CHOSEN: End Times Newsletter – Issue 121
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:32
By Claytia Doran
Submitted by Johanna
The tree stood tall and proud,
As it offered the woman its shade.
It tried so hard to protect her.
For, it felt she was afraid.
She leaned against its trunk.
Her sobs rustled through the leaves,
Sighing lightly like the breeze;
Echo's of a heart that grieves.
The tears ran like a river
And watered deep the roots,
Bringing forth the blossoms
That would later bear the fruits.
The tree stood tall and proud
As the soldiers checked it out.
"I think this one will do.
Cut it down," he heard them shout.
They cut and carved upon that tree;
Stripped it of blossom and bark.
Then, they made a rugged cross.
That's the day the world turned dark.
As Jesus hung upon that tree,
He was the last fruit it would bear.
For, Jesus was the fruit of God.
He was long suffering and full of care.
The tree no longer stood proud,
As the blood of the Lamb did stain.
It bent with the weight of its shame
And it wanted to weep from the pain.
Jesus whispered to the tree,
"From this day forth shall you cry."
Thus grew the weeping willow
That had watched the Savior die.
This Too Shall Pass
by: Helen Steiner Rice
Submitted by Regina
If I can endure for this minute
Whatever is happening to me,
No matter how heavy my heart is
Or how dark the moment may be-
If I can remain calm and quiet
With all the world crashing about me,
Secure in the knowledge God loves me
When everyone else seems to doubt me-
If I can but keep on believing
What I know in my heart to be true,
That darkness will fade with the morning
And that this will pass away, too-
Then nothing in life can defeat me
For as long as this knowledge remains
I can suffer whatever is happening
For I know God will break all of the chains
That are binding me tight in the darkness
And trying to fill me with fear-
For there is no night without dawning
And I know that my morning is near.
Strength of an Ox
Proverbs 14:4 — Where there are no oxen, the feeding-trough is empty, but an abundant harvest [comes] through the strength of an ox.
This is a deeply interesting concept that was come across, because it discusses how important strength can be in our own lives, our walk with Father, and even the battles we come across.
Joshua 14:11 — I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out. My strength for battle and for daily tasks is now as it was then.
In this concept, it can be found that not only is strength important, but also the vigor and endurance to maintain the strength, and further that the strength should not change throughout the course of time. In each individual's own heart, I am not sure whether or not there may be other animals that may be able to help in cultivating good plants to produce good fruit, symbolically that is, but if there are no other animals to help, the strength to produce a harvest must come through the strength that Father provides. Father's strength nourishes and supports and is everlasting, and is much greater than any other. Therefore, the strength that Father provides can yield an abundant harvest. At the same time, however, it is not as if Father has not provided the means to receive help or to help lighten the loads that we do carry. Or, perhaps even to be able to lighten another's load.
It is important to also consider that Father has provided all these different tools to be able to perform the daily work that Father has for oneself. Not only tools to utilize while working, but also tools to maintain the tools that oneself uses to work with. Hence, a feeding-trough to maintain oxen, and oxen to help perform the cultivation. The feeding-trough, in this sense, then utilizes food that comes from Father, because Father is the source of all good and nourishment. To maintain all that Father has provided, we use what Father has provided to begin with, and for all of this, we can still be that much more thankful to Father.
Psalm 28:7 — The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I praise Him with my song.
In a couple more concepts about strength, those that strength train as athletes strength train differently than those that train as body builders. An athlete may not have the huge muscles that a body builder may have, but the body builder may not have the same skill set as the athlete may have. An athlete trains for their art, but produces a different set of muscles that can be utilized for specific reasons in specific ways. A body builder may do the same, but the result of such exercise is a physical body that looks different…in fact, it can almost be seen the difference between the two types. And in that way, a person may become a tool for Father for different uses, as some are gifted in some things, while others have gifts in other areas. And to an extent, a body builder's strength can be used to plow as much as different athlete's strength, just in different ways. A runner may be able to plow lightly and for different periods of time, while a body builder can plow deeply for short periods of time. They all, however still follow the same rules and guidelines Father has provided.
2 Timothy 5 — Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
1 Corinthians 9:24 — Do you not know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
Many things may also help to increase a person's strength. In a sense, turning something difficult or harsh into something good. An unfortunate common theme that may be recognized in one's work area is the attitude of, “is it time to go home?” or, “I'd rather be at home right now…” Rather than utilizing the difficulty of one's work to have a better attitude about the work one is doing, the opposite might be occurring. To take Father's Tribulation and grow something good from this, would be like taking an old and busted car that barely functions properly, investing the time and a good attitude into it, and restoring it to brand new, and nowadays, such old and restored vehicles are seen as rare and extremely valuable.
Matthew 13:52 — "Therefore," He said to them, "every student of Scripture instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who brings out of his storeroom what is new and what is old."
Romans 5:3-5 — And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Revelation 3:10 — Because you have kept My command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come over the whole world to test those who live on the earth.
Nourishment From The Throne
Cherubic Commander: Those in this wicked world that are in the know and are opposed against Father's Son's reign as King over his own Kingdom are actively directing the demons to the sources that will enable them to produce the warriors to help in the fight against Michael and his Lions of Zion. The reason for top secrecy is because they cannot tell the masses that they are preparing for battle against Christ's forces that are due to come under Michael's command to rid creation of the evil forces. This is why the U.S. Air Force and Naval Intelligence gives the statement that UFO's are no threat to national security. They know that some of the craft are of Satanic origin. Those that are from Father, they well know serve as a threat to the entire planet's security, but they are planning out their strategy and are moving their chess pieces appropriately.
What the demons have studied and achieved through diligent persistence. "Replication" but still counterfeit humans.
"Molecular Biology- Molecular biology is the study of molecular process of replication, transcription and translation of the genetic material. Much of the work in molecular biology is quantitative, and recently much work has been done at the interface of molecular biology and computer science in bioinformatics and computational biology."
Modern day science lends the demons a hand.
"Primary Cells- ScienCell Research Laboratories offers 20 normal human cell systems with over 90 different cell types. We also provide normal animal cells as well as cell-derived cDNA, RNA, and proteins."
The demons going a step farther are able to integrate human cells with animal cells and achieve the hybrid in the flesh. Working with combined cells but not those of mice, they use modern day knowledge with the added ability of their powers to attain working specimens. They are the rogue scientists of the spirit realm. Casting off the old non workable ways for the fresh research and combined efforts of their own vast knowledge to achieve remarkable but uncanny hybrids.
hybrid >noun 1 the offspring of two plants or animals of different species or varieties, such as a mule. 2 a thing made by combining two different elements.
-DERIVATIVES hybridity >noun.
-ORIGIN Latin hybrida 'offspring of a tame sow and wild boar, child of a freeman and slave, etc.'
Go back to the Old Testament and read how Father warned against such practice of breeding certain animals together to spawn hybrids. Though it is possible, it goes against nature, and nature is your Mother. The demons carry the process many steps farther.
Do not have tunnel vision. When you think of the holy angelic army, think of the LOZ. The reason: They are what the Israelite army foreshadowed in ancient times. Why? Because the Israelite army consisted of flesh and blood, and they served as Father's dually appointed executioners. The LOZ is not the Cherubic Order. Not the Seraphic Order, nor any other single Order of holy angels. They are a composite of the various Orders from Heaven. But, they have a special duty. They are to become flesh and blood warriors. They are broken up into tribes as follows: The Eastern tribes are Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. The Southern tribes are Reuben, Simeon and Gad. The western tribes are Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin. The northern tribes are Dan, Asher and Naphtali. To form the "3" union, the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Menasseh also were designated the status of independent tribes.
When Father took the old Promised Land from Her enemies, how did She propose to crush the opposition? Did Father do all of the fighting Herself, or did She use those that had a stake in living in the Promised Land? You have learned in the past that the holy angels of Heaven will be rewarded in likeness to mankind. So, they must fight for that inheritance, just like the ancient Israelites fought. Father uses what is necessary in a battle designed to be fair for both sides. It balances the scale. Pure angelic warfare against the opposing side would be unfair odds. Therefore, to even the match, we must fight Satan's human agents in likeness. To fight spirit demons, we will use our forces in the spirit realm. Flesh to flesh, spirit energy to spirit energy. If Satan slants his side to an unfair advantage by propagating hybrids, then we will alter our strategies to compensate against them. In ancient Israel's fight for the then Promised Land, the holy angelic hosts did take part in some battles against demonic forces. It will be the same at Armageddon. But as Daniel 2:44 states, we must CRUSH and put and end to all of the opposition. That "Crush" requires that we do so under the Rules of War that Father has laid out.
All of you need to go back and study the ancient battles fought by the Israelite army. Although we will fight with modern equipment, it will still be on an even field of battle.
Read for inconsistencies and added thought:
P.S. No one will be reanimated during the battle of Armageddon. To win, Satan must exterminate Father's LOZ, or we must exterminate all of the opposition. The latter is the plan.
