Friday, October 31, 2008





LUKE 21:25-26
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.

The Nation's Weather By WEATHER UNDERGROUND, For The Associated Press – Thu Oct 30, 7:39 am ET

AccuWeather Cold, stormy weather was to leave the Northeast early Thursday, while milder air stretched from the Plains to the Midwest and the interior West stayed clear.Only a few areas of morning snow showers were lingering in the most northern areas of the Northeast. The rest of the region was seeing decreasing cloud cover as high pressure builds and seasonable temperatures return.In the South, high pressure will allow for sunny skies and dry conditions across the mid-Atlantic and Gulf states. Overnight lows will drop to near freezing temperatures.The Midwest also will enjoy high pressure and highs in the 50s and 60s.Low pressure was to move through the Plains, bringing windy conditions to the region. It is also expected to trigger some high clouds over the central and southern Plains, but will not produce rain.

To the West, a low pressure system will continue to approach the West Coast from the Pacific Ocean. The system will bring scattered showers and increasing winds to the Pacific Northwest on Thursday. Northern California will see cooler conditions with cloudy skies, while southern California will remain warm and dry.Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Wednesday ranged from a low of 8 degrees at Mount Washington, N.H., to a high of 95 degrees at Santee, Calif.On the Net:Weather Underground: National Weather Service:

Meteor Shower Could Spur Bright Fireballs Skywatching Columnist joe Rao OCT 31,08 – 1 hr 31 mins agoThe Taurid meteors, sometimes called the Halloween fireballs, show up between mid-October and mid-November, but Nov. 5 to 12 will likely be the best time to look for them this year, taking into account both their peak of activity and the effect of increasingly bright moonlight on viewing conditions. After the Moon sets – around 11 p.m. local time on Nov. 5, later on subsequent nights – some 10 to 15 meteors may appear per hour. They are often yellowish-orange and, as meteors go, appear to move rather slowly. Their name comes from the way they seem to radiate from the constellation Taurus, the Bull, which sits low in the east a couple of hours after sundown and is almost directly overhead by around 1:30 a.m. Meteors – popularly referred to as shooting stars – are generated when debris enters and burns up in Earth's atmosphere. In the case of the Taurids, they are attributed to debris left behind by Encke's Comet, or perhaps by a much larger comet that upon disintegrating, left Encke and a lot of other rubble in its wake. Indeed, the Taurid debris stream contains noticeably larger fragments than those shed by other comets, which is why in certain years – and 2008 is predicted to be one – this rather elderly meteor stream occasionally delivers a few unusually bright meteors known as fireballs.

Two streams

The Taurids are actually divided into the Northern Taurids and the Southern Taurids. This is an example of what happens to a meteor stream when it grows old.
Even at the beginning, the particles could not have been moving in exactly the same orbit as their parent comet; their slight divergence accumulates with time. Meantime the Sun is not the only body gravitationally controlling the particles' orbits; the planets are having subtle effects on the stream. As the positions of the planets are constantly changing, the particles pass nearer to them on some revolutions than others – diverting parts of the stream, fanning it out and splitting it. So what was originally one stream diffuses into a cloud of minor streams and isolated particles in individual orbits, crossing Earth's orbit at yet more widely scattered times of the year and coming from more scattered directions until they are entirely stirred into the general haze of dust in the solar system.

Another fireball year?

Dr. Victor Clube, an English astrophysicist and is an expert on comets and cosmology, indicated back in 1992 that the Taurid meteor stream contains perhaps a half a dozen full-size asteroids whose orbits place them squarely in the stream. Clube and his colleagues argue that the Taurids' range of orbits indicates they were all shed by a huge comet, originally 100 miles across or more, that entered the inner solar system some 20,000 years ago. By 10,000 years ago it was desiccated and brittle; Encke's Comet might actually be the biggest leftover chunk.Encke's has the shortest known orbital period for a comet, taking only 3.3 years to make one complete trip around the sun. Meteor expert David Asher has also discovered that the Earth can periodically encounter swarms of larger particles in certain years and 2008is predicted to be one of those years.In the September 2008 issue of Meteor Trails (the journal of the American Meteor Society), Robert Lunsford writes: Maximum rates for the southern branch occur near November 5th and the northern branch peaks near November 12th. This year the Moon is favorable during the first week of November but the northern Taurids peak only a day before full Moon.The two radiants lie just south of the Pleiades. So during the next couple of weeks, if you see a bright, slightly tinted orange meteor sliding rather lazily away from that famous little smudge of stars, you can feel sure it is a Taurid. Adds Lunsford: 2005 was the last swarm year . . . many exceptional fireballs were seen especially along the U.S. East Coast on Halloween evening when fireballs as bright as the full Moon were witnessed.

Will 2008 offer a repeat performance? Only by going out and viewing this display will we know for sure!

Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for The New York Times and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for News 12 Westchester, New York.

Archaeologist says he found oldest Hebrew writing By MATTI FRIEDMAN, Associated Press Writer OCT 30,08

HIRBET QEIYAFA, Israel – An Israeli archaeologist has discovered what he believes is the oldest known Hebrew inscription on a 3,000-year-old pottery shard — a find that suggests Biblical accounts of the ancient Israelite kingdom of David could have been based on written texts.A teenage volunteer discovered the curved shard bearing five lines of faded characters in July in the ruins of an ancient town on a hilltop south of Jerusalem. Yossi Garfinkel, the Israeli archaeologist leading the excavations at Hirbet Qeiyafa, released his conclusions about the writing Thursday after months of study.He said the relic is strong evidence that the ancient Israelites were literate and could chronicle events centuries before the Bible was written. This could suggest that some of the Bible's accounts were based on written records as well as oral traditions — adding credence to arguments that the Biblical account of history is more than myth.The shard was found near the stairs and stone washtub of an excavated home. It was later discovered to bear characters known as proto-Canaanite, a precursor of the Hebrew alphabet.The Israelites were not the only ones using the proto-Canaanite characters, and other scholars suggest it is difficult — perhaps impossible — to conclude the text is Hebrew. However, Garfinkel based his identification on a three-letter verb from the inscription meaning to do, a word he said existed only in Hebrew.

That leads us to believe that this is Hebrew, and that this is the oldest Hebrew inscription that has been found, he said.Hirbet Qeiyafa sits near the modern Israeli city of Beit Shemesh in the Judean foothills, an area that was once the frontier between the hill-dwelling Israelites and their enemies, the coastal Philistines. The site overlooks the Elah Valley, said to be the scene of the slingshot showdown between David and the Philistine giant Goliath, and near the ruins of Goliath's hometown in the Philistine metropolis of Gath.Carbon-14 analysis of burnt olive pits found in the same layer of the site as the pottery shard helped archaeologists date it to between 1,000 and 975 B.C., the same time as the Biblical golden age of King David's rule in Jerusalem.Archaeology has turned up only scant finds from David's time in the early 10th century B.C., leading some scholars to argue the Bible's account of the period inflates the importance of him and his kingdom. Some have even suggested his kingdom may not have existed at all.But the fortified settlement where the writing was found contains indications that a powerful Israelite kingdom existed near Jerusalem in David's time, says Garfinkel.If his claim is borne out, it would bolster the case for the Bible's accuracy by indicating the Israelites could record events as they happened, transmitting the history that was recorded in the Old Testament several hundred years later.Modern Zionism has traditionally seen archaeology as a way of strengthening the Jewish claim to Israel and regarded David's kingdom as the glorious ancestor of the new Jewish state. As a result, finding evidence of his rule has importance beyond its interest to scholars.The script, which Garfinkel suggests might be part of a letter, predates the next significant Hebrew inscription by between 100 and 200 years. History's best-known Hebrew texts, the Dead Sea scrolls, were penned on parchment beginning 850 years later.

The shard is now kept in a university safe while philologists translate it, a task expected to take months. But several words have already been tentatively identified, including judge,slave and king. The inscription was shown to other scholars at a peer presentation of the findings.Some scholars are hesitant to embrace Garfinkel's interpretation, and his findings are already being wielded in the ongoing debate over whether the Bible — written hundreds of years after many of its events are supposed to have occurred — is more fact or legend. But the find is certain, at the very least, to prove useful in understanding the development of language and ancient alphabets.Other prominent Biblical archaeologists warned against jumping to conclusions.Hebrew University archaeologist Amihai Mazar said the inscription is very important, but suggested that calling the text Hebrew might be going too far.

The differentiation between the scripts, and between the languages themselves in that period, remains unclear, he said. If the inscription is Hebrew, it would connect the Hirbet Qeiyafa settlement to the Israelites and make the text one of the most important texts, without a doubt, in the corpus of Hebrew inscriptions, said Aren Maier, a Bar Ilan University archaeologist. While the site is likely to add another building block to the historical record, archaeologist Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University said the claims about it went beyond the strict boundaries of science. Finkelstein, who has not visited the dig but attended a presentation of the findings, warned against what he said was a revival in the belief that what's written in the Bible is accurate like a newspaper.

Rice to make yet another push for peace in Middle East by Sylvie Lanteaume Sylvie Lanteaume – Thu Oct 30, 4:40 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit the Middle East next week to pursue efforts for a deal on the contours of Israeli-Palestinian peace before handing over to a new US administration.Secretary of State Rice will travel to Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan and Egypt from November 5 to 9, just after US presidential election results are likely to be known, her deputy spokesman Robert Wood said.She will meet with her quartet counterparts and senior government officials to discuss efforts to achieve positive and lasting peace in the region, consistent with the Annapolis process and the shared goal of a two-states solution, Wood said.Rice helped revive the peace talks in November last year in Annapolis, Maryland, based on a road map launched in 2003 by the quartet of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.The Israelis and Palestinians pledged last year to secure a deal enshrining the road map goal of a Palestinian state living in peace next to a secure Israel by the time President George W. Bush leaves office on January 20.Although both sides have begun tackling simultaneously the core issues of borders, the status of Jerusalem and refugees -- an adjustment to the roadmap -- they have made little visible progress toward achieving that goal.

Wood did not say exactly when the quartet would meet.

But an Egyptian official said the quartet will meet in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on November 9 -- the same day Palestinian groups begin reconciliation talks in Cairo -- to review the peace negotiations.And a European Union diplomat in Brussels said that the meeting would be held from November 8-9 and include Israeli and Palestinian delegates.On September 26, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, the quartet members urged Israel and the Palestinians to make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008" on all the core issues.

The quartet said it would be informed of the progress in negotiations during a meeting with the parties in the region before the end of the year.The quartet has come under criticism from aid agencies, which warned last month that it was losing its grip on the peace process and must radically revise its approach.It will be Rice's 19th visit to the Middle East in two years, and the eighth visit since she and Bush hosted the international conference in Annapolis.The negotiations -- the first to take place since previous ones collapsed in bloodshed in 2000 -- have stumbled on Jewish settlement building in the West Bank and Jerusalem.They are also complicated by the division of the Palestinian territories into a West Bank run by the US-backed Palestinian Authority and a Gaza Strip run by the Islamist movement Hamas, which seized power there in June last year.The negotiations are also hobbled by lame duck US and Israeli governments which will be replaced in the New Year by administrations infused with new popular mandates from national elections.With chances of a breakthrough appearing slimmer than ever, Rice has nonetheless pledged to leave no stone unturned in her quest for a deal defining the contours of peace by January 20.As time draws near for the end of this administration, I still believe that we must make every effort in the time that we have to lay this foundation for peace, Rice told a conference here two weeks ago.













then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.

