Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Rumors of War - Kings of the East

Report: North Korea assembling rail-based missile launchers - UPI.com
UPI reports: "North Korea is constructing a mobile long-range missile launcher that can be transported on rail tracks, according to multiple sources in North Korea. The new system is being assembled at North Korea's June 4 vehicle factory and production began in 2016, Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday."

Kim Jong Un cracking down on elites after diplomat's defection - UPI.com
UPI reports: "A group of North Korean dissidents said Wednesday that under Kim Jong Un, North Korea's elite class is losing their privileges, a revelation that provides some insight into the defection of Pyongyang diplomat Thae Yong Ho."

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

War

Reports: Islamic State spokesman killed in Syria - UPI.com
UPI reports: "A senior Islamic State leader who had a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head has been killed in fighting in Syria, the Amaq News Agency reported Tuesday. Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, who also acted as the group's spokesman, was killed in the northern city of Aleppo, which had been an insurgent stronghold for months before government forces and other rebels retook control recently."

Comment: It looks like the war is going well, right? Eliminating a senior Islamic State leader is a major achievement. I mean, what are the chances that they have another jihadi waiting to take his place?  I feel like telling the media, don't bother me until they take back Raqqa.

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Signs in the Stars

Scientists point telescopes at 'strong signal' from HD 164595 - UPI.com
UPI reports: "Astronomers are turning their telescopes to a very strong signal coming from a star about 94 light years away in the constellation Hercules. Scientists with the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) are following up on a signal recently detected by a Russian telescope at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains. The signal was coming from a star named HD 164595. Researchers are trying to identify the signal's origin. [...] Scientists don't know yet what made the signal the Russians detected, but theories about the star system 94 light years away are already being formed."

Comment: If this signal was so impressive, why didn't they report it last year when they found it? 

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Rumors of War - Kings of the East

U.N. Security Council condemns North Korea missile test - UPI.com
UPI reports: "The United Nations Security Council strongly condemned a ballistic missile launch by North Korea this week, saying it is a violation of an international ban on long-range missile testing. A statement approved by all 15 members of the security council called North Korea's actions a 'grave violation' and a 'flagrant violation' of security council resolutions calling on North Korea to halt their intercontinental ballistic missile system."

Comment: Looks like they are hitting North Korea with their arsenal of strong words, no damage reports yet, but I'm sure the North is chastened. 

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Rumors of War - King of the North

Russia investing heavily in new ships, naval bases 'to project its power' - UPI.com
UPI reports: "Since October 2015 the Russian Navy has been conducting combat operations against the Islamic State militants in Syria. Today the fight against terrorism is becoming one of the navy's priorities and unprecedented funds are being invested in the construction of new ships, bases and infrastructure. But the story is not just about Syria. Moscow has been aware for some time of the need to modernize its aging fleet, which was allowed to fall into stagnation in the two decades following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. [...] new aircraft carriers and helicopter carriers will help Moscow project its power, like Washington, in any place on Earth."

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Covenant With Many

Russia's Vladimir Putin offers peace talks for Israel, Palestinians - UPI.com
UPI reports: "Russian President Vladimir Putin is offering to host peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in his latest effort to become the Middle East's top power broker. Following Putin's recent meeting with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Putin posed the idea first to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and talked with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the phone Monday."

Comment: It will be interesting to see how this develops. It's difficult to play an impartial broker in the Middle East. Maybe they will trust Russia?  

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Rumors of War - King of the North

Russia starts drills near Ukraine amid Crimea tensions - UPI.com
UPI reports: "Amid political tension between Russia and Ukraine, Moscow is making certain its armed forces are ready to fight, if necessary. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered his military to conduct practice drills on the country's western edge, near Ukraine and the embattled Crimean Peninsula, to test troops' readiness. [....] Some critics dismiss the drills as more saber-rattling by Putin in the face of escalating tensions over Crimea, which Moscow annexed two years ago."

Comment: One the one hand, you could say this is nothing unusual. Most great powers conduct military drills on a regular basis, it's standard operating procedure. But on the other hand, Ukraine is a flashpoint, a place where accident, miscalculation and or hubris could instantly spark a wider conflict.  

