Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 101
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Somewhere In Between
On the outside looking in
wondering what it might have been
if Adam and Eve had chosen love for You
rather than what set creation askew
I can count on one hand those who’d know
what the following words might mean
“one foot here and one foot there
existing somewhere in between”
Not of this world
not yet of the next
can leave a person
On the outside looking in
Your truth has opened my eyes
this jewel has lost its luster
I watch its own demise
One foot here and one foot there
and a passage that I’ve yet to earn
not of this world, not of the next
for my sake You help me not to yearn
Your work is not yet completed
and it’s Your timing not mine
I am Your humble servant
who's faith says it will all be fine
Inside and outside
around and about
above and beyond
there’s no single doubt
a plan is in place to restore this fine gem
and whether I’m here or there
or existing somewhere in between
there will be a day when we convene
I await Your son, my dear Father
And the day all evil will be destroyed
for those who sow in tears
will reap with shouts of joy
Submitted by Johanna
I pray that You give us strength, courage and love as we continue to follow Your light along the narrow path that leads to You. I want to thank You for what You do for us to help us spread Your Truth. I continuously pray that the lost will find Your light among this dark and sinful world we live in so they can feel Your love and know Your Truth. I know that I tell You each and every time I pray how thankful I am for Your Son and what he has done for everyone and for what he continues to do for each one of us on a daily basis so Thank You Father. I pray Your Will is done in all things. In Christ Jesus, Your son and vindicator of righteous rule. Amen Father Yahweh.
Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself
One of the most important lessons learned in scripture, which is not only mentioned in both sections, the “old” and the “new,” of scripture, is to love one's neighbor as oneself. Now, the definition of one's neighbor may seem to be restricted to those that one lives around, but rather, Christ provided a much deeper explanation: Luke 10:30-36
The interesting thing about this is that, in a way, the Samaritan was a neighbor, not by physical locale, but by spiritual. The Samaritan's heart went out to the man on the road, and in that way, it was like he pitched his tent, his own dwelling, next to someone who was in need. The importance of this lesson is enormous, really, because it brings to great heights multiple, upon multiple, important and vital concepts that should not only be a part of one's mind, but also their heart.
At one extent, it shows mercy and generosity to those of one's own flesh. Now, by genealogy, many would say that they should take care of their own before they take care of anyone else, or that they should take care of themselves before they care for anyone else. Yet, there is such an enormous amount of wisdom behind seeing the fact that we all really came from one flesh to begin with, and at that, one source of energy, our Father Yahweh. So, if at any one time one even has the glimpse of a thought that they are actually separate in flesh from another because of skin color, mentality, attitude, or any other form, it must be truly considered that none of those would even be if it all didn't come from One maker. Moreover, the growth of such attitudes requires that they be put into practice, so as to show that faith without works is dead. The biggest problem, though, might be a wrongful fear that by opening one's heart to another who is in need, that they, themselves, will find themselves in a very bad position. Yet, if Father provided enough for oneself to be able to help another, then Father can provide more than enough if more drastic measures must be taken. Consider when the five thousand and four thousand were each fed with bread and fish. And if one is concerned that they would be taken advantage of and lose all their possessions, consider that not only does all that one have belong to Father Yahweh, but also of what had happened to Job, in all his afflictions, and then how Father had restored him.
All too often, at the same time, it is seen that a lot of the teachings that scripture has are either not heeded, or the amoral lessons that others seem to have profited from are more worth following. Often, a question arises as to what benefits oneself in being honest, or in helping one who is staggering in the street. Why would one ever want to volunteer oneself to help another who cannot improve one's own situation, but rather, possibly just make it all worse? Personally, I've only ever seen that the selfishness and greediness of keeping one's material possessions to oneself become a detriment to the owner. One might try to keep their sword to themselves, but end up only watching their sword turn to rust. Or if they try to store up a surplus of food for themselves, but only to see it be raided or burned by their enemies. Trying to gather up all of one's own retirement money just to be able to live an easier life after they decide to quit their work could be like surrendering to wrongful attitudes.
Now, another concept that might be considered about loving another as themselves is about how one does love themselves. One could simply say that they hate themselves, and therefore are under no obligation to love anyone else. This is only a trap, and from where this came from, I cannot fathom, but whatever one does, that must never be an attitude that one allows to become a part of themselves. That is a very dark and dangerous place to be, where even the Light causes one to be blind although in the darkness there is already blindness. Not to mention the horrid noises and feelings that dwell there.
On the other hand, one must also consider that they do not feed themselves poison, nor beat themselves out of wrongful perceptions, especially under Father and Christ. A child of Yahweh just wouldn't destroy the very vessel that Father has blessed them with, as that would ultimately be an unloving act against One Whom loves them. Thus, as one would be a neighbor to another, they wouldn't do anything but good for their close relative.
Now in relation to the current times and the woes that are still to come, it might be wondered what should be done. I couldn't possibly rephrase all of what Christ had taught and shared. This is only one small parable of what had been taught in scripture, and I do not believe that the lesson has even been thoroughly investigated, yet. If there is anything, though, it wouldn't be in simply gathering up fleshly supplies of things that only sustain the body and not the spirit. That would leave one dead no matter what they do, as even fleshly supplies may not even do what they say or are believed they are supposed to do. Rather, full preparation in all ways possible, from the ground up, are necessary. This isn't preparation that one comes up on their own, but rather, is something that comes out of Father's inspiration and guidance. Part of this preparation is in one's heart, and being willing to reach out to help others. There will indefinitely be people who are going to be left bloody and dying in the street. There already are! If one truly values what Father has prepared for them to help them in needy times, they will utilize those items in the way that Father intends.
Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
Cherubic Commander: Father is more than just Father. Christ Jesus said he came to make Father's name known. Yahweh is Father's name, and it is not improper to use it. Where all of you are taught to use Mr. and Mrs. or a last name as proper protocol, this does not exist in the spirit realm. As I am Cherubic Commander and Prince of Yahweh II is Prince of Yahweh II, Yahweh is our Creator and it is Her desire that we call upon Her name Yahweh. Use it often. If any of you died tonight, where would you be? At the doorway of the kingdom. Those that pass over are either future kingdom subjects, or they are slated for destruction. The decision rests within their hearts. But when Armageddon occurs, those souls will be lost to the second death. The reason all of you are still on this plane of existence is because Father wants continued works with your faith. We are all doing Father's work. I would much rather be in my angelic form than in Prince of Yahweh II's vessel, but I love our God Yahweh and will serve in any form She asks of me. May Her will take place on earth as it has in heaven. Amen.
Regina: You've touched on a subject that I just read very recently, last night or the night before I believe…about faith and works.
James 2:22 You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected.
James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
James 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Cherubic Commander: Those words are so true. Some will say "The Bible says you are saved by faith and not works." The dept of that statement means: Works alone cannot save anyone. The faith in our Creator and Christ Jesus comes first, and works follow because the heart is moved to serve Father by works. Those that believe otherwise and wish to sit on faith alone must be asked this question: If Noah had faith Father could deliver him, but he failed to build the Ark of Salvation, would he have been saved anyway? The answer is simple. NO! Why? Because he failed to obey Father's commands. In all things we MUST obey what Father says. Therefore, faith alone would have doomed him and his family had they not had works with their faith in deliverance.
Deborah: Regina found the following site that has a really wonderful video at the bottom. Is this one of the discoveries you speak of? http://www.weirdasianews.com/2008/04/13/japans-underwater-pyramid/
Cherubic Commander: Yes, that is a pyramid from the preflood era. Beneath the structure, which they have not yet investigated, there they will find evidence that the pyramid served as an alter to the serpent god. If you are not yet aware, an Aztec pyramid was designed to cast a shadow of a snake body that met the serpents head during a certain time of the day as the shadow was cast. It slowly appeared to move until it joined the head of the serpent. This is all a carry over from the old world, because what went on there was discussed by Noah and his family and the children that were later born. Though it was to teach them that serpent worship was evil, some chose to revive the old ways.
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
Breaking news: Mega UFO event as millions see 'motherships' in China
Michael Cohen firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Sina.com China Daily
Two huge, rotating, glowing, mist shrouded, mother-ship type UFOs have been seen by millons of residents in the Chinese cities and regions of Shahe, Xingtai, Ren County, South County, as well as Yongnian County. The event occurred on the evening of 20 August beginning at around 8:30pm. The UFO crafts hovered above, making large circles over the area, for over two hours and had locals terrified. Police received thousands of calls regarding the UFOs and various government authorities have rushed to the area to investigate further. Officials have offered explanations as to what the object was. One theory is that it was a laser light show. Another that it was a bizarre weather pattern.
Large rectangular-shaped UFO witnessed over Troy, Montana
August 23, 2009
Two security officers standing along Spokane Avenue in Troy, Montana, watched a silent rectangular-shaped UFO crossing the sky on August 10, 2009, according to witness testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The object was described as "a large/huge rectangle shaped object (reminded me of a gigantic gum eraser) with 1-2 constant white lights towards the front & one rotating/blinking(not sure which)red light towards the rear." Total observation time was 5 to 10 minutes before the object disappeared over a mountain range. Troy is a city in Lincoln County, northwest Montana, population 957.
UFO events in Nigeria
The question is sometimes asked as to why UFOs are not seen often in Africa. The answer is simple: They are seen. All the time and as much as anywhere else. Much of Africa's population still live traditional lives in isolated rural areas. Most Africans simply do not have access to the Internet, Communications networks or media outlets that westerners take for granted.Most do not own mobile phones with or without camera's. As a result virtually all UFO sightings remain unreported but by no means forgotten by those that experience them. Some sighting reports do make it to the west and Nigeria is one nation that is known to experience high levels of UFO activity.
PHOTO: UFO spotted by pensioner in skies over Lincolnshire
Published Date: 25 August 2009
By Neil Graham
Tuesday, 5.10pm – ALLINGTON pensioner Basil Peacock spotted this UFO flying in the Lincolnshire skies and managed to grab a picture thanks to his quick-thinking nephew. The peculiar object, not dissimilar in shape and colour to a 'Nice 'n' Spicy Nik Nak', was seen at 11pm on Saturday, August 1. The object was first orange in colour but then changed to green before reverting back to orange. Basil's 14-year-old nephew, who lives in Wales, took two photographs of the UFO – one in its green form and one in its orange. However, in the green picture the object disappeared. Basil, 84, of Park Avenue, Allington, said: "I was just about to have a bath when I saw it. I called to my nephew and he came running with his camera. "There was no noise and it was travelling at a terrific speed.
