Saturday, August 22, 2009
Photo: AFP (OF SHIP I BELIEVED STOLEN NUKES FROM.)
THE ARTIC SEA SHIP THAT DISAPPEARED FOR 2 WEEKS WAS FOUND OFF THE ISLANDS OF CAPE VERTE.THE RUSSIANS AND NATO SAVED THE 15 MAN CRUE.HIGHJACKERS STOLE PROBABLY A NUCLEAR WEAPON FROM THE SHIP AND NOW THERES A WARNING OUT THAT THAT WEAPON COULD BE USED BY THE HIGHJACKERS,AND FOR THE WEST TO BE ON ALERT.I JUST HEARD THIS ON A RADIO SHOW SO WE WILL SEE IN THE NEWS IF THE WEAPON IS FOUND AND RECOVERED OR SET OFF SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD,PROBABLY NEW YORK OR WASHINGTON,I BELIEVE,MY HUNCH IS IT WAS A MUSLIM STEAL AND NEW YORK AND THE ISRAELIS BETTER BE ON ALERT.
EITHER GOOGLE OR MICROSOFT OR RUSSIA OR CHINA OR SOMEBODY DID NOT WANT ME GETTING THIS WARNING OUT TO THE WORLD.I HAD A PERFECT STORY ABOUT THE NUKES ON THE SHIP,THEN GOOGLE OR MICROSOFT ABORTED MY SITE AND I COULD NOT FIND THE STORY AGAIN.THIS TELLS ME,I'M RIGHT ON ABOUT THIS STORY AS BROKE BY DOUG HAGMANN.
Hijacked Arctic Sea feared to be carrying secret cargo of drugs Russian warships and nuclear submarines have been scrambled in a full scale pirate hunt for a hijacked ship amid fears that the missing Arctic Sea vessel could be carrying a secret cargo of arms or drugs. By Bruno Waterfield Published: 3:10PM BST 12 Aug 2009
The 3,988-tonne Arctic Sea ship was last contacted by the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency as it entered the English Channel two weeks ago. However, that routine radio check, on July 28, took place before British and European coastguards received an alert warning that the Arctic Sea had been previously been attacked by armed intruders in Swedish waters. There are now fears the vessel, with 15 crew aboard and carrying almost £1 million-worth of sawn timber from Finland to Algeria, is under the control of pirates or gangsters.Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's president, ordered the hunt for the Russian owned and manned Arctic Sea, which is now suspected to have headed for West Africa's Atlantic coast. All Russian navy ships in the Atlantic have been sent to join the search for the Arctic Sea,said Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, the Russian Navy commander. A Russian corvette, the Ladny, has passed the Strait of Gibraltar to join the search, which is supported by satellite surveillance of Africa's West Coast. Up to four other Russian Black Sea Fleet vessels, including two nuclear submarines, are taking part in the hunt for the Maltese flagged ship, which is officially carrying a cargo manifest of Finnish timber, worth £900,000, to Algeria.Mystery has surrounded the Arctic Sea's fate after crew members reported the vessels hijacking by armed boarders near the Swedish islands of Oland and Gotland on Jul 24.According to the reports, the vessel was boarded by up to 12 armed men masquerading as anti-narcotics officers in high-speed inflatable boats bearing police markings.
Twelve hours later, the intruders left the ship and allowed the vessel to continue on its passage but only after communications equipment had been damaged and mobile phones taken from crew.Their behaviour has raised concerns that, unbeknown to the ship's owners, an illicit cargo could have been on board.Mikhail Voitenko, the editor of Russia's Sovfracht maritime bulletin, has suggested that the ship might have been attacked because it was carrying a secret shipment. I don't think this is about pirates after a cargo of timber. It is most logical and probable that there was some kind of secret cargo. It is more likely to be about arms or drugs,he said. Before collecting a cargo of sawn timber from the Finnish port of Pietarsaari, the Arctic Sea had been repaired at the Pregol shipyard in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave notorious for smuggling. Malta Maritime Authority officials have said that during the armed boarding crew members were subjected to hard questioning related to drug trafficking.Members of the crew were allegedly assaulted, tied, gagged and blindfolded and some were seriously injured,said a spokesman.The last signal from the vessel’s automatic identification system (AIS), on July 30, placed the Arctic Sea 50 miles south of Penzance and heading southwest.The navigation system then appeared to have been switched off in order to evade detection.Maritime trade unions have asked why the authorities, including Interpol, took over a week to raise the alarm.
It is alarming that, in the 21st century, a ship can apparently be commandeered by hijackers and sail through the world's busiest waterway with no alarm being raised and no naval vessel going to intercept it,said Mark Dickinson, the general secretary of Nautilus International. We do not believe the authorities would have taken such a relaxed approach to a hijacked aircraft.Nick Davis, who runs private security firm Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions, told the BBC’s Today programme: Piracy is piracy - if someone’s wanting to take that vessel, and they’re not authorised, and they use a speedboat to go and get it, then it’s no different to what the Somalis do.
However, I don’t believe they would have boarded that vessel firing weapons in the air, and threatening to kill the crew. While it is piracy, it’s not like what we know in Somalia.
Arctic Sea: Might Nuke Terror Follow?
Boba Bobik , Kiev: Aug 14 2009 Made Popular Aug 14 2009 Russia :
Since first info appeared on 28 July locally in Sweden, a story of a hijacked Arctic Sea, Malta-registered, Russian-crew-completed, Finish-timber carrying ship reached Russia/the Commonwealth of Independent States on 11 August at last as a Russia’s president commanded personally the operation securing and return of his citizens hijacked.The Sochart-Archangelsk (ph/fax 78182- 420262 / 420203) is a Russia-based operating owner of the Arctic Sea.For quite understandable reasons such drama is of an understandable interest to regional states if even neither ship nor destination of foreign produce directly linked to.Really, if a total worth of a ship and goods declared officially not to exceed US$3Mln, what is a point to hijack such a wreck near Sweden for demanding a ransom in waters of Northern Africa or even much southern? Or is this a test terrorists are undertaking to check international possibilities to implement valid international agreements on piracy and cooperation in open waters in order to distract attention from a different region more dangerous action using nukes to be executed? In any case, a strange-to-date story to be monitored in this blog. Arctic Sea hijacked, photo by intermedia.
Russian And US Forces Retake Missing Nukes From Rogue CIA Terrorists.
A most disturbing report has been delivered to President Medvedev today wherein Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov is reporting that Russian Naval Forces, working in cooperation with the United States Navy Space Command, have retaken the Finnish Defense Forces vessel Arctic Sea that had been hijacked by what these reports are labeling CIA Terrorists holding false Estonia, Latvia and Russia passports, and which we had previously reported on in our August 14th report Russia Alarmed After Nuclear Warheads Go Missing In Atlantic.
According to Mikhail Voitenko, editor of the Russian maritime bulletin Sovfracht, The only sensible answer is that the vessel was loaded secretly with something we don't know anything about.Voitenko speculated that this expensive and dangerous cargo could have been loaded while the vessel was undergoing repairs at Kaliningrad, before its official cargo was taken onboard in Finland. Some observers have speculated this could be a hint of a dispute between rival Russian mafia gangs, though Voitenko himself said drugs could be ruled out.From the more speculation-prone backwaters of the web comes the suggestion that the Arctic Sea could have been carrying a deadly, radioactive cargo. In this scenario, the Swedish police who boarded her were special forces - SAS or US Navy Seals - toting Geiger counters. Finding, as they had expected, something nasty under the woodpile, weapons-grade depleted uranium from a crumbling Soviet nuclear facility bound for a middle-Eastern regime perhaps, but not wanting to create an international incident, they allowed the ship to go her way. But the Arctic Sea is now so dangerously radioactive, she is being shadowed by a submarine. Once she reaches quieter, deeper international waters, she will be remorselessly sunk.
Russian court arrests suspected ship hijackers By DAVID NOWAK, Associated Press Writer David Nowak, Associated Press Writer – Fri Aug 21, 3:47 pm ET
MOSCOW – A Moscow court has formally arrested eight people suspected of hijacking a freighter at the center of a monthlong high-seas mystery, according to Russian news agencies.The Maltese-flagged Arctic Sea left Finland on July 21 carrying a load of timber but then appeared to vanish in the Atlantic. It was found two weeks after it had been scheduled to arrive in Algeria thousands of miles (kilometers) off course and long out of radio contact. Maltese and other international authorities later admitted they had been tracking the ship.Interfax and RIA Novosti say the freighter's suspected hijackers citizens of Russia, Latvia, Estonia and three without citizenship were formally arrested Friday by Basmanny District Court in Moscow. No charges have yet been filed.They denied guilt, claiming they were environmentalists who had sought refuge aboard the Arctic Sea after deserting their ship in a storm, the reports said.
There was a gale and we were seeking refuge at the first vessel we saw, ITAR-Tass quoted suspect Dmitry Bartenyev as saying in court Friday.
Intrigue still swirls around the Arctic Sea affair.
More than a week after the Arctic Sea's departure from Finland, Swedish police said they had received a report that masked men had raided the ship in the Baltic Sea and beaten the crew before speeding off 12 hours later in an inflatable craft.The freighter gave no indication of any difficulties or change in its route during radio contact while passing through the English Channel on July 28. Signals from the ship's tracking device were picked up off the French coast late the next day.On Aug 17, Russia's defense minister announced the ship had been found off West Africa and that it had been hijacked. A day later a Russian Navy warship mounted a rescue operation to retrieve the 15 Russian crew members and detain the eight suspected hijackers.The perplexing manner in which the affair came to light, along with claims that news media were fed bogus information about the ship, raised suspicions among observers that the Arctic Sea may have been carrying a sensitive cargo.Earlier, the Kremlin said the ship was en route to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, but federal investigators said it was drifting off Cape Verde.
Artificial life will be created 'within months' as genome experts claim vital breakthrough By Daily Mail Reporter Last updated at 1:24 AM on 22nd August 2009
Influential: Craig Venter claims we will make artificial life this year
Scientists are only months away from creating artificial life, it was claimed yesterday.Dr Craig Venter – one of the world’s most famous and controversial biologists – said his U.S. researchers have overcome one of the last big hurdles to making a synthetic organism.The first artificial lifeform is likely to be a simple man-made bacterium that proves that the technology can work.But it will be followed by more complex bacteria that turn coal into cleaner natural gas, or algae that can soak up carbon dioxide and convert it into fuels.They could also be used to create new vaccines and antibiotics.The prediction came after a breakthrough by the J Craig Venter Institute in Maryland.Researchers successfully transferred the DNA of one type of bacteria into a yeast cell, modified it and then transferred it into another bacterial cell.The pioneering gene swap was performed on a simple species of bacteria called Mycoplasma mycoides.Carole Lartigue and colleagues removed the bacteria's entire genome and inserted it into the yeast - an organism that is distant from bacteria on the tree of life.Yeast is easier to manipulate in the lab and this process allowed the team to alter the genes - in this case, deleting one gene not necessary for bacteria to live.
High hopes: Synthetic microbes could clean up toxic waste.The cell went on to divide normally, producing a new healthy strain of the modified bacteria. In January, the team created the entire genetic code of a new bacterium. They now hope to transfer such artificial DNA into a host cell to create a new species, the journal Science reported.Yesterday Dr Venter said: Assuming we don’t make any errors, I think it should work and we should have the first synthetic species by the end of the year.The team successfully transplanted the genome of one bacteria into another for the first time in 2007.They then created the first entirely man-made genome. But previous attempts to introduce the synthetic genome into another organism and take control of the new bacteria all failed.More...Plastic decomposes in the sea and releases cancer-causing chemicals, study warns .Slimewatch UK: 8inch-thick carpet of algae is clogging South Coast U.S. clinic offers British parents the opportunity to choose the sex of their child .Now the team has harnessed a biological process called methylation - where special molecules are added onto the cell's DNA - to protect them from viruses.
Writing in Science, they said their method might be used to tinker with the genetics of a range of bacteria that have been difficult to engineer.Many medically or industrially important microbes are difficult to manipulate genetically,they wrote.
This has severely limited our understanding of pathogenesis and our ability to exploit the knowledge of microbial biology on a practical level.Breakthrough: New DNA was protected by a process called methylation (step 5)We hope that the cycle presented here can be applied to other species, to help solve these problems.
Ms Lartigue, who is now at the Biotechnology Industry Organisation, said there may have already identified a direct application in the development of animal vaccines.
The Mycoplasma mycoides bacterium they used causes a disease called pleuropneumonia in cattle and goats.There is an urgent need for vaccines,they wrote. This technology could accelerate the construction of live vaccine strains.Dr Venter, named as an author in the paper and who founded the institute, is working to make genetically manipulated or completely synthetic organisms.Last month, Exxon Mobil Corp signed a $600million (£362million) deal with Dr Venter's privately held Synthetic Genomics Inc to work on making biofuel from algae.Venter has said he hopes to manipulate organisms to produce biofuels, clean up toxic waste and sequester carbon to slow global warming.Researchers already regularly engineer life forms by adding or deleting genes.
