Archive for 02/16/2012

‘The Hungry Generation’: With Famines Sweeping Across Continents 300 Children Die of Malnutrition Every Hour, Situation Getting Worse

02/16/2012 Leave a comment

By PAUL VALLELY – “A quarter of young children around the world are not getting enough nutrients to grow properly, and 300 die of malnutrition every hour, according to a new report that lays bare the effects of the global food crisis.

There are 170 million children aged under five whose development has been stunted by malnutrition because of lack of food for them and their breastfeeding mothers, and the situation is getting significantly worse, according to research by the charity Save the Children.

In Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Peru and Nigeria – countries which are the home of half of the world’s stunted children – recent rises in global food prices are forcing the parents of malnourished children to cut back on food and pull children out of school to work.

According to the report, A Life Free from Hunger: Tackling Child Malnutrition, a third of parents surveyed said their children routinely complain they do not have enough to eat. One in six parents can never afford to buy meat, milk or vegetables. It suggests that six out of 10 children in Afghanistan are not getting enough nutrients to avoid stunted growth.

‘If no concerted action is taken,’ warns Justin Forsyth, the charity’s chief executive, ‘half a billion children will be physically and mentally stunted over the next 15 years’.

Over the past five years the price of food has soared across the globe, thanks to extreme weather conditions, diverting farmland to grow biofuels, speculative trading of food commodities and the global financial crisis. The poor, who spend the bulk of their income on food, are hit hardest.” Read more.

US Intelligence Director: Sensing Syria’s Demise, Iran Takes Up ‘Marriage of Convenience’ with Al Qaeda as Potential Proxy

02/16/2012 Leave a comment

“WASHINGTON – The nation’s top intelligence adviser told Congress on Thursday that Al Qaeda ‘is extending its reach into Syria’ — possibly with Iran’s help.

In a rare public admission, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Al Qaeda and the Iranian regime have a ‘shotgun marriage, or marriage of convenience.’ More significantly, given the series of attacks this week linked to Iran, Clapper said Tehran appears to see Al Qaeda as an insurance policy — a ‘surrogate or proxy’ — against future Western aggression.

This public confirmation comes as U.S. officials investigate the release of five Al Qaeda members after ‘years of house arrest’ in Iran. The men include Saif al-Adel, who was tipped as the likely replacement for Usama bin Laden.

The release of Al Qaeda leaders is not confined to Iran. U.S. officials are also investigating whether the Syrians released Abu Musab al-Suri, seen as one of the terror network’s most important strategists. Al-Suri was captured in Pakistan 2005 and was in CIA custody until he was sent back to Syria as part of the controversial rendition program. Until recently, US officials were confident he would not be released by the Syrian government.

Clapper also confirmed that U.S. officials believe an Al Qaeda affiliate was responsible for a series of blast in Syria because the car bombs ‘bore the earmarks’ of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The affiliate, written off by some members of the U.S. intelligence community, has made a comeback according to Clapper.

Al Qaeda of Iraq is one of Al Qaeda’s largest regional affiliates, and it ‘is extending its reach into Syria’ by infiltrating opposition groups, likely without their knowledge. Clapper said the lack of a unified opposition group could leave a power vacuum that extremists could fill if the Syrian government falls, a potential development he called ‘troubling,’ because Syria has an extensive network of chemical weapons sites.” Read more.

General Assembly Votes to Condemn Syrian Leader – “In a powerful rebuke to Syria’s government, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to approve a resolution that condemned President Bashar al-Assad’s unbridled crackdown on an 11-month-old uprising and called for his resignation under an Arab League peace proposal to resolve the conflict.” Read more.

Writing On The Wall: US Senate Says Nuclear Containment Not An Option with Iran as Israel Leader Claims Sanctions Ineffective

02/16/2012 Leave a comment

If sanctions are not working and containing a nuclear Iran is not an option, only one possibility remains, unfortunately …

By Adam Kredo – “A bipartisan slate of senators announced this afternoon they would reject ‘any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran.’

