Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Way News - Indonesia shaken by another powerful quake

My Way News reports: "The U.S. Geological Survey says another powerful earthquake has shaken western Indonesia. The 6.9 magnitude struck at 08:52 a.m. local time (0152GMT) Thursday on Sumatra island, about 180 miles (280 kilometers) from the epicenter of a more powerful quake on Wednesday."
My Way News - West goes to Iran talks _ and readies sanctions
My Way News reports: "The U.S. and five other world powers go to the table with Iran on Thursday to demand a freeze of its nuclear activities, and a senior U.S. official said Washington may seek rare face-to-face talks with Iranian diplomats."
My Way News - EU nations to hammer out financial oversight
My Way News reports: "European Union finance ministers will hammer out a new financial oversight framework for Europe during a two-day meeting a week after the world's rich and developing nations pledged that they would not allow a return to banking as usual."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

BBC NEWS - Deadly tsunami in Pacific islands

BBC News reports: "A tsunami triggered by a strong quake in the South Pacific has killed at least 28 people in Samoa, say reports [...] An 8.3-magnitude quake struck at 1748 GMT, generating 15ft (4.5m) waves in some areas of Samoa and American Samoa."
My Way News - Iran built nuclear site shielded from air attack
My Way News reports: "In an unusually frank disclosure, Iran's nuclear chief said Tuesday the country's new uranium enrichment site was built for maximum protection from aerial attack [...] Iran's revelation that it covertly built a second uranium enrichment plant has raised international concerns that other secret nuclear sites might exist as well."
My Way News - Russia, Belarus hold joint military exercises
My Way News reports: "Russia and Belarus on Tuesday completed two days of massive joint military exercises on bases that are close to borders with NATO members."
My Way News - Report: Climate change means more hungry children
My Way News reports: "Scientists fear climate change will mean 25 million more hungry children over the next four decades, with subsistence farmers in Africa and Asia particularly hard hit by global warming, according to a report issued Wednesday."
NASA - Cosmic Rays Hit Space Age High
NASA reports: NASA spacecraft are measuring record-high levels of cosmic rays - a side-effect of the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century. The cosmic ray storm appears to be intensifying, say researchers, and the peak may be yet to come.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Way News - Iran says advanced missiles can target any threat
My Way News reports: "Iran tested its longest-range missiles Monday and warned they can reach any place that threatens the country, including Israel, parts of Europe and U.S. military bases in the Mideast. The launch capped two days of war games and was condemned as a provocation by Western powers, which are demanding Tehran come clean about a newly revealed nuclear facility it has been secretly building."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Gotta Serve Somebody - Bob Dylan
Here is a Christian themed video montage set to the music of Bob Dylan, the lyrics can be found here. Question: Who do you serve?

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Way News - New Iran uranium enrichment site raises concerns
My Way News reports: "Iran's newly revealed uranium enrichment plant is a heavily guarded, still-unfinished underground facility in the arid mountains near the holy city of Qom that will be able to produce nuclear fuel - or the payload for atomic warheads, Western intelligence officials and diplomats said Friday."

My Way News - Ahmadinejad: Iran is not violating IAEA rules
My Way News reports: "President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy accused Iran on Friday of constructing a secret underground uranium enrichment facility and of hiding its existence from international inspectors for years. The charges came at a meeting of the Group of 20 economic powers in Pittsburgh, and a week before direct talks with Tehran over its nuclear program."

Comment: I don't see Iran backing down, do you? Based on the Ezekiel prophecy regarding the Gog invasion, we know that Iran remains a military power far into the end times, but that doesn't exclude U.S. or Israeli surgical strikes that could setback their nuclear program while hardening Iranian animosity toward Israel and the West. Let's watch these developments closely. Given the instability of the Iranian regime there is great danger of miscalculation.
My Way News - Israel welcomes Russian stand on Iran sanctions
My Way News reports: "A senior Israeli official welcomes steps by Russia toward endorsing additional sanctions against Iran as a way of stopping its nuclear program. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev opened the door to a firm international stand against Iran."

Comment: Minister Ayalon doesn't have the good sense to see that Russia and China are playing the game of "good-cop, bad-cop" and that China will now be the recalcitrant player to use their veto power to block strong sanctions. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but China holds all the cards here, at least where the U.S. is concerned.
My Way News - Obama's peace moves risk stoking Mideast strife
My Way News reports: "Hamas' two-year-old stranglehold on Gaza has emerged as one of the leading obstacles to Palestinian statehood - and may even help explain Washington's decision not to press too hard on settlements, since the Gaza wildcard might preclude a peace deal anyway."

