CHOSEN: End Times Newsletter – Issue 119

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

The Serenity Prayer
Submitted by Johanna
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
–Reinhold Niebuhr

Blindness of the Heart
By Regina
What would be worse? To be physically blind, or to be blind to truth?
Have you ever pondered this question before? Until tonight, I hadn’t, but I feel urged to ponder it now so that we all might grow together in the knowledge, understanding and wisdom which brings us strength and is provided only by the Holy Spirit of Yahweh.
Certainly to lose one’s physical sight would not be a pleasant thing as there is much beauty in the world that Father and The Word created and it would most definitely make life more difficult in many ways. But in my opinion, it would be far worse to be blind to the truth, because to be blinded to the truth could mean the loss of your eternal life. 
Blindness is mentioned frequently in the scriptures, and while sometimes it does refer to an actual physical state of being without sight, it also many times, if not most of the time, refers to lacking consciousness or awareness and to be lacking in the awareness of the truth, of reality, is to be blind to it.
Yet, in this very day and age we see so many who, whether they realize it or not, prefer being blind to truth over physical blindness and for the life of me I cannot tell you why. I wish that I did, because I am very interested in human nature and it would make it easier for me to understand – but perhaps it’s not for me to understand, as it is a matter of the heart and not human nature. Or perhaps they are intertwined. All I know is that blindness is rampant in these End Times, and people time and time again turn away from truth and in essence, blind themselves to reality.
Jeremiah 17:9 [The Deceitful Heart ] The heart is more deceitful than anything else and desperately sick – who can understand it?

And even as I write this and continue to ponder the topic of this article, I see Father Yahweh’s direction…

Mark 10:51 Then Jesus answered him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" "Rabbouni," the blind man told Him, "I want to see!"
“I want to see!” – this is the answer. One has to want to see in order to see, otherwise, one remains blind because physical blindness is of the eyes, but spiritual blindness is of the heart.
I’m certain that we all know or have friends, co-workers or loved one’s who are blind to truth. Those who have placed more faith and trust in the people and things of this world than in our heavenly Father. And it can be a very difficult thing because those who are blind would like for those who are in truth to be blinded too and follow them rather than what is in our hearts. This is a snare that we must be sure to be aware of because it takes strength to stand strong in our conviction for truth, so be on guard at all times. 
Matthew 15:14 Leave them alone! They are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit."
Our Savior, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life performed many miracles in regards to blindness and had this to say on the subject: 
John 9:39 Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind."
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed,
May we all continually pray that we remain in truth and that our hearts continue to see and that we are not blinded. May our eyes remain wide open and focused on Yahweh and Her son Christ Jesus, who came to give sight to the blind and who, through his death on the cross and via our belief in him as our Lord and Savior and a humble heart we might be saved.

Inspired Writings
Taking Care of One's Words
2 Corinthians 11:30 — If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weaknesses. 
For a while, the concept of boasting had been a bit of a mystery, because usually a boast would start with a certain phrase or have certain hallmarks, but for some reason, a boast seemed to be more easily able to be stated than might appear.
The definition of “boast” according to is the following:
1. to speak with exaggeration and excessive pride, esp. about oneself.
2. to speak with pride (often fol. by of): He boasted of his family's wealth. 
Now, as only a little can say so much, just a small difference in the way a person says something can turn one statement into a boast, regardless of the exact words that were used. The very attitude and mood of a person may express a boast before the words are even spoken. In this regard, anything that may elevate or increase the perspective of something may be a boast, which may even include simply stating something that may not be very well known to another individual. In this way, a person is simply elevating the awareness of the specific topic, which can be a boast, because of its elevation.
When Paul spoke of boasting of his weaknesses, in this way, he was then humbling himself. Bringing himself low, and in a way, so that he is at a position so as to be able to raise another up.
2 Corinthians 12:5 — I will boast about this person, but not about myself, except of my weaknesses. 
The consideration of the correct usage of words is important because it reflects credit or discredit upon Father Yahweh, Christ Jesus, and the vessel of people that belong in Union with the promised Kingdom. At the same time, people reap what they sow, and the words one speaks can each be like a seed that is scattered, a seed that comes from the fruit of one's own heart, and those seeds can be obtained by the ingestion of the fruit, and separating that from the seeds. Thus, every boast must be solid and true, based upon Father's Wisdom, used in the way that Father intends. And in this, a lot of everything that a person says can be a boast, for which words should be carefully chosen.
If anything unknown is brought up to attention, such as the spiral phenomenon that occurred in Norway, that is an elevation of sorts. And then, to try to offer explanations or make certain suggestions of Truth that may actually be lies based on one's own understanding and not Father, could be a boast that only displays evil in Father's eyes. To cover up Father's Truth would be a worse evil, or to try to, in that, Father's Truth always comes forth. This is only an example of what has occurred as of late.
In the near future, as this may be a boast to itself, there will most certainly be more signs from Father in the heavens, and further, on earth to try to warn and gain attention to draw people's hearts towards the Truth. Being a part of those signs to help bring forth the Truth in the best way possible at all times would be not to take part in the boasting of evil, and to also uplift Father and give Father the true credit and worship that She deserves.
2 Timothy 4:2 — proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.

Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
Deborah (in response to Cherubic Commander's Riddle): Sounds like what we call the Big Dipper, just as Regina mentioned.
Jeshaiah (concerning the last image in the previous newsletter of the same section): What came to mind concerning this image was a volcano erupting, under holy angelic direction. I am sure there are many letters in the image to help provide many more messages. There are also a lot of faces in the picture, one of which seems to be of a bird of prey… All the faces also seem to be facing down towards the bottom left, and the whole picture looks like it is moving downwards in that direction. It really makes me think of what we have been told in the past about how Father's LOZ will come at Armageddon, and I believe that we were also told that the Azmon barrier will be at the forefront.
What also just came to mind is the following scripture:
Psalm 104:4 — and making the winds His messengers, flames of fire His servants. 
The red at the bottom also brings to mind the mass bloodshed that will occur…that it will be waist deep… 
Cherubic Commander: Put the clues together to learn the secret of Orion and Pleiades in Father's grand scheme of things.
Revelation 1:16 "In His right hand He had seven stars; from His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was shining like the sun at midday." 

Father's right hand is Her what? It reveals Her Power and might. 

Psalm 89:13 "You have a mighty arm; Your hand is powerful; Your right hand is lifted high."Joshua 4:24 "This is so that all the people of the earth may know that the LORD's hand is mighty, and so that you may always fear the LORD your God."
Where does Christ sit? 

Hebrews 1:3 "He is the radiance of His glory, the exact expression of His nature, and He sustains all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."
So ministers, where do the seven stars originate from? Where did the Lion's of Zion form up at for special duty? What is the duty? 

Joel 2:11 "The LORD raises His voice in the presence of His army. His camp is very large; Those who carry out His command are powerful. Indeed, the Day of the LORD is terrible and dreadful — who can endure it?

And, in what likeness or similarity is our enemy to our LOZ? 

Joel 1:6 "For a nation has invaded My land, powerful and without number; its teeth are the teeth of a lion, and it has the fangs of a lioness." 

The "nation" that invaded Father's land is who? It is the nation of wickedness that spawn forth at the fall from perfection by both angelic and human kind.
Concerning the belt of Orion: Psalm 109:19 "Let it be like a robe he wraps around himself, like a belt he always wears." 

Isaiah 11:5 "Righteousness and faithfulness will be a belt around His waist." 

