CHOSEN: End Times Newsletter – Issue 122
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:32
Submitted by Johanna
A drunk man in an Oldsmobile
They said had run the light
That caused the six-car pileup
On 109 that night.
When broken bodies lay about
And blood was everywhere,
The sirens screamed out eulogies,
For death was in the air.
A mother, trapped inside her car,
Was heard above the noise;
Her plaintive plea near split the air:
Oh, God, please spare my boys!
She fought to loose her pinned hands;
She struggles to get free,
But mangled metal held her fast
In grim captivity.
Her frightened eyes then focused
On where the back seat once had been,
But all she saw was broken glass and
Two children's seats crushed in.
Her twins were nowhere to be seen;
She did not hear them cry,
And then she prayed they's been thrown free,
Oh, God, don't let them die!
Then fireman came and cut her loose,
But when they searched the back,
They found therein no little boys,
But the seat belts were intact.
They thought the woman had gone mad
And was traveling alone,
But when they turned to question her,
They discovered she was gone.
Police saw her running wild
And screaming above the noise
In beseeching supplication,
Please help me find my boys!
They're four years old and wear blue shirts;
Their jeans are blue to match.
One cop spoke up, They're in my car,
And they don't have a scratch.
They said their daddy put them there
And gave them each a cone,
Then told them both to wait for Mom
To come and take them home.
I've searched the area high and low,
But I can't find there dad.
He must have fled the scene,
I guess, and that is very bad.
The mother hugged the twins and said,
While wiping at a tear,
He could not flee the scene, you see,
For he's been dead a year.
The cop just looked confused and asked,
Now, how can that be true?
The boys said, Mommy, Daddy came
And left a kiss for you..
He told us not to worry
And that you would be all right,
And then he put us in this car with
The pretty, flashing light.
We wanted him to stay with us,
Because we miss him so,
But Mom my, he just hugged us tight
And said he had to go
He said someday we'd understand
And told us not to fuss,
And he said to tell you, Mommy,
He's watching over us.
The mother knew without a doubt
That what they spoke was true,
For she recalled their dad's last words,
I will watch over you.
The firemen's notes could not explain
The twisted, mangled car,
and how the three of them escaped
Without a single scar.
Bt on the cop's report was scribed,
In print so very fine,
An angel walked the beat tonight on
Be not Afraid
Times of trouble coming quickly
the land shakes and rumbles
it’s buildings to the ground
moaning heard from adults
whose children are sickly
death and devastation abound
The news tells us of horrors
that happen every day
nothing good to report at all
in what the newscasters say
and everything is falling,
falling to the ground
Wars and terror continue unabated
people are suffering all across the land
homes and possessions taken away
because their owners could not pay
a system on the verge of collapse
a constitution that will not stand
Our God is our refuge and strength
a helper who is always found
when our world seems to crumble
and there is darkness is all around
it’s Her voice within us that says
Be not afraid child, be not afraid
The LORD of Hosts is with us
a stronghold in times of pain
keep your eyes wide open
outstretch your hand to Yahweh’s light
stay strong and keep your faith
Be not afraid, be not afraid
Be not afraid
(Inspired by Psalm 46)
Releasing Chains of This World
Submitted by Jeshaiah
Although this topic was discussed in a form of getting used to carrying a light yoke as opposed to the heavy yoke that has been created to oppress, it is, to a degree, a different concept to also let go of the chains of oppression that people might have been born with that is just about engrained in their attitude, although it might not be so easily seen.
Matthew 6:25 — "This is why I tell you: Don't worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Different attitudes that others have around oneself can all too easily rub off onto an individual, and even without realizing it. Further, things that are not normally easy to handle might just become a habit of trying to get done as quickly as possible and accurately as possible, and at the same time, perhaps placing too much emphasis on deadlines rather than on Father's Will. Unhealthy stress that oppresses rather than increases endurance wouldn't be anything that Father would want for Her children, and would not be of any benefit or service.
There have been multiple movies about prisons, where the prisoners would get so used to living behind walls, wires and bars that living on the outside of that is scary to them, and very difficult to cope with. It is recalled that there was a criminal who had actually done a small amount of shoplifting just to be put back in jail. Given the fact that this very planet is being used as a prison for those demons and converts who rebel against Father, and prison society can be very horrible, it can be very difficult to stop living as if in a prison just because of the habits that may come. The hectic “trying to make ends meet” ordeal will be over. Further, such attitudes would be gone from oneself, and not returned regardless of situation.
Ephesians 4:24 — you put on the new man, the one created according to God's [likeness] in righteousness and purity of the truth.
Following Father's Way helps to grow and cultivate the good fruits that can flow from the heart.
2 Timothy 1:7 — For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
And these are not just attitudes and growth that has to wait, but has been given by Father to grow upon, and that which Father has awakened should not be attempted to be put back to sleep, or to try to bury.
Isaiah 65:24 — Even before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear.
2 Peter 3:9 — The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
And as Father does not delay His promise, neither do we as His children have to delay in the love, Wisdom and Light that Father shares in our hearts. Father Yahweh spoils the plans that evil has to oppress Her children, and frees them to be children of Her Light.
Isaiah 19:3 — Egypt's spirit will be disturbed within it, and I will frustrate its plans. Then they will seek idols, ghosts, spirits of the dead, and spiritists.
In these coming times, that which will be difficult and hard, as it is the Great Tribulation, peace will not exist within the chains that attempt to bind oneself to the world, but in Father's power. Looking to the chains that actually sap power from an individual, chains and bars that actually hold a person back won't provide protection or strength, as might be the strange influence that a prison may induce. Rescue will be from above, on High, and Father's rescue runs deeply; a literal rapture.
Nourishment From The Throne
2 Timothy 3:1 "[ Difficult Times Ahead ] But know this: difficult times will come in the last days."
They are here, and things will progressively get worse until they spiral out of control for mankind. The United States which is a prime pawn of Satan's on the chess board is about to receive a devastating blow from nature. With the decline of jobs in its workforce and the ever growing poverty for those that have lost their jobs and possessions, the most difficult time in the history of mankind is about to wreak havoc on the nation and spiral around the globe in repercussion.
Daniel 2:44 "44 "In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever."
The Kingdom has been in power since 1908 when Satan and his demons were expelled from Heaven. The Kingdom is far from the reach of its enemies, but the Kingdom's faithful army of warriors are in position to strike Satan's empire with a devastating blow.
Daniel 2:28-30 "But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has let King Nebuchadnezzar know what will happen in the last days. Your dream and the visions [that came into] your mind [as you lay] in bed were these: Your Majesty, while you were in your bed, thoughts came [to your mind] about what will happen in the future. The revealer of mysteries has let you know what will happen. As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but in order that the interpretation might be made known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind."
"Your dream and the visions" that come into your own minds are revelations of what lies just ahead.
Acts 2:17 "And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams."
Daniel 10:14 "Now I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the last days, for the vision refers to those days."
I'm here to help all of you understand what is about to occur. Nothing good will be in the news, because all news will be about devastation and hardship. Things will culminate for the worse until the climax of this age.
Micah 4:1-10 "The LORD's Rule from Restored Zion. In the last days"
[Note that this occurs before the climax of this age]
"the mountain of the LORD's house
will be established at the top of the mountains"
[The Kingdom Rule]
"and will be raised above the hills. Peoples will stream to it, and many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us about His ways so we may walk in His paths."
[Holy Ghosts making up 144,000 Orders. Dedicated to Yahweh and walking in Her Way.]
"For instruction will go out of Zion
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He will settle disputes among many peoples
and provide arbitration for strong nations
that are far away. They will beat their swords into plows, and their spears into pruning knives. Nation will not take up the sword against nation, and they will never again train for war.
But each man will sit under his grapevine
and under his fig tree with no one to frighten [him].
For the mouth of the LORD of Hosts
has promised [this].
Though all the peoples each walk in the name of their gods, we will walk in the name of Yahweh our God forever and ever.
On that day— [this is] the LORD's declaration— I will assemble the lame and gather the scattered, those I have injured.
I will make the lame into a remnant, those far removed into a strong nation. Then the LORD will rule over them in Mount Zion from this time on and forever.
And you, watchtower for the flock,
fortified hill of Daughter Zion,
the former rule will come to you,
sovereignty will come to Daughter Jerusalem.
From Exile to Victory.
Now, why are you shouting loudly?
Is there no king with you?
Has your counselor perished,
so that anguish grips you like a woman in labor?
Writhe and cry out, Daughter Zion,
like a woman in labor.
For now you will leave the city
and camp in the open fields.
You will go to Babylon;
there you will be rescued;
there the LORD will redeem you
from the power of your enemies!"
Isaiah 2:1-22 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
"The City of Peace.
The vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
In the last days
the mountain of the LORD's house will be established
at the top of the mountains
and will be raised above the hills.
All nations will stream to it,
and many peoples will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us about His ways
so that we may walk in His paths."
