Wednesday, May 31, 2006

BIRD FLU IN HUMANS EXPLODES IN INDONESIA

Associated Press
Bird Flu Explodes in Indonesia
By MARGIE MASON , 05.31.2006, 02:15 PM






Indonesia averaged one human bird flu death every 2 1/2 days in May, putting it on pace to soon surpass Vietnam as the world's hardest-hit country.

The latest death, announced Wednesday, was a 15-year-old boy whose preliminary tests were positive for the H5N1 virus. It comes as international health officials express growing frustration that they must fight Indonesia's bureaucracy as well as the disease.

"We're tying to fix this leak in the roof, and there's a storm," World Health Organization spokesman Dick Thompson said. "The storm is that the virus is in animals almost everywhere and the lack of effective attention that's being addressed to the problem."

Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands with a population of 220 million people, has a patchwork of local, regional and national bureaucracies that often send mixed messages. The impression, health officials said, is often that no one is truly at the helm.

"I don't think anyone can understand it unless you come here and see it for yourself," said Steven Bjorge, a WHO epidemiologist in Jakarta. "The amount of decentralization here is breathtaking."

He said Health Ministry officials often meet with outside experts to formulate plans to fight bird flu, but they are rarely implemented.

"Their power only extends to the walls of their office," Bjorge said, adding that the advice must reach nearly 450 districts, where local officials then decide whether to take action.

Indonesia has undergone a sometimes rocky transition to democracy since dictator Suharto was ousted in 1998, with many powers held by the central government being transferred to regional and community control.

But the process has been haphazard, and funding and policy decisions are often at the whim of inexperienced officials, mayors and village heads.

National government officials concede there is a problem.

"The local government has the money, thus the power to decide what to prioritize," said Hariyadi Wibisono, director of communicable disease control at the Ministry of Health. "If some district sees bird flu as not important, then we have a problem."

Indonesia has logged at least 36 human deaths in the past year - 25 since January - and is expected to soon eclipse Vietnam's 42 fatalities. The two countries make up the bulk of the world's 127 total deaths since the virus began spreading in Asian poultry stocks in late 2003.

Attention has been fixed on one village on Sumatra island where six of seven relatives died of bird flu. An eighth family member was buried before samples were collected, but the WHO considers her part of the cluster.

Experts have not been able to make a direct link between the relatives and infected birds, which has led them to suspect limited human-to-human transmission. But no one outside the family of blood relatives - no spouses - has fallen ill and experts say the virus has not mutated.

Scientists believe human-to-human transmission has occurred in a few other smaller family clusters, all involving blood relatives. Experts theorize that may mean some people have a genetic susceptibility to the disease.

On Wednesday, WHO said 54 uninfected relatives and contacts of the Indonesian family cluster are under quarantine and are taking the antiviral drug Tamiflu and being monitored by health workers. The quarantine is voluntary and the teams are also visiting all the homes in the 400-household village in North Sumatra to look for signs of illness. It said there are no signs the disease has spread since May 22.

Bird flu remains hard for people to catch, and most human cases have been traced to contact with infected birds. Experts fear the virus will mutate into a highly contagious form that passes easily among people, possible sparking a pandemic.

Experts say the best way to battle bird flu in Indonesia is to tackle it in poultry. But that message is not always getting through. Many local governments have refused to carry out mass poultry slaughters in infected areas, and vaccination has been sporadic at best.

Such measures helped other hard-hit countries like Vietnam and Thailand curb outbreaks. Both have strong central governments that have taken a leading role in the effort.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has been working with officials to improve poultry surveillance in Indonesia and quicken response times to outbreaks.

But public awareness and bio-security standards remain low in the densely populated countryside, home to hundreds of millions of backyard chickens.

"It's not quite so easy here, where you have to have the local authorities and provincial authorities and national all on board," said Jeff Mariner, an animal health expert from Tufts University working with the FAO in Jakarta.

"We find outbreaks every week scattered throughout Java. It's a diffusely endemic disease. In most districts, you can find it at any time," he said. "It's a staggering undertaking in a decentralized country."



Associated Press writers Zakki Hakim in Jakarta and Alexander G. Higgins in Geneva contributed to this report.

115 OUTBREAKS OF BIRD FLU IN ROMANIA

115 outbreaks of bird flu reported in Romania

A total of 115 outbreaks of avian flu had now been reported in Romania, according to Agriculture Ministry spokesman Adrian Tibu on Monday.

The number of reported outbreaks had increased by 27 on Monday alone, Tibu said. The total as of Sunday was just 88 outbreaks.

The bird flu was spreading very rapidly in Romania, Tibu added.

Currently, just two of the six districts of the Romanian capital have not reported any outbreaks.

Local authorities on Monday continued large-scale disinfection and quarantines in the districts with reported outbreaks, as well as culling poultry raised by residents.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

SECRET FEMA PLAN TO USE PASTORS AS PACIFIERS

Secret FEMA Plan To Use Pastors as Pacifiers in Preparation For Martial Law
Nationwide initiative trains volunteers to teach congregations to "obey the government" during seizure of guns, property, forced inoculations and forced relocation

Paul Joseph Watson/Prison Planet.com | May 24 2006

A Pastor has come forward to blow the whistle on a nationwide FEMA program which is training Pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to "obey the government" in preparation for a declaration of martial law, property and firearm seizures, and forced relocation.

In March of this year the Pastor, who we shall refer to as Pastor Revere, was invited to attend a meeting of his local FEMA chapter which circulated around preparedness for a potential bio-terrorist attack, any natural disaster or a nationally declared emergency.

The FEMA directors told the Pastors that attended that it was their job to help implement FEMA and Homeland Security directives in anticipation of any of these eventualities. The first directive was for Pastors to preach to their congregations Romans 13, the often taken out of context bible passage that was used by Hitler to hoodwink Christians into supporting him, in order to teach them to "obey the government" when martial law is declared.

It was related to the Pastors that quarantines, martial law and forced relocation were a problem for state authorities when enforcing federal mandates due to the "cowboy mentality" of citizens standing up for their property and second amendment rights as well as farmers defending their crops and livestock from seizure. It was stressed that the Pastors needed to preach subservience to the authorities ahead of time in preparation for the round-ups and to make it clear to the congregation that "this is for their own good."

We have received confirmation from other preachers and Pastors that this program is a nationwide initiative and a literal Soviet model whereby the churches are being systematically infiltrated by government volunteers and used as conduits for martial law training and conditioning. The Pastor was told that over 1,300 counties were already on board.

It falls under the umbrella of the NVOAD program which is training volunteers in a "Peer to Peer" program in a neighborhood setting.

Pastors were told that the would be backed up by law enforcement in controlling uncooperative individuals and that they would even lead SWAT teams in attempting to quell resistance.




"We get the the picture that we're going to be standing at the end of some farmer's lane while he's standing there with his double barrel, saying we have to confiscate your cows, your chickens, your firearms," said Pastor Revere.

The Pastor elaborated on how the directives were being smoke screened by an Orwellian alteration of their names.

"They're not using the term 'quarantine' - this is the term they're going to be using - it's called 'social distancing' don't you like that one," said the Pastor.

He also highlighted how detention camps had been renamed to give them a friendly warm veneer.

"Three months ago it was quarantine and relocation centers and now it's 'community centers' and these are going to be activated at the local schools," he said.

Pastor Revere outlined the plan to carry out mass vaccination and enforced drugging programs in times of crisis such as a bird flu outbreak.

"In the event of an outbreak or a bio-terrorist attack, there'd be a mass vaccination....they have a program nationwide 'Pills in People's Palm In 48 Hours'," said the Pastor who was told that Walmart had been designated as the central outlet of this procedure.

Pastor Revere said that many attendees believed in the necessity of the program and were completely unaware to the motivations behind its true purpose and were offered incentives to become volunteers such as preferential treatment and first access for themselves and their families to vaccines and food shipments in times of emergency.

Which roads to close off after martial law was declared had also already been mapped out.

The precedent for mass gun confiscation in times of real or manufactured emergency was set during Hurricane Katrina when police and national guard patrols forced homeowners even in areas unaffected by the hurricane to hand over their legally owned firearms at gunpoint as is detailed in the video below.

In the following video Alex Jones exposes FEMA's deliberate sabotage of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts which were used as a platform for a beat test of forced relocation and gun confiscation.

Alex Jones' 2001 documentary film 9/11: The Road to Tyranny featured footage from a FEMA symposium given to firefighters and other emergency personnel in Kansas City in which it was stated that the founding fathers, Christians and homeschoolers were terrorists and should be treated with the utmost suspicion and brutality in times of national emergency.

We have highlighted previous training manuals issues by state and federal government bodies which identify whole swathes of the population as potential terrorists. A Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Law Enforcement pamphlet gives the public characteristics to identify terrorists that include buying baby formula, beer, wearing Levi jeans, carrying identifying documents like a drivers license and traveling with women or children.