JAMES 5:1-3
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

REVELATION 18:10,17,19
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.

16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM



09:30 AM -3.03
10:00 AM -6.22
10:30 AM +31.42
11:00 AM +12.66
11:30 AM +99.79
12:00 PM +26.24
12:30 PM +74.23
01:00 PM +82.19
01:30 PM +174.74
02:00 PM +182.15
02:30 PM +179.52
03:00 PM +215.36
03:30 PM +93.18
04:00 PM +144.32 9325.01

S&P 500 968.75 +14.66

NASDAQ 1720.95 +22.43

GOLD 723.5 -15.0

OIL 67.79 +1.83

TSE 300 -74.75 9,781.46

CDNX +35.55 915.30

S&P/TSX/60 -7.51 592.06

-3 of the top 10 point gains in DJIA'S history has occurred.
-Has had 2 10+% gains.

-Oct 6 closes below 10,000 points for the first time in 4 years,since Oct 26,2004.
-Oct 13 snaps 8 day losing streak, finishes day with biggest one-day point gain in history,up 936.42 points or 11.08%.
-Oct 15 has its 2nd worst point drop in its history-fell 733.08 points.
-Oct 28 climbs 889.35 points or 10.88%,2nd largest point gain and 6th biggest percentage gain in history.



-Lost 18.8% as of oct 30.
-Biggest monthly drop (POINT & PERCENTAGE)since feb 2001.
-Biggest Oct month point drop in its history.
-Biggest Oct monthly percentage drop since 1987.

-Biggest monthly point drop ever.
-Worst monthly percentage performance since Oct 1987.

Dow was -58 points at low today.
Dow was +244 at high today.
Dow down 15% this month.
Bank CEO's are claiming $40 BILLION from bailout package for severences.
-Tight range.
-Low volume.
-Worst month since 87.
-Best week since 1974.
-Crude down 33% this week. Oil down more than 55% from July record high.
-Oil up 3% this week.
-Oil up nearly 4% this month.
-Major averages touch 3 week highs.
Dow Industrials on pace for best weekly point gain on Record.
Dow,S&P500,Nasdaq on pace for 1st-ever concurrent10%+ weekly gains.
AAA:National Average for retail gas at $2.50/Gallon.
WSJ:Boeing Satellite unit hit by $237 MILLION Punitive damage Verdict.
Wallstreet closing out great week,terrible Month.
Stocks almost up 2% today.
Nasdaq falls 18% in October.
Nasdaq up 10.9% this week.
Dow on track for worst month since 1998.
Dow falls 14% in October.
Dow gains 11.4% this week.
S&P heading for worst month since October 1987.
S&P down 17% in October.
S&P up 10.7% this week.

-stay cautious on market.
-Investors don't completely comprehend depth and breadth of economic downturn.
-Carry lots of cash,limit exposure to risk.
-Important to be cautious,keep significant cash holdings.
-Use pair trade stategy.


Stocks jump to add to week's large gains By TIM PARADIS, AP Business Writer OCT 31,08

^DJI 9,325.01 +144.32
^GSPC 968.75 +14.66
^IXIC 1,720.95 +22.43

AP –NEW YORK – The stock market has closed out a horrendous October, its worst month in 21 years, with a big advance as more investors took chances on stocks turned into bargains by waves of intense selling.The Dow Jones industrials rose 141 points to the 9,322 level, but ended the month down 14.1 percent. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 16.9 percent during October as the stock market fell victim to investors' anguish over frozen credit markets and what looked like an inevitable recession.Friday's session gave the market its first back-to-back advances in more than a month. Investors who have become used to bad economic news dealt calmly with data showing a drop in consumer spending.Another reason for the advance: Funds that dumped stocks furiously as the end of their fiscal year approached were finished with their selling.

Stocks jump to add to week's large gains By TIM PARADIS, AP Business Writer OCT 31,08

AP – NEW YORK – Wall Street bolted higher Friday as investors looked to extend the week's big gains, even after a report that showed worried consumers are cutting back on their spending. The major market indexes each rose more than 1.5 percent, including the Dow Jones industrial average, which jumped nearly 200 points.The Commerce Department said personal spending fell by 0.3 percent last month, as expected, the biggest decline since June 2004. Combined with flat readings in both July and August, it led to the worst quarterly performance in 28 years.But Wall Street's reaction to the data was far from frantic. Given this week's readings on flagging consumer confidence and shrinking gross domestic product, investors have largely discounted the fact that Americans are fearful about the economy and their shrinking investment portfolios.October has been the worst month for the market in 21 years — and many stocks are looking like bargains right now. Heading into the session, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 18.2 percent for October; the index fell 21.8 percent in October 1987.Before committing to a direction, the market is going to want to put the presidential election next week behind it and focus on the October employment report due next Friday — which should provide some insight into how long and how severe the economic downturn could be.The market is settling into a little bit of a holding pattern ahead of the election and jobs report, said Craig Peckham, market strategist at Jefferies & Co. The fear level has clearly subsided, but there's still a pervasive tone of unease.In midafternoon trading, the Dow rose 190.04, or 2.07 percent, to 9,370.73.Broader stock indicators also advanced. The S&P 500 index rose 21.45, or 2.25 percent, to 975.54, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 29.62, or 1.74 percent, to 1,728.14.The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 19.94, or 3.88 percent, to 534.12.Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by about 3 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to a light 742.1 million shares. Light volume can raise questions about the conviction behind the market's moves.In other economic data, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, a measure of manufacturing activity, fell to a reading of 37.8 — much worse than the 48.0 figure that analysts anticipated. But the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment data came in at 57.6, slightly better than the 57.5 expected.

Alongside the unsurprisingly downbeat readings, investors also considered whether government help for struggling homeowners might be able to help stabilize the housing market and alleviate a worry for many homeowners, even those not behind on mortgage payments.Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking by satellite to a Berkeley, Calif., conference said the housing finance system will require better safeguards to allow it to function during times of strain in the market. He outlined a number of possible ways to structure housing finance in the future, though he did not indicate his preferences.The Bush administration is mulling a proposal that would help around 3 million homeowners avoid foreclosure by having the government guarantee billions of dollars worth of distressed mortgages. It could include changes to loans that would lower interest rates for a five-year period.Treasury demand let up slightly as stocks rose. The three-month Treasury bill, considered one of the safest assets around, yielded 0.43 percent, higher than 0.37 percent late Thursday. A low yield translates to high demand. The 10-year Treasury note's yield was 3.96 percent, down from 3.97 percent.The dollar was mostly higher against other major currencies. Gold prices declined.Crude oil fell $1.73 to $64.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 5.01 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 2.01 percent, Germany's DAX index rose 2.44 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 2.33 percent. On the Net: New York Stock Exchange: Nasdaq Stock Market:

Denmark re-thinks euro adoption amid financial crisis
VALENTINA POP Today OCT 31,08 @ 09:29 CET

The financial crisis makes it evident that Denmark needs to join the euro, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday (30 October), while recent polls show that 50 percent of Danes are now in favour of scrapping the krone.The euro ensures political and economical stability in Europe and the current financial turmoil makes it evident that Denmark has to join the Euro, Mr Rasmussen said at the European Liberal Democrats annual conference in Stockholm.Due to the financial crisis, Denmark's national bank had to intervene in the foreign-exchange market to support the krone, which is closely pegged to the euro, and to drive up interests rates to 5.5 percent, a historical high that translates into considerably higher mortgages and credits for Danish citizens.Mr Rasmussen said that a referendum to switch to the euro could be held in 2011. Initially the Prime Minister was planning to organise a referendum this autumn, but the Irish No vote on the Lisbon treaty boosted the euroscepticism in the country, FAZ reports.Danish voters already rejected several times the switch to euro. In 1992, they voted no to the Maastricht treaty which was only passed with an opt-out for euro-adoption. A referendum in 2000 on adopting the single currency was also lost by 53.2 percent to 46.8 percent. Yet a recent poll showed that a slim majority of 50.1 percent of the Danes were now in favour of the euro.The financial crisis may yet see Iceland join the EU itself to seek shelter. But Denmark's neighbouring country Sweden, who also rejected the euro in a 2003 referendum faces similar currency problems, has no plans to re-run the vote for some years from now, foreign minister Carl Bildt said earlier this month.

The euro debate has also heated up in eastern Europe. In Poland, President Lech Kaczynski at first supported government plans to shoot for euro adoption by 2012, but later appeared to change his mind.I have serious doubts. We have to think of those who have no savings and for whom the price rises linked to euro adoption could take away 10 percent or more of their income, he said on Thursday, Gazeta Wyborcza reports.The Kaczynski-friendly head of the Polish Central Bank, Slawomir Skrzypek, also said the 2012 date may be too ambitious, with his remarks causing the zloty to dip against the euro in trading.Business leaders in the Czech Republic have also called for swift entry, but the message was quashed by the country's central bank chief Zdenek Tuma on Thursday, who said the financial crisis is not a good time for policy-making.At a time when the waters are stormy, even a good swimmer will not take a dive. For me, no decision should be made now, Tuma said, AFP reports. "We will know better next year.Conditions to join the euro are tough, with countries being required to have inflation and budget deficits at sustainable low levels, something many eastern European countries are failing in due to unreformed public finances and soaring budget deficits.

TSX holds onto triple-digit losses as New York battles with reds
Fri Oct 31, 11:36 AM By David Friend, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market continued to see red in morning trading as commodities prices weakened in the final session of a terrible month of declines.

New York was fighting its own battle, and briefly moved higher before losing its momentum and falling into the negative. Toronto's S&P/TSX composite index slid 237.7 points to 9,618.5. The index had risen more than 1,300 points over the three previous sessions But even with three days of solid gains this week, the TSX is down about 16 per cent since the start of the month. The Canadian dollar was 0.49 of a cent lower at 81.61 cents US, after jumping 0.47 cent Thursday. Statistics Canada reported that gross domestic product took a 0.3 per cent decline in August, after a strong 0.7 per cent increase in July. The TSX energy sector was four per cent lower as the December crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.23 to US$64.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold dropped $4.90 to US$733.60 an ounce. Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) lost $1.02 to $23.50 on the TSX after reporting third-quarter net income of US$297.2 million, up from $75.8 million, thanks to a big non-cash foreign exchange gain, while operating results deteriorated. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 2.71 points to 9,177.98 after a U.S. Commerce Department report said personal spending fell 0.3 per cent last month, the biggest decline since June of 2004. New York's Nasdaq composite index slid 2.45 points to 1,696.07 while the S&P 500 dropped 1.57 points to 952.52. The TSX Venture Exchange moved up 8.09 points to 887.84. Canadian investors are assessing the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's policy review issued after markets closed Thursday, which disappointed television broadcasters and provided mixed changes for cable-TV and satellite operators.

