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

Saturday, March 15, 2008


"Hereby perceive we the love of God,because he laid down his life for us:and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
But whoso hath this world's good,and seeth his brother have need,and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him,how dwelleth the love of God in him?
My little children,let us not love in word,neither in tongue;but in deed and in truth."

1 John 3:16-18

Obama's minister: U.S.'No. 1 killer in the world':Candidate's role model claims

In another controversial sermon pulled from the archives of Barack Obama's longtime pastor and mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. called America the "No. 1 killer in the world" and blamed the country for launching the AIDS virus to maintain affluence at the expense of the Third World.The Chicago minister who married the Obamas and baptized their daughters said in a January 2006 sermon at his alma mater, Howard University, "America is still the No. 1 killer in the world...We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional killers."Speaking at the Washington, D.C., school's Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, Wright said,"We started the AIDS virus...We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty."The pastor reportedly said in a sermon just after 9/11,"The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied."In a 2003 sermon, reported yesterday, Wright encouraged blacks to damn America in God's name and blamed the U.S. for provoking the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by dropping nuclear weapons on Japan in World War II and supporting Israel since 1947.Wright has a formal role with Obama's campaign, noted the Politico's Ben Smith, as a member of its African American Religious Leadership Committee. Smith said the campaign couldn't immediately say whether the pastor would remain on the panel.In the Howard University sermon, Wright, who retired one month ago from Trinity United Church of Christ, charged the country won't allow a black president."We've got more black men in prison than there are in college," he said. "Racism is alive and well. Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. No black man will ever be considered for president, no matter how hard you run Jesse Jackson and no black woman can ever be considered for anything outside what she can give with her body."Wright continued:"America is still the No. 1 killer in the world...We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers...We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Ghadhafi...We put (Nelson) Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God."Wright then turned to the Middle East."We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic...We care nothing about human life if the end justifies the means..."In a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review interview yesterday, Obama, who's been a member of Trinity Church for 20 years, was asked to respond to Wright's 2003 sermon in which he said blacks should sing "God D--- America.""I haven't seen the line," Obama said. "This is a pastor who is on the brink of retirement who in the past has made some controversial statements. I profoundly disagree with some of these statements."The senator then was asked, "What about this particular statement?""Obviously, I disagree with that," he said. "Here is what happens when you just cherry-pick statements from a guy who had a 40-year career as a pastor. There are times when people say things that are just wrong. But I think it's important to judge me on what I've said in the past and what I believe."In a statement to ABC News, which unearthed a video of the sermon, Obama's press spokesman Bill Burton said, "Sen. Obama has said repeatedly that personal attacks such as this have no place in this campaign or our politics, whether they're offered from a platform at a rally or the pulpit of a church. Sen. Obama does not think of the pastor of his church in political terms. Like a member of his family, there are things he says with which Sen. Obama deeply disagrees. But now that he is retired, that doesn't detract from Sen. Obama's affection for Rev. Wright or his appreciation for the good works he has done."
Mentor, role model
Obama addressed Wright's statements on Israel at a Feb. 24 meeting with Jewish leaders in Cleveland, describing the pastor as "an old uncle who sometimes will say things that I don't agree with."In a January 2007 Chicago Tribune profile of Wright, however, Obama spoke of the pastor as a spiritual mentor and role model who helped keep his priorities straight and his moral compass calibrated."What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice," Obama said. "He's much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I'm not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that's involved in national politics."The Tribune said Obama, then a community activist in Chicago, was first attracted to Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ in 1985 when it bore a "Free South Africa" sign on the lawn.Obama was not a churchgoer at the time, the paper noted, but he found himself returning to the sanctuary. In his 1993 memoir "Dreams from My Father," Obama recounts that when he met Wright, the pastor warned that getting involved with Trinity might turn off other black clergy because of the church's radical reputation.Before leaving for Harvard Law School in 1988, Obama responded to one of Wright's altar calls and declared a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Later, the rising political star based his 2004 keynote speech to the Democratic National Convention on a Wright sermon called "Audacity to Hope," who also was the inspiration for Obama's second memoir, "The Audacity of Hope."The Tribune profile said that while Wright and Obama do not often talk one-on-one often, the senator checks with his pastor before making any bold political moves, including in 2006, when considering a run for the White House.Wright reportedly cautioned Obama not to let politics change him, but he also encouraged him to dive in, win or lose.
As in the days of Noah...

Obama's Pastor Last Sermon...

To watch this video click on the link below:
Barack Obama spiritual mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., preaches last sermon at Trinity United Church of Christ

As in the days of Noah....

REV. JEREMIAH A. WRIGHT, JR.:Pastor inspires Obama's 'audacity'

When he took over Trinity United Church of Christ in 1972, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. was a maverick pastor with a wardrobe of dashikis and a militant message.Six years later, he planted a "Free South Africa" sign on the lawn of his church and asked other local religious leaders to follow his lead.None took him up on the invitation. The sign stayed until the end of apartheid,-long enough to catch the eye of a young Barack Obama, who visited the church in 1985 as a community activist. Obama, was not a churchgoer at the time, but he found himself returning to the sanctuary of Trinity United. In Wright he had found both a spiritual mentor and a role model. Wright, 65, is a straight-talking pragmatist who arrived in Chicago as an outsider and became an institution. He has built a congregation of 8,500, including the likes of Oprah Winfrey and hip-hop artist Common, by offering an alternative to socially conservative black churches that are, Wright believes, too closely tied to Chicago's political dynasties.Obama, too, also came to the city as a young unknown. Emerging from relative obscurity with his win in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary race for a U.S. Senate seat, he found a growing audience by preaching the politics of social justice and common ground. He has encouraged Democrats to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of Americans. Now, he is positioning himself as a presidential candidate who can unify the American people.Obama says that rather than advising him on strategy, Wright helps keep his priorities straight and his moral compass calibrated."What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice," Obama said. "He's much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I'm not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that's involved in national politics."The rebellious son of a Baptist minister, Wright was hired by Trinity United when he could find no Baptist church to take him. The congregation on 95th Street, then numbering just 87, had recently adopted the motto "Unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian." They did not mind his fiery red Afro and black power agenda.Wright has continued on an independent path ever since, often questioning the common sense of Scripture, objecting to mandatory prayer in schools and clashing with clergy who preach prosperity theology, a popular notion among black pastors that God will bestow wealth and success on believers.In the process, he built a spiritual empire. The modest brown brick building that housed the church in the 1970s was converted into a day-care center when Trinity opened its new sanctuary in 1995 at 400 W. 95th St. Members run more than 80 ministries, including an outreach to gay and lesbian singles, --also unusual for a black church.And though Wright now wears three-piece suits on occasion, but he still dons a dashiki most times he preaches. Obama has said he is particularly inspired by Wright's ability to draw followers from all walks of life--celebrities and welfare recipients, PhDs and GEDs. It is a gift the senator aspires to emulate.Wright again bucked convention by announcing plans to retire in May 2008 and tapping Rev. Otis Moss III as his successor. Many black pastors do not surrender their pulpit even when they become too feeble to serve, said Rev. Dwight Hopkins, a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School who met Wright in the 1980s.Wright's willingness to "surrender leadership" demonstrates a humility that sets him apart, Hopkins said."The black church is probably the only space in America where black men can have unquestioned authority," he said. "It's hard to give that up for a lot of black male pastors."Wright said the decision was not hard difficult. "The church is built around the personality of Jesus, not Jeremiah Wright," he said.Born and raised in Philadelphia, Wright followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and enrolled at by attending Virginia Union University, with the intention of doing graduate work at the historically black seminary. But disenchanted by what he felt was an inadequate Christian response to the civil rights movement, he abruptly ended his pastoral pursuits and joined the U.S. Navy.An encounter with a pastor as he loitered on some church steps reminded Wright of his calling. He eventually returned to Howard University to finish bachelor's and master's degrees in English with a focus on African spirituals. At the University of Chicago Divinity School, he earned another master's in the history of religions with a focus on Islam. He planned to earn a doctoral degree his Ph.D. and teach at a seminary.But his calling to teach was interrupted by a call to action. Many black Christians were leaving the church for other religious traditions, including the Black Hebrew Israelites and the Nation of Islam, who taught that Christianity was a white man's religion imposed on them by slaveholders."They didn't know African-American history," Wright said. "They were leaving the churches by the boatloads ¡K The church seemed so disconnected from their struggle for dignity and humanity."
To read more go to:
As in the days of Noah....

