Archive for January, 2022

Signs of the Times Update: January 31, 2022

January 31, 2022

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20 ESV)

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 Texas abortion ban reached 150 days as of 1/28, and  is credited with saving the lives of over 11,000 babies. Texas has the distinction of being the first state in the nation to ever have an active abortion ban following the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling in 1973 that ushered in abortion on demand and cost the lives of over 63 million unborn children. Conservatively, Texas Right to Life believes anywhere from 75-100 babies are saved from abortion every day due to the Texas abortion ban — meaning over 11,000 or more babies were not killed in abortions that would have been otherwise.

New York’s mask mandate was struck down by a state supreme court judge who on Monday declared the mandate unenforceable. The judge ruled that without approval from the state legislature, and because no state of emergency is currently in place, the governor and health commissioner had no authority to enact the mandate. Gov. Kathy Hochul said her office is “pursuing every option to reverse this immediately.”

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 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has “persistent deficiencies” in its ability to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies, the U.S. congressional watchdog warned in a report released on Thursday, citing concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. HHS is at “high risk” of mismanaging a future crisis, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Congressional auditing agency, said, noting that the department failed to implement some previously made recommendations to improve its pandemic response. The GAO said in its report  that well beyond the pandemic, there are various threats that underscore the need for being prepared.

  • “As devastating as the COVID-19 pandemic has been, more frequent extreme weather events, new viruses, and bad actors who threaten to cause intentional harm loom, making the deficiencies GAO has identified particularly concerning,” the report said. “Not being sufficiently prepared for a range of public health emergencies can also negatively affect the time and resources needed to achieve full recovery.”
  • As one example of the lack of preparedness by HHS, the GAO said that it had warned about shortages of COVID-19 tests beginning in September 2020 and then recommended in January last year that HHS develop a comprehensive national testing strategy.

Politics: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-2)

President Biden called on U.S. governors Monday to use their state COVID-19 aid funds to boost worker training, keep schools open and hire more police officers. In remarks to the National Governors Association, Mr. Biden urged the state leaders to keep spending the money because it creates “a chance for us to come through stronger and ready to build on any progress.” The remarks reflect a shift in strategy for the Biden administration as it pivots away from promoting the president’s $1.9 trillion climate and social spending plan and toward achieving the same goals with COVID relief funds. “We’ve sent you a whole hell of a lot of money and we’re going to send you more if you keep using it as well as you have,” he said.

As President Joe Biden looks to revive his stalled social-spending plan, he is doubling down on “universal pre-K” as a transformational initiative that he won’t abandon. Biden has promised that all three- and four-year-olds will have access to free high-quality preschool if his $1.75 trillion package passes. Yet GOP resistance at the state-level threatens to undercut a proposal that advocates say could transform early childhood education in the U.S. That could be a big problem because Biden’s plan relies on state participation and matching dollars that would total billions of dollars from local coffers.

  • Liberal progressives want to get their hands on our children as early as possible to begin their indoctrination into secular humanism with all its anti-Godly policies.

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

YouTube has permanently barred Dan Bongino. While the right-wing radio and Fox News host’s channel was on a one-week suspension for violating YouTube’s Covid misinformation policy, another account associated with Bongino posted another video with the same kind of ‘misinformation’. That not only violated YouTube’s misinformation policy, but also Google’s terms of service involving skirting a suspension by posting on another channel. Then, while the one-week suspension that ensued from that second violation was still in effect, Bongino posted yet another video. Hence YouTube’s decision to remove both of his channels and permanently ban him from using, owning, or creating any other channels.

  • First of all, much of what social media labeled misinformation a year ago has now proven to be true. Secondly, social media should not be censoring anything in the land of free speech. Yet another signal that end-time persecution is ramping up just as the Bible foretells.                           

The surgeon general of the United States believes Joe Rogan’s top-rated podcast should be censored because of its interviews with prominent health scientists who come to conclusions based on assessments of data and studies that contradict some of the ever-changing policies of the Biden administration. “When it comes to how we root out the misinformation in society right now and get people access to accurate information,” Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said the focus should be on social media platforms.

  • Recording artists Neil Young and Joni Mitchell asked Spotify to remove Joe Rogan’s podcast or take their music off the channel. Spotify responded by saying it would place links on all Covid-related material for further information from reputable sites. Rogan apologized for the kerfuffle, saying he didn’t necessarily agree with some of the people he interviews and would try to present viewpoints from both sides of issues in the future.

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 student was given a three-day suspension for stating his Christian beliefs in a private text conversation and in a hallway at school. “My client’s religious speech and beliefs should be treated with tolerance and respect,” explained David A. Kallman, senior legal counsel with the Great Lakes Justice Center in western Michigan. “Public schools may not violate the Constitution and enforce a heckler’s veto of student speech. Nothing David did caused any disruption or problem at the school. He has the right to express his opinion in accordance with his sincerely held religious beliefs, without vilification or punishment from the government for holding to those beliefs. Great Lakes Justice Center will defend our client’s freedoms to the fullest extent of the law.”

Last week, Europe’s biggest religious freedom case went to trial. A Finnish member of parliament, Päivi Räsänen, has been charged by the Finnish prosecutor general with three counts of “ethnic agitation,” a hate speech provision in Finland’s criminal code. Each count relates to Räsänen’s respectful expression of widely held Christian beliefs. The three counts involve a tweet from 2019, radio comments also from 2019, and a 2004 church booklet which all were opposed to homosexuality and gay marriage based on the Bible’s declaration that:

  • “Male and female, He created them” (Genesis 5:2) and Romans 1:24-27: “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
    • Prosecutors say Christianity and the Bible are not on trial, but that is precisely the issue – and we will be seeing a lot more of this as the end-times roll onward.

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 per day in the U.S. have gone down by 35% over the past two weeks, although still more than double the previous peak a year ago. Hospitalizations have turned down too by 8%, but deaths, which lag cases by up to two weeks or more, increased by 28%.

  • States in northwest are still on the increase, with Montana up 79% over the past two weeks, Washington up 55%, Idaho up 46% and Wyoming up 39%. New cases are seeing the biggest declines in the east, with Washington, D.C. down 78%, New York down 75%, Maryland also down 75%, and New Jersey down 72%.

U.S. scientists who publicly attributed the COVID-19 pandemic to natural origins rather than human engineering were far less confident in private, transcripts and notes from previous meetings show. “I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature,” wrote Dr. Robert Garry from Tulane’s School of Medicine in his group comments at the time. “Don’t mention a lab origin, as that will just add fuel to the conspiracists.” Now, fresh questions are being raised about what American scientists and federal health officials knew about the origins of the coronavirus and whether conflicting evidence was suppressed and hidden from the public.

