Monday, April 8, 2013

In The News:


Killer Bird Flu Has Mutated And May Now Spread Around Globe, Scientists Warn

It was thought that the H7N9 virus couldn't be passed between animal species and could only be contracted by exposure to infected poultry.
But health officials in Shanghai, who have studied its genetic sequence, believe it has now mutated into a different strain, is spreading much more easily between different animals and may have entered the wider food chain.
That means the virus is much more likely to be transported beyond China and could eventually mutate further into a form which can be passed directly between humans.
Airline stocks plunged around the world amid fears that the virus would wreak havoc on international travel, as the swine flu virus did when it sparked a human pandemic four years ago.

It came as authorities ordered the slaughter of all poultry at a Shanghai market where the virus was first detected.
Animal health officials in protective overalls and masks worked through the night at the market, taking notes as they stood over piles of poultry carcasses in plastic bags. The area was guarded by police and cordoned off with plastic tape.

He added that the disease, which initially appeared in pigeons - a popular meat in China - had now probably spread to other poultry in the human food chain.

Scientists are alarmed that H7N9  is mutating because it was proven last year that it takes just five genetic mutations for a potentially pandemic strain of bird flu - one that can be passed between humans - to evolve.
As well as the deaths, 16 people have  been left seriously ill in China since the first cases were announced on Sunday, two of which only emerged today.

Middle East:

Syria has withdrawn at least several thousand of its troops from the Golan Heights western diplomats said, according to  a report in The Guardian on Sunday. The redeployments near the Golan ceasefire line were the most significant in 40 years and the soldiers were moved to fronts closer to the capital Damascus, according to the report.  

"They [the Syrian government] have moved some of their best battalions away from the Golan," said a western diplomatic source The Guardian reported. The source added, "They have replaced some of them with poorer-quality battalions, which have involved reducing manpower. The moves are very significant."
A result of the redeployments is that rebel groups have moved into the Golan, which have raised Israeli fears that jihadists will use the area as a staging ground for attacks on territory it controls, according to the report. The Guardian also underlined the "ever more vulnerable position" of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), that is stationed on the Golan Heights ceasefire line, as a result of the troop movements.  

The land of MaGog:

North Korea:

A Russian bomber recently carried out simulated cruise missile attacks on U.S. missile defenses in Asia, raising new questions about Moscow's goal in future U.S.-Russian defense talks. 
According to U.S. officials, a Russian Tu-22M Backfire bomber on Feb. 26 simulated firing air-launched cruise missiles at an Aegis ship deployed near Japan as part of U.S. missile defenses. 
A second mock attack was conducted Feb. 27 against a ground-based missile defense site in Japan that officials did not identify further. 
The Pentagon operates an X-band missile defense radar on the northern tip of Japan that is designed to monitor North Korean missile launches and transmit the data to missile-firing ships. 
The bomber targeting comes as Russia is building up forces in the Pacific by modernizing submarines and building a spy ship specifically for intelligence-gathering against U.S. missile defenses. 

 If North Korea were to launch an attack, U.S. intelligence analysts tell WND the barrage of hundreds of thousands of artillery rounds and missiles would destroy not only South Korea’s capital, Seoul, but also most of the U.S. troops stationed primarily around the capital and near the Demilitarized Zone separating the two countries.

“The 28,500 guys on the border are a speed bump and a trigger for war,” a U.S. intelligence officer who is closely monitoring North Korean activities told WND in an exclusive interview. “They probably would die.”

He explained, “Every U.S. and South Korean (location) already has a pre-programmed target reference point by the North Koreans.”
The initial assessment by this and other U.S. intelligence analysts give a grim picture of the initial onslaught of an attack initiated by North Korea.

Americans in South Korea would be vulnerable to slaughter in the initial barrage of explosives.
“They’ve got about 50,000 people we quantify as Special Forces, and this is both land and naval,” he said. “Other estimates of SOF (Special Operations Forces) levels may include Airborne troops, which is sometimes considered SOF, and is a little more elite than the regular conscripts.”
The intelligence officer added, “There are an estimated 10,000 sleeper agents within South Korea who will perform insurgent-style missions of attack on the infrastructure or conducting assassinations and also assisting with any infiltration of SOF personnel.”
He pointed out that North Korea has a “very well-developed system” of tunnels under the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, that can be used to infiltrate SOF, including spies, into the south.
“In fact,” he said, “pretty much at will the North can send in infiltrators.”
He said there are estimates that infiltrators and sleeper agents, which potentially are plain-clothed SOF, will be able to attack across the entirety of the country at a moment’s notice and, “There is no doubt that they’re in all place.”


Commentators across the Arab world are reporting that a “war of the streets” is playing out in Cairo neighborhoods where Muslims and Coptic Christians live in close proximity. Two days after four Christians and one Muslim were killed in bloody sectarian clashes, severe violence erupted once again during the funeral procession of those four Christians, threatening to rip apart Egypt’s delicate social fabric, Arab media reports.

Coptic witnesses claim Muslims in the area hurled rocks and home-made firebombs and shot hunting rifles at mourners. The result was mayhem in the streets around the Cathedral of St. Mark, a major Coptic holy site, leaving another man dead and nearly 100 injured.

Egyptian police are being accused of not having provided sufficient protection for the Coptic mourners during their procession. If anything, during the ensuing chaos, police fired tear gas at the entrances of the Cathedral of St. Mark and began arresting only Copts.

