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

Saturday, August 2, 2008

PAGAN WATCH:Hindu Rat Church

PESTILENCE WATCH:Over 56,000 new AIDS infections each year in U.S.

WASHINGTON-At least 56,000 people become infected with the AIDS virus every year in the United States-40 percent more than previous estimates, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The CDC stressed that actual infection rates have not risen but said better methods of measuring new diagnosed infections and then extrapolating this to the general population led to the fresh estimates."CDC's first estimates from this system reveal that the HIV epidemic is-and has been-worse than previously known.Results indicate that approximately 56,300 new HIV infections occurred in the United States in 2006," the CDC said in a statement."This figure is roughly 40 percent higher than CDC's former estimate of 40,000 infections per year, which was based on limited data and less precise methods."Globally, 33 million people are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS and 2 million die of it each year.The CDC estimates roughly 1 million Americans are infected with the virus. Dr. Kevin Fenton, who heads CDC's AIDS branch, said 15,000 to 18,000 Americans die every year of AIDS."The data really confirm that there is a severe impact of this epidemic among gay and bisexual men in the United States...as well as black men and women," Fenton said in a telephone interview.More than 28,000 of the new infections are among men who have sex with men, the new estimates show. Close to 17,000 are among heterosexuals-and 15,000 of these are women.
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As in the days of Noah....

'Hizbullah Now Stronger Than It Was In The Second Lebanon War'

ISLAMABAD-A Pakistani Taliban spokesman denied on Saturday a U.S. media report that al Qaeda number two, Ayman al Zawahri, might have been killed or wounded in a U.S. missile strike in Pakistan's border region last Monday.
"Zawahri has been killed by them several times. But once again this claim is wrong. This is baseless," Maulvi Omar told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.The whereabouts of Zawahri and al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden have not been known to their enemies since U.S.-led forces waged a campaign to hunt them down in Afghanistan following the al Qaeda attacks on the United States on September11, 2001.Both are believed to hiding somewhere in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.CBS News based its report on a copy of an intercepted letter purportedly written by the leader of Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, requesting a doctor be sent to treat the wounded Zawahri.The letter was written on Tuesday, a day after a U.S. missile strike killed an al Qaeda chemical and biological weapons expert, Abu Khabab al-Masri, along with five other people.The letter mentioned Zawahri, who is Egyptian, by name and said he was in severe pain and his injuries were infected. Experts said Mehsud's signature and seal appeared authentic, CBS said.The spokesman for Mehsud's Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, said Mehsud had not written any letter and Zawahri was nowhere near when the missile struck the house where al-Masri was staying in the South Wazirstan tribal region, bordering Afghanistan.
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As in the days of Noah...

Four killed in Hamas-Fatah violence in Gaza

GAZA-Three Hamas policemen and a member of a pro-Fatah clan were killed on Saturday in the Gaza Strip, medics said, in violence that could complicate Arab-backed efforts to reconcile rival Palestinian factions. The fighting erupted when Hamas gunmen surrounded a neighborhood in Gaza City to arrest members of the Helles clan, who the Islamist group believes were behind bombings that killed five Hamas gunmen and a girl on Friday.Members of the Helles clan, affiliated with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, surrendered to Hamas after clashes that also wounded five Hamas policemen and 80 other people, including 16 children, a Hamas official said. Fatah denied the charges against the Helles clan.Clan leader Ahmed Helles and a number of his men escaped to the border with Israel. An Israeli army spokesman said soldiers allowed Helles and his men to cross the border and some were evacuated to Israeli hospitals for treatment.A Hamas spokesman said Hamas had arrested some 100 gunmen, including 10 people it believes were behind the bombings, and confiscated large quantities of arms and explosives.The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said Abbas had telephoned Ahmed Helles, a senior Fatah representative in the Gaza Strip, to express solidarity. Abbas called Hamas's campaign "unacceptable" and a blow to his call for national dialogue.The violence could hamper Egyptian efforts to reconcile Fatah with Hamas. Tension between the two spiked last year when Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip after routing pro-Abbas forces.Hamas spokesman Islam Shahwan said one officer was killed by an explosive and two were killed by a rocket propelled grenade during fighting in Gaza City's Shejaia suburb.
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As in the days of Noah....

U.S. submarine radiation leak raises concern in Japan

TOKYO-Water containing a small amount of radiation leaked from a U.S. nuclear-powered submarine that stopped by Japan earlier this year, the U.S. Navy and Japanese government said on Saturday, prompting calls by civic groups for full disclosure.The leak, which was too small to have any impact on the environment, was found during an inspection of the nuclear-powered Houston in Hawaii, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said, citing information provided by the U.S. government."The amounts were very, very, very small and were not of the sort that would affect the human body or the environment," Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura told a news conference.The incident comes at a time when the United States has been trying to allay fears over the planned stationing of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington in Japan, the only country to have suffered nuclear attacks.A civic group opposed to the deployment of the George Washington said the leak raises doubts about the safety of the U.S. Navy's nuclear-powered vessels."The claim...that the U.S. Navy's nuclear-powered vessels are safe and are not susceptible to radiation leaks has completely broken down," Masahiko Goto, a lawyer representing the group said in a statement.Goto called on the U.S. Navy to disclose the causes of the radiation leak and urged the Japanese government to seek complete disclosure.Many Japanese are sensitive about the use of nuclear power by military forces. The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki came under nuclear attack from the United States at the end of World War Two in August 1945.
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Karzai says terrorism gaining deep roots in Pakistan

COLOMBO-Terrorists were gaining a deeper grip in Pakistan, and were receiving institutional nurturing and support, Afghanistan's president said on Saturday, calling on South Asian countries to stop playing geo-political games."In Pakistan, terrorism and its sanctuaries are gaining a deeper grip as demonstrated by the tragic assassination of shaheed (martyr) Benazir Bhutto," Karzai told a summit of South Asian leaders, also attended by Pakistan's prime minister."While existing on the absolute fringes of our tolerant and peace loving societies, terrorists in our region receive, institutional nurturing and support. "It is this imbedded nature of terrorists that make it a much more sinister threat."Relations between Afghanistan and its neighbor Pakistan have sharply deteriorated in recent months with Afghan officials repeatedly accusing Pakistani agents of secretly backing Taliban insurgents fighting Afghan and foreign troops on Afghan soil. Afghanistan has suffered scores of Taliban suicide and roadside bombs that have killed more than 200 civilians already this year, making it among the most violent places in the world.The Afghan government has told the United States and NATO allies that the source of the terrorism in Afghanistan goes back to the sanctuaries inside Pakistan territory."Terrorism in our region feed on a residual tradition of narrow minded politics and of pursuing out-moded geo-political interest," Karzai said."In a region, prone to many challenges, terrorism may well prove to be the most destabilizing."
As in the days of Noah...

SAsian battle cry against terrorism

South Asia leaders urge joint terrorism fight

COLOMBO-The leaders of South Asia called for fighting terrorism together as a regional summit overshadowed by worsening ties between India and Pakistan, its biggest members, opened on Saturday.The leaders of the eight-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) plan to sign four agreements, including one on legal cooperation to combat terrorism at the summit in the Sri Lankan capital.The two-day summit will also frame a declaration on food security for a region which is home to a fifth of humanity and remains one of the poorest in the world.But concern about terrorism dominated the summit as speaker after speaker underscored the need to fight terrorism unitedly, alongside securing food and energy security. "The challenges of terrorism must be overcome in order for us to realize the potential of greater regional integration... greater economic integration," Afghan President Hamid Karzai said.India and Pakistan's prime ministers too called for defending the value of pluralism from terrorism, and said a united fight was needed against violence if the region was to grow.Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives, and Bangladesh make up the rest of SAARC, formed 23 years ago to boost economic growth-an agenda held back by old rivalries among members.SAARC summits have often failed to rise above the squabbles of India and Pakistan, mainly over the disputed Kashmir region, hurting progress on issues central to the bloc.
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As in the days of Noah....