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Earthquakes

6.8-magnitude earthquake in central Myanmar, kills at least 3 - UPI.com:
UPI reports: "A 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook Chauk, Myanmar, on Wednesday afternoon, killing at least three people. The city, with a population of about 180,000, is near the ancient capital of Bagan, near the center of the country formerly known as Burma. The epicenter of the quake was 15 miles west of Chauk at a depth of about 52 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey reported Wednesday. The earthquake hit at 4:34 p.m. in the Southeast Asian nation. The quake was felt several hundred miles away in Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Laos and China."

Italy earthquake death toll rises to 247: regional officials | Reuters
Reuters reports: "The number of people killed in the earthquake that devastated parts of central Italy on Wednesday rose to 247 on Thursday morning, regional and national officials said. The Civil Protection department in Rome said a tally by local officials showed that 190 people were killed Rieti province and 57 in the province of Ascoli Piceno."

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Rumors of War - Kings of the East

Kim Jong Un hails North Korea launch as 'success' - UPI.com
UPI reports: "North Korea's Kim Jong Un hailed the Wednesday test-launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile 'the success of all successes' as the United Nations Security Council called for an urgent meeting in response to the provocation. The SLBM, which traveled more than 300 miles and entered Japan's air identification zone early Wednesday, is a victory for Pyongyang, Kim said according to KCNA. [...] The United States and Japan are reportedly in discussions on a response that would hold Pyongyang accountable for the provocation, South Korean news network JTBC reported."

Comment: Another month, another missile test from North Korea. If they keep this up, they're bound to get pretty good at this missile launching thing. After all, it's not rocket science. Oh wait...

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Earthquakes

6.2 earthquake shakes Rome and central Italy - UPI.com
UPI reports: "A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has shaken Rome and central Italy, destroying some buildings and trapping people under rubble, officials said early Thursday. The quake struck at 3:36 a.m. with the epicenter 47 miles from the city of Perugia, at a depth of just six miles, according to the USGS. No casualties have been reported, however, the USGS expects there could be many, given conditions."

Comment: That's a pretty big quake, glad there have been no casualties. 

UpdateAt least 6 dead in 6.2 Italy quake - UPI.com: At least six people have been reportedly killed after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake has shaken Rome and central Italy, destroying some buildings and trapping people under rubble, officials said early Thursday.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Covenant With Many

VOA - Poll Shows Most Israelis, Palestinians Still Seek Peace
The Voice of America reports: "A new poll of Israelis and Palestinians released on Monday found that a slim majority on both sides still favor a peace settlement establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel, despite years of conflict and deadlock in negotiations. The results of the joint poll may provide some small signs of encouragement when peace prospects appear bleak. The last round of negotiations broke down two years ago, and a resumption of talks, much less progress between the sides, at this point seems unlikely."

Comment: It does not seem that a peace agreement is high on the international agenda. I credit the Islamic State with taking over as the #1 Mideast agenda item. There is also a perception that the Palestinians have rejected several well-crafted Mideast peace efforts over the years and nothing better is on offer. 

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Gog Alliance - King of the North - Persia

Russian use of Iranian airbase to fight Islamic State ends - UPI.com
UPI reports: "The Russian use of an Iranian airbase to launch airstrikes on targets in Syria has ended, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday. Use of the airbase near Hamedan, Iran, began a week ago, but the mission is complete, spokesman Bharam Ghasemi noted. He said Russia could seek Iranian consent to use the airbase again, but that no Russian troops were stationed within Iran, except for the airbase. [...] The use of the airbase was seen as strengthening military ties between Russia and Iran, which are both allied with the Assad government."

