Sunday, April 30, 2006

DID YOU KNOW?

Did You Know World War 3 Was Planned As Far Back As 1871?
This is the 7th email in the ThreeWorldWars Orientation series, and this week I ask the question: "Are you familiar with Albert Pike and his blueprint for Three World Wars?"
Pike described his vision for 3 World Wars in a letter that he wrote on August 15, 1871. This letter graphically outlined plans that were seen as necessary to bring about the New World Order, and this letter is partly the reason why I named the site ThreeWorldWars.
Here are extracts of what Pike had to say about each World War.
"The First World War must be brought about in order to permit the Illuminati to overthrow the power of the Czars in Russia and of making that country a fortress of atheistic Communism. The divergences caused by the "agentur" (agents) of the Illuminati between the British and Germanic Empires will be used to foment this war. At the end of the war, Communism will be built and used in order to destroy the other governments and in order to weaken the religions."
If you're familiar with the history of World War 1, you'll know that the political alliances of England on one side and Germany on the other, forged between 1871 and 1898 by Otto von Bismarck, were instrumental in bringing about the First World War. In addition, Communism started it's first roots soon after WW1.
"The Second World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences between the Fascists and the political Zionists. This war must be brought about so that Nazism is destroyed and that the political Zionism be strong enough to institute a sovereign state of Israel in Palestine. During the Second World War, International Communism must become strong enough in order to balance Christendom, which would be then restrained and held in check until the time when we would need it for the final social cataclysm."
After this Second World War, Communism was made strong enough to begin taking over weaker governments. In 1945, at the Potsdam Conference between Truman, Churchill, and Stalin, a large portion of Europe was simply handed over to Russia, and on the other side of the world, the aftermath of the war with Japan helped to sweep the tide of Communism into China. Zionism, too grew in strength such that we have a State of Israel today.
"The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the "agentur" of the "Illuminati" between the political Zionists and the leaders of the Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other. Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will be constrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual and economical exhaustion…We shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil. Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, whose deistic spirits will
from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view. This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time."
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001, world events, and in particular in the Middle East, show a growing unrest and instability between Modern Zionism and the Arabic World. This is completely in line with the call for a Third World War to be fought between the two, and their allies on both sides. This Third World War is still to come, and recent events show us that it is not far off.
You will notice too the reference to disillusionment with Christianity, which is extremely evident today in the struggles between various denominations and the mass shunning of Christian teachings. This is why there is such a push for a single religion. The ultimate aim, according to Pike, is to accomplish the "universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer". A One World Religion under a One World Government is required before this devilish doctrine can be made public.
As you will notice, everything that Pike wrote about in his letter appears to be reaching a conclusion. Could the planned Third and Final World War be just around the corner? And following that, the Anti-Christ?
We will have to wait and see, but the writing is certainly on the wall.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

ANTICHRIST IDENTITY WILL BE REVEALED ON 06-06-06

JUNE 6 2006- ANTICHRIST REVEALED UPDATE by Pastor Harry

It is 41 days until JUNE 6 2006 (6/6/06) and so far world events have
not triggered The Biblical Apocalypse such as WW III raging against
Israel. (The Dome of the Rock Mosque is shining brightly in
Jerusalem's
Sun). Right now there is a "stand-off" between Iran and the USA over
Iran's nuclear weapons program and their desire to destroy Israel.

BIBLE CODE ALERT

If there is a terror attack against The USA- City of Philadelphia- as
The Bible Code suggests (MAY- JUNE- JULY but no yeaar encoded) this
will
break this stalemate as Pres. Bush will declare war against Iran and
possible Syria too.

JUNE 6 2006

I have come to see JUNE 6 2006 and my scheduled anncuncement about
Antichrist like this. God did not show me who The Antichrist is to
keep
this information a secret forever. It is starting to become clearer &
clearer that JUNE 6 2006 and this revelation is all part of God's
Plan
and The FINAL WARNING!!!

a word of caution: I also know that in dealing with Islamic
Fanatics,
at any moment, they can blow up the Dome Mosque and blame Israel--
triggering WW.III... with Antichrist himself coming on JUNE 6 2006.
So,
JESUS warning to "watch and be ready'... applies as we count down to
JUNE 6 2006 as well.

God Bless and be worthy †
Pastor Harry/CH of PHL-INT

www.satansrapture.com

Join our discussion on Bible Prophecy, The Rapture and The Coming of
Antichrist (JUNE 6 2006, 6.6.6. ) @ DOOMSDAY TALK RADIO, (live)
Sunday
thru Friday nites @ 11 PM to 12 AM EST.

We are living in The End Times and The Lord is coming for His
Faithful
Remnant (Rev:3:10) His True Followers (Jn:10:27) in The FIRST of TWO
RAPTURES (Matt:24:40). This is our true Hope and Light in the
growing
darkness (Lu:21:36).... peace....

PANIC COULD OVERWHELM COMMUNICATIONS IN A PANDEMIC

Panic could overwhelm communications in pandemic
Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:59 PM ET

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Telephone and Internet services could be overwhelmed and shut down in the early stages of a bird flu pandemic as people panic and try to work from home, according to a report released on Thursday.

Businesses need to think of other ways to keep going as governments close schools and direct people to stay home, management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton reported.

The company issued the report based on a exercise conducted at the World Economic Forum in January, involving 30 chief executive officers of companies, government ministers, and senior officials of the United Nations.

The scenario assumed a pandemic was already underway in Germany and the participants thought through the consequences.

What they found matched with what other experts have predicted -- large numbers of people will stay home from work, either because they are sick, caring for family members, because schools are closed or simply because they are afraid.

And many may presume that they can telecommute -- perhaps too many, the officials and business leaders agreed.

"Telecommunications (phone and Internet) will likely be overwhelmed early in a pandemic, with experts predicting shut-downs in two to four days, meaning that telecommuting will not be viable and alternative communications need to be explored," the report read.

"Governments will likely direct the general population to stay in their homes, and minimize social contact," it added.

"Alternate facilities, such as schools and churches will need to become hospitals with the recovered filling vacant essential jobs. This will require individuals to receive a minimal level of training to perform critical functions."

The H5N1 avian influenza has spread to more than 40 countries, from Asia into Europe and across parts of Africa. Experts predict it will become permanently established in the world's bird population.

HUMANS RARELY INFECTED

It rarely infects humans, but has made 204 people ill, killing 113 of them. If the virus mutated so that it could pass easily from person to person, it would set off a global pandemic that would infect hundreds of millions. Depending on its virulence, it could kill tens of millions of people.

Businesses and government should start making clear their priorities now for essential services and personnel, the report said. They should list who should get scarce antiviral drugs and vaccines first.

The report also raised several critical questions:

"If you expect everyone to stay at home, how do they get healthcare such as antivirals? What happens when counterfeit Tamiflu and masks hit the black market?"

Tamiflu, known generically as oseltamivir, is one of only two drugs that can treat influenza, if taken early enough after infection. Manufacturer Roche AG cannot make the pills fast enough to fill demand for government stockpiles.

The report also asked who would pay for the extra healthcare needed, especially for first responders.

It said businesses should look to ways to preserve their capital as markets panic, perhaps by moving to gold.

Business leaders said their first priority would be the protection of their employees and families. They said companies may need provide essential employees with food and care.

They would then have to decide which nonessential operations to shut down for the duration of the pandemic, which could last for more than a year, and how to retrain healthy employees to fill needed posts.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

US WON'T BE ABLE TO SLOW FLU PANDEMIC MUCH

U.S. Won't Be Able to Slow Pandemic Flu Much if it Hits, Computer Model Shows

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

WASHINGTON — If pandemic influenza hits in the next year or so, the few weapons the United States has to keep it from spreading will do little, a new computer model shows.

A pandemic flu is likely to strike one in three people if nothing is done, according to the results of computer simulation published in Thursday's journal Nature. If the government acts fast enough and has enough antiviral medicine to use as preventive dosings — which the United States does not — that could drop to about 28 percent of the population getting sick, the study found.

"Both cases we came up with were very pessimistic," said lead author Neil Ferguson of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College in London. "There is no single magic bullet for stopping pandemic flu."

So far this year, H5N1 bird flu — which is not yet pandemic flu because it doesn't move easily between people — has infected 204 people and killed 113, according to the World Health Organization. Most of the human cases and deaths have been in Asia, but birds with the disease have been found in Europe.