2008 Election T-shirts Inspire Prayers for America

"As Christians we have the privilege, responsibility, and a command from the Lord to PRAY."
Berryville, Arkansas-Vic Kennett, CEO/President of Kerusso, the premier producer of Christian-themed apparel in the U.S., has announced the start of the Pray-Vote-Pray campaign, seeking to raise awareness of the privilege of asking God for wisdom, our duty to vote, and our Biblical admonition to pray for our leaders.The 2008 US Presidential election race is building toward one of the most dramatic elections in recent history. The next President will have the opportunity to set direction on such critical issues as conflict in Iraq and the Middle East, Supreme Court justice nominations, the economy and so many other national topics.Christians are being encouraged by church leaders nationwide to PRAY for the country, VOTE their conscience, and then PRAY for those in authority over them.Pray-Vote-Pray t-shirts reinforce this timely message and are available at Christian and general market retailers nationwide, just in time for the national political party conventions and the ramp-up to the general election in November."As Christians we have the privilege, responsibility, and a command from the Lord to PRAY," says Kerusso CEO/President Vic Kennett. "Remember to pray for wisdom in your voting decisions. Prayer doesn't end at the polling booth; it's just the beginning.""We want to document these prayers, and we invite people to visit our brand-new website," Kennett continues, "where they can post or e-mail their prayers for our country. When we hit 10,000 posted prayers we will deliver these to the Presidential candidates and drive home the point that there are praying voters who are concerned about the future of our country.""'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil,' a philosopher once wrote, 'is for good men to do nothing,'" Kennett concludes. "This is a good reminder for today's Christian to do good, and vote for righteousness, so that this nation can continue to be a great nation."Find out more about the Pray-Vote-Pray campaign, and see Kerusso's brand-new website at the source link provided.
Source: http://www.kerusso.com/

As in the days of Noah....

Deadly shootout in South Ossetia

Separatists say 6 dead in fighting with Georgia

Overnight fighting that included sniper and mortar fire between Georgian forces and separatists in the breakaway South Ossetia region left six people dead and 13 wounded, regional officials said Saturday.The fighting-from Friday evening through Saturday morning-was one of the most serious outbursts in the tensions that have plagued South Ossetia since it split off from Georgia after fighting in the mid-1990s. Georgia says it opened fire in response to South Ossetian attacks on several villages that left five civilians and a police officer injured.South Ossetia government spokeswoman Irina Gagloyeva said six people were killed and 13 wounded in the fighting, but she did not say which side they were on or whether they were civilians,troops or law enforcement.Most of South Ossetia now is run by an unrecognized separatist government that has close ties with Russia, but several large swaths are under Georgian control.Gagloyeva told The Associated Press that Georgian forces started the fighting Friday evening with snipers firing on the northern portion of the republic's capital, Tskhinvali, and on several of its forces' posts. The firing lasted about three hours, then paused and resumed with mortar fire that lasted until Saturday morning, she said.Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said South Ossetian forces began the clash by firing on at least three villages in Georgia-controlled territory.The commander of Georgian peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia, Mamuka Kurashvili, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying his side was investigating whether Russian peacekeeping soldiers were involved.That brought a sharp denunciation from Moscow. Kurashvili's statement is "a dirty informational provocation," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has vowed to bring South Ossetia and another separatist region, Abkhazia, under his government's control. But leaders of both regions instead insist on either independence or absorption into Russia.Tensions have been high as Russia has developed closer ties with the separatist regions, where most residents have Russian passports, and Georgia has pushed to join NATO, which Russia opposes.In July, four Russian warplanes circled South Ossetia while U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was visiting Georgia's capital, Tbilisi. Russia said it sent the planes as a warning against a possible Georgian invasion, but Washington and Georgia criticized Russia for violating Georgian airspace.

As in the days of Noah...

Hawaii Man Accused of Spying, Helping China Design Missile

HAIKU, Hawaii-Cheryl Gowadia couldn't figure out why FBI agents in riot gear, guns drawn, were storming her home on Maui's tranquil North Shore.At first, she thought they might be after the man building a pond in her backyard. Instead, she was stunned to learn they wanted to question her husband, a former B-2 stealth bomber engineer."This came out of nowhere," Gowadia said.A week later, on Oct. 13, 2005, agents arrested Noshir Gowadia, a native of India who received a Ph.D. at 15, on suspicion he sold military secrets to China.Maui is an unlikely place for a spy saga., a mostly rural island of 140,000 known more for big-wave surfing and five-star resorts.But prosecutors say Noshir Gowadia used Maui as a base to design a stealth cruise missile for China. He was indicted on 21 counts of conspiracy, money-laundering and falsifying tax returns.Despite the seriousness of the charges, the case has received scant public attention.
The defendant has been out of sight since a judge determined he was a flight risk and denied him bail.And, adding to his obscurity, Gowadia's trial date has been repeatedly postponed as both prosecution and defense lawyers have sought more time to review thousands of pages of classified evidence.The trial is now due to begin on Jan. 21. Gowadia has pleaded not guilty.The case comes amid growing U.S. concern about Chinese spying and enhanced prosecution efforts across the country.Last year, a jury convicted Chi Mak, an engineer for a California-based defense contractor, of conspiring to export U.S. submarine propulsion technology to China. He was sentenced to 24 1/2 years in prison. In June, a Chinese national with Canadian citizenship was sentenced to 24 months for selling fighter pilot training software to the Chinese navy.Dan Blumenthal, a former China country director at the Pentagon and a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said Beijing is after technologies that would help it counter the U.S."It's not necessarily James Bond-like spying where you have some super spy penetrating the deepest U.S. secrets," Blumenthal said. "It's trying relentlessly to get defense related technology from U.S. companies, U.S. engineers and the U.S. military."Cheryl Gowadia says that FBI raid nearly three years ago was her first indication her husband was suspected of anything illegal.Agents scoured every corner of the couple's two-story home, and left with boxes of papers and family photos, including wedding pictures. Officers interrogated her husband in the vacant maid's apartment in the back of the house for six hours."They're claiming that we built this house with money he earned illegally," Cheryl Gowadia said, sitting in her living room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Uaoa Bay. "There's isn't a shred of truth in it, not one dime."
Although the house is valued at $4 million, Cheryl Gowadia must live frugally because the couple spent most of their savings hiring a Washington law firm to defend Gowadia. The money ran out a year after his arrest and they're now relying on a court-appointed attorney.They can't sell the house to raise money because prosecutors have a lien on it, saying Gowadia will have to forfeit the property if he's convicted. The couple's son has been paying the mortgage, but there isn't enough left over for hot water or to maintain the yard.Gowadia's new attorney, David Klein, declined to make the engineer available for comment.Gowadia moved to the U.S. from India in the 1960s for postgraduate work. In 1968 he joined defense contractor Northrop Corp., now Northrop Grumman Corp., where he designed elements of the B-2.He became a U.S. citizen in the 1970s and retired from Northrop in 1986, two years before the B-2 made its public debut.
Cheryl Gowadia said he's honest and, in a way, naive. He didn't bother calling a lawyer when agents showed up at his home and started questioning him."He is totally unable to lie. It is not his nature. He's as honest and truthful and trusting as they come," Cheryl Gowadia said.The indictment alleges he made six trips to China from 2003 to 2005, conspiring to conceal some of his visits by getting border agents to leave immigration stamps off his passport.In Chengdu in 2003, Gowadia allegedly gave Chinese engineers and officials classified information about missile exhaust systems that emit little heat and thus are hard to detect. The city is home to the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute, which created the J-10, a state-of-the-art fighter plane China unveiled last year.Prosecutors allege Gowadia pocketed $110,000 over two years for his exhaust nozzle design.He's also accused of attempting to sell classified stealth technology to the Swiss government and to businesses in Israel and Germany.The defendant's son, Ashton Gowadia, said it doesn't make sense that someone with a distinguished career like his father's would sell military secrets. He also questioned why anyone living a comfortable life would sell classified material for so little money."We want this thing in court," Ashton Gowadia said. "He wants to show the world that he's innocent and he wants to clear his name."
As in the days of Noah....

