Archive for December, 2021

Signs of the Times Update: December 27, 2021 

December 27, 2021

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1John 3:2-3) Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, (2Peter 3:14) 

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8) 

The twelve kidnapped Christian missionaries who found freedom from their Haitian captors last week did so via to a daring middle-of-the-night escape and a multi-mile journey through briar-filled woods under the moonlight, their agency said Monday. During a news conference Monday, Christian Aid Missionaries (CAM) officials said the missionaries escaped without their captors knowing. The missionaries were in Haiti to assist at a CAM-sponsored orphanage. “God worked in a miraculous way to allow the hostages to escape,” said David N. Troyer, CAM’s general director. “The Court concludes that, on balance, consideration of the harms and the public interest weigh in favor of a preliminary injunction,” reads the Monday order from U.S. Magistrate Judge David Noce. 

This year proved historic in the fight to restore unborn babies’ right to life in America. Newsmax reports 19 states passed a record 106 pro-life laws in 2021, including total abortion bans that could protect tens of thousands of unborn babies every year if Roe v. Wade is overturned. According to the report, states passed more abortion bans and restrictions in 2021 than they did in any other previous year since Roe in 1973; the previous record was 2011 when states passed 89 pro-life laws. 

A federal judge in Missouri has issued a temporary hold on the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors in 10 U.S. states while litigation plays out. The preliminary injunction, issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge David Noce, applies to Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. 

Democrats are beginning to wonder if President Biden’s $1.75 trillion social welfare legislation is worth the effort, especially after a lone holdout has watered down the bill and delayed its passage until next year. Lawmakers say Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, has forced the White House to trim the size and scope of the spending bill to a point that it no longer matches its original purpose. “This was supposed to be the most transformative piece of legislation since the New Deal. We name it [the] Build Back Better [Act] for a reason,” said one Democratic senator, who requested anonymity to speak candidly. “Now it’s a shadow of what we hoped it would be: bold climate change initiatives are out, paid family leave is out, expanding Medicare to cover dental and vision benefits is out.” While most Democrats say they still support the spending bill, their enthusiasm has waned significantly as debate has dragged on and favored programs have been cut. 

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23) 

South Africa delivered some positive news on the omicron coronavirus variant on Friday, reporting a much lower rate of hospital admissions and signs that the wave of infections may be peaking,” Bloomberg reports. “Only 1.7% of identified Covid-19 cases were admitted to hospital in the second week of infections in the fourth wave, compared with 19% in the same week of the third delta-driven wave, South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said. One report said there have been much fewer deaths. 

  • Why isn’t this item included in the praise reports above?  Because the New World Order global elitists will continue to use Covid as a scare tactic in order to gain greater and greater control over the masses. 

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain) and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4) 

Life expectancy in the United States has dropped by almost two years, mostly because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).  Data from the agency determined that the expectancy rate dropped from 78.8 years in 2019, when the pandemic began, to 77 years in 2020, which was the biggest drop since World War II. Dr. Robert Anderson, chief of mortality statistics at NCHS, said the decline is “staggering. I know 1.8 years doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but on a population scale, that’s a huge decline in life expectancy.” 

  • There is no other major health factor except Covid that could explain this huge decrease. Diabetes, injuries, suicides and drug overdoses were the only other negative factors, but their impact was marginal. 

A recent survey led by pollster George Barna shows that members of the Millennial generation in America – people aged 18 to 37 – desperately need the truth of the Gospel. Barna’s work shows most Millennials have no biblical foundation or sense of purpose and are turning to leftist ideology to satisfy their spiritual needs. Barna’s team at the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University recently released the report Millennials in America: New Insights into the Generation of Growing Influence. According to recent shocking news reports, nearly 40 percent of Millennials identify as homosexual, transgender, bisexual, or some other sexual identity (LGBTQ). Beyond those numbers are troubling trends that should concern every Christian – especially parents – as Millennials and the following generation exert more influence over culture and politics. Influenced by ‘woke’ ideology, Millennials have been taught that there is no God and no objective truth. 

In 2020, U.S. population growth dipped to its lowest rate since the nation’s founding, according to figures released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. The coronavirus curtailed immigration, delayed pregnancies and killed hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents. The U.S. grew by only 0.1%, with only an additional 392,665 added to the U.S. population from July 2020 to July 2021. It’s the first time since 1937 that the U.S. population grew by fewer than 1 million people and the lowest numeric growth since at least 1900, when the Census Bureau began annual population estimates. Population growth has been slowing for years due to lower birth rates, decreasing net international migration and rising mortality rates as the nation’s population ages. 

Just days before President Joe Biden conceded that his ambitious Build Back Better package of social and climate change proposals probably won’t pass Congress this year, Senate Republicans escalated their attacks on a key part of the $2 trillion legislation. Republican lawmakers assailed Biden’s plan to pump $80 billion into the Internal Revenue Service, warning that the infusion of cash would enable the IRS to unleash an army of auditors and regulators eager to pry into the lives of hard-working Americans. 

Hidden Pentagon records show a pattern of failures in U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, a sharp contrast to the American government’s image of war waged by all-seeing drones and precision bombs, reports the New York Times.  The military’s confidential assessments of over 1,300 reports of civilian casualties since 2014, reveals how the air war has been marked by deeply flawed intelligence, rushed and often imprecise targeting and the deaths of thousands of civilians, many of them children. None of these failures resulted in a finding of wrongdoing. 

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5) 

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments on challenges to the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. In an announcement on Wednesday (pdf), the nation’s highest federal court said it would on Jan. 7 take up two separate disputes challenging the Biden administration’s mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees, and for some 17 million health care workers at facilities receiving Medicaid and Medicare funding. The court, which has a 6-3 conservative-leaning majority, delayed action on emergency requests in both cases that sought an immediate decision. The workplace mandate is currently in effect nationwide, while the health care worker mandate is blocked in half of the 50 U.S. states. 

Saying he was “protecting reproductive rights,” Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill into law Friday that allows teenage girls to obtain an abortion without notifying their parents. The new law, dubbed the “Youth Health and Safety Act” (HB 370), repeals a 1995 law that required minors to notify their parent or guardian 48 hours prior to having an abortion. A March 2021 poll found that 72 percent of Illinois voters – including 58 percent of pro-choice voters – supported the parental notification law. 

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced his intention to make Guatemala Latin America’s pro-life capital during a speech at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., last week. In his speech at the Institute for Women’s Health event, Giammattei elaborated on his passion for the pro-life movement and announced that Guatemala would be declared the pro-life capital of Ibero-America on Mar. 9, 2022: “Every individual deserves to have their lives protected, from conception to natural death. … It is totally false that abortion is a human right.” Guatemala has made multiple moves to support the pro-life movement. Last year, Guatemala bowed out of an agreement that allowed Planned Parenthood to operate in the country after Giammattei expressed concerns about the organization’s stance on abortion. 

Famine: And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:8) 

The United Kingdom’s Disasters Emergency Committee warns that “a million children under the age of five could die this winter” in Afghanistan. But the aid agency says toddlers aren’t the only Afghanis at risk. Millions more “are on the brink of famine.” The UN reports the risk of severe hunger and starvation is rising in Afghanistan. Nearly 23 million people, more than half of Afghanistan’s population, “don’t have enough to eat.” The COVID-19 “pandemic, conflict and drought… has brought the country to a ‘tipping point.”  

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)  

Nationwide, nearly 1 million more people have died in 2020 and 2021 than in normal, pre-pandemic years, but about 800,000 deaths have been officially attributed to COVID-19, according to CDC data, suggesting an undercount of Covid deaths. 

  • Regardless of how Covid deaths are counted or not, the fact that there have been over 1 million more deaths than normal indicates that Covid is the primary factor in this extraordinary increase in total deaths since nothing else major has changed. 

As of 12/26, the number of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. increased by 83% over the past 14 days. With the omicron variant dominating now, the 7-day average number of new cases increased to 214,499 cases/day, higher than the Delta peak of 164,418 on 9/1 and closing in rapidly on the all-time peak of 250,512 on 1/12/21. 

  • Hospitalizations were up only 7% and deaths only 3% over the past 14 days since the omicron variant is less severe, although more infectious. 
  • Caseloads are growing rapidly in the Northeast and hospitalization rates remain very high in much of the Midwest and New England. 

A study by Oregon researchers finds that people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 who have a breakthrough infection end up with what the authors call “super immunity.” They caution the vaccinated should not seek COVID-19 infection, but the “hybrid immunity” offers some solace for those who catch one despite having been vaccinated. “The bottom line of the study is that vaccine provides you with foundational immunity for whatever comes next,” the report states. 

A day after authorizing the first antiviral pill to treat COVID-19, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized a second: Merck’s molnupiravir. The prescription medication, which can be taken at home, is designed to stop the progression of COVID-19 from mild to severe symptoms in people at high risk. In data presented to an FDA advisory panel in late November, the drug was shown to prevent 30% of infections from progressing – far fewer than Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid, which provides 90% protection. 

President Joe Biden’s administration refused an October plan by COVID-19 testing experts to put some 732 million at-home tests in the hands of the public, a Vanity Fair report said Friday. “The plan, in effect, was a blueprint for how to avoid what is happening at this very moment — endless lines of desperate Americans clamoring for tests in order to safeguard holiday gatherings, just as COVID-19 is exploding again,” Vanity Fair reported. The Biden administration, however, told the experts who authored the report that the idea was “dead” just days after the virtual meeting and report’s release. 

  • This report follows Biden’s recent announcement that his administration would be sending out 500 million at-home tests shortly “to anyone who wants them,” advising citizens to go online and order them once they become available in January. Too little, too late.  

A widely reported U.K. study has found “no evidence” the omicron variant is milder than delta, but in South Africa, where omicron is now the dominant COVID-19 strain, officials reported Friday hospitalizations are down considerably. South Africa, seen as a harbinger of omicron’s spread elsewhere since announcing discovery of the variant on Nov. 25, reported only 1.7% of identified COVID-19 cases were admitted to hospitals in the second week of infections in the fourth wave. That’s compared with 19% in the same week of the third delta-driven wave, South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said Saturday. 

  • In yet more bad news about the omicron variant of COVID-19, hospitals have found that two of the three monoclonal antibody treatments that have been keeping serious disease at bay for many coronavirus patients do not appear to work against this variant. 

With tired and depleted hospital staffs as the COVID-19 pandemic approaches two full years, the nation’s hospitals are once again struggling to keep pace with the rush of people who need lifesaving care in what experts predict will be another grim winter surge. Omicron cases are doubling every two days, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said last Friday. States such as New York and Massachusetts urged hospitals to once again limit non-emergency operations to preserve staff and bed space. The threat of the new variant comes as hospitals in some communities are at the brink of overloaded. 

International: 

As the world grapples with the new omicron variant, highly vaccinated Denmark offers ominous data about soaring cases. Denmark keeps very close tabs on the coronavirus with a government institute devoted to testing, surveillance and modeling. Vaccine rates are high and boosters are available. Yet nothing is stopping the omicron variant, according to experts, in a cautionary tale for other countries. Omicron positives are doubling nearly every two days. 

  • The risk of reinfection with the omicron coronavirus variant is more than five times higher and it has shown no sign of being milder than delta, a study by Imperial College London showed, as cases soar across Europe and threaten year-end festivities.  

Canada’s largest province announced last Friday that it is cutting capacity at restaurants, bars, malls and retailers to 50% and limiting social gatherings inside restaurants to 10 people in an effort to slow the spread of the omicron variant. 

The Netherlands will impose a strict new lockdown starting Sunday at 5 a.m. local time to curb the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant.  Indoor gatherings will be limited to a maximum of two guests until Jan. 14, except on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when that will be extended to four guests. All schools and extracurricular activities will also close until at least Jan. 9. 

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17) 

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes. 

Unvaccinated people face a 10 times greater risk of testing positive and 20 times greater risk of dying from Covid-19 than fully vaccinated people who have also received a booster, according to data published recently by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research reports that scientists there are weeks away from officially announcing they’ve come up with a “pan-coronavirus” vaccine that’s effective not only against current variants, but ones that haven’t even emerged yet. Phase 1 of human trials, which were able to test the vaccine against variants now in circulation, including omicron, were completed this month. The vaccine differs from vaccines already in use in that this one uses a 24-faced, soccer-ball-shaped protein, allowing scientists to attach the spikes of various coronavirus strains to different faces. The Walter Reed researchers have been working on this vaccine for almost two years, starting when the Army lab received its first DNA sequencing of the novel coronavirus in early 2020. 

Data for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine suggests a third booster dose will be effective against omicron, the variant that is rapidly taking over the world. Moderna said early Monday that in a lab study, blood from 20 people who received the 50-microgram Moderna booster had 37 times the number of neutralizing antibodies as compared to blood from the same number of people who only received two shots. Moderna had reduced the dose of its booster to half the dose of the original two shots to limit side effects such as fever, muscle aches and fatigue. A group that received a third shot of the higher, 100-microgram dose saw an 83-fold jump in neutralizing antibodies against omicron. 

A study by Oregon researchers finds that people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 who have a breakthrough infection end up with what the authors call “super immunity.” They caution the vaccinated should not seek COVID-19 infection, but the “hybrid immunity” offers some solace for those who catch one despite having been vaccinated. 

This season’s flu vaccine may do little to prevent infection with the main circulating virus strain because the strain has changed since the vaccine was developed, a new study suggests. Lab tests suggest a “major mismatch” between the vaccine and the new, mutated version of H3N2. That finding may help explain a flu outbreak at the University of Michigan last month that affected more than 700 people. More than 26% of those who tested positive had been vaccinated — the same percentage as those who tested negative. That suggests the vaccine was not effective in preventing infection. 

Vaccine Mandate: 

A U.S. appeals court on Friday reinstated a nationwide vaccine-or-testing COVID-19 mandate for large businesses, a federal government rule that covers 80 million American workers. The ruling by the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati lifted a November injunction that had blocked the rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which applies to businesses with least 100 workers. The law “authorizes OSHA to act on its charge ‘to assure safe and healthful working conditions for the nation’s work force and to preserve the nation’s human resources’,” said the opinion from the three-judge panel. 

  • The ruling was met with immediate resistance from Republican-led states, conservative groups and employers who brought dozens of legal challenges that likely will lead to the Supreme Court. 
  • Employers will be given more time to comply with a federal requirement that workers get vaccinated for COVID-19 or be regularly tested, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Saturday. Workers who are not fully vaccinated won’t have to be regularly tested until Feb. 9, more than a month after the original Jan. 4 deadline. 

New York City’s sweeping mandate requiring nearly all private-sector businesses to ban unvaccinated employees from the workplace took effect Monday amid a spike in coronavirus infections. Workers at roughly 184,000 businesses were required to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday. Businesses that do not comply could face fines starting at $1,000. Employers have to verify and keep a record of each worker’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Workers who have only gotten one shot will have to get a second one within 45 days. 

At least 10 people were arrested for sitting in two different restaurants in Queens, New York, without vaccination proof, and refusing to leave. Police said that they were charged with criminal trespass after refusing “several lawful orders.” On Aug. 17, New York City started requiring restaurants, gyms, and many other businesses to check guests and workers for proof of COVID-19 vaccination, as well as photo ID. Not all NYC restaurants have complied with the mandate, some are against it. Others don’t believe it’s their job to enforce it, but most larger establishments and chains tend to comply. Many have had their business severely affected. 

California health care workers will be required to have coronavirus booster shots to ensure that hospitals are ready to deal with a surge in cases as the more-transmissible omicron variant spreads throughout the state. California already requires health care workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, a directive that took effect in September and has since led to the firing or suspension of thousands of people. Now it will join New Mexico as at least the second state to require booster shots for health care workers. 

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4) 

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is calling on the federal government for help in combating crime and violence in the Windy City. In a news conference Monday, the Democrat mayor asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to send in agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for six months to ramp up the number of gun investigations and gun seizures. The plea comes as the number of shooting victims in Chicago this year — as of this past Sunday — was at 4,270, compared to 3,930 in 2020. 

  • Christmas weekend in Chicago ended with 22 people shot, including two fatally. Murders have increased by 5% this year when compared to last. 

Justice: Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. (Jeremiah 23:5) 

A Capitol rioter who attacked police officers working to hold back the angry pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6 was sentenced Friday to more than five years behind bars, the most so far for anyone sentenced in the insurrection. Robert Palmer, 54, of Largo, Florida, wept as he told U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan that he recently watched a video of his actions that day and could not believe what he was seeing. “Your honor. I’m really really ashamed of what I did,” he said through tears. Palmer was seen attacking capitol police with a wooden plank and a fire extinguisher. 

Law Enforcement: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9) 

Burlington, Vermont, a majority White college town near the Canadian border, is paying the price of slashing its police force by nearly 30% amid the defund the police movement that spread across the country in 2020. Some city councilors who pushed for defunding the police, reportedly assumed that slashing the force by attrition would unfold over years, but instead, cops left the force quickly. Exit interviews have been clear that it was about a lack of support and feeling under-valued that led to mass resignations. Now, crime is increasing and people are afraid to walk the streets at night. 

In many cases across the country, city officials put “defund the police” into practice by voting to cut funding to its respective police departments. What followed was a significant nationwide rise in violent crime. According to the FBI, the U.S. experienced a nearly 30% jump in homicides in 2020 compared with the previous year. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday proposed spending more than $300 million to help law enforcement and small businesses address a recent rash of high-profile smash and grab thefts. Under the three-year plan, the money would finance a crackdown on organized crime rings, which are believed to be carrying out the crimes. 

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7) 

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up. 

The Los Angeles Police Department will deploy extra patrols and detectives following a series of smash-and-grab robberies at three cell phone stores Monday night in what has become an ongoing trend where organized gangs of thieves loot retail shops for thousands of dollars-worth of merchandise in a matter of seconds.  The thefts all occurred in the city’s San Fernando Valley area. 

California police are investigating an attempted robbery at a Macy’s in San Jose after at least six male suspects entered the store and assaulted a female employee. Police say between six and eight suspects entered the Macy’s at the Westfield Oakridge Mall at about 6 p.m. local time Saturday. Employees of Macy’s loss prevention team approached the suspects and tried to stop them. After attacking the female employee, the thieves fled before authorities arrived. 

