Saturday, May 17, 2008
WORLD LEADERS IN THE LAST DAYS.
KING OF THE NORTH - RUSSIA (Ezekiel 38:1-2)
KING OF THE SOUTH - EGYPT (Daniel 11:40-43)
KING OF THE EAST - CHINA (Daniel 11:44)
KING OF THE WEST - EU (EUROPEAN UNION) (Daniel 7:23-24)
THE BOOK OF MALACHI
Malachi 1:1-14 King James Bible
1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.
5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.
6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.
8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.
9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. 13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.
14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the LORD a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
Malachi 2:1-17 King James Bible
1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.
2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.
4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.
6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. 8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.
10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.
12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.
13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.
14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?
Malachi 3:1-18 King James Bible
1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?
14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
Malachi 4:1-6 King James Bible
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.
4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
ELIJAH SHOULD SOON BE COMING TO ISRAEL TO PREACH.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:(ETHNIC GROUP AGAINST ETHNIC GROUP) and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Aftershock rattles China quake zone By NG HAN GUAN, Associated Press Writer MAY 16,08
YINGXIU, China - A powerful aftershock knocked out roads and communications in some of the most quake-ravaged parts of central China on Friday, as emergency crews rescued 163 people who had survived up to 100 improbable hours trapped in the ruins. As Saturday dawned, rescuers were holding out hope of finding more survivors and authorities were preparing for the daunting task of housing and feeding millions left homeless.With the official death toll at more than 22,000, an air force unit reached Yinchanggou, a scenic spot in the mountains north of the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu, finding landslides had swept away rustic small hotels.There are several hundred hotels, including farmer homestays, probably 800 in all. They are all rubble now, Cai Weisu, an official with an air force unit from the Chengdu Military Region, told Sichuan Television. Most of the dead are tourists, he said, but did not identify whether they were foreign or Chinese.
Tens of thousands of people are considered buried or missing throughout the disaster zone. There were about 12 million people living within a 60-mile radius of the epicenter of Wenchuan, according to a study on the potential impact of the quake by Xu Mingbao, a senior researcher at the University of Michigan's China Data Center.Acutely aware its response to China's worst disaster in 30 years could affect Beijing's image heading into the Olympic Games, President Hu Jintao ramped up the government's public relations efforts, making his first trip to the stricken region.And in response to swelling anger, government officials accustomed to tightly controlled media took the unusual step of fielding questions from people online about why thousands of schools that collapsed were not built to be quake-safe.Damage from the magnitude-5.5 aftershock — one of dozens of strong tremors since the devastating quake Monday — was a temporary setback to the mammoth relief operation. Repair crews were rapidly restoring mobile phone services and unblocking roads within four hours, state media reported.Trucks navigated around boulders and splintered pavement that clogged roads into the forest-clad mountains of Beichuan county, about 100 miles north of Chengdu.China Central Television reported Saturday that rescue teams in the earthquake zone pulled 163 people alive from the rubble on Friday.Augmenting the 130,000 soldiers and police deployed, the official Xinhua news service said specialized international teams had joined the effort_ the first time ever that China has accepted outside professionals for help in a domestic disaster.On Saturday, teams from South Korea, Singapore and Russia joined a Japanese specialist group.
Meanwhile, a U.S. Air Force cargo plane loaded with tents, lanterns and 15,000 meals left Hawaii Saturday for China. It is the first aid flight from the United States to help in Sichuan province. Another Air Force delivery was due to go to China from Alaska.In one hard hit area, soldiers slogged up a slippery mud path Friday into the village of Yingxiu, as some of their comrades stayed back and used rubble from landslides to patch the road so supply and rescue vehicles could get closer.Most buildings in the village collapsed in the quake and the rest appear damaged beyond repair. Hundreds of residents huddled in tents. Small groups of soldiers, some lugging body bags, rushed from place to place checking reports of people trapped. They pulled out bodies and — at least twice — survivors. Others dug a burial pit and laid in at least 80 bodies.
Helicopters whirred overhead, bringing supplies and dropping leaflets with survival instructions that included not drinking dirty water and staying away from collapsed buildings. We should trust the party and the government, the leaflets also said.The government said it would investigate why so many school buildings collapsed in the quake and severely punish anyone responsible for shoddy construction. Officials in at least six provinces promised to tear down dangerous school buildings to protect students, state media reported. The quake destroyed about 6,900 classrooms, not including those in the hardest-hit counties.China's education system is chronically underfunded. Building experts said the problem here, as in many other parts of the world, was a lack of commitment by governments to improve the quality of school buildings. Schools should never collapse, and hospitals and fire stations should never collapse. These are all civic structures that are needed in a disaster, said Roger Bilham, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder. So when I hear a school has collapsed, I point the finger at politics.
More than 4 million apartments and homes were damaged or destroyed in Sichuan, Housing Minister Jiang Weixin told reporters. Worried relatives went to sites where missing loved ones might be. In the city of Hanwang, Zhou Furen walked for hours in borrowed shoes to a factory where her son had worked.
I've been coming here every day, sitting here in the early morning, waiting, she wept. He's been missing for more than three days now. But for my son I would come every day.The government said it had allocated $772 million for earthquake relief, according to the central bank's Web site, nearly five times the amount two days earlier. China has also received $457 million in donated money and goods for rescue efforts, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. AIR Worldwide — a catastrophe risk modeling firm — estimated losses to both insured and uninsured property would likely exceed $20 billion. Associated Press writers Audra Ang in Beichuan, Tini Tran in Hanwang and Cara Anna in Beijing contributed to this report.
US monitoring China's nuclear sites after quake By LILY HINDY and ANGELA CHARLTON, Associated Press Writers Fri May 16, 7:03PM ET
American experts are monitoring nuclear facilities in China's earthquake zone, officials said Friday, after France's nuclear watchdog reported that some had suffered minor damage. The French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety said Chinese authorities reacted well to the quake and immediately shut down nuclear sites for inspection.Thierry Charles, the group's director of plant safety, said China's nuclear safety agency, NNSA, had reported no leaks of radioactivity since the quake.He said the Chinese reported light damage to older nuclear facilities that were being dismantled before the quake, noting that seismic construction codes were less strict when those sites were built. China did not specify which facilities had damage, he said.China has a research reactor, two nuclear fuel production sites and two atomic weapons sites in Sichuan province, where the magnitude-7.9 quake struck Monday, the French agency said. All were between 40 and 90 miles from the epicenter.French authorities do not yet have a full picture of any possible damage at the nuclear weapons sites, where information is more closely guarded, Charles said.At this stage, I don't think there were any leaks, because they would have reported them by now. The worst to worry about now is degradation of buildings, cracks, this kind of thing, he said.
U.S. officials are monitoring China's nuclear facilities in the quake zone, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. He said he had no information about any damage.Wang Baodong, spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said he had no information about the state of the atomic sites. But he told reporters the Chinese government was preparing for every consequence as it worked to rescue survivors and repair damage.Nuclear experts said there several possibilities if any significant damage occurred at the plants, at least one of which is alongside a river. A radioactive leak could cause environmental harm, while internal damage could set back China's nuclear modernization, they said.Mianyang, an industrial city of 700,000 people that is the headquarters of China's nuclear weapons design industry, was on the edge of the disaster area. The site has been likened to the U.S. nuclear facility at Los Alamos, N.M.The plutonium production reactor at Guangyuan, China's largest, is also in the quake zone.Damage to these plants could potentially be a serious issue for the Chinese government, said Hans Kristensen, a nuclear arms expert at the Federation of American Scientists.He said the reactor at Guangyuan is at the center of China's fissile material production.If there is damage to (the reactor), it would disrupt China's warhead maintenance capabilities, Kristensen said. That could have impacts for several years.Matthew Bunn, a senior researcher at Harvard University's Project on Managing the Atom, said the risk of radioactive leaks depended mostly on how the facilities were designed, details of which are known only by the Chinese government.
Only in the reactor's case would there likely be any significant danger of some kind of radioactive release that would affect a large area. And how big that danger is depends enormously on specifics of the reactor's seismic design that are not well known outside the Chinese nuclear weapons program, Bunn said.Jeffrey Lewis, director of the Nuclear Strategy and Nonproliferation Initiative at the New America Foundation who visited Mianyang last summer, said the buildings were designed to withstand earthquakes.
I would be surprised if there were any human impact, said Lewis, referring to radioactive leaks. If anything, there is a possibility for structural damage.Associated Press writer Foster Klug in Washington contributed to this report.
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.
Death toll from Myanmar cyclone nearly doubles MAY 16,08
YANGON, Myanmar - The official death toll nearly doubled to 78,000 from Myanmar's killer cyclone as heavy rains on Friday lashed much of the area stricken two weeks ago, further hampering relief efforts. Aid workers shackled by the country's military regime struggled to get even the most basic data about the needs of up to 2.5 million survivors. The Red Cross warned that a lack of clean water may swell the ranks of the dead.Myanmar state television said the official death count from the May 3 cyclone was 77,738, with 55,917 others missing.The toll was nearly double the 43,000 previously reported, but the TV announcement suggested it might be close to a final figure. It said the government had carried out search and rescue and relief work and collection of data, promptly, immediately and extensively.The release of the figures led to dire warnings from the United Nations and renewed calls for the military regime to allow international aid workers access to devastated areas.More than two weeks after the event, we are at a critical point, said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Unless more aid gets into the country — quickly — we face the risk of an outbreak of infectious diseases that could dramatically worsen today's crisis.Jean-Maurice Ripert, France's ambassador to the U.N., criticized the junta for refusing to allow a French navy ship to deliver 1,500 tons of food, drugs and medication to the Irrawaddy delta using small boats.
He said refusing to allow aid to be delivered to those in need could lead to a true crime against humanity if we go on like that.On Saturday, the FSS Mistral, carrying 1,500 tons of food, drugs and medication, was sailing near the Irrawaddy delta, hoping for permission to bring the aid to the needy, French officials said.
Myanmar's ruling junta, meanwhile, put up a security cordon around Yangon to restrict travel to the Irrawaddy delta, where scenes of devastation were rife.A small tour to the disaster zone arranged for Saturday will give diplomats their first up-close look at the effects of the cyclone and at the government relief effort.John Holmes, U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, was to go to Myanmar on Sunday in an attempt to persuade the junta to admit more U.N. relief workers and to greatly increase aid efforts, said Amanda Pitt, a U.N. spokeswoman in Bangkok, Thailand.If you look at the situation with China, they have accepted relief and assistance teams from Russia, Taiwan and Japan, Pitt said, referring to the response to the earthquake there. They know they can't do it on their own.The junta maintains it has the situation under control. But after two weeks, the U.N. remains largely in the dark about the situation on the ground.We simply don't have the information, and I can't say when we will have it, said Steve Marshall, a U.N. official who just left Myanmar.The Red Cross has put the death toll as high as 128,000 and the most recent official figures on dead and missing have the U.N. saying the number could easily reach 130,000.The highest death estimate is carried by the British government's Department for International Development, which says that unofficial estimates suggest the number of dead or missing is in the region of 217,000. The department said the estimate was reported to them by sources on the ground with knowledge of the situation. They gave no other details and said the estimates could not immediately be verified.
The U.N. estimates some 1.5 million to 2.5 million survivors are in desperate need of food, water, shelter and medical care. If the storm was so massive that it's basically swept away, killed 130,000 people, we can only imagine what it's done to settlements on the ground, said Stephanie Bunker, a New York-based spokeswoman for Holmes. Myanmar is entering the monsoon season and disaster experts warn the wet weather could complicate relief efforts. Heavy rain pelted the country Friday. Aid groups have reached only 270,000 people so far, and the situation for survivors will likely get more difficult as time passes without proper help. Lack of clean water will be deadly in the Irrawaddy delta, Thomas Gurtner, the head of operations for the international Red Cross, told The Associated Press in Geneva. To be able to provide clean water to hundreds of thousands of people stranded in the delta requires a major operation, which we have neither the material, the logistical nor the staff capacity to do, he said.