Hamas,Fatah Feud Over Attacks on Facial Hair

The internecine fight between Hamas and Fatah has gotten ugly-at least for Palestinians who favor men with mustaches.Hamas has resumed its policy of shaving the mustaches of rival Fatah members to humiliate them as a form of punishment, The Jerusalem Post reported. Reports of such punishments surfaced in January, though Hamas denied it had resorted to close shaves in its struggle to assert dominance over Palestinian politics.Fatah officials renewed their allegations Wednesday, according to the Jerusalem Post, which said Hamas, in turn, claimed followers' beards had been sabotaged by Fatah officials.Nafez al-Namnam, a top Fatah operative in the Gaza Strip, appears to be the latest target of Hamas clippers. Namnam, 51, had sported a rather large mustache for more than three decades, but after being rounded up by Hamas in the aftermath of a bombing, he emerged from prison with a clean-shaven face, The Jerusalem Post reported.In response, the Aksa Martyrs Brigages issued a statement strongly condemning the use of shaving as punishment.
Click here for more on the story from the Jerusalem Post.
PS:Would you think that shaving your moustache is a form of punishment????It seems to me that emerging from prison with a clean shaven face is good.Don't you think...???WHat is wrong with being CLEAN...????IT is surely a PUNISHMENT for the WOMEN THAT LEAVE WITH THIS GUYS--that's for usre!!!!It seems that there isn't much PERSONAL HYGIENE among JIHADISTS NUTS......
As in the days of Noah...

Syria, Iran Meet as Deadline Looms on Nuke Package

The leaders of Iran and Syria leaders are meeting Saturday in the face of a looming deadline for Iran to halt its nuclear enrichment program and accept an incentives package. Syria is Iran's closest Arab ally, and Iran's state television has said Syrian President Bashar Assad is expected to discuss Tehran's nuclear ambitions in his meeting with Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The United States has reaffirmed the weekend deadline and also warned Iran of new sanctions if the country chooses to reject the package, the AFP reported."We want and we expect a response this weekend," State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said. "They were given two weeks. The two weeks is up this weekend."After Iran neglected to give a clear response to an offer made by world powers in Geneva on July 19, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the country could expect more sanctions to be imposed by the United States and the European Union as early as late August or September and may then be hit with a fourth sanctions resolution at the U.N. Security Council."We will see what Iran does in two weeks, but I think the diplomatic process now has a new kind of energy to it," she said. "If they do not decide to suspend then we will be in a situation where we have to return to the Security Council."The AFP quoted White House press secretary Dana Perino as saying "Negative consequences await if they don't have a positive response to our very generous incentives package, and that would possibly come in the form of sanctions."Though some of the United States' European Union partners in the push to end Iran's nuclear activities may not insist on such a strict deadline, Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged the country to stop playing for time and deliver a "clear answer.""I appeal again to the Iranian side no longer to play for time, but to give us a usable answer to our offers-stop dallying," Steinmeier was quoted as saying in an interview with the weekly Der Spiegel.Iran denies the charge and says uranium enrichment is only for electricity production, and Ahmadinejad said Friday his country would use force against its "enemies" to defend its nuclear drive, state television reported.
As in the days of Noah....

Hamas terrorists hunting for other terrorists

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Hamas security forces on Saturday battled fighters in a tribal stronghold where they say suspects in a deadly bombing last week were hiding. Two Hamas police officers were killed and 35 people wounded.The fighting with machine guns and mortars raged around the stronghold of the Hilles clan, which is allied with Hamas rival Fatah. Loud explosions could be heard throughout Gaza City, and ambulances and police cruisers raced to the scene.The six Hamas policemen were in a critical condition, a police spokesman said. He also reported 15 arrests.It was the most violent confrontation between Hamas forces and Fatah supporters since last week's deadly bombing, in which five Hamas militants and a six year-old girl were killed in a beachside attack. Hamas blamed Fatah and arrested more than 200 Fatah supporters in the toughest crackdown since seizing Gaza by force last year. The group said the clan is hiding bombing suspects. The clan denies the charge, and said it would defend its homes."You have to decide: Either be trampled under Hamas' shoes, or stand in dignity," said Ahmad Hilles, a Fatah leader and a senior clan member to The Associated Press as gunfire crackled in the background. He said Hamas cut electricity.Hamas police spokesman Islam Shahwan said suspects in last week's bombing were believed to be hiding in the clan's compound in the Shijaiyeh district. During the fighting, a rocket hit members of a family, wounding several people, Shahwan said.Shahwan claimed three Hilles men were seen fleeing the area, disguised as women. He said Hamas security men stormed several high-rise buildings and arrested rooftop snipers, gunmen and wounded fighters."We are determined to continue the raid until we arrest all those involved," Shahwan said. "This is just the beginning," he said.As fighting continued, Hamas officials shut down a radio station affiliated with the small Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, saying that the station was reporting "lies and rumors and inciting sedition," the group said.Meanwhile, in the West Bank, ruled by Fatah, security forces searched cars at checkpoints in northern cities, checking identification cards. Dozens of Palestinian Authority security men toting AK-47s patrolled Nablus, a Hamas stronghold.Overnight, two more Hamas loyalists were arrested, despite Fatah claims they were releasing their Hamas detainees, a Hamas statement said. Nafiz Azzam, a leader of Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, said they were trying to mediate between both sides.Palestinian Authority forces also arrested around 40 loyalists from the Liberation Party, an Islamic group that calls for the establishment of a pan-Muslim state, said a spokesman for the group, Muaz Abu Abed.Abu Abed said the arrests aimed to thwart the group's plans to hold an annual rally. The Liberation Party frequently denounces the West Bank's moderate leadership as infidels, but unlike Hamas espouses nonviolent change. Meanwhile, five Palestinians died and 18 were wounded in a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border after Egyptian troops blew up the entrance late Friday, Egyptian officials and Gaza hospital doctors said. Hospital officials said the five died from lack of oxygen.A wide network of tunnels runs under the border and is used to bring supplies into Gaza. The territory has been virtually cut off from the world since June 2007 when Hamas seized control by force. Both Israel and Egypt have enforced the closure of Gaza.Israel says Gaza's Hamas rulers use the tunnel to bring in weapons and cash.

As in the days of Noah....