A shopping mall in Austin, Texas, was evacuated Saturday night after police responded to reports of gunfire amid a jewelry store heist. An unspecified number of suspects fled after removing items from Helzberg Diamonds at the Barton Creek Square mall in southwest Austin. The incident appeared to be part of a trend of thefts and robberies at retail stores around the U.S. in recent weeks that have involved multiple suspects. 

Police say five arrests have been made in connection with the carjacking of a House Democrat in Philadelphia Wednesday. Delaware State Police said in a statement that the suspects were taken into custody around 9pm after they were found in Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon’s stolen 2017 Acura MDX in the parking lot of a Newark shopping center. The arrests came around six hours after Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint after leaving a meeting. A second Philadelphia House member was also carjacked the following day. 

Health: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2) 

Fentanyl-related drug overdoses in 2020 became the top killer in adults aged 18 to 45—overtaking suicide, vehicle accidents, and gun violence, according to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by nonprofit group Families Against Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, highly addictive, and deadly. Buyers may be unaware that the drugs they buy contain illicit fentanyl, a 2-milligram dose of which can be fatal. 

Homicide was the leading cause of death for pregnant and postpartum women in the U.S. in 2018 and 2019 – exceeding all top causes of maternal death “by more than twofold,” found authors of a recent study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology. The rates could be even higher because data collection is uneven, experts say.  

In the mid-1960s, the autism rate was 1 in 10,000. By 2012, it had risen to 1 in 88, then 1 in 68 as of 2016, and now an autism rate of 1 in 44 8-year-olds, although rates vary widely from state to state. In California, where incidence is the highest, 1 in 26 8-year-olds has a diagnosis of autism. Missouri, which has the lowest incidence, has a rate of 1 in 60. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the dramatic uptick is in part due to improved and more comprehensive identification and diagnosis. However, improved diagnosis alone cannot explain this trend, but no firm answers are available, although mitochondrial dysfunction seems promising. 

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) 

At least a dozen students were arrested in the U.S. Thursday and Friday in connection to threat rumors on TikTok and other social media apps that went viral Thursday. Students across the country made unverified threats to schools on social media apps including TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram on Thursday, 12/16. Three of the arrests involved 13-year-old males who shared threats on social media. 

Schools across the U.S. are bringing back remote learning this month, amidst a national surge in COVID-19 cases. Colleges and universities have also made decisions to shift tests online and cancel events. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky promoted the “test to stay” practice which allows unvaccinated children to stay in school even if they have been exposed to the virus if they test negative for the virus. 

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19) 

The U.S. has had a massive surge in immigration this year, with as many as 1.5 million newcomers and a record total population of 46.2 million foreign-born people, according to a report for the Center for Immigration Studies. In numbers never seen before, immigrants are coming legally through airports and land border crossings and illegally across the Rio Grande and remote regions of Arizona, Texas and California. As it stands, 14.2% of the U.S. population is foreign-born, or 1 out of every 7 people. That is the percentage of immigrants in the population since 1910, when the number was 14.7%. 

Homeland Security said Monday it will add 20,000 new slots to a seasonal guest-worker program this winter, including thousands of visas set aside for people from countries responsible for much of the illegal immigrant surge. Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that as the country grapples with the pandemic, businesses are struggling to hire Americans and need a dedicated source of foreign workers to fill job openings. Congress caps the program at 66,000 visas a year, half to be doled out in the winter season and half in the summer. But in recent years lawmakers have also given Homeland Security and the Labor Department the power to add more visas if there is a need. 

A “potential terrorist” from Saudi Arabia with links to a number of “Yemeni subjects of interest” was captured in Arizona late last week after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. Border Patrol officials announced Monday. The 21-year-old man was apprehended Thursday night entering the U.S. from Mexico through Yuma, Arizona wearing a jacket emblazoned with an American flag patch and another that stated: “Central Oneida County Volunteer.” 

  • Border security is also national security from potential terrorists. 

Travel: The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121:8) 

More than 4000 flights were delayed or canceled in the U.S. on Christmas day. Then, not to be outdone, more than 7000 flights were delayed or canceled yesterday. Cancellations and delays especially affected Delta, United and JetBlue with the airlines blaming positive COVID cases for staff shortages. On top of that, it’s much harder to get backup replacements this time of year, since employees often request time off long in advance. 

Many US airlines require their employees to be fully vaccinated, but it’s not yet required of most domestic passengers. International travelers entering the United States must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within a day of their departure, and non-US citizens must be fully vaccinated to enter. 

Supply Chain: He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. (2Corinthians 9:10) 

There’s a peppermint shortage that’s taking yet another bite out of holiday traditions. More and more items are becoming scarce because of global supply chain disruptions such as congestion at ports and shortages of truck drivers and service workers. Now, candy canes have made it onto the long list of Christmas shortages. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, peppermint production has declined nearly 25% over the past decade. 

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6) 

The World Bank estimates that 97 million people across the globe fell into poverty due to the pandemic in 2020, living on less than $2 a day. 2020 led to a historic setback in the fight against global poverty, with the number of the world’s poorest rising for the first time in over 20 years. Even as tens of millions of people were being pushed into destitution, the ultra-rich became wealthier. Last year, billionaires enjoyed the highest boost to their share of wealth on record. 

Despite a sluggish start, US retail sales rose 8.5% year-over-year between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, according to a new report from Mastercard. An uptick in clothing sales, in particular, helped drive the spending surge. In-store sales over Thanksgiving weekend jumped 16.5% compared to 2020. Over the entire holiday period, they rose 8.1% compared to 2020 and 2.4% compared to 2019. Shoppers were less fearful this year than last. 

Prices soared by 5.7% in the year through November, according to the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index data released Thursday morning. That topped the previous month’s rate of 5%, becoming the fastest pace increase since February 1982, when the gauge hit 6.17%. Excluding the more-volatile measurements of food and energy, prices rose 4.7% The inflation spike largely reflected surging energy costs, which rose 34% from a year ago, and food costs, which were up 5.6% over that same time period. 

Early retirement — whether forced by the pandemic or made possible otherwise — is having a huge impact on the labor market. And data show that retiring boomers, far more than “lazy” millennials, are the biggest force behind the labor shortage. Last month, there were 3.6 million more Americans who had left the labor force and said they didn’t want a job compared with November 2019 – and 90% of them were over 55. 

Seven states will still be offering their residents some cash ahead of the holidays. California is sending another round of Golden State stimulus checks of $1,100 to residents who made less than $75,000 in the 2020 tax year. Maine workers will receive $285 Disaster Relief checks. As part of the Maryland Relief Act of 2021, families will receive $500 and individuals $300 if they filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Florida, Michigan, Tennessee and Georgia are giving $1,000 to teachers. 

Low-wage workers across the country are slated to get big pay increases. Twenty-one states and 35 cities and counties are set to raise their minimum wages on or about New Year’s Day. Base hourly pay will climb from $11 to $12 in Illinois; from $9.25 to $10.50 in Delaware; from $9.50 to $11 in Virginia; from $12 to $13 for most workers in New Jersey; and from $10.50 to $11.50 in New Mexico. Four states and 20 cities will raise minimum wage later in 2022. 

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6) 

Israel has announced a historic development plan for the Golan Heights on Sunday which will provide $317 million to double the Golan’s population, establish new communities, improve infrastructure and create jobs. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who unveiled his initiative in October, has described boosting the Golan’s population from 53,000 to 100,000 by 2025 as “a strategic goal.” Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War in June 1967. After the war, the Israeli cabinet offered to return the Golan and other territories it captured in exchange for peace. But the Arab world unanimously refused Israel’s offer of land for peace. 

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22) 

Attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi militant group against Saudi Arabia have more than doubled this year from their pace last year, according to a recent report that provides details of escalating violence in the Gulf region. During the first nine months of 2021, Houthi attacks against the Saudi kingdom averaged 78 a month, or 702 in total, said the report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington. During the same period in 2020, the report said, the monthly average was 38. The report analyzes more than 4,100 Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia between 2016 and 2021, providing a clearer picture of a long-running regional conflict that has developed into a proxy war between Tehran and Riyadh.  

Iraq is working closely with Kurdish forces as concerns amongst authorities increase about a resurgence of ISIS militants in the country. In July 2021, officials from the U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq warned ISIS continues to regroup in Diyala province, and both Iraqi Intelligence officers and local tribal leaders warned ISIS is also regrouping in the disputed Kirkuk region in Iraqi Kurdistan.  

The U.S. Department of State released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism, which accused the Iranian regime of allowing senior Al-Qaeda leaders to live and run terror operations from within Iran’s borders. The U.S. admission of a secretive alliance between the Iranian regime and Al-Qaeda adds credence to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assertions that Tehran has “enormous control” over Al-Qaeda, which enjoys a “home base” in Iran. 

The European Union said negotiators needed to speed up their efforts to resolve a standoff between Iran and the U.S. when they meet on Dec. 27 for the next round of talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal. “Important to pick up the pace on key outstanding issues and move forward, working closely with the U.S.,” Enrique Mora, the EU’s chief negotiator in the talks, said in a tweet on Thursday. World powers have struggled to make any major breakthroughs in the indirect talks between Iran and the U.S. over how they can restore the landmark agreement that curbed Tehran’s atomic activities in exchange for sanctions relief. 

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a) 

Russia on Friday published security demands that NATO deny membership to Ukraine and other former Soviet countries and roll back the alliance’s military deployments in Central and Eastern Europe —ultimatums that are almost certain to be rejected by the U.S. and its allies. The proposals also call for a ban on sending U.S. and Russian warships and aircraft to areas from where they can strike each other’s territory, along with a halt to NATO military drills near Russia. 

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23) 

Nigerian security forces are searching for armed gangs who killed 47 people in attacks in recent days in rural areas of the country’s northwest, the latest killings in the troubled region. The attacks took place in the northwest Kaduna state which neighbors Nigeria’s capital city. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they are suspected to be by the gangs of bandits who have killed at least 2,500 people in the northwest and central states so far in 2021. The attacks have escalated in the past three months. The armed groups mostly consist of young men from the Fulani ethnic group who had traditionally worked as nomadic cattle herders and have become caught up in a decades-long conflict with Hausa farming communities over access to water and grazing land. 

Islamic extremists have killed more than 40 people in an attack in Burkina Faso. Violence in the once peaceful West African nation is escalating as attacks linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic state are on the rise. 

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26) 

President Biden’s new rule reducing carbon dioxide emissions from cars and SUVs reverses a major Trump rollback of standards. The new Environmental Protection Agency regulation finalized Monday marks the president’s single biggest step to fight global warming. The rule will eliminate an estimated 3.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next three decades, the agency estimates, which is equal to shutting down more than 700 coal plants for a year. 

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11) 

At least 208 people died in the devastation wrought by Typhoon Rai on an island province in the central Philippines. Another 52 others are missing, and 239 were hurt. Floodwaters rose rapidly in the riverside town of Loboc, where residents were trapped on their roofs and in trees. At its strongest, the typhoon packed sustained winds of 121 miles per hour and gusts of up to 168 mph, making it one of the most powerful in recent years to hit the disaster-prone archipelago, which lies between the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea.  

Thanks to multiple atmospheric river events, average snowpack in California has gone from 18% to 98% in just two weeks. The sudden change gives California its wettest start to the Water Year in more than 40 years, thanks to several drought-denting rain and snow systems pushing through the area in recent weeks. Northern California is doing a little better in terms of its water year, compared to where it was last year. While not at record levels, the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Sacramento tweeted the Northern Sierra precipitation is above average for this time of year, and exceptionally better than the same time last year. However, Southern California was only able to take advantage of one of the larger atmospheric river systems recently. 

A pileup reportedly involving more than 100 vehicles has occurred on icy roads in Jackson County, Wisconsin. The crash happened Thursday morning along Interstate 94 near Osseo in northwestern Wisconsin. The freeway was shut down in both directions as a result of the pileup, with crashes on both the east and westbound sides. It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was injured. Traffic was backed up for miles. 

A massive winter snowstorm blanketed much of the western U.S. on Sunday as parts of the South saw unseasonably warm temperatures, breaking record highs in some cities on Christmas Day. The snowstorm slammed the Reno-Tahoe region, dumping several inches of snow in the Reno area and several feet at Lake Tahoe ski resorts. A 70-mile stretch of Interstate 80 in western California was closed through at least Monday. In California, rockslides caused by heavy rain closed more than 40 miles of coastal Highway 1 in the Big Sur region, south of the San Francisco Bay Area.  Authorities near Reno said three people were injured in a 20-car pileup on Interstate 395, where drivers described limited visibility on Sunday.  

In parts of the Southern U.S., however, it was anything but a white Christmas, with warm temperatures across the region. Little Rock, Arkansas, broke a 79-year-record on Christmas Day as its high of 78 degrees Fahrenheit broke the prior record of 73 degrees.  

All-time United States weather records were set for a wide range of extreme weather in 2021, covering everything from temperatures parts of the country have never seen before to astonishing rainfall totals and a horrific hurricane.  

  • Early in 2021, there was a cold outbreak that ranks among the most memorable in more than 100 years of U.S. weather records.  
  • Early summer delivered one of the more shocking heatwaves the U.S. has ever experienced when a strong bubble of high pressure set up over the Pacific Northwest and western Canada in late June.  
  • The Southwest had a monsoon rainfall turnaround in 2021, and it was one for the record books. An analysis from the National Weather Service in Phoenix deemed this year’s monsoon as the wettest on record for an area stretching from Arizona to New Mexico and southwest Texas.  
  • Summer 2021 was the hottest in 126 years of records for the contiguous U.S., according to NOAA.  
  • Hurricane Ida tied the record as the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Louisiana when it made landfall on Aug. 29 as a strong Category 4.  
  • California’s capital city, Sacramento, flipped from ending a record-long dry streak to having its wettest calendar day in roughly one October week. 
  • Alaska joined California with an atmospheric river soaking of its own as the calendar turned from October to November.  Portage Glacier Visitor Center – located about an hour southeast of Anchorage in south-central Alaska – picked up 22.35 inches of rain in three days from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. 
  • Multiple severe weather outbreaks produced more than 1,000 reports of tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail in just the first half of December. That’s the most on record for the month. 

Signs of the Times: December 17, 2021

December 17, 2021

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”  (Isaiah 43:2)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Despite threats by atheist groups to try and remove the celebration of Christmas in public sectors each year, the true meaning of the season will be on display in at least 36 state capitols this year. Last February, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a nativity scene displayed annually at the Jackson County Courthouse in Brownstown, Indiana. The court ruled that the nativity scene is constitutional under the Supreme Court’s recent decision in American Legion v. American Humanist Association, which upheld the Peace Cross in Maryland. The 7th Circuit wrote, “Applying American Legion, we conclude that the County’s Nativity scene is constitutional because it fits within a long national tradition of using the Nativity scene in broader holiday displays to celebrate the origins of Christmas—a public holiday.”

A Northern Virginia public library removed a holiday-themed display this week that featured the Bible alongside two sexually explicit books at the center of a furious debate between area school officials and parents who see the material as inappropriate for children. “The Dolley Madison Library holiday reading display was intended to highlight the freedom to read and the fact that many library patrons have more time during the holidays to do so,” read a statement by Fairfax County Public Library Director Jessica Hudson. “It was not the intention of staff to create a display that could be construed as offensive. The display has been removed.”      

Alabama’s Bryce Young credited his faith, family and teammates Saturday after he capped a record-setting regular season by becoming the first quarterback in school history to win the Heisman Trophy for best college football player in 2021. “First and foremost, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Him, I couldn’t be here, and through Him, all things are possible,” Young said at the award ceremony.

The Senate narrowly approved a resolution Wednesday to nullify the Biden administration’s requirement that businesses with 100 or more workers have their employees be vaccinated against the coronavirus or submit to weekly testing. The vote was 52-48. The Democratic-led House is unlikely to take the measure up, which means the mandate would stand, though courts have put it on hold for now. Still, the vote gave senators a chance to voice opposition to a policy that they say has sparked fears back home from businesses and from unvaccinated constituents who worry about losing their jobs should the rule go into effect.

Officials at a Massachusetts high school that became the first in the state to lift a universal mask mandate said even some initial skeptics were surprised by the success, finding no evidence of any COVID-19 transmission after a three-week trial. The state allowed Hopkinton High School to lift the mandate after it reached a required 80% vaccination threshold. Officials said one student tested positive for COVID-19 since the trial began Nov. 1, but the student contracted the virus outside of school. There was no evidence of any COVID-19 transmission in the school building. Significantly, a survey found 70% of students and staff saw an improvement in their learning experience and a morale boost.

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

A colorful statue of a lion with wings was erected just outside UN headquarters in New York City. It is called “The Guardian of International Peace and Security”, and it looks like something out of a science fiction movie.  It does not resemble any known creature on this planet.  Instead, it appears to very closely resemble the “beast” that is described in the Book of Revelation. You can see an image of this “beast” here. It clearly resembles the beast in Daniel 7:4.

  • But this is also the verse that I think describes the demise of America as shown below, which is the top agenda for the New World Order globalists elites.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain) and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis on Friday estimating that President Joe Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ (BBB) plan could increase the federal deficit by $3 trillion over the next decade if the proposed programs are made permanent. The CBO also estimated that the legislation would increase the nation’s deficit by $160 billion over the next decade if the programs were not made permanent. The $1.7 trillion BBB initiative passed by the House of Representatives last month would establish universal preschool, expand Medicaid, provide green energy tax credits, and add roughly $1.95 trillion in new taxes.

“It could be a rough winter for energy prices across the U.S., and the Democratic spending plan will make it worse,” notes the Wall Street Journal.  The House passed what it calls a ‘fee’ on methane that amounts to a stealth tax on natural gas and everyone who uses it. The bill slaps an escalating tax on methane emissions by oil and gas producers that will reach $1,500 per ton by 2025.” The fee is meant to be President Biden’s contribution to the recent Glasgow Climate Summit where he vowed to help reduce global methane emissions 30% by 2030. The tax is estimated to raise $8 billion over 10 years.

