Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Israeli Election Determines Fate Of Many Nations - Bill Wilson, Reporting from Tel Aviv -

Wash—Mar 30—KIN—The recent Israeli election will determine the fate of many nations as biblical prophecies take effect in the months ahead when newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will come under intense international pressure to abandon Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria and even give up part of the holy city of Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

As ancient biblical prophecies predict the judgment of those who would divide the covenant land of Israel, this election may well determine the fate of many nations.

In Zechariah 12:3, the Lord says, "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."

Israel is sure to come under even more pressure from the international community to follow the so-called roadmap for peace that requires the Jewish nation to shrink back to pre-1967 borders (UN Resolution 242), when Israel captured Jerusalem, completing the Ezekiel prophecies that the Lord would restore Jerusalem to the Jews and the prophecy by Jesus in Matthew 24 of the fig tree blossoming, which marked the beginning of sorrows—the entering of the nations into the end times.

For this reason, the Israeli election is likely the most important in recent history as it has extraordinary prophetic significance. Olmert's task of complying with the "roadmap" will not be easy. Israeli citizens decided not to give the new prime minister a mandate to determine his country's borders by abandoning smaller settlements in Judea and Samaria and consolidating larger ones there. On the other hand, the conservative Likud Party, which would give very little if any of the covenant land to the Palestinians in establishing Israel's borders, was handed a decisive defeat in an election featuring the lowest voter turnout in the history of Israel.

Now Ehud Olmert is left to form a coalition of various liberal parties to move ahead with Israel's unilateral disengagement plan. That's not going to be an easy task since his party, Kadima, only won 28 of 120 seats in the Knesset, far short of the 40 it had wanted. Now Olmert is forced to work with the leftist Labor Party, who won some 20 seats, and a handful of other liberals to try to form a working majority. Sure to block his way will be a coalition of conservative minority parties that comprise a solid opposition of 37 seats if they choose to work together. What this means is a strong debate amid even stronger international pressure to abandon covenant land.

The inside take here in Tel Aviv is that the Israeli people are tired of fighting and want peace. This, combined with harsh pressure from the United States, the United Nations, Russia, and the European Union to abandon land seized in the 1967 and 1973 wars, has resigned Israeli citizens to acquiesce land in hopes that giving the Palestinians their own nation will end the terrorism. The Israelis believe that a wall between them and the Palestinians, which to date has reduced terror by over 80 percent, will continue in its success as it is completed. Of course, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union are pressuring Israel to stop building the wall.

The Israeli people want peace. In this election, they believe they have come closer to peace, but they do not know or understand the prophecies of their own prophets. The Prophet Jeremiah summed up this Israeli election over 2,500 years ago when he wrote, "They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying Peace, peace; when there is no peace." Already Hamas is saying it will never accept the Israeli peace overtures and is demanding an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capitol. Psalm 122:6 tells us to "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee." The only true peace comes from the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. Do you know him?

Monday, March 27, 2006


March 24, 2006 : M3 has ceased to be published by the US Federal Reserve

The world is left without any reliable data on the dollar-value
As announced last February 15 by Leap/E2020 ( ), yesterday March 23, 2006, the US Federal Reserve (see link below) has ceased publishing M3, the most reliable indicator of the amount of USDs circulating in the world.
The Fed has also ceased publishing a number of less important indicators (such as the amount of EuroDollars, large-denomination time deposits, and repurchase agreements) which could have been used to calculate M3 on the basis of other aggregates.
It is important to bear in mind that the Fed continues to calculate M3 and the other indicators. It doesn’t cease to gather these data, but it no longer shares the information with US citizens and the rest of the world. To use a simple image, it is as if, on the eve of a war, the Pentagone suppressed GPS guidance, including for its own allies.
Such measure, which has had no equivalent since 1945, when the dollar imposed itself as the global monetary reference, is a major break in the confidence contract between the US and its Allies.
This is probably the reason why some refused to believe in the possibility to suppress M3 publication, and expressed doubts about LEAP/E2020’s analyses concerning a global systemic crisis.
Indeed, as a result of the Fed’s decision, it is now impossible to estimate major factors such as the amount of money created to repay the increasing US debt, or the resale of US Treasury bonds in order to buy Yens or Euros… all this at the precise time when uncertainty starts prevailing because a growing number of financial players (from oil producing countries as well as from Asian countries) are beginning to express their intention to sell part of their USDs.
In the coming weeks and months, Europe, Asia and oil-producing countries will have to learn how to navigate without instruments for everything that concerns the dollar value and US deficits’ repayment (pure money creation or based on real wealth). As regards US citizens, they too will have to bet on the worth of their own economy and currency.
According to Leap/E2020, the cessation of M3 publication is as important as Nixon’s unilateral decision to suspend the convertibility of the dollar into gold in 1971. In 1971, the dollar became a currency solely based on the rest of the world’s confidence. But this confidence mostly relied on the general feeling that US economy and its currency were managed transparently. With the end of M3 publication, this transparency disappears completely. The US now wants the world to trust their word, even in the field of their currency’s value. In a world where the confidence in the US has never been so low since 1945, the USD is thus turned into the central player of the beginning global systemic crisis.

Confusion as regards the Iranian Oil Bourse… but confirmation that oil-producing countries’ assets are switched into Euros in significant amounts
A great confusion these days surrounds the exact status of the Iranian Oil Bourse, involved as it is in the complex diplomatic games of the Iran-USA crisis. A most contradictory information circulates (see Pravda: ). It is however certain (and that was the essential aspect of this Bourse) that the USD is ceasing to be the sole oil-trading exchange currency, as illustrated by the Gulf states’ recent decision to increase their reserves in Euros versus those in USD: The Fed’s decision to end publication of M3 will accelerate this trend… if this decision was not intended to hide it as long as possible.
Indeed, the US refusal to let a Gulf state company (Dubaï) buy terminal operations at six major US seaports, has resulted in raising awareness in the Middle-East that the USD was a trap where they were in the end prevented from buying real wealth from the country of the currency they have accumulated.


Iran poses threat to dominance of the US dollar
21.03.2006 Source: URL:

This week in the world of economics began with the opening of the international oil exchange in Iran. The intrigue of the situation is accentuated by the fact that trading will take place in the European currency. This in itself is setting a precedent: in modern history oil has been quoted exclusively in dollars.

Alarmists and antiglobalists from all countries have rushed to describe this as yet another sentence against the hegemony of the dollar and the USA. It can not be ruled out that this idea is what is motivating the Iranian authorities. At the height of tension in relations between the USA and Iran the latter’s move looks like a blow to the economic power of its enemy.

This cannot be deemed a weak blow – Iran has a share of at least 4% of worldwide oil production. Moreover, it has been declared that the format of the exchange will meet international norms: the question now is: which other of the Persian Gulf states will support Iran?

“The situation there will depend on the extent to which other countries and regions will want to convert from the dollar to the euro,” the analyst of IK ‘FINAM” Olga Belenkaya told Pravda.Ru. “It is not a fact that Saudi Arabia will want to convert to the euro. If this is just something inside Iran, which will be selling oil in euros, then it is not very dangerous, because all the same its share in oil production is not that great.”

Analysts are for the moment being cautious in their predictions – everyone is advising to wait and see how this week at least will turn out. The dollar has slipped somewhat in world markets, but experts tend to think that this small fall was caused by the events of last week.

In order to contemplate the consequences of the opening of the euro oil market in Iran, it is necessary to look at its origins. However surprising this may be, the man behind the idea is the British financier Chris Cook, former director of the International Petroleum Exchange in London. In 2001 he wrote a letter to the head of the Iranian Central Bank Mohsen Nourbakhsh.

The letter said that the structure of the international oil markets is closely linked to trade brokers, and especially to investment banks, which has a disadvantageous effect on states such as Iran, which are both producers and consumers at the same time. Chris Cook advised Iran to make a decision as soon as possible about creating a Middle East exchange for energy resources which would set a new standard for oil prices in the Persian Gulf .

And not a word was said about “opposing the Atlanticists”. Ideas for shaking the dollar through unilateral efforts have always fallen apart – Iran , if anyone, should know about that.

We remember how at the end of the 1970s, when the OPEC countries agreed to sell oil for dollars and inflated the selling cost of a barrel, oil prices rocketed up by 400%. France, Germany and Japan suddenly decided to purchase oil in their own currencies and thus lower the pressure from the American currency.

In reply the US Treasury and the Pentagon did everything they could to ensure that this did not happen: secret diplomatic treaties, threats and military agreements were taken between the USA and the main OPEC oil producer, Saudi Arabia .

This is what started a new stage in the unlimited power of American financial system. Profit from the export of oil dollars by OPEC countries ended up in the hands of large banks in New York and London and resurfaced in the form of loans to countries experiencing an oil deficit. For example, to Brazil and Argentina, which would later be caught up in the quagmire of the tragic Latin American debt crisis.

Another example of a revolt against the oil dollar took place in Iraq. Two years before the US invasion of Iraq, Saddam Hussein switched from the dollar to the euro. This was one of the reasons for the aggression of American forces against this country.

