Monday, March 31, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - US mediators try to rescue Mideast peace talks
My Way News reports: "American mediators held urgent contacts with Israeli and Palestinian officials Sunday in hopes of salvaging troubled Mideast peace talks - searching for a formula to bring the sides back together and extend the negotiations beyond a current late-April deadline."

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Famine

My Way News - UN panel: Warming worsens food, hunger problems:
My Way News reports: "A warmer world will push food prices higher, trigger 'hotspots of hunger'  among the world's poorest people, and put the crunch on Western delights like fine wine and robust coffee, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded in a 32-volume report issued Monday."

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Quakes

My Way News - Magnitude-4.8 earthquake shakes Yellowstone park
My Way News reports: "The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-4.8 earthquake that shook northern Yellowstone National Park is the strongest there since 1980. But the Sunday quake was still considered relatively light, and its location didn't raise concerns about the park's supervolcano, which experts say has the potential to erupt with a force about 2,000 times the size of Mount St. Helens and would have worldwide effects."

My Way News - 7.5 quake on California fault could be disastrous
My Way News reports: "The Puente Hills thrust fault, which brought Friday night's magnitude-5.1 quake centered in La Habra and well over 100 aftershocks by Sunday, stretches from northern Orange County under downtown Los Angeles into Hollywood - a heavily populated swath of the Los Angeles area. A magnitude-7.5 earthquake along that fault could prove more catastrophic than one along the San Andreas, which runs along the outskirts of metropolitan Southern California, seismologists said."

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Global Community

My Way News - Facebook launches lab to bring Internet everywhere
My Way News reports: "Facebook is giving more details about its effort to connect remote parts of the world to the Internet - and it involves drones, lasers and satellites. [...] The lab's goal is to bolster Internet.org, the Facebook-led project that aims to connect the more than 70 percent of the world's 7 billion people who are not yet online."

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Rumors of War - King of the North

My Way News - Crimea goes east, Ukraine goes west in 2 new deals
My Way News reports: "Two almost simultaneous signatures Friday on opposite sides of Europe deepened the divide between East and West, as Russia formally annexed Crimea and the European Union pulled Ukraine closer into its orbit."

Comment: So Russia is expanding and maybe also the EU. Interesting. 

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rumors of War - Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Israeli airstrikes escalate tensions with Syria
My Way News reports: "Israeli warplanes unleashed a series of airstrikes on Syrian military posts early Wednesday, killing one soldier and wounding seven in one of the most serious clashes between the countries in the past four decades. The airstrikes came in retaliation for a roadside bombing a day earlier in the Golan Heights that wounded four Israeli soldiers on patrol along the tense frontier with Syria."

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Signs in the Stars

My Way News - Big asteroid will eclipse bright star early Thurs.
My Way News reports: "In the wee hours of Thursday, a 45-mile-wide asteroid will eclipse the brightest star in the Constellation Leo. The asteroid is 163 Erigone in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The star briefly disappearing will be Regulus. [...] Weather permitting, the eclipse should be visible with the naked eye from New York City and elsewhere along a populated swath in the U.S. Northeast and eastern Canada."

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Rumors of War - King of the North

My Way News - Ukraine bows to Crimea seizure, plans for pullout
My Way News reports: "Surrendering to Russia's inexorable seizure of Crimea, Ukraine announced plans Wednesday for mass troop withdrawals from the strategic peninsula as Moscow-loyal forces seized control of Kiev's naval headquarters here and detained its commander. Attempting to face down the unblinking incursion, Ukraine said it would hold joint military exercises with the United States and Britain."

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rumors of War - King of the North

My Way News - Putin signs treaty to add Crimea to map of Russia
My Way News reports: "In a gilded Kremlin hall used by czars, Vladimir Putin redrew Russia's borders Tuesday by declaring the Crimean Peninsula part of the motherland - provoking a surge of emotion among Russians who lament the loss of empire and denunciations from Western leaders who called Putin a threat to the world."

Comment: The deed is done. Vlad, the czar of the new Russia, has won an important victory of both style and substance. The trend-line is clear, Russia is expanding again.

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Rumors of War - Security of Jerusalem - Doomed Damascus

My Way News - Bombing hits Israeli military patrol near Syria
My Way News reports: "A roadside bomb hit an Israeli patrol near the frontier with the Golan Heights on Tuesday, the army said, wounding four soldiers in the most serious violence to strike the area since the Syrian conflict began three years ago. Israel said it responded with artillery strikes on Syrian army targets. [...] Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed the strategic area in a move that was not internationally recognized."

Comment: Or, you could say Israel won the Golan territory in war and now owns it. War is historically how countries settle questions of the ownership of territory. The territory is in dispute before the war...not after (for example, China, and all those islands that are currently in dispute in the South China Sea, a region many expect to be a flashpoint for war...to answer the question of who controls the islands). That's the point of fighting over territory. This rule applies almost everywhere for every country...except Israel. Somehow the laws of history are turned upside down in the unreality field surrounding Israel as her enemies press their cause after losing.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Rumors of War - King of the North

My Way News - Crimea declares independence; West hits back
My Way News reports: "Crimea's declaration of independence Monday from Ukraine triggered the toughest Western sanctions against Russia since the Cold War - with Washington and the European Union retaliating with asset freezes and travel bans and U.S. President Barack Obama vowing to 'increase the cost' if the Kremlin does not back down."