A Virginia training manual used to help state employees recognize terrorists lists anti-government and property rights activists as terrorists and includes binoculars, video cameras, pads and notebooks in a compendium of terrorist tools.

Shortly after 9/11 a Phoenix FBI manual that was disseminated amongst federal employees at the end of the Clinton term caused waves on the Internet after it was revealed that potential terrorists included, "defenders of the US Constitution against federal government and the UN, " and individuals who "make numerous references to the US Constitution." Lawyers everywhere cowered in fear at being shipped off to Gitmo.

In December 2003 the FBI warned Americans nationwide to be on the lookout for people reading Almanacs as this could indicate an act of terrorism in planning. Almanacs are popular glove box inventory of any vehicle and this ludicrous fearmongering was met with a raucous response from satirists and news commentators.

In another twilight zone Nazi-like spectacle, Pastors were asked to make a pledge or an affirmation during the meeting to fulfil the roles ascribed to them by FEMA. They were given assurances that they would be covered by full compensation in the event of resisters injuring them during property seizures and round-ups.

The Pastor said that his county had already succumbed to a tattle-tale like mentality where neighbors were reporting neighbors to the authorities for things like having chickens in their back yard. The brown shirt precedent has been set whereby people immediately turn to the authorities in fealty whenever their paranoid suspicions, fueled by zealous government and media fearmongering, are heightened.

Pastor Revere said the completion of the first stage of the program was slated for August 31st. At this point all the counties within the United States would be networked as part of the so-called disaster relief program.

We issue a challenge to all of our readers to print off this article and the supporting documents and confront their local preacher with it. If they don't receive a response within a week they should investigate further into whether their preacher is involved and hand out information to other members of the congregation.

FLURRY OF H5N1 CASES IN INDONESIA DRAWS CONCERN

Flurry of H5N1 cases in Indonesia draws concern
Tue May 30, 2006 6:00 AM ET

By Tan Ee Lyn

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Scientists are worried about a sudden flurry of human bird flu cases in Indonesia, warning that a failure to control the situation may raise the chances of a virus mutation and lead to a pandemic.

However, local experts say all six of the recent infections in humans were probably linked to diseased birds: investigations found that in three cases, the victims fell sick a few days after chickens died in their villages. Three of the six died.

"To me, the most likely cause is H5N1 from animals," said I Nyoman Kandun, director-general of communicable disease control.

Indeed, apart from an 18-year-old and his 10-year-old sister, the four other cases were isolated infections and the victims lived far apart from one another.

For an 18-year-old man from Surabaya in east Java, his work -- sorting feathers in a factory churning out shuttlecocks -- brought him close to possible sources of infection.

And in the case of a 39-year-old man from Jakarta in west Java, he had cleared pigeon feces blocking the roof gutters on his house before falling sick. Pigeons are among the dozens of bird species known to have been infected with H5N1.

Nevertheless, the cases have drawn concern in the scientific community because Indonesia is one of the few places in the world where there has been a steady rise in the number of H5N1 human infections, which is still essentially a disease among birds.

"Of course I am worried, the problem has not improved at all in Indonesia, it's not a good situation. The government and the WHO has to monitor it very closely," said Leo Poon, a microbiologist and H5N1 expert with the University of Hong Kong.

"Surveillance is obviously no good and for such a big country, maybe there should be more education to teach people how to prevent it," he said.

VACCINATIONS MASK VIRUS

Experts say the more entrenched the virus is in people, the greater the chance that it will mutate and learn how to spread efficiently among humans: a necessary precursor to any pandemic.

Soon after the first H5N1 outbreak in chickens in Indonesia in late 2003, the government launched a program to vaccinate chickens with the aim of getting rid of the virus in poultry.

This should logically remove the single biggest, potential source of H5N1 infection for its citizens as many Indonesians live very close to chickens. But that has not happened.

Although the number of chicken deaths from H5N1 has fallen sharply since vaccination began, experts say the virus is now endemic in nearly all of the country's 33 provinces.

Forty-nine people have been infected with the disease and 36 of them have died. Thirty-three of the infections were in 2006.

Bayu Krisnamurthi of the National Committee on Avian Influenza Control and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness said vaccination has helped protect chickens from dying, but not from infection -- and possibly spreading the virus -- a development that is more commonly known as "masking".

"If you vaccinate the chicken, it will survive but the virus is still in the chicken," he said. "Even if you see a healthy chicken, the virus is there."

Such a problem has also been observed in small numbers of chickens in southern China. It is a serious problem because, in the absence of any signs of disease, people are unlikely to take precautions and could therefore be susceptible to infection.

Indonesia's battle with the H5N1 is also made harder because of its massive 1.2 billion to 1.3 billion chicken population.

Chickens roam freely, from the countryside to the heart of its capital, Jakarta, and "backyard chickens" are commonly reared by locals for food and for their livelihood.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

CLUSTER OF DEATHS THE MOST WORRYING YET

The Times May 25, 2006





Pandemic fears as bird flu kills seven of this man's close family
By Mark Henderson, Lewis Smith and Leo Lewis
Cluster of deaths the most worrying yet


Seven members of his family, including his ten-year-old son, have died within three weeks in what health experts fear is the first case of human-to-human transmission of the disease.

For Mr Ginting, it is a personal tragedy. For the world, it raises the alarming prospect that the H5N1 virus may be passed from one human being to another.

The World Health Organisation described the cluster yesterday as the most worrying outbreak since this strain of bird flu re-emerged three years ago.

Tests on Mr Ginting, who comes from the remote village of Kubu Sembelang in the North Sumatra region of Indonesia, and six of his family have shown that they contracted the H5N1 strain of the virus.

Mr Ginting’s sister was the first of the extended family to die. On April 29, as she coughed through the night, her two sons and her brother, 32, stayed with her in a small room. They are all now dead.

Four other members of the family lived next door and were also infected. Of them, only Mr Ginting is still alive.

The source of the H5N1 virus has “stumped” public health experts, leading to fears that the victims may have contracted it from one another and could mark the start of a pandemic.

If investigations prove that the cluster was formed by human transmission, it would be the first time that this has been confirmed for H5N1 flu.

Peter Cordingly, a WHO spokesman, said that genetic tests on the strain of H5N1 that infected the family showed no signs that it had mutated in a way that could ease its spread between people.

That prospect had alarmed scientists because the ability to move freely from person to person is one of the key evolutionary hurdles that the virus must overcome if it is to trigger a worldwide pandemic.

“We can find no sign of infected chickens, no sign of the virus in the environment around where they live. This is the first time that we’ve been completely stumped by a source for the infection.”

There is, however, no indication yet that the virus has spread beyond the family. “No matter what’s going on at this stage, it’s a limited transmission between members of the same family,” Mr Cordingly said. For an unmutated H5N1 virus to have spread from human to human as is suspected, very close contact would be needed.

The only suspected case of such transmission so far was recorded in a Thai mother who nursed her infected daughter.

“All confirmed cases in the cluster can be directly linked to close and prolonged exposure to a patient during a phase of severe illness,” the WHO said in a statement. “Although human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out, the search for a possible alternative source of exposure is continuing.”

Reports and rumours of the outbreak caused chaos in financial markets and prompted a bout of panic-selling of currencies and stocks.

In a volatile day of trading on the Tokyo exchanges, the currencies of Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore all sustained big losses as traders fled towards the perceived “safe haven” status of the US dollar.

“There is no way to look at this WHO inquiry and not be worried,” one Tokyo-based currency trader said. “These are markets that have lived through Sars and know very well the economic impact of potential pandemics. Even if the disease itself is contained, you get people cancelling important business trips, and tourism drops off a cliff.”

The WHO said it had no plans to convene experts to discuss raising the global alert level over bird flu, though it will continue to monitor the situation in Indonesia.

SPREADING FEAR

1996 H5N1 virus is isolated from a farmed goose in Guangdong province, China

1997 Six deaths reported in Hong Kong linked to H5N1

December 2003 Two tigers and two leopards die after eating H5N1-infected chicken in Thai zoo

December 2003 South Korea confirmed H5N1 as a cause of poultry deaths at three farms

January and February 2004 Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, China and Malaysia report H5N1 in poultry

January to March 2004 Eight deaths reported in Thailand and 16 in Vietnam

July 2005 Russia reports bird flu in Western Siberia

January 2006 Three children from same family die in Turkish outbreak

February 2006 China reports eighth fatality and Indonesia its 18th

October 2005 H5N1 confirmed in poultry in Turkey and Romania and in wild birds in Croatia

January 2006 Iraq has its first human case

February 2006 Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Austria and Germany find H5N1 in swans. Nigeria finds H5N1 in chickens and Iran finds it in wild birds

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

HUMAN TO HUMAN TRANSMISSION BEGINS

Seven Indonesian Bird Flu Cases Linked to Patients (Update1)

May 23 (Bloomberg) -- All seven people infected with bird flu in a cluster of Indonesian cases can be linked to other patients, according to disease trackers investigating possible human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus.