Who can loosen Christ's belt of righteousness and faithfulness? No one. So, where did the LOZ warriors originally storm forth from? Where then is our base of operation if not Mount Zion? And if not from Mount Zion, why Orion and Pleiades? Three stars represent what? Unity. Concerning the origination point of the LOZ not being directed from Mount Zion. It is the same reason Michael substitutes for Christ. The answer is within the Word: Deuteronomy 21:9 "You must purge from yourselves the guilt of shedding innocent blood, for you will be doing what is right in the LORD's sight." Remember when the Israelite army exterminated entire cities from adults to babies? Because they might have had feelings of shedding innocent blood, Father helped them to purge those thoughts away. It is a cleansing of the soul and heart that the acts were wrongful in one's own heart. This is because it is Father's will. Right in Her sight. With bloodshed comes guilt: 

Psalm 51:14 "Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing of Your righteousness." 

But Father saves Her righteous children from the anguish. 
Deuteronomy 7:16 "You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God is delivering over to you and not look on them with pity. Do not worship their gods, for that will be a snare to you."

Psalm 106:7 "Our fathers in Egypt did not grasp [the significance of] Your wonderful works or remember Your many acts of faithful love; instead, they rebelled by the sea—the Red Sea."
What does the Red Sea signify? The blood of Christ. What provided safe passage to the wilderness for the Israelites? Passage through the Red Sea. Whose blood must you symbolically pass through in order to receive salvation? Christ Jesus. What was created by his sacrifice of red blood for atonement of sins? A WAY back to Father. What happened at the Red Sea crossing that would otherwise had it not, would have prevented the Israelites from reaching the wilderness. Have halted a Way to safehaven? 

Psalm 136:13 "He divided the Red Sea His love is eternal." 

Father divided the waters. In kind, Father divided the shed blood of Christ and places it upon all those that are worthy of salvation. Father created an opening that leads to Her in pursuance of salvation by holding fast to Her WAY. What happened to those Isralites that made it to the wilderness ? Those that did not continue to obey Her commands were killed over a period of time in the wilderness. This same conditional hope for salvation carries over into the Millennium and on into eternity. Walking in Her Way requires absolute obedience to Her every command.
Jeshaiah: The seven stars originate from Father. Her wrath… As the Pleiades also resemble the little dipper, it is like Her wrath being poured out…erupted out much like the image given on the previous page. There is a volcano that is currently erupting that is getting quite a bit of news. Actually, there were quite a few volcanoes.
Something else that also came to mind about the image that I think Deborah touched on was that it also looked like a pyramid, and in this case, the pyramid has a fiery capstone.
The enemy has a likeness to the LOZ in power. What came to mind that was shared with Regina and Deborah on Saturday night was also that the puzzle pieces concerning the LOZ show a more holy power, where the sons of darkness' power is more related to those of the physical earth. That brings to mind the event when Samson was attacked by a young lion, Father's Spirit overtook him, and Samson tore the lion apart.
The constellations being the base of operations and origin of gathering for special duty also make sense, in that Michael is the archangel. They were still placed there by Father, and assigned.
What also comes to mind is about when Christ and Michael will not be split energies anymore. I am not sure exactly how it ties into what is being shared, here, but it is something that keeps coming to mind. Perhaps it is in a culmination of all the work that Christ and Michael have done and will do, so as to pull together all that is also being shared here.
I am going to keep pondering this, because I do not feel that I have really dug down to the core of what was initially stated concerning Father's grand scheme that is shared by Orion and Pleiades. 
Cherubic Commander: "the pyramid has a fiery capstone." True. And what was missing the mark on the Great Pyramid? Now you have located the capstone.
There will be much sky activity in that region of Egypt in the near future. Specifically over the Great Pyramid. Can you understand why? Ponder and meditate with prayer to Father. That which missed the mark will be corrected by Her on high. The cap stone is about to make his appearance.

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
First UFO reports for 2010 trickle in
All News Web
Jan 1, 2010
As the day and consequently the new year begin in the Pacific Ocean and move westward, it is not surprising that the first UFO sighting reports for the year 2010 or for that matter the last UFO sightings reports for the year 2009 should come from Australia or New Zealand: The first relatively large nations to greet the new day. Technically the New year begins in the small island nation of Kiribati, population 100,000. It appears, however, that Kiribati does not have much of history of UFO sightings. The footage below, which apparently was filmed in Western Australia, might more accurately be described as the one of the last sightings for 2009 rather than a first sighting for 2010. The clip does however seem to be the first piece of very recent footage posted in the new year. Meanwhile the popular website is keeping researchers in suspense promising to shortly post some quality footage shot in the new year.
UFOs and worm hole news, More worm hole anomalies? whats next? 
Dec 28, 2009
How many worm hole type anomalies does it take to fire up the imagination of curious enthusiasts? One is the answer to that question. What would you say to multiple occurrences? It seems these anomalies are occurring in many places around the globe. We have heard that they may be top secret experiments. If that is the truth then those who are conduction these experiments are not doing a very good job of keeping then secret. Are they naturally occurring due to the rapid changes in the Earths electromagnetic characteristics or could these possibly be a form of the real deal. Extraterrestrials openly traversing to this planet from a far away place?
UFO hovering with beam of light shoots out possible orbs? December 27th 2009
Dec 28, 2009
A possible UFO was caught on camera hovering over a rural area of Belfast. This covert display included beams of light and what looks to be "ORBS" shooting out from the primary object. What ever this strange object was we felt compelled enough to send this footage along to our readers for analysis. Note: The object in question that seems stranger then the rest is towards the later part of the footage. What do you think? Below is the comment which accompanied the footage. Have at it. "In this video you will see all raw footage from when i hit the record button until i stopped recording. This is unedited apart from the writing to explain what i was seeing. Hopefully you will see the beam in this footage, but i am going to do an edited version to try and show it better. The main UFO was there for 8 – 10 minutes, and the ''thing'' that flies from under the beam was a pure W.T.F!, I still don't know what it was."
Nanaimo couple spots UFOs flying over Mount Benson (includes photo)
Nanaimo Daily News
Dec 30, 2009
Nanaimo's Chris Ansell and Kathleen Kirby have crossed Santa Claus off their list as they search for answers after they reported seeing four unidentified flying objects over Mount Benson on Christmas Day. At 8:29 p.m., while on the deck of Ansell's parents' home on King John Way, the couple saw four orange lights the size of stars zip through the sky from four different directions and come together above the mountain. Ansell, 35, whipped out his Blackberry to catch the action, while Kirby, 23, grabbed a nearby camera. The four "starlike lights did this weird zig-zag thing and then turned into green glowing spheres and then, poof, they disappeared upwards," Ansell said, gesturing frantically with his hands.
UFO Deltoid England Dec 27 2009: Another Pyramid UFO?
Now Public
Dec 27, 2009
There was another apparent pyramid shaped UFO sighting in Deltoid, England on December 27 2009. This Ufo was filmed seemingly travelling above the Town's skyline overtop homes and buildings. The object appears to be a dark coloured pryamid object. This object also seems to be quite silient and unnoticed for the most part except by the camera person. The clip is roughly 3:20 long with close-ups and full zoom outs as well. Have a look and see this object It certainly does not fit the standard aircraft mould in any way.