The U.S. federal government’s spending on research and development has fallen from 1.8% of gross domestic product in 1964 to 0.7% in 2020, much less than the 1.6% that goes to pay the interest expense of            federal debt. It is also far less than many other nations spend on research and development. China is notably ambitious in this area, essentially copying the American strategy for building a strong economy, even as the U.S. has abandoned that strategy. In The Wall Street Journal last week, Graham Allison, a Harvard professor, and Eric Schmidt, the former C.E.O. of Google, wrote, “In each of the foundational technologies of the 21st century — artificial intelligence, semiconductors, 5G wireless, quantum information science, biotechnology and green energy — China could soon be the global leader.”

The Biden administration has declined to extend student loan relief, with payments kicking in again February 1, 2022—a move that has progressives pushing back. In a letter to the president last week, more than 200 advocacy groups urged Biden “to put a stop [to] this crisis in the making before it begins and extend the current pause on student loan payments.” “It is clear that payments should not resume until your administration has fully delivered on the promises you made to student loan borrowers to fix the broken student loan system and cancel federal student debt,” the letter added.

  • Progressives seem to want everything for free, apparently believing that money does indeed grow on trees (or on a printing press). In addition to canceling student loan debt, they want free childcare and free college.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

A “wave of religious discrimination,” attacks on Christians in Germany surged 150% from 2019 to 2020, according to a new report in the Daily Mail. The numbers of attacks rose from 57 to 141, nearly tripling, and include seven physical attacks on Christians for their beliefs and multiple verbal threats. Churches or church members were targeted with vandalism, physical attacks, being hit and knocked down, having a mailbox filled with urine, and worse. The report documented the secular intolerance problem as “a major threat to Christians in Europe” for its exclusion of religion from public and private life.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

The U.S. Supreme Court sent the case over Texas’ six-week abortion ban to a federal appeals court Thursday, just six days after the justices declined to overturn the ban while allowing opponents to continue with part of their challenge. The high court sent the case to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has repeatedly backed the law. The move rejected a request by clinics and doctors to send the matter directly to a trial judge who once blocked the law.

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday permanently loosened some restrictions on abortion pills, including a long-standing requirement that the medication be picked up in person. Officials said a scientific review supported broadening access and allowing more pharmacies — including mail-order services — to distribute the medication. But prescribing will still be limited to doctors who complete special certification. Additionally, the agency said dispensing pharmacies will have to be registered with the FDA. The decision is the latest shift in the polarized legal battle over medication abortion, which has only intensified amid the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is certain to spur legal challenges.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

Pfizer’s Covid-19 pill sharply reduced hospitalizations and deaths and appears to work against omicron variant, company reported Tuesday. The worst outcomes from infection were reduced by nearly 90 percent among high-risk patients, the company data showed. The Pfizer pill could become available within weeks.

New cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. increased by 31% over the past 14 days, although they appear to be leveling off in recent days (however, Friday showed an uptick again, possible due to the new Omicron variant which scientists say is more infectious but less severe). Hospitalizations were up 20% and Deaths 23%.

  • New Hampshire and Rhode Island lead the country in recent cases per capita. More coronavirus patients are hospitalized in that state than at any other point in the pandemic. Michigan has the country’s highest hospitalization rate. Federal medical teams have been sent there to help handle the surge in patients. The Southwest has also struggled in recent weeks. Arizona and New Mexico have hospitalization and death rates that are among the worst in the country.
  • About 61% of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated. Around 1.9 million doses are being administered each day, a figure that includes booster doses for vaccinated people.    

Maine, Michigan and Indiana are among the latest states to request and receive aid from the National Guard in combatting the coronavirus pandemic threatening to overwhelm their hospitals. In New York, 120 Army medics and Air Force medical technicians were deployed to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. In Michigan, Dr. Paolo Marciano, chief medical officer at Beaumont Hospital, called Defense Department assistance a “tremendous lifeline. It allowed us to be able to care for the COVID patients and at the same time still maintain the level of care that cancer patients require or people with chronic illnesses.”

  • Last week Michigan had more patients hospitalized for Covid-19 than ever before. Covid-19 hospitalizations jumped 88% over the past month. “We have more patients than we’ve ever had at any point, and we’re seeing more people die at a rate we’ve never seen die before,” said Jim Dover, president and CEO of Sparrow Health System. Sparrow Hospital nurse Danielle Williams said the vast majority of her Covid-19 patients are not vaccinated.

In South Africa, where Omicron was first identified, the recent rise has been steeper than during any previous surge which now exceeds prior peaks. “When Omicron enters a community, the increase in case numbers looks like a vertical line,” Dr. Paul Sax of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said. In Britain, new cases also hit a record yesterday. In the U.S., Omicron has not yet spread as widely, but scientists believe it’s only a matter of time. The encouraging news about Omicron is that it does not appear to cause more severe illness than earlier versions of the virus.

New research now shows more than 40% of those who tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic, according to the study published Tuesday in JAMA Network Open. Researchers looked at 95 studies from January 2020 to February 2021 consisting of nearly 30 million people in Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Africa. More than 60% of confirmed COVID-19 cases among people under 20 were asymptomatic; nearly 50% in people 20 to 39; about 32% in people 40 to 59, and about 33% in those over 60.

Immunity people enjoy after recovering from COVID-19 is better than the protection bestowed from vaccination, according to a new study from Israel. Researchers analyzing data from the county’s health database from August to September found both COVID-19 infections and severe disease were higher among the vaccinated than those who recovered from the illness with natural immunity. For instance, the naturally immune had a 10.5 per 100,000 infection rate four to six months following their recovery, versus a 69.2 per 100,000 rate among the vaccinated. The number of severe cases was also higher among the vaccinated: 0.9 percent of all cases among that group were severe, compared with 0.5 percent of cases among the recovered.

U.S. health officials are endorsing “test-to-stay” policies that allow close contacts of students infected with the coronavirus to remain in classrooms if they test negative. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided to more firmly embrace the approach, already used by many school districts, after research of such policies in the Chicago and Los Angeles areas found COVID-19 infections did not increase when using the approach.

Need an at-home rapid test? Depending on where you live, you might be out of luck. President Biden vowed in the fall to expand availability of at-home tests, but supplies remain low in large swaths of the country. In addition, the administration’s plan to route reimbursements for the tests through people’s private insurance has drawn criticism because it requires consumers to pay first, submit receipts, then wait to get their money back.

Mask Mandates:

Facing a winter surge in COVID-19 infections, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Friday that masks will be required in all indoor public places unless the businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. Hochul said the decision to impose a mask mandate was based on state’s weekly seven-day case rate, as well as increasing hospitalizations. The mask mandate applies to both patrons and staff and will be in effect from Dec. 13 to Jan. 15, after which the state will reevaluate. However, on Wednesday, several New York counties say they won’t enforce Gov. Kathy Hochul’s mask mandate

  • California is bringing back a rule requiring people to wear masks indoors, a move aimed at containing the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus as people gather with family and friends during the holidays.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Friday affirmed a Commonwealth Court decision that said Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam did not have the authority to issue a mask mandate for everyone indoors at schools and childcare centers. It means, effective immediately, school mask mandates are no longer mandatory, although many schools have a local rule that students who wish to wear a mask may still do so.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has rejected a request to halt the federal mask mandate for traveling on planes. Axios reported that Michael Seklecki of Florida, citing medical reasons, had sued the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on behalf of himself and his 4-year-old son, over the use of the masks. Lucas Wall, from Washington, had also joined the suit. According to The Hill, Wall says he is not able to wear a mask because of an anxiety disorder. He claims to be “stranded at his mother’s residence” in Florida because the mask mandate prevents him from flying.

The CEOs of two of the nation’s major airlines say they don’t think wearing masks on planes does much to help limit exposure to Covid. The comments from American Airlines CEO Doug Parker — the nation’s largest carrier — and Southwest CEO Gary Kelly came during a hearing about the financial support that airlines received from the federal government in 2020 and 2021. “I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment. It is very safe and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting,” said Kelly.

International:

Britain is facing a “tidal wave” of infections from the new Omicron coronavirus variant, ministers have warned, as they sound the alarm on rapid transmission rates in London and across the country. On Monday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the country’s first death of a person with the variant. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Monday that there were 4,713 confirmed cases of Omicron in the UK, adding that the current number of daily infections is estimated to be around 200,000.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

Vaccine advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously Thursday to recommend that people seeking the safest and most effective vaccines or boosters go with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots, instead of those made by Johnson & Johnson. The expert panel advised useofthe two mRNA vaccines because of an increased risk of potentially fatal blood clot issue associated with the Johnson & Johnson shots. Nine deaths — among seven women and two men, ranging in age from 28 to 62 — have been confirmed in connection with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through September.                               

In New York City, children ages 5-11 will be required to have proof of vaccination for most indoor activities starting Tuesday. And beginning Dec. 27, city residents ages 12 and older participating in public indoor activities will be required to show proof they have been fully vaccinated. The city is also mandating all private sector employees be vaccinated by year’s end.

  • Hard to know what the term ‘fully vaccinated’ means nowadays. Booster too?

The inventor of the mRNA technology behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has issued a video statement explaining why more than 15,000 physicians and medical scientists around the world have signed a declaration that healthy children should not be vaccinated for COVID-19. Dr. Robert W. Malone, who has worked for three decades in vaccine research and development noted that he’s been vaccinated and is generally pro-vaccination, except for children. But he warned parents that the decision to inject their children is “irreversible” and can cause permanent damage in children’s critical organs as they develop. Secondly, he said, the novel vaccine technology has not been adequately tested.

  • A peer-reviewed study of data in Hong Kong found a significant rise in the rise of myocarditis and pericarditis in young male adolescents after taking a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The study of Chinese male adolescents published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease concluded the rate was 1 in 2,680, or 37 per 100,000.
  • Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist, internist and epidemiologist, and editor of two peer-review journals, cites research showing those at highest risk of dying from COVID-19 are also at highest risk of dying from the COVID shot. Additionally, the shots are causing severe heart damage in younger people whose risk of dying from COVID is inconsequential. He points out that 19,249 deaths have been reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System as of November 19, 2021.

Omicron is more resistant to vaccines but causes milder covid cases, concludes the largest study of the variant to date. The study by South Africa’s largest insurer, Discovery Health examined 211,000 positive cases. The found that protection from infection by the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine dropped to just 33 percent, but the vaccine still helps prevent hospitalization.

On 12/9, the U.S. FDA authorized booster shots of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 16- and 17-year-olds amid the new Omicron variant threat. The Food and Drug Administration decision arrives as booster shots appear likely to play a prominent role in helping to protect against the omicron variant of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to also recommend the booster. It remains unclear when, or if, the FDA will authorize boosters for younger children.

Philadelphia on Monday became the latest American city to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enjoy activities such as indoor dining. City officials said the mandate will take effect Jan. 3 and apply to any place that sells food or drink for consumption on-site, including movie theaters. Restaurant workers also have to get the shots. Philadelphia joins San Francisco and New York City in mandating the vaccine to enjoy social activities.

Vaccine Mandates:

Nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers have refused the COVID-19 vaccine, the Pentagon said Thursday, potentially setting the stage for thousands of Army personnel to be pushed out of the service in the coming weeks. A day after its Dec. 15 vaccination deadline, the Army said 468,459 active-duty soldiers have received at least one dose of the vaccine, or about 98% of all soldiers Around 96% of soldiers are fully vaccinated.

The Air Force has discharged 27 people for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, making them what officials believe are the first service members to be removed for disobeying the mandate to get the shots. A Navy commander has been fired from his job as the executive officer of a warship because he refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine as required and refused to be tested for the virus, Navy officials said Friday. Cmdr. Lucian Kins was relieved of his duties Friday as second in command of the USS Winston Churchill, a destroyer.

Nearly 500 Los Angeles Unified School District employees were fired this week for refusing to comply with a mandate that they get vaccinated against COVID-19 . The school board voted 7-0 in separate motions on Tuesday to terminate 496 employees, who make up less than 1% of the district’s approximately 73,000 workers. Most of those fired had likely been on leave since mid-October when LAUSD staffers were to have received at least their first vaccine dose. Meanwhile, with 35,000 students not yet complying with the mandate, there’s no longer enough time for kids who have not gotten their first shot to be fully inoculated by the Jan. 10 start of the second semester.

Supermarket chain Kroger announced Tuesday it will eliminate paid emergency leave for unvaccinated employees who contract COVID-19 in addition to requiring some of them to pay a monthly $50 health insurance surcharge starting in 2022, according to a company memo. The country’s largest supermarket chain, which employs roughly 465,000 workers, issued an internal company memo announcing the changes, which will start on Jan. 1

Some of the country’s largest hospital systems have dropped COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employees after a federal judge temporarily halted President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. As a result, hospital operators such as HCA Healthcare Inc. and Tenet Healthcare Corp., and nonprofits including AdventHealth and the Cleveland Clinic, are dropping the mandates in order to keep enough staffing to operate normally. Hospitals have struggled to retain enough nurses, technicians, and janitors amid higher COVID-19 hospitalizations due to the delta variant.

  • Passenger railroad operator Amtrak said Tuesday it will suspend its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees and no longer expects service disruptions in January.

International:

A global vaccine program is denying tens of millions of refugees and other country-less people COVID-19 shots because some major drug manufacturers are concerned about getting sued by people claiming to have suffered adverse effects. The United Nations says COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers have required that countries relieve them of any legal liability. Internal documents from the charity operating the global vaccine program, Gavi, shows that about 167 million people could be excluded from national vaccine programs.

Tragedy: Moreover, man does not know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them. (Ecclesiastes 9:12) In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

A truck carrying gasoline exploded in northern Haiti, killing more than 50 people and injuring dozens of others in the latest disaster to hit a country whose troubles deepened greatly this year. The blast occurred late Monday in the city of Cap-Haitien. As dozens of bodies lay near the explosion site, people in the area used buckets to scoop up gasoline from the truck and the street to take back to their homes. The explosion occurred as Haiti struggles with a severe shortage of fuel and spiraling gas prices that recently forced hospitals to turn away patients, temporarily shut down schools and businesses and prompted the government of U.S. and Canada to urge its citizens to leave while they still could.

A tractor-trailer carrying more than 100 migrants crashed in southern Mexico on Thursday, killing at least 49 people, according to Mexican authorities. The crash happened in the state of Chiapas, not far from Mexico’s border with Guatemala. Officials said the victims appeared to be mostly, if not all, Central American migrants.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

Twelve major cities across the nation broke annual homicide records this year, following 2020’s already historically bloody year, including including: Rochester, New York, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Toledo, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Austin, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; St. Paul, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; Tucson, Arizona; Albuquerque, New Mexico. All twelve are led by liberal Democratic mayors.

Keona Holley joined the Baltimore Police Department two years ago because she wanted to make a difference and help improve relationships between residents and officers. On Wednesday night, she volunteered to work overtime. It was during that overnight shift she was ambushed and shot. She was sitting in her patrol car near a park when at least one gunman ran up behind the vehicle and started shooting around 1:30am Thursday. She’s now on life support.

One person was killed and at least 13 others were injured Sunday evening in a drive-by shooting during a candlelight vigil near Houston. About 50 people were gathered for a celebration of life in Baytown, about 25 miles west of Houston. Right as they were releasing the balloons up into the air was when the vehicle came, opening fire into the crowd. The pastor leading the service, as well as his wife, were also said to be among those shot, as well as a young child. Officers were later called to the medical center in Baytown where some of the wounded were taken because a “disturbance” erupted there. When everyone got to the hospital, a large fight ensued and we had to contact other agencies to help with that large fight.

The parents of two Oxford High School students are suing school officials, claiming last week’s fatal school shootings in Michigan were “entirely preventable,” and that the defendants “created and increased the dangers then-existing at Oxford High School.” The parents say school officials were alerted to threats up to two weeks prior to the shooting. In the days before the shooting, two teachers reported concerning behavior from alleged shooter Ethan Crumbley, including one incident just hours before the killings. They further allege that the school teachers and counselors did not report Crumbley’s behavior to the school safety liaison officer who was excluded from meetings with Crumbley.

Law Enforcement: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

USA TODAY spent a year building a database of whistleblower cases over the past decade of officers who exposed the alleged misconduct of their coworkers. Reporters found that most cops who stepped forward to make an internal complaint said they faced retaliation in the form of demotions, firings and threats from their supervisors and peers. Some sued, but to no avail. One court after another has thrown out his case, thanks to a narrow  5-4 U.S. Supreme court decision in 2006 that stripped free speech rights from public employees. Advocates had warned the high court that their decision in the case of Garcetti v. Ceballos would be especially bad for police, giving departments a powerful way to ruin the lives of officers who dared to challenge law enforcement’s code of silence.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

A Delta flight from Washington, DC, to Los Angeles made an emergency landing in Oklahoma City on 12/9 after a passenger assaulted two people, including a flight attendant. An air marshal on board Flight 324 also was assaulted while attempting to subdue the passenger, who was eventually restrained. Oklahoma City Police said on Friday that the man was arrested and charged with public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

Cyber Security: He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (Psalm 40:2)

Human Resources management company Ultimate Kronos Group has been hit by a ransomware attack that’s hobbling its clients’ ability to process payroll, handle timesheets and manage staff. Also hit by the attack is Kronos Workforce Central, which contains a suite of workforce management solutions for time and attendance, absence management, scheduling and more.      

Big Tech: But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. (Daniel 12:4)

Labels placed on posts on Facebook accompanying so-called fact-checks are opinion, lawyers for the social media platform’s parent company said in a recent court filing. Television host John Stossel sued Facebook and two of its fact-checking partners, Science Feedback and Climate Feedback, earlier this year, accusing the entities of defaming him. Meta said its fact-checkers are independent from Facebook and that it is protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. “The labels themselves are neither false nor defamatory; to the contrary, they constitute protected opinion.”

  • Meta/Facebook was forced to admit that so-called fact-checking labels are opinion in order to avoid an avalanche of similar lawsuits. But now it’s on the record, Facebook fact-checking is a complete fraud meant to promulgate the progressive narrative.

