Thursday, December 31, 2009

 

STOCK RESULTS DEC 31,2009

HAPPY 2010 NEW YEAR-COME QUICKLY KING JESUS AND TAKE US HOME.

DOCTOR DOCTORIAN FROM ANGEL OF GOD
then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.

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

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

EZEKIEL 7:19
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.

REVELATION 13:16-18
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM

WORLD MARKET RESULTS
http://money.cnn.com/data/world_markets/
CNBC VIDEOS
http://www.cnbc.com/id/15839263/site/14081545/?tabid=15839796&tabheader=false

HALF HOUR DOW RESULTS THU DEC 31,2009

09:30 AM +0.79
10:00 AM -12.25
10:30 AM -27.20
11:00 AM -29.55
11:30 AM -50.56
12:00 PM -60.08
12:30 PM -54.56
01:00 PM -50.50
01:30 PM -45.34
02:00 PM -52.45
02:30 PM -53.20
03:00 PM -48.89
03:30 PM -51.54
04:00 PM -120.46 10,428.05

S&P 500 1115.10 -11.32

NASDAQ 2269.15 -22.13

GOLD 1,095.50 +3.00

OIL 79.62 +0.34

TSE 300 11,746.11 +28.65

CDNX 1521.11 +28.22

S&P/TSX/60 693.23 +1.34

MORNING,NEWS,STATS

YEAR TO DATE PERFORMANCE
Dow +3 points at 4 minutes of trading today.
Dow -123 points at low today.
Dow +7 points at high today so far.
GOLD opens at $1,103.80.OIL opens at $79.92 today.

AFTERNOON,NEWS,STATS
Dow -123 points at low today so far.
Dow +7 points at high today so far.

DOW + 19% IN 2009
S&P + 24% IN 2009
NAS + 44% IN 2009
GOLD + 23% IN 2009

 

NEW YEARS EVE AROUND THE WORLD TODAY

JOHN 1:1,14 JESUS IS GOD
1 In the beginning was the Word,(JESUS) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14 And the Word (JESUS) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

JESUS IS GOD - THE ONLY TRUE GOD OF ISRAEL AND THE WHOLE EARTH.NO EXCEPTIONS.

Malaysian court rules Christians can use Allah By EILEEN NG, Associated Press Writer Eileen Ng, Associated Press Writer – Thu Dec 31, 6:58 am ET

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – A Malaysian court ruled Thursday that Christians have the constitutional right to use the word Allah to refer to God, striking down a government ban as illegal.The landmark ruling appeared to be a victory for freedom of religion in the Muslim-majority country, where the ban had become a symbol of what minorities say is institutionalized religious discrimination.Government lawyers said they will consult with the Home Ministry before deciding whether to appeal Judge Lau Bee Lan's verdict in a higher court, where the ban could still be reinstated. They have one month to appeal.Lau said in her judgment that Christians have the constitutional right to use Allah and that the Home Ministry is not empowered to impose the ban.She was ruling on a lawsuit filed in late 2007 by the Herald, the Malaysian Roman Catholic Church's main publication, after the government blocked non-Muslims from translating God as Allah in their literature.This is indeed a landmark case for our nation, the Herald's editor, the Rev. Lawrence Andrew, said in a statement. He said the verdict upholds constitutional liberties of freedom of speech, expression and religion.Authorities have insisted that Allah is an Islamic word that should be used exclusively by Muslims, and its use by other religions would be misleading.

The ban had affected the Malay-language edition of the Herald, which is read mostly by indigenous tribes who converted to Christianity decades ago. The Mandarin, English and Tamil editions do not use the word Allah.About 60 percent of Malaysia's 27 million people are Muslim Malays. A third of the population is ethnic Chinese and Indian, and many practice Christianity.Thursday's verdict means that the Bahasa Malaysia-speaking community of the Christian faith can now continue to freely use the word Allah, a word that has been in their worships and instructions in the faith without any interference from the authorities, Andrew said.The government had argued that the Herald's online edition can be easily accessed by Muslims. Although the government has not said it explicitly, the fear among authorities is that Muslims might be tempted to convert to Christianity by reading Christian literature.Lau said the government argument is outdated. She said the Herald's readership is largely limited to followers of Christianity and that is a sufficient safeguard.Minorities have often said their constitutional right to practice religion freely has come under threat from the Malay Muslim-dominated government. The government denies any discrimination.Recently, the government confiscated 10,000 copies of Bahasa Malaysia-language Bibles because they contained the word Allah.The National Union of Malaysia Muslim Students urged the Home Ministry to appeal the decision.In the Malaysian context,the word Allah is exclusive and only refers to the concept of God that is understood by Muslims,it said in a statement. It warned that allowing the Herald to use Allah could cause confusion among Muslims who may leave their faith.

Christianity may put American in danger in NKorea By HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press Writer – Thu Dec 31, 4:46 am ET

SEOUL, South Korea – A Korean-American missionary believed detained in North Korea walked into the country carrying a Bible, intent on preaching Christianity in a country that bans illegal worship — a bold move that may put him at greater risk of harsh punishment.Determined to bring international attention to human rights abuses in North Korea, Robert Park slipped into the communist country on Christmas Day, activists in Seoul said Thursday. The 28-year-old bore letters calling on authoritarian leader Kim Jong Il to step down and close down camps for political prisoners. He carried a Bible in one hand and the text of a hymn in the other, they said.I brought God's love. God loves you, and God bless you, he shouted in Korean as he crossed a frozen river dividing China from North Korea, the activists said, citing the guides who led Park to the border.Park, of Tucson, Arizona, has not been heard from since, but one of the two guides — both North Korean defectors — brought back the black leather jacket, hat and gloves that Park handed over before fleeing across the border, said Jo Sung-rae of the Seoul-based group Pax Koreana.He asked us to give his clothes to the poor, Jo said Thursday after saying a prayer for Park at the South Korean border village of Imjingak.I'm sure that Robert is fasting in North Korea now as he had been fasting before entering there.North Korea announced Tuesday that an American was in custody after entering the country illegally, without identifying the person. It has said nothing more about the incident.The detainment comes four months after two American journalists arrested at the border were freed, their 12-year sentences for illegal entry and hostile acts commuted after former President Bill Clinton intervened.While Park's deliberate trip into North Korea has not garnered the same attention as the arrests of journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, which occurred at a time of heightened tension between North Korea and Washington, his Christian mission may raise the ire of North Korean officials, analysts said.

North Korea's criminal code punishes illegal entry with up to three years in prison, but Park could be accused of attempting to undermine the regime with Christianity, analysts said.Robert attempted to spread the Gospel. He planned to spread the Gospel even to North Korean soldiers if they were to arrest him" and was secretly sending Bibles to the North as well as helping North Korean citizens defect, Jo said.North Korea's constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but in reality the government severely restricts religious observance, allowing only worship at sanctioned churches.Underground worship and distribution of Bibles can mean banishment to a labor camp or even execution, according to defectors and activists. Still, more than 30,000 North Koreans are practicing Christianity in hiding, they say.North Korea could regard sending Bibles as an attempt to overthrow its regime, said Kim Soo-am, a North Korea expert at the state-run Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul.The North sees Bibles and Christianity as a threat to its regime.Park may be punished to serve as an example, said Paik Hak-soon of the private Sejong Institute think tank outside Seoul.Park openly went into the country to die a martyr while holding a Bible in his hand. North Korea has no choice but to impose a grave punishment on him, he said.One analyst called Park's presence troublesome for North Korea, but predicted the government would eventually expel him. Park's detainment comes just weeks after President Barack Obama's special envoy to North Korea made a milestone visit to Pyongyang.

North Korea will consider it as a minor issue and kick him out, said Jeong Kwang-min, a research fellow at the state-run Institute for National Security Strategy in Seoul.Fellow missionaries in Seoul said they hope Park will achieve his dream of liberating North Koreans from a dictatorship he felt compelled to fight at the risk of his own life. He told me it was God's will to send him to go to the North, Jo said. He told me he would never come out of North Korea unless its political prison camps are dismantled, even if it means dying there.Maggie Drabing, 26, a fellow missionary and English teacher from Houston, Texas, was among dozens who braved the biting cold to rally in Seoul on Wednesday in Park's support. She said she spoke to Park three days before he left for North Korea. He told me that 'You know, I want to get married and I want to have a family.But he said,I am willing to sacrifice that for God, and what God called on me to do.Associated Press writers Kwang-tae Kim and Soo Bin Park and AP Television News cameraman Yong-ho Kim contributed to this report.

Chinese Muslim region adopts law on national unity By GILLIAN WONG, Associated Press Writer – Thu Dec 31, 4:27 am ET

BEIJING – The government of a restive Chinese Muslim region rocked recently by ethnic strife said Thursday it has adopted what appeared to be a sweeping law barring the spread of views deemed to threaten national unity.The far-western, predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang said on its Web site that the vaguely described law on education for ethnic unity in Xinjiang was adopted Tuesday at a local legislature session and would take effect in February.Nearly 200 people died according to official count in violent ethnic riots that erupted in July between the Muslim Uighurs and the ethnic majority Han Chinese in the oil-rich region that abuts Pakistan and Central Asia. China blames the rioting on overseas-based groups agitating for greater Uighur rights in Xinjiang, but has presented no direct evidence.The Uighurs see Xinjiang as their homeland and resent the millions of Han Chinese who have poured into the region in recent decades. A simmering separatist campaign has occasionally boiled over into violence in the past 20 years.Chinese authorities view the control of information as key to heading off or controlling the spread of unrest. Since the riots in Urumqi, the Chinese government has blocked Twitter and Facebook, scrubbed news sites, unplugged the Internet entirely in some places and slowed it and cell phone service to a crawl in others to stifle reports about the violence. Limited Internet service slowly began to return to the region this week.The law passed Tuesday bars individuals and organizations from spreading opinions deemed not conducive to national unity and also from gathering, producing and spreading information to that effect.The state-run Xinhua News Agency cited an official with the Xinjiang Regional People's Congress as saying that anyone who endangers ethnic unity or provokes secession will face prosecution and penalties.

None of the state media reports spelled out the criteria that would be used to determine whether a piece of information or an opinion could threaten national unity, or details on the penalties. Calls to the regional government spokesman's office rang unanswered Thursday.The law will promote equality, unity and harmony in Xinjiang and serve its long-term stability, the top legislator in Xinjiang, Eligen Imibakhi, was quoted as saying in the Xinhua report.Lawmakers began drafting the law in August 2008, Xinhua said. After the riots, Imibakhi told state media that authorities would speed up local legislation against separatism. China already has a national law against secession, though there are no similar regional laws. Imibakhi had said the legislation would provide legal assistance to Xinjiang's anti-secession struggle and crackdown on violence and terrorism.The violence, China's worst unrest in decades, started when police and Uighurs in Urumqi clashed amid a demonstration in the city's downtown.

Officials Claim Second Man Unrelated To Christmas Attack
Paul Joseph Watson Prison Planet.com Thursday, December 31, 2009


Having first denied the very existence of a possible accomplice in the Christmas Day bombing attempt, officials are now denying that a second man detained in the aftermath of the Flight 253 incident had anything to do with the attack, completely contradicting multiple eyewitness accounts.Authorities have attempted to downplay the significance of other men seen involved in the plot, including an Indian man that helped bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab board the plane, another man witnessed filming the entire flight including the bombing attempt, as well as an Indian man handcuffed by the FBI after sniffer dogs detected something suspicious in his luggage.Federal officials did take a second person into custody at Detroit Metropolitan Airport shortly after an attempted bombing incident on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, but the passenger who got handcuffed was off a different flight, and the incident was not related, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said today,reports the Detroit News.There was a second person taken into custody, but it had nothing to do with Flight 253, chief Customs and Border Protection officer Ron Smith said.They did see dogs, but again, it was a totally different incident,said Smith, who indicated that the arrest was drug-related.

However, this totally contradicts the circumstances of the aftermath of the incident as described by numerous eyewitnesses.It seems unlikely that the man could have been on a different flight because all the passengers from Flight 253 were kept in the same area away from other passengers, as would be required after an attempted terrorist attack. All three eyewitnesses that saw the man being led away were convinced that he was a passenger on the same plane.After the sniffer dogs flagged up the man’s luggage, Flight 253 passengers were told not to use mobile phones or computers and were then moved to another area. You’re being moved, the FBI told them,it is not safe here. I’m sure you all saw what happened and can read between the lines and why you’re being moved.Both Kurt Haskell and fellow passenger Daniel Huisinga said the FBI agents clearly indicated that they were being moved because explosives had been found in the Indian man’s bags. Why would passengers be told that the area was unsafe and then moved if only drugs had been found in the man’s bags? This contradiction has been completely ignored by the mainstream media, who have dutifully swallowed the denial that the second man was involved in the plot without question.In addition, when FBI agents interviewed eyewitness Kurt Haskell, they showed him photographs of the Indian man, suggesting they knew or suspected he was connected to the incident. If the man was on a different plane and detained on a drug-related charge then why days after the fact were the FBI still asking questions about him in relation to the Flight 253 attack? In addition, witnesses who described a well-dressed Indian man arguing that Abdulmutallab should be allowed to board the plane despite the fact that he had no passport have also been contradicted by new claims that the bomber was carrying a valid Nigerian passport and U.S. visa.The fact that officials first denied that the second man even existed, followed by subsequent attempts to whitewash his involvement in the attack is highly suspicious, especially in light of their refusal to even discuss the other men seen helping the bomber and then filming his attempted attack.As is routine with false flag terror attacks, the official story is formulated and maintained from the very start, no matter how many eyewitness accounts contradict and undermine almost every aspect of it. The fact that men who were clearly involved in the attack are now being protected by federal authorities makes it clear that the Christmas Day attack is a great deal more complex than how it has been sold to the public by authorities and the media.

Gold miners lead TSX higher at open
DEC 31,09


TORONTO (Reuters) – Toronto's main stock index opened higher on Thursday, following along as global markets, gold and oil were all higher on the final trading day of 2009.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 26.43 points, or 0.23 percent, at 11,743.89. Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups were higher, led by the materials group, which was up 0.8 percent.Gold miners were among the most influential movers as the price of gold topped $1,100 an ounce. Barrick Gold was up 0.9 percent at C$42.80 and Goldcorp rose 1.1 percent to C$41.55.(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)

Blast kills 5 Canadians in southern Afghanistan
Wed Dec 30, 10:09 pm ET


OTTAWA (Reuters) – Four Canadian soldiers and a Canadian journalist were killed when their armored vehicle was hit by a bomb in southern Kandahar province on Wednesday, the Canadian Defense Ministry said.Four other Canadian soldiers and a Canadian civilian official were wounded in the blast, which occurred about four km (2.5 miles) outside the city of Kandahar, the ministry said in a statement.The journalist killed was Michelle Lang, 34, a reporter from the Calgary Herald newspaper who was on assignment in Afghanistan for the Canwest New Service, according to the news agency.Lang, who had recently received a national award for her healthcare coverage, was on her first assignment in Afghanistan and had only been in the country since December 11.

