Signs of the Times Update: October 16, 2021

October 16, 2021

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Pope Francis encouraged a group of medical professionals Thursday at the Vatican to keep working to protect all human life, including unborn babies from abortion “homicide.” Speaking to a group of pharmacists and other medical professionals gathered for an Italian medical conference, Pope Francis said, “I have been very clear — [abortion] is homicide and it is not licit to become complicit,” he said, according to the report.

Texas can continue banning enforcing its tough new abortion restriction after a federal appeals court on Thursday rejected the Biden administration’s latest attempt to undo a law that has become the nation’s biggest curb to the practice of abortion in nearly 50 years.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday barring all COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state by any entity, including private employers. Abbott’s move sets him up for a clash with President Biden who last month called on employers nationwide to order their workers to be vaccinated or lose their jobs. Abbott is a Republican.

Students, coaches, and community members gathered across the globe for the 18th annual Fields of Faith, where Believers will gather on athletic fields to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The student-led event, which is sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), took place on Wednesday, Oct. 13th. Jeff Martin, executive director of campus sports ministry for FCA, told CBN News that the objective is to encourage students to challenge their peers to pray, read their Bible, and commit their lives to Christ. “The Word of God changes the country,” Martin said.

New York must allow religious exemptions to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for medical workers, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. U.S. Northern District Justice David Hurd of Utica granted a preliminary injunction temporarily barring New York state and employers from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate against medical workers claiming a legitimate religious exemption. Many of the medical workers who had claimed religious exemptions had been placed on suspensions pending the outcome of the court battle. These workers, potentially numbering in the thousands, could now return to jobs as some hospitals and nursing homes face staffing shortages.

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered United Airlines not to place workers seeking an exemption to the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on unpaid leave. The temporary ruling was issued by U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman so workers who filed for an exemption aren’t unduly harmed before he can hear oral arguments in the case.

A judge temporarily blocked an order on Wednesday that required California prison workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) has opposed vaccine mandates across the state. The union represents about 28,000 officers statewide.

A federal appellate court has ruled in favor of 16 college athletes who challenged Western Michigan University‘s coronavirus vaccine mandate. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit unanimously sided Thursday with the students, upholding a district court ruling enjoining school officials from forcing the athletes to get vaccinated.

A federal judge referred the Washington, DC, jail to the Department of Justice on Wednesday for potential civil rights violations after the jail failed to get treatment for a US Capitol rioter who needs surgery. Warden Wanda Patten and Department of Corrections Director Quincy Booth were also held in civil contempt for failing to turn over medical records for the defendant. “It is more than just inept and bureaucratic shuffling of papers,” said District Judge Royce Lamberth. “I find that the civil rights of the defendant have been abridged. I don’t know if this is because he is a January 6 defendant or not.”

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

A British nurse, who was fired from a hospital for refusing to take off or conceal her cross necklace, has recently taken legal action against her former place of employment. Mary Onuoha, who had been working at Croydon University Hospital in Thornton Heath, England, since 2002. “My cross has been with me for 40 years. It is part of me and my faith, and it has never caused anyone any harm.” She also noted that, “At this hospital, there are members of staff who go to a mosque four times a day, and no one says anything to them, Hindus wear red bracelets on their wrists, and female Muslims wear hijabs. Yet my small cross around my neck was deemed so dangerous that I was no longer allowed to do my job.”

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

Scientists say that if you have natural immunity from a COVID-19 infection and have been fully vaccinated against the virus, there may be no need for a booster shot — yet. According to The Wall Street Journal, while millions of Americans who are elderly, or at risk, now qualify for the Pfizer vaccine booster shot, it may not be necessary. Research shows that the combination of immunity from the disease coupled with a full course of vaccine, called hybrid immunity, offers adequate protection, even against variants.

Throughout August, the risk of dying from Covid-19 was 11 times higher for unvaccinated adults than for fully vaccinated adults in the United States, according to new data published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unvaccinated adults faced a six times higher risk of testing positive for Covid-19 and the risk of being hospitalized was nearly 19 times higher for unvaccinated adults than fully vaccinated adults.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a home test for COVID-19 that doesn’t require repeated testing like many others. ACON Laboratories Flowflex COVID-19 Home Test was granted an emergency use authorization Monday by the FDA. The ACON over-the-counter antigen tests can be used at home without a prescription. However, the FDA warned that while these at-home diagnostic testing kits are important, they do result in more false-positive and false-negative tests than the more sensitive and accurate PCR tests.

The UK drugmaker AstraZeneca announced Monday that its AZD7442 antibody treatment, meant to be injected into patients showing symptoms of COVID, led to a “statistically significant reduction in severe COVID-19 or death,” compared to mildly to moderately ill patients who took a placebo, according to a company release. The findings put AstraZeneca further “on track to potentially offer an alternative to vaccines for people with weakened immune systems.”

Your chances of getting COVID-19 from surfaces at the grocery store are minimal, a Canadian study reassures. Researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario collected 957 samples at four grocery stores over a month. None tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID, the study found. In other words, high-touch surfaces like the handle of your shopping cart or the freezer door should be safe to touch in stores that follow good cleaning protocols.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

Was President Biden’s announcement Sept. 9th of a vaccine mandate for private companies employing 100 or more people a bluff to persuade more Americans to be vaccinated? One month later, no rule has been issued by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known as OSHA. The nearly two dozen Republican attorneys general who have threatened to sue on constitutional grounds have not yet filed, because there is no mandate for them to bring to court. That might be part of the plan.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday refused to issue an emergency injunction to stop Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The three-judge panel of the Boston-based court issued a one-sentence statement saying the request was denied without an explanation, The Bangor Daily News reported. A final ruling will likely be issued next week, according to Liberty Counsel, an organization representing more than 2,000 health care workers across the state in the lawsuit.

The head of Chicago’s police union says members should defy the city’s COVID vaccine requirements—and he predicts that the force will be at “50% or less” by the weekend. Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara urged officers not to comply with an order to report their vaccination status by Friday. After Friday, unvaccinated city workers will have to either submit to semiweekly COVID testing or be placed on unpaid leave. Catanzara said officers should cite “conscientious objection” to the vaccine mandate and go to work Friday with the expectation that they will be sent home.

Aside from being put on unpaid leave, New York City teachers who’ve declined to get the COVID-19 vaccine won’t be allowed to keep their health benefits for another year unless they give up their right to sue the city over its vaccine mandate.

Multiple hospital systems are denying organ transplants to patients who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 “in almost all situations,” citing studies that show unvaccinated patients have a significantly higher risk for severe illness and death if they get COVID-19.

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel voted unanimously on Oct. 14 to recommend that the agency allow millions of Americans to get a booster shot of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. he 19–0 vote came after hours of discussions and presentations in an all-virtual meeting. The FDA can overrule the panel’s recommendations but rarely does so. If the recommendation is approved, anyone aged 65 and older will be able to get a Moderna booster shot if they’ve received the primary two doses of the Moderna series. People between the ages of 18 and 64 who are deemed “at high risk of severe COVID-19” or whose “frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19” will also have access to the booster shot.

Every adult 18 and older in the United States who received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be able to get a booster dose if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepts a recommendation from its advisory panel. The panel unanimously voted Friday to advise the agency to authorize boosters for all adults, regardless of their health condition. As of Oct. 14, 15.2 million Americans have gotten the J&J shot.

President Biden’s announced vaccine mandate for private employers is being blamed for flight disruptions, and now his mandate for federal workers is posing the threat of further travel chaos with the TSA admitting that 40% of its agents remain unvaccinated six weeks before the deadline.

International

England’s COVID Pass system went offline for hours on Wednesday, causing British travelers to remain stranded at airports. Some passengers couldn’t board their flights, while others suffered delays as both the National Health Service (NHS) website and app experienced issues.

  • Dependence upon government systems is fraught with unforeseen circumstances that will wreak havoc on everyday life.

Health officials in Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland suspended the use of the Moderna vaccine for younger people due to a risk of side effects including myocarditis. The Food and Drug Administration responded saying the shot’s benefits outweigh the risks. Moderna, meanwhile, said in a statement that it was “aware of the very rare occurrence of myocarditis and/or pericarditis following administration of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.”

New Zealand authorities on Monday announced that teachers and people working in the country’s health departments will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine in order to keep working. The sweeping “no jab, no job” policy was confirmed by COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins as New Zealand on Oct. 10 reported 35 new Covid-19 cases. The new mandate compels doctors, pharmacists, community nurses, and many other health care workers to be double-jabbed by December, with teachers by January.

The World Health Organization recommended third doses of Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, both of which are made in China. The WHO cited an independent panel that found support for an extra jab for people over age 60; the doses could be the same or mixed, depending on availability. Vaccine trackers fear this may stretch thin the global supply of Chinese-made vaccines and place extra strain on the supply of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

Police in Norway say the male terrorist accused of killing five people in a bow-and-arrow attack Wednesday was on their radar and had been flagged for showing signs of radicalization. Regional police chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud described the suspect Thursday as a 37-year-old Danish citizen and a convert to Islam..

David Amess, a pro-life conservative member of British Parliament, was killed in a knife attack while meeting constituents in his district in Essex in southeast England. Police have arrested a suspect and recovered the weapon.

At least four people were shot during an Alabama high school football game on Friday night, police said. Mobile police Chiefs Paul Prine said the shooting occurred near the exit ramp at Ladd-Peebles Stadium while players from Williamson and Vigor High Schools were on the field. Prine said three men and a woman were wounded and two of the victims were juveniles.

A man died after he allegedly tried to hit people on a sidewalk with his truck, crashed against a building, and then was pulled out and beaten by the group in Southern California.

A gunman “came out of nowhere” and fired on constable’s deputies who were trying to detain someone else outside a Houston bar early Saturday, ultimately killing one deputy and injuring two others.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

Walgreens said Tuesday that it will close five more stores in San Francisco next month because of organized retail theft in another blow to a city that has earned an embarrassing reputation for widespread and brazen shoplifting. Walgreens has closed at least 10 stores in the city since the start of 2019. 

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

A Biden Administration proposal to give the IRS access to all financial transactions above $600 is raising concerns among congressional Republicans about government overreach. Democrats are pushing for regulations within President Biden’s $3.5 trillion, 10-year social welfare bill that would require banks to report annually on the “inflows and outflows” of personal and business accounts. The reporting requirement would cover any transaction above $600 or bank accounts with deposits totaling that sum. Some Democrats are also pushing for rules to cover mobile money transfer systems such as PayPal and Venmo. Critics say the low reporting threshold would essentially give the IRS unfettered access to how ordinary Americans spend their money. Some Republican lawmakers say the expansion of federal powers would amount to a “surveillance state.”

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday the proposed requirement that banks report information on any account with $600 of total activity over the course of a year will stay in Democrats’ reconciliation bill in some form, despite public backlash.

Critical Race Theory: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

Walmart has a training program for its employees based on the core principles of Critical Race Theory that asserts whites are inherently racist and the United States is a “white supremacy system” designed by white Europeans “for the purpose of assigning and maintaining white skin access to power and privilege,” according to internal documents. The evidence was obtained from an unidentified whistleblower.

Health: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

Reported drug overdose deaths in the United States hit a new high of more than 96,000 in the 12-month period ending March 2021, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. CDC. In that 12 months — a period when Covid-19 pandemic took hold in the United States and shut down normal daily routines — the U.S. saw 96,779 reported drug overdose deaths, an increase of 29.6% from March 2020 to March 2021. Vermont had the largest increase (5%) in overdose deaths of any state. South Dakota’s reported overdose deaths declined by 16.3%, the biggest decrease of any state.

People with substance use disorders (SUDs) are more likely to get infected with COVID-19 and end up with adverse outcomes from the infection, according to an Oct. 5 study published on World Psychiatry. “Drugs and alcohol affect immune function, which is likely to contribute to the higher risk for infections in individuals with SUD,” reported the study.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

New asexual education standard are currently being disseminated to schools nationwide. Developed by a coalition of left-wing nonprofit groups, the second edition of the National Sex Education Standards aspires to teach school children about various ideas that many conservative Christian parents will likely find objectionable. For instance, the standards require kindergarteners through second graders to learn about ideas related to transgenderism, Third graders are taught about “the role of hormone blockers” for transgender minors, an often irreversible procedure many consider to be tantamount to child abuse. Starting in sixth grade — an age group of 11 and 12-year-olds — and by the end of eighth grade at age 13, students should understand oral, anal and vaginal sex. Also starting in the sixth grade, students are taught about abortion — not as the horror that it is, but rather as a common option when faced with pregnancy.

As they reel from revenue losses connected to the pandemic, many colleges and universities are racking up other costs not likely to turn up in their glossy brochures or as line items on staggering tuition bills: untold millions of dollars in legal fees and settlements for allegedly violating the rights of students, professors, and applicants on free speech, admissions and other matters as the schools pursue social justice causes. Challenges to alleged free-speech violations, which have plagued universities for decades, continue to grow with a heightened grievance culture. Numerous courtroom challenges over First Amendment rights, alleged Title IX violations, admissions standards and perceived cultural protocol miscues reflect an aggressive effort by schools to enforce disputed social policies and the growing influence of administrators who carry them out.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Left-wing climate protesters hit the D.C. streets Monday, vandalizing a statue of former President Andrew Jackson and swarming the White House while warning President Biden to take their demands seriously. The Build Back Fossil Free coalition took to the DC streets Monday with their five-day-long protest’s aim to spur action by the Biden administration against climate change, mainly by declaring a national emergency and ending projects involving fossil fuels.

A large number of Southwest pilots in Florida engaged in a “sickout” over the weekend to protest Southwest’s vaccine mandate, and apparently at least some air traffic controllers joined them. Thousands of flights were cancelled On the record, Southwest is denying any sort of protest, attributing the delays to weather and pilots getting ‘timed out’ as the cancellations stacked up. •           Southwest Pilot Association President says the pilots demand to talk to company about natural immunity, antibodies, and alternate forms of compliance with mandates.

  • Amid ongoing flight disruptions, Texas-based airlines Southwest and American announced Tuesday they will comply with President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate despite Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order barring any “entity” in the state from compelling receipt of the vaccine. Southwest says, “federal action supersedes any state mandate or law, and we would be expected to comply with the president’s order to remain compliant as a federal contractor.”
  • An American Airlines pilot warned that a vaccine mandate announced last month by President Joe Biden may have a “catastrophic effect” on the transportation system and supply chain.

A massive crowd of thousands marched down the Via Veneto in Rome, to protest the “Green Pass” the government is requiring to get into public and private workplaces. It requires at least one vaccine dose, documented recovery from the illness within the last six months, or negative tests in the last 48 hours. The pass will be required starting Friday to get into the workplaces.

At least four people have been killed and several injured when gunfire and rockets were fired near a Hezbollah-led protest in Beirut. Demonstrators were calling for the removal of a judge investigating last year’s massive port blast.

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

California on Saturday became the first state to say large department stores must display products like toys and toothbrushes in gender-neutral ways, a win for LGBT advocates who say the pink and blue hues of traditional marketing methods pressure children to conform to gender stereotypes. The new law, signed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, does not outlaw traditional boys’ and girls’ sections at department stores. Instead, it says large stores must also have a gender-neutral section.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Documents leaked to Fox News show that at least 160,000 illegal immigrants have been released into the U.S., often with little to no supervision, by the Biden administration since March. The documents give a partial snapshot into how the Biden administration has been releasing enormous numbers of migrants into the U.S., often with little to no oversight, supervision or immediate risk of deportation.

In a major policy shift to help illegal immigrants already in the U.S. workforce, the Biden administration is ordering the Department of Homeland Security to end mass worksite enforcement operations that often result in large-scale arrests and deportations of undocumented employees. The administration is also directing agencies that operate under DHS, which was created after 9/11 to counter terrorism, secure borders and uphold the nation’s economic security, to protect foreigners working in the country illegally by shielding them from removal proceedings when they get caught, reports Judicial Watch.

Energy Crisis: There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25)

An energy crisis is gripping the world, with potentially grave consequences as ramped up demand exceeds supply dues to lack of workers and distribution impediments. Advocates for renewable energy say the global crisis shows the need to move further away from coal, gas and oil as prices for those commodities spike. Their critics contend just the opposite — that wind and solar have been tested and came up lacking.

With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas and other fuels, the U.S. government said Wednesday it expects households to see their heating bills jump as much as 54% compared to last winter.

Supply Chain Crisis: “And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” (Matthew 7:26)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (who has no real transportation or supply chain experience) admitted that some of the supply chain problems that we are currently facing could last for “years and years.” Buttigieg has said in recent interviews that “it’s an incredibly complicated situation,” but the government is holding virtual “roundtables” with port operators, labor unions and private companies. Nevertheless, he told MSNBC last Thursday, the “challenges” will continue, not only “going into the next year or two, but going into the long term.

  • During this transportation/supply-chain crisis, it turns out that Buttigieg has been on paternity leave since August 28 after the birth of twins by a surrogate for him and his husband. He has been even more MIA than VP Kamala Harris.

A shortage of just about everything is looming ahead of the holiday season as more than 150 container ships wait off the coast of California and rail yards clog up due to a shortage of port workers and truckers. The transporting of goods from Asia to North America is currently taking about 80 days, which is twice as long as before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wall Street Journal reported Walmart, Costco and Target are chartering their own cargo ships to import goods, paying about $100,000 day, or four times more than last year.

  • “Clearly what’s transpired is after the shutdown, the question is did everyone come back to their jobs? Did the truckers come back? Did the warehouse folks come back? And the answer is no they haven’t. So that is certainly contributing to what we’re seeing here,” Georgia Port Authority director Griff Lynch said.
  • Carriers of goods including Walmart, UPS, and FedEx are moving to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week to address the global supply disruptions that have contributed to a surge in inflation, the White House said Wednesday. The update was announced ahead of President Joe Biden’s meeting with the heads of Walmart, FedEx, and UPS (odd that the feds haven’t ramped up the postal service too).

Flooding in northern China is hitting a major coal production center hard, sending coal prices soaring and complicating efforts by Beijing to tackle ongoing power shortages. Heavy rains have forced the closures of 60 coal mines in Shanxi province, China’s largest coal mining hub.

British companies that produce steel, paper, glass, cement, ceramics and chemicals say they will be forced to close factories or pass on rising costs to consumers unless the UK government provides relief from soaring energy prices.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

Social Security recipients will receive an annual cost of living adjustment of 5.9% next year, the largest increase since 1982, the Social Security Administration announced Wednesday. The spike will boost retirees’ monthly payments by $92 to an estimated average of $1,657 for 2022.

The average American family will get $5,086 in expanded child tax credits from 2021 through 2022 courtesy of COVID-19 stimulus actions. Congress raised the credit to $3,600 for kids under 6 years old and $3,000 for older children and made it refundable, among other measures.

Consumer spending unexpectedly rose in September as retailers benefitted from back-to-school shopping and more workers returning to the office. Retail sales, a measure of spending at restaurants, stores and online, last month rose 0.7% to $625.4 billion, according to the Commerce Department. Retail sales excluding autos jumped 0.8% month over month compared with the 0.2% decline that was anticipated. Gasoline stations saw a 1.6% month-over-month increase and were 38.2% above year-ago levels. Food services and drinking places, meanwhile, booked a 3.7% rise last month and jumped 29.5% from last year.

Unemployment claims dropped 36,000 to 293,000 last week, the second straight drop, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the smallest number of people to apply for benefits since March 2020, when the pandemic intensified. Applications for jobless aid, which generally track the pace of layoffs, have fallen steadily since last spring as many businesses, struggling to fill jobs, have held onto their workers.

A record 4.3 million people quit jobs in August, according to new data from the Labor Department — about 2.9 percent of the workforce. The phenomenon is being driven in part by workers who are less willing to endure inconvenient hours, poor compensation or bad conditions because they know there are ample opportunities elsewhere.

Some Americans have not returned to the labor force, which is defined as people who are employed or are actively looking for work. The number of people in the labor force is down by about 3 million from before the pandemic, according to PNC Financial Services Group.

Hiring has slowed over the past two months, even as companies and other employers have posted a near-record number of open jobs. Businesses are struggling to find workers as about three million people who lost jobs have stopped looking for work since the pandemic began.

A recent survey highlights some of the steps employers are taking to attract and retain workers in today’s ultra-competitive talent market: 57% of employers are offering referral bonuses; 55% are hiring external or temporary workers; 44% are upskilling and reskilling staff; and 43% are boosting pay.             Foreclosures are starting to surge as government and private sector programs designed to help homeowners deal with the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic have begun to expire. Foreclosure starts jumped 32% in the third quarter of this year from the second quarter and were 67% higher than the third quarter of 2020.

Prices rose 5.4 percent in September over last year, a 13-year high, as Covid-19 and lack of workers continues to drag down the supply chain and the economic recovery. Rising prices for food and shelter contributed more than half of this increase, while prices for new cars, household furnishings and car insurance also climbed.

Food prices across the world have risen to their highest levels in a decade on the back of tightening supply conditions coupled with robust demand, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The FAO’s food price index, which measures world food commodity prices, has surged by 32.8 percent in the 12 months through September. On a month-over-month basis, the index rose 1.2 percent.

The national average price for gasoline hit a fresh seven-year high of $3.27 a gallon on Monday, up by 7 cents in the past week alone, according to AAA. Gas has nearly doubled since bottoming at $1.77 in April 2020.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

Israel rescued 125 Afghans at risk from Taliban retribution in a complex and hush hush operation earlier this month. The operation took weeks to arrange and was a collaborative effort by the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Albania, activists and donors including businessmen and philanthropists.

Immigration to Israel has increased by 31% in 2021 so far, with 20,360 olim arriving compared to 15,598 during the corresponding period last year, despite the pandemic. These figures come ahead of Yom HaAliyah (Aliyah Day) – a national holiday on October 13th, which celebrates immigrants to Israel from all over the world.

A ruling allowing a Jew to silently pray on the Temple Mount for the first time was reversed by a Jerusalem District Court judge on Friday. District Court Judge Aryeh Romanov agreed with an appeal by Public Security Minister Omer Barlev and the police, ruling that only Muslims are allowed to overtly pray on the Temple Mount. Under the terms of a status quo reached in 1967 between Israel and the Islamic Waqf, while Jews and Christians are allowed to visit the Temple Mount, only Muslims are allowed to pray there.

Bashar Masri, billionaire entrepreneur and founder of the Palestinian Authority city of Rawabi city near Ramallah, unveiled on Monday the “Lana” $300 million, 400 units housing project to be built in the northern areas of Jerusalem. The residential project is considered the largest in eastern Jerusalem is a joint venture between Massar International and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. The Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein said that Lana “guarantees us life in Jerusalem. Investment in the Holy City is an important matter.”

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

The Israeli Security Agency, known as the Shin Bet, has foiled over 2,200 significant terror attacks against the State of Israel in five and a half year, said outgoing Shin Bet director Nadav Argaman. Describing the challenge of ensuring Israel’s security as “an endless race,” Argaman said that some 2,261 attempted terrorist attacks were carried out against Israelis during his tenure. These included shooting attacks, explosive devices, suicide bombings and kidnapping attempts. During his years on the job, some 529 terror attacks were successfully carried out by use of explosive devices or by shooting, stabbing and ramming attacks, resulting in 54 Israeli casualties.

The Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas is establishing extensive military infrastructure in Lebanon, meant to serve as a second front against the State of Israel in a future conflict, according to a report released Tuesday by the Alma Research and Education Center, dedicated to researching and analyzing threats emanating from Israel’s northern borders with Lebanon and Syria.

Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced it would be lifting the sanctions imposed by the previous administration on Iranian missile producers Mammut Industrial Group and its subsidiary Mammut Diesel. The two entities were described by Treasury as “key producers and suppliers of military-grade, dual-use goods for Iran’s missile programs” when the sanctions were announced. The delisting follows the July 2021 lifting of sanctions on three Iranians who were major shareholders and executives of the Mammut Industrial Group.

  • The Biden Administration has thus far not been forthcoming on the reasons behind the lifting of these sanctions, and it has not confirmed that the delisted individuals and entities have verifiably ceased their sanctionable behavior.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

Turkey has escalated a supposedly anti-terrorist military campaign in Syria and Iraq that appears to be targeting Christians and other minorities. A spate of Turkish attacks beginning in late August – including the bombing of a hospital – has been responsible for the deaths of at least a dozen civilians. “It is unclear,” argued an analyst in The Jerusalem Post, “why [Turkey’s] claims to fight ‘terrorism’ often coincide with bombing minorities in Iraq and Syria and carrying out attacks against Christian, Kurdish and Yazidi minorities.” Amy Austin Holmes, a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., notes that “Yazidis, Christians and Kurds have fled in droves from the Turkish-occupied areas of Syria”

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

A suicide bomber killed at least 32 worshipers at a Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar Friday. Hafiz Abdul Hai Abbas, health director for the province, said another 45 were wounded, and he expected the toll to rise. Another Shiite mosque was bombed a week earlier near Kunduz in an attack claimed by the Islamic State.

A U.S. delegation held talks with senior Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar, over the weekend to discuss wide-ranging issues including security, terrorism and human rights in the first official meeting since the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan in August. The talks were the first formal engagement between the State Department and the Taliban since the U.S. evacuated its diplomats and troops from Kabul. It also comes after the U.K. diplomats met with Taliban officials in Afghanistan last week. The Biden administration has wrestled with how to deal with the Taliban, which control Afghanistan’s government but are officially labeled a terrorist organization. Although many subjects were discussed no new agreements were announced.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced on Monday the capture of one of the top leaders of ISIS. Al-Kadhimi said in a Twitter post that Sami Jasim al-Jaburi, the former deputy of the terror group and its head of finance, was detained in a third country, which he declined to name, by Iraqi intelligence forces in a “complex external operation.” Al-Jaburi was designated as a terrorist by the U.S. government and there was a $5 million reward on offer from the State Department for information leading to his arrest.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

Destructive California wildfires driven by intense winds Monday caused damage at two mobile home parks, destroying some trailers, and one person suffered burns. The fires on Monday also toppled trees, whipped up blinding dust clouds and forced a utility to cut power to thousands of customers in an effort to prevent more wildfires. Although the winds were easing on Tuesday, about 30 structures were destroyed Monday afternoon when wind-driven flames roared through the Rancho Marina RV Park in Sacramento County. In San Joaquin County, a man suffered burns and about five mobile homes were damaged by flames that raced through the Islander Mobile Home Park.

The Alisal Fire near Santa Barbara, California, has quickly exploded in size, prompting evacuation orders and warnings. The fire began Monday afternoon near the Alisal Reservoir and now covers approximately 6,000 acres, fire officials said. It was uncontained as of early Tuesday. The flames are threatening at least 100 structures. Winds in the area were recorded at 30-35 mph, with gusts up to 70 mph. The flames prompted the closure of a portion of Highway 101.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

At least three people have died in Bali after a magnitude 4.8 earthquake hit the Indonesian island in the early hours Saturday, damaging buildings and leaving people trapped in the rubble. The earthquake damaged buildings in Karangasem and Bangli regencies on the east of the island, Rescuers are searching through the rubble for survivors.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

Seven major offshore wind farms would be developed on the East and West coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico under a plan announced Wednesday by the Biden administration. The projects are part of President Biden’s plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, generating enough electricity to power more than 10 million homes. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said her department hopes to hold lease sales by 2025.

California’s Lake Tahoe is at an alarmingly low level. An historically dry period in California will come to bear at Lake Tahoe, where the water level is expected to sink below the basin’s natural rim. Already, people are walking across dry spots in the lake which used to require a boat. The historic drought, recent wildfires and erratic weather have all intertwined with climate change to overly stress the aquatic and alpine environment.

California has banned the usage of gas lawn mowers and leaf blowers by 2024. California will outlaw the sale of new gas-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers and chain saws as early as 2024 under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan can’t drink their tap water due to high levels of lead from corroding pipes; a strangely similar scenario to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

The megadrought in the western U.S. improved only slightly this past week, but is down from 84.5% in severe to exceptional drought three months ago to 80.5% as of 10/12, still alarmingly high. California, however, increased from 86% to 87% over three months, while Nevada remained the same at 95% with Utah staying at 100%. New Mexico improved from 71% to 50% while Arizona saw the largest reduction from 95% to 34%. Further north, Oregon worsened from 89% to 96% while Washington only worsened a little from 53% to 54%. Idaho has also worsened over the past three months from 84% to 91% while Montana also worsened from 72% to 100%, although substantial sone has fallen since 10/12. Data is from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Flooding is the most expensive natural disaster in the United States. One-fourth of the United States’ “critical” infrastructure is at risk of flooding, a report released Monday warns. The highest concentration of community flood risk is in Louisiana, Florida, Kentucky and West Virginia. The report pinpoints the nation’s flood risk to critical infrastructure, such as utilities, airports, ports and emergency services such as police, fire and hospitals. That’s in addition to residential properties, commercial properties, streets and local roads and social infrastructure such as schools and government buildings. With an increasing number of flood events making headlines across the nation, there’s now a greater awareness of the economic and human cost that flood-damaged infrastructure can create, report authors say.

Eighteen weather and climate disasters in the U.S. have taken 538 lives and cost $105 billion so far this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The deaths are more than twice the number of fatalities from all the events that occurred in 2020, In the first nine months of 2021, the U.S. has already faced 18 disasters that have cost more than a billion dollars each. This is the seventh consecutive year the U.S. has had more than 10 disasters totaling more than a billion dollars. 2020 saw the record number of billion dollar disasters at 22. The average number of billion dollar disasters from 1980-2020 is seven (presumably adjusted for inflation). However, during the last five years, that average number has risen to 16.

La Niña conditions — the opposite phase of El Niño — have emerged in the tropical Pacific Ocean over the past month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center said Thursday. La Niña typically brings conditions that are wetter and cooler than average to the Pacific Northwest and northern Plains, especially during the winter. In contrast, La Niña means drier and warmer-than-average conditions usually prevail in the South. This could mean the drought-stricken Southwest will likely stay drier. The Southeast is also typically drier during a La Niña winter, although it increases the possibility for tropical weather, including hurricanes.

Signs of the Times: October 9,2021

October 9, 2021

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,.. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless. (2Peter 3:9-11,14)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

The Texas Supreme Court refused Planned Parenthood’s demand to block the Texas “heartbeat abortion ban. On Monday, the Texas Supreme Court refused the abortion chain’s request to allow its lawsuit to proceed. Federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, also have ruled against pro-abortion groups’ requests to block the Texas law thus far. Though the court battle is far from over, the law currently is in effect. Texas Right to Life estimates approximately 3,000 babies have been saved from violent abortion deaths since September.

  • State legislatures have passed a record number of pro-life laws this year to save unborn babies from violent abortion deaths – 19 state legislatures passed 106 pro-life laws this year.

The faith-based documentary The Jesus Music surprised the movie industry over the weekend by opening in the Top 10 and finishing fourth in per-theater average, edging out more well-known titles in a pandemic environment that has been challenging for studios. The groundbreaking film finished the weekend with an estimated $560,250 despite opening in only 249 theaters – a solid number when compared to the Top 5 movies, each of which were showing in 3,000-plus locations. Even more impressive, The Jesus Music finished No. 4 in per-theater average ($2,250). The movie, directed by Jon and Andrew Erwin, follows the history of contemporary Christian music. Moviegoers gave it an “A” grade according to CinemaScore, which polls attendees on opening weekend.

Census data found that 11.1% of U.S. households with school-aged children are now homeschooling. That’s double the number from before the pandemic. That increase means there are about 2.6 million new homeschool students across the nation. Another report found that 8.7 million children have been pulled from a government-run school and placed in a private school, which includes many Christian schools. “One good thing to come out of the shutdowns is that many parents have been awakened to what ‘secular’ really means – anti-God!” notes Answers In Genesis.

Last Friday, a Tennessee high school football team led their parents and fans in a post-game prayer after their local school board banned teachers and coaches from praying with their students. Putnam County Schools administrators informed staffers that they are no longer allowed to lead students in prayer. According to CBN News, the decision was finalized in response to a letter sent by the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State. While some parents were upset by the move, they decided to take matters into their own hands and helped organize the post-game prayer for those who wished to participate.

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

More than 130 nations agreed on Friday to a sweeping overhaul of international tax rules, with officials backing a 15 percent global minimum tax for corporations and other changes aimed at cracking down on tax havens that have drained countries of much-needed revenue. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which has been leading the negotiations, said 136 countries and jurisdictions had signed on to the deal. The agreement to enact a 15 percent minimum corporate tax rate had been proposed by the United States, which has long looked for ways to minimize incentives for companies to shift profits abroad to lower their tax bills. As the Biden administration prepares to try and raise corporate tax rates in the United States, getting a global minimum tax in place has become critical to prevent companies from simply shifting their headquarters overseas.

  • Another small step in establishing the one-world government of Revelation 13.

In President Biden’s first address to the U.N., he called for a united global response to combat climate change, and global cooperation to end to pandemic. “We’ve ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan and as we close this era of endless war we are opening an era of endless diplomacy,” President Biden said. Biden then announced Wednesday the U.S. government is increasing its investment in combating Covid-10 globally by doubling the number of COVID-19 vaccines it plans to purchase and ship around the world. U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill for another 500 million Pfizer vaccines to ship to 100 low and lower-middle-income countries. That’s on top of the 500 million the United States already committed to purchasing. The doses will be bought at a not-for-profit price, according to a senior administration official, and shipped through the global COVID-19 platform known as COVAX.

  • The wizards behind the curtain manipulating Biden are the global elitists who will bring forth the one-world government of Revelation 13.

More than 4,000 scientists and physicians from around the world have signed a declaration condemning public policy makers of “crimes against humanity” for restricting life-saving treatments and quashing debate and scientific inquiry. The “Physicians Declaration” was issued in Rome earlier this month at the International COVID Summit. Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, read the declaration at the Rome conference. He contends the COVID vaccines should not be administered universally but should target the most vulnerable, because the shots pose both known and unknown risks for the healthy that outweigh potential benefits. The signatories “invite the scientists of the world, who are skilled in biomedical research and uphold the highest ethical and moral standards, to insist on their ability to conduct and publish objective, empirical research without fear of reprisal upon their careers, reputations and livelihoods.”

  • The global elitists have indeed promoted censorship of scientific data that goes against their autocratic policies that lead toward a one-world socialistic/totalitarian government. Alternative treatments for Covid-19 that have proven effective are being suppressed in order to promote the DNA-altering mRNA vaccines.

While speaking about the vaccination rates in New South Wales, Australian chief health officer Kerry Chant expressed optimism that they’d soon reach a 90 percent vaccination rate for the 16 and over population. Even so, however, she quickly poured cold water on the idea of life returning to normal ever again. “We will not be going back to pre-COVID levels. We are always going to have to be mindful that COVID exists,” she said. “We’re going to have to engage with booster shots, we’re going to have to engage with advice from time to time when we see outbreaks. We’re going to have to respond, so it’s not going to go back to normal, we can’t deny that we have to live with COVID.”

  • Whether the pandemic was purposely created or not, governments are using it as an excuse to employ authoritarian ‘emergency’ powers to gain more and more control over the masses.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain), and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

Top military officials on Tuesday testified that they assessed that the U.S. should maintain a presence of at least 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin admitting that their input was “received” by President Biden, despite Biden’s claims to the contrary. Biden and White House officials have said repeatedly that no military leaders advised him to leave a small military presence behind, with the president, himself, telling ABC News in August that “no one” recommended a 2,500 troop presence that he could “recall.”

  • Our Liar-in-Chief spins another one, or maybe his cognitive function has declined to such a level that the 25th Amendment needs to be invoked before he causes even more debacles.
  • Top Pentagon officials blamed the State Department for not beginning evacuations of civilians from Afghanistan sooner, calling the efforts “chaotic,” while defending the “skill and leadership” of U.S. troops during a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday focused on the military withdrawal.

In a ridiculous complaint to President Biden, NSBA executives invoked the Patriot Act as they effectively charged parents and citizens who are advocating on behalf of children with “domestic terrorism.” They asked for federal law enforcement protection from parents and citizens — their own voters, notes the Family Research Council. Nevertheless, On October 4, 2021, the DOJ announced an effort to determine if “a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” at school board meetings requires federal intervention by law enforcement.” Parents who have tried in good faith to work with elected officials to remove pornographic books from school libraries or to expose injustices in programs for children with disabilities are often harassed and demeaned, banned from meetings, or silenced. This latest insult from the DOJ, at the behest of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), is dangerous and authoritarian, says the FRC.

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog said Thursday the FBI failed to support claims it made in almost 200 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications to monitor American citizens. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a scathing report saying the FBI ignored its own Woods Procedure — the set of rules the bureau follows to ensure its applications for secret warrants are accurate. Inspector general investigators uncovered at least 183 instances in which the Woods File was missing, destroyed or incomplete. The FBI‘s handling of warrants under the FISA has been under scrutiny since 2016, when it was revealed that the bureau sought a warrant to snoop on Carter Page, a Trump campaign official. That warrant was largely based on the now-discredited Steele dossier and included at least one piece of information fabricated by an FBI lawyer.

  • The FBI has become a political organization dedicated to the support of the leftist/progressive agenda, which itself is in accord with the global elitist goals of a socialistic/authoritarian one-world government.

Suicide rates in the U.S. military increased from 2015 to 2020 and the trend shows no signs of slowing, Pentagon officials acknowledged Thursday while releasing the Department of Defense’s 2020 Annual Suicide Report. Pentagon officials said 580 active-duty service members died at their own hands in 2020, a 15% jump over the 504 suicides recorded in the previous year. The report shows that the suicide rate for active component military members has increased over each of the past five years.

The federal government picked up the cost of the unprecedented expansion of jobless benefits during the pandemic, but many states are still facing a hefty tab for their share of the program — and tough decisions about how to cover the bill. To avoid hiking taxes on employers, some states have opted to use billions of federal dollars they received in two congressional rescue packages to replenish their unemployment trust funds or repay the federal loans they took out. But others must decide whether to dip into the federal funds, hike taxes on employers or cut future benefits — as some did after the Great Recession, leaving their jobless residents with a thinner safety net.

  • All that ‘free’ money generated out of thin air in the federal government’s efforts to prop up the economy will come back to plague recipients in all kinds of ways, whether it be states, businesses or individuals.

The average American spent more in taxes last year than on health care, clothing, food, and entertainment expenses combined, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditures Survey for the year 2020. The typical American worker paid the state, local, and federal governments a total of $371.23 more than his or her expenses for food, clothing, health care, and entertainment.

The infrastructure bill that the House has failed to pass thus far has very little funds for the nation’s infrastructure. Only 10% of the 1.2 trillion would be funneled toward roads and bridges. Reports show that the measure includes a sizable amount of money for environmental provisions such as $5 billion for electric cars for the federal government fleet, $50 million for community climate incentive grants, and $1 billion for an “electrical vehicle charging equity program.”

Censorship: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18)

Google and YouTube said they will block ads that they believe are challenging the “scientific consensus” on climate change. Google‘s new policy for its advertisers, publishers, and creators will “prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change.” “This includes content referring to climate change as a hoax or a scam, claims denying that long-term trends show the global climate is warming, and claims denying that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change,” stated Google‘s update to its ads policy on Thursday. Google-owned YouTube said on Sept. 29 that it will ban all “harmful vaccine content” from its platform, including claims that vaccines are ineffective at reducing transmission of disease

  • This is yet another step down the slippery slope of censorship.

Instead of focusing on conservatives and Christians, why do the social media continue to allow terrorist access? The Counter Extremism Project reports weekly on the methods used by extremists to exploit the Internet and social media platforms to recruit followers and incite violence. Over the last week multiple pieces of pro-ISIS, white supremacist, anti-Muslim, and antisemitic content were found on Facebook-owned Instagram. Some had been viewed hundreds of times and even been previously removed, only to be re-uploaded again. Fascist and neo-Nazi content was found on both TikTok and YouTube. On TikTok, an account posted violent footage from the Christchurch terrorist attack and on YouTube, a podcast was located that promoted violent neo-Nazi accelerationism.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

A police officer from Louisville, Kentucky, is suing the mayor, police chief and his police department for “persecuting” him over an off-duty prayer at an abortion industry business, according to officials with the Thomas More Society. Senior Counsel Matt Heffron explained that officer Matthew Schrenger participated in “a quiet, off-duty prayer, on a public sidewalk,” and as a result was “stripped of his police powers, and placed under investigation,” part of a suspension that lasted four months.

A former Alaska Airlines flight attendant is fighting back after being fired for wanted to have a dialogue over the company’s support the pro-LGBT Equality Act. Lacey Smith responded to a notice on an internal company message board in which the company expressed its support for the bill, according to First Liberty Institute, which is representing Smith. “As a company, do you think it’s possible to regulate morality?” she wrote, according to First Liberty’s website. “I was shocked that the airline I loved working for fired me for asking a question about something the airline asked us to support,” Smith said, according to Newsweek. “I thought my question would receive the same level of respect that I give to others. It’s frightening to think that Americans can lose their jobs for simply asking questions about important issues,” she said.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

A lower-court judge called the Texas abortion ban an “unprecedented and aggressive scheme to deprive” citizens of their constitutional rights in initially putting a hold on the law that was later overturned by Texas’ Supreme Court. This judge and others claim abortion is a constitutional right. Not so. Roe v. Wade was an enormous mistake and must be repealed and the Hyde Amendment protected in Congress.

Nancy Pelosi’s Catholic Bishop has come out strongly against an abortion bill, and he’s not holding back, calling it “child sacrifice.” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, issued a statement that many view as a rebuke of Speaker of the House Pelosi, who hails from the Archbishop’s diocese. The bill addressed in Cordileone’s statement is the “Women’s Health Protection Act” (HR 3755), which passed the House last week. The bill would recognize a “statutory right” to abortions, and would do away with conscience protections for health care workers who do not wish to participate in life-ending procedures. The bill would also prohibit almost any kind of limitation on abortion such as waiting periods and ultrasounds, and would prevent states from restricting abortion.

The annual Women’s March on Saturday returned to Washington, D.C., and other major cities across the country with a focus on “abortion access for all.” It will be the first Women’s March since President Biden took office. The rally in the nation’s capital on Saturday will begin with a “faith gathering,” “reflecting the many voices of people of faith longing for reproductive justice,” and the march will begin at Freedom Plaza at noon and continue until demonstrators reach the Supreme Court.

  • Yet another example of our culture today calling evil good, and good evil. Moral relativism is being embraced rather than absolute Truth as defined by our Creator.

On the heels of the Texas Heartbeat Act, pro-lifers can welcome another victory in the state, as Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed into law a bill prohibiting physicians or health care providers from giving women an “abortion inducing drug” after seven weeks of pregnancy. The new pro-life law is set to be effective December 2, subject to any legal injunctions. Physicians may still distribute the drugs before the 49th day, at face-to-face meetings, but are subject to a number of requirements, including scheduling a follow-up visit no more than 14 days after giving the drug, to “confirm that the woman’s pregnancy is completely terminated; and assess any continued blood loss.”

With abortion effectively banned in Texas, patients are flooding reproductive health clinics in neighboring states and overwhelming the region’s abortion infrastructure. “Patients from Texas are traveling sometimes five to eight hours each way to get to a health center in Oklahoma,” per a briefing filed  last week by the Department of Justice. Planned Parenthood’s Oklahoma clinics are now mostly being booked for Texas-based patients.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two bills on Wednesday relating to abortion rights, with both helping children hide medical information from parents. The first bill, AB 1356, will create new offenses arising from recording or photographing patients or providers within 100 feet of the entrance to a reproductive health services facility. The other, AB 1184, will keep patient information confidential for patients who are not the primary policyholder for their health insurance. Healthcare services that patients can keep confidential include “reproductive health care and gender-affirming care,” according to the governor’s statement.

