Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 105

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

Flash Forward
By Regina

A couple of nights ago I watched the season opener of a Television series called FlashForward and it introduced an interesting topic that I’ve decided to use as inspiration for this week’s article.

In case you haven’t had the opportunity to see the show, everyone in the world blacks out for exactly 2 minutes and 17 seconds and everyone receives a glimpse of their future. And one of the observations that arose is that after seeing a piece of their future, everyone began to make choices not on what “Could” happen, but on what “Will” happen and it profoundly affected the way that everyone in the world lived their lives.

Now keeping this in mind, try to imagine the following moment that I’m about to describe:

It’s an average day. You’ve just returned home from work or school. You open the front door to your house to find that your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, brother, sister, child, or whoever is closest to you and that you love the most – gone.

Soon after you discover that the Rapture has occurred and all children are removed from the world. And all adults found to be faithful are also removed but the numbers are far less than expected. They do not just “disappear” as has been depicted in many popular Rapture theories…instead, their bodies are left behind but their souls have left their bodies.

You go outside. There is chaos in the streets. Your own neighbors are now raping, pillaging and killing one another for food and water. You rush inside your home and close the doors and shut the blinds, your heart pounding within your chest. Armageddon has begun and you’re one of the one’s left behind.

So the question posed to you at this point dear reader, is that if you saw a glimpse of your future and this was the outcome? What would you do? What choices would you begin to make? How would you move forward in living your life? What would you do to change your future?

Romans 13:12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

We should always live each day as if this scenario or one like it could happen at any moment, and not so that we can go out and party and do all the things we never got to, but so that we might be counted among the faithful and righteous who will be rescued from this dying earth by the Rapture and before Armageddon begins. As it says at Romans 13:12, we must discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

We must begin to consider the future in a spiritual way rather than worldly one. Christ’s disciples served as an example of this mindset. They knew it would happen and they strove to live their lives each day as footstep followers of Christ. Somewhere between then and now this mindset has been lost – and it’s time to regain it. Knowing what WILL happen; we must change our behaviors and make different choices based on what we know will happen, not on what might happen. Because I assure you, it will happen.

If you know in your heart and your mind that it is and it will, your perspective on how you live your life changes and you begin making choices, like in the Television show, based on what will happen rather than on what could happen. Your perspective on life changes incredibly and suddenly the things of this world are unimportant and it’s the spiritual that becomes important. Knowing that the end of all things is near changes your priorities in a good way because you begin focusing on God rather than all the things of this world designed to distract you. You begin to prepare – your heart, your mind, your spirit.

1 Peter 4:7-8 End-Time Ethics Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be clear-headed and disciplined for prayer. Above all, keep your love for one another at full strength, since love covers a multitude of sins.

James 5:8 You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord's coming is near.

Remain clear-headed and disciplined. Make time for prayer if it hasn’t been a part of your daily life until now. In every situation consider first before acting what our Savior would do and look to Father and The Word for every answer to every question in your mind. Strengthen and guard your hearts, be patient, and most importantly, continue to love one another.

Genesis 49:18 I wait for Your salvation, LORD.

God My Father
Submitted By Johanna

I never really thought Lord,
What you meant to me;
I never dream'd with out your love,
How empty life would be.
I never stopped to think Lord,
That by denying you;
I was losing everything,
I now hold dear and true.
You opened up my eyes Lord,
And brought me back to you;
You healed my heart, took my sin,
And made my life anew.

So thank you God my Father,
For the love you give to me;
Thank you God my Father,
For your Son who set me free,
Thank you God my Father,
For never letting go; And for you Holy Spirit,
Who has set my heart aglow.
Thank you God my Father,
May I always worship you?
May I always reflect your grace?
In everything I do.

By: Averil Bayard

Inspired Writings

Evil of Oneself

It has been taught to us in the past that not all evil that has come into this world is all from Satan. In fact, there had been some different ways of acting evil and doing evil in breaking Father's commands that were developed by man.

Genesis 6:5 — When the LORD saw that man's wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time,

In this, it might be wondered why anyone would wish to act evil in any way, shape, or form. This, though, can still be explained in the scriptures.

Proverbs 4:16 — For they can't sleep unless they have done what is evil; they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.

If evil doesn't actually do anything but tear oneself and everyone else around them apart, how can a person be happy by doing evil? How can there be any happiness at all? Yet, that is not what is actually happening to an evil heart when it is satisfied.

Proverbs 13:19 — Desire fulfilled is sweet to the taste, but fools hate to turn from evil.

Proverbs 21:10 — A wicked person desires evil; he has no consideration for his neighbor.

Proverbs 13:12 — Delayed hope makes the heart sick, but fulfilled desire is a tree of life.

In this, one can see that a desire, itself, can cause a person to become saddened, or heart sick, especially when the desire doesn't get fulfilled. In this way, the heart can be like a stomach, telling the mind that it wants something, but the heart is also deceitful.

Jeremiah 17:9 — The heart is more deceitful than anything else and desperately sick—who can understand it?

It is always interesting when the question is posed, “who can understand it?” Or the question, “who knows?” I think I might hear the latter question more often, and each time, I wonder to myself why that question is even asked, because it is clear who does know. Father Yahweh. If one truly seeks to find the answer, they just have to go to Father and ask, and Father will answer. Sometimes, it seems, Father will provide an answer that may not seem like it is directly related to the question one is seeking, but in fact, it actually is. For instance, if one has a question, and they are then told to go work to find the answer, perhaps to go dig through the scriptures, the answer may not seem to be a direct answer to the question, but Wisdom is multifaceted, and in some way, shape, or form, one True answer has some strong and deep correlating relation to every other True answer. In that way, just one answer could have the potential to answer all of one's questions. This being true in that Father is really all of Her childrens' one answer to everything.

So, if the heart can be deceitful in what it tells the mind what it desires, perhaps the stomach can be deceitful as well. There was an interesting personal occurrence where I had a desire for a dessert, but something in my heart told me to hold off, yet I did not understand completely. I had one desire, yet, I had another feeling, and truly, my first and foremost desire is for Father. So, I held off. At first, it kept coming to mind that perhaps I wanted a pastry, or that I wanted a slice of pie or a cake. None of those were actually the answer. Rather, the first answer was obedience to Father. That, amongst faith, loyalty, and love for Father. Those, in combination with Father's Wisdom, are sweet as honey and fully filling, more filling than any dessert this planet can offer.

Proverbs 24:13-14 — Eat honey, my son, for it is good,
    and the honeycomb is sweet to your palate;
    realize that wisdom is the same for you.
    If you find it, you will have a future,
    and your hope will never fade.

And then, the true realization for what I sought came to mind, which was actually a cup of sweet, creamy, strong, dark coffee. It is an interesting concept, but really, Father is the One Whom satisfies our every desire, and if we seek Her, our desire will truly be fulfilled. However, those who desire wickedness will only find themselves constantly wanting more and more.

Ephesians 4:19 — They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.

Psalm 145:19 — He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry for help and saves them.

The interesting concept of the last scripture given above is simply that the desire of a person that makes a person become heart sick can actually destroy them. Literally. A heart sick individual whose desires are not fulfilled will deteriorate and face their own destruction. The heart, which may be completely multifaceted in itself, requires the satisfaction of certain aspects in order to survive, or it will literally die. A heart is more than a storehouse, more than a stomach, more than a sensory organ, more than a source of life, more than a home for Father's Spirit, more than that which pumps physical life blood through a person's body, more than a muscle that is made of such interesting muscle tissue that is not found in any other muscle in the human body, and so much more. Thus, if a person is truly desiring something evil, they truly need Father's help to save them from themselves. However, one must go to Father with their desire, and be integrable and honest, exposing their full wound and sickness, so that they may be healed.

Matthew 13:15 — For this people's heart has grown callous; their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn back— and I would cure them.

However, because of different traps and snares one might create of themselves, such as pride or valuing independence, one's own desire might cause them to willfully sin, even though they know it is wrong. And although one may willfully sin in order to satisfy a desire that will destroy them if they do not do something about it, they are not submitting to Father and carrying their own cross in full love for Father and Christ. Moreover, they are only temporarily solving their own desire, of which is not actually being resolved, but only being handled for a time being. This is truly a black hole of a heart. And such a heart with such desires that treasures such dark things is where their heart is.

Matthew 6:21 — For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

It goes both ways, just like a double edged sword. However, a double edged sword is also a possible piercing weapon, not just a divisor. Thus, it can go in two ways, in that the piercing of the wise words and rebukes that may come from Father's righteous may either cause one to grow, or to be destroyed.

So why would anyone do the evil that is within their heart? Simply insanity and madness, of which lies outside of Father's love. If one truly had an indivisible love for Father that bore all things and endured all things, no matter if they had to be humbled to the point of grazing like a wild ox, and being like the very dust that one eats, then the evil within one's heart has absolutely no reason for becoming willful sin, which leads to death. As that is all written about love in 1 Corinthians 13, if one's love does not match up to any of those things, it truly is not love, but some fake imitation that eventually would come to nothing, much like fleshly things.

These things should be kept in mind in the times to come, and one should be sure to be encouraging and uplifting to others, being a light of Father's love, so that there might be some way that that light would be enough to kindle a flame in another's heart, or be enough light to help grow a seed that had only been suppressed, but out of the tribulation, might provide for the surface roughage of one's heart to be removed and the fertile soil beneath to be exposed and grow what was planted there long before. It would like to be thought that there is some sense of logic and reasoning in other's minds, as we are not to have wicked suspicions of others. Therefore, perhaps there might just be enough logic and reasoning to help pull away from the insanity and madness of evil and dark desires, and to cultivate a full love for Father.

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

Cherubic Commander: Exodus 34:1 "[ New Stone Tablets ] The LORD said to Moses, "Cut two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke."

Who cut the first stone tablets that Moses broke in anger? Why were the Ten Commandments written in stone by Father Herself, including the replacement stone tablets? Why not written on scrolls? Have you ever heard the expression "Written in stone"?

Exodus 20:25 "If you make a stone altar for Me, you must not build it out of cut stones. If you use your chisel on it, you will defile it."

Why would cut stones be defilement? Nature in her perfection is part of Father. What happens when mankind places its hand on the natural order of things and alters it? Father provides the example, then like a master craftsman we follow Her example as She wills it.

