Tuesday, May 08, 2007

News

1) Gaia Worship! California Hotels Go Green With Low-Flow Toilets, Solar Lights [and "An Inconvenient Truth" instead of the Gideon Bible]
BLOOMBERG - By Ari Levy and Carole Zimmer - May 2, 2007Visitors to the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa won't find the Gideon Bible in the nightstand drawer. Instead, on the bureau will be a copy of ``An Inconvenient Truth,'' former Vice President Al Gore's book about global warming. They'll also find the Gaia equipped with waterless urinals, solar lighting and recycled paper as it marches toward becoming California's first hotel certified as ``green,'' or benevolent to the environment. Similar features are found 35 miles south at San Francisco's Orchard Garden Hotel, which competes for customers with neighboring luxury hotels like the Ritz-Carlton and Fairmont. ``I'm not your traditional Birkenstocks and granola type of guy,'' said Stefan Muehle, general manager of the Orchard Garden, who said green measures are reducing energy costs as much as 25 percent a month. ``We're trying to dispel the myth that being green and being luxurious are mutually exclusive.'' The Gaia and Orchard are seeking to be the first hotels in California certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, which has authenticated 800 buildings across the U.S. and has about 6,000 in the process, including 30 hotels. San Francisco and other cities offer financial incentives to lessen water and energy use and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Seven years ago, the Green Building Council developed a rating system called the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED. Buildings are certified based on their use of environmentally friendly features such as recycled construction materials, solar lighting, and efficient energy and water systems. Older buildings may be retrofitted. - - -Building green isn't a priority for most publicly traded hotel chains, said Robert Lafleur, a hotels analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group in Stamford, Connecticut. ``The only green investors care about is the green that's on the money, not the green that's in the hotel rooms,'' Lafleur said. For visitors, ``it's location, price, convenience and brand affiliation.'' - - - Efforts by the state and cities have contributed to a surge in green development, said Bill Worthen, a senior associate at Simon & Associates Inc. in San Francisco. The consulting company is getting a call a day for projects, he said. ``It's a hip and trendy thing to do and one that's actually good for the planet,'' he said.
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2) Poor nations brake greenhouse gas rise: U.N. draft
Sacrificing children on the altar of GaiaREUTERS - By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent - May 2, 2007OSLO - Developing nations that are fast industrializing, such as China and India, have braked their rising greenhouse gas emissions by more than the total cuts demanded of rich nations by the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol. - - -"China is already doing a lot," said Hu Tao, of China's State Environmental Protection Administration.He said China's one-child per couple policy introduced in the early 1980s, for instance, had a side- effect of braking global warming by limiting the population to 1.3 billion against a projected 1.6 billion without the policy."This has reduced greenhouse gas emissions," he told a conference in Oslo last month. China is the number two emitter of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels, behind the United States and ahead of Russia. - - - -
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3) Police force abortions on Christian women
Dozens of unborn reported killed by mandatory chemical injectionsWORLDNETDAILY - April 20, 2007Dozens of unborn babies have been killed in a sweep by Chinese authorities of the Guangxi province that snared pregnant women and brought them against their will to a hospital for fatal abortion injections, according to a Christian ministry that monitors the district and ministers to those in need. "After 41 women were forced to have abortions on [Tuesday], China Aid Association has learned that the Youjiang District People's Hospital of Baise City performed forced abortions for at least 20 more pregnant women on [Wednesday]," an alert from the organization said. China Aid, which has its U.S. offices in Midland, Texas, confirmed that eyewitnesses are reporting that the latest roundup of pregnant women involved more than 20, who were transported to a hospital by government "Family Planning" authorities. - - -Many of those targeted in the killing rampage were Christians, CAA said. - - -Officers from the government surrounded the section of the hospital where the women were being held, the report said. "CAA urges the international community to register your protest and concern with letters and phone calls to the chairman of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, Party Secretary of Baise City, Mr. Liang Chunlu, and the Youjiang District People's Hospital," CAA said. The Population Research Institute's research earlier indicated in the past the United Nation's Population Fund, into which the United States had poured money, actually has assisted Chinese government efforts to force married couples to have only one or two children. China maintains, at least in some areas of the country, a one-child policy sometimes enforced through a policy of forced abortions. It is believed China performs some 10 million involuntary abortions a year. First exposed by WND in 1997, what has come to be known as "gendercide" in China - due to a cultural preference for boys - has resulted in the deaths of at least 50 million girls. The organization provided the following contact information:Chairman Wei Qing Zhang, National Population and Family Planning Commission of ChinaHotline for complaints: :+86-10-8250492Also can be via e-mail. Youjiang District People's HospitalTel: +86-776-2839393; 2697723 Party Secretary of Guangxi Province: Mr. Qibao LiuTel: +86-771-5883508 Governor of Guangxi Province: Mr. Bing LuTel: +86-771-2807778 Party Secretary of Baise City Mr. Liang ChunluTel: +86-776-2834089
