GAZA floods affects 40.000/Jerusalem Holy sites to be controlled by the Vatican under USA’S peace resolution/Pope Meets With Head of International Islamic Organization/ Humans could live to 500 years old according to new research and more signs of JESUS’ soon return

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Pope Meets With Head of International Islamic Organization

The pope met with the head of an international Islamic organization on Friday, a meeting that was characterized as the first-ever for the group. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), sat down with Pope Francis at the Vatican in an effort to create dialogue between the Muslim and Roman Catholic worlds. A news release from OIC outlined that the presence of Muslims has increased in “historically Christian countries.” “In this context, the discussions expressed the need for greater efforts to foster respect for religious pluralism and cultural diversity, and to counter the spread of bigotry and prejudices,” the group explained. “It was stressed that interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world, and as such it is a duty for adherents of all faith traditions.” OIC also advised that Ihsanoglu discussed with the Pope “his vision regarding the need for a ‘historic reconciliation’ between Islam and Christianity based on the common Abrahamic roots and in order to support multiculturalism and harmonious societies.”  According to Rome Reports, the two exchanged gifts following the talks, with Ihsanoglu donating a 14th century publication–presumably Islamic–to the Vatican library and Pope Francis gave Ihsanoglu and his entourage his papal medallion.

The pope then asked the men for their prayers. This is not the first time, however, that the pope has engaged in dialogue with members of the Islamic religion. As previously reported, in August of this year, Pope Francis had issued a written greeting to Muslims in recognition of the close of the Islamic holiday Ramadan. “Turning to mutual respect in inter-religious relations, especially between Christians and Muslims, we are called to respect the religion of the other, its teachings, its symbols, its values,” he wrote. “Particular respect is due to religious leaders and to places of worship. How painful are attacks on one or other of these!”More

ONE ARIZONA COMMUNITY’S INSPIRING RESPONSE WHEN A SALVATION ARMY OFFICE WAS ROBBED

The Salvation Army operation in Glendale, Arizona was hit hard on Dec. 2nd when thieves kicked down an office door and made off with electronic equipment, a safe and $1700 in cash that volunteers had collected in the charity’s iconic red kettles. When all of the damages were tabulated, the robbers — whose actions were caught on security cameras — put a $4,000 dent in the operation.  This particular Salvation Army location is affiliated with a Korean church in Glendale operated by Kihyun and Aeran Oh. The husband and wife actually recognized the the two men who perpetrated the crimes. For months, the men have been frequent visitors and regularly received assistance from the Salvation Army.  Thanks to the information provided by the church leaders, Glendale police have already arrested 38-year-old Mark Dollar and he confessed to participating in the crime.

The other suspect, John Bardy, is still on the run. The theft could have been a devastating blow to the Salvation Army’s plans to provide food, clothing and support for the many needy people in the area. However, when the story hit the local press, the community of Glendale responded in a big way. Within hours of the local television coverage, a group of construction workers donated their time and materials to repair the doors that were kicked in by the crooks. Glendale’s Mayor Jerry Weiers immediately rallied local support for donations and offered his services to “ring the bell” this coming Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at a Salvation Army kettle set up outside of a popular area outlet mall. “I am so proud of our city. I hear we have already raised between three and four thousand dollars for the wonderful couple that runs the Korean church and Salvation Army chapter here in Glendale. And that’s before I start ringing my big bell tomorrow,” Weiers said in an interview with TheBlaze on Friday afternoon. More

FIVE CATHOLIC PRIESTS PERMANENTLY BANNED FROM MINISTRY BY PHILLY ARCHDIOCESE

600x39948HARRISBURG, Pa.  — Five parish priests have been permanently removed from ministry and two others were cleared to return to duties by the Roman Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia, the archdiocese announced Sunday. The decision by Archbishop Charles Chaput followed a formal investigation into allegations of misconduct or sexual abuse.  The church has not disclosed details of the allegations against the five priests, who were placed on administrative leave after a scathing grand jury report in February 2011. Diocesan spokesman Ken Gavin said Sunday the announcements were made after Chaput met with the men over the past week. All seven remain priests. Among the five is Rev. Michael A. Chapman, 58, a Philadelphia priest who was investigated and cleared by an archdiocesan review board last year before a new accuser came forward with child sexual abuse allegations that date back 30 years, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The second investigation was deemed substantiated, and information has been turned over to police.
Of the four other priests removed from ministry, the Rev. Stephen B. Perzan of St. Helena Parish in Philadelphia and the Rev. Peter J. Talocci of St. Patrick’s in Malvern, Pa. faced sexual-abuse allegations that the review board said it could not substantiate, the Inquirer reported; church officials said they were removed from ministry for violations of “the standards of ministerial behavior.” The remaining two — the Rev. Mark E. Fernandes of St. Agnes Parish in Sellersville, Pa. and the Rev. Joseph M. Glatts of SS. Simon and Jude in West Chester, Pa. — faced no accusations of sexual misconduct but were removed from ministry after it was determined they also violated church standards, the Inquirer said. More

