Experts Warn: World is Being Driven Towards the ‘Unthinkable Scenario of Untreatable Infections’ as Resistant Infections Spread Throughout Europe
By JEREMY LAURANCE – “The world is being driven towards the ‘unthinkable scenario of untreatable infections’, experts are warning, because of the growth of superbugs resistant to all antibiotics and the dwindling interest in developing new drugs to combat them.
Reports are increasing across Europe of patients with infections that are nearly impossible to treat. The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) said yesterday that in some countries up to 50 per cent of cases of blood poisoning caused by one bug – K. pneumoniae, a common cause of urinary and respiratory conditions – were resistant to carbapenems, the most powerful class of antibiotics.
Across Europe, the percentage of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae has doubled from 7 per cent to 15 per cent. The ECDC said it is ‘particularly worrying’ because carbapenems are the last-line antibiotics for treatment of multi-drug-resistant infections.
Marc Sprenger, the director, said: ‘The situation is critical. We need to declare a war against these bacteria.’” Read more.
“Sixty percent of people arrested for Islamic terrorist activities between January 2009 and April 2011 were American citizens, according to a new report from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. The study of 104 people who were arrested included U.S. and non-U.S. citizens living in America or abroad.
The report, ‘Analyzing the Islamic Extremist Phenomenon in the United States: A Study of Recent Activity,’ was authored by Joan Neuhaus Schaan, fellow in homeland security at the Baker Institute. Jessica Phillips, an intern with the Baker Institute’s homeland security and terrorism program, provided research support for the study.
Using data from international and U.S. news reports, general Internet media, public records and official court documents, the researchers set out in November 2010 to analyze information on the status of Islamic extremism in the United States. They also looked at some of the unanswered questions raised by U.S. Rep. Peter King’s Committee on Homeland Security hearing, ‘The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community’s Response.’ King, R-N.Y., and chair of the committee, held the hearing March 10, 2011.
‘Providing policymakers this data can allow for a factual discussion and diminish rhetoric,’ Neuhaus Schaan said. ‘Consequently, policy can be crafted to address current and future needs in the face of change and adaptation by those determined to bring harm to the United States.’
Other key findings from the report include:
- Of the 104 people arrested for Islamic extremist activities between January 2009 and April 2011, half were born in the U.S., 22 percent were naturalized citizens and 7 percent were dual citizens.
- Of the 104, 5 percent entered the U.S. on a visa.
- Sixty-three percent of converts had a known prior criminal record.
- Of the 14 American converts with a prior criminal history, at least 55 percent had converted to Islam in prison.
- Ninety-two 92 percent were male.
- Sixty-four percent were 30 years old or younger.
- Sixty-six percent had traveled or were in the process of traveling to the Middle East, Somalia, South Asia or the Balkans.
- Of the 104, 70 percent had an association or were attempting an association with an internationally recognized terrorist organization; al-Qaida and its associated branches were cited most.
- Of the 29 persons with no known association to a group, 11 had been active on terrorist-related chat rooms and websites.
- Overall, 38 percent had been involved in this Internet activity.
- Only 10 of the 104 are what the authors would consider ‘lone wolves’; most in the cohort had ties to others in the group or to an organization.
Information on birthplaces and conversion to Islam was available for 77 of the 104 people arrested. The data revealed that 60 percent of the group was born outside the U.S. Of the 31 U.S.-born persons where religion of origin could be determined , 14 were born into Muslim families and 17 converted to Islam.
‘The Internet and prison conversion are the two biggest new trends that policymakers need to look at more closely,’ Neuhaus Schaan said. ‘We’ve seen a major change in how people become associated with extremist groups in the past 20 years, and we need to adapt.’
The report concludes that approximately two-thirds of those involved in extremist activity are men under the age of 34, and no single, all-encompassing profile can be made of the analysis group of 104. Neuhaus Schaan said that the Baker Institute will continue to compile data and issue an updated report annually.” Source – Eurekalert.org
Iran: Officials Using Beatings and Solitary Confinement to Pressure Christian Pastor to Convert to Islam and Renounce Christ
Dear Lord, give our brother the strength to fight the good fight, to finish the race, to stand firm in the faith …
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
By Michael Carl – “Beatings and solitary confinement are two of the tools being used by Iranian officials to pressure a Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani condemned for blasphemy to recant his faith, according to reports.
