Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 106
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
THE OLD FISHERMAN
Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic.
One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old, I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face–lopsided from swelling, red and raw.
Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning." He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. "I guess it's my face…I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments…" For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: "I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning."
I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us.
"No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag.
When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury. He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.
At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him.
When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, "Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair." He paused a moment and then added, "Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind."
I told him he was welcome to come again.
On his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.
In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these,and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious. When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.
"Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!"
Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.
Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had! My friend changed my mind.
"I ran short of pots," she explained, "and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden."
She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven.
"Here's an especially beautiful one," God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. "He won't mind starting in this small body."
All this happened long ago — and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance,
but the LORD looks at the heart." (1Samuel 16:7)
Psalm 119:32 I pursue the way of Your commands, for You broaden my understanding.
Obtaining understanding is a slow and steady progression. I can sometimes feel in my heart the times in which I try to gain understanding of things that perhaps it’s simply not the time to understand. While Yahweh says that we must dig deeply, it’s truly more of an excavation rather than just jumping in and digging a ditch.
It must be done slowly and carefully, like at an archeological site, each layer must be removed carefully so that you might fully understand before going on to the next layer. At the same time, you cannot build a wall by placing bricks up high before first building its foundation. This all takes time.
Father’s purpose and plan is so great and so beyond our human scope of understanding that at times we must wait, and remain ignorant to some things whilst others are taught first. It’s like learning how to read. One doesn’t simply jump into reading, before they’ve learned the alphabet.
Slowly over time, Father’s plan is revealed to us and along the way we receive droplets of understanding and Her plan begins to make more sense. And at the same time, the parts we do not yet know, or do not yet understand, are taken on faith. This is probably partially due to the following:
Revelation 17:17 “For God has put it into our hearts to carry out His plan by having one purpose, and to give their kingdom to the beast until God’s words are accomplished.”
It is true. I feel within my heart a want to carry out Yahweh’s plan. Whatever it might be, wherever it might lead, however it might be revealed. My part is small, but in union with the Holy Family and serving one purpose – the vindication and sanctification of Yahweh’s Holy Name. The understanding of how and why this is done has been revealed over time.
As followers of Christ, each day we walk by faith – because the deeper understanding of this interest we all share and feeling in our hearts is yet to be revealed. Our individual realities is all we know, but there are others, including Father’s own reality that She allows us to share in even though we might at this time not fully comprehend.
Job 12:13 Wisdom and strength belong to God; counsel and understanding are His.
Job 32:8 But it is a spirit in man and the breath of the Almighty that give him understanding.
Particularly now in these End Times, we must move forward always and often on faith alone because so much is happening that we do not understand. But at the same time, we must pray diligently for understanding and that we might be found worthy of receiving it.
We must also pray that the understanding we do have that is in the truth, we hold onto and that all else be dismissed; so that it might be fortified with further understanding and flourish. Pray that we might succeed in fighting off this gene of evilness that we’ve inherited, so that one day we might be whole and healthy; perfect in Father’s sight.
I also pray that this ministry of Father and Christ’s, has brought and continues to bring understanding to the extended flock so that when the time comes we might all be counted as salvageable in their eyes.
Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding.
Faith in Hard Times
The first thing that really comes to mind when considering “hard times” is the picture of a little boy inside this large metal tub for a bath in the Great Depression that the United States went through in the 1930s. This same picture is namely seen on packages of chili or advertisements of the Hard Times cafe. Yet, it's those small reminders that help to keep things in perspective about the current times. I am not sure if the current great economic collapse that the world is going to see will include mass amounts of people having to do very basic things just in order to survive as was done in the 1930s, but I do not doubt that the times will become much more difficult than all those things seen in the past combined.
Matthew 24:21 — For at that time there will be great tribulation, the kind that hasn't taken place from the beginning of the world until now and never will again!
The interesting thing is that the tribulations that had occurred with the Israelites that is recorded from long times before had seemingly continually increased in severity, until they were banished from the land they were brought to. In the case of the current tribulation, however, we are going to be seeing such a severity that has never occurred before, which is important to consider because it is showing that there is a possibility of serving Father in a way that is not exactly the same as had been before, yet, the same main concepts remain:
Luke 10:27 — He answered:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
An important concept to consider in the above scripture, as well, is in loving one's neighbor as themselves. In this, if one wouldn't purposefully cut themselves, they shouldn't do that to their other. At the same time, this can go the other way around. In this, if one wouldn't be willing to harm their neighbor, they shouldn't be willing to harm themselves, either. For some, it may not make sense not to allow themselves to be harmed if it seems for all the better, but…submitting to being harmed is different than deciding to harm oneself. That is a very important concept to remember, because as different things are come to be realized in the times ahead, there will be many who might consider that the pain to endure might not be worth it, or that putting oneself into a bad position will make things better for everyone else. Consider the following:
1 Corinthians 6:12 — "Everything is permissible for me," but not everything is helpful. "Everything is permissible for me," but I will not be brought under the control of anything.
1 Corinthians 10:23 — "Everything is permissible," but not everything is helpful. "Everything is permissible," but not everything builds up.
Putting oneself in a bad position to possibly make other people's lives better might actually not help anyone at all. At the same time, trying to destroy parts of oneself, as has been done that can be read in news articles at different times, cannot possibly help to build up, but rather, might even show that something had a reverse psychological manner of gaining control over a person. Rather than anything at all, be focused towards Father and wait patiently for Father's deliverance. All will occur in Father's proper timing, not by one's own, so one must also be careful not to take anything into one's own hands.
Now, another part of patiently waiting for Father's deliverance is the following:
Romans 5:2-5 — Also through Him, we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
One does not just practice the patience at a time, but also the faith, endurance, proven character, hope, and all the other aspects. This comes in the process described above, and at the same time, when that process is started, the whole process continues to flow forth. Not one part is left out, such that while one has hope, they will also have faith.
As faith is an important part of love, one might also consider that faith is an important part of Wisdom. In this, faith is an important part of Father. If one puts all the parts together, they will find Father's full armor, and much more. Further, it is almost as if the armor can continue to be “upgraded” or built upon. In this, Father's protection continually growing within oneself. Father is truly multifaceted and a warrior.
In trying not to repeat too many things that have already been said, hopefully it can be seen that there is absolutely no reason not to have faith in Father during the times to come. Faith in Father means many more things, at that, and the more one explores that, the more they will continue to find. And at each point provides for the opportunity to give more and more, and lovingly so. Every moment is a good time to also utilize the opportunities that Father has provided in everything.
Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
Deborah: I am always hesistant when I read about found ancient scrolls. I know there is a reason why Father kept them from "The Holy Bible" as we know it and I feel like great caution needs to be exercised when exposed to them. All of us want so much to cling to Truth and not lean on our (or others) understanding or misinterpretations. Sometimes I feel like there are a series of "check-points" in my mind and heart when I learn or come across new information. Each is in place to protect the Truth. As I read the information, it either gets "cleared" to pass on to the next "check-point" or rejected and turned away or held at that place till more Truthful information is provided for clarification.
Thank you Michael and Cherubic Commander for guiding and teaching us for and about Father and Her Way and Truth.
Cherubic Commander: That is the correct way to follow the narrow path.
What woman does not like precious gems. Father is no different, because Father is more female than male. She is also compassionate and loving. Her energy is that of a caring mother. Her temper is that of a male, but Her jealousy strikes home as a female. She covets what She owns, and She does not like disobedience. With Her lies eternal bliss or eternal darkness. She alone is the One that keeps everything in existence. Praise our Creator, She is our Mother and our Father. What could be better in this existence? Amen.
NEW TOPIC BEGINS: Granting full access to those of this ministry
This is the declaration of the LORD of Hosts, Yahweh, to Her ministers.
"I will also grant you access among these who are standing here."
Understanding is imparted within the fourth vision concerning Father's message to Her ministers.
"Fourth Vision: High Priest and Branch
1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, with Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.
2 The LORD said to Satan: "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! May the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Isn't this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"
3 Now Joshua was dressed with filthy clothes as he stood before the Angel.
4 So He spoke to those standing before Him, "Take off his filthy clothes!" Then He said to him, "See, I have removed your guilt from you, and I will clothe you with splendid robes."
5 Then I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So a clean turban was placed on his head, and they clothed him in garments while the Angel of the LORD was standing nearby.
6 Then the Angel of the LORD charged Joshua:
7 "This is what the LORD of Hosts says: If you walk in My ways and keep My instructions, you will both rule My house and take care of My courts; I will also grant you access among these who are standing here.
8 "Listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your colleagues sitting before you; indeed, these men are a sign that I am about to bring My servant, the Branch.