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4) Western homeschoolers need political asylum from democracy
Expert says federal crackdown likely the 'edge of coming night'WORLDNETDAILY - By Bob Unruh - April 15, 2007A growing crackdown on homeschool families - most of whom are Christian - is the "edge of the night that's coming" for believers, according to an expert in the field. Michael P. Farris, cofounder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, says his concern is not just for Germany, where the government is being especially intolerant, but other democracies too. "Germany is the only Western democracy taking this incredibly hard-line approach, but there are growing clouds on a number of national horizons," Farris told WND in an interview after his recent travels to review the status of homeschooling. One stop was in Germany, where in recent months homeschoolers have been fined the equivalent of thousands of dollars, had custody of their children taken away, had their homes threatened with seizure and in one case, that of Melissa Busekros, had a team of SWAT officers arrive on a doorstep with orders to seize a homeschool student, "if necessary by force."Farris, who visited with Melissa's parents, Hubert and Gudrun Busekros, during his trip, also met with other homeschool families under attack from a government that has held the activity illegal since before the Nazi juggernaut failed to conquer the world. One of the families is paying a fine each month for refusing to turn children over to a mandatory public school system that advocates alternative sexual lifestyle choices and promotes other beliefs objectionable to Christians. "Most homeschoolers have concluded when the family courts begin to get involved, their only realistic opportunity is to seek asylum in another country," Farris said. "You don't expect to apply for political asylum from a Western democracy but that's what's happening and with greater frequency.""One of the people we met with said as it pertains to the family, parents and the policy of the government towards children generally, it wasn't so much that the [Berlin] wall came down after the fall of communism, but that the wall moved to the left," he said. "The East German government's philosophy seems to be the style adopted by today's German government as it approaches children." He said even the United Nations, a regular advocate for governmental intervention and influence over most matters, has concluded Germany is stepping over the line because it forbids parents from having significant control over their children's education. The internationally recognized laws acknowledging parental authority in the education of children were adopted, after all, in response to earlier education standards enforced in Germany. The issue of German parents and their decision- making authority for their children's education was covered in this once-enforced statement: "And this [government] will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing." Adolf Hitler issue the dictate when his government, in one of its first actions when he came to power, took control of all educational institutions and issues. - - - -Read Full Report Posted on the Be Alert! Blog See Also:Gideons battling 2nd round of charges At the blog
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5) 'Gay' activist says 'We will BURY you'
Threats made against Christian workers opposing homosexual agendaWORLDNETDAILY - May 5, 2007A board member for Equality California has come out swinging at the Bible-based Capitol Resource Institute, which works on behalf of family and biblical values in California, especially among its lawmakers. "If you continue your efforts, we will BURY you," said an e-mail from Ben Patrick Johnson, to his "colleagues" at the CRI, according to a statement from the Christian organization. "For a group that purports to expand tolerance and civil rights, Equality California is not practicing what it preaches," CRI said. - - -"In a video diatribe against CRI posted on his website, Johnson declares that CRI and its supporters are 'hate peddlers' and 'conservative, religious prejudice peddlers.' He further declares that we are 'smirky, self-righteous folks' who have 'launched an aggressive campaign against legislation to protect gay youth in California's and ultimately America's schools.' This statement reveals not only the vitriolic language this supposed 'tolerance' group uses, but also the true agenda behind such legislation as SB 777. The radical homosexual agenda intends on sweeping the nation. California is merely the first step in the campaign to stifle free speech and stamp out opposition to 'alternative lifestyles,'" CRI said. As WND has reported, SB 777 is a plan that would require all public schools in California to eliminate anything that could reflect "adversely" on the homosexual lifestyle choice. - - - -
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6) Crackdown on Christians could go nationwide
