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

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tajikistan Threatened by Locust Infestation

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is appealing for $500,000 to stop the plague of locusts in its tracks. With this money, the FAO says it will be able to buy the pesticides and equipment necessary to stop the locust infestation.A U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman, Elizabeth Byrs, says more than 150,000 hectares of land could become infested with the insects. This is an increase of nearly 30 percent from 2007. She says infestation is currently covering about one-third of the country, putting more than two million people at risk."This year, the infestation is quicker and bigger, larger than the previous year and if urgent action is not taken, this could affect the food security of the population in Tajikistan," she said.U.N. officials explain the large increase in locusts is due to both favorable weather conditions and incomplete spraying last year. This, they say, is allowing larger than normal amounts of locust eggs to mature to adult stage.Byrs says the plague could be controlled for just $500,000. She says this is very inexpensive compared to what it will cost the international community if it allows the locust infestation to get out of hand.Locusts are only one of several crises affecting the people of Tajikistan. The country had suffered from a seriously cold winter with heavy snowfall. Now that spring is here, the snow is melting, creating the risk of flash floods and landslides. Byrs says more than 400 villages are at risk."We have sent an assessment mission," she added. "A helicopter has assessed the amount of snow in the mountains in order to have an idea of the households, which would be affected by those flash floods. And, our estimate is that 1,500 households could be affected in one way or another by those flash floods or/and landslides in this area."The United Nations and the government of Tajikistan launched an appeal for $25 million in mid-February. Less than half that amount so far has been received.Byrs says the appeal will probably have to be updated to reflect the threat of landslides and locusts.
As in the days of Noah...

Facebook, Google Join Hunt for Sudanese War Crimes Suspects

Sudan has steadfastly refused to hand over the two suspects:Humanitarian Affairs Minister Ahmed Harun(picture left) and Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb. But human rights groups aim to increase pressure on the Sudanese government by turning to Google Earth, Google Maps and the social networking site Facebook.On Sunday Facebook is launching the Wanted for War Crimes Watch List. The list will include links to indicted war criminals still on the run and encourage Facebook users to come forward with sightings and reports on their last-known locations.The Aegis Trust, a Britain-based non-governmental organization focused on the prevention of genocide, is the coordinator of the Wanted for War Crimes campaign. Aegis Trust spokesman Nick Donovan said that wanted posters can only be seen by a few people while billions of people surf the World Wide Web."What we are doing with Google Earth and Google maps and Facebook is telling people about the crimes," he said. "On the Map we are showing locations of the two suspects. We have Ahmed Harun's office address. We have his phone number, know where he lives. We know where he works. We are asking people to monitor Google Earth and Google maps if they see the two suspects, to report their movements so that we can build up a pattern just to show that we know where these people are, they are not fugitives hiding in caves somewhere."Google Earth and Google Maps have been used to map the last-known movements of the two Sudanese suspects, each indicted by the ICC for over 40 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur in 2003 and 2004.Also on Sunday, human rights organizations around the world, including the Aegis Trust, are launching a "Justice for Darfur" campaign, calling for the two to be arrested."It's a campaign designed to draw attention to some of the serious crimes against humanity and war that have been committed in Darfur," explains Nick Donovan. "So we are launching this campaign, which I fear will be a long campaign."The Sudanese government has said the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction in Sudan and that there is no evidence linking the wanted men to any crimes in Darfur. It adds it has tried and handed down heavy sentences to some people responsible for crimes in Darfur.Sudan Humanitarian Affairs Minister Ahmad Muhammad Harun was state interior minister at the height of the Darfur conflict. He is accused of helping to recruit Janjaweed militias and contributing to the commission of crimes against humanity. Ali Kushayb, was a senior Janjaweed militia leader.It is estimated more than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million others driven from their homes since the conflict in Darfur began in 2003, when southern rebels launched an attack against a government garrison. The government responded with a harsh crackdown, using regular troops and Janjaweed militias.

As in the days of Noah....

Scotland over a barrel

THE Grangemouth oil crisis escalated dramatically last night after workers refused to unload a tanker carrying 120,000 tonnes of fuel destined for forecourts.Unions claimed the Astro Arcturus, berthed in the Forth, was attempting to break the strike and not, as agreed with refinery owner Ineos, delivering supplies to the emergency services.Although several tankers have unloaded in recent days, continued shipments from the Netherlands and Sweden are crucial to keeping Scotland moving in the weeks ahead.Last night, the Scottish Government revealed that seven more tankers, carrying a further 65,000 tonnes of fuel, were expected in the Firth of Forth this week, but union officials set a collision course by saying there was no agreement to unload them.The extra cost of shipping fuel across the North Sea is likely to be passed directly to motorists and could mean prices hit £1.50 a litre during the dispute, it was claimed last night.Meanwhile, the strike is set to cause serious economic damage if, as expected, the BP Forties pipeline is shut early this morning, cutting off £50m a day in oil company revenue and depriving the Treasury of £30m a day in tax.But despite the mounting crisis, motorists appeared to be holding their nerve yesterday as most garages reported they still had stocks of fuel and there was little sign of the panic buying seen towards the end of last week, despite fuel prices hitting £1.23p-a-litre for unleaded in Shetland. Some shortages were, however, reported yesterday in the north-west and north-east of Scotland. The political row over the dispute was also escalating last night. Prime Minister Gordon Brown came under pressure from political opponents to intervene, and was accused of failing to realise the seriousness of the crisis.The oil and gas industry has also urged the Government to intervene. Chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, Malcolm Webb, said: "We appeal to the Government to intervene urgently with Unite and Ineos to stop the industrial action at Grangemouth from spilling over and hitting offshore production. This is now affecting some 80 companies and their operations which are in no way connected to or involved in this dispute."The Grangemouth row centres on planned changes to pension plans for the plant's workforce and has led to staff beginning a 48-hour strike this morning. Last night, officials at Unite, the union representing the employees, said they could not rule out further action. Spokesman Pat Rafferty said: "We will evaluate the situation after the strike." The refusal to unload the Greek-registered Astro Arcturus came after the vessel docked at Hound Point near Grangemouth yesterday. Unite had agreed to allow a 'skeleton staff' on to the jetty where it was moored, but had not reached agreement with the company over unloading its cargo. As a result, the cargo was last night still on board.A spokesman said: "We have pleaded with them to provide the cover needed to offload those cargoes. There is an agreement for providing fuel for key workers and emergency services. The point is around offloading for other uses. We are bringing in as many (tankers] as we can from all over Europe."The new convoys may also face similar problems in offloading their shipments from Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Gothenburg. A union spokesman said that its members would not unload any vessels that docked at or near Grangemouth. He said: "Our members will make the jetties safe and that's it. We will unload only to supply island areas and emergency services." On an average day, Scotland consumes about 6,000 tonnes of diesel, so these additional imports represent nearly 10 days of normal supply, ministers said....
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As in the days of Noah.....

China launches satellite

Beijing - China has launched its first data relay satellite in preparation for the inaugural spacewalk by a Chinese astronaut scheduled for later this year, a state news agency said on Saturday.The Tianlian I satellite was launched on a Long March-3C carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province late on Friday night, Xinhua News Agency said.It said the satellite would not begin functioning until the Shenzhou 7 mission - scheduled for the second half of 2008 - when Chinese astronauts were to leave their spacecraft for the first time.Xinhua reported earlier this year that China's space program was considering a live broadcast of the spacewalk.China's space programme is the focus of immense national pride, and officials announced even more ambitious plans to explore the moon and build a space station after the program first put a man into orbit in 2003.China sent an unmanned space ship to orbit the moon last year, the first step in a three-stage lunar exploration project. A manned lunar voyage is planned for some time after 2017.
As in the days of Noah....

QUAKEWATCH:Strong Quake Rocks Southern New Zealand

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As in the days of Noah....


