Monday, January 31, 2011

My Way News - Israel worried about Islamic takeover in Egypt
My Way News reports: "Israel's prime minister said Monday his country's primary concern in Egypt is that the current crisis could create a void in which Islamic militants step in and endanger decades of peaceful relations between the two countries."

My Way News - Israel agrees to some Egyptian troops in Sinai
My Way News reports: "Israeli officials said Monday that they have agreed to let Egypt move several hundred troops into the Sinai peninsula for the first time since the countries reached peace three decades ago [...] Now, as the unrest in Egypt has spread, Israeli officials have grown increasingly concerned about the stability of their southern neighbor. They are especially worried that Palestinian militants could take advantage of the unrest to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip through tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Way News - Chaos engulfs Cairo as Mubarak points to successor
My Way News reports: "With protests raging, Egypt's president named his intelligence chief as his first-ever vice president on Saturday, setting the stage for a successor as chaos engulfed the capital. Soldiers stood by - a few even joining the demonstrators - and the death toll from five days of anti-government fury rose sharply to 74."

My Way News - Egypt's uprising unites society in rage
My Way News reports: "The tens of thousands of protesters who have thrown Egypt's 30-year-old regime into tumult come from all walks of life - conservative Muslims and Christians, yuppies and the unemployed, young and old. For many, the protests demanding that President Hosni Mubarak step down were a catalyst for years or decades of repressed anger at mistreatment at the hands of the state."

My Way News - Jordan's opposition: Arabs will topple tyrants
My Way News reports: "The leader of Jordan's powerful Muslim Brotherhood warned Saturday that unrest in Egypt will spread across the Mideast and Arabs will topple leaders allied with the United States."

My Way News - Israel watches Egypt uprising with fear
My Way News reports: "Behind an official wall of silence, Israel watched nervously Saturday as anti-government unrest worsened in Egypt, fearful that the violent and growing street protests could topple Israel's most important ally in the Arab world."

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Way News - Amid massive protests, Egypt leader fires Cabinet
My Way News reports: "Facing a popular uprising, Egypt's president fired his Cabinet early Saturday after protesters engulfed his country in chaos - battling police with stones and firebombs, burning down the ruling party headquarters and defying a night curfew enforced by the army."

Comment: This is a volatile situation. Ordinarily, I'd side with the pro-democracy demonstrators, but in this case, there is a real chance that an Islamic government would take the place of the current regime, and that would be very bad news for all. Egypt is only one of two Arab states that have a peace treaty with Israel, if an Islamist government comes to power, that treaty will be voided. I hope it's not too late for the Egyptian government to reform itself and stave off collapse.
My Way News - Analysis: Leaks deepen Palestinian split
My Way News reports: "If an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal seemed remote before, it looks downright unattainable after a stormy week of leaks of confidential Mideast protocols by Al-Jazeera TV."

Comment: I have to wonder what the Palestinians thought their negotiators were doing all these years if not negotiating? What an irrational people. Can you imagine that they really expect to go through all the trouble of creating a new Palestinian state only to demand that they also get to live in Israel? Talk about having your cake and eating it too! Apparently this absurd notion forms the "emotional core" of their demands. At least their irrationality has been well exposed by this incident and it's doomed prospects for final status talks for years to come.

There are now effectively two Palestinian states, one funded and armed by Iran, with a proxy war now only a matter of time. Perhaps they can negotiate peace after they are defeated, that's usually the way it's been done in history. Please treaties usually follow wars, you can look it up if you don't believe me.
My Way News - Israeli minister: Hezbollah agents entering Gaza
My Way News reports: "Israel's minister of strategic affairs said Thursday the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla group has infiltrated agents into the Gaza Strip to train Palestinian militants. Gaza is ruled by the Hamas militant group, which, like Hezbollah, is sworn to Israel's destruction [...] Israel has long accused Hezbollah and its Iranian backers of supporting Palestinian militants, but officials have said little about an actual physical presence of Iranian-backed militia in Gaza."
My Way News - Davos panel sees huge Iranian response to attack
My Way News reports: "A diverse panel of decision-makers and experts from the United States, Europe and the Middle East found common ground on just one thing when it comes to dealing with the Iranian nuclear program Friday: A military strike could well spark a devastating counterattack."
My Way News - As China grows more assertive, US, Japan push back
My Way News reports: "In keeping with the adage of hoping for the best while preparing for the worst, the U.S. and its Asian allies are boosting their defenses, even after American and Chinese leaders talked up the need for closer ties in two high-profile visits this month [...] But largely outside public view, jockeying between the U.S. and China for strategic advantage in the Pacific is intensifying."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Way News - Iran's allies gain clout and possible softer edges
My Way News reports: "From the Afghan badlands to the Mediterranean, evidence of Iran's reach is easy to spot: a mix of friend and foe for Kabul leaders, a power broker in Iraq, deep alliances with Syria and a big brother to Lebanon's Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza. Tehran's proxy portfolio suddenly has a bit more aura after Hezbollah's political gambit - bringing down a pro-Western government in Lebanon and moving into position to pick its successor. To those keeping score, it would appear that Iran is winning some important points around the Middle East at the expense of Washington and its allies."
My Way News - Violent protests escalate outside Egypt's capital
My Way News reports: "Violence escalated in two cites outside the capital Cairo Thursday where anti-government protesters torched a fire station and looted weapons that they then turned on police. Egypt's top democracy advocate returned to the country and declared he was ready to lead the campaign to oust longtime President Hosni Mubarak."

My Way News - Egypt: Internet down, police counterterror unit up
My Way News reports: "Internet service in Egypt was disrupted and the government deployed an elite special operations force in Cairo on Friday, hours before an anticipated new wave of anti-government protests. The developments were a sign that President Hosni Mubarak's regime was toughening its crackdown following the biggest protests in years against his nearly 30-year rule."

