Saudi airstrikes kill 44, including 20 civilians, in Yemen’s capital – reports
At least 44 people have been killed in airstrikes by the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, according to the Houthi-run news agency Saba.
“More than 44 citizens were martyred and 100 others including women and children, according to preliminary figures,” the agency initially reported. Later figures from a Health Ministry official suggest there were at least 180 people wounded. cont
Belgian prosecutors investigate Germany over spy claims
Israeli jets hit Gaza in retaliation for rocket attack
India is expected to suffer catastrophic impacts from Severe Tropical Cyclone Phailin in less than 12 hours. Destructive winds well over 160 kph (100 mph) and flooding rain of at least 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) is expected across a wide area. There will be a crippling storm surge of 4-6 meters (14-20 feet), as well as wind gusts to 250 kph, near the landfall point of Phailin which is expected across northeastern India Saturday morning EDT. Anyone residing in the states of Orissa or eastern Andhra Pradesh is encouraged to take proper precautions and prepare for life-threatening conditions. More
A substantial number of Japanese have suddenly begun suffering nosebleeds that some reports indicate are likely tied to radiation poisoning from the damaged nuclear plants at Fukushima. The reports are based on a series of tweets, allegedly from Japanese citizens who report the nosebleeds, along with photos of blood-soaked rags and bandages. Many of the reports are flowing through Facebook. If true, the damaged Fukushima plant continues to wreak havoc One site says that Japanese doctors who have been treating those afflicted by the massive radiation released when the plant was damaged by a major earthquake-caused tsunami on March 11, 2011, know that their patients have radiation sickness, but they are being prevented from discussing it publicly. Another phenomenon, according to these online posts and reports, is that the bulk of those suffering nosebleeds are under 30 years old. Other symptoms being tracked are nausea, dizziness, anemia, rashes and “dullness. More
The mainstream media is reluctantly coming around to the reality that the Healthcare.gov Obamacare exchange is fatally broken. At the same time, the media is also pushing a new story that claims mid-November is the “new deadline” for fixing what they call “Obamacare glitches.” See Reuters for an example. The media is, of course, just as delusional about Obamacare as Obama worshippers themselves. Consider these three points:
1) The media is lying to you when they describe the problems with Healthcare.gov as “glitches.” In reality, the website suffers from disastrously failed computer code, critically flawed architecture and an astonishing lack of quality control testing. These cannot be fixed with “patches” or “updates” as the media is pretending.
3) As a result, the IRS will be fining Americans for not purchasing a mandatory insurance product which they are unable to purchase because the government-run exchange system is broken. This is, of course, the epitome of failed government, reaching Orwellian heights of absurdity More
In between a sip or two of beer, a group of men delved deeper into the Bible at a bar off Route 67 in Oxford, Conn. last week, the Associated Press reports. The story goes on to paint a picture of men digging deeper for a better understanding of themselves and a better relationship with God. Is that biblical? The Rev. John Donnelly of Christ Church Quaker Farms thinks so. The way he sees it, a lot of men won’t go to Bible study in church—but they might be willing to listen to Jesus with a cold brewsky in hand. That’s why he launched a group called Beer, Bible and Brotherhood. The first meeting drew 10 men who downed beer while contemplating Bible verses, the AP reports. He’s hoping to build the group of suds-sipping seekers to 50. “Downstairs in a banquet room Wednesday evening, the men gathered at long tables, with pints in front of a few of them. Donnelly had Samuel Adams Boston Lager, while some sipped Samuel Adams OctoberFest,” the AP says. Donnelly’s club may be a sign of the times. There’s a definite cultural shift in the body of Christ to open the bottles, er, the gates to alcoholic beverages. Moody Bible Institute in September lifted its alcohol and tobacco ban. “Generally, permissive attitudes about alcohol within an evangelical denomination or school are looked upon by many conservative evangelicals as a hallmark of decline, perhaps even of apostasy,” Larry Eskridge, associate director of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, told RNS. “By contrast, more ‘progressive’ elements within the evangelical community these days are likely to look upon those institutions with strictures against alcohol use as legalistic and accuse them of ‘majoring on the minor.’” So which is it? Are churches that frown on Christians drinking alcohol legalistic and majoring in the minor or is the acceptance of alcohol and tobacco a gateway to apostasy that will usher in sexual immorality and all manner of sin? Would you want to attend a church where the pastor downs a few brews with the boys in a bar over Bible study? Or does that send the wrong message? Charisma
The push for radical transgender rights in schools is trumping privacy rights at one Colorado high school. A male student at Florence High School who claims to be a transgender has been harassing girls in the bathroom. When parents complained, school officials said the boy’s rights as a transgender trumped their daughters’ privacy rights. As the controversy grew, some students were threatened with being kicked off athletic teams or charged with hate crimes if they continued to voice concerns. The Pacific Justice Institute sent the school a letter warning against squelching privacy rights. ”We’re not going to stand by and let 99.7 percent of our students lose their privacy and free speech rights just because .3 percent of the population are gender-confused,” the PJI wrote. PJI is demanding assurances from the school that privacy and expressive rights will be protected and any accommodations will not involve the girls giving up access to most of their restrooms, as has previously been suggested by the school. More
The president of the Islamic Affairs Council of Maryland offered high praise for Pope Francis, saying the Catholic leader “resonates with the Muslim world,” much like the saint from whom he takes his name. ”From my perspective, Pope Francis is really doing a wonderful job in terms of outreach, in terms of contributing to world peace, in terms of contributing to stopping wars and conflicts, praying for better understanding,” said Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat in an interview with Catholic News Service. Arafat made the comments after visiting the Vatican in early October as part of a trip arranged by the U.S. State Department. Arafat pointed to a number of examples, including the pope’s recent call for the world to pray and fast in September in advance of what were then-expected U.S. military strikes against Syria. ”St. Francis resonates with the Muslim world,” Arafat said, noting that in 1219, Francis of Assisi was the first Catholic leader credited with holding a dialogue with a Muslim leader. ”I see Pope Francis saying the right things and setting the right tone, and also appearing in the right places at the right time,” Arafat said. More
BHUBANESHWAR, India (AP) — Officials ordered tens of thousands of coastal villagers to flee their homes Friday as a massive cyclone — so large it filled nearly the entire Bay of Bengal — gathered strength and headed toward India’s eastern seaboard. Officials canceled holy day celebrations and stockpiled emergency supplies in coastal Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states, with forecasters saying Cyclone Phailin will hit the region Saturday evening. The Indian Meteorological Department warned that Phailin was a “very severe cyclonic storm” that was expected to hit with maximum sustained winds of 210-220 kilometers (130-135 miles) per hour. If the storm continues on its current path without weakening, it is expected to cause large-scale power and communications outages and shut down road and rail links, officials said. There would also be extensive damage to crops. Satellite images of the storm showed its spinning tails reaching nearly 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) from the east coast of India to the west coast of Myanmar, an area roughly the size of France. More
A 5.0-magnitude earthquake has struck near the east coast of Honshu in Japan not far from the infamous Fukushima nuclear plant. The tremor hit some 18 kilometers southeast of the city of Hitachi and 125 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, at a depth of about 50 kilometers. The epicenter is some 150 kilometers from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. There were no immediate reports of casualties or destruction. The crisis continues at Fukushima plant after it suffered triple nuclear meltdowns and hydrogen explosions since it was hit by an earthquake, followed by a tsunami, in March 2011. More
Dozens of big rig drivers and long-haul truckers took to the highways around Washington, D.C., Friday in a protest of the extra-constitutional activities of Congress and the president, as a weekend of planned political statements launched. CBS reported that at one point, truckers were side-by-side-by-side-by-side across four lanes of Interstate 95 and were blocking traffic until a Virginia State Police officer pulled them over. Dozens of big rig drivers and long-haul truckers took to the highways around Washington, D.C., Friday in a protest of the extra-constitutional activities of Congress and the president, as a weekend of planned political statements launched. CBS reported that at one point, truckers were side-by-side-by-side-by-side across four lanes of Interstate 95 and were blocking traffic until a Virginia State Police officer pulled them over. The truckers met at a travel plaza near Doswell, Va., to launch their protest on the Capital Beltway of what they view as an out of control government. As the day progressed, there were no reports of significant problems, as well as no confirmation on the number of truckers involved. WTVR reported police said as long as the truckers follow the law, there will be no interference with them. More
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill. This quote showed up in my twitter feed last week. It reminds me of two Bible words with which I have a love/hate relationship – perseverance andendurance. These are two of the most precious, important instructions in the Christian vocabulary. Yet they are some of the hardest as well. My best friend talked with me about these words after her husband left her for another woman. She had to uproot her life to begin again in a new state. She said that, day after day, her mantra was just to do the next thing. To take one step, then the next step, and then the next step in what felt like a never ending slog through a waist deep river rushing against her. Eventually (after 8 years or so), she slogged through the worst of it. She didn’t emerge onto completely dry land with no struggles, but she certainly has emerged into a new season of life of much more peace and fewer intense struggles. Most of all, she has seen redemption and healing in key relationships.Charisma
Someone told me that I’m disgustingly prideful.They talked and wrote about my hubris, my vanity, my self-importance and self-promotion. Someone else told me that my hallmark is myhumility and self-deprecation. Someone called me an uppity woman, like it was the 19th century all over again. Other people tell me I’m too nice, that I avoid conflict, that I should get better at arguing and confronting, taking a stand. Someone thinks I’m a terrible feminist because I don’t tick the proper boxes in their political opinion notebook. I’m just palatable to the pablum-craving masses, that’s all. And someone else thinks I’m a terrible follower of Jesus. Oh, yes, don’t forget the heresy: I’m anapostate. I clearly don’t place any value on Scripture. I’m weak and easily deceived with a disdain for the Word. In fact, I’m ruining everything apparently, to blame for almost all ills. Someone else thinks I’m doing just fine on both the following Jesus point and the feminist thing. My identity can’t be found in the accusations or the accolades. More
Ranchers in South Dakota fear they may lose everything after a freak storm dumped up four feet of snow in parts of the state last week, killing as many as 100,000 cattle. Matt Kammerer, a 45-year-old rancher whose family has operated in South Dakota’s Meade County since 1882, told FoxNews.com that he lost 60 cattle in the storm, or one-third of his entire herd. “You’re talking about $120,000 of assets that are just gone,” Kammerer said Friday by phone. “And we still owe the banks, too. It’s like driving a brand-new pickup off a cliff and still having to make payments.”Kammerer painted a gruesome scene north of Rapid City, where a record 23 inches of snow fell. More
On Oct. 19, self-professed Biblical scholar Joseph Atwill is planning to make public some very flammable allegations. At a day-long symposium called “Covert Messiah” in London, England, he’s set to unveil purported evidence that Roman aristocrats manufactured Jesus Christ – a claim that, if substantiated, would devalue the core of the Christian faith. The only problem? Most Biblical experts disagree with the scholar’s pronouncements. A press release announcing the purported new evidence claims that Atwill has discovered “ancient confessions” that purportedly prove that Romans invented Jesus Christ in the first century. He has long argued that the faith system was used as a political tool to control the masses — something he says is still going on today. “I present my work with some ambivalence, as I do not want to directly cause Christians any harm, but this is important for our culture,” he said of the alleged debunk – one that he believes will eventually be universally accepted. More
The ongoing stalemate over the federal government shutdown and the prospect of debt default has damaged public confidence in the country, its economy, and in the Republican Party specifically, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The survey, conducted as President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders grope for a way out of the crisis, shows the mood of Americans descending to depths comparable to those reached during the fall 2008 Wall Street crisis. Just 14 percent say the nation is heading in the right direction, around half the percentage who felt that way just a month ago. Fully 78 percent call the country on the wrong track, matching the result in October 2008. Accompanying that shift is a sharp decline in economic confidence. By 42 percent to 17 percent, Americans now expect the economy to get worse rather than better in the next year. A plurality had been expressing optimism since the summer. At the same time, the survey underscores the intense pressures on congressional Republican leaders to find a way out of the stalemate. For while the fallout has affected the entire country, it has inflicted particular harm on the GOP. More
The United States dollar may still be like Leonardo DiCaprio in “Titanic.” It’s the king of the world! But if politicians keep acting like toddlers, the greenback may eventually suffer the same fate as that not-so-unsinkable ship. Now don’t get me wrong. The dollar remains the world’s reserve currency. It’s what most people around the world use as their benchmark for trading, investing and other financial transactions. And there is no viable alternative at this time. However, confidence in the dollar may gradually erode as Congress does its best impersonation of Italy. That’s not a compliment. My ancestral homeland is famous for great food, wine and art. But a normal, functioning government? Not so much. It’s getting harder for investors to write off the problems in Washington as isolated events. The current debt ceiling drama is the third time since the summer of 2011 that lawmakers and President Obama have brought the country to the brink of a fiscal disaster. Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy for Standard Life Investments in Edinburgh, Scotland, used a soccer (football for those of you outside the 50 States ) analogy to describe his concerns about the dollar. He joked that the United States is in danger of being demoted to the second division of governments. More
China is hoping for a speedy resolution to the U.S. debt ceiling debates, one of the country’s top central bankers said Thursday. “The market doesn’t like uncertainty and we watch this drama very closely,” People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Gang Yi told CNNi’s Richard Quest, Thursday. After Uncle Sam, China is the largest holder of U.S. Treasuries, so it’s deeply invested in the debate. Yi stressed that if the United States defaults, it would hurt not just the two largest economies, but also the rest of the world. “I think this is about the entire financial market of the world,” he added. “Right now we see some recovery of developed economies and also emerging markets facing some difficulty. Adding this budget and debt limit uncertainty would be a hurdle for the recovery and the future development of the economy.” The comments came at CNN’s Debate on the Global Economy, an event held in conjunction with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s annual meeting in Washington D.C. More
Christian Adamek, 15, Streaks At High School Football Game, District Threatens To Get Him Placed On Sex Offender’s List, And He Hangs Himself
High school pranks like streaking are usually harmless and may lead to minor discipline from the school, but no one ever expects it to end in tragedy.