"If ye love me,keep my commandments.
And I will pray the Father,and he shall give you another Comforter,that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth;whom the world cannot receive,because it seeth him not,neither knoweth him:but ye know him;for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless:I will come to you.
Yet a little while,and the world seeth me no more;but ye see me:because I live,ye shall live also.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father,and ye in me,and I in you.
He that hath my commandments,and keepeth them,he it is that loveth me:and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father,and I will love him,and will manifest myself to him.

Judas saith unto him,not Iscariot,Lord,how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us,and not unto the world?
Jesus answered and said unto him,If a man love me,he will keep my words:and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:and the word which ye hear is not mine,but the Father's which sent me.
These things have I spoken unto you,being yet present with you.
But the Comforter,which is the Holy Ghost,whom the Father will send in my name,he shall teach you all things,and bring all things to your remembrance,whatsoever I have said unto you

John 14:15-26

ZIM WATCH:Mugabe loses Zim parliament

Harare - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has won a historic victory over President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, official results confirmed on Saturday following a partial vote recount.The results in 18 of 23 constituencies under the microscope stayed the same after the recount of a March 29 vote won by the opposition, officials from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said.The remaining seats were not enough for the ruling party to win a majority.ZEC chairperson George Chiweshe said that a recount of votes in the presidential election also held on March 29 should be completed by Monday, but could not say when the results would be announced.Four weeks after the elections, no results from the presidential vote have been released despite mounting international pressure.
Delaying tactics
The opposition has accused the authorities of delaying tactics in order to mount a campaign of intimidation.MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he won an outright majority over the 84-year-old Mugabe.Supporters of the ruling Zanu-PF party say no candidate won more than 50% and there should be a run-off.Britain and the United States have put pressure on Mugabe to concede defeat, with US Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer arguing that post-electoral violence makes a second round of voting impossible.The MDC said on Saturday that at least 15 of its supporters had been killed since the elections in politically-motivated attacks in this troubled southern African nation and called on human rights monitors to help end the violence."So far we have recorded 15, but the carnage is worse than that because of the iron curtain that has been imposed on the villages. People are being killed like flies and buried in the villages," MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said.The victory marked a historic moment for Zimbabwe even though the country has a strong presidential system of rule given that Zanu-PF has controlled parliament ever since independence from Britain in 1980.The MDC has accused Zanu-PF supporters of attempting to rig the recount and of mounting a campaign of intimidation to force opposition activists to vote for Mugabe and the ruling party.Police have not confirmed any of the deaths claimed by the opposition and have accused the MDC of putting out "lies" about attacks and voter intimidation in a bid to stir up unrest in Zimbabwe.
Ship can dock
A police spokesperson was quoted in The Herald, a government mouthpiece, as saying that 215 opposition supporters had been detained in a swoop on MDC headquarters in Harare on Friday in a search for suspected arsonists.In Britain, Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned the spiralling violence in Zimbabwe on Saturday and pledged intensified international action following a planned UN Security Council debate next week."I condemn the violence against those who voted for change. Their voices must be heard," Brown said in a statement. He has previously said that "no one believes" Mugabe won the election.US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Jendayi Frazer, who is on a tour of the region aimed at cutting off support for Mugabe, has said that Tsvangirai won a clear victory and should head any new government.Frazer met with Tsvangirai on Thursday and has also held talks with South African officials and Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos, a Mugabe ally. She was due to meet Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa on Sunday.Meanwhile Angola on Friday authorised a Chinese ship loaded with arms destined for Zimbabwe to dock in Luanda but said it would not be allowed to unload the weapons following an international outcry.Port officials said on Saturday the ship had not yet arrived in Luanda.The United States earlier urged China to turn back the shipment of assault rifle ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar rounds amid fears that the arms could be used by Zimbabwean security forces against the opposition.Britain has called for an international arms embargo on Zimbabwe.
As in the days of Noah...

Conservatives Prevail in Iran Vote, but Opposition Scores, Too

TEHRAN-Although conservatives won the majority of the seats in Parliament as expected, critics of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also made a strong showing, according to results released Saturday, suggesting he could face opposition in next year’s presidential campaign.
Mr. Ahmadinejad is expected to seek re-election.Conservatives won nearly 70 percent of the seats in the voting, which concluded Friday. But that group includes many people who oppose Mr. Ahmadinejad’s economic policies. Reformists, who favor more political and social openness, also did relatively well.Mostafa Pourmohammadi, the departing interior minister, said Saturday that 198 of the 290 seats went to the conservatives and 47 to reformist candidates, local news agencies in Iran reported. Reformists control 40 seats in the current Parliament.The Guardian Council, a group of clerics and lawyers who oversee elections, barred many prominent reformists from running. Independent candidates who have not affiliated with any political faction won more than 40 seats. In Tehran, only one of the 30 winners was a reformist.Mr. Pourmohammadi said the results would be final after the Guardian Council confirmed them.Parliamentary elections were held in March, but runoffs were held Friday to decide the fate of 82 remaining seats in Tehran and other parts of the country.Iran’s inflation rate has risen to 18 percent in the past year, leading to criticism of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s economic policies.

As in the days of Noah...

