Saturday, January 31, 2009

CBS News - Five Cases Of Ebola Virus In Philippines, All Men Now Virus-Free, But Fears Raised Over Transmission From Infected Pigs
CBS News reports: "Four more Filipinos have been shown to have contracted the Ebola Reston virus, a finding that increases the likelihood that pig-to-human transmission took place, health officials said Friday."

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My Way News - Iraqi Christians caught in middle of Mosul vote
AP reports: "Iraqi Christians still reeling from a string of murders last fall find themselves caught in the middle of a power struggle between Kurds and Sunni Arabs that was fueled by this weekend's elections."

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My Way News - Iran marks 30th anniversary of revolution
AP reports: "Iran began 10 days of festivities on Saturday marking the 30th anniversary of its Islamic revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed shah and brought hard-line clerics to power."

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My Way News - Farmer in central China sick with bird flu
AP reports: "A 21-year-old woman in central China has been sickened with the H5N1 strain of bird flu in the country's eight reported case of the disease this year, the Health Ministry said."

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NYT- Rising Acidity Threatens Oceans
The New York Times reports: "The oceans have long buffered the effects of climate change by absorbing a substantial portion of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. But this benefit has a catch: as the gas dissolves, it makes seawater more acidic. Now an international panel of marine scientists says this acidity is accelerating so fast it threatens the survival of coral reefs, shellfish and the marine food web generally."

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My Way News - US-funded program to arm Afghan groups begins
AP reports: "A U.S.-funded program to train and arm community members in Afghanistan's most dangerous regions as a way to defend against the Taliban has begun, the country's interior minister said Saturday."

Comment: This U.S. is starting a new and risky strategy in the Afghan War, one that mirrors successful efforts in Iraq, but Afghanistan is different in tribal and sectarian make-up than Iraq, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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BBC NEWS - Heatwave cripples south Australia
The BBC reports: "South-eastern Australia is experiencing its worst heatwave in decades, with temperatures in excess of 43C (109F)."

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My Way News - At Davos forum, leaders urge continued free trade
AP reports: "Global leaders had a simple message for the world on Saturday: Keep trading. If nations instead choose to barricade their economies behind new commercial barriers, they risk making the global economic crisis even worse, leaders said."

Comment: This will be a true test of the durability of globalization. If President Obama and other leaders of industrialized nations adopt protectionist policies, then the rising (and prophetically necessary) tide of globalization will be set back for years, if not generations.

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My Way News - Russia: Missile threat stands, only as response
AP reports: "Russia says its threat to deploy missiles near Poland still stands, but stresses it will do so only if the Unites States pushes ahead with a European missile shield."

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My Way News - Cyprus searches suspected Hamas-arms ship
AP reports: "Cypriot authorities on Friday searched a cargo ship suspected by the United States of carrying Iranian arms to Hamas militants in Gaza."

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My Way News - SKorean firm says it cloned dogs using stem cells
AP reports: "U.S., Japanese and New Zealand scientists have already succeeded in cloning mice, pigs and deer using stem cells, but it was first time stem cells were used to clone dogs, according to the university team."

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VOA News - Recession-Sparked European Social Unrest Arrives in Britain
VOA reports: "Over just the past week, angry demonstrators have hit the streets of Iceland, Russia and France. That unrest has now reached the shores of Britain."

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VOA News - Israeli Warplanes Hit Gaza Following Rocket Attacks on Israel
VOA reports: "Israel says its warplanes have carried out more air strikes on militant targets in the Gaza Strip after militants fired two rockets into southern Israel."

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VOA News - Palestinian Rocket Attack Tests Shaky Gaza Cease-Fire
VOA reports: "Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a rocket at Israel that landed near the coastal city of Ashkelon. There were no injuries or damage, but the attack raised the prospect of further Israeli retaliation."

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ninemsn - Humans 'will be implanted with microchips'
9NEWS reports: "All Australians could be implanted with microchips for tracking and identification within the next two or three generations, a prominent academic says."

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Venezuela synagogue vandalized - CNN.com
CNN reports: "Armed men forced their way into a Caracas synagogue, defacing its administrative offices with anti-Semitic graffiti and vandalizing an interior room where the Torah is kept, officials said.[...] Graffiti left at the scene included the phrases 'Damn the Jews,' 'Jews out of here' and 'Israel assassins.' The men also left behind a picture of a devil, authorities said."

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Friday, January 30, 2009

BBC NEWS | Middle East | US 'actively seeks' Mid-East deal

BBC News reports: "The US envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, has said Washington is committed to 'actively and aggressively' seeking lasting peace. [...] Following the meeting he called for Israel to open the crossing points into Gaza and for the Palestinian Authority to participate in a border regime in Gaza that prevents, Hamas, the militant group that controls the territory, from rearming."

