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

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Free Quran coming to your doorstep?Foundation: 'Just trying to be honest brokers of information. You make your own judgment'

If you're in your front yard, working in the flower bed or chatting with a neighbor, they'll pass by silently to attach one of the bags they're carrying to your frontdoor knob and leave without speaking or engaging you in debate.Their mission? To place a copy of the Quran in every home in the United States."We're just trying to be honest brokers of information," Wajahat Sayeed, founder and director of Book of Signs, which is also known as the Al-Furqaan Foundation, told the Chicago Tribune. "You make your own judgment."Al-Furqaan is distributing its 378-page paperback English translation of Islam's holy book using teams of paid walkers who descend on neighborhoods, going door-to-door, much like other deliverers of newpapers and advertisements.They don't hand them directly to residents but, instead,leave them at the front door – but never on the ground.That would be disrespectful.The translation's forward asks readers to treat the book with respect. Those objecting to the free copy of the Quran are requested to call the foundation phone number to have it retrieved or to make a donation to a local mosque.According to Sayeed, who checks for messages daily, 30 percent are appreciative, another 30 percent are indifferent and requesting that the book be taken back and the rest are often filled with expletives."It is not pleasant to hear that after all the effort you made," said Sayeed, who works full time for the foundation in addition to being a strategy consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers.The Addison, Ill.-based organization says it has distributed more than 30,000 free copies of the Quran to homes around Houston, Texas, and another 70,000 in the Chicago area, including the evangelical stronghold of Wheaton.Al-Furqaan's horizons go far beyond those two urban areas. The foundation aims to deliver copies of the Quran to every U.S. household. On its website, those interested can order copies by paying a shipping and handling charge. Sayeed is not concerned his American readers might be unable to understand the text.
"The general sense will be clear," he said, noting the foundation had chosen a translation Americans can easily read. "Islam teaches peace."Al-Furqaan is not the only Muslim group distributing free Qurans.WND reported in 2005, the Council on American-Islamic Relations came under fire for distributing a free English-language edition of the Quran that had been banned by the Los Angeles school district because commentary notes accompanying the text were regarded as anti-Semitic.The Council on American-Islamic Relations had previously included the edition in the Islamic book-package it offers libraries nationwide and was giving it away to help "improve America's image" through a program called "Explore the Quran."A complaint by a history teacher revealed problems with the CAIR-distributed version.Surah (Chapter) 2:65 of the Quran, which reads like most English versions, says: "And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed.In the matter of the Sabbath; we said to them: 'Be ye apes, despised and rejected." In his corresponding note, the commentary reads: "There must have been a Jewish tradition about a whole fishing community in a seaside town, which persisted in breaking the Sabbath and were turned into apes."Under the heading "Jews" in the book's index, is a reference to Surah 5:60, which says: " ... Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some he transformed into apes and swine ... ." In the index under "Jews" also are these phrases: "cursed," "enmity of," "greedy of life," "slew prophets," "took usury," "unbelief and blasphemy of" and "work iniquity."Author and researcher Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, said that while the commentary notes in the CAIR-distributed version are particularly anti-Semitic, its rendering of the Quranic text largely is no different than any other version."It's an indication that what we think of as extreme in Islam is not really extreme but mainstream," he told WND. "You won't find a translation that doesn't have Jews being turned into apes and pigs."
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/?pageId=64581

As in the days of Noah...

CULTURE of DEATH:Thousands of women had four abortions

Thousands of British women have had four or more abortions, including dozens who have undergone six by the age of 30....
Figures uncovered by the Telegraph show that almost 4,000 women have had at least four abortions.In a "grotesquely bleak" picture of British society, scores of women have had at least eight terminations.The figures emerged as the row over controversial changes to fertility law erupted into a bitter war of words, with a minister accusing "anti-abortion" MPs of trying to "hijack" legislation.On the eve of a crucial Commons vote, Dawn Primarolo, the Public Health Minister, accused Tory backbenchers of an underhand attempt to remove the right to abortion by tabling amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.In an interview with the Telegraph, she also accused MPs who oppose the creation of hybrid embryos of putting forward "extreme and untrue arguments".Nadine Dorries, the MP leading the campaign to reduce the abortion time limit from 24 to 20 weeks, hit back at the criticism, while revealing that she has received hate mail over her stance.Miss Primarolo made her comments as the Government braced itself for a difficult two days of debate on the Bill, which has been denounced by Christian MPs and clerics.Gordon Brown was forced to concede free votes on key aspects of the legislation after three Roman Catholic members of his cabinet made clear they would vote against the measures. A free vote will also be allowed on abortion amid unease about the number of late terminations carried out for "social" reasons.It emerged on Saturday that NHS doctors were refusing to carry out late procedures and that 75 per cent of the 7,000 terminations performed after 17 weeks of pregnancy each year were being carried out at private clinics and charities.Department of Health figures uncovered by this newspaper show that during 2006 more than 3,800 women underwent at least their fourth abortion, including more than 1,300 who were on their fifth or more. Of more than 60,000 women who underwent a "repeat" abortion, almost 15,000 were on their third.These included 65 women who had their sixth abortion by the age of 30, and 82 girls aged under 18 who had already experienced three, and more than 50 women who had had eight abortions or more.On Saturday night, campaigners for legal changes expressed shock at the picture uncovered. Dr Peter Saunders, general secretary of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said: "This is just so grotesquely bleak." He said the situation was "approaching the sorts of things we used to hear about Soviet Russia."When you try to imagine a woman who has had eight abortions, or perhaps more, it is absolutely clear that she is using it as a form of contraception." Meanwhile, Ms Primarolo criticised Conservatives who have tabled abortion votes, including Ms Dorries, saying she did not believe them when they said they were simply trying to reform the law.She said: "If they are being honest, they are saying they don't like abortion. They want to prevent it entirely and they see that gradually changing the time limit down is the way to do it, because there isn't support to completely change the '67 Act."This Bill is so important and, frankly, it's been hijacked and it's not right."Ms Dorries pointed out that the Embryology Bill had been specifically drafted to allow abortion amendments and that ministers had initially hoped it would offer Labour MPs a chance to liberalise abortion further. Now that this had backfired, they were complaining."They don't like it because it has not gone their way," she said. The Mid-Bedfordshire MP added: "I'm an advocate of fast, safe, free access to abortion, especially in the first trimester. My only problem is with late abortion."She revealed in an article in the Telegraph on Saturday that she has received hate mail for her stance. The word "bitch" was smeared on her window and dismembered dolls posted to her."The number of abusive phone calls, emails and letters we have received are too numerous to mention," she said.
Abortion by numbers:
22,000 abortions
in England and Wales in 1968, the first year they were legal
193,700 in 2006
Of these 7,123 carried out after 17 weeks
3,000 carried out after 20 weeks, a 44% increase in a decade
2,000 carried out on the grounds that the child would be born handicapped
7,400 carried out on non-UK residents
24% of abortions undertaken by NHS
67% carried out at independent clinics under NHS contracts
9% self-funded
£500 is the average cost of an abortion up to 12 weeks involving no anaesthetic
33% of British women will have an abortion by the age of 45 (excluding Northern Ireland)
PS:So in the UK for 500 pounds you can hire a hitman(the abortionist doctor)to kill your baby.....cause IT IS NOT CONVENIENT..for SOCIAL REASONS......Shouldn't mothers and father and doctors and nurses being prosecuted for murder?????
As in the days of Noah....

REPENT THEREFORE OF THIS THY WICKEDNESS,AND PRAY GOD,IF PERHAPS THE THOUGHT OF THINE HEART MAY BE FORGIVEN THEE...

"But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the LORD for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me."

