Wednesday, May 31, 2006
647,000 SURVIVORS HOMELESS
647,000 Indonesians displaced by quake By CHRIS BRUMMITT, Associated Press Writer 18
minutes ago BANTUL, Indonesia - U.S. Marines joined an international effort to deliver aid and medical care to nearly 650,000 Indonesians displaced by a devastating earthquake, as hopes faded of finding more survivors. Two U.S. Marine cargo planes carrying a mobile field hospital landed Tuesday in Yogyakarta, closest to the quake area in central Java, after cracks in the airport runway were patched. A disaster assistance response team from the U.S. Agency for International Development is being readied and the amphibious assault ship USS Essex, which has extensive medical facilities, is en route to the area, White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino said. The United States also increased its aid contribution to $5 million.
The United Nations said at least 21 other countries have joined the effort to help those left homeless by Saturday's magnitude-6.3 quake, which killed more than 5,800 people. An estimated 647,000 people were displaced by the quake, nearly a third of them homeless and the rest staying with relatives, said Bambang Priyohadi, a senior provincial government official. The government said Wednesday the temblor destroyed more than 135,000 homes, reducing them to piles of bricks, tiles and wood in less than a minute.
Priyohadi based the displaced figure on the number of homes destroyed and a family index of 4.8 people per house. The main hospital in hardest-hit Bantul district was still overwhelmed, with 400 patients for just over 100 beds, and doctors complained of a lack of supplies.We are short of splints, gauze, even beds,said Dr. Hidayat, the hospital's earthquake emergency coordinator, adding that 90 percent of the victims had bone fractures.The minute we get fresh splits, they are gone.But conditions improved at several other hospitals, where parking lots and hallways that had been filled with hundreds of victims in the days after the quake were clear, with most patients now being treated in beds.Workers removed a tent outside Yogyakarta's largest hospital, Sardjito, that had been used to shelter the injured.The U.N.'s top humanitarian official said the aid effort was going well, and there had been major improvements in coordination among aid organizations and nations since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 131,000 people in Indonesia's Aceh province alone.
We are now reaching more and more victims,Jan Egeland told The Associated Press in Brussels, Belgium. "I am getting reports that we are making enormous progress.The government's Social Affairs Ministry said the official death toll rose Wednesday to 5,846.Most survivors were still living in improvised shacks or group shelters erected in rice fields. Groups of families cooked together, each contributing scavenged food.Despite government promises of aid, shortages of food and fresh water remained a pressing concern, and thousands of people used cardboard boxes to beg for cash and supplies from passing drivers.The head of a Malaysia search and rescue team said hope had faded of finding more survivors or bodies, and his group had turned to clearing rubble from streets instead.
The collapsed homes were all so small that anyone who was trapped would have been extracted by their family members, Abdul Aziz Ahmad said, adding his team found only one body Monday.A 44-member team of Chinese doctors, search and rescue workers and seismologists also arrived with five tons of supplies, including a field hospital, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported. Thailand said it would send 48 military medical personnel, medicine and equipment. Teams from Malaysia, Singapore, Norway and other nations already are working in the area. The Asian Development Bank announced a total of $60 million in grants and low-interest loans to rebuild the earthquake zone.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who has temporarily moved his office to Yogyakarta and spent a night sleeping in a tent with survivors, vowed to fight corruption in delivering aid money. I am ordering that not even one dollar will be misused,he said. The quake was the fourth destructive temblor to hit Indonesia in the past 17 months, including the one that triggered the Dec. 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami.
Expert downplays underwater volcano risk Tue May 30, 7:36 PM ET SAIPAN, Northern
Mariana Islands - A visiting scientist is downplaying the risks of underwater volcanoes, which surround the Northern Marianas Islands. Frank Trusdell, a Hawaii-based geologist from the U.S. Geological Survey, said although so-called submarine volcanoes can cause tsunamis if they erupt, the ones around the waters of the islands are not a major threat due to their small size.Land volcanoes in this U.S. commonwealth's chain of 14 islands are the ones that people should be wary of because they are powerful enough to destroy habitats, property and lives, he said.As far as volcanic eruptions and being concerned about volcanoes, the ones that are above sea level are the ones that should be monitored and what people should focus their energy on,he said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that it successfully videotaped a volcanic eruption underneath the calm waters at Brimstone Pit, about 37 miles northwest of Rota Island.The agency said Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory oceanographer Bob Embley, who led a team of 21 international scientists on three expeditions, successfully recorded the underwater explosion using robots.Trusdell said there are several active submarine volcanoes among the Northern Marianas and there are many inactive ones which are buried deep under the ocean that have yet to be discovered.You can imagine that each of the volcanic islands is the top of a large mountain range. So only the tops of the mountain range are above sea level, he said.
In between the islands, there is a possibility of what we call sea mountains which are submarine volcanoes. There are many of them in the Northern Marianas.A detailed map of the locations of the submarine volcanoes was done between 2003 and 2004.
Based on the map, scientists have identified several active submarine volcanoes.Trusdell said the volcanoes are shallow enough so that people saw discolored water or gases during an eruption.But there are many other volcanoes that are below the ocean floor, which are too deep to be recognized at the surface, he said.
Powerful hurricane season looms in Atlantic by Patrick Moser 1 hour, 10 minutes ago MIAMI
(AFP) - Storm-weary residents along the US Atlantic coast this week begin six months of hurricane watching and forecasters say there is every chance they will see new devastation. The season officially starts Thursday and US experts say as many as 10 hurricanes could form in the Atlantic and four could slam ashore in the southern United States.That could easily spell disaster for residents of coastal areas, thousands of whom have not yet finished repairing homes damaged by last year's Katrina, Rita and other massive storms.In addition, some 100,000 people whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged are still living in mobile homes
or trailers, which offer little protection from a hurricane's destructive fury.
And authorities admit they have not finished strengthening the levees that broke after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the US Gulf coast on August 29, 2005, flooding large parts of New Orleans.We now have a much larger vulnerable population going into this hurricane season and it will not take a category three or four hurricane to devastate that citizenship," said Robert Latham, who heads the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. A hurricane ranks at category three on the five-category Saffir-Simpson intensity scale if its packs winds of 178-209 kilometers (111-130 miles) per hour and rises to category four when its winds increase to 249 kph (155 mph).Katrina ranked as category three when it slammed ashore near New Orleans, causing the deaths of more than 1,500 people.
In all, 2005 saw a record 15 hurricanes, among an unprecedented 28 named storms that formed in the Atlantic. For the first time on record, seven of the hurricanes were considered major, meaning they hit category three or higher.It was also the costliest hurricane season, with damage estimated at more than 100 billion dollars.While experts do not expect those records to be beaten this year, there is no saying whether a major hurricane might slam into a major city along the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico.As bad as Katrina was, it can be worse, said Latham.He admitted areas hit by Katrina were ill-prepared to face another hurricane, despite efforts to
rebuild shattered infrastructure.
Another storm would be really devastating, he said this month, when government forecasters presented a report saying the 2006 season could see between eight to 10 hurricanes develop in the Atlantic, with four to six becoming major storms.In Florida, concern rose as engineers recently suggested a major storm could smash an aging levee that rings the 1,800-square-kilometer (700-square-mile) Lake Okeechobee, in the center of the state.Officials said they were readying for a worst-case scenario, in which residents from areas around the lake would have to be evacuated at the same time as people living along Florida's Gulf and Atlantic
coast flee from a looming hurricane. The specter of highways paralysed as a powerful storm bears down was raised last year when 2.5 million people evacuated Houston as Hurricane Rita approached, causing massive jams as cars broke down or ran out of gas.
The storm eventually moved farther north and spared the Texan city. In New Orleans, where thousands of people were trapped in the flooded city after failing to follow evacuation orders, authorities plan to use planes, trains and buses to get residents out should a hurricane threaten.
But a recent poll indicated that 13 percent of the 34.6 million people in harm's way would not evacuate if ordered to do so and 56 percent do not feel vulnerable to a hurricane. That, says National Hurricane Center chief Max Mayfield, could spell disaster. "It takes just one hurricane over your house to make it a bad year.
TORONTO SMOG ALERT
Smog is making it hard for people to breath in Toronto. We have had 4 hot muggy days and the air is bad. This weather makes it hard for people with Alergies and heart diseases.
TORONTO SMOG ALERT
For some reason I have Ella Fitzgerald in my head singing the Cole Porter classic "we're having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave... In my previous blog from last weekend, I was talking about the cold and rain during the May longweekend last week. Well, welcome to Toronto! where in a week we have had temperatures jump to 33 degrees celsius with a humidex of 42 degrees. Which means when you are outside it feels as if it is 42 degrees! It is just after 10am here in Toronto and already it is 28 degrees celsius.
God bless Global warming or whatever is causing this! We have a smog alert and it is just hot, humid and nasty outside. As a true north girl, I really hate this heat and humidity...I can't wait til fall and winter. I don't mind this type of heat if I am in a place like Florida or the Caribbean where you at least have some cool breezes coming in from the ocean. Here all we have is concrete and tall buildings.