Taliban supporters and white supremacists have hosted live audio broadcasts on Twitter Spaces that hundreds of people have tuned in to, according to researchers, users and screenshots viewed by The Washington Post. These chats are neither policed nor moderated by Twitter, the company acknowledges, because it does not have human moderators or technology that can scan audio in real-time. Current and former employees who spoke with The Post said that executives, under pressure from Wall Street, moved ahead with the service despite warnings it could fuel hate and extremism.

Big Pharma: A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. (Proverbs 11:1)

In a three-year study, House Democrats found that drug prices are ‘unsustainable, unjustifiable and unfair.’ The investigation by the House Oversight Committee shows that pharmaceutical companies studied by the committee raised prices of common brand-name drugs during the past five years by nearly four times the rate of inflation. An industry trade group said the congressional investigation ignored the “real affordability problems” consumers face, including rising deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs.

A federal judge rejected OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy settlement of thousands of lawsuits over the opioid epidemic Thursday because of a provision that would protect members of the Sackler family from facing litigation of their own. U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon in New York found that federal bankruptcy law does not give the bankruptcy judge who had accepted the plan the authority to grant that kind of release for people who are not declaring bankruptcy themselves.

Racism/Discrimination: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill to create an envoy to monitor and combat Islamophobia on Tuesday in a partisan vote, following a long and vitriolic debate on the House floor. The bill, H.R. 5665, Combating International Islamophobia Act, which was introduced by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), passed the house by a vote of 219-212, with all Democrats voting for the bill and all Republicans opposing it. If passed by the Senate and signed by the president, the bill would create an office to monitor and combat Islamophobia in the State Department—similar to the one that exists for anti-Semitism.

Health: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

The Gallup annual mental-health self-assessment released Friday indicated that Americans are struggling with the aftermath of COVID-19… Those reporting the best mental state were the faithful Christians: 44% of weekly churchgoers said their mental health was “excellent,” more than any subgroup tracked by Gallup and the only one to register higher levels of emotional health in 2021 than in 2019, before the pandemic. Bringing up the rear were low-income earners and Democrats.

In 1921, Canadian scientist Frederick Banting discovered insulin and later sold the patent to the University of Toronto for $1 declaring that the life-saving drug did not belong to him, “It belongs to the world.” Now, 100 years later, the 8.4 million diabetics in the U.S. who rely on insulin pay an exorbitant amount of money for a drug that supposedly belongs to them. Between 2014 and 2018, the average price jumped 40%, causing many to ration their medication, often ending up in the hospital because they could only afford a fraction of the insulin they were supposed to use that month. New legislation could change that by capping the price on insulin.

New Zealand’s government believes it has come up with a unique plan to end tobacco smoking — a lifetime ban for those aged 14 or younger. Under a new law the government announced Thursday and plans to pass next year, the minimum age to buy cigarettes would keep rising year after year. That means, in theory at least, 65 years after the law takes effect, shoppers could still buy cigarettes — but only if they could prove they were at least 80 years old. In practice, officials hope smoking will fade away decades before then. Indeed, the plan sets a goal of having fewer than 5% of New Zealanders smoking by 2025.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

School districts across the country issued warnings, increased security and canceled classes Friday in response to vague, anonymous shooting and bomb threats that officials say were made on TikTok but are not considered credible. Schools in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York and Pennsylvania increased their police presence Friday due to the alleged threats while schools in California, Minnesota, Missouri and Texas closed for the day. Schools have been experiencing an uptick in social media threats of violence since September, but the threats are typically local or regional, not nationwide.

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

Parents are outraged at the NCAA for allowing University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas to compete and dominate in women’s competitions. Thomas previously competed as a man for three years on the Penn men’s team. Thomas’ success on the women’s team has renewed criticism over allowing transgender women to compete against biological females. “At stake here is the integrity of women’s sports. The precedent being set – one in which women do not have a protected and equitable space to compete – is a direct threat to female athletes in every sport,” wrote the parents of ten female swimmers to the NCAA, which has not responded in over a month. Penn responded with support for Thomas and inclusiveness.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Noncitizens in New York City would gain the right to vote in municipal elections under a measure approved Thursday by the City Council that would give access to the ballot box to 800,000 green card holders and so-called Dreamers. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would not veto it. It’s unclear whether the bill might face legal challenges. More than a dozen communities across the United States already allow noncitizens to cast ballots in local elections, including 11 towns in Maryland and two in Vermont. But New York City is the largest place by far to give voting rights to noncitizens.

Tens or even hundreds of thousands of people likely cast illegal votes in Wisconsin’s 2020 election, according to newly-released findings from a months-long investigation by a conservative legal group. Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) published the results of a 10-month probe of last year’s elections in the battleground state, reporting that the number of unlawful ballots in Wisconsin all but certainly surpassed Joe Biden’s victory margin of under 21,000 votes. WILL said that while it did not find evidence of widespread, intentional fraud, the possibility “cannot be excluded.”

After the unprecedented expansion of mail-in voting in the 2020 election, at least 36 states changed their mail-in voting rules. Republican-leaning states tended to introduce measures to make voting more secure, but less convenient. Democrat-leaning states were more likely on the opposite track. In 2020, many states relaxed rules on absentee voting using the COVID-19 pandemic as justification. While many Democrats portrayed those changes as not only necessary but worth preserving for good, Republicans were more likely to see them as harmful one-off excesses that undermined election integrity.

Refugees: Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. (Hebrews 13:2)

Fewer than a dozen U.S. citizens who want to get out of Afghanistan and have all the paperwork are still stuck there, the State Department said Monday, suggesting it has whittled down a number that had been in the hundreds just a few weeks ago. And more than 74,000 Afghan nationals airlifted out in the waning days of the U.S. war effort have now been relocated to America, with another 3,000 waiting in other countries overseas for their chance to enter.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

The White House may have just lost a powerful ally on the issue of immigration. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused President Biden of “defending the family separation practice” after the Department of Justice walked away from talks to financially compensate migrant families separated at the southern border. Biden previously said that families separated under the Trump administration “deserve some kind of compensation,” although he has “no idea” what the dollar amount would be. “By abandoning negotiations to help children and families that were separated at the border heal, the Biden administration will have to defend the family separation practice in court,” the ACLU said.

Border Patrol agents already struggling with low morale were devastated after the Senate confirmed President Biden’s controversial nominee for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner, reports Fox News. The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Chris Magnus, formerly the police chief in Tucson, Arizona, despite numerous controversies surrounding Magnus’ nomination, including his support for sanctuary cities. Maine Sen. Susan Collins was the lone Republican to vote for Magnus’ confirmation. Magnus “is pretty much hated, especially by those of us in the Tucson Sector since we know him,” one border agent told Fox News. “Somehow he has made a career off of hating law enforcement. He destroyed TPD [Tucson Police Department] and will do the same to CBP as a whole.”

Yuma, Arizona, Mayor Douglas Nicholls proclaimed a local emergency at approximately 1:50 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9, due to the unprecedented numbers of migrants entering the city prior to being processed and released by Border Patrol. The influx of these undocumented persons entering the Yuma area is resulting in a humanitarian and border crisis. Within five days, there have been reports of over 6,000 migrants crossing from Mexico into the United States through the Yuma area. The U. S. Customs and Border Protection reports the number of migrant encounters have increased by 2,647%           since Oct. 1.

Pepsi, Cargill and several other companies will make new investments in Central America, Vice President Kamala Harris announced Monday, saying it was the latest success in her effort to try to create opportunities in those communities that might keep future would-be migrants at home. The seven new companies mark the second round of commitments Ms. Harris has touted as part of her “Call to Action” in Central America. She said some of the earlier commitments, announced in May, are already showing results, including Microsoft, which has “catalyzed” broadband access to 1.1 million people, and development of clean energy. Nespresso has also promised to spend $150 million between now and 2025, for the first time buying its coffee from Honduras and El Salvador.

  • While such efforts may bear long-term fruit, they offer little immediate amelioration of the current crisis at the border.

Supply Chain: He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. (2Corinthians 9:10)

Cream cheese is one of the latest ingredients in short supply as food sellers scramble to meet elevated demand as labor shortages and port congestion have wreaked havoc on the supply chain. This is causing big problems for some cheesecake manufacturers like Junior’s Cheesecake. The company’s cheesecake is made from about 85% cream cheese, making it impossible to prepare without that key ingredient. The shortage meant the company had to pause cheesecake production on Friday in its Burlington, New Jersey, baking facility.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a bill raising the debt limit ceiling that passed Congress earlier this week. Congress voted to raise the national debt limit by $2.5 trillion and extend it into 2023 after lawmakers raced to avert a catastrophic default ahead of a critical midweek deadline. The Senate moved earlier on Tuesday to pass the legislation in a vote that fell along party lines with a final tally of 50 to 49. The House voted 221-209 Wednesday morning to approve the bill. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had warned that the debt limit could be reached on Wednesday, leaving Congress little time left to resolve the issue.

  • Eventually federal debt will drag the U.S. into a deep depression.

In an effort to rein in price increases that hit a 39-year high last month, the Fed on Wednesday agreed to clear the way for earlier and faster interest rate increases in 2022 by accelerating the phaseout of its bond-buying stimulus. It’s now forecasting three rate increases next year. The central bank had lowered interest rates to spur more borrowing and economic activity during the pandemic. Now it will raise them to ward off inflation.

Wholesale prices rose at their fastest annual pace on record in November, with the newest inflation-related datapoint adding to broader concerns about the persistence of elevated prices as higher input costs for producers tend to trickle down to consumers. The Labor Department said in a Dec. 14 statement that, for the 12 months ending in November, the producer price index jumped by 9.6 percent.

Consumer prices rose in the U.S. by 6.8% in the 12 months ending in November, the largest rise in nearly 40 years, as inflation spreads throughout economy. Inflation continues to grow and become more widespread, showing up in sectors that weren’t as hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and threatening the Biden administration’s political agenda. Stripping out food and energy, the prices of which tend to be more volatile, inflation rose 4.9% over the same period — the highest level since June 1991. The price indexes tracking food and energy climbed to at least 13-year highs, having risen 6.1% and 33.3% over the 12-month period. Meanwhile, groceries cost 6.4% more over the same period, the largest increase since December 2008. Food prices in restaurants jumped 5.8%, the biggest rise since January 1982.

  • Especially hard hit are lower-income households with little or no cash cushion.

Overall, 74% of small-business owners are concerned about the impact of inflation on their business, with 71% saying rising prices have had a significant impact on their business in the past year. To manage higher costs brought about by inflation, 63% have increased prices of their products or services, nearly half (45%) have taken out a loan, and 41% have cut staff, according to a survey of 750 small-business owners conducted by MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Weekly unemployment claims increased to 206,000 from the previous week’s revised tally of 188,000, Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, fell to 1.845 million, a pandemic low. Job openings remain at a near record 11.03 million.        

Nearly 70% of the 5 million people who left the labor force during the pandemic are older than 55, according to researchers from Goldman Sachs, and many of them aren’t looking to return. There are some early signs that seniors are coming back to the workforce as vaccination rates increase and employers offer higher wages.

The flood of evictions that politicians and housing advocates desperately warned about after the Supreme Court revoked the Biden administration’s COVID-19 eviction ban has yet to materialize after three months. Eviction filings increased by roughly 20% compared with the final three months that the ban was in place, but remain 40% below pre-pandemic levels.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

The United States has walked back its promise to reopen a consulate for Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem, much to the chagrin of embattled Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, according to a report from Arabic language daily Al Quds on Thursday. President Joe Biden pledged to reopen the consulate, which was closed by former president Donald Trump in 2018, and that promise was reiterated to Abbas by Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this year. A senior PA official said American diplomatic officials told the PA that Biden has no strategy whatsoever for managing the Arab-Israel conflict and is not interested in wading into the morass any further, aside from providing financial support to the Palestinian economy and aid groups

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

Somali Islamists have captured a town in the semi-autonomous central state of Galmudug, part of a string of incursions underscoring the group’s gains amid divisions between the central government and its erstwhile allies in the region. The gains are evidence that the group with links to al Qaeda is capitalizing on deepening political divisions in Somalia ahead of long-delayed presidential elections scheduled for next year. The group on Tuesday captured the town of Eldheere, 18 miles south of Galmudug’s capital Dhusamareb. Al Shabaab fighters bombed the police station before taking over the town.      

The G-7 Group of Seven economic powers told Russia on Sunday to “de-escalate” its military buildup near the Ukrainian border, warning that an invasion would have “massive consequences” and inflict severe economic pain on Moscow. Foreign ministers from the United States, Britain and the rest of the G-7, joined by the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, issued a joint statement declaring themselves “united in our condemnation of Russia’s military buildup and aggressive rhetoric towards Ukraine.”

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

The Pakistani Taliban said Thursday they will not extend a cease-fire agreed to last month, accusing the government in Islamabad of not honoring the truce and failing to release 102 of their fighters. The militant group, also known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, has been behind numerous attacks on Pakistani security forces and civilians over the last 14 years. TTP was also behind a 2014 attack on an army-run school in the northwestern city of Peshawar that killed 154 people, mostly schoolchildren. They are a separate group from the Taliban in Afghanistan, who took over that country in August. However, the two groups are close allies.

The remaining U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti have been released, police say. The 16 Americans and one Canadian missionaries affiliated with Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries, were seized outside Port-au-Prince on Oct. 16 by the notorious street gang 400 Mawozo and held for a ransom of $1 million each. Five had been released earlier. The release of the remaining 12 was confirmed Thursday morning the Haitian National Police. It was not clear whether ransom had been paid or not.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

A giant patch of garbage in the Pacific Ocean is now “an immense floating plastic habitat” for marine animals clinging to its plastic debris, researchers have found. Coastal plant and animal species that have been carried out to sea on plastic debris aren’t just surviving on an area of ocean called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They’re building communities and thriving, according to research published recently in Nature Communications. Researchers discovered coastal  creatures including anemones, shrimplike amphipods, barnacles, crabs and seaweed found a way to survive in a place previously considered inhospitable. While there are at least five garbage patches in the world, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch holds the most plastic.

In Jackson, Mississippi, the capital, many residents live off of water that’s either boiled or bottled. The city’s tap water often misses quality requirements. The city’s drinking water hasn’t met the minimum quality requirements for four of the last 5.5 years, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency. Even if it’s perfectly healthy, if it looks and smells bad. There are hundreds of millions of dollars available in infrastructure aid through the state and the federal government, but Mississippi’s leadership has rarely offered to help.

A Houston-based oil company and two subsidiaries were indicted Wednesday for a crude spill that fouled southern California waters and beaches in October, an event prosecutors say was caused in part by failing to properly act when alarms repeatedly alerted workers to a pipeline rupture. Amplify Energy Corp. and its companies that operate several oil rigs and a pipeline off Long Beach were charged by a federal grand jury with a single misdemeanor count of illegally discharging oil. Investigators believe the pipeline was weakened when a cargo ship’s anchor snagged it in high winds in January, months before it ultimately ruptured Oct. 1, spilling up to about 25,000 gallons of crude oil in the ocean.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

Fires continue to burn in a pasture which was part of a fire that burned 365,850 acres and stretched across Ellis, Russell, Osborne and Rooks counties Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, near Natoma, Kan. The fire was stoked by a storm that passed through the area Wednesday with high winds and gusts up to 90 mph.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

At least 88 people died in Kentucky did after a series of at least 50 tornadoes hit four states last    Friday night. Mayfield Kentucky’s main fire station was in the direct path of the tornado and was destroyed, along with the town’s fleet of police cars, a police station and the courthouse was heavily damaged. Many homes and other buildings were ripped apart. A candle factory was destroyed in Kentucky, and an Amazon warehouse was ripped apart in Illinois, killing at least six people. More than 24,000 Kentucky residents were still without power Tuesday morning. There have also been at least three deaths in Tennessee and one in Arkansas.

  • In what employees are calling a miracle, all 74 residents inside the Mayfield Health and Rehabilitation nursing home survived – despite the unprecedented twister directly hitting and destroying the 35,000-square-foot building. Only two residents received minor injuries – superficial cuts to their arms that did not require outside medical treatment.
  • Saturday’s devastating Kentucky tornado carved a long track that could rival the longest on record. The longest tornado on record tracked for about 220 miles through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana in 1925. Authorities said this twister may have touched down for nearly 250 miles.

Historic winds were still battering parts of the Midwest on Thursday after severe weather killed at least one person in Iowa and left nearly 350,000 people without power in Michigan and Wisconsin alone. From Colorado to Michigan, more than 500,000 customers were without power Thursday morning. In Des Moines, the wind gusts reached up to 74 mph, which hadn’t been seen in the city since the 1970s. Winds on Lake Michigan also reached 74 mph, and waves reached as high as 15 feet in some areas. In parts of Colorado, winds reached 95 mph. Nebraska and Iowa saw at least 20 reports of tornadoes.

Tornadoes are occurring more often across the South than ever before, reports the USA Today. When comparing 2000-2019 with the previous two decades, research scientists saw an increase in days with tornado outbreaks—events where ten or more tornadoes are spawned by the same weather system within a couple days. Overall, twenty U.S. states saw an increase in tornado activity when comparing annual data from 1980 to 1999 with 2000 to 2019.

Five children are dead and another four are critically injured after they fell 32 feet from a bouncy castle lifted into the air by wind at a school event in Australia. Children at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport, on the north coast of Tasmania, were celebrating the end of the school year when the tragedy occurred.

An all-time Arctic high temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, a record set in the northern Russian town of Verkhoyansk on June 20, 2020, was certified as accurate by the United Nations’ weather agency on Tuesday. The Arctic is among the fastest warming regions in the world and is heating up at more than twice the global average, the World Meteorological Organization said.

For the first time this year, rain fell on the summit of the Greenland ice sheet. Beavers and commercial ships are invading formerly frozen areas. A crucial Antarctic ice shelf is on the brink of collapse. New research shows how rising temperatures have irreversibly altered both the Arctic and Antarctic. The ripple effects will be felt around the globe.

Signs of the Times Update: December 8, 2021

December 8, 2021

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” (Matthew 5:21-22)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

For two nights last week, the No. 1 movie in America was a Christmas film about the birth of Jesus. Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers surprised Hollywood observers by grabbing the No. 1 spot at the box office the first two nights of its release, grossing $2.5 million Wednesday and $2.1 million Thursday, more than doubling the respective grosses of second-place House of Gucci and third-place Encanto. It finished No. 4 for the weekend with an estimated gross of $4.1 million even though it played at only 1,700 theaters – less than half of the theater count for Encanto (3,980 theaters), which won the weekend with a $12.7 million gross. The Chosen is a popular streaming series about Jesus and his disciples.

