CHOSEN: End Times Newsletter – Issue 124
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:32
The Great Tribulation – Truths & Falsehoods
We are in the midst of the tribulation and even though some don’t want to believe it, we were given the warning long ago in the Word. This warning is to tell us that the time is near and to repair and guard our hearts in preparation for eternal life. This is a warning from the love that Father has for Her children.
“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 it's power, Avoid these people!” 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Does it not seem coincidental to you that these things have been prophesied are the exact same signs we are witness to today? That the US Dollar is nearly valueless? That oil prices surge? That layoffs and unemployment are at unprecedented highs? That food, electricity and water are becoming more and more scarce? That Natural Disasters continue to impact not only many lives, but also the economies of many countries – each affecting other countries around the world? That prayer and all signs of Christianity are being forced from public view? That the unnatural marriage between gay men and women socially acceptable. That many have come to the forefront proclaiming to be Messiahs? That Organized Religion around the world is receiving much scrutiny and bad press?
2 Peter 2:3-4 First, be aware of this: scoffers will come in the last days to scoff. following their own lusts, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.”
There are a lot of man-made religions that believe that Christ has already returned and that biblical prophecies have already happened when in fact they haven't. Luke 21:25 says [The Coming of the Son of Man] “Then there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and there will be anguish on the earth among nations bewildered by the roaring sea and waves.”
The Christian preterist believe that the tribulation took place in the past when Roman legions destroyed Jerusalem and its temple in 70 AD, and that it affected the Jewish people rather than all mankind. Does that sound right to you? The Christian preterist views on the tribulation is a falsehood. Have you seen signs that the sun is changing? How about the moon and stars? What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read “nations bewildered by the roaring sea and waves?” The first thing that comes to mind for me is all the hurricanes, monsoons and typhoon's that has been causing lots of deaths and costing lots of money to clean up.
Luke 21:11 There will be violent earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven.
In part, this is what's happening during this tribulation period. Father is gradually reducing the people to reveal what is just ahead for all of mankind if they do not repent and seek Her and Christ in Truth. As the weather and other natural phenomena, as well as insect problems worsen, note that even the news media reporters will be puzzled at what's coming upon this planet. They will do so by the looks upon their faces and the comments they make in puzzlement of continuous terrors and plagues like those of ancient Egypt. The worst is still ahead. Eventually, the entire planet will be made to know all comes from Father's anger.
Isaiah 13:3-4 3 I have commanded My chosen ones; I have also called My warriors, who exult in My triumph, to execute My wrath. Listen, a tumult on the mountains, like that of a mighty people! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations being gathered together! The LORD of Hosts is mobilizing an army for war.
At this time, people are experiencing great trouble and are suffering from the bowls of wrath that are given as a sign that the Great Tribulation has arrived. Read Revelation. There things occur but the masses are not repentant. Father is revealing Her great power over nature and Her intervention into world governments affairs, but only those that are perceptive are aware of what's happening. Each move on the chess board in the tribulation period is designed to fulfill the prophecies Father inspired to the writers of the Word long ago.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, Muslims, most Christians, and followers of other religions will be exterminated. The WTS teaches that only active adults in good standing of the Jehovah's Witnesses will survive the killing fields. The fate of children and of mentally disadvantaged adults will be up to God. They also believe that the rapture has already happened in an invisible form during 1918-9. There will be no Christians elevated to meet Jesus in the sky at the time of the world's end.
Why would the Jehovah's Witnesses be the only ones that won't be exterminated? What about all the other people who love, worship, has faith in and follows Father's will in all things. What about the faithful followers of Christ Jesus? The Great Tribulation has begun and Armageddon looms in the very near future. There are a total of TWO things that you need in order to obtain Eternal Life and Man-Made Religion is not one of them. (1) An Acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior. (2) A Good Heart Condition.
Luke 6:45 “A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.”
Most people see the present day bowls of anger being poured out in the great tribulation but deny that it comes from Father. They look to mankind for the answer and believe that it's merely a change in weather patterns they've created by altering this planets climate. In truth, they have helped to bring forth their own destruction by carbon emissions and other detrimental acts against the nature of his planet, but Father intends that they know the bowls of anger comes from Her throne. In this, Father will reveal that the sun is going to play a major role in cleansing this planet. This will soon become evident.
John 3:36 “The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.”
In addition to preparing yourselves for the Great Tribulation, now is your last chance to make things right with God. Do not believe the falsehoods of Man-Made religious sects out there who preach that you must be baptized in order to receive salvation and that Once Saved is Always Saved or the falsehood of the Trinity which denies Christ of his true glory. They do not represent truth. The lying false shepherds out there who have led people away from the truth and into darkness will be dealt with personally and according to God’s will. It is only through endurance, a belief and acceptance of Christ as our Savior and a Good Heart Condition that we will obtain Eternal Life.
Revelation 7:3 “Don't harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the slaves of our God on their foreheads.”
Keep count of how many more are perishing by God's hand, and those dying from Satan's hand in causing violence throughout this planet, just as he did before the global flood. As time moves on the numbers God executes will be evident by those that are soon to perish by the emptying of more wrath from the bowls. The destruction IS coming from Father. It is a final warning during the tribulation period before the door closes and the cup of wrath is administered.
1 Peter 4:7 Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be clearheaded and disciplined for prayer.
If you believe that it is only nature, only "global warming" that is bringing devastation, then you need also to understand who nature is a part of – God – and who uses it to bring forth Her will – Her holy angels. The bowls of wrath represent nature at its deadliest. The cup of wrath represents execution by holy angelic warriors.
We have been warned it would come and we have been warned what will happen if we fail to heed Her warning. It is not Her wish that Her children should perish but a balancing of the scales must take place. Her name must be vindicated before all of creation. Heed Her warning. Turn to Her with a humble heart and acceptance of Christ Jesus as your savior. It is the only way to escape God's wrath.
Hinduism believes in the repetitious Transmigration of the Soul. This is the transfer of one's soul after death into another body. This produces a continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth through their many lifetimes. The Hindus don't believe in the Great Tribulation. Once we pass over we don't go into another body. Birth, life, death and rebirth isn't a continuing cycle according to the bible.
2 Peter 1:20-21 First of all, you should know this: no prophecy of Scripture comes from one's own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man, instead, moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God.
Our Daily Walk With God
Deuteronomy 6:25 Righteousness will be ours if we are careful to follow every one of these commands before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.
What does it mean, to “pursue righteousness” and how do we incorporate this into our daily lives? And how do we know what is righteous and what is not? To be righteous, means to act in an upright, virtuous and moral way. But who determines what is righteous? Our heavenly Father does and our Savior Christ Jesus is our example. There’s a commonly used well known saying these days; “What would Jesus do?”. But how often do we ponder this when faced with any situation that might require or even demand righteousness?
Oftentimes life can happen quickly. Sometimes it comes at us as fast as a speeding bullet leaving us little time to ponder, pray, consider our options. In our lifetimes we literally face thousands upon thousands of situations in which a decision must be made, and sometimes it’s whether or not we should take the high road or be a follower. But the bottom line is that while we may all be concerned with how others view us or what they think of us, what truly matters is what Yahweh and Christ think of us. How they view us. And if we are only concerned with this, doesn’t everything else fall into place? If what you do is favorable and pleasing to Father and Christ, does what everyone else think truly matter? If everyone around us is going down the wide path, would it not be better to break away from the pack and take the path Christ Jesus took?
Proverbs 21:21 “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”
The book of Proverbs is actually a wonderful tool in sharing with us some very key points in righteous versus unrighteous behavior. If you’re ever in doubt as to what is the right(eous) way and unsure of where to begin, I would highly recommend scouring Proverbs for the answer, but in actuality the entire Bible contains examples of righteous versus unrighteous behavior and can be used for teaching, learning and coming to know Father’s Way. (Interesting fact: The word Righteous appears a total of 554 times in the Holman Christian Standard Bible.) ursuing righteousness is also particularly important in these End Times and during a Tribulation which tests our abilities to remain faithful and act righteously because as Proverbs 21:21 relates, righteous behavior is the road that leads to life, prosperity and honor and it is Father's faithful who will be delivered in the Rapture and rescued to safety just as Noah and his family were delivered from the Great Flood.
Genesis 6:9 [ God Warns Noah ] These are the family records of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries; Noah walked with God.
Pursuing righteousness can also be called walking with God, because to walk with God is to walk in Her Ways. It takes faith, perseverance, endurance and a willingness of heart to learn and obey Father’s commands and to react accordingly in any given situation. This also ties in with the question of who to follow – those "others" – or God. Anytime that we choose to walk with God and follow in Christ's footsteps, we are choosing the right way and in doing so we are then counted as blameless among our contemporaries.
Deuteronomy 32:4 The Rock—His work is perfect; all His ways are entirely just. A faithful God, without prejudice, He is righteous and true.
While we are, none of us, perfect, pursuing righteousness can often seem to be an uphill climb on a winding twisting road rather than a leisurely stroll but it’s exercise for the heart that is good for us and when we walk with God, we can be certain that our ways are righteous as Father Herself is perfect, just, faithful, without prejudice and righteous and true. We can also rest easy in the knowledge that while we may be required to break away from the pack and leave unrighteous behavior behind, we will not walk alone, for Yahweh is always with us, leading us, guiding us, holding our hand and showing us the way – Her Way.
