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

Friday, November 9, 2007

80,000 attend anti-Chavez march; 8 hurt in clashes

University leaders accused the Venezuelan government of provoking violence to justify military occupations of campuses where students are leading Gunmen opened fire on students returning from a peaceful march Wednesday in which 80,000 people denounced a constitutional referendum planned for December that would expand Chavez's power. At least eight people were injured, including one by gunfire, officials said. Higher Education Minister Luis Acuna offered Wednesday to send in troops to quell the violence, but university authorities quickly rejected the offer as an attempted power grab."We won't fall into the trap," Eleazar Narvaez, rector of the Central University of Venezuela, said Thursday.Chavez opponents say the president has long wanted to end the autonomy of Venezuela's public universities, most of which are run by opposition rectors who defeated Chavista candidates in campus elections.Street demonstrations led by university students have spread to at least six cities around Venezuela, and organizers vowed to continue protesting despite crackdowns by security forces and clashes with government supporters. The marches have been mostly peaceful, although there have been several clashes in which students threw rocks and police shot plastic bullets at demonstrators.On Wednesday, photographers for The Associated Press saw at least four gunmen - their faces covered by ski masks or T-shirts - firing handguns at a crowd of government opponents returning to the Central University of Venezuela from the march.Justice Minister Pedro Carreno blamed students, opposition leaders and the media for the violence."We want to urge the media to reflect, to stop broadcasting biased news through media manipulation, filling a part of the population with hate," Carreno said in a national address.But faculty president Victor Marquez accused Chavez's government of provoking the violence at Venezuela's largest university by sending in armed Chavista militias."Pedro Carreno lies by saying students spurred the violence. They know perfectly well where the violence is coming from," Alvarez said at a news conference. He said three pro-Chavez militias - the Colectivo Alexis Vive, Los Carapaicas, and Los Tupamaros - were being encouraged to attack protesters."These are the ones responsible, the government's paramilitary groups," he said.Washington is watching - and weighed in against the violence on Thursday."I can't tell you exactly who is responsible for this, but it's just an appalling act and just another indication of the kind of atmosphere that you see in Venezuela," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. "These people were expressing themselves in a peaceful manner."Globovision, Venezuela's only private television network that remains openly critical of Chavez, broadcast video of armed men riding motorcycles onto the campus and entering the same building where several gunmen who had shot at the crowd were hiding. The pistol-toting men stood in a doorway - one of them firing a handgun in the air - as people fled the building.Later, state TV showed footage of angry anti-Chavez students - many of them with their faces covered by T-shirts - setting fire to benches and throwing rocks at the university building before the armed men on motorcycles arrived."The Colectivo Alexis Vive, a group of delinquents paid and armed by the government, was allowed to attack students," student leader Ricardo Sanchez said, according to Thursday's El Universal newspaper.Students met Thursday to plan how to keep up street demonstrations that have spread to the cities of Merida, Maracaibo, Puerto La Cruz, San Cristobal and Barquisimeto.At issue are 69 constitutional amendments, approved for the Dec. 2 referendum by the overwhelmingly Chavista National Assembly, that would let Chavez run for re-election indefinitely, suspend civil liberties during states of emergency, censor the news media and take complete control over the national bank. protests against President Hugo Chavez.

As in the days of Noah...

Russia 'slow' to act on anti-Semitism

A leading US-based Jewish organization criticized Russian authorities Friday for a "slow" response to xenophobia and anti-Semitism amid mounting hate crimes and a spate of ultranationalist demonstrations.Thousands of extreme nationalists and white supremacists marched Sunday in Moscow and other cities for the third straight year on National Unity Day, a public holiday the Kremlin inaugurated in 2005 to replace traditional celebrations of the 1917 Bolshevik rise to power. "The manifestation on Unity Day certainly was a wake-up call," Abraham Foxman, national director of the New York-based Anti-Defamation League said during a visit to Moscow. "We are concerned."The implementation of law and order has been somewhat slow," Foxman told The Associated Press. "Are there arrests, prosecutions and convictions?"At least 10 Jews have been assaulted in Russia this year, compared to the "usual" five to seven cases in recent years, said Alexander Verkhovsky, of the human rights group Sova, which monitors hate crimes.The attacks represent a fraction of hate crimes the group has registered this year. About 50 people, mostly immigrants and migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus Mountain region, have been killed and more than 400 assaulted, he said. Anti-Semitism is also manifested through occasional vandalism of synagogues and cemeteries, derogatory graffiti and accusatory publications. "There is a lot of anti-Semitic writing in Russia," Verkhovsky said.According to varying estimates, between 300,000 and 1.5 million Jews live in the nation of 142 million. After an exodus in the years before and after 1991 Soviet collapse, the Jewish community is experiencing a moderate revival, with new synagogues, schools and cultural centers built throughout the country.In Czarist times, Russia had the world's largest Jewish population - the source of some of the most distinctive theological and cultural traditions of modern Jewry, and also the target of anti-Semitic attacks. In the Communist era, thousands of Jews were imprisoned or executed as part of nationwide purges, and many more had to hide their identity."They were forced away from their Jewish roots and faced forced assimilation," said Foxman, 67, who survived the Holocaust in Poland.Russia's government has broken with a long history of official anti-Semitism."Anti-Semitism has no support in the government and therefore is doomed to fail in Russia," said Mikhail Savin, spokesman for the Russian Jewish Congress.But Foxman's concern about the response to anti-Semitism and other forms of xenophobia came amid persistent criticism from activists who say the government is not doing enough to decrease prejudice and stem hate crimes.During the Sunday ultranationalist march in central Moscow, leaders of far-right groups have accused the Kremlin of siding with "Jewish oligarchs" and shouted anti-Semitic epithets.

As in the days of Noah....


"Confess your faults one to another,and pray one for another,that ye may be healed.The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
JAMES 5:16

'Israel and US sharing intel on Iran'

An Israeli team headed by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz met Thursday with a US team headed by Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns to discuss the threats posed by Iran and Hizbullah.Israel said the sides agreed to set up two sub-groups, one focused on rallying support for sanctions against Iran and the other on sharing intelligence on Iran. The Israeli statement said the next talks would take place in January, in Israel.Prior to the meeting, Mofaz told reporters that arms smuggling into Lebanon was continuing apace, and that Hizbullah was stronger than it was before the 2006 war. He added that Iran had armed its Lebanese proxy with longer-range missiles."The US and Israeli teams discussed Iran's destabilizing regional impact," a joint statement said afterwards."They shared their latest assessments of Iran's nuclear program and diplomatic efforts underway to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The two governments also discussed the situation in Lebanon, including the need for full implementation of UNSC Resolution 1701 (the Security Council resolution that ended the war Hizbullah launched against Israel in 2006), and next steps in the international community's common efforts to prevent the rearming of Hizbullah."

As in the days of Noah....

PESTILENCE WATCH:Plague Likely Killed Biologist, Say Officials

PHOENIX-A wildlife biologist at Grand Canyon National Park likely died from the plague through his exposure to wild animals that can carry the disease, the National Park Service said Friday.Eric York, 37, was found dead in his home Nov. 2. Following his death, about 30 people who came in contact with him were given antibiotics as a precaution.While authorities were uncertain about how York became infected, officials said that the biologist was at a greater risk to the sometimes-fatal disease through his exposure to wild rodents and mountain lions.Park Service officials initially said they suspected the plague or hantavirus, another sometimes-fatal disease endemic to the Southwest, because of York's interests and hobbies.Health officials in Arizona warned in September that the plague appeared to be on the rise and that more cases were likely after an Apache County woman was infected with the disease.While Arizona health officials say the disease appears to be on the rise in the state, CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell said plague cases weren't on the rise nationally.Plague is transmitted primarily by fleas and direct contact with infected animals. When the disease causes pneumonia, it can be transmitted from an infected person to a non-infected person by airborne cough droplets.Cases are treatable with antibiotics, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that up to 50 percent are fatal if the disease causes pneumonia. The Coconino County Medical Examiner has said York's lungs were filled with fluid and his body showed signs of pneumonia.

