Wednesday, June 1, 2011

News From The World

There are so many interesting stories circulating today, only a brief intro to each story is found below:

1. Pestilence

So what actually is causing this E.Coli outbreak in Europe?

Germany retracts link between E Coli outbreak and Spanish cucumbers

Germany has conceded it is unsure whether Spanish cucumbers are the source of the country's recent E coli outbreak, fanning a pan-European row as plummeting vegetable sales continue to hurt producers.Meanwhile the death toll continued to rise on Tuesday (31 May), with a Swedish woman succumbing to the bacteria after returning from a visit to Germany where 15 people have died. Officials in the northern German city of Hamburg said fresh tests carried out on Spanish cucumbers, initially cited as the most likely cause of the outbreak, may not be to blame after all. Roughly 1000 suspected cases of infection have been reported across Europe, including over 300 people who are seriously ill.

E.coli cases jump tp 1,500

A dramatic rise in the number of severe E.coli cases has been reported by German health officials as scientists struggled to deal with an outbreak that has confounded scientists and claimed an estimated 16 victims.

Germany's centre for disease control reported the number of people suffering life-threatening complications resulting from the infection rose from 373 on Tuesday to 470 on Wednesday. At the same time the centre recorded 365 new cases, bringing the total to around 1,500.
"The situation is deteriorating dramatically for our patients, and the worst thing is that we don't know what's causing it," Rolf Stahl, a kidney specialist working at the epicentre of the outbreak in Hamburg, told the German magazine Der Spiegel.

Dr. Robert Tauxe, a food-borne disease expert at the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, described the E.coli outbreak as "extraordinary" adding that "there has not been such an outbreak before that we know of in the history of public health"

The Hunt for the Source of Germany's E.Coli Outbreak

The eeriest thing of all, according to Rolf Stahl, is the way patients change. "Their awareness becomes blurred, they have problems finding words and they don't quite know where they are," says Stahl. And then there is this surprising aggressiveness. "We are dealing with a completely new clinical picture," he notes.

"But none of us doctors has ever experienced anything quite like this," he says. His staff has been working around the clock for the last week or so. "We decide at short notice who can go and get some sleep."

The bacterium that is currently terrifying the country is an enterohemorrhagic strain of the bacterium Escherichia coli (EHEC), a close relative of harmless intestinal bacteria, but one that produces the dangerous Shiga toxin. All it takes is about 100 bacteria -- which isn't much in the world of bacteria, which are normally counted by the millions -- to become infected.

2. Japan's Nuclear Radiation Crisis:

Land around Fukushima now radioactive dead zone; resembles target struck by atomic bomb

It's so bad now that soil samples taken from outside the 12-mile exclusion zone (the zone considered safe enough by the Japanese government for schoolchildren to attend school there) are higher than the 1.48 million becquerels a square meter limit that triggered evacuations outside Chernobyl in 1986.

In other words, the radiation level of the soil 12 miles from Fukushima is now higher than the levels considered too dangerous to live in near Chernobyl. This is all coming out in a new research report authored by Tomio Kawata, a fellow at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan. That same report also reveals that radiation from Fukushima has spread over 230 square miles.

One soil sample taking 25 kilometers away from Fukushima showed Cesium-137 exceeding 5 million becquerels per square meter. This level, of course, makes it uninhabitable by humans, yet both the Japanese and U.S. governments continue to downplay the whole event

High levels of strontium detected at Fukushima

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it has detected high levels of a radioactive substance that tends to accumulate in human bones.

The utility detected up to 480 becquerels of radioactive strontium 90 per kilogram of soil. That's about 100 times higher than the maximum reading recorded in Fukushima Prefecture following atmospheric nuclear tests carried out by foreign countries during the Cold War era.

3. The World's Financial Collapse

Suddenly Everyone Is Warning About The Next Financial Collapse

Are we about to see a repeat of 2008 (or something even worse)? Suddenly all kinds of people are coming out of the woodwork and warning that we could be on the verge of the next major financial collapse.

