CHOSEN: End Times Newsletter – Issue 113
The Minister's Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Is The Fear of Change Holding You Back?
Walking in the footsteps of Christ, or, The Narrow Path and following The Way…can often mean making changes in your life. Changes in your own thoughts, words and actions, and even those you choose to have in your life.
Oftentimes, there is an innate fear of change that obscures or debilitates one’s ability to accept and/or institute change into one’s life. Here are three statements that represent some of the thoughts that go along with a fear of change include:
“If I change I will encounter new situations I am not prepared for that will make feel uncomfortable, anxious, or inadequate.”
“The unknown is filled with uncertainty and where I am now is certain and more comfortable.”
“Change requires effort and is inherently painful.”
So in regards to making the changes necessary in your life so that you might truly make an honest and real effort to walk in Christ’s footsteps each and every day, let’s look at the above statements and perhaps alleviate some of the fears.
Will walking in Christ’s footsteps and adhering to The Way mean you will encounter new situations that might make you feel uncomfortable, anxious, or inadequate? It could. But the great news is that Father gives us advice on how to properly handle all things both old and new, which can be found in the Scriptures. The biggest change is that you will come to find that you always have Yahweh to go to in times of trouble, and in return, will receive the support and strength to face any situation. And, while you may have experienced discomfort for a short time when you have faith, it will soon be replaced with an amazing feeling of comfort, assurance and love that only Father can provide.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will support you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
Job 29:12 For I rescued the poor man who cried out for help, and the fatherless child who had no one to support him.
Psalm 18:18 They confronted me in the day of my distress, but the LORD was my support.
Philippians 2:1-2 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.
Will walking in Christ’s footsteps, mean feeling discomfort? Yes, it could but then again there are many things in life that cause discomfort. Coming to know and understand the Truth involves some discomfort in that the Truth reveals both the good and the bad of everything, including ourselves. When you develop fear of the LORD, no longer will you look in the mirror and see a good person, but a sinner and a good-for-nothing slave (Luke 17:10 In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, 'We are good-for-nothing slaves; we've only done our duty.' ") and this can be life changing. You begin to see yourself for who you really all and what we all are, and developing a sense of humility can be a painful journey. But the trade-off is like taking off soiled clothes and putting on fresh, clean white ones.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom.
Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is wisdom's instruction, and humility comes before honor.
Proverbs 18:12 Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but before honor comes humility.
Proverbs 22:4 The result of humility is fear of the LORD, along with wealth, honor, and life.
You might even encounter various situations, in which you might be persuaded to veer off the path, or friends who might want to convince you to do things you used to do but that are not in alignment with The Way. It could introduce some discomfort in handling them righteously and objectively. You might even find that you have to part ways with the people who seek to snare you or lead you off the path. But again, Father is always with you and over time you will find that having made the right choices have actually enhanced your life. In addition to that, if you maintain your integrity you will be able to rest easily in the knowledge that not only will Father stand beside you, but you have also acted as an example for others who might be searching for Father’s light.
Job 1:8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil."
1 Kings 3:6 And Solomon replied, "You have shown great and faithful love to Your servant, my father David, because he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity.
Psalm 41:12 You supported me because of my integrity and set me in Your presence forever.
“The unknown is filled with uncertainty and where I am now is certain and more comfortable.” People are often afraid of things that affect their existence in a negative way. The most important thing is to understand that life is constructed of ups and downs, and no one can be in a permanent ascending trend — this is simply impossible. The truth is that there is uncertainty in each day, each moment that we are alive and there is no avoiding it and the truth is that you cannot move forward if you’re standing still. You make no progress in anything, including your spiritual development, nor do you serve Father and Christ in any way if you remain afraid of change and if you’re afraid of change and your fear of the LORD hasn’t trumped your fear of change…something is probably amiss.
“Change requires effort and is inherently painful.” Everything good in life requires effort, but it is not all inherently painful – much of it brings many unexpected and pleasant surprises and a sense of accomplishment as well as happiness. So what can be done if you’re confused or frightened of change? Often it takes looking at the worst case scenario in order to induce change. So what would the worst case scenario be in refusing to accept Truth and/or make the efforts necessary to walk in Christ’s footsteps? Well, because our Creator is a God of love who is also capable of wrath, it could mean the loss of your eternal life.
So what we’ve determined is that in order to institute the change necessary in our lives to become true followers of Christ, we might also experience some discomfort, anxiousness, feelings of inadequacy, uncertainty as well as actually have to make an effort at instituting this change. However, what is also certain is that we will experience Yahweh’s love, comfort, guidance and support. We will also gain knowledge, understanding, wisdom, strength and be able to hold on to the hope of the promise of eternal life. Now it’s up to you, to determine for yourself if change is necessary in your life – and then move forward, but not in fear but out of the love you yourself feel for Yahweh and Her son Christ Jesus our Savior, who are with us always.
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.
Always Say A Prayer (A.S.A.P.)
There's work to do, deadlines to meet,
you've got no time to spare,
But as you hurry and scurry,
always say a prayer.
In the midst of family chaos,
"quality time" is rare.
Do your best; let God do the rest:
Always say a prayer.
It may seem like your worries are
more than you can bear.
Slow down and take a breather-
always say a prayer.
God knows how stressful life is;
He wants to ease our cares,
and He'll respond ASAP-
Always say a prayer!
One of the aspects of the Way that has been shared is to avoid belligerence. At first, this may seem like a simple concept, in the practice of staying away from having a war-like attitude, in trying to stop from being violent or staying away from an attitude of seeking to fight. Yet, trying to avoid this attitude may become increasingly difficult in the times to come.
2 Timothy 3:2-3 — 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,
Reasons for the difficulty of staying away from such an attitude may include various outside influences, not just directly, but even indirectly.
Proverbs 20:1 — Wine is a mocker, beer is a brawler, and whoever staggers because of them is not wise.
Proverbs 1:11 — If they say—"Come with us!
Let's set an ambush and kill someone.
Let's attack some innocent person just for fun!
Much of what can be seen on the news, television, or even spoken about in regular conversation can be very extreme in the violence that may be shared. In order to combat this, so as to avoid the influence of having incorrect attitudes, one would follow in Christ's footsteps in the Wisdom Father provides generously if one should only ask.
James 1:5-6 — Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
In this, also living as foreigners in a foreign land, not being a part of the world, or practicing in its desires that are not spiritual, but sensual.
Ephesians 4:22 — you took off your former way of life, the old man that is corrupted by deceitful desires;
Proverbs 22:24-25 — Don't make friends with an angry man, and don't be a companion of a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
There may be other conflicts within oneself, as well, that may keep oneself from avoiding what is evil. Hunger for food may even be a driving factor in what may cause oneself to become angry, hateful, and belligerent. However, in the humbling circumstances Father is allowing to come to be able to refine those whom She is showing love, one may remember the following to further learn and grow.
James 4:1-3 — What is the source of the wars and the fights among you? Don't they come from the cravings that are at war within you? You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don't receive because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on your desires for pleasure.
Deuteronomy 8:3 — He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
Psalm 141:5 — Let the righteous one strike me— it is [an act of] faithful love; let him rebuke me— it is oil for my head; let me not refuse it. Even now my prayer is against the evil acts of the wicked.
So, in weakness that Father provides, it would not be wise to strike out at the one who lovingly disciplines them, but to be obedient and prepared for anything Father has for oneself at any time or place.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 — But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me. So because of Christ, I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in catastrophes, in persecutions, and in pressures. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
Cherubic Commander: This has a literal meaning:
Deuteronomy 28 "Blessings for Obedience
1 "Now if you faithfully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all His commands I am giving you today, the LORD your God will put you far above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come and overtake you, because you obey the LORD your God:"
If each of you are faithful in obedience to Father, and are carefully following Her commands you've been given in this age, you each will be raised above every nation that exists on this planet. To be raised far above the coming destruction means your Salvation.
"All these blessings will come and overtake you," It is a blessing to be salvaged. It is a blessing to be taken to Mount Zion. It is a blessing to be within the safety of Father's heavenly family. Those blessings will literally come to you and overtake you regardless of where you might be on the day of the Rapture.
Deuteronomy 28 Curses for Disobedience
15 "But if you do not obey the LORD your God by carefully following all His commands and statutes I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overtake you:
16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.
