Saturday, July 31, 2010

Escalation in the Middle East:

"Israel launches air strikes in Gaza"

Israel carried out air strikes on targets in the Gaza Strip on Friday after a rocket fired from the Palestinian territory exploded in the city of Ashkelon, witnesses said.

The air strikes hit a training camp in Gaza City used by the Islamist group Hamas, which rules the enclave, and smuggling tunnels along Gaza's southern border with Egypt. Another air strike struck an empty caravan in the central Gaza Strip.

Friday's violence coincided with diplomatic efforts to persuade Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he should advance from indirect negotiations to direct talks with Israel in pursuit of a Middle East peace pact -- a course that Hamas and other militant and armed Islamist groups in Gaza oppose.



"IAF strikes in Gaza"


A senior Hamas member was killed and 8 people were wounded, several in serious condition, when the Israeli Air Force attacked several Hamas-linked targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Friday, Israel Radio reported Saturday morning.

Senior rocket maker and commander of the Hamas military wing in central Gaza, Issa Batran, 40, was killed in the strike, Israel Radio reported Saturday.

According to Palestinian sources, air force aircraft targeted the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood and Ansar security compound in western Gaza City, which served as a training site for Hamas commanders and was used as headquarters for high-rank Palestinian Authority officials in the past, such as Yasser Arafat.

Other targets included sites in Dir al-Balah and Rafiah.


The IDF Spokesperson reported that the IAF hit three targets: a Hamas-linked terror activity site in the northern part of the Strip, a weapons-manufacturing warehouse in central Gaza and a weapons-smuggling tunnel in the south.

The IDF confirmed the attacks were in retaliation for Friday morning's Grad missile attack in Ashkelon, for which the Aza Din al-Kassem Gazan terror group claimed responsibility on Friday.


A more thorough review of the situation has been provided by Debka:

"Hamas orders compulsory call-up for new army parallel to Hizballah"


Israeli bombers struck Palestinian targets in Gaza city, Deir el Balach in the east and Rafah in the south Friday night, July 30 - in the wake of attacks by a Palestinian Iranian-made Grad missile which damaged a high-rise apartment building in Ashkelon, leaving 17 people in shock, and missile-mortar fire on the Eshkol farm district.

One Hamas officer was killed, 8 were injured in the Israeli air bombardment of the "Nasser Compound" command center at Tel Al-Hawa, the training school for a new class of Hamas officers.


Hamas launched the military-standard Grad missile (as distinct from the homemade Qassams) Friday to show off its new strength and inform Israel that henceforth it faces an enhanced Palestinian challenge from Gaza.

According to our intelligence sources, the new Hamas militia is structured on the same lines as the Lebanese Hizballah. Both are armed and sponsored by Iran and regularly manipulated in pursuit of Tehran's regional objectives.

For the officers training center Israel demolished Friday, Iran shelled out $250 million.

Creating a well-armed Palestinian militia in the Gaza Strip was Tehran's first move to counter the impact of the visit Saudi King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar Assad paid to Beirut Friday. More undoubtedly lie ahead.

Israel knew about the buildup in the Gaza Strip but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and defense minister Ehud Barak chose to keep it dark so as not to interfere with the prospects of direct peace talks with the Palestinians.

This restraint proved unproductive.


Once again, we see Iran in the center of things, pushing the buttons:


In establishing the new Hamas militia, Tehran had a second motive: the need to re-establish itself as the foremost champion of Palestinian extremists after being outshined by its ally, Turkey. Prime Minister Tayyep Erdogan won kudos as the only Muslim ruler espousing Hamas when he sent the "aid" flotilla for breaking the blockade on the Gaza Strip, which Israel intercepted on May 29.


Then, right on cue, the delusional leader of the ultimate collective delusion (aka the "U.N."), U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, offers a bizarre "not-grounded-in-reality" solution:

Early Saturday, July 31, the Israeli defense minister met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York to discuss the rising threat from Gaza. Ban responded by calling on Israel to remove all further restrictions on the Hamas-ruled territory.


So. Terrorists in Gaza launch missiles into civilian cities in Israel - unprovoked - and the answer? "...remove all further restrictions on the same Hamas-ruled territory". You have to be kidding.

Seriously? Have I somehow drifted into a parallel universe? Where up is down, when wrong is right, when we are told that evil is good and good is evil.

Did I really just read that? The solution offered by the UN is to remove ALL restrictions on the terrorists who are currently launching missiles into Israeli civilian areas?

Really?

So the terrorists could obtain even MORE missiles to launch into Israel?

Apparently I just need to wake up. This parallel universe is one STRANGE PLACE.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Missile attack into Israel: Israel retaliates

"Palestinian militants fire rocket, mortar shells at two Israeli cities; no casualties"

A rocket fired from Gaza on Friday struck close to an apartment building in the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon while two mortar shells exploded in western Negev, but no casualties were reported, local media reported.

A Grad-Type Katyusha rocket was fired by militants of the Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) armed group from the Gaza Strip. The Russian rocket hit the populated city just after 8:30 a.m. local time. The blast caused damage to an apartment building and to some parked cars.

There were no fatalities in the incident and two people were treated for shock. Residents said that the color red rocket alert sounded before the explosion occurred.
Hours later, at 12:30 p.m. local time, two mortar shells hit the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council in west Negev.

Armed members of Salah al-Dein Brigades, the armed wing of the PRC, were the responsible party for the rocket attack in Ashkelon. The group said that this action was a continuation of the Jihad (Holy War) and a sign of resistance.


"Grad missile lands in Ashkelon"

A Grad missile launched from the Gaza Strip landed in a central, residential area in the southern city of Ashkelon Friday morning.

Magen David Adom crews treated two people for shock.

The missile shattered numerous windows of the surrounding, multi-story buildings and vehicles in the area.

Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin who arrived at the scene, said that the missile landed in the heart of a residential neighborhood and that Ashkelon citizens are unfortunately accustomed to such situations.

Vaknin emphasized that many educational institutions, schools and day-care centers in Ashkelon remain unprotected from rocket attacks and called on the Defense Ministry to continue efforts to reinforce vulnerable areas.

"I do not see how it will be possible for us to begin the school year with schools and day-cares left unprotected when a heavy cloud of lethal rocket and missile fire hovers above us," Vaknin said.

Police urged residents to remain indoors for fear of additional rockets or missiles.

In a closed meeting Friday morning, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that Israel views the Grad missile attack in Ashkelon with harsh severity.



And, as expected (and appropriate), Israel responds:


"Israel retaliates with air strikes in Gaza"


Late Friday aircraft shot at least four missiles at buildings used by Hamas security forces in Gaza City, wounding eight, medics said.
Warplanes also hit smuggling tunnels on the border with Egypt, without causing casualties, witnesses said.

The earlier rocket attack, seen by some observers as an attempt to undermine the possible resumption of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, marked a significant escalation in the attritional campaign Islamist groups based in Gaza have waged on Israeli civilians living nearby.

But yesterday's attack is likely to draw a more significant response. The Grad is more sophisticated and has a much heavier payload than the crudely-fashioned Qassam rockets, made in Gaza, that are the stock-in-trade for most of the territory's armed groups. As such, it could easily have caused casualties.


There is no way of knowing where this will lead. It could end here, or things could escalate quickly. Ultimately, Iran is pushing the buttons and they will determine how far things will progress. It has been predicted that as more and more attention is given to their nuclear development and subsequent sanctions, most recently by the EU, then they may create diversions with the use of their proxy groups in Gaza and Lebanon. We'll be watching things in the Middle East closely.

More Quakes

"5.7 quake shakes Iran"

TEHRAN, Iran – A 5.7-magnitude earthquake rattled the northeast Iranian city of Torbat-e Heydariyeh on Friday, injuring at least 110 people.
Iran's state TV said the quake also damaged several villages and temporarily disrupted communications. The earthquake occured at around 06:20 p.m. local time (14:50 GMT) and rocked the city for about 10 seconds, causing cell phone disconnections.
Local Governor Mojtaba Sadeqian said one of the injured was in critical condition.


Also, just today:

5.0 Nicaragua coast
5.4 Kamchatka
5.1 Fiji Islands
5.3 Molucca Sea
5.1 Philippines
4.8 Kuril Islands
4.8 Bonin Islands

And right on cue, as we await the beginnings of another birth pain, we're beginning to see new missiles fired into Israel with Israeli retaliation. It feels like another contraction beginning.

More Birth Pains On The Way?

Its been noted by a number of people that we seem to be in a relative calm period right now - the flotilla situation brought about an array of war threats (aka "rumors of war"), and at the same time we had a number of big earthquakes. Also during that time, the EU was in the news, as was the Gog-MaGog alliance strengthening.

I have noted many times in the past that when you begin to note an increase in big earthquakes, often you see other "birth pain" signs also escalating.

