Beijing police halt unapproved church service
Beijing police on Sunday detained dozens of worshippers from an unapproved Christian church who were trying to hold services in a public space after they were evicted from their usual place of worship, a parishioner said.
Leaders of the unregistered Shouwang church had told members to gather at an open-air venue in Beijing for Sunday morning services, but police, apparently alerted to their plans, taped off the area and took away people who showed up to take part.
An AP videographer saw about a dozen people escorted by police onto an empty city bus and driven away.
China Breaks Up Christian Worship
Police in China detained hundreds of Christian worshippers as they gathered for an outdoor service in Beijing. The detentions are the latest in a crackdown on individuals and groups deemed by the government to pose a threat to social stability.
Hundreds of uniformed and plain clothes police officers were deployed to stop the outdoor service.
Around 200 Christian worshippers were were rounded up and detained in a nearby school and others were forced onto buses by police and driven away to an unknown location.
2. Middle East
Syrian forces seal off Banias as sectarian tension mounts
Violence is also escalating in Syria:
AMMAN - Syrian security forces sealed off the coastal city of Banias overnight following sectarian killings by irregulars loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, witnesses said on Monday.
Another rights activist confirmed roads to the town were blocked.
At least three people were killed, a human rights activist in the city told Reuters. The authorities said an armed group had ambushed a patrol near Banias, killing nine soldiers.
In the Houla area of the central province of Homs, north of Damascus, buses were also seen unloading security personnel. A decision by Assad several days ago to sack the governor of Homs has failed to placate protesters. Witnesses said on Saturday security forces had used live ammunition and tear gas to scatter thousands of mourners in Deraa, where protests first erupted in March, after a mass funeral for protesters killed on Friday.
Israel concerned about Hamas-Egypt relations
This article describes exactly what we have been predicting:
...concern increases in Israel over an apparent strengthening of ties between Hamas and the new Egyptian government. During a recent visit to Cairo, Mahmoud al-Zahr, the so-called Hamas foreign minister, met not just with Egyptian politicians but also with military and intelligence officials.
“There is a new relationship between Hamas and Cairo today,” one senior official said. “This is likely connected to the upcoming elections and the understanding in Egypt that the Muslim Brotherhood is a strong player and as a result it is important to maintain contacts with Hamas.”
Unrest Continues in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain
Gulf states are facing renewed protest from their religious minorities. In Saudi Arabia, Shiite Mulims protested Friday and called to release Shiite demonstrators from prison and give Shiites more rights.
Protesters also called for the withdrawal of Saudi troops from neighboring Bahrain. Saudi Arabia has been assisting Bahrain in putting down its own Shiite protests.
Similar protests have been held over the past several weeks. The government recently announced a crackdown, stating that all marches and protests are prohibited, and that demonstrations are a violation of Muslim law and of Saudi tradition.
3. EU Growth and Progress Towards "The Mark":
EU should forge ahead with electronic ID
"E-society and all these services make government effective, make government transparent and they bring citizens closer and we can't say that these initiatives should stop because they are more efficient and we are maybe losing jobs – that cannot be an argument."
More broadly, his message to the European Commission is that is should stop treating the internal market and the digital market as two different things: "The internal market should be digitised."
To get to this point, the legal infrastructure (allowing for e-signatures, e-commerce and privacy) has to be set up as well as an environment where e-identification that can be used across all member states.
"We have to make possible that e-ID is accepted in all countries in the same way. This means if you have Estonian e-identification you can do everything in Germany, in Portugal, in Italy, in Finland.
"That is not the case for now. It needs a very real action plan."
"Cyber-security" has become the new buzzword. It would seem that the ONLY way to combat cyber-security would be for each citizen to use an implantable microchip rather than a "card" - as a card can easily be stolen. Not so much for an implantable microchip. It would seem that the cyber-security issues have taken us to the last step in this progression of electronic IDs.
4. More Quakes:
Japan rattled by aftershock on quake anniversary
A strong earthquake rattled Japan's northeast Monday and sparked a fresh tsunami alert on the one-month anniversary of the massive temblor and wave that devastated the northeastern coast and unleashed a still-unfolding nuclear crisis.
Aftershocks have repeatedly rattled the disaster-weary region, but there is little left in the northeast to ruin. Last Thursday's 7.1-magnitude aftershock, which had been the strongest tremor since the day the original quake hit, did sink hundreds of thousands more households into darkness, however. Most of that electricity has been restored.
The signs of the coming Christ keep coming in waves - just like birth pains - just as Jesus described. Only now, the birth pains have quickened. We are approaching the last parts of this birth process - there can be no denying this obvious fact.