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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dr Owuor Prophecy of war coming to Iran

Air Force Removes ‘God’ From Logo

A Virginia lawmaker is calling on the Air Force to reverse a decision to remove a Latin reference to “God” from a logo after an atheist group complained.

Rep. Randy Forbes, (R-VA), said the Air Force removed the logo several weeks ago from the Rapid Capabilities Office. The patch included a line written in Latin that read, “Doing God’s Work with Other People’s Money.”

But after the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers complained, Forbes said the line was rewritten in Latin to read, “Doing Miracles with Other People’s Money.”

Forbes, along with a bi-partisan group of 35 lawmakers, sent a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz expressing concern over the decision to remove a non-religious reference to God.

“It is most egregious,” Forbes told Fox News. “The Air Force is taking the tone that you can’t even use the word ‘God.’”

Forbes said his office contacted the Air Force and officials there confirmed that the logo had been changed after the atheist group complained.

A spokesman for the Air Force told Fox News they had received the letter and would investigate the claims.

Forbes said the removal of “God” is a “bridge too far in terms of the rights of men and women who serve in our services and their ability to express their faith.”

“But the significance of this is what the Air Force is saying with this move – that the word ‘God’ – whether it has any reference to faith or not, can’t be used in the Air Force,” Forbes said.

He said the incident is one of several in recent months that have caused him to wonder if the military is cleansing itself of religious references.

“It’s a very dangerous course to take,” he said.

“I am concerned that the RCO capitulated to pressure from an outside group that consistently seeks to remove references to God and faith in our military,” he said. ‘The RCO’s action to modify the logo sets a dangerous precedent that all references to God, regardless of context, must be removed from the military.”

Syria rebels show off APC

Israel embassies preparing for Iran strike?

Preparing for Iran strike? Foreign embassies in Israel have recently started to formulate contingency plans to evacuate their citizens from the Jewish State in case of a missile attack on Israel.

Senior officials in Jerusalem said that several diplomatic missions have shown great interest in preparing for various emergency situations, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.

In the framework of the preparations for possible fallout in case of an Israeli strike on Iran, foreign diplomats stationed in Israel requested that the Foreign Ministry equip them and their family members with gas masks.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has provided foreign embassies in Israel with a list of public bomb shelters across the country, as well as an instructional pamphlet in English produced by the IDFHome Front Command.

Diplomatic officials deployed in Israel are particularly concerned about the possibility of a missile offensive on the Jewish State that would prompt thousands of Israeli citizens with foreign passports to seek evacuation from country.

A senior European diplomat said that in such case, the European Union does not have the means to undertake a massive evacuation operation within a short period of time.

Meanwhile, the Home Front Command is preparing to launch a two-day drill in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on Wednesday. IDF forces, firefighters, police officers and Magen David Adom emergency services will be taking part in the exercise.

Army officials said that heavy military and emergency vehicle traffic is expected in the city's Shimshon neighborhood during the day. The drill marks the latest in a series of Home Front exercises held in Israel in recent months.

The Air Force will also be holding major maneuvers Wednesday, in the northern Israel Galilee region.


EU ‘Ready for greek Euro exit’

THE EU signalled that it was prepared to eject Greece from the euro after a senior official yesterday declared the single currency would survive without them.

European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes insisted the eurozone wouldn’t collapse. It marks a change by Brussels which has backed Greece’s continuing inclusion.

Ms Kroes said: “When one member leaves it doesn’t mean ‘man overboard.’ They always said if a country is let go or asks to get out, then the whole edifice will collapse. But that is simply not true.” Dutch finance minister Jan Kees De Jager added there would be no “Armageddon” if Greece went.

The comments come as pressure mounted on the Greeks last night to agree new austerity measures in return for a second £107billion EU bail-out.


'Hezbollah will choose response to strike on Iran'

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday stated that in the event of an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, Hezbollah would decide itself how to react, rather than taking orders from Tehran.

"Some are wondering what would happen if Israel bombed Iran’s nuclear facilities, and although I rule out this possibility I assure you that the Iranian leadership will not ask Hezbollah to do anything. On that day, we have to sit down and think before we decide what to do," Lebanese website Naharnet quoted Nasrallah as saying.

In a speech delivered viavideo link at a ceremony marking the birth of Islamicprophet Muhammed, Nasrallah thanked the Iranian regime for its support, saying that Tehran could escape western sanctions if it wanted to, but instead chooses not to "sell out Palestine."

The Lebanon Now news portal quoted Nasrallah as saying that Lebanon "could not have been victorious" in the 2006 Second Lebanon War without the help of Iran.