My Way News - Thousands of Yemenis demand change in government
My Way News reports: "Tens of thousands of Yemenis demanded the president step down in nationwide protests Thursday, taking inspiration from the popular revolt in Tunisia and vowing to continue until their U.S.-backed government falls."
My Way News - Japanese, US troops hold major war games
My Way News reports: "Several thousand American and Japanese troops simulated missile attacks, guerrilla warfare and a full-scale invasion of Japan as part of a major war games that began Thursday [...] Japan has grown increasingly concerned about its defenses in its southwest, and particularly around the Okinawan islands, because of a number of incursions into its sea lanes by Chinese warships, including the movement of a Chinese flotilla through the Miyako Strait last April."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Japan Times - Facing the specter of famine

The Japan Times Online reports: "Many places — from Algeria (food riots), to China (imports of wheat and corn), Russia (grain imports to feed cattle and a ban on wheat exports), and Australia, Brazil and Canada (crops damaged by floods) — are facing food shortages or price rises. International organizations, including the United Nations, the World Bank and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), report that food prices globally have risen scarily close to or above the record levels of 2008. Prices of wheat, sugar, corn, soybeans, rice and barley, have all risen."
My Way News - Egypt's protests enter 2nd day, ominous for regime
My Way News reports: "Thousands of Egyptians vented their rage against President Hosni Mubarak's autocratic government in a second day of protests Wednesday that defied a ban on public gatherings. Baton-wielding police responded with tear gas and beatings in a crackdown that showed zero tolerance for dissent."
My Way News - Thousands march in anti-Abbas protests in Gaza
My Way News reports: "Thousands of cheering Hamas supporters in Gaza burned effigies of President Mahmoud Abbas and his aides Wednesday, as Al-Jazeera TV alleged that leaked documents show the Palestinian leader colluded with Israel and the U.S. against Gaza."

Comment: Leaked documents show that Palestinian leaders were secretly engaged in serious peace negotiations with Israel, the kind in which both sides make concessions, and now the Palestinian people are angry about this. You may draw your own conclusions about what this reveals about the Palestinian people.
My Way News - Russia: Cyber attack on Iran could be risky
My Way News reports: "Dmitry Rogozin urged NATO to join Moscow in investigating who created and unleashed the mysterious and destructive computer worm known as Stuxnet. The virus hit Iran's nuclear facilities last year, temporarily crippling its uranium enrichment program, which can make both nuclear fuel and the fissile core of warheads."
My Way News - US roadside bomb casualties rise in Afghanistan
My Way News reports: "Roadside bombs killed 268 American troops in Afghanistan last year, a 60 percent increase over the previous year [...] Defense officials attributed the rise in casualties to the surge in U.S. forces in Afghanistan last year. Fighting has increased, especially in southern and eastern Afghanistan, as coalition forces work to weaken the Taliban in their strongholds and keep them from returning in force this spring."
My Way News - Strong quake hits western Indonesia
My Way News reports: "A strong earthquake has hit waters off western Indonesia, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday night's quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.1."
My Way News - Not again! Another snowstorm hits East Coast
My Way News reports: "Schools closed, governments sent workers home early and planes were grounded Wednesday in an all-too-familiar routine along the East Coast as another snowstorm swept over a region already beaten down by a winter not even half over [...] Since Dec. 14, snow has fallen eight times on the New York region - or an average of about once every five days. That includes the blizzard that dropped 20 inches on the city and paralyzed travel after Christmas. Some places are running out of room to stash plowed snow."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Way News - Iran accuses West of 'nuclear terrorism'
My Way News reports: "In a killing apparently linked to Iran's atomic strivings, nuclear scientist Majid Shahriariwas was assassinated late last year and fellow scientist Fereidoun Abbasi was wounded. Both were targeted by car bombs that Iranian officials have variously blamed Israel and the United States for, as part of a campaign against Tehran's nuclear programs that included a cyber attack by the Stuxnet malware on the Natanz enrichment facility."

DEBKAfile - Iranian warships coming to Mediterranean and Red Seas
DEBKAfile reports: "Less than 24 hours after the breakdown of its nuclear dialogue with the six world powers in Istanbul, Iran announced plans Sunday, Jan. 23, to send a fleet of warships, including a home-made destroyer, on operational and intelligence gathering missions to the Red Sea and on to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal."
My Way News - Egyptians denounce Mubarak, clash with riot police
My Way News reports: "Egyptian police fired tear gas and rubber bullets and beat protesters to clear thousands of people from a central Cairo square Wednesday after the biggest demonstrations in years against President Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian rule."
My Way News - New Hezbollah-backed PM urges Lebanon unity
My Way News reports: "Hezbollah was formed in 1982 with Iranian backing to fight Israel's invasion of Lebanon. The group is believed to have been behind the kidnappings of foreigners on the streets of Beirut and holding them hostage at the height of the country's civil war. A group thought to be the forerunner of Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the bombing of U.S. Marine barracks in 1983. Once seen solely as Iran's militant arm in Lebanon, Hezbollah has reinvented itself as a more conventional political movement. It has joined the government and become involved in domestic politics, but fighting Israel remains the group's priority."
My Way News - US commander in Afghanistan: Tough fight in 2011
My Way News reports: "Troops will have to hold onto progress made in the Taliban heartland in the south while working to overturn insurgent gains in the north and mountainous northeast, he said. Violence increased greatly in both of those regions over the past year, apparently because of a Taliban strategy to move forces into less contested areas. Petraeus praised security gains in the capital, which has seen fewer large-scale attacks over the past six months, but added that this security bubble needs to be expanded into neighboring provinces."
My Way News - Malaysia releases lab mosquitoes to fight dengue
My Way News reports: "Malaysia released about 6,000 genetically modified mosquitoes into a forest in the first experiment of its kind in Asia aimed at curbing dengue fever, officials said Wednesday [...] Dengue fever is common in Asia and Latin America. Symptoms include high fever, joint pains and nausea, but in severe cases, it can lead to internal bleeding, circulatory shutdown and death. There is no known cure or vaccine."