Acts 8:9-24

JIHAD FRIENDLY CANDIDATE:Fact: Obama Supporters and Obama Believe In Negotiating With Terrorists

If the following quote from President Bush made Obama(pictured first from left)and his supporters certain he was talking about them, then this proves Obama and these supporters of his who feel this way believe we should try and negotiate with terrorists:
Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.
“Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists”, must here be the line which stood out to these people.They seized onto that. They are so certain it secretly speaks of Obama, Obama and his crew have been railing against Republicans for a few days now.They are outraged and claiming we are clever liars to claim it doesn’t speak of Obama.Of course, however, their paranoia is because they themselves are clever liars and they think others are like them.
Reality is terrorist appeasers have been around the Israel and terrorist game from day one.I can not say they have all be Democrats.I wish I could.Now what I have heard from Obama, what we all have heard… is that he will sit down and talk with some nations like Syria and Iran. This is, needless to say, controversial. The very act of sitting down with these people is an act a lot of conservatives and moderates find highly distasteful.But their outrage shows exactly what they mean when they talk this way.For me, this really highlights Obama’s left wing voting record, and other aspects of his life which he tries to hide—like the whole Rev Wright debacle.Isn’t it really coincidental that Obama’s spiritual leader, a man he swore he would not disown… is such a far left nutcase who praises hard core Islamist anti-semites like Farrakhan?Let’s face it. Obama is lying to us.And his way overly defensive followers know it.This is the “hate America” far left we are talking about here with Obama, it is becoming clear… and while they have tried to hide it… the real story seems to be bursting at its’ seams.History lesson folks: America is the best nation on the planet. This is as good as it gets. We have been the stalwart defender of liberty around the world. Our critics have almost invariably been wrong (and pro-totalitarian). We are hated because no would be totalitarian dictator can ever grab the reins of the world and achieve global conquest while we are in the game.Leftists, rightists… extremists of all ilk hate our guts.Let us not elect such a fool to the Presidency.
As in the days of Noah....

Two Asian disasters, but the response is a world apart--PART TWO

SPECIAL REPORT FROM BOGALE, BURMA
Victims vanish in the disaster that dare not speak its name
IT IS a disaster still shrouded in secrecy.The world is growing accustomed to seeing images of devastation, from earthquakes or calamitous storms, as they unfold.Here the military dictatorship continues to cordon off the areas worst hit by Cyclone Nargis on May 3, so little is known about the extent of the devastation, how aid is reaching those in need-or extraordinary stories of survival and death like that of Than Lwin.When the surging water ripped apart his house, he and his family scrambled on to their small boat in a futile attempt to outrun the cyclone. The boat capsized when a giant wave crashed on to it, and Than Lwin began a six-hour battle for his life, grasping for anything that would keep him afloat amid the churning seawater. "The water was so high, sometimes I touched the tops of trees," he said. When the storm finally passed at dawn, Than Lwin was miles away from home, on Main Ma Hla island in the mouth of the Irrawaddy Delta.He and 26 other survivors found a boat that was intact and used their hands to paddle to the mainland, passing dozens of bodies along the way. Of the 7,000 people who lived in his village,only 600 survived.His parents and siblings disappeared, and he assumes they are dead.With so little information coming from the vulnerable villages along the coast, the extent of the damage and the death toll may never be known. But it is possible to piece together from scattered accounts from survivors, diplomats and aid groups a picture of a storm of immense power followed by a woefully inadequate rescue effort.On Wednesday, the International Committee of the Red Cross, which has assisted in virtually every conflict and disaster for decades estimated up to 127,990 people had died. With cases of cholera now being reported, the fate of up to 2.5 million people left clinging to survival hangs in the balance.The military government that has kept a tight grip on this country for more than four decades has tried to keep foreign eyes, and cameras, away from the epicentre of the damage. The police blockaded the lower reaches of the delta, setting up checkpoints at bridges along the few roads that link it to Rangoon, the commercial capital.With few exceptions, foreigners are barred from entering the area. This reporter, whose name is being withheld to avoid detection by the government, was able to reach some, but not all, of the worst-affected areas by hiding in the bottom of a boat.The major southern towns of the Irrawaddy Delta – Bogale, Pyapon and Labutta – suffered severe damage in the storm, but it is the hundreds of fishing and rice-farming villages closer to the sea where the greatest number of people died. In those villages, where houses are typically made of bamboo lashed together with thin strips of wood, survivors are counted in the hundreds and the dead in the thousands."The only thing left is the ground," said Tin Nyunt, a betel nut seller in Bogale, referring to two villages near the sea, Hi Gyi and Maw Kyune."Everything else was blown away." When the skies darkened in the early afternoon of May 2, those affluent enough in this impoverished area to own radios only heard reports from state broadcasters about the arrival of strong winds."The wind sounded like an airplane engine," said Daw Sein, a relatively affluent rice farmer who rode out the storm in her sturdy teak-frame house with water up to her waist. Others said the wind was so loud that you could not hear someone shouting next to you. "You couldn't even hear the sound of a tree trunk cracking," said Myint Oo, the headman of Ma Ngay Gyi, where more than 250 villagers were killed. When the storm hit land in the late afternoon, heading due east, it was a Category 4 cyclone, the second most dangerous type, with winds reaching 155 mph.In the early evening, as the storm travelled over the delta, villagers stood huddled together in their houses as a series of waves crashed down, each larger than the last. Like the tsunami of 2004, some waves were higher than eight feet, villagers said; but unlike the tsunami, the largest waves struck at night, leaving villagers scrambling to survive in the dark. Kyaw Swe, a clothing trader, said his bamboo house started shaking so violently during the storm that he went outside. But when he waded into the paddies, a giant wave swept him away. He was transported by the water about a mile from his home before he was able to grab on to a tree branch."Nobody and nothing could help me – except the tree," he said, squatting near the spot where his house once stood. Myint Oo, the village headman, said the most vulnerable were those who lived in open areas. The majority of victims in his village were those living in huts in the rice fields who tried to run back to the village. After the storm, he recovered 70 of their bodies and buried them in mass graves. The rest of the bodies had been washed away. During three days of travelling by boat in the delta a week after the storm, this reporter saw 66 bodies floating in canals or hidden among shrubs along riverbanks.But the question remains: where have the thousands of bodies gone? There appear to be no pictures of fields of bodies as in the tsunami in 2004. Pictures taken immediately after the storm show dozens of bodies in the area around Labutta on May 3 and 4. But villagers interviewed say emphatically that the death toll was high, but as happened on the west coast of Indonesia in direct line of the tsunami three years ago, most of the dead were washed out to sea. The inability to retrieve bodies has compounded the grief of people who lost family members. Zaw Ayea, who is 27, was at his boss's house during the storm. When he returned to his destroyed home, he found his sister's body. His mother and two younger brothers are missing and presumed dead. That is the account given by his friends; Zaw Ayea cannot speak. He stares straight ahead with a strangely placid expression on his face.His friends say he has been in shock since the cyclone. Although some of them smile when they talk to a visitor, villagers are clearly scarred by the death all around them. "There is a ghost here at night, every night," said Khin Maung Win, a farmer in the village of Gwe Choung, where half the population of 200 was killed by the storm. The ghost, he says, throws rice in his face.San Nge, who at 81 is the oldest survivor interviewed for this article, says that the day after the storm he heard a girl shouting for help. "I went over, and no one was there," he said.For most villagers in the southern parts of the delta there was nowhere to hide when the storm hit. The delta is a vast, low-lying series of peninsulas and islands that even in the driest of periods of the year are flush with water. Residents of the delta travel almost everywhere by boat.Before the mid-19th century, the area was a thinly inhabited swamp. But the British colonial rulers saw this as an ideal place to cultivate rice and help feed their empire. They built dykes and drained the land. In the twilight years of British rule, colonial Burma was the world's largest rice exporter and millions of Burmese moved here to cultivate the rich alluvial soil. The government says that 6.3 million people lived in the delta before the storm.It will not take much to get villagers back on their feet in these areas because they had so little to begin with. Being affluent in the delta means having some furniture and a house made of concrete or hardwood instead of bamboo.Farmers till their fields with buffalo pulling a plough. Now they lack both buffaloes and rice seed. During this reporter's period spent in the delta, several times as many buffaloes could be seen floating dead on the water as were grazing on land. Villages in the delta often have dedicated ponds and large ceramic jars to store drinking water. Many of those jars have broken and the pond water has been blackened from the hay and foliage rotting in it.Distribution of food to the destitute villagers has been uneven, where it exists at all.Some villages say they have not seen anyone from the government, while others say the military gave them rations of rice to last a few days.In the city of Bogale, where most houses lost their roofs, residents said the military supplied each household with three cups of rice immediately after the storm. Then the army began selling portions of rice for 600 kyat, about 55 cents.A motorcycle taxi driver said he had seen only two foreign aid workers since the storm. The military's policy has been to allow foreign aid but bar foreign disaster relief experts. In refugee camps there appears to be enough rice, partly because wealthy Burmese have been dropping off bags of food in recent days. Than Lwin, who now sleeps on the concrete floor of a Buddhist temple that serves as a makeshift camp for refugees, is starting from zero. He was naked when he landed on Main Ma Hla island because the storm had ripped off all of his clothes. He now has a shirt and sarong but still needs a blanket. Twenty-six years old, he has no plan. "I have nothing," he said. "I will do anything to survive."