The Americans have come up with plenty of reasons for the invasion of Iraq. Therefore it is logical to assume that with the slightest danger to the American financial world order, the White House will put an end to the Iranian experiment in trading oil for euros with the use of winged missiles and Abrams tanks.

The opinion of Europe, which presumably morally supports Iran ’s initiative, will remain as just that – as it did in all the global massacres of recent years.

It is Russia who really might be hit by the opening of the oil exchange in Iran. In any case, Russian analysts are not ruling out this turn of events.

“There are rumours going around that Europe is looking for alternative fuel suppliers,” Rosbank analyst Pavel Suprunov told After the fuel crises during the winter, Europeans are extremely concerned by their heavy dependence on Russia, therefore they would like to diversify their supplies. “I think that there is nowhere left for them to go, they have to look at the Middle East ,” says Suprunov.

The analyst does not exclude the possibility that, with the help of the Iranian oil exchange, the Old World countries may try to work more closely with oil exporters from the Middle East. “They have already declared that they will strive to increase their supplies from there”, affirms Suprunov.

But once again not enough has been done to talk about this with any degree of certainty. Several scandalous researchers are already calling this a decisive week for the American dollar.

“Analysts do not tend to exaggerate the threat of major upheavals. They are cautious: I think we will be hearing about Iran and the euro many more times,” says Suprunov. But he irrevocably adds that now is not the time to connect the faltering of currency markets with the opening of this exchange.

Sergei Malinin for Pravda.Ru

Translated by James Platt

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Avian Influenza: Current Situation

On this page:

* Summary
* Human H5N1 Cases
* Animal H5N1 Cases
* Assessment of Current Situation
* Bird Import Ban
* Travel
* CDC Response

Avian Flu Outbreaks
* Current Situation
* Past Outbreaks
* Embargo of Birds
* Quarantine Executive Order
(From the White House)
* Quarantine Executive Order Q & A


Influenza A (H5N1) is an influenza A virus subtype that occurs mainly in birds, is highly contagious among birds, and can be deadly to them. Outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry are ongoing in a number of countries. While H5N1 does not usually infect people, human cases of H5N1 infection associated with these outbreaks have been reported Most of these cases have occurred from direct or close contact with infected poultry or contaminated surfaces; however, a few rare cases of human-to-human spread of H5N1 virus have occurred, though transmission has not continued beyond one person.

Nonetheless, because all influenza viruses have the ability to change, scientists are concerned that H5N1 virus one day could be able to infect humans and spread easily from one person to another. Because these viruses do not commonly infect humans, there is little or no immune protection against them in the human population and an influenza pandemic (worldwide outbreak of disease) could begin. Experts from around the world are watching the H5N1 situation in Asia and Europe very closely and are preparing for the possibility that the virus may begin to spread more easily from person to person.
Human H5N1 Cases
Human Cases: Summary of Current Situation

Since January, 2004 WHO has reported human cases of avian influenza A (H5N1) in the following countries:

* East Asia and the Pacific:
o Cambodia
o China
o Indonesia
o Thailand
o Vietnam

* Europe & Eurasia:
o Azerbaijan
(see update)
o Turkey
* Near East:
o Iraq

For additional information about these reports, visit the
World Health Organization Web Site.

Updated March 21, 2006

During August to October 2004, sporadic human cases of avian influenza A (H5N1) were reported in Vietnam and Thailand. Beginning in December 2004, a resurgence of poultry outbreaks and human cases were reported in Vietnam.

On February 2, 2005, the first of four human cases of H5N1 infection from Cambodia were reported. On July 21, 2005, the first human case of H5N1 in Indonesia was reported. Indonesia continued to report human cases from August 2005 into February 2006. Thailand reported new human cases of H5N1 in October, November, and December 2005, and Vietnam reported new human cases in November 2005. China reported the country’s first confirmed human cases in November 2005 and continued to report human cases in December 2005 and into 2006. Turkey reported the country’s first confirmed human cases on January 5, 2006 and has continued to report human cases. The first confirmed human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) in Iraq was reported on February 2, 2006. In Azerbaijan, the country’s first human cases were reported on March 21, 2006 (see Azerbaijan update).
Animal H5N1 Cases
Animal Cases: Summary of Current Situation

Since December 2003, avian influenza A (H5N1) infections in poultry or wild birds have been reported in the following countries:

* Africa:
o Cameroon
o Niger
o Nigeria
* East Asia & the Pacific:
o Cambodia
o China
o Hong Kong (SARPRC)
o Indonesia
o Japan
o Laos
o Malaysia
o Mongolia
o Myanmar (Burma)
o Thailand
o Vietnam

* Europe & Eurasia:
o Albania
o Austria
o Azerbaijan
o Bosnia & Herzegovina (H5)
o Bulgaria
o Croatia
o Denmark (H5)
o France
o Georgia (H5)
o Germany
o Greece
o Hungary
o Italy
o Poland
o Romania
o Russia
o Serbia and Montenegro (H5)
o Slovak Republic
o Slovenia
o Sweden
o Switzerland
o Turkey
o Ukraine
* Near East:
o Egypt
o Iraq (H5)
o Iran
o Israel
* South Asia:
o Afghanistan
o India
o Kazakhstan
o Pakistan (H5)

For additional information about these reports, visit the
World Organization for Animal Health Web Site.

Updated March 21, 2006

* Beginning in late June 2004, new outbreaks of lethal avian influenza A (H5N1) infection among poultry were reported by several countries in Asia: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

* Since May 2005, outbreaks of H5N1 disease have been reported among poultry in China, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. China, Croatia, Mongolia, and Romania also reported outbreaks of H5N1 in wild, migratory birds since May 2005.

* In January 2006, Hong Kong (SARPRC) reported one dead wild bird.

* Since February 1, 2006, the first cases of H5N1 or H5 infections in poultry or wild birds have been reported in the following countries: Iraq (H5), Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Iran, Austria, Germany, Egypt, India, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina (H5), Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Niger, Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro (H5), Pakistan (H5), Albania, Poland, Georgia, Cameroon, Myanmar (Burma), Sweden, Denmark (H5), Israel, and Afghanistan.

* For additional information about H5N1 and other avian influenza outbreaks among animals, visit the World Organization for Animal Health Web site.

Assessment of Current Situation

The avian influenza A (H5N1) epizootic (animal outbreak) in Asia and parts of Europe is not expected to diminish significantly in the short term. It is likely that H5N1 infection among birds has become endemic in certain areas and that human infections resulting from direct contact with infected poultry will continue to occur. So far, the spread of H5N1 virus from person-to-person has been rare and has not continued beyond one person. No evidence for genetic reassortment between human and avian influenza A virus genes has been found; however, the epizootic in Asia continues to pose an important public health threat.

There is little pre-existing natural immunity to H5N1 infection in the human population. If these H5N1 viruses gain the ability for efficient and sustained transmission among humans, an influenza pandemic could result, with potentially high rates of illness and death. In addition, genetic sequencing of influenza A (H5N1) viruses from human cases in Vietnam and Thailand shows resistance to the antiviral medications amantadine and rimantadine, two of the medications commonly used for treatment of influenza. This would leave two remaining antiviral medications (oseltamivir and zanamivir) that should still be effective against currently circulating strains of H5N1 virus. Efforts to produce vaccine candidates that would be effective against avian influenza A (H5N1) viruses are under way. However, it will likely require many months before such vaccines could be mass produced and made widely available.

Research suggests that currently circulating strains of H5N1 viruses are becoming more capable of causing disease (pathogenic) in mammals than were earlier H5N1 viruses. One study found that ducks infected with H5N1 virus are now shedding more virus for longer periods without showing symptoms of illness. This finding has implications for the role of ducks in transmitting disease to other birds and possibly to humans as well. Additionally, other findings have documented H5N1 infection among pigs in China and H5N1 infection in felines (experimental infection in housecats in the Netherlands and isolation of H5N1 viruses in tigers and leopards in Thailand ).

Notable findings of epidemiologic investigations of human H5N1 cases in Vietnam during 2005 have suggested transmission of H5N1 viruses to at least two persons through consumption of uncooked duck blood. One possible instance of limited person-to-person transmission of H5N1 virus in Thailand has been reported. This possibility is being further investigated in other clusters of cases in Vietnam and Indonesia.

The majority of known human H5N1 cases have begun with respiratory symptoms. However, one atypical fatal case of encephalitis in a child in southern Vietnam in 2004 was identified retrospectively as H5N1 influenza through testing of cerebrospinal fluid, fecal matter, and throat and serum samples. Further research is needed to ascertain the implications of such findings.
Bird Import Ban

There is currently a ban on the importation of birds and bird products from H5N1-affected countries. The regulation states that no person may import or attempt to import any birds (Class Aves), whether dead or alive, or any products derived from birds (including hatching eggs), from the following countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Egypt, France (USDA – defined restricted zone only), India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Laos, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Niger, Nigeria, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Vietnam and Israel (current as of March 20, 2006). For more information, see Embargo of Birds from Specified Countries.