  • In other words, children can keep abortions and sex-change operations secret from their parents.

The U.S. Supreme Court set a date for a major abortion case that could overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again. The hearing on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health is scheduled for Dec. 1. The case centers around a 2018 Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and the question of “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortion are unconstitutional.” Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said she is looking forward to the opportunity to convince the court that there is no constitutional right to abortion and Roe v. Wade should be overturned. In Roe and later Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court prohibited states from banning abortions before an unborn baby is viable. As a result, the U.S. is one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

COVID-19 metrics in southern states like Florida have plummeted in recent weeks while rising in many northern states, including heavily vaccinated ones. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Mississippi, for instance, have plunged some 95 percent from the peak of 5,018 on Aug. 19 to just 268 on Oct. 7. COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the state, one of the worst-hit in the nation, dropped from 1,667 on Aug. 19 to 403 on Thursday. Similar drops have been recorded in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, and Texas. At the same time, metrics have been rising in many northern states, including those in New England. Vermont, for instance, went from one case on July 5 to 286 on Oct. 1, and eight hospitalizations in the month of June to 160 in the month of September, though the metrics have been declining in recent days.

  • The Delta variant currently accounts for 99% of all the samples that TGen has tested. 

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. is down 20% over the past two weeks, even as while deaths are down by 20%. However, cases are still rising in some states including, Minnesota (+34%), Michigan (+29%), New Mexico (+26%), North Dakota (+25%), Colorado (+20%), Maine, (+11%), New Hampshire (+10%), Pennsylvania (+6%), Montana (+6%), Utah (+3%), and Idaho (+1%), based on New York Times data.

  • These are a mix of high and low vaccination rates, so the narrative that cases are higher in low vaccination states is not true.
  • About 15% of reported COVID-19 cases in Arizona in August were breakthrough infections among people fully vaccinated, according to state health officials.

The life expectancy of American men dropped by more than two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study has found. Oxford University said in the study published Monday that the life expectancy among men fell by 2.2 years in 2020, the largest drop since World War II.

The announcement by Merck that it plans to apply for emergency approval of a new experimental oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19 is of particular interest to many physicians who have been hindered or completely blocked from treating their COVID patients off-label with an FDA-approved drug (Ivermectin) that already is produced by the pharmaceutical giant, is FDA approved and inexpensive.

  • Could profitability be their primary objective here? Most likely.

A study by the European Model of Immunology found that 96 percent of test subjects who had been infected with COVID-19 still carried neutralizing antibodies eight months later. In addition, another study found that the immune systems of the vast majority of people who have been infected with the coronavirus will continue to carry antibodies against the virus for at least 12 months, according to a peer-reviewed study accepted by the European Journal of Immunology on Sept. 24.

Two studies this week added to a growing body of research that has found lingering COVID-19 symptoms to be common, especially among patients with severe cases. Among 270,000 people recovering from COVID-19 that researchers studied, 37% still had at least one symptom three to six months later, according to an Oxford University and the National Institute for Health Research study published Tuesday. Among he most common lingering symptoms the study found were trouble breathing, abdominal issues, fatigue, pain, and anxiety and depression.

In February 2020, President Trump’s  White House Coronavirus Task Force recommended masks and a standardized 6-foot social distancing requirement to stop the spread of Covid-19. One of former President Trump’s commissioners of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, told CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday that the six-foot social distancing rule created to slow the spread of the coronavirus was “arbitrary” and Dr. Gottlieb also admitted that “nobody knows where it came from.” The actual number the CDC wanted was 10 feet.

In a rare move, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky late Thursday overruled her agency’s advisory panel and added a recommendation for boosters for people whose jobs put them at risk of infection. The advisory panel had made a recommendation that largely mirrored an authorization issued a day earlier by the Food and Drug Administration, with a call for a third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people 65 and older, nursing home residents and people 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions six months after completing their second shot.

Covid-19 infections have continued to increase “exponentially” among children across the U.S. and now account for nearly 26% of all cases reported nationwide, according to data published Monday. Over the past week, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported the second highest total of new diagnoses among children over the course of the pandemic, with 225,978. “After declining in early summer, child cases have increased exponentially, with over 925,000 cases in the past four weeks,” AAP said. Still, children are far less likely than adults to suffer serious disease or to die from Covid-19. Among states that report hospitalizations by age, children make up between 1.6% and 4.2% of patients hospitalized for Covid-19.

The antiviral Remdesivir treatment reduced the risk of hospitalization among COVID-19 patients by 87% when administered soon after they were diagnosed, according to a new study. Gilead Sciences conducted the Phase 3 randomized, double-blind trial in which non-hospitalized patients received the antiviral through IV on three consecutive days. Unfortunately, that’s impractical for people outside of hospitals, experts say. Remdesivir, also known as Venklury, is already approved by U.S. drug regulators for use against COVID-19 but the approval is only for patients who are already hospitalized.

  • Monoclonal antibodies are designed to prevent hospitalization and only require a single dose , making them the preferred treatment. Monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs, are made in a laboratory to fight a particular infection—in this case, SARS-CoV-2—and are given to patients directly with an infusion (combinatorial drink).

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer, Philip Dormitzer, admits aborted fetus tissue is used in the company’s vaccine program, but that employees should just stick with Pfizer’s polished narrative omitting any mention of aborted fetal tissue to avoid any issues with the public. “HEK293T [Human Embryonic Kidney] cells, used for the IVE assay, are ultimately derived from an aborted fetus,” Dormitzer said in a video recorded by Project Veritas.. “On the other hand, the Vatican doctrinal committee has confirmed that they consider it acceptable for Pro-Life Believers to be immunized. Pfizer’s official statement couches the answer well and is what should be provided in response to an outside inquiry.”

Quillay trees, technically known as Quillaja saponaria, are rare evergreens native to Chile that have long been used by the indigenous Mapuche people to make soap and medicine. In recent years, they have also been used to make a highly successful vaccine against shingles and the world’s first malaria vaccine, as well as foaming agents for products in the food, beverage and mining industries. Now two saponin molecules, made from the bark of branches pruned from older trees in Chile’s forests, are being used for a COVID-19 vaccine developed by drugmaker Novavax Inc. The chemicals are used to make adjuvant, a substance that boosts the immune system. Over the next two years, Maryland-based Novavax plans to produce billions of doses of the vaccine, mostly for low- and middle-income countries, which would make it one of the largest COVID-19 vaccine suppliers in the world.

  • A vaccine made from natural substances is a much more ethical means of production than relying on aborted baby parts, much like the trees in Revelation 22:2 which produce leaves for healing in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth.

A hospital in Colorado rejected a woman for a kidney transplant after she refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine, officials have confirmed. Leilani Lutali received a letter on Sept. 28 informing her that the transplant team at the University of Colorado Hospital decided to designate her inactive on the waiting list for transplants. “You will be inactivated on the list for non-compliance by not receiving the COVID vaccine,” the letter states. If Lutali continues to refuse to get a vaccine, she “will be removed from the kidney transplant list,” it added.

New York City restaurateurs are complaining that their business has been slashed severely by the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which requires people 12 and older to show vaccination proof for indoor dining, indoor fitness, and indoor entertainment. Several restaurants say that their business is down by 40-50%.

A federal judge denied a request to block an employer’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on the basis of natural immunity on Friday. Jeanna Norris, who works at Michigan State University, challenged the school’s vaccine requirement on the basis that she had COVID-19 and recovered. After having two antibody tests showing her immunity, her doctor instructed her not to get the vaccine at this time. Yet, she faces termination for not complying with Michigan State University’s requirement that all staff and students get vaccinated by Aug. 31 unless they have a religious or medical exemption. The judge said the vaccine mandate doesn’t violate Ms. Norris’ fundamental rights and that Supreme Court precedent in Jacobson v. Massachusetts from 1905 gives states a right to require vaccinations.

  • A judge turned down a request from Oregon State Police troopers to halt Oregon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, slated to take effect later this month.

The effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine falls below 50 percent after five months, according to a new study published in The Lancet medical journal on Oct. 4. Researchers analyzed electronic health records of more than 3.4 million men and women who were members of the health care organization Kaiser Permanente Southern California between Dec. 14, 2020, and Aug. 8, and assessed the vaccine effectiveness up to six months after they were inoculated.

Antibody levels generated by two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can undergo up to a 10-fold decrease seven months following the second vaccination, research suggests. In a recent BioRxiv study published ahead of peer-review, many recipients of the vaccine displayed substantial waning of antibodies to the novel coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2, and its variants including Delta, Beta, and Mu.

Two other studies confirm that the immunity offered by two doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine drops off after about two months, although protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death holds strong. The reports, from Israel and Qatar, add to evidence that suggests even fully vaccinated people need to continue to guard against COVID-19 infection.

  • Project Veritas jumped into the debate over vaccine mandates with an undercover video that shows two Pfizer scientists agreeing that naturally acquired immunity offers more protection than vaccination from the novel coronavirus.

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize a second shot of its COVID-19 vaccine. The New Jersey-based company officially asked for an expansion of the emergency use authorization that U.S. regulators granted in late February for the single-shot vaccine. Johnson & Johnson says analysis of U.S. insurance claims show the vaccine proved effective in preventing infection and hospitalization but that clinical trial data revealed a second shot boosted that protection. The vaccine was 81 percent effective in preventing infections, according to the claims analysis, while a second shot increased protection against moderate to severe disease to 94 percent, according to the trial data.

A booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine gives elevated protection against the virus that causes COVID-19, the company said Tuesday. Johnson & Johnson said data from a Phase 3 clinical trial its researchers are helping run showed that a second shot of its vaccine provides 94 percent effectiveness against symptomatic COVID-19 in the United States. The booster, when given two months after the first shot, caused antibody levels in recipients to rise four to six times higher than the levels observed after the single shot, the company said. The trial also tested giving the booster six months after the initial jab. In those cases, antibodies climbed nine-fold one week after the booster and kept climbing, to 12-fold higher, a month after the booster.

Vaccine maker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Thursday submitted a request to the Food and Drug Administration, seeking emergency use authorization for its mRNA vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. If authorized, this would be the first coronavirus vaccine available to U.S. children younger than 12.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Friday denied a request from a group of New York City teachers to block the city’s vaccine mandate for public school employees. Sotomayor did not refer the request to the other Supreme Court justices, or comment on her action, likely signaling they agreed with her decision. In August, Justice Amy Coney Barrett likewise rejected an effort to block Indiana University’s vaccine mandate.

Vaccine mandates for employees are showing results. Immunization rates among health-care workers increased in New York and California after they were ordered to do so. New York hospital staff are 87 percent vaccinated as of Wednesday, an increase of 3 percentage points in a week, per state data. Other states are watching New York closely, because it has the earliest deadline in the nation for workers to comply with its mandate.

A large New York health care system on Monday said it fired 1,400 workers because they declined to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Northwell Health terminated approximately 2 percent of its workforce, which spans across New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. The workforce across the 23-hospital system is now 100 percent vaccinated, the system told news outlets in a statement.

  • A North Carolina hospital system announced that about 175 unvaccinated employees had been fired. Last week, 375 employees who had not yet complied with the health care system’s vaccine mandate were suspended and given five days to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 200 of them did.

The Los Angeles City Council on Oct. 6 approved one of the strictest COVID-19 vaccination mandates in the country, requiring proof of vaccination to enter indoor restaurants, movie theaters, salons, shopping centers, and many more indoor venues. People will have to provide vaccination proof at gyms, sports arenas, museums, spas, indoor government facilities, malls, restaurants, and bars. For people with religious or medical exemptions, negative COVID-19 tests within 72 hours of entry will be required, according to the ordinance, which doesn’t make mention of “natural immunity” afforded by a previous COVID-19 infection.

California will require a Covid-19 vaccination for in-person school attendance, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in San Francisco Friday morning. The requirements will be phased in by grade groups — 7-12 and K-6 — and will start for each group only after the FDA fully approves the vaccine for that cohort, the governor’s office said in a news release. The mandate will be a condition of in-person attendance, though independent study is an option for unvaccinated students.

More than 9 in 10 self-identified Democrats (92%) report that they have had at least one dose of one of the three vaccines for Covid-19. That number among Republicans? Just 56

Sheriffs across the United States are rising up against Joe Biden’s new vaccine mandates for private businesses, vowing not to enforce coercive COVID vaccination requirements in their counties or for their workforces. “I will not enforce my employees to get vaccinated,” Sheriff Jason Chennault of Cherokee County, Oklahoma declared last week, according to the Tahlequah Daily Press. “I will not enforce the public to get vaccinated.” Chennault echoed several other Oklahoma sheriffs who have promised to defy vaccine orders from the Biden administration in recent days. Similar statements of sheriffs against federal vaccine mandates have been reported in nearly a dozen states.

Police across the country are filing lawsuits, requesting exemptions and considering quitting or getting fired over their opposition to coronavirus vaccine mandates. A survey this month of 733 members of the San Diego Police Officers Association showed about 91% (667) do not believe vaccines should be mandated and 45% (333) said they would rather be fired than comply with a vaccine mandate. Seven Denver police officers sued local officials last week, arguing that it is unlawful to order city employees to be vaccinated by Thursday or face termination. Nearly 200 San Francisco police officers have applied for religious exemptions to avoid a required inoculation by Oct. 13 or risk being fired.

United Airlines announced Tuesday that only 593 of its workers face dismissal for not complying with the requirement to get a Covid-19 vaccine. That is less than 1% of its 67,000 US workers who are covered by the rule. About 2,000 other employees, or less than 3% of the workforce, have applied for a medical or religious exemption from the vaccine, and their cases are now being considered by the airline.

  • More U.S. air carriers—American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue—announced this week that they’ll be requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Novant Health, a North Carolina not-for-profit system of 15 medical centers with more than 2,300 physicians, said this week it had terminated roughly 175 employees for non-compliance with its mandatory Covid-19 vaccination program. More than 99% of Novant Health team members chose compliance, company President and CEO Carl Armato said.

New York healthcare workers and teachers who don’t want the COVID-19 vaccine will not only lose their jobs but could also be unable to get unemployment benefits. Once fired, the workers could be left without access to unemployment insurance unless they legitimately asked for a health or religious exemption, according to the state’s Department of Labor The Department explained that “eligibility will depend on the circumstances as each claim is unique and reviewed on a case-by-case basis.”.

A new study found that mothers-to-be who had either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine passed high levels of antibodies to their infants. Researchers from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine discovered that 100% of 36 newborns tested at the time of birth had protective antibodies after their mothers had received the vaccines.

Anti-vaccine residents of a village in Guatemala seized and held hostage a team of nurses who were trying to administer coronavirus shots Monday, authorities said. The team was held for about seven hours in the village of Nahuila, in the province of Alta Verapaz, north of Guatemala City. The villagers said they didn’t want the COVID shots, and later blocked a road and let the air out of the nurses’ tires. Police and local officials later negotiated their release. A cooler and about 50 doses of vaccine were destroyed.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

The United States experienced its biggest one-year increase (30%) on record in murders in 2020, according to new figures released by the F.B.I., with several cities hitting record highs. Although major crimes were down overall, an additional 4,901 murders were committed in 2020 compared with the year before, the largest leap since national records started in 1960. Overall, the toll of some 21,500 people killed last year is still well below the record set during the violence of the early 1990s. Still, several cities, like Albuquerque, Memphis, Milwaukee and Des Moines, are recording their highest murder numbers ever.

  • As Philadelphia surpassed 400 homicides this year as 0f 9/27, one city councilmember is calling for more police officers and more funding in the Democrat-controlled city riddled with gun violence..

One person is dead and 14 are injured after what’s believed to be at least the third supermarket shooting in the U.S. this year. Thirteen victims were hospitalized with four in critical condition. Police say that during the shooting, workers hid in offices and freezers, with one employee fleeing to the roof. “He kept on shooting, shooting, shooting,” cashier Brignetta Dickerson said, adding that the gunman started following her and others when they tried to escape. She said one of her co-workers was shot in the head, while a customer was shot in the stomach.

A 20-year-old gas station clerk  in Germany was fatally shot after asking a customer to wear a face mask. A 49-year-old German man was arrested in the fatal shooting Saturday in the western town of Idar-Oberstein. The suspect is being held on suspicion of murder. Authorities said the man told officers he acted “out of anger” after being refused service for not wearing a mask while trying to buy beer. “He further stated during interrogation that he rejected the measures against the coronavirus,” the Trier police department said in a statement.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

It’s not just happening in the air. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has gotten  nearly 3,000 calls about unruly passengers in the terminals as well as calls for police to meet flights arriving at the gate over the past year. The calls range from people refusing to wear masks to intoxicated passengers and  travelers interfering with flight crews and gate personnel.

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

Be it e-commerce, entertainment, education, or gaming, few areas of Chinese society have been left unscathed amid Beijing’s torrent of regulatory activity in recent months. China’s tech behemoths are handing months of profits to the regime in Beijing to demonstrate loyalty to the Communist Party. Popular actors have been erased from internet history with their devoted online fan groups disbanded. Young gamers now are allowed no more than three hours of playtime per week. Across Chinese classrooms, 147,000 newly minted inspectors have been deployed to oversee the national dissemination of the ideology of China’s top leader, Xi Jinping. The cascading crackdowns have been swift and puzzling, with some likening the Party’s attempts at social engineering to that which occurred during Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution in the 1960s.

Big Tech: But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. (Daniel 12:4)

Facebook is going through a major crisis after the whistleblower who was the source of The Wall Street Journal’s series of stories exposing the company’s awareness of internal research into the negative effects of its products and decisions went public on “60 Minutes” on Sunday. Frances Haugen was identified in a “60 Minutes” interview Sunday as the woman who anonymously filed complaints with federal law enforcement that the company’s own research shows how it magnifies hate and misinformation, leads to increased polarization and that Instagram, specifically, can harm teenage girls’ mental health. The Journal’s stories, called “The Facebook Files,” painted a picture of a company focused on growth and its own interests instead of the public good.

Racism/Division: Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all,but rather division.For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. (Luke 12:51-52) Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. (Matthew 10:34) And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another… And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will growcold. (Matthew 24:10,12)

The FBI’s latest annual report on hate crimes seemed to deliver more grim news about race relations in America, announcing a nearly 40% rise in anti-black hate crimes in 2020. Some of the biggest increases in anti-black hate crimes occurred in Democratic Party strongholds. Perhaps surprisingly, almost no increases were reported in major cities rent by the racially tinged protests and riots after George Floyd’s murder. The FBI dataset tallies reported hate crimes, not the number proven in court.

The hopes of striking a deal to overhaul policing policies are “out of reach,” the Senate Democrat’s top negotiator conceded Wednesday. Sen. Cory Booker, New Jersey Democrat, declared the deal dead but vowed to fight on a racial justice makeover of America’s police departments. “After months of exhausting every possible pathway to a bipartisan deal, it remains out of reach right now,” he said.

Health: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

New statistics from the Centers for Disease Control reveal that childhood obesity shot up significantly over the past 18 months as government officials and teachers unions closed schools, playgrounds and parks. “Among a cohort of 432,302 persons aged 2–19 years, the rate of body mass index (BMI) increase approximately doubled during the pandemic compared to a pre-pandemic period. Persons with pre-pandemic overweight or obesity and younger school-aged children experienced the largest increases,” the CDC reports.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

In Senate testimony regarding mask mandates and other COVID-19 protocols, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said parents should not be the “primary stakeholder” in their children’s education. Parents are “important stakeholders,” Cardona said, but educators must determine the programs. “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

  • Public schools have become indoctrination centers for the anti-God religion of secular humanism.

A school district in Minnesota is drawing fire from members of its community for a series of lessons that has students play-act sex scenarios as a transgender, or as a homosexual. Alphanews profiled the fight that has erupted in the Richfield Public Schools over its use of a “sexual education program that asks straight students to role play homosexual relationships and teaches kids about anal sex.”

  • Oversexualizing children, discounting parental influence is all part of the wider plan to decimate God’s ordained family structure and sexual morality.

Teacher shortages and difficulties filling job openings have been reported in Tennessee, New Jersey, and South Dakota, which saw one school district begin the year with 120 teacher vacancies. The shortage comes amid a spike in retirements and resignations of teachers prompted by the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a June poll that surveyed 2,690 members of the National Education Association between May 19 and May 26, one-third of members reported plans to leave education sooner than they had initially planned as a result of the pandemic, which could further exacerbate the existing teacher shortage. Public schools across the United States were already suffering from teacher shortages, particularly in math, science, special education, and languages, prior to the pandemic. But several of them have now been forced to shut down and return to remote learning amid further unfilled vacancies.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Citizens in Australia’s largest cities have taken to the streets in protest of strict coronavirus lockdowns and mandatory vaccination for workers, with police Wednesday in Melbourne firing rubber bullets, stinger grenades and pepper balls on the third day of violent demonstrations. Residents of Melbourne have been under a strict lockdown for 230 days that includes a 9 p.m. curfew. Police arrested 215 protesters throughout the day, and two officers suffered head injuries.

Thousands gathered near Central Park in Manhattan to express their discontent with the vaccine mandates and passport requirements implemented on the city by Mayor Bill de Blasio this month. Participants chanted “my body, my choice,” “no vaccine passports,” and “freedom over fear!” New York City started enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate Monday, with de Blasio warning that “there’ll be consequences” for those who do not follow the rules. The mandate requires establishments to put up certain signage and verify customers’ COVID-19 vaccine proof, such as vaccination cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York City vaccination records, other official immunization records, the NYC COVID Safe App, or the Excelsior Pass.

A group of almost 100 people, mostly African Americans, gathered at The Brooklyn Bank in New York to express their opposition to vaccine mandates on Oct. 2. New York City has implemented vaccine mandates on healthcare workers, school staff, and all those who work or patronize restaurants, bars, nightclubs, catering halls, event spaces, gyms, fitness centers, pools, theaters, museums, aquariums, and zoos. According to recent NYC.gov data, blacks are the least vaccinated ethnic group, with 40 percent of them considered fully vaccinated. “Black Americans all across America are waking up! They realize modern-day slavery is upon them again,” Kevin Jenkins, CEO of Urban Global Health Alliance, told The Epoch Times.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

The Maricopa County election review hit a crescendo Friday when its results were presented to the Arizona Senate Republicans who ordered it in the heated aftermath of last year’s presidential election. Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, said that the hand recount of ballots showed Joe Biden won the election in Maricopa County, cementing his win in Arizona. She added, though, that she believed there were “broken statutes” and flawed election procedures — issues that she would turn over to Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate. Instead of creating any kind of proof that Trump actually won in Maricopa County, the Cyber Ninjas report showed he actually lost by a slightly larger margin than was in the county’s official election results.

  • However, about 57,000 ballot were found to be ‘illegal’ and will be further investigated.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Amid public reassurances that the southwest border is under control, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas earlier this week asked senior officials if they were prepared to handle as many as 400,000 migrants crossing in October, nearly double the 21-year high in July. Two unnamed DHS officials who told NBC News of the phone call said the department is worried about a massive spike in migrants as the court-ordered repeal of the Title 42 expulsion policy took effect last week. Title 42 is the order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Trump administration authorizing border officers to immediately reject asylum seekers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Axios reported Panama’s foreign minister has warned that as many as 60,000 more migrants, mostly Haitian, are heading to the United States through her country. She said the Biden administration seemed caught off guard after “we sounded the alarm.”

Fifteen thousand Haitians arrived at the southern U.S. border last month. Thousands of them encamped at Del Rio, Texas, after entering the U.S. through the Rio Grande, and were awaiting either deportation from U.S. authorities or deciding to stay put and seek asylum. Most of those migrants, experts say, were already in Central America, as powerful natural disasters and an often-dysfunctional government in Haiti prompted a steady flow of out-migration for more than a decade. But now, with economic opportunities drying up in Latin America as the pandemic continues, the Haitian migrants traveled north to seek asylum in the U.S.

  • Thousands of Haitians have fled the country due to a combination of political instability following the assassination of the president in August and an earthquake in the same month that left more than 1,200 people dead.

No Haitian migrants are left at the makeshift camp in Del Rio, Texas along the Mexico border. That comes just a week after nearly 15,000 migrants had gathered at the site. So where did they go? Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas admitted last Sunday that the vast majority of Haitian migrants who crossed the southern U.S. border in recent weeks have already been released into the United States, and it is possible that more will follow them. So far, approximately 12,400 of the people are having their cases heard by immigration judges, while another 5,000 are being processed by the Department of Homeland Security. Currently,, only 3,000 are in detention.

  • The Mexican government offering the Haitian migrants in a makeshift camp in park near the Rio Grande the opportunity to stay in Mexico to proceed with legal residency and work permit procedures there, Acuña Deputy Mayor Felipe Basulto Corona announced Friday. If they accept the offer, they would vacate the park and move to a rented private building in Acuña being used by Mexican immigration authorities.

Nearly 30,000 Haitian migrants have already made their way over the U.S.-Mexico border in recent weeks, but Panama’s foreign minister says far more are on their way – and she has been sounding the alarm for months. In a new interview with Axios, Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes said that since the beginning of 2021 more than 85,000 Haitians have crossed through Panama and that she believes “they all are heading toward the U.S.” The Haitians have been coming from Colombia, traveling through the dangerous Darién Gap jungles into Panama before making their way northward through Central American and Mexico to to the U.S. Mouynes said senior officials from South American countries, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. met in August to address the issue, and she thought it was “shocking” that this had not happened sooner.

It’s not just Haitians, and it’s not just Texas where the border seems out of control. Some 3,400 migrants — most of them Brazilian, Venezuelan or Cuban — were mired in Border Patrol holding facilities in Yuma, Arizona, over last weekend, according to the sheriff, who said he has never seen such unruliness. “It’s getting a lot worse,” said Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot. “I’ve never seen it this bad with Border Patrol having to hold so many, and dealing with the issues we’re dealing with now because the administration won’t enforce the law.” Agents have been pulled off the border to help with caretaking duties.

The Biden administration revealed its plans for an updated DACA program Monday, looking to overcome a court ruling that struck down the original program this summer for not going through the full regulatory process. Homeland Security is trying to fix that problem with the new proposal by announcing the plan and making it available for notice and comment. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said many of the 825,000 people who have been granted a tentative foothold in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program since 2012 have gone on to become valuable members of their communities, and he said putting the program on firm legal footing is long overdue.

During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas gave alarming figures about the 60,000 Afghan evacuees who are already in the United States. Appearing to confirm previous reporting that a “majority” of Special Immigrant Visa holders were left behind in Afghanistan—Mayorkas said only about 3 percent, or roughly 1,800, of those who have come so far are SIVs. Furthermore, 7% are U.S. citizens while 6 percent are lawful permanent residents. “The balance of that population are individuals whose applications have not yet been processed for approval who may qualify as SIVs and have not yet applied, who qualify, or would qualify, I should say, as P1 or P2 refugees who have been employed by the United States government in Afghanistan and are otherwise vulnerable Afghan nationals, such as journalists, human rights advocates, etc.,” he said.

  • Sounds like they have no idea what’s really going on.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

Uncle Sam ended fiscal 2021 deep in the red, the Congressional Budget Office said Friday, calculating the government ran a $2.8 trillion deficit, the second-worst on record. The COVID-19 pandemic has pried open the government’s wallet unlike anything since World War II, pushing spending even higher in 2021 than it was in 2020. But the economy recovered enough to lift revenue, so the overall deficit was a little better this year. Spending in 2021 was $2.4 trillion more than it was in 2019, the last full year before COVID-19, the analysts said.

  • CBO’s estimate comes as Congress is debating a new round of spending in Democrats’ $3.5 trillion makeover of the nation’s social welfare policies. That would come on top of a historic spike in spending over the past 18 months.

The Senate Thursday night ended a partisan stalemate over the nation’s debt ceiling that had threatened to roil global financial markets, agreeing to a temporary extension that portends another showdown in early December. By a 50-48 vote, the Democratic-led Senate approved the two-month extension. Some Senate Republicans joined Democrats in ending a filibuster, allowing the bill to reach the floor and pass with a simple majority.

The U.S. economy added 194,000 jobs in September, another weak month heading into final stretch of 2021. Economists were expecting the addition of 500,000 new jobs. Overall, the economy is down 5 million jobs from pre-pandemic employment level. The labor market had shown signs of snapping back quickly earlier this year, but it softened in the late summer amid fears about a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic. Washington’s political leaders are split over how much assistance to offer the economy at this stage in the recovery.

  • Before the pandemic, we needed to add between 150,000 and 200,000 new hires each month just to keep up with population growth. And according to the latest number that we just got from the government, the civilian labor force actually decreased by 183,000 last month. The civilian labor force is also way down from pre-pandemic levels.  In fact, right now it is currently at a level that is about 3 million lower than the pre-pandemic peak.
  • Over 10 million jobs remain unfilled. Even as the unemployment rate dropped, the participation rate also declined from 61.7% to 61.6% as the civilian labor force somehow shrank in September by 183K to 161.354 million. Because of population growth, over time the number of Americans that are employed and the civilian labor force should both steadily grow.
  • Child-care employment is down more than 126,000 positions as workers leave for higher-paying positions as bank tellers, administrative assistants and retail clerks. Parents are struggling to return to work as daycare and after school programs dwindle.

Right now, there is an epic shortage of labor all over the globe and no one has yet been able to pinpoint the source of the problem. Pandemic economic assistance has gone away now and yet millions upon millions of people all over the world that were working before the pandemic are now seemingly unavailable to work now. If we simply had enough workers to do all of the jobs that needed to be done, a lot of our global supply chain problems would disappear very rapidly. Some 69% of employers worldwide are having trouble finding the people they need, with countries like India, Romania and Singapore reporting a particularly difficult time hiring. The poll results, which include data from over 45,000 employers from 43 countries and territories, underscores just how desperate companies are getting. While half of them are dangling monetary incentives, 20% are offering non-financial benefits like extra vacation days Whether it’s fruit pickers, slaughterhouse workers, truckers, warehouse operators, chefs or waiters, the global food ecosystem is buckling due to a shortage of staff.

The New York Post is reporting that the “real cost” to families from “Biden inflation” is already reaching $175 a month. The report said “supply shortages and massive government spending” has made inflation “an added tax on middle-class Americans coming out of the COVID lockdowns.” The report said for those with the U.S. median annual income of about $70,000, that means another $175 a month on food, fuel and housing.

Jobless benefits ended in September, marking the end of the longest period of unemployment help in American history. But the pandemic isn’t over. October will be the leading edge of a tsunami of increasingly poignant stories of many people trying to avoid homelessness and dealing with bills coming due that can’t be paid.

  • Scammers were able to pocket nearly $4.3 billion, or 30% of the $16 billion in unemployment insurance payments sent out by Arizona since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the director of the state agency overseeing the program said Thursday. Most of that money is probably lost forever because it was siphoned off by out-of-state or overseas scammers who took advantage of the lack of identity verification early in the program.

In an open letter Wednesday to heads of state attending the United Nations General Assembly, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and other industry groups warned of a “global transport system collapse” if governments do not restore freedom of movement to transport workers and give them priority to receive vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization. “Global supply chains are beginning to buckle as two years’ worth of strain on transport workers take their toll,” the groups wrote. Guy Platten, secretary general of the ICS, said that worker shortages are likely to worsen towards the end of the year because seafarers may not want to commit to new contracts and risk not making it home for Christmas given port shutdowns and constant changes to travel restrictions.

Consumer prices in the United States and most other leading economies will rise faster than previously anticipated, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in its newest economic outlook, while urging central banks to set out clear strategies for managing inflationary pressures. The rate of consumer price inflation is projected at 3.7 percent in 2021 on average in the Group of 20 leading economies, before rising to 3.9 percent in 2022, the Paris-based organization said in its September economic outlook. The outlook for inflation varies markedly around the world. It has risen sharply in the U.S. and some emerging market economies but remains relatively low in many other advanced economies, particularly in Europe,” the OECD said.

  • Economists have had to ratchet up their projections about inflation several times over the past year and will have to do so even more as the end-time economy moves into stagflation and then depression.

A key measure of inflation hit a new 30-year high in August, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday. The price index tracking consumer spending — the PCE price index — was up 4.3% over the 12 months ending in August. That was a faster pace than July’s 4.2%. Inflation has continued to run at the fastest pace since January 1991.

Costco’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti told market analysts what it’s like doing business now: “Inflationary factors abound: higher labor costs, higher freight costs, higher transportation demand, along with container shortages and port delays, increased demand in certain product categories, various shortages of everything from computer chips to oils and chemicals, higher commodities prices.” This has all led to in-store shortages with purchase limits on several products, including toilet paper once again.

Surging shopper demand coupled with shipping container shortages and bottlenecks at ports have already triggered tighter supply of products, from cars to shoes. In particular, some of America’s biggest sellers of clothing and shoes cite another catalyst that has compounded the pressure: factory closures in Vietnam stemming from a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak there. That’s led brands from PacSun to Nike to warn about the effects on their supply.

New car sales plunged over the last three months in the United States despite strong demand, as the shortage of computer chips and other supply chain issues caused shutdowns at auto factories and choked off the supply of vehicles. General Motors reported sales fell a third from a year-ago last quarter, and they were off 40% from the same quarter of 2019 before the pandemic roiled the car market.

  • The shortage of vehicles has also led to record-high prices for both new and used cars for much of this year, which has also been a drag on sales, as some buyers have been priced out of the new car market.

Prices for natural gas, the most common way to heat homes and a leading fuel source for generating electricity, have surged more than 180% over the past 12 months to $5.90 per million British thermal units. Natural gas hasn’t been this expensive since February 2014. Nations are more reliant than ever on natural gas to heat homes and power industries amid efforts to quit coal and increase the use of cleaner energy sources. But there isn’t enough gas to fuel the post-pandemic recovery and refill depleted stocks before the cold months. Countries are trying to outbid one another for supplies as exporters such as Russia move to keep more natural gas home. The crunch will get a lot worse when temperatures drop.

The price of regular unleaded gas rose two cents from a week ago to an average of $3.20, a level not seen since October 2014, according to the American Automobile Association. However, the average price for unleaded gas has a way to go to hit the record high of $4.11 on July 17, 2008

The national median rent rose to $1,302 in September, up 15% from a year ago, according to a report from Apartment List, a rental listing site. After falling for much of 2020, rents are now rising much faster than before the pandemic. Since January, the national median rent has increased by 16.4%.

Low-wage workers are making “eye-popping” gains in their paychecks, according to Goldman Sachs. The bank told clients in a note Thursday that low-wage-worker pay rose 5.3% year-over-year in the second quarter. For the third quarter, the data isn’t complete yet, but preliminary readings are on pace for a three-decade high of 6%. Some industries posted even more significant increases in wages during the second quarter, including a 13% year-over-year spike for leisure and hospitality nonsupervisory workers.

Weekly claims for unemployment benefits rose to 332,000 last week, marking the second increase in a row. Claims last week went up particularly sharply in Louisiana, which is likely still seeing the devastating impact from hurricane Ida play out in its labor market.

There’s such an imbalance in the supply of homes and the number of people who want to become homeowners that the U.S. needs 5.24 million more homes to catch up to demand., according to Realtor,com. The millennial generation is the largest now in the U.S., and this is a group that is in its prime household-formation years. As a result, 12.3 million new households have been formed since 2012, while just 7 million new homes were built during that time.

Mail delivery started slowing down Friday, October 1. Higher prices are soon to follow. The nation’s mail service is preparing to implement core components of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year plan for the agency, a program designed to cut costs and raise new revenue to fix its many financial problems.

The latest problem spot is Germany, where manufacturing production fell 4.7% in August compared to the previous month. Industrial output was 9% below its February 2020 level.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

Last year as part of the U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey, researchers randomly polled millennials and Generation Z members from all 50 states. And they found a troubling lack of knowledge about the Holocaust. Sixty-three percent of the people they surveyed didn’t know that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. And 11 percent of the group actually thought that Jews caused the Holocaust.

  • Israel plays a key role in the last days. The apostle Paul wrote, “I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters, so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ” (Romans 11:25 NLT).

The Biden administration has been quietly demanding that Israel freeze settlement construction and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is listening, Axios reported Thursday. Since then, the Israeli planning committee that has to approve any construction has not met. This is not accidental, according to a “senior Israeli official” Axios quoted. “There is great sensitivity right now with the Americans about settlements,” said the official.

House Democratic leadership stripped funding for Israel’s missile defense system from its government spending and debt ceiling hike bill on Tuesday, after a group of progressive members threatened to block the legislation unless the aid was withdrawn. The decision to remove the $1 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome interception system—which is estimated to have saved thousands of Israeli civilian lives from terrorist rocket attacks—signals House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D., Calif.) willingness to cave to the increasingly anti-Israel views of her progressive members.

  • However, the progressive “Squad” of Democrats were then overwhelmingly defeated in a bipartisan 420 – 9 vote on Thursday. “Thank you to the members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans alike, for the overwhelming support for Israel and for the commitment to its security,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in a statement.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Israel’s current coalition government will not allow a two-state solution in which the Palestinians are handed their own state, Israel’s Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked declared. Speaking to UAE-based media outlet The National on Tuesday, Shaked said that a two-state solution is not on the table, also ruling out any land-for-peace deals. Making it clear that she believes the status quo is preferable, she added: “The current situation is the best for everyone… We do believe in economic peace to improve Palestinian lives and to do mutual industrial zones.”

A ruling by a local Israeli court in favor of a Jewish man who prayed quietly at the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem has angered Muslim authorities, who denounced it on Thursday as a violation of the fragile status quo governing the compound. The Temple Mount is the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest site for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount because it was the location of the ancient Jewish Temples. It is the emotional epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and tensions there helped ignite the 11-day Gaza war in May. Under informal understandings, Jews are allowed to visit but not pray there.

A deadly attack on an oil tanker by explosive-laden drones. Unmanned aircraft launched from the Gaza Strip hitting Israeli neighborhoods. Strikes on Saudi Arabian refineries and pipelines and on bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq. Behind this wave of attacks, U.S., European and Israeli defense officials say: Iran and its allies across the Middle East. They say Tehran’s rapidly developing ability to build and deploy drones is changing the security equation in a region already on edge. The drones themselves are often made with widely available components used in the ever-growing commercial drone market

Iran is now targeting Israelis who are out of the country for assassination. The Islamic Republic of Iran has tried to carry out a coordinated attack against Israeli businessmen in Cyprus, the Prime Minster’s Office confirmed Monday. Last week, Cypriot authorities arrested an Azeri national carrying a Russian passport. Following an investigation that was put under a gag order, authorities said the suspect is believed to be a hitman hired by Tehran to attack Israeli citizens currently in the country, Cypriot media reported.

Trump administration sanctions on Iran decimated the hardline regime’s trade with the world’s largest economies, knocking it from $46 billion in 2019 to $28 billion in 2020, according to a non-public report sent by the Biden administration to Congress earlier this month. The roughly $18 billion decrease in trade was a significant blow to Iran’s attempts to gain access to hard currency amid an ongoing cash crunch that has ruined the country’s economy and sparked nationwide protests. Overall, the reimposition of sanctions, which began in 2018, decreased Iran’s trade by more than $70 billion.

A recent report from UNICEF that said more than one million children in Afghanistan are now going hungry. By year’s end, the United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that 97% of the country will be below the poverty line. In addition, Afghanistan’s capital could be plunged into darkness as the winter sets in because the country’s new Taliban rulers haven’t paid Central Asian electricity suppliers or resumed collecting money from consumers. Unless addressed, the situation could cause a humanitarian disaster, warned Daud Noorzai, who resigned as chief executive of the country’s state power monopoly

Lebanon’s two main power plants were forced to shut down after running out of fuel, the state electricity company said Saturday, leaving the small country with no government-produced power. The shortage of diesel and fuel, along with an antiquated infrastructure, has worsened power cuts that have been a fixture for years. Blackouts that used to last for three to six hours could now leave entire areas with no more than two hours of state power a day.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday vowed to retake Taiwan and blamed the decades-long separation of the island state on past Chinese weakness. In a speech in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People to hundreds of masked Communist Party officials, Mr. Xi said, “The Taiwan issue arise from national weakness and chaos. It will definitely be resolved with the rejuvenation of the nation.” Mr. Xi said the division between Taiwan and China should be resolved peacefully but warned that those who betray the motherland and divide the country “never end up well.”

Taunting Taiwan with the power of its arsenal and its potential to close its fist upon the island, 93 Chinese military jets entered Taiwan’s air defense one over three straight days. In recent months, China has stepped up its antagonistic rhetoric and actions toward Taiwan, which it considers to be its territory. Taiwan became a separate nation in 1949 when the former nationalist government took refuge there after losing the civil war to the Communist government. “Coming on Oct. 1, China’s National Day, it sends a message about Beijing’s determination to claim Taiwan, by force if necessary,” said Adam Ni, an analyst of Chinese military policy.

The CIA created a new center focused on China, reflecting country’s status as U.S.’s chief strategic adversary. CIA Director William J. Burns characterized the China Mission Center as an effort to “further strengthen our collective work on the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century, an increasingly adversarial Chinese government.” A senior CIA official drew comparisons to the Cold War fight against the Soviet Union, but said China was a more formidable and complicated rival given the size of its economy, which is deeply entwined with that of the United States.

On Sunday, Houthi rebels in Yemen fired ballistic missiles into the strategically important city of Marib, killing two children and wounding more than 30 people. The attack is a continuation of the Houthis’ months-long assault on Marib, the last stronghold in northern Yemen of the internationally recognized Yemeni government. This attack by the Iran-backed group, a previously U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity, compounds the dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen, impedes United Nations-led efforts to stem the fighting, and moves the Houthis closer to assuming near total control over northern Yemen and its gas and oil infrastructure.

A series of attacks killed at least five people in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on Wednesday, the latest outbreak of violence in an area where Islamic State’s regional affiliate is mounting a challenge to the Taliban’s control of the country. Militants carried out at least two bombings and a gun attack Wednesday in Jalalabad, Nangarhar’s provincial capital. In the shooting attack, at least two Taliban fighters and a civilian were killed, according to local residents. Islamic State-Khorasan Province, or ISKP, claimed responsibility for the attacks. Wednesday’s bloodshed in Jalalabad followed improvised-explosive-device attacks over the weekend on Taliban patrols that killed several fighters in the city. ISKP also claimed those strikes on what it described as “the apostate Taliban militia.” While both the Taliban and ISKP want to impose strict Islamic rule over Afghanistan, the two groups have profound political and religious differences, and have repeatedly fought each other since Islamic State’s regional franchise was established in 2015.

  • The Taliban say they want to have friendly relations with all nations, including the U.S., and have just designated an ambassador to the United Nations. Islamic State doesn’t recognize the idea of a modern nation-state and seeks global conquest.
  • A roadside bomb hit a Taliban car in Eastern Afghanistan injuring at least one person, no one has claimed responsibility, but the Islamic State group said it was behind similar attacks in the City of Jalalabad last week that killed 12 people.

Hunger and food insecurity could lead to increased social unrest, instability and violence in Africa, according to a report by the South African-based Institute for Security Studies. ISS argues that food shortages caused by “supply chain disruptions, climatic shocks, rapid spikes in commodity prices and lockdowns” have “created fertile ground for unrest.” The report demonstrates that food insecurity leads not only to hunger and starvation but also to the increased likelihood of violence. This would include Islamist terrorism and persecution of Christians.

  • The World Food Program Between 720 and 811 million people in the world went to bed on an empty stomach each night in 2020. In addition, an estimated 22% of children under 5 were stunted (too short for their age), 6.7% were wasted (too thin for their height), and 5.7% were overweight (too heavy for their height). estimates that the pandemic has more than doubled the number of people facing food crises worldwide.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

The Taliban on Saturday ruled out cooperation with the United States to contain extremist groups in Afghanistan, staking out an uncompromising position on a key issue ahead of the first direct talks between the former foes since America withdrew from the country in August. Senior Taliban officials and U.S. representatives are to meet Saturday and Sunday in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Officials have said issues include reining in extremist groups and the evacuation of foreign citizens and Afghans from the country. The Taliban have signaled flexibility on evacuations.