My Way News - East vs West Ukraine conflict not a new Cold War
My Way News reports: "U.S. brands including McDonald's and Pepsi have a big presence in Russia, and the European Union does far more trade with the country than the U.S. The Europeans are less eager than Washington to take punitive economic measures, in part because European companies from German engineering firm Siemens to British oil giant BP have major Russian investments. And Russia supplies almost a third of Europe's natural gas."

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Earthquakes

My Way News - Earthquake strongly felt across Los Angeles
My Way News reports: "A pre-dawn earthquake rolled across the Los Angeles basin on Monday, rattling nerves and shaking buildings along a 150-mile swath of Southern California but causing no major damage. The 4.4-magnitude quake was centered 2 miles from Encino and 15 miles west-northwest of the downtown civic center, according to the U.S. Geological Survey."

My Way News - No tsunami threat detected from large Chile quakes
My Way News reports: "The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says it does not see a threat of powerful waves along the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska or Hawaii due to a powerful earthquake off South America. Two earthquakes struck off Chile's Pacific coast Sunday afternoon, with the U.S. Geological Survey reporting the first, larger one at preliminary magnitude of 7.0."

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Rumors of War - King of the North

My Way News - Ukraine says Russian forces move outside Crimea
My Way News reports: "Russian forces backed by helicopter gunships and armored vehicles Saturday took control of a village near the border with Crimea on the eve of a referendum on whether the region should seek annexation by Moscow, Ukrainian officials said. The action in Strilkove appeared to be the first move outside Crimea, where Russian forces have been in effective control since late last month. There were no reports of gunfire or injuries."

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Jerusalem Security

My Way News - Israel: Gaza militants fire 1 rocket at Israel
My Way News reports: "The Israeli military says Gaza militants have fired one rocket at Israel after two days of intense exchanges. The military says the rocket exploded in southern Israel on Friday morning but caused no damage or injuries. It says Gaza militants have fired 70 rockets at Israel since Wednesday. [...] The latest barrage from Gaza was the heaviest since an eight-day Israeli military offensive in 2012 tried to end almost daily rocket attacks. "

Comment: Another touching gesture for peace. The Palestinians are so peace-loving, they really want peace, you can see it in almost everything they do. 

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Rumors of War - King of the North

My Way News - After Crimea, wary Eastern Europe asks: who's next
My Way News reports: "Broken promises of help from the West. A tragic history of Russian invasion that goes back centuries. A painful awareness that conflicts in this volatile region are contagious. These are the factors that make nations across Eastern Europe watch events in Ukraine - and tremble. From leaders to ordinary people, there is a palpable sense of fear that Russia, seemingly able to thumb its nose at Western powers at will, may seek more opportunities for incursions in its former imperial backyard. The question many people are asking is: Who's next?"

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Rumors of War - King of the North

My Way News - Russian troops engage in war games near Ukraine
My Way News reports: "Russia conducted new military maneuvers near its border with Ukraine on Thursday, and President Vladimir Putin said the world shouldn't blame his country for what he called Ukraine's 'internal crisis.' In Crimea, where the public will vote on Sunday whether to break away from Ukraine and become part of Russia, jittery residents lined up at their banks to withdraw cash from their accounts amid uncertainty over the future of the peninsula, which Russian troops now control."

Comment: War games, oh, ok, it's all just a game, what a relief!  I think the reality is simply that Crimea is now part of Russia. The real question is how much more of Ukraine will become part of Russia before this is over?

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rumors of War - Kings of the East

My Way News - Philippines protests China stopping troop resupply
My Way News reports: "The Chinese coast guard prevented delivery of supplies to Filipino soldiers guarding a disputed shoal in the South China Sea and an envoy rejected a Philippine protest over the interference, officials said Tuesday. [...] China claims virtually the entire South China Sea. Nansha is the Chinese name for the Spratlys, a chain of resource-rich islands, islets and reefs claimed partly or wholly by China, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam."

Comment: For the first time in many years, the potential for armed conflict between great powers seems to be rising in all parts of the world. 

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Friday, March 07, 2014

Gog Alliance

My Way News - Putin uses carrot and stick to dominate neighbors
My Way News reports: "As a counterweight to the European Union, Russia's Vladimir Putin is pursuing an ambitious dream rooted in memories of Soviet glory: The Eurasian Union. It's a strategy to pull former Soviet satellite states back into Moscow's orbit through a combination of incentives and threats. And embattled Ukraine, a huge country of 46 million people, has lain at the center of the game plan. Putin has put the Eurasian Union at the top of his presidential agenda, voicing hope that the new grouping could become a major economic powerhouse on par with the EU. He has sought to lure ex-Soviet nations with cheap energy and loans, while also expanding his military presence in these countries whenever he can."

