Signs of the Times (4/5/16)

Temple of Baal in New York Going Up Same Day the Blood Sacrifice to the Beast Begins

Charisma News reports that the exact day when reproductions of the arch that stood in front of the Temple of Baal are going to be erected in Times Square in New York City and in Trafalgar Square in London is also the exact day when a very important occult festival related to the worship of Baal begins. April 19 is the first day of a 13-day period of time known as “the Blood Sacrifice to the Beast” that culminates on the high occult holy day of Beltane on May 1. In some parts of the world, Beltane is much better known as “May Day,” and it has been described as the “Illuminati’s second most sacred holiday.” April 19 is also known as “the Feast of Moloch.” Molech is an ancient Canaanite god that is repeatedly denounced in the Old Testament. Child sacrifice was a key feature of the worship of Moloch, and a giant statue of this pagan deity is set up at the Bohemian Grove in northern California every year.

Christian Persecution Watch

A Christian Illinois couple has lost a lawsuit to a gay couple whose civil union ceremony they refused to hold at their bed and breakfast. Jim and Beth Walder, owners of the Timber Creek Bed & Breakfast in Paxton, Illinois, were fined $80,000 last Friday by the Human Rights Commission for refusing to host the civil union of Todd and Mark Wathen in 2011, according to Christian Today. When the Wathens contacted the Walders about having their ceremony at the bed and breakfast the Walders explained, “We will never host same-sex civil unions. We will never host same-sex weddings even if they become legal in Illinois. We believe homosexuality is wrong and unnatural based on what the Bible says about it.” Despite the fines, the Walders remain committed to their beliefs. “In our opinion, neither the state of Illinois nor the U.S. Supreme Court has the authority to tamper with the definition of marriage. God alone created marriage and declared thousands of years ago that it was to be between a man and a woman. Not two men. Not two women,” the couple stated.

Oxford theology students in their second and third years will no longer be required to study Christianity. Christian Today reports that the college has decided to restructure their theology curriculum based on the changing events of the world and the more diversified student body. While the study of Christianity is still mandatory in the first year of theology study, second and third year students will now be able to choose to study other subjects such as “feminist approaches to religion and theology” or “Buddhism in space and time.” Professor Johannes Zachhuber, the theology faculty’s board chairman, stated that the decision to change the curriculum is due to “the dramatic change in the way religion is seen and practiced in the UK.”

 ISIS May Use Drones to Deliver Nuclear Bombs

Britain Prime Minister David Cameron warned Western leaders Friday the Islamic State plans to use drones to spray nuclear material over Western cities. The UK Daily Telegraph reported that there is growing concerns among world leaders that extremists are looking to buy commercial drones to launch a dirty bomb attack over major metropolitan cities, which could kill thousands. Cameron warned that the dangers of ISIS getting hold of nuclear material were “only too real.” He met with leaders from the U.S., France and China to plan out a reaction response to such an attack, the newspaper reported.

Obama: Drone Strikes Have Become More Precise

President Obama on Friday defended his administration’s regular use of drones or other airstrikes to target terror leaders or training camps in Somalia, Libya and Yemen. Obama acknowledged that in the past the strikes had sometimes inadvertently killed civilians, but procedures for approving such strikes has improved, he claims. “There has been in the past legitimate criticism that the architecture, the legal architecture around the use of drone strikes or other kinetic strikes wasn’t as precise as it should have been, and there’s no doubt that civilians were killed that shouldn’t have been,” Obama said at a press conference at the end of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. Obama’s remarks came after the U.S. military said Friday it conducted an airstrike a day earlier targeting a senior terrorist leader in Somalia. Last month the Pentagon launched a strike that killed up to 150 militants at a terrorist training camp in Somalia,

Japan to Reduce Stockpiles of Enriched Uranium

Japan has agreed to reduce its stockpile of highly enriched uranium – nuclear fuel that could be used for bombs – and to share more information with the U.S. about its nuclear activities, affirming its commitment to a peaceful nuclear program. The agreement, which will reduce the possibility of nuclear fuel being stolen by terrorists, was announced Friday by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Obama at the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. Japan is the only country to have been attacked with nuclear weapons, used by the U.S. to end World War II. Japan has sworn not to produce, develop or import them and is taking these steps to assure the world that it remains committed to that goal, spokesman Yasuhisa Kawamura told USA TODAY.