A federal judge on Tuesday issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers. Employees working in hospitals that receive federal funding had been given a deadline of Dec. 6 to get at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Judge Terry A. Doughty in the U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana ruled that Biden’s mandate is unconstitutional. “If the executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the legislative branch to make laws, two of the three powers conferred by our Constitution would be in the same hands,” Doughty wrote. “If human nature and history teach anything, it is that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency.”

  • A federal judge in Georgia issued a nationwide injunction on Monday that prevents the U.S. government from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on federal contractors, temporarily shutting down the last remaining vaccine requirement by the Biden administration.

After seven months, President Biden’s commission on the Supreme Court failed to recommend any significant changes to the way the justices operate. While suggesting that term limits deserve a closer look, the panel said there was “profound disagreement” over liberal activists’ proposal to expand the court and give Democrats a chance to appoint more justices in order to surmount the 6-3 advantage of Republican appointees. The final report was adopted and submitted to Mr. Biden on a unanimous vote Tuesday.

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

Australia’s quarantine camps are real and scary. A 26-year-old woman who had moved from Melbourne, Australia, to the country’s Northern Territory to escape the continuing lockdowns tells of being removed from her home by police against her will and taken to a quarantine center. And she didn’t even have COVID-19. She was declared a ‘close contact’ identified by her scooter’s license plate and hauled off from her home by a contingent of police who blocked her driveway and removed her for a 14-day detention at Howard Springs, the 2,000-capacity COVID camp outside Darwin. You feel like you’re in prison,” Hayley Hodgson told the British podcast UnHerd TV. At the facility she tested negative for COVID-19 but still had to do her 14-day imprisonment.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain) and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

Senators struck a deal Tuesday to create a one-time law allowing Democrats to lift the nation’s borrowing authority and avert a catastrophic credit default without requiring votes from the opposition Republicans. Now, only a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate is sufficient to move the debt goalposts. Federal debt continues to increase because the government continues to spend more than taxation brings in. Interest on the debt is already high. This year, the federal government will spend $300 billion on interest payments on the national debt. This is the equivalent of nearly 9 percent of all federal revenue collection and over $2,400 per household.

  • The federal government spends more on interest than on science, space, and technology; transportation; and education combined.

The Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act (HR 550) passed in the U.S. House of Representatives with 214 Democrat votes and 80 Republican votes for the bill, in a move that imperils privacy and medical freedom of Americans say critics. The act was supported by the American Immunization Registry Association, a lobbying group created to support a national vaccine registry, which issued talking points to help the passage of the measure. According to the AIRA talking points the new database will help give pharmacies the ability to share immunization information with the government so that the government can then target individuals for vaccinations, a capability that thus far the government lacks.

  • Undoubtedly, the unvaccinated will be pursued and persecuted. And who knows what else this privacy-ending database will be used for as end-time totalitarianism continues to ramp up.

A nursing home in Virginia decided to kick elderly residents out if they do not get the COVID shots, despite the objections from both staff and residents. “Our nation has fallen to the point that even the elderly are being denied care based on their religious beliefs! These residents are facing eviction before Christmas from the home where they expected to live out their final days!” writes Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

The number of homes in America with the traditional ‘nuclear family’ of a married couple with children under eighteen years-of-age has declined to just 17.8% of the United States’ 130 million households. That’s down from 18.6 percent from last year but, more significantly, way down from over 40% in 1970. The reasons given for the drop include the pandemic delaying marriage and a continued decline in birth rate. The average age of a woman at her first marriage is now 28.6 years. In the 1950s and 60s, women typically married at 20.4 years old. The average age for men to marry for the first time in 2021 was 30.4 years old. America’s fertility rate dropped to 55.4 births per 1,000 in the second quarter of 2021, down from 58.5 in the same period of 2019. Over 37 million adults lived alone in early 2021, up from 33 million in 2011. In 1960, 87% of adults lived with a spouse.

  • These trends coincide with the secularization of America, moving away from the Biblical family model.            

Censorship: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18)

On December 6th Twitter banned thousands of accounts in their latest purge of dissenting thought. Twitter announced Tuesday that it has begun taking sweeping actions to limit the reach of QAnon content, banning many of the conspiracy theory’s followers because of problems with harassment and misinformation. Twitter will stop recommending accounts and content related to QAnon, including material in email and follow recommendations, and it will take steps to limit circulation of content in features like trends and search. The action will affect about 150,000 accounts.  Andrew Torba, the CEO of Gab.com, a popular alternative to left-wing social platforms such as Twitter, says, “While this is great news for the Gab community, it’s not great news for Christians.”

  • Christians will be targeted more and more for Biblical beliefs that run counter to secular humanism which has become the religion of the liberals and progressives.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

Churches in Zamfara state, northern Nigeria, have been threatened with attack unless they  close down and stop meeting for worship. The threat, believed to come from Islamist militants, was made in a letter sent to Nigerian police and security services. “Let’s pray for Christians in northern Nigeria, especially in Zamfara state, as we are issued a three-year ultimatum to close all churches in the state,” requested an unnamed Nigerian church leader. The Zamfara branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria has directed churches not to hold meetings after 5 p.m. for the next three months, he added, while “police in the state have directed Christians to intensify security in all places of worship, pastors’ houses, other Christian centers.” 

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas made it clear during the hearing of a Mississippi pro-life law banning abortions at 15 weeks that there is no right to abortion in the Constitution. Thomas questioned Wednesday where in the Constitution abortion is protected as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments over a Mississippi abortion law case that challenges Roe v. Wade. “Would you specifically tell me, specifically state what the right is, is it specifically abortion?” The attorney ironically stipulated the 14th Amendment to justify abortion, but that’s the amendment that protects the right to life.

  • The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9,1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. Often considered as one of the most consequential amendments, it addresses citizenship rights and equal protection under the law and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. Nowhere does it mention or even imply abortion.

“MSNBC has become so unhinged over state laws challenging Roe, they are actually trying to convince their audiences that the pro-life side is racist and founded on white supremacy, when it should be common knowledge that the largest abortion provider in the country was founded by a racist eugenicist white woman,” reports LifeNews.

Suicide/Assisted Suicide: No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. (Ecclesiastes 8:8 ESV)

An assisted suicide pod first introduced three and a half years ago has now been cleared for use in Switzerland. The Sarco, invented by Dr. Philip Nitschke of the Exit International nonprofit, has passed a legal review and can be operated in the country, SwissInfo reports. Assisted suicide was already legal in Switzerland, with ingestion of liquid sodium pentobarbital being the method currently used. The Sarco, commonly referred to as a booth, pod, or capsule, can be towed around easily. Once inside, the person wishing to die lies in a comfortable position and answers a series of questions. At that point, they can activate the device when ready. The capsule will then flood the interior with nitrogen, rapidly reducing the oxygen level to 1% from 21% in about 30 seconds. The occupant will feel a little disoriented and may feel slightly euphoric before they lose consciousness. Death is caused by hypoxia and hypocapnia, oxygen and carbon dioxide deprivation, respectively.

  • “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
  • “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16;33)

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

New Covid-19 cases in the U.S. are up 27% over the past two weeks, with             hospitalizations up 19% and deaths up 13%. Many Northern states continue to struggle. New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Michigan and Minnesota lead the country in recent cases per capita. Michigan continues to struggle amid the pandemic, setting a record this week for Covid-19 hospitalizations and leading the nation in per capita case rates.

President Biden announced a new strategy Thursday aimed at fighting a potential winter surge of Covid-19 without enacting unpopular lockdowns as the pandemic approaches its two-year mark. Biden’s multi-pronged approach puts a heavy emphasis on expanding vaccinations to the remaining Americans who have resisted getting shots, and to provide boosters to the now-eligible population of all adults. He’s also changing rules on international travel to require tests closer to arrival in the United States, and requiring insurance companies to pay for at-home tests. But he is stopping short of imposing shutdowns on schools or businesses, ruling them out for now as he works to maintain the country’s economic recovery.

  • According to CNBC, 50 million free tests will also be available at community centers for individuals who do not have insurance. Until recently, the U.S. has not made at-home testing a priority as it is in other countries, says The New York Times, but that has now changed as the White House prepares for a new mitigation plan requiring insurers to cover the cost of convenient, at-home tests.
  • President Biden’s administration will also extend requirements for travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses and at airports and train stations through mid-March.

“The data out of South Africa suggest that the Omicron variant is spreading more quickly than Delta,” Janet Baseman, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington, told the New York Times. Dr. Rebecca Wurtz of the University of Minnesota agreed that, “Omicron is more contagious.” On a more positive note, Omicron may be milder than previous variants. Hospitalization and death rates in South Africa have not soared even as cases have exploded. Researchers at a major hospital complex in Pretoria reported that their Covid-19 patients were much less sick than those they had treated before.

Two Covid-19 treatments are on the way — one from Pfizer and one from Merck — and they will have both medical and psychological benefits. Not only can they reduce serious Covid illness, but they can also reduce Covid fears and help society move back to normalcy, lessening the pandemic’s huge social and economic side effects, reports the New York Times. Both Pfizer’s and Merck’s treatments are pill regimens that people take for five days after a positive Covid test. The pills prevent the virus from replicating inside the body and are broadly similar to treatments that revolutionized H.I.V. care in the 1990s.

An elderly COVID-19 patient has recovered after a court order allowed him to be treated with ivermectin, despite objections from the hospital in which he was staying, according to the family’s attorney. After an Illinois hospital insisted on administering expensive remdesivir to the patient and the treatment failed, his life was saved after a court ordered that an outside medical doctor be allowed to use the inexpensive ivermectin to treat him, over the hospital’s strenuous objections.

International:

Germany last Thursday, 12/2, announced a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated, as its leaders backed plans for mandatory vaccinations in the coming months. Unvaccinated people will be banned from accessing all but the most essential businesses, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, to curb the spread of coronavirus, outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor, Olaf Scholz, announced Thursday, following crisis talks with regional leaders. Those who have recently recovered from Covid-19 are not covered by the ban. The pair also backed proposals for mandatory vaccinations, which if voted through the parliament could take effect from February at the earliest.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that people who are unvaccinated are six times likelier than those who are fully vaccinated to test positive for Covid-19, and are eleven times more likely to die. Various other studies around the world show similar results.

Nevada on Thursday became the first U.S. state to impose a surcharge on workers who have not gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, though the penalty doesn’t take effect until the middle of next year. All but two members of the state’s Public Employees’ Benefit Program Board (PEBP) voted during a meeting to approve a surcharge of $55 a month on unvaccinated workers. The approved proposal also stipulates a surcharge of $175 a month for workers’ unvaccinated spouses, partners, and dependents 18 and older.        

New York City religious and private school workers must get a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 20 or face termination. Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, announced the new mandate this week. It’s an extension of an order that applied to all public school employees. The extension applies to roughly 56,000 workers across 938 schools. Mayor-elect Eric Adams, a Democrat, has signaled he plans to not only keep de Blasio’s mandates in place, but add a new one that would require all school students to get vaccinated.

  • Mayor De Blasio on Monday issued a “preemptive strike,” mandating that all private sector employees in the Big Apple be vaccinated against COVID-19 amid the new threat posed by the omicron variant beginning Dec. 27. De Blasio’s office also said it is broadening “Key to NYC,” its program requiring proof of vaccination for indoor dining, fitness and entertainment–expanding the measure to include 5- to 11-year-olds.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

At least 12 major U.S. cities already have set annual homicide records with three weeks remaining in 2021. Chicago led the nation with 739 homicides as of the end of November. That’s up 3% from 2020. Philadelphia has seen an increase of 13% from 2020. Columbus, Ohio, Indianapolis, and Louisville also set homicide records. Other major cities that have surpassed yearly homicide records include St. Paul, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; Tucson, Arizona; Toledo, Ohio; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Austin, Texas; Rochester, New York; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Milwaukee and Minneapolis were among cities close to setting homicide records..    

A 13-year-old boy who was manufacturing and selling so-called “ghost guns” has been arrested after he allegedly shot and killed his 14-year-old sister with one of his own homemade firearms, according to the Douglas County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office. Ghost guns are guns assembled by the purchaser from parts, including unfinished frames or receivers. This makes the guns untraceable and lets buyers skip background checks. Two people had come to the family’s home in Douglasville, about 20 miles west of Atlanta, on November 27 to purchase a gun that the 13-year-old made, but instead of buying the firearm, the pair stole the gun from the 13-year-old and fled. The boy then shot at them as they were leaving, but instead struck his 14-year-old sister.

Justice: Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. (Jeremiah 23:5)

The U.S. has the world’s largest incarcerated population, with more than two million people in prison or jail. That’s nearly 700 prisoners for every 100,000 residents, by far the highest incarceration rate in the world. Australia is in second place with lest than 200 prisoners per 100,000 people with Mexico a close third.  

Police Force: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler has changed his tune and now wants more police officers in the city. This came after he downsized the police force and discouraged many other officers so much that they retired or quit. That atmosphere – including council-imposed budget cuts, disbanding of special police teams, and wide criticism for force used by police during racial justice protests – has led officers to retire or resign at a breakneck pace and some to accept policing jobs elsewhere in Oregon or out of state,” according to The Oregonian. And how did “defunding the police” work out for the city? Crime increased, and 71% of respondents in a recent poll said they felt less safe in the city than in 2020, which was the year of the riots in Portland. The Oregonian reported that 2021 has been the Rose City’s most violent year since 1987, when 70 people were killed. By early October 2021, 69 people had been killed in Portland, and the number was expected to surpass 1987’s number.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis introduced a plan to re-establish what’s called the Florida State Guard that can quickly aid the response to hurricanes and other emergencies. The Florida State Guard will act as a civilian volunteer force that will have the ability to assist the National Guard and state-specific emergencies. Liberal media slammed the plan as an act of totalitarianism, with CNN failing to note that 23 states already have similar civilian groups, including liberal bastions California and New York.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

Communities nationwide have been outraged in recent months by a string of high-profile cases in which criminals with lengthy rap sheets allegedly committed heinous acts. The recent arrest of Darrell Brooks, a 39-year-old career criminal who had just been let out on a $1,000 bail days before murdering six people in a Christmas parade with an SUV, left many Americans wondering how he was out on the streets in the first place. Darrell Brooks was arrested Nov. 2 for allegedly assaulting and running over the mother of his child, then released on just $1,000 bail on Nov. 16. Just months before that, he was freed on $500 bail in February for allegedly firing a gun at his nephew.

  • Semmie Williams Jr., a 39-year-old man with a 16-page rap sheet in Florida, was arrested Wednesday in the unprovoked stabbing death of 14-year-old Ryan Rogers. Williams has been arrested at least 10 times in Florida for assault, battery, domestic violence, unlawful possession of a weapon and other offenses. Many other examples of career criminals eventually murdering someone show that lenient bail terms have released a slew of violent-prone felons onto our streets.

The Los Angeles Police Department announced Thursday more than a dozen arrests after a series of smash-and-grab thefts across the city in recent weeks where nearly $340,000 worth of merchandise was stolen. Most bailed out or met no-bail criteria, and one is a juvenile.

Retailers and mall operators have stepped up security to protect shoppers and employees as gangs of thieves have taken sledgehammers to storefront windows in organized, lightning-quick operations to relieve boutiques and department stores of as much high-end merchandise as they can carry before police arrive. The attacks constitute yet another crisis for brick-and-mortar retailers, who have pinned their hopes on a good holiday season in order to rebound from the catastrophic loss of sales during the coronavirus pandemic.

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

Legislation passed earlier this week to fund a federal vaccination database “sounds pretty scary,” when one considers the issues behind surveillance of Americans, Rep. Jim Jordan, who voted against the measure told Newsmax. But with the FBI “putting a threat tag on parents,” it “makes sense to be a little leery of this,” said Jordan. The Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act will provide $400 million in taxpayer dollars to fund immunization system data modernization and expansion. 

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters Tuesday that the CDC is expanding its surveillance at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and San Francisco International Airport. The excuse is to conduct contact tracing and perform increased COVID-19 testing for specific international arrivals, including obtaining personal information on passengers from airlines. Federal officials say the agency, which ostensibly is limited to providing guidance for decision-makers, may impose more travel restrictions and rules related to the emergence of the latest novel coronavirus variant, omicron.

  • Every time a new or perceived Covid-19 threat comes along, like the delta and omicron variants, the response of the Biden administration is to further curtail individual freedom under the guise of ‘peace and safety’ in yet another fulfillment of end-time prophecy:
  • For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. (1Thessalonians 5:2-3).
    • The Greek word translated ‘suddenly’ actually means ‘unexpected, unawares.’ The deceived and deluded secular government leaders have no idea that what they sow to the flesh will reap eventual destruction (Galatians 6:7)

Big Tech: But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. (Daniel 12:4)

The Federal Aviation Administration announced a new rule on Tuesday that forbids pilots from using auto-landing and other certain flight systems at low altitudes where 5G wireless signals could interfere with onboard instruments that measure a plane’s distance to the ground. The rule, which affects more than 6,800 U.S. airplanes and dozens of aircraft manufacturers, could lead to disruptions in some flight routes involving low-visibility conditions where pilots typically must rely on equipment known as radio altimeters to land safely. There is a potential risk, the FAA said, that the 5G signals could lead to faulty readings that may make flying unsafe in these conditions.

Mental/Physical Health: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

As many as 15 soldiers stationed in Alaska have died by suicide this year, more than double the number of such deaths in all of 2020 in a crisis that has defied solution. The suicide deaths have sparked alarm at the Pentagon’s highest level. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited troops in Alaska this summer and addressed suicide and mental health, is in contact with Army leaders about improving conditions there and across the armed services to try to prevent “tragic deaths.” Despite the attention, suicides among the 11,500 soldiers in Alaska have continued.