17 Your basket and kneading bowl will be cursed.
18 Your descendants will be cursed,
and your soil's produce,
the young of your herds,
and the newborn of your flocks.
19 You will be cursed when you come in
and cursed when you go out.
20 The LORD will send against you curses, confusion, and rebuke in everything you do [e] until you are destroyed and quickly perish, because of the wickedness of your actions in abandoning Me. 21 The LORD will make pestilence cling to you until He has exterminated you from the land you are entering to possess. 22 The LORD will afflict you with wasting disease, fever, inflammation, burning heat, drought, blight, and mildew; these will pursue you until you perish. 23 The sky above you will be bronze, and the earth beneath you iron. 24 The LORD will turn the rain of your land into falling dust; it will descend on you from the sky until you are destroyed. 25 The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will march out against them from one direction but flee from them in seven directions. You will be an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your corpses will be food for all the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the land, and no one will scare them away.
27 "The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt, tumors, a festering rash, and scabies, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness, and mental confusion, 29 so that at noon you will grope as a blind man gropes in the dark. You will not be successful in anything you do. You will only be oppressed and robbed continually, and no one will help [you]. 30 You will become engaged to a woman, but another man will rape her. You will build a house but not live in it. You will plant a vineyard but not enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat any of it. Your donkey will be taken away from you and not returned to you. Your flock will be given to your enemies, and no one will help you. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another people, while your eyes grow weary looking for them every day. But you will be powerless to do anything. 33 A people you don't know will eat your soil's produce and everything you have labored for. You will only be oppressed and crushed continually. 34 You will be driven mad by what you see. 35 The LORD will afflict you on your knees and thighs with painful and incurable boils from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
36 "The LORD will bring you and your king that you have appointed to a nation neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you will worship other gods, of wood and stone. 37 You will become an object of horror, scorn, and ridicule among all the peoples where the LORD will drive you.
38 "You will sow much seed in the field but harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant and cultivate vineyards but not drink the wine or gather [the grapes], because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olives trees throughout your territory but not anoint yourself with oil, because your olives will drop off. 41 You will father sons and daughters, but they will not remain yours, because they will be taken prisoner. 42 Whirring insects will take possession of all your trees and your land's produce. 43 The foreign resident among you will rise higher and higher above you, while you sink lower and lower. 44 He will lend to you, but you won't lend to him. He will be the head, and you will be the tail.
45 "All these curses will come, pursue, and overtake you until you are destroyed, since you did not obey the LORD your God and keep the commands and statutes He gave you. 46 These curses will be a sign and a wonder against you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you didn't serve the LORD your God with joy and a cheerful heart, even though [you had] an abundance of everything, 48 you will serve your enemies the LORD will send against you, in famine, thirst, nakedness, and a lack of everything. He will place an iron yoke (J) on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 The LORD will bring a nation from far away, from the ends of the earth, to swoop down on you like an eagle, a nation whose language you don't understand, 50 a ruthless nation, showing no respect for the old and not sparing the young. 51 They will eat the offspring of your livestock and your soil's produce until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine, oil, young of your herds, or newborn of your flocks until they cause you to perish. 52 They will besiege you within all your gates until your high and fortified walls, that you trust in, come down throughout your land. They will besiege you within all your gates throughout the land the LORD your God has given you.
53 "You will eat your children, the flesh of your sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you during the siege and hardship your enemy imposes on you. 54 The most sensitive and refined man among you will look grudgingly [k] at his brother, the wife he embraces, and the rest of his children, 55 refusing to share with any of them his children's flesh that he will eat because he has nothing left during the siege and hardship your enemy imposes on you in all your towns. 56 The most sensitive and refined woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her refinement and sensitivity, will begrudge the husband she embraces, her son, and her daughter, 57 the afterbirth that comes out from between her legs and the children she bears, because she will secretly eat them for lack of anything [else] during the siege and hardship your enemy imposes on you within your gates.
58 "If you are not careful to obey all the words of this law, which are written in this scroll, by fearing this glorious and awesome name— Yahweh, your God— 59 He will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, severe and lasting plagues, and terrible and chronic sicknesses. 60 He will afflict you again with all the diseases of Egypt, which you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The LORD will also inflict you with every sickness and plague not recorded in the book of this law, until you are destroyed. 62 Though you were as numerous as the stars of the sky, you will be left with only a few people, because you did not obey the LORD your God. 63 Just as the LORD was glad to cause you to prosper and to multiply you, so He will also be glad to cause you to perish and to destroy you. You will be deported from the land you are entering to possess. 64 Then the LORD will scatter you among all peoples from one end of the earth to the other, and there you will worship other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. 65 You will find no peace among those nations, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and a despondent spirit. 66 Your life will hang in doubt before you. You will be in dread night and day, never certain of survival. 67 In the morning you will say, 'If only it were evening!' and in the evening you will say, 'If only it were morning!'—because of the dread you will have in your heart and because of what you will see. 68 The LORD will take you back in ships to Egypt by a route that I said you would never see again. There you will sell yourselves to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy [you]."
Matthew 5:33" [ Tell the Truth ] "Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord."
Deuteronomy 10:20 "You are to fear the LORD your God and worship Him. Remain faithful to Him and take oaths in His name."
Deuteronomy 6:13 "Fear the LORD your God, worship Him, and take [your] oaths in His name."
1 Corinthians 10:21 "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot share in the Lord's table and the table of demons."
1 Timothy 4:1 "[ Demonic Influence ] Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons,"
James 2:19 "You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder."
1 Timothy 1:16 "But I received mercy because of this, so that in me, the worst [of them], Christ Jesus might demonstrate the utmost patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life."
Romans 3:25 "God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed."
Ephesians 1:20 "[ God's Power in Christ ] He demonstrated [this power] in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens —"
Father demonstrated Her power in Michael who became Christ Jesus by raising him from the dead and seating him at Her right hand in Mount Zion.
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
EPPING: Family baffled by red UFOs
10:20am Tuesday 17th November 2009
By Daniel Binns »
A FAMILY has appealed to the people of Epping to help solve the mystery of a strange series of red objects seen flying over the town. The three shapes, all with a red outer layer and a flaming yellow middle, were seen drifting silently in a line at a constant speed over the town centre on Saturday November 7 at around 8.30pm. Witnesses say the objects were travelling too fast to be Chinese lanterns and were too close together to be planes. Youngster Piers Barford, 11, saw the shapes with his parents in Broadoaks, Epping. He said: "At first I thought they were fireworks but they did not explode and there was no noise. "Then I thought they were planes, but why would three planes be on fire and closer than normal planes would fly, and be heading the same way and evenly spread out?"
White Pine Lights: UFO Sightings in Eastern Nevada
Folks in eastern Nevada are seeing strange things in the night sky.
Posted: 4:25 PM Nov 17, 2009
Reporter: Ed Pearce
ELY, NV – Ely sits in one of the most isolated corners of the state. The nearest communities of any size are hours away in any direction. If you live out here, chances are you drive a lot and you work outside. Away from civilization's light pollution, the night sky is as full of stars as the landscape below is empty. You take note of any thing out of the ordinary. And lately people here have been seeing some strange things in the eastern Nevada sky. Highway 93 runs north and south between through Steptoe Valley. Sixty miles north of Ely is Lages Junction. A pair of street lights and the occasional car or truck are the only interuptions to the darkness and silence. Late the night of October 2nd, Shawn and Heather Morrison and their son, Travis were driving back from Wells….. "And I saw it out of the corner of my eye and I thought it was a shooting star," says Heather Morrison. "But it wasn't moving," adds her husband.
SYDENHAM: Mum and daughter's alien fear over UFO sighting
This Is Local London
8:10am Monday 16th November 2009
By Mark Chandler
A mother and daughter had the fright of their lives when they saw two strange orange lights in the sky. Nurse Sue Hentschel was driving her teenage daughter Jessica to a dance class when they witnessed a terrifying vision in the sky. Their car was stuck in heavy Sydenham traffic on November 2 at around 6.10pm when they saw two mysterious lights. Mrs Hentschel, of Stembridge Road, Anerley, said: “We saw these two lights which were orange coming towards us. “My daughter looked up and said ‘Mum, what’s that?’ “I didn’t know. I just said ‘What the hell is that? What is it?’” She says they stared dumbfounded for several minutes as the lights hovered over Hazeldene School. Mrs Hentschel stuck her head out the window to make sure it was not a reflection she was witnessing.