The patrol was visiting community reconstruction projects, officials said.

The attack brings Canada's military deaths in Afghanistan to 138 soldiers. Lang is the first Canadian journalist killed covering the country's military mission, although several Canadian journalists have been wounded.Canada has a 2,800-strong military mission in Afghanistan, but it is scheduled to pull its troops out at the end of 2011.(Reporting by Allan Dowd; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Canada to suspend Parliament until after Olympics
By Randall Palmer – Wed Dec 30, 3:53 pm ET


OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian government will suspend Parliament until early March, a spokesman said on Wednesday, giving it political advantages but bringing an angry backlash from a sidelined opposition.Dimitri Soudas, spokesman for Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said the government would present a new policy speech on March 3, and a new federal budget the following day.That means Parliament won't resume on January 25 as previously scheduled, and debate on hot-button topics will cease.We're not out of the woods (economically) yet but we're not facing the same catastrophic possibilities of just one year ago, Soudas told reporters in a conference call.So we want to make sure not only that the economy stays on track but also that we are preparing for future growth, prosperity and a return to balanced budgets.Postponing the reopening of Parliament until after the Winter Olympics in Vancouver means the government will be able to avoid persistent questions on the treatment of prisoners who were handed over to Afghan authorities by the Canadian military in 2006-07.The government will also be able to take control of committees in the upper house of Parliament, the Senate. The Senate has been dominated by the opposition Liberal Party until now and the Liberals have blocked efforts at Senate reform.All three opposition parties charged that Harper was trying to duck parliamentary accountability.

Mr. Harper is showing his disregard for the democratic institutions of our country, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said in a statement.He said Harper was showing that his first impulse when he is in trouble is to shut down Parliament.Jack Layton, who heads the small, left-leaning New Democratic Party, told Reuters: It's a slap in the face to the democratic process and all those Canadians -- who were in the majority, actually -- who voted for other parties and expected us to be there to hold Stephen Harper's feet to the fire and make sure he didn't go racing off too far in any one unacceptable direction.The separatist Bloc Quebecois said Harper had shown no legitimate reason for paralyzing Parliament until March.Soudas said it was routine parliamentary practice and has been done 104 times in Canada's history, an average of two to three times per Parliament. This will be the second suspension since Harper was reelected in October 2008.The Conservatives have only a minority of seats in the House of Commons and need support from at least one other party to stay in power, but no election is likely in the near future.A Nanos poll issued earlier on Wednesday showed the Conservatives would handily win an election if one were held now, although possibly not with enough seats to win a majority of seats in Parliament.Nanos gave the Conservatives support of 39.5 percent of voters, compared with 30.2 percent for the Liberals. Under Canada's voting system, a party usually needs support from at least 40 percent of voters to win a majority in Parliament.

Nanos polled 1,003 voters between December 10 and December 13. It considers its survey accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.(Additional reporting by Rod Nickel and John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway)

Canada panel backs Arctic pipeline conditionally By Jeffrey Jones – Thu Dec 31, 8:52 am ET

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – The C$16.2 billion ($15.4 billion) Mackenzie pipeline in Canada's Arctic should be allowed to proceed, provided 176 recommendations aimed at securing socioeconomic benefits and minimizing environmental damage are followed, regulators ruled on Wednesday.In a much-anticipated report, the Joint Review Panel said it believed the huge gas project would bring overall benefits to Canada's Northwest Territories and avoid major ecological impact if the oil companies proposing the line and governments follow its list of measures.The list is as diverse as analyzing the impact of climate change on facilities buried in permafrost, monitoring grizzly bear dens, and assessing if alcohol and drug abuse programs in the sparsely populated region are adequate.The Mackenzie Gas Project and associated Northwest Alberta Facilities would provide the foundation for a sustainable northern future, the seven-member panel said.The challenge to all will be to build on that foundation.The pipeline would carry at least 1.2 billion cubic feet of gas a day to the Alberta border from fields in the Mackenzie Delta near the Beaufort Sea. In Alberta, the gas could be routed to numerous markets in Canada and the United States.The JRP report, which concentrated on the project's environmental, social and economic impact, comes more than two years after public hearings into the development ended. The project is led by Imperial Oil Ltd.Imperial and its partners welcomed what appears to be a vote of confidence for the long-delayed project, but could not say yet if any of the recommended measures appear onerous, spokesman Pius Rolheiser said.

The company has three weeks to respond to the report.It would be fair to say that we're pleased that the JRP has concluded that, with appropriate measures to mitigate potential impacts, the project be allowed to proceed, Rolheiser said.Imperial's partners are Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp, and Aboriginal Pipeline Group.Canada's National Energy Board will use the JRP report to help make its decision on whether the project can go ahead. That decision is expected in September.(To view the report's executive summary, including the list of recommendations, click on http://www.ngps.nt.ca/PDFs/JRP_report_ExecutiveSummary_E.pdf )

DELAYS, RISING COSTS

The Mackenzie project was first envisioned in the 1970s after oil companies discovered large gas deposits in Canada's Arctic. Imperial and its partners began studying the current incarnation of the project in 2000 and filed regulatory applications four years later.Since then, the Mackenzie project has been beset with a big cost increase, regulatory delays, lengthy talks with Ottawa over fiscal breaks and a transformation of gas markets due to the recession and development of massive shale gas reserves located close to major U.S. markets.Still, northern communities see the project as an opportunity for badly needed economic development, one that could provide careers for young people and spark spinoff businesses in the rugged region.As part of a deal with the oil companies, aboriginal groups along the proposed 1,220 km (760-mile) route have the right to own up to one-third for the pipeline.Environmental groups that opposed the project, such as the Sierra Club, argued during the JRP hearings that the bulk of the gas would be used to fuel development of Alberta's oil sands. (Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Peter Galloway)

EU CALLS FOR WORLD GOVERNMENT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7D21rPpBrk&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Feuro%2Dmed%2Edk%2F%3Fp%3D1277&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFs99zBTRO0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTfv6uOHgqQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVeMBNB0cII&feature=related
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4291770489472554607&ei=iaRTSrzHAoqUqQL1gMGqDw&q=EU&hl=en
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVeMBNB0cII&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVmtbLc4t6M&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Feuro%2Dmed%2Edk%2F%3Fp%3D1277&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv5cqh26CC0&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Feuro%2Dmed%2Edk%2F%3Fp%3D1277&feature=player_embedded
EXCELLENT EU REVIEW - WORLD REGIONS,GLOBAL CURRENCY
http://exposureroom.com/members/cybersilence.aspx/assets/d37a8ebc60694cc98173b8f32cfe898d/
EU-NEW SOVIET UNION
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM2Ql3wOGcU&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6Cj1b-rp1E&feature=player_embedded
WORLD GOVERNMENT UNDER TREATYS-INTERNATIONAL LAW
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_government
TRANSATLANTIC POLICY
http://www.tpnonline.org/

JOAN VEON ON TAMAR YONAH 2008 (WORLD GOVERNMENT)
http://britanniaradio.blogspot.com/2009/07/we-are-already-under-global-government.html#links
GEORGE HUNT-WORLD BANK ,RELIGION&RULERS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OvpjRglW9U&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFnxNowaaIU&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=584x0zkmHgw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsZvQcZ9Mu4&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGl3DHrVMFY&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg90X7OkEsU&feature=related
INSIDE VIEW OF INTERNATIONAL BANKERS
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=36666041
UNDERSTANDING WORLD GOVERNMENT
http://www.womensgroup.org/
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=504526035342184251
BANK OF INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENT PRESS
http://www.bis.org/events/agm2009/pcvideo.htm
HISTORY OF WAR AND THE FEDERAL RESERVE
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1874212534444628577&hl=en

EU SPAIN #11

DANIEL 7:23-24
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).


Spain test drives new model of EU leadership-The Lisbon Treaty was signed at a ceremony in Portugal in 2007 (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)HONOR MAHONY
Today DEC 31,09 @ 09:27 CET


EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Spain takes over the rotating presidency on 1 January, but it will be a six-month tenure with a twist, as Madrid is the first to grapple with the complexities of the EU's new legal framework.The Lisbon Treaty entered into force one month ago, ushering in a new layer of governance in the European Union - a permanent president of the European Council - but keeping the old system of rotating presidencies, only with a less prominent status.It will be up to Spain's prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, to see how this plays out in everyday practice so that he and Herman Van Rompuy, the newly appointed EU president, are neither publicly nor internally stepping on each others' toes.Under the new system, Mr Zapatero and his government will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the bloc, including chairing nearly all of the monthly ministerial meetings in Brussels. Mr Van Rompuy's job will be to represent the EU externally at summits and to give political impetus to the regular meetings of EU leaders.The treaty leaves plenty of scope for potential turf wars: Spain has said that it would like to host the EU-US and Latin America summits, in a move that will propel Mr Zapatero into the global spotlight alongside Mr Rompuy. The possibility of having Barack Obama on Spanish soil for a summit is already sparking protocol speculation, such as who will be the first to shake the US leader's hand.

However, Spain has also been careful to make overtures in the run up to the New Year when it starts the presidency and Mr Van Rompuy formally takes up his duties.You will have the rotating presidency at your disposal ... so that you can properly carry out the function of leadership, the political management of the European Council, said Mr Zapatero earlier in December.My first objective during the six months is that there is institutional consolidation and clear visibility for the highest function that the Lisbon Treaty gives to the president of the European Council, he added.

Economic crisis

Practically, Madrid's overarching challenge will be dealing with the economic crisis. The European Commission will next year present a proposal for a 10 year strategy to bring the bloc to 2020, which it hopes to have a preliminary agreement on by a March meeting of EU leaders. Spain will have to do much of the behind-the-scenes legwork in working on the proposal with member states and MEPs. Madrid also wants to have financial supervision laws approved during its presidency, running to 30 June. Member states in December agreed to set up three pan-European watchdogs to supervise banks, insurers and trading exchanges. Another agency is to look out for wider risks to the economy. The broad agreement will now have to be turned into workable EU legislation.Another task will be how to take forward the vague and not very ambitious international agreement on climate change from the Copenhagen meeting in mid-December. The first step will be taken by the European Commission which will issue an analysis of the outcome for a ministerial meeting on 15-17 January. As with most presidencies, the Spanish are bringing their own particular issues to the EU negotiating table – in Madrid's case tackling gender violence.Diego Lopez Garrido, Spain's Europe minister, said the country wants an EU law to protect against gender violence and wants a non-discrimination directive approved under its watch as well.

Spain's presidency will also be affected by the fact that the European Commission will be mostly out of action for at least part of January as it waits for the new commissioners to be approved by the European Parliament. In addition, the parliament itself, newly elected since June, has yet to really cut its legislative teeth.And while there will be interest to see how much of the its ambitious agenda it can actually implement during its six months at the tiller, Madrid's enduring legacy is set to be the template it writes for how future rotating presidencies should function under the Lisbon Treaty.

Lithuania nuclear shutdown to test EU-Russia relations
ANDREW RETTMAN Today DEC 31,09 @ 12:26 CET


EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - One of Russia's fiercest critics in the EU, Lithuania, will at the turn of the New Year switch off a nuclear power station, in a move set to test the theory that Russia uses energy as a political weapon.The shutdown of the Ignalina plant - at 11pm local time on 31 December - is being carried out in line with Lithuania's EU accession promise amid concerns that its Chernobyl-type reactor is unsafe.The small, post-Soviet country is building a new reactor expected to go online between 2018 and 2020 and will from 2015 and 2016 benefit from new electricity supply bridges to Poland and Sweden.The interim period is set to see power prices spike by up to 70 percent at a time of recession, however. It will also see Lithuania almost entirely reliant on imports of energy from Russia amid the prevailing belief in former Iron Curtain countries that Moscow uses gas and oil cut offs as a tool of political pressure on its former vassals. Russia in 2006 shut off oil supplies to Lithuania via the Druzhba pipeline after Vilnius sold a major petrol refinery to a Polish bidder instead of a Russian state-owned firm. The dispute saw Lithuania threaten to veto a new EU-Russia treaty unless the EU commission intervened on its side. Relations on the Russia-Lithuania-EU axis were again tested in 2008 when Vilnius urged the EU to impose sanctions on Russia following its military attack on Georgia, another small, former Soviet country.Lithuanian president and former EU commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite has in recent days tried to reassure people that the Ignalina closure will not alter relations with its neighbour.

The Lithuanian energy system was and is dependent on Russia, because our energy sources, our supply of gas and power, are tied to that country, she told the Baltic News Service.But with the political climate set to sharpen in early 2010, as Lithuania gears up to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its declaration of independence from the Soviet Union, some politicians are not so sure.If our parliament issues a declaration ...which they don't like, they will punish us, as they did Ukraine, a senior Lithuanian diplomat recently told EUobserver, referring to Russia's gas cut-offs during the term of office of Moscow-critical Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko.

MEPs heading to Iran despite US request to stay home
ANDREW RETTMAN Today DEC 31,09 @ 09:19 CET


A group of 15 US congressmen has urged MEPs to call off a trip to Iran in January. But the visit is scheduled to go ahead despite a worsening diplomatic climate.The US group, which includes both Democrats and Republicans, made its plea in a letter to European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek last week, the Wall Street Journal reports.
We believe that a visit from the EP would send the wrong message to the Iranian government and undermine the international efforts to end their nuclear program, it said.The EU delegation is set to travel to Iran between 7 and 11 January and aims to meet with members of the Iranian legislature, the Majilis, as well as human rights activists.It is to be chaired by German Green MEP Barbara Lochbihler and to include German Christian Democrat Kurt Lechner, who played down the significance of the visit in terms of international relations. We are not diplomats, he told the US newspaper.The EU and US are in talks with Iran about its nuclear programme, with Washington recently threatening to increase economic sanctions early in the New Year.

The MEPs' visit also comes amid violent clashes between Iranian opposition activists and state security services earlier this week that reportedly saw eight campaigners killed, drawing an EU rebuke.The [EU] Presidency re-iterates the commitment of the European Union to human rights and democratic values ... Brutal force against and the arbitrary detentions of demonstrators constitute gross violations of these basic human rights, it said.In August, the heads of mission of 20 EU member state embassies based in Tehran attended the inauguration ceremony of the Iranian president shortly after street battles which left up to 15 opposition activists dead.

The Swedish EU presidency at the time cited the need to keep diplomatic channels open as justification for its ambassador's presence at the event.