OBAMA AND FRIENDS HISTORY OD RADICALISM
Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rthv8QmJLUw
Part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJNhKZh8mGY&feature=fvw
Part 3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95XFUi8PrTs&feature=related
Part 4 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl4twMf1xyM&feature=related
Part 5 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKzFtKEysjw&feature=related
Part 6 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmEmRbRJFLU&feature=related
JOHN LOEFFLER THE LITTLE COUNTRY THAT COULD
WARNING OF CREEPING SOCIALISM
NWO FROM THE MOUTH OF THE ELITES
SCHIFF GET RID OF POLITICIANS
CHUCK MISSLER-MAKING THINGS WORSE ON PURPOSE(NWO CONTROL)
A DEMOGRAPHIC PROBLEM
SWINE FLU VACCINE BAXTER LINKED TO DYNCORP'S MERCS H1N1 PATENTS
WHO predicts explosion of swine flu cases By GILLIAN WONG, Associated Press Writer – Fri Aug 21, 8:56 am ET
BEIJING – The global spread of swine flu will endanger more lives as it speeds up in the coming months and governments must boost preparations for a swift response to a coming explosion of cases, the World Health Organization said Friday.Many countries could see swine flu cases double every three to four days for several months until peak transmission is reached, once cold weather returns to the northern hemisphere, said WHO's Western Pacific director, Shin Young-soo.At a certain point, there will seem to be an explosion in case numbers, Shin told a symposium of health officials and experts in Beijing.It is certain there will be more cases and more deaths.The WHO says the swine flu virus — also known as H1N1 — has killed almost 1,800 people worldwide, and has declared a pandemic.International attention has focused on how the pandemic is progressing in southern hemisphere countries such as Australia where winter — and the flu season — has started.But it is in developing countries that the accelerated spread of swine flu poses the greatest threat as it places underequipped and underfunded health systems under severe strain, Shin said.WHO earlier estimated that as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years — nearly one-third of the world's population.Others said Shin's cautionary comments were needed but that they were optimistic the spread would not be that serious.Ann Moen, an influenza expert with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that if current trends continue it is possible that the swine flu pandemic will not be worse than a severe flu season.
I think the world was preparing for an H5N1 (bird flu) pandemic and we didn't get that. So maybe this is our supreme tabletop exercise, a global sort of practice for something bigger,Moen told The Associated Press.Health officials and drug makers are considering how to speed up production of a vaccine before the northern hemisphere enters its flu season in coming months. Estimates for when a vaccine will be available range from September to December.Delegates from Bangladesh and Myanmar appealed for help in procuring vaccines or making them more affordable for poorer countries, saying they were left vulnerable while rich nations pre-ordered most of the available stock.Developing countries like us, we have to fight this war without vaccines,said Mya Oo, deputy health minister of Myanmar. He urged pharmaceutical companies to consider selling the vaccines to developing countries at just above cost.
WHO's flu chief, Keiji Fukuda, said the agency was working hard on the issue, and noted that two drugmakers had pledged to donate 150 million doses of vaccine to poorer countries by the end of October. He said more research was needed to determine how vaccines will be priced.Among the many pandemic response issues, this is probably the most critical issue: how we mobilize the vaccines, how we get them to developing countries,Fukuda said.WHO has stressed that most cases of swine flu are mild and require no treatment, but the fear is that a rash of new infections could overwhelm hospitals and health authorities, especially in poorer countries.Shin said governments must quickly educate the public, prepare their health systems to care for severe cases and protect those deemed more vulnerable to prevent unnecessary deaths.
We only have a short time period to reach the state of preparedness deemed necessary, Shin said.Communities must be aware before a pandemic strikes as to what they can do to reduce the spread of the virus, and how to obtain early treatment of severe cases.
Pregnant women face a higher risk of complications, and the virus also has more severe effects on people with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and diabetes, WHO chief Margaret Chan said in a video address. The last pandemic — the Hong Kong flu of 1968 —killed about 1 million people. Ordinary flu kills about 250,000 to 500,000 people each year.Swine flu is also continuing to spread during summer in the northern hemisphere. Normally, flu viruses disappear with warm weather, but swine flu is proving to be resilient.
2nd lead poisoning case hits China, 1,300 sick By ALEXA OLESEN, Associated Press Writer – Thu Aug 20, 11:55 pm ET
BEIJING – China has detained two factory officials after 1,300 children were poisoned by pollution from a manganese processing plant, days after emissions from a lead smelter in another province sickened hundreds.Both cases have sparked unrest and come amid growing anger in China over public safety scandals in which children have been the main victims. Tainted infant formula milk and the mass collapse of schools in a huge earthquake last year have also provoked widespread dissent.The latest incident involves the Wugang Manganese Smelting Plant in Wenping township, central Hunan province. It opened in May 2008 without the approval of the local environmental protection bureau, within 500 yards (meters) of a primary school, a middle school and a kindergarten.Fears of poisoning began to spread among villagers in early July when many children became susceptible to colds and suffered fevers and other ailments, the official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday.Some 1,354 children who live near the plant — or nearly 70 percent of those tested — were found to have excessive lead in their blood, Xinhua said. Lead poisoning can damage the nervous and reproductive systems and cause high blood pressure and memory loss.Local authorities shut down the smelter last week and detained two of its executives on suspicion of causing severe environmental pollution,Xinhua said. General manager Liu Zhongwu was still at large, it said.
Li Liangmei, a 36-year-old mother of two affected children, said hundreds of villagers rioted Aug. 8 after news broke about the lead poisoning. She said a crowd of about 600 to 700 people overturned four police cars and smashed a local government sign.People were angry about the test results,Li said. Her 13-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son were among the hundreds found to have lead in their blood above safe levels.Earlier this week, villagers in Shaanxi, another rural province in central China, clashed with police as they protested the operations of the Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Co. in the town of Changqing. They also stoned trucks trying to deliver coal to the plant.That unrest came after at least 615 out of 731 children in two villages near that smelter tested positive for lead poisoning. Children from six other villages there are now being tested.Children's health can be a particularly volatile issue in China, where most families are restricted to having just one child.
A string of recent safety scandals has put parents on high alert, including a national problem with tainted infant formula that killed at least six babies, and the mass collapse of schools in last year's Sichuan earthquake that left thousands of students dead. Critics blamed poor government oversight for the milk, and local corruption and profit-skimming for the allegedly shoddy school buildings.Seeking to restore public trust, the Communist Party leadership has vowed in each case to deal harshly with those responsible for endangering children. But heavy-handed efforts to silence angry parents, including threats and house arrest, have further damaged the party's image and undermined its pledge to put people first.Zhao Lianhai, the father of a child who was sickened by tainted milk, blamed local government greed for the new lead poisoning cases and expressed sympathy for the families affected.It is said that children are the flower of the motherland and I am sad to see these flowers devastated,he said in a telephone interview.The government should value the children more than this, care for them and do more to protect their food and living conditions.
Since his son became ill, Zhao has turned to activism, seeking punishment for those implicated in the milk scandal and free medical care for victims. Some 294,000 infants suffered urinary problems from drinking the infant formula contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Bermuda, US coast warned as Bill stays offshore By CHRIS GILLETTE, Associated Press Writer – AUG 21,09
HAMILTON, Bermuda – Bands of rain from Hurricane Bill pelted Bermuda as the storm roared over the open ocean Friday, causing flooding on the Atlantic island and spreading dangerous waves across the East Coast of the U.S.The Category 2 storm's maximum sustained winds had slipped to near 105 mph (165 kph), from 135 mph (217 kph) on Wednesday. Forecasters said the hurricane could regain intensity in the next two days. Its center is expected to pass between Bermuda and the U.S. shore Saturday.
Tourists gathered at the wealthy British territory's pink sand beaches to watch the powerful surf. Many shrugged off the threat of the approaching storm, but it apparently cut short a beachfront vacation for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton.On the eastern U.S. coast, offshore waves of 20 feet (6 meters) or more and rip currents at the beach are expected over one of the summer's last weekends. Forecasters warned boaters and swimmers from northeastern Florida to New England because of incoming swells as Bill passes far out to sea on a northward track for Canada's Maritime provinces.Some roads along Bermuda's northern coast were flooded and traffic was heavy in Hamilton, the capital, as islanders bought groceries and ran other last-minute errands.Bermuda's airport, which is accessible only by a low causeway bridge, announced it was closing at 5:30 p.m. Friday for the duration of the storm. All ferry service was canceled until Sunday.Bill was forecast to bring 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.5 centimeters) of rain to Bermuda, with up to 5 inches (13 centimeters) in some areas.Much of Bermuda, a wealthy offshore financial center, is solidly built and able to withstand rough weather. But storm tides are expected to raise water levels up to 3 feet (1 meter) along the shores and battering waves could cause significant erosion. Large swells from the storm also were affecting Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the Bahamas.Despite warning signs posted at Bermuda's beaches, tourists gathered to watch waves pummel the sand and wash up to the dunes at Horseshoe Bay.We've never experienced a hurricane before, so it's very interesting. The children are loving it, said Kevin James, 54, a pharmaceutical company executive from London, who watched with his wife and two young children.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters the Clintons left Bermuda on Thursday night.They arrived on Wednesday for a three- or four-day getaway. Local newspapers said they stayed at a luxury beachfront hotel, though their representatives refused to disclose any details.Photographers spotted the former president golfing Thursday at Port Royal Golf Course, where four former Guantanamo Bay prisoners have been hired as groundskeepers following their release from the U.S. prison.The former president and the prisoners, Muslims from western China known as Uighurs, did not have any contact, according to a lawyer for some of the men.North Carolina was expecting flooding and beach erosion on the Outer Banks this weekend. The National Weather Service said Bill could cause water levels to rise 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) above normal and the ocean could spill over roads.Emergency managers in New England warned boaters, swimmers and surfers to take added precautions this weekend, when waves are expected to swell to 35 feet (10.5 meters) off the coast.The Three Belles Marina in Niantic, Connecticut, was securing boats and dragging in docks in anticipation of high waters, said Gary Julian, a customer service manager.Waves of up to 20 feet (6 meters) are possible south of Martha's Vineyard and Block Island and east of Cape Cod, and up to 35 feet (10.5 meters) on portions of the prime fishing area of Georges Bank, the weather service said. President Obama and his family plan to travel to Martha's Vineyard on Sunday for vacation.Bermuda posted a tropical storm warning that means winds of 40 mph (64 kph) or more were expected to arrive within a day, and the island remained under a hurricane watch that indicated even stronger winds were possible within 36 hours.
Leon Borowski, vacationing with his wife at Bermuda's Rosedon Hotel, said the hotel staff was putting away umbrellas and chairs but he was not worried. There's no sense going home early. We can weather the storm for the day,said Borowski, 71, of Bridgewater, New Jersey.The center's five-day track showed Bill staying well out to sea off the U.S. coast and inching closer to land off Canada's Maritime provinces before veering back out into the North Atlantic.On Friday evening, the storm was centered about 235 miles (380 kilometers) south-southwest of Bermuda, or about 640 miles (1035 kilometers) southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and was moving north-northwest at about 20 mph (32 kph).Bill is the first Atlantic hurricane this year after a quiet start to the season that runs from June through November. The Miami center lowered its Atlantic hurricane outlook on Aug. 6 after no named tropical storms developed in the first two months.The revised prediction was for three to six hurricanes, with one or two becoming major storms with winds over 110 mph. Researchers at Colorado State University have also lowered their Atlantic season forecast to four hurricanes, two of them major.
Insurance claims begin after Ontario tornadoes Fri Aug 21, 3:27 pm ET
TORONTO (Reuters) – Insurers began to assess the damage on Friday after tornadoes and violent thunderstorms struck southern Ontario late Thursday, killing one person and destroying homes, businesses and cars.It is too early to put a value on the damage rendered by the winds, hail, rain and flying debris. Property owners are expected to take several days to assess their losses and file claims, insurers say.We're starting to see some claims come in, in a fairly steady way, said Ian Blair, a spokesman for Intact Financial Corp, one of Canada's largest property and casualty insurers. Primarily it's wind damage as you might expect, as opposed to rain damage.As many as four tornadoes reportedly touched down in southern Ontario, north and west of Toronto, early on Thursday evening.Environment Canada confirmed at least one tornado touched down and was investigating other reports of tornado and funnel cloud sightings, as well as reports of flipped cars, destroyed buildings and uprooted trees in communities across the southern part of the province. Some flooding was also reported.There were dozens of unconfirmed reports of funnel clouds traveling through the central core of Toronto, Canada's largest city.There were probably four, or at least four, but it is too early to confirm with certainty,said Peter Kimbell, a meteorologist at Environment Canada. He said five teams were out investigating damage across the region.There was one reported death, of an 11-year-old boy who was camping at a conservation area near the small town of Durham, Ontario, northwest of Toronto, as well as numerous injuries.A spokeswoman for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, an industry association, said most of the damage is likely covered by homeowner policies and by comprehensive auto coverage.Most of the stuff that happened last night should be covered,said Nikki Holland, manager of government relations at the IBC.
Damage from falling trees and water entering homes through roofs or windows damaged by the storm are typically covered by property insurance, Holland said, but noted that overland flooding -- where water comes into homes from ground sources -- is not typically covered.Intact Financial's Blair said he expected steady claims to be reported for several days because the tornadoes hit the district near Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, where many Torontonians have second homes. Because they are often unoccupied during the week, policyholders may not yet know the building's are damaged.