A quick look at the earthquake map (link here) shows a noteworthy increase from a relatively calm period. The last couple of days have been quite active:

7.4 Philippines
6.4 Philippines
4.7 Philippines
4.5 Philippines
5.3 Santa Cruz Islands
5.2 Oregon
5.1 Mariana Islands
5.0 Columbia
4.8 Samoa Islands
4.8 Chile
4.6 Xizang


Thats a very active two day period. We'll see what is to come next - both in terms of earthquake activity and other signs. It wouldn't be surprising to see another "contraction" beginning soon.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

When the Watchmen Are Silenced

That is the title to a new commentary by Jan Markell, and it is (as usual) a good one (link here).

There is now a war on words in America. The battle to further censor words, transform words, twist words, and silence words is raging. The Left in leadership is determined to rob Americans of one freedom after another but the greatest loss would be our free speech. As stated in the July 26 issue of The American Thinker, "It's a frightening thought: Government takeover of the media. But having tightened their grip on health care, financial services, and energy, it's only logical that the Democrats should turn their attention to the media.

"Discussions underway at the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission point toward a dangerous new effort to regulate what Americans read and hear. The takeover under discussion would apply across the board to print media, radio and television, and the Internet. The result of proposed regulations would be nothing less than an end to free speech in America."

"America's mainstream news organizations are already consolidated in the hands of just five mega-corporations. We warned back in 2003 of the dangers associated with putting too much power into the hands of so few." Kinsella also states that "One of the very first targets of the Obama administration's 'fundamental transformation' was -- and still is.


This article is well worth reading in it's entirety. In her conclusions, she points to where all of this is headed - again (as in the previous post regarding the "Mark"), we see a step-wise progression, marching towards the world order which will be in place during the Tribulation:

Isn't it interesting that according to the Bible, in the last days the antichrist will control everything people see, hear and read? The power of the Satanic trinity will enter into every home. It says in Revelation 13:7 that "Power was given him over all kindred, tongues, and nations." This future fuehrer will have the task of propagandizing the world through a controlled media. This antichrist will be a passionate leader with an appealing message and the power of oratory that will be out of this world because his power comes from another world. He will be a master of doublespeak. But he must silence his opponents.

Am I saying that Obama and his cohorts will play a role in the the antichrist administration? Perhaps play a role in antichrist's administration, but Barack Obama is only the forerunner of this evil man. We saw this in the campaign of 2008 as Obama's world tour provided a foretaste of the reception the antichrist can expect to receive. The antichrist will stand in some capitals, addressing the people of the world and telling them that he is the one they have been waiting for. He will even reveal how he will solve the world's debt problem. He will be received like a rock star and get the same kind of greeting Obama got in Berlin.

Everything is shaping up for him to make his appearance. The clock is ticking. "When you see these things begin to happen, look up and know your Redeemer draws nigh" (Luke 21:28). It won't be long. One can almost hear the hoof beats of the four horsemen of the apocalypse off in the distance. Keep looking up even if you develop a stiff neck.


Indeed. We need to keep looking up. We are directed to do so:

"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads,because your redemption is drawing near" (Luke 21:28)

The Coming Mark of the Beast

I recently ran across the following article which details the ongoing movement towards what I believe will be full implementation of the Mark of the Beast during the Tribulation. Like most prophetic signs showing us that the Tribulation is approaching, many of the signs involve a process which involves a continual step-wise progression towards what biblical prophecy has described. The "Mark" is no exception. We have watched as the technology has progressed and with that, more and more "acceptance" by the general public. Once the "Mark" is introduced, during the Tribulation, it will hardly raise eyebrows, as the final "Mark" will simply represent the next step in this ongoing progression:

"The Next Big Privacy Concern: RFID 'Spychips'"

Radio-frequency I.D. (RFID) tags are a convenient way to track items and cut costs for companies. But this technology is increasingly being used to track other things, like security badges — or even people — giving it the potential to cause a horrific erosion of privacy. Tracking people with smart tags, their shopping preferences, their activities, and their personal belongings sounds like something from a sci-fi thriller.

But If you got your panties in a twist over Walmart's decision to track your undies via RFID smart tags, then you'll be doublely concerned at how close we are to cradle-to-grave surveillance.


If your trash is filled with RFID tags, your trash could be exploited by cybercriminals (driving by with a RFID reader). Perhaps consumers should be advised to trash the offending tag before they leave Walmart parking lot? I’m honestly less concerned that cybercriminals will be cataloging an individual’s purchases via their trash than I am about RFID becoming "spychips" — using the RFID technology to track the whereabouts of citizens who have no idea they are being tracked. RFID chips are already embedded into passports and other everyday items. These potential-privacy-decimating spychips can be the size of a dust speck.

But the idea is far from dead. How about if governments started using RFID to issue automated ticket violations? As part of a project called ASSET-Road, VTT Technical Research Center in Finland, has developed RFID license plate tracking. The project began in 2008 and will wrap in June, 2011. VTT attempts to detect traffic congestion but it also achieved the goal of “traffic violations detected in a flash.” And then Arizona-based camera vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) expanded upon that RFID technology by developing automated tailgating tickets as a feature that can soon be added to existing speed camera programs. Now add in this bit of info: There are also drivers licenses that "come equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags that can be read right through a wallet, pocket or purse from as far away as 30 feet."


Along similar lines is a company using RFID to track employees. An Indian company, Unity Infraprojects, uses RFID employee tags to keep track of so-called "ghost workers." The only way an employee gets paid is by a combination of RFID evidence and physical presence to collect daily payment.

And there are those taking this idea of tracking people a step further. RFID transponders can be embedded as a subdermal implant, similar to a microchip. Microchips for tracking our beloved pets are now common. Microsoft has HealthVault and Google has Google Health for e-health record management services and both are pushing for RFID medical brace

Between 2007 and 2009, RFID in the guise of VeriChip implants were given to hundreds of Alzheimer’s patients to help identify them and notify caregivers in case of an emergency. Since 2008, RFID infant protection systems have been placed on some infants at birth to prevent them from being abducted from the hospital or from being given to the wrong mother.

A new RFID product, "guarantees that RFID will follow you straight to your grave." The palm-size stone tablet has an RFID tag that talks with mobile phones to direct users to an Internet memorial archive. And such uses for RFID are only the tip of the iceberg. Thing Magic, a company that builds embedded RFID readers, recently launched 100 Uses of RFID.

At this year's HOPE hacker conference, the hackers showed both the good and the bad that comes when a person is attached to an RFID badge. “This badge knows what talks you go to. It knows who you talk to. It knows what places in the conference you go. It knows when you were there,” says Rob Zinkov, of the HOPE badge team. If you use that data to enhance your own conference experience, RFID is good. If someone else uses that data, unbeknownst to you, not good.

Location-aware apps are scary enough, based on GPS with the broad range they offer. But for the most part you still have to sign up for those. RFID is being implemented all around you. It has slowly been moving to mainstream. It can track infants to senior citizens with Alzheimer’s. In between it can track your clothes, your purchases, your car — even you. RFID is on the verge of tracking us all, cradle to the grave.


Not only do we see the step-wise progression of the use of this technology, but the general acceptance by the public is also being conditioned. It also seems obvious that ultimately, a proposal will be made that the only way to provide total security of this technology and to avoid theft, will be to embed the technology/chips just under the skin or perhaps in the form of a tattoo. The rapid rate of growth of this technology is astonishing.

Following the Rapture of the Church, there will be very little resistance to the use of this technology, and little resistance to being "chipped". Only those new believers; those who have come to Christ during the Tribulation, and most likely many Jews will refuse to take the Mark, and those unfortunate people will most likely have to operate within a black-market system in order to purchase necessities simply to survive. It promises to be a horrible time. Thankfully, we won't be here; the Bride of Christ has a much different fate approaching. Maranatha!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The World vs. Israel

It seems that almost every day we read stories which involve one or more countries aligned against Israel. Today seems to have a few more of these, but the point is the same:

"Europe's Jewish Problem"

Antipathy for Israel among Europeans is alarmingly increasing as campaigns of delegitimization and vilification spread across the world, fueled by Muslim propaganda and money, whetted by the hunger for oil. Even once-friendly European countries, those that helped establish the State of Israel and tried to assist Jews during the Holocaust, have become more hostile towards Israel. Europe's brief love affair with Israel seems over. Why?

Before and after World War II, the Soviet Union slaughtered, persecuted, and enslaved Jews in gulags, sponsored and trained Arab terrorists, and attempted to wipe out Judaism. Eventually, the barriers fell, Jews emigrated, and the USSR became the FSU.

For two thousand years, Europe threw out the Jews, or murdered them, or stole their property -- tried to crush their spirit -- and yet they came back even stronger. Jews are on the cutting edge of everything, while Europe can't seem to find the tools. It doesn't make sense.

Jews were supposed to be finished off in the ghettos, gas ovens, and slave labor prisons. That didn't work. OK, give them a state and let the Arabs, generously supplied by most of Europe's governments and corporations, finish them off. That didn't work, either.

OK, Oslo -- a diplomatic coup, still undecided, land-for-nothing. Welcome Iran to do the job, its nuclear reactors built by Russians, French, and Germans, financed by the ever-neutral Swiss. Well, maybe that will work.

