Signs of the Times (7/18/15)

Planned Parenthood Sells Aborted Baby Body Parts

A video purportedly shows a Planned Parenthood executive sipping a glass of wine in a Los Angeles restaurant while casually explaining how they sell body parts from aborted babies. The undercover video was filmed in July 2014 by the Center for Medical Progress, an advocacy group that reports on medical ethics. They dispatched two actors posing as representatives of a human biologics company to a business lunch with Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services. The video shows Nucatola describing in graphic detail how abortionists are able to harvest organs from aborted babies based on the parts that are needed, reports Todd Starnes on Fox News. “Planned Parenthood’s criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization,” said David Daledien, who lead the undercover project, a nearly three-year-long investigation on illegal trafficking of aborted fetal parts. “Elected officials must listen to the public outcry for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable to the law and for our tax dollars to stop underwriting this barbaric abortion business.” Planned Parenthood, of course, issued a statement denying they’ve done anything wrong and accused the Center for Medical Progress of releasing a heavily edited video. Speaker John Boehner announced today that committees in the House of Representatives will take a look at the Planned Parenthood abortion business after the shocking expose’ video.

Court Rules against Nuns in Contraception Coverage Case

A federal appeals court in Denver ruled on Tuesday against a group of Colorado nuns who challenged a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide insurance policies covering contraception. Though religious groups are already exempt from covering contraceptives, the plaintiffs – the Little Sisters of the Poor as well as four Christian colleges in Oklahoma – argued the exemption doesn’t go far enough because they must sign away the coverage to another party, making them feel as though they had a hand in providing contraceptives. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. The court ruled that because the Little Sisters of the Poor had the option of signing a form that would transfer covering contraceptives to a third-party, they failed to show that the ObamaCare mandate placed a burden on their right to exercise freedom of religion.

Boy Scouts Vote to End Ban on Gay Leaders

The Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Committee has unanimously voted to remove the organization’s ban on gay leaders. Next, the BSA’s National Executive Board will vote on the policy change at a meeting on July 27. If passed, the change will take effect immediately. The Washington Times reports the National Executive Board is widely expected to vote to remove the ban. According to the proposed policy, individual troops will be able to “choose adult leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own,” whether gay or straight. The vote was not a surprise, as BSA National President Robert Gates said in May that modern-day society and “increasing legal challenges” made the ban on gay leaders unsustainable.

Iran Nuclear Deal Fuels Middle East Arms Race, Boosts Russia’s Influence

The newly announced Iran nuclear deal and the negotiations leading up to it already are fueling an all-but-declared nuclear arms race in the Middle East, according to current and former government officials who say the situation also creates an opening for Russia to exert more influence in the region. “We have given Iran the path it has been seeking for almost 35 years. The other states in the region are not going to sit idly by, which is why in effect the nuclear arms race is already underway,” former U.N. Ambassador and Fox News contributor John Bolton said, adding that Iran and other nations have used civilian nuclear energy programs as cover for covert enrichment programs. In the last six months, Russia has struck three significant nuclear deals with long-time U.S. Middle East allies, effectively capitalizing on regional distrust of Iran.

  • Obama just opened the nuclear door to a host of Islamist anti-U.S. countries allied with Russia, just as prophesied in Ezekiel 38

Israel Continues to Warn Against Nuclear Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed grim determination Wednesday that the deal announced the day before in Vienna regarding Iran’s renegade nuclear program “is not the last word.” Adding that there was still a chance to stop the deal by lobbying the US Congress, he said “We brought the Iranian issue to the attention of world public opinion. If it weren’t for Israel’s efforts, Iran would’ve gained possession of a nuclear weapon a long time ago. We are not bound by this agreement and we will continue to oppose it. This agreement is bad on all counts…when we read the agreement, the picture becomes even bleaker because we discover more absurd things in it.”

Obama Offers Israel More Aid

President Obama has offered to increase U.S. military aid to Israel in the wake of the Iran nuclear agreement. According to the New York Times, Obama broached the subject in a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. White House officials said that Obama told Netanyahu that he was prepared to hold “intensive discussions” on bolstering Israel’s defense capabilities. The paper reported that Netanyahu denied to discuss the subject with the president, leading U.S. officials to believe he wants to wait and see what Congress has to say about the deal. Lawmakers have up to 60 days to review the agreement.