UFO Hovers over Chongqing for Half an Hour
Source:People's Daily Onl
At about 10 pm on the evening of August 23, a UFO appeared in the sky above Beibei Binjiang Road in Chongqing. The UFO was “V” shaped and its color changed in the order of red, blue, green, yellow and white at short intervals. Hundreds of people watched but no one heard any sound produced by engines or propulsion equipment. During the half hour that the UFO appeared, a civil airplane passed by. Witnesses compared the civil airplane to the UFO and discovered that the UFO was obviously flying at a higher attitude. After hovering for about half an hour, the periphery of the UFO began to twinkle and then it disappeared in the night sky.
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
Old American Dams Quietly Become a Multibillion-Dollar Threat
by Alexis Madrigal
August 25, 2009
Last week, a Siberian hydroelectric dam failed when an explosion rocked the site’s turbine room, killing dozens and taking 6,000 megawatts of electricity offline. While the tragedy’s ultimate causes are unclear, Russian media has been questioning the state of the aging Soviet-made infrastructure. Dams are getting older in the United States, too. The average age of America’s 80,000 dams is 51 years. More than 2,000 dams near population centers are in need of repair, according to statistics released this month by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials. Last year, 140 dams were fixed, but inspectors discovered 368 more that need help. That’s why the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our dams a grade of “D” in its 2009 report on the nation’s infrastructure. There are just too many aging dams and too few safety inspectors. “With the huge number of dams getting older every day, it’s becoming a bigger and bigger problem,” said Larry Roth, deputy executive director of the ASCE. “The policing of maintenance and filing of inspection records is relatively haphazard, not because of lack of focus or knowledge of significance, but they just don’t have the monetary resources to do it.”
Japan jobless rate hits new high
by Roland Buerk
August 28, 2009
Japan's jobless rate hit a record 5.7% in July and consumer prices fell at a record pace, figures released days before a general election have shown. Companies are continuing to lay off workers even though the economy has returned to growth after the most bruising recession for decades. The state of Japan's economy is the key issue in the election campaign. Opinion polls show that the governing Liberal Democratic Party faces defeat in the election. It has held power for 53 of the past 54 years. Recovery doubts In July, 3,590,000 Japanese were out of work in July, over a million more than a year ago. Japan's economy grew by 0.9% between April and June, but the latest figures cast doubt on the strength of the recovery. "The recent growth was mainly due to government spending and was not a self-sustaining recovery in the Japanese economy," said Hiroshi Watanabe at Mizuho Investors Securties. "We're unlikely to see a swift recovery for the time being," he added.
GM monkeys with DNA of THREE parents raises hope of eradicating incurable diseases
by David Derbyshire
August 26, 2009
A revolutionary IVF technique that creates babies with three biological parents has been developed by scientists. The procedure – designed to stop the spread of incurable inherited diseases – has been used to produce four apparently healthy monkeys. Scientists believe it could lead to the first genetically engineered children within a few years. Revolutionary: Twins Mito and Tracker are two of the monkeys who were born using an IVF technique that creates babies with three biological parents. They were named after a dye called Mitotracker used in the procedure The technique is intended to help women who carry genetic diseases. It involves transferring DNA from the mother's own faulty egg cell to a healthy egg donated by another woman.
China admits to organ harvesting
August 26, 2009
China is trying to move away from the use of executed prisoners as the major source of organs for transplants. According to the China Daily newspaper, executed prisoners currently provide two-thirds of all transplant organs. The government is now launching a voluntary donation scheme, which it hopes will also curb the illegal trafficking in organs. But analysts say cultural bias against removing organs after death will make a voluntary scheme hard to implement. Thriving black market About 1.5 million people in China need transplants, but only about 10,000 operations are performed annually, according to the health ministry. The scarcity of available organs has led to a thriving black market in trafficked organs, and in an effort to stop this the government passed a law in 2007 banning trafficking as well as the donation of organs to unrelated recipients.
U.N. Report Advocates Teaching Masturbation to 5-Year-Olds
by Joseph Abrams
August 26, 2009
NEW YORK — The United Nations is recommending that children as young as five receive mandatory sexual education that would teach even pre-kindergarteners about masturbation and topics like gender violence. The U.N.'s Economic, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released a 98-page report in June offering a universal lesson plan for kids ranging in age from 5-18, an "informed approach to effective sex, relationships" and HIV education that they say is essential for "all young people." The U.N. insists the program is "age appropriate," but critics say it's exposing kids to sex far too early, and offers up abstract ideas — like "transphobia" — they might not even understand. "At that age they should be learning about … the proper name of certain parts of their bodies," said Michelle Turner, president of Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, "certainly not about masturbation." Turner was disturbed by UNESCO's plans to explain to children as young as nine about the safety of legal abortions, and to advocate and "promote the right to and access to safe abortion" for everyone over the age of 15. "This is absurd," she told FOXNews.com.
Signs in Humanity
Police: Teen Mom Hid Pregnancy Then Killed Newborn
August 27, 2009
HENDERSON, Nev. — A 19-year-old Las Vegas-area woman has been arrested on allegations that she hid her pregnancy and then killed her newborn son because she was afraid her mother would be mad at her for giving birth out of wedlock. Henderson police spokesman Keith Paul says Carmela Camero was booked into jail Wednesday on suspicion of murder. Authorities say she called a hospital Monday and said she delivered a baby and that it stopped breathing. Police and paramedics who arrived at the home found the newborn dead. Police allege Camero hid the pregnancy, delivered the child by herself at her home Sunday and then suffocated him. An arrest report says Camero told investigators she smothered the baby because she was afraid her mother would throw her out of the house. Henderson Justice Court records do not list an attorney for Camero, and she declined a request for comment Thursday at the Henderson Detention Center. Camero is being held without bail.
South African lesbians live in fear of 'corrective rape'
by Tanya Braun
August 30, 2009
In the antiseptic setting of a modern courthouse in a town near Johannesburg, the life and death of a young sports star is being dissected. She was no ordinary young woman. An outstanding footballer, she had captained her country and was hoping to be the first female to referee at a World Cup. But her brutal death, and the apparent motive for it, is all too ordinary here. For Eudy Simelane was a lesbian, and this, say campaigners, was why she was raped and savagely murdered. This is the land of "corrective rape". Despite South Africa having one of the most enlightened constitutions in the world, traditional views about sexuality still run deep. In many quarters, especially male ones, lesbians are resented, perhaps even feared. And to some young men the remedy is simple: rape. Each year, ActionAid estimates, 500,000 women are raped in South Africa, with lesbians a particular target. The warped logic is that the assault will "cure" them. As a result, says ActionAid, 86 per cent of black lesbians live in fear of rape. Their anxiety is understandable: only a minority of rapes are reported to the police and, of these, only one in five ends up in court, with a meagre 4 per cent of them ending in a conviction.
Police: California Girl Kidnapped 18 Years Ago Kept as Sex Slave in Couple's Backyard
August 27, 2009
An 11-year-old California girl kidnapped in 1991 while waiting for a school bus has been found alive, and a convicted sex offender is accused of raping and fathering two children with her while he and his wife held her captive in their backyard. Despite the shocking revelations, the discovery of Jaycee Lee Dugard brought sudden relief to her family 18 years after their young girl disappeared. Dugard had been kept with the two girls, ages 11 and 15, in a series of tents and sheds hidden behind the Antioch, Calif., home of Phillip and Nancy Garrido, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday at a news conference. The couple has been arrested on several charges stemming from the discovery. Dugard and her two daughters are "in good health, but living in a backyard for the past 18 years does take its toll," Undersheriff Fred Kollar said. Now 29, Dugard was reunited Thursday with her mother, who was overjoyed to learn the ordeal was over and the daughter she feared dead was actually alive and well.
ADHD Drug Abuse Rising Among Teens
by Jennifer Warner
August 24, 2009
Aug. 24, 2009 — The abuse of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs by teenagers is growing, according to a new study. Researchers found calls to poison control centers for adolescent ADHD prescription drug abuse increased out of proportion to other poison center calls in recent years, which suggests a growing problem with abuse of these stimulant drugs. The study, published in Pediatrics, tracked calls to U.S. poison control centers from 1998 to 2005 among 13- to 19-year-olds. "Calls related to teenaged victims of prescription ADHD medication abuse rose 76%, which is faster than calls for victims of substance abuse generally and teen substance abuse," write researcher Jennifer Setlik, MD, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and colleagues. ADHD affects between 8% and 12% of children and 4% of adults worldwide, and there has been a significant increase in the sale of stimulant drugs designed to treat the condition in recent years.
Are social networks making students more narcissistic?
by Sharon Jayson
August 25, 2009
College students say social networking makes them more narcissistic, a national survey reports today — and they also believe their generation is the most narcissistic of all. That's what a majority of 1,068 college students said when asked about narcissism in a poll on social networking sites in June by Ypulse. More than half (57%) said their peers used social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter for self-promotion, narcissism and attention-seeking. And 92% said they used MySpace or Facebook regularly. Two-thirds said their generation was more self-promoting, narcissistic, overconfident and attention-seeking than others. The survey was done with Jean Twenge, associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University and co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic. Other researchers, however, say self-promotion doesn't have to be a negative.
Arks of Safe Haven
"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and to not ignore your own flesh [and blood]?" Isaiah 58:7
The mission of Arks of Safe Haven is to connect via an extensive network and online message board forum, those individuals and families who have been affected by recent economic downfalls and are in need with those individuals who are ready, willing and capable of providing assistance to those in need with employment, shelter, work, food, clothing and other necessities.
Coupled with our primary mission of delivering the Kingdom Message of Salvation, the assistance of Arks of Safe Haven is available to all who are in need. Our purposeful intention is to follow in the footsteps of Christ as our example, by providing hope to the hopeless and answering the prayers of those who have been forced to live outside of society.
How You Can Help?
In order to provide for those whose outcry of prayers have reached our heavenly Father's ears, Arks of Safe Haven is seeking out those who are able to provide shelter, whether it be an extra bedroom, empty rental property or a work for room and board agreement. Additionally, we also act as a liaison in connecting those with tangible items to donate to those in need like Food, Water, Clothing, & Other Personal Items. We pray that your heart is motivated to make a contribution, no matter how small. Visit http://www.arksofsafehaven.org and view the many posts from those in need to see if you're able to help with advice, prayers or goods & services.
