By Nigel Davies, Reuters – “‘An olive tree is like a camel, you don’t have to give it much water, but when it’s thirsty, it really has to drink,’ says olive oil producer Francisco Nuñez de Prado of the drought that could shrivel this year’s harvest to half of last year’s.
Nuñez de Prado’s estate in the country’s olive oil heart in Spain’s sun drenched Andalucia is expected to suffer a sharp fall in harvest this year. His has been saved to some extent thanks to extensive irrigation, but other producers have seen not a single olive growing on their branches.
That has caused prices to spike, with consumers expected to pay more for the ‘green gold’ in coming months as supermarkets jack up prices.
‘It’s been a drought of biblical proportions, the worst since 1945, the ‘year of hunger’ for Spain,’ said Nuñez de Prado, adding rainfall where his farm is located in the shadows of the Sierra Madre mountains was the lowest since that year.
A lean harvest will be another blow for Spain, the euro zone’s fourth largest economy, which replaced Greece, Ireland and Portugal earlier this year as the main threat to the survival of the euro currency project.
From 1943-1945 Spain suffered one of the worst droughts in its history. The drought after Spain exited a civil war in 1939 wrecked crops, dried the country’s then limited reservoirs, and forced restrictions on electricity consumption.
Official data from Spain’s meteorological institute shows this year has been the second driest in 60 years, after 1994. That has especially hit the arid south in Andalucia, which produces around 80 percent of the country’s olive oil.
This week it has begun to rain heavily in Andalucia, but analysts say that consistent rainfall rather than two days of heavy downpours would be needed for the harvest to be much higher than currently forecast.
New irrigation systems and reservoirs in the country have alleviated the effect of the drought for some producers, but a harvest expected to be around 800,000 metric tonnes (881,849 tons), half of a bumper crop last year, has seen prices rocket by 50 percent since July.” Read more.
“Christians in Pakistan are the target of violence on behalf of Islamic extremists who pour out on them feelings of anger and revenge after the release of the movie ‘The Innocence of Muslims,’ blasphemous towards the prophet Mohammed. After the attack on the Christian church of ‘St. Paul’ in Mardan, a Bishop was attacked, beaten and wounded. As reported by local sources of Fides, the Protestant Bishop Naeem Samuel, of the ‘Trinity Evangelical Church Prayer’, was attacked yesterday, as he was leaving the church in Youhanaabad, a suburb of Lahore (Punjab province), where about 10 thousand Christian families live.
Three men stopped him and started insulting him with phrases like: ‘You Christians have offended our Prophet, we will kill you all!’ Although the Bishop tried to defend himself, saying that ‘all Christians in Pakistan have condemned the film’, the three began to hit him with violence, leaving him on the ground and unconscious. The Bishop, who is the Rector of the ‘Trinity Biblical University,’ has many wounds and fractures and needed hospital treatment. Mgr. Samuel also runs a Christian television cable network in Lahore, which broadcasts Bible courses, religious films and prayers. This is why he had received threats and the injunction to stop the broadcast, and about a month ago his house was set on fire.
In the meantime, the trail of violence in the Christian area of Essa Nagri, in the metropolis of Karachi (Sindh province) continues: The last victim is the 30 year old Christian Zulifiqar Masih, who was killed in a raid carried out by Islamic extremists of ethnic Pashtun. He is the fifth Christian killed in a month: on 29 August Fasil Masih was shot dead; on 12 September Yousaf Masih, on 15 September Rafi Masih and Nasir Masih.
Violence also affects young Christians, the most vulnerable: as reported to Fides by the NGO ‘World Vision in Progress’, in past days Sumbal Masih, a 16 year old Christian Faisalabad (in Punjab), a waitress, was kidnapped, raped and tortured for six hours by her employer, a wealthy Muslim, and by two other men. Two of the perpetrators were arrested by the local police.” Source – Agenzia Fides.
Local area Christians are concerned that the attack is a signal that there will be an upsurge in violence directed at the Christian minority in the southern part of the country.
‘We are definitely concerned over the attack and hope it is not something that is coordinated and part of a larger plan to terrorize Christians in the south,’ Nour Bishara told Bikyamasr.com.
Residents of the area discovered the attack and damage on Sunday morning when they were preparing for the day’s mass, which brings together both Maronites and Catholics from the surrounding areas.
Security forces have reported they have secured the area and are conducting an investigation into the incident as churchgoers went elsewhere for their Sunday Mass.
South Lebanon Governor Nicolas Abu Daher attempted to reassure local residents, asking them not to be intimidated by such an assault.