  • What a joke: put Israel in greater danger and then offer more aid as though that would make things even.

Tens of Thousands of Rape Kits go Untested across USA

In the most detailed nationwide inventory of untested rape kits ever, USA TODAY and journalists from more than 75 Gannett newspapers and TEGNA TV stations have found at least 70,000 neglected kits in an open-records campaign covering 1,000-plus police agencies – and counting. Despite its scope, the agency-by-agency count covers a fraction of the nation’s 18,000 police departments, suggesting the number of untested rape kits reaches into the hundreds of thousands. Testing can yield DNA evidence that helps identify suspects, bolster prosecutions and in some cases exonerate the wrongly accused. The records reveal widespread inconsistency in how police handle rape evidence from agency to agency, and even officer to officer. Some departments test every rape kit. Others send as few as two in 10 to crime labs. Decades of promises from politicians, and more than $1 billion in federal funding, has failed to fix the problems. The roughly $1,000 cost to analyze each kit is among the hindrances for police.

  • An appalling lapse of responsibility due to budgetary constraints and misogynistic attitudes

Another “Lone Wolf” Terrorist Attack in U.S.

A heavily armed gunman first shot from inside a vehicle Thursday, then got out of the vehicle and continued to shoot at a Navy reserves facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing four U.S. Marines. The FBI identified Mohammod Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, as the shooter. Police haven’t said whether the gunman was killed by officers or shot himself. Abdulazeez was a naturalized American citizen from Kuwait. Federal prosecutors said on Thursday they were investigating the incident as possible “domestic terrorism.” Abdulazeez was a practicing Muslim who reportedly showed signs of becoming increasingly devout in recent weeks. The Islamist State has called upon supporters worldwide to conduct ‘lone wolf’ attacks against Western infidels. Dozens of Twitter accounts spewing jihadist bile have placed Mohammad Abdulazeez’s bearded face as their main images as he becomes the poster-child for ‘lone wolf’ attacks.

  • These incidents are going underreported as terrorist attacks because of ‘political correctness’

Persecution Watch

Two churches were attacked in separate incidents in India on Sunday 28 June. A week earlier, a homemade bomb made to look like a football was deliberately left in the playground of a Christian school in Kolkata injuring a former student when it exploded. The bomb exploded when some young people were cleaning the area in preparation for a football match in the playground later that day. In India’s northern Haryana state, in Bhiwani district, a group of suspected Hindu radicals pelted stones at a church in the early hours of Sunday 28 June and destroyed its cross. On that same Sunday, a mob of around 30 suspected Hindu radicals attacked a church in Adoni, Kurnool, in Andhra Pradesh state. Pelting the building with stones, they shouted Hindu slogans at the Christians. Although police arrived at the scene in time to protect the pastor and his wife from further attack, they did not register a complaint against the assailants.

A potential massacre of Christians at worship in a packed church in Jos, Plateau State was prevented on Sunday morning, July 12. A security guard spotted a bomb at the entrance to the church and threw it away just as it was about to explode.

Economic News

The outbreak of avian flu caused the cost of eggs to nearly double last month for producers. Wholesale prices for chicken eggs jumped 84.5% in June, the Labor Department said Wednesday. The spike comes amid otherwise tame inflation across the rest of the economy. The producer price index, which measures the costs of goods and services before they reach consumers, increased just 0.4% in June. Over the past 12 months, producer prices have actually fallen 0.7% due to lower oil and gasoline costs. Wholesale gas prices rose 4.3% last month but are down 30.3% from a year ago, keeping inflation firmly in check.

Of the 11 million black children living in the country, 38%, or nearly 2 out of every 5 black children, live in poverty, a Pew Research analysis of Census data found. Pew defined poverty as a family of four with two children that has income of less than $24,000 a year. While the overall number of children living in poverty in the United States has declined from 16.3 million in 2010 to 14.7 million in 2013, the differences by race and ethnicity are stark. In 2013, one out of every three Hispanic children, or 30.4% of the 18 million Hispanic children in the country, lived in poverty compared to 1 out of every 10 white children and 1 out of every 10 Asian children.