Preparing a Welcome Home
In scripture, these end times have been paired with Christ's coming to Rapture His flock from this world. When referring to His coming, it would be like a time that is not expected, and not only that, but also like a master returning to His estate.
Luke 12:39 — But know this: if the homeowner had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
John 10:10 — A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.
Revelation 16:15 — "Look, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who is alert and remains clothed so that he may not go naked, and they see his shame."
Revelation 3:20 — Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.
Whether it be at night or during the day, it should not matter. To consider, as well, that the earth is Father's footstool, and that at any one time it is day at some part of this planet, the hour that Christ comes may very well be an hour when some servants may be physically resting, while others are performing their normal duties. Also, as our master is right at the door, seeing the signs of the Great Tribulation, having a house prepared so that Christ is happy by what He sees is something that would be something of a pleasant offering that a servant can give. This not only means that everything should be well-kept and organized, but a preparedness for our master's call is kept, too. Obedience that multi-facets its way, in a way, perhaps related to what may seem like the roots of a tree that has a steady foundation, and/or perhaps the nervous or circulatory system of a human body, reaching to every part of a person.
A good house would also be well-lit for their master, like what would be given in the parable Christ shared of the ten virgins who waited for the groom. If each person's lamp is also their eye, and oneself can relate themselves to one waiting for Christ, then being sure to have enough burning oil to maintain a light that is pleasing to Father would be on a list of priorities. At the same time, one wouldn't hide their lamp, nor stop maintaining it, but allow it to shine brightly so that even those that may be traveling might also see the light Father provides.
To note from the above mentioned parable, as well, the virgins all responded to a call that the groom had arrived, as oppose to acting with anxiety, or otherwise not showing respect for Father's way. In a sense, not trying to open the door for the groom before the groom arrived. This can be related to the wisdom in Proverbs:
Proverbs 18:13 — The one who gives an answer before he listens—
this is foolishness and disgrace for him.
It would not be a good idea to open a door before the master knocks, as that can show presumptuousness and impatience. At the same time, not responding in good time also shows disrespect, and a lack of readiness for Christ, as well as Father.
Another respect of the above parable is the light, in that the light is taken in by the eye, and is continually absorbed. An interesting concept in this is in psychic growth and the usage of chakra charts to recharge … chakras. Energy is taken in, energy can also be grown and developed, and also, to a sense, expended when it is utilized to take action. In this way, the light can be related to food, as there is good light and light that can give off darkness (as Christ had warned against in Matthew 6:23), there is also good and bad food. Food that is gathered from plants requires that the plants have some sort of maintenance, or beneficial circumstances that allow the plant to produce fruit. Plants that one might grow within their heart and maintain also require correct placement and care. Such care would even include trimming and pruning, so that it does not impede on other plants and cause them to become fruitless, so that they yield more fruit, and even maintain a good posture to defend against sudden storms or unhealthful growth.
All these things intertwine in maintaining Father's gifts and multiplying what has been given as faithful servants. Of this, includes Christ's parable given in Matthew 25, in relation to how oneself may be faithful and give Christ much joy in His coming, and not sorrow. Maintaining integrity even amongst violence and darkness, and not burying the talent that Father has provided.
Nourishment From The Throne
Cherubic Commander: Pleiades and Orion. A connection to this planet Earth. What of ancient time lines up with those two? Search until you find the answer.
P.S. The answer provides for another puzzle contained within the calculation of the ancient humans that knew and understood the importance of both Pleiades and Orion.
Regina: From some research I performed:
(This looks like a scene!) Orion (see illustration) is a mighty man with a club in his raised right hand and the skin of a slain lion in his left hand. His left foot is crushing the enemy. He wears a girdle around his waist from which hangs a sword. In the oldest illustrations of Orion, the hilt and handle of the sword are drawn as the head and body of a lamb. From his raised foot flows a river (of fire).
The Pleiades have been known since ancient times. They were mentioned by Homer about 750 B.C., by biblical Amos about 750 B.C., and by Hesiod about 700 B.C. At least 6 member stars are visible to the unaided eye, while under excellent conditions this jumps up to more than a dozen. Vehrenberg, in his Atlas of Deep Sky Splendors, mentions that in 1579, well before the invention of the telescope, astronomer Moestlin had correctly drawn 11 Pleiades stars, while Kepler quotes observations of up to 14.
I also found a reference that pointed to the Book of Enoch – "In ancient Aram, the constellation was known as Nephila, Orion's descendants were known as Nephilim."
I'm really not sure of the above's validity because when I look at the illustration above, Orion would seem more to me to represent Michael The Word Christ Jesus ('The Coming Light'), who tramples evil and who holds the slain Little Lion (Dawn) in his hand. The River Judge seems to me to be the Lake of Fire, and The Judge, Father and Her coming wrath.
What feels right to me though, is that these constellations speak of the Spiritual War and give insight on what is soon to come as well. From browsing through sites, it seems that the common denominator between all the different beliefs is pointing to a time of great change.
Apparently, there is also a connection between these two constellations' alignments and The Great Pyramid. There's a lot to sift through though, as much of the information given online seems to be a mixture of truth and falsehoods.
Jeshaiah: it looks like the three Pyramids of Giza are theorized to match up with Orion's belt… The other pyramids were theorized to also align, but some pyramids are not there that would fully make up the constellation.
Regina: From Wikipedia: The Orion Correlation Theory was first put forward by Bauval in 1995. One night, while working in Saudi Arabia, he took his family and a friend's family up into the sand dunes of the Arabian desert for a camping expedition. His friend pointed out Orion, and mentioned that Mintaka, the smaller more easterly of the stars making up Orion's belt was offset slightly from the others. Bauval then made a connection between the layout of the three main stars in Orion's belt and the layout of the three main pyramids in the Giza necropolis. The idea has been further expounded by Bauval in collaborative works with Adrian Gilbert and Graham Hancock, as well as in their separate publications. The basis of this theory concerns the proposition that the relative positions of three main Ancient Egyptian pyramids on the Giza plateau are (by design) correlated with the relative positions of the three stars in the constellation of Orion which make up Orion's Belt— as these stars appeared ca. 10,500 BC.
Matching up…or lining up… makes me think of a plan and a timeline. Which, on that train of thought, I recall a vision and dream (one of each) that I had in the past in which a timeline was referred to – and also numbers lining up.
Johanna: Amos 5:8 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
8 The One who made the Pleiades and Orion,
who turns darkness into dawn
and darkens day into night,
who summons the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the earth —
Yahweh is His name.
REFERENCE TO AMOS 5:8
Genesis 1:2-3 2 Now the earth was [a] formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
Psalm 104:6-9 6 You covered it with the deep
as if it were a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7 At Your rebuke the waters fled;
at the sound of Your thunder they hurried away —
8 mountains rose and valleys sank —
to the place You established for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;
they will never cover the earth again.
This scripture makes me think of the Ark that is waiting for Fathers faithful children. I would have to agree with Regina as well about how the things she read are pointing to a great change.
Amos 4:13 13 He is here:
the One who forms the mountains,
creates the wind,
and reveals His[a] thoughts to man,
the One who makes the dawn out of darkness
and strides on the heights of the earth.
Yahweh, the God of Hosts, is His name.
Amos 9:5-6 5 The Lord, the GOD of Hosts—
He touches the earth;
it melts, and all who dwell on it mourn;
all of it rises like the Nile
and subsides like the Nile of Egypt.
6 He builds His upper chambers
in the heavens
and lays the foundation of His vault
on the earth.
He summons the waters of the sea
and pours them out on the face of the earth.
Yahweh is His name.
Other than what everyone else posted I decided to add these scriptures that are in reference to the Amos scripture. There were more but those where already mentioned.
Regina: Something else that came to mind in regards to The Pleiades is that they are also known as the Big Dipper…and the Big Dipper is also a cup, or bowl…
This was also quite interesting.. The 7 Sisters and the 7 Churches of the book of Revelation….
Revelation 1:11-22 11 saying, "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea."
12 I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me. When I turned I saw seven gold lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was One like the Son of Man, dressed in a long robe, and with a gold sash wrapped around His chest. 14 His head and hair were white like wool—white as snow, His eyes like a fiery flame, 15 His feet like fine bronze fired in a furnace, and His voice like the sound of cascading waters. 16 In His right hand He had seven stars; from His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was shining like the sun at midday.