As the government continues to send free COVID tests to households across the nation, 400 million free N95 masks are also on their way. Unlike the free testing kits which are ordered through a government website and shipped by the United States Postal Service, the free N95 masks will be available to pick up at “tens of thousands” of pharmacies and community health centers that have partnered with the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

The omicron variant caused less severe illness in hospitalized patients than previous versions of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. Researchers found that omicron patients had shorter hospital stays than those infected with delta and other variants, and less frequently needed intensive care. But omicron’s extreme transmissibility continues to devastate the nation on a broader scale. The average daily death toll reached 2,230 on Tuesday, the highest seven-day death average since last February, before vaccines were widely available.

A new COVID-19 Omicron sub-variant known as BA.2 has been detected in the United States, officials said, coming after officials in the United Kingdom and Denmark published reports on the strain in recent days. UK researchers said an early analysis suggests BA.2 is more transmissible than the first Omicron strain, which was named as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization in November. There have been about 400 confirmed BA.2 cases in 40 countries. The first was confirmed in December, the UK agency said.

  • BA.2, is widely considered stealthier than the original version of omicron because particular genetic traits make it somewhat harder to detect.

More than 1.1 million children were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the week ended Jan. 20. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Children and COVID-19: State Data Report, nearly 1,151,000 child COVID-19 cases were reported in that timeframe. It represents a doubling of case counts from the two weeks prior. Since the onset of the pandemic, the group said that more than 10.6 million children have tested positive for the disease.

International:

As some countries double down on punishing the unvaccinated and continue with draconian Covid-19 restrictions, Denmark has taken the opposite approach, announcing Wednesday that all safety measures will be lifted next week. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the Nordic country is reclassifying Covid-19; it will no longer be considered a “socially critical disease.” The government’s decision, which is subject to parliamentary approval, will be the most far-reaching easing of curbs seen among the Nordic countries.

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.

The C.D.C. has published data on Covid outcomes among people who have received booster shots, showing that deaths among the unvaccinated were 7.8 per 100,000 people compared to just 0.1 for those having received the booster shot. For those who’ve been vaccinated but did not get the booster shot, the rate was 0.6 deaths per 100,000 Covid-19 patients, indicated that the effectiveness of the original vaccines wanes over time.

  • The rates of vaccination differ widely by political affiliation. Only 9% of Democrats remain unvaccinated versus 22% of Independents and 36% of Republicans.

Interest in booster shots is waning, and just 40% of fully vaccinated Americans have received a booster dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average number of booster shots dispensed per day in the U.S. has declined from 1 million in early December to less than half of that number last week. Initial vaccinations also have leveled off. Less than two-thirds – 63% – of Americans are fully vaccinated with the initial rounds of shots, while Wyoming, Idaho, Mississippi and Alabama have vaccinations rates below 50%.

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the company announced Monday. The decision comes more than a year after Moderna’s vaccine – with a brand name of Spikevax – was first granted the FDA’s “emergency use authorization,” and about 204 million doses have since been administered in the United States, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. The booster dose remains available under emergency use authorization.

Data released by the Scottish government shows people who have been vaccinated with two or three doses of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are more likely to become infected, be hospitalized or die than people who are unvaccinated. The Public Health Scotland data from the past four weeks showed a rate of infection of 866 per 100,000 people for the double vaccinated and 481 per 100,000 for the boosted, or triple vaccinated. The unvaccinated had a rate of infection of 413 per 100,000. The death rate of those who have had two shots is about 12 per 100,000 which is more than 50% higher than the rate for the unvaccinated.

A dying patient’s family is speaking out after a Boston hospital removed him from its heart transplant list because he is unvaccinated against COVID. David Ferguson says his 31-year-old son DJ Ferguson’s heart has deteriorated to the point that it will no longer work on its own. DJ was first in line to receive a new heart transplant, but because of his unvaccinated status, the hospital ruled that he was no longer eligible for the transplant.

Vaccine Mandate:

Most of the troops who have seen their applications for religious exemptions from the U.S. military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate denied were deemed by a chaplain to have a “sincere belief,” which may lead a federal judge to block the mandate for them. Approximately 92 percent of the requests denied by the Army were designated by the interviewing chaplain as being based on a sincerely held religious belief or without evidence that the applicant’s stated reasons were not sincere, according to Col. Kevin Mahoney, an official with the Office of the Army Surgeon General and U.S. Army Medical Command. The disclosures show top military officials have overruled chaplains in over 3,800 cases.

  • The judge overseeing the case ordered the military to start Jan. 7 detailing how many of the denied requests were judged by chaplains to be sincere, and the latest figures were reported on Jan. 21.

Most major employers are going ahead with policies to require employees to take steps to combat Covid-19, even if the Supreme Court says they don’t have to do so. A survey by management consultant Gartner of more than 200 major employers last week found 30% still are requiring or will require their employees to get vaccines. Another 50% have policies in place or in the works to give employees a choice between vaccine or weekly tests. Only 20% are dropping all policies that would require action by their employees.

International:

Sweden’s government has declined to recommend vaccinating children under 12 years old for COVID-19 after determining there would be little medical benefit for doing so. “With the knowledge we have today, with a low risk for serious disease for kids, we don’t see any clear benefit with vaccinating them,” Health Agency official Britta Bjorkholm said during a news conference

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)

Murders across 22 major U.S. cities increased 44% in 2021 compared to 2019, according to an updated study by the Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ), a nonpartisan criminal justice policy organization. CCJ’s study points to a continuing upward trend in violent crime that began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, though the organization noted that homicide increases have slowed since then.

The suspect charged with capital murder in the shooting death of a Texas corporal during a Houston traffic stop this weekend is a citizen of El Salvador and previously entered the U.S. illegally, ICE confirmed Thursday.

A 17-year-old student has reportedly been shot and killed in Philadelphia after walking out of his high school. The motive for the shooting remains unclear and as of Thursday, no suspects have been publicly identified. As of Wednesday, the killing marked the 39th homicide in Philadelphia so far this year.

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)

The National Shooting Sports Foundation says there were 5.4 million first-time gun buyers in the United States during 2021. The report said that number was about one-third of all gun purchases, based on information from the organization’s retailer surveys and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. A year earlier, some 40% of the gun purchases were by first-time buyers. The surveys also showed nearly 47% of first-time gun buyers in 2021 asked about training and 43 percent signed up.

Justice (or lack thereof):  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. (Jer. 23:5)

The criminal justice system in California, under the local direction of a leftist prosecutor, is giving a 26-year-old male sex offender who molested a 10-year-old girl a short jail term in a juvenile facility, according to a new report. Furthermore, the individual who molested a young girl will be housed with female juveniles because he now identifies as female. The judge, however, blasted leftist District Attorney George Gascon, because he refused to prosecute the 26-year-old, allegedly a repeat offender, as an adult.         