Comment: Ezekiel 38:2-9 suggests that Putin may well succeed in putting together his own personal alliance. He will have to find a better name though, EU is already taken.

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Thursday, March 06, 2014

Rumors of War - King of the North

My Way News - US announces visa restrictions on some Russians
My Way News reports: "The Obama administration slapped new visa restrictions Thursday on pro-Russian opponents of the new Ukraine government in Kiev and cleared the way for financial sanctions as the West began punishing Moscow for its occupation of Ukraine's Crimea region. [...] Local government officials in Crimea are now seeking to separate from Ukraine and on Thursday set a March 16 date for a referendum vote on whether the region should become part of Russia."

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Famine

My Way News - More than 300,000 face famine in Mozambique
My Way News reports: "Mozambique agriculture minister Jose Pacheco says that more than 300,000 people in the southern African state face famine this year. Speaking on state radio on Sunday, Pacheco said the famine, which affects mainly the central and southern regions of Mozambique, has been caused by various factors, including drought, flooding and insect plagues."

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Rumors of War - Kings of the East

My Way News - China vows tough reforms, stronger defense
My Way News reports: "China announced a 12.2 percent increase in military spending to $132 billion. That followed last year's 10.7 percent increase to $114 billion, giving China the second-highest defense budget for any nation behind the United States, which spent $600.4 billion on its military last year. Increases in China's military budget have regularly exceeded both total increases in government spending and the nation's rate of economic growth. That has allowed lavish spending on new hardware and better conditions for soldiers, raising concerns about how China intends to use its new-found power amid a rise in tensions with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea."

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Security of Jersualem - Rumors of War

My Way News - Israeli naval raid nabs rocket shipment
My Way News reports: "Israeli naval forces on Wednesday seized a ship laden with rockets allegedly bound for militants in the Gaza Strip, and officials accused Iran of orchestrating the delivery in an elaborate 5,000-mile (8,000-kilometer) journey that included covert stops across the region. The Syrian-made M-302 rockets would have put Israel's biggest cities well within range of Gaza, where militants already possess thousands of less powerful rockets."

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Global Community

My Way News - Reports: Facebook looks to buy solar drone company
My Way news reports: "If Facebook does buy Titan Aerospace, the purchase could fit with the goals of CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Internet.org project. The Facebook-led partnership, which includes Qualcomm Inc., Samsung and Nokia, was launched last summer and aims to connect the more than 5 billion of the world's 7 billion people who are not already online. Presumably, Internet.org could use Titan's solar-powered atmospheric satellites to serve as airborne wireless access points. Google Inc. [...] launched a similar undertaking earlier this year with the goal of getting everyone on Earth online. Called Project Loon, the effort launched Internet-beaming antennas aloft on giant helium balloons."

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Rumors of War - King of the North

My Way News - Putin talks tough but cools tensions over Ukraine
My Way News reports: "Stepping back from the brink of war, Vladimir Putin talked tough but cooled tensions in the Ukraine crisis Tuesday, saying Russia has no intention 'to fight the Ukrainian people' but reserves the right to use force. As the Russian president held court in his personal residence, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Kiev's fledgling government and urged Putin to stand down."

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Pestilence

My Way News - Giant virus revived after more than 30,000 years
My Way News reports: "The researchers said their finding suggests that dangerous germs might emerge in the future as permafrost thaws because of global warming or mineral exploration. They said sampling permafrost to look for ancient viruses that infect amoebas is an inexpensive and safe way to assess that potential threat."

Comment: So they thaw out some really old permafrost and the germs just spring to life and the scientists gently suggest that dangerous germs might emerge in a future defined by global warming? I suppose they don't want to scare people, but I think we all get the point that we would have no natural immunity to ancient germs and therefore this could be a big deal.

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Monday, March 03, 2014

Persecution

My Way News - North Korea deports Australian missionary
My Way News reports: "North Korea on Monday deported an Australian missionary detained for spreading Christianity in the country, saying he apologized for his anti-state religious acts and requested forgiveness. [...] Defectors from the country have said that the distribution of Bibles and secret prayer services can mean banishment to a labor camp or execution."

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Rumors of War - King of the North

My Way News - Russia sets Ukraine agenda with diplomacy, threats
My Way News reports: "Russian troops said to be 16,000 strong tightened their stranglehold on Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula Monday, openly defying the U.S. and the European Union and rattling world capitals and stock markets. The West struggled to find a way to get Russia to back down, but with little beyond already threatened diplomatic and economic sanctions, global markets fell sharply over the prospect of violent upheaval in the heart of Europe."

Comment: The Russian occupation of Crimea is a done deal. The only real question now is, will they also take eastern Ukraine? However it ends, it's likely to leave Russia in a far stronger position and the preeminent leader of an anti-Western faction that includes China, North Korea (as Kings of the East) and Iran (Persia). It's an axis of malcontents and rebels whose hand seems destined to grow stronger.

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