Friday, January 31, 2014

Fearsome Events - Fear for the Future

My Way News - Amid drought, California agency won't allot water
My Way News reports: "Officials say 2013 was the state's driest calendar year since records started being kept, and this year is heading in the same direction. A snow survey on Thursday in the Sierra Nevada, one of the state's key water sources, found the water content in the meager snowpack is just 12 percent of normal. Reservoirs are lower than they were at the same time in 1977, which is one of the two previous driest water years on record."

Comments: They are saying this could be an example of a "mega-drought" that continues for many years. 

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Israel finance minister: Peace talk failure costly:
My Way News reports: "Israel's finance minister has warned that the country could be targeted by an economically costly boycott if peace talks with the Palestinians fail, signaling that concerns about growing international isolation have moved center stage in Israel's public discourse. [...] European officials have recently warned that Israel could face deepening economic isolation if it presses forward with the construction of Jewish settlements. A small but growing number of European businesses and pension funds have begun to drop investments or limit trade recently with Israeli firms involved in West Bank settlements."

My Way News - Scarlett Johansson, Oxfam part ways over politics:
My Way News reports: "Scarlett Johansson has parted ways with the international charity Oxfam because of a dispute over her work for SodaStream, a company operating in a West Bank settlement that features the Hollywood star in an ad that will air during the Super Bowl. [...] The Palestinian-led movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Thursday welcomed the controversy surrounding Johansson, even though she decided to stay with SodaStream."

Comment:  Anti-Israel haters are starting to call for boycotts and divestment and one Hollywood star got caught in the crossfire. Good for her for standing by her Israel-based employer. 

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Persecution

My Way News - Blasphemy law used against minorities in Pakistan
My Way News reports: "Pakistan's blasphemy law is increasingly becoming a potent weapon in the arsenal of Muslim extremists. Although Pakistan has never executed anybody under the law, vigilantes frequently entrap and sometimes kill adherents of minority religions accused of blasphemy. [...] The Pakistani representative of RescueChristians, speaking on condition of anonymity for his personal safety, said several Christians are waiting for travel documents to secretly leave Pakistan, while others are in jail awaiting trial and targeted for death by militant groups."

Labels:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Palestinians say a gradual Israeli withdrawal OK
My Way News reports: "Palestinians can accept a limited Israeli presence in the West Bank for up to three years after a peace deal, but reject demands for a transition period of more than 10 years, their leader said in comments broadcast Tuesday."

Comment: I wonder how they would feel about a transition period of 7 years?

Labels: ,

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pestilence

My Way News - Scientists find ancient plague DNA in teeth
My Way News reports: "Scientists say two of the deadliest pandemics in history were caused by strains of the same plague and warn that new versions of the bacteria could spark future outbreaks. [...] The two plagues packed quite a punch. The Justinian Plague is thought to have wiped out half the globe as it spread across Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and Europe. And the Black Death killed about 50 million Europeans in just four years during the 14th century."

Labels:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Nations in Distress

My Way News - Violence mars third anniversary of Egypt uprising
My Way News reports: "The anniversary of Egypt's 2011 uprising brought a violent display of the country's furious divisions Saturday, as giant crowds danced at government-backed rallies and security forces crushed demonstrations by rival Islamists and some secular activists. Clashes nationwide killed at least 29 protesters, health officials said."

 My Way News - Kiev protesters attack building with police inside
My Way News reports: "New violence erupted in Ukraine's capital during the night as a large crowd attacked a government exposition and conference hall where police were stationed inside. Early Sunday, demonstrators were throwing firebombs into the Ukrainian House building and setting off fireworks, and police responded with tear gas."

Labels:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - EU envoy: Israel will pay price for settlements
My Way News reports: "A senior European official on Wednesday painted an alarming picture for Israel if Mideast peace efforts fail, saying the country could face deepening economic isolation if it presses forward with construction of Jewish settlements."

Comment: My perception is that the EU has always been a bit biased towards the Palestinians. They have bought into the Palestinian narrative of victimhood and no matter how many rockets they fire at Israel from Gaza the EU will look the other way, or find a way to blame Israel. I've often wondered if that bias suggests a latent antisemitism among the European political elite?