A 16-year-old, up-and-coming rapper charged with shooting an NYPD cop in the Bronx walked free on bond Thursday — and cops are fuming over it. Camrin Williams, who is also known by the rap name C Blu, posted his $250,000 bond after being locked up at a Brooklyn juvenile facility on gun and assault charges in the shooting of a 27-year-old cop in Belmont. “If anybody wants to know why we have a crisis of violence in this city, or why we’re about to bury two hero police officers, look no further than this disgraceful bail release,” NYPD Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said in a statement.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring, giving President Biden the first opportunity to fill a vacancy on the high court. Breyer, a liberal who is 83, has been the subject of rampant speculation about his retirement. Liberal activists were calling for the justice to retire soon after Biden was inaugurated. Breyer was appointed by former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat. Breyer’s replacement will need to be confirmed by the Senate, which is currently split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Democrats technically holding the majority because Vice President Harris can break ties. Breyer is expected to stay on until the end of the court term and until a replacement is confirmed.

  • On Thursday, President Biden committed to nominating a Black woman to succeed Justice Stephen Breyer as the next justice for the United States Supreme Court. “The person I will nominate will be someone of extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity. And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court.”

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

At least 10 law enforcement officers were shot or killed — most around major U.S. cities — in about a week. Two officers died after a shooting in New York City last Friday, two were shot near St. Louis on Wednesday, three were injured in Houston on Thursday and two law enforcement officers were shot in Milwaukee, each on different days. And on Friday, a Kentucky State Police trooper was wounded by gunfire. Police union leaders have linked the violence with anti-police sentiment, one going so far as to say officers are being “hunted in the streets.”

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 tires of a half-dozen police vehicles, including those belonging to the NYPD, were slashed on Wednesday during a vigil honoring the fallen New York City officers who died after they were shot by a domestic violence suspect earlier this month

Critical Race Theory: 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)

Republican state lawmakers this month have filed 56 bills to ban the teaching of critical race theory in schools and other institutions, raising to 122 the number of proposals being considered in 33 states since last January, according to a free speech advocacy group. The New York-based PEN America said 12 of the bills have become law in 10 states: Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Arizona enacted two laws, but the state Supreme Court struck down the first on a technicality. Texas combined two of its laws into one.

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

A record 14.5 million Americans chose an Affordable Care Act health plan for this year, eclipsing previous high by nearly 2 million. The development is good news for President Biden, who had made expanding access a key goal.

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)

The SAT exam is ditching paper and getting much shorter as colleges debate the future of standardized tests in admissions. The College Board plans to switch the exam to a digital format, and shorten the length from three hours to two, at international sites next year and in U.S. sites by spring 2024. It is the third major overhaul of the SAT within the past 20 years.

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)

American truckers protesting against vaccine mandates and government overreach have been joining a record-breaking Canadian convoy of vehicles headed to Ottawa. Tens of thousands of vehicles were reported to have departed from all parts of Canada. A large number from the United States have been joining along the way. Businesses of different sizes, as well as families in the two countries, have helped the convoys with food, shelter, and gas. Meanwhile, thousands of protesters gathered in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, on Saturday to protest vaccine mandates, masks and lockdowns.

  • What started as a truckers’ protest against Covid-19 mandates snowballed into a blockade in the Canadian capital and gridlock at a US-Canada border crossing on Sunday. Downtown Ottawa remained packed with rigs and cars Monday morning. But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was not there. On Monday, Trudeau announced he and two of his three children have tested positive for Covid-19 and were quarantining at an undisclosed location.

After a protracted legal battle, a judge has ordered a Holocaust survivor and other plaintiffs to pay $159,000 to a group of protesters who regularly harassed an Ann Arbor synagogue in Michigan. US District Court Judge Victoria Roberts found in favor of the defendants, whose weekly demonstrations outside the Beth Israel Congregation have been upheld as protected speech under the first amendment. Judge Roberts ordered plaintiffs Marvin Gerber and Miriam Brysk, who is a Holocaust survivor, and attorney Marc Susselman to pay the defendants’ legal fees. Their claims were determined to be meritless and frivolous.

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)

Former President Trump and his allies say they are vindicated after a Pennsylvania court struck down the state’s no-excuse mail-in voting law enacted before the November 2020 presidential election. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania handed down its opinion Friday declaring that the 2019 law known as Act 77, violated the Pennsylvania state constitution. The court decision aligns with pushback from GOP challengers who say wide-spread mail-in voting caused unprecedented chaos and tipped the scales in favor of Democrats in 2020.

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

Since November, Americans have had a tough time getting out of Afghanistan after the Taliban grounded most flights. This week, a chartered flight paid for by the US State Department and run by Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was finally able to depart the Afghan capital for Qatar with more than 30 Americans on board. Earlier this month, State Department spokesman Ned Price said there were about 80 Americans in Afghanistan who still wanted out—and about 150 who wanted to stay

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)

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz got into a tense back and forth with agents in Laredo, Texas, Friday, as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas paid a visit, as seen in a leaked video. “I do think that we’re losing too many agents,” Ortiz said. “I get it. You come to work, you’re frustrated. You’re upset because you didn’t get the desired outcome that you want. Doesn’t mean you give up.” Some agents chimed in that “you keep releasing criminal aliens into the country.” “You’re getting bogged down in the policies and the politics,” Ortiz stressed. “That’s the problem, chief,” one agent interjected. “For evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. That’s exactly what’s happening here. Good men are doing nothing. You’re allowing illegal aliens to be dropped off in communities.”

The Biden administration’s controversial open border policies are slamming the overwhelmed U.S. Immigration Court system, creating the largest backlog of cases in history. A new report issued by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reveals that the backlog is “growing faster than ever, burying judges in an avalanche of cases.” At the end of December pending cases reached a shocking 1,596,193, according to government figures obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act. Migrants with open cases will wait nearly five years for a court decision determining their status in the U.S.

Leaked video shows migrants being transported on secret charter flights under the cover of night from southern border states to Westchester, New York. “The government is betraying the American people,” a federal contractor told a Westchester County police officer in a conversation recorded on the officer’s body camera on the tarmac of a Westchester airport on Aug. 13, 2021. The footage was obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Reports first surfaced of such flights back in October when the New York Post captured video of the scene at the airport in  White Plains, New York. “Our government is completely out of control right now. They have lied to us. They’ve lied to the American people,” said Astorino, who is running as a Republican for the governor of New York. They are “literally breaking the law,” he charged.

  • New York Republican lawmakers Nicole Malliotakis and Claudia Tenney blasted President Biden Thursday after viewing the leaked footage.  “This is a complete, aggravated dereliction of duty, which is why last night on Twitter I called for Joe Biden to be impeached and removed.”

People in the border town of Nogales, Mexico, said crime is spreading in their community as migrant encounters continue to increase at the southern border. Sonora, the state where Nogales is located, is considered one of the most dangerous places in Mexico. Violent crime increased 46.4% in 2020, according to the Mexico Peace Index. In the Tucson sector, across the border from Nogales, encounters with U.S. Border Patrol are up approximately 41% from a year ago. In the neighboring Yuma Sector, encounters have exploded more than 2,300%.