Deuteronomy 27:1-26 The Law Written on Stones
1 Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, "Keep every command I am giving you today. 2 At the time you cross the Jordan into the land the LORD your God is giving you, you must set up large stones and cover them with plaster. 3 Write all the words of this law on the stones after you cross to enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you. 4 When you have crossed the Jordan, you are to set up these stones on Mount Ebal, as I am commanding you today, and you are to cover them with plaster. 5 Build an altar of stones there to the LORD your God—you must not use any iron tool on them. 6 Use uncut stones to build the altar of the LORD your God and offer burnt offerings to the LORD your God on it. 7 There you are to sacrifice fellowship offerings, eat, and rejoice in the presence of the LORD your God. 8 Write clearly all the words of this law on the [plastered] stones."

The Covenant Curses
9 Moses and the Levitical priests spoke to all Israel, "Be silent, Israel, and listen! This day you have become the people of the LORD your God. 10 Obey the LORD your God and follow His commands and statutes I am giving you today."
11 On that day Moses commanded the people, 12 "When you have crossed the Jordan, these [tribes] will stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. 13 And these [tribes] will stand on Mount Ebal to deliver the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. 14 The Levites will proclaim in a loud voice to every Israelite:

15 'Cursed is the person who makes a carved idol or cast image, which is detestable to the LORD, the work of a craftsman, and sets [it] up in secret.'
And all the people will reply, ' Amen!'

16 'Cursed is the one who dishonors his father or mother.'
And all the people will say, 'Amen!'

17 'Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor's boundary marker.'
And all the people will say, 'Amen!'

18 'Cursed is the one who leads a blind person astray on the road.'
And all the people will say, 'Amen!'

19 'Cursed is the one who denies justice to a foreign resident, a fatherless child, or a widow.'
And all the people will say, 'Amen!'

20 'Cursed is the one who sleeps with his father's wife, for he has violated his father's marriage bed.' [a]
And all the people will say, 'Amen!'

21 'Cursed is the one who has sexual intercourse with any animal.'
And all the people will say 'Amen!'

22 'Cursed is the one who sleeps with his sister, whether his father's daughter or his mother's daughter.'
And all the people will say, 'Amen!'

23 'Cursed is the one who sleeps with his mother-in-law.'
And all the people will say, 'Amen!'

24 'Cursed is the one who kills his neighbor in secret.'
And all the people will say, 'Amen!'

25 'Cursed is the one who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person.'
And all the people will say, 'Amen!'

26 'Cursed is anyone who does not put the words of this law into practice.'
And all the people will say, 'Amen!' "

"The Covenant Curses" are not curses from Satan. They are curses from our Creator. Satan also does not invent all evil. He is merely a product of evil.

Romans 1:30 "slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,"

Mankind has taught even Satan some new twists on evil. They have invented evil by one example, such as germ warfare. That is an invention of mankind to exterminate others of mankind. Just as it occurred before the great flood.

Genesis 6:5 "[ Judgment Decreed ] When the LORD saw that man's wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time,"

Satan does not put every evil scheme in mankind's mind. Man became an inventor of evil ideas brought to light by their inner desires. Satan provided the spark for further evil to ignite, and is why he has little control over his own children. To better understand this, consider two different gangs that fight and kill one another for territory. They each are no less evil of one another, yet they are not aligned in unity. This is another reason Satan's reasoning of free will agency is without merit and does not work.

Regina: The one thing that came to mind while reading was in regards to that which is written in stone (like the 10 Commandments) and that which was written on a scroll (the War Scroll). Something that is written in stone does not change. Father's law(s) do not change. They are set in stone. Yet I had the impression, or feeling rather, that when it comes to the War Scroll it is something that can be modified depending on what is required during engagement and also dependent upon moves made by the other side. Would this be an accurate assessment as to why symbolically, one would be written in stone and the other on a scroll?

Cherubic Commander:
That is all correct. In addition, Jesus became the cornerstone, because stone is considered of high importance in Father's heavenly realm. To understand Father's passion for stones of all types, you need only look at the physical heavens. To know Father's passions are to consider all of the things in existence. This representation of stone for the cornerstone, the Ten Commandments of the basic laws that all others spawned off of, and the markers that Father has planted in Her domain, they are all objects that do not wear away easily. Even those of us that were created by Michael, we wear spiritual bodies draped in every precious gem imaginable. Father's passion for stones, even those that seem worthless are a prize in Father's eyes. Consider that Father is the Great Architect, the Great Builder of Her domain. Energy becomes mass of greater weight in the physical realm, but all things are energy of one sort or another. Heaven in its splendor is given life to the stone walkways by those that inhabit its realm of existence and walk its many firey stone paths. Think of all the things that Father has created through Michael, and then you will know Her passions.

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

Unknown Objects Videotaped over San Antonio, TX
ufocasebook.com
Published: 3:00 AM 9/18/2009
San Antonio, TX – 09-15-09

Video 1 – On September 15, 2009, multiple unknown objects were observed and filmed traveling southeast high in altitude. The first sighting occurred as I was sky watching facing northwest. I noticed a flash high in altitude. So I quickly grabbed my camcorder and began filming this glowing object. When zooming in, I was surprised to see this unknown when it began to fade in/out. It was clearly no aircraft. This object was traveling southeast high in altitude and appear to be spinning. I panned back to find a reference point, using the top of the roof. As I began to zoom in you can clearly see this was no aircraft. It was an extremely glowing object that seemed to be getting brighter. This unknown object was no aircraft/weather balloon or satellite. Video 2 – On September 15, 2009, multiple glowing objects were observed and filmed on different occasions over San Antonio,TX. The second sighting took place as I was sky watching facing North. I noticed an aircraft traveling east. Then I noticed a glowing object high in altitude traveling southeast. This object did not appear to be an aircraft, so I grabbed my camcorder for a closer observation.

Two Witnesses See Four UFOs near Yuma, AZ
ufocasebook.com
Arizona – 04-21-09

My now ex-girlfriend and I were driving home after work. We were eastbound on I-8 from downtown Yuma to the Yuma Foothills near Wellton. Over the mountains separating Yuma from Wellton, I saw 4 lights rise above the mountains. I had lived in Yuma for 4 years during which I've seen every piece of hardware and equipment the military sends into the air. My girlfriend and I both knew these 4 objects were nothing we had seen before. They resembled the moon but much smaller, but that is what the coloring reminded me of was the moon on a smoky night. The large size of these objects was very apparent. In order for the objects to appear as they did while we were driving meant they had to be large, flying low, and a distance away. I believed the lights to be in the direction of Phoenix. We were both quite excited by the sighting. It was like being a little kid again, seeing something for the first time. There were some poor quality pictures of the objects which are no longer in my possession. We lost sight of the objects as we neared the mountains and I never saw them again. The next day I was at my father's house and he was watching TV and a commercial for the local news came on and I saw the video of what I had seen the night before.

Iran downs strange bright craft over Persian Gulf
Tue, 22 Sep 2009 09
PressTV

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has targeted and downed an unidentified shining object after sighting it over Persian Gulf waters. "Glowing objects were sighted over the Persian Gulf. IRGC air defense targeted one of the objects successfully, forcing it to plummet and sink in the seas off Boushehr (Province)," said top regional commander, Brigadier Ali Razmjou. "The three bright objects were detected by our radars when flying over the Persian Gulf Islands of Khark and Khargou," he added, according to a Monday report posted on IRNA. Brig. Razmjou explained that when the radars indicated that they were not Iranian aircrafts, the IRGC fired at the three objects. He also added that the fallen objects' remains have not been found yet. The exact time and location of the sighting and downing of the weird aircraft has not been announced.

Red light UFO hovers over Boise as multiple witnesses watch from ground
September 22, 2009
The Examiner

A single red light UFO hovered silently over Boise, ID, September 18, pulsing occasionally, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness database. One observer with binoculars said the object "was made up of lots of individual circles/balls of red lights." Other witnesses in the street who had been watching it longer, said "they could see things 'falling off' the big circle…like red streamers of light that didn't reach the ground." Following is the unedited testimony from MUFON. Please keep in mind that most UFO reports can be explained as something natural or manmade. ID, September 18, 2009 – An intense, large, slow moving/hovering red light tracking north over Boise city, pulsed irregularly. MUFON Case # 19570. A group of four friends, we were walking home slowly through the Hyde Park area of north Boise. None of us had been drinking. A street fair was going on along with a BSU football game, we passed an open-air sports bar and as the others were trying to determine the score I was looking up and saw the red light. undefinedI pointed it out to others on the sidewalk…met with drunk indifference. When I could point it out to all of our group, we stood and watched. A bright red light, much larger than stars/planets, was hovering over us. It would pulse light slowly, then no pulse, then pulse again at a different rhythm.

UFO photographed over Devon
An amateur astronomer has captured pictures that appear to show a UFO hovering over Devon.
Published: 11:32AM BST 24 Sep 2009
TheTelegraph.co.uk

Lee Betts, 29, spotted the glowing red shape hovering 1,000ft up in the night sky from his bedroom window. The object moved across the sky for more than an hour on Monday evening before shooting off into the distance. Mr Betts, of Newton St Cyres near Exeter, said he watched the unidentified object through a telescope before taking the pictures at 9pm. He said: ''I couldn't believe it at first. The shape was about 100ft long and there were four lights coming from it initially. ''The shape moved slowly and it seemed to pivot on a central axis. Then, without warning, a sudden flash of light like a shooting star went across the sky. ''It was very strange. I have been an amateur astronomer for the past three years and I've never seen anything like it before. It's unexplained.''

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

The Economy Is A Lie, Too
Information Clearing House
by Paul Craig Roberts
September 21, 2009

September 21, 2009 "Information Clearing House" — Americans cannot get any truth out of their government about anything, the economy included. Americans are being driven into the ground economically, with one million school children now homeless, while Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke announces that the recession is over. The spin that masquerades as news is becoming more delusional. Consumer spending is 70% of the US economy. It is the driving force, and it has been shut down. Except for the super rich, there has been no growth in consumer incomes in the 21st century. Statistician John Williams of shadowstats.com reports that real household income has never recovered its pre-2001 peak. The US economy has been kept going by substituting growth in consumer debt for growth in consumer income. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan encouraged consumer debt with low interest rates. The low interest rates pushed up home prices, enabling Americans to refinance their homes and spend the equity. Credit cards were maxed out in expectations of rising real estate and equity values to pay the accumulated debt. The binge was halted when the real estate and equity bubbles burst.