We expect to see more (claims) come in over the weekend and early next week as people get up to their cottages, because as you know a lot of the damage zone is in cottage country.(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; editing by Rob Wilson)
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:(ETHNIC GROUP AGAINST ETHNIC GROUP) and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Moderate earthquake strikes Taiwan Associated Press
2009-08-22 10:15 AM
Taiwanese authorities say a 5.6-magnitude earthquake has struck just south of the island. There are no immediate reports of casualties or damage.The Central Weather Bureau says the quake struck at 4:57 a.m. Saturday (0857 GMT Friday). It was centered about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Pingtung county on Taiwan's southern coast, within 60 miles (95 kilometers) of the area hardest hit by Typhoon Morakot.The storm hit two weeks ago and took at least 500 lives.Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan but most are minor and cause little or no damage.However, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people.
Earthquake rocks Balasore
Bhubaneswar, 21 Aug: An earthq-uake of low inten-sity jolted Balasore district and lasted for a few seconds, the meteorological office said here today. The tremor was felt in several villages and towns in coastal Balasore at about 4.10 p.m. on Thursday last. However, there was no report of any injury or damage.An earthquake of light intensity having its magn-itude 2.9 on the Richter scale occu-rred at 16 hours 10 minutes with its epicentre at latitude 21.30 North and longitude 86.70 East in Balasore,Bhub-aneswar meteor-ological office said in a statement. The district headquarter of Balasore is 214 km from the state capital.ians
Southland hit by more earthquakes Published: 10:16AM Friday August 21, 2009
Source: ONE News geonet.co.nz
Southland has been hit by two more sizeable earthquakes over the last few days.The most recent quake, which measured 4.9 on the Richter scale, happened at 8.55am on Friday morning and was centred 150km west of Tuatapere say GNS Science.Its impact was at a depth of 5km.The area was also hit by an earthquake on Wednesday.That quake measured 5.2 and hit 120km west of Tautapere at 12km deep.Both quakes are still counted as aftershocks from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Fjordland in July.
Lebanese fears of Israeli strike swell Friday, 21 August 2009 13:04 News from Jerusalem
Israel would need to degrade Hezb'allah's arsenal of missiles prior to attacking Iran
Reports that Israel has ordered 100 bunker buster bombs from the United States has caused tremors of concern in Lebanon that the weapons are for use against Hezb'allah in the event of war between Iran and the Jewish state.The Jerusalem Post reported Aug. 3 that the Israeli Defense Ministry ordered the laser-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition kits earlier this summer.The kits are fitted onto conventional bombs to transform them into precision-guided weapons that are highly accurate and capable of destroying bunkers built deep underground.Since Hezb'allah's 2006 war with Israel, the Iranian-backed Shiite movement has rebuilt an elaborate network of bunkers in South Lebanon and constructed a whole new defensive line north of the Litani River.
These include command-and-control centers, arms dumps and underground launch sites for an estimated 20,000 rockets the Israelis claim Hezb'allah has deployed in the south.The Jerusalem Post cited no delivery date for the LJDAMs, but the order was reported amid growing concerns that Israel may launch a unilateral strike against Iran to knock out its nuclear program infrastructure.U.S. leaders have cautioned in recent weeks that the Obama administration still retains its options for a military strike of its own.U.S. efforts to open a dialogue with Tehran on the nuclear issue appear to have been stymied by the political turmoil gripping Iran following the disputed re-election of firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad June 12 and the growing power of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, a key Ahmadinejad ally that controls Iran's nuclear and missile programs.American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have found the LJDAM's guidance system - combining GPS systems and lasers, frequently used by ground troops to designate targets for strike aircraft - is particularly effective against moving targets.Given that most of the targets that Israeli intelligence would be able to pinpoint in Iran would be fixed, the LJDAM seems most appropriate for a South Lebanon scenario targeting Hezb'allah fighters and Revolutionary Guards officers operating in Lebanon, according to the Texas-based Strategic Forecasting security consultancy.It noted the Israelis used earlier versions of the JDAM in South Lebanon in 2006 and then in Gaza in 2009 … for targeting everything from Hezb'allah safe houses in downtown Beirut to smuggling tunnels along the Gaza border with Egypt.Hezb'allah would be a key target for Israel if hostilities erupt with Iran because Tehran would be expected to activate it to retaliate against the Jewish state.
Hezb'allah's main weapon would be the estimated 40,000 rockets it is believed to have amassed since 2006. These include long-range weapons deployed in northwest Lebanon capable of hitting deep inside Israel.Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip on Israel's southern border, who are also aided by Tehran, would likely open up too.
Hezb'allah leader Hassan Nasrallah has threatened to bombard Tel Aviv if the Israelis bomb Beirut's southern suburbs, a Hezb'allah stronghold. The area was pounded daily by Israeli air raids throughout the 2006 conflict. Tel Aviv was never hit.There have been no significant clashes between Hezb'allah and Israel since that conflict ended. But there have been constant provocations.On July 14 a Hezb'allah arms dump hidden in the basement of a house in the border village of Khirbet Silim blew up. Israel charged that the dump was only one of around 100 violating U.N. Security Resolution 1701, which ended hostilities in 2006.According to security sources in Beirut, Israel had tipped off the U.N. peacekeeping force in South Lebanon about the cache and demanded it destroy the dump.Lebanese concerns have heightened with the breaking up of some 15 Israeli spy cells across the country. Some 40 people have been indicted for espionage.The extent of the elaborate network and the scale of its operations, assassinations and gathering intelligence on Hezb'allah have stunned the nation. The suspects, Muslims and Christians, include a former brigadier general in Lebanon's leading security service and three army colonels.According to security authorities, some agents had identified targets that were attacked in 2006 and were supposedly pinpointing new ones to be hit if hostilities resume.In anticipating the blowback from Hezb'allah in the event of strikes against Iran, Strategic Forecasting noted that Israel would have a strong interest in degrading Hezb'allah's military capabilities prior to attacking Iran.UPI
Ahmadinejad's defense minister is wanted by Interpol for 1994 Buenos Aires atrocity Friday, 21 August 2009 11:33 News from Jerusalem Designated Iranian defense minister is wanted terrorist
Ahmadi Vadhidi, whom President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has designated Iran's next defense minister, was head of the notorious al Qods Brigades which ordered and organized the bombing attack on the Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1994 that left 84 people dead.
Al Qods is responsible for the Revolutionary Guards terrorist operations in foreign countries. For the attack on the Jewish center, Vadhidi used Hizballah operatives with whom he was acquainted from his days as commander of the IRGC's Lebanon Corps in the 1980s.He was especially close to Hizballah's bombing and abduction expert, the late Imad Mughniyeh. Together, they plotted and executed the kidnapping of a series of high-ranking Western officials in those years, among them William Buckley and Col, Richard Higgins.Buckley, the CIA station chief in Lebanon, was snatched in 1984, the first senior US intelligence official to be interrogated under torture by joint teams employed by Vadhidi and Mughniyeh. He did not survive the ordeal.Four years later, the due captured Col. William Richard (Rich) Higgins, the highest-ranking US military and intelligence officer in Lebanon at the time. He too was tortured to death in the attempt by Iranian agents to extract the secrets of US Middle East operations.Vadhidi has been employed in recent years at home base in Tehran, latterly as deputy defense minister with responsibility for aerodynamic development i.e. missiles. He has also served as head of the ministry's planning department and head of the Expediency Council's political-security commission.The Iranian president is poised to unveil his cabinet in the coming days. Composed mainly of his most brutal cronies and loyal yes-men - as well as three women for the first time - it faces the opposition of large sections of parliament who threaten to withhold endorsement.debka
Israelis and Hamas have secret talks in Switzerland
By Keren David, August 20, 2009
A secret peace conference held in Switzerland earlier this month brought together senior establishment figures from Hamas, Fatah and Israel to discuss a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.The meeting was organised by London-based group the Next Century Foundation, which describes itself as a second track diplomatic foundation working towards conflict resolution. Its first objective is to provide a forum for Israelis and Palestinians.It was the first time I’d seen Hamas talk directly to Israelis,said William Morris, NCF’s secretary-general, and the first time they had discussed a two-state solution.A lot of Israelis might say so what, but I think you need to take a longer vision and recognise that this is the way that the Palestinian public is moving in areas like Gaza, even though they have every reason to be radicalised.It was the first time I’d seen Hamas talk directly to Israelis
He hailed an eagerness for dialogue, even among the most radical… I found it very refreshing to hear Hamas being more flexible about accepting a two-state solution.A report of the talks has been sent to all foreign ministers in the region.As well as Israelis, Hamas and Fatah, senior figures and diplomats from Arab nations attended the conference.Britons present included Anna Ford, the former newsreader; journalist Dame Ann Leslie; and June Jacobs, peace activist and former president of the International Council of Jewish Women. Israeli participants included Gilead Sher, Israel’s chief co-negotiator in 1999-2000 at Camp David and the Taba talks; and Efraim Sneh, former Labour MK and founder of the new Yisrael Hazaka party.The conference reached a consensus on the Arab peace initiative put forward by Saudi Arabia, which trades recognition of Israel for withdrawal from the occupied territories. Mr Morris stressed that the Israelis present saw the initiative only as a basis for talks, but said there was agreement on the need to persuade the Israeli public that the initiative was an opportunity, not a threat. One idea put forward was a campaign in Israel to soften public opinion towards the Arab initiative.According to Mr Morris, however, the most important breakthrough was establishing dialogue between all sides in the Middle East. The absence of dialogue creates a climate in which extremism is fostered,he said.To fail to talk to your enemies is very, very, disempowering.The three-day conference was held in Switzerland because many of the participants would not have been allowed to enter a EU nation. Those attending from Gaza had to leave home up to a month beforehand and wait in Egypt to be allowed to travel onwards.Retired American diplomat Mark Hamley, a former US ambassador to Lebanon and Qatar, said: The conference represented all parties involved in the issue. It was strictly off the record — that’s what made it possible. The fact that these people were discussing substantive issues was positive in itself.
Obama: Palestinian state now, Israel's security later Thursday, 20 August 2009 05:52 News from Jerusalem
U.S. applying huge pressure for total freeze on Jewish construction.The U.S. is seeking a deal that will set the final borders of a Palestinian state immediately and negotiate other issues, such as security and water, at a later date, according to a senior Egyptian official speaking to WND.The Egyptian official is in Washington alongside his country's president, Hosni Mubarak, who met with President Obama yesterday. The official spoke on condition his name be withheld since he was not authorized to discuss the subjects on the record yet.The Egyptian official said Obama stressed the U.S. is applying huge pressure for Israel to agree to a complete freeze of Jewish construction in the strategic West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. He said the U.S. is demanding a two-year freeze, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants six months.The Egyptian official said the Palestinian Authority is seeking to use concessions from former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as a starting point in new talks with Netanyahu.Olmert reportedly offered the Palestinians not only 95 percent of the West Bank and peripheral eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods, but also other territories never before offered by any Israeli leader. The offer includes parts of the Israeli Negev desert as well as Beit Shean in the Jordan Valley just outside the Dead Sea.
WND reported exclusively last November that then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice collected notes and documents from Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams to ensure the incoming U.S. administration would not need to start negotiations from scratch. PA sources said Rice's notes have already been used by Obama's team as the starting points for new Israeli-Palestinian talks.Documents noting agreements during previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have been used in subsequent talks, sometimes as starting points. According to both Israeli and PA sources, American officials took detailed notes of talks at U.S.-brokered negotiations at Camp David in 2000 and then used points of agreement on key issues, such as borders, during recent rounds of intense Israeli-Palestinian talks.Israeli and PA sources said Rice's notes document agreements that would seek an eventual major West Bank withdrawal and would grant the PA permission to open official institutions in Jerusalem.wnd
NO CONNECTION TO WESTERN WALL
Palestinian professor: No Jewish ties to Western Wall Thursday, 20 August 2009 05:37 News from Jerusalem
Palestinian Professor latest Islamic figure to deny documented archeological history
A Palestinian Authority university lecturer is the latest PA academic to rewrite history and deny Jewish history in Jerusalem - in particular, the Jewish people's connection to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) of the Jewish Temple.Shamekh Alawneh, a lecturer in modern history at Al-Quds Open University, says the Jews invented the connection to the Wall for political purposes, to convince European Jews and Zionists to come to Palestine.It has no historical roots, he said on a television program called Jerusalem - History and Culture.This is political terminology to win the hearts and the support of the Zionists in Europe, so they would emigrate and come to Palestine. Nothing more! The show's interviewer also refers to the Judaization of Jerusalem, and to Jewish plots to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.Denying Jewish history in Jerusalem and the existence of the Jewish Temple is a central component of PA political ideology. This denial started with Yasser Arafat and continues to be reiterated by academics, politicians and religious leaders.PA leaders systematically distort the ancient history of Jerusalem, ignoring the vast historical documentation and thousands of archeological finds related to Jewish history that have been found in Jerusalem.To view other examples of PA denials of Jewish history in Jerusalem and the existence of the Temple from the PMW archives, click here.Interviewer: There are plots against this [Western] wall that seek to harm the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and there is an attack on history, theft of culture, falsification of facts, erasure of the truth, and Judaization of the place.Shamekh Alawneh: The [Jews] goal in giving the name Wailing Wall to this [Western] Wall is political. . . The Jewish Zionists had no choice but to invent an excuse [about Jerusalem] to spread among the Zionists or the Jews in Europe, to connect to something concrete from the past about Jerusalem. They made false claims and called the Al-Burak Wall the Wailing Wall.Interviewer: Can we understand that this term [the Wailing Wall] and this strange [Jewish] interest concerning this place are new, with no historical roots? Alawneh: Absolutely. It has no historical roots. This is political terminology to win the hearts and the support of the Zionists in Europe, so they would emigrate and come to Palestine. Nothing more!