WHEN THEY SAY PEACE AND SAFETY – Kerry ‘Encouraged’ by Progress in Peace Talks

233594_mainimgUnited States Secretary of State John Kerry insisted on Sunday that concrete progress has been made in peace talks between Israelis and the Palestinian Authority (PA), but said details will be kept under wraps, AFP reports. Kerry, who has made nine trips to the Middle East since March and helped launch nine-month direct talks between the two sides in July, said talking about any agreements could be counterproductive. ”I’m personally encouraged that very tough issues are beginning to take shape,” he was quoted as having said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week.” ”But we’ve agreed not to be talking about what we’re doing because it just creates great expectations. It creates pressure. It creates opposition, in some cases. I think it’s much better for us to do exactly what we’ve been doing, which is negotiate quietly and privately,” added Kerry. The comments were made just two days after it was reported that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas formally rejected Kerry’s proposals for Israel to keep troops in a future Palestinian state along the Jordan border. A source in the PA also formally stated Abbas’ position of refusing to recognize Israel as the Jewish state. Recent reports said that the plan envisaged by Washington would see Israel maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley after a peace agreement.
An international force would be acceptable to the PA, but Israel opposes such a solution. Abbas has openly declared that a future Palestinian state will have no Jewish presence, military or civilian. Israel has always insisted that a continued military presence on the frontier would be vital for its security for some 10-15 years after Palestinian statehood. Before Kerry’s latest trip to the region, he had said “we are closer than we have been in years” to reaching a deal. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki had said the United States was “focused on a final deal” rather than an interim agreement. On Sunday, Kerry expressed optimism that this was “a different moment” for the conflict that could allow “a different set of choices” than in past, failed efforts. ”I think that the dynamics of the Middle East offer a different moment, the possibilities of peace with the Arab League, the realities of what might and might not stare people in the face if you don’t get an agreement,” he said, according to AFP. ”And hopefully, the leaders will seize this moment and at least move the ball forward somewhat,” added Kerry. He cautioned, however, that the Israeli-Arab conflict has “confounded presidents and secretaries state for 30 or 40 years.” ”If this conflict was easy … this would have been done years ago,” he said.
The PLO, the political body led by Abbas, remains adamantly opposed to anything less than the effective destruction of the State of Israel as its price for a “peace” agreement. At recent celebrations commemorating the 26th anniversary of the start of the second Intifada, the PLO issued a statement in which it said that it would not compromise on any of its basic requirements to make a deal with Israel: A full Israeli withdrawal from all lands liberated in 1967, establishment of Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, and a full return to their original homes the families that fled Israel when it was established in 1948. On Friday, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett clarified that Israel will not accept the American security proposals which essentially mean that Israel will have to rely on others to ensure its security. ”Recently we’ve been hearing a new tune: an international guarantee will ‘safeguard Israel’s security’,” Bennett stated. “We are told that they found the answer to all of our security problems. We can evacuate Samaria, Judea and the Jordan Valley (they won’t dare speak about the Golan Heights). We can place cameras, lasers, helicopters, and especially – rely on international forces and the security guarantee of our friends.” Bennett noted that similar security arrangements in Lebanon, Iran and Syria have actually worked against their aims. ”This has happened dozens of times around the world. Guarantees are words, they are not actions,” he concluded. “We will continue to defend ourselves, by ourselves. It has worked not badly at all for the last 65 years.” Arutz Sheva

No meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu

Fatah official denied on Monday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the near future, noting that any meeting between the two leaders would be contingent upon progress in peace negotiations.  Speaking to the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Mheissen said that Abbas was unlikely to meet Netanyahu given “Israel’s insistence on thwarting peace talks by expanding settlements and denying Palestinian rights to establish a state on land occupied in 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital.”  Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadeen had reported on Sunday that Abbas agreed to meet Netanyahu during a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Ramallah last week. The American secretary of state proposed the move in a bid to break the deadlock in talks amid mounting frustration within the Palestinian negotiating team, a key member of which tendered his resignation to Abbas last month.
“There will be no three-way summit under American auspices in the near future,” Mheissen said, adding that “any meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu is tied to the advance in negotiations between the teams headed by Dr. Saeb Erekat from the Palestinian side and [Justice Minister] Tzipi Livni from the Israeli.” Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to engage in negotiations for a nine-month period, scheduled to end in May. Despite some indications of a possible extension of the timetable, Kerry said on Friday that a deal could still be reached by spring. The most recent crisis between the negotiating sides revolved around an Israeli demand for a 10-year IDF presence in the Jordan Valley following an agreement, a demand reportedly endorsed by the Americans but adamantly rejected by the Palestinians. Palestinian sources told the paper that Abbas was uninterested in providing Netanyahu with a photo opportunity intended to “show Israel’s willingness to meet Palestinians on all levels to achieve peace, while thwarting it on the ground.” The Times of Israel

60 meter-long sinkhole in Sichuan province buries 12 buildings

A massive sinkhole in the Pingxi village of Guangyuan city opened up around 12:40 a.m. on Friday morning and had expanded into a crater measuring 60 by 40 meters around and 30 meters-deep within hours. The sinkhole has swallowed at least 12 buildings as of 6:30 p.m. and it is expected to keep growing in size. It is terrifying.  Fortunately, nobody was killed or seriously injured when the ground collapsed. A resident whose house was situated on top of the sinkhole said that he had felt the earth shaking for around 20 days prior to the hole opening.Shanghaiist

 

Volcanic eruption shuts Italy airport

The eruption of the Mount Etna volcano in Sicily has forced the closure of nearby Catania airport because of the plumes of ash billowing into the sky, airport officials said. Twenty-one scheduled departures from  the airport had to be scrapped and 26 arrivals re-routed to alternative destinations. The smaller airport of Comiso in the area was also closed down. The company that manages Catania airport, Sac, said in a statement on Sunday that “the wind direction and intensity” meant the ash was a risk to flights and it had to close off its air space. The company will review the situation on Monday. Etna is an active volcano and eruptions are frequent but the latest activity, which began on Saturday, is the most intense in months. The lava flow down one side of the mountain is visible from Catania and Taormina, a popular seaside resort. Three small earthquakes were also registered around the volcano on Sunday. The Age World

Humans could live to 500 years old according to new research

Research-HighlightsLiving to the ripe old age of 500 might be a possibility if the science shown to extend worms’ lives can be applied to humans, scientists have said. U.S. researchers tweaked two genetic pathways in the tiny lab worm Caenorhabditis elegans and boosted the creature’s lifespan by a factor of five. The research raises the prospect of anti-ageing treatments based on genetic interactions, they said.  ‘What we have here is a synergistic five-fold increase in lifespan,’ said lead scientist Dr Pankaj Kapahi, from the Buck Institute of Age Research, Novato, California. ‘The two mutations set off a positive feedback loop in specific tissues that amplified lifespan.