17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. He laid His right hand on me, and said, "Don't be afraid! I am the First and the Last, 18 and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades. 19 Therefore write what you have seen, what is, and what will take place after this. 20 The secret of the seven stars you saw in My right hand, and of the seven gold lampstands, is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
Cherubic Commander: Riddle: A cup is turned upside down and pours out the wrath of Father upon those beneath it. It is dipped in the wrath of Father since the dawn of sin. Its presence is seen but its meaning eludes those that have no insight. Yet, it is visible for all to see as the dawn out of darkness shines above in the night time sky. He touches the earth and it melts with His wrath upon all who dwell on it. They mourn as Father's wrath rises like a river and then sinks them down into the pit of total destruction. For on high He displays His sign within the heavens where He chambers that which will be poured out, and lays the foundation of His vault for those left on the earth that will be cast out into the darkness for eternity. Just as Father built the ancient canopy by the hand of Michael long ago. His upper chambers filled with water in the heavens, and layed the foundation of His vault to receive an ungodly world of people for judgment to eternal destruction. So in these end times Michael has dipped the cup of wrath to its fullness in anticipation of pouring out Father's wrath of fire upon an ungodly world of present day people. As baptism is no longer by water, and judgment is no longer by the complete deluge of water, but instead, as the children of Yahweh are cleansed and baptised by fire, so too shall the fire of heaven cleanse away those that are non partakers of the promised kingdom.
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
'UFOs' spotted flying over Godalming
February 1, 2010
ALIENS were circling over Godalming last week, that is according to people living in the town. Julia Capels, a 27-year-old receptionist, said she saw "bright flashing lights" flying near her home in Holloway Hill on Thursday, while another couple said they had seen an orange object hovering over their house on Tuesday. “It was quite late and I was just parking my car when I saw it,” Miss Capels told Get Surrey on Monday.
Pilot sees fiery UFOs in sky over Rugby
Feb 1 2010
by Duncan Gibbons
A PILOT has described a “bewildering” close encounter with a pair of low-flying UFOs in Warwickshire. The two glowing petal-shaped craft silently skimmed along at about 1,500ft – the height of a modern skyscraper – until they disappeared behind clouds. The qualified pilot, based at Coventry Airport, watched the spectacle unfold from a garden in Rugby. “I was looking at the stars when a circular object came into view from behind a cloud,” said the man, who asked to remain anonymous.
Suspected Asteroid Collion Leaves Odd X-Pattern of Trailing Debris
February 2, 2010
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has imaged a mysterious X-shaped debris pattern and trailing streamers of dust that suggest a head-on collision between two asteroids. Astronomers have long thought that the asteroid belt is being ground down through collisions, but such a smashup has never before been seen. The comet-like object imaged by Hubble, called P/2010 A2, was first discovered by the LINEAR (Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research program) sky survey on January 6. New Hubble images taken on January 25 and 29 show a complex X-pattern of filamentary structures near the nucleus.
Triangle UFOs low over California, Ohio
Jan 31, 2010
Triangle-shaped UFOs were spotted low over California and Ohio in cases where the witnesses were able to describe lights on the craft, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. CA, January 29, 2010 – Hovering triangle with 3 lights on the outside and one glowing light in center. MUFON Case # 21712. I was driving northbound from Modesto through Ripon heading towards Manteca where my Fiance and I noticed a very bright set of lights in the sky hovering on the left hand side of Highway 99, 1/4 of a mile from Ripon High School. We thought the lights were from a tower at first until we noticed the object spinning slowly as the outside lights glowed off and on with out a pattern.
Mysterious jellyfish in sky over Andenesm, Norway, January 2010
Back in 20098 we reported about Norway's Doomsday Ark Seed Vault and UFO Project Hessdalen. Later on in last two years we saw many UFO reports coming from Norway. We also reported one of the most scientifically based analysis of a possible UFO/light phenomenon and Underground ET base in Hessdalen video documentary here on UFO-Blogger back in December 2009. When world media intensively reported about Spiral over Norway December 9, 2009
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
Millions being smuggled in Zimbabwe's diamond fields
by Jane Fields
February 6, 2010
PLANELOADS of diamonds mined in Zimbabwe's violence-riddled eastern Chiadzwa diamond fields are being secretly airlifted to Harare. Now campaigners fear the unsupervised transport of the diamonds mean that many could be "leaked" – probably into the pockets of president Robert Mugabe's cronies. Zimbabwe was nearly suspended from the Kimberley Process (KP), the world diamond supervisory body, last year because of an army clampdown on illegal panners at Chiadzwa in 2008. Human rights groups say 200 people were killed.
Genetically Modified Forest Planned for U.S. Southeast
by Paul Voosen
January 29, 2010
Genetic engineering is coming to the forests. While the practice of splicing foreign DNA into food crops has become common in corn and soy, few companies or researchers have dared to apply genetic engineering to plants that provide an essential strut of the U.S. economy, trees. But that will soon change. Two industry giants, International Paper Co. and MeadWestvaco Corp., are planning to transform plantation forests of the southeastern United States by replacing native pine with genetically engineered eucalyptus, a rapidly growing Australian tree that in its conventional strains now dominates the tropical timber industry.
Shares tumble and pound plummets as crisis looms for the Eurozone
by Lucy Farndon
February 6, 2010
Stock markets tumbled worldwide yesterday amid fears that crippling debt levels in southern Europe could destabilise the euro and derail economic recovery. Portugal and Spain became the latest Eurozone countries to cause a panic among investors, as economists cast doubt on their ability to control their national debt.
Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal ‘Synthetic Organisms,’ Molecular Kill-Switch Included
by Katie Drummond
February 5, 2010
The Pentagon’s mad science arm may have come up with its most radical project yet. Darpa is looking to re-write the laws of evolution to the military’s advantage, creating “synthetic organisms” that can live forever — or can be killed with the flick of a molecular switch.
Brazil handing out 55 million condoms for Carnival
February 6, 2010
RIO DE JANERIO — Brazilian health officials have kicked off an AIDS awareness campaign and will hand out 55 million condoms during the annual Carnival festival that begins next week. A new television ad features a talking condom that loudly reminds young people to take him along when they go out to party. Health Minister Jose Temporao said Saturday that this year's campaign is focusing on educating young women and young gay men to use protection. The slogan is: "The condom. For love, passion or just sex. Always use it."
Signs in Humanity
Russian police break up protests; scores detained
February 1, 2010
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian police broke up anti-Kremlin protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg on Sunday, and detained more than 100 demonstrators, including several opposition leaders. In Moscow, several hundred demonstrators gathered in a central square, defying a ban imposed by authorities. The protesters said their rally was banned in violation of the Russian constitution's guarantee of the right to gather. They denounced the policies of President Dmitry Medvedev and his predecessor and mentor Vladimir Putin, who continues to wield broad powers as Russia's prime minister.
Mexico Gunmen Kill 14 Teens, Young Adults
Wall Street Journal
by Nicholas Casey
January 31, 2010
Armed men broke into a party in Mexico's northern border city of Ciudad Juárez on Saturday night, killing at least 14 and wounding another 14, Mexican authorities said Sunday. The incident, the latest in a long string of killings in the city, underscores the unchecked violence in the border town, a stronghold of Mexico's drug gangs that have turned Ciudad Juárez into one of the most dangerous places in the world.
Row over Rio Carnival role for seven-year-old girl
February 6, 2010
A row has erupted in Rio de Janeiro over the decision to make a seven-year-old girl "queen" of a top samba school taking part in the famous carnival. Children's rights groups have raised concerns that it is inappropriate for a child to take on the traditionally "sexy" role for the 80-minute parade. But Julia Lira's father dismissed their concerns, saying she was a natural and would cope with dancing in the heat.
US food stamps set ever-higher record-32.8 million
February 6, 2010
A record 38.2 million Americans were enrolled in the food stamp program at latest count, up 246,000 from the previous month and the latest in record-high monthly tallies that began in December 2008. Food stamps are the primary federal anti-hunger program, helping poor people buy groceries. The Agriculture Department updated enrollment data on Friday with a preliminary figure for November.
Female suicide bomber in Iraq kills 54
by Brian Murphy
February 1, 2010
BAGHDAD – A female suicide bomber detonated her explosives inside a way station for Shiite pilgrims Monday, killing 54 people and rattling security officials who are struggling against a possible rise in violence before key elections next month. The attack was the third major strike by suspected Sunni insurgents in a week and left Baghdad's top security official acknowledging that extremists are adopting new methods to outwit bomb-detection squads such as stashing explosives deep inside the engines and frames of vehicles.
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.
Jburton – moved to South carolina and on disabilty and have health problems here and getting low on food, no car to go to store or to foodbanks and waiting to be approve for foodstamps. Thank you and God bless you.
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
5.0 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.3 EASTERN SICHUAN, CHINA
5.4 MOLUCCA SEA
5.0 IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.5 ATACAMA, CHILE
5.2 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA
5.1 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
5.1 LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
5.0 FIJI REGION
5.7 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 BIAK REGION, INDONESIA
5.0 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.2 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.0 NORTH OF ASCENSION ISLAND
5.0 EASTER ISLAND REGION
5.1 SOUTH OF ALASKA
5.2 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.9 OFFSHORE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
5.1 FIJI REGION
5.8 SOUTHEAST INDIAN RIDGE
5.1 SEA OF JAPAN
5.2 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
CHINA – A moderate, magnitude 5.2 earthquake in Sichuan, south-west China, has brought down at least 100 homes, killing one person and injuring 11. The tremor struck at 0537 local time (2137 GMT Saturday) 35km (20m) south-east of Suining, at a depth of 18.6km (11.6m). Houses collapsed in the Moxi area of Suining, a city of 3.5 million people. A magnitude 8 quake in Sichuan on 12 May 2008 left at least 87,000 people dead or missing. The authorities in Sichuan were "still not sure" if the latest quake was an aftershock from the earlier disaster.
