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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Amazing Greek video

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Alien salvation

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UN warns of severe food crisis in Horn of Africa

The worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the UN said yesterday.

More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating, it said. "Two consecutive poor rainy seasons have resulted in one of the driest years since 1950/51 in many pastoral zones," Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said. "There is no likelihood of improvement [in the situation] until 2012," she added.

Food prices have risen substantially in the region, pushing many moderately poor households over the edge, she said. A UN map of food security in the eastern Horn of Africa shows large areas of central Kenya and Somalia in the "emergency" category, one phase before what the organisation classifies as catast-rophe/famine – the fifth and worst category.

Child malnutrition rates in the worst affected areas are more than double the emergency threshold of 15 per cent and are expected to rise, Ms Byrs said. High mortality rates among children are also reported.

Drought and fighting are driving ever greater numbers of Somalis from their homeland, with more than 20,000 arriving in Kenya in just the past two weeks, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said. It voiced alarm at the dramatic rise, noting the average monthly outflow had been about 10,000 so far this year.
The Independent

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The aftermath of another clash at Egypt's Tahrir Square


Dozens of wounded file into a makeshift hospital tucked between buildings on Tahrir Square, the symbolic heart of Egypt’s five-month old revolution. They were coming from the scene of clashes between protesters and police that began in the twilight hours of Tuesday, and underscore the volatility of Egypt’s security situation in the nation’s transitional period.

“We just want to live in peace,” says Mahmoud Mohammad, a 15-year-old protester who was injured by rubber bullets in the clashes; he was one of several young men being bandaged up. Among other points of contention that include slow reform, the protesters called for faster prosecutions of the police who killed hundreds of demonstrators earlier this year and speedier trials of former corrupt officials, including former President Hosni Mubarak and former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly.

The speed with which a small protest snowballed into rioting and hours of clashes with the police, is a reminder of the potential for even greater volatility as Egypt's ongoing transition grinds forward. Security services used to violently suppressing dissent remain on the streets and some Egyptians are furious at the history of state torture and violence.
“If you have slow justice, people get angry – slow justice is injustice,” says a volunteer doctor who gave her name as Dina, just before she ran to a patient. The middle-aged man breathed in remnants of tear gas that lingered in downtown’s air.

Christian Science Monitor

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S&P to deeply cut U.S. ratings if debt payment missed

(Reuters) - The United States would immediately have its top-notch credit rating slashed to "selective default" if it misses a debt payment on August 4, Standard & Poor's managing director John Chambers told Reuters.

Chambers, who is also the chairman of S&P's sovereign ratings committee, said on Tuesday that U.S. Treasury bills maturing on August 4 would be rated 'D' if the government fails to honor them. Unaffected Treasuries would be downgraded as well, but not as sharply, he said.

"If the U.S. government misses a payment, it goes to D," Chambers said. "That would happen right after August 4, when the bills mature, because they don't have a grace period."

Fears of a technical default have been rising after budget negotiations between Democrats and Republicans fell apart in Washington earlier this week. Even a brief default by the United States would immediately increase the country's borrowing costs, weighing on the fragile economic recovery and eroding the dollar's status as a reserve currency.

On August 4, the Treasury Department is due to pay off $30 billion in maturing short-term debt.

With the debt talks stalled, new ideas are surfacing such as prioritizing debt payments. But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned lawmakers on Wednesday that such a move would still cause investors to shun Treasury securities.

Geithner said that because the United States now borrows roughly 40 cents of every dollar it spends, prioritizing payments with no debt limit increase would require cutting 40 percent of all government expenditures.

S&P is not the first agency to say it will downgrade the United States if a payment is missed. Rival credit rater Moody's on June 2 was the first to say it would downgrade the United States shortly after a possible ceiling-related default to the Aa range.

Moody's on Wednesday said a U.S. credit downgrade would also affect the ratings of some states and municipalities with strong credit links to the federal government.

Chambers insisted that the likelihood of a U.S. default is "extremely low," as S&P expects a last-minute increase to the country's debt ceiling just like it has happened more than 70 times since the 1960s.

He also noted a default on U.S. Treasuries -- a benchmark against which all other debt is measured -- would dwarf any worries about U.S. credit ratings as global markets would crumble.

Chambers made clear, however, that S&P is more worried about the ability of the government to meaningfully cut its deficit over the next two years, with presidential elections in 2012 making a bipartisan agreement much tougher.