UFO Reported in Southern Tracy Skies
Published: 11:07 AM 11/12/2009
by TP staff
A slowly moving band of deep blue lights seen in the cloudless southern Tracy sky Monday night had a few people wondering Tuesday morning what the heck it was they saw. Larry Gustafson, 49, said his neighbor Ervin Floyd banged on his door at about 7 p.m. in the Morehead Park trailer court on Chrisman Road near 11th Street and urged him to check out the unusual sight. He said he ran outside, looked up, spotted the lights in the night sky and then ran back inside to grab binoculars. By the time he was back outside, the lights had disappeared. Gustafson said the lights hung in the sky about 5 minutes. Sometimes they moved, he said, and at other times, only one light shone. “It was really strange looking,” the landscape maintenance worker said. Floyd, 36, said his kids got a little hysterical when they looked out of their bedroom window and spotted the lights. “It looked like an LED light, like off a cop car,” Floyd said. The plumber said the lights appeared to hover high in the sky, then “went from west to east, then back to the west and back to the east, then flew out west toward the Bay Area and disappeared.”
UFO's? Man Says He's Got Recorded Proof
Updated: Friday, 20 Nov 2009, 10:57 AM EST
Published : Thursday, 19 Nov 2009, 9:40 PM EST
MyFox Houston Report
HOUSTON – Chris Hardman won't be insulted if you don't believe him. After all, not even his fiancee believes in UFOs. But Hardman swears he has videotaped dozens of extraterrestrial spacecraft over the past year, both here in Houston and in Austin. "Most of them are triangular in shape or kind of a teardrop," Hardman says. He posts his videos on his YouTube channel where you can now view 51 clips, including last Saturdays close encounter with what he describes as an alien flying machine that approached within a few hundred feet. "They're totally silent but this is the one time I could actually hear one, it got so close. It made kind of a humming sound."
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
Colombian military 'on maximum alert'
Black Listed News
November 22, 2009
COLOMBIA warned overnight that its forces were on "maximum alert'' and were prepared to defend against any attack, amid rising tensions with neighbouring Venezuela. Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva issued the warning after a meeting of the country's national security council in Arauca, a city on the eastern border with Venezuela. He said President Alvaro Uribe and the military forces of Colombia were intent on remaining calm "because they know there are provocative forces on the border that must be avoided at all cost.'' But this "does not mean that we are not prepared or are not on maximum alert to prevent any aggression against Colombia, against Colombians or against our territory.'' Mr Uribe's national security council met for five hours in Arauca with military and police commanders in the border area a day after Bogota charged that Venezuelan troops had blown up two footbridges across the border in northeastern Colombia.
Special report: Silicon Sweatshops
by Jonathan Adams and Kathleen E. McLaughlin
November 17, 2009
[Editor’s note: Silicon Sweatshops is a five-part investigation of the supply chains that produce many of the world’s most popular technology products, from Apple iPhones, to Nokia cell phones, Dell keyboards and more. The series examines the scope of the problem, including its effects on workers from the Philippines, Taiwan and China. It also looks at a novel factory program that may be a blueprint for solving this perennial industry problem.] TAIPEI, Taiwan — Hourly wages below a dollar. Firings with no notice. Indifferent bosses. Labor brokers that leech away months of a worker's hard-earned wages. A corporate shell game that leaves no one responsible. Such conditions are widespread at the contract factories cranking out some of the most popular gadgets on the holiday season’s gift lists, according to labor rights activists and workers interviewed by GlobalPost. Whether it's your cherished iPhone, Nokia cell phone or Dell keyboard, it was likely made and assembled in Asia by workers who have few rights, and often toil under sweatshop-like conditions, activists say.
US public debt cracks $US12 trillion cracks
The West Australian
November 18, 2009
The US public debt topped $US12 trillion ($A12.8 trillion) for the first time in history, Treasury officials disclosed overnight, moving past a key barrier that raised hackles in Congress. Treasury data showed Monday's outstanding debt at $US12.031 trillion ($A12.83 trillion), up from $US11.999 trillion ($A12.8 trillion) on Friday. The ballooning debt reflects the massive deficit spending by the government in an effort to revive an ailing economy over more than one year. The public debt topped $US10 trillion ($A10.67 trillion) in September 2008. The debt is quickly approaching the statutory limit of $US12.104 trillion ($A12.91 trillion), meaning Congress would have to raise the ceiling to prevent a shutdown of government operations. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the debt figures represented unwelcome news and that the $US787 billion ($A839.56 billion) stimulus plan passed earlier this year failed to keep unemployment from topping 10 per cent. "This should serve as an urgent warning that the government can't keep spending money it doesn't have," he said.
Schools let students seek secret abortions
World Net Daily
by Chelsea Schilling
November 18, 2009
SACRAMENTO – A 12-year-old girl is prohibited from bringing aspirin to California public schools without a note from her mother or father – but in many California districts she may sign herself out of classes, leave her junior-high campus without parental permission, secretly have an abortion and return to school before the end of the day – and her own family may be none the wiser. Parents and educators across the state have been in heated debate over school policies allowing children to be excused during class time without parental notification for "confidential medical services" such as abortions, birth control, and drug and mental health services. California's San Juan Unified School District sought to change its own policy from one that prohibits students from being absent without parental knowledge except during medical emergencies to guidelines that would allow a student to leave for a "confidential medical appointment."
Jobs reports 'riddled with inaccuracies'
By Matt Kelley
November 20, 2009
WASHINGTON — The reports on jobs created or saved by the $787 billion stimulus package are "riddled with inaccuracies and contradictions," the federal watchdog overseeing the spending acknowledged Thursday. Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, told a House oversight committee that the board is taking steps to correct the errors and prevent mistakes in future reports, which are filed by the recipients of stimulus money and posted on the board's website. The board is working on creating software with "internal logic checks" to automatically reject reports that are clearly wrong, Devaney said. In late October, the administration reported that the first recipients of stimulus grants, contracts or loans created or saved more than 640,000 jobs. Recipients of tax breaks and aid such as unemployment insurance are not required to report, so the job numbers cover only about $47 billion of the $173 billion spent by Sept. 30. USA TODAY was among those that found examples of errors in that data, such as a Texas housing authority mistakenly reporting 450 jobs created by a $26,000 roofing project that actually employed six people.
Signs in Humanity
Egypt-Algeria World Cup anger turns violent in Cairo
November 20, 2009
Riot police in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, quelled a violent demonstration near the Algerian embassy in the early hours of Friday. Egyptian protesters reportedly hurled firebombs at police protecting the embassy and overturned a police van. Egypt's interior ministry said 35 people were injured. The clashes stem from Egypt's defeat by Algeria in a World Cup qualifying match on Wednesday, securing Algeria the last African place for next year's finals. On Friday Alaa Mubarak, the son of Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak, made a rare public statement calling for a "tough stance" to be taken against Algeria. "When you insult my dignity… I will beat you on the head," the businessman, who had attended the game in Khartoum, told a TV news programme.
More than half Americans fear rise of Muslim extremism
Big News Network
November 20, 2009
More than half of Americans fear the rise of Islamic extremism, says a survey taken after the shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas earlier this month. In the worst-ever shooting at any US army base, Major Nidal Malik Hassan, an army psychiatrist, allegedly mowed down 12 fellow soldiers and a civilian when he fired on his comrades to protest his upcoming posting to the war zone. The shooting by the Muslim soldier occurred just two months after two Muslims were arrested for bomb-making plot, raising fears of a backlash against the community in the US. There are estimated to be more than five million Muslims in the US. According to the survey by the independent Pew Research Center done after the November 5 shooting, 52 percent Americans think that Islamic extremism is rising in the US.
Revealed… the 515 chemicals women put on their bodies every day
by Maureen Rice
November 21, 2009
Women and beauty products – it's a love affair that's been going on for centuries. And no wonder. There's nothing like a new lipstick or favourite perfume to make us look and feel good. Or so we thought… In fact, according to a new report, most of our favourite cosmetics are cocktails of industrially produced and potentially dangerous chemicals that could damage our health and, in some cases, rather than delivering on their potent 'anti-ageing' promise, are causing us to age faster. Research by Bionsen, a natural deodorant company, found that the average woman's daily grooming and make-up routine means she 'hosts' a staggering 515 different synthetic chemicals on her body every single day. Many of those are also used in products such as household cleaners, and have been linked to a number of health problems from allergies and skin sensitivity to more serious hormonal disturbances, fertility problems and even cancer.