As in the days of Noah....

Two Asian disasters, but the response is a world apart--PART ONE

THE CHINESE QUAKE
Tiny bodies everywhere: single child policy compounds the griefTHE bodies are everywhere. Some are zipped inside white vinyl bags and strewn on the ground. Others have been covered in a favourite blanket or dressed in new clothes.There are so many bodies that undertakers want to cremate them in groups.They were all children."Our grief is incomparable," said Li Ping, 39, as he and his wife carefully pulled a pair of pink pyjamas over the bruised, naked body of their eight-year-old daughter, Ke. "We got married late, and had a child late. She is our only child."
The earthquake that struck Sichuan province on Monday claimed tens of thousands of lives across China. But the awful scene at this morgue is a sad reminder that too many of the dead are children in a country where most families can have only one.These children symbolised the earthquake's seemingly indiscriminate cruelty. But the cruelty, in the eyes of their parents, was also man-made.Several schools in nearby Dujiangyan collapsed while classes were under way. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao made emotional visits to two of them, including Xinjian Primary School, where parents say officials told him the death toll was 20 pupils.But enraged parents at the morgue say officials lied to the prime minister to hide the true toll at Xinjian, which they estimate at more than 400 dead children. Several parents blamed local officials for a slow initial rescue response and questioned the structural safety of the school building. They also were furious that officials forbade them to search for their children for two days and were then allowed access to the bodies only after they formed an ad hoc committee to complain about their treatment."Before Wen Jiabao came, the whole school was filled with children's bodies," said one mother who sat outdoors at the morgue with her husband in the early morning darkness beside the covered body of their eight-year-old daughter. "Her father and I had stood outside the school since the earthquake. We pleaded with the government, 'If she is dead, I want to see the body. If she is alive, I want to see her.'"The morgue is located an hour outside Dujiangyan on an isolated rural road, yet the car park was filled at 1.50am on Thursday. Parents and other family members clustered around the bodies of their children. Some burned fake money to bring their lost child good fortune in the afterlife. In one room, 25 small bodies were scattered on the floor. Some children had already been taken away."There are more in there," said a man in a blue shirt, pointing to a rear door. He walked outside to a covered walkway and paused. Scores of bodies, covered with sheets, were lined in two long rows on the concrete floor. Others were placed in an adjacent room. Parents sobbed or sat silently beside bodies."They are all students," said the man in the blue shirt. "Look," he said pointing to a red-and-white jacket folded beside one body. "That is the school uniform." He pointed to a Mickey Mouse backpack. "There is a book bag."The two rows of bodies led to an open door that led to the large steel furnaces used for cremation.In China, the dead are almost always cremated, usually fairly soon after death. Usually, there is enough time for funeral ceremonies and rituals, but parents said officials at the morgue were worried about cremating so many bodies. Some parents have now been asked if their children could be cremated with dead friends to save time.Parents say they were only allowed to begin identifying their children on Wednesday. The bodies had remained inside the grounds of Xinjian Primary School for two days until officials began transporting them to the morgue on Wednesday. The earthquake struck at 2.28pm on Monday, and many parents rushed immediately to the school, which taught about 600 pupils, aged seven to 12. When they arrived, most of the building had collapsed. "We pleaded with the administrators to help us," said one mother, Chen Li, who came to the morgue on Wednesday to identify her son. "We yelled, 'Where are the soldiers? Send them to help us!'"Parents say neighbours and students from a nearby college arrived by 4pm to help with the digging. Local officials and school administrators also came but then left after inspecting the site. Two more hours passed before a large group of paramilitary police officers arrived and told the parents to leave because the area was too dangerous. Parents were relocated outside the school gate, unable to watch as the officers began digging.Chen said her son, Zhang Yuanxin, was discovered on the same day as the earthquake but was then left uncovered in the rain with other bodies on the school playground. She said two large trucks arrived early on Wednesday morning and carried the bodies away shortly before Wen arrived."I think there were 50 bodies in two trucks that were carried away," Chen said. "I asked those people, 'Are you taking the bodies away?'"But she said local officials lied to her and said they were only taking away tents.
Crisis opens door to former enemies
Howard W French and Edward Wong in Mianyang
CHINA has departed from past diplomatic practice, seeking disaster relief experts and heavy equipment needed for rescue operations from neighbours it has long shunned as rivals or renegades.Officials on Thursday asked long-time rival Japan to send 60 earthquake rescue experts, the first such team China has accepted from a foreign country during the current crisis and one of the few official relief missions China has ever accepted from abroad. This week it also accepted help from at least three private relief teams from Taiwan, the self-governing island with which China has long had tense relations. The decision to seek outside help reflects the fact that the search for survivors of Monday's massive earthquake and the struggle to accommodate hundreds of thousands of displaced people from the mountainous region around the epicentre of the quake are too much for China to handle alone, even after it mobilised 130,000 army soldiers, security forces and medics for relief work.But the selective invitations to Japan and Taiwan – some foreign nations that have offered aid have so far been told their services are not needed – will also show that China sees disaster relief as a tactical tool to improve ties with neighbours and soften its international image ahead of the Olympic Games in Beijing in August.One Chinese relief official called the invitations to a relatively small number of overseas teams "rescue diplomacy".China has been eager to secure international goodwill in what has so far been a trying diplomatic year for the country, with crises involving Tibet, human rights, and pressure to reduce support for the Sudanese government.Both Japan and Taiwan have extensive experience with earthquakes. Japan in particular lies along an active fault and suffered a major quake in Kobe in 1995."This is of course very meaningful politically," said a Chinese relief official in Shanghai. "It means we're opening up and merging with international society. The biggest news is that Japanese are allowed into China. We're in the big family of rescue efforts now."

As in the days of Noah....