Well, that’s exactly what happened in an Alabama high school.
In this startling Message you will Discover how America is climaxing a 40 Year Cycle of Bloodshed and Unbelief and reaching the fullness of it’s time as an Empire. You will see stunning parallels of 40 Year Cycles and the disastrous outcomes of Nations who continued in unbelief and rebellion of God Almighty’s Holy Word, And How America is shadowing the Blueprints of an ancient Empire that was the mightiest in History but fell thru the same sins that America is continuing in. You will see how Harbingers are appearing on Earth and from Heaven at the pinnacle of this Cycle. You will also discover how the month of October has a nasty History for America and the Economy. This message will be available on CD and DVD
President Barack Obama sounded a stern warning Tuesday about the consequences to the nation if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling. He also urged members of Congress to end the partial government shutdown. ”We’re not going to pay ransom for” America paying its bills, he told reporters, placing the blame on the crisis squarely on House Republicans. “Let’s lift these threats from our families and our businesses and let’s get down to work.” Obama said is happy to talk with Republicans about issues they care about, but that “shouldn’t require threats of a government shutdown” or economic chaos over the heads of the American people. if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, “every American could see their 401Ks and home values fall,” and the country would see a “very significant risk” of a deep recession. Failing to raise the debt ceiling “would be dramatically worse” than a government shutdown, he said. Earlier, there was high-level phone call between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, but no immediate sign of progress on reopening the government a week into a partial shutdown or reaching a deal to avoid the first-ever U.S. default next week. Boehner demanded that Obama and Democrats negotiate with Republicans on steps needed to end the shutdown that began on October 1 and raise the nation’s debt ceiling before the deadline for default on October 17. More
The balmy tropical isles here seem worlds apart from the expansive cornfields of the Midwest, but Hawaii has become the latest battleground in the fight over genetically modified crops. The state has become a hub for the development of genetically engineered corn and other crops that are sold to farmers around the globe. Monsanto and other seed companies have moved here en masse, and corn now sprouts on thousands of acres where sugar cane or pineapples once grew. But activists opposed to biotech crops have joined with residents who say the corn farms expose them to dust and pesticides, and they are trying to drive the companies away, or at least rein them in. The companies counter that their operations are safe and that the industry is essential to Hawaii’s economy.More
Police arrested numerous Vietnam veterans during a vigil at a war memorial in New York City last night after the protesters refused to adhere to a 10pm curfew. The veterans had gathered at the Vietnam Memorial Plaza to protest the 12th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan by reading out the names of deceased US soldiers. One video shows a man speaking about how veterans are committing suicide. “This is a sign of betrayal….it’s important you know that your government committed immense atrocities during the Vietnam war, we did it every day,” he states. After the Park Service rejected the group’s application to hold a protest at the site, an all night vigil was planned. The group argued that its first amendment rights superseded the 10pm curfew. Photographs show veterans being handcuffed and loaded into paddy wagons. A live stream video recording of the event shows demonstrators chanting, “whose side are you on?” before police, after several verbal warnings, move in to make the arrests. More
The U.S. Treasury needed to pay off a record of approximately $7,546,726,000,000 in maturing Treasury securities in fiscal 2013, which ended last Monday, according to Treasury’s official accounting. During the same period, the Treasury turned around and issued another $8,323,949,000,000 in new Treasury securities. The spread between the old debt held by the public that matured and was paid off during the fiscal year and the new debt that was sold to cover government spending over and above tax revenues, increased the net federal government debt held by the public by $777.223 billion during the fiscal year. In the previous fiscal year, 2012, the Treasury had needed to redeem only $6,804,956,000,000 in Treasury securities, but then it needed to turn around and issue $7,924,651,000,000 in new securities—increasing the net debt held by the public by $1.119695 trillion. More
The U.S. Department of Agriculture warned the public on Monday about a salmonella outbreak traced to Foster Farms chicken. The agency said nearly 280 illnesses in 18 states had been traced to raw poultry from three Foster Farms facilities in California. The chicken was distributed mainly to stores in Oregon, Washington and California. The USDA said most of those sickened live in California. Foster Farms said in a statement that it had bolstered food safety practices at the three plants in central California. ”We deeply regret any foodborne illness that may be associated with any of our products,” Ron Foster, Foster Farms president said in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring the safety of our products, and our family owned company has maintained an excellent food safety record during its 80-year history.” Salmonella, like other foodborne bacteria, can cause a range of gastrointestional symptoms, including cramps, diarrhea and fever within eight to 72 hours after consumption. It can also be deadly. More
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.— Worries about injuries at a Long Island school have led to a surprising ban. As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Monday, officials at Weber Middle School in Port Washington are worried that students are getting hurt during recess. Thus, they have instituted a ban on footballs, baseballs, lacrosse balls, or anything that might hurt someone on school grounds. Tossing a football during recess has long seemed to be a rite of passage for kids in the school community. “I think we need the soccer balls, the footballs and everything, so we can have some fun,” one student said. But the students will have no such option anymore. They were just informed that during recess, football is out and Nerf ball is in. Hard soccer balls have been banned, along with baseballs and lacrosse balls, rough games of tag, or cartwheels unless supervised by a coach. Students were not thrilled about the news. “Cartwheels and tag — I think it’s ridiculous they are banning that,” one said. “You go for recess — that’s your free time to go let loose and recharge,” another said. “That’s all we want to do,” a third student said. “We’re in school all day sitting behind the desk learning.” More
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday that the income gap in the United States has increased to the point where members of the middle class resemble the Americans who lived in poverty when he occupied the White House. Carter offered his assessment of the nation’s economic challenges Monday at a Habitat for Humanity construction site in Oakland – the first of five cities he and wife Rosalynn plan to visit this week to commemorate their three-decade alliance with the international nonprofit that promotes and builds affordable housing. The recent economic downturn revealed that families living in even comparatively well-off, but expensive regions like the San Francisco Bay Area are economically insecure, he said. ”Even in one of the wealthiest parts of the world there is a great deal of foreclosures and now a great deal of people who are fortunate to own their own houses owe more on them than the houses are worth in the present market, and that’s all changed in the last eight years,” Carter said during an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. More
A medical test being developed by Kuwait will be used to ‘detect’ homosexuals and prevent them from entering the country – or any of the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), according to a Kuwaiti government official. GCC member countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – already deem homosexual acts unlawful. This controversial stance is being toughened, according to Yousouf Mindkar, the director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry. He told Kuwait newspaper Al Rai: ‘Health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries. However, we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states. More’
MEXICO – A series of at least six earthquakes — two reaching at least 5.0- magnitude — struck Sunday in the Mexican state of Guerrero, which is still reeling from deadly tropical storms last month. The epicenter of the strongest quake — 5.21-magnitude, at 9.27 local time (1527 GMT), according to the National Seismological Service — was located in the mountainous area where a September 16 mudslide buried a whole town. “We are monitoring the areas affected by the recent rains because the soil is moist and that can generate problems” from the trembling, said Jose Luis Serna, civil protection director of the town nearest the epicenter, Coyuca de Benitez. “But so far, we have no news,” he said. The quakes were also felt with moderate intensity in the resort town of Acapulco, which is recovering from the massive flooding brought on when storms Ingrid and Manuel swept across the country in mid-September. Authorities recommended moving “away from risk areas, such as slopes and where there are cracks in the ground,” Guerrero governor Angel Aguirre said in his Twitter account. Tourists in Acapulco were evacuated from hotels to the Costera Miguel Aleman, the port town’s main tourist road. All six quakes were recorded between 9am local time (1500 GMT) and 10.36am (1636 GMT), and so far no damage has been reported in Guerrero state.Extinction Protocol
Russia is developing a new 20-ton attack drone that may be used to carry out strikes on stationary and moving targets over land and sea, according to news reports. Sukhoi, a Russian aircraft manufacturer, is building the massive drone, whose prototype could be ready by 2018, reported Pravda, a political Russian newspaper based in Moscow. The specific capabilities of the new vehicles have not been discussed publicly, but are expected to rival similar American attack drones. The developments signal Russia’s commitment to establishing a strong drone program, Russian officials said. ”From the point of view of theory, engineering and design ideas, we are not in the last place in the world,” Vladimir Anokhin, vice president of the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Issues, told Pravda in this translated quote. More
The United States said on Monday it would be more open to Iran taking part in a long-delayed peace conference on Syria if Iran publicly backed a 2012 statement calling for a transitional government in Syria. The United States accuses Iran of supporting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a civil war that has run for more than two years, killed more than 100,000 people and eluded all efforts at a peaceful settlement. The June 30, 2012, “Geneva Communique” sought to chart a path to a diplomatic resolution of the conflict. It was agreed by major powers such as the United States and Russia, Gulf states and Syria’s neighbors Iraq and Turkey – but not Iran, which was not invited to those talks. Russia and the United States agreed in May to try to hold a “Geneva II” conference to implement the agreement, which called for a transitional governing authority to rule Syria but left open the question of whether or not Assad must leave power. More
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear and decide several contentious cases, including matters related to public prayers at government meetings and states’ right to restrict access to abortion, as it begins a new session on Monday after a summer break. One of the cases, Town of Greece v. Galloway, deals with the question whether the public prayer held before a town meeting violates the First Amendment guarantee of separation of church and state. The verdict in the case – oral arguments of which are scheduled for Nov. 6, according to Reuters – could greatly change the future of public religious expression in the nation. ”I don’t think you should have to endure religious indoctrination in order to participate in your own town government,” Linda Stephens, one of the challengers in the case concerning prayers held at Greece, N.Y., government meetings, tells NBC. More
SIGNS IN THE SUN, MOON AND STARS: The Draconid meteor shower is sweeping across U.S. skies tonight. The meteor shower gets its name from the place in the sky where it will take place. If you were to lie down with your feet pointing north, the meteor shower would be taking place above in the constellation Draco (the dragon).