After years of breakneck growth, China’s economy, the world’s second-largest, is now ‘slumping’ – relative to past explosive growth but still much greater than U.S. growth. China’s gross domestic product expanded by 7% in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year. Markets dropped in China after the numbers came out — stocks lost 3% in Shanghai and 4.2% in Shenzhen. China’s central government has already cut interest rates three times this year — most recently, just two weeks ago. Experts say the rate cut came earlier than expected, as a defense against a large stock market plunge over recent weeks.


After anti-austerity protesters clashed with police nearby, Greece’s parliament early Thursday accepted harsh terms demanded by creditors to receive nearly $100 billion in the country’s third bailout in five years. The measure passed overwhelmingly, 229-64, despite three dozen defections from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ ruling Syriza party. However, the International Monetary Fund believes the Greek bailout deal could work. The IMF clashed with Greece’s Eurozone creditors Tuesday, saying Greece needs monumental debt relief. “Greece’s debt can now only be made sustainable through debt relief measures that go far beyond what Europe has been willing to consider so far,” the fund said in a new report. It said European countries would have to either “very dramatically” extend the grace periods on Greece debt, or concede to deep upfront cuts. The fund then went even further and said Europe might be forced to just hand Greece some cash. Much of Greece was ablaze Friday, as authorities suspected arson in more than 50 fires that might be linked to protests over austerity measures forced on Greeks by European creditors as the price for a new $96 billion bailout.

  • Debt relief will become the new mantra for many debt-burdened countries. But that “relief” always comes at somebody else’s expense, that is we the taxpayers who fund profligate governments living beyond their means.

Middle East

Terrorists in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip fired a rocket into southern Israel Thursday morning, prompting retaliatory strikes by the Israeli Air Force on terror infrastructure. No casualties were reported by either side. In related news, Israeli security announced on Wednesday that they have arrested five suspects for alleged involvement in the killing of 25-year-old Danny Gonen and wounding his friend in a shooting attack near the West Bank community of Dolev on 19 June. Meanwhile, a female Palestinain terrorist stabbed an IDF soldier in the back near the community of Nahliel on Wednesday. The soldier was reported in stable condition with light-to-moderate wounds and his attacker was taken into custody.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led an outraged chorus of rejection Thursday following a 2-1 decision by a panel of judges at the International Criminal Court ordering prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to consider opening a full criminal investigation into the 2010 Mavi Maramara flotilla incident, despite her having closed the file seven months ago. “At a time when in Syria Assad slaughters hundreds of thousands of his own people, when Iran sends hundreds to death, and Hamas in Gaza uses children as human shields, the court has chosen to deal with Israel for cynical political reasons,” Netanyahu said. “In the face of this hypocrisy, our soldiers will continue to guard us from the front and we will defend them in the international arena.”

Islamic State

An ISIS-affiliated militant group claims it carried out a missile attack Thursday on an Egyptian navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea. A statement from the group, which is based in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, claimed it used a “guided missile” to target the ship near Rafah, on the border with Gaza. The group, which calls itself the State of Sinai, released several photos that appeared to show a projectile flying toward and then striking a military ship, causing a huge explosion. The Egyptian army said a military vessel caught fire following a firefight between security forces and suspected militants near Rafah on Thursday. Egyptian army spokesman Gen. Mohammad Samir said in a statement that there were no casualties in the incident, which happened when the military was patrolling the area for “terrorists.”

The Islamic State appears to have manufactured rudimentary chemical warfare shells and attacked Kurdish positions in Iraq and Syria with them as many as three times in recent weeks, according to field investigators, Kurdish officials and a Western ordnance disposal technician who examined the incidents and recovered one of the shells. The development, which the investigators said involved toxic industrial or agricultural chemicals repurposed as weapons, signaled a potential escalation of the group’s capabilities. Chemical weapons, internationally condemned and banned in most of the world.


An attack by the Islamic State group on a crowded marketplace in Iraq’s eastern Diyala province has killed 115 people, including women and children, in one of the deadliest single attacks in the country in the past decade. At least 170 people were injured in the attack. The mostly-Shiite victims were gathered to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which ended Friday for Iraqi Shiites and a day earlier for Iraqi Sunni Muslims. Police said a small truck detonated in a crowded marketplace in the town of Khan Beni Saad Friday night. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on Twitter accounts associated with the militant group.