Comment: I think he needs to be honest about defining the Palestinian Authority as Fatah and not Hamas or the entire effort will fall apart...which may be a good thing.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Way News - Obama envoy meets Palestinian leaders in West Bank
AP reports: "Washington dispatched envoy George Mitchell to the Mideast a week after President Barack Obama took office, signaling the new U.S. administration's eagerness to get directly involved in peacemaking."

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My Way News - Turkish prime minister walks off stage over Gaza
AP reports: "Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stalked off the stage at the World Economic Forum, red-faced after verbally sparring with Israeli President Shimon Peres over the fighting in Gaza."

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My Way News - Arctic's thaw brings security risks for NATO
AP reports: "NATO will need a military presence in the Arctic as global warming melts frozen sea routes and major powers rush to lay claim to lucrative energy reserves, the military bloc's chief said Thursday. NATO commanders and lawmakers meeting in Iceland's capital said the Arctic thaw is bringing the prospect of new standoffs between powerful nations."

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My Way News - Police in India charge 10 men with raping nun
AP reports: "Police in eastern India have charged 10 men with gang raping a Catholic nun during weeks of anti-Christian violence last year, an official said Thursday."

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Fun and Story for Everyday: Perfect Space Storm Could be Catastrophic on Earth
A lot of people wonder what the Signs in the Sun prophecy of Luke 21:25 will mean. One potential fulfillment of that prophecy is the kind of extreme solar storm event described in this post from Fun and Story for Everyday:
A new study from the National Academy of Sciences outlines grim possibilities on Earth for a worst-case scenario solar storm. Damage to power grids and other communications systems could be catastrophic, the scientists conclude, with effects leading to a potential loss of governmental control of the situation. The prediction is based in part on major solar storm in 1859 caused telegraph wires to short out in the United States and Europe, igniting widespread fires. It was perhaps the worst in the past 200 years, according to the new study, and with the advent of modern power grids and satellites, much more is at risk. [...] The race is on for better forecasting abilities, as the next peak in solar activity is expected to come around 2012.
There is also a prophecy in the Book of Revelation about the sun scorching people with heat that could also be fulfilled by an extreme solar storm.

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Spread of Malaria Feared as Drug Loses Potency - NYTimes.com
The New York Times reports: "The parasite that causes the deadliest form of malaria is showing the first signs of resistance to the best new drug against it. [...] But if resistance spreads, there are no new drugs to take the place of artemisinin-based combinations and no immediate prospects under development."

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Gas discovery tempers Israeli recession blues - MarketWatch:
This Market Watch report notes a discovery that could well be very important to the future of Israel:
An American-Israeli prospecting consortium's Jan. 18 announcement that its Tamar 1 drilling site proved to contain 'meaningful quantities' of natural gas momentarily illuminated an otherwise pitch-dark sky with a corporate, economic and political ray of light. [...] Faith might also have helped the prospectors who for more than half a century sought oil and gas under the Promised Land rather than off its shoreline, in the spirit of Moses' blessing to the tribe of Asher: "May he dip his foot in oil." Israel could have been a gas producer long ago had it followed this hint and ventured into the Mediterranean west of northern Israel, which includes Asher's fiefdom, and where Tamar 1's rig now towers, some 60 miles west of Haifa. [...] The finders are in fact so euphoric that Tshuva spoke of Israel as a future gas exporter.
I can't help wonder if this discovery will be the foundation for a new era of peace and prosperity for Israel, as well as stoking the fires of jealously and antisemitism among natural gas exports farther north.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Washington Times - Netanyahu meeting to test Mitchell diplomacy
The Washington Times reports: "U.S. envoy George Mitchell has days of meetings scheduled with leaders in the Middle East, but likely faces his most critical round Friday when he is to see Benjamin Netanyahu."

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My Way News - US envoy: US committed to Mideast peace
AP reports: "President Barack Obama's new Mideast envoy says his visit to the Mideast sends a clear signal that the U.S. is committed to pursuing peace and stability in the troubled region."

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My Way News - Iran calls for US to end support of Israel
AP reports: "Iran's president called Wednesday for 'profound changes' in U.S. foreign policy including an end to support for Israel and an apology to the Islamic republic for past misdeeds."

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My Way News - Russia official says backing off on missile threat
AP reports: "A Russian military official said Wednesday that Moscow was backing off a threat to deploy missiles near Poland, according to a report that may have been aimed at testing President Barack Obama's intent to build a European missile shield."

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My Way News - More than a million wait in icy darkness across US
AP reports: "Well over a million people shivered in ice-bound homes across the country Wednesday, waiting for warmer weather and for utility crews to restring power lines brought down by a storm that killed 23 as it took a snowy, icy journey from the Southern Plains to the East Coast."