Updated Information for Travelers about Avian Influenza A(H5N1) is available at the CDC Travelers’ Health Web site. Also see Guidelines and Recommendations - Interim Guidance about Avian Influenza A (H5N1) for U.S. Citizens Living Abroad.
CDC Response
Domestic Activities

* In May 2005, CDC joined a new, inter-agency National Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Task Force organized by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. This task force is developing and refining preparedness efforts with international, state, local, and private organizational partners to help ensure the most effective response possible when the next influenza pandemic occurs. For more information about the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plan of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department and other aspects of this coordinated federal initiative, please visit
* In February 2004, CDC issued recommendations for enhanced domestic surveillance of avian influenza A (H5N1). Following the reports of human deaths in Vietnam in August 2004 and additional human cases in the following months, CDC issued follow-up Health Alert Network (HAN) notices on August 12 and February 4, 2005, reiterating criteria for domestic surveillance, diagnostic evaluation, and infection control precautions for avian influenza A (H5N1). The HAN notice also detailed laboratory testing procedures for H5N1.
* CDC has collaborated with the Association of Public Health Laboratories to conduct training workshops for state laboratories on the use of molecular techniques to rapidly identify H5 viruses.
* CDC is working collaboratively with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and other partners to assist states with pandemic planning efforts.
* CDC is working with other agencies, such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, on antiviral stockpile issues.

International Activities

* CDC is one of four WHO Collaborating Centers and in this capacity provides ongoing support for the global WHO surveillance network, laboratory testing, training, and other actions.
* CDC has worked collaboratively with WHO to conduct investigations of human H5N1 infections in China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Turkey and to provide laboratory diagnostic and training assistance.
* CDC has performed laboratory testing of H5N1 viruses from Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.
* CDC is implementing a multi-million dollar initiative to improve influenza surveillance in Asia.
* CDC has led or taken part in 9 training sessions to enhance local capacities in Asia to conduct surveillance for possible human cases of H5 and to detect avian influenza A H5 viruses using laboratory techniques.
* CDC has developed and distributed a reagent kit for the detection of the currently circulating influenza A H5 viruses.
* CDC has worked with other international and national agencies in Asia to develop a training course for rapid response teams that will be used to help prepare the region to respond to outbreaks when they occur.

CDC is monitoring the situation closely, along with WHO and other international partners. In addition, CDC continues to work collaboratively with WHO and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the development and testing of vaccine seed candidates for influenza A (H5N1).

NOTE: The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains situation updates and cumulative reports of human cases of avian influenza A (H5N1).

Page last modified March 22, 2006

Thursday, March 23, 2006


The Sanhedrin's Declaration Concerning the
upcoming State Elections
Decision of the Sanhedrin concerning the State Elections

1. The Sanhedrin has determined that it is an obligation to vote in the upcoming elections. One may vote for any party of which it's leadership is faithful to the Torah (Bible) and its commandments.

2. Continued support of the Sanhedrin for the political and public institutions in the future is dependent on the actions of the elected officials to work towards the enactment of a Torah Constitution, in accordance which this formula:

Torah Constitution: Laws which are contrary to the laws of the Torah are not laws of the Jewish people, and therefore they are invalid. Any law which is contrary to the laws of Torah, legislated by the "Knesset" (including legislated amendments) or interpreted as such by judicial sources is a disqualified law. The authority to decide in these matters has been unconditionally expropriated by the central religious court based on the Torah (Bible) [the Sanhedrin].

3. This convention declares that any political party which seeks a nation referendum or promises acceptance of the results of such a referendum, in areas concerning the commandments of the Torah or matters concerning the Land of Israel in particular [issues that cannot be decided by vote], such a party cannot be viewed as a religious party.

4. This session of the Sanhedrin calls on all the religious political parties to unite, or [at least] manage a unified negotiating front, as one man, one heart, when the results of the elections are known and negotiations are entered into to form a national coalition. This is in order to influence the formation of basic governing principles according to the Torah of Israel, and [for the religious parties in general] to attain the maximum governmental positions and budgets for the common goals: Jewish education, strengthening of settlements, and a stand against those who weaken [the country].

5. The Sanhedrin will work to have social welfare laws enacted according to Torah, in order to reduce the poverty which is overcoming the poor among Israel.

6. The Sanhedrin calls on all movements and political parties to place a great concern on the education of the children in Israel. In each school system there should be respect for religion yiras shamayim, Torah [Bible] learning, keeping of the Shabbat [Sabbath], honoring of father and mother, and modesty with regards to both family issues [sexuality] and wealth.

7. With the election of an Arab authority, by an Arab public which openly declares their intention to destroy the State of Israel, the halachic [Jewish law] ruling of obligatory warfare comes into force, to save Israel from the hand of danger. There must be a fitting military response, to "subdue the enemy and expel him from the land".


U.S. Hospitals Planning Bird Flu Response

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

CHICAGO — Picture a college student from Vietnam returning to school after a spring break: She's sick, coughing, feverish and seeking treatment at a campus emergency room.

It's a scenario some experts envision as a likely way bird flu could first show up in the United States, and it would immediately set into motion a set of steps hospitals nationwide are nervously planning.

With rising numbers of birds and humans abroad infected with a deadly form of the H5N1 virus, U.S. hospitals need to get ready now, a federal bird flu expert said Tuesday at a meeting of epidemiologists in Chicago.

"It's extremely important to investigate every H5N1 case," said Dr. Timothy Uyeki of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more on bird flu, click here to visit's Bird Flu Center.

A single U.S. human case might be just the start, and scientists need to know if the virus has mutated to become easily spread between humans — a development that could trigger a global pandemic, Uyeki said.

Health officials don't know if the deadly virus that has decimated Asian poultry flocks will cause a pandemic, but they are fearful because of its rapid and unprecedented spread among fowl, Uyeki said. There are 184 confirmed human cases and 103 deaths linked to the virus. No U.S. cases have been reported.

Many U.S. hospitals are still in the planning stage for a pandemic. But the University of Chicago Hospitals are a bit further along. Patients who arrive there with flu symptoms are routinely asked about recent travel to places where bird flu is rampant.

If a patient said yes and also had contact with live poultry, bird flu would be strongly suspected and the patient would be sent to an isolation room where air flow can't circulate to the rest of the hospital, said Dr. Stephen Weber, a hospital epidemiologist whose job is to control infection outbreaks.

"This is a trigger for what's called the bio-outbreak response plan," Weber said, and hospital workers would contact his office. There, the person on call "would immediately drop what they're doing" and rush to the treatment area.

Local public health officials would be notified, and the patients' mucous or saliva would be whisked to a tightly controlled state lab in Chicago for tests and diagnosis.

"The last thing you want to do is send a sample to the hospital lab, and grow it. What happens then is you get a concentration of bird flu virus that could put lab workers at risk," Weber said.

While that first patient's needs likely could be met with an isolation room, ventilator, and enough doctors and nurses to administer treatment, all of those likely would be scarce in a pandemic.

"Awful" decisions will be commonplace if a pandemic hits, like whether a very ill 65-year-old patient should be denied a ventilator so that a 25-year-old more likely to survive can get one, said Dr. Andrew Pavia, an infectious disease specialist from Salt Lake City who attended the meeting.

The worst-case scenarios involving an onslaught of hundreds of severely ill patients would force hospitals to shut down some routine services and ration things like hospital beds and antiviral drugs.

Even slightly better scenarios will still stretch hospital resources thin, said Dr. Trish Perl, president of the epidemiology society.

"You have to figure out how you're going to keep a hospital open, delivering babies, and advocate for the patients and advocate for the health care worker and not have it all fall apart," said Perl, staff epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital. "It's very challenging."

One way to lessen a pandemic's pain is to increase dismal flu vaccination rates among hospital workers, said Mayo Clinic vaccine specialist Dr. Gregory Poland.

Efforts are under way to develop an H5N1 vaccine. Poland called flu shots "a moral and ethical duty" for health care workers.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Madonna eyes Israel house to await Messiah
Mar 03 8:08 AM US/Eastern

US pop diva Madonna wants to buy a house in the Israeli town of Rosh Pina, where the ancient Jewish Kabbalah tradition expects the Messiah to appear at the end of the world.

Yediot Aharonot said the owner of a 100-year-old, ramshackle five-bedroom villa overlooking the Sea of the Galilee had been recently contacted several times by representatives of the superstar with a view to selling his property.

According to the same source, Madonna wants to renovate the building into a centre of study of mystical Jewish texts pored over by Kabbalah followers.

The self-proclaimed Material Girl, a keen aficionado of the ancient Jewish mystical tradition, last visited Israel in September 2004.

She turned to Kabbalah in 1997 through the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre which proclaims to offer a path to spiritual enlightenment through an eclectic mix of Orthodox Jewish tradition, visualisation and positive thinking.

Two years ago, she took the Hebrew name Esther and reportedly observes the Jewish sabbath, although she has not converted to Judaism.

One of her recent dance tracks is called "Isaac", the name of famous Kabbalah Rabbi Isaac Louria who lived and worked in the now northern Israeli town of Safed during the 16th century.


Schools urged to prepare for bird flu
How will students be taught if classes are shut down during pandemic?

WASHINGTON - The nation’s schools, recognized incubators of respiratory diseases among children, are being told to plan for the possibility of an outbreak of bird flu.

