Please read matthew 24 and Luke 21:11 – at least -to understand the sigs that should be watched by followers of Christ, as they mark that his return IS around the corner. For “Christ-curious” the versicles below will, to say the least, give you some food for thought!
Also read revelations 13 to understand the “technology” driven economical system that will bring many to align themselves with the figure of the anti-christ, who will implement what Christians call the MARK OF THE BEAST!
Lastly, don’t fall for the alien/new age deception – read genesis 6:4, and the book of enoch. What we know as aliens and the ancient people know as “GODS” are the fallen angels or demons
The moral compass of what Christians call “the last wicked generation” is described in 2 timothy 3, please take sometime to read this and understand the spiritual dimension of something called SIN!
May God Bless you in the name of Jesus, our Lord and saviour!
“Great Surprise” Native Americans Have West Eurasian Origins
Human beings came from another planet, not Earth ( THE ALIEN DECEPTION)
Protesting Pakistanis block NATO supply route
Severe Weather: Flash Floods, Water Rescues and Powerful Winds
Egypt tells Turkey’s ambassador to leave Cairo
Biometric passports for foreign travel that include a digital record of the holder’s fingerprints will be issued on a mass scale beginning in 2015, Federal Migration Service head Konstantin Romodanovsky said Wednesday. A trial run begun on July 1 in St. Petersburg and the Moscow region has gone well, Romodanovsky told Interfax. ”Overall the system works. For now it is an experiment. The technology is being revised, there are no major malfunctions,” he said. A total of 15,000 biometric passports with fingerprints have been issued so far, which “isn’t many,” he added. “We wish more people wanted them.” Russia currently issues two kinds of passports for foreign travel — the 10-year biometric passport and the so-called “old five-year” passport, which is less expensive. Moscow Times
The entire UK has been told to brace for a record-breaking period of bitter Arctic winds, crippling snowfall and plunging temperatures. Long-range forecasts now point to winter 2013 now being the worst for more than 60 years with Polar conditions stretching right into the beginning of next spring. The shock warning comes with the UK already shivering in an unseasonably early big freeze with temperatures plummeting to -5C and heavy snow sparking chaos in parts of the UK. It has also sparked fears that the extreme cold expected this winter could kill far more vulnerable people than usual, especially as millions turn down their heating in the wake of huge energy price rises. Long range forecasts show that a high pressure ‘blocking system’ drawing cold air in from the Arctic will wreak havoc with our weather, generating prolonged spells colder than in Iceland, Norway and Sweden and even parts of the Arctic region.
Long-range forecaster James Madden, of Exacta Weather, said: “An exceptionally prolonged period of widespread cold is highly likely to develop throughout this winter and last into next spring. “It will be accompanied by snow drifts of several feet and long-lasting snow accumulations on a widespread scale. “This period of snow and cold is likely to result in an incomparable scenario to anything we have experienced in modern times. “A scenario similar to December 2010 is likely to develop, but on a more prolonged scale in terms of overall duration.” Jonathan Powell, forecaster for Vantage Weather Services, said this winter could now parallel the worst winters ever recorded. He said: “Looking back at historical data there is certainly an argument that we may well parallel with severe winters of the past including 1947 and 1962. “We have had such a cold November, and there is no sign of any change due to a high pressure blocking system. “When these severe temperatures bed in it becomes like an accumulative effect – like a heatwave but in reverse, we could be looking at the longest winter in history. “And this is when you see records breaking, all signs point towards this winter being exceptionally severe, I wouldn’t put anything past it.” More
AUSTIN, Texas — The long-simmering battle over teaching evolution in Texas boiled over at a late-night meeting, as the Board of Education extended preliminary approval of new science books for use in classrooms across the state but held up one biology text because of alleged factual errors. It is just the latest development in the ongoing debate over evolution, creationism and the power and influence of children’s education. With midnight looming, some of the state education board members singled out a textbook by Pearson Education, one of America’s largest publishers, on Thursday. Many of the 20 concerns pertained to the theory of evolution.
After a lengthy debate that got testy at times, the board voted to have three of its members pick a trio of outside experts to further scrutinize the book. If the issues can be resolved, it will win approval. But if not, it will be returned to the board for consideration at its January meeting. Textbook and classroom curriculum battles have long raged in Texas pitting creationists — those who see God’s hand in the creation of the universe — against others who worry about religious and political ideology trumping scientific fact. While some might dismiss this debate as being trumped up, there’s a lot at stake for both sides. At issue this time are proposed high school textbooks that could be used statewide starting next school year — and through 2022 at least. So whatever decision is made could set the course for the next decade. Plus, what Texas decides is important nationally since it is so large that many books prepared for publication in the state also are marketed elsewhere around the country. More
A large majority of Florida voters — 82 percent — supported legalizing medical marijuana, but were divided on recreational pot use, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. The survey found strong support for legalizing medical marijuana, with a doctor’s prescription, across every age group, political affiliation and income level. Eighty-eight percent of independents supported it — the most of any political affiliation. Among Republicans, 70 percent backed medical marijuana, while 26 percent opposed it. Ninety percent of voters younger than 30 approved of medical marijuana. The poll showed 48 percent favored legalizing recreational marijuana use, and 46 percent opposed. Men backed recreational pot more than women. The poll showed the most support ever for medical marijuana in Florida at a time when pot advocates are pushing a proposed state constitutional amendment to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The amendment, which backers that include the group People United for Medical Marijuana are fighting to put on next year’s election ballot, seeks to allow the “medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician,” including cancer, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. More
MANILA, Philippines — The death toll from one of the strongest typhoons on record has risen above 5,000 and is likely to climb further, although recovery efforts are beginning to take hold, Philippine officials said Friday. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said 4,919 people were killed on Leyte, Samar and nearby islands in the Eastern Visayas region. Civil defense chief Eduardo del Rosario said 290 others died in other parts of the central and southern Philippines. The regions were battered two weeks ago by fierce winds and tsunami-like storm surges from Typhoon Haiyan, locally called Yolanda. Del Rosario said there were 1,611 people still missing. ”That is the sad record of Yolanda’s passage through our country,” Roxas said. But he added that “The worst is over.” He likened the region to a patient that has been moved out of the emergency room into an intensive care unit. ”We have overcome the most difficult part,” he said. “In the first week we can say we were in the emergency room … this second week we are now in the ICU, still critical but stabilized.” He said the hard-hit Leyte provincial capital of Tacloban reported 1,725 dead. “I believe this number in Tacloban city is not yet final,” he said. Most of the bodies have been buried in mass graves, many of them unidentified, he said. More
Can the U.S. government afford to pay for the health care of 38 million more people? As you will see below, Obamacare is going to be the biggest expansion of the welfare state in U.S. history. It is being projected that a decade from now 17 million Americans will be receiving Obamacare subsidies and an additional 21 million Americans will have been added to the Medicaid rolls. At a time when we are already running trillion dollar deficits, is this really something that the government should be taking on? In addition, it is being projected that bringing millions upon millions of new people into the Medicaid program will also cause enrollment in many other federal welfare programs such as food stamps to surge. Right now, the percentage of Americans that are financially dependent on the U.S. government is already at an all-time high, and Obamacare is going to cause the level of government dependence to go much, much higher. But how much weight can the “safety net” actually carry before it breaks entirely? Since October 1st, the number of Americans enrolling in Medicaid has surprised many government officials. For example, as USA Today recently reported, the number of Americans signing up for Medicaid is far surpassing the number of Americans signing up for private health insurance policies in many states…More
They are literally all around us, yet most people are unaware of their invasive presence: chemicals, and especially the hormone-mimicking variety. Everything from plastic bottles and receipts to clothing and furniture is silently teeming with them, and one prominent New York Times (NYT) journalist suggests that they could be humanity’s undoing. Also known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), these hormone-mimicking compounds are increasingly turning up in scientific studies as a leading cause of many common conditions, including infertility, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Both males and females throughout the animal kingdom appear to be suffering genital deformities and other sex-related problems because of them, and males in particular are losing, well, their maleness. While it was previously believed that these and other adverse effects were limited primarily to animals, emerging science continues to show that humans also stand to suffer from EDC exposure. For instance, Philip Landrigan, a professor of pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, told the NYT that he has seen a doubling in cases of hypospadias, a misplacement of the urethra, in newborn boys, which he believes is a result of EDCs. ”Endocrine disruptors are everywhere,” writes Nicholas D. Kristof for the NYT. “They’re in thermal receipts that come out of gas pumps and ATMs. They’re in canned foods, cosmetics, plastics and food packaging. Test your blood or urine, and you’ll surely find them there, as well as in human breast milk and in cord blood of newborn babies.” More
Are you eating fake eggs made in a laboratory? Who knew? This is like some mutated organism plasma-like “goo” from the movie “Alien.” Who in their right mind would dare eat it? Well, lots of people who don’t know that they’re eating it, that’s who. When will it be substituted and remain as such without labels or warnings in just about every egg-containing packaged item that is sold to the masses by Corporate America and infects the body with GM bacteria? Welcome to zombie food central and the inside story on this nightmare coming to grocery stores everywhere. Some say it’s already in the food. But wait, it’s made from plants! Didn’t you hear? It’s time to get brainwashed, again, by the richest people on the planet. A radical “artificial egg” backed by Paypal billionaire Peter Thiel and the “infamous” Bill Gates goes on sale in US supermarkets for the first time. Made from plants, it can replace eggs in everything from cakes to mayonnaise – without a chicken in the equation whatsoever. The “Bio-tech food mutation” team today have already started selling their “plant egg”! It looks like it will be first sold at none other than the beloved “Whole Foods” in California – and some say it could “soon be available in supermarkets worldwide.” How many products will contain genetically modified “plant” eggs? What could you accidentally bake with this synthetic science mystery? Will you make cookies or brownies for the kids? Will you slop some “bio” mayonnaise on your next sandwich, or will you pour some synthetic salad dressing on your greens? Will it be in all the pasta and bread or lumped into muffins for that “bouncy” quality that stays “fresh” so long? This synthetic nightmare will contain no real egg whatsoever. You know they’ll call it something real nifty too, like “Beyond the Egg” mayonnaise, or the “Incredible Scramble!” The name has to reflect the opposite of what it’s really all about. More
Monster cosmic explosion would have fried the Earth with gamma rays last spring — if it wasn’t 3.7B light-years away
SIGNS IN THE SUN, MOON AND STARS: Astronomers call it the monster. It was the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed. Had it been closer, Earth would have been toast. Orbiting telescopes got the fireworks show of a lifetime last spring when they spotted what is known as a gamma ray burst in a far-off galaxy. The only bigger display astronomers know of was the Big Bang – and no one, of course, was around to witness that. “This burst was a once-in-a-century cosmic event,” NASA astrophysics chief Paul Hertz said at a news conference Thursday. But because this blast was 3.7 billion light-years away, mankind was spared. In fact, no one on Earth could even see it with the naked eye.