Comment: It looks like the alliance between Russia and Iran may not be the full alliance we thought, more of a convenience or a concession. I think pending weapons sales may have had more to do with it than a true commitment to a formal alliance.  Time will tell.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Gog Alliance - Kings of the East

Russian defense official Komoedov proposes non-NATO anti-terror coalition: Russia, China, Iran, India - UPI.com
UPI reports: "The chairman of the Russian Duma's defense committee said this week the time has come for Russia, China, India and Iran to form an anti-terrorism coalition that is not aligned with the 'aggressive' NATO. Speaking to journalists in Moscow on Friday, Adm. Vladimir Komoedov said the four nations working together could defeat the Islamic State in a year. [...] Komoedov said the four countries he mentioned have common interests in the Middle East, as well as an understanding that 'peace and security in the Middle East is needed.'"

Comment: This is a interesting development. For the moment, it appears to be merely aspirational, but it's worth keeping an eye on. 

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Rumors of War - Kings of the East

China carries out ‘routine’ naval drills in Sea of Japan - UPI.com
UPI reports: "The Chinese navy carried out drills in the Sea of Japan, days after Japan's coast guard released a video of Chinese vessels near disputed islands. The state-owned People's Liberation Army Daily reported the exercises took place in a 'certain area of the Sea of Japan' but did not give a specific location, according to The Japan Times. [...] A handful of the vessels were returning from RIMPAC, the U.S.-hosted Rim of the Pacific exercise that took place in Hawaii. The drills come after an event on Aug. 1, when the Chinese navy performed live-fire exercises in the East China Sea."

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Pestilence

AP - Officials: Zika found in South Beach; spraying not practical
The AP reports: "South Beach has been identified as a second site of Zika transmission by mosquitoes on the U.S. mainland, and containing it there will be difficult because high-rise buildings and strong winds make it impractical to spray the neighborhood from the air, officials said Friday. Five cases of Zika have been connected to mosquitoes in Miami Beach, bringing the state's caseload to 36 infections not related to travel outside the U.S., Florida's governor and health department announced Friday. The discovery prompted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to announce that it was expanding its travel warning for pregnant women to include an area in Miami Beach known for nightclubs, pedestrian thoroughfares and beaches."

Comment: They made such a big deal about Zika and the Olympics, isn't it ironic that it seems more of an issue now in Florida?

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rumors of War - Kings of the North

Seoul conducts massive military drill as North Korea condemns U.S. bombers - UPI.com UPI reports: "South Korea conducted a massive artillery drill near the demilitarized zone in a bid to warn the North against any future provocations as Pyongyang slammed the United States for deploying stealth bombers to Guam. [...] South Korea deployed 300 pieces of artillery from 49 artillery battalions. K-9, K-55 self-propelled howitzers participated in the exercises, according to Seoul's defense ministry."

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pestilence

Fears of global yellow fever outbreak spur vaccination effort - UPI.com
UPI reports: "An outbreak of yellow fever in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo has grown so significant in recent months that international officials are now moving to vaccinate large numbers of people to stem the spread of the disease. [...] More than 400 people have died and thousands more have been sickened since the start of the outbreak, which has led officials to ramp up a vaccination campaign much faster than would normally be done."

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Gog Alliance - Persia - War

Behind Russia-Iran cooperation over Syria, a larger goal - CSMonitor.com
The Christian Science Monitor reports: "Russian strategic bombers launched from Iran struck rebel positions in Syria on Wednesday, in a second day of attacks that multiply Russian firepower in the Middle East and underscore unprecedented military cooperation between the Islamic Republic and a foreign power. [...] the high-profile move allows both nations to ease their isolation, imposed by the US and the West, while spreading their regional influence through the use of hard power. [...] while both sides have downplayed any greater regional ambitions, others see a larger strategy at play. 'There could be more, and the possibility of spreading the Russian air campaign to Iraq,' says Felgenhauer. 'The thing is not about Syria per se. Syria is important, but there is more: Russia wants to spread its influence over the entire region, have bases all over, push the Americans out and become the dominant power in the region.'"

