Signs of the Times (9/24/16)

President Obama Calls for One-World Government

Only by submitting to a one-world-style government can the countries of the world effectively fight terror, Barack Obama warned during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly this week. In what will likely be his last speech before the body, Obama told the audience that he believes global security can only be achieved with the help of international institutions like the U.N. Only by surrendering our individual and national rights – our “freedom of action,” as he puts it – will we truly “enhance our security. Obama said “powerful nations” like the United States will have to accept constraints and give up some of their freedoms. The president acknowledged that he has been criticized by his own citizens for this belief but he remains convinced he is right. Obama also stated that while countries will have to accept some limits on their freedom, they should not give up autonomous rights like the freedom to defend themselves.

  • Revelation 13 prophesies that the one-world government to come will be run by people controlled by Satan

Joint Chiefs Chair Says Military “Will Not” Execute Administration’s Policy

For the first time, a serving general officer has explicitly and categorically — and officially — contradicted the stated policy of the Obama administration.  He’s basically said the policy will not be executed. Reports Minutemen News. Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that it would be a bad idea to share intelligence with Russia on the conflict in Syria. “The U.S. military role will not include intelligence sharing with the Russians,” Dunford told lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee at a hearing on U.S. national security challenges and ongoing military operations.

Federal Charges Against NYC Bomber Omits Link to Al-Qaeda/ISIS

Pages from the bloody journal of the New York and New Jersey bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami show he was a follower of Al Qaeda as well as the Islamic State terror group, yet federal investigators made no reference to ISIS in their complaint charging him on Tuesday, reports the Counter Extremism Project. Rahami’s screed also praised 9/11 mastermind Usama bin Laden and Nidal Hasan, the former Army officer who went on a deadly shooting rampage in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas.  Rahami and Hasan were both influenced by Anwar al-Awlaki, an American and Yemeni imam and Islamic lecturer. The Counter Extremism Project’s research counted 77 extremists — 43 U.S. extremists and 34 European extremists — with ties to Awlaki. They include the Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen in June, as well as Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the San Bernardino massacre in December 2015.

  • The Obama Administration continues to ignore and cover-up Islamic terrorism in America even as it fosters anti-Christian hatred.

Ahmad Rahami Passed Scrutiny After Being Flagged Twice

When NYC bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami returned in March 2014 from a nearly yearlong trip to Pakistan, he was flagged by customs officials, who pulled him out for a secondary screening. Still concerned about his travel, they notified the National Targeting Center, a federal agency that assesses potential threats, two law enforcement officials said. A report on Mr. Rahami was passed along to the F.B.I. and other intelligence agencies. Five months later, when Mr. Rahami’s father told the police after a domestic dispute that he was concerned about his son having terrorist sympathies, federal agents again examined his travel history. And again, despite Mr. Rahami’s now having been flagged twice for scrutiny, the concerns were not found to warrant a deeper inquiry. Rahami was never interviewed by federal agents. Details contained in Rahimi’s notebook suggest he drew inspiration largely from the Islamic State.

President Obama Plans to Resettle 110,000 Refuges in U.S. in 2017

President Obama has informed Congress that he plans to “permanently resettle 110,00 refugees in fiscal year 2017, which begins on October 1st, with roughly half of them coming from Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma and other jihadist hotspots where vetting of refugees is extremely difficult,” as recently reported by World Net Daily. Fox News reported, “Of the 10,801 refugees accepted in fiscal 2016 from the war-torn country [Syria], 56 are Christians, or .5 percent.” All the rest were Muslim, despite Christians representing a significantly higher percentage among the refugees. The FBI has reported that they are investigating over a thousand individuals who may be related to ISIS in every state in the Union. As witnessed this past weekend in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota, “lone wolf” terrorist acts by radicalized Muslims in America are on the rise.

  • A much better process for selecting, vetting and investigating these refugees is a must before allowing so many more refugees into our country

A Rich Recruiting Pool for Jihadists in U.S.