A gamma ray burst happens when a massive star dies, collapses into a brand-new black hole, explodes in what’s called a supernova and ejects energetic radiation. The radiation is as bright as can be as it travels across the universe at the speed of light. A planet caught in one of these bursts would lose its atmosphere instantly and would be left a burnt cinder, astronomers say. Scientists might be able to detect warning signs of an impending gamma ray burst. But if a burst were headed for Earth – and the chances of that happening are close to zero, astronomers say – there wouldn’t be anything anybody could do about it. More
Senior military analyst Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney spoke to Arutz Sheva on Tuesday, warning that rising Russian and Iranian influence, coupled with America’s waning Middle East presence, has put the US in the most dangerous situation it has been in since the 1930s just prior to World War II. McInerney addressed the global security situation following the “EMPact” conference in Washington DC, in which analysts warned that the US is unprepared for an Iranian “Electromagnetic Pulse” attack. The General urged the world to wake up to the Iranian nuclear threat which he fears may be allowed a free hand following deals in the ongoing Geneva conference. Aside from the Iranian danger, McInerney noted that spreading Russian influence poses a serious threat. In particular McInerney highlighted the danger of US President Barack Obama’s handling of longtime US ally Egypt, which has recently turned to Russia. Just on Wednesday reports revealed that Egypt signed a $4 billion arms deal with Russia designed to let Egypt attain parity with the IDF. More
Pope Francis on Thursday said the Catholic Church will not accept a Middle East without Christians, who often find themselves forced to flee areas of conflict and unrest in the region. ”We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians,” he said after meeting with patriarchs from Syria, Iran and Iraq, before calling for “the universal right to lead a dignified life and freely practise one’s own faith to be respected.” The political upheaval that has swept the Arab world over the past three years has led to a rise of radical Islam, leaving minority Christians feeling threatened and sometimes forcing them to emigrate. Francis said he had spoken to the patriarchs about “those who live in the Middle East, often in small flocks, in environments marked by hostility and conflicts” and “the size of the diaspora, which is notably growing.” He said he was concerned by “the situation of Christians, who suffer in a particularly severe way the consequences of tensions and conflicts in many parts of the Middle East.” ”Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other areas of the Holy Land sometimes overflow with tears,” he said. Amid reports Christians are being ‘punished’ for the actions of Western powers, some faith experts have warned that Christianity is in danger of becoming extinct in its own cradle. Francis said he “will not rest while there are still men and women, of any religion, whose dignity is affronted, who are stripped of the basics necessary for survival, whose future is stolen, who are forced to become refugees or displaced people.” More
“As long as the US continues to waver under war fatigue and sick public finances, the Russian east wind may prevail over the west wind in the Middle East.” The east wind prevails over the west wind, said Mao Zedong triumphantly at the height of the Cold War. Today, the Mao quote is very much to the point when it comes to Russia’s remarkable comeback as an expansive Great Power in the Middle East. It now seems like a diplomatic stroke of genius when the Russian Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov directly jumped on his American colleague John Kerry’s idea to make Syria destroy its chemical weapons. Russia gained two advantages: 1/ avoid being side-lined in the Syrian conflict if or when US president Barack Obama turned his threats of missile strikes against Syrian chemical weapons facilities into action, 2/ the Assad regime got significantly more time in power, at least until the chemical weapons arsenal demonstrably is destroyed under the UN’s supervision. Consequently, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has won support for its position regarding the ally Syria that foreign powers should never be allowed to intervene militarily to bring down a regime in another country. This is in line with the UN charter, which only allows violence in self-defence or after a decision by the Security Council (where Russia and China have used their veto three times during the Syria crisis). But it also means that Bashar Assad’s regime has free hands to continue to militarily crush the Syrian rebels no matter how catastrophic the consequences are for civilian Syrians.More
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro exercised new emergency powers for the first time Thursday, signing decrees limiting business profit margins and tightening regulation of imports. He acted as part of a so-called “economic war” against a crisis for which he blames the opposition “bourgeoisie” and imperialism. Under new powers granted to Maduro on Tuesday, the two new laws aim to control prices and profits in the business sector and closely monitor imports and exports and hard currency that comes in from oil sales, Venezuela’s main source of revenue. Maduro’s government says the business sector has been chalking up profit margins of up to 1,000 percent on imported goods. The center-right opposition has called a rally for Saturday to protest the emergency powers granted to Maduro, the handpicked successor of the late populist president Hugo Chavez. Venezuela’s economic woes are marked by inflation running at 54 percent and shortages of basic goods, among other problems. The opposition says the new powers are a tool granted to the government for electoral gain ahead of municipal elections on December 8. More
According to a recent news report, President Barack Obama has for over a year secretly conducted negotiations with Iran (through his adviser Valerie Jarrett) and the Geneva talks on Iranian nukes now appear to be just a facade providing international legitimacy for Obama’s secret deal with Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry’s contradictory criticism of Israeli objections to that deal only suggests more bad faith by the Obama administration. Kerry claims that Israel has been kept fully apprised of the negotiations with Iran but then argues that Israel has never seen the terms of the proposed deal with Iran and therefore shouldn’t question it.
The Obama administration apparently wants to present the nuclear deal as a fait accompli that Israel must simply accept as is. In what is becoming a familiar pattern, Russia is readily moving in to the Mideast areas where U.S. influence has waned because of Obama’s many fumbles in the region. Last August, Saudi Arabia made it clear that it would happily replace US aid to Egypt(highlighting one of many issues straining U.S. relations with yet another Mideast ally). On the issue of Iranian nukes, France has effectively replaced the U.S. as Israel’s strongest ally and as the most sober-minded advocate of caution when negotiating over the single greatest threat to global security. Incredibly, Saudi Arabia is reportedly replacing the US in providing logistical support for an Israeli strike on Iranian nukes. Yaakov Amidror, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former national security adviser, recently indicated that the Israeli Air Force has been preparing for a potential strike on Iran. According to Amidror, such a strike could set back Iran’s nuclear program “for a very long time.” So Israel can go it alone, if it must, although the results will be far messier than those produced by a stronger U.S. approach. While the Obama administration has suggested that critics of the current Geneva deal are “on a march to war,” it is that very deal — which gives Iran a nuclear breakout capacity — that will force the states most threatened by Iran to take preemptive military action. Even if one accepts Obama’s apparent view that decades-long alliances matter no more than do U.S. assurances, there are other compelling reasons for Obama to reverse his disastrous Iran policy before its too late. Granting an Iranian nuclear weapons breakout capability will produce catastrophic consequences (many of which Obama himself acknowledged, in his March 2012 speech): More
Americans naturally are alarmed about the horrific problems Obamacare is creating, from huge premium increases to mandatory subsidies for abortions and demands that 23-year-old single men pay for maternity care coverage. They are, quite appropriately, concerned first about having insurance to cover ailments, prescriptions and catastrophic illnesses. But a new issue arising is the possibility that dental insurance may not be available. An article by Dr. Evan Levin in the Ridgefield Press presented what could become a common scenario: a patient paying more for dental work than heart surgery. “My colleagues and I are now seeing patients with rotting teeth, with infectious endocarditis caused by poor dentition, and people in chronic pain,” he wrote. “When one considers how commonplace these conditions are, one can understand how chronically poor dental care contributes to locking many into chronic poverty.” Levin said heart surgeons “are doing careful dental exams because they are concerned that patients have smoldering gum and tooth infections and that could compromise a newly inserted valve.” “Therefore, many patients having heart surgery are first having a number of teeth urgently removed,” he said. “But under Obamacare the patient’s surgery will be covered, the heart surgeon will be paid about $2,300 (CPT code 33403) for his work, that includes all his postoperative care and visits, and the patient will likely be billed thousands of dollars, by the dentist. Under ACA, patients having life-saving heart surgery will have more out of pocket expense for that dental bill than for the heart surgery.” More
As the latest round of negotiations between Iran, the U.S., and Europe fails to yield any meaningful nuclear concessions from Tehran, a gathering of experts in the fields of defense, national security, and foreign policy convened in Washington D.C. on Tuesday (Nov. 19). Held on the eve of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the event sought to contrast and compare JFK’s handling of the Cuban missile crisis to President Obama’s response to the current impasse with Iran, and to see what lessons the former might hold for the latter. The threat posed by the rogue Middle Eastern state, say the panelists – not just to its neighbors in the region, but to the United States – is far more immediate than most realize.
The meeting was sponsored by EMPact America, a bipartisan non-profit organization dedicated to spreading awareness of the dangers of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack, a stratagem that the EMPact’s founders allege is within Iran’s technological reach, and for which the United States is woefully unprepared. The event, attended by an eclectic mix of pundits and opinion-makers, featured a panel of speakers drawn from the ranks of academia, the military, and the federal government. The event commenced with brief but poignant introduction from prominent entrepreneur and EMPact America founder Henry Schwartz. Following Schwartz’s remarks, Frank Gaffney – founder and president of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a Washington-based think tank – moderated a discussion with former U.N. ambassador and political commentator John Bolton, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Thomas McInerney, Mideast expert and former CIA operative Clare Lopez, and Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America. More
Sorry, extraterrestrial fanatics. That “fireball” that streaked across the Oregon sky Wednesday morning probably wasn’t alien in nature. Local KOIN meteorologist Bruce Sussman said that the unknown object, which some took for a UFO, was most likely a contrail left in the wake of an aircraft. Sussman “solved” the mystery by analyzing the station’s time-lapse footage of the sky. Previously, the U.S. Strategic Command ruled out the possibility the fireball was a man-made object re-entering the atmosphere, KATU News reported. Some early morning skywatchers were stumped by the unusual sight, since the object appeared as a bright streak across the sky over east Portland. If Sussman is correct, it seems sun rays caused the vapor trail to appear ablaze. But Jim Todd of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has his doubts. While the director of space science education does not believe the fireball is space junk or anything man-made, he couldn’t confirm the origin of the object. ”The verdict is still out whether it was a fireball or a contrail,” he told local FOX affiliate KPTV. Huff Post
The first Chinese stealth unmanned combat drone conducted a successful maiden flight Thursday, according to accounts by Chinese media and photos taken from a popular Chinese military website. Lijian, or “sharp sword” in English, aced its first test flight in southwest China, making the People’s Republic of China the fourth nation to successfully fly a stealth unmanned aerial vehicle.
