"Am I therefore become your enemy,because I TELL YOU THE TRUTH...?"
(Galatians 4:16)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dust ‘comes alive’ in space

SCIENTISTS have discovered that inorganic material can take on the characteristics of living organisms in space, a development that could transform views of alien life.An international panel from the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck institute in Germany and the University of Sydney found that galactic dust could form spontaneously into helixes and double helixes and that the inorganic creations had memory and the power to reproduce themselves.A similar rethinking of prospective alien life is being undertaken by the National Research Council, an advisory body to the US government. It says Nasa should start a search for what it describes as “weird life”-organisms that lack DNA or other molecules found in life on Earth.The new research, to be published this week in the New Journal of Physics, found nonorganic dust, when held in the form of plasma in zero gravity, formed the helical structures found in DNA. The particles are held together by electromagnetic forces that the scientists say could contain a code comparable to the genetic information held in organic matter. It appeared that this code could be transferred to the next generation.Professor Greg Morfill, of the Max Planck institute of extra-terrestrial physics, said: “Going by our current narrow definitions of what life is, it qualifies. “The question now is to see if it can evolve to become intelligent. It’s a little bit like science fiction at the moment. The potential level of complexity we are looking at is of an amoeba or a plant.“I do not believe that the systems we are talking about are life as we know it. We need to define the criteria for what we think of as life much more clearly.”
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Muslims protest over pet food factory that could 'rain down' pork

A group of Muslims have opposed plans for a pet food factory to be built as possible porkemissions will violate their religious rights.Butchers Pet Care could shelve plans for a factory in Coton Park,near Rugby,because angry Asian families have complained to their residents' association about pork smells drifting into their garden. Muslim residents in the area also claim the pork will effectively "rain down" on their homes and gardens after the factory's 100ft chimney has pumped the meat extracts into the atmosphere. The Coton Park Residential Association said they have received complaints from Muslims-who are directed to not eat pork by the Qur'an-and are taking the matter very seriously. One family who live less than 100 yards from the proposed factory, but who did not wish to be identified, said:"A significant proportion of meats used in the pet foods processes are pig meat."Our religion expressly forbids us to consume pig meat in any form."Because of the way in which this meat material will leave the factory and give that the area can be 'rained upon' we will be consuming pork via inhalation of this 'rain'."Not only that but our clothes will be contaminated by pork."Another family from the Coton Park housing estate said:"The owners of the proposed factory do not dispute the claim that meat extracts of pork will be pumped into the atmosphere via a 100ft chimney."They have said there will not be any chemical treatment proposed to treat the meat extracts before they leave the factory."Association spokesperson Grant Scott said: "Several families have complained because of the smell of the pork, and also if the factory is cooking with it,pork particles and odour could rain down on them from the chimney at some point."It was something we hadn't taken on board before but it's definitely important and is a very delicate issue."If Muslims are unhappy about it, then Jews may complain for the same reason, and Hindus may complain because of their beliefs about cows being sacred animals. "There is a significant Muslim element in our area, so there is a potential problem."
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PS:Wherever muslims go there is a problem...This one is fueled greatly by plane "ignorance"It's hilarious,but as usual they can turn this into a living hell for not only the factory people but everybody else around....
As in the days of Noah....

PERSECUTION WATCH:Egyptian Christian convert goes into hiding amid death threats

CAIRO: An Egyptian Muslim who converted to Christianity has gone into hiding, facing death threats after he launched an attempt to get official recognition of his change of religion, an unprecedented step in this conservative Islamic nation. An Islamist cleric has vowed to seek Mohammed Hegazy's execution as an apostate, his family has shunned him, and Hegazy raised a storm of controversy when pictures of him posing for journalists with a poster of the Virgin Mary were published in the newspapers.They think I am crazy or something," the 25-year-old Hegazy said of his family, speaking to The AP by phone from his hideout. Hegazy made an unusual public splash because he sought to raise a court case to officially change his religion on his national ID card, likely the first time a Muslim-born convert has sought to do so in Egypt.His first lawyer filed the case, but then quit after the uproar, and his second is still considering whether it's worth pursuing the attempt.Hegazy said he received death threats by phone before he went into hiding, in an apartment bare of furniture where he lives with his wife, who is also a convert from Islam and is four months pregnant. He would not say where the apartment was located. "I know there are fatwas (religious edicts) to shed my blood, but I will not give up and I will not leave the country," Hegazy said. There is no law on the books in Egypt against converting from Islam to Christianity, but in this case tradition trumps the law.Under a widespread interpretation of Islamic law, converting from Islam is apostasy and is punishable by death- though killings are rare and the state has never ordered or carried out an execution.Most Muslims who convert usually practice their new religion quietly, seeking to avoid attention, or flee the country to the West. In Egypt, at the very least they face ostracism by their families, but if their conversion becomes known they can receive death threats from militants, or harassment by police, who use laws against "insulting religion" or "disturbing public order" as a pretext to target them...
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Hizbollah buys frontier land to attack Israel

Hizbollah is buying up large tracts of land owned by Christians and other non-Shias in southern Lebanon as the militant group rebuilds its defences in preparation for a new war with Israel,The Sunday Telegraph has been told.The land grab is thought to be driven by the Iranian-backed guerrillas' efforts to rearm themselves and fortify the strategically important ravines north of the Litani River, just north of the front line in last year's 34-day conflict with its Jewish neighbour.Here,Hizbollah has been free to press forward without harassment from the 13,000 UN peacekeepers and 20,000 Lebanese army troops who were deployed south of the Litani as part of the ceasefire agreement that ended the conflict.Just south of the Litani, the UN is conducting hundreds of patrols each day in a bid to keep Hizbollah weapons out of the area,but the peacekeepers' mandate ends at the river.The Lebanese army, meanwhile, is about 50 per cent Shia and seems to be turning a blind eye to Hizbollah activities north of the river.In these rugged gorges,the group appears to be readying for round two with Israel, and many fear it is not far off after the inconclusive end to last year's war and reports of -Hizbollah rearming.The area's forested wadis,or valleys,make ideal terrain for Hizbollah's brand of guerrilla warfare and, just 10 miles from the border,are within rocket range of Israeli cities.The Shia encroachment into a mixed area of Christians,Shias and Druze Muslims threatens to disrupt Lebanon's delicate sectarian balance,which is already teetering after three years of political tumult."Christians and Druze are selling land and moving out, while the Shia are moving in.There is an extraordinary demo-graphic shift taking place,"said Edmund Rizk, a Christian MP for the area until 1992.
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CULTURE of DEATH:Unborn get lethal shot so doc not prosecuted

How are abortion clinics protecting themselves against charges under the partial-birth abortion ban?By ensuring unborn babies are dead by injecting them first with lethal drugs before aborting them.The practice has been adopted by many abortion providers across the U.S. in the wake of the Supreme Court decision upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, reported the Boston Globe.The banned abortion procedure is particularly grisly.It requires the abortion doctor to partially deliver a live baby, then kill it by inserting scissors into the base of its head and using a suctioning machine to remove its brain.Other procedures, employed in earlier-term pregnancies,kill the unborn child in the womb and the doctor removes the body parts afterward.But even with this procedure, live births have occurred.The federal ban, upheld in August, does not specify the age of the baby and mandates a two-year prison sentence for violations. In order to avoid any chance of a live birth and prosecution, three major Harvard-affiliated hospitals-Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women's, and Beth Israel Deaconess – have made lethal injections in the womb a standard operating procedure for abortions at 20 weeks gestation or later."No physician even wants to be accused of stumbling into accidentally doing one of these procedures,"Dr. Michael F. Greene, director of obstetrics at Massachusetts General, told the Globe.In some facilities, patients are given the choice to use lethal injection. Generally, it is believed the risk to the woman is slight, although critics of the federal ban say they should not have to be inconvenienced. Some case reports suggest a danger to the woman if one of the common drugs used, potassium chloride, is accidentally injected into her.Prior to the actual abortion, the baby is injected with either potassium chloride-one of the drugs used for lethal injections of criminals-or the heart drug digoxin.But Dr. Mark Nichols, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University, does not give women a choice if their baby is over 20 weeks' gestation-the injection is required."I guess I'm a little bit more concerned about the risk for the faculty and staff here," he said.So concerned over possible prosecution is Nichols, he will no longer allow medical and nursing students to observe late-term abortions at his clinic, fearing someone might lodge a criminal complaint.The National Abortion Federation has been impressed with the effectiveness of the lethal drugs and has developed a protocol for using digoxin for its members and is providing them with training.
As in the days of Noah...