‘Basically these worms lived to the human equivalent of 400 to 500 years.’ While it could take years of research to extend humans’ lives dramatically, the study raises the prospect of anti-ageing treatments informed by genetic interactions, according to Dr Kapahi. ‘In the early years, cancer researchers focused on mutations in single genes, but then it became apparent that different mutations in a class of genes were driving the disease process,’ he said.  While it could take years of research to extend humans’ lives, the study raises the prospect of anti-ageing treatments informed by genetic interactions ‘The same thing is likely happening in ageing,’ he added. C. elegans, the first animal to have its whole genome (or genetic code) mapped, has been widely used in studies of ageing and lifespan. The new research, reported in the journal Cell Reports, involved blocking key molecules that affect the action of insulin and a nutrient signalling pathway called Target of Rapamycin (TOR). Single mutations in the TOR pathway were known to extend the lifespan of C. elegans by 30 per cent, while insulin-signalling mutations could double the amount of time they lived. More

 

Why Is Saudi Arabia Buying 15,000 U.S. Anti-Tank Missiles for a War It Will Never Fight? Hint: Syria.

WARS N RUMORS OF WARS – No one is expecting a tank invasion of Saudi Arabia anytime soon, but the kingdom just put in a huge order for U.S.-made anti-tank missiles that has Saudi-watchers scratching their heads and wondering whether the deal is related to Riyadh’s support for the Syrian rebels. The proposed weapons deal, which the Pentagon notified Congress of in early December, would provide Riyadh with more than 15,000 Raytheon anti-tank missiles at a cost of over $1 billion. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Military Balance report, Saudi Arabia’s total stockpile this year amounted to slightly more than 4,000 anti-tank missiles. In the past decade, the Pentagon has notified Congress of only one other sale of anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia — a 2009 deal that shipped roughly 5,000 missiles to the kingdom. ”It’s a very large number of missiles, including the most advanced version of the TOWs [tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missiles],” said Jeffrey White, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former intelligence analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency. “The problem is: What’s the threat?” That’s a tough question to answer.

A military engagement with Iran, the most immediate potential threat faced by Riyadh, would be largely a naval and air engagement over the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia has fought a series of deadly skirmishes with insurgents in northern Yemen over the years, but those groups have no more than a handful of military vehicles. And Iraq, which posed a real threat during Saddam Hussein’s day, is far too consumed by its internal demons and the fallout from the war in Syria to ponder such foreign adventurism. But one Saudi ally could desperately use anti-tank weapons — the Syrian rebels. In the past, Riyadh has been happy to oblige: It previously purchased anti-tank weapons from Croatia and funneled them to anti-Assad fighters, and it is now training and arming Syrian rebels in Jordan. Charles Lister, a London-based terrorism and insurgency analyst, said that rebels have also received as many as 100 Chinese HJ-8 anti-tank missiles from across the border with Jordan — and indeed, many videos show Syrian rebels using this weapon against Bashar al-Assad’s tanks. More

 

Christmas Under Assault, but Faithful Fight Back

It has been a tough road the last few years for those who wish to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, and thus far this holiday season hasn’t held much hope for an end to the various and sundry attacks on those celebrating the birth of the Savior. Several weeks ago, a choir director for a high school in Wausau, Wisconsin, threw in the towel on his students’ traditional Christmas concerts after an edict from the school board instituted a nearly total ban on sacred music “as a result of what they claimed were concerns over the amount of religious music being performed by choirs in the district’s schools,” reported The New American. As a result of the crackdown, the school district’s choir directors were limited to “one sacred number for every five secular songs featured at Christmas and other concerts.” While district officials eventually overturned their poorly considered policy, it was merely the opening salvo for a season on atheist-inspired attacks on Christmas. For example, Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina recently removed its traditional nativity sceneafter a supposed complaint by a number of airmen. Predictably, the alleged complaint was inspired by the atheist Military Religious Freedom Foundation, whose founder Mikey Weinstein has been waging war on sound military judgment concerning religious expression over the past few years.
Todd Starnes of Fox News wrote that Lieutenant Keavy Rake, a spokesman for Shaw Air Force Base, told him that “the Pentagon warned that items that are almost exclusively religious in nature, like a Nativity scene, ‘could appear to endorse religion’ if they are displayed alone and away from chapel grounds.’ Rake said the Pentagon recommended the Baby Jesus either be displayed on chapel grounds or as ‘part of a larger secular or multicultural display on base.’ Ultimately, base command made the decision to pull the plug.” Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council responded to the cowardly move by the Air Force, saying that it is “truly a sad state of affairs when a demilitarized zone has to be created on an Air Force base for Baby Jesus. The events in the Air Force alone show that this is much more than a war on Christmas. This is a war on the freedom of religious expression.” Not all Air Force personnel have been cowed by atheist attacks, however. Starnes posted a YouTube video showing the U.S. Air Force Band performing a “flash mob” at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum on December 3. “What a blessing to know that in spite of the Obama Administration’s attacks on religious liberty in the Armed Forces, there are still men and women willing to declare, ‘Joy to the World, the Lord is Come!’” wrote Starnes.
Meanwhile, CBS News reported December 11 that two young girls in Vancouver, Washington “who were trying to spread holiday cheer were kicked off of a grocery store’s property for singing  Christmas carols.” The two girls, Ayla Bascom and Kaitlyn Manseau, showed up at a local WinCo grocery store near their home to sing Christmas carols outside the store. “The girls made a sign stating they didn’t want any money and no one went into the store to file a complaint either,” reported CBS. “Instead, people stopped outside to listen to them sing….” However, the article continued, “the girls hadn’t even been singing for an hour when they were told they had to leave the property by a WinCo employee.” Ultimately, a corporate attorney for the store chain realized that targeting little girls trying to spread holiday cheer wasn’t helping the store chain’s image, and told the girls they could go back and keep singing. More

 

 