Signs From Above
“He rescues and delivers, He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:27
UFO or what? Strange blue lights over Tracy caught on video
Jan 16, 2010
TRACY, CA – No one in Tracy is quite sure what to make of the sight, but the appearance of strange blue light in the skies over the town prompted several calls to News10 as well as the Tracy Police Department Thursday night. The sight of the blue light, which seemed to rise and fall and blink off and on over Tracy Thursday generated plenty of calls to the Tracy Police Department after it first appeared around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman.
Is This Strange Cloud The Sign Of An Invisible Triangle UFO?
Jan 14, 2010
One of the latest sightings reported by the UFO group MUFON is captured in this image. The photographer thinks this oddly-shaped cloud might have been caused by a triangle-shaped UFO hidden under an invisibility cloak. Maybe it's just my one-track mind, but I see a giant dragon's mouth here. But according to the person who reported the sighting: I was in the kitchen looking outside and I saw a strange cloud formation. I grabed my camera a took two photos of what seemed like an invisible trinagle surrounded by clouds.
New close-up UFO footage from the night that shook China
All News Web
Jan 13, 2010
It was China's 'official night of the UFOs': Those who witnessed the UFO event will never forget where they were at the time. Two white, cloud-like UFOs were seen over a wide area of Shandong Province by millions of witnesses. The event was widely reported in the Chinese media (See Shanghai Daily article).
Astronomers on Verge of Finding Habitable Worlds
The discovery of an Earth-like, extrasolar planet could happen sooner than you think.
Jan 8, 2010
Astronomers say they are on the verge of finding planets like Earth orbiting other stars, a key step in determining if we are alone in the universe. A top NASA official and other leading scientists say that within four or five years they should discover the first Earth-like planet where life could develop, or may have already. A planet close to the size of Earth could even be found sometime this year if preliminary hints from a new space telescope pan out.
Giant UFO filmed flying alongside an airplane above Kuwait
All News Web
Jan 17, 2010
This intriguing UFO footage, captured over ten years ago in 1998, has just been made public by the witness who filmed the sighting . Not much is known about the UFO event depicted in the short clip other than the fact that it was taken on a flight out of Kuwait shortly after take off.
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
Swarms of Engineered Voodoo Wasps Will Seek and Destroy Crop Pests
by Jeremy Hsu
January 15, 2010
A day of reckoning has come for destructive crop pests, in the form of vicious voodoo wasps that can convert hapless insects into zombies. Scientists have cracked the genome code for three species of the parasitic wasp, in hopes of deploying them against pests that destroy billions of tons of crops per year, The Independent reports.
White House Economic Adviser: Jobs Picture is 'Still Terrible'
January 10, 2010
A top White House economic adviser said Sunday "you'll get no argument from" her on the need to improve the miserable jobs picture. Council of Economic Advisers chief Christina Romer said it's devastating that some workers have been unemployed for two years and that job losses were continuing nearly a year after passage of the so-called stimulus bill.
Iran protesters died in overcrowded cell
by Fredrik Dahl
January 11, 2010
More than 145 people detained after Iran's disputed June election were kept for several days in a room of 70 square metres at a Tehran jail, including three who died, a parliamentary report was quoted as saying. In rare official criticism of the treatment of post-vote detainees, the investigative committee's report said Tehran's then prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi ordered the group transferred to Kahrizak detention centre, despite a lack of space there.
German economy shrank 5% in 2009
January 13, 2010
The German economy shrank by 5% in 2009, hit by a slump in exports and investment, official data has shown. It was the first time in six years that the economy had shrunk, and it was the largest contraction since World War II, the Federal Statistics Office said. Germany, Europe's largest economy, emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2009.
£8bn a year spent on 'ineffective dementia care'
by Sarah Cassidy
January 14, 2010
The Government's dementia strategy looks set to fail its 600,000 sufferers, because the condition has not been made a national priority despite costing more than heart disease, stroke and cancer combined. As much as £8.2 billion is still being spent on ineffective dementia care every year, a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) concludes today.
Signs in Humanity
Dozens Arrested in Massive Ga. Kiddie Porn Crackdown
January 15, 2010
ATLANTA — A massive child pornography crackdown this week netted results all across Georgia, as authorities arrested 53 people, executed 80 search warrants and seized almost 300 computers in what is being described as an all-out effort to stifle the illegal business.
The Avatar effect: Movie-goers feel depressed and even suicidal at not being able to visit utopian alien planet
by Liz Thomas
January 12, 2010
A utopian planet inhabited by blue aliens is the ideal setting for a bit of cinematic escapism. But the world of the sci-fi epic Avatar is so perfect the line between fact and fiction has become somewhat blurred. Movie-goers have admitted being plagued by depression and suicidal thoughts at not being able to visit the planet Pandora.
Guns used as 'sex toys' in sordid manslaughter
by Michael Carl
January 11, 2010
PORTLAND, Maine – In a case that is pulling back the curtain on the violence of the homosexual lifestyle, a prosecutor today told a jury here that a high-profile "gay marriage" advocate suspected in the death of another man during a clandestine meeting often used his guns as "sex toys."
Mexico Opens New Year With 69 Drug Murders in One Day
January 12, 2010
MEXICO CITY — Mexico opened the new year with what could be its most dubious distinction yet in the 3-year-old battle against drug trafficking — 69 murders in one day. The country resembled a grim, statistical dart board Saturday as law enforcement and media reported the deaths from various regions, including 26 in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, 13 in and around Mexico City and 10 in the northern city of Chihuahua.
The horrifying moment lynch mob beats to death a looter and drags his body through the streets as Haiti descends into anarchy
By Daily Mail Reporter
17th January 2010
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT A mob of men and children watch as the bloodied corpse of a suspected thief is brutally beaten by a man with a stick. The victim is naked and bound at his hands and feet. It is broad daylight in the devastated capital city of Haiti. These are the latest in a series of chilling images from the country as anarchy threatens to destabilise the relief effort following Tuesday's earthquake. Fears are growing for the continued safety of the nation with violence rife as scavengers and looters swarm over the wrecks of shops, carrying off anything they can find. Robbers prey on survivors struggling without supplies in makeshift camps on roadsides littered with debris and decomposing bodies.
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 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.
Christielb – Anneville, KY. – I am from Annville Ky. I am a single mother, my son is 6 yrs old. Me and him live with my parents. They are on a fixed income, and barely get by themselves. I dont have any income except child support payments that my ex husband pays, and he is behind on his payments…. which makes it really hard for me to be able to provide for my son. I dont have a car, or my license, but I do have my drivers permit. I am planning to get my license soon, but I dont have a car.. I have been making skirts for women in my church and that helps me to be able to get a few things for us. There is one thing that I want for myself, and that is a guitar. I dont care if its old or new. I did play my moms guitar but hers tore up. I cant afford to buy a guitar, or I would…. so Ive asked ppl I know if they know of anyone who would have one to give away but so far noone has one that they are willing to give away. I love playing guitar and I would really like to have one to play at my church.. that is where I learned to play…. and when I go to church I miss not being able to play. For my son, he needs clothes. I can give his sizes if anyone wants to help out. I cant afford to buy new ones, and I've looked at several clothing places and I cant find his size… and the ones I do find have holes or are torn in places….. he has shoes and socks and underwear, but he needs pants and shirts for school…. and he has plenty toys, so he doesnt need any of those. Just clothes is what he needs. My parents, they need prayer… my dad is a preacher .. and my mom sings in church. They need prayer… and I need prayer too. I have some things going on … not that can physically be taken care of, but spiritually and emotionally. so I could use prayer on that too. Thanks so much.
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
5.2 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.2 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
5.5 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
6.0 SOUTH OF MARIANA ISLANDS
5.2 WEST CHILE RISE
5.7 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.2 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.1 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.1 HAITI REGION
5.0 HAITI REGION
5.3 HAITI REGION
5.3 HAITI REGION
5.5 HAITI REGION
5.0 HAITI REGION
5.4 HAITI REGION
5.1 HAITI REGION
5.4 HAITI REGION
5.4 HAITI REGION
5.2 HAITI REGION
5.3 HAITI REGION
5.1 HAITI REGION
5.4 KEPULAUAN KAI, INDONESIA
5.7 HAITI REGION
5.6 HAITI REGION
5.8 HAITI REGION
7.1 HAITI REGION
5.1 LUZON, PHILIPPINES
5.1 NORTHEAST OF TAIWAN
5.0 PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.2 MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.0 JAVA, INDONESIA
5.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.4 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
6.5 OFFSHORE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
5.0 PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.4 SOLOMON ISLANDS
6.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.3 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 MOLUCCA SEA
5.4 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
CALIFORNIA – A powerful 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern California. The quake occurred 35 kilometres west of Ferndale and 360 kilometres northwest of Sacramento, at a depth of 16 kilometres. The temblor hit at 4:27 pm (0027 GMT) and was followed by a series of four aftershocks measuring 3.7, 3.8, 3.5 and 3.6. Windows broke or popped out of storefronts in Ferndale. Local media also reported a brief powercut, ruptured gas lines and there were initial reports of damage to Ferndale's city hall building. The initial jolt was felt as far away as San Francisco.