Saudi school director fined for failing to report child abuse

The head of a Saudi-funded Islamic school in northern Virginia has been convicted of failing to report suspected child abuse.Abdalla Al-Shabnan is director of the Islamic Saudi Academy, which has been accused of promoting religious intolerance.He was fined $500 after admitting that he failed to inform authorities about suspected sexual abuse of a five-year-old girl who attended the school's campus in Fairfax, near Washington, DC.As part of a plea bargain, prosecutors dropped an obstruction of justice charge, which could have carried up to a year in jail. The charges against Al-Shabnan provided fuel to the school's critics, who say it teaches an intolerant strain of Islam that is prevalent in Saudi Arabia.


As in the days of Noah....

People missing in Turkish fires

Major Turkish forest fire spreads in tourism region

ISTANBUL-Fire fighters worked through the night to bring under control a forest fire which engulfed 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) in the Turkish tourism province of Antalya, the state Anatolian news agency said on Saturday. Dozens of aircraft supported the fight against the blaze, described by one official as the worst the region had ever faced. It threatened residential areas and historical sites, including the ancient Greek amphitheatre in Aspendos, 37 km (23 miles) from the Mediterranean resort of Side."I have dealt my whole life with fires but I have never seen a sight like this ... I can safely say that we are experiencing a catastrophe," said Mustafa Kurtulmus, deputy general manager of Turkey's forestry directorate."Our only consolation is that there has been no loss of life. The weather conditions are very poor," he said.A forestry directorate spokesman said the fire-fighting work continued into the early hours and that the blaze was advancing in several districts of Serik and Manavgat along the coast.Six villages have been evacuated and four of them were seriously damaged by the fires, spurred on by heavy winds, which locals tried to fight near their homes. "My house was burned down but I saved my children and my husband who is sick with Parkinson's disease," Anatolian quoted a tearful woman called Ayse Yilmaz as saying.Sources from the forestry directorate said 10,000 hectares of woodland had been lost to the fire. Seven planes and five helicopters were fighting the blaze but strong winds and excessive heat made it difficult to get it under control.Antalya has some of the richest remains of Greek civilisation in Turkey and is the nation's top tourist destination receiving about 7 million tourists each year, mostly during the summer period.
As in the days of Noah...

Fleeing flames in tourist Turkey

Saudi and Emerati Females Athletes Banned at the Games

10,000 athletes from 200 countries are about to gather in Beijing under the banner “One World, One Dream.” But for sportswomen from countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran, that dream remains unfulfilled.While the International Olympic Committee bans any gender discrimination, these Gulf countries invoke “cultural and religious” reasons for forcing talented female athletes to stay home.Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are legally banned from participating in any sports activity (though unofficial women’s basketball leagues are thriving). This doesn’t sit well with local women athletes. "We want to reach Olympic levels," explains Shatha Bakhsh, a member of the unlicensed Jeddah United basketball team. “We have a lot of potential, but not the chance to show it.” Her teammate, Lina al-Maeena, agrees: “When parents say that sports is sinful for girls, it really upsets me, because they're depriving their daughters of something that's very good for them.”Iranian women are limited to sports that can comply with the country’s legal dress codes, so diving, cycling, and beach volleyball (among others) are effectively off-limits. Only three women are on the Iranian Olympic team, competing in rowing, archery, and tae kwon do. But even these athletes have to be careful not to reveal any skin by accident: Iranian rower Ramoneh Lazar was recently expelled from the national team after her ankles were seen inside her boat during a competition in Bangkok.Perhaps by the 2012 Games in London the deferred dreams of these female athletes will at last be realized.
As in the days of Noah...

IOC: the 'magic of the Games' Will Prevail

China's Olympic weather worries

Clouds clear over Beijing as Web row eases

BEIJING-Normally smog-plagued Beijing bathed in blue skies and sunshine on Saturday in just the sort of weather the Chinese pray will grace their Olympics and banish athletes' health fears six days before the big start.Experts attributed a rare day of fine weather in the Chinese capital to overnight rain and-finally-the impact of strict anti-pollution measures such as ordering half the cars off the road and closing smoke-belching factories."You see, we have done it! You can even see the mountains," enthused one Chinese student volunteer near the magnificent, newly built "Bird's Nest" stadium that is the main venue.Pollution fears have clouded the build-up to China's biggest international event. Authorities here hope it will show off China's economic progress and modern face to the world.About half of Beijing's 3.3 million cars are off the road, $18 billion has been spent on clean-up measures, and major manufacturers in and around the city have closed down.Many of the more than 10,000 athletes are, however, delaying arrival for the August 8-24 games until the last minute to avoid bad air.With the 100 meters sprint usually the biggest race of the Olympics, Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt confirmed on Saturday he would compete in that as well as the 200 meters.The decision, communicated to Reuters by his coach, sets up an exciting potential clash on August 16 for the title of 'Fastest Man on Earth' between Bolt, former world record holder Asafa Powell, and American world champion Tyson Gay.
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As in the days of Noah...

Defiant Chinese Harassed, Jailed Before Olympics:Crackdown Defies Vow Beijing Made to Be Host