Officials also worry about disease outbreaks.
The U.S. military flew four more flights of emergency supplies into Yangon on Friday, raising its total to 17 since Monday. Two of the flights carried aid provided by the Thai government. India was also readying flights. The U.N. says the regime has issued only 40 visas to its staffers and another 46 to nongovernment agencies and has confined the personnel to the immediate Yangon area. Marshall, the U.N. official, said the military has set up checkpoints on the two main roads to the delta to keep foreigners out of the disaster zone. Even local staff have to negotiate with the military to gain access to the camps. UNICEF said Friday the agency's fourth flight into Myanmar, scheduled for Saturday, would deliver several tons of food for malnourished children. Radio broadcasts are trying to help lost children find their families, it said. In the meantime, ordinary people are stepping in, with shopkeepers handing out rice gruel and medical students caring for the sick. But the government was reportedly interfering with those efforts as well. In an interview with the Democratic Voice of Burma, the abbot of Mandalay's Maha Gandaryon monastery said monks were stockpiling relief supplies and getting trucks to take in aid. We are still in the preparation stages, he told the radio, which is critical of the junta. We have contacted some private organizations and services, and found out that they were told by the authorities not to work with us in aid distribution. They said we can't go with them.
SPAIN TO HOST BUSINESS FORUM
PSALMS 83 COMPLETES THE PROPHECY PUZZLE
Last-days birth pains have begun May 16, 2008 1:00 am Eastern
The world has endured an almost mind-numbing series of shocks in recent weeks, from the unprecedented swarm of tornadoes across the American Midwest to the death and destruction wrought by Cyclone Nargis as it tore a path through Myanmar, better known as Burma.
There were 368 documented tornadoes in the U.S. in January and February of this year, shattering the previous record of 243 over that two-month period, set in 1999. February's total of 232 tornadoes also shattered previous records.Cyclone Nargis ripped Burma apart, killing at least 128,000, according to Red Cross estimates, and creating some 2.5 million refugees.Al Gore was quick to blame global warming. In an interview on NPR to plug his appropriately named book on global warming, Assault on Reason, he told host Terry Gross: And as we're talking today, Terry, the death count in Myanmar from the cyclone that hit there yesterday has been rising from 15,000 to way on up there to much higher numbers now being speculated. . … And last year a catastrophic storm last fall hit Bangladesh. The year before, the strongest cyclone in more than 50 years hit China – and we're seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming.
Maybe. But Germany's Institute of Marine Scientists says we're in for a 10-year period of global cooling. There sure seems to be a lot of opposition to what is supposed to be settled science.Global warming can't explain away the devastating earthquake that all but flattened a huge portion of western China. The death toll from Monday's quake is approaching 20,000, with twice that number still listed as missing. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Monday's earthquake was the 25th significant earthquake registered so far this year.Back in 1969, the year I wrote The Late, Great Planet Earth, the USGS identified a total of seven significant earthquakes. I had noted in 1969 that there was a slight but discernible increase in worldwide earthquake activity since Israel's rebirth in 1948.During the entire decade of the 1970s, the USGS recorded a total of 44 earthquakes it classified as significant. The following decade, from January 1980 to December 1989, the USGS recorded 47 significant earthquakes. That is for the entire decade. From 1990 through the end of 1999, the USGS records 57 significant earthquakes. From 2000 thru to Monday's earthquake in Sichuan, China, the USGS recorded an astonishing 109 earthquakes of at least magnitude 7.0 and 13 earthquakes measuring between 8.0 and 9.9 on the Richter Scale.
On the other side of the world, the long-dormant Chaitan volcano erupted May 2 for the first time, say geologists, in more than 7,000years. The BBC reported that a government volcano expert warned there could be a big eruption at any time.There could be a major explosion that could collapse the volcano's cone, said Luis Lara of the National Geologic and Mining Service.The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warned that Iran had detected a new highly pathogenic strain of wheat stem rust. The U.N. said the fungal disease could spread to other wheat-producing states in the Near East and western Asia that provide one-fourth of the world's wheat supply. The new strain, called Ug99, is capable of infecting up to 90 percent of the existing strains of wheat worldwide – and once infected, crop losses range between 70 percent and total loss.
Coupled with the losses already sustained as a result of the typhoon-related flooding in Java, Bangladesh, and India and from agricultural pests and diseases in Vietnam, it starts to add up. Last year, Australia suffered its second consecutive year of severe drought and a near complete crop failure; heavy rains reduced production in Europe; Argentina suffered heavy frost; and Canada and the U.S. both produced low yields. Food riots have broken out in Egypt, Haiti and several African states, including Mauritania, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Senegal.Meanwhile, the drums of war continue to beat around the planet. Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad renewed his threat to destroy Israel this week. Hezbollah took over West Beirut, while the Arab world mourned the catastrophe of Israel's 60th birthday with threats of annihilation of the Jewish state. In Israel, President Bush again warned that allowing the Iranian regime to obtain nuclear arms would be unforgivable, signaling a continuation along a path that can only lead to an eventual war that will engulf the whole Middle East.
When Jesus was asked by His disciples to tell them what signs would precede His return at the end of the age, He warned that nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines, plagues and earthquakes in various places, He said (Matthew 24 and Luke 21). Using an analogy immediately understandable to all peoples in all nations, he said of these signs, All these are the beginning of birth pains.Jesus used a Greek word for the labor pains of a woman about to give birth. Jesus knew that every generation could understand the illustration. His meaning is clear. Just as a woman experiences birth pains that increase in frequency and intensity just before giving birth, so ALL the signs of His return would increase in frequency and intensity just before His return. Hey, for he first time in history, all of the signs have appeared together in the same time frame and are increasing in frequency and intensity. That, coupled with the fulfillment of the great predicted sign that Israel became a nation again after 2,000 hopeless years of worldwide dispersion, indicates that Jesus Christ is already at the door ready to return. Are you ready?
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.(A DAYS WAGES FOR A LOAF OF BREAD)
Oil sets record near $128; pump price at high, too By ADAM SCHRECK, AP Business Writer Fri May 16, 8:24 PM ET
NEW YORK - News that Saudi Arabia had boosted its oil output by 300,000 barrels a day was greeted as a non-event on oil markets — the move wasn't anywhere near the kind of production increase needed to bring prices down on Friday. And traders were equally unimpressed by the U.S. government's plan to stop adding to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.One day, two moves designed to allay concerns about an overheated oil market that's squeezing motorists and inflating the prices of all sorts of goods.The response in the oil trading pits? Traders did what they've been doing for months now, and pushed crude oil and gasoline futures to new highs.All in all, we're seeing another strong move here on little fundamental news, said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch & Associates, an oil trading advisory firm in Galena, Ill.
The reason for the disconnect has little to do with political decisions in Washington or Riyadh, and everything to do with market expectations. The Saudi production increase was seen in the market as minuscule, and no one expected the suspension of shipments to the U.S. government's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to have much impact on supplies.Even more important, the traders placing the bets expect prices to just keep moving higher.Goldman Sachs, one of the world's most influential investment banks, underscored that sentiment Friday when it hiked its oil price forecast for the second half of the year to $141 a barrel, up from $107 previously. Analysts at the bank argue that the oil market is undergoing a structural repricing that will continue to play out for some time to come.We would view any pullback in oil, regardless of the size or duration — although a correction could be as large as 15 percent — as an opportunity to re-establish long positions in oil before the summer, Goldman Sachs advised traders.Translation: Buy when barrels go on sale, because prices are bound to keep heading higher.And buy they did Friday. The price for a barrel of benchmark light, sweet crude for June delivery jumped $2.17 to settle at record close of $126.29 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the session, prices surged to $127.82 a barrel, also a new high.It was the eighth time in the past 10 sessions traders rewrote the record books, and the first time prices topped $127 a barrel.Investors shrugged off the news from Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi that the world's largest oil producer had decided to increase production last week. The market also had little reaction to the Energy Department's announcement said it would cancel shipments into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for six months beginning July 1.It's ridiculous because I don't think this is going to bring the price down, said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading Corp., of the Energy Department's move.
The effect of Saudi Arabia's decision was also not clear. The increase, which went into effect last Saturday, is relatively small, lifting total output from the world's leading producer to 9.45 million barrels per day by June.The addition of 300,000 barrels won't make a lot of difference, said Mir Yousufuddin, who monitors crude prices for the U.S. Energy Information Administration.The announcement came during a visit by Bush, who was in the kingdom to appeal for a more significant increase in production. Bernard Picchi, an energy analyst at research firm Wall Street Access, called the increase a token amount and said the effect on prices would have been different if Saudi Arabia had boosted production by 1 million or 1.5 million barrels a day.
Saudi Arabia often adjusts its output to meet demand, and the increase coincides with the start of the peak driving season in the U.S. The Middle Eastern nation has in the past acknowledged the ability to produce as much as 11 million barrels a day. James Cordier, president of Liberty Trading Group in Tampa, Fla., agreed that the moves by both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia were insignificant and would do little to dent the rally in oil prices. Like a number of other analysts, he believes prices are rising not because of a speculative bubble, but simply reflect finite supply and soaring global demand. Crude's latest surge comes a week before the Memorial Day holiday, the traditional start of the summer driving season, suggesting that retail gas prices still have further to rise. Motorists are now paying a national average of $3.787 a gallon for regular gasoline, up nearly a penny from the previous day, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Diesel prices also have risen to record levels, meaning that even Americans who don't drive will likely face even higher prices on all sorts of goods because of increased shipping costs. A gallon of diesel now sells for $4.482 a gallon. Oil prices could rise even higher as U.S. demand picks up during the summer months, when gasoline consumption is typically the heaviest. Traders are clearly betting gasoline prices have a way to go too: Gasoline futures jumped to a record $3.2438 a gallon on the Nymex before easing slightly to settle at $3.2235, up 5.777 cents. In other Nymex trading, heating oil futures rose 8.04 cents to settle at $3.7028 a gallon. Natural gas futures fell 30.5 cents to settle at $11.094 per 1,000 cubic feet. In London, July Brent crude surged $2.36 to settle at $124.99 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange. Associated Press Writers H. Josef Hebert in Washington and Jennifer Loven in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, contributed to this report.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast(THE 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.(TRADE BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:(10 NATIONS) 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 KINGS OR NATIONS).
EU to tussle with Latin America's Pink Tide at Lima summit
15.05.2008 - 17:24 CET | By Leigh Phillips
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Tussles over biofuels, trade and even capitalism itself are likely to take centre stage in Lima, Peru on Friday, as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and some 60 heads of state from the EU and Latin America and the Carribean (LAC) descend on the Peruvian capital for the fifth EU-LAC summit.Under the protection of some 85,000 soldiers and police who have set up the usual array of roadblocks, traffic detours and zones restricted to local citizens, the leaders are to rattle through what is an ambitious agenda. Although the leaders will focus on two key issues – combating inequality and tackling climate change – poverty, social inclusion, sustainable development, energy and the environment in general are also set for discussion. At the summit, the commission is to announce Euroclima, a €5 million fund for Latin American projects that tack climate change. Additionally, the two camps are hoping to boost trade and increase economic co-operation. The EU would like to see some movement towards an agreement in the Doha round of world trade negotiations. The Doha round has been stalled since 2001 largely due to the differing trade priorities of poor and wealthy nations. However, the politicians will also likely end up discussing a range of off-agenda topics that have forced themselves onto the front pages in the last few weeks, such as food shortages and the miniature cold war between Colombia and Ecuador that has simmered away since the former bombed alleged encampments of Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) within Ecuador without Quito's permission in March.