The earthquake struck Eureka Saturday, leaving much of the city without power and police scanners buzzing with reports of damage and injuries. The quake, which lasted for around 30 seconds, had power poles waving back and forth along Eureka streets and brought panicked residents out of their homes. The Bayshore Mall, as of 5:30 p.m., had been closed off to customers and employees. It was unclear how many people were injured there, but one employee reported that several people were picked up by ambulances. Employees also reported light fixtures falling out of the ceiling and floor tiles popping up off the ground. Another employee reported seeing chunks of the ceiling fall onto customers.
CALIFORNIA – Saturday's 6.5 earthquake was the first major temblor to hit the North Coast in nearly 15 years.
HAITI – A powerful earthquake of 7.0 magnitude rocked Haiti just before 5 pm Eastern time, 10 miles southwest from the highly populated capital of Port-au-Prince, causing widespread damage and panic with the potential for a high number of casualties. There were five aftershocks that followed in the last hour, and more were expected. The city has about 2 million people. According to several news reports, a large hospital in the capital collapsed, and people were screaming in streets full of rubble. An earthquake of this magnitude HAS NOT HIT THE REGION IN MORE THAN 250 YEARS. Scientists were quickly conducting water level measurements and other analyses to determine whether the quake set off a tsunami in other parts of the Caribbean. As of 6 p.m. Eastern, they had not detected one. Because the fault that likely caused the earthquake is on land, rather than in the water, there was less of a probability of a tsunami. Haiti’s geology is complicated and unpredictable. “There are all sorts of earthquake mechanisms that are mixed up in that area. From what we understand of the mechanism of the earthquake, a tsunami should not have been generated, but nature does give us surprises.” Since 2008, the island has been struck by at least three severe hurricanes – Gustav, Hanna and Ike – that have wrought nearly a billion dollars worth of damage and killed 800 people. All of this has taken place against the backdrop of food riots, health crises and near constant government instability and upheavals.
HAITI – thousands feared dead in 7.1 Haiti earthquake. The tremor sparked widespread panic as it brought down buildings including the presidential palace, hotels, a hospital and the UN headquarters in the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince (affected landmarks on Google maps). Large numbers of UN staff were reported to be missing, as well as two American and two Australian citizens. The quake was the strongest to hit the country in 200 years and was felt as far away as Cuba. Many gravely injured people sat in the streets, pleading for doctors. With almost no emergency services to speak of, the surivors had few other options. "It's really a catastrophe of major proportions." Many resident were forced to abandon the ruins of their homes, and were squatting in sports grounds and open spaces in the hours following the quake. Few dared to return indoors, terrified of being buried in one of the huge aftershocks which continued to shake the city. Tens of thousands of people are estimated to be homeless.
HAITI – The death toll in the earthquake that devastated Haiti on Tuesday could surpass 100,000. The Haitian president said he saw piles of corpses as he walked the streets of his capital, Port-au-Prince, and that the consequences of the quake were “unimaginable.” Eyewitnesses spoke of moans and muffled cries emerging from pancaked buildings. Survivors dug with their bare hands to rescue trapped victims. Crowds formed in open spaces, because people had no homes to return to or were afraid that weakened structures would collapse upon them. All of the capital’s hospitals were destroyed or abandoned because they were unsafe, and aid groups set up makeshift hospital tents alongside them. The aid groups did what they could to help, but were also busy searching for their own dead and missing. The centre of the white, wedding cake-style presidential palace collapsed. So did the other main symbol of authority in Haiti, the United Nations headquarters, with 100 to 150 people still unaccounted for. Fires burned across the city, which was without running water, electricity or telecommunications. The homes of more affluent Haitians, which have concrete roofs, turned out to be death-traps, while the corrugated steel lean-tos in the slums were less dangerous. The initial quake was over 7 on the Richter scale, and it was followed by some 30 after-shocks of up to 4.5 magnitude. Before the tremor, the mayor of Port-au Prince had said 60 per cent of the capital’s buildings were unsafe. The scale of the task facing relief workers was underlined by a Red Cross estimate that about three million people were in need of emergency help.
Tectonics and poor construction conspired to create devastation in Haiti – The earthquake was a massive, shallow eruption beneath a heavily populated area that lacked stringent building standards, resulting in catastrophe. The magnitude 7.0 quake occurred near the boundary between two major tectonic plates, the Caribbean and North American plates. Most of the movement along these plates is what is known as left-lateral strike-slip motion, with the Caribbean plate moving eastward in relation to the North America plate. Before about 1950, a given-sized earthquake would do about the same amount of damage in the developed and underdeveloped world. Now the loss of life is typically 10 times higher in developing countries and the damage can be as much as 100 times higher. Older construction in Haiti was built at a time when "people didn't know better." And new construction has not kept pace with advances in earthquake engineering.
HAITI – Conditions in the Haitian capital were described as "the Apocalypse" – "We spent the day picking up dead bodies. All day, that's what we did. There's so much bodies in the streets that the morgues are filled up, the cemeteries are filled up. The count is not 100,000 there's at least, has to be four to five hundred thousand people that is about to die…We have to raise a million dollars a day. In four or five days, this whole country is going to be in chaos."
Haiti Earthquake Disaster Little Surprise to Some Seismologists – The devastating magnitude 7.0 quake that ripped through Haiti Tuesday, reportedly killing thousands, did not catch everyone by surprise. In an interview last week for an unrelated story, Robert Yeats, a professor emeritus in geoscience at Oregon State University said that an imminent big west coast earthquake concerned him far less than a "big one" that might occur in Haiti, due to the large fault near the capital city of Port-au-Prince – and the poverty-driven low level of earthquake-preparedness there. "If they have an earthquake on this fault that runs through Port-au-Prince," the death toll would be tremendous, he said January 6. The fault, called the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden Fault, runs some 16 kilometers from Port-au-Prince and is at the intersection of the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates, which are slowly sliding past one another. This movement creates a strike-slip fault, the same kind as the San Andreas Fault in California, where the North American and Pacific plates are sliding in different directions. And like the San Andreas, the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden Fault has been building up pressure. The two plates are "shearing the island, crushing it, grinding it." So although such a large earthquake has not shaken Haiti since the 18th century, "this is quite an earthquake-prone region." Geologic groups have been monitoring the area for decades, and a University of Texas team has been keeping a close eye on the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden Fault. Two years ago at the 2008 Caribbean Geological Conference, the group asserted that there was enough stress built up to cause a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. The Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden Fault is one of dozens around the world that run through populous, but often poorly prepared, areas. Last week, Yeats also called the city of Tehran, Iran, "a time bomb that is waiting to go off." Other worrisome locales, he notes, are Lima, Peru, and Karachi, Pakistan, as well as much of Turkey.
MONTSERRAT – Scientists monitoring the Soufriere Hills Volcano Friday reported a “large pyroclastic flow” of hot rock, ash and gas on the northern section of the island and urged persons within the area to evacuate immediately. “There has been a pretty large pyroclastic flow, probably a dome collapse. We don’t know the true size of the collapse at the moment, but we do know that pryoclastic flows have probably reached the sea." Since the start of the year, the scientists have been reporting that the “morphology of the summit of the lava dome is changing quite rapidly” and that although some of the dome is obscured by clouds, there is a clear significant addition of lava on the northern side. “Initial estimates suggest that this is approximately 60 meters high and more than 100 meters wide,” the MVO said in a bulletin this week, adding that recent photographs “demonstrate that the size and shape of the lava dome can change rapidly and that a significant amount of lava has been added to the summit region of the northern part of the lava dome over the last three days.“ It was for this reason that the authorities have maintained a “Level Four” alert in order to prevent persons from entering the danger zones associated with the volcano that first began erupting in 1995.
COSTA RICA – vulcanologists inspected the Turrialba volcano and discovered that the ridge, separating two new craters formed after an eruption of ash this week, had collapsed, leaving a large crater 65 meters (213 feet) in diameter. This was “a normal morphological change since gas emissions erode the walls of the crater, but that does not mean that activity is building up inside the volcano.” The formation of a new crater inside the Turrialba volcano, located in the eastern part of the country, has caused ash discharges since Tuesday. Costa Rican experts say that no eruption of lava is likely, at least for the moment, since their studies have shown no indication of magma activity.
Is Yellowstone Caldera stabilizing? Recent seismic evidence says yes. With the caldera slowing its rise and seismic activity in the Park receding to normal levels, a new stretch of stability may in store for the Yellowstone National Park supervolcano. A report from the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory noted the slowdown in the rise of the caldera, as measured by GPS data collected between mid-2004 and mid-2009; in fact, the slowdown is total and could indicate a stop in the rise. This fits with predictions made back in 2007 about how the supervolcano would act: researchers had predicted the caldera would rise for a relatively short period of tume but then the uplift would end, leading to a stable period in supervolcano activity. The uplift has indeed apparently ended. Add to that a relatively quiet month in seismic activity, and you have the makings of stability. The December readings indicated a normal month, with only 70 earthquakes recorded in the Yellowstone National Park region. No earthquake swarms were recorded in December.