ZHENGDING, China-Behind the gray walls and barbed wire of the prison here, eight Chinese farmers with a grievance against the government have been consigned to Olympic limbo.Their indefinite detainment, relatives and neighbors said, is the price they are paying for stirring up trouble as China prepares to host the Beijing Games. Trouble, the Communist Party has made clear, will not be permitted."My bet is the authorities won't let them out until after the Olympics," said Wang Xiahua, a veteran anti-government agitator from this farm town 180 miles southwest of Beijing and a supporter of the imprisoned farmers. The Olympic Games have become the occasion for a broad crackdown against dissidents, gadflies and malcontents this summer. Although human rights activists say they have no accurate estimate of how many people have been imprisoned, they believe the figure to be in the thousands.The crackdown comes seven years after the secretary general of the Beijing Olympic Bid Committee declared that staging the Games in the Chinese capital would "not only promote our economy but also enhance all social conditions, including education, health and human rights."Now, human rights have been set back rather than enhanced, activists say."The Olympics have reversed the clock," said Nicholas Bequelin, a Hong Kong-based specialist for Human Rights in China.Another foreign human rights advocacy group, Amnesty International, came to a similar conclusion in a report issued Monday titled "The Olympics Countdown-Broken Promises.""By continuing to persecute and punish those who speak out for human rights, the Chinese authorities have lost sight of the promises they made when they were granted the Games seven years ago," said Roseann Rife, Amnesty's Asia-Pacific deputy director. "The Chinese authorities are tarnishing the legacy of the Games."The repressive atmosphere has intensified in part because senior Communist Party officials seem to be just as determined to prevent embarrassing protests-which could be televised-as they are to avert terrorist attacks during the Olympics. In exhortations to security forces, Public Security Ministry commanders and Xi Jinping, the senior Communist Party leader in charge of Olympic preparations, repeatedly have said that police must block any attempt to damage China's image.Despite these concerns, President Bush and many other world leaders have accepted China's invitation to attend the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday. After saying for months that the Games should be viewed only as a sporting event, Bush met with Chinese rights activists Tuesday and said he would use the opportunity to remind President Hu Jintao of U.S. support for human rights. The Foreign Ministry criticized his gesture, calling it interference in China's internal affairs. But his decision to attend was still being interpreted as endorsement of China's contention that the Olympic Games are not an appropriate stage for human rights appeals.Bequelin, the researcher at Human Rights in China, said the opportunity for foreign governments to use the Olympics to pressure China on human rights has passed in any case, because world leaders are likely to be reluctant to embarrass Hu and other party leaders with strong stands during China's moment in the sun."It is a new low for the international community to see all these state leaders going to Beijing without saying anything about the repressive environment in which the Games are being held," he added.The Olympics were far from the minds of the Zhengding farmers when they took on authorities a little more than a year ago. As is frequently the case in China, their problem was a decision by local authorities to seize their land to make way for economic development, specifically an expansion of the airport for the nearby city of Shijiazhuang.The land was taken, they said, but the full compensation never made its way into their pockets.After a series of protests, 10 of the disgruntled farmers were arrested in June 2007. They were tried in a local court and convicted in November of illegal gatherings and disrupting social stability. But in January, relatives said, an appeals court in Shijiazhuang overturned the convictions, citing lack of evidence, and they were released pending a retrial.In releasing them, police also warned that the protests had to stop, particularly during the Olympic period. When they refused to back down-and after a Beijing reporter inquired about their fate-the 10 were arrested again last month.One took sick and had to be hospitalized, neighbors said, and another was released after convincing authorities he would be quiet. The other eight were confined to the Zhengding Detainment Center on the edge of town, where a notice posted at the entrance says that during the Olympic period, their families cannot visit or bring gifts, "except cash."Human rights activists said many of those imprisoned during the Olympic crackdown are being held for short periods without formal legal proceedings."Thousands of people, including petitioners who have gone to Beijing seeking justice from the government, have been swept up in efforts to clean up the city before the games," Amnesty International said in its report issued Monday.Traveling to Beijing to complain has a long history in China, dating from imperial times and carried on since the Communist Party took over in 1949. Chinese upset with their local party and government leaders almost invariably express belief that national leaders would solve the problem if only they were aware of it.With increasing urgency, however, the central government has urged local party officials to solve such problems on the spot to reduce the number of people showing up in Beijing.As a result, party officials in Zhengding and other such towns have organized a series of meetings recently to receive citizen complaints. But the other side of the coin has been reinforced determination by security forces to prevent travel by dissidents determined to visit the capital anyway.
Li Zijing, a 46-year-old surgeon who complained that a hospital in Jiangxi province botched his kidney treatment, said he went to Beijing in March for the second time to petition for redress. But Jiangxi officials took him into custody and made him return, he said, and since the beginning of July four or five people guard his house lest he try again."No matter where we go, they follow us," he said. "They said they were hired by the hospital, and surveillance will last for the next four months. It is said the Olympics are approaching so they worry about us petitioners." Security forces seem determined to prevent those and other dissidents from finding an echo in the media, human rights activists said, particularly the foreign media that have been reinforced in China during the Olympic period. To do so, they said, authorities have devised a panoply of measures ranging from warnings, intimidation, surveillance, travel restrictions and house arrest to outright detention.A well-known human rights activist in Beijing, for instance, sent this cellphone message Wednesday afternoon: "The police come to my place, waiting outside, and I do not know what they want to do with me." The activist was detained for 18 days last month on suspicion of planning protests during the Olympics. This time, she said, the police went away after she refused to leave home.Similarly, Yuan Weijing, the wife of imprisoned activist Chen Guangcheng, said the number of guards watching her home in the Shangdong province town of Linyi has risen from 10 to more than 40. "Because of the Olympics approaching, people like me-nothing more than a rights defender's wife-are being specially protected by the government," she said in a statement disseminated by Human Rights in China.Two longtime activists were put under detention last week in what amounted to unexplained extensions of earlier terms.Du Daobin, a dissident Internet writer, was ordered back to jail July 24 after a court revoked an earlier suspended sentence just as the probationary period was about to end. Authorities said he had violated terms of the probation by posting comments on the Internet and receiving unauthorized visitors at his Hebei province home.Ye Guozhu, a housing rights activist in Beijing, was detained last Saturday on suspicion of disturbing public order just as he was scheduled to be released after serving an earlier jail term connected to his anti-government agitation.Ye's brother, Ye Guoqiang, told Human Rights in China that authorities notified the family on the day of his scheduled release."Ye's brother said authorities refused to explain how Ye Guozhu could gather a crowd to disturb public order while in prison," the rights group reported. "Ye Guoqiang believes they intend to block possible foreign media contact with his brother and will keep him in custody at least until after the Beijing Olympic Games have ended."
by Edward Cody
As in the days of Noah....

Brownback: China leads world in human rights abuses

A conservative U.S. senator is urging President Bush to press Chinese leaders about their crackdown on religious freedom when he travels to Beijing to watch the Summer Olympics.President Bush recently held talks with five Chinese dissidents to "discuss his concerns about human rights in China" and to promise that he would carry those concerns to Beijing. One of the Chinese activists, Bob Fu of the China Aid Association, implored Bush to intercede on behalf of an imprisoned house church leader.Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) is also asking Bush to raise concerns about religious persecution in China. He says China remains the greatest enabler of human rights abuses around the world."Whether it's their relationship with Zimbabwe or North Korea or Myanmar, Sudan, the Chinese are either supplying economic dollars and activities to those regimes or blocking for them, or slowing things down in international bodies from... stopping the abuses," said Brownback. "And they abuse their own citizens, such as what you're hearing taking place through the house church, which has been something ongoing..." he notes.Brownback has released documents detailing the Chinese government's plan to monitor the Internet activity of hotel visitors near Olympic venues.
As in the days of Noah....

Friday, August 1, 2008

GAY AGENDA WATCH:No 'Special Rights' for Homosexuals, Transgenders

A conservative legal group has joined the fight to overturn a Hamtramck, Mich., ordinance that gives "special rights" to homosexuals and transgender individuals. The Thomas More Law Center said it will act as legal counsel for a coalition of citizens, businesses, and religious groups that are challenging the ordinance, which makes it legal for men who identify as women to use women's bathrooms in any school, business or public facility. "In classic Orwellian doublespeak, the ordinance defines such behavior as 'Natural Rights of Hamtramck Residents,'" the Law Center noted. “Radical homosexual activists have taken over city councils like Hamtramck all across the nation," said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center. "These ordinances end up being used to bully and prosecute Christians who faithfully practice their religion.” The ordinance provides that no person be discriminated against because of “actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, condition of pregnancy, martial status, physical or mental limitation, source of income, family responsibilities or status, educational association, sexual orientation, gender identify, gender expression or handicap.” The ordinance covers housing practices, public accommodations, employment and city contracts. It sets up a procedure for complaints, investigations, prosecutions and penalties. The law center objects to the ordinance because of the following “disturbing aspects”: -- Excessive entanglement by the city in internal aspects of religious organizations; -- Men being allowed to use women’s restroom and other facilities specifically designated for women. To even question a man on the propriety of them using the women’s facilities -- whether dressed as a women or not -- could be grounds for a discrimination complaint, $500 fine for each day this occurs, and a civil lawsuit; -- Men dressed as women teaching grade school children -- Civil litigation to force businesses, schools, and even religions to conform and accept these deviant lifestyle choices. At a rally and press conference held in front of the Hamtramck City Hall on Tuesday, July 29, a citizens’ group announced they'd gathered over a thousand signatures -- more than twice the amount needed to place an initiative on the November ballot to overturn the ordinance. Voters will decide whether the ordinance, passed on June 10, remains on the books. Councilwoman Katrina Stakpoole, who supports the ordinance, called the citizens’ gathering a “hate rally,” the Law Center said. Michigan Equality, a homosexual advocacy group, has promised to help Hamtramck fight the petition drive, which it attributes to non-resident conservative activists "Recognizing the need for basic civil protections for all residents, Michigan Equality is proud to stand by other local organizations to defend the freedom of all Hamtramck citizens," said Derek Smeirtka, Executive Director of Michigan Equality, in a statement o the group’s Web site. Doug Meeks, president of Michigan Equality, said, “Freedom for a select few is not what this country was founded on. All citizens in Hamtramck and throughout the state of Michigan have a right not to be discriminated against; Michigan Equality is prepared to stand with the Hamtramck City Council, and residents fighting to ensure equality for all citizens in Hamtramck.” But conservatives say the ordinance was specifically enacted to give “special privileges to homosexuals and so-called ‘transgendered,’” who already are covered under state and local civil rights acts. State and local government already cover every group listed in the ordinance through various civil rights acts. “In effect, this ordinance will help these two groups discriminate against faithful Christians and others that find the acts of homosexuals and so-called “transgenders” antithetical to their faith, their right to practice their faith, and their free speech rights to pronounce their objections to these deviant lifestyle choices,” the Law Center said.
By Susan Jones
As in the days of Noah....