The test flight lasted nearly 20 minutes, according to accounts on cjdby.net, a Chinese military forum, and later picked up by the People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency and the South China Morning Post. Several photos show the delta-wing, single-engine drone in flight early Thursday afternoon. Lijian was made for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and Navy Air Force for combat, tracking and reconnaissance, said Xu Guangyu, a former PLA major general who is now a senior researcher at the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association. “The drone, which is capable of flying undetected at high altitudes while providing high-resolution video and other intelligence, will let maritime departments keep abreast of developments in the East and South China seas and will help Beijing make accurate decisions when dealing with territorial disputes with its neighbors,” Xu said, according to South China Morning Post. More
China just dropped an absolute bombshell, but it was almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media in the United States. The central bank of China has decided that it is “no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves”. During the third quarter of 2013, China’s foreign-exchange reserves were valued at approximately $3.66 trillion. And of course the biggest chunk of that was made up of U.S. dollars. For years, China has been accumulating dollars and working hard to keep the value of the dollar up and the value of the yuan down. One of the goals has been to make Chinese products less expensive in the international marketplace. But now China has announced that the time has come for it to stop stockpiling U.S. dollars. And if that does indeed turn out to be the case, than many U.S. analysts are suggesting that China could also soon stop buying any more U.S. debt. Needless to say, all of this would be very bad for the United States. More
Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas member of parliament and senior figure in the terrorist organization, threatened increased Hamas missile range in the next confrontation, saying that if Israel struck Gaza, Hamas would fire missiles at “targets north of Tel Aviv.” Al-Masri, who spoke at an event organized by Hamas students to commemorate a year since the IDF’s counter-terror Operation Pillar of Defense, claimed that Israel “will be surprised by the abilities of the Al-Qassam Brigades.” On Monday al-Masri similarly claimed that Hamas now has missiles with a 100 kilometer (62 mile) range, putting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in their sights. The threats were confirmed last Friday when Colonel Amos Hacohen, head of the IDF’s Southern Gaza Brigade, assessed that Hamas continues to greatly expand and improve its missile arsenal. The missiles are largely produced in Gaza following Egypt’s crackdown on Sinai smuggling. Al-Masri extolled the young generation of Hamas, saying ”these youths present at the event…are a generation educated in the mosques that learned the Koran by heart.” The senior Hamas figure then threatened Israeli leaders, and particularly Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, telling them “to run away before the new generation of Al-Qassam Brigades reaches you.” Apparently not all of Hamas’s next generation need be feared. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s granddaughter was sent to Israel for medical treatment on Monday, only to be returned to Gaza that night after doctors couldn’t treat her serious digestive tract infection. Al-Masri further stated that “freeing the land (Israel) will not happen except by armed struggle and jihad, not by negotiations.” His comments come after Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Sunday that there is no difference between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA), the PA merely uses different means to achieve the same goal. Arutz Sheva 7
With the potential of more than 2 inches of rain in parts of the Valley through Sunday, we are on pace for one of the wettest November storms on record. Most of that rain will likely fall through the day on Friday, so get ready for a record breaker that day! The standing record for November 22nd is only a half an inch set back in 1973. On average, Phoenix receives 0.64″ of rain for the entire month of November and we could double or even triple that with this storm.
Here’s a list of the top ten wettest November days:
November 10, 1923 – 2.24″ of rain
November 14, 1993 – 1.58″ of rain
November 11, 1931 – 1.41″ of rain
November 14, 1918 – 1.40″ of rain
November 27, 1919 – 1.29″ of rain
November 1, 1995 – 1.25″ of rain
November 30, 2007 – 1.23″ of rain
November 20, 1902 – 1.16″ of rain
November 12, 1941 – 1.02″ of rain
November 26, 1905 – 1.02″ of rain
Only one of those instances has occurred in the last decade and only three instances of an inch or more of November rain has occurred in the last 70 years. That’s pretty remarkable! In fact, we’ve only had one day so far in 2013 with an inch or more of rain in Phoenix. That was back on January 26th when Sky Harbor recorded 1.18″. And, we didn’t have any days at all in 2012 with an inch or more of rain. As of November 21st, Sky Harbor has picked up 5.60″ of rain so far in 2013. That’s 1.31″ below normal. So, we could make up that entire deficit in the coming days. On average, Phoenix Sky Harbor receives 8.03″ of rain for the entire year. So, if we pick up 2.43″ of rain with this storm, we won’t need a single drop for the rest of the year to finish 2013 near normal. ABC 15
After 14 years of drought, Lake Powell is less than half full. Water flows into Lake Powell, nestled between Utah and Arizona, from high in the Rocky Mountains via the Colorado River. More than 30 million people in seven states depend on the mighty Colorado for water to grow crops, fuel power plants and keep cities such as Las Vegas alive. But this year, the worst drought in a century has slowed the flow to a trickle. In August, the federal Bureau of Reclamation cut, by 9 percent, the amount of water people in the southwestern United States could draw from Lake Powell. As states and counties squabble over their allotment of water in the coming years, hydroelectric plants (including the one on the Hoover Dam) could idle, and farmers are bracing for reduced crop production. In western Colorado, water is fed to farms through a network of ditches. Because water is allocated based on seniority, some of the newest farmers saw their water turned off in July, before the end of harvest, said Kate Greenberg, the Western organizer for the National Young Farmers Coalition, a group that supports young and independent farmers. Greenberg is also part of a working group looking for agricultural solutions to water shortages along the Colorado River. More
A comet approaching the sun has sprouted “wings,” a U-shaped trail of gases that may be coming from a fragment breaking off the comet, German astronomers say. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and the Wendelstein Observatory of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University reported Wednesday the discovery of the new features in images of Comet ISON taken at the end of last week. The images taken Nov. 14-15 show two striking features within the comet’s atmosphere that protrude from the nucleus in a wing-like fashion, they said. ”Features like these typically occur after individual fragments break off the nucleus,” Hermann Bohnhardt from the Max Planck Institute said. Where the emissions from the comet and its fragments meet, the scientists said, a kind of boundary layer is formed that often takes a wing-like form as seen from Earth. How the comet will develop in the next weeks is still unclear, they said; on Nov. 28 it will fly by the sun at a distance of only 1.1 million miles. ”However, according to past experience, comets that have once lost a fragment tend to do this again,” Bohnhardt said. UPI Beta
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday vowed Israel would never let Iran obtain a nuclear weapon, as world powers sought a deal with Tehran in Geneva over its nuclear drive. ”I pledge Iran will not get a nuclear weapon,” Netanyahu, who has never ruled out military action against Tehran, said in a Hebrew-language speech to leaders of Russia’s Jewish community in Moscow. He did not elaborate. Speaking on the second day of a visit to Moscow to campaign against an emerging world power deal with Iran, Netanyahu accused Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of echoing the lexicon of the Nazi Holocaust.
“Yesterday, Iran’s supreme leader, Khamenei, said ‘death to America, death to Israel’, he said that Jews are not human beings.” ”Sound familiar?” Netanyahu asked. ”The Iranians deny our past and speak time after time of their commitment to wipe the state of Israel off the map,” he added. “That reminds us of the dark regimes which in the past began by persecuting us and later the whole of mankind,” Khamenei told militia commanders in Tehran on Wednesday that Israel, Iran’s arch-foe, was “doomed to collapse”, “the rabid dog” of the Middle East, and had leaders “not worthy” of being called “human”. ”That is the real Iran,” Netanyahu said. “Such an Iran must not get a nuclear weapon.” After talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Netanyahu insisted on the need for a “real” solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis. Netanyahu’s speech in Moscow came as Iran and world powers were set Thursday to begin hammering out a landmark deal freezing parts of Tehran’s atomic programme to ease fears of the Islamic republic obtaining nuclear weapons. More
SIGNS IN THE SUN, MOON AND STARS – NASA astronomers have captured an amazing new photo of the brightening Comet ISON, an image that reveals the comet’s intricate tail as it heads for a rendezvous with the sun next week. The new photo of Comet ISON was taken Tuesday (Nov. 19) by scientists at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., nine days ahead of the comet’s Thanksgiving Day close encounter with the sun on Nov. 28. ”Comet ISON shows off its tail …” NASA’s image description begins. The comet photo was taken early Tuesday at 6:10 a.m. EST (1110 GMT) by Aaron Kingery at the Marshall center. He used a 14-inch telescope with a three-minute exposure time, according to the image description. [Comet ISON’s Stargazing Show : 8 Essential Facts] ”The comet is just nine days away from its close encounter with the sun; hopefully it will survive to put on a nice show during the first week of December,” NASA officials wrote of the image. “The star images are trailed because the telescope is tracking on the comet, which is now exhibiting obvious motion with respect to the background stars over a period of minutes.” More
THUGS PICKED THE WRONG DAD TO TARGET FOR SHAMEFUL ‘KNOCKOUT GAME’ — HE’S A CONCEALED-CARRY PERMIT HOLDER, AND HE USED IT
The Blaze has been covering the frightening uptick in the so-called “knockout game,” in which thugs randomly target people and punch the unsuspecting victims in public for kicks. Well, it’s taken an interesting turn in Lansing, Mich. There it’s reportedly called “Point-em-out, Knock-em-out,” according to WILX-TV in Lansing, and the station said one incident didn’t turn out so well…for the attacker. The incident actually happened in February but is now getting play because of the recent rash of attacks. On that day, the school day was over, and a father was waiting for a school bus to drop off his six-year-old girl. “I saw the van circle twice and the second time three came out,” the victim told WILX, which didn’t reveal his identity out of concern for his safety. “I didn’t suspect anything. I hadn’t any enemies, or any reason to believe that they would be looking or doing anything to me.” Marvell Weaver, 17, apparently had other ideas. “He shoved something into my side,” the victim said of Weaver. “I wasn’t sure what it was. It had some force to it. I wasn’t sure if it was a knife or a gun.” It was a taser. One that fortunately didn’t work. What did operate just fine, however, was the victim’s concealed-carry .40 caliber pistol.The intended victim shot Weaver twice, once in the leg and the other shot landing an inch away from his spine in the February 26 incident. WILX says Weaver has since been sentenced to a year in jail. More
In what has to be one of the most ironic excuses offered by the federal government for maintaining its support for these “enemies of the state,” the SIGAR report claims that such a severance would be unacceptable as it might violate the “due process rights” of the alleged terrorist beneficiaries. “I would also like to reiterate the concerns I raised in our last report about the Army’s refusal to act on SIGAR’s recommendations to prevent supporters of the insurgency, including supporters of the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and al Qaeda, from receiving government contracts,” SIGAR’s lead inspector, John Sopko, wrote. “The Army rejected all 43 cases,” Sopko wrote, adding that “the Army Suspension and Debarment Office appears to believe that suspension or debarment of these individuals and companies would be a violation of their due process rights if based on classified information or if based on findings by the Department of Commerce.”More
Did you know that eating or even talking about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich could be considered racist? That’s right. Apparently, it’s because people in some cultures don’t eat sandwich bread. Verenice Gutierrez, principal of Harvey Scott K-8 School in Portland explained in and interview with the Portland Tribune: “Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year,” the Tribune said. “What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” Gutierrez asked. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.” …The Tribune noted that the school started the new year with “intensive staff trainings, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations and other initiatives,” to help educators understand their own “white privilege,” in order to “change their teaching practices to boost minority students’ performance.””Last Wednesday, the first day of the school year for staff, for example, the first item of business for teachers at Scott School was to have a Courageous Conversation — to examine a news article and discuss the ‘white privilege’ it conveys,” the Tribune added. Gutierrez completed a week-long seminar called “Coaching for Educational Equity,” a program the Tribune says focuses “on race and how it affects life.” She also serves on an administrative committee that focuses on systematic racism. “Our focus school and our Superintendent’s mandate that we improve education for students of color, particularly Black and Brown boys, will provide us with many opportunities to use the protocols of Courageous Conversations in data teams, team meetings, staff meetings, and conversations amongst one another,” she said in a letter to staff. You can read more about principal Gutierrez’s sandwich-sensitivity philosophy here. Next time you’re in the bread aisle at the grocery store, you may want to think twice. Sensitive liberal educators are now recommending the “torta” or the “pita” as a more culturally inclusive alternative. Now that you’ve been made aware of the evil of PB&J, there’s only one question left to answer: Is white bread more racist than whole wheat? More