Sources: U.S. assessing Pakistan nukes if Musharraf falls

WASHINGTON-U.S. military intelligence officials are urgently assessing how secure Pakistan's nuclear weapons would be in the event President Gen. Pervez Musharraf were replaced as the nation's leader, CNN has learned.Key questions in the assessment include who would control Pakistan's nuclear weapons after a shift in power.The US is pressuring Musharraf, who took control in a 1999 coup, not to declare a state of emergency as he faces growing political opposition.Three U.S. sources have independently confirmed details of the intelligence review to CNN but would not allow their names to be used because of the sensitivity of the matter.The sources include military officers and intelligence community analysts.The assessment is part of a broader review of the military and security situation in Pakistan.Officials say that Pakistan and its nuclear weapons are always a high intelligence priority for the US.The current review is a result of recent developments in that country, including the prospect that Musharraf could still declare a national emergency that would give him sweeping powers.Although the Pakistani government ruled out the declaration Thursday, the three sources told CNN that the US thinks Musharraf may still impose those measures.
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SIGN of the TIMES:Girl dies during circumcision

Cairo - A 13-year-old Egyptian girl died during a circumcision operation, the second such case reported over the past two months, local media said on Saturday.The doctor involved has been referred to the state prosecutor for investigation and his clinic in the rural Gharbiyah province has been closed down, state-owned al-Gomhoria daily reported.The earlier death of a 12-year-old girl during a circumcision operation in June sparked a public outcry and prompted the government to officially ban hospitals from performing the traditional procedure which is widespread throughout Egypt.
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Kosovo tells envoys expects independence in 2007

PRISTINA,Serbia-Kosovo stressed on Saturday it expected independence from Serbia by the end of 2007 after the West and Russia launched a last-ditch bid for compromise over the fate of the breakaway province.A "troika" of envoys from Russia, the US and the EU met leaders of the 90-percent ethnic Albanian majority after arriving from Belgrade, where they started their diplomatic mission on Friday.The Albanians told the envoys bluntly that statehood was non-negotiable and they expected to achieve it within months."I am working for the recognition of the independence of Kosovo, in its current borders ... this year," said Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku, according to a statement from his office.
"This is not a starting point for negotiation.This is not an offer for discussion."I do not want to waste the next 120 days talking about things that will not be possible."The envoys took on the mission last month after a Western-backed resolution calling for statehood under EU supervision was blocked at the UN by Serbia's ally Russia.The U.N. impasse followed 13 months of fruitless Serb-Albanian dialogue led by U.N. envoy Martti Ahtisaari.Western diplomats admit the latest round of diplomacy and talks stand little chance of success, and might only buy time before Kosovo's 2 million Albanians declare independence unilaterally and seek recognition from the major Western powers...
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2 Koreans May Be Freed

GHAZNI,Afghanistan-A Taliban spokesman said Saturday that two sick women among the 21 South Koreans being held hostage would be released “soon” for the sake of good relations between the Taliban and South Korea.Neither the International Red Cross nor the Afghan government could immediately confirm the statement.The spokesman,Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said that the decision had been made by the Taliban’s high commanders,but that it had not yet been decided when the women would be freed.Two Taliban leaders and four South Korean officials met Saturday for the second day of talks over the fate of the South Koreans,who have been held since July 19.The Taliban leaders said earlier Saturday that the two sick women would “definitely”be released,possibly as soon as “today or tomorrow.”
As in the days of Noah...

BIG BROTHER WATCH:In China,a High-Tech Plan to Track People

SHENZHEN,China-At least 20,000 police surveillance cameras are being installed along streets here in southern China and will soon be guided by sophisticated computer software from an American-financed company to recognize automatically the faces of police suspects and detect unusual activity.Starting this month in a port neighborhood and then spreading across Shenzhen,a city of 12.4 million people,residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips programmed by the same company will be issued to most citizens.Data on the chip will include not just the citizen’s name and address but also work history,educational background,religion,ethnicity,police record, medical insurance status and landlord’s phone number.Even personal reproductive history will be included,for enforcement of China’s controversial “one child”policy.Plans are being studied to add credit histories,subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card.Security experts describe China’s plans as the world’s largest effort to meld cutting-edge computer technology with police work to track the activities of a population and fight crime.But they say the technology can be used to violate civil rights.The Chinese government has ordered all large cities to apply technology to police work and to issue high-tech residency cards to 150 million people who have moved to a city but not yet acquired permanent residency.Both steps are officially aimed at fighting crime and developing better controls on an increasingly mobile population,including the nearly 10 million peasants who move to big cities each year.But they could also help the Communist Party retain power by maintaining tight controls on an
increasingly prosperous population at a time when street protests are becoming more common. “If they do not get the permanent card,they cannot live here,they cannot get government benefits,and that is a way for the government to control the population in the future,”said Michael Lin,the vice president for investor relations at China Public Security Technology,the company providing the technology.Incorporated in Florida,China Public Security has raised much of the money to develop its technology from two investment funds in Plano,Tex., Pinnacle Fund and Pinnacle China Fund.Three investment banks-Roth Capital Partners in Newport Beach,Calif.;Oppenheimer & Company in New York;and First Asia Finance Group of Hong Kong,helped raise the money.Shenzhen,a computer manufacturing center next to Hong Kong,is the first Chinese city to introduce the new residency cards.It is also taking the lead in China in the large-scale use of law enforcement surveillance cameras-a tactic that would have drawn international criticism in the years after the Tiananmen Square killings in 1989.But rising fears of terrorism have lessened public hostility to surveillance cameras in the West.This has been particularly true in Britain,where the police already install the cameras widely on lamp poles and in subway stations and are developing face recognition software as well.New York police announced last month that they would install more than 100 security cameras to monitor license plates in Lower Manhattan by the end of the year.Police officials also said they hoped to obtain financing to establish links to 3,000 public and private cameras in the area by the end of next year;no decision has been made on whether face recognition technology has becomereliable enough to use without the risk of false arrests.Shenzhen already has 180,000 indoor and outdoor closed-circuit television cameras owned by businesses and government agencies,and the police will have the right to link them on request into the same system as the 20,000 police cameras,according to China Public Security.Some civil rights activists contend that the cameras in China and Britain are a violation of the right of privacy contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.Large-scale surveillance in China is more threatening than surveillance in Britain,they said when told of Shenzhen’s plans.“I don’t think they are remotely comparable,and even in Britain it’s quite controversial,”said Dinah PoKempner,the general counsel of Human Rights Watch in New York.China has fewer limits on police power,fewer restrictions on how government agencies use the information they gather and fewer legal protections for those suspected of crime,she noted.While most countries issue identity cards, and many gather a lot of information about citizens,China also appears poised to go muchfurther in putting personal information on identity cards,Ms. PoKempner added.Every police officer in Shenzhen now carries global positioning satellite equipment on his or her belt.This allows senior police officers to direct their movements on large,high-resolution maps of the city that China Public Security has produced using software that runs on the Microsoft Windows operating system.“We have a very good relationship with U.S. companies like I.B.M., Cisco, H.P., Dell,” said Robin Huang, the chief operating officer of China Public Security.“All of these U.S. companies work with us to build our system together.”The role of American companies in helping Chinese security forces has periodically been controversial in the US.Executives from Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and Cisco Systems testified in February 2006 at a Congressional hearing called to review whether they had deliberately designed their systems to help the Chinese state muzzle dissidents on the Internet;they denied having done so.China Public Security proudly displays in its boardroom a certificate from I.B.M. labeling it as a partner.But Mr. Huang said that China Public Security had developed its own computer programs in China and that its suppliers had sent equipment that was not specially tailored for law enforcement purposes.The company uses servers manufactured by Huawei Technologies of China for its own operations. But China Public Security needs to develop programs that run on I.B.M., Cisco and Hewlett-Packard servers because some Chinese police agencies have already bought these models, Mr. Huang said.Mr. Lin said he had refrained from some transactions with the Chinese government because he is the chief executive of a company incorporated in the US.“Of course our projects could be used by the military,but because it’s politically sensitive,I don’t want to do it,”he said.Western security experts have suspected for several years that Chinese security agencies could track individuals based on the location of their cellphones,and the Shenzhen police tracking system confirms this.When a police officer goes indoors and cannot receive a global positioning signal from satellites overhead,the system tracks the location of the officer’s cellphone,based on the three nearest cellphone towers.Mr. Huang used a real-time connection to local police dispatchers’ computers to show a detailed computer map of a Shenzhen district and the precise location of each of the 92 patrolling officers,represented by caricatures of officers in blue uniforms and the routes they had traveled in the last hour.All Chinese citizens are required to carry national identity cards with very simple computer chips embedded,providing little more than the citizen’s name and date of birth. Since imperial times, a principal technique of social control has been for local government agencies to keep detailed records on every resident. The system worked as long as most people spent their entire lives in their hometowns.But as ever more Chinese move in search of work,the system has eroded.This has made it easier for criminals and dissidents alike to hide from police, and it has raised questions about whether dissatisfied migrant workers could organize political protests without the knowledge of police.
Little more than a collection of duck and rice farms until the late 1970s, Shenzhen now has 10.55 million migrants from elsewhere in China, who will receive the new cards, and 1.87 million permanent residents, who will not receive cards because local agencies already have files on them. Shenzhen’s red-light districts have a nationwide reputation for murders and other crimes.
PS:If you can please read this whole article.It's an eye opener.Massive surveillance is already working....!Maranatha Lord Jesus....!!!!
As in the days of Noah...