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Way News - Israel FM confirms interim Palestinian state plan
My Way News reports: "Israel's foreign minister confirmed Monday that he has drawn up a plan for the creation of an interim Palestinian state with temporary borders in the absence of a full peace agreement. Avigdor Lieberman argued that an interim arrangement was the only option, saying the Palestinians have turned down previous Israeli offers and no agreement is possible at present."

My Way News - Peru recognizes Palestinian state
My Way News reports: "Peru has joined a growing number of South American countries in recognizing an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. However, the decision announced by Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde does not recognize Palestine's borders pre-dating the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza."

My Way News - Palestinians lash out over document leak
My Way News reports: "President Mahmoud Abbas and his aides went on the attack Monday, accusing Al-Jazeera television of lies and distortions in publishing the so-called 'Palestine Papers,' which claim that Palestinian negotiators were ready to make significant concessions for a peace deal with Israel."

Comment: Leaked documents reveal Palestinian leaders were actively engaged in serious peace talks...they will now be punished by their people who, we can surmise, don't really want peace with Israel. If they did, this would not be an issue, would it?
My Way News - Bombing at Moscow airport called terrorist attack
My Way News reports: "Terrorists struck again in the heart of Russia, with a suicide bomber blowing himself up Monday in Moscow's busiest airport and turning its international arrivals terminal into a smoky, blood-spattered hall of dismembered bodies, screaming survivors and abandoned suitcases. At least 35 people were killed, including two British travelers."
My Way News - At Davos, a litany of problems raise their head
My Way News reports: "The annual World Economic Forum opens this week under a cloud of economic worries, concern over China's growing influence in politics and business, and simmering anxieties over Europe's debt crisis [...] organizers of the five-day annual meeting - which will draw some 2,500 political and business leaders Jan. 26-30 - are optimistic that the debates, discussions and exchanges of ideas can provide a roadmap of sorts on the way forward after three years of global financial and economic turmoil."
My Way News - Turkey president lays into Israel flotilla inquiry
My Way News reports: "Turkey's president on Monday lambasted an Israeli inquiry that cleared its military and government of any wrongdoing in a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound international flotilla as having 'no value or credibility.' President Abdullah Gul said the findings illustrate 'Israel's spoiled attitude, that has no regard for the world or for international law.'"

tehran times : Salehi seeks Iran-Iraq-Turkey-Syria alliance for regional security
Tehran Times reports: "A top Iranian diplomat says it hopes that Tehran, Baghdad, Ankara, and Damascus would form an alliance to promote regional peace and security."

Iran English Radio - Turkish FM: Iran-Turkey ties, important for regional stability
Iran English Radio reports: "Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said relations between Iran and Turkey were of high importance in sustaining stability in the region. According to IRNA, he made the remarks in Ankara on Tuesday morning in a meeting with the Caretaker of the Iranian Foreign Ministry Ali-Akbar Salehi."
My Way News - It's cold out there, even for hardy New Englanders
My Way News reports: "Train equipment froze, cars sputtered, schools canceled classes and cold-weather enthusiasts opted to stay inside Monday as a bitter blast of below-zero temperatures gripped the Northeast. The gasp-inducing cold - temperatures reached into the minus-30s with wind chill factors even colder - tested the mettle even of New Englanders, who pride themselves on winter hardiness."
My Way News - Iran talks fail, no new date set
My Way News reports: "Talks meant to nudge Iran toward meeting U.N. Security Council demands to stop uranium enrichment collapsed Saturday, with Tehran shrugging off calls by six world powers to cease the activity that could be harnessed to make nuclear weapons."
FoxNews reports - Italian Scientists Claim (Dubious) Cold Fusion Breakthrough
[...]two Italian scientists claim to have successfully developed a cold fusion reactor that produces 12,400 watts of heat power per 400 watts of input. Not only that, but they’ll be commercially available in just three months.

Comment: We've heard this song and dance before - have these guys actually figured it out? I rather doubt it, but I also would not be surprised one bit to see the energy juggernaut come in the waning days of this world...

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Way News - India confirms life term for murder of missionary
My Way News reports: "India's top court Friday confirmed the life sentence given to a Hindu who burned to death an Australian missionary and his two young sons outside a church in eastern India [...] A series of attacks against missionaries and Christian institutions at the time were blamed on right-wing Hindus, who claimed missionaries tricked impoverished Hindus by force, money and superstition into converting faiths, a charge the Christian missionaries denied."
My Way News - That uproar over 'Skins': A blessing for the show
My Way News reports: "On Thursday, a front-page story in The New York Times introduced the notion that 'Skins' may - with the emphasis on 'may' - be trafficking in kiddie porn. 'Skins' producers have boasted of its gritty realism. In that spirit, many of the teenage characters are played by actors who are 17 or younger, and therefore legally minors."

Comment: What a refreshing break from teen sex comedies, a teen sex drama. Great. What will they think of next?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Way News - Palestinians defy US with Security Council request
My Way News reports: "Palestinians hope their Security Council initiative will give them an idea of how much support they have for future moves. These include seeking international recognition of a Palestinian state as early as this fall."

