7 Fireballs to Intersect Earth/RUSSIA: migrants targeted/Nuclear talks with IRAN/Oil price heading for US$200 as China’s imports set to surge/USA: debt default closer as no deal has been reached and more signs of Jesus’ soon return


Thousands homeless after killer Indian cyclone

A villager carried her child as she stands over the remains of her beachside home at Padampeta Village, about 200 kilometers south from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar, on October 13, 2013
 (India) (AFP) – Tens of thousands of people who fled India’s strongest cyclone in 14 years returned to discover their homes and livelihoods destroyed Monday, as a massive relief operation kicked into gear. One million people were forced to seek refuge in shelters and government buildings after the terrifying cyclone struck eastern India on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and leaving a trail of destruction along the coast. Cyclone Phailin was dissipating rapidly after pounding the states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, bringing winds of more than 200 kilometres an hour (125 miles per hour), uprooting trees, overturning trucks, and knocking out power lines. Residents, some carrying their children and clutching bags of possessions, and who hours earlier were huddled in shelters, made their way back to their towns and villages fearing the worst. ”I left everything (behind) and when I came back nothing was here,” said Bhagwan, 50, who uses one name, a coconut seller from the hard-hit Orissa town of Gopalpur, as he sat on the ground in front of his destroyed shop. More

Oil price heading for US$200 as China’s imports set to surge

Last month, China passed another milestone in its economic development, although not an auspicious one. In September, China overtook America as the largest buyer of oil on the international markets. According to the Energy Information Administration of the US government, last month China’s net oil imports hit an average 6.3 million barrels a day, surpassing the US, which imported 6.2 million barrels a day (see the first chart). China has long boasted the world’s fastest growing thirst for oil. In 1996, it accounted for just 5 per cent of the world’s demand. By last year, thanks to years of double-digit growth, China’s share of global oil demand had more than doubled to 11 per cent. That trend isn’t going to change direction any time soon. Although China’s overall growth rate is set to slow over the next few years, it is likely Chinese consumer demand will continue to grow rapidly as household incomes rise. And it is consumer demand, in the form of ballooning sales of private cars, that is driving China’s demand for oil. According to Simon Powell, the head of oil and gas research at brokerage house CLSA, 10 million new cars will hit China’s roads each year for the next 10 years. What’s more, the fastest growing sector of the market, with sales accelerating by 25 per cent a year, is for fuel-guzzling four-wheel drive monsters. As a result, China’s demand for oil will continue to surge, rising from about 10 million barrels a day this year to almost 18 million per day by 2035, according to forecast compiled by World Bank consultant Mamdouh Salameh. Nearly all of the extra oil will have to be imported. Despite heavy investment in domestic fields, China lacks the reserves to meet all but a fraction of its future demand from its own wells. This year, China is expected to produce about 4.2 million barrels of oil a day; an amount that will barely change over the next 20 years. That means net imports are set to soar from 58 per cent of consumption this year to 72 per cent by 2035, equivalent to an extra 6.6 million barrels of oil imports every day (see the second chart). In other words, China’s oil imports will more than double over the next 20 or so years. That’s going to squeeze global supplies. In the past, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries maintained a comfortable cushion of spare capacity, but that has now fallen to just one million barrels a day. Worse, Opec’s biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, has no plans to raise its production capacity over the next few years, implying an increasing upward pressure on prices. ”In the future, China will have to outbid the rest of the world for oil supplies, forcing up oil prices,” warns Salameh. Under an optimistic scenario, in which no political upheavals affect markets and new supplies continue to come on stream from Brazilian and Angolan offshore deposits, Canadian tar sands and American oil shales, Salameh reckons the price of oil would continue to hover between US$100 and US$130 a barrel for the remainder of this decade. But in reality, with supplies tight and politics unpredictable, “prices will continue to spike over the next five years, occasionally reaching US$200 per barrel”, he predicts. That’s going to hurt. Salameh argues the world can afford to spend at most 6 per cent of global gross domestic product on oil , which equates to an average price of no more than US$137 in 2015, or US$156 in 2020. Any more than that – which looks highly likely given the strength of Chinese demand – and global economic growth will begin to suffer. The good news is that the world is not short of oil. But Salameh estimates it will take investment of more than US$13 trillion between now and 2030 to ensure sufficient supplies. The only way that’s going to be forthcoming is if prices rise. South China Morning Post

