Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Way News - Total eclipse draws crowds to Siberia

AP reports: "The eclipse - the moon passing in front of the sun - will begin in Arctic Canada around 0945 GMT, sweep across Greenland, pass through western Siberia, Mongolia and end in central China more than an hour and a half later."
My Way News - Al-Qaida commander killed in Afghanistan
AP reports: "Al-Qaida has posted a statement on the Internet saying one of its commanders in Afghanistan has been killed by a U.S. airstrike."
My Way News - Pakistan denies ISI behind Indian embassy attack
AP reports: "Afghanistan has long accused the ISI of backing the Taliban-led insurgency wracking the country, despite Pakistan's support of the U.S.-led war on terror. The embassy bombing was the deadliest in Kabul since the 2001 ouster of the Islamist regime in a U.S. invasion."
My Way News - Olmert's impending exit deals blow to peace effort
AP reports: "Still, the Israeli political upheaval - combined with a weak and divided Palestinian leadership - does not bode well for Mideast peace. Even before Olmert's latest surprise, the sides had been backing away from their stated goal of signing a peace accord by year's end."
My Way News - Man accused of killing, dismembering girlfriend
AP reports: "Police on Thursday accused a Brazilian man of killing and dismembering his 17-year-old British girlfriend, taking pictures of her body parts with his cell phone and stuffing her torso in a suitcase."
My Way News - Witnesses: Canada bus passenger beheads seat mate
AP reports: "Passengers aboard a Canadian bus fled in horror as a fellow traveler viciously attacked his seat mate, repeatedly stabbing him and then severing his head, witnesses said Thursday."
My Way News - 9 charged in death of disabled Philly teen
AP reports: "A 258-page grand jury report recommending the charges said not only that Andrea Kelly refused to get her daughter food, water and medical treatment, but that she repeatedly prevented one of her other children from calling an ambulance 'for his obviously dying sister.'"
My Way News - Bond denied for Ala. man in body-in-freezer case
AP reports: "A judge denied bond Thursday for a part-time evangelist charged with murder in the death of his wife, a mother of eight whose body was kept in a freezer for at least three years."
My Way News - Research could cut cost of energy from fuel cells
AP reports: "Less costly methods for producing oxygen from water have been developed by researchers in the U.S. and Australia, possibly setting the stage for more use of fuel cells to produce energy."
My Way News - 7-square-mile ice sheet breaks loose in Canada
AP reports: "A chunk of ice spreading across seven square miles has broken off a Canadian ice shelf in the Arctic, scientists said Tuesday."
My Way News - Phoenix lander confirms ice in Martian soil\
AP reports: "The Phoenix spacecraft has tasted Martian water for the first time, scientists reported Thursday. By melting icy soil in one of its lab instruments, the robot confirmed the presence of frozen water lurking below the Martian permafrost. Until now, evidence of ice in Mars' north pole region has been largely circumstantial."
My Way News - NASA says liquid confirmed on Saturn's moon Titan
AP reports: "At least one of many large, lake-like features on Saturn's moon Titan studied by the international Cassini spacecraft contains liquid hydrocarbons, making it the only body in the solar system besides Earth known to have liquid on its surface, NASA said Wednesday."
To Defend Our Airspace, We Should Investigate U.F.O.s. - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com
This is an op-ed in the New York Times (yes, The New York Times) which argues that the U.S. should consider UFOs a security threat and reopen investigations:
The United States is no less vulnerable than Britain and France to threats to security and air safety. The United States Air Force or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should reopen investigations of U.F.O. phenomena. It would not imply that the country has suddenly started believing in little green men. It would simply recognize the possibility that radar alone cannot always tell us what’s out there.
Why weather balloons should be considered a security threat is not explained, though some of the more notable sightings are reviewed. Ok, sorry about the weather balloon comment, I'm just trying to get over my shock of seeing this in the New York Times, which is known as the newspaper-of-record and one I enjoy reading (except for the pro-Palestinian spin on their Mideast reporting). So, this is a serious suggestion in a serious newspapers, so let me give it a serious comment.

Are we alone in the Universe? When most people think "alien" they think about the Hollywood version, either Klingons, Vulcans or even ET but in the broadest sense of the word, what we really mean by alien is a non-human intelligence. The Bible does state that there are many different kinds of non-humans created by God, there are angels of different ranks and status, even fallen angels commonly called devils and demons, and different creatures around the throne of God in the Book of Revelation. The Bible is also clear about a very important point that should not be lost in the debate about non-humans depicted in the Bible, some of them are friendly and have goodwill towards humanity (think about the angels greeting the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus) and others (Satan and his fallen cohort) are hostile to humanity. This is the way I look at the question of "is there other life in the universe." The universe is probably teeming with life, God is, after all, a creative being. Are we alone in the universe? No, we are not alone, and we never have been. God has always been with us and angels pre-date humanity.

Another way to look at it, and I think this is the more common way, is that when people ask if there is other life in the universe, what they seem to be asking (and one reason for the antipathy many Christians seem to have for this topic) is if there is other life in the universe apart from the special creation of humanity or apart from God. In other words, if Klingon or Vulcan civilizations could develop and grow apart from God and outside of what we consider to be the great drama of human salvation. Can they rise from primordial goo to galactic civilization? And to that question I would say no. I don't believe that any intelligent life in the universe has been created in a "natural" or evolutionary manner apart from a direct creation by God and that all intelligent life in the universe is bound up with the rise, fall and redemption of humanity.

Humanity, though geospatially no longer the center of the universe (thank you Copernicus) is still spiritually the center of the universe because our creation, fall and redemption are cosmic events and because of the incarnation, because God the Creator humbled himself to become a human without giving up His divinity, something never done for any other form of life. The Bible says that all of creation was affected by the fall of Man and awaits the redemption and the restoration of all things in Christ.

The Bible gives us the following criteria to evaluate others, humans or non-humans (how to test the spirits is the actual Biblical terminology):

1. Who do they serve?
2. What gospel do they preach?

As long as we hold true to these criteria we won't be deceived by any human or non-human.
SpaceWeather - Solar Eclipse: Friday, August 1st
SpaceWeather.com reports:
On Friday, August 1st, the Moon will pass directly in front of the Sun producing a total solar eclipse. The narrow path of totality stretches from arctic Canada through Greenland, Siberia, and Mongolia, and comes to an end in China, where millions of people will witness the event. Even more people will see the partial eclipse, visible from almost all of Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia and a corner of North America. The action begins at approximately 09:20 UT (5:20 am EDT) when the Moon's shadow first hits Earth in northern Canada and begins its rapid sweep toward China.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Way News - Israeli PM to resign, won't run in party primary

AP reports: "Facing burgeoning corruption allegations and plummeting popularity, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday he will resign in September, throwing Israel into political turmoil and raising doubts about prospects for peace with the Palestinians and Syria."

Comment: With any luck, Benjamin Netanyahu will be the next PM and call a halt to the "peace process" until the Palestinians decide they actually want peace with Israel. And to those of you who think they do, remember that a majority of them voted for the political party/militia that ran on a war platform...and won.
My Way News - Nonaligned countries back Iran's nuclear program
AP reports: "More than 100 nonaligned nations backed Iran's right to peaceful uses of nuclear power on Wednesday, an endorsement sought by Tehran in its standoff with the U.N. Security Council over its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment. [...] A separate closing document [...] harshly criticized Israel on a broad range of issues. Iran assumed the chairmanship of the conference this week."