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
Israel to issue gas masks to population 
by Tina Redlup
December 28, 2009
Israel will begin distributing its entire population with gas masks in two months, though no reason has officially been given by the Israeli government. No indication or threat has been made against Israel from any country that an attack is planned. No country in the Middle East is believed to be likely to engage in chemical or biological warfare with Israel, either. The gas mask distribution has, however, raised questions as to Israel's potential plans to launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Such an attack could cause an unconventional response from Iran. Iran's chemical and biological weapons capabilities are currently not known. Rumors in the Middle East abound that Israel is preparing to rein in Hezbollah through another war on Lebanon. Hezbollah, however, is also not believed to hold any chemical or biological weapons.
Goldman Sachs to Award Employees $23 Billion In Bonuses 
NY Times
by Lynnley Browning
January 2, 2010
Along with Wall Street’s resurgent bonuses will come a jump in an ancillary benefit: tax breaks. For all banks and Wall Street firms, “I’m sure we’re talking $200 billion total compensation, which would create a tax savings for the firms of $80 billion,” said Robert Willens, an accounting and tax analyst in New York who runs a consulting firm, Robert Willens LLC. The figure does not include bonus plans by hedge funds, which are likely to reduce their payouts after a down year. The tax deductions, which will increase the bottom line of the banks, are perfectly legal and not new. They come as compensation for 2009 has roared back after the largest banks paid back billions of dollars in federal aid, an outlay still fresh in the minds of taxpayers. As pay goes up, so do the deductions. Many American banks already pay minuscule federal income taxes, because of various deductions and clever tax planning; the payout-related breaks will reduce their tax bills further in coming years.
Texas teachers warned against being 'heterosexist'
by Bob Unruh
December 31, 2009
Candidates for certification to teach in public schools in Texas are being told that they will be held accountable for any "heterosexist" leanings and must become agents working to change society, according to one candidate who was alarmed by the demands. The applicant, who requested anonymity for fear of repercussions, told WND part of the teachings on multiculturalism required him to read several online postings about the issue inside the education industry. One warns that "teachers and administrators must be held accountable for practices deemed to be racist, sexist, heterosexist, classist, or in any other way discriminatory." And a second warned that educators must not define education as the basic skills. "How do we create a better world? How do we do more than simply survive? As educators, we must help people to become committed to social change," the article demanded.
Calif. will face deeper fiscal pain, more budget cuts in 2010 as recession keeps its grip
Los Angeles Times
by Judy Lin
January 2, 2010
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — During last summer's fiscal crisis, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger borrowed the title of a film classic to describe California's budget, saying it contained "the good, the bad and the ugly." He was referring to welfare reforms and the streamlining of state boards that he was able to broker, along with deep spending cuts for schools, health care programs for the poor and AIDS-prevention efforts. All that's left in 2010 is the ugly. The nation's most populous state faces a nearly $21 billion shortfall over the next 18 months, a deficit that comes after years of making deep cuts in core state programs. Enrollment in California classrooms could swell, public colleges may further limit enrollment and raise student fees, state workers could face another year of furloughs, and the poor may stop receiving welfare unless Schwarzenegger and lawmakers agree to raise revenue. "It will be an absolutely hard and difficult year," said Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrence, who is exploring a run for attorney general.
Lithuania admits it had secret prison 
Big News Network
January 2, 2010
A secret black CIA site which existed on Lithuanian territory has been revealed by a Lithuanian parliamentary committee. The committee has concluded that a CIA secret prison operated in Lithuania during the US-led “war on terror.” A statement from the committee says that officials from the Lithuanian State Security Department assisted in constructing a secret prison for terrorist suspects. It says many detainees held at the secret sites were kidnapped and subjected to torture by US agents.

Signs in Humanity
Middle-class parents too busy to teach children how to talk, says 'communication champion'
Daily Mail
by Laura Clark
January 1, 2009
Middle-class children are struggling to learn how to talk because working parents are unable to offer them the quality time which is crucial to their speech development, a key government adviser has warned. They are often left in second rate childcare and no longer benefit from the social interaction of family mealtimes and bedtime stories, according to Jean Gross, the first 'communication champion'. Parents should avoid daycare for under-twos unless it has well-trained staff who offer plenty of one-to-one attention, she said. Children tend to do best when looked after by their mothers or another trusted adult, she added, and those placed in centres which neglect early education may suffer delayed speech development.
Bible is most-stolen book during holidays
by Janet Kwak
December 28, 2009
SAN ANTONIO — Noah's Ark Christian Bookstore sees about one to two Christian items stolen every year. This holiday season, it's seeing three to four items missing from its shelves. "I can see the need people have, they need to buy more but don't have the means to do it," store manager Maria Obregon says. You can't ignore the irony of the situation. The book that read, "Thou shalt not steal" is also one of the most-stolen books in the world. In San Antonio, Bible bandits are on the rise. Local bookstores say it's a problem they see year-round. They attribute it to a slow economy, and people turning to God in tough times.
This Christmas, 78% of Americans Identify as Christian
by Frank Newport
December 24, 2009
PRINCETON, NJ — This Christmas season, 78% of Americans identify with some form of Christian religion, a proportion that has been declining in recent decades. The major reason for this decline has been an increase in the percentage of Americans claiming no religious identity, now at 13% of all adults. The trend results are based on annual averages of Gallup's religious identity data in America that stretch back over 60 years. One of the most significant trends documented during this period is the substantial increase in the percentage of American adults who don't identify with any specific religion. In 1948, only 2% of Americans did not identify with a religion. That percentage began to rise in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Eleven years ago, in 1998, 6% of Americans did not identify with a religion, a number that rose to 10% by 2002. This year's average of 13% of Americans who claim no religious identity is the highest in Gallup records.
The thin VERY blue line: Porn shame of hundreds of police staff disciplined over internet use
Daily Mail
by Rebecca Camber
January 2, 2009
Hundreds of police workers have faced disciplinary action for looking at internet pornography and social networking sites, figures show. More than 400 officers and support staff have been sacked or given warnings after being caught looking at inappropriate material online. Officers have also been dismissed for using police databases to check out people’s backgrounds for personal reasons. The total figure of 439 disciplined staff could be much higher because some forces refused to disclose details citing data protection rules.
Pakistan: Death toll from bombed sports event nears 100
USA Today
December 28, 2009
SHAH HASAN KHEL, Pakistan (AP) — Tribal elders in a Pakistani village where a suicide car bomber killed nearly 100 people insisted Saturday that residents will keep defying the Taliban, even as the bloodshed laid bare the risks facing the citizens' militias that make up a key piece of Pakistan's arsenal against extremism. The New Year's Day attack on the northwest village of Shah Hasan Khel was one of the deadliest in a surge of bombings that has killed more than 600 across Pakistan since October. Police believe the attacker meant to detonate his 550 pounds of explosives at a meeting of tribesmen who supervise an anti-Taliban militia. Instead, the blast went off at a nearby outdoor volleyball court, killing at least 96 people.