For instruction will go out of Zion
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He will settle disputes among the nations
and provide arbitration for many peoples.
They will turn their swords into plows
and their spears into pruning knives.
Nations will not take up the sword against [other] nations,
and they will never again train for war.
The Day of the LORD.
House of Jacob,
come and let us walk in the LORD's light.
For You have abandoned Your people,
the house of Jacob,
because they are full of [divination] from the East
and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines.
They are in league with foreigners.
7 Their land is full of silver and gold,
and there is no limit to their treasures;
their land is full of horses,
and there is no limit to their chariots.
Their land is full of idols;
they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their fingers have made.
So humanity is brought low,
and man is humbled.
Do not forgive them!
Go into the rocks
and hide in the dust
from the terror of the LORD
and from His majestic splendor.
Human pride will be humbled,
and the loftiness of men will be brought low;
the LORD alone will be exalted on that day.
For a day belonging to the LORD of Hosts is [coming]
against all that is proud and lofty,
against all that is lifted up—it will be humbled—
against all the cedars of Lebanon,
lofty and lifted up,
against all the oaks of Bashan,
against all the high mountains,
against all the lofty hills,
against every high tower,
against every fortified wall,
against every ship of Tarshish,
and against every splendid sea vessel.
So human pride will be brought low,
and the loftiness of men will be humbled;
the LORD alone will be exalted on that day.
The idols will vanish completely.
People will go into caves in the rocks
and holes in the ground,
away from the terror of the LORD
and from His majestic splendor,
when He rises to terrify the earth.
On that day people will throw
their silver and gold idols,
which they made to worship,
to the moles and the bats.
They will go into the caves of the rocks
and the crevices in the cliffs,
away from the terror of the LORD
and from His majestic splendor,
when He rises to terrify the earth.
Put no more trust in man,
who has only the breath in his nostrils.
What is he really worth?"
John 7:38 "The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him."
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
Fleet of Three UFO In Moscow Filmed
People Magazine Daily
January 18, 2010
Three unidentified flying objects (UFOs) were spotted in the north-eastern part of Moscow, Russia on Saturday, January 16. The spacecrafts were videotaped flying in a triangular formation. The two eyewitness videographers claimed the possible alien spaceships were visible for approximately three minutes and then disappeared
Astonishing UFO video from China comes to light
All News Web
January 18, 2010
The UFO footage below has recently come to light. It is believed to have been filmed in one of China's wilderness regions in the last year. It shows what seems to be a flock of birds mid-air and a glimmering UFO in the background that might be observing them. UFO experts who have watched this clip have wondered if these are actually birds or rather a fleet of UFOs and the object in the background is the mother-ship from which they emerged. Other UFO researchers have noted that it is well documented that visiting aliens take an interest in earthly wildlife and not just humanity.
UFO seen and photographed by police officer in Turkey
All News Web
January 19, 2010
A police officer in the town of Bursa Isnik in Turkey was inspecting the area surrounding a nearby lake known as Lake Isnik when he saw a disc shaped UFO silently flying above the water. The event took place around two weeks ago on Wednesday 6 January at 3:30pm.
Intruiging UFO capture from Hungary surfaces
All News Web
January 19, 2010
The above photograph which might contain an image of a UFO is attracting the attention of UFO researchers worldwide. It was sent to well known UFO website http://www.ufocasebook.com with the following note: 'One morning I was out taking photos of sunrise. I tried to focus on the gap, where the sun came from. I even saw a small bright spot, but I thought, just another gap, as many bright spots was that part of the cloud.
Incredible UFO allegedly filmed above Montevideo, Uruguay
All News Web
January 21, 2010
A reader has sent in the following UFO footage allegedly taken recently in Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay. We know little about the footage beyond this. Some UFO researchers who have viewed the footage have compared the object seen in it to the 'Pyramid' UFO recently seen above the Kremlin.
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
Army-sponsored report suggests new 'police force'
by Michael Carl
January 20, 2010
A newly released Rand Corporation report proposes the federal government create a rapid deployment "Stabilization Police Force" that would be tasked with "shaping an environment before a conflict" and restoring order in times of war, natural disaster or national emergency. But civil libertarians are worried just exactly what the force would do, domestically or overseas.
Top 15 chemical additives in your food
January 19, 2010
We don't just want our food to taste good these days: It also has to look good. As a result, food producers use any of 14,000 laboratory-made additives to make our food appear fresher, more attractive or last longer on the shelf. The longer manufacturers use these additives, the more we learn about their impacts. While some additives are harmless, others cause everything from hives and asthma to nausea and headaches in some people. Some experts recommend avoiding foods listing more than five or six ingredients or ingredients of longer than three syllables and purchasing foods that contain such natural additives as fruits and vegetables.
Government policy now targeting 'homophobia'
by Drew Zahn
January 17, 2010
Opponents of "hate crimes" legislation, who have frequently pointed to Canada as an example of how such laws are used to increasingly suppress moral objections to homosexuality, now have more fuel for their fire in the form of the "Quebec Policy Against Homophobia." The policy, released last month by Quebec's Minister of Justice and Attorney General Kathleen Weil, assigns the government the task of eliminating all forms of "homophobia" and "heterosexism" – including the belief that homosexuality is immoral – from society as a whole.
The Militarization of Emergency Aid to Haiti: Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?
by Michel Chossudovsky
January 15, 2010
Haiti has a longstanding history of US military intervention and occupation going back to the beginning of the 20th Century. US interventionism has contributed to the destruction of Haiti's national economy and the impoverishment of its population. The devastating earthquake is presented to World public opinion as the sole cause of the country's predicament. A country has been destroyed, its infrastructure demolished. Its people precipitated into abysmal poverty and despair.
Venezuela's economy in further slide
by Robert Plummer
January 19, 2010
Back in 2002, just weeks before Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez was briefly forced from office by a coup attempt, I found myself planning an impromptu trip to his country. Having just got married in Trinidad, my wife and I were heading to Brazil for a honeymoon, via a short stopover in Caracas.
Signs in Humanity
China teen seen as hero for killing local official
by Gillian Wong
January 20, 2010
BEIJING – When Li Shiming was stabbed through the heart by a hired assassin, few of his fellow villagers mourned the local Communist Party official many say made their lives hell by seizing land, extorting money and bullying people for years. Instead, villagers in the northern town of Xiashuixi have made Li's teenage killer something of a local hero. More than 20,000 people from the coal-mining area petitioned a court for a lenient sentence.
UN wants investigation of Uzbekistan police rape claims
by Rustam Qobil
January 22, 2010
The UN is calling for an investigation into allegations of systematic rape and torture in Uzbekistan's justice system. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, says he has seen reports of police torture and rape. He has called on the government to let him go to Uzbekistan to investigate. There have been previous reports that torture was routinely used in prisons. Uzbek officials said they are investigating one case, but have made no further comment. Mr Nowak's comments have been backed by human rights groups in Uzbekistan. They say that torture and abuse by police and investigating authorities are tacitly encouraged by senior government officials.
China jails senior judge for life over corruption
January 19, 2010
A Chinese court has sentenced a former Supreme Court judge to life in prison for taking bribes and other corruption charges, state-run media have reported. Huang Songyou is the most senior judge to have been convicted in China on such charges, Chinese media have said. He was convicted of accepting 3.9m yuan($570,000; £348,000) in bribes while he was deputy head of the Supreme Court.
Nigeria religious riots 'kill 200' in Jos
January 20, 2010
At least 200 people have been killed in violence between Christians and Muslims in the Nigerian city of Jos, says the monitoring group, Human Rights Watch. Troops ordered by Nigeria's vice-president to help police restore order have arrived and are patrolling the streets, enforcing a 24-hour curfew. The fighting, which broke out on Sunday, has prompted thousands of people to flee the city.
Militants launch assault in Afghanistan capital
New York Times
by Dexter Filkins
January 19, 2010
KABUL – A team of militants launched an assault at the heart of the Afghan government yesterday, with two men detonating suicide bombs and the rest fighting to the death only 50 yards from the gates of the presidential palace. The attack paralyzed the city for hours as hundreds of Afghan commandos converged and opened fire. The battle unfolded in the middle of Pashtunistan Square, a traffic circle where the palace of President Hamid Karzai, the Ministry of Justice, and the Central Bank, the target of the attack, are located.
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.
LeeAnn – Hello, I have posted for help before and have had suggestions. I have not gotten anywhere yet, but feel that maybe this new path will be my new start. I am looking for a grant writer that can help me obtain a business that will help me and my my family. I know numerous senior citizens that need housing that is affordable. I would like to obtain this property I have looked into and make it available to my senior friends that are in need. That way many families are helped by this. I have done a lot of research on it and feel I can make this work. I also have a good contact with housing that is willing to help fill this property. I have all of my information needed and am willing to put in hard work.