The truth is that global financial markets are even more vulnerable today than they were in 2008, and all over the globe we are seeing trouble signs. Conditions are certainly developing that could bring about a "perfect storm" and cause another global financial collapse.

Have you been watching what has been going on in Greece?

It's crazy. Without another bailout the Greek government will soon start defaulting on their debts.
There have been protests all over the country. Greek citizens have been pulling billions out of Greek banks as the country descends into chaos.

What about the U.S.?

Because of our exploding national debt and the reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve, faith in the U.S. dollar is dying. Even the United Nations is warning of a potential dollar collapse.

We are in big, big trouble.

This is about as good as things are going to get for the U.S. economy. Despite unprecedented efforts, the U.S. economy is still struggling mightily and our long-term economic problems are scarier than ever

Sadly, most Americans still believe that wonderful economic times are on the way. Most believe that this downturn is just temporary and that things will soon be better than ever.

4. Israel and the Middle East:

Netanyahu on Jerusalem Day: This city is ours!

As Israel marked the 44th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that Israel would never allow the city to be again divided.

"Forty-four years ago, IDF soldiers realized the prophets' vision and returned Jerusalem to its proper place," Netanyahu said, referring to the liberation of the eastern half of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War.

Gaza: America is the enemy of Allah

It has already been reported that while much of the Middle East was pleased with Osama bin Laden's assassination by American forces, the Palestinian Arabs stood out as the only regional group to oppose the elimination of the arch-terrorist.

Recent rallies in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip have revealed just how much Palestinian Islamists idolized bin Laden and how broad was his popularity on the "Palestinian street."

During the various rallies, the standard chants of the thousands of attendees have been: "Bin Laden Shattered Crosses" (speaking to their hatred of Christianity) and "America is the Enemy of Allah."

At one rally, Hamas leader Sheikh Munir Al-Aydi eulogized bin Laden by praising the latter's dedication to "lead the global jihad against America and its allies, the worshippers of the cross."

5. Cyber Wars

Cyber Attack on U.S. Electric Grid 'Gravest Short Term Threat' to National Security

ABC News' Huma Khan reports: The United States is ill-prepared to deal with a cyber attack on the nation’s electric grid, one of the biggest national security threats facing the country today, lawmakers warned.

"The sobering reality is this vulnerability, if left unaddressed, could have grave, societal-altering consequences,” Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee today. “We face a menace that may represent the gravest short term threat to the peace and security of the human family in the world today.”

When asked about the story today, Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said, “A response to a cyber incident or attack on the U.S. would not necessarily be a cyber response ... All appropriate actions would be on the table if we are attacked in cyber.”

6. The Coming Water Crisis

This is interesting. See the first story then followed by the second story and connect the dots:

20 former world leaders discuss looming water crisis

Twenty former heads of state, including former US president Bill Clinton, warned Tuesday of an impending "water crisis" and agreed to establish a panel that will tackle a worldwide leadership gap on the issue.

The group urged a new international water ethic and offered 21 recommendations for world water management.

At the top of the list: "placing water at the forefront of the global political agenda."

The retired leaders, among them ex-Mexican president Vicente Fox and former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda, said the panel would work to raise the issue's political prominence in order to avert looming problems with worldwide water supply.

Remember the book of Ezekiel, where God promised to restore the land of Israel, following the nation's return to their land - and that water would then be abundant again?

Israel's largest underground water source discovered near Jerusalem convention center

A cave discovered during excavation work by Israel Railways in Jerusalem contains the largest and most impressive underground water sources ever discovered in Israel, scholars say.

The cave was discovered near the International Convention Center in the capital during construction work on a station for the future high speed Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train line. Builders came across it while digging a service shaft at a depth of 75 meters - five meters from the planned bottom of the shaft.

According to an initial survey by Frumkin's team, the cave developed as water seeped in from the surface and dissolved the limestone. The resulting cavern is known as a karstic cave, named after the region in Slovenia where the phenomenon was first documented. The surveyors said that during their initial exploration, they found water flowing through the cave from northwest to southeast.