Early Data Suggest Suicides Are Rising
Wall Street Journal
by Sara Murray and Betsy McKay
November 23, 2009
Early signs suggest the number of suicides in the U.S. crept up during the worst recession in decades, according to a Wall Street Journal survey of states that account for about 40% of the U.S. population. Available data, still incomplete, suggest that this recession, like past ones, coincided with an uptick in suicides. The data from 19 states find an increase in suicides in the recessionary year of 2008 from 2007. Those states historically account for about half of annual suicides in the U.S. Calls to suicide hotlines are rising. And suicides in the workplace and the military — a small sliver all of self-inflicted deaths — were up in 2008. Official data on suicides in the U.S. lag, and a 2008 national tally isn't yet available. In 2007, there were 33,185 suicides, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared with an average of about 32,800 in the previous three years. A Journal survey of the 33 largest states by population found 19 have data for 2008. In all, those 19 reported a total of 15,335 suicides in 2008, up about 2.3% from the previous year.
Husband was 'killed on wife's orders to settle debts'
by Kunal Dutta
November 21, 2009
A debt-ridden woman and her son masterminded the contract killing of her husband in a calculated move motivated by a "combination of greed and loathing", a court heard yesterday. Nigel Bacon, 50, was found in his remote bungalow in Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire in November last year. He had been stabbed repeatedly and died in hospital. He had six wounds, including a fatal blow that severed his jugular vein in what jurors were told was a "planned, determined and cold-blooded killing". Mr Bacon's widow, Susan Bacon, 55, his son Michael, 21, his father-in-law Sean Woodcock, 42, and Peter Jacques, 29, all deny murder. Nottingham Crown court was told Mrs Bacon and her son hatched the plot and "decided he had to be killed". They recruited Peter Jacques, an associate of Woodcock, to commit the murder. Mr Bacon, a gamekeeper who owned his own company, is believed to have amassed more than £200,000 in savings. Mrs Bacon, the court heard, had debts of more than £60,000.
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
Over 20 million people need food aid in east Africa: U.N
Nov 10, 2009
By Silvia Aloisi
ROME (Reuters) – Drought and war in eastern Africa have left more than 20 million people in desperate need of emergency food aid, the United Nations said on Tuesday. "The situation is very worrying due to expected crop and pasture failures from poor rains in several areas, the increase in conflicts, trade disruptions and continuing high food prices," the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said. In its latest report on food and crop prospects (www.fao.org), FAO said delayed rains and dry spells often followed by floods had hurt crops and pastures in Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda. In Somalia and Sudan, poor weather has worsened a food emergency due to civil wars, with 3.6 million and 5.9 million people in need of food aid, respectively. In the case of Somalia, that is about 50 percent of the total population.
Swine flu has killed 540 kids, sickened 22 million Americans
By Steve Sternberg, USA TODAY
Swine flu has swept through about 22 million Americans from April to October, killing an estimated 3,900 people, including 540 children, health officials said Thursday. The analysis represents the government's latest effort to assess a viral outbreak that in just six months has flooded emergency rooms and intensive-care beds in at least 48 states that have reported widespread flu cases. With flu season just beginning, an estimated 98,000 people have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "We've been tracking influenza for decades," says Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "What we are seeing in 2009 is unprecedented." What the numbers don't reveal is what will happen next, because no one knows yet when the flu season will hit its peak or how many waves of cases to expect, says Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
MILLION HIT BY 'PLAGUE WORSE THAN SWINE FLU'
By Greg Miskiw
A DEADLY plague could sweep across Europe, doctors fear, after an outbreak of a virus in Ukraine plunged the country and its neighbours into a state of panic. A cocktail of three flu viruses are reported to have mutated into a single pneumonic plague, which it is believed may be far more dangerous than swine flu. The death toll has reached 189 and more than 1 million people have been infected, most of them in the nine regions of Western Ukraine. President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko has called in the World Health Organisation and a team of nine specialists are carrying out tests in Kiev and Lviv to identify the virus. Samples have been sent to London for analysis. resident Yushchenko said: “People are dying. The epidemic is killing doctors. This is absolutely inconceivable in the 21st Century.”
World on course for catastrophic 6° rise, reveal scientists
Fast-rising carbon emissions mean that worst-case predictions for climate change are coming true
By Steve Connor and Michael McCarthy
18 November 2009
The world is now firmly on course for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C by the end of the century, leading scientists said yesterday. Such a rise – which would be much higher nearer the poles – would have cataclysmic and irreversible consequences for the Earth, making large parts of the planet uninhabitable and threatening the basis of human civilisation. We are headed for it, the scientists said, because the carbon dioxide emissions from industry, transport and deforestation which are responsible for warming the atmosphere have increased dramatically since 2002, in a way which no one anticipated, and are now running at treble the annual rate of the 1990s. This means that the most extreme scenario envisaged in the last report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published in 2007, is now the one for which society is set, according to the 31 researchers from seven countries involved in the Global Carbon Project.
Powerful earthquake strikes sleeping Fiji Islands
By Staten Island Advance
November 09, 2009
A powerful earthquake has struck the Fiji Islands. The magnitude 7.2 quake, capable of generating huge tsunamis and great damage, struck the South Pacific island chain just before 11 p.m., (5:44 a.m. EST) catching most residents while they slept. The quake occurred deep under the Earth's crust, about 60 miles north of the capital of Suva.. There were no immediate reports of damage or whether a tsunami alert was issued. Such alerts are oftentimes declared locally. The Fiji Islands are in a seismically active area and less powerful earthquakes are relatively common.
Natural Disaster Update
5.0 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.5 HALMAHERA, INDONESIA
5.0 PRINCE EDWARD ISLANDS REGION
5.6 SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA
5.4 BOUVET ISLAND REGION
5.6 QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
6.6 QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
5.3 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.0 SOUTH OF PANAMA
5.1 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.1 TAIWAN REGION
5.0 REYKJANES RIDGE
5.1 REYKJANES RIDGE
5.4 CARLSBERG RIDGE
6.1 JUJUY, ARGENTINA
5.3 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.4 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.5 LAKE TANGANYIKA REGION
5.3 LAKE TANGANYIKA REGION
5.0 COSTA RICA
5.2 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
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
RUSSIA has grown even larger recently thanks to an earthquake and a volcanic eruption in its seismically active far eastern regions. Russia gained 4.5 square kilometers (2.8 square miles) from a 2007 quake on Sakhalin Island and from lava flows this summer on uninhabited Matua Island, both of which lie north of Japan. "As a result of the earthquake, part of the sea floor was lifted and became dry ground. The area of the new territory is nearly three square kilometers." Another 1.5 square kilometers appeared on Matua Island after a huge eruption by the Sarychev Peak volcano that began in June.
PHILIPPINES – After spewing ash at least thrice last Wednesday, Mayon Volcano emitted a crater glow that grew more intense and was visible as far as 15 kilometers away Saturday night. Mayon’s surface remains inflated despite the series of ash or phreatic explosions. “This means that magmatic pressure inside the volcano is sustained. But all these activities are still within alert level 2.” At least eight tremors were recorded in the past 24 hours, while the volcano’s sulfur dioxide emission was measured at 514 tons, above the normal volume of 500 tons per day. At least 700 families have been evacuated and provided relief aid. Residents within a radius of six to seven kilometers from Mayon’s crater have been readied for evacuation should the situation worsen.
RUSSIA – A lava flow has started to come down the slope of Eurasia's highest volcano, the Klyuchevskoy, on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East. The Klyuchevskoy, which lies 220 miles north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, is one of the largest active volcanoes in the world and reaches an altitude of 15,584 feet. It erupts about every 2 years. "A small flow of lava has started trickling down the south-eastern slope of the Klyuchevskoy after magma has filled its crater to the brink." The volcano continued to throw red-hot rocks to a height of 200 meters (over 650 feet). The Klyuchevskoy started a new active cycle with an eruption on February 15, 2007. The current eruption started in August after several months of relevant inactivity. Unlike many others, it started slow, but its intensity is rapidly growing. Seismological stations near the Klyuchevskoy register hundreds of small tremors in the area every day. The volcano is dangerous only to tourists at this point, although lava flows and high-altitude ash emissions could soon threaten air traffic in the region. There are more than 150 volcanoes on Kamchatka, 29 of them active.