"We have received moral, political and financial support in all means possible from Iran since 1982," Nasrallah stated.

Nasrallah also voiced support for the regime of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying it was "ready to implement reform."

He stated that the US,Israel, western countries and moderate Arab countries were trying to "overthrow the Syrian regime," and were guilty of pushing the country into civil war.

Jerusalem Post

'Hysteria' over Russia veto

N. Korea developing unmanned attack aircraft

North Korea is developing unmanned attack aircraft using US target drones imported from the Middle East, a report said Sunday.

They are based on MQM-107D Streaker target drones, which are used by the US army, and imported from a Middle East nation believed to be Syria, Yonhap news agency reported.

It cited an anonymous Seoul military official, adding the communist state would likely deploy them, once completed, near the tense maritime border with the South on the Yellow Sea.

The US drone, which flies at 40,000 feet (12,000 metres) at a maximum speed of 575 miles (920 kilometres) per hour, is commonly used for testing missiles.

The North has conducted several tests by mounting high explosives on the imported drones but has not been able to produce a new weapon yet, said the source quoted by Yonhap.

The disputed sea border off the west coast was the scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999, 2002 and 2009. The North also shelled a frontier island in a November 2010 attack that left four South Koreans dead.

Space War

Semeru volcano (East Java, Indonesia): alert level raised to 3

A slight increase in activity of Semeru volcano's activity has been observed by the Indonesian Geological Survey in recent weeks and its alert level was raised to 3 (out of 4, "watch") on 3 February 2012, after it had been on level 2 since 16 July 2009.
Only small to moderate eruptions had been occurring over most of the past year. Between 29 December and 15 January, 8 explosions were counted which produced ash clouds up to 600 m high. One explosion threw incandescent bombs to a distance of 300 m from the Jonggring Seloko crater. During 15-29 January, only weak explosions were recorded and a small steam and ash plume rising 25-50 m was observed.
Between 30 and 31 January, 5 explosions were recorded. They produced incandescent fallout in up to 400 m distance. On 2 February at 07:47 local time, a stronger explosion produced incandescent bombs that reached 750 m distance and caused a small avalanche of blocks rolling down a distance of up to 2.5 km (note: no pyroclastic flows). The heightened activity triggered the raise in alert level the following day.
At its present status level of 3, PVMBG recommends to stay away at least 4 km from the summit on the SE side of the volcano and climbers are advised not to approach the Jonggring Seloko crater less than 1 km.
As of 6 February, no significant changes to its activity have been reported by our correspondent on location.

Volcano Discovery

Israel Warns US Jews: Iran Could Strike Here

Israeli facilities in North America -- and around the world -- are on high alert, according to an internal security document obtained by ABC News that predicted the threat from Iran against Jewish targets will increase.

"We predict that the threat on our sites around the world will increase … on both our guarded sites and 'soft' sites," stated a letter circulated by the head of security for the Consul General for the Mid-Atlantic States. Guarded sites refers to government facilities like embassies and consulates, while 'soft sites' means Jewish synagogues, and schools, as well as community centers like the one hit by a terrorist bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people.

The head of Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, told an audience at a closed forum in Tel Aviv recently that Iran is trying to hit Israeli targets because of what it believes are Israeli attacks on it nuclear scientists. Yoram Cohen said that Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the same militant wing of the government linked to the recent alleged plot against the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., is working tirelessly to attack Israeli and Jewish targets abroad in order to deter Israel.

Local and regional law enforcement and intelligence officials in U.S. and Canadian cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Toronto have been monitoring the situation closely for several weeks, and have stepped up patrols at Israeli government locations and Jewish cultural and religious institutions. They have issued awareness bulletins reminding officers to stay vigilant.

Federal officials in those cities told ABC News that they have also increased their efforts to watch for any threat stream pointing to an imminent attack on either Israeli facilities, Jewish cultural or religious institutions or other "soft targets

"When there is posturing like this, we always pay extra attention to any threat streams," one federal official said.

"The thwarted assassination plot of a Saudi official in Washington, D.C., a couple of months ago was an important data point," added the official, "in that it showed at least parts of the Iranian establishment were aware of the intended event and were not concerned about inevitable collateral damage to U.S. citizens had they carried out an assassination plot on American soil."

"That was an eye opener, showing that they did not care about any collateral damage," the federal official said.

After the disruption of the alleged plot, regional intelligence centers issued bulletins similar to the recent Israeli warning.