As in the days of Noah...

Hindu Paganism is Alive and Well at Shorter College

According to its Mission Statement, Shorter College of Rome, Georgia:
...affirms a commitment to the Christian faith and strives to integrate Christian values within a nurturing community in its whole process of education" (http://www.shorter.edu/about/mission.htm ).In his Welcome Letter to Shorter students, President Harold E. Newman, states that:
"Shorter College is proud to be 'A Christian College Committed to Excellence in Education.' Through our traditional programs in Rome and our adult-degree classes in Atlanta and Rome, Shorter is a place where the mind and spirit intersect through intentional study and dialogue."Shorter's Student Ministries, which includes Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Shorter Christian Association, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, maintains that:
We are here to provide spiritual guidance for the college community. Committed to the Christian faith, the Office of Campus Ministries coordinates opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to participate in Christian activities/ministries on and off the campus. Worship, Bible Studies, community ministries, summer missions & mission trips, family groups, and fellowships are just a few of many ways students can be involved.Therefore, according to Shorter's Mission Statement, the President's statement, and statements by on-campus student ministries, Shorter College is a "Christian College" that "affirms a commitment to the Christian faith," and provides "spiritual guidance for the college community." So far so good. Now, let's take a look on the inside.A view from the inside:While affirming a commitment to Christianity, integrating Christian values, and providing spiritual guidance to the Shorter community, Hindu paganism is alive and well at Shorter College. As of this writing, site-searches on Shorter's website netted the following references to Yoga.
by Bud Press
Christian Research Service
Click here to read the rest of this article.
As in the days of Noah....

The Emerging Church and the Woman at the Well

If you listen to the emergent conversation long enough, you will hear a recurring theme: Christians are wrong to confront unbelievers head on with the Word of God. We should instead lay aside our desire to preach or share the truths from the Word and spend more time developing relationships and friendships with the unchurched (a politically correct name for unsaved). They often use Jesus as an example, saying He did not confront people but always accepted them for who they were. One example is in Dan Kimball's 2007 book, They Like Jesus but Not the Church. In his chapter titled "The Church Arrogantly Claims All Other Religions are Wrong," Kimball refers to the story where Jesus is sitting near a well by Himself (the disciples have gone to the nearby town), and he talks to a Samaritan woman. Kimball alters the story by saying:
He [Jesus] stopped and asked questions of the Samaritan woman (John 4) and didn't just jump in and say, "Samaritans are all wrong."But Kimball is wrong. Jesus did the exact opposite! He didn't ask her any questions, and he confronted her straight on--something Kimball says (throughout his book) is a terrible thing to do to an unbeliever. Listen to Jesus' words to the woman:
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. (John 4:21-26)Kimball largely bases his premise on the reasoning that Christians should not do or say anything that might offend unbelievers, even if that anything is truth and Scripture. The fact is, Jesus did confront people with the truth, as did His disciples (as well as the Old Testament prophets). And why did He? He told the woman at the well the reason:
Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (John 4:10)There is no question about it, the Word of God is offensive to the unbeliever just as I Corinthians 1:18 states:
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.And again in II Corinthians 2:15-16, when Paul explains the attitude he encountered when witnessing to unbelievers:
For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.If Paul had been adjusting (contextualizing) the Word of God to fit the culture and context of the lives of those he spoke to, he would not have said "the aroma of death leading to death." He took the spiritual state of these people very seriously, and he had full confidence that God's Word, unaltered and unchanged, could reach into the heart and soul of any person who would receive Christ by faith. Whether a person is young, mentally challenged, or of a different culture or ethnic group, the Gospel is God's Gospel, and He made it so that all who receive it by faith will understand His love and forgiveness and have eternal life. (This has been an excerpt from Faith Undone, pp. 45-47.)
by Roger Oakland

As in the days of Noah...

DECEPTION WATCH:Prayer Labyrinth on the Campus of Eastern Mennonite

LTRP Note: Labyrinths are part of the present day contemplative prayer movement. They have their roots in pagan history as we have documented at Lighthouse Trails Research. The article below is another example how mysticism is entering Christianity.
"Following the path of prayer: Labyrinth dedicated at EMU"
By Laura Lehman Amstutz
Eastern Mennonite University
HARRISONBURG, Va. - Building a prayer labyrinth on the campus of Eastern Mennonite University has been a 15-year dream for professor of spiritual formation Wendy Miller. On Oct. 13, that dream came true as Miller and others dedicated the prayer labyrinth on the hill northwest of the Eastern Mennonite Seminary building."Building the labyrinth was a bit like a labyrinth itself," Miller said at the dedication ceremony. "There were all kinds of twists and turns."Even though we knew we were moving forward, it wasn't always obvious that we were moving toward the center."From the dream, spawned by Miller and a number of seminary students, others began to get excited about the idea. Brian Martin Burkholder, campus pastor at EMU, had been thinking about how the university might best use some grant money to facilitate spiritual formation in an ongoing way.Click here to read more.

As in the days of Noah....

Australia told to brace for cyclone season

AUSTRALIA should brace itself for the worst tropical cyclone season since 1998/1999, a leading catastrophe forecaster warned today.Either five or six tropical storms will hit Australia this season, which lasts from November 1 to April 30, according to a prediction by UK-based Tropical Storm Risk (TSR).The Australia region, which includes nearby islands in the southwest Pacific, is likely to see 13 tropical storms, seven of which will develop into severe tropical cyclones, TSR predicted.TSR is a consortium of weather experts at University College London and the UK's Meteorological Office, backed by insurer Royal & Sun Alliance, reinsurance broker Benfield Group and claims adjuster Crawford & Company.The reason for the higher cyclone activity is La Nina conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean, pushing sea surface temperatures there to their coldest since 1999, which helps create above-normal tropical storm activity, TSR said.This season will not be as bad as 1998/1999, said TSR, when the region saw 16 tropical storms, 10 of which developed into severe tropical cyclones.Tropical storms can wreak havoc. Tropical Cyclone Larry, which battered northern Queensland in March 2006, left 7000 homeless and 50,000 homes without power.TSR said it has correctly predicted severe tropical cyclone activity for the past seasons.

As in the days of Noah...