S&P is so far the only of the big-three credit ratings agencies to revise the outlook on the U.S. AAA credit rating to negative. It has said it sees a one-in-three chance of a downgrade within the next two years.

Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings have expressed concern about the pace of budget negotiations in Washington, but still maintain a stable outlook on U.S. ratings.

Yet they have been more vocal about the risks of a "technical default" in August. Fitch said earlier this month it would cut U.S. issuer ratings to "restricted default" if the government misses a more substantial debt payment on August 15.

The Treasury reached the country's $14.3 trillion debt limit on May 16 and has been making use of extraordinary measures to keep servicing its debt since then. It will run out of alternatives to avoid a default on August 2, Geithner has said.

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France exposed for arming Libya rebels

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UK enters strike chaos

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North Korea threatens a ‘sacred war’ on neighbor

North Korea threatened yesterday to launch “a retaliatory sacred war” against South Korea for alleged slander as the two sides held rare talks on a stalled joint tourism project.

A Pyongyang government spokesman accused the South Korean frontline army units of displaying slogans slandering the North’s “army, system and dignity” and said they are “little short of a clear declaration of war.”

The unidentified spokesman, in a statement carried by the official news agency, vowed to respond to any provocations with a “merciless retaliatory sacred war.”

The South’s Hankyoreh newspaper on Monday quoted some of the slogans as reading: “Let’s stick swords and guns into the hearts of North Korean enemy army,” and “A club is the only medicine for a mad dog.”

The North made similar threats when South Korean reservists were found to be using pictures of Pyongyang’s ruling Kim dynasty as rifle-range targets. That practice has since been stopped.

The latest warning came as 12 South Korean government officials and businesspeople traveled to a jointly-run mountain resort in the North to discuss the ownership of South Korean assets there.

Mount Kumgang opened in 1998 as a symbol of reconciliation and helped the impoverished communist state to earn tens of millions of US dollars a year. However, the South suspended visits after a North Korean soldier shot dead a Seoul tourist who had strayed into a restricted military zone in 2008.

Last year the North seized or sealed off several South Korean properties in protest at the failure to restart the tours.

On June 17, Pyongyang warned it would dispose of properties in the zone, and asked South Korean parties to visit Kumgang by today to discuss the process.

The South’s unification ministry, which handles cross-border affairs, said the North should respect all agreements with private businesses and Seoul’s government.

Taipei Times

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Athens on fire

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U.S. Fed extends dollar swap lines with central banks

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday it extended its dollar liquidity swap lines to the European Central Bank and counterparts in Britain, Canada and Switzerland by one year amid continued worries about Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

The Bank of Japan will consider the extension to August 1, 2012, at its next monetary policy meeting, the Fed said.

The swap lines allow foreign central banks, including the ECB, the Bank of England and the Canadian, Japanese and Swiss central banks to borrow an unlimited amount of dollars for a fee and lend them out to banks in their home countries.

The swap lines had been set to expire Aug 1.

Just after the extension was announced, Greece's parliament approved the first of two votes in favour of a five-year austerity plan, clearing a major hurdle in the country's bid to avoid default by accessing aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

A liquidity crunch similar to the one that occurred during the 2008 credit crisis was in danger of developing in Europe, where regional banks' exposure to Greece and other struggling euro zone countries was making borrowing in the money markets difficult.

European banks need dollars to fund their dollar-denominated assets, such as mortgage bonds. In a crisis, dollars would be difficult to obtain.

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Housing prices could fall 25%, research firm warns

Todd Korol/Reuters

Canada’s housing market is a bubble ready to burst as valuations have “lost touch with fundamentals” and household debt is at a record high, says a report by Capital Economics.

The independent research firm’s report says it fears that house prices could fall by as much as 25% over the next three years.

“House prices have been growing rapidly for nearly a decade now and it has reached the point where housing is so overvalued relative to incomes that a downward correction seems unavoidable,” says Capital Economics.

“Relative to disposable income per capita, our calculations suggest that housing is around 25% overvalued, which is approaching the level of excess that the U.S. market reached at its peak in 2006.”

The report says the downturn in the housing sector will severely constrain economic growth over the next couple of years as consumption expands at a more “muted” pace and housing investment “shrinks.”