An explosion went off Friday among Shiite Muslim worshippers at a mosque in northern Afghanistan, killing or wounding at least 100 people, a Taliban police official said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which took place in Kunduz, the capital of Kunduz province, but militants from the Islamic State group have a long history of attacking Afghanistan’s Shiite Muslim minority.

Suspected Fulani militants have killed 12 Christians during a raid on Peigyim village, near Kibori, in the Atyap Chiefdom of Zango-Kataf local government area of Kaduna state, in Nigeria’s Middle Belt. The attack came less than 24 hours after the murder of Pastor Silas Yakubu Ali in the same locality. Yakubu was ambushed and killed by unidentified assailants. The attackers also killed another man in Atakshusho village about two miles away.

A bomb exploded in the entrance of a mosque in the Afghan capital on Sunday leaving a “number of civilians dead,” a Taliban spokesman said. The bomb targeted the sprawling Eidgah Mosque in Kabul, where a memorial service was being held for the mother of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. Emergency NGO, an Italian-funded hospital in Kabul, tweeted it had received four people wounded in the blast. Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, attacks by Islamic State group militants against them have increased. The rise has raised the possibility of a wider conflict between the two extremist groups.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

An earthquake struck Harnai, about 60 miles east of Quetta, Pakistan, on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. The powerful quake collapsed at least one coal mine and dozens of mud houses in southwest Pakistan early Thursday morning, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 200.

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake that struck the southeastern Australia state of Victoria on Wednesday, September 30, was felt in the country’s second most-populous city, Melbourne. Residents described their shock and surprise as houses across the city began to shake, in a city which has not had an earthquake of a similar size in decades. There have been no reports of injuries so far. However, videos posted to social media show several damaged homes and rubble in the streets. The temblor was so strong it was felt as far away as Adelaide in South Australia, 500 miles away, and Sydney in New South Wales to the north, more than 600 miles away.

Volcanoes: Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. (Psalm 144:5); The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, (Psalms 97:5)

Hawaii’s Kīlauea volcano, one of the most active on Earth, has begun erupting again, with lava fountains forming and smoke billowing from the crater at the volcano’s summit. The eruption at the Halemaʻumaʻu crater, however, appeared to be contained within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and posed no threat to homes in the area for now.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma has occasionally twitched, convulsed, and rumbled, but no lava had emerged since 1971. That changed last weekend. At 3:12 p.m. local time on September 19, rising magma tore open several fissures on its western flanks, and a major eruption began. From afar, it looked spectacular. Fountains of lava almost 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit screamed skyward, reaching heights of up to 5,000 feet—nearly twice that of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper. On the earth below, rivers of molten rock poured from the fissures gobbling up several homes in its path. As of the afternoon of September 20, the latest eruption showed no signs of slowing down. Most of the island remains unaffected, but 5,000 people in the path of the fiery streams have been evacuated. More than 20 houses have been destroyed.

  • Seven days after the volcano on La Palma erupted, lava flow and ash continue to spread shutting down the local airport and leaving hundreds without a home. As of Friday, almost 6,000 people have evacuated.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

A pipeline spill of about 3,000 barrels of oil — or roughly 126,000 gallons of post-production crude – 5 miles off the coast of Southern California is a “potential ecological disaster,” Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said Saturday. By Sunday morning, “We’ve started to find dead birds & fish washing up on the shore,” Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley tweeted. Foley said the leak was about 5 miles off the coast of Huntington Beach, and oil has started washing up on the shores of the city of 200,000 people. As of Sunday morning, the leak has not been completely stopped. Martyn Willsher, CEO of Amplify Energy, issued a terse statement Monday saying the company has sent a remotely operated vehicle to investigate and attempt to confirm source of the release.

The ivory-billed woodpecker, along with 22 other species of birds, fish, mussels and other wildlife, is set to be declared extinct and removed from the endangered species list, U.S. federal wildlife officials announced Wednesday. Also slated for delisting are the Bachman’s warbler, two species of freshwater fishes, eight species of Southeastern freshwater mussels and 11 species from Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.” For the species proposed for delisting today, the protections of the (Endangered Species Act) came too late, with most either extinct, functionally extinct, or in steep decline at the timing of listing,” the US Fish and Wildlife Service said. “The circumstances of each also underscore how human activity can drive species decline and extinction, by contributing to habitat loss, overuse and the introduction of invasive species and disease. The growing impacts of climate change are anticipated to further exacerbate these threats and their interactions,” the wildlife agency said.

The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized the first major step taken under President Joe Biden to curb climate change, releasing new regulations to phase down the use of a potent greenhouse gas used in refrigeration. Emissions would be cut by 85% over 15 years. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute joined with other business groups in praising the regulation as balanced and a “win-win for both the climate and the economy.” Critics have charged that the restrictions will hurt consumers whose air conditioners and refrigerators run on the affordable refrigerant.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

In a year of extreme heat, Antarctica’s last six months were the coldest on record. “For the polar darkness period, from April through September, the average temperature was -77.6 degrees Fahrenheit, a record for those months,” the National Snow and Ice Data Center said. For the entire Antarctic continent, the winter of 2021 was the second-coldest on record, with the temperature for June, July, and August 6.1 degrees Fahrenheit)lower than the 1981 to 2010 average of -81.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • End-time weather will not just be warmer, but more extreme in every way.

Signs of the Times: September 18, 2021

September 18, 2021

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.In My Father’s house are manymansions; if it were not so,I would have told you.I go to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you,I will come again and receive you to Myself; thatwhere I am, there you may be also.  (John 14:1-3)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Megadrought conditions remained the same across most of the western U.S., but improved significantly in Arizona and New Mexico, where the percentage of the state in severe to exceptional drought declined in Arizona from 95% to 40% over the past two weeks, while New Mexico decreased from 88% to 47%.

On Thursday, a federal judge denied the Biden administration’s request to immediately block Texas’ heartbeat abortion ban, saying the law presents complex issues that require presentations by both sides in court. US District Judge Robert Pitman, a nominee of President Barack Obama, issued a one-page ruling denying the Department of Justice’s request for an expedited schedule examining the constitutionality of the law, which went into effect Sept. 1.

A federal judge on Tuesday granted an emergency injunction blocking the state of New York from enforcing a new Covid-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. Seventeen medical health professionals had asked the court to enjoin enforcement of New York’s mandate that then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Aug. 16. The mandate required staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, adult care facilities, and other congregate care settings, be vaccinated for COVID-19 to continue to be employed. The plaintiffs, including doctors, nurses, a medical technician, and a physician’s liaison, were facing termination, loss of hospital admitting privileges, and the destruction of their careers unless they consent to be vaccinated with vaccines in contradiction of their religious beliefs, the lawsuit argued. Their religious beliefs compelled the plaintiffs “to refuse vaccination with the available COVID-19 vaccines, all of which employ aborted fetus cell lines in their testing, development, or production,” according to court documents.

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

A quarrel is brewing between the U.S. and France over the Biden administration’s decision to help Australia develop a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, among other defense technologies, in a deal unveiled by the White House on Wednesday. Because of its deal with the U.S., Australia has cancelled its submarine contract with the French. “A knife in the back,” France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian. The pact, which also includes the United Kingdom, is meant to counter growing Chinese military aggression in the Indo-Pacific. And so the Chinese are mad, too.

  • Increasing rifts and wars will usher in the global government and the anti-Christ.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain), and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

Federal law enforcement officers are now prohibited from the use of “chokeholds” and “carotid restraints” in most instances, and instances in which agents can perform “no-knock” or unannounced entries have been limited, the U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday. Newly established department-wide policies “explicitly” ban officers from using such restraints, unless deadly force has been authorized. The new DOJ policy also decreases the circumstances in which “no knock” entries are permitted but allows for such entries when an agent “has reasonable grounds to believe that knocking and announcing the agent’s presence would create an imminent threat of physical violence to the agent and/or another person,” the DOJ said.

  • As law enforcement is being defunded and hampered by new restrictive policies, crime is surging across all large cities in the U.S. Obtaining authorization in advance takes time and adds another layer of bureaucracy. Often, the situation on the ground is urgent and fluid. Procedural days can make a life-or-death difference.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

Grammy-award-winning singer-songwriter Victory Boyd says that the NFL canceled her national anthem performance at last week’s season opener because she refuses to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Boyd, a devout Black Christian, was supposed to make an appearance during the leagues’ season opener between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys last Thursday. Boyd, said that her reasons for not getting vaccinated are grounded in her Christian faith. “The Bible admonishes Christians to appreciate their bodies as being sacred and a temple of the Holy Spirit and to not participate in things that can defile the body or render the body dysfunctional,” she said.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

About 1 in 500 Americans have died of Covid-19 according to the CDC. More than 663,000 people in the United States have succumbed to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus since early last year. People older than 85 make up only 2% of the population, but they comprise a quarter of the total death toll. One in 35 people 85 or older died of covid, compared with 1 in 780 for people of ages 40 to 64. About 1 in 240 Native Americans succumbed to the disease along with 1 in 390 for Hispanics, 1 in 460 for Blacks and 1 out of 1,300 for Whites.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported there were 4 million COVID-19 cases last week, reflecting the first marked decline in more than two months. In recent weeks, there were running about 4.4 million cases. All regions worldwide reported declines in new infections compared to the prior week. The U.S., U.K., India, Iran and Turkey contributed the highest numbers of new reported cases. Worldwide deaths also declined over the prior week at 62,000 fatalities, though Africa reported a 7% increase in weekly deaths.

The Biden administration is imposing new limits on states’ ability to access to Covid-19 antibody treatments amid rising demand from GOP governors who have relied on the drug as a primary weapon against the virus. Federal health officials plan to allocate specific amounts to each state under the new approach, in an effort to more evenly distribute the 150,000 doses that the government makes available each week. The approach is likely to cut into shipments to GOP-led states in the Southeast that have made the pricey antibody drug a central part of their pandemic strategy, while simultaneously spurning mask mandates and other restrictions.

  • Death to free markets, says Biden, reflecting the global offensive against capitalism and for socialism.

International

“We hear and see families crying for help, mothers confused as to how to find the next meal, fathers helpless and unable to find odd jobs to sustain, thefts increasing around the city simply to find money for their families!“ A Sri Lankan Christian doctor poured out her heart to Barnabas Aid about the economic crisis in Sri Lanka due to the Covid lockdown. A food shortage, coupled with inflation and a depreciating currency, has pushed Sri Lanka into a crippling crisis of hunger. Lockdown continues as Sri Lanka struggles with a persistent fourth wave of the pandemic. Even middle-class families are now walking into hospitals and imploring staff to give them just one meal. And for Sri Lanka’s 4 million day laborers, many of whom are Christians, the situation is even worse.

India says the use of the controversial drug, Ivermectin, has enabled them to defeat Covid-19. The government of Uttar Pradesh, which has a population of more than 240 million, said Friday that 33 of its districts are “COVID-free” and the state has a total of only 199 active cases, the Hindustan Times reported. The state said the recovery rate for COVID-19 has improved to 98.7%. The Indian Express reported in May, as the Gateway Pundit noted, that Uttar Pradesh was the first state in India to introduce large-scale prophylactic and therapeutic use of ivermectin.

  • U.S. health and mainstream media continue to claim that Ivermectin is a ‘horse dewormer’ not fit for human use, but the evidence clearly supports its use against Covid-19. The CDC’s recommendation of ivermectin, which was touted as a “wonder drug” in the Journal of Antibiotics, is for the treatment and prevention of intestinal parasites. But the drug – whose inventors were awarded a Nobel Prize – was shown in both in-vitro and in-vivo studies long before the COVID-19 pandemic to have strong antiviral as well as antiparasitic properties. At least 44 peer-reviewed studies, 31 randomized controlled trials and real-world experience indicate it is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel on Friday voted 16–3 to recommend against providing booster shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals aged 16 and older. The panel later voted to endorse the Pfizer booster for individuals who are aged 65 and older and for those who are at high risk. Throughout the meeting, independent scientists who advise the Food and Drug Administration struck a skeptical tone on the need for boosters, or third doses, for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for the general public. The advisory panel’s discussion is the first major test for the Biden administration’s vaccination agenda as top health officials last month announced they would try to roll out boosters for everyone by Sept. 20.

There is only a 1 out of 13,000 chance of a ‘breakthrough’ Covid-19 case requiring hospitalization. With tens of millions of Americans now vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of August, so-called “breakthrough” cases are bound to occur because the vaccines are less than 100% effective. But there’s reassuring news from new data: Most such cases are mild and those leading to hospitalization are exceedingly rare. Overall, the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that as of Aug. 30, there have been 12,908 cases of COVID-19 resulting in hospitalization or death among vaccinated Americans. Considering that more than 173 million Americans had been vaccinated by Aug. 30, that works out to a one in 13,000 chance of a vaccinated person getting a case so severe that hospitalization is required.

A head-to-head study of all three authorized coronavirus vaccines in the United States finds the Moderna vaccine is slightly more effective than Pfizer’s in real-life use in keeping people out of the hospital, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine comes in third, but still provides 71% protection against hospitalization. Pfizer’s vaccine provided 88% protection and Moderna’s was 93% effective.

The U.S. will announce that it will buy hundreds of millions more doses of Pfizer vaccine to donate in order to donate it to the poorer nations who are way behind in vaccinating their citizens. The announcement of the purchase is slated for early next week and timed to the United Nations General Assembly meeting, according to two people familiar with the deal. The United States is aiming to spark efforts to share vaccines with the global population.

The health minister of Israel – which has experienced a spike in COVID cases and deaths after becoming one of the most-vaccinated nations in the world – was caught on a hot mic admitting so-called “Green Pass” vaccine passports were not being implemented for scientific reasons. Unaware his conversation prior to a Cabinet meeting was being broadcast live on Israel’s Channel 12, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz told Israel’s Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked that there is no epidemiological justification for the COVID passport, and it is only intended to pressure the unvaccinated to vaccinate.

Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States, announced Wednesday it would require proof of COVID-19 vaccination at bars, nightclubs, breweries, lounges, and related businesses. The order will also require vaccine proof or a negative COVID-19 test for large outdoor events, including Los Angeles Rams, Chargers, and Dodgers games, said County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors to the Board of Supervisors. Would-be customers will have to have at least one vaccine dose by Oct. 7 and be fully vaccinated by Nov. 4, she said.

The U.S. government database that keeps track of deaths from vaccine side effects has exploded by 10-fold since the advent of COVID-19, and the experimental vaccines that have been developed in response, reports WMD.com. The Beltway Report explained that the Virus Adverse Event Report System gets more than 60,000 reports each year, including 1,400 deaths that are documented on average. But since COVID was unleashed on the world, “there have been 14,701 deaths reported,” the report said.

Pfizer said that data from Israel and the United States suggests that its COVID-19 vaccine efficacy drops over time and claimed that booster doses are effective at dealing with new virus variants. “Real-world data from Israel and the United States suggest that rates of breakthrough infections are rising faster in individuals who were vaccinated earlier in the vaccination campaigns compared to those who have been vaccinated more recently,” Pfizer said. Based on its data, Pfizer said that booster doses should be given to all people aged 16 and older six months after they received their second dose of the mRNA vaccine.

The chief executive of a hospital in Texas warned that his facility faces closure as a result of President Joe Biden’s Covid-19vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. If the mandate goes through, Brownfield Regional Medical Center CEO Jerry Jasper said that “Probably 20 to 25 percent of my staff will have to go away if that’s the case,” he said. Losing those workers, he said, would likely cause his hospital to shut down.

A hospital in upstate New York won’t have the capacity to deliver babies after six employees in its maternity ward resigned instead of taking the COVID-19 vaccine as part of an executive order handed down by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo several weeks ago. Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville said it will work with state officials to ensure that the maternity unit doesn’t shut down permanently.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

Police are seeking information about a man seen in a shocking surveillance video kicking a woman down an escalator. The alleged assault occurred Thursday evening in Brooklyn as the man in the video is seen walking past the victim on an escalator out of the Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center Station, a typically busy subway stop. He turned around and then kicked the 32-year-old woman in the chest, causing her to fall down the escalator.

A gang of motorcycle-riding robbers forced a Manhattan BMW driver out of his car at gunpoint, then beat him before driving off in his pricey ride early Sunday, according to police and video of the heist. The 23-year-old victim was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital and treated for a cut to his eye and a broken nose.

A man in Queens was seen punching a 77-year-old woman in the face while stealing her purse and Bible. The incident unfolded on Sunday at about noon in Queens, NY. Surveillance video shows the suspect punching the woman in the face while pulling her purse away, causing lacerations on her hands. The suspect fled the scene and is still on the loose as police ask the public for help tracking him down.  

Health: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

President Biden on Wednesday said 2.8 million Americans selected a health plan through Obamacare during a special enrollment period from February to August, bringing the total number of active customers in the program to an all-time high of 12.2 million. Biden credited his coronavirus pandemic-relief bill from earlier this year, which expanded the federal subsidies that defray the cost of premiums in the marketplace. “Americans who purchase their coverage through the Affordable Care Act have seen their premiums decrease an average of $67 a month,” Mr. Biden said. “Over four in 10 Americans who gained coverage during the special enrollment period found a quality plan for $10 or less per month.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced that it had rejected the applications of nearly a million electronic cigarettes and related products. But it also delayed a decision on the fate of the leading vape product brand, Juul, drawing an outcry from anti-vaping groups. Juul products will remain on the market for now, more than 10 years after e-cigarettes first began selling in the United States, while the FDA defers its decision to an unspecified later time.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Members of a school board in Ohio have been told to resign after they utilized an allegedly obscene instruction guide that told students to write about an “X-rated Disney scenario.” Or “ten euphemisms for sex,” or “a roomful of people who want to sleep together,” or “a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom” or “the first time I killed a man” or “your favorite part of a man’s body using only verbs.” The controversy has developed in Hudson, Ohio, where Cleveland.com said Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert and parents of students in the district are demanding the school board and teachers leave because of the book used in the high school’s Liberal Arts II writing class.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

A massive police response mobilized outside a fenced-off U.S. Capitol Saturday morning to greet a group of right-wing protesters who insisted that their noon demonstration won’t descend into violence. On Wednesday, federal workers reinstalled the tall, black security fencing around the Capitol that had been removed in July. Advocates at the “Justice for J6” rally in Washington, D.C., denounced what they call the “inhumane treatment” of dozens of Jan. 6 rioters who remain jailed while awaiting trials that are still months away. Counter-protesters arrived early, bearing giant flags in support of Black Lives Matter and transgender rights. A hand-lettered sign identified the bearer as “proud Antifa scum.” As of 2pm eastern time there was no reports of violence.

The Capitol Police Office of Professional Responsibility is recommending disciplinary action against six officers for their conduct in response to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The OPR recommended disciplinary action for conduct unbecoming in three of the cases, failure to comply with directives in one of the cases, improper remarks in one case, and “improper dissemination” in one case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office found insufficient evidence to charge any of the officers with a crime.

A teacher’s group protesting mandatory vaccinations was seen in New York City marching across the Brooklyn Bridge Tuesday, with some protesters chanting against President Biden. They were also carrying signs reading, “Last year’s heroes, this years unemployed,” “My body, my choice,” and “I call the shots.” The protest was organized by Teachers for Choice and begain in Foley Square on Monday. Hundreds of people, including current and retired teachers, parents and other school staffers, were seen in Foley Square denouncing mandatory vaccines in order for people to keep their jobs. The protesters then walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.

An Army lieutenant colonel’s resignation letter is gaining attention on social media after he used it to protest the COVID-19 vaccine mandate and what he described as the “Marxist takeover of the military.” The resignation letter of Lt. Col. Paul Douglas Hague said he was resigning from the Army after 19 years of service and forgoing his pension primarily because of the Pentagon’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination order for all U.S. military service members. 

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Arizona’s Maricopa County and the state Senate have reached an agreement after a months-long dispute stemming from the local government’s refusal to hand over electronic voting equipment logs related to the November 2020 election. Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors on Friday agreed to provide the materials in question to a “special master,” who will hire experts to review the records and provide information to the state Senate. Former Arizona Republican congressman John Shadegg will fill that role.

The Arizona Supreme Court refused to overturn a Court of Appeals ruling that the records of Cyber Ninjas as related to the audit are public. The ruled that the Arizona Senate has no legal excuse to refuse to publicly produce the records of the firm it hired to audit the 2020 election returns. That leaves intact the finding that the records are the property of the Senate. And that, the appellate judges said, makes them subject to disclosure under the state’s public records law.

Two North Carolina judges on Friday struck down a law that required identification to vote, alleging it “was enacted with the unconstitutional intent to discriminate against African American voters.” The law was enacted in violation of the Equal Protection Clause in North Carolina’s Constitution, the majority of the panel said. The clause says that nobody shall be denied equal protection of the laws nor shall anybody be subjected to discrimination by the state due to race.

  • We need a license to drive a car but can vote without any ID? Nonsensical.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Afghan Immigrants

The majority of Afghans airlifted out of Kabul in last month’s emergency evacuation weren’t vetted before getting on the planes, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told senators on Tuesday. Mr. Blinken said they were too pressed to clear the crush of people at the airport and keep the runway open, and had to put off the vetting until later — but he insisted those checks have been done.

  • An Afghan who had been deported from the U.S. after an aggravated felony conviction was found on an evacuation flight back to the U.S. this month, The Washington Times has learned. The man, who had a 2011 conviction for aggravated robbery and was deported in 2017, somehow cleared all the overseas checks the Biden administration says it is making. His case follows that of Ghader Heydari, an Afghan who was convicted of rape in Idaho in 2010 and was deported in 2017, but who also made it onto an evacuation flight and landed at Dulles.

Some of the loudest voices calling for the resettlement of tens of thousands of Afghan refugees in the United States have come from Washington, D.C. – and yet the nation’s capital won’t be receiving any of the initial wave of refugees. The initial group of 37,000 are heading to many states. California (5,255) and Texas (4,481) will receive the largest numbers of the first wave, while smaller populated states like Oklahoma and Missouri will receive 1,800 and 1,200 respectively. Michigan, Florida and Georgia will both receive more than 1,000 Afghans each. New York will receive 1,143 and Arizona will receive 1,610. White House officials say there will be 95,000 refugees in the first fiscal year and made a $6.4 billion request for funding related to the resettlement.

A Republican Study Committee is telling its members that it will fight against a proposal by the Biden administration that allows for the tens of thousands of Afghans being brought in to quickly apply for permanent U.S. residency — warning of a plan to “open our borders to a Taliban-run nation.” The Committee’s memo warns that there are no vetting policies and procedures laid out in Operation Allies Welcome. In addition, “Afghan nationals admitted through this resettlement program will be allowed to take advantage of all existing entitlement programs such as cash welfare, food stamps, Medicaid and public housing,” it says.

Mexican Border

There 208,88 migrant ‘encounters’ at the southern U.S. border in August, a DHS source told Fox News on Wednesday, the second month in a row where the number has been over the 200,000 mark as migrants continue to attempt to enter the U.S. That’s a 317% increase over last August. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, “If our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose and this is unsustainable,” Mayorkas said. “We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it.”

  • Charging the Biden administration with abandoning the border amid an illegal-immigration crisis, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced he is using state resources to close ports of entry, including the National Guard. The governor said Thursday the Biden administration reversed a decision to shut down the borders after a massive influx of migrants, now totaling more than 11,000, arrived at the Texas border. “The Biden administration is in complete disarray and is handling the border crisis as badly as the evacuation from Afghanistan.”

The number of migrants, predominantly from Haiti, waiting under the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas has doubled to more than 8,000 in a single day, and then increased to 11,000 by Saturday. Drone footage from Fox News shows the migrants under the bridge waiting to be apprehended by Border Patrol, which was overwhelmed saying the situation is “out of control.” It is the latest scene of chaos at the border as the Biden administration continues to struggle to handle a continued and relentless migrant surge.

  • Homeland Security plans to fly the Haitian migrants who have streamed into Texas back to Haiti as soon as Sunday, U.S. officials say. The Department of Homeland Security is planning as many as eight flights per day to Haiti, according to four U.S. officials who cautioned that details were in flux.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

President Biden’s plan for higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy to pay for his $3.5 trillion social welfare expansion so far includes 40 new taxes. The menu of hikes ranges from doubling the federal tobacco tax to more than $2 per pack to boosting the top income tax rate to 39.6% from 37%, adding up to one of the largest tax increases in U.S. history. The 40 proposed tax hikes assembled this week by House Democrats would boost federal revenue by $2 trillion over the next decade. The proposed taxes fall heavily on business, including limits to small-business tax deductions, an increase in the corporate tax rate to 26.5% from 21%, and a 3.8% tax on pass-through entities such as law firms. “Big corporations and the super-wealthy have to pay their fair share of taxes,” Mr. Biden said at the White House. “It’s long overdue.”

  • Other new taxes include: Increasing the capital gains tax from 20% to 25%; Raising the top rate on individuals from 37% to the pre-Trump era high of 39.6%; Imposing a wealth tax in the form of a 3% surcharge on individuals with income above $5 million; Hiking the minimum tax on foreign income derived by corporations, from 10.5% to 16.6%.

Consumer spending unexpectedly accelerated in August as back-to-school shopping bolstered sales. Retail sales, a measure of spending at restaurants, stores and online, last month rose 0.7% to $618.7 billion, according to the Commerce Department. Clothing and clothing accessories sales rose 3.3% month over month and were 38.3% above year-ago levels. Clothing and clothing accessories sales rose 3.3% month over month and were 38.3% above year-ago levels. Auto sales declined 3.6% last month due to the chip shortage.

A survey of nearly 45,000 employers across 43 countries showed 69 percent of employers reported difficulty filling jobs, a 15-year high, according to employment-services provider ManpowerGroup Inc.

Americans’ incomes fell last year and more people were living in poverty as the COVID-19 pandemic threw millions out of work. Median U.S. household income decreased 2.9% to $67,500, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday, the first significant decline since 2011. That followed gains of 1.8% in 2017, 0.9% in 2018 and 6.8% in 2019. Household income includes Social Security, public assistance payments and interest and dividend from investment, among other sources but not the recent stimulus payments. There were 37.2 million people in poverty last year, 3.3 million more than in 2019. The poverty rate rose after five straight annual declines. Median income declined 2.7% for White households, 4.5% for Asians and 2.6% for Hispanics.  Income for Black households was roughly flat.

U.S. consumer prices rose a lower-than-expected 0.3% last month, the smallest increase in seven months and a  hopeful sign that inflation pressures may be cooling. The August result declined from a 0.5% increase in July and a 0.9% surge in June, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. It was the smallest increase since a similar 0.3% rise in January. Over the past 12 months, prices are up 5.3% a slight improvement after two months of gains of 5.4%, which had been the highest 12-month gains since 2008.

UK inflation rose at the fastest rate in at least 24 years in August as the price of transportation, restaurant meals and used cars spiked dramatically. The annual rate of inflation rose by 3.2% in August, up from 2% in the 12 months to July. The UK economy has also been facing sustained upward pressure on prices driven by worker shortages and snarled supply chains linked to the pandemic. There were a record 1 million UK job vacancies in June to August and wages soared nearly 7% between May and July.

The Great Resignation is continuing, reports USA Today. Nearly 4 million Americans per month are quitting their jobs. The pandemic prompted many to hang on to their jobs longer than they wanted to, and now they feel comfortable leaving for greener pastures. Others have taken the chance to reassess what matters most. And some are simply taking advantage of the plethora of job openings.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

Two individuals in their 20s were stabbed near Jerusalem’s central station on Monday afternoon in a suspected terrorist attack and were evacuated to the nearby Shaare Zedek Medical Center in moderate condition. The stabber, later identified as a 17-year-old resident of Hebron, was shot in the chest by a Border Police officer and was critically injured. This past week has seen an increase in violent confrontations reported between Palestinians and Israeli security forces,

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

The Hezbollah militant group said it trucked more than a million gallons of Iranian diesel fuel into Lebanon from Syria on Thursday, celebrating the move as a way of spiting the United States while bringing much-needed aid to a country nearly paralyzed by fuel shortages. With Lebanon suffering one of the worst economic collapses in modern history, Hezbollah portrayed itself as a national savior, stepping in where the Lebanese government and its Western backers had failed. Hezbollah supporters lined roads in northeastern Lebanon as dozens of tanker trucks arrived. They waved Hezbollah flags, distributed sweets, blasted heroic anthems and fired rocket-propelled grenades into the air in celebration. The fuel delivery — which a Hezbollah official said was the first installment of more than 13 million gallons — underscored the severity of Lebanon’s crisis, as well as the government’s failure to address it.

Experts studying new data contained in reports last week by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ atomic inspection group, say that by enriching nuclear fuel in recent months to near bomb-grade levels, Tehran has gained the capability to produce the fuel needed for a single nuclear warhead within a month or so, under the most extreme timeline.

U.S. forces shot down a pair of Iranian drones that attacked the Irbil airport in Kurdish-held northern Iraq late on 20th anniversary of Sept. 11. There were no injuries or damage, according to a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. The U.S. counter-rocket, artillery and mortar system (C-RAM) engaged the two bomb-laden drones which were made in Iran. The Erbil airport, where some U.S. troops are based, has come under a series of attacks this year by Iranian-backed militia forces.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz revealed during a conference Sunday the presence of a secret training base in Iran whose specialty is teaching terrorists throughout the region how to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Speaking at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Reichman University (IDC Herzliya), Gantz said, “The Kashan base located north of the city of Isfahan is used to train terrorists from Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. These terrorists are trained to employ UAVs produced by Iran. This base is a key point from which Iranian aerial terrorism is exported to the region.”

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

A U.S. drone strike in Kabul that killed 10 civilians, including seven children, was conducted after numerous miscalculations by commanders who wrongly believed an aid worker was hauling explosives in his car, defense officials said Friday, reversing the Pentagon’s earlier insistence that the operation prevented an imminent suicide attack on U.S. forces. In fact, the driver, Zamarai Ahmadi, was a longtime aid worker for a U.S.-based group and was hauling water cans for his family, officials acknowledged. “We now know that there was no connection between Mr. Ahmadi and ISIS-Khorasan, that his activities on that day were completely harmless and not at all related to the imminent threat we believed we faced, and that Mr. Ahmadi was just as innocent a victim as were the others tragically killed,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

North Korea said Monday that it successfully tested newly developed long-range cruise missiles over the weekend, the first known testing activity in months, underscoring how the country continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations with the United States. The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that the missiles showed they can hit targets 930 miles away. The North hailed its new missiles as a “strategic weapon of great significance” — wording that implies they were developed with the intent to arm them with nuclear warheads. 

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

The greatest threat to the U.S. from international terrorists comes from nations such as Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Iraq, with Afghanistan further down the priority list after the two-decade American troop presence ended, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said. Although U.S. intelligence officials are closely watching whether terrorist groups re-emerge inside Afghanistan, the country is no longer the prime concern when it comes to harboring terrorists who could carry out an attack inside America, Haines said Monday at a national security conference in the Washington suburbs.

The defeat of the American-backed government in Afghanistan has increased the danger that the al Qaeda terrorist group will launch another attack on the United States very quickly, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency said Tuesday. “The current assessment conservatively is one to two years for al Qaeda to build some capability to at least threaten the homeland,” said Army Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier. CIA Deputy Director David Cohen agreed that the al Qaeda threat is increasing and that the group will be capable of new attacks within a couple of years.

An analysis by Counter Extremism Project has determined that more than half of the Taliban’s 33-member cabinet in Afghanistan are on the U.N. Security Council’s terrorism blacklist. This finding counters the Taliban’s claims of a new moderate government that will guarantee the rights and safety of its citizens and productively cooperate within the international community. If recognized by the U.N., the Taliban government could potentially receive hundreds of millions of dollars in aid that could instead be allocated towards terrorist activities.

An explosion from suicide bombing has killed at least 11 people Tuesday in the Somali capital. Witnesses said a suicide bomber walked into a teashop made of corrugated tin and detonated an explosive vest. The attack occurred near a checkpoint manned by Somali government security forces in Wadajir district, which is next to both Mogadishu’s airport and the headquarters of the Africa Union forces. Soldiers as well as civilians are among the dead. The Islamic al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

As fire and ash spread through Sequoia National Park, fire-resistant aluminum blankets were wrapped around endangered giant sequoias Wednesday, including the world’s largest tree, called General Sherman, which stands 275 feet tall and is over 36 feet diameter at the base. On Tuesday, the U.S. National Park Service closed Sequoia National Park after a pair of lightning-sparked wildfires, collectively known as the KNP Complex.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

A 4.3-magnitude earthquake rocked the Los Angeles area on Friday evening. The quake was centered in Carson, south of downtown, but was felt across Los Angeles County — as far northeast as Victorville and as far south as the U.S.-Mexico border. The 8 p.m. PT earthquake had a depth of about 9 miles and followed two other smaller temblors within the last week-and-a-half that were 3.0 or higher. Los Angeles usually has around five quakes of 4.0 to 5.0 each year. 

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

According to the most recent data estimates available from the Environmental Protection Agency, just 8.7 percent of the plastic that was discarded in the U.S. in 2018 was recycled. Over decades or even centuries, much of that littered and landfilled plastic breaks down into tiny particles known as microplastics, which contaminate our food, the air, and water. They also accumulate in our bodies, potentially increasing our risk of chronic inflammation and other ills. The only way to stem the rising tide of plastic is for companies to make less of it and for recycling programs to be retooled so that more of what we throw away is actually turned into something useful. There’s little to suggest this will happen anytime soon.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

Hurricane Nicholas brought strong winds and flooding rainfall that covered streets and damaged homes in Texas as the storm came ashore and moved across land Tuesday, spreading into Louisiana. Hundreds of thousands were left without power across Texas after trees and power lines were toppled. The storm strengthened into a hurricane right before it roared ashore around 1 a.m. local time near Matagorda, Texas. Winds gusted up to 95 mph there and video showed storm surge enveloping coastal roads. Nicholas was downgraded to a tropical depression Tuesday. Nicholas then dumped heavy rain on parts of the South as the storm slowly inched across land, bringing more misery to some areas hit just over two weeks ago by Hurricane Ida.

At least one person is dead and 10 missing after a landslide struck on 9/11 near Mexico City, the latest in a string of bad weather and other disasters to hit the country. Tlalnepantla State Gov. Alfredo Del Mazo said recent heavy rain and a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the region Tuesday likely contributed to making the land unstable, sending huge boulders down a hillside and into a neighborhood north of the city. Four homes were damaged and about 80 others were evacuated.

Two people are dead and several injured after a tornado on a small Italian island in the Mediterranean flipped cars and threw people from their vehicles. The twister struck on Pantelleria, which is south of Sicily, shortly before 7 p.m. Friday on 9/11. Utility poles were bent over, roofs damaged and trees knocked down. Nine persons were injured, including two in critical condition.

Signs of the Times: September 11,2021

September 11, 2021

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

The State Department said it “facilitated the safe departure” of four U.S. citizens from Afghanistan on Monday, noting that the Taliban “was aware” and did not interfere in the evacuation. A senior State Department official said the evacuation was done “by overland route from Afghanistan.” “Embassy staff was present upon their arrival,” the official said. “They were in good condition.”

It took only hours for Methodist Health System in Texas, facing a legal demand letter from Liberty Counsel, to decide to grant several employees religious accommodations to its demand that all accept the experimental COVID-19 vaccines. The hospital corporation had announced that all workers would be required to accept the shots or be fired. But that, according to Liberty Counsel’s letter, delivered just a day ago, violated several state and federal laws. Three of the four employees cited in the Liberty Counsel letter were notified, within about five hours of the letter being issued, that, “The Exemption Committee re-analyzed some of the exemption requests that were submitted and had been initially denied…and has reversed its initial decision and has now approved your exemption.” A decision on the fourth employee was expected shortly.

Florida’s 1st District Court on Friday reinstated a stay on mask mandates in schools, blocking local school requirements for now, court documents show. Lawyers for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis filed the emergency appeal after a judge ruled on Wednesday that the state of Florida must stop their enforcement of a mask ban. The latest court ruling comes amid a showdown between the state and some local school districts that have insisted on requiring students to wear masks as Covid-19 infections surge.

The city of Tucson, Arizona, has paused a mandate that ordered employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine or face five days of suspension and other discipline. Arizona’s attorney general said Tuesday that the mandate, imposed last month, was illegal because it violated an executive order that Gov. Doug Ducey unveiled earlier this year, in addition to a state law that is set to go into effect later this month. Mark Brnovich, the attorney general, warned Tucson officials that unless the mandate was rescinded, he would proceed with directing the state treasurer to withhold the city’s portion of state shared revenue until officials halted the policy.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain), and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

President Biden will direct the Department of Labor to develop a rule that companies with more than 100 employees will require vaccinations or once-per-week testing for their workers, potentially affecting tens of millions of U.S. private-sector employees, according to the White House. The administration’s rule will require that “all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work,” which will affect more than 80 million workers in the private sector.

  • Republican members of Congress and state governors were appalled. “This is absolutely unconstitutional,” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky, /said. “The U.S. Constitution does not give the President this type of authority. Nowhere in Article 2 of the Constitution will you find anything that even remotely gives the President this kind of power,” said Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala. “This is exactly the kind of big government overreach we have tried so hard to prevent in Arizona,” said Republican Governor Doug Ducey.
  • Once again, government mandates are unconstitutionally eliminating individual and religious rights and freedoms. Big Brother has arrived, and according to Revelation 13, it will only get worse.

Members of the National Archives’ task force on racism have recommended removing the “charters of freedom” description for America’s founding documents, such as the Constitution, arguing that it did not initially grant freedom for all individuals. The subgroup also recommended “reimagining” the Rotunda, which houses America’s founding documents, arguing that it doesn’t “tell the whole story” of slavery. Other ideas include new displays in the exhibit cases that grapple with the contradictions between the founding ideals and the realities of slavery and Indian removal and present a full and honest history of this founding era.”

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

After 20 years, the Taliban has once again taken Afghanistan. Women will almost certainly face unforgiving brutality despite the Taliban’s glib promises. Two female journalists in Afghanistan independently told Fox News they were barred from their newsrooms and hid out of fear that the Taliban would kill them. One told her story over the sound of gunfire, and the other changes her location every day to avoid getting caught. After returning to power, the Taliban announced that they would be more permissive than during their previous reign and would give women broader rights, so long as they fell within the bounds of Sharia law. But these experiences seem more reminiscent of the Afghanistan women knew before the U.S. intervened in 2001.

  • The Islamic militants are reportedly ‘hunting’ anyone who has aided the U.S. in the war over the last 20 years and going door-to-door to do so, according to a pregnant American woman who remains stranded in the country.
  • The Taliban’s use of violent force to ‘crush’ a women’s protest demonstration is ‘another sign that they will not tolerate peaceful dissent in Afghanistan, notes the New York Times.

Alaska Airlines has been accused by two former employees of anti-religious discrimination after the corporation fired them for asking questions about the company’s promotion of the Equality Act, an issue the company itself had proposed for discussion on a type of chat forum. According to First Liberty Institute, formal complaints have been filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and charge the company discriminated against the two flight attendants because of their “Christian beliefs.”

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

The Justice Department is suing Texas over a new state law that bans most abortions, arguing that it was enacted “in open defiance of the Constitution.” The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court in Texas, asks a federal judge to declare that the law is invalid, “to enjoin its enforcement, and to protect the rights that Texas has violated.” The Texas law, known as SB8, prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity — usually around six weeks.

  • President Biden and other liberal/progressives are calling abortion a constitutional right, but there is nothing in the constitution to even suggest that such a right exists.

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem issued an executive order to limit abortion access in her state following the historically restrictive law signed in Texas last week. The first-term Republican governor Tuesday signed a directive that bars physicians not licensed in South Dakota from prescribing abortion-inducing chemicals to someone, would make it illegal to deliver such products via courier, telemedicine or mail service, and prohibits abortion-inducing drugs from being dispensed or provided in schools or on state grounds.

Mexico decriminalized abortion Tuesday, a dramatic step in the world’s second-biggest Catholic country. The Supreme Court’s decision makes Mexico the most populous country in Latin America to permit the procedure. The ruling comes as Texas, just across the border, tightens restrictions. The decision reflects activism by a powerful feminist movement, as well as concern about women dying or suffering harm from illegal abortions.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

The 7-day average of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. has declined to 145,666/day on 9/11 from 164,382 on 9/2, an 11% decrease. The highest peak for new cases was 259,616 on 1/2/21. Deaths, however, are up 29% over the past two weeks since deaths lag cases by 10-14 days. Hospitalizations have remained about the same this past week at about 100,500.

The vast majority of Americans who are dying or getting serious cases of Covid-19 are unvaccinated, reports Fox News. Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 30, about 99 percent of hospital admissions were among those who hadn’t been fully inoculated. As of Aug. 30, a little over 1.6 million Americans have been hospitalized with COVID-19 — but only about 0.65 percent of them, or 10,471 patients, were fully vaccinated, the CDC data show. “The numbers highlight the vaccine’s effectiveness in warding off serious cases of the virus, even as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread across the country,” notes Fox News.

Some hospitals in the U.S are so full of Covid-19 patients that they have begun to ration medical care. More than 101,000 people are currently hospitalized with Covid-19, according to data Thursday from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Now, some patients wanting urgent care won’t get it because so many beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients. Some of these patients are “being put on the back burner,” said Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, chief clinical officer of Providence Health System in Seattle. In Idaho, the Department of Health and Welfare activated its Crisis Standards of Care in the northern part of the state Tuesday due to “a massive increase in patients with Covid-19 who require hospitalization.”

Second Circuit Judge John Cooper has ruled against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appeal to reinstate his ban on mask mandates and is allowing Florida schools to continue to have mask mandates while the case is appealed at a higher level. DeSantis had appealed Cooper’s earlier ruling that stated the governor overreached and did not have the authority to ban school districts from implementing mask mandates without a parent opt-out.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 83% of Americans 16 and older have at least some immunity to COVID-19 and that prior infection provides similar immunity as vaccination. The team worked with blood collection organizations in every state as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, testing the blood of 74% of the population. In July 2020, 3.5% of samples carried antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19. The number increased to 11.5% by December. With no vaccine available, all those antibodies were from infections. By May 2021, the number rose to 83.3%.

The mu coronavirus variant has been detected in 49 U.S. states and 42 countries, according to estimates, as health officials keep an eye on the strain to see if it becomes dominant. The strain, also known as B.1.621, was first identified in Colombia in January and was added to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “variants of interest” list. Though nationwide the variant has been detected in less than 1% of samples. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease expert, on Sunday said that the mu variant demonstrated mutations that “indicate that it might evade the protection from certain antibodies.” He said the mu variant was “not an immediate threat.”

Amid a flood of media reports supporting a veterinary version of the drug ivermectin with one for human use that is touted worldwide by physicians and in more than 100 scientific studies as a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19, a 74-year-old Vietnam War veteran died in Texas after a hospital refused to administer the drug in defiance of a court order, according to the family.

The Indian Bar Association is charging WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan with the mass murder of Indians.  Dr. Swaminathan spoke against the use of Ivermectin in the Tamil Nadu province with the consequence that Ivermectin’s use was blocked and Covid cases skyrocketed with deaths increasing ten-fold. In the provinces where Ivermectin was used—Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Goa— Covid cases declined sharply by 98%, 97%, 94%, and 86%.