DECEPTION WATCH:Pastor: minister arrested in sex sting resigned

PLANO, Texas-A minister arrested in an Internet sex sting has resigned his position at a Dallas-area megachurch, its pastor said Saturday.The Rev. Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, said during services Saturday that the church accepted Joe Barron's resignation, effective immediately.Barron was charged Friday with online solicitation of a minor. Undercover officers posing as a 13-year-old girl communicated with the 52-year-old minister for about two weeks. The online conversations were sexual in nature, police said.On May 6, Barron suggested meeting the girl in person. He drove nearly 200 miles on Thursday to meet her in Bryan, where he was arrested. Police said they found a web-cam and condoms in the minister's car.Barron was released from the Brazos County Jail on Friday night on $7,000 bail.Police were unsure if he had an attorney.Graham said it was a heartbreaking week in which "you need to know that we are appalled and we are disgraced by this terrible action, an unacceptable action, by a minister on our staff."The pastor said he was eager to move on."We want to put this in the rearview mirror," Graham said. "We will handle anything we need to handle in terms of our responsibilities and obligations, and any ongoing investigation.Prestonwood Baptist Church is one of the largest churches in the country with 26,000 members and 40 ministers.
On the Net:
http://www.prestonwood.org/
As in the days of Noah...

ZIM WATCH:Mugabe rival fears 'assassination' plot

Zimbabwe's opposition leader has canceled his return to Harare from South Africa after receiving information from a "credible source" about what his party said was a planned assassination.But when contacted by CNN, a Cabinet member denied that the government had any possible role in the alleged plot, and said Saturday's report was an effort to gain international sympathy."We have received information from a credible source concerning a planned assassination attempt on President Tsvangirai today," George Sibotshiwe, a spokesman for his party, the Movement for Democratic Change, told The Associated Press."Because of that it has been decided that the president will not return today."An MDC statement released to CNN added: "We are not in a position to say whether this threat concerns actions of the state or a non-state actor."It should be noted that Mr. Tsvangirai is not the only person under threat at the moment. The entire leadership of the MDC, leaders of democratic forces within the country and every Zimbabwean is at risk from this brutal regime."In light of this information, and on the strong recommendation of Tsvangirai's security adviser, it has been decided that the president will not return to Zimbabwe today."This will enable his security detail more time to analyze and mitigate the risk."Chen Chimutengwende, Zimbabwe's minister of public and interactive affairs, accused Tsvangirai of "trying to paint a false picture of what Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe authorities are like. There is no plot against him and there has never been any plot against him and he knows that."He called the reports from Tsvangirai's party "an effort to get sympathy from the international community."Tsvangirai won more votes that President Robert Mugabe in the presidential election on March 29, but he did not garner enough votes to avoid a runoff, now set for June 27.The MDC contends Tsvangirai won the election with 50.3 percent of the vote, giving him the necessary majority. The party argued that the Electoral Commission, which delayed publicly releasing the results for weeks, had fudged the numbers to protect Mugabe.At a party meeting Friday, Mugabe said Zanu-PF must work hard to "repair the damage" suffered in the election."Most people stayed at home and that sleeping vote is what we must target and arouse. It is our vote. It is loyal to us...let us galvanize it for an emphatic victory," the state Herald newspaper quoted him as saying Saturday."We went to the election completely unprepared, unorganized...our structures went to sleep, we were in deep slumber in circumstances of all-out war. As leaders we all share the blame. We did not lead, we misled, we did not encourage, rather we discouraged, we did not unite, we divided ... Hence the dismal result we were landed with," Mugabe said.He said the opposition was backed by "a hostile axis of powerful foreign governments" and international businesses aiming to promote their interests in Zimbabwe."Our party must reclaim its glory so its leaders can hand over the revolution to new hands who must ensure continuity of the party," the Herald quoted him as saying.Meanwhile on Saturday, Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said no more international observers would be allowed for the runoff, the state Herald reported, dismissing calls for extra monitors, The Associated Press reported.Since the balloting, the MDC and church groups have reported kidnappings, torture and other violence, including the deaths of 25 opposition party members.
They say the violence targets opponents of Mugabe, who has ruled the southern African country since it became independent 28 years ago.Amnesty International warned Thursday that the violence in Zimbabwe is reaching "crisis levels." The organization said large numbers of Zanu-PF supporters and war veterans are "assaulting perceived MDC supporters" in a district in Midlands province in central Zimbabwe and in another in a Mashonaland Central district, in the northern corner of the country.The war veterans were "recruiting local youths to attack" people thought to be MDC supporters, Amnesty International said. "Police appear to be unwilling to stop the violence," the organization said, and they were "only acting to arrest MDC supporters suspected of carrying out attacks on perceived Zanu-PF supporters."In addition to the 25 MDC supporters the opposition group says have been killed since the March election, church groups have reported the deaths of eight people at the hands of militias in an apparent crackdown on the opposition and its supporters.Amnesty International put the death toll slightly lower, saying at least 22 people had been killed since the election. More than 900 have been injured, the organization said.On Friday, Tsvangirai appeared confident that he would win the runoff."We will triumph over the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe," he promised, calling on African countries to assist Zimbabwe in achieving a smooth transition of power.
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/05/17/zimbabwe/index.html
As in the days of Noah....

Robotic suit amplifies human strength

Rex Jameson bikes and swims regularly, and plays tennis and skis when time allows.But the 5-foot-11, 180-pound software engineer is lucky if he presses 200 pounds-that is, until he steps into an "exoskeleton" of aluminum and electronics that multiplies his strength and endurance as many as 20 times.With the outfit's claw-like metal hand extensions, he gripped a weight set's bar at a recent demonstration and knocked off hundreds of repetitions.Once, he did 500."Everyone gets bored much more quickly than I get tired,"Jameson said. Jameson-who works for robotics firm Sarcos Inc. in Salt Lake City, which is under contract with the U.S. Army-is helping assess the 150-pound suit's viability for the soldiers of tomorrow.The suit works by sensing every movement the wearer makes and almost instantly amplifying it.The Army believes soldiers may someday wear the suits in combat, but it's focusing for now on applications such as loading cargo or repairing heavy equipment. Sarcos is developing the technology under a two-year contract worth up to $10 million, and the Army plans initial field tests next year.Before the technology can become practical, the developers must overcome cost barriers and extend the suit's battery life. Jameson was tethered to power cords during his demonstration because the current battery lasts just 30 minutes.But the technology already offers evidence that robotics can amplify human muscle power in reality-not just in the realm of comic books and movies like the recently debuted "Iron Man," about a wealthy weapons designer who builds a high-tech suit to battle bad guys."Everybody likes the idea of being a superhero, and this is all about expanding the capabilities of a human," said Stephen Jacobsen, chief designer of the Sarcos suit.The Army's exoskeleton research dates to 1995, but has yet to yield practical suits. Sarcos' technology sufficiently impressed Raytheon Co., however, that the Waltham, Massachusetts-based defense contractor bought Sarcos' robotics business last November. Sarcos also has developed robotic dinosaurs for a Universal Studios' "Jurassic Park" theme park ride.Jack Obusek, a former colonel now with the Army's Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center in the Boston suburb of Natick, foresees robot-suited soldiers unloading heavy ammunition boxes from helicopters, lugging hundreds of pounds of gear over rough terrain or even relying on the suit's strength-enhancing capabilities to make repairs to tanks that break down in inconvenient locations.Sarcos' Jacobsen envisions factory workers someday using the technology to perform manual labor more easily, and firefighters more quickly carrying heavy gear up stairwells of burning buildings. Disabled people also may find uses for the technology, he said."We see the value being realized when these suits can be built in great numbers for both military and commercial uses, and they start coming down in cost to within the range of the price of a small car," said Jacobsen.He declined to estimate how much the suit might cost in mass production.But cost isn't the only obstacle. For example, developers eventually hope to lengthen the suit's backpack battery's life and tinker with the suit's design to use less energy. Meanwhile, the suit can draw power from a generator, a tank or helicopter. And there are gas engines that, while noisy, small enough to fit into the suit's backpack."The power issue is probably the No.1 challenge standing in the way of getting this thing in the field,"Obusek said. But he said Sarcos appears to have overcome the key challenge of pairing super-fast microprocessors with sensors that detect movements by the body's joints and transmit data about them to the suit's internal computer.Much as the brain sends signals to tendons to get muscles to move, the computer sends instructions to hydraulic valves. The valves mimic tendons by driving the suit's mechanical limbs, replicating and amplifying the wearer's movements almost instantly."With all the previous attempts at this technology, there has been a slight lag time between the intent of the human, and the actual movement of the machine," Obusek said.In the demonstration, the bulky suit slowed Jameson a bit, but he could move almost normally.When a soccer ball was thrown at him, he bounced it back off his helmeted head. He repeatedly struck a punching bag and, slowly but surely, he climbed stairs in the suit's clunky aluminum boots, which made him look like a Frankenstein monster."It feels less agile than it is," Jameson said."Because of the way the control laws work, it's ever so slightly slower than I am. And because we are so in tune with our bodies' responses, this tiny delay initially made me tense."Now, he's used to it."I can regain my balance naturally after stumbling- something I discovered completely by accident."Learning was easy, he said."It takes no special training, beyond learning to relax and trust the robot," he said.