Fears raised that Islamic law will expand under new presidentWORLDNETDAILY - May 5, 2007Christians in Nigeria, who make up about half the population, are expressing fears Islamic law already being enforced in northern states will expand nationwide with the inauguration this month of a new "devout Muslim" president, according to a report from the Voice of the Martyrs. Musa Yar' Adua was governor of Katsina state in northern Nigeria, where he and nearly a dozen other governors over recent years have imposed Islamic religious law as the law of the government, officials said. As a result, Christians have lost basic rights such as having a location to meet and meeting there, officials have confirmed."We have not been allowed to worship freely, as churches have been denied places of worship. In the Government Reservation Area, for example, it is not possible to get land for places of worship by Christians," Rev. Canon Williams said in a Voice of the Martyrs report. As WND has reported, Muslim rioters in Nigeria in 2006 were incensed over cartoons of Muhammad published in Denmark, and more than 130 Christians in the Nigerian cities of Maiduguri and Onitsha were slaughtered. The reports documented six children burned to ashes in front of their father, VOM said. WND also has reported nearly 1,000 homes of Christians and many churches have been destroyed in those regions, and documentation of Islamic law is everywhere. "If you go around villages, you will see people missing one hand or one foot," explained Rev. Obiora Ike. "Do you think that's the result of an illness? That is the result of sharia law." More than 10,000 Christians have been martyred in the region since the Islamic law was imposed in the region in 1999, and Voice of the Martyrs has helped surviving family members through its Families of Martyrs Fund with Care Packs, Village Outreach packs and words of encouragement to believers who stand for their faith "amidst volatile, uncertain conditions. - - - -
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7) Florida: Bible verse has Broward mayor apologizing
Ed. Note: This is clearly not the way to win hearts to Christ and neither are we under the law any longer as it directly applies in this verse (though the sinner is already judged unless he repents). But, His word is truth and we are slowly seeing the banning of any public display of that truth.Woe, woe, woe.BE/\LERT!SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL - By Jamie Malernee - May 4, 2007FORT LAUDERDALE -- Sheriff's investigators are looking at surveillance video footage in hopes of discovering who got on the public address system at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport this week and quoted a Bible passage that denounces homosexuality.The Broward County mayor apologized for the incident Friday, and the county administrator vowed that if a county employee is found to be behind the stunt, the person would be fired.The unauthorized announcement quoted from Leviticus 20:13, which depending on the translation of Bible, states that: "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death."The passage was read more than once over the public address system in the baggage area of Terminal 3 at 12:45 a.m. on Tuesday, prompting complaints from a local gay couple."It was almost so threatening I was frightened," said Waymon Hudson, who overheard the message while in the airport with his partner of six years."I understand that it is a Bible verse," said his partner, Anthony Niedwiecki, "but there should be no reason that a Bible verse to begin with should be going over the PA system of a public entity."Broward County Mayor Josephus Eggelletion Jr. called the reading of the passage "inappropriate.""We welcome all people of all races--- all ethnicities, all religions and sexual orientations," he said. "We have a very large gay population, and we are sorry this occurred." - - - -
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8) The Sanhedrin's peace initiative
Jewish group devoted to rebuilding Temple in Jerusalem to send letters to all world leaders, including Arab ones, inviting them to take part in project, attend conference on Temple Mount in IsraelYEDIOTH AHRONOTH (YnetNews) - By Kobi Nahshoni - May 1, 2007Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has been gearing up for an Israeli offensive in recent months, is bound to be surprised by the peace feelers he is set to receive from Jerusalem soon.Without Saudi mediation or diplomatic procedures, the president will get a "Letter of Love and Peace", accompanied by a historic invitation to visit Jerusalem, from The Supreme Judicial Court of the Jewish People, better known as the Sanhedrin. After having tried their luck with the High Court of Justice and the government, the members of the Jewish group have set out on a new track in their struggle for the Temple Mount, aimed at rebuilding the Temple in the Jewish capital. In recent days, the group members have drafted a letter that will be translated into 70 languages and sent to all government institutions in the world, including "the sons of Esau and Ishmael" who do not hold diplomatic ties with Israel.Jews responsible for world peace In the letter, the rabbis of the self-proclaimed Sanhedrin warn that the world is nearing a catastrophe, and write that the only way to bring peace among nations, states, and religions is by building a house for God, where Jews will worship, pray and offer up sacrifice, according to the vision of the prophets. The rabbis also call on the non-Jews to help the people of Israel fulfill their destiny and build the Temple, in order to prevent bloodshed across the globe. The letter will initially be translated into English, Spanish, Arabic, French and Farsi, and later also into Russian, Chinese and Japanese, and will include an invitation to world leaders to attend a conference dedicated to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem five months from now, during Succot.Prof Hillel Weiss of the Sanhedrin explained that the Torah and the prophets have tasked the Jewish people with the responsibility for world peace. He stressed that the group's project was to rebuild the Temple, not a "church for all nations," but added, "We have all descended from the same father, this is not another primitive and racist approach."