French court strikes down flagship carbon tax as unjust
LEIGH PHILLIPS Today DEC 31,09 @ 09:24 CET


French President Nicholas Sarkozy's flagship carbon tax has been struck down by the country's top court as unjust and counterproductive to the fight against climate change.The Constitutional Court on Wednesday (30 December) ruled that the law, announced in September and due to enter into force from 1 January, had included so many loopholes that some 93 percent of industrial greenhouse gas emissions would have been exempt.The judges found that this placed the overwhelming burden of the tax, set at €17 per tonne of CO2 emitted, on households instead of industry.The large number of exemptions from the carbon tax runs counter to the goal of fighting climate change and violates the equality enjoyed by all in terms of public charges, the court ruling read.Less than half of all greenhouse gas emissions would have been covered by the [tax], the ruling continued, totally exonerating from the tax the emissions of power plants, the emissions of 1,018 of the most polluting industrial sites.The tax thus would have targetted primarily fuel and heating,which are only one of the sources of carbon dioxide emissions.The plan would have brought in an estimated €4.3 billion to government coffers annually, although the scheme would have redeployed some of these monies by cutting income taxes and delivering green cheque dividends to poorer citizens hit by the increased fuel and heating prices.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon said the government would try to redraft the law, but analysts believe that the ruling strikes at the heart of the law's principles, and that a light editing job will be insufficient to win over the judges. Socialist Party grandee Segolene Royal cheered the ruling, calling the law ecologically ineffective and socially unjust.The Greens for their part back the principle of a carbon tax but welcomed the ruling, believing Mr Sarkozy's version of such a tax inegalitarian.Some environmentalists however were disappointed, worrying that the court had dealt a severe blow to any sort of taxation of carbon in the future.The Nature and Environment Federation of France (FNE) described the ruling as a catastrophic decision.

REVELATION 13:16-18
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM

THIS FALSE FLAG TERROR ATTACK THAT HAPPENED ON DECEMBER 25TH 09 IS TO GET THE WORLD UNDER CLOSER SCRUTINY AND DICTATORSHIP.EVEN IN MY SMALL CITY THE VISA CARD MACHINES NOW HAVE A MICROCHIP IMPLANT IN THEM AS WELL AS YOUR PIN ,THEY SAY FOR GREATER SAFETY BUT WE KNOW ITS FOR EVERY TRACK OF THAT PERSON,ITS THE NEXT THING TO THE MICROCHIP IMPLANT UNDER OUR SKINS.WAKE UP FOLKS,PRAY GOD WILL KEEP US FROM THIS DICTATORSHIP AND TAKE US HOME IN THE RAPTURE OR PRAY THE WORLD WILL REPENT AND GO BY GOD (JESUS')WORDS AND NOT BY MENS MINDS.

Concerns remain in EU over nude airport scanners-Schiphol airport: keen to introduce mandatory scanning as soon as possible (Photo: afagen)ANDREW RETTMAN 30.12.2009 @ 09:58 CET

The Christmas Day airline bomb plot in the US has renewed calls for body scanners to be introduced in EU airports, but concerns over privacy and effectiveness continue to stand in the way.Authorities at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands, where the would-be bomber boarded his flight with explosives packed in his underwear, plan to make body scans mandatory folowing a green light from the EU institutions.We think that the [EU] parliament in the next round will approve the body scanners, Schiphol Group chief operating officer Ad Rutten said this week in the wake of the US incident.The British government also promised a tough reaction. We intend to be at the cutting edge of all this new technology and to ensure that we put it in place as quickly as possible, home secretary Alan Johnson said. Body scanners use x-rays or microwaves to produce images that show any concealed parcels but which also reveal the passengers' intimate bodily curves to security staff.Firms that produce the technology - which costs over €70,000 per unit compared to €10,000 for an ordinary metal detector - saw their share value rise by over 10 percent following the US scare.Some EU airports, including Schiphol and Heathrow, already offer passengers the choice of using a scanner as an alternative to a physical pat-down. But uptake of the technology remains at an experimental stage due to concerns over privacy rights.The European Commission late last year withdrew a proposal to roll out body scanners across the EU after MEPs compared the process to a virtual strip search and called for a detailed impact assessment study, which remains ongoing.

The European Parliament itself mothballed six scanner units designed to improve security at its Brussels and Strasbourg buildings following the decision.Senior politicians in Germany, which last year criticised the commission plan as nonsense, remain sceptical about scanners despite the fresh concerns raised by the US plot.The attempted attack is not a reason for us to change security laws, Wolfgang Bosbach, the head of the German parliament's Internal Affairs Committee told Berliner Zeitung.

Rainer Wendt, the head of the German police union, the DPolG, told the same paper that full body scans would be going too far in terms of privacy violations, despite innovations which blur the details of passengers' bodies on the screen.Security experts said the US attacker came so close to success because intelligence agencies failed to communicate information acoss international borders rather than due to poor security standards at airports.A number of analysts have also noted that overcrowding and poor pay for security officials at air terminals shoud be addressed more urgently than buying new machines.Cheap flights are at the expense of security. Airport operators and airlines often work for minimal wages and save on personnel, Konrad Freiberg, the chairman of the GdP police union in Germany told the Passauer Neue Presse daily.

Nigeria airports to buy 3-D full body scanners
Wed Dec 30, 11:31 am ET


LAGOS, Nigeria – A Nigerian official says the nation will purchase 3-D, full body scanners after a man passed through Nigeria's biggest airport before trying to bring down a U.S.-bound flight on Christmas Day.Civil Aviation Authority chief Harold Demuren says he hopes the machines will be installed early next year.The announcement came hours after Dutch officials said they would immediately begin to use full body scanners on flights headed to the U.S. It is unclear if Nigeria will use the same technology as the Netherlands.Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, passed through Lagos and Amsterdam before attempting to detonate concealed explosives on a flight as it prepared to land in Detroit.

Bomb plot arrest highlight Nigeria's Islamist militancy by Jacques Lhuillery – Wed Dec 30, 1:57 pm ET

LAGOS (AFP) – The arrest of a young Nigerian for trying to blow up a transatlantic airliner has again highlighted the strong streak of Islamic fundamentalism that pervades much of Africa's most populous country.While the Nigerian government and Muslim authorities have condemned the failed bombing as an isolated act, radical Islamist movements are thriving in a country where 12 northern states reintroduced Islamic law in 2000.Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, charged with trying to blow up a US passenger jet over Detroit, may appear an unlikely radical as the son of a powerful banker whose abiding passion as a teenager was English football.But as a series of recent attacks on Nigerian government targets by Muslim hardliners shows, a combination of radical Islam and disaffected youths has proved a volatile cocktail on many previous occasions.In July, mainly young militants of the fundamentalist Boko Haram sect which seeks to unite Muslims under a Caliphate carried out simultaneous attacks in four northern states.The authorities' response was swift and brutal, killing at least 800 in a five-day crackdown and possibly twice as many according to Western intelligence sources.In the local Hausa language Boko Haram means Western education is a sin making it increasingly attractive among the impoverished youth of the Muslim-dominated north.The Nigerian government, while admitting that it has problems on its hands, insists that terrorism is alien to the country.One thing that I can tell you that we are not known for as Nigerians is terrorism, said Information Minister Dora Akunyil.We are not into terrorism; we may have several issues but definitely not terrorism. Our country abhors it.

But Nigeria's main armed rebel group in the oil-rich Niger Delta, MEND, said the government's show of surprise was misplaced, and accusing Abuja of allowing the situation in the north to fester as it kept its focus on the south.Northern Nigeria, home to a Muslim majority while the south of the country is mainly Christian, is fertile ground for international terrorism, MEND said.The Nigerian government has persistently turned a blind eye to Islamic extremists coming from Northern Nigeria, choosing instead to focus and waste its resources on military hardware and troop deployment in the Niger Delta.For decades after Nigeria's independence from Britain in 1960, there has been a long history of bloody clashes between ethnic and religious groups -- Sunni Muslims against Shiites, Christians against Muslims.For the federal authorities which have been battling the insurrection in the Delta for years, the Islamists' rise in the north is an extra challenge adding to the traditional rivalry and mistrust between southern Christians and northern Muslims.

In the south especially people have not forgotten the 1967-70 civil war after the attempted breakaway of southeastern Biafra, which had been preceded by a slaughter of Christians in the north.To complicate things, northern Nigeria borders Niger and Mali, a battleground for Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the former Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat whose activities have included kidnapping and killing westerners.The threat from Islamist militants prompted Washington in 2007 to establish the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

AFRICOM has faced controversy, with governments of various African countries fearing it was the beginning of increased US military presence in the continent. But its commander, General William Ward, insisted during a visit to Algiers last month that the terrorist threat for north-central Africa's Maghreb and Sahel regions was real.

EARTH DESTROYED WITH THE EARTH

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

EARTHQUAKES

MATTHEW 24:7-8
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

MARK 13:8
8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:(ETHNIC GROUP AGAINST ETHNIC GROUP) and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

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

Quake shakes wide area of US-Mexico border region By ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press Writer – Wed Dec 30, 6:53 pm ET

SAN DIEGO – A magnitude-5.8 earthquake rocked the U.S.-Mexico border region Wednesday, causing hospitals to evacuate in the Mexican industrial city of Mexicali as buildings swayed more than 100 miles to the west in San Diego and southwestern Arizona.

There were no reports of injuries or major property damage.The main quake was centered about 20 miles southeast Mexicali, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was followed quickly by a 4.8 quake and dozens of other aftershocks.In Mexicali, five hospitals were briefly evacuated, 90,000 customers lost electricity for 14 minutes and cell phones failed to work for 20 minutes, said Rene Rosado, director of the city's civil defense.City government offices closed for the day after the quake struck at 10:48 a.m. local time. About 300 employees emptied City Hall.People were very frightened throughout the city, Rosado said.There was minor damage to several buildings in Mexicali, a city of 750,000 people and capital of Baja California state, said Alfredo Escobedo, the state civil defense director.In Calexico, a California city of 40,000 people across the border from Mexicali, crews found no damage to bridges, buildings or roads, said City Manager Victor Carrillo.Basically it was a quick, shake-and-bake, jolt-type of thing that seemed to last 15, 20 seconds, 30 seconds at the max, said Carrillo, who was in a meeting at City Hall during the quake. I have quite a few items on the shelves in my office and they're all intact.

Citizen reports to the USGS indicated it was also felt in southern Nevada and metropolitan Los Angeles.In Yuma, Ariz., Sally Zeller, a 31-year-old waitress at Brownie's cafe, said she and most everyone in her restaurant felt the quake for several seconds.It rumbled under our feet and the soup counter rumbled against my hip, Zeller said.The chandeliers were swaying. It was like, Whoa! The quake was centered in a seismically active desert valley near cities with low-rise buildings.

It occurred 4.3 miles deep and was considered a shallow quake. Shallower quakes have the potential to cause more damage than deeper ones.A quake the size of Wednesday's main shock rattles the region about every 10 years, said Kate Hutton, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology.Associated Press Writers Alicia Chang and John Antczak in Los Angeles, Amanda Lee Myers in Phoenix and Mariana Martinez in Tijuana, Mexico, contributed to this report.

Rare New Year's Eve blue moon to ring in 2010 By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer – Tue Dec 29, 7:03 pm ET

LOS ANGELES – Once in a blue moon there is one on New Year's Eve. Revelers ringing in 2010 will be treated to a so-called blue moon. According to popular definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a month. But don't expect it to be blue — the name has nothing to do with the color of our closest celestial neighbor.A full moon occurred on Dec. 2. It will appear again on Thursday in time for the New Year's countdown.If you're in Times Square, you'll see the full moon right above you. It's going to be that brilliant, said Jack Horkheimer, director emeritus of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium and host of a weekly astronomy TV show.The New Year's Eve blue moon will be visible in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and Africa. For partygoers in Australia and Asia, the full moon does not show up until New Year's Day, making January a blue moon month for them.However, the Eastern Hemisphere can celebrate with a partial lunar eclipse on New Year's Eve when part of the moon enters the Earth's shadow. The eclipse will not be visible in the Americas.

A full moon occurs every 29.5 days, and most years have 12. On average, an extra full moon in a month — a blue moon — occurs every 2.5 years. The last time there was a lunar double take was in May 2007. New Year's Eve blue moons are rarer, occurring every 19 years. The last time was in 1990; the next one won't come again until 2028.

Blue moons have no astronomical significance, said Greg Laughlin, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz.Blue moon is just a name in the same sense as a hunter's moon or a harvest moon,Laughlin said in an e-mail.The popular definition of blue moon came about after a writer for Sky & Telescope magazine in 1946 misinterpreted the Maine Farmer's Almanac and labeled a blue moon as the second full moon in a month. In fact, the almanac defined a blue moon as the third full moon in a season with four full moons, not the usual three.Though Sky & Telescope corrected the error decades later, the definition caught on. For purists, however, this New Year's Eve full moon doesn't even qualify as a blue moon. It's just the first full moon of the winter season.In a tongue-in-cheek essay posted on the magazine's Web site this week, senior contributing editor Kelly Beatty wrote: If skies are clear when I'm out celebrating, I'll take a peek at that brilliant orb as it rises over the Boston skyline to see if it's an icy shade of blue. Or maybe I'll just howl.On the Net:http://www.miamisci.org/www/eventsplan.html

Chavez disputes Spanish official's climate remarks
Wed Dec 30, 10:38 pm ET


CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is trading barbs with Spain's environment minister over the Copenhagen summit on climate change.Chavez objects to remarks by Spanish Environment Minister Elena Espinosa, who suggested Venezuela and Bolivia were to blame for the lack of a solid accord.Espinosa was quoted as saying in the newspaper Publico that Chavez and Bolivian President Evo Morales opposed an accord, perhaps in defense of their oil and natural gas industries.Chavez said Wednesday that Espinosa's contention was false and he hopes it isn't the Spanish government's opinion.The leftist Venezuelan leader has blamed wealthy countries for the failure to agree on binding climate targets.

FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS

REVELATION 8:7
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Shocked residents survey Australia wildfire wreckage
by Talek Harris – Thu Dec 31, 3:04 am ET


SYDNEY (AFP) – Shocked residents returned to survey the wreckage on Thursday after Western Australia's worst wildfire in 50 years engulfed 38 homes in an isolated rural community.Emotional householders were given the all-clear to go back to Toodyay, north of Perth, where the inferno raced across thousands of hectares (acres) of scrub and farmland destroying buildings, vehicles and cattle.Emergency crews worked through a second night to contain the blaze, and another major conflagration further north, and were felling unstable trees near roadsides to allow residents to return.The devastation evoked painful memories of February's Black Saturday fires, which swept through entire communities in the state of Victoria killing 173 and razing more than 2,000 homes.The Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) said Western Australia had not lost so many homes to wildfire in half-a-century, and praised rescuers for saving hundreds more properties and lives.

Only four people were hurt in the Toodyay blaze, including three firefighters who were treated for smoke inhalation and dehydration. Hundreds of ground crew fought the flames backed by water-bombing helicopters.Firefighters worked hard getting the fire contained yesterday in difficult conditions and have done a great job protecting communities and saving hundreds of homes and lives, FESA said in a statement.The government announced emergency assistance, including a 3,000 dollar (2,700 US) grant for clothes and food for people who have lost all their belongings, after a natural disaster was declared.These fires are an enormous blow to the people whose homes and property have been affected by the fire, said Gary Gray, parliamentary secretary for Western Australia.My thoughts, and the thoughts of all Western Australians, are with them.Television pictures showed firefighters inspecting gutted homes, farm outhouses with collapsing roofs, burned-out cars and large swathes of charred crops.Several residents, left with little more than the clothes they were wearing, described terrifying scenes as they abandoned their properties to flames that reached higher than the rooftops.Householder Caroline Coate said she saw something I could only describe as rivers of lava and I knew my home was gone as she fled in her car.You've got no idea how bad it was, she said.I was just glad I got out when I did.Deanna Flavell choked back tears after realising her home and possessions had gone up in smoke.There's nothing left, it's all gone, she told Sky News.We've lost the whole house, the sheds, the lot.