Arks of Safe Haven
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 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
1/1/10 - 
12/31/09 - 
12/30/09 - 
12/29/09 - 
12/28/09 - 
12/27/09 - 
12/26/09 –
12/25/09 - 
5.5 TONGA 
12/24/09 - 
CALIFORNIA – An earthquake hit in California on December 30th and it was felt in San Diego and along the California-Mexico border, including Phoenix and Tijuana. The earthquake measured 5.8 and the earthquake occured at about 10:48am local time with the epicenter about 23 miles south of Calexico and about 20 miles from Mexicali. There were reports that residents in Los Angeles, Orange County and Imperial County also felt the tremor of the earthquake and in downtown San Diego buildings swayed briefly but there are no reports of damage or injuries. This was the strongest of a half-dozen quakes that have hit the Calexico area in the last few days. Numerous small aftershocks followed the first 5.8 quake.
Is Betting on Volcano Eruptions in Bad Taste? – The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has come forward with odds offerings on which volcano will erupt first following the recent eruption of Mount Mayon in the Philippines. The payouts for each eruption increase as the odds get greater. This unorthodox betting opportunity was fuelled by numerous requests from punters, Paddy Power is quick to point out. The favorite volcano to erupt first is Japan's Mount Unzen. But herein lies the problem. In 1792, the collapse of one of its several lava domes triggered a tsunami that killed about 15,000 people in Japan's worst-ever volcanic-related disaster. Offering odds of 3/1 on a volcano blowing its top in one of the world's most densely populated countries realizing the catastrophic devastation likely to result is bound to leave a bad taste in some people's mouths. Mount Merapi in Indonesia was listed with 10/1 odds. It is very close to the city of Yogyakarta, and thousands of people live on the flanks of the volcano, with villages as high as 1700 m above sea level. "So many of the odds offered on volcanoes are for those located in third world countries with large population centers." "It's amazing what punters will bet on and this particular betting market had our odds compilers literally outside their comfort zone," the company said. "Suffice to say it's a lot easier to figure out the odds on a football match than on a volcano erupting, but definitely not as much fun!" Paddy Power came under heavy fire earlier in the year for offering betting odds on President Obama's assassination.
PHILIPPINES – Fewer earthquakes have been recorded in the Philippines' lava-spilling Mayon volcano, but the local scientists still believe an eruption to be imminent. In response to the continued seismic activity at the volcano, the Albay Governor cut off the electricity and water supplies within the extended and permanent danger zones around Mayon Volcano Tuesday evening. The move was designed to ensure that people remain away from their homes and out of the danger zone. Reportedly, many evacuees have returned to their homes for New Year's. (photo) 
MONTSERRAT – Volcanic ash led officials Tuesday to cancel dozens of commercial flights into and out of Puerto Rico. Ash from the Soufriere volcano hovering some 10,000 feet over the Island of Montserrat was the reason for the cancellation. Ash emissions from the volcano have been ongoing for several weeks. 
ALASKA – The Mount Redoubt volcano across Cook Inlet continued to rumble Tuesday, with the alert code remaining yellow.
PHILIPPINES – Thousands of tourists are flocking to the Philippines' Mayon volcano with many even risking their lives to get close to the spectacular flowing lava, authorities say.
ALASKA – Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory have upgraded Mount Redoubt to alert level "advisory," aviation color code "yellow." Starting around 4 p.m. on Sunday, staff observed small repetitive surface earthquakes coming from the mountain, about 50 miles west of Kenai. The earthquakes have continued, becoming larger in size but less frequent. This activity is similar to that seen in the spring when the volcano was erupting. What this means remains unclear, but three possibilities have been suggested, including the eruption of lava, fluid moving toward the surface, or the release of gas. Also of concern is the possibility of a collapse of the lava dome that formed in the volcano's crater during the last eruption in March. 
PHILIPPINES – Mayon volcano may be showing less visible signs of unrest but this could be a deceptive calm before a deadly eruption, the chief government volcanologist said on Sunday. "Do not become complacent. The people only see what is coming out of the crater and that is often cloud covered. It is not just the observed phenomenon that matters. We also look at the quakes, the gas emitted and the swelling of the volcano…You might think it is taking a break but the volcano is still swelling." 
SAUDI ARABIA – Geological experts have moved to allay fears of an imminent volcanic eruption in Saudi Arabia after fresh tremors in the Al-Madinah Province that was hit by a series of earthquakes earlier in the year. Seismic activity was recorded around 240 km northeast of Medina on Dec. 18, spreading concern among local residents, many of whom have not long returned home after a forced evacuation following the earthquakes in May. Thousands of people were evacuated from a volcanic region of the Al-Madinah Province, known as Al-Ais, in May after the earthquakes which measured as high as 5.6 on the Richter scale. At the epicentre of the tremors, a village called Harrah al-Shaqah, dangerous gases and unusually hot air and water started coming up from the ground in the previous incident. “Seismic activity at Harrah Al- Shaqah is at its normal rate these days." Evacuees began returning home in October when the area was declared safe.
U.S. – 12/21/09 – Strange booms from the sky have San Diego, Californa, residents on edge. And they're not alone. Mysterious booms were also heard last week in Arkansas City, Kansas and in parts of Oklahoma. The booms were loud enough to shake the earth and register on the Richter Scale. "Experts" were quick to blame them on military airplanes despite zero evidence for this assertion. But these roars from the sky are nothing new and have been occurring since long before there were aircraft to blame. Legendary anomalist Charles Fort called them "skyquakes" and gives many examples of them in his books. One case in particular resembles recent events in San Diego. In 1839, in Comrie, Scotland, a series of "quakes in the sky" were felt and heard by residents. Ultimately, on October 23, a massive boom was felt above Comrie and for many miles around. A witness noted: "The noises heard first seemed to be in the air, and the rumbling sound in the earth." Other international examples include the Barisal Guns of Bangladesh, the Moodus Noises of Moodus, Connecticut, and the Guns of Seneca, heard around Seneca Lake in New York State. In the Netherlands they are known as mistpoeffers. They are also sometimes called "fog guns." Many explanations have been put forward to explain the noises but no current theory satisfies as an explanation. They seem to be linked to seismic activity but it is difficult to ascertain as the booms themselves could be causing the earth to shake. If shifting tectonic plates are to blame for the boomin, the mechanism has yet to be explained. The Iroquois told early setttlers that they were the sound of the Great Spirit continuing his work shaping the earth. 
IOWA – 12/21/09 – Cause of explosion-type sounds unknown. The Fort Madison Police Department searched through neighborhoods on Monday seeking the origin of two reported explosions. The police did not find anything out of the ordinary. The first call came from a home on 29th Street where a resident reported he had heard a loud explosion that shook the floor of the house. He looked outside and didn't see anything and he still had electricity, so he called the police to inquire. At about the same time a call came into the station from the opposite end of town reporting an explosion of some kind. Again, police found nothing in that area out of the ordinary. "I don't know what it was. We found nothing, no power outages, no fires or strange odors." It was about two years ago that several reports of explosions were called into the Fort Madison and Keokuk Police Departments and the Lee County Sheriff's Office. At that time it was determined that low flying aircraft produced sonic booms that created the noises.
OREGON – High tides, monster swells, and sizable gusts are all in store for the Oregon coast on New Year's Eve through much of the weekend, making for some unforgettable stormwatching possibilities as the old year gives way to the new. A high wind warning was issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for the Oregon coast, in effect through early evening on Thursday. There is a special weather statement from the NWS regarding possible flooding on the coast today, as high winds, big tides and heavy rains combine to make for some wild conditions to end the year with. High surf conditions are happening, helping to create a threat of flooding along the coast from Thursday through Saturday, the NWS said. What they called “increasingly high astronomical tides” will combine with the heavy winds. It was in fact the highest tides of the year on Thursday. “A second episode will develop around midday Friday and continue through Saturday morning.” Swells were likely to hit 20 to 25 feet on New Year’s Day, making for a wild show. These could continue through tonight, with sizable high tide swells happening Saturday as well. (photos)
BRAZIL – Part of the city of Franca, in São Paulo, was covered in ice on the afternoon of Monday the 21st, the first day of summer. Part of the highway Cândido Portinari was covered in hail and came to be banned. Blocks of ice that formed on the side of the road came up to a meter high. According to meteorologists, the storm of hail was caused by an area of instability and the formation of RARE rain clouds resulted in stones. 
Heavy rains have caused floods and landslides – in Brazil, leaving at least 18 people dead. Officials said that most of the deaths occurred as shanties collapsed under mud or rain in the greater Rio de Janeiro city area. One of the worst incidens was in Jacarepagua, in western Rio area, where a family of five died in a landslide. The state has been hit by 24 hours of downpours. Some 200 people had to flee their homes in Baixada Fuminese, in northern Rio, after three rivers burst their banks. Weather forecasters expected the rains to continue throughout Thursday. 
MARYLAND – Baltimore has already received RECORD-BREAKING LEVELS OF PRECIPITATION in December, with 7.67 inches of rain and melted precipitation through Tuesday.
AUSTRALIA is bracing itself for extreme weather conditions as both the east and western sides of the country experience very different weather hazards. The people of New South Wales were battling floodwaters as severe thunderstorms and torrential rains battered many parts and isolated small communities. The small town of Ashford just north-east of New South Wales was reportedly cut in half as the creek that ran through the middle of the town burst its banks and flooded. The towns of Thora and Bellingden have also been issued with flood alerts as 150mm of rain fell upon the towns. The State Emergency Services are predicting that flood levels will rise to around 3.7 metres in Bellingden which could leave many people living in the valley to become isolated. On the NSW mid-north coast some 300mm of rain has fallen in the past day, with more predicted. Meanwhile in Western Australia many people are wishing some of the flood water would head their way as they brace themselves for catastrophic fire conditions. Weather predictions for the region warn of soaring temperatures and high winds – a disaster for fire services. The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of severe fire danger for the central wheat belt, great southern, the south and south-east coasts and the central west. In fact the Bureau have given the affected areas a ‘catastrophic’ rating, the highest danger warning. Authorities in those areas are warning people to take heed and evacuate.
INDIA – Mangalore, coastal towns of the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi have experienced scattered rains starting from the wee hours of Sunday. The city was experiencing scattered and widespread rains. It is HIGHLY UNUSUAL for the city to get rains at this time of the year and the weather forecasters had not mentioned about this rain in the last few days of weather forecasting. Following the rains normal life was paralysed. A low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal was causing the delayed action of receding monsoons of November. The people are alarmed about the unseasonal rains. In less than 100 hours it will be January and this region has been having RAINS SINCE MAY 2OTH this year. It looks like the Monsoon has extended for seven months instead of a characteristic 4 months. The city has experienced rains in October, November and now in December and if it continues for the next 100 hours it will extend into the eighth month which will be A RECORD, as the elders in the city pointed out.