HelpHelen – Tarzana, CA. – Hi, I lost my job in February and since then I try desperately to find another one. It's difficult when we are alone with no family, no one. I was on CBS2 news on Thursday July 30 http://email@example.com I am at the end of the rope, I do not know what I am going to do. I am scare to lose my kitties, they are all I have. They are all my life, my apartment and my life. I am scare to lose also all my belongings. I love my apartment. I need a miracle now, The Sheriff is coming to lock me out this week if I did not pay a part of the rent ($800) by tomorrow. So please help me if you can. I am in a desperate situation. Thank you with all my heart. I need a job. You can also check my friend website about me. http://www.myephemerae.com/ I am the only child of two only children. I have no living relatives. My husband and daughter were also killed in a car accident. The only living things I have to comfort me are my cats. If I am put out on the street, I will also lose my cats. I am scared to death. How can I ever find a job if I am living on the streets??? How can I find a job if my phone is discontinued??? All my life I have been helping people, volunteering and donating. But now I need help desperately. I am running out of time. I am by myself. I lost all of my family. My personal tragedy from a few years ago has devastated me. While I am totally broke, and struggling for my life, I continue to believe in myself and I know that I have the skills to be a great employee. I try hard to have a positive attitude but I need to get back on my feet before it's too late. What I want now is just a job, to be able to pay my rent and my bills and to come back on my feet. But to find a job I need first to keep my apartment and pay my utilities. I have nowhere to go. I have good references and a great resume. I cannot tell you how much I want to work. And I cannot tell you how diligently I have worked to get a job … almost any job … to sustain myself. I am not a lazy person I am a hard worker. The CBS2 news story did not bring anything to me yet. No phone calls or emails from employers. The Craigslist ad brings me more scammers and people willing to take advantage of me, like this guy asking for me to sleep with him in exchange for money. I am not doing that. I will never use my body for money or anything else. Another guy was proposing me something to me that was a total fraud. What are those people thinking? I am 3 months behind my rent including landlord's attorney fee ($3900). The landlord and their attorney like me a lot because I am a very good tenant and my apartment is very clean but he is still evicted me. Deal with the landlord. I have to pay him $800.00 every 2 weeks until December, this is impossible when we have no money.. Now I am very scare if I am evicted I am going to lose everything including my kitties. I am scare to dead and I will not find any job either if I am evicted. Please help me. Thank you. I was force to sign an agreement. On August 7th I gave the landlord $800.00 not to put me out. Friends were helping me but unfortunately they cannot anymore. That money was made up of $50.00 from one person, $200.00 from another person and a third person borrowed $550.00 to loan to me. But it only bought me a short two weeks stay of execution which is up on August 21st. On August 21st my friends and I did not have the money to pay the landlord, so I need $800 by tomorrow Monday to give me 2 more weeks to try to find a job, but weeks pass so fast that I am really at the end of the rope. Unfortunately, I had two other responses. One was a man offering to pay my rent for the month if I would sleep with him (NO WAY). The other was a "job opportunity" in Torrance. My friend Marlene drove me to Torrance but it turned out to be a video phone business that wanted $499.00 for the privilege of selling their phones for $200.00 down and $29.95 plus taxes every month. We didn't have the $499.00 to get started and the company didn't pay until you sold a bunch of phones with contracts. And there were no guarantees. I don't even have any money to take the bus. My bike is my only means of transportation. I cannot go far really: 10 miles at most. I am struggling for my life. I hope to see the end of my ordeal. I need a miracle and I hope that one will come soon. PLEASE HELP ME. HELP ME IF YOU CAN. Thank you. Thank you. Helen Hatat Tarzana, CA 91356 818-975-0517 HelpHelen@RoadRunner.com P. S. Marlene Naumann would be happy to answer any questions you might have about my struggle. Her Email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell = 818-681-8045
unluckygirl – Reno, NV. – im a single mother to twin girls, and not to long ago i lost my job, and i havent been able to find another one. due to a mistake that the case worker made, and they can not reverse, im not able to get food stamps for 2 months! ive been to the food banks, and gotten what we could from them. but we all have alergies, so most the things we cannot eat/use! im praying that someone who is able would be willing to take me shopping for basic food for the house so that we can eat a real meal! if ur able to help god bless u! if not.. god bless u too! i know these times are hard and people r doing alot worse than us,……hope to hear from someone soon. im located downtown reno nv.
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
Six Kamchatka Volcanoes Exhibit Activity Simultaneously For the First Time in Sixty Years The Gorely volcano may soon erupt
PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY. August 24. VOSTOK-MEDIA – For the first time in sixty years six Kamchatka volcanoes exhibit activity simultaneously. They are Koryaksky, Shiveluch, Bezimyanny, Gorely, Karymsky volcanoes and Klyuchevskaya Sopka Volcano. All of them spout steam and gas almost simultaneously. “This is a rarity. For the first time in sixty years the six volcanoes show activity,” Kamchatka scientists from the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology stated. At present they are trying to figure out the reasons behind the increase of activity of the Kamchatka volcanoes. Experts assure that the volcanoes pose no hazard to life for the time being. But the gas and vapor releases do threaten the aviation.
Earthquake: Signs Point to Greater Peninsula Effect from 'the Big One'
August 23, 2009
By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
The possible projected impact area of a long-predicted 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Washington has moved closer to the North Olympic Peninsula, some scientists are saying, emphasizing it's a "best guess." The fault line of the Cascadia Subduction Zone will crack farther east than earlier predicted, changing from breaking completely offshore, about 25 miles beneath the Earth's surface, John Vidale, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Center at the University of Washington, said Thursday. Seismic tests and GPS measurements indicate the fault's eastern edge will reach under the surface of the North Olympic Peninsula, he said. "What's changed is the limits of where fault breakage might be," Vidale said. "It's now stretching out as much as maybe 30 miles from the coast under the Olympic Peninsula. "The most recent evidence suggests the rupture might reach perhaps as much as halfway across the Peninsula."
Floods leave 427 people dead, 126 missing in China
BEIJING, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) — Floods this year in China have left 427 people dead and 126 missing as of Monday, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters (SFDH) announced on Tuesday. Floods had hit 29 provinces or regions and affected 91.88 million people and 7.12 million hectares of crops, resulting in 71.1 billion yuan (10.41 billion U.S. dollars) of losses, said a statement on the SFDH website. A severe drought in the main grain production bases in north China this summer had affected up to 191 million mu (27.96 million hectares) of crops — about 35 percent more than the average in the previous years, said the statement. The acreage of farmland suffering drought shrank to 126 million mu as of Monday, about 65 million mu less than the peak figure. The central government had allocated 1.85 billion yuan to the provincial governments to fight droughts and floods, said Tian Yitang, an official with the SFDH.
Greek wildfires leave thousands of acres of forest razed to the ground and hundreds of people homeless – UPDATE
By Mail Foreign Service
25th August 2009
The massive wildfire that destroyed homes and forests has receded as a flames that at one point threatened Athens' northern suburbs and raged near the ancient battleground at Maratho were beaten back. As winds died down late yesterday, Greek Fire Brigade spokesman Yiannis Kappakis said there were "no significant active fronts" left of the fire, which for days has sent a pall of smoke over the capital. Kappakis said more than 1,000 firefighters and soldiers would remain on duty in case the blazes revived. 'The danger of the fires flaring up again is not yet over,' he said. Since Saturday the fire has razed some 21,000 hectares of pine forest, olive grove, brush and farmland and Greek officials say 150 homes were damaged. Experts warned it would take generations to replace the lost forests, many of which were burnt beyond the hope of natural regrowth.
Methane seeps from Arctic sea-bed
By Judith Burns
Science and environment reporter, BBC News
August 18, 2009
Scientists say they have evidence that the powerful greenhouse gas methane is escaping from the Arctic sea-bed. Researchers say this could be evidence of a predicted positive feedback effect of climate change. As temperatures rise, the sea-bed grows warmer and frozen water crystals in the sediment break down, allowing methane trapped inside them to escape. The research team found that more than 250 plumes of methane bubbles are rising from the sea-bed off Norway. The joint British and German research team detected the bubbles using a type of sonar normally used to search for shoals of fish. Once detected, the bubbles were sampled and tested for methane at a range of depths.
Natural Disaster Update
5.0 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA
5.1 OFF E. COAST OF N. ISLAND, N.Z.
5.0 ADRIATIC SEA
5.5 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.2 KURIL ISLANDS
5.2 CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.5 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA
5.6 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
5.3 EAST OF KURIL ISLANDS
5.5 MOLUCCA SEA
5.0 BATAN ISL REGION, PHILIPPINES
5.0 JUJUY, ARGENTINA
5.0 SOUTHEAST OF RYUKYU ISLANDS
5.4 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
5.1 ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE
5.1 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.5 MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.3 NEGROS- CEBU REG, PHILIPPINES
5.0 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.1 WESTERN SAUDI ARABIA
5.4 EAST OF KURIL ISLANDS
5.0 NEAR COAST OF NORTHERN PERU
5.2 COOK STRAIT, NEW ZEALAND
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.0 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA
5.0 KYUSHU, JAPAN
5.0 NORTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA
5.3 NORTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA
5.5 NORTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA
6.2 NORTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA
5.2 D'ENTRECASTEAUX ISLANDS REGION
6.8 BANDA SEA
5.0 KEPULAUAN BATU, INDONESIA
5.1 SOUTH OF MARIANA ISLANDS
5.2 NORTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA
5.3 OWEN FRACTURE ZONE REGION
5.0 OFFSHORE CHIAPAS, MEXICO
5.2 OFF COAST OF OREGON
WASHINGTON – The possible projected impact area of a long-predicted 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Washington has moved closer to the North Olympic Peninsula, some scientists are saying, emphasizing it's a "best guess." The fault line of the Cascadia Subduction Zone will crack farther east than earlier predicted, changing from breaking completely offshore, about 25 miles beneath the Earth's surface. Seismic tests and GPS measurements indicate the fault's eastern edge will reach under the surface of the North Olympic Peninsula. "What's changed is the limits of where fault breakage might be. It's now stretching out as much as maybe 30 miles from the coast under the Olympic Peninsula. The most recent evidence suggests the rupture might reach perhaps as much as halfway across the Peninsula." But not all agree that it will make a difference when the big one hits. If such a earthquake occured as predicted, it would make the impact of the temblor on Clallam and Jefferson counties — with a combined population of 100,000 — that much worse than scientists first thought by about 10 percent or 15 percent. Scientists do agree a 9.0 earthquake will rattle the Pacific Northwest sometime in the next few hundred years or so when the Cascadia Subduction Zone Fault breaks, creating destruction along a 2,000-mile area from Northern California to Vancouver Island, British Columbia. They don't know when the earthquake will hit, they just know that earthquake history and the inexorable movement of the earth's continents and the tectonic plates guarantees it. When the earthquake rumbles its way off coastal California, Oregon and Washington, "it will be like a big zipper going up and down the entire coast." It would likely destroy non-earthquake proof structures, compromise fill-areas along city shorelines, and isolate rural areas by destroying bridges and roads.