  • And yet, the U.S. government and hospitals continue to ban the use of Ivermectin.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a resurgence in other infections that strike hospitalized patients, according to a study, by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including UTI, Sepsis, and Staph infections. The study found that rates of several types of hospital-acquired infections have risen since the Covid-19 pandemic reached U.S. shores in 2020. The trend is disconcerting, in part, because U.S. hospitals had been making steady progress in preventing those infections before the pandemic.

International

Officials in India are racing to contain a virus outbreak that has claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy and is deadlier than COVID-19 — the Nipah virus. The reemergence of the Nipah virus is compacting a problem in the nation already grappling with the effects of COVID-19, with over 30,000 new COVID cases reported on Monday. The Nipah virus was first discovered in Malaysia and Singapore in 1999 after multiple pigs and people became sick. So far, the only recorded outbreaks have occurred in Asia. It’s classified as a zoonotic virus that initially spreads from animals to people. The Nipah virus is not related to COVID-19 but may have the same originating source, bats. It can also be transmitted through contaminated food and directly between people. WHO reports that 40% to 75% of Nipah cases are fatal compared to COVID-19 fatality rate of around 2%.

The government of South Australia is implementing a program for people to use an app that has facial recognition software and geolocation to prove they are abiding by a 14-day quarantine requirement. Steven Marshall, premier of the state of South Australia, launched the quarantine app policy in late August. Residents returning from New South Wales and Victoria, two other Australian states, may spend their 14 days in post-travel quarantine at home, rather than in a hotel, so long as they download and use the “Orwellian” app, developed by the South Australian government, ABC News Australia reported.

A 28-year-old Vietnamese man infected eight people with COVID-19 and has now been put behind bars as a result. Authorities say Le Van Tri returned to the city of Ca Mau after having traveled to Ho Chi Minh City and did not quarantine for the three weeks required by law. One of the people he infected with the coronavirus died after battling COVID for a month, authorities say. Vietnam has strict quarantine rules and has sentenced two other people to suspended jail terms for the same charge of “spreading dangerous infectious diseases” for which Tri was convicted after a one-day trial.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s International Missions Board announced this week that it will require its missionaries to be vaccinated against COVID-19, saying it is necessary in order to take the gospel around the world during a global pandemic. The Missions Board, which has more than 3,600 field personnel, said the new policy will require all missionaries and any children ages 16 and over to be vaccinated. The new policy, the IMB said, is necessary to “maintain access to unreached peoples and places” and to “advance the gospel.”

The Los Angeles school board voted to require students 12 and older to get the coronavirus vaccine. School board members said mandating a vaccine is the best way to protect students and keep schools open for in-person learning. Los Angeles is the nation’s second-largest school district and by far the largest to mandate the vaccine for students.

The CDC reported Friday that unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of Covid-19 than those who are vaccinated, They also said that the Moderna vaccine is more effective in preventing hospitalization than the other vaccines. However, the report highlighted the continued effectiveness of all three vaccines amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

Unions that represent federal workers pushed back Thursday against President Biden‘s plan to require all federal employees and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The American Federation of Government Employees, which is part of the AFL-CIO and represents over 670,000 federal workers, said they encourage members to get vaccinated. However, they said COVID-19 vaccine requirements should be negotiated with the unions during collective bargaining, not mandated through an executive order.

WND.com reports that “anyone who dies within 14 days of getting vaccinated is considered “unvaccinated”? No wonder they claim everyone who is dying is unvaccinated… Worst of all, the media have blacked out the developing disaster in Israel. Israel is the most vaccinated country in the world. They all got the Pfizer vaccine. At first, deaths and hospitalizations went to almost zero. Israel declared victory over COVID-19. But everything changed. Today a massive COVID-19 outbreak has engulfed vaccinated Israel. Hospitals are full. People are dying. At this moment, Israel, the most vaccinated nation in the world, has more COVID-19 infections per capita than any country in the world.”

A leaked report reveals that the FDA knew about vaccine side effects in advance of their release and did not inform anyone about it. “All of the clotting and coagulation.  All of the heart damage.  All of the female reproductive issues. All of the people suffering heart attacks and strokes and people sadly dying. All of it was predicted by the medicine regulators before the jabs were even rolled out,” reports the Daily Expose. “Even the multi-symptom inflammatory syndrome in children was predicted and it is a brand-new disease where children have symptoms resembling toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease, in which the coronary arteries enlarge or form aneurysms. Also common are heart inflammation with impaired heart function and low blood pressure, rash or red eyes, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Which is why we can be certain that vaccine enhanced disease also known as antibody-dependent enhancement is occurring and will occur, because the health regulators have predicted it will do so.”

A coalition of Oregon police officers and firefighters have sued Gov. Kate Brown over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for state employees. The plaintiffs—including the Oregon Fraternal Order of Police and the Kingsley Firefighters Association—argued in a lawsuit filed Friday in a Jefferson County court that Brown’s executive order violates a number of laws and want it blocked. Brown issued an executive order on Aug. 13 that imposed a mandatory vaccine requirement on all executive branch employees.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

A judge in Florida on Monday ordered a suspected gunman held without bond a day after the Marine and self-described “survivalist” allegedly broke into a stranger’s home in a methamphetamine-fueled rampage and murdered four people, including a three-month-old baby boy in his mother’s arms. Bryan Riley, 33, of Brandon, Florida, is believed to have “zero connection” to his victims in the unincorporated area of Lakeland, where he then barricaded himself inside their home and fired at law enforcement. After he came outside and surrendered with his hands up, officers entered the home to also found an 11-year-old girl who had survived despite being shot at least seven times.

Authorities are looking for a suspect they consider to be armed and dangerous after he allegedly opened fire into a crowd in downtown Athens, Georgia, last weekend. In total, seven people were injured early Sunday morning, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department said in a news release posted on Facebook. The shooting happened in downtown Athens as students and fans filled the streets to celebrate the University of Georgia’s victory in football over Clemson.

A 12-year-old boy in California was punched multiple times in an unprovoked attack Sunday while riding on a bus to visit his grandma in Long Beach, according to his father. The boy’s father, Billy Brown, said that an Hispanic male got on the bus and sat next to his son when the disturbing attack unfolded – and no one stepped in to help. Police identified the suspect as 36-year-old David Manuel Santana Garcia. Police said he was arrested without incident and charged with child cruelty, assault, battery, and other public transportation-related charges.

Division: Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all,but rather division.For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. (Luke 12:51-52) Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)

A pro-Chinese government online influence operation is targeting Americans in an effort to exploit divisions over the Covid-19 pandemic and “physically mobilize protestors in the US in response,” according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Mandiant and experts at Google. The operation has expanded into a “global campaign that’s operating in seven languages, on at least 30 social media platforms and across 40+ website & forums,” experts at Mandiant and Google say. U.S. officials believe the operation is linked to the Chinese government.

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

Los Angeles Police Department officers say they’ve been instructed by their chief to collect the social media usernames of everyone they stop, including people who are not arrested or accused of a crime. The information is needed for investigations, arrests and prosecutions, according to a July 2020 internal memo from Police Chief Michel Moore. Officers are given field-interview cards which they must fill out when questioning people. Along with the usual information, such as name and date of birth, there are places to record Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social-media accounts.

  • Personal privacy is being invaded more and more as governments collect more and more data. Even the U.S. Post Office was found to be collecting personal data. Big Brother is no longer a fictional concept.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

At least 1,000 schools across 35 states have closed for in-person learning because of COVID-19 since the beginning of the school year, according to Burbio, a New York-based data service that is tracking K-12 school reopening trends. Schools listed in the company’s tracker have closed for anywhere from one day to several weeks. Most temporarily moved to remote learning. Others temporarily closed with no instruction. And a small number delayed the start of school or shifted into hybrid learning.

  • The rising number of closures comes amid a battle over mask mandates in schools and a surge in pediatric COVID-19 cases largely because of the highly contagious delta variant.

A lawsuit has been filed against the state of California accusing officials there of requiring students to pray to Aztec gods of human sacrifice, even as Christian prayers remain banned. The lawsuit outlines how the state’s “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum” requires “Affirmations, Chants, and Energizers,” which addresses deities both by name and title. It also acknowledges them as “sources of power and knowledge, invokes their assistance, and gives thanks,” the lawsuit said. That, essentially, is a “state-mandated prayer,” the case claims.

Health: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

More than 93,000 Americans died from a drug overdose last year, according to provisional data from the U.S. CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. This means that 2020 was the deadliest year on record for drug overdoses. Asia’s drug cartels adapted quickly to the pandemic in 2020, flooding markets with synthetic narcotics worth tens of billions of dollars even as the global economy ground to a halt, according to a new United Nations report. Methamphetamine seizures in East and Southeast Asia surged 19% from 2019 to a new record-high, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report found. The primary concern now is that the Asian cartels are using ‘creative chemistry’ to avoid detection of meth.

TikTok is giving people a mental health education they never had before. Mental health content has exploded on the immensely popular social media platform. The hashtag #mentalhealth has 15.3 billion views and #therapistsoftiktok has 318 million. Therapist creators say the pandemic likely accelerated the space’s evolution, but they credit its existence to the broader de-stigmatization of mental health issues as well as the app’s younger users who are more comfortable not only disclosing but also publicly processing everything from childhood trauma to relationship abuse.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Thousands of French citizens demonstrated in several cities last weekend for an eighth straight weekend, as protests continued against the country’s COVID-19 vaccine passport system that regulates entrance to most public areas, including stadiums, cafes, restaurants, and gyms. The health pass, which was passed by the French Parliament weeks ago, mandates an individual be vaccinated, have a recent negative COVID-19 test, or prove they have fully recovered from the virus. Another law slated to go into effect this month will require all healthcare workers to get the vaccine. France’s Ministry of Interior confirmed to news outlets over the weekend that about 140,000 people partook in demonstrations over the weekend.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is downplaying an ugly moment Monday in which protesters struck him with gravel. “It’s no big deal,” Trudeau told reporters after acknowledging he got struck on the shoulder while boarding his campaign bus in London, Ontario. Trudeau has been regularly encountering protesters opposed to government mandates on vaccines and masks. He canceled a rally last month because security officials deemed demonstrators who had gathered in advance to be a threat. “There is a small fringe element in this country that is angry, that doesn’t believe in science,” Trudeau said earlier Monday.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Texas Gov. Abbott signed a new voting law Tuesday that Democrats had tried to block by fleeing state. The fight now goes to the courts. The GOP law already faces two challenges in federal court, with nearly two dozen organizations and individuals suing Republican leaders and election officials as well. Democrats say the law is too restrictive while Republicans say it ensures election integrity and reduces the risk of fraud.

An independent team from the Voter Integrity Project conducted a door-to-door canvassing audit in order to try and figure out if there was any legitimate fraud that took place in the 2020 election. The team reports that: “During the canvass, of the 4,570 registered voters we gathered data on, 964 individuals were interviewed at their residence who were registered to vote in Maricopa County but whom the county said did not vote. Of those 964, 34.23%, or 330 people, said they had actually voted. Overall, there were 505,709 people in the county registered to vote who did not have a vote recorded in the election. Extrapolating these results to the entire county, it is estimated that 173,104 voters had their votes stolen.”

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

Wholesale prices soared 8.3% in August from a year ago, the biggest annual gain since the Labor Department began tracking the annual inflation data. Wholesale food prices rose 2.9% in August and have climbed 12.7% in the past year. The price of beef has risen 59.2%. Energy prices have risen 32.3% in the past year.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) price index, which follows international prices of globally traded food commodities, averaged 127.4 points in August, up 3.9 points (3.1%) from July and 31.5 points (32.9%) from the same period last year. In August, the most significant factor in the increase was the FAO Sugar Price Index, which jumped 9.6% from July due to frost damage to crops in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar exporter. The second-largest jump in the basket was the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index, which rose 6.7% last month, as international palm oil prices soared to historic highs because of below-potential production. A combination of global droughts, volatile weather, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions persisting from COVID, among others, have contributed to the rapid rise in food prices over the last year.

If Congress doesn’t raise the limit on federal borrowing the federal government will most likely run out of cash and extraordinary measures next month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned lawmakers on Wednesday. In short, a default would be an economic cataclysm. Interest rates would spike, the stock market would crater, retirement accounts would take a beating, the value of the US dollar would erode and the financial reputation of the world’s only superpower would be tarnished. “It would be financial Armageddon,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told CNN. Lawmakers in Washington are again playing chicken with America’s creditworthiness. And the path to raising the debt ceiling is not clear. Even though Congress has in the past raised the debt ceiling with a bipartisan vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed in July that Republicans will not vote to raise the debt ceiling.

  • Federal debt is spiraling out of control. While not raising the debt ceiling seems ‘catastrophic’ the alternative is not bed of roses either. If the debt buildup continues to outpace gross domestic product, at some point the house of cards will fall. Choose your poison.
  • On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia ripped off the stimulus band-aid and confirmed that it would start to scale back its bond-buying program this month despite concerns about the delicate economic recovery. The European Central Bank followed suit on Thursday, saying that it would make asset purchases at a “moderately lower pace” than in the previous two quarters. The hope is that interest rates and inflation won’t get out of control.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 310,000 from 345,000 the previous week, a pandemic low and a sign that the surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant has yet to lead to widespread layoffs. Normal new unemployment claims run around 225,000. The pace of hiring, though, has weakened — at least for now. Last week, the government reported that hiring slowed dramatically in August, with employers adding just 235,000 jobs after having added roughly a million in both June and July.    

More than 7.5 million out-of-work Americans lost all of their unemployment benefits on Labor Day as three federal programs put in place in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic expired on Monday. In addition, another 3 million lost the extra $300 boost to their state jobless aid.

It appears that the federal government may be easing away from stimulus programs for the time being. In the meantime, ten states have initiated – or plan to initiate – their own stimulus plans.

  • Last month, the $100 billion California Comeback Plan was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The bill includes $8.1 billion in direct stimulus payments – $600 checks to be sent to taxpayers earning between $30,000 and $75,000 annually. An additional $500 will be sent to families with dependent children.
  • Any Colorado resident who earns less than $52,000 and received at least one weekly unemployment check is eligible to receive a check for $375 from the Centennial State’s general fund.
  • The American Rescue Plan provided enough funds for Florida to deliver $1,000 checks to educators, police officers, paramedics, EMTs, and firefighters.
  • Georgia has distributed $1,000 bonuses to teachers. Maryland repealed state and local taxes on unemployment benefits. The state also provided families with a $500 stimulus check.
  • Michigan teachers who worked in school buildings received up to $3,000 in hazard pay. Missouri provided correctional officers with an extra $250 per paycheck.
  • More than 4,600 low-income households in New Mexico have recently received $750 in emergency financial assistance.

Faced with worker shortages and higher labor costs, companies are starting to automate service sector jobs that economists once considered safe, assuming that machines could not easily provide the human contact they believed customers would demand. “The robots escaped the manufacturing sector and went into the much larger service sector,” said Johannes Moenius, an economist at the University of Redlands. “I regarded contact jobs as safe. I was completely taken by surprise.” For example, an Arby’s drive through east of Los Angeles has installed an artificial-intelligence voice assistant to take orders. “It doesn’t call sick… It doesn’t get corona. And the reliability of it is great,” says owner Amir Siddiqi

In 1979, people aged 65 and older accounted for 3% of the nation’s workforce, representing the smallest contingent. Teenagers aged 16 to 19 years old were the second smallest cohort at 8.2%, according to the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forty years later, that trend flipped: 6.6% of the nation’s workforce were those 65-plus, while 3.2% were older teens. Additionally, the 55- to 64-year-old age group’s share increased by 5.5 percentage points to 17.2%, while the 20- to 24-year-old contingent’s share shrunk 6 percentage points to 8.5%. In 1979, almost two-thirds of the U.S. labor force consisted of workers who were married, the BLS data shows. Forty years later, that share was just north of 52%. The non-white share of U.S. workers increased to 22.3% in 2019 from 11.7% in 1979

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Hundreds of Palestinians were rioting Wednesday evening in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, clashing with IDF forces in response to calls by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups to protest the transfer of Palestinian security prisoners in Israel to different facilities for security reasons. The IDF, along with police and Israel’s Security Agency, is on a manhunt for six terrorists who escaped from the Gilboa prison in the north. Islamic Jihad prisoners at Ketziot prison burned seven of the facility’s 12 cells Wednesday and set fire to various objects. Inmates in the Ramon prison set fire to two cells in different wings. Teams from Israel’s “Masada” intervention unit stepped in and took over and evacuated the prisoners while the flames were brought under control. The clashes began in Huwara in the Nablus area and in Manara Square in Ramallah – and from there on continued to other centers throughout the PA-controlled territory as well as in eastern Jerusalem Hundreds of Palestinians have been burning tires and throwing stones and rocks at the IDF forces.

Iran is refusing to allow inspectors access to nuclear-related sites and hindering a probe by the United Nations atomic agency while continuing to expand its nuclear activities, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in two confidential reports Tuesday, casting doubt on efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. The reports leave the Biden administration and its European allies facing a choice between pushing for a formal rebuke of Iran—which Tehran’s new hardline government has warned could scuttle the resumption of nuclear talks—or refraining from action, potentially undercutting the authority of the IAEA and its leadership.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

A commercial flight took off from Kabul airport on Thursday for the first time since the Taliban seized Afghanistan, hours after the militants cleared a group of about 200 Americans and other foreign nationals to leave the country. It is unclear at this stage whether or how many Americans were on board the Qatar Airways flight, reported earlier to be bound for Doha, or the nationalities of the other passengers.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), whose office has been working to evacuate two elderly U.S. citizens from Afghanistan, said it’s likely that about 500 Americans remain stranded in the country, a figure that’s at odds with estimates provided by White House officials. When including the family members of U.S. citizens, Issa said the number of people stranded in Afghanistan could be as high as 1,000.

A hostage situation is brewing in Afghanistan as the Taliban refuses to allow planes filled with Americans and Afghan allies to leave the country, according to a Republican congressman. Texas Rep. Mike McCaul made the revelation during an appearance on Fox News on Sunday. “We have six airplanes at Mazar Sharif Airport — six airplanes with American citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters — and the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands right now.”

U.S. Embassy contractors and visa applicants are among the Afghans left behind after one of the largest airlifts in history. The massive evacuation effort left “many of our longtime partners” behind, according to a State Department spokesperson. One person familiar with the matter said they included about 2,000 contractors and immediate family members, some of whom had worked at the embassy for more than a decade.

The Taliban claimed victory Monday over last pocket of resistance in Afghanistan. The group said it seized control of Panjshir province, a restive mountain region, cementing its total control over Afghanistan a week after U.S. forces departed the country. However, the National Resistance Front in Afghanistan (NRF), an anti-Taliban group which has been battling the militants’ offensive in the Panjshir Valley, denied the claim.

The Taliban have announced the formation of a hardline interim government Tuesday for Afghanistan, with key roles being shared among veterans of the militant group and their allies in the U.S.-sanctioned Haqqani Network. Two senior figures in the Haqqani Network, a U.S.-designated terror group aligned with the Taliban and al Qaeda, will be in in the interim government. Both have been sanctioned by the United Nations and the U.S. The Taliban also announced that the country now is a “caliphate” and have promised to ignore international laws that violate their Islamic religious law.

  • The White House said there is “no rush” to recognize the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan, saying that recognition from the U.S. will be “dependent” on their actions. “The world will be watching whether they allow for American citizens, whether they allow individuals to leave who want to, and how they treat women and girls around the country,” press secretary Jen Psaki said.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

As we remember the horrific events of 9/11 twenty years ago, many experts say that our disastrous departure from Afghanistan will increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks in the near future. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan because it was the refuge of Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Now, as the Taliban establish control over the country, it will once more become a haven for many terrorist groups who pose an extreme threat to the U.S.

A suicide attack killed at least four people and injured 20 others in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan early Sunday. A convoy of the paramilitary Frontier Corps was targeted as it was changing duty at a security post. The attacker used a motorcycle to get near the paramilitary force, which is in overall charge of security in Baluchistan, a restive province in northwest Pakistan that borders Afghanistan’s south. More than 13 pounds of explosives were used, officials said. The militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility. The TTP is a separate organization from the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

The number of orphans and widows … continues to grow,” said a Nigerian church leader writing to Barnabas Aid after Fulani militants attacked dozens of villages in Kaduna and Plateau states, leaving 1,500 Christian households displaced – approximately 11,000 individuals. Their homes were damaged and destroyed, and 150 Christians were injured during the attacks. Of these, 17 were seriously injured and needed professional medical assistance for gunshot and machete wounds but could not afford it. Many of the displaced households are sheltering in schools, sleeping in the classrooms.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

The Caldor Fire, which has threatened the popular tourist spot of Lake Tahoe, came under better control this weekend, and some evacuation orders have been downgraded. The growth of the fire burning along the California and Nevada border has slowed significantly. In the 24-hour period between Friday night and Saturday night, the fire grew by only 842 acres and was 43% contained as of Sunday morning.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

A powerful earthquake struck near the Pacific resort city of Acapulco on Tuesday night, killing at least one person and causing buildings to rock and sway in Mexico City hundreds of miles away. The US Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centered about 10 miles northeast of Acapulco.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

Solar energy should make up 45% percent of U.S. electricity by 2050, Biden administration announced Wednesday. The new Energy Department goal would scale up production of solar panels, which currently provide 3 percent of the nation’s electricity, to 45 percent over the next three decades. The move would transform the nation’s energy industry and infrastructure as part of President Biden’s climate change initiatives.

The Australian government said Monday that the country would keep producing and exporting coal “well beyond 2030,” despite a stark warning from a top UN climate official that failing to scrap the fossil fuel will “wreak havoc” on the economy. The decision, announced by the minister for resources and water, Keith Pitt, puts Australia at odds with several other developed nations, which are working towards phasing out coal by the end of the decade.

The notorious spotted lanternfly continues to wreak havoc on the East Coast as New Jersey adds more counties to its infested list. The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that prevents plants from photosynthesizing, causing them to die. In recent days, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture added five new counties to the growing list of areas being overtaken by lanternflies, bringing the state’s total to 13. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania currently has 34 counties infested.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

The summer of 2021, which produced numerous extreme weather and climate disasters, tied for the hottest on record in the U.S. with the Dust Bowl summer of 1936, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The average temperature from meteorological summer — June, July and August — was 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average. More than 18% of the contiguous U.S. experienced record warm temperatures this summer, NOAA reported. California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah each reported their warmest summer on record, and 16 other states had a top-5 warmest.

Excessive heat during several days without electricity is proving to be the biggest killer from Hurricane Ida in Louisiana as the death toll continues to rise. Eleven more deaths were added to the state’s Ida tally Wednesday, with eight of them attributed to excessive heat during extended power outages after the storm.

There was a small overall improvement in the megadrought in the U.S. West, with the percentage of the area in severe to exceptional drought declining over the past week to 81% from 83%, but still higher than the 75% of three months ago. Utah remains the worst with 100% of its area in severe to exceptional drought. Oregon and Montana remained the same at 99%; California improved to 94% from 96% a week ago; Nevada and North Dakota remained the same at 95%; Idaho remained the same at 88%; South Dakota improved to 65% from 70%; Wyoming worsened to 63% from 60%; Washington remain the same at 59%; New Mexico improved to 42% from 54%; Arizona decreased to 40% from 54%; and Colorado remained the same at 24%. The Midwest, South and Atlantic Coast states have virtually no drought at all.

When Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on parts of the Northeast in 2012, it exposed the dire need to strengthen New York City’s infrastructure to adapt to what was then a looming threat of the climate crisis. Nearly a decade later, the city is picking up the pieces after another climate whiplash it was unprepared for. Within two weeks, two storms — Henri and Ida — broke rainfall records in the Northeast. When the remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped more than 7 inches of rain on parts of New York City, officials and meteorologists seemed stunned by the devastating flooding that ensued. “This is the biggest wake-up call we could possibly get,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “What we have to recognize is the suddenness, the brutality of storms now. It is different.”

The state of Louisiana announced Tuesday that seven nursing homes will have their licenses revoked after it was revealed they evacuated residents to a warehouse with terrible conditions as Hurricane Ida neared the coastline. Department of Health Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press that these seven nursing homes “clearly failed to execute their emergency preparedness plans to provide essential care and services to their residents.” At least a dozen people have died while under nursing home care or in senior citizen housing in the wake of Hurricane Ida and its sweltering aftermath, while hundreds of thousands of people are still without electricity.

Less than 10 years remain before the oft-claimed “tipping point” for the planet, but sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is the highest it’s been in nine years, increasing more than 30% from last year, while the Antarctic’s level is well above normal. That’s according to the Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility’s High Latitude Processing Center, pointed out climate-change skeptic Tony Heller. He noted the Arctic Ocean gained a record amount of sea ice during the first week of September. “Most years the Arctic loses ice, but this year ice extent has increased” more than 77,000 square miles, he wrote on Twitter, adding the news likely would not be reported by CNN, BBC News or the New York Times.

Signs of the Times : September 4, 2021

September 4, 2021

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Retired Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, led a “group of special op soldiers including retired Green Berets and SEAL Team commanders” who were inspired to take matters into their own hands “after one of the Afghan commandos they served with contacted them to say he was on the run from the Taliban. His visa had not been approved when the Taliban took over on August 14 and thousands ran for the airport,” “The special ops soldiers first devised a system with U.S. troops at the airport where they sent their comrades to a gate and told them to identify themselves with the password ‘pineapple’ to be put on a plane by the Marines on the ground. The group “worked unofficially in tandem with the United States military and the U.S. embassy to move people, sometimes one person at a time, or in pairs, but rarely more than a small bunch, inside the wire of the U.S. military controlled side of Hamid Karzai International Airport.”

A few days ago, RUN (Reaching Unreached Nations) rescue teams found several widows and 50 children hiding in a cave in Afghanistan. The husbands had been killed; their homes and small family farms were burned to the ground; and they had no food, water, or future. “Thankfully, the Holy Spirit directed our teams to find and rescue them. In the dark of night, we moved them to a place of greater safety inside the country.”

Grace Community Church may soon be receiving a $400,000 payment of legal fees from Los Angeles County following a legal battle over the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. Throughout the pandemic, Grace Community Church engaged in a legal battle with the state and county, contending that those restrictions violated religious freedom. The county has already spent over $950,000 in attorneys’ fees and other costs corresponding to the legal battle with the church. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote for the settlement agreement in which the county Department of Public Health’s budget will pay $400,000 for legal fees to the church. Pastor John MacArthur, who has led the church since 1969, celebrated the current matter as a “monumental victory for Grace Community Church and for religious freedom, essentially establishing the Church as an ‘essential service.’

The Virginia Supreme Court on Monday affirmed a lower court’s decision to reinstate Tanner Cross, a physical education teacher at Leesburg Elementary School, to his position after Loudoun County Public Schools suspended him for expressing his views on the board’s transgender agenda. The district has been ground zero in America for the fight over transgender mandates in public schools in recent weeks, and just days ago formally adopted a policy demanding adherence to the socio-political agenda. The lower court had ruled Cross’ suspension was likely unconstitutional because his freedom to speak his opinion is protected by the First Amendment. The school then appealed to the high court, which also ruled in the teacher’s favor.

A human trafficking operation joined by 12 states has rescued 47 victims and arrested 102 people, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced on Aug. 27. The operation rescued victims and made arrests in 12 states. “Operation United Front was an unprecedented human trafficking operation that brought together law enforcement agencies from different jurisdictions—something that rarely happens. When we all come together, we can affect change and more effectively fight human trafficking, a crime that is often multi-jurisdictional in nature,” Schmitt said.

The Falling Away: Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. (1Timothy 4:1) Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13)

A survey conducted in February 2021 by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University found that most American adults (69 percent) are “self-identified Christians.” However, while they hold to the basic tenets of the faith, these self-identified Christians hold to some beliefs that contradict the Bible, such as believing that people are basically good (72 percent) and that there’s no absolute truth (52 percent). Additionally, 58 percent of self-identified Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is not a real, living being, 64 percent say all faiths are of equal value and 57 percent believe in karma. Regarding social issues (i.e., gay marriage, abortion, etc.), just over four-in-ten self-identified Christians held conservative views on the issues (42 percent), while 36 percent of Christians maintained a liberal viewpoint on social issues and 26 percent had moderate views.

  • A majority of these self-identified Christians are really pseudo-Christians, not true born-again Christians. Unfortunately, these pseudo-Christians cause unbelievers to see Christ’s Church as fractured, inconsistent and hypocritical. True believers must shine the light of truth and love ever more brightly as the darkness of the world increases all the more.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain), and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

According to the transcript of a July 23 call by President Biden with then-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani as reviewed by Reuters, Biden didn’t anticipate the Taliban’s rapid advance across Afghanistan, which ended when its fighters stormed Kabul on Aug. 15 and Ghani fled the presidential palace. Instead, Biden focused much of the 14-minute call on the Afghan government’s “perception” problem, Reuters reported. “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden said. “And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”

  • Our Liar-in-Chief was caught encouraging the Afghan president to lie as well. Didn’t turn out so well.

In a recent video, a teacher at a California high school recently bragged on TikTok about having her kids say the pledge of allegiance. But it wasn’t to an American flag, it was to a pride flag instead. She took down her American flag during COVID because it made her uncomfortable. Now she has a LGBTQRSTUV flag hanging up on the wall of her classroom. In another video, preschool teacher brags about how she’s been teaching 2-year-olds about there being more than two genders, brainwashing these toddlers into the progressive agenda.

  • Public schools have become indoctrination centers into the secular humanism religion.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

At a safe house in Kabul, Jaiuddin (not his real name) has been hiding along with 12 other Afghans since the Taliban seized control of the city nearly three weeks ago. In an exclusive interview with CBN News, Jaiuddin and the others, who are part of Afghanistan’s very small Christian community, told us they have no passports, no US government-issued exit papers, and right now, see their hopes of escape diminish with each passing hour. “One of us is always awake during the night, always walking around and praying, so if the Taliban should come and knock on our door, we should alert everyone,” Jaiuddin said. “We had many plans for preaching the Gospel with other brothers and sisters but then the Taliban took control so quickly, it happened so fast,” said Sarah, an Afghan Christian leader. And now they’ve been marked by the Taliban. “Every day I receive a phone call, from a private number, and the person—a Taliban soldier—warns me that if he sees me again, he’ll behead me,” said a concerned Jaiuddin.

Conservative author and commentator Candace Owens was denied medical care in the form of a coronavirus test by a Colorado laboratory because of her political beliefs. Owens was sent a letter by Aspen Laboratories’ co-founder Suzanna Lee informing her that her “booking” was being cancelled and that she would be “denied service” because of both her aversion to governmental face mask mandates and her opinion on the effectiveness of vaccination shots.

An Oregon trooper was placed on paid leave after he posted a video on Instagram saying he will defy the liberal state’s vaccine mandate for government workers. “I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, to protect the freedom of the people who pay my salary,” Zachary Kowing, 29, said in the video posted to Instagram last week. “I do not work for my governor but for them.” Kowing, an eight-year employee of the Oregon State Police, noted in the video that he would “likely get fired” for the comments, but said that he is “nonetheless exercising my First Amendment right to speak freely” about Governor Brown’s vaccine mandate.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

Texas passed a new abortion law that outlaws abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. After a panel of appellate judges refused to block enforcement of the law, it became effective at midnight Wednesday. Abortion providers in Texas had asked the Supreme Court to prevent enforcement of the law, but the deeply divided justices voted to not block enforcement of the law by a 5-4 margin. Chief Justice Roberts joined the liberals in voting for the denial. For now, Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas have stopped scheduling abortions beyond six weeks from conception.

  • In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to not block the Texas law banning abortions, President Biden has launched a full federal government campaign to block and overturn the law. On Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that Congress will vote on a controversial pro-choice bill that would legalize abortion “without limitations” nationwide.
  • President Biden on Friday appeared to change a position he had just six years ago on whether life begins at conception. “I respect those who believe life begins in the moment of conception – I respect that,” he told reporters. “Don’t agree but I respect that.” In 2008, he said: “I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception.”

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

The 7-day average of new U.S. Covid-19 cases rose to 163,667 on Friday, 9/3, up from a low of 10,608 on July 8. Deaths from Covid-19 in the United States have reached an average of 1,500 daily, far above the low 200s they were in early July. It was expected that deaths would rise following a surge in cases, as has been the trend throughout the pandemic. What is new, though, is that in many places where vaccination and natural immunity is high, deaths are not – while states with low vaccination rates also tend to be where deaths are surging.

Children accounted for 22.4% of total COVID-19 cases in the U.S. for week ending Aug. 26, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. The increase comes as children have begun in-person schooling for the first time since the pandemic began. The ages that states consider to be a “child” case vary, but mostly are in the 5-18 age range. Children under 12 are currently ineligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

More children went to the hospital and emergency room in states with lower vaccination rates, according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the two week period in mid to late August, ER visits were 3.4 times higher and hospitalizations were 3.7 times higher than in states with the highest vaccination rates. The states with the lowest vaccination coverage are all in the South.

The “mu” coronavirus variant is now officially a “variant of interest”—and scientists naming COVID variants are now halfway through the Greek alphabet. The mu variant, also known as B.1.1621, was given the designation this week by the World Health Organization. The WHO warned that the variant has a “constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape,” meaning it could be a threat to people with immunity due to vaccination or earlier infection. The WHO says the virus was first detected in Colombia in January and now accounts for almost 40% of new cases. The mu variant has been detected in 39 countries worldwide, but it only accounts for 0.1% of COVID cases in globally. In the US, where the delta variant is believed to make up 99% of COVID cases, it is not an immediate threat.

A large-scale study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found a 21% lower incidence of Covid-19 in schools that required students to wear masks compared to schools where masks were optional. The study analyzed some 90,000 elementary students in 169 Georgia schools from Nov. 16 to Dec. 11. However, COVID-19 data in Oregon showed the new statewide mask mandate has not flattened the rate of infection, according to a Oregon Health & Science University analysis.

The demand for monoclonal antibody therapies to treat COVID-19 cases has risen dramatically in America in recent weeks as cases soar. Experts say that monoclonal antibody treatments may significantly reduce the risk of severe illness when used within a week of infection. However, the therapy is given intravenously and a single dose costs $1,250. So, even if the drug is distributed free of charge, the infusion alone can cost $1,000, which may result in hefty copayments even for people who are insured. Regeneron is shipping 125,000 doses per week, up from 25,000 doses in mid-July.

Effective Monday, the entire Liberty University campus is under a temporary quarantine due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The private evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Va., founded by Jerry Falwell Sr. and until recently run by his scandal-plagued son, reported 159 active coronavirus cases among students and staff as of Saturday, surpassing the previous high of 141 cases last fall. Now, classes have been switched to virtual, campus dining has been switched to takeout-only, and large indoor gatherings have been prohibited until September 10, when the quarantine is scheduled to end. The university does not have a vaccine requirement.

International

The European Union is recommending that its 27 member countries reinstate restrictions on American travelers, a change that would primarily affect unvaccinated people, as soaring rates of new coronavirus infections have made the United States a global pandemic hot spot. The move comes with several caveats: The recommendations are not legally binding, and it is up to individual members to decide whether to implement them.

Australia is one of the last holdouts of a ‘Zero Covid’ strategy aiming to totally eliminate the virus. Australians lit up social media over the past year with video of citizens being hauled from their homes by police or handcuffed in parks for violating Covid protocols. But last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a startling admission. “This is not a sustainable way to live in this country,” he said. From now on, cases will be allowed to rise as long as hospitals can cope with them. Most restrictions will be dropped once 80% of the adults are vaccinated, which officials believe is achievable by the end of the year.

  • Last month, New Zealand – the last “zero COVID” holdout – locked down the entire country over one COVID case. The lockdown will remain in effect until at least mid-September, but the number of cases has grown anyway.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

A lot of people are ‘secret vaxers’ – about 11% of vaccinated Americans are keeping it a secret from their family, while 6% aren’t telling anyone, according to a Harris Poll conducted exclusively for USA TODAY.

The concept of what “full vaccination” means – two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one of the Johnson & Johnson shot – is likely to change. That’s the estimation of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who on Thursday presented data supporting booster shots during a briefing of the White House COVID-19 response team. Asked whether another dose will be required, Fauci said the decision will be up to the Food and Drug Administration, but added, “I would not at all be surprised that the adequate full regimen for vaccination will likely be three doses.”

  • U.S. health officials warned Friday that booster shots initially may be limited to Pfizer recipients. There’s been no guidance yet for those who took the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Florida Department of Health has issued a notice indicating it will start issuing $5,000 fines to businesses, schools, and government agencies that require Floridians to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, effective September 16.

A large study from the UK released Wednesday found that “breakthrough” infections among vaccinated people remain within the expected performance of the vaccines, and that vaccinated people who do become infected are twice as likely to be asymptomatic. The study published in the Lancet medical journal looked at data on 1.2 million vaccinated adults between early December 2020 and early July this year. It found that less than 0.2% reported a breakthrough infection more than a week after their second shot. Among those who were infected—mostly older people or those with underlying illnesses—the risk of hospitalization was reduced by more than two-thirds.

The CDC’s ‘Vaccination Adverse Event Reporting System’ (VAERS) is showing that there have been many severe reactions and deaths for teens aged 12-17. However, VAERS is a passive system requiring individuals to report adverse reactions. There is no vetting of the data, so it’s accuracy is questionable. Generally, it shows that overall adverse vaccination reactions are substantially more than the official data the CDC collects.

More than 80% of Americans 16 and older have some level of immunity against the coronavirus, mostly through vaccination, a survey of blood donations indicates. The survey, led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, worked with 17 blood collection organizations working in all 50 states plus Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico to test blood covering 74% of the population and tested about 1.4 million samples. In July 2020, before any vaccine was available, 3.5% of samples carried antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. That rose to 11.5% by December, they reported in the medical journal JAMA. By May, 83.3% of samples had antibodies to the virus, most of them from vaccination.

  • Those who donate blood may not be representative of the overall U.S. population.

A judge in Chicago barred Rebecca Firlit, the mother of an 11-year-old boy, from seeing her son under partial parental custody because she is not vaccinated against COVID-19. Ferlit is appealing the decision, claiming the judge was placing his views onto her. “I’ve had adverse reactions to vaccines in the past and was advised not to get vaccinated by my doctor. It poses a risk,” Ferlit told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I was confused because (the hearing) was just supposed to be about expenses and child support. I asked him what it had to do with the hearing, and he said, ‘I am the judge, and I make the decisions for your case.’”

First anti-vaxers Dick Farrel, then Phil Valentine, and now a third conservative radio host who had spoken out against the COVID-19 vaccine has died of the coronavirus. Marc Bernier, a well-known 65-year-old talk radio personality in Daytona Beach, Fla., died Saturday night after being hospitalized August 7. He had been off the air the previous week because he was sick, and was diagnosed with COVID the day prior to his hospitalization. Bernier had long distrusted vaccines due to impacts he believed they’d had on people close to him,. In December, he vowed on the air never to get the COVID vaccine, referring to himself as “Mr. Anti-Vax” when his friend and co-host questioned him about it.

International

Israeli government officials said that COVID-19 vaccine passports will expire six months after the second Pfizer dose, meaning that people will need to receive booster shots to keep their passes valid. “From today, the third dose is available to everyone,” said Israeli Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash on Sunday, Aug. 29. The vaccine passport is required to access a number of different venues, including restaurants, theaters, and bars. France, Italy, as well as cities such as New York City and San Francisco, implemented similar mandates in recent weeks, triggering concerns that such systems would create inequality between those who are vaccinated and those who are not.

The European Union’s counterpart to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said there’s no urgent need to deploy COVID-19 vaccine boosters, coming a week after U.S. federal health officials recommended them and set a Sept. 20 deadline. “Based on current evidence, there is no urgent need for the administration of booster doses of vaccines to fully vaccinated individuals in the general population,” the EU agency stated.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is urging countries to hold off on giving COVID-19 booster shots through September so poorer nations can provide citizens with their first dose of the vaccine. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that some low-income countries, including many in Africa, have less than 2 percent of their adult populations fully vaccinated. More than 5 billion COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered globally, with 75 percent of them administered in just 10 wealthier countries.

Japan has discovered a contaminant affecting millions of doses across hundreds of vaccine injection sites. Japan announced on Aug. 26 that it’s suspending the use of about 1.63 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine due to reports of contamination. “It’s a substance that reacts to magnets … it could be metal,” a ministry official reportedly said, according to Nikkei Asia.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

New Zealand authorities were so worried about an Islamic extremist they were following him around-the-clock and were able to shoot and kill him within 60 seconds of him unleashing a frenzied knife attack that wounded six people Friday at an Auckland supermarket. Three of the shoppers were taken to Auckland hospitals in critical condition, police said. Another was in serious condition, while two more were in moderate condition.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

There have been more than double the number of ambush-style attacks on law enforcement so far this year compared to the same time in 2020, national police union records show. As of Tuesday, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) recorded 67 “ambush-style attacks” on officers year to date, with 83 officers wounded — 20 of them did not survive. “What we’re witnessing should alarm all Americans: 2021 is on pace to have record levels of officers SHOT and KILLED by gunfire,” the union said in a Wednesday tweet. 

Thieves stole 880,595 vehicles in the U.S. during the pandemic in 2020, up 10.9% from 2019, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. “We haven’t seen this kind of a stark increase … in the last 30 years,” NICB CEO David Glawe said. The spike appears to be continuing into 2021. Glawe added that jobless young men are especially susceptible to committing vehicle theft.

New Orleans police are looking for a 911 operator accused of deliberately hanging up during emergency calls who has since been fired, authorities said. The New Orleans Police Department on Thursday said it was looking for Precious Stephens on charges of malfeasance in office and interfering with an emergency communication. Stephens was working with the Orleans Parish Communications District when she allegedly disconnected 911 calls without taking vital information or relaying the calls to other dispatchers for aid.

Racism/Critical Race Theory: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

U.S. hate crimes rose in 2020 to the highest level since 2008, propelled by increasing assaults on Black and Asian victims, the FBI reported Monday. Over a tumultuous 12 months marked by a global pandemic, a divisive presidential election and economic upheaval, the number of hate crimes reported to the FBI grew to 7,759, a jump of 6 percent since 2019. Anti-Jewish bias accounted for 676 incidents — 57 percent of the 1,174 religiously motivated hate crimes in 2020 — aligning with the annual finding that the Jewish community is disproportionately targeted by religiously motivated crimes, given that Jews account for less than 2 percent of the U.S. population. However, the total number of anti-Jewish incidents is down from 953 in 2019.

A Colorado grand jury has indicted five police officers and paramedics involved in the August 2019 death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was stopped by police while walking home from a store, put in a carotid hold and then injected with ketamine, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Wednesday.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

The Justice Department on Wednesday secured its 50th guilty plea in the January 6 capital riot. Nearly 600 people from 44 states and Washington, DC, have been charged in federal court. Prosecutors are working to resolve many of the lower-level cases, and most of the 50 guilty pleas are for nonviolent rioters.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Parents are taking their children’s education into their own hands in record numbers after a disastrously tumultuous school year. The U.S. Census Bureau’s experimental Household Pulse Survey, which is an online survey recording social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrates a dramatic shift towards homeschooling within the past year and a half. During Phase 1 (April 23 to May 5, 2020) of the survey, about 5.4 percent of households with school-aged children said they were homeschooling. By the fall (September 30 to October 12, 2020), 11.1 percent of households with school-aged children reported homeschooling. The number increased to a staggering 19.5 percent by May of 2021.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

The GOP lawmakers in the Texas legislature give final approval to new voting restrictions Tuesday, overcoming Democratic opposition. The bill, which Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to quickly sign into law, bans measures such as drive-through voting, which was adopted in Harris County during the pandemic last year, and empowers partisan poll watchers.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Philadelphia International Airport has been transformed into a welcome center For Afghan evacuees, processing hundreds of men, women, and children fleeing the country as U.S. troops leave. On Saturday, the city reported 505 total evacuees came through the airport on two aircraft. On Sunday, several hundred more evacuees arrived on three aircraft. Upon arrival, refugees enter terminal A-East where they find representatives from city, state, and federal agencies, as well as local hospitals and non-profit agencies, who provide immediate services after they deplane and are cleared by customs. They receive a general medical evaluation that includes a required COVID-19 test, physical and mental health support services, and the opportunity to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Refugees are then escorted to retrieve luggage and be transported to their next destination.