Israel's success flaunts Europe's failure. And despite their economies going down the tubes, EU countries still have money to fund every Arab Palestinian hate group and rescue terrorists. Having used the most powerful forces in the world to eliminate the Jewish people, Europeans must feel frustrated by the audacity of Jews, who not only defend themselves, but also survive as Jews, forcing their leaders to salute a flag that bears a Jewish symbol and shake hands with Jewish generals. Instead of their traditional Jew-hatred, Europeans smile and slip cash to the Arabs to do their dirty work. Condemning Israel is easier than feeling shame

Like a supposedly dispatched victim, Israel comes back to haunt Europe -- not only to confront it with its strength, but to do so ablaze with Jewishness. What an indignity for Europeans to see flourishing Jewish communities instead of piled corpses, bones of those buried in mass execution pits renewed in Israeli children.

Europe hates Jews, finally, because it hates itself; it knows what European civilization allowed, permitted, and condoned. "Never again" is the Jewish password; Europeans know it can be.



"New British PM Calls Gaza a 'Prison Camp'"

British Prime Minister David Cameron called Gaza a "Prison Camp" and harshly criticized Israel's blockade of Gaza. Cameron, who has dubbed himself a "friend of Israel" was speaking with Turkish businessmen on a visit to Ankara.

Cameron's remarks seemed to be aimed at endearing himself to his Turkish hosts, but were received among Israelis with displeasure. The Israeli embassy in Britain said in response, "The people of Gaza are the prisoners of the terrorist organization Hamas. The situation in Gaza is the direct result of Hamas’ rule and priorities. We know that the Prime Minister would also share our grave concerns about our own prisoner in Gaza, Gilad Shalit, who has been held hostage there for over four years, without receiving a single Red Cross visit."



If that's not bad enough, we continue to see more and more evidence of the U.S. aiding and supporting Israel's enemies in the region:

"Is the U.S. Building the Next Intifada?"


The U.S. has sent almost $400 million to the PA to train their security forces since 2007. With no state in sight, fears that the arms and training will be directed at Israel have arisen.

[Since 2007, the U.S. State Department] has invested $392 million in rehabilitating and training [Palestinian Authority] security forces … more than $160 million to fund certain units of the security forces, $89 million for vehicles and nonlethal equipment, $99 million for the renovation or construction of PA security forces’ installations and $22 million in programs to increase the forces’ capacity. The State Department has requested an additional $150 million for 2011.

Indeed, as revealed by Israeli media outlets this week, Israel regards this whole enterprise as risky, whether or not a Palestinian state is on the way. Yoni Ben-Menachem, head of Israel Radio since 2003, said on Monday:

Israeli security forces show great suspicion toward the Palestinian security apparatus in the West Bank despite the fact that they battle Hamas and were trained by U.S. General Dayton. Israel assesses that a scenario of another armed intifada in the West Bank is possible and that the Palestinian security apparatus might act against the settlers and IDF soldiers.

Ben-Menachem goes on to cite General Avi Mizrahi, head of Israel’s Central Command, saying in a speech last May at the national training center:

[The] IDF must also be prepared for an escalation in fighting against Palestinian security personnel trained in Jordan by U.S. General Dayton.

This is a trained force, better equipped by an American mentor, and the upshot is that at the beginning of combat, the price we pay will be higher.

The Palestinian state that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel could accept would have to be a demilitarized one. Yet even today, a top Israeli general describes the PA as having an “infantry force,” already casting the prospective state’s “demilitarization” in doubt.

And if, as seems very likely these days, that state is actually not going to arise soon, then General Dayton’s words about “big risks” and a short “shelf life” could prove all too prophetic as the well-trained but aimless forces seek a target for their new capabilities.


As mentioned so many times in the past, the entire world is aligned against Israel, and it is only getting worse. Just over the last week, we see the U.K. leadership siding with and appeasing Turkey, arguably Israel's most vocal enemy at the moment; we see the U.S. pouring money and arms into the region to support Israel's enemies and we see Europe continuing to turn against Israel.

It is a well known road to destruction. All one has to do is read the book of Ezekiel which is full of stories about God's judgment of the Nations who have opposed Israel, and it will be no different in today's world. God's plan hasn't changed, nor will it ever change. The same God that judged those nations is the same God today - He hasn't changed.

As the sayng goes - the only thing one learns from history, is that people don't learn from history. Or something like that.

Ultimately, we know that God Himself will protect Israel. Can "The Nations" say the same? We know the answer to that one. But Man's arrogance never seems to diminish through the ages. We know that much from history, and today's world is no different. Man hasn't learned. All they have to do is open the Holy Bible and read a few chapters, but that won't happen.

The world is racing towards its destruction. I thank God daily that we will have a different fate.

It won't be long now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In the news...

Things are still somewhat slow as far as prophetic news; it seems that every time in the past, such slow periods were followed by major "contractions", covering almost every sign that we track (Middle-East, earthquakes, etc). We'll see what we're in for when the next contraction begins and based on the past birthpains it shouldn't be long.

Regardless, we see the following news of interest:

"Iran DM: Attack by Israel will lead to its end"

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi on Monday warned Israel that "any injudicious action" will lead to the annihilation of the Israeli regime. "Any injudicious action of Israel will trigger the countdown of its destruction," General Vahidi told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet session on Monday.



"If Hizbullah strikes, we hit Lebanon"

The IDF will attack Lebanese government institutions if Israel is again subjected to rocket attacks, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview with The Washington Post published Sunday.

He told the newspaper that since the Lebanese goverment is allowing Hizbullah to rearm, "we will not run after each Hizbullah terrorist or launcher. . . . We will see it as legitimate to hit any target that belongs to the Lebanese state, not just to Hizbullah."



"U.S. and South Korea Begin War Drills"


The United States and South Korea began their largest joint war games in years on Sunday, with a nuclear powered American aircraft carrier prowling off the east coast of South Korea while North Korea threatened to retaliate and reportedly put its military on alert for war.

The latest escalation of tensions began in March when a South Korean warship was sunk and 46 sailors died. A team of investigators from South Korea, the United States and several other countries determined in May that North Korea had torpedoed the ship.

On Sunday, in a show of the allies’ military power, a fleet of American and South Korean ships and submarines sailed into waters off the east coast of South Korea, led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington, one of the biggest ships in the United States Navy.

On Saturday, North Korea vowed to start a “sacred war” against the United States and South Korea at “any time necessary” to counter their “largest-ever nuclear war exercises” with its own “powerful nuclear deterrence.”

“North Korea will try to fend off the mounting joint pressure from the United States and South Korea by ratcheting up tensions in stages,” Mr. Kim said. “For now, both Washington and Seoul seem to believe that they’ve got nothing big to lose by continuing the pressure. What worries me is that the tension is not just between the two Koreas, but also between the biggies, the United States and China.”

China has been unusually vocal in criticizing the joint maneuvers, prompting the allies to relocate the drills from the Yellow Sea, west of the Korean Peninsula, to the Sea of Japan on the east.


The following article addresses a question that many of us have:

"Why Hasn't Israel Bombed Iran (Yet)?"


Why hasn't Israel bombed Iran yet?

...for a long time I was confident that an attack would happen in the first six months of this year. Since it didn't, it's worth thinking through why.

What gives? Here are four theories in ascending order of significance and plausibility.


The first is that Israeli military planners have concluded that any attack would be unlikely to succeed (or succeed at a reasonable price). Maybe. But this analysis fails to appreciate the depth of Israeli fears of a nuclear Iran, and the lengths they are prepared to go to stop it. A successful strike on Iran may be at the outer periphery of Israel's capabilities, but senior Israeli military and political leaders insist it is not completely beyond it.

A second theory is that Israel is biding its time as it improves its military capabilities on both its offensive and defensive ends. Yesterday Israel completed tests of its "Iron Dome" missile defense shield, designed to guard against the kind of short-range rockets that Hamas and Hezbollah might use in retaliation against an Israeli strike on Iran. The system will begin coming on line in November. Israel is also mulling the purchase of a semi-stealthy variant of the F-15 as an alternative to the much more expensive F-35, delivery of which has been delayed till 2015. What Israel decides could be a telling indicator of what it intends.

The third theory concerns the internal dynamics of Israeli politics. Mr. Netanyahu may favor a strike, but he will not order one without the consent of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, President Shimon Peres, Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and perhaps also Mossad chief Meir Dagan. This inner cabinet is said to be uniformly against a strike, with the wavering exception of Mr. Barak. But Mr. Ashkenazi and Mr. Dagan are due to step down within a few months, and who Mr. Netanyahu chooses to replace them will have a material bearing on the government's attitude toward a strike.

Finally, Israeli leaders are mindful of history. Put aside the routine comparisons between a prospective military strike on Iran with Israel's quick and effective destruction of Iraq's Osirak reactor in 1981. As I'm reminded by Michael Doran, a Middle East scholar at NYU, Israel's leaders are probably no less alert to the lessons of the Suez War in 1956. Back then, a successful military operation by Britain, France and Israel to humiliate Egypt's Gamel Abdel Nasser (in many ways the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of his day) fell afoul of the determined political opposition of the Eisenhower administration, which mistakenly thought that it could curry favor with the Arabs by visibly distancing itself from Israel and its traditional European allies. Sound familiar?