Powerful earthquakes that have jolted Asia recently do not presage a disaster, although it is only a matter of time before the next catastrophe befalls the quake-prone region, seismologists say. From India to Japan, Indonesia and as far south as New Zealand, the region has been rattled by what appear to be a connected spate of strong quakes in the past few weeks. Luckily they have caused little damage and few casualties, but for people living in countries straddling the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire" of major fault-lines, each new tremor raises the question: when will the "big one" hit? Japan in particular has been bracing itself for an expected magnitude-eight quake believed most likely to strike in the Tokai region near Tokyo. People even have a name for the anticipated disaster: the Tokai Quake. Experts say quakes in particular areas may be related, but they see no link between quakes on different boundaries of tectonic plates, such as the huge 7.5-magnitude tremor that shook the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean and the 6.4-magnitude quake that hit Japan almost simultaneously on August 11. It might look like there has been a lot of quakes recently but the numbers from year to year are stable. "About 5,000 to 6,000 quakes over a magnitude of 4.5 take place in the Indonesian region every year, this number hasn't changed."
OKLAHOMA – An earthquake swarm that struck Jones on Thursday and Friday puzzled a state geologist. Not necessarily because of the number of quakes, but because of where they occurred. "They’re not in areas that we never had events before, but it’s a little UNUSUAL to have them out there.” Jones is about 20 miles east of the nearest fault zone, the Nemaha zone. The zone is about 400 miles long, extending from southeastern Nebraska to central Oklahoma. The swarm included eight quakes during a 14 1/2 hour span. Seven of the quakes registered magnitudes in the 2.3 to 2.7 range. The most powerful quake registered 3.7 on the Richter scale. A 3.4 magnitude quake also struck Seminole County on Thursday, about 15 miles northeast of Ada. "We don’t necessarily have any record of these leading up to some big event. It strangely enough seems to have quieted down, so I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions just yet.” An earthquake swarm last occurred in Oklahoma on Oct. 21, 2008, when nine small quakes were reported in southeast Oklahoma County and southwest Lincoln County. On Feb. 12, 2007, four small earthquakes were reported three miles northwest of Moore.
New research shows that seismic hazards haven't been limited to the New Madrid zone, instead, they "migrate" within the larger Mississippi Embayment, a former inland sea filled with sediment deposited by the river. The embayment was formed when the continent nearly broke apart eons ago, creating a trough that was flooded by the Gulf of Mexico. "What we are learning is that the entire embayment acts as one fault system." It appears that the migration results from one earthquake episode transferring stress to another part of the embayment. That's why some faults become dormant while others are activated. Using new techniques to scan sediments thousands of feet beneath the Mississippi River bottom, researchers noticed a troubling crack that showed up like a bone fracture on an X-ray. It was an earthquake fault crisscrossing the river in front of Memphis. Up to a mile deep and stretching at least 25 miles from Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park to the Ensley Bottoms area, the fault could have produced an earthquake of up to 7.0 in magnitude sometime in the last 1.8 million years. Although there is no evidence the fault has been active recently, its presence indicates that earthquake activity moves around over time within a broad region of the Lower Mississippi Valley. "Faults that are active today might not be the only systems that generate earthquakes." The previously unknown fault lies well outside the New Madrid Seismic Zone, a network of fissures zigzagging from near Cairo, Ill., to Marked Tree, Ark., about 35 miles northwest of Memphis. The seismic zone triggers hundreds of small quakes each year.
INDIA – Scientists fear that a big earthquake is brewing and might hit India's northeastern Assam region soon. Two consecutive earthquakes measuring below five on the Richter scale shook Assam last week. Builders in the city are taking all precautions possible to avoid a collapse. The major worry among scientists is that Assam is seated on the highly volatile seismic zone five. Among all the earthquakes that Assam has experienced, the earthquakes of 1897 and 1950 are among the ten biggest earthquakes in history. Studies reveal that Assam records a major earthquake every 50 years, the last being in 1950.
Some slow-moving faults may help protect some regions of Italy and other parts of the world against destructive earthquakes, suggests new research. Until now, geologists thought when the crack between two pieces of the Earth's crust was at a very gentle slope, there was no movement along that particular fault line. "This study is the first to show that low-angle normal faults are definitely active." "We can show that the Alto Tiberina fault beneath Perugia is steadily slipping as we speak – fortunately, for Perugia, without producing large earthquakes." Perugia is the capital city of Italy's Umbria region. Perugia has not experienced a damaging earthquake in about 2,000 years. Because the fault is actively slipping, it might not be collecting strain. Creeping slowly is UNUSUAL. Most faults stick, causing strain to build up, and then become unstuck with a big jerk. There are numerous examples of low-angle normal faults that are thought to be inactive, including the western U.S., Italy, Greece and Tibet.
ALASKA – Pacific Energy wants to abandon its assets in the Cook Inlet. After the eruption of the Redoubt Volcano in April, Pacific Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Pacific Energy purchased the Forest Oil Alaska assets in 2007, but has not been able to move forward as promised on expanding these assets which include the Osprey platform, the Kustatan production facility, the West Forelands Gas Facility and others. Pacific Energy now wants out of the Cook Inlet. Pacific Energy's inability to find buyers for these assets comes because of the Redoubt Volcano, the shut-in of the Drift River Terminal and the crash of oil prices. Abandonment of their assets would be devastating to the local economy.
RUSSIA – For the FIRST TIME IN 60 YEARS six Kamchatka volcanoes exhibit activity simultaneously. They are Koryaksky, Shiveluch, Bezimyanny, Gorely, Karymsky volcanoes and Klyuchevskaya Sopka Volcano. All of them are spouting steam and gas almost simultaneously. At present they are trying to figure out the reasons behind the increase of activity of the Kamchatka volcanoes. Experts assure that the volcanoes pose no hazard to life for the time being. But the gas and vapor releases do threaten aviation. For the time being only Shiveluch poses a threat. The volcanic vent is full-brimmed with viscous lava. Scientists agree that Gorely volcano might soon erupt for the first time in twenty-two years. Water temperature of the lake located on top of the volcanic mountain is rising, which may well indicate oncoming eruption. The Gorely volcano is located 75 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
PHILIPPINES – Restive Mayon Volcano has recorded an increase in sulfur dioxide emission but this is no cause for alarm, according to the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Sunday, the volcano in Legaspi, Albay had 752 tons per day sulfur dioxide emission – more than double of its 362 tons/day emission on August 21. Mt. Mayon on August 20 and 19 recorded just 248 tons/day and 210 tons/day sulfur dioxide emission, respectively. “The increase in the sulfur dioxide is above normal but not significant.” Thus, the evaluation of Mt. Mayon is still at Alert Level 2 status (moderate unrest). Alert Level 2 means “a state of unrest which could lead to ash explosions or eventually to hazardous magmatic eruption.” On the other hand, Mt. Mayon also recorded two volcanic earthquakes Sunday. Phivolcs had recorded 57 volcanic earthquakes from the volcano from August 10 to 16. Mt. Mayon’s crater glow was at Intensity II and its steaming activity still remains at moderate levels.
PHILIPPINES – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Friday recorded another surge in the activities of the Mayon volcano with 13 new volcanic earthquakes detected by the seismic network from its apparent lull early this week. There were a total of 68 volcanic earthquakes from August 17 to 23 recorded by the seismic network. On Friday, sulfur dioxide emission recorded was as high as 615 tons per day, a high level compared to its baseline data of only 500 tons per day. Previous readings were only 380 tons per day last August 26 and 261 tons per day last August 24. The Defense Secretary after a briefing with the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council, said he has already signed the requested P1-million fund for the purchase of emergency equipment. These items would prepare the farmers at Barangays Buyuan and Padang of Legazpi who might be threatened by pyroclastic flow in case lava from the volcano’s crater collapses. Authorities are conducting rabies vaccination and mass neutering of dogs owned by residents living along the slopes of Mayon Volcano as a preemptive measure should families be displaced by evacuation efforts once the alert level is raised.
TROPICAL STORMS –
Hurricane Bill taunted the New England coastline from a distance today, after closing beaches and setting off a string of safety warnings for weekend boaters, swimmers and surfers along the eastern seaboard. President Barack Obama took no chances and planned a later arrival for his family vacation at Martha's Vineyard, which remained under a tropical storm warning early today. The worst of Bill was expected to pass east of Martha's Vineyard before the Obamas arrival. Forecasters said the hurricane would pick up speed during the day, pass the New England coast offshore and near Nova Scotia before approaching Newfoundland by tonight. A tropical storm warning remained in effect for the Massachusetts' coastline and a storm warning covered Nova Scotia's Atlantic coast. Even as it weakened to a Category 1 hurricane Saturday, the tempest churned up rough seas and dangerous rip tides. In Atlantic City, N.J., surfers gathered Saturday on beaches where 20-foot waves were expected. But only a few were willing to take their boards into the big swells. Some surfers just stood on the beach "with their eyes popping out" at the size of the waves. The stormy conditions were expected to last through the weekend. "It takes a while for the ocean to relax" after strong storms.
Hurricane Bill moved past Bermuda earlier Saturday, leaving behind sunny skies, debris and flooding, but no casualties. The storm cut power to about 3,700 customers and flooded some roads. All ferry service was canceled until Sunday.
Meanwhile, forecasters said Tropical Storm Hilda formed far out in the Pacific on Saturday but was not threatening land. It had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) and was not expected to strengthen. The Hurricane Center described it as a small storm.
About 60 to 70 tropical waves roll off the coast of Africa each storm season as big blobs of low pressure and hot air. After drifting over the Atlantic, many vanish. However, on average, one in six will bulk up and potentially threaten land masses thousands of miles away. This is the tropical process that coastal areas monitor every storm season, particularly in August and September, when waves are most likely to morph into tropical depressions, storms and hurricanes. A wave slides off the African coast every three days. Generally, they are spaced about 900 miles apart. "You can squeeze several of these into the Atlantic basin. Five to six at once is not unusual." Frequently, the waves originate in the moist warm air of an easterly air current over North Africa. They can develop up to 20,000 feet above the Earth. "These waves are actually strongest above the surface." If West Africa sees heavy rainfall during a storm season, that air current will carry more moisture and the waves will be stronger. Heat from the Sahara Desert also can spawn and strengthen waves. After the waves drift over the Atlantic, the weaker ones fade, sometimes because their internal pressure isn't low enough. Low pressure creates strong winds; as pressure drops, wind intensity increases. As thunderstorm activity increases, internal pressure decreases. The winds churn faster and swirl continuously around a center. That's when they are deemed tropical depressions, the first stage toward growing into storms and hurricanes.
