
Aug. 5, 2009

Over the weekend, news emerged that a variant of the same bacteria that caused the infamous" Black Death" or bubonic plague, in medieval Europe had claimed three lives in the Chinese province of Qinghai, prompting the government to quarantine the town of Ziketan, home to 10,000 people. The bacteria responsible, Yersinia pestis, is the same bacteria that caused the bubonic plague, which wiped out, millions of people in Europe in the fourteenth century. While this form of the disease, known as pneumonic plague, spreads from human to human, without needing rats or fleas for transmission, it is not the grave threat to humans it was in medieval times. "In this form, the organism gets in the lung — that allows it to be transmitted by coughing," explained Philip Alcabes, associate professor in the program in urban public health at Hunter College's School of Health Sciences and author of Dread: How Fear And Fantasy Have Fueled Epidemics From The Black Death To Avian Flu. "The problem with that is that it allows it to be transmitted directly from person to person."

22 dead or missing in Philippines floods, landslides: govt
2009-08-03
MySinchew.com

MANILA (AFP) – Twenty-two people were reported dead or missing and more than 400,000 others were displaced after several days of floods, storms and landslides in the Philippines, rescuers said Monday. A tropical depression that struck the country last weekend left five dead and five others missing from floods and landslides in the central islands of Panay and Negros, the civil defence office here said. The extreme weather also left an old woman and a child missing in a landslide east of Manila, the government agency added. Meanwhile, the Rio Grande and Tamontaka rivers on the southern island of Mindanao burst their banks in Cotabato city and nearby areas after weeks of heavy rain, leaving eight people dead and two missing from floods, it said. The bad weather displaced some 432,000 people, most of them from Mindanao, it added. (AFP)

New El Niño threatens world with weather woe
Forecasters say this one is brewing up to be the second-strongest on record
By Michael McCarthy, Environment editor
3 August 2009

A new El Niño has begun. The sporadic Pacific Ocean warming, which can disrupt weather patterns across the world, is intensifying, say meteorologists. So, over the next few months, there may be increased drought in Africa, India and Australia, heavier rainfall in South America and increased extremes in Britain, of warm and cold. It may make 2010 one of the hottest years on record. The cyclical phenomenon, which happens every two to seven years, is a major determinant of global weather systems. The 1997-98 El Niño combined with global warming to push 1998 into being the world's hottest year, and caused major droughts and catastrophic forest fires in South-east Asia which sent a pall of smoke right across the region. At present, forecasters do not expect this El Niño to equal that of 1998, but it may be the second-strongest, and concerned groups, from international insurance companies to commodity traders, to aid agencies such as Oxfam, have begun to follow its progress anxiously. Its potential for economic and social impact is considerable.

Why Food Prices are Set to Rocket
July 31, 2009
Market Oracle

Sean Brodrick writes: China leads the world in many things, including the amount of ground lost to desertification or ecological disaster.

At the same time, the Chinese are changing their eating habits … eating more food and especially more beef. As a result, despite bumper crops, China is becoming more at risk of being unable to feed itself. According to China’s General Administration of Customs, for the first six months of this year, China’s soybean imports rose 28% to 22.09 million tons. In June alone, it shot up 31%! And since Argentina, one of the world’s major soybean exporters, is suffering from a severe drought, China is buying more and more soybeans from the U.S. I have no problem with the U.S. selling soybeans to China. Likewise, it’s fine with me that China is the world’s biggest wheat-consuming country. To keep up with the demand, wheat imports soared 172% in June to hit the highest monthly volume (192,905 metric tonnes) since 2005. And the U.S. is selling them a lot of that grain. In fact, when it comes to exports, the U.S. is a major exporter of wheat … as well as soybeans and other grains. China exports a little, but imports much more than it exports. Moreover, severe droughts in China’s wheat growing areas have also caused grains imports to accelerate.

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

QUAKES –

7/30/09 –
5.0 JAVA, INDONESIA
5.8 TONGA

7/31/09 –
5.5 JAVA, INDONESIA
5.2 NEAR S COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.1 SOUTH OF SUMBAWA, INDONESIA
5.1 SOUTHEAST OF EASTER ISLAND
5.7 PACIFIC-ANTARCTIC RIDGE
5.3 NAMIBIA
5.4 TONGA

8/1/09 –
5.3 TIMOR REGION, INDONESIA
5.0 CENTRAL PERU
5.2 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.0 TONGA

8/2/09 –
6.0 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA

8/3/09 –
5.2 NEAR COAST OF CENTRAL PERU
5.8 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
6.9 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
5.4 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
5.1 MAUG ISLANDS REG, N. MARIANA IS.
5.2 GUAM REGION
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS

8/4/09 –
5.4 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
5.9 OFF W. COAST OF S. ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
5.1 KYUSHU, JAPAN
6.3 SOUTHWESTERN RYUKYU ISL., JAPAN

8/5/09 –
5.0 OFF SOUTH COAST OF AUSTRALIA
5.0 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.0 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
5.3 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
5.9 OFF W. COAST OF S. ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
5.1 KYUSHU, JAPAN
6.3 SOUTHWESTERN RYUKYU ISL., JAPAN

NEW ZEALAND – The enormous 7.8 quake, which hit Fiordland two weeks ago on July 15, has had manyaftershocks, and they are still being felt there. Though it was the largest recorded world-wide earthquake this year, luckily it did not cause much damage due to its remote location.

JAPAN – Many believe a massive earthquake is due any time in Tokai, an area south of Tokyo that sits atop a precarious confluence of tectonic plates. The archipelago is perched upon a precarious confluence of shifting continental plates that each day cause 1,000 quakes strong enough to be felt plus scores of temblors each year that are magnitude 5.5 or greater. The Tokai region, centered 100 miles south of Tokyo, is the anticipated ground zero for Japan's next Big One which researchers say could reach a colossal magnitude 8.0. Southern California's most powerful modern earthquake was the magnitude 7.9 Fort Tejon temblor in 1857. The Tokai region was last hit by such an earthquake 154 years ago. With an estimated frequency of 150 years, that means another ground-shaking event here may be just around the corner. For decades, scientists here focused on technology that could accurately predict an earthquake — its size, location and time. Now the government has shifted its approach, acknowledging criticism — both at home and abroad — that such formidable natural occurrences cannot be predicted with such certainty. Instead, Japan has shifted much of its emphasis to instructing people on how to react once a temblor hits.