  • It’s not clear yet what their ‘next destination’ is. While some may have family to take them in, many of them have no prior connections to U.S. residents or organizations.

Older Afghan men with young girls they claimed as “brides” were among the people evacuated from Afghanistan by the United States, according to U.S. officials. Working at intake centers in Wisconsin and the United Arab Emirates, the officials found numerous incidents in which older men presented young Afghan girls as their wives. In Muslim-majority Afghanistan, child marriage is not uncommon. But several of the Afghan girls at a transition site in Abu Dhabi alleged that in order to escape Afghanistan, they were forced to marry older men who had raped them, according to a diplomatic cable.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday that his department has flagged some Afghan evacuees as potential security risks and blocked them from reaching the U.S., and he vowed to make America’s safety the core of the airlift. Mr. Mayorkas, in his first briefing on the airlift, said those who reach the U.S. will be resettled in the country, and said it’s a commitment the U.S. owes to those who helped the American effort or who face dangers from the Taliban takeover of their home country. But Mayorkas didn’t reveal what has happened to those who were blocked.

Sixty-one people died trying to sneak into the U.S. in May across the Mexican border, and 383 have died over the last 10 months. They’ve drowned, fallen from the border wall, died of exposure, succumbed to illness or, increasingly, perished in car wrecks when the smugglers careened out of control. If seasonal patterns hold, the number of border deaths are on pace to exceed 2005 as the worst year on record.

E-Verify, the government’s pricey system to verify that employees are authorized to work legally in the U.S. has approved thousands of illegal immigrants and hundreds of thousands of foreigners without using its own photo-matching process to confirm identities, reports Judicial Watch. Additionally, the system, which is operated by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, deemed around 4,000 foreign-born applicants as “employment authorized” based on employer-sponsored visas without verifying that candidates were actually hired by the employers that sponsored them.

  • Yet another government program fraught with malfunction and malfeasance at great taxpayer cost.

Health: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2) Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1Corinthians 6:19-20)

America’s addiction to sugar and sweeteners has reached epidemic levels, healthcare experts warn. In fact, it has become the root cause of many chronic illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Sugar is the most popular ingredient added to the nation’s favorite foods and drinks — not just in sweet treats, but in processed items like ketchup, crackers, bread, soup, cereal, and salad dressing. “Americans are having dessert several times a day and don’t know it,” says pediatrician Alan Greene.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

Hiring slowed sharply in August as employers added a disappointing 235,000 jobs, with COVID-19 surges dampening both consumer demand and Americans’ willingness to return to work. Economists had estimated that 750,000 jobs would be added last month, Restaurants and bars, which had been driving record employment gains, actually shed jobs., However, the unemployment rate, which is calculated from a different survey, fell from 5.4% to 5.2%, the Labor Department said Friday. However, Black unemployment rose from 8.2% to 8.8%.

  • There are 10 million job openings, and 8.4 million unemployed. But the economy is undergoing massive changes, so there’s a big mismatch at the moment between the jobs available and what workers want.
  • So far, the U.S. has recovered 17 million, or 76%, of the 22.4 million jobs lost in the spring of last year, leaving the nation 5.3 million jobs below its pre-pandemic level.
  • A McDonald’s in Oregon is pushing towards a new business model: Hiring 14-year-old and 15-year-olds to help offset a shortage of workers in the COVID era. 

In July, the median price of an existing home sold rose to $359,900, according to the National Association of Realtors. That represents a 17.8% increase compared to July of 2020. With housing inventory lacking, buyers have limited options these days for finding homes that fit within their budgets.

If Congress doesn’t implement a new eviction ban, 750,000 American households could be evicted later this year, according to new research. Goldman Sachs estimates that between 2.5 million and 3.5 million households are significantly behind on rent, owing a combined $12 billion to $17 billion to landlords. Without rental assistance funding or new legislation, Goldman Sachs estimates three-quarters of a million renters will face eviction this fall and winter. The Wall Street bank noted that roughly half of all U.S. eviction filings resulted in eviction between 2006 and 2016.

General Motors will idle nearly all its assembly plants in North America starting Monday as the COVID-19 pandemic affects production of semiconductor chips. The industry already has been experiencing a global shortage of the chips, used in a variety of car parts, since early this year. The chips are also used in small electronics and as more workers and children stayed home from work and school last year during the pandemic, demand for personal electronics, such as laptops and smartphones, rose and created a shortage of chips. 

Fortune 500 corporate boardrooms increasingly have embraced a “woke” agenda — such as Gillette lecturing its shavers about toxic masculinity and Bank of America having guest speakers declare capitalism evil. In response, some Wall Street players now are offering exchange traded funds (ETFs) that exclude left-wing companies, taking a page from the activist playbook that created investment programs to boycott enterprises deemed environmentally unfriendly. In the process, the ETFs seek to influence not only the behavior of investors but also of company directors.

Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket chain, is teaming up with Kitchen United to open ghost kitchens in its grocery stores. Ghost kitchens provide facilities for restaurants, catering services, and other businesses to prepare food for takeout and delivery. Rarely do ghost kitchens feature any sort of seating area for customers. The benefit of ghost kitchens is that they can be shared by multiple restaurants or brands. Wendy’s announced that they will open 700 ghost kitchens by 2025.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Palestinian Authority (PA) chair Mahmoud Abbas on Monday evening, marking the highest level discussion between PA and Israeli politicians in over a decade. Gantz wrote on Twitter that the two men had discussed “security-policy, civilian and economic issues.” “I told chairman Abbas that Israel seeks to take measures that will strengthen the PA’s economy,” Gantz added. “We also discussed shaping the security and economic situations in the West Bank and in Gaza. We agreed to continue communicating further on the issues that were raised during the meeting.”

Israel and the U.S. have agreed to pursue a joint strategy to halt Iran’s nuclear program, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, without providing further details. “We achieved all the goals that we set for this visit, and even more,” Bennett said before boarding a flight to Israel from the U.S. Bennett, who met with President Joe Biden on Friday, said Israel had made “significant headway” in equipping its military and had also made progress on its bid for visa-free entry for its citizens to the U.S.

“A surface-to-air missile was launched overnight from Syria to Israeli territory. The missile exploded above the sea,” an IDF statement read. “This morning, residents of central Israel located a number of the missile’s fragments scattered on the ground.”

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

U.S. and European efforts to coax Iran back into nuclear negotiations as soon as this month are being blunted by support the Islamic Republic’s already emboldened leaders are receiving from China and Russia. The result is that three years after former President Donald Trump imposed his “maximum pressure” policy, Iran has enriched uranium close to weapons grade while its economy is showing some signs of stabilizing with the help of Beijing and Moscow, even as crucial oil exports remain heavily sanctioned. 

Iran and Syria vowed on Sunday to take “mighty steps” to confront U.S. sanctions imposed on the two regional allies, saying their relations will strengthen under Iran’s new leadership. The announcement was made by Iran’s new Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who was received at the airport a visit to Damascus by his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad. Iran has been one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s strongest backers, sending thousands of fighters from around the region to help his troops in Syria’s 10-year conflict that has killed half a million and displaced half the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

The Pentagon said Monday that the United States had pulled out the last of its troops and the evacuation operation at Kabul’s international airport had ended. The departure caps a chaotic withdrawal that was rushed by the Taliban’s rapid takeover of the country and scarred by a deadly suicide attack that killed 13 U.S. service members and scores of Afghans. More than 120,000 people had been evacuated since Aug. 14, amounting to one of the largest airlifts in history, but the deteriorating security situation and chaos at the airport resulted in some Americans and thousands of Afghan allies being left behind.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby acknowledged Tuesday that Americans were “stranded” in Afghanistan, despite the earlier stance by White House press secretary Jen Psaki that use of the term to describe those unable to escape the Taliban-controlled country was “irresponsible.” U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) head Gen. Frank McKenzie said that there the number of Americans who remain in Afghanistan “in the low hundreds.” “There’s a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure. We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out,” said McKenzie. He said that if U.S. troops remained in Afghanistan for           another 10 days, “we wouldn’t have gotten everybody out … and there still would’ve been people who would’ve been disappointed.” There are also “thousands” of American University of Afghanistan students left behind to an uncertain fate at the hands of the Taliban.

“The majority” of Afghans who worked for the United States during its two decade military campaign were likely left behind in the chaotic and rushed evacuation from Afghanistan, a senior State Department official said Wednesday. The unnamed official described an evacuation effort confronted by numerous challenges, including Taliban checkpoints with “variable” and “unpredictable” criteria for allowing people to pass.

Students, alumni, and staff of the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, as well as their relatives, have been informed that evacuations are over and they should return home. The group says it spent seven hours waiting for clearance to get into the Kabul airport only to be turned away Sunday; an email from university administration that day told students, “I regret to inform you that the high command at HKIA in the airport has announced there will be no more rescue flights.” The Taliban has spoken out against universities where Muslim minds are “corrupted.”

Taliban fighters took the Afghan capital city of Kabul faster than anyone anticipated earlier this month – including the Taliban – but according to a Washington Post report, the U.S. had an opportunity to hold the city only to willingly turn it over. When Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the city began to collapse as gangs were reported to be taking over. This led to U.S. military leaders meeting and reaching an agreement with the Taliban, a U.S. official told the Post. Faced with the decision of whether to accept control over Kabul or allow the Taliban to do so, the U.S. opted for the latter, given President Biden’s insistence on withdrawing from Afghanistan by August 31. As part of the agreement, the U.S. assumed control of Kabul’s airport until the end of the month to facilitate its exit while the Taliban ruled the city.

The U.S. drone attack on the car of suspected ISIS-K bombers killed nine members of a nearby family, including six children, a relative claims. Neighbors and witnesses agree that children were among the dead, CNN reports. “We know that there were substantial and powerful subsequent explosions resulting from the destruction of the vehicle, indicating a large amount of explosive material inside that may have caused additional casualties,” a spokesperson for U.S. Central Command said Sunday.

The Taliban on Wednesday showed off dozens of American-made armored vehicles along with newly seized weapons at victory celebrations in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar Fighters waved white Taliban flags from Humvees and armored SUVs at the military parade, where many of the vehicles appeared in near perfect condition. The Taliban also organized an air display with a recently seized Black Hawk helicopter flying past the militants along the road while also trailing a white Taliban flag.

North Korea appears to have restarted the operation of its main nuclear reactor used to produce weapons fuels, the UN atomic agency said, as the North openly threatens to enlarge its nuclear arsenal amid long-dormant nuclear diplomacy with the United States. The annual report by the International Atomic Energy Agency refers to a 5-megawatt reactor at the North’s main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang. The reactor produces plutonium, one of the two key ingredients used to build nuclear weapons along with highly enriched uranium. The renewed operation of the 5-megawatt reactor and the radiochemical laboratory are “deeply troubling,” the IAEA said. The reactor had previously been inactive since December 2018.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

Four days after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, 20-year-old YouTuber Najma Sadeqi sat on her bed and recorded a final video to tens of thousands of followers. Usually, her posts would show her cooking or exploring Kabul alongside her friends, in bright clothes and with cheerful music playing in the background. Not this one. She told viewers she was too scared to walk the street, and asked them to pray for her. Days later, Sadeqi was killed in a terror attack outside Kabul’s international airport.

Afghan folk singer Fawad Andarabi was dragged from his home and killed by the Taliban in a restive mountain province north of Kabul on Friday, a local journalist told CNN, raising fears of a return to the militant group’s harsh rule of 20 years ago — including a clampdown on music.

One ISIS militant pleaded guilty Thursday in connection with the beheadings of four Americans. Alexanda Kotey, 37, was among a group of Islamic State members who abducted and beheaded Americans in Syria. Kotey is the first person convicted in a U.S. court in connection with the series of slayings. Journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller were killed by the militants. The three men were beheaded on camera in videos posted online. Foley was abducted in 2012 and the other three victims were abducted in 2013.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

Bearing down on scenic Lake Tahoe, the Caldor Fire grew overnight after jumping a highway and prompting mass evacuations of the lakeside town, fire officials said Tuesday. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the wildfire reached nearly 330 square miles on Thursday and is 27% contained. Wind gusts up to 35 mph and single-digit humidity caused the fire to grow rapidly. On Monday, roughly 22,000 residents of South Lake Tahoe jammed the city’s main artery for hours after they were ordered to leave as the fire advanced, chewing up drought-stricken vegetation.

  • After days of fierce winds, firefighters battling the Caldor Fire near Lake Tahoe took  advantage of better weather conditions Thursday and were even able to allow some people back to their homes.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

A federal judge Monday threw out a major Trump administration rule that scaled back federal protections for streams, marshes and wetlands across the United States, reversing one of the previous administration’s most significant environmental rollbacks. U.S. District Judge Rosemary Márquez wrote that Trump officials committed serious errors while writing the regulation, finalized last year, and that leaving it in place could lead to “serious environmental harm.” The ruling in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, which applies nationwide, will afford new protections for drinking-water supplies for millions of Americans, as well as for thousands of wildlife species that depend on America’s wetland acreage.

Tiny armyworms are marching and munching their way through lawns across the country, leaving grass and plants dead in their wake. Experts say a particularly widespread and intense outbreak of armyworms is overtaking lawns, leaving masses of Styrofoam ball-like eggs stuck to patio furniture and the sides of houses. But when they hatch, the pests can turn a lush green lawn into a brown, barren wasteland seemingly overnight. Rick Brandenburg, an entomologist at North Carolina State University, said, “In my 40 years, I have never seen the problem as widespread as it is this year.” Brandenburg said the fall armyworms are laying siege to North Carolina but also as far west as Texas and as far north as Michigan and northeastern states, areas that rarely see such significant armyworm populations.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

Weather disasters are hitting the globe five times more often than they did in the 1970s and are causing seven times more damage, according to a report released Wednesday by the United Nations’ weather agency, the World Meteorological Organization. “The number of weather, climate and water extremes are increasing and will become more frequent and severe in many parts of the world as a result of climate change,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a statement.

The remnants of what was once Hurricane Ida combined with a stalled front to dump heavy rain (over 8 inches in some places) that triggered massive flooding across the region. The remnants of Hurricane Ida roared through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York Wednesday night, killing 49 people, inundating roads and homes and leaving nearly 250,000 people without power. Central Park recorded the most rain it’s ever had in a single-hour span – 3.5 inches. Most of the victims were in New York and New Jersey, where people drowned in submerged cars and basement apartments or were swept away by rushing water.

  • Subway passengers were left stranded on platforms and in trains overnight. “I would not be surprised if we find additional bodies,” said the mayor of hard-hit Passaic, N.J.
  • At least 11 people died in NYC after water rushed into their below-ground apartment sunits, filling these ‘death traps’ up completely as the torrents kept residents from getting out or rescuers from getting in. The city is suspected of having tens of thousands of the illegal units.
  • A 70-year-old New Jersey man died after his car got stuck in two feet of water. “The water was rising 6 to 8 inches every 2 to 3 seconds,” the local fire chief aid, and rapidly reached a depth of 8 feet. “I have never seen rain like this,” he added.

Hurricane Ida’s catastrophic crawl across Louisiana and Mississippi inundated miles of roadways and neighborhoods, ripped apart buildings and trapped hundreds of residents who can’t call 911 because service has been knocked out and cannot be rescued because conditions are still too treacherous to reach them. At least 4 died. More than 1 million customers in Louisiana alone were without power, including all of New Orleans, where devastating damage occurred to the city’s transformers. All of Louisiana’s levee systems performed “extremely well,” Louisiana Gov. John Edwards said Monday. Two million Louisianans remained without power for a fourth day Wednesday as the impact of Hurricane Ida grew more dire amid oppressive heat. Officials say many will be without power for weeks due to the extensive, widespread damage of transmission lines and transformers.

  • At least 671 people had been rescued from floodwaters in Louisiana by Monday afternoon. Ninety percent, at least, of the homes in Jean Lafitte have got serious damage, reports the mayor. Over 700,000 people were either without water or under a boil-water advisory as of Tuesday. A top wind gust of 172 mph was confirmed by the National Weather Service. The situation after Ida was so dire that one Jefferson Parish official told those who had stayed during the storm to now leave rather than endure the weeks of hardship ahead. Seven children and five adults were taken from a home in New Orleans to the hospital Wednesday morning due to carbon monoxide poisoning. As of 7 am CT on Wednesday, more than half of the gas stations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans were without fuel.
  • Ida’s catastrophic crawl across Louisiana and Mississippi has left at least four people dead and hundreds of thousands of people without power for what could be days, if not weeks. A portion of a highway collapsed near Lucedale, Mississippi, and killed at least two people and injured 10 more. Multiple cars fell into the expanse.

Signs of the Times Update: August 28, 2021

August 28, 2021

Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way. (Jude 1:14-15)

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

The Pentagon warned the Biden Administration about the potential for a terrorist attack at the Kabul Airport. Concerns about security around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul had increased based on “a very specific threat stream” from ISIS-K about planned attacks against crowds outside the airport, a U.S. defense official has told CNN earlier this week. The U.S. believes ISIS-K, which is a sworn enemy of the Taliban, wants to create mayhem at the airport and has intelligence streams suggesting it is capable and planning to carry out multiple attacks, according to the official. And so they did.

  • As warned above, an explosion at Kabul airport killed over 170 people Thursday morning. A Taliban official told Reuters News that the initial explosion came from a suspected suicide bomb and killed 13 U.S. service members. Many others were wounded. Officials say at least 95 Afghans were killed, though the true toll could be higher. Morgues are at capacity and officials say many bodies are still unclaimed because the victims’ relatives are in distant provinces. ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • President Biden, addressing the nation after the ISIS-K terrorist attack, said, “We will hunt you down and make you pay.” Biden also vowed to continue the operation to evacuate Americans and Afghan partners.
  • The Pentagon said Saturday that a drone strike in Afghanistan killed two ‘high-profile planners and facilitators of ISIS-K and wounded one other member. The drone hit a vehicle carrying an ISIS-K target who was believed to be planning future attacks.
  • The outrage over the American deaths Thursday was compounded by news that the U.S. gave the Taliban the names of Americans and Afghan allies it wanted to evacuate, what some called handing the Taliban a “kill list.” Military officials warned Biden that another attack is probably before the evacuations are complete.
  • ISIS-K has been operating in Afghanistan since 2015. The Pentagon said that “thousands” of ISIS Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) prisoners were freed by the Taliban during their takeover of Afghanistan in the days leading up to the bombing near the Kabul airport, which killed 13 U.S. service members Thursday. ISIS-K was founded by several hundred disillusioned Pakistani Taliban fighters. It attracted other extremists, including members of the who believed the militant group had become too moderate and peaceful. 
  • General Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, says American forces are on the alert for more attacks, potentially including rocket attacks on the airport, reports Reuters. McKenzie says some intelligence has been shared with the Taliban and he believes “some attacks have been thwarted by them.”

More than 200 former Guantanamo Bay inmates returned to terrorism following their release, according to a declassified Office of National Intelligence report. The declassified NI report, dated Dec. 18, 2020, said 229 former Guantanamo prisoners had returned to acts of terrorism and killing Americans since being released. The NI report said that 151, or 66%, of the former Gitmo inmates remained at large. Forty-one of the former Guantanamo Bay inmates were believed to have died, and another 37 were in foreign custody.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

More than 21,000 people were evacuated from the Kabul airport in total, per a White House official on Wednesday: 37 U.S. military flights carried 12,700 evacuees; and 57 coalition flights carried 8,900 people. That brings the total to 58,700 evacuated since Aug. 14, and 63,900 people evacuated since the end of July.

  • More than 300 Americans were evacuated from Kabul in the past 24 hours, Army Maj. Gen. William “Hank” Taylor, Joint Staff deputy director for regional operations, said Friday. About 5,100 US citizens have been evacuated to date, he said. He added: “89 flights total yesterday out of Kabul totaling 12,500 evacuees now safely out of Afghanistan in a 24-hour period.”
  • U.S. officials have been in touch with some 500 Americans still seeking to leave Afghanistan, and were “aggressively reaching out” to 1,000 more, “multiple times a day through multiple channels,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.
  • U.S. troops have not rescued any Americans in Afghanistan outside of Kabul as of Wednesday. Only three rescue missions have been conducted by American soldiers since the Taliban took over the country, according to military officials. But all three took place within Kabul.

President Biden has decided not to extend the Aug. 31 deadline to remove all American troops from Afghanistan, caving in to the threat of Taliban reprisals. The development comes shortly after a Taliban spokesperson – following a meeting between leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and CIA Director William Burns in Kabul — said there will be “no extensions” to the Biden administration’s Aug. 31 date. 

The Defense Department last Sunday ordered U.S. airlines to contribute planes for use in evacuating Afghan refugees. The 18 aircraft will transport evacuees to and from military bases in Germany, Qatar and Bahrain, the Wall Street Journal reports. They will not go into Kabul. So far, military C-17 cargo planes have been used to take civilians out of the Kabul airport. These planes aren’t designed for passengers and don’t work well for long trips; they don’t carry food, or have enough restrooms or even seats. In some cases, more than 400 people have packed together on the floors of the C-17.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

Dr. Rex Rogers, North American President of the Middle East media ministry SAT-7, says, “We’re hearing from reliable sources that the Taliban demand people’s phones, and if they find a downloaded Bible on your device, they will kill you immediately.” Open Doors ranked Afghanistan as the second-most dangerous country in the world for Christians even before the Taliban took control. Now a pastor who built churches in Afghanistan is warning that the Taliban will “exterminate” the church there. A pastor in the US who works with Afghan refugees reports: “Young Christian girls are being pursued by the Taliban. The Taliban just raided the home of another church leader and confiscated his Bibles and literature.” A member of the UK Parliament warns that “there are 228 missionaries in Afghanistan currently under sentence of death.”

  • A Christian ministry that has worked for years in Afghanistan has confirmed that the Taliban is going door to door in a hunt for Christians to be executed. The Frontier Alliance International ministry revealed in a statement that the atrocities are confirmed by first-hand ground reports.
  • Run Ministries reports, “The Taliban has targeted at least 428 villages where underground Christians live. They’ve notified the village leaders that they are coming to find the Jesus followers. If that happens the girls will very likely be abused and raped, the boys kidnapped for jihad and any adult who resists will be murdered.”

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

With thousands of Afghan refugees expected to arrive to the U.S., the State Department must facilitate their resettlement across the country as some critics raise concerns over homeland security and the swift vetting process. The Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia will serve as a “temporary layover location” until the refugees, many of whom are children, can be transported to either Fort Bliss, Texas, or Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Afghans arriving in the United States after fleeing the Taliban are being vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Expo Center, the only entry point for evacuees so far. Eligible Afghans are being offered the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and State Department translators are on site to assist.

  • Airbnb has pledged to provide free housing for 20,000 Afghan refugees. CEO Brian Chesky said Tuesday that the program would begin immediately, and that Airbnb would pay for the stays.

Hundreds of migrant children are languishing at emergency shelters established by the Biden administration as the border crisis continues. More than 700 children were in the government’s unlicensed emergency facilities in mid-July for more than three weeks. The sites were established under the Biden administration in March, and are still being used despite being set up to serve as a temporary answer amid the crisis.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to block a court order requiring the Biden administration to reinstate a Trump-era immigration move known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The policy, implemented by former President Donald Trump, requires asylum seekers at the southern border to stay in Mexico while they await hearings in U.S. courtrooms to determine their eligibility and status.  Three of the court’s more liberal justices – Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, and Breyer – would have accepted the application for a stay.

The Falling Away: Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. (1Timothy 4:1) Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13)

A new study found that more than 60 percent of born-again Christians in America between 18 and 39 years of age believe that people can receive salvation through Buddha, Muhammad or Jesus. The “Religious Views & Practices Survey” from Probe Ministries said there is a “striking decline” in evangelical religious beliefs and practices over the last decade. The study also said there was a drop in “basic biblical worldview” and in belief in the accuracy of the Bible, salvation and Jesus being sinless, The Christian Post reports. That number in 2020 was 16 percent, compared to 47 percent in 2010.

  • The great end-time falling away is well underway. No one can take your salvation from you, but you can give it away, and many are doing so now.

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

In a bid to improve vaccination rates, local authorities in China are punishing entire families if one member refuses to receive jabs against the coronavirus. Officials from several counties and cities governments said they will stop giving pensions and medical aid to the unvaccinated. Authorities will also bar unvaccinated individuals from visiting schools, workplaces, or other areas outside their homes, such as shops, banks, and libraries. Moreover, related family members, even the vaccinated, could suffer. In two provinces, children cannot return to school if parents fail to provide proof that the entire two generations in a family received jabs.

New Zealand’s government on Monday said it will extend a strict nationwide lockdown until at least Friday as it tries to extinguish a growing coronavirus outbreak. The news came as health authorities reported 35 new local infections of the fast-spreading delta variant, the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases in New Zealand since April last year. First discovered last week, the outbreak has grown to 107 cases. But health authorities say they’ve found links among most of those cases, giving them hope they can quash the outbreak.

Australia has announced it will be constructing ‘regional quarantine facilities’ to house Covid victims as a containment strategy. The first will be at Wellcamp Airport near Toowoomba. “As we contend with the dangerous Delta variant, we need fit-for-purpose quarantine facilities. That’s why we’ve taken decisive action to build this new 1000-bed, dedicated facility,” tweeted Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

  • These detention centers are the next phase in using Covid as an excuse to mandate masks and vaccinations. The plague of new variants is not going to end, so you can be sure that similar detention centers will be sprouting up worldwide over the next couple of years. First they will be used to house Covid patients, then those who refuse to be vaccinated will join them as well as any who oppose such draconian measures.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain), and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority is allowing evictions to resume across the US, blocking the Biden administration from enforcing a temporary ban that was put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. The court’s action late Thursday ends protections for roughly 3.5 million people who said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to Census Bureau data from early August. The court said in an unsigned opinion that the CDC, which reimposed the moratorium Aug. 3, lacked the authority to do so under federal law without explicit congressional authorization.

  • The evictions ban should have never been instituted. But now that it has been in force for over a year, it has masked the economic disruption that will soon hit the economy and create a surge in homelessness.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the $3.5 trillion budget plan, and now aims to vote on the infrastructure package by late September. The bill opens the door for lawmakers to begin work on a proposal that would make sweeping changes to health-care, education and tax policies, as President Biden has proposed. The vote also includes a commitment to tackle infrastructure reform by Sept. 27, part of a deal to assuage moderate Democrats who had threatened to block the budget measure. All 212 Republicans voted against the package and all 220 Democrats voted for it.

About 89% of federal rental assistance approved by Congress remains unspent. The Treasury Department on Wednesday released updated payout figures that show states and cities distributed $1.7 billion to landlords and renters in July, a modest increase from the $1.5 billion distributed in June. All told, states and cities spent $5.2 billion out of $46.5 billion in rental relief authorized from COVID-19 rescue packages since December – $4.7 billion of which has gone directly to households and the rest toward administrative costs.

One of the most important features of March’s American Rescue Plan was an expansion of the Child Tax Credit. For years, the credit maxed out at $2,000 per child for children 16 and under. The credit was also only partially refundable. Now, the credit works very differently. For one thing, its value has increased so it’s worth up to $3,600 per child under the age of 6 and up to $3,000 for children aged 6 to 17. The credit is now also fully re-fundable, so anyone who claims it can get its full value even if there’s no tax liability at hand. Furthermore, the Child Tax Credit will be paid out differently this year. Half of the credit is coming in the form of monthly installments, and the other half will be paid as a lump sum in 2022.

  • With the economy artificially propped up by all the various stimulus payments, the true underlying chaos is masked, giving the false impression that the economy is recovering. Remove the props, and the house of cards will implode. Keep the props going by printing money out of thin air, and the economy will be crushed by the heavy debt load. Either way, an eventual inflationary depression is coming.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

Crosswalk writes, “What does God think about children? His word calls them “a heritage from the Lᴏʀᴅ” (Psalm 127:3). Jesus said of them, “To such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). In Jeremiah 32, the Lord grieves that his people “built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech” (v. 35), a reference to child sacrifice. God calls this horrific practice an “abomination,” from the Hebrew word toebah describing something that is “detestable,” “loathsome,” or “horrifying.” If abortion advocates in the Congress have their way, taxpayer funds will soon be paying for such a toebah in America.”

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

As of Saturday, the 7-day average of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. increased to 155,365, up from 145,913 a week ago, a 6.5% increase, with Friday’s total reaching 192,720, according to government data. Over the past two weeks, the total is up by 21%. Deaths, however, increased by 95% over the past two weeks. Deaths lag cases by 10-14 days and are just now catching up with the early surge of new cases. Hospitalizations are up 28%.

  • More than 90,000 coronavirus patients were in hospitals nationwide, more than in any previous surge except last winter’s peak.
  • Much of the South is contending with its most serious outbreak of the pandemic. In Florida, the average number of deaths announced per day is higher now than at any other point in the pandemic. Kentucky has more coronavirus patients in its hospitals than ever before.

People who have previously recovered from COVID-19 have been observed to have better protection against the Delta variant of the coronavirus compared to those who received the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine, according to a study from Israel. “This analysis demonstrated that natural immunity affords longer-lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease, and hospitalization due to the Delta variant,” researchers from Maccabi Healthcare and Tel Aviv University said.

  • However, disturbing news from Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC: “We are seeing concerning evidence of waning vaccine effectiveness over time and against the Delta variant… Reports from our international colleagues, including Israel, suggest increased risk of severe disease amongst those vaccinated early.”

After a year of virtual school, students and parents alike were excited for the return of in-person learning. But just as quickly as the new school year started, many children were sent back home after a slew of COVID-19 outbreaks forced them into quarantine. In Florida, school districts around the state, including in Jacksonville’s Duval County, are closing schools as cases rise. New Orleans School District saw 299 active COVID-19 cases and more than 3,000 students and staff in quarantine. A Mississippi public health official said about 20,000 students across the state are in quarantine. 

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday that all PreK-12 public school teachers and staff, all higher-education personnel and students, and health care workers in a variety of settings must be vaccinated against Covid-19 by September 5 or face regular testing requirements.

The Mississippi State Department of Health issued an alert on Friday ordering any coronavirus-positive individuals to isolate for at least 10 days or face up to a 5-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $5,000. The isolation order comes amid surging COVID-19 cases in Mississippi, as the 7-day average for new cases in the state reached 4,316 on Friday, nearly double the highest point during the second wave in January.

  • Mississippi now has at least 2,000 fewer nurses than it did at the beginning of the year, according to the Mississippi Hospital Association’s Center for Quality & Workforce due to Covid and burnout.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

The average number of vaccine doses administered per day has increased steadily throughout the month, from roughly 816,000 shots on August 1 to more than 878,000 on August 27. About 61% of the total U.S. population have received at least one dose, while 52% are fully vaccinated.

  • However this data includes the under-12 population, who are not eligible. Of the eligible population, 61% are fully vaccinated. For those 65 and older, 82% have been fully vaccinated.

The FDA granted full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine Monday. The licensing of the first coronavirus vaccine will have wide-reaching effects, experts predicted, including a sharp increase in vaccine mandates imposed by employers and universities and possibly a rise in inoculations among those who had been reluctant to receive shots of an “experimental” product. The approval triggered the military making the shot mandatory, John Kirby, the Department of Defense’s spokesman, told reporters in Washington.

  • Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Tuesday said the company believes a COVID-19 vaccine-resistant variant will likely one day emerge, though the company has a system in place to turn around a variant-specific jab within three months.
  • Children under 12 should not yet receive COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as regulators await data on safety, efficacy and dosing.

Booster doses of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot coronavirus vaccine generated a big spike in antibodies, the frontline immune system defenses against infection, the company reported Wednesday. People who received a booster six to eight months after their initial J&J shots saw antibodies increase nine-fold higher than 28 days after the first shot, Johnson & Johnson said. The data comes from two Phase 2 studies conducted in the United States and Europe, the company said in a statement.

  • J&J said it was in discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, European Medicines Agency, World Health Organization and other health authorities about the need for offering a booster dose of the Janssen vaccine.

CDC data indicates 62.5% of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with 73.1% receiving at least one dose. While federal health officials look to rollout COVID-19 booster shots among most Americans come September, pending FDA review, the head of the World Health Organization on Monday called for a two-month moratorium on administering booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines as a means of reducing global vaccine inequality and preventing the emergence of new coronavirus variants.

U.S. military department heads were ordered Tuesday to “immediately” start getting their troops vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19, two days after the first COVID-19 vaccine received federal approval. A timeline was not laid out in the memo, but Austin directed a rapid pace, telling the secretaries to “impose ambitious timelines for implementation.” So far, 24% of the active force have chosen not to be vaccinated, while another 8% haver received a single-dose.

President Joe Biden said on Aug. 23 that U.S. companies should impose vaccination requirements. “Today I’m calling on more companies in the private sector to step up with vaccine requirements that will reach millions more people. If you’re a business leader, a nonprofit leader, a state or local leader, who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that,” Biden said. “Require it. Do what I did last month. Require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements.”

Companies have started applying surcharges to the health care premiums of unvaccinated workers. Delta Airlines announced a $200-per-month health-insurance surcharge charge for workers who refuse to get vaccinated.

More than 200 University of Virginia students who didn’t comply with the school’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement have been disenrolled ahead of the fall semester. The students were disenrolled after “receiving multiple reminders via email, text, phone calls, calls to parents that they were out of compliance,” Coy said. They can re-enroll if they comply with the vaccine requirement or file an exemption by Wednesday. About 96.6 percent of students have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

Authorities believe one gunman killed three people and wounded another person during a spree of shootings and arsons in eastern Washington state on Wednesday, the AP reports. A suspect was believed to have been found dead later after police fired on a vehicle. KEPR reports that police were called about several fires and a shooting shortly before 4am in Finley, Washington.

A Colorado tourist enjoying a meal with his wife and 1-year-old son in Miami Beach, Florida, was shot and killed Tuesday, with a video showing the murderer dancing on his body after the horrifying incident. Police arrested Tamarius David of Norcross, Georgia, charging him with second-degree murder with a weapon and attempted murder for shooting at and missing another man in the area just moments earlier. An arrest report says David was “high on mushrooms which made him feel empowered,” and that he “randomly chose” to shoot Wakefield.

A man in New York City was stabbed in the face and abdomen during a caught-on-camera broad daylight attack by an apparent stranger. The 25-year-old victim was standing on the sidewalk along Hegeman Avenue in Brooklyn at about 5:20 p.m. Saturday when a man wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt attacked him with a sharp object which was caught on video. Police are now searching for the attacker who fled the area.

  • Random violence has been increasing as Satan’s evil spirits stir up the vulnerable population.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Tumbling test scores reveal how much learning was not absorbed by students driven to virtual schooling when their classrooms were closed overnight, often staying shut for over a year. By the spring of 2021, reading scores were between 3 and 6 percentile points lower. And median math achievement dropped 8-12 percentile points compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to an analysis by NWEA, a research-based, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

Portland’s mayor and police commissioner on Monday defended the city’s strategy dealing with events that led to brawls and people exchanging gunfire on city streets. Members of the right-wing Proud Boys and far-left Antifa gathered in Oregon’s largest city over the weekend and violence broke out. The events culminated with at least two people exchanging gunshots on a city street, though no gunshot wounds were reported. The violence unfolded after Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said officers would not intervene, saying that to do so would make the situation worse.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Tuesday that since 2021 began, there have been 3,988 reports of unruly passengers, 2,928 of those involving people who wouldn’t mask up as required on planes. The agency says the increase in unruly reports has been dramatic and that they will adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward unruliness. So far this year, 132 unruly passengers have been penalized.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result, according to four current and former law enforcement officials, Reuters reported. Though federal officials have arrested more than 570 alleged participants, the FBI at this point believes the violence was not centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters of then-President Donald Trump,

A campaign event for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was canceled over safety concerns after angry coronavirus protesters rallied against the liberal leader. “I need freedom,” read one sign held by a protester in Bolton, Ontario, on Friday. The event was first postponed by two hours on Friday, and was eventually canceled over security concerns due to the rowdy crowd.

Praise Report: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

A Virginia school board this week defied a new state requirement and voted down a proposal that would have forced schools to allow students to use the restroom and locker room they wish. The Newport News School Board opposed the proposal in a 5-1 vote Tuesday after hearing from both sides, according to the Daily Press newspaper. When the law violates the Constitution, then it’s a bad law,” said School Board Chairman Douglas Brown.“ The proposal, he added, infringes on the “rights of parents.” 

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

In the midst of the isolation that ensued due to COVID-19 quarantines and school lockdowns, some parents have described how a new “social contagion” crept quietly into homes to infect and transform their children. It was given a name in a 2018 study: rapid-onset gender dysphoria. Now, parents are sounding the alarm. In September 2020, January Littlejohn of Tallahassee, Florida, was shocked when her 13-year-old daughter inadvertently revealed a secret. School officials wanted to know which bathroom she preferred to use “as a result of her requested name change.” More shocking was her discovery of a plan devised during a private meeting held with her daughter and school officials without her knowledge or consent.

“She was so flippant about it,” Littlejohn told The Epoch Times, “and what I’ve come to understand is these kids claiming transgender identities out of the blue have no idea of the scope or scale of what they are saying, things they are asking for in terms of hormones and surgery. It’s like they’re asking to get a nose ring or their hair dyed or a piece of clothing they know their parents are going to reject. In many ways, this has become a new source of teenage rebellion, but the long-term consequences are much more severe.”

“The schools have moved past the position of affirming and are now encouraging and celebrating,” Littlejohn, a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Florida, said, adding that adopted school policies regarding transgender students “reinforces the confusion they may be experiencing and affirms in their adolescent brain that they were born the wrong gender. Schools are also creating a huge wedge between gender-confused children and their parents,” she added. “Further, by excluding parents, other mental health issues that often times accompany a transgender identity, such as depression and anxiety, may go unchecked and unresolved.”

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

In the November 2020 general election, whose chaotic results have been vigorously disputed, almost 15 million mail-in ballots went unaccounted for, according to the Public Interest Legal Foundation which describes itself as “the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated wholly to election integrity,” existing “to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections.” “These figures detail how the 2020 push to mail voting needs to be a one-year experiment,” the PLF said.

House Democrats voted Tuesday to revive federal oversight of state voting-rights laws that had been weakened by recent Supreme Court decisions, but the measure faces an uncertain future against Republican opposition in the Senate. The House voted 219-212 along straight party lines to approve the legislation named for the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a civil-rights icon. The bill aims to restore Justice Department review of changes in election law in states with a history of discrimination.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell offered his clearest signal yet that the Fed could soon start scaling back its sprawling bond-buying program if the economy remains strongly on track, according to remarks delivered Friday. Powell said that while the delta variant of the coronavirus poses risks in the near term, “the prospects are good” for continued progress in the labor market.

The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, the so-called core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, vaulted in the 12 months through July to levels not seen in 30 years. The Commerce Department said in a release Friday that core PCE rose 3.6 percent over the year in July, matching last month’s level, which was an increase from 3.5 percent in May and 3.1 percent in April. The last time the core PCE inflation gauge saw a similar year-over-year increase was in July 1991.

The vast network of ports, container vessels and trucking companies that moves goods around the world is badly tangled, and the cost of shipping is skyrocketing. More than 18 months into the pandemic, the disruption to global supply chains is getting worse, spurring shortages of consumer products and making it more expensive for companies to ship goods where they’re needed. Companies such as Adidas, Crocs and Hasbro are already warning of disruptions as they prepare for the crucial year-end holiday period.

As a result of the severe drought and heat wave in the high plains states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska), many crops planted this spring are wilting. Some 63% of the U.S. spring wheat crop is in poor or very poor condition, versus 6% at this time last year, according to Agriculture Department data. The poor weather has caused the USDA to scale back its expectations for U.S. crop production in 2021—which, in turn, is causing domestic inventories to dwindle which will eventually show up as empty shelves in grocery stores.

  • There have been reports that the U.S. government is paying farmers to destroy their crops, further adding to the coming food shortages. However, further research is required to confirm these anecdotal reports.

About 4 in 10 investors have taken on debt to invest, including 80% of Gen Zers and 60% of millennials, according to a recent survey from personal finance site MagnifyMoney. “Anyone who takes out loans, debt or margin to access a volatile asset class makes me shiver a bit ,” said Matt Hougan, chief investment officer of Bitwise Asset Management, the largest crypto index fund manager globally. “You can get into a lot of trouble financially.”

About 89% of federal rental assistance approved by Congress remains unspent. The Treasury Department on Wednesday released updated payout figures that show states and cities distributed $1.7 billion to landlords and renters in July, a modest increase from the $1.5 billion distributed in June. All told, states and cities spent $5.2 billion out of $46.5 billion in rental relief authorized from COVID-19 rescue packages since December – $4.7 billion of which has gone directly to households and the rest toward administrative costs. 

One of the most important features of March’s American Rescue Plan was an expansion of the Child Tax Credit. For years, the credit maxed out at $2,000 per child for children 16 and under. The credit was also only partially refundable. Now, the credit works very differently. For one thing, its value has increased so it’s worth up to $3,600 per child under the age of 6 and up to $3,000 for children aged 6 to 17. The credit is now also fully refundable, so anyone who claims it can get its full value even if there’s no tax liability at hand. Furthermore, the Child Tax Credit will be paid out differently this year. Half of the credit is coming in the form of monthly installments, and the other half will be paid as a lump sum in 2022.

  • With the economy artificially propped up by all the various stimulus payments, the true underlying chaos is masked, giving the false impression that the economy is recovering. Remove the props, and the house of cards will implode. Keep the props coming by printing money and the economy will be crushed by the heavy debt load. Either way, an eventual inflationary depression is coming.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said no to a return to the Iran nuclear deal, no to a Palestinian state, but yes to a more conciliatory relationship with Israel’s strongest ally in an interview with the New York Times published Wednesday. Just one day ahead of his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, Bennett said that he was coming to Washington with a “new, strategic vision on Iran,” the report said. “What we need to do, and what we are doing, is forming a regional coalition of reasonable Arab countries, together with us, that will fend off and block this expansion and this desire for [Iranian] domination,” he said. Israel has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and normalized relations last year with the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan through the Abraham Accords. Although Saudi Arabia has not yet signed on, Israel is widely considered to have quiet ties with Iran’s strongest opponent in the region.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Incendiary balloons launched by Gaza terrorists sparked nine fires in southern Israel on Monday as firefighters battled blazes in the Sdot Negev and Eshkol region throughout the day. “The audacity of the terror groups to renew the terrorism of balloons and to burn our fields must be rooted out today. If it is not stopped today, we will find ourselves… [again] putting out fires and crying that our harvests have gone up in smoke,” said Gilad Yarkoni, the mayor of the Eshkol region, in a statement. “I expect the government to act immediately to send a clear and unequivocal message to these terrorist organizations that they ought not continue with this despicable terrorism,” Yarkoni added.

The Israeli Air Force (AIF) attacked several sites in central and northern Gaza used for storing and manufacturing weapons on Saturday night, following mass riots along the Gaza border fence on that lead to an Israeli soldier being critically injured. A Palestinian terrorist shot an IDF soldier from point-blank range during the riots. “We will settle the account with those who harm our fighters and the citizens of Israel,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday.