In push for Muslim school holiday, some Montgomery students will stay home

On other holidays, the choice has been difficult: Education or faith? But this year, with the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Adha on Tuesday, the Shraim family decided against school. Their teenagers might fall behind in their classes. They might feel torn. But they will stay home to celebrate. The Germantown family is joining others across Montgomery County in an effort to make the Islamic holy day into a full-fledged school holiday. They point out that school is closed for Christmas, Good Friday and Easter. It also is closed for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  They ask why a holiday wouldn’t similarly be given for Eid al-Adha, one of two major Muslim holidays, in a county with a growing Islamic community. There are no county or census figures on the Muslim population, but community leaders say that Muslims number at least in the “tens of thousands.” Montgomery’s population is nearly 1 million. “It’s like we don’t feel equal to other people who get their holidays off,” says Hannah Shraim, 14, a sophomore at Northwest High School in Germantown. More

Attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christians on the rise

The Egyptian Coptic Christian community has faced increasing levels of violence since the removal of President Mohamed Morsi by the military in July, according to a newly released report by human rights advocacy group Amnesty International. The report states that the community has suffered deadly mob violence and attacks on religious buildings. “What we see is an unprecedented level of sectarian attacks against Copts,” Nicholas Piachaud, a campaigner for the North African team of Amnesty International, told The Media Line. “We saw over 200 attacks against the Coptic community after Morsi’s removal. We also saw the scapegoating of the Coptic Christians by the security forces.” Around eight million Copts currently live in Egypt, making the Coptic Christian community the largest minority religion within Egypt. Copts have lived in Egypt since their establishment in Alexandria, Egypt, in the 1st century AD. While they make up only nine percent of Egypt’s population, they still have a vibrant community and Diaspora. Egyptian Copts claim to be one of the oldest communities within the Middle East, and their pope is based out of Alexandria, the birthplace of Coptic Christianity. Their small numbers relative to the rest of Egyptian society has left the Coptic community vulnerable to sectarian violence, which was a regular occurrence even under former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. More

Worst winter for decades: Record-breaking snow predicted for Britain’s November

Forecasters last night warned the entire country is set for a horror freeze which will bring brutal winds and fierce blizzards. Temperatures have already started to plunge as a swathe of cold air from the Arctic has swept across the UK in the past few days. The first long-range forecasts warn of “record breaking snowfall” next month. Heavy wintry showers are expected to cause widespread chaos with below-average temperatures possibly lingering until February. Long-range forecasters blamed the position of a fast-flowing band of air known as the jet stream near to Britain and high pressure for the extreme conditions. Jonathan Powell, forecaster for Vantage Weather Services, said: ‘We are looking at a potentially paralysing winter, the worst for decades, which could at times grind the nation to a halt.  ’Persistent cold snaps with some very heavy snowfall are likely, and I would not be surprised if some records are not broken this year. ’The main issue will be the extreme cold which is showing signs of really bedding in, thanks to freezing winds from the north.” He blamed the ‘poorly positioned” jet stream which is expected to be ‘blocked” south of the UK, allowing a continual flow of freezing Arctic air. James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said it was likely to be the worst winter for more than 100 years. He said: ‘A horror winter scenario is likely to bring another big freeze with copious snow for many parts. ’There is also a high risk that we will experience a scenario similar to December 2010 or much worse at times, especially in January. ’This is likely to produce major disruption to public transport and school closures on a prolific scale.” He went on: ‘The cold theme from the latter part of October is likely to continue into November – and for the vast majority of the month. ’November could turn out to be a record-breaking month. There is the potential for some significant falls of snow. The northern half is likely to experience the worst conditions. More

JP Morgan dumps all short-term US treasuries as default approaches next week with no deal on the debt ceiling

The US Government shutdown continues and we are only five days from national bankruptcy when the debt celing is reached. Fund managers at Fidelity and JP Morgan have taken the prudent view and have dumped all their short-term US treasuries just in case of the first default in the history of the union. Not wishing to panic markets the bank said: ‘Although JPMorgan Investment Management continues to believe that the probability of a US government default is low, it has taken certain precautionary measures with respect to the money markets.’ Selling out is certainly a way to protect against the Armageddon scenario. But then if it is bordering on the impossible to imagine why take this precaution? Does somebody at the largest US investment bank have an inside track and not like what they are hearing? The surging yield on one-month treasuries shows how the fear factor is growing in Washington DC: More

