CHOSEN: End Times Newsletter – Issue 112

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

Look on the Sunny Side
By: Helen Steiner Rice
Submitted by Regina

There are always two sides –
the good and the bad,
The dark and the light,
the sad and the glad…
But in looking back over
the good and the bad,
We're aware of the number
of good things we've had –
And in counting our blessings,
we find when we're through
We've no reason at all
to complain or be blue…
So thank God for the good things
He has already done,
And be grateful to Him
for the battles you've won –
And know that the same God
who helped you before
Is ready and willing
to help you once more –
Then with faith in your heart,
reach out for God's hand
And accept what He sends,
though you can't understand…
For our Father in heaven
always knows what is best,
And if you trust His wisdom,
your life will be blessed…
For always remember
that, whatever betide you,
You are never alone,
for God is beside you.

As the Thanksgiving holiday nears, let us remember to always count our blessings and to be thankful for all things…even those we don't understand. Trust in Father's wisdom and have complete faith and know that even in times of Tribulation, He is there and has not forgotten us – so let us not forget Him. Take the time to make each day a day of thanksgiving, rather than reserving it for just one day out of the year.

FROM THE CRADLE TO THE GRAVE
Submitted by Johanna

From the cradle to the grave
I've watched with eyes of love,
And seen each moment of your life
From My home above.

From the cradle to the grave
Not one second have I missed,
Although there was some heartache
That made you wonder if I exist.

From the cradle to the grave
You have never walked alone,
For when the burden was too heavy,
I gave to you my very Own.

From the cradle to the grave
Every thought you had inside
Was broadcast here in Heaven–
You have no place where to hide.

From the cradle to the grave,
From the grave to Heaven's door,
There are promises and blessings
As you love Me more and more.

by Tracey Allen

Inspired Writings

Having a Little, or Having a Lot

Philippians 4:12 — I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret [of being content]—whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.

There are a lot of secrets in scripture that are provided to ponder on and apply to one's own very life and style. If one ponders on things that are wise, pondering upon Father, there is a possibility for the growth of things that are enormous.

Matthew 6:25 — "This is why I tell you: Don't worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothing?

When a question is posed, and there isn't an answer readily available, it helps to show that there is room to grow, and perhaps something further to grow in. Perhaps, in a way, a way of directing a person towards growth, and in what growth they can grow towards. All in progressive steps. A person that aspires to learn calculus may have to start with the basics if they are not already learned.

2 Timothy 2:4-7 — To please the recruiter, no one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of everyday life. Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hardworking farmer who ought to be the first to get a share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

So when a person considers what little or a lot there is, Father may provide great understanding in all that there is. If oneself considers things in terms towards Father, there can be a large growth. Pondering upon these things can also be like working to learn something, and sometimes a lesson may not come to oneself immediately. However, that is also a part of patience and waiting for Father's time.

Proverbs 8:34 — Anyone who listens to me is happy, watching at my doors every day, waiting by the posts of my doorway.

Matthew 10:10 — Don't take a traveling bag for the road, or an extra shirt, sandals, or a walking stick, for the worker is worthy of his food.

And so, considering having a little or a lot, it is important to keep Father's way of seeing this as one's focus, so as to learn further and further Father's Will and intentions concerning all things. Learning to be content with what Father provides is quite a lesson.

Romans 12:2 — Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Given these things, more can be understood in the sounds guidance provided by Father's own chosen:

Revelation 3:18 — I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see.

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

Jeshaiah: Father's War Plan, based on that correlation with the letter Y, even seems to go along with helping to vindicate Her name, because without Father's and Christ's Ransom Sacrifice, there would only be a straight line of destruction for those born into secondary sin. Which could even give much symbolism to every other letter in Her name

Cherubic Commander: Yes, the "Y" is symbolic of the two roads one can take.

Let's look at Father's archenemy. Did Dawn Lucifer who became Satan confer with a second mind in his plot to resemble Father?

Isaiah 14:14 "I will ascend above the highest clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."

How did Father view Satan's desire to be like Her?

Isaiah 46:5 "Who will you compare Me or make Me equal to? Who will you measure Me with, so that we should be like each other?"

Yes Satan did confer with Father Herself. Through his empty arguments about free agency Satan convinced his own self that his arguments had merit.

Ephesians 5:6 "[ Light versus Darkness ] Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things God's wrath is coming on the disobedient."

So you see, a glimpse of what Satan did before his fall is given. He like humans that are dissatisfied – he argued for something that had no merit in Father's eyes. Satan tried to deceive his own Creator by offering his empty arguments over what he felt in his heart was correct. So Dawn Lucifer leaned on his own understanding. The heart is treacherous, and it can act as a second mind in any vessel whether it be flesh and blood or spirit. Dawn Lucifer listened to his heart over his mind that knew better. How do we know he knew better than to commit sin? Because he was overt in his action.s and still is. But the underlying reason Dawn Lucifer became Satan was because of his desire to be like Father. He believed Father to be weak as a female, for Satan had not seen Father's warrior side at that time. And this is why Father says:

Exodus 9:16 "However, I have let you live for this purpose: to show you My power and to make My name known in all the earth."

This message was dual, and it was also meant for Her archenemy, because Pharaoh represented Satan in Father's eyes. Father wants to show Satan just how powerful She is. He underestimated Her. Her kindness he abused. For his empty arguments that got him on the wrong path, and for his outright sinful deceptions that have cost billions of people the chance for eternal life. Father has kept Satan in existence to reveal who the real God of this existence truly is. May Father cleanse Her name of undue reproach and destroy those that have no place in Her creation. Amen.

Regina: I think this is something all of us have struggled with from time to time… in that if the heart can be treacherous, but we're also to follow our hearts as well as guard them, should we find ourselves in a situation in which our hearts and minds disagree, what then…?

Cherubic Commander: Proverbs 11:3 "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the perversity of the treacherous destroys them." Integrity to Father through knowing Her truth acts as a guide on both mind and heart. If your mind becomes perverse, then your heart will become treacherous. For example, a man seeks a woman for sex that belongs to another. He views her in his mind as attractively alluring. In his heart the thoughts are compounded and from there he desires her at any cost. Had his mind been properly trained, then his heart would not have received the feed down from his perversion.

Proverbs 11:6 "The righteousness of the upright rescues them, but the treacherous are trapped by their own desires."

Being upright is a safeguard. Otherwise you become trapped by desire. Satan had desire. Hitler had desire. They wanted what was not theirs. They did not dismiss those thoughts, and so they were cultivated deeply into their hearts that required action on their part.

2 Chronicles 6:30 "may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and may You forgive and repay the man according to all his ways, since You know his heart, for You alone know the human heart,"

Be careful what your mind ponders, because it can sift down into your heart. If it is bad things then bad things will become rooted. This is why Father reads the heart over the mind. The mind will lie to its owner, but the heart will reveal what is really in a person's true self. Father sifts the heart for the truth of who that person really is.

"should we find ourselves in a situation in which our hearts and minds disagree, what then…?" If your mind follows the Word, then your heart has an underlying motive just like Satan's. Examine the true motive. The mind will lie to you because of outside influence. But the heart knows the truth deep down inside. Like the person that says to a friend, "Oh yes, I love these cookies." But inside deep down you know you hate the taste of them. Your mind acted appropriately to not hurt your friend's feelings, but inside you felt the truth and spoke it within.

The mind and heart must both be governed by Father's Way. If a dispute arises, then the heart must be examined for its true motive.

If Michael had not been in unity with both mind and heart just before being executed, he would have had to examine his heart. He did not want to die. He did it because of his love for Father and Creation. That's why he spoke about whether or not She could take the cup from him. But in the end, he left the decision in Her hands. He followed through on his promise, and She kept Her's. This revealed that both his mind and heart were in union with Father's Will.

