Monday, August 28, 2006

Faith Crime
In America, Christians are not beaten or killed for their faith as they are in other countries, but as this op-ed (Yahoo! News - When schools silence God talk - Yahoo! News) makes clear, they face institutionalized hostility toward their faith. The U.S. has created an educational system which treats religion as toxic and expressions of faith as dangerous and even criminal. A country founded by people fleeing religious persecution now actively seeks to discourage public and civic faith. America, land of the free? [Believers Persecuted, Matthew 24:8]

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Yahoo News - Iran opens heavy-water nuclear reactor
AP reports, “Iran's hard-line president on Saturday inaugurated a heavy-water production plant, a facility the West fears will be used to develop a nuclear bomb, as Tehran remained defiant ahead of a U.N. deadline that could lead to sanctions.” [Rumors of War, Matthew 24:6 & Iran/Persia, Ezekiel 38:5]
Yahoo News/AFP - EU enters new era of Middle East influence with UN mission:
European support for the UN force in Lebanon has thrust Europe into a major new political role in the Middle East, a region where it has traditionally been better known as a rich aid donor. With nearly 7,000 soldiers pledged for the UN force in Lebanon, Europe's commitment marks an "historic opportunity", said Spanish Foreign Minister Miquel Angel Moratinos, himself a former special EU envoy to the region. […]"Europeans are gaining more in credibility, in presence and engagement in the future of this region, which is our region," he said Saturday.
Jeruslam Post - 'Ahmadinejad Would Sacrifice Half Of Iran To Wipe Out Israel': Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, if he ever became the supreme decision maker in his country, would "sacrifice half of Iran for the sake of eliminating Israel," Giora Eiland, Israel's former national security adviser, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
Yahoo News - Experts foresee bad year for West Nile
AP reports, “The nation's summer heat wave has spurred a jump in West Nile virus cases, and this will probably be the worst season for the mosquito-borne disease in three years, health experts said this week.” [Pestilence, Luke 21:11]
Today Online - WFP launches food aid scheme for 650,000 facing famine in Niger
AFP reports, “The World Food Programme (WFP) began in Niger its first national food distribution scheme for 2006, targeted at some 650,000 people threatened by hunger, the UN agency said.” [Famine, Matthew 24:7]

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My Way News - Israel Adds 2 Nuclear-Capable Submarines: AP reports, "With the purchase of two more German-made Dolphin submarines capable of carrying nuclear warheads, military experts say Israel is sending a clear message to Iran that it can strike back if attacked by nuclear weapons." [Rumors of War, Matthew 24:6 & Iran/Persia, Ezekiel 38:5]

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My Way News - Hitler Restaurant in Bombay Irks Jews
AP reports, "When a restaurant called 'Hitler's Cross' opened four days ago in a Bombay suburb, the city's small Jewish community was outraged, but there were few other objections." [Wickedness Increases, Matthew 24:12]
My Way News - Syria Opposes U.N. Forces on Its Border
AP reports, "Syria on Wednesday opposed deployment of an international force along its border to prevent arms shipments to Hezbollah, and Israel called the situation in Lebanon 'explosive.' " [Doomed Damascus, Isaiah 17:1]

"We tell them (Israelis) that after tasting humiliation in the latest battles, your weapons are not going to protect you — not your planes, or missiles or even your nuclear bombs ... The future generations in the Arab world will find a way to defeat Israel."
- Bashar Assad, President of Syria (Yahoo News/AP)
Yahoo News - Sun's Next Stormy Cycle Starts
Space.Com reports, "Astronomers say the Sun has begun its next cycle of activity, part of an 11-year ebb and flow in sunspots and solar flares." [Signs in the Sun, Luke 21:25]
Space War - Outside View: Syria versus Iran
UPI reports, "The Bush administration's strategy of treating Syria and Iran as if they are evil twins is fundamentally flawed. Although Damascus and Tehran have many common interests in addition to their grievances against the United States, they differ dramatically in their assessment of their regional roles and strategic objectives." [Doomed Damascus, Isaiah 17:1; Iran/Persia, Ezekiel 38:5]

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My Way News - Iran Wants to Talk but Keep Nuke Program
AP reports, "Iran said Tuesday it was ready for 'serious negotiations' on its nuclear program, offering a new formula to resolve a crisis with the West. A semiofficial news agency said the government was unwilling to abandon uranium enrichment - the key U.S. demand."