Federal health leaders say it is not alarmist or premature for schools to make preparations, such as finding ways to teach kids even if they’ve all been sent home.

School boards and superintendents have gotten used to emergency planning for student violence, terrorism or severe weather. Pandemic preparation, though, is a new one.
Story continues below ↓ advertisement

They have a lot to think over, top government officials said Tuesday.

Who coordinates decisions on closing schools or quarantining kids? If classes shut down for weeks, how will a district keep kids from falling behind? Who will keep the payroll running, or ease the fear of parents, or provide food to children who count on school meals?

“Those are the kinds of issues that I don’t think people have spent a lot of time talking about yet,” said Stephen Bounds, director of legal and policy services for the Maryland Association of School Boards.

“But if New Orleans and Katrina taught us nothing else, it taught us you need to be thinking about things ahead of time — and preparing for the worst,” Bounds said.

As the numbers of birds and humans abroad infected with a deadly form of the H5N1 virus rises, U.S. hospitals also need to get ready now, a federal bird flu expert said Tuesday at a meeting of epidemiologists in Chicago.

“It’s extremely important to investigate every H5N1 case,” said Dr. Timothy Uyeki of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many U.S. hospitals are still in the planning stage for a pandemic. But the University of Chicago Hospitals are a bit further along. Patients who arrive there with flu symptoms are routinely asked about recent travel to places where bird flu is rampant.

Study finds two separate bird flu strains

The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu remains primarily a contagious bird disease. Typically spread from direct contact with contaminated birds, it has infected more than 170 people and killed roughly 100. None of those cases occurred in the United States, but officials say bird flu is likely to arrive this year in birds.

As outbreaks have hit Africa, Asia and Europe, officials have launched campaigns to educate the public. To help stop the spread of the disease, farmers have killed tens of millions of chickens and turkeys.

Experts fear the virus could change into a form that passes easily among people.

Common sense advice
In North Carolina on Tuesday, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings joined Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt to encourage schools to prepare. Spellings said schools must be aware that they may have to close their buildings — or that their schools may need to be used as makeshift hospitals, quarantine sites or vaccination centers.

The government has created checklists on preparation and response steps, specialized for preschools, grade schools, high schools and colleges. The dominant theme is the need for coordination among local, state and federal officials.

Some of the advice is common sense, like urging students to wash their hands and cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze to keep infection from spreading. Other steps would take schools considerable time to figure out, such as legal and communication issues.

“I don’t think that the issue of bird flu has resonated yet,” said Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association, which represents many of the country’s teachers.

Weaver praised the federal government for providing guidance that can be plugged into a school district’s crisis plan. But the sudden urgency on bird flu, he said, should not steal attention from the daily struggles schools face, like trying to keep their classrooms safe.

Children age 5 to 18 tend to be the biggest spreaders of flu viruses in the community, experts say. Schools may be ordered to close to prevent spreading the disease.

In Massachusetts, school administrators are considering using an automated phone bank to announce homework assignments and update parents. Another plan would use the Internet for communication between students and their teachers.

But those plans are limited, and many places have had budget cuts in technology, said Tom Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents. “I don’t think we’re anywhere near having a systemic way of approaching this,” he said.

Any school closing may not be for only a day or two. A shutdown would probably have to last a month or longer to be effective, said flu specialist Ira Longini, a faculty member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.

“The school itself plays a big role,” said Longini. “It’s just a massive mixing ground for respiratory illness.”

At the college level, the American Council on Education, a higher education umbrella group, has alerted thousands of college presidents about the need to prepare for bird flu.

Federal health leaders have advised each college to establish a pandemic response team and plan for outbreak scenarios that could close or quarantine their campuses.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


U.S. officials: Plan for bird flu

Don't count on government rescue, health secretary warns

March 21, 2006



WASHINGTON -- Saying they want to inspire preparation, not alarm, three cabinet secretaries said Monday that the dangerous strain of avian flu is likely to make its first U.S. appearance in wild birds migrating from Asia to Alaska.

"It is increasingly likely that we will detect a highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian flu in birds within the U.S. borders, possibly as early as this year," Interior Secretary Gale Norton said.

The virus, which has appeared in Europe, Africa and Asia, can spread from birds to people, though there's no evidence it can be transmitted from person to person. Most human cases so far were in people who had close contact with diseased poultry, or virus-contaminated bird blood or droppings.

"At this point, if you're a bird, it's a pandemic," said Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. "If you're a human being, it's not."

But he presented a far grimmer view Monday than Norton or Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns.

This strain of avian flu is highly lethal and there is no human immunity, he said. It has killed at least 98 people worldwide since 2003 and has a mortality rate of about 50%.

Genetically and in the symptoms humans get, it looks very similar to the Spanish Influenza of 1918, he said, referring to a pandemic that killed at least 20 million people in two years.

Leavitt said the government has learned from its bungled response to Hurricane Katrina, but his examples suggested the response to a flu pandemic would be even worse.

After most natural disasters, health-care workers can come from elsewhere in the country to staff clinics in the affected zone. But a pandemic strikes everywhere, and each area needs all the resources it has. It also lasts longer -- a year to 18 months, he said.

Cities, schools and churches need to develop response plans, he said. Businesses, he said, should consider how they would keep going if a significant number of employees are out for weeks at a time.

"Any community that fails to prepare with the expectation that the federal government will, at the last moment, be able to come to the rescue will be tragically wrong," he said.

The government is stockpiling Tamiflu and other antivirals, and it is supporting the development of flu vaccines, he said. It is also gathering masks and ventilators, he said.

But "there is no way in which 5,000 different communities can be responded to simultaneously," he warned.

The government set up a bird flu Web site,

Monday, March 20, 2006


March 15, 2006

USA-Dollar-Iran / Confirmation of Global Systemic Crisis end of March 2006

Nine indicators prove that the crisis is unfolding

Nine indicators enable LEAP/E2020 to confirm the beginning of a global systemic crisis by the end of March 2006. These indicators are described in this month’s GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin- coordinated by Franck Biancheri – and 5 of them are presented in this public communication. Recent international trends affecting the international financial system in particular, as well as preoccupying trends in the US, namely as concerns the reliability of statistics on the US economy[1], have brought our research team to conclude that this global systemic crisis is already unfolding.

M3 [2] is really the decisive indicator…

As illustrated by most of the 5 indicators described in the present communication, the past weeks have confirmed how decisive the US Federal Reserve’s decision is to stop reporting M3 [3] on March 23, 2006. LEAP/E2020 is now convinced that this decision portends a period of accelerated money-printing by the Fed, concealed behind public statements that inflation in inder control, that will result in the collapse of the US Dollar and the monetarisation of US debt (public and private), which a growing number of US experts now feel will never be repaid [4] given the constantly growing gigantic amount (the US public debt now represents more than 8,000 [5] billions dollars, i.e., approximately four times the federal budget in 2006 [6]) ). According to the very conservative Heritage Foundation, if we also take in consideration the budgetary consequences of recent decisions by the Bush Administration regarding health and pensions, the real debt is USD 42,000 billions, or 18 times this year’s federal budget, and 3 ½ times the US GDP in 2005 [7].

… as well as Iran

While confirming the catalytic role of the opening of an Oil Bourse priced in Euros in Iran (recent Iranian allegations [8] suggest that if the crisis worsens, Iranian authorities might simply decide to switch all foreign transactions to euros, following the example set by Syria [9] a few weeks ago) and/or that of a US and/or Israeli attack on Iran – probably a « surprise-attack » conducted without the support of the UN Security Council [10]-, the scope of the reaction to the publication of last month’s LEAP/E2020 Alert has revealed a deeply-rooted anxiety among a significant part of the financial system’s players, among individual actors mostly. This impact was particularly important in the US from where we received comments mainly focused on M3, real-estate bubble, US deficits and US economic statistics reliability issues. Considering these reactions, LEAP/E2020 has decided to concentrate this second communication on these aspects of the global systemic crisis, all the more since a number of very preoccupying facts appeared in the past weeks.

The real-estate bubble starts collapsing …

Some of the predictions made by LEAP/E2020 have already become true, including the bursting of the housing bubble in the US (new home sales were down 5% in January 2006 compared to January 2005, the first time in 5 years this has happened; and the inventory of homes available for sale represents a 6-month supply since 1998 [11]). The end of the housing bubble will progressively impact US household consumption, which is highly dependent on growing mortgage-mortgage based household debt [12]. . In parallel, the slowdown in the housing sector will directly affect employment, since this sector alone has accounted for 40% of private jobs created over the past five years in the United States.

… currencies of emerging countries first ones affected by the unfolding crisis…

During the week of February 20, 2006, Iceland’s Krona was downgraded by a credit rating agency, which called Iceland’s credit deficit unsustainable. The Krona instantly plummeted 10%, dragging emerging market currencies such as those of Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Indonesia [13] , down due to the speculative positions taken by currency speculators. During the week of March 6, 2006, it was the turn of Central and Eastern European currencies [14] to plummet as a result of excessive deficits and the implementation of new policies (increased interest rates and/or removal of liquidities) by the European and Japanese central banks.
Finally, since March 14, 2006, including those in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have begun a nose-dive (a 15% loss in just 24 hours, and local experts expect a 50 to 60% drop in the coming weeks).