Child suicides grew by 15% a year between 2012 and 2017, according to a July study published on JAMA Network Open. At emergency rooms in 38 children’s hospitals across the nation, the number of suicide and self-injury cases in the first three quarters of 2021 was 47% higher among five-to-eight-year-olds and 182% higher among nine-to-12-year-olds than they were for the same period in 2016, according to statistics compiled by the Children’s Hospital Association. The National Institute of Mental Health reported that nearly one-third of children 10 to 12 screened positive for suicide risk in a 2019 report. Increases among children reflect a growth in the suicide rate among Americans of all age groups. The COVID-19 pandemic, as a health emergency accompanied by disruption and isolation for families and children, has aggravated mental health issues for both adults and children.

  • The godless culture of death is becoming more pervasive.

One in 44 children at age 8 in the United States have been diagnosed with the developmental disorder, a jump from the previous estimate of 1 in 54 children, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found. But a second study offered more heartening news: After looking at 4-year-old children in the same 11 communities analyzed in the first report, researchers found there was progress in the early identification of children with autism. “The substantial progress in early identification is good news because the earlier that children are identified with autism, the sooner they can be connected to services and support,” said Dr. Karen Remley, director of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Many teachers have been forced to leave over mask and vaccine mandates, while many others have left the profession due to burn-out or disagreement over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Rather than abandoning their passion for teaching, some educators are discovering that they can do what they love and avoid the bureaucracy and stress of a conventional classroom by starting their own microschools. Microschools are modern twists on the quaint, one-room schoolhouse model, where small, multi-age groups of students learn together in more intimate educational settings, such as private homes, with individualized attention from adult educators and facilitators. Interest in microschools accelerated over the past year, as school shutdowns led parents to consider home-based “pandemic pods” to help their children learn in small, safe groups. Some teachers were recruited to lead pods, while others set out to create their own learning communities and microschool models.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Hundreds of thousands are protesting vaccine mandates and renewed lockdowns around the world. In Brussels, Belgium, police sprayed tear gas on 35,000 protesters. In Rotterdam, Netherlands, police shot at least two of the more than 10,000 protesters filling Dutch streets. In Vienna, Austria, officers in paramilitary riot gear arrested protesters who carried “No to Vaccination” signs and compared the current government lockdowns to the Nazi Germany of Hitler’s era.

Leftists, denied some of their wish list items by Congress so far, on Tuesday turned their rage onto commuters and visitors in Washington, D.C., blockading streets and halting traffic. Activists were demanding action from Congress on “climate, health care, immigration and voting rights.” Codepink, Extinction Rebellion, ShutDownDC, SPACEs In Action, Arm in Arm Washington DC, CCAN Action Fund and Action Rebellion DC apparently were involved in the traffic disruption strategy.

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

President Biden’s multi-trillion dollar ‘Build Back Better’ will only give benefits to help preschool children if the recipients include LGBT indoctrination. The Biden administration calls gender indoctrination, ‘non-discrimination.’ The White House claims its massive spending spree will give universal preschool for children three and four years old. But the facts are that the government is discriminating against “faith-based educational institutions representing more than half of child-care programs in the U.S.” by requiring they indoctrinate children with LGBT ideology, or telling them they cannot participate in the federal programs.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Tucked inside the stopgap spending bill that cleared Congress Thursday night was $1.6 billion to help the Biden administration deal with the growing number of illegal immigrant kids jumping the southern border. The cash didn’t get much attention, but its inclusion in the bill was an acknowledgment of the ongoing severity of the problem, which the administration at one point had labeled “seasonal” but which is now about to stretch into a second calendar year. The money is aimed at helping Health and Human Services shelter tens of thousands of migrant children and try to find sponsors to take them into their homes here. The $1.6 billion was “disguised in legislative language” in the bill, said Rob Law, director of regulatory affairs and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies.

The Biden administration will restart a controversial Trump-era border program that forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. immigration hearings, in keeping with a federal court order, U.S. and Mexican officials said on Thursday. The United States will take steps to address Mexico’s humanitarian concerns with the program, the officials said, including offering vaccines to migrants and exempting more categories of people deemed vulnerable. Migrants also will be asked if they have a fear of persecution or torture in Mexico before being enrolled in the program and have access to legal representation.

  • Biden ended the policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols soon after his inauguration in January. But a federal judge ruled Biden’s rescission did not follow proper procedure and in August ordered its reinstatement.

In one week, 22,651 illegal aliens from 40 countries were apprehended in Texas near the U.S.–Mexico border, according to a Nov. 2 law enforcement report issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety and obtained by The Epoch Times. Those arrested included 48 fugitives and 13 gang members. In addition, more than 4,000 pounds of marijuana, 669 pounds of methamphetamine, and 87 pounds of cocaine were seized. Also confiscated were 27 handguns, three long guns, and more than $188,000 in cash.

Poverty: Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverebs 19:17) Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38)

Millions of Americans don’t have a bank account, which means they had trouble accessing stimulus and child tax credit payments during the pandemic because they had no place to deposit the money. The situation has accelerated efforts to help the “unbanked” get their own accounts. Now,  roughly 48% of U.S. banking branches offer at least one certified account that aims to help the “unbanked” by cutting out fees for insufficient funds and overdrafts, and requiring no more than $25 as an opening deposit, and limiting maintenance fees to no more than $5 a month.

Supply Chain: He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. (2Corinthians 9:10)

The Federal Reserve reported Wednesday that many parts of the country were hit by supply chain disruptions and labor shortages in November. While these problems have continued into December – with price increases reported to be widespread across the U.S. economy – empty shelves aren’t the only issue for Americans. Pharmacies are reportedly running out of important prescription medications, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows there are about 111 drugs on backorder – including heart medications, antibiotics and cancer drugs.

The main trucking lobbies in Canada and the United States are warning that vaccine and testing requirements for workers will further disrupt supply chains because there is already a dire shortage of drivers. Canada will require vaccines for truck drivers starting in January, while the Biden administration has issued rules requiring truck drivers at companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.       More than two-thirds of goods traded between Canada and the United States travels on roads and highways. For most of the pandemic, truckers crossed the border regularly as they were considered essential workers to keep supply chains flowing.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

After a wild day on Capitol Hill in which a group of House and Senate Republicans threatened to derail the stop-gap spending bill, congressional leaders finally navigated a bill through Congress that would fund federal agencies into February.

Another 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs in October following 4.4 million in September, as workers continue to search for better opportunities in tight labor market. The elevated number of resignations is part of the economic disruption that continues almost two years after the coronavirus pandemic began. Employers posted 11 million job openings, up from 10.4 million the previous month and just below July’s record clip. Since there were 7.1 million unemployed Americans in October, that means there were 1.5 available jobs for each unemployed person, the most on record dating back two decades.

  • Apparently, the jobs that are available are not ones that people want.

U.S. labor market productivity tanked in the third quarter. Paychecks grew and the number of hours worked jumped, but workers’ output fell 5.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis. That’s the steepest decline in the quarterly rate since the second quarter of 1960. Consequently, unit labor costs climbed at an annual rate of 9.6% in the third quarter, reflecting a 3% increase in hourly compensation and a 5.2% decrease in productivity.

Hiring slowed sharply in November despite falling COVID-19 cases, easing childcare constraints and expiring unemployment benefits, The economy added a disappointing 210,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate, which is calculated from a different survey, fell from 4.6% to 4.2%, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists had estimated that 545,000 jobs would have been added last month. The U.S. has recovered 18.4 million, or 82%, of the 22.4 million jobs lost during the depths of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. That leaves the nation about 4 million jobs below its pre-crisis level.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased less than expected last week, while layoffs tumbled to a 28-year low in November. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended Nov. 27. The Labor Department said on Thursday. the ADP National Employment report on Wednesday showed private payrolls increased by 534,000 jobs last month.

Since January, quits in educational services, which includes teachers, janitors and guidance counselors, have increased the most of any industry. Many teachers have resigned or retired early due to the pandemic. States with the highest share of jobs in education are concentrated in the Northeast and have also seen the largest percentage increases in quits since the beginning of this year.

  • People are celebrating their resignations in Instagram reels or “QuitToks” and tweeting screenshots of texts to their bosses declaring they have quit.

Employers in Massachusetts, West Virginia and Maryland are having the toughest time finding workers while those in Nevada, Wyoming and Hawaii are facing the fewest obstacles, according to a Moody’s Analytics study of Labor Department figures released for the first time last month. Broadly, labor markets are tightest – meaning it’s hardest to find workers – in the Northeast and Midwest where working-age population growth has slowed or declined, a trend intensified by COVID

Americans grappling with historic levels of inflation are finally getting some relief where they need it most: Previously-booming energy prices. After a relentless rise, prices at the pump are heading down. The national average price for a gallon of regular gas fell to a seven-week low of $3.35 a gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA. The outlook for home heating costs this winter is also improving significantly. Natural gas plunged by more than 11% on Monday.

Some of the biggest names in the corporate world, from Bezos to Musk, sold a record $69 billion in stock this year as share valuations surged to record highs, new data from Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings show. According to the latest numbers from InsiderScore/Verity, stock sales by CEOs, founders, and corporate insiders have climbed 30 percent from last year to $69 billion. This is also up 79 percent compared to the 10-year average.

  • The stock market is over-valued and the coming depression will bring about a great loss of value, so now is the right time for these insiders to cash in.

Capital One said Wednesday that will get rid of all overdraft fees, the latest bank to do so this year and one of the largest financial institutions to shy away from the long-hated practice. A number of other banks have announced this year – Ally Bank and regional banking giant PNC for example – that they would end overdraft fees or create programs that would greatly lower the chance a customer would get hit with an overdraft fees.

Debt collectors have a variety of ways to contact you, and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau added a new way for them to reach you: social media. However, debt collectors won’t be able to comment on your posts or write up something for the public to see. But according to a release from the CFPB Tuesday, they now can privately message you on social media. The debt collectors must clearly identify themselves, and they also must include a way for you to stop receiving their messages, basically providing a mechanism to opt out.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

The United Nations passed a controversial resolution Wednesday that criticizes Israel and calls the Temple Mount only by its Muslim name, Haram al‑Sharif. The resolution passed easily, 129-11, although Israel, the United States, Canada and Australia all opposed it. The Temple Mount is the site of the first temple that was built by Solomon and destroyed by the Babylonians, and of the second temple that was destroyed by the Romans. It was this second temple that Jesus visited. The Western Wall, where Jews pray, is part of the Temple Mount structure. The resolution says, “any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal.” The resolution calls for “upholding unchanged the historic status quo at the Haram al-Sharif.”

An Israeli woman was stabbed in the back in eastern Jerusalem on Wednesday morning as she walked her children to school, with the alleged perpetrator arrested after a police sweep of the area. Police said that the suspect is a 14-year-old Arab girl, who was taken into custody at a nearby high school. The 26-year-old victim of the attack suffered multiple stab wounds but is conscious and in stable condition. Her children were not hurt in the assault.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Israeli warplanes fired missiles that struck the port of Latakia early on Tuesday, hitting containers and igniting a huge fire, Syrian state media said. It was a rare attack on the city’s port, a vital facility where much of Syria’s imports are brought into the war-torn country. Several missiles struck the containers area in the port, setting some of them on fire. There were no casualties from the airstrike.                There was no comment from the Israeli military, which has conducted hundreds of airstrikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria over the course of its 10-year civil war, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations.

  • Israel has acknowledged, however, that it targets the bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Lebanon’s terrorist Hezbollah group that has fighters deployed in Syria. It also Israel also acknowledges that it attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for the militias.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday urged world powers to take a hard line against Iran in negotiations aimed at reviving an international nuclear deal. Israel has been watching with concern as world powers sit down with Iran in Vienna in hopes of restoring the tattered 2015 deal. Iran last week struck its own hard line as talks resumed in Vienna, suggesting everything discussed in previous rounds of diplomacy should be renegotiated. Continued Iranian advances in its atomic program have further raised the stakes in talks that are crucial to cooling years of tensions in the wider Mideast.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

U.S. intelligence warns that Russia is planning an offensive against Ukraine as soon as early next year, involving an estimated 175,000 troops. An unclassified U.S. intelligence document obtained by The Washington Post, which includes satellite photos, shows Russian forces massing in four locations. Currently, 50 battlefield tactical groups are deployed along with newly arrived tanks and artillery, according to the document.

  • President Joe Biden spoke Tuesday for two hours with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a secure video call on Tuesday in which the U.S. president warned the Russian leader that continued aggression against Ukraine would come with huge costs to the Russian economy.

After a decade of war, Syria’s President Assad has tightened his grip on the ravaged country. In an escalating campaign, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and his financially strapped regime have raided and seized dozens of businesses, even targeting foreign corporations and family enterprises that stuck by him during the country’s civil war.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

Ten people were killed and one person was injured in an attack on a bus carrying workers in an oil field in Syria’s government-held areas. The Syrian news agency SANA called it a “terrorist attack” and said the workers were employees of the government-controlled Kharata oil field in Deir el-Zour province. Islamic State militants have been active in the desert area in east and central Syria despite losing territorial control in the country since 2019. They have previously carried out attacks in the oil-rich Deir el-Zour, where the militants last held territory.

A militant attack on a bus in central Mali killed at least 31 people and wounded 17, the U.S. State Department said on Sunday. Unidentified gunmen on Friday opened fire on the bus as it traveled from the village of Songho to a market in Bandiagara, 6 miles away. The villages sit in the heart of the Mopti region, an epicenter of violence in Mali fueled by insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.

West African armies need a new strategy to combat the growing jihadist threat because improved technologies have given militants the upper hand as they seek to destabilise the Sahel region, Niger’s president Mohamed Bazoum said on Monday. Groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have expanded their reach in the central Sahel since 2017, staging regular attacks that have killed thousands of people and displaced millions across Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.

Human Rights Watch recently confirmed many former police and intelligence officers, left behind when President Biden pulled American troops and let the Taliban take control, are being hunted down and executed in Afghanistan. The Taliban had announced “amnesty” but the HRW report confirmed at least 100 dead so far. And that was just from four provinces alone.

Afghanistan is being hit by multiple crises that are “progressively getting worse” with drought, economic collapse, and displacement all pushing the population into catastrophic hunger, a senior international aid official said Thursday. The onset of winter will only increase the pain for Afghans and drive some closer to disaster, following the Taliban takeover of the country after U.S. troops were pulled out. According to UN figures from early November, almost 24 million people in Afghanistan, around 60% percent of the population, suffer from acute hunger. That includes 8.7 million living in near-famine. Increasing numbers of malnourished children have filled hospital wards.

  • Afghanistan has been suffering from its worst drought in decades since last year, hitting 80% of the country. The drought has reduced crops and wrecked incomes for farming families, driving many to leave their villages. More than 700,000 people were displaced from their homes this year, whether by fighting or drought, adding to the ranks of some 3.5 million displaced from past years of fighting.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

Buildings were in flames and residents evacuated as a wildfire broke out on the edge of Great Falls, Montana, Wednesday morning amid windy, dry conditions. “Numerous structures have been destroyed at this time and to the best of our knowledge, no loss of life or serious injury has occurred thus far,” the Cascade County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office said on 12/1. At least two other fires were also burning in the state. Winds were gusting up to about 50 mph, and were expected to continue through the day Thursday with gusts up to 70 mph possible. Much of Montana is in exceptional or extreme drought, making the situation ripe for wind-fueled fires.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

One of North America’s most active fault lines sprung to life on Tuesday after a swarm of more than 40 earthquakes — ranging from a magnitude 3.5 to 5.8 — rattled off the coast of Oregon. The series of quakes, which began early Tuesday morning and continued into Wednesday, were all clustered between 200-250 miles west of the coastal town of Newport, Oregon, far enough to be mostly undetected on land. The fault line responsible for the quakes is the Blanco Fracture Zone. According to an analysis by Oregon State University, it is more active than the infamous San Andreas Fault in California, having produced more than 1,500 quakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater since the 1970s.

Volcanoes: Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. (Psalm 144:5); The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, (Psalms 97:5)

Mount Semeru, a volcano on Indonesia’s East Java Province, erupted on Saturday, spewing a column of smoke and ash while displacing thousands from the area. Hot ash clouds were falling towards an East Java village, Sapitarang, in Pronojiwo District. Videos shared by government emergency response teams showed residents in the area running away from huge thick clouds of smoke.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

In 2016, a team of Japanese researchers discovered a new bacterium hanging out in sediments near a plastic bottle recycling facility in Sakai, Japan. Ideonella sakaiensis had evolved a novel enzyme, which scientists dubbed PETase, that allowed it to degrade PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) into two environmentally benign compounds that it could then consume for food, releasing carbon dioxide and creating organic matter in the process. The discovery hinted that there may be many more of these plastic-eating microorganisms out there, evolving to take advantage of the new ‘food’ source. Five years later, this has been confirmed. Scientists soon realized they might be able to harness these bacteria and their enzymes to remove plastic from the environment and recycle it much more effectively.

There are 728 U.S. communities that suffer from an antiquated sewage system that combines rainwater, snowmelt and toilet waste into the same pipes, then discharges it all into rivers, lakes and even homes when filled to capacity. A heavy rainstorm in August 2018 dumped 5 inches of rain in Paterson. When the city’s sewage system could take no more, it belched wastewater into the nearby Passaic River, as well as onto the streets and back through basement toilets, including several in Arencibia’s neighborhood. The stench of raw sewage lasted for days.

  • With end-time climate change bringing forth heavier downpours and flooding, these communities will experience more and more incidents like this. As of now, there are no plans afoot to redo these sewage systems.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

The megadrought in the U.S. West intensified last week with the proportion of the area in severe to extreme drought increased from 77.9% to 79.6% as of 12/2. The results by state are: Utah 99.4%; Montana 92.8%; California 92.4%; Oregon 92.0%; Nevada 90.0%; Idaho 89.7%; New Mexico 69.5%; Wyoming 64.5%; Washington 42.8%; and Arizona 34.1%.

Hawaii Governor David Ige declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Hawaii after almost 15 inches of rain soaked some areas of the state in just the past two days. The storm continued to batter the islands with heavy rains and high winds on Tuesday. Floodwaters ran through a community in Kihei on Maui Monday, stranding residents in feet of mud and water. Maui’s drivers had to maneuver around waterfalls created by the deluge on highways.

