Saturday, March 08, 2008
8 ISRAELIS KILLED BY ARABS
Srinagar, Thursday, March 06, 2008
A slight intensity earthquake hit parts of Indian administered Kashmir Thursday in the wee hours. The quake measuring 3.9 on the Richter Scale was felt in many parts of Kashmir Valley including summer capital Srinagar. According to the Meteorological office in Srinagar, the earthquake was felt at 0427 hours and its epicenter was 34.07 degrees North and 74.58 degrees East somewhere north of Srinagar. The slight tremors triggered panic among the people, who have been anxious over the unusual seismic activity in the region for past some weeks. This was the sixth tremor in Kashmir Valley in the past fortnight. There were no immediate reports of any damage.
On Sunday government had to come up with clarification that there is no confirmation of a major earthquake in the near future, after rumors started spreading that Kashmir is going to witness a high intensity earthquake following these small tremors.We are living in an earthquake prone area but when and where an earthquake will strike and what will be its magnitude nobody knows said Aamir Ali, Project Coordinator UNDP/Disaster Management in Srinagar in a statement. The statement gave detailed instruction regarding what to do and what not to do during an earthquake. Geologists say the region is located in a zone of high seismic activity. Srinagar falls in Seismic Zone-V and other parts of Indian administered Kashmir in Seismic Zone IV. A high intensity quake measuring 7.4 on the Richter Scale with its epicenter in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan administered Kashmir shook the region on October 8, 2005 causing large scale firstname.lastname@example.org
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Winter storm to hit Ontario in 2 stages
Fri Mar 7, 9:27 AM
CALGARY (CBC) - A winter storm brewing over Alabama could bring heavy snow to parts of southern and eastern Ontario in two stages on Friday and Saturday, Environment Canada says.The service issued a winter storm watch for Toronto early Friday, saying the city could receive more than 20 centimetres of snow on the weekend.The forecast called for two to four centimetres in Toronto on Friday afternoon, five centimetres on Friday night and 15 centimetres on Saturday.The first stage will begin Friday afternoon in southwestern Ontario and move into eastern regions by evening, Environment Canada said in a statement. After a short break overnight, the second snowfall is expected to begin Saturday afternoon in southwestern Ontario and later over eastern Ontario. It isn't expected to ease for several hours.Keep in mind that the snowfall duration will be about 36 hours, but the heaviest snow will be Saturday afternoon into the evening, the Environment Canada statement said.The Niagara region and the Kingston and Cornwall areas could be hit hard, receiving up to 50 centimetres.The latest storm watch in Toronto was issued as thousands of people prepared to leave the city for March break.More than 100,000 travellers are expected to pass through Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Friday. The day before the beginning of March break is considered one of the busiest travel days of the year.
Winter chill sends more people to soup kitchen, food bank
Fri Mar 7, 6:46 AM
NEW.BRUNSWICK (CBC) - Cold weather and higher power bills are being blamed for an increased number of visitors at Fredericton's food bank and soup kitchen.According to officials, approximately 64 per cent more visitors have used the Fredericton food bank in the first two months of 2008 compared to the same period last year.At Fredericton Community Kitchen, officials said 1,500 more meals were served in February 2008 than in 2007.The winter storms and the dropping temperatures this winter have left more people struggling with the cost of power in the province, said George Piers, administrator of the community kitchen.The Energy and Utilities Board approved a 5.9 per cent rate increase for NB Power in February. New Brunswickers had been paying an interim 6.4 per cent rate hike since August prior to the approval and the company is also seeking to further raise its rates by three per cent for April 1.If someone is on income assistance or they're on pension, they're getting so much a month and all of a sudden their power bills double or triple then this has a real bad effect on them, Piers said.Heather Gruchy, a 25-year-old mother of two, said she has managed to pay the bills to keep the heat this winter but it's left her needing help with food.
I don't like the fact that all the hydro is being upped every time you turn around, but you need the heat and you need the lights, Gruchy said.Governments need to come up with solutions to help the people being most affected by the increasing costs of energy and food, said Elizabeth Crawford-Thurber, executive director of the food bank.There's many things that need to be done, but they're the same things that have needed to be done for the last 10 years, Crawford-Thurber said. What needs to happen right now is to help people get these bills paid off so that they can move forward.
Snow falls in Texas; tornadoes in Fla. By JAMIE STENGLE, Associated Press Writer MAR 7,08
DALLAS - Snow started falling in a band that stretched from central Texas to southern Ohio on Friday, while severe storms rolling through Florida spawned two tornadoes in the northern part of the state. The tornadoes touched down in the tiny coastal town of Keaton Beach in Taylor County and Capitola in Leon County, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Tallahassee, state emergency officials said. Power lines were brought down, but there were no reports of serious injuries or deaths.Up to a foot of snow was possible in several areas in the nation's midsection.It could get real nasty, said Dusty Harbage, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Jackson in eastern Kentucky, a region expected to be on the tail end of the wintry blast.The snow in Texas came on top of a storm system Thursday that left as much as 9 inches of snow on northern parts of the state and brought a tornado to the south part of the state.
A twister packing 95 to 105 mph winds in Corpus Christi on Thursday afternoon, but trees were snapped and several homes were damaged, said Roger Gass, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Corpus Christi. About 20 homes in northern Lake City were damaged, with a handful of homes destroyed in Capitola, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Tallahassee.The weather service said the Louisville, Ky., area could expect 8 to 12 inches of snow, starting Friday morning. The heaviest snow is expected Friday night and early Saturday, when 4 to 5 inches could fall within six or seven hours, said Joe Ammerman, a weather service meteorologist in Louisville.
It's not uncommon to get big snows in March, he said. The one good thing about that is it tends to warm up fairly fast and the snow doesn't stay around very long.In Arkansas, Weather Service forecaster John Lewis said conditions in Little Rock could be particularly hazardous by Friday evening.The winter storm Thursday left slick roads in North Texas that sent some school buses into ditches and hundreds of cars off the roads.South of Gainesville, several buses from the Callisburg school district slid into ditches as students from all grades were being taken home early Thursday because of the weather, Cooke County Emergency Management Coordinator Ray Fletcher said.The children walked out through the main doors except in one case, where the bus slid onto its side and they had to escape through a back door, he said. No injuries were reported.Associated Press writers Chuck Bartels in Little Rock, Ark., and Bruce Schreiner in Louisville, Ky., contributed to this report.
Millions of victims, little aid for Philippines disaster victims: report Thu Mar 6, 9:07 AM
MANILA (AFP) - Natural and man-made disasters affect nearly one in 10 people in the Philippines every year but millions of victims are largely left to fend for themselves, the Asian Development Bank said Thursday.Disasters, both natural and man-made, have been a major source of poverty and vulnerability in the Philippines, the Manila-based lender said in a country report.Situated in the Ring of Fire of volcanic islands around the rim of the Pacific Ocean and situated in the typhoon belt, the Philippines gets a hefty dose of typhoons, floods, devastating waves, landslides, quakes and volcanic eruptions.These adversely affected an annual average of about eight million people, mostly in rural areas, the bank said.
Only about one-half of the affected people received assistance from the government and private relief institutions.Of those assisted, the value of assistance was a miniscule amount, not even representing one percent of the average income during normal times of the poorest 30 percent of the population.The bank said there was a lack of funds as well as poor targetting caused by poor governance, leading to significant leakages and wastage of resources.It said the scant aid reaching displaced populations was a serious concern considering that disasters often inflict severe damage and loss to property and destroy the only means of livelihood for the poor.Failing to receive assistance, they risk falling to perpetual poverty traps.The bank said the Philippines gets hit every year with 20 typhoons that come with strong winds, intense rainfall and flooding.In recent years hydrologic events have become more intense and more frequent, presumably due to global climate change.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW)and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY)of the north quarters, and all his bands:(SUDAN,AFRICA) and many people with thee.
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.(RUSSIA-EGYPT AND MUSLIMS)
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
3 They (ARABS,MUSLIMS) have taken crafty counsel against thy people,(ISRAEL) and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:(TREATIES)
6 The tabernacles of Edom,and the Ishmaelites;(ARABS) of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
7 Gebal, and Ammon,(JORDAN) and Amalek;(SYRIA) the Philistines (PALESTINIANS) with the inhabitants of Tyre;(LEBANON)
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
3 A fire(NUCLEAR BOMB) devoureth before them;(RUSSIA-ARABS) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army,(RUSSIA,MUSLIMS) and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.(SIBERIAN DESERT)
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(NUCLEAR BOMB)
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
Medvedev wins 70 percent of Russia vote MAR 7,07
MOSCOW - Dmitry Medvedev has won Russia's presidential election with over 70 percent of the vote, according to final results released Friday. Russia's Central Election Commission said Medvedev won Sunday's election with 70.28 percent of the vote. Turnout was 69.81 percent.Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov trailed with 17.72 percent, while ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky had 9.35 percent and little-known candidate Andrei Bogdanov captured 1.3 percent.Medvedev's landslide victory was virtually assured by a blessing from Vladimir Putin, the popular incumbent who said he would retain clout by becoming Medvedev's prime minister. Medvedev has repeatedly pledged to pursue Putin's policies.He thanked voters Friday, saying the broad public support meant a credit of trust to solve the main socio-economic problems which the country faces.
Putin captured about 53 percent of the vote in 2000 and won a second four-year term in 2004 with more than 71 percent, just above Medvedev's result. But the turnout in those elections — 60 and 64 percent, respectively — was significantly lower than a hefty 70 percent on Sunday.While Putin won about 49.5 million votes in the 2004 election, Medvedev was backed by more than 52.5 million voters, according to the final tally released Friday by Central Election Commission.The election was tainted by lopsided state media coverage favoring Medvedev and accounts of pressure on voters. Across Russia, voters said they were pushed, cajoled and pressured to cast ballots as part of a Kremlin campaign to ensure a strong victory for Putin's protege.During the Central Election Commission's session Friday, its Communist member, Yevgeny Kolyushin, demanded a recount, criticizing campaign violations and official efforts to boost voter turnout.The commission dismissed the criticism and endorsed Medvedev's election.
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
2 PETER 2:5
5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
2 PETER 3:7
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men
16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you( sudden) terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
ISAIAH 33:1,18-19 Woe to thee that spoilest,(destroys) and thou wast not spoiled;(destroyed) and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil,(destroy) thou shalt be spoiled;(destroyed) and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.
18 Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?
19 Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
US blames Al-Qaeda after Baghdad blasts kill 68 by Salam Faraj MAR 7,08
BAGHDAD (AFP) - A twin attack in central Baghdad's commercial district which the US embassy on Friday blamed on Al-Qaeda killed at least 68 people, making it the second deadliest assault in Iraq this year. The roadside bomb, followed by a suicide attack, ripped through Al-Atar Street in the Karada neighbourhood on Thursday evening.In addition to the dead, 154 people were wounded, an interior ministry official said on Friday, adding that among the casualties were several women and children who had been cut down by the blasts while shopping.On Friday, relatives carried the bodies of loved ones killed in the attack to their burial site in Najaf, an AFP photographer said.Near the blast site, a number of roadside stalls had been destroyed, and windows of nearby shops and homes had been blown out by the force of the explosions.Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered security forces to chase and arrest the criminals who committed the attack.He blamed the terrorists and condemned the latest barbaric crime against the civilians, a statement released by his office said.The US embassy in Baghdad said the attack was carried out by Al-Qaeda.