As we are situated on the very large lake Ontario you would think we would get some cool breezes but we have built up the waterfront with so many towers and condominiums there is nowhere for the breezes to blow! (the waterfront mess, i will save for a future blog) As a city we do have a lot of trees but I fear with this heat and smog they are suffering and not able to perform their task of keeping the air as fresh and cool as they used to.
To make matters worse, our wonderful TTC (public transit) workers decided to walk off the job yesterday holding the city to ransom. It caused sheer gridlock throughout the city and almost 1 million people had to find alternate ways to get to work. Walking to work in 42 degree humidex temperatures is not fun. Thank god i was lucky enough to get a lift in from JB in our air conditioned car and my co-worker Platt gave me lift home in his airconditioned car. Bet all the extra cars on the road made the air even better! The photo shows the thousands of stranded commuters walking up Bay Street from the train station.
Temperatures are supposed to go down to a more reasonable 23/24 degrees by tomorrow and through to the rest of the week and the Mayor legislated all the workers back to work last night.,posted by JMacK at 9:33 AM
World religious leaders to send appeal to state and political heads Source: Trend ,Author:
S.Agayeva The agenda of the coming world summit of the religious leaders scheduled for 3-5 June in Moscow is ready, Trend reports with reference to Akif Agayev, the head of the press-service of the Caucasus Moslem Department. According to Agayev, the agenda was developed at the final meeting of the expert group consisting of the representatives of the world religious unions in Moscow.
During the meeting, there were held opinion exchange and offered the topics for the discussion of the religious leaders at the World summit. The meeting of the experts brought together the representatives of the Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism from Azerbaijan, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Greece, Egypt, Israel, India, Italy, China, Latvia, Russia, Rumania, the USA, Turkey, Finland, Vatican, German, Syria, France, Switzerland and Estonia. The participants of the meeting noted that the primary dialogue of the different traditional religions was the responsibility and the public anxiety about the fate of the mankind.
According to Agayev, the following topics were offered for discussion: the role of the religion in the contemporary society, protection and affirmation of spiritual and moral values in the contemporary society and the responsibility of the religion for this, ways of eliminating terrorism and extremism, education and necessity to morally bring up youth, support for family values and human life, the role of the religion in the ecological responsibility, dialogue and partnership and etc. As a result of the summit, there will be accepted an appeal which will be forwarded to the heads of states, political communities and all members of the religious
communities. During the summit, sheykhi ruslam Alahshukur Pashazade, the chairman of the Caucasian Moslem Department, will hold several bilateral meetings with religious leaders.
The initiator of the summit is the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and the patriarchy of Moscow and All Russia Rusi Aleksey II.
Two Other Earthquakes in Indonesia
Kompas today reports that there two more other earthquake in Wamena, regent capital of Jayawijaya, Papua province on thursday (30/06/2006) 12.28 AM local time, and another in Padang provincial capital of West Sumatra. While the former almost similar to that of Yogyakarta quake with 6 richter scale, the latter was around 4-5 richter scale.No casualties being reported on the latest two earthquake.
In the meanwhile, help relief efforts are pouring in from various countries. The US promises to donate $5 million, Japan sends its relief team to the ground and others promise some commitments as well reports Detik The number of death toll that reach 5,000 more and injured casualties double that figures make many voluenteers come in flock to the region to offer help.A western NGO personnel who was interviewed a few hours ago by CNN said that during his 20-year help relief operation experience around the world, never ever he saw such devastating scene as that of Yogyarkarta earthquake.He also said that the most immediate help needed for now are shelter, food, water, blanket/clothes, and medicines.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
EU PROTECTS SPAINS WATERS
EU states to help Spain fight immigration crisis30.05.2006 - 09:55 CET By Aleander Balzan
EU member states have agreed to help Spain to patrol the waters along the African coast in order to combat the increasing influx of illegal immigrants landing on the Canary Islands or on Spain's southern coastline.
Spain and eight other European countries agreed the initiative on Monday (29 May) after a meeting between representatives of the European Commission and the European Border Agency (FRONTEX) in Madrid. Austria, Finland, France, Italy, UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Greece are all to take part in the patrols.Deputy prime minister Maria Teresa Fernandez De La Vega was reported as saying by the Spanish Herald that this is a common policy on frontier control for the first time on the part of the European Union.
Spanish secretary of state for security Antonio Camacho said that the operation will go on throughout the summer and may continue into the autumn.The operation will involve five patrol boats, five helicopters and an airplane which will attempt to reduce the number of boats sailing from Mauritania, Senegal and Cape Verde toward the southern part of Spain. The Spanish Herald reports that half of the costs will be paid by the commission, with the rest of the costs still to be allocated. More than 400 migrants landed on the Canary Islands last weekend while another 350 arrived in Spain in small boats on Monday. This year nearly 7,000 migrants have already landed on the islands. The number was around 4,750 in 2005 and just over 8,500 in 2004.
Malta and Italy are also set to face increased illegal immigration during the summer months. A group of 24 illegal immigrants landed on the tiny island of Malta on Sunday – making it the fourth group of immigrants to be rescued since the warmer weather set in. A group of 25 illegal immigrants from Sudan arrived on Wednesday and 23 Eritreans were brought in last week. On May 19, another group of 45, mostly Ethiopians, landed.Meanwhile, more than 800 migrants landed on the southern Sicilian island of Lampedusa during the past ten days.
© 2006 EUobserver, All rights reserved.
Why would religious leaders go to the EU when they do not want GOD in the constitution,(GODLESS). The Church is whoring itself with the World just like the Bible says would happen in REVELATION CHAPTER 17. And the Bible says that the future pope from the Vatican will come from the Occult as well as the future EU leader (dictator), thats why the church is whoring with the EU at this time in history.
Religious leaders meet with EU officials
(Kyodo) _ Religious leaders gathered on Tuesday at the headquarters of the European Commission to consult with politicians about the future of Europe. I am very happy to have all representatives of religions around me here to talk. It is necessary for the cohesion in society to consult each other from time to time,President of the European Union's executive body, Jose-Manuel Barroso, told a news conference. The idea to have a regular meeting of leaders of the orthodox church, the Roman Catholic Church, Islamic and Jewish communities alike was proposed some months ago with the aim of raising mutual respect in society. Also present was the Buddhist spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, who is currently making a trip through Belgium.
This is what Europe is -- unity in diversity,Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel said. Austria currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU.This is a very important moment which will be marking this presidency,said Schuessel. We need believers in the future of Europe. More than economical ideas or targets we need social cohesion. Solidarity, justice and how to deal with religious beliefs of the different ethnic groups are some of the subjects we will discuss.
FROM WND'S JERUSALEM BUREAUIsraeli troops ambush deep inside Gaza StripAnti-evacuation critics had warned withdrawal would prompt re-entry
Posted: May 30, 2006,10:55 a.m. Eastern,By Aaron Klein,© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
JERUSALEM – For the first time since Israel evacuated the territory nine months ago, Israeli Defense Forces troops today carried out an anti-terror operation deep inside the Gaza Strip in a town that formerly housed a thriving Jewish community. Defense officials said more ground operations in Gaza will likely follow. Critics of Israel's Gaza withdrawal had warned the retreat would prompt an onslaught of terrorism requiring the IDF to enter the territory. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is planning a second withdrawal from most of Judea and Samaria, mountainous terrain within rocket firing range of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the country's international airport.
Early today, a special IDF unit entered deep inside the Gaza Strip and set up an ambush within the ruins of Dagit, a coastal town that previously was part of Gush Katif, the slate of Gaza's Jewish communities Israel evacuated last August. The town has been regularly used the past few months by terrorists to fire Qassam missiles at Jewish neighborhoods bordering Gaza. When an Islamic Jihad Qassam missile crew arrived, reportedly intending to fire rockets, the IDF forces opened fire. The troops, backed by an IAF helicopter gunship and a naval unit, killed four Jihad members. After a fierce gun battle with nearby militants who joined in the clashes, the IDF unit exited Gaza without any casualties.
Military officials described the Gaza operation as "high risk" and "well orchestrated." It was the deepest the IDF has operated in Gaza since the August withdrawal. Until now, the Israeli army has attempted to halt Qassam rocket fire from outside Gaza mostly utilizing artillery units and airial strikes. Soldiers on two occasions the past few months entered Gaza but only a few feet deep to search for explosives along a border fence. Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz vowed today operations against Qassam launch cells in Gaza would continue by air, sea and, if needed, with ground operations in order to prevent further rocket fire. Since Israel withdrew from Gaza more over 400 rockets have been fired at adjacent Jewish communities. More than ten rockets were fired in the last week alone. Two rockets were fired this morning.
Israel says it has information rockets have been transferred from the Gaza Strip to Judea and Samaria. For many, the reports of troops entering Gaza actualize warnings repeatedly voiced by opponents of the Gaza withdrawal plan prior to its implementation. Some military leaders, including former Gaza commanders and a former Israeli defense minister, have been calling on Israel in recent weeks to reoccupy parts of Gaza to halt terror operations and the regular Qassam firings. As WND recently reported, Israeli troops last month quietly trained for a large-scale incursion and occupation of Gaza in the event it is deemed necessary. In an interview with Israel's Maariv daily, IDF Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, who leads the unit responsible for the Gaza area, said the army could reoccupy Gaza.