MONTSERRAT – Scientists at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory confirmed that a large pyroclastic flow forming event occurred at Soufriere Hills volcano on Friday afternoon around 2:49pm. The island came to a temporary standstill as everyone took in the sight of the massive ash cloud that exploded but amazingly did not send much ash and no ballistic material into inhabited areas. Several residents remarked that they had not seen an ash cloud that broad since the early days of the volcano’s reawakening in the mid 1990s. Cloud cover around the top of the volcano is inhibiting visibility and scientists are not able to tell if the dome which has been growing rapidly since December has diminished considerably. (photo)
MONTSERRAT – Even as Montserratians this weekend cleaned ash from their communities following last Friday's large pyroclastic flow, scientists at the Volcano Observatory on Sunday were recording more explosions throughout the day. The MVO reported that just before 1:30 in the morning, a seismic signal was recorded that indicated an explosion had occurred at the volcano. It was smaller than what occurred on Friday afternoon when scientists said a probable dome collapse had occurred, resulting in hot rock, ash and gas affecting the northern safe zone of the island. Despite not being as intense, the Sunday morning explosion resulted in light ash fall in the neighbouring Salem and Flemings communities and pyroclastic flows that moved rapidly to the northeast. Later in the night, at around 8:27 pm, another small explosion occurred, sending more ash into some inhabited areas. A level four alert, one down from the maximum five, remains in effect. Since activity resumed at the Soufriere Hills Volcano last October, the northern portions of the island have received significant ash fall. The pyroclastic flow in the Belham River valley last Friday was THE LONGEST FLOW DOWN THE BELHAM IN THE WHOLE HISTORY OF THE ERUPTION. [Monteserrat is in the Caribbean near Haiti.]
COSTA RICA – Crack at Turrialbla Volcano getting larger, experts say. Upon closer inspection, experts of the Universidad de Costa Rica say that the enormous crater of the Turrialba volcano has gotten larger following last week's activity, which will in turn cause landslides within the crater, which in turn could mean more eruptions. Unfortunately the cold front that has gripped Costa Rica this weekend has also affected weather conditions, and rain and strong winds have been clouding visibility of the crater, leaving them unable to confirm all the changes. Geologists and volcanologists were at least able to confirm that the crack on the wall of the volcano is getting larger, which they confirmed by flybys by helicopters during a break in the weather. The experts say the constant spewing of gases is causing the crack to get bigger and could collapse the volcano's crater wall, causing the volcano to spew out the falling material. Area residents, as well as control posts around the volcano, report feeling seismic activity. [Costa Rica is also relatively near Haiti.]
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – During the night of 31 December 2009 an alarm was raised by the Goma Volcano Observatory of a possible eruption of the Nyamulagira Volcano. The volcano is one of the two volcanoes; Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira, under observation since the eruption of 2002. The ongoing eruption is a slow flow of lava from the vents near the ground and not from the top. The stream of lava is advancing slowly and by the 10th of January, it had travelled 7 kilometres towards the road between Goma and Sake. Goma Volcano Observatory estimates that it could cover the road within two months. The slow speed of the lava flow is not a direct danger to life, but the chemicals in the ashes and the Tephra (rock fragments) that have been falling around the volcano and reaching as far as Goma pose a serious health problem to people and animals when they contaminate water and food. Drinking water sources (open springs and rainwater catchments) in Sake, Kingi and Rusayo villages now contain unacceptable levels of chemicals and Tephra. The health centres of Sake and Rusayo have reported increasing cases of diseases like diarrhoea, eye diseases and death of domestic animals. People around the volcano have also reported damage to agricultural crops. The contamination may cause serious damage to peoples' internal organs and an irritation to those with respiratory problems. It is estimated that a total population of 52,096 are now affected.
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS –
WASHINGTON – A new state-of-the-art radar system on the Washington coast will make it easier for meteorologists to track heavy weather coming off the Pacific Ocean, as some scientists say the intensity of winter storms and waves pounding the Northwest shore is increasing. Until now, the Washington state coastline has been the only coastal area in the continental United States with no weather radar coverage. The region's storms more than rival the hurricanes and nor'easters elsewhere in the nation. Scientists, using data from buoys far offshore, have concluded that wave heights and the power of winter storms have been on the upswing over the past nearly 30 years. The study found that median waves off the Northwest coast are more than a foot higher than they were 30 years ago. The very largest waves are 8 to 10 feet higher. During the largest storm, offshore waves can be more than 45 feet tall. "It's pretty wild out there." The size of the bigger waves is increasing faster than the size of smaller waves is, and the size of the waves off Washington state is growing faster than those off Oregon. The increased size of the waves is more of a threat to coastal areas than the ongoing rise in ocean levels is. "While these increases are most likely due to Earth's changing climate, uncertainty remains as to whether they are the product of human-induced greenhouse warming or represent variations to natural multi-decadal climate cycles."
TROPICAL STORMS -
Super cyclone Edzani staying safely at sea spawning super swells. It's a good thing that Cyclone Edzani is far away from land and will stay that way this weekend, because it's a powerful cyclone. In fact it's a Category 4 cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson scale generating waves almost as tall as a three-story building (32 feet). On January 8 at 10 a.m. ET (1500 UTC), Cyclone Edzani had maximum sustained winds near 155 mph. That's 135 knots or 250 kilometers per hour, and it has higher gusts. Edzani's powerful hurricane-force winds extend out 40 miles from its center, while tropical storm-force winds extend up to 130 miles from the center. Edzani was centered about 590 nautical miles south-southeast of Diego Garcia, safely away from any land areas. Edzani was moving southwestward near 9 mph (8 knots/14 km/hr). Over the weekend, Edzani will continue moving in a southwesterly direction. By early next week, Edzani will be far southeast of Port Louis and Reunion Island as it continues on its track. By then, Edzani will have entered into cooler waters and will be a weaker storm.
AUSTRALIA – Irukandji jellyfish close NW beaches. Children have been taken to hospital in agony and beaches closed after an invasion of potentially deadly jellyfish in northern WA. The tiny, highly toxic irukandji claimed the lives of two tourists in Cairns in 2002. They are now menacing the tourist mecca of Broome in UNPRECEDENTED numbers. One theory is that the blooms were pushed ashore by cyclone Laurence last month. The potency of the stings causes potentially fatal chain reactions. The stinger season in Broome runs from November to April. This is THE WORST START TO THE STINGER SEASON ON RECORD and "weather conditions and the recent cyclone could have contributed to the massively increased presence of irukandji."
Edzani, once a powerful Cyclone, has now weakened to a tropical storm in the Southern Indian Ocean.
A tropical storm off Western Australia may strengthen into a cyclone as early as Friday as it nears coastal waters.
AUSTRALIA – the first cyclone of the Far North's wet season will NOT be formed by a weak low off the east coast of Cape York, the weather bureau says.
U.S. – A storm with potential for conditions similar to a minimal tropical storm, could affect oil production in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, according to AccuWeather.com. The storm is expected to begin Friday afternoon around 1pm for the western and central Gulf, moving through the eastern portion of the region on Saturday. "An El Nino-based rogue storm for the Gulf states occurring Friday afternoon into Saturday will produce gales up to 50 mph and 10 to 15 ft (3 to 5 m) waves. Normal oil and gas production processes could be disrupted this weekend, like the disruptions that happen when a weak hurricane strikes.” (map)
Tropical Storm Edzan will soon be Extra-tropical Storm Edzani and NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite noticed that as it's changing, the storm's rains are all south of the system. January 13, Edzani had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph, so it is still hanging onto tropical storm status as it continues changing into an extra-tropical storm. Satellite images show a fully exposed low-level circulation center. In addition, the latest image shows that Edzani's shape resembles an egg more than a tire, indicating that the storm is elongating and weakening. Edzani is elongating because it's being affected by strong westerly winds. At the same time, cold air stratocumulus clouds are moving into the center of circulation helping it change to extra-tropical status (where the warm core air is replaced by cold air in the core of the storm). Edzani is expected to continue transitioning into an extra-tropical storm and re-curve to the southeast in the next day, staying safely away from land areas.
AUSTRALIA – Australia's giant Port Hedland iron ore terminal is monitoring a low pressure system threatening to intensify into a cyclone by Sunday but has no immediate plans to activate emergency procedures. The possible cyclone could also threaten some of Australia's largest oil and gas projects. The Bureau of Meteorology has warned the system had a more than 50 percent chance of strengthening over the weekend as it made its way north, northwest of the coastal community of Exmouth, near Port Hedland in far west Australia.
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER -
NEW ZEALAND – January has so far been a month of wild, unseasonal weather. It caused havoc in Invercargill last Thursday when a 15-minute deluge of hail and rain from an intense thunderstorm overloaded drains and a horse was killed when struck by lightning during the storm. Thunder and lightning, rain and hail have plagued the south this summer.