Monday, August 21, 2006

BetaNews - Infineon Snags RFID Passport Contract:
The US Government has awarded German-based chipmaker Infineon with a contract to provide a portion of the millions of RFID chips that will make their way into next-generation passports, the company said Monday.
Once again, this is not the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16-18), it's just the next generation of travel documents, but you can clearly see from this report and others like it that there is a lot of money to be made in rolling out the infrastructure for RFID based identity verification programs.
International Herald Tribune - Iran tests short-range missile during military maneuvers:
Iran test-fired ten surface-to-surface short-range missiles on Sunday, as a military training plane crashed outside the capital after catching fire, state-run television reported. The missile testing came a day after Iran launched a series of large-scale military maneuvers geared at testing the country's new defensive doctrine.
Some analysts speculate that the conclusion (if it was that) of the Israeli-Hezbollah War may give Iran the wrong idea about Israeli military capabilities, let's hope they don't do something foolish
(Persia/Iran, Ezekiel 38:5).
Yahoo News - Australia warns of attacks in Pakistan
Reuters reports, "Australia has warned of possible attacks against international hotels in Pakistan, saying it had received recent credible reports that militants are planning attacks against a range of targets." [Rumors of War, Matthew 24:6]
Yahoo News - Rich nations should share birdflu antivirals
Reuters reports, "Public health experts have called on wealthier nations to share scarce antiviral drugs and vaccines with poorer countries in Asia as the world gears up to tackle a possible influenza pandemic." [Pestilence, Luke 21:11]
Yahoo News - U.S. resolution would disarm Hezbollah
AP reports, "The United States is planning to introduce a new U.N. resolution on disarming Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, but U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said Monday this should not hold up the quick deployment of U.N. peacekeepers."
Yahoo News - Iran denies U.N. inspectors site access
AP reports, "Iran turned away U.N. inspectors from an underground site meant to shelter its uranium enrichment program from attack, diplomats said Monday, while the country's supreme leader insisted Tehran will not give up its contentious nuclear technology." [Persia/Iran, Ezekiel 38:5]
The Australian - RFID to track inmates:
The contract will be awarded this week for the construction of the first prison in Australasia to use radio frequency identification to track prisoners. The ACT government has allocated $128.7 million for the establishment of ACT's first prison, the Alexander Maconochie Centre, named after the 19th century penal reformer. The RFID system will provide real-time tracking of prisoners and prison officers, ACT Corrective Service senior manager Roger Holding says.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

MyWay News - Arab Nations Urge New Israeli Peace Plan
AP reports, "Worried the Lebanon war has given a boost to Iran and militants in the region, three U.S. allies in the Mideast are spearheading an Arab effort to present a plan for reviving the stalled peace process and talks with Israel." [Covenant With Many, Ezekiel 38:7-13; Daniel 9:27]
MyWay News - Lebanon Gives Warning After Israeli Raid
AP reports, "Israeli commandos raided a Hezbollah stronghold deep inside Lebanon Saturday, sparking a fierce clash with militants that killed one Israeli. Lebanon called the raid a 'flagrant violation' of the U.N.-brokered cease-fire, while Israel said it was aimed at disrupting arms shipments from Iran and Syria."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Yahoo News - U.N. gets 3,500 troops for Mideast force
AP reports, "The United Nations got pledges Thursday of 3,500 troops for an expanded U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon, but it was unclear whether the soldiers represented the right mix of countries and units and could deploy very quickly."
Yahoo News - Strong earthquake rattles eastern Russia
AP reports, "A strong earthquake shook the eastern Russian province of Sakhalin, rattling parts of northern Japan early Friday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, Japanese officials said. The Meteorological Agency said the magnitude 6.0 quake posed no fear of tsunami — huge waves caused by undersea disturbances or volcanic activities." [Quakes, Matthew 24:7]
Yahoo News - N.Korea might be preparing nuclear test: media
Reuters reports, "Reclusive North Korea, which last month defied the international community by test-firing missiles, could now be preparing its first test of a nuclear bomb, U.S. media cited U.S. officials as saying." [Rumors of War, Matthew 24:6]

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

In this Washington Post op-ed, former Mideast negotiator Dennis Ross examines the Syrian role in the latest effort at securing Mideast peace. Will Syria go along with disarming Hezbollah? [Doomed Damascus, Isaiah 17:1]

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Way News - Rockets Hit Lebanon Despite Cease-Fire
AP reports:
Tens of thousands of Lebanese jammed bomb-cratered roads Monday as they returned to still-smoldering scenes of destruction after a tenuous cease-fire ended 34 days of vicious combat between Israel and Hezbollah. Highlighting the fragility of the peace, Hezbollah guerrillas fired at least 10 Katyusha rockets that landed in southern Lebanon early Tuesday, the Israeli army said, adding that nobody was injured. The army said that none of the rockets, which were fired over a two-hour period, had crossed the border and so it had not responded.
Good move, if Israel does not respond to such minor provocations it will be clear who is violating the cease-fire.
Asbury Park Press - Iran becomes the latest player in prophecy, end-times speculation
I’m still not used to scanning news headlines for news related to Bible prophecy and finding news reports, like this one from the AP, about Bible prophecy. Weird.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

MyWayNews - Israel Suffers Highest 1-Day Toll of War
AP reports, "More Israeli troops surged into southern Lebanon on Saturday, reaching the Litani River and engaging in some of the heaviest combat of the monthlong war just hours after the U.N. Security Council adopted a cease-fire plan. Israel lost 19 soldiers - its highest one-day toll."