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


More Multi-Colored Aerial Lights Above Fryeburg, Maine
Earthfiles
© 2009 by Linda Moulton Howe

November 11, 2009 Fryeburg, Maine – On October 12, 2009, Earthfiles reported an interview with Jonathan Spak, 37-years-old, owner of a restaurant who photographed anomalous, colorful lights over Fryeburg, Maine. Now a month later on November 4, 2009, Jonathan has photographed more anomalous lights that are included in this Earthfiles report. If anyone else might be having repeated sightings of multi-colored, aerial lights that persist in a specific geographical area, please email me at earthfiles@earthfiles.com.

Asteroid passes just 8,700miles from Earth – with only 15 hours warning
By Claire Bates
MailOnline
Last updated at 10:01 AM on 11th November 2009

Although no one noticed at the time, the Earth was almost hit by an asteroid last Friday. The previously undiscovered asteroid came within 8,700miles of Earth but astronomers noticed it only 15 hours before it made its closest approach. Its orbit brought it 30 times nearer than the Moon, which is 250,000 miles away. But before you head for the nuclear bunkers you will be relieved to learn the tumbling rock was only 23ft across. Similar sized objects pass by this close to Earth about twice a year and impact on the planet about once every five years.

Disc-shaped UFO's reported in three states
November 8, 6:12 AMPittsburgh UFO ExaminerRichard Sanner

Rockingham, Virginia – November 7, 2009 – Witness reported a full disc-shaped object with lights moving around it in a counter-clockwise fashion. The witness first saw the object hovering over his neighbor's house at an altitude of approximately 1,000 feet. The object began to move away, and the witness claimed to clearly see the lights as they continued to circle around the outer edge. The object disappeared momentarily before coming back around. It continued to move slowly over the neighborhood before vanishing entirely. The witness then describes that a ball of light suddenly materialized directly above him and zipped off towards the object he had just observed. The entire event lasted for approximately ten minutes.

Justin, Texas – November 7, 2009 – Witness lives near an airport and is accustomed to conventional aircraft landing and take-off patterns, and lighting. Eight lights were coming from the south. The witness stated that if this were a plane it had more lights, and were much larger than what is customary for an aircraft. The witness heard no sound, and could not discern a silhouette of an aircraft behind the lights. The lights then disappeared.

UFOs Reported in Sutton Skies
UFOCasebook
Published: Friday, October 30, 2009, 10:17

The Observer has received several reports of UFOs during October. All witnesses speak of a strange, glowing light traversing the night sky over Sutton. Accounts range from an intangible orb to a clearly defined mass bathed in a 'burnt orange' energy. The latter is said to have a plane's fixed-wing and 'nose' design, but bears no flashing lights while it defies conventional laws of physics. Now the members of the public who have had these close encounters want to satisfy their curiosity, asking: "Do you know what they are?" They are also wondering whether any more residents have experienced similar phenomena. The first unexplained report focuses on Saturday, October 3. The Observer did not publish it to see whether additional calls from the public would independently corroborate the eyewitness account. "We had just come out of a restaurant on Lower Parade and it was about 9.15 pm," said a female resident who asked not to be named. There was a party of six of us and we were waiting for a few moments following a family gathering. My niece suddenly said 'what's that'? and I saw an object flying low over The Mall shopping centre."

Unknown Object Photographed over Missouri
UFOCasebook
Published: 8:29 AM 10/30/2009
Missouri – 06-25-09

Sitting on my couch looking out the window, I saw a point of light rise up from behind a tree and grow lengthwise in size, then stop and become a horizontal white line of shimmering light in the sky. I often see airplanes coming into the airport turning around in that part of the sky, but this light was much wider than the airplane headlights I see. I could only figure it was a large airplane, so I kept looking at it, expecting it to bank out of its turn I figured it was in – I wanted to see what this craft was, it was relatively big! The white line didn't move, but grew in size a bit, 10 to 20 percent. I then looked at the clock to note the time of 8:55 PM. It stayed in that position for about 30 seconds. It then started to move very slowly to the left, its right side seeming to tilt up at a faster rate than it was moving left, but through the area of movement it remained light, "sparkling" away as it tilted to about a 60 degree angle, the light dissipating until two clearly spherical white balls of light remained.

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

Toxic munitions 'may be cause' of baby deaths and deformities in Fallujah
The Independent
by David Randall
November 15, 2009

Evidence was growing this weekend that babies born in the Iraqi city of Fallujah – scene in 2004 of one of the few set-piece battles of the invasion – are exhibiting high rates of mortality and birth defects. In September this year, say campaigners, 170 children were born at Fallujah General Hospital, 24 per cent of whom died within seven days. Three-quarters of these exhibited deformities, including "children born with two heads, no heads, a single eye in their foreheads, or missing limbs". The comparable data for August 2002 – before the invasion – records 530 births, of whom six died and only one of whom was deformed. The data – contained in a letter sent by a group of British and Iraqi doctors and campaigners to the United Nations last month – presaged claims made in a report in The Guardian yesterday that there has been a sharp rise in birth defects in the city. The paper quoted Fallujah General's director and senior specialist, Dr Ayman Qais, as saying: "We are seeing a very significant increase in central nervous system anomalies… There is also a very marked increase in the number of cases of brain tumours." Earlier this year Sky News reported a Fallujah grave-digger saying that, of the four or five new-born babies he buries every day, most have deformities.

More Than Ever, You Can Say That on Television
The New York Times
by Edward Wyatt
November 13, 2009

LOS ANGELES — On many nights this fall, it has been possible to tune in to broadcast network television during prime time and hear a character call someone else a “douche.” In just the last several weeks, it has happened on CBS’s “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and the CW’s “The Vampire Diaries,” which are broadcast at 8 p.m., during what used to be known as the family hour. It has been heard this fall on Fox’s new series “The Cleveland Show,” which begins at 8:30, and on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” On NBC, its use has spanned the old and the new, blurted out on the freshman comedy “Community” and the seasoned drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” In total, the word has surfaced at least 76 times already this year on 26 prime-time network series, according to research by the Parents Television Council, which compiled the statistics at the request of The New York Times. That is up from 30 uses on 15 shows in all of 2007 and just six instances on four programs in 2005.

Your Next Body Is Growing In a Lab Right Now
Blacklisted News
Gizmodo
November 15, 2009

At TEDMED, I witnessed video clips showing science I never knew was so advanced. Dr. Anthony Atala has been growing human tissue and organs, in a lab, for nearly two decades. He's even printed kidneys from a cell-stuffed inkjet printer. The footage below is from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, one of the world's largest labs dedicated to regenerative medicine—a field interested in repairing or replacing human tissue so the body can self-heal. This collection is sort of a greatest hits of Dr. Atala's last 20 years of research (no, none of this was done overnight on a whim), though almost none of what you'll see has left the lab for clinical trials. Karen Richardson, Sr. Communications Manager at the lab, walks us through the videos in the gallery below. Watch the clips, then scroll down for our Q&A with mad (but completely sane) scientist Dr. Anthony Atala.