MYSTERY BOOMS / SKYQUAKES –
MISSISSIPPI – 11/17/09 & 11/18/09 – Sonic boom’s source still a mystery. The boom that rattled windows in Pascagoula and Moss Point, swamped police phone lines and brought entire neighborhoods of people out of their homes to see what was happening was almost as much a mystery Wednesday as it was Tuesday night when it happened. There were four booms on Tuesday. One at 8 p.m. rattled the east side of Jackson County all the way up to the rural northern regions. Then there was a series of three booms about 9 p.m., felt and heard in parts of Ocean Springs and Gautier to the west and in central Jackson County, as well as Pascagoula and Moss Point in the east. Then on Wednesday evening at about 8 p.m. at least one boom was felt in Ocean Springs, Vancleave and Pascagoula. “You could hear the walls rattle it was so loud." A Moss Point resident said it moved pictures on her wall and caused her dogs to bark; a student at Trent Lott Academy in Pascagoula said his whole neighborhood came out of their houses and looked toward the Chevron Refinery. Another said the boom set off a neighbor’s home security alarm. Keesler Air Force base told city police around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday the boom was caused by military jets on a training exercise in the Gulf, but that the jets were not from Keesler. On Wednesday security at the base reconfirmed the jets had contacted the tower Tuesday night and were told there was a training exercise. But what jets, and whose jets were flying at supersonic speeds over the Gulf at night? Keesler didn’t know. Pensacola Naval Air Station’s Air Operations on the base said they weren’t flying anything fast enough to cause a sonic boom at present. As it turns out, Eglin is the base that controls military training ranges – airspace over the Gulf of Mexico used for military maneuvers in this part of the Gulf. Eglin’s public relations office looked at the schedule for Tuesday night and said, “In our air space at those times all we had in the area were A-10s, and they’re not fast enough to break the sound barrier.” The A-10s were firing guns, but did not discharge any heavy explosives during the maneuver.
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS –
OREGON – A High Surf Advisory and High Wind Warnings are in effect, and will remain so until 10:00 a.m. today for the entire Oregon coastline and the Coast Range. A series of waves from a strong Pacific system will generate large seas and high winds along the Oregon Coast. During the storm, seas will climb to 23-27 feet, with periods around 11 seconds. Seas have already reached 23 feet off the mouth of the Columbia River, and would peak closer to the value of 27 feet last night, during the strongest winds. These large seas will create dangerous beach conditions, with waves pummeling the surf zone which will only be exacerbated by the prominence of the enhanced Lunar Tidal Cycle. Due to the magnitude of the high tides, waves will travel much further up the beach than usual, creating a dangerous situation in which extreme caution must be exercised. There is also a High Surf Advisory beginning at 4:00 p.m. Monday through 4 a.m. Wednesday for the South Central Oregon Coast. A heavy swell will bring high surf to the Southern Oregon Coast with breaker heights expected to build to around 25 feet, persisting through today and slowly subsiding tonight. The most hazardous conditions will occur today, as the predominant wave direction veers from Southwest early in the morning to West by late morning. A High Wind Warning is in effect until 10:00 a.m. for the South Washington and North Oregon coasts. A prolonged period of strong south winds are expected, with winds of 35 to 45 mph, and gusts up to 70 mph. Numerous gusts to 65 mph have already been clocked on Monday. On the open beaches, sustained winds of 50 to 60 mph with gusts up to 90 mph are likely. The winds will then decease early this morning, once a strong cold front moves onshore, and the very strong offshore low moves into British Columbia.
TROPICAL STORMS –
The 2009-2010 cyclone season has started in the Indian Ocean, with the appearance of the first cyclone called "Anja" on Wednesday. The designated names for the hurricanes that will form within the cyclone basin of the Indian Ocean during 2010 are Anja, Bongani, Cleo, David, Edzani, Gelane, Hubert, Imani, Joel, Kanja, Lunda, Mohono, Nigel, Olympe, Pamela, Quentin, Rahim, Savana, Themba, Uyapo, Viviane, Walter, Xangy, Yemurai and Zanele.
Tuesday morning, Cyclone Anja was a powerful Category 4 cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Wind shear then gave Anja a strong "punch in the gut" as the storm has weakened to a Category 1 cyclone. At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. ET) on November 17, Anja's maximum sustained winds were sustained at 75 knots (86 mph). The storm seems to be spreading out as it is weakening, as tropical storm force winds extended out to 115 miles from the center (earlier Tuesday, they only extended 75 miles out from the center). Anja is predicted to continue weakening and move harmlessly toward the southeast over the open waters of the south Indian Ocean.
Anja is the first tropical cyclone of the southern Hemisphere cyclone season. After forming as a tropical storm over the Southern Indian Ocean on November 14, Anja strengthened to a cyclone one day later. By November 16, Anja was a Category 3 cyclone, with maximum sustained winds of 105 knots (195 kilometers per hour), and gusts up to 130 knots (240 kilometers per hour). (nice satellite photo)
FIJI – With eleven cyclones predicted to form in the Pacific region, the DISMAC office said people must not be complacent and be prepared for anything. The Acting Directorsaid in the past, people have been caught off guard and the consequence of being complacent has been disastrous. They are also closely monitoring the UNUSUAL WEATHER the country has been getting for the past few months.
INDIA – Days after the cyclone Phyan ravaged the Goan coastline claiming 68 lives, Goa now stands on the brink of facing another cyclone building up south east of Kerala. A system is building up in the Arabian Sea. “A clear picture could come out in the next 48 hours."
U.S. – Widespread flooding reported along the coast in the Mid-Atlantic region. Wind and waves from the powerful northeaster that pummeled the Mid-Atlantic coast last week ate away as much as a quarter of Ocean City's dune line. High tides and as much as eight inches of rain flooded streams and closed roads in Southern Maryland and the state's Lower Eastern Shore. "This is probably the worst since Isabel [in 2003], but three feet lower than Isabel." Intensified by the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida, the big coastal storm lingered, pounding the Atlantic coast from the Carolinas to New Jersey. Flooding closed streets and bridges along the coast. Three motorists died in weather-related crashes in Virginia. The powerful storm began moving out to sea Friday after raking the East Coast for three days.
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –
SOUTH AFRICA – heavy rains, biting cold and strong winds battered the coastline. Roofs were blown off houses, and homes were washed away in parts of the province. A motorist was killed when a car was swept into a river in Port Shepstone. The SA Weather Service Wednesday issued a warning of rainfall exceeding 50mm in KwaZulu-Natal. It is UNUSUAL, but not unheard of, for KwaZulu-Natal to be hit by heavy rain at this time of year, and for there to be snowfall on the Drakensberg.
Flooding warnings for parts of UK – People in north-west England and south-west Scotland face a high risk of their homes being damaged by flooding, the Environment Agency is warning. There are 25 flood warnings in place across the UK, but Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway are at greatest risk today. North Wales has already been hit by heavy rain and has had some flooding. The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings, with up to 250mm of rain (9.8in) possible on higher ground. An Environment Agency spokesman also warned of a possible tidal surge today in the northern Irish Sea which could increase the flood risk along the west coast from Aberystwyth northwards. The winds will gust up to 70mph (112km/h) in some areas, but the extremely wet weather is the main concern.
CANARY ISLANDS – Tuesday, heavy rain in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria flooded residential areas. Tenerife was also badly effected by the extreme weather. Some schools on the island have closed. The authorities are calling it the WORST RAIN IN 40 YEARS. In some places 100 litres of rain has fallen per square metre, causing traffic chaos. Cars have even been washed off the roads by the flooding.