U.S. Military Suicides Remain High for 7th Year

The Pentagon reported Friday that 265 active-duty service members killed themselves last year, continuing a trend of unusually high suicide rates that have plagued the U.S. military for at least seven years. The numbers of suicides among troops was 145 in 2001 and began a steady increase until more than doubling to 321 in 2012, the worst year in recent history for service members killing themselves. The suicide rate for the Army that year was nearly 30 suicides per 100,000 soldiers, well above the national rate of 12.5 per 100,000. The increase in suicide in the military was driven largely by the Army, where suicides rose sharply from 45 in 2001 to 165 in 2012. The Army reported 120 suicides last year, the same as in 2013 and down from 124 in 2014.

Politically Correct Obama White House Censors French President about Islam

The Obama administration were apparently offended after the President of France said some unkind things about Islam last Friday. When French President Hollande was discussing the dangers of terrorism he happened to mention that the root problem was Islam. Someone at the White House did not like this. In fact, they were so offended, they edited the comments right out of the official video. Fortunately, the Media Research was able to capture proof of what Hollande really said. After MRCTV reported that the White House posted video muting out audio of French Pres. Francoise Hollande and his translator saying the words, “Islamist terrorism,” the White House posted an explanation claiming “a technical issue with the audio during the recording” caused the lost audio. But, then, somehow, there were able to post a link to the video without the “technical error.”

North Carolina ‘Bathroom’ Law May Risk Federal Aid

The Obama administration is considering whether North Carolina’s new law on gay and transgender rights makes the state ineligible for billions of dollars in federal aid for schools, highways and housing, officials said Friday. Cutting off any federal money — or even simply threatening to do so — would put major new pressure on North Carolina to repeal the law, which eliminated local protections for gay and transgender people and restricted which bathrooms transgender people can use. A loss of federal money could send the state into a budget crisis and jeopardize services that are central to daily life. The law prohibits transgender people from using public bathrooms that do not match the sexes on their birth certificates. North Carolina has also faced criticism from businesses including Bank of America, which has its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.; Apple; and Facebook. The National Basketball Association said that it might move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte.

‘Ransomware’ Crime Wave Increasing

Security experts call the crime “ransomware,” when hackers lock digital files, like text documents and pictures, and demand a ransom before the system is unlocked. The FBI says it received 2,453 complaints about ransomware hold-ups last year, costing the victims more than $24 million dollars. Victims often pay because, so far, authorities have been unable to stop it. That was the conclusion made by the Horry County School District in South Carolina. “You get to the point of making the business decision: Do I make my end-users — in our case teachers and students — wait for weeks and weeks and weeks while we restore servers from backup? Or do we pay the ransom and get the data back online more quickly?” Hackers often demand to be paid in Bitcoin (XBT), a digital currency that’s difficult to trace back to actual people. Horry County deposited the equivalent of $10,000 into the hackers’ Bitcoin account after which the school computer system was back up and running. Earlier this year, officials at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles said they paid the Bitcoin equivalent of $17,000 to cybercriminals after patient and doctor records were locked for almost two weeks.

‘Panama Papers’ Leak Reveals How Rich Hide their Riches

Sunday’s jaw-dropping “Panama Papers” leak, which shows a global network of offshore companies helping the wealthy hide their assets, is already being called “the Wikileaks of the mega-rich.” The hashtag #panamapapers topped Twitter on Sunday afternoon. Among those reacting through tweets: Edward Snowden, the 2013 CIA leaker, who said the “Biggest leak in the history of data journalism just went live, and it’s about corruption.” The Washington, D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) said the trove of 11.5 million records details the offshore holdings of a dozen current and former world leaders, as well as businessmen, criminals, celebrities and sports stars. The data span nearly 40 years, from 1977 through the end of 2015, ICIJ said, allowing “a never-before-seen view inside the offshore world — providing a day-to-day, decade-by-decade look at how dark money flows through the global financial system, breeding crime and stripping national treasuries of tax revenues.” Iceland’s prime minister is under pressure to quit after the leak of the ‘Panama Papers’ tax documents showed he and his wife used an offshore firm to allegedly hide million-dollar investments.