MyWayNews - Analysis: for Israel, an Imperfect Deal

AP reports, "For Israel, the U.N. cease-fire deal is far from perfect. A U.N. force deploying in south Lebanon as part of the truce will have trouble keeping Hezbollah at bay for long or prevent the Iranian-supplied guerrillas from rearming, critics said, pointing to past failures of international peacekeepers."

Comment: So this conflict seems to be nearing a conclusion of sorts, one that allows Hezbollah to continue to exist as an armed militia. This can't be what Israel intended. The important thing to note, from a BP standpoint, is that we will now have a large international military force stationed near Jerusalem. We will also now see a renewed international effort to broker a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The covenant with many? Stay tuned.
Yahoo News - U.S. to roll out electronic passports
AP reports, "Despite ongoing privacy concerns and legal disputes involving companies bidding on the project, the U.S. State Department plans to begin issuing smart chip-embedded passports to Americans as planned Monday."

Comment: Again, just a reminder that this is not the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16-18), just some interesting tech trends we are watching. The Book of Revelation specifies several conditions that must exist before the mark of the beast is imposed and none of them exist right now, so you should have no fear about getting a chipped passport. Well, have no spiritual fear, there may be ID theft concerns, but that is beyond my area.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Yahoo News - Analysis: Plot may have been 9/11 sequel
AP reports, "The plot had been in the works for months, and its goal was horrific. One after another, planes would have exploded in the sky, sending hundreds of men, women and children to their deaths. Counterterrorism officials said Thursday the plan thwarted in London appears to bear the fingerprints of al-Qaida, and may even have been 'the Big One' they have been dreading since Sept. 11, 2001, particularly as the five-year anniversary of the attacks on the United States approaches." [Wars and Rumors of War, Matthew 24:6]

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Half million flee as super typhoon approaches China
Reuters reports, "A super typhoon, gathering strength all the time, was heading directly for east China on Thursday and was expected to hit within hours after forcing the evacuation of nearly half a million people." [Roaring Seas, Luke 21:25]

Monday, August 07, 2006

Increase in dengue fever among U.S. travelers
AP reports, "Dengue fever has increased among U.S. travelers, with 96 cases reported in 2005, compared to 98 cases in the previous five years combined, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." [Pestilence, Luke 21:11]
WorldNetDaily: Stockpiling Jews for Jesus

Columnist Vox Day replies to non-Christians who somehow think that we Christians are trying to accelerate the Tribulation. He points out--from Scripture, no less--that the date of the Final Battle is already fixed.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Yahoo News - Afghanistan deports Christian Koreans
AP reports, "Afghanistan ordered hundreds of South Korean Christians to leave the country, accusing them Thursday of seeking to undermine its Islamic culture." [Believers Persecuted, Matthew 24:8]

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Yahoo News/AP - Ahmadinejad: Destroy Israel, end crisis: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday the solution to the Middle East crisis is to destroy Israel.
Yahoo News - Church members detained in China
AP reports, "Police scuffled with members of an underground Catholic church in northern China who were protesting the detention of two clergymen, seriously injuring at least two people, a U.S. group said Thursday. [...] China permits worship only in such official churches. Millions more Catholics worship in unauthorized 'house churches.' The government frequently harasses and arrests followers and clergy of the underground church." [Believers Persecuted, Matthew 24:8]
UPI - Police bar Jews from Temple Mount: In spite of a court order, police in Jerusalem have barred non-Muslims from the Temple Mount during the holiday marking the destruction of the Temple.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Jerusalem Post - Court allow Temple Mount Faithful to enter Mount
J Post reports, "The High Court of Justice ruled Monday that members of the fringe Temple Mount Faithful can enter the Temple Mount on Thursday during a Jewish fast day, but barred the group's leader from even approaching the Jerusalem holy site, police and the group said." [Temple Mount/Holy Place, Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15 & 2 Thessalonians 2:4]

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Yahoo News - Sirens part of Indonesian warning system
AP reports, "The Indonesian government will install 500 sirens on cellular phone towers this year as part of a tsunami warning system for coastal residents, a senior official said Tuesday.[...] The December 2004 Asian tsunami killed more than 213,000 people — some 130,000 in Indonesia." [Roaring Seas, Luke 21:25]