Drawing a clear line in the sand, the senators – among them Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) – demanded that President Obama reject ‘any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat,’ according to a new Senate resolution set to be unveiled later today.

The resolution ‘warns that time is limited to prevent the Iranian government from acquiring a nuclear weapon’ and demands that the hostile regime immediately suspend all uranium enrichment activities.

Most noteworthy, perhaps, is the resolution’s thorough accounting of the Iranian regime’s hostile behavior. It details, for example, Iran’s connections to terror groups and its various efforts to harm U.S. interests across the Middle East.” Read more.

Netanyahu: Iran sanctions not working – “While in Nicosia, Netanyahu also addressed the Iranian nuclear threat, saying the sanctions imposed by the international community on the Islamic Republic ‘are not working.’ Iran is the most irresponsible force in the world, he said, claiming the sactions imposed on the Islamic Republic have not had an effect so far. According to Netanyahu, the regime in Tehran violates every resolution and has no respect for international norms. He added that Iran’s race towards nuclear weapons should concern the US and every other country.” Read more.

‘A Scene Out Of An Alfred Hitchcock Movie’: Dead Birds Cause Mess On I-95 In Laurel, Maryland

02/16/2012 Leave a comment

“LAUREL, Md. (CBSDC) — A scene out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie played out in real life along Interstate 95 in Maryland on Wednesday.

About a hundred dead birds were scattered across a stretch of the highway in Laurel near exit 33, likely victims of an impact with a vehicle.

‘[European] Starlings are birds the fly around in pretty good size flocks,’ said David Hellmeyer of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources told All-News 99.1 WNEW.

Hellmeyer said it’s pretty uncommon, but not unheard of for that species to be struck by vehicles.

The mess caused heavy congestion just before the afternoon rush got underway around 3 p.m. Some drivers says the delays spanned miles.

State highway officials were able to respond and clean up the mess fairly quickly.

The birds have been collected for testing to confirm the trauma was the cause of death.” Source – CBSDC.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths

Indonesian Christians Facing Deportation in US Appeal to Obama

02/16/2012 2 comments

As much as I am opposed to illegal immigration, there should be some situations were the genuinely oppressed are granted refugee status. If they were Muslim they’d have a much better chance of staying. But since they’re Christian, ‘common sense guidelines’ need not apply

By Luiza Oleszczuk – “A group of some 100-odd Christian Indonesian refugees who fled their country due to religious persecution 10 years ago and have been living in New Jersey and New Hampshire – among other places – illegally, have appealed to President Barack Obama for help in an open letter earlier this week, as they are facing imminent deportation and reportedly renewed persecution.

‘I write because your Administration’s policy toward the Indonesian immigrant community has become so hostile as to suggest that, at best, it is arbitrary and capricious, and, at worst, punitive,’ said the group’s spiritual leader, the Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale of the Reformed Church of Highland Park, N.J., who was the official signatory of the letter.

The minister emphasized the situation of Christians in Indonesia – the most populous Muslim country – where Christians have been known to have suffered religious persecution in the form of church bombings, personal assaults and various acts of mob violence.

The minister also reminded in the letter that an ICE memorandum ‘purported to adopt ‘common sense guidelines’ toward deportation issues while focusing on those persons who ‘pose a clear risk to national security’ or have criminal records.’

‘Despite this purported policy, your Administration has deported recently, and is in the process of deporting, non-criminal, non-threatening, Indonesian Christians to Indonesia,’ he added, addressing the president.” Read more.

Flashback: Obama’s Christian Problem – White House Overlooks Christian Persecution While Pandering to Islam – “The Obama administration has been obsessed with Muslim outreach and recently tried to mend fences with the Jewish community. Given the state of the world, however, the White House ought to be focused on helping the world’s oppressed Christians. The United States has been wary to intervene in matters affecting Christians in the Middle East for fear of validating terrorist narratives that the West is engaged in a new crusade against Islam. The result of this passive policy has been to allow Islamic extremists increasingly to dominate the debate, often with tragic consequences.” Read more.