A body was found and the search was continuing Wednesday across a swath of the Atlantic Ocean the size of New Jersey for 38 people missing from a boat that capsized off the Florida coast. The search began early Tuesday after a man clinging to a capsized boat was found by sailors on a passing barge. The man told authorities the 25-foot boat had sailed Saturday night from Bimini in the Bahamas, bound for Florida, but encountered severe weather. Human smuggling was suspected. No one aboard had a life jacket. On Friday, rescuers abandoned the search.

Infrastructure: But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. (Matthew 7:26-7)

President Joe Biden traveled to Pittsburgh on Friday to promote a bipartisan law aimed at shoring up the nation’s a infrastructure network as rescue efforts were underway following a bridge collapse in the city. He spoke hours after a two-lane bridge collapsed around 6 a.m., leaving a bus dangling on what remained of the span. Rescuers had to rappel nearly 150 feet and form a human chain to retrieve people who were left on the bus. As of late Friday morning, only minor injuries were reported. Later, Biden visited the bridge area. The bridge had an “overall condition” rating of “poor,” according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The cause of the collapse is still under investigation.

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 U.S. economy grew 5.7% in 2021, the fastest clip since 1984, creating a record 6.4 million jobs— and inflation — during pandemic’s second year. The Bureau of Economic Analysis also said the economy grew 6.9% over the final three months of the year before the omicron variant began seriously impacting families and businesses. Retail sales fell 1.9% in December.

The U.S. stock market ended January on a high note, but still chalked up its worst month since March 2020. The S&P 500 rallied Monday to cap a brutal month marked by worries over the Federal Reserve and rate hikes, historically high inflation, corporate earnings, the pandemic, a tangle of rising geopolitical tensions and a global supply chain in deep distress.

A key measure of inflation rose 5.8% between December 2020 and December 2021, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday. It was the biggest advance since 1982. Energy prices alone rose nearly 30% over the course of 2021, while food prices climbed 5.7%. For the month of December alone, prices rose 0.4% — a decline from the 0.6% in both October and November.       Personal incomes increased by 0.3%, or $70.7 billion in December, so not quite keeping up with price increases.

The pandemic rental market – just like home sales – is on fire and hurting those with low incomes and people of color, a new study finds. The demand for rental housing not only reduced vacancy rates to historic lows but also drove up rents, according to America’s Rental Housing 2022, a new report released Thursday by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The overall rental vacancy rate dropped to just 5.8% – its lowest reading since the mid-1980s. Rents are up 40 percent in some cities, forcing millions to move.

Since losing one-third of its workforce at the outset of the pandemic, the child care industry has seen a jobs recovery that’s been slow and incomplete. And now it’s starting to backslide. After shedding 4,500 jobs from September through November, preliminary estimates from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the child day care services industry lost another 3,700 jobs in December. The workforce reductions — coupled with ongoing challenges of low pay and spotty benefits for workers — have economists and policy experts sounding the alarm: If this industry falters further, it could spell trouble for the entire labor market as working parents scramble to find care for their kids.

The Federal Reserve held its key interest rate near zero Wednesday but said it will “soon be appropriate” to raise it, hinting that a rate hike in March is all but certain. The increase would be the first in more than three years and kick off what’s likely to be a flurry of three or more quarter-point increases this year aimed at reining in sharply rising consumer prices.

Since setting all-time record highs in November, several of the most prominent cryptocurrencies have crashed. Bitcoin, the world’s largest virtual currency, briefly plunged below $33,000 Monday to its lowest level since July. It’s since recovered back above the $36,000 mark, but is still down almost 50% from a record high of nearly $69,000 in November. Meanwhile, the entire crypto market has shed more than $1 trillion in value.

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

Israel on Monday called on Amnesty International not to publish an upcoming report accusing it of apartheid, saying the conclusions of the London-based international human rights group are “false, biased and antisemitic.” Amnesty is expected to join the New York-based Human Rights Watch and the Israeli rights group B’Tselem in accusing Israel of the international crime of apartheid based on its nearly 55-year military occupation of lands the Palestinians want for a future state and because of its treatment of its own Arab minority. In a statement issued Monday, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Amnesty “is just another radical organization which echoes propaganda, without seriously checking the facts… The State of Israel is a strong and vibrant democracy that grants all its citizens equal rights, regardless of religious or race. The State of Israel was established as the national home of the Jewish people with broad international support, in light of the lessons of the Holocaust.”

Israel’s Knesset Education Committee held a session Monday on the damage and destruction of heritage and archeology sites in Judea and Samaria, during which Members of Knesset called on the government to formulate a plan for the preservation of archeology sites in Judea and Samaria. Grave robbers and antiquities thieves from the Palestinian Authority have been carrying out illegal digs and excavations. The phenomenon of antiquity destruction is pervasive and affects all sites that are not under preservation, and a survey of the sites in Judea and Samaria shows that a staggering 95% of the archeological sites have been robbed, vandalized or disturbed.

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)

The Palestinian terrorist who brutally murdered Israeli mother of six Esther Horgan in December 2020 challenged her family’s calls for him to be harshly punished in an Israeli military court. He characterized the slaying as an act of resistance that he was entitled to carry out. “The family is saying that we’re dealing with incitement by the PA [Palestinian Authority], but this is not incitement and not terror,” he said. “We’re talking about our right [to resist].”

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)

Russia has over 100,000 troops massed at the Ukraine border. Why? A former ambassador to Ukraine says it’s about bolstering Putin’s standing on the world stage – and inside Russia. It’s about testing the United States and dividing Europe. It’s about protecting Russia’s sphere of influence and staving off perceived security threats. The brinkmanship is “probably the most sensitive and dangerous crisis we’ve gone through in Europe since the end of the Cold War,” said Russian expert George Beebe, director of studies at the Center for the National Interest.

The U.S. is cranking up the pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to stay out of Ukraine by threatening to block the opening of a Russian-owned natural gas pipeline. The State Department put Putin on notice Thursday that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would not be allowed to operate if Russia invades Ukraine. The pipeline “is currently a hunk of metal on the bottom of the ocean,” Victoria Nuland, undersecretary of state for political affairs, said. “It needs to be certified. It needs to have regulatory approval. And no gas will flow through it” until those steps are completed. The pipeline snakes westward from Russia to northeastern Germany for more than 700 miles under the Baltic Sea.

China is once again flaunting how easy it would be for them to send over an invading force to Taiwan. Last week, China conducted the biggest mock invasion yet with 39 warplanes sweeping through Taiwan’s defensive zone. They have been doing so regularly, with fewer fighter planes, to possibly test Taiwan’s military weaknesses or perhaps give them a false sense of security, so that when the real invasion comes they might not react as fast. Or maybe just to evoke fear.

Two U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike groups are conducting operations in the disputed South China Sea amid heightened tensions over the recent Chinese aerial incursions near Taiwan. The Navy announced Tuesday that the carrier groups led by the USS Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln are together practicing communications, anti-submarine warfare and air warfare drills and maritime interdiction operations in the strategic waterway that carries much of the world’s maritime commerce.