Ayatollah sees global Islamic Mahdi army Thursday, 20 August 2009 05:24 News from Jerusalem
Calls for Muslim nations to unite militarily under messianic figure.Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei yesterday called on Muslim nations around the world to unite militarily in response to the imminent coming of Islam's messianic savior - the Mahdi.Khamenei, through his spokesman Ali Saeedi, specifically beckoned the nations of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan to join together with Iran in preparation for the Mahdi's soon coming.The purpose of uniting now, a report in Al Arabiya explained, is to fight Israel and the U.S. – seen as the two greatest obstacles to the coming of the Mahdi and the age of Islamic justice that would ensue.We have to train honest forces that can stop the obstacles that may hinder the coming of the Mahdi like the United States and Israel,Saeedi stated. Saeedi also emphasized that the Iranian revolutionary guard possessed a special religious authority to prepare the way for the Mahdi.Iran also recently concluded its fifth Annual Conference on Mahdism doctrine in the Iranian city of Qom, from which Shi'a Muslims believe the Mahdi will emerge.While the belief in the Mahdi has been widely held by Shi'a Muslims, it has taken on a dramatically more political tone in recent years since the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,explains Joel Richardson, author of a new book called The Islamic Antichrist,which hypothesizes that Islam's prophesied Mahdi is one and the same as the Bible's Antichrist.
According to Savyon and Y. Mansharof an Iranian scholar, From the establishment of the Islamic Regime in 1979 to Ahmadinejad's rise to power in August 2005, Mahdism had been a religious doctrine and a tradition that had no political manifestation. The political system operated independently of this messianic belief and of the anticipation of the return of the Mahdi. It was only with Ahmadinejad's presidency that this religious doctrine has become a political philosophy and taken a central place in politics.Mahdism is now increasingly being used as a political tool by appealing to the religious and nationalistic tendencies of various Muslims groups. This particular call for Islamic unity stands out because of its pan-Islamic, cross-sectarian appeal.While many have assumed that the marked rise in fervor and devotion in recent years in Iran was primarily due to the influence of Ahmadinejad, this statement reveals that Mahdist devotion is also held quite fervently by Ayatollah Khamenei as well.According to Al-Arabiya, Saeedi emphasized that obedience to the Ayatollah is the same as obedience to the Mahdi or the guided one – who is the prophesied savior of Islam.With news arriving this past week that Iran now has the capability to develop nuclear weapons, the Mahdist conference and this call for Islamic unity under the banner of the Mahdi takes on an added dimension of interest. Last year, one of the presenters at the Mahdist conference, Dr. Mariam Tabar, asserted the, military capabilities of the future Mahdist state depend on Islamic governments in the here and now acquiring abilities to stand against the enemies of the imam [al-Mahdi].Opening the conference this year, was Dr. Mahdi Mostafavi, the chairman of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization, who spoke against the dangers and evils of Christian Zionism.Putting an end to the tyranny and brutality of Zionism is one of the basic goals of Mahdism, he explained.Dr. Mostafavi also offered a wildly distorted version of the Christian end time narrative. Claiming that Christians are making efforts to bring about the Battle of Armageddon, he stated:In order to make this war happen they consider brutality, war and violence allowed and in their propaganda, they ask Christians and especially soldiers to create a situation for Jesus to reappear. These soldiers would be considered martyrs if they are killed in this way and would be in the circle of Messiah's Twelve disciples,Dr. Mostfavi explained.These evangelists try to reinforce their belligerent notion ideologically even by mentioning verses from Gospel. They start war in Afghanistan and Iraq, torture prisoners of war in detention camps like Abu Ghraib, and spread their doctrines throughout the whole world.While the Christian narrative of the return of Jesus is one where Christians passively await a savior to deliver them from an aggressive empire, Islamic narratives often portray Muslims as aggressively and actively pursuing Islamic world dominance, particularly over the nation of Israel.
This year, it was also announced that Iran will be establishing a University of Mahdism to train theologians and politicians, according to Richardson, who has been assembling details of the recent conference.One speaker at the conference, Abdollah Adam Gaya from Nigeria, spoke about the need to export Mahdism to the West:[In order] to fight against the [Western] cultural invasion against Islamic Shiite values, we must also export the Mahdism culture to the West… Imperialist powers fear the growth of that culture and therefore they are after attacking it.Gaya also explained that the vehicle of Mahdism was the most effective tool to unite not only all Muslim countries, but also the whole world:Propagating and defining the Mahdism Culture are the most effective steps in order to establish unity among Muslim Nations of the world because not only Mesianism and Mahdism are the common grounds for understanding between all Muslims but between all religions in the world,he added.While some Muslims have emphasized the peaceful nature of the Mahdi's reign, many in Iran obviously disagree.Adnan Oktar, a prominent Turkish intellectual and Sunni author has repeatedly emphasized that under the Mahdi; no blood will be shed, guns and weapons will be eliminated and any traditions which infer anything different are unreliable.
Others however have a very different view. In His work Imam al-Mahdi, the Just Leader of Humanity, Ayatollah Ibrahim al Amini, professor at the Religious Learning Center at Qom affirms Larijani’s comments, when he states,The Mahdi will offer the religion of Islam to the Jews and Christians; if they accept it they will be spared, otherwise they will be killed.wnd
Egypt unveils restoration of famous synagogue By OMAR SINAN, Associated Press Writer – Thu Aug 20, 3:40 pm ET
CAIRO – The head of antiquities on Thursday unveiled restoration work under way at one Egypt's most famous synagogues, a project he denied was meant to assuage Jewish anger at the country's culture minister.Culture Minister Hosni Farouk, who is campaigning to be the next head of the U.N. office that promotes cultural diversity, outraged many Jews with his comments in April 2008 vowing to burn any Israeli books found in Egypt's famed Library of Alexandria.The Egyptian government has rallied around the 71-year-old culture minister, but the country's head of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, said the decision to restore the Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue in Cairo had nothing to do with Hosni's candidacy.I believe these rumors were started to hurt Farouk Hosni's bid to become the next director general of UNESCO, said Hawass, who reports to the culture minister.The Jewish monuments are Egyptian monuments ... they are part of us and part of our culture.The synagogue was named after Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon, a famous physician, philosopher and Torah scholar who was born in Cordoba, Spain, in 1135 A.D. He eventually moved to Cairo, where he died in 1204 and was buried inside the synagogue. The remains of the rabbi, who is known in the West as Moses Maimonides, were later transferred to the Holy Land.The synagogue was built in an area called Haret al-Yahoud, or The Jewish Quarter,a reflection of how medieval Cairo was divided up into religious and ethnic neighborhoods. It was declared an antiquity in 1986 due to its historic architecture and religious importance, Hawass said.
The area around the synagogue is now known as el-Gamalia. It used to be a slum filled with garbage-covered dirt streets until the government recently cleaned up the area to attract tourists.Hawass said the synagogue sustained serious damage over time from earthquakes and ground water. The restoration is part of a national project to refurbish ten Jewish synagogues across Egypt, he said.The synagogue is divided into three parts: an area dedicated to prayers and rituals, another for Ben Maimon's tomb and a third that included a women's prayer section.The restoration, which started in mid-June and is expected to last a year, includes a plan to rebuild the synagogue's heavily damaged walls and reconstruct the interior. Hawass showed reporters a restored wooden door from one of the synagogue's entryways, which was painted with a gold Star of David and topped with a carving of a date palm.
U.N. accused of hiding Iran nuke evidence Thursday, 20 August 2009 05:14 News from Jerusalem Atomic energy chief ElBaradei not trusted by Western diplomats
The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nation's nuclear watchdog agency, has been accused by senior Western diplomats and Israeli officials of hiding new evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program.American, French, British and German senior officials charge the IAEA's out-going director, Mohamed ElBaradei, hid new evidence of Iran's nuclear weapons program that was submitted to the IAEA in a classified report, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.The report was written by IAEA inspectors in Iran and signed by the head of the agency's team in the country.In Israel, an effort to force the release of the allegedly censored report is being handled by Shaul Horev, director general of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, and by the Foreign Ministry.Israel and other Western countries lost confidence in ElBaradei years ago,Haaretz correspondent Yossi Melman wrote in a separate commentary.As a result, Israel, the United States and Britain have all refused to give the IAEA sensitive intelligence, for fear that ElBaradei would leak it to Iran, thereby exposing their intelligence gathering methods and their sources.
Melman further noted that Israel has no confidence in Yukiya Amano, the Japanese diplomat selected to replace ElBaradei at the IAEA, largely because Amano has reiterated ElBaradei's stance that the IAEA has no evidence to support the claim that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.A May 2009 Senate Foreign Relations Committee report issued by the committee's Democratic chairman Sen. John Kerry, entitled Iran: Where We Are Today,reported:Potentially damning evidence surfaced in 2004 when U.S. intelligence obtained a laptop computer from an Iranian engineer.The computer contained thousands of pages of data on tests of high explosives and designs for a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead,the report said.It also contained videos of what were described as secret workshops around Iran where the weapons work was supposedly carried out.The Senate report also pointed out that the Iranians denounced the computer documents as fakes.Still, senior U.N. officials and intelligence officers who saw the documents told the committee staff the documents come from more than just the laptop and appear to be authentic, right down to the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the workshops in Iran.The Senate Foreign Relations Committee concluded Iran has moved closer to completing the three components for a nuclear weapon – fissile material, warhead design and delivery system.
President Obama has left no doubt the White House has concluded Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.On Nov. 7, 2008, in his first press conference after winning the presidential election, Obama said, Iran's development of a nuclear weapon, I believe, is unacceptable. And we have to mount an international effort to prevent that from happening.In the press availability following Obama's meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 18,, the president said,I indicated to Prime Minister Netanyahu in private what I have said publicly, which is that Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon would not only be a threat to Israel and a threat to the United States, but would be profoundly destabilizing in the international community as a whole and could set off a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East that would be extraordinarily dangerous for all concerned, including for Iran.wnd
1 CORINTHIANS 6:9,14-18
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
SINS OF PEOPLE
2 TIMOTHY 3:1-5
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
DECIEVERS WAXING WORSE AND WORSE.
2 TIMOTHY 3:13
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
MORE SIN SIGNS
5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
HOMOSEXUALS.(SODOMITE RAINBOW GROUP)
5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:(HOMOSEXUALITY,AND ALL SEX SINS)
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:(LESBIENS)
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly,(SODOMITES) and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.(AIDS ETC)
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Lutherans to allow sexually active gays as clergy By PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press Writer – AUG 21,09
MINNEAPOLIS – Leaders of the nation's largest Lutheran church voted Friday to allow sexually active gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy.Gays and lesbians are currently allowed to serve as ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America only if they remain celibate. The proposal to change that passed with 68 percent approval.At 4.7 million members and about 10,000 congregations in the United States, the ELCA is one of the largest U.S. Christian denominations yet to take a more gay-friendly stance on clergy.The final decision on whether to hire gay clergy in committed relationships will lie with individual congregations.Some critics of the proposal have predicted its passage could cause individual congregations to split off from the ELCA, as has been the case with other Christian denominations, including the Episcopal Church.The debate over the so-called ministry recommendations got under way first thing Friday, and delegate Al Quie, a former Republican governor of Minnesota, proposed an alternative:Practicing homosexual persons are excluded from rostered leadership in this church.
The proposal, which would have left the church's policy more or less unchanged, failed. Conservatives had lost an important vote Wednesday night when the convention's 1,045 delegates approved by a two-thirds supermajority a social statement on human sexuality that said the ELCA could accommodate diverging views on homosexuality.The Rev. Katrina Foster, a pastor in the Metropolitan New York Synod, pointed out that the church has ordained woman and divorced people in violation of a literal interpretation of scripture.We can learn not to define ourselves by negation, Foster said.By not only saying what we are against, which always seems to be the same — against gay people. We should be against poverty. I wish we were as zealous about that.
Israeli rabbis back gay parenting By Anshel Pfeffer, August 20, 2009
Yonatan and Omer Gher and son Evyatar. In a new halachic ruling, gay men could marry women to have a child.A revolutionary halachic ruling that will allow religious homosexual men to marry women and have children with them is currently being discussed at one of the most prestigious Orthodox institutes in Israel.Rabbi Menachem Burstein is founder and head of the PUAH Institute, recognised in Orthodox circles as the leading organisation on matters of fertility and Jewish law. He confirmed this week that he has been dealing with this subject for quite some time. According to Rabbi Burstein, the initiative came from a number of individuals and groups of religious homosexuals who requested a halachic solution that would enable them to have children.I explained to them that one thing I, or any other rabbi, could never do was to alter the prohibition on mishkav zachar (penetrative sexual relations between men), as it is from the Torah. When they accepted that, and clarified that they wanted a solution within halachah, we could go forward.The ruling currently being discussed in the institute envisages a homosexual marrying a woman who is fully aware that her prospective husband is not physically attracted to women and retains a relationship with another man.