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the powerful, much-loved and sometimes controversial spiritual leader of Israel’s Sephardi community, passed away in Jerusalem early Monday afternoon after being hospitalized repeatedly over the last several weeks. He was 93. Ovadia was laid to rest Monday night in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sanhedria, with some 800,000 mourners converging from all over the country to attend what became the largest funeral in Israeli history. Despite the huge crowds, far beyond the numbers police had anticipated, there were no reports of serious injuries. Read The Times of Israel’s coverage of an unprecedentedly vast public outpouring of respect and grief.More
More than 80 people and their pets had to be rescued by boat from their flooded homes after more than seven inches of rain fell Saturday and Sunday in Louisville, Kentucky. The National Weather Service declared a flash flood emergency for Louisville early Sunday due to back-to-back thunderstorms that began Saturday.. First floor apartments were flooded and vehicles were swallowed by high waters after 5.91 inches fell in Louisville on Saturday alone, according to the Weather Channel. ”I was lying there sleeping, kids woke me up, looked out, I couldn’t believe it,” evacuee Vickie Dedrick told NBC affiliate WAVE in Louisville. ”Just a little bit of water on the road, next thing you know it looks like a tidal wave come through; looks like all cars washed off,” added evacuee Mark Elliott. No injuries were reported, but at least 45 roads were closed and many homes and cars were damaged, according to the Courier-Journal. More
A Minnesota student is fighting a five-day suspension for a public display of patriotism at his high school, which he says could hurt his chances of getting a scholarship with the Air Force. Bryce Reps is among more than a dozen students at Red Wing High School being punished for painting slogans on school windows and doors, including “USA,” “GOD BLESS AMERICA,” and “NEVER FORGET 9/11,” with erasable chalk. The students also drew red, white and blue streamers and stuck roughly 150 mini American flags around the grounds. Reps, labeled as the “ringleader” of the group, is the only student who received a full five day suspension, while the rest of his compatriots only got two days for defacing school property. ”My suspension is more severe than for someone who shows up to school drunk or has drugs on them.” Reps told ABC News. He said having this on his record would affect his ability to obtain a $15,000 Air Force college program scholarship to study at the University of Minnesota. ”I talked to a captain in the Air Force and that’ll make a big, big difference,” Reps said. ”There was never any intent to permanently damage anything. It was a prank. We just wanted to decorate the school to prove that we’re patriotic,” he said. More
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated his position that a necessary condition for any peace agreement was an end to the Palestinian refusal to recognize the right of the Jews to a homeland in the land of their fathers. He also stood by his acceptance of a two-state solution, In a speech at Bar Ilan University Sunday night, Netanyahu covered the same ground as his UN speech last week when he accused Iran of seeking to dominate the Middle East and beyond and destroy the state of Israel. He said he was ready for a diplomatic solution of the nuclear question – provided Iran was stripped of its capabilities to develop nuclear weapons, i.e., no centrifuges or plutonium reactor. Debka
After years of anticipation, the Federal Reserve will begin circulating the new $100 bill on Tuesday. And there’s a lot to be excited about on the latest Benjamin. The front of the new bill features a bluish-purple security ribbon that’s three-dimensional (the strip is actually woven into the paper). When the bill is moved, a printed Liberty Bell and the number 100 appear to scroll down the ribbon. A vibrant copper-colored inkwell emblazoned over part of the Declaration of Independence printed on the bill’s front side reveals a color-changing Liberty Bell inside it when the bill is tilted. The new design also frees Ben Franklin from the oval border that contained him before, and features a rather large image of the quill used to sign the Declaration of Independence coming out of Ben Franklin’s shoulder. The new design flourishes, which are intended to prevent counterfeiting, don’t come cheap. CBS News is reporting that each bill costs around 4 cents more to produce than the old $100 notes, meaning that taxpayers will shell out an extra $100 million this year to print these babies. The new bill took more than a decade to develop and was originally supposed to be rolled out in 2011, but a couple of printing problems caused its delay, The New York Times notes. Huff Post Money
Do you need more preschool workers to serve children? Do you need more greeters to greet? Do you need more ushers to … ush? If so, you’re in familiar territory. I’ve never met a church that said, “You know, when it comes to volunteers, we’re good. We’ve got plenty. In fact, there’s a waiting list for the nursery.” Churches everywhere need to mobilize more volunteers to get ministry done. But before you start signing people up and filling slots, it might be helpful to take a look at why people are not volunteering. Here are five reasons people might not be volunteering at your church:
1. You’re not asking correctly. It takes more than blurbs in the bulletin and please from the pulpit to move people into volunteer positions in your church. If you want people to serve, you’ve got to learn how to ask correctly.
2. It’s hard to sign up. Signing up has to be simple and immediate. Hidden tables in the lobby don’t work. Remembering to email so-and-so isn’t a good strategy.
3. It’s not clear. If you want people to do a job, they need to clearly understand the expectations and requirements. Pull back the veil and show people what’s it like before you ask them to get involved.
4. You’re not saying thanks. People don’t want to toil away in a thankless role. Just because someone’s reward is in heaven doesn’t mean they don’t need to hear “thank you” on earth.
5. It’s too hard. The super-committed will do whatever it takes, but if you want to mobilize a bunch of people, you need to make it easier. Take care of their kids, provide food and make sure they have everything they need to succeed. A little planning on the front end goes a long way.
Pakistani Muslims Form Human Chain To Protect Christians During Mass
Hand in hand as many as 200-300 people formed a human chain outside the St Anthony’s Church adjacent to the District Police Lines at the Empress Road, in a show of solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar church attack two weeks back, which resulted in over a 100 deaths. The twin suicide attack on All Saints church occurred after Sunday mass ended and is believed to be the country’s deadliest attack on Christians.
Texas Warning Several Creeks Contaminated High Levels Of Fecal Bacteria!!
Global Interfaith Alliance Launch Water Secure World Symbolic Water Ceremony??
ndia Hindus Prepare For 5 Day Pagan Goddess Durga Puja festival !!
Ice Cream Recall Concern Over Metal Shavings Pennsylvania Turkey Hill Dairy!!
Polish Archbishop Jozef Michalik Sex Abuse Comments Prompt Outrage: ‘Child Seeking Love’ Because Of Divorced Parents
WARSAW, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Poland’s most senior Catholic cleric said children with divorced parents were sometimes more vulnerable to sexual abuse by priests, remarks that prompted a storm of outrage though the church later said it was a slip of the tongue.
The comments from Archbishop Jozef Michalik entrenched the view among some younger Poles that the church is out of touch with modern society and failing to properly confront allegations of sexual abuse by priests. continue
October 5, 2013 – CALIFORNIA – An eminent U.S. seismologist is urging the installation of a national early warning system to alert people to an impending earthquake. Richard Allen, director of the University of California, Berkeley’s Seismology Laboratory and professor of Earth and planetary sciences, writing a Comment piece in the journal Nature, has taken politicians and public officials to task for not putting an early warning system in place before the next major quake occurs. Recent decades have seen dramatic improvement in the technology to detect quakes, he said, largely led by Japan, as proven by the advance warning people there received about the deadly earthquake that struck in 2011. With the advance notice trains were stopped, chemical plants shut down and people were able to take cover, Allen said. While California, Oregon and Washington have initiated programs to create early warning systems for parts of their areas, that’s not enough, Allen wrote; there should be an expansion of such systems to cover the entire United States, particularly areas most at risk. It’s not a matter of whether a major quake will strike, it’s when, Allen said, and if people have prior warning — the amount of which would depend on how far they are from the epicenter — then lives could be saved and property damage minimized. –Space Daily
October 5, 2013 – ROMANIA — The Galati area experienced dozens of earthquakes up to a magnitude of 3.8(last one just before writing this article). The quakes have an extremely shallow depth, have a relatively high shaking intensity and are causing a lot of damage in the villages near the epicenter areas (the epicenters have to be situated in an area of many kms and not in one location). Some people are not waiting for more earthquakes and left their houses due do the damage, fearing a collapse if further quakes would strike. Galati is a region with relatively low seismic activity and earthquake swarms like the current events are only known from the newspapers in other regions/countries (ER could trace some unconfirmed reports that a number of earthquakes occurred in March 1894). Residents and seismologists are very surprised and are trying to understand what is happening. Oil extraction and flooding where initially mentioned as possible triggers but these reasons cannot explain why some other phenomenon like a constant sound like “boiling water” (coming from the ground) and a strange water smell (like sulfur) is being noticed. Another reason the people are scared of are the big cracks appearing in the ground. There is no question that the seismic activity is caused by flood or oil exploitation,” said Mihnea Costoiu, Minister for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technological Development. Scientists are saying that there was surely no big historic earthquake in the Galati area. Although scientists are absolutely not sure about what will happening in the near future, they are trying to prevent panic in the affected villages. The affected population are upset about the lack of information from the authorities and the scientists (we at ER know that people are expecting answers from science which cannot be fulfilled at this level of scientific knowledge). As a reaction people tend to believe stupid rumors coming from so called people with special capacities while others have been praying to the Gods to end the swarm. Romanian TV stations are reporting on the phenomena with a number of LIVE reports. –Earthquake Report
October 4, 2013 – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday released a report warning of potentially “catastrophic” damage should Congress fail to raise the debt ceiling and prevent the government from defaulting on its debt. “A default would be unprecedented and has the potential to be catastrophic: credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, the negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse,” the report states. In recent weeks, Wall Street has become increasingly skittish about the prospect of default, as top Republicans have argued that a standoff over the debt ceiling offers their party the most leverage to exact concessions from a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president. On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called the debt limit a useful “forcing mechanism.” President Barack Obama has said he will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States. The cost of insuring one-year U.S. bonds against default has quintupled since Sept. 23, according to data from Markit, a financial information company. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that the government will run out of legal options to avoid defaulting on the national debt by Oct. 17. Thursday’s Treasury report mentioned that even the prospect of default can cause economic problems, including lower consumer confidence, stock market volatility and higher interest rates on business loans and mortgages. An actual default could have consequences for years to come. The U.S. has never defaulted on its debt, which is widely considered to be the world’s safest financial asset. “Considering the experience of countries around the world that have defaulted on their debt, not only might the economic consequences of default be profound, but those consequences, including high interest rates, reduced investment, higher debt payments, and slow economic growth, could last for more than a generation,” the report states. –Huffington Post
Experts warn political miscalculation could end in global economic disaster
Banks loading ATMs with cash: Even as the fear mongering over the debt ceiling hits proportions not seen since 2011 (when it was the precipitous drop in the market that catalyzed a resolution in the final minutes, and when four consecutive 400 point up and down DJIA days cemented the deal – a scenario that may be repeated again), some banks are taking things more seriously, and being well-aware that when it comes to banks, any initial panic merely perpetuates more panic, have taken some radical steps. The FT reports that “two of the country’s 10 biggest banks said they were putting into place a “playbook” used in August 2011 when the government last came close to breaching the debt ceiling. One senior executive said his bank was delivering 20-30 per cent more cash than usual in case panicked customers tried to withdraw funds en masse. Banks are also holding daily emergency meetings to discuss other steps, including possible free overdrafts for customers reliant on social security payments from the government.” The problem with bank runs is that often times, steps taken to mitigate future panics become self-fulfilling prophecies. Hopefully this is not one of those cases. Then again, since increasingly fewer Americans actually have money in deposit and savings accounts with banks, there is likely nothing to worry about. –Zero Hedge
No end in sight to shut down: Washington entered the fifth day of a partial government shutdown on Saturday with no end in sight even as another, more serious conflict over raising the nation’s borrowing authority started heating up. The U.S. House of Representatives prepared for a Saturday session but with no expectations of progress on either the shutdown or a measure to raise the nation’s $16.7 trillion debt ceiling. Congress must act by October 17 in order to avoid a government debt default. Republican House Speaker John Boehner tried on Friday to squelch reports that he would ease the way to a debt ceiling increase, stressing that Republicans would continue to insist on budget cuts as a condition of raising the borrowing authority. On the shutdown, Boehner said Republicans were holding firm in their demand that in exchange for passing a bill to fund and reopen the government, President Barack Obama and his Democrats must agree to delay implementation of Obama’s health care law. The launch date for Obamacare health insurance exchanges came and went on October 1, meaning Republicans are now in a more difficult political position of trying to stop something that has already begun. Although essential government functions like national security and air traffic control continue, the economic and policy effects of the shutdown are amplified the longer hundreds of thousands of federal workers remain at home and unpaid.
