Saudi Arabia’s civil defense directorate said at least 310 people were killed in a stampede at the annual hajj pilgrimage Thursday morning.
The crush happened in Mina, a large valley about five kilometers (three miles) from the holy city of Mecca.
Mina houses more than 160,000 tents where pilgrims spend the night during the pilgrimage.
The Saudi civil defense directorate said at least 450 other pilgrims were injured in the stampede.
Photos released by the directorate on its official Twitter account showed rescue workers in orange and yellow vests helping the wounded onto stretchers and loading them onto ambulances near some of the white tents.
Mina is where pilgrims carry out a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing pebbles against three stone walls.
It was not immediately clear what had caused the stampede.
Helicopters were flying over the area and the sirens of dozens of ambulances could be heard, AFP reporters said.
It was the second major incident this year for hajj pilgrims, after a construction crane collapsed on September 11 at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, killing 109 people including many foreigners.
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims had converged on Mina on Thursday to throw pebbles at one of three walls representing Satan, the ritual that marks the last day of the hajj.
The world’s 1.5 billion Muslims were on Thursday marking Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, the most important holiday of the Islamic calendar.
On Wednesday The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Russian support for the government of Bashar al-Assad and its targeting of the Islamic State in Syria may lead to confrontation between the United States and Russia.
“These actions could provoke a further escalation of the conflict and lead to the loss of more innocent lives, increasing the flow of refugees and risking a confrontation with the anti-ISIS coalition operating in Syria,” Kerry told the Italian newspaper La Stampa.
The “anti-ISIS coalition operating in Syria” is comprised of the United States, Great Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada.
The coalition is reportedly conducting airstrikes and providing intelligence on ISIS.
Israel has also said Russian support for the al-Assad government may lead to confrontations between its forces and the Russians.
Earlier this month Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov suggested talks between Russia and the United States on the situation in Syria after the United States voiced concerns over increasing Russian involvement in the country.
“I made clear that Russia’s continued support for Assad risks escalating the conflict and undermining our shared goal of fighting extremism if we do not also remain focused on finding the political solution,” Kerry said.
1. There are bigger, more pressing problems than climate change
No, really, there are.
, the congressman who is boycotting the papal address because he thinks the Pope is behaving “like a leftist politician” gives some excellent examples here. Foremost, surely, is the persecution and murder of Christians (and other minorities) in Africa and the Middle East by Islamist groups such as Boko Haram and ISIS. If the Pope isn’t going to stick up for his flock in times of crisis what exactly is the point of the Papacy?
2. Climate change is a turn off for (almost) everyone
The Pope’s encyclical on the environment was a flop. According to a poll in July — a month after its release — only 40 per cent of American Catholics and 31 per cent of adults had even heard of it. This despite a massive publicity drive, including a visit to the Vatican by the UN Secretary General and a handwritten note from the Pope to each of his bishops. Furthermore, the encyclical appears to have had a toxic effect on the Pope’s popularity ratings, which plummeted in its wake. According to Gallup, the biggest ratings fall occurred among Conservatives and Catholic traditionalists who had initially been big supporters of Pope Francis but were dismayed at his embrace of greenery. Even worse, though, for the Papacy is the terrifying news of the one person in America who has been attracted to the Catholic church by the Pope’s encyclical. Says Al Gore: “I was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition, I could become a Catholic because of this Pope.”
3. The Pope’s science is all wrong
Because, of course, it doesn’t come from the Pope, who may have rudimentary scientific training but who is reliant for his opinions on his “expert” advisors, most of whom, unfortunately, are card-carrying environmental activists. As climate statistician Matt Briggs is among many to have noted, the encyclical is riddled with basic errors:
For example, the claim that the world’s temperature has been increasing is demonstrably false: it hasn’t, and not for almost two decades. Another is the claim that storms are increasing in size and strength: also false; indeed, the opposite is true. Another is the claim that thousands of species are going extinct: false, and easily proved to be so (see http://wmbriggs.com/post/15887/ ). Another is…but you get the idea. Most of the scientific claims cited in Laudato are not true.
As for the Pope’s extravagant claim — enthusiastically reported by leftist organs like Mother Jones and the Guardian — that “our earth is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth”: this is a pretty bizarre response to man’s extraordinary achievements.
It’s a strange kind of trash that has caused global crop yields to increase by 160 percent since 1961 and deaths from droughts to be reduced by 99.8 percent since the 1920s.It’s an odd kind of “mistreatment” of the planet over the life of the Industrial Revolution that’s resulted in the global life expectancy rising from 26 years in 1750 to 69 years in 2009. This is in spite of the fact that Earth’s population increased from 760 million to 6.8 billion and incomes (in real dollars) rose from $640 to $7,300 during the same period.
4. Climate change is the opposite of social justice
Perhaps the Pope’s greatest misconception about “climate change” is that it is a way of advancing his crusade to help the world’s poor and disenfranchised. In fact it does the precise opposite. This is because for all the claims of the leftist bleeding hearts pushing the climate change agenda — everyone from Greenpeace to Oxfam to the Catholic relief agency CAFOD — the environmental movement has almost nothing but contempt for base humanity. The war on fossil fuel is a war on the cheap energy the poor so desperately need if they are ever to improve their lot. The use of agricultural land for biofuels is another slap in the face of the poor because it drives up food prices. The greens’ obsession with renewables unnecessarily drives up energy prices which in turn leads to fuel poverty and excess winter deaths, especially among the old and infirm. Does any of that sound like social justice?