INDONESIA – As many as 71 houses in a number of villages in Ketol District, Central Aceh, 300 kilometers from provincial capital Banda Aceh, were badly damaged by the quake that took place in the mountainous region on Thursday night. 56 others were slightly damaged. Two residents in Ketol district sustained injuries from falling debris. The 5-magnitude quake struck at 11.12 p.m. local time Thursday and was centered 23 kilometers northwest of Takengon at a depth of 10 kilometers.
Quakes were the 'decade's worst disasters' – Almost 60% of the people killed by natural disasters in the past decade lost their lives in earthquakes. Storms were responsible for 22% of lives lost, while extreme temperatures caused 11% of deaths from 2000 to 2009. In total, 3,852 disasters killed more than 780,000 people. Asia was the worst-affected continent, accounting for 85% of all fatalities. The decade's deadliest disaster was the 2004 Asian tsunami, which killed more than 220,000 people when a series of waves devastated coastal areas around the Indian Ocean. Cyclone Nargis, which swept across Burma in 2008 claimed 138,000 lives, while the European heatwave of 2003 was blamed for 72,000 deaths. Two billion people were affected by the catastrophes, which left a trail of destruction that cost in excess of US $960 billion. Eight out 10 of the world's most populous cities are located on fault lines, including Tokyo, Mexico City and Mumbai. "The number of catastrophic events has more than doubled since the 1980-89 decade. In contrast, the number of affected people has increased at a slower rate. This may be due to better community preparedness and prevention."
HAITI warned to brace for another big quake. Haiti should be preparing for another major earthquake that could be triggered by the catastrophic one last month. Teams of geophysicists, who have been tracking movements in the fault line that slashes across Haiti and into the Dominican Republic, came to the nation last week to measure changes in the Earth's crust after the 7.0-magnitude quake on January 12. Increased pressure on the fault after the quake could unleash another of the same size or bigger, although scientists acknowledge they have no way of knowing exactly when or where it will hit. "Faults are always waiting for the right moment but if another earthquake gives them a little kick they go before their time." Preliminary calculations show the January 12 quake could be the "little kick" that sets off another temblor along the 186 mile fault where two regional tectonic plates have been scraping together for millions of years. The U.S. Geological Survey says the aftershock sequence will continue for months, "if not years", and "damaging earthquakes will remain possible in the coming months". Some experts suggest the whole capital should be rebuilt away from the dangerous fault line. Haiti's national geological survey offices collapsed in the quake, killing some 30 people inside, including the institute's director.
HAITI – The death toll from Haiti's catastrophic earthquake last month has reached 212,000, while the number of homeless may be far higher than the one million estimated by authorities.
YELLOWSTONE – The 2010 Yellowstone Earthquake Swarm saw a slight resurgence of activity Tuesday, but has been quiet since then, with no activity at all Wednesday.
INDIA – In a VERY RARE PHENOMENON on Indian soil, volcano-like eruptions have triggered large-scale forest fires that are threatening vast tracts of forests in Arunachal Pradesh. There is no official word on these "eruptions" that have occurred in the last few days in the Dehu Mountain range in Kurung Kumey district. Sources from the remote area said a forest fire has broken out at nearby Langa Tata Mountain situated in between Yangte and Chambang. They requested help from the Geological Survey of India, Department of Mines and Minerals and Forests to investigate into the phenomenon. In August 2007, similar eruptions disturbed residents near Kimin in Lower Subansiri district, in which coal-like substances were detected after the remains had cooled down. While scientists from GSI and the Arunachal government's geology and mining department collected evidence, they didn't confirm the presence of lava. Local authorities claimed the fires then were caused by electric short-circuit that generated enough heat to melt stones around a 200sq metre area.
PAKISTAN – A volcano has started spewing lava in Ziarat District of Balochistan, some 75 kilometres away from Quetta. The volcanic activity occurred in Jhari area of Ziarat at Torghar Mountain on Monday night. Residents of the nearby area claimed the fire fumes at top of the mountain in the night were witnessed for the last few days, while on Monday night the mountain started spewing lava. Jhari area is located near Waam, which was badly affected in October 29, 2008, when a severe earthquake hit Ziarat. Experts were being dispatched there to examine the area. Arrangements have been made in the area to meet any emergent situation while some local people have been shifted to safer places.
ECUADOR – Activity at Tungurahua volcano is increasing. It hasn't really made it to much of the English-speaking news, but the current eruptive activity at Tungurahua appears to be on the up-tick.The Geophysical Institute of Ecuador suggests that a larger eruption is not out of the question , but right now the activity is confined to explosions and ash fall around the region. The Geophysical Institute is reporting 32 explosions, 30 long-period seismic events and 20 episodes of volcanic tremor in the last 24 hours. Government officials have issued a number of warnings for people living near the volcano and began preparation for evacuations. One of the few articles in English media regarding Tungurahua was a report about the difficultly of getting people to evacuate in these situations. "We've heard this before, where people don't want to leave their home/farm because thieves will steal their meager possessions and livestock. Now, that might seem crazy to you and me, to be (as one of the commenters on the article says) more worried about possessions than life, but many of the residents of this area in Ecuador live a very scant existence, so losing their livelihood (such as their animals) is tantamount to, well, death."
JAPAN – An underwater volcano erupted Wednesday morning about 5 kilometers north-northwest of Iwo Jima (Iwo To), sending a plume of white ash and steam into the air. The eruption of the Fukutokuoka no Ba undersea volcano — which last erupted in July 2005 — was discovered at about 7:45 a.m. by a Japan Coast Guard patrol boat. The volcano is about 1,300 kilometers south of Tokyo, and has also erupted in 1904, 1914 and 1986. In each case small islands were formed, all of which, however, eventually sank back into the ocean. Since around the 1950s, the sea in the area has regularly changed color, and turned yellow-green last December. (photo)
AZERBAIJAN – Lokbatan mud volcano has erupted. It is in the State Natural Reserve of Baku and Absheron Peninsula Mud Volcanoes Group. The eruption lasted for an hour, the yellow, black mud spread in a 1.5 ha area. Monitoring found out that the temperature was 20-30 degrees in the volcanic breccia during the eruption. Lokbata mud volcano, one of the most frequent active volcanoes in the world, first erupted in 1829. Since then, this volcano has erupted 21 times. The volcano erupted last in 2001. The mud volcanoes have recently become active as a result of the seismic activity in the south of the Caspian Sea.
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS –
AUSTRALIA – The Gold Coast will continue to be battered by strong swells and king tides with a monsoonal trough bringing wild weather across Queensland's south. Tides along the Gold Coast were expected to reach 1.80 metres just before 10am Monday morning. Tides on the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane, could reach 2.1m, about the same time. Homes along the coast or canal estates could be inundated. The king tides are expected to continue until Saturday.
Ex-cyclone Olga and the monsoonal trough are dumping heavy rain in northern and central Queensland, and huge swells and king tides are being reported across the state's coast. Mackay, the sugar capital of Australia, received up to 330mm in 24 hours. A king tide of 6.6m hit Mackay around 11.30am today. The Gold Coast also had a king tide today but no homes or streets were flooded. The State Emergency Service has door-knocked homes in Mackay to prepare residents for evacuation. Townsville and its surrounds received between 100mm and 200mm of rain in the past 24 hours. Floods have cut off two major highways.
TROPICAL STORMS -
Olga became a tropical storm for the third time in northern Australia. NASA satellite imagery showed that Olga's center moved back into the warm waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria and regained strength. NASA's Aqua satellite saw Olga's center re-entering the Gulf early on January 29, and satellite imagery indicated the storm was strengthening. Residents of the northern coastal areas in Australia's Northern Territory and Queensland were again under tropical cyclone warnings and watches. Olga wasn't expected to stay in the Gulf more than a day, however, before it made landfall near Normanton, Queensland on January 30.
Nisha was not expected to maintain its tropical storm status this weekend, because it was being battered by wind shear. At 10 a.m. ET, January 29, Tropical Storm Nisha was barely hanging onto its status as a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds near 39 mph (35 knots). Nisha was forecast to move slowly to the east and dissipate over the latter half of the weekend.
Projected storm paths .
Cyclone 12P was 1845 nmi NE of Auckland, New Zealand.
12P – The Cook Islands is preparing for more bad weather with the new tropical depression which has become a cyclone overnight. Last week Cyclone Nisha affected the Cooks, American Samoa and Niue before its winds petered out. The latest storm is forecast to intensify and may bring momentary gusts of up to 60 knots in the northern Cook Islands of Suwarrow, Pukapuka and Nassau. Heavy rain, squally thunderstorms and damaging heavy swells are expected with flooding, including sea flooding likely.