NEVADA – UNUSUAL layer of fog mystifies residents, tourists. A high level of moisture in the air, above-average temperatures at higher elevations and a lack of wind created the thick layer of fog which covered Lake Tahoe and lower elevation around the basin. “It's not unusual to have a thick layer of fog cover the lake once or twice during the winter season. It is fairly unique, however, for the foggy conditions to last as long as they have. Typically, the fog disperses by afternoon, but a unique set of conditions has kept the fog at lake level.” The fog was expected to dissipate by Tuesday, once a winter storm rolls in, bringing with it as much as 6 or more inches of snow Tuesday night and today. “I've lived here a long time and I've never seen anything quite like this." Rainfall on Friday afternoon caused a high level of moisture in the air. As temperatures cooled, the moisture condensed into fog. A lack of wind or storm systems combined with a relatively stable temperature between lake level and higher elevations prevented it from being lifted off the lake. “We've certainly had some UNUSUAL weather this winter. Seems like this winter, anything goes.”
ARIZONA – Weather experts ratcheted up their rain forecasts for next week, saying to expect a deluge to hit the Valley and other parts of the state. "No doubt about it. It's going to be a very wet and wild week." The Valley is forecasted to get between 1 and 3 inches of rain, starting with a system Sunday night. "That one doesn't look like it has a whole lot of precipitation with it, but then it's this MONSTER that comes through like Tuesday-Wednesday." Another is expected to hit Friday through Saturday. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality meanwhile issued a report Thursday calling for as much as 3.5 to 4 inches of rain Monday through Saturday, which WOULD BE A RECORD. The last time the Valley got that much rain in such a short period was in 1911. "They really think this thing's going to be something." 3 to 5 feet of snow could hit the northern and eastern part of the state at that time. "A second system may bring another inch of rain to the deserts (and a foot of snow to the mountains) on the 28th and 29th." The forecasted rain comes from a very active jet stream that's going to be over the southwest United States. "We're more in the line of storms than we typically are. It's coming southward, and it's just putting us right in the line."
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
FLORIDA – The US cold snap has struck the famously warm southern state of Florida, damaging key citrus crops and shocking both residents and tourists. Iguanas were seen falling from trees in southern Florida while manatees – or sea cows – congregated in warmer waters outside power plants. Temperatures have fallen to around 0C, far below normal levels in the state. Although temperatures in the southern state were nowhere near as brutal as in the northern US states which were blighted by snow drifts and arctic winds, the sudden dip was "a strange situation". Farmers and fruit-growers are worried that colder temperatures this weekend will damage more of their crop. Already some say that as much as 10% of their harvested oranges and lemons have been damaged by the formation of ice crystals. Concerns over the potential damage to orange crops has pushed up frozen concentrated orange juice futures in New York, which hit their highest levels in almost two years.
GERMANY – Severe winter weather continues to disrupt travel in Germany, forcing the cancellation of more than 200 flights, and contributing to road accidents. Residents have been advised to stock up on enough essential supplies to last up to four days. Heavy snowfalls over the weekend could trigger local power cuts. Gale-force winds and drifting snow are expected to bring traffic to a standstill in many parts of Germany, a situation exacerbated by shortages of grit. At Frankfurt airport, 226 flights were cancelled and hundreds of passengers stranded as snow ploughs struggled to clear runways. Many other countries across Europe have also been hit by the bitter conditions. Nearly 140 people have frozen to death in the past few weeks in Poland, and in Switzerland, heavy snow has cut the flow of lorries through Alpine tunnels. The Eurostar service between Britain, France and Belgium ran a limited service on Saturday, with a reduced service planned for Sunday and Monday. At the German-French border near Freiburg, hundreds of trucks were stuck for hours when French authorities closed the highway because of heavy snow. In the UK, which is suffering its worst winter for decades, temperatures have dropped as low as -22C (-8F) in some parts. In the Netherlands, icebreakers have been deployed to clear shipping routes. Northern Spain is expecting more heavy snowfalls while the country's south has been hit by severe floods. France is also braced for more snow. Meteo France warned: "The amount of snow expected is significant, EXCEPTIONAL even." Parts of France – notably the south-eastern region of Provence – are without power and suffering transport delays after up to 20cm of snow fell in recent days.
CHINA's coal-rich Shanxi province faced its most severe power shortage in three years as severe cold weather continued to drive up national electricity demand. The northern province was rationing electricity as two major coal-fired electricity plants in the capital Taiyuan saw their coal reserves fall below the seven-day supply warning level. Shanxi is China's coal heartland, the biggest producer of a fossil fuel that provides 70 per cent of the nation's energy needs. But the province now faces shortages because of falling production and having to export large amounts of coal to other parts of China. Taiyuan has ordered rotating shutdowns for more than 40 factories to ensure residences have enough power. As increased demand strained power grids, several provinces and regions began rationing electricity or imposing other restrictions. Food prices were rising as transportation problems hampered delivery and cold weather damaged crops. China has endured an UNUSUALLY EARLY AND COLD WINTER that reached its height over the past week. Heavy snow fell across the country's north, with RARE snowfalls spreading further south. Beijing experienced its HEAVIEST SNOWFALL IN DECADES last weekend, and Wednesday's low of 2 degrees Fahrenheit (-16 celsius) was the COLDEST TEMPERATURE SINCE 1971 recorded in the capital.
EUROPE – Germany was hit by severe winter weather for a second day on Sunday, with Leipzig and Berlin both under almost a foot (30cm) of snow and gale-force winds buffeting many places. More than 160 people were stranded in their vehicles overnight in Germany after heavy snowfall brought a motorway along the Baltic Coast to a standstill. Rescue crews had to use snow ploughs to push through 2m (78in) drifts to free the travellers. Hundreds more were stranded at airports as dozens of flights were cancelled, and rail and ferry services were cut. Dozens of villages in rural Schleswig-Holstein and on Baltic Sea islands remain cut off and many accidents have been reported on icy roads across the country, a situation exacerbated by shortages of grit. Germans were advised before the weekend to stock up on enough essential supplies to last up to four days and to equip themselves with a battery-powered radio to hear weather reports. Elsewhere in Europe, some 80,000 people were left without electricity in Poland after snow damaged power lines. Many other countries across Europe have also been hit by the bitter conditions.
The weather is being blamed on a RARE depression that forecasters labelled "Daisy''. "Daisy'' dumped even more snow on Germany on Sunday, particularly in the northeast, and forecasters warned of more to come overnight and all day today, with heavy snow showers expected to spread southwards.
BRITAIN – wildlife is being pushed to "the brink of a crisis" as sub-zero temperatures continue to grip the nation. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is organising emergency feeding of several threatened species, including bitterns and cirl buntings. The RSPB is also asking people to feed garden birds, which are struggling to find food in the freezing weather. The society says that it is being inundated with calls from the public, who are reporting unusual visitors to bird feeders in gardens – including woodcock, snipe and grey wagtails. The harsh winter could hit bird numbers "for many years to come", they warn. The UK's Met Office recorded the winter's coldest day on Friday, when temperatures plunged to -22.3C (-8.1F) in Scotland's Highlands. Severe weather warnings of heavy snow are in place for eastern England, and forecasters warn that the coming days could be even colder. "With the icy weather predicted to last at least another week, this winter could be the single greatest wildlife killer of the new millennium."
U.S. – The frigid air mass holding much of North America hostage put Florida in a deep freeze early Sunday after sprinkling a RARE phenomenon on the sunshine state of Florida: snow. The state was bracing for temperatures of minus-10 to minus-4 degrees Celsius through Sunday morning as orange and strawberry growers fought to save their crops. Large flakes of snow fell over the southern state. "This is VERY UNUSUAL," a spokesman for the National Weather Service said. Bismarck, North Dakota, was the coldest spot, with temperatures dipping to minus 30 degrees. Icy wind gusts and drifting snow have brought chaos to the roads across the Mid-west and North-east. In Tennessee, several people froze to death in unheated homes. Homeless shelters were packed to the brim in Alabama. On the East Coast in Maryland, dozens of brown pelicans who failed to join the flock flying south in the autumn were rescued from freezing cold. Their frost-bitten feet were bathed in warm water. Sea turtles were brought in to marine sanctuaries.
FLORIDA – The RARE snow fall – only the 17th such event in modern history to ever hit the state in January – only highlighted the UNUSUALLY LONG-LASTING DIP OF ARCTIC AIR and its impact on both native and invasive species in the largely tropical landmass draping off the southern United States. Turtle rescuers worked around the clock, gathering over 700 passed-out turtles by Saturday and putting them in heated tanks at zoos and wildlife centers around the region to revive from the cold. “A cold-stunning event of this magnitude is very infrequent.” Even revived sea turtles could face further problems since reptile hypothermia can lead to a compromised immune system. Around the state, biologists have reported significant cold-related fish kills including snook, catfish, and juvenile lane snapper unable to deal with the region’s big chill.
Florida grower-shippers are working to protect their crops as the Southeast remains engulfed in severe cold weather. SOME OF THE LOWEST TEMPERATURES EVER were forecast to strike the state Jan. 9-11, and central Florida's strawberry growing region remains under a hard freeze warning where temperatures are likely to remain below freezing for both nights. The entire south Florida region was under a freeze warning through the morning of Jan. 10. "This weekend's highs are to be lower than the normal lows." During the early morning hours of Jan. 11, temperatures are set to fall to 25 degrees in Belle Glade — where much of the state’s sweet corn and green beans are grown and packed — and to 27 degrees in Immokalee, which produces tomatoes and other vegetables. “This is A VERY STRANGE AND UNUSUAL WEATHER PHENOMENON we are experiencing in Florida with these sustained cold temperatures. There has been some damage, but speaking to the extent of the damage at this point is just impossible. We will not know anything until this event is over.”