Merkel, Hitler and Chavez
The discussions are expected to be quite fractious, as the largely liberalising perspective of the EU comes up against what can be fairly described as currently the most left-wing continent on the planet. Ahead of the meeting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned other Latin American nations against the left-wing populist policies of Venezuela's perennially beret-adorned president, Hugo Chavez, who responded in typical bombastic fashion by comparing Ms Merkel to Adolf Hitler.On Sunday (11 May), Mr Chavez criticised the objectives of the European Union in their dealings with Latin America and the Caribbean.The EU is coming here to help us. Where is their plan to help the poor? Ask the president of Haiti how much promises from Europe and the United States have done, he said, according to DPA, the German Press Agency.In recent years, centre-left and socialist governments have been elected in all but a few nations across the region – the so-called Pink Tide.Nonetheless, Latin American and Caribbean leaders are not all of one mind.
The more centre-left presidents Lula da Silva of Brazil, Michele Bachelet of Chile, and Peru's own Alan Garcia largely support the free market and the so-called Washington Consensus – policies of fiscal discipline, deregulation, privatisation and trade liberalisation – albeit with more of a social cushion than their centre-right counterparts would prefer. Meanwhile, to their left, Evo Morales – Bolivia's first indigenous leader in 500 years, Mr Chavez and Ecuador's Rafael Correa are committed to building what they call a socialism of the 21st century, and have instituted a range of policies that favour the poor of their countries, such as boosting health and literacy programmes and, more controversially, the nationalisation of key industries. Fernando Lugo, a former Catholic bishop and adherent of liberation theology won Paraguay's presidency in April, adding to the continent's collection of progressives. Analysts expect Mr Lugo's policies, as with those of Argentina's Cristina Kirchner, to fall somewhere between that of Mr da Silva and Mr Chavez.
Biofuels debate will be central
The sides align themselves slightly differently however when it comes to the question of biofuels.EU leaders last spring agreed that the EU should increase the use of biofuels in transport fuel to ten percent by 2020, up from a planned 5.75 percent target to be achieved by 2010.But the European Union has come under repeated pressure from international institutions such as the World Bank and the UN World Food Programme, as well as environmental and development NGOs, to abandon its biofuels targets due to concerns that the controversial fuels contribute to global warming and food price rises.As a result, the commission has touted as-yet undefined sustainability standards that it says will ensure the biofuels Europe uses are green.Brazil, the world's leading producer of ethanol, while publicly supporting these sustainability criteria, is very worried that if standards are too strict, European markets will be closed off to them.On the other hand, most of the other LAC countries have lined up against both Brazil and the EU's positions on biofuels, aghast at the site of Haiti's government falling in April as a result of food riots on the island nation.Even Peru's moderate Mr Garcia complains that biofuel crop cultivation is pushing up the prices of staples such as corn, rice and wheat, and is planning to ask for a limit to biofuel production.I have no doubt that the theme of food will be central to the debates of the summit, Peru's foreign minister, Jose Garcia Belaunde, said last week. As with many such international gatherings, an alternative People's Summit, is currently being held all week in a working class Lima neighbourhood, with attendants from social, labour and indigenous groups. The Brussels Consensus is the new Washington Consensus, and has started a new period of neocolonialism, said Brid Brennan of the Netherlands-based Transnational Institute, one of the organisers of the People's Summit.However, unlike similar counter-summits elsewhere, this one will also be attended by a number of heads of state, notably Mr Chavez, Mr Morales, Mr Correa and the new president of Cyprus, Dimitris Christofias.
External relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, trade commissioner Peter Mandelson, and development commissioner Louis Michel will join President Barroso at the EU-LAC summit.The EU-LAC summit was preceded on Thursday (15 May) by the second EU-LAC Business Forum, bringing together business and political leaders, and will be followed on Saturday by separate summits between the EU and each of Mexico, Chile, the Andean Community and Central America.
Study sees no realistic Plan B in case of Irish EU treaty rejection 15.05.2008 - 17:25 CET | By Honor Mahony
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - A rejection by Irish voters of the EU treaty in next month's referendum would be a catastrophe for Europe, because there is no credible Plan B, a new study has concluded.A paper by the Bertelsmann foundation, a German think-tank, believes there are four possible courses of action if charter is rejected in Ireland on 12 June, but none is especially exhilarating.It authors suggest that putting the treaty to voters again as happened in 2002 following Ireland's vote against the Nice Treaty the previous year is not particularly probable as French and Dutch voters were not asked to vote again on the now ditched EU constitution, which they rejected in 2005.But amending the treaty is also seen as unrealistic as it is unclear what Ireland would need to change in the treaty to make it appeal to voters a second time round. In addition, this route would have to be approved by all member states, meaning going back to the drawing board and re-opening old institutional and political sores.
Offering Dublin the chance to opt out of certain areas could mean that ratification would not have to be re-commenced in other member states but it is unclear where the country could opt out. It already does not take part in substantial parts of justice and home affairs areas and sensitive areas for the country, such as tax issues, remain unanimity issues under the Lisbon Treaty.The paper suggests that the final option is that the EU abandons its attempts to introduce comprehensive treaty reforms looking instead to minimal reforms which could be introduced by a mini-treaty or by inter-institutional agreements.A No in the Irish referendum would simply be a catastrophe for Europe, the paper concludes. Meanwhile Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg broke the political taboo on talking about a possible treaty rejection by Irish voters, but offered a more prosaic reaction.He said it would lead to the usual European crisis.Then we will look for some solution. However, at present, no one is ready to consider that the outcome may not be good, he was quoted as saying on Wednesday (14 May) by Czech news agency CTK.
20 May: European Maritime Day set up by European institutionspublished on Thursday, May 15, 2008 under Agriculture & Fisheries
The European Union has decided to celebrate the achievements and potential of Europe's ocean and seas by declaring 20 May as a dedicated European Maritime Day. The official launch ceremony will be held in Strasbourg, where Commission President José Manuel Barroso, European Council President Janez Janša and the President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering will sign a Joint Tripartite Declaration.European Maritime Day will provide an occasion to highlight the crucial role that oceans and seas play in the everyday life not only of coastal communities, but of all EU citizens, and for Europe's sustainable growth and jobs at large. Based on a proposal from the Commission, this dedicated Maritime Day will also encourage better stewardship of coastal zones, seas and oceans by all citizens and actors concerned.The Commission hopes that citizens and stakeholders living and working in Europe's maritime regions will seize this occasion to showcase their contribution to the EU as a whole, and to stimulate broad debate around the challenges they face.The first ever European Maritime Day on 20th May 2008 will see the European Parliament vote on a report on the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy.The report highlights, inter alia, the exceptional maritime dimension conferred on the EU by its extensive coastline, islands and outermost regions. It also underlines the unique opportunities offered by the maritime sector as regards innovation, research, environment and biodiversity, calling for these to be fully taken into account in the emerging Integrated Maritime Policy. Furthermore, the report stresses how the involvement of regional and local partners is essential to making a success of the maritime policy and advocates closer cooperation between Europe's coastal regions.
There will be a Ministerial Panel headed by the Slovenian Presidency in which members of the Governments of France, Germany, Portugal and Norway will participate. Discussions will focus on how to promote continued stakeholder dialogue in support of the development of an Integrated Maritime Policy and ensure that the new policy is fully adapted to the regional dimension of maritime affairs.The sea, the maritime sectors and marine resources are essential for Europe's prosperity and well-being. By setting up a European Maritime Day, we, as Europeans, want to celebrate this reality and to raise awareness about maritime opportunities and our new Integrated Maritime Policy, said the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso.Since the proposal of an Integrated Maritime Policy by the European Commission on October 2007 and its subsequent endorsement by Heads of State and Government at the European Council of 14 December 2007, real progress has been made towards building a coherent framework to promote synergies and resolves potential conflicts between different sea-related policy areas. In line with the detailed Action Plan published in October, the Commission itself has already come forward with proposals to combat illegal fishing, boost development of EU ports and port cities, re-assess the social framework regulating seafaring jobs, and promote a better fit between energy policy and maritime policy. It has also carried out a stock-taking exercise looking at maritime surveillance systems, and the offshore activities and competences of the Member States.
EU plans international embassies By Bruno Waterfield in Brussels Last Updated: 2:31AM BST 03/05/2008
The European Union will open its own embassies under a plan critics fear represents a power grab by Brussels officials pushing for a federal superstate. The secret plan represents the first time that full EU embassies have been discussed seriously. The Embassies of the Union would be controlled by a new EU diplomatic service created by the Lisbon Treaty. The Daily Telegraph has seen a high-level Brussels document discussing plans for a European External Action Service (EEAS) which was proposed under the new EU Treaty, currently being ratified in Westminster.
Talks have so far remained behind closed doors. Officials fear political fallout over plans to implement the new Treaty before it has been fully ratified. Working papers circulating in Brussels suggest that more than 160 EU offices around the world, including in member states, would become embassies. The new service would rival established diplomatic services. Britain, with one of the world's largest, maintains 139 embassies and high commissions in capital cities. Equally controversial is a proposal for EU ambassadors who would be accountable to the European Parliament.
Parliament should aim for proper hearings of special representatives and ambassadorial nominees in the tradition of the US Congress for nominations of a clearly political nature, says the document. Plans for the new foreign service have raised highly sensitive political issues by giving trappings of statehood to the EU and by fusing, for the first time, national diplomats with existing eurocrats. A vicious battle over who should control the diplomatic corps has broken out between national governments and the European Commission. Countries such as Britain are alarmed that the EEAS, which is expected to take on some consular activities, would be a stepping stone to a single supranational euro-diplomatic service. Meanwhile, Brussels officials fear that, if controlled by national governments, the new EEAS would draw power from Community bodies, such as the Commission, to inter-governmental institutions such as the Council of the EU, which represents member states.
Any inter-governmentalism of policy areas under Community competence has to be avoided, states the confidential document. The EEAS will have to be in a specific way administratively connected to the European Commission.The EEAS will number between 2,500 to 3,000 officials at its inception in January next year. It is then expected to grow to 7,000, or even up to 20,000, according to different estimates. Britain, which loses its veto over the EEAS after it is created by a European summit decision expected in October, is expected to contribute around 20 to 30 senior diplomats to the EU service. William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, said yesterday: As predicted the renamed EU Constitution is forming the basis of a power grab by the EU. It exposes Labour's stupidity in giving up the veto on an area key to Britain's interests.A Foreign Office spokesman said: The UK opposes and will argue against naming EEAS offices embassies.
Trade minister urges EU to want Canada's oil MAY 15,08
OTTAWA (AFP) — Canada's trade minister, itching for a free trade pact with a wary European Union, said on Thursday the EU should want to deepen its trade relations with Canada for its oil.Canada's an energy power, Trade Minister David Emerson told a conference on the prospects of closer economic ties between Canada and the EU.
And Canada's development of huge oil and gas reserves in the coming decades, particularly in the Arctic, is a very, very powerful reason why partners like the EU should want to deepen their relationship with Canada, he said.I think if the European Union is visionary, they'll realize that Canada could be one of the most critical, strategic trade moves that they make in the next few decades.Canada and the EU are currently studying removing barriers to improve bilateral trade, currently at 110 billion dollars annually, but the EU has not shown much interest in a full free trade pact with Canada.At an estimated 173 billion barrels, the oil sands in western Canada are the second largest oil reserve in the world behind Saudi Arabia, but they have been neglected, except by local companies, because of high extraction costs.Since 2000, skyrocketing crude oil prices and improved extraction methods have made exploitation more economical, and have lured several multinational oil companies to mine the sands.The Arctic, meanwhile, is believed to hold the world's largest remaining undiscovered oil and gas fields, and the receding ice cap due to global warming is said to be opening up the region to greater development.