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9) Iran, Syria Hold Conferences on a 'Culture of Resistance'
ARUTZ SHEVA - By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz - May 3, 2007As Iran was hosting an international conference this week under the banner "The Muslim World: Victim of Terrorism," Syria was holding its own international conference on "Arab and Islamic Media Support of the Palestinian People." In both countries, the theme was how the Islamic or Arab peoples are under assault and occupation by Israel and the United States. On Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the audience at the first-ever Culture of Resistance Conference, held in Tehran, that the Islamic world has been victimized by terrorism perpetrated by "the arrogant powers." It is those powers, Ahmadinejad said, that have created and promoted international terrorist organizations. "Unfortunately," the Iranian leader said, "Islam's enemies are trying to cover up their failures by wrongly portraying Islam as a religion of violence."Ahmadinejad called the United States a terrorist regime and claimed that Israel, with Western backing, is continually threatening other nations. "Islam is nowadays the victim of organized terrorism," he declared. Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mohammadi told conference attendees, "We strongly condemn all forms of terrorism because we have suffered most from it." The two-day Tehran conference, which had as its explicit goal the promotion of a "culture of resistance," ended on Wednesday and was attended by guests from 46 states. At the same time as the Iranian event, a three-day conference in Syria drew 350 people from around the globe, as well. Like its sister gathering in Tehran, the Syrian conference expressed a commitment to "deepen the culture of resistance." Specifically, the conference offered support for the Hizbullah terrorist organization, referred to in Syrian media as "the Lebanese national resistance." The final statement of the conference further praised the war Hizbullah launched against Israel in July 2006, "which defeated the US-Israeli schemes," according to the Syrian government's news agency, SANA. In their closing statement, the Syrian conference organizers called on Arab and Islamic media to put the Arab-Israeli conflict at the top of their agenda, especially regarding the release of convicted Arab terrorists in Israeli jails. Presented as the centerpiece of the conference's final statements, however, was a declaration in favor of "Syria's legitimate right to restore the occupied Syrian Golan." To emphasize this point, the last session of the gathering was held in Kuneitra, on the Syrian side of the Golan mountain range.
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10) Iran, Syria and a Burdensome Stone: News Briefs
Israeli Envoy: Syrian Build-up - the Strongest Since 1973 War ARUTZ SHEVA - By Hillel Fendel - May 3, 2007Israel's Ambassador in Washington says Syria is developing its most serious threat against Israel since it attacked Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973."We see Syria developing a very serious threat on the northern border," Ambassador Sallai Meridor told journalists in Washington on Wednesday. He said the threat is manifest in military activity, training, great investments in military equipment - and the build-up of a large arsenal of Scud missiles. "In the past," Meridor said, "the assumption was that the Syrians' tanks and air force were not among the most advanced. Now, however, we are concerned that they might think that with a large arsenal of rockets that can reach everywhere in Israel, they have the capacity... to threaten us." The last time Israel's north-eastern neighbor threatened Israel so fiercely build-up was the 1973 Yom Kippur War. That war was set off when Syria and Egypt simultaneously attacked Israel on the holiest day of the Jewish year. "We hope they do not have offensive intentions," Meridor said, "but we cannot be sure." The ambassador said that Israel is attempting to pass "calming messages" to Syria, but that Syria continues to "thwart attempts to create attempts to create an atmosphere that will promote peace." Syria has demanded for 40 years that Israel relinquish control over the Golan Heights - the mountainous area from which Syria often launched attacks against Israeli communities below until Israel captured the Golan in the 1967 Six Day War. - - - -Read Full Article

Despite Syrian military border build-up, Israel has no plans to attack but stands ready to ward off a surprise Syrian strike DEBKAFILE - May 4, 2007Reporting that this message had been relayed from Jerusalem to Damascus, Israeli Ambassador to US Salai Meridor said in Washington Wednesday night that Syria has amassed on Israel's borders strength and missiles capable of reaching every part of the country. On April 30, DEBKAfile reported exclusively that Bashar Assad had shifted units from the Iraqi to the Lebanese border shortly after the Winograd panel had slammed the Olmert government for its mishandling of the Lebanon War. Our military sources specified that an infantry brigade had been relocated from the Iraqi border to beef up the Syrian 14th Commando Division deployed opposite Golan and the sensitive Mt. Hermon- Shabaa Farms sector where the Lebanese, Syrian and Israeli borders converge. A source in Israel's northern command says the stationing of an infantry brigade on the forward line with Israel stiffens Syrian defenses and frees up Syrian command units for operational duties. A careful watch is trained on these movements to ascertain whether Assad is engaging in mere muscle flexing, or trying to capitalize on the Israeli government's weakness for a military move on the Golan Heights.Read Full Article

Magazine pulls Olmert's Iran raid quotes UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL - April 28, 2007BERLIN -- A German magazine Web site has pulled part of an interview with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in which he discusses destroying Iran's nuclear program. Focus Magazine said Saturday it removed Olmert's statements about blitzing Iran with thousands of cruise missiles due to translation problems. Olmert had been quoted as saying Tehran's controversial nuclear program could be knocked back by years using a 10-day barrage of precision cruise missiles. The Israeli government issued a statement Saturday calling the quotes in accurate. YNetNews said Focus agreed and removed the quotes. The Jerusalem Post reported that Olmert had been speaking off the record; however the statements caused some consternation among Likud members who feared public-relations damage.Read Full Article