Obama’s Statement Condemning His Pastor’s Controversial Sermons

The following statement was released by the Barack Obama campaign Friday in response to criticism over sermons delivered by his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.:
On My Faith and My Church
The pastor of my church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who recently preached his last sermon and is in the process of retiring, has touched off a firestorm over the last few days. He’s drawn attention as the result of some inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents.
[[[[Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.]]]]
Because these particular statements by Rev. Wright are so contrary to my own life and beliefs, a number of people have legitimately raised questions about the nature of my relationship with Rev. Wright and my membership in the church. Let me therefore provide some context.
As I have written about in my books, I first joined Trinity United Church of Christ (nearly twenty years ago.) I knew Rev. Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as (a respected biblical scholar), and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago. He also led a diverse congregation that was and still is a pillar of the South Side and the entire city of Chicago. It’s a congregation that does not merely preach social justice but acts it out each day, through ministries ranging from housing the homeless to reaching out to those with HIV/AIDS.
[[[Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he’s been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.]]]
The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church.
Let me repeat what I’ve said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.(really...???so why do you still attend that church....????you've been there for nearly 20 years!!!!And just now two or three days ago it was brought to your attention Obama,what all this was about...????
[[[[With Rev. Wright’s retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good. ]]]]SO in other words it doesnt matter what his inflammatory rethoric is or what the rethoric of the new minister is,youre gonna keep on attending that church anyways!!!!!!!!!!And while Rev. Wright’s statements have pained and angered me, [[[[[[[[[[I believe that Americans will judge me not on the basis of what someone else said, but on the basis of who I am and what I believe in; on my values, judgment and experience to be President of the United States.]]]]]]]]]](1)

PS:(1)Well.....HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!that's what we are talking about now.....

On the basis of who Obama is:Well thats something we are still trying to figure out....
We only know that his mom was white,his dad a muslim from Africa,that left them and his mom remarried another muslim and they left for Indonesia,where he attended muslim schools.
We also know his middle name is Hussein,after the prophet Muhammad's infamous grandson...but of course WE CANT TALK ABOUT THAT.....
We also know about his ties with Reszko
We also know that he said he would invade Pakistan...
We also knows that he has HOPE or better put it...."HOPE IN ME"...
We know he is not prolife
We know he is adored by the Gay Movement
We know -therefore-that he is pro gay marriage...
We know that there is no one law or project of law or achievement that can be named that he ever achieved or did or wrote or nothing,zero,zip nada.....
We know his wife was almost ashamed of America till recently,cause America is mean....
We know he is messianic
We know he is a populist
We know he doesnt have a real plan for government
We know ladies faint at his rallies
We know some people think that he is the second coming and may be it they have bad arthritis and attend their rallies theyll get healed....!!!!!
We know he attends a church which statement of faith and beliefs are questionable....
We know he knows how to condemn and distance from personal friends and mentors when it is convenient
We know he doesnt want to be a vicepresident
We know he missed some services....especially the controversial ones....
That far we know of him.....

On the basis of who Obama believes in:Well thats a problem cause he sits on a church pew for 20 years listening to hate speech....is that what he believes in?And if it is not...WHY IN THE WORLD IS HE STAYING THERE...????

On the basis of his values:Well the admiration for L.Farrahkan among others is not helping you Obama is it...????

On the basis of his judgment:Well I think he is lacking that a lil'...in thinking he can fool americans on who he really is

On the basis of experience:Well after all what is HIS EXPERIENCE...????Is Hope his experience....????

"Mr Wright"..."my friend and pastor and mentor"....JUST WORDS...???????

As in the days of Noah...