If the price we have to pay becomes unreasonable as a result of increased [Palestinian] attacks, then we shall have to take all steps, including occupying the Gaza Strip,he said. While Israeli officials contemplate Gaza operations, Olmert is attempting to push through a large-scale evacuation of most of Judea and Samaria, territory commonly referred to as the West Bank. About 200,000 Jews live in Judea and Samaria. A separation barrier, still under construction in certain areas, cordons off nearly 95 percent of the territory from Israel's pre-1967 borders. More than half Judea and Samaria's Jewish residents reside on the side of the fence closest to Israel. About 80,000 more Jews live on the other side of the barrier. Olmert officials have stated the past few weeks the new prime minister plans to enforce a withdrawal from all 68 Jewish towns that fall outside the barrier.
In a widely circulated WND article, leaders of every major Palestinian terror organization warned they will soon launch a massive violent campaign against Israel focused mainly on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. One senior terrorist said now that Olmert announced a Judea and Samaria withdrawal, terrorism against Israel must be stepped up to prove we are chasing out the Israelis like we did in Gaza.
WARN THE PEOPLE WHATS COMING
1 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.
7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
This week's promise: Christ will return A heavenly vision
After I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a mighty shout, "Salvation comes from our God on the throne and from the Lamb!" Revelation 7:9-10 NLT
Heavenly praise for the Lamb
Many times our prayers tend to focus on this world and the struggles we encounter in our lives. God understands and accepts these prayers, but we must also direct our thoughts and prayers to the victory we will share with Christ. In Revelation, God gives us a splendid portrayal of that final victory. In a vision, the apostle John sees a magnificent scene: a vast multitude celebrating the triumph of the Lamb of God. Waving palm branches, the traditional symbol of victory, people from all over the world extol God for the salvation he had provided through his Son.
As followers of Christ, today, we are privileged to be part of this multitude—the communion of believers. Because Jesus has overcome death, a new life of wholeness and peace through him has opened up to us. This is worth shouting about—praising God with all that is in us!
A prayer for today…
Dear Lord, I join your praying people through the ages to shout about that salvation that comes from you…
INDONESIA EXPLOSIVE ZONE
Chained to quakes and eruptions 30 May 2006 By MATTHEW TORBIT (The Dominion Post)
Don't panic: an apparent surge in earthquakes and eruptions in the southwestern Pacific is par for the course in Earth's most explosive zone. The 40,000-kilometre Pacific Rim of Fire begins in New Zealand and curls its way northward around the edge of the Pacific Ocean to South America, with about 90 per cent of the world's earthquakes and 75 per cent of known volcanoes on its boundary. Nearly 5000 people were killed in Indonesia after a 6.3-magnitude quake struck near Yogyakarta on Saturday morning.
Volcanic activity has resumed at nearby Mt Merapi. Two powerful quakes – even stronger than that which rocked Yogyakarta – struck within 15 minutes of each other near Papua New Guinea and Tonga on Sunday. In Vanuatu, four volcanoes are being monitored after three began spitting rocks, ash and steam. A magnitude-5.5 quake struck the north Philippines on Sunday night.
But GNS Science geologist Cornel de Ronde said the apparent surge of activity in the Pacific Rim of Fire was "perfectly normal. Geological history tells us that these sorts of events have been going all the time in the past, he said. Ultimately all these recent events are linked by virtue; they are all on the ring of fire but you cannot directly connect them as being triggered by one another, or being a precursor to other events. Dr de Ronde said the Rim of Fire was marked by the boundary between the Pacific Plate and some smaller adjoining tectonic plates.
The Pacific Plate was being slowly shunted under adjoining plates on its western edge, causing earthquakes and chains of volcanic activity. As the plate goes down it gets to a point, about 200 kilometres deep, where it melts into magma. As a consequence we get all these earthquakes and volcanoes popping up.
Dr de Ronde said New Zealand intersected a plate boundary and was part of the explosive chain. Lower Hutt is in the Pacific Plate and Wellington is on the Australian Plate. According to the United States Geological Survey, there have been an average of 19.4 quakes of magnitude 7.0-plus in the rim each year, which means the seismic activity of the past few days is comparatively slight. Earlier this month, a 7.8-magnitude jolt off Tonga sparked a Pacific tsunami warning. In March, Conservation Department worker Mark Kearney was killed when Raoul Island erupted.
Dr de Ronde said it was likely a lot of seismic and volcanic activity went unnoticed in the many chains of deep- sea volcanoes – known as arcs – that skirt the Pacific. New Zealand's volcanoes and earthquakes are monitored by the GNS Science GeoNet division, which is funded by the Earthquake Commission. GNS Science seismologist Mark Chadwick said 40 monitoring stations 100km apart fed nonstop seismic information to laboratories in Wellington. New Zealand's volcanoes were also monitored by GPS, which detected subtle movements, and regular checks on crater temperatures. Though the recent swarm of shakes and volcanic activity in the Rim of Fire was not an indication that disaster was pending, Dr Chadwick said the threat of a powerful quake or an eruption in New Zealand was ever present.
Two moderate earthquakes registered in Koryakia over past day
PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, May 29 (Itar-Tass) -- Two new earthquakes with the magnitude of 4.5 and 4.8 points on the Richter scale were registered in the Olyutor district of the Koryak autonomous area over the past day. Earth tremors were not felt in settlements. No casualties and destructions sustained, the press center of the Far Eastern regional emergencies center told Itar-Tass on Monday.
The epicentres of the earthquakes were located in the district where the earthquake with the magnitude of 7.9 points on the Richter scale occurred on April 21 destroying buildings and the life-supporting systems in Korf, Tilichiki and Khailino. New earthquakes were registered at 02.12 and 03.57 Moscow time on Sunday. Eighty-eight repeated tremors were registered in Koryakia over the past month. Earthquakes will continue for another year, but will subside gradually, specialists said.
The restoration works are underway in the affected settlements. As many as 166 people and six pieces of machinery, including one aircraft are involved in the restoration works. Rescuers are on duty in the disaster area. They will stay there until October.
Apec Senior Officials Meet Ahead Of Trade Ministers,By D. Arul Rajoo
HO CHI MINH CITY (Vietnam), May 30 (Bernama) -- The second formal Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) began here Tuesday as officials deliberated on, among other things, Apec's role in concluding the current World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations.Other matters on the agenda to lay the foundation for the Meeting of Apec Ministers' Responsible for Trade (MRT), which begins here on Thursday, are ensuring best practices for the signing of free trade agreements (FTAs) and enhancing human security.
One of the key issues to be discussed would be the consideration of input from the Apec Geneva Caucus on current WTO negotiations.Trade ministers of the 21 Apec member countries are expected to reaffirm a commitment to the multilateral trading system and successful conclusion of the Doha round of trade negotiations of the WTO by the end 2006.Malaysia will be represented at the meeting by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz.The MRT is among a series of meetings being held before the Apec Leaders' Summit in Hanoi in November.According to a draft of a statement being finalised, the ministers will
push for a substantial outcome to the agriculture and non-agricultural market access and service negotiations.
Vietnam is expected to sign the conclusion of bilaterial negotiations with the United States on its WTO accession tomorrow, paving the way for the country to be admitted to the WTO by November.Vietnam's First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the SOM, Le Cong Phung, said other pressing issues to be considered by the Apec senior officials include improving the quality and transparency of regional trade arrangements (RTAs) and FTAs in the region.It is quite clear that RTAs and FTAs are important components of the regional economy, so Apec is working to ensure that new agreements implemented by member economies are of the highest quality,he said.
Officials would also consider the range of recent Apec issues intended to enhance human security in Asia Pacific, including the latest updates from the Apec Counter Terrorism Task Force, the Apec Health Task Force and the Apec Task Force on Emergency Preparedness.The recent tragic earthquake in Indonesia, the potential for a pandemic influenza outbreak and the ongoing threat of terrorism are all issues that harm the social and economic health of our regional economy,Le said.Business leaders and Apec senior officials met here two days before the SOM to clarify the business relevance of RTAs and FTAs.The 2006 Apec Policy Dialogue on RTAs/FTAs was the first to involve business representatives that included leading executives from FedEx, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and the Mexican Trade Business Organisation Network.
The proliferation of RTAs and FTAs in recent years has seen the signing of 34 RTAs/FTAs in the Apec region and around 325 RTAs/FTAs worldwide that have been presented to the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and WTO.Of these, more than 200 were agreed to over the last 11 years. By the end of 2005, the WTO estimated that more than 51 per cent of all world merchandise was traded under preferential agreements.-- BERNAMA
400 AFTERSHOCKS SINCE QUAKE
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Aftershocks rock region, 29may06
MORE than 400 aftershocks have hit central Indonesia since Saturday's powerful 6.2 magnitude earthquake killed, an official said yesterday.The strongest of the 450 aftershocks registered magnitude 5.2 and struck about two hours after the quake, said Handi, an official at the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency who uses only one name. Others measured less than magnitude 4, he said. The first quake struck at 5:54am on Saturday on the densely populated Java island.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
This next story will be the EU headed by a dictator who destroys through peace and deception. And controls the world regions (10) in the future for world control and domination.