Ferguson's computer simulation is the second released this month and is more pessimistic than one led by Timothy Germann of Los Alamos National Laboratory, who said the flu could be less infectious and that efforts could slow it a bit.

Measures such as closing schools to halt breeding grounds and the use of the antiviral Tamiflu could reduce the disease's toll, Ferguson said. But efforts to stop flu from entering American borders — usually on planes with sick passengers — won't work, he said. At most, they can buy a couple of weeks of delay before the disease sets in, he said.

If the United States were like Britain and had enough antiviral medicine for one quarter of the population to be used before people get sick, computer models show that the number of people getting sick would drop from about 102 million to about 84 million in America, Ferguson said.

Bill Hall, spokesman for Department of Health and Human Services, said his agency has 28 million courses of the antiviral (9.3 percent of the U.S. population), but acknowledged that on hand, there's only enough medicine for 5 million people (1.7 percent). The other 23 million courses are on order and should arrive by the end of the year. The plan is to have 81 million courses (27.1 percent) by 2008, he said.

One course of treatment for people involves ten doses.

"Twenty-five percent doesn't go very far and we don't have anywhere near that," said study co-author Donald Burke, professor of international health and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University's School of Public Health. "If it does occur before we have enough drug and enough vaccine, then the epidemic will have a substantial impact."

If a country gets enough Tamiflu for half its population, it could then act aggressively in dosing families of flu-struck patients and that could cut the flu attack rate by 75 percent, Ferguson said. So instead of 102 million infected people in the U.S., it would be 33 million.

But even Germann, who conducted the more optimistic study, said no one knows which computer model is closer to reality.

"It would have to be a very weak pandemic strain for us to be able to stop it right now," Germann said this week. "Most likely we wouldn't be completely prepared."

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT GASOLINE?

This is a must read article if you want to learn what the truth behind gasoline prices really is.Learn what your government and the news media don't want you to know.http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/

Saturday, April 22, 2006

US DOLLAR IN ROUGH WATER AND NEEDING SUPPORT

Dollar in rough water and needing support
By Steve Johnson
Published: April 21 2006 12:28 | Last updated: April 21 2006 18:02

Falling dollarThe US dollar suffered a terrible week, hitting a seven-month low against the euro, as the market wondered what would support the currency when monetary tightening had run its course.


The dollar was first hit by the release of the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s March meeting, which said that “most members thought that the end of the tightening process was likely to be near”.

The minutes, alongside soft economic data, prompted a growing number of commentators to opine that the Fed would call it a day after one last quarter-point interest rate rise in May, which would take Fed funds to 5 per cent.

Slightly firmer than expected US consumer inflation data on Wednesday did threaten to throw the dollar a lifeline by suggesting that US rates may need to rise above 5 per cent after all.

However, strategists’ minds were already turning to what might drive the market once US yield support dissipates. According to most, the future looks ugly for the greenback with the huge US current account deficit seen casting its shadow once more.

The International Monetary Fund chipped in, helpfully pointing out that the dollar will need to depreciate “significantly” if global economic imbalances are to be resolved in an orderly fashion. Then on Friday it was the turn of politicians and central bankers to highlight another potential threat to the dollar – that of reserve diversification.

Sweden’s Riksbank said it had slashed the proportion of dollars in its reserves from 37 to 20 per cent, pushing its euro holdings up to 50 per cent.

Alexei Kudrin, the Russian finance minister, said at the G7 summit in Washington that the dollar was not the “absolute” reserve currency and that the US external deficit could affect the dollar’s reserve status in the future.

The dollar fell 1.8 per cent over the week to $1.2339 to the euro, 1.7 per cent to $1.7821 against sterling and 1.4 per cent to Y116.93 against the yen.

The yen hit an all-time low of Y145.49 to the euro on Thursday amid signs that Japanese investors were once again buying foreign bonds now that the fiscal year-end was behind them.

The South Korean won hit Won944.1 to the dollar, its highest level since the 1997 Asian crisis, amid strong foreign demand for Korean equities and a strengthening Chinese renminbi.

Friday, April 21, 2006

OIL PRICES SETTLE ABOVE$75 A BARREL

Oil Prices Settle Above $75 a Barrel
Apr 21 3:45 PM US/Eastern
Email this story

By MADLEN READ
AP Business Writer

NEW YORK

Crude-oil prices broke through $75 a barrel to hit a new record Friday, fueled by concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions and tight U.S. gasoline supplies.

Prices at the pump also kept rising, with the average price of a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline at $2.855, up 3 cents from a day earlier and more than 60 cents higher than a year ago, according to AAA's daily fuel gauge report.

Crude prices, which are more than 40 percent higher than a year ago, have risen 8.4 percent from Thursday's closing price _ the biggest weeklong jump since the week ended June 17, 2005, when crude futures rose 9 percent.

Analysts say oil prices are likely to climb even higher in the weeks ahead as worries grow about how international pressure on Iran, OPEC's No. 2 oil producer, will affect its crude output. Rebel disruptions of oil production in Nigeria, the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports, also pose a risk to supply.

"You put all these headlines together, you see the situation is getting charged up and getting out of control. That's why oil traders and speculators are having a field day _ this is exactly the kind of environment that speculators want to operate in," said Oppenheimer & Co. oil analyst Fadel Gheit.

Light, sweet crude for June delivery rose $1.48 to settle at a record $75.17 a barrel Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after peaking at an all-time trading high of $75.35. The May contract, which expired Thursday, had settled at $71.95 on Thursday.

Accounting for inflation, prices are still about 20 percent below the records reached about 25 years ago.

Traders worry that U.S. gasoline supplies may not meet summer demand after seven straight weeks of drops in domestic gasoline stocks, which are now at their lowest level since November.

"There are a lot of people that were disturbed with this week's energy numbers," said Alaron Trading Corp. analyst Phil Flynn, referring to the U.S. inventory figures. "There seems to be a lot of concern that the combination of the geopolitical issues, as well as refining issues, are enough reason not to abandon the long side of this market just yet."

U.S. refineries are performing seasonal maintenance on a greater scale this year, given the destruction wrought by last fall's hurricanes that battered the Gulf Coast. Also, the transition from gasoline additive MTBE, found to be a groundwater pollutant, to ethanol is creating additional fears about an already tight gasoline market.

Friday afternoon, U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said phasing out MTBE could be complicated, and that there is no simple solution to lowering oil prices.

At this point, there's no peak in sight.

"Everyone's asking, 'What's the high? What's the high?' In a runaway bull market, you can't say. But the market will stop climbing when it finally starts to have an impact on the economy and on demand. I don't see it stopping till we reach that point," said BNP Paribas commodity futures analyst Tom Bentz.

So far, demand hasn't been crimped significantly, encouraging traders to keep buying into the market.

"Demand continues to be relatively strong. Supply remains tight. And the global economy seems to be doing OK. As they say, no harm, no foul," Gheit said, noting that not just oil companies, but also big financial institutions have been making billions of dollars on soaring energy prices.

Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose $1.39 to settle at $74.57 a barrel Friday.

Gasoline futures rose 2.32 cents to settle at $2.2380 a gallon, while heating oil rose 2.26 cents to settle at $2.0762 a gallon. Natural gas slipped 8.3 cents to settle at $7.981 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The United States and Britain say if Iran does not comply with the Security Council's April 28 deadline to stop uranium enrichment, they will seek a resolution that would make the demand compulsory. Iran has consistently resisted calls to abandon its enrichment program.

Oil exports account for half of Iran's GDP, so it's not in the country's own interest to halt supplies, Gheit said. However, if Iran is attacked, they might be left with no choice. "The only weapon they can use is oil," Gheit said.

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, militants exploded a car bomb inside a military base late Wednesday, in their first major attack since February. This year, the group has cut more than 20 percent of Nigeria's daily oil exports of 2.5 million barrels.

A spokesman for Shell Petroleum Development Co. in Nigeria on Friday said security concerns in the region were preventing the restart of up to a fifth of its oil output and the company was not in a hurry to start up production.

On Saturday, energy ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet in Qatar to discuss the latest developments in the oil market, said United Arab Emirates energy minister Mohammed Dhaen al-Hamili.

