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.
Friday, May 26, 2006
WORLD CAPITAL JERUSALEM DAY
How can Olmert possibly take his precious people off the land GOD gave them, precious JERUSALEM AND ISRAEL.
1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
2 Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:
4 Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.
5 For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
7 Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
8 For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
9 Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.
4 How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?
5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
6 If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
Jerusalem Day - May 26, 2006
The Midrash states "There are seventy names for Jerusalem." Seventy names, each reflecting a different aspect of this city and its residents, today and throughout history. Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel, a center and symbol and the heart of the Jewish nation for 3,000 years. Jerusalem has been the object of reverence, hope and prayer of the Jewish people for thousands of years, and is a holy city to millions of believers of the three largest monotheistic religions. Jerusalem is one of the most diverse and interesting cities of the world. Jerusalem is
Israel's largest city, with 670,000 residents on 126,000 dunams. The heterogeneous nature of the residents make for a special and fragile human mosaic.
JERUSALEM OF GOLD by Naomi Shemer
As clear as wine, the wind is flying
Among the dreamy pines
As evening light is slowly dying
And a lonely bell still chimes,
So many songs, so many stories
The stony hills recall ...
Around her heart my city carries
A lonely ancient wall.
Yerushalaim all of gold
Yerushalaim, bronze and light
Within my heart I shall treasure
Your song and sight.
Alas, the dry wells and fountains,
The sound of horn from Temple's mountain
No longer calls to pray,
The rocky caves at night are haunted
By sounds of long ago
When we were going to the Jordan
By way of Jericho.
Yerushalaim all of gold
Yerushalaim, bronze and light
Within my heart I shall treasure
Your song and sight.
But when I come to count your praises
And sing Hallel to you
With pretty rhymes I dare not crown you
As other poets do,
Upon my lips is always burning
Your name, so dear, so old:
If I forget Yerushalaim
Of bronze and light and gold ...
Yerushalaim all of gold
Yerushalaim, bronze and light
Within my heart I shall treasure
Your song and sight.
Back to the wells and to the fountains
Within the ancient walls
The sound of horn from Temple's mountain
Again so loudly calls,
From rocky caves, this very morning
A thousand suns will glow
And we shall go down to the Jordan
By way of Jericho.
Yerushalaim all of gold
Yerushalaim, bronze and light
Within my heart I shall treasure
Your song and sight.
JERUSALEM OF GOLD by Naomi Shemer
This version appears, inter alia, in Landmarks: Resource material, poetry, songs, games and activities, edited by Avi Tsur,and published by the Israeli Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, in 1998 in Jerusalem: 103.
PLEASE PRAY FOR JERUSALEM TROUBLE IS COMING IN THE FUTURE. WE PRAY COME QUICKLY LORD JESUS.
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.
11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.
15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.
16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Up to 10 Caribbean Hurricanes Predicted for 2006
The bad news: U.S. climate experts just announced that they expect 8-10 hurricanes during the 2006 Caribbean hurricane season, including 4-6 major storms of Category 3 or higher (with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or more). The good news: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association is not expecting 2006 to be as wild as the 2005 season, when the Caribbean saw a record-breaking 28 tropical storms and 15 hurricanes. Experts based their predictions on the fact that Caribbean ocean waters are not as warm this year as they were last year: warm ocean water fuels the creation of hurricanes. The average Caribbean hurricane season has 11 hurricanes, most of which never hit land in the region. For more information on hurricanes and other weather in the Caribbean, see my Caribbean Weather Guide.
Mudslide map puts 254 districts at risk
A map of the areas that are prone to landslides or mudslides being developed by the Mineral Resources Department has shown 254 districts comprising 2,371 villages are vulnerable. The director of the department's Geology Office, Lerdsin Raksasakulwong, said yesterday Bangkok faced flooding this year that could be every bit as severe as the devastation that hit the capital 70 years ago.
Lerdsin, an expert in soil, said the map showed areas in 51 provinces were at risk over three levels. Areas coloured red, yellow and green could experience landslides following 100 millimetres, 200mm and 300mm of rain, respectively, he said. Lerdsin said people could get useful information at the website http://www.dmr.go.th/. Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department's website, http://www.tmd.go.th/, which had been warning about the El Nino and La Nina effects since January, was now saying that a mild La Nina effect had already occurred.
Thanawat Jarupongsakul, a climate-change expert from Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Science said the floods in Uttaradit were a result of changes in global climate, which are directly related to global warming. La Nina would cause more rains in Thailand and neighbouring countries, he said. With typhoons increasing by 10-20 per cent and becoming more severe, serious floods were likely in every part of the country from July to October, Thanawat said. Bangkok was at high risk of severe flooding similar to 1942 and 1953 as typhoons might come directly into the Gulf of Thailand.
Thanawat warned of diseases arriving with the climate change such as mutated bacteria. Epidemic diseases could spread and extinct diseases could reappear because of more rains.
Quake-hit Kashmiris face poor crop, bad diet By Abu Arqam Naqash Thu May 25, 1:21 AM
ET LAMNIAN, Pakistan (Reuters) - Kashmiri villager Jamal Din Chaudry lost his dairy cow and his bullocks in last year's earthquake, and now can only count his blessings as he prepares to sow maize on the terraced mountainside. When the quake hit, I thought life would never return to normal here," said the 56-year-old farmer as he surveyed his small plot and the makeshift tin-roofed dwelling partially built from the rubble of his ruined two-story home. He was lucky. None of his family perished in the quake that killed 73,000 on October 8, instead they were among 3 million Kashmiris made destitute by the disaster.
While nature's seasons may have brought some sense of normality back to Chaudry's life, without bullocks he must plow the earth himself, and he must depend on handouts in the form of seed and food in order to get by. He lives in Lamnian, a small hamlet near the Leepa valley, some 60 km (40 miles) southeast of Muzaffarabad, the ruined capital of Pakistani Kashmir, and 2,000 meters up in the hills. Lower down the mountains, Mohammad Yaqub and his son Mohammad weeded a field in Sawaan village, 15 km (nine miles) south of Muzaffarabad. All their family survived the quake, but they too are living in a temporary shelter.
Last year's maize crop had ripened by the time the quake struck, and thanks to a concerted effort to deliver seed and fertilizer they now have a wheat crop in hand. God willing, within two weeks our wheat crop will be ready for harvesting," said Yaqub, 65. He's planning to sow maize in the first week of June, but there's a problem. He has no seed. Typically, a Kashmiri villager in these parts has only about one hectare of land, of which 70 percent may be turned over to grains such as rice, maize and wheat, depending on soil quality. It is subsistence farming, and while people have produced enough to fill their stomachs it was poor fare, even when people had a dairy cow to provide them with milk, butter and yogurt.
At the best of times, before the earthquake, although they weren't going hungry, about 60 percent of people living in elevated areas such as Lamnian suffered from some form of malnutrition due to a poorly balanced diet, lacking minerals and vitamins, which resulted in some permanent damage. Ten percent suffered from acute malnutrition, leading to stunted growth in children and wasting. Adolescent girls aren't menstruating, maternal mortality is high, and conditions such as goiter, a thyroid condition that causes swallowing and breathing problems, and night blindness are common.