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
West not serious about free trade: PNGTuesday May 30 09:00 AEST
Western nations are not serious about opening their economies to allow the fair trade of goods and services with developing countries, says Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Michael Somare. Market access to developed countries was still restricted by non-tariff barriers such as prohibitive quarantine and legal requirements, he said in his opening address to the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) and European Union (EU) Council of Ministers' Meeting being held in Port Moresby this week.
Referring to negotiations over a new Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and ACP countries, Somare said the EU's requirement for countries to be World Trade Organisation (WTO) compatible in the new trading arrangement could be costly to some ACP states and undermine their fragile economies.Such a situation would certainly not address the fundamental objective of the ACP-EU partnership arrangement, which is to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty. While the WTO system is proposing greater liberalisation and globalisation through the lifting of trade barriers, it appears that developed countries are not serious in opening up their economies for fair trade of goods and services.
Somare said the new ACP-EU trading arrangement was meant to be developmental in nature, requiring substantial development assistance to enable ACP countries to integrate smoothly into the international trading system.So we are all surprised by the position of the European Union on this important matter and I would, therefore, urge all ACP states to take a firm, united position on this critical issue, ©AAP 2006
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Heavy, flooding rains in southeast Texas B. Bernard, Senior Meteorologist, The Weather
Channel Mon May 29, 12:12 PM ET Heavy, flooding rains are likely to persist in southeast Texas near Houston and Beaumont through tonight. Rainfall already has exceeded 12 inches today in parts of Chambers County and 10 inches in parts of Liberty County. A nearly stationary upper-air disturbance and moist low-level flow from the Gulf of Mexico may contribute to another 5 to 8 inches of rainfall in portions of the region by tomorrow morning.
Elsewhere, a few severe thunderstorms are expected today along and in advance of a cold front
pushing eastward through the mid-section of the nation. The area at risk extends from eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin southward into Oklahoma. The greatest threat, however, probably will focus on the upper Mississippi Valley, Iowa, northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri.
Monday, May 29, 2006
CHINA THREAT TO US
44 But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him:(EU LEADER IN ISRAEL) therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.(THEY CROSS ARATUK DAM IN TURKEY)
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.1
4 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
China military upgrades a potential threat to US: Pentagon
The pace and scope of China's modernization of its strategic forces and other surprising military developments could pose a credible long term threat to the United States, the Pentagon warned. In an annual report to Congress, the Defense Department said China's ability to sustain military power at a distance is limited but it has the greatest potential of any nation to compete militarily with the United States. Long-term trends in China's strategic nuclear forces modernization, land- and sea-based access denial capabilities, and emerging precision-strike weapons have the potential to pose credible threats to modern militaries operating in the region," the report said.
Several aspects of China's military development have surprised US analysts, including the pace and scope of its strategic forces modernization," an executive summary of the report said. China's military expansion is already such as to alter regional military balances," it added. Long-term trends in China's strategic nuclear forces modernization, land- and sea-based access denial capabilities, and emerging precision-strike weapons have the potential to pose credible threats to modern militaries operating in the region," the report said. The annual China military power report is a closely watched barometer of military relations between the Asian power and the United States, the dominant military power in the Asia Pacific Region.
The report made waves last year by calling attention to big, unacknowledged increases in Chinese spending on a major military buildup that it said put at risk the military balance in the region. The latest report expanded on that theme and said China had still not adequately explained "the purposes or desired end-stats of their military expansion. Absent greater transparency, international reactions to China's military growth will understandably hedge against these unknowns, the report said. In the near term, China's military buildup appeared focused on preparing for contingencies in the Taiwan Strait, including the possibility of US intervention, the report said.
China now has an estimated 710 to 790 short-range missiles opposite Taiwan, according to the report. However, analysis of China's military acquisitions suggest it is also generating capabilities that could apply to other regional contingencies, such as conflicts over resources or territory," it said. It said China has developed a new doctrine for modern warfare, reformed military institutions and personnel systems, improved exercises and training, and acquired advanced foreign and domestic weapons systems. The report discusses China's acquisition of Russian transport and air refueling aircraft and its interest in acquiring the SU-33, a Russian-made maritime strike aircraft capable of operating from aircraft carriers. (Copyright AFP 2005,)
Minor tornado results in major cleanup5/27/2006 4:56 PMBy: Brittany Morehouse, News 14
Carolina Severe thunderstorms and a tornado left behind a massive mess in northern Gaston County.
CHERRYVILLE, N.C. – The National Weather Service confirmed Saturday that it was a tornado that ripped up trees and tore down limbs in northern Gaston County on Friday evening.Officials said a low-end tornado with winds estimated at 75 miles per hour caused intermittent damage at 6:19 p.m. during a strong thunderstorm. The storm, which moved between Cherryville and High Shoals, included golf ball-sized hail.The National Weather Service also reported a carport was blown into the top of a tree and twisted pieces of a barn roof flew more than half a mile. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but residents had plenty of debris to clean up.
Jerry Porter uses a chainsaw to cut Bradford pear tree limbs.Took down all my Bradford pears in my front yard and just tore up everything,said Randy Sevarance.None of my trees are salvageable except the two front ones. Jerry Porter said his family lost five Bradford pear trees. I’ve never seen it rain so hard in my life,Porter said. It demolished my trees. His family was even stranded a few dozen feet from home.Right within 10 yards of the house and we couldn’t get any closer because of a tree down across the yard, Porter said. We could see everything happening down here but we couldn’t do anything about it.
Down the street, a Lincoln County man had to chase down seven horses that escaped through a broken fence. Also nearby, a creek’s waters crept up into people’s yards. Neighbors watched, bracing from a distance. I was kind of worried about the trees there for a little bit because it was kind of pushing them toward the house,said Perry Duncan. I didn’t like that too good. Randy Sevarance puts a chain around some tree limbs in order to drag them away. No one seems to like the level of clean up they face this weekend, from torn down poles to scattered leaves.
There’s 5 1/2 acres of property so I’ve got to clean all that up in the back,Sevarance said. He said it will take hours for him to clear away all the bark. God’s way of doing things and there’s nothing you can do to stop it,” he said. Sevarance’s attitude is much like his neighbors, who are mourning their favorite trees. It’s sad to see, unless somebody wants the wood and they’re welcome to it, Porter said. They can come and get it,” he added with a laugh, welcoming any help in cleaning up the mess. This is the second weekend in a row that Gaston County was hit hard by passing storms. Last weekend residents of Dallas were Mother Nature’s target.
ISRAEL HELPS NATO
Israel tightens NATO ties amid Iran nuke jitters By Dan Williams Mon May 29, 8:24 AM
ET JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel announced on Monday it would fully participate in a NATO naval exercise for the first time, bolstering defense ties with the Western military alliance in the face of arch-foe Iran's nuclear program. Israeli military officials said the exercise, dubbed Cooperation Mako, would take place next month in the Black Sea and involve simulated combat between missile boat fleets as well as search-and-rescue drills.This marks the first time a unit of the Israel Navy will fully participate in an operational NATO exercise," said an Israeli military statement. Israel had previously held only observer status in such maneuvers.
Alon Ben-David, Israel analyst for Jane's Defense Weekly, said Cooperation Mako aimed mainly to improve NATO security missions in the Mediterranean and that Israel was especially interested in combined air force exercises. Given Israel's strategic reality, it is crucial to be part of a defensive coalition," Ben-David said. Israel, Algeria and Morocco agreed in April to join NATO counter-terrorist patrols along their shores.Ben-David noted Israel has stepped up its cooperation with foreign military forces as part of preparations for a possible showdown with Iran, whose nuclear program and calls for the Jewish state's elimination have raised concern in the West.
Iran, the world's fourth-biggest oil exporter, says it seeks nuclear technology for energy needs only. Some Western officials have speculated that Israel would eventually apply to join NATO's 26 member-states. "If Iran feels that Israel is ... in the pact, it will behave differently," former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar said in March. But full membership is seen as unlikely in Israel, given its tradition of going it alone on matters of top military priority. Believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, Israel sent warplanes to bomb Iraq's atomic reactor in 1981 and has not ruled out similar action against Iran. For now, though, it backs U.S.-led efforts to defuse the dispute with diplomacy.
A defense pact has advantages and disadvantages," Israel's military chief, Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz, told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper this month. "Under a NATO pact, every decision would require consensus of 26 nations. President Bush has pledged to defend Israel should it come under Iranian attack. Some analysts interpreted the statement as an admonition to Israel from its chief ally not to launch a preemptive strike on Iran unilaterally.
