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

Saturday, August 16, 2008

BIG BROTHER WATCH:How Big Brother watches your every move

In our ever-growing surveillance society, the average Briton is being recorded 3,000 times a week...
With every telephone call, swipe of a card and click of a mouse, information is being recorded, compiled and stored about Britain's citizens.An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has now uncovered just how much personal data is being collected about individuals by the Government, law enforcement agencies and private companies each day.In one week, the average person living in Britain has 3,254 pieces of personal information stored about him or her, most of which is kept in databases for years and in some cases indefinitely.The data include details about shopping habits, mobile phone use, emails, locations during the day, journeys and internet searches.In many cases this information is kept by companies such as banks and shops, but in certain circumstances they can be asked to hand it over to a range of legal authorities.Britain's information watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office, has called for tighter regulation of the amount of data held about citizens and urged the public to restrict the information they allow organisations to hold on them.This newspaper's findings come days after the Government published plans to grant local authorities and other public bodies access to the email and internet records of millions. Phone companies already retain data about their customers and give it to 650 public bodies on request.The loss of data by Government departments, including an incident where HM Revenue and Customs mislaid computer disks containing the personal details of 25 million people, has heightened concerns about the amount of information being stored.David Smith, deputy information commissioner, said: "As more and more information is collected and kept on all of us, we are very concerned that appropriate safeguards go along with that."People should know what is happening with their information and have a choice."Our concern is that what is kept with the justification of preventing and detecting terrorism, can then be used for minor purposes such as pursuing people for parking fines."Earlier this year the Commons home affairs select committee recommended new controls and regulations on the accumulation of information by the state.
Mobile phones
Every day the average person makes three mobile phone calls and sends at least two text messages.Each time the network provider logs information about who was called as well as the caller's location and direction of travel, worked out by triangulation from phone masts. Customers can also have their locations tracked even when they are not using their phones, as the devices send out unique identifying signals at regular intervals.All of this information can be accessed by police and other public authorities investigating crimes.
The internet
Internet service providers (ISPs) compile information about their customers when they go online, including name, address, the unique identification number for the connection, known as an IP address, any browser used and location.They also keep details of emails, such as whom they were sent to, together with the date and time they were sent. An average of 50 websites are visited and 32 emails sent per person in Britain every day.Privacy campaigners have expressed concern that the country's three biggest ISPs – BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk – now provide this data to a digital advertising company called Phorm so that it can analyse web surfing habits.ISPs are already voluntarily providing information they hold about their customers if requested by law enforcement agencies and public authorities.A consultation published last week by the Government would make it a legal requirement for ISPs to provide a customer's personal information when requested. A total of 520,000 requests were made by public officials for telephone and internet details last year, an increase from around 350,000 the previous year.Internet search engines also compile data about their users, including the IP address and what was searched for. Google receives around 68 searches from the average person each day and stores this data for 18 months.Dr Ian Brown, a research fellow on privacy at Oxford University, said: "Companies such as Google and internet service providers are building up huge databases of data about internet users."These companies may be compelled, through a legal action, to hand over this information to third parties or the Government, or the companies may lose the data and it can then be misused."
Loyalty cards
Store "loyalty" cards also retain large amounts of information about individuals who have signed up to use them. They link a person's personal details to the outlets used, the transaction times and how much is spent.In the case of Nectar cards, which are used by more than 10 million people in Britain once a week, information from dozens of shops is compiled, giving a detailed picture of a cardholder's shopping habits.A spokesman for Loyalty Management UK, which runs the Nectar programme, insisted that information about the items bought was not compiled, but some partners in the scheme, such as Sainsbury's, use their till records to compile that information.She admitted that the personal information that is compiled under the Nectar scheme is kept indefinitely until individuals close their account and ask for their information to be destroyed. In criminal inquiries, police can request the details held by Nectar.
Banks can also be required to hand over personal account information to the authorities if requested as part of an investigation.They also provide personal data to credit reference agencies, debt collectors and fraud prevention organisations.Debit and credit card transactions can give information about where and on what people are spending their money.
The biggest source of surveillance in Britain is through the network of CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras. On average, an individual will appear on 300 CCTV cameras during a day and those tapes are kept by many organisations for indefinite lengths of time.On the London Underground network, Transport for London (TfL) keeps footage for a minimum of 14 days. TfL operates more than 8,500 CCTV cameras in its underground stations, 1,550 cameras on tube trains and up to 60,000 cameras on buses.Network Rail refused to say how many CCTV cameras it operates or for how long the footage is kept.Britain now has more CCTV cameras in public spaces than any other country in the world. A study in 2002 estimated that there were around 4.2 million cameras, but that number is likely to now be far higher.
Number plate recognition
The latest development in CCTV is the increased use of automatic number plate recognition systems, which read number-plates and search databases for signs that a vehicle has been used in crime.A national automatic number plate recognition system is maintained by the Association of Chief Police Officers along motorways and main roads. Every number plate picked up by the system is stored in a database with date, time and location for two years.
Public transport
Travel passes such as the Oyster Card used in London and the Key card, in Oxford, can also reveal remarkable amounts of information about an individual. When they are registered to a person's name, they record journey history, dates, times and fares.A spokesman for TfL, which runs the Oyster Card system, insisted that access to this information was restricted to its customer services agents.Police, however, can also obtain this information and have used Oyster Card journey records as evidence in criminal cases.
The workplace
Employers are increasingly using radio-tagged security passes for employees, providing them with information about when staff enter and leave the office.
By Richard Gray
As in the days of Noah...

Poland suffers freak storm

Floods Wreak Havoc in North Ireland

Torrential rain has caused severe flooding in Northern Ireland, turning roads to rivers and sparking landslides.
To watch the videos click on the URLs below:
As in the days of Noah...

Forecasters: Florida Should Prepare For Cat. 1-2 Hurricane

KEY WEST - Residents and tourists in the Florida Keys prepared Saturday for Tropical Storm Fay, which forecasters said could strengthen to a hurricane and begin battering the island chain as soon as Monday.Florida Gov. Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency because Fay "threatens the state of Florida with a major disaster," he wrote in an executive order. Forecasters predicted Saturday afternoon that the sixth named storm of the 2008 season would make landfall somewhere along western coast of Florida on Tuesday as a hurricane, said Corey Walton, a hurricane support meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.Officials in the Keys' Monroe County said they were considering whether to order an evacuation on Sunday. Traffic during evacuations can back up for miles on the single highway linking the islands to Florida's mainland.Besides damage from high winds, the low-lying archipelago would likely suffer flooding from Fay's storm surge. The storm caused flooding on Saturday that killed four people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
To read more go to:
For more information go to:
Hurricane Guide
Tracking Map
Shelter List, Preparation Checklist
Latest Forecast
The Stew: Storm Food
Preparations Under Way
Preparations In St. Pete
Read The Declaration
As in the days of Noah...