I need a grant writer that can help me obtain the grants necessary to secure this property and get the ball rolling. If you can help, I will figure out a way to make sure you are compensated. The need for this housing in this area is GREAT, and if it comes to giving a % of the income to the grant writer every month, I will do it. I just want to have something that will help me and my family, and provide what is desperately needed in my area for help with the same people who have paved the way for us…..
Please email me if you feel you can help, I realize the work involved. i have obtained books on grant writing, but I now know that some type of training is necessary. It is just too confusing for me alone. This is going to be my first try and I don't want to miss out on this dream.
Thank you for reading my post, and please email me if you feel like you or someone you know would be willing to help……
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
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 WESTERN IRAN
5.4 RAT ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
5.0 MINDORO, PHILIPPINES
5.3 SOUTH OF KERMADEC ISLANDS
5.0 DODECANESE ISLANDS, GREECE
5.1 HAITI REGION
6.3 DRAKE PASSAGE
5.9 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.6 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.3 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.2 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.3 GREECE (37 moderate aftershocks so far)
5.5 SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA
5.1 BANDA SEA
5.3 BALI SEA
5.2 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.0 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.7 KURIL ISLANDS
5.5 TUCUMAN, ARGENTINA
5.8 CAYMAN ISLANDS REGION
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.0 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 FIJI REGION
5.3 DRAKE PASSAGE
5.1 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
6.0 HAITI REGION
5.0 OAXACA, MEXICO
5.0 LA RIOJA, ARGENTINA
5.2 SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, ARGENTINA
5.1 MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.1 HAITI REGION
5.1 HAITI REGION
5.8 EAST CENTRAL PACIFIC OCEAN
5.4 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.2 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
5.0 OFF W COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA
5.1 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
5.3 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
HAITI – The destruction caused at the epicentre of Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti is even more dramatic than in the ruined capital. Tens of thousands of people there are living in the open, and the population is in profound shock. Survivors in the capital, Port-au-Prince, have become desperate as they wait for aid gradually being handed out under an international relief effort. The scene an hour's drive west of Port-au-Prince is apocalyptic. Up to 90% of the buildings in Leogane have been damaged. "It's the very epicentre of the earthquake, and many, many thousands are dead. Nearly every house was destroyed here. The military are talking about 20,000 to 30,000 dead." The UN has launched an appeal for $562m (£346m) intended to help three million people for six months, while some two million people are thought to need emergency relief. But while huge quantities of aid have been arriving, efforts to distribute it have been hampered by severe logistical challenges. The airport has been congested, the port badly damaged, and the limited network of roads blocked with debris. The Pan American Health Organization put the death toll at 50,000-100,000, while the Haitian Prime Minister said 100,000 "would seem a minimum". A UN official has said aid workers are dealing with A DISASTER "LIKE NO OTHER" IN U.N. MEMORY because the country had been "decapitated". The Prime Minister said his house has been destroyed and he has been sleeping in his car, while ministers had nowhere to hold meetings. "For the moment, we are trying to save our employees who are still stuck under the rubble. We can hear their voices." The UN itself lost at least 40 employees in the earthquake, and confirmed on Saturday that the head of its mission in Haiti had been found dead in the rubble of its headquarters.
Jacmel, Leogane, Carrefour and Petit-Goave are towns that are reeling from earthquake "What we're hearing from text messages, from e-mails is that all along the coast going west and then down south, towns are absolutely destroyed." East of Port-au-Prince, makeshift camps have been erected in public squares. Just to the west of Port-au-Prince is Carrefour, a city of 442,000 that felt violent shaking during the quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Damage there is expected to be heavy — reports have yet to come in. West of that is Leogane. Leogane's main hospital was flattened, as were numerous other buildings. The "whole town had collapsed." About a three-hour drive south of the capital in Jacmel, there were reports of an orphanage of 1,500 children that toppled, and of a hospital for women that collapsed. Roads are slowly becoming easier to navigate, but aid is still slow to get outside the capital.
UTAH – A 7.0 earthquake – the size of the tremor that devastated Haiti last week – could hit Utah anytime over the next 50 years. In fact, experts say the state is due for what many call "the big one." If a quake of that magnitude hit in the middle of a winter night, a worst-case scenario, the effect would be devastating: It would kill an estimated 3,000 people and cause at least $35 billion in damage."
HAITI – links to aftershock map, damage photos, other graphics.
Since the ground shook Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, on January 12 and sent the densely populated city into chaos, scientists have been harnessing every possible tool to quickly assemble a detailed picture of a region in which scientific research had already been difficult to conduct. “The question we are trying to address right now is if there could be other faults nearby or perhaps other portions of the fault to the east or west that could go.” A section of fault approximately 31 miles long moved during the quake. The largest amount the fault slipped was 15 feet. In 2008, a team announced at a meeting of the Caribbean Geological Conference that the fault posed a major seismic hazard.
Now scientists are bracing for what might happen next. “Our folks and others are acquiring all the imagery they can in order to examine possible landslide-dammed drainages that could create subsequent flash flood hazard, identify surface rupture and look for the extent of … ground failure.” Satellites are proving a key tool to understanding the recent earthquake. It will be some time before teams can do crucial field work on the ground. Researchers are hoping the quake won’t be a repeat of the 1999 Izmit earthquake and subsequent aftershocks, when a magnitude-7.6 on the North Anatolian fault system struck western Turkey and resulted in the deaths of at least 17,000 people. Three months later, an adjacent portion of the fault ruptured in a magnitude-7.0 quake.
A 6.3 magnitude temblor has shaken the ocean floor between South America and Antarctica, too deep and far from land to cause any damage. The quake hit at 8 a.m. (1200 GMT) Sunday in Drake Passage, about 220 miles (354 kilometers) southeast of Ushuaia, Argentina, at a depth of 13 miles (21 kilometers). They didn't feel it Argentina's southernmost city. Seas were calm at South America's southern tip, and no tsunami warnings were issued.
HAITI – The international effort to deliver humanitarian aid to the victims of last week's Port-au-Prince earthquake was hit by bickering as a French government minister accused the Americans of trying to occupy Haiti instead of helping it. Thousands of American soldiers have poured into Port-au-Prince airport. Six days after the quake, however, precious little aid is getting beyond the airport perimeters – largely because of security concerns – and aid agencies with long experience of operating in disaster zones have complained that their flights in are being blocked unnecessarily. Doctors Without Borders is among the aid agencies directly affected by the logjam at Port-au-Prince airport. Five of their flights have been turned back so far, three of them carrying cargo, including a field hospital, and two medical staff. "We clearly had about 48 hours extra delay because of this access problem."
Six days after the devastating tremor that flattened much of the city and killed an estimated 200,000 people, 280 emergency centres were finally due to be set up to provide shelter and to distribute the enormous stockpiles of donated water and food that have been building up at Haiti's airport. The centres are due to be run, and the supplies handed out, by the United Nation's World Food Programme. Each will have the capacity for around 500 people, and will be situated in public building like schools and churches in Port au Prince and six nearby towns. Haitians complain that their Government has been silent – President Preval is himself camped out at the airport and has yet to address his people – and that aid distribution has been either totally absent or at best haphazard. They say that injured and vulnerable people are dying without shelter in the oppressive heat for lack of water. Bottled water is selling for $6 a bottle on the black market in the streets. On the rare occasion that a water truck appears on the streets, it is mobbed. Even the most visible camp for homeless people in the public park next to the ruined presidential palace has not a single fixed water supply, aid distribution point, or clinic to assess the needs of the wounded. The UN says that yesterday it managed to feed 40,000 people and that it hopes to increase that to 1 million people a day within two weeks, and 2 million in a month.
There are unconfirmed reports of police asking journalists to leave, and then firing live rounds to maim or kill looters. A policeman chasing down looters in the capital, said: “We do not have the capacity to fix this situation. Haiti needs help … the Americans are welcome here, but where are they? We need them here on the street with us.”
"Last time round there was a sequence of earthquakes." – Earthquake experts have warned that the devastating quake that struck Haiti on January 12 could be the first of several in the region. Historical records suggest that not all the energy that has built up in the faults running through the Caribbean region was released in the Haiti quake. Their fear is that enough energy remains in the fault system to trigger another earthquake of the same scale. The last time Haiti was struck by earthquakes of this scale was in 1751 and 1770, when three large earthquakes hit within the space of 20 years. They ruptured the same fault segment as the one that slipped on Jan. 12, as well as segments lying further to the east, in Haiti and the neighbouring Dominican Republic. "I'm worried, as we might expect the eastern side of the fault to rupture next." The fault that was responsible for the Haiti quake extends west through Jamaica. Another runs parallel to it in the north, along the southern edge of Cuba and the northern side of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Historical records suggest that both these faults produce large and destructive earthquakes every few centuries. The region harbours a third fault to the east, which is a further cause for concern. Much of the stress may be accumulating on the undersea thrust fault to the east. If that stress were to be released on the submarine fault, it could trigger a catastrophic tsunami of the scale of the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean disaster.