As in the days of Noah.....

DECEPTION WATCH:Texas Megachurch Minister Busted in Internet Sex Sting

"AND THERE WAS GREAT JOY IN THAT CITY"

"And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
And there was great joy in that city."

Acts 8:1-8

MUSLIMS AGAINST SHARIA:The STOP HONORCIDE....!!!!

MUSLIMS AGAINST SHARIA-regular readers of this blog-have left this comment today,which I thought would bless you.Thanks God there is still out there muslims that vehemently oppose these atrocities....:
The STOP HONORCIDE! campaign was launched on Mother's Day 2008. The goal of the campaign is to prosecute honorcides to the fullest extent of the law. We want honorcide to be classified as a hate crime and we advocate for every existing hate crime legislation to be amended to include honorcide.Visit:
As in the days of Noah...

HONOUR KILLING WATCH:Brother suspected in killing of German-Afghan girl

BERLIN-Police investigating the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old German girl of Afghan origin are searching for her brother on suspicion he carried what media believe may have been an "honor killing".Police said on Friday they were conducting an all-out search for the victim's 23-year-old brother, whom they "strongly suspected" was responsible for the attack in a park in a central area of Hamburg on Thursday night.A police spokeswoman said the motive was unclear in response to German media speculation that the girl's death from multiple stab wounds was the result of an honor killing."We are investigating in all directions," she said.Locals heard the girl's screams and called for help, but paramedics arriving at the scene were unable to save her, police said.Concern about honor crimes-motivated by a desire to defend traditional ideas of family reputation, often when the victim has become involved in what is seen as an unsuitable relationship or way of life-is growing in Germany, which has the second-largest Muslim population in western Europe.In a high profile case in 2006, a man of Turkish descent was jailed for shooting dead his sister at a Berlin bus stop after she left her husband to live alone.
http://www.reuters.com/article/inDepthNews/idUSL1683776720080516
As in the days of Noah...

Cyclone island of death

QUAKEWATCH:Thousands Flee Fearing Broken Lake

To read these news and more updates from China and current quake and volcanic activity worldwide go to:
As in the days of Noah...

Friday, May 16, 2008

GAY AGENDA WATCH:California Rules in Favor of Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

'The justices have undermined and endangered the basic building block of society.'
The California Supreme Court ruled today that a law defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman is “unconstitutional,” allowing same-sex couples to marry within the next 30 days. The ruling struck down Proposition 22, a voter-approved statute protecting traditional marriage.Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, is outraged by the court’s blatant disregard for marriage and the voters of California.“The will of the people has now arrogantly been declared null and void,” he said. “In so doing, the justices have undermined and endangered the basic building block of society, which has been honored and preserved in every nation on earth through most of human history.” Glen Lavy, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, said the only way to permanently protect marriage in California is to amend the state constitution. A law, like Prop. 22, does not carry the same legal weight as a constitutional amendment.“The court’s decision clearly demonstrates that marriage is not ultimately safe from tampering by activists and others in government until the voters have amended the constitution,” he said.ProtectMarriage.com, a coalition of local, state and national groups, is working to place a constitutional marriage amendment on the California ballot in November. The group submitted 1.1 million signatures, which are currently under review for validation. Ron Prentice, who is working with the coalition, is optimistic the initiative will qualify for the ballot.“In November, the people will have an opportunity to overrule the Court’s decision by passing a constitutional amendment,” Prentice said, “and California’s voters must respond in strength and number.”Matt Barber, policy director of cultural issues for Concerned Women for America, hopes the court’s decision will serve as a wakeup call to Californians and fellow Americans across the country.“Marriage is, and has always been, between a man and a woman. We know that it's in the best interest of children to be raised with a mother and a father,” he said. “This decision will help fuel a California marriage amendment and re-ignite debate over a federal amendment which would protect marriage as between one man and one woman.”
by Devon Williams, associate editor
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Help defend marriage in California, and the rest of the nation.
ProtectMarrriage.com, a Project of California Renewal,
2150 River Plaza Drive #150,
Sacramento, CA 95833.
Major funding by National Organization for Marriage California Committee, Fieldstead & Co., and Focus on the Family.
http://www.citizenlink.org/CLtopstories/A000007441.cfm
As in the days of Noah....

U.S. Announces Deal to Send 500,000 Tons of Food Aid to North Korea

WASHINGTON-The United States said Friday it has reached a deal with North Korea to provide 500,000 metric tons of food aid over the coming year to the closed-off communist nation.The Bush administration says the aid is unrelated to its nuclear disarmament deal with Pyongyang, although both have involved an unusual intensity of U.S. diplomacy with a nation President Bush once included as part of a rhetorical "axis of evil."The State Department announced the food agreement after weeks of talks over how the aid would be distributed. The United States wants assurances the food won't be diverted or used improperly by the government of Kim Jong Il."The two sides have agreed on terms for a substantial improvement in monitoring and access in order to allow for confirmation of receipt by the intended recipients," according to a statement from the U.S. Agency for International Development.The U.S. said it does not know exactly how much the deal will cost, because prices will depend on such variables as the costs of food and shipping, both of which are rising fast.Pyongyang "has been open in saying it faces a major shortage in food supplies," White House press secretary Dana Perino said earlier this week."The president thinks that the government is certainly diverting food to the military and not giving it to the people," she said. "But outside of politics, the president's heart hurts when he knows that people are starving, and especially because-especially for children, who are maybe trying to go to school."The North's food situation has worsened this year due to last year's devastating floods that destroyed more than 11 percent of the country's crops.The country has resorted to international assistance to feed its 23 million people since the mid-1990s due to natural disasters and mismanagement. The U.N. has warned that North Korea urgently needs outside aid to avert a worse humanitarian disaster.South Korea's foreign minister said Thursday his government is also willing to talk with North Korea about food aid.Relations between the two Koreas worsened after South Korea's new conservative government was inaugurated in February with a pledge to take a tougher line on the North, which subsequently said it would stop seeking help from the South, previously a key donor.South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said his country "intends to hold direct talks with North Korea if there is such an opportunity," according to his ministry.Yu did not elaborate.However, ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said the South Korean government will maintain its position that it will provide aid to North Korea only if the North requests it.
As in the days of Noah....