Florida Governor Declares State of Emergency

Forecasters: Floridians should prepare for hurricane

KEY WEST,Fla.-Residents and tourists in the Florida Keys prepared Saturday for Tropical Storm Fay, which forecasters said could strengthen to a hurricane and begin battering the island chain as soon as Monday.Florida Gov. Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency because Fay "threatens the state of Florida with a major disaster,"he wrote in an executive order. Forecasters predicted Saturday evening that the sixth named storm of the 2008 season would make landfall somewhere along western coast of Florida on Tuesday as a hurricane, said Corey Walton, a hurricane support meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.Officials in the Keys' Monroe County said they would likely order an evacuation of all visitors on Sunday morning. A decision on whether to require all residents to evacuate was to come, county spokeswoman Becky Herrin said.Keys emergency officials often take the precaution of ordering early evacuations when a storm threatens, because traffic can back up for miles on the single highway to Florida's mainland.Besides the threat of damage from high winds, most of the islands sit at sea level and could be flooded by Fay's storm surge. Flooding from the storm on Saturday killed four people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.At 11 p.m. EDT, Fay's center was located about 100 miles north-northeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and moving west at 14 miles per hour. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. State officials in Tallahassee opened their emergency operations center, said Blair Heusdens, a spokeswoman for the state's Division of Emergency Management."We like to have the executive order in place before the storm," Heusdens said. "That way we can have our resources ready."Tourists and locals still packed downtown Key West on Saturday, seemingly unfazed by the approaching storm. Todd Hitchins, 36, of Big Pine Key, about 30 miles east of Key West, said he planned to stock up on water and propane for his grill but wasn't too worried."This will be good practice," mused Hitchins, who said he's lived here during much more powerful storms. "But you've got to be prepared, be ready."Jeff Emmett, operations manager at Fairfield Inn and Suites in Key West, said Saturday afternoon the hotel had no cancellations or early check-outs."Business as usual," Emmett said. "Right now, we're just keeping the guests informed."Chris Celestina, 24, was sitting at the hotel's poolside bar while on vacation with four friends from Pennsylvania."We're not really worried," Celestina said as he ordered a drink. "Whatever happens, happens. If we get evacuated, that will definitely put a damper on our plans,but until we have to,we're not moving." Some Keys residents were preparing for the aftermath.Andrew Cardwell, 26, filled up nine 5-gallon gas cans for his employer, Pirate Scooter Rentals, early Saturday afternoon. "As soon as the storm passes through, people are going to want to rent mopeds," Cardwell said. "We're just getting it while we can."

As in the days of Noah....

Tropical Storm Fay:Winds and Rain Buffet Cuba

HAVANA-Gusty winds and blowing rain buffeted eastern Cuba on Saturday as Tropical Storm Fay neared the island after killing at least five people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Cuban officials ordered evacuations from flood-prone areas of coastal provinces where Fay was expected to come ashore on Sunday before crossing the Caribbean nation and heading toward Florida as a likely hurricane.As of 11 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT Sunday), Fay had top winds of near 45 miles per hour (72 km per hour) and was located about 175 miles southeast of Camaguey, Cuba, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Florida said. Weather reports showed the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay was getting rain and winds gusting up to 52 mph (83 kph).Fay was cruising west at 14 mph (22 kph) across very warm waters-90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 C), said an official at Cuba's Meteorological Institute-and therefore was likely to strengthen before crossing the island.It was possible Fay would clip the communist island twice, once in the southeast near Guantanamo Bay, and again in the center as it begins a turn to the northwest and eventually the north.The U.S. hurricane center did not expect Fay to become a hurricane, which has top sustained winds of at least 74 mph (118 kph), until it passed through Cuba, but hurricane watches were posted for a large stretch of the island's central provinces.Cuban forecasters predicted rains of up to 8 inches from the storm.
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As in the days of Noah...

END TIMES WEATHER:Tornado Touches Down Near Williams,Arizona;Unusual Occurrence, National Weather Service Says

WILLIAMS, Ariz.-A tornado touched down north of Williams on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of damage, the National Weather Service said.The weather service also issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area between Williams and the Grand Canyon. The twister was observed by trained spotters about 15 miles south of the Grand Canyon and west of State Route 64 at about 2 p.m.Residents and tourists in the area were warned to take shelter.Williams is located in the Kaibab National Forest at an elevation of 6,770 feet.A weather service meteorologist in Phoenix said tornadoes in Arizona are relatively unusual this time of year but can happen at any time when thunderstorm activity is intense.Up to 2.50 inches of rain belted west-central Coconino County over the past 24 hours, meteorologists said.A number of storm advisories remain active for north-central Arizona.In the Greater Phoenix area, Weather Watch 5 meteorologists were predicting a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms with potentially heavy rain possible Saturday night.An unusually strong low pressure system for mid-summer will remain centered over Colorado this weekend, then move slowly southeast early next week, Weather Watch 5 meteorologists said.Weather disturbances rotating around the low will interact with sufficient moisture and instability to develop mainly afternoon and evening thunderstorms across south-central Arizona, with the most numerous storms over the higher terrain east of Phoenix through Sunday, meteorologists said.
As in the days of Noah...

Friday, August 15, 2008

CULTURE of DEATH:Doctors worry organ donors not dead:Feds fund project to snatch hearts from brain-injured newborns