GUATEMALA and El Salvador felt a 5.8 magnitude earthquake early Monday morning. The USGS says there is SIGNIFICANT POSSIBILITY for further quakes. The earthquake was located 1950 miles west of the 7.0 Haitian quake, about 60 miles off the shore near Guatemala City.
1/12 7.0 Haiti, followed by over 47 aftershocks of 4.0 or higher
1/15 5.6 Venezuela, plus a small swarm of small quakes in Puerto Rico
1/16 4.7 Columbia, plus a bigger swarm of small quakes in Puerto Rico
1/18 5.8 Guatemala and 4.6 offshore Guatemala
1/19 4.7 Panama-Costa Rica border region
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK was rattled by 270 earthquakes in the last two days (as of 3pm Monday) following a period of 11 months of quiet seismic activity in the park. The quakes have been gaining strength, with a 3.1 tremor recorded at 11:03 a.m. Monday. The quakes are occurring in an area about 5 miles from where the largest swarm of quakes ever was recorded in October 1985. One of the leading experts on earthquake and volcanic activity at Yellowstone said that the activity is a "notable swarm." The swarm is located about 10 miles northwest of Old Faithful, Wyoming, and nine miles southeast of West Yellowstone, Montana. Such swarms are "relatively common." Today's tremors seem to be normal tectonic activity, and are "not an indication" that some sort of volcanic activity will occur. Since 1995 there have been 80 swarms, including the one that started Sunday. In late December 2008 and early January 2009, Yellowstone National park experienced the second largest earthquake swarm in Yellowstone's recorded seismic history. The swarm under the north end of Yellowstone Lake consisted of 813 earthquakes with magnitudes ranging up to 3.9. The eventual 'big one' will likely occur along one of the 45 faults that line two belts – one stretching from Yellowstone National Park up to Helena, Montana, and a second one along the Montana-Idaho border. The Yellowstone Plateau is one of the largest super-volcanoes in the world and has gone through three volcanic cycles spanning two million years, which included some of the world's largest known eruptions. There is absolutely no connection between what is occurring in Yellowstone and the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. "They are completely different systems. They are not related."
CHINA – Landslides triggered by a small earthquake in southern China killed at least seven people and left one person missing over the weekend. The 3.4-magnitude earthquake struck Sunday afternoon. It was centered in Guizhou province, 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of the capital Guiyang. The earthquake triggered two landslides in separate locations, burying and killing at least seven people instantly with large boulders that tumbled down the mountain. One person remains missing and nine others are in a local hospital. The earthquake was not registered on the US Geological Survey Web site as of Monday morning. Guizhou borders Sichuan province, where a magnitude-7.9 quake in May 2008 left almost 90,000 people dead or missing.
GHANA – Rumours of an impending earthquake by a hoax text caused fear and panic in Ghana, prompting many people to sleep outside. The rumour began on Sunday night with a text message quoting US space agency Nasa and the BBC as saying that "cosmic rays" were to hit the Earth. By 0300 on Monday this was interpreted to mean an earthquake was imminent. A government minister then sought to calm nationwide fears, telling local radio stations it was all a hoax. Ghana last experienced a major earthquake 70 years ago.
CAYMAN ISLANDS – Buildings and homes shook in the Cayman Islands on Tuesday as a 5.8 magnitude earthquake rattled the Caribbean hedge fund center, but there were no reports of injury or damage. Minor temblors are common in the region, but Cayman residents were mindful of the 7.0 earthquake that devastated much of the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince a week ago. "The whole building was rocking. Everybody scrambled, trying to get out. They couldn't use the elevators, so they went down the stairs." The earthquake hit 30 miles southeast of Grand Cayman Island at 9:23 am. Some phone systems were temporarily out of service. Under Cayman building codes, homes and commercial structures must be built to withstand hurricanes as well as earthquakes. Grand Cayman lies just north of a very active fault line called the Oriente Fracture Zone, which roughly follows the northern edge of the Cayman Trough, the deepest part of the Caribbean Sea. Grand Cayman experienced a 6.8 magnitude earthquake on December 14, 2004, just three months after being devastated by Hurricane Ivan. But that earthquake caused only minor damage to some home foundations and swimming pools.
HAITI – A strong aftershock has rocked Haiti, sending screaming people running into the streets, eight days after another quake devastated the country. Some buildings already weakened by last week's quake collapsed and wails of terror filled the air as frightened survivors poured out of unstable buildings. The extent of the damage is not yet known. The magnitude 6.0 tremor struck west of Port-au-Prince at 0603 local time (1103 GMT). An estimated 200,000 people died in last Tuesday's quake and another 1.5 million were made homeless. International teams are still rescuing people alive from the rubble, including a 69-year-old woman pulled from the ruins of a church in the capital. Although some aid has started to reach desperate survivors, hundreds of thousands are still without food or water, a full week after the disaster. Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said its cargo plane with 12 tonnes of medical supplies had been turned away from the congested Port-au-Prince airport three times since Sunday. It said five patients died from lack of the supplies it carried. "We were forced to buy a saw in the market to continue amputations." But the US military has defended its efforts in the face of vast logistical challenges.
YELLOWSTONE — A small earthquake swarm continues in the western region of Yellowstone National Park, with one quake yesterday reaching 3.7 on the Richter scale, but experts say the activity is due to shifts in the Earth's crust, not any impending Yellowstone supervolcano eruption. The swarm, which began Sunday night, isn't necessarily unusual.The swarm is located about 10 miles northwest of Old Faithful, WY and 9 miles southeast of West Yellowstone, MT. There have been 469 located earthquakes in the swarm of magnitudes 0.5 to 3.7. This includes 5 events of magnitude larger than 3, with 34 events of magnitude 2 to 3, and 430 events of magnitude less than 2. There have been multiple personal reports of ground shaking from observations inside Yellowstone National Park and in neighboring communities in Montana and Idaho for some of the larger events. Earthquake swarms of this nature are relatively common in Yellowstone National Park. At this time the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory does not consider the swarm to be unusual and the earthquakes are likely related to tectonic fault sources. Also there is no indication of premonitory volcanic or hydrothermal activity, but ongoing analyses will evaluate these different sources. The rest of the world is dealing with higher-than-normal seismic activity also.
YELLOWSTONE – Since Sunday, there have been 901 measured earthquakes underneath Yellowstone National Park. The largest has been of magnitude 3.8. Two of the strongest earthquakes were measured on Wednesday night. Eight of the earthquakes have measured a magnitude of 3.0 or more. The swarm is now comparable to an earthquake swarm located in the Yellowstone Lake area a year ago. "The swarm earthquakes are likely the result of slip on pre-existing faults rather than underground movement of magma. Currently there is no indication of premonitory volcanic or hydrothermal activity." The USGS believes there is nothing to indicate any serious cause for concern.
COSTA RICA – The Turrialba volcano has not stopped spewing gas and ash, experts of the Red Sismológica de la Universidad de Costa Rica confirmed on Friday while getting a close look at the volcano. With the break in the weather, this was the first time in almost a week that vulcanologists were able to get a good look at the volcano, as the cold front of this past week kept the volcano hidden. Temperatures measured at the volcano reached 540 Celsius, confirming that the newly created crater is still as active as at the beginning of the week.
COSTA RICA – Turrialbla Volcano Spews Out Helium, Forces Closure Of Two Schools. Experts are keeping a very close eye on the Turrialba volcano activity with the increase in the emanation of gases such as helium, sulphur and carbon dioxide. There have been important changes in the behaviour of the colossus and as such they have decided to maintain the yellow alert indefinitely. The experts haven't ruled out the presence of lava in the volcano, but prefer not to alarm the population by speaking on the subject. The Cicanum helium measurement is reported to be a concentration of 20 parts per million, short of the highest ever measured at the volcano in the past of 30 ppm. The measurements suggest the possibility of a "magmatic intrusion", the rise of molten rock into the earth's crust. For the time being, experts continue measuring gas emanations from the volcano and are reluctant to speculate on the possibility of an eruption despite the increased concentrations of helium in the recent days.
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS –
NEW JERSEY – Climate change is already forcing subtle adjustments in how people live along the coast, from insurance costs to community planning. "Adaptation is already well under way." City planners are looking to protect critical infrastructure from sea-level rise, conservatively projected at 1 to 2 feet in this century. Even if storms don't increase in strength and frequency, that sea-level rise will mean that today's storm floods of about 8 feet above mean low water will occur five times as frequently. "Nuisance flooding" will become more common in coastal communities as the sea-level trend continues. "Coastal communities are the canary in the coal mine when it comes to global warming. There is a focus in the American mind-set that (Hurricane) Katrina is what we have to worry about." Instead, smaller but "frequent, progressively damaging storms" could in time reduce the quality of life at the Shore. Sea level has risen about six inches since 1944, and higher since the beginning of comprehensive tidal gauge data around 1910. "I understand there's a lot of skepticism" about climate change and the idea that it is being accelerated by industrial emissions. But the century's worth of tidal data in New Jersey shows "sea level has risen along the coast; that's indisputable." The November gale that threatened beachfront communities and shocked many coastal residents produced just the 10th highest storm tide over a century. The November storm was remarkable for persisting more than nine consecutive high tides – almost as long as the more destructive March 1962 nor'easter – and for waves up to 27 feet offshore. But its storm tide of 4.75 above normal high tide fell short of the September 1944 hurricane record of 6.23 feet.