Not all tropical storms grow out of waves. Sometimes, systems start out as a mass of cloudy weather or pockets of low pressure. In both instances, if there is enough warm moist air to spark a burst of thunderstorms, a storm could form. Still, about two-thirds of all tropical systems grow out of African waves. Even when there appears to be lull in the tropics, waves are quietly forming and drifting across the Atlantic. It's just a matter of which ones will eventually become storms and how strong they will grow.
MAINE – Three people were missing in Maine after a rogue wave hit a cliff in a national park, sweeping a group of sightseers into the Atlantic Ocean. Several thousand people were lined up along the park's Ocean Drive watching high waves thrown up by the passage of Hurricane Bill far out at sea when an unexpectedly powerful wave swept some onlookers into the ocean. "Right now, we've had nine people taken to hospital, three more were taken out of the water." The people taken to hospital had broken bones and back injuries. High waves of the type that hit Thunder Hole were not unusual and park officials had tried to warn onlookers to be careful. "I've seen other storm surges like this. They're quite dramatic.''
A New York investment banker was fighting for his life Monday in Maine after the huge freak wave swept him and his beloved 7-year-old daughter out to sea Sunday, drowning the girl. Friends said he doted on the girl, who was adopted from China as a baby, and he would have dived into the stormy seas to save her if the monster wave hadn't taken him away, too. His wife was also hospitalized with a broken leg. Up to 30 feet tall, the rogue wave rolled in just before noon, drenching the crowd of 10,000, battering some people against the rocks and sweeping seven out into the ocean. Four made it back to land, but the banker, his daughter and a 12-year-old were dragged into the sea. The family were leaving when the wave hit. "They thought they were safely away. They didn't see it coming." The Coast Guard plucked the banker and the 12-year-old out of the sea to cheers from thousands watching on shore who did not know the little girl had drowned. A total of 16 people were hospitalized, mainly for broken bones.
Sea temperature map – Updates on Bill, Hilda & Vamco from Monday. Bill will continue to speed east-northeast the next few days over the open waters of the northern Atlantic. By midweek, the powerful extra tropical low will bring heavy rain and gale-force winds to the British Isles. Hilda is likely to intensify into a hurricane and to continue on a track slightly north of due west for the next several days, passing south of Hawaii through the week. Vamco should not be a threat to land along its projected path.
Tropical Storm Ignacio is forecast to weaken as it rumbles far out in the Pacific Ocean.
Tropical Storm Danny has the U.S. East Coast in its sights but the storm is poorly organized. A tropical storm watch for the North Carolina coast remains in effect. Large swells are expected to produce dangerous surf and life-threatening rip currents along the U.S. East Coast over the next day or two. Danny's maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 kph) but forecasters say some strengthening is possible. The storm is centered about 445 miles (715 kilometers) south of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and moving northwest near 10 mph (16 kph). A turn to the north with an increase in speed is expected later in the day.
The National Hurricane Center now gives a strong wave near Africa a medium (30 to 50 percent) chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm in the next two days. Because this is late August, all the ingredients are in place for the system to continue strengthening. The waters are warm, the wind shear is light and there’s an abundance of moisture in the atmosphere around the system. “The associated shower activity continues to show signs of organization." Something to watch in the coming days. The system was about 350 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands Thursday afternoon, moving west at 10 to 15 mph. That puts it more than 3,000 miles from Miami and about a week from approaching the Caribbean – if it gets that far.
BANGLADESH still flooded after Cyclone Aila. Some 300,000 people in Bangladesh are still homeless three months after Cyclone Aila hit the country. Five million people were affected by the storm and many still live among the wreckage in homes that remain flooded or exposed to flooding. Salt water brought in by high tide every day is also damaging crops and trees in the area, making it difficult to repair flood barriers until the rain dies down. "Bangladesh is a land of 150 million people where millions live at, or in some cases below, sea level. Every centimetre of sea level rise – and it's currently rising at four to eight millimetres per year – has huge human consequences."
HURRICANE Jimena has surged to a Category Two storm as it churned northward off Mexico's central Pacific coast, after dumping heavy rains on the resort city of Acapulco. The maximum sustained winds of 165km/h are expected to strengthen further. "Jimena could become a major hurricane by Sunday." Jimena has already caused "intense heavy rain with flooding in the lowlands and landslides in mountains" in the states of Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco on the Pacific coast. "In the next 36 to 48 hours, Jimena may gather strength… but will stay away from the coast, no landfall."
As remnants of Tropical Storm Danny caused high seas Saturday night in the Atlantic Ocean, there were warnings of dangerous rip currents along parts of the East Coast.
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –
CANADA – Violent storms have ripped across parts of the Canadian province of Ontario, damaging buildings, closing roads and killing one person. Reports said 120 homes were evacuated in the city of Vaughan, which declared an emergency late on Thursday. The storms included funnel clouds which tore roofs off homes. Many flights at Toronto's Pearson International Airport were cancelled or delayed because of the bad weather.
CANADA – Severe winds on Thursday flatted acres of crops, destroyed silos, flattened barns and damaged homes across The Blue Mountains in the Heathcote, Ravenna, Victoria Corners and Camperdown areas. Witnesses say a twister then tracked to Georgian Peaks and across Hwy. 26 before breaking up in the Nottawasaga Bay. The nearby Craigleith Provincial Park — where people camped in tents and trailers — was unscathed. The destruction across The Blue Mountains was "horrendous," but it's a "miracle" no one was seriously injured or killed. Most people in the area were forced to lie on the floor inside their homes or hide in doorways, as many cottages are built without basements. The twister hit with only a few seconds of warning.
CANADA – the system that spawned the tornadoes in southern Ontario on Thursday was quite an UNUSUAL set-up. "I thought, that is normally what happens in the spring. Most of our summer tornadoes are in the spring and they come with cold fronts and usually west or northwest flow and they are not that common in August. This one is just like a May weather system that swings up from the southwest and lifts a sharp cold front up in that west-southwest or southwest flow." The strength of the tornadoes seem UNUSUAL for an August event. "Normally you just get a spin-up for a few minutes, it takes a roof off a barn somewhere and that's about it. To get a long track tornado in August is PRETTY RARE. I haven't looked at any of the stats on it but from what I have heard so far it is REALLY RARE."
It has been an UNUSUAL WEATHER YEAR across North America. "This year has been so strange. The prairies were cool…The southern area is fairly hot and dry, but in between — the Colorado, Nebraska area — they have been getting huge amounts of storms all through the summer, way more than average." The band where the active weather has been occurring this summer runs all the way from the U. S. mid-west and up through the Great Lakes, leading to some active weather in southern Ontario all summer long, and it may not be over yet. The whole summer there have been winds blowing high above the earth's surface. Usually in the middle of summer it is dead calm. "Flow aloft is stronger, all the way around the planet actually. It's like the atmosphere is moving faster than usual to try to compensate for some sort of imbalance somewhere. I don't know where that is, but maybe there is too much heat around the globe."
MINNESOTA – The weather set-up Wednesday was more favorable over the Twin Cities for microburst winds rather than tornadoes. If the National Weather Service does declare this to have been a tornado [and they did], it will be ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS as the typical needed factors for a tornado were not all in place… at least as we know it. Usually tornadoes form in supercell thunderstorms. Supercell storms are rotating thunderstorms caused by low pressure areas (areas of falling air pressure that cause air to rotate counter clockwise), wind shear (wind changing direction from the southeast at the surface to the southwest above the ground), converging humid warm air with both warm dry air, cool dry air, strong jet stream winds aloft and sunshine to cause dramatic temperature changes from the surface to the base of the clouds. An example of typical tornado conditions in Minneapolis/St.Paul would be on a day when the air temperature is above 80 degrees with a dew point above 65 degrees, sunny skies before the storm develops, and winds from the Southeast at the surface switching to the Southwest a few thousand feet above the ground. Now as an area of low pressure formed it would create very unstable conditions which would lead to rapid thunderstorm development and tornadoes could be possible if a Supercell forms – note: most thunderstorms are not Supercell storms but under the right conditions a Supercell will form and often produce severe weather. Things that can prevent Supercell thunderstorms from forming even when every needed element is in place is a wet rainy morning that prevents a temperature increase – the morning weather in the Twin Cities Wednesday August 19 was very wet, rainy and cool – when the severe weather hit it was only 68 degrees in the Twin Cities. The storm on Wednesday that produced wind damage in the Twin Cities was RARE due to the conditions in which it occurred ( cool and wet although it was slightly humid with dew point temperatures in the 60s ) – it is not rare to have damaging storms in the Twin Cities but it is RARE to have storms producing tornadoes in the weather set-up that was present Wednesday.
PORTUGAL – At least one beachgoer was crushed to death by a rock slide on a beach in Portugal's southern Algarve region and four were missing. Another two people were seriously injured. The incident occurred around midday at Albufeira, one of Algarve's top beachgoing spots.
KENYA – Just as many Kenyans are suffering the consequences of persistent dry weather conditions in most parts of the country, the weatherman is warning of looming torrential rains associated with the El Nino weather phenomenon. Beginning late next month, large sections of eastern and western Kenya will receive higher than normal rains, promising a complete reversal of the current situation that has left millions starving. It cannot be denied that heavy rains will bring to an abrupt close the ongoing costly rationing of power and water besides bringing down the cost of key food staples such as vegetables that have been driving up headline inflation in recent months. But such gains should not blind anyone, especially policy makers, to the destruction that will come with El Nino rains. One only needs to look back at the damage that such torrential rains left the country in the last time they hit Kenya in the late 1990s. Thousands of Kenyans lost property in ensuing floods in unexpected places such the usually dry Garissa and Tana River districts besides the usually vulnerable places. Kenya also suffered massive infrastructure destruction after the rains swept away large sections of bitumen and loose surface roads rendering many parts of the country inaccessible. And just as drought is forcing the Treasury to reorganize its budget to find the billions of shillings it needs for the massive relief operation, the El Nino rains of the 1990s left millions of Kenyans in camps for the internally displaced and in need of relief assistance. It did not help that the rains left in their wake severe attacks of RARE water-borne and infectious diseases and rift valley fever that nearly wiped out livestock in some parts of the country. To recover from the El Nino crisis, Kenya had to spend billions of shillings, a large part of which was money borrowed from the World Bank and other bilateral lenders that the country is still servicing to date.
YEMEN – A landslide killed 11 members of a single family when a large rock destroyed their three-story home west of the Yemeni capital. The rock was dislodged from a hill overlooking the village of Modawar, in the province of Mahwit, about 80km from Sanaa. Heavy downpours over the past few days had left the ground waterlogged. Neighbouring houses were also destroyed in the landslide but they were vacant.