Comment: Interesting gambit. I hope Obama shuts them down with a veto, if only for having the temerity to defy him.
My Way News - Iran's nuke program _ how much time for diplomacy?
My Way News reports: "The U.S. is joining five other world powers for talks with Iran this week publicly confident that international efforts have slowed Tehran's capacity to make nuclear arms and created more time to press Tehran to accept curbs on its atomic activities. But the Federation of American Scientists is warning against complacency."
My Way News - Australian flood crisis threatens city and towns
My Way News reports: "Rural towns in Australia's southeast and the nation's third largest city were on flood watch Friday as rivers surged in a weekslong flood crisis that has created widespread devastation across the continent."
My Way News - UN: 2010 tied for warmest year on record
My Way News reports: "The warmest year on record is a three-way tie: 2010, 2005 and 1998. So says the U.N. weather agency, providing further evidence Thursday that the planet is slowly but surely heating up." - Global warming: Impact of receding snow and ice surprises scientists
The Christian Science Monitor reports: "A long-term retreat in snow and ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere is weakening the ability of these seasonal cloaks of white to reflect sunlight back into space and cool global climate, according to a study published this week."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Way News - Iran tests missile in display before nuclear talks
My Way News reports: "Iran says it has test-fired an anti-aircraft missile near a nuclear site in a military display before talks resume with world powers over Tehran's uranium enrichment program. The semiofficial Fars news agency says the 'Hawk' surface-to-air missile system was tested near Arak in central Iran, where a research reactor is under construction."
My Way News - Arab League chief says Tunisia is dire warning
My Way News reports: "The secretary general of the Arab League has linked the upheaval in Tunisia to deteriorating economic conditions throughout the Arab world, warning Middle East leaders that their people's anger has reached unprecedented heights."
My Way News - DA: Pa. abortion doc killed 7 babies with scissors
My Way News reports: "A doctor whose abortion clinic was described as a filthy, foul-smelling 'house of horrors' that was overlooked by regulators for years was charged Wednesday with murder, accused of delivering seven babies alive and then using scissors to kill them."
My Way News - Vatican: 1997 Irish abuse letter 'misunderstood'
My Way News reports: "In a new round of damage control, the Vatican insisted Wednesday that a 1997 letter warning Irish bishops against reporting priests suspected of sex abuse to police had been 'deeply misunderstood.' [...] And victims groups say it's a 'smoking gun' that shows that the church enforced a worldwide culture of concealing crimes by pedophile priests of which Rome bears ultimate - and legal - responsibility."
My Way News - UN adds 2,000 troops to Ivory Coast force
My Way News reports: "The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to deploy 2,000 additional peacekeepers to Ivory Coast, where the incumbent president has refused to relinquish his post to the man internationally recognized as the West African country's legitimate leader."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

CBS News - Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans
CBS News reports: "President Obama is planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans, a White House official said here today."

Comment: This seems a bit sensational and easily derailed by politics, I think I'll wait for more details before passing judgment.
My Way News - Major 7.2 earthquake hits SW Pakistan
My Way News reports: "A major 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked a remote area of southwestern Pakistan early Wednesday, shaking many parts of the country and causing tremors as far away as India and the United Arab Emirates."
My Way News - Russian president calls for Israeli freeze
My Way News reports: "Russian President Dmitry Medvedev gave a political boost to the Palestinians on Tuesday, backing their claim to east Jerusalem as a capital and their demand that Israel must freeze all settlement construction before peace talks can resume [...] Russia is a member of the so-called Quartet of Mideast peace makers, along with the U.S., European Union and United Nations. The Quartet is to meet in Germany next month to find a way out of the current quagmire."
My Way News - Iran: Sanctions won't stop nuclear drive
My Way News reports: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Tehran is making steady progress in its nuclear program, and warned that not even 100,000 U.N. Security Council resolutions will derail his country's nuclear ambitions. Ahmadinejad spoke days ahead of talks with world powers in Istanbul, Turkey."
My Way News - UN team examines seized Iranian weapons in Nigeria
My Way News reports: "A team of U.N. weapons experts and observers examined a seized Iranian weapons shipment found at Nigeria's biggest port, authorities said Tuesday, a step toward possible new international sanctions against Iran."

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Way News - Tunisians drive leader from power in mass uprising
My Way News reports: "After 23 years of iron-fisted rule, the president of Tunisia was driven from power Friday by violent protests over soaring unemployment and corruption. Virtually unprecedented in modern Arab history, the populist uprising sent an ominous message to authoritarian governments that dominate the region."

Comment: Tunisia is an interesting country. It's the former seat of the Carthaginian Empire, defeated by Rome, and then later (much later) a French colony and then a relatively stable independent country until unemployment forced people into the streets to oppose their president-for-life dictator. What now? Well, for our purpose, we need to carefully watch when/how northern Africa becomes increasingly radicalized.
My Way News - Pope John Paul II moves a step closer to sainthood
My Way News reports: "Once he is beatified, John Paul will be given the title 'blessed' and can be publicly venerated, or worshipped. Many people, especially in Poland, already venerate him privately, but the ceremony will allow Catholics to publicly worship him."

Comment: It's pure idolatry, but try to tell that to a Catholic. See my earlier comments (here and here) on why this is entire saint-making process is in error. The really sad thing about this is that the Catholic Church has resurrected the Roman pantheon and filled it not with pagan demigods but with saints that serve the same purpose. There's a patron saint for nations, objects, places, and even careers. And the more you "pray" to them and go down that road the more you distance yourself from Jesus, the only true mediator between God and Man. So go ahead and pray to Saint Joseph or to Rome's Minerva, but don't think it's the same thing as praying to God.
My Way News - Mideast Quartet to meet in Germany
My Way News reports: "The German government says the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers will meet on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich next month. The Quartet is made up of the U.S., the U.N., the European Union and Russia. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday the quartet will hold a high-level meeting during the Feb. 4-6 conference in Munich - a major annual forum for defense and security policy officials."
My Way News - Pakistanis protest pope's appeal on blasphemy laws
My Way News reports: "Islamic extremists rallied in support of the confessed killer of a liberal Pakistani governor on Friday and protested Pope Benedict XVI for urging the scrapping of blasphemy laws that stipulate death for those insulting Islam."
My Way News - Floods take major toll on Australian farms, mines
My Way News reports: "The floodwaters that swamped entire neighborhoods in Brisbane, the state capital, have left behind a thick layer of putrid sludge that covered streets and thousands of houses. More than 30,000 homes and businesses were flooded with muddy water and officials warned some residents their homes were so badly damaged they'd need to be destroyed. Weeks of relentless rains and flooding across Australia's northeast have left 26 people dead [...] The multibillion dollar toll includes losses from flooded mines and formally fertile farmland, now a boggy mess of rotting vegetation."
My Way News - In rise of ultra-Orthodox, challenges for Israel
My Way News reports: "Dramatic changes may be coming in Israel: Demographers now estimate about a third of last year's Jewish babies were born into the ultra-Orthodox community, an insular and devout minority that has long been at loggerheads with the rest of the increasingly modern and prosperous country."