“Although this is certainly not an ideal marriage,explains Rabbi Burstein,if both sides are prepared, then it does not really matter if they conceive through artificial insemination or relations that are aimed solely at conception.In order to receive a rabbinical approval for the marriage, the man must undertake not to engage in sexual relations with other men, though he is allowed to remain in a non-sexual relationship with another man. He must also receive counselling at Atzat Nefesh, a group of religious psychologists who specialise in counselling men and women with homosexual tendencies in the religious community. There is nothing wrong with two men having a close relationship without intimate relations and we should not penalise people who are not attracted to members of the other sex,says Rabbi Burstein.Having homosexual tendencies is in itself not a sin. Giving in to them is.Rabbi Burstein insists that he is not legitimising homosexuality within the religious community. Of course we believe it is a problem and that the solution should be therapy, but there are always going to be a certain number of religious homosexuals who have tried and failed to change. What about them? While it is identified with the national-religious community in Israel, PUAH also receives halachic guidance from many of the senior Charedi rabbis, including Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Ovadia Yossef. Rabbi Burstein consulted with both on the homosexual issue.
After receiving the rabbis’ authorisation, the next step is to consult with a number of leading children’s psychologists in order to ascertain that children born into such a framework can grow up happily and normally.Rabbi Ron Yossef, who leads Hod, a support group for religious homosexuals, says that such marriages already exist. It is done with complete transparency. Both partners are fully aware of everything and the objective is to have and raise children according to halachah.He says that in most of the cases, the wife is an older woman who has failed to find a partner, and so is willing to enter such a marriage in order to have a child. In a minority of the cases the wife is a lesbian.
Poll: Americans losing confidence in Obama Fri Aug 21, 5:49 am ET
WASHINGTON – A new poll says that Americans, concerned over the future of health care reform and anxious about the growing federal budget deficit, are losing faith in President Barack Obama.The Washington Post-ABC News survey found that less that half of Americans — 49 percent — say they believe the president will make the right decisions for the country. That's down from 60 percent at the 100-day mark of the Obama presidency.The poll published Friday says Obama's overall approval is 57 percent, 12 points lower than it was at its peak in April. Fifty-three percent disapprove of the way he's handling the budget deficit and his approval on health care continues to deteriorate.The national survey was conducted Aug. 13-17 and has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
The limits of US influenceWith rising debt and a stretched military, America is no longer a superpower. Its promises to aid allies overseas ring hollow Stanley Kober guardian.co.uk, Thursday 20 August 2009 20.00 BST
During his recent trip to Georgia and Ukraine, vice-president Joe Biden assured them the United States would not recognise any spheres of influence. Countries can choose their own partnerships and their own alliances. In short, Nato membership is still open.That position has a certain nobility. It is, however, wildly unrealistic.In the first place, spheres of influence exist, even if some choose to not recognise them. The power of a state is like gravity: it has its greatest influence on those objects closest to it. As a saying popular in this hemisphere goes: Poor Mexico: so far from God, so close to the United States.The most dangerous crisis of the cold war, the Soviet placement of nuclear missiles in Cuba, was settled on the basis of mutual acknowledgement of spheres of influence. Moscow agreed to remove its missiles from Cuba after the US provided assurances that it would remove similar missiles from Turkey. Even though Turkey was a member of Nato, the US in effect recognised that, at least for this purpose, it was within a Soviet sphere of influence.If Georgia or Ukraine has a confrontation with Russia, there is not much the US can do. There are certain realities of geography that present military technology simply cannot overcome. They border Russia, and the US is far away.American promises would be as valuable as the French assurances to Poland before the second world war. It is not well known, but France had pledged to launch an attack on Germany within 15 days of any German attack on Poland. Unfortunately for the Poles, the French promise was not serious. When Germany invaded, France declared war – and did nothing.
Placed in a similar circumstance, that is what the US would do – nothing. The US would do nothing because there is nothing it can do. Geography cannot be changed. In addition, American forces are now fully engaged. In order to increase troop numbers in Afghanistan, the US will have to reduce them in Iraq. Apparently, 200,000 American troops are now all that can be deployed in combat theatres at any one time.For all the talk about the lone superpower, that number needs to be kept in mind. In Vietnam, the US deployed 500,000 in theatre at the peak, with a smaller population, and was not responding to an attack on its territory.Today the US can deploy far fewer troops. Something has changed in American society. With defence spending increasing to fight wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, George Bush did not even propose a way to pay for the war, either through raising taxes or by cutting other expenditures. No war bonds were issued. The country just quietly accumulated debt.A political judgment was made: the American people were told to go shopping. The war would not touch the general public. Only an honoured few would bear the burden.The US did not take war seriously, but was not alone in underestimating the costs and complications of war. After 9/11, Nato invoked Article 5 to show its solidarity with the United States. Nato forces took increasing responsibility in Afghanistan. Thinking the war had been won, they focused on postwar reconstruction.But as the fighting has intensified and their casualties have mounted, public support for the Afghanistan mission has sagged. No one will say this publicly, but the true fact is that we are all talking about our exit strategy from Afghanistan,a senior European diplomat revealed during last April's Nato summit.We are getting out. It may take a couple of years, but we are all looking to get out.When the cold war ended, the US concluded that its power was overwhelming. The appearance of relatively easy victories in the first Gulf war and in the Balkans reinforced that conviction.But those triumphs now seem the exception, rather than the rule. Americans thought all their enemies in the future would crumble the way enemies in the 1990s did. They were wrong.And yet the US continues to make promises. And people will believe in them. And if they get in trouble, they will wonder why the US does not help them.It is time to be honest – with Americans, and those that depend on their promises.
Stiglitz Sees Risk to Dollar, Need for Reserve System (Update2)
By Shiyin Chen
Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar’s role as a good store of value is questionable and the currency has a high degree of risk, said Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.There is a need for a global reserve system,Stiglitz, a Columbia University economics professor, said at a conference in Bangkok today. Support from countries like China should ensure orderly discussions on a new reserve system, he added. The dollar has lost 12 percent since March 5 against an index comprising the euro, yen and four other major currencies. China, the world’s largest holder of foreign-currency reserves, and Russia have both called for a new global currency to replace the dollar as the dominant place to store reserves.The current reserve system is in the process of fraying,Stiglitz said.The dollar is not a good store of value. Right now, the dollar is yielding almost no return and yet anybody looking at the dollar has to say there’s a high degree of risk.The dollar will weaken as the U.S. pumps massive amounts of money into the economy, according to Curtis A. Mewbourne, a portfolio manager at Pacific Investment Management Co., the world’s biggest manager of bond funds. Still, pessimism over the dollar’s prospects may be excessive, with its status as the world’s reserve currency still intact, said David Woo, global head of foreign exchange strategy at Barclays Capital in London. The reserve currency issue was a big issue three months ago,Woo said in a Bloomberg Television interview yesterday.But guess what? The dollar hasn’t gone anywhere over the last three months for the most part and if anything, we’ve seen a slowdown in dollar-selling by central banks.
Flood of Liquidity
Policy makers in the U.S. and Europe have flooded the global economy with liquidity, which could lead to speculative bubbles due to limited opportunities for investment, Stiglitz said. The Nobel Prize winner said he was not confident of the Fed’s claim that it would withdraw liquidity when needed. Under Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s stewardship, the Fed cut the benchmark lending rate to as low as zero and expanded credit to the economy by $1.1 trillion over the past year. In the euro region, the European Central Bank has reduced interest rates to a record low of 1 percent. As the balance sheet of the Fed has blown up, as the deficit of the U.S. and the debt has increased, people have asked the obvious question: will there be inflation in the future?Stiglitz told the conference.Right now we’re facing deflation, but some time in the future, there will be consequences.
The liquidity pumped into the U.S. economy may also end up elsewhere, including in Asian property and stocks, Stiglitz said later in Bankgok. The liquidity is going to be spent, but not necessarily in America,he said. Asian economies may have to protect against an American-led asset bubbles.The global financial crisis also signals the failure of American-style capitalism, Stiglitz told the conference. The worldwide financial system only worked because of repeated government bailouts and markets have been saved from their failures to allocate risk, he said.Stiglitz said more collective action was needed on a global level to address the crisis and that the Group of 20 has been slow in addressing fundamental problems such as weak aggregate demand. Finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 are due to meet in London on Sept. 4-5.
The global financial crisis, which began with the collapse of the U.S. subprime-lending market in 2007, has led to almost $1.6 trillion of writedowns and credit losses at banks and other financial institutions, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said yesterday the U.S. recovery is still in its early stages, propelled by an improving job market and a housing industry that’s beginning to stabilize.We have a long way to go, but we are starting to see signs of stability, and these signs mark the first steps to recovery, Geithner said in prepared remarks in Berea, Ohio.Stiglitz has a more pessimistic view on the U.S. economy, saying that while the worst of the recession may have passed, the likelihood of unemployment in the next one to three years being higher than it had been was very great.The economist shared the Nobel Prize in 2001 for work on problems that may arise in markets when parties don’t have equal access to information. He was formerly chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton.
Stiglitz was also the chief economist at the World Bank between 1997 and 2000, during which he clashed with the White House over economic policies it supported at the International Monetary Fund.To contact the reporter on this story: Shiyin Chen in Singapore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Could a Third-Party Candidate Actually Win in 2012?
Washington’s Blog Saturday, August 22, 2009
Famed trend forecaster Gerald Calente is predicting that a third party candidate will be elected President in 2012. (If you don’t know who Calente is, read the postscript below.)Is he right? Well, some of the most widely-read liberal writers are saying that progressives are fed up with the Democratic party, and feel that they have been tricked and ripped off by the Democratic leaders.
As Glenn Greenwald writes:In a superb post the other day, Digby recounted what fueled the Naderite movement in 2000 and warns, presciently I think, that the willingness of Obama/Emanuel so blatantly to disappoint those to whom they promised so much (especially young and first-time voters who were most vulnerable to Obama’s transformative fairy dust) will lead them either to support a third party or turn off from politics altogether:Rahm Emanuel believes that the key to Democratic success is a coalition in which Blue Dogs and corporate lackeys mitigate progressive change on behalf of the moneyed interests which he believes the political system must serve. Regardless of his malevolent view of how the political system should work, on a political level, I think he’s living in the past.But on a political level, the left has been betrayed over and over again on the things that matter to us the most. The village is pleased, I’m sure. But the Democratic party only needs to look back eight short years to see just how destructive it is to constantly tell their left flank to go fuck themselves.At the time [in 2000] nobody believed that an incumbent Vice President in a roaring economy would have a race so close that the Republicans could steal it. But we know differently now don’t we? And you would think that the Democratic establishment would also know that because of that, it may not be a good idea to alienate the left to the point where they become apathetic or even well… you know. It can happen. It did happen. Why the Democrats persist in believing that it can’t happen again is beyond me.Obama mobilized a whole lot of young people who have great expectations and disappointing them could lead to all sorts of unpleasant results. Success is about more than simply buying off some congressional liberals or pleasing the village. It’s worth remembering that a third party run from the left is what created the conditions for eight long years of Republican governance.
After 2000, what is it going to take for the Democrats to realize that constantly using their base as a doormat is not a good idea? It only takes a few defections or enough people staying home to make a difference. And there are people on the left who have proven they’re willing to do it. The Democrats are playing with fire if they think they don’t have to deliver anything at all to their liberal base — and abandoning the public option, particularly in light of what we already know about the bailouts and the side deals, may be what breaks the bond.It’s really not too much to ask that they deliver at least one thing the left demands, it really isn’t. And it’s not going to take much more of this before their young base starts looking around for someone to deliver the hope and change they were promised. On most fronts that matter — civil liberties, national security, economic policy, servitude to corporate interests, even rising opposition to Obama’s long-promised escalation of the war in Afghanistan — that defines rather clearly what the Obama/Emanuel approach has been thus far.What About the Right?
The Washington Examiner writes:The fact that just doesn’t register with Washington GOP establishmentarians is that the Tea Party Protests seen around the country in April were aimed as much against them as they were against the tax and spending policies of Obama and the Democratic Congress.There are millions of libertarians and traditional conservatives (or paleo-conservatives, in contrast to Neo-conservatives) in the U.S. who are very unhappy with the direction the Republican party has taken in recent years.Post-Partisan Coalitions.There are many millions of liberals and conservatives who have become disgusted by their parties and have started judging candidates based upon what they are actually doing.As just one example, there are millions of Americans who would support either Ron Paul as president and Dennis Kucinich as vice president or the other away around. Why? Both challenge the status quo, and have proposed legislation which will actually help the American people.
Based on the above trends, I believe that Calente could be right. A third-party candidate could win in 2012.Postscript: Here’s what people have said about Calente over the years:When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.