Hurricane Flossie Intensifies to Category 4 Storm; Heads Toward Hawaii

HONOLULU-Hurricane Flossie strengthened to a Category 4 storm Saturday as it spun more than 1,000 miles south of Hawaii.The hurricane could pass by Hawaii late Tuesday or early Wednesday,forecasters said,but by then cooler waters should weaken Flossie considerably to a tropical storm.At 5 p.m. EDT,Flossie had intensified with maximum sustained winds near 135 mph about 1,035 miles southeast of Hilo,Hawaii."Flossie continues to be an impressive system,"the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said in a statement.The storm,with gusts of 161 mph,was expected to weaken later in the day as it passed over cooler waters.It was traveling west at about 12 mph.Jeff Powell,lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said a "ramp up" of surf on the Big Island was expected late Monday.The island's southeastern shores could see waves of 8 to 12 feet,forecasters said,with the surf rising during the day Monday and peaking Tuesday.The island's South Point is the southernmost area of the US.State civil defense officials urged residents to be prepared because of the unpredictable nature of hurricanes.A one or two degree direction change, they say,could make a big difference."If this thing fizzles out, so what?Everybody should still be prepared,"said Dave Curtis,spokesman for the state Civil Defense Agency.The last time a hurricane hit Hawaii was in 1992, when Iniki ravaged Kauai, killing six people and causing $2.5 billion in damage.Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. In May, forecasters predicted that Hawaii and the rest of the central Pacific face a slightly below-average hurricane season,with just two or three tropical cyclones expected because of lower sea surface temperatures.The islands get an average of 4.5 tropical cyclones a year and one hurricane about every 15 years. Last year, the central Pacific had five tropical cyclones after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted two to three.
On July 21, a tropical depression moved past the Big Island, bringing a few inches of rain to the parched island but no major problems. Cosme, the year's first Pacific tropical cyclone, reached hurricane status for a day before it weakened.
Source:Associated Press
As in the days of Noah...

END TIMES WEATHER:Homes evacuated as floods,landslides hit Tasmania

FLOODING has eased in Tasmania's northeast where the effort has turned from evacuating homes to assessing the damage.Up to 50 homes were evacuated across the communities of Branxholm and Derby overnight, after the Ringarooma River burst its banks about 9.15pm (AEST) yesterday."It's a beautiful clear morning now, not a cloud in the sky,'' the mayor of Dorset Peter Partridge said."I think that the danger has passed (and) we've now got to assess the damage."We've lost one bridge that is close to the $1 million mark."The flood peak has moved down towards the Gladstone area and they council staff are in that area now putting up road closed signs.''Branxholm, 93km north-east of Launceston on the Tasman Highway, is a quiet timber town nestled in a valley. Evacuation centres were set up at the Branxholm Football Ground, the Scottsdale RSL and at the Derby Hall. Mayor Partridge said despite the widespread flooding and damage he was not aware of anyone who had lost their home, or of any injuries caused overnight.Other parts of Tasmania have also been hit by flooding.
As in the days of Noah...

Global warming hysteria is new eugenics

The BP oil company ads on television are, or should be, enough to make you never buy another drop of British-Petroleum gasoline. The farmer-type guy who stands there and talks about how wonderful it would be if you could grow a crop, convert it into fuel and put it in your tractor to plant next year's crops is disingenuous, deceptive and disgusting. So is the ad that shows a kid, holding what looks like a sugar beet, talking about making fuel out of the thing he's holding and replanting it year after year. BP airs these ads to suggest that it is working toward converting to this new "natural" fuel.What a joke. If every acre of productive land in America were converted to growing corn, sugar beets or other so-called renewable fuel, it would not come close to meeting the demand. Moreover, it would essentially destroy the environment, since these crops are heavy feeders of both water and soil nutrients. It would force the importation of food from other countries, and the fuel product would cost more per gallon and deliver less energy than petroleum products....
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As in the days of Noah...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Church won't hold funeral for gay man

An Arlington church volunteered to host a funeral Thursday, then reneged on the invitation when it became clear the dead man's homosexuality would be identified in the service.The event placed High Point Church in the cross hairs of an issue many conservative Christian organizations are discussing: how to take a hard-line theological position on homosexuality while showing compassion toward gay people and their families.But the dispute between High Point Church and the friends and family of Cecil Sinclair has left confusion and hard feelings on both sides. Mr. Sinclair, 46, died Monday. He was a native of Fort Worth, a Navy veteran who served in Desert Storm helping rescuers find downed pilots, and a singer in the Turtle Creek Chorale, said his mother, Eva Bowers. He did not belong to a church.His brother, Lee, is an employee and member of High Point, a nondenominational mega-congregation led by the Rev. Gary Simons. Mr. Simons is the brother-in-law of Joel Osteen, nationally known pastor of Houston's Lakewood Church.When Cecil Sinclair became ill with a heart condition six years ago, church members started praying for him out of love for his brother, Mr. Simons said Thursday. And when Mr. Sinclair died of an infection, a side effect of surgery intended to keep him alive long enough for a heart transplant, a member of the church staff was immediately sent to minister to the family, he said.Both the family and church officials agree that the church volunteered to host a memorial service, feed 100 guests and create a multimedia presentation of photos from Mr. Sinclair's life.But the photos that the family selected alerted church officials that there might be a problem with the service, Mr. Simons said...
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Feminist assaulted by Islamic militants