DECEPTION WATCH:Obama denounces pastor's 9/11 comments

WASHINGTON-[Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday denounced inflammatory remarks from his pastor, who has railed against the United States and accused the country of bringing on the Sept. 11 attacks by spreading terrorism.Obama called the statements appearing on television and the Internet "completely unacceptable and inexcusable" in a Fox News interview and said they didn't reflect the kinds of sermons he had heard from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright while attending services at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ.]{{{{{{Obama, a member of the church since the early 1990s, said he would have quit Trinity(WOW...really...???) had such statements been "the repeated tenor of the church. ... I wouldn't feel comfortable there."}}}}}}[[[[[[Earlier Friday, Obama responded by posting a blog about his relationship with Wright and Trinity on the Huffington Post. Wright brought Obama to Christianity, officiated at his wedding, baptized his daughters and inspired the title of his book, "The Audacity of Hope."Obama wrote that he's looked to Wright for spiritual advice, not political guidance, and he's been pained and angered to learn of some of his pastor's comments for which he had not been present.]]]]]] Obama told MSNBC that Wright had stepped down from his campaign's African American Religious Leadership Committee."I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies," Obama said in his blog posting. ["I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Reverend Wright that are at issue."]blah,blah,blah,blah..{{{{{{{{{{In a sermon on the Sunday after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Wright suggested the United States brought on the attacks."We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye," Wright said. "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."In a 2003 sermon, he said blacks should condemn the United States."The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."He also gave a sermon in December comparing Obama to Jesus, promoting his candidacy and criticizing his rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton."Barack knows what it means to be a black man to be living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people," Wright told a cheering congregation."Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain't never been called a nigger."}}}}}}}}}[[[[Obama told MSNBC that he would not repudiate Wright as a man, describing him as "like an uncle" who says something that he disagrees with and must speak out against. He also said he expects his political opponents will use video of the sermons to attack him as the campaign goes on.Questions about Obama's religious beliefs have dogged him throughout his candidacy. He's had to fight against false Internet rumors suggesting he's really a Muslim intent on destroying the United States, and now his pastor's words uttered nearly seven years ago have become an issue.Obama wrote on the Huffington Post that he never heard Wright say any of the statements, but he acknowledged that they have raised legitimate questions about the nature of his relationship with the pastor and the church. He wrote that he joined Wright's church nearly 20 years ago, familiar with the pastor's background as a former Marine and respected biblical scholar who lectured at seminaries across the country."Reverend Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life," he wrote. "And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor and to seek justice at every turn."He said Wright's controversial statements first came to his attention at the beginning of his presidential campaign last year, and he condemned them. Because of his long and deep ties to the 6,000-member congregation church, Obama said he decided not to leave."With Reverend Wright's retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good," he wrote. Also Friday, the United Church of Christ issued a 1,400-word statement defending Wright and his "flagship" congregation. The statement lauded Wright's church for its community service and work to nurture youth and the pastor for speaking out against homophobia and sexism in the black community."It's time for all of us to say no to these attacks and to declare that we will not allow anyone to undermine or destroy the ministries of any of our congregations in order to serve their own narrow political or ideological ends,"]]]] John H. Thomas, United Church of Christ's president, said in the statement.
PS:I wouldnt spend a second talking about politics UNLESS they are involved or they touch the pulpit...
I decided to blog on this cause I think it is time for America and the world to know what real christianism is all about.
And certainly Obama's "pastor,friend and mentor" is not an example of a true christian....
If you have the opportunity to hear the entire preaching of Mr Wright,that is in question now,you would scratch your head in shock and disbelief that these kind of rethoric is "preached' from a pulpit in America with people(supposedly christians)cheering in the background.....UNBELIEVABLE....
This is just another example of how low the name of christianism has sunk in America and it seems to continue spiralling down rapidly.
At first,when I heard the message,I thought....well i understand why this black pastor says what he says and where he is coming from,but then....when I continued listening,I was SHOCKEd to say the least....
His rethoric was full of HATRED,for white people and also against America...
His choice of language was really poor to be kind....
His lack of control on his RANT,shows how little of the Spirit of God this man has....
It is not new in America,churches with pastors that are not saved or 100% carnal(aint that the same...?I wonder)
Now IF Obama wouldnt consider this man-Wright- his mentor and counsellor,and blahblahblah....I wouldnt be posting this....
I think Obama needs to explain which one of his mentor's concepts he doesnt agree with....
Is it his antisemite views....?
Is his life time achievement award to looney tunes hate preacher Louis Farrahkan...?
Is it that he disagrees with the whole Lybia trip...?
Is it that he doesnt agree that whites created AIDS to kill african american...?
Is it that the white man is the root of all evils...?
Is it that Jesus was a black man in a nation of white rich people?(yep since italian were in charge and were rich and white....sigh.....what an ignorant...!)
Is it that infamous"GOD ----America"????
Now all of the sudden he has developed
an arm lenght of distance between him and his "mentor"...????
So for twenty long years he never heard this kind of preaching...?
SO if he was not present didnt he hear from somebody at churcha bout these things...?
So IF he DISAGREED in these statements why in the world he wanted to continue attending and exposing his daughters to this...?
Or all of the sudden he NEVER ATTENDED CHURCH....?So now he is lying anyway....trying to let us believe he is a COMMITED CHRISTIAN....
He doesnt fool christians and well informed people in general....
He is a liar and a phony,and it is evident that he LUSTS to be the next president of America so bad....
Now would you like to have a president like that and a first lady that just recently felt good and proud about America...?What about their kids....???Are they growing to be racists and hate their own country...?
I didnt like the flag thing with Obama(you know what Im talking about)But this is way too much to let it go....
Well like the Bible says....ALL THINGS COME TO LIGHT....!!!!
Mr Wright has defiled the pulpit using his position to instill this type of rhetoric to his congregation.
His own church is not making ammends about it or apologizing....
Well there you go....Now Obama has some explaining to do....
I bet you that the Clinton camp is having a good laugh about it.....
DO NOT BE FOOLED,we can fool men BUt we cannot fool God or those that discern the times and the people.....
The Bible also says that whosoever hateh his brother is a murderer.....Wright should have been preaching FROM the BIBLE instead of this racist rants....Well now he is conveniently RETIRED.....!!!!!
Please watch,discern and pray before voting.....!!!!!!!!!!There are lots of wolves on sheep clothing out there....
As in the days of Noah....

Thousands of Catholics attend first mass at Qatari church

DOHA-[[[Thousands of Catholics took part on Saturday in the first mass at Muslim Qatar's only church, opened this week despite threats from Islamists.Vatican envoy Cardinal Ivan Dias presided over the eucharist attended by around 15,000 worshippers at Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic church in Doha, thanking "God and Qatar for this great gift".The church, which like elsewhere in the Gulf Arab region has no bells or crosses on its exterior, opened on Friday ahead of western Christianity's celebration of Easter, which this year falls on March 23.It is the first of five to be constructed in the gas-rich Gulf state.From early morning, Catholics began arriving at the church, which accommodates around 5,000. Big screens were erected in the grounds to allow the overflow to follow the mass, celebrated during the consecration of the building.The mass was conducted in English, but prayers were also said in Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Tagalog, Spanish and French for the many nationalities that would worship in the church.Dozens of police were deployed around the church, which cost some 20 million dollars (13 million euros), and female officers searched the handbags of women worshippers.Western embassies, particularly from the United States and Britain, warned nationals living in Qatar to be extra vigilant after an Islamic militants on the Internet made threats linked to the opening of the church.The US embassy on Thursday released a warning that the new church might be targeted."Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons and target both official and private interests. Examples of such targets include ... the new Christian Church complex in Doha," it said.Worshippers said they were not concerned by the threats."It is a day without precedent. I am very happy. The threats were made but I didn't pay them much attention. I trust the country's authorities,"]]] Filipino Catholic Shato Mawude told AFP.Fellow Filipino Ariel Almyede added:[[["This church is a sign of a possible dialogue between the different faiths."Qatari Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah added: "The church sends a positive message to the world ..."At the moment we are enjoying the construction of mosques and Islamic centres in the West, so we must be fair" toward Christians in the region and allow them places of worship.Qatar is a close ally of Washington and hosts the command headquarters for US forces in the Middle East.]]]In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), meanwhile, police were seen on Saturday guarding one of the main churches in bustling Dubai and searching worshippers entering the compound.Police closed off access to cars around St Mary's Catholic Church and signs were put up in the street directing motorists to park their vehicles in other specified places, an AFP correspondent reported.A priest who asked not to be named told AFP there had been no threat against the church and the security deployment was a preventive measure. Policemen said the "precautionary" moves would last until March 25, after Easter.The UAE prides itself on its religious tolerance and cultural diversity, and most Gulf Arab states have long allowed Christians to worship in churches.[[[[[[But Saudi Arabia, which adheres to a rigorous doctrine of Islam known as Wahhabism and is home to Islam's holiest sites, bans all non-Muslim religious rituals and materials.]]]]]]However, the papal nuncio in the Gulf, Archbishop Paul-Munjed al-Hashem, said on the sidelines of the Doha mass that talks had begun with Riyadh to convince it to become the final Gulf Arab state to allow churches."Discussions are underway with Saudi Arabia to allow the construction of churches in the kingdom," he said, adding that the country had between three and four million Christian residents. "We cannot forecast the outcome."

PS:What concerns me is that this is a new wave of "government run churches".
I've been closely following pope's Benedict steps since he took on his office as a pope for the RCC and this thing with this only church in Qatar is just to be watched.
It is evident that the Roman Catholic Church has been on "talks" with muslim clerics"....THere is no telling what they have been talking about....
In the meantime CHRISTIANS continue to be persecuted and slaughtered all over the muslim world....while catholics erect big buildings,Christians are on hiding in many places...
Yes,I know Qatar is more open,BUT I know this from Christians that live and work there,that they are still struggling in many ways
Isn it interesting that the government hasn't built any CHRISTIAN CHURCH,instead a Roman Catholic Church....???Thats something to think about

As in the days of Noah....