Lesley Hugg, who runs two caravans parks in Toodyay, said one of her parks was now a gathering point for people who have lost their homes.It's just devastating, she told ABC radio.You want to bawl your eyes out. I'm just trying to stay strong to support and look after everybody, and just bring everybody together.The community spirit in Toodyay has just been wonderful. Everybody's offering vans and we've had so many people coming around here asking what can they do to help, so, it's been great.

METEORS HIT THE EARTH

REVELATION 6:12-17
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

REVELATION 8:12-13
12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels,which are yet to sound!

Russia may send spacecraft to knock away asteroid By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer – Wed Dec 30, 9:34 pm ET

MOSCOW – Russia's space agency chief said Wednesday a spacecraft may be dispatched to knock a large asteroid off course and reduce the chances of earth impact, even though U.S. scientists say such a scenario is unlikely.Anatoly Perminov told Golos Rossii radio the space agency would hold a meeting soon to assess a mission to Apophis. He said his agency might eventually invite NASA, the European Space Agency, the Chinese space agency and others to join the project.When the 270-meter (885-foot) asteroid was first discovered in 2004, astronomers estimated its chances of smashing into Earth in its first flyby, in 2029, at 1-in-37.Further studies have ruled out the possibility of an impact in 2029, when the asteroid is expected to come no closer than 18,300 miles (29,450 kilometers) from Earth's surface, but they indicated a small possibility of a hit on subsequent encounters.NASA had put the chances that Apophis could hit Earth in 2036 as 1-in-45,000. In October, after researchers recalculated the asteroid's path, the agency changed its estimate to 1-in-250,000.NASA said another close encounter in 2068 will involve a 1-in-330,000 chance of impact.Don Yeomans, who heads NASA's Near-Earth Object Program, said better calculations of Apophis' path in several years will almost certainly remove any possibility of an Earth collision in 2036.

While Apophis is almost certainly not a problem, I am encouraged that the Russian science community is willing to study the various deflection options that would be available in the event of a future Earth threatening encounter by an asteroid, Yeomans said in an e-mail Wednesday.Without mentioning NASA's conclusions, Perminov said that he heard from a scientist that Apophis is getting closer and may hit the planet.I don't remember exactly, but it seems to me it could hit the Earth by 2032, Perminov said.People's lives are at stake. We should pay several hundred million dollars and build a system that would allow us to prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people, Perminov said.Scientists have long theorized about asteroid deflection strategies. Some have proposed sending a probe to circle around a dangerous asteroid to gradually change its trajectory. Others suggested sending a spacecraft to collide with the asteroid and alter its momentum, or hitting it with nuclear weapons.Perminov wouldn't disclose any details of the project, saying they still need to be worked out. But he said the mission wouldn't require any nuclear explosions.

Hollywood action films Deep Impact and Armageddon, have featured space missions scrambling to avoid catastrophic collisions. In both movies, space crews use nuclear bombs in an attempt to prevent collisions.Calculations show that it's possible to create a special purpose spacecraft within the time we have, which would help avoid the collision, Perminov said.The threat of collision can be averted.Boris Shustov, the director of the Institute of Astronomy under the Russian Academy of Sciences, hailed Perminov's statement as a signal that officials had come to recognize the danger posed by asteroids.Apophis is just a symbolic example, there are many other dangerous objects we know little about, he said, according to RIA Novosti news agency.AP Science Writer Alicia Chang contributed to this story from Los Angeles.

New Year revelers ready for better times in 2010 By ROHAN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer – DEC 31,09

SYDNEY – Under explosive bursts of crimson, purple and blue, more than 1 million New Year revelers in Sydney got one of the world's biggest parties started Thursday — bidding farewell to the tough year that was 2009 and welcoming a new decade.As the family-friendly, pre-midnight fireworks show illuminated Australia's largest city, preparations were under way across the world for pyrotechnics, parties and prayers in the final countdown to herald the end of the period dubbed the Noughties.The mood of celebrations was tempered in some places by the effects of the financial downturn, which bit hard in 2009, sending economies into recession, causing millions to lose their jobs and home foreclosures to rise dramatically in some countries.

There were also reminders of threats and the fight against terrorism that during the decade led to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and rising militant violence in Pakistan.
The U.S. Embassy in Indonesia warned of a possible terrorist attack on the resort island of Bali on New Year's Eve, citing information from the island's governor — although local security officials said Thursday they were unaware of a threat. The e-mail warning to U.S. citizens said predominantly Muslim Indonesia's counterterrorism efforts have been partly successful in recent years, but violent extremists continue to pose a deadly threat.In Sydney, crowds — organizers expected more than 1.5 million people — thronged to harborside parks and public places for the annual fireworks extravaganza over the landmark harbor bridge and opera house. The twin shows, one at 9 p.m. and a bigger one at midnight, are the centerpiece of Australia's celebrations that generates some of the most striking images from a night of revelry across the globe.The mood was jubilant, though the economic crisis may mean 2009 was a year one that many people are glad to put behind them.I think 2010 will be a good year — you can never tell, but I think so, said Marek Kiera, a Sydney property investor who watched interest rates tumble amid the global financial crisis.We have invested so much in something that may go up in value, said Kiera, who went with his wife and three young children to a park in inner Sydney to watch the fireworks show.Hopefully there will be a boom like in the late '80s, when properties doubled in value.Smaller fireworks displays and partying were planned across Australia and the South Pacific, the first region to greet each new day because of its proximity to the International Date Line.In New Zealand, dance parties, bands and fireworks were planned in the main cities. In the capital, Wellington, celebrations included a display by world unicycle games competitors.Asia was be partying, too, though probably not as hard as most of Europe and the Americas. The world's most populous nation, 1.3-billion-strong China, uses a different calendar that will mark the new year in February. Islamic nations such as Pakistan and Afghanistan also use a different calendar.In the Philippines, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said hundreds of people were injured by firecrackers and celebratory gunfire during New Year's celebrations.

Many Filipinos, largely influenced by Chinese tradition, believe that noisy New Year's celebrations drive away evil and misfortune. But they have carried that superstition to extremes, exploding huge firecrackers and firing guns to welcome the new year despite threats of arrest.In Beijing, President Hu Jintao wished viewers a happy new year in his end-of-the-year speech broadcast on China Central Television. In Shanghai, some people paid 518 yuan ($75) to ring the bell at the Longhua Temple at midnight and wish for luck in the new year. In Chinese, saying 518 sounds like the phrase I want prosperity.Fireworks displays were planned to illuminate Hong Kong's crowded skyline, high-glitz parties were planned in Singapore and thousands gathered at Indonesia's national monument in the capital, Jakarta, for a fireworks show.Millions of Japanese were to welcome the new year by flocking to shrines to pray for good fortune in 2010.In Turkey, Istanbul Gov. Muammer Guler said authorities were deploying around 2,000 police officers around Taksim Square to prevent pickpockets and the molestation of women that have marred New Year celebrations in the past. Some officers would be under cover, disguised as street vendors or even in Santa Claus dress, Guler said. Firecrackers were already exploding across the Netherlands early Thursday on the only day of the year the Dutch are allowed to set off fireworks. Most such shows are do-it-yourself affairs where families spill onto the street in front of their homes and light strings of fire crackers and other fireworks. Many Dutch families also fire up their deep-fat frying pans on New Year's Eve to cook the traditional treat of oliebollen — deep-fried balls of dough laced with raisins and dusted with icing sugar. Associated Press writers Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands, and Cara Anna in Beijing, and Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, contributed to this story.

Yemen: Visa of Nigerian would-be-bomber expired By AHMED AL-HAJ, Associated Press Writer – DEC 31,09

SAN'A, Yemen – The Nigerian suspected in the attempted attack on a U.S. airliner had stayed on in Yemen illegally after his visa expired three months ago and should have been stopped by authorities from leaving the country, Yemeni security officials said Thursday.Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab spent time in Yemen on two occasions before the attempted Christmas Day attack on a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight.Yemeni officials said Abdulmutallab's student visa for Yemen, where he studied Arabic at a local language institute, was valid from Aug. 4 to Sept. 21.After his visa expired, the 23-year-old stayed on in Yemen until the first week in December, they said, but his whereabouts in the country is unknown.They added that Yemen's airport authorities and passport control should have prevented Abdulmutallab from departing. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case with the media, pending the outcome of an investigation.The probe will look into why the Nigerian wasn't detained, questioned and prohibited from leaving the country, they said.Administrators at the school where Abdulmutallab studied believed he had left the country in September, they said.We arranged a taxi to take him to the airport on Sept. 21 and we said goodbye, school director Muhammad al-Anisi told The Associated Press. Our responsibility toward him ended that day.

Al-Anisi said no one from the airport security or immigration had subsequently contacted the school to ask about the student's whereabouts.Yemen has confirmed Abdulmutallab spent two periods in Yemen, from 2004-2005 and from August to December of this year. He was enrolled at the school during both periods to study Arabic.Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, an offshoot of Osama bin Laden's group, claimed it was behind the attempt to bomb the Northwest airliner.

Murder victims found hanging from Mexico overpass Wed Dec 30, 11:38 pm ET

odmsg OR CULIACAN, Mexico – The bound, beaten bodies of two men were found hanging by their necks from a highway overpass in northern Mexico on Wednesday, along with a handwritten message from a drug cartel.The men's hands were tied behind their backs, and shell casings at the scene in Los Mochis suggested the killers fired at the victims as they were hanging by their necks, Sinaloa state prosecutors spokesman Martin Gastelum said. The cause of death was still under investigation.Nearby, a message written on a piece of cardboard said in part that this territory already has an owner. The message appeared to be from the Beltran Leyva drug cartel, whose main leader, Arturo Beltran Leyva, was shot to death in a gunbattle with Mexican marines Dec. 16.The message suggested his death may have unleashed a turf battle for control of areas controlled by his gang.Sinaloa is considered the home base of some of the most powerful crime lords in Mexico, a nation that has seen drug-related violence kill more than 15,000 people since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on cartels in late 2006.In the border city of Ciudad Juarez, authorities said 12 people, including a 3-year-old child, were slain shootings Wednesday.Chihuahua state attorney general's spokesman Vladimir Tuexi said gunmen killed the little girl and a man as they rode in a pickup truck. A woman with them was wounded.At another location, police found the bodies of four men and a woman inside a pickup truck abandoned on a dirt road on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, Tuexi said.

Five other people were killed in other parts of the city, authorities said.

Also Wednesday, security forces in Ciudad Juarez arrested a kidnapping suspect after a shootout that closed a bridge to El Paso, Texas, for about two hours.Chihuahua state prosecutors spokesman Arturo Sandoval said shots were fired Monday night as the suspect tried to flee over the Zaragoza bridge to El Paso. No injuries were reported.Sandoval said the man was suspected in the attempted abduction of a 15-year-old girl.About 2,500 people have been murdered in Ciudad Juarez this year, making it Mexico's deadliest.Elsewhere in Mexico, gunmen attacked a car dealership and an adjacent hospital in the border city of Tijuana late Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of some patients. Baja California state prosecutors said no one was hurt.The attackers doused about 10 cars at the dealership with gasoline and set them alight. Cartels commonly extort protection fees from businesses, which are sometimes firebombed if their owners refuse to pay.Hospitals in the city have been attacked by drug gangs seeking to finish off wounded rivals. In the past, the facility targeted Tuesday treated people wounded in shootouts.

Egypt allows foreign activists to march into Gaza
DEC 31,09


CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt has allowed 84 pro-Palestinian foreign activists to march to Gaza, which is under an Israeli-led blockade, an Egyptian official in the North Sinai governorate said.Some 1,400 activists from 43 countries had gathered in Cairo since Sunday to mark the first anniversary of the Israeli three-week offensive on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Egypt said 100 activists would be allowed to pass through.Egyptian authorities made an exception and opened the Rafah border on Wednesday and allowed activists from the Gaza Freedom March to pass through, Alhamy Aref, secretary-general of the North Sinai governorate, said.The activists, several hundred of whom were from France, had asked Egypt for permission to cross into Gaza but the Interior Ministry said the march was illegal and a threat to national security.The group has staged protests almost daily since Sunday in different parts of Egypt, surrounded by a heavy police presence. Such demonstrations are rare in Egypt but no violence broke out and no arrests were made, witnesses and security officials said.Israel controls the air space, sea access and most of the entry points into the coastal enclave of Gaza.Egypt controls the Rafah border, imposing restrictions on the movement of Palestinians and some foreigners. It is also building a controversial steel wall along its Gaza border to prevent smuggling.

Talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been suspended since the December start of the Gaza war, in which 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.The U.S. President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell is expected to visit the region in January for a fresh push to resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. But months of Mitchell's shuttling between the sides yielded no concrete signs of progress in 2009.Egypt has been hosting talks with different Palestinian political groups to end internal disputes, mainly between the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank and the Islamist group Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip.Egypt and Germany have also been mediating a possible prisoner exchange by Hamas and Israel.Egypt has agreed to allow a food and supplies convoy led by independent British Member of Parliament George Galloway to pass into Gaza, but only if it lands by sea at Arish and passes through Rafah.The convoy was docked in the Jordanian port of Aqaba all last week seeking approval from Egypt to enter via Nuweiba on the Red Sea.(Reporting by Yusri Mohamed; Writing by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton).

Yemeni forces raid al-Qaida hideout, clashes erupt By AHMED AL-HAJ and DONNA ABU-NASR, Associated Press Writers – Wed Dec 30, 9:34 pm ET

SAN'A, Yemen – Yemeni forces raided an al-Qaida hideout and set off a gunbattle Wednesday as the government vowed to eliminate the group that claimed it was behind the Christmas bombing attempt on a U.S. airliner.The fighting took place in an al-Qaida stronghold in western Yemen, haven for a group that attacked the U.S. Embassy here in 2008, killing 10 Yemeni guards and four civilians. A government statement said at least one suspected militant was arrested during the clashes.The (Interior) Ministry will continue tracking down al-Qaida terrorists and will continue its strikes against the group until it is totally eliminated, Deputy Interior Minister Brig. Gen. Saleh al-Zawari told senior military officials at a meeting in Mareb, another province believed to shelter al-Qaida fighters.Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, an offshoot of Osama bin Laden's group, claimed it was behind the attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner. Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old passenger, was arrested Friday after he allegedly tried to bring down the Northwest Airlines flight, carrying 289 people.U.S. investigators said Abdulmutallab told them he received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen. Yemen's government has said Abdulmutallab spent two periods in the country, from 2004 to 2005and from August to December of this year, just before the attempted attack.