Negotiations on tax and free trade treaties are on hold, enforcement of sanctions against Iran and Syria are being hindered, and a government tester of dangerous consumer products spends his days at home. Nerves and sometimes tempers frayed on Friday after several weeks of long sessions of Congress and non-stop posturing. “This isn’t some damn game,” said Boehner, responding to a Wall Street Journal article that quoted an unidentified White House official saying Democrats were “winning” the shutdown battle. The Democratic president reiterated that he was willing to negotiate with Republicans, but said, “We can’t do it with a gun held to the head of the American people. There’s no winning when families don’t have certainty over whether they’re going to get paid or not,” Obama told reporters when he visited a downtown Washington lunch spot that was offering a discount to furloughed federal government workers. The shutdown began on Tuesday when the Republican-led House of Representatives refused to approve a bill funding the government unless it included measures designed to delay or defund key provisions of Obama’s signature legislation, the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which are now being implemented. –Reuters
Tambura knew the rice was an act of love, but she only felt pain at the sight of it. After all she had sacrificed for her youngest daughter, Paadini, this is how she would repay her, by following another God, praying and fasting and offering handfuls of rice to her God for Tambura’s salvation. Tambura wouldn’t have any of it. She took her daughter’s offering to put it away and end Paadini’s antics, but before she could, she suddenly fell to the ground.
Mother Raises Children to Worship Deities
As a single mom, Tambura had been heavily devoted to the wellbeing of her four sons and daughter. After her husband died, she grew and sold vegetables to keep them well fed, but she knew a good life depended on more than fulfilling physical needs. Tambura took great delight in worshiping her deity. Every day, she cleansed herself and burned incense in front of the god’s image. She taught her children to perform the rituals as well. As a family, they offered sacrifices, read holy books and fasted with great fervor. More
“It’s time!” are the two words I recently heard from the Lord that have had an incredible impact on me. These two words have released in me a sense of faith and expectancy beyond anything I have known probably in years. It released a sense in me that things I have prayed about and put off for the future are now here. I am not to cry out for revival or awakening as I have in the past, but I am to walk, act and speak in the realization that God’s time to act mightily on our behalf is here. Then, just recently, God showed me what I believe is the next step in moving more fully into this new season into which He has brought us. More
Either the devil isn’t fleeing or one demon is lined up right after the other to take the last one’s place—at least that’s the thought that crosses my mind in seasons of heavy spiritual warfare. I’m resisting the devil all right, but it sure doesn’t seem like he’s fleeing—much less fleeing seven ways (Deut. 28:7). Despite resisting with all my might, sometimes the enemy continues raging against me like he’s deaf or oblivious to the power in the name of Jesus. Yet I know God is not a man that He should lie (Num. 23:19). The Word is absolutely 100 percent true all the time, without fail. And God’s Word says every knee must bow to the name of Jesus (Phil. 2:10). So what gives? When God’s Word doesn’t seem to be working, this I know: It’s not God’s Word that’s not working. Usually, we’re either missing some revelation or doing something wrong somewhere—whether we realize it or not. Either way, we need a revelation! With that in mind, let’s look at this “resist the devil” Scripture in context. The Bible actually says, “He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:6-8). Isn’t that a far cry from what you hear in some spiritual warfare circles? More
According to sources in Congress and the White House,Barack Obama is preparing to usurp the Constitutional power of Congress to control the purse strings of the federal government. The Obama plan entails using the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to bypass Congress on the upcoming debt ceiling debate and unilaterally raise the debt ceiling without the approval of Congress. On Thursday Mark Levin cited several Congressional sources who have told him that Obama has no intention of negotiating with Congress on the debt, which is just under $17 trillion, the highest in U.S. history. When unfunded liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare are added in, the real debt is over $125 trillion – a figure so astronomically high that the country has no hope of ever paying it back. Uncontrolled spending has led the nation to this point. More
Towering grain mountains in Asia, already large enough to feed China for eight months, are set to grow even bigger as governments persist in shoring up their safety buffers against hard times. Haunted by a 2008 food crisis that sparked unrest and panic buying, states will keep piling grain into reserves despite the strain on their finances and storage problems, buoying prices that have been hit by expectations of bumper harvests. “The most populated countries, especially in Asia, will be very reluctant to see their inventories go down,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. “Lessons learnt during the 90s and 2007-08 have convinced policymakers that the international market is important but it cannot be relied on 100 percent for food security.” More
U.S. military forces were involved in two separate operations in Africa — one of them targeting a member of the group Al-Shabaab that was behind last month’s Kenya mall attack, and the other going after an al Qaeda leader tied to bombings of two U.S. embassies. The Al-Shabaab raid took place in Somalia, where that terrorist group is based, sometime in the past 24 hours, a senior U.S. official said Saturday evening. The team of U.S. Navy SEALs had to withdraw before it could confirm whether it killed the target because they came under fire, the official said. The SEALs made the “prudent decision” to withdraw rather than engage in further combat, according to the official. The other mission ended in the capture of Abu Anas al Libi, who is suspected to have played a significant role in the August 7, 1998, bombings of American embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Nairobi, Kenya, U.S. officials said. The key al Qaeda operative was captured by U.S. special operations forces in Tripoli, Libya, according to the officials. This U.S. operation was conducted with the knowledge of the Libyan government, said one U.S. official. CNN
President Barack Obama says he would “think about changing” the Washington Redskins’ name if he owned the football team as he waded into the controversy involving a word many consider offensive to Native Americans. Obama, in an interview with The Associated Press, said team names such as the Redskins offend “a sizable group of people.” He said that while fans get attached to the names, nostalgia may not be a good enough reason to keep them in place. ”I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things,” he said in the interview, which was conducted Friday at the White House. An avid sports fan who roots for his hometown Chicago Bears, Obama said he doesn’t think Washington football fans are purposely trying to offend American Indians. “I don’t want to detract from the wonderful Redskins fans that are here. They love their team and rightly so,” he said. More
Pope Francis plans to visit the Holy Land in November, Hebrew-language Israeli daily Maariv reported Friday.
The pope’s tour is set to include sites in both the occupied West Bank as well as Israel, according to the report.
Maariv reported that the visit follows a series of meetings between representatives of Israel and the Vatican. Ma’an News Agency
US intelligence agencies believe Iran continues to be a year or more away from having the capability to make a nuclear weapon, said US President Barack Obama in an interview with the Associated Press. The president also said that the US would not accept a “bad deal” on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program. The US, other Western countries and Israel suspect Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian program. Tehran insists the program is exclusively for peaceful purposes. RT
On late Tuesday night, the Earth’s magnetic field was hit by a strong solar explosion. A recent report has uncovered that the same bolstered the Northern Lights throughout areas of the United States and Canada. It was on Monday when the sun eruption took place with a large veil of charged particles reaching the Earth by stripping into space. Their speeds, according to the findings, were extremely high. The magnetic field of the planet was whacked nearly at 10 p. m. at night on Tuesday by coronal mass ejection (CME), i. e. the cloud. The eruption, however, did not go as without its capture for once. NASA caught the sun explosion in a video, before it closes down for the government shutdown at present. It has been found that G2 geomagnetic storms could lead to voltage frights in high-latitude power systems. Also, orbiting spacecraft could be knocked by it outside their ideal orientation. Thereby, ground controllers are needed to interfere, said the SWPC. ”G2 (moderate) levels of storming were observed overnight as a result. Earth remains under the influence of this CME, so there is likely still more to come”, said the Space Weather Prediction Center’s officials. The report said the center is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s service. French Tribune.com
What are your kids studying in school today? Public schools from California to Florida are celebrating LGBT History Month, where they highlight a homosexual or lesbian each day. Thursday, America’s schoolchildren learned about Edward-turned-Gwen Araujo, who was intimate with men who allegedly beat him when they discovered he was not a woman. “If parents think our schoolchildren should be focused on science and math, not sex and murder, they need to talk to teachers, principals and school boards to ensure that this program is stopped,” cautions Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The sexual assault on our children is mind-boggling,” Staver adds. Earlier this week, Staver was in federal court in New Jersey challenging the new law that bans minors in the Garden State from receiving counseling to overcome unwanted same-sex sexual attractions, behavior or identity. Liberty Counsel has already challenged a similar law in California. Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia have introduced like measures that insert the government between the client and the counselor. “Parents and concerned citizens must stand up to protect our children,” says Staver. “Enough is enough! The innocence of our children is under assault in the public schools. Parents and concerned citizens must stand up and demand that public schools focus on the essentials of learning and not become vehicles of a sexualized agenda.” Charisma
When atheist activists launched a battle over intelligent design at Ball State University earlier this year, they sparked a holy war in higher education that has university officials scrambling to critically examine courses and professorial credentials. It all started after the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist group, waged a complaint about a science class that taught creationism at BSU. In response, the Discovery Institute, a think tank that rejects evolutionary theory, launched a counter-grievance over a different course — one that allegedly touts secularism. TheBlaze initially reported on the FFRF’s complaint against the public university back in May. At the time, the group argued that the Muncie, Ind.-based college was violating the separation of church and state by allowing intelligent design to be taught in physics and astronomy professor Eric Hedin’s honors class. The description of Hedin’s course, as reported by World on Campus, said that students would “investigate physical reality and the boundaries of science for any hidden wisdom within this reality which may illuminate the central questions of the purpose of our existence and the meaning of life.” More
Residents in Bartow, Fla., have been asked (or ordered, depending on whom you speak with) to remove “God bless America” signs from their lawns. The crack-down on private property may seem uncommon or targeted, but a city ordinance that limits the presence of signage on private property has been on the books for the past 13 years. While residents are allowed to have temporary messages up only around certain holidays, there is an expiration date surrounding just how long billboards and posters can remain on display. The “God bless America” signs at the center of the first debate were originally handed out by First Church of Bartow, a local house of worship, to commemorate the July 4th holiday. The Blaze called the church and spoke with a representative who told us that someone made the signs and left them out for parishioners to take and use back in June. Now, three months later, the city believes that some of the 300 placards that were distributed and posted have overstayed their welcome, WTVT-TV reports. The City of Bartow Code Enforcement asked residents to remove the messages within the next three days, as July 4th celebrations are long past. More
A recently-shut down Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Carrollton, Texas, currently has a sign posted outside that reads: “Closed by Obamacare.” After being tipped off by a reader, TheBlaze traveled to the location to confirm the sign’s authenticity. It wasn’t immediately clear whether or not President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, which made its very bumpy debut earlier this week, actually forced the location to shut its doors. Attempts to call the phone number associated with the location only resulted in exchanges with an automated messaging system announcing the number is no longer in use. It is entirely possible that the sign is more of a political statement than a statement of fact. However, TheBlaze is currently working to obtain more information about the sign and reason for the Carl’s Jr. location’s going out of business. We have reached out to the restaurant chain’s corporate office and this story will be updated should the company respond. More
Wicked weather dominated much of the American Midwest and westward on Friday. A tornado laden storm shocked the people of Wayne, Nebraska, as afternoon turned to evening. A few people sustained minor injuries, but luckily no one was killed, said mayor Ken Chamberlain. The storm produced one or several tornadoes, officials said, that touched down in five spots. ”The primary damage is mostly in the industrial area of Wayne,” Chamberlain said. “Approximately 10-12 houses were destroyed but everyone is accounted for and safe.” The storm flipped cars, trapping motorists and ruptured a natural gas line in Wayne, the state’s emergency management agency said. “Hazmat is on the scene dealing with the gas leakage,” said spokeswoman Jodie Fawl. The American Red Cross is sending teams to the scene, said Liz Dorland of the agency’s Nebraska/Southwest Iowa regional chapter. The agency is “working with local authorities and emergency management to see what the needs are and (to) respond as needed,” she said. Fifteen people injured by the storm were taken to Providence Medical Center in Wayne, hospital spokesperson Sandra Bartling said. No deaths from the tornado had been reported, officials said. Farther west, in Rapid City, South Dakota, and in eastern Wyoming, a winter storm caused locals to take cover. Half the approximately 60,000 residents of Rapid City were without power as of Friday evening, said Jerry Reichert, a battalion chief with the Rapid City Fire Department. Reichert said firefighters responded to reports of several people stuck in the road because of the weather.