Canwest Global Communications (TSX:CGS) was down seven cents or 6.9 per cent, Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) declined $1.61 or 4.5 per cent to $34.14 and Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B) was up 10 cents to $21.21. SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (TSX:SNC) shares were up 76 cents to $32.38 after third-quarter profit rose to $91.3 million from $63.2 million although the global engineering firm's revenue slipped to $1.69 billion from $1.79 billion. Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) had third-quarter earnings of $49 million, as revenue increased to $727 million from $651 million. Its shares dipped 90 cents to $25.60. Priszm Income Fund (TSX:QSR.UN) said Jeff O'Neill has resigned as its chief executive officer effective immediately. Units in the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurant operator moved 15 cents lower to $2.25. NorSask Forest Products Ltd., owned by the Meadow Lake, Sask., tribal council, is shutting down its sawmill and laying off 62 workers on the Friday before Christmas. The United Steelworkers union says the closure is a further indication of the forest industry crisis across Canada, and neither the provincial nor federal governments have shown any interest in finding meaningful solutions to the ongoing disintegration.Auto parts supplier ArvinMeritor says it will cut 1,250 jobs to help cut costs on weakness in the U.S. economy and poor auto sales. Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average fell five per cent and the Hong Kong Hang Seng index declined 2.5 per cent. The FTSE 100 index was up 0.49 per cent in the afternoon in London, while the German DAX moved up 1.8 per cent and the French CAC-40 fell 0.21 per cent.

Asian shares fall, to post worst month ever By Rafael Nam Rafael Nam – OCT 30,08

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Most Asian shares fell on Friday as concerns over the global economy and caution ahead of a Bank of Japan rate decision halted a powerful three-day rally, sending safer havens such as regional bonds and the yen higher.Regional shares were set to end October as their worst month on record -- worse even than during the Asian financial crisis a decade ago -- as global economies buckle under the weight of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.Policy makers have responded by cutting interest rates and injecting liquidity, but investors fear the measures may only have a temporary effect in what could be a severe and long-lasting global recession.Oil prices dropped more than $1 a barrel on Friday after data showed the U.S. economy suffered its sharpest contraction in seven years in the third quarter, as consumers cut spending and businesses reduced investment.Though the decline was less than expected, it bodes ill for export-dependent Asian economies, analysts said.It was still weak and the consumption contribution fell sharply suggesting bad news for Asian exports and regional growth going forward, especially as the U.S. economy is set to register even bigger declines over coming quarters, Calyon analysts wrote in a note to clients about the U.S. economic growth data.The MSCI index of Asian stocks outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) was down 1.1 percent at 10:50 p.m. EDT, stemming a 19 percent rise over the past three sessions, a gain powerful enough to put the index on course for its biggest weekly gain on record.But the index was still down some 25 percent for the month, highlighting the severe falls seen throughout Asia. Japan's Nikkei (.N225) this month hit a 26-year low.

Nervousness about whether the Bank of Japan will follow the U.S. Federal Reserve and other regional central banks in cutting interest rates prevailed, sending the Nikkei down 2.7 percent.Concerns about global growth and profit-taking sent other indexes lower, with Hong Kong (.HSI) down 3.9 percent, while Shanghai (.SSEC) and Sydney (.AXJO) shed just over 1 percent.Commodities, which are sensitive to global demand, have also been routed this month. U.S. crude futures slumped $1.4 to $64.55 a barrel, less than half the record near $150 it had hit in July.Platinum dropped to $783 an ounce, down from the notional New York close of $817. The metal had hit a life-time high of $2,290 in March.But the yen rose against the euro and the dollar, supported as investors unwind investments in risky assets that had been funded by borrowing the low-yielding yen.The dollar eased 0.2 percent against the yen to 98.40 yen, while the euro fell 1.1 percent against the yen to 125.87 yen.Other safe-haven assets gained as well, with Japanese government December futures up 0.40 point to 138.31.(Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)

Commodities boost TSX for third day Thu Oct 30, 5:34 PM
By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index jumped more than 3 percent on Thursday, its third straight day of healthy gains, led by commodity issues as market sentiment remained buoyant after Wednesday's rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve.Heavily weighted stocks that led the market higher included EnCana Corp , up 5.9 percent at C$62.70, Canadian Natural Resources , up 7.02 percent at C$62.34, and Royal Bank of Canada , up 4.7 percent at C$47.58,.It's a carry through of some of the relief in the market from the rate cut yesterday, suspecting that might help to boost the economy a little bit, said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.Therefore the price of oil and commodities might not get as depressed as feared before, he said.We might be seeing the market exhibiting a little bit more stability here and perhaps some of the extreme volatility that has been so characteristic of the market in October is beginning to dissipate, Sprung added.The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 354.65 points, or 3.73 percent, to 9,856.21, with all of its 10 main groups higher.Also providing some support was preliminary data that showed U.S. third-quarter gross domestic product shrank less than forecast by economists.The GDP number, if they had been disastrous, would have been a different story, said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.But certainly from a macro perspective the fact that U.S. markets are stabilizing is a very big positive.

The data comes a day after the U.S. central bank cut rates by 50 basis points to 1 percent in a bid to stimulate the economy.The composite's rise builds on two straight days of gains as investors have started to move back into riskier assets, which could be a sign that the market may be ready to climb even higher after the extreme volatility of recent weeks, analysts say.The TSX is down 16 percent so far this month.The materials sector was up 5.7 percent on Thursday with top gold producer Barrick Gold up 7.1 percent at C$29.88. Earlier Barrick reported a drop in third-quarter profit.Energy issues rose 5 percent with Imperial Oil up 5 percent at C$42.00 after the country's largest oil producer and refiner reported a surge in quarterly profit.Despite the cheer on the TSX, demand fears pushed the price of gold [ID:nN30584211] and oil down.The heavily weighted financial services sector rose 2.5 percent with Great-West Lifeco up 0.23 percent at C$25.75. The big insurer reported a lower quarterly profit in part on charges related to impaired assets.Market volume was 622.05 million shares worth C$8.22 billion. Advancers outpaced decliners 1,067 to 486. The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index closed up 23.36 points, or 4.05 percent, at 599.57.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 189.73 points, or 2.11 percent, at 9,180.69, while the Nasdaq Composite Index ended up 41.31 points, or 2.49 percent, at 1,698.42.($1=$1.20 Canadian)(Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Richard Valdmanis)

Ukraine currency strengthens on hopes of IMF loan By MARIA DANILOVA, Associated Press OCT 30,08

Ukraine KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine's battered currency rose Thursday, partly on hopes the country could secure a hefty International Monetary Fund loan to overcome a severe financial crisis.The market responded to Parliament's approval Wednesday of a series of stabilization bills, required by the IMF to receive the $16.5 billion loan.

Parliament must still approve the bills in a final reading Friday, after which the IMF would have to approve the aid package.The Ukrainian economy, which grew strongly over the past four years, has been one of hardest-hit by the global crisis among emerging markets, and experts predict a recession next year.The global credit crunch, coupled with problems at a key bank prompted a run on banks that cleared the system of $3.4 billion this month.The hryvna closed at 6.15-6.25 to the U.S. dollar on the foreign currency exchange, according to the Inter Business Consulting agency, after reaching a record low of 7.2 to the dollar the day before. The currency has lost about a quarter of its value since the beginning of the year.Currency traders also reacted to the National Bank's offer to sell dollars to all players at close to the market rate. That, combined with a more transparent policy on the foreign currency market, had been a key demand of the IMF.This is a very positive dynamic, said Iryna Piontkivska, an analyst with Troika Dialog Ukraine. The market has to believe that the National Bank is really doing this.

LAW OF THE LAND Wow! It's still OK to pray in Jesus' name,Court ruling says judges shouldn't parse the content of a particular prayer October 30, 2008 12:00 am Eastern By Bob Unruh 2008 WorldNetDaily

The judges on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have used a case from Cobb County, Ga., to proclaim that praying in Jesus' name is acceptable at county board meetings when other constitutional provisions are followed.The ruling this week sets up a conflict with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which concluded in an opinion written by ex-Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor that city officials properly excluded from a rotation of leaders for opening prayers at a municipal meeting a pastor who prayed in Jesus' name.Finally an appeals court with some common sense has ruled what I've been saying all along. The government cannot parse the content of anybody's prayer, nor forbid prayers offered in Jesus name in legislative bodies, or by government chaplains, said Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt.

Klingenschmitt was discharged from the U.S. Navy in a dispute with his commander over praying in uniform in Jesus' name, although he later won a victory in Congress that now allows other chaplains to pray as their conscience dictates.His personal case seeking reinstatement remains pending.This victory for Jesus prayers deals a serious blow to the ACLU's national campaign to silence all mention of Jesus' name from utterance in the public square, he said. It proves Jesus is not an illegal word, and this court decision proves it's fully constitutional to pray in Jesus name at public events, especially if you're a government-paid chaplain, as long as we all take turns.If the anti-Christian lawyers for the ACLU dare to appeal this good ruling to the Supreme Court, this case would stand opposite the bad ruling in Turner v. Fredericksburg [from the 4th Circuit], said Klingenschmitt.In the new 11th Circuit ruling, the judges took on the objections brought by some taxpayers in Cobb County that their county commission and planning commission opened meetings with prayers assigned among local religious leaders on a rotating basis.When legislative prayers do not have the effect of affiliating the government with any one specific faith or belief … it is not for [the court] to embark on a sensitive evaluation or to parse the content of a particular prayer, the court ruling said.

We would not know where to begin to demarcate the boundary between sectarian and nonsectarian expressions and the taxpayers [who brought the case] have been opaque in explaining that standard, the court said. Even the individual taxpayers cannot agree on which expressions are sectarian.The opinion said representatives of Christianity, Islam, Unitarian Universalism and Judaism have been represented.The prayers have included references to Jesus,Allah,God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,Muhammad,and Heavenly Father,the court said.Those who objected, the court said, argue that the Estabslihment Clause permits only nonsectarian prayers … but we disagree.The ruling said precedent makes it clear that the content of the prayer is not of concern to judges where … there is no indication that the prayer opportunity has been exploited to proselytize or advance any one, or to disparage any other, faith or belief.Whether invocations of Lord of Lords or the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Mohammed are sectarian is best left to theologians, not courts of law,the court said.

Rev. Hashmel Turner

Attorneys with The Rutherford Institute have asked the high court to overturn the opinion issued by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which came in the case of Hashmel Turner, a Christian who was told he alone of all council members in Fredericksburg, Va., would not be allowed to use the name of his God during the routine meeting prayers.The appeals court had concluded that such prayers actually were government speech and, therefore, not protected by the First Amendment. But Rutherford lawyers say the city's attempt to dictate the content of prayers violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment as well as Turner's free speech and free exercise rights.That's trouble, the institute said. In fact, the decision has already triggered a discriminatory backlash against state-trooper chaplains in Virginia and … threatens to undermine free speech rights around the country.The O'Connor ruling, said the appeal, theoretically could permit a city council to prepare the text of an approved prayer and require any council members who wish to pray to read from the approved script.Such government demands, the appeal said, are unprecedented in the history of this Court's First Amendment jurisprudence.In fact, It violates this Court's outright prohibition on the government prescribing or proscribing the content of any prayer. It gives government unbridled authority to discriminate against religious viewpoints under the government speeech umbrella without any accountability, the institute's appeal said.Klingenschmitt has set up a Prayer Rally for Persecuted Police Chaplains Saturday, from 10-11 a.m. at the Capitol Square Bell Tower in downtown Richmond in support of the six Virginia State Police chaplains who resigned their chaplain posts rather than agreed to stop praying in Jesus name as ordered by state officials.Nearly 100 Virginia pastors already have pledged to mobilize their churches in support of the chaplains.Pastors wrote the Virginia governor seeking a change in the policy that suddenly was announced by Col. W. Steven Flaherty to chaplains. The dispute became public through the work of Charles W. Carrico Sr., a member of Virginia's House of Delegates, a former trooper.State officials said the policy was imposed because they were worried about future lawsuits because of the O'Connor opinion.Said the appeal, Unquestionably, the city council's policy was aimed directly at Councilor Turner and his practice of closing prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Unquestionably, after the policy was adopted, other city council members were permitted to pray in the name of other deities and to utter prayers reflecting denominational influences. … whereas councilor Turner was excluded from praying.