Japan Abandons America
The Trumpet
Robert Morley
September 22, 2009

For over 50 years, one party ruled Japan virtually uninterrupted. During that time, Japan remained a loyal ally and supporter of U.S. policy. This month, a historic event took place. Japan has new leadership. In a landslide victory, a new party has done the seemingly impossible. A new freshman class of leaders now governs the Land of the Rising Sun. The effects are already rippling across the Pacific toward America. Yukio Hatoyama is Japan’s new leader. He officially took office last Wednesday, and he is already threatening to split with the United States. Hatoyama blames America for the global economic crisis and says that the U.S. is responsible for “the destruction of human dignity.” He campaigned on protecting traditional Japanese economic activities and reducing U.S.-led globalization. During the run-up to the election, Hatoyama’s finance minister told the bbc he was worried about the future value of the dollar, and that if his party were elected in the upcoming national elections, it would refuse to purchase any more U.S. treasuries unless they were denominated in Japanese yen.

UN warns over East Africa hunger
BBC
September 24, 2009

More than 20 million people in the Horn of Africa need food aid because of two years of poor rainfall, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) says. The body says cuts in its funding have made it more difficult to feed people across Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Ethiopia. The WFP is particularly concerned about Eritrea because it cannot get any reliable information about the country. Some 14 million people in the region were said to need food aid last year. The WFP says it cannot collect data from Eritrea because of movement restrictions and work permits not being issued. It says it is concerned that malnourished children and pregnant women are not getting the help being offered across the rest of the region. The Ethiopian government and WFP are using ports in Sudan and Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland to increase the flow of relief supplies to the area.

Trafigura to settle for £28m over toxic waste dumping
The Independent
by Avril Ormsby
September 21, 2009

International commodities trader Trafigura said yesterday it had reached a settlement with thousands of people in Ivory Coast who said they had fallen ill from toxic waste dumped around the economic capital Abidjan. Trafigura said in an emailed statement lawyers representing the 31,000 claimants had accepted that experts were unable to identify a link between the slops deposited in 2006 and any deaths, miscarriages, still births or other serious injuries. "This settlement completely vindicates Trafigura," company director Eric de Turckheim said in the statement. Details of the settlement were not disclosed. A class action had been scheduled to be heard in a court in London next month. Trafigura, one of the world's biggest commodities traders, had repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. It issued what it said was an agreed final joint statement with British law firm Leigh Day and Co. Nobody was immediately available from Leigh Day for comment.

Nanny state snatches kids for being too fat
World Net Daily
by Drew Zahn
September 20, 2009

A couple soon expecting their seventh child has had their fifth and sixth taken by social workers after warnings that the family needed to slim down their overweight kids or risk losing custody. The unnamed 39-year-old mother from Dundee, Scotland, told the United Kingdom's The Sun newspaper, "This is every family's worst nightmare." Scotland's television station STV reports the family was warned last year that they risk losing all of their kids, ages 3 to 13, unless the children lost weight. At the time, the youngest, a girl, weighed 56 pounds. The oldest, a boy, has since grown to over 220 pounds. "This whole case has been dreadful," said Kathleen Price, the couple's attorney. "Neither of these parents takes drink or drugs. They have a big, happy, noisy family, which is prone to being overweight." Price added, "To remove their children for that reason is scandalous. They had their children taken from them … and have no idea where they are. I have also had to warn them I believe social workers will enter the labor suite when their new baby arrives next month. They feel they are being victimized and are a complete mess."

Signs in Humanity

Killing in the name of love: Seven funerals and a wedding
The Independent
September 24, 2009

Sonam Dagar's first mistake was to fall in love with the boy next door. Her second was to continue their illicit, outlawed relationship after her family had warned her off in no uncertain terms. And her final error was to believe that an act of violence – an extraordinary, calculated night of mass murder – would allow her and her lover to be together. The 19-year-old and her boyfriend have been detained by Indian police after confessing to murdering seven members of her family – her mother, father, grandmother, brother and three cousins – in a move they believed would allow them to marry in contravention of local custom that forbids people belonging to the same clan or gotra from becoming man and wife. After drugging her family's food with sedatives slipped into the flour used to make their evening chapattis, the couple looped a rope around the necks of their victims and – each of them taking one end – strangled her relations one by one.

Mother and 5 Children Found Dead in Florida
The New York Times
by Derrick Henry
September 20, 2009

The authorities were searching for a North Naples, Fla., man on Sunday, a day after his wife and their five young children were found dead in their home. Officials and the family of the husband, Mesac Damas, 33, said they believed he was in Haiti. Detectives found Mr. Damas’s wife, identified as Guerline Damas, 32, and the children dead on Saturday evening in their home in Stratford Place, a gated community. Family members contacted the authorities on Friday, saying they had not heard from Ms. Damas, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said. The children were identified as Michzach, 9; Marven, 6; Maven, 5; Megan, 3; and Morgan, 11 months. The two youngest children were girls. The sheriff’s office has classified the deaths as homicides. The authorities declined to discuss the manner in which the victims had been killed. But Ms. Damas’s older brother, Forends Dieu, 37, told The Naples Daily News on Sunday that a deputy had told him the victims’ throats had been slit.

VeriChip shares jump after H1N1 patent license win
Reuters
Sept 21, 2009

(Reuters) – Shares of VeriChip Corp (CHIP.O) tripled after the company said it had been granted an exclusive license to two patents, which will help it to develop implantable virus detection systems in humans. The patents, held by VeriChip partner Receptors LLC, relate to biosensors that can detect the H1N1 and other viruses, and biological threats such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, VeriChip said in a statement. The technology will combine with VeriChip's implantable radio frequency identification devices to develop virus triage detection systems.    The triage system will provide multiple levels of identification — the first will identify the agent as virus or non-virus, the second level will classify the virus and alert the user to the presence of pandemic threat viruses and the third level will identify the precise pathogen, VeriChip said in a white paper published May 7, 2009.    Shares of VeriChip were up 186 percent at $3.28 Monday late afternoon trade on Nasdaq. They had touched a year high of $3.43 earlier in the session.

'Cheater' wants to reunite with boyfriend
Sandusky Register Online
Sept 20, 2009

It's the modern-day equivalent of the scarlet letter — a young woman standing on the street corner with her mistake scrawled in black permanent marker. "I cheated," her sign said in bold letters. "Honk if I deserve a second chance." On the back, it read, "I honestly love him." The woman stood on the curb of Perkins Avenue, in front of the Kroger parking lot, on a Wednesday evening with her plea. Passing drivers beeped their support. "I've gotten 57 honks in the last hour and a half," said Jess Duttry, 19, as her long black ponytail fluttered in the wind. "I've had people come out of their cars and hug me, tell me 'Good luck.'"

Jilted student who stabbed ex girlfriend is jailed for eight years
Mail Online
Sept 22, 2009

A jealous university student who stabbed his ex-girlfriend in a drink-fuelled attack after watching terrorist videos to 'beef himself up' was today jailed for eight years. Barry Nason, 26, of Raglan Street, Hull, carried out the life-threatening attack on February 12 this year, feeling rejected after discovering fellow University of Hull student Birgit Massem had a new boyfriend. Nason, who was an elected equal opportunities councillor with the student union, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and was sentenced today at Hull Crown Court. At an earlier hearing, prosecutor Katherine Robinson told the court how Miss Massem and Nason began dating shortly after she came to the UK from Germany in 2006, to study law at the university, but the relationship ended in March 2007. After Miss Massem refused to rekindle the relationship the following year, the defendant, who was described as 'having a jealous nature', telephoned her frequently, went to her house in the early hours of the morning and made threats against her brother.

Arks of Safe Haven
http://www.arksofsafehaven.org
"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and to not ignore your own flesh [and blood]?" Isaiah 58:7

The mission of Arks of Safe Haven is to connect via an extensive network and online message board forum, those individuals and families who have been affected by recent economic downfalls and are in need with those individuals who are ready, willing and capable of providing assistance to those in need with employment, shelter, work, food, clothing and other necessities.

Coupled with our primary mission of delivering the Kingdom Message of Salvation, the assistance of Arks of Safe Haven is available to all who are in need. Our purposeful intention is to follow in the footsteps of Christ as our example, by providing hope to the hopeless and answering the prayers of those who have been forced to live outside of society.

How You Can Help?

In order to provide for those whose outcry of prayers have reached our heavenly Father's ears, Arks of Safe Haven is seeking out those who are able to provide shelter, whether it be an extra bedroom, empty rental property or a work for room and board agreement. Additionally, we also act as a liaison in connecting those with tangible items to donate to those in need like Food, Water, Clothing, & Other Personal Items. We pray that your heart is motivated to make a contribution, no matter how small. Visit http://www.arksofsafehaven.org and view the many posts from those in need to see if you're able to help with advice, prayers or goods & services.

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

Dozens dead in Philippine floods
BBC News
26 September 2009

Nearly a month's worth of rain fell in just six hours in the capital At least 50 people have been killed and thousands more evacuated as floods caused by heavy rain brought chaos to the Philippines, officials say. At least one town is completely under water. Power has been cut off to parts of the capital, Manila, where hundreds of people are trapped on rooftops. The government has declared a calamity, allowing access to emergency funds. Television pictures showed water flowing down roads like rivers, with the floods chest-deep and rising. The equivalent of a whole month's rain fell in six hours as Tropical Storm Ketsana, also known as Ondoy, lashed the island of Luzon, causing the worst flooding in Manila for 20 years. Nearly 2,000 people were evacuated and hundreds more were stranded on rooftops.

Stunning pictures of glaciers from space reveal worrying signs Earth's ice is melting away
By Claire Bates
23rd September 2009
Mail Online

These awe-inspiring images of glaciers are helping scientists to determine just how quickly our planet is heating up. The huge ice fields are thought to be one of the most reliable indicators of climate change and are best studied from space. The features form when snow accumulates on an area of land over tens to hundreds of years. It eventually becomes so thick and heavy that it forms dense glacial ice. When enough ice is compacted it beings to flow downhill or spread across flat land. Nasa scientist Dorothy Hall said: 'Glaciers that tend to be good climate indicators are small-land based, non-surge type glaciers. They respond directly to both regional temperature and snow.' She and a team of scientists from around the world have used satellites to monitor changes in these glaciers in Europe, Iceland and Alaska. Glaciers tend to extend in many different directions with one part retracting while another part stays still. Therefore satellites such as Landsat 5 are essential as they can measure the entire rim by analysing the different wavelengths of light bounced back from the ice.

