Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 109
The Minister's Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Proverbs: 20-6 Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?
As a society, we place a lot of importance on loyalty; our workplaces wish for their employees to be loyal to them, as well as many businesses such as restaurants, credit card companies, car companies that ask for our loyalty to their service or brand. And of course it is also seen in families, friendships, and marriages as well as in government, in that we as citizens are expected to be loyal to our nation.
“In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more serious acts of disloyalty to one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife (treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a lesser superior was petit treason). A person who commits treason is known in law as a traitor.” (Wikipedia)
loy⋅al⋅ty –noun, plural -ties.
1. the state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments or obligations.
2. faithful adherence to a sovereign, government, leader, cause, etc.
3. an example or instance of faithfulness, adherence, or the like: a man with fierce loyalties.
2. fealty, devotion, constancy. Loyalty, allegiance, fidelity all imply a sense of duty or of devoted attachment to something or someone. Loyalty connotes sentiment and the feeling of devotion that one holds for one's country, creed, family, friends, etc. Allegiance applies particularly to a citizen's duty to his or her country, or, by extension, one's obligation to support a party, cause, leader, etc. Fidelity implies unwavering devotion and allegiance to a person, principle, etc.
1, 2. faithlessness.
I am loyal to my employer, my friends, my family, but I am not loyal to the nation of my birth and while I am a law abiding citizen, the allegiance of my heart belongs to my God and heavenly Father and Mother, Yahweh and Her son Christ Jesus our Savior. This nation is dead to me for many reasons, but mainly because I know that it, along with many other nations, are traitors to Yahweh whom I serve. And in this aspect, I am a lot like Ruth, who after the death of her husband, committed herself in faithfulness and loyalty to her mother-in-law Naomi.
16 But Ruth replied:
Do not persuade me to leave you
or go back and not follow you.
For wherever you go, I will go,
and wherever you live, I will live;
your people will be my people,
and your God will be my God.
17 Where you die, I will die,
and there I will be buried.
May the LORD do this to me,
and even more,
if anything but death separates you and me.
Right now in this country, the leader proclaims that he will bring hope and change to what is considered by many to be a great nation that has come into some very hard times. But can he really be trusted? To answer this question you need only to look at the history of this nation and many others.
I ask you, would you rather place your faith and loyalty in leaders who continually disappoint those they are meant to serve, or in Yahweh, who has consistently made good on every promise made to Her creation? Consider the motives of man versus the motives of the One who created us. We know that Yahweh is loyal to Her children, but to whom or what are those in power loyal to?
Matthew 6:24 24 "No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.
The choice is yours and mine to have via the gift of free will but you must make your decision now, because as Christ stated above, no one can be a slave of two masters.
I pray that this article along with its accompanying scriptures give you cause to think, ponder and search your heart. Because at this current time, there is no promise of hope or change that can be made, and no action that can be taken that will result in stopping Father’s wrath from being poured out upon this world. So choose wisely…
James 4:8 8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!
Proverbs 3:3 Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you. Tie them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands.
A Mountain of Laundry
Submitted by Johanna
My husband and I became foster parents after we had been married for two years. Our first placement was two little boys, brothers, who we adopted after they were with us for eighteen months. When our boys were two and three, we were asked to take one and three-year-old sisters into our home. For the following two years we had our own little in-house, full-time daycare.
After the girls had been with us for about six months, I attempted to get involved in a Bible study group at our church. One thing or another always seemed to prevent me from attending. I was feeling a little discouraged, but I'd purchased devotional tapes and a study guide and thought I could keep up with the Bible study by myself at home.
One afternoon, after I'd put the children down for their naps, I tackled a mountain of laundry that had piled up on the sofa and needed folding. As I was folding, I began discussing my plight with the Lord. "You know, Lord, I've started attending this Bible study and I'm trying to find time for You and everything I need to do, but I just can't seem to find any time. I've tried getting up before daylight, but one of the kids always hears me and gets up wanting my attention and by bedtime I'm exhausted. I guess I could do them during naptime, but that's the only time I have to get caught up with the housework…mainly the laundry. I seem to be able to keep up with most everything but this laundry! Well, I guess You know all about it. You gave me all of these little kids to care for and You know they need clean clothes to wear. You know how much work this takes and I know You understand."
The following Sunday my husband and I were sitting in Sunday School class waiting for the teacher to begin, when our family's adopted grandmother, Betty, came and sat down beside me. Betty is a widow who has raised five children. She's a wonderful woman who's always helping someone, and had personally blessed our family on many occasions, but I was totally unprepared for what she had to say on that particular day!
She leaned toward me and said, "I have a proposition for you."
My curiosity was aroused. "O.K., what is it?" I answered back.
She sweetly and softly replied, "I really think this is the Lord, but would you let me do your laundry?"
As I sat gaping at her with my mouth hanging open, my mind was racing trying to think who could I have told about my laundry situation. I knew I hadn't mentioned it to anyone, not even my husband, Rodney. "Do you know how much laundry I have?" I whispered back as my eyes started to fill.
"Honey, I've raised five children and I know how much laundry you have," was her response. Then she continued, "You know, what you and your husband are doing raising these little children is wonderful, but I know it's hard work. I'm an old woman and I don't watch other people's children anymore, but I can do your laundry. You just have Rodney drop it off on his way to work, and pick it up on his way home. I'll wash it, dry it, iron it, fold it; whatever is needed."
Shame on me, because the whole time she was speaking, I was thinking, "Oh, Lord, not the underwear! I can't send our underwear to someone else to do!"
Betty was still talking, "Last week I noticed you up on the platform during praise and worship and you looked very tired. I was thinking about you all week and then I felt the Lord telling me to, `Ask Ronni if she'll let you do her laundry,'" then she finished with, "Now, don't you rob me of this blessing!"
At the time I didn't know how to respond. Not wanting to hurt Betty's feelings, I let her know I would think about her offer. Even though I had poured out my heart about how difficult it was to keep up and how I missed my devotional time with Him, I was unprepared for God to actually do something about it. He had given me the task of caring for these little ones and I was a little put out that He'd taken me seriously when I said I was having trouble keeping up. So I thought, "If I just get a little more organized, I can take care of this myself."
As I walked in and surveyed the laundry room a couple of weeks later, I sagged against the washer. The mountain of laundry hadn't diminished a bit with my efforts to take care of things myself. As a matter of fact, it was now bigger than ever. "Well, Lord," I said, "I guess I could send everything but the underwear."
Very clearly, I heard that still small voice say, "When I ask you for your dirty laundry, I want all of it, even the underwear."
That's when I broke. That mountain of laundry now represented the mountain of pride in my life. Who was I to look disdainfully on a gift offered in love?
As I picked up the phone my eyes were filling with tears and when I heard sweet little Betty's voice on the other end, my own voice shook as I said, "Betty, do you still want to help me with my laundry?"
My tears quickly turned to laughter at her ready response of, "Bring it on over, Honey, bring it on over!"
Our clothes were never cleaner, brighter, or less wrinkled than during the almost two years that Betty faithfully and lovingly did our laundry. Then when our little foster daughters were placed in their "forever home" through adoption, we both knew it was time for me to resume the task, and although she no longer does our laundry, our friendship remains strong. She laughed one day when I told her I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. I still do.
Considering that Father is Everywhere
This is simply to put together more considerations concerning the above said topic.
As all of Creation is inside of Father, and all of Creation is made up of energy that comes from Father, and Father is light and sees all things, it would make sense for oneself to have a mindset that mirrors this very knowledge. This mindset would acknowledge Father at all times, recognize that their mind is made from Father's energy, and even the mindset as an attitude, as well. This includes a continuous recognition that oneself is always a part of Father, within Father, and utilizing Father's energy. Such a mindset also acknowledges Father's own view and feelings on things, and even how Father is at work around oneself.
With these factors in mind, it also makes sense to be obedient to Father, doing things that are pleasing to Her, and following with Her plan for all of Creation. Obedience to Father covers a multitude of factors, of which includes obeying Her advice and instruction. As well as Her rebukes. In this, Father provides Her own self as a supplement to one's very life, in that advice and instruction help to prolong life, and Her rebukes come out of Her love.
Proverbs 3:16 — Long life is in her right hand; in her left, riches and honor.
Proverbs 3:12 — for the LORD disciplines the one He loves, just as a father, the son he delights in.
And among this in righteousness comes:
2 Corinthians 12:15 — I will most gladly spend and be spent for you. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?
And so, given that Father is always around oneself, oneself is made of energy that is Father's, and oneself should be obedient to Father's instruction (also including an understanding for this instruction), there is an obvious factor that love is always around oneself, and possibly even within oneself.
1 John 4:8 — The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
And with this is very little reason not to have love for Father at all times.
Matthew 5:43-45 — "You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Deuteronomy 6:5 — Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
Something that might be strongly felt as one may read any of the letters written in the latter section of the Holy Bible is the amount of love that the writers put into the letter they sent. Even amongst all the rebukes, instruction, and prophecies, there is a mass amount of love that can be felt. The Wisdom which is passed down from Father extends beyond thousands of years and throughout aspects of scripture that might get “lost in translation.”
Concerning love, and of words that give Father glory, oneself can research plenty in scripture for further knowledge and understanding. One such place is in 1 Corinthians 13, and any of Father's proverbs and lessons are given out of love. Just as one could continually learn about Father, I am sure there would continually be something more to learn about love and the righteous expression, thereof.
Philippians 4:8 — Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.
Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
Cherubic Commander: Things are going to speed up and happen very quickly, but keep in mind what Christ spoke:
Luke 17:26-30 "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the Day when the Son of Man is revealed."
Christ was revealing that just as they took no note worthy view of the warnings back in those days of judgment, neither will they do so in these last days of this age. The end will come as a thief in the night to them because they will not heed the healthful urgency of what is about to happen. I know from my own personal experience with Noah that he was laughed and scoffed at like he was a simple minded idiot for even suggesting that the earth could be flooded. You will also be treated in a like fashion by the majority. But fear of dying at Armageddon will not be enough to save a person. They must be sincere in why they seek Father. Otherwise, Christ will still bar them from the kindness of Salvation. He is permitted to judge their true heart conditions.
Satan's forces are in constant waves against those LOZ members holding their positions at the corridor. Prince of Yahweh II was given assignment there to help take and establish that corridor. In addition, he was given a command position on a sector of the corridor, mainly because he's past completed the release of epidemics that will become rampant upon this world in the near future. It is now a cesspool of viral diseases bent on destruction of lifeforms. You are going to see people becoming sick at alarming rates.
Much is buried in the oceans from the old world. During Noah and his family's journey to the new world aboard the Ark of Salvation much was happening to the earth during that time. There were major earthquakes, undersea volcanic eruptions, and as a result, the receding of the waters were not to their original boundaries. Many of the land masses under went change from caverns, rising land masses and trenches that were created from Father's hand being involved. This altered the original water boundaries and created new ones. You need only look at Arizona, New Mexico and Utah to name only a few states in this country that are a part of the old sea beds that existed back during the pre-flood era. The other examples can be found around the entire globe. During the initial 150 day period of the waters being more than 20 feet above every mountain, this created the rebirth effect of the new world, for just as when Michael originally created this planet and covered it with water as stated in the Word at:
Genesis 1:2 "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters." That "Spirit" of Father's was Michael that was hovering over the surface of the waters. Once again he was repeating his earlier achievement, except that this time there would be a change in atmospheric layout.
Genesis 1:6 "Then God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters, separating water from water." Instead of the nourishing canopy that kept this planet at a constant comfortable temperature, Michael brought about a climatic change. He separated the waters by freezing the excess waters at the poles. Then, by natural order the skies or lower heavens were free of the canopy so this brought forth seasons and created the weather that brings rain, sleet, hail, snow and unbearable heat to different parts of the world. Depending on where you live, you are affected by the various changes in the weather. However, at one time that was not the case. But the lifting of the canopy which had been a gift from Father originally, was because mankind was still not in full harmony with Father. To be in harmony brings forth the rebirth of that canopy. The melting of the glaciers resulting in the freeing of the division Michael created in the waters by having previously stored the excess water in the form of ice will lay the ground work for the next canopy to be put back into place. You must consider that the creation of paradise in the beginning for this planet was preceded by volcanic eruptions and many other seemingly violent acts of nature. But the end result was one of utopia. At least that was the case until sin entered paradise.
Genesis 1:22 "So God blessed them, "Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth." The animals and fish, as well as the insect kingdoms were all in place before mankind was created through Adam. Eve was simply an extension of Adam's own internal makeup. Like Father, who is both female and male in gender, Adam contained those attributes, and so Father separated the softer more gentler side of him by creating Eve as his helper. In likeness, Father gave Michael Her male attributes, but She cannot be split, so She also retained both to Herself, but to Michel She revealed Her female side. Until Dawn Lucifer sinned, Father had no need to reveal Her male attributes to creation, because to be male is to be One that must be stricter and harsher on Her children for breaking law. Father's compassionate side had to be reserved for Only those that She found obedient.
Genesis 8:5 "The waters continued to recede until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were visible." You are all in the tenth month of 2009. and now the "mountains" symbolically speaking are visible because the corridor is in place. You've all seen it in a photo. It's the energy strands surrounded by the LOZ assigned to hold it in place. And yes, the offensives against it have resumed.
In similarity to the separating of waters, just as at the beginning of the creation of paradise, and then after the flood, this is again found at: Exodus 14:21 "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea [back] with a powerful east wind all that night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided," Moses represented Michael, using his gift of power from Father to divide waters. In likeness, the dry seabed represents the corridor, or opening to the path leading to the promised land.
Exodus 14:22 "and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with the waters [like] a wall to them on their right and their left." The escape to safety was brought through Father's Will. But once all of those under Father's care had passed through the walls of water, Exodus 14:26 "Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back on the Egyptians, on their chariots and horsemen." the doorway was closed off from anyone else entering. And those that were in pursuit were destroyed by Father's forces of nature, which at that time was the collapse of the walls of water. Exodus 14:28 "The waters came back and covered the chariots and horsemen, the entire army of Pharaoh, that had gone after them into the sea. None of them survived." You can try and follow, but you can't survive. This is the message Father sent to those that were watching from the opposite shore as She destroyed those Egyptian troops in pursuit. Exodus 15:10 "But You blew with Your breath, and the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters."
The Quadrants are no longer in place, but the Azmon Barrier exists farther out in the expanse, still being used to contain the demons and now the converts. However flame, the Cherubic Order still functions as it once did. They still watch over those that pass over. Provide Shields, and they aggressively pursue those tagged for apprehension. Any demons that violate Rules of War are still dealt with if they interfere where Father has Ordained that justice must be meted out and the weaker spirits protected.
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
UFO hovering over Oklahoma skies baffles astronomy club members
October 19, 2009
The UFO report is not particularly unusual – the Mutual UFO Network receives similar reports of hovering lights in the sky frequently. Witnesses often take you through a range of what they believe the object "is not," ruling out the obvious, before making a point about how unusual a sighting is. In this instance – MUFON Case # 20,023 – the group of reporting witnesses is an astronomy club – five individuals who have a passion with explaining exactly what they are observing within a natural landscape. But on this October evening – they've collectively declared their object a UFO.
UFO sightings resume and make big news in China
Michael Cohen firstname.lastname@example.org
After a series of high-profile UFO events in China things went very quiet on the extraterrestrial front for the last few weeks. Many researchers wondered where the UFOs had gone. Had Alien tourists lost interest in China? The lull however appears to have ended. Making news in China is a recent mass sighting in Chongqing: A UFO hotspot. The event has been covered by at least two dozen newspapers. At 8pm on October 18 numerous witnesses observed two luminous discs swing and crisscrossing each other for around half an hour before vanishing. The UFOs were seen in nearby villages as well. No photos have come to light yet. Some government officials have suggested these might have been spotlights. One witness, Mr Cheng, insists that what he saw ‘were alien spaceships’. Reporters note: I am not surprised that Mr Cheng was convinced that these were alien in origin as this particular sighting seems almost identical to a UFO event, indeed my only ever sighting, I witnessed in Sydney, Australia back in 1995. This also involved two glowing silver discs criss-crossing each other wildly. I too watched these 'playful' objects for a fairly long time and they definitely were not spotlights, animals or any known earthly craft. Whatever they were, they managed to attract the attention of police helicopters, a nearby searchlight located on an office building and the local dogs, all barking madly.
Diamond-shaped UFO just 400 feet over Henderson, Nevada
October 23, 2009
The UFO Traffic Report for Friday, October 23, 2009, includes 5 selected sightings over 4 states, according to witness statements filed in the past 48 hours with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. Please keep in mind that most UFO reports can be explained as something natural or manmade. If MUFON investigates and reports back on any of these cases, I will update this page. The following reports and their headlines are unedited and uninvestigated. NV, October 19, 2009 – I saw 3 floating lights hovering above a mountain which then came and flew over me low and turned hard and flew away all silently. MUFON Case # 20051. A Henderson, Nevada, witness "noticed three extremely bright lights hovering over" a nearby mountain. As the lights became brighter, the witness exited his vehicle and realized the object was coming toward him. The witness described the object as silent with five large, extremely bright, rectangular-shaped lights on its bottom side – forming a diamond shape to the entire object. The witness says the object flew just 400 feet above him and made a 270-degree turn before disappearing behind a mountain.
Minnesota – 5 Unknown Objects Seen by Multiple Witnesses
Published: 5:49 PM 10/20/2009
Minnesota – 10-10-09
Five of my friends and I were in my backyard having a bonfire. It was about 12:00 at night and we put out the fire because I had to wake up in 5 hours to go bow hunting. As we were walking up my back driveway, my friend Dan looked up above the trees and saw the 5 lights. He then told my friend Cal, and he looked up and pretty much freaked out. This is when we all looked up and were amazed at what we were looking at. We then ran out to the front of my house and went across the street to get a better look. The first thing we did was trying to analyze what we were looking at. My first thought was that they were balloons attached to a line moving back and fourth, but this didn't seem right because the spheres stayed in a perfectly straight line. We watched it for about a half hour just moving left to right. I couldn't tell how far it was off the ground and we compared it to the surrounding stars, and it was multiple times brighter than any star in the sky.
Cigar-Shaped UFO Photographed over Heathrow Airport
Published: 10:30 AM 10/18/2009
Heathrow, Airport – 10-13-09
I was looking through photos to see if I could find photos for the known objects idea we talked about and I found this photo of what surely must be a cylinder shaped UFO! On 13 October, 2009, my partner and I had stopped for a journey break at London Heathrow airport (at the end of runway 27-Left) and I took a number of aeroplane photos with a new compact camera, to test it. This photo is of an Austrian airways Fokker 100 jetliner on short finals to 27L. The time is 2.48 pm (1.48 pm gmt). It is flying on a heading of west with the sun shining from the south – behind and to the left side of the camera. In the top right of the photo there is a cigar shaped object. There was lots of over fly traffic over Heathrow at the time going west-east and all these airliners were lighted brightly. None were below 15,000 feet. This object appears to be painted grey or black as it is not reflecting any bright sunshine, even on the nose area. The left side is lighter than the underside (which corresponds to the position of the sun lighting a dark object).
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
UN Report Says 'Gender Is Not Static, It Is Changeable'
by Adam Brickley
October 19, 2009
(CNSNews.com) – A counter-terrorism report that has been presented to the United Nations General Assembly would bend the U.N.’s definition of gender. The report, written by UN Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinin, is titled “Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms While Countering Terrorism.” While the main focus of the document is gender-based issues that arise from counter-terrorism efforts, the report’s definition of gender that has generated opposition. “While many of the measures discussed in the report relate to the human rights of women,” Scheinin wrote in his report summary, “gender is not synonymous with women, and, instead, encompasses the social constructions that underlie how women’s and men’s roles, functions and responsibilities, including in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, are understood.” Scheinin further wrote that, “gender is not static; it is changeable over time and across contexts.
3 AIG execs get bonus OK from pay czar
by David Goldman
October 23, 2009
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — In the end, pay czar Kenneth Feinberg's hardest case was AIG. The troubled insurer lobbied hard to let three of its executives keep their bonuses. AIG told Feinberg that three executives, who were entitled to large retention payments, were particularly critical to the company's long-term financial success and should be able to keep their bonuses. Feinberg said Thursday that he relented in the case of AIG even though he was able to pare down similar pay clauses at the other six companies in his purview. Feinberg was appointed by President Obama in June to oversee executive compensation at companies getting bailout funds. On Thursday he unveiled a sweeping plan to rein in pay for top executives at the seven most heavily bailed out companies. When it came to AIG's request, Feinberg said he thought long and hard. In finally agreeing to the special cases, he said that paying those employees bonuses was in the public interest, since they were needed to help AIG pay back the government.
Armed officers in full battle gear will be scattered throughout the Bay Area this weekend
Contra Costa Times
October 25, 2009
Armed officers in full battle gear will be scattered throughout the Bay Area this weekend, rescuing hostages, fighting bank robbers and quelling terrorism at the Oakland Airport, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, the NASA Ames Research Center and 22 other high profile sites. There will be the sound of gunfire and blasts — all part of Urban Shield, one of the biggest domestic terrorism drills in the country. The $1 million, two-day event begins Saturday and will test the training of 27 crack teams from throughout the state, elsewhere in the country and the world. For the first time in the three-year history of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department-sponsored exercise, there will be a foreign team of officers taking part and international observers. An eight-member team representing the French National Police's Research, Assistance, Intervention, and Dissuasion unit will compete. The exercise is a non-stop, 48-hour event meant to test a team's endurance and equipment in high stress situations such as shootouts, nuclear facility threats and airline hijackings. Each team is graded on their performances and at the end of the weekend, the top three teams are recognized.
White House boasts: We 'control' news media
World Net Daily
by Aaron Klein
October 18, 2009
TEL AVIV – President Obama's presidential campaign focused on "making" the news media cover certain issues while rarely communicating anything to the press unless it was "controlled," White House Communications Director Anita Dunn disclosed to the Dominican government at a videotaped conference. "Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn't absolutely control," said Dunn. "One of the reasons we did so many of the David Plouffe videos was not just for our supporters, but also because it was a way for us to get our message out without having to actually talk to reporters," said Dunn, referring to Plouffe, who was Obama's chief campaign manager. "We just put that out there and made them write what Plouffe had said as opposed to Plouffe doing an interview with a reporter. So it was very much we controlled it as opposed to the press controlled it," Dunn said. Continued Dunn: "Whether it was a David Plouffe video or an Obama speech, a huge part of our press strategy was focused on making the media cover what Obama was actually saying as opposed to why the campaign was saying it, what the tactic was. … Making the press cover what we were saying."
Record recession for UK economy
October 23, 2009
The UK economy unexpectedly contracted by 0.4% between July and September, according to official figures, meaning the country is still in recession. It is the first time UK gross domestic product (GDP) has contracted for six consecutive quarters, since quarterly figures were first recorded in 1955. But the figures could still be revised up or down at a later date, because this figure is only the first estimate. GDP measures the total amount of goods and services produced by a country. The pound fell sharply after the figures were released, reflecting the fact that many observers had expected the UK to have grown during the quarter. It was down 1.7% against the dollar, at $1.6323, and down 1.9% against the euro, at 1.0859 euros. Quarterly growth of 0.2% had been expected in the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), although expectations had been tempered by recent figures showing no growth in retail sales in September, and a 2.5% decline in industrial output in August. The unexpected decline in the services sector was the key factor behind the drop, with the distribution, catering and hotels sector performing particularly badly.
Signs in Humanity
Research: Young Adults Skeptical of the Bible but Open to Learn
by Jennifer Riley
October 20, 2009
New research shows that the younger generation in America is less likely to view the Bible as accurate or sacred, but at the same time they are slightly more interested in gaining knowledge about the Bible than older generations. Based on five separate studies conducted between 2006 and 2009, The Barna Group found that only two out of three Mosaics (adults between the ages of 18 and 25) view the Bible as a sacred or holy book. By comparison, 81 percent of Busters (ages 26 to 44), 89 percent of Boomers (ages 45 to 63), and 90 percent of elders (ages 64 and above) consider the Bible as sacred. Younger adults also are significantly less likely than older adults to strongly agree that the Bible is totally accurate in all the principles it teaches. Only 30 percent of Mosaics and 39 percent of Busters strongly agree that the Bible is “totally accurate” in all the principles it teaches. The majority of Elders, however, strongly agree with the statement.
Gore galore in young kids’ Halloween costumes
October 22, 2009
Halloween has morphed into a gore fest that has kids as young as 6 unleashing their inner monsters in ultra-violent costumes — blood-smeared chain saws and spiked killing gloves sold separately. Options include Leatherface from "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," Jason ("Friday the 13th"), Freddy ("A Nightmare on Elm Street") and Michael ("Halloween"). Costume sizes can run so small that many wearers might be too young to have seen the slasher movies under film industry guidelines. Fanged creatures feasting on brain stems. Possessed babies chomping on arms. Not all parents think it's OK for the holiday second only to Christmas in the minds of many kids to be more a celebration of the most deranged characters pop culture has to offer Story continues below ↓advertisement | your ad here "Bloody, sadistic, nightmare-inducing Halloween costumes are indeed being made and marketed for kids, and no one seems to care," said Joel Schwartzberg, a parenting writer and Montclair, N.J., dad of a 10-year-old boy and twin 7-year-old girls.
47 South L.A. gang members arrested in interagency sweep
Los Angeles Times
by Richard Winton
October 23, 2009
More than 1,100 Los Angeles police officers and FBI agents arrested nearly four dozen Rollin' 40s gang members and associates early Thursday morning in a coordinated roundup that was hailed by community activists as a much-needed strike against violent gangs in Southwest Los Angeles. The massive sweep culminated an 18-month investigation involving wiretaps, informants and surveillance. The group, according to the LAPD, is among the city's 10 most violent gangs. "This was a consistent problem gang for generations," said Police Chief William J. Bratton. "Some of these characters aren't going to see the outside world again." In an operation dubbed "40 ounces to Freedom," agents and officers served arrest warrants for 74 people and captured 47 of them on charges of conspiracy, drug distribution and weapons possession. Many of those arrested have been indicted on federal charges that could carry sentences of 20 years to life. Similar gang sweeps in the past have sparked outrage among some community groups. But on Thursday, some local activists roundly endorsed the move.
Twin Baghdad blasts kill scores
October 25, 2009
At least 132 people have been killed and 520 injured in two car bomb attacks in Baghdad, Iraqi officials say. The blasts hit the ministry of justice and a provincial government office near the heavily fortified Green Zone. They came in quick succession at 1030 (0730 GMT) as people headed to work during the morning rush hour. This is the deadliest attack in Iraq since August 2007 and comes three months after the US handed security control of cities to local forces. The attacks have drawn comparison with those of 19 August, when truck bombs hit two ministry buildings and killed at least 100 people. Iraq then blamed foreign fighters and accused Syria of involvement, demanding a UN investigation. The US condemned the latest attacks as "hateful".
The streets of no shame: The shocking picture that epitomises Britain's ladette culture
October 23, 2009
Maybe she thinks it's the drink that is preventing her from putting one foot in front of the other. Or perhaps she knows the vulgar truth and is merely trying to impress her friends. Either way, the sight is certainly not an edifying one. This shrieking ladette was photographed staggering through Cardiff city centre late on Friday night. Such scenes are not uncommon, which is why Cardiff – one of the country's worst cities for binge drinking – has just banned boozing on the streets. The crackdown is aimed at late night revellers, targeting rowdy hen and stag parties and generally trying to make the streets safer after dark. Police can use the new powers to confiscate alcohol or arrest anyone who defies them. The ban has been a success in trials in small areas but will spread across the entire city in time for Christmas and the New Year.
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.
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
Rising seas threaten Shanghai, other major cities
By ELAINE KURTENBACH (AP) – 10/19/2009
SHANGHAI — This city of 20 million rose from the sea and grew into a modern showcase, with skyscrapers piercing the clouds, atop tidal flats fed by the mighty Yangtze River. Now Shanghai's future depends on finding ways to prevent the same waters from reclaiming it. Global warming and melting glaciers and polar ice sheets are raising sea levels worldwide, leaving tens of millions of people in coastal areas and on low-lying islands vulnerable to flooding and other weather-related catastrophes. Shanghai, altitude roughly 3 meters (10 feet) above sea level, is among dozens of great world cities — including London, Miami, New York, New Orleans, Mumbai, Cairo, Amsterdam and Tokyo — threatened by sea levels that now are rising twice as fast as projected just a few years ago, expanding from warmth and meltwater. Estimates of the scale and timing vary, but Stefan Rahmstorf, a respected expert at Germany's Potsdam Institute, expects a 1-meter (3-foot) rise in this century and up to 5 meters (15 feet) over the next 300 years.
South Seas Volcano Rumbles in Vanuatu
October 23, 2009
Some living near rumbling Mount Garat report ash has been falling on their crops and the smell of sulfur is strong in the air. Gaua residents have been warned that rivers flowing down the flanks of the volcano may contain hazardous material and that there is a potential for mudslides. Gaua rises about 9,800 feet from the sea floor. Steaming Hill Lake, a crescent-shaped crater lake, is just below Mt. Garat, which is a secondary cone and current summit of the stratovolcano. There have been at least 13 eruptions at Mt. Garat since 1963, with the most recent lasting less than one day in 1982. The Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory says that most of the historic eruptions have lasted only 1-2 days with the 1963 and 1973-1974 eruptions lasting a few months. The greatest danger posed to the residents of Gaua has been from volcanic gases, which can reach hazardous levels around the crater lake.
Ethiopia Crisis Leads to Emergency Food Aid Appeal
Thursday, October 22, 2009
NAIROBI, Kenya — Ethiopia said Thursday it needs emergency food aid for 6.2 million people, an appeal that comes 25 years after a devastating famine compounded by communist policies killed 1 million and prompted one of the largest charity campaigns in history. The crisis stems from a prolonged drought that has hit much of the Horn of Africa, including Kenya and Somalia. Drought is especially disastrous in Ethiopia because more than 80 percent of people live off the land. Agriculture drives the economy, accounting for half of all domestic production and most exports. Mitiku Kassa, Ethiopia's state minister for agriculture and rural development, appealed to donors Thursday for more than $121 million. In January, he had said that 4.9 million of Ethiopia's 85 million people needed emergency food aid. Ethiopia has long struggled with cyclical droughts, which are compounded by the country's dependence on rain-fed agriculture and archaic farming practices.
Residents of Nile Valley Cope with Massive Landslide
Anna King (2009-10-21)
NILE VALLEY, WA (N3) – In Central Washington residents of the Nile Valley have less than a month before they are cut off from civilization. A massive landslide earlier this month obliterated part of Highway 410 and rerouted the Naches River. The federal government is spending 1-million dollars to help build a new route. But the enormous slide remains unstable, and even a new road might not hold. KPLU's Anna King trekked past the landslide barriers to bring us this update from the Nile Valley. Jenifer Rodgers: "Sun's out. Not bad. It's kind of warm." Jenifer Rodgers walks out the back door of her restaurant and grocery shop to show me her campground just off Highway 410. It's idyllic. It's a crisp fall day in the mountains, there's the rush of a river nearby and the shade of tall pines. The problem? It's too quiet for the start of the hunting season. Jenifer Rodgers: "So down here you'll see, we have, well there's probably about 10 full-service RV parking spots here, and they're all vacant. Just since Monday, we had two or three of them that were already here pull out and leave early." The landslide calamity is especially painful during a down economy and her best time of year – the fall hunting season.
Obama Declares H1N1 Flu 'National Emergency'
The White House says the declaration allows medical treatment facilities to better handle a surge in flu patients by waiving federal requirements on a case-by-case basis.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
President Obama signed a proclamation declaring the H1N1 influenza a national emergency, giving doctors and medical facilities greater leeway in responding to the flu pandemic. Obama signed the declaration late Friday, which the White House said allows medical treatment facilities to better handle a surge in flu patients by waiving federal requirements on a case-by-case basis. "The foundation of our national approach to the H1N1 flu has been preparedness at all levels — personal, business, and government — and this proclamation helps that effort by advancing our overall response capability," the White House said in a statement.
Natural Disaster Update
6.0 SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.8 PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.2 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.9 GALAPAGOS TRIPLE JUNCTION REGION
5.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.1 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.4 OFF COAST OF ECUADOR
5.0 PERU-ECUADOR BORDER REGION
5.6 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
6.1 SUNDA STRAIT, INDONESIA
5.1 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.1 FIJI REGION
5.2 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.9 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.1 BANDA SEA
5.0 NEAR ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
5.1 SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA
5.3 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA
5.3 SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.4 SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.3 MINDORO, PHILIPPINES
5.3 CARLSBERG RIDGE
5.0 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.0 LAKE ALBERT REGION, UGANDA
6.0 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.1 BANDA SEA
5.1 SICHUAN-GANSU BORDER REG, CHINA
5.2 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.3 KURIL ISLANDS
5.1 OFFSHORE VALPARAISO, CHILE
5.0 TAIWAN REGION
6.2 HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN
5.0 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.9 SOUTH OF PANAMA
5.3 NEAR EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA
6.0 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
6.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.1 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.1 NEW GUINEA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
5.2 MID-INDIAN RIDGE
5.0 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS.
5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN – Five people have been killed due to a strong earthquake on October 22 measuring at 6.4 on the Richter scale shaking several areas of Pakistan as well as Afghanistan and India . At least 3 people were killed due to land sliding in Azad Jammu and Kashmir while two people lost their lives due to cardiac arrest. The quake struck different areas of the country at 1:51 am at a depth of 180 kilometers in the Hindu Kush area. The tremors and a series of after shocks were felt in many areas. The tremors woke people up in the middle of the night in some areas where panicked residents ran out of their homes. There are reports of five people slightly injured in Dir and Swat owing to cracks in walls. In Kabul, the ground shook and electricity supplies were disrupted. Northern Afghanistan and Pakistan are frequently hit by earthquakes, especially around the Hindu Kush range near the collision of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates. A 7.6-magnitude earthquake in northwest Pakistan and Kashmir in October 2005 killed 74,000 people and displaced 3.5 million.
HAWAII – Toxic Hawaiian volcano poses health risks to residents, crops. Kilauea, on the big island of Hawaii, is making headlines for vog – a mix of sulfur dioxide and other chemicals, which when combined with sunlight and dust, forms a thick soupy haze similar to smog. Although the volcano has been spitting out vog for more than two decades now, a new vent that opened near the summit in March of 2008 has made things, well — more "voggy." And it's giving some people a headache — literally and financially. In addition to causing health problems like itchy and watery eyes and noses, vog is harmful for the exotic plant industry. When the sulfur dioxide hits the moisture inside the beloved protea flower, it turns to sulfuric acid, and burns the plant to a crisp. It has become a major problem for residents who make their living growing these exotic Hawaiian flowers. Health concerns surrounding the vog have public schools creating a separate air conditioned "safe" room for kids who experience breathing problems on days when the air is particularly thick with the sulfur dioxide. The trade winds are blowing the vog towards Oahau.
PHILIPPINES – Mayon Volcano released 1,272 tons of sulfur dioxide during a 24-hour period between Tuesday and Wednesday morning that was way above the fluctuation range recorded in previous weeks. The emission was the highest during the last two-month observation period. Phivolcs was not able to record the gas level during the Wednesday-Thursday monitoring period due to bad weather. The gas emission and other signs of abnormality shown by the volcano prompted disaster authorities to strictly enforce a ban on people entering designated danger zones around the volcano. Task Force Mayon has prepositioned military trucks in case an evacuation order is given, in the event Philvolcs raises the alert to Level 3. They are continuously monitoring tremors, gas emissions and ground deformation as these are indications that the volcano's seismic activity may intensify.
VANUATU – Volcanologists in Vanuatu have raised the alert level of the Gaua volcano in the far north. The level was upgraded to two, from one, last week after volcanologists measured a rise in seismic ativity. The volcano is going through an eruptive phase that began on September 27. There’s no danger yet for the residents, and the water on the island is still safe to drink. The highest volcano alert level is five.
Rivers flowing down from the volcano may be hazardous because of potential mud-slides. Residents are reporting ash is still falling onto their crops and the smell of sulphur is strong. From a previous gas reading of nil, sulphur dioxide measured on October 3 was 3,000 tonnes – "so for this small volcano this is huge". Two moderate earthquakes hit the South Pacific in quick succession on Monday. A 5.3 magnitude tremor hit 285 kilometres from Santo, in Vanuatu at 0735 GMT. It was followed minutes later by a 5.5 magnitude quake 214 kilometres from Apia, in Samoa.
COLUMBIA – The Nevado del Huila volcano in Colombia's south western department of Huila has reawakened, initially discharging ash which is predominantly affecting the indigenous communities within the surrounding area. The town council of Cauca municipalities bordering Huila on Monday drew up a risk assessment report and ordered the suspension of school activities in the area. "We have activated the contingency plan … we have everything ready in the event that we are told we must leave, and at that point we will evacuate." There is a consistent tremor pulse coming from the volcano and the large expulsion of ash that occured early Monday morning signals a potential impending eruption. The Nevado del Huila volcano is Colombia's highest volcano and had been dormant for 500 years until it resumed activity in 2007. The volcano erupted again in November 2008.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Mount Nyamulagira erupted on Monday and lava has been flowing away from the direction of Goma, which was partially submerged when Mount Nyirangongo erupted in 2002. "There was no loss of life and no immediate threat to Goma because Nyamulagira lies 32 kilometres to the north and has Mount Nyirangongo acting as a barrier against lava reaching the city." Despite the lack of immediate danger to Goma, the head of the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Goma said if there were bigger eruptions, the situation could be very different.
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS –
PORTUGAL – FREAK waves have ripped through the main competition site for the Rip Curl Pro Search surfing contest in Portugal. A combination of the high tide on Tuesday night and an UNUSUALLY-large swell caused chaos at Supertubes beach. Organisers had constructed sand walls on the beach to protect the competition headquarters, but waves of three metres swept over the berns. The pre-fabricated administration buildings and VIP rooms suffered extensive water and sand damage. "It looks like a cyclone has hit it." But after two days of delays, the event was expected to start on Wednesday afternoon at the back-up site at nearby Lagido beach. Lagido is on the other side of the peninsula where Peniche is situated and was unaffected by the unusually-large surf. Locals are saying the overnight swell at Supertubes was THE BIGGEST TO HIT PORTUGAL IN 30 YEARS. Event organisers will need at least a day to repair the Supertubes venue. Graders were repairing and improving the sand walls on Wednesday morning as workers started cleaning out the various competition buildings. The Pro Search, the second-last event of the world tour, was due to start on Monday but conditions then were too calm. Another lay day was called on Tuesday after an Atlantic storm hit the area during the night. While the storm quickly passed, it eventually brought the big swells that hit Supertubes overnight.
TROPICAL STORMS –
Rick, once a Category Five storm with winds of 180 miles per hour, has been downgraded to a tropical storm. Maximum sustained winds have fallen to 65 mph, and additional weakening is expected before the storm makes landfall over the southern part of the Baja Peninsula late today or early Wednesday. Rick is located some 200 miles south-southwest of the popular cruise port of Cabo San Lucas. A tropical storm warning is in place for southern portions of the Baja Peninsula — meaning tropical storm conditions are expected within 24 hours. The warning area includes Cabo. With previously recorded wind speeds of 180 miles per hour, Rick is the second strongest Eastern Pacific storm on record after 1997's Hurricane Linda, whose winds reached 185 mph.
Tropical Storm Rick hit Mexico's Pacific coast just north of the resort of Mazatlan on Wednesday, toppling trees and signs, after sparing Los Cabos on the Baja California peninsula a direct blow. The center of the storm made landfall around 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) with winds of about 55 mph (90 kph), kicking up high waves that drew residents of Mazatlan to the city's seaside boulevard to watch the spectacle. After moving over land, the storm dissipated by the afternoon. Forecasters said the remnants of Rick could dump about one inch of rain in parts of northern Mexico, creating the risk of flash floods and mudslides. Over the weekend, Rick's winds were clocked at 180 mph (290 kph) — making it the strongest hurricane in the eastern North Pacific region since 1997 — and it kicked up high waves hundreds of miles (kilometers) away that killed at least two people. But the storm spent its force far out at sea and weakened over cooler waters. (photos)
Hurricane Neki, with maximum sustained winds near 115 mph, strengthened to a Category 3 storm as it moved toward the Northwest Hawaiian islands Wednesday. "Conditions are expected to begin deteriorating across portions of the warning area early Thursday," forecasters said. Rainfall amounts of 8 to 12 inches can be expected along the Neki's path. At 11 a.m., the center of Neki was about 620 miles west-southwest of Honolulu and about 410 miles south of French Frigate Shoals. The storm is not expected to threaten the main Hawaiian islands. Neki is moving toward the north-northwest near 9 mph and is forecast to continue strengthening over the next 24 hours. Hurricane force winds extend up to 35 miles from the center, while tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 255 miles. "Large swells will begin to build in advance of Neki across the smaller islands of the Papahanaumokuakea National Monument Wednesday night, and seas will build to 15 to 20 feet on Thursday, creating surf of 20 to 25 feet."
Tropical Storm Ramil (international codename: Lupit) intensified into a typhoon overnight Friday and weathermen said Saturday they would know by today or Monday if it will continue to threaten North and Central Luzon or veer north toward Taiwan. A high-pressure area near Taiwan could spell the difference. If the high-pressure area stays at its current position, it might allow “Ramil” to move north and spare northern Luzon. But if the high-pressure area moves west, it could pull “Ramil” smack into northern Luzon. “We will see in the next 48 hours what will happens." “Ramil” was moving slowly, almost stationary, as if deciding where to go. “In my experience, once a system slows down, there is a chance it would change direction and we would be spared.” But based on the models, there was only a 20 percent chance “Ramil” would head north, and an 80 percent chance it would head for Northern Luzon. Unless it changes course, Ramil was expected to make landfall Wednesday afternoon somewhere in Cagayan. There is the possibility “Ramil” will develop into a super typhoon with maximum winds reaching 215 kilometers per hour or more since it is still out at sea.
Supertyphoon Lupit weakened slightly east of the Philippines, where authorities are planning evacuations should the storm approach. Lupit is a Category 4 storm, the second-strongest on the Saffir-Simpson scale of cyclone strength. Such storms have winds of between 210 and 249 kph and are capable of causing “devastating damage.” Lupit was 1,158 kilometers (719 miles) east-northeast of Palanan on Luzon island at 2 p.m. Philippines time today. The storm was moving northwest at 19 kilometers per hour. Lupit’s maximum sustained winds fell to 241 kph from 250 kph earlier. Lupit is forecast to swing to the west and approach northern Luzon by 2 p.m. on Oct. 22. It’s expected to weaken by then, with its winds forecast to decline to 222 kph. A state of calamity remains in effect after the island was devastated by Typhoon Parma and Tropical Storm Ketsana. More than 770 people have died in cyclones since Sept. 26.
LUPIT – The Philippines was preparing for the onslaught of another powerful typhoon as it struggled to recover from damage left by two deadly storms in the past month. Typhoon Lupit's advance has slowed and it is now likely to hit the the north on Friday, a day later than forecast. Lupit will then cross the tip of the main island of Luzon before blowing out to the South China Sea over the weekend. Many areas remain extremely vulnerable to further bad weather with dams already overflowing and soaked soil unable to absorb more rain. Tropical storms Ketsana and Parma claimed nearly 1000 lives and caused at least 17.7 billion pesos ($411 million) in damage to agriculture and infrastructure in the nation's capital, Manila, and other areas of Luzon when they hit recently. More than 216,000 people are still sheltered in makeshift evacuation centres after the two storms caused deadly landslides and massive floods, some of which have not yet receded.
Neki was swirling Monday afternoon about 825 miles south of Honolulu and about 830 miles southeast of Johnston Island. Maximum winds were at about 40 mph, though Neki was expected to keep gaining strength and was forecast to be a hurricane by Tuesday. It was expected to pass very close to tiny Johnston Island as a hurricane, possibly by today.
PHILIPPINES – Massive floods brought by powerful storms have caused an outbreak of the deadly disease leptospirosis, which has claimed 89 lives in the Philippine capital alone.
THE PHILIPPINES have been spared as typhoon Lupit, now downgraded into a tropical storm, veered away from the country which is still dealing with the devastation from two previous deadly storms. Lupit made a sharp turn northwards, away from the main Philippine island of Luzon, and was forecast to continue moving northwards. Storm alerts were lowered across the northern part of the country where relief operations had been prepared in anticipation of the arrival of a massive typhoon. However, the weather station warned residents in the north to remain on alert for flash floods and landslides caused by continued rains in an area where the ground is already saturated from previous storms.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD –
RECORD-BREAKING early snowfall in New York, New Jersey – An autumn storm brought snow to parts of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, the EARLIEST SNOW ON RECORD in some towns used to harsh winters. The snow that started Thursday, October 15, set records for the earliest date with an inch of snow in Binghamton, Ithaca and Olean in New York and Altoona and State College in Pennsylvania.
MICHIGAN – Area has COLDEST OCTOBER SINCE 1952. It's been a cold October. Very cold. Historically cold. "The average temperature through Oct. 20 is 43.9 degrees. More importantly, that's 6.9 degrees below normal this month. Three degrees difference is significant and when you're talking almost seven degrees, that is HISTORIC." Monday was the first day temperatures climbed above normal this month. Area farmers struggled with crops through an UNUSUALLY cool and rainy summer, so this chilly autumn is more of the same. "Grapes are struggling. Tomatoes tanked this year because we didn't have the heat and warmth to ripen them and we had wet weather that caused blight." The one bumper crop is apples, an agricultural product that thrived this season. The cool summer came after a particularly cold winter last year. "It's very rare to get a whole year that's really cold. But we expect this colder-than-normal weather will continue into early winter." Lake Michigan already is five degrees cooler than normal at this time of year, a situation that may lead to heavy ice cover similar to last winter.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
AUSTRALIA – Nearly 600 firefighters are battling 52 blazes in Queensland, with some emergency crews that have been out on the fire fronts for weeks in need of reinforcements. Blazes were threatening homes and property on Saturday near Mt Archer National Park near Rockhampton and also in Springsure, just west of Emerald. The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) has advised residents whose homes back onto bushland in the suburbs of Frenchville, Koongal, Lakes Creek and other areas at Mt Archer to leave the area immediately if the path is clear.
AUSTRALIA – Children traumatised by Victoria's Black Saturday bushfires are experiencing a fresh wave of fear as predictions spread of another horror fire season. Children were already becoming frightened as the bushfire season drew closer. Children affected by the February 7 inferno, which killed 173 people, or those living in high bushfire risk areas, have been exposed to media reports that the upcoming season could be worse than the last.
Britain's Prime Minister warns of climate 'catastrophe' – The UK faces a "catastrophe" of floods, droughts and killer heatwaves if world leaders fail to agree a deal on climate change. World delegations meet in Copenhagen in December for talks on a new treaty. In recent days there have been a number of warnings that progress is stalling. The prime minister has warned that negotiators have 50 days to save the world from global warming and break the "impasse". He told the Major Economies Forum in London, which brings together 17 of the world's biggest greenhouse gas-emitting countries, there was "no plan B". "Once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement, in some future period, can undo that choice." The costs of failing to tackle the issue would be greater than the impact of both world wars and the Great Depression combined, the prime minister said. Whether current scientific understanding warrants his warning of "catastrophe" for the UK if greenhouse gas levels rise unchecked is perhaps open to question. A recent report by Kofi Annan's Global Humanitarian Forum found the UK was one of 12 nations least likely to be affected by climate impacts.
LEBANON – Large fires broke out in the north and south of Lebanon on Monday due to the recent heat wave that assailed the country.
Arctic lake sediment suggests summer temperatures have only been this warm once before in last 200,000 years. The Canadian Arctic is experiencing a heat wave that has SELDOM BEEN MATCHED IN THE PAST 200,000 YEARS, says a new scientific paper based on the study of sediment found at the bottom of a remote lake on Baffin Island. Scientists looking at the remains of microscopic plants and insects preserved in the lake's crusty bottom say a comparison of flora and fauna found in the remote past and in recent decades suggest temperatures similar to those occurring now have been EXCEEDINGLY RARE. Recently, there have been UNPRECEDENTED increases of some algae types dependent on warmer weather that were almost never found during the preindustrial era. "Our findings show that the last several decades have been the most ecologically unique in 200,000 years." The only time that summer temperatures were similar to current readings was just after the last ice age ended about 8,000 years ago, and during a warm period before the last glaciation. Last week, a team of British researchers said the Arctic Ocean is undergoing a swift melting that they predicted will leave it largely free of summertime ice in as little as 20 years. Earlier this year, a report suggested global warming in the decades ahead would allow tree growth as far north as Baffin Island.
HEALTH THREATS –
US officials have warned of delays in the delivery of swine flu vaccines just as deaths from the H1N1 virus climb above epidemic level in some states. Only 28-30 million doses will be available by the end of the month, down from an earlier estimate of 40 million. Testing the vaccines for strength and purity was cited as one reason for a delay in their delivery. Swine flu has had an especially strong impact on children, 86 of whom have died this year. The number of children who have died so far this year from the H1N1 virus is greater than the number that normally die in an entire flu season. Half of those deaths were in children aged between 12 and 17. "These are very sobering statistics. Some of these children have been totally healthy." "It's UNPRECEDENTED for this time of year to have the whole country seeing such high levels of activity." The H1N1 strain is killing UNUSUALLY QUICKLY. "In severe cases, patients generally begin to deteriorate around three to five days after symptom onset. Deterioration is rapid, with many patients progressing to respiratory failure within 24 hours, requiring immediate admission to an intensive care unit."
Nearly half of all flu viruses in China are the seasonal H3N2 strain, which appeared before the pandemic virus and is cocirculating with it. Pandemic flu activity is well above baseline rates in the United States and is increasing in parts of Canada and Mexico, and cases are rising in Western Europe, northern Asia, and some Caribbean countries. At least 4,735 deaths have been reported. Temperate areas of the Southern Hemisphere now have few cases.
Group in New York sues to stop nationwide vaccination program – A group of New York medical workers sued Thursday to try to block the nationwide H1N1 vaccination program, arguing that the vaccines have not been adequately tested. The suit was filed in a federal court in Washington, DC. The suit was brought by a group of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel.
Be wary of H1N1 remedies sold online – The US Food and Drug Administration warns that there's a good potential for fraud when buying products sold online as preventives or remedies for H1N1 influenza. The agency recently bought several products sold online as oseltamivir (Tamiflu). One of them turned out to contain only talc and acetaminophen; several others contained various levels of Tamiflu but were not approved for use in the United States. The agency urged consumers to buy only approved products from US pharmacies.
The US Department of Agriculture said it is testing to confirm suspected novel H1N1 flu in three pigs that were sampled at the Minnesota State Fair in August. Positive results would mark the first detection of the virus in pigs in the United States. The pigs, which appeared healthy, were tested in a research project by the University of Minnesota and University of Iowa. Some children who stayed in a dorm at the fair contracted H1N1, but no link has been made to the pigs.
Researchers who studied an H1N1 outbreak at the US Air Force Academy reported that 19% (11 of 58) of patients were still shedding the virus after they had been symptom-free for at least 24 hours. Also, 7 of 24 samples taken 7 days after illness onset contained viable virus. Virus shedding does not necessarily mean the virus can spread. [pdf file]
The pandemic H1N1 virus has been found in turkeys at a breeding farm in the Canadian province of Ontario. The farmer had noticed a drop in egg production. Officials said there is no risk of foodborne transmission and that an infected worker may have passed the virus to the birds.
Meanwhile, officials in Oregon confirmed pandemic flu in a ferret whose owner had recently been sick with the virus.
German vaccine roll-out sparks protest – A press outcry and political objections are following news that Germany's H1N1 vaccination campaign plans to use two different formulas: Baxter's cell culture-based Celvapan for politicians and essential workers and GlaxoSmithKline's egg-based, adjuvanted Pandemrix for the general public. To defuse the protest, Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to receive the GSK vaccine from her private doctor. Celvapan has fewer side effects than Pandemrix.
Argentinean report cites high rate of lung disease in H1N1 cases – An unexpectedly high rate of lower respiratory disease (8%, 166 of 2,135 patients) was found in adults with flu-like illness who were treated at a tertiary hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the H1N1 outbreak in June and July. Although other pathogens were not ruled out, the report says the finding suggests that "a unique pattern of virulence, pulmonary tropism, or both" may characterize 2009 H1N1 cases.
President Obama declares H1N1 swine flu a national emergency, in a move to help medical teams handle the outbreak. It increases the ability of treatment facilities to handle a surge in H1N1 patients by easing the implementation of emergency plans. Last week US officials said swine flu activity was widespread in 46 states. The CDC says widespread influenza activity in 46 states is "UNPRECEDENTED during seasonal flu". More than 1,000 US deaths have been linked to the virus. Although figures are hard to verify, it is thought H1N1 has hospitalised about 20,000 people in the US. Health officials say the infections are already comparable to peak season flu levels. The seasonal flu peak is usually between late November and early March. US officials said the president's declaration was similar to ones issued before hurricanes make landfall. It allows authorities to bypass certain federal requirements in order to deal more effectively with emergencies. The aim of the directive is to remove bureaucratic hurdles, allowing sick patients to receive treatment more quickly and giving health-care providers more flexibility in providing it. Paperwork on patients can be reduced and additional health centres set up outside hospitals to care for the sick. The government has admitted there are delays in the delivery of vaccines. It had hoped to roll out 120 million doses by mid-October. It now hopes for about 50 million by mid-November and 150 million in December. "We are nowhere near where we thought we'd be by now."
SWINE FLU SYMPTOMS –
•Typical symptoms: sudden fever (38C or above) and sudden cough
•1. Other symptoms include: Tiredness and chills
•2. Headache, sore throat, runny nose and sneezing
•3. Stomach upset, loss of appetite, diarrhoea
•4. Aching muscles, limb or joint pain
Questions about the tardy US supply of pandemic H1N1 vaccine have increased with the report that most of Novartis's doses may not reach the country until early in 2010 and a European regulatory recommendation that may have implications for the global vaccine supply. Novartis is expected to supply about 35% of the total projected US supply of about 251 million doses. The European Union's drug regulatory agency announced it would maintain an earlier recommendation for a two-dose regimen of the three H1N1 vaccines approved in the EU, despite data showing one-dose efficacy for two of the vaccines. The recommendation raises the possibility of a major increase in European demand for the vaccines, with possible repercussions for the US supply.
U.S. pandemic flu activity is starting to hit the young adult age-group harder.
Flu control measures seem to reduce other diseases in Bolivia. Health officials in Bolivia say a massive campaign to promote handwashing to prevent H1N1 flu seems to have reduced the spread of other common diseases.
RECALLS & ALERTS –
-The U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has filed a complaint for permanent injunction against Rel's Foods Inc. (Rel's), of Oakland, Calif., seeking to stop the company from manufacturing, producing, and selling adulterated food products.
-The Texas Department of State Health Services is warning consumers not to eat certain imported dried plums and products containing imported dried plums because they have elevated levels of lead.
-U.S. baby food recalled for possible botulism – Plum Organics pulling apple and carrot pouches; no illnesses reported. The product was sold individually throughout the country at Toys-R-Us and Babies-R-Us stores.
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
The 2009 MTV Music Awards: The Occult Dajjali Mega-Ritual
Oct. 5, 2009
From unexpected drama to shocking performances, MTV’s 2009 Video Music Awards managed once again to raise eyebrows and get people talking. What most people however missed is the occult meanings encoded into the VMAs. The TV event was in fact a large scale occult ceremony, complete with an initiation, a prayer and even a blood sacrifice. We’ll look at the symbolism that went on during the show. MTV’s Video Music Awards have often incorporated dark and strange acts, even containing some occult symbolism. This year’s version has however outdone itself. The show left most people wondering what was wrong with Kanye West or trying compute the madness of Lady Gaga’s performance. The only way to understand the real meaning behind those performances is to look into esoteric teachings. Fact is, the whole awards show took the most common rituals of occult orders and reenacted them in a show witnessed by the entire world. This year’s VMA’s were very different from other awards shows. They focused on a very limited number of artists (Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga), while ignoring many others who were equally successful. The “chosen” artists became characters in the VMA’s ceremony and acted out different ritual dramas. This might sound totally crazy to the average MTV viewer but those acquainted with the practices of occult orders (such as Freemasonry) can decode the references to sacred rituals. There are numerous types of fraternities and rituals, from the most noble to the most infernal, and they have existed throughout History. The VMAs were decisively inspired by dark, sinister and even Satanic ceremonies.
‘Good Without God,’ Atheist Subway Ads Proclaim
Oct. 19, 2009
Atheism is coming to the subway — or at least subway ads promoting it are. Starting next Monday, a coalition of local groups will run a monthlong advertising campaign in a dozen Manhattan subway stations with the slogan “A Million New Yorkers Are Good Without God. Are You?” The posters also advertise the Web site BigAppleCoR.org, which provides a listing of local groups affiliated with the Coalition of Reason, the umbrella organization that coordinated the campaign. The campaign — which is being paid for by $25,000 from an anonymous donor — follows a similar but unrelated monthlong campaign on buses by New York City Atheists in July. Jane Everhart, a spokeswoman for the New York City Atheists, said that campaign was highly successful and brought in many new members. “We are trying to raise money to do it again,” she said. The subway station advertisements were chosen for the $25,000 campaign because they were the best deal for the given budget, said Michael De Dora Jr., the executive director for the New York branch of the Center for Inquiry. A Times Square ad would have cost $45,000 to $50,000 for a month, while a campaign that blanketed the inside of subway cars would have cost $70,000.
Christian Brother is again accused of molestation
Lawsuit and protest in Chicago target Brother Raimond Rose, now 76
Oct. 22, 2009
Victims' advocates protested Wednesday outside the South Side home of a Christian Brother accused by a former student of molesting him during a field trip in 1977. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in North Dakota, David Gaffaney, 47, of Minnesota, accuses Charles Anthony "Raimond" Rose, now 76, of fondling him at a Ramada Inn in Orlando, Fla., while Gaffaney was sleeping. The two were on a field trip sponsored by Shanley High School, a Roman Catholic School in Fargo, N.D. Gaffaney came forward when he learned about five other lawsuits filed against Rose last summer. Rose faces multiple suits for allegedly abusing students at two schools run by the Christian Brothers in Minnesota. The lawsuit filed Tuesday names Rose, Shanley High School, the Diocese of Fargo, Fargo Bishop Samuel Aquila and the Burr Ridge-based Christian Brothers of the Midwest. "Given our dedication to educating our youth, we are deeply saddened to learn that another complaint has been filed stemming from sexual abuse that occurred in 1977 by Brother Raimond Rose," said Brother Francis Carr, the provincial of the Christian Brothers, in a written statement. "Brother Raimond Rose is currently in his 70s and has not been in active ministry since 2002. In that regard, Brother Rose has not had any contact with minors since that time."
Churches denounce African children as "witches"
Oct. 18, 2009
EKET, Nigeria (AP) — The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall. His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him — Mount Zion Lighthouse. A month later, he died. Nwanaokwo Edet was one of an increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of "witch children" reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files. Some of the churches involved are renegade local branches of international franchises. Their parishioners take literally the Biblical exhortation, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." "It is an outrage what they are allowing to take place in the name of Christianity," said Gary Foxcroft, head of nonprofit Stepping Stones Nigeria.
Pope elevates 5 new saints, 1 for work in Hawaii
Oct 11 11:41 AM US/Eastern
By FRANCES D'EMILIO
Associated Press Writer
VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Benedict XVI canonized five new saints Sunday, including a 19th-century priest whose work with leprosy patients on a Hawaiian island has been hailed by U.S. President Barack Obama as inspiring those helping AIDS sufferers in today's world. Among the pilgrims packing St. Peter's Basilica was Hawaii resident Audrey Toguchi, an 80-year-old retired teacher whose recovery from lung cancer a decade ago was called miraculous by the Vatican. She had prayed to Belgium-born Jozef De Veuster, more commonly known as Father Damien, who himself died from leprosy in 1889 after contracting the disease while working with leprosy patients who were living in isolation on Molokai island. Toguchi and her doctor, Walter Chang, joined a procession of faithful bringing relics of the new saints to Benedict at the central altar of the basilica. The pontiff said the newly canonized had given of themselves totally without "calculation or personal gain." "Their perfection, in the logic of a faith that is humanly incomprehensible at times, consists in no longer placing themselves at the center, but choosing to go against the flow and live according to the Gospel," Benedict said in his homily.
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
Pastor in India Lured into Violent Trap, Has Ear Bitten Off
Compass Direct News
October 23, 2009
NEW DELHI (CDN) — A group of Hindu extremists in Madhya Pradesh earlier this month beat a pastor unconscious and chewed off part of his ear, pelting him with stones after he fainted from the pain. Paasu Ninama told Compass that the six attackers first lured him into a house in Malphalia village, Jhabua district with an offer of water on Oct. 4. The 35-year-old resident of Pipal Kutta village said he was on his way back from his regular Sunday service in Malphalia at 4 p.m. when six men sitting outside a house invited him in for a glass of water. When he saw a photograph of Jesus Christ in the house, he knew they had set a trap for him – Pastor Ninama said he knew they would accuse him of providing the photo and trying to "forcibly" convert them. "I immediately turned to escape when they all jumped on me and started to beat me, accusing me of luring people to convert," he said. They badly beat him with wood on his hands, legs and back. "I joined my hands and begged them not to beat me and let me go, but they mercilessly continued to hit me black and blue," Pastor Ninama said.
A fragile light
Iraq: In disputed Kirkuk, Christian presence is often appreciated but sometimes targeted
Inside the old walled citadel of Kirkuk sits the Red Church, so called because in a.d. 409 a pagan king ordered hundreds of Christians beheaded. It is known throughout Iraq as "the graveyard of the Chaldeans" for the massacre there, but Chaldeans today prefer instead to recount the epilogue: A general named Tahmazgerd, under orders to carry out the murders, watched in particular one young mother killed with her two children. Seeing their "faith, serenity, and the trust of the widow," the story goes, Tahmazgerd converted to Christianity—and later himself was beheaded.
Expert: U.N. Resolutions Would Create 'Global Blasphemy Law'
Oct. 22, 2009
The so-called “defamation of religions” U.N. resolutions, proposed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, would create a “global blasphemy law,” the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom warned on Wednesday. Leonard A. Leo testified to Members of Congress on the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission that though the resolutions sounded “tolerant and progressive,” in reality they would “exacerbate” religious persecution and discrimination around the world. “Although the ‘defamation’ resolutions purport to protect religions generally, the only religion and religious adherents that are specifically mentioned are Islam and Muslims,” pointed out Leo, who noted USCIRF has been closely monitoring the resolutions for several years. “Aside from Islam, the resolutions do not specify which religions are deserving of protection, or explain how or by whom this would be determined
Baptist Pastors Arrested for Aiding Guantanamo Churches
Oct. 20, 2009
Two Baptist pastors were arrested and detained by the Cuban government recently after distributing financial aid to needy churches in Guantanamo province in the eastern coast of the island nation. Cuban pastors Ruben Ortiz Columbie and Francisco Garcia Ruiz were arrested Oct. 3 and have since been held in prison. They are accused of “illicit financial activity,” though Cuban church leaders have defended them, saying that all the aid money, sent from Baptist churches in Florida, has been sent legally and openly. Furthermore, church leaders say they are puzzled by the arrest because the Eastern Baptist Convention, in which both men are leaders of, has been carrying out aid works in Cuba for years. The Eastern Baptist Convention is one of the largest denominations in Cuba. Columbie, 68, is a professor of Economics at the Santiago Baptist Seminary and heads the denomination’s “Special Projects” department. Perez, 46, is the director of the denomination’s youth ministries.
St. Louis pays $80,000 for censoring Christians
Banned speech at 'gay' pride festival
October 23, 2009
The city of St. Louis has agreed to pay $80,000 for censoring the speech of Christians during a "gay" pride festival on city property, according to the Alliance Defense Fund. The law organization represented the plaintiffs in a case brought over the censorship, and it announced yesterday it had voluntarily sought dismissal of the lawsuit after the city's offending policy had been struck down and the city agreed to pay damages and costs of the case. "Christian groups shouldn't be banned from public areas for expressing their beliefs," said Rick Nelson of the American Liberties Institute, who served as lead counsel in the case and is allied with the ADF. "We are pleased that the city of St. Louis now recognizes the First Amendment rights of ministries who wish to share their viewpoint on important social and moral issues at events taking place at public locations," he said.