Residents wait in fear as Comoros volcano bubbles By Ahmed Ali Amir Mon May 29, 7:03 AM
ET MORONI (Reuters) - Lava bubbled from a volcano in the Comoros on Monday, frightening thousands on the Indian Ocean archipelago's largest island who feared a full-blown eruption as they waited to see where the molten rock might flow. An early morning reconnaissance flight over the crater of 2,361-meter (7,750-ft) Mount Karthala -- one of the world's largest active volcanoes which dominates the island of Grande Comore -- gave no new clues.The information we have is that the lava is flowing. The crater is full of lava. We don't know which direction it will flow," Col. Ismael Daho, head of the emergency management team for the Comoros archipelago, told Reuters.
He said the lava was covering an area about 3 km square (1.2 miles). Residents were nervous, but the volcano's periodic past eruptions which have rarely caused a major disaster, have tempered some on the island of 300,000 against panicking.Everyone is scared. No one could sleep the whole night," said Jimmy Mohamed, from the village of Nvouni on Karthala's western slope. But we all stayed and no one left. We're used to this. Nonetheless, some said they were frightened. I saw a bright light and black smoke coming out of the volcano, then everyone came out to watch it. We're very scared," said Chena Mohamed Ali, 35, who lives in the village of Itsinkoundi, on the east side of Karthala's slopes.
The mosques around here are full of people praying to God to calm the volcano," he told Reuters by telephone. Until African Union observation flights determine where the lava might flow, authorities urged people to wait for evacuation instructions.
LUSH GREEN SLOPES
The lush green slopes of Karthala, covered with vanilla and ylang ylang plantations, form most of the largest island of the three in the Comoros chain, 300 km (190 miles) off the coast of east Africa. Karthala has rarely punished Grande Comore harshly.The worst disaster on record came in 1903 when 17 died from noxious fumes that seeped from cracks. The last big eruption, in April 2005, sent thousands fleeing in fear of poisonous gas and lava. That was the first eruption in more than a decade, but the volcano has erupted on average every 11 years over the past two centuries. In November, Mount Karthala fired clouds of ash and sparks across the island, blanketing the capital Moroni and other villages in gray dust. Moroni is about 15 km from Karthala's crater.
ALETA 1ST STORM OF SEASON
This week's promise: Christ will return
Everyone will see [Jesus said], "Then everyone will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand straight and look up, for your salvation is near!" Luke 21:27-28 NLT
No fear of judgment
What images come to mind when you think of "end times prophecies"?…Most people, if they were honest, would admit that their view of the end times is a frightening one.…They imagine an angry and vengeful God hovering high above it all, bent on destruction and raining terror on all who have rejected him.
Have we missed something? In many ways I think we have. God didn't reveal these graphic images of the coming judgment to express his wrath or even to frighten us into believing. He revealed them to show us his wonderful grace and mercy in the midst of our sin and un worthiness. The story isn't about pending gloom and doom, but it's about a loving Father who will do anything he can to help people escape the consequences of evil.
Bible prophecy isn't intended to frighten us, but it's to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is real and omnipotent and active in our lives; to warn us of the very real danger lying ahead for those who reject his love and mercy; and to encourage us to accept his gracious and free offer of salvation through his Son, Jesus.
In his first letter to Timothy, Paul tells us that God "wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth" (2:4).…Time and again in Scripture we are told that God longs for his people to be with him in heaven. The Bible is not a story of wrath and judgment but of
unconditional love and redemption. God longs to be with us and wants desperately for us to accept his hand of salvation. What we do is up to us.
Adapted from Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins and Frank M. Martin, Tyndale House Publishers (2004), entry for January 3.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Eastern Pacific gets 1st tropical storm Sun May 28, 9:24 PM ET
MEXICO CITY - Aletta, the first tropical storm of the eastern Pacific season, was moving slowly north on Sunday, about 105 miles southwest of the Mexican resort of Acapulco. Aletta's winds remained at about 45 mph at it moved at 2 mph, and while forecasters said it could still move closer to land, they predicted it would turn to the west by Tuesday and start heading out to sea.
Tropical Storm Aletta was expected to bring some heavy rain to Mexico's Pacific coast. Mexico issued a tropical storm warning for a 240-mile stretch of coast from Punta Maldonado, east of Acapulco, to Zihuatanejo to the west, and discontinued storm watches further east, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Light quake shakes northeastern Calif. 22 minutes ago
TRUCKEE, Calif. - A light quake struck Monday morning in northeastern California but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The magnitude 4.0 quake hit at 3:38 a.m. PDT about 14 miles west of Truckee on the California-Nevada border, according to a preliminary report from the U.S. Geological service.
UP TO 5500 DEAD IN QUAKE
Quake Toll Exceeds 4,500; Shocks Rattle Indonesia ,By PETER GELLING,Published: May 29
BANTUL, Indonesia, Monday, May 29 — Sugiarto, a 50-year-old chicken farmer, spent Sunday night lying immobile with a severe back injury at the edge of a crowded tarp outside Bantul General Hospital, his wife shielding his face as rain whipped down. In Bantul, villagers mourned on Saturday and prepared mass graves for victims of a powerful early morning earthquake that leveled buildings. Mr. Sugiarto said his back was broken when the roof of his house fell on him in the 6.3 magnitude earthquake on Saturday.
He was first turned away from the hospital because his injuries were not considered serious enough amid the devastation in Bantul, a district eight miles south of Yogyakarta where most of the deaths occurred.We returned to our mosque, where we sat out front and prayed, said his wife, Ngatinah, 43. We prayed all night in the rain. Neighbors drove them in a pickup truck. Like most people here, they refuse to stay inside, terrified of the aftershocks that come every few hours.Mr. Sugiarto, who like many Indonesians uses only one name, was back at the hospital awaiting treatment for a second day in a row. He lay on nothing more than a plastic sheet next to the hospital parking lot.
The earthquake has killed more than 4,500 people, the Indonesian government said Sunday. The number of deaths is expected to rise as rescue workers search the rubble of collapsed buildings, and aftershocks continue to quiver through Yogyakarta and surrounding areas.
Mount Merapi, a volcano north of Yogyakarta, has been expected to erupt for the past few weeks, and it seemed to become more threatening on Monday morning, venting ever larger clouds of hot gas into the air, that then slid down its slopes. Volcanologists say the earthquake probably caused the increased activity in the volcano. The epicenter of the earthquake, which struck just before 6 a.m. on Saturday, was about 15 miles southwest of Yogyakarta on the southern coast of Java along the Indian Ocean, and about 6 miles below the surface. John Budd, a Unicef spokesman, said tens of thousands had been injured and at least 100,000 left
homeless, nearly half of them children.The issue of how efficiently help is coming to the quake's victims was raised Sunday, but aid workers here were quick to note that there was no comparison to be made between the relatively modest earthquake on Saturday and far more devastating quakes in Pakistan and Pakistani-administered Kashmir last October, which killed 75,000, and in Iran in 2003, which killed 31,000, let alone the tsunami, which killed 181,000 people in Southeast Asia in 2004.
Two other earthquakes east of Indonesia were recorded Sunday, one off the coast of Papua New Guinea, and another near Tonga. No deaths or damages were reported.In Bantul, overwhelmed hospital employees working in blood-stained hallways teeming with sick and injured patients welcomed the arrival of emergency supplies Sunday night, though United Nations officials said they expected most of the aid to arrive Monday.Relief efforts have been stalled partly because the Yogyakarta airport is closed, after its runway was cracked and a terminal building partly collapsed. Aid workers have been diverted to nearby airports in Solo and Semarang.Limited emergency air service was expected to resume Monday at the airport, but it would still be a day or two before it could support any sustained traffic, officials said.Apart from the airport, however, Yogyakarta's infrastructure was mostly intact, allowing the government and aid agencies to get help to the area relatively quickly.Military trucks carrying supplies from the central government thundered past the lush rice paddies of the area's farming communities
Sunday night from the capital, Jakarta, 250 miles west of Yogyakarta. Yolak Dalimunte, in charge of disaster response for the Indonesian Social Welfare Ministry, said supplies of tents, food, beds and clothing were beginning to arrive in Bantul, where a command center had been set up to coordinate relief efforts.Puji Pujiono, the lead officer for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said that although the government had yet to officially request United Nations assistance, the agency had been talking to local officials and had set up a communications center next to the Bantul mayor's office.
The next 36 hours are going to be a logistical nightmare, he said. "We have a small pipeline where a lot of aid is being pumped through. We are going to face a bottleneck if we don't figure this out soon.Mr. Pujiono said a meeting was planned among aid groups and the Indonesian government to help coordinate rescue efforts.Other aid officials said the Indonesian government had so far responded efficiently to the earthquake.
The response from the government has been electric and focused," said Mr. Budd of Unicef, who was to meet with the Indonesian finance minister and other United Nations agencies on Monday to assess the extent of the damage in Yogyakarta. "They assessed what was required and responded quickly. At Bantul General Hospital, where pieces of the roof were missing and walls were fissured, Mercy Corps, a disaster relief group, was distributing supplies and assessing patients' needs. Liha, a spokeswoman for Mercy Corps who goes by one name, said relief needed to come faster because the hospital was rapidly running out of antibiotics, anesthetics, bandages and, most urgently, food. Most people are suffering from bone fractures, but what we really need is food supplies, she said, standing amid a crowd of bloodied people clamoring for help.