Air Force: Nuke missile silo fire went undetected By DAN ELLIOTT, Associated Press – Thu Oct 30, 7:41 pm ET

AFP DENVER – A fire caused $1 million worth of damage at an unmanned underground nuclear launch site last spring, but the Air Force didn't find out about it until five days later, an Air Force official said Thursday.The May 23 fire burned itself out after an hour or two, and multiple safety systems prevented any threat of an accidental launch of the Minuteman III missile, Maj. Laurie Arellano said. She said she was not allowed to say whether the missile was armed with a nuclear warhead at the time of the fire.Arellano said the Air Force didn't know a fire had occurred until May 28, when a repair crew went to the launch site — about 40 miles east of Cheyenne, Wyo., and 100 miles northeast of Denver — because a trouble signal indicated a wiring problem.She said the flames never entered the launch tube where the missile stood and there was no danger of a radiation release.The fire, blamed on a faulty battery charger, burned a box of shotgun shells, a shotgun and a shotgun case that were kept in the room, Arellano said. A shotgun is a standard security weapon at missile silos.Arellano said the battery chargers at all U.S. missile launch site have been replaced.She said the incident wasn't reported sooner because of the complexity of the investigation.The damage from the fire was estimated at $1 million, including the cost of replacing damaged equipment and cleanup.An Air Force report of the incident released Thursday found flaws in the technical orders for assembling battery charger parts, inspection procedures and modifications of the launch complex ventilation system. It was also critical of the presence of flammable materials.Cheyenne Mayor Jack Spiker, who said he learned of the incident when contacted by a reporter Thursday, said the fire doesn't undermine his confidence in the safety of the missile operations.It's rare that they have an accident, and the accidents have never really, that I know of, amounted to much because of the safety devices that are built into the system, he said.

The revelation was the latest in a string of embarrassing missteps involving the nation's nuclear arsenal. In 2006, four electrical fuses for ballistic missile warheads were mistakenly shipped to Taiwan, and in 2007, a B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped missiles when it flew between Air Force bases in North Dakota and Louisiana.The Air Force announced last week it was setting up a new Global Strike Command to better manage its nuclear-capable bombers and missiles.Associated Press writer Matt Joyce in Cheyenne, Wyo., contributed to this report.

Intel says Iran plans secret nuclear experiments By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer – Thu Oct 30, 2:09 pm ET

VIENNA, Austria – Iran has recently tested ways of recovering highly enriched uranium from waste reactor fuel in a covert bid to expand its nuclear program, according to an intelligence assessment made available to The Associated Press.The intelligence, provided by a member of the 145-nation International Atomic Energy Agency, also says a report will soon be submitted to the Iranian leadership for a decision on whether to go ahead with the project.The alleged tests loosely replicate Saddam Hussein's attempts to build the bomb nearly two decades ago. But experts question the conclusion by those providing the intelligence that Tehran, too, is trying to reprocess the fuel to make a nuclear weapon.They note that the spent fuel at issue as the source of the enriched uranium is not enough to yield the approximately 30 kilograms (65 pounds) of weapons-grade material needed for a bomb.

Still, they say that the alleged experiment appears plausible — if not as a fast track to weapons capability then as a step that could move it further along that path.With Iran's nuclear program already under international scrutiny, any new efforts by Tehran to increase its nuclear expertise and its store of enriched uranium would set off alarm bells — particularly if that stock was highly enriched. The higher the enrichment the easier it is to reach the 90 percent level used in the fissile core of nuclear warheads.The 3-page intelligence report, drawn from Iranian sources within the country, says the source material would be highly enriched — some at above 90 percent, the rest at 20 percent.In contrast, Iran's enrichment program under constant IAEA monitoring has churned out material that is less than 5 percent enriched, in line with the fuel needs of modern reactors.Procedures were evaluated for recycling fuel by dissolving fuel rods for irradiated waste and then reprocessing the material into uranium metal, says the intelligence assessment. Uranium metal is used for nuclear warheads.Sufficient data was collected for planning production lines for recovering the fuel, says the assessment, which gave Tehran's Jaber ibn Hayan Laboratories, run by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as the location for the experiment.Top officials of AEOI are in the final stages" of writing a report for the Iranian leadership for assessment on whether to go forward with reprocessing, according to the intelligence.The laboratories and the Tehran Nuclear Research Center, the site of the reactor, have figured in suspect experiments, including clandestine plutonium separation attempts uncovered by the IAEA.If the information is accurate then Iran is trying to get their nose in the tent of reprocessing material potentially suitable for a warhead, said David Albright, whose Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security tracks suspect secret proliferators.On the surface it may have nothing to do with making a bomb, but in the end that's what it could be about.IAEA spokespeople were unavailable Thursday but an official of the Vienna-based U.N. nuclear watchdog said the agency would not comment. He asked not to be named because he was not authorized to be quoted by name.Both Albright and a senior Vienna-based diplomat agreed that the alleged experiment roughly jibed with Saddam's efforts to chemically process research reactor fuel to recover enriched uranium — in the case of Baghdad, enough and at a sufficiently high level of enrichment to make a bomb.

Close to success, the Iraqis saw their plans fail with the destruction of the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center during the first Gulf War of 1990-1991.This is the 'Iraqi scenario, said the diplomat, referring to the alleged Iranian experiment. He — like the source of the intelligence — demanded anonymity because their information was restricted. But both he and Albright noted that the purported source for the fuel — Tehran's TNRC research reactor — was unlikely to have enough material for reprocessing into the core of a warhead. The five-megawatt reactor initially ran on weapons-grade uranium fuel enriched to 93 percent that was provided by the U.S. in the late 1960s to the then pro-Washington regime. But measured in terms of potential proliferation, the amount was small — only 7 kilograms (15 pounds). Then, in the late 1980s, Argentina helped reconfigure the reactor core and provided about 115 kilograms (250 pounds)of uranium. In contrast to modern reactors that run on low-enriched fuel, that material was highly enriched to about 20 percent. Albright said that even optimal reprocessing would probably yield less than about half of the 30 kilograms (65 pounds) of weapons-grade uranium needed for a bomb. That restriction makes it unlikely that Iran was looking to the TNRC reactor for that immediate purpose. Instead, an Iranian reprocessing plans could be part of Tehran's attempts to push the nuclear envelope. U.S.-led efforts for tough U.N. sanctions for Iran's refusal to suspend enrichment have been consistently blocked by Russia and China. Tehran also has support of developing countries traditionally suspicious of Washington. Defying weak sanctions, the Islamic Republic has moved further through enrichment toward developing weapons capability — now anywhere from six months to several years away, depending on the source. Iran may be banking on further international inaction if it announces it will reprocess, perhaps arguing that it will need it as a source for new fuel for the research reactor. If allowed to do so, it will have moved another step ahead on the path to being able to develop warhead material. It's the idea that Iran wants to slowly develop nuclear weapons capability under the tent and it does it slowly so that people will accept it, said Albright. It's (a matter of) keeping your head down, moving slowly and deliberately and winning at each step.


Thursday, October 30, 2008




LUKE 21:25-26
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.

Mega-tsunami hit southeast Asia 700 years ago By Tan Ee Lyn Tan Ee Lyn – Wed Oct 29, 2:09 pm ET Reuters

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A mega-tsunami struck southeast Asia 700 years ago rivaling the deadly one in 2004, two teams of geologists said after finding sedimentary evidence in coastal marshes.Researchers in Thailand and Indonesia wrote in two articles in Nature magazine that the tsunami hit around 1400, long before historical records of earthquakes in the region began.Tsunamis are something we never experienced before and after 2004, people thought it was something we would never experience again, Kruawun Jankaew of Thailand's Chulalongkorn University told Reuters by telephone.But from this, we are able to identify that the place has been hit by a mega tsunami in the past. So even though it is infrequent for this part of the world, it still happens and there is a need to promote tsunami education for coastal peoples.The 2004 tsunami left 230,000 people either dead or missing across Asia, from Sri Lanka and India to Thailand, the Maldives and Indonesia. More than 170,000 of these victims were in Aceh province in Indonesia.Jankaew's team studied a grassy plain on Phra Thong, an island north of Phuket in Thailand, where the 2004 tsunami reached maximum wave heights of 20 meters (65 ft) above sea level.A separate team led by Katrin Monecke from the University of Pittsburgh looked at the sedimentary records on coastal marshes in Aceh, where the waves reached 35 meters.

They explored low areas between beach ridges called swales -- which are known to trap tsunami sand between layers of peat and other organic matter -- and discovered a layer of sand beneath the most recent layer (2004), from 600 to 700 years ago.

Depending on where the depression is, it (the layer of the 1400 sand) can be 10 cm. But on higher ground, it can be two to five cm. Organic materials like bark and leaves, which contain carbon, were used for dating, Jankaew said.The scientists are now trying to find out the scale of that catastrophe 700 years ago.We will look at the thickness and grain size of the sediment and we can calculate how fast the tsumani was, how far inland it went, and the floor depth, she said.Jankaew said there are two more layers of sand under the 1400 layer but more studies would need to be done to date these.Some experts blame the massive loss of lives in 2004 on ignorance of the region's tsunami history.Very few people living along the coasts recognized natural tsunami warnings, such as the strong shaking felt in Aceh and the rapid retreat of ocean water from the shoreline that was observed in Thailand.But on an island just off the coast of Aceh, most people safely fled to higher ground in 2004 because the island's oral history includes information about a devastating tsunami in 1907.(Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

2004 Indian Ocean tsunami biggest in 600 years Wed Oct 29, 2:00 pm ET

NEW YORK – The tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 2004 was the biggest in the Indian Ocean in some 600 years, two new geological studies suggest.That long gap might explain how enough geological stress built up to power the huge undersea earthquake that launched the killer waves four years ago, researchers said.The work appears in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. Two research teams report that by digging pits and taking core samples in Thailand and northern Sumatra, they found evidence that the last comparably large tsunami struck between the years 1300 and 1400.The researchers found deposits of sand that were apparently left by the waves, and estimated their age with carbon dating of associated plant debris.The December 2004 disaster killed people in 14 countries. Waves more than 100 feet high struck northern Sumatra and deposited sand more than a mile inland, researchers said. In Thailand, the waves also ran more than a mile inland, leaving deposits of sand some 2to 8 inches thick.On the Net:Journal Nature:
Tsunami basics:


GENESIS 6:11-13
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.(WORLD TERRORISM,MURDERS)
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence (TERRORISM) through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.


MATTHEW 24:7-8
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.

MARK 13:8
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.

LUKE 21:11
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Freezing Pakistan quake survivors wait for aid by Hasan Mansoor Hasan Mansoor OCT 29,08

WAM, Pakistan (AFP) – Thousands of villagers in southwest Pakistan waited for aid in freezing conditions Thursday after a powerful earthquake that destroyed hundreds of homes and killed at least 170 people.The 6.4-magnitude pre-dawn quake on Wednesday flattened mud-brick houses and triggered landslides in the impoverished province of Baluchistan bordering Afghanistan, killing or injuring their occupants as they slept.