Iran has planned to execute Nadarkhani, but he remains alive because of the international furor created by the Islamic republic’s plan to destroy a man who says he never was a Muslim.
Compass Direct says the Church of Iran pastor who has been on death row since his blasphemy conviction in September 2010 “is in deteriorating health,” according to a member of Nadarkhani’s denomination, who requested anonymity.
Compass also reported this week that the information is sketchy because communication is very limited.
Aidan Clay, International Christian Concern’s Middle East specialist, says Nadarkhani is enduring harsh treatment.
‘Recent reports indicate that Pastor Youcef has been struck by authorities during frequent interrogations and has been placed in solitary confinement for extended periods of time,’ Clay said.
Clay said Nadarkhani is also under continual pressure to recant his Christian faith.
‘He has also reportedly been given materials aimed at discrediting the Bible and affirming Islam. The renunciation of faith is the only ground by which the court hopes to release Pastor Youcef,’ Clay said.
Nadarkhani was sentenced to death after a Rasht, Iran, court declared him guilty of ‘leaving Islam,’ in spite of the fact that Nadarkhani says he was never a Muslim.
However, Colorado journalist Jack Minor reported last week that a high-ranking Muslim cleric says that Nadarkhani’s claims of never following Islam are not enough.
Minor points out that Islam teaches that everyone on earth is born a Muslim.
‘On page 28, in the introduction of a copy of the Quran, printed by Ansariyan Publications in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the translator, M.H. Shakir in the section ‘Islam and Muslims’ states, ‘In fact, every child that is born is a Muslim. It is the parents who make him a Jew, Christian or Hindu,” Minor said.
‘Based on this teaching, even if Nadarkhani had never visited a mosque a day in his life he is still considered a Muslim. Therefore, when he accepted Christ as his savior and became a Christian he left the Muslim faith whether he knew it or not,’ Minor also reported.
Clay said the pastor’s faith is holding firm.” Read more.
“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our FREEDOM!!” Oh …
By Christopher Stephen – “Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) — Libyan gunmen broke into the Saif al-Nasr mosque in Tripoli early on Nov. 8, smashed open a wooden sarcophagus and removed the remains of Saif al-Nasr, a scholar who died 155 years ago, and a former imam, Hammad Zwai.
‘These bodies have been moved to a Muslim cemetery,’ announced graffiti on the walls, explaining the disapproval by some Islamists of the Sufi Muslim tradition of burying scholars and teachers in mosques to honor them.
Muslims pushing for a strict intepretation of Islamic law are jostling for power in the chaos that has gripped Libya since the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi, the third North African leader after those in Egypt and Tunisia to fall in the Arab Spring.
Last month protesters holding signs proclaiming ‘We Are Here to Purify the Honor of Tripoli’ forced the early closure of the capital’s first fashion show since Qaddafi’s 42-year rule in Tripoli ended in August.
‘I was scared; I wiped off my makeup and went home,’ said Jasmin Abdul Aziz, a 22-year-old student who was one of five models at the event and once paraded a $5,000 dress studded with diamonds in a Qaddafi-era fashion show. ‘Before, we would wear shorts in the streets. Now, look around you, nobody does.’” Read more.
Flashback: Al-Qaeda Plants Its Flag in Libya, ‘Whomever Speaks Ill of This Flag, We Will Cut Off His Tongue’ – “It was here at the courthouse in Benghazi where the first spark of the Libyan revolution ignited. It’s the symbolic seat of the revolution; post-Gaddafi Libya’s equivalent of Egypt’s Tahrir Square. And it was here, in the tumultuous months of civil war, that the ragtag rebel forces established their provisional government and primitive, yet effective, media center from which to tell foreign journalists about their ‘fight for freedom.’ But according to multiple eyewitnesses—myself included—one can now see both the Libyan rebel flag and the flag of al Qaeda fluttering atop Benghazi’s courthouse.” Read more.
Flashback: US Intelligence Report Says Libyan Jihadists Planning to Subvert Post-Gadhafi Gov’t and Create an Islamist State – “Jihadists among the Libyan rebels revealed plans last week on the Internet to subvert the post-Moammar Gadhafi government and create an Islamist state, according to U.S. intelligence agencies. U.S. officials said spy agencies are stepping up surveillance of Islamist-oriented elements among Libyan rebels. A government report circulated Tuesday said extremists were observed ‘strategizing’ on Internet forums about how to set up an Islamist state in Libya after the regime of Col. Gadhafi is defeated.” Read more.