A federally funded research project has described how surgeons were able to snatch the hearts from severely brain-damaged newborns only seconds after they were disconnected from life-support units and transplant the organs into other diseased infants, but the work is raising alarms from those who say the donors weren't dead yet.The work was documented in a report in the New England Journal of Medicine today, which in an unusual move also published a series of commentaries about the study that offered harsh criticism."It is impossible to transplant a heart successfully after irreversible stoppage:if a heart is restarted, the person from whom it was taken cannot have been dead according to cardiac criteria.Removing organs from a patient whose heart not only can be restarted, but also has been or will be restarted in another body, is ending a life by organ removal," wrote Dr. Robert Veatch, professor of medical ethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University.According to the published study, surgeons at Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colo., took the hearts of severely brain-damaged newborns seconds after they were disconnected from life support and their hearts stopped.According to the report from a team led by Dr. Mark M. Boucek, at a typical children's hospital,"on any given day, between 2.2 and 10.6 children will die, with about half on life support systems."A child's death can be anticipated and considered within a family-centered end-of-life care plan, which can include the possibility of donation after withdrawal of life support and subsequent circulatory or cardiac death," the report said."The appropriate period of observation after the cessation of cardiocirculatory function and before the declaration of death has not been established. We initially used a 3-minute period after loss of cardiac function. This time was based on a recommendation of 2 minutes in the critical care literature. After the first donation, the ethics committee recommended a period of observation of 1.25 minutes to reduce the risk of injury from warm ischemia," the report said.However, critics warned of the dangers of taking organs from donors before the traditional complete cessation of heart and brain functions that typically defines death,"This bold experiment is pushing the boundaries and raising many questions," James Bernat, a Dartmouth medical professor, told the Washington Post. He wrote one of four commentaries that the journal published with the report."This clearly shows the feasibility of doing this," Bernat said. "The question is: Should this be done?" The report noted that the changeover from waiting until brain death is confirmed to a "donation after cardiac death" procedure has potential pitfalls: one California surgeon is accused criminally of hurrying a potential organ donor's death in 2006.The report documented the transplantation of hearts from the three infants into three other babies, ages 1 month to 4 months, who were dying of their own heart conditions. All three subsequently lived past the six-month age."We're very pleased with the lives we saved," Boucek said. "We're trying to deal with a very difficult situation where children die waiting for transplant and parents of other children want to donate."But others, including George Annas of Boston University, condemned the work."This practice cannot be ethically justified," he told the Post. "The donors are not dead.""The whole issue is whether the infants from whom the hearts were taken were dead. It seems very clear to me that they were not," Veatch said. "I think it's illegal, and if it's illegal, what we're talking about is the physicians causing the death of the three patients, and that would be homicide. It's immoral. I think it should be stopped." Dr. Robert Truog, of Harvard Medical School, said it appears the door to questioning when a person is dead is wide open. "The definition of brain death requires the complete absence of all functions of the entire brain, yet many of these patients retain essential neurologic function, such as the regulated secretion of hypothalamic hormones. Some have argued that these patients are dead because they are permanently unconscious (which is true), but if this is the justification, then patients in a permanent vegetative state, who breathe spontaneously, should also be diagnosed as dead, a characterization that most regard as implausible," he wrote."Others have claimed that 'brain-dead' patients are dead because their brain damage has led to the 'permanent cessation of functioning of the organism as a whole.' Yet evidence shows that if these patients are supported beyond the acute phase of their illness (which is rarely done), they can survive for many years. The uncomfortable conclusion to be drawn from this literature is that although it may be perfectly ethical to remove vital organs for transplantation from patients who satisfy the diagnostic criteria of brain death, the reason it is ethical cannot be that we are convinced they are really dead," he wrote.He said the concept of cardiac death also has its hurdles."This … creates the paradox that the hearts of patients who have been declared dead on the basis of the irreversible loss of cardiac function have in fact been transplanted and have successfully functioned in the chest of another. Again, although it may be ethical to remove vital organs from these patients, we believe that the reason it is ethical cannot convincingly be that the donors are dead," he said.He argued in the end, "proper safeguards" should allow physicians to retrieve "vital organs before death."No patient, he said, "will die from vital organ donation who would not otherwise die as a result of the withdrawal of life support."But Veatch warned against tampering with the standards for declaring death. "Surely, definitions should not be changed simply to make hearts available," he said. However, "A good case can be made for letting those whose values support such a definition choose to have it applied to them."WND has reported previously on the life-and-death issues involved in cases such as the severely disabled Terri Schiavo, who died after judges told doctors to follow her husband's orders and stop giving her food and water.
As in the days of Noah....

Ireland has its first Christian radio station

Ireland-Irish are looking for answers to a growing problem in their country-a problem that is taking the lives of Ireland's young people.According to reports, Ireland has the fastest-growing rate of youth suicide in the world.Almost one in four suicides occur among young people between 15 and 24 years of age.That's the word from the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin in a statement at a recent conference on the subject.A government task force reported earlier this year that the suicide rate of males between the ages of 15 and 24 was higher than that in most European countries (about 19 per 100,000 people), and it is growing.HCJB Global Voice is hoping to provide answers through Christian radio. They're partnering with Irish believers to broadcast the Gospel in the city of Cork. HCJB's Roger Basik says,"This is the very first radio station in Ireland. And it just went on the air this year in March 2008."Basik is an HCJB Global missionary appointee to the region. He says while the Christian "religion" is common in Ireland,"There is a real spiritual darkness there that's present.Cork has the highest suicide rate in all of Ireland, right in our listening audience. So it's not a coincidence that the station is there."It's somewhat surprising that Life FM is the first Christian radio station in Ireland.Basik says,"For 20 years there was a group of individuals trying to actively get Christian radio there, and they were denied over and over every year, until eventually the government relented and saw the need for it. They've granted the first Christian radio station in Cork of all places, the second-largest city."Unfortunately, Basik says they're fighting against perception. "A lot of harm has been done in the name of Christ by religious people. That was the same as in Jesus' day. What we're trying to get people to do is look beyond religion and see Jesus and realize it's not about religion-it's about a relationship with Jesus Christ."Every denomination is represented on Life FM's board of directors, so the station is unifying the body of Christ.

PS:Praise GOD for this new radio station!!!!!May the Lord use them with power to save and minister to many
As in the days of Noah....

LEWDNESS WATCH:Attorney: Judge 'flat wrong' in obscenity case

A Pennsylvania woman will face no jail time, despite being convicted of selling via the Internet criminally obscene stories about the rape, torture, and murder of children.Karen Fletcher told a federal judge that she never intended to do anything illegal. She began writing graphic stories about violent sex crimes against fictional children in order to focus away from her the evil she had experienced as a child. But federal prosecutors see Fletcher as a pornographer, and a federal judge agreed-sort of. U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti sentenced Fletcher to six months house arrest and five years probation after she pleaded guilty to six felony obscenity charges. Pat Trueman, special counsel to the Alliance Defense Fund and former chief obscenity prosecutor for the Justice Department, says the sentence in this case definitely does not fit the crime. "Men would subscribe to her website and be, of course, motivated by the stories that she wrote," Trueman explains. "And this is how sex crimes come about: People get ideas in their minds and they fuel them with stories and pictures, and then commit crimes." And while Fletcher argued that her tortured past and present condition as an agoraphobic should earn the court's leniency, Trueman disagrees. "This woman was responsible for the crime," he points out. "It took a lot of effort to develop a website, to write these stories, and to seek money for these stories. She's guilty. She had the mental state to commit the crime-she has the mental state to do the time. The judge was just flat wrong in giving her a slap on the wrist for this." Trueman says he is saddest for the children who have probably been raped, tortured, and possibly even murdered by Fletcher's customers trying to act out her stories.
As in the days of Noah....

GAY WATCH:Insurance provider grants 'family' status to lesbian couple

Pro-family advocates say the choice by a New York insurance carrier to grant "family" benefits to a homosexual couple "married" in Canada is further evidence of the decline of morality in corporate America. BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York made the decision after the New York Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of an insured lesbian who sought coverage for her partner and the partner's infant daughter. Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, says this is the sad reality of effective homosexual propaganda and activism. "The very fact that BlueCross BlueShield capitulated so easily, that doesn't say much for them as a company," said LaBarbera. "At one point in society, companies were more moral. Now we see companies leading the amoral rush to fund and subsidize and benefit so-called homosexual 'marriages' and homosexual-led 'families'...." Though LaBarbera decries the company's decision to cave to pro-homosexual pressure, he says his greatest concern is for the child being raised in a homosexual household. I fully believe that these two women love that child, love that baby.But the sad fact is that baby is growing up in a home which is intentionally fatherless, by design-and that's wrong," he argues."And that's going to handicap that baby's life as she grows up. She needs a dad.And a 'replacement dad'-be it an uncle or some friend, some male friend that these women have-can never substitute for her having a father."Extensive social science research shows that children raised by a married mother and fathers typically perform better academically and economically, and are healthier and better adjusted than those raised in what society is referring to as "alternative" households.
As in the days of Noah....