Hizbollah builds up covert army for a new assault against Israel

The dead of southern Lebanon watch the living from the sides of buildings and from lampposts, their faces staring out defiantly from posters, heads often superimposed on bodies of generic men in uniform. These are Hizbollah's martyrs: men killed fighting against Israel before it abandoned the occupation of the south in 2000 or in the numerous clashes since, including the bloody summer war of 2006.The images are often the only public acknowledgement of the individuals who make up this most secretive of institutions: Hizbollah's military wing.But an Observer investigation has discovered that this covert organisation is quietly but steadily replacing its dead and redoubling its recruitment efforts in anticipation of a new, and even more brutal, conflict. Hizbollah has embarked on a major expansion of its fighting capability and is now sending hundreds, if not thousands, of young men into intensive training camps in Lebanon, Syria and Iran to ready itself for war with Israel. 'It's not a matter of if,' says one fighter. 'It's a matter of when Sayed Hasan Nasrallah [Hizbollah chief] commands us.'The group's policy of refusing to discuss military matters extends to the highest levels. In speeches and rare interviews, Nasrallah refuses to answer even the simplest questions about the military wing, never referring even to the fact that his eldest son, Hadi, was a fighter himself. Life as a Hizbollah fighter is anonymous until death. But meetings with fighters, activists, Lebanese security officials, the UN peacekeepers along the border and residents of south Lebanon and the southern suburbs of Beirut, where the group is most active, offered a glimpse inside the workings of a group rarely open to outsiders. None of the sources within the group can be named - Hizbollah has barred members from speaking with the Western media since the mysterious death of a top commander, Imad Mughniyeh, in a Damascus car bomb.'The most important thing is to never talk,' says one fighter, who agreed to speak about the group without revealing his name or specific duties inside 'the Islamic Resistance of Lebanon', as the military wing of Hizbollah is known. 'From the moment we begin our training, we are told two things: never disobey an order and never talk about the resistance. Hizbollah is not a job, it is not a family. It is a mix of religion, honour, dignity and discipline. It is my life.'But what is becoming more obvious, even as Hizbollah tries to hide it, is that the group has embarked on an unprecedented build-up of men, equipment and bunker-building in preparation for the war that almost everyone-Lebanese and Israeli - considers inevitable. 'The villages in the south are empty of men,' said one international official. 'They are all gone, training in Bekaa, Syria and Iran.'A trip by The Observer through villages in the Hizbollah heartland confirmed a conspicuous lack of fighting-age men. Visible were several new martyr posters, but unlike the traditional ones they portrayed anonymous, fresh-faced youngsters without military garb. According to locals, these are boys who have been killed accidentally in the latest wave of training in Iran. In the city of Tyre, too, posters showing young men killed in training exercises are cropping up. One is of Ahmad Hashem, killed while instructing recruits in the use of rocket-propelled grenades.The initial training and selection of recruits is done in Lebanon, with Iran preferred for training on specialities - use of certain weapons, RPGs and anti-tank missiles - that require firing live rounds. 'But mostly the training in Iran is in theoretical things: philosophy, religion. The best training for fighting is done here in Lebanon,' said a fighter. 'We are so close to Israel here that our training becomes real.'Israeli official statements suggest the increasingly aggressive recruiting results from the heavy casualties suffered by the group in 2006, a notion dismissed by sources within Hizbollah and even by the US military. While Israel contends that between 500 and 700 Hizbollah fighters were killed, the group itself said that about 80 fighters had died. Hizbollah sources admit that the losses were double that figure, while the US military study decided the death toll was 184.'How could they be lying so much?' asked one resident of the south. 'People would not tolerate not having a funeral or posters of their son or husband. If it were 700 dead fighters, we would all know. We'd know more people killed, we'd be hearing the complaints from the families. Where can you hide 700 dead bodies in south Lebanon? It's too small.'Losses aside, before 2006 most observers also widely overestimated the size of the military group. Some analysts put it as high as 5,000 men with more than 10,000 reservists, including its allied Amal - meaning Hope - militia supporting them.'Ridiculous,' says the Hizbollah member. 'Before 2006 there were not more than 1,000 professional fighters, guys who manned bunkers and conducted operations full-time. The rest are trained and armed but lead ordinary lives unless called upon.'This assessment is supported by regional intelligence services and Lebanese Shias, but now signs of the militia's dramatic expansion are alarming Hizbollah's domestic and international enemies.The US military study described Hizbollah's military wing as 'completely decentralised'. Its commanders famously exercised this independence when they refused orders by the top command to abandon Bint Jebel in 2006 - then under massive Israeli ground assault. The town did not fall and Hizbollah rank-and-file today laud the refusal of orders as one of the biggest victories in the war. Recruiters closely watch youngsters for this kind of nerve and self-motivation, selecting the most talented boys for advanced training when they reach adulthood.Hizbollah fighters describe a series of units - built around specialities such as rocket teams, heavy weapons experts, infantry, scouts and or part-time basis. 'Some units will be sent for training or operations for one, even two, years. Others continue to work or go to school. But even if you work your life is still Hizbollah. They call and that's it - you go. Maybe you tell your boss or professors you're going to Qatar or something for family reasons. But you never tell anyone what you're really doing.'The decision to expand both the military wing and the supporting militias stems not from the losses during the 2006 war but from Hizbollah's success as a conventional military force in that conflict, says a Lebanese army commander who has worked with the group, his view being confirmed by the US military study. 'They were guerrillas during the occupation but shocked Israel in the war by standing and fighting from fixed positions. Even badly outnumbered, they held territory with minimal losses even under assault from tank units,' he says. 'Now they want to expand to make sure they can stop the next invasion before the tanks reach the flat plains of the Bekaa, where Israel's armoured units will have the advantage.'Another crisis driving the build-up is Lebanon's political conflict, which pits Hizbollah and its allies against a coalition of Sunni, Druze and Christians supporting the Western-backed government. Street fights between Sunnis and Shias are becoming commonplace but Hizbollah cannot afford to take its men away from the bunkers in the south to fight on the streets of Beirut, say members of Amal and the Lebanese army.'They know they can't send their best fighters, or the Israelis could attack. Israel will always be their main focus. But they have access to many that are good enough to fight with rocks, sticks and maybe some guns. They're training those guys to fight the Sunnis in Beirut,' says the army officer.One Hizbollah fighter says he hopes that the situation doesn't deteriorate into them taking up arms against other Lebanese groups, but admits it is possible. 'God willing, I will never fight a Lebanese, but I will if ordered.'
· Audio: Rory McCarthy reports from Gaza on the effects of the Israeli fuel blockade

As in the days of Noah...

Destroy Iran's Nukes To Save Our Cities

One of the most terrifying possibilities the world faces is that al-Qa'eda, or some other Islamist group, gets hold of a nuclear bomb. Islamist terrorists are certainly trying to obtain one: Osama bin Laden has issued a document entitled "The Nuclear Bomb of Islam", which insists it is "the duty" of Muslims to acquire a nuclear bomb in order to use "as much force as possible to terrorise the enemies of God".The Foreign Office's senior counter-terrorist official has "no doubt at all" that Islamist terrorists are actively seeking a nuclear device. "There are people" he adds dryly, "for whom exploding a nuclear bomb in a city would be a triumph for the cause."A 10 kiloton nuclear bomb would be a relatively small one by today's standards, but a 10 kiloton explosion in a city would mean that, from the centre of the blast for a distance of one third of a mile, every structure above ground level would be obliterated and every person would be killed instantly.For the next third of a mile, the city would look like the weird moonscape which Berlin had become by the end of World War Two, after almost a year of Allied bombing raids.And for a third of mile beyond that circle of hell, buildings and people would burn, both with flames and the effects of radiation.To consider that outcome is to realise that it must be prevented. But how? Deterrence - the threat that if you detonate a nuclear bomb in our country, we will retaliate in kind on yours - has so far prevented nuclear war between nations. The only time nuclear bombs have been used, it was against a country without the capacity to retaliate.Deterrence, however, depends on your enemy having cities and a population that can be threatened with obliteration.
The problem is that terrorist organisations have neither. They are simply groups of individuals with no responsibility for, and no control over, a state or its population.Deterrence breaks down as a consequence. If they could get hold of a nuclear bomb, Islamist terrorists would have every incentive to use it to cause as much destruction as possible in an "enemy" country such as Britain or America - and there's no threat we can brandish to stop them.Which means that the over-arching aim of the civilised world must be to ensure that they cannot get hold of a nuclear bomb, because that is the only way we can protect ourselves against nuclear terrorism.The most powerful argument against allowing nuclear proliferation is that the more countries that have the bomb, the more likely it is that one will end up in the hands of terrorists.Nuclear bombs are still, mercifully, beyond the capacity of terrorist groups to engineer for themselves: a terrorist organisation would have to get one from a government. When the governments trying to acquire the technology for making nuclear bombs are known to train and supply Islamist terrorist groups - as Syria and Iran, for example, certainly do - the importance of preventing them obtaining the capacity to make such bombs is overwhelming.That is why the Israelis destroyed Syria's "not for peaceful means" nuclear facility last September, and why the rest of the world acquiesced in the destruction, which broke international law and had no United Nations resolution.It is also why the US continues to send signals to Iran that it will not oppose, indeed might even join in, any attempt by Israel to hit Iran's fledgling nuclear facilities: sending precisely that signal must have been at least part of the point of last week's very public announcement that the Israeli raid on Syria's putative nuclear bomb factory had been successful.Governments can perhaps be deterred from leaking nuclear weapons to terrorist groups by the thought of what the Americans would do to them if there were a nuclear explosion in an American city and the construction of the fatal bomb could be traced back to, say, Iran or Syria.The Americans have not been shy about letting those governments know what would happen. As one US official put it to me: "We would totally obliterate the country responsible" - a phrase echoed by Hillary Clinton when she said the US would "totally obliterate" Iran if that country was responsible for a nuclear attack even on Israel, never mind America.Governments, however, are not always able to control all their members. Some members of the Iranian administration might not be deterred by the prospect of nuclear armageddon (indeed, some seem to welcome it). Which means that the only way to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists it to keep them out of the hands of national governments who might give them to terrorists.If Iran builds a nuclear bomb factory, you can be sure that Israel will try to destroy it. You can also be sure that, when it happens, the rest of the world will not object.

As in the days of Noah....