Concern over Wikipedia's 'how-to' section on suicide

Wikipedia, the online public-input encyclopedia, now has a how-to section on suicide and mutilation.Rita Marker of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide says the news is really nothing new. "And in fact in some countries there have been attempts to stop this from being provided in their countries. It hasn't been successful," she adds. "But there are the ghoulish who have done this, and it's flown under the radar for a very long time."In the U.S., very little can be done about the site, Marker continues, because of constitutionally protected free-speech rights. "Unfortunately it's the sort of thing like the other how-to books: how to be an assassin, how to build your own nuclear bomb, how to do this, how to do that," she notes. According to a WorldNetDaily article, Wikipedia also links to suicide strategy books. And a spokesperson for Wikipedia stated they would not censor any objectionable material.A bill has been submitted before Congress (H.R. 940) that would deal with those who intentionally promote suicide, such as through chat rooms, but so far it has not moved forward.
As in the days of Noah...

DECEPTION WATCH:Emerging Church leader promotes lifestyle rather than faith

A Christian broadcaster claims that Emerging Church leader Brian McLaren is fulfilling the biblical prophecy that in the latter days men will not put up with sound doctrine – according to II Timothy 4:3.Brian McLaren recently addressed 650 Anglican bishops attending the Lambeth Conference, a meeting he says was characterized by "a loving atmosphere" and "a deep spirituality centered in Bible study, worship, and prayer." McLaren tells ChristianToday.com that he envisions a new era for Christianity, which "is more about the Christian way of life than it is about a rigid and polemicized systems of belief."Tom McMahon, president of the The Berean Call ministry, says McLaren is obviously ashamed of the biblical gospel and is bent upon making it accommodate his own ideas about Christianity and "the Christian way of life." "Once you throw off biblical doctrine, what do you have to guide you? This is to me a reflection of what Satan did with Eve in the Garden – this is Genesis 3:1, 'Yea, hath God said?'In other words, if you undermine what God had said, then what have you got?" he questions. "Well, you've got Proverbs 14:12, 'There's a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death'-or destruction."McLaren also tells ChristianityToday.com the future of Christianity will also require Christians to "join humbly and charitably with people of other faiths-Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, secularists and others-in pursuit of peace, environmental stewardship," and other things that quote "matter greatly to the heart of God." But McMahon argues that what matters most to the heart of God is that individuals receive salvation on "his terms...through his gospel.""And that's what people of the world, people of faith desperately need," the ministry leader concludes. McLaren has joined the Matthew 25 Network, a liberal political action group of Catholics, Protestants, Pentecostals and Evangelicals seeking to get Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) elected president.

As in the days of Noah...

DECEPTION WATCH:Prosperity of Televangelist's Friends, Family Raises Flags

NEWARK, Texas-Here in the gentle hills of north Texas, televangelist Kenneth Copeland has built a religious empire teaching that God wants his followers to prosper.Over the years, a circle of Copeland's relatives and friends have done just that, The Associated Press has found. They include the brother-in-law with a lucrative deal to broker Copeland's television time, the son who acquired church-owned land for his ranching business and saw it more than quadruple in value, and board members who together have been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for speaking at church events.Church officials say no one improperly benefits through ties to Copeland's vast evangelical ministry, which claims more than 600,000 subscribers in 134 countries to its flagship "Believer's Voice of Victory" magazine. The board of directors signs off on important matters, they say. Yet church bylaws give Copeland veto power over board decisions.While Copeland insists that his ministry complies with the law, independent tax experts who reviewed information obtained by the AP through interviews, church documents and public records have their doubts. The web of companies and non-profits tied to the televangelist calls the ministry's integrity into question, they say."There are far too many relatives here," said Frances Hill, a University of Miami law professor who specializes in nonprofit tax law. "There's too much money sloshing around and too much of it sloshing around with people with overlapping affiliations and allegiances by either blood or friendship or just ties over the years. There are red flags all over these relationships."Copeland, 71, is a pioneer of the prosperity gospel, which holds that believers are destined to flourish spiritually, physically and financially — and share the wealth with others.His ministry's 1,500-acre campus, behind an iron gate a half-hour drive from Fort Worth, is testament to his success. It includes a church, a private airstrip, a hangar for the ministry's $17.5 million jet and other aircraft, and a $6 million church-owned lakefront mansion.Already a well-known figure, Copeland has come under greater scrutiny in recent months. He is one target of a Senate Finance Committee investigation into allegations of questionable spending and lax financial accountability at six large televangelist organizations that preach health-and-wealth theology.All have denied wrongdoing. But Copeland has fought back the hardest, refusing to answer most questions from the inquiry's architect, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa.
Copeland's church also has invited an Internal Revenue Service audit, which would keep information private, and has launched a sophisticated Web site, Believers Stand United, to "help set the record straight."The Senate committee didn't set out to determine whether Copeland or the others broke the law, although it could provide information to the Internal Revenue Service if something seems flagrantly wrong, a committee aide said. The main goal, Grassley has said, is to figure out whether existing tax laws governing churches are adequate, which could carry sweeping implications for all religious organizations.The committee could subpoena Copeland if he remains uncooperative. Neither he nor John Copeland, his son and the ministry's chief executive officer, responded to interview requests.
PS:When I read things like these I think of people like my sister that this morning went back to Haiti to the orphanage were she lives and ministers and her call earlier today letting us know that they dont have water now(with temps in the 90's)I also think about my best friend serving in El Salvador with simple means among the impoverished in the city...May the Lord have mercy on those who have made a "MERCHANDISE" out of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are in the last of the last days and we are supposed to live soberly cause the days are evil....May the Lord help us!!!!!!!!!!
As in the days of Noah....