MEXICO's Gulf of California has been hit by a 6.9-magnitude earthquake and at least three smaller tremors. There have been no reports of injuries or damage. There was a risk of a small, localised tsunami in the area, officials and experts warned, but no threat to America's Pacific coast. The tremors were all centred under the bed of the Gulf of California, a narrow strip of sea between Baja California peninsula and the Mexican mainland. The mountains and deserts of the peninsula are sparsely populated, minimising the risk of widespread damage or injuries. "The earth was turning around really ugly. People got really scared."

NAMIBIA – An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale shook the Erongo Region at 09h15 on Friday, with tremors felt as far afield as Windhoek. It was the STRONGEST RECORDED EARTHQUAKE IN NAMIBIAN HISTORY. "This means that an event of this magnitude is above the threshold size 5 expected in Namibia. We can say that an earthquake of magnitude 6 can happen in the region." On Friday morning a deep rumbling shook the town of Swakopmund and members of the public called The Namibian's coastal office to enquire whether there had been an explosion at the town.

Lightning-Fast Earthquake Could Hit Southern California
– Just when Southern Californians have begun to pat themselves on the backs for having the world's stiffest earthquake building codes, there now comes news of "supershears." These are a type of earthquake known for the incredibly high velocities by which they travel. One "slipped at such blistering speeds that the rip in the Earth overtook its own seismic waves. This created the earthquake equivalent of a sonic boom, capable of striking anything in its path like a hammer blow." Evidence shows that this little-understood phenomenon occurs more often than previously suspected and that a "superhighway" of supershear faults grids the planet where 60 million people live. Although a brief moment during a 1979 Imperial Valley earthquake seemed to fit the description of a supershear, such quakes had long been relegated to the realm of theory — until Turkey's 1999 Izmit quake. That 7.6 earthquake was measured as spreading five kilometers per second. (Five kilometers is about 3.1 miles. The speed of sound is 343 meters per second.) Some geologists now believe the 1906 San Francisco earthquake may have been a supershear. More ominously, not only is California's San Andreas Fault part of the supershear superhighway, but even the state's well-fortified buildings may be no match for the "mach fronts" generated by supershears. Less-rigorously built structures five kilometers outside of L.A. would be especially at risk.

CALIFORNIA – the number of tremors along the San Andreas Fault has increased by as much as 80 percent over the last 4 years. These tremors “can signal that there are deep stress changes going on that we hadn’t detected before.” While earthquakes are considered to cause tremors, increasing evidence suggests that they might precede earthquakes as well. The level of tremors should have dropped after the 2003 San Simeon quake and the 2004 Parkfield quake, once stress levels declined along the fault. The fact that they did not may suggest that stress is actually building up along this segment and that the fault is at risk of breaking. When that last occurred in 1857, the result was the 7.8 magnitude Fort Tejon earthquake. The observations are not to be interpreted as some prediction of an impending, catastrophic earthquake at some precise time in the immediate future. They do show that tremors are far more common that previously believed, and could help scientists move one step closer to the elusive goal of predicting major earthquakes.

Deep water quakes – deep underground water flows are tilting broken sections of the world's massive stone foundation into the next big-magnitude earthquake. Water does more than lube the constantly stacking and restacking of the Earth's tectonic superstructure – it tilts, then holds, massive stone slabs at angles as steep as the roof on a ski chalet. The process creates rifts and faults in the crust similar to the relatively shallow, quake-inducing San Andreas Fault in California. "Science understands how the Earth's moving tectonic plates can dive or subduct beneath another to create earthquake-generating faults, but that the fluid-related processes involved would reach up and cause damage right under our feet hasn't really been on people's minds."

MYSTERY BOOMS / SKYQUAKES-

WASHINGTON – Several people living in or near Port Angeles have reported loud booms shaking their homes. Even though — as with any intriguing mystery — the pieces of the puzzle never seem to quite fit, explosive ordnance training in Canada may explain the booming sounds heard last week. Possible explanations involving naval and Coast Guard exercises in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Air Force flyovers, thunderstorms and permitted explosions have not fit the bill. But perhaps the most likely explanation is explosive ordnance training that occurred on Bentinck Island. The training, which involves small plastic explosives in order to destroy beach obstacles, occurred from last Monday through Friday. A likely explanation? Perhaps not, if it is correct that the island had not been used any other time during July since another resident has said that he was nearly knocked out of bed by a loud boom that shook his home about two or three weeks ago. He said he did not think too much about the incident, which occurred sometime between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. that day, until he read about other people having their homes shaken by loud booms in Friday's news. Explosives training on the island is nothing new. In fact, munitions detonated on the island were blamed for loud booms heard around Port Angeles in 1982. "I've been here for 20 years, and this is the first time that I've had complaints from across the Strait." If Bentinck Island is to blame, why would they not hear the explosions every time? The weather could provide the explanation. A "low level inversion layer," which means that the air is warmer in the higher elevations, had been in place over the area last week. That may trap sound waves closer to the surface, and therefore allow them to be heard over greater distances. What about seismic activity? A loud boom caused by an earthquake could be heard close to a fault line as long as the quake was of significant magnitude. "When you hear big sounds, a large portion of this rock is being uplifted or shifted. That doesn't happen with small magnitude earthquakes." The seismic network, in the last two weeks, has reported two 1-magnitude quakes in Neah Bay and near Victoria, and a 2-magnitude quake in southern Vancouver Island, but nothing of greater strength in the area.

Those loud booms around the area are still a mystery. The Coast Guard said they believed the series of loud booms that rattled home in the Joyce and Port Angeles area this week came from Canadian military exercises. But the Canadians say they weren't firing anything big enough to make such a blast felt across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Additionally, the exercises were finished before some of the booms were reported. So far, local authorities say they don't have any ideas what might be causing the booms. Numerous people have called wondering about what was rattling their windows.