Back in Islamabad, Michael Jones, the UN World Food Programme's representative in Pakistan, worries how to help people such as Chaudry and Yaqub, who will otherwise face more misery with each passing season. The harvest in July will be small, it won't be successful," he says, scoffing at the glib opinions of some officials that the people in the hills will have enough to subsist on because there is a crop in the ground. Try to eat corn off the cob when it's still green, it doesn't just taste bitter, it's toxic too.
The loss of livestock means yields will suffer, as farmers lack manure to fertilize their crops. Jones is concerned with preparing for the main crop, which will be harvested in November, while also ensuring that people living in elevated areas such as Lamnian get adequate food to avoid mounting health problems due to their terrible diet. A lot of them don't have seed and fertilizers they require to plant and harvest in July," he said, ruing the time lost navigating the bureaucracy of the government's relief authority.
Jones cannot say how many quake victims could be at risk of malnutrition in the months ahead, but some WFP programs concentrated in the elevated areas have a target population of around half a million people. These people live in isolated communities, and while the government may have declared main roads open, their villages remain inaccessible by road, and getting 4,000 km of secondary roads cleared is a priority for Jones. Getting supplies to the likes of Chaudry is about to become a lot more difficult. Donors trying to balance resources, costs and needs have said they won't pay for the helicopter fleet beyond the end of the month.
BILL AGAINST ARAB TERRORISM PASSES
EU force to stem African migrants
Constant Brand in Brussels and Associated PressWednesday May 24, 2006The Guardian
The EU will deploy planes, boats and rapid reaction aid teams from its member states to deal with African illegal migrants trying to reach Spain's Canary Islands, officials said yesterday. EU justice and home affairs commissioner Franco Frattini said the EU "will provide operational support as fully as we can to the Spanish government to deal with an urgent and difficult situation. He said the EU's external border security agency, Frontex, would send two emergency coordination teams to the Canary Islands, which has been at the receiving end of illegal migrants coming from western Africa.
Spain's deputy prime minister, Teresa Fernández de la Vega, said her government and the regional authorities on the Canary Islands could no longer cope and needed emergency help as quickly as possible.The Brussels talks took place after immigrants - more than 1,500 in the past week, including small children - made their way to the Canary Islands. Mr Frattini said Frontex would also coordinate, in the coming weeks, surveillance planes and boats drawn from eight EU member states to prevent the migrants from making their way to Europe.
The EU-mandated mission would patrol the coast off western Africa down to Gambia and Senegal, from where most of the migrants are sailing. Mr Frattini said EU governments, including Spain, would be able to benefit from joint EU repatriation flights. Ms Fernández de la Vega said Madrid hoped to set up so-called reception centres with other EU nations in transit countries Mauritania and Senegal, used by migrants to get to Europe, as an additional measure.
HR 4681 Passes the House: Brit Tzedek's Opposition Heard on House Floor
After months of opposition, delay, and alteration, the House of Representatives passed HR 4681, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006. Despite widespread international dismay over Hamas's victory in the Palestinian elections, this punitive legislation took nearly three and a half months to pass the House, and the more moderate Senate version is currently stalled in committee. In addition, a significant number of Representatives spoke out against the bill and resisted enormous pressure to vote "yes.
Undoubtedly, the opposition of pro-Israel organizations like ours, together with serious concerns expressed by the US Administration, helped delay and improve this legislation. Thousands of Brit Tzedek supporters called, emailed, and faxed their Representatives urging them to vote against HR4681. Our voice was heard: Brit Tzedek was mentioned from the podium of the
House floor four times during the course of debate and our talking points were read into the Congressional record by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH).
Venezuela quits G3 trade bloc www.chinaview.cn 2006-05-24 10:02:29
CARACAS, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela has officially withdrawn from the G3 trade group, a regional economic bloc consisting of Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the G3 trade bloc was bound by a "neo-liberal" treaty, not an accord designed to boost complementary trade, as it had originally been devised.
Venezuela and other Latin American nations seek agreements based on solidarity and collaborative work, but not on competition, to address each other's needs, it added. On Sunday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that his country had decided to quit the trade bloc with Colombia and Mexico to formally become a member of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur). The president said his country decided to drop out of the trade bloc to safeguard the national interests. Enditem.
New breed of weather satellite launchedGOES-N spacecraft has more storm-watching capability,John Raoux / AP
A Boeing Delta 4 rocket with a weather satellite payload lifts off from Launch Complex 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Wednesday.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - After months of delay, NASA on Wednesday launched a next-generation weather satellite that will allow forecasters to better pinpoint severe storms and investigate world climate change. The GOES-N satellite took off at 6:11 p.m. ET on a Boeing Delta 4 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The last time a Delta 4 rocket flew, a test flight of the rocket's heavy-lift model in December 2004, it failed to put a dummy satellite into its intended orbit.
A launch scheduled last August was scrubbed after an alarm indicated low voltage on batteries that power the system allowing the rocket to transmit data to ground stations, including its location. The delay was the latest in a series of setbacks dating back to last May. The GOES-N is a step in the development of the GOES family of weather satellites, designed and built by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration since 1975. It is the first in a series of three new satellites. It's not revolutionary ... but it has evolutionary improvements said Steve Kirkner, GOES program manager for NOAA. "What this will provide is better knowledge
... better information. The satellite carries instruments that will be able to transmit high-resolution images, infrared data and temperature and moisture profiles of the atmosphere.
The instruments allow meteorologists on the ground to take images of weather problem spots and improve short-term forecasts locally. The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1, but the satellite likely won't be in use for at least two years. The opportunity to talk about a new GOES launch is almost like talking about Christmas, from the standpoint of having another operational tool for us to add to our arsenal in the fight against hurricanes, tornadoes and other types of severe weather," said Steve Letro, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Jacksonville. GOES stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
IRAN TESTS ROCKET AGAIN
May. 23, 2006 22:41 Updated May. 24, 2006 1:41Iran test-fires long-range missile
Iran conducted a test launch Tuesday night of the Shihab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which is capable of reaching Israel and US targets in the region, Israel Radio reported. The test came hours before Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with US President George W Bush in Washington to discuss the Iranian threat.
Military officials said it was not clear if this most recent test indicated an advance in the capabilities of the Shihab 3. They said the test was likely timed to coincide with the Washington summit and with comments made by Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah during celebrations in Beirut marking the 6th anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon.
THE IRANIAN THREAT JPost.com- What deters the enemy from launching an aggression is the resistance's continuous readiness to respond, Nasrallah told scores of supporters. Northern Israel today is within the range of the resistance's rockets. The ports, bases, factories and everything is within that range.
The Shihab test was only partly successful, according to news reports. The nature of the difficulties was not clear. The Iranians have been working to extend the Shihab 3's current maximum range of 1,300 kilometers. A year ago, they successfully tested a solid fuel motor for the missile.
In December, Israel's defense against an Iranian ballistic missile strike, the Arrow 2 missile system, succeeded in intercepting an incoming rocket simulating an Iranian Shihab 3 at an altitude higher than in the previous 13 exercises. Maj. Elyakim, commander of the Arrow missile battery at Palmahim, told The Jerusalem Post last month that the missile crews were always on high alert, but that they were recently instructed to "raise their level of awareness" because of developments on the Iranian front. The Arrow missile, he said, could intercept and destroy any Iranian missile fired at Israel, including ones carrying non-conventional warheads.