US troops seize gang 'smuggling bombs from Iran' AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - April 27, 2007US forces on Friday detained four members of a gang suspected of smuggling armour-piercing bombs from Iran to Iraq and sending back militants for "terrorist training", the military said. A statement from US command in Iraq said the suspects were picked up in an early morning raid on the east Baghdad suburb of Sadr City, a known stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia. "The individuals targeted during the raid are suspected members of a secret cell terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq," it said. - - -American commanders say the design is exclusively Iranian and in January alleged that at least 170 US troops had been killed by EFPs since May 2004. The statement also said that the gang had sent "militants from Iraq to Iran for terrorist training." - - - -Read Full Article






Roughly 100,000 people rally in Tel Aviv to call on PM, Peretz to quit HAARETZ - By Barak Ravid, Roni Singer-Heruti and Nir Hasson, Haaretz Correspondents, Haaretz Service and Agencies - May 3, 2007More than 100,000 people rallied in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Thursday, in the first national protest calling on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz to resign over the damning Winograd report on the Second Lebanon War.While police would only say the number of protestors was over 100,000, the rally's organizers said closer to 200,000 were in attendance. A banner reading "Failures, Go Home!" hung behind a podium set up at one end of the square in front of Tel Aviv city hall. - - - -Read Full Article








11) Town Wiped Off The Map! Huge Twister Kills at Least 9 in Kansas
ASSOCIATED PRESS - By Roxana Hegeman - May 5, 2007Emergency crews called off the search for more victims of a tornado that killed eight people and devastated this southwest Kansas town Friday as fresh rounds of severe weather threatened the area Saturday evening. - - -City Administrator Steve Hewitt estimated 95 percent of the town of 1,500 was destroyed and predicted rescue efforts could take days as survivors could be trapped in basements and under rubble.Among the only structures that survived was the Bar H Tavern, the town's lone bar. It was briefly converted into a morgue. - - - -
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12) Gigantic dust storm gathers over Khartoum, the capital of Sudan
Ed. Note: The original title of this article is "Return of The Mummy"DAILY MAIL [LONDON] - May 2, 2007These bizarre images show a gigantic cloud of dust billowing over an African city. The dust storm - known as a "Haboob" - gathered over Khartoum, the capital of Sudan in north east Africa yesterday. It lasted for about two hours, carrying dust and sand from the Sahara across the city. Haboobs - which are a type of seasonal storm - are formed in summer months. - - - -
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13) Australian cities facing 'Big Dry' water shortages
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - April 29, 2007Drought-stricken Australia faces the world's most extreme climate change challenge as millions of city dwellers try to cope with water shortages, according to the country's most recognised scientist. The government has already made the unprecedented declaration that farmers will receive no irrigation water from July in Australia's most fertile region if the country's worst drought in a century continues. Water restrictions have been imposed across the vast island continent and scientist Tim Flannery, named the 2007 Australian of the year for his pioneering environmental work, says the problem will only get worse. Flannery said the drought meant two of Australia's largest cities, Brisbane and Adelaide -- home to a combined total of almost three million people -- would run out of water by the year's end unless the so- called "Big Dry" ended. "We could see a catastrophic situation developing here by the end of the year. It's become a huge issue," Flannery told AFP. "Even a year ago this would have been unthinkable. I think it's the most extreme and the most dangerous situation arising from climate change facing any country in the world right now. "We have a situation where, if there are no flows in the Murray-Darling (river system), Adelaide, a city of one million people, has only 40 days' worth of water left in storage. "If we don't get any rain this year Adelaide and Brisbane may be facing diabolical problems." The drought, which has lasted a decade in parts of the country, has slowed Australia's overall economic growth by an estimated 0.75 percent as crops have fallen 62 percent.The impact on rural communities has been devastating. Many farmers have been forced off the land and counselling services have reported unusually high levels of suicide in rural areas. Children have water conservation messages drummed into them from an early age at school and householders face hefty fines, or can even have their water disconnected, if they are found to be wasting the precious resource. The impact of climate change is also evident off Australia's northeast coast where the Great Barrier Reef -- the world's largest living organism -- has been badly damaged by bleaching linked to rising ocean temperatures. - - - -
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14) Climate change hits Mars
Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice capTHE SUNDAY TIMES of LONDON - By Jonathan Leake - April 29, 2007Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.The mechanism at work on Mars appears, however, to be different from that on Earth. One of the researchers, Lori Fenton, believes variations in radiation and temperature across the surface of the Red Planet are generating strong winds.In a paper published in the journal Nature, she suggests that such winds can stir up giant dust storms, trapping heat and raising the planet's temperature.Fenton's team unearthed heat maps of the Martian surface from Nasa's Viking mission in the 1970s and compared them with maps gathered more than two decades later by Mars Global Surveyor. They found there had been widespread changes, with some areas becoming darker.When a surface darkens it absorbs more heat, eventually radiating that heat back to warm the thin Martian atmosphere: lighter surfaces have the opposite effect. The temperature differences between the two are thought to be stirring up more winds, and dust, creating a cycle that is warming the planet.