Fat in Japan? You're breaking the law.
Blacklisted News
GlobalPost
November 15, 2009

TOKYO, Japan — In Japan, being thin isn’t just the price you pay for fashion or social acceptance. It’s the law. So before the fat police could throw her in pudgy purgatory, Miki Yabe, 39, a manager at a major transportation corporation, went on a crash diet last month. In the week before her company’s annual health check-up, Yabe ate 21 consecutive meals of vegetable soup and hit the gym for 30 minutes a day of running and swimming. “It’s scary,” said Yabe, who is 5 feet 3 inches and 133 pounds. “I gained 2 kilos [4.5 pounds] this year.” In Japan, already the slimmest industrialized nation, people are fighting fat to ward off dreaded metabolic syndrome and comply with a government-imposed waistline standard. Metabolic syndrome, known here simply as “metabo,” is a combination of health risks, including stomach flab, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, that can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Bank failure toll reaches 123
CNN Money
by Hibah Yousuf
November 13, 2009

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Two Florida banks and one in California failed Friday night, bring the 2009 national tally to 123. Regulators closed Century Bank, Federal Savings Bank in Sarasota, Fla., Orion Bank in Naples, Fla., and Pacific Coast National Bank in San Clemente, Calif. Customers of all the failed banks are protected, however. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which has insured bank deposits since the Great Depression, currently covers customer accounts up to $250,000. Iberiabank in Lafayette, La., will assume both Florida banks' $2.731 billion in deposits, according to the FDIC. Iberiabank also entered into a loss-share agreement with the FDIC on $656 million of Century Bank's $725 million in assets and on $1.9 billion of Orion Bank's $2.7 billion in assets. The 11 branches of Century Bank and 23 branches of Orion Bank will reopen as branches of Iberiabank. Sunwest Bank in Tustin, Calif. will assume Pacific Coast's $134.4 million in assets and $130.9 million in deposits, according to the FDIC. The two branches of Pacific Coast will reopen as branches of Sunwest Bank.

Signs in Humanity

Prison officer jailed for having inmate's baby
The Independent
by Kevin Rawlinson
November 13, 2009

A prison officer who had a baby by an inmate in her charge has been sentenced to 30 months in prison. Kelly-Anne McDade admitted misconduct in a public office after a love-affair with “dangerous offender” Nelson Delgado. “She fell in love with this serving prisoner, who was nearly 10 years her junior,” Richard Germain, defending 31-year-old McDade, told the court. He added that, at some point in the future, the pair hope to set up home and bring up the child together. “There is no doubt it was an inappropriate relationship, but Ms McDade would say ‘You can’t help who you fall in love with’,” Mr Germain said. However, Judge Christopher Tyrer told McDade that “Love is not an excuse.”

Attacks kill 16 in Pakistan as spy agency targeted
The Independent
AP
November 13, 2009

A suicide bomber in a pickup truck attacked the northwestern regional headquarters of the Pakistani spy agency overseeing a campaign against militancy, killing 10 people today. Another suicide assault in the area killed six more. The bombings were the latest in a string of attacks on security forces, civilians and Western targets since the government launched an offensive in mid-October against militants in the border region of South Waziristan, where al-Qaida and Taliban leaders are believed to be hiding out. The attack on the Inter-Services Intelligence agency building occurred in the city of Peshawar, which has borne the brunt of the militants' retaliation against the army offensive. A wave of bombings in the last week alone in and around the city has killed more than 50 people.

Russian men sell body to kabab vendor
Big News Network
November 14, 2009

Three homeless Russian men have been charged with murder after they killed a 25-year-old man known to them and sold his body to be used for kababs and meat pies. The men also used parts of the body for food for themselves. The murder took place in Perm, which is located on the banks of the Kama River, in the European section of Russia close to the Ural Mountains, around 1,000 miles east of Moscow. A Russian investigation unit based in Perm said the victim was attacked with a hammer and knife. He was repeatedly stabbed after he was beaten. "After the crime was carried out, the corpse was dismembered and partly used for food, and also sold to a kiosk that sold kababs and meat pies," the Perm investigators said in a statement.

British soldiers sexually abused us, claim Iraqis
The Independent
by Robert Verkaik
November 15, 2009

Disturbing graphic allegations of sexual and physical abuse of Iraqi civilians by British soldiers are among 33 new torture cases being investigated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The fresh claims include allegations that female and male soldiers sexually abused and humiliated detainees in camps in southern Iraq, prompting comparisons with the torture practices employed by US soldiers at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. In one case, British soldiers are accused of piling Iraqi prisoners on top of each other and subjecting them to electric shocks, an echo of the abuse at the notorious US detention centre that came to light in 2004. Lawyers and human rights groups warned yesterday that the British Army may face hundreds of claims of sexual and physical abuse after it was revealed the MoD was investigating the 33 cases. Phil Shiner, the lawyer representing all the former detainees, is asking for a judicial review of the cases and a wider public inquiry. "I have it on good authority that there are hundreds of cases that are going uninvestigated. My guess is that many of them will remain buried."

Up to 16 US soldiers committed suicide last month
Big News Network
November 15, 2009

More U.S. soldiers likely committed suicide last month than were killed in the Fort Hood shootings earlier this month. The U.S. army is investigating sixteen potential suicides among active-duty soldiers in October, about twice the number reported in September, Army officials said. Of the 7 reported in September, three have been confirmed as suicides, and 4 still are under investigation to determine the cause of death. In the nine months from January to October, the Army reported 133 potential active-duty suicides. Of those, ninety deaths have been confirmed as suicides, and the other 43 remain under investigation. For the same period in 2008, there were 115 suicides among active-duty soldiers. “Stigma continues to be one of the most difficult challenges we confront,” said Army Brig. Gen. Colleen McGuire, director of the Suicide Prevention Task Force. “The more we educate our Army community about the need to get help, the need to get it early, and that full recovery is often possible, the less stigma we’ll see.”

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

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

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

How You Can Help?

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

Believer- We are a family of 6; 47, 40, 18, 15, 4 and 4 years of age. We are in a REAL live struggle right now. We need help badly!! We are not asking for hand outs-WE WILL WORK!! Wife runs recovery houses for women, I am on disability and all our children are in school-from pre-k to community college. We recently lost one of our vehicles, which makes it very hard to get 6 people around. We are really struggling!! It is a task every day to find food, gas, etc… We have NEVER been in this position before. It is quite humbling, which can really be a good thing-in the long run-after God brings us to the other side! We attend Church weekly and are Believers. We are in risk of being evicted. We can use any help and we will work for it. God Bless

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

Typhoon Mirinae Kills 123 in Vietnam as Floods Sweep Homes Away
By Van Nguyen

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) — Typhoon Mirinae left at least 123 people dead, one missing and 145 people injured in Vietnam, and caused more than 5 trillion dong ($280 million) in damage, the National Committee for Flood and Storm Control said. The typhoon plowed into Vietnam’s southern central coast on Nov. 2, causing floods that swept away nearly 2,400 houses in central and southern Vietnam, the committee said today in a statement.

El Salvador storm toll rises to 136
By Alex Renderos and Ken Ellingwood
November 10, 2009
Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Verapaz, El Salvador, and Mexico City — The hill-ringed town of Verapaz is now a wasteland of fallen boulders, thigh-deep mud and broken little houses. Rescue workers and desperate residents dug amid the debris Monday for signs of those people still missing a day after severe flooding and landslides left at least 136 dead across El Salvador. Verapaz, a bean- and coffee-growing town of 6,000, was one of the worst-hit spots. Earth and boulders poured down the side of Chichontepec volcano in a thunderous wave, burying some homes and inhabitants. The landslides followed days of rain and a punishing downpour over the weekend that pried the hillside loose.

Mayon sends ash falling on Albay towns, villages
Philippine Daily Inquirer
11/11/2009

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — Restive Mayon Volcano blew ash into the air and into towns that are near it early Wednesday, according to volcanologists. Alex Baloloy, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) science research analyst, said the mild explosion was a clear sign that magma was rising in the volcano’s crater. The explosion lasted for about three minutes followed by rumbling sounds. Residents in the towns of Camalig, Guinobatan, Polangui and Oas and Ligao City reported seeing ash falls. Baloloy said materials (believed to be melting rocks) glowing in the volcano’s upper slopes were seen by residents in Barangay Lidong in Sto. Domingo town and in Barangays Tumpa and Anoling in Camalig town. Ash falls were also reported in the villages of Tumpa in Camalig; Travesia, Maipon, Masarawag, Doña Tumasa, Muladbukad Grande and Pequeño in Guinobatan; and Nabonton and Nasisi in Ligao City.