We are doomed, said Mohammed Hashim, a resident of Wam, the worst affected of eight villages that were hit hard by the quake.We have nothing left to save our families from the cold in the night.Destitute survivors sat beside campfires as the night brought sub-zero temperatures to the mountainous quake zone bordering Afghanistan.

International and Pakistani agencies were struggling to get help to survivors of the quake.The World Health Organisation said it was sending enough medical aid and supplies for 50,000 people. It is also flying trauma supplies stored at the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai to treat 400 people into the region.In Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross said thousands may have lost their homes and hundreds may have died in the temblor.The United States also offered to send humanitarian relief.We are currently working with the Pakistani government, the UN (United Nations) and other potential donors to assess the damage, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters on Wednesday.Once we are able to make that assessment and also talk to the Pakistani government about what their needs might be, we will stand ready to provide an assistance package.Neighbour and rival India has also offered to help.Some 46,000 people living in the wider region, especially near the historic hill resort of Ziarat, could now be in need of shelter and other assistance, officials said.An AFP correspondent in Wam said emergency tents had not arrived by Wednesday night, forcing exhausted villagers to hunker down in the ruined shells of their homes.

They spent the day in a desperate search for loved ones or burying the dead in mass graves, as aftershocks nearly as big as the initial quake pounded the landscape, sending rocks spewing from nearby peaks and sparking fresh panic.Virtually all houses were reduced to rubble either in the initial quake or by aftershocks. Schools and hospitals were also damaged, he added.Soldiers, helicopters, tents, blankets, food and medical help have been sent from Quetta, the provincial capital, to Ziarat and an aerial assessment of the damage has begun, the Pakistani military said. A 7.6-magnitude earthquake in northwest Pakistan and Kashmir killed 74,000 people and displaced 3.5 million in October 2005. In 1935 a massive quake killed around 30,000 people in Quetta, which at the time was part of British-ruled India.

Quartet to meet in Egypt next month By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer OCT 29,08

ABC News RAMALLAH, West Bank – A senior Palestinian official said Wednesday the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers will meet early next month at Sharm el-Sheik to assess progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting's date has not been announced, said the gathering in Egypt would include U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.The aim is to hear the progress Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have made in their talks. The so-called Quartet is made up of the U.N., the U.S., the European Union and Russia.Rice had asked Egypt to host the meeting before President Bush's term ends in January. Bush hosted a peace conference in Annapolis, Md., a year ago and has expressed hope for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal before year's end.Separately, Nabil Shaath, a top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Abbas will go to Egypt for the Nov. 9 start of power-sharing talks with Hamas. Abbas has shunned Hamas since the group seized the Gaza Strip by force in 2007.The Quartet is expected to meet sometime around that date.Hamas and Fatah are to talk about forming a joint Palestinian government, rebuilding the security forces and setting a date for presidential and legislative elections.Several rounds of power-sharing talks have failed since Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006. Egypt has been mediating contacts between the rival groups.

Bush, Olmert to meet soon: White House Wed Oct 29, 1:35 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President George W. Bush will meet with outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert when he visits Washington sometime in the coming weeks, the White House said Wednesday.President Bush spoke by phone with Prime Minister Olmert today. The two leaders look forward to meeting at some time in the coming weeks here in Washington, spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in a brief statement.In Jerusalem, Olmert spokesman Mark Regev described the telephone call as a friendly discussion which covered a number of issues and that the leaders agreed to meet soon in Washington at a date yet to be fixed.Neither side spelled out the aims of the talks, which come as Bush prepares to leave office January 20, while the prime minister, hounded by a series of corruption scandals, formally resigned on September 21.But the meeting comes with Israeli-Palestinian peace talks unlikely to yield a major breakthrough, partly because of political turmoil in Israel, where Olmert heads a caretaker government ahead of February 10 early elections.On Monday, the White House pledged to keep working on creating an independent Palestinian state, while acknowledging that the situation in Israel may complicate those efforts.No doubt we have an uphill climb, but they have always had an uphill climb in the Middle East, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said at the time, joking that Israeli politics were like full-court karate.Perino also said that US General Jim Jones, former British prime minister Tony Blair and others will continue their work to improve the Palestinian economy, political institutions and security forces.Blair is the special envoy of the so-called quartet of diplomatic powers working on Middle East peace, while Jones is the special US envoy tasked with helping the Palestinians bolster their security forces.The current peace talks were relaunched at a US-hosted conference in Annapolis, Maryland, in November 2007, but have made little visible progress since.













then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.

JAMES 5:1-3
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

REVELATION 18:10,17,19
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.

16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM



09:30 AM +123.46
10:00 AM +171.09
10:30 AM +123.54
11:00 AM +131.98
11:30 AM +98.69
12:00 PM +15.14
12:30 PM +70.48
01:00 PM +52.33
01:30 PM +114.38
02:00 PM +120.91
02:30 PM +182.80
03:00 PM +161.37
03:30 PM +135.80
04:00 PM +189.73 9180.49

S&P 500 954.09 +24.00

NASDAQ 1698.52 +41.31

GOLD 740.8 -13.2

OIL 65.90 -1.60

TSE 300 +354.65 9,856.21

CDNX +21.43 879.75

S&P/TSX/60 +21.26 597.47

Dow at high this morning was +273.
Dow at low this morning was +98.
Dow on pace for biggest weekly point gain on record.
Dow on pace for biggest weekly percentage gain since AUG 1982.
Dow,S&P 500 have not gained for 2 straight sessions since Sept 25-26,2008.
S&P 500 on pace for biggest point gain since JUNE 2000.
NASDAQ on pace for biggest weekly gain since April 2001.

GMAC seeks Bank Holdings status.
GM/CHRYSLER merger talks still underway,but hinges on Government aid.
Key ? Were does the $5B-$10B fed money come from for General Motors.


Dow was at +275 at high today.
Dow was at -1 at low today.
Late surge lifts stocks.
Dow back near 9200 points.
Dow gains over 2% today.
S@P 500 up almost 3% today.
NASDAQ up over 2%.

-American Express 7000
-Motorola 3,000
-Visteon 800

-30 yr fixed 6.35%-5.92%
-15 yr fixed 6.02%-5.57%
-5/1 Arm 6.10%-6.07%
-30 yr jumbo 7.64%-7.39%

-$100,000=$472.00 month.
-$200,000=$943.00 month.
-$300,000=$1,415.00 month.
-$400,000=$1,886.00 month.








Brussels doubles emergency funding to EU economies
LUCIA KUBOSOVA Today OCT 30,08 @ 07:17 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Commission has unveiled a draft version of its plan for the economic recovery of the European Union, a plan that includes an even more generous boost to the emergency fund for EU economies battered by the global financial crisis than had previously been proposed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.Europe must confront the economic downturn with the same robust and coordinated approach we have taken on the financial crisis, commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday (29 October), after an extraordinary college meeting devoted to the ongoing market mayhem.As part of the commission's plan - to be published at full length on 26 November - Brussels is proposing to more than double the existing financial facility used to provide loans to EU countries facing difficulties.The fund's ceiling currently stands at €12 billion. The commission is now suggesting it should be topped up to €25 billion. On Tuesday night, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country holds the EU's six-month rotating presidency until the end of December, had proposed a limit of €20 billion.

Budapest is so far the only EU capital that has recently put in a request for some of the bloc's emergency lending, but EU economy commissioner Joaquin Almunia has indicated that more countries could follow suit.We know some other members of the EU are under stress in the financial markets and we are ready to act, he said.

Other measures

Other measures proposed by the commission for Europe's economic recovery mainly include the deployment of existing instruments within the bloc's budget.We must keep unemployment to the absolute minimum and support those who have lost their jobs. We will review how we can reinforce the effectiveness of the globalisation adjustment fund, said Mr Barroso.He referred to the fund, worth €3.5 billion between 2007 and 2013, that is designed to help workers whose employers have moved to other states outside Europe in search of cheaper labour and production costs. But so far, the fund has not been used to an enormous extent by the bloc's member states.The commission is also promoting a link between the current financial needs to boosting public investments and the EU's green agenda.Investment in energy efficiency in buildings can provide the opportunities for the construction sector while contributing to tackle climate change. We also need to look at other areas of green technology - for example cleaner cars, insisted Mr Barroso.But the European Socialist Party quickly responded with criticism of the commission's unambitious recovery plan suggesting It is far too little for the scale of the crisis we are facing.Events - including national government actions - are moving faster than the European Commission. It needs to act now if it is going to co-ordinate, and create synergy between, national government recovery plans," said the party's president, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.Construction, automobile and textile industries are expected to be hit the hardest by the global credit crunch that first broke out last summer in the US and which is due to lead to the loss of 20 million jobs worldwide, according to the International Labour Organisation.

EU to raise ceiling of aid for troubled member states 2008-10-30 02:57:25

BRUSSELS, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) is ready to raise its ceiling of aid to member states facing financing troubles to 25 billion euros (32 billion U.S. dollars), an EU official said on Wednesday. Joaquin Almunia, EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, told a press conference in Brussels that he had made the proposal for more EU aid to member states, which is due to be discussed by EU finance ministers at their monthly meeting next week. We sent to the council (of member states) proposals for increasing this ceiling to 25 billion euros, he said.

Under current rules, the EU can only provide as much as 12 billion euros in the form of so-called medium-term financial assistance facility to help non-euro member states stabilize their economies before they adopt the single currency. Earlier Wednesday, the EU announced that it would lend Hungary 6.5 billion euros, which came from the facility, in a joint bid with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help the country deal with its economic woes arising from the global financial crisis.

Hungary is so far the only EU member state to seek international aid, but other member states, mostly in Central and Eastern Europe, are also facing a difficult time due to less inflow of foreign capital. We know some other members of the EU are under stress in the financial markets and we are ready to act, Almunia said.Editor: Mu Xuequan

Delta-Northwest merger creates huge US airline
Wed Oct 29, 6:50 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Delta Air Lines said Wednesday it had merged with Northwest Airlines to create one of the world's biggest carriers after winning approval from US antitrust authorities.Delta announced late Wednesday that the merger was completed, creating a premier global airline with service to nearly all of the world's major travel markets.The takeover by Delta, the nation's third-largest airline, of number-five Northwest creates a new mammoth airline that keeps the Delta name and, like its namesake, is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.The new airline serves customers in 66 countries and more than 375 worldwide cities -- more than any other airline -- with a worldwide workforce of approximately 75,000 employees, Delta said.The airline industry faces a very difficult economic environment around the world and this merger gives Delta increased flexibility to adapt to the economic challenges ahead, said Delta chief executive Richard Anderson.With the completion of the merger, Northwest Airlines is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta, it said.