And last, but certainly not least - this surprising story emerged today. Its almost hard to believe in this day and age:

Life-sized replica or Noah's Ark to sail ip Thames for 2012 games... complete with animals

Make sure to open the link and view the pictures of this ark.

Like the Biblical original, it is 450ft long, 75ft wide and, when finished, will be packed with animals that enter two by two.

If all goes to plan, the modern-day Noah’s Ark will make its way up the Thames at the end of its maiden voyage next year, 4,000 years after the original is said to have set sail.

The vessel’s Dutch creator, Johan Huibers, has written to London Mayor Boris Johnson to ask for permission to moor it in the capital during the Olympic Games.

The 60-year-old construction company owner said he hopes his ark, telling the story of Noah and with live and model animals inside, will inspire schoolchildren.

'It is to tell people that there is a Bible and that, when you open it, there is a God,’ he said.
According to the Bible, God set out to punish the world for its wickedness with an all-consuming flood, sparing the blameless Noah and ordering him to build a vast lifeboat for his family and a pair of every animal.

Mr Huibers decided to build his 3,000ton vessel nearly 20 years ago after having a dream about a great flood swamping Holland which he saw as a signal to spread God’s message.

Despite his wife’s resistance, he finally started construction three years ago on the river at Dordrecht, near Rotterdam, using the exact dimensions of the ark which Noah is said to have built.


Expected Imminently said...

Hello Scott
For your consideration.

Pretrib has rightly taught that prophecy is future! Some Pretribs., like Renald Showers teach that the signs of Matt.24 are one and the same Seals of Revelation 6. To claim that the birthpangs are happening NOW as per AFrucht; sees the historical view as replacing the futurist view. That concern is reasonable IF the Matt 24 signs are also the Seals of Revelation?

1) Similar does not = same.
2) There has to come a time when what WAS future becomes present and a part of history.

That’s how I see this problem. While the Scriptures are similar; using the same ‘type’ of disasters (how many types can there be?)

Jesus said that these signs were effectively ‘Non’ signs and to be expected. Indeed many false Christ’s did; and still do, arise e.g. bar kochba sp? and Yung Sun Moon since Jesus ascended to heaven. The emphasis is on ‘MANY’ false christs, which is plural. They are all part of the ‘spirit of anti-christ’ that has always been present. This is what Matt.24. is referring to.

It is said that as Satan does not know when Jesus is to come, he has always had several possibilities lined up throughout history e.g. Alexander the Great to Mussolini; Napoleon to Sarkozy; Hitler to Bin Laden and many more besides. Once the Restrainer (of lawlessness) is removed, then Satan has ‘A’ for THE man (singular) primed and ready to go when Jesus breaks the first seal.

IF the ‘birthpangs’ that are happening now were the ‘Seals’; that means Jesus has broken the first one (at least) and the world has entered the last seven years of history and billions have been slaughted etc. The Seal signs cannot be NOW, and future, at the same time as one Postie I know insists.

Lawlessness is STILL being restrained by the Restrainer; A/c has no name; the Temple is not operating or the two witnesses who cause a drought for 3 ½ years. Yes, they DO come in the first 3 ½ years because they are given 1260 days ONLY, then are killed by the beast at the MID point of the Week at the AoD (5th & 6th Trumpet).

The Seal judgments of Rev.6 remain future while the ‘birthpangs’ of Matt.24 are already part of our history since the two WW; and are steadily increasing toward the openings of the seven Seals and the Rapture remains ‘imminent’.

God bless

P.S. I shall give my usual, weekly ½ a Cucumber a miss for the time being; and no more Wasabi EVER! Shame :(

Scott said...


I'm not sure exactly what you are inquiring about (first part of comments above) - but if this touches on it, let me know:

I believe the birth pains analogy was (in context) was being applied to ALL of the signs that Jesus had just described. And Jesus had just described the entire period - from the "beginnings of birth pains" all the way through the Tribulation and the Second Coming (all of which, Jesus had just described).

So...Having said that, above, I believe that the first four (six actually) seal jusgments are not only the beginning of the Tribulation, but a dramatic extension of the earlier signs.

This is the reason that the first judgments look like a repeat of the general signs that Jesus gave in Olivet.