WASHINGTON, DC -Police say they are investigating the two women punched in the head in Columbia Heights on Thursday and Friday as simple assaults. But the victims wonder if they were targets of the Knockout game. It’s a game being played by teens in some cities where groups of people attack innocent victims, with the intention of knocking them out with one sucker punch. The most recent assault in the District occurred Thursday night. Phoebe Connolly, in town from Vermont, was riding her bike up 11th Street NW near Cardozo High School. She encountered a group of several teens standing on their bikes in the street. When she tried to ride by, one of them punched her in the nose. A friend told Connolly it sounded like the Knockout game. Connolly googled and discovered another woman had been a victim Thursday night on 14th Street in Columbia Heights. Fox 5 spoke to that woman, who doesn’t want to be identified. She says she’s convinced it was the Knockout game, and that the assailants just aren’t practiced enough to knock their victims out in one punch. Connolly says police told her there had been several reports of similar assaults to hers on Friday night. The public is being urged to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious people and behavior to police. Myfoxdc.com
MEXICO – The Popocatepetl volcano showcased with a layer of snow was observed throughout the morning and mid-day from the city of Puebla and columns generated by medium-intensity exhalations. According to the monitoring system of the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred) in the last 24 hours, the colossus presented 57 exhalations of low intensity, probably accompanied by emissions of steam and gas. The scientific body apparatuses volcano tectónicos detected six earthquakes of magnitude less than 2.5. “This morning there was medium-intensity exhalations at 05:47, 5:57, 7:28, 7:36 and 8:46 hours. At the time of this report, there was low-cloud visibility. Nevertheless, this morning the volcano was witnessed with a light emission of water vapor and gases, the agency of the federal Interior Ministry said. The Volcanic Alert Semaphore Yellow is in Phase 2. The scenarios that could occur in coming hours may include: explosive activity of low to intermediate scale, ash rains mild to moderate in nearby towns, and pyroclastic flows and mudflows short range. Given the activity of the Colossus, the Cenapred recommended further safety radius of 12 km, so that staying in that area is not permitted, and maintain controlled traffic between Santiago and San Pedro Nexapa Xalitzintla via Paso de Cortes. Extinction Protocol
Israeli officials expressed shock Thursday that world powers negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, and the US in particular, remained silent in regard to scathing comments against Israel made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday. Khamenei took swipes at Israel and France during a speech to tens of thousands of volunteer Basij militiamen in Tehran, broadcast live on Iran’s Press TV. “Zionist officials cannot be called humans, they are like animals, some of them,” said Khamenei. “The Israeli regime is doomed to failure and annihilation,” he said. The Iranian leader referred to the “Zionist regime” as the “rabid dog of the region.” Jerusalem awaited condemnation of the comments from senior officials of the states taking part in nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva, but such a reaction was not forthcoming. The P5+1 group of world powers negotiating with Iran consists of the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany. ”We knew the Americans were eager, even more so than the Iranians themselves, to reach an intermediate deal in Geneva, but we did not estimate to how great an extent,” a senior official in Jerusalem told The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew-language sister publication Sof Hashavua Magazine. The official added that “the West is choosing not to direct its gaze at Khamenei, who is the true face of Iran and its de facto ruler, and to accept the “pretty face” of Iran’s new diplomacy instead. The comments by the supreme leader, who cursed America and France at the height of the talks, constitute spitting in the face of the enlightened world, not just Israel, but the world remains silent, thinking it is rain, and continues to talk with this leader’s emissaries, who are masters of deception. They then blame us for making comparisons to the 1930s.” More
SPRING CITY, Pa. – A United Methodist minister from Pennsylvania has been given an ultimatum before the Eastern Pennsylvania Methodist Conference to repent of officiating same-sex ‘weddings’ or lose his ministerial license. As previously reported, Frank Schaeffer, 51, who oversees Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in Lebanon, was found guilty on Monday of “conducting a ceremony that celebrates same-sex unions” and “disobedience to order and discipline of the Methodist Church.” In 2007, he traveled to Massachusetts to officiate a ceremony between his son Tim and Tim’s homosexual partner. The United Methodist Book of Discipline outlines that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” and that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” may not be ordained as ministers in the denomination. It also forbids ministers from hosting or participating in “ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions.” Schaeffer said that the knew what he was doing was against church law, but chose to proceed with the ceremony anyway. More
The Rev. Billy Graham, 95, was admitted to a hospital in Asheville, N.C., Tuesday after experiencing respiratory problems, a family spokesman has confirmed. ”Mr. Graham is in the hospital with a respiratory congestion issue, similar to what he had a few weeks ago,” said spokesman Mark DeMoss. “As was the case then, we expect he will be able to return home in a day or two.” The Christian evangelist and world-renowned preacher, who has battled several health issues in the past, was expected to be released from Mission Hospital and return to his mountain home on Thursday. Graham’s admirers, concerned by the news regarding his health, had taken to Twitter and Facebook Wednesday and started using the”#PrayingForBillyGraham” hashtag. Graham, who retired from public preaching several years ago, held a gathering on Nov. 7 to celebrate his birthday and the release of his new message for America titled “The Cross.” The pre-recorded message, described by Graham as possibly his final one to America, was broadcast on Fox News, TBN, God TV and several other cable networks, as part of his Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s “My Hope” campaign. The message has also been made available online and on DVD.More
Meet Jessica Sanford. Upon the rollout of Obamacare she was 1 of maybe 5 people in the entire nation who was able to access the website and actually sign up through one of the state exchanges. In her case, it was the Washington exchange. She was so thrilled about her purchase that she wrote a letter to President Barrack Obama expressing her undying gratitude. Since her letter was quite possibly the only positive letter the Administration received, Barry O proudly read it aloud during his Obamacare speech on October 21st. The only problem is that a few days later she was repriced out of Obamacare. So she’s now uninsured again… The ineptness of this President is truly unprecedented. See below: Info Wars
The University of Nicosia (UNic), one of the major English language universities in the Mediterranean, will become the world’s first to accept bitcoins for tuition. The university will also begin a new Master of Science course in Digital Currency. According to the university those who wish to pay tuition fees in bitcoins, will be able to use an online merchant processing service or by paying directly to the university’s finance office. “The intention of this initiative is to ease transmission difficulties for certain students and to build our own practical knowledge about this field, not to engage in currency speculation,” the University spokesperson told GeekWire. Following the rising popularity of online commerce the University of Nicosia is starting the first Master of Science degree in Digital Currency. The idea is to give a whole variety of students from entrepreneurs to government officials with a better understanding of the technical underpinning of digital currency.
“While digital currency is a relatively new concept, currency is one of the oldest human inventions. What we aim to explore in this program is the likely development pathway of digital currency and give our students insights that they can bring to bear in their professional careers”, said Dr. Andreas Polemitis, the senior vice Rector. The new Master’s programme will be taught in English, distributing both on-campus and online to distant students, and should begin in the spring of next year. The virtual currency has recently been attracting a lot of attention from both users and policymakers. On November 18 bitcoin skyrocketed to an all-time high of $900 per unit on the Mt.Gox exchange. This is seen by some as people around the world increasingly betting on the crypto currency. The jump came during a hearing in the US where the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is scrutinizing the virtual currency. Officials called bitcoins a “legitimate” financial service, despite past focus on the currency as a prime target for money launderers. The University of Nicosia also proposes a policy framework for developing Cyprus into a hub for Bitcoin trading, processing and banking Dr. Christos Vlachos, the Nicosia University Chief Financial Officer, explained the digital currency introduction: “We are acutely aware that digital currency is an inevitable technical development that will lead to significant innovation in online commerce, financial systems, international payments and remittances, and global economic development. Digital currency will create more efficient services and will serve as a mechanism for spreading financial services to under-banked regions of the world. In this light, we consider it appropriate that we implement digital currency as a method of payment across all our institutions in all cities and countries of our operations”. UNic, formerly known as Intercollege is the largest private university in Cyprus with 5,000 students. More
World powers and Iran were set to resume key talks Thursday on a deal to roll back Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief, despite strong opposition from Israel and unease in both Congress and among Iranian hard-liners. A new round of negotiations began Wednesday amid tough talk from Iran’s supreme leader, reflecting tensions from nearly a decade of negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program that have begun to make headway only recently. While voicing support for the talks, Iran’s supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, insisted there are limits to the concessions Tehran will make. And he blasted Israel as “the rabid dog of the region” — comments rejected by French President Francois Hollande as “unacceptable.” “The (Israeli) Zionist regime is a regime whose pillars are extremely shaky and is doomed to collapse,” Khamenei said, according to French news agency AFP. “Any phenomenon that is created by force cannot endure.”
French spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem told reporters in Paris that such statements complicate the talks, but France still hopes for a deal and its position has not changed. Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden stressed in a meeting Wednesday with a dozen Democratic senators that the goal of talks involving the U.S., other world powers and Iran is to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Some lawmakers want to slap Iran with a new round of sanctions. But the Obama administration has been urging them to hold off, arguing that existing sanctions have been so onerous that they have forced Iran to come to the table seeking relief. The administration says new sanctions could jeopardize the delicate talks. The White House said Biden emphasized that President Obama has a responsibility to seek a peaceful solution. Biden’s meeting follows a personal appeal by Obama at the White House to other lawmakers on Tuesday. America’s longtime allies Israel and Saudi Arabia fear a deal will fall short of ending the Iranian threat and that a resurgent Iran will transform the balance of power in the Middle East. A senior U.S. official said Wednesday’s brief plenary was only a formality and that bilateral meetings would continue through the evening to try to hammer out the first steps of a deal. She demanded anonymity under U.S. government briefing rules. Khamenei gave no further details in a speech to a paramilitary group aimed at both placating hard-liners and showing his backing for the Iranian officials meeting with international negotiators in Geneva. But his mention of Iran’s “nuclear rights” was widely interpreted as a reference to uranium enrichment. More
An 85-year-old American man on an organized tour of North Korea was pulled off a departing plane in Pyongyang just minutes before it was to depart, the man’s son told CNN on Wednesday. The family has had no contact with Merrill Newman of Palo Alto, California, since he was detained on October 26, his son Jeff Newman said. ”This is a misunderstanding. My father is a (Korean War) veteran and wanted to see the country and culture he has been interested in for years,” Jeff Newman said. “He arranged this with a travel agent that was recommended and said was approved by the North Korean government for travel of foreigners.