A team of international experts has been unable to find animals that might have infected the people, the World Health Organization said in a statement today. In one case, a 10-year- old boy who caught the virus from his aunt may have passed it to his father, the first time officials have seen evidence of a three-person chain of infection, an agency spokeswoman said. Six of the seven people have died.

Almost all of the 218 cases of H5N1 infections confirmed by the WHO since late 2003 can be traced to direct contact with sick or dead birds. Strong evidence of human-to-human transmission may prompt the global health agency to convene a panel of experts and consider raising the pandemic alert level, said Maria Cheng, an agency spokeswoman.

``Considering the evidence and the size of the cluster, it's a possibility,'' Cheng said in a telephone interview. ``It depends on what we're dealing with in Indonesia. It's an evolving situation.''

The 32-year-old father in the cluster of cases on the island of Sumatra was ``closely involved in caring for his son, and this contact is considered a possible source of infection,'' The WHO said in its statement. Three others, including the sole survivor in the group, spent a night in a ``small'' room with the boy's aunt, who later died and was buried before health officials could conduct tests for the H5N1 virus.

`Directly Linked'

``All confirmed cases in the cluster can be directly linked to close and prolonged exposure to a patient during a phase of severe illness,'' the WHO said.

While investigators have been unable to rule out human-to- human transmission in the Sumatran cluster, they continue to search for other explanations for how the infections arose, the WHO statement said.

Health experts are concerned that if H5N1 gains the ability to spread easily among people, it may set off a lethal global outbreak of flu. While some flu pandemics are relatively mild, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

So far, studies of the Sumatran outbreak and genetic analyses of the virus don't indicate the virus has undergone major changes, Cheng said. Scientists at WHO-affiliated labs in the U.S. and Hong Kong found no evidence that the Indonesian strain of H5N1 has gained genes from pigs or humans that might change its power or spreading ability, WHO said.

Mutations

``These viruses mutate all the time and it's difficult to know what the mutations mean,'' Cheng said.

Health officials earlier found strong evidence of direct human-to-human spread of H5N1 in Thailand in 2004. Scientists reported in the Jan. 27, 2005, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine that the H5N1 virus probably spread from an 11-year- old girl in Thailand to her aunt and mother, killing the mother and daughter. People who had more casual contact with the girl didn't become infected.

In the Sumatran cluster, close, direct contact with a severely ill person was also needed for spread, Cheng said. Preliminary findings from the investigation indicate that the woman who died, considered to be the initial case, was coughing frequently while the three others spent the night in the same room. One of the three, a second brother, is the sole survivor. The other two, her sons, died.

``It looks like the same behavior pattern'' of close contact and caretaking during illness with the bird flu virus, Cheng said. To raise the level of pandemic alert ``it would have to be transmissible from more casual contact.''

General Community

The Indonesian Ministry of Health and international scientists are continuing their investigation to trace the origins of the infections, the WHO said in its statement.

``Priority is now being given to the search for additional cases of influenza-like illness in other family members, close contacts, and the general community,'' the WHO said. ``To date, the investigation has found no evidence of spread within the general community and no evidence that efficient human-to-human transmission has occurred.''

Sunday, May 21, 2006

MARKETS "ARE LIKE 1987 CRASH"

The Sunday Times May 21, 2006

Markets ‘are like 1987 crash’
David Smith, Economics Editor

CONDITIONS in the financial markets are eerily similar to those that precipitated the “Black Monday” stock market crash of October 1987, according to leading City analysts.

A report by Barclays Capital says the run-up to the 1987 crash was characterised by a widening US current-account deficit, weak dollar, fears of rising inflation, a fading boom in American house prices, and the appointment of a new chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

All have been happening in recent months, with market nerves on edge last week over fears of higher inflation and a tumbling dollar, and the perception of mixed messages on interest rates from Ben Bernanke, the new Fed chairman.

“We are very uncomfortable about predicting financial crises, but we cannot help but see a certain similarity between the current economic and market conditions and the environment that led to the stock-market crash of October 1987,” said David Woo, head of global foreign-exchange strategy at Barclays Capital.

Apart from the similarities in economic conditions, during the run-up to the 1987 crash there was a sharp rise in share prices worldwide and weakness in bond markets, Woo pointed out. “Market patterns leading to the crash of 1987 resemble the markets today,” he said.

Equity markets settled on Friday after sharp mid-week falls, with all the main American stock-market measures recording small gains on the day. But nerves remain.

Gerard Lyons, head of research at Standard Chartered, said: “The volatility is explained by tighter liquidity conditions, markets pricing in more for risk and dollar vulnerability. But people forget that this is not a case of emerging-market economies being in trouble as in 1997-8. They’re in good shape.”

The vulnerability of stock markets is likely to add to the case for a prolonged pause before the Bank of England hikes interest rates, analysts believe.

While one member of its monetary policy committee (MPC) voted for a rate hike earlier this month, some recent data, notably subdued labour market conditions, suggest few signs of inflationary pressure.

Base rate is unlikely to rise until next year, according to a survey of analysts by Ideaglobal.com, a financial-research consultancy. It finds a median expectation that the rate, currently 4.5%, will rise in February next year.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

IRAN TO TAG ALL NON-MUSLIMS

Fri May 19, 6:23 PM ET

The United States, Canada and Australia lost little time in blasting Iran for a report, quickly denied, that Tehran may force non-Muslims to wear colored badges in public.

While acknowledging they had no details beyond a report in a Canadian newspaper, the three countries went on the offensive in separate statements, with Washington and Ottawa evoking the atrocities of Nazi Germany.

"If you did have such an occurrence, whether it was in Iran or elsewhere, it would certainly be despicable," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington. "I think it has clear echoes of Germany under Hitler."

The National Post newspaper, citing human rights groups, reported Friday that Iran's parliament had passed a law this week that sets a public dress code and requires non-Muslims to wear a special insignia.

Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear a yellow, red or blue strip of cloth, respectively, on the front of their clothes, according to the newspaper.

Maurice Motammed, a Jewish member of Iran's parliament, dismissed the report as "a complete fabrication" and told AFP in Tehran, "It is a lie, and the people who invented it wanted to make political gain."

But McCormack, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Australian Prime Minister John Howard showed little inclination to give the benefit of the doubt to a regime widely criticized for its anti-Israeli statements.

"Unfortunately, we have seen enough already from the Iranian regime to suggest that it is very capable of this kind of action," Harper said in Ottawa.

"I think it boggles the mind that any regime on the face of the earth would want to do anything that could remind people of Nazi Germany," he added.

"The fact that such a measure could even be contemplated, I think, is absolutely abhorent."

Howard also expressed indignation during an official visit to Canada, calling the report "appalling" if confirmed.

"Anything of that kind would be totally repugnant to civilized countries, if it's the case, and something that would just further indicate to me the nature of this regime," he said.

Iran's new hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already come in for widespread criticism for suggesting that the Holocaust was a myth and calling for Israel to be wiped off the face of the map.

McCormack said he had no details of the dress code described by the National Post but had seen "various similar news reports" in recent months and US officials were trying to learn more.

In Ottawa, Harper's parliamentary secretary, Jason Kenney, also told the House of Commons that Canadian officials were trying to verify the claims and were "deeply concerned".

"Should these reports turn out to be true, this government will condemn in the strongest terms possible this kind of revisiting of the darkest period of the last century. It is something that the entire civilized world should condemn," Kenney said.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

FEARS FOR EUROZONE IF US DOLLAR CRASHES

Fears for eurozone if dollar crashes

· ECB boss warns of future damage to export demand
· Poor US economic data adds to the pressure

Larry Elliott, economics editor
Wednesday May 17, 2006
The Guardian

The European Central Bank warned last night of the dangers to the world economy of a plunge in the dollar as the US currency came under renewed pressure on foreign exchange markets.

Christian Noyer, a member of the ECB's governing council, said a marked depreciation in the greenback would be bad for growth in the 12-nation eurozone and run counter to agreements made by the G7 industrial nations.

Mr Noyer's remarks, made in an interview on Reuters TV, came as a business survey in Germany showed that a stronger euro and higher commodity prices may already be hurting confidence.


The ZEW expectations index - a barometer of Germany's future economic health - fell sharply from 62.7 in April to 50 this month, its fourth consecutive decline. Analysts said Germany - the eurozone's biggest economy - had been boosted by strong demand for its exports, but that this trend would be jeopardised if the single currency continued to rise.

"The evidence since the euro's launch is that its movements affect economic activity in the zone with a lag of 12 to 18 months," said Stephen Lewis of Insinger de Beaufort. "Euro appreciation is storing up trouble for the future."

The weaker than expected ZEW index temporarily halted the slide in the dollar. It resumed its decline, however, after the release in Washington of data showing softness in the American economy. Core producer prices - an indication of the cost pressures facing US industry - showed a 0.1% monthly increase, while the number of new houses being built stood at 1.85m, 100,000 fewer than expected.