NORWAY – Northern Norway is usually the coldest part of the country in winter. However, over the past month southern Norway experienced temperatures down to minus 45 degrees Celsius, while the North had mild temperatures and gale force winds on Sunday. It's feared the sudden mild weather combined with a heavy downpour in the north could lead to treacherous driving conditions and avalanches. A weather phenomenon known as the North Atlantic Oscillation is one possible reason that Europe is presently in a deep freeze. High atmospheric pressure over Iceland combined with cold air streams from Siberia may be responsible for the freezing temperatures blanketing northern Europe.
ENGLAND – Fresh snow has hit many parts of the UK, causing more problems for transport as road salt rationing increases. Met Office warnings of heavy snow are in place for north-west England, the West Midlands and southern England. Rail and air travellers face delays and cancellations, with several airports shut, while many roads are closed. Hundreds of schools are closed. A covering of snow is possible everywhere in the UK today, with 1-4cm (0.4-1.5in) forecast on lower ground and as much as 10cm (4in) possible in the hills. It will be a little less cold during the weekend, but temperatures will drop again from Monday.
POLAND – Eighty-six people have died of hypothermia, rail traffic has come to a halt, and many roads are impassable, after the weekend’s heavy snow and temperature drop across Poland. Several localities are cut off from the rest of the world, and thousands of households have no electricity, and the worst is still to come. Warsaw has so far forked out up to 10 million euro for clearing roads, which is equal to the amount of the city’s culture budget.
KOREA – RECORD HIGH SNOWFALL in central parts of the country early this month already broke a 73-YEAR-OLD RECORD. In Seoul on Wednesday, the mercury dropped to minus 15.3 degrees Celsius, challenging the lowest temperature in the bustling capital city of -16.7 degree, set on Jan. 22, 2004. Southern parts of the peninsula are also struggling with "UNPRECEDENTED'' blizzards. Younggwang, a rural country in South Jeolla Province, was bombarded with 20.5 centimeters of snow, while other towns in the vicinity saw snowfall ranging from three to 10 centimeters. "It's RARE to see such heavy snow in southern parts of the country." The entire peninsula will experience cold temperatures until Saturday, but it will be slightly warmer next week. It cited an overly expanded continental high pressure front over Russia as the major culprit for the UNUSUAL weather. But it seems that Korea is not an isolated victim by the unexpected inclement weather. As reported, parts of China, Europe and the United States have also been hit by their largest snowfall ever, causing massive flight cancelations and road traffic problems. Many domestic and international weather experts blame the unexpected cold spell sweeping the northern hemisphere on global warming, or the El Nino phenomenon. Some specialists recently brought up the possibility that it is a sign of what they call the beginning of a "Mini-Ice Age.'' One of the advocates of this theory is Prof. Mojib Latif, one of the world's leading climate modelers. Latif said the world could be in for a spell of cooler temperatures, rather than hotter conditions, as a result of cyclical changes in ocean currents for the next 20 or 30 years. The weather expert also questioned the widely held view that global temperatures will rise rapidly over the coming years. But the professor underlined the effect will be "temporary.''
FLORIDA – RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES chilled Florida from top to bottom Monday, endangering fruit and vegetable crops and taxing the power grid of a state unaccustomed to the cold. The National Weather Service reported 36 degrees at the Miami airport, BEATING AN 82-YEAR-OLD RECORD of 37 degrees. It dipped to 42 degrees in Key West, one degree off the record and the second-coldest reading since 1873. It was 14 degrees Monday morning in Tallahassee, breaking the record of 15 set in 1982. Record-tying lows of 29 were observed in Orlando, and Tampa's 25-degree weather beat its old record of 27. South Florida is usually around 68 degrees this time of year. Small power outages were happening across the overtaxed grid – owing to the use of space heaters and the fact that many home heating systems in the typically steamy area are inefficient. Cold temperatures aren't entirely unheard of in Florida, but it's UNUSUAL for them to linger this long. Monday was the 10th consecutive day of lows under 50 degrees in South Florida, just shy of a record of 13 days set in 1940. Even Miami's high was under 50 on Sunday, a mark observed just four times previously.
BRITAIN – motorists are facing treacherous driving conditions after untreated roads turned icy when overnight temperatures plunged. Severe weather warnings of "widespread ice" are in place for most of the UK. The Met Office advises avoiding travel if possible or taking extra care. Wednesday's snow, which hit much of the country, closed schools, disrupted journeys and caused many accidents. Forecasters say temperatures will rise on Saturday, bringing a risk of floods. Warmer temperatures and heavy rain are forecast across England on Saturday, after which temperatures are set to plunge again. Before then, further freezing conditions are expected tonight. Some rural communities remain cut off, while others are coping with power cuts, water leaks, increasing numbers of potholes and cancelled rubbish collections. Roads in parts of Wales were reportedly buried beneath 6ft (1.8m) snow drifts. The Federation of Small Businesses said the bad weather had brought the economy to a standstill and estimated it was costing £600m a day.
The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists. Their predictions – based on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans – challenge some of the global warming orthodoxy’s most deeply cherished beliefs, such as the claim that the North Pole will be free of ice in summer by 2013. According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 – and even the most committed global warming activists do not dispute this. The scientists’ predictions also undermine the standard climate computer models, which assert that the warming of the Earth since 1900 has been driven solely by man-made greenhouse gas emissions and will continue as long as carbon dioxide levels rise. They say that their research shows that much of the warming was caused by oceanic cycles when they were in a ‘warm mode’ as opposed to the present ‘cold mode’. ‘A significant share of the warming we saw from 1980 to 2000 and at earlier periods in the 20th Century was due to these cycles – perhaps as much as 50 per cent. They have now gone into reverse, so winters like this one will become much more likely. Summers will also probably be cooler, and all this may well last two decades or longer. The extreme retreats that we have seen in glaciers and sea ice will come to a halt. For the time being, global warming has paused, and there may well be some cooling.’ Last week 56 per cent of the surface of the United States was covered by snow. ‘That hasn’t happened for several decades. It just isn’t true to say this is a blip. We can expect colder winters for quite a while.’ However, both main British political parties continue to insist that the world is facing imminent disaster without drastic cuts in CO2. ‘We’ve had three weeks of relatively cold weather, and that doesn’t change anything. This winter is just a little cooler than average, and I still think that snow will become an increasingly rare event.’
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
AUSTRALIA – A code red catastrophic fire warning has been issued in Victoria for the first time. The highest level fire alert has been declared for Wimmera in the state's west on Monday, with the mercury expected to hit 43 degrees Celsius (109.4 Fahrenheit) and northerly winds forecast. Fire chiefs are warning residents in the affected area not to delay and leave their homes immediately, while holidaymakers in areas such as the Grampians National Park have been told to get out. Authorities have taken the UNUSUAL STEP of declaring the fire warning before official confirmation from the Bureau of Meteorology to give residents time to prepare.
Another heatwave hits South Australia – Temperatures reached almost 41 degrees in Adelaide on Friday and are expected to hit 43 over the weekend and on Monday, before a cool change on Tuesday.
ISRAEL basks in heatwave as Europe shivers. Israelis headed for the beach at the weekend to enjoy a winter heatwave, with temperatures rising into the high 20s creating "July in January" conditions. Air-conditioners shut down for the winter will be back in action in southern Israel for the weekend, with a forecast high of 29 degrees Celsius. Normally chilly in January, Jerusalem and the West Bank bathed in balmy 25-degree weather under a cloudless blue sky, with more of the same expected over the weekend and into early next week.
AUSTRALIA – Almost all train lines have been hit by cancellations that will throw this evening's peak hour into chaos as temperatures hit a peak. Temperatures have already exceeded 42C in Melbourne, with the mercury expected to hit its highest point after 5pm. Police have urged people to leave work early or wait until after 7pm to ease the strain on the public transport system. By 2pm, 40 Melburnians had collapsed, but the worst could be yet to come with temperatures yet to reach their highest point. Authorities have warned that the heat and fire danger won't end today, with up to three fire districts facing catastrophic conditions tomorrow. "We want people to prepare and understand that we are in a very difficult weather scenario with a wind change coming, the potential for a very hot night and very real risk for Victorians, for the western and central part of the state today leading into the evening and the north eastern part of the state tomorrow." "The extreme weather event itself …poses probably a greater risk than the fires at this point." Temperatures are set to reach 44 degrees (111 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Wimmera and strong northerly winds are forecast. Extreme bushfire warnings have been declared for most of the state, including Melbourne.
BULGARIA is having ONE OF THEIR MILDEST WINTERS ON RECORD. It's as if Bulgaria and the UK, France, Germany have completely switched weather with each other this year. There in the eastern end of Europe, they are experiencing temperatures of up to 20 C (68 F). ABSOLUTELY EXTRAORDINARY – and "even in our mountain town we have constantly had 12 to 15 C for some days." RECORD WARM TEMPERATURES ARE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY with up to 20 in Veliko Turnovo a few days ago. Saturday the mercury touched 18 in Blagoevgrad and Sandanski. By rights, the country should be under a beautiful blanket of snow with the temperatures well under zero. This strange scenario seems set to continue for about another week.