Storm batters southern England, bringing floods and 100mph winds – Gale-force winds of up to 100mph battered Britain yesterday as one of the worst storms of the year swept across the country. Wales, southern and eastern England bore the brunt of the weather. Winds reaching speeds of 70mph were recorded in parts of London and the home counties, strong enough to cause property damage and bring down trees and branches. "This is pretty severe…It's quite RARE for the winds to be that strong inland; it certainly doesn't happen very often. The storm developed off the west coast and was fed by the still warm autumn sea temperatures." Heavy rain led to coastal flooding in the south of the country.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
AUSTRALIA – this month's heatwave was caused by a strong high pressure system over the Tasman Sea blocking cold fronts to the southeast. "Instead of getting good bursts of cool southerly air over the inland, it's received virtually no cool air from the south and it has just got hotter and hotter. The Spring time is characterised by rapidly moving fronts across the Southern Ocean and it's QUITE RARE to get a significant blocking event such as what we've had. You're more likely to get it in January or February or even early Autumn." A combination of unseasonally high temperatures, strong winds, bushfire smoke and thunderstorms caused flight delays around the country. A cold change swept through Melbourne today, bringing high winds. Gusts of up to 100km/h were recorded at Essendon Airport.
A grass fire is burning at Port Augusta where the fire danger rating is 154, which is 54 points above the newly-introduced "catastrophic level".
Average global temperatures are on course to rise by up to 6C without urgent action to curb CO2 emissions. CO2 emissions rose by a quarter in the last decade, according to research. Emissions rose by 29% between 2000 and 2008.
AUSTRALIA – South Australia is bracing for catastrophic bushfire conditions ahead of more extreme heat tomorrow. Temperatures throughout the state are predicted to reach the low 40s in some areas, with Adelaide forecast to have a top of 39C. Similar conditions will follow on Thursday, with Adelaide's maximum expected to reach 41C. The forecast prompted authorities to issue a bushfire warning of "CATASTROPHIC" conditions in the Flinders and north-western pastoral districts – the FIRST TIME THE TERM HAS BEEN USED. New bushfire advice systems have been adopted for this summer, with "catastrophic" rated above "extreme" and "severe". The catastrophic category rates the risk as similar to those conditions prevalent on Victoria's Black Saturday bushfires last year. In such conditions, the Country Fire Service says, any fire is highly likely to be fast moving and uncontrollable, with residents' safest option being to leave their properties early. They said they HAD NEVER SEEN FUEL LOADS AS HIGH IN NOVEMBER BEFORE, and are especially concerned about bushfires in regional SA in the next two days. Last week Adelaide sweltered through eight days of temperatures in the high 30s, giving the city its first November heatwave on record.
The Great Barrier Reef has only a 50 per cent chance of survival if global CO2 emissions are not reduced at least 25 per cent by 2020, a coalition of Australia's top reef and climate scientists said today.
VENEZUELA's President says he will join a team of Cuban scientists on flights to "bomb clouds" to create rain amid a severe drought that has aroused public anger due to water and electricity rationing. The Cubans have arrived in Venezuela and were preparing to fly specially equipped aircraft above the Orinoco river. "I'm going in a plane; any cloud that crosses me, I'll zap it so that it rains." Venezuela produces much of its electricity from hydroelectric projects, including the giant El Guri dam close to the Orinoco.
AUSTRALIA – Little relief from the scorching heatwave. A blistering week is ahead as a heatwave hits most parts of New South Wales today, with temperatures climbing above 40C and the Rural Fire Service declaring a total fire ban across much of the state. Melbourne has sweltered through its HOTTEST START TO THE MONTH EVER, with an average maximum temperature of 29.5C – a whopping 7.5C above the average. Another string of hot days on the horizon means beating the current record average maximum temperature of 27.85C in 1982 is now looking likely. "We are NOT JUST BREAKING RECORDS, WE ARE SMASHING THEM." Melbourne has already had six days above 30C and another three are forecast for the next week. The hot weather has created havoc with crops — in the Wimmera up to $30 million worth of lentils was wiped out in just a couple of days. "It literally cooked them."
U.S. is Heating Up – The United States has experienced TWICE AS MANY RECORD-BREAKING HIGH TEMPERATURES as it has record-breaking low temperatures in the past decade. In the continental U.S., 291,237 RECORD HIGHS were set between 2000 and September 2009. Only 142,420 RECORD LOWS were set over the same span. If there wasn't a heating trend, there would be roughly the same number of record highs as there have been record lows. But the U.S. has experienced relatively mild winters and intense heat waves.
INDIA – an UNUSUALLY WARM November is being blamed on Cyclone Phyan. The last couple of days have been the hottest that November has seen in the last two years, leaving those out on the streets sweating and bothered. Maximum and minimum temperatures across the state have been five to six degrees Celsius above normal this November, leading to a increase in viral fever cases. “Phyan not only increased normal temperatures but also brought a cloud cover over the region from the South-West, which is UNUSUAL for this time of the year." The maximum and minimum temperatures of Ranchi on November 9 were 29.4 degree Celsius and 17.8 degree Celsius respectively. On the 14th it reached 30.5 degree Celsius and 20.0 degree Celsius. Similarly, the maximum and minimum temperature in Jamshedpur on the 14th was 34.7 degree Celsius and 22.9 degree Celsius respectively. “This is an ABNORMAL SITUATION. Both the maximum and minimum are 6-7 degree Celsius above normal.” Some weather scientists, however, attributed the phenomenon to global warming. “Since 2008, there has been a shift in Jharkhand’s weather pattern, proving that the state has been affected by global warming." The unusual weather has brought forth health issues across the region. “We are many viral fever cases, which during this season is not normal.”
A large iceberg was spotted off an island about halfway between Antarctica and Australia on Thursday, a RARE sight in waters so far north. The iceberg, about 160 feet high and 1,640 feet long, is probably part of one of several larger icebergs that broke off Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf between 2000 and 2002.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD –
NEPAL – The lingering after-effect of Cyclone Phyan, which lashed off the western coast in India last week, is being felt in the Kathmandu Valley. As per the forecast, the FREAK weather – overcast sky coupled with appreciable dip in daytime temperature and intermittent drizzle – will persist over the next few days. The mercury will plunge lower than normal. A meteorologist explained the causes behind the freak weather pattern. “Usually, the onset of winter brings in the domineering Westerly wind, which triggers rainfall. Besides, we’re still reeling under the residual impact of Cyclone Phyan.”
WESTERN U.S. – 11/18/09 – something exploded in the atmosphere above the western United States. Witnesses in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho say the fireball "turned night into day" and issued shock waves that "shook the ground" when it exploded just after midnight Mountain Standard Time. The fireball was so bright it actually turned the sky noontime blue. Although the fireball appeared during the Leonid meteor shower, it was not a Leonid. Infrasound recordings of the blast suggest a small asteroid hitting Earth's atmosphere and exploding with an energy of 0.5 to 1 kiloton of TNT. Experts liken the event to the Park Forest fireball of 2003, which scattered dozens of meteorites across a suburb of Chicago. Meteorites are likely from this fireball as well. Approximately 6 hours after the fireball, people in Utah and Colorado got another surprise. As the sun rose over those states, a twisting electric-blue cloud appeared in the dawn sky: "They were strangely bright relative to the rest of the sky." The cloud strongly resembles artificial noctilucent clouds formed at high altitudes by rocket and shuttle launches. Yet there was no (officially reported) rocket launch at dawn on Nov. 18th. Could the cloud be associated with the fireball? The geographical coincidence is certainly striking. Debris from the fireball should have dissipated by sunrise, but the cloud remains unexplained and a connection to the fireball cannot yet be dismissed.
Newly-discovered asteroid 2009 WJ6 is flying past Earth today only 110,000 miles away – about half the distance to the Moon. The time of closest approach will be 1100 UT.
The electric-blue "mystery cloud" seen twisting over Colorado and Utah at daybreak on Nov. 18th is no longer a mystery. It was asteroid debris. On Oct. 7, 2008, asteroid 2008 TC3 hit the atmosphere and exploded over Sudan, creating a cloud. On Nov. 18, 2009, a similar-sized asteroid hit the atmosphere and exploded over Colorado and Utah in a flash of light that startled onlookers across at least eight states. Hours later, daybreak revealed the "mystery cloud" which looks just like the debris from 2008 TC3. Both clouds resemble icy noctilucent clouds that form naturally around Earth's poles during summer or in the aftermath of rocket launches. Researchers have long suspected that space dust can prompt the formation of noctilucent clouds by acting as nucleation points for high-altitude ice crystals.