Storm follows Atlanta twister,killing 1

ATLANTA-Storms killed one person Saturday in northwest Georgia, less than 24 hours after a tornado with wind up to 130 mph cut a 6-mile path through downtown Atlanta, blowing windows out of skyscrapers and injuring dozens.More thunderstorms headed across northern Alabama toward the city Saturday."We're bracing for another round of whatever mother nature throws at us," said Lisa Janak of the state emergency management agency.A tornado touched down Saturday in Polk County on the Alabama line, killing one person, Janak said. She had no other details, and the National Weather Service had not confirmed the second tornado.At least 27 people were hurt Friday night, though no injuries were believed to be life-threatening.Crews hauled broken glass and furniture out of streets downtown, where all events scheduled for Saturday were canceled, including the St. Patrick's Day parade."It's a mess," Janak said.
Weather service officials confirmed Saturday that a tornado hit around 9:40 p.m. as a thunderstorm roared through with wind up to 60 mph, about 10 minutes after the weather service issued a tornado warning.There had been only a "light risk" in the area Friday for thunderstorms capable of producing strong tornadoes and very large hail, said Trisha Palmer, a weather service meteorologist in nearby Peachtree City. In contrast, the risk was rated as moderate Saturday north Georgia and upstate South Carolina.The storm smashed hundreds of skyscraper windows, blew furniture and luggage out of hotel rooms, crumbled part of an apartment building and rattled a packed sports arena.Streets around the Georgia Dome, Phillips Arena, the CNN Center and Centennial Olympic Park were littered with glass, downed power lines, bricks, insulation and the occasional office chair. Billboards collapsed onto parked cars.
Curious onlookers fanned out across the city taking pictures and surveying the damage in their neighborhoods. Mayor Shirley Franklin urged people to stay indoors unless performing essential tasks like checking on family or property."Do not use this as an opportunity for sightseeing," Franklin said. "It is not as if something happened last night and everything is over. Our challenge is getting people to understand that this is a serious emergency response effort."
Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine estimated damage from Friday night's storm at $150 million to $200 million, most of it at the Georgia World Congress Center, a state convention facility near the CNN Center and the Georgia Dome. He said the storm broke through the roof, sucking walls, glass and furnishings out like a vacuum.CNN said its headquarters building suffered ceiling damage that allowed water to pour into the atrium, and windows were shattered in the CNN.com newsroom and the company's library. A water line inside the building broke, turning a staircase into a waterfall."It was crazy. There was a lot of windows breaking and stuff falling," said Terrence Evans, a valet who was about to park a car at the Omni Hotel when the storm twister hit.Guests and staff were quickly moved to the exhibit hall and ballroom, and the only injuries were "some cuts and scrapes and no major issues as far as we know," hotel spokesman Mike Sullivan said.The 1,000-room hotel was fully booked, though many guests were out at sporting events at nearby neighboring venues when the storm hit.Many residents were surprised by the storm, as were tens of thousands of basketball fans at the Southeastern Conference basketball tournament at the Georgia Dome and the NBA matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers at Philips Arena. The warning was not displayed or announced at either game. The first sign was rumbling and the rippling of the dome's fabric roof. Catwalks swayed and insulation rained down on players during overtime of the Mississippi State-Alabama game, sending fans fleeing toward the exits and the teams to their locker rooms."I thought it was a tornado or a terrorist attack," said Mississippi State guard Ben Hansbrough, whose team won 69-67 after an hourlong delay under a roof with at least two visible tears.Officials said the rest of the tournament would be played at Georgia Tech. "Ironically, the guy behind me got a phone call saying there was a tornado warning," fan Lisa Lynn said. "And in two seconds, we heard the noise and things started to shake. It was creepy." Calls to the Georgia Dome and Philips Arena were not immediately returned.Power was knocked out to about 19,000 customers, and about 10,000 remained without power Saturday.A loft apartment building had severe damage to one corner and appeared to have major roof damage. Property manager Darlys Walker said there was one minor injury. A vacant building also collapsed, with no apparent injuries, Fire Capt. Bill May said.Grady Memorial Hospital, the city's large public hospital where many of the injured were taken, had broken windows but was operating as usual.Melody and Brad Sorrells were home in their living room with their two children when the storm hit, and the huge pine in their front yard crash into their east Atlanta house."I saw it falling and we ran into the back bedrooms in the closet," Melody Sorrels said. "I feel sick."The tornado was the first on record in downtown Atlanta, said Vaughn Smith, another weather service meteorologist. The last tornado to strike inside the city was in 1975, and it hit the governor's mansion north of downtown, he said.
As in the days of Noah....


"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him:and he cannot sin,because he is born of God.
In this the children of God are manifest,and the children of the devil:whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,neither he that loveth not his brother.
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning,that we should love one another.
Not as Cain,who was of that wicked one,and slew his brother.And wherefore slew he him?Because his own works were evil,and his brother's righteous.
Marvel not,my brethren,if the world hate you.
We know that we have passed from death unto life,because we love the brethren.He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer:and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."

1 John 3:9-15

BIG BROTHER WATCH:Right now,feds might be looking into your finances

WASHINGTON-Each year, federal agents peek at the financial transactions of millions of Americans-without their knowledge.The same type of information that raised suspicions about New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is reviewed every day by authorities to find traces of money laundering, check fraud, identity theft or any crime that may involve a financial institution.As concerns about fraud and terrorist financing grow, an increasing number of suspicious deposits, withdrawals and money transfers are being reported by banks and others to the federal government. Banks and credit unions as well as currency dealers and stores that cash checks reported a record 17.6 million transactions to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in 2006, according to a report from the network, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department."I don't think Americans understand that their financial transactions are being reported and routinely examined," said Barry Steinhardt of the American Civil Liberties Union.The Treasury Department's database now contains records of more than 100 million financial transactions going back to at least 1996, said network spokesman Steve Hudak.Teams of agents from the FBI, IRS, Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies regularly review newly filed financial reports and launch investigations. Federal and local authorities search the database to find information about people that can help ongoing probes. Treasury Department analysts study the reports to detect trends in fraud and issue reports alerting financial institutions."The government has access to untold volumes of records and can draw all sorts of conclusions about us, and many are going to be wrong," Steinhardt said.Bankers disagree. "For the typical bank customer, this means very little because there's nothing they're doing that's likely to be viewed as out of the ordinary," said Richard Riese, head of regulatory compliance for the American Bankers Association.The reporting system dates to the early 1970s when federal agents sought to pinpoint drug dealers by looking for people making large cash deposits.Financial institutions have long been required to report cash transactions over $10,000.Those reports-simple notices of a deposit or withdrawal-account for more than 90% of the records the enforcement network gets each year.Far more controversial are secret "suspicious activity reports" filed by financial institutions and reviewed by teams of agents spread around the country. The investigation of Spitzer began when a bank spotted potentially suspicious transfers from several accounts and filed reports with the IRS, according to a federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official did not want his name used because he's not authorized to discuss the case publicly.
The number of suspicious activity reports soared from 413,000 in 2003 to 1 million in 2006, according to the enforcement network.Federal law requires the reports to remain secret. They are written by officers at financial institutions who specialize in detecting suspicious activity, such as a series of large transactions.The analysis can protect customers by spotting unusual withdrawals that may indicate fraud, said Robert Rowe, senior regulatory counsel of the Independent Community Bankers of America.Many of the reports are a waste, said Riese of the bankers association."We're reporting on a lot of things everybody knows law enforcement doesn't have the resources to pursue," he said.Hudak said the "vast majority" of reports "are filed for a good reason...There are law enforcement officials and investigators who use these reports and read them every day."