U.S. – A VERY strong cold front is moving from the northwest. The front is likely to grab a lot of headlines as the chance for record breaking cold air is on the increase for early next week. The models are really going crazy with the potential cold for Tuesday morning, the first day of September, in the central and eastern U.S. The forecast lows from the GFS for early next week are pointing toward the chance for 40s in August and 30s in September.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
GREECE – More than 70 wildfires have started across Greece over the last 24 hours – the worst blazes on the mainland since 2007. In 2007, wildfires incinerated 6% of Greece's tree cover. Fire crews – backed by helicopters and water-bombers – are trying to prevent the flames from spreading to a northern suburb of the Greek capital, Athens. A state of emergency has been declared in the area, but no casualties have been reported. The fires have reached the towns of Grammatiko and Varnavas, near Marathon. A number of homes have been destroyed and thousands of hectares of forest and farmland burnt. The fires broke out late Friday and developed overnight, fed by gale-force winds that kept shifting direction. Firefighters are now trying to prevent the blazes from spreading to Pendeli, a northern suburb with a panoramic view of Athens. Much of Pendeli mountain was destroyed in 2007, and futher erosion of the treeline would be an ecological disaster. The flames are also threatening the town of Marathon, one of the landmarks of ancient Greek history. Olive groves and forests in the hills outside the town, north-east of Athens, have already been torched. The onset of darkness made flying impossible and that is when its feared the flames will pick up. The fires are further contributing to the deforestation of the mountains around Athens. Three of the four mountains surrounding the capital have already been stripped of their trees by fire. Other fires are burning on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, which has already been hit by fires this summer. Dozens of fires burnt through thousands of hectares of land in Spain, France, Greece and Italy in July. Heat waves and drier conditions are leading to larger and more uncontrollable forest fires across the Mediterranean.
The fire situation in California is uncannily in line with the most frightening scientific predictions of years past. And the state is bracing for a hellish fire season. The eruption of fire last weekend in Santa Cruz County and 10 other spots around the state would not be so vexing to California fire bosses if the ominous foreshadowings of trouble weren't already piled so high. There have been 5,384 wildfires this year, almost 1,200 more fires than last year. This year's UNUSUALLY LARGE NUMBER OF LIGHTNING STRIKES have added another element of distress as the state struggles with a third year of drought. Some 20,000 lightning strikes were recorded in the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges over 25 days in June and July. "We've had an EXTRAORDINARY AMOUNT of lightning this year. It's VERY UNUSUAL to have lightning that many days in a row." The saving grace was that rain and moisture prevented fires from getting out of control. "The last few years, even going back to 2006, there has been more lightning than usual. We're seeing more extreme weather." A study by NASA in 2007 said the amount of lightning would increase about 6 percent in future years as the amount of carbon dioxide – the chief gas blamed for global warming – doubles.
"We are very concerned about the conditions in California right now. The number of ignitions is way up but our acreage is down." Fires have burned 144,295 acres so far this year, compared with this time in 2008 when 4,231 wildfires had burned 353,203 acres. It is not yet known what caused last week's Lockheed Fire, which scorched nearly 8 square miles of coastal forest and caused the evacuation of some 2,000 people as it threatened the Santa Cruz County communities of Bonny Doon and Swanton. It was one of 11 fires that 6,800 firefighters battled around the state. One blaze in Yuba County was started by the flaming feathers of a red-tailed hawk that got tangled in a power line.
A recent Oregon State University study predicted huge fires in Northern California and in the Sierra Nevada over the next six months as a result of the hot, dry conditions. The evolving El Niño weather pattern could produce even more lightning. Meanwhile, the cost for fighting California wildfires topped $60 million over the past few weeks. The worst part of the fire season is still ahead. Firefighters are bracing for September and October when hot, offshore winds begin to blow. The Bay Area is a particular fire danger zone. (map)
ARIZONA – By this time of year, Arizona's monsoon normally would have brought temperatures down and moisture up significantly enough to quell any potential for significant wildfires. But this isn't a normal year. Arizona and the western third of New Mexico have seen a lackluster summer rainy season, leading to warmer temperatures and keeping wildfire danger high later in the year than normal. The seasonal wind shift known as the monsoon draws moisture into the region from the south and can bring blinding dust storms, strong winds and heavy rain. It officially begins June 15 and ends Sept. 30 and usually soundly snuffs out fire danger by the beginning of August. But this year, the majority of Arizona has seen between 15 to 75 percent of its average rainfall, with the western and Four Corners areas being among the driest. An average of just .33 inches of rain fell in metropolitan Phoenix between June 15 and Thursday, making it the second driest year since 1999. The Phoenix area has seen only one major storm this year, and that was nothing compared to what was going on last year, the 10th wettest ever. The UNUSUAL weather has allowed a wildfire 20 miles southwest of Flagstaff to grow to 5.4 square miles, or 3,500 acres. "This fire is VERY UNUSUAL for August." Despite lower moisture and higher temperatures this season, the wildfire seasons in Arizona and New Mexico haven't been all that active because of a wetter May and June and because there haven't been many storms with dry lightning.
VIETNAM – Mekong Delta provinces have no coherent plan to tackle the impacts of climate change although they will suffer the most from ensuing natural disasters. As a low-lying area with a big population, experts have predicted the delta will be among the hardest hit by climate change. Natural disasters last year left 134 dead and missing in the delta, damaged more than 5,300 houses, 30,474 hectares of rice fields and 11,265 hectares of fish and shrimp farms. Forty-six fishing boats were sunk and 92 others damaged. Landslides caused the erosion of 100 hectares of land, knocked down 40 houses and forced 700 families to move. Authorities are looking for places to move thousands of threatened houses in the coming years. The Central Hydrometeorology Forecast Center has warned of abnormal weather during this year’s storm season, which kicked off earlier than usual in late April. The storms and land erosion along river banks so far signal a harsh season. Changes in weather patterns in the Mekong Delta have confirmed forecasts about climate change. Increasing salinity has threatened Can Tho, once considered safe from natural disasters, since April 2004. High tides on the Hau River in Can Tho have risen by four centimeters every year from 2004 to 2007. The entire city might be submerged in 2030 when the river rises a further 0.8-1 meter. High tides alone can flood the city during the rainy season, sometimes by 30-50 centimeters. A report by the United Nations Development Program in late 2007 predicts that 39 percent of land in the delta, where nearly half of the country’s rice is grown, will be flooded by 2030. The southern region has received unseasonal rains during the dry season from December onwards with rainfall ranging from 50 to more than 100 millimeters. The delta has in recent years been hit by an increasing number of storms that have also become heavier. Around 10 storms and low tropical pressures are forecast to develop in the East Sea this year, and six or seven of them will directly affect Vietnam. Though the Mekong Delta has been known in the past as a storm-free region, storms and tropical pressures follow no rules in this age of climate change.
AUSTRALIA – Warnings have been issued across four states as fierce winds combine with extremes of hot and cold to keep emergency services on their toes. So far the most extensive storm damage has been in South Australia and Victoria where winds have combined with a severe cold front, while Queensland by contrast has been sweltering under RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES. A severe weather warning is in place for much of Victoria predicting sustained winds up to 60km/h and locally damaging gusts up to 110km/h. Widespread power outages predicted. Wild winds have lashed southern South Australia, felling trees and powerlines. Wild weather was expected to continue until Wednesday. The fire danger remains extreme as record-breaking temperatures scorch Queensland. The state will continue swelter under EXTRAORDINARILY HIGH temperatures. Brisbane recorded its HOTTEST AUGUST ON RECORD with the temperature soaring to 35.4C at about 4.20pm (AEST) and temperatures remained at near record levels overnight. Across the state temperatures have been about 10C hotter than average. Winds of up to 90kmh are expected to hit Sydney this morning as a severe cold front moves through New South Wales. West to northwest winds are expected to average more than 65kmh this morning with peak wind gusts of more than 90 kmh accompanying the cold front.
GREECE – Terrified Athens residents beg to be rescued. Firefighters and waterbombers have stepped up the battle against wind-whipped wildfires tearing towards Athens. Hundreds of houses, a children's hospital and a retirement home have been evacuated northeast of Athens as the fires cast a pall over ancient landmarks. Safety officials said that while there had been a slight easing of the winds today, any respite was likely to be temporary. Another major fire raged in the central region of Viotia where 25 people were picked up from a beach late on Sunday, and other conflagrations tied down crews in southern Evia island and the island of Zakynthos. Residents voiced anger over the fire crews, with some saying they had been abandoned to face the flames on their own while others made frantic appeals for assistance. Firebreaks in forests on Mount Penteli, the last barrier to the capital, failed to hold the flames late on Saturday, and the fire crossed into the northeastern Athens suburbs of Dionysos, Stamata and Rodopoli.
TEXAS – RECORD-BREAKING HEAT in parts of Texas is causing electricity bills to soar, just when most consumers were expecting some relief from sinking natural-gas prices. The protracted heat wave — Austin on Monday recorded its 64th day of 100-plus degree weather since June 1 — has pushed electricity demand up to record levels, as air conditioners run overtime. The average, around-the-clock temperature in San Antonio this summer has been 87.9 degrees, beating the old record set in 1980 of 86.2 degrees. Houston at 86.6 degrees, averaged over a 24-hour period, is slightly above the old record of 86.4 set in 1980. In Austin, the average temperature has been 88.6 degrees — the HOTTEST SINCE RECORDS BEGAN in 1898 — beating the prior record of 86.7 degrees in both 2008 and 1998. The whole southern part of the state is experiencing its DRIEST CONDITIONS IN MORE THAN A CENTURY.
AUSTRALIA – WEATHER RECORDS HAVE BEEN SMASHED FROM ONE END OF THE COUNTRY TO THE OTHER as Australia swelters through its WARMEST-EVER WINTER.
Artificial trees – Engineers say a forest of 100,000 "artificial trees" could be deployed within 10 to 20 years to help soak up the world's carbon emissions. The trees are among three geo-engineering ideas highlighted as practical in a new report. The authors say that without geo-engineering it will be impossible to avoid dangerous climate change. The report includes a 100-year roadmap to "decarbonise" the global economy. The authors of this report say that geo-engineering of the type they propose should be used on a short-term basis to buy the world time, but that in the long term it is vital to reduce emissions. Many climate scientists calculate that the world has only a few decades to reduce emissions before there is so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that a dangerous rise in global temperature is inevitable. "Artificial trees are already at the prototype stage and are very advanced in their design in terms of their automation and in the components that would be used. They could, within a relatively short duration, be moved forward into mass production and deployment." The trees would work on the principle of capturing carbon dioxide from the air through a filter. The CO2 would then be removed from the filter and stored. The prototype artificial tree was about the same size as a shipping container and could remove thousands of times more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than an equivalent sized real tree. The authors stress that all the options will require more research and have called for the UK government to invest 10 million pounds.