Such indiscriminate mass violence demonstrates that Al-Qaeda in Iraq will spare no effort, however brutal, to attempt to re-ignite sectarian strife in Iraq, the embassy said in a statement released Friday.An interior ministry official said the attack was coordinated to inflict maximum casualties.First a roadside bomb went off and as people and police gathered to rescue the victims, a suicide bomber blew himself up amid the crowd, he said.The worst attack this year was on February 1, when bombings in the capital's bird market killed 100 people.The bombings came after the US military announced a reduction in troops on the back of what it claims to be a drop in violence across the country.On Thursday, the military said some 2,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, deployed in last year's surge, would not be replaced once they leave the country, likely within the next few weeks.
The US military currently has 158,000 troops in Iraq.
Figures collected by AFP on March 1 from the interior, defence and health ministries show that violence in Iraq surged in February after drop in each of the six months to January.Iraq saw 721 people killed in February, a 33 percent rise over January, when 541 people were killed. That was down from 1,856 last August.The drop over six months was attributed to a surge of an extra 30,000 US troops in Iraq, the formation by Sunni leaders of anti-Qaeda fronts and a ceasesfire by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia.
On Friday, another suicide bomber blew himself up near a police station in the northern city of Mosul. Four policemen were killed and 17 people wounded, including 15 policemen, police officials said. The bomber attacked the Al-Waqhas police station in the Ras al-Jadha neighbourhood at around 7:00 am (0400 GMT). In another incident, one person was killed and 14 wounded when two bombs went off within minutes of each other near the home of a police officer in Mosul, police said. The US military claims Mosul to be the last urban bastion of the Iraqi branch of Al-Qaeda and is involved in a massive operation there. It says US and Iraqi forces have managed to dent the Islamist group's networks elsewhere in the country, especially in the west and the centre following which the group has focused on Mosul, the third largest city of Iraq. Also on Friday, several armed men dressed like security forces stormed a house in the town of Tuz Khurmatu, south of the northern oil city of Kirkuk, and shot dead a woman and a child, police Captain Abdullah al-Bayati said. Three others from the same family were wounded.
BREAKING NEWS THU MAR 06,08 3:45 PM
AT LEAST 8 ISRAELIS KILLED BY MURDERER ARABS
By Stan L Bowman Jr.
A couple of hours ago at least one terrorist gunman went in to a Jerusalem Yesheva and started firing killing at least 8 Israelis and injuring at least 35 or more.
These murdering of innocent Israelis has got to stop, EU and USA get over to Israel quick and bomb Gaza to a crisp. This land is Israels GOD given land not ARAB MURDERERS who are in Gaza laughing and rejoicing over the innocent Israelis murdered.
This hating of Israel has to be told and Islam is a murderous, fierce so called religion. The world better get in there and protect Israel instead of sticking up for MURDERERS (ARABS).
Israelis mourn 8 killed at seminary By MATTI FRIEDMAN, Associated Press Writer MAR 7,08 UPDATED
JERUSALEM - Thousands of mourners gathered outside a bullet-scarred Jewish seminary and said farewell Friday to eight students killed by a Palestinian gunman. Israel slapped a closure on the West Bank and beefed up security around Jerusalem. Masses of mourners marched in funeral processions after a rabbi who recited Hebrew psalms with the crowd repeating them after him.In the Gaza Strip, Hamas militants backtracked on an earlier claim of responsibility for the first major attack in Jerusalem in four years.The attacker walked through the Mercaz Harav seminary's main gate Thursday night and entered the library, where witnesses said some 80 students were gathered. He opened fire with an assault rifle and a pistol, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The gunman was shot and killed on the scene.
Israeli officials said the victims were between ages 15 and 19 except one, who was 26. They identified one of the victims as 16-year-old Avraham David Moses, an American citizen whose parents moved to Israel in the 1990s. The State Department confirmed an American was killed and another wounded in the attack, but gave no other details .The attack came on the heels of an Israeli offensive on Gaza that Palestinian officials say killed more than 120. The campaign targeted militants who have been barraging southern Israel with rockets. Four Israelis have also been killed in fighting since last week.It was not immediately clear whether a militant group had orchestrated Thursday's shooting, and two Israeli television stations said security officials believed the perpetrator could have acted alone.Ibrahim Daher, head of Hamas' al-Aqsa radio, said his station put out an earlier claim of responsibility prematurely. Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas' military wing, confirmed the group was not taking credit for the attack — at least yet.There may be a later announcement ... But we don't claim this honor yet, he said.The family of Alaa Abu Dheim, a 25-year-old from east Jerusalem, said he had carried out the attack on the seminary, a prestigious center of Jewish studies identified with the leadership of the Jewish settlement movement in the West Bank.They said he was not a member of a militant group and described him as intensely religious. He had planned to get married in the summer, the family said.
Abu Dheim had been transfixed in recent days by the news of bloodshed in Gaza, said his sister, Iman Abu Dheim.He told me he wasn't able to sleep because of the grief, she said.Abu Dheim's family set up a mourning tent outside their home and hung green Hamas flags along with one yellow flag of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Family members said several relatives had already been taken for questioning by Israeli police.Israeli defense officials said the gunman came from Jabel Mukaber in east Jerusalem, where Palestinian residents hold ID cards giving them freedom of movement in Israel, unlike Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.Some Israeli lawmakers called for breaking off peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' moderate, West Bank-based government. But an Israeli official said the negotiations would continue.Israel will push ahead with talks so as not to punish moderate Palestinians for actions by people who are not just our enemies but theirs as well, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the government had yet to make an official announcement.Mark Regev, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman, said the shooting had almost certainly been organized in the West Bank. He would not confirm or deny that Israel had reached a decision to continue peace talks. The council of world leaders known as The Elders, meanwhile, said Friday it was sending a three-person team to help ease tensions in the region. Former President Jimmy Carter, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and former Irish president Mary Robinson will visit Israel, the Palestinian territories, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia from April 13-21.
Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter told mourners that Arabs in east Jerusalem who have been involved in militant activity should be expelled to the West Bank. The attack was the deadliest in Israel since a suicide bomber killed 11 people in Tel Aviv on April 17, 2006. As the gunman fired, students scrambled to flee, jumping out of windows. Holy books drenched in blood littered the floor. Rosenfeld said at least six empty bullet clips were found on the floor. David Simchon, head of the seminary, said the students had been preparing a celebration for the new month of the Jewish calendar, which includes the holiday of Purim. We were planning to have a Purim party here tonight and instead we had a massacre," he told Channel 2 TV. A seminary graduate who is an army officer and lives nearby rushed into the seminary with his weapon and killed the gunman, Simchon told Israel Radio. He saw the terrorist shooting, and with amazing resourcefulness he went into one of the rooms and managed to kill him, he said. Police said the seminary graduate was assisted by another man who also shot the Palestinian.
The seminary serves some 400 high school students and young Israeli soldiers, and many of them carry arms. Jewish seminarians gathered outside the library and screamed for revenge, shouting, Death to Arabs, while in Hamas-controlled Gaza thousands of Palestinians celebrated in the streets. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who called the attack an act of terror and depravity, told Abbas in a phone call Friday that she would do everything in her power to restore calm as soon as possible, said Abbas aide Nabil Abu Rdeneh.
Abbas, who condemned the seminary attack, suspended negotiations this week because of the spike in violence in the Gaza Strip, but later backed down under pressure from Rice, who was in the region to push the talks forward. Associated Press writers Dalia Nammari in east Jerusalem and Sarah el Deeb in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
CLINIC SICKENED THOUSANDS
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Freezing rain grips Nova Scotia
Wed Mar 5, 1:43 PM
NOVA.SCOTIA (CBC) - Another round of winter has turned roads around Nova Scotia into ice rinks, making travel both difficult and treacherous.The province was hit with a mix of snow and freezing rain Wednesday.With the ugly weather in the forecast, many schools cancelled class ahead of time. Throughout the day, however, more classes and events were called off.Provincial transportation crews were out salting treacherous roads, but were still urging motorists to slow down and be extremely careful.As fast as they go out and go over the runs, the ice is covering up right over the product and they're having a hard time getting around, said Stephen Callahan, a dispatcher with the Department of Transportation in Beechville.
There were several minor car accidents on icy roads in the Halifax region, though no reports of serious injuries.At the Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport, numerous flights were delayed or cancelled. Airline officials advised travellers to check ahead before heading to the airport.The hold-up at the Halifax airport was due in part to bad weather in central Canada.In southern Ontario, Windsor reported close to 20 centimetres of snow. Montreal reported about 14 centimetres of snowfall and winds were expected to increase in Quebec.Environment Canada said most areas of Nova Scotia could expect the freezing rain to continue overnight.With files from the Canadian Press
It's officially Ottawa's 2nd heaviest snowfall on record
Wed Mar 5, 1:38 PM
OTTAWA (CBC) - After more than 20 centimetres of snow fell Tuesday night and Wednesday, it's officially Ottawa's second snowiest winter on record, with 345 cm so far. Environment Canada is predicting another snowstorm on Saturday.The all-time record for snowfall was 444.1 centimetres in 1971, so Ottawa needs less than 100 centimetres for the record.The snow caused major problems for commuters, with Ontario Provincial Police reporting about 150 accidents since 5 a.m., most of them minor, with no major injuries. City police dealt with more than 25 minor accidents.OC Transpo said several buses broke down and had to be towed. At one point, five buses were stuck along a stretch of Kent Street near Somerset Street.The heavy snowfall also forced the final closing of Rideau Canal skating rink.The National Capital Commission blamed a combination of mild temperatures and heavy snow.NCC spokeswoman Kathryn Keyes said it's harder for the ice to recover from mild weather at this time of year.Ottawa sent out an estimated 600 snow-removal vehicles overnight and Wednesday morning.The snow should end late in the afternoon or early evening, and clear right out, said Mitch Meredith of Environment Canada.Meredith is already tracking another storm on the east coast of the U.S. that could hit eastern Ontario on Saturday afternoon.That storm would be all snow, with no rain or ice pellets, he said.
Snow, ice, floods hit several states By DOUG WHITEMAN, Associated Press Writer Wed Mar 5, 2:44 PM ET
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Snow, ice and flooding closed roads and schools across Ohio on Wednesday and left tens of thousands of customers without electricity in the aftermath of a storm system that had pummeled wide sections of the eastern half of the nation. Scattered school closings were reported Wednesday from Indiana to Maine. The National Weather Service issued flood warnings and advisories for streams from eastern Oklahoma to North Carolina and as far to the northeast as Massachusetts.In northern Maine, Caribou received 1.4 inches of snow overnight, giving the city a total of more than 160 inches so far this season, making this the second-snowiest winter on record there, the weather service said.More than a dozen homes were evacuated overnight because of flooding in eastern Ohio's Jefferson County.A school was set up as an emergency shelter, said Rob Herrington, assistant director of the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency.Mostly, we've had more nuisance flooding than anything, just some water on the roads, he said.