A Job engine sputters as hospitals cut staff

Hospitals, a reliable source of employment growth in the recession and its aftermath, are starting to cut thousands of jobs amid falling insurance payments and inpatient visits. The payroll cuts are surprising because the Affordable Care Act (ACA), whose implementation took a big step forward this month, is eventually expected to provide health coverage to as many as 30 million additional Americans. ”While the rest of the U.S. economy is stabilizing or improving, health care is entering into a recession,” says John Howser, assistant vice chancellor of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Health care providers announced more layoffs than any other industry last month — 8,128 — largely because of reductions by hospitals, according to outplacement firm Challenger Gray and Christmas. So far this year, the health care sector has announced 41,085 layoffs, the third-most behind financial and industrial companies. More


MANSFIELD, LA -Shelves in Walmart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA were reportedly cleared Saturday night, when the stores allowed purchases on EBT cards even though they were not showing limits.  The chaos that followed ultimately required intervention from local police, and left behind numerous carts filled to overflowing, apparently abandoned when the glitch-spurred shopping frenzy ended.  Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd confirms they were called in to help the employees at Walmart because there were so many people clearing off the shelves. He says Walmart was so packed, “It was worse than any black Friday” that he’s ever seen. Lynd explained the cards weren’t showing limits and they called corporate Walmart, whose spokesman  said to let the people use the cards anyway. From 7 to 9 p.m., people were loading up their carts, but when the cards began showing limits again around 9, one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700.00 and only had .49 on her card. She was held by police until corporate Walmart said they wouldn’t press charges if she left the food.  Lynd says at 9 p.m., when the cards came back online and it was announced over the loud speaker, people just left their carts full of food in the aisles and left.More

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No accord without Palestinians recognizing Jewish Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the Knesset (photo credit: Knesset Channel)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday declared that there could be no peace agreement with the Palestinians until they recognize Israel as the sovereign state of the Jewish people. In a bitter passage of a lengthy address at the opening of the 19th Knesset’s winter session, Netanyahu said Israel did not need that recognition from the Palestinians. Rather, he said, the Palestinians had to come to terms with Israel’s Jewish legitimacy and abandon their “nationalistic demands” on Israel. Specifically, he said, the Palestinians would have to “abandon the demand for what is called ‘the right of return’” for millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Israel, otherwise there could be no “end of conflict” accord. Without this shift, and without the abandoning of “other nationalistic demands on the land and sovereignty of Israel,” he said, there simply could be no accord. More

Netanyahu: Stand Alone And Tell Them To Go To Hell!

For a long time, the world complained about Israel’s harsh vow to protect themselves from Iran’s building of nuclear arms. Israel – so far – hasn’t yet acted in a defensive strike, yet the Iranian enemy remains at Israel’s doorstep devoted to her destruction. And on Sunday, The New York Times ran a profile filled with venom for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Calling him a “shrill” voice on a one-man “messianic crusade” against Iran’s nuclear weapons program and saying he is “taking a lonely stance”, indeed may actually prove he is the one sane man in a world filled with delusional fools.  More likely,  it may mean that, like so many times in the past, the Jewish people stands alone in times of danger. Worldwide, anyone concerned with the safety of the West should hope Netanyahu and Israel remain on their crusade to stop Iran from reaching nuclear capacity. With a fool in the White House, it is even more vital. The New York Times profile states “His office wall is dominated by a map, Iran looming large at the center. Iran has been Mr. Netanyahu’s priority — many say obsession — since 1996.” A country on Israel’s border who openly declares its intent to destroy the Jewish state is definitely worthy of obsession for that nation’s leaders. Sane people respect and envy those who defend and protect their people. The fact that Netanyahu has held off, so far, from striking Iran should earn him praise from liberals – but, of course, since he is Prime Minister of Israel, that didn’t happen. The Jewish Prime Minister has not forgotten that Israel as a nation is a modern miracle. After six million Jews were murdered while the world stood by and watched, a nation was created, but has been surrounded by enemies who have tried to destroy her from the very beginning of her existence. They have failed, time and time again. More