Abdulmutallab's Yemen connection has drawn attention to al-Qaida's growing presence in the impoverished and lawless country, which is located on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia.Wednesday's clashes took place in Hudaydah province, an al-Qaida stronghold along the Red Sea coast. A security official said the target was a house owned by an al-Qaida sympathizer. The official said the owner was arrested, a suspected al-Qaida member was injured and several militants who fled were being pursued. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.Before Wednesday's clashes, Yemeni forces backed by U.S. intelligence carried out two major strikes against al-Qaida hideouts this month, reportedly killing more than 60 militants.The U.S. has increasingly provided intelligence, surveillance and training to Yemeni forces during the past year, and has provided some firepower, according to a senior U.S. defense official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the subject.Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said Yemen received $67 million in training and support under the Pentagon's counterterrorism program last year, second only to some $112 million spent in Pakistan.

He said the program was not a new one.We are going to work with allies and partners to seek out terrorist activity, al-Qaida, wherever they operate, plan their operations, seek safe harbor, he said.This is an effort that is years old now.In Holland, the Dutch government issued a preliminary report Wednesday calling the airliner plot professional, but describing the execution as amateurish.Dutch Interior Minister Guusje Ter Horst told a news conference Abdulmutallab apparently assembled the explosive device, including 80 grams of PETN, in the aircraft toilet, then planned to detonate it with a syringe of chemicals. She said the explosives appeared to have been professionally prepared and then given to Abdulmutallab.

President Barack Obama has demanded a preliminary report by Thursday on what went wrong in the Detroit case. Obama said the intelligence community should have been able to piece together information that would have raised red flags and possibly prevented Abdulmutallab from boarding the airliner.Abdulmutallab had been placed in one broad database, but he never made it onto more restrictive lists, despite his father's warnings to U.S. Embassy officials in Nigeria last month.Abdulmutallab attended a two-week seminar in Houston in August 2008 that was conducted by the AlMaghrib Institute, a Web-based Islamic education center, said Waleed Basyouni, vice president of the institute. The institute is cooperating with authorities, he said.Meanwhile, officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday that a man tried to board a commercial airliner in the Somali capital of Mogadishu last month carrying powdered chemicals, liquid and a syringe in a case bearing chilling similarities to the Detroit airliner plot. The Somali man — whose name has not yet been released — was arrested by African Union peacekeeping troops before the Nov. 13 Daallo Airlines flight took off. It had been scheduled to travel from Mogadishu to the northern Somali city of Hargeisa, then to Djibouti and Dubai. The aborted attack in Detroit was launched almost a year after al-Qaida's operations in Yemen and Saudi Arabia united to form Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, making Yemen its base.

Shortly after Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula was formed, Saudi Arabia announced a list of 85 most wanted militants outside its borders. It said 11 of them were former Guantanamo detainees who had gone through its rehabilitation program. Three were confirmed to have gone to Yemen. They included Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi, who later surrendered in Yemen and was handed over to Saudis, Said al-Shihri, the group's No. 2 and Youssef al-Shihri, who was killed in a clash with Saudis in southern Saudi Arabia. The Yemeni roots of the attack threaten to complicate U.S. efforts to empty the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, where nearly half the remaining detainees are from Yemen. Finding a home for them is key to Obama's pledge to close the prison, but emerging details of the plot are renewing concerns about Yemen's capacity to contain militants and growing al-Qaida safe havens. Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., noted that of the 90 men remaining at Guantanamo, more than 60 have been identified as dangerous by the Pentagon. Yet, in the past few weeks, the Obama Administration has overseen the repatriation of six Yemenis from Guantanamo back to their home country, he said.As we learn more about Abdulmutallab's ties to Yemen and AQAP, it is increasingly clear that the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo is a flawed process demanding immediate review.Abdulmutallab spent about five months in Yemen leading up to the airliner attack and a year before that in 2004-2005, Yemeni officials said. Administrators at the San'a Institute for the Arabic Language said he was enrolled at the school during both periods to study Arabic. But staff and students said he spent at most one month at the school starting in late August. His time through December is unaccounted for. Acquaintances described the strict Islamic life he led, rejecting music, TV and mixing with women. All of them expressed surprise that the quiet man they knew would even consider to carry out such an act.

I saw him once tenderly kiss a baby,said Ahmed Mohammed, a teacher at the institute. Today, he's turned into a monster who would have killed children if the operation had succeeded.Abu-Nasr contributed from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Adam Schreck from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

US mulls new sanctions on Iran as year ends by Lachlan Carmichael – Thu Dec 31, 6:36 am ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Obama administration seemed more firmly set on pushing for fresh UN sanctions against Iran as Iranian leaders balk at a year-end deadline to engage world powers on their nuclear plans.However, with a UN diplomatic source in New York saying preliminary work on drafting a sanctions resolution is likely to begin in mid-January, President Barack Obama's team is keeping its options open.Even as we leave the door open to engagement, world powers agree that Iran will pay the consequences if it does not meet its international nuclear obligations, said Darby Holladay, a State Department spokesman.The five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain -- plus Germany are in the process of considering next steps consistent with our dual-track policy, he told AFP.A senior State Department official told AFP on the condition of anonymity that the Obama administration was pivoting toward imposing more sanctions against Iran while keeping the door open to engagement.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said two weeks ago that Iran had failed to build confidence.For example, she said Iran has balked at a US-backed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) proposal to ship abroad low-grade nuclear fuel so it can be further enriched and returned to refuel a Tehran medical research reactor.Such a move would buy breathing room as the big powers try to halt Iran's uranium enrichment -- which the West fears masks a drive to build a nuclear bomb. Denying the charge, Iran says it seeks peaceful uses of nuclear energy.Also undermining international confidence, Clinton said, is Iran's continuing crackdown on peaceful opposition to Iran's disputed election in June that gave incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad another term in office.

She said Iran also fanned fears about its intentions when it failed to come clean on a secret uranium enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom, and noted that Iran has subsequently announced plans for 10 to 20 new nuclear plants.A UN diplomat said on the condition of anonymity that there is growing concern among the P5-plus-1 over Iran and preliminary work on a new sanctions resolution is expected to start (in New York) in mid-January.One Western country believes new sanctions should target the insurance, banking and financial sectors, the diplomat said, declining to name the country.Several diplomats said the United States and at least some of its Western partners want to avoid hitting Iran's life blood -- its energy sector -- for fear it would trigger a broad-based Iranian nationalist reaction.They also doubt such sanctions would gain the support of China and Russia, which have been more reluctant than the Western powers to impose sanctions.They stressed it is both important not to hurt the Iranian people -- who are already suffering from the political turmoil -- and to keep the door open to talks, as some in the country's leadership appear more willing to engage than others.Analyst Karim Sadjadpour suspects Washington may target the Revolutionary Guards, which are managing Iran's nuclear program, liaising with extremist groups throughout the Middle East, and overseeing the brutal suppression of non-violent protestors.Sadjadpour, an analyst with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told AFP that punishing the Guards makes sense because it potentially kills several birds with one stone, without alienating the Iranian opposition.Suzanne Maloney, a former State Department official, said the administration has paved the way as for sanctions as carefully as possible even if UN Security Council debate will be difficult. Still, there seems to be a sense that the Russians will come through this time around, and that this will facilitate Chinese cooperation and a more meaningful set of multilateral measures, Maloney told AFP. Maloney, who works for the Brookings Institution's Saban Center, said that she remains skeptical nonetheless about whether sanctions will change Iranian behavior.

In London, a Foreign Office spokeswoman declined to be drawn Thursday on the prospect of further sanctions, saying only:It's important that all countries comply with UN Security Council resolutions.We will need to consider our response in partnershikp with the IAEA and others including the E3+3, she added. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has raised the prospect of new sanctions if Tehran refuses to engage with the West, although his spokesman stressed last month that The priority always is to get the talks to work.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

 

STOCK RESULTS DEC 30,2009

DOCTOR DOCTORIAN FROM ANGEL OF GOD
then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.

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

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

EZEKIEL 7:19
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.

REVELATION 13:16-18
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM

WORLD MARKET RESULTS
http://money.cnn.com/data/world_markets/
CNBC VIDEOS
http://www.cnbc.com/id/15839263/site/14081545/?tabid=15839796&tabheader=false

HALF HOUR DOW RESULTS WED DEC 30,2009

09:30 AM -4.50
10:00 AM -3.77
10:30 AM -0.37
11:00 AM -11.11
11:30 AM -22.67
12:00 PM -1.05
12:30 PM -0.38
01:00 PM -9.59
01:30 PM -17.23
02:00 PM -14.20
02:30 PM -12.09
03:00 PM -16.47
03:30 PM -14.28
04:00 PM +3.10 10,548.51

S&P 500 1126.42 +0.22

NASDAQ 2291.28 +2.88

GOLD 1093.40 -4.70

OIL 79.53 +0.66

TSE 300 11,717.46 +15.65

CDNX 1492.89 +9.33

S&P/TSX/60 691.89 +2.20

MORNING,NEWS,STATS

YEAR TO DATE PERFORMANCE
Dow -33 points at 4 minutes of trading today.
Dow -39 points at low today.
Dow +6 points at high today so far.
GOLD opens at $1,089.50.OIL opens at $78.98 today.

AFTERNOON,NEWS,STATS
Dow -39 points at low today so far.
Dow +6 points at high today so far.

WRAPUP,NEWS,STATS
Dow -39 points at low today.
Dow +6 points at high today.

CRUDE OIL -1.5 MILLION BARRELS
GASOLINE -300,000 BARRELS
DISTILLATE INVENTORIES -2 MILLION BARRELS
REFINERY UTILIZATION +0.3%

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

 

STOCK RESULTS DEC 29,2009

DOCTOR DOCTORIAN FROM ANGEL OF GOD
then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.

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

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

EZEKIEL 7:19
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.

REVELATION 13:16-18
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM

WORLD MARKET RESULTS
http://money.cnn.com/data/world_markets/
CNBC VIDEOS
http://www.cnbc.com/id/15839263/site/14081545/?tabid=15839796&tabheader=false

HALF HOUR DOW RESULTS TUE DEC 29,2009

09:30 AM +3.28
10:00 AM +25.69
10:30 AM +32.57
11:00 AM +21.01
11:30 AM +8.76
12:00 PM +9.75
12:30 PM +10.50
01:00 PM +11.56
01:30 PM +12.09
02:00 PM +17.68
02:30 PM +15.04
03:00 PM +12.01
03:30 PM +25.01
04:00 PM -1.67 10,545.41

S&P 500 1126.20 -1.58

NASDAQ 2288.40 -2.68

GOLD 1,097.50 -9.80

OIL 78.76 -0.01

TSE 300 11,701.80 -52.80

CDNX 1483.31 +13.73

S&P/TSX/60 689.69 -3.50

MORNING,NEWS,STATS

YEAR TO DATE PERFORMANCE
Dow +25 points at 4 minutes of trading today.
Dow -3 points at low today.
Dow +33 points at high today so far.
GOLD opens at $1,106.40.OIL opens at $79.19 today.

AFTERNOON,NEWS,STATS
Dow -3 points at low today so far.
Dow +33 points at high today so far.

WRAPUP,NEWS,STATS
Dow -3 points at low today.
Dow +33 points at high today.

 

RUSSIA - EU OIL ROW

FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS

REVELATION 8:7
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Australians urged to flee house-high wildfires
Tue Dec 29, 5:06 am ET


SYDNEY (AFP) – Australian officials urged residents to evacuate a wheat farming district in the west of the country Tuesday as towering wildfires with flames higher than rooftops threatened homes.People in the Dandaragan area north of Perth were told to flee immediately as the fast-moving and out-of-control blaze, fanned by catastrophic conditions in Western Australia, showered embers.Homes will be impacted by fire. People in this area need to relocate now, the state's Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) warned in a statement.The bushfire is moving fast in a southeast direction. It is out of control. Embers are likely to be blown around your home. Flames are higher than rooftops, it added.Residents in nearby Toodyay were also evacuated as an intense fire broke out there, threatening at least seven homes in the town of about 400 people, FESA said.It is out of control, unpredictable and fast moving, it said.Spot fires are starting ahead of the fire. Flames are one to two metres high.The fire authority said evacuation offered the best option for survival, warning that relocating at the last minute is deadly. It was uncertain how many homes were in the evacuation zones, FESA said.It would mainly be farmhouses, a spokesman told AFP.Pretty sparse and mainly farming communities.Aircraft were water-bombing the two fires, while more than 100 firefighters were trying to control them from the ground.

Much of Western Australia had been declared at a catastrophic or code red fire danger, with authorities fearing the worst conditions in five years.Catastrophic conditions are considered on a par with those ahead of February's Black Saturday wildfires, which killed 173 people and razed more than 2,000 homes in Australia's worst natural disaster of modern times.Residents cannot be forced to evacuate but are strongly advised to leave their properties due to extreme risk of death or injury.Blazes have already destroyed more than a dozen homes in recent weeks. Officials are bracing for the worst fire season in four years with hot and windy conditions forecast amid a decade-long drought in parts of the country.

POISONED WATERS

REVELATION 8:8-11
8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood:(bitter,Poisoned) and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.(poisoned)

REVELATION 16:3-7
3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.(enviromentalists won't like this result)
4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
6 For they(False World Church and Dictator) have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

125 pilot whales die on NZ beaches, 43 saved
Mon Dec 28, 5:44 am ET


WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Some 125 pilot whales died in New Zealand after stranding on beaches over the weekend — but vacationers and conservation workers managed to coax 43 others back out to sea.Rescuers monitored the survivors as they swam away from Colville Beach on North Island's Coromandel peninsula, and by Monday morning they were reported well out to sea.Department of Conservation workers and hundreds of volunteers helped re-float the 43 whales at high tide. The volunteers covered the stranded mammals in sheets and kept them wet through the day.Some 63 pilot whales stranded ... but it looks pretty good, we've got 43 live ones, Department of Conservation ranger Steve Bolten said as the pod swam out to sea.Bolten said one of the whales may have been sick, or their sonar may have led them into the shallow harbor and they couldn't find their way out again.Meanwhile on South Island, 105 long-finned pilot whales that stranded died Saturday, conservation officials said Monday.Golden Bay biodiversity program manager Hans Stoffregen said they were discovered by a tourist plane pilot and only 30 were alive when conservation workers arrived.They were in bad shape. By the time we got there two-thirds of them had already died. We had to euthanize the rest, he said.

The whales had been out of the water for a long time.It has been quite hot and they were very distressed. You could see the pain and suffering in their eyes, he was quoted telling the Southland Times newspaper.Because the site is part of a nature reserve, the 105 whale carcasses were left to decompose where they stranded, Stoffregen said.Large numbers of whales become stranded on New Zealand's beaches each summer as they pass by on their way to breeding grounds from Antarctic waters. Scientists so far have been unable to explain why whales become stranded.