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RAF 'ordered to shoot down UFOs' - Telegraph
The Telegraph reports: "Pilots have apparently fired upon the unidentified objects without success since the 1980s, according to Nick Pope, who used to run the Ministry of Defence's UFO project."

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Way News - Report: Myanmar's Chin people persecuted
AP reports: "The 'forgotten' Chin people, Christians living in the remote mountains of northwestern Myanmar, are subject to forced labor, torture, extrajudicial killings and religious persecution by the country's military regime, a human rights group said Wednesday. [...] Some 90 percent of the Chin are Christians, most of them adherents to the American Baptist Church."

Comment: Please join me in praying for the church in Myanmar, that they will guided by the Holy Spirit to endure persecution with fortitude and perseverance, keeping their faith and leaving a desire for revenge (as every Christian should) to God alone.

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My Way News - Hamas bombing, Israeli airstrike shake Gaza truce
AP reports: "A Palestinian roadside bomb killed an Israeli soldier patrolling the border with Gaza on Tuesday, and Israel responded with an airstrike that wounded a Hamas militant in a flare-up of violence that undermined a cease-fire on the eve of a visit by the new U.S. Mideast envoy."

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My Way News - Riots in Bahrain after 3 Shiite activists charged
AP reports: "Police fired tear gas at dozens of rioters in Bahrain on Tuesday as the public prosecutor charged three Shiite Muslim activists with promoting a coup."

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My Way News - Japanese boat seized by Russia off Sea of Japan
AP reports: "A Japanese fishing boat carrying 10 crew members was seized by the Russian coast guard Tuesday off Japan's northern coast. [...] Russia captured the small islands at the southern end of the Kuril chain - known as the Northern Territories in Japan - during the closing days of World War II. Tokyo has demanded Russia return the islands surrounded by rich fishing grounds. The dispute has kept the two countries from signing a peace treaty formally ending war hostilities."

Comment: It's odd to think that Russia and Japan never concluded WWII with a peace treaty and are still, after all these years, technically at war.

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My Way News - NATO: 3,000 US troops deploy near Afghan capital
AP reports: "Thousands of U.S. troops originally destined for Iraq have deployed south of Afghanistan's capital in the first illustration of a new military focus on the increasingly difficult fight in the South Asian nation, NATO said Tuesday. [...] Southern Afghanistan is the center of the Taliban-led insurgency, which has spread over the last three years in many areas of the country. "

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My Way News - Madagascar police try to stop looting in capital
AP reports: "Police tried to control looting in Madagascar's capital Tuesday, a day after thousands of anti-government demonstrators set fire to the state broadcasting complex."

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Russia - Abkhazia Base Planned - NYTimes.com
The New York Times reports: "Russian news agencies said Moscow could start building a naval base in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region this year. Basing warships there could deepen Western concerns about Moscow’s growing military presence in Abkhazia, which Russia recognized as independent after the war with Georgia in August."

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Long Droughts, Rising Seas Predicted Despite Future CO2 Curbs - washingtonpost.com

The Washington Post reports: "Global sea levels will rise by roughly three feet by the year 3000, a projection that does not factor in melting glaciers and polar ice sheets that would probably result in significant additional sea level rises."

Comment: If you have coastal property you plan to keep in the family for a few generations, you might want to consider selling it.

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BBC NEWS - Global crisis talks move to Davos
BBC News reports: "Wars. Economic turmoil. Global poverty. The agenda is packed as more than 2,500 of the world's top business leaders and politicians come to the Swiss mountain village of Davos to attend the World Economic Forum, which starts this Wednesday."

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My Way News - Carter: If no Palestine, Israel sees 'catastrophe'
AP reports: "Carter still believes a two-state solution is the best option, with all of Israel's Arab neighbors recognizing its right to exist in peace, and Israel withdrawing from most of the land it captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War to create an independent Palestine."

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My Way News - Syria wants dialogue with US without preconditions
AP reports: "Syrian President Bashar Assad said in remarks broadcast Monday that he wants a dialogue with the United States but there should be no preconditions by the Obama administration. [...] In the past, the U.S. has demanded that Syria end its support to militant organizations such as the Palestinian Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah."

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My Way News - China reports 5th bird flu death this year
AP reports: "An 18-year-old man died from bird flu Monday in southern China, the fifth human death from the virus in the country this year, state media reported."

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My Way News - Indonesians among the few to witness solar eclipse
AP reports: "Indonesians were among the few worldwide to witness an eclipse of the sun Monday, some cheering and banging on drums as the moon slowly crossed its path, blocking out everything but a thin, blazing rim of fire."