Signs of the Times Update: December 1, 2021

December 1, 2021

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.(Psalm 103:1-5)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

40 Days for Life, which seeks to end abortion through prayer and fasting, and by holding peaceful vigils outside abortion facilities, with 612 vigil sites worldwide. Since launching its first campaign in 2007, 40 Days for Life has helped to save 20,368 babies and shut down 114 abortion clinics. According to Live Action, 229 workers have also quit the abortion industry. “We’re winning because Planned Parenthood in the last decade has closed 36 percent of their locations,” Director Steve Karlen said.

The Center for Bible Engagement surveyed more than 400,000 people and found that if you’re not reading your Bible at least four times a week or more, then you won’t make significant changes or choices any differently than someone who doesn’t read the Bible. The survey also found that if you read your Bible four or more times a week, your propensity for pornography goes down 59 percent, and you’ll be 30 percent less likely to struggle with loneliness. In addition, reading your Bible at least four times a week means you’ll be 228 percent more likely to share your faith with others and 407 percent more likely to memorize Scripture.

A federal judge on Monday, Nov. 29 halted the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers, although the ruling only applies to 10 states. The mandate, promulgated earlier this month by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), required approximately 17 million workers to get vaccinated or face termination. But CMS lacks the authority to impose such a broad mandate, U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp, a Trump appointee, ruled.

  • A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the U.S. government from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate on government contractors in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, the second legal setback for the Biden administration’s vaccine policy this week. The ruling prevents the White House from enforcing a regulation that new government contracts must include clauses requiring that contractors’ employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

A Missouri judge on Tuesday ruled that local COVID-19 orders violated the Missouri Constitution, ordering local health officials to rescind them. Judge Daniel Green of Cole County wrote that the Department of Health and Senior Services unconstitutionally gave too much power to individual local health officials and directors. “This case is about whether Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services regulations can abolish representative government in the creation of public health laws, and whether it can authorize closure of a school or assembly based on the unfettered opinion of an unelected official. This court finds it cannot,” the judge wrote in his order.

A Canadian appeals court has concluded that a pastor ordered by a lower court to recite the government’s COVID-19 narrative whenever he spoke on the topic now is free to criticize the feds’ actions. Pastor Artur Pawlowski of Street Church and The Cave of Adullum in Calgary, Alberta, Canada was well-known over his blunt refusal to cooperate with COVID cops in Canada, and his harsh condemnations of government efforts to control people through the virus. A lower court earlier had said he must recite the government’s “preferred narrative” about lockdowns if he speaks on the topic, but the appeals ruling canceled that, describing the order as “bizarre and unconstitutional.”

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

  • There is nothing necessarily wrong with a one-world government except that Scripture says it will be overseen by the anti-Christ and the false prophet.

Americans should pay attention to the severe coronavirus-related restrictions on civil liberties in Australia, Canada and now Austria, said the inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology. Dr. Robert Malone, an immunologist and virologist who researched the use of messenger RNA in vaccines at the Salk Institute in the 1980s, warned the virus increasingly is becoming a “platform for advancing other agendas. The future of global totalitarianism is here.”

  • In Australia’s Northern Territory, the army is transferring positive COVID-19 cases and contacts by army truck to “quarantine centers.”

Government: Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. (Mark 12:17)

Congress has until Dec. 3 to avoid a government shutdown, one of the largest financial hurdles facing lawmakers in the next few weeks. In late September, Biden and Congress averted a government shutdown, just hours before a midnight deadline, by funding the government until the beginning of December. A shutdown would furlough hundreds of thousands of nonessential federal employees, forcing them to take time off without pay. Essential functions such as the military, law enforcement and air-traffic control would continue functioning, but discretionary agencies such as the National Park Service would close.

  • Congress has been struggling to address the debt limit, despite the fact that  both parties have previously run up debt which now must be paid. Republicans have stood firm against any further increase in the debt limit.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain) and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

Large portions of the massive 2,468-page Build Back Better bill support a socialist agendas It  will do all the following and more (according to Liberty Counsel: Eliminate the Hyde Amendment, which will make your tax dollars directly pay for elective abortions; Pay for socialized medicine for certain Americans; Give the IRS $80 billion to increase audits and other enforcement efforts; Block all faith-based child care organizations from receiving funding; Establish taxpayer-funded babysitting; Devastate black communities by kicking independent contractors and temporary workers out of their jobs, forcing childcare workers to be college graduates and taking over housing in local communities; Offer state-issued identification—essentially amnesty and citizenship—to illegal immigrants; Pay child support to illegal immigrants; Offer welfare without any work, or attempt to work, requirements; Take more inheritance from children and limit them to receive 50% less from their parents’ property; Create a radicalized, militarized “corps” for climate change, fully funded by taxpayers for housing, food, salaries, travel, etc. Democrats have also tucked a lucrative $2.5 billion tax break inside President Biden’s multitrillion-dollar social welfare bill that would benefit trial lawyers, spurring Republican accusations of political backscratching.

  • This bill must also pass in the Senate where the 50/50 split between Democrats and Republicans will make it harder to pass than in the House, which turned out to be a difficult process as moderates and progressives fought against it and against each other.

An FBI SWAT team raided the home of an activist mother of four in Colorado on Tuesday, Nov. 16, knocking down her door, bursting into the house with guns and handcuffing her while she was homeschooling her children. This is the first known case of the federal government making good on its promise to not only intimidate but actually carry out a raid on a mom who was involved in her local school board politics. The U.S. Department of Justice and Attorney General Merrick Garland issued an Oct. 4 memorandum directing federal, state and local law enforcement to look for parents to prosecute nationwide who may have made “threats” and made “harassing” phone calls to school board members nationwide, equating such parents to domestic terrorists.

  • A whistleblower inside the Department Of Justice has come forward with hard evidence contradicting Director Garland’s sworn testimony that parents speaking out at school board meetings were not being targeted. Documents show the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division has indeed opened investigations, at Garland’s direction. They are categorizing parents’ free speech with an FBI “threat tag.”

Haywood Talcove, CEO for LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ government division, says 40% of the more than $700 billion spent on unemployment went to fraudsters. A lot of that ill-gotten money — $175 billion — went to overseas actors. And most of that, perhaps $140 billion, went to organizations that are state-sponsored. “It makes me mad that there hasn’t been enough oversight, that the tools that are needed when you’re distributing this type of money aren’t in place,” Mr. Talcove told The Washington Times. “It allows our adversaries, the Russians, the Chinese, the Nigerians, the Romanians, to use that money to hurt our country.”

Civic/Religious Freedom: Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

Religious liberty watchdogs are criticizing the Biden administration for removing Nigeria from an annual list of religious freedom violators, charging that it denies reality and is motivated solely by foreign policy interests. Christian groups and religious liberty watchdogs said that thousands of Christians have been killed recently while the country’s security forces have refused to protect them. Christian Solidarity International said Boko Haram and Fulani jihadist militias have killed thousands of Christians, including 31 who were slaughtered on September 26. Millions have been displaced.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

A Nigerian Christian journalist faces prolonged imprisonment following his reporting of attacks against mainly Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt and critical assessment of the government’s response. Barnabas Aid maintained that Binniyat’s arrest “is aimed at silencing any dissenting voice and intimidating both Luka and the southern Kaduna communities.” Despite being arrested and questioned by security agencies on several occasions, Binniyat “has remained resolute in his challenging the information put out by the Kaduna state government.”

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

Capitol Hill police expected up to 20,000 protestors on the morning of December 1, an historic turnout of pro-life and pro-choice advocacy that will likely result in a larger crowd than any Supreme Court demonstration ever. On Wednesday, December 1, the Supreme Court will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Dobbs is the first Roe-threatening case to be reviewed by the Court since 1992. The case centers on a Mississippi law that bans abortion procedures after 15 weeks. The 15-week ban has been struck down by two federal courts. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday 12/1 in the Mississippi case and signaled that it is on the verge of a major shift in its abortion jurisprudence, and is likely to uphold the Mississippi law that mostly prohibits abortion after 15 weeks.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

New Covid-19 cases in the U.S. decreased by 2% over the past two weeks, as of 11/30. Deaths were down by 15%, although hospitalizations were up by 15%. However, cases rates varied greatly by state. On the high side, the New Jersey 7-day average new case rate was up 41%, followed by Connecticut at 40% and Rhode Island at 39%. In contrast, new cases in Wyoming and Montana were down 51%, with Washington state down 41%.

Almost two years after the first Covid-19 cases were detected in Wuhan, China, the fight against the coronavirus continues—and authorities are worried that a new “heavily mutated” variant detected in South Africa could be a major setback. The variant, currently known as B.1.1.529, or Omicron, has mutations that could make it more infectious and reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, scientists say. The variant was detected after scientists investigated a surge in infections in the Johannesburg area. This variant surprised researches who said it represents “a big jump in evolution.” A top British health adviser warned it was the “most worrying we’ve seen.” The emergence of the omicron variant has fulfilled the predictions of scientists who warned that the elevated transmission of the virus in areas with limited access to vaccine would speed its evolution.

  • Richer countries, many, like the United States, have fully vaccinated 60% of their population or more. Elsewhere in the world, the rates are much lower, and many of those who have been vaccinated received shots of “uncertain quality,” not the ones used on Americans and Europeans
  • Only about 6% of Africa is vaccinated against the coronavirus , in the area where Omicron was first detected. As a result, critics are pointing fingers at wealthy nations for failing to fulfill promises to get vaccines to developing countries. China pledged late Monday to provide 1 billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccines to Africa. President Mr. Xi announced the donation one day after President Biden said the U.S. was the global leader in vaccine shipments to other lands.
  • However, last week, just days before scientists discovered the Omicron variant, South Africa’s government asked Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer not to make some planned deliveries of their Covid-19 vaccines. The country already had more doses in storage than it could use — about 16 million, in a country of 60 million people — and officials were worried that further supplies would spoil before they could be used. The problem is not supply, but vaccine hesitancy in a country with severe distrust of their own government as well as a history of external, exploitive nations.
  • Many countries have banned travel from South Africa. Nevertheless, the new Omicron coronavirus variant keeps spreading around the world, with 13 cases found in the Netherlands and two each in Denmark and Australia, even as more countries tried to seal themselves off by imposing travel restrictions. The U.S. banned travelers from 8 south African countries: South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. The restrictions do not apply to American citizens and lawful permanent residents.
  • The first U.S. case of covid-19 linked to the new omicron variant has been identified in California in a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22, the CDC said Wednesday. The patient, who was fully vaccinated, tested positive Nov. 29.
  • President Biden is expected to announce as early as Thursday that all travelers to the United States must be tested for the coronavirus one day before they board flights, regardless of their vaccination status or country of departure. Officials are also considering requiring that travelers self-quarantine for seven days after arrival, even if their results are negative, and that they get retested within three to five days.

National Chair of the South African Medical Association, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, who made an early discovery of the Omicron variant amongst patients, says “the hype” that’s been created surrounding the variant is unwarranted. Coetzee, who is also on the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, says, “looking at the mildness of the symptoms we are seeing currently, there’s no reason for panicking as we don’t see severely ill patients.” “The hype,” Coetzee says, “that’s been created currently out there in the media and worldwide doesn’t correlate with the clinical picture. And it doesn’t warrant to just cut us off from any traveling, and bans South Africa as if we are the villains in the whole process — should not be like that.”

The Biden administration is sending 44 medical personnel from the U.S. military to support two hospital systems in the state of Michigan, state officials said Wednesday. The teams will assist health care workers at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn and Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids in dealing with the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the state, as hospitals across Michigan suffer from a spike of cases as well as a lack of enough emergency rooms and staff shortages.

As families prepared to gather over the Thanksgiving holiday, some hospitals across the country were being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases and staffing shortages. Surges of additional cases resulting from holiday gatherings could make it worse. A potentially weeks-long closure of Mount Sinai South Nassau’s emergency department Monday was sparked by a staffing shortage after unvaccinated health care workers were not allowed to continue work due to a state rule. Officials in Denver said hospitals are filling up, with about 80% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 being unvaccinated. Denver Health said their system is on the “brink of collapse.”

  • About 65% of Thanksgiving hosts did not require their guests to be vaccinated or wear masks before sitting down to turkey and all the fixings this year, according to a Hill-HarrisX poll. Around 11% said they were requiring both, with 01% demanding only vaccinations and 4% requiring masks. Among Republicans, 78% said they were not requiring masks or vaccines. That number for Democrats was 47%.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel warned that current vaccines will struggle with the new Omicron variant. “There is no world, I think, where [the effectiveness] is the same level . . . we had with [the] Delta [variant],” Bancel said in an interview with the Financial Times published on Tuesday. “I think it’s going to be a material drop. I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to … are like, ‘This is not going to be good’.”

A whistleblower charging that a contract research company helping to carry out Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trial last fall falsified data has responded to her former employer’s accusation that she is lying. Brook Jackson’s lawyer has served Ventavia with a cease-and-desist letter, pointing out she has documentation showing she was hired as a regional director by Ventavia on Sept. 7, 2020, to oversee the operations, recruitment and quality assurance of the company’s clinical trial sites. She came to the job with nearly two decades of experience in clinical trial co-ordination and management. Leaked documents and the testimony of two former Ventavia employees corroborate claims by Jackson that during the pivotal Phase III trial, Ventavia falsified data.

Files released by the Food and Drug Administration in a Freedom of Information lawsuit recorded 158,893 adverse events from the Pfizer vaccine in the first two and a half months of distribution, including 25,957 incidents of “nervous system disorders.” The documentation was by a group called Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency, comprised of more than 30 professors and scientists from universities including Yale, Harvard, UCLA and Brown. On page 6 of the document, Pfizer explains: “Due to the large numbers of spontaneous adverse event reports received for the product, [Pfizer] has prioritize       ed the processing of serious cases.” Most of the reports of adverse events were from the U.S. and disproportionately involved women — 29,914 women compared to 9,182 men. Most were between the ages of 31 and 50 years old, 13,886, compared to 21,325 for all other age groups combined. The 25,957 events classified as “nervous system disorders,” mostly affected females between the ages of 30 and 51.

  • No wonder Pfizer wants to withhold releasing their files.

COVID-19 booster shots trigger much stronger and longer protection than full vaccination with two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, according to a small study. The study also found that the response to a booster is even greater in fully vaccinated people who have had infections. “Because these antibody levels are so robust, the booster could potentially give us protection for a longer duration than what we saw for two doses of the vaccine,” study co-author Alexis Demonbreun said in a Northwestern University news release.

When people got reinfected with Covid-19, their odds of ending up in the hospital or dying were 90% lower than an initial Covid-19 infection, according to a new study. The study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine found that there were few confirmed reinfections among 353,326 people who got Covid-19 in Qatar, and the re-infections were rare and generally mild.

About 92% of federal workers and military personnel have gotten at least one coronavirus vaccine dose as mandates are now taking effect, the White House reported Wednesday. Nearly 5 percent have asked for exemptions on religious or medical grounds, according to figures from the Office of Management and Budget. The remaining 3 percent have not shown they are vaccinated, nor have they asked for an exemption.

  • The Office of Management and Budget told some federal agencies and managers that they can wait to terminate or suspend their employees who won’t get vaccinated until the holidays are over, according to a memo that was sent by the agency on Monday.

A 49-year-old Texas man who was forced to be vaccinated to remain on a lung-transplant list died after receiving a second shot of the Moderna vaccine. Bobby Bolin’s widow, Amy Bolin, said that after his second Moderna shot, her husband developed a pulmonary embolism and heart condition and died before he could get new lungs. Amy said her husband had recovered from COVID-19, conferring natural immunity, but was left with no choice about getting the vaccine.           

International:

In Britain, pharmacies offer free packs of seven rapid Covid-19 tests that people can take at home. In Germany, rapid tests are also widely available and mostly free. In this country, the situation is different, largely because the F.D.A. has been slow to approve the tests, reports the New York Times. “The Biden administration has not been as aggressive in fixing the situation as it could have been, but it has made progress. A couple of months ago, tests were often impossible to find. Now, they are sporadically available at many stores.” The tests are not free, however. They typically cost about $25 for a pack of two.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

Four children were killed in a Michigan school shooting Tuesday. Six Oxford High School students aged 14 to 17 are still hospitalized, including one girl who is on a ventilator following surgery. A 15-year-old sophomore who was arrested (with seven rounds of ammunition still in his gun) minutes after police arrived at the school. The 9mm Sig Sauer used in the shooting was owned by the as-yet-unidentified suspect’s father. Authorities have acknowledged there were allegedly threats of a shooting circulating on social media prior to the attack, but say they were not made aware of those threats until after the attack.

An SUV plowed into a crowd gathered for a Christmas parade on Sunday, killing 6, and wounding dozens. The horrific event in Waukesha, Wisconsin, have prompted questions about how law enforcement might have failed to protect the town. Public attention has shifted to the fact that the suspect, Darrell Brooks, was released from jail earlier this month on what some call an “inappropriately low” bail amount. “The state’s bail recommendation in this case was inappropriately low in light of the nature of the recent charges and the pending charges against Mr. Brooks,” Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said in a statement. Brooks was released on a $1,000 bond for attempting to run over his wife with a car. Brooks is also a registered sex offender.

  • Left-leaning progressive reforms have been striving to reduce jail time and promote leniency. This must be done judiciously, not as a blank freedom check. The recidivism for some criminals is very high, and repeat offenders such as Brooks must remain incarcerated for the safety of others.

In another violent incident perpetrated by a criminal out on bail,  a New York City man, who was out on parole for a prior gun-related conviction, on Tuesday walked up to a 13-year-old boy on his way to school and shot him in the neck, authorities said. Hubert Wiggs, 36, was not only out on parole for a 2010 firearms and illegal drug conviction, but he was also out on bail for possession of an illegal firearm in 2019. A controversial bail reform law New York implemented in January 2020 made release before trial automatic for most people accused of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. Authorities have said the law has made it difficult to keep criminals off the streets and that suspects are routinely released for serious crimes.