He had all the proper visas.” The U.S. State Department is working to resolve the matter with North Korea’s top ally, China. Ambassador Glyn Davies, the U.S. Special Representative for North Korean Policy, met in Beijing for several hours on Thursday with his Chinese counterpart. ”We are working very hard … to try to move this issue along,” Davies said, following the session. “We certainly think that North Korea should think long and hard about (this) and understand that for the United States this is a matter of core concern for us.” The relationship between North Korea and Washington has been especially testy in recent years as the United States and other world powers have tried to limit the nation’s nuclear ambitions. This “is an indication that North Korea seems not to be seeking a better relationship with United States,” Davies said. “They are not taking action to address our concerns.” More
JAPAN – A new island was born today in the Pacific Ocean in Japan’s Izu (or Volcano) island chain. It is produced by a new submarine eruption which is currently taking place about 500 m southeast of Nishino-Shima Island. The eruption was first spotted by Japanese navy this morning at 10:20 (local time) who documented surtseyan activity at the eruption site (explosive interaction of sea-water and lava, generating violent jets of steam and ash). It appears that the eruption has already built an island of about 200 m diameter in size, which suggests that the vent was already located in very shallow waters. A small steam and ash plume rising to about 2000 ft (600 m) was reported by VAAC Tokyo. The last known eruption of the volcano occurred in 1973. Extinction Protocol
Britain said Wednesday it would join the United States in a charge to curb financial aid for building coal-fired power plants abroad. The announcement was made at UN climate talks in Warsaw where the fossil fuel—the biggest single contributor to global warming—has been at the centre of a storm. ”The UK will join the United States in agreeing to end support for public financing of new coal-fired power plants overseas, except in rare circumstances,” Ed Davey, Britain’s energy secretary, told journalists in Warsaw. ”The two governments are going to work together to secure the support of other countries, and there are other countries who are already up to this… and the multilateral development banks to adopt similar policies.” Last month, the United States said it would end most financing of coal projects overseas to help brake climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions. The decision put into action one of the pledges President Barack Obama made in announcing a new climate initiative in June. UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urged “much bolder” spending on measures to stave off climate change, which he called the “greatest single threat to peace, prosperity and sustainable development.” ”The rapid development of low-carbon infrastructure needs large injections of public capital,” he said. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says coal accounted for 44 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2011, the largest share, and remains the leading source of electricity and heat generation. Poland, the world’s ninth-biggest producer of the commodity in 2012 according to the IEA, raised the ire of many this week with its “endorsement” of a global coal summit held in the same city hosting the annual round of UN climate negotiations.
The climate talks seek to pave the road to a new, global climate pact by 2015 on limiting climate change through emissions curbs. UN climate chief Christiana Figueres addressed the coal summit on Monday, urging the industry to make dramatic changes to reduce its emissions. Having powered the economic growth of the West ever since the Industrial Revolution, the biggest rise today is in developing countries with plentiful, cheap reserves. United States climate envoy Todd Stern “commended” Davey’s announcement, but green groups urged stronger action. ”The UK government should also act to stop UK private finance supporting coal—regulating the finance sector is our only hope of keeping the coal in the ground,” the World Development Movement’s Hannah Griffiths said in a statement. ”Until we can cure the private finance sector of its coal addiction, coal will carry on cooking the planet thanks to UK money.” The World Resources Institute (WRI) observer group says nearly 1,200 new coal-fired power plants have already been scheduled for development worldwide—more than three-quarters of them in India and China. PHYS.ORG
The People’s Bank of China said the country does not benefit any more from increases in its foreign-currency holdings, adding to signs policy makers will rein in dollar purchases that limit the yuan’s appreciation. “It’s no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves,” Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the central bank, said in a speech organized by China Economists 50 Forum at Tsinghua University yesterday. The monetary authority will “basically” end normal intervention in the currency market and broaden the yuan’s daily trading range, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan wrote in an article in a guidebook explaining reforms outlined last week following a Communist Party meeting. Neither Yi nor Zhou gave a timeframe for any changes. China’s foreign-exchange reserves surged $166 billion in the third quarter to a record $3.66 trillion, more than triple those of any other country and bigger than the gross domestic product of Germany, Europe’s largest economy. The increase suggested money poured into the nation’s assets even as developing nations from Brazil to India saw an exit of capital because of concern the Federal Reserve will taper stimulus. Yi, who is also head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said in the speech that the yuan’s appreciation benefits more people in China than it hurts.
His comments are “consistent with the plans to increase the renminbi’s flexibility so they become less interventionist,”Sacha Tihanyi, senior currency strategist at Scotiabank in Hong Kong, said by phone today. The central bank may widen the yuan’s trading band in “the coming few months,” he added. The yuan’s spot rate is allowed to diverge a maximum 1 percent on either side of a daily reference rate set by the People’s Bank of China. The trading range was doubled in April 2012, after being expanded from 0.3 percent in May 2007. The band could be widened to 2 percent, Hong Kong Apple Daily reported today, citing an interview with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s former chief executive Joseph Yam. Capital inflows into China accelerated in October, official data suggest. Yuan positions at the nation’s financial institutions accumulated from foreign-exchange purchases, a gauge of capital flows, climbed 441.6 billion yuan ($72 billion), the most since January. About half of October’s increase in the positions was attributable to surpluses in trade and foreign direct investment, with the rest accounted for by inflows of “hot money,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Hong Kong-based analysts MK Tang and Li Cui wrote in a Nov. 18 note. More
A US congressional advisory panel sounded a warning Wednesday about China’s military buildup, predicting Beijing could possess the largest fleet of modern submarine and combatant ships in the western Pacific by 2020. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said China’s military modernisation is altering the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region and challenging decades of US pre-eminence. The commission advises Congress on the national security implications of the relationship between the two world powers. The groups’ annual report also examined cyberintrusions from China, the trade and economic relationship with the US, and China’s global ties. The primary recommendation is that Congress fund shipbuilding and increase the Navy’s operational presence region in support of the Defence Department’s goal to base 60 percent of its warships in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020, compared with about 50 percent currently. That’s a priority of the Obama administration’s diplomatic and military rebalance to Asia after a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The commission said it welcomes the policy, but added: “There is growing concern among US allies and partners that the Department of Defense will be unable to follow through on its commitment to the rebalance due to declining defence budget and continuing security challenges elsewhere.” The panel also recommended that the US improve air and maritime capabilities of allies in the region. Last year, the Chinese Foreign Ministry accused the commission of “indulging in Cold War mentality.” Beijing says it has no offensive intent, and says Washington of trying to contain it. The US far outstrips China in military spending, but in Asia faces a greater burden in fielding forces far from its own shores. Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, voiced concern that at a time when the US military faces budget cuts, China’s military spending is increasing and its leaders want to increase combat readiness. ”Its current pace of military modernisation shows that Beijing is developing the ability to project power and influence further abroad,” Congressman McKeon, , told a committee hearing Wednesday. Representative Adam Smith said that while the US should monitor military developments in China, an adversarial relationship between the two powers is not inevitable. ”There is no reason that we should have China as an enemy,” Mr Smith said. “We should certainly look for ways to work together.” The report’s assessment of China’s naval capabilities draws on information from think tanks and US naval intelligence. It said China is known to be building seven classes of vessels, including nuclear and diesel submarines, destroyers and other warships. It expects the naval modernisation to continue for the “forseeable future.” China’s is also advancing its capabilities in space, which is viewed as critical because of the use of communication satellites for intelligence and modern warfare. For the first time, there are public indications China may be developing the ability to target satellites at the high altitude used by the US global positioning system and many military and intelligence satellites, according to the report. But China described a May suborbital rocket launch it conducted as part of a high-altitude scientific experiment. Sydney Morning Herald
PHILADELPHIA — “Knockout” attacks have been reported in several states around the country and now investigators believe three people have been attacked in our area. Police in Lower Merion are investigating two attacks in the area, and Philadelphia detectives are investigating an attack in Northeast Philadelphia. It’s a violent crime that in other parts of the country has proven fatal. Videos from cities around the country show people being punched and beaten at random. The attackers are calling their crimes a game, the goal being to knock out the victim with one punch. Mark Cumberland is a victim of a “Knockout” assault. “Someone asked me for a cigarette and by the time I got my hands out my pocket I was getting hit by four kids.” He says, “It was hard seeing and I’m still having trouble breathing and swallowing.” Cumberland was walking out of a Fox Chase pizza shop on November 11th when he was attacked. “There’s no reason at all. I mean, I didn’t get robbed, they didn’t take nothing from me.
They just beat me up.” Lower Merion Police say suspects Samuel Hayles and Markus January were arrested on October 29th,just moments after they allegedly ambushed and beat a 63-year-old man who was walking his dog. Lt. Frank Higgins of the Lower Merion Police says, “He punched him right in the mouth and knocked him to the ground. The victim began to scream and yell for someone to call the police.” A neighbor of the victim, Jeri Greenfield says, “I think it’s absolutely horrible. I think this is a beautiful neighborhood and I didn’t expect anything like that here.” An elderly man was also attacked when he was mowing his lawn outside of his home. The suspect in that attack is still on the loose. Bruce Myer, a neighbor of the elderly victim says, “A kid came up to him and just punching him in the mouth. He ended up laying the street with his lawnmower.” The only apparent motive in these attacks, as in all “Knockout” attacks, is to inflict injury on a random victim. Myer says, “The kid did it on a dare. He said give me five dollars and I’ll knock that guy out.” It’s very sad that before you used to walk on the street with no worries whatsoever,” neighbor Al Ciavijo said. The elderly victim is now using a cane and a walker to get around. He has had to undergo multiple medical procedures. That suspect is still on the loose, as are the suspects in the Northeast Philadelphia attack. CBS Philly
Costco has apologized for selling Bibles labeled “fiction” in one of the major retailer’s stores. In a statement to Fox News, Costco said some of the copies were improperly labeled “$14.99 Fiction” before being shipped to a store in Simi Valley, Calif. “Costco’s distributor mislabeled a small percentage of the Bibles, however, we take responsibility and should have caught the mistake. We are correcting this with them for future distribution,” the company said. ”We greatly apologize for the error.” Costco said all of the Bibles were promptly relabeled. The apology comes after California Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach noticed the Bible designation while shopping at the store on Friday and tweeted a picture of it out to his followers. “All the Bibles were labeled as fiction. It seemed bizarre to me,” he told conservative commentator Todd Starnes earlier this week. In an appearance on Fox News, Kaltenbach said Costco’s labeling “probably was a mistake,” but that he has no definitive idea whether that was the case. Regardless of the motivation for the labeling, Kaltenbach encouraged Christians throughout America to stand up for their faith. The Blaze
The six powers’ negotiating teams sat down in Geneva for resumed nuclear talks with Iran Wednesday, Nov. 20 in a haze of cautious optimism radiating from from Washington, Moscow and London about the prospects of the first accord to be signed with Tehran on a path toward resolving the controversy over its nuclear program. Still, no one was laying bets on the deal, a preliminary accord providing six months for a comprehensive agreement to be discussed> They know that Tehran is always unpredictable. Negotiators with the Islamic Republic have been bitten more than once. And so they can’t rule out the possibility of the Iranian negotiator at the last minute, as all pens are poised to sign, holding up the process by saying he is not authorized to agree on one point or another and must return home for further consultations.