Obama goes ballistic over Corsi best-seller:Issues blistering 40-page report challenging WND reporter's high-flying, No. 1 exposé

The title page to Barack Obama's response to Jerome Corsi's "The Obama Nation"
With the wreck of John Kerry's "swiftboated" 2004 campaign in his rearview mirror, Barack Obama and his surrogates are wasting no time mounting a counterattack against WND staff writer and columnist Jerome Corsi, the co-author of the Swift Boat Veteran's for Truth's "Unfit for Command" and the author of current No. 1 New York Times best-seller, "The Obama Nation."Obama advisers have been tracking Corsi's media appearances, quickly telephoning producers to react to the book's charges, and last night, the Democratic presidential candidate's campaign issued a 40-page response to the book.Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor accompanied the release with a shot at Corsi, calling him a "discredited liar who is peddling another piece of garbage to continue the Bush-Cheney politics he helped perpetuate four years ago.""His is just one of what will likely be many more lie-filled books rushed to print this election cycle, which are cobbled together from debunked Internet sources to make money and advance a partisan agenda," the spokesman said. "We will respond to these smears forcefully with all means at our disposal.""The Obama Nation" is ranked No. 1 among all books at Amazon.com and will debut at No. 1 on the New York Times non-fiction best-seller list next week. The book already has secured the Times' top spot for the following week, as the Democratic National Convention gets under way.The Democratic National Committee has its own rapid response team to take aim at Corsi's book, with an e-mail sent out yesterday saying, "One of the most vile smear peddlers of the 2004 election has found a new target...We cannot afford to let Corsi get away with the same dirty tricks that fooled so many people in 2004. We can't rely on the media to hold him accountable – in fact, the sheer brazenness of the lies is attracting even more coverage. The media have shown that they aren't going to stop him. It's up to you to spread the truth. …"At the time of this story, Corsi had not had a chance to see Obama's 40-page rebuttal, but he responded to the strong counter-surge against "The Obama Nation," a book with some 600 footnotes that portrays the Illinois senator as a radical leftist whose handlers are presenting him to the nation through a carefully crafted cult of personality.Corsi told WND the campaign has largely chosen to respond to his book with a series of personal attacks."Derision and ridicule are the lowest form of argument, suggesting the Obama camp already has lost the debate," he said. "The Obama camp and its supporters appear to be in disarray over the book, responding almost irrationally with an endless string of epithets and insults."Corsi charged Obama "has intentionally manufactured a cult of personality in order to discourage any attempt to examine or comment critically upon any aspect of his background.""Critics such as myself are immediately branded as 'racists' to discourage readers from reading and evaluating the book for themselves," he said.
'Vicious innuendo'
Obama aides are feeding producers of Corsi's media interviews with a number of his past controversial quotes and insisting campaign surrogates, equipped with talking points, be allowed on the shows to counter the book, according to the blog Talking Points Memo.The online watchdog Media Matters, which says its purpose is to counter the "lies" of the right, sent senior fellow Paul Waldman up against Corsi on CNN's "Larry King" show Wednesday night.Waldman charged that four years after "Unfit for Command," Corsi "has come out with another book that is also riddled with distortions and falsehoods. So the question is, why on earth would anyone listen to what he has to say about Barack Obama?"In a heated exchange, Waldman accused Corsi of "spreading this incredibly vicious innuendo."Corsi shot back: "This is typical Media Matters. They bring you on the show and they bait you up, don't give you a chance even to respond."Corsi told WND that Media Matters "has intentionally misrepresented my arguments so they can 'prove' as 'false' claims I never made, while proclaiming 'mistakes' over trivial points in the book they chose to nit-pick in support of their obvious leftist political agenda."Prior to publication of Corsi's book, Obama created a website FightTheSmears.com to respond to a host of charges largely circulating on the Internet.A FightTheSmears "Action Wire" uses the campaign's extensive e-mail list to respond to charges.An e-mail issued yesterday said, "Right now, vile smear-peddler Jerome Corsi is back with a new book of lies – this time about Barack Obama. ... We'll need the combined efforts of every member of the Action Wire to push back against this year's vicious Republican attack book."Kerry's deputy campaign manager Steve Elmendorf told the Politico he believes that in hindsight, the Massachusetts Democrat's 2004 campaign "made a mistake in not responding more forcefully."Elmendorf offered advice to Obama's handlers."It's on the front page of the New York Times," he said, referring to a Tuesday story on Corsi's book. "It's number one on the New York Times best-seller list. Right now, I would be very aggressive with reporters and factually going through the book and responding and making it clear that this is a bunch of bullsh-t."On Wednesday, Kerry himself launched a website called Truth Fights Back challenging the book. It was accompanied by an e-mail to former supporters headlined, "Book on Obama Hopes to Repeat Anti-Kerry Feat."
'An agenda here'
As even a popular late-night comedy show has acknowledged, Obama has many defenders in the mainstream media, and some apparently have joined the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's battle against Corsi's book.The media watchdog Newsbusters, which responds to left-leaning media bias, pointed to CNN's treatment of the book Wednesday. In the segment, anchor Suzanne Malveaux worried aloud to former Clinton aide Paul Begala that Obama might not be responding fast enough to attacks against him, thereby "falling into the same trap as John Kerry."Introducing the segment, the "Situation Room" host "didn't hesitate to make unequivocal claims as to the Corsi book's inaccuracy," Newsbusters said.Malveaux said:There's a new book out about Barack Obama, and it is not flattering. The facts are mixed with accusations about Obama that are misleading or just flat-out wrong. Yet despite all of this, there is concern that author's claims might catch on with some voters. Our CNN's Jessica Yellin joining me now, and Jessica, the author even admits that there is an agenda here behind this book."Newsbusters contributor Mark Finkelstein pointed to the irony of expressing concern that authors might have an agenda, noting the invitations and respectful treatment offered anti-Bush administration authors such as Seymour Hersh and Ron Suskind.CNN played only a brief clip from a Fox News appearance by Corsi.The network's Yellin said Corsi's book "alleges Obama is on the extreme left of American politics and has extensive connections to Islam and with radical racial politics. This despite the fact that for months Obama's been explaining he's not Muslim."But Newsbusters's Finkelstein pointed out Corsi doesn't claim Obama is a Muslim and, with regard to the radical racial politics charge, notes the National Journal's rating of his voting record as most liberal in the Senate and the Democrat's close ties to black liberation theology adherents Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Rev. Michael Pfleger.Meanwhile, customer rankings of the book at Amazon.com reflect the sharp contrast of opinions: They either love it or they hate it. Of 555 reviews, 183 give the book a five, the top ranking, while 329 score it a one. The combined total for the three rankings in between is just 43.
As in the days of Noah...