Finland in mourning after fatal school shooting

TUUSULA, Finland-Flags in Finland were flying at half-staff Thursday and government workers observed three minutes of silence a day after a teenager opened fire at his high school, killing eight people before fatally turning the gun on himself. Police probing Finland's first known school shooting said Thursday that a picture was emerging of the gunman as a lonely, antisocial 18-year-old who acted alone and left a suicide note saying good-bye to his family, but that his motive was unclear.Police said the victims-all of whom were from the school-were apparently picked at random. Six were students, one was the 61-year-old school headmistress and one was the 42-year-old school nurse.Ten other people were wounded in the attack.Jokela High School was closed for the rest of the week, but some of the 460 students gathered there overnight and into Thursday, crying and lighting candles for the victims.Police identified the gunman as Pekka-Eric Auvinen, a senior at the high school in the southern Finnish town of Tuusula, about 30 miles north of Helsinki. Auvinen died at a Helsinki hospital late Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.Police said all of his victims had multiple gunshot wounds, most to the upper body and head. Police said they found 69 shells and more than 320 unused bullets at the scene.Chief Inspector Tero Haapala told Finnish news agency STT that Auvinen was determined to kill as many people as he could before turning the pistol on himself. Haapala said everything suggested Auvinen wanted the massacre to be as spectacular as possible, according to STT.At a news conference Thursday, police said Auvinen had sprayed a flammable liquid, possibly lamp oil, on the walls of the school and that he tried but failed to light it.Students and police painted a picture of panic at the school during the attack, which started around 11:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m. ET). Students said that the principal ordered everyone to stay in their classrooms, but many thought it was just a drill.Students said that, as word spread that a gunman was moving through the school, they were told to barricade themselves in classrooms, lie on the floor down and wait for help. For 40 minutes, many lay in fear as the gunman moved through all three floors of the school.Police said that, when they arrived just before noon (5a.m. ET), they found students trying to scramble out of windows; officers broke down doors to help students escape.Police said that, when they first made contact with Auvinen, they told him to drop his gun, but he responded with fire. Fearful of hitting others, police did not fire back, they said.Police said they found Auvinen a little more than an hour later, just after 1p.m. (6a.m. ET).
A search of his house turned up books and the gunman's writings, which suggest he had "very strong opinions against society," police said.Authorities were also investigating notes and videos Auvinen had posted on YouTube, the online video-sharing site. Most of the videos indicated a fascination with violence and some hinted at the massacre itself.Hours before the shooting, a video titled "Jokela High School Massacre-11/7/2007" was posted on the YouTube site by someone who identified himself as Auvinen.In rambling text posted on the site two weeks before the shooting, Auvinen called himself "a cynical existentialist, anti-human humanist, anti-social social-Darwinist, realistic idealist and god-like atheist.""I am prepared to fight and die for my cause," he wrote. "I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection."The Jokela High School clip was one of about 80 videos posted on the site by Auvinen. In the video, a picture of the school disintegrates to reveal an image of a man resembling Auvinen against a red background, pointing a gun at the screen.
The clip was accompanied by the track "Stray Bullet" by the rock band KMFDM, whose lyrics were also quoted by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the students behind the Columbine High School massacre of 1999 in the United States.The YouTube site also included video of the Columbine shootings and the 1993 Waco siege in the United States, the 1995 sarin gas attack in Tokyo and bombs falling on Baghdad during the 2003 invasion.Other video clips included Nazi war criminals.Police said they had not known about the videos before the shootings. YouTube took them down within hours of the shooting.The gunman, who had no criminal record, obtained a license for the weapon on October 19, four months after his 18th birthday-the legal age limit for owning a firearm in Finland.He practiced sharp-shooting as a hobby at a shooting range in Finland, police said.Finland enjoys a strong tradition of hunting and has a high proportion of gun ownership, with 2 million firearms owned in a nation of 5 million people.Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said the shooting had inflicted a "deep wound" on the nation's sense of security. President Tarja Halonen called the attack "shocking and tragic."Sweden's King Carl Gustav XVI sent his condolences, as did European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

As in the days of Noah...


"Is any among you afflicted?let him pray.Is any merry?let him sing psalms.
Is any sick among you?let him call for the elders of the church;and let them pray over him,anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick,and the Lord shall raise him up;and if he have committed sins,they shall be forgiven unto him."
JAMES 5;13-15

Turkish-Kurd tensions spill into Europe's streets

Berlin - The simmering tensions in Turkey's Kurdish southeast are not only playing out along the country's border with Iraq, where the military has amassed tens of thousands of troops following renewed clashes with Kurdish rebels holed up in Iraq's mountainous north. They're also spilling onto the streets of European cities from Berlin to Brussels to Innsbruck, Austria.
This weekend, authorities are braced for another round of protests in the German capital, where two weeks ago Turkish ultranationalists attacked a Kurdish cultural center, wielding machetes and injuring dozens of people. Last weekend, some 600 mainly Kurdish protesters returned to Hermannplatz – a square in Berlin's heavily immigrant Neukölln district – to inform the public of their view: that Turkey is still repressing the Kurdish people."It's been going on for years. The recent threat of Turkish military incursions into northern Iraq to attack us is just the last straw," says Ahmed, a young man handing out pro-Kurdish leaflets.With 2.5 million residents of Turkish origin, including an estimated 400,000 who identify themselves as Kurdish, Germany is home to the largest expatriate community from Turkey and is perhaps the most visible European arena for Turkish-Kurd tensions. The expat violence has prompted politicians including the German interior minister to warn against the Kurdish conflict spilling over to Germany and other European countries.So far there has been no indication that the clashes were planned. But that does not mean that no group has an interest in using them for their purposes, says Süleyman Bağ, Berlin correspondent for Zaman, a conservative daily newspaper in Turkey. In particular he refers to the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), an organization outlawed in Turkey and Germany and classed by the US and the European Union as a terrorist group.Taking a softer stand on Kurdish interests than previous administrations, Turkey's ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) has made unprecedented gains in Kurdish strongholds in recent elections at the expense of Kurdish parties. The trend extends to Kurdish rebel groups such as the PKK, which has become a lot less popular with Kurds, maintains Mr. Bağ. By "internationalizing" the Kurdish conflict the PKK hopes to mobilize new support, he says.Meanwhile, Kurdish representatives in Germany charge that German-Turkish politicians are doing Turkey's bidding. Some of them have used the clashes in Berlin for one-sided and unwarranted attacks on the PKK, says Ayten Kaplan of Germany's Federation of Kurdish Clubs, referring to statements of a prominent member of Germany's Green party. "I would have hoped these politicians exert a moderating influence instead of polarizing further," she says.In Turkey's capital, Ankara, the clashes in Germany have so far met with a muted response from Turkish politicians. While Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is arguably more occupied with the conflict in northern Iraq, his government is likely to follow closely what happens on the streets in Germany for another reason.Talks over Turkey's possible accession to the European Union (EU) are presently close to a standstill and popular opinion in a number of large EU countries including Germany is less than enthusiastic about Turkey becoming an EU member. Turks and Kurds battling it out on the streets of EU capitals would make things worse.
"Ankara has no interest in seeing these tensions escalate," says Faruk Sen, director at the Center for Turkey Studies at the University of Essen in western Germany. But even if they do, he says, the real losers will be Turks and Kurds in Germany. In a country that has seen heated debates over immigration for years, further violence "would play right into the hands of those who are convinced that all efforts to integrate people of Turkish origin into German society have been a complete failure."

As in the days of Noah...

'Polar rain' is triggering new kind of aurora

A previously undiscovered type of aurora could be brightening the skies over the poles. That's the conclusion from satellite images of the poles showing the new phenomenon above Antarctica in 2004.The conventional aurora borealis in the Arctic and aurora australis in the Antarctic are typically seen as curtains of brightly coloured light descending through the atmosphere near the poles. The light is generated when electrons from the solar wind become trapped and accelerated by the Earth's magnetic field to energies in excess of 1 kiloelectronvolt.The trapping process is complex because of the way in which the solar wind interacts with the earth's magnetic field. But eventually these electrons are channelled towards the poles where they collide with atoms in the atmosphere causing them to emit light.But the distribution of the phenomenon is not even - the auroras form in a doughnut-shaped zone around each pole. So, conventional auroras do not form directly over the poles.Now, Yongliang Zhang of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland, US, says he has evidence that these inner polar circles have their own kind of auroras.
Magnetic corridor
Zhang's auroras are generated in quite a different way from the traditional ones. Under certain conditions, the Sun's magnetic field can connect to the Earth's in a way that opens a direct magnetic corridor along which electrons can flow.These electrons have energies of only 100 electronvolt and arrive directly over the poles where they are known by scientists as polar rain. But because they have not been accelerated in the Earth's magnetic field, they are not normally energetic enough to generate light.However, Zhang has evidence that there may be more to polar rain than had been thought. His data comes from UV-sensitive cameras on a pair of Earth-observing satellites that have been watching the auroras since 2003. In data collected in July 2004, he noticed something unusual - a wave of polar rain with much higher energy than usual inside the aurora australis.
Energy mystery
Zhang says the electrons in this wave had energies of up to several KeV, more than enough to generate light. And although not observed from the ground, these particles must have produced a diffuse auroral glow directly over the south magnetic pole. He has christened this new phenomenon "polar rain aurora".One question is how these electrons reached such high energies. Zhang thinks they must have been emitted from the sun by a disturbance in its activity, such as a sunspot.The polar rain auroras move very quickly too: according to Zhang's measurements, the July 2004 event moved at up to 200 metres per second, or 720 km/h, about the speed of a commercial airliner.Zhang thinks polar rain auroras are likely to be common occurrences which nobody on the ground has distinguished from traditional aurora. Now the race is on to observe them from the ground.
Journal reference:

As in the days of Noah...