Top Iran cleric says Israel must be destroyed, warns US

The recognition of Israel as illegitimate is one of the principles of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, and even today the Islamic Republic believes Israel must be destroyed, a senior Iranian cleric close to the supreme leader said Saturday night. Ayatollah Sayyid Ahmad Khatami, a member of the Assembly of Experts — the body that chooses the supreme leader — also condemned any effort for improved relations with America and warned that nothing is ruled out against the United States, according to Tasnim News Agency, a regime media outlet. Referring to those who believe talks with the U.S. would be beneficial, Khatami said, “If we take one step back, then we have to retreat 10 steps.”  The ayatollah said that during President Hassan Rouhani’s recent trip to the United States to attend the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly, “The American politicians put out many diplomatic smiles.” But at a meeting between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the same time, “The American president stated that all options are on the table, including the military option. We too have all the options on the table against America, one of those a strong punch in the mouth to America, the world’s oppressor.” More

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Powerful Magnitude 7.1 Earthquake strikes Tubigon, Bohol, Philippines

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President Barack Obama is demanding a $1.1 trillion “ransom”–or else he will not allow the debt ceiling to be raised. That’s the effective offer on the table from the president and Senate Democrats. They have now refused to pass a “clean” short-term debt ceiling hike unless Republicans agree to reverse the “sequester” spending cuts in the 2011 Budget Control Act that were enacted–at Obama’s suggestion–to end the last debt ceiling crisis. The president, who has invited congressional leaders to conduct talks at the White House Monday afternoon, still continues to insist that he “will not pay a ransom for Congress reopening the government and raising the debt limit.” Yet he and his party are the ones insisting on a “ransom,” now that Republicans appear to be in the mood to compromise after opinion poll results last week showed them losing politically in the showdown. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has claimed that the sequester dispute means that Democrats and Republicans are only $70 billion apart in budget negotiations. That is a blatant lie, as the total value of the sequester over ten years is $1.1 trillion. Democrats do not want a reprieve for one year–they want the entire sequester canceled so that they can continue spending on such priorities as the annual cowboy poetry festival in Nevada. Last week, President Obama asked the press to “imagine if a Democratic Congress threatened to crash the global economy unless a Republican president agreed to gun background checks or immigration reform.” Now the White House and a Democrat-controlled Senate are threatening exactly that–unless Republicans agree to fork over $1.1 trillion, paid for with new “revenues” (i.e. taxes) on the American people. Ransom, indeed. Breitbart

NSA harvesting hundreds of millions of personal email contact lists

Reuters / Ueslei MarcelinoThe National Security Agency is logging hundreds of millions of email and instant messaging contacts belonging to Americans and others around the world, according to a report based on documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The data harvesting program, first reported by The Washington Post Monday, collects address books from email and instant messaging service in an apparent attempt to map social circles across the globe. Online communication services frequently expose an individual’s contact list when that person signs onto their account, sends a message, or connects a remote device – such as a cell phone – to a computer.  An internal NSA PowerPoint presentation indicated that the NSA’s Special Source Operations collected 444,743 email lists from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail, and another 22,881 from other services. The documents note that those numbers show what the NSA collects in one day, meaning the intelligence agency could collect more than 250 million lists each year. More

Iran Navy to unveil Lavan destroyer

Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says the Islamic Republic will unveil the Lavan destroyer and other new achievements late in November. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Sayyari added that the Lavan destroyer is one of the “scientific and technological projects” of Iranian naval forces that would be unveiled on November 28.  He noted that skilled Iranian experts succeeded in overhauling the destroyer despite illegal sanctions imposed against the country over its nuclear energy program.  The commander said Iranian experts have also managed to design a training destroyer – Loqman – which is currently under construction.  Sayyari highlighted the importance of a strong naval force in order to be able to defend national interests in territorial and international waters. In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems. Iran’s Navy launched the renovated Shaheed Bayandor destroyer on June 11. Also, Jamaran-2, a Mowj-class warship which joined the country’s naval forces on March 16, has been designed and built by Iranian experts using state-of-the-art navigation equipment and complex defensive systems. Tehran has repeatedly assured other countries that its military might poses no threat to other states, insisting that the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence. In line with international efforts against piracy, the Navy has also been conducting patrols in the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden since November 2008 in order to safeguard merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.Press TV



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