Tuesday, May 22, 2007
SHAVUOT STARTS TONIGHT
In 1981, Israel bombed and destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in Baghdad. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had pronounced himself as the reincarnation of Babylonian tyrant Nebuchadnezzar, and named the nuclear reactor Tammuz -- the name of the calamitous Jewish month when Nebuchadnezzar's troops laid siege on Jerusalem 2,500 years earlier. Ilan Ramon (later to become Israel's first astronaut, who died in the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia) and seven other pilots executed the daring raid -- flying over enemy Arab territory for hours, and avoiding detection with their tight formation that emitted a radar signal resembling a commercial airliner. However, even as Israel celebrated the successful raid, condemnation was nearly universal. One prominent U.S. senator called it one of the most provocative, ill-timed and internationally illegal actions taken in that nation's history. Two decades later, as the world feared Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, the Israeli action was vindicated.
16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.
The holiday of Shavuot,(WEEKS,PENTECOST) which begins tonight, is known as the Festival of Harvest.
DAY 1 TUESDAY from 6PM to 6PM. DAY 2 WEDNESDAY from 6PM to 6PM THU. THE THIRD TEMPLE HAS TO BE REBUILT TO PERFORM THESE FEASTS PROPERLY, PLEASE ISRAEL REBUILD THE 3RD TEMPLE NOW. ALL ISRAEL GET BEHIND THE SANHEDRIN AND LETS PRAISE THE GOD OF ISRAEL PROPERLY IN THE 3RD TEMPLE. IM ONLY A SINGLE VOICE BUT WITH LOTS OF VOICES IT CAN HAPPEN. ALL CHRISTIANS ALSO ENCOURAGE CHURCHES TO GET THE WORD AROUND, WE NEED THE 3RD TEMPLE REBUILT.
DAY 1 OF FIRSTFRUITS (SHAVUOT) SCRIPTURES
ACTS 1:1-26, 2:1-47
1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.
13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
EXODUS CHAPTERS 19-20
1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.
5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.
10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:
13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.
14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.
22 And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.
23 And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.
24 And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.
25 So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.
1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.
23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.
24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.
25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.
26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.
26 Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the LORD, after your weeks be out, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work:
27 But ye shall offer the burnt offering for a sweet savour unto the LORD; two young bullocks, one ram, seven lambs of the first year;
28 And their meat offering of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals unto one bullock, two tenth deals unto one ram,
29 A several tenth deal unto one lamb, throughout the seven lambs;
30 And one kid of the goats, to make an atonement for you.
31 Ye shall offer them beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, (they shall be unto you without blemish) and their drink offerings.
PROPHETS SCRIPTURES DAY 1 FIRSTFRUITS WEEKS (SHAVUOT)
1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.
2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity,
3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.
4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
6 And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.
8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.
9 Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.
10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.
11 Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
12 And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.
13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.
14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.
18 As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.
19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.
23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies.
24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
25 And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.
26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.
28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
12 Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.
1-WORLD QUAKES LAST 2 DAYS. 2-Quake experts all shook up by zoo animals. 3-Government forecasts active Atlantic hurricane season. 4-2-3 Pacific storms expected this year. 5-U.N. relief convoy hit in Lebanon battle. 6-Israel says Hamas leaders may be targets. 7-Three More Kassams as Sderot Prepares for Funeral. 8-Calls to Re-settle Gush Katif.