Experts believe that if Iran is attacked by Israel or the US, Teheran would respond by firing long-range ballistic missiles at Israel.
Two Tuesday morning earthquakes reported, Associated Press
The Alaska Earthquake Information Center says two temblors were recorded Tuesday morning, and one was felt in Willow. That one was reported just before eight, and has a preliminary magnitude of 3.9. It was centered about 25 miles southwest of Talkeetna. Even
though it was felt in Willow, there haven't been any reports of damage.
The other earthquake came about 8:40 Tuesday morning in the Rat Islands. This quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.4, and was centered about 25 miles east of Amchitka (or 165 miles west of Adak). There have been no reports of damage or of this quake being felt.
Magnitude 3.9 quake shakes Baja Calif. Wed May 24, 2:04 AM ET CALEXICO,
Calif. - A small earthquake in northern Baja California shook part of the U.S.-Mexico border region late Tuesday. The magnitude-3.9 tremor occurred at 9:19 p.m. local time and was centered 26 miles southeast of Calexico, or 10 miles northwest of Guadalupe Victoria, Mexico, according to the California Integrated Seismic Network.There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, a sheriff's office dispatcher in Imperial County, which sits along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
MOBILE TV THROUGH CELLS
7 Behold, he (JESUS) cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
AND HERE IS WHEN JESUS RETURNS TO EARTH BODILY LIVE WERE EVERYONE ON EARTH WILL SEE HIM AT THE END OF THE 7 YEAR PEACE CONTRACT OR TRIBULATION PERIOD.
And for sceptics who think theres no RAPTURE of the CHURCH to HEAVEN, read in jude whos with JESUS when he returns to EARTH BODILY. Who are these Armies in Heaven that follow Jesus to Earth in verse 14. Oviously the Christians that were raptured 7 years earlier.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Experts back DVB-H for mobile TV in EuropeFrost & Sullivan looks to the future, Matt Chapman, vnunet.com
The delivery of mobile television in Europe will eventually fall under the Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld (DVB-H) standard, industry experts predicted today.Frost & Sullivan believes that over the next couple of years mobile TV will be carried over a variety of
standards and technologies.
These are expected to include Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), Terrestrial-Digital Media Broadcast (T-DMB), cellular multicasting and DVB-H. However, as the market matures, DVB-H will appear as the most common and capable platform.
The fight for the mobile TV standard in Europe will be won not by the first standard introduced in the market, but by the most efficient, economical and future-ready one, even if it is a few years down the line," said Frost & Sullivan ICT industry analyst Pranab Mookken. DVB-H is likely to become the European standard and delivery mechanism for mobile TV in Europe by 2010 as it perfectly complements the existing digital TV standard and is likely to solve the spectrum allocation issues in the preferred UHF band.
The analyst firm asserts that the migration from analogue to digital standards across Europe will help the uptake of the DVB-H UHF spectrum, as DVB-H is backward compatible with its fixed terrestrial counterpart Digital Video Broadcast-Terrestrial (DVB-T).The DVB-H UHF spectrum also becomes available during a time when existing 3G operators in Europe will be nearing the end of the subscriptions on their cellular networks and looking to migrate their video services to a comple mentary network for the future.
However, Frost & Sullivan admitted that competition for DVB-H could come in the form of South Korea's Satellite-DMB and Terrestrial-Digital Media Broadcast (T-DMB) services. These two standards have divided the South Korean communications industry.Since they are already available, broadcasters and operators may consider the use of DAB-IP and T-DMB delivery mechanisms for the interim period before the introduction of DVB-H," added Mookken.
Also, successful trials over DAB-IP and a readily available mobile TV packaged product from BT Movio could tempt operators to experiment with these alternatives.
SEAS FIRES QUAKES DEAD FISH
A very active day in prophecy happenings.
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.
The Weather This Summer
The Korea Meteorological Administration on Tuesday announced its weather forecasts for the summer. They were:
As the North Pacific anticyclone is expected to expand faster than in previous years, the country will see scorching hot weather in early June. The heat will abate somewhat with the rainy season but will get sweltering again from late July.
The rainy season will last for a month from mid June. As a starter, the southern part of the county will see heavy rain once or twice. But in August, unstable atmospheric conditions will also often bring heavy showers. Precipitation in June will be higher than usual.
This summer will see some 11 typhoons as usual, two or three of which are expected to hit the country. It is impossible to forecast the force of typhoons, but they have tended to increase in size and severity every year.
The peak time for summer vacationers starts in late June and ends in early August before the heat reaches its peak. Since there has been a recent tendency for more rains after the rainy season proper than during it, vacationers in the country should pay attention to weather forecasts all the time, the KMA said. (email@example.com )
Posted: Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006 5:00 AM HST Quieter than normal hurricane season forecast for Central Pacific , By Associated Press
HONOLULU (AP) - Fewer than normal tropical cyclones are expected to develop in the Central Pacific basin during the upcoming hurricane season. The Hawaii-based Central Pacific Hurricane Center made the announcement Monday. Two or three cyclones are forecast for the hurricane season, which runs from June first to the end of November.
Officials say during a typical year four or five cyclones form or cross into the area, with two reaching hurricane intensity. Meanwhile, Governor Lingle has signed into law three bills to improve the state's ability to prepare for natural and man-made disasters. One raises the ceiling of the Major Disaster Fund from one (m) million to two (m) million dollars, while appropriating nine (m) million dollars for emergency readiness. Another new law increases criminal penalties for crimes committed during a state civil defense emergency to deter looting and to protect first responders. The third measure requires the state to provide suitable shelters for pets in the event of a disaster.
The Bible says all the fish and sea animals die in the future.
8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
Fish kill alarms Sarangani, By Joseph Jubelag
GENERAL SANTOS CITY—Local officials are alarmed over a fish kill that has resulted in the loss of several tons of marine produce off Sarangani Island in Davao del Sur. I have already dispatched my personnel to coordinate with maritime and Coast Guard authorities to check what had caused the fish kill,said Sarangani Mayor Jerry Cawa, who also ordered the arrest of people who are found to be responsible for the fish poisoning.
Warning that the incident could adversely affect local fishing, which is the island’s main source of income, Cawa was alarmed that the town’s fish catch may no longer be accepted by fish merchants in General Santos City and has ordered that the dead fish be destroyed. At least three tons of different varieties of fish, including lapu-lapu, talakitok, bagis and mulmol, were retrieved from the sea and were buried immediately to prevent the dead fish from being sold to the market. Cawa said the fish kill started last week and fishermen reported that the number of dead fish in the water have increased although one week had already passed. The incident was the first time to happen in my place prompting local fishermen to worry since their fish catch will no longer be sold the in the fish port of General Santos City,Cawa said in a radio interview.
Cawa said he had already sent some samples of the dead fish to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Davao City for laboratory examination to determine the cause of the fish kill but the laboratory examination has to be conducted at the bureau’s central office in Manila. The fish may have been poisoned because their gills were bleeding,Cawa said. Cawa’s theory was corroborated by fishing tycoon Marfenio Tan who said the fish kill was caused by poisoning.