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15) The earth mourns and withers: News Briefs
Water Wars? Man vs. Nature and the New Meaning of Drought LIVE SCIENCE.com - By Andrea Thompson - April 20, 2007Ed Note: A good overview on the various definitions and causes of drought, much of it caused by political mis-management, or purposeful mis- management (for power and control) in the view of some. Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink. But wait-more than 60 percent of the nation now has abnormally dry or drought conditions, a climatologist says, and there is actually plenty to drink. In the United States the definition of "drought" has become watered down and muddied as policy makers fight over decades-old water rights and homeowners remain largely oblivious to the potentially severe shortages that loom. - - -Drought has no one meaning-it can be fit to specific places and situations. But no matter where it happens, what causes it or whether you're tired of the topic altogether, in the coming century, some people will see less of one of our most precious natural resources-water.Read Full Report Posted on the Be Alert! Blog

Britain: Earthquake shakes Kent UK PRESS ASSOCIATION - April 28, 2007An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale shook parts of Kent today, leaving at least one woman with head injuries.The tremor struck just after 8.15am this morning.The emergency services were inundated with calls as the ground shook and buildings were damaged, with cracks and toppling chimneys. Homes were evacuated and power was cut. - - -The quake is the largest in Britain since an earthquake in Dudley in 2002.British Geological Survey seismologist Roger Musson said the tremor was around 4.3 on the Richter scale, with an epicentre 7.5 miles off the Dover coast, meaning it could be weakly perceptible as far as London."This is by no means a complete surprise," he said. "There have been earthquakes in this location before."Two of them have been some of the biggest earthquakes ever to affect Britain."The first was in 1382 and in 1580 a quake with a magnitude of about six killed two people in London. There were also smaller tremors in 1776 and 1950 in the area, which were in the "low fours" and on a similar scale to the one today."It was a matter of time before we had another earthquake here," he added. - - - -Read Full Article



Virulent New Strain of TB Raising Fears of Pandemic THE WASHINGTON POST - By Peter Finn - May 3, 2007MOSCOW -- A virulent strain of tuberculosis resistant to most available drugs is surfacing around the globe, raising fears of a pandemic that could devastate efforts to contain TB and prove deadly to people with immune-deficiency diseases such as HIV-AIDS.Known formally as extensively drug-resistant TB, or XDR-TB, the strain has been detected in 37 countries. It arises when the bacterium that causes TB mutates because antibiotics used to combat it are carelessly administered by poorly trained doctors or patients don't take their full course of medication. Rather than being killed by the drugs, the microbe builds up resistance to them.At least 50 percent of those who contract this strain of TB will die of it, according to medical experts. In trying to stop the spread of the disease, which can be transmitted through coughing, spitting or even speaking, health officials have imposed sometimes extreme controls on infected people. - - - -Read Full ArticleAlarming rates of unsafe sex among HIV-infected British gays: study AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - May 1, 2007More than a third of British homosexuals who are infected with the AIDS virus continue to have unprotected sex, according to a survey published on Tuesday. The investigation was carried out in 2003 and 2004 among 2,640 men in London, Manchester and Brighton who filled out questionnaires. Most of the volunteers also provided a saliva sample for HIV testing, and the results showed that among those with the AIDS virus, only a third knew they had been infected. Thirty-seven percent of HIV-positive men said they had had unprotected sex with more than one partner in the past year, while the rate among HIV-negative men was 18 percent. - - - -Read Full ArticleSee These Related Posts on the Be Alert! Blog Albert Einstein and the Honey Bee Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons Bee Swarm Shuts Ark. Hospital's ER Heat Waves: Creation Burning Ocean currents to blame for warming: expert

16) U.S. Bishop, Making It Official, Throws in Lot With African Churchman
NEW YORK TIMES - By Neela Banerjee - May 6, 2007WOODBRIDGE, Va. May 5 - The Anglican archbishop of Nigeria, Peter J. Akinola, on Saturday installed Bishop Martyn Minns of Virginia as the new leader of a diocese that would take in congregations around the country that want to leave the Episcopal Church. In doing so, Archbishop Akinola rejected requests by leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church to refrain from taking part in the ceremony. Archbishop Akinola's role in the installation celebration for Bishop Minns forged another tie in an increasingly confident alliance between theological traditionalists in the United States and church leaders overseas who are deeply opposed to the Episcopal Church's liberal stance on homosexuality. A decision by the Episcopal Church in 2003 to ordain an openly gay man, V. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire outraged traditionalists in the United States and abroad, who believe that the Bible condemns homosexuality.Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Anglican Communion, sent a letter to Archbishop Akinola late last week urging him to cancel his plans to visit the United States.His letter repeated requests made by Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the American branch of Anglicanism. Bishop Jefferts Schori said that by attending the ceremony, Archbishop Akinola would heighten tensions between the Episcopal Church and many in the 77-million- member Anglican Communion. The hope among leaders of the new diocese, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, is that it will eventually be recognized by the communion as its rightful representative in the United States, replacing an Episcopal Church they say has strayed from traditional Anglican teachings. - - - -
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17) Roseanne blasts Zionism, claims to follow Jesus