Tropical Cyclone Olga was struck off the list of classified cyclones Saturday morning, but is still dumping buckets and is roaring southwards towards NSW. Olga was able to draw moisture into herself when most cyclones are unable to do so, namely while over land. This was due to the fortuitous path that she took during her life span, siphoning warm surface waters from the Gulf of Carpentaria. But now that she's in her final stages, Ex-TC Olga is now breaking apart and all that trapped moisture is now being greedily sucked up by neighbouring systems of instability spilling a great deal of moisture over the east. Regions on the central coast and inland received SOME OF THEIR HIGHEST RAINFALLS IN JANUARY IN A DECADE. The Town of Mirani received 312mm in 24hrs – their highest January rain recorded in 9 years. The higher than average rain rates are expected to continue for the next week with moderate falls expected throughout NSW and Queensland until Sunday.
Projected storm paths .
Cyclone OLI was 1860 nmi NE of Auckland, New Zealand.
The twelfth tropical cyclone in the Southern Pacific Ocean formed yesterday, February 1, and because of its proximity to the Fiji islands, it has been dubbed "Oli." Oli's name may also be referred to as Tropical Cyclone 12P in the news. The Fiji islands have their own list of tropical cyclone names, which may be confusing, because the Joint Typhoon Warning Center will typically use the number of the storm. At 10 a.m. ET, February 1, Tropical Storm Oli (12P) had maximum sustained winds near 57 mph (50 knots) up from 40 mph from 12 hours before. Oli is moving east at 23 mph (20 knots). Oli is currently in an area of low wind shear. High wind shear can tear a storm apart, while low wind shear allows storms to strengthen, if the sea surface temperatures are over 80 degrees Fahrenheit (and they are where Oli is located). Over the next four days, however, Oli will move into those cooler waters and wind shear is forecast to pick up. So, forecasters expect some strengthening in the short term, but Oli will hit a wall after day four.
Australians in three of five territories have had enough of Tropical Cyclone Olga. After two landfalls, and three times a tropical storm, and traveling through Queensland and the Northern Territory, Olga's remnants are now raining on Australia's New South Wales Territory. Most of the rainfall was light to moderate, but there were isolated areas of heavy rain falling at 2 inches per hour. An elongated area of low pressure (known as a trough) that is associated with the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Olga is forecast to extend over western New South Wales region over the next few days. The region is expected to experience widespread rainfall of the moderate to heavy variety over the next couple of days, particularly in the western portions. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology expects some local flooding in the far northwest New South Wales region. Currently there are flood warnings posted for the Darling and Warrego Rivers, but other rivers may also flood. If the rainfall that Olga has left in her wake is any indication, rainfall could very well be heavy. Brisbane received .2 to .4 inches (5-10mm) of rain, while more than 13 inches (330 millimeters) of rain fell at Finch Hatton.
Projected storm paths .
Cyclone FAMI was 559 nmi W of Saint Pierre, Reunion.
cyclone OLI was 1950 nmi NE of Auckland, New Zealand.
FAMI – fast & furious – the thirteenth tropical cyclone in the southern Indian Ocean formed very quickly. In 12 hours the low grew into a tropical storm named Fami and made a fast landfall in Madagascar around 1 a.m. ET (0600 UTC), February 2. At 1 a.m. ET (0600 UTC), Tropical Storm Fami had maximum sustained winds near 46 mph (40 knots) and was located in southern Madagascar, about 235 nautical miles west-southwest of Antananarivo. Infrared and microwave images both showed very high, powerful thunderstorms in Fami, even now that it has made landfall. The microwave image revealed that despite being over land, Fami has developed an eye feature developing in the mid- to upper-levels of the system. That is an indication that the storm is maintaining its strength, and likely feeding on tropical moisture from the warm waters that surround southern Madagascar. The microwave image also revealed cold areas in the storm that indicate ice in cloudtops and heavy precipitation. Forecasters are still pondering Fami's track over the next two days and it's strength. One computer model forecasts that the friction caused by Fami's track over land will cause its dissipation, while another computer model brings Fami back into the open ocean, then dissipating from increasing wind shear. Forecasters are watching the storm as it continues to track over land.
Tropical Storm Oli is headed between the islands of Bora Bora and Raratonga in the South Pacific, while maintaining its intensity as a tropical storm. Infrared satellite data from NASA's Aqua satellite reveals that Oli is a large storm, so those islands will experience gusty winds, some moderate to heavy rainfall, and heavy swells along their coasts. Infrared satellite imagery also showed that convection (rising air that creates thunderstorms) continues to flare up and dissipate near Oli's low level circulation center. Weakening of the storm is possible in the next day or two. At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. ET) on February 2, Oli had maximum sustained winds near 52 mph (45 knots) with higher gusts. It was located about 480 nautical miles west of Bora Bora. Oli has tracked eastward at 11 mph (10 knots). The tropical cyclone warning for Suwarrow has been cancelled, as has the tropical cyclone alert for the Southern Cook Islands. However, a strong wind warning remains in force for the Northern Cook Islands. Over the next couple of days, Oli is forecast to move southeast and pass between Bora Bora and Tahiti to the north and Raratonga to the south.
The weakening remnants of Cyclone Olga have finally moved into South Australia after pounding Queensland for almost a fortnight. Damaging wind gusts of 90km/h were no longer expected for southern parts of the Channel Country and Warrego districts. Ex-Tropical Cyclone Olga formed in the Coral Sea on January 23 before intensifying into a category 2 cyclone. A day later, moments before it hit the coastline, Olga weakened to a category 1 – hardly bothering locals. Since then, Olga has created localised flooding and damaging winds throughout the state. However, it has also given parts of Queensland their best rainfall in years. The HIGHEST JANUARY RAINFALL FOR AT LEAST THE PAST 20 YEARS fell in Barcaldine with 269mm, and Longreach with 241mm. North Queensland also received high rainfall with Innisfail receiving a RECORD 978mm in January. But the highest falls anywhere in the state were recorded at Bellenden Ker, near Cairns, which had 1,469mm in the month. RECORDS WERE BROKEN also on Cape York Peninsula with Lockhart River's airport recording 930mm, smashing its previous record of 784mm dating back to 1965.
Projected storm paths .
Cyclone OLI was 2048 nmi ENE of Auckland, New Zealand.
AUSTRALIA – As residents across Queensland continue to mop up from ex-tropical cyclone Olga, dengue fever is emerging as the new danger in the north of the state. Teams of inspectors are combing through inner city Townsville, looking for mosquito breeding sites. A task force has been established to contain the spread of the disease. Conditions are now perfect for an outbreak. "Dengue is a horrible disease, occasionally with quite nasty complications requiring hospital. But most people suffer terrible pains and are basically unable to move for a week or 10 days – there's no specific treatment." With one case confirmed, stopping the mosquitoes from breeding has an added urgency. More than 1,000 north Queenslanders contracted dengue fever last year, setting a new record.
Now that Fami has crossed Madagascar, its fading fast. The storm was elongating and losing its circulation. On satellite, Fami on Feb. 3 was a system more resembling a cold front than a tropical cyclone, as it appeared stretched out from northwest to southeast. There are also very few strong thunderstorms left in what was once the center. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued their last advisory on the system at 1 p.m. ET on February 2 after it crossed Madagascar, and entered the Southern Indian Ocean. Animated infrared satellite imagery showed a significant decrease and disorganization of deep convection after Fami tracked over Madagascar, as a result of friction from sweeping over mountainous areas. Fami could dissipate by today. However, there is a slight chance that Fami could briefly regain some life and transition into an extra-tropical storm. Forecasters will be watching it closely.
Projected storm paths .
Cyclone OLI was 2022 nmi ENE of Hamilton, New Zealand.
Category 4 Cyclone Oli – At noon local time on the 4th, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated that Tropical Storm Oli's maximum sustained winds had reached approximately 130 mph (210 km/h), which would classify it as a category four hurricane. A report put the storm's center in the South Pacific Ocean, at approximately 150 miles (240 kms) south-southwest of Bora Bora and 200 miles (310 kms) west–southwest of Tahiti, French Polynesia. French television showed by now all too familiar pictures of towering waves – above 7 meters (22 feet) – breaking over large stretches of the islands. Palm trees were bent nearly to the ground and detached roofs were flying through the air. So far no deaths or serious injuries have been reported, but given the strength of the storm, they are likely to occur. "The storm has brought strong winds, torrential rainfall and waves several meters in height to the Cook Islands, Bora Bora and Tahiti. More than 650 tourists trapped on Bora Bora have been relocated in other hotels. Schools in western Polynesia have been closed and people have been told to abandon primitive grass and mud dwellings and head to solid buildings such as town halls, schools or churches." Reports of damages are now coming in, but sporadically. A number of buildings on Tahiti have been destroyed and many areas of the island are without power. Local authorities are in the process of evacuating low lying residents, following flooding initiated by the storm. Oli is "currently forecast to continue tracking towards the south-southeast over the next 12-24 hours. During which time it is expected to encounter low vertical wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs, above 26 degrees Celsius). This environmental combination is favorable for further intensification." However it is expected to weaken within 24 to 48 hours.
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –
PERU – The number of people killed in heavy flooding over the past several days in southern Peru has risen to 20. At least five more people are missing and almost 40,000 others have been affected. On Friday, officials airlifted the last of nearly 4,000 tourists stranded near the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. The tourists became trapped after floods and landslides destroyed road and rail links to the site. After the impressive airlift from Machu Picchu, bringing aid to hundreds of villages spread over a wide area will pose a far greater challenge. Lucre – a village situated next to a river with the same name – was all but washed away earlier this week. "The waters hit our home at 2330 at night when we were all asleep. Someone heard the noise and before we could even get out of our beds the water was flowing over them." Other regions such as Puno, Ayacucho and Huancavelica were also hit hard by the torrential rains. The floods are THE WORST TO HIT THE COUNTRY IN YEARS.