___

Associated Press reporter Gillian Wong in Singapore contributed to this report.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

IRAN,ISRAEL,RUSSIA,USA-THIS WEEK HAVE LEPT TOWARD EZEKIEL 38

Iran, Israel, Russia, United States This Week Have Lept Toward Ezekiel 38

By Bill Wilson, KIN Senior Analyst - www.watch.org

Wash—Apr 19—KIN— So far this week, Iran, Russia, the United States, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Israel have taken monumental steps toward prophetic fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38 prophecy where Gog, Magog, Persia, Libya, Ethopia and other nations of the world come, as it says in verse 16, "against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land."

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a clue to his so-called peaceful nuclear program by saying that Iran's army will "serve peace and security for mankind especially the region and its neighbors." And he said that Iran stands ready to employ its technology and manpower to "cut the hand of any aggressor" who threatens it. In the past, Ahmadinejad has said that he would use nuclear power to bring about peace. The type of peace Ahmadinejad has in mind is the peace that comes after all the world submits to the Iranian Islamic authority.

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, told the international body that the actions of Iran, Syria and the Palestinian Authority amount to "clear declarations of war." Gillerman said, "A dark cloud is looming above our region, and it is metastasizing as a result of the statements and actions by leaders of Iran, Syria, and the newly elected government of the Palestinian Authority." And President George W. Bush, in response to a question whether he is considering a nuclear strike in response to Iran, replied, "All options are on the table. We want to solve this issue diplomatically and we're working hard to do so."

The rhetoric from all sources has amplified since Monday's Hamas-supported terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said "We resolutely and unconditionally condemn this bloody attack by extremists who again are raising their hands against innocent people." But the Russian response called those involved in the terror attack "extremists," ignoring the fact that the Hamas leadership unconditionally supported the Tel Aviv attack. Palestinian terrorists later demanded an apology from the Palestinian Authority's President Mahmoud Abbas, who condemned the attacks.

Last week, Iran's Ahmadinejad called Israel a "rotten, dried tree" that will be annihilated by "one storm." And he previously said Israel should be "wiped off the map." Each of these nations this week have advanced into the end times as if they had no choice and no indicator that they were moving in that direction. As the Lord says in Ezekiel 38:4, "I will turn you back and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth, and all your army." These current events are moving with amazing speed toward prophetic fulfillment. And the things prophesied may well happen "before your eyes" as the Lord says in Ezekiel 38:16, "that the heathen may know me." You might wake up one day and see it. Are you prepared?

INDONESIA CONFIRMS 24TH DEATH

Indonesia confirms 24th death

Agencies


Beijing & Jakarta: Indonesia's 24th bird flu death has been confirmed by World Health Organisation tests, a hospital spokesman said on Wednesday.

"The latest results from the WHO were received yesterday [Tuesday] concerning a man who died at [Sulianti Saroso hospital] on April 8 or 9," said hospital spokesman and spokesman for the national bird flu team, Ilham Patu.

He said the results were positive and the victim was aged 24.

Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation, has witnessed more bird flu deaths than any other country this year and has the second highest number of fatalities reported in the world since 2003, after Vietnam.

The sprawling archipelago nation has become a bird flu "time-bomb" because of its failure to eradicate the deadly H5N1 strain from numerous areas, the head of the World Organisation for Animal Health warned last week. Besides the fatalities, Indonesia has confirmed 10 other infection cases where the sufferer has survived.

Meanwhile, China has reported its 17th human case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu since November in a 21-year-old security guard from the central city of Wuhan, according to the World Health Organisation.

The man was confirmed on Tuesday to have the virus, but the source of his exposure is still under investigation, said Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, a spokeswoman for the WHO's Beijing office.

He became sick on April 1 and was hospitalised in critical condition with a high fever, she said.

Eleven people in China have died from the disease.

The H5N1 flu strain has killed more than 100 people in nine countries, mostly in Asia, according to WHO, and has killed or prompted authorities to destroy 200 million birds.

Also on Tuesday, a local official in the eastern province of Shandong denied a Hong Kong newspaper report of a mass culling of chickens after a bird flu outbreak in his area. China has been criticised in the past for being slow to release details of disease epidemics, especially during its outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Bhatiasevi said WHO had asked the Heath Ministry for more information about the newspaper report.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

NATION POORLY PREPARED FOR OUTBREAK OF BIRD FLU

April 19, 2006

Nation poorly prepared for outbreak of bird flu

By KRISTINA HERRNDOBLER
Hearst Newspapers
WASHINGTON - Health care providers from around the country said yesterday that hospitals are woefully unprepared for a possible bird flu outbreak and likely would be overwhelmed if a full-blown pandemic occurred.

Their frustration flared as the top federal health official warned that the U.S. government won't be able to come to assist every community in the country in the event of widespread infection.

''Any community that fails to prepare with the expectation that the federal government or, for that matter, the state government will be able to step forward and come to their rescue at the final hour will be tragically wrong,'' Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt told the group yesterday. ''(It's) not because government will lack a will, not because we lack a collective wallet, but because there is no way that you can respond to every hometown in America at the same time.''

Leavitt, speaking at a health summit on emergency preparedness sponsored by U.S. News & World Report, said in the event of a bird flu emergency, newspapers, television and other media might well end up as the main disseminators of basic information.

''If you have the worst, it's not inconceivable at all that news organizations would be required to help us teach people how to care for others in their homes,'' Leavitt said.

It is up to businesses, individuals, local governments, schools and hospitals to plan ahead, Leavitt said. Emergency planning done in advance of the possible pandemic will mitigate the number of lives lost, he said.

Deaths could hit 2 million

Doctors, hospital administrators and other medical professionals speaking at the conference echoed concern that hospitals are not prepared to handle a massive influx of patients sick with bird flu.

W. Frank Peacock, chairman of emergency preparedness at The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, said the country's hospitals can barely handle the surge in patients when the seasonal flu strikes.

''The problem is we are just good enough for what happens now,'' Peacock said.

About 36,000 people die in the United States from seasonal flu each year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Leavitt predicted that a severe bird flu pandemic could kill 2 million Americans.

''I think we are as prepared as anyone in the nation, but we don't have the beds and that is what it really comes down to,'' Peacock said.

He said if his hospital is overwhelmed with sick patients, the sickest and hardest to treat ''are going to get some morphine and get set in the corner'' while patients who are easier to save get treated.

Once those patients are cared for, doctors will come back to the hard cases, but ''the possibility is they will not survive,'' Peacock said.

No surge capacity

Michael Salem, president of National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colo., said his hospital has been preparing for disasters since Sept. 11, 2001. But emergency plans aren't enough when the hospital doesn't have enough ventilators or other medical equipment for sick patients.

''We simply don't have the surge capacity others have,'' Salem said, referring to a hospital's ability to cope with a sudden large influx of patients.

Edward Miller, dean of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said the country's inadequate surge capacity keeps him up at night. ''We have no surge capacity whatsoever,'' Miller said. ''Hospitals are filled and we can't empty them fast enough.''

Panelists said supplies, including beds, ventilators, masks and the like, would be in short supply. Employees to run the hospitals would also be in short supply, they said.

Vicki Running, head of disaster planning at Stanford University Medical Center, said adequately staffing at hospitals would be a huge problem in the event of a pandemic.

She anticipates that many workers would stay home to take care of sick family members, because they are sick themselves, or because they fear contracting the disease.

(Published: April 19, 2006)

COMET COLLISION WITH EART COMING ON MAY 25,2006

Former Military Air Traffic Controller Claims Comet Collision with Earth on May 25, 2006

4/13/2006 7:00:00 AM

To: National Desk

Contact: Dr. Michael Salla of the Exopolitics Institute, 808-323-3400, drsalla@exopoliticsinstitute.org

KEALAKEKUA, Hawaii, April 13 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Eric Julien, a former French military air traffic controller and senior airport manager, has completed a study of the comet 73P Schwassmann- Wachmann and declared that a fragment is highly likely to impact the Earth on or around May 25, 2006.

Comet Schwassman-Wachmann follows a five-year orbit that crosses the solar system's ecliptic plane. It has followed its five year orbit intact for centuries; but, in 1995, mysteriously fragmented. According to Julien, this is the same year that a crop circle appeared showing the inner solar system with the Earth missing from its orbit. He argues the "Missing Earth" crop circle was a message from higher intelligences warning humanity of the consequences of its destructive nuclear policies. He links this crop circle to May 25, 2006, and identifies the comet Schwassmann-Wachman as the subject of higher intelligence communications.