MYSTERY ERUPTION(?) –

INDIA – UFO sightings have been reported from Lahaul and Spiti several times in the past, but this time a more near-earth phenomenon has spread panic in a small hamlet. On July 27 people in Rangrik village claimed to have heard and seen an explosion atop a nearby hill top, which they claimed was similar to volcanic eruption. This was followed by landslides and water gushing out of the hill continuously. While there is only one live volcano on the Indian soil – Barrel islands in Andaman and Nicobar – the local people fear this could be another one. However, geologists in Himachal Pradesh University rule out this theory, though they claim the explosion could be due to the presence of sulphor and hydro-thermal gases. People in Rangrik had been waiting for the administration to probe the matter but there has been no response. Meanwhile, they plan to trek the mountain themselves to have a closer look at the place from where water now seems to be gushing down.

INDIA – The mysterious explosion atop the mountain has sent scare waves across Rangrik village in Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. With 120 houses and 700 villagers, Rangrik is 4,000 meter above sea level and 7 km from the main Kaza town. "We have informed the district administration, but nothing has been done. Officials have only assured us that Geological Survey of India has been informed."
“We heard a blast on the hill and then flames came out from the eruption site followed by molten material." A team of geologists and revenue officers has now been sent to Rangrik village.

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

U.S. – From Maine to Florida, the Atlantic seaboard has experienced higher tides than expected this summer. At their peak in mid-June, the tides at some locations outstripped predictions by two feet. The change has come too fast to be attributed to melting ice sheets or anything quite that dramatic, and it’s a puzzle for scientists who’ve never seen anything quite like it. “The ocean is dynamic. It’s not uncommon to have anomalies like this but THE BREATH AND THE INTENSITY AND DURATION WERE UNIQUE." The unexpected tidal surge is subsiding, has reduced its reach from the entire coast, and is now concentrated just in the mid-Atlantic states. NOAA is rushing to study the data in an effort to understand what happened. Two main factors appear to have contributed to the extra high tides. First, there were steady winds out of the northeast throughout this anomaly. Second, the ocean current running from Florida up along the coast weakened. While the associations between these phenomena and the tides are provocative, it’s too early to tell how fully they explain this unexpected tidal event. One thing is for sure: The tidal rise is STRANGE. June was – high tides aside – “nothing to write home about” as far as climate data on wind, atmospheric pressure and the ocean. “It’s a bit of a mystery." Researchers were initially puzzled that there were no major wind anomalies accompanying the tides, but it wasn’t the magnitude that was anomalous, it’s the persistence of the winds. An even bigger mystery is why such winds would suddenly appear and why the current running up the Atlantic coast would weaken. Was it a freak coincidence, some jitter in the data, or part of a long-term trend or cycle? It could be part of a long-term global trend that’s tied in with the Pacific region’s El Niño weather pattern. “When I’m comparing these decadal cycles, I see that some of the highs in these decadal cycles coincide with El Niño events. It’s not to say that one is caused by another, but the degree of association is somewhat surprising.” But long-term tidal patterns can be hard to spot. “It’s such a long time scale that’s working in this process that we don’t sense it going on like we sense a hurricane coming and going. A subtle but persistent pattern that affects the whole North Atlantic ocean: It’s acting without giving any immediate clues that it’s going on until we see, ‘Whoops, the sea levels are higher than normal.’” “Is this part of a long decadal variation? Potentially, yes. But it’s premature to make that linkage.”

TROPICAL STORMS –
Tropical depression ENRIQUE was 988 nmi W of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Hurricane FELICIA was 1309 nmi WSW of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
(FELICIA is the STRONGEST HURRICANE IN THE EASTERN PACIFIC SINCE 2006.)
Typhoon MORAKOT was 174 nmi SE of Taipei, Taiwan.

Tropical cyclone "Jolina" has intensified into a storm, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration announced today. In its 11 a.m. update, Pagasa said "Jolina" was last spotted 490 km northeast of Virac, Catanduanes, or 610 km east of Casiguran, Aurora. The storm packs maximum winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph. The weather bureau said by tomorrow morning (Aug. 1), "Jolina" is expected to be 440 km northeast of Casiguran, Aurora, or 350 km east northeast of Aparri, Cagayan. Despite this, Pagasa has not yet hoisted public storm warning signals.

Newly formed Tropical Storm Lana has entered the Central Pacific,
but is forecast to pass well south of the Hawaiian islands. Lana is moving west at about 18 mph and is expected to continue doing so over the next couple of days. Its maximum sustained winds have increased to nearly 40 mph, with higher gusts. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center says additional strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours.

Goni – As Hong Kong suffered under a heat wave, with temperatures as high as 36 degrees Celsius in some areas, the city braced for the arrival of Tropical Storm Goni which is bringing strong winds and heavy rain. The Standby Signal No 1 has been raised. At 11pm Monday, Goni was moving north at about 12km an hour towards the coast of Guangdong. Goni is expected to bring squally showers to Hong Kong.

In Vietnam, severe rough seas were expected to hit the northern waters of the East Sea Monday, with wind speeds of up to 102 kph in certain areas. Possible floods are predicted in the Mekong River system with water levels increasing by between 10-15 centimeters a day. Meteorologists also reported the tropical storm had a complicated trajectory and could last for between three and four days.

Landslides and flooding from a tropical storm in the Philippines killed at least eight people and left four missing before the storm moved on. The storm, locally known as Jolina, was being tracked over the South China Sea on Sunday, about 335 miles (540 kilometers) northwest of the mountainous northern Philippines, with sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (75 kph).