At least three Ohio counties declared driving emergencies, meaning only essential vehicles should be on the roads, and traffic in some other parts of the state was slowed by accidents on icy roads and detours around fallen trees and power lines.Traffic in northern Indiana was at a near standstill Wednesday morning on Interstate 74 near Batesville because of ice and snow, state police Sgt. Noel Houze said. Motorists were unable to make it up a hill on the highway about 60 miles southeast of Indianapolis. Several inches of snow had fallen overnight in northeastern Indiana.The edge of the storm also hit southeastern Michigan, dumping as much as 10 inches of snow during the night and closing hundreds of schools in the Detroit area.Sleet changing to light snow during the night in western New York state created an ice layer about a half-inch thick around Buffalo and Rochester, the weather service said. Buffalo Niagara International Airport shut down for about an hour Wednesday morning so crews could clear runways and a handful of flights were canceled.The storm blacked out thousands of homes and businesses in parts of Indiana, Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and North Carolina,Farther south, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine declared a state of emergency Wednesday because of power outages and preliminary reports that high wind had destroyed nine buildings and damaged more than 50 others.On Tuesday, the same storm system dumped as much as 13 inches of snow in west-central Arkansas, with up to 8 inches in Missouri and 9 around Alton, Ill., the weather service said.Four inches of rain fell in southwestern Kentucky, and up to 5 inches fell in southwest North Carolina. Alabama had two small tornadoes Tuesday that destroyed at least two homes and damaged others, the weather service said.Two people were killed Tuesday in Illinois when their car slid on a sleet-covered road into the path of a truck.
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
Oil jumps on surprise supply drop By JOHN WILEN, AP Business Writer Wed Mar 5, 3:35 PM ET
NEW YORK - Oil surged Wednesday, rising a remarkable $5 a barrel to a new record over $104 after the government reported a surprise drop in crude oil stockpiles and OPEC held production levels steady. Most analysts had expected the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration to report oil supplies rose last week for the eighth straight time. Instead, they fell by 3.1 million barrels.In Vienna, meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it would hold production levels steady, at least for now.The EIA report and OPEC announcement fed a new frenzy of investing in oil futures, which have risen to new inflation-adjusted records this week as the falling dollar drew new investors to the market.Light, sweet crude for April delivery jumped $5 to settle at a record $104.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Shortly after the Nymex closed, oil briefly rose to $104.95, a new trading record. Earlier this week, oil prices broke the previous inflation-adjusted price record of $103.76, set in 1980during the Iran hostage crisis.
Crude futures offer a hedge against a falling dollar, and oil futures bought and sold in dollars are more attractive to foreign investors when the dollar is falling.At the pump, meanwhile, gas prices rose a cent to a national average of $3.178 a gallon, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Gas prices have been following oil's recent rally, and are 69 cents higher than a year ago. Many analysts expect prices to rise to near $4 a gallon this spring and summer as driving demand picks up.While investors chose Wednesday to focus on last week's decline in oil supplies, analysts noted that oil inventories are at historic highs. Meanwhile, demand for gasoline is falling, and several forecasters have cut their oil demand growth predictions for this year.There are some very disturbing things in this report on the demand side, said Andrew Lebow, senior vice president at MF Global Inc. in New York.That suggests oil's sharp jump Wednesday was also partly driven by the dollar, which fell to a new low against the euro.There's an ongoing stampede to be a part of the crude oil rally, said Tim Evans, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., in New York.
Many analysts believe oil's rally will be short-lived. Falling demand for overall petroleum products, which was down 3.4 percent over the last four weeks compared to the same time last year, suggest prices could drop steeply once the dollar-driven oil investment frenzy runs out of steam, analysts said.OPEC ministers cited falling demand in announcing their decision to hold production steady. Gasoline demand is off about 1 percent over the last six weeks compared to the same period last year, according to EIA data. At the same time, gasoline supplies rose last week to a 15-year high, Evans said.Clearly, refineries have enough crude oil to produce an abundance of gasoline, Evans said.OPEC did pledge to keep a close eye on oil supply and demand, and said it could change its output levels quickly if needed.Other aspects of the EIA's inventory report were roughly in line with expectations. Gasoline supplies grew by 1.7 million barrels last week, more than the 900,000 barrels analysts expected, and are at record levels. On the other hand, inventories of distillates, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, fell by 2.4 million barrels, more than the expected 1.9 million barrel decline, and are low in historic terms.
Refiners ramped up production for the second week in a row, boosting activity by 1.2 percent to 85.9 percent of capacity, beating analyst forecasts.Oil pulled other energy futures higher Wednesday. April gasoline rose 11.3 cents to settle at $2.6421 a gallon on the Nymex, and April heating oil futures jumped 15.13 cents to settle at $2.9431 a gallon after rising to $2.9484, a record high. April natural gas rose 38.8 cents to settle at $9.741 per 1,000 cubic feet. In London, April Brent crude rose $4.12 to settle at 101.64 on the ICE Futures exchange.
Oil steady in Asia after surge to record By GILLIAN WONG, Associated Press Writer MAR 6,08
SINGAPORE - Oil prices steadied Thursday after rising to a trading record near $105 a barrel following a surprising drop in U.S. crude oil supplies. Also supporting oil prices were OPEC's decision to hold its output steady, an escalating crisis involving three oil-producing South American nations, and as the U.S. dollar sank to another record low against the euro.The primary factor causing the surge in oil prices is the surprising drawdown in crude inventories, which caused traders to really react quite dramatically, said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore.Most analysts had expected the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration to report oil stocks rose last week for the eighth straight time. Instead, the stocks fell 3.1 million barrels.In Vienna, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Wednesday it would hold production levels steady, at least for now. OPEC ministers cited falling demand in announcing their decision to hold production steady.The EIA report and OPEC announcement fed a new frenzy of investing in oil futures, which have risen to new inflation-adjusted records this week as the falling dollar drew investors to the market.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery slipped 12 cents to $104.40 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midday in Singapore.The contract jumped $5 to settle at a record $104.52 a barrel Wednesday and later rose to $104.95 in post-settlement electronic trading.Earlier this week, oil prices broke the previous inflation-adjusted record of $103.76, set in 1980during the Iran hostage crisis.Five dollars is an incredible gain, Shum said. The overall oil market fundamentals are supportive of strong oil prices but not at this level, above $100. I would expect some profit taking to put a temporary halt to this rather large surge in pricing.Analysts noted that U.S. oil inventories are at historic highs despite last week's decline in crude supplies. Meanwhile, demand for gasoline is falling, and several forecasters have cut their oil demand growth predictions for this year.Other aspects of the EIA's inventory report were roughly in line with expectations. Gasoline supplies grew by 1.7 million barrels last week, more than the 900,000 barrels analysts expected, and are at record levels.The traders focus on the crude oil drawdown but they did not pay as much attention to the continuing build in gasoline inventories, Shum said. Gasoline inventories are way above the five-year historical average. It's an indication of a demand slowdown in the U.S.
On the other hand, inventories of distillates, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, fell by 2.4 million barrels, more than the expected 1.9 million barrel decline. Distillates stocks as of Feb. 29 were nearly 10 million barrels less than they were at the end of January.Traders also worried about the escalating of tensions between oil producing countries in Latin America. Colombia's weekend attack on leftist rebels hiding in Ecuadorean territory has sparked a growing crisis as Venezuela moved tanks and soldiers to the Colombian border Wednesday. Ecuador said Monday it had sent 3,200 soldiers to its border with Colombia.In other Nymex trading, heating oil futures fell 0.39 cent to $2.9392 a gallon while gasoline prices were a tad lower at $2.642 a gallon. Natural gas futures added 5.5 cents to $9.796 per 1,000 cubic feet.In London, Brent crude fell 22 cents to $101.42 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
Stocks fall amid credit concerns By JOE BEL BRUNO, AP Business Writer MAR 06,08
NEW YORK - Stocks tumbled Thursday as renewed concerns about the ailing credit market and a spike in home foreclosures intensified the market's worries about a sagging economy. Each of the major indexes lost more than 1 percent, with the Dow Jones industrials giving up more than 125 points. Worries about credit moved to the fore of Wall Street's concerns after Thornburg Mortgage Inc. and a Carlyle Group bond fund disclosed troubles with investments backed by mortgages. The entities failed to make margin calls, payments to guarantee much larger debt or investments.The genesis of the credit concerns that erupted last year — souring mortgage loans — again added to investors' worries after the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that home foreclosures rose to record levels in the fourth quarter. Worries about defaults have made lenders hesitant to extend credit, preventing the credit markets from functioning normally.Wall Street's sense that credit troubles are seeping further into areas of the financial sector once deemed safe weighed on financial stocks and the broader market.I think these are near-term, unfortunate events that if they had the luxury of time and capital they could probably weather but unfortunately with this leverage-based system we have, time is a very expensive luxury, Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago, said in reference to the difficulties at Thornburg and Carlyle.In early afternoon trading, the Dow fell 130.74, or 1.07 percent, to 12,124.25.Broader indexes also retreated. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 17.23, or 1.29 percent, to 1,316.47, and the Nasdaq composite declined 24.76, or 1.09 percent, to 2,248.05.The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 12.77, or 1.87 percent, to 670.98.
Investors are also fretting as they watch the dollar scrape new lows against the euro. And the greenback's weakness is a big culprit behind a recent string of new highs for oil prices. Gold — regarded as a defensive investment — has hovered near the psychological benchmark of $1,000 an ounce.Light, sweet crude rose to a fresh record Thursday after an unexpected decline in U.S. crude supplies and a widely anticipated decision by OPEC not to increase production. Oil recently slipped 30 cents to $104.22 per barrel.Bad news about the housing market further dented sentiment. The Mortgage Bankers Association said the proportion of all mortgages nationwide that fell into foreclosure jumped to a record 0.83 percent in the final quarter of 2007. The group also warned that foreclosures are likely to continue to rise as the number of homeowners behind on their mortgage payments has jumped to its highest level since 1985.The Federal Reserve added more unwelcome housing news in reporting that Americans' debt on their homes exceeds their equity for the first time since the central bank began tracking the figures in 1945. Homeowners' percentage of equity fell to 47.9 percent in the fourth quarter.
