Sunday, December 30, 2001

Euro: It's More Than Just a Pretty Penny
In the biggest currency swap in history, more than 300 million Europeans in 12 countries will start using the euro as their day-to-day money on Tuesday, irrevocably casting their old marks, francs, lire, pesetas and other national currencies into the trash can of history. This IHT article is submitted for your mark of the beast files. While certainly not the mark, currency consolidation is but one of many market adjustments and infrastructure upgrades needed for the mark to become a practical reality.

Friday, December 28, 2001

Malka: Iraq To Target Israel if U.S. Attacks
The Jerusalem Post is reporting that outgoing OC Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Malka warned yesterday that if Iraq's Saddam Hussein feels an American strike aims to topple his regime, then he would likely order an attack on Israel. "The strategic warning we give is that, if the Americans decide to attack Iraq in a way that would appear as a strike aimed at toppling the regime as it did in Afghanistan, then the probability that Saddam Hussein will try to involve us is high," Malka said. Submitted for your Jerusalem surrounded files.
Natural Disasters Kill 25,000 Worldwide in 2001
Reuters reports that natural disasters caused at least 25,000 deaths worldwide in 2001, more than double the previous year, the world's largest reinsurer said on Friday. Putting total economic losses at $36 billion, Munich Re said catastrophes related to extreme weather were a result of continued global climate change. It said the 2001 figures -- with 14,000 people killed in an earthquake in India in January alone -- compared with 10,000 deaths the previous year and losses of around $30 billion. Storms and floods dominated this year's statistics, contributing more than two thirds to the 700 major disasters and causing 91 percent of all insured natural disaster losses, Munich Re said. Submitted for your fearful events files.
India and Pakistan Add to War Footing
Tensions continue to rise between the two nuclear rivals over the disputed Kashmir region. The New York Times reports that India has moved short-range ballistic missiles to the border with Pakistan. Submitted for your rumor of war files.
One in Four U.S. Internet Users Seek Spiritual Info Online
One out of four adult American Internet users have sought out religious or spiritual information online, according to a study released Dec. 23 by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Up from 2 million last year, the number is now more than 3 million - more popular than other online activities such as banking, gambling or stock trading, as reported by Reuters, and Yahoo! News. The numbers are sure to increase as more churches and missionary efforts go online. Submitted for your gospel preached to all files.

Thursday, December 27, 2001

Solar Flares, Auroras, the Moon and Saturn
An explosion on the Sun yesterday triggered a solar proton storm around our planet and hurled a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. Although the fast-moving (~1100 km/s) CME was not squarely Earth-directed, it could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetosphere as early as Dec. 28th Universal Time - that is, Thursday night for North Americans, Friday morning for Europeans. NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% chance of severe geomagnetic storms at middle latitudes when the expanding cloud sweeps past Earth. Sky watchers along the northern tier of US states (and similar latitudes) should be alert for auroras during the nights ahead. And, if you find yourself outdoors aurora watching before dawn on Friday morning, look also for a close encounter between the nearly-full Moon and Saturn. The Moon will completely hide the ringed planet from observers in North America. Submitted for your signs in the sun, moon and stars files.
Viral Outbreak in Central Africa Causes Concern for Missions Agency
Gospel.Com cites a report from Mission Network News that despite stepped-up border controls, an outbreak of the Ebola virus has spread from Gabon to neighboring Republic of Congo. Authorities on both sides of the border fear the disease is likely to spread and restrict movement between the two central African nations. Christians in the area are trying to help in any way they can. "I think it has caused the churches to become more concerned, involved in prayer for their country, and I think we need to pray that the Spirit, and an attitude of prayer, would increase just for the sake of the spiritual warmth of the church," a MNN representative said. Submitted for your pestilence and gospel preached to all files.
Christmas Fills China with Joy, Wireless Messages
CNN reports that the Chinese embraced the Christmas spirit this year, sending up to six times the average number of short messages over computers and cell phones. While I hardly call that embracing the true Christmas spirit, it seems the marketeers are succeeding in their effort to ensnare China in capitalist consumerism. While this may be cleverly subversive to China's neo-communist ideology, it is hardly a positive development in such a spiritually impoverished country. Submitted for your wired world/global village files.
Diplomatic Pressure Builds on India & Pakistan
CNN is reporting that with Pakistan's army on high alert -- its medium range missiles deployed and army mobilized -- and with India placing reinforcements along its border, U.S. diplomats are working urgently to avoid the situation from escalating. Submitted for your rumor of war files.

Tuesday, December 25, 2001

Big Troop Buildup Mounted by India and Pakistan
The New York Times is reporting that both countries are mounting large-scale troop buildups along their border in response to rising antagonism since a suicide attack this month on India's Parliament. Submitted for your rumor of war files.
Israelis Enter Jordan After Shooting
CNN is reporting that Israeli troops have crossed the Jordan River in pursuit of gunmen who killed one Israeli and wounded two others. For your rumor of war and Jerusalem surrounded files.

Monday, December 24, 2001

India and Pakistan on High Alert
India and Pakistan have put their border troops on high alert as the two South Asian foes trade accusations over this month's suicide attack on the parliament in New Delhi. Submitted for your rumor of war files.

Friday, December 21, 2001

Hubble Sends Seasons Greetings from the Cosmos to Earth
Spectacular new space images of the Ghost Head Nebula from the Hubble Space Telescope, just in time for Christmas. Submitted for your signs in the stars files.
Israeli Pullouts Raise Glimmer of Hope in Mideast
According to this Washington Post article, there is a glimmer of hope for peace in the Mideast. Right, sure, until the next suicide bombing.
Microchips Under the Skin Offer ID, Raise Questions
A Reuters report on privacy concerns rising from new identity verification technology. According to the report, Applied Digital will soon begin marketing its implantable VeriChip in South America and Europe, initially as a means to convey information about medical devices to doctors, though the company has plans for future versions designed emit a tracking beacon or serve as a form of personal identification. FDA approval is being sought to market the chip in the United States. Submitted for your mark of the beast files.
Some 100,000 Central American Children Face Hunger
Reuters is reporting that natural disasters and economic crises have left more than 100,000 Central American children malnourished and at risk of starvation in coming months. Submitted for your famine files.

Thursday, December 06, 2001

Billy Graham To Be Knighted
Graham is to receive an honorary KBE for his contributions to international religious life. Submitted for your gospel preached to all files.
For Nervous Online Shoppers, a Virtual Credit Card
Some e-commerce news for your mark files.
AOL to Buy Europe Stake
The worlds largest Internet service provider is about to get even larger. Submitted for your world community files.
Bush to Arafat: Rout Out Terrorists
Pressure is building on Arafat to finally deliver on his promise to combat terrorism within Palestinian ranks. An interesting situation, as many consider Arafat and the PLA to be terrorists. Submitted for your war files and your Jerusalem surrounded files.
Rumsfeld Warns of Messy War
An interesting headline, as if war is ever neat and clean. Submitted for your war files.

Saturday, December 01, 2001

Jerusalem Suicide Bombers Kill 10
In the latest terrorist attack to hit Israel, a suicide bomber killed at least 10 people. A car bomb exploded moments later, timed to go off as rescue workers arrived at the scene.