In last weekend’s bombings in New York and New Jersey and the stabbings at a mall in Minnesota, the suspected perpetrators fit the same rough pattern as in previous attacks at the Boston Marathon in 2013; in San Bernardino, Calif., in 2015; and in Orlando, Fla., in June, as well as in the terrorist assaults in Paris and Brussels, notes the New York Times. They were young men caught between cultures, sons of immigrant families, feeling lost or rejected — and angry about American-led wars. Online they encountered the silver-tongued recruiters of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, who said their first loyalty should be not to their nation but to Islam. Then they plotted sensational violence. This “rich recruiting pool” for Al Qaeda and the Islamic State includes what psychologists call “in-betweeners,” young adults whose identities have not yet solidified. Their uncertainty makes them vulnerable, said J. Reid Meloy, a forensic psychologist and clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego. “It allows the individual to attach his identity to something that is larger and inflates his sense of himself,” he said.

State of Emergency Declared in Charlotte After Violent Protests

After violent protests raged for the second night in Charlotte over the police shooting of a black man, one big question remains: Why hasn’t police footage been released? The family of Keith Lamont Scott has requested to see the video of his shooting, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney says he hopes to accommodate that. However, he has no intention to release the video “to the masses,” he said, adding it would be inappropriate to present footage of “a victim’s worst day” for public consumption. He further said the video would not provide “definitive visual evidence” that Lamont pointed a gun at police officers, but other evidence and witness accounts support that claim. Scott’s shooting Tuesday afternoon set off violent protests, which continued Wednesday night. Nine civilians were injured in the unrest overnight, and 44 people were arrested (most of them from out of state) for crimes including failure to disperse, assault as well as breaking and entering. Gunfire killed a man in what authorities called a “civilian on civilian” confrontation. Subsequent daily protests have largely been peaceful. Lamont’s family released video showing the events leading up to his death, but it did not show the actual shooting.

President Obama Vetoes Terrorism Lawsuit Bill, Setting Up Override Battle

President Obama vetoed a bill Friday that would allow lawsuits against foreign sponsors of terrorism in federal court on Friday, setting up what could be the most contentious veto override vote of his presidency. The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA, would provide an exception to the doctrine of “sovereign immunity,” which holds that one country can’t be sued in another country’s courts. Families of terror victims have lobbied for the bill, which would allow them to sue Saudi Arabian officials who intelligence agencies have suggested had ties to the hijackers of the four planes used in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The White House has argued that the bill would allow federal courts to make key foreign policy decisions best left to the executive branch. It would be Obama’s 12th veto, and come on a bill that passed by voice vote in both the House and Senate, suggesting near unanimous support in Congress. It would take a two-thirds vote of both chambers to override the veto, something that has never happened during the Obama presidency.

Yahoo Data Breach Largest Ever

Information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts was stolen from the company in 2014, the company said Thursday, indicating it believes it was a state-sponsored hack. The theft may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers, Yahoo said. Even in an Internet-dependent population accustomed to the regular occurrence of massive data breaches, the size of this one —  thought to be the largest ever in terms of user accounts — is attention-grabbing. And the possibility that another country could be behind the attack adds to the shock factor. Claims surfaced in early August that a hacker using the name “Peace” was trying to sell personal information of Yahoo account users on the dark web — a black market of thousands of secret websites.

Drugs Kill More People than Cars or Guns

Drugs are the leading cause of accidental death in this country. Fatal overdoses surpassed shooting deaths and fatal traffic accidents in 2010, reports CNN. The rise was rapid, from about 18,000 deaths in 1999 to around 47,000 in 2014. It took about 50 years for the rate of heart disease to double. It took drug deaths a fraction of that time. Heroin-related deaths increased 439% from 1999 to 2014. As of 2014, heroin-related deaths had more than tripled in five years and quintupled in 10 years. In 2014, opioids were involved in 28,647 deaths — 61% of all US drug overdose deaths — and 10,574 were related to heroin. Prescription and illegal opioids are commonly abused because they are so addictive. Epidemiologists in several states blame the increasing number of drug-related deaths on greater use of heroin and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

Creepy Clown Sightings Sweep the Nation

All over America sick and twisted people are dressing up like creepy clowns in order to frighten the living daylights out of others.  This trend started back in August, and since then social media has helped it spread like wildfire.  So far there have been creepy clown sightings in 11 different states. A lot of young kids seem to think that this is a great idea for a “prank”, but authorities are taking the creepy clown phenomenon very, very seriously because in recent days the threats of violence have become much more chilling.  Individuals posing as “creepy clowns” on social media are openly naming specific schools that they plan to target and are threatening to commit horrific acts of violence. It is also feared that pedophiles are using this tactic to attract young children.