Most of these people haven't eaten since the earthquake. In Jetis, an area in Bantul, more than 300 houses were leveled. Neighbors climbing over a wrecked house spotted the bodies of a
family of three and began frantically digging them out Sunday morning. But no amount of effort could free the bodies from the layers of debris. Hours later, the neighbors were still waiting for military personnel to help. The bodies remained buried and were not part of the official death toll until well into the evening Sunday. In sweltering heat, residents of Jetis carried all the belongings they could salvage to a central location Sunday afternoon, where they divided them among the neediest.I am devastated, said Prapto Warsito, the village leader for Jetis, who sat at the side of the road surrounded by rubble, holding a cardboard box for donations.
Quakes rattle Bay homes, 29.05.2006
The earth moved for many Hawke's Bay people last night - and not just once, but twice. A magnitude 3.1 earthquake centred 10km west of Napier rattled Bay homes at 10.34 last night. Just a few hours later, we were treated to an a early wake-up call when another earthquake rippled across the region at 4.23am - measuring 3.9 on the Richter Scale. The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, Wellington, received 13 reports from people around Hastings and Napier via its Geonet website link, where people can send an e-mail on their experiences with earthquakes.
Seismologist, Dr Ken Gledhill, said the first earthquake was centred 12km under Napier and the second, 20 kilometres south east of Havelock North. Both were felt throughout the Hastings and Napier regions. Dr Gledhill said neither this morning's shake - or the tremor reportedly felt in Onekawa at 10.34pm yesterday - were big enough to be picked up by any of the major seismic stations or strong motion stations placed inside buildings to measure the shaking effect of earthquakes. But information gathered from various earthquake measuring instruments from around the North Island, plus reports from the public, helped provide data on the earthquakes.
Dr Gledhill said it was not unusual for the Hawke's Bay region to record two or three earthquakes a month. In the bigger scheme of things, it was a minor earthquake," he said. It was just below the threshold ... where our duty person would have been notified," he said. This morning's earthquake follows three others recorded in the Hawke's Bay region since April. An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter Scale was felt 10km south east of Otane, on May 20, at 3.23pm. Another was recorded on April 27, south east of Dannevirke, measuring 3.5 and an earthquake measuring 3.8 was centred 10km south east of Waipawa on April 18.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
ARIEL SHARON MOVED
Story 1-JESUS PROMISES TO RETURN TO GET US. 2-G7 and weeker Dollar, 3-LEBANON fires rockets in Israel, 4-ARIEL SHARON MOVED.
This week's promise: Christ will return "I will come back"
[Jesus said], "When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know where I am going and how to get there." John 14:3-4 NLT,
His promise to return As a child, George Tulloch was fascinated by stories of the Titanic.…In 1996 he put together a team of the best scientists and sailors and set out to the exact spot where the Titanic sank in 1912. He and his crew were able to recover numerous artifacts from the ship—eyeglasses, jewelry, dishware, some coins and the like. But the most exciting thing they found was a large piece of the hull resting several hundred yards away.
The team did it's best to raise the twenty-ton piece of iron, but to no avail. At one point the team almost had it.…but a storm blew in and.…the Atlantic reclaimed its treasure. Then Tulloch did something surprising before they were forced to retreat. He descended into the deep once more in a small submarine, and using a robotic arm, he attached a small handmade placard onto the section. It said, "I will come back. George Tulloch.
For a lot of the same reasons, Jesus left us a similar message. "I am going to prepare a place for you..…When everything is ready, I will come and get you" (John 14:2-3). Some may wonder why he cared in the first place. Why would he even want to reclaim us? What good are we to him? In many ways we're just as worthless and cumbersome and unyielding as that lazy piece of iron in the Atlantic.
But Jesus doesn't see us that way. He's dreamed of this moment since the beginning of creation, and now that the time is near he can't help but leave this mark on our hearts. "I'm leaving now. But don't worry, I'll be back.
Adapted from Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins and Frank M. Martin, Tyndale House Publishers (2004), entry for January 1.
G7 statement didn't seek weaker dollar - Tanigaki Sat May 27, 9:48 PM ET TOKYO (Reuters) -
Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations were not seeking a weaker dollar through a recent statement, Japanese Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki reiterated on Sunday, adding that adjustments in currencies alone would not resolve global imbalances. Noting the April 21 statement issued by G7 finance ministers and central bankers, Tanigaki said to fix global imbalances, the United States needed to promote fiscal consolidation and Europe should enhance structural reforms, while Japan needed to do both.
The statement has prompted market speculation that the G7 group saw the need for a decline in the dollar to fix global imbalances as it mentioned the need for greater flexibility and appreciation in emerging economy currencies.But Tanigaki denied such speculation.There was a misunderstanding that G7 may be seeking a weaker dollar. But the G7 did not say that, Tanigaki said on a Fuji TV program, a view he repeated earlier this month when the dollar declined against major currencies.
Rather than trying to fix the problem with a realignment of exchange rates, the G7 agreed that we should overcome this problem by taking steps like structural and fiscal reforms. Tanigaki said earlier this month that overemphasizing a realignment of exchange rates alone as a means to adjust global imbalances could invite market speculation and deal a blow to the global financial market, thus adversely affecting the world economy.
Katyusha Rockets Fired into Northern Israel By Hillel Fendel (Arutz 7 news)
Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon fired three Katyusha rockets into northern Israel in the predawn hours, hitting an IDF base and injuring one soldier. IAF warplanes then attacked two Hizbullah bases. The injured Israeli soldier, a 20-year-old from Ariel, was lightly injured and transported to Sieff Hospital in Tzfat. One building on the base, in the Mt. Meron area, west of Tzfat, maintained significant damage.The Katyushas, 120mm rockets, were fired at about 4:40 AM. The Israel Defense Forces announced around 11 AM that it had responded with air attacks on two Hizbullah bases.
As a result of the rocket attacks, northern Israel was placed on heightened alert status. In the afternoon hours, northern residents were instructed to enter their bomb shelters, as the fighting heated up. Mortar shells from Lebanon landed near Kibbutz Misgav Am, and a soldier was moderately wounded by gunfire emanating from Lebanon.Israel says it considers Lebanon responsible for all terror activity directed against Israel from within its borders. IDF Northern Command officials say that Hizbullah and other terrorist organizations continually attempt to perpetrate large-scale attacks against Israeli soldiers and citizens in the north. Hizbullah chieftain Sheikh Nasrallah says his organization will continue to attack Israel.
This morning's attacks may have been a terrorist reminder of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon almost exactly six years ago. On May 24, 2000, Israel completed the withdrawal of IDF forces from what it called the "security zone" in southern Lebanon. The withdrawal was recognized by the United Nations and the international community, but the Hizbullah terror organization continues to demand that the IDF also leave the Mt. Dov area, also known as the Shab’a Farms. Israeli forces at Mt. Dov serve as a frontline defense against terrorist infiltrations into Israel.
Ex-PM Sharon Transferred From Hadassah HospitalBy Hillel Fendel (arutz 7 news)
Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma since January, 5 months after he implemented the Disengagement/expulsion plan, was removed today to a special ward in the Tel HaShomer Hospital in Tel Aviv. Sharon, hospitalized since his January hemorrhage in Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital's emergency ward in Jerusalem, was taken to Tel HaShomer's respiratory rehabilitation department.
His condition is still listed as serious, essentially unchanged since he was first hospitalized in early January. The transfer was effected at the request of Sharon's sons, Omri and Gilad, and following consultations with doctors in both hospitals.On April 5, Sharon was operated on for the eighth time, and part of his skull was restored to his head in preparation for the move.Earlier this month, the Knesset Finance Committee voted that Sharon be eligible to receive medical services free of charge from the government for the coming five years.
The respiratory rehabilitation department at Tel HaShomer, headed by Dr. Aryeh Vilner, is the only one of its kind in the country. Doctors there hope they will be able to bring Sharon to be able to breathe on his own.Sharon's last two years before his debilitating stroke were centered around the Disengagement Plan he authored, as well as the formation of the Kadima Party in its wake. Sharon waged an intense political war against many of his former political allies, both in the Likud and among the settlement enterprise in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. He emerged victorious, and succeeded in bringing about the expulsion of some 9,000 Jews from their homes in Gush Katif and elsewhere and the abandonment of the territory to Palestinian terrorists.
Facing continued opposition within his Likud party, Sharon decided in late November of last year to break away from the Likud and start a new party. He was in the midst of single-handedly choosing the new party's future Knesset Members when he suffered a massive brain hemorrhage, and has not awoken since.
EU CONSTITUTION BY 2009 AT LATEST
Story 1 EU constitution must be done by 2009 at the latest, Torah readings for this day and New Guniea, Tonga quakes.
EU aims to complete constitution ratification by 2009 www.chinaview.cn 2006-05-28 11:19:21
VIENNA, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Member states of the European Union plan to complete the process for the ratification of the EU constitution by 2009 at the latest, Foreign Minister of Luxemburg Jean Asselborn said on Saturday. Asselborn made the remarks on the first day of a two-day meeting of EU foreign ministers in Austria's Klosternneuburg on the future of the EU constitution and the process of the bloc's enlargement. Describing the year 2009 as the "deadline," Asselborn told media that EU countries had the same political will to end the process for the ratification of the EU constitution by 2009 at the latest.