Israel aids Central America storm victims

Israel this week joined a coalition of nations sending emergency rescue equipment and medical supplies to Mexico and the Dominican Republic after the two Central American nations were ravaged by Tropical Storm Noel.Israel National News reported that Israel sent a shipment of $20,000 worth of equipment and supplies to the two countries.In the Dominican Republic, the storm caused flooding and mudslides that resulted in 60 deaths and extensive property damage, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.In Mexico, more than one million people were reportedly forced to flee their homes as Noel bore down on the state of Tabasco.
PS:Is it my idea or it seems that every times there is a natural disaster,striking somewhere in the world,Israel is always ready to help,BUT I never hear of Middle Eastern countries sending help of any kind anywhere....
Is it because they don't have the means to help?
Is it because they plainly don't care about the rest of the world...?
It seems to me that they are always ready to "get what we send them...
Please If Im wrong I do apologize before hand BUT I would really like to know the situations in which Middle Eastern countries helped the rest of the world,facing these disasters...I would like to knwo the facts.So please write me IF Im wrong,and i'll post them in this forum for all to read....thanks...>!!!

As in the days of Noah....

Doubt expressed that meeting between Pope, King Abdullah will bring change in Saudi Arabia

Some observers of Islam say the first-ever meeting between a Catholic pontiff and a reigning Saudi monarch will unlikely bring about an end to restrictions on Christian worship in that Islamic nation.The half-hour meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and King Abdullah took place Tuesday at the Vatican at the request of the Saudi leader. The Catholic pontiff and other Vatican officials have often complained that Christians are unable to worship openly in Saudi Arabia and are barred from opening churches in the desert kingdom. The Vatican had reportedly hoped the meeting would produce a frank dialogue between the two men over this issue. Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch-a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center-says the religious restrictions are based on "core elements" of the Islamic religion."Mohammad, the prophet of Islam, said that there should be only one religion on the Arabian Peninsula," Spencer explains. "And it's on that basis that the Saudis have forbidden all religious expression except the Islamic and that's not likely to change, no matter what the Pope asks for," he says.Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, thinks things are going to get worse, not better for Christians in Saudi Arabia. "The Pope's efforts here are absolutely futile," Markell asserts, "but it made for a good photo op. It makes for good public relations. It certainly looks like both sides are making an effort, but I guarantee you one side isn't making an effort," she states.Spencer agrees with Markell that Abdullah probably requested the meeting with the Pope in order to put a good face on things and show that he is interested in dialogue with the other side.

As in the days of Noah...

'Free Cuba' group supports Bush's tough stance against Castro regime

The head of an independent human rights organization dedicated to a free Cuba says the "blame America first" crowd can be relied upon to ignore history and deny reality by criticizing President Bush's refusal to coddle Fidel Castro's communist dictatorship in Cuba.In an October 24 speech at the State Department, Bush described Cuba's government as a "socialist paradise" that is actually a "tropical gulag." He continued, saying: "And as with all totalitarian systems, Cuba's regime no doubt has other horrors still unknown to the rest of the world. Once revealed, they will shock the conscience of humanity. And they will shame the regime's defenders and all those democracies that have been silent."Frank Calzon, executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba, recently wrote a column supporting President Bush's tough stance. In an interview, Calzon states: "The president has been extremely clear in what he would like to see in Cuba. He would like to see a free and democratic Cuba where Cubans are able to decide their own destiny. He has said that many times."But Calzon says unfortunately there are harsh voices on the American left who think the president should coddle the communist regime. "The 'blame America first' brigade decides that calling for freedom in Cuba is a bad thing," he says. "These are the same folks who thought it was stupid for Ronald Reagan to call on Gorbachev to bring down the Berlin Wall. But Reagan was right and they were wrong," he notes.Calzon predicts Bush will similarly be remembered as a friend of democracy in Cuba. He also points out that among Europe's democracies, there is growing support for Castro's opponents in Cuba.

As in the days of Noah...

Abstaining from Objectivity

In a report that's received heightened attention this week (for all the wrong reasons), the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies heralded 15 comprehensive sex education programs for their effectiveness in "influencing teen sexual behavior." The study, "Emerging Answers 2007," which claims to have scrutinized 115 programs, appears to be a last-gasp effort to deny federal funding to authentic abstinence education programs--some of which are currently receiving appropriations increases from a Democratically-controlled Congress. Although abstinence programs are growing in implementation, effectiveness, and in rigorous evaluation, the report said it found "no strong evidence" that abstinence programs "persuade teens to stay abstinent." That finding is hardly surprising when you consider the author's obvious conflict of interest. Dr. Douglas Kirby, who penned the report, serves on the staff of the company that produces at least five of the 15 curricula touted in the study.

As in the days of Noah...

ENDA the House Debate

Last night, after over five hours of debate, the House finally held a much-anticipated vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), comfortably passing it 235-184. While the Democractic leadership was quick to claim it as an historic victory, its key constituency on the issue appeared almost disappointed by the outcome. Matt Foreman, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, made no bones about his frustration, saying, "What should have been one of the most triumphant days in our movement's history is not." Like others in the homosexual movement, he realizes that the bill's isn't likely to survive a presidential veto--and even if it were, Foreman and others are still seething that the current version no longer contains special protections for transgenders. Throughout the night, several conservatives, including Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.)-an FRC True Bluer-tried desperately to hold the line on the bill. Rep. Souder, who was one of the most outspoken opponents, argued that religious rights shouldn't "be trumped by sexual 'rights'." He went on to call the bill a "disaster" that "invited litigation and set precedents we will regret." In the end, 25 Democrats were persuaded to vote against the bill, but 35 Republicans more than made up for it by joining the leftwing majority. The bill now heads to the Senate, where Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) promises to introduce it before year's end.

As in the days of Noah....


"Submit yourselves therefore to God.Resist the devil,and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God,and he will draw nigh to you.Cleanse your hands,ye sinners;and purify your hearts,ye,double minded.
Be afflicted and mourn,and weep:let your laughter be turned to mourning,and your joy to heaviness.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,and he shall lift you up."
JAMES 4:7-10

PERSECUTION WATCH:Indian Evangelist Killed,Sacrificed to Goddess Kali

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*North Korean christians dissapear...
*The death of rami Ayyad:story and video....
*Unrest among christians in Pakistan....
*International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church...
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ONE WORLD RELIGION WATCH:Evangelical,Ecumenical Leaders Engage in Landmark Talks on Church Unity