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:(ETHNIC GROUP AGAINST ETHNIC GROUP) and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
WORLD QUAKES LAST 2 DAYS (USGS)
Update time = Tue May 22 15:59:54 UTC 2007
MAP 3.4 RAT ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA
MAP 3.2 OFFSHORE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
MAP 4.0 CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
MAP 2.5 NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
MAP 4.7 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION
MAP 2.8 ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
MAP 3.4 SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP 2.9 BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
MAP 2.6 CENTRAL ALASKA
MAP 2.9 CENTRAL ALASKA
MAP 4.9 SIMEULUE, INDONESIA
MAP 2.8 PUERTO RICO REGION
MAP 5.0 CRETE, GREECE
MAP 2.9 SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP 4.5 MOLUCCA SEA
MAP 4.7 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
MAP 4.7 DODECANESE ISLANDS, GREECE
MAP 4.7 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
MAP 4.2 NORTHERN ALASKA
MAP 2.5 ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
MAP 4.4 SOUTHEASTERN ALASKA
MAP 5.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
MAP 4.8 TARAPACA, CHILE
Quake experts all shook up by zoo animals Mon May 21, 9:37 PM ET
BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese zoo is monitoring its animals extra carefully to study how their behaviour predicts earthquakes, the China Daily said on Tuesday. Guangzhou Zoo, in the southern province of Guangdong, had set up observation points near peacocks, frogs, snakes, turtles, deer and squirrels to monitor and record their behaviour for the city's seismology office.We have found many animals behave oddly before an earthquake, the newspaper quoted experts as saying. Hibernating animals, for example, will wake up and flee from their caves, while the aquatic ones will leap from the water's surface.The report did not say how long before a quake the animals react, or whether the aim of the exercise was to provide timely warnings. According to the seismology office, abnormal behaviour can be observed among 130 animals before an earthquake.Mice and snakes, for instance, normally do not leave their hiding places during day time, but you will see them scurrying about when an earthquake is about to strike, the newspaper quoted Chen Honghan, vice-director of Guangzhou Zoo, as saying.
Chen said giraffes ran away from trees for fear of being crushed, while hippos headed for land, and in the case of a tsunami, they kept diving into deep water to protect themselves from the waves.The earthquake bureau in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi autonomous region in southern China, monitors snakes at local snake farms via video cameras 24 hours per day.Of all the creatures on Earth, snakes are perhaps the most sensitive to earthquakes, bureau director Jiang Weisong was quoted as saying in December.China is struck by frequent earthquakes, most hitting remote rural areas.
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;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
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.
Government forecasts active Atlantic hurricane season By Christopher Doering MAY 22,07
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season will be active with 13 to 17 named storms, seven to 10 of which are expected to become hurricanes, the U.S. government's top climate agency predicted on Tuesday.
Of the seven to 10 hurricanes forecast, three to five will be major ones of Category 3 or higher with winds over 110 miles per hour, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in its annual forecast.An average Atlantic hurricane season brings 11 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes, including two major hurricanes, NOAA said.Earlier forecasts for the Atlantic hurricane season also have predicted the return of an active pattern this year.
Weather forecaster AccuWeather.com has predicted 13 or 14 tropical storms or hurricanes would form in the Atlantic this year and six or seven could hit the United States, with the Gulf Coast and Gulf of Mexico oil installations at high risk.The Colorado State University team under forecast pioneer William Gray predicted 17 storms, of which nine would become hurricanes, and London-based Tropical Storm Risk predicted 16.7 storms and 9.2 hurricanes.The Atlantic hurricane season typically peaks between August 1 and late October.
A devastating 2005 Atlantic hurricane season generated 28 tropical storms, of which 15 became hurricanes. A record four major hurricanes hit the United States, including Katrina, which devastated New Orleans, killed 1,300 people and caused $80 billion in damage. Forecasters had expected an active 2006 season as well, but only 10 storms formed, five of which became hurricanes. No hurricanes hit the United States last year.
2-3 Pacific storms expected this year By BRIAN CHARLTON, Associated Press Writer Mon May 21, 11:27 PM ET
HONOLULU - Hawaii and the rest of the central Pacific face a slightly below-average hurricane season this summer, with just two or three tropical cyclones expected, federal forecasters said Monday.
With sea surface temperatures lower than average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Central Pacific Hurricane Center predicted possible La Nina conditions resulting in less tropical cyclone activity.Those conditions and the overall reduction in hurricane activity in that region since 1995 led to the prediction for the June-November season, said Jim Weyman, director of the hurricane center, at a news conference.In a La Nina — the opposite of the better-known El Nino events — the waters of the mid-Pacific equatorial region are cooler than normal. Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30. The islands get an average of 4.5 tropical cyclones a year and one hurricane about every 15 years. Last year, the central Pacific had five tropical cyclones after NOAA predicted two to three.
When I give a slightly below average forecast it always troubles me because people always think they don't have to worry, and that is not the message we want to take, Weyman said.