Although there was no official confirmation yet from the BFAR as to the cause of the fish kill, but definitely the fish died due to poisoning,Tan said. Some experts theorized that the fish kill could have been caused by sulfuric discharges from the underground volcanoes near the island of Sarangani. Guiseppe Chiew, a marine biologist and executive director of the Environmental Protection and Conservation Center in nearby Sarangani Province, said the sulfur discharges from underground volcanoes could have poisoned the marine species. The sulfuric substance emitted by underground volcanoes could have poisoned the territorial fishes around Sarangani
island,Chiew said. Tan urged authorities to caution the public from buying the fish that could have been contaminated with toxic substance and are unfit for human consumption.
He said a huge volume of premium fish from Sarangani is believed to have been unloaded at he fish port here last week and sold to the public. Tan, who operates fish cages near Sarangani Island, personally inspected the area and saw several tons of fish afloat in the waters near the boundary with Indonesia. He also discounted the possibility that dynamite fishing could have caused the fish kill because blasting cannot be done in the waters 60 fathoms deep. Tan, who is also president of the Socsksargen Fishing Industries and Allied Services, has warned the public not to buy fish with bleeding gills, an indication that the fish was poisoned.
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.
8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
Five powerful earthquakes hit Kamchatka overnight,23.05.2006, 04.55
PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKI, May 23 (Itar-Tass) -- Five powerful earthquakes with force ranging from 5.1 to 7 Richter scale hit Koryak autonomous area on Kamchatka overnight. Nobody was injured, the Far Eastern regional emergency center told Tass. The first earthquake force 7 occurred at 00:11 hours local time (15:11 Moscow time). It hit nine settlements and the settlement of Tilichiki suffered most.
Four other tremors force 5.1-5.6 followed with an interval of 14 to 40 minutes. The epicenters were north of the settlement of Khailino at a depth of 10 to 20 kilometers. On April 21 an earthquake force 7.9 hit the same area. A month since then another 72 tremors have been registered in Koryakia.
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
Fires burning over 17,000 acres in NM ,Last Update: 05/23/2006 11:52:14 AM,By:
Since Friday, New Mexico firefighters have been dispatched to 46 fires, many lightning sparked, and as of midday Tuesday they were battling 17,300 acres of fire. Since Friday, 71,000 acres have been consumed.The largest fire Tuesday was the Cerro Fire, which is burning 10,000 acres of grassland and ponderosa pine roughly 30 miles northeast of Mora near the site of this spring’s Ojo Feliz fire. Dan Ware of the state forestry division says the Cerro Fire sparked Monday night and was started by lightning.
One structure was threatened Monday night but as of midday no structures were in danger.
Ware says that a road grader a bulldozer and several engines are fighting the fire and 10 more engines have been ordered. He says as of midday Tuesday firefighters had no containment of the fire. On the opposite end of the state, 7,000 acres of grassland and brush was burning in what is being called the Adobe Fire near Animas Mountain in the boot heel of southwestern New Mexico.
Sixty-eight people are fighting that fire, which was ten percent contained at midday. And firefighters have managed to contain the Bright 2 Fire near Raton by 10 percent, which has consumed 300 acres of ponderosa pine and brush. Fire crews were expecting Hotshot firefighters Tuesday. Rainfall Monday night helped slow the fire and Ware says crews expected much greater containment late Tuesday.
BC FLOODING 2 QUAKES
1 feared dead in flooding in southeastern B.C.; more rain forecast Mon May 22, 8:59 PM
ET NELSON, B.C. (CP) - Dozens of people have been forced from their homes as armies of volunteers in British Columbia's West Kootenay region filled a quarter of a million sandbags to stem rising rivers laden by heavy rains and melting snowpacks. Hundreds of other residents of the southeastern B.C. region remained on evacuation alert Monday as officials monitored swollen rivers and creeks in the Passmore and Grand Forks areas.
In Penticton, Joshua Richard Morgan, 21, was missing after being swept away in the raging waters of the city's Ellis Creek. Police say a person with Morgan was unable to help the man due to extremely strong currents and high water levels. Searches on Sunday turned up no sign of Morgan and continued high water levels hampered efforts Monday, said RCMP Const. Dan Moskaluk. In Grand Forks, 19-year-old Julien Faramin's family was one of 40 to be put on evacuation alert as the Kettle River recorded its third-highest flow rate since 1930.
They've cleaned out their basement, which had 10 centimetres of water in it late Sunday morning, and put chairs on tables in anticipation of the water rising. Everyone's (riverfront) backyard is flooding," Faramin said. "It kind of makes me feel on edge. You don't know what to expect. An evacuation alert was issued Friday in the Passmore and Slocan Park areas with 12 people voluntarily leaving their homes.On Saturday, people in 25 households were ordered to abandon their homes in the rural communities.That order was extended to another 28 residences on Sunday.
Regional District of Central Kootenay director Don Munro is among those who have been forced from their homes.About one-third of his property is covered by water from the Little Slocan River. I'm probably the closest house to the river and I've got two gullies going through the property and one of them is probably about one metre from the house,Munro said.The house is on concrete beams so the water could go underneath without going into the house but it could shift the ground if it did. On Monday, Minister of Public Safety John Les flew into the region where 98 homes remain on evacuation alert and 469 are being monitored for flood threat.
If it weren't for the forecasted rain, I think with the somewhat more seasonal temperatures we're experiencing now, there wouldn't be too much need for additional concern, Les told The Canadian Press. But tonight's rain will certainly need to be evaluated as the evening wears on.
The situation remains precarious with the forecast uncertain. If rainfall is at the low end of the forecast, the waters are going to rise a bit more," said B.C.'s chief river forecaster Allan Chapman. The rivers are going to stay high until at least Wednesday.
If rainfall is at the upper end of the forecast," he said, "there's good potential for the Slocan River to go up and possibly surpass the peak it hit over the weekend. We're very carefully monitoring that with all the information we can get.
The Ministry of the Environment issued a flood watch Thursday for much of B.C.'s southern Interior, covering the West Kootenay and East Kootenay, Boundary, Columbia, Okanagan and South Thompson regions. The Passmore fire hall has doubled as a reception centre for displaced families and as a command post where 200 volunteers gathered over the Victoria Day holiday weekend to fill sandbags. A number of local residents have given up a lot of their time over the long weekend to come to the Passmore Fire Hall to help fill sandbags and build dikes in flooded areas," said Regional District of Central Kootenay chairman Gary Wright. In Grand Forks, 27 residences have been sandbagged and 15,000 sandbags have been placed on the banks of the surging Kettle and Granby rivers. A further 1,500 bags were put out to protect the city's well pumps.
Regional District of Kootenay Boundary emergency operations centre spokesman Mike Lo Vecchio said the rivers crested early Monday. Now, he said, the community is looking to the skies as Environment Canada has predicted another 15-25 millimetres of rain. We've continued to sandbag all day, he said. In Fruitvale, 60 kilometres to the east, the community has moved to its back-up water system as an overflowing creek threatened to wash away a water treatment plant. The unprecedented water flow sent gigantic boulders tumbling down a mountainside starting Thursday, along with massive amounts of silt, rock, debris and tree branches.
When it came down it was shaking the (water treatment) building,said Coun. Al Grieve. In Greenwood, city officials have asked residents to conserve water as community wells were threatened by rising creek water. The wells were taken offline so they could be tested and chlorinated.