Mont Blanc shrinks by foot-and-a-half
Relax News
8 November 2009

Western Europe's tallest peak, the snow-capped Alpine giant Mont Blanc, has shrunk by 45 centimetres (18 inches) in two years, experts said following an official survey. The new height of Mont Blanc, which lies on the three-way border between France, Italy and Switzerland, is now 4,810.45 metres (15,782.3 feet), just over half that of Nepal's Everest but still the tallest Alpine peak. The volume of snow and ice coating the summit has also dropped by about a tenth, topographer Bernard Dupont told reporters, adding that this could not be linked directly to the effects of climate change. Dupont said climate change indicators could only truly be measured on a scale of 30 years or more and that ice temperatures and precipation levels further down the mountain at around 3,000 metres would be a better guide.

Heavy 6.7 earthquake strikes Indonesia; at least one killed
November 10, 2009
WikiNews

At least one person was killed and several dozen more were injured on Monday, after a heavy earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 struck near the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia. According to US Geological Survey statistics, the epicentre of the quake was sixteen kilometres from the town of Raba (about 1,300 kilometres from the capital Jakarta) at a depth of eighteen kilometres. The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said that it was unlikely that significant waves would be generated by the tremors. Indonesia's health ministry crisis centre head said that 38 people were injured and had to be hospitalised by the tremors. He added that a few buildings were damaged, but everything was "under control".

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

QUAKES –

11/13/09 –
5.3 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.1 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.3 PAGAN REG., N. MARIANA ISLANDS
5.8 SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA
6.5 OFFSHORE TARAPACA, CHILE

11/12/09 –
5.4 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.0 SUNDA STRAIT, INDONESIA
5.8 FIJI REGION

11/11/09 –
5.7 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.0 IONIAN SEA

11/10/09 –
5.9 NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
5.0 CROZET ISLANDS REGION [southeast of Africa]
5.0 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS

11/9/09 –
5.2 KEPULAUAN BABAR, INDONESIA
5.3 NEAR N COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PNG.
5.2 FIJI
7.1 FIJI
5.0 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.0 SOUTH OF TONGA
5.1 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
5.4 PRINCE EDWARD ISLANDS REGION

11/8/09 –
6.7 SUMBAWA REGION, INDONESIA
5.3 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
5.3 TONGA REGION
5.4 CARLSBERG RIDGE
5.3 VANUATU
5.0 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE

INDONESIA – Two people were killed and dozens injured after a strong quake with a magnitude of 6.7 rocked the Indonesian island of Sumbawa.

VOLCANOES –

A study of bubbles trapped in pumice rock suggests it's a lot easier for volcanoes to erupt than we think, say Australian researchers.

BALI – Mt Batur activity on alert. The status of Mt Batur in Kintamani, Bali, has been raised from active-normal to alert due to its increasing activity. "This happens because the volcano that last erupted in 2000 has shown an increasing activity, as seen by the black smoke coming out of the mountain several times." Under a normal condition tremor happens only five times a day but now it reaches 60 times a day and it is felt by people living within a radius of one to two kilometers from the mountain. "From 1804 to 2000 the mountain has erupted 28 times with a lapse of one to 39 years." The mountain's eruption is generally effusive and strombolian with lava and ash or rocks flowing 100 meter around the brim of the crater. Smoke from the mountain could rise up to 300 meter high above the crater. The tremor itself has been recorded increasing to 21 times of vulcanic tremor with a maximum amplitude of 1-12 MM since September. A total of 28 tremors have been recorded in October. On October 8 a total of five deep and 53 shallow vulcanic tremors were recorded. A total of 12 tremors meanwhile were recorded from November 1 to 7.

JAPAN – The volcano island Sakurajima has had about 400 explosive eruptions so far this year, THE MOST IN 24 YEARS. A local observatory warned Friday that activity might pick up. The minor explosive eruptions reached the 400 threshold Thursday nigh. One expert said the recent activity is similar to what happened just before a major eruption in 1946. "It's in the middle of a stage where activity is picking up and the frequency of eruptions is likely to grow next year and thereafter. It's possible an eruption of similar scale to the (1946) event could happen within a few years." In general, lava from an eruption would not pose great danger to residents because it's sticky and its flow speed is "extremely slow." But if a pyroclastic flow follows a river or if big rocks hit residential areas, the damage could be serious.

PHILIPPINES – Mayon Volcano rumbled and spewed ash a kilometer into the air Wednesday morning but the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said there is no need to raise the alert level. However, Phivolcs advised communities near the restive volcano in Legazpi City, Albay, to be prepared to evacuate when needed. It was THE FIRST TIME THAT RUMBLING SOUNDS WERE HEARD from Mayon as it spewed ash. “There were two other explosions last Sept. 15 and Oct. 28 but these were not accompanied by rumbling. But the rumbling sound is common for an ABNORMAL volcano." Mayon’s latest activities were more powerful than earlier explosions but these still fall within Alert Level 2. Alert Level 3 is only raised when a volcano shows “an increased tendency towards eruption, with relatively high unrest." Phivolcs said that incandescent rock fragments at the upper slope were observed. “Ash column was not observed due to cloud cover. Field investigation conducted after the event showed ash fall drifted towards the southwest quadrant of the volcano due to the prevailing northeast monsoon." Phivolcs said it also recorded 20 volcanic earthquakes for the past 24 hours. Mt. Mayon which has been on Alert Level 2 status since July this year.

Meanwhile, a tectonic earthquake measuring 4.8 in the Richter scale shook Agusan del Norte early morning Wednesday with no reports of injury or damage as a result of the quake.

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

50,000 dead starfish found on Irish beach – Extreme weather conditions have killed tens of thousands of starfish and left them strewn across a sheltered beach. A carpet of pink and mauve echinoderms, a family of marine animals, appeared Thursday morning, November 5, on Lissadell Beach in north Co Sligo. The adult starfish, measuring between 7cm and 20cm in diameter and estimated to be up to 50,000 in number, stretched along 150 metres of the strand. A marine biologist speculated that they had been lifted up by a storm while feeding on mussel beds off shore. "The most likely explanation is that they were feeding on mussels but it is a little STRANGE that none of them were attached to mussels when they were washed in." If they had died as a result of a so-called 'red tide' or algal bloom, other sealife would have been washed ashore with them. "These were almost all adult size and the typical starfish variety that is found in the North Atlantic but there was nothing else mixed in with them." Surveying the UNUSUAL scene, he placed some in a bucket of seawater to test whether they were alive, but while this prompted a slight response from one or two of the creatures, the vast majority were dead. The phenomenon was most likely caused by recent bad weather. "They turned up almost certainly as a result of an exceptional storm event. A storm hit the seabed where these sub-tidal animals were and lifted them up and washed them ashore." Investigations were continuing into how they came to be washed ashore but initial indications pointed to the stormy weather, which has been a feature in the north-west in recent days. In a similar episode earlier this year, thousands of dead starfish washed ashore on Youghal Beach in Co Cork. Scientists speculated that they, too, had been thrown on to the beach by an underflow, which was probably caused by a storm at sea. (photo)

TROPICAL STORMS –

Tropical Cyclone Phyan underwent rapid weakening while moving north-northeast over land on Thursday and was traced as a low-pressure area over southwest Madhya Pradesh. The Phyan remnant dropped fairly widespread to widespread rainfall over the west coast, madhya Maharashtra and west Madhya Pradesh during the 24 hours ending Thursday morning.