The message is it only takes that one to cause tremendous devastation. Since 1959, 62 hurricanes, 67 tropical storms and 61 tropical depressions have been tracked in the central Pacific. The last hurricane to hit Hawaii was in 1992 when Iniki ravaged Kauai, killing six people and causing $2.5 billion in damage.In a nod to Hawaiian culture, the hurricane center will now use only Hawaiian names for tropical storms and hurricanes, Weyman said. The next one will be called Kika. Private and university forecasters have predicted that the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season will be especially active, producing as many as 17 tropical storms and hurricanes and a well above average possibility of at least one striking the U.S.
The federal government plans to release its predictions Tuesday.On the Net:Central Pacific Hurricane Center: http://www.weather.gov/cphc
U.N. relief convoy hit in Lebanon battle By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI, Associated Press Writer MAY 22,07
TRIPOLI, Lebanon - A convoy of U.N. relief supplies was hit in a third day of fighting Tuesday between Lebanese troops and an Islamic militant group holed up in a crowded Palestinian refugee camp.
In two other refugee camps in Lebanon, angry Palestinians burned tires to protest the Lebanese army assault on the northern camp of Nahr el-Bared. The unrest heightened fears that the military's attempt to crush the al-Qaida-inspired Fatah Islam could provoke a broader backlash among hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in other refugee camps, where Islamic extremists have been growing in influence. Overnight, the Lebanese government ordered the army to finish off the militants who have set up in Nahr el-Bared, where 31,000 Palestinian refugees live on the outskirts of the northern port of Tripoli. At least 50 combatants have been killed since fighting erupted Sunday.
Black smoke billowed from the area Tuesday amid artillery and machine gun exchanges between troops and militants. Lebanese troops skirmished with Fatah Islam fighters, trying to seize militant positions on the outskirts of the camp.There are dead and wounded on the road, inside the camp, screamed a Lebanese woman, Amina Alameddine, who ran weeping from her home on the edge of the camp. She fled with her daughter and four other relatives after Fatah Islam fighters started shooting at the army from the roof of her house.At the same time, Lebanese troops sought to flush out fighters hiding in Tripoli. Soldiers raided a building where Fatah Islam militants were believed to be hiding out, blasting an apartment with grenades, gunfire and tear gas.They found no one in the apartment, but hours later, while pursuing a militant, they ordered him to surrender. He dropped a pistol but then detonated an explosives belt on his body, police officials said. None of the troops was injured.
Reports emerged from Nahr el-Bared of heavy destruction from the three days of bombardment by Lebanese artillery and tanks and militants who returned fire with mortars and automatic weapons.The shelling is heavy, not only on our positions, but also on children and women. Destruction is all over, Fatah Islam spokesman Abu Salim Taha told The Associated Press by telephone from inside the camp.A U.N. refugee official said dozens of buildings were believed demolished, with residents trapped inside. There was also word that food and medical supplies were running out. The reports could not be confirmed because officials and reporters could not enter the camp.The camp is being destroyed from inside, a U.N. Relief and Works Agency staffer told the AP. The construction is very weak and the houses are very close to each other. We have reports that there are dozens of homes that were destroyed with the residents inside. Truly people are under the rubble. This is no exaggeration, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.The militants have killed 29 soldiers since Sunday and about 20 of the fighters have also been killed. The number of civilian casualties is unknown because relief officials have had limited access.Lebanese authorities do not enter the refugee camps under a nearly 40-year-old agreement with the Palestinians.
The tens of thousands of Palestinians live in two- or three-story white buildings on the camp's densely packed narrow streets. Refugees have been hiding in their homes inside the camp and Palestinian officials there said nine civilians were killed Monday.After a morning of battles, the camp briefly fell silent Tuesday afternoon. Taha said the militants called a unilateral cease-fire, but it collapsed within an hour and heavy exchanges of fire and several explosions were heard. It was not known which side started firing.An UNRWA official said a pickup truck and a water tanker were caught between the lines of the two sides and hit as they entered the camp. There may have been some casualties, at least one, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. We could not distribute everything, he told the AP by telephone from the camp entrance.