Labels:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Palestinians dismiss Israeli al-Qaida plot claim
My Way News reports: "Palestinian security officials on Thursday cast doubt on Israel's claim that it broke up an al-Qaida plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, alleging Israel concocted the story to bolster its position in peace talks."

Comment: They would say that, wouldn't they. I wonder if they would have cheered if the bomb went off? 

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rumors of War - Persia

My Way News - Iran sends warships to Atlantic
My Way News reports: "Two Iranian warships set sail Tuesday for the Atlantic Ocean on their navy's first-ever mission there, state TV reported. The voyage comes amid an ongoing push by Iran to demonstrate the ability to project power across the Middle East and beyond. [...] In 2012, Iran said it aims to put warships in international waters off the U.S. coast within the next few years, and extend its reach as far as Antarctica."

Comment: It's nice to see Iran demonstrate their peaceful intentions so clearly. This is certainly not an expansionist authoritarian country that anyone should be concerned about. 

Labels: ,

Pestilence

My Way News - Bird flu spikes in China ahead of Lunar New Year:
My Way News reports: "China has reported more than 50 H7N9 infections in 2014 after the strain jumped from birds to people for the first time last year. The virus remains hard to catch and most cases have been linked to contact with poultry, but scientists worry that could change if it mutates into a form that allows it to spread easily among people. [...] Both bird flus cause high fever and respiratory problems, including pneumonia and shortness of breath. Scientists have repeatedly warned that the viruses cannot be ignored because of their potential to possibly spark a global pandemic."

Comment: Mutation is the real worry because not only can it happen quickly, but it can produce a strain for which humans have no immunity and no immediate defense. It takes time for the medical community to analyze a new virus and produce a vaccine and in that span of time, many could die.

Labels:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Persecution

My Way News - Voters overwhelmingly back new Egypt constitution:
My Way News reports: "Almost everyone who cast ballots supported Egypt's new constitution in this week's referendum, results announced Saturday show, but a boycott by Islamists and low youth turnout suggest the country is still dangerously divided. [...] The constitution was drafted by a 50-member panel dominated by secular figures and appointed by the interim president. It limits the scope of Islamic law in the country's legislation, something Islamist groups enshrined in the 2012 constitution. It also ensures equality between women and men, and upholds the freedom of religion."

Comment: Well, there you go, that's very good news for Christians in Egypt. The only real concern now is reprisal attacks, as Christians were seen as major supporters of the new constitution and it's possible some disgruntled Islamists will seek to target Christians to express their anger at the outcome. It's also unclear how seriously the government will enforce freedom of religion in a land where so many follow a religion that does not play well with others.

Labels:

Friday, January 17, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Israeli PM slams settlement critics as hypocrites
My Way News reports: "Israelis and Palestinians began peace talks in July after years of stalemate and the Israeli government has come under heavy criticism for continuing its construction plans throughout talks. More than 500,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. [...] The Palestinians, and the international community, view the settlements as illegal or illegitimate. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently said the construction raises questions about Israel's commitment to peace."

Comment: Oh no, Israel is building in Israel, alert the media and let the outcry begin!  The Palestinians, the international community and John Kerry all seem to working under the false assumption that just because someone "claims" a piece of land they somehow have the authority to dictate how it may be used. The Palestinians can hope to get that land in final status talks, but until Israel gives them the land, it belongs to Israel and Israel is legally justified in doing with it as they will.

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Doomed Damascus & King of the North

My Way News - Russia says Iran essential for finding Syria peace
My Way News reports: "Iran will 'inevitably' become part of attempts to end Syria's civil war, Russia's foreign minister said Thursday, as Moscow strongly urged the West to invite Tehran to participate in next week's peace conference. [...] Russia has been the key supporter of Assad's regime throughout the nearly 3-year old war that has killed more than 120,000 people, shielding Syria from the U.N. sanctions and continuing to provide it with weapons."

Comment: Russia's influence in the region continues to grow. This should come as no surprise to students of Bible prophecy. 

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Persecution

My Way News - Egypt's Christian minority rally behind charter
My Way News reports: "Tensions, not new between Islamists and Christians, took a turn for the worse after the Islamists' rise to political prominence following the ouster of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Determined to institute Islamic laws in legislation and way of life, the Islamists have alienated Christians- and deepened suspicions that a more Islamic state would only aggravate Christians' longstanding complaint that they are treated as second-class citizens."