Strong Earthquake Strikes Indonesia Mon May 22, 10:28 PM ET JAKARTA, Indonesia
- A strong earthquake struck in eastern Indonesian waters early Tuesday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, meteorological officials said. The epicenter of the 6.0-magnitude quake was 6 miles beneath the Banda Sea, and around 115 miles southwest of Ambon, the capital of Maluku province, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Arief Akhir, an official at the Meteorological and Geophysics Agency in Jakarta, said that no damage or casualties were reported.
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 9.1-magnitude earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004, off the coast of 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.
Strong quake hits northeastern Russia Mon May 22, 12:48 PM ET
HONG KONG (AFP) - A severe earthquake estimated to measure 6.7 on the Richter scale struck in the northeastern Pacific coastal area of Russia. The quake struck at 7:21 pm Hong Kong time (1121 GMT) and its epicentre was located some 870 kilometres (540 miles) east of the Siberian city of Magadan, the Hong Kong observatory said Monday.This would put it somewhere in the Bering Sea off Russia's far eastern Kamchatka peninsula.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. A series of violent earthquakes measuring up to 7.9 on the Richter scale shook the Kamchatka penisula's Koryakiya region earlier this month, affecting 12 villages with a total population of 12,000 people.Dozens of people received minor injuries, and hundreds were evacuated from the quake zone. The Kamchatka peninsula, which is about the size of Japan, has a population density of less than one person per square kilometre (0.4 square miles).
In 1952, the region was rocked by an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, the fourth-biggest since 1900, according to data from the US Geological Survey.
Monday, May 22, 2006
2006 ACTIVE HURRICANE SEASON PREDICTED
In this Story if I take the Book of Daniel correctly, there will be a 10 division of the world trading blocks. Of course the EU is already the leader in this as the Bible says would happen. This is the second and around the world countries are tying each other to nations in Trading blocks.
Lets look at Daniel to see the verses that say the world will be put into REGIONS.
40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
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.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
In Daniel 2 + 7 we see the EU will have world control and break it into pieces. This is were I get the World will be put into 10 world Trading blocks. Since the EU will control the Economy of the World it just makes sense that the world would be put into trading blocks, then a collapse occurs somehow and the EU controls the world economy since they have the leading trading block.
HERES THE 10 WORLD REGIONS THE CLUB OF ROME WANT THE WORLD INTO.
1 CANADA, U.S.A, MEXICO (what this stories about)
2 EUROPEAN UNION,WESTERN EUROPE
4 AUSTRALIA,NEW ZEALAND, S AFRICA, ISRAEL AND PACIFIC ISLANDS
5 EASTERN EUROPE
6 SOUTHERN, CENTRAL AND LATIN AMERICAS
7 NORTH AFRICA, AND MIDEAST (MOSLEMS)
8 CENTRAL AFRICA
9 SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
10 CENTRAL ASIA
THE CLUB OF ROME WANTS A WORLD CHARISMATIC DICTATOR (EITHER RELIGIOUS, POLITICAL OR SCIENTIFICAL) TO HEAD THIS WORLD GOVERNMENT. REV 13:3,7-8, DAN 7:23-24
WORLD POWERS IN THE END TIME
NORTH - RUSSIA EZEK 38:1-2, 39:1-2
SOUTH - EGYPT DAN 11:42
EAST - CHINA DAN 11:44,REV 16:12
WEST - EUROPEAN UNION DAN 7:23-24 (NOT THE U.S.A)
HOWS THIS FOR UP TO DATE PROPHESY IN THE BOOK OUR GLOBAL NEIGHBOURHOOD (THE REPORT ON GLOBAL GOVERNANCE) A 28 MEMBER THINKTANK WANTS TO REFORM THE UNITED NATIONS AND ONE THING THEY WANT TO CHANGE FOR THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE U.N OR LEADER OF THE U.N IS TO GIVE THE HEAD A 7 YEAR CONTRACT PAGE 293 QUOTE THE APPOINTMENT SHOULD BE FOR A SINGLE TERM OF 7 YEARS.
INCREDIBLE WHEN IN THE FUTURE THIS WORLD POLITICIAN FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION SIGNS A 7 YEAR PEACE TREATY WITH ISRAEL AND MANY NATIONS, YOU THINK THIS THINK TANK JUST DECIDED THIS BY CHANCE, NO WAY BECAUSE JESUS TOLD US WHAT WOULD BE HAPPENING IN THE LAST DAYS AND THINGS TO LOOK FOR.
The Plan to Replace the Dollar With the 'Amero', by Jerome R. Corsi
The idea to form the North American Union as a super-NAFTA knitting together Canada, the United States and Mexico into a super-regional political and economic entity was a key agreement resulting from the March 2005 meeting held at Baylor University in Waco, Tex., between President Bush, President Fox and Prime Minister Martin.A joint statement published by the three presidents following their Baylor University summit announced the formation of an initial entity called, “The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America” (SPP).
The joint statement termed the SPP a “trilateral partnership” that was aimed at producing a North American security plan as well as providing free market movement of people, capital, and trade across the borders between the three NAFTA partners: We will establish a common approach to security to protect North America from external threats, prevent and respond to threats within North America, and further streamline the secure and efficient movement of legitimate, low-risk traffic across our borders.
A working agenda was established:We will establish working parties led by our ministers and secretaries that will consult with stakeholders in our respective countries. These working parties will respond to the priorities of our people and our businesses, and will set specific, measurable, and achievable goals. The U.S. Department of Commerce has produced a SPP website, which documents how the U.S. has implemented the SPP directive into an extensive working agenda.
Following the March 2005 meeting in Waco, Tex., the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) published in May 2005 a task force report titled “Building a North American Community.” We have already documented that this CFR task force report calls for a plan to create by 2010 a redefinition of boundaries such that the primary immigration control will be around the three countries of the North American Union, not between the three countries. We have argued that a likely reason President Bush has not secured our border with Mexico is that the administration is pushing for the establishment of the North American Union.
The North American Union is envisioned to create a super-regional political authority that could override the sovereignty of the United States on immigration policy and trade issues. In his June 2005 testimony to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Pastor, the Director of the Center for North American Studies at American University, stated clearly the view that the North American Union would need a super-regional governance board to make sure the United States does not dominate the proposed North American Union once it is formed:
NAFTA has failed to create a partnership because North American governments have not changed the way they deal with one another.
Dual bilateralism, driven by U.S. power, continue to govern and irritate. Adding a third party to bilateral disputes vastly increases the chance that rules, not power, will resolve problems.This trilateral approach should be institutionalized in a new North American Advisory Council. Unlike the sprawling and intrusive European Commission, the Commission or Council should be lean,
independent, and advisory, composed of 15 distinguished individuals, 5 from each nation. Its principal purpose should be to prepare a North American agenda for leaders to consider at biannual summits and to monitor the implementation of the resulting agreements.Pastor was a vice chairman of the CFR task force that produced the report “Building a North American Union.
Pastor also proposed the creation of a Permanent Tribunal on Trade and Investment with the view that “a permanent court would permit the accumulation of precedent and lay the groundwork for North American business law.” The intent is for this North American Union Tribunal would have supremacy over the U.S. Supreme Court on issues affecting the North American Union, to prevent U.S. power from “irritating” and retarding the progress of uniting Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. into a new 21st century super-regional governing body.
Robert Pastor also advises the creation of a North American Parliamentary Group to make sure the U.S. Congress does not impede progress in the envisioned North American Union. He has also called for the creation of a North American Customs and Immigration Service which would have authority over U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security.