This is a familiar Iranian ploy for extracting more concessions from the opposite side. Looking on the bright side, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif posted a message on YouTube ahead of the meeting saying that there was “every possibility for success” and he looked forward to quick results in Geneva.
Vladimir Putin, too, after he talked by phone to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Kremlin announced Tuesday, “There is a real chance for a nuclear deal.” President Barack Obama was also upbeat about an accord, although he said he didn’t know if it would come this week or next. He assured The Wall Street Journal that the bulk of the sanctions regime would meanwhile remain. Although the US President has promised that no more than “modest” sanctions relaxations would be granted in the framework of the preliminary accord, allied Western governments, especially in West Europe, are so certain that Obama is set on a historic accord between the US and Iran, that they can see his foot lifting off the sanctions brakes. They are therefore already engaged in direct talks with Tehran about resumed business after the accord is in the bag, on a scale that would dwarf the volume of sanctions relief. France is the exception because its main trading partners in the region are in the Arab Gulf rather than Iran. The sanctions architecture which took years to put in place is therefore likely to crumble fast, even if Tehran holds back from finalizing the preliminary agreement in Geneva. So what motive does Iran have for a quick deal when a drawn-out delay promises such benefits as melting sanctions and a chance to squeeze the West for further concessions that leave its nuclear program in place and viable? Debka
Is Walter White working out of North Korea? According to federal authorities, five men were arrested in New York this week for attempting to bring over 200 pounds of methamphetamine from the dictatorial regime into the Empire State. (Mirroring the quality of “Blue Magic” meth produced in Breaking Bad, the illegal drugs seized “had a purity of over 99%,” according to the indictment.) The five men–whose nationalities include the United Kingdom, China and the Philippines–were arrested in Thailand in September and were extradited to the United States yesterday evening, where they were arrested by U.S. authorities. “Methamphetamine is a dangerous, potentially deadly drug, whatever its origin. If it ends up in our neighborhoods, the threat it poses to public health is grave whether it is produced in New York, elsewhere in the U.S., or in North Korea,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declared in a statement today announcing the arrests. “This investigation shows our determination to close a potential floodgate of supply,” Mr. Bharara added. New York Observer
A world history textbook that sparked a heated controversy over the way it covers Islam will remain in Volusia County high schools, the School Board decided Monday after hearing four hours of public comments about its merits and shortcomings. “I’m still confident with this book and its presentation to our students,” School Board Chairwoman Diane Smith said after hearing from nearly 80 speakers with widely differing opinions. The board didn’t take a formal vote, but only member Linda Costello pushed for a more thorough review. Candace Lankford, Stan Schmidt and Ida Wright sided with Smith to keep the textbook in Volusia classrooms.
“It’s kind of what I would have expected,” said Walter Hanford, a book opponent who stuck around long enough to hear the board discussion. Hanford told the board earlier in the meeting the “World History” textbook published by Prentice Hall “whitewashes” the history of Islam and its Muslim followers, including involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas. The textbook controversy erupted in early November after a Deltona High parent complained about the book’s treatment of the Islamic religion to a Lake County friend, who posted information on Facebook and organized a protest rally before the School Board’s Nov. 5 meeting. More
Talks to rein in Iran’s nuclear program were to resume Wednesday in Geneva as Israel prevailed upon negotiators to harden the deal to avert war. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was headed to Moscow on Wednesday to convince the Kremlin that any deal should force Iran to abide by U.N. Security Council demands that it end its enrichment of uranium, a process that can create fuel for an atomic bomb. Netanyahu also talked to Germany about maintaining economic sanctions imposed on Iran to force it to open up its nuclear program to inspections and to stop ongoing construction of a plutonium reactor in Arak, Iran, that could be used for bomb making. More
A father was arrested for attempting to pick his kids up from school in a startling new example of how the state is increasingly treating children as its own property. Making a stand against what he considered a dangerous and illegal new school policy that forces parents to wait in a line of cars outside until children are released at 2:35pm, Jim Howe tried to walk his kids out of South Cumberland Elementary but was arrested and now faces charges of disorderly conduct. “You don’t need a reason as a parent to go get your children.
They are our children,” Howe states in a video of the incident. The officer who made the arrest, Sheriff Deputy and School Resource Officer Avery Aytes, responds to Howe’s attempt to pick up his own children by stating, “I’m going to call some help down here and we’re going to take you up to the jail right now. I’m not putting up with this today. You’re being childish and it’s uncalled for.” The school secretary attempts to get Howe to fill in a form to authorize the children to leave the school on their own, which Howe refuses to sign because he is escorting the children out of the school, stating, “They’re walking with me when school is dismissed, per state law.” More
During the game play, the sound of gunfire and bullets hitting bodies rings out as stick figure children attempt to run away from the shooter, or fall to the ground in fear. The user is supposed to kill as many as he or she can. A timer ticks down to zero, representing the arrival of police at the school. The game is then over as the Lanza figure shoots himself. Players are then shown a kill ratio screen detailing how many people were murdered and wounded, and how many managed to survive by either hiding or playing dead. The numbers are then compared to the actual body count at Sandy Hook. More
A new and independent analysis of ObamaCare warns of a ticking time bomb, predicting a second wave of 50 million to 100 million insurance policy cancellations next fall — right before the mid-term elections. The next round of cancellations and premium hikes is expected to hit employees, particularly of small businesses. While the administration has tried to downplay the cancellation notices hitting policyholders on the individual market by noting they represent a relatively small fraction of the population, the swath of people who will be affected by the shake-up in employer-sponsored coverage will be much broader. An analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, shows the administration anticipates half to two-thirds of small businesses would have policies canceled or be compelled to send workers onto the ObamaCare exchanges. They predict up to 100 million small and large business policies could be cancelled next year. More
BREAKING NEWS – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Wednesday allowing same-sex weddings starting this summer, making President Barack Obama’s home state the 16th overall — and largest in the nation’s heartland — to legalize gay marriage. Speaking in front of thousands at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Quinn said the new law ensured that “Illinois does not have a situation where individuals are discriminated against in any way when it comes to love and marriage.”
Illinois, where Democrats lead both legislative chambers and the governor’s office, legalized civil unions in 2011, but the road to same-sex marriage was bumpy. When 2013 began advocates hoped Illinois would’ve been the 10th state, but watched as other states passed it. Gay marriage is allowed in Washington D.C., and 15 other states; Hawaii’s governor signed a measure last week. Even with support from top business leaders, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the state attorney general and even a few top Republicans, several lawmakers were resistant to the idea. That included even Democrats in more conservative downstate Illinois and some Chicago-area lawmakers.
“We’ve realized that to have a forward-looking state, you cannot have backward-looking laws that discriminate against good and talented people, regardless of their sexual orientation,” Emanuel said at Wednesday’s ceremony. The measure was fought hard by some of the state’s most well-recognized religious figures, including Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Rev. James Meeks, a former state senator who runs a politically-influential mega church in Chicago. Meeks was part of a coalition of black pastors who said marriage should remain between a man and woman and sponsored robocalls in several legislative districts and on the airwaves. The opposition placed black lawmakers in the House in a spotlight and several evaded public inquiries on the matter for months. But proponents launched an equally aggressive campaign with help from unions, the former head of the Illinois Republican Party and the ACLU. They billed the measure as a matter of civil rights and equality for families. More
In what has been described as a “bad day for freedom of speech,” a Christian media organization has been prohibited from merely asking questions of the public about religious discrimination against them. The ruling comes from the Court of Appeal in the United Kingdom and was confirmed by officials with Premier Christian Media, which was involved in the case. In 2011, the organization had wanted to place ads on the radio stating: “Surveys have shown that over 60 percent of active Christians are being increasingly marginalized in the workplace. We are concerned to get the most accurate data to inform the public debate. We will then use this data to help a fairer society. Please visit CCPmagazines.co.uk and report your experiences.” Broadcast regulators, called the Radio Advertising Clearance Center, claimed the ad “had a political objective” and banned it. The court now has affirmed that censorship. “We are saddened to report today’s Court of Appeal decision to uphold a ban on an advertisement which asked Christians to report their experiences of marginalization in the workplace, and see it is an attack on freedom of speech,” the company said. CEO Peter Kerridge noted, “This is not only a bad day for freedom of speech for Christians, it is also a bad day for democracy in general, and a very bad day at the office for the Master of the Rolls” (a high-ranking judge in the UK). More
Dengue fever might be thought of as a far-removed, tropical disease, but officials of South Texas have reported several discovered cases. Dengue is spread through the bites of certain types of mosquitoes and can cause serious illness. Health officials in Cameron County, Texas reported that 14 cases have been discovered. According to The Monitor, a McAllen, Texas newspaper, the Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services issued a dengue fever advisory last week. Dengue is common in the tropics and sub-tropics and can cause symptoms like fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, joint, muscle and bone pain and mild bleeding, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It can also lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever, which if not identified and properly treated, can be fatal. More
There is a war on compassion in America today. You are about to read about a Hawaii lawmaker that has used a sledgehammer to smash up at least 30 shopping carts that homeless people were using. Yes, you read that correctly. He is actually carrying a sledgehammer around so that he can destroy the belongings of homeless people. He claims that it is his intention “to do something practical that will really clean up the streets”. But as crazy as that sounds, the truth is that he is not alone. As you will read about below, there are dozens of major cities all over the country where feeding the homeless has been banned. In many of these instances, public officials are very open about the fact that the goal is to make their cities “cleaner” and “safer” places to live. They simply do not want the homeless around. In fact, there are some cities such as San Diego and San Francisco where social workers are actually giving homeless people one-way bus tickets out of town. If you doubt this, just keep reading. The United States is becoming a very cold, heartless place, and homeless people are increasingly being treated like human garbage in this country. So how bad will the treatment of the homeless become when the economy gets really bad? More
Earlier this month, CBS 2 reported on a series of attacks on Jews in Brooklyn, allegedly part of a disturbing game that has teens punching Jewish adults in an effort to try to knock them over. Now it appears the action — dubbed the “knockout game” — has spread. Violent videos shot in other cities and in as many as six states, show teenagers knocking into other victims on purpose including, most recently, a 78-year-old grandmother in Brooklyn. The victim’s daughter said she was walking along in broad daylight when a young African-American male knocked her down. He didn’t take anything, she said, and didn’t seem interested in anything but hitting her as hard as he could before running off. “She had her purse, she had bags from department stores. There was not even an attempt to take anything from her. It was just a wanton act to hurt another human being,” the victim’s daughter told CBS 2. Various media outlets have reported that police are investigating the string of attacks as possible hate crimes. More
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Voters in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, also known as the ‘late-term abortion capital’ of the nation, have voted to strike down a proposed ban on late-term abortions in the city. As previously reported, the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance” was presented by the local pro-life organization Project Defending Life and was approved to go on the ballot by city council in September. It would have banned all abortions after 20 weeks (5 months) gestation. “By 8 weeks after fertilization, the unborn child reacts to touch. After 20 weeks, the unborn child reacts to stimuli that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adult human,” the proposed statute stated. “Consequently, there is substantial medical evidence that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain at least by 20 weeks after fertilization, if not earlier.” Therefore, “the abortion shall not be performed or attempted, if the probable post-fertilization age … of the unborn child is 20 weeks or greater,” it outlined, providing exceptions for the life and health of the mother. More
Former Reagan Justice Department lawyer Larry Klayman hopes the 19th of November will rank with the 4th of July, someday. He called the day the beginning of “The Second American Revolution.” Klayman organized a rally Tuesday at Lafayette Park, across from the White House, by the “The Reclaim America Now” coalition. That coalition is composed of about three-dozen conservative groups, including 2 Million Bikers to D.C., Jihad Watch, Freedom Watch, Gun Owners of America, Accuracy in Media, Tea Party Patriots and the Western Center for Journalism. About 200 hardy patriots concerned about the direction of the country gathered on a sunny but chilly day to hear speakers call for two goals: The renewal of America and the resignation of President Obama. Klayman accused Obama of establishing tyranny in America and called for peaceful change, declaring, “We the People have had enough of the corrupt and incompetent ways of the Obama administration and its bipartisan political enablers. It is time for action, not words.” But, the attorney suggested the best remedy, the lawful transition of power, is in the hands of ordinary Americans. “In the style of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and others who have changed history and reclaimed freedom, Americans have no choice – as the three branches of government have completely abdicated their representation of citizens’ complaints,” he declared. More
When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made another stop in the Middle East this month, he received an expected earful over Washington’s outreach to Iran: Don’t trust Tehran, tighten sanctions even more, anything short of complete nuclear concessions is a grave mistake. Kerry’s meeting wasn’t in Israel, though.