While foreign exchange dealers remain confident that the ECB will raise rates by at least a quarter point next month, the US figures prompted speculation that the Federal Reserve will pull back from raising borrowing costs for a 17th successive time at its June meeting.

By lunchtime in New York, the euro was trading at $1.2820 against the US currency, up from $1.2795 on Monday. Sterling moved up from $1.8793 overnight to $1.8820, taking its rise since the turn of the year to almost 10%. The pound held steady against the euro at €1.4680 and was close to a 10-month high when measured by its trade-weighted index against a basket of currencies.

Mr Noyer said he did not believe the euro's rise was the start of the sort of disorderly unwinding of global imbalances feared by some economists. Any such development would be counter-productive, he added.

"I exclude that kind of development. I don't think it would happen but if it were to happen it would not anyhow correct the imbalances, it would aggravate global imbalances. This would be worrying for world growth ... This is certainly not something which is hoped or wished for by any authority within the G7."

The euro is up almost 6% against the dollar since the start of April. "If we had big movements in the foreign exchange market which could hamper the economic growth in the euro area, it would run exactly contrary to what is deemed as necessary by the G7 to help rebalancing the global economy," Mr Noyer said.

IRAN TO REQUIRE OIL PAYMENTS IN EUROS

Iran to require oil payments in euros

TEHRAN, May 15 (UPI) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Friday that in July Iran will abandon dollar payments for its oil and natural gas exports in favor of euros.

The move comes amid a standoff between Tehran and Washington over Iran's nuclear fuel enrichment program. The Bush administration insists the program is cover for a nuclear weapons program, a charge that Iran denies.

All current international oil transactions on the New York Mercantile Exchange and London's International Petroleum Exchange are priced in dollars.

Middleeastforex.com reported May 13 that Ahmadinejad announced the change Friday during a visit to Baku, Azerbaijan.

Many political observers see the decision as an attempt to pressure Washington, which is attempting to line up other U.N. Security Council members to act against Iran for its nuclear policies.

Iran has also proposed establishing a euro-based Iranian oil bourse to compete with NYMEX and the IPE. The proposal was first put forward in the beginning of the Third Development Plan (2000-2005), and began to receive serious attention in 2005.

Some observers speculate that the Iranian switch to euros could negatively affect the dollar, as many central banks from oil importing nations could choose to stock up their currency reserves with euros rather than dollars.

Monday, May 15, 2006

MARKETS BRACED FOR THE WORST

Markets braced for the worst
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (Filed: 15/05/2006)

Global markets are bracing for turmoil today after an ominous slide in the US dollar and a slump in equity and bond prices late last week sent tremors through the global financial system, evoking memories of the 1987 crash.

Emerging economies have led the sell-off as investors recoil from risky assets, pummelling stocks and bonds in Turkey, Hungary, Iceland and much of Latin America.

The currencies of Brazil, Mexico and South Africa all suffered their sharpest falls in two years as foreign funds rushed for the exits.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial index fell 262 points over Thursday and Friday to 11381, setting off contagion in Japan and Europe. The FTSE 100 had its worst drop in three years on Friday, falling 129.9 points, or 2.2pc, to 5912.1.

Analysts said there were now clear signs that monetary tightening by the world's central banks was starting to crimp growth. Lombard Street Research warned the US was now heading into outright recession, with China also facing a hard landing.

"Stock markets in the middle of 2006 are confronting a tight Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, sharply higher bond yields, and a downswing in potential profits," it said.

It raised the risk of "an impending financial crisis" caused by excess credit and leverage across the global economy. The group advised investors to liquidate stocks and move into cash yen until the storm has blown over.

The dollar has slumped 6pc against the euro and 8pc against the yen this year as the markets anticipate an end to interest-rate rises by the US Federal Reserve, switching attention back to America's debt mountain and current account deficit of 7pc of GDP.

Volkmar Hable, chairman of Samarium Technology, said the world was now on the brink of a dollar crisis.

"The crash in the autumn of 1987 started with a massive dollar and bond decline in the spring. We are experiencing exactly the same now," he said.

Ominously, bonds are no longer viewed as a safe haven, a sign of fear that inflation is gaining a foothold in the major economies.

Interest rates on 10-year Treasury bonds have jumped from 4.36pc to 5.19pc since February, in part because Asian investors are demanding a higher premium for holding risky dollar investments. The 10-year bond is the benchmark for economic activity in the US, setting corporate borrowing rates and the cost of most mortgages.

The bond slide is exacting a toll on the US property market, where the price of new homes has fallen for five consecutive months. A half-year inventory of unsold houses now hangs over the market.

Goldman Sachs, however, is sticking to its optimistic forecast, banking on a seamless "hand-over" from a slowing US economy to a re-awakening Europe and Japan, while China will continue to be an engine of global growth. The IMF is also bullish, forecasting roaring growth of 4.9pc in 2006, one of the highest rates in half a century.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

AVIAN FLU UPDATE

AVIAN FLU UPDATE -

The Avian flu continues to be a topic of public interest and debate. US government officials have instructed communities, schools, businesses, and individuals on how to prepare for a possible outbreak. Scientists say the virus poses a serious threat, yet some critics have accused the administration of fear mongering. Adding fuel to the fire, this week ABC will air a made-for-TV movie titled "Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America." The movie follows an outbreak of the H5N1 avian flu virus from its origins in a Hong Kong market through its mutation into a pandemic virus that becomes easily transmittable from human to human and spreads rapidly around the world. [Please Note: The Department of Health and Human Services has prepared a viewer's guide to provide factual information for viewers of the movie, see links below.]

In the news, Robert G. Webster, a virologist at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis is quoted as saying "I've worked with flu all my life, and this is the worst influenza virus that I have ever seen." Webster predicted it would take at least 10 more mutations before the H5N1 virus could potentially begin spreading from human to human, but said there's no way to know when - or if - that will ever happen.

Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization officials believe that the avian influenza, also known as the bird flu, could become a global epidemic if a new strain of the virus emerges that can jump readily from human to human. If there is an outbreak health officials estimate that it would spread rapidly and could infect nearly one-third of the world's population. It could kill anywhere from 2 million to 50 million people. The disease has infected bird populations in most of Asia, Europe, the Middle East and parts of Africa. Experts suspect it is only a matter of time before migratory birds bring the disease to the United States.

Avian flu will likely be the cause of the next pandemic, which experts say will probably happen in the near future. There have been four pandemics during the last century, which emerge, on average, every 30 years. Perhaps the most deadly pandemic in human history was the 1918 Spanish flu which emerged just after the end of World War I. It killed between 20 and 50 million people, more than the Black Plague or AIDS. When scientists reconstructed the 1918 virus they discovered that, unlike the last flu pandemic which hit Hong Kong in 1968, the 1918 flu virus was a bird flu that jumped directly to humans. This discovery has lead many to believe that the next pandemic will be similar to that of the deadly 1918 outbreak.

With the advent of antibiotics 50 years ago, scientists predicted the end of death and suffering from infectious diseases. During the past 25 years, however, we have witnessed the reemergence and geographical spread of well-known diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, and cholera, often in more virulent and drug-resistant forms. Scientists have also identified more than 30 previously unknown diseases, like HIV and Ebola, for which there is no known cure.

According to the National Institute of Health infectious diseases remain the leading cause of death worldwide, and the third leading cause of death in the United States. Diseases thought to be obsolete have once again become a global threat, and in recent years new pathogens have emerged, some of which carry antibiotic-resistant genes or mutations enabling them to move across different species.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

PREPARATION FOR DELUSION

PREPARATION FOR DELUSION
from "GLOBAL PEACE AND THE RISE OF ANTICHRIST
by DAVE HUNT

That the world in the last days will irrevocably turn its back upon truth and righteousness and opt for a false peace, and thus reap God's judgement and its destruction, is one of the clearest teachings in the Bible. Yet at the same time it is one of the most puzzling revelations of the stubborn perverseness of the human heart. Men and woman everywhere long for peace, but the path that must be followed to reach it is repugnant to human pride. Mankind is like a terminally ill patient who desires the cure the doctor offers, yet finds the prescribed medicine ("repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" - ACTS 20:21) too distasteful to swallow - and take a sugar-coated but deadly pill instead.

Even with all the evidence we have given, it may still seem unbelievable that Antichrist could so thoroughly deceive mankind. Once again it will help to turn to a man whose rise to power continues to intrigue and mystify historians. Adolf Hitler emerged suddenly out of obscurity and rose to a power unequaled in modern times. He deceived not only Germany but nearly the entire world for a surprising lenght of time. There is no rational explanation.