LEWDNESS WATCH:Dutch Government to Criminalize Visits to Non-Licensed Prostitutes

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands-The Dutch government, famous for liberalism on issues of personal morality, announced plans Friday to criminalize the visiting of prostitutes who are not officially licensed.The Justice Ministry said the move is necessary to force better compliance with the country's legalized prostitution policy.At the same time, authorities will compel prostitutes to be registered in a national database "before they may offer sexual services.""There are still too many problems in the prostitution sector, including human trafficking," the Justice Ministry said in a statement.Prostitution has been legal in the Netherlands since 2000, when a long-standing tolerance policy was formalized.However, registration rules that are currently only followed by brothels and some large escort agencies will now be enforced for all sex workers, all the way down to "freelance" prostitutes, the ministry said.Prostitutes will need to offer a fixed address and telephone number. Clients will be able to ask for proof of registration to avoid prosecution.The plans follow similar moves in the city of Amsterdam, which has been cracking down on criminality and prostitution in its famed Red Light District for several years.
As in the days of Noah...

"LORD,LAY NOT THIS SIN TO THEIR CHARGE...."

"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."

Acts 7:51-60

Dutch Cartoonist Arrested on Suspicion of Violating Hate Speech Laws

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands-A Dutch political cartoonist was arrested this week on suspicion of insulting people because of their race or religion through his work, authorities said Friday.The cartoonist, who works under the pseudonym Gregorius Nekschot, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of violating hate speech laws and held overnight before being released, said a spokeswoman for his publisher, Uitgeverij Xtra."He was arrested with a great show of force, by around 10 policemen," the spokeswoman said.She asked that her name not be used and declined to give Nekschot's real name because the cartoonist and publisher have received death threats.Nekschot is known primarily for cartoons mocking Muslims and leftists, though the spokeswoman said he is a satirist who targets "any strong ideology." Amsterdam public prosecutor spokeswoman Sanne van Meteren said Nekschot remains a suspect in a criminal investigation."We suspect him of insulting people on the basis of their race or belief, and possibly also of inciting hate," she said.Each is a crime punishable by up to a year in prison under Dutch hate speech laws-or two years for multiple offenses.Nekschot publishes primarily on several Web sites, including his own, but has also been featured on the Web site of Theo van Gogh, the filmmaker who was murdered by a Muslim radical in November 2004.The cartoonist also works for HP/De Tijd, a major Dutch language weekly news magazine, and he has published two books.One recent cartoon on his web site caricatured a Christian fundamentalist and Muslim fundamentalist as zombies who met at an anti-gay rally and now wished to marry.Van Meteren said prosecutors were investigating a complaint that dated from 2005.They are now focusing on eight or nine published cartoons,she said,but prosecutors are not disclosing which ones.Nekschot did not answer police questions during his arrest, she said, appealing to his right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination.The spokeswoman for Xtra said police had seized Nekschot's computer, sketches, CDs, DVDs and telephone at the time of his arrest.
PS:The dutch are finally YIELDING to muslim pressure....it was just a matter of time,that they would bow before them is UTMOST FEAR.....
As in the days of Noah....

JIHAD WATCH:North Carolina Web Site Said to Be 'Gateway Drug' To Terror

NEW YORK-When former Guantanamo inmate Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi blew up an Iraqi police station-and himself-in April, a U.S.-based Web site was quick to post a reaction."This is what you call a success story," Revolution.Muslimpad said of the homicide attack, which killed six. It described al-Ajmi as a hero, a "martyrdom bomber" who sacrificed "his life for the sake of Islam."The site is believed to be the brainchild of a 22-year-old American Samir Khan of Charlotte, N.C.When the blog, also called "The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowledge," listed its top "scholars of Islam" and people to "take knowledge from," it wasn't hard to notice that the list of 63 names contained mostly known terrorists-including Usama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The site provides links to their works, all translated into English.Revolution Muslimpad's sleek, modern style includes collections of the latest videos of U.S. military Humvees exploding from roadside bombs in Iraq, as well as pro-jihad messages aimed at radicalizing readers.But terror experts say it is unique because it is written in English for a Western audience and makes accessible radical Islamic content and context found mainly on Arabic-language sites."This Web site is one of the premiere English-language sites promoting terrorism," said cyberterrorism expert Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Jewish human rights group the Wiesenthal Center.On Thursday Cooper presented a report on Capitol Hill on the dangers Internet sites like Revolution.Muslimpad pose to young, impressionable Muslims. His report, "Digital Terrorism and Hate 2.0," references the Web site four times as an example of how Islamic extremists recruit for Al Qaeda.Part of the Revolution Muslimpad's power comes from the context and interpretation of the radical messages, which experts say offer dangerous inspiration."This guy [Khan] is plugged into the hardcore ideology that Al Qaeda espouses," said Jarret Brachman, director of research at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center.Brachman-who oversees the center’s research on Al Qaeda and who has been monitoring the site for two years-compared it to a "gateway drug.""The goal is to hook people, to get more people in this country to become radicalized and see the world through the lens of Al Qaeda," Brachman said.Sites like Revolution.Muslimpad are common in other countries, but there are a few that target American Muslim audiences, and this is "among the best," he said.Brachman and others believe Khan is the brains behind the site. According to The New York Times, which interviewed Khan in 2007, he launched his blog in 2005 under the name "Inshallahshaheed," or "a martyr soon if God wills," from his parents’ home in Charlotte, N.C.Khan reportedly grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., after his parents immigrated to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia. The Times reported he comes from a middle-class family and moved toward an increasingly radical form of Islam while at college in North Carolina.He launched his site while taking classes at a community college and during his off-hours as a knife salesman, it was reported.Since then, the Web site has changed six times, according to Rick Eaton, senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center. It first appeared on the U.S.-based host company WordPress and was later moved to other host companies before ending up at its current Muslimpad. The American operators of Muslimpad reportedly have since moved from Houston, Texas, to Amman, Jordan.It's unclear if Khan operates his site alone; despite repeated attempts by FOXNews.com, he could not be reached for an interview.In the "About Us" section, Revolution.Muslimpad describes the site as being run by a handful of "bloggers of inshallahshaheed," and says their mission is to "attempt to bring to our readers the reality on the ground in the lands of Jihad, and exposing the lies and deceptions of the disbelievers, hypocrites, and tyrannical Governments," including that of the U.S."Blogs offer a high level of anonymity," Eaton said, giving a blogger the ability to work incognito and to pull from multiple sources. Intelligence experts told FOXNews.com that Khan may be working with other radical Muslim bloggers based in the U.S., such as Yousef al-Khattab.Khattab, an American citizen born with the name Joseph Cohen, runs a Web site from Queens, N.Y., that promotes terror.Khan "may not say ‘go kill an American,’ but by implication the entire ideology does demand violence," Brachman said. "And this guy is not just a consumer of this ideology, he’s a producer of it."But Khan's messages, while incendiary, are not illegal."You have to protect the right to free speech," said Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., who learned of the blog in a congressional briefing in 2007, when Khan warned of a "special gift" to be given to Manhattan on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.Wilson said the site is potentially dangerous but difficult to remove; Cooper said there is little anyone can do unless it crosses the line from "rhetoric to action."Terrorism experts cannot confirm if any attempts have been made to bring down the site.But Brachman warns that Khan and others like him will "always consider themselves observants of, not proponents of" violence as a way to protect themselves legally.
"They’ll say things like, ‘Hey, this is out there,’ and ‘I’m just drawing your attention to it,’ as a way to keep themselves one step removed," he said.The size of Revolution.Muslimpad's viewership is not known, but terrorism analysts say that is of little importance in a post-Sept. 11 world.Citing the 19 hijackers responsible for the attacks, Cooper said: "We live in a world where you don't need a mass movement to change history. You just need a few individuals to become dedicated to an idea or an ideal."
As in the days of Noah...