As in the days of Noah....

New Private Jet to Hit Speed of Sound

Masters of the universe, start your engines-and break out your check books.The makers of the private jet that became a must-have accessory for super-rich celebrities and corporate titans, the Gulfstream V, are announcing plans to supersede the iconic aircraft with a new model, the Gulfstream 650.At 704 miles an hour, the new plane's top speed approaches the speed of sound. The new G650 has a range of 7,000 nautical miles, which means it will be able to reach most of the world nonstop from New York, save for Antarctica, Madagascar, Australia, and parts of South Asia."I am sure it's going to be in very high demand," a charter planner who oversees a Westchester County-based fleet of Gulfstreams, Janine Vesey of Global Air Charters, said.A mock-up of the jet was unveiled yesterday at Gulfstream's Savannah, Ga., factory, but the designers clearly have their eye on northern New Jersey's Teterboro Airport, the hub for business aviation in the New York area. The G650's 99,600-pound maximum take-off weight squeaks in just under the 100,000 pound maximum allowed under an agreement between Teterboro and its neighbors.The list price for the G650 is about $58.5 million, but it won't be ready for delivery until 2012. Taking the required pre-payment schedule into account, the cost rises to almost $65 million.Upon its introduction in 1997, the G-V or "G-five" quickly became the favorite of the flying elite looking for speed, privacy, and a touch of glamour.
by Josh Gerstein
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Thousands in Italy rally against the mafia

BARI, Italy-Thousands of Italians marched on Saturday in an anti-mafia protest and called on all citizens to take a public stand against Italy's powerful crime syndicates.Crying openly and shouting "Basta!" (Enough!), politicians and anti-mafia leaders made emotional appeals against keeping silent and read out the names of people assassinated by the mafia.Many at the rally in the southern city of Bari held up pictures of relatives gunned down by members of organized crime."The mafia has not been defeated and above all the incurable ill of turning a blind eye needs to be defeated," said Enzo Longo, the mayor of the Sicilian town of Capaci best known for the 1992 killing of a judge and his entourage by the mafia.The founder of anti-mafia group Libera, Don Luigi Ciotti, led the march holding a small piano flute that belonged to an 11-year-old boy strangled 15 years ago by the mafia, who then left his body to dissolve in a tub of acid.Organizers said 100,000 people took part in the march but there were no official estimates.Italy's government says it has inflicted major blows on the Sicilian mafia with the arrests of several high-profile suspects in recent months. Young Sicilians have also been leading efforts to openly reject calls to pay "pizzo" or protection money.But a February report by a parliamentary commission on the mafia warned the Calabrian version of the mafia, called the 'Ndrangheta, had become an increasingly powerful and sophisticated organization, comparing it to al Qaeda.
As in the days of Noah....

SIGN of the TIMES:State passes droopy pants law

TALLAHASSEE, Florida-The Florida Senate wants public school students to pull up their pants. Lawmakers passed a bill Thursday that could mean suspensions for students with droopy britches.It won't become law unless the House of Representatives passes a companion measure.Florida could join several southern U.S. towns and cities that have passed "saggy pants" laws aimed at outlawing what some teenagers consider a fashion statement-wearing pants half way down their buttocks, exposing flesh or underwear.Supporters say schools sometimes don't properly police dress codes and parents are often "under aware" of what their kids are wearing to school.Critics say the measure is unnecessary, arguing that appearance and dress codes should be the responsibility of school districts and parents.Despite being the butt of jokes, the bill's sponsor,Orlando Sen. Gary Siplin, a Democrat, has said the fashion statement has a back-story-it was made popular by rap artists after first appearing among prison inmates as a signal they were looking for sex."All we're trying to do now is trying to inform folks that we have a fad now that does not have a very good origination," Siplin said."We're trying to make an example in school," he added, saying it would help students get jobs and a degree.The Florida city of Riviera Beach passed its own saggy pants law Tuesday, with a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail for repeat offenders.
As in the days of Noah....

Islamabad bomb kills Turk, wounds 5 Americans

ISLAMABAD-A Turkish woman was killed and five Americans were among 11 people wounded in a bomb attack on a restaurant in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Saturday night, police said.The other wounded included a Briton, a Canadian and a Japanese national, and three Pakistanis, according to a list posted at the hospital where the casualties were taken.Police Deputy Inspector General Shahid Nadeem Baloch said the victim was a Turkish woman who worked for a relief agency, after television news channels had earlier identified her as an American nurse."U.S. embassy personnel were among those wounded," U.S. embassy spokeswoman Kay Mayfield said.Pakistan has been battling Islamist militancy since joining the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism after the September 11 attacks on the United States.More than 500 people have been killed this year in militant-related violence, including a wave of suicide bombings.Bombers have targeted U.S. diplomats several times in the past. David Foy, a diplomat at the U.S.consulate in Karachi was killed by a suicide car bomber in March 2006.Early last year a suicide bomber killed a security guard outside Islamabad's Marriott hotel, but attacks on soft targets like restaurants frequented by foreigners would mark a change in the militants' tactics.
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END TIMES WEATER:NOAA: Coolest Winter Since 2001 for U.S., Globe

The average temperature across both the contiguous U.S. and the globe during climatological winter (December 2007-February 2008) was the coolest since 2001, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. In terms of winter precipitation, Pacific storms, bringing heavy precipitation to large parts of the West, produced high snowpack that will provide welcome runoff this spring.A complete analysis is available online. U.S. Winter Temperature Highlights
*In the contiguous United States, the average winter temperature was 33.2°F (0.6°C), which was 0.2°F (0.1°C) above the 20th century average – yet still ranks as the coolest since 2001. It was the 54th coolest winter since national records began in 1895.
*Winter temperatures were warmer than average from Texas to the Southeast and along the Eastern Seaboard, while cooler-than-average temperatures stretched from much of the upper Midwest to the West Coast.
*With higher-than-average temperatures in the Northeast and South, the contiguous U.S. winter temperature-related energy demand was approximately 1.7 percent lower than average, based on NOAA’s Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index.
Global Highlights
*The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the 16th warmest on record for the December 2007-February 2008 period (0.58°F/0.32°C above the 20th century mean of 53.8°F/12.1°C). The presence of a moderate-to-strong La Niña contributed to an average temperature that was the coolest since the La Niña episode of 2000-2001.
*While analyses of the causes of the severe winter storms in southern China continues, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory scientists are focusing on the presence of unusually strong, persistent high pressure over Eastern Europe, combined with low pressure over Southwest Asia. This pattern directed a series of storms across the region, while northerly low level flow introduced cold air from Mongolia. Unusually high water temperatures in the China Sea may have triggered available moisture that enhanced the severity of these storms.
*Record Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent in January was followed by above average snow cover for the month of February. Unusually high temperatures across much of the mid- and high-latitude areas of the Northern Hemisphere in February began reducing the snow cover, and by the end of February, snow cover extent was below average in many parts of the hemisphere.
*While there has been little trend in snow cover extent during the winter season since records began in the late 1960s, spring snow cover extent has been sharply lower in the past two decades as global temperatures have increased.
February Temperature Highlights
*February was 61st warmest in the contiguous U.S. and 15th warmest globally on record. For the U.S., the temperature was near average, 0.2°F (0.1°C) above the 20th century average of 34.7°F (1.5°C), which was 2.0°F (1.1°C) warmer than February 2007.
*Globally, the February average temperature was 0.68°F/0.38°C above the 20th century mean of 53.8°F/12.1°C.
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PESTILENCE WATCH:Hotel Closes Over Legionnaires' Disease