Typhoon Morakot bore down on Taiwan Friday, packing 89 mph (143 kph) winds and threatening to soak the entire island when it makes landfall Saturday morning. As of 10 a.m. Friday (2 a.m. GMT), wind gusts were reaching 112 mph, and Morakot, a medium-strength typhoon, was moving west-northwest at 14 mph en route to landfall. Already, mudslides and landslides were occurring on the land, as airlines canceled flights, and government offices, schools and the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed for the day. The storm was centered about 124 miles (200 km) southeast of Taipei and could wind up directly over the capital. Forecasters predicted its impact would be massive. "This storm has already dumped about 400 millimeters (16 inches) of rain in the central and southern part of the island, and they're still expecting another 500 (20 inches) to 800 millimeters (32 inches) of rain over the next 24 to 48 hours." Drought in recent months has severely affected the area, leaving the ground so hard that it cannot absorb the rainfall. However, the island tends to prepare well for typhoons. Taiwan and eastern China are particularly vulnerable to flash flooding and mudslides because of the proximity of the mountains to the sea. Once it hits land, Morakot is expected to weaken to tropical storm strength.

HAWAII – The latest forecast shows Hurricane Felicia is slowly weakening and Hawaii remains in its path. Hurricane Felicia is a category 4 hurricane with winds at 132 mph and gusts to 161 mph. The system is located about 1400 miles east of Hilo, and moving WNW at 12 mph. Felicia is still moving over cooler waters – which probably accounts for the slight drop in wind speed yesterday. Eventually the system will clash with unfavorable high altitude winds, which are forecast to erode the storm as it moves closer to the islands. They are expecting Felicia to be either a tropical storm or a tropical depression as it crosses the state late Monday or Tuesday morning. The forecast cone now includes all of the Hawaiian Islands. As of today there is still a large amount of uncertainty with regards to Felicia's track. It can still veer anywhere within this forecast cone.

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

CHINA – The "HEAVIEST RAINS IN 70 YEARS" lashed Shanghai today, flooding 3000 homes and leaving nearly 2000 travellers stranded at the city's airports

JAPAN – The seasonal rain front continues to remain stationary along the length of Japan, spawning torrential downpours in the west, a RARE tornado in the east, and UNUSUAL weather conditions in Hokkaido. As a result, the Meteorological Agency hasn't been able to declare an end to this year's rainy season for a wide swath of the nation ranging from the Tokai region to northern Kyushu. 1971-2000 weather data show that the rainy season for northern Kyushu, Shikoku, and the Kinki, Tokai, Hokuriku and northern and southern Tohoku regions usually ends between July 17 and 27. This year, however, the wet season looks to stretch into August. The agency has declared the rainy season over in Okinawa-Amami, southern Kyushu, and the Kanto-Koshin region, which covers Tokyo and surrounding areas. But rainy weather is nevertheless prevailing over the capital. The agency said Tokyo's rainy season ended July 14. The high-pressure system in the Pacific that usually brings summer to Japan has been slow to strengthen because of weak convection activity near the Philippines. In addition, cold air masses and low-pressure troughs have migrated frequently from continental Asia, preventing the seasonal rain front from moving off northward. The agency said air as cold as minus 9 that was detected at an altitude of about 5.7 km started coming down from the continent in short intervals in July. This caused the annual rain front to stall and intensify near Japan. Rain in excess of 100 mm per hour fell on many parts of the nation, notably Fukuoka Prefecture, in late July. This was partly because convection activities intensified near China's coast, which has seen a slew of low-pressure troughs. Similar phenomena were observed in 1991, when the rainy season continued until Aug. 14 in Hokuriku and northern Tohoku, the latest end on record. Stormy weather even hit Hokkaido after low-pressure systems struck the prefecture in intervals over several days in July. Hokkaido usually avoids the rainy season. The UNUSUALLY stormy weather also played a role in the deaths of 10 hikers in Hokkaido's Taisetsu mountain range in mid-July.

BRITAIN – Householders face higher building insurance premiums after a sharp increase in property damage blamed on climate change. A rise in insurance claims has been caused by flash floods and storms in areas of Britain PREVIOUSLY IMMUNE TO SEVERE WEATHER EVENTS. The AA reports a 15% rise in claims in the first six months of 2009 over the same period in 2008 "in the number and cost of payments for buildings damaged by flash floods and storms in areas with little or no previous record of such claims." It cited one village, Carbrooke in Norfolk, where homes were damaged by giant hailstones during an ice storm in late spring. The storm also caused the roof of a supermarket to partially collapse, and when the hailstones melted, a local school was flooded. "It happened in an area with no previous record of severe weather events." Insurers are now demanding higher premiums to meet the cost of such FREAK weather, linked to climate change.

JAPAN – With August already here, the traditional Japanese beginning of fall just around the corner, and the end of the rainy season not announced yet in many parts of the country, some fear that the end of the season will not be announced at all. Although the 2009 rainy season in Japan, known as tsuyu, started about on average, the end of the season has been extremely slow to come. The Japan Meteorological Agency reported that the summer weather conditions have been largely affected by the 2009 El Nino which started in June. Pressure systems north and south of Japan have been continually colliding over the country, bring with it the bad weather. Southern Japan has experienced massive rainfalls in the last month that have caused deadly flooding and landslides. Central Japan has had a couple of EXTREMELY RARE occurrences of tornadoes. The deaths of multiple mountain hikers in central and northern Japan in mid-July have also been blamed on the UNUSUALLY BAD weather. 1993 also reportedly saw unusually heavy rains, a cold summer, and a rainy season that did not officially end in many parts of Japan. Similar to this year, the foul weather of 1993 was also blamed partly on El Nino. The poor weather conditions resulted in damaged crops and a low rice yield that caused many problems within the Japanese food market for the rest of the year. There are fears that the similarly heavy rains and cold summer this year could have the same results on Japanese food supplies.

KENTUCKY – They knew it was going to rain, but National Weather Service meteorologists say they couldn't have predicted the EXTREMELY RARE circumstances that stalled a massive storm front over Louisville Tuesday, flooding the area with RECORD RAINFALL. A run-of-the-mill thunderstorm created a mini-cold front that collided with clashing wind streams from the northwest and south, trapping the storm over downtown Louisville. “No one expected the thunderstorm to set up the way it did." Trapped storms usually dump their water and weaken after about 30 minutes. But on Tuesday, warm, damp air from the south flowed above the cold front to feed the storm for hours. “It just kept rebuilding itself right on top of Louisville." Known as an outflow boundary or downburst, the phenomenon generates cool air that drops from the cloud at high speed, then spreads along the ground. That cool air, combined with colliding wind streams, clogged weather patterns to stop the storm over Louisville. By the time the storm passed, more than 6 inches of rain had dropped in some areas – creating THE WETTEST AUGUST DAY ON RECORD. The storm nearly doubled the average August rainfall of 3.4 inches.