Pastor’s 2001 book “Toward a North American Community” called for the creation of a North American Union that would perfect the defects Pastor believes limit the progress of the European Union. Much of Pastor’s thinking appears aimed at limiting the power and sovereignty of the United States as we enter this new super-regional entity. Pastor has also called for the creation of a new currency which he has coined the Amero, a currency that is proposed to replace the U.S. dollar, the Canadian dollar, and the Mexican peso.
If President Bush had run openly in 2004 on the proposition that a prime objective of his second term was to form the North American Union and to supplant the dollar with the “Amero,” we doubt very much that President Bush would have carried Ohio, let alone half of the Red State majority he needed to win re-election. Pursuing any plan that would legalize the conservatively estimated 12 million illegal aliens now in the United States could well spell election disaster for the Republican Party in 2006, especially for the House of Representative where every seat is up for grabs.
Mr. Corsi is the author of several books, including "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry" (along with John O'Neill), "Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil" (along with Craig R. Smith), and "Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians." He is a frequent guest on the G. Gordon Liddy radio show. He will soon co-author a new book with Jim Gilchrist on the Minuteman Project. Copyright © 2006 HUMAN EVENTS.
Active Hurricane Season Predicted, But Not to 2005 LevelBy Willem Marx and Joel Havemann, Times Staff Writers10:51 AM PDT, May 22, 2006
WASHINGTON -- The government today predicted another active hurricane season this year, but not as vigorous as the 2005 season, which spawned Hurricane Katrina and three other storms that achieved sustained winds of more than 155 miles an hour.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasted 13 to 16 named storms in the North Atlantic, eight to 10 of them growing into hurricanes.
On average, the North Atlantic generates 11 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes, during the six months beginning June 1. Last year there were a record 28 named storms, including 15 hurricanes.Seven of last year's hurricanes were "major"--sustained winds of more than 110 mph — and a record four struck the United States.Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans, killed almost 1,600 people and caused more than $80 billion in damage. The previous costliest hurricane was Andrew, which was responsible for $26.5 billion in losses along the Gulf Coast in 1992 — $43.7 billion when adjusted for inflation.
A record four hurricanes also achieved Category 5 status — winds stronger than 155 mph. Until last year, only 1960 and 1961 saw more than one Category 5 hurricane.Three of these strongest of hurricanes — Rita and Wilma as well as Katrina — struck along the Gulf Coast.Although NOAA is not forecasting a repeat of last year's season, the potential for hurricanes striking the U.S. is high, said NOAA Administrator Conrad C. Lautenbacher.NOAA said warm tropical water was a major factor in its forecast of an above average hurricane season. Environmental groups said global warming, propelled by the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases" from manmade sources, was significantly to blame.Although sea surface temperatures are above normal this year, NOAA said, they are not as warm as prevailed at this time last year.
Kerry Emanuel, a climatologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said greenhouse gases were responsible for breeding the high surface temperatures over the Gulf of Mexico that provided the breeding ground for hurricanes.There is a rather spectacular correlation between sea surface temperatures and aggregate hurricane occurrences," he told a Washington press conference.NOAA said there was an 80% chance that the coming hurricane season would be more active than usual, with only a 5% chance of a below-normal season.The main uncertainty in this outlook is not whether the season will be above normal," NOAA said, "but how much above normal it will be.
Two earthquakes hit Zimbabwe May 22, 2006, 3 hours, 6 minutes and 3 seconds ago. By ANDnetwork .com
Two moderate earthquakes measuring about 4.0 on the Richter scale hit Zimbabwe's Mashonaland east province at around midnight on Sunday. Acting director of the meteorological department in the country, Hector Chikowore, said the epicenters of these earthquakes were in Wedza area, near Nyamudzi river. He said the first earthquake, measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale, occurred at 23:55 and the second one, measuring about 4.0, hit at 00:27.
Chikowore said tremors were felt in Harare, Shurugwi, Mutare and more reports were expected from other areas. No notable damage to property or loss of life was reported from the area. Reports from our office in Wedza show that there was no damage to property and no one died from the earthquake, said Chikowore, adding that investigations were still underway to establish the cause of the earthquake. Meanwhile, the public has expressed shock at the occurrence which comes barely three months after the country was affected by strong tremors, which measured between 7 and 7.5 on the Richter scale, emanating from an earthquake in Mozambique.
The tremours were also felt in neighbouring South Africa, Swaziland and Malawi. Source : UPI
GOLD AND SILVER COINS
Kelantan Plans To Use Gold Dinar As Currency
KOTA BAHARU, May 21 (Bernama) -- The Kelantan government will introduce the gold dinar and silver dirham as currencies in three months time and even plans to pay state public servants with the currency. State Public Administration, Economic Planning, Finance and Community Development Committee Chairman Datuk Husam Musa said the dinar and dirham currencies would first be implemented in the Islamic system of pawnbroking, the Ar-Rahnu.
If there is no problem with the Ar-Rahnu, there is a possibility that it can be implemented in other sectors ," he told reporters after opening a seminar on Financial Economy and Islamic Banking here Sunday. Husam said when implemented, the public could buy the dinar and then exchange it for cash at the Ar-Rahnu pawnshops. He said the public need not worry about using the dinar because it would be based on current gold price and could be kept as savings. He said the gold dinar would not be threatened by any currencies, including the American dollar, because gold is a commodity with a very stable price.
Husam also said that when everyone had fully understood the matter, the state government hoped to use the currency in paying the salaries of its staff. The state government employees can choose either to be paid in dinar or ringgit," he added. Earlier on his speech, Husam said it was the state government's aspiration to open its own bank based fully on Islamic banking system. Although it is going to take a long time, we are confident of opening this bank," he added.-- BERNAMA
The coming financial crises By Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar ,Online Journal Contributing Writer, May 22, 2006, 00:55
On Wednesday, 17 May, the Dow Jones plunged 214 points to 11,206 -- its worst point drop since March 2003. The downward trend started two weeks ago and is a warning sign of troubles ahead. This sudden drop has come as a complete surprise to the unfortunate small investors and speculators. The so-called “experts” point at the sudden threat of inflation as the main cause of the recent reversals in the markets. What is actually surprising is the surprise of the “experts."
A cursory look at the United States’ finances will reveal the amount of pressure that its economy is under. When Bush became president in 2001, the United States’ public debt was $5.8 trillion. Today the public debt stands at $8.3 trillion . Of this over $2.2 trillion are held by foreigners . The United States has a GDP of $12.4 trillion . This gives the U.S. a Debt/GDP ratio of 66 percent, placing it in 35th place (out of 113) on the ranking of the Debtor Nations . The current account deficit of over 7 percent has long passed its danger levels of 4-5 percent. In 2005 the U.S. government paid $325 billion in interestpayments alone.
Then there are the future obligations such as Medicare, Social Security and government pensions. These obligations amount to $54 trillion. This huge problem worried the former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. He told congress: “As a nation, we may have already made promises to coming generations of retirees that we will be unable to fulfill”
.One would think that this amount of debt would worry the president and the congress. But apparently it does not. The United States’ Congress recently (March 2006) voted to increase the federal debt limit to $9 trillion . Any other nation in similar circumstances would have had to approach IMF for help. IMF would then have forced that nation to cut spending and devalue its currency. But the U.S. does not need to do this. The U.S. can just print some more dollars. But how long can this continue before the world loses faith in the greenback, sending it crashing to unimaginable levels.