By Jonathan Mitchell – “The Islamist politician likely to become Tunisia’s first democratically elected prime minister has alarmed liberals and secularists by claiming the arrival of the ‘sixth caliphate’, a controversial term for a Muslim empire.
Hamadi Jebeli, secretary-general of Ennahda, the moderate Islamist party which romped to victory in last month’s elections, told a rally in the city of Sousse: ‘My brothers, you are at a historic moment in a new cycle of civilisation, God willing. We are in sixth caliphate, God willing.’
Party officials, who have spent months insisting they wanted to pursue secular democratic politics rather than an international Islamist agenda, were forced on the defensive after his comments were posted on the internet.
But they may have scuppered the party’s hopes of forging a broad-based coalition. The left-of-centre secular Ettakatol, which came third in the vote, suspended talks with Ennahda over forming a government.
‘We thought we were going to build a second republic with our partner – not a sixth caliphate,’ Khemais Ksila, a senior member, said.
Mr Jebeli was imprisoned under the dictatorship of Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali for his Islamist beliefs. But since the country’s revolution in January, the party has argued it wants to work within a democratic political system along western lines.
The stance was enough to see them win 40 per cent of seats in parliament, more even than their supporters expected. But opponents say their moderate public statements hide a more radical agenda …” Read more.
Tunisia’s Islamist party showing signs of radical shift – “Many Tunisians loathed Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s dictatorship for its unchecked corruption and allergy to genuine democracy, but his toppled regime once stood out as an Arab state with a progressive approach to gender equality. Souad Abdelrahim, the sole female member of Ennahda not to wear a headscarf, last week sparked concern that the party might seek to curb women’s rights. She said single mothers were ‘inconceivable in an Arab Muslim state’ and added ‘they must marry’ in order to attain full rights… Ben Younes, who runs a Tunisian foreign policy journal, recalled Ennahda’s efforts to reassure moderates after the election, notably targeting potential investors and womens’ rights groups. ‘The more they reassure us, the more they worry us,’ he said.” Read more.
Flashback: Muslim Brotherhood Leader of Tunisia Calls for an End to Israel - “Arab media has reported an interview with Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi in which he calls for and predicts the end of Israel… Ghannouchi maintains that altogether the Arab revolutions are positive for the Palestinians, and threaten to bring Israel to an end. He says that the Palestinian problem lies at the heart of the Nation [umma], and that all the land between the mosque in Mecca and Jerusalem represents the heart of the Islamic Nation…” Read more.
Pakistan: Christian Pastor Previously Threatened by Muslim Fundamentalists is Ambushed and Killed After Coming Home From Prayer Service
By Jibran Khan – “Karachi (AsiaNews) – Rev Jameel Sawan, from Quetta, was gunned down in Karachi in what appears to be an ambush. The Protestant clergyman was a close aide to Saleem Khurshid Khokhar, president of the Sindh branch of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) as well as a Sindh provincial lawmaker who sat in the assembly’s standing committee for minorities.
Both men had received death threats because of their fight for minority rights and support for the policies undertaken by Shahbaz Bhatti. Pakistan’s late Minorities minister who was slain on 2 March.
Despite the threats, the authorities and law enforcement had failed to provide the two men with protection and a police escort. Now investigators have to determine whether the murder was motivated by religion or personal disputes.
Yesterday, Rev Sawan was coming home from a prayer service. He was stopped by three armed men in the town of Aziz. After talking to him, they opened fire killing him on the spot.” Read more.
Stakelbeck on Terror: The Coming Caliphate — “It’s Time to Start Thinking Outside the Box About What’s Coming”
“On this week’s edition of the Stakelbeck on Terror show, CBN News examines the growing strength of global jihad and the possibility of a new Islamic caliphate.
We start by exploring the Obama administration’s recent statements that al Qaeda is nearing defeat. While al Qaeda may be weakening, other more dangerous threats to America’s national security are strengthening — namely Iran, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood. See why the U.S. should be concerned.
CBN News also heads to Istanbul, Turkey for a report on how the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ has laid the groundwork for a re-established Islamic super state known as the caliphate.
We then analyze how Iran is vying to lead the new caliphate.
Also watch as Jeremy Issacharoff, a leading Iran expert in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discussed the Iranian regime’s alarming progress in developing nuclear weapons.” Watch Full Episode Here.