HEALTH THREATS –
CDC cites some signs of ebbing US flu activity – Visits to the CDC network of sentinel doctors for influenza-like illness (ILI) declined last week for the second week in a row, and the number of states with widespread flu activity dropped from 48 to 46. On the other hand, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and flu both continued to climb. In addition, another 26 pediatric deaths linked to confirmed H1N1 cases were reported, bringing the total since April to 156. The total of 156 is higher than the number for any seasonal flu epidemic of the past 5 years. The proportion of deaths related to pneumonia and flu in the CDC's 122-city mortality reporting system reached 7.7% last week, which was above the epidemic threshold of 6.8% for the week. The percentage has been above the threshold for 6 weeks in a row. However, charts in the FluView report show that the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths related to influenza of all types both dropped last week compared with the week before. The charts indicate something in excess of 3,000 hospitalizations and between 100 and 150 deaths last week. The CDC says that more than 99% of viruses in circulation are the 2009 H1N1. The FluView report says deaths due to confirmed flu from Aug 30 to Nov 7 totaled 877, and there were 22,364 hospitalizations related to confirmed flu in that period. Those numbers include only confirmed flu cases. Yesterday the CDC presented a new estimation method, in part to allow for untested cases. Using that method, officials estimated total US H1N1 deaths since April at 3,900.
Deaths After Swine Flu Shot, China – Chinese health officials reported on Friday the first deaths in people who received the H1N1 vaccine. The Ministry of Health announced that the two people, including one teacher from Hunan province, died hours after receiving their inoculations. A preliminary autopsy revealed that the teacher died of an apparent heart attack while playing basketball, and that the death was "a coincidental medical incident" and not related to the vaccine. No details on the second victim have been released so far. As they conduct an autopsy investigation into the second death, Chinese health officials have pulled all vaccines manufactured in the same batch used to inoculate the teacher. In early September, China became the first country to begin swine flu inoculations. But by the end of October, 54% of Chinese residents reported in a China Daily survey that they would not get the H1N1 vaccine because of concerns about the shot's safety. So far, China reports about 36 deaths and 62,800 H1N1 cases – compared with U.S. government estimates of 4,000 American deaths and 22 million infections. Since September, 12 million Chinese have received the pandemic flu shot. China plans to immunize 65 million citizens, or 5% of the country's population, by the end of the year.
France reports GBS in vaccinated health worker – a young female healthcare worker was diagnosed with mild Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) 6 days after she received a pandemic flu vaccine. Hers is one of very few cases that have been reported in H1N1 vaccine recipients. 1,700 GBS cases are reported in France each year and an October poll showed 17% of French respondents planned to get vaccinated against the pandemic virus.
An analysis by Texas health officials finds that the state's Hispanics are being hit disproportionately hard by H1N1 flu. Hispanics make up 37% of the population but accounted for 52% of the 95 H1N1-rlelated deaths through Oct 17. Several risk factors for severe H1N1 disease, including pregnancy, diabetes, and possibly obesity, are more common among Hispanics.
The flu drug Tamiflu is now contaminating rivers downstream of sewage-treatment facilities in Japan. The source is urinary excretion from people taking Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate). Researchers are quite concerned that birds exposed to these waterborne residues could develop and spread drug-resistant strains of seasonal and avian flu. Making matters worse, previous studies have confirmed that water treatment removes zero percent of this drug. U.S. policy is more conservative than Japan’s when it comes to Tamiflu use.
There is no safety data or precedent for receiving 3-4 flu shots in one season. The current recommendations by doctors and health officials are UNPRECEDENTED, and highly experimental. Some people, including children under the age of 10, are urged to get as many as four flu shots this year: two shots for seasonal flu and one or two more for swine flu, depending on a few different factors. Never before have this many flu shots been given in a single season.
Crisis just beginning? – In the Ukraine, a strain of the flu has infected 1.4 million people. The death toll is at 315 people as of November 16. The World Bank Database gives the estimated population for the Ukraine as a little over 46 million. While the percentages do not appear high, the reported symptoms and contagion patterns of this flu are of concern to some doctors. "We don't believe it's H1N1 swine flu. Neither do we know what kind of pneumonia it is." Doctors are likening this strain of the flu to the Spanish flu, which included internal hemorrhage and edema in the lungs. Samples of the Ukraine flu virus were provided to a British lab, for testing to conclusively subtype the virus. Learning whether the virus is a mutated form of the H1N1 swine flu, or an entirely new type of flu virus, will help health officials and members of the public take necessary measures for protection from this deadly disease.
With 6.6 million doses of H1N1 vaccine given so far, Canada has seen only 36 serious adverse reactions. One person died of an anaphylactic reaction, but it was not yet certain if the vaccine caused it. Serious events have also included fevers and convulsions. 20% of Canada's 31 million people have been vaccinated, the highest proportion of any country. Diverse public health programs in Canada, such as support groups and food inspections, are being postponed or suspended as officials redirect staff to H1N1 vaccination efforts, a plan that has been in the works for months. Health authorities in several provinces have postponed non-flu vaccination programs.
Santa workers and volunteers are seeking ways to prevent novel H1N1 infection during the holiday season. One trade group urged its members to use hand sanitizer and take vitamins and the public to keep sick children home. The president of another group asked state lawmaker to consider prioritizing Santa for H1N1 vaccine, given that many are exposed to sick children and are obese, which has been identified as a high-risk condition.
The World Health Organization says that preliminary tests reveal no significant changes in pandemic H1N1 viruses taken from patients in Ukraine. Genetic sequencing done in Britain and the US on 34 samples shows that the virus is similar to the one used to make novel H1N1 vaccine, reconfirming the vaccine's efficacy.
US Department of Agriculture researchers report that the pandemic H1N1 virus does not easily infect poultry or spread among them. The researchers inoculated chickens, turkeys, ducks, and quail with the virus. Most of the birds showed no sign of infection; some quail were infected but did not pass the virus to other quail. Two turkey flocks in Chile were infected earlier this year, but those may have been isolated events.
Even as drug makers promise to support Washington's health care overhaul by shaving $8 billion a year off the nation's drug costs after the legislation takes effect, the industry has been raising its prices at the fastest rate in years.
CHINA has promised severe punishment for officials caught concealing deaths from H1N1 flu after a medical expert said suspect cases may have been held back by local governments and that he did not believe the national H1N1 death toll of 53. The Health Ministry said China had adopted a new H1N1 accounting method earlier this month. If a person was confirmed with H1N1 and then died, the case should be reported as death from H1N1, whether or not there was another condition. The H1N1 flu strain affects the respiratory tract. Patients who become severely ill or die typically suffer from pneumonia, either brought on directly by the virus or due to secondary bacterial infections. A ministry official said it would no longer issue cumulative tolls, only new cases and deaths. That will make it difficult to determine the actual extent of H1N1 deaths in China, which based on previous figures had been statistically much lower than in other countries.
H1N1 cases in China have risen sharply, despite aggressive quarantine measures, the World Health Organization's top official in China said. He said the 70,000 cases and 53 deaths cited by the government are only "minimum numbers." But China's health minister said the control measures helped buy time to develop a vaccine, which is now being given to 1.5 million people a day in an effort to cover 90 million – 7% of the population – by the end of the year.
Spike in cases prompts Hungary to declare epidemic – Hungarian officials declared a flu epidemic yesterday after illness reports rose more than 30% in a week, putting cases above the country's epidemic threshold. The number of flu hospitalizations rose to 172. Hungary launched a pandemic vaccine campaign in October using its own vaccine, which is based on a mock-up produced for the H5N1 virus.
Thai official says second wave starting – The second round of the H1N1 epidemic has begun in Thailand. 30% of 200 students tested in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima were infected. An estimated 8.4 million Thais were infected in the first wave of the outbreak, and the death toll reached 185 yesterday. The government bought 2 million doses of vaccine from France and is considering buying 800,000 more.
Analysis reveals two genetic clusters of H1N1 viruses – German researchers report that a genetic analysis of 300 pandemic H1N1 viruses isolated earlier this year shows that "two closely related but distinct clusters" circulated in most countries simultaneously. Differences were found in the genes for the two surface proteins and four internal proteins. None of the differences involved parts of the genome responsible for known biological functions, and the importance of the findings remains to be determined.