Venezuela faces risk of a devastating energy collapse due to drought – The South American country relies on a single hydroelectric dam for most of its electricity (73 per cent) and drought has swiftly brought the dam's levels to dangerous lows. Chavez on Friday said his government is determined to keep Guri Dam from falling to a critical level that would cause its electricity-generating turbines to fail. He has also imposed rationing measures including penalty fees for energy overuse, shorter workdays for many public employees and reduced hours for shopping malls.
AUSTRALIA – Massive crop losses predicted from heatwave. The heatwave across south east Australia is worrying fruit and vegetable growers, with one table grape grower predicting a 70 per cent drop in yields.
South Australia is officially in another heatwave, having recorded a fifth consecutive day of temperatures above 35 degrees.
AUSTRALIA – The Bureau of Meteorology says the heatwave in northern Victoria over the past five days is ONE OF THE MOST EXTREME ON RECORD. Yesterday's hot temperatures mean the recent weather officially qualifies as a heatwave, with five consecutive days of 35 degree Celsius maximums. But it is more severe than previous heatwaves. "Over the last three days in particular, we've seen some centres reporting values up to the 44 or 45 mark. That marks this as one of the more extreme heatwaves that northern Victoria has seen."
Melbourne EQUALLED ITS HOTTEST DAY ON RECORD on Tuesday as the extreme heat caused power failures and discomfort to residents.
BRAZIL – Residents of Rio de Janeiro are flocking to the beaches as the Brazilian city swelters in the scorching summer sun. The mercury has risen to over 40 degrees Celsius but meteorologists say the temperature is over 50 degrees when the high humidity is taken into account. On Monday, the temperatures soared to 40.4 degrees, THE HIGHEST EVER RECORDED IN THE COUNTRY. Meteorologists say the heatwave is expected to last until the weekend.
CANADA – It looks like they're ready to host the summer Olympics rather than the winter games in Vancouver, Canada. The city is almost experiencing a heat wave. Monday it was 50 degrees in Vancouver. That might not seem like a heat wave, but the average low temperature this time of year in Vancouver is right around the freezing mark (32 F). Even Whistler, where most of the Olympics Nordic events are being held, is experiencing warmer temperatures than normal.
VENEZUELANS will face rolling blackouts for the next five months as the WORST DROUGHT IN 50 YEARS threatens to shut the nation’s biggest hydroelectric plant and collapse the power grid. The government will cut electricity for four hours every other day across the country after previous measures failed to slow the drop in water levels behind the Guri hydroelectric plant, which supplies 73 percent of Venezuela’s power. "If we don’t ration electricity we could be entering a situation of no return. We may see a drop in economic activity, but that’s preferable to a complete collapse.” Chavez has called on Cuban experts to try and stimulate rain by “bombing clouds” from jet planes, instructed Venezuelans to take three-minute showers and restricted the hours for public offices to five-hour days in an attempt to mitigate the effects of the drought.
PHILIPPINES – Water levels in several major dams in Luzon have reached the critical level and the two private concessionaries fear a supply crisis in a few months with the growing threat of El Niño drought. Water supply at Angat Dam in Bulacan dropped to 201 meters against the normal elevation of 210 meters as of 6 a.m. Monday. Angat Dam supplies 97 percent of Metro Manila’s potable water supply. The 3 percent comes from La Mesa dam, whose water level is at a highly acceptable 78 meters. Other major dams were also nearing the critical water level. The El Niño over the Pacific Ocean was causing the drop in the water level at major dams. “It rarely rained within these areas of these dams since November.” They are bracing for the onslaught of the El Niño drought, coming a few months after typhoons battered the country in rapid succession from September to October.
ALASKA – 1-10-2010 – People watching the skies over Muldoon saw something unusual Sunday morning. Tower officials at Merrill Field say a bright object, caught on a Federal Aviation Administration weather webcam, fell from the sky east of Muldoon. Elmendorf Air Force Base and NORAD confirm it was a meteor, streaking through the sky and crashing into the Chugach Mountains. They say they're in the midst of a meteor shower — the third one this week.
CANADA – 1-7-2010 – Fireball seen over Montreal. A meteor crashing through the Earth's atmosphere could be responsible for sightings of a fireball over Montreal Thursday night. Around 7:30 p.m, "I saw a fireball just below the clouds. It was losing pieces in the air while it was flying and it was very, very fast." The spectacle lasted no more than a few seconds. Meteors are not unusual but the size of the fireball witnessed over Montreal is less common. "Meteors happen every night, they tend to be about the size of a grain of sand though. When you see something that looks like a ball that seems to be on fire, with smoke trailing behind it – those tend to be much larger like a baseball, basketball size, even the size of a tricycle. The reports were even MORE UNUSUAL, because of the heavy cloud cover over the region Thursday night. "That is VERY RARE because most of these meteors, even the ones that produce fireballs are very high up – many kilometres above our heads."
A WEIRD OBJECT that left some observers wondering if it was a piece of space junk is most likely just a small asteroid, and will zoom close by Earth today. The space rock won't hit the Earth, but it will make its closest approach at 7:45 a.m. EST (1245 GMT) when it comes within 80,000 miles (130,000 km) of our planet. That's barely one-third the distance between the Earth the moon. Astronomers announced the discovery of the asteroid, which they named 2010 AL30, on Monday. It is relatively small, about 36 feet (11 meters) wide. What makes 2010 AL30 weird is its orbit, which is almost exactly one Earth year long, leading to some discussion that it might be a man-made spacecraft launched in the recent past. But the asteroid's trajectory is not the kind used to transfer spacecraft out of Earth's orbit, nor is the space rock followed by other objects that escaped from Earth or lunar space. The asteroid was also far from Earth during the Apollo lunar missions of the late 1960s and 1970s when many spacecraft were launched into the space near the moon. 2010 AL30 will appear as bright as a 14th magnitude star and pass through the constellations Orion, Taurus and Pisces as it passes the Earth. 2010 AL30 is not the only space rock passing relatively close by Earth this week. Another recently discovered object, known as 2010 AG30, will zip by the planet on Thursday. But that asteroid is about 43 feet (13 meters) wide, and will pass by at a comfortable distance of about 650,000 miles (1 million km) from Earth. (photo)
ODD ANIMAL BEHAVIOR-
A new species of cricket has been caught on camera – and its bizarre behaviour has surprised scientists. Far from living up to the cricket's plant-destroying reputation, this species lends a helping hand to orchids by acting as a pollinator. "Crickets usually eat flowers, not pollinate them…This is THE FIRST TIME that we have seen flowers being regularly pollinated by a cricket." The cricket was extremely effective at doing the job, possibly thanks to the fact that the size of its head matched the size of the nectar opening on the orchid. "It really is a COMPLETELY BIZARRE THING for a cricket to do and it is STRANGE for an orchid to become adapted to that kind of pollinator." The cricket was also UNUSUAL in other ways. "They do some fairly sophisticated things by cricket standards. Most crickets just stop eating and find a place to hide away during the daytime and it's usually a different place every time. But this one finds its way back to its own specific nest." Also "orchids RARELY co-evolve with their pollinators."
HEALTH THREATS -
Minority groups hit hard by H1N1 – African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian residents of Wisconsin were hospitalized for H1N1 flu at much higher rates than whites. Data from Milwaukee and the state show hospitalization rates for whites of 11 to 14 per 100,000, compared with 28 to 38 per 100,000 for blacks, 30 to 32 per 100,000 for Hispanics, and 35 per 100,000 for American Indians.
Third wave of H1N1 cases is deemed unlikely – The British government is looking at ways to "offload" millions of doses of H1N1 vaccine because a third wave of cases is deemed unlikely. Options include selling the surplus doses or giving them to poor countries, but a stockpile will be kept. The government bought 60 million doses from GlaxoSmithKline and 30 million from Baxter. So far, 23.9 million doses of GSK vaccine and 5 million doses of Baxter vaccine have been delivered.
Aid group says flu spreading in North Korea – H1N1 flu is continuing to spread in Pyongyang, prompting the closure of day care centers and kindergartens. Some children have died and severe winter weather has worsened the situation. Flu medications sent from South Korea have been used mainly in Pyongyang, with little reaching the provinces, where the virus is also spreading.