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My Way News - Report: Some climate damage already irreversible
AP reports: "Many damaging effects of climate change are already basically irreversible, researchers declared Monday, warning that even if carbon emissions can somehow be halted temperatures around the globe will remain high until at least the year 3000."

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Internet usage breaks through the billion barrier - Tech Herald
The Tech Herald reports: "The global spread of the Internet shows no signs of slowing after a recent TechPulse360 report revealed that the number of people online in December of 2008 rose above one billion for the very first time in history."

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UFOs targeted by MoD ‘shoot down’ directive - Tech Herald
The Tech Herald reports: "According to a former Ministry of Defence (MoD) employee with 21 years of experience, pilots in the Royal Air Force (RAF) are under strict “shoot down” orders to open fire at any unidentified flying object that’s deemed to be a threat to UK airspace."

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My Way News - Darfur peacekeepers: Government planes bomb town
AP reports: "The conflict in Darfur has pitted the Arab-led government in Khartoum against mainly ethnic African rebels who rose up in 2003 complaining of discrimination. Khartoum is accused of unleashing Arab militias to wage a campaign of violence on ethnic African civilians, including killings and rapes."

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My Way News - China reports 4th bird flu death in 2009
AP reports: "A woman in China's far west has died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the Health Ministry said Saturday, the country's fourth death from the virus this year as the biggest festive season approaches."

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Marines force of 20,000 seen for Afghanistan - Reuters
Reuters reports: "Up to 20,000 U.S. Marines could be deployed in Afghanistan as part of a planned major troop build-up to battle worsening insurgent violence, the top U.S. Marine officer said on Friday."

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President orders air strikes on villages in tribal area - The Guardian
The Guardian reports: "Barack Obama gave the go-ahead for his first military action yesterday, missile strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan which killed at least 18 people."

Comment: Now that's change I can believe in.

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My Way News - World's highest drug levels entering India stream
AP reports: "Those Indian factories produce drugs for much of the world, including many Americans. The result: Some of India's poor are unwittingly consuming an array of chemicals that may be harmful, and could lead to the proliferation of drug-resistant bacteria."

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Way News - In Gaza campaign, Israelis see a temporary success
AP reports: "Many residents of this rocket-scarred town say they see the operation against Hamas as a long-overdue military success - but also believe the good times will be short-lived."

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Space Weather - Jan. 17, 2009, Scandinavian Fireball Sightings\
SpaceWeather.com reports: "On Jan. 17, 2009, at 1909 UT, a meteoroid of unknown size hit Earth's atmosphere over Scandinavia and exploded with a thunderous, rumbling boom. The fireball was so bright it turned the nighttime sky blue:"

Comment: This is interesting because the event was captured on video and observed by many people.

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My Way News - Europe eyes troops, solutions for Gaza border
AP reports: "French troops, Turkish monitors, British ships, German tunnel detectors, European radar equipment - officials say all these options are being weighed as they try to cement the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. [...] France is pressing other European allies and Egypt to consider an armed border force, possibly under European Union or United Nations auspices, said a French official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions."

Comment: International troops to Israel? Let's keep an eye on this one. If this becomes a trend rather than a one-time thing it could suggest an international presence to monitor and enforce any future Mideast peace agreement.

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My Way News - Hamas says it's back in control of the Gaza Strip
AP reports: "Since a truce took hold this week, ending Israel's three-week onslaught, Gaza's Hamas rulers have declared victory and gone out of their way to show they are in control."

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My Way News - France sending frigate to survey Gaza arms
AP reports: "French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday ordered a frigate deployed immediately to the waters off Gaza in an effort to fight arms smuggling and consolidate a fragile cease-fire. A statement by Sarkozy's office said he is asking that a helicopter-carrier be sent to international waters off Gaza 'in full cooperation with Egypt and Israel.'"

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My Way News - US approves 1st stem cell study for spinal injury
AP reports: "A U.S. biotech company says it plans to start this summer the world's first study of a treatment based on human embryonic stem cells - a long-awaited project aimed at spinal cord injury. [...] Embryonic stem cells can develop into any cell of the body, and scientists have long hoped to harness them for creating replacement tissues to treat a variety of diseases. But research has been controversial because embryos must be destroyed to obtain them."

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Pig-to-Human Ebola Case Suspected in Philippines - NYTimes.com
The New York Times reports: "In the first known case of what may be transmission of the Ebola virus from a pig to a human, a pig handler in the Philippines has tested positive for a strain of the virus, world health officials and the Philippine government announced Friday."

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West Nile virus cases were overstated in 2008 across U.S. - USATODAY.com
USA Today reports: "Before the errors were discovered, CDC figures showed there were 1,370 West Nile cases in 2008. That number will go down when the CDC releases corrected figures next month to exclude hundreds of misdiagnosed cases nationwide, spokeswoman Emily Zielinski-Gutierrez said."