US COULD STRIKE IRAN THIS YEAR
Bush hails Israelis as chosen people but ignores Palestinians on catastrophe day By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem Friday, 16 May 2008
President George Bush lavished anniversary praise on Israel yesterday, as Palestinians commemorated the Nakba or catastrophe when 700,000 were forced from or fled their homes 60 years ago.In a special address to the Israeli Knesset, Mr Bush declared that the US was proud to be the closest ally and best friend in the world of a nation that was a homeland for the chosen people and had worked tirelessly for peace and... fought valiantly for freedom.And in a speech that linked together Hamas, Hizbollah and al-Qa'ida, the President likened those – including good and decent people – who urged negotiations with terrorists and radicals, with supporters of appeasing the Nazis before the Second World War.On Iran, Mr Bush said that permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapon would be an unforgiveable betrayal of future generations.Mr Bush's speech was notable for only one reference to Palestinian aspirations for a state. He did not allude to the current negotiations between the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, and the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, on the outlines of two-state solution that he himself helped to kick-start at the Annapolis conference last year.
Instead, his only mention was in a passage envisaging Israel's 120th anniversary – 60 years hence – in which Palestinians would have the homeland they have long dreamed of and deserved – a democratic state that is governed by law. By that time, he prophesied, the Middle East would consist of free and independent societies, and Hamas, Hizbollah and al-Qaida would have been defeated as Muslims across the region recognise the emptiness of the terrorists' vision and the injustice of their cause.Nor did Mr Bush make even an oblique reference to the fact that he was delivering his speech on the day that Palestinians annually commemorate the Nakba in the 1948war that left a victorious Israel in control of 78 per cent of mandatory Palestine.As sirens sounded and thousands of black balloons were released across the West Bank, several thousand Palestinians gathered in Ramallah's main Manara Square to hear a taped address by Mr Abbas urging reconciliation and an end to Israeli settlement building in the West Bank to facilitate negotiations on a future state. Sixty years have passed, he said. It's time to end the Nakba for the Palestinian people.But a Nakba day message from Hamas, which controls Gaza, called on Palestinians to continue resistance and urged the Palestinian President to abandon the illusion of negotiations.At least one Palestinian youth was injured in Gaza after several dozen teenagers broke away at the end of a Hamas-organised protest near the northern Erez crossing. As youths threw stones, Israeli forces fired live rounds and tear gas.Three Arab Knesset members were led away before the President's speech by security guards after unfurling a banner saying We shall overcome.Mr Bush repeated the symbolic oath traditionally uttered by Israeli soldiers at Masada, the fortress where 960 Jews in the first century rebellion against Roman rule committed suicide rather than surrender, and which he had visited yesterday: Masada shall never fall again. He added to a standing ovation: And America will be at your side.But his speech did not mention the occupation of Palestinian territory since the 1967 war or restate US and international stances critical of Israel – such as demands for settlement outposts to be removed or for expansion of settlements to be halted. Nor did he mention that those calling for some engagement with Hamas include some former Israeli military and intelligence figures.Mr Olmert told parliamentarians that he was confident that a peace agreement would be approved in the Knesset by a large majority and... supported by the vast majority of the Israeli public.
The CARMEL ALERT May 16th 2008
A compilation of news reports from the past week for the information of those committed to praying for Israel and the salvation of the Jewish people.Guest Comment: I am a Zionist By Reuven Koret Originally Published on Independence Day, May 13, 2002
I belong to a people who brought the Bible to the world, transmitting the tradition of the Torah, the Ten Commandments, and the idea of One God from generation to generation. I am part of an ancient nation that reclaimed its homeland two thousand years after being expelled from it, rising up like a phoenix from the ashes and impotence of the Holocaust. I am a citizen of a country that has gathered in her scattered people, taking in refugees from one hundred nations, rescuing the persecuted and the impoverished, welcoming idealists and adventurers and restless wanderers who chose to join her, like me. I am defended by the IDF, the finest small fighting force in the world, a citizens' army with high moral standards and purity of arms second to no other nation. I am grateful to merit Jerusalem as my capital, the place to which our people have always turned, the city that our soldiers reunited and redeemed from desecration after our enemies destroyed her synagogues and sacred sites, using her shrines as garbage dumps and the tombstones of our ancestors to line their sewers. I am grateful to walk the streets in a land where a Jew can wear a skullcap or a Star of David or a black robe without fearing ridicule or persecution or even looks askance.
I speak and understand Hebrew, the sacred tongue of Holy Writ, a dead language revived by our people so that our nation would have a common basis for communication. I am proud that every child can read the Torah in its original form. I raise my children in schools where the victories and tragedies of our people are remembered, where the holidays celebrate our God and our traditions. I participate in the only democracy in a region of the world where freedom of expression and human rights are otherwise absent. I live in a land where I can speak of our national flaws, our social failings, our fallible leaders - and there are many, many of each --without fear of being censored, imprisoned or executed. I am proud that our country is hated by some of the most vicious, cruel, backward, repressive, terror-supporting dictatorships in the world.
I am proud that the morally vapid governments of Europe, Africa, and Asia, along with the UN in which their majorities rule, have nothing better to do than to condemn us. I am proud that our strongest ally is the greatest nation in the world, and proud that its people and its elected representatives stand by us and prevent us from isolation and condemnation by lesser nations with weaker moral fiber. I am proud of our entrepreneurial accomplishments, our research, our technologies, our innovative products. I am proud of our artists, our musicians, our authors, our athletes, and our pilots. I'm proud of our national airline, and its legendary security checks, and I'm proud that by now they let me pass with a few perfunctory questions. I am proud of my fellow citizens, who have shown such grace and courage under fire, refusing to allow their love of life and their passion forfreedom to be sapped by death-seeking, freedom-hating terrorists. I am proud of our compassionate leftists, and our patriotic rightists. I'm proud of our unbending ultra-Orthodox and our ultra-rational secularists.
I'm proud of our pioneering settlers and our peace-seeking activists. I am proud that we are a stiff-necked people. I belong to a people who dwell alone, yet shine a light unto the world. We may not always be right, but we're never as wrong as our enemies claim. And even when we are wrong, we are a nation that seeks to make things right. Our people holds the birthright to the land on which we live, inscribed in the Bible, well proven by archaeological excavations, and verified by the investment of agricultural, industrial, and financial investments we have made, sealed by our sweat and by our blood, by our tears of sorrow and of joy, to develop and defend our country. We stretch out our hands in peace to our Arab neighbors, in full knowledge that they rejected the UN Partition in 1947, invaded our fledgling state in 1948, tried to strangle us in 1967, surprised us on Yom Kippur in 1973.
We pray for a just settlement with the Palestinian people, even though from the inception of the PLO in 1964, before the conquests of the Six Day War, their leadership has been dedicated to liberating Palestine, which means eliminating Israel. We have endured from the Palestinians unceasing terror attacks ever since, and despite all political agreements and diplomatic initiatives, we see that the Palestinians continue to incite their people to despise us and to aspire to destroying us.We have offered to share our land with our neighbors, but we will not give land to be used to drive us into the sea. Even if hundreds of millions of people hate us, even if some nations pray we did not exist, even if some of our enemies won't rest till they kill us and many in the rest of the world don't give a damn, I couldn't be prouder. We have come home, and this is it. I am an Israeli, a citizen of the one and only Jewish homeland. I thank God that I was a born in a time when I could fulfill the dream of two thousand years to return to Zion.
I am a Zionist, a believer and supporter and defender of our reborn nation. And you who read these words, with compassion and understanding and identification - whether you are Jewish or not, Israeli or not -- you are a Zionist, too. The Lord bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel . Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray for our son Jordan, and all of his fellow soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom ... David & Josie
Friday, May 16, 2008
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:(ETHNIC GROUP AGAINST ETHNIC GROUP) and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
CHINA QUAKE STORY
China races to bury quake dead and manage survivors By John Ruwitch MAY 15,08
MIANZHU, China (Reuters) - China struggled on Friday to bury the dead and offer relief to those left injured, homeless and without food and water by the earthquake that may have killed more than 50,000 people. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called on officials to ensure social stability as frustration and exhaustion grew among survivors, many who lost everything and are living in makeshift tents or in the open air.In Mianzhu, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, the area worst hit by Monday's 7.9 magnitude quake, Lin Changfu was staffing a tent collecting relief supplies.What we need most urgently is water, food and tents. We lack tents, he said.
From the heart of the disaster zone, Wen urged rescuers on, but hopes were fading for those still trapped under rubble.Saving lives is still our top priority as long as hope of survival still exists, the official Xinhua news agency quoted Wen as saying.But some expressed frustration at the resources continuing to be devoted to finding survivors among the more than 25,000 who remain buried. Officials said another 20,000 have died in the quake.The focus is on saving lives, and they say food and a place to live are small issues as long as you're alive, said Fan Xiaohua, who was organizing volunteers at a relief coordination centre in Mianzhu.
In fact, they are very big issues right now, she said.President Hu Jintao headed to Sichuan on Friday to meet victims and inspect the rescue and relief effort, Xinhua said. It will be his first trip to the region since the disaster struck.In Sichuan's Yingxiu, where bodies were lined up along the river bank, a Communist Party official warned that epidemics could break out if bodies were not soon buried or cremated.We are in urgent need of body bags, the official, Bai Licheng, told Xinhua.Air-dropped food and drinking water are limited and far from meeting the demand, he added.The Ministry of Health issued a notice ordering bodies to be cleaned where they were found and buried as soon as possible, far from water sources and downwind from populated areas.More than 3,000 soldiers were searching for survivors in Yingxiu, a township of about 6,600 people.Bai said bodies were still trapped in the debris and blocked roads meant that heavy lifting gear could not get through.China has mobilized 130,000 army and paramilitary troops to the disaster area, but the quake buckled roads and triggered mountain landslides, meaning that relief supplies and rescuers have struggled to reach the worst-hit areas.
STRUGGLING TO COPE
In the town of Shifang, a small hospital struggled to cope with injured patients, who were being treated in any space available -- including a under a covered car park at the back of the building and under tents on the pavement. Doctors and nurses rushed around, checking dressings, changing saline drips and administering to the wounded. We've seen nobody come here from the government, said one woman, tending to her injured son. They're trying to help, but they've been so busy, added a young man standing next to her. In Mianzhu alone there's thousands dead, he said, referring to the nearby area. Hundreds of damaged dams have also raised fears of collapse or flooding that could inundate towns and cities that are already struggling to recover from the quake. China has asked the United States for satellite images to help locate victims and identify damaged infrastructure. In Sichuan and neighboring Chongqing, reservoirs have been damaged, some dams have cracked or are leaking water, and officials have warned the full extent of the hazard was as yet unclear.
China was also accepting foreign help to bolster rescue efforts in the disaster, the deadliest since more than 240,000 people were killed in a 1976 earthquake in the northeastern Chinese city of Tangshan. The first foreign rescue team, a group of about 60 people from Japan, reached Sichuan on Friday. China has accepted further offers of rescue teams from Russia, South Korea and Singapore, the Foreign Ministry said. In the epicenter, Wenchuan, Chinese air forces succeeded for the first time on Thursday in dropping equipment, Xinhua said, citing military sources. Such airdrops had earlier been stymied by heavy rain and cloud cover. (Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Shifang and Emma Graham-Harrison in Yingxiu; Writing by Lindsay Beck; Editing by Ken Wills and David Fox)
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.