We'll see which category winds up being correct. If any. It seems that almost anything is possible in the Middle East, and one has to expect the unexpected.

Personally, I believe Netanyahu is waiting because he wants to be in a position of being able to say that he (and the 'international community") had tried everything possible, to no avail, and a strike against Iran therefore had to be made. Thats my theory, but of course no one knows for sure. It would seem, if that theory is correct, then he will await Iran's response to the EU's latest round of sanctions against Iran. That too would presumably have to run its course.

Another possibility is that Israel is waiting for the perfect timing to "attack" these facilities, and the perfect timing could have a number of factors, many of which may be unknown to the general public.

Who knows. Ultimately, its all in God's divine hands. It may or may not even happen. If Iran opts to use their proxies, Hezbullah and Hamas as a diversion, which many people expect, then anything is possible.

We shall see... Or perhaps not. That depends upon the timing of another epic event - one which has a far more favorable outcome for the Bride of Christ. That "event" has us waiting with great anticipation and excitement. It's all in God's hands. Maranatha!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Iran-Turkey: Ominous Signs

Iran and Turkey are in the news, and both appear to be rapidly approaching warfare - or at least preparing for warfare.
The Gog-MaGog alliance, as seen by Ezekiel and described in Ezekiel 38-39 is alive and well, and both are behaving exactly as we would expect from biblical prophecy:

"Turkey exploits 'window of opportunity' moving rapidly to acquire nuclear weapons"

A quiet but intense debate is ongoing within senior circles of the governing Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (Justice and Development Party: AKP) in Turkey over whether or not this is the time to proceed rapidly with the development and acquisition of nuclear weapons.

At stake is Turkey's strategic parity with other nuclear powers in the region: Russia, Israel, Pakistan, and Iran. Highly-placed sources indicate that Turkey has been deliberating the acquisition of military nuclear capability for some time

There is no doubt that Turkey's growing relationships with Iran, Brazil, and Pakistan have been — as far as the Turkish leadership is concerned — with the military nuclear program partially in mind.

Very senior sources in Israel, Russia, and the U.S. have privately expressed concern that Turkey is proceeding with its nuclear weapons program, and that Turkey has obtained a significant knowledge of nuclear weapons technology.

Overall, Turkish strategic initiatives have been designed, à priori, to give the Islamist AKP absolute control at home, reducing the military to a pre-republic (ie: Ottoman) status in Turkey, but also to challenge the other "great powers", including Russia, the U.S., the UK, and France, as well as to the regional authority of the Iranians, Egyptians, and Israelis.


This was the fear that many had, once Iran reached nuclear status - that other neighboring countries would soon follow, and that appears to be the case here. As stated in the article, Turkey most likely sees a window of opportunity right now, to act upon nuclear development and it is unlikely that they will let this opportunity slip away. The Middle East continues to progress in war preparations.

Now, on to Iran and the latest news there:

"Iran's Supreme Leader Says He Represents Prophet Muhammad on Earth"


Iran's Supreme Leader has reportedly issued a fatwah, or Islamic edict, demanding that people obey him as the earthly "deputy" of both the Prophet Muhammad and Shi'ism's mysterious 12th Imam.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has created a stir after apparently issuing a religious edict Tuesday claiming ultimate spiritual powers on Earth. Iranian media reported that he told followers that they must "obey him" as the "representative of the Prophet Muhammad and [Shi'ism's] 12th Imam on Earth."

Iranian television also broadcast a communiqué by the Ayatollah claiming the United States and Britain were behind last week's suicide bombings at a Shi'ite mosque in Sistan-Baluchestan province. "All Muslims," he said, "must combat the evil and corrupt [powers] waging war on Earth."

"It is the first time that Khamenei has specifically gone so far as to claim that kind of authority, and there is a theological debate as to whether this constitutes heresy, in the sense that some interpretations of Shia Islam say that no one can claim to represent the Prophet and the Imams on Earth," he said. "Khamenei, feeling pressure on a number of fronts, regarding his clerical and political authority, feels the need to assert, effectively, 'You must obey me."


This is an important development because ultimately, he and M. Ahmadinejad both believe that the Mahdi is soon to return to earth, but will only do so in the event of massive conflict in the Middle East - something they may attempt to precipitate.

Things continue to progress in the Middle East: Turkey, by increasing their arms with the potential addition of nuclear weapons, and now Iran again referencing the Mahdi/12th Imam and the destruction required for his coming, according to certain Islamic prophetic beliefs. Every week seems to bring new, significant developments in the region and this week is no exception.

It won't be long before things are ignited, and when it does, it promises to be epic. Perhaps "biblical" would be a better term.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Bride and the Wedding Ceremony

The last 3-4 days have been relatively slow in terms of prophecy related news (a new "birth pain" should be approaching any day now, as the contractions have been coming rapidly over the last year), so this is a great time to post the following summary.

We know from the scriptures that spiritually, The Church is considered as the Bride of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 5:22-23, Matthew 9:15, 2 Corinthians 11:2 and Revelation 19:7).

One of the most beautiful scriptures found in the Bible were Jesus comforting words to the apostles, just as He was on the brink of being "arrested" prior to going to the cross. This passage is found in John 14:1-3 (see below). Most folks in the Church don't realize the deeper meaning of what Jesus was describing as He described His imminent departure from the earth and then His return. The article below is worth keeping and reading over and over - because its all about a promise - a promise from the Bridegroom to the Bride and it is a beautiful thing.

Renald Showers, who, in my opinion has written THE definitive book regarding the Rapture of the Church, "Maranatha, Our Lord Come!", has also written the following commentary on the passage described, "Jewish Marriage Customs":


JEWISH MARRIAGE CUSTOMS

Behold, The Bridegroom Comes!

Dr. Renald Showers, Chairman of the Pastoral Studies Dept. Philadelphia College of Bible (year unknown) Distributed by, The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., W. Collingswood, N.J.

The Comforting Promise

It was a night of destiny. Jesus had gathered with His disciples in the Upper Room. In a few more hours He would be crucified on a cross. Jesus had been warning His disciples concerning His coming death, resurrection and ascension to heaven. The prospect of these events caused the disciples to be greatly disturbed. In order to ease their fears, Jesus made the following comforting promise:

Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, Believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:1-3.)

Jewish Marriage Customs

Those who live in the modern western world do not catch the full significance of Jesus' promise. This is due to the fact that in His promise Jesus was drawing an analogy from Jewish marriage customs in biblical times. Since this is so, those marriage customs must be examined if one is to grasp the significance of the promise.

The first major step in a Jewish marriage was betrothal.

1. Betrothal involved the establishment of a marriage covenant. By Jesus' time it was usual for such a covenant to be established as the result of the prospective bridegroom taking the initiative.

2. The prospective bridegroom would travel from his father's house to the home of the prospective bride. There he would negotiate with the father of the young woman to determine the price (mohar) that he must pay to purchase his bride.

3. Once the bridegroom paid the purchase price, the marriage covenant was thereby established, and the young man and woman were regarded to be husband and wife.

4. From that moment on the bride was declared to be consecrated or sanctified, set apart exclusively for her bridegroom.

5 As a symbol of the covenant relationship that had been established, the groom and bride would drink from a cup of wine over which a betrothal benediction had been pronounced.

6. After the marriage covenant had been established, the groom would leave the home of the bride and return to his father's house. There he would remain separate from his bride for a period of twelve months.

7. This period of separation afforded the bride time to gather her trousseau and to prepare for married life.

8. The groom occupied himself with the preparation of living accommodations in his father's house to which he could bring his bride.

At the end of the period of separation the groom would come to take his bride to live with him. The taking of the bride usually took place at night. The groom, best man and other male escorts would leave the groom's father's house and conduct a torch light procession to the home of the bride.

9. Although the bride was expecting her groom to come for her, she did not know the exact time of his coming.

10. As a result the groom's arrival would be preceded by a shout.

11. This shout would forewarn the bride to be prepared for the coming of the groom.

After the groom received his bride together with her female attendants, the enlarged wedding party would return from the bride's home to the groom's father's house.

12. Upon arrival there the wedding party would find that the wedding guests had assembled already.

Shortly after arrival the bride and groom would be escorted by the other members of the wedding party to the bridal chamber (huppah). Prior to entering the chamber the bride remained veiled so that no one could see her face.

13. While the groomsmen and bridesmaids would wait outside, the bride and groom would enter the bridal chamber alone. There in the privacy of that place they would enter into physical union for the first time, thereby consummating the marriage that had been covenanted earlier.

14. After the marriage was consummated, the groom would announce the consummation to the other members of the wedding party waiting outside the chamber (John 3:29). These people would pass on the news of the marital union to the wedding guests.

15. Upon receiving this good news the wedding guests would feast and make merry for the next seven days.

16. During the seven days of the wedding festivities, which were sometimes called "the seven days of the huppah," the bride remained hidden in the bridal chamber.