At least 60 people have been killed in bomb blasts that hit two different parts of northeastern Nigeria in less than 24 hours, officials said Friday. The deadly attacks struck a region where violence blamed on the Islamic militant group Boko Haram has killed hundreds of people in recent weeks. On Thursday, at least 48 people were killed and 58 others were wounded in two simultaneous bombings that ripped through a market in the city of Gombe, capital of Gombe state, a Red Cross official said. One of the blasts was caused by a female suicide bomber, the other by a bomb hidden at the market. The following morning, two suicide bombers killed at least 12 people in the northeastern Nigerian town of Damaturu, in Yobe state.


Four terror suspects detained by French intelligence agents were plotting to behead a senior military staffer at a military site in southern France, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office said Thursday. The suspects planned to film the scene with a GoPro camera. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Wednesday that the suspects, ages 16 to 23, were arrested in four parts of France at dawn Monday on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack against “military installations.” One of them is a former sailor in the French navy.


A wind-driven wildfire swept over a jammed Southern California freeway — the critical corridor between Los Angeles and Las Vegas — Friday afternoon, setting several cars and tractor-trailer trucks ablaze, and burning several homes. Two people suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation. Television video showed several vehicles burning at El Cajon Pass on Interstate 15, packed with vacationers and commuters. The high-desert freeway was closed in both directions. Twenty vehicles were destroyed and ten others damaged when the fire crossed the freeway’s southbound lanes. A Michigan man said he and his family were able escape before their car was consumed by flames. “I just grabbed my kids and ran up the hill.” The so-called North Fire began in chaparral just off the interstate, near the junction with State Route 138, about 2:30 p.m. PT. Fanned by 40-45 mph winds, it had spread to 3,500 acres by 6 p.m. and was headed toward Baldy Mesa, Oak Hills and Phelan. Residents were under mandatory orders to evacuate.

Wildfires today threaten more of the world’s forested areas, and for a longer period of time each year, than they have in more than three decades, according to a new study that blames climate-driven changes like rising global temperatures and worsening droughts. Released July 14 in the scientific journal Nature Communications, the study found that wildfire seasons worldwide are nearly 20 percent longer today than they were 35 years ago, having lengthened across more than 25 percent of the Earth’s forested surface, on every continent except Australia. In the U.S., wildfires have consumed over 5.5 million acres, the second highest total in the past 10 years.

  • End-time weather will continue to grow more extreme with floods in some areas and severe drought in others, with substantially more wildfires due to higher temperatures


A tornado carved through Cameron, Illinois, Thursday night, causing ‘significant damage’ in the town of around 600 people. Access to the town was blocked off to everyone but emergency responders as crews conducted search and rescue efforts overnight. However, there were no reports of deaths or serious injuries. Thousands remained without power in Warren County Illinois after the storms. There were nine reports of tornadoes during Thursday’s severe weather. Friday also brought ferocious storms, including reports of tornadoes and strong winds in South Dakota, where a 97-mph gust was measured near Clear Lake. Two other South Dakota locations gusted to at least 90 mph. An unspecified number of people were injured by flying glass in a hailstorm near Webster, South Dakota. The storms organized into a squall line that has produced structural damage in Watertown, Minnesota, near the Twin Cities; radar showed strong evidence of a tornado there around midnight Friday night.

A multi-day severe weather outbreak on Monday and Tuesday produced nearly 900 reports of severe weather that knocked out power for hundreds of thousands and left at least three dead and several missing in Kentucky. Three people died, while five others remain missing. The flooding damaged or destroyed 150 homes in the area. The situation prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency in Kentucky; at least six counties in West Virginia were also operating under an emergency declaration. Monday’s storms produced 504 reports of severe weather, making it the most active severe weather day in the U.S. so far this year. Roads now are lined with empty foundations, where trailers or homes once stood. Cars were flipped upside down and trees uprooted. Fifteen people were treated at a local hospital and released. Rescue crews combing the hilly Appalachian terrain Tuesday were hampered by more heavy rains, swarming mosquitoes, soupy humidity and knee-deep mud.

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