“A strong earthquake struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, sending goods tumbling from shelves and prompting terrified holiday shoppers to flee as buildings shook. There was no tsunami alert issued and the city appeared to have been spared major damage.
One person was injured at a city mall and was taken to a hospital, Christchurch police said in a statement. But there were no immediate reports of serious injuries or widespread damage in the city, which is still recovering from the devastating February earthquake that killed 182 people and destroyed much of the downtown area.
The 5.8-magnitude quake struck Friday afternoon 26 kilometres north of Christchurch at a depth of four kilometres, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue an alert.
The city’s airport was evacuated and all city malls shut down as a precaution.
Warwick Isaacs, demolitions manager for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, said most buildings had been evacuated ‘as an emergency measure.’” Read more.
Update: More quakes rattle New Zealand, including a 6.0 “aftershock” …
International Christian Concern’s Middle East specialist Aidan Clay says he recently visited a victim of a Somali mob attack in Kenya.
‘When I saw him a month after the incident, he was still badly bruised, could hardly see out of his right eye which was black, and was missing teeth,’ Clay said.
Clay said the attacks are getting more frequent and more intense.
‘Recently, there has been a slight surge of violence targeting Christians inside Kenya, provoked mainly by Somali Muslims, some of whom are likely from the militant group al-Shabaab,’ Clay said.
‘It appears that the Islamist militants are not only targeting crowded areas and tourists, but also narrowed in on a Kenyan Christian community,’ he said.
Recently, a Somali Christian man living in Kenya was beaten unconscious by Somali mobs inside Kenyan territory.
Christian news agency Compass Direct, which reports persecution of Christians, reported that a gang of seven Somali Muslims accused 23-year-old Ibrahim (his last name was withheld for security) of apostasy, then left him for dead. It happened only a few weeks after a similar attack on his brother.
Reports also say that Ibrahim was raised as a Christian, so the charge of apostasy has no legal grounds.
Clay said the attack victim he saw “was followed home by six Somali Muslims who had overheard the young man saying on the phone that he is Christian.”
‘They beat him unconscious, nearly killing him, and dropped him off, bleeding and naked, outside a Presbyterian church in Nairobi. The guards outside the church took him to the hospital and his life was spared,’ Clay said.” Read more.
Pakistan: Heightened Terror Threat Against Christians on Christmas, Churches Install Metal Detectors
By Asad Kharal – “LAHORE: The police met with Christian leaders to discuss security measures at churches on Monday, after intelligence reports warned of a heightened threat of terrorist attacks on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The intelligence report named 20 churches in Lahore as ‘sensitive’, while describing security at all 433 churches in the city as ‘inadequate’.
The report said that terrorists planned to target Christian gatherings on December 24 and 25.
The report was forwarded to the capital city police officer (CCPO) and others asking that the police act to secure Christian places of worship, particularly the 20 most vulnerable churches.
DOG (Operations) Ghulam Mahmood Dogar met with Christian leaders later on Monday to discuss security, according to a press release. He said that 2,000 policemen would be deployed to protect the 433 churches in the city and all security arrangements would be finalised by December 22.
The police categorised 38 churches in the city as most vulnerable to attack. The DIG said that each of these ‘category A’ churches would get a deployment of one officer and seven junior personnel including snipers to be deployed on rooftops.
The DIG said that walkthrough gates would be installed at the category A churches and that policewomen and Christian volunteers would search people with metal detectors at A and B category churches.
He said that 39 churches were in category B, 187 in C and 179 in D.
Asked if he was satisfied with the security measures, Reverend Shahid Mehraj of the Lahore Cathedral Church, who attended the meeting, said the country was in a war-like situation and it was a dangerous place.” Read more.
Here’s an update to this story on the ‘peanut butter and jelly’ jihadist. Not only has Tarek Mehanna been convicted, we’re now learning that he’s a full-fledged doctor, having obtained his degree from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Yet another nail in the coffin to the liberal lie that poverty and lack of education are the root cause of Islamic terrorism …
Prosecutors alleged that Tarek Mehanna, who hails from the Boston suburb of Sudbury, travelled to Yemen in 2004 seeking terrorism training, Xinhua reported.