ZIM WATCH:Babies seized by Robert Mugabe's forces as Zimbabwe hounds voters

[[[[[[[[[[Scores of children and babies have been locked up in filthy prison cells in Harare as Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president, sinks to new depths in his campaign to force the opposition into exile before an expected run-off in presidential elections.Twenty-four babies and 40 children under the age of six were among the 250 people rounded up in a raid on Friday, according to Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Yesterday they were crammed into cells in Southerton police station in central Harare.“This is ruthlessness of the worst kind. How can you incarcerate children whose mothers have fled their homes hoping to give their children refuge?” asked an emotional Chamisa yesterday.“In Mugabe’s Zimbabwe even children are not spared the terror that befalls their parents.”The families were rounded up from MDC headquarters, where they had sought refuge from violence in the countryside.]]]]]]]]]]Thought to be directed by top military officers, Operation Where Did You Put Your Cross? has prompted thousands to flee. They are trying to escape the so-called war veterans, who are attacking people and burning down hundreds of houses for voting “incorrectly” in last month’s elections.“What we’re seeing is an undeclared civil war,” said Chamisa. “It’s genocide. This situation is out of control, it’s now beyond the capacity of the MDC alone. It requires the region, the continent, the international community to act.”Four weeks after the elections, official results have still not been released for presidential polls widely thought to have been won by Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader.Simultaneous parliamentary elections saw the ruling Zanu-PF party lose its 28-year-long majority. The election commission is engaged in the recount of 23 constituencies after regime claims that they had been rigged by the opposition. None of the results has been overturned in the 14 so far announced. Even if the remaining nine were to go to Zanu-PF it still would not have won a majority.While some Zimbabweans see a glimmer of hope in this, Mugabe has remained defiant in the face of international condemnation. Most expect the regime to announce that no candidate won a majority in the presidential election and to order a run-off next month which Mugabe will ensure that he wins.“The only game in town is a run-off,” said George Sibotshiwe, Tsvangirai’s spokesman. “The recount was just to buy them time to smash people’s heads in, so when they go for a run-off nobody will even be thinking of voting.”The regime’s strategy is to ensure that by the time of the run-off, Mugabe would have a clean sweep in rural areas, where 70% of Zimbabweans live. A police officer admitted yesterday that he had been instructed not to interfere with war veterans as they carry out their campaign of terror.At the same time the opposition leadership has been driven into hiding or abroad. Tsvangirai fled Zimbabwe two weeks ago after he was charged with treason for “conspiring with the British to oust Mugabe”.
“I am unable to return home for fear of my life,” he wrote in The Washington Post last week.
On the ground the party’s network of district officials is being decimated. Tichanzii Gandanga, the MDC election agent for Harare province, can barely walk after he was beaten and left for dead.Four men arrived at his offices in central Harare at about 6pm on Wednesday. “They told me I knew my crimes and so I had to confess,” said Gandanga. “They blindfolded me, bundled me into a truck, then drove for a long distance, beating me on the head, on the back, everywhere. They played loud music so that no one could hear my cries. I don’t know how I survived.”As he was being beaten, Gandanga was questioned about the whereabouts of Tsvangirai. Eventually he was dumped in the bush. He managed to crawl to a main road where he was picked up and taken to the head of a nearby village.For two days Gandanga was nursed by villagers. Eventually he got word to his relatives who moved him to a private hospital.Ten people have been killed so far, according to the MDC, including a five-year-old boy who was burnt to death in a hut. The first victim on April 12 was Tapiwa Mubwanda, 54, the organising secretary for the MDC for Hurungwe East.According to his widow they were on their way back to their village when they saw a group of Zanu-PF youth militia. While she fled into the bush with their children, her husband and his elder brother were beaten with rocks. “They said, ‘You voted for the MDC, now we want to do this in order to teach you to vote. You wasted your vote by voting for Tsvangirai. He will never be the president of Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe will remain, so we want to teach you to vote’.”When she crept out of hiding her husband was dead.
Another MDC activist, Manyika Kashiri, 55, of Chigumbu village in Uzumba, had his foot smashed by an axe when militias stormed into his shack at midnight on Tuesday. Kashiri woke after a bang at his door and rocks smashing against his windows. When he emerged, he was hit with a log by one of the militias and another tried to chop off his right foot with an axe in front of his grandchildren, one of whom was just four.“We’re seeing a major increase in government-sponsored violence,” said Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.“The ruling party has been sending its allies after people it thinks voted for the opposition. Now anyone seen as opposing Mugabe is in danger.”One activist, a 25-year-old fitter in hiding in Bulawayo, told The Sunday Times how he and two colleagues had been picked up by intelligence officers and forced to eat a poster of Tsvangirai. “You like him so much, now eat him,” they told him.
“Every day that passes, hope is seeping away,” said an aid worker in Zimbabwe. “This could very easily end up being yet another stolen election.”[[[[[[[[[[Zimbabwe’s churches said yesterday that they had opened up their premises to victims of the violence.Church leaders worldwide have declared today to be a day of prayer for Zimbabwe.]]]]]]]]]]The current climate of political intimidation, violence, vote-rigging and delay has left the presidential election process without credibility,” read a statement from two senior Anglican archbishops, Rowan Williams and John Sentamu. “Now the people of Zimbabwe are left even more vulnerable to conflict heaped upon poverty and the threat of national disintegration.”International pressure has continued. The top US envoy for Africa, Jendayi Frazer, assistant secretary of state, has declared Tsvangirai the clear winner of the presidential vote.Tsvangirai has spent the past two weeks travelling round Africa trying to drum up support to pressure Mugabe to step down.After the weak response from Thabo Mbeki, the South African president, focus has shifted to the African Union (AU). Its chairman Jikaya Kikwete, president of Tanzania, has privately said that he would be willing to consider convening a summit on Zimbabwe.Britain is hoping to get the United Nations involved and has managed to put Zimbabwe on the agenda of the UN security council this week. Proposals include an arms embargo and sending a UN envoy to Harare “with a tough message”.At the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo on Friday, Mugabe was defiant. “When the West, led by the British, shamelessly continue to denounce our country, what is our crime?” he asked. “We are simply defending our hard-won national sovereignty.”
PS:PRAY FOR ZIMBABWE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As in the days of Noah....

Palestinian girl killed in heavy Gaza clashes

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip-Israeli forces grabbed a Hamas field commander from his Gaza home Saturday, setting off heavy fighting that killed the wanted man's 14- year-old daughter and wounded 10 Palestinians, including seven gunmen.The battle in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya pitted Israeli helicopter gunships and tanks against Hamas men with mortars, homemade bombs and automatic rifles.The fighting illustrated that Egypt's latest attempt to broker a truce between Hamas and Israel remains a long shot at best. Hamas has offered to hold its fire for six months, provided Israel ends its nearly yearlong blockade of Gaza, but Israeli officials have been cool to the idea.Damascus-based Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said Saturday that acceptance of a cease-fire would be merely a "tactic" in the group's struggle with the Jewish state.The target of Saturday's arrest raid was Talat Hassan Marouf, a Hamas field commander in northern Gaza. Hamas did not provide details about Marouf, but as a field commander in the border area with Israel he would presumably be involved in firing rockets at Israeli border communities.The Israeli military did not publish his name, saying only that troops had seized a wanted militant.At some point, Israeli forces surrounded Marouf's house, with the family inside, and heavy fighting erupted. The military said troops came under fire from inside the house.Marouf's 14-year-old daughter Mariam was killed by shrapnel from machine gun fire, said medics at an area hospital, Al Awda. Her mother was injured, along with nine others, seven of them gunmen, said Dr. Moawiya Hassanain, a senior Palestinian Health Ministry official.Three of the gunmen were in critical condition, Hassanain said.An army official said the family asked at one point to be evacuated and was eventually permitted to do. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with army regulations, couldn't say if this was before or after the girl was killed. The wanted Hamas member then turned himself in, the army official said.However, a Hamas spokesman, Abdel Latif al-Qanou, said the army prevented ambulances from reaching the house to evacuate the wounded daughter and wife and claimed this led to the girl's death.Marouf's house was damaged in the fighting, but not destroyed, as al- Qanou initially said.During the fighting, the sound of explosions could be heard across northern Gaza.The raid had begun before dawn Saturday, with Israel undercover force entering Beit Lahiya. Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants fired at the force, using machine guns, mortars and homemade bombs, said Abu Obeida, a spokesman for the Hamas military wing.The military said a dozen of Israeli tanks and aircraft provided cover during the clashes. The aircraft launched two missile strikes against the militants.Israel is to respond in coming days to Hamas' proposal of a truce, which would include a prisoner swap and the opening of Gaza border crossings; the territory has been virtually sealed by Israel and Egypt since the violent Hamas takeover last June.Hamas' Gaza strongman, Mahmoud Zahar, said that if Israel rejects the deal, "all options are open." He made the implied threat of more violence in a televised statement Friday, after he returned from talks with Egyptian officials in Cairo.The military has said it would continue pursuing Hamas militants as long as they threaten Israeli civilians. Hamas and other militant groups have fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli border towns in recent years.
As in the days of Noah...

