Signs of the Times (10/19/15)

Agenda 2030 Threatens Americans Freedom

On September 25 – 27, 2015, thousands of leaders from all over the World met in New York City to present a new fifteen-year plan entitled “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” In spite of the name change, Agenda 2030 has the same plan and goals of 1992’s Agenda 21, but on steroids. While Agenda 21 focused mainly on the environment, Agenda 2030 encompasses far more and is touted to be the “new universal agenda” for humanity. It professes to be an altruistic plan that will benefit future generations. “The reality, however, is that U.N. Agenda 2030 will rob individuals of most every freedom through its imposed mandates,” notes Patrick Wood on his website, technocracy.news.

  • American sovereignty is being subverted by the United Nations with Obama’s complicit support.

U.S. Sanctuary Cities Releasing Thousands of Dangerous Aliens

The reality of sanctuary cities in the U.S. receives little attention from the mainstream media. However, there are many. As Wikipedia reports, “Sanctuary city is a term that is applied by some to cities in the United States or Canada that have policies designed to not prosecute illegal aliens… The term generally applies to cities that do not allow municipal funds or resources to be used to enforce federal immigration laws, usually by not allowing police or municipal employees to inquire about an individual’s immigration status.” Judicial Watch has reported that on a new study that approximately 1,000 criminal illegal aliens per month were released from jail in 340 cities nationwide over a nine-month period rather than turn those individuals over to federal custody for deportation. “According to an updated report prepared by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for Congress, between January 1 and September 30, 2014, local sanctuaries released 9,295 alien offenders that ICE was seeking to deport. More than 600 people were released at least twice. Out of these, 5,947 of the criminal aliens (62 percent) had significant prior criminal histories or other public safety concerns even before the arrest that led to a detainer. Fifty-eight percent of those with a prior history of concern had prior felony charges or convictions; 37 percent had serious prior misdemeanor charges. An alarming number — 2,320 — of the total number of released offenders were subsequently arrested within the time period studied for new crimes after they were released by the sanctuaries.”

  • The U.S. is being flooded with criminal aliens while the Obama administration twiddles its thumbs

Fatherless Homes Destroying Children

According to the U.S. Census, 43% of U.S. children live without their father. Fatherless children are 100–200% more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems. The Department of Health & Humans Services reports that 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes, 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father and 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. In addition, fatherless children are 100–200% more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems. The National Principals Association Report says that 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. Fatherless daughters are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, are 111% more likely to have children as teenagers, and are 164% more likely to have an out-of-wedlock birth. The CDC reports that 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes. A child who comes from a fatherless home is 68% more likely to use drugs or alcohol, more likely to become sexually active at an early age, and three times more likely to commit a violent crime. The Criminal Justice & Behavior report, Vol. 14, reports that 80% of rapists come from fatherless homes and 85% of all youths residing in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.

  • Satan’s top priority is to destroy God’s ordained family structure. Ridding the home of fathers, promoting gay marriage and sexualizing our children are his primary strategies.

US Drone Strikes Killing More than Intended

The U.S. is killing far more people than intended in some drone strikes, according to a report likely to raise new questions about the Obama administration’s reliance on drones in its battle against Islamic terrorists. The Intercept, in a wide-ranging set of articles on the U.S. drone program, reported that in one five month-period, nearly 90 percent of people killed by strikes in an operation in northeastern Afghanistan were not the intended targets. The news outlet says documents detailing Operation Haymaker show that the campaign, which lasted between January 2012 and February 2013, killed more than 200 people, but only 35 were the intended targets. The White House and Pentagon boast that the program is precise and civilian deaths are relatively minimal. But documents suggest that in Yemen and Somalia, where American intelligence capabilities are more limited, the percentage of non-targets killed could be even higher than in Afghanistan.

Russian Hackers Pose Significant Cyber-Espionage Threat’ To U.S. & NATO Partners

The Russian hacker group Pawn Storm is using a vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player to install malware on computers belonging to several “foreign ministries,” Trend Micro researchers reported last week. Pawn Storm “is the most significant cyber-espionage threat to the U.S. government and her NATO partners,” Trend Micro’s chief cybersecurity officer, Tom Kellermann, said in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation. The exploit contains similarities to the major attack hacking on the White House just months ago, researchers found. That particular score allegedly resulted in a trove of Obama’s “unclassified” emails. Adobe sent out a security advisory bulletin warning of a “critical vulnerability” in Adobe Flash Player that affected Windows, Linux, and Macintosh platforms. If hackers successfully exploit the program, the bulletin warned they could cause a “crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.” To breach a target’s security, the hackers would send spear phishing-emails that appeared to be legitimate, including links apparently leading to information about geopolitical events.