Document Reveals State’s Move To Vastly Expand Continuity of Government Powers

A document currently circulating through the Washington state government details the attempt to vastly expand Continuity of Government powers by amending the state’s constitution.  Exclusively revealed to Storyleak, the document, entitled “Modernizing State’s Continuity of Operation Planning,” asks State Representatives to pass legislation concerning the government’s ability to implement COG. Spearheaded by the Washington Military Department and the State Auditor’s Office, the document also details the move to add Continuity of Operations planning to state law. Created at the height of the cold war during the 1960s, the Continuity of Government (COG) program was designed to give the federal government martial law powers in the event of a nuclear attack. Now, states have begun following the federal government’s lead in granting themselves much greater COG abilities. “Change ‘only enemy attack’ to ‘any emergency, disaster or attack’ in the state’s Continuity of Government Act, as well as the Continuity of Government provisions developed for the Office of the Governor, the legislature, county commissioners and city or town officers,” the document states. The document also goes on to call for erasing the government’s requirement of bringing the legislative body together no later than 30 days after a disaster or attack, giving the governor the power to keep COG operations ongoing for undetermined lengths. “Amend the provisions for the governor calling the Legislature into session from ‘as soon as practicable or no later than the 30th day after the attack’ to ‘as soon as practicable,’” the document reads. Under revised amendments, each state agency, commission and board will be directed to begin developing and practicing a yearly continuity of operations plan. “COOP is nationally recognized as a critical Continuity of Government component to ensure Washington citizens receive government assistance during emergencies,” the document’s first paragraph details. More
It’s hardly the abomination of desolation that Jesus warned about when He taught about signs of the end times (Matt. 24:15). But it’s nevertheless a disturbing sign of how hard antichrist spirits are pushing to push Jesus out of our minds. Oklahoma recently decided to allow a Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol’s lawn. This is the type of thing that typically puts radical atheist activists up in arms, with billboards and lawsuits aimed at removing any reminder of God and His Son from the public square. But the atheists haven’t launched an attack—at least not yet. Instead, other antichrist spirits are rising up, demanding equal time to celebrate their religions. Indeed, Satanists and Hindus want Oklahoma to erect statues for their false gods. “A Satanist group has petitioned to have its monument, with an interactive display for children, put up alongside the Ten Commandments. And this week, the Hindu organization applied to have a monkey god statue placed on the Capitol grounds,” Reuters reports. “Socially conservative Christian groups fought for years to have the Ten Commandments displayed at the statehouse, and the monument went up in 2012.”

Oklahoma City lawyer David Slane put it rightly when he told Reuters the legislature essentially opened a Pandora’s box. As it turns out, if the state refuses to allow Satanists, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists—and God knows who else—to erect monuments on the property, they are violating the Equal Protection Clause. I’d say it’s ironic how Satan is using legalism to push his antichrist agenda in Oklahoma’s government, but it’s more strategic than ironic. Oklahoma’s governing officials argue that they live in a largely Christian state with values and ideals that differ from Satanists. And that’s just why the antichrist spirits are circling. You won’t find antichrist spirits where Christ isn’t being preached, as the goal of the antichrist spirit is to replace Jesus, not merely have a statue next to His. The antichrist spirit is rapidly rising in this hour, and you can expect to see more manifestations in the months and years ahead. The apostle John warned of this in his first epistle, noting, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). And again, “Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1 John 4:3). And again, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2 John 1:7). Before the Antichrist, Satan, comes on the scene, we will see more and more antichrist spirits rising to push Jesus out of the mainstream. Like John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus’ first coming, these demonic forerunners have been voices crying in the wilderness for years, preparing the way for Satan himself with deceiving agendas that target the confused, hurt and lost. Indeed, the antichrist agenda will become bolder, and it will grow darker in the days again. But like I said last week, despite the doom and gloom, Jesus is still Lord. Our job is to let our light shine, speak the truth of the gospel in love, and keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, so that we can rescue people from the kingdom of darkness and escape the prophesied great falling away among the saints. Charisma

 

UPDATE: Billy Graham ‘Not in Any Immediate Danger,’ Spokesman Says

Evangelist Billy Graham remains weak, and there hasn’t been a change in his health for better or worse since his 95th birthday last month, but he is “not in any immediate danger,” according to a spokesman for Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.   ”People keep saying different things, some good and some not so good,”Citizen-Times quotes spokesman Mark DeMoss as saying. “But he’s about the same. I think everybody’s intentions are good. The family members want everybody to pray for Mr. Graham, and I understand that.” The evangelist’s son and BGEA president, Franklin Graham, told The Christian Post last week his father is not doing real well. “His vitals are good. It’s not like he’s in danger right this second. But if he got a cold right now, it could be deadly. So I just ask the people to pray that he gets his strength back.
I’ve never seen him this weak in all my life, so I know he’d appreciate your prayers.”   DeMoss says he knows everybody is concerned about Graham, “but we’re not getting any different reports from the medical staff.” He adds he is checking in in every day, “and there has not been a change for better or worse in the last number of weeks. He’s weak, he’s at home and his vital signs are good – his pulse, his heartbeat, his blood pressure. He’s not in any immediate danger.” Franklin Graham’s son, evangelist Will Graham, also spoke about his grandfather’s health during a speaking engagement at a California church. ”I saw my grandfather last week and he is not doing well,” Assist News Service quoted him as saying. “He’s not suffering or anything. It’s just that old age has caught up to him and is sucking the life out of him.” More

 

Gaza flooding drives 40,000 from their homes

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Flooding from heavy rains forced some 40,000 Gaza Strip residents from their homes, including thousands who were taken to safety in boats and military trucks, officials said Saturday. The downpour that began late Wednesday was part of a storm that covered parts of Israel and the West Bank with snow, paralyzed Jerusalem and left thousands in Israel without power. Israeli TV stations showed footage of armored personnel carriers rescuing motorists and said it was the most severe snow storm in decades. Even Gaza with its milder coastal climate saw some snow, though lower-lying areas were mainly hit by flooding.