Migrant Update

Four crew members were arrested Thursday after a boat believed to be carrying 450 migrants capsized off the Egyptian coast, according to state-run Nile TV. The men were detained on possible charges of “human trafficking and involuntary manslaughter.” One of them is the owner of the vessel. Hundreds of migrants are feared dead, with just 163 people rescued and about 100 bodies already recovered. The boat had set off from Egypt and was heading for Italy.

Economic News

A divided Federal Reserve decided Wednesday to hold off on a second interest rate hike due to the stagnant unemployment rate. Fed Chair Janet Yellen told reporters that despite solid job growth this year, the unemployment rate has been stuck at 4.9% because discouraged workers on the sidelines have been drawn into an improving labor market. She called that a positive development policymakers want to encourage by keeping rates low longer. At the same time, she said, “We don’t want the economy to overheat,” adding that the case for a rate increase “has strengthened” and a move is expected later this year. Three of the 10 voting policymakers dissented, preferring to hike rates now.

The $1.9 trillion shortfall in U.S. state and local pension funds is poised to grow as near record-low bond yields and global stock-market turmoil reduce investment gains, increasing pressure on governments to put more money into the retirement systems. Pensions in Illinois, Missouri and Hawaii this year have moved to roll back the assumed rate of return on their investments, joining the dozens of other states that have taken that step over the past two years. “There’s little light at the end of the tunnel as far as pension funding is concerned,” said Vikram Rai, head of municipal-bond strategy at Citigroup Inc. in New York. “I expect funded ratios will drop further. It’ll require increased pension contributions on the part of the states and local government, but most state and local governments don’t have the ability to do so.”

Islamic State

ISIS is suspected of firing a shell with mustard agent that landed at the Qayyara air base in Iraq Tuesday where US and Iraqi troops are operating, according to several US officials. After the shell landed on the base, just south of Mosul, US troops tested it and received an initial reading for a chemical agent they believe is mustard. No US troops were hurt or have displayed symptoms of exposure to mustard agent.

US and allied warplanes have sunk over 100 ISIS boats, destroying 65 of them in September alone, according to the international military coalition. While Iraq is nearly entirely land-locked, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that cross that country are navigable, and ISIS has been using watercraft for a variety of purposes, including transporting fighters and conducting improvised explosive attacks.

Syria

Four aid workers were killed and one was critically injured Wednesday after an airstrike hit a medical clinic in northern Syria. The aid workers were part of International Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations, a Paris-based humanitarian group that operates in territory held by rebels near the besieged city of Aleppo. This latest incident came as Washington blamed Moscow for an attack on an aid convoy near Aleppo on Monday that killed at least 20 people. Russia said it was not involved. The United Nations has since suspended the aid deliveries and the one-week truce is effectively over. Secretary of State John Kerry launched a blistering attack on Russia Wednesday for its actions in Syria, pointing to the bombing of a UN aid convoy that left more than 20 dead and its inability to stop continued Syrian air attacks. Russia has announced it is sending its only aircraft carrier to waters off Syria’s coast to join other Russian ships already in place.