North Korea on Sunday fired what appeared to be the most powerful missile it has tested since President Joe Biden took office, as it revives its old playbook in brinkmanship to wrest concessions from Washington and neighbors amid a prolonged stalemate in diplomacy. The Japanese and South Korean militaries said the missile traveled 497 miles before landing in the sea – making it capable of reaching the US territory of Guam. Sunday’s test was North Korea’s seventh round of launches this month. The unusually fast pace of tests indicates its intent to pressure the Biden administration over long-stalled nuclear negotiations.

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)

U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) regained control of a prison in northeast Syria where ISIS fighters launched an attack last week, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led alliance said Wednesday. After nearly a week of fighting and U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, the siege — believed to be the biggest coordinated attack by ISIS since the fall of its so-called caliphate nearly three years ago — finally came to an end. The attack on the prison has stoked fears the terror group, which has flown largely under the radar since losing its territory in Iraq and Syria, could be making a resurgence.

The United Nations has received “credible allegations” that more than 100 former members of the Afghan government, its security forces, and those who worked with international troops have been killed since the Taliban took over the country Aug. 15, according to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Guterres said that “more than two-thirds” of the victims were alleged to result from extrajudicial killings by the Taliban or its affiliates, despite the Taliban’s announcement of “general amnesties” for those affiliated with the former government and US-led coalition forces. The UN political mission in Afghanistan also received “credible allegations of extrajudicial killings of at least 50 individuals suspected of affiliation with ISIS-KP,” the Islamic State extremist group operating in Afghanistan.

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)

The Biden administration canceled two mining leases near Minnesota wilderness, in a reversal from the Trump administration. For years, a proposed copper and nickel mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has been at the center of a tug of war between Democratic and Republican administrations. Supporters said that the cancellation will help protect the wilderness destination that attracts thousands of canoers, fishers and hikers annually.

A federal court has rejected a plan to lease millions of acres in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore oil drilling, the Interior Department did not adequately take into account the lease sale’s effect on planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. The decision Thursday by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras in Washington sends the proposed lease sale back to the Interior Department to decide next steps. In his 68-page ruling, Contreras said Interior failed to consider the greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the lease sale, violating the National Environmental Policy Act, a bedrock environmental law.

  • Energy companies including Shell, BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil offered a combined $192 million for drilling rights on federal oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico in November. The Interior Department auction came after attorneys general from Republican states led by Louisiana successfully challenged a suspension on sales that Biden imposed when he took office.

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)

At least two people were killed, dozens of school children injured and at least 800 homes were damaged or destroyed after a pair of earthquakes struck Haiti Monday morning. The tremors struck the southern peninsula of the country. The main quake struck at 8:16 a.m. local time and was given a preliminary rating of 5.3, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The largest aftershock came about an hour later and was rated 5.1. One of the victims died in a landslide at a salt mine. Schools and businesses closed down. The earthquake struck just 12 days after the nation marked the 12-year anniversary of a magnitude-7 earthquake that struck Haiti, killing more than 200,000 people. This same region was severely damaged by a magnitude-7.2 quake on Aug. 14, and more than 2,000 people were killed.

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)

Last week’s 700-acre wildfire along California’s picturesque Big Sur coastline was sparked by hot embers from a “pile burning operation,” authorities said Tuesday evening. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said high winds blew the embers onto nearby vegetation, which then sparked the fire. Five hundred residents were forced to evacuate. Iconic Highway 1 was still closed as of last Tuesday evening.

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)

Parts of the Northeast were buried in up to 30 inches of snow Sunday as a “historic Nor’easter” released its grip on the region while bitter cold temperatures and strong winds swept across the entire East Coast. Some sections of New York City were blanketed by more than foot of snow, which fell from Maine to the Carolinas. Boston tied its record for biggest single-day snowfall on Saturday, with 23.6 inches. More than 50,000 Massachusetts homes and businesses were without power Sunday. The cold reached even farther: The temperature in Tallahassee, Florida, dipped below 20 degrees for the first time in more than 10 years.

Signs of the Times Update: January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared… The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them… For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways… Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?  (Exodus 23:20, Psalm 34:7, 91:11, Hebrews 1:14, ESV)

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)

A U.S. judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction on Friday barring the federal government from enforcing President Joe Biden’s requirement that federal workers without qualifying medical or religious exemptions be vaccinated for COVID-19. Judge Jeffrey Brown, who was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of Texas by then-President Donald Trump, ruled that opponents of Biden’s vaccination mandate for federal employees were likely to succeed at trial and blocked the government from enforcing the requirement.

Democrats in the U.S. Senate late on Wednesday launched an unsuccessful effort to change the chamber’s filibuster rule, after Republicans used it to block voting legislation sought by President Joe Biden. Democrats fell far short of the 60 votes they needed to overcome a legislative hurdle known as the filibuster that requires at least 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to advance legislation. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin III (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) joined the 50 Republicans in voting against revoking the filibuster. They said they voted to protect the filibuster because it is a tool to protect minority party rights and promote bipartisanship.

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)

Democrats were more than twice as likely as other voters to favor harsh government restrictions being placed on unvaccinated people’s lives, ranging from fines and house arrest to imprisonment in government facilities and loss of child custody, in a recent poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports and the Heartland Institute. Forty-eight percent of Democratic voters said the government should be able to fine or imprison those who publicly question the COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy, while only 27% of all voters supported the proposal. Fines against those who refuse to take the vaccine were viewed favorably by 55% of Democratic voters and just 19% of Republicans. And 59% of Democrats favored a policy requiring unvaccinated people to stay inside their homes at all times, except for emergencies, while only 21% of Republicans favored a house arrest policy for unvaccinated people. And 29% of Democrats said the government should take people’s children from them if they refuse to get the vaccine, a measure viewed favorably by just 7% of Republicans and 11% of unaffiliated voters.

  • Seriously? Take the children away from parents? Favored by over one-quarter of Democrats? Totalitarianism is taking root strongly among liberal/progressive ranks.

Politics: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-2)

Americans’ political party preference during 2021 shifted from Democrat to Republican in the largest move since Gallup began regularly measuring party identification and leaning in 1991. Democrats went from a nine-percentage-point advantage in the first quarter of 2021 to a rare five-point deficit to the GOP in the fourth quarter, Gallup said Monday. A total of 49% of Americans considered themselves Democrat in last year’s first quarter, but that fell to 42% in the final quarter. Survey respondents identifying as Republican increased from 40% to 47% during the same period. Overall, that’s a 14-point swing, by far the largest in recorded history.