The merger comes amid consolidation in the aviation sector as airlines struggle to survive amid high fuel prices and economic turmoil.The company said its strong liquidity balance will help it cope with the challenges of the weakening global economy.US antitrust authorities earlier Wednesday cleared the proposed merger of Delta and Northwest, the final hurdle in the deal.The Justice Department said it concluded a six-month antitrust review and determined that the merger is likely to produce substantial and credible efficiencies that will benefit US consumers and is not likely to substantially lessen competition.The new Delta is the world's leading passenger carrier, with an estimated 285.5 billion revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, according to 2007 data from the International Air Transport Association.The Justice Department's antitrust division said the airlines currently compete with a number of other legacy and low-cost airlines in the provision of scheduled air passenger service on the vast majority of nonstop and connecting routes where they compete with each other.The agency said the merger likely will result in efficiencies such as cost savings in airport operations, information technology, supply chain economics, and fleet optimization that will benefit consumers.The new Delta will remain a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, which includes AirFrance-KLM, China Southern Airlines and Korean Air. Delta and Northwest were members of the 11-airline alliance.Delta and Northwest estimated the combined airline would reap 500 million dollars in cost savings in its first year.Both airlines were in the throes of restructuring amid a credit crunch and until the past few weeks, painfully high jet fuel costs that have thrown US airlines into a tailspin.

EU, IMF Agree to Multibillion-Dollar Rescue Package for Hungary
By Stefan Bos Budapest 29 October 2008

The International Monetary Fund, the European Union and World Bank have agreed to a $25 billion economic rescue package for Hungary to strengthen confidence in its economy. It has been described as the largest financial aid measure for an emerging-market economy since the start of the worldwide financial troubles, and the first for an EU-member country. Stefan Bos reports for VOA from Budapest on the reasons for the package and its expected impact. Stock prices on screen in downtown Budapest after Hungary reached agreement with IMF and EU on economic rescue package, 29 Oct 2008 .They still sing Hungarian folksongs while baking bread and cookies at an old pensioners club in Budapest. But they may soon sing the blues when hearing of government plans to freeze or reduce their pensions. Hungary's Socialist-led government also wants to suspend salary bonuses for state employees. Cutting spending is a key condition for Hungary to receive more than $25 billion in international aid as it struggles with the worst global financial crisis in 80 years. The International Monetary Fund says it will grant Hungary a standby loan of nearly $16 billion while the European Union has offered over $8 billion and the World Bank more than $1 billion. Hungary is particularly hard hit. Last year it had Europe's largest budget deficit, with most of its overspending on social benefits. In addition, most households took loans and mortgages in foreign currencies, such as euros, Swiss francs or Japanese yen, because interest rates were better. With the Hungarian currency, the forint, plunging to record lows, many Hungarians are unable to pay-off their financial obligations.But Hungary's main center-right opposition party, Fidesz, has criticized the government for accepting the financial rescue package, saying it could compromise the country's sovereignty.Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany shrugs off this criticism. He says the loans Hungary receives will not restrict the country's right to make its own political decisions and introduce reforms.

We will remain an independent country, he added. But Mr. Gyurcsany admits his government can not take up the responsibility to pay automatically 13th month wages and pensions, because we do not know from where to cover these expenses.One in five Hungarians, about 1.5 million people, are expected to be impacted by the measures.

Hungarian pensioners find it difficult to prepare for the upcoming holiday season without their bonus extra month's pay. We are always counting how many nights we have to sleep to receive the 13th month pension, said one woman.But bread-and-butter concerns seem far removed from the daily reality of traders at the Budapest Stock Exchange, seen as a key indicator of Hungary's overall economic situation. Men in suits are glued to their computers as they try to cope with unprecedented volatility in Hungary's stock market. The Hungarian forint and the Budapest Stock Exchange were both significantly higher Wednesday, but nobody knows for how long after weeks of turmoil. Hungary's financial situation is closely monitored by Europe's other former Communist countries, where governments have slashed economic growth forecasts and expect budget revenues to dwindle. Analysts say it comes at a time when their ability to borrow more on international debt markets has been squeezed by the global credit crunch.The larger-than-expected rescue for Hungary, the biggest for an emerging market economy since the global crisis began, is the first for an EU member. It also dwarfs the $2 billion and more than $16 billion sums offered by the IMF earlier to fellow strugglers Iceland and Ukraine.


Closing remarks by EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton at BusinessEurope Conference Going Global Source: European Commission Published Wednesday, 29 October, 2008 - 11:17

I am particularly pleased to be here today. It is my first public intervention since taking up my role as European trade commissioner.It is particularly relevant that it should be to talk about Europe's competitiveness in the world – how we are doing and what more we need to do, against a backdrop that has changed radically in the last two years. Against an economic backdrop that makes it all the more important that we create new for opportunities for trade, not shut them down. That we protect openness, not unravel it. That we make the case for positive engagement by Europe and European business in the global economy.The case we must make is at heart a simple one. Open economies at home and abroad are critical to our economic well-being. We are producers and innovators, but above all - and more than anyone else in the world – we are traders and investors. In a global market, with global supply chains, our companies need to import to export. The growing inter-dependence between economies means that all have a stake in other’s prosperity and development. As new markets develop, our long-term prosperity depends on our ability to invest and to trade.The economic crisis we face underlines, not undermines this case. Trade and investment flows are declining. Demand is falling in developed markets as consumer spending contracts. We will probably see similar weakening in emerging economies.

It remains to be seen how severe the downturn will be. But our policy response must minimise the damage and help chart the way out. The risk, particularly if the downturn is severe, is that countries restrict markets in an attempt to isolate themselves or seek to blame others – whether in the developed or emerging world – for the difficulties facing their economies. I am convinced that this is a dead end. Not because openness is an end in itself, but because experience has taught us that it is the most effective way to achieve our broad economic, social and indeed political goals.But it is equally clear that we must reform our systems of regulation at national, regional and global levels – smarter regulation - tightening European-level regulation and helping to shape reform at the global level. The task for politicians, and business leaders, in the months ahead will be to explain the difference between, on the one hand, the steps necessary to help our economies weather the downturn and to ensure that the regulatory gaps of this crisis are not repeated; and on the other hand, interventions and excessive use of public subsidies - while attractive today, will damage us tomorrow.We all know that protectionism makes recovery harder. But sometimes in the face of crisis, we risk throwing away what we know.I have no doubt that a global trade deal has its part to play in addressing the current crisis. It will deliver new market opportunities. But far, far more importantly, it will lock in the openness of the international economy. I can think of no more urgent priority for long-term global welfare. As we seek to complete the DDA, I hope we will all bear this in mind. We must all look after our interests. But now more than ever, as we negotiate over final details of market access, we must not let the common good fall by the wayside. If ever there were a time for leadership, for seeing the big picture, it is today.

The DDA is vital. But it is not the beginning and end of our trade policy. We must also step up our engagement with the major economies of the next generation, particularly in Asia. And we need to tackle new issues that are impeding world trade and which will determine the EU’s competitiveness in the 21st century as European companies seek to move up the value chain; issues such as investment, public procurement, competition, enforcement of intellectual property rights and access to resources. In short, market access must remain a critical component of European trade policy, adapted to the market conditions of the 21st century. We are moving to a world in which tariff barriers to trade are only part of the picture. We must take a comprehensive approach, addressing the total business environment in the markets we trade into. This is the reality to which European trade policy must respond.That is why we are pursuing free trade agreements with India, Korea and South East Asian countries. It is why we have focused new resources on improving intellectual property rights protection, on tackling the barriers to exports in our most important markets. We are also focussed on ensuring that European companies have fair access to raw materials for manufacturing – the Commission will publish a strategy on raw materials next week.Our clear priority in the coming months ahead should be delivering on what we have started. We must show that Europe can bring benefits to EU economy and EU citizens. We will pursue our FTA negotiations, focusing our efforts on those partners who are willing to move forward and with ambition.We must ensure that our exporters, no matter how big or small, get fair treatment abroad. This includes our renewed market access strategy and our IPR enforcement strategy. We have set up a new market access partnership between the Commission, Member States and EU industry.The foundations are healthy and commitment is there. We must build on this, together and ensure that we are delivering for SMEs in particular.We also need to ensure we get the fit right between trade and other policies. Our energy and climate change policies are key. We have a clear overarching objective to move to a low-carbon, high growth economy. I know there are concerns in parts of our industry about how we do that. We will have to address these in context of Copenhagen. But we also have pro-active agenda which we must pursue. I would like to see us, for example, improving access for European environmental investment and technologies in big emerging industrial markets where they can contribute to the shift to low-carbon growth. This is something I will seek to put high on our trade agenda with China.Finally, I want to say a word about the broader external economic policy in the 21st century. One of the central tasks not only for Europe's trade policy, but our broader economic policy in the years ahead, is to tackle the new barriers to trade – to address the whole operating environment for business. As part of that, we must, I believe, strengthen our economic and trade relations with the major world economies. In the Commission, we have made a start through the Transatlantic Economic Council with the United States and High Level Mechanism with China. Both are in their infancy. They must be supported, and to be supported, they must be seen to deliver.

But I believe we must go further in drawing together the strands of our trade, regulatory and broader economic relations, not only with the United States and China, but with other key partners such as Japan. There will be no single model for our relation with all our partners. But I am convinced that in the months ahead, we must find ways better to co-ordinate the internal and external dimensions of our policies and to engage in comprehensive dialogues with our key partners.This is an ambitious agenda. But the circumstances demand ambition. This is a key moment for our economies, for the multilateral trading system and indeed for the future of global governance. The support of business in Europe and around the world for an open trading system will be critical in the months ahead. I need to hear your views, your priorities as we move ahead. I look forward to continuing that dialogue in the months ahead.

Poland adopts step-by-step euro entry plan
PHILIPPA RUNNER 29.10.2008 @ 09:22 CET

The Polish government has adopted a detailed timetable designed to replace the Polish zloty with the euro on 1 January 2012, but question marks remain over a potential referendum on the move.The four-stage plan will kick off in November when Warsaw appoints a top official to co-ordinate technical and legal preparations. The first stage will culminate in a change to the Polish constitution and formal agreement on Polish entry with the European Commission and EU states in early 2009, PAP reports.The second phase is to start in June 2009, when Poland pegs zloty fluctuation to the euro in the so-called ERM2 mechanism. The rest of 2009 and 2010 will be spent deciding the design of Polish euro coins and creating a code of ethics to stop businesses hiking prices after the change-over. Eurozone finance ministers will by mid-2011 decide on the final zloty-euro exchange rate.The third step - in the second half of 2011 - will focus on practical preparations: minting coins, delivering banknotes to shops and banks, tweaking cashpoint machines and IT systems. The year will end with a media campaign and dual display of both zloty and euro prices in Polish shops.Final adoption, at the start of 2012, will see both currencies in circulation for an as yet undecided spell before the zloty ceases to become legal tender.It remains unclear when or if a referendum on euro-adoption will be slotted into the timetable and whether it will ask if Poland should enter the euro or when. A negative answer to an if referendum would put Poland at odds with its legal commitment to enter the single currency under its 2004 accession treaty.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski on Tuesday (28 October) night said the currency switch could cause inflation and damage small businesses. But the president took a softer line than his twin brother and leader of the eurosceptic opposition Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who opposes the 2012 date and has called for a referendum on the switch. For me it's a matter for discussion. We will reflect deeply on the issue, Mr Lech Kaczynski said, Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza reports, with obstruction by the president or Law and Justice to potentially delay the four steps in the outline.Poland would become the 17th member of the eurozone in 2012 as things stand, although the three Baltic states - Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - are already in ERM2 and are likely to make it first.Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus were the first new EU states to join, with Slovakia to enter in 2009.