Wall Street is worried that Americans distressed about their home values or struggling with mortgage payments will pare their spending. Investors appeared to take an upbeat report from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as a mixed signal. While Wal-Mart reported stronger-than-expected sales for February, some investors are worried that success at the world's largest retailer reflects increased bargain-hunting by consumers. Reports from retailers such as J.C. Penney Co. and Limited Brands Inc., the parent of the Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works chains, indicated consumers are paring some spending that they don't regard as essential.Wal-Mart was one of only a few stocks among the 30 that comprise the Dow industrials to advance. The shares rose 57 cents to $50.12. J.C. Penney fell $5.35, or 11 percent, to $42.76, while Limited declined 39 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $14.97.A retrenchment among consumers is an alarming prospect for Wall Street as consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.Investors' fear of becoming ensnared in widening credit troubles weighed on the financial sector. Thornburg plunged $1.80, or 53 percent, to $1.62. Stock in Amsterdam-listed Carlyle Capital Corp. Ltd., a bond fund managed by private equity firm Carlyle Group, fell more than 50 percent after saying it received a note of default for missed margin calls.Other financial stocks retreated. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. fell $1.67, or 3.5 percent, to $46.39, while Merrill Lynch & Co. declined $2.98, or 6 percent, to $46.34. Washington Mutual Inc. fell 78 cents, or 6.1 percent $12.02.Declining issues outnumbered advancers by about 5 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 819.2 million shares. Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average closed up 1.88 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 finished down 1.49 percent, Germany's DAX index declined 1.38 percent, and France's CAC-40 closed down 1.65 percent. On the Net:
New York Stock Exchange: http://www.nyse.com
Nasdaq Stock Market: http://www.nasdaq.com
1/3RD OF SHIPS DESTROYED
8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
14 feared dead as oil tanker sinks off southern Vietnam MAR 06,08
HANOI (AFP) - A Vietnamese oil tanker has sunk and rescue crews were Thursday searching for 14 crew missing and feared dead while trying to contain an oil slick in the South China Sea, authorities said. The MT Duc Tri carrying 1,700 tons of crude oil was battered by bad weather and capsized near the southern seaside resort of Mui Ne in the night to Wednesday, said authorities in the communist country.One sailor, identified as Luong Van Luu, 50, was rescued by a fishing boat and recovering in nearby Ba Ria hospital, but the other 14 men, including the captain, remained missing on Thursday, officials said.We fear that all the missing are dead, and we are now trying to recover the bodies, Le Van Tien, a senior official at the Binh Thuan province environment and natural resources department, told AFP.
We plan to send down divers in the next few hours.Tien said the seas were now calm, and rescue crews had observed an oil slick measuring about 1.5 by four nautical miles (2.7 by 7.4 kilometres) spreading near the shipwreck, 10 nautical miles off the coastal town of La Gi.The ship had left Saigon port in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday, en route to the central city of Danang, but sailed closer to the coast to seek shelter from bad weather and high seas late on Tuesday night.The reason for the accident was the bad weather, Tien said. We will investigate further.Rescue boats arrived at the location about 8am Wednesday, he said.It is our biggest ship and it was on the first voyage of the year, said Huynh Lam Son, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Duc Tri Limited Company, which owns the ship.
THATS ALL THE ARABS NEED MORE MONEY FOR MORE ROCKETS....GET OUT UN AND THE US.....GET REAL.
UN gets 148 million dollars in US aid pledge for Palestinians Wed Mar 5, 4:03 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US government has pledged 148 million dollars this year to the UN refugee agency to aid Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and neighboring countries, both said Wednesday. The UN Relief and Works Agency said the amount includes 91 million dollars to UNRWA's fund for refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria as well as 57 million dollars to its 2008 West Bank and Gaza emergency appeal.The statement on the UNRWA website follows a similar one on the US State Department's website.This support is essential for improving the daily lives of Palestine refugees who face hardship in the region, UNRWA's Commissioner-General Karen Abu Zayd said in a statement of gratitude to the US government.The US contribution to the general fund will support UNRWA's provision of basic and vocational education, primary health care and relief and social services to over 4.4 million registered Palestinian refugees in the region.The 57 million dollar contribution to the emergency appeal will allow UNRWA to provide food assistance to 895,000 Palestinian refugees in Gaza and the West Bank, create approximately 190,000 temporary jobs and provide temporary shelter and shelter repair to refugees where needed, UNRWA said.Every year UNRWA educates approximately 490,000 children in more than 650 schools, hosts nine million patient visits in 127 health clinics and one hospital, and provides special hardship assistance to 250,000 of the most vulnerable refugees, it said.
UNRWA's tolerance education program promotes human rights, conflict resolution and tolerance in every UNRWA school, it added.Since the inception of its microfinance program in 1991, UNRWA has awarded 126,000 loans to help Palestinian refugees become self-sufficient and to promote private sector growth, it said.UNWRA said the United States is its single largest donor.Nita Lowey, who chairs a leading Congressional subcommittee, asked Monday to hold 150 million dollars in aid for the Palestinians after questioning how they will use the money and whether they were committed to peace with Israel.
Lowey said she wanted answers from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department before ordering the release of the funds to president Mahmud Abbas's Palestinian Authority.The State Department has provided Lowey with a copy of the cash transfer assistance agreement, according to a statement read by Gonzalo Gallegos, the department's director of the office of press relations.We are working to address the remaining legislative requirements laid out for the cash transfer and expect to provide this information to Congress shortly, Gallegos told AFP Wednesday.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse:(CHLORES GREEN) and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword,(WEAPONS) and with hunger,(FAMINE) and with death,(INCURABLE DISEASES) and with the beasts of the earth.(ANIMAL TO HUMAN DISEASE).
Vegas clinic may have sickened thousands By KATHLEEN HENNESSEY, Associated Press Writer MAR 06,08
LAS VEGAS - Nearly 40,000 people learned this week that a trip to the doctor may have made them sick. In a type of scandal more often associated with Third World countries, a Las Vegas clinic was found to be reusing syringes and vials of medication for nearly four years. The shoddy practices may have led to an outbreak of the potentially fatal hepatitis C virus and exposed patients to HIV, too. The discovery led to the biggest public health notification operation in U.S. history, brought demands for investigations and caused scores of lawyers to seek out patients at risk for infections.Thousands of patients are being urged to be tested for the viruses. Six acute cases of hepatitis C have been confirmed. The surgical center and five affiliated clinics have been closed.
I find it baffling, frankly, that in this day and age anyone would think it was safe to reuse a syringe, said Michael Bell, associate director for infection control at the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.One of the infected patients is retired airplane mechanic Michael Washington, 67, who was the first to report his infection. On the advice of his doctor, he received a routine colon exam in July at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.In September, he started to get sick. He was losing weight fast. His urine turned dark. His stomach hurt. By January, it was clear what had happened.Washington describes his virus as a creeping death sentence and worries that others will hear his story and think twice before getting preventive care they need.In letters that began arriving this week, patients who received injected anesthesia at the endoscopy center from March 2004 to mid-January were urged to get tested for hepatitis B and C, and HIV.Because all three viruses are transmitted by blood, they could have been passed from one patient to the next by the unsafe practices at the clinic.
The mass notification is the result of a health district investigation that began in January when officials linked an uptick of unusual hepatitis C cases to the clinic.Health officials say they are most worried about the spread of hepatitis C, which targets the liver but shows no symptoms in as many as 80 percent of infections.Hepatitis C results in the swelling of the liver and can cause stomach pain, fatigue and jaundice. It may eventually result in liver failure. Even when no symptoms occur, the virus can slowly cause damage to the liver.Officials estimate that 4 percent of the patients already had the virus when they entered the clinic, compared with 0.5 percent for hepatitis B and less than 0.5 percent for HIV. Hepatitis C also is easier to transmit than HIV, they said.
You put the two together and hepatitis C is really our big concern, said Brian Labus, senior epidemiologist at the Southern Nevada Health District.Health inspectors say they observed clinic staff using the same syringe twice to extract anesthesia from a single vial, which was then inappropriately used to treat more than one patient. The practice allows contaminated blood in a used syringe to taint the vial and infect the next patient.Of the six patients so far diagnosed with acute hepatitis C, five received treatment at the clinic on the same day in late September.Since 1999, the CDC counts 14 hepatitis outbreaks in the U.S. linked to bad injection practices.The largest outbreak occurred in Fremont, Neb., where 99 cancer patients were infected at an oncology center from 2001 to 2002. At least one died. The doctor involved in the case acknowledged reusing syringes and settled scores of lawsuit. But he never explained why the syringes were reused. Bell said such improper procedures appear to be more common in outpatient surgical centers like the endoscopy center. Unlike hospitals, such centers often do not have employees whose sole responsibility is to monitor and educate staff on best practices. In Las Vegas, clinic staff told inspectors they had been ordered by management to reuse the vials and syringes. Labus described the practice as an unwritten, but long-practiced policy. Investigators were told the practice was an attempt to cut costs, according to a letter of complaint from the city, which revoked the facility's business license Friday. Five other facilities affiliated with the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada also had their licenses revoked. The clinic's majority owner, Dipak Desai, a political contributor and member of the governor's commission on health care, has refused to comment on the allegations.
He released a statement expressing concern for the patients and assuring the public the problems had been corrected. He later took out a full-page ad in Sunday's edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal insisting that needles had not been reused and that the chances of contracting an infection at the center in most of the last four years were extremely low.Of the thousands of people who have rushed to be tested, many will get positive results, Labus said. More than 15,000 people already have called the health district for information. But it takes a more sophisticated test, a complete evaluation of risk factors and a clear pattern of infection to determine whether the virus was caught at the facility. Plenty of lawyers are wading into the mess. Television ads called health alerts are soliciting clients. At least a handful of class-action lawsuits have been filed. On Tuesday, the office of Las Vegas attorney Ed Bernstein was buzzing with phone calls — nearly 1,000 a day, he said. Bernstein said he represents about 1,200 patients at the facility, eight who have tested positive for hepatitis C. Washington, the infected airplane mechanic, is one of Bernstein's clients. His wife, Josephine, a registered nurse, wonders how any health care professional could be so reckless: To maximize profit? For what? What are you going to save? On the Net:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
PEACE TALKS BACK ON - RICE
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Snow, freezing rain blast eastern Canada
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 | 7:07 AM ET CBC News
Another round of winter weather is taking aim at eastern Canada Wednesday as snow, high winds and freezing rain sweep across Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.A pedestrian walks along Wellington Street on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday.
(Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press) Plows are out on the major highways across southern Ontario, which has reported close to 20 centimetres of snow in Windsor. Toronto has reported roughly 13 centimetres.Ontario Provincial Police are warning drivers to adjust to road conditions, but say they expect to deal with anywhere from 400 to 800 accidents throughout the province because of the storm.
A number of school districts have cancelled classes for the day.
The storm also delayed the return of the body of Canadian Trooper Michael Hayakaze, who was killed in Afghanistan last weekend. A repatriation ceremony was scheduled for this afternoon at CFB Trenton in eastern Ontario, but it's been delayed until Thursday afternoon.