CALIFORNIA – A growing wildfire sending massive billows of smoke into the sky north of Los Angeles nearly tripled in size Saturday, burning at least three homes and prompting evacuations in a number of mountain communities.
LA area heat wave, RECORD TEMPERATURES – Searing temperatures continued to blanket the Los Angeles area Friday, and the heat was expected to linger into the weekend. The National Weather Service attributed the heat to a strong upper-level high-pressure system drifting eastward from southern Nevada. Temperatures soared near or into triple-digits across the region. Record temperatures were set at Los Angeles International Airport, where the high hit 89, breaking the 1995 record of 84, and at UCLA with 95 degrees, breaking the 1995 record of 90. Long Beach tied the 1995 record of 96 degrees. The continued hot weather was bad news for firefighters, who continued battling two blazes in the Angeles National Forest and one in Rancho Palos Verdes. "The combination of long-duration single-digit humidities, hot temperatures and critically dry fuels will result in an extension of the red flag warning through Saturday evening."
AUSTRALIA – Unseasonal heat wave sparks fire emergencies. Grass fires – the biggest in Mareeba, north Queensland – have kept firefighters busy on another unseasonally hot day in the state. Emergency services had been placed on high alert Friday because more unseasonally high temperatures were predicted on the weekend.
FOOD / WATER / SUPPLIES-
Nearly 20% of the UK's honeybee colonies died last winter. – Combined with an average 30% loss the year before, it means beekeepers are struggling to keep colonies going. The highest losses were recorded in the north of England, where 32.1% perished, and the lowest in eastern England, where 12.8% did not survive. Bees are suffering from viruses, a parasitic mite and changes in the weather. Experts are calling for more money to be put into research. "These ongoing losses in the pollination army of honeybees cannot continue if we are to secure food supplies." The conservation watchdog Natural England recently called on people living in urban areas to consider keeping bees.
UKRAINE – Rich countries and corporations are snapping up huge swathes of land in poor, developing countries. In the patchwork of tiny fields in the Ukraine, local farmers work as they have for generations – hay is cut with hand scythes, the carts which bring in the harvest and the ploughs that work the land are horse drawn. But now a state-of-the-art agricultural army is on the move. In large swathes of the country fleets of ultra-modern combine harvesters are bringing in the harvest from new mega farms. But it is not Ukrainian money and know-how which is driving this agricultural revolution. It is foreign governments and companies. The Libyans are negotiating for land here, as are the Russians and others. Many governments are looking to secure land overseas as a way to ensure the food supply to their country does not fail. Many foreign companies seem to have calculated that if predictions of global food shortages prove accurate over the coming decades, there will be big money in food production. It is a global trend – Arab countries are buying up huge swathes of Africa, the Chinese are in Cambodia, and so on. It is a sensitive issue, since by taking long leases on huge amounts of land, the foreigners are actually taking control of Ukraine's famously fertile soil. If the warnings of global food shortages are accurate, the basic terms of this debate may shift. The ethical emphasis then may not be on preserving the culture and autonomy of individual nations, but on increasing the food supply to a ravenous world. Some scientists forecast a "perfect storm" of food, water and energy shortages in 2030.
SOUTH ASIA – A massive shortage in sugar stocks in India and Pakistan has led to soaring prices and consumer unrest. The Indian government has introduced strict limits on companies that stockpile sugar to check rising prices. Shortages led Pakistan's government to nearly double sugar prices causing public outrage. The price of raw sugar worldwide has increased to its HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE 1981, as supply concerns grow. Poor monsoon rains have slashed output, forcing India to rely on imports. India's sugar stocks have decline to 4.5 million tonnes – just enough to meet two months of domestic demand. Sugar production in Pakistan has fallen to around 3.7 million tonnes this year from more than 4.5 million tonnes last year.
A "perfect storm" of food, water and energy shortages in 2030 – "a whole series of events come together":
•The world's population will rise from 6 billion to 8 billion (33%)
•Demand for food will increase by 50%
•Demand for water will increase by 30%
•Demand for energy will increase by 50%
– each problem combining to create a "perfect storm" in which the whole is bigger, and more serious, than the sum of its parts. Some scientists are predicting that the Arctic will be ice-free by 2030, which could accelerate global warming by reducing the amount of the sun's energy that is reflected back out of the atmosphere. "Whereas changes in Europe could be incremental, in Asia it's potentially more abrupt. Whole regions are dependent on cycles of glacial melts and monsoons and if these start to shift there will be trouble."
Food supplies in several African countries are under threat because two diseases are attacking bananas. Crops are being damaged from Angola through to Uganda – including many areas where bananas are a staple food. Experts say the two diseases – bunchy top viral disease and bacterial wilt – are both spread by insects and very few varieties of banana have resistance to them. While bunchy top stunts the growth of plants by causing leaves to sprout from the top, bacterial wilt kills off plants and makes their fruit inedible. Experts are urging farmers to use pesticides or change to a resistant variety of banana where possible. Scientists have been meeting in Tanzania to decide how to tackle the diseases.
HEALTH THREATS –
CHILE has detected the H1N1 swine flu virus in turkeys, the FIRST TIME THE VIRUS HAS BEEN FOUND OUTSIDE HUMANS AND PIGS, but there was no indication the disease had spread to other parts of Chile. Chilean authorities said the farms near the port city of Valparaiso were placed under quarantine on August 13 as a precaution after turkey producers reported anomalies in the output of eggs. Later laboratory results confirmed the H1N1 virus infections. Egg production and water consumption among the birds dropped – prompting the company to take action – but the birds aren't terribly sick, let alone dying in large numbers. The birds will not be culled, but will go through their illness and recover – in 7 to 10 days – and if they are sound and healthy, they could enter the food chain.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said at a press conference that the finding was interesting but not surprising or worrisome.
US death toll from H1N1 virus rises to 522 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 7,963 hospitalizations and 522 deaths attributed to novel H1N1 flu as of the end of last week, up from 7,511 hospital cases and 477 deaths a week earlier. The overall level of flu activity was low, but two states, Alaska and Maine, still had widespread activity. Those two states plus Hawaii and South Carolina had widespread activity a week earlier.
H1N1 flu cases in temperate areas of the southern hemisphere are declining, except South Africa. But cases are increasing in tropical parts of Asia that are entering their monsoon season, such as India. The global H1N1 death toll has reached 1,799, with 177 countries confirming cases.
Flu fatality study finds half of patients had underlying conditions – most notably pregnancy and obesity. More research is needed to explore if other conditions contribute to higher death rates in obese patients. Though older people seem to have some immunity, elderly patients who had novel flu infections were more likely to die.
A World Health Organization official speaking in Beijing said he expects to see an "explosion in case numbers" this fall when novel H1N1 virus activity picks up again in the northern hemisphere. Cases in many countries could double every 3 to 4 days. But a US CDC official said that while vigilance is needed, fall outbreaks might resemble only a bad flu season.
Swine flu could infect as much as half of the US population this northern hemisphere fall and winter and cause up to 90,000 deaths, President Barack Obama's science advisors have warned. The report painted a grim picture of stress on the US health care system as it struggles to cope with a flood of flu patients. The epidemic's resurgence could "produce infection of 30-50% of the US population this fall and winter, with symptoms in approximately 20-40% of the population (60-120 million people), more than half of whom would seek medical attention." As many as 1.8 million people could be admitted to hospitals with up to 300,000 of them requiring treatment in intensive care units. "Importantly, these very ill patients could occupy 50-100% of all ICU beds in affected regions of the country at the peak of the epidemic and could place enormous stress on ICU units, which normally operate close to capacity." The epidemic "could cause between 30,000 and 90,000 deaths in the United States, concentrated among children and young adults." That compares with 30,000 to 40,000 deaths from seasonal flu each year, mainly among people over age 65. The flu's resurgence could occur as early as September when the school term begins, and peak in mid-October. But a vaccine against the A(H1N1) virus is only projected to be available in mid-October, and it will take vaccinated individuals several more weeks to develop protective immunity. "This potential mismatch in timing could significantly diminish the usefulness of vaccination for mitigating the epidemic and could place many at risk of serious infection.''
Scientists are examining a link between some man-made nanoparticles, such as those found in sunscreens, and Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's diseases. "There is now firm evidence that some engineered nanoparticles entering intravenously or via lungs can reach the brains of small animals…It has recently been discovered that nanoparticles can have highly significant impacts on the rate of misfolding of key proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease." "There is currently no research data directly linking the use of sun screen to development of Alzheimer's disease."
Smokers may be susceptible to severe H1N1 illness – A Hong Kong health official said smokers may be prone to suffering life-threatening complications from novel H1N1 flu. 12 of 27 patients who suffered pneumonia and other serious complications were current or former smokers, and some had no other known risk factors.
Asian countries will far markedly short of novel H1N1 vaccine this fall. Australia and China are scheduled to start vaccine production in September, but their vaccine is unlikely to benefit the rest of the region. "There is going to be massive underproduction of vaccines as compared to the needs and demand."
Pandemic H1N1 picks up pace at U.S. schools, colleges – Officials at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have confirmed novel H1N1 in 24 students, many of whom are being treated in isolation units. Penn State has also confirmed several cases. Meanwhile, schools near Lee County, Alabama are reporting hundreds of students sick with flu-like illnesses, and dozens of illnesses have been reported in Los Alamos, New Mexico, schools.
Australia's H1N1 flu epidemic has not yet passed its peak. – There have been signs of a decline in cases in some areas, but cases are still increasing in others. The country has had 138 deaths from the virus, and about 80% of people tested for flu-like illness have had it. Australia currently has 440 people hospitalized with the illness, including 100 in intensive care units.
Brazil has displaced the United States as the country with the most 2009 H1N1 flu deaths. The latest official death toll for the United States was 522 as reported by the CDC last week. Brazil's health ministry said the country's H1N1 epidemic appears to be declining. The ministry has allocated $1 billion to buy 73 million doses of H1N1 vaccine, along with oseltamivir, hospital equipment, and diagnostic tests.
Australia's pandemic H1N1 vaccine campaign is in peril because the government has refused to indemnify physicians who administer the vaccine and insurance companies seem unwilling to pay doctors to deliver the vaccines. Insurance companies have also raised concerns about multidose vial safety and a lack of vaccine safety data. The country's vaccine campaign is slated to start in mid September, with enough vaccine to cover half of the population.
The US Department of Defense has purchased a 2.7-million-dose supply of novel H1N1 vaccine for active military members through the federal government and will launch immunization campaigns in October, starting with high-risk groups and those who live in close quarters at sea. All service members are slated to receive the vaccine, though their dependents will receive theirs though civilian channels.