9 Notice the stone I have set before Joshua; on [that] one stone are seven eyes. I will engrave an inscription on it"—the declaration of the LORD of Hosts—"and I will take away the guilt of this land in a single day.
10 On that day, each of you will invite his neighbor to [sit] under [his] vine and fig tree." [This is] the declaration of the LORD of Hosts."
Father prepares Her children for the coming exodus. The reformation of this planet requires that the curse of wrath upon Adam and Eve's offspring be fully administered against those that will not be raptured. And against Her fallen hosts that have taken Satan's side from the heavens above in this spiritual war will be punished. Just as Father desolated the earth during the great flood and did not hold back from punishing those angels that disobeyed Her will, She will desolate all of Satan's imprint upon this planet, both human and disobedient angels for its rebirth into the Millennium of Christ Jesus.
The process of stripping the earth bare to bring desolation is underway.
The Earth Judged
1 Look, the LORD is stripping the earth bare
and making it desolate.
He will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants:
2 people and priest alike,
servant and master,
female servant and mistress,
buyer and seller,
lender and borrower,
creditor and debtor.
3 The earth will be stripped completely bare
and will be totally plundered,
for the LORD has spoken this message.
4 The earth mourns and withers;
the world wastes away and withers;
the exalted people of the earth waste away.
5 The earth is polluted by its inhabitants,
for they have transgressed teachings,
and broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore a curse has consumed the earth,
and its inhabitants have become guilty;
the earth's inhabitants have been burned,
and only a few survive.
7 The new wine mourns;
the vine withers.
All the carousers now groan.
8 The joyful tambourines have ceased.
The noise of the jubilant has stopped.
The joyful lyre has ceased.
9 They no longer sing and drink wine;
beer is bitter to those who drink it.
10 The city of chaos is shattered;
every house is closed to entry.
11 In the streets they cry for wine.
All joy grows dark;
earth's rejoicing goes into exile.
12 Only desolation remains in the city;
its gate has collapsed in ruins.
13 For this is how it will be on earth
among the nations:
like a harvested olive tree,
like a gleaning after a grape harvest.
14 They raise their voices, they sing out;
they proclaim in the west
the majesty of the LORD.
15 Therefore in the east honor the LORD!
In the islands of the west [honor]
the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
16 From the ends of the earth we hear songs:
The Splendor of the Righteous One.
But I said, "I waste away! I waste away!
Woe is me."
The treacherous act treacherously;
the treacherous deal very treacherously.
17 Terror, pit, and snare [await] you
who dwell on the earth.
18 Whoever flees at the sound of terror
will fall into a pit,
and whoever escapes from the pit
will be caught in a snare.
For the windows are opened from above,
and the foundations of the earth are shaken.
19 The earth is completely devastated;
the earth is split open;
the earth is violently shaken.
20 The earth staggers like a drunkard
and sways like a hut.
Earth's rebellion weighs it down,
and it falls, never to rise again.
21 On that day the LORD will punish
the host of heaven above
and kings of the earth below.
22 They will be gathered together
like prisoners in a pit.
They will be confined to a dungeon;
after many days they will be punished.
23 The moon will be put to shame
and the sun disgraced,
because the LORD of Hosts will reign as king
on Mount Zion in Jerusalem,
and He will [display His] glory
in the presence of His elders."
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
Our Third UFO Sighting The "Plasma Ball"
by Andy Bell
My partner at that time witnessed a third sighting in 2001 of which I only managed to get a glimpse of by the time she got my attention. I saw an orange ball which to me seemed miles away streaking off into the distance at high speed. My partner explained that it was actually within the confines of the field boundary and floating around the field. I have managed to trace a photograph taken at Penhale Point Army training Area, Devon, UK September 1973 is very similar to what was witnessed in the field. Perhaps a probe of some kind? I have never previously reported this sighting because i had assumed that it may be an electrical discharge from earth movement. I understand that this sort of phenomena can appear just before earth quakes.
Photograph of Unknown Object Submitted from England
Published: 4:53 PM 9/25/2009
Location: Ely, Cambridgeshire, England – 09-23-09
I've just came across your web site and thought you might like this. I took this photo on Wednesday 23/09/09 at about 7.15p m, there was a lovely sunset that evening. I've just been looking at my pictures and realized that this object was on there, so I thought I would send it. It was taken on my digital Kodak Easyshare camera. I took five photographs all together, but only the one has this object on it. I've enlarged the picture so you can see it more closely. Do you think its something strange? Regards, Helen
Round UFO over Illinois strobes colors, then disappears
September 24, 2009
The UFO Traffic Report for Wednesday, September 23, 2009, includes 5 selected sightings over 5 states, according to witness statements filed in the past 72 hours with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. In other news: MUFON state section director for Kansas City Margie Kay is investigating a sighting in Peculiar, Missouri, from Saturday, September 19, at 5:30 a.m. "This is a large, oval shaped dark object with dim whitish/bluish lights at the edges of the oval. It moved silently, with no trail right over his house at 90 degrees above the horizon at approximately 1,000 – 3,000 feet (a guess) in a West – East direction. He said it was larger than a 747. As it moved into the clouds he could see a reflection of the lights on the edges. The cats in the neighborhood usually prowl around but they were not out. He also said there were no sounds of crickets or anything else, which he thought was unusual. No neighbors were out at the same time."
Pennsylvania witnesses watch orange lights hover over home
September 25, 2009
A York, Pennsylvania, witness and four other family members watched two orange lights in the sky hover in a vertical and then horizontal position before disappearing, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The silent lights were first spotted by the reporting witnesses' daughter, but after these three family members watched – they alerted two more family members who live nearby. York is the county seat of York County in South Central Pennsylvania, population 40,862; and the 14th largest city in PA.
Airline pilot watches three sphere UFOs south of Tucson form triangle
September 25, 2009
An airline pilot out walking his dogs observed three spheres in the sky that formed a triangle about 40 miles southeast of Tucson, according to witness testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The three spheres "converged" at about 60,000 feet. In a second case from September 23, a Washington witness describes something similar in the night sky. This Washington witness recounts some interesting lights in the sky – lights flashing and then disapearing – and lights splitting into two lights. Then two lights "traveling in unison" appear about 100 to 150 feet in the sky and hundreds of feet apart. They are moving very slowly and no sound is heard. The neighborhood dogs begin barking and a low humming sound is heard. The witness then realizes "that the area between these lights was literally blocking out the stars as it moved between them and my perspective. It was huge! The shape appeared triangular, but my perspective and the pure blackness of the object against the black night sky made this difficult to be sure of. This shape travelled slowly across the sky for perhaps three minutes and then vanished, or at least became no longer visible to me."
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
China weather "magic" conjures blue sky for parade
October 1, 2009
BEIJING (Reuters) – China's air force deployed a "magic-like" range of chemicals and technology to clear Beijing's smoggy air for a grand parade marking the 60th anniversary of Communist China, state media said on Thursday. Chemists and officials worked for weeks on the country's most ambitious ever attempt at weather modification, with air force technicians fanning out across the region to help teams operate complex equipment, the official Xinhua agency said. The evening before the parade chemicals were fired into the hazy skies, and a light rain washed the city clean. Surrounding provinces had already been loading clouds with silver iodide and dry ice, to try and force rain to fall before it reached Beijing, the report added. "Only a handful of countries in the world could organise such large-scale, magic-like weather modification," said Cui Lianqing, a senior air force meteorologist who said the parade operation was the largest in China's history.
Moon crash will create six-mile plume of dust as Nasa searches for water
by Mark Henderson
October 3, 2009
A Nasa spacecraft will deliberately crash into the Moon next week on a mission that could enhance the prospects of establishing a manned lunar base. Only two weeks after three probes discovered water on the Moon, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will blast two huge chunks out of its surface to establish whether it exists in a form that could be exploited by astronauts. In the early hours of Friday morning, the LCROSS probe will separate from the Centaur upper stage of the rocket that carried it to lunar orbit, and send the spent module crashing into the Cabeus crater at the Moon’s south pole. When the 2.4-tonne Centaur hits at 12.31pm BST, at a speed of 2.5km per second (1.6 miles per sec), it will throw up a plume of debris 10km (6 miles) high. The LCROSS probe will then fly through the plume and analyse its contents with a battery of sophisticated instruments, before itself crashing into a different spot in the same crater four minutes later, to create a second cloud of dust and rubble. The impacts, which will be visible from Earth through telescopes with mirrors of at least ten inches, will be studied both from the ground and with lunar orbiters, for traces of water and ice.