Cyclone Phyan, which crossed the Konkan as well as the Mumbai region of India on Wednesday, was the FIRST CYCLONIC STORM IN THE REGION IN NOVEMBER FOR 43 YEARS. "This kind of storm is not very common in November. The last such storm in November was in 1966." Phyan was the result of a deep depression over the east central Arabian Sea which covered into a storm by Tuesday night and then moved towards Mumbai on Wednesday. "The cyclone will move towards the sea again. Its intensity will weaken in 48 hours and rainfall should lessen over the next two days."

IDA – A tropical system can sometimes bring more widespread problems when it dissipates. This is the case with the storm formerly known as Ida. As this circulation interacts with strong Canadian High Pressure to the north, the increased pressure gradient results in strong winds from the east. That enhances the rain and high waves. This is a slow mover, so a prolonged stormy pattern will last into the weekend. Inland winds will be gusty. They should average 20-30 mph but could gust close to 50mph during the height of the storm. Eastern North Carolina is forecasted to receive over 9 inches of rain, which will result in widespread flooding. The beach erosion from strong winds and high waves will be widespread.

Damage from unfolding inland and coastal flooding from Ida will be much worse than the problems caused around the Gulf of Mexico. Damage from the remnants of Ida potentially could reach 100's of millions of dollars in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic. The storm also poses a significant threat to human lives. As bad as the inland flooding may be in the Southeast, storm surge flooding along the mid-Atlantic coast may prove to be the worst component and most memorable event of this storm.

Hurricane Ida, the first Atlantic hurricane to target the United States this year, plodded early today toward the Gulf Coast with 105 mph winds, bringing the threat of flooding and storm surges. A hurricane warning extended more than 200 miles of coastline from Pascagoula, Mississippi, east to Indian Pass, Florida. Tropical storm warnings and hurricane watches are in effect across other areas of southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, including New Orleans. Louisiana's governor declared a state of emergency. Authorities said Ida could make landfall as early as Tuesday morning, although it was forecast to weaken by then. Ida is on track to make an UNSUALLY LATE landfall for a tropical cyclone upon the Gulf Coast. Up through the time of landfall and for a while thereafter, a range of serious impacts will accompany Ida, both at the coast and at sea. As a hurricane over the open Gulf well into the day today, Ida's high winds will kick up high waves of up to 20 feet. Tides will run higher than normal through Tuesday along most of the Gulf coast from Florida to Texas. Excessive rain will threaten flooding in a corridor from southern and eastern Louisiana eastward into Georgia and the Carolinas.

Phyan – The cyclone developing over the Arabian Sea is likely to intensify in the next 48 hours bringing heavy rain to coastal Karnataka. Bangalore and other parts of interior Karnataka will also come within the cyclone’s reach.

Nameless Storm Is Disaster for El Salvador – A devastating storm that struck El Salvador over the weekend was not the hurricane that roared through the region at the same time, and, in fact, the storm did not even merit a name — which meant little after at least 140 people were killed when rivers burst their banks and hillsides collapsed under a siege of relentless rain. Hurricane Ida churned along the Atlantic coast of Central America late last week, first as a tropical storm, and Nicaragua and Honduras took glancing blows while El Salvador was untouched, hurricane experts said. But another weather pattern that forecasters described as a relatively small low-pressure cell struck El Salvador, which was in the midst of its rainy season, from the west. It hovered over the mountainous countryside from Saturday evening until late Sunday, bringing with it enormous quantities of rain and destruction far worse than the disaster-prone country had seen in more than a decade. The storm poured almost as much rain on central El Salvador as Hurricane Mitch did over four days in 1998. “Ida had nothing to do with it." That was no consolation for a nation that found many of its villages and roads covered in a thick layer of mud. At least 1,500 houses have been destroyed and damaged. Even after the skies calmed, reaching some of the devastated regions proved to be a challenge, with rescue workers using helicopters and boats to get to the village of Verapaz, where 16 people were reported dead and another 47 missing after part of the Chichontepec volcano collapsed on top of homes. At the National Hurricane Center, forecasters said they had noticed the storm yet issued no warning about it. “It was a very, very weak area of disturbed weather. We were monitoring it. You could see it in the satellite imagery. But we dropped it because it was so weak and it didn’t have the potential to become a tropical cyclone.” Salvadoran forecasters did put out a warning for Ida and the unnamed storm late last week, advising residents that mudslides and sudden surges along river channels were possible. Still, the intensity of the rains seemed to catch everybody by surprise.

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

IDA – a huge coastal storm is inundating the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast, most likely causing a historic flooding event, as the remnants of Ida merge with a high pressure system, creating a powerful pressure gradient, which is currently generating tropical storm force winds, causing ferocious waves, dropping buckets of rain and raising water levels, leading to flooding. The very slow storm motion, in and of itself, is going to cause rainfall totals 3x greater than a typical total rainfall for a wet November. Almost 10 inches have already been reported in some places. This system is offering basically the most destructive elements of a hurricane, without it being a hurricane.

BRAZIL – A severe storm has been blamed for widespread power cuts in Brazil which lasted more than five hours. The strong winds, heavy rain and lightning brought down a power line in Brazil, cutting two other lines and ultimately automatically shutting Itaipu dam. In the WORST BLACKOUT IN YEARS to hit Brazil, up to a fifth of the population was left without power on Tuesday. Neighbouring Paraguay was also briefly left in the dark. Initial suspicion had focused on the Itaipu hydroelectric plant, which supplies 20% of Brazil's power, but officials there said the facility was working normally. The outage caused chaos on the streets of major Brazilian cities, including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. At least 10 Brazilian states were partially or totally affected with problems spread over a wide geographical area.

U.S. – The USA just slogged through its WETTEST OCTOBER ON RECORD, the federal government's National Climatic Data Center announced Tuesday. The nationwide precipitation of 4.15 inches was nearly double the long-term average of 2.11 inches. Precipitation was most extreme in the central USA, where three states — Iowa, Arkansas, and Louisiana — saw their wettest October ever. Only three out of the 50 U.S. states had below-average amounts of rain and snow: Florida, Utah, and Arizona. In addition to the damp, October was also extremely cool, measuring the third-coldest since records began in 1895. The average national temperature of 50.8 degrees was 4 degrees below average. Only the Octobers of 1976 and 1925 were cooler. Oklahoma shivered through its COLDEST OCTOBER ON RECORD, while Nebraska and Kansas were the second-chilliest ever. The month was marked by an active weather pattern, which reinforced unseasonably cold air behind a series of cold fronts. Temperatures were below normal in eight of the nation's nine climate regions, and of the nine, five were much below normal. Only the Southeast climate region had near normal temperatures for October. The soggy October helped ease drought conditions across the USA. The National Drought Mitigation Center reported last week that the nation is in its best shape of the decade, in regards to drought. "This is the least amount of the country that's been in drought in the past 10 years." For the year-to-date, many states along the mid- and Lower Mississippi Valley are having their WETTEST YEARS ON RECORD.

AUSTRALIA – Heaviest falls in months hit central Queensland. RECORD-BREAKING RAINFALL has hit the central Queensland coast over the past 24 hours giving some areas the heaviest downpours in seven months. Te Kowai residents, near Mackay, have experienced their wettest November day in five years after collecting 81mm in the 24 hours to 9am. Mackay had its HEAVIEST NOVEMBER RAINFALL IN 59 YEARS after fetching 72mm in the same period. "It is a relatively UNUSUAL weather pattern for this time of year, particularly so during an El Nino year like the present. We would normally see these setups during the autumn months."