17. At the conclusion of these seven days the groom would bring his bride out of the bridal chamber, now with her veil removed, so that all could see who his bride was.

The Examination of the Analogy

Earlier it was stated that in His promise in John 14 Jesus drew an analogy from Jewish marriage customs in biblical times. Now that the marriage customs have been considered, it is essential that the analogy be examined. In what ways was Jesus' promise analogous with Jewish marriage customs? In the examination of the analogy the first thing that should be noted is the fact that the Scriptures regard the Church to be the Bride of Christ (Eph. 5:22-23). In addition, just as the Jewish bridegroom took the initiative in marriage by leaving his father's house and travelling to the home of the prospective bride, so Jesus left His Father's house in heaven and travelled to earth, the home of His prospective Church, over 1900 years ago.

In the same manner as the Jewish bridegroom came to the bride's home for the purpose of obtaining her through the establishment of a marriage covenant, so Jesus came to earth for the purpose of obtaining the Church through the establishment of a covenant. On the same night in which Jesus made His promise in John 14 He instituted communion. As He passed the cup of wine to His disciples, He said: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood" (1 Cor. 11:25). This was His way of saying that He would establish a new covenant through the shedding of His blood on the cross. Parallel to the custom of the Jewish groom paying a price to purchase his bride, Jesus paid a price to purchase His bride, the Church. The price that He paid was His own life blood. It was because of this purchase price that Paul wrote the following to members of the Church: "know ye not that...ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Analogous with the Jewish bride being declared to be sanctified or set apart exclusively for her groom once the marriage covenant was established, the Church has been declared to be sanctified or set apart exclusively for Christ (Eph. 5:25-27; 1Cor. 1:2; 6:11; Heb. 10:10; 13:12).

In the same way that a cup of wine served as a symbol of the marriage covenant through which the Jewish groom obtained his bride, so the cup of communion serves as the symbol of the covenant through which Christ has obtained the Church (1 Cor. 11:25).

Just as the Jewish groom left the home of his bride and returned to his father's house after the marriage covenant had been established, so Jesus left the earth, the home of the Church, and returned to His Father's house in heaven after He had established the new covenant and risen from the dead (John 6:62; 20:17).

Corresponding with the period of separation between the Jewish groom and bride, Christ has remained separate from the Church for over 1900 years. The Church is now living in that period of separation.

Parallel to the custom of the Jewish groom preparing living accommodations for his bride in his father's house during the time of separation, Christ has been preparing living accommodations for the Church in His Father's house in heaven during His separation from His Bride (John 14:2).

In the same manner as the Jewish groom came to take his bride to live with him at the end of the period of separation, so Christ will come to take His Church to live with Him at the end of His period of separation from the Church (John 14:3).

Just as the taking of the Jewish bride was accomplished by a procession of the groom and male escorts from the groom's father's house to the home of the bride, so the taking of the Church will be accomplished by a procession of Christ and an angelic escort from Christ's Father's house in heaven to the home of the Church (1 Thess. 4:16).

Analogous with the Jewish bride not knowing the exact time of the groom's coming for her, the Church does not know the exact time of Christ's coming for her.

In the same way that the Jewish groom's arrival was preceded by a shout, so Christ's arrival to take the Church will be preceded by a shout (1 Thess. 4:16).

Similar to the Jewish bride's return with the groom to his father's house after her departure from her home, the Church will return with Christ to His Father's house in heaven after she is snatched from the earth to meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:17; John 14:2-3).

In the same manner as the Jewish wedding party found wedding guests assembled in the groom's father's house when they arrived, so Christ and the Church will find the souls of Old Testament saints assembled in heaven when they arrive. These souls will serve as the wedding guests.

Parallel to the custom of the Jewish groom and bride entering into physical union after their arrival at the groom's father's house, thereby consummating the marriage that had been covenanted earlier, Christ and the Church will experience spiritual union after their arrival at His Father's house in heaven, thereby consummating their relationship that had been covenanted earlier.

Corresponding with the Jewish bride remaining hidden in the bridal chamber for a period of seven days after arrival at the groom's father's house, the Church will remain hidden for a period of seven after arrival at Christ's Father's house in heaven. While the seven year Tribulation Period is taking place on the earth, the Church will be in heaven totally hidden from the sight of those living on the earth.

Just as the Jewish groom brought his bride out of the bridal chamber at the conclusion of the seven days with her veil removed, so that all could see who his bride was, so Christ will bring His Church out of heaven in His Second Coming at the conclusion of the seven year Tribulation Period in full view of all who are alive, so that all can see who the true church is (Col. 3:4).

The Significance of the Analogy

This analogy between Jewish marriage customs and Christ's relationship to the Church is very beautiful, but what practical significance does it have for today?

The answer to this question is twofold. First, if you have never taken Jesus Christ personally to be your Saviour from sin, it has great significance for you. Christ came to this earth and died on a cross for the purpose of paying the penalty for your sins. Through the shedding of His blood He paid the price necessary to purchase you to be part of His Bride, the Church. He thereby established a new covenant through which you can enter into a special relationship with Him.

Every time the gospel of Jesus Christ is declared to you, Christ is proposing that you enter into this special relationship with Him. In essence He is saying to you:

"I, Jesus, take thee, sinner, to be My Bride. And I do promise and covenant before God The Father and these witnesses, to be thy loving and faithful Saviour and Bridegroom; in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in faithfulness and in waywardness, for time and for eternity.18"

Just as the proposal that the Jewish bridegroom made could be accepted or rejected, so Christ's proposal to you can be accepted or rejected. If you reject it throughout this lifetime, then you never will be rightly related to Jesus Christ. The tragic result will be that you will spend eternity separated from God and Christ in the eternal lake of fire (Rev.20:11-15).

If, however, you accept Christ's proposal, then your sins will be forgiven, and you will enter into that relationship that makes you part of His Bride, the Church. In addition, you will go to be with Him when He comes to take the Church, and you will remain with Him forever in great blessing. The way in which you can accept Christ's proposal is quite simple. If you sincerely believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He came to this earth, died for your sins and rose from the dead, then respond to Him as follows:

"I, sinner, take Thee, Jesus, to be my Saviour. . . And I do promise and covenant before God and these witnesses to be Thy loving and faithful Bride; in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, for time and for eternity.19"

Second, the analogy is most significant also for those who have taken Christ to be Saviour. During the time of separation between the establishment of the marriage covenant and the coming of the bridegroom to take his bride, it was possible for the Jewish bride to commit adultery by giving herself to another man.20 In like manner it is possible for believers today to commit spiritual adultery against Christ before He returns to take His Church. Paul expressed concern over this possibility when he wrote the following to Christians:

"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Cor.11:2-3).

James expressed the same concern when he rebuked Christians as follows: "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4) The context of James' statement indicates that spiritual adultery is committed when a believer becomes more devoted to the godless world system and the things that please it than he is to Jesus Christ and the things that please Him.

If you are a believer, honestly evaluate your devotion to Jesus Christ. Do you love him as much now as when you took Him to be your Saviour? Is He truly the Centre of your existence, the One who gives your life its meaning and purpose? Is your every attitude, action and lifestyle motivated and controlled by your devotion to Jesus Christ, or by a desire to have the friendship of the world system in which you live?

If you have been unfaithful to your heavenly Bridegroom, confess this to Him and be assured that even "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." (11 Tim.2:13) Then trust the Holy Spirit to renew your devotion as you wait for your heavenly Bridegroom to come at any moment.


FOOTNOTES

1."Marriage," The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, ed.Isaac Landman (New York:Universal Jewish Encyclopedia Co., Inc.,1948), 7, 372.

2. David R. Mace, Hebrew Marriage (New York: Philosophical Library, 1953), p.167.

3. "Marriage," p.372.

4. "Betrothal," The Jewish Encyclopedia, ed. Isidore Singer (New York: Funk and Wagnals Company, 1907), III, 126-26.

5. George F. Moore, Judaism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1946), II, 121.

6. "Marriage" p.373.

7. Ibid., p.372.

8. Ibid.

9. George B. Eager, "Marriage," The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids: Wm. B.Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1957), III, 1998.

10. Emma Williams Gill, Home Life in the Bible (Nashville; Broadman Press, 1936), p.20.

11. James Neil, Everyday Life in the Holy Land (New York: Cassell and Company, Limited, 1913), p.251.

12 J. Jeremais, Theological Dictionary if the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Kittel, trans. and ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, IV (GrandRapids: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967), pp. 1099-1100.

13. "Veiling of the Bride," The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, ed. Isaac Landman (New York: Universal Jewish Encyclopedia Co.,Inc., 1948), 10,339.

14. "Marriage," p.373.

15. "Huppah," The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, ed. Isaac Landman (New York: Universal Jewish Encyclopedia Co., Inc.,1948), 5, 504.

16 Ibid.

17. Ibid.

18. Donald G. Barnhouse, God's Freedom (Grand Rapids: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1961), p.191.

19 Ibid.

20. Alfred Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ (Grand Rapids: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,1964), p.148. Printed by Cross Currents International Ministries of the U.S.A. 1st C.C.I.M. printing of 10,000 printed in England. P.O.Box 40, Bristol, BS99 7EF. P.O.Box 1310, Pietermaritzburg 3200, Natal, South Africa.