At least one tree landed on the roof of a home on Friday, but Reichert said he was not aware of any fatalities or injuries as of Friday evening. In the morning, Rapid City police issued a “no travel” advisory for the city. They described conditions as “deteriorating quickly” and warned travelers that visibility was “at about a quarter-mile.” Police also warned that “thick slush on the roads is causing vehicles to hydroplane.” In Wyoming, road closures also dominated travel. A dispatcher for the Wyoming Highway Patrol said the majority of Interstate 25 in the state had been shut because of bad weather. A small stretch in the middle of the state, around Casper, remained open, but it was restricted to necessary travel, the dispatcher said. Dave Kingham, a spokesman for the Wyoming Department of Transportation, said Interstate 80 westbound between Laramie, Wyoming, and Cheyenne, Wyoming, was closed after an early evening accident. On the eastbound side of that same stretch, Kingham said, the “chain law” was in effect. That means vehicles must use chains or snow tires to travel the interstate legally. On average, Kingham said, the closed stretch of I-80 accommodates about 6,000 vehicles each day. CNN
The United States military will use long-range surveillance drones to spy on North Korea next year, U.S. government officials announced this week. Beginning next spring, the Air Force will fly several dronesnear North Korean borders to gather intelligence data on the reclusive country, where an estimated 24 million people live under oppression, sealed off from the rest of the world. The unarmed Global Hawk drones will fly out of an undetermined base in Japan, according to The Washington Post. U.S. government officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, met with Japanese representatives this week to finalize the military agreement. Both sides hope the surveillance missions will enhance understanding of the threat posed by North Korea. [7 Strange Cultural Facts About North Korea] Despite repeated warnings and tough U.N. sanctions, North Korea continues to pursue its nuclear weapons and long-range missile programs. Earlier this year, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test, and recent intelligence analyses suggest the country has restarted its main nuclear complex, a Soviet-era reactor used to produce plutonium for atomic bombs. Global Hawk drones are capable of flying at altitudes of more than 60,000 feet (18,300 meters), and are the Air Force’s most advanced surveillance vehicles. The drones also boast impressive aerial endurance, and can perform flights that last more than 28 hours. The planes are equipped with a range of instruments, including infrared sensors and satellite communications systems. The RQ-4 Global Hawk, the biggest drone in the U.S. Air Force fleet, is capable of surveying 40,000 square miles (103,000 square kilometers) of ground in one day. The Air Force currently has Global Hawk drones stationed in Guam, in the western Pacific Ocean, and in the Persian Gulf. This week’s agreement is the first time the Pentagon has obtained rights to operate drones from bases in Northeast Asia, reported the Post. American drones previously conducted flights over Japan in 2011 to monitor the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which suffered a partial meltdown following the region’s devastating earthquake and tsunami that claimed nearly 16,000 lives. Yahoo
Popular A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty” continues to smash competition in the ratings on Wednesday nights, but one star has spoken out about how the show is portrayed. In an interview with Sports Spectrum TV earlier this year that’s only recently gone viral, Phil Robertson admitted that fake bleeps were inserted into the show even though there was no cursing happening. “The inserted fake bleeps … like somebody had used profanity, but no one had used profanity,” Robertson said. “I ask those guys that produce the show … ‘What’s the point of the fake bleeps?’” Robertson admitted that there are up to 20 editors who are “arranging the scenes” on the show so they might think that’s where cursing likely happened. “Of course these people probably thought that there was some profanity going on which there was zero,” Robertson stated. “If we’re not using profanity, why make it look like we’re using profanity? What is the point? Why don’t you just run it and say what we say? Robertson also said that the name Jesus has been cut out during the family’s prayer scene at the end of the show. “So they would just have me saying, ‘Thank you Lord for the food, thank you for loving us. Amen.’ So I said, ‘Why would you cut out ‘In Jesus’ name?’ They said, ‘Well those editors are probably doing that. They just think that they don’t want to offend some of the Muslims or something.’” Robertson said that since that conversation the show has been leaving “Jesus” in the show. “So I notice now they are … leaving it in there, but you got to remember, spiritual warfare,” Robertson said. “I mean you have people with no moral compass, it ain’t there.” “Duck Dynasty” has been a smash hit for A&E, garnering 11.8 million viewers for the Season Four premiere. The Robertsons’ Duck Commander business is located in West Monroe, La. CBS Houston
Lost Leonardo da Vinci painting of Isabella d’Este discovered in Swiss vault
September 20, 2013 – TAIWAN – Super Typhoon Usagi, the equivalent of a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane, intensified rapidly Thursday in the western Pacific Ocean and will threaten parts of Taiwan, the far northern Philippines and southern China through the next several days. A tropical cyclone is dubbed a “super typhoon” when maximum sustained winds reach at least 150 mph. Usagi underwent a period of rapid intensification from early Wednesday through midday Thursday (U.S. Eastern time), going from a 55-knot tropical storm to a 140-knot super typhoon in just 33 hours, or just under a 100 mph intensification, based on satellite estimates of intensity. Usagi is expected to maintain a west-northwest path through the weekend. –The Weather Channel
Monster Storm: The strongest storm on the planet so far this year is rumbling across the Western Pacific near Taiwan and the Philippines, prompting authorities to issue warnings to residents in vulnerable areas. Packing winds as strong as 260 kilometers per hour (162 mph) on Friday, Super Typhoon Usagi is forecast to plow through the Luzon Strait that lies between Taiwan and the Philippines on Saturday. The storm is then expected to weaken to become a severe typhoon as it heads northwest toward the South China coast, where it is predicted to make landfall near the densely populated city of Hong Kong on Sunday. Usagi’s current wind strength makes it equivalent in power to a Category 5 hurricane. The overall storm system measures more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) across. “It’s an incredible storm system,” said Pedram Javaheri, a meteorologist for CNN International.
As the typhoon moves across the sea, it is estimated to be generating waves as high as about 15 meters (50 feet). Its outer bands have already brought rain to the northern Philippines, where authorities have issued storm warnings for more than 15 provinces. The local weather agency, Pagasa, said residents in mountainous and low-lying areas should beware of possible flash floods and landslides. The lightly populated Batanes Islands — situated right in the middle of the Luzon Strait, and the storm’s path — are the area the most at risk from potentially devastating winds, the agency said. Usagi is expected to come closest to Taiwan on Saturday. The Central Weather Bureau issued a typhoon warning for the island, with heavy rain predicted, particularly in the east. “If you’re on the east coast of Taiwan, you’ve certainly got to take this storm very seriously,” Javaheri said. Usagi could dump more than one meter (3 feet) of rain on the area over the coming days, he said. –CNN
September 20, 2013 – INDONESIA – More than 15,000 residents have fled a volcano that rumbled to life less than a week ago in Indonesia and local airlines have been warned to avoid flying near the mountain as thick ash continues to spew from its crater, an official said. The aviation warning was issued for small planes serving short-haul flights in the region as small eruptions continue at Mount Sinabung, said Susanto, general manager for air navigation at Kuala Namu airport in North Sumatra’s capital Medan. Like many Indonesians, he uses only one name. Data from the local emergency task force showed the number of people evacuated has doubled to more than 15,000 after many residents outside the 3-kilometer danger area abandoned their houses. The 2,600-metre (8,530-foot) volcano first erupted Sunday after being dormant for three years. A larger eruption occurred two days later volcanic ash and thick smoke were belched up to 3 kilometers into the air that ignited fires on its slopes. The volcano’s last eruption in August 2010 killed two people and forced 30,000 others to flee. It caught many scientists off guard because it had been quiet for four centuries. Mount Sinabung is among around 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. –Stuff
Shikotsu Volcano – JAPAN – The latest report of the Japan Meteorological Agency indicates some unrest at the caldera. Seismic activity accompanied by inflation were recorded under the western flank of Tarumai stratovolcano (the most active vent of the system, located on the SW rim of the Shikotsu caldera) between late June and early July this year. Following this period of deformation, deep seismicity under the western flank has increased above background since the beginning of July. There are no reports of unusual surface phenomena. The last time the volcano erupted was in 1988. –Volcano Discovery
September 20, 2013 – MEXICO – Rescue teams were searching Thursday for an estimated 68 people believed buried in a mudslide after multiple storms battered large swaths of Mexico, killing nearly 100 people nationwide and leaving thousands stranded or homeless. While much attention was focused on tourists caught in the Pacific resort of Acapulco, grimmer reports emerged from villages in that hard-hit region of Guerrero state, which were largely cut off from aid and may have suffered large-scale devastation. Luis Felipe Puente, the federal Civil Protection coordinator, said in a television interview that the national death toll climbed Thursday to 97 people in nine states. He said authorities were searching the Guerrero town of La Pintada, where at least 58 people were reported missing after a rain-propelled mudslide. Rescue operations have evacuated more than 300 people. Later, authorities said the missing numbered at least 68. “We hope all [the missing] are not dead,” Puente said. “We haven’t seen bodies,” Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said after flying over the region. “But there were two-story houses that are now completely covered. There was a tall church, and now you don’t see a church. It disappeared.” If confirmed, the La Pintada landslide will be the single deadliest incident after twin storms assailed opposite coasts of Mexico last weekend, a rare double whammy that officials said they had not seen here in more than half a century.
President Enrique Peña Nieto flew to the region Thursday afternoon. “We have had extraordinary rains,” Peña Nieto said. Manuel, a tropical storm that hit Guerrero and other parts of the western coast several days ago — as Hurricane Ingrid was pummeling the eastern coast — weakened, then grew to hurricane strength, then weakened again Thursday, meteorological officials said. At its strongest, it aimed Thursday for Sinaloa state, where authorities reported extensive flooding. In Acapulco, meanwhile, an airlift of thousands of stranded tourists, most of them Mexicans, continued. Forty-five flights ferried peopled from Acapulco to Mexico City on Thursday after landslides and a flooded airport isolated the popular resort town on a holiday weekend. “We are getting desperate; we have no more money,” tourist Alfredo Gonzalez told reporters. “We are signed up for a military flight, but they told us there are thousands and thousands of people ahead of us.” Peña Nieto’s government was coming under criticism for having failed to give sufficient warning to residents as the storms bore down on the country. Critics said the president, with less than 10 months in office, was more worried about his first performance in annual Independence Day ceremonies and neglected weather realities. – LA Times
September 20, 2013 – Israel – The Dead Sea is drying up at an incredible rate leaving huge chasms of empty space in its wake. These chasms appear in the form of large, devastating sinkholes and are increasing in number throughout the region. Experts claim they are now forming at a rate of nearly one a day, but have no way of knowing when or how they will show up. Estimates by Moment magazine suggest that, on the Israeli side alone, there are now over 3,000 sinkholes around the Dead Sea. This compares to just 40 counted in 1990, with the first sinkhole appearing in the 1980s. The Dead Sea spans more than 60 miles through Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan. Its waters are 10 times saltier than the northern Atlantic Ocean because it has no outlet. This means that any minerals that flow there, stay there. The increase in sinkholes is directly related to the Dead Sea drying up at a rate of one meter per year. Sinkholes are basically bowl-shaped features that form when an empty space under the ground creates a depression. The depression is the result of a reaction between freshwater and salt buried in a subterranean level beneath the surface. When the freshwater dissolves the salt, it creates a void, causing the landscape around and above it to suddenly collapse. Over the last few decades, increasing numbers of people have been drawn to the Dead Sea causing its salt water to dry up. This leaves more fresh water in the area to dissolve the salt and create more cavities. –Daily Mail
September 20, 2013 – AFRICA – In the desert of northern Ethiopia, there’s a great rift in the ground which has long thought to have been the starting point of a new ocean, but a recent discovery has scientists wondering if they called that right, or if they’re instead seeing a whole new kind of feature forming. The Afar Rift has been called ‘an ocean in the making,’ as this is where the continents of Africa and Asia are slowly spreading apart from one another. Presumably, sometime in the future, the continents would get far enough apart that water from the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden would rush in and we would be witness to the birth of what would someday become a new ocean. Scientists have seen similarities between the Rift and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where magma wells up to make the ocean floor spread. However, a research team recently discovered a massive blob of magma, measuring around 500 cubic kilometers in size, lurking deep beneath the region, and that’s unlike anything they’ve seen before. When magma rises up from deep down under mid-ocean ridges and volcanoes, it tends to form reservoirs just beneath the surface, and these reservoirs act to feed the activity of the ridge or volcano. The magma doesn’t stay deeper down in the mantle because it’s too buoyant — it gets forced upwards into the crust by the pressures around it. In the case of the magma under the Afar Rift, though, it’s quite far down, roughly 10 kilometers below the surface, and the blob is huge — extending downward to a total depth of around 35 kilometers and it’s roughly 30 kilometers wide. Also, this apparently isn’t just a recent development, as the researchers say the volume of magma implies that it’s been there for tens of thousands of years. Although this new discovery has sparked a lot of discussion amongst geologists and geophysicists, the researchers have one possible explanation for what they’re seeing. Reservoirs of magma that gather near the surface feed volcanoes and mid-ocean ridges, and these tend to provide these formations with ‘fuel’ to cause localized or sporadic events. A huge magma reservoir that stays deep down in the mantle, like this one, could be what causes enough strain to build up in the crust to actually split continents apart. –Yahoo News
September 20, 2013 – TOKYO (Kyodo) – A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Fukushima in the northeast early Friday morning, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, but no abnormalities were observed at the region’s nuclear power plants including the crippled Fukushima Daiichi, according to their operators. The focus of the 2:25 a.m. quake was around 17 kilometers underground in Fukushima Prefecture’s southern coastal region, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. No tsunami warning was issued. Seismic intensity ranged from 1 to upper 5 on the scale of 7 in the Japanese measurement system from northeastern to central Japan. The highest reading of upper 5 was recorded in Iwaki city in Fukushima Prefecture, while lower 5 was logged in other parts of Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures. Tokyo and Narita city registered intensity 3. A Japan Meteorological Agency official told a news conference that the quake was an aftershock of the magnitude 9 quake that devastated northeastern Japan in 2011 and warned that a temblor measuring up to 4 in intensity could occur within a week.