— CNN Headline News.[Calente is supported by] a network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.— The Economist.Gerald Celente has a knack for getting the zeitgeist right.— USA Today.There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.- CNBC.Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.— The Wall Street Journal.Gerald Celente is always ahead of the curve on trends and uncannily on the mark … he’s one of the most accurate forecasters around.— The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.Mr. Celente tracks the world’s social, economic and business trends for corporate clients.— The New York Times.Mr. Celente is a very intelligent guy. We are able to learn about trends from an authority.— 48 Hours, CBS News.Gerald Celente has a solid track record. He has predicted everything from the 1987 stock market crash and the demise of the Soviet Union to green marketing and corporate downsizing.— The Detroit News.Gerald Celente forecast the 1987 stock market crash, green marketing,and the boom in gourmet coffees.— Chicago Tribune.The Trends Research Institute is the Standard and Poors of Popular Culture.— The Los Angeles Times.If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente.— New York Post
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).
Daily drinking may raise risk of several cancers By Amy Norton – Fri Aug 21, 1:10 pm ET
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Men who drink beer or liquor on a regular basis may face a heightened risk of several different types of cancer, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that among nearly 3,600 Canadian men ages 35 to 70, those who averaged at least a drink per day had higher risks of a number of cancers than men who drank occasionally or not at all -- including cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, lungs, pancreas, liver and prostate.When the researchers looked at individual types of alcohol, though, only beer and spirits -- and not wine -- were linked to elevated cancer risks.In general, the odds increased in tandem with the men's lifetime alcohol intake, according to findings published in the Cancer Prevention and Detection.With several cancers, men who drank at least once per day tended to have higher risks than those who drank on a regular, but less-than-daily, basis.When it came to esophageal cancer, for instance, men who drank one to six times per week had an 83 percent higher risk than teetotalers and less-frequent drinkers, while daily drinkers had a three-fold higher risk.In addition, when the researchers looked only at daily drinkers, the risks generally increased with the number of years the men had been at it.Our results show that the heaviest consumers over the lifetime had the biggest increases in the risks of multiple sites of cancer,lead researcher Dr. Andrea Benedetti, of McGill University in Montreal, told Reuters Health in an email.Many studies have suggested that moderate drinking -- usually defined as no more than a drink or two per day -- can be a healthy habit, particularly when it comes to heart disease risk.
But the current study suggests that even such moderate drinking levels are linked to higher risks of certain cancers, at least when the alcohol of choice is beer or liquor.The question of whether moderate drinkers should cut down, however, cannot be answered by a single study, according to Benedetti.In terms of balancing this risk (of cancer) with risks of cardiovascular disease, she said,people should talk with their doctor.SOURCE: Cancer Prevention and Detection 2009.
HOARDING OF GOLD AND SILVER
DOCTOR DOCTORIAN FROM ANGEL OF GOD
then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.
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.
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM
I'D SAY OBAMA IS GIVING THE OFFSHORE BANKERS A AVERAGE OF $2 TRILLION A MONTH.THATS 24TRILLION A YEAR AND $240 TRILLION IN TEN YEARS,NOT JUST $2 TRILLION TOTAL.
AP sources: $2 trillion higher deficit projected By JIM KUHNHENN and ANDREW TAYLOR, Associate Press Writer – AUG 21,09
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration expects the federal deficit over the next decade to be $2 trillion bigger than previously estimated, White House officials said Friday, a setback for a president already facing a Congress and public wary over spending.The new projection, to be announced on Tuesday, is for a cumulative 2010-2019deficit of $9 trillion instead of the $7 trillion previously estimated. The new figure reflects slumping revenues from a worse economic picture than was expected earlier this year. The officials spoke only on the condition of anonymity ahead of next week's announcement.Ten-year forecasts are volatile figures subject to change over time. But the higher number will likely create political difficulties for President Barack Obama in Congress and could create anxiety with foreign buyers of U.S. debt.Earlier this week, the White House revealed that it expects a budget deficit for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 to be nearly $1.6 trillion. That figure was lower than initially projected because the White House scratched out $250 billion that it had initially added to the budget as a bank rescue contingency. The administration ultimately did not ask Congress for that money.Still that number, together with the 10-year projection, represents a huge obstacle for an administration trying to undertake massive policy overhauls in health care and the environment.
Economists predict a slow recovery from the recession, further testing Obama's goal of cutting the deficit to $512 billion in 2013. Even as he seeks higher revenues to pay for new climate change and health care measures, the president could face pressure to increase revenues or make deep spending cuts to tame the deficit.Earlier long-term estimates released in February and May relied on now-outdated projections of economic growth. Then, the White House predicted the economy would shrink by 1.2 percent this year, but the economy shrank 6.4 percent in the first quarter, the worst in nearly three decades.Both the White House and the Congressional Budget Office scheduled announcements for Tuesday on their new budget estimates. Relying on more pessimistic economic projections than the White House, the CBO earlier this year predicted deficits totaling $9.1 trillion over 2010-19. Those predictions were based on expectations that the economy would shrink by 2.2 percent this year.In its earlier projections, the White House said the deficit would be manageable if it slides to 3 percent of gross domestic product. Earlier projections barely met that standard — even after relying on optimistic assumptions like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan costing $50 billion a year instead of the $130 billion budgeted for 2010.Now, the deficits could easily exceed 4 percent of GDP, even after cost-cutting efforts or new revenues claimed in Obama's budget.Such deficits have always prompted Congress and the White House to take politically painful steps to curb them, such as former President Bill Clinton's tax-heavy 1993 deficit reduction plan. A companion effort by Obama could force him to break his promise to not raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year.
Harper wraps up election-like Arctic tour By Allan Dowd – Fri Aug 21, 5:18 pm ET
WHITEHORSE, Yukon (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper wrapped up his Arctic tour on an environmental note on Friday, ending a cross-country journey that felt like a tune-up for a possible election campaign later this year.Harper, who promoted sovereignty, military and economic themes in the five-day trip across the Far North, was in the Yukon to sign a deal for the federal government to help fund expansion of a dam and transmission line that will reduce the western territory's dependence on diesel generators.But like all of the tour's earlier funding announcements, the hydroelectric upgrade, worth up to C$71 million ($66 million), was already in this year's federal budget, making the visit largely symbolic and a scenic background for photos.Harper flew on a military transport plane to the tiny town of Mayo about 325 km (200 miles) north of Whitehorse where he toured the facility by air and pushed a button to briefly increasing the flow of water through a dam spillway.
The prime minister's journey across the Far North has ostensibly been to emphasize Canada's Arctic sovereignty claims -- notably over the fabled Northwest Passage sea route -- but its staged events and daily messages aimed at a domestic audience seemed more like a tune-up for a fall election.Harper has said he does not want to have an election any time soon, but the opposition Liberals have threatened to unveil a motion of non-confidence when Parliament returns next month, aiming to bring down the minority Conservative government.Harper took a similar trip around Canada's Far North nearly a year ago -- including a flight to the Yukon -- shortly before he called an election that saw the Conservatives win a second minority government, albeit a stronger one.An opinion poll released Thursday showed the Conservatives still slightly ahead of the Liberals, though neither of the two main parties would have a clear chance of victory if an election were held now.The environment has been seen as a potential weakness for the Conservatives, whose power base is in the oil-rich western province of Alberta.Some critics say the government has not done enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to protect the vast oil sands in northern Alberta.Harper denies the allegations, saying the government's environmental plans go beyond those proposed by the United States.The expansion of the Mayo hydro facility's generating capacity and a related electrical transmission system is forecast to reduce Yukon's need for diesel-powered generators by more than 40 percent, according to the government.Ottawa will pay for its share of the C$160 million project from its C$1 billion Green Infrastructure Fund, designed to help pay for large environmental projects.The public utility in the eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, where Harper began his trip, also wants help replacing its aging diesel generators. Ottawa has rejected that call, saying funding power projects was the territorial government's responsibility.(Editing by Rob Wilson)
Asian markets fall on renewed recovery doubts By STEPHEN WRIGHT, AP Business Writer – Fri Aug 21, 1:12 am ET
BANGKOK – Asian stock markets sank Friday as mixed economic data from the world's largest economy reinforced fears that investors have overestimated the recovery's strength.Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average was down 196 points, or 1.9 percent, at 10,187.41 as auto stocks weakened while Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 321.51, or 1.6 percent, to 20,007.35.China's Shanghai index resumed its slide after a rebound Thursday, slipping 0.4 percent to 2,900.04.Australia's index retreated 2.2 percent after a government fund sold a big chunk of its shares in the country's top telecommunications company Telstra. The Shanghai stock benchmark rose 0.2 percent to 2,916.60.Many of the global markets have gone up more than 50 percent within the last five months, but investors have begun to realize that economic growth isn't as good as they thought,said Peter Lai, investment manager at DBS Vickers in Hong Kong. So many of the smart funds have been taking profits recently.Wall Street posted modest gains Thursday as news of an improvement in regional manufacturing and an uptick in a guage of leading economic indicators offset an unexpected rise in new claims for unemployment benefits. Still, the data suggest the U.S. economy is creeping rather than sprinting out of recession, a worrying sign for export-dependent Asia.The Dow Jones industrials rose 70.89, or 0.8 percent, to 9,350.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10.91, or 1.1 percent, to 1,007.37, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 19.98, or 1.0 percent, to 1,989.22.
U.S. stock index futures were down, suggesting Wall Street would fall Friday.Oil prices fell to near $72 a barrel in Asia as the U.S. data pointed to a slow recovery in demand for crude. Benchmark crude for October delivery was down 68 cents to $72.23 a barrel by early afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading.In currencies, the dollar tumbled to 93.56 yen from 94.17 yen. The euro fell to $1.4209 from $1.4247.AP Business Writer Jeremiah Marquez in Hong Kong contributed to this story.
FTSE soars on eurozone data, Bernanke comments Fri Aug 21, 12:41 pm ET
LONDON (AFP) – Stocks in London soared on Friday after a survey showed the eurozone economy stabilising and US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke said global recovery prospects appear good.The benchmark FTSE 100 index of leading shares jumped 1.98 percent higher to 4,850.89 points.Vodafone was the most traded stock, seeing 197 million units change hands, followed by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which saw 162 million switch owners.British Airways was the biggest gainer, up 12.7 pence -- or 7.24 percent -- to finish at 188.2, followed by insurer Legal and General, which climbed 4.1 pence -- or 5.56 percent -- to stand at 77.8. Software publisher Sage Group suffered the worst losses, shedding 4.6 pence -- or 2.045 percent -- to finish at 220.3, while software developer Autonomy Corp. was next, falling 12 pence -- or 0.92 percent -- to end at 1,293.
Stocks jump as Bernanke says economy near recovery By SARA LEPRO, AP Business Writer - AUG 21,09
NEW YORK – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said what investors wanted to hear, that the economy is indeed on the verge of recovery, and they responded with a rally that sent the major indexes to new highs for the year.The Dow Jones industrials shot up 155 points Friday, closing above 9,500 for the first time since Nov. 4, and all the big indexes finished with gains of more than 1.5 percent. Meanwhile, Treasury prices tumbled, pushing yields sharply higher, as investors no longer felt they needed the safety of government debt.The stock market's gains were broad, reaching across all industries, but the biggest jumps came from energy, industrial and material stocks as oil and commodities prices soared. Bank stocks also rose sharply.
Just nine days after the Fed declared the economy to be leveling out rather than contracting, Bernanke went further, saying, the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good.Speaking at an annual Fed conference in Wyoming, Bernanke did warn that lending is not back to normal, and that the difficulty consumers and businesses are having obtaining loans will be a challenge. But his tone was the most optimistic it has been since the start of the financial crisis.A bigger-than-expected jump in home sales also gave stocks a boost and helped send bonds lower. The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.24 million in July, from a pace of 4.89 million in June.It was the fourth straight monthly increase and the highest level of sales since August 2007. The rise in sales came amid a sharp decline in home prices.The day's news ended a week of erratic trading on Wall Street. Investors have been struggling with concerns about consumer spending, but the combination of Bernanke's remarks and the home sales data pulled stocks out of the doldrums.Still, while Bernanke's positive assessment on the economy was encouraging, the market's challenges, including rising unemployment and sluggish consumer spending, are certainly far from over. The market appears to be on an upward trajectory, but analysts cautioned that stocks will likely bounce around through at least the rest of the summer.
The news isn't going to be all good from here on out,said Jordan Smyth, managing direct at Edgemoor Investment Advisors in Bethesda, Md.The Dow rose 155.91, or 1.7 percent, to 9,505.96. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 18.76, or 1.9 percent, to 1,026.13, its highest close since Oct. 6. And the Nasdaq composite index rose 31.68, or 1.6 percent, to 2,020.90, reaching its highest close since Oct. 1.For the week, the Dow rose 2.0 percent, the S&P 500 gained 2.2 percent, and the Nasdaq added 1.8 percent.About four stocks rose for every one that fell Friday on the New York Stock Exchange where consolidated volume came to 5.88 billion shares, up from Thursday's 5 billion.Bond prices tumbled. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, jumped to 3.56 percent, from 3.44 percent late Thursday.The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 12.83, or 2.3 percent, to 581.51.In other signs of investors' growing confidence in the economy, oil prices touched their highest point of the year on hopes that energy demand will soon pick up. After nearing $75, light, sweet crude for October delivery rose 98 cents to settle at $73.89a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.And the dollar, which, like Treasurys, is considered a safe-haven asset, tumbled against other major currencies.While Bernanke's comments were clearly reassuring for the stock market, investors could quickly lose their optimism if one of their greatest concerns, consumer spending, shows more signs of weakness. The Fed's upbeat comments last week set off a rally that quickly stalled after a weak reading on consumer sentiment.Next week, investors will get two key reports on consumer confidence that, if worse than expected, could easily upset the market's gains.We're not past the volatile stages of the market, said Lowell Pratt, president of The Burney Co., an equity management firm. As job losses continue to mount, it will be difficult for consumers to feel comfortable about spending freely. Consumer spending normally is the driver of recoveries at the beginning,said Bob Baur, chief global economist at Principal Global Investors. That's not happening this time.