AUSTRALIA – Heavy rains and damaging winds that lashed the Rockhampton region early Monday, leaving floods and some property damage in their wake, will move south over the next few days. There were unofficial reports of winds reaching speeds of more than 100kmh at Rosslyn Bay and the Keppels when Yeppoon recorded 162mm in a few hours of intense rainfall. One gauge at Pacific Heights, just to the north of Yeppoon, measured 264mm. It was the town’s MOST INTENSE RAINFALL FOR 17 YEARS. Sshowers and storms were likely to be a feature of the region’s weather for days to come, although there would be extensive breaks between downpours. The heaviest rain in Central Queensland fell at Kalarka, just south of Clairview, where the bureau recorded a remarkable 550mm within 24 hours up to 9am. And more than 300mm was registered near Malborough. Rockhampton Regional Council was forced to close access to a number of beaches at the Capricorn Coast due to erosion. Motorists were hampered by road closures.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD –
GERMANY – More than 25 centimetres of new snow disabled traffic throughout northern Germany on Saturday, particularly in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where Baltic islands have been cut off. The low pressure front known as "Keziban" has brought more brutal winter weather to Germany. Storms, new snow and several-metre-high snowdrifts have disrupted rail and road traffic throughout northern Germany. One Interior Ministry spokesman said that conditions were "even more drastic" than the storm front "Daisy" from a few weeks ago in some areas. Hundreds of road accidents have been reported throughout Germany, with around 70 cars apparently stuck on the roads of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The entire public transport system in the town Rostock has been shut down, as have several rail services in the area. Ferry services to and from Germany's Baltic Sea islands have also been partially shut down, with the island of Hiddensee completely cut off. The police and rescue services have been severely hindered by the weather, and the police have appealed to the population to avoid unnecessary journeys. The German Weather Service extended its storm warnings to huge parts of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the morning, and warned against entering wooded areas, where the weight of the snow threatens to bring down many trees. The extreme weather has extended to other states. A total of 42 people were injured in around 300 accidents reported in North Rhine-Westphalia, and a man was killed. A driver was also killed in Bavaria after his car skidded off an icy road.
Germany is in the midst of THE LONGEST SNOWY PERIOD IN THE LAST 30 YEARS, since the winter of 1978/79. The snowy crust has remained on the ground without melting for some five weeks. Even as meteorologists predicted continued winter weather for the next eight days across the country, they said that weather trends point to milder weather to follow. Arctic air brought by a low pressure system in southern Scandinavia will bring further snow showers today, with up to 10 centimetres expected at higher altitudes. Temperatures will remain cold, between 1 degree Celsius in the northwest and -3 in the southeast. More snow is expected overnight, and Tuesday will dawn cloudy and snowy in the western half of the country, where up to 10 centimetres of snow could fall. As nightfall comes, the snow will spread to the east, while lower altitudes in the west could see rainfall. More heavy cloud cover will start the day on Wednesday, as snow continues to fall across the nation. Up to 15 centimetres are expected in mountainous regions, but more rain could come down in western valleys.
U.S. – This week’s winter storm has finally exited the U.S. East Coast, but not before it BROKE LOTS OF WEATHER RECORDS, including establishing a RECORD U.S. SNOW PACK on the morning of January 30. An even greater snowpack was likely to be reported later Sunday thanks to the snowfall across the mid-Atlantic region. But note that such records have only been kept since early 2003. Still, more than 70% of the U.S. (including a small part of southwestern Canada’s Columbia River Basin) is now under snow and ice. This topped the record set last month (December 2009) of 65.7% after a significant end-of-month snowstorm event. The snow pack goes hand in hand with the below average temperatures that occurred at the beginning of the month and are occurring now. The snowpack decreased dramatically during mid-January, linked to a “January thaw.”
IRELAND – in January they had THE COLDEST TEMPERATURE IN DUBLIN FOR MORE THAN 45 YEARS and for at least 25 years across the State. The first 10 days of January were the chilliest of the month and with the second half of December formed part of “the MOST EXTREME COLD SPELL OVER IRELAND SINCE EARLY 1963”. Maximum and minimum air temperatures during this 10 days was on average 6 degrees below normal with daytime sub-zero temperatures in many areas. The lowest air temperature was -12.4 degrees at Casement Aerodrome, Dublin. This was the LOWEST TEMPERATURE RECORDED THERE IN ANY MONTH FOR OVER THREE DECADES. Ground frosts, which is when the ground temperature falls below zero, were double the normal range with between 22 and 28 frosts in most places. The Arctic weather caused significant disruption to transport with extremely hazardous conditions for motorists and pedestrians, a shortage of rock salt and the closure of airports. It also resulted in the closure of all schools and severe water shortages. A large area of high pressure was behind the UNUSUALLY COLD conditions. This high pressure moved easterly from the northwest and directed a bitterly cold northeasterly airflow across the country. Valentia Observatory in Co Kerry recorded the HIGHEST JANUARY RAINFALL ON RECORD with 58.5mm on January 12th. Shannon airport had its DRIEST JANUARY SINCE 1963 with an average fall of 31mm. Several stations recorded rainfall at less than half of the normal January level. Sunshine in the south and west was well above average. Cork airport had 117 hours of sunshine, which is the HIGHEST JANUARY TOTAL ON RECORD in the State. January 30th was the SUNNIEST JANUARY DAY IN MORE THAN 20 YEARS with eight hours of sun at Dublin airport.
U.S. – A winter storm forecast to blanket areas from Philadelphia to Washington with 2 feet or more of snow caused airlines to cancel hundreds of weekend flights and schools across the region to cancel classes.
NORTH DAKOTA – January was month of ‘big swing’ weather. But despite a 66-degree temperature swing from bone-clattering cold to spring-like warmth, January’s temperatures all averaged out in the end. The average temperature in the past month was 8.6 degrees – about 2 degrees above average for other Januaries on record. It also was the fifth-wettest January on the record books, with 1.57 inches of precipitation. The month’s most UNUSUAL feature was a chunk of unseasonably warm temperatures from Jan. 10 through 25, which balanced out 11 days of subzero lows. These fluctuations gave the thermometer a workout, spanning from a low of 33 below on Jan. 2 to a low of 33 above on Jan. 23. In the process, it created the SECOND-BIGGEST TEMPERATURE SWING IN LOW TEMPERATURES DURING ANY JANUARY IN RECORDED HISTORY. The vigorous changeability was attributed to an UNUSUAL El Nino weather pattern. Historically, the El Nino brings mild weather and average or below-average snowfall to a region. But this year, the warm, in-shore current is not in its typical location and has been affected by colder temperatures in the northern Pacific. “It’s like the atmosphere can’t decide whether it wants to be El Nino or non-El Nino." The UNUSUAL weather pattern is also causing an “all-or-nothing” trend in snowfall. “We get these big events and then it’s quiet for a while."
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
INDIA – Mango production in South India may see a 35-40% drop this year. Warm nights have delayed the lowering in Andhra Pradesh. Among the southern states, only Tamil Nadu is expected to have a near-normal crop this year. The three states together produce 35-40% of India’s 10-million tonne annual mango output. "Mango orchards in Andhra Pradesh should have witnessed flowering in December /January, but it has been delayed as night temperatures remained high during these two months. We need night temperature to be around 15-17 degrees, but it was in the range of 18-22 degrees, which impacted flowering in the Chittoor belt." While flowering has been delayed by heat, rising temperatures even before summers has had an adverse impact on the production.
In neighbouring Karnataka, it’s a slightly different story. The biennial nature of the mango crop could result in a sizeable drop in the output. "Unseasonal rains either during the last week of February, or early March, could play spoilsport." Traders who have been keeping track of the flowering in mango orchards in both Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka say while it’s too early to comment on the price movement, retail buyers would in all probability have to spend at least 25-30% more compared to the past year. India is the world’s largest mango producer accounting for over half of the global output.
The British climate scientist at the centre of the hacked emails controversy has been accused of trying to hide flaws in Chinese weather data used in a scientific paper on the effect of cities on global warming. He withheld information about the 50 years of Chinese data when faced with freedom-of-information requests by climate sceptics. They wanted to know the location of 84 Chinese weather stations used to argue that rising temperatures in China were due to climate change, not expanding cities. When he released the information, no location was given for the stations that were supposed to be in the countryside. The 1990 paper was cited in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as evidence that urbanisation only made a small contribution to rising temperatures. The allegations add to the problems of the IPCC, which had to admit it had cited information on melting glaciers that had not been rigorously checked.