Mehanna, an Egyptian descent, has been held without bail since he was indicted on terrorism charges in November 2009.
The 29-year-old had a doctorate degree from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
After failing to get training there, he returned to the US and started distributing propaganda materials of Al Qaeda.
Defence lawyers argued that Mehanna did not provide support to Al Qaeda but was expressing his own views in opposition to US foreign policy, particularly to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But a number of Mehanna’s former friends testified against him that he had promoted extreme ideology, endorsed the Sep 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.” Read more.
Nigeria: Christian Woman Killed in Kaduna State, Husband Prays for Muslim Killers to ‘Come to Know Jesus Christ as Their Savior’
Matthew 5:44,46a, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you … For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?”
“KAGORO, Nigeria, December 20 (CDN) — A Muslim villager in Kaduna state allegedly helped Fulani herdsmen and other Muslims from nearby Kafanchan to ambush a Christian settlement, resulting in the death of one woman and gunshot wounds to two other Christians on Dec. 10, area sources said.
Musa Blak, 60, told Compass how gunmen lurking behind trees outside his home killed his wife, Kunam Musa Blak, and wounded him and his cousin, 48-year-old Monday Blai Yayok, after a schoolteacher in Kukum Gida village allegedly helped Muslims survey the site. Kunam Musa Blak was 50.
In the Jankassa ward of Kukum Gida village, a Christian settlement of 425 people who all attend the local Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Musa Blak and his family were asleep when they were awakened by the sound of barking dogs at 11:45 p.m., he said.
‘I decided to go outside and find out what was happening,’ Blak said. ‘While outside, I noticed a dark figure standing behind some cactus trees near my house. I neither moved nor said anything, but kept watching to see what this figure would do.’
Hidden behind the trees were Muslim gunmen who had taken positions around the village with the intent of ambushing villagers, he said.
‘A few minutes afterwards, the figure moved away quietly, and at this point my wife too came out of the room and met me outside, asking whether I had found anything,’ he said. ‘I then told her about the figure I saw that moved away.’
As he spoke to her, suddenly he heard a gunshot and saw his wife go down.
‘I heard the sound of a gunshot, and suddenly I Read more…
Sami Samir Hassoun, 23, also talked about poisoning Lake Michigan, bombing a landmark skyscraper and assassinating the then Mayor of Chicago.
He initially pleaded not guilty to charges that he received a fake bomb he believed was real from undercover FBI agents last year.
But attorneys have now told a federal judge he will plead guilty under an agreement worked out with prosecutors – a deal experts say may reflect the enormous odds he would face a trial.
At a hearing in Chicago, U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman set a date of February 14 for Hassoun to change his plea.
But neither side offered details about exactly what charges he would plead guilty to, and government and defence attorneys declined to comment after the hearing.
Hassoun has a strong incentive to reduce his potential prison time via a plea deal.
A conviction on just one of the charges against him – attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction – carries a maximum life prison term.” Read more.
UK: Antisemitic Blogger Calling for Attacks Against Jews ‘Wherever You See Them’ Escapes Prison Term, Receives Slap on the Wrist
The ‘religion of peace’ once again shows its true colors with another Islamist calling for the genocide of Jews, yet for all intents and purposes the UK continues to tolerate this murderous vitriol by issuing nothing more than an admonishing slap on the wrist. I’d hate to imagine what it would actually take to convince this impotent government that the next appropriate step is to imprison and deport these radical savages repeatedly calling for another holocaust …
Mohammed Sandia from Wembley said Jews were a ‘genetically mutated inbred tribe. Jews are not fit to breathe our air and should be attacked wherever we see them. Throw rocks at their ugly, hooked-nosed women and mentally ill children, and light up the real ovens.’
He changed his plea to guilty after initially denying the charges in November 2010. Sheriff Gordon Liddell expressed regret he could not impose a longer custodial sentence, suggesting a short sentence would ‘only have the effect of turning you, in your own eyes, and in the eyes of your supporters, into a martyr. I choose not to do that.’
Sheriff Liddell opted to defer sentencing for 12 months. Last week, Sandia appeared again in court, and was admonished – leaving him with a criminal record but no substantive penalty.