US economic power 'is declining'
October 4, 2009
US economic power is declining as a result of the financial crisis, the head of the World Bank has said. "One of the legacies of this crisis may be a recognition of changed economic power relations," said World Bank president Robert Zoellick. The US, the world's biggest economy, has been in recession for almost two years, while emerging economies like China and Brazil have grown. This may help bring about a long-term rebalancing of the world economy. 'Changed relations' "A multi-polar economy less reliant on the US consumer will be a more stable world economy," Mr Zoellick said. He was speaking in Istanbul before meetings of the the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), where there is some discussion about how to reorganise the leadership of the bodies so that they better reflect the diversified world. For example, China recently got a permanent chair on the IMF's 24-seat policy-making committee.
FDA Approved H1N1 Vaccines Contain Ingredients Known to Cause Cancer and Death
by Dawn Crim
October 2, 2009
(vactruth.com) Most health experts will agree that vaccine reactions can occur. It is estimated that roughly 1 in every million people will react to their vaccine. Even then, health officials maintain that it is usually a simple case of inflammation at the injection site and/or a slight fever. On a rare occasion, anaphylactic shock may occur due to the patient reacting to a substance that they are allergic to. However, the FDA recently approved four H1N1 vaccines that not only contain very questionable ingredients, but some of those ingredients have even been proven to cause cancer and death. The FDA has awarded H1N1 contracts to the following companies: MedImmune, LLC (1), CSL Limited (2), Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited (3), and Sanofi Pasteur (4). Their package inserts became public knowledge in recent weeks. All four vaccines list hypersensitivity to eggs as a contraindication (1) (2) (3) (4). This means that it is not advisable to administer any one of these products to a person suffering from a severe egg allergy or egg protein allergy. This contraindication may affect as many as 15 million people (based on a population of 300 million). (5). While parents are instructed not to feed their infant eggs until 1 year of age, these same infants will be exposed to eggs by way of their H1N1 vaccine and/or seasonal flu vaccine beginning at 6 months of age.
U.S. jobless rate hits 26-year high of 9.8 percent
by Lucia Mutikani
October 2, 2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. employers unexpectedly cut more jobs in September than in August, underscoring the fragility of the economy's recovery from its worst recession in 70 years as businesses remain cautious about the future. The Labor Department said on Friday non-farm payrolls dropped by 263,000, marking the 21st straight monthly decline and helping to lift the unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.8 percent from 9.7 percent in August. While the contraction in employment was worse than the 180,000 drop economists surveyed by Reuters had predicted, many believed it did not signal the start of a reversal in the trend toward stabilization of the labor market. Economists said September's reading was distorted by a 53,000 drop in government employment, likely reflecting cutbacks by state and local governments, many of which are facing deep budget problems caused by the recession. "We are more inclined to view September as a temporary setback than as a signal that the decelerating trend in job losses has stalled out," said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at RBS in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Signs in Humanity
Horror of Guinea stadium massacre that killed 157
by Claire Soares
September 30, 2009
Thousands had marched to the football stadium in downtown Conakry on Monday to protest against Guinea's military junta. Nearly 160 people paid for that show of dissent with their lives, it emerged yesterday, some gunned down in a hail of bullets, other skewered by bayonets as they tried to flee or rescue the women being raped by soldiers in the stands. As the full scale of the massacre became known, condemnation poured in from around the world. France, the country's former colonial ruler, suspended military aid and the African Union threatened sanctions. The French also called an emergency EU meeting for today to discuss punishing those individuals behind the "savage and bloody" repression. An estimated 50,000 people had defied a ban on rallies and joined an opposition protest against the rule of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, who seized power in a bloodless coup in December. The military ruler had promised not to stand in elections in January but rumours that he would contest them after all prompted the democracy rally.
Massive Exodus Of Street Children Into Western Europe
by Stefan J. Bos
September 25, 2009
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)– Key non-governmental groups and officials have urged the European Union to urgently tackle the "growing problem" of street children moving from Eastern to Western Europe, by improving cross-border cooperation and child protection. They made the appeal at the 'European Forum On Street Children 2009' in Budapest, amid concerns that the EU's open borders mean that "unaccompanied" minors from poorer member states are increasingly roaming the streets of richer Western European cities. There are believed to be a quarter of a million street children in Europe, although officials cautioned that figure may be higher because as many as 1.5 million young gypsies, also known as Roma, are "unregistered". In a final declaration, delegates attending the Forum, urged the EU to realize the European Parliament's goal of ending "the phenomena of street children" by 2015.
Kids go to Serve sex in Dubai
Islam in Action
September 27, 2009
Hundreds of minors flown out to Gulf to dance in bars, provide sex, as Ramzan month of abstinence ends For three days now, 2,000 girls, almost all minors, have left for the Middle East, particularly Dubai, to feed the needs of a population starved of entertainment and sex post the rigours of Ramzan. The girls have been told they are being taken to dance in bars, but it is implicit that they will double up as prostitutes for well-paying clients. Another 1,000 will leave by tomorrow. Sources say there has been an approximate 20 per cent rise in the trafficking of minors over the last year. And it's remarkably easy. Chennai and New Delhi were used as gateways instead of Mumbai where checks are more stringent.
Cash-strapped Britons are selling kidneys to pay mortgages and clear debts
by James Tozer and Fiona Macrae
September 28, 2009
Cash-strapped Britons are resorting to selling their kidneys to pay their mortgages and clear their debts. The would-be 'donors', who include a nurse and a taxi driver, are charging up to £60,000 plus expenses, an investigation found. They risk up to three years in jail if caught but say the potentially dangerous operation is their only option for getting back in the black. William Henderson, a 43-year-old taxi driver from Morecambe in Lancashire, has advertised one of kidneys on the internet and wants £25,000 to help pay his mortgage and credit card bills and buy a new kitchen. With no British surgeon likely to carry out the operation, he also wants £1,000 to pay his hotel bill abroad, plus his plane ticket and £1,200 to cover lost wages.
Fancy setting yourself on fire or catapulting through the air? Even the recession can't douse the dream at Stunt School
by Mail Foreign Service
October 4, 2009
They say that when one door closes, another one opens. And when that happens apparently you should set yourself on fire and catapult through it head first. At least, that's what these self-proclaimed 'risk-takers' are doing. With the U.S. job market in tatters, some plucky people are taking advantage to achieve their dream: the dream of becoming a Hollywood stunt man. It's a dangerous enough career path without the added risk of plunking down thousands of dollars to start a new career in Hollywood during the worst recession in decades. But danger, of course, is what these students thrive on. 'Most of us,' said stunt school founder David Boushey, 'are calculated risk takers.'
Arks of Safe Haven
"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and to not ignore your own flesh [and blood]?" Isaiah 58:7
The mission of Arks of Safe Haven is to connect via an extensive network and online message board forum, those individuals and families who have been affected by recent economic downfalls and are in need with those individuals who are ready, willing and capable of providing assistance to those in need with employment, shelter, work, food, clothing and other necessities.
Coupled with our primary mission of delivering the Kingdom Message of Salvation, the assistance of Arks of Safe Haven is available to all who are in need. Our purposeful intention is to follow in the footsteps of Christ as our example, by providing hope to the hopeless and answering the prayers of those who have been forced to live outside of society.
How You Can Help?
In order to provide for those whose outcry of prayers have reached our heavenly Father's ears, Arks of Safe Haven is seeking out those who are able to provide shelter, whether it be an extra bedroom, empty rental property or a work for room and board agreement. Additionally, we also act as a liaison in connecting those with tangible items to donate to those in need like Food, Water, Clothing, & Other Personal Items. We pray that your heart is motivated to make a contribution, no matter how small. Visit http://www.arksofsafehaven.org and view the many posts from those in need to see if you're able to help with advice, prayers or goods & services.
cmlabs2 – Worcester County MD – We are in need of some funds to pay our rent and the truck payment. My husband was collecting unemployment due to lay off from his construction job. That ended and he cant get extended unemployment due to the fact that he is in construction field and jobs will not be opening up anytime soon. He got a job…thank God. I do work 2 days a week. We have 3 children. I got a p/t cleaning job also. I am not sure where to turn. If we don't pay these 2 we have no home and truck for my husband to get to and from work. Where do i turn? Our credit stinks so we cant get a loan. We will be able to pay back if someone can just loan us the money to get thru this month. Bishopville MD 21813 Worcester County MD
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
Asia trembles as 'Ring of Fire' sees new deadly quakes
Hong Kong (AFP) Oct 1, 2009
Asia trembled this week as earthquakes hit in Indonesia and the South Pacific along the "Ring of Fire," a stretch of seismic fury responsible for most of the world's tremors and volcanoes. But experts said that although one earthquake can sometimes can set off another, that was not the case in this week's disasters which struck Indonesia's Sumatra and the once-idyllic Samoan islands. "They were 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) apart," said Bill Fry, a seismologist at GNS Science in New Zealand, of Tuesday's 8.0-magnitude quake in Samoa and a 7.6 tremor the following day in Padang city in Sumatra. "You can get quakes that are close temporally and spatially as one transfers stress to another place against the fault, but that's not possible this far apart," he told AFP.