Film footage of the public appearances of Hitler with their pageantry - solemn marchers carrying huge banners displaying the swastika, and fanatically repeated "Sieg Heils" from hundreds of thousands of throats - reveal an unmistakable but mysterious religious element. Demonic? Without doubt. Hitler evoked a spontaneous mass hysteria that bordered on worship. William Shirer, author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, who went to Germany in 1934 to report on what was taking place, wrote in his diary at the time:

today, as far as the vast majority of his fellow-countrymen are concerned, he (Hitler) has reached a pinnacle never before achieved by a German ruler.
He has become - even before his death - a myth, a legend, almost a god ... (1)

There was a twisted genius in Hitler that accomplished some great things. Between 1933 and 1937, while the rest of the world was still wallowing deep in the Depression, Germany's unemployment dropped from 6 million to less than one million. National output doubled. The Volkswagen went into production and the world's first highway system, Germany's famous autobahn, was begun. So much good camouflaged the evil. Simone Veil, who spent time in Auschwitz, where most of her family died, confessed: "We had great difficulty believing that people were actually being killed. Nobody imagined that there could be a plan for extermination." (2)

After a honeymoon of peace, love and brotherhood, the terror of Antichrist's rule will make Hitler's rule seem benevolent. Those who refuse to worship him and submit to the new world order will be summarily executed - and the whole earth will know and approve. After all, mankind will have just experienced the incredible disappearence of millions of people. Fear of being snatched from earth will keep everyone in line - for awhile.

The most fascinating aspect of Hitler's deception was the heavy "Christian" element that was involved - an element that will be absolutely essential under Antichrist. Most of the church in Germany went happily along with the new order. Hitler promised "liberty for all religious denominations," much like the promises now being made in Eastern Europe. In his March 23, 1933, speech, when he took over as dictator, Hitler praised the Christian faith and promised to respect liberty of conscience. A few excerpts from his wartime speeches reveal an incredible pretense of being on God's side:

1940: "We pray our Lord that He would continue to bless us in our battle for freedom..."

1941: "We believe we shall earn the blessing of the Supreme Leader...the Lord God has given His approval to our battle. He will be with us in ...the future."

1942: "And we will pray the Lord God for that, the salvation of the nation ..."

1943: "We will continue to give our whole strenght to our nation this year. Only then can we ... pray to our Lord God, that He will help us as He always has ..." (3)

Thousands of German pastors joined the newly organized "German Christians' Faith Movement," which supported the Nazi doctrines and promoted a "Reich Church" that would unite all Protestants under the state. A minority of pastors, led by Martin Niemoeller (who had originally welcomed Hitler to power), realized at last that Hitler's "Positive Christianity" was in fact anti-Christian, and so opposed the Nazification of the church.

The "Reich Church," formed under leaders picked by Hitler, was formally recognized by the Reichstag on July 14, 1933. On November 13 a massive rally was held in the Berlin Sportpalast by the "German Christians' Faith Movement." Leaders of the rally proposed abandonment of the Old Testament and revision of the New Testament to fit National Socialism. Resolutions called for "One People, One Reich, One Faith," an oath of allegiance to Hitler to be signed by all pastors, and the exclusion of Jewish Christians by all churches. The Gestapo's reign of terror against followers of Christ began with the arrest of 700 pastors in the fall of 1935.

Always the justification under Hitler as under Constantine, was ecumenical "unity." We are hearing the same appealing slogan today - nor can the tide of ecumenism be stemmed. Those who oppose it are accused of being narrow-minded bigots. Truth, which we are not to sell at any price (Proverbs 23:23), is already being bartered for a humanistic and mythical peace and unity.

All the time that he was deliberately moving to destroy Christianity and replace it with his neopagan occultism, Hitler continued to pretend that he was the champion of real Christianity. The following excerpt from a speech by Hans Kerrl, Nazi Minister of Church Affairs, reveals how blatant the lie can become while still being eagerly embraced by "Christians":

The Party stands (for) ... Positive Christianity, and Positive Christianity is National Socialism ...
National Socialism is the doing of God's will ... God's will reveals itself in German blood ... That Christianity consists in faith in Christ as Son of God makes me laugh ...
True Christianity is represented by the Party, and the German people are now called by the Party and especially by the Fuehrer to a real Christianity ...
The Fuehrer is the herald of a New Revelation. (4)

We are reminded by the homage afforded to cult leaders that the world remains vulnerable to delusion. The Dalai Lama. for example, is highly honored worlwide by political and religious leaders and greatly admired by the masses. Yet his public claims are similar to those which will be made by the Antichrist; That he is the 14 reincarnation of the original Dalai Lama and that he is literally "God." He proposes to bring global peace through a heavily demonic Yoga visualization technique into which he is initiating tens of thousands of persons around the world. For this he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989! This forerunner of the Antichrist continues to be feted by the Roman Catholic Church, which previously gave Hitler its blessing.

With all genuine Christians removed from earth and the Holy Spirit no longer convicting consciences, mass deception will be a thousand times easier for the Antichrist than for Hitler. Almost any "positive" belief will be acceptable that supports the delusion of infinite human potential, builds up self-esteem and self-worth, and concerns itself with social justice through humanistic efforts. It is already a crime punishable under the Genocide Treaty, which was recently signed by the United States, to suggest that any religion is wrong. To be ecumenical and "positive" is required by international law. It is but a small step to Antichrist's harsh rule.

Today's "Positive Christianity" - which, like Hitler's dresses occultism in Christian language - has virtually taken over in America and is now being expored into Eastern Europe. Those who promote Positive Thinking, Possibility Thinking, and Positive Confession are among the most influential radio/television preachers and church leaders in America. Any correction is rejected as "negative ." As for "new revelations," the Charismatic movement is spawning "prophets" whose pronouncements are being blindly followed by growing numbers of Christians even though the "prophecies" often contradict the Bible. Like the world, the church too is being set up for a great delusion.

Even for many evangelicals, "faith" no longer requires God as its object, but is touted as a "positive" power of the mind that creates what we firmly and sincerely believe. Thus what we "pray " for will come to pass, not if God wills it, but if we can only believe it will happen. "Your unconscious mind ... (has a) power that turns wishes into realities when the wishes are strong enough," (5) promises a "Christian" leader whose writings are read each month by 16 milion persons. His protégé, one of the most popular promoters of this occultic delusion that "faith" is a force wielded by our minds, explains this seductive gospel enthusiastically:

What is the magic ingredient that can insure success and eliminate failure from our lives? It is FAITH! Possibility Thinking is just another word for faith. (6)
You don't know the power you have within you!... You make the world into anything you choose. Yes, you can make your world into whatever you want it to be. (7)

Enticed by such false teaching, Christians begin to view prayer as a religious technique for getting their own way. They set their sights upon what they want, then try to have "faith" to make it happen. Seminars in How To Write Your Own Ticket With God (8) by thinking certain thoughts, speaking certain words, or visualizing goals are eagerly attended by thousands.

Today's false gospel is spawning "Christians" who have been attracted to a "Christ" who has the attributes of Antichrist. This widely-presented false "Christ" no longer calls sinners to repentance before a holy God but excuses ungodly behaviour as a psychological problem resulting from traumas suffered in childwood. Instead of requiring his disciples to "deny self and take up the cross," he teaches them to love and accept themselves and to recognize their inherent "self-worth." Nor does this "Christ" promises the "meek" that they will inherit the earth, but offers "self-assertion" training. Instead of blessing those that "mourn," he warns against "low self-esteem" and promotes a new "positive self-image." And rather than promising heaven to the "poor in spirit," this false "Christ" offers to the financially poor the enticing gospel of a hundredfold return for gifts to certain ministries.

Furthermore, the dynamic, motivating hope of Christ's imminent return is being denied by many who claim to belong to the Lord. That Christ will come back to earth visibly and in person is a view that is increasingly rejected in favour of some kind of "spiritual" second coming. Popular author M. Scott Peck, though a New Ager, professes to be a Christian and is so accepted even by evangelicals. He speaks for a growing sector of the church:

When I think of the enormity of the changes required (for global peace) ... it sometimes seems that a virtual Second Coming is required. I am not talking about a bodily second coming. In fact, I am profoundly pessimistic about a church that would sit around passively waiting for its messiah to appear in the flesh.
Rather, I am talking about the resurrection of Christ's spirit, which would occur in the church if Christians took him seriously. (9)

Here we have one of the most persuasive New Age lies that was ever inspired by Satan. Many Charismatic leaders are now promoting the idea that the second coming is not the return of our Lord personally in His resurrected individual body to earth, but the attainment by His spiritual body, the church, to a higher spiritual state evidenced by great signs and wonders. A leading New Ager presents this lie persuasively:

So as we accept Christ in our hearts ... not just a simple emotional emotional conversion that the electronic evangelists calls for, but a radical transformation of consciousness ... we experience the coming of Christ, now ...
There is no Second Coming of Christ, that is a false concept ... There is only, as the Bible puts it, the coming of Christ, through you and me, as we ascend in consciousness ...
The final appearence of the Christ will not be a man in the air whom all must kneel ... (but) an evolutionary event ... A new race, a new species will inhabit the Earth - people who collectively have the stature in consciousness that Jesus had. And in that process the kingdom of God will truly be established on Earth under the rule of the Christ in the hearts and minds and souls of all people. (10)

How diabolically clever! The author does not argue as an anti-Christian but as a true Christian. He does not reject the Bible but claims to correct a false interpretation of the Bible. His thesis is very persuasive. To rise to the full stature of one's innate perfection seems far more ennobling than to repent of one's rebellion before a holy God. And this thesis fits perfectly with the Antichrist's probable claim that he is the reincarnation of the Christ's spirit that was in Jesus - a "higher state of consciousness" into which he promises to lead the world.