The 'false' pandemic: Drug firms cashed in on scare over swine flu, claims Euro health chief. The swine flu outbreak was a 'false pandemic' driven by drug companies that stood to make billions of pounds from a worldwide scare, a leading health expert has claimed. Wolfgang Wodarg, head of health at the Council of Europe, accused the makers of flu drugs and vaccines of influencing the World Health Organisation's decision to declare a pandemic. This led to the pharmaceutical firms ensuring 'enormous gains', while countries, including the UK, 'squandered' their meagre health budgets, with millions being vaccinated against a relatively mild disease. A resolution proposed by Dr Wodarg calling for an investigation into the role of drug firms has been passed by the Council of Europe, the Strasbourg-based 'senate' responsible for the European Court of Human Rights. The UK Department of Health warned of 65,000 deaths, set up a special advice line and website, suspended normal rules so anti-flu drugs could be given out without prescription and told health and local authorities to prepare for a major pandemic. Planners were told to get morgues ready for the sheer scale of deaths and there were warnings that the Army could be called in to prevent riots as people fought to obtain drugs. But with fewer than 5,000 in England catching the disease last week and just 251 deaths overall, Dr Wodarg has branded the H1N1 outbreak as 'ONE OF THE GREATEST MEDICAL SCANDALS OF THE CENTURY'. 'We have had a mild flu – and a false pandemic.' The seeds of the scare were sown five years ago, when it was feared the much more lethal bird flu virus would mutate into a human form. The 'atmosphere of panic' led to governments stockpiling the anti-flu drug Tamiflu and putting in place 'sleeping contracts' for millions of doses of vaccine The governments have sealed contracts with vaccine producers where they secure orders in advance and take upon themselves almost all the responsibility. In this way the producers of vaccines are sure of enormous gains without having any financial risks. So they just wait, until WHO says "pandemic" and activate the contracts.' He also claims that to further push their interests, leading drug companies placed 'their people' in the 'cogs' of the WHO and other influential organisations. He added that their influence could have led the WHO to soften its definition of a pandemic – leading to the declaration of a worldwide outbreak last June. 'In order to promote their patented drugs and vaccines against flu, pharmaceutical companies have influenced scientists and official agencies, responsible for public health standards, to alarm governments worldwide. They have made them squander tight healthcare resources for inefficient vaccine strategies and needlessly exposed millions of healthy people to the risk of unknown side-effects of insufficiently tested vaccines.' The Department of Health says that although the disease appears to be on the wane, it cannot rule out a third surge and urges all those entitled to the jab to have it.
European group to air H1N1 vaccine controversy – Later this month the Council of Europe will debate the charges raised by one of its health officials that vaccine makers manipulated governments to buy stockpiles of pandemic vaccine. Weak demand for the vaccine amid waning flu activity and the need for just one dose have left many countries with surpluses. However, some experts warn another wave of infections could sweep the globe, with more months remaining in the Northern Hemisphere's flu season.
Soda fountain contamination – An analysis of beverages dispensed from fast-food soda fountains (sugar sodas, diet sodas, and water) found that 48% of the samples contained coliform bacteria, with 20% exceeding the safety level set for drinking water There was no difference in contamination levels found between self-serve and staff-serve soda fountains. To avoid gastrointestinal illnesses, they recommended increasing surveillance of the machines and developing rules for periodic maintenance and disinfection.
WHO – In response to some European officials who have questioned its response to the flu pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it will order an independent review, but probably not until after the pandemic is over. A WHO spokeswoman said its executive board will address questions on the topic at its Jan 18 meeting. Some members of the Council of Europe have charged that vaccine companies pressured the WHO and have called for an investigation.
Health officials, experts reject 'false pandemic' charges – Leading public health officials and experts have sharply rejected charges from some European officials that pharmaceutical companies used exaggerated claims about the H1N1 pandemic threat to scare governments into buying unnecessary stockpiles of vaccines. US infectious disease expert, Michael T. Osterholm likened the criticisms to complaining after a category 3 hurricane about having spent the money to build levees for a category 5 event. "I'd much rather be in that position than the other way around."
CDC warns about vaccine-related fraud – Questions and answers about fraud and abuse related to H1N1 vaccine were posted online yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The information is designed to help state and local immunization programs report abuses, such as charging for the vaccine (which is provided free by the federal government, though providers can charge for administering it) or selling the vaccine or ancillary supplies provided by the government.
Permanent H1N1 lung damage reported – Some H1N1 patients in Finland suffered permanent lung damage from their infections. The patients had viral pneumonia, which caused their lungs to fill with fluid and left them with fibrosis after they recovered. The story did not specify how many patients suffered permanent damage.
RECALLS & ALERTS:
–HP Hood is recalling select Heluva Good branded 8 oz. plastic cup containers of Cold Pack Cheese Food because they may contain Listeria monocytogenes.
–Parkers Farm Inc., of Coon Rapids, Minnesota is recalling products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
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
Israeli police arrest harem 'messiah' Goel Ratzon
Thursday 14 January 2010
Israeli police have arrested a self-styled Jewish sage and disciplinarian who ran a tightly controlled cult of at least 17 women with whom they believe he fathered dozens of children. Goel Ratzon, whose name means "saviour" in Hebrew, is now on remand in a Tel Aviv jail awaiting a court appearance.
Seven killed in Hindu festival stampede
By Harmeet Shah Singh
January 14, 2010
New Delhi, India (CNN) — Seven pilgrims were trampled to death in eastern India Thursday when they tried to board a ferry for a sacred island site, authorities said. The crush occurred at a jetty when pilgrims were heading for the Gangasagar island to take holy dips, said Khalil Ahmed, the most senior official of West Bengal state's South 24 Parganas district.
Renowned Theologian Seeks to Recatechize Christians
By Audrey Barrick|Christian Post Reporter
Jan. 14 2010
Influential theologian J.I. Packer wants evangelical churches to recover catechesis, or systematic instruction in the essentials of the Christian faith. Packer believes the idea is an alien concept to most evangelicals. "We are drifting back into paganism, that’s the truth," he said in a lecture last Saturday at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Dallas, according to The Living Church News Service.
Robertson Chided for 'Arrogance,' 'Ignorance' Behind Haiti Curse Remark
By Jennifer Riley|Christian Post Reporter
Jan. 14 2010
Controversial charismatic Pat Robertson has put his foot in his mouth with yet another post-disaster remark – this time regarding the hard-hit country of Haiti. While hosting “The 700 Club” on the Christian Broadcasting Network Wednesday, Robertson said the 7.0-magnitude quake that struck Haiti a day earlier was the consequence of the curse that had befallen the country’s people after its founding fathers made a “pact to the Devil” in exchange for Haiti’s independence from France. “[E]ver since they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor,” Robertson said.
1 in 3 Presbyterians Affirm Jesus as Only Way to Salvation
By Lillian Kwon|Christian Post Reporter
Jan. 13 2010
Less than half of Christians in the largest Presbyterian denomination in the country believe Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, a new survey reveals. The latest "Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians" report, released by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), shows that two in five (39 percent) members agree or strongly agree that "only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved." Fewer pastors (35 percent) agree or strongly agree. Meanwhile, 45 percent of elders at least agree.
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
The wave of anti-Christian violence
Thursday 14 January 2010
A recent wave of violent attacks on Christian worshippers and churches in countries across the Muslim world is intensifying concern that continuing military conflict, cultural friction and economic imbalances embroiling Islam and the west are fuelling a parallel rise in religious intolerance at grassroots level. The increase in tensions is seen as particularly disturbing in countries such as Egypt where Islam and Christianity have a centuries-old history of largely peaceful co-existence. In one recent incident, gunmen attacked a Coptic Christian congregation near Luxor, on the Coptic Christmas eve, killing six churchgoers and provoking inter-communal rioting and arson.
Malaysia: Eleven Christian churches attacked, Jan 8 – 16
By Spero News
January 16, 2010
During the January 8 – 16 period in 2010, eleven Christian churches in Malaysia were attacked by Muslim extremists. Arson is a favored technique, along with bombings. Besides the churches, a Hindu temple and a mosque were also attacked during this period.
30 Chinese House Church Leaders Detained, Says Rights Group
By Michelle A. Vu|Christian Post Reporter
Jan. 13 2010
Thirty house church leaders were detained in a northern province in China last week, according to a human rights group specializing in Chinese house churches. The leaders, which included men and women, were members of the Chinese House Church Alliance, one of the detained pastors reported to ChinaAid Association before security forces were presumed to have confiscated his cell phone during the incident on Jan. 8.
Uzbekistan: Tashkent: heavy fines and prison terms for Christians
By Asia News
January 15, 2010
Tashkent (AsiaNews/F18) – Uzbek police continued to persecute Christians during Christmas. In several cases, it stormed gatherings and religious functions, imposing heavy fines. Repeat offenders were also jailed. On 3 January, police raided a Christmas gathering by about 40 members of the Full Gospel Holiness Church in Umid village (Yangiyul district). Although the Church is recognised by the authorities and is allowed to engage in religious activities, police officer Bobur Usmanov told the Forum 18 new agency that the Church “was not registered in Umid village.”
US concerned at Coptic Christian arrests in Egypt
(AFP) Jan 16, 2009
WASHINGTON — The United States said it was "deeply concerned" at the arrests Saturday of Coptic Christians heading to show support for fellow Copts killed and injured in Egypt earlier this month. "The United States is deeply concerned by today's arrests of individuals traveling to the Egyptian town of Naga Hammadi to express support for those tragically killed and injured during" the celebrations," said Mark Toner, acting State Department spokesman. "According to publicly available evidence, those arrested included bloggers, democracy and religious freedom advocates," he added.