Mumbai, India-A rancorous crowd of about 100 Islamic militants broke into a news conference and assaulted exiled Bangladeshi novelist Taslima Nasrin on Thursday, hurling books, bouquets of flowers and abuse at the author who has enraged many Muslims with writings harshly critical of their religion.Nasrin, who has received several death threats over the past 15 years, was shaken but not badly hurt.The melee, shown repeatedly on Indian television, occurred in Hyderabad, a cosmopolitan city of high-tech industries that bridges north and south India.
The attackers included three elected politicians belonging to a locally based hard-line Muslim political party.Shouting slogans accusing Nasrin of ridiculing Islam, the protesters surged into the press club where she was presenting a newly published translation of her book "Shodh," or "Getting Even." They overturned chairs and cornered Nasrin, a slightly built woman, shouting that she should leave India.The author was protected by a small cordon of other guests in the club who absorbed most of the tossed debris. One attacker tried to throw a chair before police were called to empty the room. They made at least three arrests, Indian media reported.The national government condemned the attack and said it would extend Nasrin's six-month visa, which was to expire this month."I hope to live safely in this country as a democrat," said Nasrin, 44, after being escorted to safety by police. "The people who attacked me are in a minority. I get support and sympathy from a majority of people."In the West, Nasrin's defiance of clerical authority and her refusal to be cowed by death threats or the banning of her books have made her a symbol of free speech. But she is a polarizing figure in India, even though the government offered her temporary shelter two years ago because she is barred from returning to her native Bangladesh.Nasrin, educated as a physician, began writing in the early 1990s and has turned out a rising tide of novels, autobiography and poetry, much of it accusing the world's religions - and Islam in particular - of denying women equal rights. She is a proclaimed secularist and accuses fundamentalists of stoking hatred among faiths.She fled Bangladesh in 1994 after receiving death threats from enraged Islamists. Religious edicts calling for her to be attacked or killed have accumulated during her exile, initially while she was living in the West and continuing in India. She now lives in a Calcutta apartment. Two police officers sit outside her door.
PS:Even though I don't side with feminists,I think this is another example of "Islamic craze and intolerance towards others"It's a proven fact that Islam is not synonim of PEACE and that everytime that they crossed roads with other cultures or even here in the West they have always caused turmoil and controversy.Muslims are VIOLENT IN NATURE and that fueled-and permitted-by the Kuran.....Remember sura 47:5....!!!!They don't fool us here!!!!
As in the days of Noah...

ID cards 'could be a Big Brother tax trap'

Identity cards could provide a back door for the taxman to snoop on people's affairs using a database of National Insurance numbers.
The card system will use an existing NI database to log details, potentially making it easier for tax inspectors to keep tabs. Officials had hoped to base ID cards on a National Identity Register but will instead use the Customer Information System run by the Department of Work and Pensions.This holds the records of everyone with a NI number, sparking concerns that HM Revenue & Customs could track a person's personal life through their ID card, which must be produced whenever a proof of identity is required.Guy Herbert, spokesman for the NO 2 ID campaign, said people would create an "audit trail" when they used their cards. This would be linked to their NI numbers."Of course ID cards are a tax-gathering tool," he said. "When the Home Office talks about 'preventing illegal working' it is getting you to think of illegal immigrants, but an employer 'verifying your status' with the National Identity Register will create an audit trail of precisely who employs whom."Gareth Crossman, policy director at Liberty, added: "The Government sold us the ID card scheme under the guise of terror and crime protection, but the reality is that it has the potential for massive, unanticipated state access into our private lives."Damian Green, the Conservatives' shadow immigration minister, said:"The public will be alarmed at this sinister Big Brother development."The Government denied that the database would be used for tax enforcement.A spokesman said:"It is not connected to any plans for improved tax enforcement and the information held on NI records will not include any tax records
As in the days of Noah...

GAY AGENDA:Legal Status of Catholic Church in Spain Threatened over Opposition to Mandatory Pro-Gay Citizenship Course

Spain-The eminent socialist Gregorio Peces-Barba Martínez, one of the authors of the current Spanish national constitution, made headlines in Spain Wednesday when he threatened the Catholic Church with a "new status" in Spanish society if it didn't stop attacking his new "Education for Citizenship and Human Rights" program for Spanish public schools."Education for Citizenship", which purports to instruct students in matters of ethics, is in reality a vaguely-worded program that seeks to indoctrinate children with the sexual ideology and social agenda of the Spanish left, including the acceptance of homosexuality. The program's stated goals include teaching children to reject "existing discrimination for reason of sex, origin, social differences, affective-sexual, or whatever other type" and to exercise a "critical evaluation of the social and sexual division of labor and racist, xenophobic, sexist, and homophobic social prejudices." Under the heading of "key concepts" for instructing junior high school students, the program lists masculine and feminine identity and states that this would also be a "good moment to revise the students'attitude to homosexuality". The program also suggests that "a good exercise is to make a list of every type of disrespectful expression referring to foreigners, people of other races, homosexuals, etc., and open a dialog over how they are used in daily life and if they are or are not disrespectful." The program will be mandatory for all students in public elementary and junior high schools...
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As in the days of Noah...

PERSECUTION WATCH:Indian Christians targeted in unprovoked attacks

Another series of unprovoked attacks on Christian ministries in India have been documented by Voice of the Martyrs, the ministry to persecuted Christians around the world, raising concerns that the trend will continue to grow.In recent months, an increasing number of attacks by Hindus have been reported on Christian organizations or individuals. In Hindu-dominated parts of the world, such attacks often are violent and sometimes lethal, while in the United States they have remained verbal.According to VOM, one of the recent attacks was in Rajasthan, India, where five men launched an attack on Emmanuel Ministries.Voice of the Martyrs contacts in the region reported that the attackers carried handguns and a sword but also used a large stick and rocks and stones in the attack."They started fighting Mr. Jetha, one of the ministry office staff.They shouted that they would kill 'M.A.' [a ministry member],and Samuel Thomas, the leader of Emmanuel Ministries,and continuously beat Mr. Jetha,"the sources told VOM."They threatened that they would 'kill and willingly go to prison for six years,'"the sources confirmed.In a second incident a few days later,members of Believers Assembly Church in Sri Ganga Nagar District were ordered to police headquarters after Hindu fundamentalists complained believers were converting local villagers, the sources said."The new believers were threatened by police and pressured to leave Christianity and return to Hinduism.They were also warned that if they fail to return to Hinduism the provisions of the Anti-Conversion Act of Rajasthan,would be used to arrest them,"the sources said.In still another attack about the same time as the two in Rajasthan,a mob in Karnataka that included about 15 Bajrang Dal extremists armed with clubs, bats and knives attacked another Believers Church.They beat the pastor mercilessly,the sources said."The attackers barged into the church and abused the Christians,using filthy language and began hitting and stabbing them.They destroyed the pulpit,chairs,musical instruments,furniture,and window panes and damaged the church walls.The pastor was also severely beaten with a cricket bat and his body was swollen,"the sources reported.In the U.S., the Hindu American Foundation has attacked Christian organizations ranging from the Southern Baptists' missions board and Gospel for Asia to Olive Tree Ministries, which aims to teach Christians about their beliefs."The proliferation of websites promoting religious hatred is an unfortunate consequence of the universality of access to the Internet,"said Vinay Vallabh,the lead author of a report that attacked the Christian groups for their expression of their beliefs.
"We must vigorously identify,condemn and counter those who use the Internet to espouse chauvinism and bigotry over the principles of pluralism and tolerance,"Vallabh said.
Vallabh's report, called "Hyperlink to Hinduphobia: Online Hatred, Extremism and Bigotry Against Hindus," expresses his hope that Internet Service Providers will start censoring Christian postings of their beliefs, "a necessary step as we continue our balancing act between free speech and licentious speech that leads to violence in the electronic age."
As in the days of Noah...