A shopper heads home on a bicycle in east Toronto as the storm continued to hit Wednesday morning. (Robin Rowland/CBC) A CN train derailment west of Toronto has added to the travel woes, affecting Via and GO trains in southern Ontario. Nineteen cars left the tracks in Brampton early Wednesday, but no injuries have been reported.GO Transit has cancelled a number of routes, while Via Rail says the derailment has also disrupted its service between Toronto and Sarnia.Montreal has reported about 14 centimetres of snowfall and winds are expected to increase in Quebec throughout the day. Another 10 centimetres could fall in southeastern parts of the province and officials warn blowing snow could cause problems on the roads.Many school boards in Montreal and Quebec City cancelled classes, while treacherous road conditions have been reported west of Montreal and in the Mauricie region in central Quebec.Close to 25 centimetres of snow has fallen on Ottawa, with another 10 centimetres on the way. That area could see freezing rain and high winds.Most schools remained open, but bus transportation in Renfrew county, Ottawa and districts to the south and east is cancelled.
Teams of plows clear Toronto expressways on Wednesday morning after 10 centimetres of snow overnight.(CBC) The storm has caused a number of flight cancellations and delays in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax. Airport officials are advising travellers to check ahead before they go to the airport.Freezing rain is forecast for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and many schools in those provinces have been closed for the day. Classes are cancelled in the Annapolis Valley, the Halifax region, and counties including Cape Breton, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Digby, Lunenburg and Queens.Salt trucks are on the highways, but drivers are warning the ice is quickly refreezing.As fast as they go out and go over the runs, the ice is covering up right over the product and they're having a hard time getting around, said driver Stephen Callahan.Snow is falling in parts of New Brunswick, although the forecast says that could change to freezing rain or rain as the day progresses. Similar predictions hold for Prince Edward Island.The freezing rain will turn to rain in southern New Brunswick and P.E.I. later Wednesday.
Newfoundland and Labrador will begin feeling the effects of the storm late Wednesday or early Thursday. As much as 25 millimetres of rain is expected in southeastern parts of the province with winds gusting up to 110 km/h.With files from the Canadian Press
Tornadoes spotted in Alamance County
The Associated Press 2008-03-04 16:55:00
Tornadoes were spotted in a couple of portions of Alamance County, including the town of Elon and near the Caswell County border. There were no immediate reports of serious damage in Elon, where a funnel cloud was reported near Manning Avenue. There were reports of downed trees near the Caswell line, according to police scanner notices. The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for northwest Alamance County and other parts of central North Carolina Tuesday afternoon. The watch is in effect until midnight. The safest place to be in a tornado is on the lowest floor of the building in a small room such as a closet or bathroom or in an interior hallway. Use blankets or pillows to protect your body from flying debris. Stay away from windows and exterior walls.
Widespread showers and strong scattered thunderstorms are expected to move across the county this evening with lows in the upper 40s. Southwest winds of 15 to 20 mph and gusts up to 35 mph are also expected.
Ice, snow and rain cause problems from Missouri to North Carolina Tue Mar 4, 6:22 PM By Peggy Harris, The Associated Press
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Deep snow, heavy rain and sleet snarled travel and caused scattered flooding Tuesday from the Mississippi Valley to the East Coast. Two people were killed in Illinois when their car slid on a sleet-covered road into the path of a truck. Up to 33 centimetres of snow fell at Russellville in west-central Arkansas, with up to 20 centimetres in Missouri and as much as 23 centimetres around Alton, Ill., the National Weather Service said. Some 18-wheelers had trouble negotiating some Arkansas roads and authorities urged motorists to stay home. Marco's Pan Bakery in Russellville did not open Tuesday, said worker Jamie Funes. No one is going to get from their house today, Funes said. A band of snow and rain stretched from the southern Plains to northern New England during the morning, and the weather service posted winter storm warnings across sections of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois, with winter weather advisories along the Great Lakes. Thunderstorms swept through the Southeast. Voting sites in Ohio were busy for Tuesday's presidential primaries despite heavy rain. Parts of southern Ohio had received 50 millimetres of rain in just four hours and flood warnings were posted throughout the state.
One-hundred millimetres of rain fell in southwestern Kentucky, and several low-lying roads around the state were blocked by water. Up to 120 millimetres of rain fell in southwest North Carolina, where the French Broad River was expected to reach amost three metres and flood low-lying areas. Flash flooding forced some people to briefly evacuate rural homes around the Alabama community of Collirene, said Lowndes County Sheriff Chip Williams. Alabama also had two small tornadoes that destroyed at least two homes and damaged others, the weather service said. The snow in Missouri snarled morning commutes in Springfield and St. Louis and closed schools in much of southern, central and eastern Missouri. Lambert Airport in St. Louis reported nearly 80 flights cancelled by early afternoon.
In Illinois, a planned observance of a Belleville-born beagle that took top honours at last month's Westminster Kennel Club was put on hold. Uno the Beagle Day in Illinois got was scratched when the storm nixed the dog's flight to Chicago. Tuesday's snowfall in Missouri followed two severe storms in February and lesser storms in December and January, and state Department of Transportation spokesman Jeff Briggs said supplies of road salt are getting thin.
It has been our busiest winter in many years, Briggs said. We've used up tons of salt. We're not in danger of running out, but if we get a couple more surprise storms here in March we could be hurting.
Iraqi transport helicopter missing in dust storm
Tue Mar 4, 2:26 AM
MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. and Iraqi forces were searching for an Iraqi transport helicopter that disappeared in northern Iraq on Monday after it was caught in a dust storm, Iraqi military officials said on Tuesday.The Russian-built Mi-17, which can carry up to 32 passengers and two crew, was flying in the Hadhar area of Nineveh province, the officials said.The helicopter went missing at around 2 p.m. (6:00 a.m. EST) on Monday. We lost contact with them during a sandstorm, said a senior Iraqi security official in Nineveh province.Police in the area where the helicopter was believed to have gone down said U.S. aircraft were searching for it.
Iraqi and Coalition forces are currently working together to search, confirm and investigate this report, said Captain Stephen Bomar, a U.S. military spokesman in northern Iraq.An Iraqi military official in neighboring Salahuddin province said the helicopter's pilots had radioed that they planned to make a forced landing because of the dust storm.Iraq is slowly rebuilding its air force, once one of the world's largest, after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. Its helicopters are mainly used for reconnaissance missions and to ferry troops.(Writing by Ross Colvin; Editing by Michael Winfrey)
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
Oil hits new record high Wednesday, March 5, 2008 CBC News
Oil prices shot to a new record high on Wednesday as OPEC said it won't boost production and U.S. crude supplies showed a surprise drop.The price of light, sweet crude for April delivery hit a peak of $104.56 US a barrel. It later gave back a bit of its gain to trade up $4.26 on the day at $103.78 US.According to weekly supply data released by the U.S. Energy Department, U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 3.1 million barrels to 305.4 million barrels for the week ending Feb. 29. Market analysts had been expecting a rise of 2.1 million barrels.Earlier in the day, the members of OPEC declined to raise or lower its production.OPEC president Chakib Khelil of Algeria said the world's oil market is being affected by the mismanagement of the U.S. economy.If the prices are high, definitely they are not due to a lack of crude. They are due to what's happening in the U.S.,Khelil said at a meeting of oil ministers in Vienna. There is sufficient supply. There's plenty of oil there.
The cartel said it will keep constant vigilance over the oil market. OPEC expects to see weaker demand for oil in the second quarter as economies slow.Prior to Wednesday's meeting, U.S. President George W. Bush had called on the cartel to boost its production.I think it's a mistake to have your biggest customers' economies slowing down as a result of higher energy prices, Bush said Tuesday following a meeting at the White House with Jordan's King Abdullah II.On Monday, oil touched an inflation-adjusted high price of $103.85 US a barrel With files from the Associated Press
No production boost from OPEC By WILLIAM J. KOLE, Associated Press Writer MAR 5,08
VIENNA, Austria - OPEC said Wednesday it will not put more oil on the global market despite record-high prices for crude, blaming the U.S. for economic mismanagement it said was having a worldwide effect. Oil prices surged past $104 a barrel for the first time after the OPEC announcement and the release of a government report showing a surprise drop in crude oil stockpiles.The U.S. dollar on Wednesday sunk to record lows, with the euro fetching $1.53 for the first time ever in Europe.The 13-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it would maintain current production levels because crude supplies are plentiful and demand is expected to weaken in the second quarter.OPEC President Chakib Khelil told reporters the global market is being affected by what he called the mismanagement of the U.S. economy, and that America's problems were a key factor in the cartel's decision to hold off on any action.
If the prices are high, definitely they are not due to a lack of crude. They are due to what's happening in the U.S., Khelil said. There is sufficient supply. There's plenty of oil there.Khelil's comments came one day after President Bush lashed out at the organization.OPEC did pledge to maintain constant vigilance over the market.Khelil said he and OPEC's secretary-general were authorized to call an extraordinary meeting or hold phone consultations at any time, depending on the pressures on the market — an apparent gesture to ease global economic jitters.There had been some speculation that OPEC might actually cut production — a move that would drive prices even higher, along with profits for cartel members — but Khelil said a cut was not discussed at Wednesday's meeting. He said OPEC had no plans to meet again before its next scheduled conference in September.Earlier in the week, price hawks Venezuela and Iran had indicated they planned to push for less production.On Tuesday, OPEC was rebuked by Bush.
Understand the consequences of high energy prices, Bush said after meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office.I think it's a mistake to have your biggest customers' economies slowing down as a result of higher energy prices, he added.Khelil said crude stocks were well within their five-year average and the 13-nation group was not inclined to either boost or reduce its current output of about 32 million barrels a day. OPEC satisfies roughly 40 percent of the world's demand for crude.OPEC said it highlighted the economic slowdown in the U.S., which, together with the deepening credit crisis in financial markets, is increasing the downside risks for world economic growth and consequently demand for crude oil.Analysts had not expected any significant action Wednesday.In truth, OPEC's decision not to pump more oil is a reflection that supply is relatively good, said Anthony Sabino, a professor of business at St. John's University in New York. What is driving oil prices up to the stratospheric level of over $100 per barrel is the U.S. economy, now undeniably in recession, he said. It's not so much the price of oil is going up — it's that the value of the U.S. dollar, sad to say, is slumping.Oil shot up a dramatic 19 percent last month as the falling dollar prompted speculators and other investors to shift cash to crude and other commodities as a hedge. Among other reasons for the spike: tensions in the oil-rich Middle East and Turkey's incursion into northern Iraq. Key cartel members said this week that prices in the $85 to $90 per barrel range would be optimal. Light, sweet crude for April delivery rose $2.02 to $101.54 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by the afternoon in Europe. The market listens to what they say. So when they do nothing, in the short-term there are still fears, said John Hall, of John Hall Associates in London. OPEC, Hall said, is very, very nervous at the moment. By helping the price to rise, they have fueled inflation and they're fueling recession.But Stephen Schork, editor of The Schork Report, which keeps tabs on global energy markets and trends, said the cartel may not have had much choice. If you're OPEC, you see ample supplies and questionable demand, he said.