NAIROBI, Kenya-Representatives of worldwide evangelical and ecumenical movements have gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, this week to pave the way for closer collaboration.The Global Christian Forum has brought together international Christian leaders from a broad spectrum of denominations and traditions, including Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance, and the Rev. Samuel Kobia, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC).On Wednesday, the two leaders agreed that there was a need to continue the forum process, which provides an open space for serious dialogue and conversation around issues of[[[ global Christianity.]]]This open space also provides the opportunity to create greater understanding, dispel stereotypes and to provide an understanding of areas of common concern, they acknowledged.“I’m delighted that many of our evangelical leaders from around the world are participating in this global forum,” said Tunnicliffe, whose alliance represents more than 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide. “We believe that this [[[new neutral table]]] is providing an unprecedented opportunity for us to engage with the broader church that will promote greater understanding as well as a commitment to religious liberty.”Kobia, meanwhile, hailed the gathering of so many different Christian traditions at the forum as “unprecedented.”“The future is very promising,” he said.
The ecumenical leader welcomed the presence of Pentecostals and Evangelicals at the forum, saying that it had helped to overcome some of the prejudices that existed among them, and although he appealed to both to “clarify where they are on issues of social engagement,” he welcomed their growing involvement with such issues.Joint social engagement in climate change and poverty offered Pentecostals, Evangelicals and ecumenical bodies like the WCC the opportunity to overcome the “scandal” of disunity by increasing mutual understanding through closer collaboration, he added.“As we continue now to understand each other, we will achieve greater trust and confidence to the extent that we can make a statement on how Christians view an issue like climate change, for example,” Kobia told U.K.- based Christian Today.“That would be very powerful if we were to speak together as Christians and use the Bible and our traditions as the basis on which we address certain issues. That would be tremendous.”At an informal fringe meeting, Evangelicals at the GCF raised concerns about issues of language, particularly the use of the term “mission,” but remained largely positive about the prospects for ever closer unity within the global body of Christ.Katei Kirby, head of the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance in the United Kingdom, spoke of a “genuineness of wanting to reach God together,” while Godfrey Yogarajah of the Evangelical Fellowship of Asia said it was necessary for evangelicals and ecumenicists to tackle the “real issues of what still divides us.”“Otherwise our relationships will just remain superficial,” he said.Tunnicliffe concluded: “This forum couldn’t have happened 25 years ago, so we have made progress. The fact that Evangelicals are being treated as equals signals a new day.”

PS:Don't be fooled...this has the appeareance of "good" but the leaders that already reached this forum have already compromised...All is getting ready for a ONE WORLD RELIGION during the Tribulation Period....
Terms like "Global Christianity" and "new neutral table"....neutral...tht's what satan would love....NEUTRAL=LUKEWARM...those are gonna be vomited...Either we are cold or hot.....Watch out,cause more and more we're gonna start seeing these type of gatherings to desensitize the church....We are not making progress as they say in this article....BUT we are progressing to bring the dream of ONE WORLD RELIGION to fruition when the TRIBULATION PERIOD hits.....

As in the days of Noah...

Evangelistic campaign sees fruit in Czech Republic

Czech Republic-Four days of evangelization by the local church of I.N. Network Czech Republic yielded encouraging results. Believers are important partners to the town, thanks to the activities for the young people and to the evangelistic vision of I.N. worker, Martin Cechak.Martin's work has become a portrayal of Jesus' commandment, "Go ye into all the world." Through it, the Church has come out from behind walls, where it was situated, to speak to people in a language that they understand.Martin has also developed such a wonderful ministry of lecture activity at schools and free time work with youth at the Jaspis Club, that today the public is looking at the local church and work of Christians through completely different eyes.Up until this time, most of the people didn't even realize that there was a Baptist Church in town. Today the situation is completely different, and Christians are important partners to the town, thanks to the activities for young people-the climbing wall, which was built in the church's yard-and the many special activities that speak mainly to the young generation.In light of the growth, evangelistic outreach events are becoming more common. Martin reports that two people prayed for salvation during an outreach just last month. The Lord is doing a new work in the small church as He rebuilds and strengthens it.

As in the days of Noah....

Orthodox Hindus Baptized in India

India-Ro and Mawii Pudaite of Bibles for the World had the joy of witnessing the baptism of 25 new Orthodox Hindu converts on their recent trip to India.The converts were a part of the largely unreached Meitei people.There are 1.5 million Meitei and conversion often means separation from their families."When we first began, every single convert was thrown out of their homes.So, one of our pastors bought a large piece of land and he let them stay- all of those displaced people that were thrown out," said Mawii Pudaite.The orthodox Hinduism has nearly 300 years of history among the people. According to their beliefs, anyone outside their religion is unclean. Therefore, evangelism was extremely difficult."Even in the marketplace, when you buy their things they will not touch your hand to give you the change for the purchase that you've made. They will put it on a piece of paper and hand it to you," said Pudaite.Years ago, when a translation of the New Testament became available in the Meitei's language, Bibles for the World provided 500,000 copies to the Meitei people."The good seed was sewn and we're beginning to see the harvest. It's very, very exciting," said Pudaite.The new Meitei believers are cultivators and settled in a new community.Bibles for the World has placed a Meitei speaking pastor and an evangelist in the community.There have been 12 small churches planted among the Meitei by native evangelists.

As in the days of Noah....

Israel’s inner cabinet held an urgent session Wednesday to discuss advanced Iranian nuclear bomb timeline to 2009

The inner cabinet met Wed. Nov. 7, to discuss the shortened timeline estimate for Iran to attain a nuclear weapons capacity, based on new intelligence information. IDF intelligence chief Brig. Yossi Baidatz told the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee Tuesday that Iran would have this capacity by late 2009, whereas the previous estimate was 2010 or 2011.Committee chairman Tzahi Hanegbi told a radio interviewer that the new timeline made 2008 the critical year for grappling once and for all with the Iranian program.The new data was put before the ministers ahead of their meeting Wednesday. DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report that American nuclear and intelligence experts agree on the timetable after poring over the new intelligence input. This includes materials gathered in the Israel attack of Syria’s nuclear installation on Sept. 6. They have reached three key conclusions:
1. That Iran is engaged in the secret production of plutonium for nuclear weapons as well as radioactive materials for a dirty bomb, in parallel to its uranium enrichment projects. Israeli intelligence has believed this for three years, but until the operation in Syria there was no concrete evidence. This discovery is at the center of the current US-Israeli controversy with the International Atomic Energy Agency- IAEA, Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei.If he accepts the evidence, it will be an admission that his vast inspection apparatus in Vienna, whose job it is to watch out for nuclear misdemeanors across the world, missed out twice – in Iran and then in Syria. Dr. ElBaradei might then face the suspicion that his work is governed by political rather than professional motivations.Up until now, the nuclear watchdog’s chief has not sent inspectors to examine Israel’s findings at the two Syrian sites targeted. He evidently fears they will come back with evidence of plutonium-related nuclear activity.
2. The working premise followed by American and Israeli intelligence is that if Syria was on the road to manufacturing plutonium, Iran must be far more advanced on this course and must be presumed to have begun manufacturing enough waste for dirty bombs and very likely also the materials for a nuclear bomb.This premise demands a radical reassessment by the United States and Iran’s Gulf and Middle East neighbors of their options for dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat and essential restructuring of the Israel military’s functions to meet a possible radioactive attack by Iran or its terrorist proxies close closer at hand.
3. DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that these developments throw new light on the role of the Iranian heavy water plant at Arak and natural uranium heavy water reactor, whose capacity to produce plutonium places it at the center of Iran’s nuclear program.
As in the days of Noah....