Climate change promotes forest growth – In a rare investigation on how ecosystems respond to the growing influence of global warming and climate change, researchers at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center have determined that trees in the Eastern United States are now growing faster than they did in the past 225 years. The team focused their attention on 55 stands of mixed hardwood forests located in Maryland. The group concluded that the forest tracts, some of each were as large as two square acres, were accumulating mass at a rate that was a lot higher than anyone estimated before the study started. The team found that the forests were accumulating an average of two extra tons of material each year, per acre. This is the equivalent of a two-foot-wide tree growing in less than a year. This line of study is extremely important, because forests and adjacent vegetation are responsible for storing vast amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, the main culprit for global warming and human-induced climate change. Because of this, the trees' growth patterns are directly related to important atmospheric events, such as weather patterns, nutrient cycles, climate change and biodiversity. The new work also demonstrates once again the unpredictable nature of ecosystems. Producing accurate computer models of how the future may look like is becoming very hard to do, and almost pointless, seeing how the data collected today will most likely not resemble that collected next year. The researchers believe that the changes are due to the fact that gradual warming has allowed trees to gain an extra warm week over the past 22 years, during which time they continue to develop.
Colorado's $2 billion winter sports industry and millions of acres of forests are threatened as climate change causes "oddball winter weather" in the state, business and conservation leaders said Tuesday. Bark beetles have been able to infest about 3 million acres of pine trees in Colorado without long bouts of subzero weather to kill them. Erratic weather — shorter winters, rain in the spring instead of snow — has been a wake-up call for the ski industry. Colorado's ski areas don't start making money until March. "If you lose March in the ski industry, you go out of business." The warmer weather also makes it tougher to make snow.
Climate change causes wolverine decline across Canada – The wolverine, a predator renowned for its strength and tenacious character, may be slowly melting away along with the snowpack upon which it lives. Research shows wolverine numbers are falling across North America. Their decline has been linked to less snow settling as a result of climate change. The study is the first to show a decline in the abundance of any land species due to vanishing snowpack. The wolverine lives in boreal forest across Scandinavia, northern Russia, northern China, Mongolia and North America, where it ranges mostly across six provinces or territories of western Canada. In the Yukon, the snowpack depth declined significantly between 1968 and 2004. Other studes have shown corresponding rising temperatures and declining precipitation across much of the western US. After examining the records of wolverine numbers caught by fur trappers over the period, they found a striking correlation between declining snowpack and falling numbers of the predator. "In provinces where winter snowpack levels are declining fastest, wolverine populations tend to be declining most rapidly." The researchers found only one territory, the Northwest Territories, where wolverine numbers are increasing. There, snowpack levels are declining but they remain much higher and less variable than in most other provinces.
Polar bear body condition, reproductive rates, and survival have declined significantly in Hudson Bay as sea ice breaks up earlier in the spring. "At the other end of the globe, Antarctic sea ice has increased over recent decades. This may have negative impacts on adelie penguin populations that depend on ice-free areas for breeding and foraging."
A solar wind stream hit Earth on Jan. 30th. It was a minor gust, but enough to spark Northern Lights over Tromsø, Norway. Another solar wind stream is coming – and it's probably quite a bit stronger than this one was. Sky watchers should be alert for auroras when it arrives on or about Feb. 10th.
There's a mystery in the skies of Earth. Something is producing bright flashes of gamma radiation in the upper atmosphere of our own planet. High-energy bursts of gamma rays typically occur far out in space, perhaps near black holes or other high-energy cosmic phenomena. So imagine scientists' surprise in the mid-1990s when they found these powerful gamma ray flashes happening right here on Earth, in the skies overhead. They're called Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes, or TGFs, and very little is known about them. They seem to have a connection with lightning, but TGFs themselves are something entirely different. Individual particles in a TGF acquire a huge amount of energy, sometimes in excess of 20 mega-electron volts. In contrast, the colorful auroras that light up the skies at high latitudes are powered by particles with less than one thousandth as much energy. Scientists are planning to launch a tiny, football-sized satellite called Firefly in 2010 or 2011 to investigate.
A longstanding mystery about lightning is how a strike gets started. Scientists know that the turbulence inside a thundercloud separates electric charge, building up enormous voltages. But the voltage needed to ionize air and generate a spark is about 10 times greater than the voltage typically found inside storm clouds. TGFs could provide that spark. By generating a quick burst of electron flow, TGFs might help lightning strikes get started. "Perhaps this phenomenon is why we have lightning." If so, there ought to be many more TGFs each day than currently known.
Solar storms could cause blackouts at Olympics – After a period of unprecedented calm within the massive nuclear furnace that powers the Sun, scientists have detected the signs of a fresh cycle of sunspots that could peak in 2012, just in time for the arrival of the Olympic torch in London. Over the past two years, fewer sunspots have been recorded than at any time since 1913. Scientists believe that this peak in the next solar cycle could generate the eruption of vast solar explosions that could fling billions of tonnes of charged particles towards the Earth, causing intense solar storms that could jam the telecommunications satellites and internet links transmitting live Olympic coverage from London [among other things.] At the peak of the cycle, violent eruptions called coronal mass ejections occur in the Sun's atmosphere, flinging out immense quantities of electrically-charged matter. "A coronal mass ejection can carry a billion tonnes of solar material into space at over a million kilometres per hour. Such events can expose astronauts to deadly particle doses, can disable satellites, cause grid failures on Earth and disrupt communications." Next week, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) is scheduled to launch a satellite for monitoring solar activity called the Solar Dynamics Observatory, which will take images of the Sun that are 10 times better than high-definition television. The observatory should be able to provide early warning of a solar flare or eruption big enough to affect satellite communications on Earth. "If we have advance warning, we'll be able to mitigate the damage. What you don't want is things switching off for a week with no idea of what's caused the problem." It is not possible to predict exactly when the peak in solar activity will occur or how intense it is likely to be. The most intense solar maximum in recent years occurred in 1958, when the Northern Lights were sighted as far south at Mexico on three separate occasions. But even a below-average peak in solar activity can still cause problems. The great geomagnetic storm of 1859, which set fire to telegraph offices in the United States, occurred during a cycle with a lower-than-normal number of sunspots.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed a mysterious X-shaped debris pattern and trailing streamers of dust that suggest a head-on collision between two asteroids. Astronomers have long thought that the asteroid belt is being ground down through collisions, but such a smashup has never been seen before. The object, called P/2010 A2, was discovered on Jan. 6. At first, astronomers thought it might be a so-called "main belt comet" – a rare case of a comet orbiting in the asteroid belt. Follow-up images taken by Hubble on Jan. 25 and 29, however, revealed a complex X-pattern of filamentary structures near the nucleus. Hubble shows the main nucleus of P/2010 A2 lies outside its own halo of dust. This has never been seen before in a comet-like object. The nucleus is estimated to be 460 feet in diameter. "If this interpretation is correct, two small and previously unknown asteroids recently collided, creating a shower of debris that is being swept back into a tail from the collision site by the pressure of sunlight." Asteroid collisions are energetic, with an average impact speed of more than 11,000 miles per hour — five times faster than a rifle bullet. The main nucleus of P/2010 A2 would be the surviving remnant of this so-called hypervelocity collision. The asteroid belt contains abundant evidence of ancient collisions that have shattered precursor bodies into fragments. The orbit of P/2010 A2 is consistent with membership in the Flora asteroid family, produced by collisional shattering more than 100 million years ago. One fragment of that ancient smashup may have struck Earth 65 million years ago, triggering a mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. But no such asteroid-asteroid collision has been caught "in the act" – until now. At the time of the Hubble observations, the object was approximately 180 million miles from the sun and 90 million miles from Earth. (photos)
Hubble shows Pluto 'turning red' – Nasa scientists say that dwarf planet Pluto is becoming increasingly red. Some astronomers have expressed shock at the changes. Images taken by the Hubble space telescope show that the planet is some 20% redder than it used to be. Experts say they believe this is because of changes in Pluto's surface ice as it enters a new phase of its 248-year-long rotation. The new images are said to show frozen nitrogen brightening in the north and becoming darker in the south. "These changes are most likely consequences of surface ice melting on the sunlit pole and then re-freezing on the other pole", says NASA. But others say, "It's a little bit of a surprise to see these changes happening so big and so fast. THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED". But the red tinge is not thought to have had a marked effect on Pluto's temperature: despite any redness, Pluto's surface temperature is incredibly cold at -233C (-382F).
Earth-directed solar eruption? – NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft is tracking four active regions strung across the eastern hemisphere of the sun. Video shows an eruption of unstable magnetic loops. A blast from one occured around 0130 UT on February 5th and it appears to have hurled some material in the general direction of Earth. Images from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory are not yet available to evaluate that possibility.
IRELAND – 2/3/10 – People throughout the midlands are searching for the meteorite that fell to Earth Wednesday night. Astronomy Ireland says the meteor was spotted over Ireland at around 6pm. It was seen blazing in the air by people throughout the country. Valentia Coastguard said it has had reports of sightings from people living in Mullingar, Limerick, Ballybunion and Bantry. One man said he originally thought it was a plane coming down when he saw it. He described it as being about 2ft square, 'pure white with flames at the back of it'. He said he is convinced that it crashed soon after he saw it in the sky and he searched in a field near his house but has not yet found the meteorite. Astronomy Ireland is compiling reports to try to determine where the meteorite landed. The only footage that may have been filmed of the fireball is likely to come from security cameras that may have caught the meteorite falling. YouTube footage purporting to be the fireball is a hoax and has been on the Internet since 2008.