Comment: I don't think it's fair to say that this "movement" is nonaligned. To call them nonaligned makes them sound neutral, but they've always been a rebel group, they are against the U.S., and Israel in particular and the West in general. It's not at all surprising to find them accepting Iran as their leader and bashing Israel in their closing document.
My Way News - Turkey's Islamic ruling party narrowly avoids ban
AP reports: "Turkey's top court narrowly voted against disbanding the ruling party Wednesday over accusations it is plotting to impose Islamic rule, but the judges cut off millions of dollars in state aid to a party locked in a power struggle with the secular elite."
My Way News - 30 killed as fighting escalates in Pakistan valley
AP reports: "Pakistani troops battled Islamic militants in a valley near the Afghan border Wednesday, killing 25 insurgents and losing five soldiers as escalating combat threatened the new government's policy of offering peace to pro-Taliban groups."
My Way News - Bush signs bill to triple AIDS funding
AP reports: "President Bush signed legislation Wednesday that triples U.S. funding to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis around the world. The five-year, $48 billion plan renews a program credited with saving millions of lives in Africa alone and is widely seen as one of the major achievements of the Bush presidency."
US: No Russian missiles expected for Iran this year - Israel News, Ynetnews
Ynetnews reports: "First delivery of the S-300 batteries was expected as soon as early September, one Israeli source said, though it could take six to 12 months for them to be deployed and operable. But Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said: 'We firmly believe, based upon our understanding of the situation, that the Iranians will not be receiving that Russian anti-aircraft system this year.'"

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Way News - Strong quake rattles buildings, nerves in S. Calif

AP reports: "The strongest earthquake to strike a populated area of Southern California in more than a decade rattled windows and chandeliers, made buildings sway and sent people running into the streets on Tuesday. But there were no immediate reports of serious injuries or major damage."
Newsmax.com - U.S. Intel: Iran Plans Nuclear Strike on U.S.
Newsmax reports: "In his recent congressional testimony, Graham revealed that Iranian military journals, translated by the CIA at his commission's request, 'explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that would gravely harm the United States.'"

Comment: A reader sent this in and I'm posting it as a "rumor of war." There are a number of problems with this report. First, it's not true that an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) would destroy U.S. military capability. Many military weapons systems, communications systems and other strategic infrastructure are hardened against EMP. The threat of EMP is not new and has been known and prepared for since the dawn of the nuclear age. It's true that EMP would likely destroy civilian electronic infrastructure, but the ability of the domestic armed forces to respond and maintain order would not be destroyed.

Second, the report makes it sound as if such an attack would permanently throw the entire country back to the 1800s level of technology. Sure, in the immediate aftermath of such an attack that may be the case on a local or regional level, but the U.S. is a big country, and one nuclear blast (even in the atmosphere) will not affect the entire continental U.S. in that manner (don't forget that the U.S. conducted many nuclear tests, ground and air, in New Mexico and Nevada from the 1940's to the 1960's and all of those tests released EMP and they did not black out the country). In the event of such an attack rest of the country would pitch in and help the disabled region to recover. Don't discount the resiliency of the American people, to say nothing of our allies, who can be expected to reciprocate the generosity we have shown over the generations by sending aid and supplies.

Third, the Iranians know that the U.S. maintains an unquestioned nuclear deterrent and they would be insane to launch such an attack. Despite recent calls to abolish the nuclear triad (to save money), the U.S. still maintains air, land and sea based nuclear forces capable of launching a counterstrike against any country. An EMP attack like the one envisioned in this report would do nothing to undermine the deterrent value of our nuclear forces and Iran could be assured that if they launched such an attack their country would become a burned out cinder. If anything, Iranian intelligence forces would immediately inform the United States upon learning of any rogue (Revolutionary Guard) plans to launch such an attack in order to prevent such a catastrophic reprisal from occurring.

This report is an example of fear-mongering, don't be afraid of an imminent EMP attack from Iran, it's a threat the military is aware of and has prepared for.
U.S. gives Israel missile detecting technology - CNN.com
CNN reports: "The United States will provide Israel with a radar system used to detect and track missile and rocket attacks, a senior Pentagon official told CNN Tuesday."
My Way News - US-Iraq forces begin new offensive in Diyala
AP reports: "U.S.-backed Iraqi troops sealed off Baqouba and staged house-to-house searches Tuesday as they began a new offensive in Diyala province in the latest bid to clear al-Qaida in Iraq from its last major belt near the capital."
My Way News - Blast rockets Hamas training camp in Gaza, 5 hurt
AP reports: "Israel and Hamas have been observing a truce that stopped Gaza rocket fire and Israeli reprisal raids. But in recent days there has been tension between Gaza's Hamas rulers and their rivals from Fatah, which is led by moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas."

Comment: Ok, now we wait to see what kind of reprisal attack Hamas will stage against Fatah. The real danger here is to Israel. Historically, whenever Palestinian infighting began to get too out of hand, one of the competing militias would attack Israel, reminding all the militants groups who their real enemy was, and then they would stop fighting each other...for a time. For Israel the strategic dilemma is how to encourage Palestinian infighting without being caught in the cross hairs. Israel needs to do everything it can do weaken Hamas while leaving Fatah with enough popular support to negotiate a peace deal, a tricky (if not impossible) proposition.
My Way News - Indonesia: Asian militants sought al-Qaida funds
AP reports: "Two alleged Indonesian terror leaders were headed to Iraq to seek help from al-Qaida, according to a seized laptop that indicates regional militants are cash-strapped but determined to rebuild international links, security officials say."
My Way News - Militants capture 25 Pakistani security personnel
AP reports: "Islamic militants seized a security post in Pakistan's troubled northwest Tuesday, capturing at least 25 police and troops in a raid that underscored the government's weak grip on territory near the Afghan border."
My Way News - UN: AIDS epidemic stable; fewer deaths, infections
AP reports: "Fewer people are dying of AIDS, more patients are on HIV medication and the global AIDS epidemic is stable after peaking in the late 1990s. [...] Countries in sub-Saharan Africa including South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland, remain the center of the AIDS epidemic. "
CNN Breaking News: -- A magnitude 5.8 earthquake has rattled Los Angeles, California

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Way News - Israeli premier doubts peace can come in 2008

AP reports: "Israel's prime minister backed away Monday from a target date - announced with great fanfare at a U.S.-hosted Mideast peace conference last November - for reaching a deal with the Palestinians by year's end. [...] 'There is no practical chance of reaching a comprehensive understanding on Jerusalem' during 2008, Olmert told a closed-door meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, according to an official present at the gathering."

Comment: I can't imagine Bush being too happy with this, he seems to be counting on Mideast peace progress to shore up his legacy. What no one is saying, but should, is that the real impediment to a peace deal is the Palestinian civil war and until that is resolved with a Fatah victory, there will be no peace deal. Of course, Iran probably won't simply allow Hamas to lose, so the stalemate will likely continue. Perhaps that is for the best, I'd hate to see Bush force an untenable peace deal on Israel simply for the sake of his presidential legacy.
My Way News - Friday's remote solar eclipse will be on Internet
AP reports: "The total blotting out of the sun, which occurs when the moon's dark inner shadow falls on parts of the Earth, can only be seen in mostly remote places: the northeastern edge of Canada, the tip of Greenland, parts of Russia, China and Mongolia, including the famed Gobi desert. For those who can't be there, it will be shown live on the Internet."

Comment: A solar eclipse on the 1st of Av makes for interesting timing. Keep watch!
My Way News - Al-Qaida commander urges killing of Saudi king
AP reports: "An al-Qaida commander who escaped from a U.S. prison in Afghanistan has posted a Web video urging Muslims to kill the Saudi king for leading an interfaith conference."
My Way News - Ahmadinejad cites `common ground' with West
AP reports: "The interview came ahead of a Saturday deadline for Iran to respond to a package of incentives offered by six world powers, in exchange for an agreement by Tehran to curb uranium enrichment. It's a process used to generate nuclear power, or build a weapon. [...] Iran faces a fourth round of United Nations sanctions if it remains unwilling to suspend or at least not expand its uranium enrichment."