The Asian Lender
The Asian countries such as Japan, China and others that hold most of the U.S. debt have been happy to indulge the American deficit spending. This has been a two-way street: America has kept its market open to their products and they have financed the Americans’ spending.The value of the U.S. dollar, so far, has been kept artificially high by Japan, China and oil-exporting countries. These countries by buying US debt have kept interests rates relatively low in the United States and allowed Americans to keep spending even as their debts mount.
But there is only so much risk these lenders (Asian and oil-exporting countries) are willing to take. Any serious devaluation of the dollar will considerably reduce the value of their national reserves (mostly kept in dollars) and the value of their debt holdings (certificates, bonds, etc.). At the same time, the devaluation will affect their exports to the U.S. A weaker dollar makes their products more expensive in the U.S., thereby reducing their export earnings. Most Asian countries keep up to 70 percent of their reserves in dollars. China with reserves of over $800 billion has already begun to slowly reduce its dependency on dollars by converting part of its reserves to other currencies . If other Asian countries -- with their vast dollar holdings- follow suit, then it will be disastrous for the value of the dollar. No one is interested in holding a weakening currency.
Another threat against the dollar comes from countries such as Iran and Venezuela. Iran recently registered an oil bourse to compete with bourses in New York and London. The threat comes from the currency in which the oil is to be sold: euros. Iranians are going to make the euro the standard currency for oil transactions. Some sympathetic countries such as Venezuela and others may join in. If the Iranians succeed in this, the pressure on the dollar will be catastrophic. Nearly every country has to hold a certain amount of dollars in reserve for oil purchases. If the dollar continues to weaken in value, and there is the possibility of purchasing oil in euros, then these countries would unload their dollars for safer currencies such as the euro. What will then happen to the value of dollar?
Iraq and Iran
As though there is not enough pressure on the dollar, the U.S. government keeps spending money in an unwinnable war in Iraq and is considering starting another one in Iran. The total cost of the Iraq war, including the future payment to disabled soldiers, replacement of equipment, etc., is estimated to be between $1 to $2 trillion .Any attack on Iran will substantially increase this cost. Even if there is no attack, the tense situation in the region will keep the oil prices at uncomfortable levels, contributing to both a reduction in U.S. growth and an increase in its deficit.
The current American deficit and its long-term financial obligations, if they go unanswered, will sooner or later lead to either a marked increase in interest rates or a substantial devaluation of the dollar. On one hand, a substantial increase in interest rates will lead to a major recession in the USA that will be felt immediately around the world. On the other hand, a substantial devaluation will cause financial chaos in the world. What is needed is to seriously reconsider the international role of the dollar as the world currency. In other words we need a new Bretton Woods Agreement . At the end of the WWII, 45 nations gathered at a United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to address the problems of reconstruction, monetary stability and exchange rates.
The delegates agreed to establish an international monetary system of convertible currencies, fixed exchange rates and free trade. To facilitate these objectives the delegates agreed to create two international institutes: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank). An initial loan of $250 million to France in 1947 was the World Bank’s first act. Since then there has already been considerable criticism of the roles of IMF and the World Bank.
The above mentioned problems and the ongoing trade imbalance in the world have to be addressed by a similar gathering. Sooner or later, both the United States and the rest of the world have to address the existing problems. These problems are not the United States' alone. We cannot ignore the largest economy on earth. It is said that if United States sneezes, the world catches cold. We have to either make sure that the United States doesn’t catch cold or vaccinate ourselves against it.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
LAST 2 WEEKS SHOOK MARKETS
May 20, 2006, 11:12PM2,000 Gallons of Oil Spilled Near Oahu, © 2006 The Associated Press
HONOLULU — An oil tanker spilled up to 2,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning, an official said.The Coast Guard and the state Health Department categorized it as a minimal spill, said Nathan Hokama, spokesman for Tesoro Corp., which owns the tanker. There were no immediate reports of harm to wildlife.The spill occurred about 1.5 miles off the coast of Oahu when a hose line pumping oil from the tanker to a floating buoy disconnected, Hokama said.
The only thing we know right now is that one of the couplings in the hose separated, which is what it's supposed to do whenever there's a strain on the hose," he said. Crews from the Clean Islands Council and the Marine Spill Response Corporation helped with cleanup. The light crude oil may have dissipated quickly because of strong sunshine and choppy waters, Hokama said. Any potential fines would be assessed based on the results of an investigation, he said.
WELL THE GLOBAL MARKETS NEVER COLLAPSED THIS TIME BUT THEY ARE ON EARTHAKE (SHAKY) GROUNDS. ONE OF THESE TIMES IT WILL BE THE COLLAPSE THE BIBLE SAYS WILL HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE.
Ten days that shook the world's markets US interest rate fears sparked a torrid fortnight, with £45bn wiped off London share prices. What will happen next, asks Heather Stewart Sunday May 21, 2006 The Observer
From Stockholm to Tokyo, New York to Istanbul, market mayhem swept across the world last week, unleashing violent movements on stock markets and foreign exchanges everywhere, and hammering down the price of commodities such as copper and gold. In London, the FTSE 100 suffered its worst day for more than three years on Wednesday, before ending the week at 5,672, more than 4 per cent down in five days' trading. After a febrile fortnight, analysts are asking themselves if the turmoil is over - or whether the sell-off marked the end of the three-year bull market and the dawn of a much more volatile era.
Stephen Lewis, of bankers Insinger de Beaufort, says it's too early to write off the risk that the events of the past few days could be the trigger for a full-blown financial crisis. 'Volatility rises, to the extent that it has in equity and commodity markets in recent days, when emotions take over; when actions in the markets are forced; when survival is at stake. In such circumstances, there can be no reliable forecasts of how far markets will move,' he warned. The worldwide wobble started with the dollar. A warning from G7 finance ministers last month about imbalances in the global economy, and a hint from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke that he might halt the rise in interest rates, brought the greenback bears out of hiding, and triggered a frenzy of selling.
But over the past few tumultuous days alarm has spread far beyond the currency markets. 'The equity markets were standing rather naively on the sidelines, and suddenly they've woken up,' says David Bloom, currency strategist at HSBC, who has long predicted a dollar shake-out. 'Markets have been looking very vulnerable,' said Julian Jessop, international economist at Capital Economics. 'There have been some bubbles developing, particularly in commodities. All investors are waking up to an alarming new world. After five years in which credit has been plentiful as central banks kept the cash taps on, the cost of borrowing has gradually begun to grind upwards. In the US, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates 16 times, to 5 per cent, from 1 per cent two years ago. The European Central Bank has also raised borrowing costs, and even Japan, the home of the zero interest rate for many years, has responded to a stronger economy by promising to start tightening monetary policy.