INDONESIA – Scientists are predicting that Indonesia is destined to be struck by another devastating tsunami. The experts from Australia and overseas are warning that last year's Padang earthquake, which killed more than 1,000 people, has created conditions for another, potentially more destructive tsunami. The number of people in the direct line of the next major tsunami is much larger than that which faced the 2004 tsunami, Indonesia's biggest on record. "So while the tsunami could be significantly smaller than the 2004 tsunami, it could have the same or even greater impact in terms of lives lost." Last September's quake was not the big one they were waiting for, and rather than easing pressure between the continental plates, it made things worse. Scientists have been expecting a major magnitude 8.5 or bigger earthquake at Padang for years. It is predicted to strike Padang at some time in the next 10 years.
Scientists are urging governments to ensure the delays delivering aid being seen in Haiti are not repeated in the event of another large-scale natural disaster. It is possible to have teams of doctors and stockpiles of supplies on standby to be deployed to anywhere in the world within 12 hours of a disaster. "We should try to develop teams. We should have people on call who are willing to do that."
WASHINGTON – Two wastewater pump stations in West Seattle are again operating normally after a FREAK TIDE SURGE forced water from Puget Sound into the sewer system, straining capacity at one station and causing a possible overflow at another. It’s believed that a higher than normal tide combined with a strong low pressure weather system created a tide surge that pushed sea water into King County’s Barton Pump Station on the north side of the Fauntleroy ferry dock about 7:30 a.m Wednesday. Wastewater Treatment Division crews responding to the overflow alert reported that the tide was THE HIGHEST THEY'D EVER SEEN near the pump station. High tides are becoming a greater concern for county wastewater planners as engineers predict that climate change will produce global rises in sea level in addition to wetter winters in the Pacific Northwest, both of which could have an impact on the normal operation of sewer facilities in the Puget Sound region.
TROPICAL STORMS -
A West Australian mining company is evacuating more than 200 employees as category two tropical cyclone Magda gathers strength and heads towards its iron ore mine off the Kimberley coast. Latest advice from the weather bureau is that Magda will track directly over Koolan Island as a category three storm about midday tomorrow. Wind gusts are expected to reach speeds of 220km/h near the cyclone centre tomorrow.
Tropical Cyclone Magda, off the Kimberley region in Australia's northwest, is expected to weaken after crossing the coast. Once inland, it is expected to dissipate as a significant tropical cyclone in the Great Sandy Desert.
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –
EGYPT, ISRAEL – Deadly flash floods hit the Middle-East. Heavy rains and flash floods have left seven people dead in Egypt and Israel. Rains washed away mud brick houses in southern Egypt killing two women, and in Israel a woman drowned when her car was caught in a flash flood. A British tourist was killed when a yacht capsized in bad weather on the Nile, in heavy winds and sudden rain. More than a dozen people are still missing in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheik, where one woman was killed and the roof of the airport was damaged. Israel temporarily closed its border crossings with Egypt and Jordan due to the heavy rains, and a bridge collapsed near a cargo crossing between Egypt and Israel. Flooding also wiped out communication lines in Sharm el-Sheik and destroyed two dozen homes in Ras Sudr. Flash floods overcame dams in northern Sinai and flood waters are approaching the city of al-Arish, killing one man there. In the Red-sea port of Hurghada a woman drowned when flooding swept her off the main road. Five Egyptian ports were closed due to the unpredictable weather.
CALIFORNIA – The Bay Area is in for one of its wettest weeks, with a series of windy storms expected to drop 8 inches of rain on San Francisco, soak higher elevations even more, and create the potential for power outages and floods. The UNUSUAL SERIES OF STORMS, accompanied by gale-force winds, is expected to peak in intensity Wednesday and taper off on Friday and Saturday. The sun could emerge for a while before yet another drenching next Sunday and Monday. What makes the coming storms UNUSUAL is that they are coming straight across the Pacific Ocean, rather than following more typical southern or northern trajectories that would bring warmer or colder rains, respectively. These mid-Pacific storms will keep temperatures in coastal regions between lows in the 40s and highs in the 50s. Southern California authorities fear the coming storms could trigger debris slides in suburban communities northeast of Los Angeles, where last year's Station Fire denuded hillsides of trees and shrubs that might have absorbed the rains.
CALIFORNIA – A RARE tornado warning was been issued for Los Angeles as a storm slammed into southern California, dumping heavy rain and snow across the region and leaving thousands of homes without power. A strong storm moving in from the Pacific Ocean and packing winds of about 95 km/h had triggered the tornado alert. "We don't have any physical evidence of a tornado, but our radars indicated it is spinning rapidly so there's a good chance of a tornado at the surface." Powerful storm fronts developing at sea often weakened by the time they made landfall, so tornado alerts in sun-baked California are "pretty rare". The storm rolling into southern California Tuesday followed a similar weather front which deluged the region 24 hours earlier. Authorities placed hillside communities on alert for flash flooding and mudslides, a major concern in regions affected by raging wildfires last year. Yesterday's storm was one of a series of wet weather fronts forecast to hit southern California this week, which are expected to drop as much as 16 inches of rain in some areas. Monday's storm was the second of at least four expected to march through the state this week.
TANZANIA – By mid-January, several weeks of heavy rain had destroyed homes, crops, pastures, roads, and bridges, and displaced thousands of residents in Tanzania.
CALIFORNIA – Southern California braces for more storms and possible mudslides. A strengthening El Nino is expected to bring torrential rain today to parts of Southern California, including Los Angeles, and authorities warned of possibly severe mudslides in areas denuded by forest fires. The storm could dump 8 inches to 10 inches of rain on the Los Angeles area and higher amounts in the foothills. Late Tuesday, the Los Angeles Mayor — expecting a dangerous storm Wednesday — urged hundreds of Californians to leave their homes. A torrential rainfall Tuesday unleashed flooding and spawned a rare tornado warning. A warm ocean current from the South Pacific is responsible for this week's storms.
San Francisco – On the heels of three storms that have pummeled the Peninsula with high winds and heavy rains is a fourth front expected to arrive this morning that one forecaster called the "main event." Peninsula residents will likely encounter wind gusts of up to 60 mph along with roughly 2 inches of rain in low-lying areas and 4 inches in the mountains, similar to what has blown through in the past couple days. But the rain from those storms has saturated the ground, and the next deluge will likely run off rather than soak in. That water could end up flooding roads or causing landslides in hilly areas. Waves up to 20 feet could mean bad news for crews working to save a Pacifica apartment building that is now mere feet from falling into the Pacific Ocean. "The main event is scheduled to come in at daybreak. It's the one on the end that always causes problems."
This week's back-to-back storms have already made quite a mess. Heavy rains and poor visibility Tuesday morning caused dozens of accidents and brought commute traffic to a standstill on Interstate 280. High winds knocked trees into power lines and left thousands of customers in the dark. The 16- to 20-foot waves that have been pounding the coast since Monday have not affected efforts to preserve the 12-unit apartment building in Pacifica, but that could change. The waves haven't carried away much of the crumbling bluff, though neighbors three blocks down have lost some land. Today's storm will carry a very high tide and fierce winds, which could erode more of the cliff. "We're supposed to have a POSSIBLE RECORD-BREAKING LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM. With big winds come big waves."
CALIFORNIA – Torrential rain and strong winds have pummelled California for a fourth consecutive day. An estimated 800 homes in the Los Angeles area remain evacuated under threat of mudslides as storms cause renewed transport chaos and power cuts. Flash flood warnings have been put in place with hills saturated. Torrential rains and waves as high as 25ft (7.6m) have eroded beaches and flooded low-lying roads. The run of four storms has been the worst in southern California since 2005, causing two deaths. Wildlife in the area is also being affected: 25 California brown pelicans are being treated for hypothermia due to the incessant rain. The rain has prevented the birds from getting dry, weakening their immune systems.