Comment: This is an important development because they will in time constitute a remnant that will not be fooled by the coming deceiver in their land.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Way News - Hamas deploys forces to stop Gaza rocket fire
My Way News reports: "The Israeli military says at least 25 rockets and mortar shells have exploded in Israel's south this month. Several Israelis have been wounded, one seriously. Israel has been hitting back for each salvo with airstrikes aimed at weapons storage facilities and factories, as well as smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border."
My Way News - Israel troops on alert after Lebanon govt falls
My Way News reports: "Israeli troops in the north were on alert Thursday over worries that the political turmoil in Lebanon might spill over into renewed violence on their shared border, following the collapse of the Lebanese government."

My Way News - Hezbollah aims for more political power in Lebanon
My Way News reports: "Hezbollah, already Lebanon's most potent military force, is now making a bid to expand its political power by installing an ally as prime minister now that it has brought down the government. If Hezbollah succeeds, the Shiite militant group and its patrons in Iran and Syria would have far more sway in this volatile corner of the Middle East - something Washington has worked to prevent."
My Way News - Egypt charges policeman in shooting of Christian
My Way News reports: "Egypt's prosecutor general has charged an off-duty policeman in the killing of a Christian man on a train this week and referred the case to trial [...] The attack, less than two weeks after the suicide bombing of a church killed 21, sparked new demonstrations by enraged Christians who pelted police with stones in southern Egypt."
My Way News - Turkish PM: Israel must remove foreign minister
My Way News reports: "Israel and Turkey built strong military and economic ties over the past 15 years, and Turkey became Israel's closest ally in the Muslim world. Relations between the two soured, however, with Turkey's government's increasingly vociferous criticism of Israel's treatment of Palestinians."
My Way News - Australia's floods a glimpse of warmer future
My Way News reports: "Though you can't make a direct link between Australia's killer floods and climate change, they do hold a warning for the future: Scientists predict such extreme weather events will increase both in intensity and frequency as the planet warms [...] The flooding follows a spate of severe natural disasters in the past year. While the most deadly was Haiti's earthquake, extreme weather also killed thousands of people across the globe, including a scorching heat wave that choked Russia in the summer and devastating floods that engulfed more than 60,000 square miles (150,000 square kilometers) in Pakistan."
My Way News - Evidence mounts over John Paul II beatification
My Way News reports: "Evidence is mounting that the pope will soon approve the miracle needed to beatify Pope John Paul II, setting the stage for a major celebration this year for a Catholic Church trying to recover from the clerical sex abuse scandal."

Comment: Miracle by bureaucracy, how utterly twisted.
My Way News - Strong quake hits New Caledonia islands in Pacific
My Way News reports: "A strong earthquake hit the waters off a French territory in the South Pacific early Friday. A widespread tsunami was not expected. The U.S Geological Survey reported a 7.0-magnitude quake centered on New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands hit overnight. The remote chain is about 1,000 miles (1,800 kilometers) east of the Australian city of Brisbane."

Comment: This is a huge earthquake, if it had happened in a populated area it would have been a disaster.
My Way News - 476 die in Brazil slides, survivors relate horrors
My Way News reports: "Flooding and mudslides are common in Brazil when the summer rains come, but this week's slides were among the worst in recent memory. The disasters unduly punish the poor, who often live in rickety shacks perched perilously on steep hillsides with little or no foundations. But even the rich did not escape the damage in Teresopolis, where large homes were washed away."
My Way News - 'Heartache and grief': Australia sees flood damage
My Way News reports: "The muddy waters swamped 30,000 homes and businesses in Brisbane [...] More than 60,000 homes were still without power across Queensland, and the military was delivering food, clothes and other supplies to areas still cut off by the waters."
My Way News - Tunisian leader says he will step down in 2014
My Way News: "Tunisia's autocratic president, struggling to contain deadly riots that have destabilized his authority, made sweeping pledges for political and media freedom and said he will leave the presidency - but not until his term ends in 2014."

My Way News - Riots erupt around Tunisian capital
My Way News reports: "The second day of violence in the heart of Tunis sharply escalated a conflict between protesters angry over unemployment and repression and an authoritarian government that appears more and more willing to use force to put down its greatest challenge in at least a generation."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Way News - Hundreds of Christians demonstrate on Cairo's edge
My Way News reports: "Hundreds of Christians demonstrated late Wednesday near a large Cairo slum, blocking a major highway and clashing with police following the shooting death of a Christian man the day before, said a security official."
My Way News - Hezbollah and its allies topple Lebanon government
My Way News reports: "Lebanon's government collapsed Wednesday after Hezbollah and its allies resigned from the Cabinet in a dispute with Western-backed factions over upcoming indictments in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [...] Hezbollah's walkout ushers in the country's worst political crisis since 2008 in one of the most volatile corners of the Middle East."
My Way News - Iran opposition says rulers 'totalitarian'
My Way News reports: "Iran's opposition leader on Wednesday denounced the country's ruling system for being 'totalitarian' like the old Nazi and Soviet regimes, with lying to its people being its defining characteristic. Mir Hossein Mousavi statement comes as reaction to a stepped up campaign by the ruling system to discredit opposition leaders, calling them traitors that would ultimately be prosecuted."
My Way News - Floods pour into Brisbane; 20,000 homes in danger
My Way News reports: "Floodwaters poured into the empty downtown of Australia's third-largest city Wednesday after tearing a deadly path across the northeast, swamping neighborhoods in what could be Brisbane's most devastating floods in a century."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Way News - Iran rounds up Christians in crackdown
My Way News reports: "Iran has arrested about 70 Christians since Christmas in a crackdown that demonstrates the limits of religious tolerance by Islamic leaders who often boast they provide room for other faiths."