… and the crisis of confidence in the US economy is playing a key-role in triggering a global crisis

Among the factors suggesting that the crisis is beginning, is the extraordinary impact of LEAP/E2020’s February 2006 Alert itself, which, in and of itself, is an indicator of a high level of concern worldwide. In our opinion, the international financial system, and in particular its “dollar-base” [15], now rely mainly on two interconnected pillars: on the one hand, the confidence placed in the system itself and on the other, the statistics describing the evolution of the systems. In terms of the second pillar, the worldwide impact of the LEAP/E2020 Alert is a significant indicator, worth analysing [16] , given the dozens of millions of pages viewed, the hundreds of thousands of individual visitors to our website, the spontaneous translations of the Alert into some twenty languages, the posting of the Alert on hundreds of websites, reporting by the media and comments on blogs worldwide; and in particular, the popularity of the Alert in the US. All this reflects a growing concern about the trends in the international financial system. This concern is an integral part of the global systemic crisis given that psychological factors, such as confidence, have become central in the system.

Five out of nine indicators that the systemic crisis has already begun

These are five out of the nine indicators proving, according to LEAP/E2020, that the system crisis is unfolding:
1. the US government has been in technical default since mid-February 2006, , because the debt ceiling authorized by the Congress has been breached. The US government has suspended sales of “State and Local Government series (SLGS) non-marketable Treasury Securities” [17]. US Treasury Secretary John Snow announced that, if Congress has not approved an increase in the statutory debt ceiling by USD 800 billion by mid-March (i.e., 10% of the current ceiling of USD 8,200 billion, which has already been raised twice in the past three years), the technical default will become very problematic.

2. Fed’s Vice-Chairman in charge of crisis management Roger Ferguson unexpectedly resigned, one one week after the publication of our February Alert, despite the fact that he still had eight years to serve [18]. Roger Ferguson won high marks for his handling of the Fed’s initial response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, while Greenspan was in Europe. His opposition to the strategic choices by new Fed’s chairman, was notorious.

3. The Bank of China, the country’s top foreign exchange lender, has decided to allow depositors to buy and sell gold using their USD in order to diversify its holdings, today mostly in USDs [19].

4. US public and trade deficits continue to increase (USD 119 billion in February and USD 68,5 billion in January), indicating that non one is in control of the current trends which are only worsening. The monthly deficits the highest ever recorded. Washington no longer tries to talk about improvements, but prefers to say that these deficits do not mean anything because “the economy has changed”. This explanation was also used on the eve of the collapse of the « Internet » bubble, couched in terms of the “new economy”. [20] As a point of interest, over the past five years, the US borrowed more money from the rest of the world than it did in its entire history from 1776 to 2000 [21].

5. Doubts grow even in the US on the reliability of US economic statistics [22], leading to counter-analyses showing that, in the last three years, US GDP has in fact decreased and not increased [23] , and that current real inflation rates are between 6% and 12% (with direct consequences of course on the real profitability of the various types of investments).

Three different measures of the consumer price index:
in blue, the method used under the Clinton-presidency, in orange, the method used by the Bush administration, and in yellow, the method currently elaborated by US authorities.

Anticipation is therefore really required in order to limit the damage

A systemic crisis expands like a tsunami progressing through an ocean and hitting different coasts at different moments. When the wave hits a coast, the tsunami has been formed already long ago. An early information is clearly the only way to take some safety measures. In any event, considering the nine indicators developed in GEAB 3, it is now clear for LEAP/E2020 that the crisis is entering its triggering phase. The GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin N°3 details all these analyses and points at some tracks of solution in order to help private and public operators get prepared to make proper decisions.

Considering the importance and convergence of the trends confirming the portended systemic crisis, only trends as powerful could reverse the evolution described by LEAP/E2020. Until today, LEAP/E2020 was not able to identify the least of such reverse trends. Contrary to what some may say, « crises happen even when they are not of collective interest » (WWI or the 1929 crack already proved that). The Iran crisis, the Iraq civil war, or the deterioration of US deficits prove that our international leaders have no hand over the events. It is vain to hope that they will in the last minute appear as « deux ex machina » and solve problems that they contributed to develop over the past decades. Lastly, in the event a crisis occurs, and contrary to what happened in the past decades, the Dollar will not be the reserve currency it used to be, due to the fact that the loss of confidence in the US and in their currency (including by the Americans themselves) is precisely one of the components of the new crisis.


Apart from the analyses detailed in GEAB 3, LEAP/E2020 would like to give two clear advices to the readers of this public communication:

during the unfolding of a global systemic crisis, the main strategy to adopt consists in diversifying as much as possible one’s holdings, because given the unpredictability of the unfolding, only a diversification can limit the loss. It is important to bear in mind the following aspect: in a context of general crisis, the aim is no longer to gain more but to avoid losing too much.
as regards currencies, LEAP/E2020 noticed that its strategic analyses and advices concerning the Euro were largely read and commented at the highest level of the Eurozone governance system. This reinforces our feeling that Euroland will be in the coming months the only monetary area capable of resisting a Dollar crisis. Decision-makers have grown aware in the proper timing of the measures to take on D-Day.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Know How To Bury Your Dead

by Michael G. Mickey


On the topic of a potential bird flu pandemic, a Reuters news story opens with the following advice: "When burying a body in the backyard, don't put it too close to the septic system." Yes, members of our government are beginning to accept the possibility that a bird flu pandemic may be so destructive to America's infrastructure that some of us may need to know this (and other) pieces of morbid information, including the price of body bags (about $20 each).

In the Bible we're told, as seen in Matthew 24:7 and Luke 21:11, the end times will, in part, be marked by pestilences. Additionally, as I've pointed out on numerous occasions, Revelation 6:8 tells us "the beasts of the earth", among other factors, are going to play a prominent role in the deaths of many in the Tribulation Period to come, holding power over "the fourth part of the earth."

In bird flu, we see partial fulfillment of Matthew 24:7 and Luke 21:11, of course, but there have always been pestilences which have plagued mankind, right? Not exactly, at least not on the scale we see it today. I and others, Hal Lindsey to name one specifically, have recently tried to draw the Church's attention to the potential prophetic significance of what is presently being reported in the news of our world today as it may well be a sign of how near we are to our Lord's return!

As for me, I recently drew attention to a Times Online article which states that deadly viruses are mutating to infect humans at a rate never seen before! At least one new disease is jumping the species barrier from animals to human beings every year, according to the article. A similar story by Fox News ominously warns that humans risk being overrun by diseases from the animal world! It certainly places Revelation 6:8 in a new light, although I in no way claim to know with certainty that's what the Lord was specifically referring to when He had John pen those words. Nonetheless, the possibility is worthy of consideration, as I'm about to demonstrate once again.

ABC News recently quoted bird flu expert Robert G. Webster as saying the odds are "about even" at this time for bird flu to learn how to transmit human to human. The following quote from Webster featured in the story helps us to see clearly why everyone may need to know how to bury their dead if this comes to pass:

"Society just can't accept the idea that 50 percent of the population could die. And I think we have to face that possibility. I'm sorry if I'm making people a little frightened, but I feel it's my role."

Recently, while doing some research to see where is popping up on the worldwide web, I found a site had a link to my site on it, describing as the number one news source for Armageddon-related issues or something along those lines. While that brought a great big smile to my face in light of what is truly all about, which is sounding the alert that Jesus Christ is coming soon, the very BEST news in the world from the perspective of the born-again believer, I'm okay with people reading my site for whatever reason, even if it's to poke fun at me a little (or even a lot). Like Robert G. Webster, I'm sorry if I'm making people a little frightened, but I feel it's my role. It's what God has led me to do and I'm passionate about it, even when doing so leaves me exhausted, particularly when I'm having a rough week at my day job.

In a world where many churches are more interested in filling pew seats through appeasement of the lost than winning souls to the Lord through sound biblical teaching, the few of us willing to point toward the potential signs in the world around us indicating that Jesus Christ's return for His Church is drawing near, conditionally at the very least, had better get busy in doing so! Why? If we don't, quite frankly, it isn't going to be done at all.

Even in a time when Iran is about to obtain a nuclear weapon it has all but said it will use to defeat "the West" and "the Zionists", code words for the United States and Israel, and experts are warning that bird flu could mutate and kill half of mankind, I'd say it's far more than safe to state that there are more Christians who are being taught sermons on the modern church's number one spiritual concern ("daily living") on any given Sunday than being taught to be observant concerning what is going on around them - events which should be causing the Body of Christ to begin looking up for the return of Jesus Christ in earnest, instead of complacently sitting in ear-tickling churches learning how to live more comfortably in a world the born-again Christian isn't even supposed to be comfortable living in in the first place! Amen?

I was reading a commentary written by Chuck Baldwin this morning, within which he'd written the following:

One dear preacher friend (one who is not afraid to preach the truth) told me recently, "I have never felt more alone in all my life. I think I now know how the prophets of old must have felt." I share the feeling.