Iran has doubled its presence along Israel’s northern border with Syria, according to a report from a Turkish thinktank released last week. Despite a 2018 agreement to reduce Iranian-backed operatives and affiliated militia in southern Syria’s Golan Heights, signed by Russia, Jordan, Israel, and the U.S., Iran has instead cemented its presence in the area, the report says. Iranian-backed and Hezbollah-affiliated military installations more than doubled, growing from 40 to 88, in the past two years.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

There are currently 28 large wildfires (over 100 acres) burning in Northern California with 18 more in Southern California. Another 33 large wildfires are burning in the northwest (Washington and Oregon) with 27 in Idaho and Montana.

A massive wildfire grew closer to iconic Lake Tahoe Thursday, spurring the first evacuation warnings for those inside the Tahoe basin and recommendations that tourists wanting to visit the area should stay home. The Caldor Fire has grown to more than 139,000 acres on a trek that also destroyed the small town of Grizzly Flats. It was 12% contained Thursday evening. At least 461 homes have been destroyed and another 17,000 structures were at risk since the blaze started Aug. 14.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

Hurricane Ida is expected to rapidly strengthen before pummeling Louisiana on Sunday, forcing evacuations in New Orleans and the surrounding coastal region on the eve of the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. On Saturday, Ida was moving away from Cuba and into the Gulf of Mexico, where it is expected to intensify over the next 24 to 36 hours into a Category 3 or 4 hurricane prior to landfall across the Louisiana coast on Sunday afternoon or evening. The hurricane could span about 150 miles east and west from the storm’s center.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s “State of the Climate in 2020” report sounded the alarm on record-high average sea levels globally and the highest-ever annual increase in the concentrations of methane in the atmosphere, a “potent greenhouse gas”.

At least 18 people were killed and three are still unaccounted for after flooding from torrential rainfall trapped residents in their homes, closed highways and prompted multiple water rescues across western Tennessee Saturday. At least 100 structures have been destroyed. “People are trapped in their homes and have no way to get out. Water is up to their necks. It is catastrophic, the worst kind of situation,” Krissy Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Nashville, said.

  • Search-and-rescue efforts remained underway Tuesday in the town of Waverly and throughout Humphreys County, where around 17 inches of record-shattering rain fell, according to reports from the National Weather Service.

Not much rain this past week for the western states still struggling through the megadrought. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows western states still at approximately the same levels of drought, with 84% in the severe to exceptional level of ongoing drought. Utah remains at 100% severe to exceptional and Oregon held at 99%, while California, and Nevada remain at 95%. However, Arizona and New Mexico stayed around 55%, down from 95% three months ago after a better than average monsoon season. Washington remained at 59%, up from 25% three months ago while Idaho remained at 88%, up from 13% three months ago.

The slow and sprawling storm system named Henri drenched much of the inland Northeast with rain Monday, hampering cleanup efforts, and threatening further flooding in areas with ground already saturated from a wet summer. Rains from the storm, which spared coastal areas of New York and New England major damage when its center made landfall Sunday in Rhode Island as a tropical storm, deluged areas from New Hampshire to New York City and down to New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

  • The lights were mostly back on Tuesday in Rhode Island and Connecticut, and floodwaters had receded from New Jersey and New York as tropical storm Henri drifted out to sea. The storm had hovered over the Northeast, slamming some areas with up to 10 inches of rain. It left behind a wide swath of mud, debris and devastation. The total damage and economic loss from Henri was probably $8 billion to $12 billion, according to AccuWeather CEO Dr. Joel N. Myers. Central New Jersey was among the areas hardest hit, as rainwater rushed through streets like rivers. In nearby Jamesburg, the Four Boys ice cream stand was overrun by 4 feet of water. Three inches of mud were left behind. High winds were the culprit in Rhode Island as Henri slammed ashore with 60-mph winds and gusts approaching 70 mph. The majority of the issues stemmed from tree limbs falling on power lines.

Signs of the Times Update: August 21,2021

August 21, 2021

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-21)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

The streets of Kiev filled with songs of praise and thanks as roughly 200,000 people gathered to celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. “Many traveled from all four provinces there just to be a part of that celebration, to thank God for the freedom to worship, to thank God for the freedom to preach the Gospel in their country, and to celebrate God’s faithfulness,” Sergey Rakhuba with Mission Eurasia told Mission Network News. The gathering came after Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko signed an order recognizing the anniversary of the Reformation.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

Eric Watt of Run Ministries reports about his teams on the ground in Afghanistan: “I’ve been communicating back and forth with teams desperately trying to serve faithful Jesus followers as they attempt to survive the gauntlet and leave the country from the Kabul Airport. Husbands and wives have been separated, many were caught in a stampede, and most were turned back because they were given the wrong form. In the rural parts of the country, it is worse. Reports are flooding in of the Taliban threatening and persecuting those with Bibles; taking children from their parents and destroying villages that refuse their allegiance to their evil regime. We need Angels from heaven to guide and direct our teams as we move people to safety. Please ask EVERY member of your inner circle to pray along with us for Jesus to blind the eyes of the enemy and protect His followers across Afghanistan.”

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

A federal appeals court in New Orleans has upheld a Texas law outlawing “dismemberment abortions” commonly used to end second-trimester pregnancies. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday reversed previous court rulings that blocked the pro-life law. Some court watchers say the case may ultimately end up before the US Supreme Court. The 2017 law, which passed the Texas Legislature with bipartisan support has never been enforced because of legal challenges. It prohibits the use of forceps to tear the unborn baby apart limb from limb to remove from the mother’s womb without first using an injected drug or a suction procedure to ensure the child is dead. A three-judge panel from the federal court blocked enforcement of the law last year. But Texas sought and was granted a rehearing by the full court. A majority among the 14 appellate judges who heard arguments in January sided with Texas

Civic/Religious Freedom: Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Hobby Lobby violated an Illinois anti-discrimination law when it prohibited a biological male employee who identifies as female from using the women’s restroom. The unanimous decision by a three-judge state appeals court panel upheld a ruling by the state’s Human Rights Commission, which had fined Hobby Lobby $220,000 and ruled the company violated the Illinois Human Rights Act when its East Aurora, Ill., store prohibited Meggan Sommerville – a transgender woman – from using the women’s restroom. The store instead allowed Sommerville to use a unisex restroom. The $220,000 judgment was to cover Sommerville’s emotional distress and attorney’s fees.

Doctrine of Demons: Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. (1Timothy 4:2)

One August evening, hundreds of people used a Sharpie pen to write their greatest desire on a single bay leaf. Then, they lit the bay leaf on fire, letting the ashes fall into a bowl. This ritual, meant to manifest people’s goals into their lives, is one of many that has been circulating on social media app TikTok in recent weeks. Videos of rituals, spells, healing crystals, Tarot card readings and astrology predictions rack up millions of likes, while drawing in untold numbers of curious viewers. The TikTok community in which such rituals thrive goes by many names: “WitchTok,” “SpiritualTikTok,” “AstrologyTikTok.” These names are a shorthand of sorts, as the practices shared among followers originate from a multitude of religions, philosophies or cultural backgrounds. As a whole, they are united by a fascination with the unknown, and the unknowable.

Censorship: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18)

Twitter’s standards were called into question on Sunday after users pointed out that a key Taliban spokesman has been using the platform to give updates about the group’s advances within the Afghanistan while former President Trump’s account remains permanently suspended.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

The seven-day average number of new Covid-19 cases per day has increased to 143,827 from 11,333 on June 20. The peak of 259,616 cases/day occurred on January 8 of this year. Over the past 14 days, new cases/day are up 44%, hospitalizations up 53% and deaths up 108%.

Breakthrough infections are occurring more frequently than previously reported. “Recent data makes clear that protection against mild and moderate disease has decreased over time,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said during a Wednesday briefing. “This is likely due to both waning immunity and the strength of the widespread delta variant.” However, in San Diego County, the nation’s fifth-most populous, vaccinated people have a rate of infection about nine times less than the unvaccinated – and a rate of hospitalization that’s 35 times less.

  • In Israel’s COVID-19 wards, nearly 60 percent of the country’s 514 patients hospitalized with severe or critical symptoms are fully vaccinated, according to an Aug. 16 report.
  • Three senators — Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Angus King (I-Maine) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) — announced separately Thursday they tested positive for COVID-19. All three have been fully vaccinated.

Alabama ran out of intensive-care unit beds Wednesday, according to hospital officials who say they’re entering “uncharted territory” as the delta variant rips through states with poor COVID-19 vaccination rates. Patients will be admitted to the hospital but might have to wait in emergency room areas or be transferred to other facilities as needed. The state is the first to run out of ICU beds but isn’t alone in its plight. Neighboring Mississippi set up two field hospitals within the last week, while parts of Texas built overflow tents at their hospitals.

Louisiana has seen an “astronomical” number of Covid-19 cases during the latest surge, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards, as infections are increasing particularly among younger populations. “I can tell you that for the last couple of days, 28% of all the new cases that we’re reporting are in children zero to 17,” he said on Friday.

Two months ago 150 nurses and other hospital workers at Houston Methodist Hospital were fired for refusing to receive one of the COVID vaccines. Now, the hospital is one of several in the area experiencing a severe shortage of medical personnel as media report local hospitals have reached a “breaking point” because of a flood of COVID-19 cases.

More than 20,000 students in Mississippi—about 4.5% of the state’s public-school population—were quarantined over the last two weeks due to coronavirus exposures. Almost 6,000 students in the state have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, and two have died since late July, according to Mississippi state health department data. A total of 803 schools reported 4,521 positive cases among students within the past week.

New Mexico is reinstating a statewide mask mandate for all public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) announced on Tuesday. The new rule, issued by Acting Health Secretary David R. Scrase, applies to everyone in the state aged 2 and older. Masks have to be worn in all indoor public settings—except when eating or drinking, according to a statement issued by the governor’s office.

Mask mandates are back in effect at America’s national parks. The National Park Service issued a directive Sunday that immediately requires visitors, employees and contractors to wear a mask inside all NPS buildings and in “crowded outdoor spaces,” regardless of vaccination status. “Visitors to national parks are coming from locations across the country, if not across the world. Because of this, and recognizing that the majority of the United States is currently in substantial or high-transmission categories, we are implementing a service-wide mask requirement to ensure our staff and visitors’ safety,” NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge said in a statement.

The NYPD will discipline unvaccinated cops who don’t mask up while on the job — regardless of their being indoors or outdoors — as city officials try to prevent a surge of serious coronavirus cases in response to the highly infectious Delta variant.

Alaska Internal Medicine and Pediatrics is dropping all patients who do not get the experimental COVID shots. Other doctors and medical practices have also adopted the policy of not treating unvaccinated patients.

New Zealand’s 5 million people began a strict lockdown Tuesday that will last at least three days after finding one case of coronavirus. Auckland, where the infected man lives, and Coromandel, where he had visited, face at least seven days of lockdown. Schools and almost all workplaces closed. When people leave home, they are encouraged to wear a mask pending a possible mask mandate that could come soon. The virus outbreak spread Wednesday from the largest city of Auckland to the capital Wellington. Health authorities said Friday that three people in Wellington who recently visited Auckland had tested positive, raising the total to 31.

  • The single COVID-19 infection that caused New Zealand to lockdown has now ballooned. Victoria State, recorded 55 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Friday. Of the new locally acquired cases, 49 are linked to known outbreaks and 25 have been in isolation during their infectious period. Victoria’s sixth COVID-19 lockdown has been extended in Melbourne until at least September 2 and a night curfew has been imposed.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

Washington state is now requiring that all teachers and school staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment—marking the strictest school vaccine mandate in the United States.

As was reported by the Daily Expose in the United Kingdom and Red State in the United States, Australia’s Brad Hazzard, the Minister for Health and Medical Research, has told parents in a press conference that 24,000 Australian children will be sent to a stadium to get the Covid-19 vaccine, and parents will not allowed to be present. Hazzard insisted to parents that their children would be “well looked after.”

A vast majority of U.S. residents live in an area with high Covid-19 transmission, but hospitalization and death rates are significantly higher in states with the lowest vaccination rates. In the 10 states with the lowest vaccination rates, fewer than 41% of their residents have been fully vaccinated. In the 10 states with the highest vaccination rates, more than 58% of their residents have been inoculated against coronavirus.

  • Hospitalization rates in those bottom 10 states are nearly four times higher, and death rates are more than 5.5 times higher than in the top 10 states, according to an analysis of federal data.

U.S. health officials Wednesday recommended all Americans get COVID-19 booster shots to shore up their protection amid the surging delta variant and evidence that the vaccines’ effectiveness is falling. The plan, as outlined by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other top authorities, calls for an extra dose eight months after people get their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The doses could begin the week of Sept. 20. Health officials said people who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also probably need extra shots. But they said they are awaiting more data and have yet to work out the details.

A trio of new studies, published Wednesday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly science digest found vaccine effectiveness against infection declined as the delta variant became widespread in the United States. Protection against hospitalizations, meanwhile, remained strong. A growing number of studies, in the United States as well as Israel, Britain and Qatar, indicate vaccine effectiveness against infection has eroded somewhat.

  • According to the Israeli study, Israel has about the highest level of vaccination for COVID-19 in the world, with 78% of those 12 and older fully vaccinated. “Yet the country is now logging one of the world’s highest infection rates, with nearly 650 new cases daily per million people. More than half are fully vaccinated people, underscoring the extraordinary transmissibility of the Delta variant and stoking concerns that the benefits of vaccination ebb over time,”

Teens have a far greater risk of heart inflammation from COVID-19 than from the vaccines that protect against it, new research shows. Lead author Mendel Singer, vice chair for education at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, tells parents their research shows “the safer choice is vaccination” over risking heart inflammation from contracting the coronavirus. The study of over 13,000 children ages 12-17 showed girls had a risk 21 times and boys nearly six times as likely to suffer inflammation from COVID-19 than from two doses of the mRNA vaccines.

The federal government will direct all nursing homes to require vaccination for staffers or face loss of Medicare and Medicaid funds. The use of the federal government’s regulatory powers and threat of withholding money is an escalation by the Biden administration as it tries to get more Americans vaccinated amid the delta variant surge.

Students at Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University will be fined up to $2,275 and lose internet access if they fail to comply with the university’s COVID-19 vaccination policies. The private liberal arts college in New Haven County announced the new penalties on Aug. 16 in an email sent to some 600 students who haven’t yet provided proof of COVID-19 vaccination or requested an exemption.

After filing a lawsuit arguing he obtained “natural immunity” from COVID-19 after being infected with the novel coronavirus, George Mason University granted a professor a medical exemption from its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Lawyers for Todd Zywicki, a law professor at the Fairfax, Virginia, university, announced the agreement Tuesday

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

At least five people have been killed and 42 others were injured in shootings across Chicago last weekend. Polic said nine teenagers and two young girls — were shot in the city from Saturday afternoon into Sunday. The girls were sitting in a parked vehicle when someone opened fire. A 7-year-old was shot in the chest and died.

Surveillance/Police State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

China’s escalating crackdown on the country’s once-mighty technology sector shows no signs of abating. “Once the privacy law comes into effect in November … China’s regulatory regime for tech will be one of the strictest of any major economy,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics. “That’s a remarkable shift from just a year or so ago when the opposite was true.” The stocks of once high-flying Chinese tech companies are falling precipitously.

Critical Race Theory: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

Arkansas state attorney general has issued a warning that critical race theory – that ideology that essentially concludes whites are oppressors and blacks are victims – violates federal law and his own state’s constitution. “Any effort to take account of race in a way that differently accords benefits or opportunities or creates a hostile environment in an educational institution is almost certainly unlawful under the Equal Protection Clause and Title VI,” wrote Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Antifa thugs clashed with anti-mask protesters outside Los Angeles City Hall last Saturday afternoon resulting in multiple injuries. “Brutal right-wing vs antifa brawl breaks out at anti-mask protest in Los Angeles,” journalist Andy Ngo tweeted Saturday along with a video from videographer Sean Carmitchel who was at the scene. “One of the antifa who charges in to fight gets pummeled to the ground. A woman trying to help him gets hit on the head. The antifa end up retreating.” At one point, Carmitchel tweeted that a man had been stabbed which he says was confirmed by the LAPD. Carmitchel documented several more skirmishes and police officers ultimately got involved to separate the two crowds. 

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

In a decision Friday night, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked a judge’s order calling for the reinstatement of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy following a halt by President Biden. Justice Samuel Alito issued a temporary stay that will be in effect until Tuesday night so he and the other Supreme Court justices can review the filings submitted in connection with the case.

A federal judge on Thursday shot down the Biden administration’s attempt to place limits on which illegal immigrants can be arrested and deported, saying the policy ran contrary to the law and the Department of Homeland Security failed to justify why it was a good idea. Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee to the bench in Texas, issued a national injunction resetting the immigration enforcement playing field back to where it was before President Biden took office. He said immigration law says the government “shall” detain and try to deport certain categories of illegal immigrants, and the new Biden limits, issued in a series of guidance memos from Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, defy that congressional order.

The Biden administration unveiled a proposal Wednesday to speed up decisions on asylum claims by giving Department of Homeland Security officers the power to grant asylum to those at the border — including illegal immigrants — without having to go through an immigration court. The new proposed rules would also give Homeland Security the power to “catch and release” people who ask for asylum when “detention is unavailable or impracticable.” Officials described the changes as a way to get more certainty into the asylum system, so those who have valid claims can get a quick ruling and get on with their lives. But analysts said shifting the initial decisions from judges to Homeland Security officers is a backdoor way to get more applications approved.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

President Joe Biden’s administration won’t seek to reinstate enhanced weekly $300 unemployment benefits set to expire on Sept. 6 and is instead urging states and cities that want to continue the extra payments to use their share of COVID-19 rescue funds.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Tuesday forgave another $5.8 billion in student debt, announcing the department is forgiving the loans of more than 323 borrowers who have total and permanent disabilities. The Biden administration had already canceled about $3 billion in student loans. Cardona also canceled $1.5 billion in debt for nearly 92,000 borrowers who had been defrauded by for-profit colleges.

As if the pandemic hasn’t been hard enough on retirees, those living on low to moderate incomes have been hit with the one-two financial punch of rising inflation and low interest rates. Those senior citizens found themselves paying more for essentials, while earning next to nothing on their savings. And Social Security checks also rose far less in 2021 ($29/month on average) than current inflation. The Senior Citizens League found that the vast majority (86%) said their expenses this year grew by more than $20 a month, with 40% saying they’d grown by more than $100/month.

Americans shopped less than expected last month as the Delta variant swept across the country, fueling concerns that the pandemic might once again weigh on consumer spending and the economic recovery. Sales declined by 1.1% in July adjusted for seasonal swings, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.

The Biden administration has approved the largest increase to food assistance benefits in the SNAP program in its history. Average monthly benefits will rise by 25 percent, or an additional $36, under the new permanent rules, intended to target a surge of food insecurity during the pandemic. Anti-hunger advocates have long argued that SNAP funding is out of touch with the economic realities of working families and the infusion of cash better reflects the modern cost of a basic diet.

As the coronavirus continues to fill hospitals, the Biden administration will continue to fully reimburse states for some COVID-19 emergency response costs through the end of the year. The covered services include emergency medical care, vaccinations and housing at-risk populations such as the homeless.

Online companies fusing tech and financing (fintech) became major players in the government’s Paycheck Protection Program in the past year. A new academic analysis suggests they also fueled billions in fraudulent loans. The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin released a report Tuesday analyzing the $780 billion lending program that boosted the burgeoning “fintech” market, which replaced traditional banking relationships with apps and algorithms. Overall, the report identified more than 1.8 million loans with indications of potential fraud by borrowers, representing about $76 billion – nearly 10% of the total loaned in the COVID-19 business assistance program. About $21 billion came through the new online lenders.

The average monthly new-vehicle payment is well over $600. But when you add maintenance, insurance and fuel costs, the average new-car buyer is paying nearly $10,000 a year for their vehicle, according to a new AAA study.

U.S. antitrust officials on Thursday refiled their monopoly lawsuit against Facebook Inc., seeking to salvage the landmark case that a judge threw out in June. The Federal Trade Commission filed the new complaint in federal court in Washington, alleging that Facebook violated antitrust laws by buying Instagram and WhatsApp in order to eliminate them as competitors.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

Israel’s largest forest fire in a decade was almost certainly caused by arson, according to NASA satellite images. The NASA images indicate that three fires in distant locations erupted at the same time — on Sunday at 3:00 PM. Police are using triangulation technology to determine if and where any smartphones were in those areas when the fires broke out.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Gaza-based terrorists launched a rocket at southern Israel on Monday in mid-day, setting off alarms at several locations surrounding the Strip. An Iron Dome defense system intercepted the rocket above the city of Sderot. No injuries or damage were reported. The Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the attack, stating that it was a response to Israel’s “crimes in Jenin,” an incident on Sunday night in which IDF forces arrested a terrorist and killed another four in a gun battle in the city. This rocket attack is the first from Gaza since May.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

All gates at Hamid Karzai International Airport were closed Saturday because of a backup at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. Most U.S. military evacuation planes fly from Kabul to Qatar and the inability to handle more evacuees there is causing a ripple effect. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul warned Americans on Saturday not to travel to the airport without “individual instructions from a U.S. government representative” because of potential security threats outside the gates.

  • Just Friday, President Biden said that he knew of no trouble for Americans to get to the airport, and, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin contradicted Biden Friday saying that the Pentagon has been made aware of Taliban fighters harassing and beating Americans attempting to flee Afghanistan

Afghanistan War’s legacy – 20 years, $2.3 Trillion, 2,442 American soldiers killed: It’s easy to forget the past toll that the war in Afghanistan has cost with today’s focus on getting people out of the country. Here are the numbers: Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops deployed. At least $2.26 trillion spent.  2,443 American service members have died in operations Enduring Freedom and Freedom’s Sentinel. More than 3,800 U.S. contractors and Defense Department civilians have been killed. At least 47,000 Afghan citizens, and about 66,000 Afghan military and police members, died, as well as 1,144 allied troops. Even more staggering are the numbers of American warriors who returned home with injuries both seen and unseen. Over 30,000 active duty personnel and war veterans of post-9/11 conflicts are estimated to have died by suicide—four times the number that died in combat.

Biden/Blinken were warned that Afghanistan would rapidly deteriorate into the catastrophe currently evolving: A group of U.S. diplomats wrote a classified cable to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in mid-July warning that swift action needed to be taken because they believed the situation in Afghanistan could rapidly deteriorate and they feared a catastrophe. They laid out how the department should act quickly to process and evacuate Afghans who had assisted the United States and get them out of the country quickly. The diplomats decided to send the dissent memo because they felt previous warnings and recommendations they had made were being ignored and labeled alarmist, two State Department officials told CNN.

U.S. troops will stay in Afghanistan until all American civilians are out, even if it’s past the Aug. 31 deadline, Biden said Wednesday. “If there are American citizens left, we’re going to stay until we get them all out,” President Biden in an interview with ABC News. Estimates place the number of Americans in Afghanistan between 11,000 and 15,000. About 11,000 Americans remain in Afghanistan, the White House said Tuesday. U.S. officials are urging Americans to travel to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, if they’re not there already, to fly out of the country. Taliban fighters were positioned outside the airport, but the terrorist group “have informed us that they are prepared to provide the safe passage of civilians to the airport, and we intend to hold them to that commitment,” U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said Wednesday the federal government and military cannot ensure the safe passage to the Kabul airport.

  • Evacuations from Afghanistan are continuing on Friday, with the White House reporting overnight that about 9,000 people have been taken out of the country since last Saturday. On Thursday alone, about 3,000 people were evacuated by military transport planes. That includes 350 U.S. citizens, family members, special immigrant visa applicants and their families and other vulnerable Afghans.

The Taliban are “awash with cash… from trafficking drugs and other illicit activity, ranging from extortion rackets to timber trafficking, artisanal mining, kidnapping schemes, for almost two decades now.” says Gretchen Peters, executive director of the Center on Illicit Networks and Transnational Organized Crime.

  • The Taliban now control Afghanistan, but they don’t have access to the central bank’s currency reserves, and the Biden administration aims to keep it the way. Ajmal Ahmady, Afghanistan’s central bank chief, fled the country on Sunday. He tells the Wall Street Journal that almost all of the bank’s $9 billion in reserves is held overseas, and with the US blocking access, “the amount accessible to the Taliban is almost 0.1%.”

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that a “fair amount” of U.S. weaponry had fallen into the hands of the Taliban since the hardline Islamic militant group’s rapid takeover Afghanistan in recent days. During a White House press briefing, Sullivan was ask what will happen with the billions of dollars in equipment, including guns, ammunition, helicopters, and more, given to the Afghanistan government in the two decades before its collapse. “We don’t have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone,” the Biden adviser answered briefly. “But certainly, a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban, and, obviously, we don’t have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport.”

  • Photos have circulated of Taliban members holding American M-4 carbines and M-16 rifles rather than AK-47s or AKMs. Other images and videos showed the Taliban surrounding U.S. Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft. On Wednesday, several GOP senators demanded the Department of Defense provide full accounting over the weapons and equipment that were captured by the Taliban.

As the Taliban tighten their grip on Afghanistan, women are especially fearful. Nazira Karimi, an Afghan journalist, said, “I left from the Taliban like 20 years ago. Now we go back to the first step again,” she said, recalling a time, prior to 2001, when the Taliban forced females to wear burqas, barred them from school, and carried out public executions and stonings. However, on Tuesday, the Taliban said women would retain the right to education and should join the militants’ government, dubbed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. “The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims,” a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission said. “They should be in government structure according to Shariah law.” The Taliban also declared amnesty for Afghan government officials.

The Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan is stoking renewed fear of a resurgence in terrorism from al-Qaeda and other jihadi groups. Al-Qaeda has long pledged allegiance to the Taliban, which provided sanctuary to the terror group before and after the 9/11 attacks. In the two decades since then, al-Qaeda’s structure has become more decentralized. However, the group has retained close ties with the Taliban, raising the prospect that it will once again be offered a safe haven on Afghan soil to plot and launch attacks against western targets.

The Taliban leader who reportedly helped orchestrate the group’s takeover of Afghanistan was released by former President Barack Obama from Gitmo in exchange for former U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2014. The U.S. released five Taliban leaders, known as the “Taliban Five,” that year in exchange for the Taliban releasing Bergdahl, who was captured after he deserted his post in Afghanistan. The Taliban Five were then flown to Qatar and are the only Guantanamo Bay “forever prisoners” to be released without the parole board’s approval.

Afghanistan is one of the poorest nations in the world. But in 2010, U.S. military officials and geologists revealed that the country, which lies at the crossroads of Central and South Asia, was sitting on mineral deposits worth nearly $1 trillion that could dramatically transform its economic prospects. Supplies of minerals such as iron, copper and gold are scattered across provinces. There are also rare earth minerals and, perhaps most importantly, what could be one of the world’s biggest deposits of lithium — an essential but scarce component in rechargeable batteries and other technologies.

As the Taliban overtook Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, thousands of Afghans surged onto the tarmac of the airport and desperately climbed onto the planes. The videos are unbearable to watch. In one, people desperate to flee Afghanistan cling to the side of a US Air Force plane as it tries to take off. One video clip posted to social media by the Afghan Asvaka News agency shows people falling to their deaths from the C-17 U.S. aircraft. They fell off onto the tarmac, streets and even onto houses in the sheer desperate panic.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

Millions of acres of national forest in Northern California are being closed because of dangerous fire conditions that already have sent a score of blazes raging through the area and destroyed hundreds of homes. The U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday that beginning on Aug. 22 it will close nine national forests from near Lake Tahoe at the Nevada border on the east all the way west to Six Rivers National Forest, which stretches north to the Oregon border. “The hope is with the additional resources and personnel on scene, we can really start to build that box around this fire and start the containment,” said Keith Wade of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

  • With much of California experiencing “exceptional” drought, the highest intensity, according the U.S. Drought Monitor, large fires in northern California could burn into early December, said Anthony Scardina, deputy regional forester for the Forest Service.

Thousands of people have been evacuated as the Caldor wildfire ignited over the weekend in Northern California tripled in size within a day and almost leveled a small town, officials said. The Caldor fire “exploded in size Monday night,” the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services tweeted Tuesday. The Caldor fire has devastated the community of Grizzly Flats, located about 65 miles east of Sacramento. Many structures have been destroyed and many others are threatened, officials said. The fire burned at least one elementary school in the Pioneer Union School District, one community church, and one post office. The Caldor Fire grew 24 times its size in two days, forcing another 10,000 residents to evacuate. Fueled by wind and dry conditions, the fire burning in El Dorado County swelled to 62,586 acres.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

Around 1.2 million people, including 540,000 children, have been impacted by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake which struck southwestern Haiti last Saturday morning, according to UNICEF. Hospitals in Haiti are overwhelmed as rescue efforts continue. Officials say nearly 10,000 people were hurt in last weekend’s earthquake and nearly 2,000 have died. Search and rescue efforts are being hampered by a lack of resources and by heavy rains, which have caused mudslides that blocked roads in the region. Tropical Storm Grace, which hit the same region late Monday ” further disrupted access to water, shelter, and other basic services,” UNICEF said in a statement Tuesday.

Earthquakes have been wreaking havoc in Haiti since at least the 18th century, when the city of Port-au-Prince was destroyed twice in 19 years. Saturday’s powerful quake killed at least 1,300 and injured thousands more. Eleven years earlier a temblor killed tens of thousands of people, if not hundreds of thousands. Haiti sits near the intersection of two tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s crust. Earthquakes can occur when those plates move against each other and create friction. Haiti is also densely populated. Plus, many of its buildings are designed to withstand hurricanes — not earthquakes.

  • It doesn’t help that Haiti is the voodoo capital of the world.

Environment: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)

ConocoPhillips’s Willow project on the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, slated to produce more than 100,000 barrels of oil a day, won approval from the Trump administration and was defended by Biden officials. But U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason, an Obama appointee, threw out key permits for it on the grounds that federal officials failed to adequately analyze the project’s climate impact and other possible development plans and didn’t specify how polar bears would be protected. The ruling marked a major win for environmental and Alaska Native groups, and a setback for proponents of oil drilling on public land.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

Rain fell at Greenland’s summit over the weekend—the first time in recorded history that precipitation came in the form of rain rather than snow. The amount of ice mass lost on Sunday was seven times the daily average for this time of year. Weather events once considered abnormal have been occurring with increasing frequency over the past decade, says the National Science Foundation.

The governor of Massachusetts has activated the National Guard and a state of emergency has been declared in Connecticut as Tropical Storm Henri cuts a path northward toward the upper Atlantic coast with impacts possible from New York to Maine. Henri is tracking toward a likely landfall at near hurricane strength in southern New England on Sunday and could affect other coastal areas in the region. Hurricane warnings were issued Friday evening for parts of Long Island and Connecticut. A tropical storm watch was posted for New York City as well as storm surge watches for surrounding areas.

Tropical Depression Fred unleashed heavy rain and a number of tornadoes from Georgia to the Carolinas on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of customers were without power from Florida to North Carolina. At least two tornadoes were reported in Georgia and three in North Carolina. Fred made landfall in the Florida Panhandle at Cape San Blas on Monday afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. Four people died in the flooding in North Carolina and several people are still missing as of Thursday morning.

A week of rain in the western U.S. reduced the proportion in severe to extreme drought from just 87.9% to 84.79%, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Arizona saw the biggest drop from 83% to 56%. Utah remained the same at 100%. California got little rain and they increased from 95.07% to 95.5%, while Oregon increased from 96.1% to 98.7% and North Dakota increased from 96.2% to 99.8%. All the other western states remained about the same.

The federal government on Monday declared the first water shortage on the Colorado River, announcing mandatory cutbacks next year that will bring major reductions for Arizona farmers and reduce the water allotments of Nevada and Mexico. The declaration of a shortage by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has been expected for months and was triggered by the spiraling decline of Lake Mead, which stores water used by Arizona, Nevada, California and Mexico. The reservoir near Las Vegas has fallen to its lowest levels since Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s and is still dropping after years of chronic overuse and drought. It now stands at just 35% of full capacity.

  • The water cuts will be the largest to date on the Colorado River, shrinking the flow of water through the 336-mile Central Arizona Project Canal, which for more than three decades has supplied Arizona’s growing desert cites and vast stretches of farmlands. Farmers in part of central Arizona will face major cutbacks in water deliveries next year as a result of the shortage declaration, and they’re preparing for the supplies to be shut off in 2023. The reductions will force growers in Pinal County to leave some fields dry and unplanted, and the state is providing money to help local irrigation districts drill wells to pump more groundwater.

Signs of the Times: August 14, 2021

August 14, 2021

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Praise Reports:

One of Tennessee’s largest public school districts has received a $1.8 million gift this month from a non-profit organization as reimbursement for teaching Bible history elective classes to more than 4,500 students for the 2020-21 academic year. The monetary gift from Bible in the Schools to Hamilton County Schools in Chattanooga is part of a unique partnership that allows the district to teach viewpoint-neutral Bible courses examining Scripture from a historical, non-sectarian perspective.

A federal court in Texas has blocked a controversial Biden administration policy known as the Transgender Mandate, which would force religious doctors and hospitals to perform gender transition procedures on their patients—including children—even when the procedures can be medically harmful. The case of Franciscan Alliance v. Becerra was brought by a religious hospital, an association of more than 20,000 healthcare professionals, and nine states, and it is now the second court ruling blocking the administration from enforcing the policy. In his decision on Monday, Judge Reed O’Connor of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Wichita Falls Division granted a permanent injunction to the Christian plaintiffs “to be exempt from the government’s requirement to perform abortions and gender-transition procedures.”

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday lifted New York state’s ban on residential evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, handing a victory to a group of small landlords that challenged a moratorium that had been slated to expire on Aug. 31. The justices granted an emergency request by the landlords to lift the ban on eviction proceedings while litigation over the dispute continues. The nine-member court’s three liberal justices dissented from the decision. A lower court in June rejected landlords’ argument that the moratorium violated their rights to due process of law and free speech under the U.S. Constitution.

  • Some landlords in the state still could face another barrier. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Aug. 3 issued a new 60-day federal moratorium on residential evictions to combat the spread of COVID-19, focused on jurisdictions with high infection rates, which a federal judge upheld Friday.

Following a shocking attack by Antifa on Canadian Pastor Artur Pawlowski and others attending a prayer gathering he was holding in Portland last Saturday, the Northwest city once again saw a meeting between darkness and light. But this time, worshippers of Jesus “didn’t back down” as Let Us Worship movement leader, Sean Feucht reported. Some 5,000 people or more showed up to worship the Lord in the very place where antifa members had terrorized the Canadian pastor’s group the night before, throwing some of their sound equipment in the nearby Willamette River, and spraying them with mace. Sean Feucht posted on social media: “Members of Antifa showed up in Portland last night to threaten, harass, bully and intimidate us. A mom and her baby were tear gassed. Antifa stood 10 feet from me as we lifted our voices in praise, but we didn’t back down. We kept worshipping and God moved powerfully!” “One member of Antifa who came to disrupt our service was SAVED giving his life to Jesus! It’s a time for a BOLD & BELIEVING Church! God has not given us a Spirit of fear but of POWER & GRACE! The Church is on the move and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it!” said Feucht.

Thanks to the vote of a single Democratic senator, a federal law prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion may survive. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) joined with 49 Republican senators on Tuesday to pass an amendment prohibiting federal dollars from being used for abortions, potentially keeping the Hyde Amendment in effect. The Amendment has had bipartisan support since the 1970s. Democrats had stripped the Amendment out of the Senate’s $3.5 trillion budget resolution.. but Sen. Manchin’s efforts kept it alive for now.

Despite localized ‘defund the police’ efforts, the U.S. Senate is overwhelmingly in favor of expanding police departments in the U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s proposal to hire 100,000 police officers across the country has received rare bipartisan support in the Senate. The Missouri Republican’s amendment passed by a 95-3 vote Wednesday, signaling a willingness from both parties to expand policing. The measure would send grants to local municipalities to hire more law enforcement officers as the country faces a rise in violent crime and a rash of officers quitting the force.

U.S. Census Data Released: And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered… Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. (Luke 2:1,4-5)

Overall, the U.S. population grew by just 7.4 percent during the previous decade, which is the second slowest growth on record. The population grew to 331.4 million in 2020 from roughly 308.7 million in 2010. Only the decade spanning the 1930s—when the Great Depression occurred—had a slower growth rate. As suburbs and cities continued to grow, rural population decreased substantially during the decade. About 86% of the country’s population lives in metro areas. The data show that New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix are the five largest cities in the United States.

  • The 2020 census results also show that the total white population in the United States shrank for the first time in U.S. history, according to data released by the Census Bureau on Aug. 12. The overall proportion of the white population fell to 57.8 percent in 2020 from 63.7 percent a decade prior. There were also significant increases among people who identify as multiracial, Hispanic, and Asian, which will drive much of the population growth throughout this decade. People who identify as multiracial increased by 276 percent, to 33.8 million in 2020 from 9 million in 2010. The largest gains were among Hispanics, who now make up 18.7 percent of the population. In California, Hispanics became the largest racial or ethnic group, growing to 39.4 percent from 37.6 percent over the previous decade, while the white population dipped to 34.7 percent from 40.1 percent.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain), and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

Greg Laurie, Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, wrote that, a study of the world’s great civilizations noted that every nation has an average cycle of about 200 years. The study looked at various nations that came into prominence and then disappeared into obscurity. Each one of these nations went through the same sequence. They went from spiritual faith to great courage, from great courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, and from dependency into bondage again. “Where do you think America is today?” he asks.

  • Most Americans think that somehow the government will figure it all out and make everything turn out okay, surrendering their rights to increasingly authoritarian oversight. All the money that our federal government is throwing at our problems is being printed out of thin air, vastly increasing an already bloated debt load which taxpayers are ultimately responsible for paying. America will collapse from within unless enough people follow God’s instructions in 2Chronicles 7:14 – “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Prospects right now don’t look good.

A new Fox News poll showed that more Democrats favor socialism over capitalism, in a sharp reversal from just a year and a half ago. The poll, taken between Aug. 7-10, showed that 59% of registered Democratic voters who participated had a positive view of socialism, compared to just 49% who felt that way about capitalism. In February 2020, when the question was last asked, 50% of Democrats who participated said they had a favorable view of capitalism, with just 40% saying the same about socialism. Of the Republicans polled, 67% viewed capitalism favorably, while only 8% had a favorable view of socialism.

On Tuesday, the Senate passed the infrastructure bill after a group of Democrats and Republicans rallied to assemble a deal. The roughly $1.2 trillion package, which has President Biden’s support, must still pass the House of Representatives before becoming law. Senators voted 69-30 to approve the package. A group of 19 Senate Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined the entire Democratic caucus in voting for the bill negotiated over several months. The legislation calls for $550 billion in new spending. Among the major investments in the bipartisan package are $110 billion for roads and bridges, $39 billion for public transit and $66 billion for railways. It also contains $55 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure as well as billions for airports, ports, broadband internet and electric vehicle charging stations.

  • Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) said Monday that the infrastructure bill is “a gateway to socialism” that Democrats are using to “pave the way” for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ $3.5 trillion spending bill. “In my opinion, it’s not enough about infrastructure… It’s a down payment on the Green New Deal.” Blackburn also called it “unbelievable that 9% of this bill goes to actual infrastructure.” Republican Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Todd Young of Indiana voted against the bill, citing concerns about the national debt and Democrats’ plan to take up a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package after the infrastructure vote.
  • One way that this bill is designed increase government control is by tracking your milage for a new highway tax where you get taxes on the amount that you drive, according to former President Trump.

Democrats pushed a $3.5 trillion spending bill for bolstering family services, health, and environment programs through the Senate early Wednesday, advancing President Biden’s expansive vision for reshaping federal priorities just hours after handing him a companion triumph on a hefty infrastructure package. Lawmakers approved Democrats’ budget resolution on a party-line 50-49 vote, a crucial step for a president and party set on training the government’s fiscal might on assisting families, creating jobs and fighting climate change. Higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations would pay for much of it. House leaders announced their chamber will return from summer recess in two weeks to vote on the fiscal blueprint, which contemplates disbursing the $3.5 trillion over the next decade. However, the House lawmakers found themselves grappling with how to overcome their own divisions and transform the blueprint into law.

  • Democrats have dubbed the $3.5 trillion package “human infrastructure” in hopes of making it an easier sell to voters. In reality, however, the legislation amounts to a wish list of liberal priorities, including new climate-change regulations and amnesty for illegal immigrants. 

Civic/Religious Freedom: Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

A religious liberty organization and a group of parents are challenging a new Connecticut law that requires children to be vaccinated to attend public or private schools despite religious objections or exemptions. The parents, who are Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Muslim, say their children should be able to have religious exemptions from vaccinations in the state. They cite potential ingredients in vaccines that run afoul of their faiths — like fetal parts and pork, which is used to form a gelatin in one of the coronavirus vaccines.

The Rev. James Altman, a Wisconsin priest who was removed from the ministry after telling Catholics to reject the pro-abortion Democratic Party, just donated $100,000 to help other “canceled” priests. Altman was removed from his church in early July after Bishop William Callahan accused him of being “divisive and ineffective.” At the time, Altman said he obtained a canon lawyer to challenge the bishop’s actions. His supporters raised about $700,000 to help him. The Rev. John Lovell, co-founder of the Coalition for Canceled Priests, thanked Altman for his donation and his “unwavering support of canceled and warehoused priests.”

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

The advance of the Taliban in Afghanistan (see Wars & Rumors of Wars below) is having a devastating impact on Christians, as described in a letter from Run Ministries: Today is a very hard day for me and all of RUN Ministries. We’ve received news that the Taliban has taken the lives of several of our leadership team in Afghanistan. For the past 20 years I worked closely with these Jesus warriors. They risked everything for the Gospel, and I am privileged to have called them my friends… What we are now seeing unfold in Afghanistan is a tragedy on so many levels. The Taliban are systematically going village to village in rural areas demanding allegiance to Islam and their violent rule. Those who do not comply are brutalized, beaten, killed and worse. Some Christians have boldly proclaimed the truth of the Gospel in the face of this and were murdered in broad daylight to send fear throughout the entire village. Husbands and sons murdered, women and children tortured, abused and sold.”

Many Muslims in Iran are coming to Christ – praise God. They meet together in “house churches,” worshipping the Lord in Farsi, the national language of Iran. But persecution is forcing them out of the country in huge numbers. According to the United Nations, more than 14% of Iranian refugees are Christians. “The average life of a house church in Iran is six months to a year,” said an Iranian Christian convert to Barnabas Aid this week, indicating how quickly pressure and persecution force out the new believers. Many converts are arrested and held for a few days, in some cases months or even years. Sometimes they are released only on condition they sign a document promising never to meet with other Christians again. Psychologically exhausted by constant arrests and releases, many converts have left Iran. It seems as though it is the Iranian government’s intention to frighten the Christians into leaving the country. Sometimes officials have openly (but unofficially) suggested converts leave.

A prominent Nigerian church leader has called for urgent government action to prevent the “genocide” of the Irigwe people in the Bassa local government area of Plateau State. The Irigwe, an ethnic group in Nigeria’s Middle Belt with a sizeable Christian population, have been under increased attack by Fulani militants for the past two weeks. “We call on the state and federal governments to intervene, and prevail on the Nigerian Army and all security agencies to stop this genocide,” said Pastor Stephen Baba Panya, president of the Evangelical Church Winning All.

A Pro-life Billboard in rural Texas was recently taken down one day after it was put up because the landowner received death threats. Abolish Abortion Texas (AATX), a group of pro-life Christians, had designed the billboard featuring the phrase “62 million and counting,” followed by the website “IgnoreRoe.com.” No graphic imagery of abortions was included. The day after it went up, the sign was removed after the landowner received “complaints” and “death threats,” which “forced the advertising company to remove” it. Jon Speed, the fund coordinator of the pro-life campaign, noted in a press release that the matter demonstrated “how intolerant Texas has become.”