Russian aircraft dropped dozens of bombs Friday on rebel and Islamic State areas, including civil defense centers in Aleppo. Russian aircraft dropped 50 bombs in the city and 30 in the surrounding areas, killing at least 14 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Residents told Reuters the attacks included helicopters dropping bombs made from oil drums, a common tactic of the Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army during the country’s 5-year-old civil war. The Syrian military command in the city announced the start of its operations in the eastern neighborhoods of the city, and called “on citizens to keep away from sites and centers of armed terrorist groups,” according to the government-run Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA. The military is offering to provide civilians shelter, “including those who were misled” by rebel fighters, the statement said. Syrian government forces captured a rebel-held area on the edge of Aleppo on Saturday, tightening their siege on opposition-held neighborhoods in the northern city as an ongoing wave of airstrikes destroyed more buildings. The new government push came as the U.N. said that nearly 2 million people in Aleppo are without running water following an escalation in fighting over the past few days.

Sudan

Last December, two evangelical pastors from the Church of Christ in Sudan were taken from their churches and thrown into jail. Last month, the Rev. Abdulraheem Kodi and the Rev. Kuwa Shamal Abu Zumam were charged with numerous offenses, including waging war against the state, espionage and undermining Sudan’s constitutional system. Their trial has begun and they could get the death penalty if found guilty. Kodi and Zumam hail from the Nuba Mountains, a region that continues to be bombed and brazenly targeted by Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, in what human rights and Christian groups say is an effort to rid the country of the Nuba people — indigenous groups who do not fit the regime’s vision of an Islamic nation and are accused of supporting anti-government rebels.

North Korea

North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are one of the biggest threats to international peace and security, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned Wednesday. More than 21 ballistic missiles have been launched by North Korea this year alone, Abe said, with several of them reaching waters within Japan’s exclusive economic zone — 200 nautical miles from its coast. “There is no alternative but to say that the threat has now reached a dimension altogether different from what has transpired until now.” Also speaking Wednesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. China is North Korea’s only real ally, and has long publicly lobbied against Pyongyang’s nuclear program. Despite this, tests have proceeded.

Wildfires

On July 22, an illegal campfire sparked a blaze that would grow explosively for weeks. Two months later, that wildfire is still burning in California’s Los Padres National Forest. According to InciWeb, the Soberanes fire has consumed nearly 200 square miles during its tear through the forest – more than enough land that the burn scar can be clearly seen from space by NASA’s satellites. Although crews have been battling the wildfire since mid-July, the blaze is just 71 percent contained. There are still more than 2,000 firefighters assigned to the fire, and officials estimate the inferno should be fully contained by the end of the month.

The first significant Santa Ana wind event of the season will keep residents of Southern California, who reside in areas vulnerable to fires, on edge this weekend. The National Weather Service in Los Angeles issued a red flag warning for the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties through 3 p.m. Monday for the valleys and coastal mountains of those two counties. Santa Ana winds are strong dry, downslope winds that often heat up and dry out Southern California. These winds can lead to fires that are quickly fanned out of control.

Weather

Humanity just sweltered through its hottest summer ever recorded, beating the previous mark set only last year (records only go back to 1880). From June to August, average temperatures across global land and ocean surfaces soared 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the average of 60.1 degrees (F), according to a federal climate report released Tuesday. Climatologists define summer as the three months of June, July and August. Before 1880, scientists rely on paleoclimatic records such as ice cores, tree rings and lake sediments that provide an ever further look back in time: “It is plausible that this summer was the warmest in thousands of years, perhaps even longer,” said meteorologist Michael Mann of Penn State University.

  • End-time weather will continue to grow more extreme, from floods (Daniel 9:26b) to great hail (Revelation 11:19, 16:11) to scorching heat (Revelation 16:8)

Several inches of rain fell in a short time throughout the Midwest Wednesday night into Thursday morning, prompting a flash flood emergency, closing roads, prompting evacuations and rescues, and stranding cars.The National Weather Service reports that mudslides are being reported in terrain areas of southwest Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. The Upper Mississippi Valley has been hit by multiple heavy rain events over the past several weeks, so there was little room for additional rain, much less another 3 to 11 inches of rain seen over the past few days.

At least two reported tornadoes hit the state of Utah on Thursday, leaving ravaged homes in their wake but no serious injuries. Damage to several homes was confirmed after a reported tornado was spawned in a neighborhood south of Ogden. Storm damage was also reported in the Layton area. More than 37,000 Rocky Mountain Power customers across the state were without power following the storms.

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