Using NASA simulations of the comet's path, Julien concludes that impact is likely around May 25 precisely when the comet crosses the Earth's ecliptic plane. While the first fragment will cross at approximately 10 million miles, lagging fragments threaten to collide. While astronomers have stated that the comet poses no direct threat, Julien argues that some fragments are too small to observe. Astronomers have predicted possible meteor showers indicating some cometary debris will enter the atmosphere.

Julien argues that the kinetic energy of even a 'car sized' fragment will impact the Earth with devastating effect. He concludes the May 25 event is tied in to the Bush administration's policy of preemptive use of nuclear weapons against Iran, and the effect of nuclear weapons on the realms of higher intelligences. Regarding its importance, Julien declares: "we have to save lives when we have such information to share with the public". He further claims it important "to preserve all data, historical artifacts and precious material in the event of such a collision." Julien predicts that the comet collision will occur in the Atlantic Ocean between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer, and generates 200 meter waves. Julien concludes that "each person with this information has to take responsibility to warn potential victims."

His article, "May 25, 2006: The Day of Destiny" is available at: http://www.exopoliticsinstitute.org/EricJulien-En.htm

Sunday, April 16, 2006

SOLID EVIDENCE OF THE RESURRECTION

Solid evidence of resurrection

Apparently So
By Craig Harris
HERALD-PRESS (PALESTINE, Texas)

Today is Easter Sunday - the day we Christians celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

But did he really rise again? If he didn't, then he was a liar — or a madman. If he didn't rise again, then our faith is useless and there is no life after death. The whole Bible is a lie, in fact, if Jesus didn't rise again.

So, is there any real evidence that the resurrection of Jesus actually happened – or is it just a myth? I want to share some of the solid evidence that Jesus’ resurrection really did happen:

• First, the reliability of the Scriptures. Did you know that we have more than 25,000 manuscripts of the Greek New Testament? That is a huge amount. Some manuscripts date to within 100 years of the autographs (the original writings) and all agree with each other. (Yes, there are minor differences, but there are so many copies available we can look at them and get a very accurate picture of what the New Testament writers said.) What this means is that the Bible is extremely reliable as a historical document.

• Second, we have writings of historians outside the Bible that corroborate the stories within it. These historians, like Pliny the Younger, Ptolemy, Tacitus and Josephus, not only mention kings, governors, dates and places found in the Bible, they also mention the disciples and Jesus himself.

• Third, the empty tomb. The Gospel writers all mention that the tomb was empty Easter Sunday morning. If there had been a body there, the Romans or Jewish leaders could have shown it and that would have ended Christianity right then and there. Remember, the tomb was well guarded. Also, in the Bible, women saw the empty tomb first — that would never happen in Jewish fiction of that day, so it must have been true.

• Fourth, Paul wrote in First Corinthians that 500 people saw Jesus after his resurrection. Paul wrote this about 20 years after the resurrection and points out that most of them were still alive and could verify what they saw. No one disputes the validity and historicity of Paul or First Corinthians, and 500 people do not have the same hallucination.

• Fifth, why would the early Christians have celebrated Communion and Baptism if Jesus had remained dead? History teaches that the Christians began celebrating The Lord’s Supper within 20 years of Jesus’ resurrection. Communion commemorates the sacrificial death of Jesus by celebrating the blood he shed and how his body was broken. Why would they do this if Jesus’ death had been meaningless? This would be like a John F. Kennedy fan club celebrating his death instead of his life and legacy. Further, the early Christians changed the meaning of baptism from a Jewish cleansing ritual to mean "buried with Christ and raised to life with him." (Romans 6:4).

• Sixth, why would the disciples die for a lie? We see in the Gospels that they were basically cowards. Why did these timid lambs suddenly change into the lions of the faith? Yes, people die for what they believe is true, but people do not die for what they know is NOT true. History says all of the disciples died for their faith except John.

• Seventh, the emergence and growth of the church. The church started with a small rag tag group of mostly poor people who were murdered and persecuted for their belief. Within two hundred years, it conquered Rome. We name our dogs Nero and Caesar and our children John and Paul. Thousands of churches and changed lives stand as a testament to the resurrection.

• Eighth, the conversion of skeptics. Scores of non-believers, including Jesus’ own brothers, Paul and atheists, have put their faith in Christ after seeing him alive or examining the evidence.

• Finally, the ongoing encounters with Jesus today. Millions of us throughout history have had a conversion experience. We know Jesus is alive because we have felt, known and experienced him.

This is the good news: that God came to earth, redeemed us and can be experienced by us. This Sunday morning, remember, we don’t celebrate the good life of a dead man, we celebrate the resurrection of a living Savior who made us, loves us, and wants to know us. Happy Easter from my family to yours.



The Rev. Craig Harris is pastor at Montalba Christian Church in Montalba, Texas, and is employed as the parent involvement coordinator for Palestine Independent School District in Palestine, Texas. Contact Harris at http://www.sycamoretreepublishing.com. His parenting column, Apparently So, runs regularly in the Herald-Press in Palestine, Texas.

US READIES FLU PANDEMIC RESPONSE PLAN

US readies flu pandemic response plan: report
Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:48 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government would expand the Internet and possibly permit foreign countries to print U.S. currency during a flu pandemic, under a national response plan that could be approved within days by President George W. Bush, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.

An article on the newspaper's Web site said the document is the first to spell out how the government would detect and respond to a flu outbreak and continue to function through what could be an 18-month crisis capable of killing up to 1.9 million Americans.

The 240-page response plan identifies more than 300 specific tasks for federal agencies, including determining which frontline workers should be vaccinated first and expanding the Internet to accommodate a likely flood of people working from their home computers.

The newspaper said the Treasury Department is poised to sign agreements with other nations to produce currency if U.S. mints cannot operate.

The Pentagon, anticipating difficulties acquiring supplies from the Far East, is considering stockpiling millions of latex gloves.

The article, which was also to appear in the Post's Sunday editions, said the Department of Veterans Affairs has developed a drive-through medical exam to quickly assess patients who suspect they have been infected by the virus.

Bush is expected to approve the plan within a week, the article said.

The White House is eager to show it can manage the medical, security and economic fallout from a major outbreak following its widely criticized to Hurricane Katrina, the Post said. Concern about a possible pandemic has grown with the emergence of the H5N1 avian flu, the most dangerous strain in decades.

Bush is expected to adopt post-Katrina recommendations that a new interagency task force coordinate the federal response and a high-level Disaster Response Group resolve disputes among agencies or states, the newspaper said. Neither entity has been created.

When the response plan is issued, the Post said U.S. officials intend to announce several vaccine manufacturing contracts to jump-start an industry that has declined in recent decades.

To keep the 1.8 million federal workers healthy and productive through a pandemic, the Bush administration would tap into its secure stash of medications, cancel large gatherings, encourage schools to close and shift air traffic controllers to the busier hubs.

The newspaper said retired federal employees would be summoned back to work, and National Guard troops could be dispatched to cities facing possible insurrection.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

MESSIANIC FERVOR GROWS AMONG IRAN'S SHIITES

Messianic Fervor Grows Among Iran's Shiites
Many, including the president, pray for the Mahdi's return to defeat evil. Western critics fear such beliefs may lead to irrational policies.
By John Daniszewski, Times Staff Writer
April 15, 2006

JAMKARAN, Iran — Each Tuesday, thousands of people arrive here at dusk by car and bus. Beneath the twinkling lights of the blue-tiled mosque, they sit on carpets, following prayers broadcast over loudspeakers: families, pilgrims from distant provinces, young men frantic with expectation, women hoping for cures.

The devout make their way to the back of the shrine. There, they write their hopes, dreams and prayers onto slips of paper that they drop into two wells — one for the men, one for the women. They pray, eyes squeezed shut, until moved along politely by mosque workers.


For many devout Shiite Muslims, this is a place of miracles — the place of the Mahdi, the messiah. From lowly carpet weavers to Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, devotion to the Mahdi and anticipation of his return appears to be crescendoing in Iran.

Particularly on Tuesdays, the day most associated with the Mahdi's blessings, the night here is filled with fervent prayers, a reflection of the ardent faith that gave rise to the Islamic Revolution, and which conservative supporters of Ahmadinejad hope will sustain the nation in any confrontation with the West over Iran's nuclear program.

All Muslims await the appearance of the Mahdi; the largest branch of Shiites, those known as Twelvers, await his return.