Harper puts feminine face on new cabinet
By The Canadian Press OCT 30,08

OTTAWA - Stephen Harper has put a feminine face on his new cabinet while turning to a trio of Ontario heavyweights to help lead the country through tough economic times. The prime minister vaulted three rookie women MPs into senior ministerial portfolios in a sweeping shuffle Thursday as he launches his newly re-elected government. The appointments of Leona Aglukkaq to Health, Lisa Raitt to Natural Resources, and P.E.I.'s Gail Shea to Fisheries - as well as Lynne Yelich to a junior position - boosts the number of women in the Conservative cabinet to 11 from seven.

The overhaul expands cabinet to 38 members, up from 31, including 11 ministers of state - so-called junior portfolios. More women voted for the Conservatives in this month's federal election and Harper seemed prepared to reward them with more seats at the cabinet table. And in an apparent nod to his newfound strength in vote-rich Ontario, Harper put three MPs from the province in top economic posts as the government grapples with a global financial crisis. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is staying put as the minority Tories seek to project economic and financial stability.

Two other colleagues of Flaherty in the former Mike Harris Ontario government move into other key positions - Tony Clement at Industry and John Baird at Transport.
Clement will quickly have to deal with a manufacturing sector crisis that has hobbled the auto industry in his home province. Baird will be responsible for doling out billions of dollars in budgeted, but unspent, money for infrastructure projects. That spending is expected to be one of the few stimulative levers the government will have to pull at a time of looming deficits. Harper said the new cabinet will be charged with protecting Canadians in a time of increasing global economic instability. While the fundamentals of Canada's economy remain stronger, more stable and more durable than those of many other nations, it is clear that we are not immune to what happens outside our borders, he said in a statement. This is the right team for these times. We will build a foundation of strength that will protect the earnings, savings and financial security of Canadians and ensure that Canada emerges from this time of global turmoil stronger than ever before.Harper seemed intent on imparting the notion of a strong team after the opposition painted the last cabinet as a largely hapless bunch muzzled by the prime minister. Among the major players, Lawrence Cannon is promoted to Foreign Affairs, Jim Prentice moves to Environment, Peter MacKay remains at Defence, and Rob Nicholson stays at Justice.
But the new lineup failed to impress the Liberals. Canada is facing significant challenges in this period of international economic turmoil, yet Mr. Harper is playing the same old song, said Liberal House leader Ralph Goodale. It will be difficult for Mr. Harper's cabinet members to establish themselves as competent economic managers unless they correct the fiscal irresponsibility that brought our economy to the brink of deficit in the first place.Liberal MP John McCallum, a former chief economist for the Royal Bank of Canada, slammed Harper for keeping Flaherty at Finance. Canadians want a finance minister who will outline a clear plan to help them protect their savings, their pensions and jobs, he said.

Mr. Flaherty's record proves he is not the man that should be managing Canada's finances in a time of economic crisis.McCallum noted that Canada has gone from a $12-billion surplus under the Liberals to the brink of deficit in less than three years.

The Tory government will kick off the new session of Parliament with a throne speech on Nov. 19. Among other notable cabinet posts: -Embattled Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz hangs on to his job. -Gary Lunn is demoted from Natural Resources to minister of state for sport. -Gordon O'Connor drops from Revenue to minister of state and chief government whip. -Jason Kenney is promoted to Immigration. -Stockwell Day moves to International Trade from Public Safety. -Peter Van Loan takes over at Public Safety. -Rona Ambrose moves to Labour from Intergovernmental Affairs. -Josee Verner moves to Intergovernmental Affairs from Heritage. -James Moore takes over at Heritage. -Diane Finley moves to Human Resources from Immigration. -Jay Hill becomes government House leader. -Bev Oda holds on to International Co-operation. -Chuck Strahl stays at Indian Affairs. -Vic Toews remains as president of Treasury Board.
-Rookie Toronto MP and veteran broadcaster Peter Kent becomes minister of state of foreign affairs (Americas.)

DANIEL 7:23-25
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast (EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADING BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 NATIONS) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.( BE HEAD OF 3 NATIONS)
25 And he (EU PRESIDENT) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.(3 1/2 YRS)

Financial crisis should not delay US missile shield
RENATA GOLDIROVA 29.10.2008 @ 15:50 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The global economic downturn and a potential Democratic win in US elections should not delay plans to build parts of a missile shield in Europe, the head of the US Missile Defence Agency, general Henry Obering, has said. If you don't have national security it won't matter what your economy is doing because you won't be able to protect your citizens and their jobs, he said in an interview with EUobserver on Tuesday (28 October). Speaking hours before a trip to Poland and the Czech Republic - where the US missile shield components are to be placed - the general described the project as a prudent investment in security, which remains necessary to counter the continuing proliferation of a ballistic missile threat around the world. To support the case, he compared the $83 billion (€66 billion) damage of the 11 September 2001 attack on New York alone to the approximately $120 billion spent on the missile defence programme since it was created in 1983. In an uncertain future we have to make prudent investments in security and we believe missile defence is one of them, general Obering said. Earlier this year, Poland and the Czech Republic agreed to host parts of a US system that is to protect America and Europe from rogue states such as Iran and that is to become an integral part of a future anti-missile defence umbrella under NATO.The US aims to place 10 interceptor missiles on Polish territory, while the Czech Republic is to host a radar base on its soil. According to general Obering, the first interceptor could be installed in 2012, while the radar could be operational one year later. Then we would finish everything about 2014. That is the timeline that we are on right now.

But it remains to be seen how the project will progress under the new White House chief - to be elected on 4 November. While Republican John McCain is a strong proponent of the scheme, Democrat Barack Obama pledged in July to shift federal resources away from an unproven missile defence system to proven technology.When asked about Mr Obama's comment and the risk of delay in the programme, general Obering said quite a bit [of the risk] is because we have to do a better job in educating both campaigns where we are today in technology and testing.I believe this is a matter of better education and better information that will update the candidates whoever wins in the elections, he concluded. According to Tomas Valasek from the London-based Centre for European Reform, campaign speeches tend to differ from real action and even a president from Democratic camp is likely to find himself under pressure to show leadership and strength on security. Although senator Obama is surrounded by people who have expressed doubts about parts of the missile defence system, they do not question its philosophy as a whole, the expert on foreign and defence policy told EUobserver. In addition, it is more difficult for a politician to defend a milder stance on security when faced with the basic argument of why should we protect our people less sufficiently, Mr Valasek added. Differences are stronger, however, when it comes to the idea of using space for military purposes, for example by launching laser weapons or micro-sattellites to intercept enemy missiles during their flight, the analyst said. Senator Obama also said in July he would not weaponise space.But according to Mr Valasek, the argument enjoys support beyond the Democratic party, with many saying that an arms race in space would be the most damaging to the US because of the country's clear primacy in the area for now.

McCain faults paper for not releasing Khalidi tape By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer OCT 29,08

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin accused the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday of protecting Barack Obama by withholding a videotape of the Democrat attending a 2003 party for a Palestinian-American professor and critic of Israel. The paper said it had written about the event in April and would not release the tape because of a promise to the source who provided it.McCain and Palin called Rashid Khalidi a former spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization, a characterization Khalidi has denied in the past. Both candidates said guests at the party made critical comments about Israel.Khalidi is a professor of Middle East Studies at Columbia University and a longtime friend of Obama's. Khalidi has publicly criticized Israel, but he and Obama have both said they hold very different opinions on Israeli issues.McCain also has ties to Khalidi through a group Khalidi helped found 15 years ago. The Center for Palestine Research and Studies received at least $448,000 from an organization McCain chairs.On Wednesday, McCain said 1960s radical Bill Ayers had attended the same party in 2003. McCain and Palin have criticized Obama for his ties to Ayers and questioned what the videotape of the party might show.Among other things, Israel was described there as the perpetrator of terrorism rather than the victim, Palin said at a rally in Ohio. What we don't know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he professes to support.In a story published in April, the Times said Obama spoke out at the event on the need for common ground on the Israel-Palestinian issue. Obama has said during the campaign that his commitment to Israel's security is nonnegotiable.More than six months ago the Los Angeles Times published a detailed account of the events shown on the videotape, Jamie Gold, the newspaper's reader's representative, said in a statement. The Times is not suppressing anything. Just the opposite — the L.A. Times brought the matter to light.Los Angeles Times spokeswoman Nancy Sullivan refused to elaborate on the paper's statement or respond to the criticism from the McCain campaign.She would not provide any details on further communication between Times' reporters and the source who provided the video.McCain and Palin cited the paper's position as evidence of media bias. The Times has endorsed Obama.If there was a tape of John McCain in a neo-Nazi outfit, I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different, McCain said in an interview with Hispanic radio stations.Palin said the Times should win a Pulitzer Prize for kowtowing.It must be nice for a candidate to have major news organizations looking out for their best interests like that. Politicians would love to have a pet newspaper of their very own, she said.

Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor dismissed the complaints as a recycled, manufactured controversy meant to distract voters.Barack Obama has been clear and consistent on his support for Israel, and has been clear that Rashid Khalidi is not an adviser to him or his campaign and that he does not share Khalidi's views, Vietor said.Khalidi taught at the University of Chicago until 2003. Obama and his wife, Michelle, often socialized with Khalidi and his wife, Mona, and the Khalidis hosted a political fundraiser for Obama in 2000.The Woods Fund charity gave money to the Arab-American Action Network, run by Mona Khalidi, while Obama served on the charity's board. Ayers also served on the board. The Center for Palestine Research and Studies conducted regular public opinion surveys in the West Bank and Gaza with financial support from various foundations and from the International Republican Institute, an organization that promoted democracy around the world. McCain was the IRI chairman when it gave $448,873 to the research group in 1998, according to IRI's tax return. Ayers was a founder of the radical group the Weather Underground, which set off bombs at the Capitol and the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War. McCain has criticized Obama for having had a friendly relationship with Ayers, with whom Obama worked on two community organizations several years ago, and for downplaying their ties. Obama has noted that he was a child when Ayers, now a university professor, was with the Weather Underground. The Democratic candidate has condemned Ayers' radical past and violent activities.


EZEKIEL 38:1-12
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW)and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY)of the north quarters, and all his bands:(SUDAN,AFRICA) and many people with thee.
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.(RUSSIA-EGYPT AND MUSLIMS)
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

PSALMS 83:3-7
3 They (ARABS,MUSLIMS) have taken crafty counsel against thy people,(ISRAEL) and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:(TREATIES)
6 The tabernacles of Edom,and the Ishmaelites;(ARABS) of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
7 Gebal, and Ammon,(JORDAN) and Amalek;(SYRIA) the Philistines (PALESTINIANS) with the inhabitants of Tyre;(LEBANON)

EZEKIEL 39:1-8
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.