The Lebanon representative of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, which has been mediating a cease-fire, confirmed the relief effort had come under attack. Speaking on Al-Jazeera television, Abu Imad Rifai said that while people were trying to pick up food supplies for UNRWA, they were shelled and some were injured, some seriously.Rifai said he did not know who had breached the cease-fire.
Earlier, Taleb al-Salhani of UNRWA said the agency scrambled to evacuate one of its employees, a Palestinian aid worker wounded Monday. The army earlier stopped six UNRWA trucks, including a water tanker, saying it was too dangerous to enter the camp. The government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora appeared determined to pursue Fatah Islam. Lebanon's Cabinet late Monday authorized the army to step up its campaign and end the terrorist phenomenon that is alien to the values and nature of the Palestinian people, Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said. The Bush administration reaffirmed its support for Saniora's government Tuesday and indicated it suspected Syrian involvement.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said the Fatah Islam militants want to disrupt the nation's security and distract international attention from a U.N. effort to establish a special tribunal try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut. The United States will not tolerate attempts by Syria, terrorist groups or any others to delay or derail Lebanon's efforts to solidify its sovereignty or seek justice in the Hariri case, Snow said. Lebanese security officials accuse Syria of backing Fatah Islam to disrupt Lebanon. The charges are denied by Syria, which controlled Lebanon until 2005 when its troops were forced to withdraw from the country following Hariri's assassination. The fighting, Lebanon's worst internal violence since the 1975-90 civil war, has added yet another layer of instability to an uneasy balancing act among numerous sects and factions vying for power. Saniora's government already faces a domestic political crisis, with the opposition led by Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah demanding its removal.
Dozens of refugees angered by the assault on Nahr el-Bared burned tires in protest in the southern camp of Ein el-Hilweh, Lebanon's largest Palestinian camp. Protesters also burned tires in Rashidiyeh camp, farther south. The protests raised the specter that Palestinians in Lebanon's 11 other refugee camps could rise up in anger over the assault on Nahr el-Bared. The overcrowded camps — housing more than 215,000 refugees, out of a total of 400,000 Palestinians in Lebanon — are also home to many armed Palestinian factions who often battle each other and have seen a rising number of Islamic extremists. Major Palestinian factions have distanced themselves from Fatah Islam, which arose here last year and touts itself as a Palestinian liberation movement. But many view it as a nascent branch of al-Qaida-style terrorism with ambitions of carrying out attacks around the region. The group's leader, Palestinian Shaker al-Absi, has been linked to the former head of al-Qaida in Iraq and is accused in the 2002 assassination of a U.S. diplomat in Jordan. He moved into Nahr el-Bared last fall after being expelled from Syria, where he was in custody. Since then, he is believed to have recruited about 100 fighters, including militants from Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other Arab countries, and he has said he follows the ideology of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Among the militants killed Sunday was a man suspected in a plot to bomb trains in Germany last year, according to Lebanese security officials.
Major Palestinian faction leaders met with Saniora for the second time in as many days. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana arrived Tuesday in Beirut to discuss the crisis. Late Monday, an explosion went off in a shopping area in a Sunni Muslim sector of Beirut, wrecking parked cars and injuring seven people — a day after a bomb in a Christian part of the capital killed a woman. The two bombings while the fighting was going on in Tripoli were highly unusual. Taha, the Fatah Islam spokesman, denied his group was behind them.
Israel says Hamas leaders may be targets By LAURIE COPANS, Associated Press Writer MAY 22,07
JERUSALEM - Israeli aircraft struck two camps used by the Islamic militant group Hamas on Tuesday, a day after a Palestinian rocket attack killed an Israeli woman, and officials suggested even Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas could be a target. Israel vowed harsh retaliation in response to Monday night's deadly rocket attack on the southern town of Sderot, about a mile from Gaza. However, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert acknowledged there is no quick solution for the rocket barrages.Israeli defense officials said the army would step up attacks on Palestinian militants, warning even top leaders of Hamas could be in danger. The defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media, said there were no immediate plans for a large-scale ground operation in Gaza.Asked about Haniyeh in a radio interview, Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh described Hamas' leadership as terrorists in suits.We don't care if he's a ringleader, a perpetrator of rocket launching or if he is one of the political leaders, Sneh later told The Associated Press. No one has immunity.
Leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in Gaza already have taken a series of precautions to avoid Israeli attacks, turning off cell phones and staying indoors.In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri threatened harsh retaliation if the group's leaders were attacked.Harming... any of Hamas' leadership will cost the occupation dearly, he said. This will mean responses. He did not elaborate.Hamas dominates the Palestinian government after sweeping to power in a 2006 election.
But it recently formed a coalition with the rival Fatah faction.The moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah planned to head to Gaza later Tuesday in hopes of restoring a cease-fire with Israel, officials said. But Israeli and Palestinian officials accused each other of undermining truce efforts — raising the likelihood of further fighting.Abbas planned to meet with Hamas leaders to discuss fighting with Israel as well as the recent factional violence between Hamas and Fatah.
After a six-month lull, Israel resumed airstrikes on militant targets in Gaza on May 16 in response to heavy rocket fire. More than 40 Palestinians, most of them militants, have been killed.But Israel's high-tech army has not been able to find a solution for countering the crude, homemade rockets. In the past week, more than 150 rockets have landed around nearby Sderot, a town of 24,000 people.
Seven more rockets were fired Tuesday, injuring two people, the army said. Israel responded with four airstrikes, targeting two suspected weapons depositories and the two Hamas camps. Palestinian officials said seven people were wounded.Tensions were heightened following Monday night's deadly rocket attack, which killed a 31-year-old woman. She was the first Israeli killed by a Qassam rocket since November.Olmert rushed to Sderot late Monday for the second time in a week to try to calm residents.
We will continue to invest and will continue to protect you, but you of course know that there is no immediate solution for the Qassams and there is no definitive solution, Olmert said, according to a statement from his office.He pledged to speed up the process of reinforcing homes to protect against the rockets.
I understand your anger, frustration and hardship, he said. On Tuesday, the government evacuated hundreds of Sderot residents to hotels in other parts of the country for the Shavuot holiday, which was beginning at sundown. The evacuation was orderly, and Israeli soldiers helped people board the buses, shouting out orders through megaphones. This is really an unbearable situation. But one thing is for certain. We have to wake up the government to the fact that this is not the solution. The real solution is that the Palestinians should have to evacuate, said Michael Amsalem, a Sderot town councilor. Monday night's attack came during a meeting in Sderot between Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief. They were not harmed.
Angry Sderot residents demonstrated outside the building where Solana and Livni were meeting and later burned tires, charging that the Israeli government has failed to protect them. Solana denounced the violence, and Livni called for international action to put pressure on the terrorists and the Palestinian government and not compromise with terror.Hamas' rocket attacks apparently have been aimed at drawing in Israel and ending the Palestinian infighting, which killed some 50 people last week.
Ahmed Youssef, a senior Hamas official, said the group would consider talks on a cease-fire if Israel first stopped its mad attacks.The aggression must stop so we can talk about a comprehensive cease-fire, said Youssef, a top aide to Haniyeh. The government is working on expanding the truce.
This is a national interest.However, Israel dismissed talk of a new cease-fire, saying Hamas never sticks to them. Hamas ... is leading the violence, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Tuesday before meeting Solana in Jerusalem. We don't intend on stopping. We will stop at the point that the rockets stop.
Three More Kassams as Sderot Prepares for Funeral
by Hillel Fendel (INN) MAY 22,07
With Kassams continuing to rain down upon Sderot and environs - three more were fired Tuesday morning, causing no damage - it appears that the public is just as confused about what to do as the government is. In a poll taken this week for the Knesset TV Channel, 78% of the public opined that the government was not responding forcefully enough to the Kassam-firing terrorists in Gaza.
However, at the same time, a majority of the respondents still feel that ground forces should not be sent in. It should be noted that the poll was carried out before the Kassam-caused death of Shir'el Friedman of Sderot Monday night.