U.S. Atlantic Coast – An UNUSUAL STORM PATTERN is set up to hammer the region on New Year's Day and over the weekend. 6-12 inches of snow could be coming overnight Thursday through this evening, with more possible further inland. While it's far from certain, the UNUSUAL TRACK of the storm means it could loop back around to hit the region Saturday into Sunday, potentially doubling those snowfall totals. It's fairly RARE for such a storm to linger in the same area without going out to sea. The 1-2 inches of snowfall predicted for Thursday night could morph into rain during the day today, possibly keeping snowfall totals for today very low. If that doesn't happen, expect "half a foot or more." Only one of the weather-tracking models employed by the Gray, Maine, service is showing that the storm will come back around, and it needed to be watched closely because of the possibility it could "strafe" the coast and drop substantial snow. Essentially, the system will drift slowly by, spinning in place and coming back for more over the weekend. The storm systems that will converge and hit the region were first brewing in the Southeast and over the Great Lakes.
SCOTLAND – Climbers are being warned of a continued risk of avalanches the day after three people lost their lives on Scottish mountains. Two highly experienced climbers died on the north face of Ben Nevis and a third died in hospital after being rescued from Torridon. Two other climbers were rescued from a third avalanche in Argyll. The risk of avalanche continued to be high because of UNUSUAL snow and ice conditions in UNUSUALLY calm and extremely cold weather. They have been monitoring surface hoar, a phenomenon RARELY SEEN in Scotland. The snow crystals form a slippery layer when buried under snow and are the cause of many avalanches in the Alps and North America. Meanwhile, forecasters have issued a severe weather warning for heavy snow in parts of Scotland, with a covering of 15cm (6in) expected over higher levels.
BRITAIN – Met Office predictions of a mild winter have begun to fall flat as more snow was forecast in parts of Britain and temperatures are expected to drop to below freezing over the New Year period. Up to four inches of snow was forecast in the Midlands, and falls of up to a foot were predicted on higher ground in Wales. Temperatures are expected to plunge to minus 3C in most of England and Wales on Thursday night, New Year's Eve, and minus 8C in Scotland, with widespread snow showers also predicted. New Year's Day will also be chilly, with the northern half of Britain struggling to get above freezing during the day. In October, the Met Office predicted Britain would have a mild winter, despite the inaccuracy of its “barbecue summer” forecast which drew strong criticism, after heavy rainfall saw the wettest July for almost 100 years. It said the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 were likely to be “milder than last year” and that there was an 85 per cent chance of normal or above average conditions. A Met Office spokesman said: “That forecast was dealing with the whole of the winter. December has certainly been cold but the prediction is for December, January and February….It has certainly been a cold winter so far in most parts but the seasonal forecast has not been proven one way or the other.” The Met Office's prediction in October was in part based on a freak weather system developing in the Pacific Ocean. The El Nino weather system occurs every couple of years and happens when ocean surface temperatures become unusually warm, creating a knock-on effect on air pressure and wind patterns around the world. The phenomenon typically causes colder winters in northern Europe and warmer winters in southern Europe. Britain lies in the middle of these opposing weather patterns and can be affected by either. Over the past few decades there have been roughly an equal number of colder and warmer winters caused by El Nino, However, this year the Met Office forecast that it was likely to cause a mild effect. 
U.S. – The Christmas blizzard that left all that snow will be studied by meteorologists for years because of its UNUSUAL ASPECTS. Among them:
–Instead of one storm center, there were multiple waves moving around each other in the middle of the main storm system.
–Blizzard conditions stretched from Oklahoma to the Dakotas.
–Snow and wind lasted at least 48 hours. Typically a winter storm blows in, then out.
–A tightly wound storm center produced intense winds, brought in a lot of moisture and played havoc with temperatures.
“It was an impressive storm system. It was so strong and so large, it pulled moisture in from the Atlantic, which is EXTREMELY RARE.” 
U.S. – much of the nation will be in the grip of an icy cold early January air mass. Temperatures will plunge into the teens in the Deep South by Saturday morning and temps will be below zero as far south as central Missouri by Saturday morning. By Sunday morning a hard freeze could penetrate deep down the Florida peninsula, including Orlando, and low to mid teens could be as far south as Atlanta with a repeat likely on Monday morning. (maps) 
RUSSIA – An emergency warning about the passage of a powerful cyclone has been issued to all the territories and population centers along Russia’s Pacific Coast. Gale, heavy snowfall, blizzards and a sharp fall of air temperatures are expected in the Primorsky /Maritime/ and Khabarovsk territories, on the island of Sakhalin, and on the Kurile Islands archipelago that separates the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean. On the face of it, air temperatures in the southern parts of the territory will sink to ANOMALOUSLY LOW readings – about 7 degrees Celsius below the usual climatic norm for this period of the year. This will be the product of a Siberian anticyclone that continues gaining strength. This kind of weather will reign in the Primorsky territory through to January 5. Authorities and rescue services in Sakhalin have been warned of high risks of snow avalanches that may go down hillsides. Experts say an outbreak of emergency situations is not ruled out in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk territories and the Sakhalin region.
U.S. – A blocking pattern is centered over Greenland. The computer models are showing a RARE vast negative NAO and AO signal [AO (Arctic Oscillation) NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation)] that favors strong high pressure in central and eastern Canada, against a developing storm along the coastline of the Carolinas on January 1. There is still a threat for a heavy ice and snow event accompanied by significant winds and coastal flooding. Various ensemble packages are very aggressive on a major winter storm affecting Appalachia and the East Coast in the December 31 – January 3 time frame, followed by an intrusion of Arctic air which could send shivers to all in the U.S. living to the right of the Rocky Mountains. While the final tally on this cold season has yet to be written down, the pattern is setting up to be THE CHILLIEST IN RECENT MEMORY for many parts of the U.S. 
The AO is out of whack right now (and for the rest of this month.) Temperatures anomalies across the Arctic are way above normal, while they are way below normal across much of Southern Canada and the US. 
U.S. – The immensity of the winter system that gripped the lower 48 states this past week was incredible. It was truly a monster, as the satellite images at the link illustrate. The system "brought every conceivable type of inclement weather to multiple regions of the country and in Canada. The stretch of blizzard conditions alone ranges from Texas to the south and Ontario on the north, with "EVERY ONE OF THE LOWER 48 STATES INFLUENCED by the gyre!" As the big system drifted eastwards, much of the country was caught in its enormous reach. Snow and wind continued over the northern tier of the country from the High Plains to the Great Lakes, and heavy rains and thunderstorms threatened the big population centers around New York City and Philadelphia. 
INDIA – Calcutta was galloping towards the 10-degree mark with the Celsius on Sunday dipping to a DECADE LOW DECEMBER LOW of 11.4 degrees. “It looked a little uncertain on Saturday, but Sunday’s further fall seems to have sealed the deal, with the minimum temperature likely to be around 10 degrees Celsius by Wednesday. It could turn out to be THE COLDEST CALCUTTA WINTER EVER.” Calcutta is generally cooler in January and early February than in December. The lows this month could herald a record-breaking January-February. The city has already had its COLDEST CHRISTMAS THIS DECADE and the coldest December 31 of the Noughties looks a certainty. “The coldest New Year’s Eve this decade was in 2007, at 11.4 degrees Celsius. The city has already reached that mark with four days to go." This cold spell should be the last of the numerous weather anomalies that have characterised Calcutta’s weather in 2009. “The city has seen a premature monsoon dragged in by Cyclone Aila, heat waves in April, May and June, RECORD-SHATTERING warm phases in August and November, an early winter and a warm spell in mid December. This UNUSUALLY CHILLY phase (since December 22) must be the first weather anomaly that is being greeted by smiles in Calcutta.” The swift and steady drop in temperature has been powered by the dip in humidity levels and the unhindered passage of the northwesterlies and the western disturbances.
CALIFORNIA – SEA LIONS – One of San Francisco’s most famous tourist attractions has suddenly come up missing. The famous colony of sea lions that first took up residence on Pier 39 of Fisherman’s Wharf some 20 years ago have disappeared almost overnight. The colony went from over 1500 to zero, and nobody knows why. "Isn’t this sort of unusual behavior a warning sign, possibly of another gigantic earthquake or something? If it was in my neck of the woods, and a few thousand animals suddenly beat a hasty retreat, I’d be a little worried." (photos)
BULGARIA – TEMPERATURE RECORDS were seen across Bulgaria on New Year's Eve. Thermometers soared to 20.4 centigrade in the Northwestern city of Montana, an absolute record for the season. It was also hot in Veliko Tarnovo – 20.2 centigrade – BREAKING A 40 YEAR OLD RECORD. Varna, Ahtopol, Blagoevgrad, Dragoman and Sofia also saw temperatures of between 15-20 centigrade – unseen since the 1970s. Weather forecasters expect the heat wave, brought about by unseasonal southerly winds, to continue until the weekend as Bulgaria welcomes the New Year in a surreal Spring-like atmosphere. 
BRITAIN – Wildlife across Northumberland has suffered another chaotic year because of unpredictable and extreme weather. An unseasonably warm and dry spring followed by a damp and temperate summer leading into an exceptionally mild and wet autumn, played havoc with flora and fauna across the region. A RECORD NUMBER of species flowered and bred earlier than ever before. Flora, garden birds, fungi and mosquitoes are just some of the groupings that have had a bumper year across the North East's National Trust properties, as Britain begins to feel the effects of global warming. But seals and some seabirds have all been adversely affected by the extremes of weather. In April, many barn owls at Wallington abandoned their eggs due to persistent rain which made foraging for food harder. At Cragside, near Rothbury, the mosquitoes which usually die out over the winter and at the height of summer, continued to flourish and bite and blackbirds were nesting there in March – more than a month early – and went on to have up to three broods. The mild winter meant that slightly tender plants like salvias, impatiens and fuchsia thymifolia all re-grew at Cragside in May, to the surprise and delight of garden staff. The first breeding swallow pair for 12 years took up residence on Inner Farne in June, producing one brood. However, the increasingly unpredictable weather proved the nemesis for Beadnell Bay's Arctic Tern population on the north Northumberland coast. Unseasonal mid-summer storms saw 600 pairs washed out. On the Farne Islands, seal pupping began slowly in October but quickly picked up, with the autumn weather remaining reasonably kind. But just when it was thought the pups had escaped a repeat of the devastating storms that hit the Farnes in autumn 2008 decimating the population, a force-ten northerly gale battered the islands in late November washing many out to sea where they were drowned. The National Trust's regional nature conservation adviser said: "THE SEASONS ALL APPEAR TO BE TOPSY-TURVY with warmer springs, cooler and damper summers going into milder but wetter autumns and winters. Britain's wildlife is having to adapt and radically change to these new conditions. For every winner, there are always going to be losers. This year has been very verdant and flowery as plants have benefited from the warm spring and the dampness. But in wildlife eco-systems, even small changes to the delicate balance can have serious knock-on effects as species depend on each other for survival." 