Mosquito-borne African virus a new threat to West
Sep 18, 2009
By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Europe face a new health threat from a mosquito-borne disease far more unpleasant than the West Nile virus that swept into North America a decade ago, a U.S. expert said on Friday. Chikungunya virus has spread beyond Africa since 2005, causing outbreaks and scores of fatalities in India and the French island of Reunion. It also has been detected in Italy, where it has begun to spread locally, as well as France. "We're very worried," Dr. James Diaz of the Louisiana University Health Sciences Center told a meeting on airlines, airports and disease transmission sponsored by the independent U.S. National Research Council. "Unlike West Nile virus, where nine out of 10 people are going to be totally asymptomatic, or may have a mild headache or a stiff neck, if you get Chikungunya you're going to be sick," he said. "The disease can be fatal. It's a serious disease," Diaz added. "There is no vaccine."

Dust Storm Blankets Sydney as Drought Bites
REUTERS
September 22, 2009

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A huge outback dust storm swept eastern Australia and blanketed Sydney on Wednesday, disrupting transport, forcing people indoors and stripping thousands of tonnes of valuable farmland topsoil. The dust blacked out the outback town of Broken Hill on Tuesday, forcing a zinc mine to shut down, and swept 1,167 km (725 miles) east to shroud Sydney in a red glow on Wednesday. By noon on Wednesday the dust storm had spread to the southern part of Australia's tropical state of Queensland. Dust storms in Australia, the world's driest inhabited continent, are not uncommon, but are usually restricted to the inland. Occasionally, during widespread drought, dust storms reach coastal areas.

Storm warning: Prop up insurance
OUR OPINION: Major hurricane could still wipe out Florida financially
Miami Herald
09.22.09

Most Floridians haven't had much reason to worry about windstorm insurance lately — out of sight, out of mind. But the mild hurricane season of 2009 — thus far — should not conceal the fact that the system for insuring homes and businesses against disaster remains badly flawed. The disappointing numbers disclosed by State Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty last week offer a sobering view of the weakness of the state insurance industry. A financial catastrophe could ensue when a major hurricane hits one of the more developed areas along Florida's exposed coastline. According to Mr. McCarty, 84 companies writing hurricane and other property insurance coverage recorded underwriting gains in the first six months of the year while 102 recorded losses. More companies lost money from the insurance side of the business (as opposed to investments and so forth) than the companies that made money, and that suggests the rate structure needs to be adjusted to raise more revenue. Commissioner McCarty doesn't cry wolf. He has not hestitated to take on the insurance industry when he thought consumers were being scalped. His views on the weakness of the private insurance market, as expressed to the Florida Cabinet, deserve to be taken seriously. They are a warning that, forasmuch as we hate to say it, rates have to be raised.

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

QUAKES –

9/19/09 –
5.0 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.5 SICHUAN-GANSU BORDER REG, CHINA
5.1 HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN

9/18/09 –
5.9 SOUTH OF BALI, INDONESIA
5.8 HALMAHERA, INDONESIA
5.0 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA
5.6 REVILLA GIGEDO ISLANDS REGION
5.9 MINDORO, PHILIPPINES
5.4 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.1 NORTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA
5.0 NORTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA
5.1 NORTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA

9/20/09 –
5.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS

9/21/09 –
6.4 BHUTAN
5.3 JAN MAYEN ISLAND REGION

9/22/09 –
5.0 SOUTHWEST OF SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.4 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 MINDORO, PHILIPPINES
5.2 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS.
5.1 KURIL ISLANDS
5.0 KURIL ISLANDS
5.5 NEW GUINEA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

9/23/09 –
5.2 SCOTIA SEA
6.0 MACQUARIE ISLAND REGION

9/24/09 –
5.0 KYRGYZSTAN
6.4 OFF COAST OF JALISCO, MEXICO

BHUTAN – The prime minister of Bhutan has described the earthquake which hit the Himalayan kingdom on Monday as "ONE OF THE BIGGEST DISASTERS IN RECENT TIMES". More than 1,100 homes have been damaged by the 6.1 magnitude earthquake, and thousands of people have been forced to live in the open. Rescue teams are scouring eastern Bhutan for survivors. So far at least 11 people have been confirmed dead. Aftershocks are still being felt by villagers near the epicentre of the earthquake, close to Bhutan's border with India. "It wasn't only the magnitude on the Richter scale but also the intensity because, from what we know, the first tremor lasted for almost five seconds, which is very long."

INDIA – The recent Bhutan earthquake has sent in a warning signal to Bihar as, seismologically speaking, the entire state is sitting on a time bomb. Experts have already predicted the probability of an earthquake of a magnitude greater than eight on the Richter Scale in this region any time around 2010. The state has a history of moderate to severe earthquake occurrences. The northern part of the state adjacent to Nepal lies in the highest risk zone. Studies on the earthquake patterns of this region indicate that strain is accumulating in some parts of this region. A separate field of thermal energy is created in the stress area and changes in the magnetic field are also observed prior to quakes. Coronal mass ejection (CME) due to solar radiation is absorbed in active faults and, hence, the chances of earthquakes generally increases in March and April.

ITALY's quake-stricken central Abruzzo region was struck by an earthquake late on Tuesday. The earthquake had a magnitude of 2.9 and the epicentre centred on the capital of the region, L'Aquila. The tremor was not reported to have injured anyone or damaged buildings. Abruzzo has been hit by scores of aftershocks since the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake on 6 April, from which the region is still struggling to recover. The earthquake killed nearly 300 people, injured thousands and displaced 50,000 people in the city of L'Aquila and surrounding villages. Tens of thousands of people are still living in tents in the L'Aquila area, while the local economy has ground to a halt.

BHUTAN – At least three people were killed after a 6.3 magnitude quake struck the remote mountain kingdom of Bhutan. The quake damaged monasteries and caused homes to collapse in the mountain kingdom. The tremors also caused panic in the city of Guwahati, the capital of India's north-eastern state of Assam. The epicentre was just inside Bhutan's border with India.

PHILIPPINES – Two earthquakes rocked Mindanao Friday night (5.6) and Saturday morning (5.3), less than 24 hours after a temblor shook Metro Manila and Southern Luzon (6.1). At least 25 homes were damage by the quake. The town hall of Barangay (village) New Panay and Sangguniang Barangay session hall were also destroyed. A civilian was slightly wounded when flying debris hit him. There were also slightly damaged houses and structures in the towns of Norallah and Surallah in South Cotabato and Bagumbayan and Isulan in Sultan Kudarat.

INDONESIA – A 6.4 earthquake struck offshore from Indonesia's island of Bali on Saturday, causing some injuries. Officials said no tsunami warning had been issued, but the quake at around dawn was felt strongly on the resort island. At least seven people were injured, some hit by falling debris from buildings and others after jumping from high floors. The roof of a shopping mall in the island's capital of Denpasar also collapsed.

INDIA – The strong 6.4 earthquake that struck Bhutan on Monday rocked parts of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on Monday afternoon. None of the districts, including those bordering Bhutan, reported any damage to property. There were unconfirmed reports of cracks in some buildings and high-rise constructions in the city. However, it would have to be ascertained whether the cracks were already there or whether they occurred due to the earthquake. The quake also shook Bangladesh. This was the fifth tremor that shook Assam and its neighbouring States since August 11. On September 4, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake shook the region and prompted the State Disaster Management Authority to launch an earthquake simulation exercise. In August, three moderate earthquakes – 5.3 magntitude on August 31, 4.9 on August 19 and 5.6 magnitude on August 11 – were recorded. The tremor on Monday lasted for about 20-25 seconds. It was followed by a mild aftershock. Panic-stricken residents of the city rushed out of their houses. The occurrence of five earthquakes with increasing magnitude in less than one-and-half months has created panic among the people of the State. The State Disaster Management Authority has identified Guwahati to be the most vulnerable city in the region because of the high-rise buildings and narrow roads. Assam has experienced two major earthquakes — one measuring 8.1 in 1897 and another measuring 8.7 in 1950.

MYSTERY BOOMS –

CANADA & WASHINGTON – September 2009, with reports as far back as April 2009 – Residents on Vancouver Island are puzzled by a recurrent loud rumbling noise that some liken to the sound of a jet, and others to an earthquake. It can last for up to 30 seconds. “It’s like a jet taking off.” A resident said the sound started about three weeks ago and is so loud she can hear it over traffic. She said the noise varies, but lasts for five to seven seconds before diminishing. “It’s ominous.” A seismologist at the Pacific Geosciences Centre said he has received reports from residents across southern Vancouver Island. One woman recorded the times the rumble was heard, but those times do not coincide with any seismic activity. An earthquake would have to be fairly large to be heard. Other suspects — blasting in Saanich, commercial aircraft on new flight paths and military detonations on Bentinck Island near William Head — were also ruled out, as was seismic testing being conducted by a research vessel 250 kilometres southwest of Vancouver Island. Some mused that the noise is coming from the American side, but in Washington state, residents are wondering what the Canucks are up to that's causing the racket. A reporter at the Peninsula News in Port Angeles said they've been reporting on the phenomenon for weeks, with some instances noted as early as April of this year. The noise is possibly from the naval air station on Whidbey Island. The U.S. is phasing out its EA6B Prowler fighter aircraft, and is training personnel with Boeing EA-18G Growler fighters. The aircraft is conducting touch-and-go exercises where the plane practices quick touchdowns, then accelerates for a fast takeoff to simulate the effect of aborting a landing on an aircraft carrier. [This only explains noise during the summer however.]

VOLCANOES –

HAWAII – An explosion at the summit of Kilauea volcano sent incandescent tephra spattering all over the Halema`uma`u vent cavity at 3:13 am Thursday morning. The burst propelled fresh glassy spatter up to 2 cm long all above the vent rim, even several tens of yards above the Halema`uma`u Overlook. The event coincided with a hybrid earthquake, followed by 20-40 minutes of sustained tremor. A similar hybrid earthquake was recorded at 9:26 am on Wednesday. The HVO says these amounts of tephra and of spatter have not been seen since the most recent vent collapse on June 30. Meanwhile, the glow from lava within Halema`uma`u has returned and is visible in the overnight hours.

AUSTRALIA – Already becoming increasingly aware of its vulnerability to earthquakes, Australia has now been warned to prepare for volcanic eruptions. A scientist has warned a volcanic eruption there is "well overdue" and he says there are hundreds of volcanoes that could cause trouble. Some potential volcanoes could spew ash on to Melbourne and pump lava into the streets. Lava – possibly lasting 20 years – and explosive ash could decimate important grassland plains, cutting off essential water supplies and destroying towns, farmland, roads, railways and bridges. Toxic gases could also settle in depressions in the surrounding countryside and asphyxiate anyone caught there. There are only two active volcanoes on Australian territory: "Big Ben" on Heard Island in the depths of the Southern Ocean, and Mawson Peak on nearby McDonald Island, whose eruptions doubled the island's size in the final two decades of the last century. But a warning issued through the Geological Society and sciencealert.com.au said that a volcanic eruption on the Australian mainland was an inevitability. In the past 40,000 years there has been a cycle of increased volcanic activity that could be pointing to future events. Any eruption is unlikely to blow from an existing volcano. Instead, they would blast from nearby sites. There are about 400 volcanoes stretching from Victoria's western district into the western uplands around Ballarat, and to the north of Melbourne, and in some parts of the eastern uplands, stretching into South Australia near Mt Gambier. "The geological records show that new volcanoes in these areas have erupted perhaps every 200 years in the past 40,000 years – and given there has not been a major eruption there for the past 5000 years, a significant eruption seems well overdue."

WASHINGTON – A swarm of small, shallow earthquakes occurred beneath the summit of Mount Rainier on Sunday, September 20. The largest event at 0945 PDT had a preliminary magnitude of M 2.2 with a depth of 1.8 km, located 1 km NNE of the summit. The swarm also featured many small events that were too small to be located, and lasted for several hours before gradually waning. Such swarms have happened several times in the past decade. One example is the swarm on November 7, 2004, that included a M 3.2 event. "We consider the September 20, 2009, swarm to be within the realm of normal activity at Mount Rainier."

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

'Millions at risk' as deltas sink – Most of the world's major river deltas are sinking, increasing the flood risk faced by hundreds of millions of people. Damming and diverting rivers means that much less sediment now reaches many delta areas, while extraction of gas and groundwater also lowers the land. Rivers affected include the Colorado, Nile, Pearl, Rhone and Yangtze. About half a billion people live in these regions. 85% of major deltas have seen severe flooding in recent years, and the area of land vulnerable to flooding will increase by about 50% in the next 40 years as land sinks and climate change causes sea levels to rise. There are "a host of human-induced factors that already cause deltas to sink much more rapidly than could be explained by sea level alone." Most of the at-risk river basins are in the developing countries of Asia, but there are several in developed nations as well, including the Rhone in France and the Po in Italy. The Po delta sank by 3.7m during the 20th Century, mainly from methane extraction. Possibly the worst affected is the Chao Phraya, the river that flows through Bangkok. In some years, parts of the delta have sunk relative to sea level by 15cm (six inches).

TROPICAL STORMS –

Fred tries to resurge before reaching Carolina coast – In a very limited Atlantic tropical season, many forecasters have been reduced to watching remnant Lows as they approach land. This is the case with Fred, which two weeks ago was a storm that surprised many as it strengthened to a major hurricane on September 9th. It reached winds of 120mph. Even though it weakened and dropped below tropical storm status, the remnant Low has been tracked all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. The National Hurricane Center has been occasionally making statements with the small chance that it might regenerate, but as of Monday morning, that seems to have been dismissed. However, the low pressure is getting picked up by some computer models and getting caught up in the flow around a strong High Pressure sliding out of New England and eastern Canada. That pushes this system onshore between North and South Carolina this week. So while it might not have a name, nor the full respect of the National Hurricane Center, the remains of a once powerful hurricane will help to produce rain over the next few days.

An active low-pressure area (ALPA) east of Central Luzon is likely to intensify into a cyclone in 24 hours. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the ALPA may trigger flash floods and landslides in the country's western sections. Should the ALPA become a cyclone, it will be codenamed "Ondoy." The cyclone is likely to affect Northern Luzon.

Former Hurricane Fred made himself at home Tuesday in Southeastern North Carolina, wringing out as much as 6.5 inches of rain from the remaining tropical wave. Along with the rain, 80-degree temperatures marked the first day of fall. A National Weather Service flood watch remained in effect through late Tuesday for parts of Southeastern North Carolina. The rainfall was very localized and very coastal.

Australian scientists are blaming Category Five cyclone Hamish, which tracked along the Queensland coast six months ago, for the drop off in coral trout numbers. Before the cyclone, fishermen were reporting an average coral trout catch of 30 a day. Straight after the event, boats were returning with around one or two fish, and six months later, coral trout catches along the Queensland coast still remain low. A researcher now thinks it's because of the the way fish have reacted to changed water temperatures. "Coral trout have dropped, most likely due to a drop in water temperatures associated with some of these cyclones. Because of the way they spin off the continental shelf, they actually drag very cold water from deep off the shelf up onto the shelf and it just slows the metabolism of the fish down, and they go off the bite."

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

TENNESSE – Daylong rain in September is RARE in Tennessee and a National Weather Service forecaster calls a week of it "VERY UNUSUAL." September and October are usually the dryer months of the year. A flood watch was posted for northern Middle Tennessee and a flash flood watch covered all of West Tennessee on Thursday. In the 48 hours ending at 7 a.m. Thursday, Cookeville received about 8.5 inches of rain. Lebanon got 8.15 inches. The usual rainfall for the entire month of September in Nashville is a couple of inches. Sustained late summer rain is usually caused by remnants of a hurricane, but this weathermaker is a low stalled west of Tennessee, pumping up Gulf moisture.

FIJI ISLANDS – People living in the low-lying areas were advised to take all precautionary measures as a trough affecting the group is expected to bring in more rain over the group particularly on Viti Levu. The Naqali Bridge in Naitasiri was reported to be underwater Friday morning. “Overall we still expecting flooding of low line areas and …even the rivers came up pretty high… to expect that kind of situation in the dry season month of September I would say is RARE – so we have a VERY PECULIAR WEATHER PATTERN, we got the signal about this heavy rain a few days back.”

SPAIN – The Balearic Islands were at high risk (orange alert) of "heavy rains" from midnight Thursday, according to the head of the State Meteorological Office for the archipelago. The islands had already been on yellow alert from 2am. In all, twelve Comunidades are on alert because of the intense downpours affecting the country as a whole, but the east side in particular. Extremely heavy rain was expected in the north of Valencia province and in Castellón province, where up to 50 litres of rain per square metre was expected to fall, with up to 40 litres an hour expected in Barcelona and Tarragona.

AUSTRALIA – Hailstones the size of golf balls and strong winds have damaged buildings and crops as severe storms move across South Australia.

CYPRUS – The Nicosia and Larnaca districts were lashed by more hailstorms, rainfall and high winds Sunday, in a second day of dramatic weather, with poor conditions forecast for Monday. Storms rushed in from the north-west from noon onwards, with a small tornado forming in the Koshi area, though no serious damage or injuries were recorded. The whirlwind crossed over the Nicosia-Larnaca highway and headed towards the village Avdelero, but veered off. The mountain areas of Kampos and Pyrgos were also affected, with powerful hailstorms accounting for several accidents. By the afternoon, there were landslides on a number of mountain roads in Nicosia and Larnaca Districts, leading to temporary closure. Early afternoon storms knocked out the electricity supply in the Lakatamia area; Aglandjia residents had also spent a night in the dark but power was restored early in the morning. Earlier in the day, police warned of extreme weather conditions, centring in Nicosia, starting from noon and ending at around 6pm. Their announcement didn’t exclude the possibility of a similar outcome to the day before, where a sizeable tornado ripped parts of Nicosia to pieces. Police urged civilians to avoid leaving their homes without good reason. The public was also warned not to stand next to windows or glass panes if a tornado was to form, as most injuries on Friday were from glass succumbing to the swift variations in air pressure. “We wish we never had to experience such phenomena, which are rare. Such phenomena happen but this tornado was aggressive and catastrophic."

U.S.  – At least eight people have died and several others are missing as the southeast US is hit by floods. The floods were set off by torrential rain. In Georgia nearly 600mm (2ft) of rain fell in the past two days. Flooding has also affected Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina. Forecasters are warning of more heavy rain and possible flash floods. "This has been a 48-hour ordeal. We're no match for the kind of force water can put upon us."

While the devastation from recent floods in Atlanta, Georgia, looks like the result of a storm that formed over tropical waters, the floods are actually the result of prolonged and steady rains. Rains have been drenching the city for about eight days because weather conditions have caused storms to stick in place. So that, in part, is what has caused the severe flooding — not torrential rains or high winds, often associated with stronger tropical storms, which form over oceans instead of land. "This is something that's really impacting a lot of people and scientifically, it's an event that we don't see too often here in Atlanta — especially when it's not connected to a tropical system." A low-pressure storm system moved into Georgia during the middle of last week. When it arrived, it feathered up next to a high-pressure system that was hovering over the East Coast. The result: It got stuck. The atmosphere over north Georgia is completely saturated with water. A new storm system has moved into place now and, at any disturbance, is ready to drop more water on Atlanta. "It's just sitting there waiting for someone to wring the washcloth." The storm that remained stuck over Atlanta on Monday previously had brought needed rain to southern Texas. It sucked its moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. That system dissipated late Monday, but another has moved in to take its place. Responding to the rain, creeks and rivers in metro Atlanta are overflowing in some places, setting NEW RECORDS. The Chattahoochee River in northeast Atlanta rose to a height not seen since 1919. Flood warnings are in place through Saturday.

CHINA will make its biggest-ever effort to control the weather and prevent rain washing out festivities marking the 60th anniversary of communist rule. China's air force will deploy 18 aircraft to spray cloud dispersal chemicals into the atmosphere around Beijing, while "48 fog dispersal vehicles" will use similar technology at airports around the capital. "It is the first time in Chinese history that artificial weather modification on such (a) large scale has been attempted." China is planning a massive parade, song and dance performances and fireworks at Tiananmen Square on October 1. The capital made similar efforts for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics when more than 1100 "rain dispersal rockets" were fired into the skies to break up clouds around the Bird's Nest National Stadium. In addition to air force efforts, the Beijing Weather Modification Office is also prepared to implement similar cloud dispersal measures ahead of October 1. Remote satellite technology will be employed to help monitor weather changes and adjust modification measures. Weather records show that there is a 30 per cent chance of rain on October 1, but precipitation has been light on most recent National Days.

AUSTRALIA – Fires in Queensland, flood warnings in Victoria, a foot of snow in the mountains and Sydney's BIGGEST DUST STORM IN LIVING MEMORY – this is Australia. Weather was the talking point across the continent on Wednesday, with a severe cold front delivering BIZARRE conditions. At Perisher, high in the NSW ski fields, they are expecting a spring blast of snow, anticipating up to a foot of snow by Saturday or Sunday. In southeast Queensland, firefighters worked to snuff out blazes on the Sunshine Coast. High temperatures and gusty winds have prompted authorities to impose a total fire ban through almost half of Queensland. In Victoria, the opposite is playing out with a maximum of 15 degrees predicted for Saturday. While it's been a little calmer in Perth, the conditions have still been odd. Winter rain that has continued into September in Australia's southwest has meteorologists searching the record books to find a longer spell of unbroken wet weather. Perth's Wellington Dam on Tuesday broke through the 50 per cent mark for the first time in 12 years and 11 of the southwest's 23 dams are overflowing. Long-standing Perth residents cannot remember such unseasonal rain, while the weather bureau says this month's falls represent THE LONGEST RECORDED STRETCH OF DAILY SEPTEMBER RAIN SINCE 1915. The rain is predicted to return next week. Meanwhile, up to 120mm of rain fell in some areas of Tasmania in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday. The downpour caused flooding and cut power to more than 1,000 homes. The heavy rain, which was forecast to ease in the afternoon, comes after one of the state's WETTEST WINTERS ON RECORD.

EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-

CANADA – Unseasonably warm temperatures made for another day of RECORD BREAKING HEAT across Saskatchewan on Saturday.

Scientists have recorded the WORLD'S WARMEST AUGUST OCEAN SURFACE TEMPERATURE EVER, a heat wave is heading for Queensland, Australia and an El Nino-borne drought looms. The weather bureau expects temperatures in far western Queensland to reach 40C early next week and hit 34C in Brisbane on Wednesday, driven by north to northwest winds. The US National Climatic Data Centre has found ocean temperatures were the warmest on record averaged for any June to August period in either the Northern Hemisphere summer or Southern Hemisphere winter – 1.03F above the 20th century average of 61.4F. The preliminary analysis is based on records dating to 1880. Large parts of the world's land mass had warmer-than-average temperatures in August. The warmest were Australia, Europe, parts of the Middle East, northwestern Africa and southern South America. Australia and New Zealand had their WARMEST AUGUST SINCE RECORDS BEGAN. The combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for August was the second warmest on record, behind 1998. UNUSUAL drought-bearing El Nino conditions persisted, with tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures warmer than average. "These conditions are forecast to persist until at least year's end by most leading climate models."

AUSTRALIA – Total fire bans have been imposed as the weather heats up across Queensland, bringing with it extreme fire conditions.

Recession and policies cut carbon – The global recession has brought a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions.

If the world fails to reach agreement on tackling climate change soon then it could end in war, a climate scientist has warned.

OREGON – RECORD HEAT forecast for autumnal equinox. Wind gusts of 60 mph were reported in the Columbia River Gorge on Monday, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a Fire Weather Warning for much of Oregon as temperatures climbed toward 90 degrees. Warm and dry air was expected to amass over the state through midday today, with strong easterly winds through this afternoon. The strongest gusts would come in the Cascade foothills and the Gorge, the Weather Service predicted. The heat and dry air, known as a thermal trough, were coming north from California. The record high temperature of 93 degrees could fall. Temperatures won’t retreat from summer-like highs anytime this week.

CALIFORNIA – Even though fall may officially begin today it's going to feel like the middle of summer this week for Bay Area residents. A heat advisory was issued for the Bay Area and Santa Cruz County beginning Monday afternoon and ending today. Inland valleys will see temperatures climbing over the 100-degree mark and even those on the coast will see temperatures in the 90s. A strong ridge of high pressure will build over the west coast. Adding to the heat and fire danger are offshore winds. The high temperatures could get close to record breaking for this time of year, especially inland. Coastal communities should see some relief from the roasting temperatures by Wednesday, but it may take another day or two for the mercury to drop much inland.

CANADA – After record breaking summer weather, which never seems to end and is expected to last most of this week, fall officially arrives at 2:18 Pacific Time today. But it will likely be a warmer-than-normal fall, as relatively mild weather could remain in place for South Coast British Columbia. A weak El Nino episode in the Central Pacific will begin to exert its influence on the weather for the west coast of North America over the next several months. "Initially, we will experience an extended stretch of 'virtual summer' through the end of September, with sunshine and possible record heat in the forecast again. Then, compared to seasonal normals, the outlook for October and November remains unusually mild and dry for the B.C. south coast." A persistent high pressure ridge along the coastline will likely result a late arrival of the fall storm season in the Lower Mainland this year. "Based on the information available to date, I would anticipate fewer storms, slightly above average temperatures, and slightly below normal rainfall amounts for the next two months. Conversely, this pattern would support more frequent episodes of fog through October and November, particularly over the Inner Straits."

AUSTRALIAN weather officials are warning of another severe storm to sweep across the southern and eastern parts of the country tomorrow and Friday with the potential to create another dust storm. A dust storm blanketed Sydney today, disrupting transport, placing health authorities on alert for widespread respiratory illness and stripping thousands of tons of topsoil off Australia's main farmlands. The next storm could again whip up a dust storm, cause damage with gale-force winds and send temperatures plummeting enough to dump snow on Australia's alpine region. Scientists say if El Nino weather conditions continued in the western Pacific, then Australia's dry conditions and more dust storms can be expected. Whether they would remain confined to inland or outback regions or sweep across farmlands and reach more populated centres remained unknown. Weather scientists were reluctant to directly link climate change with extreme weather events such as storms and droughts, saying these fluctuated according to atmospheric conditions. Dust storms in Australia are not uncommon, but they are usually restricted to the inland of Australia. Occasionally, during widespread drought, they can affect coastal areas. Australia is battling one of its worst droughts and an El Nino is slowly developing in the Pacific which will mean drier conditions for Australia's eastern states. Before the Sydney dust storm, one of the most spectacular storms swept across Melbourne in February 1983, late in the severe El Nino drought of 1982/83. The extended dry period of the 1930s and 1940s generated many severe dust storms, culminating in the summer of 1944/45 when on several occasions dust in Adelaide was so thick that street lighting had to be turned on.

Sydney, Australia's biggest city, has been shrouded in red dust blown in by winds from the deserts of the outback. Visibility is so bad that international flights have been diverted and harbour ferry traffic disrupted. Emergency services reported a surge in calls from people suffering breathing problems. Traffic has been bumper-to-bumper on major roads. The dust blanketing eastern parts of New South Wales has been carried by powerful winds that snatched up tons of topsoil from the drought-ravaged west of the state. It has been a difficult 24 hours for Australia, which has been hit by earthquakes, hail storms and bushfires. In parts of New South Wales, huge hail stones whipped up by thunderstorms smashed windows and sent residents running for cover. Further north in Queensland, officials banned open fires in many areas when bushfires sprang up after a spell of hot, dry weather. Two minor earthquakes hit Victoria state on Tuesday, and heavy rains that followed led officials to issue a warning of flash floods.

The dust storm is THE WORST IN 70 YEARS, AND PERHAPS THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE STATE. The Bureau of Meterology said the storm, which had now hit Brisbane, was an "EXTREMELY RARE EVENT". “It's one of the worst, if not the worst." Residents of Sydney and parts of NSW awoke to scenes likened to "armageddon", with limited visibility and orange skies. The conditions are expected to clear later today. The dust, from drought-ravaged western NSW, was propelled by a change from northern to southerly winds.

The dust storm that smothered NSW and southern Queensland pushed air pollution levels to 1,500 times their normal levels – the HIGHEST ON RECORD. Towns across far west NSW were yesterday hit with strong winds and low visibility, and dust swept up from those areas crossed through the state, blanketing Sydney from early today. "Dust storms like this occur quite regularly but they RARELY travel this far east and come through Sydney." Initial estimates showed the dust plume stretched 600km along the NSW coast from Sydney to the Queensland border this morning, dumping up to 75,000 tonnes of dust per hour into the Tasman Sea. "It's travelled about 1500km to get to Sydney." Measurements taken in Sydney today showed the HIGHEST LEVEL OF PARTICLE CONCENTRATION ON RECORD. A normal day would see around 10 micrograms of particles per cubic metre of air and a bushfire might generate 500 micrograms. Levels today soared to 15,400 micrograms per cubic metre of air at one location. "During a dust storm, that's when we get our highest levels historically and this is the highest we've measured in Sydney."

Greenland and parts of Antarctica are losing large volumes of ice to the oceans as their glaciers get thinner
, a Nasa satellite has revealed. Many glaciers have increased their flow rates in recent years, and the Icesat mission now allows scientists to measure their thickness in detail. A full melt of the Greenland ice would push sea level up by about 7m (20ft). The extent of "dynamic thinning" has been a major source of uncertainty in projections of sea-level rise. This dynamic thinning now covers all latitudes in Greenland. "All of the glaciers that are changing rapidly are ones that flow into the sea." The swiftness with which some of the glaciers now move towards the sea far outstrips the rate at which ice can be restored to the land through precipitation. As a consequence, these glaciers are shown in the Icesat data to be falling in height – some dramatically so. This dynamic thinning now covers all latitudes in Greenland. In Antarctica, the picture is more complicated, with Icesat reporting significant ice growth in places. Nonetheless, the researchers say, thinning has intensified at key locations where ice streams enter the ocean.

Global warming creates second El Nino – Global warming periodically shifts El Nino thousands of miles to the west, potentially intensifying Asian droughts and weakening its dampening effect on Atlantic hurricanes, reports a study published today. Up to now, the tropical weather phenomenon, which strikes on average every four or five years, has generally occurred along a wide stretch of the equator in the eastern Pacific. Such is the case with the current El Nino, which is likely to remain in place well into next year. But climate change has apparently given rise to an alternate form of El Nino that is likely to become more frequent over the coming decades. "There are two El Ninos. In addition to the eastern Pacific El Nino … a second El Nino in the central Pacific is on the increase." The two do not occur at the same time. In Asia, it could intensify droughts that have already wreaked havoc in recent decades. And in the Atlantic, it could weaken the positive effect it has had up to now in mitigating the intensity of hurricanes that strike the Caribbean and the US east coast. The findings are bolstered by observation: half of the most recent El Nino occurrences have been in the central rather than the eastern Pacific, compared to only one-out-of-five before that. During a strong eastern Pacific El Nino, ocean temperatures can average 2.0 to 3.5C above normal between the international dateline and the west coast of South America. The warm water region also coincides with above average tropical rainfall.

AUSTRALIA cleared up on Thursday after the WORST DUST STORM IN DECADES which smothered Sydney and cost an estimated tens of millions of dollars in lost productivity. Residents cleaned grimy cars and windows under clear skies a day after millions of tonnes of dust blew in from the desert Outback, forming an eerie red dawn in Sydney and caking the city in orange powder. Health experts said the danger from record air pollution had passed but industry groups pointed to heavy economic damage in lost working hours and precious agricultural topsoil. The airport delays "would cost millions and much of the building industry shut down for the day — that's expensive. Strong winds following the HOTTEST AUGUST ON RECORD sucked up dust from a decade-long drought in what experts said was the biggest such incident to hit Sydney since 1942. Eastern Australia was probably set for more dusty days in the coming weeks, but nothing on this scale. "It was VERY UNUSUAL." The freak weather, which also rained large hailstones over New South Wales and formed a mini-tornado near Canberra, coincided with a pair of minor earthquakes in Victoria and 21 bush fires in Queensland.

CANADA – HIGH TEMPERATURES RECORDS WERE SHATTERED for September 23 across cities in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Lytton, B.C. tied with Drumheller, Alberta, for the hottest spots with high temperatures of 34.6. Vancouver posted a new high of 27.8 Celsius, Edmonton was scorching hot at 33.5 Celsius and Saskatoon, along with much of the province, was hovering at 32 Celsius. A ridge of high pressure caused the record breaking temperatures in some 36 weather stations across Canada stretching from Vancouver to Gimli, Manitoba.

HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD –

COLORADO – On Monday, the first snow in the foothills, so early in the season, has even the experts wondering whether this week's pileup is a bellwether of a severe winter. "We found that pretty much anything could happen." Early snow sometimes is followed by a very cold winter. Other times, the winter wasn't all that bad. "It's totally unrelated." Monday's storm system dropped serious snow west of Denver, including 10 1/2 inches in the Conifer area and 9 inches in Evergreen. "We sure are having an UNUSUAL WEATHER PATTERN right now," said a climatologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The early snow isn't linked to the El Niño/La Niña weather pattern that gave the Front Range a cool, rainy summer. When you get 4 to 6 inches of wet snow in September when the trees are in full leaf, it can cause amazing tree damage.

HEALTH THREATS –

'Flu body bags' – Canada's health minister has ordered an investigation after body bags were sent to aboriginal reserves as part of supplies to deal with swine flu. The body bags were delivered this week to First Nation communities in Manitoba province which were hard hit by a disproportionate number of severe cases of swine flu a few months ago. Community leaders said they were "horrified" when they saw the bags. Health officials have apologised for any alarm caused and say the bags were just sent as routine restocking. "I was very disturbed and actually frightened that they're actually shipping that number of body bags to the communities," Manitoba's Grand Chief said. "I thought they were preparing for what the experts were predicting." Ties were already strained between aboriginal communities and the government, after Health Canada delayed sending hand gel to some reserves amid concerns it would be abused by alcoholics. Health Canada has recorded 76 deaths across the country attributed to the H1N1 virus.

Once public health officials start their mass swine flu vaccination campaigns in October, they'll be bracing for a deluge of complaints about adverse events–most of which won't have anything to do with the vaccine. "We are going to be overwhelmed with potential events," said Mike Osterholm, a public health expert at the University of Minnesota. "Anything that happens to anybody in the period of seven to 14 days after vaccination will be reported." Sorting the myriad of reports in an attempt to unveil any actual link will be a challenge.

Health-care leaders are urging an informed, measured response to what one expert describes as government-fueled hysteria surrounding the H1N1 flu. “At this point, we are dealing with a mild flu with a lot of media attention." As scientists examined this current outbreak, they found a much less lethal situation than first feared. “It was not necessarily the virus that was causing the deaths in Mexico. But it was the health system and community poverty.” The latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state Health Department show elevated numbers for those with flu-like symptoms and positive blood tests. But that is probably due to the heightened awareness. The same reports show a much lower-than-average death rate for the flu, which kills more than 30,000 people every year in the United States. Most of the deaths and more serious complications such as pneumonia occur in the very old, very young and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma or compromised immune systems. "The hysteria is fulfilling itself. People are finding more flu, but the actual number of people dying from the flu is way down.” But it is too early to say how bad the flu season will be this year. Many say the vaccine development was rushed and question its safety. A survey of Hong Kong health workers found even during the height of global swine flu panic in May, less than half were willing to get vaccinated. The survey surprised some experts because Hong Kong was hit hard during the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS. "I have questions in my own mind about the risk versus the reward,” a U.S. chief medical officer said. For some, the vaccine campaign harkens back to the 1976 swine flu, H1N1, outbreak that never really materialized. That year, one death was attributed to H1N1, but up to 25 deaths were linked to the vaccine.

The CDC has eased recommendations for school closings
in place of advice to separate sick students and step up hand-washing and sanitation measures. School will be closed only if the community situation becomes severe. Closing school is generally ineffective. “There never has been a successful quarantine program for the flu.”

Billions of dollars are being made in one of the biggest bonanzas
ever seen on the vaccine front. Government officials in the U.S. and around the world have been scrambling to lay their hands on as much new swine flu vaccine as they can, as fast as they can. But signs are beginning to appear that suggest the supply may quickly beat the demand. The new survey in Hong Kong shows that more than half of all healthcare workers – the prime target of every plan regarding early inoculation – will turn it down. Only 48 percent of these first responders, including doctors and nurses, said they would allow themselves to be vaccinated. And fear of serious side effects is the primary cause of rejection. This isn't the only study to find a deep-seated reluctance to be first in line for any new vaccine. A new survey in Canada found that parents and healthcare workers are often frightened by a new vaccine. "Across the board, most people said they would need to know a lot more information about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, and a lot more about how risky the disease is before they would consider using it."

Tens of thousands of Londoners will be hit by a second wave of swine flu within three weeks, it was claimed Friday. Experts warned that the pandemic is likely to be "at its peak" in the capital between the beginning of October and the end of November. Last week the Chief Medical Officer predicted that the next phase of the virus could kill 19,000. Over the next two months, Londoners will be tracked on http://www.flusurvey.org.uk to try to contain the virus and obtain more accurate figures. "About 15 per cent of the population will be ill."

Health ministers around the globe were sent a warning on Thursday
in a report on the costs of averting a humanitarian disaster in the next few months.The swine flu pandemic could kill millions and cause anarchy in the world's poorest nations unless £900m can be raised from rich countries to pay for vaccines and antiviral medicines, says a UN report leaked to the Observer. The disclosure will provoke concerns that health officials will not be able to stem the growth of the worldwide H1N1 pandemic in developing countries. If the virus takes hold in the poorest nations, millions could die and the economies of fragile countries could be destroyed. It comes as officials inside the World Health Organisation, the UN's public health body, said they feared they would not be able to raise half that amount because of the global downturn. The 47-page report provides a detailed breakdown of the basic needs of 75 vulnerable countries with the weakest capacity to withstand an escalation of the virus. Six countries from Latin America, including Cuba and Bolivia, 21 countries from Asia and the Pacific such as North Korea and Bangladesh, and 40 countries from Africa such as Congo and Eritrea are included in the survey.

U.S. agency finds fault with flu preparedness – U.S. states and local communities may be ill-prepared to respond to a flu pandemic and could face manpower and logistical problems as they try to distribute vaccines and drugs, a federal watchdog said today. Some states and municipalities have failed to take basic steps from recruiting crucial personnel to tracking available hospital beds and medical equipment. Preparedness plans often did not say where the staff needed to distribute vaccines and other drugs would come from, and failed to identify the individuals and organizations who would be responsible for specific tasks. This study does not reflect preparations for the H1N1 swine flu pandemic that have been undertaken since the federal government allocated more than $1.4 billion in funding for state and local governments. But it does reflect several years of reports showing the U.S. public health system and hospitals in general are barely prepared to cope with the daily onslaught of disease and accidents, let alone a serious pandemic.

The director general of the World Health Organization
says that the overall clinical picture of the pandemic H1N1 virus is reassuring, but health officials are increasingly concerned about a small group of patients who rapidly become severely ill. Though numbers have been small, they could burden intensive care units as infections spread. The second wave of the pandemic appears to be beginning.

Health departments' job losses accelerate
– Budget cuts forced public health departments to cut 8,000 positions between January and June, according to a new survey. The trend reflects a big increase in the continuing erosion of the health department workforce, which lost more jobs in the first 6 months of 2009 than all of 2008. The news comes as departments prepare to launch two immunization campaigns, one for seasonal flu and the other for the pandemic H1N1.

Canadian experts applaud deliberate vaccine process – Some of Canada's infectious disease experts are applauding the country's decision to put its pandemic vaccine through the full approval process, rather than speeding it through with an emergency use authorization. One expert said the vaccine uses an adjuvant that hasn't been used before, and a more thorough and deliberate review could avoid future problems and build public trust in the new vaccine.

Hospital sets up tents to handle flu surge
  – Authorities at Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin, Texas, set up tents outside its emergency department to start triaging some patients with less severe flu-like illnesses. The hospital has seen a steady increase in flu patients, and daily numbers over some of the past few days have exceeded 300. The hospital made the decision on Sep 20 to open the tents after 343 patients swamped the hospital.

'Only enough flu vaccine for half the planet'
– Drug makers can only produce enough swine flu vaccine each year for half the planet because they lack factory capacity. The planet has a population of 6.8 billion. Drug makers worldwide can produce an estimated 3 billion doses per year and a single dose should be enough to give immunity to healthy adults and older children. The WHO's previous projection last May was that global production capacity would be close to 5 billion doses, but its new estimate was made on the basis of results from clinical trials and confidential data. It was not immediately clear whether the WHO's new estimate of 3 billion doses per year implied switching all production from seasonal flu vaccine to H1N1 pandemic vaccine.

Quebec may delay or shelve its seasonal flu vaccination campaign and concentrate on vaccinating people against pandemic H1N1 instead. For now, seasonal flu shots are "on hold". Officials are considering delaying seasonal flu shots until after the pandemic vaccine is delivered, narrowing the effort to focus on those at highest risk, such as seniors, or even canceling the drive altogether.

One of Russia's leading virologists claims that the country is underestimating its number of pandemic H1N1 cases. He made the claims in a state TV interview on Sep 21 and said Russia had also confirmed its first novel flu death. The country's health ministry has disputed both of his claims.

Link between flu and heart attack – A meta-analysis of 39 studies supports the idea that influenza (including flu-like illness) increases the risk of myocardial infarction. One small randomized trial showed that flu vaccination reduced the risk of cardiac death in people with cardiovascular disease, but another randomized trial was inconclusive.

A meta-analysis of nonpharmaceutical interventions such as hand washing
, masks, gloves, and gowns shows they can curb the spread of flu and should be pursued more vigorously. N-95 respirators were generally superior to surgical masks, but the N-95s caused skin irritation. The authors said more studies are needed to gauge the efficacy of individual interventions.

Seasonal flu shots and H1N1 stir concern – Canadian researchers reportedly have found as-yet-unpublished evidence that people who had a seasonal flu shot last year incurred a higher risk of H1N1 infection, but US and World Health Organization officials say they are not aware of any similar findings elsewhere. A series of studies in British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario seem to suggest that people who received a seasonal flu shot last year were about twice as likely to contract the pandemic H1N1 virus. The findings are spurring an effort by some Canadian public health officials to delay, reduce, or cancel seasonal flu vaccination campaigns this fall. "Investigators in other countries have looked at their own data and whether they could find similar observations, and none of the other countries have been able to find anything like that." The findings could be real or could be the result of a study bias or other methodologic problems. Many years of experience with seasonal flu immunizations have yielded no other evidence that they cause this type of problem, but the report warrants investigation. Several infectious disease experts said that British and Australian researchers have not seen the phenomenon observed by the Canadian authors, either. One of the experts called the lack of confirmation elsewhere a "red flag."

Flu-like illnesses at U.S. colleges rose by 15% from the previous week. The report was based on 7,696 cases at 243 schools. It doesn't specify flu subtype, but federal officials have said 98% of all circulating strains are pandemic H1N1. The number of new infections was highest in New England and some western states, and the pace seemed to slow in some southern states.

Between 6 million and 7 million doses of H1N1 flu vaccine will arrive the first week of October, about double the previous estimate of 3.4 million doses. Most of the doses will be the nasal-spray vaccine. Previous reports said the initial 3.4 million doses would all be the nasal-spray vaccine, which is approved only for healthy people aged 2 to 49 years.

SPACE WEATHER-

"Finally, the sun seems to be waking up.There is a lot going on around new sunspot 1026. The spot's dark core is surrounded by active fibrils and a swirling magnetic filament." A second sunspot has appeared, number 1027, and it is growing rapidly. Two big sunspots in one day haven't occurred in more than a year. Two is not enough to end the DEEPEST SOLAR MINIMUM IN A CENTURY however.

Northern autumn has begun, and that means it's aurora season around the poles. The Arctic display September 22 was sparked by a mild gust of solar wind. At this time of year, a mild gust is all it takes. During the weeks around equinoxes, the interplanetary magnetic field near Earth tends to tilt south, an orientation that weakens our planet's magnetic defenses against the solar wind. The slightest gust can produce a lovely show of Northern Lights.

RECALLS & ALERTS:

-Ippolito International, LP of Salinas, California is recalling 1,715 cartons of bunched spinach, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

-As a result of routine testing, the USDA has found a positive result for salmonella on iceless green onions shipped by Steinbeck Country Produce of Salinas, CA.

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

US church group offering travellers 'polygamy tours'
Big News Network
Sept 27, 2009

Melbourne, Sep 21 : Members of a US church group are now offering travellers "polygamy tours", which will enable them to have a look at life in a polygamous community. "The Polygamy experience: A guided tour of Colorado City" offers visitors the chance to "learn the story of the US's largest and most secluded polygamist colony" with a four-hour guided tour of the US towns of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah. The locals are not very comfortable with outsiders, with the towns' practice of plural marriages and history of sexual assault charges, of which the group's leader Warren Jeffs was convicted two years ago, landing them under the scrutiny of police. However, tour operators hope to show the public that polygamists are actually peaceful people, with Richard Holm and his brother Heber being among those launching the tour.

Muslims mass-producing children to take over Africa, says Archbishop
Times Online
Sept 21, 2009

One of the most powerful figures in the Anglican Church believes that Africa is under attack from Islam and that Muslims are “mass-producing” children to take over communities on the continent. Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, 56, was elected Primate of Nigeria last week and his elevation could exacerbate tensions at a time when Anglicans are working to build bridges with Muslims. Dr Michael Nazir-Ali resigned as Bishop of Rochester earlier this year to work in countries where Islam is the majority religion. Nigeria is split almost half and half between Christianity and Islam. There are about 17 million practising Anglicans in the country, but they face persecution in the north, while the two faiths vie with local religions for supremacy in the rest of the country. Archbishop Okoh made his controversial comments about Islam in a sermon in Beckenham, Kent, in July. He said that there was a determined Islamic attack in African countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. “They spend a lot of money, even in places where they don’t have congregations, they build mosques, they build hospitals, they build anything.

'Gay' curriculum challenges students' faith
'Does your religion encourage choice or reinforce gender expectations?'
WND
Sept 27, 2009

A homosexual advocacy initiative claims that over 250 California schools have registered to show their students a curriculum of films that encourages teens to rethink their sexuality, society and even religion. The curriculum includes videos made by a San Francisco group calling itself "the best in LGBT media," and includes a clip in which a boy "comes out" by wearing his mother's bikini and another that uses Native American spirituality to depict bisexual individuals as "two-spirit" people. The accompanying discussion guides also encourage students to evaluate their religious traditions based on whether they encourage "choice" in sexuality or "reinforce gender expectations." The program, called "Youth in Motion: Empowering students through LGBTQ film," is a joint effort between the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and Frameline, which describes itself as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender media arts.

Church school head sacked ageing teachers 'to replace them with busty young women'
Daily Mail
Sept 25, 2009

As head of an elite church school, Reverend William Brooks was keen to keep students' attention in class. So he sacked ageing teachers in favour of younger ones with more buxom figures, investigators claim. The clergyman bragged repeatedly of his plans to 'replace all the older women with young women with big boobs,' according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Now the 58-year-old head of the upper-crust St Mark's Episcopal School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is facing demands to reinstate four fired teachers and pay their back-wages – or face legal action. 'You're cute – and cute people go a long way in this school,' he is alleged to have also told a summer camp director – who is male.

Church faces split over gay clerics
Daily Nation
Sept 27, 2009

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya has threatened to sever ties with the mother body in America over gay relationships. The ELCK archbishop, Reverend Walter Obare, described homosexuality as ungodly. He called on churches in Africa to unite and reject influences from the West to adopt strange marriage relations that were contrary to biblical teachings. The Kenyan church was reacting to a decision made by the American church during an assembly on August 21 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, allowing the clergy in same-gender sexual relationships to continue with pastoral work.

Faith under Fire
“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  Matthew 5:11-12

“You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endured to the end will be delivered.” Matthew 10:22

Christians At Risk Inside Iran While Ahmadinejad Talks At UN
The Post Chronicle
Sept 23, 2009

Controversial Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly today. While he speaks, the nation's Christian minority continues to face severe persecution. Many Iranians are disenchanted with the Islamist government's brutal policies – illustrated on Friday when security forces clashed with supporters of opposition leader Mihrossein Mousavi. Many citizens feel frustrated by Islam 30 years after the Islamic Revolution. They are searching for spiritual truth and some are finding it in Jesus. More than 100,000 are secret Christian believers from a Muslim background who often meet together in rapidly growing house churches. Such believers are actively targeted by authorities. In 2008, at least 50 Christians, mostly Muslim converts, were arrested, interrogated, tortured, intimidated and some even killed. It marked the toughest year regarding Christian persecution since the Islamic Revolution.

'Honor killing' could await Rifqa in Sri Lanka
One News Now
9/21/2009

WASHINGTON, DC – A former Muslim who is now the head of an evangelical Christian seminary is warning that the 17-year-old Ohio girl who fled to Florida after her family discovered she had converted to Christianity from Islam faces certain death in her native Sri Lanka if she's not allowed to stay in the U.S. Earlier this month, a judge in Orange County, Florida, ruled that Rifqa Bary will remain in the state until her next hearing scheduled for September 29. (See related article) However, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting a hearing concerning the Ohio teen will occur today (Monday) at the juvenile courthouse in Orlando. That report says it is not clear what will be discussed at today's hearing because juvenile court records are not public record. Liberty Theological Seminary president Dr. Ergun Caner told Christians attending the Values Voter Summit in Washington Saturday that if Bary is returned to her parents and they move back to Sri Lanka, she will be killed because "Sri Lanka puts my people to death."

Christians escape Muslim who kidnaps, beats them
Persecuted couple granted asylum in 'critical victory'
WND
Sept 23, 2009

A Christian couple has been granted asylum in the U.K. after a Muslim man kidnapped them for several months, beat them and tried to force them to recant their faith. A Pakistani Christian married a Muslim woman who converted to Christianity. The two endured persecution from the woman's Muslim family because of their marriage and Christian faith. Her uncle attacked the couple in their home, detained them in his home for several months and sought the services of a Muslim cleric to teach the couple about Islam, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, or ACLJ, the nation's top conservative civil liberties law firm. The European Centre for Law and Justice, or ECLJ, international affiliate of the ACLJ, helped the couple seek asylum in the U.K. "This represents a critical victory in the ongoing challenge to protect those who take great risk in proclaiming their Christian faith," Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ECLJ and ACLJ, said in a statement. "At a time when so many Christian converts face real persecution – including the threat of death – it's encouraging that this couple can now stay in the U.K. We're delighted we were able to provide assistance in this very important case."

School warns parents about Bible giveaway
Gideons will be 'confronting students'
WND
Sept 23, 2009

The "phone tree" message began just like any other: "Good evening, this is Sean Gallagher, principal of Beverly High School with a brief announcement." The principal explained to parents that members of the Gideons International group plan to give away Bibles in front of two schools in Beverly, Mass. "The superintendent of schools and the Beverly police were contacted by the Gideons International organization and informed they plan on distributing free Bibles outside of Briscoe Middle School and Beverly High School sometime this fall," the recorded message said. "This distribution will not occur on school property. This organization plans on distributing the Bibles on public sidewalks and walkways and the school administration will be notified only on the day of the distribution."

BREAKING NEWS: Gunmen Kidnap Christian Female Doctor
Sunday, September 27, 2009 (11:25 am)
By BosNewsLife Middle East Service

BAGHDAD, IRAQ (BosNewsLife)– Gunmen have kidnapped a Christian doctor from her home near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul overnight in front of her four children, police said on Sunday, September 27. "The gang kidnapped the doctor, Mahasin Bashir, in her home late at night as her children watched, and then they put her into a car," police said in published comments. Police said the abduction happened in the predominantly Christian town of Bartala, around 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Mosul in northern Iraq's Nineveh province, one of the country's most violent areas. The motives behind the kidnapping were not immediately clear.

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