Comment: Let's just wait and see what happens on Saturday, but I don't see any reason to be optimistic.
My Way News - Turkish court hears ruling party case
AP reports: "The case highlights the political rift between Turkey's secularist circles - mostly active in judiciary and the military - and the ruling party, whose many members are devout Muslims with ties to the country's Islamic movement."
My Way News - Report: Torture widespread in Palestinian jails
AP reports: "Two human rights groups on Monday decried widespread torture of political opponents by bitter Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah, and Associated Press interviews with three victims and a doctor backed the reports of abuse."
My Way News - Al-Qaida figure reported killed in missile strike
AP reports: "Missiles hit a building in a Pakistani village on the border with Afghanistan on Monday, and intelligence officials said they were investigating reports that a senior al-Qaida figure was among six people killed."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Way News - An un-American feel aids expanding US Web firms
AP reports: "As major U.S. Internet companies stake their ground abroad in anticipation of the next billion people coming online - and the advertising revenue they might generate - the flags they are planting aren't the Stars and Stripes."
My Way News - Gunman opens fire in Tennessee church, 2 killed
AP reports: "A gunman opened fire at a church youth performance Sunday and killed two people, including a man who witnesses called a hero for shielding others from a shotgun blast."
My Way News - Report: Iran now has 6,000 centrifuges for uranium
AP reports: "Iran's president said Saturday his country now possesses 6,000 centrifuges, a significant increase in its nuclear program that is certain to further rankle the United States and others who fear Tehran is intent on developing weapons."
My Way News - Islamic group claims India blasts that killed 45
AP reports: "An obscure Islamic militant group warning of 'the terror of Death' claimed responsibility for bombings that killed at least 45 people and authorities stepped up security Sunday after India's second series of blasts in two days."
My Way News - Bombs strike Istanbul neighborhood, killing 16
AP reports: "Two bombs exploded minutes apart in a packed Istanbul square Sunday night, killing 16 and injuring more than 150 in the deadliest attack against civilians in Turkey in almost five years."
My Way News - Analysis: US now winning Iraq war that seemed lost
AP reports: "The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost. Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years."

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Way News - Pope Benedict urges help for Iraqi Christians
AP reports: "Pope Benedict XVI urged the world to help Iraqis who have fled their country and called for better protection for Christians inside Iraq during talks Friday with Iraq's prime minister, the Vatican said."
My Way News - Police: Militants blow up girls school in Pakistan
AP reports: "Police say militants have blown up a girls school and 10 shops in northwestern Pakistan. There were no casualties."

Comment: Thanks AP, great headline and very informative report. I wonder what kind of militants did it? Maybe Buddhist militants? Maybe they were Quaker militants? Maybe they were Taliban? I'm sure your report would have mentioned that important fact though, if it had been the Taliban, that's rather important for the reader to know. As it stands, we are left to guess at just what kind of militants are opposed to educating girls. Well, at least we know they weren't feminist militants!
My Way News - Grandmother pleads guilty in Texas child porn case
AP reports: "A woman prosecutors say helped make a graphic videotape of her two visiting grandchildren has pleaded guilty in a Texas child pornography case."
My Way News - Police kill man who threatened Pa. radio station
AP reports: "A man who had threatened a Christian radio station was shot and killed by police Friday after he fired at officers with a rifle and tried to run them over with his sport utility vehicle, authorities said."
My Way News - N.H. tornado caused severe damage in 9 towns
AP reports: "Officials estimate that at least a half-dozen homes were destroyed and hundreds were damaged in the heavily wooded, sparsely populated terrain. The National Weather Service said nine towns suffered severe damage from the tornado, which at times reached wind speeds of 111-135 mph."
My Way News - Pa. teens charged in fatal beating of immigrant
AP reports: "Three white teens were charged Friday in what officials said was an epithet-filled fatal beating of an illegal Mexican immigrant in a small northeast Pennsylvania coal town."
My Way News - AP: Food industry bitten by its lobbying success
AP reports: "The industry pressured the Bush administration years ago to limit the paperwork companies would have to keep to help U.S. health investigators quickly trace produce that sickens consumers, according to interviews and government reports reviewed by The Associated Press. The White House also killed a plan to require the industry to maintain electronic tracking records that could be reviewed easily during a crisis to search for an outbreak's source."

Comments: Profits over public health...someone should lose their job over this debacle. It's called accountability.
Scientists identify trigger for northern lights - International Herald Tribune
IHT reports: "Researchers working on a NASA mission to understand the interplay of magnetic fields and charged particles blown outward from the Sun have identified the trigger for the colorful electrical storms in the polar regions. They hope this is a step in developing reliable forecasts of geomagnetic storms that can disrupt satellites in orbit and electric power grids on the ground."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Way News - Congress OKs $48B for global AIDS fight

AP reports: "The House voted Thursday to triple money to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis around the world, giving new life and new punch to a program credited with saving or prolonging millions of lives in Africa alone."
My Way News - Panel urges anti-terrorism agency
AP reports: "A Swiss-led, five-nation panel proposed Thursday that the United Nations assert itself as leader of a global fight against terrorism and establish a new agency or program to coordinate that effort."
My Way News - Russia denies reported Cuba base plans
AP reports: "The newspaper Izvestia this week cited an anonymous top air force official as saying the bombers could be based in Cuba as a response to U.S. plans to place elements of a missile-defense system in Eastern European countries. Defense Ministry spokesman Ilshat Baichurin dismissed the report Thursday, according to the Interfax and RIA-Novosti news agencies."
My Way News - Report: Taliban using sophisticated media network
AP reports: "The Taliban have created a sophisticated media network to undermine support for the Afghan government, sending threats by text message and spreading the militia's views through songs available as ring tones, according to a report released Thursday."
My Way News - Sudan's president pays defiant visit to Darfur
AP reports: "Sudan's president made a defiant visit to Darfur just a week after being charged with genocide in the war-ravaged region, vowing not to be intimidated by the indictment and then breaking into a tribal dance on a parched field to the delight of cheering supporters."

Comment: Let's hope the ICJ will arrest him just like they did with Karadzic.
My Way News - Iran ends cooperation with UN nuclear arms probe
AP reports: "Iran, which is obligated as a signer of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty not to develop nuclear arms, raised suspicions about its intentions when it admitted in 2002 that it had run a secret nuclear program for nearly two decades in violation of its commitment."
My Way News - China says has more people surfing the Web than US
AP reports: "China's booming Internet population has surpassed the United States to become the world's biggest, with 253 million people online despite government controls on Web use, according to government data reported Friday."
My Way News - Officials: Search for HIV vaccine needs overhaul
AP reports: "More than 6,500 new HIV infections occur daily worldwide. A recent high-profile trial of a potential vaccine not only failed to prevent infection, but those who got the inoculation appeared at increased risk of infection compared with those who were given a placebo."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Way News - Powerful earthquake hits Japan, dozens injured

AP reports: "Japan's Meteorological Agency said the temblor, which had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8, struck shortly after midnight at a depth of about 65 miles near the coast of Iwate, 280 miles northeast of Tokyo."
My Way News - Castro cryptic on Russian bomber report

AP reports: "Moscow is angry about U.S. plans for missile-defense sites in eastern Europe and Izvestia cited a 'highly placed' military aviation source as saying, 'While they are deploying the anti-missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, our long-range strategic aircraft already will be landing in Cuba.' Izvestia said this apparently refers to long-range nuclear-capable bombers."
My Way News - Obama pays visit to Jerusalem holy site

AP reports: "Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama paid a predawn visit to the holiest place in Judaism on Thursday, bowing his head in prayer at the Western Wall. Obama placed a small note inside a crevice in the ancient wall, a custom observed by many."
My Way News - Obama tells Israel he's committed to its security
AP reports: "From the solemnity of a Holocaust museum to a dusty village battered by Hamas rockets, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama on Wednesday professed 'an unshakable commitment to the security' of Israel, whether the threat comes from terrorists, Iran or elsewhere."