State Department Cybersecurity Critical

The State Department was among the worst agencies in the federal government at protecting its computer networks while Hillary Clinton was secretary from 2009 to 2013, a situation that continued to deteriorate as John Kerry took office and Russian hackers breached the department’s email system, according to independent audits and interviews. The State Department’s compliance with federal cybersecurity standards was below average when Clinton took over but grew worse in each year of her tenure, according to an annual report card compiled by the White House based on audits by agency watchdogs. Network security continued to slip after Kerry replaced Clinton in February 2013, and remains substandard, according to the State Department inspector general. In each year from 2011 to 2014, the State Department’s poor cybersecurity was identified by the inspector general as a “significant deficiency” that put the department’s information at risk.

Homeless Crisis in Hawaii

Hawaiian Governor David Ige on Friday signed an emergency proclamation to tackle homelessness in the state, saying the measure will help turn around the lives of young and old. Hawaii has an estimated 7,620 homeless people, said the governor’s spokeswoman Cindy McMillan, citing a 2015 statewide count. This may not seem like much compared with other places — to this point California has about 114,000 homeless, New York has more than 80,000 and Texas about 28,500, according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness — but it’s all relative to the state’s total population. At 465 people per 100,000 citizens, the Aloha State has the highest rate of homelessness per capita of any of the 50 states. Hawaii’s total population is about 1.36 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The emergency proclamation allows the spending of over $1.3 million to fund homeless services and help set up permanent homes for families and the chronically homeless. The latter effort will include building a transitional housing facility for homeless families.

Migrant Crisis Update

Last week, leaders meeting Brussels identified Turkey as a key partner in any solution to the ongoing migrant crisis. Many migrants travel through Turkey as part of long journeys to Northern Europe. Turkey is currently hosting around two million migrants. Meanwhile, Hungary has now completely closed its border with Croatia, meaning that Slovenia is now bracing for thousands of migrants to travel through there enroute to Austria and Germany. Border tensions escalated Monday in several Balkan nations amid new controls on migrants trying to reach Northern Europe. Thousands of migrants, including many women and children, spent a night in the cold and rain near Slovenia’s border with Croatia as the countries continued to argue over how to handle the large influx of people. Croatia wants Slovenia to take in around 5,000 people each day traveling through its territory but Slovenia is only willing to accept half of that number because that is how many Austria — its neighbor to the north — is allowing in. Austria denies the restrictions. Doctors are warning of medicine shortages for around 10,000 refugees currently stranded in Serbia.

Arctic ‘Doomsday Vault’ Opens to Retrieve Vital Seeds for Syria

Humanity has had to cash in on its insurance policy earlier than expected, reports CNN. Deep in the side of a mountain in the Arctic Archipelago is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Known as the “Doomsday Vault,” this seed bank — operated by the Norwegian government and containing a seed of just about every known crop in the world — is meant to be humanity’s backup in the event of a catastrophe that devastates crops. But it was not a natural disaster that has caused scientists to have to dip in and make the first significant withdrawal from the vault. Rather, it was war. The bloody conflict in Syria has left scientists at an important gene bank in Aleppo — where new strains of drought- and heat-resistant wheat have been developed over time — unable to continue their work in recent years. Now, with no sign of conditions in Syria improving, scientists have begun recovering their critical inventory of seeds, sourced from around the Fertile Crescent and beyond, that have been in safekeeping beneath the Arctic ice.

Economic News – Domestic

The demand for graduates with bachelor’s degrees is growing. In fact, according to a new survey released this month from Michigan State University, the labor market for college graduates hasn’t been this good since 1999. The annual survey on hiring trends found that companies say they are hiring 8% to 18% more college graduates this year over 2014-2015. The most significant increases for students with bachelor’s degrees were in the finance, government, nonprofit, education and scientific services sectors, it reports. This is the third consecutive annual improvement in the hiring of college graduates since the recession.

The federal deficit for the fiscal year that just ended was the smallest in eight years. Spending was up over last year, but tax revenue rose more. The 2015 deficit came in at $439 billion, or 2.5% of the size of the economy, according to numbers released Thursday by the Treasury Department and the White House Office of Management and Budget. That’s the lowest since 2007, when the annual deficit was $161 billion, or 1.1% of GDP. It’s also $44 billion, or 9%, lower than it was in 2014.

The federal government took in $3.25 trillion in revenue, up 8% from the year before. The increase was due in large part to growth in individual income taxes (up nearly 11%) and payroll taxes (up 6%). Corporate taxes also rose by 7%. Uncle Sam spent $3.69 trillion, up 5% from last year. Some of the biggest increases occurred in the areas of health and education. But it also fell in some key areas, including defense and homeland security, transportation, agriculture and interest payments on the country’s debt.

Longer term, though, the debt situation will worsen due largely to the costs associated with the retirement of the Baby Boomers. The Congressional Budget Office has warned that deficits will start to rise again starting in 2018. And barring any policy changes, it projects the country’s debt will go “up sharply relative to GDP” after 2025. Today, the debt — which is an accumulation of deficits over time — stands at more than $18.1 trillion or roughly 74% of GDP.

Corporate America is blaming its poor profits on minimum wage increases. Major retailers and restaurant chains, which employ many minimum wage workers, say their profits are getting pinched by all the minimum wage increases across the United States. Walmart cut its earnings outlook Wednesday and said its wage hike will cost the company an extra $1.2 billion this year and $1.5 billion next year. Its stock experienced the worst percentage loss in one day since 1988, falling nearly 10%.A $15 minimum wage is “absolutely outrageous,” according to Dunkin Donuts (DNKN) CEO Nigel Travis. Execs at McDonald’s (MCD) noted earlier this year that its franchisees were concerned about steep wage hikes. And even Starbucks (SBUX) has come out against a $15 minimum wage, arguing for something closer to $12 an hour.

Economic News – International

China’s economic growth continued to decline in the latest quarter. The world’s second-largest economy grew by 6.9% in the three months ended in September, the slowest since early 2009 in the aftermath of the global crisis. That was down slightly from the previous quarter’s 7%. Seven percent is a far cry from the heady days when China was pumping out GDP growth of 10% on a regular basis. Weakening trade and manufacturing have fueled concern about possible job losses and unrest. The communist government has cut interest rates five times since last November in an effort to shore up growth. Much of China’s slowdown over the past five years is self-imposed as communist leaders try to steer the economy to more self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumption and service industry instead of trade and investment.

India’s exports of goods shrank by nearly a quarter in September from a year ago, falling for a 10th straight month and threatening Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of boosting economic growth through manufacturing. India’s economy, Asia’s third largest, is mostly driven by domestic demand, but the country has still felt the effects of China’s slowdown. Exports have dropped and consumer and industrial demand for imports has weakened.

Middle East

Palestinians late Thursday set fire to a religious site in the West Bank revered by some Jews as the tomb of biblical patriarch Joseph. Palestinian security forces extinguished the blaze early Friday at Joseph’s Tomb, a small stone structure in the West Bank city of Nablus. In a separate incident on Friday, a Palestinian impersonating a journalist stabbed an Israeli soldier. The attacks came as the terrorist group Hamas called for a “day of rage” against Israel to begin following afternoon prayers. Separately, the Israeli military said that one of its soldiers was stabbed in Kiryat Arba, a town on the outskirts of Herbon. The soldier was lightly wounded and the assailant, who was disguised as a news photographer, was shot.

Three Palestinians were shot and killed by Israelis Saturday in separate stabbing incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank in the latest in the month-long upsurge in violent confrontations. Arab Israeli citizen. Mohannad al-Okbi, 21, opened fire in an Israeli bus station Sunday in the southern city of Beersheba, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding 10 people. Al-Okbi was shot and killed by Israeli police. Two people were killed and nearly a dozen injured in a shooting and stabbing attack carried out by an Israeli Bedouin Arab in the southern city of Beersheva, Israeli police confirmed Monday.

Islamic State

A Kosovar man living in Malaysia who accessed the personal data of more than 1,300 government and military employees, and passed that data onto the Islamic State, has been arrested in Malaysia on U.S. charges, the Department of Justice announced Thursday. Ardit Ferizi also accessed customer data from an unidentified Internet retailer, obtaining credit card information on 100,000 customers, according to a federal indictment unsealed in Virginia. Ferizi, allegedly head of a group of Albanian hackers from Kosovo. Ferizi had unauthorized access to a federal computer and used that access to obtain email addresses, cities of residence, dates of birth and other personal identifying information on 1,351 government and military workers, and passed those names onto the Islamic State terrorist group between April and August. He transferred the information via links he posted to Twitter, the affidavit said, “for the purpose of encouraging terrorist attacks against against the individuals.”

Syria

An airstrike has killed a top al-Qaeda commander and two other fighters in Syria, activists said Saturday, but it was not immediately clear whether it was carried out by the U.S.-led coalition or Russian warplanes. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Abdul Mohsen Abdallah Ibrahim al-Charekh, a Saudi better known as Sanafi al-Nasr, was killed Thursday in an airstrike near the northern Syrian town of Dana, along with another Saudi and a Moroccan member of al-Qaeda’a local affiliate, known as the Nusra Front. Russian warplanes have been carrying out airstrikes in Syria since Sept. 30. A U.S.-led coalition has been targeting the Nusra Front and the Islamic State group for more than a year.

Turkey

A Turkish jet shot down a Russian drone that entered its airspace near the Syrian border Friday, a senior defense official confirmed to Fox News. A military statement said the aircraft was shot down after it ignored three warnings for it to leave. Turkey earlier this month complained about violation of its airspace by Russian warplanes. The intrusions also drew strong condemnation from its NATO allies. All Russian jets have since returned to their base and all Russian drones “are functioning normally,” Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian defense ministry, told Russian news agencies Friday.

Iran

President Obama on Sunday signed the Iran nuclear deal, officially putting the international agreement into effect. The president’s signature opens the way for Iran to make major changes to an underground nuclear facility, a heavy water reactor and a site for enriching uranium. However, the rogue nation will need months to meet those goals and get relief from the crippling economic sanction that will be lifted as part of deal, despite the pact going into effect Sunday. Senior administration officials insisted that no relief from the penalties will occur until the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency has verified Iran’s compliance with the terms of the agreement.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s acting defense minister said on Monday that the Doctors Without Borders hospital in the north of the country that was bombed by U.S. forces was indeed being used by insurgents who were fighting government forces. Masoom Stanekzai told The Associated Press in an interview that Taliban insurgents and possibly Pakistani intelligence operatives were using the facility in Kunduz city as a “safe place.” The hospital was bombed by a U.S. AC-130 gunship in the early hours of Oct. 3, killing at least 22 people and injuring many more. The main building was destroyed and the hospital has been shut down.

Cameroon

The Obama administration notified Congress on Wednesday that 90 U.S. troops have been deployed to the African nation of Cameroon on Monday to assist in the fight against the terrorist group Boko Haram. The Americans will conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the region, the White House said. “They are armed, but they are armed for the purposes of force protection and providing for their own security,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. Earnest said the U.S. troops — which eventually could number around 300 — are there at the invitation of Cameroon and “will act in coordination” with that country’s government.

Environment

The current condition of the Mississippi River watershed’s infrastructure and environment was given a D+ by a coalition of environmentalists, academics and business groups. The grade was given by America’s Watershed Initiative, a “collaboration working with hundreds of business, government, academic and civic organizations to find solutions for the challenges of managing the Mississippi River and the more than 250 rivers that flow into it.” According to the organization, the watershed needs a major overhaul. The fourth largest in the world, the Mississippi River watershed consists of five river basins flowing across 31 states. Six broad goals for the watershed were measured in the report: ecosystems, flood control and risk reduction, transportation, water supply, economy and recreation. According to the Institute, each field was measured by how well the goal was being met, and the report card can be used to track progress in achieving the objectives. The results will help create a roadmap for collaborative efforts to improve the 31-state watershed and encourage individuals and organizations to engage in issues that affect it. The difficulty is that there is no single institution that makes decisions for the Mississippi Watershed.

Weather

Emergency crews were forced to shut down nearly 40 miles of California’s Interstate 5 heading both north and south after flash flooding sent mud and rocks over several highways near Los Angeles Thursday. Up to five feet of mud swamped the Grapevine, a section of Interstate 5 in the Tehachapi Mountains near Tejon Pass, trapping vehicles. Caltrans officials worked overnight to remove the accumulated mud from the Grapevine, but have yet to set timetable for Interstate 5 to reopen as dozens of abandoned cars must first be cleared from the roadway. Vehicles were backed up for miles stranding over 100 people with some still waiting for help from emergency responders early Friday morning. Flooding also swamped roads in the San Gabriels of north L.A. County and parts of the Antelope Valley. Numerous vehicles in the area were just about completely submerged in mud.

A slow-motion disaster is playing out in the northern Philippines, where thousands of residents still have days of life-threatening rainfall ahead. At least 11 people have died and six more are missing since the landfall of Typhoon Koppu (Lando) in the Philippines Sunday morning, local time, while flooding rains continue to lash parts of the country with torrential downpours. Many have suffered injuries and thousands have been displaced. Koppu has stalled near Luzon in the northern Philippines. Although its winds will continue to weaken, heavy rain will drench the region into at least Tuesday, leading to more dangerous flooding and possible mudslides.

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