ORANGE COUNTY,Fla.-A hotel located in the tourist corridor of Orlando voluntarily closed its doors on Friday after two guests contracted Legionnaires' disease, a respiratory illness that can be fatal.Guests at the Quality Suites, located at 7400 Canada Ave. near International Drive in Orlando, have been relocated because of the incident, although Orange County Health Department spokesman Dane Weister said there are no further reported cases of the disease.The hotel may be closed for about two weeks.No information about the two guests, including names, ages and whether they are related, was released.The health department is conducting an investigation into numerous possible sources to determine the cause of exposure.Legionnaires' disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria that can be found naturally and anywhere in the environment. The bacteria grow best in warm water, like the kind found in hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems or parts of the air-conditioning systems of large buildings.Symptoms include headaches, loss of appetite, aches, pains, fever and coughing. The disease is treated with antibiotics. Symptoms can begin between two to 10 days after contracting the bacteria.Legionnaires' disease causes death in up to 5 to 30 percent of cases, health officials said.

As in the days of Noah....


"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law:for sin is the transgression of the law.
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins;and in him is no sin.
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not:whosoever sinneth hath not seen him,neither known him.
Little children,let no man deceive you:he that doeth righteousness is righteous,even as he is righteous.
He that committeth sin is of the devil;for the devil sinneth from the beginning.For this purpose the Son of God was manifested,that he might destroy the works of the devil."

1 John 3:4-8

Chavez says US can 'shove' terror list

CARACAS,[[[Venezuela-President Hugo Chavez dared the U.S. on Friday to put Venezuela on a list of countries accused of supporting terrorism, calling it one more attempt by Washington to undermine him for political reasons.Chavez said the "threat to include us on the terrorist list" is Washington's response to his government's successes in the region.U.S. lawmakers including Reps. Connie Mack and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, both Florida Republicans, have called for the State Department to add Venezuela to its list of terror sponsors, which includes North Korea, Iran, Syria, Sudan and Cuba.They have expressed concerns about what they call Chavez's close ties to Colombia's leftist rebels."Let them make that list and shove it in their pocket," Chavez said in a televised speech."We shouldn't forget for an instant that we're in a battle against North American imperialism,"Chavez said."On this continent,they have us as enemy No. 1."Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday during a visit to Brazil that all U.N. nations, including Venezuela, have an obligation to go after terrorists and keep them from operating within their borders.The comment was largely a warning for Chavez, who U.S. officials suspect has lent support to Colombian rebels.]]] In recent days, Rice and President Bush have sharpened their rhetoric against Chavez while praising Colombia and other Latin American allies.Chavez said Rice's visit to Brazil and Chile this week is aimed at mounting "pressures" against "our government and against me."Chavez also responded to barbs from Bush, who on Wednesday accused Venezuela of squandering its oil wealth internationally "to promote its hostile, anti-American vision."The heated exchanges with the U.S. came as Chavez and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe pledged to smooth over differences after their worst-ever diplomatic spat, provoked by a deadly Colombian attack on a rebel camp in Ecuador.Chavez said he called Uribe on Thursday in part "because the statements (against Venezuela) continue," and because the U.S. "keeps trying to make us fight."He said he told Uribe he wants to rebuild relations after the March 1 cross-border strike, which killed 25 people including a rebel leader.After Colombia's assault in Ecuador, Chavez and Ecuadorean leader Rafael Correa sent troops to their borders. Colombia released documents found on rebel laptops, saying they link Chavez and Correa's administrations to leftist Colombian rebels.Correa on Thursday delivered an angry response to Bush's strong support for Colombia in the wake of the raid, challenging the U.S. president to send troops to Ecuador's border with Colombia."Bring your soldiers Mr. Bush," Correa said in the speech."Let it be your soldiers who die along the southern border with Colombia.We'll see if the Americans, the citizens of the United States, will accept tremendous atrocity."If not, shut your mouth and understand what is happening in Latin America."Ecuadorean authorities are still angry over the Colombian raid and have delayed restoring diplomatic relations until at least the end of the month.Meanwhile on Friday,three Mexican students in their late 20s were confirmed killed in Ecuador during Colombia's raid on the rebel camp.Five Mexicans-three men and two women-apparently were at the camp near the border with Colombia during the attack.Mexican student Lucia Morett Alvarez, 26, was wounded but survived, and parents of another missing Mexican woman were awaiting forensic tests.Fellow students in Mexico have described the victims as activists who sympathized with Latin America's radical left, which has gained some backing on college campuses in Mexico.

As in the days of Noah....

US lawmakers want Venezuela on US list of terrorism sponsors

WASHINGTON-Two US lawmakers Friday introduced a resolution calling for Venezuela to be added to a US list of state sponsors of terrorism amid allegations linking Caracas to Colombia's leftist FARC rebels."Evidence that the Venezuelan government might have given aid and comfort to violent extremists is reprehensible and must not be ignored," said Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, ranking Republican in the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.The proposed resolution the Cuban-American lawmaker co-sponsored with Connie Mack, a leading critic of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, came after Colombia charged that computers seized from a rebel camp showed links between Chavez and the FARC."For more than 40 years, the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) has waged a brutal and debilitating war against the people of Colombia," Ros-Lehtinen said on presenting her resolution in Congress.The Marxist FARC rebel group, Colombia's oldest and strongest, is listed as a terrorist group by the US and Europe, despite Chavez's insistence they be recognized as a legitimate army with "a political project" meriting respect.Ros-Lehtinen also called Venezuela's close ties to Cuba and Iran-both on a US State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism-"a direct affront to all who work to promote justice and freedom in the region.""As troubling reports of alliances in the hemisphere continue to surface,Congress needs to stand side-by-side with our friends and rebuke our foes,"the lawmaker added."This resolution is the first step in drawing that bright line."The resolution came as the US government stepped up its criticism of Chavez this week but stopped short of calling Venezuela a state sponsor of terrorism.Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday during a trip to Brazil that Washington was examining the alleged Venezuela-FARC links and would "act accordingly."US President George W. Bush on Wednesday accused Chavez of backing "terrorists" in neighboring Colombia.

As in the days of Noah....