HEALTH THREATS –
Although pandemic flu has declined in most of the Northern Hemisphere, transmission remains active in some regions of North Africa, eastern and southeastern Europe, and South and East Asia. Global H1N1 deaths now total at least 14,711. Novel H1N1 remains dominant in most nations, but in China 49% of flu isolates are the seasonal B strain. Other countries are detecting some seasonal flu, too.
Vaccine from 1918, 1976 strains may fend off novel H1N1 – In an experiment to learn more about pre-existing immunity, researchers found that mice vaccinated with 1918-like and classical (from 1976) swine flu vaccines had complete protection against pandemic H1N1. In contrast, vaccines based on more recent seasonal H1N1 strains afforded only partial protection. The authors say their findings underscore the importance of having people under age 35 receive the pandemic vaccine.
Household cleaners very effective against H1N1 – A study showed that common household cleaners like 1% bleach, 10% malt vinegar, and an all-purpose cleaner rapidly and COMPLETELY INACTIVATED a strain of seasonal H1N1 influenza. Also, antiviral and antibacterial wipes reduced virus infectivity. For pandemic H1N1, "The public does not need to source specialized cleaning products, but can rapidly disinfect potentially contaminated surfaces with agents readily available in most homes."
Ontario's health ministry is investigating 17 serious illnesses that occurred after people received H1N1 flu vaccine. There were four cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) and 13 anaphylactic reactions. Two GBS cases were in adults who received the vaccine from the same physician's office. GlaxoSmithKline recalled 170,000 doses of vaccine in Canada in November because allergic reactions were more common than expected.
Australian researchers are scrambling to develop drugs to fight off a new superbug that is killing people overseas. Experts say a new strain of bacteria responsible for deaths overseas is far worse than superbugs such as MRSA, which are already in Australian hospitals. They are determined to develop new antibiotics capable of fighting the extreme drug resistance shown by the new superbug, which has evolved from the Acinetobacter pathogenic bacteria. "In some parts of Asia, Israel, Greece, Brazil and even New York City there are patients dying from infections resistant to every antibiotic commercially available. So far we haven't had that in Australia but obviously we are frightened there's a potential we could have these super resistant bugs come to Australia." It is unlikely healthy people would pick up the new strain. But anyone who has been in overseas hospitals where the bug was present are at risk.
H5N1 may be outwitting poultry vaccines – An Indonesian virologist says the H5N1 avian influenza virus in Indonesia may have evolved so as to make the poultry vaccines used there less effective. Viral mutations may explain a series of outbreaks in Indonesian flocks over the past 2 years and he has "strong evidence" that vaccines based on the Legok virus are not effective against newer strains. "We need to see whether the changes increase the capacity of the virus to infect the human respiratory system."
Cambodia, Vietnam report H5N1 outbreaks – Cambodian authorities began culling ducks yesterday to control an H5N1 avian flu outbreak that killed more than 15,000 ducks last week in the southern province of Takeo. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 ducks were infected with avian flu on a farm in Vietnam's central province of Quang Tri, leading to the culling of another 1,000 ducks, vaccination of 8,300, and other control measure. The province's animal health officer said the ducks' owner was slow to report the outbreak, which allowed the disease to spread.
Rhinovirus may have stalled H1N1 – Rhinovirus may have edged out pandemic flu in France this fall, delaying the start of the fall pandemic wave compared with other European countries. Researchers analyzed novel H1N1 and rhinovirus samples from a pediatric hospital from weeks 36 to 48 of the flu season and found an inverse relationship between rhinovirus and pandemic flu detections. They wrote that rhinovirus infections may interfere with flu transmission.
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
Pak president Zardari sacrifices a black goat daily to ward off evil eye
PTI, 27 January 2010
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's beleaguered President Asif Ali Zardari, who is facing fresh challenges since the Supreme Court scrapped a graft amnesty that benefited him, has sacrificed hundreds of black goats to ward off the "evil eye" since he moved into the presidency in 2008. A black goat is slaughtered almost daily to ward off the "evil eye" and protect Zardari from "black magic", the Dawn newspaper reported on Wednesday. The President also reportedly uses only camel and goat milk due to superstitions, the report said.
Prominent Grapevine pastor linked to luxury
by BRETT SHIPP / WFAA-TV
February 4, 2010
DALLAS — Not long ago, the Fellowship Church in Grapevine was one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in the nation. Its pastor, Ed Young, was making national headlines by encouraging married couples to have more sex. But since that time, sources say membership has waned and some say Pastor Young may have lost his way — putting himself and secrecy over God. He's splashy and hip; his message contemporary and cool. His marketing is tops in the world of mega-evangelism, making huge waves with his sermon in 2008 titled "Seven Days of Sex." But in the past few months, it's not theology but physics that may be impacting Young. Namely: What goes up must come down.
James Ray Defends Himself
By Michael Joseph Gross
New York Magazine
Jan 24, 2010
Overnight, James Arthur Ray went from being a star of the self-help movement to homicide suspect. He was admired by Oprah and Larry King; a peer of Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins; a teacher whose followers paid as much as $60,000 a year to attend his seminars, where his best-selling book, Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want, was cited as if it were scripture. Last September, James Ray International, the organization he founded in 1992, was named one of America’s 500 fastest-growing companies by Inc. Magazine, with revenues close to $10 million. Then, on October 8, the last night of his “Spiritual Warrior” retreat in Sedona, Arizona, Ray led a sweat-lodge ritual that ended in tragedy.
Cross Placed at Air Force Pagan Circle Prompts Probe
Friday, February 05, 2010
By Joshua Rhett Miller
A large wooden cross was placed at an Air Force Academy worship area for pagans and other Earth-centered religions, prompting an investigation by academy officials, though some caution that it's hardly "destructive behavior." Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said an Air Force Academy staffer spotted the cross — erected with railroad ties — lying against a rock at a worship area for pagan groups at the academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Jan. 17.
First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop Says St. Paul Was Condemning Homosexual Acts by Heterosexuals
Thursday, February 04, 2010
By Karen Schuberg
(CNSNews.com) – In a section of his New Testament letter to the Romans (1:22-27) dealing with God’s admonitions against same-sex relations, St. Paul was actually writing about heterosexuals who engage in same-sex acts and not homosexuals, said the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal church. “We have to understand that the notion of a homosexual sexual orientation is a notion that’s only about 125 years old," Bishop Robinson told CNSNews.com. "That is to say, St. Paul was talking about people that he understood to be heterosexual engaging in same-sex acts. It never occurred to anyone in ancient times that a certain minority of us would be born being affectionally oriented to people of the same sex.”
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
Italy Appeals Crucifix Ban
ROME, FEB. 5, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Italian government is appealing a November ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that crucifixes in public school classrooms are a violation of freedom. The Italian appeal defends the crucifix as "one of the symbols of our history and our identity." "Christianity represents the roots of our culture, what we are today," the text of the appeal states. "The display of the crucifix in schools should not be seen so much for its religious meaning but as reference to the history and tradition of Italy.
East Texas on edge over church fires
February 5, 2010
By DIANE JENNINGS / The Dallas Morning News
Church members watched in horror as Grace Community Church in Athens went up in flames a few weeks ago. "Our people were like, 'What's going on here?' " said Brian Brandt, a pastor at the church. "It was because they got another call – another church was burning three to five miles away." The other church was Lake Athens Baptist Church. The two were set ablaze within hours of each other. The fires are among at least six that may be connected.
Two men preaching religion shot to death in Boynton Beach
By Eliot Kleinberg Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Feb. 3, 2010
BOYNTON BEACH — Jeriah Woody executed two men who made the mistake of preaching religion to the 18-year-old, a witness has told police. Woody, who turned himself in to Boynton Beach police Wednesday, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the Saturday night deaths of Stephen Ocean, 23, and Tite Sufra, 24, near the Boynton Beach city library. He was expected to be taken to the Palm Beach County Jail later today and have a bond hearing Thursday. Boynton Beach spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said this afternoon he was still being questioned and she would not immediately provide information about a motive.
Two Churches Forced to Close in Indonesia
Fri, Feb. 05 2010
By Compass Direct News|Samuel Rionaldo
JAKARTA, Indonesia (Compass Direct News) – Local governments have ordered the closure of two churches on Indonesia’s Java island. Christians Most Hit by Religious Freedom Violations in Indonesia Under pressure from Islamist groups, authorities ordered Christian Baptist Church in Sepatan, Tangerang district, Banten Province to cease services. In Pondok Timur, near Bekasi in West Java, officials abruptly closed the Huria Christian Protestant Batak Church (HKBP) after delaying a building permit for four years.
FedEx relents on mandatory 'leave' over cross
February 04, 2010
A FedEx employee who this week was ordered onto an "administrative leave" for wearing a Christian cross to work has been told she can return to her job – with her cross. "They called me earlier. I can go back to work tomorrow. I get to wear my cross," Lisa Graves told WND today. "Actually I'll find out what's going on [when I go in]." She said the company volunteered to pay her for the time she was banished from the office, but the policy still is a concern since the company interpreted it as banning the cross.