At some point, the market is going to ask to see more than just mixed data,he said. It's going to want to see some real jobs produced and an end to job losses and some validation that the consumer isn't going to stay in a slump.Analysts have long warned of an eventual decline in stocks after the market's massive jump since early March, during which major indexes have risen more than 45 percent off of 12-year lows. But the market has yet to see a significant pullback.Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 1.4 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 2.0 percent, Germany's DAX index jumped 2.9 percent, and France's CAC-40 soared 3.2 percent.The Dow Jones industrial average closed the week up 184.56, or 2.0 percent, at 9,505.96. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 22.04, or 2.2 percent, to 1,026.13. The Nasdaq composite index rose 35.38, or 1.8 percent, to 2,020.90. The Russell 2000 index, which tracks the performance of small company stocks, rose 17.61, or 3.1 percent, for the week to 581.51.The Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index — which measures nearly all U.S.-based companies — ended at 10,463.53, up 223.01, or 2.2 percent, for the week. A year ago, the index was at 13,185.26.
Oil prices hit 10-month high as optimism grows By CHRIS KAHN, AP Energy Writer – Fri Aug 21, 3:30 pm ET
NEW YORK – Oil prices jumped Friday to a new high for the year after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the U.S. economy is nearing a recovery and other economic data backed him up.Benchmark crude for October delivery rose 98 cents to settle at $73.89. After Bernanke spoke at an annual Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., prices briefly neared $75.The price for natural gas plummeted to a new seven-year low, which suggests some skepticism about an economic rebound. Natural gas is used by major industries, including utilities, for power.Energy experts had a hard time explaining how natural gas can plunge while prices for other energy futures, including heating oil and gasoline, continue to rise.If there's a recovery, people would be using electricity first before they buy gasoline,said Peter Beutel at Cameron Hanover.Yet oil prices are going up and natural gas prices are down.Oil started climbing early in the morning after financial information company Markit said its composite purchasing managers' index showed the European economy was stabilizing.
If Europe's coming out of recession, the euro could get even stronger,analyst Phil Flynn said. That means more demand for oil.And the dollar did fall against the euro to end the week, effectively making dollar-based oil cheaper across the globe. That created its own momentum and drew a lot of investor money into crude, meaning the price for gasoline and other fuels will likely move up as well.Gasoline prices have flattened and few expect a major run on prices as the driving season winds down.
Retail gas prices were almost unchanged, rising a hundredth of a cent to a new national average of $2.625 a gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. A gallon of regular unleaded is 16.4 cents more expensive than it was a month ago, but it's $1.077 cheaper than last year.In addition to the falling dollar and other upward pressures on energy prices, new housing data showed that people are buying.Just as Bernanke began to speak, the National Association of Realtors said that home resales posted the largest monthly increase in at least 10 years, which may have helped push energy prices higher.Crude this year has tended to jump even marginally good economic news. It has been slightly more than a year since a barrel of crude soared close to $150 per barrel and few people believe that at some point, demand for energy will not rebound strongly.
The question is when.
Earlier this week, the U.S. government reported that crude in storage, which had been building for weeks, fell by a surprising 8.4 million barrels as refiners cut back on petroleum imports. Crude prices jumped sharply.In other Nymex trading, gasoline for September delivery added 1.34 cents to settle at $1.9956 a gallon and heating oil for September delivery added 1.97 cents to settle at $1.9049 a gallon. Natural gas for September delivery tumbled another 14.1 cents to settle at $2.804 per 1,000 cubic feet.In London, Brent prices rose 86 cents to settle at $74.19 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.Associated Press writers George Jahn in Vienna and Alex Kennedy in Singapore contributed to this report.
Regulators shut Guaranty Financial By MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writer – AUG 21,09
WASHINGTON – Regulators on Friday shut down Guaranty Financial Group Inc., a big lender felled by losses on loans to homebuilders and borrowers, in the second-largest U.S. bank failure this year.It marked the 81st failure of a U.S. bank in 2009, a mounting toll and the most in a year since 1992 at the height of the savings-and-loan crisis.The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of Guaranty Financial, based in Austin, Texas, which had about $13 billion in assets and $12 billion in deposits as of June 30. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Spain's second-largest bank, agreed to buy all the failed bank's deposits and $12 billion of the assets. It was the first foreign bank to buy a failed U.S. bank.The failure of Guaranty Financial is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund an estimated $3 billion.In contrast to the big bank failures early in the financial crisis, many of the recently shuttered banks were undone not by exotic mortgage products but by garden-variety loans.At the same time, a knot of big, complex banks collapsing in recent months is sapping billions from the federal deposit insurance fund that insures regular accounts up to $250,000, spurring regulators to court potential buyers from the world of private investment.The FDIC last week seized Colonial BancGroup Inc., a big lender in real estate development, and sold its $20 billion in deposits, 346 branches in five states and about $22 billion of its assets to BB&T Corp.It was the biggest bank failure so far this year, and the sixth-largest in U.S. history, expected to cost the insurance fund $2.8 billion.While losses on home mortgages may be leveling off, delinquencies on commercial real estate loans remain a hot spot of potential trouble, experts say. Many regional banks like Montgomery, Ala.-based Colonial hold large numbers of them. Many companies have shut down in the recession, vacating shopping malls and office buildings financed by the loans.Also Friday, the FDIC seized two small banks in Georgia and one in Alabama: ebank, located in Atlanta, with $143 million in assets and $130 million in deposits; First Coweta, based in Newnan, Ga., with $167 million in assets and $155 million in deposits; and CapitalSouth Bank, based in Birmingham, Ala., with $617 million in assets and $546 million in deposits.
The agency expects bank failures will cost the fund around $70 billion through 2013. The fund stood at $13 billion — its lowest level since 1993 — at the end of March. It has slipped to 0.27 percent of total insured deposits, below the minimum mandated by Congress of 1.15 percent.The costliest failure was the July 2008 seizure of big California lender IndyMac Bank, on which the fund is estimated to have lost $10.7 billion.Among the 81 banks closed so far this year — compared with 25 last year and three in all of 2007 — were a stream of smaller institutions, many felled by losses on ordinary loans amid the souring economy, tumbling home prices and spiking unemployment. Their business was a far cry from the complex securities favored by Wall Street investment banks that precipitated the financial meltdown.The average cost to the fund of a bank failure over the past 19 months has run higher than during the savings-and-loan debacle. That's partly due to smaller banks having higher resolution costs than larger ones, and because the steep decline in home prices that set off the current distress wasn't a factor in the earlier crisis, said Jim Wigand, deputy director of resolutions and receiverships at the FDIC.Because of the tumble in prices, the loss rates on home loans and construction and development loans were higher for banks, with a domino effect on related securities, Wigand said.Many of the smaller banks that failed in the recent run shared common attributes: rapid growth, heavy concentration of brokered deposits sold by securities firms to customers outside the bank's local area, and heavy lending in hot markets like Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada, noted Bert Ely, a banking consultant based in Alexandria, Va.They are spread nationwide, though there is a concentration of banks in Georgia: 17 have fallen there since the beginning of last year, more than in any other state. That is a reflection of the local real estate market, whose distress has rippled throughout the economy there.In Friday's other three closings, Stearns Bank, based in St. Cloud, Minn., agreed to buy the assets and deposits of ebank. United Bank, based in Zebulon, Ga., is assuming the deposits and $155 million of the assets of First Coweta; the FDIC will retain the rest for eventual sale. IberiaBank, based in Lafayette, La., is assuming the deposits and $589 million of the assets of CapitalSouth Bank.
Those failures are expected to cost the insurance fund an estimated $63 million for ebank, $48 million for First Coweta and $151 million for CapitalSouth Bank. Last spring, the FDIC adopted a new system of special fees paid by U.S. banks and thrifts that shifted more of the burden to bigger institutions to help replenish the insurance fund. The number of troubled banks on the agency's confidential list leaped to 305 in the first quarter, the highest number since 1994. Some analysts expect hundreds of banks to collapse over the next year or so.Around 2,900 banks failed during the S&L crisis from 1980 through 1994.
Karzai, Abdullah both claim lead in Afghan vote By JASON STRAZIUSO and ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writers – AUG 21,09
KABUL – Both main candidates for Afghan president claimed to be ahead Friday after an election marred by violence, spotty turnout and fraud allegations — threatening U.S. hopes for Afghans to come together to combat the challenges of Taliban insurgency, corruption and poverty.President Hamid Karzai's campaign insisted he would have enough votes to avoid a runoff with his chief challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister. Abdullah countered that he was leading but suspected there would be a runoff.Election officials called on the candidates to refrain from such claims, which could delay formation of a new government. Officials of Afghan and international monitoring teams agreed that it was too early to say who won or to know whether fraud was extensive enough to influence the outcome.Millions of Afghans voted Thursday in the country's second-ever direct presidential election, although Taliban threats held down the turnout, especially in the militant south where Karzai was expected to run strong among his fellow Pashtuns. Insurgent attacks claimed more than two dozen lives.Partial preliminary results won't be released by the election commission before Tuesday with final official returns due in early September. Officials count ballots at voting centers around the country and then send the figures to Kabul, where they are tabulated, verified and announced.Nevertheless, the absence of official figures didn't dissuade supporters of the two leading candidates from issuing their own claims, which they said were based on reports from their representatives at the counting centers.
Karzai's campaign spokesman, Waheed Omar, said the president's campaign believes we are well ahead in the ballot count and will end up with more than 50 percent of the votes — enough to avoid a runoff that Omar said would be logistically, financially and also politically problematic.Our prediction is that the election will not go to the second round,Omar said.Our initial information is that we will hopefully be able to win the elections in the first round.Abdullah challenged the claim, telling The Associated Press that he was in the lead despite the rigging which has taken place in some parts of the country.He alleged that government officials interfered with ballot boxes and in some places blocked monitors from inspecting boxes or their contents. Abdullah said there is a likelihood that neither he nor Karzai would win more than 50 percent of the vote, setting the stage for a runoff in early October.The U.S. Embassy and Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission dismissed both sides' claims, saying it was too early for anyone to declare victory. Commission chairman Noor Mohammed Noor said candidates had no basis for such claims and should refrain from making them.Anything else is speculation at this point, U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Fleur Cowan said. We will wait to hear from the IEC and electoral complaints commission.
Clearly, however, there were some irregularities.
The Times of London newspaper reported Friday that election officials at a polling station near Kabul recorded 5,530 ballots in the first hour of voting Thursday, even though no voters were at the site when the Times' reporter arrived at 8 a.m., one hour after the voting began.Election workers said the area was pro-Karzai and was controlled by a lawmaker who said he had already voted for the president, even though his finger wasn't marked with indelible ink, a fraud prevention measure, the Times reported.The International Republican Institute, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that had about 30 election observers in Afghanistan, said the vote was at a lower standard than the 2004 presidential ballot and 2005 parliamentary vote but that the process so far has been credible.Low turnout — estimated between 40 and 50 percent nationwide — showed that Taliban efforts to keep people home were at least partly successful, creating an election defined by violence, said Richard S. Williamson, the IRI's delegation leader in Afghanistan and a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.There is no denying the fact that a notable reason for low turnout was the lack of security, and obviously that must be addressed, IRI said.Second, there were many credible reports that voter registration cards were sold. ... While it is difficult to determine how widespread this practice was, the magnitude of such reports of fraud warrant investigation.Human Rights Watch cautioned against declaring the election successful, given the violence Thursday and low turnout in areas where Taliban influence is greatest.Early impressions of turnout suggest that violence and intimidation succeeded in keeping voters away from polling stations in a huge swathe of the country, which adds up to a successful day for the Taliban,said Rachel Reid, Afghanistan researcher for Human Rights Watch.If international standards are dropped, there risks being a serious credibility gap — which will only serve to increase disillusionment with the efforts to create a democracy.Many of the irregularities and low turnout occurred in the southern and eastern areas where Karzai draws his strength and — ironically — where the Taliban is strongest. Abdullah, who is half Pashtun, is widely seen as the candidate of the northern Tajiks.In Washington, a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ronald Neumann, told the BBC that the credibility of the election will depend on whether enough Pashtuns voted that their community does not feel disenfranchised and whether Afghans perceive the fraud went beyond levels they find acceptable.One American election observer said the delay in announcing results was fueling rumors and allegations that threaten to poison the atmosphere at a time when Afghans need to come together to deal with the problems facing their country. Glenn Cowan, the co-founder of the U.S.-funded observer group Democracy International, said announcing results more quickly would serve as a pressure valve release.Instead what you get is a buildup,Cowan said. What's very interesting to us is that we don't know very much more about this election today than we did on Wednesday. The paucity of information is really incredible. You've had no election returns whatsoever.