Cities planning 960-hour prayer vigils:40 Days for Life to target abortion businesses

Nearly two dozen cities already have signed up to participate in a pro-life campaign that will stage prayer vigils outside their abortion businesses 24 hours a day for the 40-day period from Sept.26 through Nov. 4-a total of 960 hours of prayer,officials say.And that's from just the first day of the week-long sign-up period."God is amazing,"said Shawn Carney,a spokesman for the campaign called 40 Days for Life."That is more communities than we ever originally expected to participate in this ambitious pro-life initiative,and there are still six days left for communities to register.We can't wait to see what God has in store for America this fall!"
As WND has reported, the 40 Days is an intensive pro-life effort that will focus attention on prayer and fasting, as well as the 40 days of round-the-clock peaceful prayer vigils at abortion facilities,officials said.There also will be intensive community outreaches designed to draw more people into the effort to defeat abortion in America, which has cost by most estimates more than 40 million lives since it was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade in 1973. The 40 day model was taken from the Bible, where in repeated instances God transformed individuals, cities or nations over a 40-day period.Officials confirm that seven cities already have run individual 40 Day campaigns, with results that range from a 28 percent reduction in abortions to more than 1,000 new volunteers getting involved in the pro-life movement."Forty Days for Life gives people of faith and conscience the opportunity to save lives and make a difference at the grassroots level in their own community,"said Carney."When they join with other cities across America in this fall's campaign, the collective effort has the potential to significantly impact the abortion debate in our nation.It is not about raising money or building a national organization; it is about saving lives in cities and towns all across America."Pro-life leaders in communities across the country who want to join can register online at the campaign's website.Volunteer Director David Bereit told WND earlier that the campaign, during its tenure in College Station, Texas, brought more than 1,000 people into an involvement in the pro-life campaign for the first time."In Dallas,folks confirmed 14 women planning to have an abortion-because of the people outside-changed their minds,"he said.And in Houston area pregnancy centers reported 120 appointments set by women who had abortions scheduled,but did not follow through.This program will be different from most protests,he said,because it is being centered on prayer and fasting"with absolute intensity.""I've been involved in pro-life work for years,"Bereit told WND. "Nothing has caused an impact like this.""The three things that create the most impact are prayer – people of faith united in prayer, the constant vigil outside abortion facilities, 24 hours a day for 40 day, and the incredible amount of community outreach," he said.He said more than 400 communities from 45 states have been given information about how to prepare for the campaign, and Wisconsin leaders have told planners that there already is a team in place with plans to have prayer at every abortion clinic in the state, 24 hours a day, for the full 40 days.
"I can't imagine what kind of an impact that can have," he said.The 40 days is drawn from the 40 days of rain on Noah, the 40 days on Mount Sinai for Moses, David's transformation by Goliath's 40-day challenge, Elijah's 40 days of strength from one meal, and Jesus' 40 days in the desert.
As in the days of Noah...

Former official: China's 'perception management' agenda controls all media

China’s government controls virtually all media outlets to exercise“mind control”and manipulate public opinion, according to testimony by a former state propagandist at a hearing of the U.S-China Economic Security Review Commission last week.Qinglian He testified before the commission on China's “perception management."China’s information control is carried out through controlling editors and reporters.All Chinese media,including newspapers,periodicals, news agencies,TV
stations,broadcasting,the movie industry and art performances,are categorized and managed as“mouthpieces”of the ruling Communist Party.“As part of China’s political institutions,information and mind control has been conducted for more than half century since the Chinese Communist Party took power in 1949,”said He,a former Chinese government propagandist and now a senior researcher at Human Rights in China,."Mind control"includes“indoctrination from kindergarten to college through officially compiled textbooks,as all teachers are categorized as ‘educators of CCP.’”These controls are exercised by the Party’s Central Department of Propaganda,she said.The government disinformation themes include that the US is a “key enemy of China,”that the U.S. intervenes and restrains China and backs independence forces in Taiwan and Tibet, she said.Other disinformation themes include the notion that the U.S. is a world hegemonic power,fears a stronger China and therefore seeks to “contain” China.“Economic reform and Opening Policy from 1979 have never shaken or changed mechanism of the control,”she said.Information control is crucial to communist rule and has been used by Beijing to “to mislead Chinese population from values of human rights and democracy,and from truth as well,”she said.The disinformation themes used by the government include that the US is a “key enemy of China,”that the US intervenes and restrains China, and backs independence forces in Taiwan and Tibet, she said.

As in the days of Noah...

Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

LOS ANGELES-Summer's annual meteor shower promises to put on a dazzling show when it peaks this weekend-provided you're far from city lights.With no moon in sight to interfere with the Perseid meteor shower, skygazers can expect to spot streaking fireballs late Sunday into dawn Monday regardless of time zone. Astronomers estimate as many as 60 meteors per hour could flit across the sky at the shower's peak.This year's sky show comes with an added bonus:Mars will be visible as a bright red dot in the northeastern sky."We have front-row seats this year,"said Kelly Beatty,executive editor of Sky & Telescope magazine.Last year's Perseid shower was somewhat of a dud because the moon's glare washed out many of the faint meteors.This weekend's meteor shower coincides with a new moon,which means the skies will be dark and perfect for viewing meteors.
Experts offer some tips to get the most out of nature's fireworks: Since Perseid meteors can be seen from any direction in the sky,viewers should pick out a dark patch of sky free of light pollution and wait for the meteors to appear.Dim meteors appear as a momentary flash of light while the brighter ones leave a glowing streak.The number of Perseids zipping across the sky should increase steadily through the night,peaking just before sunrise. Although the peak occurs this weekend,the Perseids are visible for several nights after that.
Unlike other celestial sightings that require a telescope or binoculars,the best way to watch a meteor shower is with the naked eye.The Perseids are perhaps the most beloved of all meteor showers because of their predictability.The August shower gets its name from the constellation Perseus because the meteors appear to originate there.The annual Perseid shower occurs when the Earth's orbit crosses the path of debris thrown off by Comet Swift-Tuttle.As the cosmic junk-many the size of a grain of sand-enters the atmosphere,it burns up in a flash,appearing as "shooting stars"across the sky.In the past, the Perseid showers have produced such spectacular displays that people swamped radio stations with reports of a mysterious light in the sky.


As in the days of Noah...

New Israeli highway separates Palestinians

JERUSALEM:Israel is constructing a road through the West Bank, east of Jerusalem, that will allow both Israelis and Palestinians to travel along it - separately.There are two pairs of lanes, one for each tribe, separated by a tall wall of concrete patterned to look like Jerusalem stone, an effort at beautification, indicating that the road is meant to be permanent. The Israeli side has various exits. The Palestinian side has few.The point of the road, according to those who planned it under the previous prime minister, Ariel Sharon, is to permit Israel to build more settlements around east Jerusalem, cutting the city off from the West Bank but allowing Palestinians to travel unimpeded north and south through Israeli-held land."The Americans demanded from Sharon contiguity for a Palestinian state,"said Shaul Arieli, a reserve colonel in the Israeli Army who participated in the 2000 Camp David negotiations and specializes in maps."This road was Sharon's answer, to build a road for Palestinians between Ramallah and Bethlehem but not to Jerusalem," Arieli said."This was how to connect the West Bank while keeping Jerusalem united and not giving Palestinians any blanket permission to enter east Jerusalem."Sharon talked of "transportational contiguity" for Palestinians in a future Palestinian state, meaning that although Israeli settlements would jut into the area, Palestinian cars on the road would pass unimpeded through Israeli-controlled territory and even cross through areas enclosed by the Israeli separation barrier.The vast majority of Palestinians, unlike Israeli settlers, will not be able to exit in areas surrounded by the barrier or enter Jerusalem, even the eastern part, which Israel seized in 1967...
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TVA OKs second Watts Bar nuclear reactor