Poles wary of switching to euro: survey
12 mins ago DEC 29,09


WARSAW (AFP) – Fifty-three percent of Poles believe adopting the euro would hit their pockets, according to a survey published Tuesday.The study by the TNS OBOP public opinion agency found that just 15 percent of respondents believed the euro would be a personal boon, 17 percent thought its introduction would make no difference to them, and 15 percent had no view.Ex-communist Poland, which joined the European Union in 2004, had been aiming to switch from it free-floating zloty to the euro by 2012.But in the face of a sharp economic slowdown and problems meeting EU-set eurozone entry criteria, the centre-right government put the plans on hold. Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said the changeover may be possible by 2015.The TNS OBOP survey found that 36 percent of Poles thought the euro would have a positive impact on the country's economy overall, while 31 percent said it would be damaging.

Nine percent said a switch would have no impact, and 24 had no view on the issue.TNS OBOP polled a representative sample of 1,002 people aged over 15, from December 3 to 6.Sixteen of the EU's 27 member nations currently use the euro -- two of them, Slovenia and Slovakia, are ex-communist states.

Stocks mixed after housing, confidence data By Sara Lepro, Ap Business Writer – DEC 29,09

NEW YORK – Stocks fluctuated in a narrow range Tuesday after reports on home prices and consumer confidence came in largely as expected, showing a gradual improvement in the economy.The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence rose to 52.9 in December from 49.5 in November. That was slightly better than the reading of 52 economists had forecast.The index is still a long way from what is considered healthy. A reading of 90 or more signals a solid economy. However, the index has risen significantly from a historic low of 25.3 in February.Earlier Tuesday, Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller said its home price index rose for a fifth straight month in October, edging up 0.4 percent. The index was off 7.3 percent from October last year, roughly in line with expectations.The index is now up 3.4 percent from its bottom in May, but still almost 30 percent below its peak in April 2006. Only 11 of the 20 cities tracked in the report showed gains.Stocks rose modestly in early trading, but turned mixed by late morning. Analysts said there were few surprises in the economic data to drive the market one way or the other.The reports we're seeing broadly reinforce the expectations we've had, said Jim Baird, partner and chief investment strategist for Plante Moran Financial Advisors in Kalamazoo, Mich. It's slow and steady; It's not explosive improvement.Trading was quiet, as it has been in recent days. Many investors were taking vacation between Christmas and New Year's Day.Even in light volume though, the market has managed to climb. The Standard & Poor's 500 index has posted gains for six straight days, rising 2.3 percent to reach a new high for the year.At midday, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 10.12, or 0.1 percent, to 10,557.20. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.72, or 0.1 percent, to 1,127.06, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 3.24, or 0.1 percent, to 2,287.84.

EU on alert over Russian oil supplies-The row is fast becoming something of a New Year's tradition (Photo: Notat)RENATA GOLDIROVA Today DEC 29,09 @ 05:28 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – A fresh row between Russia and Ukraine over energy shipment fees - fast becoming something of a New Year's tradition - has caused alarm in the European Union, as Moscow warned of possible oil supply cuts to central Europe. On Monday (28 December), Slovakia - 97 percent dependent on Russian oil - held an emergency meeting of its security council, with Prime Minister Robert Fico saying the EU is at risk of disruptions in oil deliveries via the Druzhba oil pipeline from 1 January 2010. We first received information [about the Russian-Ukrainian dispute] during the Christmas holidays,Mr Fico told journalists. He added that the Ukrainian request for higher transit fees was the core of the matter. The European Commission later confirmed that Russian authorities had triggered an early warning mechanism - a system designed to ring alarm bells before taps are turned off - and gave notice of a possible disruption of crude oil supplies in the coming days. Several member states could be directly affected, notably Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, reads the commission internal note, seen by EUobserver. The EU's executive body has re-assured, however, that there is no current threat to supplies to households or to businesses as emergency oil stocks in the 27-nation bloc stand at comfortable level of 122 days of consumption. Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic also report having sufficient reserves - 118, 94 and 101 days, respectively - figures well above the mandatory 90 days.

Speedy solution

Only hours after the announcement by the Slovak government, Moscow and Kiev played down any threat to EU customers by saying they had reached a preliminary deal on oil transit conditions. We expect the agreement to be co-ordinated and signed shortly, within one or two days, Irina Yesipova, the Russian energy ministry spokesperson, was cited as saying by RIA Novosti. She added: New Year's Eve will pass without disruption or unpleasant situations.Ukraine, for its part, re-iterated that a reasonable compromise on transit tariffs has been found, but put the blame on its powerful neighbour and called the Russian warning a political blackmail.within Ukraine there are no threats, no risks, a presidential aide, Bogdan Sokolovsky, said, according to media reports.One EU diplomat, involved in the matter and speaking to EUobserver, took a more cautious stance, however.It would be premature to say that all has been agreed,he said.

No threat to gas flows

It is not the first time that the EU's vulnerability to Russian-Ukrainian payment disputes has been exposed, underlying that significant energy reliance on one supplier is the bloc's Achilles heel. In January 2007, Russia turned off taps in the same Druzhba pipeline, the world's longest oil pipeline of some 4,000 kilometers, due to a row with Belarus. Last January, Russian gas stopped flowing through Ukraine for almost two weeks - an event that forced many companies to halt production and left hundreds of homes in the EU without central heating. Bulgaria and Slovakia were worst hit, with the damage to the Slovak economy amounting to some 0.5 percent of GDP. Referring to the current situation, the Slovak Prime Minister said there was no sign of a gas supply squeeze in January 2010, but indicated the situation could change in February or March due to half-empty coffers in Kiev. The International Monetary Fund recently turned down recession-strapped Ukraine's plea for a $2 billion emergency loan due to the country's failure to adopt a fiscally prudent budget. Never say never, Mr Fico said, referring to a possible gas crisis. He stressed, however, that Slovakia is better prepared for a possible worst-case scenario.

First Jesus-era house discovered in Nazareth By DIAA HADID, Associated Press Writer – Mon Dec 21, 10:48 pm ET

NAZARETH, Israel – Just in time for Christmas, archaeologists on Monday unveiled what may have been the home of one of Jesus' childhood neighbors. The humble dwelling is the first dating to the era of Jesus to be discovered in Nazareth, then a hamlet of around 50 impoverished Jewish families where Jesus spent his boyhood.

Archaeologists and present-day residents of Nazareth imagined Jesus as a youngster, playing with other children in the isolated village, not far from the spot where the Archangel Gabriel revealed to Mary that she would give birth to the boy.Today the ornate Basilica of the Annunciation marks that spot, and Nazareth is the largest Arab city in northern Israel, with about 65,000 residents. Muslims now outnumber Christians two to one in the noisy, crowded city.The archaeological find shows how different it was 2000 years ago: There were no Christians or Muslims, the Jewish Temple stood in Jerusalem and tiny Nazareth stood near a battleground between Roman rulers and Jewish guerrillas.The Jews of Nazareth dug camouflaged grottos to hide from Roman invaders, said archaeologist Yardena Alexandre, excavations director at the Israel Antiquities Authority. But the hamlet was so far off the beaten path that the caves were apparently not needed, she said.Based on clay and chalk shards found at the site, the dwelling appeared to house a simple Jewish family, Alexandre added, as workers carefully chipped away at mud with small pickaxes to reveal stone walls.

This may well have been a place that Jesus and his contemporaries were familiar with,Alexandre said. A young Jesus may have played around the house with his cousins and friends. It's a logical suggestion.The discovery so close to Christmas pleased local Christians.They say if the people do not speak, the stones will speak, said the Rev. Jack Karam of the nearby basilica.Archaeologist Stephen Pfann, president of the University of The Holy Land, noted: It's the only witness that we have from that area that shows us what the walls and floors were like inside Nazareth in the first century.Pfann was not involved in the dig.Alexandre said workers uncovered the first signs of the dwelling last summer, but it became clear only this month that it was a structure from the days of Jesus.Alexandre's team found remains of a wall, a hideout, a courtyard and a water system that appeared to collect water from the roof and supply it to the home. The discovery was made when builders dug up the courtyard of a former convent to make room for a new Christian center, just yards from the Basilica.

It is not clear how big the dwelling is. Alexandre's team has uncovered about 900 square feet of the house, but it may have been for an extended family and could be much larger, she said.Archaeologists also found a camouflaged entry way into a grotto, which Alexandre believes was used by Jews to hide from Roman soldiers who were battling Jewish rebels for control of the area.The grotto could have hidden around six people for a few hours, she said.However, Roman soldiers did not end up battling Nazareth's Jews because the hamlet had little strategic value. The Roman army was more interested in larger towns and strategic hilltop communities, she said.

Alexandre said similar camouflaged grottos were found in other ancient Jewish communities of the lower Galilee, such as the nearby biblical village of Cana, which did witness battles between Jews and Romans.Archaeologists also found clay and chalk vessels likely used by Galilean Jews of the time. The scientists concluded a Jewish family lived there because of the chalk, which Jews used to ensure the ritual purity of the food and water kept inside the vessels. The shards also date back to the time of Jesus, which includes the late Hellenic, early Roman period that ranges from around 100 B.C. to the first century, Alexandre said. The determination was made by comparing the findings to shards and remains typical of that period found in other parts of the Galilee, she said. The absence of any remains of glass vessels or imported products suggested the people who lived in the dwelling were simple, but Alexandre said the remains did not indicate whether they were traders or farmers. The only other artifacts from the time of Jesus found in the Nazareth area are ancient burial caves that provided a rough idea of the village's population at the time, Alexandre said.

Work is now taking place to clear newer ruins built above the dwelling, which will be preserved. The dwelling will become part of a new international Christian center being built close to the site and funded by a French Roman Catholic group, said Marc Hodara of the Chemin Neuf Community overseeing construction. Alexandre said limited space and population density makes it unlikely that archaeologists can carry out further excavations in the area, leaving this dwelling to tell the story of what Jesus' boyhood home may have looked like. The discovery at this time, this period, is very interesting, especially as a Christian,Karam said. For me it is a great gift.

DISEASES

REVELATION 6:7-8
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse:(CHLORES GREEN) and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword,(WEAPONS) and with hunger,(FAMINE) and with death,(INCURABLE DISEASES) and with the beasts of the earth.(ANIMAL TO HUMAN DISEASE).

DRUG PUSHERS AND ADDICTS

REVELATION 18:23
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (DRUGS) were all nations deceived.

REVELATION 9:21
21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries (DRUGS), nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

WHO chief: swine flu pandemic continues By ELIANE ENGELER, Associated Press Writer – 46 mins ago-DEC 29,09

GENEVA – Many more people could become sick with swine flu this winter even though it has peaked in North America and some European countries, the head of the World Health Organization said Tuesday.The worst of the swine flu outbreak is over in the United States, Canada, Britain and some other countries in the northern hemisphere, said Dr. Margaret Chan.But there is still intensive flu activity in Egypt, India and elsewhere, she said.It is too premature and too early for us to say we have come to an end of the pandemic influenza worldwide, Chan told reporters. Health experts should monitor the pandemic for another six to 12 months, she said, adding that the virus could still mutate and become more dangerous.Over 11,500 people are known to have died from the disease since the outbreak began in April, according to WHO. Between 250,000 and 500,000 people die from regular flu each year.When the U.N. health agency declared swine flu to be a pandemic in June, it described it as moderate.While most people recover from the illness without needing medical treatment, officials are also continuing to see severe cases in people under 65 — people who are not usually at risk during regular flu seasons.But since flu viruses constantly evolve, experts have feared swine flu could mutate into a more dangerous form.One thing we need to guard against is the sense of complacency, Chan said, adding that flu viruses are highly unpredictable.

We will watch this virus with eagle's eyes,she said.Last month, WHO warned that with fresh bird flu cases reported in poultry in Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, the risk of bird flu and the H1N1 pandemic swine flu virus mixing was heightened.

Scientists fear that bird flu, which remains hard for people to catch but kills about 60 percent of those infected, could combine with the current swine flu virus, which spreads easily among people but kills a low percentage.Chan said although countries are now better prepared to cope with a global disease outbreak than a few years ago, the swine flu epidemic has shown that there remain numerous gaps in the health systems of many countries.She said she hopes the world can avoid a pandemic triggered by the avian flu virus, which she said was more toxic and deadly than swine flu.The world is not ready for a pandemic caused by H5N1, she said, referring to the scientific name of bird flu.

Court lets Palestinians use major Israeli highway By AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press Writer – DEC 29,09

JERUSALEM – Israel's Supreme Court ordered the military on Tuesday to allow Palestinians to travel on the part of a major highway that runs through the West Bank, handing Palestinians their biggest victory yet against Israel's practice of reserving some roads for Jews.The West Bank section of a road linking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv was closed in 2002 to the Palestinians, after militants shot at Israeli vehicles on the highway and killed several motorists.About half of the 20-mile highway runs through the West Bank. Palestinians living in villages along the route petitioned to reopen it in 2007, as the Palestinian uprising against Israel wound down.The court said in a summary of its ruling that the military does not have the authority to impose a permanent and sweeping limitation on Palestinian travel along the West Bank section of the road because that in effect transforms the road into a route designed for internal Israeli traffic alone.It also said the closure of the road does not benefit the local population, from whom lands were appropriated to build it.The judges ruled that security considerations cannot take precedence.It's a huge victory, said Melanie Takefman, spokeswoman for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which represented the Palestinians in their petition before the court.The restrictions caused hardships for tens of thousands of Palestinians, who were forced to travel on dirt roads to other areas of the West Bank. That problem was eased last year with the opening of alternative paved routes for Palestinians.

Palestinian Hassan Mafarjeh, the mayor of Beit Liqya village near the highway, said the alternate road was not a solution. We reject the principle that our land is expropriated to build more roads, he said.He said the trip to the main city in the area, Ramallah, took an hour on the dirt roads and 30 minutes on the alternate road. Using the highway would cut that to just 15 minutes, he said.The court gave the military five months to implement the ruling.Under existing regulations, sections of the road that lie in Israeli territory will remain closed to Palestinian vehicles, as are all Israeli roads.It was the second time in months that the Supreme Court has ordered the military to open a West Bank road declared off-limits to Palestinians.

Israeli settlement construction in East Jerusalem draws EU rebuke
LEIGH PHILLIPS Today DEC 29,09 @ 14:58 CET


Israel has announced the construction of some 700 apartments in East Jerusalem just a month after the Jewish state proclaimed a freeze on the building of new settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, drawing moderate criticism from the European Union.On Monday (28 December), Israel's Construction and Housing Ministry opened tenders for the construction of 692 new flats in the neighbourhoods of Har Homa, Pisgat Zeev and Neve Yaakov - Arab land absorbed by Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War.Settlements on occupied land are illegal under international law, the Swedish EU presidency said in a statement.The Presidency of the European Union urges Israel to reconsider these plans as it prevents the creation of an atmosphere conducive to resuming negotiations on a two-state solution.In November, defence minister Ehud Barak issued a freeze order, aiming to jump-start peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, while at the same time permitting the construction of 28 new public buildings in the occupied territories. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu subsequently declared that settlement construction would resume at the end of a 10-month period.