Washington D.C. recorded its 200th homicide this year, a level not seen since 2003, as it and other major U.S. cities see a rise in killings. A man was fatally shot Monday night in Southeast Washington, becoming the latest victim of months of rising violence that has frustrated and angered city leaders and residents. Homicides rose in 29 major U.S. cities through September compared with the same period last year, according to the Council on Criminal Justice, a Washington-based institute.

Authorities in New York City are seeking a group of four people who ganged up on a man in a wheelchair, beating him and stealing his belongings earlier this month amid a rise in citywide robberies. Surveillance video shows the man in the wheelchair talking to a male member of the group when he is first punched. The three men and one woman continue punching him before dragging him out of the wheelchair. The group then continues to punch, stomp and kick the man.

A shooting in a Nashville, Tennessee, apartment on Friday night left at least three people dead and four wounded, according to a report. All of the victims appeared to be in their teens or early 20s.

A security guard on assignment for a San Francisco Bay area news crew died Saturday after being shot in an attempted robbery. Kevin Nishita was working security on Wednesday afternoon for a news crew covering a story in downtown Oakland when someone attempted to rob the crew and Nishita was shot.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

Mobs of thieves ransacked at least two dozen San Francisco area businesses over last weekend, as smash and grab incidents rage in the Bay Area. “At least two dozen businesses were impacted,” Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong told CBS SF. “Roving caravans of vehicles, targeting cannabis operations, retail shops, pharmacies, throughout the city of Oakland.” San Francisco police said that nearly 12 stores in that city alone were attacked at the same time by a mob of at least 80 people over the weekend.

A group of thieves smashed windows at a department store at a luxury mall in Los Angeles, triggering a police pursuit just days after high-end stores throughout the San Francisco Bay Area were targeted,. The latest incident in a national trend of smash-and-grab crimes targeted a Nordstrom store at The Grove retail and entertainment complex. The thieves struck around 10:40pm Monday, using a sledgehammer and an e-bike to break the window’s glass, Moore said. About 20 people were involved in the smash-and-grab theft, stealing about $5,000 worth of merchandise and leaving roughly $15,000 worth of damage to the store when they fled. Officers pursued an SUV involved in the crime, and the chase ended with three people—including a juvenile—arrested.

A group of five suspects stole about $25,000 in expensive purses from a Nordstrom store in the Westfield Topanga mall in Los Angeles Wednesday evening. They assaulted and used bear spray on a security guard during the smash-and-grab, police said. In yet another incident, a Northern California Apple store was targeted by thieves Wednesday who stole more than $20,000 worth of merchandise in broad daylight in front of customers and staff.

On Black Friday in Lakewood California,, a group of suspects ages 15 to 20 stormed a Home Depot store around 8:30 p.m. and grabbed tools such as crowbars, mallets and sledgehammers before getting away in 10 vehicles that were waiting outside. Also Friday, in the Beverly Grove section of Los Angeles, a large group entered a Bottega Veneta store and used pepper spray against some who tried to stop them while grabbing high-end merchandise there.

At least 30 people entered a Best Buy store in Burnsville, Minnesota, on Black Friday and stole electronics. No one was injured and no weapons were drawn during the incident. Another Best Buy approximately 25 miles away was also robbed on Friday in Maplewood, where six people robbed the store before fleeing in several vehicles,

  • Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said theft is a growing problem at the company’s stores — and it is implementing added security measure to safeguard employees and shoppers. He also noted that his staff is “traumatized” with the fear of having to face an angry mob of thieves. 

Gun Control: When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. (Luke 11:21-22,ESV)

There are 120 guns for every 100 Americans, according to the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey (SAS). No other nation has more civilian guns than people. The Falkland Islands — a British territory in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, claimed by Argentina and the subject of a 1982 war — is home to the world’s second-largest stash of civilian guns per capita. But with an estimated 62 guns per 100 people, its gun ownership rate is almost half that of the US. Yemen — a country in the throes of a seven-year conflict — has the third-highest gun ownership rate at 53 guns per 100 people.

Justice: Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. (Jeremiah 23:5)

Three White men were convicted of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was shot in Georgia last year. Travis McMichael; his father, Greg McMichael; and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan were convicted in the fatal shooting of Arbery, All three men face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Defense attorneys argued that the men are not guilty of all the charges because they were trying to make a citizen’s arrest and that Travis McMichael shot Arbery in self-defense. But prosecutors argued the three men chased and killed Arbery because they saw a Black man running through their small coastal neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2020.

White supremacists were found liable in the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year. The jury did not reach a verdict on two federal conspiracy charges, but did find that every defendant was liable for civil conspiracy under Virginia law. The jury then awarded $500,000 in punitive damages against all 12 individual defendants, and $1 million against five white nationalist organizations on that conspiracy count.

CVS, Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies recklessly distributed massive amounts of pain pills in two Ohio counties, a federal jury said Tuesday in a verdict that could set the tone for U.S. city and county governments that want to hold pharmacies accountable for their roles in the opioid crisis. Lake and Trumbull counties blamed the three chain pharmacies for not stopping the flood of pills that caused hundreds of overdose deaths and cost each of the two counties about $1 billion, their attorney said. How much the pharmacies must pay in damages will be decided in the spring by a federal judge.

Racism/Discrimination: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

The Black Lives Matter movement’s national arm is leading a boycott of “white companies” until New Year’s Day, encouraging supporters to help “end white-supremacist-capitalism” by visiting only Black-owned businesses during the holiday shopping season. The organization also calls on supporters to “move your money out of white-corporate banks that finance our oppression and open accounts with Black-owned banks.” The boycott, promoted under the hashtag #BlackXmas and #BuyBlack, among others, started on Black Friday and ends on New Year’s Day.

Health: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

Brian Shelton may be the first person cured of Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes experts were astonished but urged caution. Shelton was the first patient to receive an infusion of lab-grown cells that produce insulin. Now his body automatically controls its insulin and blood sugar levels. The study is continuing, but the results so far have given experts hope for the 1.5 million Americans living with the disease. “It’s a whole new life,” Shelton said. “It’s like a miracle.”

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Solomon Islands police found three bodies in a burned-out building and arrested more than 100 people in this week’s violence sparked by concerns about the Pacific nation’s increasing links with China. Authorities imposed a curfew in the capital Honiara, after a 36-hour lockdown ordered by the embattled Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare ended Friday. Sogavare blamed outside interference for stirring up the protests calling for his resignation, with a thinly veiled reference to Taiwan and the United States. Sogavare has been widely criticized by leaders of the country’s most populous island of Malaita for a 2019 decision to drop diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of mainland China.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Two lawyers who went to court to claim voter fraud after the 2020 election must pay nearly $180,000 to the defendants they sued, a federal magistrate judge ordered Monday, saying their lawsuit aimed to “manipulate gullible members of the public and foment public unrest.” Attorneys Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker will have to pay attorneys fees of $50,000 to Facebook (now Meta), about $63,000 to Dominion Voting Systems, about $63,000 to the non-profit Center for Tech and Civic Life, more than $6,000 to the state of Pennsylvania and nearly $5,000 to the state of Michigan.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Illegal immigrants from Central America are rushing to the U.S. not because of violence or natural disasters in their home countries but because of jobs, a major new study found, challenging claims that they are asylum-seekers fleeing persecution. The study also calculated that migrants from the emigration hubs of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala pay smugglers a total of $1.7 billion a year to be shepherded into the U.S. illegally. And a staggering 43% of Central Americans have a desire to leave their home countries, up from just 8% a couple of years ago.

At least 27 migrants died while trying to cross from France to Britain by boa, in the worst migrant tragedy in the English Channel in years. The two countries were sparring Thursday over who was to blame and what should be done in the future. Britain reiterated calls for joint patrols along the French coast in hopes of preventing migrants from starting the perilous journey across the channel, and France faulted Britain as not acting decisively enough against trafficking networks based in Britain and attracting migrants by allowing “irregular workers” to be “employed at low cost.” Two people, from Iraq and Somalia, survived and were treated for hypothermia.         

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

Traffic at retail stores on Black Friday dropped 28.3% compared with 2019 levels, as Americans shifted more of their spending online and kicked off their shopping earlier in the year, according to preliminary data from Sensormatic Solutions.

Annual inflation is running at the hottest pace in more than three decades as widespread supply shortages, extraordinarily high consumer demand and rising wages fuel rapidly rising price increases. Prices soared by 5% in the year through October, according to the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index data released Wednesday morning. That topped the previous month’s estimates, becoming the fastest pace increase since 1990. Excluding the more-volatile measurements of food and energy, prices rose 4.1% in October from the previous year.

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual survey shows that a turkey was 24% more costly this year than in 2020. That means a 16-pound turkey costed $23.99, about $1.50 per pound. The 36th annual survey indicates the average cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner for 10 is $53.31 — $6.41 more than last year’s average of $46.90, a 14% increase.

General Mills’ plans are the latest evidence that rising prices won’t be going away anytime soon for some of the most recognizable food and household brands. The company is the latest consumer manufacturer to announce price hikes beginning next year, joining Tyson, Kraft Heinz, Procter & Gamble, Kimberly Clark and others.

Dollar Tree – one of America’s last remaining true dollar stores — said Tuesday it will raise prices from $1 to $1.25 on the majority of its products by the first quarter of 2022 citing increased costs.

Home prices rose 19.5% in September compared to a year ago, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index.

The number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits — a proxy for layoffs — plunged by 71,000 last week, falling well below pre-pandemic levels. It’s the eighth straight weekly decline, a reflection of the tight U.S. labor market and the need by many employers to retain or expand their workforces.

The labor shortage can be seen everywhere. It’s forcing restaurants to close, schools to cancel classes, upending airline flight schedules and fueling the supply chain breakdown with absent truck drivers. A scarcity of workers in the U.S. in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is causing some employers to raise their wages and others to give employees a greater say in daily operations. But businesses are still struggling to retain workers, and schools nationwide are canceling classes on short notice due to a lack of staff. Experts say this could last for years. Although job openings abound, there were 7.4 million people out of work in October. September’s quit rate rose to 3% from its high of 2.9% in August. The so-called “Great Resignation” is causing widespread and rapid changes in the labor market.

Persistent workplace shortages have forced employers and retailers to hire more teenagers to fill the gaps. That’s great news for teens because it helps them learn skills and experience in the workforce, economists say. However, experts worry the trend might lure them away from postsecondary education.

What are the 4.5 million workers who quit last month doing now? A lot of them are starting up their own businesses. Entrepreneurs applied for federal tax-identification numbers to register 4.54 million new businesses from January through October this year, up 56% from the same period of 2019, Census Bureau data show. That was the largest number on records that date back to 2004. Two-thirds were for businesses that aren’t expected to hire employees.

President Joe Biden on Nov. 23 ordered 50 million barrels of oil released from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) to help cool surging energy costs and ease pain at the pump. Crude oil prices have surged to seven-year highs, with global demand seeing a sharp rebound from the pandemic lows. Republicans have blamed Biden’s policies—such as nixing the Keystone XL pipeline project and freezing new oil and gas drilling leases on federal land—for contributing to the rising prices.

  • Some of the world’s biggest energy-consuming nations are joining a US-led effort to release strategic oil reserves to try to cool high prices and tame inflation. The White House said China, Japan, India, South Korea and the United Kingdom would join the initiative following weeks of discussions to formulate a plan to arrest price hikes.

The Transportation Security Administration on Wednesday said it expected to screen an estimated 20 million people, or 2 million per day, at U.S. airports over the 10-day Thanksgiving travel period that began Friday and ends the Sunday after Thanksgiving. That is down from a record 23 million in 2019, but double 2020 levels.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

After Sunday’s deadly terror attack which killed an Israeli and left four others wounded, residents of the Hamas-backed perpetrator’s community rallied in the streets in support of the murder and clashed with Israeli security officials. After evening prayers in a local mosque in Shuafat, dozens took to the streets in what they referred to as a “march of support” for Abu Shkhaydam who was killed by Israeli police. The marchers waved Hamas flags and chanted slogans about their support for the terror group. The parade devolved into a riot as Israeli security forces sought to break up the gathering, firing tear gas as Shuafat residents hurled projectiles at police vehicles.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Israeli leaders are escalating a lobbying campaign against the nuclear deal with Iran, even as expectations are low that resumed negotiations in Vienna this week will produce a breakthrough to revive the accord. Iran has been steadily accelerating its suspect nuclear programs in the wake of then-President Trump’s decision in 2018 to pull out of the deal and reimpose harsh economic sanctions on Iran and its trading partners. The government of recently elected hardline Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said all those sanctions must be lifted before Iran will agree to the curbs on its nuclear programs.

Israel and Iran have for years engaged in a covert cyberwar targeting each other’s military. Now the shadow war is broadening and hitting millions of ordinary citizens. In recent weeks, a cyberattack on Iran’s fuel distribution system paralyzed the country’s 4,300 gas stations. It took 12 days for service to be fully restored. A few days later, cyberattacks in Israel hit a major medical facility and a popular LGBTQ. dating site.    

Iran has attempted to smuggle explosive material to Palestinian terror groups in Judea and Samaria via UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) launched from airports in Syria, Defense Minister Benny Gantz revealed Tuesday morning. Gantz also said that Iran had been “consistently successful” at using proxy militias to create a major presence along the borders of Israel. “The Iranians have surrounded the State of Israel with missiles while sitting safely in Tehran,” he said.

A Saudi-led military coalition said Iran-backed fighters were using booby-trapped boats in the southern Red Sea and that it was working to neutralize the threat to global shipping. The coalition, which is battling Houthi fighters in Yemen’s war, said it was monitoring the “hostile movements” which it described as an imminent danger to shipping. The coalition had taken “operational measures” against the threat, it added. There were no further details. Saudi Arabia and the United States frequently accuse Iran and its proxies of shipping attacks in narrow Middle East waterways. The latest incident came days after the Houthis said they used drones to attack Saudi Aramco refineries and airports in Saudi Arabia.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

A new report from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) estimates that the war in Yemen will have cost some 377,000 lives by the end of the year—the vast majority of them children. The war in Yemen has been described as a proxy fight between Iranian-backed Houthis and a Saudi-supported coalition of Arabs. According to the UNDP, nearly 60 percent of the deaths are due to issues associated with lack of access to food, water, and healthcare. The Saudis have blockaded Yemen since 2015 in an attempt to deprive the Houthis of resources.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

Uganda launched a military campaign against militants linked to Islamic State operating from a base in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. The East African nation’s government blamed the Allied Democratic Forces for terror attacks over the past five months, including two bombings in the capital, Kampala, on Nov. 16. that left at least seven people dead. “We have launched joint air and artillery strikes against ADF camps with our Congolese allies,” Ugandan army spokeswoman Flavia Byekwaso said.

Undercover Taliban agents—often clean-shaven, dressed in jeans and sporting sunglasses—spent years infiltrating Afghan government ministries, universities, businesses and aid organizations. Then, as U.S. forces were completing their withdrawal in August, these operatives stepped out of the shadows in Kabul and other big cities across Afghanistan, surprising their neighbors and colleagues. Pulling their weapons from hiding, they helped the Taliban rapidly seize control from the inside. The pivotal role played by these clandestine cells is becoming apparent only now, three months after the U.S. pullout. At the time, Afghan cities fell one after another like dominoes with little resistance from the American-backed government’s troops.

  • The Taliban executed dozens of members of the Afghan security forces after they surrendered following the militants’ seizure of Afghanistan in late summer, new research released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday alleges.

Wildfires: The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

More than 3,600 giant sequoias are estimated to have been killed by the wildfires that burned in California this year, representing 14% of the world’s giant sequoia population. Satellite imagery, aerial reconnaissance and analysis of response plans were used to complete the assessment of the damage from the 2021 wildfire season to the sequoia forests that grow in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Evacuation orders were lifted Friday after fire crews extinguished an 18 acre wildfire near San Diego, California. The wildfire began in Santee, California, in an area near 9500 North Magnolia Avenue. Fire weather warnings were issued across Southern California as critical fire weather conditions were expected to remain until at least Friday.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

Reports of damage are coming in after a powerful earthquake struck northern Peru early Sunday. The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.5, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at 5:52 a.m. Sunday local time about 26 miles north northwest of the coastal city of Barranca, about 100 miles north of the capital of Lima. Several highways in the Amazonas and Cajamarca regions were blocked by fallen stones. A 400-year-old church lost its 45-foot-tall tower in the quake

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

San Francisco declared a water shortage emergency and is calling for a 10% reduction across its regional system, Mayor London Breed announced Tuesday. “With California still experiencing devastating drought and the uncertainty around this rainy season, we need to make tough decisions that will ensure that our water source continues to be reliable and dependable for the future,” Breed said. California has had a rough year, suffering through high temperatures and low precipitation and numerous wildfires.

Historically, at least half of the plastic that Americans recycled never made it to the local recycling center. It got shipped overseas. The U.S. ships a million tons of plastic waste overseas every year. Starting in the 90s, the U.S. shipped plastic waste to China where the most useful items might actually be recycled. However, much of it got dumped into rivers, which carried the plastic into the ocean. China banned these imports in 2018. Then, the U.S. started shipping plastic waste to countries even less capable of handling it. In places like Manilla, Philippines, some streets literally overflow with plastic. These areas don’t have local infrastructure to manage their own plastic waste problems, let alone imported trash. So, plastic gushes into streams, rivers, and oceans.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

Rising temperatures and rising oceans have for years been framed as the impending disasters on the crest of climate change. But this year, like few before it, changing rainfall patterns have brought flooding downpours to some U.S. states and megadrought to others. Increasing heat has changed how moisture moves across the country. Scientists say it alters the flow of the jet stream, extends droughts, and increases evaporation from land and from bodies of water, including the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. East of the Rockies, heavier rain is falling and it’s coming in more intense bursts causing widespread flooding. As deluges grow in frequency and severity, annual precipitation has increased for more than half the nation. In the West, however, people are waiting longer to see any rain at all.

Warmer weather than usual in the Desert Southwest has residents spending a lot of time outdoors. But they’re not alone in enjoying the winter warmth.  Arizona is home to 13 species of rattlesnakes — more than any other state — and the snakes are also staying outside more than normal for this time of year. Rattlesnakes are most active from March to October in Arizona. In the winter, they brumate underground, meaning they don’t totally hibernate but sleep to avoid freezing temperatures.