Comment: Finally, someone acknowledges the obvious, there can be no peace when the Palestinians who control Gaza have already declared war on Israel and said that they reject the peace process. I'm more and more persuaded the the "covenant with many" is years, if not decades, away.
My Way News - New video seeks al-Qaida recruits in Germany
My Way News reports: "Authorities are analyzing the third message, which was released Thursday and calls on Muslims in Germany to take part in jihad, or holy war, German Interior Ministry spokesman Stefan Paris told reporters [...] the U.S. State Department issued a Travel Alert on Wednesday cautioning Americans to be careful in coming weeks in Germany."
My Way News - German president signs EU's Lisbon treaty
My Way News reports: "German President Horst Koehler's office says he has signed the European Union's reform treaty - completing its ratification by the 27-nation bloc's most populous nation. [...] Only Ireland is submitting the treaty to a popular vote. It holds a referendum next week."
My Way News - Northern Afghan violence undercuts US supply route
My Way News reports: "The north has deteriorated over just a few months, showing how quickly Taliban influence is spreading in a once peaceful area. Local officials say the Taliban are establishing a shadow government along the dilapidated road that ultimately could prevent vital supplies carried in hundreds of trucks every week from reaching the military."
My Way News - Prosecutor: Terror plot focus was 9/11 anniversary
My Way News reports reports: "An Afghan immigrant was on the verge of unleashing a terrorist attack on New York City on the Sept. 11 anniversary but was scared off after drawing suspicion from police, prosecutors said Friday as they provided new details about how far along the plot was [...] Prosecutors said Zazi received explosives training from al-Qaida in Pakistan and returned to the U.S. bent on building a bomb."
MSNBC Video: Apollo astronaut: UFOs exist
Sept. 24: Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell tells NBC News why he believes that a UFO actually crashed in Roswell, N.M.:

Comment: It's important to remember that according to the Bible, God created many kinds of non-human beings, some are friendly and some are not, and the sovereign God of the universe is above them all.
Tech-savvy Iranian youth aim at Ahmadinejad - Tech and gadgets-
Reuters reports: "More than just protesting Ahmadinejad's presence at the U.N. General Assembly this week, Jahanshahi said he came to trade know-how with other young Iranians who are using Internet 'hacktivism' to send messages, videos and information to opposition sympathizers in Iran."

Comment: I wish them all the luck in the world.
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Baptism battles on River Jordan
BBC News reports: "Pilgrim accounts from the early centuries of Christianity speak of crowds of 60,000 gathering here to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany. The Jordanians are trying to recapture some of the sense of that today by encouraging Christian denominations to build new churches and monasteries."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

BBC NEWS | Business | Emerging economies 'get new role'
BBC News reports: "The G20 group of leading and emerging economies will take on a new role as a permanent body coordinating the world economy, a US official has said."

My Way News - G-20 taking on permanent coordinating role
My Way News reports: "An administration official says that the Group of 20 nations will assume the role of a permanent council on global economic cooperation. [...] The official said President Barack Obama initiated the move and it will be announced Friday."

Comment: This would appear to be a major development if I'm reading this right, the G20 will take over from the G8 as the guiding committee for the world economy. It will be interesting to see how this develops, if they will keep the informality of the G8 or if they will create a new organization with an established headquarters.
My Way News - Analysis: Pakistan unlikely to cooperate with US
My Way News reports: "Searching for alternatives to sending still more troops, the White House is now considering a strategy championed by Vice President Joe Biden that focuses on stepped-up missile attacks by unmanned U.S. drones against al-Qaida and Taliban targets on the Pakistani side of the border. To be effective, such attacks require Pakistani intelligence."
My Way News - China: Sanctions not the way push Iran on nukes
My Way News reports: "China rejected the idea Thursday that more sanctions would pressure Iran to give up its nuclear program. Instead, greater diplomatic efforts are called for, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters at a regularly scheduled news conference, reiterating a long-held stance."
My Way News - Planned emission cuts still mean far hotter Earth
My Way News reports: "Earth's temperature is likely to jump nearly 6 degrees between now and the end of the century even if every country cuts greenhouse gas emissions as proposed, according to a United Nations update."
My Way News - In a first, an AIDS vaccine shows some success
My Way News reports: "Scientists and government leaders have already started mapping out how to try to improve the world's first successful AIDS vaccine, which protected one in three people from getting HIV in a large study in Thailand. [...] Even a marginally helpful vaccine could have a big impact. Every day, 7,500 people worldwide are newly infected with HIV; 2 million died of AIDS in 2007, UNAIDS estimates."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Way News - Israeli FM: Summit a victory for settlement stand
My Way News: "Israel's foreign minister said Wednesday that the summit of Israeli, U.S. and Palestinian leaders proved Israel could successfully fend off international pressure to freeze West Bank settlement construction."