Palestinian representatives also condemned Monday's move. Nabil Abu Rudainah, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement: Continuing the policy of settlements expansion is deliberate destruction of US and international efforts to achieve progress in the peace process.This policy affirms that the Israeli side is not serious in reaching a just and comprehensive permanent peace agreement based on the two-state solution.For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the opportunity to argue that now is the time to restart peace negotiations between the two sides.The time for excuses is over. Now is the time for action,he said ahead of a meeting in Egypt with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak scheduled for Friday.

Iran limits movements of an opposition leader By NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press Writer Nasser Karimi, Associated Press Writer – DEC 29,09

TEHRAN, Iran – The son of leading opposition figure Mahdi Karroubi says Iranian security forces are limiting his father's movements by refusing to protect him when he leaves his home.Taghi Karroubi told The Associated Press by telephone that guards assigned to his father by Iranian police are no longer providing security for him when he goes out, apparently under police orders.Taghi Karroubi says the measure means his father cannot go outside safely, calling it a quasi-house arrest.Karroubi and opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi were the two defeated reformist candidates in the disputed June 12 presidential election, which set off the worst unrest in Iran in the three decades since the Islamic Revolution.

Ahmadinejad blames US, Israel for Iran protests by Hiedeh Farmani – DEC 29,09

TEHRAN (AFP) – Hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the United States and Israel on Tuesday of staging an anti-government protest in which at least eight people died, saying it was a nauseating play.His talk of a theatrical piece commissioned and sold out by the country's two arch-foes, came as Iran's conservative parliament called for opposition demonstrators to be given maximum punishment. Iranians have seen lots of these games, the president was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying.Americans and Zionists are the sole audience of a play they have commissioned and sold out. A nauseating play is performed.Meanwhile, speaker Ali Larijani said on television that parliament wants the judiciary and intelligence bodies to arrest those who insult religion and impose the maximum punishment on them without reservation.Parliament also condemned disgusting comments by Western governments about Sunday's unrest, after they unanimously denounced the deadly crackdown in the Islamic republic. Related article: Recent key events in Iran.
In that vein, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki lashed out at Britain on Tuesday,If they (the British) do not stop their absurd comments, they will be slapped in the mouth, Mottaki said according to ISNA news agency.The comment came as Tehran summoned British envoy Simon Gass over criticism and a pro-government website said a Briton was among those arrested at the demonstrations.The British ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry and the Islamic Republic's protest was submitted regarding this country's interference in our internal affairs, Fars news agency said.

On Monday, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband had hailed the great courage of Iranian opposition supporters.In London, the foreign office said Gass had responded robustly... and reiterated (Miliband's) comments that the Iranian government must respect the human rights of its own citizens.People had taken to the street on the holy day of Ashura, which commemorates the 7th century murder of Shiite Islam's holiest martyr, Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.Eight people were killed as security forces used teargas, batons and eventually live rounds to push back thousands who had taken to the streets.Hardliners have reacted angrily to what they see as desecration of Ashura by opposition supporters and have staged counter-demonstrations calling for tough action against protesters, state media reported.The opposition, meanwhile, has excoriated the authorities for resorting to violence on Ashura, a day when custom prohibits it.MPs accused the protesters of being counter-revolutionaries and anti-religion.

But they took a softer stance towards opposition leaders, who reject Ahmadinejad's June re-election as fraudulent, urging them to distance themselves from the protests. We expect these gentlemen who had complaints in the election to wake up and clearly separate their path from this wicked movement, not to come out and issue statements again and make the air dustier.In a defiant reaction, Iran's leading reformist party condemned violence against demonstrators and backed the protests. The Islamic Iran Participation Front, which is allied with opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, called on the government to reconcile with protesters and stop breaking the law, deception and tyranny.Leniency did not extend to the sister of Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, who said intelligence agents had arrested her sister, medical professor Nooshin Ebadi, on Monday. She is not an activist and her arrest is in fact new pressure to stop my human rights work, Ebadi said in a statement carried by the Rahesabz opposition website. Iran rounded up scores of opposition figures and dissidents after Sunday's protests and on Tuesday several reformist journalists and activists were arrested, reports said. The Iranian judiciary confirmed that an Iran-based Syrian journalist for Dubai TV had been arrested on Sunday. US President Barack Obama demanded on Monday that Iran free those protesters it had detained and told the opposition that history was on its side. In other developments, police said it was terrorists who had killed the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi on Sunday in an incident unrelated to the riots that day.On Monday the Iranian authorities said they were carrying out forensic tests on five of the eight people confirmed killed, preventing their swift burial in accordance with Islamic tradition.

Egypt encouraged during Israeli PM's visit By SARAH EL DEEB, Associated Press Writer – DEC 29,09

CAIRO – Israel's prime minister on Tuesday presented Egypt with ideas for restarting Mideast peace talks, impressing his hosts with proposals that go further than past Israeli positions, Egypt's top diplomat said.The sides also discussed the latest developments in efforts to broker a prisoner swap between Israel and the Hamas militant group. A top Hamas official in Damascus told The Associated Press that the group had rejected the latest proposal from Israel. He said Israel was refusing to release key prisoners and insisting on mass deportations of freed militants.Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit refused to divulge specifics on Tuesday's discussions, but said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears serious about trying to resume negotiations with the Palestinians.I can't talk about details, but the prime minister was discussing positions that surpass in our estimate what we've heard from them in a long time, Aboul Gheit told reporters. I can't say that he has come with changed positions, but he is moving forward.Netanyahu jetted in from neighboring Israel for nearly three hours of talks with President Hosni Mubarak and other Egyptian leaders. Egypt, the first Arab country to make peace with Israel, frequently mediates between the Jewish state and the broader Arab world.Netanyahu came at a difficult time as the U.S. tries to prod Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. The Palestinians have said they will not reopen negotiations until Israel freezes all settlement activity on lands they claim for a future independent state. Israel has offered a partial freeze that the Palestinians say is insufficient.In the latest setback for peace efforts, Israel announced plans on Monday to build nearly 700 new homes in east Jerusalem, the section of the holy city that the Palestinians want to make their capital.The Palestinians have also insisted that Netanyahu resume talks from the point they broke off under his more dovish predecessor, Ehud Olmert. Netanyahu has said he is not bound by Olmert's offers — which included proposals for shared control of the holy city of Jerusalem and a broad pullout from nearly all of the West Bank.Aboul Gheit said Netanyahu gave his hosts the impression that he genuinely wants to get diplomacy moving again, and told The Associated Press that everything is on the table. He would not elaborate.

Also on the agenda were the ongoing negotiations over a proposed prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas. The Islamic militant group is seeking hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a captured Israeli soldier it has held for more than three years. Egypt and Germany have been mediating those talks.A delegation of Hamas leaders has left their Gaza Strip stronghold to discuss Israel's latest proposal with Hamas' exiled leadership in Syria. A top Hamas official in Damascus told The Associated Press that the group had rejected Israel's latest offer, and asked the German mediator to go back to Israel for another offer.The official, speaking on condition of anonymity pending a formal announcement, said that Israel is refusing to release 10 senior militants sought by Hamas. He said Israel also wants 200 freed militants to be deported. Hamas wants this number greatly reduced.Israeli officials had no comment.AP correspondent Mohammed Daraghmeh contributed reporting from Ramallah, West Bank.

Gay marriage in Argentina is 1st in Latin America By ALMUDENA CALATRAVA, Associated Press Writer – DEC 29,09

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – They had to travel to the ends of the Earth to do it, but two Argentine men succeeded in becoming Latin America's first same-sex married couple.After their first attempt to wed earlier this month in Buenos Aires was thwarted, gay rights activists Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre took their civil ceremony to the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, where a sympathetic governor backed their bid to make Latin American history.The couple exchanged rings Monday in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, closer to Antarctica than Buenos Aires. The informal ceremony was witnessed by state and federal officials.My knees didn't stop shaking, said Di Bello.We are the first gay couple in Latin America to marry.Di Bello, 41, an executive at the Argentine Red Cross, met Freyre, 39, executive director of the Buenos Aires AIDS Foundation, at an HIV awareness conference. Both are HIV-positive.At the indoor civil ceremony, the grooms wore sport coats without ties, and had large red ribbons draped around their necks in solidarity with other people living with HIV.Argentina's Constitution is silent on whether marriage must be between a man and a woman, effectively leaving the matter to provincial and city officials. The men tried to get married in Argentina's capital but city officials, who had earlier said the ceremony could proceed, refused to wed them citing conflicting judicial rulings.Di Bello said Ushuaia initially declined to authorize the marriage, but went ahead after the couple received backing from Tierra del Fuego province.

Gov. Fabiana Rios said in a statement that gay marriage is an important advance in human rights and social inclusion and we are very happy that this has happened in our state.An official representing the federal government's antidiscrimination agency, Claudio Morgado, attended the wedding and called the occasion historic.Many in Argentina and throughout Latin America remain opposed to gay marriage, particularly the Roman Catholic Church.The decision took me by surprise and I'm concerned, Bishop Juan Carlos, of the southern city of Rio Gallegos, told the Argentine news agency DyN. He called the marriage an attack against the survival of the human species.But same-sex civil unions have been legalized in Uruguay, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and some states in Mexico and Brazil. Marriage generally carries more exclusive rights such as adopting children, inheriting wealth and enabling a partner to gain citizenship.Legal analyst Andres Gil Dominguez said the Tierra del Fuego government appeared to base its authorization on a broad interpretation of the Argentine Constitution and obligations under international treaties.Rios said her province's approval was based on a ruling by a Buenos Aires judge who declared two provisions of the constitution discriminatory and gave the go-ahead for the Dec. 1 marriage, which was then blocked by another judge's ruling based on civil law.

Individual provinces may not have final say over same-sex marriages for long.A bill that would legalize gay marriage was introduced in Argentina's Congress in October but it has stalled without a vote.Argentina's Supreme Court currently is analyzing appeals by same-sex couples whose marriages were rejected. A Supreme Court justice said on Monday that the high court would likely rule on issues of same-sex marriage sometime in 2010, but could defer to Congress if legislation moves forward. Only seven countries in the world allow gay marriages: Canada, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. U.S. states that permit same-sex marriage are Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Earlier this month, lawmakers in Mexico City made it the first in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. Leftist Mayor Marcelo Ebrard was widely expected to sign the measure into law.

Canada bans most US-bound carry-on bags By Rob Gillies, Associated Press Writer – Tue Dec 29, 8:46 am ET

TORONTO – Canadian officials have banned most carry-on luggage for U.S.-bound passengers following a failed Christmas Day plot to blow up a plane flying from Amsterdam to Detroit.Transport Canada said Monday that passengers may only carry medical devices, small purses, cameras, laptop computers, canes, walkers, diaper bags, musical instruments and bags containing life-sustaining items.Travelers headed for the United States have been allowed to carry on only one bag since Saturday, following 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's alleged attempted to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight as it prepared to land in Detroit on Friday.

Transport Canada said it is trying to alleviate backlogs at security checkpoints, after passengers complained of chaos and long lines at Pearson International Airport in Toronto over the weekend and Monday morning.Police are now helping with security at four of Canada's biggest airports after Transport Canada requested assistance. Police are performing a secondary search of passengers after they pass the main security check point at airports in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. About 40 Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers are doing searches at Pearson.Transport Canada spokesman Patrick Charette said the measures are expected to remain in place for at least several days.We hope the restrictions on those carry-on baggage will help to assure the effectiveness and efficiency of security screening,Charette said.At the Toronto airport Monday morning, every U.S.-bound passenger was subjected to a pat-down and luggage was inspected by hand. Getting through the checks took about three hours, with some information boards citing the security measures for several delays and cancelations.Trish Krale of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority said Monday went somewhat more smoothly at Pearson after a very difficult weekend. More than 130 flights were canceled.Air Canada and its affiliate Jazz canceled several short-haul flights to the U.S. due to security delays. Air Canada consolidated flights and operated larger aircraft on some routes —particularly from Toronto to destinations in the Northeastern U.S.We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of our customers during this challenging time and ask them to assist us in getting them to their destination faster by bringing as little carry-on as possible, Duncan Dee, Air Canada's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement.Air Canada is doing everything it can to maintain its schedule, despite the delays caused by security screening issues outside its control. However, our number one priority remains the safety and security of our customers and staff.One woman said the lines are the worst she's seen during her family's annual Christmas trek to Canada.

This is probably five times the lines we've ever experienced,said Christin Grand, who was traveling home to Atlanta with her three children and husband.We come up every Christmas and never experienced lines like this. We usually show up an hour and fifteen minutes before our flight and we're two plus hours before and it's still crazy.Andre Belanger, a Montreal resident flying to Fort Lauderdale from Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, didn't mind that he was sent back to check in a carry-on bag.I'm not frustrated at all because I know that security commands things like that, so I will comply with the instructions, Belanger said. It's a question of lives, you know.

Canada airline shares fall as security beefed up
DEC 29,09


TORONTO (Reuters) – Shares of Canada's two biggest airlines fell on Tuesday after they warned U.S.-bound travelers to expect more flight delays and cancellations as security is beefed up in the wake of the failed Christmas Day bombing of a U.S. passenger plane.Shares of Air Canada, the country's No. 1 airline, were down 3.1 percent at C$1.25 on the Toronto Stock Exchange shortly after the market opened. Shares of WestJet Airlines Ltd fell 2.4 percent to C$12.16. The TSX was closed on Monday for the Boxing Day holiday.Over the weekend, which was one of the busiest of the year for air travel, the new security measures led to massive lineups and missed flights. At Toronto's Pearson International Airport, Canada's busiest, one in 10 U.S.-bound aircraft were canceled on Sunday.Air Canada said in a statement that passengers bound for the United States will now be subject to full searches both at airport screening points and before boarding at the aircraft gate area as a result of new rules enacted by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.Passengers flying to the United States are also being limited to one small piece of carry-on baggage. During the final hour in the air, they must remain seated and will not be allowed access to carry-on baggage, or to have personal belongings or other items on their laps.Passengers should also expect flight delays, cancellations and missed connections, the airline said.WestJet issued a similar statement on Tuesday, and said the new procedures are scheduled to be in effect until at least December 30.

The airline advised Canadians traveling abroad to be at the airport three hours before scheduled flight times.The moves follow an attempt by a Nigerian man on Friday to set off an explosive device on a Delta Air Lines flight from Europe as it approached Detroit. The man was overpowered by passengers and crew and the aircraft landed safely.A regional wing of al Qaeda in Yemen said it was behind the bombing attempt.(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway)

Yemen: US never warned us about airline bomber By AHMED AL-HAJ, Associated Press Writer – DEC 29,09

SAN'A, Yemen – Yemen's government said Tuesday the U.S. should have shared its warnings about the Nigerian suspect in the botched Christmas Day airline attack, and said it was tightening restrictions on student visas like the one that allowed the young man to enter the country.Information Minister Hassan al-Lozy confirmed that Umar Faruk Abdulmutallab spent two extended periods in Yemen, as recently as this month, and that authorities were trying to determine what he did during that time. Investigators said he spent at least part of the time studying Arabic at a school in the capital of San'a, where students and administrators described him as friendly and outgoing with no overtly extremist views. As part of the investigation, the principal of a school where he studied was being questioned Tuesday.U.S. authorities have been trying to determine how Abdulmutallab, 23, managed to board a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with explosives even though he was flagged on a watchlist as a possible terrorist. U.S. officials have said he told investigators after his arrest that he received training in Yemen.Al-Lozy said that the U.S. never shared its suspicions about Abdulmutallab with Yemen, a largely lawless country that has turned into a key stronghold for al-Qaida.We didn't get any notice from the Americans to put this man on a list, al-Lozy said.America should have told Yemen about this man, as they have of others.Abdulmutallab lived in Yemen for two different periods of time, a year from 2004-2005 and from August-December this year, he said. He arrived in August after receiving a visa to study Arabic in the capital San'a.