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Gog Alliance

Russian bombers launch airstrikes in Syria from Iranian airbase - UPI.com
UPI reports: "Russia is using an Iranian airbase for the first time to attack targets in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday. It said in a statement its Tu-22M3 and Su-34 bombers took off from Iran's Hamadan air base to bomb the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front -- which now calls itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. The airstrikes targeted ammunition dumps, training camps, command posts and "numerous militants" in Syria before returning. [...] The announcement to expand the air war came after Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed anti-terrorism matters with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani when they met last week in Azerbaijan. Russia and Iran each are backing Assad's Syrian army."

Comment: This is a significant development that displays unprecedented military cooperation between Russia and Iran, now joined in common cause against the Islamic State in Syria. Operational links are being forged between the two countries that make future cooperation (Ezekiel 38:2-9) against other countries much easier to imagine now than in times past. 

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Earthquakes

5.4-magnitude earthquake in Peru kills at least 9, injures 40 - UPI.com
UPI reports: "At least nine people have died and 40 have been injured in southern Peru after a magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck near the town of Chivay. One of the victims was a U.S. citizen. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 6.2 miles at about 10 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Emergency aid, including mobile shelters, has been deployed to affected areas."

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Fearsome Events

At least two dead, one missing in 'unprecedented' flooding in Louisiana, Mississippi - UPI.com
UPI reports: "At least two people are dead and one person remains missing as heavy rains in Louisiana and Mississippi continue to cause floods that Louisiana Gov. Bel Edwards called 'unprecedented.' [...] Officials have no frame of reference for how bad the flooding could get because Edwards said there is no similar weather event to compare it to."

Comment: Does it seem like record-breaking weather events are becoming more common? 

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Friday, August 12, 2016

War

U.S. airstrike killed Islamic State leader in Afghanistan, Pentagon says - UPI.com
UPI reports: "The top leader for the Islamic State's Afghanistan branch was killed by U.S. forces in a strike last month, the U.S. Department of Defense said Friday. Hafiz Sayed Khan was killed in the July 26 airstrike, the Pentagon announced, in the nation's southern Nangarhar province. Officials said U.S. and Afghan special forces carried out the operation."

Comment: I'd like to say that it's nice to have some good news to report on the war in Afghanistan. I suspect that the Islamic State will have little difficulty replacing Khan. The real good news is in between the lines of this report. If it's true that U.S. and Afghan special forces carried about the operation together and the Afghan forces were true partners in the effort and not merely training or observing, then that is indeed good news.

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Nations in Distress

11 bombings in Thai resort town kill four people - UPI.com
UPI reports: "At least four people died in Thailand after 11 bombings rocked five different provinces, authorities said Friday. The bombings began on Thursday about a half hour apart in the southern coastal resort town of Hua Hin. Officials said it appeared the bombs were hidden in two plant pots about 150 feet apart and detonated by cellphone. At least eight more bombings took place on Friday morning. [...] No terror group initially claimed responsibility for the attack."

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Earthquakes

7.2 earthquake off Fiji spurs tsunami warning - UPI.com
UPI reports: "A large 7.2 magnitude earthquake has struck off the Pacific island nations of Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanautu, authorities said Friday. The quake was centered about 330 miles off Vanautu, the US Geological Survey said, prompting a tsunami warning for New Caledonia, Vanautu and Fiji from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre. The warning was eventually canceled and there are no reports of casualties or damage."

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Mark of the Beast

MIT created a temporary tattoo that can control your connected devices - TNW
The Next Web reports: "In the future, your tattoos could be as functional as they are expressive. MIT, in partnership with Microsoft, created a new touch interface, DuoSkin, that allows temporary tattoos to interact with smartphones or computers, display output based on body temperature changes and even transmit data using NFC."

Comment: It's been a while since I've come across an interesting Mark-related news report. This high tech tattoo looks like a way of combining the cool factor of tattoos (so popular these days) with the functionality of a tech interface. A word of caution, I'm not saying this is the MOTB, it's just some interesting tech to keep an eye on.  I always like to emphasize that because I'm aware that past generations went a bit nuts in tagging emerging tech as the MOTB. I think all we can really do is watch tech trends and see where things are going.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rumors of War - King of the North

Ukraine's president orders military on high alert following Putin comments - UPI.com
UPI reports: "Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday ordered all military units near the border of Russian-annexed Crimea to be placed on the highest alert of combat preparedness. [...] Poroshenko's move comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday accused the Ukrainian military of launching attacks into Crimea, attacks that he said killed two Russian service members, as part of repeated efforts to reclaim the peninsula. Poroshenko on Wednesday dismissed Putin's allegations as provocations."