Iran: Persecution of Christians Soar as Mullahs Follow Their ‘Sworn Duty as Muslims’ to ‘Keep Dhimmis in Their Place’

02/16/2012 Leave a comment

By Michael Carl – “Reports coming out of Iran say persecution of Christians is only growing more bold and brazen, as Iranian authorities once again raided a house church – this time in Shiraz – and arrested between 6 to 10 members of the congregation.

The detainees are being held in an undisclosed location.

Jihad Watch publisher Robert Spencer says that the Iranians don’t know that they’re doing the very thing that will produce more Christians.

‘They don’t know that Christianity grows amid persecution,’ Spencer said. ‘Islam has expanded through violence and intimidation, so it isn’t at all surprising that they’d resort to it again.’

Clare Lopez, a senior fellow with the Center for Security Policy agrees, speculating that if the Iranian mullahs know persecution grows the Christian church, they don’t care. They’re following their sworn duty as Muslims.

‘The issue has little to do with perceptions of how Christianity might respond,’ Lopez said, ‘but rather with the obligation under Islamic doctrine to put and keep dhimmis in their ‘place’ within Muslim society.

‘The forces of Shariah Islam are in the ascendant all over the Middle East these days,’ Lopez continued, ‘and with the new-found sense of empowerment combined with what is perceived as Western complicity and weakness in the face of that situation, it is to be expected that all religious minorities, but especially Christians and Jews, increasingly will feel the brutality of Islamic supremecism.'” Read more.

Flashback: Officials in Iran Frantically Refute Claims That Christianity is Spreading Through ‘Exclusively Islamic’ Cities – “The Iranian media is desperate to refute claims that Christianity is spreading among Iranian youth and through cities considered to be almost exclusively Islamic… but there are definite contradictions in fact to this statement. On October 2, the government-supported news website, Javan-Online, acknowledged that the acceptance of Christianity was becoming a trend and reported 200 house churches were discovered in just a few months in the traditionally Islamic city of Mashhad. Many high ranking government officials and Islamic religious leaders have also made statements expressing concern over the spread of Christianity.” Read more.

Turkey: Muslims Subjecting More Christians to Discrimination and Attacks, Followers of Christ Vilified in Media, Textbooks

02/16/2012 Leave a comment

The only way to remove the root of intolerance in Turkey is to remove Islam, but this isn’t humanly possible with a population that is at least 96% Muslim.  Fortunately, there is Someone who can make a difference. And He’s coming soon

“ISTANBUL, February 14 (CDN) — Despite some promising developments, Christians in Turkey continue to suffer attacks from private citizens, discrimination by lower-level government officials and vilification in both school textbooks and news media, according to a study by a Protestant group.

In its annual ‘Report on Human Rights Violations,’ released in January, the country’s Association of Protestant Churches notes mixed indicators of improvement but states that there is a ‘root of intolerance’ in Turkish society toward adherents of non-Islamic faiths.

‘The removal of this root of intolerance is an urgent problem that still awaits to be dealt with,’ the report states.

‘There is still a lot of room for improvement,’ said Mine Yildirim, a member of the legal committee for the association. ‘These problems have not been solved in some time.’

The report documented 12 attacks against Christians in 2011, including incidents in which individuals were beaten in Istanbul for sharing their faith, church members were threatened and church buildings attacked. None of the attackers have been charged. In some of the attacks, the victims declined to bring charges against the assailants.

In some places in Turkey, some church leaders have to ‘live under some sort of police protection,’ the report reads.

‘There are at least five church leaders who have bodyguards, and at least two have a direct phone line to a police protection unit,’ the report states. ‘Several churches have police protection during worship services.’

Yildirim said attacks have increased since the previous year, and that much of the problem lies in the fact that the Turkish government won’t admit there is a problem.” Read more.

Iran, Israel, and Nuclear Weapons – The World’s First Step Into the Tribulation?

02/16/2012 10 comments

By Jack Smith

Is there Biblical evidence to support Iran obtaining nuclear weapons in the end-times? If so, who will be Iran’s target? Israel? Another nation? The answer will surprise you!