Comedienne calls Israel a 'walled-in ghetto' - rejects hosting spot on 'The View'WORLDNETDAILY - May 5, 2007Roseanne Barr, the Hollywood actress and comedienne who has made frequent references to her Jewish heritage and devotion to kabbalah, used her blog this week to blast Israel as a "walled-in ghetto in the Middle East" and to declare herself a follower of Jesus Christ. - - -"I am a kabbalist, as was Jesus Christ ... (the one whom I follow). He tells me to seek first the Kingdom inside of my soul, and leave the rest to Him. I must in good conscience speak out against injustice especially when the agents of that injustice invoke God. Some blogger calls me a religious bigot for saying these things, and for saying that it takes lots of ritual abuse of children to turn out a 'believer.' Guilty as charged, and ready to burn at the stake if called to. Yesterday, Barr responded to critics of Wednesday's posting: "I believe that Israel is a walled-in ghetto in the Middle East, and I do not support walled-in ghettos for Jews anywhere on earth, even if they are heavily armed. I think the Jews of Israel are sick of the religious idiots (American backed) who try to keep them in line, and they want peace NOW! I think Jews can be black, or atheist or Chinese. - - -These were not Barr's first tirades against Israel. In December, she wrote she was "sick" of Israel and Zionism, while praising Arabs for protecting the nation's holy sites."Zionism was the last nail in the casket of European jewry. The Arabs' protection is the only reason any holy site remains in Israel. The Jews line up to stone women who try to access those sites. I saw it with my own eyes. The Arabs do not invade other countries. The Israelis do. I am sick of Israel and I am sick of Zionists. They are propped up by evangelical Christians who cannot wait for the Arabs to kill them so that their genocidal war god whom they misname Jesus can come back ... "The Jews are raised to be suicide bombers too, and that abusive cult-programming that is done to Jewish children, beginning with genital torture, remains strong even after the religion itself is abandoned."
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18) A Horror, A Proverb, And A Taunt: News Briefs
WSJ Columnist: US Govt's Al-Hurra TV Promotes Anti-Israel Agenda ARUTZ SHEVA - By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz - May 1, 2007According to a column by investigative writer Joel Mowbray in the Wall Street Journal's online Opinion section, OpinionJournal.com, an Arabic-language satellite TV station operated by the United States government is Al-Hurra correspondents treated Ahmadinejad and the gathered Holocaust deniers "with unmistakable deference." promoting an anti-Israel agenda, including pandering to Neturei Karta, American racists, the Iranian dictatorship and Holocaust deniers. Mowbray reports that the station, established to present the American perspective to the Arab world, has been broadcasting reports and feature pieces that seem to feed the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attitudes and beliefs already conspicuous throughout the Middle East. Mowbray writes that the situation has escaped the oversight of the US administration due to lack of communication. Ironically, the OpinionJournal columnist notes, the anti-Western and anti-Israel bias situation at Al-Hurra was better controlled under the previous station director, a Muslim of Lebanese background. - - - -Read Full ArticleAnti-Semites Stab Jew in France ARUTZ SHEVA - May 3, 2007A 45-year-old Jewish man was stabbed in front of a Kosher restaurant Tuesday in France, in another anti- Semitic incident that have plagued the French Jewish community. Last week, a young Jewish woman was attacked in Marseilles. The victim was identified as "Eric" and was hospitalized for injuries to his left shoulder. The attack occurred in the city of Villeurbanne in southern France.Read Full ArticleVatican to survey Roman Catholics over anti- Semitism SOMALINET - By Bonny Apunyu - April 29, 2007In an effort to find out if the Roman Catholic bishops think biblical texts are still used to foster anti- Semitism, the Vatican plans to carry out a world survey. Reports indicate that the survey questions, published on Friday by the Vatican to prepare for a major meeting next year, also ask bishops if they are making dialogue with Jews a priority in their work. The questionnaire says too few Catholics know enough about the Old Testament, the Scriptures that outline Jewish history before the coming of Jesus Christ. "Are biblical texts used to ferment attitudes of anti- Semitism?" asks the questionnaire. "Is priority given to dialogue with Jewish people?" it further poses. A worldwide meeting of Catholic bishops will be held in Rome in October 2008. - - - - R ead Full ArticleSee Also: French Jews At The Crossroads by Melanie Phillips Posted on the Moriel Website

19) Mouse brain simulated on computer
BBC NEWS - April 27, 2007US researchers have simulated half a virtual mouse brain on a supercomputer. The scientists ran a "cortical simulator" that was as big and as complex as half of a mouse brain on the BlueGene L supercomputer. In other smaller simulations the researchers say they have seen characteristics of thought patterns observed in real mouse brains. Now the team is tuning the simulation to make it run faster and to make it more like a real mouse brain. - - - Half a real mouse brain is thought to have about eight million neurons each one of which can have up to 8,000 synapses, or connections, with other nerve fibres. Modelling such a system, the trio wrote, puts "tremendous constraints on computation, communication and memory capacity of any computing platform". - - -The vast complexity of the simulation meant that it was only run for ten seconds at a speed ten times slower than real life - the equivalent of one second in a real mouse brain. On other smaller simulations the researchers said they had seen "biologically consistent dynamical properties" emerge as nerve impulses flowed through the virtual cortex. In these other tests the team saw the groups of neurons form spontaneously into groups. They also saw nerves in the simulated synapses firing in a ways similar to the staggered, co-ordinated patterns seen in nature. The researchers say that although the simulation shared some similarities with a mouse's mental make-up in terms of nerves and connections it lacked the structures seen in real mice brains. Imposing such structures and getting the simulation to do useful work might be a much more difficult task than simply setting up the plumbing. For future tests the team aims to speed up the simulation, make it more neurobiologically faithful, add structures seen in real mouse brains and make the responses of neurons and synapses more detailed.