Hamas Is Producing a New Generation of Palestinian Extra-Power, Extra-Range Missiles in Gaza and West Bank

In the last few weeks, the Palestinian Islamist Hamas has succeeded in tricking Israeli military intelligence into believing that the IDF forays behind the lines in Gaza had slowed down their Qassam missile offensive against Israeli towns and villages.It was a ruse. DEBKAfile’s military sources disclose that stocks of the primitive Qassam missiles are low because Hamas has stopped making them and is now fully engaged in setting up the production of a new generation of missiles upgraded to a range of up to 25 km, armed with 3-kilo warheads - one-and a half times the range of the types in current use and more than double their explosive power - and greater accuracy.Production lines are also going up in several towns on the West Bank, the territory governed by Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority. According to our intelligence sources, the Hamas target is to turn out enough new missiles in 4 to 6 weeks – preferably in time for the US-promoted Middle East conference in Annapolis at the end of November. The shelf-life of these missiles is no more than 6 weeks.The new missiles bring half a million Israelis within range of Hamas fire – a quarter of a million in the south and a similar number in Israel’s heartland north and south of Greater Tel Aviv. In the South, the new missiles can reach Kiryat Gat and the southern outskirts of the big port-town of Ashdod. DEBKAfile’s sources emphasize that the Palestinian Authority’s security services are not lifting a finger against the new missile industry mushrooming on the West Bank. In fact, members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an offshoot of Abbas’ Fatah, are shielding it.Furthermore, the Israeli military is also standing aside, for two reasons:
1. Israeli military intelligence has not had time to collect the specific addresses of the new missile production sites.
2. Even if all the intelligence were to hand, the Olmert government would not authorize military action to destroy the foundries and workshops – certainly not before Annapolis – because, from the little that has been discovered, they are known to be embedded in the most densely populated areas of Palestinian cities. There is no way to destroy them by air or from the ground without inflicting heavy civilian casualties.
DEBKAfile’s military sources add:
Up until the last week in October, Israeli military spokesmen explained that Hamas had tapered off its Qassam attacks and switched to mortar fire in response to the heavy punishment the missile sites and teams were taking from the IDF’s regular behind-the-lines raids in Gaza and its air strikes. It was presumed that Hamas had decided that Israeli forces would find it harder to locate and strike the mortar cells than the more vulnerable missile crews.However, our sources reveal that this theory does not hold water. Some time ago, the air force command notified the general staff that air strikes against Qassam crews were hardly worth the candle since they hit no more than 3 percent of their targets.What this amounts to, say DEBKAfile’s military experts, is that 16 months after the Lebanon War, the Israeli military has still not cracked the problem of short-range missile and rocket attacks from across Israel’s borders.
Aware of this, Hamas is investing all its efforts in upgrading the range, destructive power and accuracy of their new missiles. The Qassam crews have been taken off daily barrage duty against Sderot and other Israeli towns and villages and put into training for the new hardware.
In recent weeks, scores of Hamas operatives have returned to Gaza from special courses in missile production in Iran and Syria, under Syrian and Iranian Revolutionary Guards instructors. The returnees’ brought with them lathe components and metals for upgrading their machinery and product.Officers serving in the IDF’s southern command are deeply pessimistic about the military’s ability to deal with the new missile threat at this late date. They also report that Hamas is managing to smuggle from Gaza to the West Bank missile production engineers and machine parts.The Palestinian Islamists are taking advantage of the restraints imposed on Israeli army and Shin Bet on the West Bank too. For the time being, they are confined solely to counter-terror preventive operations. Israeli and Palestinian forces are leaving Hamas’s production and missile teams alone.This week, word went round the Palestinian towns and villages on the West Bank that applicants for employment in the new Qassam missile industry would be made welcome.

As in the days of Noah...

EU's Solana urges nuclear enrichment centre for all

The European Union official leading international diplomacy on the nuclear standoff with Iran has proposed creating an international nuclear fuel enrichment facility for use by all states.EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana warned that existing non-proliferation rules were in danger of collapse because many countries perceived imbalances in the current treaty regime that favour existing nuclear powers. "The international system of non-proliferation is vital to the world but is in serious danger of disintegrating," Solana told a think-tank audience in Madrid late on Wednesday.He noted that Arab states such as Morocco, Egypt and Jordan had started ambitious nuclear programmes in the last year, while Iran was enriching uranium for non-existent power stations. "The only way of finding a lasting solution to these problems is. . . by creating an international enrichment centre under multilateral supervision. All states would have access to this enriched fuel on equal terms and at competitive prices," he said according to a text of his speech.Solana has led months of so-far fruitless talks with Tehran to persuade it to come into line with international demands that it suspend uranium enrichment which the West believes is aimed at creating an atomic bomb – an allegations Iran rejects.He gave no details of the the proposal, which relates to one of the most sensitive parts of the nuclear fuel cycle. Enriched uranium can be used in power stations or, if more highly enriched, in weapons.Last week, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said Iran's Gulf neighbours were willing to set up a body to provide it with enriched uranium under International Atomic Energy Agency supervision.Two days later Iran's deputy chief nuclear negotiator said Tehran welcomed proposals for joint enrichment projects with other countries, "but if the condition is stopping enrichment in Iran, it will not be acceptable".Solana's call echoed a proposal put to Iran in June 2006 under which major powers would have supplied it with enriched fuel if it halted its own enrichment activities. Tehran spurned that plan in a move which sparked a first round of sanctions.Solana and the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, are to report to major powers by the end of the month on Iran's behaviour, which will be vital in determining whether the UN Security Council adopts tougher sanctions on Tehran.Iran and others frequently accuse nuclear-armed powers such as the United States, Britain and France of seeking to deprive others of nuclear technology while ignoring obligations on them, notably provisions relating to disarmament in pacts such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).Other states point out that existing legal frameworks do not adequately deal with the spread of small arms that fuel many local conflicts around the globe.Solana proposed that the EU could launch an international debate on the non-proliferation system in which emerging powers countries such as China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico would play a full part.

As in the days of Noah....

Gay Muslims Find Freedom, of a Sort, in the U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO-About 15 people marched alongside the Muslim float in this city’s notoriously fleshy Gay Pride Parade earlier this year, with various men carrying the flags of Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and Turkey and even Iran’s old imperial banner.While other floats featured men dancing in leather Speedos or women with scant duct tape over their nipples, many Muslims were disguised behind big sunglasses, fezzes or kaffiyehs wrapped around their heads.Even as they reveled in newfound freedom compared with the Muslim world, they remained closeted, worried about being ostracized at the mosque or at their local falafel stand.“They’re afraid of the rest of the community here,” said Ayman, a stocky 31-year-old from Jordan, who won asylum in the United States last year on the basis of his sexuality. “It’s such a big wrong in the Koran that it is impossible to be accepted.”For gay Muslims, change may come via a nascent body of scholarship in minority Muslim communities where the reassessment of sacred texts used to damn homosexuality is gaining momentum.In traditional seats of Islamic learning, like Egypt and Iran, punishment against blatant homosexual activity, not to mention against trying to establish a gay rights movement, can be severe. These governments are prone to label homosexuality a Western phenomenon, as happened in September when Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, spoke at Columbia University. But far more leeway to dissect the topic exists in places where gay rights are more protected.As a rule, gay Muslim activists lacked the scholarly grounding needed to scrutinize time-honored teachings. But that is changing, activists say, partly because no rigid clerical hierarchy exists in the West to bar such research. Nonetheless, gaining acceptance remains such a hurdle that Muslims in the United States hesitate. Imam Daayiee Abdullah, 53, a black convert to Islam, was expelled from a Saudi-financed seminary in Virginia after the school found out he is gay. His effort to organize a gay masjid, or mosque, in Washington failed largely out of fear, he said.“You have these individuals who say that they would blow up a masjid if it was a gay masjid,” he said. Mr. Abdullah and other scholars argue that there is no uncontested record of the Prophet Muhammad addressing homosexuality and that examples of punishment would surely exist had he been hostile.Mirroring the feminist school of Islam, gay advocates pursue a holistic interpretation that emphasizes accepting everyone as equally God’s creation.Most Koranic verses treating same-sex relations are ambiguous, said Omid Safi, an Islamic studies professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “They are talking about an ‘abomination,’” Professor Safi said, “but what an abomination is remains open to interpretation.”Since the primary Koranic verses used to condemn homosexuality also suggest male rape, the progressive reading is that the verses revile using sex as domination, said Scott Kugle, an American convert and university professor who specializes in the topic. The arguments are not entirely modern; some are drawn from a medieval scholar in Andalusia, once a seat of enlightened Muslim governance, he said.The classical attitude toward lesbians is even murkier, Mr. Kugle added, because sex was defined as penetration.Hostility is rooted in the Koranic story of Lot, which parallels the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. At Al-Tawhid Mosque in San Francisco, the imam, Hassan al-Jalal, a Yemeni with a short beard, printed a sheaf of Koranic verses that he said condemned homosexuals.“This is the main sin in Islam,” Mr. Jalal said, describing how the town housing Lot’s tribe was lifted high into the sky and then dropped, killing all in the town before they were buried under what is now the Dead Sea. “He sent the flood to clean the earth from AIDS. There were no doctors at that time, but God knew they had a virus."All sects mandate capital punishment, he argued, although others differ. “Sunni, Shiite, they all agree that they have to be killed. But who does it? Not me or you, only by law."Muslim clerics reject being gay as biologically coded and advise anyone with homosexual stirrings to avoid temptation.They see America as rife with it given practices like open gym showers.The hostility pushes some gay Muslims to interpret for themselves or to withdraw from the faith. For Rafique, a 56-year-old Southeast Asian Muslim in San Francisco, resolution came through a combination of medieval mystic poetry and individual spiritual efforts endorsed by Sufi Muslim traditions.Renowned poets wrote odes glorifying handsome boys. Some were interpreted as metaphors about loving God, but some were paeans to gay sex. Rafique and others argue that homosexuality became criminalized only under European colonialism.
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"Go to now,ye that say,To day or to morrow we will go into such a city,and continue there a year,and buy and sell,and get gain:
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow for what is your life?It is even a vapour,that appeareth for a little time,and then vanisheth away.
For that ye ought to say,If the Lord will,we shall live,and do this,or that.
But now ye rejoice in your boastings:all such rejoicing is evil.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good,and doeth it not,to him it is sin."
JAMES 4:13-17