Philippine flood death toll rises
29 September 2009
The Philippines government says 246 people are now known to have died in severe flooding caused when Tropical Storm Ketsana struck on Saturday. The country has appealed for foreign aid to deal with the disaster, which has displaced 450,000 people and left 380,000 living in makeshift shelters. Public buildings including schools, universities and the presidential palace have become relief centres. The storm has now hit Vietnam, where at least 22 people are said to have died. The Vietnamese government earlier ordered the evacuation of more than 170,000 people as strong winds of up to 150km/h (93mph) and heavy rain began to affect the central coast.
Samoan Region Gets Aid After Tsunami Kills 140 People
Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) — International aid is reaching the Samoan region in the South Pacific after the largest earthquake in two years caused a tsunami that killed more than 140 people. New Zealand and Australia are airlifting aid to the region where at least 110 people died in Samoa, 27 in American Samoa and seven in Tonga, Radio New Zealand reported. Most of about 20 villages on the southern side of Samoa’s main island of Upolu were leveled by the tsunami, the broadcaster said. Hospitals in the capital, Apia, are struggling to cope as there is a shortage of doctors and nurses. The magnitude-8 quake struck south of Samoa early on Sept. 29 Samoan time. Waves of at least 20 feet (6 meters) hit resorts in Samoa and American Samoa is “in ruin” after the tsunami, Radio New Zealand cited Mike Sala, the U.S. territory’s Homeland Security director, as saying yesterday. More than 32,000 people in Samoa were affected by the earthquake and tsunami, with about 10,000 left homeless, the broadcaster said. About 1,600 people are homeless in Tonga, it cited Alfred Soakai, a spokesman for the island’s emergency management office, as saying.
Floods, landslides worsening in Antipolo
By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) Updated September 29, 2009
MANILA, Philippines – Residents of Antipolo City said that floods and landslides have been worsening now that the population has ballooned up to 800,000 and subdivisions mushroomed to more than 400. On Sunday, 17 residents of the city have been reported dead due to landslides, and many houses were under mud and floodwaters. Relatives of some residents had to swim to save their loved ones who were trapped inside their houses. Some even drowned right in their homes. Nearby low-lying towns and cities like Taytay, Cainta, Pasig, Marikina, Quezon City, San Mateo and Rodriguez were submerged in floodwaters when typhoon “Ondoy” struck Saturday. The environmental problems in the city were highlighted when 60 people were buried in mud inside the Cherry Hills subdivision in Barangay San Luis in August 1999 when typhoon “Olga” struck. At that time, the areas hardest hit were also Metro Manila, Pampanga, Rizal and Pangasinan. A check with city government records show that there are now 545,157 residents, but unofficial estimates say the population could already reach 800,000 because of informal settlers.
Decline of top predators causing increase of smaller predators
2nd October, 2009
Big News Network.com
Washington, October 2 : A new study has determined that the catastrophic decline around the world of "apex" predators such as wolves, cougars, lions or sharks has led to a huge increase in smaller "mesopredators" that are causing major economic and ecological disruptions. The findings revealed that in North America, all of the largest terrestrial predators have been in decline during the past 200 years, while the ranges of 60 percent of mesopredators have expanded. For example, in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, lion and leopard populations have been decimated, allowing a surge in the "mesopredator" population next down the line, baboons. "This issue is very complex, and a lot of the consequences are not known," said William Ripple, a professor of forest ecosystems and society at Oregon State University (OSU). "But there's evidence that the explosion of mesopredator populations is very severe and has both ecological and economic repercussions," he added.
Natural Disaster Update
5.2 LAKE TANGANYIKA REGION
5.3 SOUTHWEST INDIAN RIDGE
5.0 OFFSHORE COQUIMBO, CHILE
5.0 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.3 PACIFIC-ANTARCTIC RIDGE
5.0 NEAR N COAST OF CHUKOTKA, RUSSIA
5.5 BANDA SEA
5.2 KEPULAUAN SANGIHE, INDONESIA
5.4 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN
5.1 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.4 NORTHWEST OF RYUKYU ISLANDS
6.7 NORTH OF NEW SIBERIAN ISLANDS
6.0 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.3 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.8 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.9 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
8.1 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA
5.7 LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
5.1 FIJI REGION
5.3 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.4 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.7 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
7.8 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.1 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 SOUTHWESTERN RYUKYU ISL., JAPAN
5.3 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.1 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.1 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.1 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.1 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.2 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.1 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
6.6 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.5 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.0 CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
5.4 TONGA REGION
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.6 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.6 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.2 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.0 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
A tsunami triggered by a strong quake in the South Pacific has killed at least 65 people in Samoa and more than 20 in American Samoa. The Samoan authorities say at least another 145 people have been injured and whole villages destroyed. Thousands of people have been left homeless in the territory. The Samoa islands comprise two separate entities – the nation of Samoa and American Samoa, a US territory – with a total population of about 250,000 people. The tsunami hit within minutes of the quake, leaving people with no time to escape. "There would have been no warning system capable of giving adequate warning to the people."
LOUISIANA – A miniature earthquake too weak to measure is being blamed for the rupture of a water line in Monroe. Water bubbled through cracks in the asphalt street Sunday evening and flowed into ditches on the sides of the road. "This happens all the time. A little earthquake shift causes lines to crack. There are bad lines all over the city." The city is working to replace the lines, but there are a large number of lines needing replacing and it will take time to get to them. "We've seen worse than this. We've had some blowouts that looked like the world was ending." ("They should purchase a miniature seismograph to measure the miniature earthquakes".)
CHINA – 2008 Quake was a 4000 YEAR EVENT – The devastating earthquake last year that left some 90,000 people dead or missing was caused by a geological event that occurs about once every 4,000 years. Researchers said the 7.9-magnitude quake was caused by the breaking of solid rock separating major fault segments, allowing the quake to cascade along multiple faults. Such rock barriers stop the vast majority of quakes, limiting their intensity. The cascading rupture in the Longmen Shan fault zone that separates western Sichuan province from the Tibetan plateau could have been as long as 199 miles (320 kilometers). The stresses that had built up in the Earth's crust in the Sichuan region were sufficiently large for the fault rupture to break through strong seismic barriers. This resulted in a much larger and more deadly earthquake. Leading scientists in China have said there were no signals that could have predicted the May 12 quake on the Beichuan fault line in the Longmen zone, though the fault lines in that area of western China are well known. The earthquake destroyed the towns of Yingxiu, Beichuan and Nanba, which the study found are near shallow fault intersections that experience particularly strong quake motion when ruptured.
INDONESIA – A new earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and officials say 200 people may have died in earlier tremors. [The latest news says 'more than thousands' have died.] An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 has hit Sumatra, a day after another powerful quake devastated much of the Indonesian island. The earlier 7.8 magnitude quake triggered landslides and cut power lines. Hundreds of buildings, including hospitals, collapsed in Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province. Rescue workers said the number of dead is expected to rise. Thousands of people are thought to be buried under rubble. In Padang more than 500 houses and buildings collapsed. In Jakarta there were "thousands of people trapped in the rubble of buildings". The quake brought down telephone lines, severely affecting communications with the affected area and making it difficult to assess the scale of the damage. The authorities said heavy rain was hampering the rescue attempt. The quake was one of the biggest in Indonesia in recent years and could have been more powerful than the 2006 Yogyakarta quake which killed more then 5,000 people. Wednesday's quake was along the same fault line that spawned the 2004 Asian tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Geologists have long warned that Padang, home to nearly one million people, could one day be completely destroyed by an earthquake because of its location.
Earthquakes weaken distant faults – The major earthquake in Sumatra in 2004 may have weakened California's San Andreas fault 8,000km away. Small "repeating earthquakes" became more frequent as the San Andreas Fault weakened. This pattern could help to forecast earthquakes in the future, something that is currently impossible. "After Sumatra, the frequency changed – it increased – but the magnitude decreased. That is a signal of the fault weakening; you only have to push a little bit and the fault fails."