As the counting continued, so did violence. A U.S. service member died Friday from wounds from a bomb in eastern Afghanistan, the NATO-led military alliance said. No other information was released. Two British troops in the south died on Thursday, officials announced.Two policemen were killed in a suicide attack Friday against a police station in Jalalabad, officials said. Witnesses said three assailants attacked the station after sundown and two of them escaped.Associated Press reporters Heidi Vogt, Fisnik Abrashi, Rahim Faiez and Amir Shah in Kabul contributed to this report.
In Ramadan, the best dates in Egypt are Obama By HADEEL AL-SHALCHI, Associated Press Writer – Fri Aug 21, 12:46 pm ET
CAIRO – For the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Egyptian fruit sellers have named their best dates of the year after President Barack Obama in a sweet tribute to the American leader for his outreach to the Muslim world.Dates are a traditional food for Ramadan — which begins Saturday in most of the Islamic world — since the Prophet Muhammad is said to have used them to break the month's sunrise-to-sunset fast each evening.In Egypt, shops have created a new tradition of naming their best and worst dates to catch attention and boost sales — giving a little reflection of the political mood.Obama's vault to the top of the Egyptian date-scale comes after he delivered a landmark address in Cairo in June, saying he wants to improve American ties with Muslims around the world. Those ties were deeply strained under his predecessor, George W. Bush, who was widely resented in the Arab world — and whose name was given to the worst quality dates in Egypt in past Ramadans.We love Obama and so we named our best dates for him,said Atif Hashim at his busy shop in downtown Cairo.Huge barrels in his shop were piled with Obama dates, selling for just under $2.50 a pound ($5 a kilogram). For an additional dollar, there is an even better date, labeled on a sign as Super Obama.We put a sweet date in Mr. Obama's mouth and a message in his ear,Hashim said. "Please help to bring peace to the world. We have a lot of hope in you.
Hashim named his poorer dates after Israeli Foreign Minister Avidgor Lieberman, a hard-liner who is particularly disliked in Egypt for once saying its president, Hosni Mubarak, can go to hell.Other low-quality dates were named after Lieberman's predecessor, Tzipi Livni, and after Bush. They all go for about 17 cents a pound (36 cents a kilogram).In 2006, many sellers in Egypt named their best dates after the leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, whose popularity soared among Arabs because his militants battled Israel in a devastating war that summer.During the lunar month of Ramadan, observant Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from sunrise to sunset. It is believed that God began revealing the Quran to Muhammad during Ramadan, and the faithful are supposed to spend the month in religious reflection, prayer and remembrance of the poor.It's also a time of celebrations, late nights out with friends and family and elaborate meals for iftar,the sunset dinner that breaks the fast.This year, Ramadan starts in August for the first time in 33 years — meaning a long, hot day for those fasting. In a bid to bring up the time for iftar, Egypt went off daylight savings time on Friday.The fast begins Saturday for most of the Mideast and Asia, although Libya, Turkey, and some Lebanese Shiites began fasting Friday. The month begins when each Muslim country's Islamic authorities sight the crescent moon that marks the beginning of the lunar month — sometimes using only the naked eye, leading to some discrepancies in the timing.In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Palestinians decorated their houses with lights in the shape of crescents and stars and shops began preparing special pastries and traditional Ramadan drinks like kharoub, made of carobs. The Israeli military said it would keep checkpoints open longer hours to allow more people to cross.In Hamas-controlled Gaza City, officials hung signs reading Welcome Ramadan and provided mosques with large carpets to accommodate the increased number of worshippers.Shops sold little electric lamps, a traditional children's toy during Ramadan — made in China and brought through smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border to circumvent the blockade imposed on Gaza by Israel and Egypt after Hamas seized power two years ago.In Turkey, the mosques were jam-packed and municipalities set up soup kitchens to serve iftar to the poor. Holiday-makers began deserting beach resorts to return home. Newspapers carried recommendations from dietitians and Mehmet Emin Ozafsar, the deputy head of Turkey's department for religious affairs, urged people observing the fast not to use it as an excuse for aggressive behavior or abstinence from work.Fasting is patience and tolerance,Ozafsar said.Associated Press reporters in the Mideast and Turkey contributed to this report.
THE BIBLE DOES SAY GERMANY WILL BE WITH RUSSIA,MUSLIMS WHEN THEY MARCH TO ISRAEL IN THE FUTURE.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW)and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY)of the north quarters, and all his bands:(SUDAN,AFRICA) and many people with thee.
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
Soviet-Nazi pact revisited 70 years later By LYNN BERRY, Associated Press Writer Lynn Berry, Associated Press Writer – Fri Aug 21, 11:58 am ET
MOSCOW – Seventy years ago Sunday, the Soviet Union signed a pact with Nazi Germany that gave dictator Josef Stalin a free hand to take over part of Poland and the Baltic states on the eve of World War II.Most of the world now condemns the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but Russia has mounted a new defense of the 1939 treaty as it seeks to restore some of its now-lost sphere of influence.This is all being rehabilitated because this is now a very lively issue for Russia, said military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer.This is not about history at all.The pact, formally a treaty of nonaggression, was signed Aug. 23, 1939, in Moscow by Vyacheslav Molotov and Joachim von Ribbentrop, the foreign ministers of the two countries.In addition to the pledge of nonaggression, the treaty included secret protocols that divided eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence.On Sept. 1, Germany invaded Poland — thus igniting World War II — and within weeks the Red Army had marched in from the east. After claiming its part of Poland, the Soviet Union then annexed part of Finland, the Baltic states and the Romanian region that is now Moldova.Molotov's grandson and namesake, Vyacheslav Nikonov, said his grandfather saw a deal with Nazi Germany as the only alternative after a failure to reach a military agreement with Britain and France.The Soviet government was convinced that a Nazi attack on Poland was imminent and we needed to know where the Germans were going to stop, Nikonov said. The pact also bought needed time for the country to prepare for war, he said.He said his grandfather later criticized aspects of Stalin's leadership, including the purges, but he stood by the pact for the rest of his life.
He said there were many, many mistakes done by the Soviet leadership, he regrets many lives,said Nikonov, who was 30 when his grandfather died in 1986 and knew him well.Molotov never considered Molotov-Ribbentrop as something he would regret.The Soviet Union officially denied the existence of the secret protocols for decades. They were only formally acknowledged and denounced in 1989.But as the 70th anniversary of the treaty has approached, some Russian historians have stepped up to vociferously defend the Soviet Union's decision to expand its territory at the expense of its neighbors.The Foreign Intelligence Service, once part of the KGB, published a book of declassified intelligence reports in an effort to make the case that the nonaggression treaty and its secret protocols were justified and essential to the victory over the Nazis.Retired Maj. Gen. Lev Sotskov, who compiled the book, said the pact allowed the Soviet Union to move its borders with Germany to the West. This prevented the Baltic states of Lithuanian, Latvia and Estonia of becoming a staging ground for an attack, he told journalists.Even so, when Nazi Germany did attack in June 1941, all the territory the Soviet Union had gained was lost in a matter of weeks.At the end of the war, however, U.S. and British leaders accepted the borders of the Soviet Union as defined by the treaty with Germany. This in effect restored the borders of the Russian Empire.The Allied leaders also allowed Stalin to extend the Soviet Union's sphere of influence throughout much of eastern and central Europe.The current attempt to justify the carving up of Europe during World War II comes as Russia once again is trying to establish its sphere of influence.
After last year's conflict with Georgia, a U.S. ally, President Dmitry Medvedev asserted Russia's right to intervene militarily in what it regards as its zone of privileged interests along its borders.The war stripped Georgia of pieces of its territory, which are now under the control of Russian-backed separatists. In his understanding of Realpolitik, Vladimir Putin does not diverge from the line set by Josef Stalin,military analyst Alexander Golts wrote in the online Yezhednevny Zhurnal.Military force decides everything and if there is an opportunity to grab a piece of someone else's territory then it should be taken.Moscow has insisted it should have a dominating influence over countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. But Washington has continued to encourage the NATO ambitions of Georgia and Ukraine, and has made clear that it will accept no claims of a Russian sphere of influence over former Soviet republics that are now sovereign states.Russians' defense of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact also is being used to bolster the Kremlin's push for the creation of a new collective security system to replace NATO, embracing all of Europe, the United States and Canada.Sotskov said the Soviet Union had to sign the 1939 treaty with Germany because efforts to create a system of collective security with Britain, France, Poland and the Baltic states had failed. The Soviet leadership believed the West was hoping to turn Adolf Hitler's armies east against Russia.
Syrian missile test fails, killing 20 By Anshel Pfeffer, August 20, 2009
Reports of a major failure in a missile firing test in Syria has drawn attention once more to the military co-operation between North Korea, Iran and Syria. According to the report by the Japanese news agency Kyodo, two improved Scud missiles were fired in a test at the end of March. Both missiles veered off-course, and one of them landed in a marketplace in a town near the Turkish border, killing 20 people and wounding 60.North Korean and Iranian experts reportedly participated in the trials.
This is the latest in a series of failures in the Syrian missile programme over the past few years.Three-and-a-half years ago, another Scud missile went off-course, exploding over Turkey, and there have been a number of mysterious explosions during the assembly of missiles in Syrian installations.
Western military experts have raised the possibility of sabotage.
Israeli and Western intelligence services have been closely following the purchase of North Korean missile technology by Syria and Iran in recent years.Israel has yet to officially acknowledge the attack its planes carried out almost two years ago on a North Korean nuclear reactor being built in Syria.The American government has been trying to engage the Syrian regime over recent months, with President Barack Obama’s Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, visiting Damascus twice.The United States plans to send an ambassador to Syria in the next few weeks and is trying to restart the talks between Israel and Syria that were held last year under the auspices of the Turkish government.It seems that President Assad is relentlessly upping the ante, said one Israeli official.Last week he announced that he is going to visit President Ahmadinejad again. Syria continues to receive arms and know-how from North Korea and Iran and supplies missiles to Hizbollah. At the same time Assad talks to the Americans about the diplomatic process. He is purposefully playing hard to get because he believes he can extract a high price from the Americans for any concessions.Meanwhile, on Sunday, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, was asked by CNN about a possible Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear installations. He replied that Israel is far from even contemplating such things right now.Other senior defence officials in Israel, though, have made clear in recent weeks that preparations for such a strike were well advanced. The government, however, is publicly backing the Obama administration’s new deadline of next month for Iran to agree to enter into talks with it, or suffer much harsher sanctions.
Holdren Proposed Geo-engineering Option at 2007 Goldman Sachs Conference
Jurriaan Maessen Prison Planet.com Friday, August 21, 2009
It seems there is no limit to the outrageous proposals issued by current science czar and neo-Malthusian miscreant John P. Holdren.During a keynote address before a gathering of Goldman Sachs luminaries on Energy, Environment and the Financial Markets in 2007, Holdren proposed several options to combat climate change. The most remarkable of which include (page 43)Scrub greenhouse gases from the atmosphere technologically and Geo-engineering to create cooling effects offsetting greenhouse heating.As we know, it is not the first time Holdren proposed spraying the atmosphere. The interesting thing regarding his PowerPoint presentation before the international bankers, is that it preceded his statements in favour of geo-engineering in 2009 and the subsequent outrage, which ultimately caused him to back-pedal on his proposals. Despite the controversy, Holdren maintained at a MIT-seminar that the geo-engineering option should not be discarded. The elitist Counsel on Foreign Relations wholeheartedly agrees with him. In the course of 2008, the CFR held several workshops dedicated to Planetary Scale Geoenigineering efforts after painting the environmental situation as being direr than the facts suggest.Holdren’s participation in the Goldman Sachs conference was no incidental occurrence. In September of 2006, when Holdren was still director of the Woods Hole Research Center, he teamed up with the representative of the Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Management. This partnership would supposedly enable the Woods Hole Research Center to broaden and deepen its efforts to understand the ways that tropical forests contribute to human well-being (…). Initiator of the partnership was the eugenics liaison front of the Global Clinton Initiative, which donated generously to stimulate the partnership. As Holdren explained: It’s particularly gratifying that we developed this project with Goldman Sachs as part of the Clinton Global Initiative- a farsighted effort of the former President to stimulate new partnerships among businesses, researchers, and public-interest organizations to address the great challenges in global health, environment, and economic development.
Besides the fact that we learn of more and more Obama people being extremely tight to Goldman Sachs, the 2007 PowerPoint presentation proves that the geo-engineering-option was already on Holdren’s mind before he assumed the function of science czar. His presentation also clearly shows that Mr. Holdren is the favourite mad scientist employed by the New World Order.In the first months of the Obama presidency, Holdren alluded that the subject had come up during White House discussions. Later, when the Associated Press reported on it, Holdren hastily back-pedalled on the subject, saying:we have to look at the possibilities and understand them because if we get desperate enough it will be considered. I also made clear that this my personal view, not Administration policy.Regardless, we have to place Holdren’s actions and statements within a well-documented eugenics context. In 2007 Holdren did not suffer the burden of public office. This allowed him to be quite frank about his ideas, just as he was in 1977, when he warmed to the idea of a planetary regime to scale back the human population. He also proposed, putting chemicals in the water supply to ensure decline in fertility and chipping people to control their reproductive capabilities. His long and sordid track record speaks for itself.