KNOXVILLE,Tenn.-The Tennessee Valley Authority's board of directors voted unanimously Wednesday to begin a five-year plan to finish a second nuclear reactor at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant on the Tennessee River.The plant, about 50 miles south of Knoxville at Spring City, was the last new nuclear plant to come on line in the United States when it fired up one of its two planned reactors in 1996.The second reactor was mothballed in mid-construction in 1985 when TVA shut down its entire nuclear program over safety concerns.The plan to finish it is expected to cost about $2.5 billion, likely funded by the public utility's revenues and adding debt.It was approved after a $20 million internal study on the feasibility of finishing the reactor determined it was already about 60 percent complete.The reactor will have a capacity of 1,180 megawatts,capable of lighting 650,000 homes,identical to Unit 1.The project would add 250 workers to the Watts Bar station and require about 2,300 construction workers.TVA is the nation's largest public utility, providing wholesale electricity through 158 distributors to about 8.7 million consumers and directly to several dozen large manufacturers in Tennessee,Kentucky,Mississippi,Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.Watts Bar Unit 2 would be TVA's seventh nuclear reactor. The agency recently restarted a Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant reactor in Alabama, also mothballed since 1985, following a $1.8 billion, five-year renovation.Several environmentalists asked TVA directors to delay a vote on Watts Bar Unit 2 for a year to weigh the alternatives, while local government leaders, TVA distributors and major industrial customers, including the Oak Ridge National Laboratory,urged TVA to move ahead.TVA officials didn't discuss the nuclear waste issue. Instead, they pointed to Watts Bar Unit 2's potential to reduce TVA's carbon dioxide emissions by up to 8 million tons a year.TVA Chairman Bill Sansom said the new reactor could put TVA in position to eliminate some dirty coal-fired power plants-TVA has 11 fossil plants on which it is spending some $6 billion to reduce toxic emissions-if demand for electricity fails to meet projections.Currently,TVA is predicting growth in the valley at nearly 2 percent annually.That would require a new nuclear reactor every couple of years unless TVA's new commitments to incentive-driven conservation pan out.TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore said the agency can't afford to wait.TVA expects to spend $1.4 billion of some $9.6 billion in operating expenses next year on buying electricity from other utilities to meet peak needs - up nearly $400,000 from this year."We are 3,500 megawatts in the hole if you start today," he said. "We are going to be another 3,500 megawatts in the hole five years from now. We are going to need this (Watts Bar Unit 2) and all the conservation that you can bring on."Watts Bar has a unique role as the only commercial reactor in the country that also works for the military - making tritium for nuclear weapons for the Department of Energy since 2003. While Watts Bar Unit 2 is not expected to make tritium, security concerns remain for the site, especially during construction involving thousands of workers."There are a lot of people that will be in this fight," said Ann Harris, a former TVA whistleblower at Watts Bar and now an activist with the Sierra Club."The anti-nuclears. The safety advocates.The people who work on
conservation."Opposition to Watts Bar Unit 1 was fierce. Whistleblower complaints forced large amounts of cabling and piping to be replaced, delaying the reactor and driving the cost to $7 billion. Protesters blocked plant entrances and demonstrators were removed from TVA board meetings.Watts Bar Unit 2 has a construction permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that will have to be renewed in 2010. Then TVA will have to secure an operating license.
As in the days of Noah...

Israel Watch:Syrian Missile Power

One of the greatest military threat to Israel is Syrian missiles and rockets. Syria recently test-fired two Scud-D surface-to-surface missiles, which have a range of about 250 miles, covering most Israeli territory. Syria has 222, 302, and even 600 millimeter rockets that can carry hundreds of kilograms of explosives – up to 500 – and can reach Tel Aviv. Dozens of launchers have already been deployed on the Golan and they can fire, in one barrage, hundreds of such rockets. This comes in addition to the various types of Scud missiles positioned deep within Syrian territory and capable of hitting southern Israel.The Arrow missile is supposed to intercept the Scuds. Yet at this time, the IDF has no good technological response to the heavy rockets.Syria recently acquired and deployed Chinese-made C-802 missiles, which were successfully used against the Israeli navy during Israel's war against Hezbollah one year ago. Israeli security officials said The missiles were passed to Syria by Iran.Syria is also known to have SCUD missiles armed with lethal VX-Gas. North Korea is said to have supplied Syria with both technology and equipment for the VX program.
As in the days of Noah...

Silent Service:Subs In Action

They're silent and quite deadly, packing a massive nuclear punch.

Check out these amazing images of Navy submarines in action.

As in the days of Noah...

BIG BROTHER WATCH:Not So Fast E-Z Pass Data Used To Catch Cheaters

TRENTON, N.J. There's some potentially troubling and telling news for all you motorists out there who may be taking the Turnpike for the worst crime in marriage: cheating on your significant other.E-ZPass and other electronic toll collection systems are emerging as a powerful means of proving infidelity. That's because when your spouse doesn't know where you've been, E-ZPass does. "E-ZPass is an E-ZPass to go directly to divorce court, because it's an easy way to show you took the off-ramp to adultery," said Jacalyn Barnett, a New York divorce lawyer who has used E-ZPass records a few times. Lynne Gold-Bikin, a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer, said E-ZPass helped prove a client's husband was being unfaithful: "He claimed he was in a business meeting in Pennsylvania. And I had records to show he went to New Jersey that night." Generally mounted inside a vehicle's windshield behind the rearview mirror, E-ZPass devices communicate with antennas at toll plazas, automatically deducting money from the motorist's prepaid account. Of the 12 states in the Northeast and Midwest that are part of the E-ZPass system, agencies in seven states provide electronic toll information in response to court orders in criminal and civil cases, including divorces, according to an Associated Press survey. In four of the 12 states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, highway authorities release E-ZPass records only in criminal cases. West Virginia parkways authority has no policy. (Divorce attorneys in some cases can still obtain toll records from the other spouse rather than a highway agency.) The Illinois Tollway, which hands over toll records, received more than 30 such subpoenas the first half of this year, with about half coming from civil cases, including divorces, according to Joelle McGinnis, an agency spokeswoman. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority said it turns down about 30 subpoenas in civil cases every year, about half of them divorces. Electronic toll records have also proved useful in criminal cases. They played a role in the murder case against Melanie McGuire, a New Jersey nurse convicted in April of killing her husband and tossing his cut-up remains into the Chesapeake Bay in three matching suitcases in 2004. Prosecutors used toll records to reconstruct her movements. Davy Levy, a Chicago divorce lawyer for more than 30 years, said toll records from I-Pass (part of the E-ZPass system) are useful in catching a spouse in a lie. "You bring up the I-Pass records and it destroys credibility," said Levy, who has used such records two or three times for such purposes. The E-ZPass network covers about half the East Coast and part of the Midwest, with about 2 billion charges per year. That can mean a lot of records. One of the busiest toll plazas in New Jersey, the Garden State Parkway's southbound Raritan plaza, gets about 90,000 E-ZPass hits per day. Some worry that using those records for other purposes is a violation of drivers' privacy. "When you're marketed for this new convenience, you may not realize there are these types of costs," said Nicole Ozer of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. Bob Barr, a former Republican congressman from Georgia turned Libertarian and privacy rights advocate, said people who want to protect their privacy shouldn't use electronic toll systems. "People are foolish to buy into these systems without thinking, just because they want to save 20 seconds of time going through a toll booth," he said.

As in the days of Noah...