INDONESIA – Rescue teams have resumed the desperate search for survivors following a devastating earthquake on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Many people are thought to be trapped under rubble after the 7.6-magnitude quake struck on Wednesday. The death toll already stands at more than 1,000. Rescue efforts have been hampered by the fact that communication lines have been down, the electricity is not completely back up and running, and it is very difficult for rescue workers to assess where they should start. There are so many different places where they have got to try to work against the clock. Trying to save people over the past two days has been very challenging for them – they have had to use their hands, manually clawing people out of the rubble through the rock and the mud. The heavy equipment and machinery is trickling in but it is nowhere near enough.
TONGA – Another powerful earthquake has struck off Tonga and the Samoan islands. The 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Tonga and the Samoan islands today, two days after a giant tremor caused a devastating tsunami which killed almost 150. No immediate tsunami alert was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii.
Both the Samoa and Indonesia earthquakes, which came within hours of each other, were on the “Ring of Fire”, fault lines along the Pacific coasts of America and Asia. But scientists said that the second was a “tragic coincidence” rather than a consequence of the first. The distance between the quakes – 10,000km (6,200 miles) – and the orientation of the tectonic plates made a causal link physically implausible. Early estimates suggest that the Sumatra quake occurred about 50 miles beneath the Earth’s crust, so deep that there was little or no movement on the ocean floor, and no resultant tsunami. A key concern is that the quake could have led to an increase in pressure at other points along the fault line, which could trigger a second tremor closer to the surface. “The real danger in the coming days is that a second larger quake with a magnitude of around 8.5 could occur just off the coast of Padang. That could result in a huge tsunami submerging the town and surrounding coastline, which has a population of about 1.5 million."
CALIFORNIA – A series of earthquakes – the largest a magnitude 5.1 – have rattled the Lone Pine area of the eastern Sierra in Central California. The largest struck about 18 miles southeast of the town of Lone Pine along the east shore of the Owens River at 3:01 a.m. It was followed within three hours by about a half-dozen smaller quakes between magnitude-3.0 and magnitude-3.5 in the same rural area near Sequoia National Park, about 180 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
INDONESIA – "There are three big volcanoes in West Sumatra – Merapi, Talang and Tandikat. We fear that this quake might cause volcanic eruptions there." Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.
COLUMBIA – Authorities issued a red alert in the southern Colombian department of Pasto Wednesday after an eruption of the local Galeras volcano. Tthe volcano erupted at 9:14AM. The red alert obliges all authorities to carry out an immediate evacuation of the area surrounding the volcano. The Galeras volcano is one of Colombia's most active volcanoes and has erupted a number of times this year already.
TROPICAL STORMS –
PHILIPPINES – More than 70 people are dead or missing after tropical storm Ketsana lashed the Philippines, bringing the WORST FLOODING IN 40 YEARS. The Government declared Manila and 25 other provinces to be in a "state of calamity", as heavy rains brought by the storm caused the WORST FLOODING IN THE CAPITAL IN 20 YEARS. The equivalent of one month's worth of rain fell on Manila in less than a day. The storm hit the northern Philippines near Manila yesterday. The resulting landslides and flooding have left at least 51 people dead and 21 others missing. Over 1800 people were forced to flee their homes and take refuge in evacuation centres due to rising waters. Waters in some areas reached as high as the rooftops of one-storey buildings. Power was cut in many areas of Manila, partly due to flooding but also as a protective measure to prevent fallen lines electrocuting people trying to escape the waters. Troops, police and civilian volunteers have rescued more than 4,000 people – many clinging to each other on roofs. More than 250,000 have been driven from their homes. The massive rescue was set to intensify as the weather began to clear and floodwaters began to recede today. But some reports estimate that 80% of the capital is still under water. 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. On Saturday, television pictures showed water flowing down roads like rivers, with the floods chest-deep and rising. The Philippines chief weather forecaster has blamed climate change for the downpours that saw 40cm (16in) of rain fall on Manila in a single day. Ketsana, with winds of up to 100 km/h, is expected to head out over the South China Sea today and Monday. Tropical storm Ketsana is forecast to strike Vietnam as a typhoon at about 00:00 GMT on 29 September at Category 1 strength.
PHILIPPINES – The death toll from the Philippines' devastating floods has risen to 86, and more than 400,000 people are homeless.
VIETNAM – Three weather phenomena have hit Viet Nam in recent days, bringing death and destruction. Five people have been killed by the freak weather, including two foreigners drowned in Ha Long Bay. One phenomena, tornadoes, included one that damaged more than 100 houses, ripped up power poles and damaged crops in the districts of Huong Khe and Ky Anh in central Ha Tinh Province. Another phenomena, related to the tornadoes, has been the convergence of the northern and southern winds that have brought prolonged rains and flooding. This is called an Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and occurs when the trade winds clash and are forced up high into the atmosphere, creating rain and giant whirlwinds or tornadoes. Water levels in rivers in the central provinces from Thanh Hoa to Ha Tinh have risen rapidly because of non-stop rain for five days (through Saturday). The other phenomena is Typhoon Ketsana which is expected to hit late Tuesday.
PHILIPPINES – 240 people are now reported dead and nearly 400,000 are living in shelters after severe flooding. Flood survivors have crowded into the presidential palace, gymnasiums and hundreds of other makeshift evacuation centres.
Overwhelmed officials have called for international aid, warning they may not have sufficient resources to withstand two new storms forecasters have spotted east of the island nation in the Pacific Ocean. One could hit the northern Philippines later this week and the other early next week. Troops, police and volunteers have already rescued more than 12,359 people, but unconfirmed reports of more deaths abound. Authorities announced today that a dam in northern Bulacan province had to release water for the second time in days in order to prevent a spill and urged villagers downstream to expect rising water levels. Even the country's communist guerrillas said they would hold off on assaults and help villagers recover from the storm. The extent of devastation became clearer Monday as TV networks broadcast images of mud-covered communities, cars upended on city streets and reported huge numbers of villagers without drinking water, food and power.
YAP – Officials in the Federated States of Micronesia are monitoring three potentially dangerous weather systems. The governor of the state of Yap has warned residents to secure property. “Tropical storm 19W [Parma] is moving towards the main island of Yap with maximum wind speeds of 45 knots. The storm has been speeding up and is expected to be felt on the main island in the evening local time. Residents have been buying food supplies and storing supplies in shelters. Two more storms are on their way to Yap. Typhoon Sudal caused widespread destruction to Yap state in 2004.”
After killing hundreds and displacing hundreds of thousands in the Philippines and Vietnam, powerful Typhoon Ketsana is now battering Cambodia. At least nine people have died in Kampong Thom province in central Cambodia. In the Philippines, where the typhoon hit over the weekend, at least 246 people are known to have died. Relief officials in the Philippines, struggling to feed and shelter hundreds of thousands of displaced people, admit they have been overwhelmed by the disaster. They warn that new storms are heading towards the country. A new storm forming in the Pacific Ocean is likely to enter Philippine waters on Thursday and make landfall later on the northern island of Luzon.
In Vietnam, Ketsana hit with torrential rains and winds of more than 150km/h before it headed inland towards northern Cambodia and southern Laos. Typhoons usually weaken on reaching land, but Ketsana is still dangerous. Heavy rain and rising floods were continuing. The BIGGEST FLOODS IN DECADES now threaten Vietnam's central provinces, with thousands of homes inundated with water.
Tropical Storm 18W – Normally, once a tropical depression reaches tropical storm status it gets a name, but not this time. 18W is just barely a Tropical Storm by the standards set by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii. However, by Japanese standards, 18W is not a tropical storm and in this part of the world, it is the Japanese who name the storms. Japanese standards for a tropical storm require sustained winds above 39 miles an hour for over 10 minutes. Because 18W has not met that bar, they have not issued a name for it. The JTWC requires just 2 minutes of sustained winds above 39 mph. 18W qualifies under that score so the JTWC is calling this system a tropical storm, even though it doesn't have a name. The next name on the list is "Neparpak," but it is doubtful that this system will ever get that name because it is too weak. However, most of the island of Guam should feel tropical storm force gusts this afternoon. The onset of damaging winds is expected about 1pm, but because the system is moving fast, 17mph, and because the system is compact, the damaging winds will be short lived. The storm is expected to pass directly over Guam around 3 this afternoon, and be gone quickly.
PHILIPPINES – People in the Philippines are braced for a new storm, days after Typhoon Ketsana left more than 270 dead there. Officials warned that Typhoon Parma, which could hit the Philippines on Saturday, might be even more powerful. Soldiers and rescue workers were put on alert and evacuation plans were prepared in areas already struggling to recover from storm damage. The overall death toll for Typhoon Ketsana across the region has risen to more than 380. The storm left at least 277 people dead in the Philippines. At least 92 were killed in Vietnam – most of them because of floodwaters or landslides – while 14 died in Cambodia. Another 10 people were reported to be missing in Laos. Some villages in Vietnam and Cambodia remained cut off by mudslides and flooding. Parma could yet change direction and miss the country, and it is carrying less rain than Ketsana. But it has strengthened into a super-typhoon, with winds exceeding 124mph (200km/h), and these could be highly destructive.