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

Over the last few months, WorldNetDaily (WND) has experienced ever-increasing attacks on their popular 25-year-old Christian news website. WND was totally de-monetized by Google (which recently condemned our news presentation as “dangerous,” “derogatory,” “misrepresentative,” “unreliable” and “harmful”). They have also been de-monetized by YouTube, and were confined for over a year to “Facebook Jail,” massively suppressing our traffic. And various ad companies have canceled WND because of our “hate speech” (that’s what they call it when you uphold basic biblical morality).

YouTube last week determined a sermon from popular Christian leader Pastor John MacArthur is “hate speech” for stating both biblical precept and scientific fact. According to columnist Todd Starnes, YouTube “removed the clip and sent me a message saying the pastor’s sermon was hate speech.” YouTube removed the following content: ‘There is no such thing as transgender. You are either XX or XY. That’s it. – Pastor John MacArthur.”

Last Friday, commentator Dan Bongino was hit with a suspension from YouTube, apparently for calling masks “useless.” Bongino was also demonetized for 30 days, the Daily Mail reported, meaning his videos won’t collect revenue from advertising. YouTube’s COVID-19 policy bans content criticizing masks,  according to The Hill. Bongino’s punishment came on the same day that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its information about cloth masks, saying that “some types of masks and respirators provide more protection to the wearer than others. “Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection,” the CDC wrote.

  • Following the ever-evolving science is like being lost in a maze. All the more reason that social media should refrain from becoming a arbiter of right and wrong.

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)

The FBI finally changed its stance on the motivation for the Texas synagogue attack last week which saw a rabbi and several congregants held hostage by a Muslim gunman in an 11-hour standoff. The attack was “an act of terrorism targeting the Jewish community,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray during a web conference on Thursday, which was organized by Jewish advocacy group the Anti-Defamation League. “It was intentional, it was symbolic and we’re not going to tolerate antisemitism in this country,” he added.

New York City hate crimes complaints rose nearly 100% in 2021 and several types of bias crimes also skyrocketed – in some cases more than 340%, police statistics show, as the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg says he is expanding his office’s hate crimes unit to address the uptick in racially motivated attacks. Reports of anti-Semitic attacks accounted for 38% – the plurality – of the hate crime cases covered by the NYPD last year. Also, reports of anti-Asian attacks skyrocketed by a staggering 343% – from 30 in 2020 to 133 in 2021. And, anti-Hispanic hate crimes soared 700%, with 8 last year compared to the single incident in 2020. Reported attacks against Blacks actually went down -11% from 37 in 2020 to 33 in 2021.

The Department of Homeland Security and FBI are warning faith-based communities of an increasing threat of attacks. They also urged state and local law enforcement agencies to monitor their security measures for gathering events at houses of worship, sending out the guidance after a weekend hostage crisis at a Texas synagogue. “Faith-based communities have and will likely continue to be targets of violence by both domestic violent extremists and those inspired by foreign terrorists,” Paul Abbate, FBI deputy director and John D. Cohen, a top intelligence official at DHS, wrote in a letter on Monday.

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

Tens-of-thousands anti-abortion activists gathered at the nation’s capital Friday for the 49th March for Life, held annually on the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. This year’s march could be the last one under Roe with Supreme Court justices considering a Mississippi case centered on overturning the landmark 1973 ruling, which effectively legalized abortion nationally. “We are hoping and praying that this year, 2022, will bring a historic change for life,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life.          

Texas’ ban on most abortions is likely to stay in effect for the foreseeable future, after a federal appeals court ruled Monday against sending the case back to the only judge who has ever blocked the restrictions. The decision by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans means that legal challenges to stop the nation’s most restrictive abortion law next move to the Texas Supreme Court, which is entirely controlled by Republican justices and does not have to act immediately. Abortion clinics fear the case will now languish for weeks if not months, and maybe not until after the U.S. Supreme Court makes a ruling in a Mississippi case that could roll back abortion rights across the country.

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)

The 7-day average of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. dropped from 806,801 per day on 1/14 to 690,448 on 1/23, still much higher than last January’s peak of 251,232/day. Hospitalizations and deaths are still trending upward since they lag the onset of symptoms. Hospitalizations are up 18% over the past two weeks while deaths are up 39%.

  • The plunge in cases has been especially stark in Northeastern states that were hit early by the highly infectious Omicron variant. In New York and New Jersey, daily case reports have fallen by roughly two-thirds from their early January peaks. Cases in the South and West are still increasing, at or near record levels in Alabama and North Dakota.
  • With many people testing themselves on at-home tests, and other infections going undetected, reported cases are an undercount of actual infections.

Order your free at-home COVID test kits at www.COVIDTests.gov, which brings users to http://www.usps.com/covidtests to order four at-home free tests. The site officially launched Wednesday, 1/18. One hitch: People living at the same address may have trouble getting a kit if someone else living there has already put in an order. If you live in an apartment or duplex, be sure to enter your apartment number in the main street address field rather than the one marked “Apt/Suite/Other.” However, the postal service says that due to labor shortages, delivery of the test kits may not be as timely as orderers might expect.

  • Consumers can buy home tests online or in stores and have them paid for at the time of purchase or get reimbursed by submitting a claim to their insurer. They do not need to visit their doctor or get a prescription to obtain the free tests. However, Medicare is not subject to the insurance requirement, so tens of millions of senior citizens and Americans with disabilities will not get reimbursed.

The omicron wave of COVID-19 is straining hospitals in some regions of the country, even as a growing number of states have seen cases plateau or decline in the past seven days. Hospitals across the country are still seeing the effects of the surge of cases coupled with staffing shortages. In Alabama, cases have doubled in the past week and ICUs entered negative numbers of available beds. Medical personnel being infected with or exposed to COVID has become an increasing problem. medical personnel being infected with or exposed to COVID has become an increasing problem.

Contrary to what mass mainstream media would have you assume, coronaviruses aren’t uncharted territory. In fact, human coronaviruses are responsible for 15-30% of common colds each year. More severe cases of coronavirus infections were observed during outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS), two coronavirus infections that led to pneumonia in some individuals who were infected.

The percentage of omicron cases causing severe illness is much lower than it was with the Delta variant. And vaccines — particularly after a booster shot — remain extremely effective in preventing hospitalization and death. Some of the clearest research on Covid’s risks comes from a team of British researchers led by Dr. Julia Hippisley-Cox of the University of Oxford in determining risk of dying:

  • A typical 65-year-old American woman  is five foot three inches tall and weighs 166 pounds. If she had been vaccinated and did not have a major Covid risk factor, like an organ transplant, her chance of dying after contracting Covid would be 1 in 872, according to the calculator. For a typical 65-year-old man, the risk would be 1 in 434. Among 75-year-olds, the risk would be 1 in 264 for a typical woman and 1 in 133 for a typical man.
  • In the 2019-20 flu season, about 1 out of every 138 Americans 65 and older who had flu symptoms died from them, according to the CDC, versus a 653 average for males/females from  Covid-19.