Why Iran’s Top Leaders Believe That the End of Days Has Come – “Why would Iran authorize a major terrorist operation on American soil? Skeptics say the much-discussed ‘foiled’ Iranian plot makes no sense. We will know soon enough if the Feds have sufficient evidence related to this specific plot. But Iranian leaders may, in fact, have a motive to accelerate direct attacks on the U.S.: Shia Islamic eschatology, or ‘End Times’ theology. Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are convinced that the End of Days has come. They believe the Shia messiah known as the ‘Twelfth Imam’ or the ‘Mahdi’ will appear soon to establish a global Islamic kingdom known as the caliphate. What’s more, they believe the way to hasten the coming of the Twelfth Imam is to annihilate Israel …” Read more.
Ayatollah Khamenei Calls for the World’s Islamic Nations to Form an International Power-Bloc - The First Step in the Fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39? – “… this past Sunday, the Ayatollah called for the formation of an ‘international Islamic power-bloc’ of all Muslims uniting against the non-Muslim world (specifically, ‘the West, the United States, and Zionism, which are weaker than ever before’). According to the Ayatollah, such a power-bloc ‘can change the destiny of the Islamic Ummah (nation),’ and herald ‘a bright future accompanied with dignity and progress.’ It really doesn’t matter whether we label the Ayatollah’s call a ‘Revived Caliphate’ or an ‘international Islamic power-bloc,’ the point is that a Shia leader is calling for the uniting of all Muslims against the Infidels.” Read more.
Well that wasn’t difficult to predict. Here’s another one: Iran will not give the IAEA full access to any of their nuclear facilities …
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano said Thursday he wrote a letter on November 2 proposing an inspection team visit Tehran.
‘I wrote to Iran’s vice-president and president of the country’s Atomic Energy Organization, Dr. [Kausar] Abbasi… proposing to send a high-level team to Iran,’ Amano revealed Thursday in an address at the start of a two-meeting of the IAEA’s board of governors.
‘I hope a suitable date can be agreed upon soon. It is essential that any such mission should be well planned and that it should address the issues contained in my report,’ he continued.
‘I ask Iran to engage substantively with the agency without delay and provide the requested clarifications regarding possible military dimensions to its nuclear program.
‘I remain willing to engage in dialogue with Iran,’ he added.
In its latest report, the IAEA said last week that it was able to build an overall ‘credible’ impression that Iranian scientists were engaged in carrying out ‘activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.’
Iran has dismissed the report as ‘baseless.’
The report included detailed evidence such as the transfer underground of low-enriched uranium in large containers, a bus-sized steel container visible by satellite for explosives testing and weapons design work – including how to arm a Shahab-3 missile with a nuclear warhead.
The Shahab-3 has a range long enough to reach the State of Israel, which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has for years threatened to ‘wipe off the map.’” Source – Arutz Sheva.
Pentagon Receives Massive Bunker-Busting Bombs, Denies Targeting Iran – “Pentagon officials are speaking publicly about the military’s new 30,000-pound massive ordnance penetrator, or MOP, known now as the biggest ‘bunker-busting bomb’ in the world. The Air Force has already received an undisclosed number of these bombs from Boeing, all designed to fit exclusively with the B-2 and B-52 bombers. ‘It gives us a far greater capability to reach and destroy an enemy’s weapons of mass destruction that are located in well protected underground facilities… to a magnitude far greater than we have now,’ Pentagon Spokesman Capt. John Kirby said at a briefing Wednesday.” Read more.
Marcher Hossam Victor says about 400 Christians marched through the Cairo neighborhood of Shubra Thursday to mark the end of 40 days of mourning after sectarian clashes that killed 27 people, most of them Christians.
During the march, attackers threw stones, bricks and broken glass on the marchers from a six-floor apartment building, Victor said. Clashes broke out and 10 people were injured, two of them seriously.
Victor said the attackers were supporters of ultraconservative Islamist candidates in Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections.
Sectarian clashes have become more common since the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February.
During the anti-Mubarak riots that marked the opening of the so-called Arab Spring in Egypt, the country’s community of Coptic Christians came under attack by armed gangs of Islamists.
At least two Coptic churches were also burnt down during the uprising — one with ten people inside. Additionally, on New Year’s Day a bombing in a Coptic church killed 21.
Cairo’s caretaker junta has, to date, attempted to maintain the tolerant status quo of the Mubarak era, but Thursday’s violence has raised concerns about the security of Egypt’s Coptic Christians.