Blair: Mideast peace talks will restart soon -
CNN reports: "Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday that he believes within weeks Israel and the Palestinian Authority will begin talks aimed at a permanent resolution of their decades-long conflict."

Comment: It doesn't appear to me that the pressure on Israel is easing up at all, I'm not sure what the FM is talking about.
My Way News - Egyptian minister blames Jews for UNESCO loss
My Way News reports: "Egypt's culture minister on Wednesday blamed a conspiracy 'cooked up in New York' by the world's Jews for keeping him from becoming the next head of the U.N.'s agency for culture and education."
My Way News - Russian links Iran sanctions to US missile change
My Way News reports: "A member of the Russian delegation, speaking on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Russians, said Moscow's final position on the question of imposing further sanctions would be determined, to a large extent, by Medvedev's consultations here."

Comment: Can diplomacy be teasing? I'd be very surprised if the Russians follow through, but I'd be happy to be proved wrong.
My Way News - Obama to world: Don't expect America to fix it all
My Way News reports: "President Barack Obama challenged world leaders Wednesday to shoulder more of the globe's critical burdens, promising a newly cooperative partner in America but sternly warning they can no longer castigate the U.S. as a go-it-alone bully while still demanding it cure all ills."
My Way News - Top nations still at odds on eve of G20 summit
My Way News reports: "On the eve of a summit of the world's 20 top economies, the Obama administration pressed leaders on Wednesday to overcome differences and work together more closely in confronting thorny financial and environmental problems."
My Way News - South Korea approves sale of Apple's iPhone
My Way News reports: "South Korea's telecommunications regulator said Wednesday that Apple Inc. can sell its hit iPhone in the country - potentially shaking up a cell phone market controlled by domestic manufacturers."
My Way News - NASA data: Greenland, Antarctic ice melt worsening
My Way News reports: "New satellite information shows that ice sheets in Greenland and western Antarctica continue to shrink faster than scientists thought and in some places are already in runaway melt mode."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iran leader warns against attack
BBC News reports: "Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned that it would retaliate against any possible military strike."
My Way News - Analysis: Miles to go on long road to climate deal

My Way News reports: "Scientists had produced persuasive evidence the carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases that industry, transport and farming were pouring into the atmosphere were trapping heat and raising global temperatures, with potentially damaging effects - droughts, floods, rising sea levels - from a changing climate."
My Way News - Al-Qaida predicts Obama's fall by Muslim nation
My Way News reports: "Al-Qaida on Tuesday released a new 106-minute long video predicting President Barack Obama's downfall at the hands of the Muslim world."
My Way News - Sydney dust storm; flight chaos, health worries
My Way News reports: "Such thick dust is a rarity over Australia's largest city, and came along with whiplashing winds and other uncommon weather conditions across the country's southeast in recent days. Hailstorms have pummeled parts of the country this week, while other parts have been hit with a mini-heatwave."
My Way News - Stadiums, hotels on alert amid terror probe
My Way News reports: "The government expanded a terrorism warning from transit systems to U.S. stadiums, hotels and entertainment complexes as investigators searched for more suspects Tuesday in a possible al-Qaida plot to set off hydrogen-peroxide bombs hidden in backpacks."

My Way News - Stern Obama confronts Israeli, Palestinian leaders
My Way News reports: "Bristling with impatience, President Barack Obama sternly prodded Israeli and Palestinian leaders to relaunch Mideast peace negotiations Tuesday, grasping a newly personal role in their historic standoff. He won an awkward, stone-faced handshake but no other apparent progress beyond a promise to talk about more talks. [...] instead of announcing a new round of peace talks, Obama announced a newly intensified effort to bring them about."

Obama drops demand that Israel freeze settlements -
CNN reports: "Prodding Israel and the Palestinian Authority to restart talks aimed at a permanent resolution of their decades-old conflict, President Obama dropped a demand for an Israeli settlement freeze, U.S., Israeli and Palestinian officials said."