Indonesia blocks YouTube to protest Islam film

JAKARTA, Indonesia-Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has temporarily banned YouTube to block access to a video that many Muslims consider anti-Islamic. Indonesia's Communications and Information Minister sent a letter to all Internet providers ordering them to block the video-sharing Web site until further notice, a ministry spokesman said Tuesday.The minister has asked YouTube to remove the 15-minute movie "Fitna," but has not received a reply from the company, the spokesman said."Fitna," which is the work of Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilder, features disturbing images of terrorist acts juxtaposed over verses from the Quran to paint Islam as a threat to Western society.It has been posted on several Web sites, including Google Video and YouTube.Last week, about 50 Indonesia students broke into a Dutch consulate compound to protest the movie. They tore off the gate of the embassy in the city of Medan and ripped down a flag, said a Dutch Embassy spokeswoman. Dutch Prime Minister Jan Beter Balkanende has said his government is worried that Geert Wilder's film could provoke a violent backlash.The film has also prompted protests in other parts of the Muslim world.Soon after its release last month, hundreds of angry Muslims rallied in Pakistan, where the government temporarily blocked access to YouTube because of a trailer for Wilders' film. The protesters burned the Dutch flag and called on Pakistan to cut ties with the Netherlands.The Dutch government and others, including the European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, have rejected the film.The OIC has 57 member states across four continents and claims on its Web site to be the second largest inter-governmental organization, after the United Nations. In its statement, it urged the international community to condemn the showing of the film and asked the Dutch government to prosecute the author of the documentary under Dutch law.But Wilders has stood by his project."My intention was not to offend in any way, but to show the truth-at least the truth as I see it," Wilders told CNN."And if the truth hurts and could be offensive, well, this of course is not my problem."Wilders is a member of the Dutch parliament from the conservative Party for Freedom and an outspoken critic of Islam. He said he has "big problems" with Islam's Prophet Mohammed, the Quran and "everything that is stated inside this terrible book."The title, "Fitna," translates in Arabic to "strife" or "conflict" of the type that occurs within families or any other homogenous group.The film opens with passages from the Quran, interspersed with graphic images of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States .The video also includes disturbing images of other terror attacks-bloodied victims; beheadings of hostages; executions of women in hijab, the traditional Muslim attire; and footage, with subtitles, of Islamic leaders preaching inflammatory sermons against Jews and Christians.

As in the days of Noah...


"Let not your heart be troubled:ye believe in God,believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions:if it were not so,I would have told you.I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,I will come again,and receive you unto myself;that where I am,there ye may be also.
And whither I go ye know,and the way ye know
Thomas saith unto him,Lord,we know not whither thou goest;and how can we know the way?
Jesus saith unto him,I am the way,the truth,and the life:no man cometh unto the Father,but by me.
If ye had known me,ye should have known my Father also:and from henceforth ye know him,and have seen him.
Philip saith unto him,Lord,show us the Father,and it sufficeth us.
Jesus saith unto him,Have I been so long time with you,and yet hast thou not known me,Philip?he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;and how sayest thou then,Show us the Father?
Believest thou not that I am in the Father,and the Father in me?the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself:but the Father that dwelleth in me,he doeth the works.
Believe me that I am in the Father,and the Father in me:or else believe me for the very works'sake.
Verily,verily,I say unto you,He that believeth on me,the works that I do shall he do also;and greater works than these shall he do;because I go unto my Father.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name,that will I do,that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask any thing in my name,I will do it

John 14:1-14

Saudi blogger freed from jail, colleague says

A Saudi Arabian blogger detained in December, ostensibly because he supported reform advocates accused by the Saudi government of backing terrorism, has been released, a fellow blogger posted Saturday. Ahmed al-Omran said on his blog, saudijeans.org, and later told CNN that he was awakened by a text message from the wife of Fouad al-Farhan, saying he had been released and was at home with his family."That's great news, and this is just how I wanted to start my morning," al-Omran wrote.He said he later spoke with al-Farhan for several minutes on the telephone."He sounded fine; he seems to be in good spirits," al-Omran said. "He said he would have more to talk about later but not at this point. He said now he'd like to take some time to spend with his family, with his children that he hasn't seen for so long."A Web site set up to call for al-Farhan's release said, "Fouad is free. He is back home in Jeddah after 137 days in custody."The Saudi Interior Ministry said it had no immediate comment on the reports. In January, a ministry spokesman said al-Farhan was arrested December 10 "because he violated the regulations of the kingdom."But in an e-mail posted on al-Farhan's Web site after his arrest, he told friends that he faced arrest for supporting 10 reform advocates the Saudi government accused of backing terrorism. In the e-mail, al-Farhan said a senior Interior Ministry official promised that he would remain in custody for three days at most if he agreed to sign a letter of apology."I'm not sure if I'm ready to do that," he wrote. "An apology for what? Apologizing because I said the government is a liar when they accused those guys of supporting terrorism?"Al-Farhan, who blogs at alfarhan.org, is one of the few Saudi Web commentators to use his own name, according to the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists.In January, the Bush administration expressed its concerns to the Saudi government regarding al-Farhan's detention at "a relatively senior level," U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said."The U.S. stands for freedom of expression," McCormack said at the time. "Wherever people are seeking to express themselves, via the Internet or via other areas, whether in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere in the world, we stand with that freedom of expression, and that was our message to the Saudi government."The American Islamic Congress, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, launched an online letter-writing campaign aimed at freeing al-Farhan, whom it called "the godfather of Saudi blogging.""All he did was express his opinions in a very obvious way, and he didn't threaten anyone," al-Omran said. "He was advocating against violence and terrorism."Al-Omran said al-Farhan had stopped blogging for a few months in late 2006, after the Interior Ministry ordered him to take down a blog he was operating, but he began again at a new site.He said al-Farhan told him he was treated well in jail. He also called al-Farhan's release a turning point for the blogging community in Saudi Arabia."It showed the community of bloggers in Saudi Arabia can come together and support this cause-support his freedom of speech-even those who didn't agree with some of the things he wrote," he said.
As in the days of Noah...

EU WATCH:EU Set to Launch 2nd Satellite for Galileo Navigation System

BRUSSELS, Belgium-The European Union on Sunday is to launch the second satellite in its much-delayed Galileo navigation system designed to rival the American GPS system.The experimental satellite will be fired into space on a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in the early hours of Sunday morning.Named Giove-B, the satellite will test technologies to be used in the Galileo system including an atomic clock that the EU says will be the most accurate in space.Touted as technologically superior to GPS, Galileo is scheduled to be operational by 2013 but has encountered delays. Its first satellite was launched in 2005, but the second missed its late 2006 launch due to a short-circuit problem in final testing.Senior EU officials will monitor the launch of Giove-B from the Fucino control center in central Italy.Late last year, European Union governments had to agree to a taxpayer bailout after a consortium of private companies from France, Germany, Spain, Britain and Italy walked away from the project in a financing dispute. The cost of setting up the final network of 20 satellites is expected to be around $5.3 billion. At least $1.56 billion of taxpayers' money has already been spent on it.Galileo promises to more than double existing GPS coverage, providing navigation for motorists, sailors, pilots and emergency rescue teams. It would improve coverage in high-latitude areas such as northern Europe, and in big cities where skyscrapers can block signals.

As in the days of Noah....