Russia hopes for new offers to Tehran soon

MOSCOW-Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Friday it hoped the six nations negotiating with Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program could meet in Tehran soon to offer the Islamic Republic new proposals for talks."We hope in the near future Iran's foreign minister,Manouchehr Mottaki, will be able to meet in Tehran EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and deputy foreign ministers of the six countries who must hand Iran a revised package of proposals for talks," the ministry said in a statement.Moscow said it was "attentively studying" Iran's latest proposals and would consult its partners in the "big six"."During our meetings in Tehran representatives of the six could give their preliminary reaction to Iran's proposals."The United States reiterated it would not send a representative with Solana to deliver the new incentives. "We are not going to have a physical presence there," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.He said the major powers had completed work on details of the package and accompanying letter and Solana's office would contact the Iranian government to settle a date and venue for a meeting to hand over and discuss the refreshed deal.McCormack said the United States would only meet Iranian officials on the nuclear dossier once Tehran agreed to suspend its enrichment and reprocessing activities. To read more go to:
As in the days of Noah....

Bin Laden marks Israel anniversary with combat vow

DUBAI-Osama bin Laden vowed in an audio tape to mark Israel's 60th anniversary to continue to fight the Jewish state and its allies in the West.The al Qaeda leader, who has placed growing emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said it was at the heart of the Muslim battle with the West and an inspiration to the 19 bombers who carried out the attacks on U.S. cities on September 11, 2001."We will continue, God permitting, the fight against the Israelis and their allies...and will not give up a single inch of Palestine as long as there is one true Muslim on Earth," he said in the message,posted on an Islamist website on Friday.Bin Laden said Israel's anniversary celebrations were a reminder that it did not exist 60 years ago, and had been established on land seized from Palestinians by force."This is evidence that Palestine is our land, and the Israelis are invaders and occupiers who should be fought," he said in the tape, which was addressed to the Western public.The Saudi-born militant also said that decades of peace initiatives had failed to establish a Palestinian state, and the West had proved time and again that it sided with Israel."The participation of Western leaders with the Jews in this celebration confirms that the West backs this Jewish occupation of our land, and that they stand in the Israeli corner against us," he said."They proved this in practice by sending their forces to southern Lebanon."He also said Western media had over the years painted Israelis as victims, and the Palestinians who had been displaced from their land as terrorists.
To read more go to:
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL1662611720080516
As in the days of Noah...


Bin Laden's battle cry for Palestine

Lebanese leaders in Qatar for crisis talks

DOHA-Rival Lebanese leaders arrived in Qatar on Friday for talks to end a protracted political conflict that has pushed the country to the brink of a new civil war.One of the most influential members of the U.S-backed ruling coalition, which was dealt a military blow by Hezbollah in six days of fighting, called for concessions to avoid more conflict. "Let us deal with matters calmly at the dialogue table. Each one of us and them must offer concessions to bury strife," Walid Jumblatt(pictured 3rd from L) said on a tour of Druze villages where his followers this week battled the Iranian-backed Shi'ite Hezbollah."We are going to the dialogue with a great political wound," said Jumblatt, before flying to Doha with his allies and rivals.Arab mediators, led by the Qatari prime minister, concluded a deal on Thursday to end the fighting which killed 81 people and exacerbated sectarian tensions between Shi'ites loyal to Hezbollah and Druze and Sunni followers of the ruling coalition.Qatar invited the rivals to Doha for talks to end a broader political standoff that has paralyzed government for 18 months and left Lebanon without a president since November."We are going to Doha ... to come back, God willing, with an agreement that will allow Lebanese to look forward, benefiting from the past and its bitter experience," Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said before leaving for Qatar.The White House said Siniora cancelled talks in Egypt on Sunday with U.S. President George W. Bush so he can focus on the talks in Qatar, which were due to begin on Friday night.
To read more go to:
As in the days of Noah....

HONOUR KILLING WATCH:Indian village proud after double "honor killing"

BALLA, India-Five armed men burst into the small room and courtyard at dawn, just as 21-year-old, 22-week pregnant, Sunita was drying her face on a towel.They punched and kicked her stomach as she called out for her sleeping boyfriend "Jassa", 22-year-old Jasbir Singh, witnesses said.When he woke, both were dragged into waiting cars, driven away and strangled.Their bodies, half-stripped, were laid out on the dirt outside Sunita's father's house for all to see, a sign that the family's "honor" had been restored by her cold-blooded murder.A week later, the village of Balla, just a couple of hours drive from India's capital New Delhi, stands united behind the act, proud, defiant almost to a man.Among the Jat caste of the conservative northern state of Haryana,it is taboo for a man and woman of the same village to marry. Although the couple were not related, they were seen in this deeply traditional society as brother and sister. "From society's point of view, this is a very good thing," said 62-year-old farmer Balwan Arya, sitting smoking a hookah in the shade of a tree in a square with other elders from the village council or panchayat."We have removed the blot." Growing economic opportunities for young people and lower castes in Haryana have made "love marriages" more common, experts say, and the violent repression of them has risen in tandem as upper caste Jat men fight to hold on to power, status and property.Sunita's father Om Prakash has confessed to murdering his pregnant daughter and her boyfriend, police told Reuters. An uncle and two cousins were among four others arrested.
But in Balla many people believe the father confessed merely to underline that he supported his daughter's killing, to satisfy honor and protect the real culprits among his family or village.At their house, Sunita's mother did not emerge to talk.Instead, a young man on a motorbike tried to intimidate the Reuters team into leaving. It turned out he was another of Sunita's cousins, his father and brother held by police."We are not ashamed of it, absolutely not, we have the honor of doing the village proud," he said."We would not have had a face to show if we had not done this. It was the act of 'real men'."
THE POWER OF UPPER CASTE MEN
The relatively prosperous northern state of Haryana is one of India's most conservative when it comes to caste, marriage and the role of women. Deeply patriarchal, caste purity is paramount and marriages are arranged to sustain the status quo.Men and women are still murdered across the villages of northern India for daring to marry outside their caste, but in Haryana the practice is widespread, and widely supported.Here, women veil their faces with scarves in public. The illegal abortion of female fetuses is common, the ratio of women to men in Haryana just 861 to 1,000, the lowest in the country. Anyone who transgresses social codes, by marrying across caste boundaries or within the same village, is liable to meet the same fate as Sunita and Jasbir.Many such murders are never reported, hardly any result in prosecution,says Professor Javeed Alam, chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research."People from the same village are treated as siblings in Haryana," he said."So this is treated as incest."Without any law to prohibit this kind of marriage, "the only way you can punish it is by taking the law into your own hands. People believe people who commit incest should be killed".Nor do politicians ever renounce the practice, Alam added, because if they did, "they would not win elections".And the legalization of property rights for women in 1956 made love marriages within a village even more dangerous for this elite, as daughters living close to home could in theory claim a part of the family land, sociologist Prem Chowdhry says.
CHILDHOOD SWEETHEARTS
Sunita and Jasbir, sweethearts in the same class at school, had little chance. When he left school a couple of years before her to become an photographer's apprentice, he would often hang around at the school gates to collect her.She was married off to another man, but left her husband to elope with Jasbir a year-and-a-half ago, and while the families tried to keep them apart, they realized it was a losing battle."They were madly in love even to the last day," said Jasbir's 16-year-old sister-in-law Lalita in the house where they lived in Machhroli village, around 35 km (20 miles) by road from Balla.To make matters worse, Jasbir was from a lower sub-caste, and she was pregnant outside marriage. Sunita's parents in Balla found themselves virtually ostracized."Nobody would drink water in our house," Sunita's mother Roshni is reported to have said."My daughter's action made us aliens in our own land. But we have managed to redeem our honor. She paid for her ill-gotten action."But among Jasbir's family, split between Machhroli and Balla, grief is mixed with fear."Why are you talking to the media?" shouted a female family member at one point. "This will only bring more trouble. "At the small police post in Balla, a constable admitted the case was unlikely to ever reach prosecution, with the village putting enormous pressure on the police, and especially Jasbir's family, to quietly drop the case."We are being pressurized into reaching an agreement, a compromise, without even being given time to grieve," said Jasbir's 25-year-old sister Neelam. "We have been told that if we don't compromise, we will suffer the same fate."In the narrow alleyway outside their tiny house, women wailed in grief. A few hundred yards away, the panchayat sat in quiet self-satisfaction."The people who have done this should get an award for it," said 48-year-old Satvir Singh."This was a murder of morality."
PS:When this is gonna end I wonder....?????
As in the days of Noah....