In this new climate, with money rapidly becoming more expensive, investors will be less keen to take enormous bets using borrowed cash. The unwinding of some of these risky positions was responsible for some of last week's upheaval. Everyone and his dog has leveraged up to the eyeballs buying everything they can get their hands on,' said Charles Dumas, of Lombard Street Research. 'Now liquidity's drying up because interest rates are high; bond yields are high; everyone's finding their funding drying up. One extreme example of this is what analysts call the 'yen carry trade': investors have been taking advantage of zero interest rates in Japan, borrowing the money to take bets in other markets. With rates in Japan on the way up, they have been hurriedly extricating themselves: and that has hit risky but high-yielding assets, such as emerging market bonds. Turkey took a pounding last week, for example, as nervous investors pulled their cash back home.
We think that there's been a very big shake-out in some of the asset classes where people had become very extended, especially emerging markets and commodities,' said Peter Oppenheimer, European head of portfolio strategy at Goldman Sachs. As if this 'liquidity drain,' as Lewis calls it, wasn't enough to spook the markets, it is happening at a time when the Federal Reserve, the world's most important central bank, is in the hands of a new boy - former Princeton academic Bernanke. He has to win the confidence of the markets at the same time as deciding on the right time to stop increasing US interest rates. If he pushes borrowing costs too high, the US economy could be plunged into recession; if he stops too soon, the markets will fear that inflation is about to get out of control.
He's between a rock and a hard place,' said Dresdner currency analyst Sonja Marten. 'It's a very tricky situation. There is going to be that risk of a hard landing, and that's what the markets are not sure about. Goldman Sachs analysts call this the 'Bernanke bind' and, at the margins, it could increase the anxiety in the markets over the months ahead. 'They're going to pressure Bernanke, which could be bad,' says Dumas. Through the fog of market panic last week, analysts said it was important not to forget the underlying economic causes of the upheaval. For several years now, economists have been watching with growing alarm as the US spent more than it earned, running up a record current account deficit with the rest of the world - worth almost 7 per cent of GDP last year.
Funding all that surplus spending has been easy, because foreign investors - notably governments in Asia and the Middle East - have been happy to gobble up American assets, including US Treasury bonds. But, just like an overdraft, the current account deficit can't go on growing indefinitely: something has to give. Most experts have believed for some time that a devaluation in the dollar would be the best way of helping to bring America's income and expenditure back into line. It should make US goods cheaper, helping American exporters while slowing down imports, which will become more expensive for Americans to buy. The weakening in the dollar over the past couple of weeks could be seen as the first step towards this 'rebalancing'.
All this might sound like the concern of academic number-crunchers. But the US current account deficit has a more homely analogue in the finances of the small-town American household. Buoyed by low interest rates and a property boom, consumers have, quite simply, been spending more than they earn. The savings ratio - the proportion of the average worker's take-home pay that is squirrelled away for a rainy day - has slipped below zero. With interest rates rising, and signs emerging that the frothy property market is on the turn, American homeowners may respond by acting to put their finances back in order. That could mean a downturn, or at worse a recession, in the US economy. If the housing market in the US slows sharply, then that will drag down the economy as a whole,' says Jessop. And when America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold: European Union politicians have already started to sound the alarm about the impact of a stronger euro on exporters, for example, and China would be hit hard if US demand for its products plummeted.
For the UK, too, if the rise in sterling against the dollar is sustained, the economic consequences could be painful, particularly when combined with an American slowdown. At the beginning of last week, economists were betting on an early rise in interest rates; but the Bank could find the stronger pound does the same job. This economic story will play out over months, not at the breakneck speed of the financial markets, and it is hard to predict how its ramifications will ripple across the world. 'There's no new trend established yet,' said HSBC's Bloom. 'It's an unsettled time.' But Bernanke, whose hands are on the world's most important economic lever, will have to hope he isn't forced to win the confidence of the markets the way his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, did - by stepping in to stop the stock market crash of 1987 turning into a global financial crisis.
Natural ReactionHotspot for climate changeAnne Zammit
EXPERTS on tropical glaciers have been racing with climate change to reach one of the loneliest places on the planet before it melts. Seldom visited by local tribes, the highlands of New Guinea are shielded from watchful satellites by constant cloud cover. Critical information on how the climate works is locked inside these glaciers at the heart of the El Niño region where Pacific ocean temperatures are warmer than usual.
The glaciers around Mount Jaya have retreated 300 metres over the past three decades, displaying the highest rate of global warming for the region. New species, such as a tree kangaroo, which have only just been discovered on this vast Asian island, are under threat from the rise in temperature. Habitats in the higher altitudes are heating up more quickly than the lowlands.
Another shock surprise this year has been the dramatic slowing of vital Atlantic Ocean currents. If the trend is to continue, scientists fear that it might plunge Europe into winter. A climate change index has been developed to rank regions according to the severity of climate change expected by the end of this century. The Mediterranean can expect less rainfall overall but more variability in summer rain, making both droughts and flash floods more likely. Also high on the list of climate change extremes is north eastern Europe which looks set to see more snow.
Climate change is no longer perceived as predominantly an environmental issue, but is beginning to impact directly on people's lives. The carbon-based economy has been described as an "uncontrolled experiment" with the global climate, with serious risks for ecosystems, business and human health. It was noted at a UN climate meeting in New York held earlier this month that climate impacts will affect not only the environment but also social and economic systems. Agricultural production and food security, fisheries, coastal zone management and public health are all threatened.
We may not be preparing ourselves well enough for the risk of abrupt and runaway climate change. Damages from rising seas, extreme weather and ecosystem collapse are already becoming apparent. We can pay the price in terms of renewable energy, energy efficiency and emission reduction investments now... or we can pay later, perhaps with our lives.Rapid and more frequent climatic changes are now becoming increasingly apparent to most countries and the next five to 20 years are expected to show more examples of adverse impacts while current investments to mitigate the causes are negligible.
The EU has decided to meet its requirements to offset climate change under the Kyoto Protocol as a whole, rather than as individual signatories, with each member state given a different emissions target by the EU Commission. The targeted cut in greenhouse gas emissions by at least five per cent below 1990 levels must be met between 2008 and 2012. Emissions trading has been introduced to give some flexibility while keeping total emissions within the overall capped level. Individual installations may emit more than their allocation on condition that they can find another trader that has emitted less than allowed and is willing to sell their unused allowance. A draft of the National Allocation Plan for Malta for 2008-2012 is open for public comment on the MEPA Website until May 29.
Costing the changes
An estimate that it would take $325 billion for the United States to meet the Kyoto Protocol targets on cutting emissions led the Bush administration to claim that the benefits did not justify its costs. As The Washington Post of May 9 has pointed out, the cost of the Iraq war, now in excess of $300 billion, is close to what it would cost the US to implement the Kyoto Protocol. This amount is exactly what the World Bank estimates it would cost to meet the needs of people in developing countries through more efficient and cleaner sources of energy.
The European Environment Agency calculates that action to combat climate change will deliver considerable benefits. Europe would save €10 billion a year on air pollution control and see 20,000 fewer premature deaths with a drop in damage to ecosystems. The price for conventional energy sources has been increasing and will do so further, but the price for renewable energy will decrease due to the development of technologies and economies of scale.
Surprisingly, funding for EU research projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency have dropped. The inter-parliamentary European Forum for Renewable Energy Sources has urged that the research budget for renewables in the upcoming FP-7 research programme must be significantly increased.
It may be some time before renewable energy sources are able to deliver the large amounts of energy required for bulk energy for most countries. The National Commission for Sustainable Development which met earlier this month augured that appropriate policies and incentives combined with more resources for research and development could shorten this time.