Iwaki firefighters said a 62-year-old woman suffered light shoulder injuries at her home in the city when she got out of bed in surprise following the quake. A 32-year-old woman in Iwaki also sustained minor foot injuries from a shattered mirror, they added. No new abnormalities were observed in measurement data from the nuclear reactors and other equipment at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station or from radioactivity monitoring posts there. Readings were also normal at the nearby Fukushima Daini plant, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co. The Daiichi plant was crippled by the massive quake and tsunami in 2011. Japan Atomic Power Co. said no abnormalities were confirmed at the Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture. A few sections of highways in the region were closed to traffic, according to highway operators. A quake measuring upper 5 on the Japanese scale hit Ishinomaki in northeastern Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture on Aug. 4. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Fukushima Daiichi on Thursday and urged TEPCO to scrap the remaining two reactors in addition to four other units the utility is taking steps to decommission. – Mainichi
September 20, 2013 – GEOLOGY – According to new research from UK and Swiss scientists, the core of our planet is more complicated than we thought, with layers rotating in different directions, and it all may solve a mystery about the Earth’s magnetic field that’s persisted for over 300 years. The Earth’s core is separated into two different layers. At the centre is the solid inner core, which is surrounded by the liquid outer core — both made up of a mixture of nickel and iron. Scientists figured out the structure of the two layers decades ago, based on watching seismic waves from earthquakes passing through the planet, and they also discovered that it is circulations in the hot, liquid metal of the outer core that generate the Earth’s magnetic field. There are some things about the core that have remained a mystery, though. A study from 2005 revealed that, although the inner core rotates in the same direction as the surface, it actually rotates slightly faster than the surface. That strange result joins another curious finding, from back in 1692, when astronomer Edmond Halley (of Halley’s Comet fame) discovered that the Earth’s magnetic field ‘drifts’ towards the west by a few degrees every decade. A new study has finally offered an explanation for these two mysteries, tying everything together at last. It started with researchers not only confirming that the inner core rotates faster than the surface, but also finding that the outer core rotates in the opposite direction. To find out what’s going on, they used the Monte Rose supercomputer to run a simulation that was roughly 100 times more accurate than any previous model of the Earth’s core. The simulation revealed that it’s the Earth’s magnetic field that’s causing the layers of the core to spin like they do. It’s providing an extra little push to the inner core, driving the added spin towards the east, while at the same time an equal and opposite reaction to that push is causing the ‘backward’ spin of the outer core towards the west. The added bonus from their simulation is that it solved Halley’s mystery as well. Since the outer core slowly rotates towards the west, the circulations within the liquid metal also rotate in that direction, and the magnetic field ‘drifts’ along with them. The researchers are hoping that all of this will help scientists to better understand the behavior of the core, and thus the planet’s magnetic field. –Yahoo News
Tens of thousands of Israeli-Arabs attended the “Al-Aksa is in Danger” rally in Umm al-Fahm on Friday, organized by the Islamic Movement’s northern branch. The festival came some two weeks after Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch, was arrested and subsequently ordered by the Jerusalem District Court to stay at least 30 kilometers away from the Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount. Salah had given an inflammatory speech, calling for violence against Jews at the Temple Mount. The Islamic Movement, also known as the Islamic Movement in 48 Palestine, is a pro-Palestinian and anti- Zionist organization based in northern and southern Israel. Its origins can be traced back to the latter years of the British mandate. Friday marked the 18th annual “Al-Aksa is in Danger” festival. It was broadcast live on a number of television networks in the Arab world, including Al-Jazeera. The festival was held at Umm al-Fahm’s soccer stadium, located in the Wadi Ara region of Israel. More
Gina Martin Adams is sticking to her guns. The Wells Fargo strategist has been bearish on stocks all year, even as she watched the S&P 500 (^GSPC) add 21 percent. And on Thursday’s “ Futures Now ,” Adams reiterated her call that the index would close out the year at 1,440. ”Our target is based on fundamentals,” Adams insisted. “We’re basing our target on typical valuation measures, given the level of interest rates and also on earnings forecasts. And that’s why our target is relatively low.” In fact, “low” is somewhat of an understatement. Adams’ target implies that the market will drop 16 percent in little more than three months, erasing everything that stocks gained after the year’s first day of trading. This makes her one of the lone bears on the Street. So what could produce such a dismal fourth quarter for stocks? First of all, Adams is highly skeptical about the rally that the market has enjoyed thus far. ”It’s all about emotion at this point. The entirety of the S&P 500′s increase this year has come via the multiple,” Adams said. “It’s been simply through the amount that investors are willing to bid up the value of the future earnings stream.” Indeed, the S&P 500′s price-earnings multiple has risen from 17 on Jan. 1 to nearly 20. That means the market has largely been rising due to investors’ willingness to pay more for those earnings. More
The Obama administration has filed an appeal to the United States Supreme Court in an effort to force the popular craft chain Hobby Lobby to comply with the abortion pill mandate in Obamacare. The 251-page petition was filed on Thursday by U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verilli, and bears the name of other government attorneys. The Obama administration is asking the court to overturn a preliminary injunction that was granted to the company this past July. As previously reported, Hoby Lobby first began its fight last year, seeking to obtain an exemption from covering two contraceptives that its owners believe cause abortions: the morning-after and week-after pill. The company currently provides birth control coverage to its employees and takes no issue with contraceptives in general. “These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith, and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of our employees and their families,” CEO David Green wrote in a statement last year. “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate. … By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow.” More
DARMSTADT, Germany – The four homeschooled children of a couple in Germany have been returned to their parents upon the condition that they attend public school as per German law. As previously reported, approximately 20 social workers, police officers and special agents swarmed the home of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich last month and forcefully removed all the children. A family court judge in Darmstadt had signed an order that day authorizing officials to immediately seize the Wunderlich’s children for failing to cooperate “with the authorities to send the children to [public] school.” “I looked through a window and saw many people, police, and special agents, all armed,” Dirk outlined. “They told me they wanted to come in to speak with me. I tried to ask questions, but within seconds, three police officers brought a battering ram and were about to break the door in, so I opened it.” “The police shoved me into a chair and wouldn’t let me even make a phone call at first,” he continued. “It was chaotic as they told me they had an order to take the children. At my slightest movement the agents would grab me, as if I were a terrorist. You would never expect anything like this to happen in our calm, peaceful village. It was like a scene out of a science fiction movie. Our neighbors and children have been traumatized by this invasion.” More
Over the past few days, there has been a tremendous wave of optimism that it may be possible for war with Syria to be averted. Unfortunately, it appears that a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria is extremely unlikely. Assad is certainly willing to give up his chemical weapons, but he wants the U.S. to accept a bunch of concessions that it will never agree to. And it certainly sounds like the Obama administration has already decided that “diplomacy” is going to fail, and they continue to position military assets for the upcoming conflict with Syria. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are all going to continue to heavily pressure the Obama administration. They have invested a huge amount of time and resources into the conflict in Syria, and they desperately want the U.S. military to intervene. Fortunately, overwhelming domestic and global opposition to an attack on Syria has slowed down the march toward war for the moment, but unfortunately that probably will not be enough to stop it completely. The following are ten reasons why war is almost certainly coming… More
The US Air Force inadvertently dropped an atomic bomb over North Carolina in 1961. If a simple safety switch had not prevented the explosive from detonating, millions of lives across the northeast would have been at risk, a new document has revealed. The revelation offers the first conclusive evidence after decades of speculation that the US military narrowly avoided a self-inflicted disaster. The incident is explained in detail in a recently declassified document written by Parker F. Jones, supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia National Laboratories. The document – written in 1969 and titled “How I Learned to Mistrust the H-bomb,” a play on the Stanley Kubrick film title “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” – was disclosed to the Guardian by journalist Eric Schlosser. Three days after President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, a B-52 bomber carrying two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs departed from Goldsboro, North Carolina on a routine flight along the East Coast. The plane soon went into a tailspin, throwing the bombs from the B-52 into the air within striking distance of multiple major metropolitan centers. Each of the explosives carried a payload of 4 megatons – roughly the same as four million tons of TNT explosive – which could have triggered a blast 260 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that wiped out Hiroshima at the end of World War II. One of the bombs performed in the same way as those dropped over Japan less than 20 years before – by opening its parachute and engaging its trigger mechanisms. The only thing that prevented untold thousands, or perhaps millions, from being killed was a simple low voltage switch that failed to flip. More
BREAKING NEWS: Russian leaders finally picked apart the Kerry-Lavrov understanding for Syria’s chemical disarmament – less than a week after it was unveiled in Geneva last Saturday. Thursday, Sept. 19, they slapped down a string of coordinated obstructions. One knockout blow came from President Vladimir Putin, who commented dryly that he could not be 100 percent certain that the plan for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons would succeed. “But everything we have seen so far in recent days gives us confidence that this will happen. I hope so,” he said. To dispel that hope, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu followed up with a denial of any plans to destroy the Syrian chemical stocks on Russian soil. Then, in an interview to Fox News, Syrian President Bashar Assad, in sync with Moscow, asked mockingly: “It [the destruction of poison chemicals] is very detrimental to the environment. If the American administration is ready to pay this money and take the responsibility of bringing toxic materials to the United States, why don’t they do it?” Since Russia and the US are the only countries with the industrial-scale capacity to destroy chemical munitions, and their import is banned under US law, Assad’s chemical arsenal is safe. More
Henry Blackaby, a well-known pastor and author, has been reported missing in Atlanta. Blackaby, the founder and president emeritus of Blackaby Ministries International was last seen leaving his home Thursday afternoon in the south Atlanta area. He was driving a black Lincoln sedan. “We really have no idea where he is,” said Glenn Howe, an associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Ga. “He left the house yesterday afternoon at 4 p.m. and there’s been no other contact with him.” Henry Blackaby, a well-known pastor and author, has been reported missing in Atlanta. Blackaby, the founder and president emeritus of Blackaby Ministries International was last seen leaving his home Thursday afternoon in the south Atlanta area. He was driving a black Lincoln sedan. “We really have no idea where he is,” said Glenn Howe, an associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Ga. “He left the house yesterday afternoon at 4 p.m. and there’s been no other contact with him.” Fox News Radio