Rescue efforts were hampered by fuel shortages and rolling power cuts that have become more severe in recent months, since Egypt tightened a border blockade of the territory, ruled by the Islamic militant Hamas since 2007. Israel has also restricted access to Gaza since the Hamas takeover, though it sent diesel fuel for heating and four water pumps during the weekend storm. Once the storm is over, “the world community needs to bring effective pressure to end the blockade of Gaza,” said Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the main U.N aid agency in the territory. Gaza residents “must be freed from these man-made constraints to deal with the impact of a natural calamity such as this,” he added. More

Congressman Louie Gohmert: ‘When a Nation’s Leaders Honor God, That Nation is Protected’

In a recent speech on the House floor, Republican Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas explained that throughout the Bible, God protects nations that honor Him, but destroys nations that turn away from His rule. Gohmert was speaking about the persecution of Christians around the world, including the in Middle East, and the mainstream media’s avoidance of the topic. “Christians in the Middle East and around the world are being persecuted, imprisoned and martyred for their faith,” he said. “There is widespread systemic violence, and no one in the mainstream media and government seems to have noticed.” “We may see the elimination and extinction of Christianity in its very birthplace, without a whimper of protest from the West,” he lamented.  He then began to speak about God’s protections on Israel in the Bible, as well removal of His hand from the nation when it stopped honoring Him. “[N]o country has ever fallen while it was truly honoring the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” he said. “So, if you were completely a-religious, completely atheistic, but you wanted to have [your country] safe and protected, then it would sound like from historical purposes, that it might be a good thing to encourage those who believe in God to keep doing so.” “Because when a nation’s leaders honor that God,” he continued, “that nation is protected. It’s only when it turns away that it falls.” More

North Dakota Assistant Attorney General: ‘There is No Right Under State Law to an Abortion’

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Supreme Court heard argument this week on whether the state may disregard federal rulings on abortion and solely follow the state Constitution when creating laws that restrict or regulate the procedure. In 2011, North Dakota legislators passed a bill that restricted drug-based abortions to those that only follow the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) protocol for use. Following its passage, attorneys with the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights filed suit on behalf of the sole abortion facility in the state, Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, claiming that the state was effectively enacting a ban on medical abortions altogether. The facility uses both Mifeprex and Misprostol in abortion procedures, but due to the new law, Misprostol now could not be utilized as it is not an abortion-inducing drug and had been administered off-label.  In April, the case was argued during a three-day trial before state District Judge Wickham Corwin, who opined that the restriction was “simply wrongheaded,” but waited to release a formal opinion until July. “[I am] convinced that a woman’s reproductive rights must be protected under the state constitution and must be recognized as fundamental,” he stated. During this time, the Center for Reproductive Rights sought to add a challenge to its suit as the state had passed a new regulation that required abortionists to obtain admitting privileges within 30 miles should a woman become injured during the procedure. Corwin granted the inclusion, which drew praise from Center attorney Autumn Katz. More
 

GOOGLE ROBOTS FOR MILITARY USE!

The internet company’s acquisition of Boston Dynamics is latest in a string of robotics acquisitions in a mysterious initiative led by former Android chief Andy Rubin.  As Amazon readies a fleet of delivery drones, Boston Dynamics is Google’s biggest prize yet in the robot wars. Among the creations to crawl, jump and gallop from its labs are Big Dog, a four-legged robot that can clamber over uneven terrain such as snowy forests, even when assailed by kicks from its makers, and Cheetah, which claims to hold the record for the fastest legged robot in the world, running at more than 29 miles per hour. Many of Boston Dynamics’ robots have been developed with funding from the US Department of Defense’s research unit, Darpa, making Google a military contractor, at least for now. “The future is looking awesome!” said Mr Rubin in a tweet linking to the New York Times, which first reported the acquisition on Saturday. A Google spokesperson confirmed the deal but declined to elaborate on its price or plans. The purchase is the latest sign of a sudden and, to many, startling new interest in robots from consumer internet companies, as their operations move from the virtual to the real world. Last year, Amazon spent $775m on Kiva Systems, a robotics company used to automate its fulfilment centers, and earlier this month, chief executive Jeff Bezos said that the online retailer is developing unmanned aerial vehicles that he hopes will deliver parcels to customers within five years.

Camden, New Jersey: One Of Hundreds Of U.S. Cities That Are Turning Into Rotting, Decaying Hellholes

All over America, formerly prosperous communities are being transformed into crime-infested wastelands of poverty and despair.  Of course the most famous example of this is Detroit.  At one time, Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city that the world had ever seen and it had the highest per capita income in the entire country.  But now it has become a rotting, decaying hellhole that the rest of the planet laughs at.  And of course Detroit is far from alone.  There are hundreds of other U.S. cities that are suffering a similar fate.  In this article, the focus is going to be on Camden, New Jersey, but the truth is that there are lots of other “Detroits” and “Camdens” all over the nation.  Jobs and businesses are leaving our cities at a staggering rate, and what is being left behind is poverty, crime and extreme desperation.More
 

Is Alien Life Surfacing Nearby?

Extraterrestrial life may be showing up in some obvious places. No, this is not about hairless aliens that have come to Earth in saucer-shaped craft, but less sophisticated life just next door. A century ago, scientists believed there was only one obvious stomping ground for alien biology in our solar system: Mars. Because it was reminiscent of Earth, Mars was assumed to be chock-a-block with animate beings, and its putative inhabitants got a lot of column inches and screen time. Red Planet residents were generally assumed to be similar to us: size-wise, technology-wise, and wise-wise. By 1900, astronomer Percival Lowell was energetically shopping the idea that canals laced the martian surface, the handiwork of aliens desperate to irrigate a dry world. However, sophisticated inhabitants fell out of favor (with scientists, if not with film makers) once spacecraft revealed the landscapes of Mars to be desiccated deserts, efficiently sterilized by deadly ultraviolet light from the Sun. The surface was inhospitable, to put it gently. Nonetheless, it was still possible that microbial Martians were living a few hundred feet underground, where watery aquifers could shelter life happy to do its thing in the dark. Consequently, expert opinion shifted.