“We also anticipate that the end of the housing boom will lead to a marked decline in housing-related activity and employment,” it says.

Capital Economics says signs of over-building are evident as unoccupied housing units are at historically high levels, similar to 1994-95 when housing construction was last mired in a slump.

“Another sign of over-building, or perhaps over-consumption, is the sharp increases in the home ownership rate over the last 10 years,” it says. “This run-up has coincided with a housing price boom fuelled by rising financial leverage.

“Our concern is that these excesses will eventually lead to a house-price correction, which would greatly impact household wealth, consumer confidence and the economic recovery.”

Financial Post


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Obama: New York's gay marriage vote 'a good thing'

President Obama simply won't take a position on gay marriage, no matter how many times reporters ask him.

Still, the president let his personal feelings be known with his remarks. He cited "a profound recognition on the part of the American people" that gays "have got to be treated like every other American. I think that principle will win out."

And he said, "I think we're moving in a direction of greater equality, and I think that's a good thing."

Obama did deplore discrimination based on sexual orientation; he bragged about ending the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays in the military; he stressed a new policy permitting federal benefits for same-sex partners.

The president pointed out that the administration has also decided against making legal arguments on behalf of the congressional Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Republicans have blasted his action.

And he did praise the New York state Legislature for approving a gay marriage bill last week -- but only in terms of process, not outcome.

"What you saw was the people of New York having a debate, talking through these issues," Obama said. "It was contentious, it was emotional, but ultimately they made a decision to recognize civil marriages."

Obama said "it is important for us to work through these issues, because each community is going to be different and each state's going to be different.

"I think the combination of what states are doing, what the courts are doing, the actions that we're taking administratively all are how the process should work," he said.

Some gay rights advocates have criticized Obama for not outright endorsing gay marriage, saying he is concerned about more conservative states heading into the 2012 elections.

Richard Socarides, who advised President Bill Clinton on gay rights issues, told ABC News that "the president has staked out a cynical political position aimed at not rocking the boat."

"This states' rights argument is a separate but equal argument," he said. "Would the president have thought it right to let the states decide on the issue of interracial marriage, or on whether or not women should be allowed to vote?"

Others gay rights advocates aren't as concerned, citing progress on some of their other issues.

The Oval
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Greek and German banks could fail EU stress tests

Speculation has risen that several Greek, German, Portuguese and Spanish banks will be among those failing the latest European Union industry stress tests.

As many as 15 out of the 91 banks taking part in the latest round of tests are said to have failed, according to unnamed sources quoted by Reuters.

Between 10 and 15 banks are expected to have failed, compared to seven when the EU-wide tests were conducted last summer.

German and Spanish savings banks are expected to be among the most prominent failures, while Greek and Portuguese banks are also expected to fall short of the capital needed to pass the stressed scenarios banks have been subjected to.

The stress tests have been conducted by the national authorities in each member state under the guidance of the newly-formed European Banking Authority.

For the first time, the tests include a peer review element meaning the national authorities of different countries can challenge the results published by their fellow regulators.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Russia aiding Iran

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Indians pay surgeons to turn girls into boys

Indian doctors have been accused of conducting sex change operations on young girls whose parents want sons to improve the family's income prospects.

Madhya Pradesh state government is investigating claims that up to 300 girls were surgically turned into boys in one city after their parents paid about £2,000 each for the operations.

Women's and children's rights campaigners denounced the practice as a "social madness" that made a "mockery of women in India".

India's gender balance has already been tilted in favour of boys by female foeticide – sex selection abortions - by families who fear the high marriage costs and dowries they may have to pay. There are now seven million more boys than girls aged under six in the country.

Campaigners said the use of surgery meant that girls were no longer safe even after birth.

The row emerged after newspapers disclosed children from throughout India were being operated on by doctors in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

Doctors confronted in the investigation claimed that girls with genital abnormalities were being sent to the city's clinics to be "surgically corrected" and that only children born with both male and female sexual characteristics were eligible for the procedure. But campaigners said the parents and doctors were misindentifying the children's conditions to turn girls into boys.

The surgery, known as genitoplasty, fashions a penis from female organs, with the child being injected with male hormones to create a boy.

Dr V P Goswami, the president of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics in Indore, described the disclosures as shocking and warned parents that the procedure would leave their child impotent and infertile in adulthood.