Comment: I can't tell you how many e-mails I've received telling me that Obama is the one who will bring about Mideast know what I mean. He isn't the one, he is just another American president going through the motions, there is nothing new here. Take a look a this part of the report:
Despite months of effort, the sides remain far apart on a staunch Palestinian precondition for talks: that Israel halt all construction of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory. Obama has publicly echoed that demand to Israeli leaders - though the Palestinians noted with displeasure that he used the word "restrain" on Tuesday rather than "halt" or "freeze."
Palestinian preconditions? Are they really suggesting that this stateless people whose "history" dates back a few decades and who have no money or army are setting the terms of Mideast peace talks? That the world superpower and the regions most powerful country are at an impasse because of Palestinian preconditions? It's absurd. The only reason for Mideast peace efforts is to satisfy the untested assumption that Islamic radicalism is based on and promoted by the plight of the Palestinians. Fix that, the world says, and there will be peace. But what if the plight of Palestinian people is only a ruse as far as Islamic grievances are concerned? What if the real problem is the existence of the state of Israel? If that is the case, securing a Mideast peace agreement will do nothing at all to secure real and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Obama will fail because he is working from a false assumption, that there is a desire for peace with Israel when what Israel's neighbors really want is peace without Israel.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Way News - German teen who attacked school awakes from coma
My Way News reports: "A German teenager who wounded nine students and a teacher in a terrifying ax and arson attack on his school was motivated by 'hatred for humanity' and had been planning the rampage since April, officials said Monday."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

President Obama to host Israeli-Palestinian talks -

CNN reports: "The meetings, set for the sidelines of next week's U.N. General Assembly session in New York, are 'another sign of the president's deep commitment to comprehensive peace that he wants to personally engage at this juncture,' Mitchell said in the White House statement. Obama will talk with each leader separately before all three meet together, the White House said."

Lack of Progress in Mideast Defies Obama’s Hopes -
The New York Times reports: "Mr. Obama now faces the prospect of a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, that some say will be little more than a photo opportunity, one that will only underscore how elusive an Arab-Israeli peace agreement is."

Comment: I love contrasting reports like these, one says there is no progress and talks are for show, the other makes it seems as if important developments are taking place. I suspect the reality lies somewhere in the middle of those extremes. One thing is clear, great pressure is being put on Israel to make concessions, while almost no pressure is being placed on the Palestinians to do the same. If the American policy is merely to force Israel to do it all, I don't wish them well at all. I would hope for something a bit more balanced and statesmanlike from Obama, but let's watch this coming week and see what happens.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Way News - Iran's Ahmadinejad questions Holocaust
My Way News reports: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday lashed out at Israel and the West, questioning whether the Holocaust happened and calling it a pretext for occupying Palestinian lands, reiterating anti-Israel rhetoric that has brought him international condemnation."

My Way News - Thousands march in Iran opposition protests
My Way News reports: "Tens of thousands of protesters - many decked out in the green colors of the reform movement and chanting 'Death to the dictator!' - rallied Friday in defiance of Iran's Islamic leadership, clashing with police and confronting state-run anti-Israel rallies."

Comment: They have a national day dedicated to reaffirming their hatred for Israel, their president questions the historical truth of the Holocaust and they are suspected of trying to build nuclear weapons, what could possibly be wrong with that?
My Way News - US Mideast envoy fails to bridge gaps
My Way News reports: "The Palestinians also demand that negotiations resume on the same terms as previous rounds, led by Netanyahu's predecessor, Ehud Olmert. This would include Israel's willingness to discuss all so-called core issues, including a partition of Jerusalem. Netanyahu has said Jerusalem is off-limits in negotiations, and his proposed settlement slowdown does not include the city."
BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Earthquake strikes off Bali coast
BBC News reports: "An earthquake off the Indonesian holiday island of Bali has sent people running from their homes in panic."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Way News - Netanyahu to world: Back Israeli self-defense
My Way News reports: "Netanyahu urged world leaders to support Israel's right to self-defense and reject the report's findings - including its conclusion that formal charges could be brought against Israeli soldiers, officers and leaders."

My Way News - Jewish activists concerned ahead of UNESCO vote
My Way News reports: "He's an Egyptian culture minister who once threatened to burn Israeli books - and he might soon become the face of the United Nations' arm for learning and culture."