Day after day, I document information on this website I believe is irrefutable evidence as to the lateness of the hour we're living in. Even so, very few, aside from true believers in Christ, are contacting me to tell me they're getting the picture and it breaks my heart. Much like Chuck Baldwin's preacher friend, I often feel very alone as do many other believers I hear from.

"When burying a body in the backyard, don't put it too close to the septic system."

Who, in the good old safe United States of America (or any other place around the world for that matter), needs to know this important tip? I'll tell you. Anyone who reads this commentary in their sin, rejects their need to come to faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and subsequently misses the Rapture of the Church!

Zephaniah 1:14-18:

The great day of the LORD [is] near, [it is] near, and hasteth greatly, [even] the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.

That day [is] a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,

A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.

And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.

Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

Pestilences, widespread apostasy in churches everywhere, wars and rumors of war, turmoil in the Middle East, famine in Africa, earthquakes, mark of the beast technologies on the move, rampant sexual immorality, weapons of mass destruction, and more! These things are present in the news of our world DAILY!

Wake up, Church! Wake up, world!

Jesus Christ is coming soon! Immediately thereafter the great Day of the Lord will come!


Dollar gets battered but "Armageddon" not here yet
Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:18 PM ET

By Jamie McGeever - Analysis

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar has experienced bouts of selling in recent months and emerged the stronger, but a host of factors conspiring against the greenback suggest the extent of this week's sell-off may be different.

A dramatic downshift in financial markets' expectations on how high U.S. interest rates will go, some soft U.S. economic data, a break of key technical support levels and notable shifts in the options market against the dollar slammed the greenback down to six-week lows.

The big question in currency markets now is whether this signals the dollar's resumption of its structural, long-term decline.

Most market participants appear reluctant to make quite so bold a prediction. But they do recognize that the dollar selling momentum generated by the confluence of factors mentioned above is unlike anything seen for some time.

"This is most serious assault on the dollar since January," said Steven Englander, chief currency strategist for the Americas at Barclays Capital in New York. "This feels different."

Driven largely by the hefty shift lower in U.S. rate expectations, the dollar is poised to record its biggest weekly decline against the euro and a basket of currencies since the first week of January.

A week ago, interest rate futures markets were fully pricing in the Federal Reserve raising rates to 4.75 percent later this month, and a one in four chance it would raise to 5.25 percent by the middle of the year.

Now, however, markets have taken all bets of a hike beyond 5 percent off the table, and are pricing in only a three in four chance the Fed will even reach 5 percent.

This helped compress the spread between two-year U.S. and euro zone government debt to its narrowest level in favor of the dollar in 10 months.

Commerzbank currency strategists don't think that is enough to prompt a market "sea change" against the dollar, but they do think that will happen when it becomes clear that U.S. interest rates are no longer supportive for the greenback.

"We are not at that stage yet and it is unclear whether we will be," they wrote in a research note.


David Gilmore, partner at FX Analytics in Essex, Connecticut, goes further and argues that the dollar won't face its "Armageddon Day" until U.S. economic weakness forces the Fed to actually start cutting rates.

Still, "the dollar has broken significant levels and has plenty of scope to run lower in the next six weeks," he said.

To be sure, currency options markets firmly believe the dollar will lose more ground in the coming weeks, particularly against the euro.

Risk reversals on one-week euro/dollar options, which measure the options market's bias toward call or put options in a currency, spiked up this week to their highest levels in favor of euro calls since November 2004.

Then, the euro was trading around $1.3000 and on its way to a record high above $1.35 a few weeks later.

A call option gives an investor the option to buy an asset at a certain price at a predetermined time -- effectively a bet the currency will rise in value over a given time-frame -- while a put option is a bet it will depreciate.

Similarly, the dollar's technical picture deteriorated markedly this week. The dollar broke significantly below its 200-day moving average against a basket of major currencies <.DXY> and the euro broke above its 200-day moving average against the dollar.

However, the dollar would have to slide even further to break out of broad ranges and convince some analysts its technical outlook is bleak enough to warrant calling it the start of a long-term downtrend.

Matthew Kassel, currency strategist at IDEAGlobal in New York, reckons the euro would have to break above $1.2285 -- it's currently around $1.2200 -- to attract longer-term institutional and fund buyers, while others point to the 2006 high around $1.2330 struck in January as the key target.

Yet there are signs that longer-term hedge funds and "real money" investors this week have already emerged to place their bets against the dollar.

"It certainly looks like it (the euro's rise) can last a little longer, and I think there will be genuine interest to join the move or add to positions on pullbacks," said Scott Ainsbury, portfolio manager at FX Concepts, a hedge fund in New York.

Friday, March 17, 2006


Minor mutations in avian flu virus increase chances of human infection
Few adaptations are needed to transform it into a potential pandemic virus
The H5N1 avian influenza virus, commonly known as "bird flu," is a highly contagious and deadly disease in poultry. So far, its spread to humans has been limited, with 177 documented severe infections, and nearly 100 deaths in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Iraq, and Turkey as of March 14, 2006, according to the World Health Organization (

"With continued outbreaks of the H5N1 virus in poultry and wild birds, further human cases are likely," said Ian Wilson, a Scripps Research professor of molecular biology and head of the laboratory that conducted the recent study. "The potential for the emergence of a human-adapted H5 virus, either by re-assortment or mutation, is a clear threat to public health worldwide."

Of the H5N1 strains isolated to date, the researchers looked at A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (Viet04), one of the most pathogenic H5N1 viruses studied so far. The virus was originally isolated from a 10-year-old Vietnamese boy who died from the infection in 2004. The hemagglutinin (HA) structure from the Viet04 virus was found to be closely related to the 1918 virus HA, which caused some 50 million deaths worldwide.

Using a recently developed microarray technology-hundreds of microscopic assay sites on a single small surface-the study showed that relatively small mutations can result in switching the binding site preference of the avian virus from receptors in the intestinal tract of birds to the respiratory tract of humans. These mutations, the study noted, were already "known in [some human influenza] viruses to increase binding for these receptors."

The study was published on March 16, 2006 by ScienceXpress, the advance online version of the journal Science.

Receptor specificity for the influenza virus is controlled by the glycoprotein hemagglutinin (HA) on the virus surface. These viral HAs bind to host cell receptors containing complex glycans-carbohydrates-that in turn contain terminal sialic acids. Avian viruses prefer binding to ?2-3-linked sialic acids on receptors of intestinal epithelial cells, while human viruses are usually specific for the ?2-6 linkage on epithelial cells of the lungs and upper respiratory tract. Such interactions allow the virus membrane to fuse with the membrane of the host cell so that viral genetic material can be transferred to the cell.

The switch from ?2-3 to ?2-6 receptor specificity is a critical step in the adaptation of avian viruses to a human host and appears to be one of the reasons why most avian influenza viruses, including current avian H5 strains, are not easily transmitted from human-to-human following avian-to-human infection. However, the report did suggest that "once a foothold in a new host species is made, the virus HA can optimize its specificity to the new host."

"Our recombinant approach to the structural analysis of the Viet04 virus showed that when we inserted HA mutations that had already been shown to shift receptor preference in H3 HAs to the human respiratory tract, the mutations increased receptor preference of the Viet04 HA towards specific human glycans that could serve as receptors on lung epithelial cells," Wilson said. "The effect of these mutations on the Viet04 HA increases the likelihood of binding to and infection of susceptible epithelial cells."

The study was careful to note that these results reveal only one possible route for virus adaptation. The study concluded that other, as yet "unidentified mutations" could emerge, allowing the avian virus to switch receptor specificity and make the jump to human-to-human transmission.

The glycan microarray technology, which was used to identify the mutations which could enable adaptation of H5N1 into the human population in the laboratory, could also be used to help identify new active virus strains in the field by monitoring changes in the receptor binding preference profile where infection is active, according to according to Jeremy M. Berg, the director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The glycan microarray was developed by The Consortium for Functional Glycomics, an international group led by Scripps Research scientists and supported by the NIGMS.

"This technology allows researchers to assay hundreds of carbohydrate varieties in a single experiment," Berg said. "The glycan microarray offers a detailed picture of viral receptor specificity that can be used to map the evolution of new human pathogenic strains, such as the H5N1 avian influenza, and could prove invaluable in the early identification of emerging viruses that could cause new epidemics."

Other authors of the study include James Stevens of Scripps Research; Ola Blixt of Scripps Research and Glycan Array Synthesis Core-D, Consortium for Functional Glycomics; Terrence M. Tumpey, Influenza Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Jeffery K. Taubenberger, Department of Molecular Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and; James C. Paulson, Scripps Research and Glycan Array Synthesis Core-D, Consortium for Functional Glycomics.


The work was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Institutes of Health.

About The Scripps Research Institute
The Scripps Research Institute, headquartered in La Jolla, California, in 18 buildings on 40 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations. It stands at the forefront of basic biomedical science that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its research into immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases, and synthetic vaccine development. Established in its current configuration in 1961, it employs approximately 3,000 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, scientific and other technicians, doctoral degree graduate students, and administrative and technical support personnel.