The recent wave of storms to hit California is being related to El Niño conditions. The National Weather Service long-range forecast has the wet pattern continuing through March. The storms could help California reach its monthly moisture average by the end of this week. El Niño is characterized by unusually warm temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
"Yes, it's a classical situation.The thing that is worrisome is that the current storm coming in really has no legs to the Tropics, it has no moisture source and it's going to be bad enough. The one that's west of Hawaii right now has a very good flow of moisture from the equatorial Pacific up into that storm itself. So it's going to be a very different kind of critter…This week has certainly been more severe than usual, to have this many storms and the jet stream as strong as it is, is UNUSUAL. But to have more such events between now and the end of March, I would expect them …We're pretty much locked into the (El Niño) pattern now. It generally happens from the middle of January to the middle of February. You get about two months from when it locks in to when the El Niño dies and right now it doesn't show any signs of dying." Even an El Niño winter won't make up for three years of drought. "It will take some doing for that to happen,. And one could say 'Well, we just got lucky.' Had we not had this we could have easily had another few more years of drought. As you know, water-wise, we're right on the edge anyway and the future in that regard doesn't look bright." The National Weather Service is predicting a RARE STORM SURGE for Southern California through Saturday. Forecasters predict the storm surge to be higher due to a combination of high surf with 15 to 20-foot breakers, strong south to southwest winds at 25 to 35 mph with gusts greater than 50 mph, overland runoff from heavy rains and high tides just under five feet. The National Weather Service warns the storm surge will likely cause extensive beach erosion and local overflow into low lying areas in San Diego County including Cardiff, Del Mar and La Jolla. The storm surge may also cause damage to piers, jetties and sea walls. Areas affected in Orange County may include Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Sunset Beach. San Diego is expected to dry out over the weekend. But more rain is predicted for next Tuesday.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD –
A RARE DISRUPTION of the Northern Hemisphere circulation since mid-December dislodged almost all of the frigid air around the Arctic, sending it thousands of miles to the south. The surge chilled parts of Asia, Europe and North America with SOME OF THE MOST SEVERE WINTER CONDITIONS IN DECADES. The Arctic Oscillation also caused temperatures at high latitudes around the North Pole to shoot up to levels much warmer than normal, equalizing the atmospheric heat balance. The U.S. Center for Atmospheric Research points out that such hemispheric chills have become infrequent since 1990. And it says this winter’s cold is in bitter contrast to the above-normal weather in Europe and North America during November. But in a possible sign that the overall global warming is not over despite the temporary northern chill, Australia’s second-largest city suffered through its hottest overnight summer weather on record. Melbourne’s air temperature remained above 90 degrees Fahrenheit all night on the morning of Jan. 12. (map)
The Arctic Oscillation is basically "just a honking big weather pattern. And it's rather unpredictable." In more scientific terms, the Arctic Oscillation refers to shifts in atmospheric pressure over the Arctic and the middle latitudes of the earth. In its positive phase, atmospheric pressure decreases over the Arctic and increases over the mid-latitudes. In the Arctic Oscillation's negative phase, it's just the reverse. Pressures are relatively high over the Arctic and relatively low over the mid-latitudes. In December, the Arctic Oscillation went into extreme negative mode — more negative than it's been since at least 1950. That has affected weather all over the Northern Hemisphere. This winter, many Brits have been shivering through their coldest cold snap in 30 years. Beijing's residents witnessed their city's biggest one-day snowfall in nearly 60 years. And on a flight from Dallas to Washington, D.C., an All Things Considered producer encountered a headwind strong enough to delay his plane. That's uncommon, because the wind usually blows the other direction. "At the very same time that we've seen these areas in the middle latitudes with sub-zero temperatures and big snow storms, the Arctic has been much, much warmer than normal." Ten to fifteen degrees warmer in some places. The shift in the Arctic Oscillation has nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with the vagaries of weather. At the same time, THE CHANCES OF GOING SO NEGATIVE ARE EXCEEDINGLY SMALL. "It would be like if you had a deck of cards and you told someone, 'Well, I'm going to pull the ace of spades out of here.' And you actually did it, right? Well, having us going through this extreme negative mode is even more rare than something like that." They can't yet predict the effect of balmier Arctic temperatures on that region's ice melt. When the Arctic is warm, less ice grows in the winter. On the other hand, the wind patterns associated with the Arctic Oscillation's negative phase actually keep ice in the Arctic, rather than transporting it to the North Atlantic, where it would melt. Though the situation will become clearer this spring, the result of these competing effects will still likely be bad for the region. The extent of Arctic sea ice is already a million square kilometers below normal.
Avalanches are back in the headlines this winter after a string of fatal accidents in the Alps and the Rockies. Though the season is still young, with the peak months of February and March to come, Switzerland has already seen nine deaths, seven of them in a single incident in the Diemtig valley. There have been seven deaths in Italy, and the same in France.
UNUSUAL WEATHER PATTERNS in the Alps, including swings between very heavy snowfall and warm weather with rain, have led to some dangerously unstable snow conditions over the past month. Across the Atlantic, too, avalanches have been taking their toll: since mid-December, 23 skiers have died in the US and Canada. And three of those deaths were "in bounds" – that is, on slopes within the resort area that should have been monitored and made safe. "One in-bound fatal avalanche in a season is UNUSUAL; three separate fatal incidents is REALLY RARE."
RUSSIA – The city of St. Petersburg is “on the verge of chaos” due to snow. Snow ploughs are now active on the streets of St. Petersburg, but vast amounts of snow and life-threatening icicles remained visible even in the center on Monday. On Friday, a woman was killed by a falling icicle in the south of the city. She died on the spot. More than ten people have been injured by icicles and more than 500 have sustained injuries from falling over in streets, some of which have not been cleared since the heavy snowfalls in late December. The record-breaking volume of snow that fell on Dec. 24 and Dec. 26 is reportedly the reason for the blocked roads and sidewalks. The Dec. 26 snowfall (28 millimeters of precipitation in the form of snow) was THE HEAVIEST IN THE PAST 130 YEARS in St. Petersburg, leading to 40-to-50-centimeter snow cover compared to the norm of 14 centimeters. “In past years, the snow fell gradually and there were a few days in which to clear it. But here we had two days of intense snowfalls, and the city got buried.” Residents were enraged upon finding their cars buried under snowdrifts and the streets and roads barely passable, some comparing the situation to the Siege of Leningrad during WWII. City Hall’s Maintenance and Roads Committee reported that 1,263 snowplows and other special vehicles, 954 street cleaners and more than 2,000 soldiers were clearing snow on Dec. 26,but critics expressed doubts about the figures. “When all this snow had just fallen, nobody saw any snowplows in the city; later they appeared on the main roads, but smaller roads are still piled up with snow. If you go to the Maintenance and Roads Committee’s web site, where you can check online how many vehicles are operating in the city at the moment, you can only count a few dozen vehicles – up to 50 – while we were told that hundreds of them were in use."
INDIA – A dense fog and severe cold continue to grip northern India, causing major disruptions to air and rail traffic. At least 170 flights have been affected since Tuesday night when thick fog descended on the capital, Delhi. The fog, which descended on Tuesday night, has played havoc with the railway traffic too. Hundreds of trains have been delayed. Road traffic in the city is crawling with visibility reduced to less than 50m (165ft) in many places. More than 450 people have died from the cold, with most deaths reported from the northern Uttar Pradesh state.
CHINA – RECORD-BREAKING LOW TEMPERATURES and snow-blocked roads hampered evacuation efforts across northern China, where biting cold and blizzards have affected some 1.6 million people and damaged or flattened 100,000 homes. In China's western region of Xinjiang, blizzards over the weekend and a cold snap that was predicted to hit a RECORD LOW of minus 45 degrees (minus 43 Celsius) on Wednesday killed five people. "We had advance knowledge so were prepared for the cold front, but it still remains a challenge to evacuate everyone since such cold weather and snow is RARE for Xinjiang." 100,000 head of livestock died. The first 20 days of January brought more snow to Xinjiang than for the whole month in all previous years. More than 150,000 people were evacuated from their homes in the region's Altay district, where it stopped snowing on Wednesday morning with about 3 feet (nearly 1 metre) of snow on the ground, five times more than the area receives in a normal YEAR. Altay lies in China's extreme northwestern corner. Freezing temperatures also hindered fishermen in Shandong province along the Bohai Sea, which experienced its WORST ICE COVERAGE IN 30 YEARS along with coal shortages. Fishing and shipping services have been delayed since early January. Temperatures in China's northern region of Inner Mongolia were expected to reach a low of minus 40 degrees (minus 40 Celsius) on Wednesday. In neighbouring Mongolia, an official this week appealed for help from the international community as his country battles THE MOST SEVERE WINTER IT HAS SEEN IN THREE DECADES. Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and other northern regions will experience high winds and sharp temperature drops in the next three days. Parts of northern China are seeing their HARSHEST WINTER IN DECADES, with Beijing earlier this month receiving its heaviest one-day snowfall in 59 years. Temperatures in the capital were due to rise above freezing this week.
NEVADA – An UNUSUAL weather week took another ODD turn Wednesday morning when Las Vegans woke to find the city blanketed in a layer of fog that blurred out hotel towers on the Strip and slowed the morning commute to a crawl. It was a RARE occasion where they could not see the city, despite the rising sun to the east. A dense fog advisory was in place until 9 a.m. as temperatures remained in the frigid 30s and humidity levels reached the upper 90s. The fog rolled in during what has already been a wet week in southern Nevada. A winter storm warning was set to begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday for the mountains around the Las Vegas valley, with as much as 16 inches of snow expected in the highest elevations.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
AUSTRALIA – A four-day heat-wave is forecast to hit the Perth metropolitan area in the coming days, bringing an increased fire danger. The was mercury's set to rise to 38 degrees Saturday and to 41 degrees today and the day after before dropping back to 38 degrees on Tuesday. The weather bureau says the searing conditions could bring extreme fire danger.