JOEL 2:3,20,30-31
3 A fire(NUCLEAR BOMB) devoureth before them;(RUSSIA-ARABS) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army,(RUSSIA,MUSLIMS) and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.(SIBERIAN DESERT)
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(NUCLEAR BOMB)
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

Gaddafi visits Russia on arms, energy drive By Tom Pfeiffer Tom Pfeiffer – Wed Oct 29, 6:03 pm

ETTRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi makes his first visit to post-Soviet Russia on Friday, seeking to deepen a budding energy and military partnership with Moscow and counterbalance his fast-expanding relations with the West.The visit, Gaddafi's first to Moscow since 1985 according to Russia's Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily, is the latest step in a bold push by the former outcast state to accelerate overseas trade and investment for its booming post-sanctions economy.Examples of that drive include a rapid expansion of a Libyan state holding in Italian bank Unicredit and a growing list of Libyan deals in Africa and Europe, including a refinery in Egypt and a wheat farming agreement in Ukraine.Libya wants to increase its overseas exposure and is showing a surprising sophistication about it, given their years of isolation, said Geoff Porter, an analyst at Eurasia Group.Arms and energy are the focus of the three-day trip. Gaddafi will meet President Dmitry Medvedev six months after welcoming his predecessor and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the first visit by a Kremlin leader to Libya since 1985.Russia's Interfax news agency said Libya might agree to buy more than $2 billion worth of Russian weapons during the visit, reviving part of a Cold War-era relationship that saw Moscow arming much of Libya's military.Libya is interested in buying surface-to-air missiles, fighter aircraft, dozens of helicopters and about 50 tanks, Interfax quoted a source in Russia's arms industry as saying.Moscow also is seeking rich energy contracts in Libya, owner of Africa's largest oil reserves, and state gas monopoly Gazprom is showing interest in taking part in the construction of a new gas pipeline linking Libya and Europe.


The North African country aims to become a big gas producer and expand production to 3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) by 2010, with a potential for 3.8 bcfd by 2015 versus 2.7 bcfd now.In April, Libya and Russia signed agreements on debt, energy, railways and investment, marking a renewed effort by Moscow to compete in a market aggressively contested by Western and Asian companies seeking state infrastructure projects.Libya has seen a foreign investment rush since 2003, when the U.N. Security Council lifted more than a decade of sanctions imposed for what the West called Libyan support of terrorism.But at least in public, politics may get equal billing with business, analysts said, noting Gaddafi told Putin in April that the world needed a Russian superpower to counter an unbalanced international system -- a reference to U.S. global power.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week "the aim of the visit is to develop bilateral relations and exchange views on regional problems which are of mutual interest.Clearly the Russians have been courting Libya on energy, and so you'll have some pipeline politics on this trip, but you'll also have the Gaddafi world view, said Jon Marks, editorial director of industry newsletter Africa Energy.Gaddafi sees a multipolar world and he sees the Russians willing to play. This trip shows he's needed and loved, said Marks, noting Libya's drive for influence in Africa and the Arab world had not always lived up to Gaddafi's hopes.Last month, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Gaddafi in Libya, the first such visit in 55 years, in a move to end years of enmity. But there are no plans as yet for a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush or his successor.It was a historic moment, but it's clear that as far as ties to the U.S. are concerned, there's not going to be a leader-to-leader meeting, Marks said.


The United States is not troubled by Gaddafi's trip, noted a diplomat with deep knowledge of Libyan thinking, saying Tripoli told Washington about it well in advance and that senior Libyan officials see their interests as more allied with the West. Basically, there is contained enthusiasm for this there. It's one of those things they feel they must do but they are not all that keen on it, said the diplomat, who spoke on condition that he not be identified. The diplomat said the Libyans now saw Europe and the United States as more natural partners, were nervous about what he called the economic aggrandizement of the Putin regime and hoped, ultimately, to buy weapons from the West as well. They feel the Russians, who have long been their preferred providers of military equipment, gouged them on prices (in the past) ... and they don't like to be taken for a ride, he said. What they would like to do is develop military trade with the West in order to be able to get better equipment but also to get more competitive prices (from) a diversity of suppliers.
(Additional reporting by William Maclean; Editing by John O'Callaghan)

Ukraine: Concern About Russia By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Published: October 28, 2008

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner of France said Tuesday that Moscow had been issuing Russian passports in Crimea, a region in southern Ukraine where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based. We all know that they are handing out Russian passports over there, Mr. Kouchner said in an interview with Kommersant, a Russian online newspaper. The government of Ukraine has said it wants the fleet to leave the Crimean base in Sevastopol when its lease runs out in 2017. But the Russian naval authorities have indicated that they want to retain the base. Mr. Kouchner said Russia might try to make advances in Crimea after the success of its military operations in Georgia in August.

Diplomats: IAEA says Syrian nuke info needs probe By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer – Tue Oct 28, 4:09 pm ET

VIENNA, Austria – Freshly evaluated soil and air samples from a Syrian site bombed by Israel on suspicion it was a covert nuclear reactor provide enough evidence to push ahead with a U.N probe, diplomats said Tuesday.The findings are important after months of uncertainty about the status of the investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency.Preliminary results regarding environmental samples collected from the site by an IAEA team and made public earlier this year were inconclusive, adding weight to Syrian assertions that no trips beyond the initial IAEA visit in June were necessary. But the diplomats told The Associated Press that the IAEA's final evaluation, completed a few days ago, has the agency convinced it needs to press on with its investigation.The agency feels there is enough evidence there to warrant a follow-up said one of the diplomats. He, and a colleague from another IAEA country demanded anonymity in exchange for divulging confidential information, which is not meant to be made public until the IAEA's meeting of its 35-nation board of governors next month.Damascus denies running a covert program. On Tuesday, Ambassador Mohammed Badi Khattab — his country's chief IAEA delegate — told the AP he was unaware that the evaluation had been completed and could not comment until his country was told of the findings.Ibrahim Othman, Syria's nuclear chief, has said his country would wait for final environmental results before deciding how to respond to repeated IAEA requests for follow-up visits to the one in June, when the samples were collected. Khattab repeated that stance, saying further developments will depend on us receiving the final result.In an oral report to an IAEA board meeting last month, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei told the board meeting that preliminary results from the environmental samples came up with no indication to back the claims that the destroyed target was a nuclear facility.

Alluding to Othman's stance, he said Syria would decide on whether to provide more information and allow further IAEA visits depending on the results of the samples taken during the first visit — implying that Damascus could shut the doors on the probe if the all the samples came up empty.A diplomat attending that closed meeting told the AP Khattab suggested Syria would not allow further visits under any circumstances because it was still technically at war with Israel and was concerned any additional IAEA probe would expose some of its non-nuclear military secrets.

Another cited ElBaradei as saying the corpse is gone — alluding to the difficulty of investigating the bombed site months after it was hit last year by Israel and subsequently cleaned up and altered by the Syrians.But — while the diplomats queried Tuesday had no specifics on what the samples contained — one of them said it convinced the IAEA it needs to press on with its probe.Another said that ElBaradei was planning a written report on Syria for the upcoming board meeting starting Nov. 27 — something he had said he would do only if he had substantive developments to share.Beyond wanting to revisit the site bombed nearly 14 months ago by Israel, IAEA experts also want to follow up on U.S, Israeli and other intelligence that North Korea was involved in building the alleged Syrian program.As well, IAEA officials have been seeking permission to visit three other sites purportedly linked to the alleged reactor destroyed by the Israelis — although Syria has already said that those locations are off limits because they are in restricted military areas.Syria fears the IAEA probe could lead to a massive investigation similar to the probe Iran has been subjected to for more than five years — and to related fallout. Iran is under three sets of U.N. sanctions because of its refusal to heed Security Council demands to curb its nuclear activities.IAEA experts came back June 25 from a four-day visit carrying environmental samples from the Al Kibar site hit by Israel. But intelligence suggests that radioactive material had not yet been introduced into the alleged reactor before it was destroyed, so swipes taken in search of radioactive traces were unlikely to have been of use.That left the inspectors looking for other components, including minute quantities of graphite, a cooling element in the type of North Korean prototype that was allegedly being built with help from Pyongyang. Such a reactor contains hundreds of tons of graphite, and any major explosion would have sent dust over the immediate area.But — if the Syrians were interested in a cover-up — they would have scoured the region to bury, wash away and otherwise remove any such traces.

Syria hardens stance after deadly US raid By ALBERT AJI, Associated Press Writer OCT 29,08

DAMASCUS, Syria – Syria threatened Wednesday to cut off security cooperation along the Iraqi border if there are more American raids on Syrian territory, and the U.S. Embassy announced it would close Thursday because of a mass rally called to protest a deadly weekend commando attack.Thousands were expected to participate in the government-sanctioned protest. Though authorities usually keep Syria under tight control and Americans have generally been welcomed, violence against U.S. and European interests at protests has erupted in the past.The U.S. Embassy will be closed on Oct. 30th due to past demonstrations which resulted in violence and significant damage to U.S. facilities and other embassies, the embassy said on its Web site.It also said an American school in the Syrian capital would temporarily shut its doors Thursday and warned U.S. citizens in Syria to be vigilant.The Syrian government already ordered the closure of the school and an American cultural center linked to the embassy. In Washington, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Syria formally notified the U.S. that the cultural center should shut down immediately and the school by Nov. 6.We are looking at how to respond, Wood said, adding that in the meantime: We expect the Syrian government to provide adequate security for the buildings in which the American Cultural Center and Damascus Community School are housed.

Earlier, the Syrian government demanded that Washington apologize for Sunday's cross-border helicopter strike by American special forces that killed eight people. U.S. military officials said the raid killed a top al-Qaida in Iraq operative who was about to conduct an attack in Iraq.Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mekdad said Syria wants assurances Iraqi territory will not be used again to raid Syria.We have demanded that an investigation be conducted and that Iraq not be used for attacks against Syria. Otherwise, this would torpedo all agreements reached during the Iraq neighbors' meetings and bilateral agreements, he told The Associated Press in an interview.Iraq also demanded Wednesday that a crucial security deal under discussion with the U.S. must include a ban on American troops using Iraqi territory to attack neighboring countries.Though Syria has long been viewed by the U.S. as a destabilizing country in the Middle East, attacks on its territory are rare and Damascus has been trying in recent months to change its image and end years of global seclusion.Syrian President Bashar Assad has pursued indirect peace talks with Israel and says he is open to direct talk as early as next year. Syria also has agreed to establish diplomatic ties with Lebanon — a country it used to dominate — for the first time in their history.But the U.S. still accuses Syria of doing too little to prevent foreign fighters from crossing into Iraq. Syria says it is doing all it can to safeguard the long, porous border.Despite its opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Syria has moved to improve relations with Baghdad, sending an ambassador earlier this month for the first time in 25 years.Mekdad demanded the U.S. and Iraq apologize for the attack and asked for American compensation.What is required of the American government is to confess to this aggression and not be cowardly, he said.There has been no formal acknowledgment of the raid from the United States. But U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said the target was Badran Turki al-Mazidih, a top al-Qaida in Iraq figure who operated a network of smuggling fighters across the border. The Iraqi national also goes by the name Abu Ghadiyah.Mekdad rejected the U.S. reports and insisted all those killed were Syrians. The allegation that this person was killed is a false claim. Therefore, a search for him by world intelligence agencies, including Syria's, should continue, he said.

With tensions between the U.S. and Syria on the rise, the U.S. Embassy advised Americans to avoid Thursday's demonstrations and review their personal security. Past protests have occasionally turned violent. In 1998, small groups trashed the U.S. ambassador's residence and entered the American and British cultural centers in Damascus to protest U.S.-British airstrikes on Iraq. In 2006, thousands protesting newspaper caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad burned the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus. Despite the warning, some Americans living in Syria said they were not too worried. I feel that it might be tough for me to say that I am an American, for a while, but I don't have any concerns for my personal safety, said Kate Alberswerth, a 24-year-old New York native who is studying Arabic in Damascus.

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