Comment: It's hard to tell what's real in all of this bluster and posturing...just keeping an eye on it.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Persecution

State Department criticizes blasphemy laws in Muslim nations - The Washington Post
The Washington Post reports: "Anti-blasphemy beliefs and laws have led to the imprisonment and death of religious minorities and women, particularly in Muslim countries, the State Department said Wednesday. In its annual religious freedom report, the State Department singled out Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan and Mauritania as being among the countries where deviating from the religious norm carries harsh penalties. [...] In March, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is committing genocide against religious minorities, specifically Yazidis, Shiite Muslims and Christians."

Comment: Please join me in praying for those suffering persecution. 

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Gog Alliance - King of the North

Putin mends broken relations with Turkey's Erdogan - BBC News
BBC News reports: "The leaders of Russia and Turkey have patched up a damaging quarrel, pledging to restore close economic relations. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russian trade sanctions on Turkey would be phased out 'step by step'. [...]
Speaking in St Petersburg Mr Erdogan thanked Mr Putin, saying a call from the Russian leader after the coup 'meant a lot psychologically'. He said 'the Moscow-Ankara friendship axis will be restored'. [...] The dispute put two major joint energy projects on hold - the TurkStream gas pipeline across the Black Sea and the Akkuyu nuclear plant being built by Russia's Rosatom in Turkey. In St Petersburg both leaders pledged to restart those projects."

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Pestilence

First Zika-related death confirmed in Texas - UPI.com
UPI reports: "The first death related to the Zika virus in Texas -- a newborn girl -- and the second in the United States was confirmed Tuesday by Houston-area officials. The baby's mother traveled to Latin America during her pregnancy, where it is believed she became infected, the Harris County health department announced in a release."

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Monday, August 08, 2016

King of the North - Gog Alliance

Turkish and Russian presidents meeting makes the West nervous - UPI.com
UPI reports: "Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet in St. Petersburg, Russia on Tuesday in Erdogan's first trip abroad since the failed coup in July. The leaders are expected to discuss Syria and other subjects in a highly symbolic meeting that will likely make western governments nervous, because it's a U-turn for two governments who were insulting each other just two months ago. Turkish relations with the U.S. and European Union countries have suffered in that time as well."

Comment: Even though this has been a long-time coming, it still feels kind of sudden to me. It's amazing to watch Turkey accelerating towards its prophetic destiny.

Rumors of War - Kings of the East

Commentary: Here’s how a U.S.-China war could play out | Reuters
Reuters reports: "For all the focus on terrorism, one of the most striking features of the last decade is that the risk of war between the world’s major countries has returned. For the first time since the fall of the Berlin wall, military thinkers in the United States, Europe and Asia are putting serious thought into what such a conflict might look like. For a world with no shortage of nuclear weapons, that’s alarming. [...] The report stresses that while premeditated war between Washington and Beijing 'is very unlikely,' the mishandling of disputes like the multiple territorial confrontations between China and U.S. allies such as Japan and the Philippines are a 'danger' that 'cannot be ignored.'"

Comment: Nice to see this flashpoint getting the attention it deserves.  I've been worried that the American public are not prepared psychologically for a conflict in the Asia. I think there is a certain war-fatigue going on after ten years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, people are tired, and by people I mean the military community, including the families of service-members. The public at large sometimes seems oblivious and yet we know that historically the support of the public is vital in any military engagement. It's a difficult balancing act for any government to prepare the public for a conflict that may seem likely while at the same time, not appearing to hype or promote that conflict. There's a danger that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Still, given the number of alliance commitments the U.S. has in the region and how they all seems to be entangled in one way or another with those contested South China Sea islands or with the Korean War (never resolved), the danger of a near-term conflict in Asia is very high.