‘I hope this is an isolated incident,’ Abu Daher told The Daily Star in their report published on Sunday.
‘There is nothing to fear and I assure you that the city has always and will always support coexistence.'” Read more.
CNN – “A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck southwest Colombia Sunday afternoon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, CNN affiliate Caracol Television reported.
The quake was centered 10 km (6 miles) west-northwest of Isnos, Colombia, and 334 km (214 mi) northeast of Quito, Ecuador, the USGS said on its website. It was felt in Bogota — the nation’s capital and largest city — Caracol reported.
It occurred at a depth of 162.1 km (100.7 miles), the USGS said.
‘Deep earthquakes in this region … are not uncommon; there have been 13 similar events deeper than 100 km over the past 40 years, within 500 km’ of Sunday’s earthquake, the USGS said.” Source – CNN.
Top Palestinian Islamic Cleric Calls Upon Muslims Worldwide To Unite In Jihad, ‘Strike Terror In The Hearts Of The Enemies’
All for peaceful purposes …
Sheikh Muhammed Zaghmout, Head of the Palestinian Islamic Counsel in Lebanon: “I say to myself, to the Islamic scholars, to the Muslims themselves, and to the viewers all over the world — from north to south, and from east to west: Oh Muslims, unite! Unite! Unite! Unity is the key to your strength, while disintegration will lead to your death. Implement the words of Allah: ‘Prepare for them what force and steeds of war you can, to strike terror in the hearts of the enemies of Allah and your enemies.’ You shall not regain Al-Aqsa and Palestine without preparations, rockets, and guns. You shall not regain Palestine through negotiations, capitulations, kisses, or hugs. The one thing that will restore Palestine to you is Jihad, Jihad, and more Jihad. Any nation that forsook Jihad was humiliated by Allah.”
Let’s be frank. Muslims have been attacking Christians and churches long before knowledge of the anti-Mohammed film came to light. The ‘film’ has been, and will continue to be, a pretext for violence. What truly offends Islamists is not merely the existence of a film deemed insulting to Islam, but rather the existence of Christians themselves …
1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Continental News – “Across much of the Muslim world, more than two weeks of backlash to the internet video ‘Innocence of the Muslims’ has occasionally been directed at Christians, from computer hacks to church burnings.
In Zinder, Niger, on Sept. 14, about 1,000 Muslims emerged from the Friday Jumu’ah prayers, divided into groups of several hundred each, and started marching toward the churches in town. They set the Winners Chapel afire. They severely vandalized the Union of Evangelical and Protestant churches’ community center, the Church of the Assemblies of God, and a Catholic church.
Several Christians were injured, though the exact number has not been verified. After police regained control at the churches, smaller groups damaged the homes of the evangelical church pastor and homes of members of the Catholic church. Police made numerous arrests.
Meanwhile, as far away as Pakistan, Christians anticipated the wave of Muslim anger to wash into their country. On Sept. 21, an angry mob torched St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pakistan’s Mardan district. Protestors destroyed not only the church building but a school attended by Christian and Muslim children.
Yet amid the anger and violence in several countries, there have been some moments of peace.
Unable to breach the perimeter of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, some Egyptian protesters turned their attention to the nearby Kasr-el-Dobara Evangelical Church. ‘Death to the worshippers of the cross!’ they painted on the wall.” Read more.
Kenya: At Least Two Children Attending Sunday School Killed After Islamists Throw Grenade Into Nairobi Church
Mark 10:14, “… ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.'”
Moses Nyakwama, the city’s police chief, confirmed the injuries in the attack on Sunday.
He said that police suspected the cause of the explosion was a grenade.
Charles Owino, a deputy police spokesman, said that the attack at St Polycarp’s church occurred on Juja Road, in the eastern part of the city.
The grenade exploded, spraying the children with shrapnel.
Blood-stained children’s jackets and shoes lay scattered on the floor, surrounded by remnants of metal walls that were broken and twisted by the force of the explosion.
‘The children who attend this service are aged between six and 10… we usually divide them according to their ages,’ said Livingstone Muiruri. ‘They had just started the morning session when the explosion occurred.’
‘We were in the main church so we all ran there to assist the kids,’ he said.
Janet Wanja was just entering the church when the blast shook the building.
‘I heard a loud explosion and then heard kids screaming,’ she said. ‘I am traumatised by what I saw, kids with injuries and blood all over. ‘Why are they attacking the church?’
‘We suspect this blast might have been carried out by sympathisers of al-Shabab,’ said Owino. ‘These are the kicks of a dying horse since, of late, Kenyan police have arrested several suspects in connection with grenades.'” Read more.