Franklin Graham Begins North Korea Visit

Franklin Graham arrived in North Korea on Thursday for a historic four-day visit to meet with high-level government officials, visit relief projects and preach at a newly constructed church in the capital city of Pyongyang."I do not come to you today as a politician or diplomat," Graham said after arriving in Pyongyang, according to the relief agency Samaritan’s Purse. "I come to you instead as a minister of Jesus Christ with a message of peace – peace with God, peace in our hearts and peace with each other."Graham is the president of Samaritan’s Purse as well as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.This is Graham’s second visit to North Korea – a country where he recalls his late mother, Ruth Bell Graham, had attended a mission school in the 1930s. His father, famed evangelist Billy Graham, had also visited the country in 1992 and 1994 and had met with then North Korean leader Kim Il-sung.“In many ways, I feel like I’m coming home,” Franklin Graham said. “North Korea was so close to my mother’s heart, and she often told us about growing up in Pyongyang.”In addition to Graham’s family ties with North Korea, the organization he heads, Samaritan’s Purse, has also been working on aid projects in the country for the past year in response to devastating floods last August.Samaritan’s Purse chartered a 747 cargo jet last fall to deliver $8.3 million worth of medicine and other emergency supplies. The cargo jet was the first private flight directly from the United States to North Korea since the Korean War. The organization has been working in North Korea since the 1990s, providing mainly medical and dental care.The Christian relief organization is also one of five non-governmental organizations that has been invited to help distribute food provided by the U.S. government to hungry North Koreans. The first shipment of grain arrived earlier this month.North Korea is experiencing the worst level of hunger in nearly a decade, the U.N. Food Program alerted this week, according to Reuters. Millions of people, especially those in the northeast, are in danger of starvation as a result of crop failure from the flooding and high food prices."What is critical for us right now is to be able to address the immediate needs, the needs of average Koreans between now and the end of the lean season," Jean-Pierre de Margerie, WFP country director for North Korea, told reporters in Beijing. "This is the period when people are hurting."During Graham’s visit, he will visit a local hospital where Samaritan’s Purse installed an intensive care unit, as well as the People’s Provincial Hospital in Sariwon. He is also scheduled to meet with religious leaders in the capital city.On Sunday, he will preach at the newly-constructed Bongsu Protestant Church in Pyongyang to conclude his visit to North Korea.Bongsu is one of two Protestant churches in the city.Graham said he believes it is a historic time for North Korea-U.S. relations as peace talks are in progress to formally end the Korean War.“My prayer is that this relationship will grow even stronger, and I pledge to do everything I can to make this happen,” Graham said.North Korea has arguably the worst human rights record in the world with the rogue government arresting and torturing political dissenters, those that attempt to flee the country and Christians. There is absolutely no religious freedom in the country as all citizens are forced to worship current leader Kim Jong-il and his deceased father, Kim Il-sung. Being a Christian is the worst crime in North Korea.Critics of North Korea have voiced skepticism about the outreach to prominent American Christian leaders, such as Graham and Rick Warren, saying that officials are only manipulating the Christian figures to improve is global image.
As in the days of Noah....

Syria's Grand Mufti Invites Pope to Syria

VATICAN CITY-Syria's grand mufti, the country's top Sunni Muslim religious authority, says he would like to meet Pope Benedict XVI and persuade him to visit Syria.The mufti, Sheik Ahmad Badereddine Hassoun, made the comments in Damascus, according to the Italian news agency Apcom and other reports Friday."I would like to invite the Holy Father to visit our country, following in the footsteps of St. Paul," Hassoun was quoted by Apcom as saying. "I am available for a meeting at the Vatican. I would like to see him one on one to plan the visit together."Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul II, made a groundbreaking visit to the Ummayad Mosque in Damascus in May 2001.Benedict has been vacationing in the Italian Alps.The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the invitation attests to the current "serene climate" in Syria and "good relations" with the country.Benedict has been trying to improve ties with Islam since giving a speech in Germany in 2006 that angered many in the Muslim world.In the Regensburg University speech, Benedict cited a medieval text that characterized some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman," particularly "his command to spread by the sword the faith."The pope later said he was "deeply sorry" about the reactions his remarks sparked and stressed that they did not reflect his own opinion.Hassoun, a moderate cleric, said the case was closed."There is a dialogue, and between religions and intellectuals there are always discussions," he said, according to Apcom. "One can fight with one's wife, but then the love grows."Hassoun is among a group of 138 Muslim scholars that has called for greater dialogue between Christians and Muslims.Benedict XVI met with Syria's vice president in September to discuss the situation of Christians in Syria and the role Damascus should play in bringing peace to the Middle East.The pope has urged Syria to use its influence in the region to help resolve conflicts and counter terrorism.
As in the days of Noah....

African Bishop Accuses Anglican Head of 'Betrayal'

The Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev. Henry Orombi, has accused the head of the Anglican Communion of betraying biblically faithful churches by inviting bishops involved in the consecration of an openly gay bishop to their global conference.Orombi, one of more than 200 bishops boycotting the two-week Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, said in a comment for The Times that the current system for appointing the Archbishop of Canterbury, currently Dr. Rowan Williams,(picture left) was a “remnant of colonialism.”“Even the Pope is elected by his peers. But what Anglicans have is a man appointed by a secular government,” wrote Orombi.“Over the past five years, we have come to see this as a remnant of British colonialism, and it is not serving us well,” he added. “The spiritual leadership of a global communion of independent and autonomous provinces should not be reduced to one man appointed by a secular government.”Bishops are in the process of drafting final reflections, largely drawn from the outcomes of the discussion groups at the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference. In the document, the bishops acknowledge a “lack of confidence” in the structures of Communion.They also state, “We must acknowledge that there are great tensions in our relationship at present, and an erosion of trust between us.”Nevertheless, bishops at Lambeth want to work together and some have called Orombi's remarks disrespectful."They were very strong words, I must say, especially since the Archbishop of Canterbury has tried to keep the church together," said the Rt. Rev. Ragnar Persenius, Bishop of Upssala, in Communion through the Swedish Lutheran Church, according to VirtueOnline, a conservative Anglican publication."I wonder what conservatives are doing to keep the church together. They do not seem to contribute to a solution. Some are not even speaking to others. Although they have serious theological disagreements, they also have to get into the conversation," Persenius added, while noting that most Lambeth attendees "want to stay together."Orombi’s attack comes as bishops debate the most divisive issue in the Anglican Communion, human sexuality. The 2003 consecration of openly gay bishop Gene Robinson widened rifts within the global Communion.Bishops said that Thursday’s discussions on sexuality had been characterized by generosity and respect.“We haven’t suddenly reached a consensus about the issues of human sexuality. The problems are not all solved but there are significant differences,” the Most Rev. Philip Aspinall, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Australia and spokesman for the Conference, told reporters.The Chair of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, the Most Rev. Ian Ernest, commented, “We are able to look at each other. We are able to shed tears with one another, but at the same time knowing that we’ve got different ways and different convictions.”On Friday, bishops are tackling the controversial Anglican Covenant on structures of unity in the Communion.
As in the days of Noah....

'Loaves and Fishes' Miracle Reported in Egypt

Bible teacher and evangelist Marilyn Hickey's recent 10-day trip to Cairo, Egypt—described by organizers afterward as the largest gathering of Christians to ever assemble in the ancient city— included a report of something more astounding than the several hundred who claimed healing and salvation: 2,400 meals from Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) apparently appeared out of thin air.
The reported incident, which if true is a miracle nearly unheard of in modern times, occurred during Hickey's citywide leaders conference in May, attended by nearly 10,000 pastors and local leaders—from curious Muslims to orthodox Coptic Christians.According to Hickey, 77, whose ministry organized the meetings in conjunction with the Egyptian Evangelical Association, 3,500 boxed-lunches from KFC were ordered and accounted for. "There were tickets distributed for the lunches," she said. "The boxes were given out, leaving none in the room."After the food was completely distributed, and after the crowd swelled to about 5,000, she said volunteers were astonished to return to what should've been a room of empty tables to discover 1,200 more lunches. She said after they handed out the mysterious extras, another 1,200 appeared, leaving a surplus of food and dumbfounded witnesses. Hickey's staff called it a "loaves and fishes" miracle."I am fully convinced that this was a supernatural occurrence," Hickey told Charisma. "It is something I have believed to see on my ministry and am overjoyed that it happened."She said she feels confident in promoting the miracle because independent Egyptian and non-Christians sources verified the mysterious incident, which apparently occurred sans the hype and exaggeration normally associated with wild miracle claims. "It happened in such a way that my ministry was not at all associated with it, which left local volunteers and non-Christians marveling at what had happened."Though the unusual miracle was one of the main highlights of her trip, Hickey said her favorite memory was of Father Samaan, a Coptic Christian who ministers to the outcasts of Cairo's slum settlement called Garbage City. Because of his work, Hickey said more than 90 percent of the poor inhabitants of Garbage City are born-again. "What Father Samaan has done there is nothing short of a miracle itself," she said. "It was humbling and inspiring to witness such an unusual place and unusual work of God."Hickey has spread the gospel in more than 100 nations during her four decades of ministry. She often travels overseas with her daughter, Sarah Bowling, who just returned last week from ministering in Ethiopia. The two also have a TV program together—Today with Marilyn & Sarah—and they are planning a trip for India this fall.
(Source: Charisma on-line)
By Paul Steven Ghiringhelli
PS:Praise God for this miracle!!!!Jesus loves Egyptians!!!!
As in the days of Noah....