To the majority of Shiites, the Mahdi was the last of the prophet Muhammad's true heirs, his 12 righteous descendants chosen by God to lead the faithful.

The Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam, the Imam of Our Times, was born Muhammad ibn Hasan and went into hiding around 878. Shiites believe he maintained contact with representatives until 941, when all communication from him ceased. When the time is ripe, they teach, he will reappear and, along with Jesus, will lead Muslims in a struggle to rid the world of corruption and establish justice. The Mahdi ordered a shrine built in Jamkaran nearly 1,000 years ago, Shiite teachings hold.

It would be a caricature to paint the whole country as caught up in messianic fervor. Even among the clergy, there are many who treat the Mahdi's return as figurative rather than literal. But at a time when many here believe that Iran, and by extension its brand of Shiism, is under threat by the West, the Mahdi can be a useful symbol for the government to rally the people.

For Iran's opponents in Washington and elsewhere, the talk of the Mahdi's return, with its apocalyptic overtones, causes worry. Some critics of Iran fear that religious zeal might overcome reason when it comes to setting the nation's policies.

Ahmadinejad's particular attention to the Mahdi in his speeches and actions — soon after taking office, he allocated $20 million to improve and enlarge the Jamkaran Mosque complex — has been noted by Western critics.

So, too was Ahmadinejad's appearance in September before the United Nations General Assembly, when he said a prayer calling for the Mahdi's return: "O mighty Lord, I pray to hasten the emergence of … the promised one … the one who will fill this world with justice and peace."

Belief in the Mahdi energizes many of the 8 million to 10 million pilgrims who come annually to Qom, the seminary city two hours south of Tehran that is considered among Iran's most holy places. The Jamkaran Mosque stands just outside Qom.

"A prayer in the Jamkaran Mosque is almost like going to Mecca," said Adel Safr, a cleric with the Qom mosque's international department. He helps receive foreign visitors in a room ornately decorated to resemble a garden.

"According to some of the sayings, if someone comes each week, 40 times in 40 weeks, he can be worthy to meet the Mahdi when he returns," Safr said.

Visiting the shrine, he said, was "a reaffirmation to say to him that we are still with you — we came because we believe the Mahdi is caring and that he is going to cleanse the world of injustice and corruption."

To Safr, a 34-year-old who has been studying in Qom for four years, the troubles that have racked the Persian Gulf region in recent years could be portents of the Mahdi's return.

Just as some Christians see warfare in the Middle East as reflections of Biblical prophecy, some in Iran see a religious pattern in recent events.

The destruction of an important Shiite shrine in Samarra, Iraq, the Mahdi's birthplace and where he went into hiding, and the sectarian violence in that country are seen as fulfillments of prophecies about the conditions in which he would reappear.

"This is why Mr. Bush has put divisions in Saudi Arabia and Iraq — to kill the Mahdi and make Jesus the messiah," Safr said. "I am serious. There have been speeches in the Pentagon about it."

For others, the shrine is a place for more personal prayers, a source of solace and hope for believers coping with poverty, health problems, or family or social difficulties.

"Ninety percent of people coming here have lost all their hope in the security of the world and want to grab onto their last chance, and they find it here," said Majid Haidari, 27, from Khosan.

"This is their ultimate connection to God, and they realize that they are in the right place."

"I want God to give me a child, and I am very hopeful," Haidari said. "All those who are worthy, they receive their wishes."

In a black chador, Akram Mirzails, 43, walked along the tree-shaded pavement among those people dropping letters to the Twelfth Imam into the wells.

She carried what looked like a rainbow-colored feather duster as a symbol that she was a worker and advisor at the Jamkaran Mosque, helping pilgrims with directions and hints for their devotions.

Visits to the mosque have climbed steadily, she said.

"It has a very, very high spiritual movement," she said. "Everyone is waiting for an appearance of the Imam because they feel there is a connection and they can feel his sacredness here."

"We have visitors from as far away as Pakistan, India, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. In the last few years, I don't know why, people more and more are drawn to this location on Tuesday nights, even those who are not religious."

And there are many instances of healing, she asserted. Just that evening, she said recently, a 13-year-old who had been ill stood up, suddenly cured.

"People were crying. You could not even hear the loudspeaker," she recounted.

"When the Imam appears, he will display many, many miracles," she predicted. "I myself have seen some already. Other people sometimes see or feel a guiding presence."

As she walked away, a new crowd of supplicants made their way to the well, and the din of the crowd and the loudspeakers rose once more.

Friday, April 14, 2006

SCIENTISTS LOOK NORTH FOR FIRST US BIRD FLU CASE

Scientists look north for first U.S. bird flu case
Migrating wild birds expected to bring deadly virus to Alaska soon
The Associated Press
Updated: 9:31 p.m. ET April 13, 2006

WASHINGTON - In about three weeks, waterfowl, shorebirds and songbirds will start arriving in the Alaska Peninsula, the Yukon Delta and the westernmost Aleutian Islands to begin mating. That’s when and where government scientists expect the first case of bird flu to show up in the United States.

To screen the birds for the deadly virus, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska’s Fish and Game Department are setting up more than 50 remote backcountry camps accessible mainly by float planes or boats.

More than 40 species of waterfowl and shorebirds are considered susceptible to infection by a highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus that’s killed more than 100 people, mostly in Asia. It also has killed or led to the slaughter of more than 200 million chickens, ducks, turkeys and other domestic fowl in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Species migrating from Asia across the Bering Strait — considered the most likely carriers of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus — include eiders, pintails, geese, long-tailed ducks, dunlins, sandpipers and plovers. There’s also concern about gulls, terns and falcons.

$29 million surveillance program
Rick Kearney, wildlife program coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey, described the $29 million surveillance program to collect and sample 100,000 birds — 15,000 to 20,000 in Alaska alone — as an early warning system for poultry producers and health officials in the lower 48 states.

“If we find it this summer, it could provide them with several weeks of warning,” he said. “We’re looking in all places, but we’re looking most intently in the place we most expect to find it, Alaska.”

Kearney is co-author of the joint surveillance plan created by the Interior and Agriculture departments and the state of Alaska for use in all 50 states.

The plan mentions that the H5N1 virus also could arrive in the U.S. through a smuggled chicken or duck, an infected traveler, black-market trade in exotic birds or even an act of bioterrorism, but it says the most likely carrier will be a migrating wild bird.

Government officials say there’s no known case of virus being passed from a wild bird to a person and no one knows whether wild bird-to-person transmission is possible.

Thousands of birds to be tested
At each of the more than 50 camps in Alaska, several government biologists, volunteers and contractors stationed for days or weeks at a time will test living birds, those dead from unknown causes and hunter-killed birds such as those taken during Alaska Native subsistence hunts.

They’ll collect the samples by swabbing both ends of a bird’s digestive system for mucous and feces. At least 200 birds from each sample population are needed to detect the virus accurately.

After Alaska, surveillance priorities are a matter of geography: the Pacific flyway from the Canadian border to southern California and then east to the Central, Mississippi and Atlantic flyways.

The swabs will be sent to one of 40 veterinary labs around the country certified by the government as capable of testing them for the bird flu virus. Most are state-run or associated with universities.

Ground zero for the testing program is the Interior Department’s National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., which alone is expected to handle 12,000 to 15,000 samples.

It could be a week or so before sample results are known. From there, the plan calls for confirmatory testing to be done by Agriculture Department labs in Ames, Iowa, and Athens, Ga.

“If highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus becomes established in North America, the likelihood of rapid and diffusive spread across the continent is high,” according to the surveillance plan Kearney co-authored with Thomas DeLiberto, wildlife disease coordinator for the Agriculture Department.

In that case, the plan calls for focusing on urban zoos, parks and lakes where the highest concentrations of people could come into contact with contaminated water and waterfowl. It also targets ponds, lakes and waterfowl management areas around the biggest poultry producers.
© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

"WEST WILL BURN IN THE FIRE OF THE NATIONS FURY"

Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Apr. 12 – Iran’s radical President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a fiery sermon demanded that “Iran’s enemies”, or the West, bow down before Iran and apologize for having held back Tehran’s nuclear program for three years. He also warned the West that it would “burn” in the “fire of the nations’ fury”.

“Those who insulted the Iranian nation and set back Iran’s movement for progress for several years must apologise”, Ahmadinejad said at a rally in the eastern town of Rashtkhar. His comments were aired on state television and carried by the official news agency.