Al-Hayat, another London-based Arab daily, reports that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has telephoned Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Christian church, and condemned the attacks on his followers.
“I consider an attack on a cathedral as if it were an attack on myself,” Morsi is quoted.
Morsi’s quick condemnation, obviously an attempt to avoid further strife, may complicate matters within his own government. The Dubai-based media channel Al-Arabiya states that “the Egyptian Interior Ministry alleges these acts of violence were started by (Coptic) mourners who set fire to public property.”

Unfortunately, reports that Muslim-Christian clashes are erupting beyond Cairo indicates that many Egyptians have stopped listening to the powers that be.

Are evangelical Christians rapidly becoming one of the most hated minorities in America?  Once upon a time such a notion would have been unthinkable, but these days things are changing dramatically.  All over the United States, evangelical Christians are being called “extremists” and evangelical Christian organizations are being labeled as “hate groups”.  In fact, as I will detail later on in this article, a U.S. Army Reserve training presentation recently specifically identified evangelical Christians as “religious extremists”.  This should be extremely chilling for all evangelical Christians out there, because as history has shown us over and over again, when you want to persecute a particular group of people the first step is always to demonize them.  And that is exactly what is being done to evangelical Christians today. 

The following is how a Christian Post article described this chilling report…
A U.S. Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief describes “Evangelical Christianity” and “Catholicism” as examples of “religious extremism,” according to the Archdiocese for the Military Services and the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, who shared a copy of the documents with The Christian Post.
“The number of hate groups, extremists and anti‐govt organizations in the U.S. has continued to grow over the past three years, according to reports by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They increased to 1,018 in 2011, up from 1,002 in 2010 and 602 in 2000,” reads the first page of the slide presentation labeled “Extremism & Extremist Organizations.”
Listed alongside “extremist” groups and organizations like the Klu Klux Klan and al-Qaida, the U.S. Army slideshow has “Evangelical Christianity” as the first bullet, followed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and farther down on the slide, Catholicism.

Below that slide there is accompanying text that condemns any religion that believes that it is the only “right way” and that believes that other religions are wrong…
Extremism is a complex phenomenon; it is defined as beliefs, attitudes, feelings, actions, or strategies of a character far removed from the “ordinary.” Because “ordinary” is subjective, no religious group would label itself extreme or its doctrine “extremism.” However, religious extremism is not limited to any single religion, ethnic group, or region of the world; every religion has some followers that believe that their beliefs, customs and traditions are the only “right way” and that all others are practicing their faith the “wrong way,” seeing and believing that their faith/religion superior to all others.
Well, that is exactly what evangelical Christians believe.  They believe that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is the only payment for sin and thus the only way to be reconciled to God.  Unfortunately, this belief is now enough to be labeled as a “religious extremist”.

Sadly, what is happening to evangelical Christians in America is just part of a larger trend that is happening all over the globe.  The following is from a recentReuters article
About 100 million Christians are persecuted around the world, with conditions worsening for them most rapidly in Syria and Ethiopia, according to an annual report by a group supporting oppressed Christians worldwide.
Open Doors, a non-denominational Christian group, listed North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as the three toughest countries for Christians last year. They topped the 50-country ranking for 2011 as well.
Persecution of Christians is on the rise, and it is probably only going to get worse in the years ahead.
Remember what happened in Nazi Germany.  There was a long program of demonization against the groups that the Nazis hated before they ever started to round them up and take them off to camps.
In the end, those that are now demonizing evangelical Christians will not just be satisfied with calling them names.  They ultimately want much more, and what we are witnessing now is just the warm-up act.

Revived Roman Empire:

Just weeks after European leaders tamped down a banking crisis in Cyprus, troubles in the euro zone have again reared their head, this time in Portugal.

In an address to his beleaguered nation on Sunday, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho warned that his government would be forced to cut spending more and that lives “will become more difficult” after a court on Friday struck down some of the austerity measures put in place after a bailout package two years ago.

The renewed tension in Portugal raised the threat of further trouble elsewhere in the euro zone, where ailing members have struggled to rebuild economic growth after enduring wrenching spending cuts.
A critical moment for the latest trouble took place on Friday, when Portugal’s Constitutional Court struck down four of nine contested austerity measures that the government introduced as part of a 2013 budget that included about 5 billion euros, or $6.5 billion, of tax increases and spending cuts. The ruling left the government short about 1.4 billion euros of expected revenue, or more than one-fifth of the 2013 austerity package.
Specifically, the court, which began reviewing the legality of the government’s austerity measures in January, ruled as unconstitutional and discriminatory the government’s plans to cut holiday bonuses for civil servants and pensioners, as well as to reduce sick leave and unemployment benefits.
In May 2011, Portugal became the third euro zone country, after Greece and Ireland, to negotiate an international bailout. Lisbon received 78 billion euros from the International Monetary Fund and European creditors in return for introducing spending cuts and tax increases. Since then, however, Portugal has failed to meet its promised budgetary goals. Its economy has instead continued to sink into one of Europe’s most severe and prolonged recessions, spurring labor strikes and huge street demonstrations.


Stephen said...

And yet, despite all this, stocks are UP again. Bulls are relentless,
they do NOT give up.

I am sure there is a reason for all of it. We have YET TO SEE top tick
in this market, your guess is as good
as mine.

But stocks STILL look bullish.

sad, but true.

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Stephen said...

Bulls are going to hit a WALL OF CEMENT one day, and they will fall,
straight down....

they think they are onipotent ??

really ??

I doubt it.

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>>