Death toll in Burmese cyclone raised by thousands MAY 15,08
More than 43,000 people have died since a deadly cyclone ripped through Burma earlier this month, state television reported Thursday, as government officials threatened legal action against those who interfered with the delivery of aid.The latest death toll from Cyclone Nargis, which tore into the southeast Asian country on May 3, jumped by 5,000 since the last figure was released by Burma's military government Wednesday evening.It was still well below the United Nations estimate of more than 100,000 killed, or a recent tally by the International Red Cross that puts the figure between 68,833 and 127,900.The updated toll was released just hours after the ruling military junta threatened legal action against those who were discovered trading or hoarding international aid, the regime's first tacit concession that there were problems dispersing relief. Recent reports indicate foreign aid is being sold in markets and siphoned off by the army for its own purposes - a charge the government denied on state radio.The government has systematically accepted donations and has distributed the relief goods immediately and directly to the victims, it said.BBC reporter Natalia Antelava, one of few foreign reporters who have gotten into Burma, reached the hardest hit area, the Irrawaddy delta, on a fisherman's boat, and said she saw no evidence any aid had reached the region, which still appears cut off from the outside world.In one village she visited, 20 survivors were huddled in the only remaining structure among the wrecked houses where 400 people had lived. The survivors had subsisted on captured rainwater and a meagre amount of rice for the 10 days since the cyclone hit, she reported.
Criticism over blocked aid, referendum
The Burmese government has come under heavy criticism in the aftermath of the cyclone, accused of dragging its heels on providing aid to the estimated 1.6 million to 2.5 million survivors and neglecting their needs in favour of going ahead with a nationwide referendum last Saturday. Results announced on state radio Thursday indicated voters had overwhelmingly chosen to adopt a pro-military constitution, which critics say is a sham document designed to increase the junta's power. It was approved by 92.4 per cent of voters, according to state radio, which reported a whopping 99 per cent of the 22 million voters turned out for the May 10th vote.Voting in the hardest-hit areas of Rangoon and the Irrawaddy Delta has been postponed until May 24; however, the outcome will be largely symbolic as the government only needed a majority of the 27 million total eligible voters to approve the constitution.To everyone in the delta - in the 47 affected townships where the vote is being delayed - this is basically saying you might as well not turn out, said David Mathieson, a spokesman for Human Rights Watch in Bangkok.The government's announcement that its constitution had been approved is insulting to the people of Burma, he said.There is simply no way that 92 per cent ... would have voted yes on a document that they know very little about and that most have never read, Mathieson said.His concerns were echoed by observers in Canada, who criticized the vote during a press conference in Ottawa Thursday morning.We are deeply troubled by the referendum, said Kevin McLeod, a board member of the organization Canadian Friends of Burma. From what we heard about the way it was handled, it was really a sham and basically a total travesty. People were forced to vote; ballots were printed with the Yes already ticked; and in some cases [there is] evidence of mass intimidation.
Fraud, intimidation alleged at polls
Local journalists have cited instances of voter intimidation and fraud at polling stations, saying some officials asked voters to place their fingerprint on ballot papers or denied them privacy as they cast their vote.The editor of a respected Burmese news magazine who had correspondents posted around the country said he had information that the vote was not totally free and fair.The essence of secrecy is totally lost in some of the polling booths, said the editor, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.Other journalists witnessed voters carrying three or four national registration cards, which they exchanged for an equal number of ballots, a violation of voting rules.The constitution guarantees that 25 per cent of parliamentary seats go to the military, which has ruled Burma since 1962, while it allows the president to hand over all power to the armed forces in a state of emergency.
Constitution bars Aung San Suu Kyi from politics
It also prohibits the leader of Burma's pro-democracy movement, Aung San Suu Kyi, from entering public office. Her National League for Democracy party won the 1990 general election, but the military government refused to honour the results.The junta has promised a 2010 general election following the constitution vote. Burma has not had a constitution since 1988, when the army brutally suppressed pro-democracy demonstrations and quashed the existing constitution.Two days before the May 10 referendum, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Burma to delay the vote and focus its attention on helping citizens recover from the cyclone.The junta has allowed the UN and some other agencies to distribute aid but is refusing to allow foreign workers to leave the main city of Rangoon.
There is a visible fence around Rangoon that we don't dare cross. A circle has been drawn around Rangoon, and expats are confined there, said Tim Costello of the aid group World Vision.While you are getting aid through, it's like getting it through on a three-inch pipe, not 30-inch pipe.However, Ban said he has now secured support from Burma, its neighbours and key donors to increase the flow of cyclone relief aid and to convene a possible donors' conference this month.Canada is flying 2,000 emergency shelter kits to the area that will be distributed by the International Red Cross after the flight arrives in Thailand on Friday.The junta is also permitting 160 relief workers from India, China, Bangladesh and Thailand to enter Burma, though it was not clear if anyone but the Thais would be permitted to go to the most ravaged parts of the delta.An emergency rapid assessment team from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is also heading into Burma to assess the most critical needs.With files from the Associated Press
Summer storm-like winds gust through Yellowknife
Thu May 15, 6:19 PM
Unusual blasts of wind and rain tore through Yellowknife and surrounding area Thursday afternoon, but meteorologists say the weird weather was little more than summer making an early appearance.Winds gusting as fast as 55 kilometres an hour turned the N.W.T. capital into a swirling dust bowl during the lunch hour, creating clouds of dust and grit.Shortly after the windy spell, Yellowknifers were hit with a short, intense rain shower.It was a weak little disturbance that was running through the Great Slave Lake area, Yvonne Bilan-Wallace, a meteorologist with Environment Canada in Edmonton told CBC News Thursday.Basically, it was one of those localized unstable situations where you had the stronger winds from aloft coming down to the surface.Bilan-Wallace said the structure of Thursday's disturbance is similar to that of a summer storm and is actually more common during the summer season.While the winds were not severe, she said the dust filling the capital made things look and feel worse than they actually were.Some good news for Yellowknifers planning ahead, however: the forecast calls for clear skies and daytime temperatures between 10 C and 16 C over the long weekend.
Storms kill 1 in southern United States, damage Texas state capitol Thu May 15, 6:56 PM By Mary Foster, The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS - Severe storms with damaging winds and possible tornadoes pounded the South, killing at least one person in Louisiana and shattering windows at the Texas state capitol. In the southern Louisiana town of Grosse Tete, a pecan tree fell onto a camper Thursday, killing a 77-year-old man alone inside it. In nearby St. Martin Parish, a minor injury was reported in a house knocked off its blocks. From the first reports we believe it was a tornado that went through during the storm, said Maj. Ginny Higgins of the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Department. An overnight storm also knocked down several large trees at the Texas Capitol in Austin and blew out windows in the dome. Broken glass damaged a portrait of the state's first lieutenant governor, Albert Horton.
Some schools in Louisiana cancelled classes, and there were reports of minor flooding throughout the region as already-soaked earth could absorb no more rain. City workers in Hammond filled sandbags for people to use at home. The storm had winds higher than 72 km/h and dumped as much as 100 millimetres of rain, said Jim Vasilj, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. There were reports of trees downed in parts of southern Mississippi, which closed some roads briefly. In Louisiana, possible tornadoes were reported near Folsom and Pontchatoula in addition to the report in St. Martin Parish, Vasilj said. The worst of the stormy weather, which prompted flash flood watches, minor flooding in areas and slick conditions during morning drives, moved on to Alabama. The weather service issued a flood warning there as streams rose. Record-breaking rainfall began late Tuesday. In northwestern Louisiana, officials reported that more than 250 millimetres of rain deluged the Shreveport area, flooding at least 125 homes. Golf-ball-size hail also was reported as a thunderstorm moved across southeastern Louisiana, said Phil Grigsby, a National Weather Service meteorologist. It's one of the most intense storms we've had down here in quite a few years, he said. About 12,000 people in Louisiana lacked power Thursday morning, Cleco Corp. spokeswoman Susan Broussard said. The utility hoped to restore electricity Thursday but was also getting reports of new failures after storms rolled across central Louisiana, she said.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast(THE 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.(TRADE BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:(10 NATIONS) 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 KINGS OR NATIONS).
Britain says Mediterranean Union no alternative to EU enlargement 14 May 2008, 16:15 CET
(ANKARA) - British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Wednesday that French plans to create a Mediterranean Union could not replace the enlargement of the European Union.The Mediterranean Union can and should be a beneficial project for the European Union but it is not, repeat not, an alternative to enlargement of the EU to include Turkey, Miliband told a joint press conference here with his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan.The EU should pursue Turkey's accession process with full speed, he said.The Mediterranean project, approved by EU leaders in March, aims to improve trade, transport and energy links between southern European countries and nations around the Mediterranean including Morocco, Syria, Israel and Turkey.Critics see it as a way for French President Nicolas Sarkozy to keep Turkey out of the EU.The French leader is a staunch opponent of Turkey's accession to the 27-member bloc and advocates a special partnership rather than full membership -- a proposal Ankara categorically rejects.Sarkozy hopes to push his plans for a Mediterranean Union forward when France assumes the rotating EU presidency on July 1.
Miliband, who is accompanying Queen Elizabeth II on a four-day state visit to Turkey, gave assurances that his government will continue to support Turkey's drive for EU membership.We want to be allies of Turkey inside the European Union, not just proponents of a better dialogue between the EU and Turkey... We commit ourselves to ensure that the accession negotiation process proceeds with full momentum, he said.Ankara began membership negotiations in October 2005, but has opened talks in only six of the 35 policy chapters a candidate country must complete.The EU has frozen negotiations in eight chapters over Turkey's refusal to grant trade privileges to Cyprus, an EU member Ankara does not recognize.Miliband said he and Babacan agreed to launch a special bilateral dialogue to defeat international terrorism, such as threats by Al-Qaeda, which has targeted both countries.Turkey, a secular Muslim-majority democracy, and Britain, with a population of two million Muslims, are living examples that different cultures and different religions can live together, Miliband said.I hope our counter-terrorism relationship will both have practical measures to make our countries safer but also some of the deeper ideological and theological roots of terrorism that need to be tackled, he said.
EU-Latin America-Caribbean Summit to Open in Peru
By VOA News 14 May 2008
Man walks by a sign that reads in Spanish V Summit Peru 2008 at site of Europe-Latin America-Caribbean summit in Lima, 14 May 2008
Leaders from 60 countries in Europe and the Americas will meet in Lima, Peru this Friday for a two-day summit that is expected to focus on poverty, climate change and free trade.The summit marks the fifth meeting among officials from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. At the talks, European governments are expected to pursue ongoing free trade negotiations with Central America, the Andean Community as well as the South American trade block known as Mercosur.Separately, participants are expected to discuss efforts to reach an agreement in the so-called Doha round of world trade talks. Agricultural disputes between rich and poor countries have blocked a deal on the talks, which began in Doha, Qatar in 2001.
Poor nations have complained that government aid to farmers in rich countries prompts wealthy farmers to overproduce, driving down prices and making it difficult for poor farmers to compete.Wealthy nations say they are willing to reduce farm subsidies if developing nations drop import tariffs and open their markets to manufactured goods from developed nations. Brazil has played a major role in the Doha trade talks by representing the interests of developing countries.Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.
Korea-EU Free Trade Negotiations Make Headway MAY 15,08
Negotiations between Korea and the European Union, now in their seventh iteration in Brussels, have been narrowed down to specifics. The two sides have reportedly held meetings on five key issues such as service provisions, barriers on tax exemption, the origin of products, and intellectual property rights. According to Korea's chief negotiator Lee Hye-min, the EU has agreed to propose new rules of origin for some Korean imports. Until now, it has imposed tough rule-of-origin standards for Korean-made machinery, electronics and optical goods. The current EU standard requires Korea to produce at least 60 percent of a finished item at home in order to describe it as Korean-made. However this is likely to change as the EU is indicating it will ease its stance, an improvement according to Korean officials in Brussels, but still a long way to go.