“You must bow down to the greatness of the Iranian nation”, he said, addressing the West.

He added that if the United States continued to seek to use “bullying” tactics then “every nation of the world” would chant “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

“If you do not return to monotheism and worshipping god and refuse to accept justice then you will burn in the fire of the nations’ fury”, Ahmadinejad said.

He once again accused the West of launching a “psychological war” against Iran.

On Tuesday, Ahmadinejad declared that Iran had joined the Nuclear Club.

“I officially announce that Iran has joined the world’s nuclear countries”, Ahmadinejad said in a speech that was broadcast on state television.

The UN Security Council adopted a “Presidential Statement” unanimously on March 29 giving Iran 30 days to suspend all of its uranium enrichment activities and resume its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

IRAN 1 STEP FROM ATOMIC BOMB

NUCLEAR WAR-FEAR
Iran 1 step from atomic bomb
With 3 developments this year, Tehran's pace startling analysts
Posted: April 12, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern


© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com



Confounding the predictions of many Western analysts, Iran's announcement yesterday that it successfully enriched uranium was the third major development this year on the way to producing an atomic bomb, leaving only one more step.

That next development – metalizing the enriched uranium to fit it into a warhead – could come as soon as four months from now, says author Jerry Corsi, who has watched the predictions in his book "Atomic Iran" unfold since it was published one year ago.

"They have only one more problem to solve," Corsi said. "The world has got to stop thinking about these Iranians as backward, just because Ahmadinejad has a radical religious agenda. They have all the technical knowledge and all the money they need to solve these problems."

In February, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte told Congress that Iran was as much as a decade away from producing a nuclear weapon.

But Corsi, noting it took just four months to produce enriched uranium, argues Tehran is only trying to solve technical problems to make an atomic bomb, not come up with breakthroughs. With the help of China, Russia and their own scientists, who have received world-class training, they could easily have a bomb by the end of the year, he said.

Yesterday, in a nationally televised speech, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that with the production of enriched uranium, "I formally declare that Iran has joined the club of nuclear countries."

The audience, which included top military commanders and clerics, broke into cheers of "Allahu akbar!" or "God is great!"

In January, Iran successfully tested a missile with solid fuel, and last week, a U.S. official reported Iran now has ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Tehran has rejected a demand by the U.N. Security Council to stop all uranium enrichment activity by April 28. Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the U.N.'s watchdog agency, plans to travel to Iran this week for talks.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Tehran's latest boasts "continue to show that Iran is moving in the wrong direction."

WorldNetDaily first reported one year ago that Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, were being designed to destroy America's technical infrastructure. Scientists, including President Reagan's top science adviser, William R. Graham, said there is no other explanation for such tests than preparation for the deployment of electromagnetic pulse weapons – even one of which could knock out America's critical electrical and technological infrastructure, effectively sending the continental U.S. back to the 19th century with a recovery time of months or years.

In December, WND reported that while the U.S. always has refused to take the military option off the table in dealing with Iran, new developments indicated Washington had gone from acknowledging the possibility of action to preparing its allies for a strike.

In November, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened to "wipe Israel off the map." One month later, Israeli officials said then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had instructed the Israeli Defense Forces to prepare for a possible military strike against Iran.

As WorldNetDaily reported in January, Ahmadinejad told a crowd of theological students in Iran's holy city of Qom that Islam must prepare to rule the world.

"We must believe in the fact that Islam is not confined to geographical borders, ethnic groups and nations. It's a universal ideology that leads the world to justice," Ahmadinejad said Jan. 5, according to Mehran Riazaty, a former Iran analyst for the Central Command of the Coalition Forces in Baghdad.

Ahmadinejad, who drew global attention for his contention the Holocaust was a "myth," said: "We don't shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world."

Riazaty, in a post on the website Regime Change Iran, said the Iranian president emphasized his current theme that the return of the Shiite messiah, the Mahdi, is not far away, and Muslims must prepare for it.

According to Shiites, the 12th imam disappeared as a child in the year 941. When he returns, they believe, he will reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about a final judgment and the end of the world.

Ahmadinejad is urging Iranians to prepare for the coming of the Mahdi by turning the country into a mighty and advanced Islamic society and by avoiding the corruption and excesses of the West.

"We must prepare ourselves to rule the world and the only way to do that is to put forth views on the basis of the Expectation of the Return," Ahmadinejad said. "If we work on the basis of the Expectation of the Return [of the Mahdi], all the affairs of our nation will be streamlined and the administration of the country will become easier."

Monday, April 10, 2006

MOST AMERICANS DON'T BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION

Most Americans don't believe in the resurrection
Scripps Howard News Service, via the Detroit News, USA
Apr. 9, 2006
Thomas Hargrove and Guido H. Stempel III
www.detnews.com




Most Americans don't believe they will experience a resurrection of their bodies after they die, putting them at odds with a core teaching of Christianity.

The findings of a Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll surprised and dismayed some of the nation's top theologians since it seems to put Americans in conflict with the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed, ancient statements of faith meant to unify Christian belief.

The Nicene Creed, adopted in 325, concludes with: "We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen." The Apostles' Creed professes a belief in "the resurrection of the body."

Only 36 percent of the 1,007 adults interviewed by the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University said "yes" to the question: "Do you believe that, after you die, your physical body will be resurrected someday?"

Fifty-four percent said they do not believe, and 10 percent were undecided.

"This reflects the very low state of doctrinal preaching in our churches," said Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and editor of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology.

"I continually am confronted by Christians, even active members of major churches, who have never heard this taught in their local congregations," he said. "We have a lowest-common-denominator Christianity being taught in so many denominations that has produced a people who simply do not know some of the most basic Christian truths."

Robert Wuthnow, director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University, said the poll seems to have broken new ground in understanding America's popular theology.

"In a way, though, it doesn't surprise me," he said. "I can think of interpretations of the creeds that would suggest a spiritual resurrection rather than one of the physical body."

The survey was conducted by telephone from Feb. 19 to March 3. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.


Who believes in resurrection

A breakdown of 36 percent of people nationwide who said they believe in a personal, physical resurrection:

• Men 31%
• Women 41%
• Attended church recently 50%
• Not attended church lately 25%
• Protestant 44%
• Roman Catholic 38%
• Jewish 23%
• No religious preference 16%
• Is "born again" 59%
• Is not "born again" 24%
• White 34%
• African-American 49%
• Hispanic 40%
• Asian-American/Other 33%

Source: National survey of 1,007 residents of the United States conducted by Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University from Feb. 17 to March 3.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

GASOLINE HEADING TO $3.00 A GALLON OR MORE

Gasoline heading to $3 - or more
Drivers will face big increases again this summer as changes to regular and diesel fuel add to refiners' costs.

By Harold Brubaker
Inquirer Staff Writer

Spring is barely here, but gasoline prices already have begun climbing toward - perhaps to beyond - $3 a gallon for the summer driving season.

There is more at play than the usual anticipation of increased demand from vacationers. Oil refiners are working through major changes to the composition of gasoline and diesel fuel.

With crude-oil prices already $9 a barrel higher than a year ago, analysts expect the formulation changes will contribute to a fourth consecutive summer of record fuel prices.

In the last month, average gasoline prices in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania suburbs have climbed by 30 cents a gallon, or 13 percent, to $2.60 a gallon, AAA Mid-Atlantic reported yesterday. In South Jersey, the three-day average was $2.42, a gain of 36 cents, or 17 percent.

Mark Braverman of Jamison has noticed the upturn. Because of it, he parked his 12-miles-per-gallon Lincoln Aviator in favor of his Saab 9-3 convertible, which gets 24 m.p.g. "If I have a vehicle that gets better mileage, it's economics," Braverman said Tuesday after gassing up at a station in Warminster.

The federal government reported yesterday that gasoline inventories had declined for the fifth straight week, maintaining upward pressure on prices.

It is going to be "another summer of very volatile prices, with $3 within reach," predicted Ben Brockwell, editor in chief of Oil Price Information Services.

The Energy Information Administration said that both formulation changes had the potential to cause "regional supply disruptions with periods of increased volatility."

The first hurdle is the phaseout of MTBE - methyl tertiary butyl ether - which has been added to gasoline in Philadelphia and certain other areas of the United States to reduce air pollution.