Sermon Video Presents Obama's Former Pastor in His Own Words

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in an interview with PBS newsman Bill Moyers broadcast Friday, says his fiery comments, including his controversial “God Damn America” proclamation, have been taken out of context by the news media.Barack Obama’s former pastor says people should listen to his entire sermon to have a complete understanding of his message.FOXNews.com has compiled video from the full sermon delivered by Wright on April. 13, 2003, from the pulpit of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.Was criticism of Wright’s fiery sermons “unfair” and “devious,” as he argued in the PBS interview?Click on the links below to watch the full, unedited speech.You decide.
Wright Sermon: Part 1
Wright Sermon: Part 2
Wright Sermon: Part 3
Wright Sermon: Part 4

PS:I took the time to listen to the whole sermon....and to say the least it was PAINFUL.I will write more about it soon.It would be good if you can stand it all that you watch it,cause this is the church of the possible next president of the US....That will explain many of Obama's views....
It is sad that many pulpits around America are being defiled in this way every sunday...
May God helps us....!!!!

As in the days of Noah....

Ukraine Marks 22 Years Since Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

KIEV, Ukraine-Dozens of mourners gathered in the Ukrainian capital on Saturday to mark 22 years since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.Holding candles and portraits of relatives, the mourners laid flowers at a memorial to victims of the accident.Reactor No. 4 at Chernobyl, in what is now northern Ukraine, exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing radiation over a large swath of the former Soviet Union and much of northern Europe in the world's worst nuclear accident. An area roughly half the size of Italy was contaminated, forcing the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of people.President Viktor Yushchenko and other top officials prayed and lit candles before dawn Saturday to mark the precise time the reactor exploded.At first, Soviet leaders tried to cover up the accident. Only on April 28, after scientists in Sweden detected radioactivity, did the Kremlin acknowledge an accident had occurred. But even then, the traditional May Day parades went ahead and millions filled the streets unaware of the invisible fallout."This is a day of the biggest sorrow for us, we all have lost our husbands," said Olga Kravchenko, 65, crying and holding a portrait of her husband Mykola who was among the first rescuers on the scene after the accident.In the first two months after the disaster, 31 people died from exposure to radioactivity, but there is heated debate over the subsequent toll. The U.N. health agency estimates that about 9,300 people will eventually die from cancers caused by Chernobyl's radiation. Some groups, such as Greenpeace, insist the toll could be 10 times higher.
Chernobyl was shut down in 2000 and work is under way on a larger and stronger shelter over the ruins of the exploded reactor.

As in the days of Noah...

Turkey Confirms It Is Mediating Dispute Between Syria, Israel

ANKARA, Turkey-Turkey's prime minister says his country is mediating between Syria and Israel in an effort to secure peace.Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey will try to restart low-level negotiations between the sides with the aim of eventually getting the countries' leaders together. He was speaking in Ankara on Saturday on his return from a trip to Damascus, where he attended a Turkish-Syrian business meeting and held talks with President Bashar Assad."There was a request from Syria and Israel for this kind of an effort and Turkey will do its best in this regard," Erdogan said."This effort will start among the lower level officials and if they are successful, God willing, they will end with a higher level meeting," the prime minister said.Turkey has close ties with both Israel and Syria.Assad said in an interview with the Qatari newspaper Al-Watan published Thursday that Turkish mediation over the past year could lay the groundwork for direct talks with Israel.Erdogan said Turkey's mediation was part of wider efforts to bring peace to the Middle East."I believe that our peace diplomacy will, God willing, make positive contributions to (peace) in Iraq, between Syria and Israel or between Israel and the Palestinians," said Erdogan.Israel and Syria's last round of direct talks broke down in 2000 over the details of Israel's proposed withdrawal from the Golan Heights, which it seized in the 1967 Mideast War. Israel wanted to keep a small coastal strip around the Sea of Galilee to ensure its control of the lake's vital water supplies, a demand Syria rejected.Olmert said earlier in April that he sent messages to Damascus on peace prospects but did not disclose the contents. Olmert's spokesman, Mark Regev, declined to comment on the reports but said Israel is genuinely interested in restarting talks with Syria.An Israeli Foreign Ministry official said this week that Syrian reports do not represent "the full picture" of Olmert's position because they don't address, for instance, the extent of the Israeli withdrawal from the Golan, Olmert's demands and Syria's response.In his newspaper interview, Assad did not disclose details. He said his country may hold future direct talks with Israel, but not until a new U.S. administration that can broker such negotiations takes office.Syria has had poor relations with the Bush administration, which leaves office in January 2009, because of different policies on Lebanon, Iraq and the Palestinians.The Bush administration alleged this week that North Korea was secretly assisting work on a nuclear reactor in Syria.It said the facility, which was destroyed by Israel in a September airstrike, was not intended for "peaceful purposes."Syria has denied the reports and insists the facility bombed by Israel was an unused military facility.
As in the days of Noah....

Hamas Chief Open to Cease-Fire With Israel but Affirms Commitment to Resistance

CAIRO, Egypt-The chief of Hamas said Saturday that the Palestinian militant group would accept an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire with Israel but it would be a "tactic" in the group's struggle with the Jewish state.Khaled Mashaal, the Damascus-based Hamas leader, said in an interview with pan-Arab Al-Jazeera television that Egypt had proposed a six-month truce between the Hamas rulers of Gaza and Israel. He said his group was ready to cooperate but added: "It is a tactic in conducting the struggle....It is normal for any resistance...to sometimes escalate, other times retreat a bit....Hamas is known for that. In 2003, there was a cease-fire and then the operations were resumed."He warned of an explosion of violence in Gaza if Israel rejects the truce.The Egyptian deal would also include a prisoner swap and the opening of Gaza's border crossings. The territory has been virtually sealed by Israel and Egypt since Hamas violently seized control from the rival Fatah faction last June.Israel is to respond in coming days to the proposal but is skeptical of Hamas' motives, fearing the group just wants to use a cease-fire to regroup and rearm. There was no immediate Israeli comment on Mashaal's remarks.The Israeli military has said previously it would continue pursuing Hamas militants as long as they threaten Israeli civilians. Hamas and other militant groups have fired hundreds of rockets from Gaza at Israeli border towns in recent years. Mashaal said Hamas is waiting for the official Israeli response to the truce proposal through Egyptian mediators."We are ready to cooperate seriously from a place of power," he said. "If Israel does not accept, then we welcome confrontation," Mashaal said in the interview from Doha, Qatar.He demanded Israel lift the closure of Gaza's borders.[[[[[[[[[["If the blockade is not to be lifted from Gaza, then the Gaza Strip will explode," he warned]]]]]]]]]]].Mashaal also spoke Saturday at a news conference in Doha. He said negotiations to swap Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit for Palestinian prisoners were on hold because Israel rejected the list of prisoners that Hamas had offered. Schalit was captured by Hamas near Gaza two years ago.In his Al-Jazeera interview, Mashaal criticized the Palestinian Authority run by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for holding peace negotiations with Israel but hinderingreconciliation talks with Hamas. Abbas, the moderate head of Fatah faction, runs a rival government to Hamas in the West Bank.
Mashaal said the split between the Palestinians is a "crime."
As in the days of Noah....

Pilot's Missing Laptop Causes Airport Security Scare

A pilot's laptop, filled with top secret security information was reported missing at Dulles Airport and the ripple effects were felt across the country. The Mesa Airlines employee couldn't find the personal laptop he brought with him while co-piloting a United Express flight from Birmingham, Alabama to Dulles International Airport.17 airports were forced to make emergency changes to access codes at Dulles, Atlanta, Phoenix, Chicago's O'Hare and San Antonio. Various officials within the airline industry admit that with these access codes, someone who went though security could, with the touch of a few buttons, get onto a plane or get outside, right below a plane. A TSA spokesperson said, "On April 17, Mesa Airlines notified TSA that an employee reported a laptop, containing confidential information, had been misplaced, lost or stolen." Federal and airline officials admitted that the classified codes on the computer provided the pilot, through a keypad, access from the gate to the plane and down to ground level right below the plane. Passengers were appalled. "That's just a major security breach for everyone that flies within the United States." One airline insider tells ABC 7 News the laptop was probably stored in an overhead compartment used by passengers and likely stolen. Federal officials quickly contacted 17 U.S. airports used by the pilot, warning them of the security breach. Media representatives for a number of those airports affected, including Dulles, Phoenix and Akron-Canton said the codes were promptly changed. ABC 7 News learned one security official at a midwest airport rushed to work in the middle of the night to prevent a breach. A Mesa Airlines spokesperson said, "Any breach of aviation security is of primary concern to Mesa Airlines and we are fully cooperating with the TSA." Meanwhile, a TSA official said the agency, "may look at increasing the standards for anyone who stores this type of information on their computers." Airline officials said they have very little to go on because they don't know if the pilot was targeted or if it was a crime of opportunity. A spokesperson for Dulles said airport police are investigating.
As in the days of Noah...