Listen to Your Brother, Musharraf

Dr. Naved Musharraf warned his older brother years ago not to follow in the footsteps of other Pakistani strongmen who ruled with an iron fist and became corrupted by power."Look, don't overstay and end up like previous martial law governments," Musharraf, a U.S. citizen, advised his brother after he seized control of Islamabad in a 1999 coup. "They were thrown out by the people."But Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has snubbed his advice, launching his second military crackdown in eight years, a kind of coup against his own government. Over the weekend, the general, who refuses to remove his uniform and govern as a civilian leader as promised, suspended the constitution and declared martial law.In Musharraf's latest power grab, more than 3,500 civilians have been rounded up and detained, most of them lawyers, judges and political opponents. Pakistan's leader, viewed by the Bush administration as an ally in the war on terror, has ordered his troops to seize the supreme court, police stations and media outlets. They've also cut telephone lines and censored the press.In 2002, Musharraf enacted the Legal Framework Order, or LFO, giving himself the absolute power to sack the prime minister and dissolve parliament, while formalizing his position as both head of the army and state.Under pressure from the West, Musharraf made a public commitment to retire from the army and remove his uniform by Dec. 31, 2004. But he soon changed his mind."I thought that removing my uniform would dilute my authority and command at a time when both were required most," he said in his recently published memoir. "Therefore, much against my habit and character, I decided to go against my word. I decided not to give up my uniform."The Pakistani supreme court recently challenged that decision, however, leading to Musharraf's purging of its justices. The draconian move made it clear to critics that his main motive in the crackdown is not to protect the government from terrorism, as he claims, but to save his job and consolidate power."This is consistent with who he is. He wants all power all the time," said Talat Masood, a retired general and political analyst. "He's not prepared to share power with anyone"-including former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who was away in Dubai when Musharraf ordered martial law.Dr. Musharraf, a Chicago anesthesiologist who moved to America in 1974, says his older brother does have a authoritarian streak, and can be a bully."He used to impose his will on me," he told the New York Times in a 1999 interview. "He'd get angry with me."He said he hoped his brother would keep his promise to the people of Pakistan and return to democracy."If he carries out his promises he's given, I'll be happy," Dr. Musharraf said. "If he becomes corrupted by power, I'll be uncomfortable. I hope he does his job, holds elections and gets out."Even before the latest crackdown, Musharraf's public approval ratings had sunk to 21 percent in Pakistan.Both Washington and London had been pushing Musharraf toward democratic reforms with little success. Now, in the wake of his emergency rule, they are demanding he restore the constitution, step down as army chief and hold free elections now.Musharraf, who sponsored the Taliban before 9/11, has been a reluctant partner in the war on terror. He admits in his memoir that the only reason he signed on to America's war was for "self-interest and self-preservation."While claiming to cooperate with U.S. antiterror objectives, he has cut deals with Islamic militants in Pakistan's tribal belt; freed high-value al-Qaida targets whom U.S. authorities helped him capture, such as Mohammed Noor Khan; and refused to let authorities question Danny Pearl's murderer, Omar Sheikh, or nuclear proliferator A.Q. Khan.On his watch, moreover, Osama bin Laden and the rest of al-Qaida'a high command have carved out a new sanctuary within Pakistan, where they are training both local and foreign jihadists from Europe and America, including young children now, to attack the West.And at the same time, Musharraf forbids U.S. patrols in his country to hunt down bin Laden or even counter-attack insurgents."It's not that we lack the ability to go into that space," said Tom Fingar of the office of the director of U.S. National Intelligence. "But we have chosen not to do so without the permission of the Pakistani government."He complained Islamabad consistently denies the U.S. military, based across the border in Afghanistan, permission to go after known al-Qaida training camps.And the CIA station chief in Islamabad is confined to that city and almost completely isolated. He and other officers cannot venture out into the tribal areas without a Pakistani military escort.Still, the administration has showered Musharraf's regime with $11 billion in military and economic aid since 9/11, while removing long-time sanctions imposed on Pakistan for rogue nuclear operations and other international violations.Musharraf also revealed in his memoir that he only took steps toward democracy following his original 1999 military coup because of "external constraints imposed on me by the West in its demand for 'democracy.'"He argues on page 334 of the book that much of what the West considers terrorism is viewed in the Muslim world as a "struggle for freedom" among the "mujahideen." And Western notions about "democracy" must be tailored to local cultures."The sooner the West accepts this reality, instead of thrusting on every country ideas that may be alien to people's aspirations, the better it will be for global harmony," he said. "I still am struggling to convince the West that Pakistan is more democratic today than it ever was in the past."Musharraf added: "Ironically, to become so it needed me in uniform."The Supreme Court justices Musharraf arrested might see it differently.

As in the days of Noah....

The End of the University As We Know It

Alarms about the political subversion of the academic curriculum were first sounded more than a quarter of a century ago with such books as The Closing of the American Mind, Illiberal Education and Tenured Radicals. Lesser known but more specifically documented texts followed, including Zealotry and Academic Freedom by Neil Hamilton (1995) and Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women’s Studies, by Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge (2003). In addition, several websites, including noindoctrination.org and studentsforacademicfreedom.org have collected many student testimonies of academic abuses, stemming from the introduction of political agendas into the academic curriculum. Several organizations including the National Association of Scholars and the American Council of Trustees and Alumni have contributed to these efforts, and in 2003 I began a campaign for an “Academic Bill of Rights” to protect students from being proselytized in university classrooms. Partly under the pressure of that campaign hearings have been held in the Pennsylvania and Missouri legislatures and the accumulation of evidence that such practices are widespread has reached a critical mass. These activities have been strongly resisted by the teacher unions who have conducted a campaign of reckless ad hominem attacks against their critics, stubbornly denying the facts while avoiding the issues they raise. (For documentation, see my recent book, Indoctrination U: The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom.) Now the American Association of University Professors has issued a report, called “Freedom in the Classroom,” to answer the critics.[1] Not surprisingly, given its dismal record during these efforts, the AAUP report is not a defense of academic freedom as its title implies, but an attack on the academic rights of students and a defense of indoctrination in the classroom. It marks a return to principles that guided universities when they were instruments of religious sects, and when their curricula were governed by the authority of the church rather than the method of scientific inquiry.My own views on indoctrination are set forth in both the aforementioned book and a previous one called The Professors, with which members of the AAUP committee responsible for this new report are quite familiar. With my colleagues, Jacob Laksin and Tom Ryan, I have also posted Internet analyses of the syllabuses of 200 courses that are designed to indoctrinate students and that violate existing university regulations.[2] These analyses make up more than 100,000 words of text. Stephen Balch, president of the National Association of Scholars, has also written extensively on indoctrination in Schools of Education and Social Work programs, and published a report on the latter....
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SIGN of the TIMES: Drugs kill 80,000 Russians annually