Friday, July 23, 2010

In the news...

First, an update on the Gulf situation:

"Storm Threat Forces Ships to Leave Work at Oil Spill Site"

By late Thursday evening, Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who leads the federal response effort, said many vessels at the well site were preparing to leave now that a tropical depression had developed into a tropical storm, Bonnie, that was headed into the gulf.

Among those preparing to evacuate, he said, was a drill rig that is working on a relief well, which is considered the ultimate way to seal the well

At the well site, 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, most work was halted during the day in advance of the storm’s arrival.

“While this is not a hurricane, it’s a storm that will have some significant impacts,” Admiral Allen said.

Mr. Wells said the storm would delay operations 10 to 12 days, depending on its severity and how close it passed by the site. That would push back completion of a relief well to the middle of August, he said.


"Jindell declares emergency preparing for storm"

Forecasters' "cone of error" includes the entire Louisiana coast, so at this point it's difficult to tell where it might go, he said. Landfall is expected around 2 p.m. Sunday.

The biggest worry, state officials said, is that winds and high tides would drive the Deepwater Horizon oil far up into Louisiana's marshes, which serve as nurseries for much of the nation's seafood. If that happens, it could also enter coastal homes and camps.

"There's a potential for winds and waves to drive oil inland," Jindal said. With 427 miles of coast already affected, "we don't need additional oil in our marshes."

Parishes with low-lying areas that usually flood during storms are expected to issue evacuation orders today as the disturbance moves closer to the state.


For a deeper and more speculative read - which analyzes the potential impact of the storm, we have this article:

"Abandoning the Capped Oil Well: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?"


What could possibly go wrong?

One expert warns that increasing pressure might have an unintended danger:

Bill Gale, a California engineer and industrial explosion expert who is a member of the Deepwater Horizon Study Group, said… that gas hydrate crystals could be plugging any holes in the underground portion of the well, and they could get dislodged as pressure builds.

In other words, there may have been a destruction of a portion of the steel well casing which was temporarily plugged by methane hydrate crystals. Leaving the well cap may slowly raise the pressure in the well to the point where the hydrate crystals are dislodged, in which case the well might really start leaking.

But remember that the "top hat" containment dome failed because it got plugged up with methane hydrate crystals.

And remember that there's a lot of methane down there. Indeed, while most crude oil contains 5% methane, the crude oil gushing out of the blown out well is 40% methane.

Disturbing those [methane hydrate] deposits — say, by drilling an oil well through them — can turn that solid methane into a liquid, leaving the ocean floor unstable, explained [Carol Lutken of the University of Mississippi, which is part of a consortium with SRI which has been conducting methane research in the Gulf of Mexico for years].



Now to Israel. It looks like we are on the verge of another round of flotillas headed towards Gaza:

"Israel urges Lebanon and world: Stop new Gaza flotilla or we will"


In letter to Security Council, UN envoy Gabriela Shalev says activists are trying to inflame Mideast, calls on international community to halt planned aid convoy in order to prevent 'any escalation.'

Israel is urging Lebanon and the international community to prevent two ships from sailing to the Gaza Strip from a Lebanese port, warning that efforts to break the blockade of the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory would be stopped.

Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev, accused organizers of the aid ships Junia and Julia of "seeking to incite a confrontation and raise tensions in our region."

In letters to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, Shalev said, "Israel reserves its right under international law to use all necessary means to prevent these ships from violating the ... naval blockade."

She called on Lebanon's government to "demonstrate responsibility and prevent the two ships, Junia and Julia, from departing."

"Israel and Lebanon remain in a state of hostility," Shalev said, "and such action will prevent any escalation."

Shalev highlighted that "all goods that are not weapons or material for war-like purposes are now entering the Gaza Strip through appropriate mechanisms that ensure their delivery as well as their civilian nature."

She said the organizers of the Junia and Julia are "aware of these channels to deliver aid to Gaza but similar to previous attempts by others are seeking confrontation."


"Israel launches campaign to halt Lebanon flotilla bound for Gaza"

Israel launched a diplomatic effort yesterday to keep the latest planned flotilla from sailing from Lebanon to the Gaza Strip.

The Foreign Ministry instructed Israeli ambassadors to ask senior officials in the United States, United Nations, European Union and Egypt to pressure Syria and Lebanon to stop the flotilla, which Israel deems a "provocation" in light of its recent decision to end its civilian blockade of Gaza.

Syria has been included because senior Israeli officials say it is helping to organize the flotilla. Hezbollah is also involved, they charged.

"This is a clear and organized provocation," one official said.

Officially, the flotilla is being organized by Palestinian businessman Yasser Kashlak, who last month tried and failed to organize another flotilla from Lebanon. The two ships are slated to sail from Tripoli by the end of this week.

Israel's message to international diplomats is that it views this flotilla particularly gravely because it is sailing from the port of an enemy country.


The first flotilla was a PR bonanza for Israel's enemies - so the process will be repeated. It will be interesting to see how this story develops - we'll be keeping a close eye.

Below is a story that receives almost zero attention, and it is a story worth repeating - because we need to remember how the current Gaza situation came about:

"I'd make them drag me out by my hair"

In this story, we read about a first-hand account of Israeli citizens were forced to uproot from their homes and leave their communities, so that Gaza could be given to......well, to be factual - Hamas.


Five years since she walked out of her Gaza home screaming and crying, Shuli Yisraeli still hasn’t fully internalized that she will never see it again.

“I know that everything was destroyed,” she said on Thursday, as she sat in the small one-room community center in the town of modular homes that the government has set up for evacuees in Kibbutz Ein Tzurim.

She spoke with The Jerusalem Post as she and her next-door neighbor Tamar Maman waited for the start of a small ceremony held on Thursday night in Ein Tzurim to mark five years almost to the day, according to the Hebrew date, since they were pulled from their homes in Netzer Hazani, in Gush Katif.

The Western date was August 18, 2005.


The rest of this heartbreaking story is worth reading, and it almost serves as some kind of bigger symbolism for Israel and her situation in the Middle East today, and again, as mentioned, this story is rarely covered.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Humanitarian needs in Gaza

My apologies in advance for the sarcasm in this post.

The Main Stream Media (MSM) would have you believe that the naval blockade, imposed by the IDF in Gaza, for the purposes of blocking weapons (particularly missiles) from coming into Gaza - has led to mass starvation and human suffering in Gaza. Gaza - the same land in which Israeli citizens were uprooted from their homes and businesses. If you believed what the MSM told you, you would envision a strip of land in which children were starving in the streets and food was scarce - after all, isn't that the purpose of the flotillas?

Weren't the flotillas sent to the region to make attempts to end this human suffering - as imposed by those bloodthirsty Israelis?

Isn't this what the MSM is telling us all?

The following truths of the situation are found in articles and photos that you will NEVER EVER see published by our guardians - the MSM (open the links and view the photos):


"Israel quietly helps to build Palestine, without Obama and the EU's interference"

* The truth is that an independent Palestine is now quietly being built, with Israeli assistance. So long as the Obama administration and European politicians don’t clumsily meddle as they have in the past and make unrealistic demands for the process to be completed more quickly than it can be, I am confident the outcome will be a positive one. (The last time an American president – Bill Clinton in 2000 – tried to hurry things along unrealistically, it merely resulted in blowing up in everybody’s faces – literally – and set back hopes for peace by some years.)

* Israelis and Palestinians may never agree on borders that will satisfy everyone. But that doesn’t mean they won’t live in peace. Not all Germans and French agree who should control Alsace Lorraine. Poles and Russians, Slovenes and Croats, Britons and Irish, and peoples all over the world, have border disputes. But that doesn’t keep them from coexisting with one another. Nor – so long as partisan journalists and human rights groups don’t mislead Western politicians into making bad decisions – will it prevent Israelis and Palestinians from doing so.

In Gaza too, the shops and markets are crammed with food and goods – see for example, these photos from last Friday’s Palestine Today newspaper about the Eid celebrations in Gaza. These are not the pictures you are ever likely to see on the BBC or Le Monde or The New York Times. No, Gaza is not like a “concentration camp,” nor is the “humanitarian crisis in Gaza is on the scale of Darfur,” as British journalist Lauren Booth (who is also Tony Blair’s sister-in-law) has sa


Wandering around downtown Nablus the shops and restaurants I saw were full. There were plenty of expensive cars on the streets. Indeed I counted considerably more BMWs and Mercedes than I’ve seen, for example, in downtown Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.

And perhaps most importantly of all, we had driven from Jerusalem to Nablus without going through any Israeli checkpoints. The government of Benjamin Netanyahu has removed them all since the Israeli security services (with the encouragement and support of President George W. Bush) were allowed, over recent years, to crush the intifada, restore security to the West Bank and set up the conditions for the economic boom that is now occurring. (There was one border post on the return leg of the journey, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, but the young female guard just waved me and the two Palestinians I was traveling with, through.)