"Therefore,when he was gone out,Jesus said,Now is the Son of man glorified,and God is glorified in him.
If God be glorified in him,God shall also glorify him in himself,and shall straightway glorify him.
Little children,yet a little while I am with you.Ye shall seek me: as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go,ye cannot come;so now I say to you.
A new commandment I give unto you,That ye love one another;as I have loved you,that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,if ye have love one to another.
Simon Peter said unto him,Lord,whither goest thou?Jesus answered him,Whither I go,thou canst not follow me now;but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
Peter said unto him,Lord,why cannot I follow thee now?I will lay down my life for thy sake.
Jesus answered him,Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake?Verily,verily,I say unto thee,The cock shall not crow,till thou hast denied me thrice."

John 13:31-38

Sweep of polygamists' kids raises legal questions

SAN ANGELO, Texas-The state of Texas made a damning accusation when it rounded up 462 children at a polygamous sect's ranch: The adults are forcing teenage girls into marriage and sex, creating a culture so poisonous that none should be allowed to keep their children.But the broad sweep - from nursing infants to teenagers - is raising constitutional questions, even in a state where authorities have wide latitude for taking a family's children.The move has the appearance of "a class-action child removal," said Jessica Dixon, director of the child advocacy center at Southern Methodist University's law school in Dallas."I've never heard of anything like that," she said. Rod Parker, a spokesman for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, contends that the state has essentially said, "If you're a member of this religious group, then you're not allowed to have children."Attorneys for the families and civil-liberties groups also are crying foul. They say the state should not have taken children away from all church members living at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado. Church members said that not all of them practice polygamy, and some form traditional nuclear families. One sect member whose teenage son is now in foster care testified that she is a divorced single mother."Of course, we condemn child abuse and we don't stand up for the perpetration of that," said Lisa Graybill, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. But "what the state has done has offended a pretty wide swath of the American people with what appears to be an overreaching action to sweep up all these children."State and local officials had been eyeing the sect suspiciously since it bought the ranch in 2003 and moved hundreds of its members in. They raided the property April 3, with heavy weapons and SWAT vehicles, after a female claiming to be a 16-year-old girl at the ranch called a family violence shelter and said her 49-year-old husband beat and raped her. That girl has not yet been identified...
To read more go to:
As in the days of Noah...

QUAKEWATCH:Reno urged to prepare for worse as earthquakes continue

RENO, Nev.-Scientists urged residents of northern Nevada's largest city to prepare for a bigger event as the area continued rumbling Saturday after the largest earthquake in a two-month-long series of temblors.More than 100 aftershocks were recorded on the western edge of the city after a magnitude 4.7 quake hit Friday night, the strongest quake around Reno since one measuring 5.1 in 1953, said researchers at the seismological laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno....
To read more go to:

As in the days of Noah....

END TIMES WEATHER:Anchorage digs out after record snowfall

Anchorage continues to dig out from a snowfall that set a record for the day and the month.The National Weather Service says 17.2 inches fell at its office just south of Anchorage's international airport and 22 inches fell in northeast Anchorage on Friday and Saturday. The heaviest snow fell between 3 and 6 p.m. Friday at a rate of almost two inches per hour.The monthly total at the weather service office is now 29.7 inches, breaking a record from 1963 when 27.6 inches fell during April.The 15.5 inches that fell Friday is the third-most for any one day in Anchorage. The record is the 25.7 inches that fell six years ago on March 17, 2002.

As in the days of Noah...

SIGN of the TIMES:Dutch Government Seeks To Ban Magic Mushrooms

While dried magic mushrooms are illegal in the Netherlands, fresh mushrooms can still be bought openly in so-called "Smart Shops"...
The Dutch cabinet has proposed a ban on the sale of all hallucinogenic "magic" mushrooms because they could induce life-threatening behaviour.A bill will now pass to the Dutch parliament, where a majority of lawmakers are expected to back a ban after a teenage French girl who had eaten mushrooms died jumping from a bridge in 2007.While dried magic mushrooms are illegal in the Netherlands, fresh mushrooms can still be bought openly in so-called "Smart Shops".Posters in Smart Shops outline the effects the mushrooms have and whether users are more likely to feel chatty or exhilarated, for example."The use of mushrooms can produce hallucinogenic effects which can lead to extreme or life-threatening behaviour," the health ministry said in a statement late on Friday after the cabinet decision.In February the Dutch association of Smart Shops (VLOS) promised tighter self-regulation and noted the majority of mushroom-related incidents involved young tourists to Amsterdam mixing mushrooms with alcohol and cannabis.Figures from the Amsterdam emergency services show there were 55 call-outs for mushroom-related incidents in 2004, a figure which had more than doubled by 2006 to 128, with the majority of youngsters involved coming from Britain.The VLOS said sales of mushrooms rose by 20 percent last year, while the number of accidents experienced by users rose by a smaller percentage.In recent years the Netherlands has looked to shed its "anything goes" image and has tightened laws on drug use and prostitution."If they succeed with this mushroom ban then I am sure they will try to ban things like cannabis as well. This is part of a wider trend," said Freddy Schaap of the VLOS.
As in the days of Noah...

Chicago working to prevent repeat of deadly weekend

CHICAGO-Police planned to increase patrols and put SWAT officers and specialized units on the streets over the weekend, a show of force aimed at deterring violence like the three dozen shootings that left nine people dead last weekend."Weather permitting, we will have our helicopter up," said police spokeswoman Monique Bond, who said Thursday night was relatively quiet, with only four shootings, none fatal.Meanwhile, religious leaders said they had persuaded some churches to open their doors in the afternoons and evenings to protect people from gunfire."We just picked up about four more churches in Austin (a neighborhood on the city's West Side) that's going to open their doors as a safe haven," said Ira Acree, an activist and pastor of the Greater St. John Bible Church.On Friday, Mayor Richard Daley took the unusual step of calling together more than two dozen officials from the police department, schools, social service agencies and religious groups for a City Hall summit on the violence. Afterward, he said it was just the start of a continuing dialogue about how to combat violent crime.A fired-up Daley blasted the gun industry and called on parents and adults to do their part by intervening to help troubled youth and by working to keep others on the right path."I don't want people to wait for Mayor Daley to call a meeting. I want you to call a meeting in your home with your children and loved ones. I want you to go next door and talk to those children next door. I want the parents of the block to say 'This block will be free of violence,'" he said.It is key for children to be occupied in after-school or other programs so they stay out of trouble, especially when they're not in a classroom, Daley said.Before the meeting, some participants talked about possible solutions to end the violence.The Rev. Bruce Wellems, pastor of Holy Cross Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the city's South Side, suggested that adults need to get to know the young people in their neighborhoods."I think they have to step into the community and accompany these kids," he said.And Tio Hardiman, executive director of CeaseFire, an anti-violence group, said young people need help finding alternatives to the streets."We need to go right to the corners and find out what some of these young people want to do, identify some employers that are willing to hire maybe 30 from this neighborhood, 30 from another neighborhood and try to get them hired somewhere so then we can get them off the corners."But Daley said joblessness does not justify violence."When the killing is done, you still don't have a job, in fact, it greatly decreases the chances that you ever ... will have a job," he said.Hardiman said he expected that violence would not be as bad this weekend because of the police presence and other steps by community groups, including his group's efforts to talk to gang members and mediate disputes.Last weekend, there were 36 shootings - at least 14 of which police believed were gang related.But he said he's concerned about possible repercussions from a shooting at a McDonald's on Monday night that left one man dead and four others injured. The area where the shooting took place is believe to be a stronghold of the Gangster Disciples street gang and Hardiman said he's concerned that someone may try to retaliate.
As in the days of Noah...