"Swift boat" author turns to Obama with bestseller

NEW YORK-The author who put Democratic Sen. John Kerry on the defensive over his military record during his 2004 presidential run has turned his attention to 2008 White House hopeful Barack Obama with a new bestseller."The Obama Nation" tops The New York Times bestseller list amid accusations that some of author Jerome Corsi's assertions are lies designed to damage Obama politically.Corsi co-wrote "Unfit for Command," which questioned accounts of an attack on Kerry's boat during the Vietnam War, and his actions in the subsequent skirmish for which he received a Silver Star medal. The book sparked a political attack on Kerry.In "The Obama Nation," which Corsi says is a play on the word abomination,[[[[the author questions whether Obama could still be using marijuana and cocaine and insinuates Obama is Muslim despite the candidate's insistence he is a Christian.]]]](1)Obama's campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement the book is nothing more than "a series of lies that were long ago discredited.""The reality is that there are many lie-filled books like this in the works, cobbled together from the Internet to make money off of a presidential campaign. We will respond to these smears forcefully with all means necessary,"(what a joke!!!!!!!!)Corsi told Reuters "The Obama Nation" is his bid to stop the Democratic senator from winning the White House on November 4. But he insists he does not support Republican candidate U.S. Sen. John McCain and instead backs the Constitution Party."I have pointed out many lies," Corsi said. "I'm saying there's been this fictionalized ... life story put out by Obama in his autobiography that has been magnified ... during the campaign and the truth is dramatically different in many instances from what Obama represents."
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PS:As usual nothing but LIES comes from the Obama camp...Corsi's book instead is very well done and well documented.That Obama has a problem with the truth is not new...he's a fraud.....
As in the days of Noah...

Jury Rejects Lawsuit, Sides with Osteen's Wife

HOUSTON, Texas-The wife of televangelist Joel Osteen did not assault a flight attendant during an angry tirade over a stain on her first-class seat, a jury ruled Thursday.Jurors rejected Continental Airlines flight attendant Sharon Brown's claims that Victoria Osteen threw her against a bathroom door and elbowed her in the left breast while attempting to rush the cockpit because she was angry that a stain on her seat's armrest was not quickly cleaned up."I'm glad it's over," Victoria Osteen said afterward. "I expected it because it's the truth and I know the truth always stands firm."Joel Osteen said he and his family hold no ill will toward Brown."It's a great vindication and shows us the faithfulness of God," he said.Brown was suing for at least $405,000 for physical and mental pain suffered as a result of the attack she alleged had occurred before takeoff aboard a December 2005 flight from Houston to Vail, Colorado.Brown's attorney, Reginald McKamie, said afterward, "We're disappointed in the verdict."Victoria Osteen and her husband, who also was aboard the flight, testified that the alleged assault never happened. Three first-class passengers and a pilot aboard testified Wednesday they never saw or heard anything that indicated Victoria Osteen assaulted Brown.Another flight attendant, Maria Johnson, supported Brown's claims. Both flight attendants testified they had to block the cockpit door to prevent Victoria Osteen from getting inside.Brown's side earlier sought an apology and punitive damages amounting to 10 percent of Victoria Osteen's net worth as part of her lawsuit. Victoria Osteen's attorney, Rusty Hardin, has declined to discuss her finances. It was unclear what percentage of her net worth the $405,000 might be.Victoria Osteen told jurors she went up to Brown after no one helped her clean up the spill. She said it was Brown who became angry during their discussion. Victoria Osteen denied ever touching Brown or trying to get into the cockpit.Hardin tried to cast doubt Brown suffered any physical or mental injuries. Under cross-examination, Brown acknowledged that doctors found no physical injuries on her and she delayed getting psychiatric treatment.Claudia Hall, a former Continental flight attendant, testified by video deposition she was falsely accused by Brown of hitting and pushing her into the bathroom wall of a plane in November 1995.The Osteens are co-pastors of Lakewood Church, which draws about 42,000 people each week for services. Joel Osteen's weekly television address is broadcast in the U.S. and internationally and his books are sold around the globe.The Osteens paid a $3,000 fine the Federal Aviation Administration levied against Victoria Osteen for interfering with a crew member but testified they did that to put it behind them.
As in the days of Noah....

Is Temple Mount God's time bomb?:New book sees Jerusalem real estate as roadmap to future events

Was the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem more than a place of worship?Was it, indeed, a roadmap to future events-a kind of prophetic landmark whose significance is only now revealed through the development of satellite imagery?That is the contention of an explosive new book, "Temple at the Center of Time: Newton's Bible Codex Deciphered and the Year 2012," by David Flynn.The book asserts it has "deciphered Isaac Newton’s greatest paradox: None other than 'the unified field theory' of Bible prophecy."Sir Isaac Newton was not only a great thinker in physics, the book explains, but had extensive knowledge of the Scriptures with a special interest in prophecy. Newton believed there was a hidden code, a type of time-encrypted language. He believed the key to deciphering this code was the Temple of Solomon. He wrote extensively on the length measurements of the Temple and suggested it intersected time and dimension, serving as a prophetic and supernatural structure. According to Flynn, although Newton never cracked this code, he was on the right track and was limited only by the lack of sophisticated satellite technology."The description of Jerusalem as a terrestrial center point, situated in the center of the world, is found in Philo's Legatio and Gaium," Flynn notes. "The world is like a human eyeball. The white of the eye is the ocean surrounding the world, the iris is this continent, the pupil is Jerusalem, and the image in the pupil is the Holy Temple."To make his case, David starts by illustrating what the reader soon learns is the first of numerous extraordinary time-distance anomalies.The prisca sapentia framework of Newton suggests that the distance between the temple of Jerusalem and the capital city of any nation historically effecting the chronicles of Jerusalem would be supernaturally connected. This relationship would be significant with respect to units of time, expressing meaning in line with God's divine plan as recorded in the word of his prophets. Newton and Flynn point out how Ezekiel recorded the dimensions of the future temple in chapter 40 of his book, starting with the lengths of the temple gates, chambers, courts, walls and its exterior. After this, calibrations of weights and measure for the temple functions were given in detail. Finally, the distance of land outward from the temple was measured.And he brought me thither, and, behold, [there was] a man, whose appearance [was] like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate. (Ezekiel 40:3)...
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Unrelenting Youth Pray Day and Night in Nation's Capitol