Also see this article, and the links contained within for more pics:

"Gaza Luxury Mall"

While Hamas continues to complain that Gaza lacks building materials, a luxury mall in Gaza City held its grand opening over the weekend. Among the goods on sale are Israeli men's clothing, and items from Turkey, France, and the United States.

Photojournalist Tom Gross, who publicized photos from Saturday's event on his website, noted that the opening coincided with a visit to Gaza from European Union foreign policy director Catherine Ashton. "The BBC and other media have featured extensive reports all day long on what they term the dire economic situation in Gaza; why are they not mentioning the new shopping mall that opened there yesterday?” Gross asked.

Hamas has often accused Israel of creating a “siege” by keeping its border crossings to Gaza closed. According to Hamas, Gaza lacks electricity and building supplies.

Gross, who has previously posted pictures of fancy restaurants, shops filled with goods, and even an Olympic-size swimming pool during the “Israeli siege,” pointed out that Gaza enjoys a higher standard of living than Turkey, which recently sent citizens on a flotilla to Gaza in violation of an Israeli naval blockade of Hamas. Noting that life expectancy and literacy rates are higher in Gaza than in Turkey, while infant mortality rates are lower, he asked, “Have they considered that perhaps the humanitarian flotillas ought to be going in the other direction, towards Turkey?”


But these pics really do show the suffering and carnage, again, all because of the terrible conditions imposed by Israel (open and view the pictures):

Photos here and here

I suppose those flotillas, which have been sent to Gaza - with only the most honest and truthful intentions imaginable - have supplied these malls and outdoor vendors with the various items seen. Amazing what a few boats filled with supplies can do for a region.

Sometimes, in these last days, all one can do is shake their head in disbelief. Disbelief that we have a "main-stream-media" that is so agenda driven that the truth is nowhere to be found. The "truth" is filtered and selectively based upon what meets with the progressive agenda - an agenda that aids and assists Israel's enemies, in a collective effort to destroy the nation.

Just as the Bible informed us.

Gulf Update

The current administration's attempts to continue the news blackout on the Gulf have been quite successful. Despite what will most likely be the biggest disaster that the U.S. has ever experienced, there is barely any news in the MSM. But with a little digging one can discover what is happening in the Gulf and it isn't pretty:

"Senior EPA Analyst: 'Government [Agencies] Have Been Sock Puppets for BP In This Cover UP'"


I have previously noted that dispersants are being used to cover up the amount of oil spilled, and that they are making the effects of the oil spill worse. I have also pointed out that dispersant Corexit is extremely toxic to people. See this and this

Corexit is one of a number of dispersants, that are toxic, that are used to atomize the oil and force it down the water column so that it’s invisible to the eye. In this case, these dispersants were used in massive quantities, almost two million gallons so far, to hide the magnitude of the spill and save BP money. And the government—both EPA, NOAA, etc.—have been sock puppets for BP in this cover-up. Now, by hiding the amount of spill, BP is saving hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in fines, and so, from day one, there was tremendous economic incentive to use these dispersants to hide the magnitude of the gusher that’s been going on for almost three months.

The sole purpose in the Gulf for dispersants is to keep a cover-up going for BP to try to hide the volume of oil that has been released and save them hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars of fines. That’s the purpose of using the dispersants, not to protect the public health or environment. Quite the opposite.

University of California Berkeley engineering professor Robert Bea is one of the world's top experts on oil drilling disasters. Bea is an expert in offshore drilling and a high-level governmental adviser concerning disasters. He is also a member of the Deepwater Horizon Study Group.

As the Times-Picayune reported yesterday:

Scientists have discovered four gas "seeps" at or near BP's blown-out Macondo well since Saturday ...

***

Berkeley engineering professor Bob Bea has very little confidence in what’s been said publicly about the seeps.

He’s troubled that we’re just now hearing about seeps three kilometers away, because a survey of the seabed conducted before BP drilled its well didn’t indicate anything like that.

“There was nothing that indicated the presence of such a seep,” Bea said. “I wonder why we’re just now finding that out?”


The following are links that have been providing useful information, and thus far, have been more accurate than the MSM.

"Methane Plumes 'flowing upslope' into shallow water"

This link (below) has a couple of interesting video links worth watching:

"Matt Simmons latest: Cap test a 'total diversion'; 'Biggest environmental coverup ever"

I am speculating here, but it almost appears that this whole Gulf crisis is in a "holding pattern" - waiting for one of two options: a) time - time for the natural processes to disperse this oil and somehow, the spewing volcano will be stopped, hopefully by the relief well, or b) waiting to explode - including a literal explosion of trapped methane gas, and/or a hurricane which, in the worst case scenario would require massive evacuations.

There are already many questions about toxic rain along the Gulf Coast see here and here.

If a hurricane hits this region, there is no telling what could happen and it would seem that we're almost guaranteed some kind of hurricane in the Gulf this year.

This story is far from being over, despite this ongoing effort to keep it from the front pages.

Escalation on the northern border

There are new reports of troop movements by Hezbollah near Israel's northern border. As stated in the article, this action will "further escalate the tension" in the region. We've been watching this area closely for such movements, as a build-up to warfare.

"Report: Hizbullah Deploys Thousands of Terrorists Near Border"

A Lebanese and Shi’ite website have quoted an unconfirmed report that Hizbullah has deployed 5,000 terrorist fighters near Israel’s northern border. Although the original report in the American-based World Tribune was based on anonymous sources, its publication in the Arab world may further escalate the tension that has resulted in Israel, Syria and Hizbullah exchanging charges of saber rattling.

Israeli military intelligence officers are reported to have evidence of deployments in Shi’ite villages, many of which were used by Hizbullah in the 34-day Second Lebanon War four years ago.

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi warned in Rome Monday night that “Hizbullah is replicating sections of southern Lebanon underground, and is building an underground infrastructure of command centers and rocket launchers, mostly within the Shi'ite villages in southern Lebanon, as well as other parts of Lebanon."

Intelligence reports estimate that Hizbullah possess 60,000-80,000 rockets, more than three times its stockpile before the war in 2006. Many of the rockets have a much longer range, and Israel has supplied the United States with evidence that Syria has transferred the deadly Scud missile to Hizbullah in Lebanon as well.


In addition, we have more "rumors of war" in the news today:


"Israel and Iran: No Surprise"


“…it will not be a surprise attack. In fact, regardless of when Israel attacks Iran the element of surprise does not exist. This confrontation has been discussed for several years and everybody knows about it so there will be no surprises. Israel is ready for it. Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas are ready for it. It’s just a matter of when.” —Jerry Pourcy “If Israel Attacks Iran In July 2010….”

The only questions are when—and will, Iran (et al.) attack Israel, or will Israel attack

Lebanon(Hezbollah)/Iran/Syria/Gaza Strip (Hamas) first, in a preemptive strike? (Link)

If nuclear weapons come into play, we could all soon be worrying about a lot more than the economy, and the oil spill.

Iran is the world’s only Shi’ite-ruled country—the rest being controlled by Sunni Muslims (although several countries besides Iran, have large Shi’ite populations). Around 80% of the world’s Shi’ites are “Twelvers,” who, in a nutshell, believe that the 12th Imam, or Mahdi, will one day return, and usher in an era of global peace, under Islamic rule. (Link)


That no doubt sounds groovy to some folks, however, the era of peace must first be preceded by a bloody period of violence and chaos. At least that’s the view apparently held by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the clerics and followers of the Hojjatieh sect.



Lets not forget the dialog which took place a couple of years ago - but it is very important, and may provide an explanation of why Damascus will be removed from existing as a city:


"Israel to Syria: Use chem weapons and we'll wipe you off map"


Israeli officials vowed to wipe Syria off the map if it is attacked with chemical weapons like one that reportedly exploded in July at a secret Syrian base staffed with Iranian engineers.

Politicians in Israel said yesterday they were not picking a fight with their neighbor, but pledged to forcefully retaliate if chemical warheads come screaming across its shared border.

"We will not attack them first. But if they ever use these weapons against Israel, then we must be clear — it will be the end of this evil and brutal dictatorship," Yuval Steinitz, a right-wing member of the Israeli parliament, told the Daily News yesterday.


This scenario sounds a LOT like the descriptions provided by Isaiah 17.

We shall see.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In the news...

First, a few quotes from Hal Lindsey's latest update (link here)


On this week's edition of "The Hal Lindsey Report": Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of harboring al-Qaeda for much of the last decade. It says that in 2003, al-Qaeda launched its attacks against Westerners in Riyadh from Iran. The Saudis say Iran ordered the attacks. Since Saudi Arabia financed and sheltered al-Qaeda prior to the 9/11 attacks, it's significant that the Saudis are now accusing someone else of doing what they did. In the past, they've preferred to lay low and not remind the world of that connection. What's changed?

The Saudis are now making this very serious accusation public for the same reason that they've leaked the rumor that they will allow Israel to use Saudi airspace to attack Iran. They want the world to take them seriously when they say that don't want Iran to be allowed to go nuclear.