Economic News

Economic warning signs from RedFlag News: U.S. factory orders have now declined on a year over year basis for 16 months in a row. In the post-World War II era this has never happened outside of a recession. Corporate earnings are projected to be down 8.5 percent for the first quarter of 2016 compared to one year ago.  This will be the fourth quarter in a row that we have seen year over year declines, and the last time that happened was during the last recession. Total business sales have fallen 5 percent since the peak in mid-2014. Corporate debt defaults have soared to the highest level that we have seen since 2009. The average rating on U.S. corporate debt has fallen to “BB”, which is lower than it has been at any point since the last financial crisis. Fifty-one oil and gas drillers in North America have filed for bankruptcy since the beginning of last year. Consumers in the United States accumulated more new credit card debt during the 4th quarter of 2015 than they did during the entire years of 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined. Subprime auto loan delinquencies have hit their highest level since the last recession. Major retailers all over the country are shutting down hundreds of stores as the “retail apocalypse” accelerates. Since peaking during the 3rd quarter of 2014, U.S. exports of goods and services have been steadily declining.  This is something that we never see outside of a recession.

Government debt continues to spiral out of control.  At this point it is sitting at a staggering total of $19.2 trillion, but when Barack Obama first entered the White House it was only 10.6 trillion dollars.  That means that our government has been stealing an average of more than 100 million dollars an hour from future generations of Americans every single hour of every single day since Barack Obama was inaugurated

Digital disruption is turning finance on its head — and destroying lots of traditional banking jobs along the way. A wave of innovation has made it possible for people to get their banking done without walking into a branch if they don’t want to. The downsizing of the bank workforce is about to accelerate as more technology takes over jobs humans used to do, according to a new Citigroup report. As many as 30% of bank jobs could be lost between 2015 and 2025, mainly due to retail banking automation, Citi warned.

Migrant Update

Greece began deporting migrants from the island of Lesbos back to Turkey on Monday, as Turkish and European Union authorities began implementing a plan aimed at managing the continent’s worst refugee crisis since World War II. According to the Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet, most of the migrants were non-Syrians, such as Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. At the same time, 16 Syrian refugees from Turkey arrived by plane in Hanover, Germany, according to the German press agency, DPA. That is in keeping with the EU-Turkey agreement, which stipulates that the EU will take in one legitimate asylum seeker from war-torn Syria currently in Turkey for each Syrian returned to Turkey. The political bloc does not consider asylum applications from people who want to settle in Europe for purely economic reasons to be legitimate. The agreement, which will see the EU pay an additional $3 billion to Turkey for hosting refugees. An estimated 2.7 million Syrians fleeing their country’s civil war are currently in neighboring Turkey, which has said it lacks resources to manage them many without EU aid.

A day-long protest by immigrants Monday on the Italian resort island of Sardinia paralyzed city traffic in the capital city of Cagliari, as Eritrean and Somali protesters sat or lay down in the streets preventing any flow of traffic. A group of some 100 young migrants began marching through the city protesting around noon Monday, and then occupied the city’s main square for nearly seven hours. The protesters were part of the 661 migrants who were taken to the port of Cagliari after being rescued off the Libyan coast last month. On Monday evening, after a lengthy mediation, police officials finally managed to convince the migrants to desist. The migrants were then transported on buses back to the Pirri hotel on the outskirts of Cagliari, which has been turned into a makeshift immigrant shelter and where the migrants have been residing for several weeks. The migrants are demanding to leave the island, which is roughly the size of New Hampshire, and to be taken elsewhere, since the majority would like to be able to continue traveling north into Europe. Many have refused to participate in identification procedures for fear of not being able to leave Sardinia.