Iranians go to the polls

Conservatives set to keep control of Iran assembly

TEHRAN-Iranian election results on Saturday showed conservatives on course to keep their grip on parliament, but some were expected to join reformists in flaying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's handling of the economy. Conservatives have taken 120 seats in the 290-member assembly against 46 for reformists so far, the state Press TV station reported, citing the Interior Ministry.Four seats had gone to independents and 30 more would go to run-off votes.The Interior Ministry, which supervised Friday's vote, earlier said a final nationwide tally might take a day or two.Many reformists, trying to capitalize on public discontent over inflation, were disqualified from standing in the polls, but they expect Ahmadinejad to undergo sharper scrutiny even in a parliament dominated by their conservative rivals."The president will face more challenges with the next parliament than he did with the current one," said Mohammad Ali Abtahi, a close ally of reformist ex-President Mohammad Khatami.If confirmed, the 46 reformist seats cited by Press TV takes them beyond the 40 or so they had in the outgoing parliament.But Iran's Fars News Agency gave a slightly different tally for the 170 seats so far decided, saying conservatives had 125 and reformists 35, while independents had 10.Direct comparison with the previous assembly is complicated by fluid factional loyalties and a large group of independents.
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Many dead in Albania blast

Albania army base blasts kill, injure 200

TIRANA-An Albanian army munitions dump blew up in a series of massive explosions on Saturday and officials said they feared dozens of personnel including U.S. specialists may have been killed.Four people were confirmed dead and some 200 injured, they said, many of them civilians hurt as a result of the enormous shockwaves that hit nearby villages and cars passing by on the adjacent highway.Albanian and U.S. teams were moving obsolete munitions stored at the base, including 50-year-old artillery shells, when the explosions began. The base was a central collection point for the arsenal amassed by Albania's Stalinist-era dictatorship."We do not know the exact number (of casualties)," Prime Minister Sali Berisha's spokeswoman Juela Mecani told Reuters."But we fear the worst for the three teams, each of 21 people, working there at the time. Several were U.S. citizens."The U.S. embassy in Tirana told Reuters it could not confirm the presence of U.S. military personnel at the site.A government statement said four bodies had been recovered from the site, and emergency services were working to retrieve more dead and injured. About 200 people were already being treated in hospitals in Tirana and other towns, it added."Ten of them are critical, others have light injuries and many are in shock," Health Minister Nard Ndoka told Reuters.
As in the days of Noah....

Soldiers line Tibet streets


"Behold,what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,that we should be called the sons of God:therefore the world knoweth us not,because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God,and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:but we know that,when he shall appear,we shall be like him;for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself,even as he is pure."

1 John 3:1-3

A Tibetan Intifadeh Against China?

Fresh protests broke out in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa on Friday, with indications that what had until now been peaceful demonstrations had turned violent. There were no confirmed reports of casualties, but residents, academics and activists said there were clashes between Tibetans and Chinese security forces and that police cars had been burned and a large market was also in flames.Other reports had gunfire and bodies in the streets. Whatever the outcome, though, it seemed to be a turning point in the history of Tibet and perhaps also China. "This is massive," said one Tibet specialist who was in touch with many Lhasa residents,"it is the intifadah. And it will be a long, long time before this ends, whatever happens today or tomorrow."While the scale of the protests and the temper of the reaction by Chinese authorities remain to be seen, the outbreak of violence was an ominous sign for Tibet, where resentment against Chinese rule has been simmering for years. An already tense situation has been exacerbated by China's sensitivity about its human rights image ahead of the staging of the Olympic Games in Beijing in August. Some observers argue that what appeared to be carefully planned and executed protests - the first on such a scale in nearly two decades - were likely deliberately timed to take advantage of the media attention focused on the upcoming Games.The demonstrations began on March 9 when hundreds of monks from three large monasteries on the outskirts of the city, Drepung, Sera and Ganden, attempted to enter Lhasa to commemorate an uprising against Chinese rule in 1959 that was ruthlessly suppressed with hundreds of protesters reportedly killed.The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, was forced to flee Lhasa for refuge in India, where he has lived in exile ever since.(Chinese troops occupied Tibet in 1949 when the Communists finally claimed victory in the country's prolonged civil war).The anniversary protests had passed peacefully-until now."The Chinese response had been extraordinarily restrained, which is amazing,"says Robert Barnett, professor of Contemporary Tibetan Studies at Columbia University.Barnett and others say that paramilitary police blocked at least three attempts by monks from each of the three monasteries to enter the capital.Later the monasteries were surrounded by armed police. Some monks responded in one monastery by reportedly going on hunger strike while there were reports of attempted suicides at another. That pattern of protest was a repeat of the last time Lhasa saw large-scale anti-Beijing demonstrations in March 1989, an escalating series of clashes that ended with troops killing scores of protesters and the declaration of martial law.The Chinese administration of Tibet in the last two years or so has been particularly harsh and provocative, says Barnett, who attributes the tone to the Communist Party Secretary for Tibet, Zhang Qingli. "He is the Rottweiler of the Chinese establishment and has been extremely provocative. He even said once that the Communist Party was Buddha, not the Dalai Lama."Other observers pointed to the opening of a new train line linking Beijing with Lhasa in July 2006 as a turning point. Whereas previously the only access to Lhasa had been through a bone-shaking, two day bus ride or an exorbitant plane ride, the cheaply priced train has doubled the number of tourists entering Tibet and made access much easier for tens of thousands of Chinese seeking to cash in on a local economy juiced by billions of dollars of investment from Beijing. Chinese already outnumber ethnic Tibetans in Lhasa, and many Tibetans felt that they might end up as strangers in their own country, a fate suffered by Mongolians in Chinese-administered Inner Mongolia."It used to be the Tibetans were protesting against Chinese rule," says Nicholas Bequelin, China researcher with New York-based Human Rights Watch."But now they're protesting against the destruction of their whole civilization, their whole world.They feel that they are doomed if they don't do something. And when people feel that desperation there's no knowing what it could lead them to do."That desperation may only increase, as Beijing appears unwilling to making any conciliatory move. In a familiar phrasing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang bitterly criticized the Dalai Lama on March 13, blaming the protests on "a political conspiracy schemed by the Dalai group, aiming to separate Tibet from China and to destroy the normal, harmonious and peaceful life of the Tibetan people."Beijing is particularly incapable of flexibility when it comes to policy toward ethnic areas of the country because it fears that any sign of weakness could open up the floodgates and lead to widespread demand for autonomy in other areas such as the Muslim province of Xinjiang."There is just no safety valve for ethnic issues in China," says Bequelin. "It remains one of the most retrograde areas of policy. They just don't have the tools to handle something like this."
You can view the whole article on Time.com
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Exile group says 30 killed in Tibet