KENYA – Climate change has raised average temperatures in the Central Highlands district of Kenya, allowing malaria to creep into higher altitude areas.
AUSTRALIA – RECORDS HAVE TUMBLED across Western Australia as a short lived heat wave makes its mark. On Monday many parts of the southwest sweltered as the mercury soared into the 40s. Tuesday however, the mercury smashed further into the high 40s, destroying some December records. Overnight, it was an uncomfortable one for many as minimums stubbornly refused to drop anywhere near average. Some places such as Karnet dropped to only 23 degrees, their WARMEST DECEMBER NIGHT SINCE 1965. Carnamah barely dropped to 29, 13 above average and their WARMEST DECEMBER NIGHT SINCE 1940.
AUSTRALIA – A major bushfire in the west Australian outback has destroyed almost 40 homes, as firefighters end a third month of fighting bushfires across the country. Bush fires have threatened South Australia and New South Wales since the southern hemisphere summer began.
Asteroid – According to Russia’s space agency, an asteroid named Apophis could hit the Earth in 2030s. Discovered in 2004, the Apophis asteroid is approximately the size of two-and-a-half football fields. Astronomers in 2004 had predicated its collision with Earth in 2009. But NASA has recalculated the path of Apophis. Further, they have dropped the possibility of an encounter from one in 45,000 to four-in-a million. The redefined path indicates that it could hit the Earth in 2036. Having more than 20 years of warning about the potential impact might seem plenty of time, but Russians do not intend to sit idle. In fact, the country has already started making plans before it’s too late to thwart the menace. Discussing their plan to avert the impending doom, the head of Russian space agency told Russian radio that they are working on a project to prevent the Apophis from colliding with Earth’s surface. The project could include the deployment of a spacecraft that will divert the path of the asteroid, without destroying it. No nuclear explosives will be used to break the path of Apophis. In fact, the project would be accomplished “on the basis of laws of physics”. Also, experts from all over the country could be invited to join the project to avert the impending disaster.
2009 is ending with a flurry of sunspots. Indeed, if sunspot 1039 holds together just one more day (prediction: it will), the month of December will accumulate a total of 22 spotted days. If the increasing trend continues exactly as shown (prediction: it won't), sunspots would become a non-stop daily occurance no later than February 2011. Blank suns would cease and solar minimum would be over. If the past two years have taught us anything, however, it is that the sun can be tricky and unpredictable. 
Blue Moon – This week, for the first time in almost twenty years, there's going to be a Blue Moon on New Year's Eve.
CHINA – 12/16/09 – The search continues for a full moon-bright meteoroid likely to have landed in west suburban Beijing on Wednesday in what astronomers said could lead to one of the biggest discoveries in Beijing this year. Witnesses in Beijing and nearby Tianjin recorded a clearly visible fireball-like meteorite descending near the west horizon of Beijing at 10:23 pm on Dec 16. The surveillance camera from the planetarium taped a 2-second footage of the fall phenomena, in which a bright shooting star, carrying a visible tail, flew towards the east and exploded into greater brightness before disappearing on the horizon. The location of the landing was estimated to be about 40 km west of downtown Beijing, or between 100 and 200 km from central Beijing. The Baihuashan mountainous area at the border of Beijing and nearby Hebei province was noted to be the most possible location. As of mid-2006, there have been approximately 1,050 witnessed falls producing meteorite specimens for the world's collections. (photos) 
MARYLAND – 12/15/09 – A mysterious, glowing hot object fell from the sky and landed on the beach in Ocean City last week, but it remains uncertain this week just what it is and from where it came. Early last Tuesday morning, an Ocean City cab driver was walking down the Boardwalk in the area of 22nd Street when he saw a bright glowing object fall from the sky from north to south and land on the beach roughly 20 yards away from him. “It crashed into the sand about 20 yards away from me. When I checked it out, it had made a hole in the sand about a foot and a half wide and about six inches deep. Whatever it was, it was glowing red hot with sparks and fire coming from some of the holes in it.” He examined the object closely, but could not handle it because of the heat. Instead, he buried it in the sand and marked the location with a stick. He returned about five or six hours later and recovered the object, which was still warm to the touch, but cool enough to pick up and handle. The unknown oblong object is about an inch-and-a-half long on its longest side and an inch or so wide. Its shape is irregular and appears to contain different types of material. It is covered with small holes around the outside that appear to be fissures of some sort. Weighed this week, it came it at exactly 20 grams. It is uncertain just what the object is and where it came from, but it fell from the sky during one of the most celebrated astronomical events in the northern hemisphere this year, lending credence to the working theory that is possibly a meteorite or other kind of space debris. The Geminid meteor shower arched its way across the northern hemisphere sky from Dec. 6-18, providing one of the most visible astronomical events of the year. “It’s the Geminid meteor shower and it should have peaked on Dec. 13th and 14th under ideal viewing conditions.The Geminids are strong and getting stronger each year.” Geminids are pieces of debris from a strange object known as 3200 Phaeton. Long thought to be an asteroid, Phaeton is now classified as an extinct comet. "It is basically the rocky skeleton of a comet that lost its ice after too many close encounters with the sun." According to NASA, most meteoroids disintegrate when entering the Earth’s atmosphere. However, an estimated 500 meteorites ranging in size from marbles to basketballs or larger do reach the surface each year. Few meteorites are large enough to create impact craters. Instead, they typically arrive at the surface at their terminal velocity and, at most, create a small pit. 
Eastern Europe, southern Asia are flu hot spots – Central and Eastern Europe are currently the hottest spots for pandemic flu activity, but activity is also intense in northern India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Flu activity seems to be waning in most of the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, but limited data indicate "high-intensity transmission" in Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt. More than 208 countries and territories have reported confirmed H1N1 cases, with 12,220 deaths. 
China launches broad epidemiologic investigation – China will launch a two-pronged nationwide investigation of H1N1 influenza to improve case counts and understanding of the disease's communicabilit. One arm will survey 54,000 people in 12 provinces, cities, and regions in three time periods in 2010, while the other will involve one-time collection of blood samples from 12,400 people in 31 provinces and additional political units. 
North Korea issues flu alert – A humanitarian agency said North Korea recently issued a nationwide alert about its apparently worsening outbreak of pandemic flu. North Korean officials declared that novel H1N1 patients should be given priority. The statement was of A TYPE ISSUED ONLY TWICE BEFORE, for war-related casualties in the 1950s and in 2002. South Korea has shipped 500,000 doses of antivirals to the North.
The WHO head warns the global swine flu pandemic is not over and the virus could still mutate into a more dangerous strain. 
H1N1 reinfections – Chilean physicians have found pandemic flu reinfection in three patients, ages 14, 38, and 62 years. Both initial and repeat infections were confirmed via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, considered very reliable. The authors attributed the reinfections, which occurred 2 to 3 weeks after recovery from the initial illness, to incomplete immunity after the first infection and said one or two may have resulted from exposure in the hospital. (pdf file)
U.S. – Pandemic flu activity continued its decline the week of Dec 13 to 19, with only seven states reporting widespread cases, down from 11 the week before. Flu and pneumonia mortality dipped below the epidemic threshold for the first time in several weeks, and outpatient visits for flulike illness dropped to the national baseline. Nine pediatric flu deaths were reported, the same as the previous week. 
Flu H1N1 virus activity is still declining in Europe, except in the southeast. Deaths are increasing in Central and Eastern Europe. The report for the week ending Dec 20 comments on the D222G/D222N virus mutations, which have been seen in some severe cases. The ECDC said the mutations also have been found in mild cases and that they represent a natural variation likely to have little impact on public health. (pdf file) 
FDA licenses high-dose flu vaccine for elderly – The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a high-dose seasonal influenza vaccine for elderly people, whose aging immune systems may not respond effectively to flu vaccines intended for younger people. The vaccine, Fluzone High-Dose, made by Sanofi Pasteur, contains four times as much antigen (active ingredient) as standard seasonal flu vaccines. The vaccine is intended for people aged 65 years and older and will be available in time for the 2010-11 flu season. In a large phase 3 trial conducted during the 2006-07 flu season, the vaccine induced significantly stronger immune responses than standard-dose vaccine did. Non-serious side effects were more common with the high-dose vaccine, but the overall safety profile was similar to that of the standard vaccine, the company said. The study did not assess actual protection from flu. Researchers estimate that elderly people account for about 90% of the deaths related to seasonal flu each year. Each dose of Fluzone High-Dose will contain 180 micrograms (mcg) of antigen – 60 mcg for each of the three flu strains normally targeted in seasonal vaccines. Standard seasonal flu vaccines contain 15 mcg for each strain, for a total of 45 mcg. The FDA used its "accelerated approval pathway" to review the vaccine. 
Disinfectants can effectively train bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics – Disinfectants commonly used in home and medical facilities can boost the resistance of some bacteria to life-saving antibiotics, according to a study. P. aeruginosa, responsible for one-in-10 hospital-acquired infections, is a so-called "opportunistic" bacteria that attacks people with weakened immune systems. In laboratory experiments, researchers showed that the bug can rapidly mutate, building resistance to progressively higher doses of a disinfectant known as BSK, or benzalkonium chloride. Safe for humans, BSK is widely-used in cleaning and disinfecting products to kill bacteria, fungi and algae. The DNA-altered bacteria were able withstand concentrations of BSK up to 400 TIMES greater than the non-mutated strain. More critically, they also developed a resistance to an antibiotic, ciprofloxacin, even though they had never been exposed to the drug. Ciprofloxacin is a front-line medication in the fight against several bacterial infections and is also the drug of last-resort against the deadly disease anthrax. "This is very, very worrying. We found that in both cases – for the disinfectant and the antibiotic – the (mutated) bacteria was taking them in but expelling them just as quickly. It would be like trying to pump air into a bicycle tire with a huge hole in it." This does not mean that disinfectants should not be used at all. "The message is to use them properly – don't water them down to concentrations where they are no longer effective."
Johnson & Johnson – is expanding a voluntary recall of Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets due to consumer reports of a moldy smell that can cause nausea and sickness.