Scripps Florida, a 364,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art biomedical research facility, will be built in Palm Beach County. The facility will focus on basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development. Palm Beach County and the State of Florida have provided start-up economic packages for development, building, staffing, and equipping the campus. Scripps Florida now operates with approximately 160 scientists, technicians, and administrative staff at 40,000 square-foot lab facilities on the Florida Atlantic University campus in Jupiter.


Is Bird Flu Really a Threat?
By Mark Jenkins
January 2006

You are a glutton for punishment. Newsweek, Time, U.S. News & World Report, every television network, every newspaper from Hong Kong to California—they’ve all covered the coming bird flu pandemic. It is the y2k of y2005, an unimaginable disaster that may never arrive. Reporters recycle the same speculations over and over about something that hasn’t happened yet. A lot of readers/viewers are probably sick of it. Yet here you are just the same, reading your umpteen-kazillionth bird flu article.

So why read yet another article on this subject? Two reasons: 1) Because there is so much information out there about bird flu, it might be difficult to separate fact from fiction. We aim to provide you with the most accurate information about avian flu and its possible effects. 2) The Trumpet is uniquely able to place this information in its proper position prophetically. But not only is the Trumpet privileged to know what God says about pandemics in this end time, it is also required to give a warning about the dangers plagues will pose. The first reason might not be that compelling to some, but the second reason—if what we say is true—makes this the most important article on bird flu you could possibly read.

What Bird Flu Is—and Is Not

Avian flu, also known as bird flu, is an influenza virus typically hosted only by birds, although other animals such as pigs have carried similar infections as well. In the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, an avian flu killed more than 40 million human beings.

Typically, there are two forms of the disease, the first of which is called “low pathogenic.” It tends to have few symptoms and often goes undetected. This allows the avian flu to spread easily through a flock of birds. Scientists believe the viruses are introduced into the flocks in this less virulent form, which then mutates into the more serious, highly pathogenic forms of avian flu. Nearly every bird in a flock can be killed by these forms in less than 48 hours.

In this latest threat, the strain of bird flu in question is called h5n1, and millions have died—but, to this point, almost all the casualties have been birds. In the history of avian influenza, there has neverbeen a strain as large or as widespread as h5n1; an estimated 150 million birds have died or been destroyed. Despite that phenomenal number, the virus is certainly not under control. Rather, according to the World Health Organization (who), h5n1 is now considered endemic in many parts of Indonesia and Vietnam and in some parts of Cambodia, China, Thailand, and possibly also the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Nov. 3, 2005).

Historically, these types of highly pathogenic viruses have not migrated from region to region by migratory species because the birds that contracted it were all dead long before they could complete a migration. A chief concern in the latest outbreak is that migrating species may actually bespreading the bird flu around the world; historically, no strain of bird flu has ever appeared in so many countries at once.

According to who, three things are necessary for a human pandemic to occur: 1) A new influenza type emerges. h5n1 easily meets this criterion. 2) It infects humans, causing serious illness. The human death toll is still less than 100 people—all of whom contracted the virus by direct contact with birds—but since over 50 percent of those who have contracted this strain of bird flu have died, h5n1easily meets this criterion as well. 3) It spreads easily and sustain ably among humans. This is where h5n1 falls short—for now.

Humans cannot pass this strain of bird flu on to other humans; until that happens, there absolutely will not be a pandemic. But before you get too comfortable, understand that bird flu viruses like that in the Spanish pandemic have made this exact mutation before, and millions of human beings have died as a result. The question is, will it make that final mutation this time?

Lee Jong-Wook, leader of who, left no wiggle room on this issue: “It is only a matter of time before an avian-flu virus—most likely h5n1—acquires the ability to be transmitted from human to human, sparking the outbreak of human pandemic influenza. We don’t know when this will happen. But we do know that it will happen” (Nov. 7, 2005).

He isn’t alone in that assessment; many scientists say there is no question that h5n1 will make the jump; the question is how soon it will happen and how prepared we will be.

World governments are taking the threat seriously; U.S. President George Bush proposed spending $7.1 billion to prevent a pandemic. The affected countries have culled millions of birds in hopes of preventing a pandemic. But at the same time, “A UN official warned that the repeated outbreaks in China suggested its surveillance systems had failed” (South China Morning Post, Oct. 27, 2005).

It is a simple matter to tell people to kill their birds, but experience shows that it may not happen. In Wantang village in the Hunan district of Xiangtan, authorities promised to destroy all the poultry within 1 kilometer of the death of a 12-year-old girl who had been exposed to h5n1. Many families, though, said they couldn’t afford to lose their chickens and ducks: “This outbreak has ruined our economy,” one farmer said. “I don’t want to kill my birds. They look very healthy to me” (ibid., Oct. 28, 2005). The article reported that the birds were still roaming free, except for those lying dead in the fields.

The reaction to an actual outbreak could be similar. At one point Hong Kong said it would seal its borders if there were an outbreak of h5n1, but quickly backpedaled because of the inconvenience to businesses and families if travel were stopped.

How Prepared Are We?

A pandemic of bird flu would be an unprecedented disaster. Economically, the World Bank warned that a bird flu pandemic could cause global gross domestic product to drop by 2 percent—or about $800 billion a year.

It is difficult to estimate a reasonable death count, but who forecasts have consistently remained at 2 million to 7.4 million deaths worldwide. While calling that estimate “reasoned,” a who spokesman also warned that “you could pick almost any number.” The UN coordinator for avian and human influenza picked from 5 to 150 million people dead.

No one says the world is adequately prepared for a pandemic. There are two general areas of preparation. The first is locating outbreaks. There are 110 who influenza centers in 83 countries, but according to Scientific American, the managers of those facilities acknowledge they are “too porous and too slow.” Global surveillance has increased, but no one has claimed this will stop an eventual pandemic.

The second area of preparation involves stocking up on anti-viral drugs and creating vaccines.

Do these drugs even work? Some sources say no. Realistically, the question isn’t even valid. Tamiflu undoubtedly works for something, but in order for h5n1 to make the jump required to cause a pandemic, it will have to mutate, probably by combining with some form of human flu. Until that mutation happens, there is no guaranteed way to test any vaccine or serum. who confirms that “Because the vaccine needs to closely match the pandemic virus, large-scale commercial production will not start until the new virus has emerged and a pandemic has been declared.”

Even if current treatments turned out to be perfect responses to the new virus, there is not enough to treat everyone. According to who, “On present trends, most developing countries will have no access to vaccines and antiviral drugs throughout the duration of a pandemic.”

A Warning Goes Out

Clearly, there is a tremendous danger posed by bird flu—one that could kill upwards of 100 million people under current levels of preparation. This falls in line with the warnings in Revelation 6 about the pale horse of the apocalypse, who kills, in part, using the “beasts of the earth” (verse 8). Matthew 24:7 adds that there will be pestilences in our day.

Deuteronomy 28 lists the following curses to come as a result of disobedience to God: “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee …. The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption [chronic, degenerative diseases such as aids], and with a fever, and with an inflammation [malaria or communicative diseases such as influenzas], and with an extreme burning … with the botch of Egypt [elephantiasis], and with the emerods [tumors, cancer, etc.], and with the scab, and with the itch[aggravated psoriasis and other nutrient-deficiency diseases such as scurvy, rickets, etc.], whereof thou canst not be healed [incurable or drug-resistant diseases] … with madness [mental illness, insanity] and blindness and astonishment of heart [emotional distresses such as depression]” (Deuteronomy 28:15, 21-22,27-28; request our booklet The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse for more details).

We can see the dangers approaching the nations of the world. When this pale horse rides, there will be plagues and diseases like sars and bird flu. While we are not saying h5n1 will be the ultimate fulfillment of the pale horse of the apocalypse, we can say without hesitation and with the full backing of the Bible that disease pandemics are coming. How serious are these end-time curses? “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened”(Matthew 24:22).

When we look at 40 million deaths as a result of the Spanish flu pandemic, we should see how helpless mankind really is; the world is not prepared for an outbreak of h5n1. Men look at anti-viral drugs, vaccines, and the advances of modern medicine as saviors, but the reality is that we are so helpless, there would be no flesh left on the Earth without God’s intervention.

Believe it or not, though, this is a message of hope—the only message of hope anyone can offer. If we seek God “while he may be found,” He will protect us from disease, from terrorism—from every modern threat there is (Isaiah 55:6). Today, He is giving us a warning that we heed by repenting. But do you know what repentance is?

In Volume 1 of his autobiography, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote: “I was never converted until I was brought to the place where I realized my own nothingness, and God’s all-encompassing greatness—until I felt completely whipped, defeated. When I came to consider myself as a worthless burned-out ‘hunk of human junk’ not even worth throwing on the junk-pile of human derelicts, truly remorseful for having imagined I was a ‘somebody’—completely and totally and bitterly sorry for the direction I had traveled and the things I had done—really and truly repentant ….”

That type of repentance will bring God into your life! God tells us in Psalm 91 that if He is our refuge and our fortress, we will not need to fear terrorism or pestilence; He can protect us from global flu pandemics as well: “A thousand shall fall at thy side, And ten thousand at thy right hand; But it shall not come nigh thee” (Psalms 91:7).