MTBE causes gasoline to burn more cleanly, reducing toxic emissions from cars. But it has come under fire for contaminating groundwater. Because the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 failed to shield oil refiners from water-contamination lawsuits, and an increasing number of states are banning the substance, refiners decided to stop using it.

However, refiners must still meet clean-air regulations, and can do that only by replacing MTBE with another clean-burning component. Federally subsidized ethanol - which is also being touted as a renewable fuel that can help reduce dependence on oil - is the only viable choice, industry experts said.

Ethanol has been used as a clean-burning additive for years in some parts of the country, especially in Midwestern markets, but the massive shift to ethanol this spring in the Northeast and in Texas could strain the supply chain, even if there is enough ethanol to meet demand. Plus, ethanol costs more than MTBE, putting further pressure on prices.

Valero Energy Corp., the largest U.S. refiner, estimated that removing MTBE from gasoline will reduce U.S. supplies by about 145,000 barrels a day - or about 1.5 percent of total U.S. supplies.

"That is like losing the gasoline production of three 100,000-barrel-per-day refineries - just as we head into summer driving season," said Mary Rose Brown, spokeswoman for the San Antonio, Texas, company.

Michael J. Hennigan, Sunoco Inc.'s senior vice president for supply, trading, sales and transportation, said he believed logistics were the challenge. "Can you get Midwest ethanol to the coasts?" he asked, referring to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

The federal Energy Information Administration estimated that as much as 2.5 times more ethanol will have to come to the East Coast this year as last year, prompting questions about whether enough railcars and barges will be available.

Spokesmen for CSX Corp. and Norfolk Southern Corp. said the railroad operators, which bring much of the ethanol east, are up to the challenge. CSX's ethanol-shipping business was up 50 percent last year, and this year it is up even more, spokesman Bob Sullivan said.

While Sunoco started using ethanol in the Midwest in 1996 and in other places more recently, the Philadelphia company plans to start supplying gasoline blended with up to 10 percent ethanol in the Mid-Atlantic and in New England in the middle of this month.

Valero, which operates refineries in Paulsboro and Delaware City, Del., has been phasing out MTBE since last month, and received an air permit last week to begin storing and blending ethanol in Delaware City.

Buckeye Partners L.P., which operates a terminal in Malvern supplied by Valero's Paulsboro refinery, is converting a tank in Malvern for ethanol blending, said Jim Scandola, senior manager of transportation at Buckeye, of Emmaus, Pa.

Scandola said the second big change this year, switching to diesel with a much lower sulfur content, was a greater challenge for the fuel-transportation industry.

The regulation on ultra-low-sulfur diesel - 15 parts per million compared with 500 in the current formulation - is unusual in that the sulfur specification has to be met at the fuel nozzle, not at the refinery gate, as is typically the case.

The reason for this is that new diesel truck engines - starting in model year 2007 - must use ultra-low-sulfur diesel in order for new pollution-control equipment to work.

It is a challenge for pipeline companies because a single pipeline carries gasoline, diesel, home-heating oil, and jet fuel, one after another. That creates the potential for sulfur from fuels such as home-heating oil to contaminate the ultra-low-sulfur fuel as it makes its way through the pipeline.

To prevent such contamination, pipeline and terminal operators are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on monitors and on other equipment to segregate ultra-low-sulfur diesel from heating oil and other products, Scandola said.

The regulation goes into effect for refineries on June 1, and must be met at retail by Oct. 15, with some allowances for higher-sulfur diesel for the next four years.

All these complications add up to a market that has plenty of reasons for commodity traders to jump at the least sign of trouble, driving prices higher, said Brian L. Milne, an editor with DTN, a business information company. He said: "They climb the wall of worry."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

TORNADO IN ISRAEL-WHAT GIVES?

Tornado eyewitnesses: We've only seen such things on TV
By Tamara Traubman, Jack Khoury, Revital Levy-Stein, Haaretz Correspondents, and Haaretz Service

A tornado and other stormy weather wreaked havoc across Israel on Tuesday and weather-related accidents caused injuries to at least 70 people.

The tornado and accompanying heavy storms raged across the Western Galilee, and hailstones the size of ping pong balls were reported.

A total of 70 people, including 20 children, were admitted to the Nahariya hospital in the wake of the violent weather. Most of the patients suffered light injuries from flying objects or from road accidents. Two children, aged six and seven, suffered deep cuts in the storm.



Meteorologist Nachum Malik confirmed that the Western Galilee storm was a tornado and said it was an indication of increasingly unpredictable weather in the country.

"When this kind of phenomenon occurs over water it is called a water spout, but when it occurs over land it is called a tornado. To use military terminology, this is an escalation in terms of weather and a very rare occurrence in Israel. This is an example of how extreme the weather in Israel has become," he said.

Many Western Galilee residents reported having witnessed the actual tornado, especially in villages around Acre. Mohammed Zavidat, a resident of Jedida, said that "nothing was left. Trees were uprooted and roof shingles were flying all over. Water boilers and satellite dishes were flying around as well. It was appalling, people were really scared. We've only seen such things on television, we never thought it would happen here."

In Jedida and the surrounding area electricity was out for many hours due to damaged power lines. The wind tore off road signs along Route 70, between Jedida and Yarka, smashing them against the passing cars. Two private vehicles were overturned and residents across the entire area reported extensive damage to property and crops.

In Nahariyah, hailstones two centimeters in diameter, caused heavy damage to roofs and solar panels. Some cases of flooding were also reported. Western Galilee farmers who had been smiling in recent days, grateful for the much needed rain, lost a large part of their crops due to Tuesday's heavy hail.

Light local rain fell across the country Tuesday morning. During the rest of the day, strong south-western winds blew at up to 50-70 kph. "In southern Israel sandstorms reduced visibility to under one meter," said Malik.

In the southern resort city of Eilat, winds caused waves in Eilat Bay to reach over three meters in height. The winds uprooted a 15-meter tree, tipping it over onto two cars. Two passengers that were trapped in one of the cars were rescued by the local fire department and rushed to the nearby hospital.

A sandstorm covered roads in the Ovdat valley in 20 centimeters of sand. Drivers along the Arava highway were warned to take precautions due to similar sandstorms.

Five people were killed Sunday in the northern Israel due to flooding.

Sahar Mehamid, age 23, from Umm al-Fahm was killed in Wadi Ara. Three women from Touran, a village in the lower Galilee, were killed in a car accident after driving into pooled water in the road. Iyad Taha, a 27-year-old Palestinian from the village of Bet Anan near Ramallah, drowned in the flood.

On Wednesday, the forecast calls for rain and thunderstorms from the north to the central Negev. Temperatures will drop and there is a fear of dangerous flooding. The rain is expected to continue on Thursday. On Friday, temperatures will rise and on Saturday temperatures will continue to rise and the humidity will drop.

Monday, April 03, 2006

BIRD FLU: THE SECRET CABINET DOCUMENT

Bird flu: the secret Cabinet document
JAMES KIRKUP POLITICAL EDITOR

* More than 700,000 could die in worst-case bird flu scenario
* The figures were disclosed in a Cabinet Office briefing paper
* Army could be "too stretched to help" due to international commitments

Key quote "Scientific modelling suggests that it may only take 2-3 weeks from the virus first entering the UK to its being widespread," - Cabinet Office paper

Story in full THE death toll from a bird flu pandemic in Britain could be more than 700,000, according to a confidential government report seen by The Scotsman.

The figure - far higher than previously stated - is contained in a Cabinet Office briefing paper prepared for emergency planning officials, which warns that the virus could strike the country in multiple "waves".

It also says the armed forces may not be available to help in an emergency because of Britain's extensive international military deployments.

Although ministers promised to order enough vaccine for the entire UK population, the document says that effective drugs "would not be available until at least four to six months after a pandemic had struck, which could be well after the first wave of illness in the UK".

Key health workers would be guaranteed the vaccine, but "other sectors should not assume priority access to pandemic vaccine", it warns.

The Cabinet Office paper has been circulated only to "Category 1 responders" - emergency services chiefs, local authorities, NHS officials and others responsible for drawing up contingency plans. It details the preparations under way for a flu pandemic arising in a number of ways, including the mutation of the H5N1 virus among birds.

The document warns that, once such an infection arrives in Britain, it could take only two weeks to become widespread. Issued in late February, it contains the latest updated projections for the spread of a "novel" form of the common flu virus to which people would have no immunity.