My Way News - Policeman shoots Christian dead in southern Egypt
My Way News reports: "An off-duty policeman boarded a train and opened fire on Tuesday, killing a 71-year-old Christian man and wounding his wife and four others, the Interior Ministry said. The attack, less than two weeks after the suicide bombing of a church killed 21, sparked new demonstrations by enraged Christians who pelted police with stones in southern Egypt."

Comment: Please join me in praying for all believers living in Arab and Islamic countries, specifically that the Holy Spirit will comfort and guide them in persevering in their faith without animosity or desire for revenge. Let them show by their actions that Christians face insult, injury and persecution in a far different manner than those lost to this world.
My Way News - Israel PM: Must be military option against Iran
My Way News reports: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that Iran will not stop its nuclear program unless economic sanctions are backed with a 'credible military option.' Netanyahu says the only time the Iranians stopped their nuclear development when they thought they were threatened with a military strike."
My Way News - Portugal, refusing bailout, faces key bond test
My Way News reports: "Portugal insists that it does not need an international bailout to solve its debt problems. It faces a bond auction Wednesday that could reveal the price of going it alone - and perhaps even add to the European financial crisis [...] But reports have said Germany and France, Europe's two main financiers, are pushing Lisbon to accept assistance to keep the debt crisis from spreading to bigger countries that would be much costlier to rescue."
My Way News - Jobless youths in Tunisia riot using Facebook
My Way News reports: "Police have fired repeatedly on protesters. The government says 23 people have died in the riots - 21 in the last three days - but unions and witnesses say at least 46 have died. In the town of Kasserine, site of the bloodiest confrontation, police were reported to have killed a man carrying the coffin of a child."
My Way News - Chinese stealth fighter makes first test flight
My Way News reports: "China's prototype stealth fighter made its first-known test flight Tuesday, marking dramatic progress in the country's efforts to develop cutting-edge military technologies [...] Although likely many years from entering China's inventory, the J-20 is a potential rival to the U.S. F-22 Raptor, the only stealth fighter currently in service."

VOA - Gates Says North Korea Could Be a Threat to US Within 5 Years
Voice of America reports: "U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says North Korea will likely have a missile that can reach the United States within five years, and his talks in Beijing this week were aimed in part at getting China to help put the Pyongyang government 'on a different path.' Gates wants North Korea to declare a moratorium on further testing of its most dangerous weapons."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Reuters - Governor's murder deepens fears of Pakistani Christians
Reuters reports: "Pakistan's modern Christians are the children of Hindus or Muslims converted by missionaries who came to the Indian subcontinent some 250 years ago. Christians and Muslims generally live in harmony, but many say they are treat as second-class citizens and feel insecure for several reasons, including the blasphemy law and sporadic militant attacks on churches."
My Way News - 8 dead in new flood as Australia's crisis worsens
My Way News reports: "Rescuers raced Tuesday to reach people trapped on roofs after a flash flood hurled a tsunami-like wall of water through Australia's waterlogged east, tossing cars like toys, killing at least eight people and leaving 72 missing [...] Thousands were being evacuated from flood-prone areas, and residents in some sections of Brisbane - Australia's third-largest city - were being urged to move to higher ground as water from Toowoomba's flash flooding worked its way toward the coast."
My Way News - Sermons motivated killer of Pakistani politician
My Way News reports: "The slaying of Punjab province Gov. Salman Taseer nearly a week ago shocked many around the world, but tens of thousands of Pakistanis have expressed support for 26-year-old Mumtaz Qadri, who said he killed the governor for criticizing laws that carry the death penalty for insulting Islam [...] Pope Benedict XVI spoke out against Pakistan's blasphemy laws Monday, saying they should be repealed because they were used as a pretext for violence against non-Muslims."
My Way News - Palestinians say they'll go to UN for recognition
My Way News reports: "The Palestinian foreign minister says he will seek United Nations recognition for a Palestinian state in September and is currently lobbying for votes worldwide. The move is part of the Palestinians' so-called Plan B of pursuing an alternative to a negotiated peace deal while talks with Israel remain stalled."

My Way News - Rockets from Gaza hit Israeli city; no one hurt
My Way News reports: "Three rockets fired from Gaza exploded in an industrial section of the Israeli city of Ashkelon Monday, the military said, causing no casualties but pointing toward an escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza militants."

Comment: The Palestinians really do want peace. You can tell from the way they keep launching rockets at Israel.
My Way News - Arizona suspect could face death in deadly attack
My Way News reports: "Loughner is charged with one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee. Those are federal charges [...] Prosecutors say he scrawled on an envelope the words 'my assassination' and 'Giffords' sometime before he took a cab to the shopping center. Police said he bought the Glock pistol used in the attack at Sportsman's Warehouse in Tucson in November."

Friday, January 07, 2011

Mail Online - Animal death mystery: Two MILLION dead fish wash up in Maryland bay
Mail Online reports: "Experts have speculated that New Year fireworks, thunderstorms, cold weather, parasites and even poisoning may be behind the deaths. But conspiracy theorists have also speculated on the internet that secret government experiments could be behind them, with some even claiming it was a sign of a looming Armageddon at the end of the Mayan calendar next year. Another theory is that the rapid movement of the Magnetic North Pole towards Russia may have affected the birds' innate navigation systems."