Our best chance for finding Martians was not to sit behind a small telescope in Flagstaff, Arizona as Lowell did, but to send drilling apparatus to Mars that could suck muck from far beneath the surface and examine it microscopically. That’s a tough task, of course. It hasn’t been done — or even planned in detail. Mars still remains the astrobiology community’s number one choice for “nearest rock with life,” but there are many researchers who argue that the moons of Jupiter are better bets. In particular, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto are all thought to hide vast oceans of liquid water beneath their icy, outer skins. Europa is the most promising case, and has the thinnest skin. The best known approach to examining this moon’s watery habitat envisions a robotic probe that would melt a hole through 10 miles of granite-hard ice, and lower some sensors to look around. Again, not yet on the drawing boards. More

Could our universe be about to collapse on us?

TIME to take that holiday you’ve always wanted because the universe and everything in it could be about to collapse and be squeezed into a tiny ball. And it could happen today. As reported by the Daily Mail, mankind and everything we know could cease to exist and the process might already have started, should scientists at University of Southern Denmark be correct. ”Now we have performed more precise calculations, and we see two things: Yes, the universe will probably collapse, and a collapse is even more likely than the old calculations predicted,” Jens Krog, PhD student at the university told the Daily Mail. We shan’t pretend to understand how this brain-bending event has been calculated, but the researchers claim they “have proven” the theory whereby a “shift in the forces of the universe will cause every particle in it to become extremely heavy”.
The article explains this process is called “phase transition” and this new weight will essentially “squeeze” everything into a small, extremely hot, heavy, tiny ball.   What could cause this event to happen would be down to a subatomic particle, Higgs boson, which could have an ultra-dense state and could “bubble” up suddenly in a certain place of the universe at a certain time. ”The bubble would then expand at the speed of light, entering all space … all elementary particles inside the bubble will reach a mass much heavier than if they were outside the bubble, and they would be pulled together to form supermassive centres.” As if this doesn’t sound scary enough, the researchers say this could already be happening somewhere in the universe, right now. “Maybe the collapse has already started somewhere in the universe and right now is eating its way into the rest of the universe … or maybe it will start far away from here in a billion years.” But before you run out to start your bucket list, there’s a chance this might not actually happen at all. Again, it comes down to more calculations. In order for the phase change the universe must consist of certain elementary particles. ”If the universe contains undiscovered particles, the whole basis for the prediction would prove false.” news.com.au

SUDDEN THREAT ENDANGERS HILLARY’S 2016 RUN

A threat to Hillary Clinton’s much anticipated 2016 presidential campaign appears to be developing in Egypt where that nation’s government is taking steps to criminalize the Muslim Brotherhood. Specifically, a new criminal complaint has been filed with Egypt’s attorney general, Hisham Barakat, alleging then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton collaborated with Naglaa Mahmoud, the wife of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, in seeking to incite domestic insurrections to topple Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Egyptian general who has been commander in chief of the Egyptian armed forces, as well as minister of defense, since Aug. 12, 2012. Researcher Walid Shoebat, a native Arabic-speaker and a former Palestinian Liberation Organization operative, has reported on his blog that credible news sources in Egypt have reported in Arabic that criminal charges have been brought against Hillary Clinton and Morsi’s wife. Shoebat translated the following from an Egyptian Mehwar TV channel news video in which television reporter Nasr Qaffas explains on camera details of an interview Turkey’s Anatolia news agency conducted with Naglaa Mahmoud. The excerpts from the transcript of the Mehwar TV news video include comments by Naglaa Mahmoud implicating Huma Abedin, wife of former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner and the former Hillary Clinton chief of staff whom WND has identified as having close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood: More

 

WIDOW FACES EVICTION IN FLA. CITY FOR ‘LIVING OFF THE GRID’

A Fla. city is set to evict a widow for her unique lifestyle of “living off the grid.” Robin Speronis told WFTX-TV that she was given an eviction notice after the station aired a story about how she chooses to live in a home without modern amenities, such as running water and electricity. “A code enforcement officer came, knocked on the door then posts a placard that says uninhabitable property, do not enter,” Robin said.  “Putting a woman who lives by herself, who is a widow, out on the street without any due process of law is unfathomable,” she added. According to WFTX-TV, the notice cited international property maintenance code which said the property is not safe to live in. Speronis, however, disputes such claims and wonders how a code enforcement officer would know without even entering the house. Now, she is speaking out demanding justice. “I’m going to bring this to the attention of anyone who will listen until justice is served,” she said.  “Where is the justice? Why did they choose me,” she asked, “I was exercising my First Amendment rights of free speech in discussing living off the grid.” A local attorney has decided to represent Speronis for free, according to WFTX-TV. It does appear, however, that Speronis has a criminal history. According to the Cape Coral Daily Breeze, she was found guilty of larceny and in 2012 had her real estate license revoked. The Blaze

 

ALERT: U.S. plan gives Jerusalem holy sites to Vatican

Secretary of State John Kerry quietly presented a U.S. plan for eastern Jerusalem that calls for an international administrative mandate to control holy sites in the area, according to informed Palestinian and Israeli diplomatic sources.  The exact composition of the international mandate is up for discussion, the sources said, but Kerry’s plan recommended a coalition that includes the Vatican, together with a group of Muslim countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The international arrangement is being proposed as a temporary solution for about two to three years while security arrangements in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians are finalized, said the sources. Israel, the sources said, was not receptive to the particulars of Kerry’s plan, especially the concept of Turkish participation in Jerusalem. Kerry told the Israelis he would hold talks with the Kingdom of Jordan about its playing a leading role in the proposal in the place of Turkey, the sources added. Kerry was in Jerusalem on Friday as part of an Obama administration effort to reach a deal for a Palestinian state by April, a timeline that is still on track, Kerry told reporters. “We are working on an approach that both guarantees Israel’s security and fully respects Palestinian sovereignty,” Kerry added. According to the Israeli and Palestinian diplomatic sources speaking to WND, Kerry’s trip this time around focused specifically on the particulars of security arrangements for the strategic Jordan Valley following a deal. In October, WND exclusively reported Kerry was strongly urging Israel to give up the Jordan Valley in closed-door talks with the Palestinian Authority.