5. Gaia and God are not compatible
If you believe that God sent his only begotten son in order to die on earth for our sins you may have noticed something distinctive about Jesus. He took the form not of a sloth bear or a cockroach or a snail darter but a man. Presumably this is why God gave man dominion over earth. Because by making man in His image He implicitly recognised that mankind was supposed to be top dog.
In his encyclical the Pope tries to argue his way out of this. He says:
[This] has encouraged the unbridled exploitation of nature by painting him as domineering and destructive by nature. This is not a correct interpretation of the Bible as understood by the Church. Although it is true that we Christians have at times incorrectly interpreted the Scriptures, nowadays we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures. The biblical texts are to be read in their context, with an appropriate hermeneutic, recognizing that they tell us to “till and keep” the garden of the world.
Hmm. I’d say the technical term for this is casuistry. It fudges over perhaps the fundamental clash with the Christian religion on the one hand and the Gaian religion on the other. The first most definitely places mankind at the top of the pecking order; the second sees man as but one species among many, all with equal value, none with a higher claim over the other. You can worship God or you can worship Gaia. But despite the best efforts of so many of our wishy washy church leaders, you really cannot honestly serve both.
While demanding “urgent action” against “man-made climate change,” Pope Francis is flying around on a Boeing 777-200 which spews nearly 100 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile.
The Boeing 777-200 uses slightly over five gallons of jet fuel per mile, and given the density of the hydrocarbon dodecane used in jet fuel at 2,839.06 g/gal and that one gram of dodecane produces around 3.1 grams of carbon dioxide, we have:
5.15 gal/mi * 2,839.06 g C12H26/gal = 14,621.16 g C12H26/mil14,621.16 g C12H26/mi * 3.096 g CO2/g C12H26 * 1 lb/453.59 g = 99.80 lbs CO2/mi
The pope’s flights from Rome to Cuba, Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia and then back to D.C. and to Rome will total around 11,500 miles, so overall the pontiff will emit around 572 tons of CO2 during his trip.
To put that into perspective, 572 tons is the same carbon footprint as burning over 557,000 pounds of coal or over 1,200 barrels of crude oil.
It’s also the equivalent of over 1.2 million miles driven by a car that gets 21 miles per gallon and it’s 47 times the amount of energy a single, middle-class household uses annually.
Yet the pope is demanding that Americans cut back on their lifestyles and pay carbon taxes to fight so-called “man-made climate change.”
“It seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation,” he said at a speech outside the White House on Wednesday. “When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history.”
“We still have time to make the changes needed to bring about a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.”
So if Francis actually believes in so-called “global warming,” why doesn’t he start by cutting down on his international flights and by turning down the air conditioning he enjoys at the Vatican?
Syrian government forces used newly arrived Russian warplanes to bombard Islamic State fighters in Aleppo province in northern Syria, a group monitoring the conflict said on Thursday, in an attempt to break a siege on a nearby air base.
Russia is bolstering its ally Damascus with military aid that U.S. officials say has included fighter jets, helicopter gunships, artillery and ground forces.
The air strikes, which began earlier this week, were accompanied by ground attacks near the Kweiris air base in the east of Aleppo province, where government troops have long been surrounded by militants, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Russian jets arrived only "recently" in Syria but were being flown by Syrian pilots, said the Observatory, which tracks the war via a network of sources on the ground.
Many Western countries have reacted with alarm to Moscow's increased military support for President Bashar al-Assad, whom they oppose. But the rise of a common enemy, Islamic State, has rendered divisions less clear.
The United States has launched its own aerial campaign against the militants in Syria and Iraq. Stronger Russian involvement in Syria means the former Cold War foes' forces could encounter each other as they battle the same enemy.
Russia says Assad should be part of international efforts to fight Islamic State, while the United States believes he is part of the problem.
The commander of Iran's army said on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic would destroy Israel at all costs despite the recent nuclear deal aimed at reining in the country’s rogue behavior, according to comments by these officials.
Ataollah Salehi, commander of Iran's army, said that no matter how many weapons are given to Israel, "we are going to destroy them," according to comments reported in Iran's state-controlled press and independently translated from Persian for the Washington Free Beacon.
The comments follow reports that Iran has unveiled new advanced military hardware and intends to violate international prohibitions on its construction of ballistic missiles, which could be used to carry a nuclear payload.
"Israel only barks, no matter how much weapons are given to [it], we are going to destroy them, we will promise this task will be done," Salehi was quoted as saying by the Fars News Agency. [ Source ]
Obama Touts Religious Liberty to Pope While Litigating to Force 15 Dioceses to Cooperate in Abortion
Jordan's King Abdullah won't speak with Benjamin Netanyahu, Arab media report - Arab-Israeli Conflict - Jerusalem Post
An update on the stampede at the religion of peace's big Brew-Haw-Haw....
"...MECCA, Saudi Arabia (TheBlaze/AP) — At least 717 people have been killed in a stampede at the annual hajj pilgrimage, according to Saudi Arabia’s civil defense directorate..."
Pressing Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule,[a] let us be of the same mind.
Lord, I need You Oh I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God How I need You
Dear Waterer, AMEN and AMEN! Won't be much longer........
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