Comment: I think that Netanyahu should know by now that "the world" is against his people and the only answer to the question of why is a spiritual answer. He should not look to the the world for backing, he should look to the Biblical God of Israel, with whom they have an enduring covenant relationship.
My Way News - AU base in Somalia hit by deadly suicide attack
My Way News reports: "Islamic insurgents posing as U.N. personnel detonated suicide car bombs in an African Union peacekeeping base Thursday to avenge a U.S. commando raid that killed an al-Qaida operative."
My Way News - Pakistan: Al-Qaida commander killed in US strike
My Way News reports: "U.S. missiles are believed to have killed an al-Qaida operations chief and a top Uzbek militant in northwest Pakistan, officials said Thursday, the latest apparent victories for the covert and controversial American program."

My Way News - Terror mastermind Noordin Top killed in Indonesia
My Way News reports: "Special forces raided a hide-out Thursday and killed militant mastermind Noordin Muhammed Top, striking at the heart of the terrorist network behind a deadly campaign of suicide attacks in Indonesia, including the Bali nightclub bombings. It was the latest success against terror figures worldwide, starting with a U.S. missile that took out a key Taliban commander in Pakistan last month."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Way News - US envoy to press Israel yet again on settlements
My Way News reports: "Washington is also working against time: the Obama administration hopes to bring Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas together in New York next week as a prelude to renewed peacemaking. That could be difficult without some headway on the controversial settlements."
My Way News - Iran replaces reformist cleric for annual sermon
My Way News reports: "Iran has replaced a reformist, pro-opposition cleric with a hard-liner to lead the prayer service on a key anti-Israel day this week, according to a state radio report Wednesday. [...] Rafsanjani traditionally holds the sermon on Quds Day - an annual event that showcases Iran's anti-Israeli stance and is marked by government-organized rallies in support of the Palestinians and against Israel. Quds is Arabic for Jerusalem."

Comment: You know, Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran at all, but as soon as Israel took control of the entire city in 1967 it suddenly became central to Islam. Now they have an entire day devoted to the notion that they must "liberate" Jerusalem from the Jews.
My Way News - Pakistan makes another arrest in Swat Valley
My Way News reports: "Pakistan arrested a wanted militant commander accused of beheading troops in the Swat Valley, notching up another success in an offensive in the northwestern region that has pushed backed many of the insurgents, an army spokesman said Thursday."
My Way News - Worlds oceans warmest on record this summer
My Way News reports: "The world's in hot water. Sea-surface temperatures worldwide have been the hottest on record over the last three months, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Way News - Israelis, Palestinians present peace blueprint
My Way News reports: "Jerusalem divided by a series of fences, trenches and walls. The West Bank and Gaza linked by a sunken highway. Palestinians and Israelis trading land that would require 100,000 Jewish settlers to move. These proposals are part of a 424-page blueprint for Mideast peace presented Tuesday - the most detailed description yet of what an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal could look like."

My Way News - US envoy pressing for settlement curtailment
My Way News reports: "The Obama administration's special envoy to the Mideast is staying in the region an extra day to press Israel to curb its settlement expansion. U.S. envoy George Mitchell had tried to reach an agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, but no breakthroughs were announced."

Comment: Interesting contrast to these two peace plans. One, an informal plan set forth by peace activists, the other, the official U.S. plan that has to deal with the tortured political realities on the ground...and neither look very promising.
My Way News - FDA approves new swine flu vaccine
My Way News reports: "The [U.S.] Food and Drug Administration approved the new swine flu vaccine Tuesday, a long-anticipated step as the government works to start mass vaccinations next month."
My Way News - US military chief wants more troops for Afghan war
My Way News reports: "Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the war is growing more complicated and the enemy gaining in sophistication. Winning will require more resources from outside Afghanistan, including more troops, Mullen told Congress."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

BBC News - Putin warns against Iran attack
BBC News reports: "In contrast to Washington's negative response on Iran's new proposal, Russia's foreign minister described them as a positive step forward and ruled out sanctions on Iran's oil sector [...] Mr Putin, speaking in Moscow, said any attack on Iran would be 'very dangerous, unacceptable" and would lead to "an explosion of terrorism'."

Comment: This is a very interesting development which demonstrates that the Gog Alliance is forming. The Russian position seems to be no to sanctions, which are the backbone of diplomatic negotiations. Without the threat of more sanctions the current diplomatic track is meaningless. They follow that up with saying no to a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, which is the ultimate recourse if diplomacy fails to turn Iran away from their nuclear weapons program. If they say no to sanctions and no to the military option, they are basically saying: leave Iran alone. Russia is now the protector of Iran on the U.N. Security Council and they are showing defiance toward the U.S., Israel, the EU, and Israel's worried Arab (Sunni) neighbors. I don't think the Ezekiel war is imminent, but I think the close alliance between Russia and Iran shows that it may be only decades away.

Friday, September 11, 2009

My Way News - Sept. 11 galvanizes US troops in Afghanistan
My Way News reports: "The U.S. and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 to oust the Taliban regime for sheltering al-Qaida leaders who planned the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. The Taliban were quickly routed, but the militants regrouped and have mounted an increasingly strong insurgency over the past three years that threatens Afghanistan's struggling democracy."
My Way News - Pakistan arrests Swat Taliban leaders
My Way News reports: "Pakistan arrested the spokesman for the Taliban in the Swat Valley and four other senior commanders, the military said Friday, in the latest of several victories against militants in the country's northwestern region close to Afghanistan."

Comment: Nice to see some good news in the war against the Talban, didn't want it to go unnoticed.
My Way News - Archaeologists find early depiction of a menorah
My Way News reports: "The menorah was engraved in stone around 2,000 years ago and found in a synagogue recently discovered by the Sea of Galilee. Pottery, coins and tools found at the site indicate the synagogue dates to the period of the second Jewish temple in Jerusalem, where the actual menorah was kept, said archaeologist Dina Avshalom-Gorni of the Israel Antiquities Authority."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Way News - Netanyahu mystery trip sets off flap in Israel

My Way News reports: "According to various accounts, the Israeli prime minister was either pushing the Russians to halt arms sales to Iran, or warning of an impending strike against Iranian nuclear facilities or discussing the recent disappearance of a Russian-crewed freighter. [...] Israel, like the U.S. and much of the international community, believes Iran's program is aimed at developing a nuclear bomb. Iran denies this. Russia, which wields veto power in the U.N. Security Council and has close ties with Iran, could play a crucial role in the debate later this month over imposing additional sanctions on Iran."

Comment: This alleged trip to Russia reveals several things: the seriousness Israeli concerns about Iran's nuclear program; the duplicity of Russia in providing assistance to Iran while being a member of the Security Council that is pressuring Iran to stop; and the weakness of the Netanyahu government, left to sneak around the world instead of commanding the world stage on a matter of planetary security.
My Way News - Effects of Arctic warming seen as widespread
My Way News reports: "As the global climate changes, the Arctic Circle has been warming faster than other regions and scientists have documented a series of affects on wildlife in the region."
Turkish FM says talks in Iraq and Syria were 'positive' -
TurkishNY reports: "Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davuto─člu said on Wednesday he felt positive about his visits to Syria and Iraq aimed at defusing tensions between the neighbors after Iraqi claims that Damascus was sheltering insurgents."

: Turkey is playing a mediating role, but still associating with some unsavory characters.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

CNN - Report: Iran forwards latest nuclear proposals
CNN reports: "The U.N. Security Council has asked Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program, and the IAEA has asked Iran to clear up questions about the nature of its work. The agency's chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, said Monday that Iran has reached a 'stalemate' with the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency over its disputed nuclear program."

My Way News - US warns Iran is nearing nuclear capabilities
My Way News reports: "The United States warned Wednesday that Iran is close to having the capabilities to produce a nuclear weapon, and joined major European powers in urging Tehran to 'turn the page' and engage in dialogue to prove its atomic program is peaceful."
My Way News - Netanyahu risks US anger by building settlements
My Way News reports: "The Americans are pressing Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to meet for the first time during the U.N. General Assembly later this month. U.S. officials in Washington have hinted that while they're not pleased about the settlement building, they could overlook it if the sides are willing to start talking again."
My Way News - Captive Israeli soldier writes of 'nightmare'
My Way News reports: "In exchange for Schalit, Hamas officials have demanded that Israel release hundreds of long-serving Palestinian prisoners, including masterminds of attacks that killed Israeli citizens. Israel has so far balked, and three years of negotiations through Egyptian and more recently, German, mediators have failed to wrest a compromise."

Comment: Sgt. Gilad Schalit, still a prisoner of the Palestinians, the same Palestinians that we are told want peace with Israel. Here's an idea, as a peace gesture, why don't they just release him?
My Way News - Muslim woman presses French panel for burqa ban
My Way News reports: "A 2004 law in France banned wearing Muslim headscarves at public schools, along with Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses. That law sparked fierce debate both at home and abroad."

: I wish France will in their battle to preserve their cultural identity. I don't understand though why they just can't ban Muslim headscarves,niqab, or burqas and allow traditional symbols that are very much a part of French identity. There is no cause to ban Christian crosses just to prevent the self-abnegation of women. I have great reservations about giving any quarter to a warrior religion that is anti-Christian, anti-science, and anti-women. It's time for the West to wake up to the threat that Islam poses to the foundation of Western civilization and France deserves credit for joining the battle, even if it is just a very French battle over fashion.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Mideast Peace Momentum

Here are some recent developments in the Mideast peace process. I expect things to move quickly as we get closer to the unofficial deadline for announcing the restart of peace talks during the next session of the UN General Assembly in three weeks:

My Way News - Israel OKs hundreds of new West Bank apartments
My Way News reports: "Israel officially approved the construction of hundreds of new homes in the West Bank, the Defense Ministry said Monday, deepening an already unprecedented rift with the U.S. over Israeli settlement expansion."

West Bank settlement growth looks likely --
The Los Angeles Times reports: "Israel signaled its intention Friday to build hundreds of new homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank, provoking a new clash with the Obama administration and complicating a U.S. effort to restart Middle East peace talks this fall."

My Way News - Peres: Palestinian state first, full peace later
My Way News reports: "Israeli President Shimon Peres, a longtime advocate of peace with the Palestinians, said Friday that a comprehensive settlement resolving the century-old dispute was not currently achievable. He called instead for a Palestinian state under a provisional arrangement even without a formal peace deal."

Friday, September 04, 2009 - Group Asks Court to Reconsider Removing Girl from Home School

FOXNews reports: "A New Hampshire court's decision to order a 10-year-old home-schooled girl to attend public school is coming under attack from some social conservatives and religious freedom advocates.
The Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based organization that seeks to preserve religious liberty and the sanctity of marriage, has asked a family court judge to reconsider her July 14 decision to send the girl, identified in court documents as 'Amanda,' to a public school in Meredith, N.H."

Comment: The debate over home-schooling is not a new one, however, this case is disturbing in that one of the primary factors is alleged to be the religious devotion of the mother. If that is the case, there is a good likelihood that this will be overturned, but I fear this is just the beginning of such cases. New Hampshire would be wise to remember their state motto - "Live Free or Die".

Thursday, September 03, 2009

My Way News - Aide: Netanyahu considering settlement freeze

My Way News reports: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be willing to consider suspending construction in the West Bank for several months - but first plans to authorize hundreds of new apartments there, an aide said Friday. [...] In exchange for a suspension, Netanyahu would expect the Arab world to take steps toward normalizing relations with Israel, the aide added."
My Way News - Venezuelan president bashes Israel in Syria trip
My Way News reports: "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez attacked Israel Thursday during his visit to Syria, calling it an imperialist nation that annihilates other people. [...] Chavez is on an 11-day trip to Libya, Algeria, Syria, Iran, Belarus and Russia in his bid to build a multi-polar world and decrease U.S. influence in the region."

Comment: The Gog Alliance is forming right before our eyes with an overt anti-Israel motivation. What did Israel ever do to Venezuela to inspire such hatred? Israel exists, and for some, that is reason enough.
iPhones Overload AT&T's Network, Angering Customers -
The New York Times reports: "Globally, mobile data traffic is expected to double every year through 2013, according to Cisco Systems, which makes network gear. 'Whether an iPhone, a Storm or a Gphone, the world is changing.' Mr. Munster said. 'We’re just starting to scratch the surface of these issues that AT&T is facing.' In preparation for the next wave of smartphones and data demands, all the carriers are rushing to introduce the next-generation of wireless networks, called 4G."
My Way News - Arctic reverses trend, is warmest in two millennia

My Way News reports: "The Arctic is warmer than it's been in 2,000 years, even though it should be cooling because of changes in the Earth's orbit that cause the region to get less direct sunlight [...] And with the melting of land-based ice, such as the massive Greenland ice cap, sea levels could rise across the world, threatening millions who live in coastal cities."
NASA - Are sunspots disappearing?
NASA Science News reports: "The sun is in the pits of the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century. Weeks and sometimes whole months go by without even a single tiny sunspot. Are sunspots disappearing? Experts discuss the question in today's story from Science@NASA."

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

My Way News - Tough talk toward Iran as deadline month begins
My Way News reports: "There is no shortage of warnings that September could be a very bumpy month for Iran. What is still missing, however, are clear signals from the U.S. and its European allies on what specific new sanctions they could seek if Iran snubs their deadline to begin talks over its nuclear program. [...] President Barack Obama and key European allies have given Iran until this month to open negotiations on its uranium enrichment program and other aspects of the nuclear program."

My Way News - 6 nations meet on Iran's nuclear program
My Way News reports: "Six countries trying to address concerns about Iran's nuclear program met Wednesday to review developments, and a German official urged Iran to agree to talks before the U.N. General Assembly meets later this month."

Comment: As Iran prepares to challenge the Western consensus it remains to be seen if all we have in our toolbox is harsher and harsher words. At some point, our diplomats will be forced to realize that threatening harsher sanctions at every turn is futile. Obama, in particular, has painted himself into a corner and violated one of the first rules of statecraft: never issue an ultimatum unless you are prepared to back it up.
My Way News - Israelis, Palestinians resume high-level talks
My Way News reports: "Israel and the Palestinians on Wednesday held their first high-level talks since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office in March, pledging to step up economic cooperation despite the absence of peace negotiations."

My Way News - Israeli archaeologists find ancient fortification
My Way News reports: "The City of David digs are funded by Elad, a Jewish settler organization that also buys Palestinian homes and brings Jewish families into the neighborhood. Palestinian and Israeli critics have charged that the archaeology is being used as a political tool to cement Jewish control over parts of Jerusalem that Palestinians want for the capital of a future state."

Comment: They can "want" it all they want, but it was never theirs, they never had a king in command over it. Come to think of it, there never were any Palestinian kings, not in all of recorded history. Well, actually, that's not entirely true because the Jews who lived there used to be called Palestinian, the Jews were the Palestinians, at least until the peace process forced the redefinition of Arab terrorists into a "people" called Palestinian. The truth about Jerusalem? It was David's capital and it belongs to David's people.
My Way News - Powerful Indonesian quake kills 32; dozens injured
My Way News reports: "A powerful earthquake rattled southern Indonesia on Wednesday, killing at least 32 people crushed by falling rock or collapsed buildings and sending thousands fleeing outdoors for safety in the middle of the work day."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

My Way News - Best-selling Bible to undergo revision

My Way News reports: "The New International Version, the Bible of choice for conservative evangelicals, will be revised to reflect changes in English usage and advances in Biblical scholarship, it was announced Tuesday. The revision is scheduled to be completed late next year and published in 2011."

Comment: I don't really see the need for a revision, but as long as they don't change the message of salvation, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. There is also an opportunity here for them to build more internet friendly and Web 2.0 friendly applications rights into the rights packages retained by the publishers, who traditionally place restrictions on use of their content. This is why it's easy to find a King James Version of the Bible (which is in the public domain) online but much harder to find a more contemporary version. It would be far better for modern versions, that are more understandable to contemporary readers, to be accessible online. The Bible, more than any other work of literature in history, should be freely available to all. The publishers and editors should be compensated, but in a manner that does not prevent modern distribution methods.
My Way News - Nuclear negotiator: Iran ready for talks with West
My Way News reports: "Obama has given Iran a deadline of the end of September to agree to nuclear talks or risk harsher sanctions. Last year, Iran was offered economic incentives in exchange for suspending uranium enrichment, but Iran's leaders responded by saying they would never give up control of the production of nuclear fuel."
Popular Arab TV Program Exposes the Real Al Qaeda -
Fox News reports: "It is a unique program that lets jihadists tell their stories, and then shows the results of their actions. 'It's not enough to tell you that Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization. You have to understand why, what it means, how everything works, and what the end goal is for them,' Al Arabia's general manager Abdul Rahman al-Rashed explains."
My Way News - Libya celebrates 40th anniversary amid controversy
My Way News reports: "Libya invited many heads of state, but in a sign of the still touchy relationship many western countries have with Libya and concern over how to treat the Mediterranean country following the Lockerbie bomber's release, many sent lower-level representatives or stayed away. [...] Gadhafi came to power with a military coup in 1969, and was ostracized for decades over accusations of supporting international terrorism."