Most people don't understand that Saudi Arabia, most of the Persian Gulf states, and Egypt are even more afraid of a nuclear Iran than Israel is. They've passed exasperation and are headed toward desperation because they can't make President Obama understand it, either.

Iran is working feverishly to surround Israel with its heavily-armed proxy nations and organizations: Syria, Lebanon, Hezbollah, and Hamas. Their newest friend, Turkey, may even play into this. Iran is determined to do this for two reasons. First, by forcing Israel to guard itself on many fronts, it makes an Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities even more difficult. Second, if something happens and Iran is not able to achieve nuclear capability, then a pincer movement by its proxies may still allow Iran to apply the death grip to Israel.

Saudi Arabia isn't the only nation trying to get the world's attention. Recently, Israel took the unusual -- and dangerous -- step of revealing some of its strategic intelligence information about Hezbollah in Lebanon. By showing the UN and the world (and, consequently, Hezbollah and Syria) what it knows about Hezbollah's military, artillery, and missile installations, arsenal and weapons warehousing locations, troop strengths, and emplacement locales, Israel effectively sacrificed its strategic advantage in the coming Third Lebanon War. However, Israel took this risk to show the world the gravity of the threat it faces from southern Lebanon. Israel also did this to show how Hezbollah has hidden itself among the civilian population in a cynical attempt to use the Lebanese as human shields and maximize the collateral damage from any Israeli counterstrikes. It wants the world to see precisely WHO will be to blame for civilian casualties.

Finally, this is the first time since Israel was reborn in 1948 that I cannot truthfully assess where the American government stands on the issue of Israel's continued existence. I know where Americans stand. They stand squarely shoulder-to-shoulder with the Israelis. But the current administration? I'm not sure. President Obama invited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to visit Washington last week. Not to genuinely make nice and restore our relationship. And not to inform him that the President is finally going to allow shipment of the defense materiel previously authorized by the Bush Administration. In fact, Mr. Obama apparently turned down each of Mr. Netanyahu's requests for military supplies.

It now appears that Obama invited Netanyahu to Washington because the Democratic National Committee is panicked that campaign contributions from American Jews have dried up. The DNC wanted Obama to have some nice photo op moments with the Israeli leader so the American Jewish community will be reassured and will start writing the checks again.

Like I've said before, do not accept what the administration SAYS about Israel, watch what the administration DOES about Israel. That's where the truth lies. And that's what frightens me for our nation. Scripture warns against touching the 'apple of His eye.'



Next we see that Israel's "Iron Dome" is ready to go. This is fascinating - and Israel will be the first country to possess this technology:


"Iron Dome system passes final tests"

The Iron Dome defense system provides a complete solution to all rocket threats to Israel from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, Yossi Drucker, director of Rafael's Iron Dome project, told Israel Radio on Tuesday.

Drucker said that Iron Dome had exceeded the defense establishment's original expectations for the anti-missile system. He also specifically stated that Iron Dome could be used to protect Sderot from incoming Palestinian rocket attacks.

The Iron Dome missile defense system passed its last tests and the first two batteries will be ready for deployment by November, the Defense Ministry said Monday. If it proves effective, the system could have far-reaching strategic implications for Israel's ongoing battle against militant groups on its borders.

The Iron Dome system uses sophisticated radar to track incoming rockets, intercepting and destroying them far from their targets. It is the only anti-rocket system of its kind in the world, according to experts

The successful tests completed Monday involved destroying multiple incoming targets in coordination with other air force systems, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.


The question now becomes this: Will Israel's enemies attempt an attack before this system becomes operational?


And last but not least - an update on the Gulf. Please remember - the "cap" was not intended to be a "fix" it is really more of a test. A test that failed.


"Oil spill media blackout UPDATE for Tampa, Florida: Gulf oil spill floor leak now confirmed"


BP has confirmed that there is an oil leak on the sea floor several miles away from the Deepwater Horizon's damaged blowout preventer. The undisclosed specific location of the sub- sea leak is reported to be billowing oil and deadly methane gas.

The third oil leak, which was admitted to by BP shorty after the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20,1020, may now be emerging from behind what many believe has been an oil spill media blackout.

In the early stages of the 90 day-old disaster, oil industry expert Matt Simmons told NBC News that a major area of seepage was coming from an area about 7 miles from the well. Simmons called it the “elephant behind the mouse.”

Residents in the Tampa Bay area have been concerned over the lack of available information on the potential risks from the disaster.

Should the sea floor leak announced today be confirmed in same location as the one Simmons and Senator Nelson have reported, then BP and the government have been aware of it all along, further substantiating fears of an oil spill media blackout.


The media blackout around the Gulf crisis is a mystery. It is starting to look more and more like the administration simply wants to cover-up the magnitude of this situation and in turn, avoid the appearances of ineptitude. Or at least that's what many of us hope accounts for the black-out. Other theories are just too scary to contemplate.

Monday, July 19, 2010

EU in the news

There are a couple of interesting articles highlighting the EU today.

In the first, we see a continuing story in which the EU seems to be getting more and more involved in Israeli matters (something we have been looking for):

"Ashton calls on Israel to open border crossings to Gaza"

On her second trip to the Middle East, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called on Israel to open border crossings to Gaza and fully lift the "unacceptable" blockade imposed on the Palestinian territory.

Her return to the region, only four months after her first visit there, was aimed to "show EU support" and press the Israeli authorities on lifting a four-year blockade imposed on the Gaza strip.

Speaking after a meeting with Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, the British peer welcomed the recent ease of the blockade as "an important step forward," but stressed that the EU continues to see the embargo as "unacceptable, unsustainable and counterproductive."


That's interesting enough, but here comes the kicker (recall we were just speculating on the possibility of the EU sending peace-keeping forces to the region which may represent the "confirming" of the covenant of Daniel 9:27, (link here)):


Ms Ashton said she could envisage sending EU monitors to the crossings to "support a smooth handling of goods", as long as the Western-backed Palestinian Authority was also involved.


Very interesting. EU "monitors" to the crossings. That sounds a lot like peace-keeping forces, just given another name.
But this story even gets worse - now the EU offers to send even more money to the Palestinian Authority:

On Saturday, the EU official also met the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salam Fayyad, to whom she pledged an extra €40 million as "direct financial support."



In more EU news, the following article speaks for itself:

"EU to hold atheist and freemason summit"

Brussels is to hold an EU summit with atheists and freemasons in the autumn, inviting them to a political dialogue parallel to the annual summit the bloc holds with Europe's religious leaders.

Under pressure from Belgium, which constitutionally protects and financially supports humanist organisations as well as churches, the EU has been forced to hold a mirror-image summit, but of atheists, scheduled for 15 October.

However, in a move that perplexed and annoyed humanist groups, the EU atheist summit will also welcome under the rubric of ‘non-religious groups', the Freemasons, the secretive fraternal organisation, according to commission spokeswoman Katharina von Schnurbein.


This alone is interesting, but there is more. Even their annual summit with "religious leaders" has a twist.

While the EU is a secular body, the three European presidents, of the commission, parliament and EU Council, alongside two commissioners, on Monday met with 24 bishops, chief rabbis, and muftis as well as leaders from the Hindu and Sikh communities. The annual dialogue, which has taken place since 2005, is for the first time this year made legally obligatory under Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has had its nose put out at the annual EU summit with religious leaders by the presence for the first time this year of Hindus and Sikhs.

According to La Croix, the French Roman Catholic daily, the church, happy to embrace an ecumenism of the great monotheistic faiths at the EU level, fears that the enlargement of the meeting to include such groups beyond those "more anchored across the whole of the continent," suggests the EU is being "religiously correct".

According to a spokesman for President Van Rompuy, next year the meeting could include a Buddhist.



So there are now two such annual meetings. The first, considered their "religious" summit, involved Catholics, Hindus, Sikhs and now Buddhists are apparently added to the mix. The "non-religious summit" includes atheists, Freemasons and humanists. How interesting. During the Tribulation these groups will merge in forced worship of the antichrist. It would be interesting to see how that evolves - but I don't plan on sticking around to see it.








.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Big Quakes Hit New Guinea and Alaska Regions

"Powerful earthquakes hit Papua New Guinea"

Two powerful earthquakes struck the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea on late Sunday evening, seismologists said, briefly sparking a local tsunami warning for Indonesia.

The first earthquake at 11.04 p.m. local time (1304 GMT), with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale, was centered about 75 kilometers (45 miles) south-southeast of Kimbe, the capital of the province of West New Britain. A second earthquake at 11.35 p.m. local time (1335 GMT), with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale, struck about 107 kilometers (67 miles) east-northeast of Kandrian on New Britain.



"Strong earthquake strikes the Fox Islands in Alaska"

A strong earthquake struck southwest of a small town on one of the Fox Islands in Alaska on late Saturday evening, seismologists said, but no tsunami warnings were issued.

The 6.7-magnitude earthquake at 9.56 p.m. local time (0556 GMT Sunday) struck about 41 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of Nikolski, a census-designated place on Umnak Island.


Earthquake Map