The foreign ministers of 25 EU countries did not mention 2010 or 2011 as the "deadline" for the EU constitution, he added. No one considers that the 'fundamental treaty' is already dead. EU will decide whether to reserve the current contents of Constitution or not, Asselborn added. At Saturday's meeting, the foreign ministers reportedly agreed to prolong their yearlong "period of reflection" by another 12 months, after the frustration in the Netherlands and France last year. According to local media, Germany would stick to the "political substance" of the current constitution.
The constitution will provide the EU with measures on policy-making which "we do need," said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the meeting. He added that by the middle of 2007, the EU could decide the further direction of the EU constitution, and Germany would make efforts toward this end during its EU presidency in the first half of 2007.
A draft EU constitution was rejected last year by France and the Netherlands. Under EU rules, all 25 member states must ratify the constitution before it comes into force. Enditem, Editor: Yao Runping.
The Parshah in a Nutshell(Chabad.org)
Shavuot Torah Readings Exodus 19:1-20:23; Deuteronomy 14:22--16:17
The Children of Israel camp opposite Mount Sinai, where they are told that G-d has chosen them to be His "kingdom of priests" and "holy nation." The people respond by proclaiming, "All that G-d has spoken, we shall do."On the sixth day of the third month (Sivan), seven weeks after the Exodus, the entire nation of Israel assembles at the foot of Mount Sinai. G-d descends on the mountain amidst thunder, lightening, billows of smoke and the blast of the shofar, and summons Moses to ascend.
G-d proclaims the Ten Commandments, commanding the people of Israel to believe in G-d, not to worship idols or take G-d's name in vain, to honor their parents, keep the Shabbat, and not to murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness or covet another's property. The people cry out to Moses that the revelation is too intense for them to bear, begging him to receive the Torah from G-d and convey it to them.
On the second day of Shavuot we read from Deuteronomy chapters 14-16 which detail the laws of the three pilgrimage festivals -- Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot -- on which all Jews came "to see and be seen before the face of G-d" in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
May 28, 2006, 12:00AM(AP)Magnitude-6.2 Quake Rocks Papua New Guinea
SYDNEY, Australia — A magnitude-6.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea, the U.S. Geological survey said Sunday. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.The quake hit at 1:12 p.m. local time (11:12 p.m. EDT) around 117 miles northeast of Papua New Guinea's New Britain region and 1,500 miles north of Brisbane, Australia.The quake posed no risk of a Pacific-wide tsunami, said Barry Hirshorn, a geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at Ewa Beach, Hawaii.
Strong quakes rattle Tonga, PNG: USGSSun May 28, 2006 1:12am ET
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A strong quake measuring 6.7 in magnitude rocked the South Pacific island nation of Tonga on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.The New Britain region of Papua New Guinea was also shaken by a 6.2 magnitude quake, the USGS reported. It was unclear whether the tremors had caused any casualties or damage.It said the Tonga quake hit at 4:36 p.m. local time (0336 GMT) 145 km (90 miles) northeast of the capital Nuku'alofa. The tremor was registered at a depth of 50 km (31 miles).
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said the quake near Papua New Guinea's New Britain island hit at about 0326 GMT Sunday.No destructive Pacific-wide tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data," the center said on its Web Site, adding the PNG quake was 6.7 in magnitude.But the U.S. Geological Survey and Geoscience Australia both registered the quake at 6.2. Sunday's quakes followed a quake of similar magnitude which hit Indonesia's main island of Java on Saturday, killing more than 3,000 people. We haven't had any reports of damage," a Geoscience Australia spokeswoman said. © Reuters 2006.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
INDONESIA DISASTERS SINCE 2004
Dr Samuel Doctorian a Mideast Preacher said GOD revealed to him great disasters in INDONESIA. Its all coming to pass. heres the
rest of the stuff he said will happen in the near future.13 - http://israndjer.blogspot.com/2005/11/2005-whats-coming.html
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Quakes hit northwestern Iran Tehran, May 27, IRNA ,Iran-Quakes
Two earthquakes, both measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale, hit suburbs of the northwestern city of Tasouj in East Azarbaijan province half an hour apart Friday afternoon. According to the seismological base of the Geophysics Institute of Tehran University, the first quake occurred at 17:59 hours local time (14:29 GMT) while the second tremble was registered at 18:29 hours local time (14:59 GMT).
The first quake was epicentered in an area measuring 38.14 degrees in latitude and 45.31 degrees in longitude, the report added. The second was epicentered in an area measuring 38.41 degrees in latitude and 45.31 in longitude. There have been no reports of any casualty or damage to property caused by the earthquakes, added the report. Iran is often hit by quakes of varying magnitudes as it sits on some of the world's most active seismic faultlines.
Chronology: Indonesian disasters since '04
Reuters.Posted Saturday , May 27, 2006 at 17:28Updated Saturday , May 27, 2006 at 17:37 Yogyakarta (Indonesia): Following is a list of some of the disasters, man-made and natural, to hit Indonesia since the Asian tsunami of 2004.
December 26, 2004 - Nearly 132,000 Indonesians are killed and over 37,000 listed as missing after a 9.15 magnitude earthquake off Indonesia and a tsunami triggered by it in the Indian ocean region. The global toll reaches nearly 230,000 dead with over 43,000 missing.
February 21, 2005 - At least 96 people are killed in landslide that sweeps through two West Java villages near a garbage dump.
March 28, 2005 - Nearly 1,000 people are believed killed after quake of magnitude 8.7 hits the coast of Sumatra.
May 28, 2005 - Explosion rocks a market in eastern Indonesian town of Tentena, on island of Sulawesi, killing 22 people.
July 20, 2005 - Indonesia confirms first deaths from bird flu, saying tests on a father and his two young daughters show they had virus. To date there have been 35 Indonesian deaths from bird flu, 24 of them this year.
September 1, 2005 - Landslide on island of Sumatra kills 14 and leaves more than a dozen missing.
September 5, 2005 - Domestic airliner operated by local carrier Mandala Airlines crashes in residential area of Indonesia's third biggest city Medan, killing 102 aboard and 47 local residents in an inferno on the ground.
October 1, 2005 - Three bombs rip through popular tourist areas on Indonesian resort island of Bali, killing 23 people, including three suicide bombers. Around 150 are wounded in attacks at Jimbaran beach and Kuta beach. Attacks came almost three years after 202 people, mainly tourists, are killed in another bombing.
December 31, 2005 - Bomb packed with nails explodes in crowded Christian market selling pork ahead of New Year celebrations in eastern Indonesian city of Palu, capital of volatile Central Sulawesi province, killing seven people and wounding 53.
May 15, 2006 - Mount Merapi volcano erupts with clouds of hot gas and rains ash on surrounding areas, sending some nearby villagers who had been reluctant to leave scurrying for safety.
May 27, 2006 - Earthquake rocks area around ancient royal city of Yogyakarta killing at least 3,000 people.
309 DIE IN INDONESIA QUAKE
Strong earthquake kills 309 in Indonesia By IRWAN FIRDAUS, Associated Press Writer 21
minutes ago YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia - A powerful earthquake rocked Indonesia's Central Java province early Saturday, killing at least 309 people, injuring scores, and flattening buildings. The magnitude 6.2 quake struck at 5:54 a.m. 15 miles southwest of the city of Yogyakarta, causing damage and casualties there and in at least two other nearby population centers, officials said. Yogyakarta, on the island of Java, is around 18 miles from the sea and about 250 miles east of the capital, Jakarta.
In the chaos that followed the quake, rumors of an impending tsunami sent thousands of people on Java fleeing to higher ground in cars and motorbikes. But Japan's Meteorological Agency said there was no danger of a tsunami.The quake also triggered heightened activity in nearby Mount Merapi volcano, which has been spewing out clouds of hot ash, gas and lava for several weeks, a scientist said. Five hours after the quake struck, at least 291 bodies had been recovered, and the death toll was expected to climb, morgue officials told The Associated Press by telephone.
Please tell the central government to send help, we need help here," said Kusmarwanto of Bantul Muhammadiyah Hospital, the closest hospital to the quake's epicenter. There so many casualties. Houses ... are flattened. Many people still need to be evacuated," he said, adding that his hospital alone had 39 dead bodies and the numbers were rising. We are overwhelmed with bodies," said Subandi, a morgue official at Bethseda hospital in Yogyakarta. Witnesses at hospitals said hundreds of injured were arriving for emergency treatment, many with broken bones and cuts.
TV footage showed damaged hotels and government buildings, and several collapsed buildings. The quake cracked the runway in Yogyakarta's airport, closing it to aircraft until at least Sunday while inspections take place, Transport Minister Hatta Radjasa said.Electricity and communications were also down in parts of the city, police said. It felt really powerful, and the whole building shook, said Narman, a receptionist who goes by one name at a hotel in Yogyakarta. "Everyone ran from their rooms. The quake's epicenter was close to the Mount Merapi, which has been rumbling for weeks. Activity increased as a result of the temblor, with one eruption soon after the earthquake sending debris some 2 miles down its western flank, said Subandrio, a vulcanologist monitoring the peak.