Next week’s United Nations meeting could mark a turning point in the acidic relationship between Iran and the United States: Will President Barack Obama shake the hand of newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani? Will the two presidents even hold a meeting? Those questions now arise following Rouhani’s “we must work together” opinion piece he wrote for the Washington Post’s website on Thursday. Analysts were divided about Rouhani and his sincerity in addressing his country’s nuclear program, which Iran insists is for peaceful energy but which the United States and others suspect is for atomic bombs. In many ways, Rouhani’s recent election is like Obama’s in 2008: Rouhani enjoys enormous political capital, offering an opportunity to renew U.S.-Iran relations. Rouhani overcame hard-line conservatives by campaigning as a centrist and a reformer, using a “hope and prudence” slogan. More
A controversial field trip to an Islamic mosque has caused a Tennessee high school to revise its field trip policy. Students in a freshman honors world studies class at Henderson High School on Sept. 4 visited the Islamic Center of Nashville, where they were reportedly given copies of the Quran. They also visited a Hindu temple. A Sumner County Schools spokesperson acknowledged there was concern about the field trip. “Our district has reviewed the practice and decided to eliminate field trips to religious venues from this class, as it does not provide equal representation to all the religions studied in the course unit,” read the statement sent to Fox News. “This decision was made due to the fact that equal representation in regards to field trips for all religions studied in the course is not feasible.” Fox News’ Todd Starnes reports that some parents were upset and wondered why the school would take a tour of a mosque and a temple but not a Christian church or a Jewish synagogue. “If you can’t go to all five, why are you going to any?” asked parent Mike Conner. “We sent the principal an email and voiced our concerns. She sent back a reply and told us they could not afford to go to all five.” More
Fans of A&E’s monster hit “Duck Dynasty” love so many things about the Robertson clan and the reality-TV series – the family values, the heart-felt expressions of their Christian faith and the witty and sarcastic banter between family members. And the king of the show’s one-liners is Uncle Si, who sometimes cracks even himself up with some of the outrageously funny and snide remarks that fall effortlessly from his iced-tea sipping mouth. “I’m the master of distractions. Do a couple of hand gestures, and bam! I’ll take the underwear clean off your butt,” said Uncle Si in a recent episode. And then there’s this often-quoted line: “I will hurt you physically and metaphysically.” But Uncle Si’s sense of humor is no laughing matter to officials at Dinwiddie High School in Dinwiddie, Va. A mother of a student there says her son got in trouble for wearing a “Duck Dynasty” T-shirt to school that depicted a fist-clenching Uncle Si and his “I will hurt you” mantra. “For this to be considered as a threat to the school,” said Edna-Jo Spain, “I couldn’t understand it. “Anybody that ever watches “Duck Dynasty” knows that Si Robertson is famous for his little funny slogans,” she told WWBT-TV. More
President Barack Obama plans to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next week. The meeting will occur just days before Obama hosts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, said the subject of Tuesday’s meeting with Abbas will be recently relaunched peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Netanyahu will be at the White House on Sept. 30. In recent weeks, Secretary of State John Kerry has also met with both leaders. Rhodes said Obama on Tuesday will meet with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, with whom he will discuss the influx of refugees to Lebanon from the Syrian civil war. He said Obama will meet Monday with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. More
The too big to fail banks are now much, much larger than they were the last time they caused so much trouble. The six largest banks in the United States have gotten 37 percent larger over the past five years. Meanwhile, 1,400 smaller banks have disappeared from the banking industry during that time. What this means is that the health of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley is more critical to the U.S. economy than ever before. If they were “too big to fail” back in 2008, then now they must be “too colossal to collapse”. Without these banks, we do not have an economy. The six largest banks control 67 percent of all U.S. banking assets, and Bank of America accounted for about a third of all business loans by itself last year. Our entire economy is based on credit, and these giant banks are at the very core of our system of credit. If these banks were to collapse, a brutal economic depression would be guaranteed. Unfortunately, as you will see later in this article, these banks did not learn anything from 2008 and are being exceedingly reckless. They are counting on the rest of us bailing them out if something goes wrong, but that might not happen next time around. More
“Meet local Christian swingers who believe that an open and honest relationship with each other will keep any marriage fresh and exciting.” No, it’s not a late, sick-and-twisted April Fool’s joke—it’s a marketing line on a new immoral matchmaking site that makes a mockery out of marriage and sets up sexual deviants for a rude eternal awakening in the name of Jesus. “For Christian Swingers things are not easy—often other religious people judge you, out of ignorance or envy, telling you that your lifestyle and love practices are wrong,” marketing copy onChristianSwingers.com reads. “But the Bible teaches us ‘Judge not lest ye be judged’ and there’s that verse about the first stone. … But if you’re keen on keeping your privacy, well—yours, and don’t want your friends, coworkers, other PTA members or just about anyone else to know that you don’t have a problem with faith and enjoying free love with other couples, this site can help you! It’s designed to cater to the needs of those like you: devout Christian couples who still want to have an active love life and share it with another, in good faith!” More
Iran is on course to develop a nuclear bomb within six months and time has run out for further negotiations, a senior Israeli minister was quoted as saying by Reuters on Friday. The comments came as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has launched a “charm offensive” in recent days, expressing a willingness to negotiate on Iran’s nuclear program. US President Barack Obama has cautiously welcomed Rouhani’s overtures. The positive tone in US-Iranian relations, which have been fraught since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, worries Israel. It is warning the Obama administration not to be seduced by Rouhani’s charm offensive. Jerusalem urged the world on Thursday not to be fooled by Rouhani’s smiles and to intensify sanctions against the regime until he takes concrete steps toward dismantling Tehran’s nuclear program. “One should not be taken in by Rouhani’s deceptive words,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. “The same Rouhani boasted in the past how he deceived the international community with nuclear talks, even as Iran was continuing with its nuclear program.” More
A gunman with a military-grade assault rifle opened fire on a pickup basketball game in the Back of the Yards neighborhood late Thursday, injuring 13 people and dragging the city back into the international spotlight for its violent crime problem. At least 16 bullets were fired into Cornell Square Park around 10:15 p.m. on Thursday, wounding a 3-year-old boy and a dozen other people. All are expected to survive, many with wounds to their arms and legs. Shell casings found around the blood-soaked basketball courts were 7.62 mm rounds, which are traditionally used in AK-47 assault rifles and rarely found in gang attacks on Chicago’s South Side. Though gun violence has long plagued the city’s impoverished neighborhoods, offenders almost never use military-style weapons. “It’s a miracle there has been no fatality,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said at a news conference this morning. “Illegal guns, illegal guns, illegal guns drive violence….A military-grade weapon on the streets of Chicago is simply unacceptable.” The park is in a heavily gang-infested area, but it is not in a so-called impact zone flooded by officers to deter crime, McCarthy said. The nearest zones are three blocks to the north and three blocks to the south, leaving the Cornell Square as a no man’s land protected only by occasional patrols and an 11 p.m. curfew. More
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Police detained three people after a fight erupted outside a Pasadena, Calif., Apple Store where a crowd waited overnight for release of the new iPhone. Police Lt. Jason Clawson says two men were arrested about 7:30 a.m. Friday after getting into a fistfight while in line along Colorado Boulevard. They face misdemeanor citations. It was unclear what the fight was about. Clawson says a third man was placed on a 72-hour mental health hold after running into the street in an enraged state. Clawson says it appears the man may have been among several homeless men who were hired to buy iPhones for other customers. Clawson says when the store ran out of the new smartphones, the homeless men didn’t get paid and became upset. No significant injuries were reported. Myfoxny
Sweden is now “okay” with public masturbation. On June 6, a 65-year-old man took off his shorts at a beach near Stockholm and began masturbating into the ocean. The man was charged with sexual assault, but was acquitted last week after a judge ruled he was not targeting a specific person. Even though the Södertörn District Court’s judgment stated it “may be proven that the man exposed himself and masturbated on this occasion,” the court decided the man had not committed a crime, a decision the public prosecutor agreed with, though he said in the future public masturbation might be considered disorderly conduct. ”For this to be a criminal offence it’s required that the sexual molestation was directed towards one or more people,” Olof Vrethammar said. “I think the court’s judgement is reasonable. With that we can conclude that it is okay to masturbate on the beach.” More
Fifty-six Yemeni police officers and troops have been killed in three militant attacks in southern Yemen. Yemeni military and local sources said two of the attacks, which involved car bombs, were carried out in Yemen’s southern province of Shabwa early on Friday. The deadliest blast took place when a bomber detonated his explosive-laden vehicle inside an army camp, killing 38 soldiers, who were in charge of security at oil fields in the region. Also in the nearby Al-Nushaima area, another attacker blew up his bomb-laden car before reaching his target, said a military official. Ten soldiers were killed in the blast. A number of soldiers were also captured by the gunmen in the area. Another eight police officers were also killed at Maifaa, also in Shabwa Province, after assailants targeted a special forces camp. Military officials in Yemen blame the attacks on al-Qaeda militants operating in the Arabian Peninsula. Shabwa Province is a stronghold of the terrorist group. More
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is nearing a decision on an Iran strike. As he does so, he will soon come to the United States. The Israeli leader and his top national security team will meet with President Obama at the White House on Sept. 30. The premier will then address the U.N. General Assembly on Oct. 1. Netanyahu’s expressed mission: to persuade the U.S. and Western powers to intensify—not ease up on—pressure on Iran to give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the fuel to build them. The big question: Is Netanyahu’s real mission to prepare the world for war? Admittedly, there has been talk of such a war numerous times in recent years. But few realize just how close Netanyahu was to ordering the attack. Media reports indicate that Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak were ready to order a strike on Iran in 2010 but faced stiff opposition from the head of Mossad and other top defense and intelligence officials and thus backed off. On Aug. 2, 2012, readers of myy blog will recall that I wrote this column: “Could Israel Strike Iran in September/October? Ahmadinejad Calls for ‘Annihilation’ of Israel; Netanyahu Warns U.S. Time Is Running Out to Stop Iran.” Just last month, a former senior Israeli official confirmed that Netanyahu was, in fact, extremely close to ordering an attack on Iran in the fall of 2012—with the support of top Israeli defense and intel officials—but was pressured not to do so by President Obama. Israel’s former National Security Advisor Giora Eiland “discussed the Israeli plan and Washington’s objections during a closed conference two weeks ago, saying that Netanyahu had originally intended to order a strike on Iran sometime between September and October of 2012, at the height of the US presidential campaign and around the same time as Netanyahu’s famous speech at the United Nations,” reports the Times of Israel. More
Pastor Steve Cioccolanti, the pastor of Discover Church , Melbourne, Australia, has published a “Warning” video about 8 Super-Signs in the Heavens. You will be shocked to see the signs that he shows that are, according to him, what God has written about in the Bible. Talking about the Hebrew roots of end time prophecies, he points to 8 signs that might be seen until and before 70th Birthday of Israel. Why 70 is important? He explains: “Because Israel was given 70 years in Babylonian captivity and 70 years from the time that Jesus was born to the time when its temple was destroyed.” “So there is something important that is the fact that Israel is about to turn 70 years old since it was born again in 1948.” And here are the 8 signs, along with some observations about the date. And he affirms, “they will never occur again in your life time” and they “will start soon.”
1-Comet Ison (Nov 28, 2013) – Nasa said is a comet as bright as the moon and it is predict to come in November 2013.