Why Is Global Shipping Slowing Down So Dramatically?

If the global economy is not heading for a recession, then why is global shipping slowing down so dramatically?  Many economists believe that measures of global shipping such as the Baltic Dry Index are leading economic indicators.  In other words, they change before the overall economic picture changes.  For example, back in early 2008 the Baltic Dry Indexbegan falling dramatically.  There were those that warned that such a rapid decline in the Baltic Dry Index meant that a significant recession was coming, and it turned out that they were right.  Well, the Baltic Dry Index is falling very rapidly once again.  In fact, on February 3rd the Baltic Dry Index reached a low that had not been seen since August 1986.  Some economists say that there are unique reasons for this (there are too many ships, etc.), but when you add this to all of the other indicators that Europe is heading into a recession, a very frightening picture emerges.  We appear to be staring a global economic slowdown right in the face, and we all need to start getting prepared for that.
If you don't read about economics much, you might not know what the Baltic Dry Index actually is.
Investopedia defines the Baltic Dry Index this way....
A shipping and trade index created by the London-based Baltic Exchange that measures changes in the cost to transport raw materials such as metals, grains and fossil fuels by sea.
When the global economy is booming, the demand for shipping tends to go up.  When the global economy is slowing down, the demand for shipping tends to decline.
And right now, global shipping is slowing way, way down.
In fact, recently there have been reports of negative shipping rates.
According to a recent Bloomberg article, one company recently booked a ship at the ridiculous rate of negative $2,000 a day....
Glencore International Plc paid nothing to hire a dry-bulk ship with the vessel’s operator paying $2,000 a day of the trader’s fuel costs after freight rates plunged to all-time lows.
Glencore chartered the vessel, operated by Global Maritime Investments Ltd., a Cyprus-based company with offices in London, Steve Rodley, GMI’s U.K. managing director, said by phone today. The daily payments last the first 60 days of the charter, Rodley said. The vessel will haul a cargo of grains to Europe, putting the carrier in a better position for its next shipment, he said.
So why would anyone agree to ship goods at negative rates?
Well, it beats the alternative.
This was explained in a recent Fox Business article....
“They’re doing this because you can’t just have ships sitting. If they sit too long, then that’s hard on the ships. They have to keep them loaded and moving from port to port,” said Darin Newsom, senior commodities analyst at DTN.
If the owner of a ship can get someone to at least pay for part of the fuel and the journey will get the ship closer to its next destination, then that is better than having the ship just sit there.
But just a few short years ago (before the last recession) negative shipping rates would have been unthinkable.
Asian shipping is really slowing down as well.  The following comes from a recent article in the Telegraph....
Shanghai shipping volumes contracted sharply in January as Europe's debt crisis curbed demand for Asian goods, stoking fresh doubts about the strength of the Chinese economy.
Container traffic through the Port of Shanghai in January fell by more than a million tons from a year earlier.
So this is something we are seeing all over the globe.
Another indicator that is troubling economists right now is petroleum usage.  It turns out that petroleum usage is really starting to slow down as well.
The following is an excerpt from a recent article posted on Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis....
As I have been telling you recently, there is some unprecedented data coming out in petroleum distillates, and they slap me in the face and tell me we have some very bad economic trends going on, totally out of line with such things as the hopium market - I mean stock market.
This past week I actually had to reformat my graphs as the drop off peak exceeded my bottom number for reporting off peak - a drop of ALMOST 4,000,000 BARRELS PER DAY off the peak usage in our past for this week of the year.
I would encourage you to go check out the charts that were posted in that article.  You can find them right here.  Often a picture is worth a thousand words, and those charts are quite frightening.
Over the past few days, I have been trying to make the point that nothing got fixed after the financial crisis of 2008 and that an even bigger crisis is on the way.
Yes, the stock market is flying high right now.
Yes, even "Dr. Doom" Nouriel Roubini is convinced that the stock market will go even higher.
But this rally will not last that much longer.
Wherever you look, global economic activity is slowing down.  The UK economy and the German economy both actually shrank a bit in the fourth quarter of 2011.  About half of all global trade involves Europe in one form or another.  As Europe slows down, it is going to affect the entire planet.
Many thought that the German economy was so strong that it would not be significantly affected by the problems the rest of Europe is having, but that is turning out not to be the case.
In a new article by CBS News entitled "German economic slowdown worse than expected?", we are told that industrial production in Germany is declining even more than anticipated....
German industrial production fell 2.9 percent in December from the month before, according to official data released Tuesday, suggesting the country's economic slowdown could be worse than expected.
So don't believe all the recent hype about an "economic recovery".  Europe is heading into a recession, Asia is slowing down and the U.S. will not be immune.
Despite what you hear from the mainstream media, the truth is that the U.S. economy is not improving and incredibly tough times are ahead.
Thankfully, those of us that are aware of what is happening can make preparations for the economic storm that is coming.
Others will not be so fortunate.