Imagine a huge Christian rock concert where the names of the speakers and bands are not announced ahead of time. Instead of a mosh pit, the grounds are filled with twentysomethings with their arms lifted high, lost in worship, repentance, prayer or a combination of all three.The Call, a combination revival and repentance fest, is coming to town, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 16. Get this: There will be no food sold at the gathering."This is not a festival, it's a fast," says Lou Engle, the 55-year-old founder of what's become a movement of young folks praying for the country and to "stop the judgment of God," as he puts it.He is a bit regretful that he's booked what probably will be a blazing hot day on the Mall-the only spot the National Park Service had open-and he is working to make lots of water available."It's grueling, but it is an offering to move the heart of heaven," he says. "God will hear the cry of the righteous when they pray to Him."He says a 2000 convocation on the Mall brought 400,000 young people to the nation's capital to pray for the election and against abortion."We are going to gather together to appeal to heaven to raise up those who stand for life and shift the priorities of the nation to cause a great awakening," he said. "We are going to humble ourselves and say, 'God have mercy on us. Turn us around and release a massive prayer movement.'"After he spent several minutes telling me about God's intent to judge the estimated 50 million abortions done on U.S. soil since abortion was legalized in 1973, I asked him about nations such as China, India and Russia, where the abortion rates are far higher."Where there is more light,there is more accountability, " he said. "This nation was meant to be a light to the world. We are a leadership nation. What happens here affects the world. Just look at how the pornography released from Hollywood goes all over the world."As for this year's election, "We will pray that God will raise up the righteous, give us pro-life leaders in the nation and judges who have a foundation of absolute truth," he said.The Call has spawned gatherings of 70,000 in Nashville, plus turnouts of 20,000 in Dallas, 50,000 in Boston, 85,000 in New York, 30,000 in Los Angeles, 40,000 in San Francisco, 7,500 in Las Vegas, 15,000 in Kansas City, 8,500 in Cincinnati and so on.Mr. Engel lives in Kansas City, where he is active in the International House of Prayer, a 24-hour prayer ministry. In 2004, he founded a junior version, Justice House of Prayer on Capitol Hill, "to contend with the injustice of abortion and pray for righteous leaders to be raised up in America," as he puts it.
JHOP, as it's called, the subject of a sympathetic 2005 segment on ABC's "Nightline," is in a humble second-floor apartment off Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast. That will be the energy center for the Aug. 16 gathering.He's not sure how many people will show up, but he has projected a $1 million budget and says his permit with the U.S. Park Service specifies 250,000. But that's a guess."I expected 50,000 at the first one and 400,000 showed up," he said. "It's not about numbers, it's about the people that come to consecrate their hearts to seek God for the nation."
Note: JHOPers will be active this weekend as TheCall DC comes to the National Mall. If you cannot join them in person to pray, you can watch TheCall DC as it's carried on GOD.TV. CLICK HERE for more information.
By Julia Duin
As in the days of Noah...

PERSECUTION WATCH:Slavic Churches Lift Up Christ While Helping South Ossetian Refugees

Refugee families from South Ossetia have flooded north across the Russian border into the cities of North Ossetia, and into the southern Russian regions of Kabardino-Balkaria, Rostov, Stavropol, and Krasnodar....
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ENVIRO WATCH:Germans try to slow glacier melt with giant screen

German researchers trying to slow melting glaciers have set up a large screen in the Swiss Alps that they hope will trap cold air over the icy mass, Johannes Gutenberg University said Thursday."We hope our installations will bring about a net cooling of the area. And if the melt is not stopped, that it is at least slowed," the project's leader, geography professor Hans-Joachim Fuchs, said in a statement.The structure, 15 metres long and three metres high (49 feet by 10 feet), was raised in the middle of the Rhone glacier in Switzerland's southwestern Valais region by 27 students from the German university.The purpose of the screen-which sits at an altitude of 2,300 metres-is to keep cold winds over the glacier.Already successfully tested in a laboratory, the experiment will be studied on site until August 21, according to the university, located in the Swiss city of Mainz.
As in the days of Noah...

Downtown Seattle asked to cut power usage

SEATTLE - Seattle City Light is asking its customers in the downtown core to cut power usage to avoid a massive blackout, after banks of transformers failed at the height of the summer's worst heat wave. Utility spokesman Mike Eagan says workers were doing maintenance on two banks of transformers at the Union Street substation Friday when two others failed. That left only two of the six banks there working.And with temperatures potentially reaching record highs in the 90s, officials are worried they won't have enough power to go around. Peak demand on the substation could reach 100 megawatts, but its capacity right now is just 80 megawatts.City Light initially planned to cut power to businesses along the waterfront, from Pier 52 to Broad Street, to perform repairs to the transformer banks.But that plan was scrapped after one bank of transformers was brought back on line, leaving three of the six out of commission.A fourth bank of transformers should be back in service by 4 p.m., and that should be enough to handle higher-than-usual demand, City Light officials said.
As in the days of Noah...

Heat wave peaks today - could it hit 107?:PORTLAND,OREGON

PORTLAND, Ore.-Temperatures all over Oregon are expected to shoot past 104 degrees today, making it one of the hottest days in Oregon in years.KATU Meteorologist Rhonda Shelby said at noon that there is a chance it could get hot enough to break Portland's all-time heat record of 107 degrees. And relief won't come until Sunday: 100-plus degree temperatures are also expected Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning through late Saturday. A high pressure system creeping up from the desert Southwest is dominating the region and bringing the record-breaking temperatures. Thursday's reading of 102 degrees at the Portland airport smashed the old record of 97 degrees. The only cool spots in the state? Over at the coast, and in the high Cascades. Coastal temperatures will likely be in the 70s due to fog that typically forms when inland temperatures reach triple digits.In Portland and Vancouver, city officials and law enforcement are telling people to take care in their quest to stay cool.Vancouver officials are opening many indoor swimming pools and other facilities as cooling centers. Along rivers and on lakes, law enforcement officers are telling everyone to play smart around the water.That means using lots of sunscreen, wearing life vests while in rivers that are still cold and fast-running and minimizing or avoiding alcohol use, which can lead to dehydration and poor choices while on dangerous waterways.Officers and deputies from multiple agencies will be patrolling popular spots looking for unruly behavior on the water and alcohol violations. Safety officials urge everyone to drink water - not soda or alcoholic beverages - to keep hydrated and to keep outdoor physical activities to a minimum. If you do go outside, water bottles, sunscreen, sunglasses and sun hats are recommended. Also, they urge everyone to check on elderly or shut-in citizens to make sure they are cool and have adequate water and other resources.Veterinarians are asking pet owners to keep their animals well-hydrated with cool water and to keep them out of direct sun if possible. Dogs and cats with heavy fur coats face serious health risks in extremely hot weather.Next week, it will be a different story, with highs in the mid 70s and even a chance of rain by midweek.
By KATU and Associated Press
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The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Fay has formed in the Caribbean

Tropical Storm Fay formed over the Dominican Republic on Friday afternoon, bypassing the customary step of first being deemed a tropical depression.The initial forecast puts the entire southern tip of Florida in its sights, although the projected path - subject to large errors - points it toward the Keys and possibly into the Gulf of Mexico.At 5 p.m., the system was 35 miles east of Santo Domingo-about 850 miles southeast of Miami. It was moving west-northwest at 14 mph with sustained winds of about 40 mph. Its tropical force winds extended 85 miles from its center.It was expected to pass near or over eastern Cuba on Saturday night and Sunday and then turn north toward Florida. The system could produce up to 12 inches of rain along its path, the National Hurricane Center in Miami-Dade County said.Tropical storm warnings and watches were hoisted around the northeast Caribbean.
Fay tracking links:
By Ken Kaye
As in the days of Noah....