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
Christians win right on 'Allah' reference
By Eileen Ng 
January 1, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia | A Malaysian court ruled Thursday that Christians have the constitutional right to use the word Allah to refer to God, striking down a government ban as illegal. The landmark ruling appeared to be a victory for freedom of religion in the Muslim-majority country, where the ban had become a symbol of what minorities say is institutionalized religious discrimination. Government lawyers said they will consult with the Home Ministry before deciding whether to appeal Judge Lau Bee Lan's verdict in a higher court, where the ban could still be reinstated. They have one month to appeal.
Use the Quran to share Christ with Muslim, veteran missionary suggests
By George Henson, Staff Writer 
The Baptist Standard 
December 31, 2009 
ANGLETON—Winning Muslim converts to Christianity is difficult, but veteran missionary Kevin Greeson knows a way—start with the Quran. Greeson, who has served 16 years with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board working to start Christian movements among Muslims in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, stressed the importance of spreading the good news of Christ with Muslims. “The best way to fight terrorism is to share the gospel. And I believe that not because I want to fight terrorism, but because there are lost people,” he explained. Debating religious tenets with Muslims is a waste of time, Greeson added. Muslims are taught to memorize the Quran in Arabic, not analyze it, he said.
'Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus'
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
December 29, 2009
An editorial in a Danish newspaper, citing both foreign and domestic policies pursued by President Barack Obama, is deifying the American political leader. "Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus – if we have to play that absurd Christmas game," opined the unsigned editorial yesterday in Politiken, which boasts of being Denmark's largest newspaper, in publication since 1884. The English translation is provided online by Julian Isherwood. It continued, "But it is probably more meaningful to insist that with today's domestic triumph, that he has already assured himself a place in the history books – a space he has good chances of expanding considerably in coming years." The newspaper says Obama "is provocative in insisting on an outstretched hand, where others only see animosity." And while "his tangible results in the short time that he has been active – are few and far between," his words "remain in the consciousness of their audience and have long-term effects."  "He comes from humble beginnings and defends the weak and vulnerable, because he can identify himself with their conditions," the newspaper said. "And no we are not thinking of Jesus Christ, whose birthday has just been celebrated – but rather the President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama."
Fire worship in Rajasthan to check global warming 
2nd January, 2010 
Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan), Jan 2 : The holy fire ritual known as Yagna Havan was organised by a group of Hindus here with the belief that it will reduce the ill effects of pollution. The Havan came to an end on Friday. 151 priests chanting Vedic hymns took part in the ritual. "There have been scientific tests conducted on the impact of Yagna on pollution. After the performance of Yagna, the environment in the neighbourhood of that region was found to be good," said Raghuvir Dalmiya, chief organiser of Yagna, Jhunjhunu. More than 13,000 people from Jhunjhunu as well as other nearby places participated in the Yagna and made offerings to the holy fire.