Islamists are expected to make significant gains in polls scheduled to begin on November 28.” Source – Arutz Sheva.
Egypt Christians abroad tell US persecution is “crime against humanity” – “Egyptian Coptic Christians living in the United States have sent a letter to American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, imploring her to take more action against what they termed a ‘crime against humanity’ facing the Christian population in Egypt from the Muslim Brotherhood. In the letter, sent on Wednesday to the State Department, head of the American Coptic Association Monir Dawoud warned the United States government that the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most organized and popular Islamic group, is ‘attempting to annihilate Christians’ and other minority groups in the country.” Read more.
Afghan Christians in Danger at Home and Abroad, ‘Whoever Changes His [Muslim] Religion Should Be Executed’
By Aidan Clay – “The following urgent message from Obaid S. Christ, an Afghan Christian living in New Delhi, arrived in my inbox two weeks ago:
‘I just received a warning call from a person who introduced himself as an [official at the Afghan embassy]… If I don’t go to the embassy in two hours to meet him, he will arrest [me] and present me to the embassy through the Indian police… Please pray and be in contact, and if in case something happens, my wife will contact you. He was claiming that I convert people from Islam to Christianity.’
The calls continued throughout the day. ‘They were very angry and saying that they will hit me by knife and kill me,’ the exile, who changed his name after fleeing Afghanistan in 2007 when an Islamic court issued an arrest warrant for his conversion, told me in reference to the third call he received late that night.
Threats against Afghan converts to Christianity should not be taken lightly. Conversion is viewed as a serious crime in Afghanistan and Christians are frequently targeted by both the government and extremists. Earlier this year, a video was released of the beheading of an Afghan man, Abdul Latif, by four Islamist militants near Herat. The militants, who claim to be the Taliban, read a passage from the Hadiths before executing the victim: ‘Mohammad (peace be upon him) says, ‘Whoever changes his religion should be executed.’’
Neither are Afghan Christians safe outside their homeland. In September, an Afghan convert was scalded with boiling water and acid at a refugee processing center in Norway. ‘If you do not return to Islam, we will kill you,’ his attackers reportedly told him.
For Obaid, the menacing calls were not the first time he felt threatened since arriving in India. ‘Our community is a persecuted and rejected community,’ he told me last April. ‘We left behind all our belongings in Afghanistan just to save our lives by leaving Afghanistan. Here in India, we are receiving no legal and physical protection from the UNHCR Office or Indian government. We are harassed, attacked, insulted and persecuted by Indian Muslims and Afghan Muslim refugees in this city.’ ” Read more.
Study: Christians are one of the most persecuted groups in the world – “Eritrea, Nigeria, India, Malaysia, the Maghreb states and the Middle East top the list of the most oppressive countries. Analysts cite the unstable political and economic situation, the rise of fundamentalism and extremism in these nations as the main cause for growing xenophobia… Analysts believe that if xenophobia is not stopped right now, Christianity will only feature in history books in [the] future. The 21st century will thus signify not only the end of Christian history, by the twilight of the whole of civilization.” Read more.
Nigeria: Christians Pray for the Strength to Stand Strong for Christ in the Midst of Persecution to Be Bold Witnesses
Mark 13:13, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Last year over 2,000 Christians in the country were murdered by Muslim extremists. While it is often tempting in trials such as this to pray for deliverance, the Christians in Nigeria are praying for something else.
Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, said the Christians are praying for the strength to stand strong.
Moeller said, ‘They don’t ask for us to pray that persecution would stop. They pray instead, that they would be strong in the midst of persecution, and to empower them to be bold witnesses despite the obvious persecution in many places.’
Members of the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, which, when translated, means ‘Western education is a sin,’ have conducted a series of attacks around the country recently. According to reports, hundreds have died, the majority of them Christians, and at least 10 churches have been burned.
Christian leaders in the Yobe state capital, Damaturu, told Compass Direct News that, ‘When the Muslim extremists went to New Jerusalem, they said, any Christian they met who could not recite the Islamic creed was instantly shot and killed or slaughtered like a lamb.’
In response to the violence by the Islamic extremists, the Obama administration has announced it is sending troops into the region. While U.S. officials have refused to confirm a troop deployment, wired.com and the U.K. Guardian have both reported that U.S. troops are headed to Nigeria to help local forces battle the Boko Haram.” Read more.