Comment: If the new constitution passes it will be good news for Egypt's embattled Christian minority. If it fails, there is a good chance the persecution will continue and possibly increase. 

Labels:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rumors of War - Persia

My Way News - Iranians welcome nuclear deal, hard-liners oppose
My Way News reports: "Iran's reformers and moderate conservatives welcomed an agreement Monday between Iran and six world powers on how to implement a nuclear deal struck in November, saying it will shore up Iran's sanctions-hit economy. [...] Under the deal, Iran has agreed to halt its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, a level just steps away from weapons-grade material, but will continue enrichment up to 5 percent. It also will convert half of its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium to oxide and dilute the remaining half to 5 percent. In exchange, no new sanctions will be imposed against Iran and the current sanctions would be eased for a period of six months as talks continue for a permanent deal."

Comment: Appeasement always works well for the country being appeased. 

Labels: ,

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Abbas says he won't make concessions on Jerusalem
My Way News reports: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sent a defiant message to Israel's leadership and U.S. mediators Saturday, telling cheering supporters that the Palestinians 'won't kneel' and won't drop demands for a capital in east Jerusalem. [...] He also suggested he would not continue negotiations beyond a U.S.-set target date of the end of April, and instead will resume his quest for broader international recognition of a state of Palestine by the United Nations and its various agencies."

Labels: ,

Friday, January 10, 2014

Persecution

My Way News - Nigerian villagers: 30 killed in sectarian attack
My Way News reports: "Gunmen shot and killed at least 30 people, burned down 40 homes and made off with scores of cattle from a mainly Christian village, survivors and a legislator said Tuesday as ongoing ethnic-religious conflict over land and water grips central Nigeria. [...] One survivor said the attackers struck after all the young men had gone to the farmlands, so those killed were mainly aged people, women and children."

Labels:

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Fearsome Events

My Way News - No deep freeze: Australia swelters in heat wave
My Way News reports: "Bats are dropping from trees, kangaroos are collapsing in the Outback and gardens are turning brown. While North America freezes under record polar temperatures, the southern hemisphere is experiencing the opposite extreme as heat records are being set in Australia after the hottest year ever."

Labels: ,

Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Al-Qaida-linked group ramps up regional violence
My Way News reports: "Al-Qaida is positioning itself as a vanguard defending the Sunni community against what it sees as persecution by Shiite-dominated governments across Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. As a result, a Syrian rebellion whose aim was the removal of President Bashar Assad is evolving into something both bigger and more ambiguous: a fight increasingly led by Sunni jihadis - often foreign and animated mainly by hatred of Shiites - who are determined to create an Islamic state."

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Signs in the Sun

My Way News - Misbehaving sun delays space station supply flight
My Way News reports: "The solar flare peaked Tuesday afternoon and more activity was expected, but the company determined that the space weather was within acceptable risk levels. The sun is at the peak of a weak 11-year storm cycle. Although the solar storm barely rated moderate, some passenger jets were being diverted from the poles to avoid potential communication and health issues. GPS devices also were at risk."

My Way News - Northern lights may expand south next couple days
My Way News reports: "Federal space weather forecaster Joe Kunches said the sun shot out a strong solar flare late Tuesday, which should arrive at Earth early Thursday. It should shake up Earth's magnetic field and expand the Aurora Borealis south, possibly as far south as Colorado and central Illinois. He said best viewing would probably be Thursday evening, weather permitting."

Labels:

Monday, January 06, 2014

Persecution

My Way News - Security tight as Egypt Christians mark Christmas
My Way News reports: "The stepped up security was in response to fears that Islamic militants loyal to ousted President Mohammed Morsi would target churches. [...] A wave of attacks blamed on Islamists in August left dozens of churches destroyed, burned or looted. Christian homes and businesses were also targeted."

Labels:

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Covenant with Many

My Way News - Kerry: Mideast peace still possible despite rifts
My Way News reports: "Kerry arrived in Israel to broker negotiations that are entering a difficult phase aimed at creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel. He had dinner with Netanyahu and planned to be in the West Bank on Friday to talk with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Kerry is asking both leaders to make tough, highly charged political decisions in hopes of narrowing differences on a framework that will outline a final peace pact."

Labels: ,