COLD –

COLORADO – Unseasonal weather continued Wednesday in the Denver metro area, with forecast temperatures almost 20 degrees below normal.

Northwesterly winds in the upper levels of atmosphere are the reason for the cloudy and wet weather pattern. Typically the upper-levels winds are from the southwest during the summer in Colorado. This type of wind flow is frequently called the "summer monsoon." The current northwest pattern is more characteristic of winter.
In contrast, in 2008 Denver had a streak of 26 consecutive days (from July 13 to August 5) of 90 degrees which shattered the previous record of 18 consecutive days established in 1901 and 1874. In August a record of 104 degrees was set on the 1st and another record of 103 degrees was set on the 2nd. In addition a record low minimum of 70 degrees was set on August 2nd.

ILLINOIS – Jackets in the morning. Sweat shirts in the evening. Long summer days bookended by an unseasonable chill. When will the madness end? In the final week of what so far is ONE OF THE COOLEST JULYS ON RECORD, one meteorologist wondered whether 2009 will be remembered as "the year without summer." "It's been crazy. I've never seen a summer like this in my life." The average daily temperature in Chicago for the month through July 26 was 68.9 degrees, well below the typical average of 73.3. The high temperature has never gone above 86, and fewer than 30 days so far this summer have hit the 80-degree mark. "It's an UNUSUAL summer, no two ways about it. We laid the groundwork for this earlier this year, with one of the wettest springs on record." "My trees are starting to lose leaves. They think it's fall." Basically there are no signs of this pattern changing. It looks like August will be a continuation of unseasonably cool weather.

CANADA – You know the weather is truly wonky when Canada's king of climatology suggests heat-seeking Manitobans head NORTH to work on their summer tans. "If you really want it warm, try the Yukon or Nunavut. Their temperatures have been about 12 degrees higher than normal." Indeed, Whitehorse's high of 32 C earlier this week put the northern capital on par with Miami and parts of Spain. Meanwhile, Winnipeg just narrowly escaped being named the summer's weather misery capital of Canada. "It was a toss-up between Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal. I was leaning toward Winnipeg because the last time it was warmer than normal there was in November of 2008." (Ottawa took the crown by having the WETTEST JULY IN ITS HISTORY). Not only was Manitoba's spring UNUSUALLY cold and wet, summer seems to be heading in the same direction. They've already had 40 per cent more rain than usually falls in July. Daily highs this time of year should be in the mid-20s, but temperatures have been at least two degrees colder than average. The entire country — aside from the B.C. Interior, which has hit temperatures in the 40s — is colder, wetter and darker than normal. Canada's UNUSUAL weather patterns are being caused by a cool jet stream, which typically stays around the northern territories and northern Quebec, but has decided to hang out farther south. Unfortunately, normalcy won't likely be returning for August and September — at least not to Manitoba.

U.S. – the difference in atmospheric pressure between the North Pole and mid-latitudes has been UNUSUALLY LOW this summer. This has allowed storm tracks to be pushed farther south than normal for this time of year, deflecting warm air away from the Northeast. However, there are rumblings in the long range forecasts that this stubborn pattern will break by the middle of the month and summer chilling may turn into bouts of summer roasting before we descend into autumn. It has been Boston’s fourth-coolest two-month period since 1872 and one of the wettest as well.

EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-

Extreme weather swept through virtually all corners of the United States Thursday — including a RECORD HEAT WAVE in the typically cool Northwest, while heavy rains and unexpected tornadoes continue to lash the Northeast. Temperatures across Oregon and Washington state have been as high as 20 degrees above normal. Forecasters say temperatures will remain above average into early next week. The heat wave broke more than half a dozen records Wednesday. Among them was a staggering 103 degrees in Seattle, 104 in Olympia and 96 in Bellingham.

Higher-than-normal fire levels are expected in most of Texas, the Southwest, California and the Pacific Northwest this year compared to a base period of 1971 to 2000, with huge fires projected for much of Northern California and the Sierra Nevada range. By far the worst drought conditions, referred to as "extremely dry," are found in California, western Oregon and Washington, pockets of North Carolina and northern Wisconsin. But major fires are not anticipated in every dry place, and some areas with normal moisture are at high risk of tens of thousands of acres burning, especially northwest Texas and eastern New Mexico. "Lately we've had UNUSUALLY turbulent weather in the U.S. for the summer months. The Midwest is getting heavier-than-normal rain, and we've had some VERY UNUSUAL and powerful storms in the West, as well. Everywhere I go, people keep saying THE WEATHER IS JUST REALLY, REALLY WEIRD."

CANARY ISLANDS – A huge forest fire is out of control on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, forcing the evacuation of up to 4,000 people, including tourists. Its lush vegetation has been seared by the high temperatures of recent days. Military aircraft are fighting the flames but firefighters had been pulled back from the worst-hit areas because of the intensity of the flames. Recently they have been aided by a slight drop in temperature and a change in wind direction. Some residents were saved just minutes before fire engulfed their homes. Several dozen homes in the town of Fuencaliente were gutted. There are fears the flames could spread to an observatory housing the world's largest telescope. TV pictures showed flames metres away from villages in the Tigalate area, where a major containment effort is under way. Dozens of tourists have been unable to catch flights home because of road closures. "We experienced extremely hot, searing winds, and then woke up in the early hours of Saturday morning to very, very thick, choking smoke from the fires, extremely hot outside." Smaller fires have broken out on other Canary Islands, including Tenerife and Gran Canaria, but are expected to be brought under control soon.

CANADA – More than 500 fires are raging out of control in the western province of British Columbia, fuelled by dry forests and RECORD-HIGH TEMPERATURES.

OREGON – This week's RECORD-BREAKING HEAT WAVE has led to an almost UNPRECEDENTED LEVEL of wildfire danger.