Chicago H1N1 study shows children far more susceptible than older adults – A study of the first 3 months of the H1N1 flu epidemic in Chicago shows that children aged 5 to 14 were 14 times more susceptible to the virus than adults aged 60 and older. Chicago had 1,557 confirmed cases during the 3 months, and the attack rate for children was 147 per 100,000 population. The hospitalization rate was highest for children 0 to 4 years old (25 per 100,000), followed by those aged 5 to 14 (11 per 100,000).
SWINE FLU spreading at 'unbelievable' rate – Swine flu spreads four times faster than other viruses and 40 per cent of the fatalities are young adults in good health, the world's top health official says. "This virus travels at an unbelievable, almost unheard of speed. In six weeks it travels the same distance that other viruses take six months to cover. Sixty per cent of the deaths cover those who have underlying health problems. This means that 40 per cent of the fatalities concern young adults – in good health – who die of a viral fever in five to seven days. This is the most worrying fact, up to 30 per cent of people in densely populated countries risk getting infected." It could be months before sufficient vaccine is available to combat the pandemic. World production capacity is about 900 million doses a year, for a global population of 6.8 billion people.
Doctors question WHO's severe swine flu warning – The World Health Organization warned Friday that doctors around the world are now reporting a severe form of swine flu that goes straight to the lungs of otherwise healthy young people — but some infectious disease experts said the alarm could be unwarranted. The WHO update comes in the wake of reports from some countries that as many as 15 percent of patients infected with the new H1N1 pandemic virus require extensive — and expensive — hospital care. But infectious disease experts from both inside and outside the government say that the phrasing used by WHO raises some questions — particularly because the existence of such a form of the disease is not a new development. "WHO is certainly putting the fear of [God] in people with this type of release. The description by the WHO is similar to lung infections that claimed so many young people during the 1918 pandemic." One of the government's preeminent figures on swine flu said, "The severity should not be anything near what we saw in 1918 — again, underscoring that things can change. But if what we're seeing now is predictive of what we'll be seeing in the fall and the winter this looks like a mild to moderate, not a very severe, pandemic." Indeed, many believe that the ultimate impact of the swine flu will not be as disastrous as that of pandemics of times past. "The total mortality remains extremely low. And as far as the cases go, it's important to remember that while such [severe] cases have been seen, they are extremely rare."
RECALLS & ALERTS –
-Melon Acres announced the recall of cantaloupes distributed through Farm-Wey Produce of Lakeland, Florida due to potential health concerns.
-Quesos Mi Pueblito, LLC of Passaic, New Jersey is announcing a recall of cheese products with Sell by Date from February 2, 2009 to present due to potential health concerns.
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
Greenbelt criticised for inviting controversial gay bishop as speaker
Aug 28, 2009
The Greenbelt festival has been criticised for inviting controversial gay Anglican bishop Gene Robinson as one of its speakers. Bishop Gene Robinson has been a highly controversial figure since he became the first openly gay bishop to be ordained by the Episcopal Church in the United States. Worldwide Anglicans have spoken out fiercely against his ordination, and the incident has threatened to split the 77-million member worldwide Anglican Communion. Many Christians have questioned by the popular annual Christian festival has decided to invite such a controversial figure as one of its core speakers. However, according to the BBC festival coordinator Beki Bateson has said the invitation was made solely on the strength of Bishop Robinson's earlier speaking appearances at other venues, and it was also emphasised that his was just one voice amongst many invited to the festival.
Evangelical Lutheran Church backs away from Christian chastity
Catholic News Agency
Aug 30, 2009
Minneapolis, Minn., Aug 21, 2009 / 07:41 pm (CNA).- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on Wednesday approved a new policy that no longer declares marriage as “the appropriate place” for sexual relations, but rather calls for “social trust” in associations that are “loving” and “committed.” One critic characterized the move as an embrace of moral relativism. The ELCA claims about 4.6 million members. Its numbers have declined by 1 million over the past forty years. The ELCA’s Churchwide Assembly, meeting from August 17 to 23 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, formerly said that marriage is “the appropriate place for sexual intercourse.” Such language is absent from the new policy, which says that heterosexual relationships are “best served through binding commitment, legal protections, and the public accountability of marriage.” “Some cohabitation arrangements can be constructed in ways that are neither casual nor intrinsically unstable,” the policy adds. The policy calls for “social trust” in relationships that are "loving," "life-giving," "fulfilling," "nurturing," and "committed."
Pastors: Jesus Loves the Glutton, Crook, Porn Star, Religious
Wed, Aug. 26 2009 05:50 PM EDT
Popularly known as "the porn pastor," Craig Gross has one simple message he wants to tell: Jesus loves you no matter who you are or what you've done. That means Jesus loves gluttons, criminals, porn stars, homosexuals and even the religious. Such inclusive messages are what have drawn some critical looks from the more conservative Christians. When Gross moved out to Las Vegas about a year ago and began proclaiming "Jesus loves sin city," some rejected the message saying it was wrong. Now, the Las Vegas pastor is about to embark on a unique book tour to tell anyone and everyone that Jesus loves them. Gross believes Jesus' vision and values have been distorted, twisted, hijacked, tweaked, relabeled, and distorted again, he writes in his upcoming book Jesus Loves You This I Know. And in the process, many have missed the simple yet profound message that Jesus loves them.
Atheists offer to care for Christians' pets after the Rapture
Aug 29, 2009
It's a question that all animal-loving Christian evangelicals must address: who will look after their pets on Earth when the Rapture comes and they are taken up to heaven? Now a group of atheists in the US have come up with a tongue-in-cheek solution, offering to take in the cats and dogs of "saved" believers in return for a small fee. All the atheists signed up by Eternal Earth-Bound Pets are self-confessed sinners and blasphemers, guaranteeing they will be left behind when the chosen are selected The business idea is an irreverent attempt to cash in on the belief – widespread among US Christians – that the pious will be carried up to heaven by God in a sudden swoop, leaving unbelievers to endure the seven-year reign of the anti-Christ on Earth. According to some polls, as many as 55 per cent of Americans believe in the notion of the Rapture. "You've committed your life to Jesus. You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes what's to become of your loving pets who are left behind?" the group's website asks.
Scientology: crisis in France
It claims to be one of the world's fastest-growing new religions but a battery of legal cases threaten its very existence in this secular country
Aug 29, 2009
In a small Normandy village, surrounded by wheat fields, Gwen Le Berre keeps a Scientology "electrometer" machine in his bedroom. He opens the large green briefcase and peers at the machine inside. It looks like a lie-detector from an old TV cop show and Le Berre doesn't really understand how it works – he just knows it's a key piece of kit for the Church of Scientology. Le Berre, 21, keeps the machine as a memento of his mother's life. Four days before Christmas 2006, Gloria Lopez, a 47-year-old secretary, tidied her kitchen, hung out her washing, left her dull, suburban apartment overlooking the railway in Colombes, west of Paris, and walked the 30 metres out on to the tracks. She stood with her arms outstretched, smiling at the driver of the oncoming commuter train. He couldn't stop in time. Lopez had left Spain in the 80s to marry Pascal Le Berre, a French secondary school teacher. The couple had two children together in Normandy, but divorced soon afterwards. It was just after the split that Lopez – who had always been interested in alternative medicine and esoteric ideas – met some Scientologists and signed up. The church was to become her life. Eventually, she moved to Paris, leaving her two children behind, to be nearer the Scientology Centre.
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
Court allows religious displays in store offering postal service
MANCHESTER, CT – A federal appeals court has reversed a federal judge's order that religious displays be removed from a Christian store that offers postal services in Manchester, Connecticut. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says Sincerely Yours, a contract postal unit operated by the Full Gospel Interdenominational Church, is not a post office and doesn't need to be regulated like one. The judges say only the postal counter, boxes, and shelving units must be cleared of religious material and there should be "a visual cue" distinguishing the postal facility from the private ministry space. A customer filed suit in 2003, claiming that the religious signs, prayer cards, religious videos, and other materials inside the store constituted a government endorsement of religion.
Evangelist regains First Amendment rights
A street preacher's free-speech rights have been recognized in New Haven, Connecticut. In 2004, Jesse Morrell traveled to an area of New Haven where young adults frequented bars — and where he hoped to share the gospel peacefully. Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney Jonathan Scruggs picks up the story. "On four separate occasions, two police officers essentially came up to him and ordered him to move, ordered him to stop speaking because he was annoying people," he recalls. "Evidently his message was not being well received by the college students."
2-month-old killed to stifle 'religious' dissent
Reports cite victim being used for 'target practice'
Aug 20, 2009
note: The following contains disturbing and graphic descriptions of attacks on Christians. An international Christian group has reported a horrifying episode of Christian children being abducted and killed in an apparent effort to stifle "religious and political" dissidents in Laos during the runup to a visit by U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va. Webb, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, recently visited several nations, including some that often have earned high rankings among nations that persecute Christians. His trip included visits to Burma, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Now comes a report from International Christian Concern about the newest atrocities. "International Christian Concern has just learned that Lao soldiers captured, mutilated and decapitated a two-month-old girl during recent military attacks against Hmong and Laotian civilians," the group said. "Survivors of the attack said the infant was used for target practice."
Pakistani Christians Give Gov't Ultimatum on Blasphemy Laws
By Joseph Keenan
CP South and Southeast Asia Correspondent
Sat, Aug. 29 2009 08:36 AM EDT
Christians have given an ultimatum to the Pakistani government to repeal the country's blasphemy laws which they say are responsible for the attacks against Christians. “We urge President Asif Zardari to repeal blasphemy law by an executive order immediately. If government fails to repeal blasphemy law up till September 15, 2009 … Christians shall be forced to launch a movement against government of Pakistan: Pakistan Christian Congress PCC,” said Pakistan Christian Post, which has been at the forefront of calling for the repeal of blasphemy laws in the country. According to amendments added in the 1980s, “Use of derogatory remarks, etc; in respect of the Holy Prophet; whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Mohammed shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”
State could take custody of teen homeschooler
'The real issue is the right of parents to control the upbringing of their children'
Aug 28, 2009
A critical hearing is scheduled in Germany in that nations' war against homeschoolers to determine whether a family can continue to control the education of its high-performing son, 14. According to Joel Thornton of the International Human Rights Group, the court hearing Sept. 22 is for Hans and Petra Schmidt, who live in Southern Bavaria. From their home, the Schmidts have taught their children, Josua and Aaron, for nine years. Josua, 16, recently finished tests documenting his completion of all the requirements of the schooling system, but the fight remains over the future schooling for Aaron, who has been tested as performing at high academic levels, Thornton said. "This hearing is to determine whether the Schmidts keep the legal custody of their one child remaining in school or have the court take that custody and give it to the Youth Welfare Office," Thornton said.