Greek crisis deepens as austerity talks dies

However, international patience with Greece is fast running out.

This situation was exacerbated by the decision to postpone by one day a meeting due to start on Tuesday night, for the country's political leaders to approve a "final draft document" on austerity measures.

Although a raft of measures have been agreed, members of the three main parties had been scheduled to try to find another €1.3bn of cuts.

They will now meet on Wednesday night. Eurozone finance ministers have scheduled a meeting for Thursday to review the budgetary plans so the Greek parliament can vote on the measures at the weekend.

Greece needs international aid to avoid defaulting on a €14.5bn bond on March 20, but will not receive help without a deal.

But as Athens was once again plunged into chaos by strikes and violent demonstrations, some leaders argued that Europe should cut its losses with Greece.

Neelie Kroes, the Dutch vice-president of the European Commission (EC), told the Volkskrant newspaper: "It is absolutely not a case of man overboard if someone leaves the eurozone."

However, Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the EC and co-president of the EU, appealed for continued international support for Greece.

"The costs of a default of Greece, the costs of a possible exit of Greece from the euro, would be much higher than the costs of continuing to support Greece," he said. "This is very important. Of course, it also means Greece undertakes clearly, unambiguously, to make the necessary adjustment efforts."

He was backed by Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Eurogroup. "If we force [Greece] out or push them so much that they resign, we would still be forced to support Greece and would today have to invest unimaginable sums. That would be at least as expensive as the costs of the aid credits up to now."

The chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, has vowed that he will shield America from the eurozone debt crisis.

"We are in frequent contact with European authorities, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely and take every available step to protect the US financial system and the economy," he said.

The Telegraph

Greece needs £12.4BN Extra Bailout to survive

GREECE needs an extra £12.4billion (15billion euros) to plug a gaping hole which could suck in the entire eurozone, it was revealed today.

The bloc has asked the eurozone to help provide an extra £15 billion euros for debt ridden Greece, an EU official said.

The official said Greece's international debt inspectors had discovered a huge funding gap between debt relief provided by banks and other private investors and the second 130 billion euro bailout.

The official called for further money from the eurozone or eurozone central banks to fill the gap.


Ahmadinejad calls for new world order ‎

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for a new world order of justice-seeking nations, to replace the existing Western-dominated liberal status quo.

President Ahmadinejad made the remarks at the inauguration ceremony of the 2nd International Conference on Hollywoodism and Cinema in Tehran on Thursday.

The Iranian chief executive stated that the world's dominant powers deliberately bully the smaller nations, who are not in conflict with one another, thereby creating artificial problems between them.

President Ahmadinejad also pointed out that this new world order needs to be all-inclusive, and not be dominated by any particular single nation.

At least 48 foreign scholars from France, the US, Canada, Belgium, Greece, Spain, Tunisia, Italy, Egypt, Russia, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Palestine and the UK are taking part in the conference.

The event kicked off in the Iranian capital, as part of the 2012 Fajr International Film Festival.


Riot police brutally wipe out Occupy DC

The big freeze in Europe continues

People skate on the frozen Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam. While sports events across Europe fall victim to the deep freeze, the Dutch are welcoming the drop in temperatures, hoping that the revered 'Eleven Cities' speed skating race can be staged later this month for the first time in 15 years.
People skate on the frozen Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam. While sports events across Europe fall victim to the deep freeze, the Dutch are welcoming the drop in temperatures, hoping that the revered "Eleven Cities" speed skating race can be staged later this month for the first time in 15 years. The race, held along a 125-mile (200-kilometre) network of canals connecting 11 towns and cities in Friesland province, would cause a national frenzy, drawing thousands of participants and more than a million spectators. It was last held in 1997.

A man walks past an ice-covered car on the  waterside promenade at Lake Geneva in Versoix, Switzerland...A man walks past an ice-covered car on the waterside promenade at Lake Geneva in Versoix, Switzerland...

A man walks past an ice-covered car on the waterside promenade at Lake Geneva in Versoix, Switzerland.

A young boy pushes his sibling's stroller as he skates on a frozen pond in Prague
A young boy pushes his sibling's pushchair as he skates on a frozen pond in Prague