CANADA – Thousands have fled uncontrolled forest fires which raged through western Canada, threatening several small towns and Aboriginal communities. Emergency officials ordered most of the 3000 residents of Lillooet, in westernmost British Columbia province, as well as several nearby Aboriginal communities, to leave their homes overnight after a fire grew overnight. The fire, about 200 km northeast of Vancouver, is raging out of control just 1 km from the historic gold rush town. Another 2500 people in the Central Okanagan, in the province's interior, were ordered to leave for the second time overnight, as firefighters lost ground in their battle on a fire that started two weeks ago on nearby Terrace Mountain. The Terrace Mountain evacuation is the most recent in the Central Okanagan, where about 20,000 people have been either evacuated or on alert in recent weeks. Hundreds of forest fires are consuming tinder-dry bush throughout the province of British Columbia. Lightning sparked 82 new fires and another nine were caused by people over the holiday weekend.

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest in June was four times more devastating than the month before, further depleting what is seen as one of the biggest buffers against global warming.

ODD-

Killer seaweed threatens beaches in France – A stretch of beach in Brittany had to be closed after a horse rider lost consciousness and a horse died as a result of putrefying algae. Local residents have also been treated in hospital. Intensive agriculture is blamed for the green seaweed spreading across the region's beaches as nitrates pollute the water supply. As the seaweed – known locally as sea lettuce – decomposes, it forms an impermeable white crust under which hydrogen sulphide accumulates. When the crust is broken, the gas is released, which smells like rotten eggs. It attacks the nervous system and can kill a man or an animal within minutes. Some scientists believe that a build-up of hydrogen sulphide in the atmosphere wiped out the dinosaurs 300 million years ago

SPACE WEATHER-

A sudden bright spot that appeared in the clouds of Venus just days after a comet left a bruise on Jupiter has scientists stumped as to its cause. Venus' bright spot, first noticed on July 19, is not the first such brightening noticed on our cloudy neighbor. This time is a little different though because the brightening is confined to a smaller region. It also came in the wake of Jupiter's own new (dark) spot, believed to be the result of a comet impact. The new Venus Express images show that the bright spot actually appeared in the planet's southern hemisphere four days before an amateur astronomer saw it and that it has since begun to spread out, becoming stretched by the wind's in Venus' thick atmosphere. But just what caused the brightening is still a mystery. Theories have abounded, from a volcanic eruption to solar particles interacting with the planet's atmosphere. The volcano explanation is unlikely, for several reasons: Volcanoes on Venus seem to be less likely to blow their tops in Mount St. Helens-type fashion, instead behaving more like the oozing lava factories of Hawaii, so their eruptions wouldn't likely produce huge clouds of ash and steam. Also, it is unlikely that the explosions would have the power to push through to the other layers of Venus' extremely dense atmosphere. Another explanation is that a coronal mass ejection (an energetic plume of plasma from the sun's corona) or the solar wind could have interacted with the clouds of Venus. These "could cause something, we don't know what." Yet another possibility is some internal change in Venus' atmosphere that could alter cloud particles and make them more reflective (and therefore brighter as viewed from space). "Clearly something in the cloud properties changed." Even though these events have been seen previously, most notably in Jan. 2007, our limited knowledge about the workings of Venus' atmosphere and lack of enough spacecraft to comprehensively study the planet hasn't narrowed down the list of possible causes. "Right now, I think it's anybody's guess."

Polaris – the famous North Star – is undergoing changes that astronomers don't fully understand. Polaris, like other Cepheid variables, pulsates. Over a period of about 4 days, it brightens slightly and then returns to normal. But new estimates show the Pliaris may have changed in brightness – more than doubling in little more than 1000 years. What could account for such a rapid rise in light output? "My best guess is that Polaris is undergoing rapid internal structural changes, a RARE, very rapid stage of classical Cepheid evolution," said astronomer Edward Guinan. Polaris is shifting in other ways too. The difference between Polaris' maximum and minimum brightness is also increasing. "We have also found previously unrecorded amplitude changes in a number of other Cepheids." [no link for this, I got it from the September 'Astronomy' magazine, page 52]

HEALTH THREATS –

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to gather the U.S. public's thoughts this month on how big this fall's H1N1 influenza vaccination drive should be.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is aware of a total of 5,514 H1N1 flu hospitalizations and 353 deaths from 47 states and territories. The agency said last week it would no longer list national H1N1 case counts. Novel H1N1 activity continued to drop for the fifth consecutive week, with only four states and Puerto Rico reporting widespread activity, down from seven states the week before.

Wal-Mart may help feds with vaccine campaign – Wal-Mart officials met with US health officials on Jul 29 to discuss what role the retail chain might play in helping to distribute the pandemic H1N1 vaccine this fall. Options might include giving flu shots in stores and helping federal officials with logistic and supply-chain issues.

Switzerland to be among first to get Glaxo pandemic vaccine shipments
– Switzerland will be one of 10 countries to receive the "first wave" of the company's pandemic H1N1 vaccine – the other nine countries were not named. First-wave-countries will get their supplies in September or October and countries in the second wave will receive theirs "a bit later." Switzerland signed an agreement with Glaxo in 2006 to receive priority delivery of pandemic vaccine.

AUSTRALIA – The health of pigs diagnosed with swine flu in New South Wales is improving and none are likely to die.

New AIDS-like virus – A woman from Cameroon has been found to be infected with an AIDS-like virus that came from gorillas. The woman, who has no symptoms of HIV infection, is well and was likely infected by another person, not an animal. Findings suggest this newly discovered gorilla virus is circulating among people, although the woman is the only person known to be infected with the new strain. The 62-year-old woman was diagnosed in 2004, soon after she moved to Paris from Cameroon. Routine genetic sequencing of the virus showed it looked like no other sample of AIDS virus and it was eventually compared to a gorilla simian immunodeficiency virus, itself only discovered in 2006.
This would be the FIRST TIME that gorillas have been found to be a source of HIV. Previous research has shown that the HIV-1 strain, the main source of human infections with 33m cases worldwide, originated from a virus in chimpanzees. It is the first definitive transfer of HIV seen from a source other than a chimpanzee, and highlights the need to monitor for the emergence of new strains. "This demonstrates that HIV evolution is an ongoing process. The virus can jump from species to species, from primate to primate, and that includes us; pathogens have been with us for millions of years and routinely switch host species…There's no reason to believe this virus will present any new problems, as it were, that we don't already face."