Iran and Israel have filled the news lately. With the threat of a nuclear Iran, the world’s questions have changed from whether Israel will take action to when Israel will take action.  Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barach  recently stated (February 3, 2012), “A nuclear Iran will be more complicated  to deal with, more dangerous and more costly in blood than if it were stopped  today,” he said. “In other words, he who says in English ‘later’ may find that ‘later is too late.’”

World leaders are concerned of the impact of Israeli action against Iran on the entire world, even to the launching of World War 3.  The recent veto by China and Russia of the United Nations Resolution urging President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to step down (initiated by the Arab League), reveals that “sides” are being drawn. Iran’s official news agency (FARSNews) reported on January 21, 2012, that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has “warned the US and Israel to stop threatening Iran, saying that military action against the Islamic Republic would cause an unpredictable chain reaction throughout the region.”  One international news source (, February 6, 2012) reported, “For the first time in nearly two decades of escalating tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme, world leaders are genuinely concerned that an Israeli military attack on the Islamic Republic could be imminent – an action that many fear might trigger a wider war, terrorism and global economic havoc.”

In an NBC interview with President Barak Obama (February 5, 2012), the US President stated, “The US is working closely with Israel to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.” The President added: “I’ve been very clear – we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and creating a nuclear arms race in a volatile region.” Nevertheless, it seems Israel is not very confident with the President’s “resolve.”  On February 3, 2012, the Jerusalem Post reported a statement by Read more…

Fiji: 23 Cases of Dengue Fever, 16 Cases of Leptospirosis and 14 Cases of Typhoid Fever Confirmed

02/16/2012 Leave a comment

“23 cases of dengue fever, 16 cases of leptospirosis and 14 cases of typhoid have been confirmed from the Western Division however the Health Ministry said it has not reached the level of an outbreak.

Ministry spokesperson Peni Namotu said these cases recorded are as of January 25th this year, which is during the post-flood period in the Western Division.

Namotu said although the cases are from Sigatoka, Lautoka and Ba, the Health Ministry will make the decision on the declaration of an outbreak in due course.

Meanwhile, a 28-year-old mother of one from the village of Naviago near Lautoka is confirmed dead from dengue fever.

This has been confirmed by the village headman Rusiate Deutu after the announcement was made to them by Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki.

Deutu said Maraia Taleqa was part of the 200 evacuees from Bila and Naviago villages that moved to the Lautoka Girmit Centre which is used as an evacuation center.” Read more.

Categories: Pestilence

World’s Experts to Hold Emergency Summit on Fears Over Man-Made Lethal Mutant Bird Flu

02/16/2012 Leave a comment

By Damien Gayle – “Bird flu experts meet at the World Health Organisation this week to decide how to continue with genetic research that risks creating a catastrophic pandemic.

The urgent summit is an attempt to settle a row over the censoring of two studies which show how make a highly contagious mutant H5N1 bird flu virus.

Far deadlier than normal flu, H5N1 kills roughly half of humans that contract it, but so far the virus has been mainly restricted to poultry.

Experts warn that whatever the outcome of the meeting, censorship will not stop scientists getting the tools to create and release a pandemic H5N1 virus if they were intent on doing so.

‘It doesn’t matter how much you restrict scientists from doing good, bad people can still do bad things,’ said Wendy Barclay, an expert in flu virology at Imperial College London.

The WHO called the ‘closed door’ meeting, set to begin Friday in Geneva, to break a deadlock between scientists and U.S. biosecurity chiefs.

American officials want to censor the work of two research teams, one in the Netherlands and one in the U.S., who have found that just a small number of mutations would allow deadly H5N1 to spread between mammals like ordinary flu.” Read more.

Bioterror Chief: There’s No Way to Stop Leak of Deadly New H5N1 Flu Strain, It’s ‘Going to Get Out’ Eventually – “The bioterrorism expert responsible for censoring scientific research which could lead to the creation of a devastating pandemic has admitted the information ‘is going to get out’ eventually. Professor Paul Keim, chairman of the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, controversially recommended that researchers be stopped from publishing the precise mutations needed to transform the H5N1 strain of birdflu virus into a human-transmissible version.” Read more.