Russia says bird flu may hit US in autumn, mutate
Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:52 AM ET

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The deadly bird flu virus, which has hit Asia, Europe and Africa, may spread to the United States late this year and risks mutating dangerously there, Russia's top animal and plant health inspector said on Thursday.

"We think that H5N1 (strain of bird flu virus) will reach the United States in autumn," Sergei Dankvert told Reuters.

"This is very realistic. We may be almost certain this will happen after this strain is found in Great Britain, before autumn, as migrating birds will carry it to the United States from there."

He said there was also an opportunity of the virus spreading by fowl migrating from Siberia's Tyumen region to Alaska and mixing there with birds flying to Canada and to other parts of the United States.

"But we believe this is a longer route," Dankvert said.

"We forecast that bird flu mutation is possible in the countries where the number of different viruses is high. This group includes the United States," Dankvert added.

Bird flu has spread with alarming speed in recent weeks across Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia.

The U.S. government is treating avian flu as a scourge that will inevitably reach the United States and is preparing accordingly, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said this week.

The virus occasionally infects people who have direct contact with infected birds and has killed around 100 people since late 2003.

Scientists fear that the virus may mutate into a form which could easily pass from one person to another, causing a pandemic, in which millions could die.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


UPDATE: Financial Institutions Told To Prepare For Avian Flu

By Lisa Sanders

NEW YORK (Dow Jones) -- Federal officials on Wednesday urged banks and thrifts to be prepared in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak, because the critical functions they serve will need to continue even if large numbers of workers are absent from their jobs.

The advisory from the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision was intended to raise awareness of what needs to be done ahead of an avian-flu epidemic in the United States.

The illness already has infected, and in many cases, killed people in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. It is not known whether it would result in a pandemic.

Still, "the widespread nature of this virus in birds and the possibility that it may mutate over time raise concerns that it will become transmissible among humans, with potentially devastating consequences," the advisory said.

On Monday, the International Monetary Fund advised central banks to have an adequate supply of cash notes and the ability to deliver them to financial institutions promptly so that banks can respond to surges in liquidity demands.

"To calm markets, financial regulators may need to consider a degree of prudential forbearance," the IMF said. "For instance, liquidity requirements, capital adequacy rules and provisioning requirements could be temporarily eased, and regulatory requirements could be adjusted for a 'work at home' environment."

The advisory Wednesday also recommended that the private sector allow workers to do their jobs at home when possible; have a contingency plan to deliver goods and services; establish an infection-control policy; and create a support system by partnering with peers.

"A pandemic event is a potential threat to any financial institution regardless of size and location," according to the interagency statement.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


The Four 4 Horsemen, al Mahdi, and the Magnetic Polar Reversal (Part 2)

Commentary on Rev. 6 by Jack Kelley -

An Eye For An Eye

In Hebrew the word translated "kinsman redeemer" also means "avenger of blood." The same next of kin who was responsible for buying a relative out of debt related servitude or redeeming his lost property, was also responsible for avenging physical attacks against a relative that resulted in death. The tribulation martyrs are calling for enforcement of this law.

Our Lord Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer, come to pay our debts and buy back that which our father Adam lost. But He's also our Avenger of Blood, responsible for bringing to justice the one who maliciously murdered our first parents and therefore us. Everyone who sides with Satan, called those who dwell on the Earth in Revelation, will share his punishment, just as we who side with the Lord, called those who dwell in heaven, will share His inheritance.

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. (Rev. 6:12-14)

As you would expect, since the Tsunami of 2004 scientists have been watching the recent spate of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the Far East very closely. They've found that during the three year period ending in 2005 when the study was conducted, the incidence of underwater quakes and volcanic eruptions had increased by 88% over the norm while continental earthquakes had gone up by 62%. In a single four month period the earth experienced the largest three earthquakes in the last two hundred years. Most of this increased activity came in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a chain of 160 active volcanoes stretching from the East Asia rim to the West Coast of the Americas.

During the same time the magnetic North pole has begun drifting across Canada and is headed for Siberia. Also, the strength of the Earth's magnetic field has weakened noticeably, being about 10% weaker now than when scientists began measuring it in 1845. Based on these findings, some scientists are now convinced that a reversal of the Earth's magnetic poles is underway. They're predicting that in 2012 this reversal will be suddenly and dramatically completed with the North pole having the polarity of the South pole and vice versa.

In 2012 the Sun will also experience a polar reversal. Although the Sun's magnetic poles reverse every eleven years, the Earth has never experienced one in the memory of man. This double shift could produce even greater occurrences of massive quakes and volcanic eruptions of a magnitude that could actually cause a significant continental shift.

The Earth's magnetic field helps protect us against harmful rays from the sun, and a polar reversal could cause this field to collapse just like the water vapor canopy around the earth collapsed at the time of the Great Flood. That event brought violent weather and drastically shortened life spans.

The effects of a magnetic field collapse would be even more severe. According to some projections, the electromagnetic energy released from the sun during a polar reversal could cause Earth's upper atmosphere to "erupt in flames" if our magnetic field isn't there to deflect it. Was John referring to this in saying the sky vanished like a scroll being rolled up? No one knows. We can only imagine what a sudden reversal of magnetic poles would do to life on Earth. Predictions range all the way from a temporary increase in the frequency and severity of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes to a worldwide disaster of "Biblical proportions." The convergence of other prophetic timelines leads me to believe that the 6th Seal Judgment might very well be John's description of this coming dual Magnetic Polar Reversal. (See "The Convergence Of Prophecy And Current Events" referenced below.) If so we're really getting close to the Rapture.

Who Invited Them?

What's more, in 2005 a branch of Orthodox Judaism announced that their messiah figure (not Jesus) would arrive in 7 years. That's 2012. And 2012 is one of those "hot button" dates in occult and new age prophecies. The ancient Mayan calendar ends in December of 2012, and pagans view this as a sign that this age is coming to an end, and our utopian future is just over the horizon. The internet is bulging with websites on the subject, so be careful as you research this critical date. And above all, remember that the Rapture of the Church comes in Revelation 4. Revelation 6 happens after we're gone.

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" (Rev. 6:15-17)

It's no surprise that verse 15 is reminiscent of Joshua 10:16. Of the 404 verses in Revelation, 280 are taken from the Old Testament. As they hide, the kings of the Earth unknowingly utter a prophecy we should all read carefully. "The great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" This passage has always been associated with the beginning of God's wrath. The view that His wrath begins with the bowl judgments of Revelation 16 is a newcomer to studies of prophecy, and is incorrect. The Wrath of God begins in chapter 6, placing the Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church in Chapter 4, right where pre-Trib Rapture believers have seen it all along.

Now What Do We Do?

The number and pace of life affecting events on Earth is unprecedented. It's becoming more and more difficult to keep track of them all. A Jewish Messiah, a Moslem Messiah, and the anti-Christ are waiting in the wings, ready for the cue to take center stage. The New Age Utopia is eagerly anticipated. There are wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes and pestilence. Our Lord likened these to birth pangs, signs that begin as mild, widely spaced, surges. As the time for the birth draws nearer, they increase in both frequency and intensity, until it's hard to tell when one stops and the next one begins. And so it is now. But then He said, " So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near." (Luke 21:31) This is the time for us to be standing tall and looking up. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 03-12-06

Maranatha ! - (Lord Come Quickly)


March 14, 2006 — Robert G. Webster is one of the few bird flu experts confident enough to answer the key question: Will the avian flu switch from posing a terrible hazard to birds to becoming a real threat to humans?

There are "about even odds at this time for the virus to learn how to transmit human to human," he told ABC's "World News Tonight." Webster, the Rosemary Thomas Chair at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., is credited as the first scientist to find the link between human flu and bird flu.

Webster and his team of scientists are working to find a way to beat the virus if it morphs. He has even been dubbed the Flu Hunter.

Right now, H5N1, a type of avian influenza virus, has confined itself to birds. It can be transmitted from bird to human but only by direct contact with the droppings and excretions of infected birds.

But viruses mutate, and the big fear among the world's scientists is that the bird flu virus will join the human flu virus, change its genetic code and emerge as a new and deadly flu that can spread through the air from human to human.

If the virus does mutate, it does not necessarily mean it will be as deadly to people as it is to birds. But experts such as Webster say they must prepare for the worst.

"I personally believe it will happen and make personal preparations," said Webster, who has stored a three-month supply of food and water at his home in case of an outbreak.

Frightening Warning

"Society just can't accept the idea that 50 percent of the population could die. And I think we have to face that possibility," Webster said. "I'm sorry if I'm making people a little frightened, but I feel it's my role."

Most scientists won't put it that bluntly, but many acknowledge that Webster could be right about the flu becoming transmissible among humans, even though they believe the 50 percent figure could be too high.

Researcher Dr. Anne Moscona at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center said that a human form may not mutate this year or next — or ever — but it would be foolish to ignore the dire consequences if it did.

"If bird flu becomes not bird flu but mutates into a form that can be transmitted between humans, we could then have a spread like wildfire across the globe," Moscona said.