PESTILENCE WATCH:Dutch confirm 5 sheep bluetongue cases

AMSTERDAM-The Dutch Agriculture Ministry urged farmers to vaccinate their goats, sheep and cattle against the bluetongue livestock disease after confirming five new cases in the north of the Netherlands on Friday.All five infected animals were sheep that had not been vaccinated against the virus, which causes fever and mouth ulcers and in some cases turns an animal's tongue blue.Agricultural minister Gerda Verburg urged farms that have not yet vaccinated their animals to do so, according to a statement issued by the ministry.Last week, the ministry confirmed the first case of bluetongue in the Netherlands in 2008, in a cow which had also not been vaccinated against the disease.The ministry launched a vaccine program in May and has so far distributed 6 million doses of bluetongue vaccines. It also ordered another million doses in June, some of which are now available.Last year, over 6,000 Dutch farms were hit by the virus.
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Rescuers reach Vietnam village

END TIMES WEATHER:New York City given tornado warning

NEW YORK-New Yorkers were urged to take shelter on Friday due to a tornado warning for the Bronx, just north of Manhattan, which was covered with dark skies and swirling clouds."The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning in the Bronx until 5:45 p.m.," the city said in a disaster alert service."People in these areas should take shelter. Stay in the lowest floor of your building, away from windows," the warning said.New York City periodically gets hit by tornadoes but they are rarely as deadly as in the Midwest and South of the United States.
As in the days of Noah....

Thousands gather in Islanbul to mourn extremist leader

Thousands of supporters of an outlawed far-left Turkish group gathered in Istanbul on Friday waving red communist flags to mourn the death of its leader, Dursun Karatas, at the age of 55.
The long procession followed the coffin of the former leader of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C)-listed as a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the European Union and the United States-to a cemetery in the Gazi district."Heros are immortal, the people are invincible! Death to fascism, long live our fight!" shouted demonstrators in the crowd, which weaved its way through Gazi for three hours.
The body of Karatas, who died of cancer, had been repatriated from the Netherlands. The leader of the outlawed Turkish group had lived in hiding in Europe after fleeing a jail sentence in 1989.The leftist militant was arrested in 1980 and sentenced to death for ordering five murders, including that of a former prime minister, Nihat Erim.In 1989, his sentence was changed to life imprisonment and in 1994 he founded the DHKP-C.Some in the crowd on Friday wondered what Karatas' death would mean for their movement."Today is a historic day. A page has turned for the revolutionary movement in Turkey, maybe the last," a militant told AFP under the condition of anonymity. The DHKP-C has claimed several deadly attacks, including a 2001 suicide-bombing in Istanbul that killed four, including the bomber.The armed group in 2004 apologised to the population of Istanbul for an "involuntary" explosion on a bus that killed four and left another 21 people injured.
As in the days of Noah....

Serbia seeks World Court ruling on Kosovo independence

UNITED NATIONS-Serbia on Friday formally submitted a request for an advisory ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Kosovo's unilateral independence, saying the approach could serve as a model to settle other similar disputes. Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic asked that the request be included in the agenda of the UN General Assembly session next month.He submitted a draft resolution that calls on the General Assembly to seek ICJ advisory opinion on "the legality of the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo," which Belgrade and its Russian ally strongly oppose."We hope the General Assembly will react positively," Jeremic said, pledging that Serbia "is going to accept any opinion that comes from the ICJ.""Serbia believes that an advisory opinion of the principal judicial organ of the United Nations-the International Court of Justice-would be particularly appropriate in the specific case of determining whether Kosovo's UDI (unilateral declaration of independence last February 17) is in accordance with international law," the document states.Jeremic said Serbia's decision to seek a peaceful, diplomatic resolution of the Kosovo dispute "can serve as a model as to how to approach issues of sovereignty and territorial integrity around the world," clearly referring to the conflict between Russia and Georgia over the renegade Georgian enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.Last February, the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo, a UN-run province of Serbia, unilaterally seceded from Belgrade. Its independence has so far been recognized by 45 countries, including the United States and most of the European Union nations. Serbia-which considers Kosovo the cradle of its history, culture and Christian Orthodox religion-and its traditional ally Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, immediately rejected the move, claiming it was illegal and a violation of international law.
As in the days of Noah...

Georgia President Signs Cease-Fire With Russia

Georgia signs ceasefire, US blasts Russia

TBILISI-Georgia on Friday signed a ceasefire agreement seeking to end its conflict with Russia, as the United States lashed out at Moscow for "bullying" and failing to withdraw its troops from the country.Georgia's pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili announced he had signed the EU-brokered ceasefire during a visit to Tbilisi by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice."With the signing of this accord, all Russian troops, and any paramilitary and irregular troops that entered with them, must leave immediately," Rice said in Tbilisi. Despite the accord, thrashed out by French President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier this week, Russian armoured vehicles and tanks remained deep inside Georgian territory, some even pressing further towards the capital Tbilisi.Rice, whose visit to Tbilisi was seen as a show of support for Saakashvili's government, criticised the Russians for not honouring their promises to halt military operations in Georgia. "The verbal assurance that President (Dmitry) Medvedev gave that Russian military operations had stopped... clearly was not honoured," Rice said.Scores of Russian armoured vehicles were concentrated at a base outside Gori, a strategically key town half-way between Tbilisi and the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia at the centre of the conflict.An AFP reporter late Friday saw a convoy of 10 Russian armoured personnel carriers move from Gori before stopping in a position just 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Tbilisi.US President George W. Bush meanwhile complained of Moscow's "bullying" and called on Russia to honour its pledge to withdraw its troops."Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century," he said, adding that Russia had damaged its credibility with the West by its offensive against Georgia."Moscow must honour its commitment to withdraw its invading forces from all Georgian territory," Bush said outside the Oval Office...
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Russia: Poland risks attack because of US missiles