Lebanon: Beirut River Mysteriously Turns Blood Red

02/16/2012 Leave a comment

Maybe an Egyptian sheikh somewhere will blame it on the “Chevrolet crossing” …

By Van Meguerditchian – “BEIRUT: The Beirut River mysteriously turned blood red Wednesday after a stream of unidentified red liquid began pouring from the southern bank of the river in Furn al-Shubbak. The source of the liquid had yet to be determined Wednesday evening, as the river continued to empty the red-colored water into the Mediterranean Sea.

Government and local officials rushed to the scene at the Chevrolet crossing of Furn al-Shubbak Wednesday morning in an attempt to locate the sewage canal that was dumping the red-colored water but they were unable to locate the source. Accusations were traded among officials from the municipalities of Hadath, Hazmieh, Sin al-Fil, Furn al-Shubbak and Shiyah.

Eyewitnesses working in the area told The Daily Star this was not the first time the river had turned a different color. Several business owners around the Chevrolet crossing said that colored water pours into the river roughly every two months but no one pays attention to it.It was the quantity and brightness of the red liquid that grabbed the attention of many passersby and commuters on different bridges in the city Wednesday.

Environment Minister Nazem Khoury said the source of the water was likely from Hazmieh or Baabda.

‘I call on the municipalities of Hazmieh and Baabda to cooperate swiftly to find the source of the pollution and its type,’ Khoury said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Khoury sent an environmental team to the area to examine the water. The team, headed by ministry official Bassam Sabbagh, took a sample of the water to determine its composition and whether it contained dangerous pollutants.

The samples will be examined Thursday because state laboratories were already closed by the time the sample was taken. ‘The sample we took will be examined tomorrow [Thursday] morning … and we will know whether it is blood being mixed with water or if it is some sort of a color dumped in it,’ said Sabbagh.” Read more.

Categories: Anything Else

‘Fatalism and Gloom’: Greece Spiralling Into Catastrophic Depression, Anarchy

02/16/2012 Leave a comment

By Patrick Cockburn – “Greece is expecting to agree the terms of European leaders for a rescue package this evening as the country seeks to avoid a default on its international debts. But Greeks fear that the cuts, imposed on them in return for a €130bn bailout, is sending the country spiralling into a catastrophic depression.

The deal was to be considered by eurozone Finance Ministers in a conference call tonight, but final agreement has been once more postponed until next week while European leaders review the credibility of Greek party leaders’ promises that there will be no back-sliding on the terms.

‘The country is on a knife’s edge,’ said Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos as party leaders signed a pledge to implement the agreement that will inevitably deepen Greece’s depression. The conservative leader Antonis Samaras, who is likely to be the next prime minister of Greece after an election, today reluctantly signed a letter committing him to cuts in wages, pensions, jobs and state expenditure…

The mood in Athens is a mixture of fatalism and gloom.” Read more.

Greek economy spirals down as EU forces final catharsis that may plunge country towards anarchy – “The escalating brinkmanship came as fresh data showed that Greece’s economy contracted by 6.8pc last year and at an accelerating 7pc rate in the last quarter, far worse than expected by the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “troika”. The country appears to be in a self-feeding downward spiral that is playing havoc with budget targets, leaving Greece with a Sisyphean task of ever deeper cuts… Blackened buildings set alight by protesters on Sunday were cordoned off on streets around parliament in Syntagma Square, a vivid reminder to Greece’s politicians that any misjudgment could push the country towards anarchy.” Read more.

Flashback: ‘Perfect Storm’: In Case You Still Don’t Get It, Here’s Why A Greek Default Should Put ‘Fear In Your Heart’ – “Economists and investors see a Greek default as the biggest test of the world financial system since the crisis that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers investment house in 2008… A breakdown in talks could trigger steep losses in stock markets in Europe and the U.S. Just as in 2008, banks could stop lending to each other, and the credit freeze could cause a market panic. More importantly overseas, it could cause borrowing rates for Portugal and Italy to jump, pushing those much larger countries closer to defaults of their own. That’s only the beginning…” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters
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