Terror Update:

At least 22 radical Islamists from Europe linked to the terror network behind the Brussels and Paris attacks are suspected to be still at large, putting security services on high alert as they rush to prevent the Islamic State from striking again in the region. Many of the fugitives have been involved in previous Islamic State plots, officials say, and almost all of them have spent months or years fighting in Syria. Interviews and confidential court documents seen by The Wall Street Journal portray the fugitives as part of an extensive web of young men who developed a deep hatred of the West after embracing radical Islam at underground mosques and clandestine meetings in Molenbeek, a heavily Muslim district in the heart of Brussels.

Islamic State

The cease-fire in Syria is collapsing Reports out of Syria Tuesday indicate that the Islamic State (ISIS) terror militia has launched a fierce attack against Assad regime forces at a key city on the route between territory IS controls in Syria and Iraq. Unconfirmed reports say ISIS used mustard gas in its attack. Heavy fighting between the regime and the Al-Nusra Front was also reported in several areas and Iranian forces are reportedly pouring into Syria to assist the regime in repelling the attacks.

Syrian troops seized the key Islamic State bastion of Al-Qaryatain, dealing the jihadists a new blow in the heart of the country’s a week after expelling them from Palmyra, state television says. Anti-ISIS coalition airstrikes on Sunday killed a top militant who was responsible for the death of a U.S. Marine in northern Iraq last month, a military spokesman said Sunday. “Jasim Khadijah was an ISIS member and former Iraqi officer believed directly connected to the recent rocket attack that killed Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin and wounded eight other U.S. Marines,” spokesman Col. Steve Warren said.

Syria

There is more evidence that Russian forces are not pulling out of Syria, but instead, more troops are arriving there, a new video from Russian television Saturday apparently shows. The video shows a convoy of Russian troops headed to Palmyra to begin mine clearance operations after ISIS was routed from there earlier this week. Russian jets and helicopter gunships helped Syrian forces push ISIS from Palmyra, once a popular tourist destination filled with ancient Roman-era artifacts, earlier this week. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in March that his main forces would begin withdrawing from Syria.  Pentagon officials now say otherwise.

Iraq

ISIS-affiliated militants unleashed a wave of suicide attacks across Iraq Monday, killing at least 29 people and wounding dozens. The deadliest attack took place in the southern province of Dhi Qar when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a restaurant that is frequented by Shiite paramilitary militia fighters, killing at least 14 people. Another 27 people were wounded in the attack that targeted a famous restaurant on the main highway that links Baghdad with the southern provinces. At around the same time, a suicide car bomber set off his explosives-laden car in a commercial area in the oil-rich city of Basra, killing at least five people and wounding 10 others. Earlier in the day, a suicide bomber rammed his car into a security checkpoint in Baghdad’s northeastern suburb of Sadr al-Qanat, killing six troops and wounding 13 others. Another suicide car bomber hit a headquarters of paramilitary troops in the town of Mishahda, 20 miles north of Baghdad, killing four troops and wounding 10 others. According to the United Nations figures, at least 1,119 Iraqis were killed and 1,561 were wounded in March.

Iran

The crew of a U.S. Navy ship stopped a massive Iranian arms shipment dead in its tracks, seizing thousands of weapons, AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers that likely were headed to Yemen, the Pentagon announced Monday. The seizure, which unfolded in the Arabian Sea on March 28, was the third of its kind in recent weeks, military officials say. Iran has been supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen in their proxy war against a Saudi-led coalition backed by the United States. Like Iran, the Houthis are a Shia-led group. The arms shipment appears to mark the latest provocative action from the Islamic republic. Last month, Iran announced that it tested missiles marked with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out,” in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution tied to the recent nuclear deal. The resolution forbids Iran from working on its ballistic missile program for eight years and bans sales of its conventional weapons.