The Roman Catholic Church, by its dogmas, also denies the rapture. The best that most Catholics hope for after death is to awaken in purgatory, a place where they must suffer for their sins for an indeterminate lenght of time, depending upon how many indulgences they have earned and how many rosaries and Masses and alms and good deeds others perform for them after their death. Thus the teaching that "the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17) must be ignored or reinterpreted. After all, some good Catholics may have to spend several thousands years in purgatory, others only a few days or weeks. The Church has no clear guidelines to say how long anyone will be in there. Therefore all Christians could not be resurrected at once and, together with the living believers, taken to heaven simultaneously, as the Bible teaches.

Moreover, the Pope has apparently received a most interesting "revelation" from Our Lady of Fatima: that a great disaster is coming which will transform human thinking and catapult him into a position where he will play a key role in bringing order out of chaos. It sounds very much like the mass disappearence of millions in the rapture. Malachi Martin, "former Jesuit and professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute," writes:

John Paul is waiting. God must first intervene, before John Paul's major ministry to all men can start ...
He is waiting ... for an event that will fission human history, splitting the immediate past from the oncoming future ...
John Paul's waiting and watching time will then be over. His ministry as the Servant of the Grand Design will then begin ... when the fissioning event occurs ... (11)

As we have seen, the rapture of the church will be a "fissioning event" indeed! Unity and peace will not come as "Our Lady of Fatima" has revealed, but that will not matter. The disappearence of multiplied millions will create the opportunity which both the Antichrist and the Pope await. Neither will realize that Christ has taken His bride home to heaven, but they will know that their time has come.

The great delusion will be furthered by the spurious "Holy Spirit" which is so evidently operating within the Charismatic movement - a movement that includes an estimated 10 million American Roman Catholics. One of the first "prophecies" that was spoken at the inception of the Catholic Charismatic movement, which began in the mid-1960's promoted the delusion that "what Mary promised at Fatima is really going to take place." (12) The "gift of tongues" was received spontaneously by many Catholics as they were engaged in unbiblical prayers to Mary; "With Tom N. it was as he was finishing his rosary ... with sister M., it came as she knelt in silent prayer to the Blessed Vergin," (13) The general effect upon Catholics of the "baptism in the Spirit" has been to increase their heretical devotion to Mary and to make the many other abominable dogmas of Romanism all the more acceptable and meaningful. (14) The "spirit" that endorses such delusion will also endorse Antichrist.

That spirit operating through Catholic leaders is already deceiving Protestants. This was demonstrated again at "Indianapolis 1990," an ecumenical Charismatic conference on "the Holy Spirit and World Evangelization" where Roman Catholics had the largest representation among the 23,000 in attendance. Charisma magazine reported enthusiastically that the "Roman Catholic (evangelism training) session ... was centered on leading people to salvation in Christ, not on persuading them to join the Catholic Church as was feared by some people." (15) That session was, however, a dishonest misrepresentation. One wonders why those who claim miraculous gifts of the Spirit so often lack the discernment to know that they are being deceived.

Tom Forrest, a priest who directs Rome's "New Evangelization 2000" from the Vatican, used all the right evangelical terms when speaking before the joint Protestant-Catholic audience. He drew applause from Protestants when he called for "Christian unity" in "World Evangelization." But when he spoke to a Catholic-only workshop he let it be known, to repeated loud applause from fellow Catholics, what he really believed:

Our job is to make people as richly and as fully Christian as we can make them by bringing them into the Catholic Church ... our visible sacraments of salvation. I like saying those words ... "Our visible sacrament of salvation." That's what the Church is, and ... we have to be evangelizing into the church ...
No, you don't just invite someone to become a Christian, you invite them to become Catholics. Why would this be so important? ... there are seven sacraments, and the Catholic Church has all seven ... we have the body of Christ, we drink the blood of Christ. Jesus is alive on our altars, as offering ... We become one with Christ in the Eucharist ...
As Catholics we have Mary ... Queen of Paradise ...
As Catholics - now I love this one - we have purgatory. Thank God! I'm one of those people that would never get to the Beatific Vision without it. It's the only way to go.
... our job is to use this remaining decade evangelizing everyone we can into the Catholic Church ... and into the third millennium of Catholic history. (16)

....Contact with demonic spirits is accellerating, making both the world and the church of our day far more vulnerable to satanic deception than was the case in Hitlers's time. Involvement in the occult, Yoga, and other practices from Eastern mysticism and New Age philosophies is even greater today than in Hitler's Germany of the 1930's. The United Nations has a Meditation Room containig Babylonian occult symbolism, where followers of all religions, who visit by the hundreds of thousands each year, may awaken the "god within." The Pentagon has its own Meditation Club, which seeks to prevent war by creating a "psychic peace shield" around the earth with positive thoughts. The Soviets have a similar program. Dabbling in the occult in order to "develop human potential" has gained a large following among political leaders.

... Through his pursuit of the occult and New Age medicine, Prince Charles, the next King of England and thus the next head of the Church of England, has concluded that all religions are basically the same. He considered himself to be psychic and believes in guidance from the spirit realm. The Queen (also involved in spiritism) and the Prince both believe that he, Charles, "is the Chosen One - placed in line for the throne through a divine, preordained plan." (21)

Prince Charles is representative of many other prominent world figures who are also involved in the occult and anticipate the coming of a humanistic one-world religion. Scientists, too, are supporting the belief in psychic forces. Foundations of Physics recently published an article by Princeton University researcher Roger D. Nelson to the effect that scientific experiments demonstrate that the human mind can influence computers at a distance. (22)The increasing openness to paranormal events and alleged psychic forces is an important preparation for the coming Antichrist, who will manifest such powers to a degree never before known.

... What these seducing spirits would teach in the last days, Paul warned, would be "doctrine of devils." Both the world and the church are being deceived for the epitomy of diabolical delusion, which is yet to come. It is not difficult to see the day when untold millions of such spirit guides will identify the Antichrist as the Christ and wil be believed. What a setup!



(1) - Wiliam Shirer, Berlin Diary, as quoted by Gerard Suster in Hitler: The Occult Messiah (New York: St. Martin, 1981), pp. 140-141
(2) - Time, August 28, 1989, p. 43
(3) - Taken from a German condensation of Hitler's key speeches that has not been translated into English as yet
(4) - Dave Hunt, A Study Guide for The Cult Explosion (eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1981), p. 121
(5) - Norman Vincent Peale, Positive Imaging (fawcett Crest, 1982), p. 77
(6) - Robert Schuller, "Faith, The Force That Sets You Free!" Possibilities, September/October 1988, p. 22
(7) - Robert Schuler, "Possibility Thinking: Goals," Amway Corporation tape.
(8) - The title of a booklet authored by Kenneth Hagin
(9) - M. Scott Peck, New Age Journal May/June 1987, p.51
(10) - John White, "The New Age and the Second Coming of Christ," Body, Mind and Spirit, November/December, 1988, pp. 48-53
(11) - Martin, The Keys of This Blood, pp. 639-56
(12) - Edward D. O'Connor, C.S.S., The Pentecostal Movement in the Catholic Church (Ave Maria Press, 1971), p. 58
(13) - Ibid., p. 128
(14) - Ibid., pp. 166-67, etc.
(15) - "Ready to Evangelize the World: 23,000 charismatics gather for Indianapolis '90" Charisma and Christian Life, October 1990, p. 25
(16) - "Roman Catholic Double-Talk at Indianapolis '90," Foundation, pp. 14-16, excerpts from talk by Fr. Tom Forrest to the Roman Catholic Saturday mornig training session
(21) - John Dale, The Prince and the Paranormal: The Psychic Bloodline of the Royal Family (W.H. Allen & Co. Plc., 1986), pp. 14-18; US, January 14, 1985, pp. 18-19, etc.
(22) - "ESP exists, scientists reports," The Orange County Register, April 1, 1990, p. A10

IS THE COMING NATIONAL ID THE "MARK OF THE BEAST"

Is coming national ID 'mark of the beast'? - By Ron Strom

Opposition grows to federal law requiring data-filled card in 2008

Is the national ID card the next step toward the imposition of the biblical "mark of the beast" Christians believe will be required to buy and sell during the Last Days?

That's the contention of a growing group of believers who are working to turn back the approval of the Real ID Act by Congress last year. Public Law 109-13 requires the national ID portion of the plan go into effect by May 2008.