2-Blood Moon (April 15, 2014) – War tetrad is coming in April in 2014
3-Blood mon (Oct 08, 2014) – Sukkot
4-Total Solar (March 20, 2015) – Sign for Gentiles
5-Blood mon (Abril 4, 2015) – Passover
6- Partial Solar (Sept 13, 2015) – Elul 29 Culce Tishri 1 Civil New 7th Anniversary since last Market Drop
7- Blood Moon (Sept 28, 2015) – Supermoon that is also a luner eclipse
8-Virgo Clothed (Sept 23, 2017) – 50th Ann. Of Jerusalem Jubilee
Next – Israel Birthday Independence Day (May 14, 2018) – 70th Anniversary of Israel. The Christian Post
Israel – The Dead Sea is drying up at an incredible rate leaving huge chasms of empty space in its wake. These chasms appear in the form of large, devastating sinkholes and are increasing in number throughout the region. Experts claim they are now forming at a rate of nearly one a day, but have no way of knowing when or how they will show up. Estimates by Moment magazine suggest that, on the Israeli side alone, there are now over 3,000 sinkholes around the Dead Sea. This compares to just 40 counted in 1990, with the first sinkhole appearing in the 1980s. The Dead Sea spans more than 60 miles through Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan. Its waters are 10 times saltier than the northern Atlantic Ocean because it has no outlet. This means that any minerals that flow there, stay there. The increase in sinkholes is directly related to the Dead Sea drying up at a rate of one meter per year. Sinkholes are basically bowl-shaped features that form when an empty space under the ground creates a depression. The depression is the result of a reaction between freshwater and salt buried in a subterranean level beneath the surface. When the freshwater dissolves the salt, it creates a void, causing the landscape around and above it to suddenly collapse. Over the last few decades, increasing numbers of people have been drawn to the Dead Sea causing its salt water to dry up. This leaves more fresh water in the area to dissolve the salt and create more cavities. Extinction Protocol
MEXICO – Rescue teams were searching Thursday for an estimated 68 people believed buried in a mudslide after multiple storms battered large swaths of Mexico, killing nearly 100 people nationwide and leaving thousands stranded or homeless. While much attention was focused on tourists caught in the Pacific resort of Acapulco, grimmer reports emerged from villages in that hard-hit region of Guerrero state, which were largely cut off from aid and may have suffered large-scale devastation. Luis Felipe Puente, the federal Civil Protection coordinator, said in a television interview that the national death toll climbed Thursday to 97 people in nine states. He said authorities were searching the Guerrero town of La Pintada, where at least 58 people were reported missing after a rain-propelled mudslide. Rescue operations have evacuated more than 300 people. Later, authorities said the missing numbered at least 68. “We hope all [the missing] are not dead,” Puente said. “We haven’t seen bodies,” Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said after flying over the region. “But there were two-story houses that are now completely covered. There was a tall church, and now you don’t see a church. It disappeared.” If confirmed, the La Pintada landslide will be the single deadliest incident after twin storms assailed opposite coasts of Mexico last weekend, a rare double whammy that officials said they had not seen here in more than half a century.
President Enrique Peña Nieto flew to the region Thursday afternoon. “We have had extraordinary rains,” Peña Nieto said. Manuel, a tropical storm that hit Guerrero and other parts of the western coast several days ago — as Hurricane Ingrid was pummeling the eastern coast — weakened, then grew to hurricane strength, then weakened again Thursday, meteorological officials said. At its strongest, it aimed Thursday for Sinaloa state, where authorities reported extensive flooding. In Acapulco, meanwhile, an airlift of thousands of stranded tourists, most of them Mexicans, continued. Forty-five flights ferried peopled from Acapulco to Mexico City on Thursday after landslides and a flooded airport isolated the popular resort town on a holiday weekend. “We are getting desperate; we have no more money,” tourist Alfredo Gonzalez told reporters. “We are signed up for a military flight, but they told us there are thousands and thousands of people ahead of us.” Peña Nieto’s government was coming under criticism for having failed to give sufficient warning to residents as the storms bore down on the country. Critics said the president, with less than 10 months in office, was more worried about his first performance in annual Independence Day ceremonies and neglected weather realities. Extinction Protocol
INDONESIA – More than 15,000 residents have fled a volcano that rumbled to life less than a week ago in Indonesia and local airlines have been warned to avoid flying near the mountain as thick ash continues to spew from its crater, an official said. The aviation warning was issued for small planes serving short-haul flights in the region as small eruptions continue at Mount Sinabung, said Susanto, general manager for air navigation at Kuala Namu airport in North Sumatra’s capital Medan. Like many Indonesians, he uses only one name. Data from the local emergency task force showed the number of people evacuated has doubled to more than 15,000 after many residents outside the 3-kilometer danger area abandoned their houses. The 2,600-metre (8,530-foot) volcano first erupted Sunday after being dormant for three years. A larger eruption occurred two days later volcanic ash and thick smoke were belched up to 3 kilometers into the air that ignited fires on its slopes. The volcano’s last eruption in August 2010 killed two people and forced 30,000 others to flee. It caught many scientists off guard because it had been quiet for four centuries. Mount Sinabung is among around 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. –Extinction Protocol
Shikotsu Volcano – JAPAN – The latest report of the Japan Meteorological Agency indicates some unrest at the caldera. Seismic activity accompanied by inflation were recorded under the western flank of Tarumai stratovolcano (the most active vent of the system, located on the SW rim of the Shikotsu caldera) between late June and early July this year. Following this period of deformation, deep seismicity under the western flank has increased above background since the beginning of July. There are no reports of unusual surface phenomena. The last time the volcano erupted was in 1988.
Super Typhoon Usagi, the equivalent of a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane, has intensified rapidly in the western Pacific Ocean and will threaten parts of Taiwan, the far northern Philippines and southern China through the next several days. A tropical cyclone is dubbed a “super typhoon” when maximum sustained winds reach at least 150 mph. Usagi underwent a period of rapid intensification from early Wednesday through midday Thursday (U.S. Eastern time), going from a 55-knot tropical storm to a 140-knot super typhoon in just 33 hours, or just under a 100 mph intensification, based on satellite estimates of intensity. Usagi is expected to maintain a west-northwest path through Saturday. Here are the potential forecast impacts by location for Usagi: More
Pope Francis, in the first extensive interview of his six-month-old papacy, said that the Roman Catholic Church had grown “obsessed” with preaching about abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he has chosen not to speak of those issues despite recriminations from some critics. In remarkably blunt language, Francis sought to set a new tone for the church, saying it should be a “home for all” and not a “small chapel” focused on doctrine, orthodoxy and a limited agenda of moral teachings. “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” the pope told the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, a fellow Jesuit and editor in chief ofLa Civiltà Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit journal whose content is routinely approved by the Vatican. “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. “We have to find a new balance,” the pope continued, “otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”More
London is vying to be the capital of Islamic finance outside of the Muslim world, says the city’s Deputy Mayor Sir Edward Lister. A task force on building the UK’s Islamic finance industry has been at work since early 2013 and London will host the World Islamic Economic Forum in October. ”The task force has just started and its aim is to make it easier for banks in London to have Islamic products, which is still quite a new concept to any of them,” Lister told a press conference, reported Reuters. ”Only now people are beginning to understand what the products actually mean and how they comply … What you will see is a lot of companies introducing those products.” Globally, the Islamic finance industry is forecast to be worth $2.6tn (€1.9bn, £1.6bn) by 2017. It has grown by around 30% each year since the millennium and consultancy firm Oliver Wyman predicts that there will need to be at least 150 Islamic finance institutions by 2020 to meet the ever-growing demand. There are more than 20 UK banks offering Sharia-compliant products, such as HSBC and RBS. There are also three Sharia-only institutions, including the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB). By increasing the number of Sharia-compliant financial services in London it will be easier to facilitate investment in the UK from Islamic investors. More
Thousands of Gallons of Oil Released into Colorado Floodwaters
After a week of devastating flooding, which washed out roadways and destroyed buildings, Colorado residents are now facing the threat of contaminated waters.
The northeastern corner of Colorado, which contains numerous gas and oil wells and active drilling sites, has been inundated with rushing water.
Gary Wockner, Colorado program director for Clean Water Action, said it will take days for the flood waters to recede enough to assess the contamination damage adequately.
“Once those chemicals hit flood water, they get across a large swath of the landscape,” Wockner said. “Our big concern is oil and gas, and fracking chemicals, in the water. We have seen photos of oil slicks on top of the floodwaters and we are continuing to monitor all of the flooding and cleanup efforts. Oil, gas and fracking chemicals are poisonous to people and animals, and could pollute farms and drinking water supplies.”
He said that at least a thousand gas wells have reportedly been flooded. Weld County alone, which has taken on some flooding, is home to more than 18,000 gas and oil wells.
Doug Flanders, director of policy and external affairs with the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) said that over 1,900 wells were either shut in or stopped production, and that all the operators have an emergency response plan.
A statement on the COGA website issued at 9 p.m. MDT on Sept. 18 said that two tank batteries damaged by flood waters, with about 5,250 gallons of light-oil released in flood waters associated with the South Platte River and the St. Vrain River. They are working with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, National Response Center and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to monitor clean up efforts.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) had teams out investigating 10 oil releases, according to a statement issued by Todd Hartman. He reported that two of those releases are notable, while the rest are considered minor.
The notable cases include 125 barrels from an Anadarko storage tank south of Milliken, and another Anadarko storage tank that released 323 barrels, containing 13,566 gallons, north of Firestone on the St. Vrain River.
Genevieve Marquez, left, and Miranda Woodard help salvage and clean property in an area inundated after days of flooding, in Hygiene, Colo., Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Colorado mountain towns cut off for days by massive flooding slowly reopened Monday, to reveal cabins toppled, homes ripped from their foundations and everything covered in a thick layer of muck. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Water treatment and sewage centers have also been flooded, which had led to boiling advisories for some mountain communities where the initial surge took place. Boil advisories used to clean water in other contamination zones won’t work for areas that may have been affected by leaked fracking chemicals or gas and oil well overflows. Wockner said the best way to avoid the health hazards associated with these containments is to avoid the affected water and by drinking filtered tap or bottled water.
Mountainous communities get their water from those mountains, but containments can enter rivers and flow across the counties to impact people with well water.
The EPA responded to questions about their involvement in surveying the contamination risks, stating that they are “beginning to assess water quality impacts from various sources, including oil and gas production.”
Wockner said, “It’s great news that the EPA is engaging. We have serious concerns that because the state has so few inspectors and regulators, the industry is out there ‘self policing.’ We need EPA to step in and make sure the public and environment are protected.”
The EPA is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, state and local resources to assess how the flooding has impacted drinking water and waste water.
Pope Francis sets out vision for more gay people and women in ‘new’ church
Pope Francis gives wide-ranging interview to Italian journal and urges Catholics to show ‘audacity and courage’ in drive for reform
Pope Francis said unless a new balance is found, ‘the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards’. Photograph: AGF/Rex Features
Pope Francis has set out his desire to find a “new balance” in the Catholic church, calling for greater involvement of women in key decisions and a less condemnatory approach towards gay people, divorcees and women who have had an abortion.
In a wide-ranging interview with an Italian Jesuit journal, the Pope calls for the Catholic church, the world’s largest Christian church with 1.2bn members, to face up to the need for reform. Offering a dramatic contrast to the traditional conservative approach of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, Francis says the first reform must be one of “attitude”, adding that unless a new balance is found, “the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards”.
The Pope urges Catholics to show “audacity and courage” in their approach to people who, in the past, have been given short shrift by the church, including those who “do not attend mass, who have quit or are indifferent”.
Asked how he would respond to Catholics who are divorced or remarried or gay, he replies: “I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’, because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this.”
He goes on: “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person … In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation.” continue
U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with ‘Top Gun’-worthy stunt
In what only can be described as a scene out of Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun,” Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff, describes how F-22 stealth jets scared off Iranian jets from a U.S. drone flying in international airspace.
The Aviationist reports that in March a U.S. MQ-1 drone came close to being intercepted by an Iranian F-4 Phantom combat plane, but the Iranian aircraft stopped short after a warning by an American pilot.
“He [the Raptor pilot] flew under their aircraft [the F-4s] to check out their weapons load without them knowing that he was there, and then pulled up on their left wing and then called them and said ‘you really ought to go home,’” Gen. Welsh said. continue
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