"Genitoplasty is possible on a normal baby of both the sexes but later on these organs will not grow with the hormonal influence and this will lead to their infertility as well as their impotency. It is shocking news and we will be looking into it and taking corrective measures," he said. "Parents have to consider the social as well as the psychological impact of such procedures on the child."

India's National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights ordered the Madhya Pradesh government to investigate the claims and produce its findings within 15 days.

Ranjana Kumari, of the Centre for Social Research and one of India's leading campaigners against female foeticide, said the surgical transformation of girls into boys without their informed consent was a sign of India's growing "social madness".

The Telegraph

Taliban issues chilling threats against TEN targets in UK, U.S. and France to avenge bin Laden

Attack: Labourers clean the Police Station which was stormed by the armed Taliban militants in Kolachi, a town of volatile Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan

The Taliban has issued a chilling threat to carry out a series of attacks against 10 targets in Britain, American and France to avenge the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

'Soon you will see attacks against America and Nato countries, and our first priorities in Europe will be France and Britain,' deputy Pakistani Taliban leader Wali-ur-Rehman said in a videotape aired on Al Arabiya over the weekend.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, which swears allegiance to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, is blamed for many of the suicide bombings across the country and remains highly dangerous despite a series of army offensives against its strongholds in the north-west of the country, on the Afghan border.

It has not demonstrated an ability to stage sophisticated attacks in the West, however, and the TTP's one apparent bid to inflict carnage in the U.S. failed.

The group claimed responsibility for the botched car bomb attack in New York's Times Square last year.

But American intelligence agencies take it seriously. It was later added to the country's list of foreign terrorist organisations.

The video showed Rehman, described as more sober and experienced than other TTP leaders, flanked by armed followers walking through rough mountain terrain.

Mail One


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Melbourne hit by freaky fog that 'looks like Armageddon rolling in'

Fog in Melbourne from Eureka Skydeck

A SPOOKY fog creeping slowly across Melbourne is a rare freak of nature, the weather bureau says.

The dense fog covered large sections of Melbourne and was affecting flights at Melbourne Airport.

Passengers are advised to check with their airlines or the Melbourne Airport website after a number of diversions and delays.

The fog was expected to cover much of the metropolitan area tonight, after visibility was reduced to 500m at Moorabbin Airport earlier this evening.

"So much fog, I can't even see if the tram is coming," one Twitter user wrote.

Another tweeted that the eerie sight looked "like Armageddon rolling in".

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/melbourne-hit-by-freaky-fog-that-looks-like-armageddon-rolling-in/story-e6frfkvr-1226083726777#ixzz1QfVuZYAS

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Ron Paul: U.S. should declare 'bankruptcy'

Ron Paul: U.S. should declare 'bankruptcy'

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- How should the United States deal with its growing debt problem? Ron Paul thinks declaring "bankruptcy" might be a good idea.

The Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate was discussing Greece's fiscal trouble with Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson on Monday when he was asked, "If bankruptcy is the cure for Greece, is it also the cure for the United States?"

"Absolutely," Paul replied.

Of course, sovereign nations can't declare bankruptcy the same way a corporation might. Instead, the government would be unable to fulfill its obligations, and would stop making payments on its debt, resulting in a default.

Greece is currently embroiled in a debate over how to pare back its social programs and government spending to secure another bailout for paying its debts.

Paul said social programs -- medical care and other benefits -- have pushed Greece to the edge, and the United States should take note.

"The big message there is the fact that the people who are seeing they are losing their benefits and their free medical care and all, are rioting in the streets," Paul said. "That is the problem, and we are not immune from that."
How Washington screwed up the budget

Paul held a hearing last week to grill federal officials about his bill to audit and inventory the nation's gold reserves.

The Texan is no fan of the Federal Reserve either, and suggested Monday the United States should eliminate the Fed as a way to reduce the deficit.

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Flash floods in Philippines kill 11; 13 missing

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Flash floods triggered by torrential rains have swept away dozens of houses in the southern Philippines and killed at least 11 people, most of them children.

Civil defense officer Fe Austria Kalimpo says eight of the victims were between the ages of 3 and 8. She says they drowned when heavy rains swamped five villages in Davao city late Tuesday, overflowing rivers and triggering a deluge that reached 10 feet (3 meters) high in some places.

The floodwaters subsided Wednesday but rescuers are still searching for at least 13 missing people.