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20) U.S. economy poised for nose dive
Major recession feared when 'liquidity bubble' burstsJames 5:3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!WORLDNETDAILY - By Jerome R. Corsi - April 21, 2007As the dollar sinks to near-record lows against the euro and the British pound, the stock market has returned to record highs, but investors are being advised to anticipate a worldwide downturn and the U.S. economy may have already entered a recession. An explanation may be found in a private investment letter published by the Carlyle Group to its "professional investors." WND has obtained a copy of a Jan. 31 letter by the Carlyle Group's founding partner and managing director, William E. Conway, Jr., to the firm's investment professionals worldwide. In the letter, Conway attributes the continued rise of world stock markets to a glut of liquidity in the world financial system, which he describes as "the availability of enormous amounts of cheap debt."Conway writes, "This cheap debt has been available for almost all maturities, most industries, infrastructure, real estate and at all levels of the capital structure." He says there is so much liquidity in world financial systems that "lenders (even 'our' lenders) are making very risky credit decisions." WND previously reported concern that the decision of the Federal Reserve to quit publishing a traditional index, "M3," a broad measure of the money supply, signaled a decision to pump the economy with excess liquidity. Since the Fed quit publishing M3 data, economists who have attempted to re-create the index from other available data have estimated M3 data would today be reporting upwards of a 10-percent increase in the money supply, a high level by historical standards. "Liquidity" is defined by economists as money available in all forms to be given out as debt, ranging from credit card debt to mortgage debt to large quantities of institutional debt typically used in complex financial transactions such as highly leveraged corporate acquisitions. Excess liquidity, as reflected in the rise of highly leveraged hedge fund accounts, has been widely seen as a major factor in the rise of the stock market in the recovery since 9/11. - - -Bob Chapman, who publishes a bi-weekly Internet newsletter, The International Forecaster, has issued his reconstructed M3 estimate to100,000 subscribers. "The world is awash in money and credit," Chapman said. "My numbers show M3 increasing at about a 10- percent rate right now." - - -In his April 14 newsletter, Chapman wrote, "The effort to save the American economy, which began in 2001, has finally come full circle and the Ponzi scheme is coming unraveled. The overextension of credit, outrageously low interest rates and loans to the totally unqualified have finally come home to roost." For months, Chapman has been warning that the U.S. economy entered a downturn in February 2006. Chapman expects it will develop into a prolonged recession caused largely by the bursting of the housing bubble and the weakness in the dollar attributable to the United States' large federal budget deficit and international trade imbalance. At the same time, Chapman has been predicting for months that the dollar will challenge the technical support point of $USD 80 on the world currency markets. - - -Chapman has argued the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve have been trying to manage a gradual devaluation of the U.S. dollar. Chapman expects the dollar could lose as much as an additional 20 percent of its value this year alone. In the last five years, the dollar has lost 35 percent of its value against the euro. Still, until debt defaults force a crisis in the world debt markets, Chapman agrees with the Carlyle Group that excess liquidity will continue to buoy the world stock markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, to new highs. Chapman also agrees with Conway that when the liquidity bubble bursts, the decline in world stock markets could be sharp and severe, possibly even reaching crash magnitudes on the downside. "Tens of billions of dollars have already been lost in the U.S. sub-prime lending market and the contagion is spreading as the media tries to cover-up what is really going on," Chapmen wrote in his March 28 newsletter. "We are watching the disintegration to an extent of the entire mortgage market, which encompasses 25 percent of all outstanding credit." - - - -
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21) New Blog Posts
See these recently added articles at the Be Alert! Blog.Africa's Crisis of Democracy People Who Feed Off Anarchy in Somalia Are Quick to Fuel It Harvard Club Promotes Abstinence

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