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Friday, August 05, 2016

Global Community

Rio kicks off Games with ode to forests, favelas and funk - Reuters
Reuters reports: "Brazil unfurled a vast canvas celebrating its rainforest and the creative energy of its wildly diverse population to the tune of samba, bossa nova and funk in welcoming the world on Friday to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro."

Comment: This will be my only post about the Rio Olympic Games (unless something terrible happens), I'm noting it in the context of a global news event that millions of people watch together in real-time (Rev. 11:9-12) thanks to the wonders of modern technology.

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Thursday, August 04, 2016

Persecution

Christian church leader jailed in Chinese human rights crackdown - The Guardian
The Guardian reports: "A prominent Christian church leader has become the latest to be jailed by Chinese courts during a week of activist trials and public confessions that have shocked international observers. Hu Shigen, a leader of an underground church movement, was found guilty of subversion, sentenced to seven years and six months’ imprisonment and derived of political rights for five years."

Comment: Please join me in praying for Hu Shigen and the rest of the underground church in China. 

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Rumors of War - Kings of the East

'Give them a bloody nose': Xi pressed for stronger South China Sea response - Reuters Reuters reports: "China's leadership is resisting pressure from elements within the military for a more forceful response to an international court ruling against Beijing's claims in the South China Sea, sources said, wary of provoking a clash with the United States. [...] The ruling has been followed in China by a wave of nationalist sentiment, scattered protests and strongly worded editorials in state media. So far, Beijing has not shown any sign of wanting to take stronger action."

Comment: With any luck it will all cool down and China will decide they would rather negotiate luxury real-estate deals with the new American president than spark a war over those tiny islands.  Or, better yet, maybe a joint-development project... the Trump South China Sea and Casino? Sorry, just so tired of politics when world affairs are so serious.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Pestilence

U.S. launches early trial of Zika vaccine - UPI.com
UPI reports: "A potential vaccine for the Zika virus has entered early clinical trials to assess its safety in humans, U.S. health officials announced Wednesday. The DNA-based vaccine contains genetic pieces of the Zika virus. It is intended to promote an immune response that would protect against the mosquito-borne virus that can cause devastating birth defects, according to a statement from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)."

Comment: I'm so happy to share some good news for a change!  With any luck the vaccine will be a success and we won't have to worry about Zika anymore...or at least until the anti-vaxxers act up.

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Wars & Rumors of War

North Korea warns of nuclear race, opposes THAAD deployment - UPI.com
UPI reports: "North Korea again voiced its opposition to the deployment of THAAD on the peninsula. Pyongyang's state-controlled KCNA issued a message from the state's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland that warned against the placement of the U.S. anti-missile defense system in South Korea. North Korea said in the statement the decision would turn the Korean peninsula into a nuclear arms race arena, South Korean news service News 1 reported."

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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Wars & Rumors of War

North Korea launched ballistic missile - UPI.com
UPI reports: "North Korea launched a ballistic missile early Wednesday, according to South Korea's joint chiefs of staff. [...] The provocation is believed to be a North Korea response to the South's decision to deploy the U.S. anti-missile defense system THAAD in the region of Seongju in North Gyeongsang Province, according to South Korea press."

Comment: Another month, another North Korean missile launch. 

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Monday, August 01, 2016

War

U.S. airstrikes target Sirte, Libya, an Islamic State stronghold - UPI.com
UPI reports: "U.S. airstrikes hit the Islamic State stronghold of Sirte, Libya, the Pentagon said Monday, the first direct U.S. involvement in aiding Libyan troops. [...] Manned and unmanned aircraft conducted multiple strikes on Sirte, a senior U.S. defense official told The Washington Post, where IS insurgents have established well-defended positions. The U.S. actions mark an expansion of the war against IS in Libya. Although U.S. airstrikes are prominent in military campaigns in Iraq and Syria, U.S. aerial involvement in Libya, prior to Monday, was limited to a small number of targeted airstrikes."

Comment: What a mess. Remind me again, why did they depose Moammar Gadhafi?

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