Some folks (IMO) don't see this overlap and believe that Jesus was ONLY describing the Tribulation Period in Oliver.

I don't believe this for many reasons. (I may exceed the limits of this note so I'll continue below)

Scott said...

Mainly though I see it like this:

IF Jesus was only referring to the Tribulation, throughout the Olivet Discourse, (ie, referencing a 7 year period only) then use of the word "genea" would have been bizarre and highly atypical - its almost impossible to find any use of "genea" as a 7 year period.

Secondly, I believe that the most common use for "genea" is exactly how we use "generation" today - ie, a lifespan. (I could elaborate, but for the sake of brevity) - which in today's world is in the neighborhood of 100+ years. (Don't forget....Prophecy for the Nation of Israel often has very specific timeframes...For the Church, prophecy rarely (if ever?) has specific timeframes..)

And we have a lot of "data" historically, to support that view, beginning at WWI's era. And cycling through from then until now. Exactly as Jesus stated.

We are now almost at the 90-100 year mark now (depending on where you would arbitrarily begin the generation).

But back to the original point, and agreeing with Fruchtenbaum, here, The Tribulation would be the final stage of labor-->Delivery. In other words, the labor pains go way up in intensity (notably and undeniably) - signalling the birth.

So in that regard, I believe the first judgments are, correctly, representing that last stage of labor - not the beginning of signs.

Expected Imminently said...

Hello Scott

Thanks for your prompt reply! I have been pondering this for a while now. It does appear as if I was making a definite statement about this, I’m not, its just hard to describe what I mean.

If I explain that Pre-trib Robert Dean takes the same view as Showers. He has said that all the signs and events we call ‘birth-pangs’ from the WW, have no connection whatsoever with prophecy, as they are future. By claiming them now, he sees as being ‘Historicist’ and inconsistent with the Futurist view of Pretrib. Its as you said “Some folks (IMO) don't see this overlap and believe that Jesus was ONLY describing the Tribulation Period in Olivet”

He may be implying that we are giving signs for the Rapture, which of course is not the case. All the signs concern the coming 70th Week – its just that as we are still here, the signs are recognisable but the Rapture still remains imminent as they are nothing to do with the timing of that event, it COULD have come and gone a few years ago.

Yes; the first judgments (Seals) are the last stage of labour, an increasing, intensifying continuation of what we have seen since the WW. However the consistent Pretrib Futurist sees them as the very beginning of labour!

I am very, very unsure about ‘generation’; not yea or nay; I am unable to get a handle on it properly if it’s as you say (and David Reagan) or if it refers to the Jews as a people alive in that era, those particular Jews will see the completion of all things. It bothers me when I remember it was 120 years at the time of Noah, I don’t want that to be the case.???? THEN I have to remind myself that the Rapture is absolutely, completely and totally IMMINENT whatever happens good, bad or indifferent!


Scott said...

Its interesting that you mention the 120 year reference from Genesis..>SO many people neglect to see that.

It is also interesting that this era's generation is approaching 120 years (there are a number of people alive who are between 110-120).

In fact, IMO, the direct link to the Genesis mention of 120 years is in the context of Noah, and Jesus gave us the passage "as in the days of Noah"....To me, this is the most direct and the strongest link to a "generation".

But as you say - the Rapture is dependent upon NONE of those facts. The Rapture has been "imminent" since the day of Pentecost IMO. (at least 'technically').

Bottom line, IMO - is the only thing that fits to this day - is the fact that we are at the very end of the generation - and we are very close to the beginning of teh Tribulation, and we are very very close to the gathering up of the Church.


WVBORN56 said...

The stock market took a big noes dive today and the Drudge Headline was "We are on the verge of a great great depression"

Scott everything in your links today are screaming we are near the start of the tribulation and as a result even closer to the "catching away" of the saints. I am super excited after coming here this afternoon. I don't want to make any predictions other than, I sense our nearness to our experiencing our "blessed hope"

The Jewish spring feast/pentecost would be fine with me! I hope to be seeing everyone soon.