RECALLS & ALERTS –
The Procter & Gamble Company is voluntarily recalling three lots of its Vicks Sinex nasal spray in three countries: the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. The company is taking this precautionary step after finding the bacteria B. cepacia in a small amount of product made at its plant in Gross Gerau, Germany.
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
New Lutheran body to form after gay pastor vote
By PATRICK CONDON – Associated Press Writer
Nov. 18, 2009
NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. — The split over gay clergy within the country's largest Lutheran denomination has prompted a conservative faction to begin forming a new Lutheran church body separate from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Leaders of Lutheran CORE said Wednesday that a working group would immediately begin drafting a constitution and taking other steps to form the denomination, with hopes to have it off the ground by next August. "There are many people within the ELCA who are very unhappy with what has happened," said the Rev. Paull Spring, chairman of Lutheran CORE and a retired ELCA bishop from State College, Pa.
Wealthy rabbi 'traded cocaine for sexual services'
By Tom Kelly
The Daily Mail
19th November 2009
A wealthy rabbi financed a drug dealing operation in which girls were given cocaine in exchange for sexual services, a court heard yesterday. Baruch Chalomish, 54, turned a city centre flat into a base for a ' commercial cocaine supply operation' after abusing the drug himself, it was claimed. He was arrested along with a friend, Nasir Abbas, also 54, with over £15,000 in cash and 100g of cocaine –some of which had a purity of up to 80 per cent – after police searched the flat in January this year. Police also searched the rabbi's home address in Salford, Greater Manchester, and discovered cash and a further 50g of cocaine scattered around the house in different containers. When questioned by police, Abbas claimed that Chalomish didn't sell the drugs but would allow any young woman who visited the apartment in Shude Hill, Manchester, to take the cocaine in exchange for 'sexual services'.
Jews raise millions to be ready for coming of the Messiah
November 14, 2009
JERUSALEM: Yehuda Glick is a 44-year-old American-born Jew who spends most of every day preparing for the arrival of the Messiah in Jerusalem. Since he became the executive director of the Temple Institute, Mr Glick's main task has been to supervise the manufacture of the utensils the high priests will need when the day arrives. Crowns and other instruments made of solid gold fill glass cases in the Temple Institute museum in Jerusalem's Old City. Other artefacts include an array of copper urns, trumpets made of silver and garments to be worn by the High Priest, woven from golden thread. Musical instruments, including hand-made harps and lyres, lie ready to be brought to life upon the Messiah's appearance. So, when can we expect this momentous event? ''That is a very good question,'' Mr Glick told the Herald. ''All that we know is that we are now living in the age of miracles and all of those miracles are predicted in the Book as happening on the eve of the end of days. It could well be tomorrow, but it might be another 100 years, or even 400 years.''
Scientology is a criminal organisation rife with beatings, abortion and fraud, claims Australian senator
By Richard Shears
The Daily Mail
18th November 2009
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is to investigate claims that Scientology is a criminal organisation that sanctioned beatings, imprisonments, forced abortions, sexual abuse and fraud. The sensational claims about the church, whose members include many high-profile celebrities, were made by a South Australian senator, Nick Xenophon, who shares a surname with an ancient Greek warrior. But unlike the mercenary of history who fought armies in central Asia in about 400BC, Mr Xenophon has gone into battle with Scientologists after receiving letters from eight former followers who told him of a worldwide pattern of abuse and criminality associated with the church. 'These are grave allegations,' said Mr Rudd, adding: 'Many people in Australia have real concerns about Scientology. I share some of those concerns.'
Atheist author Philip Pullman writes alternative ending for Jesus in Bible
By Tim Walker
19 Nov 2009
The writer has penned an alternative Bible passage imagining a different fate for Christ, who was executed by the Romans. "He has written what would have happened if Jesus had had a fair trial," a friend told The Daily Telegraph's Mandrake column. "He knows it will be controversial, but he has some serious points to make." Pullman is due to read his "account" of Christ's last days at the Globe theatre on Thursday as part of an event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Reprieve, an organisation which campaigns for the rights of prisoners. Books by Pullman, who is an honorary associate of the National Secular Society, have been criticised by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. His critics often cite an interview in which he reportedly said: "I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief."
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
Pastors to Holder: Bible still condemns homosexuality
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
November 18, 2009
A former U.S. Navy chaplain who was removed from the service after he exercised his right to pray "in Jesus' name" against the wishes of his chain of command read the biblical condemnation of homosexuality at a rally in front of the U.S. Justice Department to protest the nation's new "hate crimes" law. Two weeks ago, President Obama signed into law the "Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act" after Democrats strategically attached it to a "must-pass" $680 billion defense appropriations bill. The law cracks down on any acts that could be linked to criticism of homosexuality or even the "perception" of homosexuality. In response, pastors and other Christian leaders gathered yesterday to read from the Bible itself at a rally organized with the help of Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Coalition. Former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt of PrayInJesusName.com read from Romans: "And they that commit such things are worthy of death."
Pastor shot, killed on way home from worship
By Michael Carl
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
November 17, 2009
Two masked members of the al-Shabaab Muslim militia shot and killed a pastor in Somalia as he drove home from a worship service, according to reports. Mogadishu pastor Ali Hussein Weheliye was killed in the attack in October, but reports of the incident didn't come out until this week. Experts at the missions think-tank the Joshua Project estimate Somalia is 99 percent Muslim. International Christian Concern's Jonathan Racho agrees with that statistic and says the overwhelming numbers make it difficult to be a Christian in Somalia. "A vast majority of Somalis are Muslims, but there are hundreds of Christians in Somalia. This pastor was the pastor of an underground church," Racho said. "Christians in Somalia have to go underground and they don't give away their identities because once al-Shabaab knows someone is a Christian, that is a death sentence for that person," he said.
U.S. lawmakers defend 'In God We Trust'
By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
November 16, 2009
Forty-four U.S. legislators have signed on to defend the national motto, "In God We Trust," and the Pledge of Allegiance – which contains the word "God" – from an attempt by an atheist group to have the words erased from the face of the newly built Capitol Visitor Center. Together with the American Center for Law and Justice, three U.S. senators and 41 representatives filed a friend-of-the-court amicus brief in a case brought in July by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation that challenges the words as unconstitutional. The atheist and agnostic organization filed suit in U.S. District Court versus Stephen Ayers, acting architect of the Capitol, alleging the words now engraved on the visitors center violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The FFRF claims that the use of tax dollars to add the engravings lacks a secular purpose and has the primary effect of endorsing a religious viewpoint.
Freedom for imprisoned Christian 'apostates'
By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
After millions of prayers and numerous petitions from around the world, two Iranian women jailed for no other reason than being Christian were released from a Tehran prison today. Maryam Rustampoor, 27, and Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, were imprisoned for 259 days – since March 5. They were repeatedly told to recant their faith and that they would be executed as "apostates," solely because they are Christians. But now Open Doors USA has confirmed the women have been released from the notorious Evin prison with no bail, a rarity for Christians released from prison in Iran. "I am glad to let you know that Maryam and Marzieh are now set free without bail and they are currently at home," an Open Doors field worker announced. In a statement to Elam Ministries, the women declared, "Words are not enough to express our gratitude to the Lord and to His people who have prayed and worked for our release."
Report Exposes Forced Conversions of Christian Women in Egypt
By Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter
Nov. 10 2009
A new pioneer report, released Tuesday, sheds light on the often deliberately ignored problem of Christian women in Egypt being abducted, forced into Muslim marriages and coerced into converting to Islam. Released by Christian Solidarity International and the Coptic Foundation for Human Rights, “The Disappearance, Forced Conversions and Forced Marriages of Coptic Christian Women in Egypt” report documents dozens of real cases of Christian women who were lured and then violently forced into marriage, often after being raped. Report research was done in Egypt by American anti-trafficking specialist Michele Clark and Egyptian women’s rights activist Nadia Ghaly. Based on research findings, the report contends that the violence against Egypt’s Christian women corresponds to the internationally recognized definitions of human trafficking. “The findings of Ms. Ghaly and Ms. Clark are deeply disturbing, and should challenge human rights activists and institutions, especially those whose mandate includes women’s right and trafficking in persons, to undertake, as a matter of urgency, further research into this form of gender and religious based violence against Coptic women and girls in Egypt,” said CSI CEO Dr. John Eibner, in the preface of the report.