Schork gave OPEC credit for not pushing through a cut in output, which would legitimize the bullish speculation we've seen since February and risk sending oil to $120 a barrel or higher. The 13 OPEC members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Iraq is the only member not subject to the cartel's output quotas. On the Net: OPEC, http://www.opec.org
HOARDING OF GOLD AND SILVER
DOCTOR DOCTORIAN FROM ANGEL OF GOD
then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM
New record low vs. euro for the dollar MAR 05,08
BERLIN - The dollar sank to another record low Wednesday, with a growing list of economic reports pointing to a worsening U.S. climate. The euro rose to $1.5302 in afternoon European trading before dropping back slightly to $1.5278. The new low broke through the previous record set Monday at $1.5275.The euro had bought $1.5208 in New York late Tuesday.On Wednesday, reports showed that U.S. factories saw demand for their products drop sharply in January, while the country's service sector contracted last month.
They provided fresh evidence of weakness in an economy hit by housing and credit crises — weakness that has raised expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue to cut interest rates.
Speculation has mounted that the Fed might cut rates by as much as three-fourths of a percentage point this month. Lower interest rates can jump-start a nation's economy. But they can also weaken its currency as traders transfer funds to countries where they can earn higher returns.By contrast, the European Central Bank is expected to leave its benchmark rate unchanged on Thursday at 4 percent following two months of inflation in which inflation has run at 3.2 percent — well above the bank's stated goal of at or near 2 percent.There is more uncertainty over whether the Bank of England will cut rates from their current 5.25 percent Thursday.The British pound was up to $1.9945 Wednesday from $1.9859 the previous night. The dollar rose to 103.82 Japanese yen from 103.14 yen.
WARS AND RUMURS OF WARS.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.
Whiff of war hangs over Colombia-Ecuador-Venezuela dispute by Victor Flores MAR 05,08
CARACAS (AFP) - The crisis gripping South America took a step closer to open conflict Wednesday, with Venezuela saying 10 battalions were now on the Colombian border, and Ecuador warning ultimate consequences could ensue. The developments increased pressure on frantic diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute, which has raised the specter of OPEC members Venezuela and Ecuador, led by leftists, going to war against US ally Colombia.Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, in Brazil to drum up regional support for his country, warned that Colombia must be condemned internationally for its cross-border strike against a Colombian rebel camp inside Ecuador on the weekend.Otherwise we will have to defend ourselves by our own means. I insist on this: Ecuador is ready to go to the ultimate consequences, he told reporters.Venezuela, which has given full backing to Ecuador, confirmed that 10 of its army battalions -- around 6,000 men -- had been sent to the frontier and were 90 percent in place.
The mobilization was not against the people of Colombia, but rather against the expansionist designs of the empire, Venezuelan Defense Minister Gustavo Rangel said, referring to the United States, which has thrown its weight behind its ally Colombia.Military chiefs did not give details of the movements. It was not known the composition of infantry, tanks and other units.A US defense department official, however, said there were credible reports Wednesday of mechanized elements moving out of a major Venezuelan military base in the city of Valencia, in the center of the country.Another Pentagon official said the mobilization was not significant enough to raise concerns in Washington.The trigger of the crisis was an air and land raid by Colombia inside Ecuador on Saturday to kill Raul Reyes, the number two leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Marxist guerrilla group it has been fighting for four decades.Ecuador and Venezuela responded by ordering troops to their borders with Colombia and cutting off diplomatic ties.US President George W. Bush hailed Colombian President Alvaro Uribe for going after the FARC and blamed the tensions on provocative maneuvers by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
Correa, who spoke with Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, said the US backing of Colombia was unsurprising, and described Uribe as Washington's unconditional puppet.He said: There has been an aggression. The aggressor has to apologize and the international community has to condemn it.Correa said his country saw no negotiated solution because there is nothing to negotiate.
Nobody wants war, he said. But we won't fool ourselves. The war was started by Colombia. We were bombed.Brazil, along with Chile and Argentina, have already expressed indignation over Colombia's attack.Correa, who was due in Caracas late Wednesday, said Lula had condemned openly and directly Colombia's raid during their one-hour meeting. Colombia apologized to Ecuador for the raid, but said it was justified, and claimed it had recovered information from Reyes's computer showing Ecuador and Venezuela were abetting the rebels. Colombian officials said Chavez gave 300 million dollars to FARC and that the guerrillas had tried to obtain 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of uranium in an apparent dirty bomb plot. Quito and Caracas denied the allegations and expelled Colombia's ambassadors while ordering their troops to mobilize. Venezuela has not closed its 2,000-kilometer (1,300-mile) border with Colombia, however, according to Rangel, who corrected previous information given by Agriculture Minister Elias Jaua. Rangel said the troop mobilization was to confront threats weighing on our country following the aggression on the territory of the Republic of Ecuador carried out by military forces from the Colombian state.The Organization of American States was to continue Wednesday emergency talks that began Tuesday on the crisis, when Ecuador accused Colombia of a planned and premeditated violation of its sovereignty and called for an OAS commission to investigate. Both Ecuador and Colombia also called for an urgent meeting of foreign ministers from the 34-nation body by March 11 to examine the row.
LAND FOR PEACE (THE FUTURE 7 YEARS OF HELL ON EARTH)
2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
THE WEEK OF DANIEL 9:27 WE KNOW ITS 7 YRS
Heres the scripture 1 week = 7 yrs Genesis 29:27-29
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
26 And after threescore and two weeks(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
ISAIAH 28:14-19 (THIS IS THE 7 YR TREATY COVENANT OF DANIEL 9:27)
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king (EU DICTATOR) of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,(FROM THE OCCULT) shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power:(SATANS POWER) and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;(JESUS) but he shall be broken without hand.
36 And the king shall do according to his will;(EU PRESIDENT) and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,(THIS EU DICTATOR IS A EUROPEAN JEW) nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces:(HES A MILITARY GINIUS) and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds (CONTROL HEZBOLLAH,AL-QUAIDA MURDERERS ETC) with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many,(HIS ARMY LEADERS) and shall divide the land for gain.
40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south(EGYPT) push at him:(EU DICTATOR PROTECTING ISRAELS SECURITY) and the king of the north(RUSSIA) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.(WW3,1/2 earths population die).
ISAIAH 13:6-13 KJV
6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:(FROM FRIGHT)
8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
ISAIAH 24:17-23 KJV
17 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.
18 And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.
19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.
22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.
23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks back on By AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press Writer MAR 05,08
JERUSALEM - Visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice persuaded Palestinians to return to peace talks with Israel Wednesday after a brief suspension over a deadly offensive against Gaza militants barraging southern Israel with rockets. Rice announced the resumption of talks at a news conference in Jerusalem and shortly afterward, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking from his West Bank headquarters, confirmed it.Abbas suspended talks earlier this week to protest Israel's military crackdown on Gaza, which Palestinian officials say has killed more than 120 people. Earlier Wednesday, Abbas said he would not return to the talks until Israel reaches a truce with Hamas militants in Gaza. But under pressure from Rice, he backed down and agreed to restart the negotiations.
The peace process is a strategic choice and we have the intention of resuming the peace process, Abbas said in a statement.Abbas runs a moderate government in the West Bank that rivals the Islamic militant Hamas regime in Gaza. Hamas violently took power over Gaza from Abbas' Fatah faction in June.Rice pointedly did not call for a truce and urged Hamas to halt its rocket fire. At the same time, she urged Israel to do its best to protect Palestinian civilians caught in the crossfire.There are enemies of peace that will always try to hold hostage the Palestinian cause and the future of the Palestinian people for their own state, she said. And Hamas, which in effect holds the people of Gaza hostage in their hands is now trying to make the path to a Palestinian state hostage to them. We cannot permit that to happen.Abbas did not say when talks would resume. But Rice said that next week, a U.S. general would come to the region to prod peacemaking. A senior U.S. official said Rice had agreed to dispatch Lt. Gen. William Fraser III as a gesture to the Palestinians, who hope for American pressure on Israel.
In January, President Bush appointed Fraser to monitor both sides' compliance with the road map, a milestone-based plan that has been the basis of talks that resumed in November after a seven-year break.With the announcement of peace talks resuming, Rice capped her Middle East mission with a success and then left for Europe.
Rice said both sides need to carry out road map obligations. The plan's initial stage calls on Israel to stop settlement activity and obliges the Palestinians to clamp down on militants. Abbas, however, controls only the West Bank and has no influence over Hamas-ruled Gaza.Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert formally relaunched peace talks at a U.S.-hosted summit in Annapolis, Md., last November, pledging to forge a final peace agreement by the end of the year.But the negotiations, restarted after seven years of fighting, have been plagued by violence and continued Israeli construction on lands the Palestinians claim for a future state.Tensions peaked over the past week after Gaza militants extended the range of their rocket fire closer to Israel's center, and Israel struck back with an assault that Gaza officials say killed more than 120 Palestinians, including dozens of civilians. Three Israelis have also been killed.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum criticized Abbas' reversal.
Abu Mazen is a weak man, who couldn't protect the Palestinian people, he said, using Abbas' nickname. America and Israel don't take him into account, but only use him as a tool to pass their plans on the Palestinians.Olmert convened his Security Cabinet to discuss the Gaza situation. His office said the officials had pledged to continue battling Hamas while moving forward with peace talks with Abbas. Olmert also left the door open to an unofficial truce with Hamas.If there is no rocket fire at Israel, there won't be Israeli attacks on Gaza, he told reporters. Rice initially had planned to visit the region to prod along peace efforts, but last week it became clear that she would be called upon to put out the latest fire. Confidence-building measures have been critical to the peacemaking, and Rice said Wednesday that we do need to have improvements on the ground.She said improvements should take place both in Abbas' West Bank stronghold as well as Gaza. Abbas has repeatedly called on Israel to remove the hundreds of checkpoints it maintains in the West Bank — a measure Israel says is needed for security. Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza after the Hamas takeover, has let in only humanitarian supplies, deepening the misery in the already impoverished territory. Egypt has also closed its border with Gaza. Rice said she would send her Mideast envoy, David Welch, to Egypt to discuss security and humanitarian issues in Gaza. Rice met with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni Wednesday. Livni said the two sides had agreed at the November peace conference that Israel would conduct negotiations with the moderate Palestinian leadership in the West Bank while meeting the challenge in the Gaza Strip. Hamas cannot be allowed to dictate the pace of negotiations, she said, and gently chided her Palestinian colleagues for halting the talks. She said Israel continued talks after a Palestinian suicide bombing in southern Israel last month and an Israeli man was killed in a Hamas rocket attack last week.
Peace negotiations are not a gift that somebody gives the other. It's a mutual interest, a mutual aspiration and a mutual dream of our two peoples, she said. AP correspondent Mohammed Daraghmeh contributed to this article from Ramallah.