CHINA – A second man has died of pneumonic plague in a remote part of north-west China where a town of more than 10,000 people has been sealed off. The 37-year-old victim was a neighbour of the first person to die from the plague, a herdsman aged 32 in Ziketan, near Xinghai in Qinghai Province. The sparsely populated area is mostly inhabited by Tibetans. About 10 other people inside the town have so far contracted the disease. No-one is being allowed leave the area, and the authorities are trying to track down people who had contact with the men who died. This is the third outbreak of the disease in Qinghai within the last 10 years. Pneumonic plague is the most virulent and least common form of plague. It is caused by the same bacteria that occur in bubonic plague. Pneumonic plague is easier to contract, and if untreated, has a very high case-fatality ratio.

Argentina's pandemic H1N1 cases have peaked, and so far the death rate from the disease seems to be less than for seasonal flu. The disease has had its greatest impact on young people. With more than a month left of the country's flu season, scientists report that viruses isolated in Argentina are nearly identical to those circulating in North America.

Britain has seen a spurt in reported negative side effects from oseltamivir (Tamiflu) use since the National Pandemic Flu Service was launched Jul 23. The service allows people to get the drug over the phone without seeing a doctor. 293 reports have come in since early April, of which 143 were in the past week. The reported effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and psychiatric and nervous system problems.

AUSTRALIA – "Unless our hospitals can perform better, the Federal Government could have the excuse to take them over" during peak flu season. WA hospitals had been under siege for the past week, with patients suffering unnecessarily through long waiting times. Most of the state's elective surgery arrangements have been cancelled because of a bed shortage and ambulances have been forced to wait outside hospitals because there are no beds to take patients to. "For more than a week, our hospitals have been under siege and the situation is growing more serious by the day.'' The state has no capacity to deal with increased patient numbers during the flu season. While the ideal situation was to have 85 per cent occupancy rates in hospitals, WA was working at close to 100 per cent capacity. "We just don't have capacity in reserve.'' Hospital beds across the nation have been reduced by 60 per cent in the past 25 years. "We just cannot do the work, we can't deal with the sick, we can't deal with the injured, we can't deal with fluctuations due to swine flu. The hospitals go into meltdown.''

MEXICO'S swine flu caseload rose by almost 1000 in five days, taking the total soaring above 17,000.

Russia's chief health officer urged Russians not to travel to Wales for a World Cup soccer match on Sep 9 because of Britain's novel H1N1 flu epidemic. He blamed Britain for most of Russia's H1N1 cases and called travel there "absolutely inappropriate." He suggested that Britain is covering up virus spread. Yet Wales is the least affected part of the country, with 89 confirmed cases and no deaths.

Residents of a remote farming town in western China say people have been seeking to flee in defiance of a lockdown by authorities to prevent the spread of highly infectious pneumonic plague which has claimed three lives in the area. Police have set up checkpoints around Ziketan in Qinghai province, a town of 10,000 people, which has been put under quarantine after at least a dozen people caught the lung infection that can kill within 24 hours if untreated. It was unclear if the people who headed out of the town made it past the police checkpoints. Worldwide, thousands of plague cases are reported each year, mostly in Africa. Between 1998 and 2008, nearly 24,000 cases were reported, including about 2,000 deaths, in Africa, Asia, the Americas and eastern Europe. China has also had cases before. Most cases in China's northwest occur when hunters are contaminated while skinning infected animals.

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

Buddhist monks worship mummy as revered Lama
Big News Network
Aug 3, 2009

Kullu, Aug 3 : A 500 hundred-year old mummy has taken the centre stage at Gieue village in Himachal Pradesh. The mummy is still sitting pretty at the place where it was stumbled upon 33 years ago. uddhist monks come here everyday to offer prayers and perform rituals. They chant mantras and read out from the Buddhist scriptures in front of the mummy. The mummy was stumbled upon by Indian paramilitary forces of Indo-Tibetan Border Police. "It was discovered when a stupa caved in the earthquake of 1975. After that we did not bother for about six to seven years. It was exposed to the rain, sun and snow and in the process its face disfigured a bit. It tilted to one side. Earlier, the face looked better than a living man," said Tasi Dawa, a monk.

Therapists, pastors agree: Gay identity no block to spiritual growth
USA Today
Aug 6, 2009

Now that the American Psychological Association has said sexual orientation change therapies — often chosen by gays who also have "strongly conservative religious views" — are "unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm," what's the reaction from the religious perspective? So far, so fair seems to be the early reaction. The key is a focus on behavior, not identity. The APA report, issued at their annual meeting now underway, recommends that psychologists show support, facilitate patients' coping and help them explore their identity and development "without imposing a specific sexual orientation identity outcome." Warren Throckmorton. an associate professor of psychology at Grove City (PA) College, a Christian liberal arts college, in an analysis at Christian Post, compliments the authors for their 'balanced and thoughtful approach." Throckmorton writes: There are different assumptions about what best constitutes the answer to the question: 'who am I?' This paper nicely addresses these assumptions and acknowledges that people who are deeply committed to a non-gay-affirming religious position may stay same-sex attracted but not identify as gay. As the paper notes, this is an acceptable alternative.

Extradited priest remanded in custody
By Matthew Cooper
Press Association
Saturday, 8 August 2009

A former Roman Catholic priest was remanded in custody today after being extradited to Britain from the United States to face allegations of sexual abuse. Father James Robinson, 71, spoke only to confirm his name and date-of-birth during a two-minute hearing at Birmingham Magistrates' Court. The clergyman, who was not asked to enter a plea, is alleged to have abused young boys in Walsall, Birmingham, Coventry and Wales between 1959 and 1983. Magistrates ordered Robinson, who has been living in California since the mid-1980s, to appear at Birmingham Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on November 3. There was no application for bail on behalf of Robinson, who faces a total of 22 charges, including 12 of indecent assault and three of gross indecency. A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said Robinson was successfully extradited from the USA on Thursday, landing at Heathrow Airport yesterday.