The quake has disturbed the mountain," he said. There were no reports of injuries as a result of the eruption. Activity at Mount Merapi, one of the world's most active volcanoes, has picked up in recent weeks and almost all villagers living near the danger zone have been evacuated. Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. A magnitude 9.1 earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004, under the sea off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra Island triggered a tsunami that killed more than 131,000 people in nearby Aceh province, and more than 100,000 others in nearly a dozen other countries.
Police Reverse Stand, Ban Jews from Temple Mount 18:33 May 25, '06 / 27 Iyar
5766 (IsraelNN.com) Police authorities have reversed their stand and prohibited a group of Jews from visiting the Temple Mount Thursday, Jerusalem Reunification Day, because of fears of violence.The police originally said that the group of the Temple Faithful could visit the holy site without its leader, Gershon Solomon. Authorities later denied the entire group access after Moslem leaders called on Arabs to swarm the Temple Mount in protest.
Earthquake shakes StockholmPublished: 25th May 2006 10:33 CET
A seismologist has confirmed that the vibrations and shaking overnight in Stockholm, which prompted hundreds of residents to call SOS Alarm fearing a mysterious explosion, was in fact an earthquake. Reynir Bödvarsson at Uppsala University told TT on Thursday morning that the quake was localised in the western part of the city. We hardly noticed anything here in Uppsala. But this morning when I analysed the data I saw that it was an earthquake," he said.
Bödvarsson told Swedish Radio that the earthquake measured "a little over two on the Richter scale". The epicentre was located seven kilometres south east of Bromma. Police thought at first that the quake was an explosion, as hundreds of panic-stricken residents called SOS Alarm. Nobody was injured.It was primarily in the vicinity of Alvik, the Essinge islands and Kungsholmen, said Thomas Ibstedt, at Stockholm police.
A resident of Stora Essingen, Hans-Olov Zetterström, was one of those woken by the rumbling.It was as though there was rock-blasting being carried out on a building site," he told The Local. But it was the middle of the night - and there's no building site near here. Officers were sent to investigate the incident and a helicopter was called in to help find the cause of the noise.The rarity of earth tremors in Stockholm meant that this explanation was not even considered by police, who speculated that it could have been an explosion set off by someone from a boat.
But Bödvarsson said that across Sweden these kinds of quakes are not unheard of. There are over ten earthquakes like this each year somewhere in Sweden. But when it happens in central Stockholm there are obviously many more people who experience it than when it happens somewhere in Lappland," he said. An earthquake of this size can be usually felt within a radius of maybe five to ten kilometres from the epicentre. There is very little seismic activity in the Stockholm, Uppland and east coast regions. Around Vänern, Bottenviken and Lappland, earthquakes are more common.
Bödvarsson said there was very little risk of further disturbances in Stockholm. If there are aftershocks, they will probably be so small that nobody will notice them. That's not to say that there can't be another earthquake in Stockholm, but the probability is not increased because of this. (Louis Roper)
UN GLOBAL TAX
The United Nations in your walletMay 26, 2006by Sally McNamara ( bio archive )
Email to a friend Print this page Text size: A A In spite of some pretty torrid scandals in recent years, the United Nations (U.N.) is far from finished. In fact, Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the U.N., is leading the gambit for perhaps its biggest power-grab yet – independent tax-raising powers or globo-taxation.
In fact, the U.N. is deeply committed to establishing this ‘sovereign’ power for itself – independent of the scrutiny and direction of its large aid donors (namely the United States). It wraps this concept up in the intentionally boring globo-speak of ‘enhanced dialogues on tax co-operation’ and ‘new innovative funding mechanisms,’ but that is just intended to put a pretty bow on top of a very ugly concept – the removal of the exclusive sovereign power of nation states to levy taxes on its citizenry.
Cliff Kincaid, President of America’s Survival, Inc., has just published a devastating chronology of the U.N.’s sustained campaign for global taxes, noting the 2001 High Level Panel on Financing for Development as a turning-point in the debate. Not only did that meeting call for the establishment of an International Tax Organization, it blatantly outlined two major areas where globotaxation might easily be levied – a currency transactions tax and a carbon tax – both of which would disproportionately hit the U.S.
Since then, a succession of high-level meetings, summits and conferences have been busy gathering steam for this concept: the Millennium Development Goals, the 2005 World Economic and Social Survey, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the World Commission Report on the Social Dimension of Globalization and so on and so on; they all share this notion that globotaxation is the most ‘innovative’ solution to long-term funding for the U.N. They propose globotaxes on everything from air transportation to aviation fuel, from airline tickets to carbon emissions, from currency transactions to arms. The list is as ambitious as it is scary. The long arm of the U.N.’s IRS could be in your pocket soon.
One of the U.N.’s more fruitful attempts at global taxation is the formal plan to levy a tax on airline tickets. In November 2005, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, and Spain issued a joint statement calling for a ‘nationally applied, internationally coordinated’ tax to be levied on air transport travels. The French government has been the first one to bite the bullet, and from July onward, passengers will pay between one and 40 euros on all flights taking off in France. With enthusiastic U.N. support and much back-slapping for President Chirac, Chile has undertaken plans to do the same, with Belgium and Germany currently hovering in the wings to do so. Luckily, both Great Britain and the U.S. have resisted Mr. Annan’s calls for others to follow suit. But make no mistake: the rot has started. Britain’s Liberal Democrats are openly advocating for taxation on aviation fuel as a way of reducing climate change, and with the current spin-over-substance streak running through the Conservative Party, anything is possible from our normally reliable British partners.
Of course, France’s projected annual revenue of $248 million is not nearly enough for the U.N.’s aspirations and the finger-pointing – largely toward to U.S. – is really gathering steam now. Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, special adviser to Secretary General Annan on the Millennium Development Goals, has gone as far as to say that the U.S. is coming up short in its global aid commitments to the tune of $65 billion a year. Of course, Dr. Sachs is a vocal proponent of globo-taxation to make up the difference. At the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development, Dr. Sachs helpfully points out that: “A global tax on carbon-emitting fossil fuels might be the way to begin.
The undercurrent of this debate should not be ignored – any global tax will not be a tax on income, at least not at first; there wouldf be riots in the streets if that happened. Any global tax will stealthy enacted and will have to be far-removed from the scrutiny of ordinary taxpayers. So, what better way to circumvent the problem than to tax corporate America, especially the energy companies who both the U.N. and the European Union have been collectively obsessed with since President Bush refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Feeding on media hysteria about imminent global disaster and excessive corporate profits, the proposition seems easier and easier to sell from a public relations perspective.
There is maybe a glimmer of hope though. John Bolton, the ever-sensible U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has flat-out said that the United States accepts neither global aid targets nor global taxes, and President Bush has backed him. But it cannot always be assumed that the White House will be this sensible. Indeed, Bill Clinton told the Millennium Summit in 2000 that national sovereignty needed to be put aside for the sake of a more active U.N.. And for activism you can read – more of the same, with a tax raising platform to boot.
Sally McNamara is the Director of International Relations at the American Legislative Exchange Council.
5.3-magnitude quake hits Greece in Ionian Sea Fri May 26, 6:30 AM ET
ATHENES (AFP) - An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale has been recorded in the Ionian Sea, but was not felt at the nearby island of Zakynthos. The epicenter of the quake, registered early Friday at 2314 GMT, was located about 320 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of Athens, a spokeswoman for the Athens Observatory's Geodynamic Institute saidFriday.Since April, a series of earthquakes has been registered around the island of Zakynthos, none of which have caused major damage.
However Friday's quake "is not linked to the seismic activity registered in April near the island," the Greek news agency ANA quoted seismologist Vassilis Karakostas as saying. Greece is more affected by seismic activity than any other European country and bears the brunt of half of all earthquakes on the continent.
Undersea volcano eruption caught on tape By HIROKO TABUCHI,
Associated Press Writer 15 minutes ago TOKYO - An unmanned probe got within feet of a violent underwater eruption in the Pacific Ocean, returning with the clearest footage ever captured of seismic activity under the sea, a team of Japanese and U.S. researchers said.
The footage, released Thursday by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, shows gray ash and rock spewing from the underwater NW Rota-1 volcano as it erupted in October. Lava streams down the volcano, which is 1,800 feet under water in the Mariana Arc volcanic chain, some 60 miles north of the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. The Japanese-American research team also collected sediment samples, team leader Yoshihiko Tamura said. The Hyper Dolphin probe went as close as 7-10 feet from the eruption.
We believe it's the first time anybody has captured quality footage of an underwater eruption from such a close distance," Tamura said. Analysis of the footage and sediment could help explain how repeated eruptions of underwater volcanos eventually give rise to islands and even continents, Tamura said. Further research could shed light on the very fundamentals of how land masses are formed," he said. Preliminary research findings are reported by Tamura, Robert W. Embley of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other team members in this week's edition of the journal Nature.