One of its central themes is the possibility that the virus could mutate again after an initial widespread infection, producing further pandemic waves. Those projections include a "reasonable worst-case scenario" in which multiple waves of the virus infect a total of 50 per cent of the population. At worst, the disease would be as powerful as the strain that caused the 1918 global pandemic, killing 2.5 per cent of those infected.

"This combination would give rise to an estimated 709,300 excess deaths in the UK across the whole period of the pandemic, spread across one or more waves," the Cabinet Office paper concludes.

However, that death toll is at the extreme of the scenarios considered by government scientists. The "base case", which experts believe most likely, is for an estimated 53,700 excess deaths from a multi-wave pandemic.

According to the Cabinet Office's civil contingencies secretariat, a flu pandemic is one of the greatest current threats to the UK. A mutated strain of the H5N1 avian flu virus is one possible source of such an infection, but however the new strain arises, it is projected to spread rapidly.

"Scientific modelling suggests that it may only take 2-3 weeks from the virus first entering the UK to its being widespread," the Cabinet Office paper states.

Some disaster scenarios constructed by independent experts foresee troops being called in to help manage a mass flu infection. But the Cabinet Office warns there can be no guarantee that the armed forces will be able to help.

"Planning for an influenza pandemic should take into account that military support may not be available if local units are deployed on operations," the paper says. "Nor should it be assumed that local units have personnel available with either the skill or equipment to undertake specialist tasks."

That could leave local councils having to cope with problems such as disposing of thousands of extra corpses that would overwhelm normal mortuary capacity and result in bodies being stockpiled before mass burials.

"A key point for local planning is likely to be the identification of potential sites for the location of facilities for the temporary storage of bodies, prior to funerals taking place," the document says.

The possibility of responding with mass burials is raised in a second leaked document, this one prepared by the Home Office.

It uses a "prudent worst-case" death toll of 320,000.

In such an event, Home Office planners estimate that bodies could be stored for up to 18 weeks before being buried.

The paper accepts that the prospect of mass burial may cause public anxiety and says: "Common burial stirs up images of the burial pits used in the great plague of 1665 - where in London 70,000 people died."

In fact, the mass burials envisaged would more closely resemble temporary sites used after major wars. The dead would be consigned to individual coffins and buried in discreet graves, with names clearly marked, in unconsecrated fields.

After the pandemic had passed, the coffins could then be disinterred and reburied in formal ceremonies elsewhere.

Government departments yesterday declined to comment on the leaked documents, but the Home Office issued a statement about emergency planning.

"The government is taking seriously the possible threat of an influenza pandemic in the light of the global situation and the possibility that a novel strain of the influenza virus could emerge," it said.

"Prudent precautionary planning is under way across all elements of the response, including the health service, other essential services and local authorities."
The key points

• The "reasonable worst-case scenario" of repeated "waves" of infection would mean 709,300 deaths from flu. The "base case" would mean 53,700 deaths.

• Planners must not rely on the armed forces being able to help with emergency management.

• Once the flu virus mutates into a "novel" strain, widespread infection could be reached in two weeks.

• An effective vaccine would not be available until at least four-to-six months after a pandemic. Only health service staff can be sure of priority access.

• The huge death toll could swamp mortuaries. Authorities should plan to stockpile bodies then bury them en masse.

400 CHINESE STUDENTS HOSPITALIZED WITH UNKNOWN FLU

AFX News Limited
400 Chinese students hospitalized with unknown flu
04.02.2006, 08:52 AM


BEIJING (AFX) - Over 400 students at a university in central China's Henan province were hospitalized with high fevers linked to an unknown flu virus, state press and a school official said.

The outbreak began on March 26 when 22 students were hospitalized with high fevers, Xinhua news agency said.

The next day the number of sick students at the Henan University of Science and Technology in Luoyang city rose to 88, and on March 28 there were 208 sick students in the university's infirmary, it said.

'There were over 400 students that became feverish with the flu,' a university official who declined to be named told Agence France-Presse when contacted by phone.

He refused to detail what type of flu it was or how the outbreak had succeeded in infecting so many students.

Local health officials were currently trying to identify the flu strain, Xinhua said.

The temperatures of some of the students reached 39.6 degrees celsius, it said.

The sick students were quarantined while school officials, under directions from provincial health authorities, cancelled classes and began disinfecting the university's 2,000 dormitory rooms, dining halls and classrooms, it said.

Most students were only hospitalized for about three days and released, the report said, adding that only several dozen students remained hospitalized as of today.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

IRAN'S RABID ROCKET RACE

Iran's rabid rocket race

The mullahs put their missiles where their mouth is


By Stan Goodenough

April 2nd, 2006






A few months ago Iranian President "Adolph" Ahmadinejad vowed to wipe the State of Israel off the face of the earth. Simultaneously he denied that his Nazi hero had ever perpetrated the Holocaust.

Both before and since voicing that threat and that lie, Tehran has been forging ahead with its efforts to acquire nuclear know-how, while sending a single and consistent message to the international community:

“We will do what we want to do, and there is nothing that you can do about it.”

Two days ago this message was sent out again in the form of a fiery-tailed multi-warhead monster that was successfully test-fired at the start of Iran's latest round of war games.

Revolutionary Guards air force chief General Hussein Salami told Iranian TV the Fajr-3 missile:

"Can simultaneously hit several targets, has near stealth capabilities with a high maneuverability, pinpoint accuracy and radar avoidance features.”

It could even “avoid anti-missile missiles” like the IDF’s Arrow “and strike the target,” he said.

According to a report carried by the Associated Press Sunday, the test launch has "raised eyebrows among officials in Washington and Jerusalem."

The question is whether it can stir more than just that part of the body and get the said officials moving to effectively deal with this new and dangerous development. The joint US-Israel Arrow anti-missile missile project has cost a total of one billion dollars. Iran's boast about being able to avoid such defense systems comes just months after Israel began to actually deploy its Arrows.

Nor is the Fajr-3 the only missile whose performance the western-aiming Iranians is perfecting.

An article headlined "Iran's burgeoning missile arsenal" and published in the American Foreign Policy Council's Missile Defense Briefing Report (#199 of March 20, 2006) referenced a report from Middle East Newsline according to which Tehran is "assembling a new class of hybrid intermediate ballistic missiles" with a nuclear capability and a range of "up to 4,500 kilometers" which will "dramatically increase Iran's reach, bringing nearly every city in Western Europe within striking distance."

The missile is a combination Iranian Shihab-3 and a North Korean BM-25. An unnamed intelligence source was quoted as saying:

"The Iranians have achieved a major breakthrough in missile development with North Korean help that would allow Teheran to fire a nuclear missile toward Europe."

So dense is the smoke over Iran right now that a raging fire just has to be down there somewhere. All this is not mere bluffing.

Europe is clearly too scared to tackle this beast. Instead of saving their own necks by feeding Israel to Islam, and thereby securing them against an eventual Iranian strike, the EU's vascillating and appeasement approach has only played right into its enemy's hands.

Like Israel, Europe is being lined up for the kill.

UK PLANS MASS BURIALS FOR BIRD FLU VICTIMS

Mass burials could be held if the bird flu virus arrives in Britain and causes an epidemic among the human population, it is reported. A leaked assessment suggests more than 300,000 people could die in the UK if the H5N1 strain of the virus mutates into a human form. The Home Office document, acquired by The Sunday Times, talks about the "prudent worst case" of delays of up to 17 weeks in burying or cremating victims.

It warns that the prospect of "common burial" would stir up images of
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the mass pits used to bury victims of the Great Plague in 1665.

In practice, however, it "might involve a large number of coffins buried in the same place at the same time, in such a way that allowed for individual graves to be marked".

Town halls, the report suggests, could deal with what it terms a "base case" of 48,000 deaths in England and Wales in a 15-week pandemic.

But it adds: "Even with ramping local management capacity by 100%, the prudent worst case of 320,000 excess deaths is projected to lead to a delay of some 17 weeks from death to burial or cremation."

Should the outbreak kill 2.5% of those who contract the flu, it warns, "no matter what emergency arrangements are put in place there are likely to be substantially more deaths than can be managed within current timescales".

Titled Managing Excess Deaths In An Influenza Pandemic and dated March 22, the document says vaccines would not be available at least for "the first wave" of a pandemic.

The newspaper said it was discussed last week by a cabinet sub-committee chaired by Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt.