Signs of the Times (9/7/15)

American Muslim Leader Call for 10,000 Volunteers to Kill White People

Appearing on his Justice or Else! Tour at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal church in Washington DC, Nations of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan said, referencing the Koran, “Retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breasts of those whose children have been slain. So if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. Stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling…. 10,000 in the midst of the million … 10,000 fearless men who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny.” The sonsofliberty.com ask, “Why is Louis Farrakhan not in jail? Why has he not been arrested and charged with inciting riots? Why has he not been arrested and charged with encouraging the murder of thousands of people based on his racist views?”

  • It appears that hate-crime legislation applies only to Christians

Kentucky Clerk Now in Jail as Others Also Refuse to Issue Gay Marriage Licenses

The Kentucky county clerk refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses isn’t the only local official in the United States using religion as a basis for denying licenses to gay couples. A federal judge jailed Kim Davis for contempt of court Thursday after she again refused to issue marriage licenses to gays in Rowan County, Ky., pursuant to the Supreme Court decision earlier this year. Despite the Supreme Court’s 5-4 landmark ruling in the same-sex marriage case, many other local officials across the country are not giving up the fight. In Oregon, an ethics investigation of Marion County Circuit Judge Vance Day has been launched following his decision not to perform same-sex marriages. Day has never performed a same-sex marriage because of “deeply held religious beliefs.” Up to 15 counties in Alabama had shuttered their marriage license operations as of Wednesday with no date for relaunching them, according to Ianthe Metzger of the Human Rights Campaign. In North Carolina, a law allowing officials to refrain from conducting marriage-related duties has led to more than 30 magistrates refusing to perform same-sex unions. Only Utah has a similar law.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Carter County Detention Center in a “Free Kim Davis” rally on Saturday and prayed for jailed Rowan County clerk, who was locked up just a few hundred feet away. As Davis’ mugshot flew across the Internet, it became clear that the gay rights movement must now confront the idea that Christianity is under siege, said Kenneth Upton, senior counsel for Lambda Legal, a law firm specializing in LGBT issues. “This is what the other side wants,” Upton said, pointing to an image of Davis in handcuffs. “This is a biblical story, to go to jail for your faith. We don’t want to make her a martyr to the people who are like her, who want to paint themselves as victims.” The American Civil Liberties Union, representing couples she turned away, asked that she be fined rather than imprisoned, in part to avoid “a false persecution story,”

  • Christianity is under siege and this is not a ‘false persecution story.’ Instead, this event marks the beginning of the criminalization of Christianity in America

Bathroom Access for Transgender Teen divides Missouri Town

Missouri transgender teen Lila Perry says she began to feel like a girl when she was 13 and started appearing as one in school this year when classes began in August. The 17-year-old Hillsboro High School senior wears skirts, makeup and a long wig styled with bobby pins. She even started using the girls’ locker room to change for gym class, despite the school’s offer of a single-occupancy restroom. However, it became clear she was not welcome in the locker room. Because Perry has male anatomy, many students simply see her as a boy in a wig changing in the girls’ locker room — and that makes them uncomfortable. They whispered about her in hallways, complained to faculty and told their parents, who brought it up at the school board meeting on August 27. In a petition read aloud, one parent asked the board to stop extending privileges to “confused teenagers who want to be something they are not sexually” at other students’ expense. When they didn’t get the response they had hoped for, a group of students organized a walkout Monday with their parents’ support. The protest made national headlines, casting a large spotlight on this small town of 2,900 people about 30 miles south of St. Louis.

  • Anatomy is anatomy, not a choice, like it or not.

Judge Upholds Controversial Arizona Immigration Law

An Arizona judge upheld the state’s landmark immigration law on Friday after challengers failed to show that police would enforce the statute differently for Latinos than it would for people of other ethnicities. The ruling could signal the end of the case and give a victory to backers of the 2010 law. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton upheld the law’s controversial requirement that police, while enforcing other laws, can question the immigration status of those suspected of being in the country illegally. The Supreme Court also upheld the requirement, but the law’s challengers continued to try to get it overturned at a lower-level court. Opponents have “not produced any evidence that state law enforcement officials will enforce SB1070 differently for Latinos than a similarly situated person of another race or ethnicity,” Bolton wrote.

Arab Nations Silent as Migrant Crisis Swells in Europe

The richest Arab nations in the Gulf region aren’t taking in Syrian refugees, the largest population of migrants overwhelming neighboring Middle Eastern countries and flooding into Europe. Persian Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait have pledged or donated hundreds of millions of dollars, but won’t resettle those fleeing the Syrian civil war that has been raging for more than four years. Nearly half of Syria’s pre-war population of more than 20 million people have been displaced within Syria or have fled the country, according to the United Nations. The neighboring nations of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq have taken in more than 3.5 million Syrians combined. But tens of thousands more have embarked on perilous journeys this year across the Mediterranean and through the Balkans to reach northern Europe. “The Gulf States have not stepped up in accepting refugees,” said Geoffrey Mock, the Syria specialist for Amnesty International USA. “They have offered zero resettlement places … and this is shameful.”

European Migration Crisis

Anger is mounting in nations along the path Middle Eastern and North African refugees are taking to Europe, where citizens and officials alike say the crisis is stretching resources and threatening security. An estimated 1 million refugees, many from Syria, are making their way to European Union nations that have agreed to take them in. But their treacherous path crosses Greece and winds through Balkan nations including Macedonia and Serbia, which are finding themselves overwhelmed. Many blame European Union officials for making policy that has brought a wave of human misery across their borders. “Balkan countries are not members of NATO or the EU, and they have sensitive economies and defenses. The refugees have fueled crime and smuggling of people and other illegal businesses,” noted Dusko Stojanovski, a professor of security and international crime at University American College, in Skopje.

Germany pledged nearly $7 billion to care for the hundreds of thousands of refugees entering the country and France said it would welcome 24,000 refugees as Europe on Monday stepped up efforts to deal with its migration crisis. More than 4,000 migrants arrived in Austria and thousands more were heading there on foot Saturday as European countries broke a stalemate and began finding ways to take in the masses of humanity. Hungary, which had spent days stopping migrants from leaving by train, provided buses to take them into Austria. The government relented under international pressure and after desperate refugees who had camped out at the Budapest train station simply began walking toward the border. Austria opened the floodgates by announcing that “every refugee in Austria can apply for asylum.” By early afternoon Saturday, about 6,500 migrants had crossed into the country.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday said “thousands more” Syrian refugees would be allowed into the United Kingdom. Cameron appeared to be bowing to public pressure at home and to political momentum in the European Union to do more to address a growing humanitarian crisis as tens of thousands of people flee to Europe — mainly Syrians fleeing the Islamic State, but also Iraqis, Eritreans, Nigerians, Albanians and many others. Countries across Europe have been struggling to fashion a cohesive strategy to deal with a refugee crisis on a scale not seen since World War II. The head of the U.N. refugee agency said Friday that Europe is facing a “defining moment” that required a “massive common effort” to deal with the largest influx of refugees onto the continent in decades.

Pentagon Halts Work with Bioterror Germs at 9 Labs

The discovery of live anthrax outside a containment area at a military lab in Utah prompted military officials to order an immediate freeze on operations at nine biodefense laboratories that work with dangerous viruses, toxins and bacteria, the Pentagon announced Thursday. The moratorium came after officials took a detailed look at policies and procedures at the labs and found them wanting, according to Defense officials. Labs at the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground facility in Utah have been the focus of international concern since May, when the first clues emerged that the facility had been mistakenly shipping live anthrax — instead of killed specimens — to labs in the USA and abroad for years. An ongoing USA TODAY Media Network investigation has revealed numerous safety problems at government, university and private labs that operate in the secretive world of biodefense research. Activities at the labs will restart when the Army determines they can be conducted safely.

  • The always present possibility of human error is often overlooked in the haste to get things done. Extra layers of safeguards should always be built into protocols at facilities dealing with harmful agents.

Fiat Chrysler Orders Recall to Thwart Hackers

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has ordered the second recall in two months in order to install software that protects against computer hackers. The recall ordered Friday will update software in about 7,810 of its new 2015 Jeep Renegade that have 6.5-inch touchscreens. The system involved in the latest recall is different that than the infotainment system that was the subject of a recall of 1.4 million vehicles in July, the automaker says. Owners will receive a thumb drive so they can perform the update themselves. Fiat Chrysler said it will include new safety features that can block remote access. The July recall came after two hackers demonstrated to Wired magazine how they could take over a Jeep SUV as it drove down the highway with a journalist in the driver’s seat. They also cranked up the air conditioning and took over the sound system. The car ended up in a ditch.

Economic News

In reporting that the unemployment rate declined to 5.1% last month, the mainstream media failed to also report that a record 94,031,000 Americans were not in the American labor force last month — 261,000 more than July — and the labor force participation rate stayed stuck at 62.6 percent, a 38-year low, for a third straight month in August, the Labor Department reported on Friday. The number of Americans not in the labor force has continued to rise, partly because of retiring baby-boomers and fewer workers entering the workforce.

Payroll growth slowed in August as employers added 173,000 jobs in a key report that could help the Federal Reserve decide whether to raise interest rates later this month. The unemployment rate fell from 5.3% to 5.1%, lowest since March 2008. Businesses added 140,000 jobs last month, fueled by strong advances in health care, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality. Federal, state and local governments added 33,000. Partly offsetting the disappointing report is that job gains for June and July were revised up by a total 44,000. Among the major demographic groups, the unemployment rate for whites declined to 4.4 percent in August. The rates for adult men (4.7 percent), adult women (4.7 percent), teenagers (16.9 percent), blacks (9.5 percent), Asians (3.5 percent), and Hispanics (6.6 percent)

Wage growth picked up moderately as average hourly earnings rose 8 cents to $25.09 after dipping in June, and is up 2.2% the past year, slightly faster than the tepid 2% pace so far in the recovery. The Fed is seeking signs of faster wage growth that would indicate stronger inflation as it considers increasing its benchmark interest rate. The report is the most significant the Fed will review before its September 16-17 meeting. Until recent financial market turmoil, Fed officials had been signaling there was at least a reasonable chance they would raise the fed funds rate for the first time in nine years.

With stock markets hitting some major bumps recently, cheap gasoline should provide Americans a far smoother ride this Labor Day weekend and the likely prospect of $2 pump prices by Christmas. Average regular unleaded will cost the least for the Labor Day break since 2004, AAA says. The national average was $2.44 a gallon Thursday, down nine cents over the past week and $1 below the year-ago price.

Persecution Watch

The Islamic State is attempting to wipe out Christianity in the Middle East. Christians in the Islamic State-controlled town of Qaryatian in Syria have been issued 11 mandates which they must follow if they want to live. Nahren Anweya, an Assyrian-American activist stated, “We have been purged out of Mosul, Nineveh, Khabour, Hassaka, Qaryatian and many more ancestral Assyrian homelands. They took our native homelands, our girls, our churches and now they want the few lives we have left.” And for those who are left, the Islamic State has set strict rules in place, including requiring all conquered peoples to pay the jizyah tax, which is a tax imposed by Muslims on non-believers. In addition, the Islamic State prohibits: the establishment of churches, displaying of crosses, and offending Islamic religious beliefs. This persecution of Christians has caused many Christians to flee their homelands.