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

Since July 1, there’s been a 700% increase in the week-over-week average of COVID-19 infections in the U.S., according to the CDC. The U.S. was at a low point in new cases in late June, with an average of about 10,000 a day. Today the 7-day average is about 128,000 a day, up 66% over the past two weeks.

  • Covid deaths are up 116% over the past two weeks.

More than 98% of U.S. residents now live in an area where there is a “high” or “substantial” risk of Covid-19 community transmission, up from 19% of residents only a month ago. The latest figures from the CDC show an alarming rise in the number of counties that are considered at high risk of community transmission. On Monday, 2,361 counties in the United States were listed in the “high” tier, a stark increase from 457 counties in the same tier at the beginning of July.

  • 93% of new Covid-19 cases in Yavapai County, Arizona, were not vaccinated.
  • Eight states, many of which have lagged the national average for vaccinations, account for 51% of all hospitalized Covid-19 patients in the U.S. – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Texas

Hospitals around the nation are once again overwhelmed by the amount of COVID-19 patients. Texas hospitals tallied more than 10,000 coronavirus patients for the first time since early February. In Florida, all three hospital systems in one county are over capacity and are continuing to deal with a strong surge in patients. And hospital admissions have tripled in the last month among children 17 and younger.

A little more than two out of every three people who have mild or moderate cases of COVID-19 will go on to develop long-term symptoms. That’s the troubling takeaway from a University of Arizona Health Sciences’ study. The CoVHORT study has followed Arizonans who had COVID-19 since May 2020, as well as those who have not been infected. Among participants who tested positive for COVID-19, nearly 69% still had least one symptom after 30 days, and the rate rose to 77% after 60 days. Those with long COVID tended to be less educated, to have seasonal allergies and pre-existing health conditions.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Aug. 12 that he is launching a Rapid Response Team to dispense monoclonal antibodies to tackle Florida’s rising number of COVID-19 cases and reduce serious symptoms, preventing the potential for hospital overcrowding. “Clear benefits to this early treatment is keeping people out of the hospital and reducing mortality,” he said. A study released in April showed Regeneron’s antibody cocktail helped people recover faster after falling ill, and when given in the early stages, could prevent people from becoming sick with the virus. Monoclonal antibody treatment received federal emergency use authorization around the same time as the vaccines were being approved. The “focus rightfully was on vaccines at the time.” He said he felt that it was important to utilize this treatment alongside vaccines, and it is “the most effective yet for people who are already infected.”

The number of children contracting COVID-19 is increasing rapidly and children’s hospitals are filling up with young patients not eligible for the vaccine now being used against the virus. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging the FDA to quickly expand authorization of COVID-19 vaccines to younger age groups, citing rising cases due to the fast spreading delta variant and risk of poor outcomes following infection. “We absolutely are seeing increases in number of cases,” said Dr. Lee Savio Beers, president of the AAP, citing a near doubling in pediatric COVID-19 cases in past two weeks.

  • In Palm Beach County, Florida, students returned to school Tuesday—and by Thursday, at least 440 of them were in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 or being exposed to an infected person.

Businesses large and small, from McDonald’s and Home Depot to local yoga studios, are reinstituting mask mandates as coronavirus cases rise. Bars, gyms and restaurants across the country are requiring vaccines to get inside. Next month, New York City will start requiring vaccinations to enter restaurants, gyms and theaters. After lifting mask recommendations for fully vaccinated people in May, the CDC reversed course in late July, recommending masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated people in areas of higher transmission. The shifting guidance has caused confusion over which rules to enforce and how. Walmart and Target, for instance, recently began requiring masks for employees – but not customers – in areas where virus transmission rates are high. McDonald’s is requiring masks for both employees and customers.

While the COVID-19 pandemic thrust the National Institutes of Health and directors Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins into the spotlight, the agency focused very little of its budget on the crisis. Just a fraction of NIH’s $42 billion budget for 2020 was spent on clinical research on COVID-19, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University. A total of 5.7% was spent on COVID-19 research while subjects such as Alzheimer’s disease, aging and behavioral and social sciences received considerably more funding.

International

New Zealand has managed to contain COVID-19, and it would like to keep it that way. On Thursday, the government announced the island nation’s borders will stay closed to those who aren’t residents or citizens for the rest of the year. Starting in the first quarter of 2022, the country will gradually start to reopen to travel. At that point, New Zealand’s vaccine rollout (which is starting to pick up speed after a slow start) will be complete, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Starting in October, the country will try out a new system in which some business travelers returning home can quarantine at their homes rather than in military-run hotels; New Zealand plans to use a similar system next year for fully vaccinated travelers arriving from medium-risk countries.

Australia’s capital will go into lockdown for a week starting Thursday after a single case of COVID-19 was detected and the virus was found in wastewater. Canberra joins Sydney, Melbourne, and several cities in New South Wales state that are locked down due to the delta variant. Canberra residents can only leave home for essential reasons from 5pm on Thursday, general retail stores will be closed, and hospitality venues will only to able to sell takeout. A Canberra resident, a man aged in his 20s, had been infectious in Canberra since Sunday and tested positive on Thursday. Three more cases, all contacts of the man, were detected later. In Sydney, some 580 military personnel are helping police enforce lockdown regulations and authorities are considering calling in reinforcements.

  • Australia is becoming an authoritarian police state – a model for what’s to come.

Non-Covid Pestilence

The global total of people living with dementia will rise nearly three-fold by 2050, researchers say. Cases are projected to increase from an estimated 57.4 million in 2019 to an estimated 152.8 million in 2050, driven mainly by population growth and aging. By 2050, 16% the world’s population will be people over 65. That compares with 8% in 2010, according to the U.S. National Institute on Aging. The researchers said the largest increases in dementia are expected to occur in eastern sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. While positive trends in education access worldwide are expected to result in 6.2 million fewer dementia cases by 2050, smoking, excess weight and high blood sugar are predicted to boost cases by 6.8 million.

A new study found that the number of alcoholic hepatitis patients who received liver transplants more than tripled during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, published in JAMA Network Open, was conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. They analyzed data of adults who were on the national liver transplant waiting list between March 1, 2018 and February 28, 2021. Liver transplants for acute alcohol-associated hepatitis increased a whopping 268.5% compared with the expected number of transplants, and there was a 325% increase in the people waiting for liver transplants with this same alcohol-linked condition.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccine and vaccine passports are not yet the Mark of the Beast because it’s not a mark on the right hand or forehead and people can still buy and sell. However, it is a precursor for the eventual Mark to come.

Vaccine Mandates

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday declined to block Indiana University’s controversial vaccine mandate. The high court judge has jurisdiction over the appeals court involved in the case and made the decision without referring the matter to the full court. It’s the first time SCOTUS justices have been asked to get involved with a vaccine mandate as such mandates are increasingly being put in place, and Barrett’s decision indicates similar mandates could be legally enforceable.

  • Justice Barrett is a conservative recently appointed by former President Trump, so that does not bode well for opposition to vaccine mandates.

The city of San Francisco will not allow the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated to participate in most indoor events and will not accept a negative Covid-19 test result as a replacement for getting the shot. Set to go into effect Aug. 20, the order will require proof of full vaccination at restaurants, bars, gyms, and entertainment and sporting venues. Employees will be given an additional two months to get vaccinated “to preserve jobs while giving time for compliance.” Children under 12, who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, are exempted.

  • Chicago public schools board announced that all teachers and staff must be vaccinated.

Another Texas judge on Friday blocked Gov. Greg Abbott’s order banning local governments and schools from issuing mask mandates. Travis County Judge Andy Brown, who signed Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s mask mandate, on Friday said in a statement that Abbott’s executive order “is overreaching and limits the ability of local elected officials and health authorities to serve their constituents.”

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Thursday said that it will require all of its frontline health care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to agency Secretary Xavier Becerra. HHS is now the third federal agency to require its employees to receive the vaccine, joining the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.

The Pentagon will require members of the U.S. military to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 15. “I will seek the president’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon” licensure by the Food and Drug Administration “whichever comes first,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says in the memo to troops, warning them to prepare for the requirement.

A worker who does not comply with a company’s policy to get vaccinated is generally ineligible for unemployment benefits, experts say. Employees should not refuse vaccination relying on the assumption that they will be able to collect unemployment Private companies are free to set conditions of employment as long as they do not violate existing state and federal laws, legal experts say. And there is no federal law prohibiting companies from requiring vaccines.

Some employers are starting to tack on a $20 to $50 monthly surcharge to their unvaccinated workers, according to a health benefits consultant group. At least 20 employers are giving consideration to adding health coverage surcharges for the unvaccinated as a way to drive up vaccination rates in their workforce.

  • What happened to the war cry of Democratic liberal women? “My body, my choice” they declare. Apparently, though, it only applies to murdering babies, but it doesn’t apply to getting dangerous experimental vaccination shots.
  • The number of job openings posted on the Indeed hiring platform stipulating COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of employment has risen sharply in recent weeks, popping up in sectors with little interpersonal contact, according to the company’s research arm.

California became first state to require teachers and school staff to be vaccinated or submit to regular coronavirus testing. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) cited the surging delta variant and the need to keep schools open in imposing the statewide vaccine requirement for school staff.

Amid a bevy of COVID-19 vaccine mandates being handed down by governments and businesses, there has been an explosion of fabricated vaccination cards. Forged vaccine cards that claim to be issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been proliferating on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and other online marketplaces. an Instagram account with the username “vaccinationcards” sells laminated COVID-19 vaccination cards for $25 each. A user on the messaging app, Telegram, offers “COVID-19 Vaccine Cards Certificates,” for as much as $200 apiece.

More Vaccine News

A new study by the Mayo Clinic found the Pfizer vaccine was only 42% effective against infection in July in the clinic’s home state of Minnesota, when the Delta variant became dominant. In January, Pfizer’s vaccine was 76% effective against infection. But with the spread of the Delta variant in July, its effectiveness dropped to 42% during that month. The Moderna vaccine was 86% effective against infection over the January-to-July study period. But the vaccines’ effectiveness against infection dropped to 76% July.

  • Pfizer and BioNTech issued a statement saying they “expect to be able to develop and produce a tailor-made vaccine against that variant in approximately 100 days, subject to regulatory approval.

As the United States struggles with the delta variant of the novel coronavirus, a new study finds that vaccines are ineffective against the lambda mutation that is ravaging parts of South America. Researchers in Japan pointed out that the lambda variant, which first surfaced in Peru about a year ago, surged in Chile in the spring despite a high vaccination rate. Currently, the lambda variant comprises only one-tenth of 1% of the cases in the U.S. so far.

White House COVID-19 advisor Anthony Fauci said that it is “likely” that people will need a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. Fauci further added that “inevitably, there will be a time when we’ll have to give boosts to the general population.” The remarks come as Fauci, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, and other officials have said the Delta COVID-19 variant can be transmitted among vaccinated people, creating confusion about whether vaccination is an effective means of dealing with the pandemic.

Regulators took steps Thursday to shore up the defenses of millions of vulnerable Americans against the coronavirus, authorizing extra doses of two widely used vaccines for some people with weakened immune systems. The action by the Food and Drug Administration means that additional shots could be available as soon as this weekend for patients who have received organ transplants or have certain types of cancer or other illnesses. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, is expected to accept Friday’s recommendation from the panel of independent experts, paving the way for millions of moderately or severely immunocompromised people to get a booster shot of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines as soon as this weekend.

Health experts say that those who have already had Covid-19 and recovered can get it again. The antibodies from natural infection may provide some protection against the virus, but evidence shows nothing protects against COVID-19 better than vaccines, they say. They advise people who have recovered from COVID-19 to get vaccinated to reduce their risk of reinfection, which will prevent transmission and suppress the opportunity for more variants – like the highly contagious delta – to emerge.

Pregnant women should get the coronavirus vaccine, the CDC says, after finding no increased risk of miscarriage among the vaccinated. With vaccination rates low among pregnant women, the new guidance officially moves the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention off its previous neutral stance on whether immunization is safe for them.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

The crazed killer who gunned down five people, including a young girl, in the U.K.’s deadliest mass shooting in more than a decade said he was an American-born, virgin “Incel” and compared himself to “The Terminator.” Jake Davison, 22-year-old, was identified Friday as the gun-obsessed man behind Thursday’s bloodbath in Plymouth that a local MP decried as “unspeakably awful.” He is believed to have first shot dead his mother at their family home, before running out and killing a 5-year-old girl, her dad and two others before turning the gun on himself. “Incel,” is a movement of men who claim they feel unfairly denied sex by women or girls.

Dozens of shooting incidents across Chicago over last weekend left 13 people dead and 73 injured, police said Monday. In the period beginning Friday at 6 p.m. and ending at midnight Sunday, the Chicago Police Department recorded 54 shooting incidents. Two Chicago Police Department officers were shot as they conducted a traffic stop Saturday night, one fatally. The officers were shot at during the traffic stop and at least one returned fire; the other officer was also shot and is in critical condition, and one of the three suspects in the car was wounded. All three are in custody. Police say none of them have an extensive criminal history, but the alleged shooter does have a robbery record.

A shooting at a homeless camp in Portland early Tuesday left at least two people dead and several others wounded. Portland police already are investigating two other homicides that happened over the past several days. The two dead Tuesday raises the total homicide count in Portland so far this year to 58. That compares to the 54 all last year. In the last six weeks alone, Portland’s Enhanced Community Safety Team recorded an average of 30 shooting incidents per week. As of Monday, there had been approximately 732 shooting incidents so far in 2021, with about 237 people injured by gunfire.

A New Jersey inmate who was freed early because of the COVID-19 pandemic has been charged with murdering a teenager just two days after his release. Jerry Crawford, 25, was serving time for burglary when he was let out on “public health emergency credits” to parole supervision. He has since been charged with the murder of Davion Scarbrough, 18, who was gunned down in Bridgeton  just two days after Crawford got out of South Woods State Prison.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

A Chicago alderman said that city officials do not give enough support to police, following the fatal shooting of Chicago officer Ella French. “It’s an utter failure in the judicial system,” Democratic 19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea O’Shea said. “We see thousands of criminals released. When I talk to police officers on the street, I hear repeatedly they feel that leadership in the city, people in the city, do not support them.” O’Shea added that the number of police officers in the city has fallen by 1,000 compared to a couple years ago, citing retirements and a diminished number of people going to the police academy. “We’re a lawless city right now,” O’Shea said.

Accenture, the global consulting firm, has been hit by the LockBit ransomware gang, according to the cybercriminal group’s website. Accenture’s encrypted files will be published by the group on the dark web on Wednesday unless the company pays the ransom of $5 million. LockBit, like many other ransomware gangs, leases its malicious software to third-party criminal affiliates who then receive a cut of ransoms in exchange for planting the code onto victim networks.

Racism/Division: Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all,but rather division.For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. (Luke 12:51-52) Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. (Matthew 10:34) And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another… And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will growcold. (Matthew 24:10,12)

Attacks on the Asian American community have not slowed down so far in 2021, despite increased national attention and political action against anti-Asian hate, a new report released on Thursday finds. There were upwards of 9,000 anti-Asian hate incident reports from March 19, 2020, to June 31, 2021, reported Stop AAPI Hate (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders). The report said that 4,548 of the attacks occurred in 2020 and 4,533 occurred in 2021. Verbal harassment and deliberate avoidance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up the majority of hate incidents, followed by physical assaults and being coughed at or spat on, the report found. A majority of the victims of the reported hate incidents were women. 

Critical Race Theory: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

When it comes to legal battles over Critical Race Theory (CRT), teachers’ unions are not merely willing to defend themselves from lawsuits, they’re filing them as well. On Monday, Nicole Solas, a Rhode Island mom whose daughter will be going into kindergarten, was sued by chapters of the National Education Association (NEA) for submitting multiple requests to find out what her daughter was learning when it comes to lesson plans on concepts such as transgenderism and Critical Race Theory. The National Education Association Rhode Island (NEARI) and NEA South Kingstown filed a complaint in Rhode Island Superior Court to prohibit the disclosure of the requested records and “protect teachers’ privacy rights” when it comes to records for which Solas was requesting access.

  • The public school system is trying to take complete control over our children without parental involvement at all, from CRT to gender identity, becoming secular humanism indoctrination centers.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Pro-life advocates were arrested Thursday for peacefully protesting against taxpayer-funded abortions on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The protest was in support of the Hyde Amendment which has banned federal tax dollars from paying for abortions since 1980. President Biden and Democrat leaders in Congress are trying to get rid of the long-standing amendment and force taxpayers to fund abortions.

About 800 protesters gathered on the grounds outside the Michigan State Capitol on the afternoon of Aug. 6 to rally against government mandates for vaccinations and masks. In a call for residents to push back against the government’s increasingly intrusive health policies and to protect Americans’ rights during the pandemic, Tammy Clark, executive director of the conservative group Stand Up Michigan, encouraged the crowd to let their voices be heard through nonviolent civil disobedience.

Police arrested an Antifa activist Tuesday after he allegedly pushed a female police officer who was protecting pro-life advocates at a rally outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Salem, Oregon. Antifa has specifically targeted The Church at Planned Parenthood, a pro-life ministry that holds worship services outside Planned Parenthood abortion facilities to pray and call for an end to the killing of unborn babies.

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

A Virginia school board voted Wednesday to expand the rights of transgender students, including access and inclusion in school facilities and groups. The Loudoun County School Board voted 7-2 on a policy that allows transgender student-athletes to play on teams that align on their gender identity and to use bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity. It also requires teachers and staff to call students by their chosen names and pronouns. The district is 35 miles away from Washington D.C. and was following Virginia law in reviewing anti-harassment guidelines. 

Mass Delusions: The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie. (2Thessalonians 2:9-11)

The Minneapolis Democratic Party chair came under fire Tuesday for praising last year’s torching of the Third Precinct police headquarters as an “act of pure righteousness.” Devin Hogan, who heads the Minneapolis Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, extolled the rioters and blamed law enforcement in an Aug. 2 op-ed for the precinct’s destruction at the hands of rioters on May 28, 2020, three days after the death of George Floyd in police custody. “Like it or not, setting the Third Precinct on fire was a genuine revolutionary moment. An act of pure righteousness to open new worlds of understanding,” Mr. Hogan said in Southside Pride. “The people declared themselves ungovernable and unilaterally took their power back. The largest international human rights movement in modern history had begun. The youth of Minneapolis carried all of this. The cops started it.”

  • Utter lunacy. Delusions have gone mainstream – on both sides of the political spectrum.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

The Texas state Senate passed a Republican-backed voting integrity measure Thursday after a Texas Democrat ended her 15-hour filibuster. Just minutes after Sen. Carol Alvarado put down the microphone, the Senate passed the measure 18-11. However, the bill is still being stalled since Democrats continue to stay away from the state House of Representatives in a standoff that has now entered the 32nd day since they fled to D.C.

  • How come the same people who are okay with vaccine passports are not okay with voters have to present a photo ID?

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

More than 200,000 migrants were encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border in July, the highest in almost two decades, according to statistics released by Customs and Border Protection. Customs and Border Patrol officials encountered 212,672 people at the U.S.-Mexico border last month, up from 188,829 in June. The Biden administration has undone many of former President Trump’s immigration policies but has kept Title 42, a policy that allows border agents to expel undocumented migrants to prevent the spread of  COVID-19 in holding facilities.

A federal judge on Friday said the Biden administration must resume a policy that sees asylum seekers wait in Mexico for their claims to be heard. The Department of Homeland Security “failed to consider several critical factors” before axing the Trump era “Remain in Mexico” policy, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, found. That included ignoring how the program was beginning to lead to some immigrants with asylum claims that lacked merit voluntarily returning home, he wrote in a 53-page ruling.

The European Union has seen a dramatic increase in illegal migration at its external borders in recent months, with a 59% increase over 2020 so far. Overall, there have been 82,000 illegal crossings in the first seven months of 2021. A number of EU states are nervous about the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, fearing another wave of migrants like the 2015 flood of Syrian refugees.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

Prices rose by 5.4 percent in July compared with a year ago, the same as in June – the highest since 2008.. Policymakers at the Federal Reserve and in the Biden administration have been grappling with how long — and how high — inflation could climb as the economy rebounds. “The annual rate of inflation has seemingly peaked, but the details show a broadening out of price pressures,” said ING Chief International Economist James Knightley. “This indicates inflation is likely to be more persistent and pervasive than predicted by the Federal Reserve.”

Producer price inflation, which measures the prices U.S. producers receive for their goods and services, rose 7.8% over the 12 months ended in July. That was more than economists had expected and marked a new record high. Stripping out more volatile components, such as food, energy and trade services, inflation still rose sharply in July.

U.S. consumer sentiment fell sharply in early August, with the University of Michigan confidence survey plunging to depths not seen in a decade as Americans expressed worry about personal finances, unemployment, and inflation. The survey, released on Aug. 13, showed that the consumer sentiment index plunged from July’s reading of 81.2 down to 70.2, hitting a level not seen since 2011. The 13 percent slide was one the sharpest in in the past 50 years.

America had a record 10.1 million jobs available in June, as businesses struggled to hire enough staff to support the full reopening of the economy. This mismatch between worker demand and supply has been a defining characteristic of the pandemic recovery. Hiring is strong across most industries, as businesses are still rebuilding the capacity lost during last year’s lockdowns. Professional and business services, retail, hotels and restaurants added the most job openings.

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, 3.87 million workers quit their jobs in June, which is close to the record set this past April of 3.99 million. Many companies are boosting salaries in order to recruit workers. This has resulted in workers taking advantage of the strong demand for labor by quitting their old jobs in search of better opportunities.

A federal judge on Friday allowed the Biden administration’s eviction moratorium to remain in place, the latest development in what has been a protracted and politically charged fight with the housing industry amid the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled in favor of the Biden administration because of a higher court’s decision keeping the moratorium in place. A ruling in June by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which the Supreme Court did not reverse, is binding, Friedrich wrote.

Although the eviction ban is back on, it doesn’t apply to everyone: just those in areas with the highest risk for COVID transmission. In other parts of the country, landlords are free to evict nonpaying tenants as usual. Still, it’s not the only option landlords have. The government has devoted billions to the Emergency Rental Assistance program, which offers funds to struggling tenants across the country. Funds can be used toward back rent, future rent and overdue utilities. Both tenants and landlords can apply. Much of this fund has gone unused.

  • The Justice Department is urging state chief justices to find creative ways to curb a wave of tenant evictions as lawsuits are piling up against President Biden‘s order to keep a modified ban in effect.

Overall payroll compensation is now lower than it was in December 2019, when adjusted for inflation, according to an analysis by Jason Furman, an economics professor at Harvard University. The Employment Cost Index — which measures wages and salaries, along with health, retirement and other benefits — fell in the last quarter and is 2% below its pre-pandemic trend, when taking inflation into account.

So-called ‘ghost kitchens’ that prepare food for delivery only with no dine-in or take-out are on the rise as a result of the pandemic. Wendy’s plans to open 700 delivery-only kitchens by 2025 to meet the growing demand from people who want their fast food brought to them.

International

The economy of Lebanon is seeing a once-in-a-lifetime collapse amid hyperinflation and outages, according to a report from the World Bank. The country is dealing with hyperinflation, and is seeing one of the worst three economic depressions globally since the mid-1800s. Lebanon’s GDP plummeted from about $55 billion in 2018 to an estimated $33 billion in 2020. The economic collapse could reduce the country into a failed state, experts have warned, “heading toward the unknown,” noted the Wall Street Journal.”

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

President Joe Biden appointed progressive Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, raising protests from American Jews. Critics, including her own congregants, accuse Kleinbaum of abusing her pulpit at New York’s Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBTQ congregation, to repeatedly demonize Israel.

In June, Isaac Herzog became Israel’s 11th president after 119 Members of Knesset cast their ballots, 87 of them in his favor. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris congratulated Israel’s new Head of State and expressed the Biden Administration’s commitment to the Jewish state’s security as well as to a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinian Arabs. Herzog commended the Biden Administration’s choice of Emory Professor Deborah Lipstadt as America’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

“In every crisis that develops in the Middle East – we can point to the involvement of Iran or its proxies,” Bahrain’s undersecretary for political affairs Abdullah bin Ahmad al Khalifa said on Sunday during his third visit to Israel. Later, speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, al Khalifa heavily criticized the 2015 deal with Iran. “We were hoping that the deal would open a new page in the region but the exact opposite happened: it fueled crises in the Middle East, increased the number of refugees seeking asylum in Europe, and led to hate and increased extremism in many parts of the Middle East,” he said. Commenting on the relations with Israel, al Khalifa said, “Bahrain will support any initiative that will build new bridges and expand the Abraham Accords, which manifest values that we all share,” referring to the accords established by the former Trump administration.

Freshly inaugurated Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi hosted the leaders of various terror groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad during his first day in office Friday, assuring Iran’s continued support for groups seeking the destruction of Israel. Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, a guest of honor at the event, was singled out for praise by Raisi, and he told the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad that, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has no doubt in supporting Palestine, and we will always defend the rights of these oppressed people.”

  • Raisi’s heavy emphasis on Iran’s support for Palestinian terror groups and Hezbollah comes as thousands of Iranians suffer from water shortages in Khuzestan province. The water crisis has sparked unrest, with hundreds protesting in the streets and at least eight demonstrators killed by Iranian security forces.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

On Saturday, the Taliban captured a large, heavily defended city in northern Afghanistan in a major setback for the government, and the insurgents are approaching the capital Kabul less than three weeks before the U.S. hopes to complete its troop withdrawal. Less than a week ago, the Taliban seized their first provincial capital since the withdrawal of U.S. troops began. On Friday, they seized their 18th (out of 34), raising their flag in the city of Ghazni, just 80 miles southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital. The Pentagon now believes Kabul could fall to the Islamic militants within 30 to 90 days. In June they predicted it could happen six months after the U.S. withdrawal. Pentagon officials have declined to say whether U.S. air support for Afghan forces will end as planned on Aug. 31.

  • President Biden said this week that he does not plan to change the U.S. withdrawal plan. However, the Defense Department is bracing for a Taliban assault on Kabul, within weeks that could put American diplomatic personnel in jeopardy. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul urged American citizens to leave Afghanistan “immediately” amid the rapid Taliban gains in the country. The U.S. is considering relocating its embassy to the Kabul airport amid the deteriorating security situation. About 3,000 American troops will be deployed to Kabul to facilitate the evacuation of some U.S. Embassy personnel in Kabul, a senior U.S. Department of State official confirmed on Thursday.

President Biden is dispatching his special envoy for the Horn of Africa to Ethiopia as a war in the rebellious Tigray region escalates, creating a humanitarian crisis that has already left thousands dead. The Ethiopian government and the Tigray’s People Liberation Front (TPLF) have been at war since September. Amnesty International reported Thursday that dozens of women in the Tigray region of Ethiopia have detailed shocking sexual assaults by Ethiopian soldiers. More than 1,200 sexual violence cases were documented by health centers in Tigray between February and April, Amnesty International said. But the actual number is likely much higher because most of the health care facilities in the Tigray region have been looted or destroyed.

China is building a third missile field that will hold more than 100 new DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles, The Washington Times has learned. Construction of a silo array for DF-41s was identified from satellite imagery by U.S. intelligence agencies in the past several weeks and appears equal in size to two other new Chinese missile fields recently identified, according to Pentagon officials familiar with intelligence reports on the strategic development. Adm. Charles Richard, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, said Thursday the first two missile fields being built are part of an “explosive” expansion of nuclear forces by China.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

The scope of destruction in Northern California’s Dixie Fire continues to grow more grim as assessment crews reach more areas. As of Wednesday morning, 1,045 buildings have been destroyed’ That includes homes, businesses and anything else in the path of the blaze that’s been burning for more than three weeks in and around Butte and Plumas counties. More than 15,000 are still in the fire’s path. The fire was 30% contained Wednesday morning, up from 25% the day before. It has burned more than 782 square miles, making it the largest individual fire on record in California.

A criminal justice professor has been charged in federal court with setting a series of forest fires in Northern California with the intent of endanger firefighters. Gary Stephen Maynard, 47, was arrested Saturday and charged with setting multiple fires in Lassen National Forest and Shasta Trinity National Forest late last month. “Where Maynard went, fires started. Not just once, but over and over again,” the government said in a court memorandum arguing for Maynard to be denied bail. He has lectured at several colleges in the state, including Sonoma State University and Santa Clara University. Maynard was found by an investigator at the scene of a wildfire on the western slope of Mt. Shasta, later designated the Cascade Fire. A witness said Maynard had been there since the previous day and seemed “very angry” after his car got stuck. At one point, Maynard pulled out a large knife, the witness said, and appeared mentally unstable. The witnesses described him as “mumbling a lot and having bipolar-like behavior.”

Hundreds of firefighters from across Europe and the Middle East worked alongside Greek colleagues in rugged terrain Wednesday to contain flareups of the huge wildfires that ravaged Greece’s forests for a week, destroying homes and forcing evacuations. The fires broke out last week as Greece had just experienced its worst and most protracted heatwave since 1987, leaving its forests tinder-dry. Other nearby nations such as Turkey and Italy also faced similar searing temperatures and quickly spreading fires, while Spain and Portugal were on alert for wildfires amid a heatwave forecast to last through Monday. At the other end of the Mediterranean, in Algeria, wildfires have killed 65 people.

A Russian aircraft deployed to Turkey to fight wildfires crashed on Saturday, killing all eight people on board, officials said. Turkey is one of many countries around the Mediterranean Sea that has battled devastating wildfires as the region experiences a relentless heat wave. At least eight people have been killed in the fires in Turkey, while more than 30 have died in floods in the northern provinces near the Black Sea in recent days.

Earthquakes & Volcanoes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

Haiti was struck Saturday morning by 7.2-magnitude earthquake. The massive quake leveled dwellings in the southwest regions of the country, shaking buildings from the Dominican Republic to Jamaica. Initial reports suggested damage near the epicenter, 7.4 miles northeast of Saint-Louis du Sud, where the temblor struck at 8:29 a.m. The reported magnitude from the U.S. Geological Survey was greater than the catastrophic 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the island nation in 2010, resulting in more than 220,000 casualties. Mass casualties are expected from this more powerful quake.

Three active volcanoes in Alaska are drawing the attention of officials. The Alaska Volcano Observatory this week upgraded the threat level for the Pavlof Volcano from yellow to orange, meaning “an eruption is underway that poses limited hazards,” The Hill reported. The volcano, located at the far end of the Alaska Peninsula, almost 600 miles southwest of Anchorage, is emitting low levels of ash. The other two active volcanoes are the Great Sitkin Volcano and the uninhabited island of Semisopochnoi, both located in the Aleutian Islands. Great Sitkin has been very active lately. “Effusion of lava at the active vent on Great Sikin volcano has characterized activity over the past week,” the USGS reported.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

Forecasters are warning Americans to prepare for an intense heatwave this week that is building over parts of the United States, with several states approaching, or hitting the triple-digit high temperatures. “It’s going to be a real oppressive week with dangerous heat and hot conditions,” the National Weather Service said. “Excessive heat watches are up across much of the Pacific Northwest,” it added. “Meanwhile, heat advisories are in effect for a good part of the south-central U.S. and parts of western New York state.”

Hundreds of thousands of Midwest residents and businesses were left without power again Thursday morning following another wave of damaging thunderstorms that passed through the region. Heavy rainfall brought flooding to parts of Michigan, shutting down some Detroit-area freeways and roads, including portions of interstates 94 and 696. Nearby, at least two twisters touched down in the west-central and northeast parts of Wisconsin Wednesday. Utility poles were broken and transformers were damaged in northwestern Indiana after the day’s storms.

Sicily reached 48.8 degrees Celsius (119.85 Fahrenheit) Wednesday, in what may be a record high temperature for all of Europe. The World Meteorological Organization must still confirm the temperature, which would break the previous record of 48 degrees Celsius set in Athens in 1977. Europe is sweltering under a dangerous heatwave, with dozens dead and huge wildfires raging.

A landslide Sunday in India’s Sangla Valley destroyed cars and smashed an iron bridge which collapsed in mere seconds after taking a direct hit from a massive boulder.. Nine Tourists died when their vehicle was also pounded by a huge boulder.

July was Earth’s hottest month ever recorded, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Extreme heat plagued the Northern Hemisphere in particular. Asia experienced its hottest July on record, while Europe experienced its second-hottest. On Monday, a grim report was released from a landmark UN study about the state of the planet. The 3,000-plus page assessment of the climate concludes that while things are bad now—witness the extreme weather unfolding around the globe—they are certain to get worse in the coming decade. However, the authors say it’s possible to stave off the most dire scenarios, essentially a planet unrecognizable from the one we know today, though only if nations take immediate steps to start reining in greenhouse gas emissions.

Signs of the Times Update: August 7, 2021

August 7, 2021

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2) Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. (Proverbs 10:12)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Victoria Petersen, a former foster child who is now a foster mom herself, was recently crowned Mrs. Universe. In a post on Facebook, Petersen shared photos of the event as she gave glory to God for winning the pageant. “Glory be to God forever and ever,” she wrote. In a Students for Life video in 2020, Petersen revealed that she was conceived out of abuse and thanked her mother for choosing life instead of aborting her. ‘My mom heroically and bravely chose not to eliminate the potential sufferer — me — and because of her choices, I am now a woman who spends her time passionately advocating to eliminate the suffering of those in the womb and in foster care,” she said.

Allyson Felix, a U.S. athlete dedicated to supporting mothers and children, just set an Olympic record as the most decorated female track athlete in history with her eleventh metal, a gold in the 4×400 relay. Earlier this summer, the 35-year-old pro-life athlete established a fund to help Olympic athletes with childcare expenses. Many pro-life advocates have praised Felix for advocating for athletes who are mothers, noting how frequently female athletes face pressure to abort their unborn babies. Felix has spoken candidly about the struggle to come back from a difficult pregnancy that led to an emergency C-section and put the lives of both her and her baby in jeopardy. Female athletes often face intense pressure to choose between their unborn babies and their careers. U.S. Olympic hurdler Brianna McNeal, a Christian, recently admitted that she felt “shaken” and “traumatized after having an abortion” to further her career.

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

The World Health Organization is calling for a moratorium on booster shots of coronavirus vaccines through at least September as poorer countries struggle to access the shots, even for high-risk populations such as health-care workers and the elderly. “We cannot and we should not accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a Wednesday news conference. He said the world is not on track to meet the health organization’s previously stated goal of 10 percent vaccination coverage in every country by the end of September.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain), and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

At the direction of President Joe Biden and in defiance of a recent Supreme Court ruling, the Centers for Disease Control issued an illegal 60-day eviction moratorium Tuesday evening. “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is issuing a new order temporarily halting evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission in order to respond to recent, unexpected developments in the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise of the Delta variant,” the CDC said. “A landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action, shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any county or U.S. territory while the county or territory is experiencing substantial or high levels of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2.”

  • The new 60-day CDC eviction moratorium carries steep criminal penalties for individual landlords who break the law: a $100k fine and 1 year in jail if eviction doesn’t result in death; up to a $250k fine and 1 year in jail if evicted person dies.
  • It is unclear where Biden and the CDC think they have the authority to enforce a “law” Congress did not pass. Congress, which is controlled by Democrats, had two months to come up with a solution after the Supreme Court determined the moratorium – issued through the executive branch – is unconstitutional. 

Franklin County, Ohio, is taking a stand against President Biden’s recent directive to issue a 60-day eviction moratorium extension. In a statement released on Thursday, Franklin County Municipal Court Administrative and Presiding Judge Ted Barrows said the county will not comply, citing an appeals court ruling last month. Franklin County is not alone on this issue. Wednesday, Toledo Housing Court Judge Joseph Howe told the Toledo Blade that his court would abide by the appeals court decision and not honor the moratorium, either. On Thursday, the Hamilton County Municipal Court followed suit, with judges voting to not comply with the new moratorium.

  • A North Carolina landlord says he is out $24,000 in unpaid rent from tenants, while one renter bought three boats over the course of the eviction moratorium. Buddy Shoup, who owns 35 properties across the state, said that he has been forced to maintain the properties and hemorrhage costs while the federal government slowly dribbles out rental assistance, of which only 7% has been doled out to renters in need. The money “was used, they went and bought brand new boats, but I mean, you know in a time of crisis like what we’ve been through, you’re evidently getting money from somewhere, but it’s not getting to me,” said Shoup.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

A resurgent Taliban has taken control of huge swaths of Afghanistan, imposing a particularly harsh form of sharia (Islamic law) and  forcing women and girls to marry Taliban fighters. The Taliban gains are a result of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan –  95% of U.S. troops have already left the country  and the remainder will have departed by the end of the month. The Islamist group has already started to re-introduce the repressive laws it enforced while in power between 1996 and 2001, with disturbing consequences for many in Afghanistan, especially Christians.

“Christians are being hunted and killed because they say we are infidels,” declared Pastor Adamu Musa after a group of small villages in Maingo, Plateau state, Nigeria, was attacked by gunmen last weekend, during the night of July 31 – August 1. Seven people were killed and several others injured, including Pastor Adamu himself, who sustained a gunshot wound. An estimated 275 buildings were burned down in the predominantly Christian area.

Civic/Religious Freedom: Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

On Tuesday, a Canadian church was ordered to pay $85,000 in fines after the church was held in contempt of court for a second time. pel, a Waterloo-based church, was sentenced for holding a worship service in April in violation of provincial COVID-19 restrictions on in-person gatherings. In May, a Canadian judge ordered officials to lock down the church, which has since held its services outdoors. The recent fines come months after the church was fined $83,000 for holding a service on January 24 along with $45,000 in legal fees. At the time, the church violated restrictions imposed by the Reopening Ontario Act, which limited in-person indoor or outdoor services to 10 people. “It’s unlikely that we can appeal,” Pastor Reaume said. “So we’ll have to pay up. When this is all added up, we’re gonna owe a lot of money. But Jesus is worth it.”

California, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington state intend to require masks for all students and teachers regardless of vaccination status. At the other end of the spectrum, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah have banned mask requirements in public schools. Educators have had to contend with strong resistance to masks from some parents and political leaders. Some consider mask rules an intrusion on parents’ authority to make decisions about their children’s health.

In certain parts of Australia the government has actually deployed the Australian military to enforce the lockdown, Sydney being one of them. This comes after the tight restrictions and lockdowns that have been put in place with the recent rise in numbers of Covid-19 cases.

Censorship: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18)

After Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted last week that the administration has given Facebook a list of accounts to ban for spreading misinformation about the Covid vaccine, she has now doubled down saying that people who circulate such materials online should be banned from not just one but all social media platforms. The Biden Administration wants Big Tech to ban stories and people they do not approve of from social media. “You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others for providing misinformation out there,” Psaki told the press last Friday.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

A federal circuit court on Thursday upheld the constitutionality of a Tennessee law that requires doctors to provide pregnant women seeking an abortion with materials about the safety of the procedure and have them wait two days before performing the procedure.

The University of Pittsburgh may have inadvertently provided more evidence this week that aborted babies are being born alive and left to die so that their organs may be used for scientific research, according to the Center for Medical Progress. Earlier this week, Judicial Watch and the Center for Medical Progress exposed evidence of babies being born alive in abortions and other disturbing practices in documents they obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. On Wednesday, a University of Pittsburgh spokesperson defended its practices in an interview with Fox News. However, the Center for Medical Progress said the university’s statements confirm that aborted babies’ hearts still are beating while their kidneys are harvested for scientific research.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

As of Saturday, 8/7, the 14-day average of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. increased by 113% to 106,723 per day, while deaths per day increased by 88% to 497/day. This fourth wave of COVID-19 is threatening to overwhelm U.S. hospitals in regions where large swaths of unvaccinated people provide little resistance to the highly contagious delta variant. 

  • Nowhere is the strain more apparent than Florida, which reached a new peak Tuesday of 11,515 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Hospitals in Jacksonville and Orlando last week crashed through their pandemic peaks, and hospitals in Miami-Dade County are at or approaching record coronavirus hospitalizations this week. Florida has the second-highest rate of new cases per capita after Louisiana. Children’s hospitals and staff are “overwhelmed,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert.
  • On Friday Arizona reported 2,826 new COVID-19 cases and 42 new known, the highest since early March. There were 1,309 patients hospitalized across Arizona for known or suspected COVID-19 as of Thursday, also the most since the start of March.

Doctors and nurses in Missouri, where the delta virus variant has been causing COVID-19 cases to soar, are seeing patients who are younger and seem to be worsening faster than ever before. New hospital admissions for COVID per 100,000 people more than tripled in Missouri between early June and the end of last week. The relative increase was biggest among those in their 40s — nearly 400% — with smaller but still significant percentage rises among people in their 60s and older.

The state of Florida leads the nation in the number of adults and children admitted into the hospital with confirmed cases of Covid-19. On Wednesday, at least 2,065 adults and 47 children were admitted with Covid-19 into Florida hospitals since the previous day. Texas trailed behind Florida in second place with at least 1,318 adults and 40 pediatric Covid-19 hospitalization admissions. Florida also leads the nation in the total number of children hospitalized with confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 140 children hospitalized in Texas. 

  • The CDC reported this week that more than 90% of the COVID-19 cases in the U.S. — and more than 95% of hospitalizations and deaths — are among unvaccinated people.

The Delta variant sweeping the nation is not only more contagious than previous mutations, but it is also triggering different symptoms. In fact, there is one signature symptom that appears to be the new face of COVID-19. At the beginning of the pandemic, experts noted that cough, shortness of breath, and loss of taste and smell were the predominant complaints for those infected with the virus. But things have changed with Delta. Recent studies conducted in the U.K. by Kings College London as part of the COVID Symptom Study examined the new symptoms manifested by three groups of people who contracted the disease. One group was not vaccinated, the second was fully vaccinated and the third study group was partially vaccinated. Headaches remained the number one symptom in all three groups infected with the Delta variant, which is the most prevalent in the U.K. Runny noses were the second most common symptom reported, followed by sneezing, particularly among the vaccinated.

  • “If you have been vaccinated and start sneezing a lot without an explanation, you should get a COVID test, especially if you are living or working around people who are at greater risk from the disease,” said the researchers.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a monoclonal antibody cocktail as a measure to prevent infection in some groups of people who were exposed to the coronavirus. REGEN-COV is a treatment consisting of jointly administered casirivimab and imdevimab. While the product remains authorized for treating confirmed COVID-19 patients over age 12 who are at high risk of severe illness, the agency said the drug combo can now be given to high-risk groups as a preventive measure after exposure to the disease.

The Swedish government’s decision to keep the country operating with minimum disruption received immense backlash from COVID extremists across the spectrum during the early days of the pandemic. Schools and businesses remained open. Tourists were (and still are) welcomed. Masks weren’t even recommended — let alone required. How did Sweden’s policies fare against nations like the U.S. which had much stricter policies? After nearly a year and a half of the pandemic, Sweden is doing much better than most of its European counterparts — and better than the U.S. in many statistical categories. The data show that Sweden experienced a lower increase in mortality rates than Europe and the U.S.

Queensland’s top health official has warned grandparents “don’t go anywhere near your grandkids” as Australia continues to struggle with its highly controversial ‘zero COVID’ policy which has necessitated endless lockdowns and sparked rising protests.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

On Thursday, the White House touted progress in vaccinations, noting that over the past 24 hours, the U.S. recorded more than 864,000 vaccinations, the highest daily rate since July 3. “Already, we’re seeing momentum in vaccination requirements across the country, businesses know vaccinations are a way to keep their workers and customers safe and to keep their doors open,” White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said.