It was in Riyadh, listening to Saudi leaders. In one of the region’s oddest pairings, Israel and the Gulf Arab states led by Saudi Arabia increasingly are finding common ground — and a common political language — on their mutual dismay over Iran’s history-making overtures to Washington and the prospect of a nuclear deal in Geneva that could curb Tehran’s atomic program but leave the main elements intact, such as uranium enrichment. ”The adage about ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ is playing out over Iran,” said Theodore Karasik, a security and political affairs analyst at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis. “This situation opens up some interesting possibilities as it all shakes out.” More
On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) released a video to Breitbart News exclusively in which he argued that the surveillance state under President Obama had grown beyond any reasonable proportions. “We were once outraged and dismayed and spurred to resist when British soldiers came knocking at our door with illegitimate warrants seeking taxes on our papers. Today,” Paul continued, “your government responds that there is no expectation of privacy once you consign your records to a third party. Your government applies that the Fourth Amendment applies not at all to your bank records, your Visa bill, your internet searches or purchases or emails. If not resistance, shouldn’t there at least be outrage?” Paul said, “Imagine for a moment what information could be gathered from your Visa bill,” mentioning health information, political information, and personal information. “Are we so afraid of terrorists that we are willing to give up the very freedoms that separate us from them?” Paul asked. He mentioned pro-surveillance senators who argued that Americans were not being spied upon, showing a picture of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “The surveillance state was made to disappear through the legerdemain of defining it out of existence,” Paul stated. More
Before the end of this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will decide whether or not to begin the rulemaking process to mandate that newly manufactured cars include what is being called “vehicle-to-vehicle” (V2V) communications technology that constantly broadcasts via radio wave the car’s location, direction, speed and, possibly, even the number of passengers it is carrying. “NHTSA expects to make a decision on V2V technology by the end of the year,” a spokesman for the agency told CNSNews.com. That point was reaffirmed by NHTSA Administrator David Strickland in testimony in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today, where he said the agency will “decide this year whether to further advance the technology through regulatory action, additional research, or a combination of both.” More
The U.S. Air Force has released a new request for a high-powered laser weapon that could be mounted on a next-generation air dominance fighter in the post-2030 era. “The emphasis of this effort is to identify potential laser systems that could be integrated into a platform that will provide air dominance in the 2030+ highly contested Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environments,” the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) said in a Request for Information document posted on FEDBIZOPPS last week. The AFRL is particularly interested in lasers that would be at technology readiness level four (TRL4) by October 2014. That means the basic components are already integrated enough to work together in a lab. But the USAF wants the laser to be at TRL5 or better by 2022, which means the system’s components could be integrated with “reasonably realistic supporting elements” to be tested in a simulated environment. More
After the 2014 pullout from Afghanistan, NATO is set to stage huge European war games involving 40,000 troops, about seven times the size of the recent drills in the Baltic, with critics in the crisis-hit EU calling it a waste of money. The Western alliance claims this is to test the members’ capability and teamwork, mainly for reasons of matching America’s commitment to the alliance, as well as keeping their edge after the Afghan mission is over. The exercises, set to start in 2015, will involve 40,000 troops deployed in Spain and Portugal. NATO land forces commander U.S. Army Lieutenant-General Frederick Hodges told Reuters that “this kind of exercise, this sort of complexity, is going to be the norm,” so the exercises are just the first in a series. The major reason given by NATO is that troops need to stay sharp and practice their interoperability, especially after Afghanistan, in times of military inactivity. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has emphasized the importance of Europe’s role in the alliance, in September saying that “European nations can – and should – do more to match America’s commitment.” But some in Europe say that the EU cannot afford such an expensive venture in times of economic hardship, and that it isn’t really necessary either. More
Treasuries fell and U.S. stocks pared gains as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting showed the central bank may reduce stimulus in coming months as the economy improves. Gold and silver extended losses and the dollar strengthened. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes increased five basis points to 2.75 percent at 2:03 p.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 0.1 percent after climbing as much as 0.4 percent. The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index, a gauge of the currency against 10 major peers, rose 0.3 percent and silver and gold dropped at least 0.9 percent. Policy makers “generally expected that the data would prove consistent with the Committee’s outlook for ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and would thus warrant trimming the pace of purchases in coming months,” according to the record of the Federal Open Market Committee’s Oct. 29-30 gathering, released today in Washington. Four of five investors expect the Federal Reserve to delay a decision to begin reducing its bond buying until March 2014 or later, with just 5 percent looking for a move next month, according to the latest Bloomberg Global Poll. More
A senior US administration official said on Wednesday it would be “very hard”, though still possible, to reach an initial nuclear deal with Iran in talks in Geneva this week. ”I think we can (get a deal), whether we will, we will have to see because it is hard. It is very hard,” the official told reporters after talks between six world powers and Iran resumed in the Swiss city. The official also said that the vast majority of sanctions on Iran would remain in place after any preliminary accord on limiting its disputed nuclear program, and that Washington would “vigorously” implement them.
Meanwhile, the third round of nuclear talks that resumed in Geneva between the Islamic Republic and world powers on Wednesday ended after a brief fist session, AFP reported. According to diplomats, the crunch negotiations lasted only five to 10 minutes. ”This was just a brief introductory session,” AFP quoted an anonymous diplomat as saying.”There will now be bilateral meetings.” World powers resumed efforts to clinch a preliminary deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program kicking off two days of closed-door nuclear talks in Geneva on Wednesday, with Russia and Britain confident that agreement can be reached. More
GUATEMALA – Two lava flows are active on the upper slopes of the volcano at the moment, to the Taniluya (south) and Ceniza canyon (SE). The effusive activity started on 11 Nov and increased on 18 November, reaching a length of 600 m. Constant avalanches detach from the flow fronts. At the same time, explosive activity at the summit crater remained at low to moderate levels, with strombolian explosions that produce ash plumes of up to 800 m height and incandescent jets visible from distance. Some of the explosions generate shock waves that can be felt and heard in up to 15 km distance, causing roofs, doors and windows of houses to rattle. Fine ash fall occurred in Panimaché, Morelia abd Sangre de Cristo.
Weak explosions at Yasur: Geohazards reports that the volcano continues to produce near-continuous ash emissions while explosions are relatively weak at the Yasur volcano on Vanuatu. This phase of ash emissions began on 3 November and are likely to continue into the coming days and weeks. Yasur Alert Level is still maintained at Level 1. Villages and communities located close and far away from the volcano, especially those in the prevailing trade winds direction (NW) are likely to receive ash falls. Extinction Protocol
MEXICO – On Monday night and Tuesday morning, the Colima volcano showed two strong exhalations; ejecting lava down its slopes and ash skyward, that has reached several villages. Since last Sunday, the Volcan de Fuego de Colima was reactivated after several weeks of apparent calm and until Tuesday registered between 30 and 35 puffs per day, spewing lava down its slopes and ash that reached the people of Cheese, municipality of Cuauhtémoc, Colima, and some towns in the state of Jalisco. Yesterday at 21:45 hours this morning between 8:00 and 8:30 am, the volcano emitted two strong exhalations heard that reached in the communities closest to the “granite colossus,” mainly in the municipalities of Comala and Cuauhtémoc. From the city of Colima there was a big cloud of steam that rose to just over 2 miles. The chief operating officer of the State System of Civil Protection, Melchor Ursua Quiroz, said: “The volcano has been recharged” and in the last two days has been sharp exhalations, which triggered an alert status from monitoring equipment installed before this new volcanic activity. This is exactly what I predicted in my recent “Prophetic Update” today. Nov 20, 2013. That we should begin to see an increase of Seismic and Volcanic Activity Worldwide as Birth Pangs continue to get stronger.