MOSCOW - A top Russian general said Friday that Poland's agreement to accept a U.S. missile interceptor base exposes the ex-communist nation to attack, possibly by nuclear weapons, the Interfax news agency reported.The statement by Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn is the strongest threat that Russia has issued against the plans to put missile defense elements in former Soviet satellite nations.Poland and the United States on Thursday signed a deal for Poland to accept a missile interceptor base as part of a system the United States says is aimed at blocking attacks by rogue nations. Moscow, however, feels it is aimed at Russia's missile force."Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike-100 percent," Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff, was quoted as saying.He added, in clear reference to the agreement, that Russia's military doctrine sanctions the use of nuclear weapons"against the allies of countries having nuclear weapons if they in some way help them."Nogovitsyn that would include elements of strategic deterrence systems, he said, according to Interfax.At a news conference earlier Friday, Nogovitsyn had reiterated Russia's frequently stated warning that placing missile-defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic would bring an unspecified military response. But his subsequent reported statement substantially stepped up a war of words.Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski was quoted Friday by the Polish news agency PAP as saying that Poland is open to Russian inspections because it wants to give Moscow "tangible proof" that the planned base is not directed against Russia.U.S. officials have said the timing of the deal was not meant to antagonize Russian leaders at a time when relations already are strained over the recent fighting between Russia and Georgia over the separatist Georgian region of South Ossetia.Russian forces went deep into Georgia in the fighting, raising wide concerns that Russia could be seeking to occupy parts of its small, pro-U.S. neighbor, which has vigorously lobbied to join NATO, or even to force its government to collapse."I think the Russian behavior over the last several days is generally concerning not only to the United States but to all of our European allies," said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman, when asked about Russian threats against Poland as a result of the missile defense agreement.He also suggested that earlier U.S. offers for broad cooperation with Moscow on the missile defense program may be reevaluated considering the latest developments.Under the agreement that Warsaw and Washington reached Thursday, Poland will accept an American missile interceptor base.Washington says the planned system, which is not yet operational, is needed to protect the U.S. and Europe from possible attacks by missile-armed "rogue states" like Iran. The Kremlin, however, feels it is aimed at Russia's missile force and warns it will worsen tensions.In an interview on Poland's news channel TVN24, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the United States agreed to help augment Poland's defenses with Patriot missiles in exchange for placing 10 missile defense interceptors in the Eastern European country.He said the deal also includes a "mutual commitment" between the two nations to come to each other's assistance "in case of trouble."That clause appeared to be a direct reference to Russia.Poland has all along been guided by fears of a newly resurgent Russia, an anxiety that has intensified with Russia's offensive in Georgia. In past days, Polish leaders said that fighting justified Poland's demands that it get additional security guarantees from Washington in exchange for allowing the anti-missile base on its soil."Simply the existence of this installation increases Poland's security," Polish President Lech Kaczynski said Friday. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080815/ap_on_re_eu/russia_us_missile_defense;_ylt=Ahs1aytyrJXRsFeEkPRAnXGs0NUE

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Aid groups demand security

PERSECUTED CHURCH:Aid Groups Begin Relief Efforts in Conflict-Ridden Georgia

World Vision has begun providing emergency assistance to civilians displaced by the conflict in Georgia.The Christian humanitarian agency started distributing food, soap, blankets and other essentials to those, mainly women and children, who managed to flee to Georgia's capital, Tblisi.'''
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Ukraine-Russia in fleet row

Russia Seizes Arsenal Of US Weapons In Georgia - Military

MOSCOW-Russian forces have seized a "large arsenal" of U.S.-made weapons in the western Georgian city of Senaki including hundreds of assault rifles, a military spokesman said Friday."In Senaki, we seized a large arsenal of weapons including 664 U.S.-made M-16 rifles" and a number of M-40 sniper rifles, General Anatoly Nogovitsyn told a news conference in Moscow. "There were 1,728 weapons total." http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20080815%5cACQDJON200808150606DOWJONESDJONLINE000377.htm&&mypage=newsheadlines&title=Russia%20Seizes%20Arsenal%20Of%20US%20Weapons%20In%20Georgia%20-%20Military
PS:It's not a surprise since Georgia has been purchasing arms from US,Israel and Ukraine among others....
As in the days of Noah...

Kremlin failed by keeping western journalists away

Russians losing propaganda war

The Bush administration appears to be trying to turn a failed military operation by Georgia into a successful diplomatic operation against Russia.It is doing so by presenting the Russian actions as aggression and playing down the Georgian attack into South Ossetia on 7 August, which triggered the Russian operation.Yet the evidence from South Ossetia about that attack indicates that it was extensive and damaging.
Blame game
The BBC's Sarah Rainsford has reported: "Many Ossetians I met both in Tskhinvali and in the main refugee camp in Russia are furious about what has happened to their city."They are very clear who they blame: Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili, who sent troops to re-take control of this breakaway region."Human Rights Watch concluded after an on-the-ground inspection: "Witness accounts and the timing of the damage would point to Georgian fire accounting for much of the damage described [in Tskhinvali]."One problem for the Russians is that they have not yet learned how to play the media game. Their authoritarian government might never do so.Most of the Western media is based in Georgia. The Russians were slow to give access from their side and this has helped them lose the propaganda war.Georgia, meanwhile, was comparing this to Prague in 1968 and Budapest in 1956. Even the massacre at Srebrenica was recalled.
Mud sticks
The comparisons did not fit the facts, but some of the mud has stuck and Russia has been on the international defensive.The visit by the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Georgia is a signal of support for Mr Saakashvili.Significantly, she is not paying a matching visit to Moscow but will return directly to the United States where she will brief President George W Bush in Texas.She has refused to condemn Georgia and barely acknowledged Russia's point that it had to protect its peacekeeping forces (a battalion-sized unit allowed in South Ossetia along with Georgian and North Ossetian and South Ossetian forces under a 1992 agreement).Instead she blamed Russia for widening the conflict by bombing beyond what the 1992 deal called the "zone of conflict" in South Ossetia.She said: "This is something that, had it been about South Ossetia, could have been resolved within certain limits."Russian peacekeepers were in the area; that is true. And Russia initially said it needed to act to protect its peacekeepers and its people."But what Russia has done is well beyond anything that anyone could say is for the protection of those people and for those peacekeepers."The Americans have sent in planes full of humanitarian aid, again a symbol of support.But they have sent no military supplies. Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said: "I don't see any prospect for the use of military force by the United States in this situation. Is that clear enough?"US diplomacy is also concentrating on the issue of sovereignty and territorial integrity - which means that South Ossetia and the other restless region, Abkhazia, must remain within Georgian borders. Russian has questioned this.
Moscow's anger
This widens the whole question into one of Russian behaviour generally, which is much surer ground for the Bush administration. The US will continue to press for eventual Georgian and Ukrainian membership of Nato.The Republican presidential hopeful Senator John McCain also sees in this conflict an opportunity to put Russia in the dock, declaring: "We are all Georgians now."All this is likely to anger Moscow, which will feel that it has a case and that it is being ignored. Right from the start it said that the operation was not an invasion.The adverse effect on US-Russia relations, about which Mr Gates warned, is going to be a two-way process.There are signs, though, that there is some sympathy for Russia within the European Union - although not among the Eastern European states who still fear Russia and not in the British government, which has matched the US line about Russian "aggression".But German Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeing Russian leaders and while she too will urge them not to challenge borders, the German government has been notably reluctant to blame Russia.
By Paul Reynolds
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