L.A. CONSIDERS SEWAGE AS A SOURCE FOR WATER...

With vital and often-distant water sources shrinking, Los Angeles officials today will revive a controversial proposal to recycle wastewater as part of a plan to curb usage and move the city toward greater water independence.The aggressive, multiyear proposal could do much to catch the city up to other Southern California communities that have launched advanced recycling programs. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's effort could cost up to $2 billion and affect a wide range of daily activities. For example, residents would be urged to change their clothes' washers, and new restrictions would be placed on how and when they could water lawns and clean cars.Financial incentives and building code changes would be used to incorporate high-tech conservation equipment in homes and businesses. Builders would be pushed to install waterless urinals, weather-sensitive sprinkler systems and porous parking lot paving that allows rain to percolate into groundwater supplies.Just to meet a 15% increase in demand by 2030, officials say 32 billion gallons a year will have to be saved or recaptured-enough to cover the San Fernando Valley with a foot of water.Prohibitions during the 1990s drought-banning residents from washing driveways and sidewalks, letting sprinklers flood into gutters and watering grass in midday-would be enforced again, with additional restrictions. One part of the proposal would limit lawn watering to certain days of the week."This is a radical departure for the city of Los Angeles," said Department of Water and Power General Manager David Nahai. "I think overall this plan is going to be a beacon for other cities."In fact, cities facing the same challenges, including Long Beach, have already moved to curtail residential and commercial water usage and punish waste. Orange County and other Southern California agencies are also recycling treated sewage water back into the drinking supply.Los Angeles' plan-a copy of which was made available to The Times-would invest in projects to capture and store rainfall and clean up a sprawling, contaminated water supply beneath the San Fernando Valley. About $1 billion would be allocated for reclamation, including a politically sensitive plan to use treated wastewater to recharge underground drinking supplies serving the Valley, Los Feliz and the Eastside.A similar system was approved and built in the 1990s, then abandoned after critics labeled it a "toilet-to-tap" scheme.The city learned from its earlier "aborted attempt" at water recycling, Nahai said."This is a new day," he said. "We have new technology. We're going to reach out very aggressively to the public and engage them as to the facts."One critic said voters should decide whether the water supply will be blended with treated wastewater. "It's grossly unfair for the mayor, the City Council or the DWP to decide consumers are going to be using this recycled water," said Gerald A. Silver, president of Homeowners of Encino.But Millie Hamilton, an Encino Neighborhood Council member and docent at the city's Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, said recycling is safe, needed and nothing new."There is no new water on this planet," said Hamilton, who was referred to The Times by the mayor's office."We are drinking the same water the dinosaurs drank. All our water has been and is being recycled."The ambitious water plan carries political risks for the mayor, but also could burnish his record as an environmental leader in a bid for higher office. A number of key details remain to be worked out and vetted by the City Council, including the cost of various elements and how they would be financed.On the heels of a recent DWP water rate hike, Nahai said no additional increases are anticipated. Most parts of the program can be funded from state water grants, the DWP's existing budget and going after polluters who have fouled city groundwater. But future fee increases may be needed, he acknowledged.David Coffin, a Westchester Neighborhood Council member who tracks water issues, said the plan misses a larger point: controlling growth."I don't think they're going to make any headway. They're adding 14,000 to 16,000 housing units a year in the face of water shortages. How are they going to supply all those people?"Administration officials say the point is to act now so the city can meet increased demand through a combination of conservation and recycling. They note that Los Angeles is an arid metropolis that has grown by dipping long straws in far-flung water supplies.But recent court rulings, environmental agreements and competition from other urban centers are cutting flows or sharply increasing costs of water from the Owens Valley, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and the Colorado River.

As in the days of Noah....

"BUT SOLOMON BUILT HIM A HOUSE...."

"And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?
Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.
Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.
Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;
Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.
But Solomon built him an house.
Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
Hath not my hand made all these things?"

Acts 7:41-50

U.S. citizenship to be checked in event of a storm

BROWNSVILLE-Ending speculation about the fate of the Rio Grande Valley's undocumented immigrants during a hurricane evacuation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has confirmed it will check the citizenship both of people boarding buses to leave the Valley and at inland traffic checkpoints.Those determined to be in the country illegally will be taken to detention centers away from the hurricane's path and later processed for deportation."It's business as usual at the checkpoints," said Dan Doty, spokesman for CBP's Rio Grande Valley sector. "We'll still check everybody."Locals responded with predictions of humanitarian disaster."We can't wait to see the helicopter photos of us sitting on roofs," said the Rev. Mike Seifert, a priest and activist based in a colonia outside Brownsville. The many area families with one or more undocumented members would just refuse to evacuate, he said."Imagine," Seifert said. "We're all in an uproar, everybody's in an enormous hurry, there's just a narrow window of opportunity and you get to the place with the buses and the Border Patrol's checking people. You're not going to go."In the disastrous wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, officials in the Valley have pondered the politics of mass evacuation, illegal immigration and the checkpoints that filter northbound traffic every day.After Hurricane Rita threatened the Houston area, clogging highways for miles, drying up gas pumps and creating chaos, emergency management officials set out to improve planning.State Director of Homeland Security Steve McCraw in 2006 said the highway checkpoints should be closed if the Valley needed to evacuate. U.S. 77 parallels the coast and could be underwater once hurricane rains or flooding hit. Even if all the lanes on U.S. 281 are dedicated for northbound traffic, that's the main route for a population that now tops a million people.Krista Piferrer, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, said Thursday the state's stand on the issue had not changed."The governor's office prefers that the Border Patrol not use checkpoints during times of evacuation for obvious reasons," she said. "It will slow down traffic and create problems...During times of emergency our priority No. 1 is safety and we continue to hold on to the same belief."At a recent discussion with reporters, Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas said he didn't expect the Border Patrol to publicize a policy on the checkpoints for fear of inviting a free-for-all for illegal traffic.The unofficial word, he said, was that agents recognized they'd have to be more lax amid a disaster.But Tuesday, a reporter photographing a mock evacuation for the Rio Grande Guardian Web site saw Border Patrol agents rehearsing citizenship document checks of people boarding buses.CBP's Doty confirmed this was the planned procedure and said those determined to be undocumented immigrants would be taken to separate shelters, likely detention centers in Laredo or San Antonio. He said the highway checkpoints would stay open.Document checks are not mandatory at the checkpoints; it's up to an agent to assess travelers and determine whether to ask for papers. Doty said that even with the checks, 120,000 people could be evacuated within 80 hours."Our agents, they do it so often, they know what to look for," he said.Doty could not say what would happen if children in a vehicle were citizens but parents were not, or if everybody but an elderly grandparent had a green card."We try to keep families together, but I can't put a U.S. citizen in a detention center," he said.Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos said locals would have to work with federal directives, but said document checks would hamper an evacuation.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/5784300.html
As in the days of Noah....