"There is a prophecy in the Bible that foretells a time when every person will be required to have a mark or a number, without which he or she will not be able to participate in the economy," states the Christian website NoNationalID.com. "The prophecy is 2,000 years old, but it has been impossible for it to come to pass until now. With the invention of the computer and the Internet, this prophecy of buying and selling, using a number, can now be implemented at any time. Has the time for the fulfillment of this prophecy arrived?"

The site asks visitors to sign an online petition vowing not to vote for any candidate who does not commit to repealing the Real ID Act.

The goal, states the site, which is sponsored by Endtime Ministries, is to get 100,000 signatures on the petition.

On the site is a link to purchase a DVD entitled "666 – How Close? Will the National ID Become the Mark of the Beast?"

Americans choosing not to carry a national ID, the site warns, will be prohibited from driving a car, boarding a plane, train or bus, entering any federal building, opening a bank account, or possibly from holding a job.

"This is probably our last chance to head off the mechanism before it is actually implemented as the mark," states the site in the FAQ section. "It truly may be now or never."

The Real ID Act requires states to participate in a federal data-sharing program when issuing driver's licenses, making those licenses de facto national ID cards.

Touted as a tool of the war on terrorism, the ID card provision of the law, which also includes border-security measures, has attracted the most negative attention.

After May 11, 2008, "a federal agency may not accept, for any official purpose, a driver's license or identification card issued by a State to any person unless the State is meeting the requirements" specified in the Real ID Act. While states can issue non-federal ID cards, they would not be accepted by the Transportation Security Administration for travel purposes, grounding those who don't carry federally approved cards.

The data required to be included in each card are, among other things, the person's full legal name, date of birth, gender, driver's license number, a digital photo, the person's address and machine-readable technology so the information can be ready easily by government or banking personnel.

Each state must agree to share the data on the cards with every other state.

Supporters of the law say it does not require a "national" ID card because each state issues its own cards, not the federal government. But detractors note the cards are virtual national IDs since the federal law has dictated what data must be included and that each state must share its database with the others.

The New Hampshire Senate yesterday voted to reject a bill to rebel against the Real ID system and not participate in a pilot program for which the state had been tapped. The state House of Representatives passed the measure last month, but the Senate instead voted to study the driver's license requirements.

U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., is urging his home state to give Real ID a try, saying it's needed to keep terrorists and illegal aliens from entering the country.

According to the Manchester Union Leader, Gregg argues that New Hampshire residents will find it difficult to get on airplanes or enter federal buildings if New Hampshire doesn't embrace Real ID.

Groups opposed to the Real ID Act are making strange bedfellows, with Christians like those running NoNationalID.com fighting on the same side with the American Civil Liberties Union, which sponsors the website RealNightmare.org.

The ACLU site decries the fact that a motor vehicles department staff person will be required to ask for immigration-status papers from those applying for driver's licenses.

"REAL ID will inevitably cause discrimination against U.S. citizens who may 'look' or 'sound' foreign to a DMV bureaucrat," states the site. "REAL ID requires DMV employees to decide whether someone is a citizen or foreigner before issuing a driver's license. The law demands that DMV bureaucrats distinguish among citizens, permanent resident immigrants and other non-citizens in deciding who is eligible for a license and what type of license may be issued.

"Based on past experience when similar requirements were imposed on employers, widespread discrimination resulted against citizens who 'looked' or 'sounded' foreign."

The civil-liberties group also slams a requirement of the law that some immigrants be issued a temporary "tier-two" license that has a prominent expiration date.

U.S. governors also have come out against the law, saying it is a huge unfunded mandate imposed on the nation's states.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is equally opposed to the Real ID Act, saying, "Federal legislators and rule makers are negating state driver's license security efforts, imposing difficult-to-comply-with mandates and limiting their flexibility to address new concerns as they arise. In other words, decades of state experience is being substituted for a 'command and control regime' from a level of government that has no driver's license regulatory experience."

Endtime Ministries' Irvin Baxter, a radio host, believes the national ID is a precursor to the forced embedding of radio-frequency chips under the skin.

Baxter told the Concord, N.H., Monitor: "That's where we are headed right now. The prophecy states that you will have to receive a mark on your hand or in your forehead."
_________________________________________________________________

NEVER AGAIN

Never Again? - By Charles Krauthammer

The creation of the Zionist state was supposed to protect the post-Holocaust Jew forever

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When something happens for the first time in 1,871 years, it is worth noting. In the year 70, and again in 135, the Roman Empire brutally put down Jewish revolts in Judea, destroying Jerusalem, killing hundreds of thousands of Jews and sending hundreds of thousands more into slavery and exile. For nearly two millennia, the Jews wandered the world. And now, in 2006, for the first time since then, there are once again more Jews living in Israel — the successor state to Judea — than in any other place on Earth.

Israel's Jewish population has just passed 5.6 million. America's Jewish population was about 5.5 million in 1990, dropped to about 5.2 million 10 years later and is in a precipitous decline that, because of low fertility rates and high levels of assimilation, will cut that number in half by mid-century.

When 6 million European Jews were killed in the Holocaust, only two main centers of Jewish life remained: America and Israel. That binary star system remains today, but a tipping point has just been reached. With every year, as the Jewish population continues to rise in Israel and decline in America (and in the rest of the Diaspora), Israel increasingly becomes, as it was at the time of Jesus, the center of the Jewish world.

An epic restoration, and one of the most improbable. To take just one of the remarkable achievements of the return: Hebrew is the only "dead" language in recorded history to have been brought back to daily use as the living language of a nation. But there is a price and a danger to this transformation. It radically alters the prospects for Jewish survival.

For 2,000 years, Jews found protection in dispersion — protection not for individual communities, which were routinely persecuted and massacred, but protection for the Jewish people as a whole. Decimated here, they could survive there. They could be persecuted in Spain and find refuge in Constantinople. They could be massacred in the Rhineland during the Crusades or in the Ukraine during the Khmelnytsky Insurrection of 1648-49 and yet survive in the rest of Europe.

Hitler put an end to that illusion. He demonstrated that modern anti-Semitism married to modern technology — railroads, disciplined bureaucracies, gas chambers that kill with industrial efficiency — could take a scattered people and "concentrate" them for annihilation.

The establishment of Israel was a Jewish declaration to a world that had allowed the Holocaust to happen — after Hitler had made his intentions perfectly clear — that the Jews would henceforth resort to self-protection and self-reliance. And so they have, building a Jewish army, the first in 2,000 years, that prevailed in three great wars of survival (1948-49, 1967 and 1973).

But in a cruel historical irony, doing so required concentration — putting all the eggs back in one basket, a tiny territory hard by the Mediterranean, eight miles wide at its waist. A tempting target for those who would finish Hitler's work.

His successors now reside in Tehran. The world has paid ample attention to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that Israel must be destroyed. Less attention has been paid to Iranian leaders' pronouncements on exactly how Israel would be "eliminated by one storm," as Ahmadinejad has promised.

Former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the presumed moderate of this gang, has explained that "the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam." The logic is impeccable, the intention clear: A nuclear attack would effectively destroy tiny Israel, while any retaliation launched by a dying Israel would have no major effect on an Islamic civilization of a billion people stretching from Mauritania to Indonesia.

As it races to acquire nuclear weapons, Iran makes clear that if there is any trouble, the Jews will be the first to suffer. "We have announced that wherever [in Iran] America does make any mischief, the first place we target will be Israel," said Gen. Mohammad Ebrahim Dehghani, a top Revolutionary Guards commander. Hitler was only slightly more direct when he announced seven months before invading Poland that, if there was another war, "the result will be . . . the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe."

Last week Bernard Lewis, America's dean of Islamic studies, who just turned 90 and remembers the 20th century well, confessed that for the first time he feels it is 1938 again. He did not need to add that in 1938, in the face of the gathering storm — a fanatical, aggressive, openly declared enemy of the West, and most determinedly of the Jews — the world did nothing.

When Iran's mullahs acquire their coveted nukes in the next few years, the number of Jews in Israel will just be reaching 6 million. Never again?
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THE RETURN OF THE MAHDI

The return of the Mahdi - Michael Evans - WorldNetDaily.com

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was invited to speak at the United Nations in October 2005. At the conclusion of his discourse, he called upon Allah to quickly usher in the re-emergence of the "Twelfth" or "Hidden Imam," sometimes referred to as the "Mahdi."

The fanatical leader later claimed that while he spoke to that august body, he was surrounded by a halo of light. Mr. Ahmadinejad regaled a local ayatollah with the story of how "The leaders of the world" stared at him during the time he spoke. He further claimed that they were unable to blink or turn away, as though some unseen force held them in a trance-like state. "When I say they didn't bat an eyelid, I'm not exaggerating, because I was looking at them," intoned Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad is a Shia Muslim. Many of them believe that the Twelfth Imam, or Mahdi, the last in a line of saints descended from Ali, the founder of their sect, vanished down a well near Jamkaran, Iran, in A.D. 941. According to their beliefs, he went into a state of "occultation," like the sun being hidden behind the clouds; and, after a stormy period of apocalyptic wars, the clouds will part, and the "sun" (the Mahdi) will be revealed. They believe that when he is released from his imprisonment, the entire world will submit to Islam.