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –
MICHIGAN – RARE September windstorm. It blew and blew and blew Monday, kicking up waves as tall as two-story buildings all along the west shoreline of Lake Michigan. The rare September spectacle, with winds gusting to 45 mph, forced the Lake Express Ferry to shut down service Monday and Tuesday. It also caused 9,000 homes and businesses in Muskegon County to lose power by late Monday. In open Lake Michigan waters, a NOAA buoy off South Haven reported winds of 35 mph and gusts to 44 mph, with waves building to 11 feet. Storm conditions actually softened as the day went on with mid-lake waves down to 9.5 feet and sustained winds in Muskegon down to 35 mph. The National Weather Service said winds would continue to gust to near 60 mph in the evening with the high-wind warning in effect until 5 a.m. Tuesday. The National Weather Service in Chicago reported that a deep, low-pressure system over far northern Lake Superior and a corresponding cold front stretching across Lake Michigan caused the strong thunderstorms Sunday night and heavy rains. During a 24-hour period, Muskegon recorded 1.36 inches of rain. As the low pressure moved Monday to Lake Huron and then east and north toward Lake Ontario, winds strengthened before falling off Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service said conditions seen Monday were RARE for Michigan even in November and December.
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS –
Dramatic accounts are emerging from survivors of the Pacific tsunami and earthquake as the death toll mounted to 34. At least 14 people were killed in four different villages on the main island of Tutuila. There are reports that some villages in the country's south-east have been destroyed. Dozens of workers were missing at devastated National Park Service facilities in American Samoa. The US National Park Service said its headquarters in Pago Pago, the capital of the main island of Tutuila, appeared to have been wiped out. "They said five tsunami waves have hit the park visitor centre in Pago Pago. It would appear park offices and the visitor centre there have been destroyed." The quake, with a magnitude between 8.0 and 8.3, struck around dawn about 35km below the ocean floor, 190km from American Samoa, a US territory that is home to 65,000 people, and 200km from Samoa. "It was an earthquake, which caused a tidal wave 15 feet (4.5 metres) in height. Some of the areas there are only a few feet above sea level, so you can imagine the devastation."
SAMOA – Survivors of the devastating tsunami in Samoa said they feared the death toll would rise dramatically as they told of "truckloads" of bodies where a wall of water swept ashore. Returning New Zealand holidaymakers told of graphic scenes in the worst hit area on the southern side of Upuolo where there are several villages and resort hotels. "We've seen pick-up trucks carrying the dead… back to town. We were shocked when we saw the first one but after three hours, it seemed normal." Another New Zealander told of seeing babies covered in sand and wrapped in clothing. A New Zealand-based Samoan said that 30 members of his family from the village of Lalomanu were either dead or missing. Residents and tourists fled to higher ground as whole villages were destroyed. Boats were swept inland, and cars and people were swept out to sea.
TONGA – There have been deaths reported in Tonga although other Pacific islands have not been impacted by the Pacific tsunami that hit Samoa and American Samoa . Tongan officials say there have been reports of six deaths and four missing on the island of Niuatoputatu, which borders Samoa. The northern tip of Tonga had been impacted by the tsunami. "That is where the airport is out of commission at the moment, there are rocks all over it." Waves reached the Lau Group, Rotuma, Vanua Levu and Taveuni islands in Fiji, but no damage had been reported. "Residents of Vanabalavu (Lau Group) reported that a series of 10 waves entered the lagoon during low tide but did not breach the sea wall." Reports had been received that Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia had not been affected by the tsunami. "The Marshall Islands have seen some high wave action but have not been affected by the tsunami or the current tropical storm." There were "bigger than usual" waves in the Cook Islands, with swells up to one metre being reported in Rarotonga. Niue was reasonably safe because it was high. "Reasonable" sized waves had been seen and the earthquake that sparked the tsunami was felt there. Neither Vanuatu, Kiribati, New Caledonia nor the Solomon Islands reported high waves.
SAMOA & TONGA – Rescue workers on the Samoan islands and Tonga are continuing to search for survivors after the tsunami which killed at least 149 people. The prime minister of Samoa said 110 people were dead on his islands and the devastation "was complete". "In some villages absolutely no house was standing. All that was achieved within 10 minutes by the very powerful tsunami." Tens of thousands of people need help in villages swamped by waves triggered by Tuesday's huge earthquake. Small tsunamis reached areas as far away as New Zealand, Hawaii and Japan.
MASSACHUSETTS – the summer of 2009 was the summer of seaweed – lots and lots of seaweed. Keeping the coastline clean is a daunting task, and UNUSUAL WEATHER PATTERNS helped make this one of the messiest beach seasons in years. “We think it was a combination of the wind and tides. When the wind blows out of the northeast, you get that accumulation. The experienced people said they haven’t seen [that much] wind coming out of the northeast in conjunction with the high tides before. . . . This season was a challenge.’’ Cohasset and Scituate reported overwhelming amounts of seaweed washing on shore, although most beaches farther south were spared, as was Hingham north to Quincy. The beaches facing the open ocean side fared the worst. Cohasset’s health inspector made note of the UNUSUAL conditions in her water quality reports to the state Department of Public Health. The same weather conditions that caused the UNUSUALLY COOL, damp weather of the early summer contributed to the seaweed problem. An intense, three-day northeastern storm in June, more typical for the winter, dislodged the rockweed, and high tides left it far up the beach. The weather stayed cool and damp, so the seaweed never dried out and blew away as it typically does. Add a few more northeastern storms plus Hurricane Bill, and the problem persisted. “It was a phenomenal season, and people should not expect anything like it again.’’ On Nantasket Beach, three times as much seaweed as normal – 300 tons versus the usual 100 tons – washed up this season.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
AUSTRALIA – Monday, environmentalists raised concerns that another giant dust storm blowing its way across eastern Australia may contain radioactive particles. It is argued that sediment whipped up from Australia's centre may be laced with material from a uranium mine. Scientists have played down concerns, saying there is little to worry about. "In a big dust storm, the dust is not going to come from one isolated site, it is going to be mixed in with dust from a [wide] area and diluted considerably." Last Wednesday Sydney and Brisbane bore witness to their biggest dust storm in 70 years. The massive clouds of dust that choked heavily populated parts of Australia have caused problems for people with asthma, as well as those with heart and lung conditions. But some environmental campaigners believe that the dry, metallic-tasting sediment could threaten the health of millions of other Australians. (photo & map)
INDIA – Even as the winter season is around the corner in the country, Rajasthan’s Alwar city is reeling under intense heat wave conditions. The mercury is touching 43 degrees, making life difficult for local people here. “Its just so hot, In September, it never was this hot. It is said that winter is born during Navaratri, but it is so hot even at night." Locals also complained that the deficient rainfall in the city has also added to the current scenario, due to which there is no respite from the heat wave. “The heat is RECORD-BREAKING. It hasn’t rained so the heat is even more. It is really bad.”
The global average temperature could rise by 4C (7.2F) as early as 2060, according to a new study by the UK Met Office. It shows a "best estimate" of 4C being reached by 2070, with a possibility that it will come as early as 2060. "If greenhouse gas emissions are not cut soon then we could see major climate changes within our own lifetimes. Four degrees of warming averaged over the globe translates into even greater warming in many regions, along with major changes in rainfall." The model finds wide variations, with the Arctic possibly seeing a rise of up to 15C (27F) by the end of the century. Western and southern parts of Africa could warm by up to 10C, with other land areas seeing a rise of 7C or more. Key to the Met Office calculations was the use of projections showing fossil fuel use continuing to increase as it has done for the last couple of decades.
INDIA's drought is THE WORST SINCE 1972. India has suffered its WEAKEST MONSOON FOR NEARLY 40 YEARS.
Mars had a more humid climate in the relatively recent past, within the last 10,000 years. Large deposits of nearly pure water-ice may lurk just below the Martian surface, much nearer the equator than previously thought, suggest new images. The pictures acquired by a Nasa orbiter show white material exposed by fresh meteorite impacts fading over time – behaviour expected of ice on Mars. An onboard instrument also detected the tell-tale chemical signature of water. "Based on the locations of these craters, we are able to say something about how much water was in the Martian atmosphere recently, and that turns out to be a lot more than is in the atmosphere today – maybe almost double what's in the atmosphere today."
NASA spacecraft are measuring RECORD-HIGH LEVELS OF COSMIC RAYS – a side-effect of the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century. This development could have implications for the amount of shielding astronauts need to take when they explore deep space. "In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we've seen in the past 50 years." The cause of the surge is solar minimum, a deep lull in solar activity that began around 2007 and continues today. Researchers have long known that cosmic rays go up when solar activity goes down. Right now solar activity is AS WEAK AS IT HAS BEEN IN MODERN TIMES, setting the stage for "a perfect storm of cosmic rays." Galactic cosmic rays come from outside the solar system. The sun's magnetic field is our first line of defense against these highly-charged, energetic particles. The entire solar system from Mercury to Pluto and beyond is surrounded by a bubble of magnetism called "the heliosphere." It springs from the sun's inner magnetic dynamo and is inflated to gargantuan proportions by the solar wind. When a cosmic ray tries to enter the solar system, it must fight through the heliosphere's outer layers; and if it makes it inside, there is a thicket of magnetic fields waiting to scatter and deflect the intruder. "At times of low solar activity, this natural shielding is weakened, and more cosmic rays are able to reach the inner solar system."
The sun's magnetic field is currently weak. "There has been a sharp decline in the sun's interplanetary magnetic field down to 4 nT (nanoTesla) from typical values of 6 to 8 nT. This RECORD-LOW INTERPLANETARY MAGNETIC FIELD undoubtedly contributes to the RECORD-HIGH COSMIC RAY FLUXES." Solar wind pressure is at a 50-YEAR LOW so the magnetic bubble that protects the solar system is not being inflated as much as usual. Solar wind speeds have dropped to very low levels in 2008 and 2009, making it easier than usual for a cosmic ray to proceed. Lately, the current sheet has been flattening itself out, allowing cosmic rays more direct access to the inner solar system. "If the flattening continues, we could see cosmic ray fluxes jump all the way to 30% above previous Space Age highs."
Earth is in no great peril. Our planet's atmosphere and magnetic field provide some defense against the extra cosmic rays. Hundreds of years ago, cosmic ray fluxes were at least 200% to 300% higher than anything measured during the Space Age. "The space era has so far experienced a time of relatively low cosmic ray activity. We may now be returning to levels typical of past centuries."
HEALTH THREATS –
Researchers from the University of Michigan report that only 40% of 1,679 parents indicate they will get their children vaccinated against pandemic flu. However, 54% said they would have their kids receive the seasonal flu vaccine. Of those who answered no or were unsure, half said they worried about side effects.
Johnson & Johnson is recalling 57 lots of infants' and children's liquid Tylenol products because of possible bacterial contamination. The products being recalled were made between April and June and include nearly two dozen varieties.
High antiviral dosage may have saved H1N1 patients – Doubling the dosage of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) in patients with severe H1N1 flu cases has helped Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong avoid any deaths from the disease so far. The hospital has treated at least 60 severely ill patients without loss of life. The hospital has focused on early treatment along with doubling the dose.
Almost one third of a group of patients who died in the past 4 months from H1N1 influenza had bacterial infections that complicated their illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. But the agency cautioned against applying that ratio to all cases of H1N1, saying the death records it reviewed were submitted by hospitals and medical examiners and did not represent a statistically valid sample. Nevertheless, the 22 cases (among 77 deaths confirmed to be from H1N1) emphasize that bacterial co-infections are playing a role in the ongoing pandemic, something that was not clear at first. The 22 patients (29%) who were confirmed to have bacterial complications were infected with Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), Staphylococcus aureus, Group A strep, and Haemophilus influenzae. (Four were infected with more than one bacterial type.)
Shot beats nasal spray in adult seasonal flu vaccine trial. While there is evidence that the live nasal-spray vaccine for seasonal influenza works better than injectable vaccine in children, the injectable vaccine was found to be more effective (68% to 36%) in a trial in close to 2,000 young adults. The US government has ordered supplies of both injectable and intranasal vaccines against the pandemic H1N1 virus. Most of the supply will be the injectable form, but many of the first doses, expected to reach providers next week, will be the nasal-spray type. Exactly why nasal spray seems less effective in adults than in children is not yet clear, but it could be that live attenuated viruses are less able to infect adults because of their past exposure to similar strains of flu.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday posted a notice about possible shortages of the pediatric liquid suspension oseltamivir (Tamiflu) as more states report widespread activity. The CDC said pharmacists may need to compound Tamiflu capsules into a liquid syrup to help fill the demand. Also, the CDC warned that the units on the liquid dosing dispenser have led to some confusion, and doctors and pharmacists need to ensure that their dosing instructions match.
Virologists in the Netherlands have detected a pandemic H1N1 virus mutation that has been linked to enhanced replication and possible virulence changes. They said they found the mutation in the basic polymerase 2 protein in samples from two patients who had links to an island in northern Holland. Both patients recovered. Experts said it's not clear how clinically significant the mutation is, but it bears watching.
Australia began nationwide vaccinations against H1N1 influenza Wednesday, administering the first shots in what is intended to be a 21-million-dose campaign. The initial allotment of 5.5 million doses from Australian manufacturer CSL Ltd. will be given to pregnant women, healthcare workers, and the chronically ill. Authorities are concerned the vaccine will face low uptake because the flu season is waning after 35,000 confirmed cases and 178 deaths.
Active-duty members of the US armed forces will begin receiving 1.4 million doses of H1N1 flu vaccine in the next 10 days, part of a 2.7-million-dose vaccine purchase by the Pentagon. The shots, which are mandatory, will go first to troops preparing to deploy, followed by troops on hold for domestic disasters. Planners hope the early shot campaign will provide needed data on efficacy and side effects.
Closing all US schools for 4 weeks to curb the spread of pandemic flu would cost between $10 billion and $47 billion in lost workforce productivity and temporarily shrink the pool of healthcare workers by 6% to 19%. About 14% of households with kids would have a sick worker during the pandemic. Federal guidance discourages school closure but allows local officials to make their own determinations.
Americans are uncertain about getting the pandemic H1N1 vaccine, according to a poll conducted in early September. Only 34% said they would definitely get the vaccine when it's available, while 21% said they would decline. Forty-three percent said they will wait and see what happens with flu developments. The nation survey of 1,502 adults found that 35% will have their children vaccinated, 50% are unsure, and 14% will not.
US Army records H1N1 death – An apparently healthy 23-year-old soldier may be the US military's first fatality from the novel strain. The soldier serving at Fort Jackson, S.C. died of flu-related pneumonia Sep 10, 10 days after falling ill. The fort's commanding general told media that autopsy data confirmed he had no underlying conditions that would have made him vulnerable. More than 50 soldiers at the 10,000-member base, the Army's largest training center, currently have flu.
Flu sidelines 1 in 14 on US Navy ship – An outbreak of H1N1 flu aboard the USS Boxer, a Navy amphibious assault ship holding more than 2,200 sailors and Marines, put 166 personnel into isolation for an average of 3.6 days each. Epidemiologists described the illness, which struck 7.3% of personnel, as mild and brief, with cough, aches, sore throat and fevers less than 102 degrees. The month-long outbreak began after the ship completed a 5-day "liberty port" in Phuket, Thailand.
Sanofi is behind on its shipments of seasonal flu vaccine because of pressure to quickly produce the pandemic flu vaccine. Sanofi said it has shipped more than half of the 50.5 million doses ordered by US providers, who may face delays into November. Some clinics have had to turn patients away, despite advice to get seasonal flu shots early to make way for the pandemic H1N1 shot.
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
Pope's album to feature Muslim, agnostic composers
Big News Network
Sept 30, 2009
London, Sept 30 : An agnostic and a Muslim are among the three composers chosen to write music for the Pope as he visits the UK next year. Simon Boswell is a British agnostic; Nour Eddine is Muslim from Morocco; and the third composer is an Italian Catholic named Stefano Mainetti. They have been selected to pen eight new songs for the Alma Mater – Music From The Vatican, an album featuring Pope Benedict XVI reciting and singing texts and prayers to tunes of traditional church music.ky News quoted the record's producer Vincent Messina as saying: "These three composers are world class and my first choices for the album. "A happy coincidence is that Stefano is Catholic, Simon is 'undeclared' and Nour is Muslim, perfectly representing our aim to produce an album that has universal appeal to all of those who love beautiful music. "We have all been very moved at how successfully these modern scores blend with the choir, the orchestra and the Pope's voice."
Malaysian cult keeps leader's decomposed body for 13 months
Big News Network
Sept 27, 2009
Followers of a religious cult in Malaysia's eastern Sabah state wrapped the body of their dead cult leader in plastic and laid it in his home for 13 months while waiting for him to be resurrected, a news report said Sunday. The leader of the Benevolent Missionary Association, Ching Chi Vui aka Ivan, was believed to have told his followers not to bury him if he were to die, because he would come back to life, the Sunday Star reported. Ching, 37, claimed to be a prophet but the sect was extremely secretive and followers kept to themselves. It was unclear if the sect had any links to the Philippines Benevolent Missionaries Association cult group, which has more than 1 million followers. Police said neighbours had complained of late night chantings and prayers coming from the home, leading to the police discovery of the badly decomposed body. During the raid Friday night, police also found three women in a separate room in the house praying for their leader to be resurrected, the report said.
Some Faith Leaders Offer Women More Than Prayer
Sept 28, 2009
One in 33 American women who attend church regularly have received some form of sexual advance by a religious leader, according to a recent study by the Baylor University School of Social Work. Valencia Bey, who experienced sexual abuse by a faith leader, tells her story of survival. Bey is joined by Baylor University Professor Diana Garland, co-author of the study , who explains the factors behind such abuse. I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, my thoughts in my Can I Just Tell You commentary in just a few minutes. But first, it's time to go Behind Closed Doors. That's the part of the program where we talk about issues that are often kept silent, often due to stigma or shame. Today, we want to talk about the abuse of trust from the pulpit. We're talking about a study recently released by Baylor University School of Social Work that found that one in 33 American women who go to church regularly have been the target of some sort of sexual advance from a religious leader. Joining us now to talk about all this Diana Garland. So coauthored the study. She is the dean and professor of social work at Baylor University. Also joining us is Joretta Marshall. She is the president of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. And also joining us is Valencia Bey. She is a survivor of sexual abuse by a faith leader, and she's going to tell us more about that in just a moment. Ladies, thank you all so much for speaking with us.
At 3 Inches Tall, La Morenita Casts a Big Shadow in Honduran Crisis
When All Else Fails, Nation Turns To the Virgin of Suyapa for a Miracle
Oct 2, 2009
SUYAPA, Honduras — In the past three months, a slew of Latin American presidents, foreign ministers, ambassadors and even a Nobel Peace Prize winner, have failed to find a solution to the political standoff that has split Honduras. Now, many despairing Hondurans say, may be time for a little divine intervention. So every day, more and more Hondurans are calling on the Virgin of Suyapa, a 3-inch statuette of the Virgin Mary, made of dark wood and nicknamed La Morenita, or the Little Dark One, for help. Over the centuries, La Morenita, which was found on a hillside in 1747 and now makes its home at a small whitewashed colonial church near the capital, has been credited with sundry miracles, from curing kidney stones to ending a brief war. "I've asked her to intervene," said Abad Zelaya, 42 years old, a pharmacist and no relation to ousted President Manuel Zelaya, who has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy for more than a week since he sneaked back into Tegucigalpa. Mr. Zelaya's ouster three months ago has led many countries, including the U.S., to suspend aid to one of the hemisphere's poorest countries. "The Virgin can perform this miracle," said Gustavo Sauceda, a teacher waiting in a long line to pray to the Virgin, the patroness of Honduras and its armed forces. "She has resolved some of our people's largest problems in the past, and she can fix what's happening now."
Taking aim at God on 'Blasphemy Day'
Sept 30, 2009
(CNN) — In his youth, Ronald Lindsey planned to enter the priesthood, so fervent was his devotion to God. But these days, Lindsay is devoted to protecting a person's right to ridicule, criticize — even lambaste God. You might say he is a blasphemer's savior. The devout Catholic turned non-believer leads a movement that is all about protecting people's rights to speak irreverently about religion. Criticizing God is an act punishable by death in several nations. In America, blasphemy laws remain on the books in six states, though they are largely arcane and not enforced. But everywhere, it seems to Lindsay, scoffing at God is not socially acceptable. People are willing to tolerate the harshest statements about the president of the United States, he said. But talk about Jesus or Mohammed — that's a whole different ball game.
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
Cheerleaders’ religious signs draw fire
Times Free Press
Sept 29, 2009
Community members are rallying around Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School cheerleaders after they were banned from displaying signs with Bible verses urging fans and players to “commit to the Lord” and “take courage and do it.” The banners — the paper ones that football players crash through at the beginning of games — have been common sights in the school’s football stadium since 2003, local officials say. “The cheerleaders are not trying to push a religious cause, to shove religion down someone’s throat,” said local youth minister Brad Scott, who was LFO High’s class president in 2004. “The cheerleaders are just using Scripture to show motivation and inspiration to the players and the fans.” Catoosa County Schools spokeswoman Marissa Brower said a Fort Oglethorpe resident lodged a verbal complaint to Superintendent Denia Reese last week, saying that the display of a Bible verse on the football field is a violation of federal law.
Islamic Extremists in Somalia Trap, Kill Church Leader
Compass Direct News
October 2, 2009
Islamic militants in Somalia this week killed a woman who led an underground Christian movement in the war-torn country. Sources told Compass that a leader of Islamic extremist al Shabaab militia in Lower Juba identified only as Sheikh Arbow shot to death 46-year-old Mariam Muhina Hussein on Monday (Sept. 28) in Marerey village after discovering she had six Bibles. Marerey is eight kilometers (five miles) from Jilib, part of the neighboring Middle Juba region. Local sources said that on Sunday (Sept. 27) Arbow sent his wife to the house of Hussein, a Somali Bantu, to confirm the presence of the Bibles. Pretending to be interested in Christianity, the militia leader's wife confirmed the existence of the Bibles. The sources said Hussein readily agreed to discuss Christianity with Arbow's wife and read parts of the Bible with her. When Arbow's wife requested one of the Bibles, however, Hussein demurred. "She told her that it might not be safe for her, preferring instead that she could visit her regularly for discussions," said one source. "She then left and promised to visit again soon."
Kidnapped Christian doctor released in northern Iraq: police
Sep 27, 2009
MOSUL, Iraq — A Christian doctor abducted by an armed gang overnight from her home near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul was released on Sunday evening, police said. Mahasin Bashir was freed at around 6 pm (1500 GMT) in the town of Baashiqa, 15 kilometres (nine miles) from her home in the predominantly Christian locality of Bartala. Police did not say what the motives were for her kidnapping, or whether any ransom was paid. Bartala is around 20 kilometres from Mosul in Nineveh province, one of the country's most violent areas. "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," a police officer said earlier, speaking on condition of anonymity. Bashir worked in a hospital in a nearby Christian town, Hamdania, as a gynaecologist. Her husband, who is also a doctor, was not at home at the time of the kidnapping.
Bantu woman shot after wife of militant confirmed she had Bibles.
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 1 (CDN) — Islamic militants in Somalia this week killed a woman who led an underground Christian movement in the war-torn country. Sources told Compass that a leader of Islamic extremist al Shabaab militia in Lower Juba identified only as Sheikh Arbow shot to death 46-year-old Mariam Muhina Hussein at 2 p.m. on Monday (Sept. 28) in Marerey village after discovering she had six Bibles. Marerey is eight kilometers (five miles) from Jilib, part of the neighboring Middle Juba region. Local sources said that on Sunday (Sept. 27) Arbow sent his wife to the house of Hussein, a Somali Bantu, to confirm the presence of the Bibles. Pretending to be interested in Christianity, the militia leader’s wife confirmed the existence of the Bibles The sources said Hussein readily agreed to discuss Christianity with Arbow’s wife and read parts of the Bible with her. When Arbow’s wife requested one of the Bibles, however, Hussein demurred. “She told her that it might not be safe for her, preferring instead that she could visit her regularly for discussions,” said one source. “She then left and promised to visit again soon.”
Pope urges Pakistan to protect Christian minorities
Oct 1, 2009
ROME (Reuters) – Pope Benedict urged Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday to guarantee protection of minority Christians, who have been the target of violence in the overwhelmingly Islamic country. Zardari met the pope at his residence south of Rome at the end of a four-day trip to Italy aimed mainly at promoting trade. A Vatican statement said Zardari's talks with the pope and Vatican officials centred on minority Christians in Pakistan following violence against their communities two months ago. "Emphasis was given to the need to overcome all forms of discrimination based on religious affiliation, with the aim of promoting respect for the rights of all citizens," it said. Seven people, including four women and a child, were killed in violence that broke out in Gojra in Punjab province in August when Muslims burned Christians' homes after unsubstantiated accusations that some of them had desecrated the Koran. Some 40 homes were burned down in the violence, which was condemned at the time by the Vatican, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the World Council of Churches.