The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities director Ephraim Borowski welcomed the sentence as an ‘outspoken condemnation of Sandia’s outrageous and abhorrent postings on the Scotsman website, and a clear signal that the law will not tolerate the abuse of freedom of speech to spread hatred.’” Read more.
Flashback: UK: Muslim Cab Driver Decries Jews as ‘Animals’, Screams ‘All Jewish Children Must Die’ in Front of Jewish School – “A taxi driver ranted racial abuse outside a Jewish school after getting stuck in a traffic jam. Taha Osman shrieked ‘All Jewish children must die!’ after his car was hemmed in by parents picking up pupils outside King David School in Crumpsall. Two mums on the school run and a teaching assistant were singled out in a foul-mouthed and ‘frightening’ tirade witnessed by kids, Manchester Crown Court heard. Osman – an Iraqi Kurd who has settled in Britain – also shouted that Jewish people were ‘animals’ who ‘should not be allowed in this country’.” Read more.
Flashback: UK: Shocking Rise in Hate Crimes Against Jewish Community in Europe – “Anti-Jewish hate crime has rocketed by one third in Greater Manchester – with the region for the first time suffering more attacks than London. Shocking new figures show there were 121 anti-Semitic incidents – including assaults, desecration, threats and abuse – in the first six months of the year. That compares to 98 in Greater London – despite the capital having a Jewish population six times the size.” Read more.
Flashback: ‘Muslims are the new Nazis of Europe’ – “Well, we already knew it, but now there’s confirmation: Muslims are the new Nazis of Europe. They are responsible for at least 50% (and probably far more) of the anti-Semitic hate crimes in Europe. Don’t be shocked if that number gets mirrored here (the FBI refuses to keep publicly-released statistics on the heritage of hate-crime perpetrators here–gee, I wonder why; might get in the way of their ‘outreach’ to extremist Muslims)…” Read more.
Greece: Environment Group Warns of Large Number of Marine Mammal Deaths After Dead Sea Turtles, Fish, Whales Found Dead
“Corfu-based environmental group Archipelagos on Tuesday published a report warning of a large number of dead marine mammals and fish washed up on the coasts of the islands of the Ionian, Kathimerini has learned, following the alarming finding earlier this month of at least 10 dead whales on the coast of Corfu.
The report cited additional findings of dead sea turtles, hundreds of fish, more washed-up carcasses of large marine mammals such as the beaked whales and the disappearance of one Mediterranean monk seal from the Corfu coast, while also quoting fishermen who have noted a significant drop in fish populations throughout the western Greece coastal zone, from the western coast of Messinia in the south to the northern Ionian.
Samples taken by scientists working for Archipelagos from the dead beaked whales are being examined to determined what killed them, including high levels of toxicity and heavy metals, or disease.
‘This is without doubt a very painful event, which is taking place in the closed sea of the Mediterranean and which is of great concern to us and should alarm the scientific community and the authorities, given that the cause of death may be related — either directly or indirectly — to human activity,’ the group said in its report.” Read more.
It is estimated that close to 400 birds have been found in the area of Kiwanis Park, near 300 North and Vine Street, since Saturday, according to J.J. Allen, assistant Clearfield city manager. That said no one knows who made the decision to place pellets, which are clearly visible, in the area.
‘We had been told by the state Division of Wildlife Resources that the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services Division had raided European starlings, but now DWR is retracting the statement,’ Allen said. ‘Nobody is taking responsibility.’
A large number of birds were also found dead near 1000 West and 1800 North in Clinton, said Clint Thacker, director of Animal Care and Control for Davis County. The cause of that incident was equally mysterious.
Mike Linnell of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said his organization was not responsible for the deaths. He explained that European starlings are an invasive species that are not protected and could be shot on sight.
Area resident John Egbert said he’s lived near Kiwanis Park since 1970 and had never seen such a large number of birds. He said they take up camp in 15 or so large pine trees in the park and look like “a big gob” that entirely cover the trees.
‘I have never seen the birds in the fall that come together — it’s not a flock, they’re like swarms,’ he said. ‘We’re talking thousands and thousands of birds. They come in and it looks like a cloud.’
But Allen said that, for now, whatever is killing the birds remains a mystery.” Read more.