Ursua said that the exhalations Quiroz registered so far, between 30 and 35, are water vapor, once in the mountainous area of the state, bordering Jalisco north, there has been heavy rainfall. He said those exhalations were accompanied by light columns of lava that caused lahars (ash, volcanic stone, mud and water) on the slopes of the volcano, which have been deposited in the canyons and streams of the Cordobán and the Hearth, “the latter was saturated volcanic material and will need to get heavy machinery for cleaning and desludging.” He also said that there is “a warning to the population,” which does not mean that there is intention evacuations, as this alert is intended only for people to be on the lookout for information on the conditions under which the colossus. The Colima Volcano is currently one of the busiest in the country and is the most monitored, however much of its equipment is damaged or it has been stolen and require replacement. Extinction Protocol
Detroit Public Schools is piloting a new Child Safety ID program to strengthen student safety and school security, according to The Detroit News. Parents must volunteer for the program, allowing their child to be photographed and have a fingerprint taken by the DPS Public Safety Department. The district will use the information to create a personalized child safety ID card. One copy of the card will be issued to the parent or guardian. Another will be kept on file at DPS in the event of an emergency. District officials said fingerprints on file would be used only when State Police or a federal agency’s assistance is needed. More
The man in charge of Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has warned that the meltdown of the plant in 2011 contains important lessons for the British government and its plans to build new nuclear power stations. Naomi Hirose, president of the company that runs Fukushima, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), said the triple meltdown following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan was a “warning to the world” and that Britian’s nuclear industry must be “prepared for the worst”.
Speaking to the Guardian, he said that despite what the nuclear industry and the public wanted to believe, nuclear power was not 100 per cent safe. “But we have to explain, no matter how small a possibility, what if this [safety] barrier is broken? We have to prepare a plan if something happens … It is easy to say this is almost perfect so we don’t have to worry about it. But we have to keep thinking: what if …” he told the paper. Mr Hirose said that small measures could have been adopted at Fukushima that would have prevented the meltdown following the March 2011 tsunami being so severe. He said Tepco was willing to share the lessons it had learned since the disaster with Britain. More
A Burns’ representative told CNN that the filmmaker asked Obama to read the Nicolay draft to show the speech has multiple versions. Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the president “read the version of the address…Ken Burns provided.” Fleming put out a press release criticizing the omission after the president was blasted by talk show host Rush Limbaugh, among others. “Whether you learned the Gettysburg Address in school or saw it recited in a movie or a documentary, you heard these words: ‘that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.”‘ In Obama’s reading, the under God reference isn’t included. More
The Air Force Academy has admitted they removed the phrase “so help me God” from three oaths in the 2012 edition of their official cadet handbook, Fox News has learned. The revelation came after more than two dozen members of Congress sent a letter to Academy Supt. Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson demanding that she explain why the phrase was removed. The lawmakers contend the 2012 edition of the Contrails Cadet Handbook excludes the phrase ‘so help me God’ in the Cadet’s Oath of allegiance, the Oath of Office for Officers and the Oath of Enlistment.
“The Constitution does not require that this phrase be scrubbed from the oath,” read the letter drafted by Rep. Jim Bridenstein (R-Okla.) and signed by 28 lawmakers. “The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the establishment of religion’ however, the inclusion of the phrase ‘so help me God’ in an oath of service does not rise to this level.” Bridenstein said “editing the oath for all Academy students is extreme and unnecessary, and does a disservice to the countless individuals who wish to include the phrase as a solemn reminder that they are pledging their fidelity to God and country.” More
The chemical weapons arsenal Syria agreed to surrender to the international community could be destroyed at sea, according to a new report citing officials familiar with the on-going negotiations. Representatives from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons (OPCW), along with Western officials, told Reuters on Tuesday that the group is considering whether to destroy the chemical weapons in the ocean, either on a ship or by loading them onto an offshore rig. “The only thing known at this time is that this is technically feasible,” an OPCW official said. The statement comes four days after Albania refused a US request to facilitate the destruction of the chemical weapons on its soil.
That decision, somewhat of a surprise from the American NATO ally, was met with cheers from crowds of protesters who had gathered outside the prime minister’s office to demonstrate against the possibility. Experts told Reuters that, despite Japan’s previous foray into destroying arms at sea, such an enterprise would be incredibly intricate and dangerous. “There are discussions about destroying it on a ship,” one US official said. The first step in any such process would involve removing the more than 1,000 tonnes of toxic material out of Syria as the civil war that has engulfed the country continues to rage and spill over into the neighboring region, in particular Lebanon.More
“The next two years, the Lord is showing me, are going to be extremely significant for the Philippines,” Jacobs said. “Either you’re gonna go on to greatness, it’s going to be that transformed nation, or I see that there’s going to be some troubled some times. So pray, pray, pray.” She adds, “This is a time God is going to pull down the spirit of corruption, and God is going to release the spirit of truth and righteousness into this nation, because righteousness exalts a nation. The Lord has given many promises for the Philippines. I mean, the Philippines is going to be one of the wealthiest nations on the earth. The spirit of poverty will be broken.” Many have revisited the 4 1/2-year-old video since Typhoon Haiyan destroyed the central Philippines. CNN reported Monday morning the official death toll nationwide is 3,976, with another 1,598 missing. More than 12,000 were injured in the storm. Next Media Animation (NMA), a Taiwanese animation news company known for its 2009 Tiger Woods coverage, released a video last week questioning Jacobs’ “vague” predictions. “Granted, the tragic events surrounding the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, which has left more than 2200 people dead, have understandably prompted some serious soul-searching, but folks should be turning to more trustworthy outlets than a false prophet like Cindy Jacobs,” NMA wrote in the video description. This is not the first time Jacobs, who founded Generals International with her husband, Mike Jacobs, has prophesied about the Philippines. Storm Harvest has a message on its website from August 2003, which leads with the words, “The Lord would say to the Philippines.” “Do not think I haven’t seen,” Jacobs writes of the Lord’s words to the Philippines in the message. “Do not think I am looking away. Do not think I do not see you, Philippines, for I see you. You are the apple of my eye. You are a treasure unto me.” She continues, “For I will open up my treasure chest from the Philippines. And I am going to release finance from the Philippines that will surprise and shake even Hong Kong. For I am getting ready to move a distribution of wealth, says God.” Charisma
INDONESIA – The 8-kilometre-high ash cloud from Mount Sinabung dwarfs this villager in the north of the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, on Monday. The volcano rumbled back to life in 2010 after lying dormant for hundreds of years. More than 6000 local people have been evacuated to temporary shelters – some had yet to return home following an eruption earlier this month. Two thousand, five hundred kilometers away on Java, another Indonesian volcano also exploded into activity yesterday. Mount Merapi killed hundreds of people when it last erupted in 2010. –Extinction Protocol
The sun unleashed a powerful solar flare early Tuesday (Nov. 19), the latest in a series of intense storms this month from Earth’s closest star. While the powerful solar flare was not aimed directly at Earth when it erupted, it did trigger a radio blackout at 5:26 a.m. EST (1026 GMT), officials with NOAA-led Space Weather Prediction Center said. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory caught sight of the solar flare and captured a high definition video of the solar eruption. The solar flare ranked as an X1-class event, one of the strongest types of storms the sun can have. It erupted from an active sunspot region called 1893, and space weather experts suspect it may have produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) — an explosion of solar plasma freed during a flare.
Usually material from a CME takes some time to reach Earth if it is aimed toward the planet. [Major X-Class Solar Flares Unleashed by the Sun ”This impulsive flare may have an associated CME, but early indications are it will not have a significant impact on the geomagnetic field,” SWPC center officials wrote in an update today. X-class solar flares are the most powerful types of solar storms, and when directed at Earth, the powerful outbursts can put satellites and astronauts in orbit at risk. At the moment, the sun is currently going through the peak of its 11-year solar cycle — named Solar Cycle 24. Earlier this month, an active sunspot produced the most powerful solar flare of 2013. The X3.3 solar flare shot out from the sun on Nov. 5, but Earth was not in its direct path and therefore the flare did not cause any major issues on the planet.
An X2 flare is two times as intense as an X1 flare, so an X3 is three times as intense as an X1, according to NASA. ”Increased numbers of flares are quite common at the moment, since the sun’s normal 11-year activity cycle is ramping up toward solar maximum conditions,” NASA officials said in an update about the Tuesday flare. “Humans have tracked this solar cycle continuously since it was discovered in 1843, and it is normal for there to be many flares a day during the sun’s peak activity.” More
World powers aim to reach a preliminary deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in politically charged talks resuming in Geneva on Wednesday. Seeking to end a long standoff and head off the risk of a wider Middle East war, the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany came close to winning concessions from Iran on its nuclear work in return for some sanctions relief at negotiations earlier this month. Top policymakers from the six have since said that an interim accord on confidence-building steps could finally be within reach.
But diplomats caution that differences remain and could still prevent an agreement. Russia is hopeful that a preliminary deal will emerge this week, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. ”We hope the efforts that are being made will be crowned with success at the meeting that opens today in Geneva,” he told a news conference on Wednesday. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tehran would not step back from its nuclear rights and he had set “red lines” for his negotiators in Geneva. But Tehran wanted friendly ties with all countries, including the United States. More
Several dozen suspected terrorist bomb makers, including some believed to have targeted American troops, may have mistakenly been allowed to move to the United States as war refugees, according to FBI agents investigating the remnants of roadside bombs recovered from Iraq and Afghanistan. The discovery in 2009 of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky — who later admitted in court that they’d attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq — prompted the bureau to assign hundreds of specialists to an around-the-clock effort aimed at checking its archive of 100,000 improvised explosive devices collected in the war zones, known as IEDs, for other suspected terrorists’ fingerprints. ”We are currently supporting dozens of current counter-terrorism investigations like that,” FBI Agent Gregory Carl, director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), said in an ABC News interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News’ “World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline”. ”I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many more than that,” said House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul. “And these are trained terrorists in the art of bomb making that are inside the United States; and quite frankly, from a homeland security perspective, that really concerns me.” As a result of the Kentucky case, the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets. One Iraqi who had aided American troops was assassinated before his refugee application could be processed, because of the immigration delays, two U.S. officials said. In 2011, fewer than 10,000 Iraqis were resettled as refugees in the U.S., half the number from the year before, State Department statistics show. More
NIGERIAN TERRORISTS REPORTEDLY ABDUCTING CHRISTIAN WOMEN, FORCING THEM TO CONVERT AND THEN MARRY ISLAMIC MILITANTS
If I spoke, they beat me. They told me I must become a Muslim but I refused again and again,” Hajja told Reuters. Eventually, she was forced to convert to Islam and was set to be married to one of the militants but succeeded in escaping. She says she was never raped during her three month nightmare. “They were about to slaughter me and one of them begged me not to resist and just before I had my throat slit I relented. They put a veil on me and made me read from the Koran,” she said. Hajja went along with the unit on dozens of attacks in which police and suspected collaborators were killed. In one particularly grisly episode, Hajja was forced to lure civilians working for the army. Five approached her, and were then ambushed by the Boko Haram gang. “They took them back to a cave and tied them up. They cut their throats, one at a time…I thought my heart would burst out of my chest, because I was the bait,” Hajja told Reuters. More