A senior Iranian general issued a bellicose warning to the US Monday that it must not cross the Islamic Republic’s “red line” in regards to its ballistic missile program. He added an accusation that the US lied about lifting sanctions on Iran and said that recent test launches of missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons were Iran’s right and no other country had any business objecting or even commenting.

  • Is anyone (besides Obama) surprised that the Iranians are not honoring the accord?

Somalia

Hundreds of Al-Shabaab fighters descended mid-March on the shores of Puntland, a semi-autonomous state in Somalia. The mid-March attack was highly unusual, coming from the sea and outside Al-Shabaab’s typical areas of operation. But most unusual of all was the size of these recruits. These were children. Many of the fighters did not look as though they’d seen their 13th birthdays. While an estimated 200-300 were killed in firefights in Puntland and its neighboring region of Galmudug, Puntland’s President Abdiweli Gaas told CNN that up to 100 of them surrendered and dropped their weapons when they realized they were overpowered. Many of the children had battle wounds from previous fights that have yet to heal, interrogators said.

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry announced a unilateral cease-fire Sunday against the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a claim that rebel forces there promptly rejected. Fighting in what was a dormant conflict for two decades flared up over the weekend with at least 30 troops killed on both sides. Each side blamed the other for Saturday’s escalation, the worst since the end of a full-scale war in 1994. Nagorno-Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan, has been under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military since a war ended in 1994 with no resolution of the region’s status. The conflict is fueled by long-simmering tensions between Christian Armenians and mostly Muslim Azeris.

Earthquakes

A magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS said the quake hit at 7:23 p.m. local time off the island of Espiritu Santo, more than 250 miles northwest of the capital, Port Vila. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned of a potential tsunami but subsequently said the threat had “now largely passed.” Vanuatu is situated in one of the most seismically active areas in the world, and similar temblors struck it in October and December.

Weather

Severe weather moving from the Plains to the South spawned at least 20 tornadoes and battered areas with heavy rain, flooding and hail, with more severe weather possible into Saturday night. A train in Alabama was derailed Friday after flooding washed away part of a railroad bridge during a multi-day round of severe weather that clobbered the South, spawning more than a dozen tornadoes. The storms wrecked several homes in central Georgia. Local news reports showed destroyed homes and damage to trees and power lines in the area.

Winter refused to let go in the Great Lakes and Northeast, as heavy snow pasted parts of the regions Sunday and Monday. Whiteout conditions in New York state caused several accidents overnight Sunday and early Monday. Winter weather advisories remain in place Monday for parts of southern New York, southern Vermont, Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire, northern Connecticut and Rhode Island, the National Weather Service said. With a southward dip in the jet stream dominating eastern North America, waves of cold air from Canada will continue to surge into the eastern states

A strong low-pressure system impacting the Midwest and Northeast this weekend brought strong winds and blowing snow to a widespread area. A tree downed by strong winds collapsed on top a vehicle in Massachusetts Sunday morning, fatally injuring the two people inside. Winds over 60 mph lashed across some of the impacted areas, causing trees and power lines to come crashing down. Since Saturday, hundreds of thousands lost power. Two people in College Park, Maryland were injured when strong winds sent a large tree crashing onto their car Saturday night. A man was injured in Indianapolis Saturday afternoon after strong winds toppled over a storefront Chipotle sign. A building collapse in Toledo is being blamed on high winds. In Cincinnati, Interstate 75 was closed for a period of time after falling limbs and power lines littered the highway. Nearby homes and vehicles were also damaged. Over 20,000 customers were left without power statewide. Over 65,000 were left in the dark in New Jersey due to the strong winds Sunday morning. High winds in Massachusetts took down trees and power lines in Bristol, Norfolk, Middlesex, Plymouth and Providence counties Sunday. More than 85,000 customers in Pennsylvania were left without power across the state during the widespread high winds early Sunday. Damaging winds were also responsible for the partial collapse of two New York buildings, one in Bronx County and the other in Kings County.

  • End-time weather will continue to grow more extreme (Daniel 9:26b, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:11)

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