Many more topics on the agenda remain. One of the bigger ones is whether the EU will accept products made at the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex as being made in Korea. The EU is also asking Seoul to revise regulations on European cars to match international standards. As for how serious the two sides are on narrowing their differences, as much as Korea wants to close the deal soon, the EU is unlikely to waste any time. Experts say the EU has the Korea-U.S. trade pact to consider, as once that goes through European goods will have to compete against goods made in U.S.A. on Korean soil. Arirang News.
EUROPEAN UNION ARMY
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)
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king (EU DICTATOR) of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,(FROM THE OCCULT) shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power:(SATANS POWER) and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;(JESUS) but he shall be broken without hand.
36 And the king (EU DICTATOR) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,(THIS EU DICTATOR IS JEWISH) nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.(CLAIM TO BE GOD)
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces:(WAR) and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god,(DESTROY TERROR GROUPS) whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many,(HIS ARMY LEADERS) and shall divide the land for gain.
19 And I saw the beast,(EU LEADER) and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse,(JESUS) and against his army.(THE RAPTURED CHRISTIANS)
Poland to beef up European military club
15.05.2008 - 09:19 CET | By Philippa Runner
Poland has opted to become a full member of the EU and NATO-linked military club, Eurocorps, in a move designed to spur on the creation of a significant European defence capability.Warsaw from 2009 is to pledge 3,000 soldiers to the existing 60,000-strong Eurocorps force, hold 15 officer-level posts and forward a deputy director to the Strasbourg-based outfit, Polish media report.The club currently consists of full members France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg as well as eight junior partners, including Poland, who each contribute a handful of technical staff.
Eurocorps is not an EU institution. It was set up as an independent Franco-German project in 1992 to help support EU, NATO and UN operations, seeing active service in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan so far. The organisation has strong political links to the EU, however. Its badge is a sword superimposed on a map of Europe and the EU's golden stars. A Eurocorps unit hoisted the EU flag and played the EU anthem outside the EU parliament in Strasbourg on Europe Day last week.Our decision to fully join Eurocorps comes from the conviction that Europe is becoming the second pillar of our national security alongside NATO, Polish defence minister Bogdan Klich said in Polish daily Rzeczpospolita on Thursday (15 May). We treat NATO as the main security pillar, but we cannot forget Europe is increasing its capabilities and this stands behind our desire to join this process.The EU has a mixed bag of military cooperation projects under its European security and defence policy chapter, with an EU-flag peacekeeping force currently at work in Chad.But the new Lisbon Treaty could deepen military integration with a new article that envisages the progressive framing of a common defence policy [that] will lead to a common defence, when the European Council, acting unanimously, so decides.We have to start a discussion on increasing the planning and operational capabilities of the EU. We expect a serious debate will start under the French [EU] presidency, Poland's Mr Klich said.
NATO nations back cyber defence centre
Wed May 14, 2008 4:38pm
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Seven NATO nations gave their backing on Wednesday to a new cyber defence centre in Estonia, the ex-Soviet state which last year faced weeks of attacks on its Internet structure after a row with Russia.Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Spain agreed to help fund and staff the centre in the Estonian capital Tallinn. The United States will initially send an observer to the project, aimed at boosting defences against such attacks.We have seen in Estonia that a cyber attack can swiftly become an issue of national security. Cyber attacks can cripple societies, NATO spokesman James Appathurai said after a signing ceremony in Brussels.The centre will have some 30 staff when fully operational in August and provide research, consultation, training and development of cyber defences, which will remain the prime responsibility of national governments.
Estonia's decision last year to remove the bronze statue of a Red Army soldier from the centre of Tallinn sparked rioting by mainly Russian-speaking youth, a row with Moscow and four weeks of cyber attacks which its president blamed on Russia.Moscow has denied any involvement in the flood of data which overloaded servers and caused computers to crash, with Estonian officials saying its banks were briefly targeted.While some analysts see cyber war as one of the world's emerging security risks, many NATO nations are reluctant to recognize it as such by explicitly stating that such attacks could be grounds for invoking the alliance's mutual defence clause -- the pledge to defend other allies under attack.Last month's NATO summit included an agreement to study any request for help by any ally facing a cyber attack.(Reporting by Mark John; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
EU ministers beef up financial market supervisors
Wed May 14, 2008 7:55am
BRUSSELS, May 14 (Reuters) - National market watchdogs must take into account European Union-wide consequences of their actions from 2009 under measures adopted by the bloc's finance ministers on Wednesday in response to financial turmoil.Financial supervisors in the EU member states should intensify work towards enhanced European supervisory convergence, conclusions adopted by ministers said.The enhanced EU dimension would in particular allow financial supervisory authorities to consider financial stability concerns in other member states.Cross-border integration among banks, stock exchanges and brokers has outgrown market oversight, which is still nationally based in the 27-country EU.The credit crunch which began rattling investors last August due to defaults on U.S. home loans highlighted flaws in how cross-border financial institutions are supervised.Another key aim of improving day-to-day supervision is to apply EU financial regulation more consistently across the bloc. Ministers also agreed to speed up some actions, many of them agreed with G7 partners, as part of wider efforts to apply lessons learned from the credit crunch.
The focus is on beefing up three EU committees made up of national insurance, securities and banking supervisors:The measures have raised some concerns about the erosion of national regulatory sovereignty and stoked suspicions that the ultimate goal is a single pan-EU superwatchdog.Regarding wider financial market stability, EU ministers, central bankers and financial supervisors agreed last month to update a memorandum of understanding to improve how they tackle cross-border financial crises.Ministers on Wednesday agreed to an EU-wide crisis simulation exercise in spring 2009 to see how the updated MOU works. There was also agreement to look at how deposit guarantee schemes can be improved to bolster public confidence in banks. (Editing by David Holmes)
EU transport mega-projects threaten nature sites
15.05.2008 - 09:15 CET | By Leigh Phillips
EU transport mega-projects are threatening over a thousand protected nature sites in Europe, according to a coalition of European environmental groups.Some of the most rare birds in Europe, including the Red-breasted Goose and the Dalmatian Pelican, as well as a range of biodiverse habitats could be put at risk by 21planned priority projects that are part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) package.The TEN-T is the EU's transport infrastructure framework. Originally adopted in 1990, TEN-T is engaged aims to connect up tens of thousands or roads, railways and waterways across Europe by 2020. In one example, a project that aims to remove some 1,600 km of bottlenecks on the Rhine-Main-Danube corridor to improve its navigability could negatively affect some 83 different natural sites in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, and another 48 important bird areas in Bulgaria and Romania.
The threats are highlighted in a new report from Birdlife International, who, together with Transport & Environment (T&E), the European Environment Bureau and the CEE Bankwatch Network, presented their findings in the European Parliament on Tuesday (13 May)Jos Dings, director of Transport and Environment, a transport campaign group said: The story of Europe's priority transport infrastructure projects is a classic example of old-fashioned political horse-trading. The projects were chosen behind closed doors and pushed through without consideration of the economic and environmental risks.It's now time for a root and branch review of how these megaprojects get picked, he added. Clairie Papazoglou, regional director of BirdLife Interantional's European division, said that the threat went further than just a few projects.
This new analysis highlights the magnitude of the threat to Natura 2000 [Europe's network of protected nature sites] from transport development. The 21 Priority Projects analysed are just the tip of the iceberg, implementation of TEN-T network as a whole could have much more severe impacts. The vast majority of these impacts can be avoided if Natura 2000 areas are taken into account in the early stages of planning. This is required by EU environmental law, said Ms Papazoglou. As a minimum, EU funding needs to be denied to all projects which do not fully comply with EU legislation, she continued.In the main, the groups see the problem being resolved through the enforcement of existing EU nature laws.But additionally, the groups are demanding that biodiversity considerations be taken into account at the earliest stage of work, and call for the establishment of a strong mechanism to resolve conflicts between TEN-T and Natura 2000 and a system that can scrutinise spending on transport projects to ensure that EU funding is not provided for projects that damage nature sites.
STRONG GROWTH IN EUROPE
May 15, 2008
Dear Friend of Israel,
Earlier today, during his second visit to Israel since attaining office, U.S. President Bush addressed Israel's parliament, the Knesset. While many significant speeches have been given in this chamber since Israel's founding 60 years ago, I truly believe that the President's will stand as one of the most memorable.In his speech, President Bush described Israel as the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David, reaffirmed that the alliance between our governments is unbreakable, yet the source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty, and recognized Israel as free and modern society based on the love of liberty, a passion for justice, and a respect for human dignity. It was a stirring address, one that demonstrated that the President understands well the religious, moral, political, and strategic reasons why Israel and America must and will stand together.
We have posted the President's speech on our website. I urge you to read it in full today. And, as you do, reflect upon the strong ties that bind these two great nations, America and Israel — and pray that God will continue to bless our partnership, as He always has in the past.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
President International Fellowship of christians and Jews.
ALL EYES ON THE EPICENTER Bush, Obama, and Dobson are riveted on Israel and Iran. They're not alone. By Joel C. Rosenberg
(Washington, D.C., May 15, 2008) -- The eyes of the world are riveted today on Israel, the epicenter of the momentous events that are shaking our world and shaping our future. President Bush delivered an important and controversial address to the Israeli parliament this morning. A few excerpts worth noting: Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along, the President noted. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided. We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history. Some people suggest that if the United States would just break ties with Israel, all our problems in the Middle East would go away. This is a tired argument that buys into the propaganda of our enemies, and America rejects it utterly. Israel's population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because America stands with you. America stands with you in breaking up terrorist networks and denying the extremists sanctuary. And America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions. Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.Sen. Barack Obama -- sounding quite defensive, in my judgment -- quickly fired back, though the President did not mention the junior Illinois Senator by name, and may very well have been thinking more of former President Jimmy Carter.
It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 6Oth anniversary of Israel's independence to launch a false political attack, Sen. Obama replied. It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel. Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power -- including tough, principled, and direct diplomacy - to pressure countries like Iran and Syria. George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the President's extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel.Meanwhile, Dr. James Dobson -- the most-listened-to evangelical Christian on radio anywhere on the planet, with more than 9 million listeners a week in North America alone -- begins the first of two programs on God, evangelicals and Israel. Today, he, author Tom Doyle and I explore the Biblical theology of the miraculous and prophetic rebirth of the modern State of Israel 60 years ago this week, God's everlasting and unconditional love and plan for the Jewish people and all the people of the epicenter, and the prophecies concerning Israel's future. Tomorrow, we will focus on the work of The Joshua Fund, Tom's organization, and some of the ways that evangelical Christians can pray for the people of the epicenter and bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus. Please tune in on your local Christian radio station, or go to our weblog for a link to listen on-line.
At the same time, hundreds of churches, conferences and radio stations around the country are also focusing on Israel over the next few weeks. This weekend, for example, more than 500 radio stations will be airing the Epicenter Radio Special, a two-hour broadcast of the major speeches and key moments from the Epicenter Conference we held in Jerusalem last month. Please check local listings, or listen on-line at www.epicenter08.com. On Saturday, May 17, Tim LaHaye and I will address the Southern California Strategic Issues Conference in Los Angeles. My subject will be, All Eyes on the Epicenter: Russia, Iran and The Future of Israel.
On Sunday, May 18, I will will speak on God's plan and purpose for the nation of Israel at Calvary Chapel of Chino Valley, California.