The Food and Drug Administration could soon restrict the use of two monoclonal antibody treatments after finding that they don’t work against omicron. The infusions from Regeneron and Eli Lilly were powerful tools against previous variants but were rendered ineffective by omicron’s many mutations. The Biden administration is expected to pause their distribution to states. One monoclonal antibody, sotrovimab, remains effective against omicron but supplies are limited.

More than three-quarters of Covid-19 deaths have been among seniors, and one-quarter of the deaths were among those 85 and older. Less than 0.2% of Covid-19 deaths in the United States have been among children, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children account for about one in five people in the U.S. population overall, but just one in every 645 Covid-19 deaths and one in every six Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

The White House announced plans to distribute 400 million free N95 masks starting next week. Adults will be able to get up to three masks each at thousands of pharmacies and federal community health centers. The distribution of the masks is the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in U.S. history, said a White House official. The program will be “fully up and running by early February.”

  • Once again too little, too late. By early February, omicron will be in steep decline.

The administration of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer underreported the number of nursing home residents who died from COVID-19 by 30 percent, according to a report by the state’s auditor general. Auditor General Doug Ringler has been haggling with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for months over the numbers and how to count them. His final report was made public on Jan. 17.             The audit found that 8,061 elderly Michiganders died of the disease in the state’s nursing homes between March 2020 and July 2, 2021. The officially posted death toll is 5,675, as self-reported by the state’s extended care facilities, which is required by law.

  • Disgraced former NY Governor Cuomo also covered up the full extent of nursing home deaths.

Two men on ventilators—one in Florida and one in Arizona—died within 24 hours of each other, even as their families were still fighting with hospitals for the chance to try alternative treatments. After all other treatments offered by the hospitals failed, both families had begged to try ivermectin and other alternative treatments for COVID-19, as outlined in a protocol by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. Both hospitals repeatedly refused the families’ requests for alternative treatments, and have not responded to repeated requests for comment by The Epoch Times. Mayo Clinic vigorously fought the Pisano family’s efforts in court and won, then won again when the family appealed the first judge’s decision.

  • A Massachusetts man and pizza shop owner died while waiting for a hospital bed to open up within a 75-miled radius after contracting COVID-19  

International:

Restrictions including COVID-19 passes, mask mandates, and work-from-home guidance will be removed in England, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday. Johnson also suggested that self-isolation rules may also be thrown out at the end of March as the coronavirus pandemic becomes endemic. The COVID pass mandate for nightclubs and large events won’t be renewed when it expires on Jan. 26. And starting Thursday, indoor mask-wearing will no longer be compulsory anywhere in England. People who test positive for COVID-19 and their unvaccinated contacts are still required to self-isolate.

France and Ireland are following England in announcing the lifting of a host of COVID-19 restrictions. The majority of COVID restrictions in Ireland were rescinded 6 a.m. Saturday, including vaccine passports. In France, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a timetable on Thursday for dispensing with some COVID restrictions. Among them are the mandatory wearing of masks in outdoor locations and the closing of nightclubs and stadiums. The prime minister said the government could suspend its vaccine passports if the situation regarding the pandemic improves further.

Australia has been criticized for its ‘COVID zero’ policy. It locked down the country. The borders were closed, and concentration-like camps were built. The nation is now super-vaccinated as well, with every state having an 80 percent rate among those who are 16 years of age or older. With Omicron now sweeping through the country, as it’s doing everywhere else, the government isn’t locking down again. They’re allowing it to burn through. The new approach is the “let it rip” protocol. Given that Omicron is mild and the population is highly vaccinated, the outcomes aren’t as devastating, this time.

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.

In December, unvaccinated people 50 and older were 17 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who had completed the initial immunization series, but hadn’t yet received a booster, according to statistics published Thursday on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. Among those ages 50-64, unvaccinated people were 44 more times to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated and had a booster shot. Among Americans over 65, the chances of hospitalization for COVID-19 was 49 times higher for those who were unvaccinated than for those with full vaccination and a booster. The findings suggest that booster shots provide older Americans with a significant added level of protection

The protection afforded by booster shots is “remarkably high,” as Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Research wrote. Switzerland has begun reporting Covid deaths among three different groups of people: the unvaccinated; the vaccinated who have not received a booster shot; and the vaccinated who have been boosted (typically with a third shot). The first two shots still provide a lot of protection, but the booster makes a meaningful difference. Deaths per 100,000 people were approximately 13 for the unvaccinated, less than 3 for the vaccinated, but no booster shot, and about 0.5 for the fully vaccinated. The extra booster doses are 90% effective against hospitalization with the omicron variant, the agency reported. Booster shots also reduce the likelihood of a visit to an emergency department or urgent care clinic.

  • At a time when hospitalizations are higher than they’ve ever been. Booster uptake has slowed, with just 39% of vaccinated people having gotten the additional shot.

Antibodies capable of fending off the omicron variant stick around for four months after a third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a new study shows. The non-peer-reviewed research, published Saturday, offers early evidence that the additional doses broaden this first line of immune defense in a way not seen with two shots. It also suggests that an additional booster shot may not be needed right away to fight omicron. But the results need to be replicated and studied over a longer period before officials start using them to formulate health policies.

White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has dismissed the power of natural immunity from a previous COVID infection. However, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found natural immunity was superior to vaccine-produced immunity during the delta surge. The study, released Wednesday, concluded “infection-derived protection was higher after the Delta variant became predominant, a time when vaccine-induced immunity for many persons declined because of immune evasion” and declining immune protection.

Now that the Supreme Court has blocked a mandate requiring workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine, businesses must weigh how to move forward. Some companies are pressing ahead with a vaccine requirement. Others are putting such mandates on pause, and still others may be breathing a sigh of relief that they don’t have to impose a policy that could turn off prospective hires in a tight job market. “They’re all over the map,” says David Miller, a labor and employment attorney with Bryant Miller Olive in Miami.  Mandates remain at United Airlines, Carhartt and  Citigroup. Among U.S. workers, 36% say their company requires employees to be vaccinated, according to a Gallup survey conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 5. Another 43% say their employer encourages vaccination but doesn’t require it.

International:

The Israeli Ministry of Health announced this week that more than 72,000 people tested positive for Covid-19, the largest rise in infections since the start of the pandemic. Total active cases in the country rose to nearly 400,000 people, of whom 533 are currently hospitalized in critical condition. Israel, which has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world with already nearly half of its citizens having received three shots, is leading the world in new daily cases per capita.

A landmark Israeli study conducted over the past month is finding that a fourth Pfizer booster shot is only partially effective in protecting against the omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19. A lead researcher, Gili Regev-Yochay, said “we see many infected with omicron who received the fourth dose,” reported the Times of Israel. Among the Israelis who became infected with the omicron variant after a fourth dose was the nation’s finance minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who got COVID-19 five days after his second booster. The study was conducted by the Sheba Medical Center in Israel, which published a statement calling for “continuing the vaccination drive for risk groups at this time, even though the vaccine doesn’t provide optimal protection against getting infected with the variant.”