ENS – “JUNEAU, Alaska, December 20, 2011 (ENS) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today declared the recent deaths of ringed seals in the Arctic and Bering Strait regions of Alaska an unusual mortality event, triggering a focused, expert investigation into the cause of these deaths.
Since mid-July, more than 60 dead and 75 diseased seals, most of them ringed seals, have been reported in Alaska, with reports continuing to come in.
During their fall survey, scientists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also identified diseased and dead walruses at the annual mass haul-out at Point Lay.
A decision by the Service on making an an unusual mortality declaration for Pacific walrus in Alaska is pending.
Seals and walruses suffering from this disease have skin sores, usually on the hind flippers or face, and patchy hair loss. Some of the diseased animals have exhibited labored breathing and appear lethargic and do not flee from humans as they usually do.
Scientists have not yet identified a single cause for this disease, though tests indicate a virus is not the cause.
Dr. Stephen Raverty, veterinary pathologist with the Provincial Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in British Columbia, told reporters on a conference call today that the lesions on these animals are much more severe than the patchy hair loss usually seen.
‘These appear to be ulcerated lesions with secondary infections,’ he said. ‘Opportunistic yeast and fungi and bacteria have invaded.’
But Dr. Raverty said scientists still have not determined the cause or causes of these deaths. ‘Our analysis is not completed,’ he said. ‘It could be an environmental factor or more than one disease.’
‘We have forwarded the sampled tissues to labs – bacteria, mycology, virology,’ he said. ‘We are screening for 18 recognized pathogens, but all the lab results have come back negative.’” Read more.
New Mexico: Possibly Hundreds of Dead Crows Found in Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, Many Perched on Trees ‘Just Fell Over Dead’
This year, during the 36th annual Christmas Bird Count, participants found something quite different: piles of dead crows, possibly hundreds of them, at the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, says participant Ken Stinnett, who’s been doing bird counts since 1969.
‘I discovered, in the river and along the west side of the river quite a few dead birds,’ he said Tuesday. ‘Ninety-nine percent of them, of course, were American crows. I saw one Chihuahuan raven and later I saw one Brewer’s blackbird had been affected.’
As part of the survey, participants are assigned to various portions of a 15-mile circle that includes the river, La Cueva near the Organ Mountains, parts of U.S. 70 in the north and portions of the South Valley.
While some of the birds were found dead at the water’s edge, others, ‘it was obvious they died when they were perched in the trees, and just fell over dead,’ said Stinnett. The only bodies of water that appeared to be affected were between the Mesilla Dam and the Santo Tomas Bridge, downstream from Las Cruces, Stinnett said.
‘There were other areas of water that had ducks, geese, sandpipers and killdeer that were not affected,’ Stinnett said. ‘There were crows drinking water there and flying off like crows do.’
Park rangers were notified and officials from the USDA picked up the carcasses to perform necropsies, said Stinnett, who said the sight was quite disconcerting.” Read more.
Russia Ends Anti-Nuke Talks with the United States and Puts New Giant Nuclear ICBM Dubbed ‘Satan’ Into Play
By H. Scott – “Russia, frustrated with anti-nuke talks with the United states has decided to put an end to the talks and move forward with its plans to upgrade its nuclear defensive and offensive systems, including the construction on a new and more powerful Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). Nicknamed ‘Satan’ by Western intelligence, the new missile carries a 100-ton warhead. This giant ICBM will take its place at the head of an already impressive missile arsenal which includes the Yars, Topol-M and Bulava-class ballistic missiles sometime in 2015.
This announcement come on the heels of a US announcement that its last B-53 nuclear weapon has been dismantled. The B-53 was the largest bomb in the US arsenal.
Russian president Dimitri Medvedev walked out of talks with the United States back in November over US plans to set up a missile defense system in Europe. The European Phased Adaptive Approach plan is a intricate array of sea and land based missiles which were designed to be used against a missile attack from Iran. The US says that cooperation from Moscow is needed to help the shield work. Moscow on the other hand claims the talks were useless because the US refused to guarantee the missiles would not be aimed at Russia. At that point, Moscow decided to end their particiaption in the talks and shortly after announced it plans to build the Satan Nuke.” Read more.
Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 (Video):