Pope calls for Mideast truce(AFP)2 March 2008
VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday renewed a call for a halt to fighting in the Middle East, urging both sides in the conflict to declare an unconditional truce.I renew my pressing appeal to the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to stop this spiral of violence, unilaterally and without conditions, he said after his weekly blessing of pilgrims in St Peter’s Square.It is only by showing absolute respect for human life, even that of the enemy, that it will be possible to give hope for peace to the young generations of the two peoples who have their roots in the Holy Land, the pontiff said.Benedict also called for the speedy release of the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, Faraj-Farraj Rahhu, who was kidnapped on Friday in a shootout in which his driver and two bodyguards were killed.I pray for the souls of these three young people, the pope added.Benedict said he hoped ‘that through the efforts and the wisdom of all ... the dear Iraqi people will find peace and security and that they will not be denied the future they deserve.
1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.(VATICAN IN POLITICS)
Religion: Vatican, Muslim Clerics Lay Groundwork For Landmark Talks MAR 5,08
Pope Benedict has reached out to Islam since the controversy surrounding his remarks in 2006 (epa) For a second day, five Muslim leaders and five Vatican officials sat down for talks in Rome to pave the way for what some are billing a historic meeting of the faiths later this year.Pope Benedict XVI, a German theologian, is known for not being a big fan of such airy gatherings, which tend to offer little more than empty symbolism. Which is why the meeting in Rome -- likely to take place in late spring or summer -- is expected to delve into substantial issues, including the use of religion to incite violence.Kishore Jayabalan, a former senior Vatican official who now heads the Rome office of the Acton Institute, a U.S.-based policy institute, says that Benedict has never been the type of Vatican official to do things simply as a gesture. And there certainly are several elements of the Roman Curia [the Vatican's bureaucracy], and the Catholic Church, that are content to leave it at gestures and symbols. But Cardinal Ratzinger, the pope, is not one of them.
The preparatory talks are the result of a Muslim call for dialogue that followed a controversial 2006 speech by Benedict that seemed to link Islam with violence. That speech, in the German city of Regensburg, angered Muslims worldwide.Benedict later tried to make amends when he visited Turkey and prayed in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul together with its imam. A year later, a Jordanian prince, Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, brought together 138 Muslim scholars and leaders from 43 countries to issue an unprecedented open letter to the pope urging peace.The current talks are the result of that letter, which stated that the very survival of the world itself might depend on dialogue between the two faiths.Part of the discussions is certain to focus on the substance of the gathering to take place later this year.
Jayabalan says that going into the talks this week, the two sides seem to have very different ideas as to what the meeting should address. He says that while the Muslim leaders appeared to want to focus on theological issues, the Vatican seems more interested in discussing social and political problems related to faith.The Muslim leaders seem to want to talk about theology, who is God, who is our neighbor, and very, I would say, apolitical issues, Jayabalan says. The Holy See's concerns had been much more about the social and political circumstances on the ground: things having to do with religious freedom, the use of religion to incite violence; obviously jihadists, terrorism, the minority status of Christians and other religions in Islamic countries -- I think those were the issues that were the crux of the Holy See's concerns. And they still remain that way.How the two sides go about bridging that divide is unclear. Some of the Muslim leaders may not want the meeting to focus on issues such as terrorism, though Yahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini of the Italian Islamic Religious Community says religious violence is likely to be on the agenda. Pallavicini is taking part in today's talks.In Jayabalan's opinion, such issues might be discussed by looking at history, in particular at how Catholicism coped with the European Enlightenment. That period, in the 17th and 18th centuries, ushered in many changes that mark the modern Western world, including the prominence of science and the ideas of political liberty.
The bridge between the theological/philosophical discussion and the social/political one might take on a historical aspect, as well, he says. They might have to discuss how Christianity -- and particularly the Catholic Church -- dealt with the Enlightenment, dealt with these new ideas of religious freedom and political liberty, which the Islamic world does seem to have done yet.Besides Pallavicini, the Muslim delegation at the talks includes a Libyan, a Turk, a Briton, and a Jordanian. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, a Frenchman who heads the Vatican's Council for Interreligious Dialogue, is leading the Vatican's delegation.
SOME OF THESE SO CALLED PROFFESORS ARE JUST AS CLUED AND IGNORANT AS CAN BE. THEY CLAIM THEIR SMART BUT IN REALITY THEIR FOOLISH. THESE LOSERS OVIOUSLY DON'T KNOW THEY HAVE TO STAND IN FRONT OF JESUS IN THE FUTURE AND GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF THEIR HARD SPEECHES.
Moses was high on drugs: Israeli researcher Tue Mar 4, 7:02 AM ET
JERUSALEM (AFP) - High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week. Such mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times, Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.As far Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don't believe, or a legend, which I don't believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics, Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday.Moses was probably also on drugs when he saw the burning bush, suggested Shanon, who said he himself has dabbled with such substances.The Bible says people see sounds, and that is a clasic phenomenon, he said citing the example of religious ceremonies in the Amazon in which drugs are used that induce people to see music.He mentioned his own experience when he used ayahuasca, a powerful psychotropic plant, during a religious ceremony in Brazil's Amazon forest in 1991. I experienced visions that had spiritual-religious connotations, Shanon said.He said the psychedelic effects of ayahuasca were comparable to those produced by concoctions based on bark of the acacia tree, that is frequently mentioned in the Bible.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast(THE EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TR BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:(10 NATIONS) and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(BE HEAD OF 3 KINGS OR NATIONS).
Sarkozy and Merkel find agreement on key EU issues
04.03.2008 - 09:17 CET | By Honor Mahony
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his German counterpart, Angela Merkel, appear to have reached a deal on two key issues, with both leaders on Monday referring to the friendship between the two countries after months of cool relations.Following talks on the margins of the CeBIT information technology trade fair in Hanover Germany on Monday (3 March), Berlin and Paris reached agreement on France's planned Mediterranean union and on how to approach European Commission proposals to reduce pollution from new cars.
Germany is strongly opposed to the car plans, feeling they unfairly hit German manufacturers, but Ms Merkel announced that a deal is envisaged with France on the European targets to reduce carbon dioxide from cars.France, home to more efficient car manufacturers such as Renault, had favoured Brussels' plans, which suggest fining those who break the CO2 emissions limits.Mr Sarkozy said there would be a common position from France and Germany in the coming days, reports AFP.The two leaders also patched up their differences on France's proposed union of Mediterranean countries, with Paris having watered down the original plan following public criticism by Ms Merkel.The German chancellor said the project is to be called Mediterranean Union, adding that it should be a project of all 27 member states.According to Die Welt newspaper, Ms Merkel said the Mediterranean Union proposal – envisioning bringing together southern Europe and Northern Africa states as well as Israel and its Arab neighbours to tackle topical issues such as counter-terrorism, immigration, energy, trade, water and sustainable development - would be presented to all member states.
She said she would ask that it be put on the agenda of the EU leaders summit later this month.Ms Merkel had previously said the plan risked splitting the EU because it only involved certain member states and had proposed using EU funds.Relations have been uneasy between Berlin and Paris since Mr Sarkozy came to power last summer, with clashes over industrial policy and how to approach the European Central Bank also creating strong tension.But both leaders stressed the importance of their bilateral relations for Europe as a whole.If Germany and France are not in agreement, it will be hard to find unity in Europe, said Ms Merkel.Mr Sarkozy said: It is more important than ever that France and Germany get on and work together.
Millionaire urges MPs to vote for EU referendumPress Association guardian.co.uk, Sunday March 2 2008
Stuart Wheeler, a millionaire businessman, said today that he was writing to every MP urging them to vote for a referendum on the EU reform treaty. Earlier this year Wheeler, who is major donor to the Tory party, launched a high court bid to force a judicial review of Gordon Brown's decision not to hold a vote on the treaty. Now he has written to MPs of all parties ahead of Wednesday's Commons debate in a bid to push more Labour members into rebelling against the government. He said: Gordon Brown has in effect promised it and he should, therefore, be kept to his promise. During the general election everyone assumed there was going to be a referendum. The powers proposed to be transferred to the EU are very, very important ones representing a loss of sovereignty to this country.
It's sufficiently important that it unquestionable requires the people to be consulted.Wheeler said he realised that many Tory MPs would not need the letter to urge them to vote for the referendum but he said that he was keen to help push more Labour members into the rebel camp. Asked if had consulted David Cameron, the Conservative leader, Wheeler said: He knows that I'm doing it. I wouldn't say I'm in constant contact about it, though.In his letter he says: This government made a promise. It is obliged to honour that promise. If it finds a referendum distasteful, it could always hold an election. In the end, this all comes down to a simple point. Like the rest of us, the government should keep its word. I invite you to help it to do so.
European Union backs Arab plan for Lebanon
Beirut, March 5: European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana has said that the EU backs an Arab plan to end the Lebanese political crisis and called for electing a Lebanese president before the Arab summit due at the end of March.We support the Arab plan to end the Lebanese political stalemate, Solana told reporters after meeting house speaker Nabih Berri here Tuesday.I think electing a president in Lebanon should be done before the Arab summit due in Syria in March, he added.Lebanon's ruling majority and the opposition have been locked in a 16-month-old political deadlock that has left the country without a president since November.Arab League mediation has so far failed to break the impasse that has forced the presidential election to be postponed 15times since September.The three-point plan is aimed at immediately electing Lebanese Army Commander General Michel Suleiman as Lebanese president and proceeding to forming a government of national unity and drafting a new electoral law.News reports in Beirut said Tuesday that a new round of discussions between Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa and Berri have raised new ideas to settle the Lebanese crises.Berri told the daily as-Safir that he is still betting on the Arab initiative, disclosing that there are new ideas which we are working on to reach a consensus solution, without elaborating. Meanwhile, al-Akhbar daily, which is close to Hezbollah, reported that a number of phone discussions between Mussa and Berri proposed new ideas to reach an agreement before the next presidential election session scheduled for March 11.Meetings between Lebanese delegates from the opposition and ruling coalition, sponsored by Mussa in Cairo, were considered in the discussions, said the report.--- IANS
The EU's Lisbon Treaty explained
By James Kirkup 4:17pm GMT 05/03/2008
The Lisbon Treaty of the European Union draws heavily on the European Constitution and contains many of its most contentious measures. The term constitution may have been dropped but critics say the new EU treaty still makes Europe a global player at the expense of Britain's sovereignty and international presence.
Perhaps the most visible change will be the creation of a new EU president. The new EU president will be a full-time Brussels official, serving a two-and-half-year term and chosen by Europe's leaders to chair their summits and set the EU agenda. Tony Blair is a leading contender for the £200,000 a year job. The treaty also creates a new EU foreign minister, who will have the title of high representative.The office holder will still be able to make foreign policy under his own initiative without a full British national veto. The high representative will also chair meetings of Europe's foreign ministers, giving the EU post superiority over the UK's Foreign Secretary in the European pecking order. Under the new treaty, 55 national vetoes - allowing Britain and any member state to block EU measures that are against their national interests - are scrapped outright. Ministers say many are procedural and others are in Britain's interests. The treaty also lends strength to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, a legal text which business leaders say would give unions more rights and hurt the UK economy, though ministers say a protocol they negotiated means it will not apply to the UK. Opponents say the treaty will also transfer powers over energy reserves to Brussels, potentially forcing up household gas and electricity bills. Finally, the treaty will cut the size of the European Commission from 2014. It will also change the voting weights member-states have in EU decisions.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: IRAQI PRESIDENT TALABANI'S SPOKESMAN WARNS A PRECIPITOUS U.S. TROOP WITHDRAWAL COULD BE DISASTER FOR IRAQ AND THE REGION By Joel C. Rosenberg
[Note: I have just returned from a nine-day trip inside Iraq with John Moser, executive director of The Joshua Fund. Here's a report I drafted inside.]