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Way News - Mitchell introduced as Mideast envoy

AP reports: "President Barack Obama's new Middle East envoy says there's 'no such thing as a conflict that can't be ended.' And former Senate Majority leader George Mitchell is pledging his full effort to bring peace and stability to the Middle East."

Comment: This should be interesting, I wonder who he reports to, Obama or Clinton?

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My Way News - Analysis: US, Israel could coax Hamas to moderate
AP reports: "After an Israeli offensive that killed nearly 1,300 Palestinians and left much of Gaza in ruins, the new U.S. administration and a soon-to-be new Israeli government have a chance to forge a fresh strategy toward Hamas."

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VOA News - India Vows Boost of Defenses
VOA reports: "The defense and foreign ministers of India are speaking about boosting the country's military capabilities and the need for the international community to crack down on states not doing enough to fight terrorism within their own borders."

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My Way News - Scientist: New fault could mean major Ark. temblor
AP reports: "A previously unknown fault in eastern Arkansas could trigger a magnitude 7 earthquake with an epicenter near a major natural gas pipeline, a scientist said Wednesday."

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Way News - Israeli troops complete pullout from Gaza Strip
AP reports: "Israel's last troops left the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, although the cease-fire was frayed when its navy opened fire toward beaches in northern Gaza, and smugglers' tunnels that were targeted in the 23-day campaign against Hamas were active again at the Egyptian border. [...] Livni was in Brussels seeking a commitment from the European Union to contribute forces, ships and technology for anti-smuggling operations."

Comment: This is an interesting development, the EU may send forces to monitor the cease-fire. The U.S. has already pledged to provide training and equipment to Israel and neighbors to monitor Gaza and stop arms shipments, but there are no plans to send American troops. Let's watch this carefully, as this could signal a dramatic increase in the EU investment in Israel and the peace process.

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My Way News - Mitchell eyed for top post in Mideast diplomacy
AP reports: "George J. Mitchell, the former Senate Democratic leader, is expected to be named as incoming Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's special envoy for the Mideast, diplomatic officials said Wednesday."

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My Way News - 2 Minn. teens face charges over nursing home abuse
AP reports: "Two 19-year-old nursing assistants faced charges of abuse and assault Wednesday for allegedly groping, spanking and spitting on seven patients at a nursing home, authorities said."

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My Way News - $630 million for new push to eradicate polio
AP reports: "Polio remains endemic in Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan. In Nigeria, low vaccination rates have allowed the virus to surge, while the war on terror makes reaching every child difficult in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Despite continued vaccination efforts, the virus remains stubbornly entrenched in India."

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Way News - India test fires missile in province near Pakistan
AP reports: "India tested its nuclear-capable Brahmos supersonic cruise missile Tuesday in a province bordering Pakistan, despite already tense relations with Islamabad following the Mumbai terror attacks, a news report said."

Comment: This is worrisome. It could be that India is merely sending a signal to Pakistan to be more forthcoming about the Mumbai attacks, or it could be something more dangerous. Let's wait and see how Pakistan reacts.

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My Way News - Hamas declares victory in rallies across Gaza
AP reports: "The fighting killed some 1,300 Gazans, the vast majority civilians, and thousands of Palestinian homes were destroyed. Israel emerged from the war with relatively few casualties - 13 dead, including 10 soldiers - but halted fire before reaching its objectives. No internationally backed truce deal is yet in place to prevent Hamas rocket fire on southern Israel or arms smuggling into Gaza."

Comment: So that's not exactly a good way to end things, is it? This is an example of the low-level conflict that has gone on for decades and has the potential to go on for decades more. Until Israel returns to faith in the God of Israel and their covenant relationship (with the promises of protection and victory against their enemies) they will continue to suffer defeat in victory.

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My Way News - Worldwide hopes soar for Obama inauguration
AP reports: "From Kenya and Indonesia, where Barack Obama has family ties, to Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America, Obama's inauguration sparked a volcanic explosion of hope for better days ahead."

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My Way News - Arab leaders unable to agree on Gaza
AP reports: "Despite urgings from both sides to end the rift, the Arab leaders could not come up with a unified statement about how to end the crisis in Gaza at the end of a two-day summit in Kuwait. Instead, the final statement only focused on criticism of Israel and vague pledges to help the Palestinians in Gaza. [...] But prospects for Arab-Israeli peace seem dim following the Gaza offensive and continued divisions among Hamas and its Palestinian rival, Fatah, which controls only the West Bank."

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My Way News - China: US arms sales to Taiwan 'harm' to relations
AP reports: "Defense sales to and relations with Taiwan have been an issue for every U.S. president since Beijing and Washington established diplomatic ties 30 years ago. China considers the self-ruled island a part of its territory and threatens to attack it to prevent it gaining formal independence."

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My Way News - Russia restarts gas, Europe sighs with relief
AP reports: "Russian natural gas finally flowed into Europe once again Tuesday, after Moscow and Kiev pulled back from an energy war that drastically reduced supplies to many nations for two tough winter weeks."

Comment: The great gas war is over, what have we learned? We learned that Russia is more than willing to use their great natural resources to bully other countries even if it harms their energy sector in the short-term. Putin appears willing to use every resource available to him to restore the Russian Empire. The EU certainly got the point.

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My Way News - Pope to have own Google channel with video
AP reports: "The Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI is getting his own channel on Google. It says the Vatican TV Center and Vatican Radio are collaborating with Google on the project."

Comment: This could be a good thing if he uses it to lead people to Jesus.

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My Way News - Girl in China critically ill with bird flu
AP reports: "The case comes at a worrisome time for authorities as tens of millions of people are on the move between cities and rural hometowns for Chinese New Year, which begins on Jan. 26. [...] According to the latest WHO tally, bird flu has killed 248 people worldwide since 2003, including 21 in China. The young girl brings the total number of cases in the country to 32."

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Way News - Christian killed in northern Iraqi city
AP reports: "Christians have frequently been targeted amid the fierce sectarian fighting that broke out after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, although the attacks have ebbed with a sharp drop in overall violence. Churches, priests and businesses of the generally prosperous, well-educated community have been attacked by militants who denounce Christians as pro-American 'crusaders.'"

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My Way News - Israel implements unilateral Gaza cease-fire
AP reports: "Israel implemented a unilateral cease-fire early Sunday in its 22-day offensive that turned Gaza neighborhoods into battlegrounds and dealt a stinging blow to the Islamic militants of Hamas. But Israeli troops will stay in the Palestinian territory for now and Hamas threatened to keep fighting until they leave."

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Friday, January 16, 2009

My Way News - Qatar suspends ties with Israel
AP reports: "Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a top Hamas supporter, made a surprise appearance, along with Hamas' Syria-based political chief Khaled Mashaal. They and Syria's president made fiery denunciations of Israel and called for Arab and Muslim nations to cut any bilateral ties they have with the Jewish state."

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My Way News - Putin: EU is supporting Ukraine in gas dispute
AP reports: "Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the European Union on Friday of siding with Ukraine in the highly charged dispute that has kept Russian natural gas from reaching Europe for a full ten days."

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My Way News - Gaza war fuels anti-Israeli anger in Indonesia
AP reports: "Across Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan, sentiments are running high about the conflict, fueled by disturbing TV footage of Palestinian casualties. [...] Other major Muslim countries in Asia have also seen an outpouring of support for Palestinians since Israel began its Gaza offensive Dec. 27."

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My Way News - Cholera kills 2,225 in Zimbabwe, infects 42,600
AP reports: "The death toll from a cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe rose to 2,225 Friday, and the head of the U.N. children's agency toured a hospital where weakened victims of the waterborne disease were receiving international help."

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My Way News - Texas drought worsens, cattle dying
AP reports: "Drought conditions in Texas are so bad cattle are keeling over in parched pastures and dying. Drought conditions worsened significantly in the past week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday. Seventy-one percent of the state is now in some stage of drought, up from 58.3 percent last week."

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Way News - Iran president: 'Not feasible' for Israel to live

AP reports: "In Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the fighting in Gaza has been 'a great lesson for all,' saying it shows 'the absolute defeat and desperation of this (Israeli) regime.' He says that 'even for the supporters of the occupying regime and its leaders, it has become clear that the continuation of the Zionist regime's life in the region is not feasible.'"

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My Way News - US Africom begins 1st peacekeeper supply operation
AP reports: "The airlift is the first major mission planned by the air component of Africom - Air Forces Africa, also known as Seventeenth Air Force, which is headquartered at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Africom was formally activated on Oct. 1, 2008 and is based in Stuttgart. Before that, U.S. European Command had coordinated airlift missions for Darfur."

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My Way News - Last Ethiopian troops leave Somalia's capital
AP reports: "The last Ethiopian troops left Somalia's capital on Thursday after a two-year deployment and Islamist militiamen took control of the bases, fueling fears they could try to expand their power in this lawless Horn of Africa nation."

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Australian surfers ride the waves to church - Reuters
Reuters reports: "There are four Christian surfing churches in Australia and about 12 worldwide, including professional Christian surfers around the world, such as American C.J. Hobgood who is ranked 5th in the world and his brother Damian ranked 24th. There is also a Surfer's Bible, which comes with a waterproof zip-pocket."

Comment: This is one of the more interesting reports about new ways of sharing the gospel that I've read recently.

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My Way News - Iran president: 'Not feasible' for Israel to live
AP reports: "Iran's hardline president says the fighting in Gaza between Hamas and Israel has shown that it is 'not feasible' for what he calls Israel's 'Zionist regime' to continue in the region."

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Way News - Iran's president urges Arabs to stop Israel

AP reports: "Iran's president urged Arab leaders Wednesday to cut all contacts with Israel and use their political and economic influence to pressure the Israelis to halt their offensive in Gaza."

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My Way News - Bin Laden urges jihad against Israel over Gaza
AP reports: "Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to launch a jihad against Israel, seeking to harness anger over the Gaza offensive with a new message posted on the Internet on Wednesday."

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My Way News - Lebanon halts more rocket fire on Israel
AP reports: "The second rocket attack on Israel in less than a week prompted a brief Israeli artillery retaliation, but no one was hurt in the exchange. The rocket fire highlighted the volatility of the Lebanese-Israeli border and the threat of a second front as Israel presses its offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers."

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My Way News - China economy grew to world's 3rd largest in 2007
AP reports: "China's economy grew to the world's third-largest in 2007, new data showed Wednesday, another milestone in the country's stunning ascent in the global pecking order that puts it behind only Japan and the United States."

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My Way News - Death toll in Costa Rica quake rises to 20
AP reports: "The death toll from Costa Rica's magnitude-6.1 earthquake has risen to 20 after more bodies were found."

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Associated Press: UN: Zimbabwe cholera deaths climb above 2,000
AP reports: "The United Nations says the cholera death toll in Zimbabwe has risen above 2,000. The World Health Organization says 2,024 deaths and 39,806 cases have been reported since the outbreak began in August."

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My Way News - Israeli forces storm Gaza City neighborhood

AP reports: "Israeli military officials say that depending on what happens with what they described as 'decisive' talks in Cairo, Israel will move closer to a cease-fire or widen its offensive."

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My Way News - Netanyahu: Hamas must be toppled
AP reports: "Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel must remove Gaza's Hamas rulers from power to ensure victory over 'terror.' He expressed full support for his country's punishing, 18-day offensive against the militants - even though it is being conducted by politicians who are running against him in Feb. 10 elections."

Comment: With any luck, Netanyahu will be the next prime minister of Israel. Please join me in praying for the leaders of Israel, the success of the IDF and for the safety of the people of Israel. Show your support for Israel by becoming a Friend of Israel and posting the following image on your blog:

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My Way News - AIDS battle burnishes Bush's legacy in Africa
AP reports: "More than 1.5 million Africans died in 2007 (the U.S. death toll is under 15,000), fewer than one-third had access to treatment, and new infections continued to outstrip those receiving life-prolonging drugs. In most African countries, life expectancy has dropped dramatically, and only a few, like Botswana, have started to turn the corner again."

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My Way News - Ethiopian military hands over security of Somalia
AP reports: "Ethiopia handed over security duties Tuesday to a Somali force, raising fears that the Horn of Africa country - already fighting an Islamic insurgency and rampant piracy - could collapse into chaos if extremists with alleged al-Qaida links move to seize power."

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My Way News - China's population of Web users hits 298 million
AP reports: "China's fast-growing population of Internet users has risen to 298 million after passing the United States last year to become the world's largest, a government-sanctioned research group said."

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My Way News - Sexually spread diseases up, better testing cited
AP reports: "Sexually spread diseases - for years on the decline - are on the rise, with reported chlamydia cases setting a record, government health officials said Tuesday."

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Obama wants to invoke God during inauguration oath - CNN.com
CNN reports: "Michael Newdow, supported by several groups including the American Humanist Association, claims in his lawsuit that 'so help me God' violates the constitutional ban on government 'endorsement' of religion. He asked a federal judge to intervene and block references of God or religion in the formal ceremonies. The lawsuit also opposes the traditional invocation and benediction to be delivered by pastors invited by Obama."

Comment: This is a good example of the idea that some citizens have (contrary to explicit statements by the Founders) that the U.S. is not a Christian country and that when the Constitution protects freedom of religion, what they really meant was freedom from religion. It's nice to see that Mr. Newdow will once gain fail to get God removed from an official ceremony. God bless America, America, bless God. It's a two way street people. You can't invoke the blessings of the Deity and then ignore him or blaspheme his name and expect those blessings to continue. God, like most rational beings, does not take kindly to being mocked.

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Paul Offit's Book "Autism's False Prophets" Is Rallying Resistance to the Antivaccine Crusade - NYTimes.com
The New York Times reports: "Dr. Offit’s book, published in September by Columbia University Press, has been widely endorsed by pediatricians, autism researchers, vaccine companies and medical journalists who say it sums up, in layman’s language, the scientific evidence for vaccines and forcefully argues that vulnerable parents are being manipulated by doctors promoting false cures and lawyers filing class-action suits."

Comment: It's a sad testament to the state of science education in the United States that these parents actually believe that withholding vaccines from their children is actually helping them. They are putting their children and the local school systems at risk of catching easily prevented diseases. It's also sad that some on the conspiracy fringe of the BP community promote this "vaccine is dangerous" idea.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Iran warns Hamas not to accept truce - Jerusalem Post

The Jerusalem Post reports: "The official told The Jerusalem Post by phone that two senior Iranian officials who visited Damascus recently warned Hamas leaders against accepting the proposal."

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My Way News - Thousands of Israeli reservists move into Gaza

AP reports: "Thousands of Israeli reservists began moving into the Gaza Strip on Monday, signaling that Israel could be ready to escalate its campaign to silence Hamas rocket attacks and enter a new and more punishing phase of its 2-week-old war."

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My Way News - Paris area synagogue hit in firebomb attack
AP reports: "Two Molotov cocktails were hurled at a synagogue north of Paris, the latest attack in what France's interior minister said Monday is a new wave of anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim attacks over the violence in Gaza. No injuries were reported."

Comment: I admit that I may have missed the reports of "anti-Muslim attacks" but this strikes me as an absurdly PC statement trying to assert a moral equivalency between the two. Antisemitism is rising in Europe in tandem with the increase in Islamic immigrants, and anti-semitic attacks have been well documented, but I don't recall any high-profile "anti-Muslim attacks" reported in the mainstream media, at least on this side of the Atlantic. And, is she really blaming Israel's defense against Hamas rocket attacks for antisemitism in France? This really is the popular world opinion: if the Israelis would just stop defending themselves then all would be well.

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My Way News - DHS approves $450M biothreat lab at Kansas State
AP reports: "The Department of Homeland Security has approved a site at Kansas State University for a $450 million lab to study livestock diseases and some of the world's most dangerous biological threats."

Comment: When this was first being discussed I was very confident that the final decision would be no, they would not move the biolab from an island to the U.S. agricultural heartland, it was simply too foolish and ill considered to actually win approval. I was wrong. It's still unlikely that biohazards will escape the lab, but the danger to the surrounding community will be orders of magnitude greater if the unlikely does happen. Common sense loses again.

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Kenya to declare national emergency over drought - Reuters
Reuters reports: "Kenya said on Friday it would declare a national emergency over a drought that has left 10 million people needing food aid in East Africa's richest nation. [...] Measures would include providing water, famine packages, subsidised fertilisers and seeds, hay for animals, and tractors for farmers, the statement said."

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Way News - Israel tells Gazans to brace for war escalation
AP reports: "Israel launched the offensive on Dec. 27 to halt years of Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel. A week later, ground troops moved in. Israeli defense officials say they are prepared for a third stage of the offensive, in which ground troops would push much further into Gaza, but are still waiting for approval from the government."

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery - NYTimes.com
The New York Times reports a disturbing tale of treachery that paints the Palestinians as soldiers without honor. While the world obsesses about Palestinian "victims" of Israeli aggression, the truth is that the Palestinians are doing everything they can to maximize civilian casualties:
Unwilling to take Israel’s bait and come into the open, Hamas militants are fighting in civilian clothes; even the police have been ordered to take off their uniforms. The militants emerge from tunnels to shoot automatic weapons or antitank missiles, then disappear back inside, hoping to lure the Israeli soldiers with their fire.
I wonder why this fact has not filtered into the mainstream media narrative of the conflict? Could it be because it runs counter to the idea of the Palestinians as helpless victims?

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My Way News - Israel tells Gazans to brace for war escalation

AP reports: "Israel pounded rocket sites and tunnels Saturday while its planes dropped leaflets warning of an escalation, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas predicted a 'waterfall of blood' unless all parties adhere to the U.N.'s call for a durable cease-fire."

Comment: Please join me in praying for the leaders of Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) as they continue to defend their land against Palestinian rocket attacks.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

My Way News - Quakes shake loose fears about Yellowstone volcano

AP reports: "Earthquakes are hardly unusual in Yellowstone. Hundreds occur in the park every year. Earthquake 'swarms' like the recent activity also aren't uncommon, although the 900 or so quakes that began Dec. 26 and significantly tapered off about a week later appear to have been the most energetic swarm in more than 20 years."

My Way News - Death toll rises to 9 from Costa Rica quake
AP reports: "Helicopters plucked tourists from destroyed, mountaintop resorts as the death toll from Costa Rica's magnitude-6.1 earthquake rose to at least 9 victims, the Red Cross said Friday."

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