On Saturday, May 24, I will have the privilege of serving as the closing night speaker at the Past, Present & Future Conference at the Tucson Convention Center in Arizona, before an expected audience of some 10,000 people. The event has been organized by pastors from all over the Tucson metro area. Randy Travis is the headlining musical act. Pastors Skip Heitzig and Robert Furrow will speak the first two nights. I will talk about Bible prophecy, Israel, and how we can know the God who knows the future. For details on any of these events, please check on our weblog. Please keep my family, my team, and me in your prayers, if you would, as we have these remarkable opportunities to help millions of people to better understand God's heart for the Israel and her neighbors at this critical moment in world history. Thanks so much.
Web site: Bin Laden to release Israel message MAY 15,08
NEW YORK - Osama bin Laden, who has threatened to extend al-Qaida's terror to Israel, will release a new Internet message dealing with Israelis and Palestinians, a terrorism monitoring group said Thursday. The announcement of the impending comments by the head of al-Qaida was posted on Web sites often used by Islamic militant groups, the SITE Intelligence Group said.Bin Laden's statement, The Causes of Conflict on the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of the State of Israeli Occupation and will be addressed to the Western peoples, SITE said.Israel has been celebrating the anniversary of its independence, but the occasion has also been mourned by many Palestinians as a reminder of their uprooting.
The Internet message — expected to appear within 72 hours of the advertisement — will be bin Laden's second this year and the seventh since the start of 2007, part of an overall increase by al-Qaida in the pace of Internet statements.In a December, the terror leader offered an unusually direct attack on Israel and stepped up al-Qaida's attempts to use the Israeli-Arab conflict to rally supporters.We intend to liberate Palestine, the whole of Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the sea, he said, threatening blood for blood, destruction for destruction.Israel has warned of growing al-Qaida activity in Palestinian territory, though terror network is not believed to have taken a strong role there so far.
LAND FOR PEACE (THE FUTURE 7 YEARS OF HELL ON EARTH)
2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
THE WEEK OF DANIEL 9:27 WE KNOW ITS 7 YRS
Heres the scripture 1 week = 7 yrs Genesis 29:27-29
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
26 And after threescore and two weeks(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
ISAIAH 28:14-19 (THIS IS THE 7 YR TREATY COVENANT OF DANIEL 9:27)
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
Bush leaves it to Olmert to push Mideast peace May 15, 2:08 PM (ET)By TERENCE HUNT
JERUSALEM (AP) - President Bush gently urged Mideast leaders to make the hard choices necessary for peace, leaving it to embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to stand before a divided parliament Thursday and forcefully declare that this war-weary nation is ready for a historic agreement with Palestinians.On a day mourned by Palestinians as the 60th anniversary of their uprooting by Israel's independence, Bush mentioned the Palestinians only once in a 23-minute speech to the Knesset - and then only in the context of what a Palestinian state would look like six decades from now.
Some Israelis and Palestinians were disappointed that Bush failed to use his high-profile appearance to push the two sides to take the concrete steps to achieve his own goal of a peace deal before the end of his presidency.Most notably, Bush's speech ignited a political uproar on the campaign trail back home.Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama lashed back after Bush condemned the false comfort of appeasement and said that some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along.The White House insisted the remark was not aimed at Obama and that Bush was repeating standard U.S. policy. But Obama issued a statement accusing Bush of using the 60th anniversary of Israel's founding to launch a false political attack" against him. Obama has said that as president he would be willing to meet personally with the leaders of such U.S. adversaries as Iran, Syria and Cuba.Five months after Bush launched the first serious Mideast peace talks in seven years, the effort seems to have run out of steam. Olmert, facing his fifth criminal investigation in two years, is weak and unpopular and his support in parliament is unclear. The Palestinians are weak and divided, as well, and decades-old disputes remain unsettled.
Bush, in his remarks, did not delve into the obstacles but skipped to a rosy scenario 60 years ahead.Israel will be celebrating the 120th anniversary as one of the world's great democracies, a secure and flourishing homeland for the Jewish people, Bush forecast. The Palestinian people will have the homeland they have long dreamed of and deserve - a democratic state that is governed by law, and respects human rights, and rejects terror. From Cairo to Riyadh to Baghdad and Beirut, people will live in free and independent societies, where a desire for peace is reinforced by ties of diplomacy and tourism and trade.He did not explain how that would be achieved. Bush predicted Iran and Syria would be peaceful nations and that the Islamic militant groups al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas would be defeated.On a five-day Mideast trip, Bush flies to Saudi Arabia on Friday and to Egypt on Saturday.Bush's speech was seen as a missed opportunity by some on both sides.
It was an embarrassing speech, a collection of slogans that somebody wrote for him in order to be nice to Israel, or what he thinks is Israel, and to steer well clear of anything concrete, said Israeli lawmaker Yossi Beilin, a member of the dovish Meretz party and one of the prime architects of the Oslo peace accords. It's a shame and a scandal, in my opinion.Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said of Bush: He could have been much different. We expected the president to really tell the Israelis that to really live in peace and security ... the occupation must end and an independent Palestinian state must be created. This would have been the speech we expected but unfortunately we didn't hear it.White House press secretary Dana Perino said the speech was intended as a celebration of Israel's founding. It's not meant to be a kitchen-sink speech, she said.It was left to Olmert to make the most forceful case for a peace agreement as Bush listened a few feet away.Olmert spoke of an accord based on two states for two people, a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace. This agreement will be approved in the Knesset by a large majority and will be supported by the vast majority of the Israeli public, Olmert said.
There were murmurs and stirring among some lawmakers at Olmert's prediction. The prime minister turned to Bush and joked that the president's aides had probably told him the Knesset is calm and tranquil. Bush chuckled. Two hardline lawmakers walked out in protest during Olmert's address.Israel has no stronger desire than to achieve peace with our Palestinian neighbors, Olmert said.Olmert also cautioned Bush about Iran. The threat is not aimed at Israel alone, he said.Most Israelis favor a peace agreement and the idea of an independent Palestinian state. However, the public is skeptical about reaching a deal under current conditions.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is widely seen as being too weak to carry out an agreement, and many Israelis fear that if Israel withdraws from the West Bank, it would follow the same fate as Gaza, which was taken over by the Hamas militant group last June and is now a launching ground for rocket attacks. Most Israelis also oppose dividing the holy city of Jerusalem, a key Palestinian demand.Olmert also has suffered from low popularity since Israel's inconclusive war in Lebanon in 2006 and, more recently, a new corruption investigation. A poll this week showed 60 percent of Israelis think Olmert cannot promote peacemaking because of the latest police investigation into his conduct. The same number think he should resign.Palestinians marked the day with rallies, sirens and black balloons, recalling the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who either fled or were driven out of their homes during the 1948 war over Israel's creation. Palestinians call it their nakba, Arabic for catastrophe.Before appearing before the Knesset, Bush toured Masada, the ancient fortress on a plateau in the desert overlooking the Dead Sea. It is said to be the place where Jewish rebels killed themselves and each other 2,000 years ago rather than fall into slavery under the advancing Romans army. Thursday night, Bush hosted a reception at the Israel Museum, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world.Associated Press writers Dalia Nammari in Ramallah and Josef Federman in Jerusalem contributed to this report
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 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.
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)
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.
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.
GLOBAL JIHAD Bush urged to address Muslim hate in books
Republican leader wants president to take on Saudi anti-West lessons
May 14, 2008 9:40 pm Eastern 2008 WorldNetDaily
New York City in the moments after the Sept. 11. 2001, attack led mostly by Saudi nationals .A Republican leader of Congress has urged President Bush to press the Saudi government to reform its textbooks during his visit tomorrow with Saudi King Abdullah. In a letter to Bush, Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., founder of the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, warned that the kingdom is still spreading a dangerous ideology that attacked us on 9/11 and continues to threaten the United States and its allies around the world.I strongly urge you to raise my concerns regarding the use of textbooks that are sanctioned by the Saudi government for use within the country and around the world that preach hatred and violence toward non-Muslims and Western ideals of liberty, she said in the May 5 missive.Despite Abdullah's post-9/11 promises of reforms, Saudi school texts used for Islamic studies still encourage violence and hatred toward infidels, according to a recent comprehensive review by the Freedom House.
The nonprofit group says indoctrination begins as early as first grade and expands each year, culminating in a 12th-grade text teaching teens that their religious duty includes waging jihad against the infidel to spread the faith.Here are relevant passages from the Saudi textbooks, by grade level:First Grade: Every religion other than Islam is false.Fourth Grade: True belief means ... that you hate the polytheists and infidels but do not treat them unjustly.Fifth Grade: It is forbidden for a Muslim to be a loyal friend to someone who does not believe in Allah and His Prophet.Sixth Grade: Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavor to evict the Christian crusaders from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, Allah willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for Allah, for this is within Allah's power.Eighth Grade: The apes are the Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus.Ninth Grade: The clash between this (Muslim) community and the Jews and Christians has endured, and it will continue as long as Allah wills.
Myrick worries the hateful religious indoctrination could translate into violence against the West. Of immediate concern, she notes, are the thousands of young Saudi men scheduled to immigrate to the U.S. on student visas.The State Department plans to double the number of student visas issued to young Saudi men from 15,000 to 30,000 – despite the fact that nearly all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals who immigrated to the U.S. on visas.We aim to increase their numbers to 30,000 over the next five years, U.S. Ambassador Ford Fraker last month told Saudi officials at the Al-Jouf Chamber of Commerce and Industry.In the past, a large number of Saudi students have failed to show up for classes, coast to coast, and have overstayed their visas. Many of them have been caught up in terrorism investigations.As more young Saudi citizens take part in the scholarship student visa program, we must be sure that we are not permitting Saudi citizens into our country who seek to do us harm, as we saw with the 15 hijackers from Saudi Arabia who attacked us on 9/11, Myrick said.The congresswoman also asked Bush to press the Saudi government to allow non-Muslim clergy to visit the kingdom as part of a reciprocal exchange under the U.S. R-1/R-2 religious visa program.I believe it is essential to a true dialogue between religions to allow clergy to come and speak to foreign audiences, she told the president. No one should be prohibited from entering a country based on their religious beliefs.
Myrick plans to introduce a bill to restrict R-1 religious visas for Muslim clerics who come from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other countries that do not allow reciprocal visits by non-Muslim clergy.
Since 9/11, several foreign imams have been prosecuted or deported for soliciting jihad, including a Pakistani cleric in Lodi, Calif.
Myrick also plans as part of her 10-point Wake Up America anti-terror legislative agenda to introduce a bill to cancel U.S. contracts to train Saudi police and other security forces in U.S. counterterrorism tactics until the Saudis certify the prosecution of designated al-Qaida financiers – such as wealthy Saudi businessman Yasin al-Kadi – as well as the detention of repatriated Guantanamo terrorists whom the Saudis have released back into the general population after being rehabilitated.Some Gitmo detainees repatriated to Saudi Arabia have rejoined the jihad against U.S. troops overseas.As we continue to work with the Saudi government, it is essential that they end their practice of exporting terrorism, Myrick said. Reports claim that the Saudi rehabilitation program of released Guantanamo detainees conditions the release on agreement not to attack within Saudi Arabia.If true, she added, this is obviously detrimental to defeating the jihadist ideology that inspires our enemies.
Nuclear Weapons May Spread to Middle East from Iran: Henry Kissinger 14.05.08 13:52
Israel, Jerusalem, 14 May / corr. TrendNews R. Abddullayev/ The former Secretary of State of the United States Henry Kissinger believes that if Iran becomes a nuclear power, the nuclear weapon will spread to the Middle East. If Iran becomes nuclear power, the nuclear weapon will disseminate and it will spread to a number of fundamental regimes of the Middle East, Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State of the United States, stated in Jerusalem on 14 May in an opening ceremony of the international conference Lets Look Forward to Future dedicated to the Independence Day of Israel.