Lutheran Gay Clergy Debate Prolonged

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America delayed further talks on whether to ordain non-celibate homosexual clergy after two days of emotional debate.While supporters of gay and lesbian clergy in committed relationships are calling for a decision now during ELCA's Churchwide Assembly, particularly to lift the current ban that's in place, opponents say a sudden decision could be risky."Throughout 18 years, this church has chosen not to make decisions on separate and particular elements of sexuality," said Bishop Gregory Pile of the Allegheny Synod, according to The Chicago Tribune. "It has continued to call for a broad and thorough conversation leading up to a proposed statement in 2009."With discussion on gay ordination scheduled to continue on Friday, voting members of the nation's largest Lutheran denomination decided on Thursday to refer memorials on the blessing of same-sex unions to the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality.The church task force is charged with drafting a social statement about human sexuality by 2009."I don't believe that a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ at this Assembly will be helpful to us when so many in our church are expecting a social statement of some sort in 2009," said the Rev. Leonard H. Bolick, bishop of the North Carolina Synod, according to the ELCA News Service. "That social statement, it seems to me, would be very helpful in guiding conversation, in explaining what we have done, a spring board for our deliberations."After voting in 2005 to maintain its ban against non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy, the issue was not expected to be debated again until the social statement was concocted in 2009. The statement is to be based on a comprehensive study that collected responses from congregants across the denomination since 2001.A third of the ELCA's regional governing bodies, or synods, have pushed for a proposal this year that would permit gay and lesbian clergy in committed relationships to servecongregations. But conservatives argue that a decision preceding the social statement would be premature.
Earlier at the biennial churchwide assembly, which is being held in Chicago, more than 80 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered Lutheran ministers "came out," declaring their sexuality on Tuesday. Most of the pastors, some of whom were removed from the roster, have been open with their congregations about their sexuality."The courage of these 82 ministers is amazing," said Emily Eastwood, executive director of Lutherans Concerned in North America, a ministry that works for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Lutherans in all aspects of the life of their Church and congregations. "They are all well aware of the risks they take in introducing themselves and their families to the wider church. For those who are rostered leaders in the ELCA, they risk discipline from their bishops, discipline which may include formal ecclesiastical charges, a trial and ultimate removal."The Rev. Bradley Schmeling, an Atlanta pastor who was removed from the church roster last month after announcing that he found a lifelong partner, was among the 82 protesting the current ELCA policy that requires LGBT ministers to remain celibate.On Thursday, Schmeling and hundreds of other gay-rights advocates held a separate service at a nearby hotel in hopes of a decision that night that would lift the ban. The stalled debate disappointed the gay-rights crowd, according to The Chicago Tribune.A motion Thursday to continue debate on the homosexuality issue for the rest of the night and postpone items on the agenda that were scheduled was not approved by a two-thirds majority and discussion was discontinued until Friday.
As in the days of Noah...


It's not the kind of headline you read every day in the Washington Post: “‘Armageddon’ Plan Was Put Into Action on 9/11.”
Armageddon Plan? The U.S. government has an Armageddon Plan? Yes it does, so we have just learned. It’s a program signed to ensure that the federal government would continue to function in the aftermath of a nuclear attack. And it went into effect on September 11, 2001...
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NWO WATCH:William Hague condemns EU treaty

The new European Union treaty contains only 10 changes to the 250 proposals originally outlined in the former EU constitution, according to the first authoritative analysis of the English translation published yesterday.
*Telegraph EU referendum petition
A guide to the treaty, produced by the Conservatives, shows that, apart from presentational changes, the constitution had been brought back with a sweeping transfer of powers to Brussels over 90 per cent intact.William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, said it was "the EU constitution by another name" - after the original version was rejected by voters in France and Holland two years ago.He quoted Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Spanish foreign minister, who reportedly said: "The wrapping has been changed, but not the content", while Bertie Ahern, the Taoiseach, said: "Thankfully, they haven't changed the substance - 90 per cent is still there."According to the Tory analysis, the new treaty will create an EU president; an EU foreign minister in all but name with a diplomatic service; a single legal personality, enabling the EU to sign treaties; new powers for the European Commission, Court of Justice and European Parliament and 60 vetoes lost.Mr Hague said the Government's so-called "red lines", protecting vital national interests, were badly holed. Foreign policy protection was based on a declaration, which was not legally binding and might be meaningless.The charter of fundamental rights might still be applied by via judgments by EU judges. The EU would gain powers on criminal law, including a European arrest warrant, and a European "FBI".Mr Hague said the Conservatives would campaign "energetically" for a referendum. He praised The Daily Telegraph's campaign for a referendum, which has been signed by 40,700 people since it was launched. "By any honest analytical standards, this treaty will mean, if it is enacted, a major transfer of powers from Britain to the EU," he said.It was "overwhelmingly the same" as the former constitution, which Labour's 2005 election manifesto promised would be put to the British people in a referendum.Mr Hague said the Government now claimed a referendum was not necessary because all its red lines had been met. But they were the same red lines that were in the previous constitution, which Labour acknowledged should be put to a vote.The new treaty is due to be agreed by EU leaders in October - nine working days after Parliament resumes after the long summer recess.Mr Hague said Gordon Brown wanted to get the new treaty through Parliament "on the quiet" and with the minimum public debate. "He wants this out of the way."However, the Conservatives were determined to ensure that the treaty was debated "as thoroughly and exhaustively" as Commons rules allowed.A separate study for Global Vision, which wants looser ties with Brussels, claimed that Labour had failed to stop EU tax harmonisation projects.
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As in the days of Noah...

Fossils paint messy picture

Washington-Surprising fossils dug up in Africa are creating messy kinks in the iconic straight line of human evolution from knuckle-dragging ape to briefcase-carrying man.The new research-by famed palaeontologist Meave Leakey in Kenya - shows the human family tree is more like a wayward bush with stubby branches, calling into question the evolution of our ancestors.The old theory was that the first and oldest species in our family tree,Homo habilis,evolved into Homo erectus,which then became us,Homo sapiens.But those two earlier species lived side-by-side about 1.5 million years ago in parts of Kenya for at least half a million years,Leakey and colleagues report in a paper published in Thursday's journal Nature.In 2000 Leakey found an old H erectus complete skull within walking distance of an upper jaw of the H habilis, and both dated from the same general time period.That makes it unlikely that H erectus evolved from H habilis,researchers said.It is the equivalent of finding that your grandmother and great-grandmother were sisters rather than mother-daughter,said study co-author Fred Spoor,a professor of evolutionary anatomy at the University College in London.The two species lived near each other,but probably did not interact with each other,each having their own "ecological niche",Spoor said.Homo habilis was likely more vegetarian and Homo erectus ate some meat,he said.Like chimps and apes,"they'd just avoid each other,they don't feel comfortable in each other's company",he said.
'Still-undiscovered common ancestor'
They have some still-undiscovered common ancestor that probably lived two million to three million years ago, a time that has not left much fossil record, Spoor said.Overall what it paints for human evolution is a "chaotic kind of looking evolutionary tree rather than this heroic march that you see with the cartoons of an early ancestor evolving into some intermediate and eventually unto us",Spoor said in a phone interview from a field office of the Koobi ForaResearch Project in northern Kenya.That old evolutionary cartoon, while popular with the general public, keeps getting proven wrong and too simple, said Bill Kimbel, who praised the latest findings. He is science director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University and was not involved in the research team."The more we know, the more complex the story gets," he said. Scientists used to think H sapiens evolved from Neanderthals, he said, but now know that both species lived during the same time period and that we did not come from Neanderthals.Now a similar discovery applies further back in time.Leakey's team spent seven years analysing the fossils before announcing their findings that it was time to redraw the family tree - and rethink other ideas about human evolutionary history, especially about our most immediate ancestor, H erectus.Because the H erectus skull Leakey recovered was much smaller than others, scientists had to first prove that it was erectus, and not another species nor a genetic freak. The jaw, probably from an 18- or 19-year-old female, was adult and showed no signs of any type of malformations or genetic mutations, Spoor said. The scientists also know it is not H habilis from several distinct features on the jaw.
Reproduced with multiple partners
That caused researchers to re-examine the 30 other erectus skulls they have and the dozens of partial fossils. They realized that the females of that species are much smaller than the males - something different from modern man, but similar to other animals, said study co-author Susan Anton, a New York University anthropologist.Scientists had not looked carefully enough before to see that there was a distinct difference in males and females.Difference in size between males and females seem to be related to monogamy, the researchers said. Primate species that have same-sized males and females, such as gibbons, tend to be more monogamous. Species that are not monogamous, such as gorillas and baboons, have much bigger males.This suggests that our ancestor H erectus reproduced with multiple partners.The H habilis jaw was dated at 1.44 million years ago. That is the youngest ever found from a species that scientists originally figured died off somewhere between 1.7 and 2 million years ago, Spoor said.It enabled scientists to say that H erectus and H habilis lived at the same time.All the changes to human evolutionary thought should not be considered a weakness in the theory of evolution, Kimbel said. Rather, those are the predictable results of getting more evidence, asking smarter questions and forming better theories, he said.
As in the days of Noah...