Davao Mayor Sara Duterte says about 200 people lost their homes.

Floods in the northern Philippines earlier this week killed five people and left 10 missing.
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God's Final Warning to America

2 Peter 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; (9) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
Seattle Sunday Pride Parade draws diverse crowds 06/26/11 As I read this article, all I could think of was the massiveCascadia Subduction Zone Fault which is right off the coast of Seattle. This fault is identical to the one that broke on March 11 off the coast of Japan. The Cascadia fault last ruptured in January 1700, and sent a massive tsunami to Japan. It can produce a 9.0 or greater earthquake. Seattle would be doomed.
I am convinced that as states like New York and Washington promote the homosexual agenda that God will time this with major disasters. The disaster will match the level of rebellion against His word.
"New York state's historic vote Friday to legalize gay marriage, coupled with the United Nations' resolution endorsing the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people that passed earlier this month, added to the celebratory atmosphere.
Adam Rosencrantz, board president of parade sponsor Seattle Out and Proud, estimated crowds at 400,000, in excess of last year's 250,000."
Same-Sex Marriage Backed by 54% of New Yorkers 06/28/11 If this is true, there is no hope for New York. The state is spiritually dead and ready for judgment. Homosexual marriage shows just how dead this state is and judgment waiting it. The judgment will not be long as the LORD is not going to allow sodomite marriage. He will intervene with judgment. 
“Overdue” earthquake has New York engineers on alert 06/27/11 I was amazed to come across this article about a possible earthquake in New York City. This is right after the state legalized homosexual marriage!
"Over a hundred years ago, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck where JFK stands today. The tremor lasted no more than several seconds, but it managed to liquefy soil in Queens and Brooklyn, causing beach houses on Coney Island to tilt and chimneys to crumble. Home owners as far away as Pennsylvania reported cracked walls and fallen bricks."
***Hillary: State Dept. ‘Instrumental in Sealing Deal’ For Lady Gaga’s Gay Pride Gig in Rome 06/27/11The State Department is now a vector for promoting sodomy throughout the world. This is one more sign that awesome judgment is coming to America to stop this purveying of sodomy throughout the world. What a national disgrace the State Department has become with bullying Israel and promoting sodomy.
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday that the State Department played an instrumental role in “sealing the deal” for pop-rock star Lady Gaga to perform at a gay pride rally in Rome, Italy.Clinton specifically pointed to a letter that David Thorne, the U.S. ambassador to Italy, sent to Lady Gaga urging her to participate in the event."
Dollar seen losing global reserve status 06/27/11 This article was headlines with the US State Department promoting sodomy world-wide! God is in the process of draining everything out of America and turning it into a debt ridden third-world country. It is happening right before out eyes. The promoting of sodomy shows just how dead the nation is. As an American this is disgusting and embarrassing. 
"The US dollar will lose its status as the global reserve currency over the next 25 years, according to a survey of central bank reserve managers who collectively control more than $8,000bn. More than half the managers, who were polled by UBS, predicted that the dollar would be replaced by a portfolio of currencies within the next 25 years. That marks a departure from previous years, when the central bank reserve managers have said the dollar would retain its status as the sole reserve currency."
Hillary Clinton: More Work Is Needed For Gay Rights 06/27/11(Video)
'Hoping for the best': Firefighters battle blaze at edge of Los Alamos nuclear complex 06/28/11 Massive fires in the West with no end in sight. Gay Pride Month is going to end with massive fires in the West along with the intense drought which is destroying the food supply.
Ft Calhoun nuclear plant swamped as Flood berm collapses06/26/11 Gay Pride Month will end with massive floods also in the West. Floods, fires and drought all at the same time. As the nation advances the sodomite agenda the floods, fires, droughts, etc. are going to get worse, much worse. The judgment will match the level of national rebellion.
With the church on the sidelines there is no hope for the nation. Until the true churches rises in repentance, there is NO hope for America. There is very little time left.
Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

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Greek riots.....

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Robert Kiyosaki US economic collapse

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Report: Turkey tells West it might launch offensive against Syria

Turkish officials have told Western countries that Turkey might launch a military operation in Syria's north to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad's regime, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Monday.

“Turkey informed Britain, France, Italy, Germany and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leadership of the possibility that it would launch an offensive in … Aleppo, Homs, Hama and Latakia,” As-Seyassah daily quoted an unnamed British officials as saying, according to the Lebanese news website nowlebanon.com.