Britons kidnapped in Iraq are ‘held by Iran’

Five British hostages who were kidnapped in Iraq almost a year ago are being held inside Iran by Revolutionary Guards, according to two separate sources in the Middle East and London.The hostages were handed over to the Revolutionary Guards by their Iraqi kidnappers last November, the sources believe. One of the sources said they were being held in the western Iranian city of Hamadan.If confirmed, the involvement of Revolutionary Guards would be seen as evidence that senior figures in the Iranian government had backed the decision to hold them in the country.
However, British officials said that while there had been rumours that the five were in Iran, they had seen no evidence to support the idea.The hostages are said to be in good physical shape but spending much of their time in solitary confinement.According to one of the sources, they are under the control of Mohammad Safaei, 41, a senior Revolutionary Guard colonel who was previously in charge of special operations in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.The hostages were kidnapped in Baghdad last May in an attempt to force the Americans to release Qais al-Khazaali, an Iraqi militia leader said to be close to the Revolutionary Guards.Khazaali was apparently being groomed by Iran to take control of a breakaway faction of the Mahdi Army, a Shi’ite militia, that would be compliant with Tehran. A former chief spokesman for the Mahdi Army, Khazaali was arrested by US troops after masterminding a raid inside a base in which five US soldiers were killed. The Americans have refused to release al-Khazaali in exchange for the British hostages.One of the sources, who has close links to the Revolutionary Guard, said the captors were looking for a face-saving way of freeing them. They have suggested the hostages write to church leaders in the UK asking for assistance in gaining their release, the source said.
The five were abducted from the Iraqi finance ministry, where one of them, Peter Moore, a computer specialist, was teaching data-processing. The other four were his bodyguards.The suggestion that the hostages are in Hamadan follows contradictory claims earlier this month that they were in Tehran. This is the first time it has been claimed they are in the hands of Revolutionary Guards. One of the sources has previously proved to be a reliable source of information about them.

As in the days of Noah...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Atheists versus bishops in euthanasia row

[[[[[[[[[[THE atheists are challenging the bishops in the latest euthanasia debate as a federal inquiry examines attempts to allow Australians the legal right to die.The atheists have declared any politician using religious grounds to oppose euthanasia should abstain from voting or "join the priesthood".The bishops say the compassionate response to a dying person is to care for them as best we can.]]]]]]]]]Greens senator Bob Brown wants to re-instate Northern Territory's euthanasia laws allowing NT, the ACT and Norfolk Island to make laws to help terminally ill people die. Former Liberal MP Kevin Andrews led a private members' Bill in Parliament overturning the NT legislation in 1997.Both the Atheists Foundation of Australia Inc and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference are among 1001 submissions to a Senate inquiry examining Senator's Brown's proposal.The atheists have called Mr Andrews' overturning of the Bill a "reprehensible display of bigoted religious ideology"."Governments responsible for not introducing a system of legal voluntary euthanasia are to be condemned for the suffering produced," they said.The bishops' submissions contends: "There is a compassionate response to terminal illness and that is good palliative care."Changing the law back will only put pressure on the terminally ill to end their life, the bishops' submission contends."They will feel pressure to consider whether 'for the sake of the family' or 'for the sake of society' they should request euthanasia."The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs conducting the inquiry is expected to report back on June 23.

As in the days of Noah....


"Verily,verily,I say unto you,The servant is not greater than his lord;neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
If ye know these things,happy are ye if ye do them.
I speak not of you all:I know whom I have chosen:but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
Now I tell you before it come,that,when it is come to pass,ye may believe that I am he.
Verily,verily,I say unto you,He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me;and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me
When Jesus had thus said,he was troubled in spirit,and testified,and said,Verily,verily,I say unto you,that one of you shall betray me.
Then the disciples looked one on another,doubting of whom he spake.
Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples,whom Jesus loved.
Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him,that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
He then lying on Jesus'breast saith unto him,Lord,who is it?
Jesus answered,He it is,to whom I shall give a sop,when I have dipped it.And when he had dipped the sop,he gave it to Judas Iscariot,the son of Simon.
And after the sop Satan entered into him.Then said Jesus unto him,That thou doest,do quickly.
Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.
For some of them thought,because Judas had the bag,that Jesus had said unto him,Buy those things that we have need of against the feast;or,that he should give something to the poor.
He then having received the sop went immediately out:and it was night."

John 13:17-30

ISLAMIC WATCH:Hilali tells Christian women to wear veils

OUTSPOKEN Muslim cleric Taj al-Din al-Hilali [[[[[[[[[[says the Bible "mandates" the wearing of the veil by Christian women.Writing in a new book, Sheik Hilali, who lost his job as mufti of Australia after comparing scantily clad women to uncovered meat, argues that the Bible and the Koran make similar demands of a woman's modesty.]]]]]]]]]]Sheik Hilali, who remains the head of Australia's largest mosque, in the southwestern Sydney suburb of Lakemba, says the purpose of the book is to show the commonalities of Islam with the Jewish and Christian faiths when it comes to women's modesty and clothing.In the soon to be published The Legitimacy of the Veil for Women of the Scripture - Evidence of the Veil in the Bible, the cleric points to references in the Old and New Testaments to women wearing a veil."Through this I hope to raise awareness and understanding and eliminate apprehensions and misunderstandings about the veil,"he writes. The Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, challenged Sheik Hilali's comments about the veil being "mandated" in the Bible, saying they were misleading."The New Testament does call upon people to dress modestly," he said. "But there is no understanding that women are commanded to wear the veil. But it is mandated that you should dress appropriately for your social context."Sheik Hilali also says the Virgin Mary is often depicted with a veil covering her head."The veil upholds the modesty and protects the dignity of women, whether Muslim or non-Muslim," he writes."Wearing the veil creates the most realistic similarity with the Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ."Sheik Hilali caused an uproar with a Ramadan sermon in 2006 in which he talked about immodestly dressed women being like "uncovered meat" and made remarks about Sydney's notorious gang rapes.He has used the book to hit back at criticisms of his comments, which were given during a lesson to Muslim men and women on theft and adultery, and which he says were misinterpreted with "ill-intent" and with the intention to "slander" him.He has included an "explanatory statement" to clarify his position, saying that rape is a heinous crime and the perpetrator deserves the maximum punishment. He also says women in Australia, or any Western society, have absolute freedom to wear whatever they like."The Muslim has no right to impose the rules of his religion on others. My religious duty is to advise the Muslim woman to be modest and to wear the Islamic dress. It is her choice whether to comply or not."He said his comments about uncovered meat were drawn from an analogy used by the Arab writer Al-Rafii that uncovering flesh publicly may be degrading to the woman and may make her vulnerable to those with a diseased heart."Through these words I wanted to protect women from rapists who have lost their humanity, lost their minds and religion."Whilst I believe that the rapists are responsible for their crimes, I wanted to protect my daughters by encouraging them to adopt all available lawful means of protection," he writes.Sheik Hilali concedes that the uncovered meat example was not correct or appropriate for the Western mentality."I did not mean this analogy to denigrate immodestly dressed women; rather I meant to denigrate those men who set aside their humanity and turn into predators."

PS:****NEWSFLASH-MR HILALI.....****You take care of your mosque that we(christians all over the world)will take care of what the Bible says and "mandates"....I remind you also that the Bible should be read under the light of the Holy Ghost and prayer.So you may interpret and think whatever you want.
Believe me....When christian women worldwide want to know what God says about how to dress,they'll look for themselves in the Scriptures and not in your book....Besides that you consider us christians and jews "PIGS and APES"So why you even bother in writting a book about what the Bible says for women,unless you want to raise funds for Jihad....Please......!!!!!!!!!!!In other words.....MIND YOUR OWN BUSSINNESS....!!!!!
As in the days of Noah...