Comment: This is an interesting report because it doesn't focus solely on only one incident as many news reports have done and instead gives the reader a broader perspective of the global scope of these incidents.
My Way News - Mossad chief: Iran won't go nuclear before 2015
My Way News reports: "Israel's newly retired spy chief thinks Iran will not be able to build a nuclear bomb before 2015, Israeli media reported Friday - further pushing back Israeli intelligence estimates of when Tehran might become a nuclear power."
My Way News - Greek PM criticizes Turkey
My Way News reports: "The Greek prime minister on Friday sharply criticized Turkey during what was meant to be a peace mission between the historical rivals, though his Turkish counterpart, seated in the audience, responded mildly when his turn came to speak [...] The two countries came close to war three times between 1974 and 1996 over the Aegean and Cyprus."
My Way News - US defense visit will renew ties with rising China
My Way News reports: "Stealth fighter jets in development. Guided missiles dubbed 'carrier killers.' As America's top defense official visits China next week, its growing military capabilities are redrawing the security landscape in Asia, putting the country with the largest standing army on a potential collision course with the United States."
My Way News - Chile says it recognizes a Palestinian state
My Way News reports: "Chile recognized Palestinian statehood on Friday, joining other South American nations in a push for Palestinians and Israelis to keep negotiating toward a lasting peace in the Middle East."

Thursday, January 06, 2011

My Way News - Egypt Christians mark mournful Christmas Eve Mass
My Way News reports: "Egypt's Christians packed churches Thursday for mournful Christmas Eve Masses, weeping and donning black in place of colorful holiday clothes, under a heavy security cordon by police out of fear of another attack like the New Year's suicide bombing of a church that killed 21 people."

Ahram Online - Egypt Muslims to act as "human shields" at Coptic Christmas Eve mass
Ahram Online reports: "“Although 2011 started tragically, I feel it will be a year of eagerly anticipated change, where Egyptians will stand against sectarianism and unite as one,” Father Rafaeil Sarwat of the Mar-Mina church told Ahram Online. The Coptic priest was commenting on the now widespread call by Muslim intellectuals and activists upon Egyptian Muslims at large to flock to Coptic churches across the country to attend Coptic Christmas Eve mass, to show solidarity with the nation's Coptic minority, but also to serve as 'human shields' against possible attacks by Islamist militants."
My Way News - Israeli, Egyptian leaders discuss peacemaking
My Way News reports: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Egypt on Thursday to help persuade the Palestinians to enter direct peace talks, bringing calls from Egypt's president for Israel to take 'confidence building' steps to bring a resumption of negotiations." - Sources: Security threat level for London raised to 'severe'
My Way News reports: "New information has emerged from an intelligence operation about the possibility of an attack being planned in or near London, with subway stations and airports of particular concern to officials, a British security source told CNN Thursday. CNN understands that the intelligence operation concerns a possible Mumbai-style attack, the source said." - Israeli forces hit Gaza with air strikes
CNN reports: "Israeli forces carried out air strikes late Thursday in Gaza, but there were no reports of casualties, Israeli officials and a Hamas official concurred Friday [...] The attacks were carried out 'in response to rocket fire overnight,' she said. Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza landed in the southern Israeli regions of Eshkol and Sdot Negev on Wednesday and Thursday, according to an IDF news release."
My Way News - Ivory Coast election winner wants rival ousted
My Way News reports: "The internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast's presidential election is asking for special forces to launch a commando operation to remove the country's defiant sitting president who has refused to cede power five weeks after losing the vote."

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

My Way News - NATO: $20 billion over 2 years for Afghan training
My Way News reports: "By the end of the year, NATO will have spent $20 billion on developing Afghan security forces since the start of 2010 and will maintain a training presence through at least 2016, the commander of the training mission said Wednesday."
My Way News - Iran arrests Christians, says they're hard-liners
My Way News reports: "Iranian state television said Wednesday that leaders of the country's Christian minority have been arrested and accused of spreading a hard-line version of their faith [...] A website of Iran's political opposition reported that 60 Christians have been arrested since Christmas, including a priest taken into custody on Friday."

My Way News - Prejudices against Egypt's Copts stoke tensions
My Way News reports: "In the wake of a shocking New Year's suicide bombing of an Egyptian church, the government is heavily touting national unity. But on the ground, personal prejudices between members of Egypt's two faiths have always run deep and wide, often fueled inadvertently or not by government policies."

My Way News - Egypt's Christians fear new attack on holiday
My Way News reports: "Egyptian Christians say they fear a repeat attack against their community on Coptic Christmas Eve Thursday despite authorities planning heavy security following a New Year's suicide bombing of a church in Alexandria that killed 21."

My Way News - Cheers and tears in Pakistan after assassination
My Way News reports: "Even so-called moderate Muslim scholars praised 26-year-old Mumtaz Qadri for allegedly killing Punjab province Gov. Salman Taseer on Tuesday in a hail of gunfire while he was supposed to be protecting him as a bodyguard. Qadri later told authorities he acted because of Taseer's vocal opposition to blasphemy laws that order death for those who insult Islam."
Reuters - Australia floods cause catastrophic damage
Reuters reports: "Australia's record floods are causing catastrophic damage to infrastructure in the state of Queensland and have forced 75 percent of its coal mines, which fuel Asia's steel mills, to grind to a halt, Queensland's premier said on Wednesday."

Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - Dead birds and fish: Bible prophecy Web searches explode - National Cultural Oddities
The Examiner reports: "As hundreds more dead blackbirds were found in Louisana Monday, Jan. 3, and added to the 4,000 the fell from the sky New Year’s Eve in Arkansas, thousands of dead fish are also in the mix. The incidents have prompted Christian sects to look to the Bible and, most importantly, to the sky, for more alleged signs of apocalyptic happenings."