Kassam Victim's Funeral at Noon
Shir'el, who was born in Sderot and is survived by her parents and two older brothers, is to be laid to rest in the Sderot cemetery at noon today (Tuesday). Shir'el was Israel's ninth fatal casualty of a Kassam rocket. Mordechai Yosifov, 49, and Afik Zahavi, a 3.5 year old on his way to nursery, were killed in June 2004. Three months later, two young cousins - Dorit Aniso, 2, and Yuval Abebeh, 4 - were killed just before the onset of the Sukkot holiday. Four months later, Ella Abukasis, 17, was killed by a Kassam rocket as she was walking home; she jumped to protect her brother when the Red Dawn rocket warning alert sounded. In July 2005, Dana Gelkowitz, 22, was killed in a Kassam attack at Netiv HaAsarah - the only non-Sderot Kassam casualty among Israelis. Last summer, in July 2006, Moshe Shlomo, 52, died of a heart attack he suffered after a Kassam rocket landed near his home a few days earlier. Last November, Fatima Slutzker, a Moslem woman married to a Russian Jew, was killed by a Kassam that landed in downtown Sderot. In addition, three foreign workers were killed in a Kassam attack in Gush Katif in 2005, and two Bedouin were killed when they moved a previously-unexploded Kassam in a field.
Wheat Fields About to be Harvested Go Up in Flames
In terms of monetary damage caused by the rockets, it is not limited to an apartment or a car here and there. Wheat fields in at least two agricultural communities in the western Negev, nearly ready for harvest after months of work, have gone up in flames when rockets hit them. I sat and cried this morning when I saw it, said one member of Kibbutz Nir-Am, just outside Sderot.
This is our harvest season, Betty Gavri of Nir-Am told Ynet. When you hear on the radio 'no one was hurt and there was no damage' - when our wheat fields go up in flames on the eve of Shavuot, that's not damage? The holiday of Shavuot, which begins tonight (Tuesday night and Wednesday), is known as the Festival of Harvest (Exodus 23,16). As opposed to the city of Sderot, the nearby agricultural communities have a more earthy connection to the land; barely any of the 350 residents of Kibbutz Nir-Am, for instance, have left. Our imbibed values are that our very presence here determines the State's borders.
This is an agricultural tradition, that says that the land is our roots and our sustenance. If everyone would get up and leave, we could just close the entire country.
Rabbis and Educators Call for Social, Military Help
A group of some 100 rabbis and educators, many of them representing hesder yeshivot and yeshiva high schools around the country, descended upon the Yeshivat Hesder of Sderot on Monday to show their solidarity with the city residents. Among the participants were Rabbis Chaim Druckman, Chanan Porat, Tsomet Institute head Yisrael Rosenne, Yigal Kaminetzky of Gush Katif, Elisha Vishlitzky, David Fendel of Sderot, and Eliezer Sheinvald of Modiin, as well as Col. (ret.) Geva Rapp of the 'Face to Face' outreach organization. The rabbis resolved to continue activities such as hosting Sderot residents in their towns and schools, further visits to Sderot, offering economic and social help to needy families, special Sabbath and other events around the country dedicated to Sderot, and more. In addition, the educators called upon the Government of Israel to end this national disgrace of the abandonment of Jewish lives in Sderot and the area, by embarking on another Operation Defensive Shield [i.e., a massive military anti-terror offensive] in order to restore the self-respect and the security of the residents of Sderot. To this end, the group resolved to embark on a campaign, including billboards, bumper stickers, rallies, and the like to garner public support for the cause. Other visitors to Sderot on Monday included Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzippy Livny, the European Union's Javier Solana, and Britain's Ambassador to Israel Tom Phillips. The Home Front Command distributed pamphlets to many communities in the Sderot-Ashkelon area, advising the residents how to protect themselves during Kassam attacks. Among those who received them were 500 expellee families from Gush Katif, currently living in Nitzan, just north of Ashkelon.For more information on Sderot, see the Yeshivat Sderot http://www.sderot.org/ and Sderotmedia websites http://sderotmedia.com/
Calls to Re-settle Gush Katif
by Hillel Fendel (INN) MAY 22,07
With every crash of a Kassam rocket in the Negev, increasingly more voices are calling for a return to Gaza - for different reasons. Respected journalists from Yediot Acharonot and Haaretz have written that re-occupying Gaza is the only solution - lending an air of political correctness to the simultaneous ideological call by settlement leaders and Gush Katif expellees to return to Gush Katif. The reasons advanced for reoccupation by the various elements are, to be sure, not identical.
Military affairs correspondent Ron Ben-Yishai, writing for Yediot Acharonot last week (May 17), explained that it is based solely on security considerations: Israel's key problem at this point in time is the violent anarchy reigning in the Palestinian arena, Ben-Yishai wrote. Even if Israel chooses to undertake drastic measures such as cutting off electricity and water from Gaza residents, while indiscriminately bombing launch sites, there would still be no one on the Palestinian side able to stop the Kassam attacks. The only thing that will happen is that Israel will face condemnation and be isolated in international public opinion. Under current circumstances, Ben-Yishai continued, one consideration must guide the Israeli government: How do we prevent casualties among western Negev residents as a result of Kassam attacks, and how do we thwart the digging of tunnels by the Palestinians and a worse situation in the future as a result of Hamas' rapid strengthening? The most effective and virtually only modus operandi to achieve these objectives is an occupation of wide sections of the Gaza Strip.
Once the IDF controls most Gaza territory, it will be able, in conjunction with the General Security Service (Shabak), to gather intelligence information and apply it in anti-terror operations while proceeding to destroy terror infrastructures. Meanwhile, the digging of a seawater tunnel would curb the smuggling through Gaza's Philadelphi route.
Ben-Yishai added that limited aerial and ground operations would not curb Kassam rockets, would draw terrorist fire and endanger Israeli troops, and would end with international pressure upon Israel.
Instead, a very large military force [is] required to stay in the Strip for many months... The question is whether the Olmert government will continue to deal with political survival and endless 'assessment sessions, or whether it will finally start to act practically.Similarly, on the same day, correspondent Avi Issacharoff penned a piece for Haaretz entitled, No Other Solution For Gazans But Israeli
Occupation. Explaining that Fatah has been left without strong leadership and is headed for a military defeat at the hands of Hamas, the Gazans are repeating one clear message: only Israeli occupation will save them. There is no other solution on the horizon.These calls were somewhat encouraging to people like Adi Mintz, a former Director of the Yesha Council [Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza], who was in the midst of publicizing his own call for a return to Gaza.
Mintz, a resident of Dolev in the Binyamin region of the Shomron, wrote in the most recent edition of B'Sheva:
...Jacob was unable to be comforted for the loss of his son Joseph, because one cannot becomforted for the loss of someone who is actually alive... We, too, are unable to be comforted over the loss of Gush Katif for two reasons: Because we know that we will return, and also - just like in the case of Jacob and Joseph - because the crime was committed against us by our own brothers. For 19 years, the survivors of Kibbutz Kfar Etzion [destroyed and captured by the Jordanians in 1948 - ed.] would go up to a hilltop overlooking Gush Etzion, and see the lone oak tree there. That tree became a symbol of the longed-for return... and Kfar Etzion became the first town to be rebuilt by Israel after the liberation of Judea and Samaria during the Six Day War... More and more journalists and former IDF generals who supported the Disengagement now regret it, and admit that it was a strategic mistake - the rotten fruits of which we ate in the war in Gaza and in Lebanon. A strategic mistake can be rectified only by another strategic move: Returning to Gush Katif. Such a move might seem, at present, detached from reality. However, with the IDF apparently preparing for a major offensive in Gaza, and with the government seemingly waiting only for Kassam deaths before acting, the return to Gush Katif is the only answer.This will show the Arabs, Mintz explained, that they cannot defeat us, that this is our land, and that only we have the rights to it.
Mintz emphasized the fact that the Jewish towns in Gush Katif and northern Gaza were not built on Arab land, and that the State of Israel's terrible act of throwing out its sons can still be rectified: The public is still in the throes of the earthquake of last summer's war, and is open to new conceptions. The call and demand to return to Gush Katif is moral and just, on the one hand, and is a strategic necessity, on the other hand... Together with the 'Homesh First' people [who are leading a campaign to return to the Disengagement-destroyed town of Homesh in the Shomron - ed.], we must broaden the scope of the struggle to include also a struggle to win over the public's soul. This is the time to join forces and to wage a campaign that will keep the idea of a return to both Homesh and Gush Katif in the public consciousness. Even if we don't succeed in the short run, this type of struggle has supreme importance for the long run.
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