  • Covid is the excuse, legitimate or not, for establishing a more authoritarian government leading toward the mark of the beast: And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” (Revelation 14:9-10)

Analysis of recent swab tests in England suggests that double-vaccinated people are three times less likely to test positive for COVID-19 than unvaccinated people, the UK government has said. Still, 44 percent of infections occurred in fully vaccinated people.

More employers are mandating Covid-19 vaccines for their workers as the Delta variant surges across the United States. But one step in the process could slow down the rollout of such requirements: negotiations with labor unions representing employees. Meat producer Tyson Foods said Tuesday that it will require all of its more than 120,000 workers to be vaccinated by November 1. Three unvaccinated CNN employees who showed up to work have been fired. The network requires employees who are working in the office or in the field in contact with colleagues to be fully vaccinated for the coronavirus.

  • But the mandate is subject to discussions with unions representing around one-third of Tyson’s hourly workers. Meanwhile, Disney has said it has started discussing vaccine mandates with the unions representing its workers.

New York City has been gung-ho about implementing the most tyrannical and oppressive policies. People must provide proof that they are vaccinated in order to participate in indoor dining, go to the gym, or various shows. “This is a miraculous place, literally filled with wonders,” de Blasio said of the city. “If you’re vaccinated, that’s gonna open up to you, you can open the door. If you’re unvaccinated you will not be able to participate in many things. It’s time for people to see vaccination as necessary to living a good, full, and healthy life.”

  • Just as New York City restauranteurs thought they could perhaps see their way out of crushing COVID-19 restrictions and back to “normalcy,” the city’s government dealt out another blow—restaurants will now have to check customers for proof of vaccination or themselves face fines. In response, restaurant owners seem to have flocked to one of two positions. Some support the rule as long as it prevents more lockdowns, while others reject it as an unreasonable imposition on their already vulnerable operations.

With the Delta variant surging, vaccine holdouts in coronavirus hot spots including Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri have begun turning out for shots. More than 4.7 million Americans have rolled up their sleeves in the past two weeks, as misgivings about the shots based on ideology, apathy or fear have taken a back seat to the desire to protect themselves and their loved ones.

  • The number one reason for people choosing not to be vaccinated is the belief that the risks from getting the vaccine are worse than getting Covid.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has said he believes it is likely that a COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 will be given emergency use authorization during the next school year. COVID-19 vaccines are currently not available for children under the age of 12 in the United States. However, Pfizer said in a statement in June that it was beginning to test its mRNA vaccine in a larger group of children under age 12 using a lower dose.

  • As the pandemic upended life in the United States, more than one million children who had been expected to enroll in local public schools did not show up, either in person or online. The missing students were concentrated in the younger grades, with the steepest drop in kindergarten — more than 340,000 students, according to government data. Many of them were the most vulnerable: 5-year-olds in low-income neighborhoods.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

A new report reveals that far more people died in Washington, D.C., in July at the hands of others than from COVID-19. There were nearly three times as many homicides as there were COVID deaths at a time when the city continues to face a surge of violent crime. Among the latest murders was the killing of a teacher and father of four who was shot on Saturday night. Kervin Sanches, 31, died in a double shooting that left another man wounded.

At least two people were wounded by gunfire Friday night outside Coors Field in Denver, not long after MLB’s Colorado Rockies defeated the Miami Marlins 14-2, reports said. Both victims were taken to a hospital and no suspect was immediately apprehended. The gunfire followed a July 17 shooting outside Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., home of the Washington Nationals. It also came amid growing concern about increasing shootings and other violence in cities across the U.S.

Japanese police said Saturday they arrested a man who stabbed 10 passengers on a commuter train in Tokyo hours earlier, in what Japanese media reported to be a random burst of violence.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

In a memo delivered to all sheriff personnel Tuesday, Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht, a Democrat, explained that the conditions surrounding the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle are unsafe. Prosecutors said a court employee was sexually assaulted by a homeless man in a women’s bathroom not far from the sheriff’s offices in the building. The offices are near a homeless camp in City Hall Park, which has been the scene of violent attacks in recent months. And for years, employees have accused the city of failing to respond to the regular complaints of attacks. “Effective immediately,” the sheriff wrote, “due to the unsafe environment around the courthouse, administration, parking garage, and corrections facilities, and concerns from labor unions, we are returning to 100 percent remote telework for professional staff members who do not routinely interact with the public.”

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

Interest in homeschooling has surged over the last year, as lockdowns, face mask mandates and social distancing – combined with teachers’ unions efforts to keep school closed – have damaged the public school offerings. And it’s not just in America. In the United Kingdom, more than 40,000 students were formally removed from public schools from September 2020 to April 2021, almost double the average from previous years. And that has alarmed UK lawmakers to the degree that members of Parliament now are demanding a “national registry” of all students school outside the system to remove an “unacceptable level of opaqueness.”

  • The coming authoritarian one-world government will not tolerate “opaqueness” and will construct a registry to monitor everything about every individual much like China has already implemented.

Apple announced Thursday is it planning to scan all iPhones in the United States for child abuse imagery, raising alarm among security experts who said the plan could allow the firm to surveil tens of millions of personal devices for unrelated reasons. The Cupertino-based tech giant said the system will utilize breakthrough cryptography technology and artificial intelligence to find child abuse material when it is stored in iCloud Photos

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Australian and German authorities launched harsh crackdowns on anti-lockdown demonstrations last weekend, amid rising global protests against coronavirus restrictions. Police in Sydney arrested eight people and issued more than 250 fines on Saturday in an effort to deter further rallies after thousands poured into the city two weeks ago to protest stay-at-home orders. Around 1,000 police officers and 300 military troops were deployed to detain anyone caught violating the radical lockdown measures in place in Greater Sydney, which include bans on “non-essential” activities and travel beyond 6 miles of one’s home. Police set up checkpoints throughout Sydney, checking over 70,000 vehicles for violations of government-mandated travel limits. Police also shut down train stations, and threatened rideshare and taxi companies with fines of up to $500,000 for driving people into Sydney’s central business district between 9 am and 3 pm. Individuals faced up to $100,000 for violating the rideshare ban. As of Sunday, the death toll from the current COVID-19 outbreak in New South Wales is just 14, and Australia has registered only 920 virus deaths since the beginning of last year, far lower than most other countries.

  • A similarly brutal response to anti-lockdown protests took place in Berlin, where several thousand gathered last weekend in defiance of a court order. Berlin had approved an LGBT “pride” parade with over 35,000 people two weeks earlier, but cancelled the event However, at least 5,000 still turned out across the city on Sunday in spite of the ban, and were met with more than 2,000 officers who detained almost 600 people. Police used pepper spray and physical violence to break up the mostly peaceful protests and could be seen assaulting older women and children.

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has launched a campaign to eradicate the male or female designations on birth certificates. “Assigning sex using binary variables in the public portion of the birth certificate fails to recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity,” claimed Willie Underwood II, who wrote Board Report 15 for the AMA. The report claims “there is no clear standard for defining sex designation” on those legal documents. “Designating sex on birth certificates as male or female suggests that sex is simple and binary,” the report said. But there are individuals with “intersex variations,” and others who “identify as transgender.”

The Family Policy Alliance team found nearly 100 pending bills in Congress containing the term “gender identity.” Democratic leadership realizes that the full Equality Act doesn’t have enough support. Now, Democratic leadership has employed their backup plan: force through the tenets of the Equality Act piece-by-piece. In many ways, this is even more dangerous because there are so many bills to keep track of that touch nearly every area of law. For instance, just this week, the House passed the Appropriations Bill for the Departments of Labor, Health, and Education that includes Equality Act language. Specifically, this language could punish or deny federal grants to faith-based child welfare providers that hold Biblical beliefs about marriage and biological sex.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Democrats claim voter ID laws are discriminatory, racist, and a form of voter suppression, but those arguments don’t hold up when looking at a new Rasmussen survey on the topic. According to the poll, which was published Wednesday, an overwhelming majority of voters—74 percent—support voter ID requirements. Importantly, minority voters, the ones Democrats claim are most affected by the laws, are strongly supportive. Among the most interesting result is that 72% of black likely voters support photo voter IDs. In addition, 79% of those who attended high school but didn’t graduate, and 78% of those earning less than $30,000 per year support photo ID. Even a plurality of Democrats (61%) do so as well.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

With the number of migrants coming across the border continuing to surge, the Biden administration is reportedly preparing to vaccinate migrants coming into U.S. custody — amid continued fears of a risk of COVID-19 spreading between migrants, law enforcement and the American public.

Illegal border crossings from Mexico are at the highest levels in more than two decades, and health officials are struggling with soaring numbers of coronavirus infections among migrants. Until now, only a limited number of migrants in detention facilities have been offered vaccines. Under a new plan, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be offered to migrants taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection soon after crossing the border.

  • More than 800 unaccompanied migrant children were apprehended in a single day this week, as the numbers of migrants coming to the southern border continue to surge with no sign of slowing down despite the heat of the summer months.

The Texas border city of McAllen on Wednesday announced it is setting up temporary emergency shelters in response to what it describes as a “rapidly escalating” surge in migrants flooding across the border — and warning that the numbers are triggering a crisis in the city. “Despite the City of McAllen and its community partners’ best efforts, the sheer number of immigrants being released into the city has become a crisis: a crisis the City of McAllen did not create and has proactively tried to avoid for seven years,” the city said in a statement. Mayor Villalobos said Thursday that the city is at a “breaking point.”

The Biden administration has started flying migrants removed under Title 42 health protections deep into the Mexican interior amid fears over not just rising border numbers, but also an increase in COVID-19 cases related to the delta variant. The administration has continued to expel single adults and some migrant families using the Title 42 order initially introduced during the Trump administration which allows for the rapid expulsion of migrants, who are often quickly turned away at the border, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, amid high rates of recidivism – migrants making multiple efforts to cross into the U.S. – and the higher transmissibility of COVID-19 due to the delta variant – the Department of Homeland Security said it has started to fly expelled migrants into Mexico itself.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

Senators have voted to overcome the filibuster to end the debate on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill bu a 67-27 margin. A vote on amendments is to come and the Senate could potentially to pass the bill Saturday and send it to the House. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a first part of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure agenda. It would inject $550 billion of new spending over the next five years on roads, bridges, waterworks, broadband and other projects to virtually every corner of the nation. An analysis of the bill from the Congressional Budget Office drew concerns, particularly from Republicans. It concluded that the legislation would increase deficits by about $256 billion over the next decade.

America’s private employers in July added 943,000 jobs—a proxy for new hires—in a sign that the U.S. economy enjoyed a solid burst of job growth as the labor market recovery continues. This topped the 850,000 jobs U.S. employers added in June. While the resurgence in COVID-19 infections poses a risk to economic recovery, there’s no sign yet of any significant impact. Job growth was substantially lower in states with low vaccination rates.

Millions of open jobs are going unfilled, despite high levels of unemployment. The unemployment rate is still 5.4%, compared to 3.5% in February 2020 before the pandemic arrived. The latest U.S. jobs report, released Friday, revealed that 8.7 million people were unemployed in July, while another 6.5 million people weren’t in the labor force but wanted jobs. “It’s a really unusual situation to have the ratio of vacancies to unemployed be this high,” Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell told reporters last month.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday argued that President Biden’s sweeping $4 trillion economic plan is crucial to ensuring the U.S. maintains its status as the world’s top economic superpower. During a speech in Atlanta, Yellen credited “bold fiscal policy” for the economy’s faster-than-expected recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. But she said the federal government needs to do more to address long-standing structural issues plaguing the economy, such as declining labor force participation, income inequality, the racial gap and the threat of climate change, calling on lawmakers to approve both the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, as well as partisan $3.5 trillion spending plan.

Federal, State and local governments have never been so deep in debt, we are in the midst of the greatest corporate debt binge of all time, and U.S. consumers are certainly doing their part.  A surge in credit card spending and home purchases caused U.S. household debt to increase by $313 billion, or 2.1%, in the second quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That’s the largest dollar increase since 2007. Overall, U.S. consumers are now $15 trillion in debt – that’s about $115,000 per U.S. household

Mortgage debt is rising particularly quickly.  Housing prices have been going through the roof recently, and this has created a buying frenzy on a scale that we haven’t seen since just before the subprime mortgage meltdown of 2008. Mortgage debt, the single biggest contributor to overall household debt, rose $282 billion to $10.44 trillion. A whopping 44% of the outstanding balances were originated over the past year, accounting for both new mortgages and refinancings.

  • The crushing debt load, already too high, will eventually bring the U.S. and global economy crashing down.

An Arkansas judge on Thursday ordered the state to resume paying the $300 supplemental federal pandemic jobless benefit that the state’s governor blamed for fueling a hiring crunch and decided to end early. The plaintiffs—five Arkansas residents—sued Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Director of Workforce Services, arguing they lacked the authority to end the state’s participation in the federal program ahead of its scheduled termination date in September. The judge agreed, arguing in the order that such decisions would normally be the subject of legislation from the Arkansas state legislature.

The Arkansas ruling came on the same day that an Ohio judge rejected a similar bid to reinstate the $300 pandemic jobless benefit. In the Ohio ruling,  Judge Michael J. Holbrook said that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine acted within his authority when he opted out of the federal program. “The court is aware of, and sympathetic to, the thousands of Ohioans without work and in desperate need of any assistance available,” Holbrook wrote, but “the court simply cannot legislate from the bench and overlook the clear terms” of Ohio law.

The Biden Administration extended the pause on student loan payments. The Education Department said it will extend the suspension of federal student loan payments through Jan. 31. The moratorium was set to expire on Sept. 30, but congressional Democrats had urged the Biden administration to push back the date as the coronavirus pandemic has left many Americans struggling to regain their financial footing.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday calling for half of new car sales to be electric vehicles powered by batteries and fuel cells or plug-in hybrids by 2030 on Thursday. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department are set to propose new requirements on greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency for cars, SUVs and pickup trucks through model year 2026.

Gas prices have surged to a new seven-year high. For the week of Aug. 2, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose by a little over two cents compared to the prior week to $3.159. On average, motorists are paying 15 cents more to fill up since the beginning of May.

  • Coffee bean prices are soaring, as a drought has caused a lack of supply for the first time in decades.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

U.S. Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and five other Democrats have called for the U.S .Treasury to stop granting tax exemptions to American charitable organizations active in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. In a recent letter sent to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the group expressed their “extreme concern that US charities are funding and providing direct support to Israeli organizations that are working to expand and perpetuate Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in violation of international law, including supporting the dispossession and forced displacement of Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods… We are concerned that these policies violate US obligations under international law, as well as federal tax law,” the letter read.

  • End-time persecution of Israel will continue to worsen over the next few years.

Florida, Maryland and Illinois are reexamining their relationship with the ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, as well as its parent company, Unilever, after the company announced last month that it will no longer sell its products in what the company deemed “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” which includes the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem. Those states, and more than 30 others, have laws against the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign. The state of Florida notified Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream, on Tuesday that it has 90 days to cease its “boycott of Israel” or face a ban on contracts and investments with the Sunshine State. Unilever, an international conglomerate, is based in London.

  • Ben & Jerry’s franchisees operating 30 stores across the country are asking the ice cream maker to “re-examine and withdraw” its decision to stop selling products in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “Those who feel so strongly about Israel that they want to boycott it or some part of the territory it administers are free to do so. They cannot, however, do that at our expense,” the franchisees wrote in their letter to Ben & Jerry’s executives

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Ebrahim Raisi, an ultraconservative cleric and protege of Iran’s supreme leader, became the country’s president Tuesday as a new security crisis swirls in the vital shipping routes of the Persian Gulf and doubts build over the survival of the troubled 2015 nuclear deal. Raisi, 60, will begin his tenure after he’s officially confirmed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a televised ceremony, ending the eight-year rule of Hassan Rouhani, a more moderate figure who saw his ambition to build ties with the West flounder.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

The United States, Britain and Israel on Sunday all accused Iran of carrying out a drone attack last week on an oil tanker in the Arabian Sea that killed two people on board, raising fears of an escalating maritime war in the Middle East, as Tehran denied responsibility for the strike. American and Israeli officials had previously said that Thursday’s attack on the Liberian-flagged Mercer Street bore the hallmarks of an operation by Iran, which has been accused of deploying attack drones in the past. The Mercer Street is managed by Zodiac Maritime, a London-based company owned by an Israeli billionaire.

Israel confirmed that three rockets were launched toward Israeli territory from Lebanon Wednesday, with two landing in open fields near Kiryat Shemona and one causing a massive fire that destroyed large swathes of farmland. The IDF responded shortly after by attacking the sites where the rockets were launched from in Lebanon with artillery fire and continued to target sites associated with terrorist activity near the border throughout the day. Thursday’s strike marked the first time Israeli fighter jets have carried out attacks in southern Lebanon since 2014. While no group has officially taken responsibility for the rocket launches, it’s believed that Hezbollah is behind the attack. They have launched more than 12 rockets towards Israeli territory since May 2021.

Taliban fighters have taken control of the capital city of Nimruz province in western Afghanistan, according to the deputy governor. Rohullah Gul Khairzad said the city “has fallen” to the Taliban. The development comes as the group has ramped up its military offensive across the country, pushing into major cities and increasing pressure on long fragile provincial capitals elsewhere following the withdrawal of American troops.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

A wind-driven wildfire tore through a northern California mountain town, leaving much of the downtown in ashes and crews braced for another explosive run of flames in the midst of dangerous weather. The Dixie Fire, swollen by bone-dry vegetation and 40mph gusts, raged through the northern Sierra Nevada town of Greenville Wednesday evening. . The town, which dates to California’s Gold Rush era, has some buildings more than a century old. As the fire’s north and eastern sides exploded, the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office issued a Facebook posting warning the town’s approximately 800 residents: “You are in imminent danger and you MUST leave now!” A damage map from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection shows about 100 buildings destroyed in Greenville and the surrounding area. There were no immediate reports of injuries or death but eight people are unaccounted for. The fire is the third -largest ver recorded in California. In all, the blaze has burned more than 698 square miles and was 21% contained as of Saturday morning.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

Several earthquakes struck along the California-Nevada state line Thursday afternoon. According to the United States Geological Survey, the first temblor was a magnitude 6.0 and hit south of Lake Tahoe in Alpine County. It was followed by dozens of aftershocks, at least a half-dozen of which were magnitude 4.0 or greater. People as far away as the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno, and even Las Vegas reported feeling the quakes. Miles of U.S. 395, a major Sierra route, were briefly closed by rockslides and authorities say some cars were struck but there weren’t any injuries. Large boulders littered the highway in several places.

Environment: Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died.. (Luke 21:25-26)

  • The mountain of fire is yet to come, but the earth is already seeing increasing devastation as a precursor for the annihilation of much of the earth. Fortunately, Jesus will come a bring forth a New Earth (Rev. 21)

The annual Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” – a region of oxygen-depleted water off the Louisiana and Texas coasts that’s harmful to sea life – is larger-than-average this summer, federal scientists from NOAA announced in a report released Tuesday. The zone this year is about 6,334 square miles, an area slightly larger than the state of Connecticut. A dead zone occurs at the bottom of a body of water when there isn’t enough oxygen in the water to support marine life. Also known as hypoxia, it’s created by nutrient runoff, mostly from over-application of fertilizer on agricultural fields during the spring.

Florida’s east coast Manatee population died at a record rate this past winter. Nearly one in five manatees living along Florida’s Atlantic coast died this winter, according to a new report from the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The deaths are being blamed on starvation. Seagrass – the manatee’s preferred food source – has been killed off in recent years by algae blooms, poor water quality and other environmental issues.

An open letter to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation signed by nearly 500 faith leaders across Africa and organized and sent by the Southern African Faith Communities’ Institute (SAFCEI) emphasizes that the Foundation’s support for an industrial agriculture approach reliant on monocropping and intensive toxic chemical inputs while displacing smallholder farmers will be disastrous for the continent.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

The megadrought in the western U.S. continues, although rain in the southwest has somewhat abated the drought there, but it has intensified in the northwest. Overall, 88% of the West is in severe to extreme drought, up from 86% last week and 71% three months ago. Utah remains at 100% in severe to exceptional drought, while California and Nevada remain at 95%.

  • However, New Mexico is down to  67% from 99% three months ago while Arizona is down to 83% from 95% and Colorado declined to 30% from 52%.
  • In the northwest, Oregon is up to 96% from 65% three months ago and Washington is up to 55% from 19%. Likewise, Idaho is up to 87% from 10% and Montana is up to 99% from 34%. Wyoming is up to 61% from 45% and North Dakota is up to 98% from 93% while South Dakota is up to 70% from 35%.
  • Drought-stricken California on Thursday shut down one of its largest hydroelectric plants for the first time in its history due to incredibly low water levels that aren’t enough to power it. Now, farmers in the state – one of America’s most important agricultural regions – are being told by regulators that they can no longer take water out of major rivers and streams.

Two years of extreme drought have turned large stretches of northern Mexico into a boneyard. Between starvation and ranchers forced to prematurely sell or slaughter their livestock, officials say the number of cattle in Sonora has dropped from 1.1 million to about 635,000.

More than 100 people were rescued Friday after being stranded overnight when mudslides shut down a portion of Interstate 70 in Colorado. No one was hurt, but two motorists walked to safety after their cars were destroyed by rocky debris. About 10 debris piles were blocking portions of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon after rain on Thursday caused rocks and mud to wash through the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar area. Mud, rocks and trees were 10 to 12 feet deep in some places and in other areas debris was scattered for 200 yards. Twenty-nine motorists sheltered overnight in the tunnel at Hanging Lake, near the town of Glenwood Springs about 150 miles west of Denver. Another 79 people were stuck along the highway.

Amid a deadly summer of flooding in different parts of the world, scientists have found the number of people at risk to extreme flooding has grown significantly in the past two decades. In Germany, severe flooding claimed the lives of at least 173 people. In Nigeria, Lagos Island experienced one of its worst floods in recent years, submerging cars and houses. And, earlier this week, officials announced that the death toll from China’s July floods had climbed to 302 — more than triple the previous estimate.

Signs of the Times: July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021

“Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned.Forgive, and you will be forgiven.Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into yourbosom. Forwith the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:36-38)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

The first International Religious Freedom Summit (IRF) held in Washington, D.C., from July 13-15. This bipartisan, civil society-led event was attended by representatives of multiple organizations and religions from all over the world. There were over 1,000 registered attendees. Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo. Director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity and former International Director of the Barnabas Fund, is an outspoken spokesman for persecuted Christian minorities around the world. Dr Sookhdeo urged that “our freedom of conscience must be safeguarded. It must be defended. It must be shared. It must be propagated. For it lies at the heart of who we are – men and women created in the imago dei.” He continued by urging those leaving the conference to “take this message to the four corners of the world. It must not be with arrogance or force, but rather with a love born of God and a humility that come from the Truth that truly sets us free.”

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain), and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

U.S. Capitol Police were ordered to start arresting visitors and staff who refuse to wear a mask on the House side of the Capitol complex starting Thursday, according to a police memo issued by new USCP Chief Thomas Manger. Police were also advised not to arrest members of Congress for failing to wear masks but to report the lawmakers’ noncompliance to the House sergeant-at-arms, the memo says. Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., called the new directive that Cammack describes as “tyrannical.” Later, the Capitol Police backed down and said in a statement that, “there is no reason it should ever come to someone being arrested. Anyone who does not follow the rule will be asked to wear a mask or leave the premises.”

  • This is an early forerunner of the authoritarian government to come as Covid and other ‘emergencies’ provide the excuse to establish a police state.

As the most sweeping police reform in the nation takes effect in Washington state more than a year after the death of George Floyd, law enforcement agencies outside of Seattle are arguing that new restrictions set on officers when interacting with the public may further incentivize criminal activity. The nearly a dozen bills, passed by a legislature controlled by Democrats and signed by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee in May, took effect on July 25 and cover virtually all aspects of policing, including the background checks officers undergo before they’re hired; when they are authorized to use force and how they collect data about it; and the establishment of an entirely new state agency to review police use of deadly force.

  • With crime already surging in most large cities in the U.S., restraining the police will only lead to more and more crime.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

Afghan Christians are at huge risk. As American troops leave the country, Taliban fighters are expanding their area of control, especially in rural areas, and re-imposing their ultra-strict form of sharia as they go. By the end of August the last Americans will have gone, but in mid-July the Taliban already claimed to control 85% of the country, although others disputed this figure. What is certain is that Afghan Christians, as converts from Islam, will be even more vulnerable under Taliban rule than under the Afghan government. The Taliban has publicly announced that Christians must convert, leave or be killed.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

A coalition of pro-lifers led by the niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and the president of a Hispanic Christian organization is asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade based in part on abortion’s ties to the eugenics movement. The submitted brief asserts that abortion has been used as a “tool of the eugenics movement” in the past and that the abortion industry continues to target minority communities today. The coalition is asking the court to uphold a Mississippi law that prohibits abortion after the 15th week of a woman’s term. The law includes exceptions for medical emergencies and fetal abnormality. Oral arguments on the Mississippi law will be heard this fall.

It’s one of the only bipartisan traditions in Congress that’s remained standing. For the last 44 years, the Hyde Amendment has protected American taxpayers from funding abortion. But the Left wants that to change. Just yesterday, Nancy Pelosi’s House passed the annual Labor-HHS appropriations bill without the Hyde Amendment for the first time in decades.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And  there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

The 14-day average of new Covid-19 Cases in the U.S. is up 151% to 71,621 new cases per day. Deaths are up just 15% because the Delta variant is less deadly and because deaths lag cases by 10-14 days. New cases in Georgia are up 214%. Every state has experienced increased Covid cases.

A leaked Centers for Disease Control and Prevention document obtained by the Washington Post suggests that the Delta variant is so contagious it’s almost like an entirely new virus itself. Just how contagious? As much as chicken pox, the document states, spreading more easily than the common cold. Perhaps most distressingly, it cites new research suggesting vaccinated people appear to spread delta just as easily as the unvaccinated. The document also shows that those who are vaccinated are three times less likely to get COVID-19 than those who are unvaccinated. Once infected, though, vaccinated people are just as contagious as the unvaccinated.

A COVID-19 outbreak in a Massachusetts county in July primarily occurred among vaccinated people. Of the 469 cases detected in Barnstable County, 74 percent occurred among the fully vaccinated, according to a new study published on Friday. Genomic sequencing of 133 patients showed most of them were infected with the Delta variant. The bulk of the infected people did not require hospital care, but among the five that did, four were fully vaccinated.

The CDC’s latest guidance says vaccinated folks should now wear masks in areas of “high transmissibility.” That caused confusion about what ‘high transmissibility’ means. Community transmissibility is calculated using two metrics: how many new cases per 100,000 persons have occurred in the last seven days, and the percentage of positive diagnostic and screening nucleic acid amplification tests in the last seven days. Counties are categorized as having low, moderate, substantial or high transmissibility. Transmissibility is considered high when there are 100 or more new cases per 100,000 in the last seven days and 10% or higher positive NAATs in that period. A high transmission designation can vary, with places like Salt Lake County in Utah at just over 100 cases per 100,000, to counties like Pulaski County in Arkansas, which has nearly 500 cases per 100,000.

  • The Delta variant, which continues to make up more than 80% of new infections in the U.S., is more than two times as transmissible than the original strains of COVID-19, and experts believe it could cause vaccinated people to be contagious.
  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten called the new mask guidance for schools a “curveball,” before suggesting that school reopenings this fall are not a done deal. 

The mask reversals continue: Nevada on Tuesday afternoon announced an emergency order, taking effect Friday in 12 of the state’s 17 counties, requiring masks in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status. Broadway theatergoers will need to prove they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19 and masks will be required when theaters reopen in the coming weeks, producers announced Friday.

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bower said Thursday she will issue a directive for people ages 2 and older to wear masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status to curb rising COVID-19 infections. The directive will go into effect at 5 a.m. Saturday

For the third straight day, Tokyo saw a record high in new COVID-19 cases as the Olympics were well underway. There were 3,865 reported new cases Thursday, up from 3,177 on Wednesday and double the numbers a week ago.

On Wednesday, England lifted quarantine restrictions for vaccinated travelers from United States and E.U., despite rise of Delta variant. Transport Minister Grant Shapps tweeted that as long as travelers from these countries provide proof they are inoculated against the coronavirus, they will not have to quarantine. Even as England is reopening, however, the United States has kept restrictions for travelers from Britain and the E.U. in place. The data suggests that antibody levels against the Delta variant in people ages 18 to 55 who receive a third dose of vaccine are greater than five-times that after receiving the second dose.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

The Biden administration on July 29 stated that federal workers and contractors will have to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or else wear masks, engage in social distancing, and submit to regular COVID-19 testing. Along with the new federal government requirements, the White House stated that Biden would direct the Defense Department to investigate “how and when” it will require military members to take the vaccine.

President Biden on Thursday endorsed states and cities using federal money to pay newly vaccinated people $100 each in order to boost plateauing vaccination rates amid a rise in COVID-19 cases triggered by the highly infectious Delta variant. Biden announced the incentive payments Thursday along with other measures, including requiring federal employees to show they have been vaccinated or undergo regular testing,

Google on Wednesday said that all employees working on company campuses must be vaccinated against COVID-19, making it the first Big Tech company to announce such a mandate. Google CEO Sundar Pichai added that exceptions would be made for “medical or other protected reasons.” Facebook also announced a similar measure. Netflix joined them on Thursday.

The founder of Shake Shack, Danny Meyer, said his Union Square Hospitality Group will require indoor diners and drinkers at its restaurants to show that they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees will also have to get the vaccine, Meyer said.

A third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine can “strongly” boost protection against the Delta variant — beyond the protection afforded by the standard two doses, suggests new data released by Pfizer on Wednesday. The Israeli government announced it will offer a third shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to citizens over 60 years old, amid ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the CCP virus.

AstraZeneca, which pledged to provide its COVID-19 vaccine at no profit for the duration of the pandemic, said Thursday that losses in the first half of the year on its vaccine shaved 4 cents off the pharmaceutical giant’s earnings per share.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

Murders have increased 16% across major U.S. cities so far in 2021 compared to 2020, a new report shows. There were 259 more murders in the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020, and 548 more compared to the first half of 2019 in 29 major U.S. cities, according to a Thursday update to the Council on Criminal Justice’s (CCJ) pandemic crime report.

A Washington Post analysis found that police in 2020 fatally shot 1,021 people, more than any year on record. Police in the United States fatally shot more than 6,400 people since 2015, with the shootings continuing daily despite intense scrutiny of policing.

A woman who took her dog out for a walk in Atlanta on Tuesday night ended up dead, alongside the dog. She had suffered multiple stab wounds in what police say was a “gruesome” scene. Hours later, another woman’s body was found at a park outside Atlanta. Parkgoers found her shot to death under a tree in Yellow River Park near Stone Mountain around 6:30am.

A man was charged Wednesday with hate crimes in New York City after prosecutors say he attacked Muslims and tried to forcibly remove a woman’s hijab. Naved Durrni, 30, is accused of a series of hate crimes over the course of about five weeks during which he allegedly followed Muslims in Queens before yelling anti-Muslim statements and attacking them.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

A witness captured on video a group of women running out of a San Francisco CVS Pharmacy with bags allegedly stuffed full of stolen items as a spree of retail thefts continue to plague the city. Retail thefts have been troubling major cities in recent months, forcing some stores to close their doors or limit operating hours. Multiple incidents in California have been captured on camera, including a viral video from earlier this month that shows a group of shoplifters dashing out of a Neiman Marcus department store in San Francisco and jumping into idling getaway cars. Authorities and retail officials in San Francisco have said that packs of shoplifters have regularly made off with merchandise to be resold.

Hundreds of armed men belonging to a newly-formed vigilante group called “El Machete” have abducted 21 people while burning vehicles and at least a dozen homes in Pantelho, Mexico. The group pledged to fight the incursion of drug cartels into the largely Indigenous mountain communities of Chiapas, and were going street by street in search of alleged criminals. The vigilantes, who appear to include members of the Tzotzil Indigenous group, are calling themselves a “self-defense force.”

An affordable housing project in a Detroit suburb was robbed of $80,000 in air conditioning units. Insurance does not cover the cost of securing the air conditioners. A total of 22 air conditioners were stolen from the Coolidge Place affordable housing development in Oak Park, Michigan.

Racism/Division: Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all,but rather division.For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. (Luke 12:51-52) Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. (Matthew 10:34) And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another… And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will growcold. (Matthew 24:10,12)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday condemned a shocking incident in which a swastika was carved into an elevator wall at the State Department’s main headquarters. Blinken said in a message sent to all department employees that the vandalism is a painful reminder that anti-Semitism remains an issue in the U.S. and around the world and must be combatted relentlessly. “As this painfully reminds us, anti-Semitism isn’t a relic of the past,” Blinken said in the message. “It’s still a force in the world, including close to home. And it’s abhorrent. It has no place in the United States, at the State Department, or anywhere else. And we must be relentless in standing up and rejecting it.”

Critical Race Theory: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

A handful of Minnesotans filed three lawsuits over discrimination, retaliation, and a work demotion they say they faced for speaking out against critical race theory. “Our clients are bravely confronting CRT-inspired bullying, indoctrination and retaliation,” said Doug Seaton, whose Upper Midwest Law Center is representing the plaintiffs in all three cases. In one case, a 27-year employee of the Minnesota Security Hospital, Joe Norgren, says he was forced to retire early because of his “refusal to subscribe to CRT and abandon [his] religious beliefs.”

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Dueling protests occurred outside a Baptist church in Medford, Maine Friday over a sign posted outside about “gender identity.” The New England Baptist Church’s sign reads: “Male and Female He Created Them. Gen. 5:2. Gender Identity Solved.” Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy called the sign an “anti-LGBTQ message.” “No one was demanding that the church remove the message, which is protected by the First Amendment. But members of the trans community and their allies wanted to let them know that their views weren’t welcome,” Kennedy wrote on his website.

Iranian security forces are harshly retaliating against peaceful, widespread anti-regime demonstrations—now in their second week—over water shortages and deteriorating economic conditions. The protests began in the southwestern, oil-rich province of Khuzestan earlier this month as portions of the province are without water or electricity thanks to the regime’s reckless environmental policies and the worst drought in 50 years. As many as eight people are reported to have been killed in the protests to date, according to Amnesty International. Iranian security personnel reportedly utilized tear gas, water cannons, and live fire on crowds of Iranian citizens to quell the protests.

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

The Journal of Medical Ethics argues that parents should not have the right to interfere in their child’s decision to undergo so-called ‘gender-affirming surgeries.’ The formal paper maintains that parents should not be able to guide their children in any way other than full affirmation of the ‘gender identity,’ In fact, they proclaim that parents shouldn’t even be allowed into the conversation, that doctors should be free to treat minors without parental consent and parental influence. Breakpoint points out that, “gender-affirming surgeries is a nomenclature for surgery that actually is gender-denying, in which a surgery performed changes the body in a mutilating and permanent way… Thirteen-year-old girls in the United States of America are actually going through surgeries to remove healthy breasts.”

  • Insanity is running rampant and people are falling victim to Satan’s deceptions and delusions: The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie. (2Thessalonians 2:9-11)

Future Built on Lies: You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)

New York Times columnist Bret Stephens took aim at Dr. Anthony Fauci Tuesday amid the Biden administration’s efforts to combat so-called coronavirus “misinformation.” “Fauci is almost certainly right on the technical merits … But the larger truth — obscured until recently by fervent efforts (including by Fauci) to dismiss the lab-leak theory for the origins of the pandemic — is that the U.S. government’s scientific establishment did support gain-of-function research that deserved far more public debate than it got,” Stephens wrote. “Also incontrovertibly true is that beneficiaries of that funding engaged in deceptive tactics and outright mendacity to shield their research from public scrutiny while denouncing their critics as conspiracy-mongers.”

  • Wow! Even the ultra-liberal NYT recognizes the duplicity of Dr. Fauci.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

The Biden administration on Thursday rolled out its strategies to address the root causes of migration, a step officials call a “core component” of efforts to establish a “fair, orderly, and humane immigration system.” Vice President Kamala Harris said that under the Biden Administration, she and the president have “restarted” U.S. engagement with Central American governments to create a “comprehensive” strategy to address the root causes of migration. “Unless we address all of the root causes, problems will persist,” Harris added, noting that it is the “goal” of the administration to deal with “corruption” in the region, and “mitigate the lack of economic and educational opportunities on the ground.”

  • Laudable goals with little likelihood of immediate impact. Even long-term, these ‘root causes’ will prove extremely difficult to eradicate given the political instability in Central America. More likely is that the U.S. will become such a cesspool that no one will want to come here in the future.

Just 13 percent of the roughly 50,000 illegal immigrants released into the U.S. without a court date — and ordered to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement — have bothered to show up, a new report said. The illegal immigrants were given a list of addresses and contacts for ICE offices across the country and directed to report to one of them in the expectation that they would appear after reaching their destination to seek work permits, Axios reported.

The Biden administration has restarted fast-track deportation flights for Central American families. Two deportation flights operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement departed Brownsville, Tex., on Friday, but many families were abruptly removed from passenger manifests after testing positive for the coronavirus or having been exposed to an infected person, Department of Homeland Security officials said. The spread of the virus’s delta variant in Texas and along the southern U.S. border has intensified pressure on the administration to ramp up enforcement.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

The core personal consumption expenditures price index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, accelerated in June by the most on an annual basis in almost three decades. Core PCE, which excludes food and energy, increased 3.5% year over year in June, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Overall, the personal consumption expenditures price index rose 4% year over year. Last month, prices increased at a 3.9% annual rate, the beginning of a long-term trend.

Anxiety about inflation is high. Even as demand roars back, the world’s biggest manufacturers, from The Procter & Gamble Co. to Nestle SA, are seeing the cost of raw materials soar – which will be passed along to consumers. Unilever Plc warned of commodity and shipping costs increasing the most in a decade while pricier aluminum threatens a nasty hangover at the world’s biggest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The U.S. economy grew 6.5 percent in second quarter, substantially lower than expected.. Rising vaccination rates and stimulus spending fueled economic growth that surpassed the last pre-pandemic peak set in 2019 and erased losses caused by the coronavirus crisis, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. But new uncertainty lies ahead, as coronavirus cases rise across the country along with increasing inflation, supply-chain disruptions and widespread shortages.

On Wednesday, Fed officials once again voted to continue flooding the financial system with giant mountains of fresh cash. The Federal Reserve open market committee has voted unanimously to continue the central bank’s easy money policies, again dismissing soaring inflation as ‘transitory’ and saying COVID-19 still poses risks to the economy. They will keep the federal funds rate near zero and continue flooding the market with money through massive bond purchases ‘until substantial further progress’ is made on boosting employment. On average, the Federal Reserve is pumping more than a billion dollars into our financial system every single hour which will continue to raise inflation, add to the already insurmountable federal deficit and ultimately cause a terrible inflationary depression.

Sixteen months after the coronavirus pandemic upended the economy and left millions of Americans out of work, the historic relief programs Congress put in place are set to start expiring. Even as Covid-19 cases rise once again as the Delta variant spreads, millions of Americans will soon begin losing their federal safety nets. And there’s less appetite among the Biden administration and lawmakers, including many Democrats, to extend them again. Housing protections are scheduled to end later this week, with enhanced unemployment benefits following the first weekend of September. The pause on federal student loan payments and beefed-up food stamp benefits are due to expire at the end of September.

The IRS has been rolling out special refunds in batches as it makes adjustments for early filers who paid more than they owed in taxes on their jobless benefits for 2020 during the pandemic. About 1.5 million people received an average of $1,686 this week after the IRS adjusted their  federal income tax returns. Refunds by paper check will begin July 30. 

Many small businesses are still struggling. More than 4 in 5 say their Paycheck Protection Program funds are poised to run out by the end of July, according to a new survey released by Goldman Sachs. And only about 1 in 4 are confident they can keep paying their workers without the extra money.

A federal ban on evictions is poised to expire on July 31, putting millions of renters at risk of being thrown out of their homes in coming weeks as state and local officials struggle to distribute $46 billion in rental assistance to tenants and landlords across the country. More than 15 million people living in the U.S. are behind on their rental payments and could face eviction. At the same time, landlords have been crushed by the moratorium; though many are no longer collecting rent, they’re still on the hook for taxes, maintenance expenses and other bills. On average, tenants owe about $3,000 in unpaid rent to landlords.

  • President Biden wants to see the moratorium extended and called on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium to protect such vulnerable renters and their families without delay. This only serves to push landlords into poverty, abandoning their properties – just what socialists want to happen.
  • As a federal ban on evictions expires Saturday, a $46.5 billion emergency fund aimed at getting rent to tenants at risk of eviction remains largely unspent. Only nine states and D.C. have some kind of emergency protections for tenants that will last into August, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Iran’s top leader injected new doubts Wednesday into the stalled effort to save the country’s 2015 nuclear pact with major powers, accusing the United States of duplicity and chastising the outgoing Iranian president as naïve. The remarks by the leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, come one week before President Hassan Rouhani — an architect of the original nuclear accord — will step down after eight years. The fate of Iran’s negotiations with the United States to revive the accord, which has been suspended for more than a month, now falls to Mr. Rouhani’s successor, Ebrahim Raisi, an arch-conservative disciple of Mr. Khamenei who takes office in a week.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

China offered a high-profile public stage to the Taliban on Wednesday, declaring that the group rapidly retaking large parts of Afghanistan would play “an important role in the process of peaceful reconciliation and reconstruction” of the country. Chinese officials began two days of talks with a delegation of Taliban leaders in Tianjin, a coastal city in northeastern China, significantly raising the group’s international stature after steady military gains that have taken advantage of the withdrawal of American and NATO combat forces from Afghanistan.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

Residents scrambled to higher ground or to evacuate coastal towns late Wednesday and early Thursday after a massive earthquake struck off Alaska’s coast, triggering aftershocks and now-canceled tsunami warnings. The magnitude 8.2 earthquake was the strongest in the area since the 1960’s. Wednesday’s quake hit 56 miles east southeast of Perryville, Alaska, at about 8:15 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The earthquake was felt throughout the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak. Two other earthquakes with preliminary magnitudes of 6.2 and 5.6 occurred in the same area within a half-hour of the first one.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

A Texas rancher fears that two abandoned oil wells leaking on her property are a sign of much bigger problems lurking below the surface. Experts say millions of decaying wells will pose even greater threats to our air and water.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

Severe weather damaged homes, knocked out power and prompted tornado warnings across parts of several states Thursday evening, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia. There were reports of injuries from a tornado in Jefferson County, Ohio. Two destructive tornadoes tore through eastern Pennsylvania Thursday night, ripping through a mobile home park, destroying buildings at an auto dealership. Five injuries were reported in the area following the storms. About 20,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in Stafford County, Virginia. The storms were part of the same system that spawned high winds and tornadoes that damaged homes and caused more than 130,000 power outages overnight Wednesday and into early Thursday morning in Wisconsin and Illinois and also raked parts of southwest Michigan and northern Indiana.

Rain is a good thing for the drought-parched Southwest, but too much at one time is fueling worries about significant flooding beginning Friday through the weekend. Eight states in the West have flash flood watches in effect through the weekend, where monsoon rains are expected to expand outward from the desert Southwest.

A fierce cold snap prompted snowfall in southern Brazil, with snow accumulating on streets of cities where the wintry phenomenon is rarely seen. The last time a blizzard hit Brazil was in 1957.

Greenland is experiencing its most significant melting event of the year as temperatures in the Arctic surge. The amount of ice that melted on Tuesday alone would be enough to cover the entire state of Florida in two inches of water. Greenland lost more than 8.5 billion tons of surface mass on Tuesday, and 18.4 billion tons since Sunday, according to the Denmark Meteorological Institute.