The Guardian - Apocalypse now? Mystery bird deaths hit Louisiana | Environment
The Guardian reports: "Today it emerged that about 500 red-winged blackbirds and starlings had been found dead in Louisiana. Their tiny corpses littered a short stretch of highway near the city of Labarre after apparently falling dead from the sky. That would be spooky enough. But the Louisiana bird die-off came just a few days after up to 5,000 blackbirds fell to earth in neighbouring Arkansas in the small town of Beebe."

Comment: Apparently these dead birds are big news in some circles and as you can see from this blog, it's not something I've been focused on. And, not only is it big news, people apparently think it has something to do with Bible prophecy. I just thought I'd perform a public service and let you know that there's no connection at all to Bible prophecy. Well, no direct connection. It's not like Jesus said that in the end times there would be earthquakes, pestilences, famines, wars and lots and lots of dead birds falling from the sky.

On the other hand, it's an event that causes people to pause and wonder, perhaps getting a little apprehensive and fearful, thinking about what's happening in the world. In a very general sense you could say it's an example of a class of "fearsome events" that are not significant in themselves but rather in the response they provoke in people. They are, in this context, similar to extreme weather and other natural disasters that force people to break out of their normal routine and think about deeper spiritual matters. And, of course, it's a mystery, and who doesn't love a good mystery.
My Way News - Anti-Christian drumbeat loud before Egypt attack
My Way News reports: "In the weeks before the New Year's Day suicide bombing of an Egyptian church, al-Qaida-linked websites carried a how-to manual on 'destroying the cross,' complete with videos on how to build a bomb and the locations of churches to target - including the one that was attacked."

My Way News - Christians demonstrate in south Egypt
My Way News reports: "About 500 young Egyptian Christians have defied a call by their leaders to avoid demonstrations and descended into the main streets of this southern city protesting the New Year's Day church bombing that killed 21. The demonstrators gathered Tuesday evening in front of the ruling party's headquarters in the city of Assuit, which has a large Christian population, shouting slogans and vowing to protect the cross with their 'blood and souls.'"
My Way News - Pakistani governor who opposed blasphemy law slain
My Way News reports: "The governor of Pakistan's most dominant province was shot and killed Tuesday by a bodyguard who authorities said was angry about his opposition to blasphemy laws carrying the death sentence for insulting the Muslim faith [...] The laws came under renewed international scrutiny late last year when a 45-year-old Christian woman, Asia Bibi, was sentenced to death for allegedly insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Taseer called for granting Bibi a pardon, a stance that earned him death threats from Islamists." - Pakistanis Rally in Support of Blasphemy Law
The New York Times reports: "A crippling strike by Islamist parties brought Pakistan to a standstill on Friday as thousands of people took to the streets, and forced businesses to close, to head off any change in the country’s blasphemy law, which rights groups say has been used to persecute minorities, especially Christians."

Comment: Apparently, in that country, if you have a grudge against someone and you are seeking revenge, all you have to do is say they insulted the Prophet Muhammad (PBJUH) and that's all it takes to get them in serious trouble. Yeah, no chance that kind of power will be abused. That's apparently what happened to Bibi, who fell out of favor with her kind peace-loving neighbors. And then this moderate politician publicly acknowledged the injustice and called for reform, and got killed for his efforts.

Please join me in praying for the persecuted church in Pakistan, they are in a difficult situation. Maybe they could flee to Iraq for safety. Oh wait a minute...on second thought, no, not exactly safe there either. Maybe they could flee to Egypt? Hmmn, maybe not. Well, I'm sure if they tried they could find an Islamic country that wasn't out to kill them, after all, everyone knows how peaceful and tolerant the "great religion" of Islam is, I'm sure it will all work out somehow.
My Way News - Analysis: Ivory Coast military op a big stretch
My Way News reports: "More than a week after the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States vowed to consider military force in Ivory Coast, it remains unclear how that operation would come together and which countries would contribute troops. Defense chiefs from the region met in Nigeria, where ECOWAS is based, to strategize last week, but it appears no one plans an imminent attack."
My Way News - Mexican police detain head of Death Saint church
My Way News reports: "The church's followers [...] say people from all backgrounds worship the Death Saint, at ceremonies that include an altered version of the Roman Catholic Mass. They place offerings of candy and cigarettes before images of the saint, usually depicted as a robed skeleton. At Romo's church, chains are hung on walls as examples of favors granted by the saint, often including getting out of jail."

Monday, January 03, 2011

My Way News - Bombing opens vein of Christian anger in Egypt
My Way News reports: "The New Year's Day suicide bombing of a church that killed 21 people has opened up a vein of fury among Egypt's Christians, built up over years of what they call government failure to address persistent discrimination and violence against their community."
My Way News - Aftenposten: Israel gears up for Iran attack
My Way News reports: "Israel believes it would have only 10-12 minutes' warning if Iran launched rockets but that threats from Hamas and Hezbollah are the most pressing, according to leaked U.S. State Department cables published in a Norwegian newspaper."
AFP- Natural disasters 'killed 295,000 in 2010'
AFP reports: "A total of 950 natural disasters were recorded last year, making 2010 the second worst year since 1980. The average number of events over the past 10 years was 785. And in terms of economic cost, insured losses amounted to approximately $37 billion, putting 2010 among the six most loss-intensive years for the insurance industry since 1980."

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Major earthquake strikes central Chile -
CNN reports: "A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck the central coastal area of Chile on Sunday, some 70 kilometers (45 miles) northwest of Temuco, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of major damage or injury."

Saturday, January 01, 2011 - Security tightened after deadly church blast in Egypt
CNN reports: "Government officials in Alexandria, Egypt, increased security around places of worship following an explosion that killed at least 21 people at a church in the region, the governor told state media Saturday [...] Copts, who are adherents of an Egyptian sect of Christianity, make up about 9% of the nation's population. About 90% of Egyptians are Muslims."