Yemen's Foreign Ministry said Monday Abdulmutallab received a Yemeni visa after authorities were reassured that he had several visas from a number of friendly countries. It noted that Abdulmutallab had a valid visa to the United States, which he had visited in the past. The embassy has now been instructed not to issue any more visas to students who want to study in the country without Interior Ministry approval.The San'a Institute for the Arabic Language told The Associated Press that Abdulmutallab was an Arabic student at the school in August. That has raised questions about what he did the rest of his time in Yemen. Administrators at the school said Monday that the director of the school, Muhammad al-Anisi, has spent two days being questioned by Yemeni security officials. He remained in custody Tuesday.

Al-Lozy later told The Associated Press authorities are also looking into Abdulmutallab's frequent visits to a mosque in the old, historic part of the city and the people he was with during his stay in Yemen.Students and administrators at the institute said Abdulmutallab was gregarious, had many Yemeni friends and was not overtly extremist. They noted, however, he was open about his sympathies toward the Palestinians and his anger over Israel's actions in Gaza.The students and administrators spoke on condition of anonymity because Yemeni security authorities have ordered them not to talk to the media.Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attempted attack on the airliner and said it was retaliation for a U.S. operation against the group in Yemen. More than 60 militants were killed in airstrikes last week believed to have been carried out with U.S. assistance.

China and Britain clash over execution
By Maxim Duncan Maxim Duncan – DEC 29,09


URUMQI, China (Reuters) – China executed a Briton on Tuesday caught smuggling heroin, prompting a British outcry over what it said was the lack of any mental health assessment.Beijing called the British criticism groundless interference in its judicial sovereignty.Relatives of Akmal Shaikh, 53, and the British government had appealed for clemency, arguing the former businessman suffered from bipolar disorder, or manic depression. China's Supreme Court rejected the appeal, saying there was insufficient evidence of mental illness.Shaikh was the first European citizen executed in China since 1951, Western rights groups say.British Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned the execution, carried out in Urumqi, capital of the far-west region of Xinjiang, saying he was appalled and disappointed that our persistent requests for clemency have not been granted.I am particularly concerned that no mental health assessment was undertaken, he said in a statement.British Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis summoned China's ambassador in London, Fu Ying, to protest at the execution.I made clear that the execution of Mr Shaikh was totally unacceptable and that China had failed in its basic human rights responsibilities in this case..., Lewis said in a statement after what he described as a difficult conversation.

China rejected the British criticism.Nobody has the right to speak ill of China's judicial sovereignty, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said. We express our strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition over the groundless British accusations.Shaikh was executed by injection, China's official Xinhua news agency reported. His family said it was stunned and disappointed and criticized China's stance on his mental health.

INTERNATIONAL CRITICISM

The European Union and France both condemned the execution.The 27-nation EU's presidency said it deeply regretted that China had not heeded repeated calls from the EU and Britain for Shaikh to be spared the death penalty.Human rights group Amnesty International said Shaikh's execution highlights the injustice and inhumanity of the death penalty, particularly as it is implemented in China.Lewis told BBC radio the execution made him feel sick to the stomach, but said Britain must and will continue to engage with China.China executes more people than any other country, with about 1,718 executions in 2008, far surpassing Iran at 346 and the United States at 111, according to Amnesty International. China does not release an official count of its executions.The case could increase Chinese resentment over what Beijing often calls interference in its internal affairs, mindful of humiliating defeats by Britain during the Opium Wars of the 1800s. We hope that the British side can view this matter rationally, and not create new obstacles in bilateral relations, Jiang said. Britain is China's third-largest trade partner in Europe, with total trade of $45 billion in 2008. British economic ties with China have strengthened under Brown, although the two nations recently criticized one another over the troubled Copenhagen climate change negotiations. Heroin use is a major problem in Xinjiang, which borders Central Asia. The majority Muslim region was convulsed by ethnic violence and protests in July, with further protests in September after widespread panic over alleged syringe attacks. Shaikh's defenders, including British rights group Reprieve which lobbies against the death penalty, say he was duped into smuggling heroin by a gang who promised to make him a pop star.

Arrested in 2007, Shaikh, a Muslim, had had his last appeal rejected by a Chinese court on December 21. Reprieve posted on the Internet a recording Shaikh made of a song,Come Little Rabbit, which it said he believed would be an international hit and help bring about world peace. (Additional reporting by K.J. Kwon in Beijing; Tim Castle in London and Marcin Grajewski in Brussels; writing by Lucy Hornby, Chris Buckley and Adrian Croft; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

Putin urges US to share missile defense data By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer – DEC 29,09

MOSCOW – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia will build new weapons to offset the planned U.S. missile defense and urged Washington to share detailed data about its missile shield under a new arms control deal.Putin's remarks posted on the Cabinet's Web site set a defiant tone and signaled new difficulties in talks between the two nations on a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty that expired on Dec. 5. Moscow and Washington had hoped to strike a deal before the end of the year but problems persist.Putin's comments also showed that the former Russian president is continuing to shape Russian foreign policy, which under the constitution should be set by his successor, Dmitry Medvedev.He said that the arms control talks were proceeding in a positive way and added that Medvedev and President Barack Obama will eventually decide whether to strike an arms deal.But Putin warned that a missile defense system would give the U.S. an edge and could erode the deterrent value of Russia's nuclear forces.The problem is that our American partners are developing missile defenses, and we are not, Putin said.But the issues of missile defense and offensive weapons are closely interconnected. ... There could be a danger that having created an umbrella against offensive strike systems, our partners may come to feel completely safe. After the balance is broken, they will do whatever they want and grow more aggressive.Obama removed a major irritant in relations earlier this year by scrapping the previous administration's plans to place interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic — deployments Russia treated as a threat.The Kremlin has praised Obama for the decision, but Russian officials have also said they want to know more about the sea- and land-based systems the U.S. plans to put in place instead.Putin said that Russia has no intention to build a missile shield of its own, but will have to develop new offensive weapons to offset a future U.S. missile defense.In order to preserve a balance while we aren't planning to build a missile defense of our own, as it's very expensive and its efficiency is not quite clear yet, we have to develop offensive strike systems, he said.Putin added that the U.S. must share information about their missile defense plans if they want Russia to provide data on its new weapons.They should give us all the information about the missile defense, and we will be ready then to provide some information about offensive weapons, Putin said.Russia had been pushing for an explicit link in the new treaty between offensive weapons and missile defense. A joint statement in July by Medvedev and Obama linked the two, but the U.S. will be unlikely to accept any missile defense restrictions.

Japan minister bemoans deadlock in Russia islands row
DEC 29,09


TOKYO (AFP) – Japan and Russia failed to make progress in resolving a territorial dispute in their latest talks, remaining sharply at odds on the issue, Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said Tuesday.There are huge differences between the positions of each country, Okada said after returning from talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Monday.I told him that it is a problem that there has been no tangible progress in the territorial issue, Okada told reporters.

The neighbours have yet to sign a World War II peace treaty because they both lay claim to four islands off northern Japan seized in 1945 by Soviet troops, who expelled Japanese residents.The disputed territory is known as the South Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan.In Moscow, foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko called for a respectful and attentive approach on the issue.The creation of trust, which is necessary to finding a solution on mutual agreement to the problem of a peace accord, is a sensitive process that requires a respectful and attentive approach to the position of one's partner, he said in a televised briefing.

World War II was an especially sensitive issue for Russia due to the huge Soviet loss of life, he added.Lavrov said Monday that Russia was ready to explore original solutions to the dispute but did not elaborate. Okada said there was no new proposal by Moscow on how to tackle the issue.He ruled out cooperating with Russia in the economic development of the islands before the territorial row was resolved.Economy and politics are two wheels of one cart, but I told him (Lavrov) that without progress in politics, or the territorial issue, the cart won't roll properly,Okada said.Last month, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that Moscow's proposal to return two of the islands would be unacceptable to the Japanese people.

Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV By ANDREW VANACORE, AP Business Writer – DEC 29,09

NEW YORK – For more than 60 years, TV stations have broadcast news, sports and entertainment for free and made their money by showing commercials. That might not work much longer.The business model is unraveling at ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox and the local stations that carry the networks' programming. Cable TV and the Web have fractured the audience for free TV and siphoned its ad dollars. The recession has squeezed advertising further, forcing broadcasters to accelerate their push for new revenue to pay for programming.That will play out in living rooms across the country. The changes could mean higher cable or satellite TV bills, as the networks and local stations squeeze more fees from pay-TV providers such as Comcast and DirecTV for the right to show broadcast TV channels in their lineups. The networks might even ditch free broadcast signals in the next few years. Instead, they could operate as cable channels — a move that could spell the end of free TV as Americans have known it since the 1940s.Good programing is expensive, Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. owns Fox, told a shareholder meeting this fall.It can no longer be supported solely by advertising revenues.Fox is pursuing its strategy in public, warning that its broadcasts — including college football bowl games — could go dark Friday for subscribers of Time Warner Cable, unless the pay-TV operator gives Fox higher fees. For its part, Time Warner Cable is asking customers whether it should roll over or get tough in negotiations.The future of free TV also could be altered as the biggest pay-TV provider, Comcast Corp., prepares to take control of NBC. Comcast has not signaled plans to end NBC's free broadcasts. But Jeff Zucker, who runs NBC and its sister cable channels such as CNBC and Bravo, told investors this month that the cable model is just superior to the broadcast model.The traditional broadcast model works like this: CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox distribute shows through a network of local stations. The networks own a few stations in big markets, but most are affiliates,owned by separate companies.

Traditionally the networks paid affiliates to broadcast their shows, though those fees have dwindled to near nothing as local stations have seen their audience shrink. What hasn't changed is where the money mainly comes from: advertising.Cable channels make most of their money by charging pay-TV providers a monthly fee per subscriber for their programing. On average, the pay-TV providers pay about 26 cents for each channel they carry, according to research firm SNL Kagan. A channel as highly rated as ESPN can get close to $4, while some, such as MTV2, go for just a few pennies.With both advertising and fees, ESPN has seen its revenue grow to $6.3 billion this year from $1.8 billion a decade ago, according to SNL Kagan estimates. It has been able to bid for premium events that networks had traditionally aired, such as football games. Cable channels also have been able to fund high-quality shows, such as AMC's Mad Men,rather than recycling movies and TV series.That, plus a growing number of channels, has given cable a bigger share of the ad pie. In 1998, cable channels drew roughly $9.1 billion, or 24 percent of total TV ad spending, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising. By 2008, they were getting $21.6 billion, or 39 percent.Having two revenue streams — advertising and fees from pay-TV providers — has insulated cable channels from the recession. In contrast, over-the-air stations have been forced to cut staff, and at least two broadcast groups sought bankruptcy protection this year.Fox illustrates the trend: Its broadcast operations reported a 54 percent drop in operating income for the quarter that ended in September. Its cable channels, which include Fox News and FX, grew their operating income 41 percent.Analyst Tom Love of ZenithOptimedia said he expects the big networks will end the year with a 9 percent drop in ad revenue, followed by an 8 percent drop in 2010 and zero growth in 2011.A small chunk of the ad revenue is being recouped online, where the networks sell episodes for a few dollars each or run ads alongside shows on sites such as Hulu. Media economist Jack Myers projects online video advertising will grow into a $2 billion business by 2012, from just $350 million to $400 million this year.But that is not significant enough to make up for the lost ad revenue on the airwaves. Advertisers spent $34 billion on broadcast commercials in 2008, down by $2.4 billion from two years earlier, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising.So rather than wait for the Internet to become a bigger source of income, the networks and local stations are mimicking what cable channels do: They're charging pay-TV companies a monthly fee per subscriber to carry their programming.Since 1994, the Federal Communications Commission has let networks and their affiliates seek payments for including their programming in the pay-TV lineup. Not everyone demanded payments at first. Instead they relied on the broader audience that cable and satellite gave them to increase what they could charge advertisers.The big networks also were content to let their broadcast stations essentially be subsidized by higher fees for the cable channels that fell under the same corporate umbrella. A pay-TV company negotiating with the Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, is likely paying more for the ABC Family channel than it otherwise would, with the extra assumed to help Disney cover its costs for the ABC network broadcasts.

But over time — such contracts generally run about three years — more networks began demanding payments for the stations they own. And affiliates already receiving the fees have bargained for more money. Some talks have been tense. In 2007, Sinclair Broadcast Group, which operates 32 network-affiliated stations around the country, pulled its signals for nearly a month from Mediacom Communications Corp., which provides cable TV to about 1.3 million subscribers, mainly in small cities. The American Cable Association says its members — mainly small cable TV providers — have seen their costs for carrying local TV stations more than triple over the past three years. The group's head, Matt Polka, says those fees have gone straight to consumers' pocketbooks in the form of higher cable bills. Gannett Co., for instance, which operates 23 stations, has taken in $56 million in fees from pay-TV operators this year after negotiating a new batch of agreements, up from $18 million in 2008. Dave Lougee, president of Gannett's broadcast arm, defends the fees, saying broadcasters were late to the game in really starting to go after the fair market value of their signals.Analysts estimate CBS managed to get as much as 50 cents per subscriber in its most recent talks with pay-TV providers that carry CBS-owned stations. CBS Corp. chief Leslie Moonves said such fees should add hundreds of millions of dollars to revenues annually.That could be just the beginning. CBS and Fox are also asking for a portion of the fees that their affiliates get, arguing that the networks' shows are what give local stations the leverage to ask for fees.

Over time, the networks might be able to get even more money by abandoning the affiliate structure and undoing a key element of free TV. Here's why: Pay-TV providers are paying the networks only for the stations the networks own. That amounts to a little less than a third of the TV audience, which means local affiliates recoup two-thirds of the fees. If a network operated purely as a cable channel and cut the affiliates out, the network could get the fees for the entire pay-TV audience. If forced to go independent, affiliates would have to air their own programming, including local news and syndicated shows. Fitch Ratings analyst Jamie Rizzo predicts that at least one of the four broadcast networks could explore becoming a cable channel as early as 2011. Any shift would take years, as the networks untangle complicated affiliate contracts. At an analyst conference last year, CBS's Moonves called the idea an a very interesting proposition. But he added that it would really change the universe that we're in.

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