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

“You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endured to the end will be delivered.”  Matthew 10:22
Christians in India Faced Three Attacks per Week in 2009
NEW DELHI, December 31 (CDN) — 
After unprecedented large-scale attacks on Christians in the previous two years, 2009 brought hardly any respite as the minority faith faced an average of more than three violent attacks a week. There were at least 152 attacks on Christians in 2009, according to the “Partial List of Major Incidents of Anti-Christian Violence in India” released by the Evangelical Fellowship of India. “The trend of attacks on the Christian community by rightwing Hindu groups goes unabated,” said Dr. Dominic Emmanuel, the spokesperson of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese. “Overall, the Christian community still feels insecure.”
Iraq: More attacks against Christians in Mosul
Asia News
Dec. 31, 2009
Mosul – Attacks continue against Christians to push them to flee from Iraq. Yesterday afternoon Zhaki Homo Bashir, a Christian deacon, was hit by gunfire from a group of unknown criminals. The man had just entered his shop located in the district of al Jadida. Seriously injured, he was transported to hospital. AsiaNews published the news yesterday of the kidnapping a college student from an Islamic group. News has also reached the agency in recent days that another Christian was killed on Christmas Eve; Basil Isho Youhanna was hit by gunfire in front of his house in the neighbourhood of Tahrir, in northern Mosul. In recent weeks there has been an increase of killings of Christians and attacks on churches and convents. All the violence is part of a project of "ethnic cleansing" against the Iraqi Christians, reported to AsiaNews by Msgr. Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk. The national government and the local governorate are powerless before these attacks, while the different ethnic groups Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen – with the possible infiltration of extremist cells – are all blaming each other.
Supporters Detained Missionary Launch Freedom Balloons For North Korea
By BosNewsLife Asia Service with BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos
January 1, 2010 
Supporters of American Christian missionary Robert Park, who is believed to have been detained in North Korea, launched hundreds of balloons on New Year's day with texts calling for freedom in the isolated nation. The yellow balloons containing anti-North Korea leaflets were released from South Korea near the border, confirmed activist Choi Woo-won. "Greeting the New Year, we are delivering our messages of freedom and hope to North Korea,” he told reporters. The action came a day after an overseas prayer vigil in front of the North Korean diplomatic mission in New York, participants told BosNewsLife. “We held a very successful prayer vigil and demonstration outside the North Korean diplomatic office in New York,” demonstrator Dr. Stephen Price told BosNewsLife.
Egypt's Coptic Christians battle for ID cards
By Christian Fraser
BBC News, Cairo
26 December 2009
In the grounds of one of the city's oldest Christian churches, Girgis Gabriel Girgis is tattooing a baby girl. She is very young, only about three years old, and branding the blue cross onto the girl's inside wrist brings a piercing shrill scream. But for these parents, this is a proud moment. The tattoo symbolises community and identity. Others queue patiently as Girgis wipes away the dye to reveal a tiny Coptic cross. They all shout "Allah!", which is the Arabic for God whether you're Christian or Muslim.
Accused Pakistani Christian Says Muslims Tried to Coerce Him
Dec. 30 2009
Compass Direct News|Brian Sharma
LAHORE, Pakistan (Compass Direct News) – A Pakistani Christian accused of killing a Muslim during the Aug. 1 Islamist attack on Christians in Gojra said he was arrested and tortured only because he was a key witness of the mob assault that left at least seven Christians burned to death. Naveed Masih, released on bail on Wednesday, Dec. 23, told Compass that several Muslims have offered him large amounts of money to alter his testimony regarding the assault in Gojra, 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Faisalabad in Punjab Province. The mob attack, prompted by calls from Muslim clerics spreading a false rumor of “blasphemy” of the Quran, included banned Islamic terrorist groups and resulted in the looting of more than 100 houses and the burning of 50 of them; at least 19 people were injured.

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