Comment: I'm impressed with Obama's statements on keeping Jerusalem the capital of Israel and his characterization of the Iranian nuclear program as a threat to both Israel and the U.S. Of course, candidates say all kinds of things when they are running for office, things they never do once they get in power. Still, I can't help but think that the Palestinians are now less enthused about the Obama candidacy than they were before his visit, as he has come out strongly pro-Israel. I hope that is a reflection of his true feelings and not merely political posturing.
My Way News - Pakistan warns of new nuclear arms race with India
AP reports: "Pakistan has warned a deal leading to increased Indian access to nuclear fuel could accelerate the atomic arms race between the rivals, according to a letter obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press."
My Way News - Authorities seek indicted polygamist sect members
AP reports: "The FLDS, which believes polygamy brings glory in heaven, is a breakaway sect of the mainstream Mormon church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which officially renounced polygamy more than a century ago and has sought to distance itself from the FLDS."
My Way News - Tech awards go to plane de-icing goo, headlights
AP reports: "Camera flashcubes of the 1960s, high-definition TVs and the Nicoderm quit-smoking patch have at least one thing in common: Each found a place over the years on R&D Magazine's annual list of the 100 most technologically significant new products. For 46 years, the Rockaway, N.J.-based publication has bestowed awards to products its editors and outside experts believe represent 'quantum leaps of technological improvement.'"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

FT.com - Famine looming for 14m in Africa

The Financial Times reports: "Hunger on a massive scale is looming across the Horn of Africa as a combination of drought and high food prices has left more than 14m people in five countries in need of emergency food aid, according to the United Nations."
Russia mulls regular bomber flights to Cuba: report
AFP reports: "Russia may start regular flights by long-range bombers to Cuba in response to US plans to build missile defence sites in Eastern Europe, the newspaper Izvestia reported Monday, quoting an official."
China, Russia finally fix long-disputed border
AFP reports: "China and Russia signed an agreement Monday that ended a decades-long territorial dispute and finally determined their borders, in the latest sign of warming ties between the former Cold War foes."
My Way News - Obama says he'll work for Mideast peace
AP reports: "Obama said he would work to bring the two sides together 'starting from the minute I'm sworn into office.' But he cautioned it is 'unrealistic to expect that a U.S. president alone can suddenly snap his fingers and bring about peace in this region.'"
My Way News - Britain says Taliban leader surrenders
AP reports: "Britain's Ministry of Defense says a Taliban leader has surrendered to Pakistani authorities and another leading insurgent has been killed by British forces. British forces spokesman Lt. Col. Robin Matthews says Mullah Rahim, the most senior Taliban leader in Helmand province, surrendered to Pakistani authorities on Saturday."
My Way News - Palestinian attacks using construction vehicle
AP reports: "A Palestinian attacker turned a construction vehicle into a fearsome weapon in downtown Jerusalem just hours before Barack Obama's visit Tuesday, ramming a bus, overturning a car and injuring five people before he was shot dead."

Monday, July 21, 2008

SOMARK's Chipless RFID Ink Tattoo Field Demo Brings the Company Closer to Launch
PRWeb reports: "SOMARK Innovations, Inc. recently completed a field demo of its patented Chipless RFID Ink Tattoo animal ID system. The demo proved the SOMARK system's ability to apply a tattoo in less than three seconds and read the tattoo (translate the tattoo into a unique ID, with a handheld reader in real time). The demo was conducted at a private facility in the U.S."
My Way News - WHO says Asia should act against tuberculosis
AP reports: "WHO said many Asian countries lack adequate laboratory facilities to detect multidrug-resistant TB, and only 1 percent of the estimated 150,000 people infected with the disease in East Asia and the Pacific are receiving appropriate treatment."
My Way News - Israelis, Palestinians skeptical about Obama
AP reports: "When Barack Obama comes to Israel this week, he's going to find plenty of skeptics wondering whether such a foreign policy neophyte has what it takes to finally nail down a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. [...] Obama's comment embracing Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital alienated Palestinians looking for an American leader who will pressure Israel into key concessions."
My Way News - British premier vows to thwart Iranian atomic arms
AP reports: "Visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday said his country would remain at the forefront of efforts to block Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, directly addressing one of Israel's greatest fears."
My Way News - FDA finds salmonella strain in jalapeno pepper
AP reports: "Government inspectors finally have a big clue in the nationwide salmonella outbreak: They found the same bacteria strain on a single Mexican-grown jalapeno pepper handled in Texas - and issued a stronger warning for consumers to avoid fresh jalapenos."

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Way News - Magnitude 6.6 quake hits eastern Japan

AP reports: "A strong earthquake with a preliminary 6.6 magnitude struck off of Japan's eastern coast Saturday, the country's meteorological agency said. [...] The quake shook buildings as far away as Tokyo."
My Way News - Pope apologizes for clergy sex abuse in Australia
AP reports: "Pilgrims lined the streets to watch the recreation, which stretched over three hours and included often stark scenes of brutality toward Jesus, including his being nailed to a cross. Organizers estimated the live television audience for one of the festival's most dramatic events topped 500 million."
My Way News - Haiti's Voodoo pilgrims pray for future
AP reports: "Thousands of pilgrims bathed and threw their clothes into the cascading veils of Saut D'Eau, where the faithful believe the Virgin Mary, known as Erzulie in Haitian Voodoo, appeared in the 1800s. The observant lit candles and sacrificed a cow nearby."
My Way News - Senior US envoy joins Iran nuclear talks
AP reports: "A senior U.S. envoy will sit eye-to-eye for the first time Saturday with a top Iranian nuclear negotiator, a sharp reversal in U.S. policy that aims to entice Tehran into ending activities that could be used to make atomic weapons."
My Way News - Police: Body at home of woman who claimed baby buy
AP reports: "Police said Friday they found the body of a woman with her hands bound in the apartment of another woman who showed up at a hospital with a newborn she falsely claimed as her own."
My Way News - Bush agrees to time 'horizon' on Iraq troop cuts
AP reports: "What's changed? The sharp reduction in violence in Iraq - to the lowest level in four years - has made the country's leaders increasingly confident and more assertive about its sovereignty, giving rise to demands for a specific plan for American forces to leave."
My Way News - iPhones hot even in places Apple has yet to reach
AP reports: "The new iPhone went on sale in 21 countries July 11 and will soon be released in 70 nations. Officially, Russia and China are still on hold - neither last year's original iPhone nor the updated model have been launched in those countries because Apple is still negotiating with mobile service providers."
Strong offshore earthquake hits eastern Japan - CNN.com
CNN reports: "Japan's Meteorological Agency says a strong earthquake hit off the eastern coast of Japan. The agency says the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.3."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Way News - Iran briefs ally Syria on standoff with West
AP reports: "Al-Moallem was also asked by a reporter how his country's indirect peace negotiations with Israel might impact Syria's relations with Iran, whose president has called for Israel to be wiped off the map. Al-Moallem said the 'strategic alliance' between Syria and Iran was strong and would not be shaken by the possibility of a peace treaty with Israel."
My Way News - Russia charges man with smuggling to Iran
AP reports: "The metal in question is tantalum, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office said. It can be used in the production of chemical processing equipment, nuclear reactors and missile parts, and is subject to export restrictions under Russian law."
My Way News - Al-Qaida draws more foreign recruits to Afghan war
AP reports: "Afghanistan has been drawing a fresh influx of jihadi fighters from Turkey, Central Asia, Chechnya and the Middle East, one more sign that al-Qaida is regrouping on what is fast becoming the most active front of the war on terror groups."
Pope Down Under
Yes, the Pope is in the news (My Way News - Pope says `insatiable consumption' scarring planet) but I can't offer you a quote because it doesn't meet our standards. I highlight quotes that are succinct and relevant to Bible prophecy, and so when I find a news report about the Pope's visit to Australia, I do a keyword search looking for any of the following: Jesus, Christ, gospel, salvation. I didn't find any of those in the report linked above, so no quote. I'm not sure if that is a reflection of the reporter or the Pope, probably the reporter, as I'd hate to think the Pope is ignoring the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ.
My Way News - Iraq's al-Qaida fighters now `furtive terrorists'
AP reports: "Throughout the country, al-Qaida in Iraq, an insurgent organization thought to be affiliated with the global terrorist network but comprised mainly of Iraqis, has lost so much clout it is close to becoming irrelevant to the outcome of the war."