Church makes $13-million sex abuse settlement
Updated Fri. Aug. 7 2009 10:21 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff

The Catholic Church has agreed to a massive $13-million settlement in a sexual abuse lawsuit in Nova Scotia. The class action lawsuit was brought forward by Ronald Martin, whose brother, David, claimed he was sexually abused by the priest of their rural parish in a suicide note. It was the same abuse that Ronald Martin says he suffered from as well. "When I found out about that suicide note and what happened — I made a promise to him that his death would not be in vain," Martin told reporters Friday. The lawsuit alleged sexual abuse by priest in the community going back to the 1950s. About 25 people had signed onto the class-action suit. David Martin died in 2002 and his death led to charges to the priest, Hugh Vincent MacDonald. MacDonald, who died in 2004, had faced rape and indecent assault charges involving 18 children between the ages of eight and 15. Three other priests implicated in the lawsuit have also died.

Atheist signs to be put back on Des Moines buses
8/8/2009, 3:26 p.m. EDT
The Associated Press

(AP) — DES MOINES, Iowa -An atheist group's advertising signs will soon be put back on Des Moines-area buses after controversy prompted officials to remove them. The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority decided Friday evening to put the signs back on the buses. The ads are sponsored by the Iowa Atheist and Free Thinkers group. They read, "Don't believe in God? You are not alone." They went up earlier this month, but officials removed them after receiving complaints. DART spokesman Brad Miller says putting the signs back honors freedoms protected through shared civil liberties.

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

3 tortured in Bangladesh for proclaiming Christ
BP News
Aug 6, 2009

DHAKA, Bangladesh (BP)–At the urging of local Muslim leaders, police in western Bangladesh have tortured a pastor and two other Christians for legally proclaiming Christ. Habibur Rahman, 45, pastor of Boalia Spiritual Church in Boalia in Cuadanga district, 136 miles west of Dhaka, said he was about to meet with 11 others for a monthly meeting on evangelism June 8 when local police stormed in and seized him and Zahid Hassan, 25, and a 40-year-old Christian identified only as Fazlur. The first question the police commander asked him, Rahman said, was, "Why did you become Christian?" "Using a lot of filthy words, he charged me that I was teaching the Bible and converting people to Christianity in this area," the pastor told Compass Direct News. In May, a police patrol chief had threatened to seize him at a church meeting but was misinformed about the time it would take place, Rahman said.

Death Toll Climbs in Attack by Islamic Sect in Nigeria
By Lekan Otufodunrin
Compass Direct News
Fri, Aug. 07 2009 03:58 PM EDT

LAGOS, Nigeria – With 12 Christians, including three pastors, confirmed killed in rioting ignited by an Islamic sect opposed to Western education, the Christian community in northern Nigeria’s Borno state is still counting its losses. The rioting instigated by an Islamic extremist sect known as Boko Haram, which initially attacked police and government bases, left hundreds of people dead and large property losses. Sharia (Islamic law) is already in force for Muslims in 12 northern states, but the sect is fighting to have it enforced more broadly in those states and to impose it throughout Nigeria. “We are still taking inventory of how the crisis affected our members, but so far we have confirmed some of the Christians killed and churches burnt,” Samuel Salifu, national secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), told Compass.

Pakistani Christians murdered over rumor
Allie Martin
OneNewsNow
8/7/2009 5:40:00 AM

Christians in Pakistan have succeeded in getting officials to file a complaint against local security officials and Muslim clerics in connection with a murderous rampage targeting believers. On August 1, seven Christians were killed in Gojra after rampaging Muslims set fire to more than 50 houses. The Muslims were acting on an unsubstantiated rumor that someone had blasphemed a copy of the Koran. Dr. Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, says Taliban leaders are gaining power throughout much of Pakistan. "The Taliban is finding itself in a position in many parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan of literally being the de facto government. The Pakistani government and of course the U.S.-backed Afghan government are trying to root out the Taliban in new waves of military intervention," he points out. "But at the grass roots level, in many of the provinces and villages, the Taliban continues to be the law of the land." Christians make up less than five percent of the population in Pakistan, which is mainly Muslim

Assyrian People Worldwide Commemorate Martyrs Day

By Ethan Cole
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Aug. 07 2009 03:40 PM EDT

The Assyrian people, most popularly known as Iraq’s Christian population, are observing Martyrs Day on Friday to remember those in their community who have died due to persecution. From Los Angeles to North Iraq, the Assyrian (also known as Chaldean and Syriac) diaspora are holding events to remember past persecutions as well as highlight the ongoing suffering of the community. Events are planned for San Jose, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, Detroit, New York, London, Paris, Stockholm, Amsterdam, North Iraq, Syria, Iran and other locations. The date, Aug. 7, was chosen to commemorate the 1933 massacre of 3,000 Assyrians by the Iraqi army. In 1933, the Iraqi army promised the men in the Assyrian town of Simele and its neighbors that they would be safe if they surrendered their weapons. However, after they gave up their weapons, the army used machine guns to kill the Assyrian men, women and children in the town. Thousands died between Aug. 8 and 11 that year..

Pakistan faces Christian protest after eight people 'burned alive'
Missionary schools across Pakistan closed on Monday in a three day protest against the deaths of up to seven Christians who were burned alive in clashes with Muslims.
Telegraph.co.uk
Aug 3, 2009

Two children – a brother and sister aged six and 13 – their parents and 75-year-old grandfather were among those killed in violence that broke out in Gojra in Punjab province on Saturday. One report said that six Christians died in flames, while two were killed by gunshots. Muslims torched Christians' homes following unsubstantiated allegations some of them had desecrated the Koran. Some 40 homes were burned down. Paramilitary troops and other security forces were patrolling the city Monday. Gojra is in Pakistan's Faisalabad region, which is dotted with hard- line Islamist schools. Government officials have said preliminary investigations showed there was no desecration of the Koran and that a "rumour" was being exploited by anti-state elements to create chaos.

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