AUSTRALIA – Perth on Sunday experienced a hot and dry day, with the thermometer nudging 41 degrees (104 F) at lunchtime as a high lingered in the Bight. People from Perth are no strangers to extreme heat, but they RARELY experience 40 degree-plus weather for three days in a row. The forecast for Monday and today was continued extreme heat, with the mercury climbing over 40 degrees two more times before a weak change arrives. Pushed out by a ridge of high pressure that is edging its way just south of Perth, sea breezes are simply not strong enough to overcome the strong inland winds generated by the heat trough along the coast.
AFGHANISTAN has had an UNUSUALLY DRY winter, but experts and officials warn that pressing the drought alarm would be premature, and could drive up food prices. Over the past four weeks there has been little or no snowfall in most parts of the mountainous country where snow traditionally sets in by December, although the winter season is not officially over until March. “People are increasingly concerned about the risk of drought, as there has been too little rain and snow for some time now. A drought would affect agricultural production, food prices and the availability of drinking water." “It is too early to conclude the possibility of a dryer season as Afghanistan still has a one-and-half-month window for snowfall which provides 80 percent of irrigation water." Average annual precipitation is 350-400mm, but so far only 150-200mm has been reported. “It used to rain and snow from December to February but this year there was good precipitation in October and November and it has been unusually warm and dry since December.” Millions of vulnerable people were pushed into "high risk food insecurity" in 2008 largely due to drought-induced crop failure and a dramatic rise in food prices, according to aid agencies, but in 2009 domestic grain production increased significantly – almost to self-sufficiency level – owing to favourable rainfall.
Climate body admits glacier error – The vice-chairman of the UN's climate science panel has admitted it made a mistake in asserting that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. The row erupted in India late last year in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit, with opposing factions in the government giving radically different narratives of what was happening to Himalayan ice. In December, it emerged that four leading glaciologists had prepared a letter for publication arguing that a complete melt by 2035 was physically impossible. "You just can't accomplish it. If you think about the thicknesses of the ice – 200-300m thicknesses, in some cases up to 400m thick – and if you're losing ice at the rate of a metre a year, or let's say double it to two metres a year, you're not going to get rid of 200m of ice in a quarter of a century." But its overall conclusion that global warming is "unequivocal" remains beyond reproach.
HAWAII – Drought leaves 99% of Hawaii dry. Hawaii agriculture continues to be damaged by an unrelenting drought that has continued into the state's rainy season.
ZIMBABWE – Food deficit again looms in Zimbabwe as drought withers maize harvest hopes. The lack of rainfall in most parts of the country could jeopardize the 2010 maize harvest.
QATAR – An UNUSUALLY mild winter has resulted in a steep fall in the sale of winter garments in Doha, with retailers saying their business has dropped 30 to 40 percent. Qatar has been experiencing an UNUSUAL WEATHER PATTERN lately. After witnessing the onset of a delayed winter, the country received copious rains for two days. Since then the country has been experiencing relatively warm weather during the day. Compared to previous years, the maximum temperature recorded in December and January has been three to five degrees Celsius higher this time. For the last one week, Qatar’s maximum temperature has been hovering around an average of 26 degrees Celsius against 21 degrees Celsius during the corresponding period in 2009. In 2008, and 2007, the temperature was much lower. The increasingly warm days have also hit the sales of heaters. Market sources say their sales are just 10 to 15 percent of what they were in the last two years.
The decline of honeybees seen in many countries may be caused by reduced plant diversity, research suggests. Bees fed pollen from a range of plants showed signs of having a healthier immune system than those eating pollen from a single type. Bees need a fully functional immune system in order to sterilize food for the colony. Other research has shown that bees and wild flowers are declining together. Bee numbers are falling twice as fast in the UK as in the rest of Europe. The most spectacular losses have been seen in the US where entire colonies have been wiped out, leading to the term colony collapse disorder. In various countries the decline has been blamed on diseases such as Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), infestation with varroa mite, pesticide use, loss of genetic diversity among commercial bee populations, and the changing climate. "If you think about the amount of habitat destruction, the loss of biodiversity, that sort of thing, and the expansion of crops like oilseed rape, you've now got large areas of monoculture; and that's been a fairly major change in what pollinating insects can forage for." As a consequence, bees often do better in urban areas than in the countryside, because city parks and gardens contain a higher diversity of plant life. The French government has just announced a project to sow nectar-bearing flowers by roadsides in an attempt to stem honeybee decline.
MONTANA – 1/18/10 – Several people reported seeing a meteor fall Monday night west of Billings in an area between Red Lodge and Molt. Reports were vague, but the National Weather Service office in Billings fielded a handful of calls from people who claimed to have seen the space rock hurtling toward the Earth about 7:30 p.m. One caller “said it lit up the sky and either burned up just before it hit the ground or it hit the ground. It just lit up the sky with a blue light.”
MARYLAND – 1/18/10 – Twilight meteor reported Monday in Maryland at 5:38 Monday afternoon. "It was twilight and only the moon and one planet were visible in the sky, which was still blue and not yet black. For about 3 to 5 seconds, the meteor descended down in the south…We weren't sure if it was some space debris, a meteor or a firework. The smoke trail last about four minutes…I too saw a brilliant bluish area that shed off secondary streams of light…There was no sonic boom." Residents in southern Virginia say they saw it to their northeast, which – since most observers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersy put it to their southwest – would place the meteor somewhere in northern Viginia if it landed. ( 2 photos of the smoke trail left by the meteor)
A solar wind stream is approaching Earth and it could trigger polar geomagnetic storms when it arrives today.
On Jan. 19th at 1340 UT, Earth-orbiting satellites detected the STRONGEST SOLAR FLARE IN ALMOST TWO YEARS. The M2-class eruption came from old sunspot 1039 (soon to renamed "new sunspot 1041") behind the sun's eastern limb. Considering the fact that the sunspot was not even visible from Earth at the time, the flare was probably much stronger than its M2 classification would suggest. This active region has produced at least four significant eruptions since Jan. 17th (including this notable flare) and it is showing no signs of cooling off. Today, for the first time since the fireworks began, the active region is visible from Earth. It is emerging over the sun's southeastern limb.
Yesterday's M2-class solar flare bathed Earth's upper atmosphere in X-rays and caused a wave of ionization to sweep over Europe. It took about 72 minutes for the ionosphere to recombine [and relax to its pre-flare state]. With solar activity on the rise, sudden ionospheric disturbances will become more common.
Sunspot 1041 (a.k.a. "old sunspot 1039") is crackling with solar flares. Over the past 48 hours, it has produced five M-class eruptions. The ongoing sequence of flares signals a sharp upturn in solar activity. Before this week, the last time the sun produced even a single M-class solar flare was in March 2008 – almost two years ago. M-class solar flares have a moderate effect on Earth. Mainly, they boost the ionization of Earth's upper atmosphere and disturb the propagation of terrestrial radio signals.
As predicted, a solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 20th and sparked bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. "There were fast-moving streamers and stunning coronas. It was one of the best displays I've seen in a long time." The solar wind's impact caused a geomagnetic storm registering 5 on the 0-to-9 K-index scale of magnetic disturbances. (photo)
HEALTH THREATS –
About one in five Americans has been vaccinated against swine flu, according to the government's first detailed estimates of vaccination rates against the pandemic. An estimated 61 million people — or about 20 percent of the population — got a shot or nasal spray vaccination against the H1N1 virus since the vaccine became available in the fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the numbers are good, considering that it was a hurried campaign against a novel flu virus using a vaccine that did not become available to the public until early October, and then, only in limited supplies. An estimated 55 million became ill from swine flu from the time it was first identified in April through mid-December. About 246,000 Americans were hospitalized and 11,160 died. Swine flu infections have been waning since late October, and no states were reporting widespread cases as of last week.
A review of data from 10 states shows up to 80% of children under age 10 who were immunized against pandemic flu are overdue for their second dose. Officials have said children ages 6 months to 10 years need a second dose to be fully protected. States said they worry that declining flu activity may dampen the public's interest in the vaccine. Experts have said a booster is still effective, even when given later than the suggested 4 weeks after the first dose.
Though the pandemic H1N1 virus is still the dominant flu strain, China has found influenza B in 12.6% of specimens. Some countries are sporadically detecting seasonal H1N1 and H3N2 viruses. Regions reporting the most intense pandemic flu activity are North Africa, South Asia, and east and southeastern Europe. The most affected North African countries are Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt. Flu activity also increased in western India.
Australia braces for possible back-to-school wave – it is likely swine flu will strike the country again, possibly as a second wave after school resumes in a couple weeks and as people return from overseas holiday travel. "We're expecting to reimport the virus and to see people getting sick again." Officials are encouraging vaccination.