BIG BROTHER WATCH:Google accused on privacy views

Google has been accused of "hypocrisy" over its stance on personal privacy.In court documents defending a lawsuit brought against its Street View mapping tool it has asserted that "complete privacy doesn't exist."But, points out the US National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) it responded to a Californian politician's concerns about its growth by saying that it "takes privacy very seriously"."Google's hypocrisy is breathtaking," said Ken Boehm, chairman of the NLPC.
Private lives
"Perhaps in Google's world privacy does not exist," said Mr Boehm, "but in the real world individual privacy is fundamentally important and is being chipped away bit by bit every day by companies like Google."The assertion about privacy came in court papers Google filed in response to a lawsuit from Aaron and Christine Boring. The couple launched their legal action when images of their Pennsylvania home appeared on Street View.The photo-mapping system uses cars fitted with cameras to catch images of real-world locations that are added to its online maps.According to the Borings, Google's "reckless conduct" in driving down a private road and publishing the photos caused "mental suffering" and hurt the value of their home. They are seeking damages of more than $25,000 (£12,500).In its court documents Google said: "Today's satellite-image technology means that even in today's desert, complete privacy does not exist."It added: "In any event, Plaintiffs live far from the desert and are far from hermits."Google claims in its motion that "When plaintiffs discovered these images, rather than using the simple removal option Google affords, they sued Google for invasion of privacy, trespass, negligence and conversion."Investigative news website The Smoking Gun has put the Google court papers online.Google removed the photos of the Boring home and swimming pool from Street View after the couple filed its lawsuit in April.In a statement explaining its comments a Google spokesman said there had been "misinterpretation" of its response to the Street View lawsuit."The response quotes and expands upon an existing legal opinion to help frame the response," he said. "It should not be interpreted as a blanket statement on our views towards privacy."He added: "Google respects an individual's right to privacy. We have privacy protections built into all of our products.Google's comments to the court irked the NLPC which it said came as the search giant asserted a robust defence of its privacy policies to Joel Anderson, a Republican member of California State Assembly.Mr Anderson aired his worries about the effect a search advertising tie-up between Yahoo and Google would have on personal privacy in a letter to Jerry Brown, California's attorney general.In an effort to turn the tables on Google the NLPC compiled a comprehensive amount of personal information on an unnamed Google executive in less than 30 minutes.It included the licence plates of cars outside the individual's home, the landscaping company the exec uses and even the name of the next door neighbour's security company.The Centre used Google Street View and Google Earth to gather all the necessary information which it released publicly it said to "highlight the invasiveness of these technologies to individual privacy.""The fact that every American is now subject to this type of scrutiny with the click of a mouse is frightening," said Mr Boehm.
As in the days of Noah...


The United Nations (U.N.) is once again trying to force abortion on its member countries, this time using the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), a radical U.N. document that seeks to redefine family and globally legalize abortion on demand in the countries that sign onto it. This week, the U.N. Committee for CEDAW issued a report demanding that Britain force Northern Ireland to allow for unrestricted abortion. The study suggests that Northern Ireland's current policy was having a "detrimental effect on woman's health." However, Northern Ireland actually has the lowest rate of maternal mortality in the United Kingdom. President Jimmy Carter signed CEDAW in 1980 and it took 14 years for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to pass it to the floor. Shortly after the committee vote, the GOP regained the majority. Since then, the full Senate has refused to even bring it up for a vote. That could easily change in the next Congress, so it is vitally important that both presidential candidates explain their position on objectionable international treaties that erode U.S. sovereignty such as The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), the International Criminal Court Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol (global warming), the Convention on Biological Diversity, and CEDAW.
By Tony Perkins
As in the days of Noah....

GAY AGENDA WATCH:Out of Bounds with Same-Sex 'Marriage'

Not to be outdone by California, the Massachusetts legislature became the second state to allow out-of-state homosexuals to "marry." With only 35 votes against (and 118 for), House leaders moved swiftly to repeal the 1913 law that barred non-residents from taking advantage of the state's same-sex "marriage" ruling. Gov. Deval Patrick (D) was quick to sign the measure, which went into effect immediately under the new language-unlike other laws which are subject to a 90-day delay. Until voters decide the fate of California marriage, both coasts are open for business from gay couples eager to throw lavish ceremonies before exporting their relationships home. Although 46 states outlaw counterfeit marriage in some form, the 23 without constitutional amendments will be most vulnerable to the legal challenges this law is certain to bring in other states. As a writer for the Boston Globe puts it,"...This repeal will impose Massachusetts' liberal values on unwilling states." Despite the growing migration of "married" homosexuals, the U.S. Census Bureau has declined to count same-sex "spouses" in its 2010 survey, citing the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As more states sweep traditional marriage aside, the federal government may not be far behind. If elected President, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has already stated that he would abolish DOMA. An Obama White House would support stripping the states of the protection the federal government now provides under the Clinton-era policy. This would open the doors to radical new government policies on social security, Medicaid/Medicare, domestic partner benefits, and much more. Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) echoed her support for the move, promising to help Obama repeal the Act. When Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) were asked about their position, both were noncommittal. Although both voted in favor of DOMA in 1996, Schumer said, "I don't know what my position would be." Durbin also evaded the question, saying he "hasn't even thought about it.But I will look at Obama's decision." By Tony Perkins
As in the days of Noah....

HONOUR KILLING WATCH:Sister shot six times in alleged 'honour' killing

A 26-YEAR-old Jordanian man was charged with murder today after his 23-year-old sister was shot dead in an apparent "honour" killing.The unnamed suspect allegedly shot his sister six times last night in the Nqeira area south of the capital Amman, a security official said."He turned himself in and confessed to murdering his sister to cleanse his family's honour because she disappeared from home for four months with a man," the official said. "He killed her the moment she returned home last night. But forensic tests showed that the girl was a virgin." It was the eighth reported so-called honour killing this year, according to Jordanian authorities which in 2007 recorded 17 such murders - a slight rise on previous years. Those convicted in such cases often receive light sentences because parliament has twice refused to reform the penal code, despite pressure from human rights groups to end the near impunity of perpetrators.
As in the days of Noah...

THE OBAMA NATION:Corsi's Obama title soars to No.1,Pelosi's tanks

WASHINGTON-Two big political books released today are headed in opposite directions on the Amazon best-sellers list – the first gauge of the popularity of new titles.While WND staff writer Jerome Corsi's "The Obama Nation" steadily climbed the charts to the top position, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters" actually moved downward most of the day.At late-evening, "The Obama Nation," available for immediate shipment only through WND's online store with each copy personally signed by the author, stood at No. 1 on the Amazon non-fiction list, while Pelosi's book later sank to 1,610. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=71104
As in the days of Noah....