Middle East

Five yeshiva students from New York City took a wrong turn Thursday evening as they were travelling by car to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, entering the Palestinian neighborhood of Jabal Johar. Pedestrians, on seeing the Israeli license plate on their vehicle, immediately began throwing stones and firebombs at them, with the students barely able to exit the vehicle before it was consumed in flames. A resident of the neighborhood hid the students in his apartment while calling for assistance from the PA police, who assisted Israeli forces in extracting them from the situation.

Iran

Even as President Obama was securing the Senate support necessary to assure passage of the nuclear deal with Iran, Tehran’s top defense officials were scoffing at U.S. claims the pact will restrict the Islamic Republic’s military ambitions. “Iran does not plan to issue permission for the [International Atomic Energy Agency] to inspect every site,” Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan told Al Mayadeen News Wednesday. “U.S. officials make boastful remarks and imagine that they can impose anything on the Iranian nation because they lack a proper knowledge of the Iranian nation.” Iran’s official FARS news agency added that “Dehqan had earlier underlined that Tehran would not allow any foreigner to discover Iran’s defensive and missile capabilities by inspecting the country’s military sites.”

  • What a great deal, lifting sanctions against Iran while they go about business as usual and continue to get closer and closer to nuclear weapons

Yemen

A Saudi Arabian military spokesman says 10 Saudi troops were killed in a rebel missile strike a day earlier in Yemen’s Marib province, which also killed 45 allied troops from the United Arab Emirates. The Saudis are leading an air campaign against the rebels in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country, training Yemeni troops, supplying weapons and providing military advice. The rebels, known as Houthis, and army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh are fighting forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is in self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia, as well as southern separatists and local militias.

At least 28 people were killed in two suicide bombings at a mosque in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. Dozens of people were wounded in the bombings, Yemeni Defense Ministry officials said. ISIS claimed responsibility on social media for the attacks. The first attack targeted Al Moayyad mosque, a pro-Houthi neighborhood in northern Sanaa and the second bombing took place as civilians were trying to help the victims of the first attack. This is the fifth mosque attack over the past two months in Sanaa. The attacks have targeted pro-Houthi mosques. It’s all part of the turmoil and violence that has wracked Yemen for months, as the Houthis — a minority group that has long held sway in northern Yemen — increasingly asserted themselves elsewhere in the country, including taking over Sanaa early this year.

Russia/Syria

Unconfirmed reports about Russia possibly planning to expand its military support for Syrian President Bashar Assad has prompted a warning from the U.S. that such actions could lead to a clash with coalition forces. The State Department issued a statement after Secretary of State John Kerry called Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to express concern over the rumors “suggesting an imminent enhanced Russian military build-up” in Syria. The State Department said Kerry made it clear to Lavrov in their conversation that such actions “could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation” with the anti-Islamic State coalition led by the U.S. that is carrying out airstrikes in Syria. Russia has been an ally of Assad throughout Syria’s civil war and has provided diplomatic support and weaponry to help the Syrian leader maintain his grip on power. Moscow also maintains a small naval facility at the Syrian port of Tartous on the Mediterranean Sea.

  • As Ezekiel 38 prophesies, Russia (Rosh) is aligned with the Persians (Iran & Syria) in the end-time war against Israel

Guatemala

Hours after resigning his post as the president of Guatemala, Otto Pérez Molina, a former general and the nation’s most powerful man, was sent to jail to await the conclusion of an evidentiary hearing into his role in a multi-million dollar customs fraud. The decision to detain Mr. Pérez Molina, much like his resignation, is unprecedented in Guatemalan history and was a stunning conclusion to a day of swift change in the Central American nation. Mr. Pérez Molina tendered his resignation overnight, and by midmorning on Thursday the country’s Congress had accepted it. He then presented himself before the courts for the evidentiary hearing, where prosecutors played more than six hours of wiretapped conversations and then placed him in prison. The decision to jail Mr. Pérez Molina highlighted the seismic change sweeping through Guatemala after the corruption accusations in April, and offered a dramatic validation of a growing street demonstration movement demanding his ouster and prosecution.