Johnson & Johnson issued a MASSIVE RECALL Friday of over-the-counter drugs including Tylenol, Motrin and St. Joseph's aspirin because of a moldy smell that has made people sick. The smell is caused by small amounts of a chemical associated with the treatment of wooden pallets. It was the second such recall in less than a month because of the smell, which regulators said was first reported to McNeil in 2008. Federal regulators criticized the company, saying it didn't respond to the complaints quickly enough, wasn't thorough in how it handled the problem and didn't inform the Food and Drug Administration quickly. The recall includes some batches of regular and extra-strength Tylenol, children's Tylenol, eight-hour Tylenol, Tylenol arthritis, Tylenol PM, children's Motrin, Motrin IB, Benadryl, Rolaids, Simply Sleep, and St. Joseph's aspirin.
Some 390 tons (864,000 pounds) of ground beef produced by a California meat packer, some of it nearly two years ago, is being recalled for fear of potentially deadly E. coli bacterium tainting. The beef was produced by Huntington Meat Packing Inc. of Montebello, Calif., and shipped mainly to California outlets. There were no reports of illness.
Massachusetts is the latest jurisdiction to find higher rates of flu illness and death in its non-white residents. Asians were hospitalized 1.5 times as often as whites and were 4 times as likely to die from flu; Hispanics were hospitalized 3 times as often and were 6 times as likely to die; and blacks were hospitalized more than 4 times as often, and had death rates more than 3 times higher than whites.
The Los Angeles international airport recently began offering flu shots, including the pandemic vaccine, in most of its terminals. The airport's goal is to help curb flu spread and put the shots within convenient reach of travelers. Vaccination stations are staffed by nurses from FluEase, a company that specializes in immunization services for organizations. The shots cost $30, and vaccination will continue throughout flu season.
Switzerland's medical regulatory agency recommends that people who have serious autoimmune diseases not receive Novartis's H1N1 vaccine because it has not been tested in such patients. The agency said it could not exclude the risk that the vaccine antigen or adjuvant could exacerbate disease.
Pediatric flu deaths triple the past 3 season average – In an overview of flu activity during the 2009-10 flu season, pediatric deaths from the pandemic virus are three times higher than the average for the past three seasons. Flu activity peaked on Oct 24, much earlier than the February peaks of the most recent flu seasons. The CDC pointed out that multiple waves were seen during the three most recent pandemics, emphasizing the importance of vaccination.
In one of the first large serologic studies of pandemic H1N1 infection, British researchers found that in areas hit hard during the first wave, one in three children were infected by the virus, TEN TIMES HIGHER THAN SURVEILLANCE ESTIMATES. Serologic studies are needed to help public health officials gauge the true burden of disease. Flu surveillance captures only the number of people who seek medical care for illnesses, missing asymptomatic or mild infections. Serologic evidence suggests that as many as one in three children under 15, and one in five of those ages 15 to 24, were infected during the first pandemic wave. Findings suggested that a substantial proportion of older adults had preexisting immunity to the pandemic virus, which experts say could result from previous exposure to antigenically similar flu viruses. The group projected that about one in four adults age 65 or older should be protected. However, as many as two in three of this age-group may be protected. Study findings, plus disease incidence modeling, suggests that the late October launch of the pandemic vaccine did little to mitigate the second wave of infections in the fall. The results also highlight the role of children in flu transmission and extending seasonal flu vaccination to this age-group has the potential to protect young people and help provide herd immunity to the larger population.
RECALLS & ALERTS:
-Hines Nut Company has initiated a recall of 270 packages of Pine Nuts, packaged under the brand name Harris Teeter Farmers Market because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
-The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Merrick Beef Filet Squares for dogs distributed by Merrick Pet Care with a package date of "Best By 111911" because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.
-McNeil Consumer Healthcare is recalling certain lots of over the counter products in the Americas, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Fiji. The company is initiating this recall following an investigation of consumer reports of an unusual moldy, musty, or mildew-like odor that, in a small number of cases, was associated with temporary and non-serious gastrointestinal events. Products include 27 varieties of Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph's, Rolaids and Simply Sleep, from as far back as 2008.
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
Voodoo Brings Solace To Grieving Haitians
by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
January 20, 2010
Erol Josue lost more than two dozen friends and extended family in Haiti's devastating earthquake. The Voodoo priest, who lives in New York, says he has spent the past week saying traditional Voodoo prayers. "We thank God that we are still alive," he says, "but we also pray to give a good route, to give a good path for the people who passed away. And also we pray to ask the question, 'What happened?' "
Priest made schoolgirl say 10 Hail Marys after assault, court told
20 January 2010
A priest in the Republic of Ireland gave a girl penance after abusing her in a confessional room, a jury has heard. Father Maeliosa O Hauallachain, 72, of Seafield Road, Killiney, County Dublin, pleaded not guilty to three charges of indecent assault on dates between July 31, 1981, and August 2, 1982, when the complainant was between 13 and 14 years old. The Louth woman, who is now 42, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday that the priest abused her and told her not to tell anyone.
Gunsights' biblical references concern US and UK forces
20 January 2010
Coded references to biblical passages are inscribed on gunsights widely used by the US and British military in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has emerged. The markings include "2COR4:6" and "JN8:12", relating to verses in the books of II Corinthians and John. Trijicon, the US-based manufacturer, was founded by a devout Christian, and says it runs to "Biblical standards". The company had been adding the references to its sights for many years, but the issue surfaced only recently when soldiers complained to an advocacy group, an ABC News investigation found.
Ex-pastor who killed wife gets 65-year prison term
By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jan 21, 6:48 pm ET
WACO, Texas – Jurors have sentenced a former Texas minister to 65 years in prison for killing his wife and trying to cover it up as a suicide. Jurors deliberated for two hours Thursday before imposing the sentence for 38-year-old Matt Baker. The jury convicted him a day earlier for slipping his wife sleeping pills and suffocating her in 2006. During closing arguments, prosecutor Crawford Long said Baker killed his wife in "cold-blooded cruelty" and seemed to take pleasure in getting away with it. He has dubbed Baker a "murdering minister."
Evangelical US megachurches like Saddleback are market-driven, with transcendence not on the menu
22 January 2010
Last Sunday we drove up to Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in Orange County, a collection of affluent, politically conservative suburbs south of LA. The model of a modern megachurch, Saddleback boasts over 112,000 "unchurched occasional attenders" as well as 22,800 active members – many initiated in the temperature-controlled baptismal pools on its 120-acre campus. Megachurches are market-driven. They study demographic data and plan marketing schemes tailored to their local target audiences.
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
Newest attack on Christianity: Just shut up!
January 16, 2010
By Bob Unruh
A Christian legal organization in the United Kingdom is reporting a skirmish victory in the latest war against Christians and their churches – the demand that they essentially be silent in their worship. Cases have cropped up in recent months both in the U.K. as well as the United States in which governmental bodies have demanded that Christian groups essentially be silent – so that no one can hear their worship. The Christian Legal Centre in the U.K. is reporting a victory in a battle, although the war remains.
Psalms banned, but witchcraft OK
January 19, 2010
A lower court's "hostility" towards Christianity will stand after the U.S. Supreme Court today refused to intervene in a school district's censorship of a kindergartener's choice of literature for a class reading. "By refusing to hear Mrs. Busch's case, the U.S. Supreme Court has endorsed the kind of hostility toward religion that should never be found in an American public school," said John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, which took on the Newtown Square, Pa., case.
Forced Recantations of Faith Continue in Vietnam
By Compass Direct News
Jan. 19 2010
HANOI, Vietnam (Compass Direct News) – A Vietnamese man violently forced to recant his fledgling Christian faith faces pressure from authorities and clansmen to prove his return to traditional Hmong belief by sacrificing to ancestors next month. Sung Cua Po, who embraced Christianity in November, received some 70 blows to his head and back after local officials in northwest Vietnam’s Dien Bien Province arrested him on Dec. 1, 2009, according to documents obtained by Compass. His wife, Hang thi Va, was also beaten. They live in Ho Co village.
Indonesia: North Sumatra, two Protestant churches burnt: "too many faithful and too many prayers"
By Asia News
January 23, 2010
Jakarta – A crowd of at least 1000 people burned down two Protestant churches last night in Sibuhuan (district of Padang Lawas, North Sumatra). The blaze was the culmination of tension between the faithful and the local Islamic community, tired of seeing " too many faithful and too many prayers " in a place not registered as a church.
Official figures show that Britain is rapidly secularising
National Secular Society
The British Social Attitudes Survey is one of the largest annual polls of opinion in Britain and is commissioned by the National Centre for Social Research. The latest edition will be published later this month, and will look at religious attitudes in Britain. The NSS has had a sneak preview and can reveal that it shows a further dramatic lurch away from religion by Britons. It also shows a deepening suspicion of people with strongly-held religious beliefs.