According to Kissinger, the fundamental radical Iran is one of the major sources of Jihad. We should combat Jihad. The challenge of Jihad is assuming a special international significance, said Kissinger. The danger from the nuclear Iran is not only threat to the national security of Israel, but also to the viability of the entire international and world security system, Kissinger added.
Last week, the president of Israel Shimon Peres, organizer of the conference, said in a press conference that some 13 head of state, 5 former presidents, 3 Premiers, 4 foreign ministers, 8 Nobel Prize laureate and 800 delegates more from 30 leading countries of the world, will take part in the conference in Jerusalem.
WW3 THE 3 WAVES THAT MARCH TO ISRAEL
40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south( EGYPT) push at him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) and the king of the north (RUSSIA AND MUSLIM HORDES OF EZEK 38+39) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.(JORDAN)
42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
44 But tidings out of the east(CHINA 2ND WAVE OF WW3) and out of the north(RUSSIA, MUSLIMS WHATS LEFT FROM WAVE 1) shall trouble him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.( 1/3RD OF EARTHS POPULATION)
45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20 And the winepress was trodden without the city,(JERUSALEM) and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.(200 MILES) (THE SIZE OF ISRAEL)
The Third and Final Wave of WW3 is when all Nations march to Jerusalem, but JESUS bodily returns to earth and destroys them,sets up his KINGDOM OF RULE FOR 1000 YEARS THEN FOREVER.
2ND WAVE CHINA AND KINGS OF THE EAST MARCH TO ISRAEL
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.(THIS IS THE ATATURK DAM IN TURKEY,THEY CROSS OVER).
DANIEL 11:44 (2ND WAVE OF WW3)
44 But tidings out of the east(CHINA) and out of the north(RUSSIA, MUSLIMS WHATS LEFT FROM WAVE 1) shall trouble him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.( 1/3RD OF EARTHS POPULATION)
12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.(IRAQ-SYRIA)
15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.(1/3 Earths Population die in WW 3 2ND WAVE)
16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand:(200 MILLION MAN ARMY FROM CHINA AND THE KINGS OF THE EAST) and I heard the number of them.
17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)
India, Russia, China FMs hold talks MAY 15,08
Yekaterinburg (Russia) (PTI): India, Russia and China today kicked off a trilateral meeting here to discuss a wide range of regional and global issues including counter- terrorism, food and energy security and the rapidly unfolding economic scenario on the backdrop of US subprime crisis. Welcoming External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Chinese colleague Yang Jiechi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov invited them for informal discussions on the issues touched upon in their earlier Vladivostok, New Delhi and Harbin meetings. At the end of RIC ministerial meeting, a joint communique stating the common stand of India, Russia and China will be issued. According to sources, for the first time, the three nations are expected to express a common stand on the nuclear issues of Iran, North Korea and the situation in Afghanistan. Mukherjee arrived here Wednesday on a three-day visit. Earlier on Thursday morning, he met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi. Yang described the bilateral Sino-Indian relations as steady.
Remarks by the President in Jerusalem
ICC Jerusalem International Convention Center
9:20 P.M. (Local)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. President Peres, thank you, sir, for your hospitality. Mr. Prime Minister and Mrs. Olmert, it's great to be with you. We consider you friends. Heads of state, thank you all for coming. I think it's a great tribute to this conference, as well as to Israel that some so many heads of state have come. Ex-heads of state and ex-leaders, thanks for being here. Save a seat in the ex-leader's club. (Laughter and applause.) Citizens of Israel, Laura and I loved coming to your beautiful country, and thank you for your warm hospitality. Citizens of the United States, my fellow Americans -- (applause) -- spend freely and behave yourselves. (Laughter.)
Distinguished guests, I really appreciate your warm welcome. And we are thrilled to be here with one of America's closest friends. Laura and I are honored to represent the American people on the 60th anniversary of your independence. Happy birthday. (Applause.)
As we celebrate the anniversary, it is useful to look back at the story of your founding. It is the story of how faith guided the Jewish people through centuries of bitter exile. It is a story of how those living behind ghetto walls and barbed wire never lost sight of Jerusalem. And it is a story of how brave pioneers risked everything to redeem the promise of this land. It is a marvelous story.
When Israel's founders gathered in Tel Aviv to sign your declaration of independence, the threat of war loomed. But it could not overshadow the joy of people who had lived to see their prayers answered. Celebrations broke out all across this land, and of course they broke out in America, as well. In New York, young men and women danced the hora in the streets. In Washington, a crowd gathered to watch a flag-raising ceremony outside the building that would become Israel's first embassy. After one man saw the flag bearing the Star of David, he said, I never thought I'd live to see this day.
Looking back 60 years later, it is important to remember what the founders of Israel had to overcome at every stage of the journey. They established one of the world's great democracies in a region where democracy had few roots. They formed a unified army out of immigrants and refugees from many different countries. They planted the seeds of a modern economy in the sands of an ancient desert. In these accomplishments, we see the visionary leadership of men and women like Herzl and Weizmann and Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir and Rabin and Sharon -- and we honor each of them this evening. (Applause.)
And looking back 60 years later, we've also got to remember the courage of Harry S. Truman. As Israel prepared to declare independence, President Truman faced a tough choice over whether to recognize a new state. The future of Israel hung in the balance. As Chaim Weizmann told the President, he said, History and providence have placed this issue in your hands. And today we know that the forces of Providence could not have chosen a better man than America's 33rd President. (Applause.)
Eleven minutes after Israel came into existence, the United States became the first nation to recognize its independence. And because Harry Truman did what was right instead of following the conventional wisdom, we can say today that America is Israel's oldest and best friend in the world. (Applause.)
With every passing year, the bonds of friendship between America and Israel have grown stronger. America stands for peace, and so does Israel. And as we stand in peace, we must understand the realities of the world in which we live. We must be steadfast, and we must be strong in the face of those who murder the innocent to achieve their objectives. (Applause.) And in the long run, we share a powerful belief in a powerful weapon against the terrorists. We believe that the surest way to defeat the enemies of hatred is to advance the cause of hope through the cause of freedom; liberty as the great alternative to tyranny and terror. (Applause.)
Mr. President, and Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for inviting me to speak at the Knesset tomorrow. I hear it's a place of many a sharp elbow. (Laughter.) I'm looking forward to giving my speech. (Laughter.) I'm not going to be throwing any elbows. But I will talk about the day when I believe every child in the Middle East can live in peace and live in freedom. (Applause.) With trust in the Rock of Israel, we know that day will come. And when it does, the United States of America will be by at your side.
God bless Israel, and God bless America. (Applause.)
END 9:28 P.M. (Local)
California's top court legalizes gay marriage By LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer Thu May 15, 9:15 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO - California's Supreme Court declared that gay couples in the nation's biggest state can marry — a monumental but perhaps short-lived victory for the gay rights movement Thursday that was greeted with tears, hugs, kisses and at least one instant proposal of matrimony. Same-sex couples could tie the knot in as little as a month. But the window could close soon after — religious and social conservatives are pressing to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would undo the Supreme Court ruling and ban gay marriage.Essentially, this boils down to love. We love each other. We now have equal rights under the law, declared a jubilant Robin Tyler, a plaintiff in the case along with her partner. She added: We're going to get married. No Tupperware, please.A crowd of people raised their fists in triumph inside City Hall, and people wrapped themselves in the rainbow-colored gay-pride flag outside the courthouse. In the Castro, long the center of the gay community in San Francisco, Tim Oviatt wept as he watched the news on TV.I've been waiting for this all my life. This is a life-affirming moment, he said.By the afternoon, gay and lesbian couples had already started lining up at San Francisco City Hall to make appointments to get marriage licenses. In West Hollywood, supporters planned to serve wedding cake at an evening celebration.James Dobson — chairman of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, which has spent thousands of dollars to get the measure on the ballot — called the ruling an outrage.
It will be up to the people of California to preserve traditional marriage by passing a constitutional amendment. ... Only then can they protect themselves from this latest example of judicial tyranny, he said in an e-mailed statement.In its 4-3 ruling, the Republican-dominated high court struck down state laws against same-sex marriage and said domestic partnerships that provide many of the rights and benefits of matrimony are not enough.In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation, Chief Justice Ronald George wrote for the majority in ringing language that delighted gay rights activists.Massachusetts in 2004 became the first, and so far only, state to legalize gay marriage; more than 9,500 couples have taken advantage of the law. But the California ruling is considered monumental by virtue of the state's size — 38 million out of a U.S. population of 302 million — and its historical role as the vanguard of many social and cultural changes that have swept the country since World War II.California has an estimated 108,734 same-sex households, according to 2006 census figures.
It's about human dignity. It's about human rights. It's about time in California, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, pumping his fist in the air, told a roaring crowd at City Hall. As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation. It's inevitable. This door's wide open now. It's going to happen, whether you like it or not.Unlike Massachusetts, California has no residency requirement for obtaining a marriage license, meaning gays nationwide are likely to flock to the state to be wed, said Jennifer Pizer, an attorney who worked on the case.The ultimate reach of the ruling could be limited, however, since most states do not recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Nor does the federal government.The conservative Alliance Defense Fund said it would ask the justices for a stay of the decision until after the fall election in hopes of adding California to the list of 26 states that have approved constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.We're obviously very disappointed in the decision. The remedy is a constitutional amendment. The constitution defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, said Glen Lavy, senior counsel for the organization.Opponents of gay marriage could also ask the high court to reconsider. If the court rejects such a request, same-sex couples could start getting married in 30 days, the time it typically takes for the justices' opinions to become final.
Attorney General Jerry Brown, whose office had argued to uphold the ban, said Brown will work with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state agencies to implement the ruling. The case was set in motion in 2004 when the mayor of San Francisco — the unofficial capital of gay America — threw City Hall open to gay couples to get married in a calculated challenge to California law. Four thousand wed before the Supreme Court put a halt to the practice after a month. Two dozen gay couples then sued, along with the city and gay rights organizations. Thursday's ruling could alter the dynamics of the presidential race, as well as state and congressional contests in California and beyond, by causing a backlash among conservatives and drawing them to the polls in large numbers. A spokesman for Republican John McCain, who opposes gay marriage, said the Arizona senator doesn't believe judges should be making these decisions. The campaigns of Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton said they believe that the issue of marriage should be left to the states. Ten states now offer some form of legal recognition to same-sex couples — in most cases, domestic partnerships or civil unions. In the past few years, the courts in New York, New Jersey and Washington state have refused to allow gay marriage. Outside the San Francisco courthouse, gay marriage supporters cried and cheered as news of the decision spread. Jeanie Rizzo, one of the plaintiffs, called Pali Cooper, her partner of 19 years, via cell phone and asked, Pali, will you marry me? California already offers same-sex couples who register as domestic partners many of the legal rights and responsibilities afforded to married couples, including the right to divorce and to sue for child support.
Citing a 1948 California Supreme Court decision that overturned a ban on interracial marriages, the justices struck down the state's 1977 one-man, one-woman marriage law, as well as a similar, voter-approved law that passed with 61 percent in 2000. The chief justice was joined by Justices Joyce Kennard and Kathryn Werdegar, all three of whom were appointed by Republican governors, and Justice Carlos Moreno, the only member of the court appointed by a Democrat. In a dissent, Justice Marvin Baxter agreed with many arguments of the majority but said that the court overstepped its authority and that changes to marriage laws should be decided by the voters. Justices Ming Chin and Carol Corrigan also dissented.
California's secretary of state is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors gathered enough signatures to put the amendment on the ballot. Schwarzenegger, a Republican who has twice vetoed legislation that would have granted marriage to same-sex couples, said in a statement that he respected the court's decision and will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.Associated Press writers Terence Chea, Jason Dearen, Juliana Barbassa and Evelyn Nieves in San Francisco and Liz Sidoti in Washington contributed to this report.