The report comes amid fears of undesired confrontation between the Turkish and Syrian armies along the border. About 12,000 Syrians have fled their homes in northern towns and have taken refuge on the Turkish side of the border. The Syrian army is reportedly reinforcing troops near the Turkish border to prevent further inflows of refugees towards Turkey. The Turkish military is also reportedly considering reinforcing border troops. Senior Turkish commanders have recently traveled to the border province of Hatay to inspect the border area.

“Turkish officials fear the possibility of the Syrian army committing mistakes on its borders, which might oblige the Turkish army to cross the Syrian border,” the Kuwaiti daily quoted a Lebanese diplomat in Ankara as saying. The Syrian government's brutal crackdown on anti-regime protesters has brought once-close Turkish-Syrian relations to a breaking point, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan describing the Syrian response to protests as “savagery.”
Earlier, a columnist for Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, said to be close to Hezbollah, claimed that Iran had threatened Turkey that if it were to be used as a platform for NATO action against Syria, then Iran would bomb US and NATO bases in Turkey. A columnist for the newspaper also said Iran sees the preservation of the Syrian regime as the preservation of the Iranian and Lebanese governments.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tension Builds as Israel Warns Planned Gaza Aid Flotilla

US activists chant slogans as they hold placards after a news conference about an international flotilla to blockaded Gaza, in Athens, June 27, 2011

After a deadly confrontation a year ago, a new aid flotilla is planning a voyage to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, which is under Israeli economic blockade. The trip could come this week and tensions are building.

Israel’s Security Cabinet on Monday issued a stern warning to pro-Palestinian activists planning an aid flotilla to blockaded Gaza in the coming days.

Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon told Israel Radio that the flotilla is a provocation and it will be intercepted by the Israeli navy.

The Cabinet said Israel hopes to spare human lives in its enforcement and wants to avoid a repeat of a commando raid on a Gaza flotilla a year ago. The botched raid, in which nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed, sparked international outrage.

Israel says the continuing blockade is necessary to keep weapons from reaching the Palestinian militant group Hamas that rules Gaza. It says the ships can dock in Israeli or Egyptian ports and their cargo can be transferred to Gaza legally over land.

The flotilla is expected to set sail from several European ports. Cyprus, used as a launch pad for earlier voyages, has banned aid groups from sailing from its shores.

At a news conference in Athens on Monday, flotilla organizers said they would not be intimidated by Israeli threats. They said 10 boats and two cargo vessels loaded with aid supplies soon would sail to Gaza and try to run the blockade, which they described as illegal and immoral.

American activist Ann Wright is a former official of the U.S. State Department who will take part.

"We say to the people of Gaza, we are coming!" she said.

Hundreds of people will be on board the flotilla, including journalists, politicians, writers and religious figures.

The United States and United Nations have urged flotilla organizers to use established channels to deliver aid to Gaza, drawing an angry response from Palestinian-American activist Huwaida Arraf, a flotilla participant speaking at the Athens press conference.

"We say shame on you [cheering]. For you ignore our fundamental rights, a right of all people to be free," said Arraf.
Israeli authorities on Monday rescinded a threat to bar journalists on the flotilla from entering the country for 10 years, after the Foreign Press Association in Jerusalem questioned Israel's commitment to freedom of the press.

VOA News

Athens police worse than anything we've seen before

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Hillary Clinton: More Work Is Needed For Gay Rights

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Gay marriage legal in New York State after Senate passes bill

New Yorkers want some history? how about this:

Genesis 19:4-15 (King James Version)

4But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:

5And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

6And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,

7And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.

8Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

9And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.

10But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.

11And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

12And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:

13For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.

14And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

15And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

ALBANY - New York made history last night by becoming the sixth and largest state to legalize gay marriage.

The state Senate passed the bill by a 33-29 margin and Gov. Cuomo quickly signed it five minutes before midnight.

Now, the rush to the altar can begin in 30 days when the law takes effect.

"This state, when it's at its finest, is a beacon for social justice," said Cuomo, who spearheaded the effort. "We reached a new level of social justice this evening." 

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2011/06/24/2011-06-24_gay_marriage_legal_in_new_york_state_after_senate_passes_historic_bill_.html#ixzz1QTgazrQi

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