Global warming? Not so fast

Paris - Massive floods, blistering heatwaves and bizarre cold snaps since the start of the year may not be the result of climate change, but extreme weather has become more frequent, some scientists say.The UN's World Meteorological Organisation has reported on findings that "there is an increasing trend in extreme events observed during the last 50 years".It adds that "weather and climate are marked by record extremes in many regions across the world since January 2007".Examples are not hard to find.
The death toll from the worst monsoon floods to hit South Asia in decades passed 2 000 on Thursday, while Britain's recent floods were the country's worst for 60 years.Southern Europe has dealt with record temperatures this summer in a brutal heatwave, South Africa has seen unusually heavy snowfall and the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires got snow for the first time in 89 years.Cyclone Gonu, the first documented tropical cyclone in the Arabian Sea, hit Oman and Iran in June, causing 50 deaths.
A controversial matter
But establishing a link between climate change and extreme weather is a controversial matter.
The UN's weather agency says its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that "the warming of the climate is unequivocal". Preliminary observations indicated global land surface temperatures in January and April reached the highest levels ever recorded for those months, it said."Climate change projections indicate it to be very likely that hot extremes, heatwaves and heavy precipitation events will continue to become more frequent," it said recently.A study by researchers from the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research and the Georgia Institute of Technology says about twice as many Atlantic hurricanes form each year on average than a century ago.It blames warmer sea surface temperatures and altered wind patterns associated with global climate change for "fuelling much of the increase", the centre said in a statement.But scientists caution there is not enough evidence to blame global warming for recent extreme weather, and there are those who say there is no proof that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent.Barry Gromett of Britain's Met Office weather service said much of the extreme weather was down to variability in the climate, which is affected by greenhouse gases but also other factors such as El Nino.
Many different facets
El Nino events are when drastic changes in sea temperatures in tropical areas affect atmospheric pressure in the Pacific Ocean region, having a knock-on effect on rainfall."There's a danger in taking isolated incidents in any given year and attributing this to something like climate change," he said."It's really important to look for trends over a longer period of time. More heat equals more moisture equals probably higher rains, so in that respect some of it ties in quite nicely (with climate change)."But there are many different facets that appear to contradict each other."A study by British Met Office experts released on Thursday found that natural weather variations actually helped offset the effects of global warming the past couple of years, but with temperatures set to rise to new records beginning in 2009.Jean Jouzel, a climatologist who represents France on the IPCC, said "several more years would be needed to establish a link, or to not establish a link, between these extremes and global warming"."Are the extremes really changing? It's not so simple, because by definition, the extremes are rare events, and to come up with statistics, some hindsight is needed,"he added.
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Peace talks are 'fantasies'

Jerusalem - The Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot quoted Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Friday as calling recent peace moves with the Palestinians "fantasies" and saying Israel would not withdraw from the West Bank for another five years at least.The comments were attributed to Barak in "private conversations".If accurate, they are surprising because Barak heads the dovish Labor Party and tried to reach a dramatic peace deal with the Palestinians seven years ago, when he served as prime minister.Barak's office would not comment on the Yediot report."Israelis have healthy intuition. They can't be fed more fantasies about an upcoming agreement with the Palestinians," Barak is quoted as saying.Israel won't be able to pull out of the West Bank before it develops a technological response to rockets fired by Palestinian militants and more advanced missiles from Iran - a process that will take between three and five years, Barak said, according to the report.Palestinian militants regularly launch rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip. But if fired from the West Bank, the rockets could threaten the country's population centres and paralyse its only airport outside of Tel Aviv.The Israeli army will not leave the West Bank "at least in the next five years," Barak is quoted as saying.Mideast peace moves have been jump-started in the past two months, as Israel and the international community scramble to shore up moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the aftermath of the take-over of Gaza by his rivals from the Islamic group Hamas in mid-June. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been holding regular meetings with Abbas and has ordered the release of Palestinian prisoners and the transfer of frozen Palestinian tax funds in an attempt to bolster him.Barak is dismissive of Olmert's recent efforts, according to the Yediot report, referring to them as "packaging," and asserting that Abbas is incapable of taking control of the West Bank and providing security there.
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NIGERIA: More floods expected as emergency response struggles

LAGOS-Already struggling to help the many flooded communities around the country, Nigeria's emergency response agency warned the nation on Thursday that the height of the rainy season has still not arrived and that people should brace themselves for more floods
ahead.The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is preparing for more flood emergencies, the director General Audu Bida told reporters in Abuja on Thursday but said that local governments needed to improve their preparedness also."Emergency management must be seen as a collective responsibility and not just the function of NEMA," Audu said.At least 26 people have killed in the last month by floods; thousands more have been left homeless. UN aid officials told IRIN that despite NEMA's best efforts to help the affected communities, most of the latest victims have not received assistance promptly. "In all the cases we've had so far it's always the Red Cross that is the first to get there," said a senior UN humanitarian official who asked not to be named when discussing the institutions the government.Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state, where 22 people were killed in floods early this week, has appealed to Nigeria's president Umaru Yar'Adua to direct NEMA to come to his state's assistance."We are trying to see how we can get some more sleeping and other relief materials to ameliorate people's suffering because right now the weather is very cold and people need food in the various camps," Jang told reporters after a meeting with President Yar'Adua in Abuja on Thursday.Jang said there were displaced people camped on both sides of the Wase River and the bridge across the river had washed away.The floods in the past two weeks have been the worst Nigeria has experienced for several years. And with more rains expected for the next three months the experts say even more severe flooding can be expected.Particularly at risk are towns and settlements lying close to rivers and streams, especially those lying downstream from dams on the country's major waterways, including the Niger, Benue, Kaduna and Ogun rivers."Dam failure or levee breeches can occur with little warning," NEMA warned in its latest disaster information bulletin. "Intense storms may produce a flood in a few hours or even minutes for upstream locations, flash floods occur within six hours of the beginning of heavy rainfall, and dam failure may occur within hours of the first signs of breaching."The agency said it was working with local authorities on issuing early warnings to downstream communities to enable them to evacuate ahead of any disaster.
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Japan, U.S. Sign Military Data Pact

TOKYO-Japan and the US signed a pact Friday aimed at protecting military data and enhancing the flow of information between the two allies, Japan's government said.The agreement calls on the two governments to provide one another with information and protect it within the boundaries of each country's laws, the Foreign Ministry said.The General Security of Military Information Agreement imposes tight controls on accessing and handling classified information from one another's militaries.Private military contractors are also required to sign agreements aimed at keeping restricted information secret.Japan and the U.S. have been discussing increased information-sharing since October 2005, when they signed a draft agreement on realigning U.S. forces stationed in Japan.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought to bolster the country's defense coordination with the U.S., which has some 50,000 troops on bases here.As part of that effort, the Japanese government has said it supports tighter secrecy laws to protect leaks of information, a key concern in Washington.Those concerns were heightened earlier this year when secret information regarding the advanced AEGIS radar system was leaked on computers within Japan's navy.The extent of that leak has not been disclosed, but U.S. and Japanese officials have voiced the need for greater security.Japan has been testing opinions in Washington on the possibility of purchasing the latest stealth F-22, but Congress has repeatedly banned the sale or license of the "Raptor" to foreign governments, largely to safeguard its advanced technology.
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