The current round of U.S.-brokered talks is attempting to hash out the details of a plan for the valley. The Jordan Valley cuts through the heart of Israel. It runs from the Tiberias River in the north to the Dead Sea in the center to the city of Aqaba at the south of the country, stretching through the biblical Arabah desert. The U.S. proposal calls for international forces to maintain security control along with unarmed Palestinian police forces, a senior Palestinian Authority negotiator told WND in October. Israel will retain security posts in some strategic areas of the Jordan Valley, according to the U.S. plan. Previous talks incorporated an element of Jordanian authority in the Jordan Valley, but the Kingdom of Jordan is wary of participating in a future Palestinian state, the negotiator said. The Palestinian negotiator pointed to the insurgency in Syria and changes of leadership in Egypt as reasons for Jordanian reluctance to assume any security control over Palestinian areas. WND

Senators McCain, Murphy join massive Ukraine anti-government protest, threaten sanctions

U.S. Senators John McCain and Chris Murphy joined around 200,000 anti-government protesters in the central square of Ukraine’s capital Sunday, threatening sanctions against the government of President Viktor Yanukovych if authorities use more violence to disperse demonstrators. Anti-government protesters have set up an extensive tent camp in Kiev and erected barricades of snow hardened with freezing water and studded with scrap wood and other junk. McCain, R-Ariz., and Murphy, D-Conn., joined the anti-government demonstration to express support for them and their European ambitions. The protests began Nov. 21 after Yanukovych announced he was backing away from signing a long-awaited agreement to deepen trade and political ties with the EU and instead focus on Russia, and have grown in size and intensity after two violent police dispersals. ”We are here to support your just cause, the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its own destiny freely and independently. And the destiny you seek lies in Europe,” McCain said during a speech, according to Reuters.

“We … want to make it clear to Russia and Vladimir Putin that interference in the affairs of Ukraine is not acceptable to the United States,” he added. McCain and Murphy told reporters after the rally that sanctions were possible and “that there will be consequences to our relationship if there is any more violence on the streets of Kiev.” But the rally was shadowed by suggestions that their goal of closer ties with Europe may be imperiled. A much smaller demonstration of government supporters, about 15,000, was taking place about less than a mile away from Kiev’s Independence Square. In the face of the protests, which present a serious challenge to Yanukovych’s leadership, Ukrainian officials this week renewed talks with the EU agreement and promised that they would sign the deal once some issues are worked out. However, the EU’s top official on expansion issues, Stefan Fuele, cast doubt on the prospect Sunday, saying on his Twitter account that work is “on hold” and that the words and actions of Yanukovych and his government are “further and further apart.” Yanukovych backed off the agreement on the grounds that the EU was not providing adequate compensation to his economically struggling nation for potential trades losses with Russia. Russia, which for centuries controlled or exerted heavy influence on Ukraine, wants the country to join a customs union, analogous to the EU, which also includes Belarus and Kazakhstan. More


Quebec and Ontario leveled by Vicious Winter Storm heading Eastward

A storm system that blanketed Ontario and Quebec with upwards of 25 centimetres of snow continues to track eastward toward the Maritimes,grounding dozens of flights and keeping motorists on high alert. The dumping of fresh snow, along with chilly temperatures, created traffic troubles both on the ground and in the air in Central Canada. East of Toronto on Sunday morning, three people were taken to hospital after a vehicle they were travelling in crashed into a cement barrier before being hit by a tractor trailer on Highway 401 in Mississauga. The Ontario Provincial Police said two female passengers in the Toyota RAV4 were airlifted to a Toronto hospital, one in life-threatening condition and the other in critical.

The male driver of the vehicle was transported with minor injuries. There were many accidents on snowy roads around the region, including a 20-car pileup on the Queen Elizabeth Highway in Mississauga just west of Toronto on Saturday. The weather may have also been a factor in a head-on collision that killed two people near Barrie, north of Toronto, according to the OPP. The provincial police tweeted that, as of 1: 20 p.m. ET on Sunday, they have responded to 255 collisions in Toronto and nearby communities since 7 a.m. 1761 calls for service were received since Saturday morning. To the east, Winter storm warnings are in effect with snowfall amounts of between 30 and 40 centimetres forecast for southern New Brunswick, and slightly lesser amounts for parts of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. More

 

Why this coming week could be an Explosive week for the Stock Market

NEW YORK – The possibility that the Federal Reserve could finally start to trim its extraordinary stimulus for the economy could make this week an explosive one for financial markets. Though the odds still point to no major policy change when U.S. central bankers meet December 17-18, most of the recent domestic economic data suggest the beginning of the end of their massive bond-buying program is coming sooner than later. If it acts it may reflect as much a growth in confidence in the global economy, for whom the withdrawal of the flow of cheap dollars will be a shock, as in the recovery in the United States alone.

Growth in jobs, retail sales, services and overall output in the world’s biggest economy – combined with last week’s breakthrough budget deal in Washington – has convinced some economists that the Fed will announce a reduction to its $85-billion a month in purchases on Wednesday. While that could amount to a vote of confidence in the halting recovery from the Great Recession, the risk is that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s message sets off a market selloff that undermines growth worldwide. The question is whether more U.S. fiscal stability and some good signs out of Europe and Asia will convince key Fed policymakers that the U.S. economy can handle less monetary support, and that investors won’t overreact. ”Tapering now would tell us that the Federal Reserve believes the U.S. expansion is durable and that the global economy, at a minimum, is less fragile,” said David Kelly, chief global market strategist at JPMorgan Funds. More

OBAMACARE EXCHANGE ‘MISTAKENLY DEBITS BANK ACCOUNTS’