MOSCOW-Drug addiction kills 80,000 Russians each year, a senior Russian anti-drugs official was quoted as saying on Friday, while a human rights watchdog issued a report warning Russia's drug treatment strategy needed reform. About 70,000 Russians die annually from diseases linked to drug addiction, and another 10,000 are killed by overdoses, said Alexander Yanevsky, a department chief at the Drugs Control Service."Russia is situated in a drugs belt. There is heroin in the south, synthetic drugs coming in from the West and rising internal production of drugs," Yanevsky said at a conference on drug control, reported RIA Novosti news agency.New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) hit out at Russia's failure to modernize or incorporate the best international practices in its addict treatment schemes and said the failures put drug users at increased risk of catching diseases."Patients in detoxification treatment are heavily sedated, making counseling efforts difficult or even pointless," HRW said in a statement.Detoxification centers are widespread, but since they don't combine with rehabilitation programs, their effectiveness is "negligible," the report said.Russian law also bans the opiate substitute methadone from being prescribed to heroin users, despite its successful use in many countries, HRW said."The lack of effective drug addiction treatment in Russia means that drug users who want to break their addiction cannot, and are condemned to a life of continued drug use," said Diederik Lohman, from HRW's HIV/AIDS program."This leaves them vulnerable to HIV infection, other drug-related health conditions, and death by overdose."Last month the United Nations urged Russia and ex-Soviet Central Asia to stem drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe, saying the proceeds from a record opium crop were funding global terrorism.

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CULTURE of DEATH:Problems With Oregon Assisted Suicides are Real

The myth about Oregon legal assisted suicide is that all is A-Okay because the Oregon Statistics don't reveal abuses. Of course, that is because they were designed not to reveal abuses, and indeed, those in charge have admitted in testimony to a House of Lords investigative committee that they have neither the legal authority or budget to investigate potential illegal practices.That makes this published study ("Physician-Assisted Suicide versus Palliative Care: A Tale of Two Cities") of palliative care so important. It was reported by Dr. David Jeffrey, a palliative care specialist from Scotland who spent September and October of last year in Washing and Oregon as a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow, investigating end-of-life care in those two states. He wrote a 46 page report, published in April 2007, that is sobering about the actual practice in Oregon that the state's bureaucrats don't want to see and the media do not want to report. He does not seem morally opposed to assisted suicide but concludes it would not be a good idea to legalize it in the UK.Here are some excerpts from the assisted suicide section in the report:
I had numerous descriptions of cases of PAS. I include one that a doctor claimed went well and another which illustrates just how badly it can go wrong: Case History A young man moved specifically here because Oregon had the law. He had a strong belief in an after life. He decided the day, took the medication and died peacefully. The hospice nurse knew the day but was not involved. She came to the house after his death and supported the family Case HistoryA patient with a cancer had a friend who was a doctor. This friend told him that it was going to be a painful way to die and advised him to take advantage of the PAS law. The hospice staff felt he was not ready to die and were concerned that he may have bypassed some of the legal hoops. The family were not happy and everybody involved was uneasy. After taking the lethal prescription the patient didn't die quickly. The family were upset..why hasn't he died? The wife said she had to leave, she could not cope with the situation. The volunteers from a pro PAS organization found two men who knew nothing about nursing care to sit with the patient until he died the next morning. The wife became profoundly depressed and attempted to commit suicide herself.This really caught my eye. Note that it supports the belief that most doctors won't do killing, and it supports my belief that there are Kevorkian-style death doctors.
In one hospice program, they have had 28 cases of PAS since the legislation was in force. In 23 of the cases same doctor was involved. He is known as a strong advocate for patient choice and does offer all the alternatives. Only a few doctors participate perhaps because a significant proportion of Oregonians do not support PAS. There can be problems in leaving the lethal medication at home. In one case where there was doubt as to whether the patient was competent when he eventually took the medication and it may have been administered by the family. The question of administration was a delicate one, a patient even had a PEG feeding tube inserted solely to allow him to have PAS.Inserting a feeding tube for use in suicide! That opens many ethical questions and would seem to be on the border of active euthanasia.Despite PAS sold by advocates and the media through scare mongering as a means for ending pain for which nothing can be done, in Oregon, it isn't about that at all.
I learned that the patients who choose and carry out PAS are not suffering, they are a tiny group who simply seek control as to when their life will end. They are independent and have no interest in receiving palliative or hospice care. The main benefit of the PAS legislation in Oregon appears to be that it offers patients a way out if things get too bad. The need for this safety net is fuelled by the fundamental lack of trust that these patients have in the medical health care system. I found that there are still many physicians in Oregon who object to PAS.It's a shame the paper doesn't name names, but perhaps it was the only way for Dr. Jeffrey to obtain the information. In any event, his study illustrates that while some certainly support PAS--all is not well with Oregon. It is a matter about which the media should be more curious. But I am not holding my breath.

As in the days of Noah...

NWO WATCH:Union 'is the key to global economy'

[[[[BREAKING up the UK would risk Scotland's place in a new world order, Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, said last night. ]]]]The MP for Edinburgh South West told an audience at Stirling University that Scotland and England are better off together in facing the challenges from a fast-changing global economy. Since the SNP won the Scottish Parliament elections in May, Holyrood and Westminster have clashed a number of times over the future of Scotland.The SNP-led minority Scottish Government wants independence for Scotland, however opposition parties - including Labour-are in favour of the Union.Giving the Andrew Willi-amson lecture at Stirling University last night, Mr Darling said the Union was key to survival in the global economy. He said: "I believe Scotland faces a stark choice today. Is Scotland's priority constitutional change, or the urgent task of addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by globalisation as we try to secure a sustainable, prosperous future for Scotland and Britain?"Mr Darling argued that the interconnected nature of economics means Scotland is stronger as part of the UK - despite the fact he came in for criticism again yesterday for his handling of the economy."I believe it would be a profound mistake to spend the next four years in constitutional conflict north and south of the Border, when we need to meet the economic challenges we face," he said."Go to India and China - these economies are growing every year."There are some who argue that Scotland's biggest challenge is constitutional - our relationship with England. They are wrong."I believe Scotland and England are far better off together than apart - especially when, all over the world, new opportunities are arising which we can seize if we have the will to."In the first keynote speech on the independence issue Mr Darling has made since becoming Chancellor, he said Scotland must move on from the debate over the constitution.He added: "I believe the people I represent in south-west Edinburgh want to see us, whether in Westminster or Holyrood, together in co-operation, preparing and equipping Scotland for the changes it faces."The rest of the world is doing just that. So must we by meeting the challenges and seeking the opportunities that come from globalisation. We've got a choice: four years of constitutional wrangling, blaming someone else; or making sure we act now and seize the opportunities for Scotland's future."The Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats are currently working together to find ways to strengthen devolution within the Union.Stewart Hosie, the SNP's treasury spokesman at Westminster, said:
"Alistair Darling's assertion that Scotland is better off as part of the Union flies in the face of the facts."Research published by the Scottish Government shows that, with our fair share of North Sea resources, Scotland would be the third-wealthiest nation in the European Union."

As in the days of Noah....