"As in the Days of Noah... people were eating and drinking and given in marriage"

The "Business as usual" era is drawing to a close IMHO!

Alice said...

Scott, from where (time-wise) do you measure the beginning of this generation?

Scott said...

WV -
You are exactly right, re: "...days of Noah" scripture and as you say, those days appear to be drawing to a close.

Alice -
I think its very hard to be precise - and I see the WWI era as a bell shaped curve as far as the first "bolus" of signs that all spiked together. They weren't entirely in "sync", as the war started, and then the pestilence, famine and quakes lagged by a few years (these began during the war, but towards the latter part)....So, at best, I believe we could guess somewhere in the neighborhood of 1916-1921.

Thats my best guess. And also - for the Church - that may be as close we we get. Remember - Jesus said that everything would happen "within" this generation - not necessarily in the last hours of the generation. And to add to that - as far as the last possible days for the Rapture, we have to shave 7 years off of whatever the timeline is.

That brings us very close IMO.

Anonymous said...

This particular strain of Ecoli is a mixture of DNA's from several Ecoli types plus DNA from the Plague Ecoli according to German microbiolists. Der Spiegel Newspaper is best source for info on this worst case of food poisoning in history. I stayed up all night reading all the articles. They did first blame cucumbers from Spain because 4 did have Ecoli BUT later realized it was a different strain. Just like all these swine flus and bird flus that have mixed genetic info making them super strong and people have no resistance. This Ecoli can only be gotten by eating raw food or coming into contact with body fluids of someone who has it. Germany's dialysis units are all full. I am praying for Germany.

Alice said...

Thank you, Scott. I remember you once mentioned to me that you weren't necessarily using 1948 as your starting point, that's what caused me to ask.

Anonymous, Plague Ecoli??? That sounds TERRIBLE!!! And I'm sure it is! I'll keep Germany in my prayers, too.

Expected Imminently said...

Hello Scott
In the hope of pushing back the ‘generation’; I Googled Theodor Herzl and found this site with ‘timelines’ that goes back to Abraham. I noted a ‘Wiki’ comment that said ‘Zionism’ went back to 70 C.E. (the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in A.D. 70)

I’m not sure I have proved anything, but it is jolly interesting for all that! The first Zionist Congress was at Basle, Switzerland in 1897 which was 114 years ago, so it depends where one wants to ‘start’as the wave of Russian pogroms catalyzed the FIRST Aliya (wave of immigration to Israel) in 1881 – 1885. = 126-130 years ago.

The oldest person of The Guinness World (recorded) holder (still living in May) was born on July 9, 1896, in Carangola, Brazil, Valentim is 48 days older than the previous titleholder, Besse Cooper from Monroe, Ga. Cooper will now hold the title of "Oldest Living North American." There’s a nice photo of the dear old stick.

A bit of tweaking makes it even closer. :D

Anonymous said...

I need someone to support me so i can pray all day as there are so many things to pray a.out now that i cant even fit them all in. whew! maybe this e. coli is one of your indian superbugs,Scott!Or since its having such a crazy dna cesspool my guess is lab created and then selectively placed, by well lets just say "terrorists" perhaps. Codex Alimentus anyone? Japan-very sad. Bibi/Jerusalem-touchdown! Well, we know we passed the 40 year mark a while back. i still consider 1948 as the start. things are lining up so fast, it cant be too much longer! No date setting but the fact of so much conterfit rapture action...hmm, if we are here for Christmas I would be surprised indeed. but i am ready to stay or go as he wishes! -ally

Scott said...

Ally - nice summary ! I like that

Anon - please feel free to give us some links to some of those articles if you want to - I'd love to benefit from your work on this.

Sue - I want to take a look at that link - thanks for that!

Scott said...

Oh Sue - I loved that article on the oldest living person. And this was priceless: "She attributes her life's longevity to a healthy diet which includes eating fruit and a bread roll with her daily morning coffee"...You gotta love that :)

Anonymous said...

Scott >>>

As I said before, it will be the EURO that collapses, NOT the dollar.

and I am CONVINCED that will be real soon...

Stephen in Hawaii !!!!