The world may smirk as they hear the president of Iran talking of the return of the Mahdi and think it is just a bunch of religious foolishness. But, he is dead serious. Not only does he believe it, but the tens of thousands of mullahs controlling ancient Persia believe it also. It is their mission from God.

But just who is this "Mahdi," this Hidden Imam? Some thought it was the Ayatollah Khomeini. In fact, when he returned to Iran in February 1979 following the overthrow of the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, the roads leading into Tehran were lined with nearly 2 million Shia Muslims screaming "al-Muntazar." The grand ayatollah was quick to deny that he was "al-Muntazar," one of the names given to the Hidden Imam. In other words, many thought Khomeini was the awakened Mahdi. Khomeini did, however, explain to his followers that he was the forerunner, the one who had come to open the way for the Hidden Imam to make his reappearance.

The Hidden Imam, upon his unveiling, will, according Iran's constitution, assume leadership in the Islamic republic. All will acquiesce to his authority in what is essentially an end-time paradigm based on what some call the Muslim messiah. Ahmadinejad's belief in this Hidden Imam is so compelling that he may well be persuaded to go to any lengths, including a nuclear attack on Israel and/or the United States, to precipitate an apocalyptic event, a means to an end.

Initially, Ahmadinejad's threats seemed but the idle ranting of a megalomaniac. But now, armed with the capability to produce nuclear weapons, Iran will be a menace with which to be reckoned. The spirit of the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini lives on in Iran. This is the same Khomeini who said in 1981, "I say let Iran go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world."

The ummah or Muslims worldwide are comprised of Sunni and Shia Muslims. The two different sects evolved following the death of Muhammad. The Sunnis readily accepted his successor, while the Shia Muslims demanded their leader be a direct descendant of Muhammad. This personage is known to the Shia as "Ali." Hence the designation, "The Party of Ali."

Through the ages, additional subdivisions in the Shia sect have pitted one group against another, all led by recognized descendants of Muhammad. Their individual designations are derived from the number of the imam which they follow. Thus, Iran is comprised mainly of followers of the "Twelfth," or the Hidden Imam. He succeeded Al-Hassan al-Askari who died in A.D. 874.

Shiite Muslims believe that the Twelfth Imam disappeared down a well near Jamkaran in A.D. 941, and will emerge from this location at his Second Coming. But first, they believe, the world will go through great calamities and upheavals. This "apocalypse" will set the conditions for the Mahdi's return.

The Hidden Imam is known by several monikers, which translate to "expected one," the "hidden one" and, of course, Mahdi (promised one). His mystique is enhanced by the legend that the young successor in the lineage of Muhammad was secreted because he was unaccepted by the majority of Muslims. He will apparently be kept in seclusion until the day he emerges to reunite Muslims, conquer the world and establish an Islamic caliphate.

Ahmadinejad has taken up the banner of the Hidden Imam. His hate-filled rhetoric aimed at the Jews and America is stirring fanatical Muslims the world over. On April 20, a group calling itself the Islamic Thinkers Society rallied near the Israeli Embassy in Queens, N.Y. Carrying placards and banners picturing an Islamic flag flying over the White House, they shouted such vile pronouncements as:

Zionists, Zionists You will pay! The Wrath of Allah is on its way! Israeli Zionists You shall pay! The Wrath of Allah is on its way! The mushroom cloud is on its way! The real Holocaust is on its way!

We will not accept the United Nations, they are the criminals themselves They get paid by the Israeli and the U.S. government to do their job. We don't recognize United Nations as a body; We only recognize Allah. Israel won't last long ... Indeed, Allah will repeat the Holocaust right on the soil of Israel

Islam will dominate the world
Islam is the only solution.
Another mushroom cloud, right in the midst of Israel!

As days pass, Ahmadinejad becomes more defiant. It is as if he is daring the nations of the world to try to stop him. How far will he go? Will he, indeed, launch a murderous attack against Israel or the United States in a misguided attempt to see his dream of the return of the Hidden Imam come to fruition? It becomes more obvious that he is willing to stop at nothing to reach his goal.
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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

US OUTLINES HUMAN BIRD FLU PLAN

US outlines human bird flu plan
Wed May 3, 2006 3:31 PM ET

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans should prepare for travel restrictions and school closures if an influenza pandemic hits, but such measures can only temporarily slow the inevitable spread of disease, the government's new flu plan says.

The White House influenza plan released on Wednesday builds on an earlier plan to combat a potential pandemic of H5N1 avian influenza, including preparations to build a stockpile of vaccines and drugs, already under way, and work to develop newer and better vaccines.

As before, it assumes that 30 percent of the population would be infected, and that anywhere between 200,000 and 1.9 million would die, depending on how deadly the virus turns out to be.

The H5N1 avian flu virus has spread out of Asia, across Europe and into many parts of Africa.

Although the disease is still confined largely to birds, it has killed 113 people out of a recorded 205 infections since late 2003 and experts fear it will trigger the next pandemic once it becomes able to transmit efficiently among people.

As much as 40 percent of the workforce will be out during two-week-long peaks as people become sick or stay home to care for children, ill relatives or to protect themselves from infection.

"In terms of its scope, the impact of a severe pandemic may be more comparable to that of a war or a widespread economic crisis than a hurricane, earthquake or act of terrorism," the report reads.

If the pandemic hits the United States, the report lays out some specific actions while acknowledging there is still a shortage of vaccines, drugs and other supplies. The government will "deploy 'containment stockpile', if available, to any domestic region with confirmed or suspected cases of pandemic influenza," the report reads.

LIMITING TRAVEL

It does not give specifics on who would get vaccinated first or who would be the first to get scarce antiviral drugs.

Some Democrats immediately attacked the plan.

"A flu plan that doesn't say how to distribute vaccine is about as useful as a hurricane plan that doesn't say how to rescue people from a flood," Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy said.

President George W. Bush, whose approval ratings have been sagging, has been under pressure to show his administration can deal with a catastrophe in the United States after being widely criticized for responding slowly to Hurricane Katrina last year.

The federal government's plan would "limit non-essential passenger travel in affected areas and institute protective measures/social distancing and support continued delivery of essential goods and services," the report reads.

"Measures at our borders may provide an opportunity to slow the spread of a pandemic to and within the United States, but are unlikely to prevent it," it adds.

The sheer volume of traffic, as well as diplomatic, social and economic considerations, would also make it difficult to close borders.

The federal government will also issue guidance to people on what they can do to protect themselves from flu. This includes basic handwashing, covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing, and staying at least three feet (one meter) away from others during a pandemic.

"Measures to limit domestic travel may delay the spread of disease," the report adds. "These restrictions could include a range of options, such as reductions in non-essential travel, and, as a last resort, mandatory restrictions."

But the report adds that while such measures might buy time, they are unlikely to reduce the number of people who get sick or reduce the overall effects on a community.

MAGNITUDE 7.8 QUAKE STRIKES NEAR TONGA

Magnitude 7.8 Quake Strikes Near Tonga
By PESI FONUA

NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga (AP) - A massive magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked the ocean bed near the South Pacific island nation of Tonga, but U.S. officials lifted initial warnings of a possible tsunami as far away as New Zealand.

No giant waves hit Tonga, and authorities in New Zealand - after initially going on high alert - said there was no danger of a damaging wave slamming into the New Zealand east coast.

Sergeant James Tasmania of Gisborne police said civil defense authorities such as police had been put on ``high alert,'' but he added that ``none of the (ocean) monitoring buoys have reported anything significant.''

In the Tongan capital, the coastal city of Nuku'alofa, there were no signs of a tsunami or major damage caused by the giant quake.

A reporter who drove through the city saw no building damage, but said that inside buildings he could see bookshelves that toppled over. Power in the city was restored some two hours after the quake.

The quake generated a small tsunami that ``may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicenter,'' the Hawaii-based U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a statement.

Tonga - a 170-island archipelago about halfway between Australia and Tahiti - has a population of about 108,000 and an economy dependent on pumpkin and vanilla exports, fishing, foreign aid and remittances from Tongans abroad. It is ruled by 87-year-old King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, who is ailing.

On Dec. 26, 2004, the most powerful earthquake in four decades - magnitude 9.0 - ripped apart the Indian Ocean floor off Indonesia's Sumatra island, displacing millions of tons of water and spawning giant waves that sped off in all directions. The tsunami left at least 216,000 people dead or missing in a dozen nations.

Fiji, a South Pacific country made up of more than 300 islands, a third of which are inhabited, is regularly rattled by earthquakes, but few cause any damage or casualties.