Tornado Blasts Oregon Coast – The National Weather Service confirmed this weekend that a tornado tore through the coastal town of Lincoln City, damaging about a dozen homes. The Friday night tornado packed winds that reached 85 mph. The destruction path of the twister was 150 yards long and 80 yards wide. Tornadoes are RARE weather events in Oregon, particularly in Deschutes County. There have been only two official reports of a tornado in the past 50 years in the county, one blasting through in June 1983 and the other in August 1989. In Oregon’s history there have been six deaths caused by tornadoes, all of those coming in the late 1800s. In comparison, 113 people died and 900 were injured during one tornado April 9, 1947 in Woodward, Oklahoma. Harsh winter-style weather is expected throughout Oregon during the next several days, with massive amounts of snowfall dropping in the Cascades and wind and heavy rain blasting the coast.

INDIA – Heavy rain in southern India triggered flash floods and landslides that killed 41 people in the past 24 hours. More than 70 deaths have been recorded across several districts in the state of Tamil Nadu in the last week, where downpours have caused widespread damage to buildings and ruined crops. The hillside district of Nilgiris, about 450km west of the state capital Chennai, is estimated to have received up to 610mm [24 inches] of rain over two days. One village there was destroyed. Rescue efforts were underway to help those trapped in debris, and authorities said most deaths were due to walls collapsing, drowning or electrocution. Schools were closed in several districts and forecasters predicted more rain over the next 24 hours.

EL SALVADOR – Three days of national mourning have begun in El Salvador following the deaths of at least 130 people in floods and landslides. Thousands are living in shelters as a result of the disaster and large parts of the country are without electricity and clean water. The areas around the capital, San Salvador, and the central province of San Vicente were hit hardest. In Verapaz in San Vicente, soldiers and civilians have been searching debris left by a landslide for dozens of missing people. A torrent of mud and boulders from the Chichontepec volcano hit the town on Sunday, wrecking 300 homes and burying cars. The disastrous rains were mainly caused by a low pressure system in the Pacific, which was linked indirectly to Hurricane Ida.

HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD –

CHINA – heavy snowfall has led to the deaths of 38 people in road accidents and collapsed buildings. The deaths included four pupils in schools that collapsed. Nineteen people were killed in traffic accidents that also stranded thousands of motorists. The HEAVIEST SNOWFALL FOR DECADES in northern China snarled road traffic across the region and forced delays or the cancellation of hundreds of flights from airports in several cities, including Beijing. The storms were tapering off today with road, rail and air traffic beginning to return to normal.

Officials have said the two storms in Beijing were artificially induced
, sparking anger among capital-area residents, but the extent of the weather manipulation efforts remains unclear. In some places this week's snowstorms were the biggest in up to 60 years, leaving up to one million people in need of some form of disaster assistance. Major highways in north China have been shut down, leaving at least 10,000 vehicles and up to 30,000 people stranded on roads in Shanxi alone.

CHINA – Chinese scientists artificially induced the second major snowstorm to wreak havoc in Beijing this season, reigniting debate over the practice of tinkering with Mother Nature. After the earliest snow to hit the capital in 22 years fell on November 1, the capital was again shrouded in white yesterday with more snow expected in the coming three days. Despite a massive effort to clear the capital of snow that involved over 15,000 workers, many roads remained blocked, while highways into Beijing and in neighbouring Hebei and Shanxi provinces were closed. Yesterday, an official had said the storm was "natural''. The Beijing Weather Modification Office had artificially induced both storms by seeding clouds with chemicals, a practice that can increase precipitation by up to 20 per cent. City weather officials have previously said that such methods are aimed at alleviating a drought over much of north China, including Beijing, that has lingered for more than a decade. But residents have griped about the flight delays, traffic snarls, cancelled classes and other inconveniences of a surprise snow storm, saying officials could warn them if they are planning to toy with the clouds. Beyond the day-to-day hassles, experts said the weather manipulation had other undesirable side-effects in the longer term. "No one can tell how much weather manipulation will change the sky. We should not depend too much on artificial measures to get rain or snow, because there are too many uncertainties up in the sky." A Beijing engineer was quoted as saying the more than 5,500 tonnes of erosive snow-melting chloride used on city roads yesterday – nearly half the annual allotment – could "erode steel structures of buildings". In 2005, the snow-melting agent was responsible for killing 10,000 trees in Beijing and decimating 200,000 square metres of grassland.

EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-

The Greenland ice sheet is losing its mass faster than in previous years
and making an increasing contribution to sea level rise, a study has confirmed. Melting of the entire sheet would raise sea levels globally by about 7m (20ft). For the period 2000-2008, melting Greenland ice raised sea levels by an average of about 0.46mm per year. Since 2006, that has increased to 0.75mm per year. The new research shows that in Greenland, about half the loss comes from faster flow to the oceans, and the other half from changes on the ice sheet itself – principally surface melting. Another analysis of satellite data, published in September, showed that of 111 fast-moving Greenland glaciers studied, 81 were thinning at twice the rate of the slow-moving ice beside them. "Since 2000, there's clearly been an accelerating loss of mass [from the ice sheet]. But we've had three very warm summers, and that's enhanced the melt considerably." In total, sea levels are rising by about 3mm per year, principally because seawater is expanding as it warms. "It does show that the [ice loss] trend has accelerated, and the reported contribution to sea level rise also shows a significant acceleration – so if you multiply these numbers up it puts us well BEYOND the IPCC estimates for 2100."

AUSTRALIA – Adelaide is bracing for its FIRST NOVEMBER HEATWAVE ON RECORD with high temperatures forecast for the next week. Five days or more with a top temperature above 35 degrees celsius is considered a heatwave. Adelaide's top temperature reached 37 degrees yesterday and was expected to stay above 35 until Friday. Adelaide's weather was being dominated by a large, almost stationary, high pressure system in the Tasman Sea.

SPACE WEATHER-

CANADA – 11/7/09 – People throughout British Columbia were treated to a spectacular light show Saturday after what's believed to be a meteor lit up the sky. "We were shocked … I mean, it wasn't what you'd expect, but it was bright white, with red and green and some blue colours, with a bit of a trail behind it and it was a large fireball. [It was] approximately what the size of the moon would have been if we were looking at the moon." The intense light only lasted for about three seconds. The streak of light was also seen about 500 kilometres northeast of Comox, near Vanderhoof. This type of event is not unusual. "These are happening all the time. We've had some very spectacular fireballs in the Malayasia area just a few weeks ago. Earlier this year, there was a spectacular fireball that actually ended up in meteorites over Sudan, and a few weeks ago we had one over Vancouver, so these sorts of things are happening all the time." Astronomers will use the sightings in the hopes of triangulating the spot where the rock may have landed.

AUSTRALIA – Large holes were blown in the roofs of two Grovedale homes on Saturday afternoon, baffling emergency workers and weather experts. One couple reported hearing a loud bang, while a neighbour also heard the crashing sound about 3.30pm. SES and police said the damage was caused by an unusual weather phenomena called a microburst. But a weather expert dismissed that claim because that weather pattern was only associated with thunderstorms, and none were present on the weekend. The Astronomical Society of Victoria's president predicted a marble-sized piece of space junk or meteorite could have caused the damage and the evidence would be found in the area around the two houses.

ASTEROID NEAR MISS
– On Nov. 6th at 2132 UT, asteroid 2009 VA barely missed Earth when it flew just 14,000 km above the planet's surface. If it had hit, the ~6-meter wide space rock would have disintegrated in the atmosphere as a spectacular fireball, causing no significant damage to the ground. 2009 VA was discovered just 15 hours before closest approach.