Environment

There are approximately 3 trillion trees on Earth, but that figure has fallen roughly 48 percent since the beginning of human civilization, according to scientists from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. And that number continues to fall fast, thanks to human intervention. Humans are the top driver of tree numbers worldwide, the study found, after using satellite imagery, forest inventory information of more than 400,000 plots and “supercomputer technology” to map the world’s trees. “Trees are among the most prominent and critical organisms on Earth, yet we are only recently beginning to comprehend their global extent and distribution,” author Thomas Crowther, Ph.D., a post-doctoral researcher at the school. Farming is the chief culprit in the decline of trees. The study indicates that there are more than 400 trees on Earth per person, with the highest density overwhelming present in the tropics, which boasts about 43 percent of the world’s trees. The sub-arctic boreal forests have the second most, with 24 percent of the world’s trees.

The Pacific Ocean has long been the ultimate symbol of paradise and marine diversity, but now, it has become a heartbreaking picture of devastating pollution. Throughout the world’s largest ocean, there are “garbage patches,” or areas with swirling vortices of marine litter, says National Geographic. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the most massive patch of pollution, stretching from Japan to the West Coast. According to a new study published in the journal Science, China is the worst polluter. South China’s Anquan village is a particularly grotesque scene of rubbish, stretching along the beaches as far as the eye can see. Several organizations around the world are working to prevent situations like that on Anquan’s beaches, including The Ocean Cleanup, which seeks to “extract, prevent and intercept plastic pollution.”

Wildfires

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack revealed Thursday a record $243 million was spent last week combatting wildfires raging around the country. The U.S. Forest Service has been forced to borrow funds from forest restoration work, normally used to reduce the risk of wildfires, as it has already spent all the money allotted by Congress for its 12-month budget. Vilsack noted this has happened the past six of 10 years. Vilsack said the agency will likely be forced to borrow even more funds and continue to expect spending $200 million a week battling the blazes.

Wildfires have burned almost one million acres in Washington, leaving destruction in its wake. One of lesser known impacts of the fires is the toll on the hunting season. “This is an unprecedented drought year.” Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Madonna Lures said. “We have unprecedented fires burning and people fighting them and people losing their lives and their homes over them.” Both the Idaho Fish and Game and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have made several closures. A lot of private land in the panhandle in Idaho has been closed from fears of fires sparking from gun fire.

The widespread wildfire that has proven to be California’s biggest this year is expected to spew smoke throughout the Labor Day weekend, emptying some campgrounds and prompting health warnings. The fire burning east of Fresno grew to 134 square miles. It was 25 percent contained as of Saturday. The fire that began July 31 during a lightning strike has closed roads and about 10 campgrounds around Hume Lake and Kings Canyon.

Weather

Melting ice is leading to a archaeological gold rush in Yellowstone National Park, and archeologists can’t keep up. As large patches of ice melt all throughout the region, artifacts from another era are exposing themselves all over the national park. Animal bones, wooden weapons, ancient tools and more are among the relics discovered by scientists in Yellowstone, according to Smithsonian Mag. Carbon dating has revealed that some of the items are over 5,000-years-old. All of the artifacts have been discovered in the upper Rocky Mountains, where they have been preserved in ice patches for centuries until gradual warming has resulted in significant melting.

Baseball-sized hail came smashing down near Naples, Italy on Saturday in a storm that injured several people and animals in addition to causing damage to vehicles, crops and more. The storm hit the city of Pozzuoli just outside the popular coastal destination of Naples. Alitalia flight AZ2016 destined for Milan, Italy, flew into “an extraordinary and violent hailstorm” just minutes after takeoff from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport Wednesday morning, according to an Alitalia statement. Hailstones as large as tennis balls pelted the aircraft as it attempted to climb to cruising altitude. The aircraft’s nose was crushed and torn in several spots, one cockpit window was shattered. The pilots turned abruptly south and made an emergency landing at Naples International Airport.

  • And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. [about 75 pounds] (Revelation 16:21

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