(Sulymania, Iraq, Monday, February 25, 2008) -- Are we making any progress in Iraq? Will the U.S. stay the course and help this country become a secure and truly democratic country? Or will we cut and run, and if we do, what will be the ramifications? What do the leaders of Iraq say? What do they really want from us? These are some of the questions that brought me to Iraq for a new non-fiction book and documentary film I'm working on. I came without an invitation from the U.S. military, without heavily armed guards, without armor-plated vehicles, without Blackhawks helicopters and Apache gunships. The answers I found both surprised and encouraged me.
I had, of course, heard the stories and the stats: 70% of combat operations are now led by Iraqi military and security forces, with U.S. assistance. Iraqis forces are increasingly battle-tested and successful. They are killing and capturing jihadists in impressive numbers. Iraqi civilians throughout the country are getting so disgusted by seeing so much Muslim-on-Muslim violence that they are turning against the jihadist leaders and demanding peace and quiet. They are calling the tip lines, turning in radicals and helping U.S. and Iraqi forces capture key leaders and huge caches of weapons. Moqtada al-Sadr, the 33 year old leader of the vicious Mahdi Army who is under enormous pressure from coalition forces, has just announced another six-month cease fire. Violence in Baghdad is down 80%. An estimated 85-90% of Iraqi territory is now safe. As violence drops, the economy is growing impressively -- up more than 7% this past year. And of course, the sooner Iraqi units are properly trained and equipped, the sooner U.S. forces can stand down and begin coming home. There is beginning to be light at the end of the tunnel, and it no longer appears to be the light of an on-coming train.
That said, seeing is believing and I had to see it for myself. So traveling in a beat up old Chevy Impala, my Joshua Fund colleague John Moser and I toured five provinces on a nine-day journey, meeting with 19 Iraqi evangelical Christian pastors and ministry leaders, speaking at a rapidly growing Iraqi evangelical church, interviewing former radical Islamic terrorists and jihadists, doing humanitarian relief work, and sizing up the progress that has been made here. And the progress is real and palpable.
It will be hard for many of you to believe this, but we never once felt in danger. Nor did we ever see U.S. troops. Not once. We were welcomed so warmly both as Christians and as Americans. The economy, especially in the northern provinces, really is booming. Housing prices are soaring. Construction is underway everywhere. Cranes building new high rises are everywhere. Yes, there is still tremendous, heart-breaking poverty. Yes, there are occassional flashes of severe violence even in the safe regions. True, we didn't choose on this particular trip to go into the worst regions of Iraq, including Baghdad. And true, we didn't wander aimlessly around the country. We were with Iraqi leaders who knew the political and geographic terrain and could keep us out of harm's way. So don't misunderstand what I'm saying. The bad news you're hearing in the news media about the violence and trouble in Iraq is not inaccurate. But it is incomplete. There is lots of good news here. It's just barely reported.
But this goes back to the very real question of our own presidential campaign. Are the American people willing to see this heroic effort through, or are we going to turn our back on all the sacrifice our brave fighting men and women have made in Iraq so far. Senator John McCain, the father of the surge, seems to have locked up the Republican presidential nomination. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama, however, are locked in a dead heat for the Democratic presidential nomination, fiercely battling over how fast to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq. The battle lines for the fall campaign are becoming increasingly clear, at least when it comes to U.S. foreign policy in the epicenter.
In that context, earlier today I had the privilege of conducting an 80-minute exclusive interview with Mr. Mala Bakhtyar, Spokesman for Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. Most of that interview I will save for INSIDE THE REVOLUTION, due out from Tyndale in April 2009. But here are some excerpts worth noting in the current political climate:
President Talabani is optimistic about the future of Iraq, said Bakhtyar. He believes the forces of extremism will be defeated. He believes we will solve most of the problems Iraqis are suffering with and that democracy will go forward....We think Iraq will eventually emerge as the central democratic country in the region. Other countries will look to Iraq as the model. He puts the chances of Iraq becoming a true success story at about 80%. But, he warned, the worst case scenario is a full-blown civil war engulfing the entire country, not just a series of sectarian skirmishes in certain cities and certain villages. If the U.S. was not here, the civil war would have already happened. And if civil war had broken out, 500,000 to one million people would have been killed.If the U.S. now pulls its military forces out of Iraqi too fast and too recklessly, Talabani and his senior advisors fear that democracy could collapse and a trre civil war could happen after all, leading to wholesale slaughter and chaos in the region. The Spokesman was careful not to appear in any way trying to meddle in internal U.S. politics. But the concerns inside the Iraqi government are very real. What happens in November in the U.S. will have a profound and lasting effect on their country and all the people of the epicenter.
President Talabani thinks the relationship with the United States is strategic and related to Iraq's destiny, Bakhtyar said. But he added pointedly that a part of American public opinion is mistaken. They they think Iraq is facing struggles because of the presence of American forces. On the contrary, 80% of those problems have been contained by U.S. and British forces.Look, said the Spokesman, a man who himself narrowly survived an assassination attempt in October of 2005, Iraq has been around for 83 years. We have fought against Israel four times. We fought Iran for eight years. We occupied Kuwait. We were under international embargo for 13 years....There has been continual fighting throughout Kurdish history [in the north of Iraq]. From 1938 to 1945, there were three [armed] uprisings in the Barzan region. From 1961 to 1975, there was even more fighting in Kurdistan. From 1976 to 1991, there were many military operations and revolts. So what is Iraq? Is it a country, or a butcher house? No one has experienced peace or happiness here. It's a country of bloodshed. So why do we blame America for our troubles? Terrorists are fighting against the democratic process in Iraq....The terrorists are frightened of what will happen if democracy wins in Iraq. The age of terror and [radical Islamic] fundamentalism will be over....But I believe the democrats in the Middle East will win this war in the next ten to fifteen years. Through his Spokesman, President Talabani has invited me to return to Iraq later this year to do a sit-down interview with him on the future of his country. More details on this as they develop.
by Daniel Schorr Medvedev May Be Much More Than Putin's Puppet
All Things Considered, March 4, 2008 · NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says that while the election of Russia's new president, Dimitri Medvedev, has been described as more of a coronation, and Medvedev himself described as a puppet of outgoing president Vladimir Putin, there may be something more profound at work.
Dmitri Medvedev, Russia's newly elected president, is a protege of Vladimir Putin's from their days in the St. Petersburg city government.The technocrat, who has not previously held elected office, had no meaningful opposition in Sunday's election, which he won with more than 70 percent of the vote.Some Western observers have portrayed him as a puppet who will follow Putin's policies and possibly keep the presidential chair warm for his boss to return in four or eight more years. Echoes of that mindset emerged in the latest Democratic presidential debate, when Sen. Hillary Clinton described Medvedev as someone who is obviously being installed by Putin, who Putin can control, who has very little independence. In the same debate, Sen. Barack Obama called Medvedev's candidacy a clever but transparent way for Putin to hold on to power.Earlier, Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Putin's endorsement of Medvedev meant that Putin had just made himself president for life.
Role of Medvedev's Background
Russia policy experts don't necessarily agree that Medvedev will be simply a rubber stamp for Putin's agenda or that U.S. foreign policy should proceed on that assumption. Andrew Kuchins of the Center for Strategic and International Studies says we should leave ourselves open to taking Medvedev seriously.Kuchins notes that Medvedev, who is 42, comes from a background that's very different from that of his mentor, who is 55. In the context of Russia, Kuchins says, the age difference is important, because it means that Putin spent a significant part of his career under the Soviet system, whereas Medvedev did not. Medvedev has a background as a law professor and as the general council for a big pulp company, while Putin worked for the KGB, the Soviet intelligence service.
Kuchins notes that in a key policy speech, delivered on Feb. 15 in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Medvedev addressed some of Russia's problems in a way that was different from Putin's approach during his eight years in office. You couldn't ask for a more liberal-sounding speech from a Russian leader in today's context, Kuchins says. Anders Aslund, of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, agrees that the Krasnoyarsk speech could be a sign that Medvedev is something different. He says Medvedev acknowledged public complaints against Russia's legal system, its culture of corruption, and its bloated civil service. He said there's no reason to have so many government officials on the boards of state corporations, and he's taken a strong stand on private property rights. He's spoken up against monopolies. He wants to lower taxes and simplify the tax code, Aslund says.Aslund notes that Putin made a more liberal speech himself, about a week earlier, but that Medvedev's speech went farther.Horton Beebe-Center, president of the Eurasia Society, says both speeches were not so much expressions of liberalism as of pragmatism. The question, he says, is to what extent Medvedev and Putin understand the serious challenges that Russia faces today.No one can deny the tremendous economic performance of Russia over Putin's two terms, but fundamental structural problems remain, he says.Kuchins says much of that success is because Russia is a major oil producer in a time of surging oil prices. Russia has been able to achieve impressive growth rates during the Putin years without having to do much right, he says. But Russia is already facing problems with its oil production. Production has started to diminish, and they haven't made adequate investments to sustain it.
Moving into the Future
Medvedev has already pledged to name Putin prime minister, and Putin has said he wants the job. The prime minister's powers are now subordinate to those of the president, and it's not clear how that might change. All three observers agree that the future depends on the balance of power between the two men. As Beebe-Center puts it, there's only one person who knows how much power the next president of Russia will have, and that's Mr. Putin.
Beebe-Center says the uncertainty is compounded by the fact that both Russia and the United States will have new presidents by this time next year, but he says that offers both sides a new chance to engage each other. Kuchins says that during past transitions of leadership in Russia, the new leaders have tended to be more accommodating to the United States. If that happens, he asks, will the U.S. be ready for it? Kuchins says that what the United States can do is engage Medvedev at face value, as the real leader of the country, and help establish his credibility with the international community. He says that should include completing an agreement on nuclear cooperation with Russia, and help with Russia's accession to membership in the World Trade Organization. That would give Medvedev something to show his people from the relationship with the U.S., Kuchins says.Kuchins also says U.S. leaders should resist the urge to take cheap shots at Russia. He says there's not much for any of the presidential candidates to gain by appearing soft on Russia, but that also means that there's not much for any Russian leader to gain by seeming too conciliatory to the United States.
Aslund, a longtime critic of Putin, also warns that the Russian president famously plays his cards close to the chest, and that he may have more surprises in store. My perception, Aslund says, is that he already changed his scheme several times before naming Medvedev. Putin has said so many different things that are not true.
Aslund says he now thinks Putin may not take the prime ministership, but could instead take some other position, such as chairman of Russia's Constitutional Court. The fundamental thing is that we don't know.