For the second week in a row, the Washington Healthplanfinder website is down, and it’s causing problems for people who are dealing with billing issues. Some of them say the website is mistakenly debiting their accounts. Shannon Bruner of Indianola logged on to her checking account Monday morning, and found she was almost 800 dollars in the negative. “The first thing I thought was, ‘I got screwed,’” she said. The Bruners enrolled for insurance on the Washington Healthplanfinder website, last October. They say they selected the bill pay date to be December 24th. Instead the Washington Healthplanfinder drafted the 835 dollar premium Monday. Josh Bruner started his own business this year as an engineering recruiter. They said it’s forced them to pay a lot of attention to their bills and their bank accounts. “Big knot in my gut because we’re trying to keep it together,” said Shannon Bruner. “It’s important to me that this kind of stuff doesn’t happen.”
They’re not alone. One viewer emailed KING 5 saying, “They drafted my account this morning for a second time.” Another woman on Facebook with a similar problem commented, “We are all in the same boat.” “We’ve got to figure out how to get money to pay the bills for the next week or two until we have another check come through,” said Josh Bruner. “It’s just crazy.” Washington Healthplanfinder emailed the Bruners a few days ago telling them to log in to view their invoice, something they couldn’t do because the website has been down. The Bruners haven’t been able to get through on the helpline either. They finally contacted Healthplanfinder administrators by posting a message on their Facebook page. Washington Healthplanfinder tells KING 5 their staff is looking into the problem. Until it’s resolved, the couple is putting their best face forward. “We haven’t bought anyone’s Christmas gifts yet,” said Shannon Bruner. “We’re just kind of waiting.” “We wrote a check to our nanny last week, it isn’t going to work,” said Josh Bruner. “So she can’t get paid.” KGW.com


Gun control advocates vow to take fight into 2014 elections, spend millions

Gun control advocates acknowledged Sunday that they were disappointed with efforts this year to tighten firearm laws across the country but vowed to continue their fight, including spending millions on their candidates in next year’s elections. Their comments came one year after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in which 20 students and six adults were fatally shot in Newtown, Conn. However, Congress failed to pass no major gun-control legislation in the aftermath. “We get disappointed,” said Mark Kelly, who co-founded the gun-control group Americans for Responsible Solutions with wife Gabrielle Giffords, the former congresswoman who was shot on the campaign trail in 2011.

The retired astronaut and Navy captain told “Fox News Sunday” the defeat of the so-called, bipartisan Manchin-Toomey Senate gun bill was “not a good day” but that his group plans to spend $25 million in the next election cycle.   Though the focus of America’s gun debate appears to be shifting from weapons bans to keeping firearms away from criminals and the mentally ill, gun-rights advocates seem steadfast in their efforts to limit background checks and repeal laws that prevent people from defending themselves against attackers. “There’s no victory until we get guns in school and elsewhere to protect ourselves,” Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, told Fox News. “The legislation that is on the books is lethal … and we simply have to get rid of them.” Kelly said that anti-gun groups were able to spend about as much as pro-gun groups in the recent Virginia gubernatorial race in which Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli — a sign that the balance of power is shifting after his side got outspent in the Capitol Hill gun debates. Carlee Soto, whose sister was killed in the Dec. 14, 2012, attack at Sandy Hook elementary, in Newtown, Conn., also acknowledged the effort to tighten gun laws has been difficult, but she remains optimistic. “Some days I don’t want to speak in front of the camera … but my sister can’t do that,” she told Fox News. “I believe we will have sensible gun laws in the future.” Fox News

 

DEVELOPING: Gunfire into Israel near Lebanese border

Gunfire stemming from across the border with Lebanon was opened near Rosh Hanikra on Sunday night. An initial IDF assessment, based on data from lookout positions on the border, found fire was opened by a soldier form the Lebanese Armed Forces, who apparently was acting alone.  Six to seven shots were fired at a vehicle, which was located on a road adjacent to the electronic border fence with Lebanon. ”We are sending messages to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon regarding the severity of this incident. There is no indication that an infiltration into our territory occurred,” an army source said. “The IDF is prepared in the North,” he warned. The shooting occurred at around 9 p.m., and immediately afterwards, Lebanese soldiers were seen gathering on their side of the border. The IDF has launched an investigation into the cross-border shooting. Jerusalem Post


Plants ‘won’t grow near Wi-Fi routers’…How is it effecting us?

It’s not difficult to understand the appeal of Wi-Fi. This revolutionary technology, which has been commercially available since 1999, eliminates cabling and wiring for computers, reduces cellular usage charges and allows us to connect to the Internet from anywhere with a signal. Despite these benefits, however, studies continue to show that the radiation generated by wireless routers is negatively affecting our health. In fact, the British activist website Stop Smart Meters recently published a list of 34 scientific studies demonstrating the adverse biological effects of Wi-Fi exposure, including studies linking it to headaches, reduced sperm count and oxidative stress. The latest research into the dangers of Wi-Fi, though, comes from a surprisingly humble source: Five ninth grade female students from Denmark, whose science experiment revealed that wireless radiation is equally as devastating to plants. The experiment began when the five students realized that they had difficulty concentrating in school if they slept near their mobile phones the previous night.

Intrigued by this phenomenon, the students endeavored to study the effects of cellphone radiation on humans. Unfortunately, their school prevented them from pursuing this experiment due to a lack of resources, so the students decided to test the effects of Wi-Fi radiation (comparable in strength to cellphone radiation) on a plant instead. The girls placed six trays of Lepidium sativum seeds (a garden cress grown commercially throughout Europe) in a room without radiation, and an equal amount in a room next to two Wi-Fi routers. Over a 12-day period, they observed, measured, weighed and photographed the results. Even before the 12th day arrived, however, the end results were obvious: The cress seeds placed near the routers either hadn’t grown or were completely dead, while the seeds placed in the radiation-free room had blossomed into healthy plants. More

 

 

200 km-high Water geysers seen on Jupiter’s moon Europa

 

 

PAUL BEGLEY

 

Comet Ison Slowing Down & Spreading Out! ISON Meteor Shower 12/25/13 to 1/14/14!

 

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