Comment: It's nice to have some good news to report on the war in Iraq.
My Way News - Polio resurfaces in region of Pakistan
AP reports: "Polio has been eliminated in all but about a dozen countries following a global vaccination campaign, according to WHO. The disease remains endemic in Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan."
My Way News - Bill Clinton aims to stabilize malaria drug prices
AP reports: "About 500 million people are sickened each year by malaria, and more than 1 million die from the infectious disease, which is spread by mosquito bites. Symptoms include fever, chills, nausea and shortness of breath."
My Way News - FDA declares it's OK to eat tomatoes again
AP reports: "Investigators still don't know what caused the salmonella outbreak, which now has sickened 1,220 people in 42 states - the earliest falling ill on April 10 and the latest so far on July 4."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

SpaceWar - Saudis offer Moscow billions to break with Tehran: report
AFP reports: "Saudi Arabia has offered to buy Russian arms worth 2.4 billion dollars (1.5 billion euros) if Moscow stops supporting Iran, a Russian newspaper reported Tuesday, citing diplomatic sources."

Comment: I'm guessing, based on Bible prophecy, that the Russian alliance with Iran will not be so easily undone.
SpaceWar - Russian opposition to missile defense unjustified: US general
AFP reports: "Obering said the Defense Intelligence Agency believes Iran has an active intermediate-range program and could develop an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015 to 2017."
SpaceWar - Japanese team developing palm-held 3D display
AFP reports: "Researchers in Japan are developing a gadget that could enable people to hold a three-dimensional image of someone in the palm of their hand. They hope the gCubik, which is still at the prototype stage, will later be developed to move in real time and appear to speak."
SpaceWar - Khamenei: Iran accepts nuclear talks, has 'red lines'
AFP reports: "His comments came days ahead of a key meeting between Iran's top nuclear negotiator and the EU foreign policy chief, which will also be attended by a US envoy for the first time in a major policy shift by Washington."

Comment: This is an interesting development, an American diplomat will have a face-to-face meeting with an Iranian diplomat for the first time in decades. If, however, the Iranian red line is no-compromise on uranium enrichment, I'm not sure that will really make a difference. No is still no.
My Way News - Italy fingerprint plan gets initial OK
AP reports: "An Italian parliamentary panel gave initial approval Wednesday to a plan to fingerprint everyone in the country, a move that could defuse criticism over a mandatory program to fingerprint Gypsies."
My Way News - Catholics celebrate pope trip to Sydney
AP reports: "Pilgrims also received the second of daily mobile phone text messages from Benedict: 'The Holy Spirit gave the Apostles and gives u the power boldly 2 proclaim that Christ is risen! - BXVI.'"
My Way News - US abandons Afghan outpost where 9 troops died
AP reports: "In Washington, Pentagon leaders said Wednesday they are looking for ways to send additional troops to Afghanistan this year, signaling an acceleration in what had been plans to shift forces there no earlier than next year."
My Way News - Sri Lankan military: Soldiers capture rebel base
AP reports: "Fighting in the 25-year civil war has escalated in recent months after the government vowed to destroy the rebel group by the end of the year."
My Way News - Mandela group declares food human right
AP reports: "With the food crisis, they were taking on an issue that some experts say could lead to new wars, and that has touched all parts of the world, rich and poor. Food riots have broken out in the poorest countries, and the crisis has set back efforts to lift Africa out of poverty."
My Way News - Israeli critics question lopsided prisoner swap
AP reports: "The deal, in which a notorious Lebanese attacker, four other militants and the bodies of 199 Arab fighters were traded for two dead Israeli soldiers, closed a painful chapter from Israel's 2006 war in Lebanon."
My Way News - Some US soldiers in Iraq yearn to be in Afghan war
AP reports: "With violence in Iraq at its lowest level in four years and the war in Afghanistan at a peak, the soldiers serving at patrol station Maverick say Gebhart's view is increasingly common, especially among younger soldiers looking to prove themselves in battle."
My Way News - W.Va. man pleads guilty in torture of woman
AP reports: "Authorities say they held Charleston resident Megan Williams for days in a trailer where she was forced to eat animal feces, sexually assaulted and stabbed. She was rescued Sept. 8 after an anonymous caller alerted authorities."
My Way News - Senate agrees to triple anti-AIDS funding
AP reports: "In a statement, ' said that when the program was launched in 2003, about 50,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa were receiving anti-retroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS. Today, the program supports lifesaving anti-retroviral treatment for more than 1.7 million people around the world, he said. It also has supported treatment and prevention programs that have helped HIV-positive women give birth to nearly 200,000 infants who are HIV-free."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Way News - Feeding Africa: Key is better farms, not food aid

AP reports: "Ethiopia drew international attention in 1984 when a famine compounded by communist policies killed 1 million people. It is now gripped by drought that has left 4.6 million people in need of emergency food shipments."
My Way News - Skepticism precedes Saudi-led interfaith meeting
AP reports: "Observers say the conference is being held in Spain in part because it would be politically unpalatable for Abdullah - the titular guardian of Islam's two holiest sites - to allow Jewish and Christian leaders into the kingdom itself, a difficult starting point for religious harmony."

Comment: I'm not really sure what to make of this conference. At first, I dismissed it as an effort by the Saudis to burnish their image on the world stage. After all, they have a reputation for religious persecution, no religion other than Islam is allowed in the kingdom. But if they are turning it into a world conference on religion and the role of religion, perhaps it will build a framework for world religious unity, certainly something to keep an eye on.
My Way News - Britain bans military wing of Hezbollah
AP reports: "British lawmakers voted Tuesday to include the military wing of Lebanese-based group Hezbollah to Britain's list of banned terrorist organizations, charging it supported terror activities in Iraq and the Palestinian territories."
My Way News - Italy indicts Iraqi suspected of plotting attacks
AP reports: "Thanks to wiretapped conversations, police discovered Hussien and his contacts were allegedly planning an attack against U.S. bases in Iraq using suicide bombers, anti-tank weapons and ultra-light helicopters that the group planned to buy from an Italian company."
My Way News - Cambodia: Thai troops still in country
AP reports: "Cambodian officials said more Thai troops crossed into their country's territory Wednesday in the second day of alleged incursions amid tensions over disputed border land near a historic temple."
My Way News - Strong quake strikes Greek island, 1 killed
AP reports: "A strong earthquake struck the Greek island of Rhodes early Tuesday, killing a woman who slipped trying to flee her home, local authorities said. No major damage was reported to any of the island's buildings or historical sites by the quake, which the Athens Geodynamic Institute said had a preliminary magnitude of 6.3."
My Way News - Crisis brews as Turkey's ruling party faces ban
AP reports: "With the court stacked with members of the secular elite, many Turks expect to see their democratically elected government booted out. The consequences could be grave for Turkey's bid to join the European Union and for stability in this NATO member of 70 million people that strategically straddles Europe and the Middle East."

Comment: I'm very worried for Turkey. The military has long been the guardian of secular rule, but now this is in the courts, and I wonder if court rulings will command as much respect? Will there be rioting in the streets, maybe even an Islamic revolution? Turkey has had a close relationship lately with Israel, the two countries have conducted military exercises together, and of course, Turkey is home to some of the first Christian churches, but things could change very quickly, moving Turkey into an anti-Israeli Islamist camp. Will Turkey be part of the Gog Alliance which invades Israel in the end times? Keep watching.
My Way News - Elderly women get life in L.A. insurance killings
AP reports: "In April the women were convicted of a scheme in which they befriended homeless men, took out insurance policies on them and then killed them in murders staged to look like hit-and-run auto accidents."

Monday, July 14, 2008

VOA News - Palestinian, Israeli Leaders Call for Larger EU Role in Peace Process

VOA reports: "Palestinian and Israeli leaders have declared their commitment to peace before a Mediterranean summit in Paris. Lisa Bryant reports for VOA both sides have called for Europe to play a bigger role in the Middle East peace process."

Comment: If the next international Mideast Summit is hosted by Russia, perhaps the next one will be hosted by fellow Quartet partner EU, in Brussels or maybe Rome?
Russia reintroduces warship patrols in Arctic - CNN.com

CNN reports: "Russia announced Monday that it is sending warships to patrol Arctic waters for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union -- the latest move to increase the country's global military presence. [...] Russia began sending aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean Sea in December and resumed long-range bomber patrols last August."
My Way News - 86 accused of plotting secular coup in Turkey
AP reports: "Prosecutors on Monday charged 86 nationalists, including former army officers and a best-selling writer, of plotting to overthrow Turkey's Islamic-oriented government, escalating a power struggle between the ruling party's supporters and secular forces."
My Way News - Russian veto raises questions about Medvedev
AP reports: "Whatever the answers, the episode - played out last week in New York, Moscow and at a G-8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan - suggests there is little hope for a sea change in Russia's often confrontational relations with the West."
My Way News - 3 plead to charges in plot that changed air travel
AP reports: "The three - Ali, 27, Assad Sarwar, 28, and Tanvir Hussain, 27 - pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiring to set off explosions, but still say they are innocent of conspiracy to murder, a charge for which they are still being tried."
My Way News - Sudan president charged with genocide in Darfur
AP reports: "Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo filed 10 charges against al-Bashir related to a campaign of extermination of three Darfur tribes that the U.N. says claimed 300,000 lives and driven 2.5 million people from their homes. A three-judge panel was expected to take two to three months to decide whether to issue an arrest warrant."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Way News - Mediterranean union wants to rid Mideast of WMDs

AP reports: "In a final declaration, Israel, Syria, the Palestinians along with countries across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa agreed to 'pursue a mutually and effectively verifiable Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction.'"

Comment:
This is a very interesting development. On the one had, commentators are dismissing this new effort as a French publicity stunt, a way to distinguish their tenure upon assuming the presidency of the EU, offering more style than substance. On the other hand, it creates the framework for an expanded governmental structure that mirrors the borders of the ancient Roman Empire. I'm particularly interested in the stated goal of making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone. I'm more and more convinced that the Covenant With Many will be a regional security agreement that will accomplish that goal while naming NATO and/or the EU as the guarantor of the peace, a new Pax Romana. Let's keep a close eye on this new Club Med.
My Way News - Attack on US base in Afghanistan kills 9 Americans
AP reports: "U.S. officials say militant attacks in Afghanistan are becoming more complex, intense and better coordinated than a year ago. Monthly death tolls of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan surpassed U.S. military deaths in Iraq in May and June."
My Way News - Israel's Olmert says peace deal closer than ever
AP reports: "Despite the troubles on both sides, the atmosphere was friendly when Olmert and Abbas posed on the steps of the Elysee Palace with Sarkozy in the center. Olmert and Abbas each rested an arm on the other's back. After the meeting, Olmert spokesman Mark Regev said Israel was committed to 'try to reach a historic agreement by the end of this year.' Such an agreement, he said, 'would outline what a two-state solution would look like.'"
My Way News - Food crisis: Drought hurts vital Australian wheat
AP reports: "One of Australia's worst droughts on record is hurting wheat farming just as the world needs it most."
Report: US backs Israeli plan for strike on Iran - Israel News, Ynetnews
Ynetnews reports: "The official told the London-based newspaper that despite the opposition of his own generals and widespread skepticism that America is ready to risk the military, political and economic consequences of an airborne strike on Iran, the president has given an “amber light” to an Israeli plan to attack Iran’s main nuclear sites with long-range bombing sorties."
Battle to host France's Union for the Mediterranean headquarters - Telegraph
The Telegraph reports: "The new grouping will link 15 mostly Mediterranean countries, including Israel, with a combined population of 279 million, to the EU’s 27 member states and 495 million citizens."

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Way News - Kenyan robbers slash faces of missionaries
AP reports: "Local police chief Josephat Ndungu says John Bergen and his wife, Eloise, suffered deep slashes on their heads and faces in an attack overnight in the restive Mt. Elgon region of western Kenya. He says they are in a hospital in critical condition."
NASA - What's Wrong with the Sun?
NASA reports: "This report, that there's nothing to report, is newsworthy because of a growing buzz in lay and academic circles that something is wrong with the sun. Sun Goes Longer Than Normal Without Producing Sunspots declared one recent press release. A careful look at the data, however, suggests otherwise."
My Way News - Hezbollah gains veto power in new Lebanon Cabinet
AP reports: "That deal came after Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants and allied gunmen fanned out across Lebanon's capital in May, clashing with government supporters. The violence killed at least 81 people and brought the country to the brink of another civil war."
My Way News - Sudan president expected to face war crime charges
AP reports: "He said last month that Sudan's 'whole state apparatus' is implicated in crimes against humanity in the troubled Darfur region, where up to 300,000 people have died since the conflict began in early 2003."
My Way News - Russian oil slows to Czechs after accord with US
AP reports: "The revelation came after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Czech counterpart, Karel Schwarzenberg, signed a deal to build a missile-tracking radar station near Prague as part of a U.S. missile defense shield in eastern Europe."
My Way News - Britain urging return to wartime food frugality
AP reports: "With food and energy prices soaring around the world, a constant supply of high-quality, affordable food is no longer guaranteed, the officials are warning Britons. That could mean an era of scarcity like Britain's 1940-54 food rationing, during the war and its aftermath. [...] Tim Lang, professor of food policy at London's City University, said junk food will remain readily available, but good quality, nutritious produce could become scarce worldwide."
My Way News - Dutch woman dies of Ebola-like fever
AP reports: "To avoid an outbreak of the rare disease, health authorities said they have been in touch with everyone known to have had contact with the 40-year-old woman since she returned to the Netherlands at the end of June."
My Way News - Al-Qaida tape warns of Afghan attacks
AP reports: "An Internet audiotape purported to be from an al-Qaida commander who escaped from a U.S.-run prison in Afghanistan warns of increased attacks against international forces in the violence-plagued nation."
The Strategy Newspaper - China's Cyber-Warfare Militia

Strategy Newspaper reports: "Computer hackers in China, including those working on behalf of the Chinese government and military, have penetrated deeply into the information systems of U.S. companies and government agencies, stolen proprietary information from American executives in advance of their business meetings in China, and, in a few cases, gained access to electric power plants in the United States, possibly triggering two recent and widespread blackouts in Florida and the Northeast, according to U.S. government officials and computer-security experts."

Comment: This is an interesting report because it goes on to note that the rise of cyberwarfare is leading some to call for it to be officially classified as an act of war, similar to an overt attack on territory. It also raises an interesting question, how to we consider a country a trade partner and at the same time an enemy that is consistently attacking our cyber infrastructure?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Moderate quake rattles Pakistan - CNN.com
CNN reports: "Salim Akhtar, an official at the state-run seismological center, said a magnitude-5.2 quake -- which has the potential to cause considerable damage -- was felt in Islamabad and the northwestern city of Peshawar on Friday morning."
My Way News - France launching watered-down Mediterranean Union
AP reports: "President Nicolas Sarkozy's ambitious pet project to join the nations around the Mediterranean Sea in a cooperative union based on shared projects has been so watered down over the past year that critics now deride it as 'Club Med' - suggesting it will be big on blather and low on substance."

Comment: This is an interesting development, not only for the idea of a union of Mediterranean countries (which would closely resemble the map of the ancient Roman Empire), but for the prospect of a brokered peace between Israel and Syria. I bet Hezbollah and Iran must be feeling a bit betrayed about now, let's hope they don't act out.
My Way News - Apple iPhone debuts to lines in Japan, elsewhere
AP reports: "Because of time differences, the new iPhones went on sale first in New Zealand, then Australia. Japan and Hong Kong are to follow. In the United States, phones will be available at 8 a.m. in each time zone."
U.N. scheme to make Christians criminals:
WND reports "'The 'defamation of religion' resolutions establish as the primary focus and concern the protection of ideas and religions generally, rather than protecting the rights of individuals to practice their religion, which is the chief purpose of international religious freedom law.' 'Furthermore, 'defamation of religion' replaces the existing objective criterion of limitations on speech where there is an intent to incite hatred or violence against religious believers with a subjective criterion that considers whether the religion or its believers feel offended by the speech,' the group continued."

Comment: Basically this is an approach to prevent missionary activity, to stop people from sharing their religion with the intent of winning converts. It "protects" one religion from another religion, it doesn't protect religious freedom, at least not in the way we understand that in the West.
China Daily - Bible to be available free during Beijing Games
China Daily reports: "Tens of thousands of copies of the Bible, the New Testament and booklets with just the four Gospels (according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) have been printed for the purpose, say officials of China's Christian society."

Comment: This is a nice change of pace, usually any church news out of China has to do with the persecution of house churches. I hope this new openness lasts after the Olympics.
My Way News - Iran test-fires more missiles in Persian Gulf
AP reports: "Iran test-fired more long-range missiles overnight in a second round of exercises meant to show that the country can defend itself against any attack by the U.S. or Israel, Iranian state television reported Thursday."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My Way News - Analysis: US and Iran appear on collision course
AP reports: "The United States and Iran appear on a collision course in the Middle East, firing off mixed messages that are raising world tension and roiling oil markets amid fears that an eventual confrontation may be military."
My Way News - Iran missile test sends message to US, Israel

AP reports: "State TV aired footage of at least six missiles being fired simultaneously, and said the barrage included a new version of the Shahab-3 missile, which officials have said has a range of 1,250 miles and is armed with a 1-ton conventional warhead. That would put Israel, Turkey, the Arabian peninsula, Afghanistan and Pakistan within striking distance."
My Way News - Iran missile test sends message to US, Israel
AP reports: "State TV aired footage of at least six missiles being fired simultaneously, and said the barrage included a new version of the Shahab-3 missile, which officials have said has a range of 1,250 miles and is armed with a 1-ton conventional warhead. That would put Israel, Turkey, the Arabian peninsula, Afghanistan and Pakistan within striking distance."
My Way News - Gunmen attack US consulate in Turkey; 6 dead
AP reports: "Gunmen believed inspired by al-Qaida stormed a guard post at the U.S. consulate Wednesday, touching off a firefight that killed three police and three assailants in the latest sign of Turkey's difficulty in clamping down on homegrown militants."
My Way News - Police: Warren Jeffs released from Vegas hospital
AP reports: "Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs has been released from a Las Vegas hospital, one day after he was found weak and feverish in his Arizona jail cell."
My Way News - Salmonella infects over 1,000; peppers now eyed
AP reports: "More than 1,000 people now have become ill from salmonella initially linked to raw tomatoes, a sobering milestone Wednesday that makes this the worst foodborne outbreak in at least a decade."
My Way News - Iran missile test sends message to US, Israel

AP reports: "Iran test-fired nine missiles Wednesday, including ones capable of hitting Israel, making a dramatic show of its readiness to strike back if the United States or Israel attacks it over its nuclear program."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My Way News - Iranian president says no war with US, Israel

AP reports: "The Israelis 'are a complex political group, but you should know this regime will be eventually destroyed and there is no need of any measure by Iranian people,' he said when asked to comment on whether he has called for the destruction of Israel."

Comment: There he goes again, threatening the destruction of Israel. I know there are many people who feel that Israel and the U.S. are over-reacting to the threat posed by Iran, which as present has yet to make one nuclear weapon. Still, the record is clear, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has threatened Israel on many occasions, his threats must be taken seriously, Israel and the West would be foolish not to.
My Way News - Tiff over term could hurt Palestinian president

AP reports: "The Hamas deadline coincides with President Bush's target date for at least the outline of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Few expect Bush's Mideast peace initiative to bear fruit unless Abbas can restore his rule in Gaza - an outcome that would probably require renewed deal making with Hamas."
My Way News - Swiss nationalist force referendum on minaret ban
AP reports: "Still, construction of traditional mosques and minarets in European countries has rarely been a trouble-free affair. Sweden, France, Italy, Austria, Greece, Germany and Slovenia are among the countries that have experienced opposition or protests against such projects."

Comment: Perhaps such opposition is based on European history and that period when Islam tried to take over Europe? Of course, that was when Europe defined itself as "Christendom," a term which now seems a bit dated. Or is it?
My Way News - US, allies want global pollution slashed _ by 2050
AP reports: "World leaders embraced for the first time on Tuesday an ambitious but nonbinding goal of slashing greenhouse-gas emissions in half by midcentury to stave off global warming. Unimpressed environmentalists called the effort too slow and too uncertain."
My Way News - Israel raids West Bank mall, claims Hamas link
AP reports: "The overnight move was the latest in a widening crackdown on the militant Islamic group in the West Bank, even as Israel observes a cease-fire with the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. Israel kept a vital Gaza cargo crossing open though Palestinians fired three mortar shells at Israel on Tuesday, violating a three-week-old truce."
My Way News - Google ventures into virtual reality with 'Lively'
AP reports: "Google debuted a free service Tuesday in which three-dimensional software enables people to congregate in fantasy rooms and other computer-manufactured versions of real life. The service, called 'Lively,' represents Google's answer to an already well-established site, 'Second Life,' where people deploy animated alter egos known as avatars to navigate virtual reality."

Comment: I found it really interesting that within this virtual reality you can setup TV's showing YouTube videos, so your avatar can hang out with others in a fake environment while watching videos of the real world. And since Google is global, anyone can join the virtual space, even if they are on the other side of the world.

Monday, July 07, 2008

My Way News - Israel closes Gaza crossings after mortar attack
AP reports: "Under the truce deal, Palestinian militants were to halt their assaults on southern Israel, and Israel was to ease its crushing blockade on Gaza. But the attacks have continued and Israel has closed the passages repeatedly."
My Way News - Syria says talks with Israel require US support
AP reports: "Assad would not commit to meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during the visit - but did not rule it out. Both will be among some 40 leaders in Paris to launch the Mediterranean Union, France's prized initiative during its European Union presidency which began July 1."
My Way News - Palestinian leader meets Islamic Jihad, not Hamas
AP reports: "Hamas and Islamic Jihad reject any peace with Israel and say armed struggle is the only way to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. Abbas has called for reconciliation talks on the condition that Hamas cede power in Gaza."
My Way News - EU's Solana hoping to meet soon with Iranian
AP reports: "The Iranian letter, which Solana said he received late Friday, responds to an international offer of incentives meant to persuade Iran to halt enrichment. World powers fear that Iran could use the uranium to build nuclear weapons. [...] The standoff has led to increasingly tense exchanges about the possibility of a military strike by Israel or the U.S. An Israeli military exercise last month was seen as a warning to Iran."
My Way News - Italy frees hijacker of Achille Lauro cruise ship
AP reports: "The hijacking was organized by the militant Palestinian Liberation Front in part to demand the freedom of Samir Kantar, the convicted gunman now at the center of a prisoner swap between Israel and Hezbollah."
My Way News - Londoners mark July 7 bombings anniversary
AP reports: "Four suicide bombers - all British Muslims - blew themselves up aboard three subway trains and a bus in the deadliest attack on London since World War II. More than 700 people were injured in the attacks."
My Way News - Russia's new president warms up to Western leaders
AP reports: "On the U.S. plan for a Europe-based missile defense system, top Kremlin aide Sergei Prikhodko said that Washington had failed to ease Russia's concerns and that Medvedev warned Bush not deploy missile interceptors in the ex-Soviet republic of Lithuania if talks with Poland fall through."
My Way News - 1st Atlantic season hurricane becomes Category 3
AP reports: "The hurricane center has projected 12 to 16 named storms in the Atlantic this season, with six to nine of them hurricanes."
My Way News - UN chief to G8: climate change, food crisis linked
AP reports: "Food security and soaring oil prices are likely to overtake climate change in the priorities of the G-8 meeting starting Monday, though global warming was the theme set by the host, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda."
My Way News - FDA reports more cases of salmonella illnesses
AP reports: "There have been 943 reported cases nationwide, with at least 130 hospitalizations since mid-April after the first salmonella illnesses appeared, the Food and Drug Administration said Saturday."

Comment: I think it's odd that the news reports on this outbreak don't mention the outbreak in Denmark in which thousands of people have been infected.
My Way News - Bush's final G-8 summit may be harmonious
AP reports: "Bush spearheaded an effort to bring these and other fast-growing economies into the process, with a 'major economies meeting' now scheduled for next Wednesday at the summit's conclusion."

Comment: I know there are many potential fulfillments of the Ten Kings prophecy, G8 expansion is merely one of them, but it seems to have more momentum than Security Council expansion or EU devolution. It's worth keeping an eye on in the short-term, especially since next year's summit will be in Italy (for all you new-Romers). In the long-term, we still need to keep an eye on the ever expanding number of regional trade agreements.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My Way News - Algeria convicts 2 for promoting Christianity
AP reports: "Both are evangelical Protestant Christians and first were prosecuted when extracts from the Bible and other Christian books were found in one of their cars in 2007 during a routine check. They were charged with proselytizing, or trying to spread their faith among Muslims, as well as praying in a building that had not been granted a religious permit by authorities."

Comment: Let's pray for Rachid Mohammed Seghir and Jammal Dahmani and all the believers in Algeria, that they will face persecution with fortitude, perseverance and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, they will keep love in their hearts.
My Way News - AP interview: Iran envoy dismisses attack threat
AP reports: "Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in an interview with The Associated Press that he does not believe a military strike is looming while the U.S. economy is suffering and it is bogged down in a seven-year-old campaign in Afghanistan and more than five years in Iraq."
My Way News - Russia warns Lithuania on US missile defense
AP reports: "Russia could deploy more troops to its Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad if Lithuania offers its soil for the deployment of U.S. missile interceptors, said a statement approved unanimously by the Kremlin-controlled lower house, the State Duma."

Comments: The Russians appear to be serious about their opposition to the anti-missile systems but are they willing to risk starting another Cold War over the issue?
My Way News - Heavy security in Mongolia after riots
AP reports: "President Nambaryn Enkhbayar declared the four-day emergency after thousands of rock-throwing protesters clashed with police late Tuesday as they mobbed the headquarters of the ruling Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, or MPRP, and set it on fire."
My Way News - Curfew is imposed in Indian Kashmir city
AP reports: "Jammu-Kashmir, India's only Muslim-majority state, has been rocked by violent protests for two weeks, first by Muslims denouncing the land transfer and then by Hindus who learned the decision would be revoked."
My Way News - Iran says any attack would provoke fierce reaction
AP reports: "Over the weekend, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned that Tehran would respond to an attack by barraging Israel with missiles and could seize control of a key oil passageway in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz."
My Way News - Bush says US to send more troops to Afghanistan
AP reports: "More U.S. and NATO troops have died in the past two months in Afghanistan than in Iraq, a place with triple the number of U.S. and coalition forces."
My Way News - A look at progress in Iraq
AP reports: "In July 2007, President Bush submitted his report to Congress on Iraq's progress toward achieving 18 political and military goals, as identified by Bush and the Baghdad government. Here's a look at how that report compares with the May 2008 update:"
My Way News - Hot future shock: Heat wave temperatures to soar
AP reports: "During the European heat wave of 2003 that killed tens of thousands, the temperature in parts of France hit 104 degrees. Nearly 15,000 people died in that country alone. During the Chicago heat wave of 1995, the mercury spiked at 106 and about 600 people died."
My Way News - More than 4,000 Danes may have salmonella
AP reports: "Danish health officials fear more than 4,000 people may be infected with salmonella and are checking everything from refrigerators to credit card receipts to find the source of what may be the worst outbreak in 15 years."

Comment: I didn't realize they ate that many tomatoes.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

My Way News - Video shows woman dying on Brooklyn hospital floor
AP reports: "City hospital officials agreed in court Tuesday to implement reforms at a psychiatric ward where surveillance footage showed a woman falling from her chair, writhing on the floor and dying as workers failed to help for more than an hour. [...] Security guards and a member of the hospital's staff appeared to notice her prone body at least three times, but made no visible attempt to see if she needed help."

Comment: I use the tag "wickedness increases" for posts such as this, but to be scripturally accurate, it should be "because wickedness increases the love of most grows cold." The prophecy is about the lack of love, not so much the wickedness, which is merely the cause. Maybe I should have tagged these posts with "love grows cold" but then I felt I'd have to keep explaining what that meant. Anyway, to watch another human being suffer and die and not try to help, when one is presumably in a helping profession (as at a hospital), is probably one of the most wicked and unloving things I've come across recently.
My Way News - Olmert visits Israeli nuclear site
AP reports: "Israel considers Iran a strategic threat because of its nuclear program, its long-range missiles and repeated calls by its president to wipe Israel off the map. Israel favors tough international sanctions to pressure Iran to scale back its nuclear ambitions. But Olmert pointedly has not ruled out an attack."
My Way News - Israel seals Gaza crossings after rocket attack
AP reports: "Militants have attacked Israel at least three times since the June 19 truce. Israel has responded by closing its cargo crossings with Gaza, but has not responded militarily."
My Way News - Hezbollah said to train Shiite militiamen in Iraq
AP reports: "Hezbollah instructors trained Shiite militiamen at remote camps in southern Iraq until three months ago when they slipped across the border to Iran [...] All this suggests that Shiite-dominated Iran is waging a proxy war against the United States to secure a dominant role in majority-Shiite Iraq, which has supplanted Lebanon as Tehran's top priority in the Middle East."
My Way News - France takes over EU presidency
AP reports: "The biggest challenge facing France at the outset of its EU presidency was Ireland's vote last month rejecting a treaty meant to make the EU work better. Sarkozy has a personal stake in seeing the deal through, because he was one of its architects. But the Irish vote has thrown the ratification process into turmoil because the treaty can only take effect in 2009 if ratified by all 27 EU states."
My Way News - Pentagon: Lithuania good site for missile defense
AP reports: "Russia has sharply protested Washington's plans, arguing that U.S. military installations so close to its borders threaten its security. Moscow has threatened to aim its own missiles at any eventual base in Poland and the Czech Republic with its own missiles."
My Way News - Treaty signed 40 years ago limited nuclear growth
AP reports: "There is virtually no movement on the disarmament front, while concern about a breakout is focused now on Iran, which claims its nuclear program is not aimed at building a bomb, and North Korea, which in 2003 became the only country to defect from the treaty. The Stalinist regime recently took some big steps, though, toward revealing essential elements of its program."
My Way News - Pentagon will buy satellites to do more spying
AP reports: "The satellites could spy on enemy troop movements, spot construction at suspected nuclear sites and alert commanders to militant training camps."
My Way News - Scientists say ailing penguins signal sea problems
AP reports: "The dwindling march of the penguins is signaling that the world's oceans are in trouble, scientists now say. Penguins may be the tuxedo-clad version of a canary in the coal mine, with generally ailing populations from a combination of global warming, ocean oil pollution, depleted fisheries, and tourism and development, according to a new scientific review paper."

Comment: I received an e-mail from a reader who was a bit irate, apparently because he felt I had an environmentalist slant and he doubted global warming was real. In my reply I noted that I'm not making any claims about that, merely saying that whether global warming is real or not, it's something people are very worried about, and it reflects the attitude describe in the prophecy about people having fear and trepidation about the future, about what is happening to the world.

Personally, I think that global warming as a phenomenon has been conclusively proven, but whether it is caused by man or by a natural climate cycle, or some combination of the two, has not been conclusively proven. I've even seen suggestions that changes in solar output is the cause, though I don't think the data is there to support that, as we haven't been collecting data on the sun long enough to compare with other long-term climate data. As a Christian my view of the environment is one of stewardship, I believe God created the Earth and gave humanity dominion over it, we should respect the Earth as a gift from God and not despoil it. And to conclude by bringing this back to Bible prophecy, remember that when Jesus returns he does so to put an end to war and stop those who are destroying the Earth (Revelation 11). Christians then should not be on the side of those who seek to destroy the Earth.