FOOD / WATER / SUPPLIES-

Food prices remain stubbornly high in the developing world despite a strong cereal harvest this year, and 31 countries need emergency aid, the UN food agency warned overnight. "For the world's poorest people who spend up to 80 per cent of their household budgets on food, the food price crisis is not over yet." Although international food prices have fallen significantly since their peaks a couple of years ago, wheat and maize prices rose in October and rice export prices are still well above pre-crisis levels. Eastern Africa is among the regions facing critical food insecurity, with drought and conflict putting about 20 million people in need of food aid. Investment in agriculture in developing countries should be a "global priority".

HEALTH THREATS –

Swine flu has killed nearly 4,000 people in the US, including 540 children, officials said after devising a new counting method. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the new system is based on more precise figures provided by 10 states. The previous estimated death toll from the H1N1 virus in the US was 672. The new estimated death toll for children is four times higher than the previous estimate. Latest figures show about 22 million Americans contracted the virus in six months with some 98,000 hospitalised. "This is just the first six months and I am expecting all of these numbers, unfortunately, to continue to rise." Although still imprecise, the new statistics provide "a bigger picture of what has been going on in the first six months of the pandemic..We will be updating the toll that the pandemic has taken… about every three to four weeks." 41.6 million more doses of swine flu vaccine had been made available on Thursday for distribution around the country. The global death toll from the flu pandemic passed the 6,000 mark last week.

CDC study finds no protective effect of seasonal flu shot – A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found no evidence that seasonal flu vaccine was protective against the H1N1 virus. Overall vaccine effectiveness was found to be minus-10% but varied widely by age-group. The results, combined with others, suggest that seasonal flu vaccine neither raises nor lowers the risk of H1N1 infection. Seasonal flu shot may protect against H1N1 Contrary to most other reports, a study of H1N1 flu cases in Mexico suggests that seasonal flu vaccine may have had a protective effect. Risk of infection was 35% lower in those who had received seasonal flu vaccine.

H5N1? – Autopsies of 15 Mexican patients who died of suspected novel H1N1 infections found the virus in 5 of them. Lung tissue was heavier than normal and solid. Four had upper-airway hallmarks seen in seasonal flu cases, but all five had pulmonary damage and interstitial lesions typically seen with H5N1 infections. Two patients showed evidence of other organ involvement seen in lethal H5N1 cases.

The aggressive-and widely protested-quarantine measures China has used to fight the H1N1 virus may have helped slow the disease. Although cases have mounted recently, China has not yet had a major epidemic. The US Embassy said 2,046 Americans had been quarantined in China through October.

New US swine flu death estimates will be just a guess – U.S. health officials are due to release new estimates of deaths from swine flu today, but the numbers will be just that — a rough estimate. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization stopped trying to count actual cases months ago, once it became clear that H1N1 was a pandemic that would infect millions. There are nowhere near enough diagnostic tests to give to everyone with flu-like symptoms to see if they really have swine flu, and autopsies have shown that some people who have died had H1N1 and no one even knew it. So the death figures will be based on models, calculated by looking intensively at small groups of people, gathering data on overall reports of sickness and death, and reconciling the two. This is also what happens every year with seasonal influenza, which WHO says kills 250,000 to 500,000 people a year globally and which CDC says kills 36,000 Americans in an average year.

Seasonal flu attacks about 20% of the population in an average year but it is the elderly who are the most likely to die. H1N1 is hitting a younger population — adults in their 20s and 30s and children. The latest counts from CDC showed that 1,000 have died so far, including 129 children. The global count is more than 6,000. It is possible that these younger patients may be more likely to survive their bout of flu, even if they have chronic conditions. In Mexico, where the new flu appears to have spread first last March, young people were the most likely to be infected but elderly were most likely to die. Far fewer than 1 percent of patients that were infants and people aged 39 years and under died. Ten percent of patients over 70 who were treated in clinics died. 4.5 percent of patients aged 50 to 59 died, but just 2.7 percent of those in their 40s and 2 percent of patients in their 30s. Mexicans who had been vaccinated for seasonal influenza had a 35 percent lower risk of getting H1N1, even though the seasonal flu vaccine offers no protection against the new virus. Every day of delay in hospital admission after the fourth day of illness raised the risk of death by almost 20 percent.

Poland will not buy H1N1 vaccine that has not been properly tested or from manufacturers
that won't take responsibility for side effects, the Prime Minister said. He said that vaccine producers were pressuring governments to buy but without taking responsibility for possible negative effects. He said expectations are to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on vaccine "while no one wants to guarantee that it has no side effects."

Persistent H1N1 flu transmission continues in North America with an unusually early flu season under way across Europe and central and western Asia. Countries in northern and eastern Europe, as well as eastern Russia, are seeing increasing activity. Mongolia, China, and Japan are reporting surges in cases. Seasonal H3N2 viruses are waning, though some have been detected recently in sub-Saharan Africa.

H1N1 in animals needs monitoring – Pandemic H1N1 virus infections in pigs, turkeys, and other animals underscores the need for close monitoring but have not changed pandemic dynamics, the WHO said. Limited evidence suggests the pig illnesses followed human transmission to pigs, and as human infections increase, the WHO said it expects to receive more reports of animal H1N1 infections. A novel H3N2 virus found recently in Danish minks did not spread to humans but signals a need for increased vigilance.

Flu worries reduce blood donations
– Blood-donation centers across the United States are reporting unusually low levels of donations thanks to H1N1 flu. Some school and corporate blood drives have been canceled because of absenteeism, while in other areas regular donors are ill. In addition, donated blood must be discarded under federal rules if donors come down with flu symptoms shortly after donation.

Flu spread spurs China to boost vaccine efforts – China is stepping up its H1N1 vaccination drive after cases increased by about 5,000 and the death toll rose from 16 to 30 over the past 3 days. The health ministry numbered confirmed cases at 59,478 and said 240 people were in critical condition. Calling the increase in cases "alarming," the health ministry spokesman said the government has ordered increased vaccine production and immunizations. As of yesterday, 8.7 million Chinese had been vaccinated.

Pharmaceuticals manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline will donate 50 million doses of H1N1 vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO) for distribution to countries that cannot afford to buy it. The agency said that 95 countries are eligible to receive the vaccine and it hopes to procure enough vaccine to cover 10% of their populations.

Fish with potentially harmful levels of mercury were found in 49% of US lakes and reservoirs studied.

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

'Christian' praises Fort Hood shooter as 'hero'
By Joe Kovacs
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
Posted: November 11, 2009

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. – A Florida man claiming to be the apostle Peter reborn is coming under FBI scrutiny after trying to send a dozen yellow roses to the alleged gunman of the Fort Hood massacre, whom he's calling a "hero." Dan Ross, 61, of Lehigh Acres, is standing by his action which began the day after the carnage in Texas, where 13 people (14 when including an unborn baby) lost their lives when Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly opened fire. "That's part of Christianity, is you're supposed to love your enemies and do good to them. And so by my doing that I was immediately labeled a terrorist," Ross told NBC affiliate WBBH-TV in Fort Myers. "The FBI came by and thought I was on drugs. I said, 'In this day and age we have telephones. You could have called me up. You're here just to intimidate me.' We're supposed to be free from fear and we're supposed to have the right – freedom of religion, free from fear, freedom of speech, and here they are." Ross is placing more blame on the bureau's failure to prevent the tragedy than Hasan, a Muslim with connections to extremists supporting terrorism.

The Vatican joins the search for alien life
By Tom Chivers
The Telegraph
10 Nov 2009

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is holding a conference on astrobiology, the study of life beyond Earth, with scientists and religious leaders gathering in Rome this week. For centuries, theologians have argued over what the existence of life elsewhere in the universe would mean for the Church: at least since Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk, was put to death by the Inquisition in 1600 for claiming that other worlds exist. Among other things, extremely alien-looking aliens would be hard to fit with the idea that God “made man in his own image”. Furthermore, Jesus Christ’s role as saviour would be confused: would other worlds have their own, tentacled Christ-figures, or would Earth’s Christ be universal? However, just as the Church eventually made accommodations after Copernicus and Galileo showed that the Earth was not the centre of the universe, and when it belatedly accepted the truth of Darwin's theory of evolution, Catholic leaders say that alien life can be aligned with the Bible’s teachings.

Westhead: India's new Bible wears a bindi
RICK WESTHEAD/TORONTO STAR
Published On Sat Nov 7 2009

MUMBAI, INDIA–When Mary and Joseph discovered a power-hungry king was hunting their son Jesus Christ, they escaped to the safety of Egypt. But before Christianity's first family fled, barefoot Mary slipped into a sari and put a bindi on her forehead, while Joseph tied tight his long loincloth and turban. At least, that's how their flight is illustrated in a Bible produced for Indians. Released in India last year by the Roman Catholic Church, the "New Community Bible" became an immediate sensation – and lightning rod for controversy. Thanks to pictures of Biblical characters in traditional Indian clothing and a commentary that drew references to Bollywood, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible sold out 15,000 hardcover copies within weeks. Yet amid its success, the New Community Bible also became ensnared in controversy. Right-wing Hindu groups accused the Catholic Church of laying the groundwork for illegal conversions, while Protestant Christian groups alleged it misrepresented original texts.

Haggard starting new church at his Springs home
MARK BARNA
THE GAZETTE
November 04, 2009

Former New Life pastor Ted Haggard greeted warmly the more than 110 people who arrived for his Thursday evening prayer gathering at his home in north Colorado Springs. “It’s a Kumbaya moment,” Haggard said. “People here tonight believe in resurrection and me. They understand love.” Several people spoke of grace, forgiveness and redemption to explain why they came. “Christians are to forgive, and I have forgiven Ted,” said the Rev. Alan Hawkins, who drove from Albuquerque to be at the gathering. Tom Pesavento, who attended New Life Church for 18 years before leaving in 2007, said he came because he believes in God’s grace. “God himself forgets sin,” he said. “Man remembers.” Haggard, who resigned as New Life’s senior pastor in November 2006 in the wake of a sex scandal, announced Nov. 4 plans to hold home prayer meetings, which he’s also referred to as church gatherings. His announcement set off a flurry of speculation over his long-range goals, especially since he founded New Life Church 25 years ago in his basement and grew it into a 14,000-member worship center.

Church Leaders Equipped to 'Shine Bright'
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Nov. 08 2009

SAN DIEGO – Some 1,500 church and ministry leaders converged in San Diego this week to get in on the latest conversations on what's working to bring people to Christ. For InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on the University of California, San Diego campus, altar calls are back. For a group of burned out evangelicals in Costa Mesa, liturgy is bringing them back in tune with God. And for a megachurch in Naperville, Ill., new expressions of church (multi-site) are helping them reach the lost. Those are just some of the ideas that pastors were introduced to during the National Outreach Convention this past week. One of the largest events of its kind, the NOC brings together hundreds of church leaders every year to equip them for more effective outreach through renowned speakers, the latest tools and the opportunity to network with others who are passionately focused on evangelism. Looking to bring some tools and ideas back home and contextualize them in their communities, attendees participated in three days of discussions and breakout sessions. "I think the multi-site is the new seeker church movement," Rick Richardson, associate professor at Wheaton College and associate evangelist with InterVarsity, hypothesized in a discussion group on "The Changing Face of Evangelism" Friday.

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

Muslim Extremists Attack Worship Service in Uganda
NAIROBI, Kenya, November 11 (CDN) —

About 40 Muslim extremists with machetes and clubs tried to break into a Sunday worship service outside Uganda’s capital city of Kampala on Nov. 1, leaving a member of the congregation with several injuries and damaging the church building. Eyewitnesses said the extremist mob tried to storm into World Possessor’s Church International in Namasuba at 11 a.m. as the church worshipped. “The church members were taken by a big surprise, as this happened during worship time,” said Pastor Henry Zaake. “It began with an unusual noise coming from outside, and soon I saw the bricks falling away one by one. Immediately I knew that it was an attack from the Muslims who had earlier sent signals of an imminent attack.” The pastor said the disturbance brought the worship service to a standstill. “There was a tug-of-war at the entrance to the church as members tried to thwart the Muslim aggression from making headway inside the church,” he told Compass.

'Gay' blogger calls church-bomb threat a 'joke'
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
November 09, 2009

A homosexual blogger passed off as a "joke" a suggestion by a contributor to his website that there might be church bombings because of Christians' refusal to support the homosexual lifestyle. But several individuals named in the column are taking the threat seriously. "That is what Fort Hood teaches us," said Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, referring to the attack on the Texas Army base by a Muslim officer that killed 13 people and wounded 28. LaBarbera was cited by name in the postings on the "joemygod" website run by homosexual advocate Joe Jervis. "When people are talking about violence to pro-family proponents, you have to take it seriously," LaBarbera said. LaBarbera and Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel, who also is an active supporter of biblical marriage, confirmed to WND they notified authorities of the threats.

Teen fights vaccination for sexually transmitted virus
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
November 12, 2009

A teenager is entitled to an exemption from a federal requirement that she be given a vaccine against a sexually transmitted disease, because she is a Christian and holds the religious conviction that she must abstain from sex until marriage, according to a brief filed in support of her decision. The arguments come in a brief filed in support of Simone Davis in her fight with the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service by the Alliance Defense Fund. "Christians shouldn't be forced to violate their faith in order to gain U.S. citizenship," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster. "Requiring a young girl to choose between her beliefs and legal citizenship is a clear violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prevents the government from putting a substantial burden on a person's religious beliefs except under extreme circumstances. "She has met all of the other legal requirements for permanent resident status and has a loving home already in place, but the federal government would apparently prefer to return this girl to abandonment," he said.

Italian crucifix ruling: no such law exists
National Secular Society
November 13, 2009

After the European Court of Human Rights ruled that displaying crucifixes in Italian schools was offensive to other religions and an abuse of the human rights of children who might not share the religious views that the crucifix represents, it was assumed that Italy would have to take those crosses down. But it turns out that it won’t. All it will have to do is pay the fine. The reason is that the European Court doesn’t have the power to order a sovereign state to do anything. All it can do is determine whether a given action constitutes an abuse of human rights and recommend an appropriate remedy. Nobody has to take any notice and, of course, Italy won’t. At the same time, there is no law in Italy that mandates the hanging of crucifixes on classroom walls. We have been informed that it was simply a throw back to fascist times.

A Vote for David Hamilton is a Vote Against Religious Freedom
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 /Christian Newswire/

— The Senate is expected to vote tomorrow on cloture on the highly controversial nomination of David Hamilton to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. A final vote in the Senate is expected after 30 hours of debate. Concerned Women for America (CWA) President Wendy Wright said, "David Hamilton's litany of left-wing activist decisions makes him a dangerous choice to sit on a federal appellate court. Judge Hamilton has earned the opposition against his nomination to a higher court. He has fundraised for ACORN, worked for the ACLU, banned prayers that name Jesus Christ but allowed prayers that name Allah, blocked a parental consent law that had been upheld by the Supreme Court, and has been soft on child predators. Any senator who votes for David Hamilton is voting against religious freedom, parental rights, and the safety of our children."

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