BEIJING-China ordered tourists out of Tibet's capital Saturday while troops on foot and in armored vehicles patrolled the streets and confined government workers to their offices, a day after riots that a Tibetan exile group said left at least 30 protesters dead.The demonstrations against Chinese rule of Tibet are the largest and most violent in the region in nearly two decades. They have spread to other areas of China as well as neighboring Nepal and India among other countries.In the western province of Gansu, police fired tear gas Saturday to disperse Buddhist monks and others staging a second day of protests in sympathy with anti-Chinese demonstrations in Lhasa, local residents said.China's governor in Tibet vowed to punish the rioters, while law enforcement authorities urged protesters to turn themselves in by Tuesday or face unspecified punishment.The protests led by Buddhist monks began Monday in Tibet on the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule. They turned violent on Friday when demonstrators burned cars and shops. Witnesses said they heard gunshots on Friday and more shooting on Saturday night.The eruption of violence comes just two weeks before China's Olympic celebrations kick off with the start of the torch relay, which passes through Tibet. China is gambling that its crackdown will not bring an international outcry over human rights violations that could lead to boycotts of the Olympics.Beijing's hosting of the Olympics in August has already brought scrutiny of China's human rights record and its pollution problems. But so far, the international community has reacted to the crackdown in Tibet only by calling for Chinese restraint without any threats of an Olympic boycott or other sanctions."We believe that the boycott doesn't solve anything," International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge told reporters Saturday on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. "On the contrary. It is penalizing innocent athletes and it is stopping the organization from something that definitely is worthwhile organizing."China's official Xinhua News Agency reported at least 10 were killed Friday when demonstrators rampaged in Lhasa, setting fire to shops and cars."The victims are all innocent civilians, and they have been burnt to death," Xinhua quoted an official with the regional government as saying.The Dalai Lama's exiled Tibetan government in India said it had confirmed Chinese authorities killed at least 30 Tibetan protesters but added the toll could be as high as 100. There was no confirmation of the death toll from Chinese officials and the numbers could not be independently verified.China maintains rigid control over Tibet, foreigners need special travel permits to get there and journalists rarely get access except under highly controlled circumstances.Streets in Lhasa were mostly empty Saturday as a curfew remained in place, witnesses said.Tourists reached by phone or those who arrived Saturday in Nepal described soldiers standing in lines sealing off streets where there was rioting Friday. Armored vehicles and trucks ferrying soldiers were seen on the streets."There are military blockades blocking off whole portions of the city, and the entire city is basically closed down," said a 23-year-old Western student who arrived in Lhasa on Saturday."All the restaurants are closed, all the hotels are closed."Plooij Frans, a Dutch tourist who left the capital Saturday morning by plane and arrived in the Nepali capital of Katmandu, said he saw about 140 trucks of soldiers drive into the city within 24 hours."They came down on Tibetan people really hard," said Frans, who said his group could not return to their hotel Friday and had to stay near the airport."Every corner there were tanks. It would have been impossible to hold any protest today."Government workers in Lhasa said Chinese authorities have been prevented from leaving their buildings. "We've been here since yesterday. No one has been allowed to leave or come in," said a woman who works for Lhasa's Work Safety Bureau, located near the Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lama."Armored vehicles have been driving past," she said. "Men wearing camouflage uniforms and holding batons are patrolling the streets.Tourists were told to stay in their hotels and make plans to leave, but government staff were required to work.Some shops were closed, said a woman who answered the telephone at the Lhasa Hotel."There's no conflict today.The streets look pretty quiet," said the woman who refused to give her name for fear of retribution.Xinhua reported Saturday that Lhasa was calm,with little traffic on the roads. "Burned cars, motorcycles and bicycles remained scattered on the main streets, and the air is tinged with smoke," the report said.China's governor in Tibet threatened to punish rioters."We will deal harshly with these criminals in accordance with the law,"Champa Phuntsok, chairman of the Tibetan government, told reporters in Beijing. "Beating, smashing, looting and burning-we absolutely condemn this sort of behavior.This plot is doomed to failure."He blamed the protests on followers of the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule and is still Tibet's widely revered spiritual leader.On Friday, the Dalai Lama appealed to China from his home in exile in Dharamsala, India not to use force and to respect Tibetan aspirations.In the western Chinese province of Gansu, several hundred monks marched out of historic Labrang monastery and into the town of Xiahe in the morning, gathering hundreds of other Tibetans with them as they went, residents said.The crowd attacked government buildings, smashing windows in the county police headquarters, before police fired tear gas to put an end to the protest, residents said. A London-based Tibetan activist group, Free Tibet Campaign, said 20 people were arrested, citing unidentified sources in Xiahe."Many windows in shops and houses were smashed," said an employee at a hotel, who did not want either his or the hotel's name used for fear of retaliation. He said he did not see any Tibetans arrested or injured but said some police were hurt.Pockets of dissent were also springing up outside China.In Zurich, Switzerland, police said they fired tear gas at pro-Tibet demonstrators who tried to storm the Chinese consulate. Hundreds of people took part in the protest against the Chinese crackdown. Swiss police said they fired the tear gas when several protesters attempted to break into the consulate.Tibetan groups want the Swiss government to press China on its human rights record.In Australia, media reported that police used batons and pepper spray to quell a demonstration outside the Chinese consulate in Sydney.The Australian AP reported that dozens of demonstrators were at the scene and five were arrested.Dozens of protesters in India launched a new march just days after more than 100 Tibetan exiles were arrested by authorities during a similar rally.And in Katmandu, police broke up a protest by Tibetans and arrested 20.
On the Net:
International Campaign for Tibet: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/ap_on_re_as/storytext/china_tibet/26724506/SIG=10qpjf3rb/*http://www.savetibet.org
Chinese official news agency: http://www.xinhuanet.com/

As in the days of Noah....

Hu Jintao re-elected as China president

BEIJING-China's legislature re-elected Hu Jintao as president Saturday, giving him a second five-year term as leader of the world's most populous country.It also returned Hu as head of the Central Military Commission, the body overseeing the armed forces.The National People's Congress appointed Xi Jinping, a top Communist Party leader and the son of a revolutionary, as vice president. Xi, ranked No. 6 in the party hierarchy, is widely seen as Hu's apparent heir and has risen quickly through the party's ranks in just six months.The congress also approved a plan to reshuffle the Cabinet by establishing five "super ministries" and a ministerial-level energy commission.Both men received virtually unanimous support from the nearly 3,000 National People's Congress delegates, known to unfailingly carry out decisions made by the party's top leadership. There were no other candidates for the positions, reflecting the one-party state's stress on consensus and outer harmony.As the results were read out, each man stood and bowed from the dais of the cavernous Great Hall of the People.Neither addressed the body.Under Hu, China's economy has continued to grow rapidly while its international profile has steadily risen,a development embodied by Beijing's hosting of the Olympic Games in August. Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao, who heads the government administration, are generally well supported among middle class urban Chinese, who see the two leaders as competent and sympathetic to their concerns over housing woes, inflation, medical care and education.In a sign of Xi's rise to prominence, he has been placed in charge of preparations for the Olympics, an event generating enormous national pride and regarded by the leadership as a chance to show off a dynamic new China to the world.But Hu and his advisers face stiff challenges during his second term. Soaring food costs have driven inflation to its highest level in nearly 12 years. And snowstorms this winter brought many parts of China to a halt, highlighting transportation weaknesses, power infrastructure and government planning.Deadly anti-Chinese riots in Tibet this week have underscored the lack of progress in tamping down unrest among the country's minority groups.The vice presidency, though devoid of real power, offers Xi an opportunity to nudge his profile higher through official travel and public appearances at state events. Like all would-be successors in rank-conscious China, Xi is careful to talk up his boss, telling officials to study Hu's speeches and follow his orders.Hu is believed to favor the party's seventh ranking official, Li Keqiang, to succeed him. Li has failed to receive the same level of support from ranking cadres as Xi, who has taken an unusually visible role since vaulting from leader of Shanghai to the Communist Party's inner sanctum last October.

As in the days of Noah...