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)

From 1991 to 2014, America’s murder rate plummeted by more than half. In 2020, murders in the United States spiked more than 27 percent — the largest percentage increase in at least six decades. Last year, murders went up again, reports the New York Times. While murders and violent crime overall are up, other crimes are down. Shootings are historically concentrated in impoverished, minority communities. Most homicide victims are Black. And Black Americans were eight times as likely to be murder victims in 2020 as their white counterparts.

  • In this NYT report, they failed to mention the ‘defund the police’ movement and the soft-on-crime policies -such as releasing felons on low bail – as factors in the rise in homicides.

A spate of violence in New York City is increasing pressure on newly-elected Mayor Eric Adams to deliver on his promise of bolstering public safety. On Friday, one police officer was killed and another critically wounded when a gunman opened fire on them inside a Harlem apartment. They were the third and fourth officers to be shot in the line of duty this week. Last weekend, an Asian-American woman was shoved in front of a moving train in Times Square. On Wednesday, an 11-month-old baby was shot in the face in the Bronx.

In Chicago, five children were shot over a 24-hour period through Tuesday, 1/17. Chicago Pastor Corey Brooks said, “If this happened in any other community in America, it would be total outrage, and I mean, outrage… Where is Black Lives Matter? Where is … unfortunately, I have to say it, the NAACP? Where are all these organizations that say they support and are committed to black lives, but when we have five young people shot, no one is saying a word?… But because it’s on the South Side of Chicago, because it’s some little black boys and little black girls, nobody really gives a damn.” 

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 Los Angeles County deputy district attorney slammed progressive criminal justice policies as well as their architects, including his own boss, George Gascón, in the wake of a brutal stabbing that left a father grieving his daughter, a California grad student. “We are not focused on victims, we are not focused on public safety, and in Los Angeles County you know, my boss, George Gascón, has a soft spot for criminals,” John McKinney said. “He has created an environment where crime thrives here in Los Angeles County by explicitly telling the criminal community you can commit crimes, certain crimes I will not prosecute you at all,” said McKinney.

The state’s Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, who’s running for governor, urged state leaders on Tuesday to begin impeachment proceedings against liberal Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. Corman said Krasner has “created a culture of violence and death” and action must be taken. Corman called for impeachment because of the crime surge in Philadelphia, including 560 homicides in 2021. Corman wrote in his letter to lawmakers that only 21 percent of shootings in Philadelphia have led to criminal charges since 2015.

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.

Carjackings have risen dramatically over the past two years in some of America’s biggest cities. Just outside Chicago, a state senator’s car and other valuables were taken at gunpoint in December, and a group of children, one just 10 years old, carjacked more than a dozen people. A rideshare driver being carjacked shot his attackers earlier this month in Philadelphia. Last March, a 12-year-old in Washington, DC was arrested and charged with four counts of armed carjacking. “The majority of it is young joyriders. They’re not keeping the cars. They’re jacking cars to commit another crime, typically more serious robberies or shootings, or joyriding around for the sake of social media purpose and street cred,” said Christopher Herrmann, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “It’s a disturbing trend.”

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)

More than 30,000 protestors came to Washington, D.C., Sunday, calling for nationwide COVID-19 vaccine mandates to come to an end. The protest began at approximately noon at the Washington Monument, eventually moving to the Lincoln Memorial where speakers shared their reasons for calling for the mandates to end.

Dozens of activists were arrested Tuesday after refusing to leave the U.S. Capitol steps. “This is our house, this is a civil disobedience” activists said as they moved passed Capitol Police officers towards the steps, where they sat and chanted, pleading the Senate pass voting rights legislation.

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)

At least 25 federal agencies have implemented a system to track religious exemption requests for mandated vaccines, according to a review of Federal Register notices by The Epoch Times. The agencies include the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, the Treasury, the Social Security Administration, the Federal Election Commission.

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)

AT&T and Verizon will delay launching new wireless service near key airports after the nation’s largest airlines said the service would interfere with aircraft technology and cause widespread flight disruptions. The companies said they will launch 5G or fifth-generation service Wednesday, but they will delay turning on 5G cell towers within a 2-mile radius of runways designated by federal officials. The showdown between the airline and telecom industries and their rival regulators—the FAA and the Federal Communications Commission—is a crisis years in the making. Airlines fear that 5G will interfere with their altimeters. The new high-speed wireless service uses a segment of the radio spectrum that is close to that used by altimeters, which measure the height of aircraft above the ground, extremely important when visibility is poor.

  • AT&T and Verizon say their equipment will not interfere with aircraft electronics, and that the technology is being safely used in 40 other countries. Europe rolled out 5G without a hitch.

Tattoos: You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:28) 

A 2015 survey of 2,225 U.S. adults by The Harris Poll found 29% of people have tattoos, up from 21% just four years ago. What’s more, few inked Americans stop at one; among those with any tattoos, 69% have two or more. Tattoos are especially prevalent among younger Americans, with nearly half of Millennials (47%) and over a third of Gen Xers (36%) saying they have at least one, compared to 13% of Baby Boomers and one in ten Matures (10%).

  • The Bible’s admonition about tattoos is concerned with possible health issues. Some inks contain pigments used in printer toner or in car paint. The FDA has not approved any pigments for injection into the skin for cosmetic purposes. While you can get serious infections from unhygienic practices and equipment that isn’t sterile, infections can also result from ink that was contaminated with bacteria or mold. You might notice a rash—redness or bumps—in the area of your tattoo, and you could develop a fever. Scar tissue may form when you get a tattoo, or you could develop “granulomas,” small knots or bumps that may form around material that the body perceives as foreign.

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.

The most decorated Olympian of all time is calling for a “level playing field” in light of a transgender swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania breaking records. American Michael Phelps, the winner of 28 Olympic medals including 23 golds, said, “We all should feel comfortable with who we are in our own skin. But I think sports should be played on an even playing field.”

The NCAA changed its policy regarding transgender athletes, it announced Wednesday. The new approach to allowing transgender athletes will follow a sport-by-sport model similarly adopted by the U.S. and international Olympic committees. The NCAA said if there was no international federation policy then the previously established IOC policy criteria would be followed. Each particular sport’s national governing body will be responsible for determining transgender athlete participation. If a sport does not have a national governing body, the international federation policy will be enacted.”

  • The net effect of this policy change is to pass the responsibility elsewhere.

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)

Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country are approving a wave of new voting restrictions on virtually party-line votes that require only a simple majority to pass. Meanwhile, the equally-divided Senate is unlikely to pass the Democrats voting rights act which requires 60 votes out of 100 to pass – especially with Democratic Senators Sinema and Manchin unwilling to go along with attempts to eliminate the filibuster rules.

  • As CNN laments, “Voting rights is the most dramatic example of how the axis of Republican-controlled state governments, the GOP-appointed majority on the Supreme Court and filibusters mounted by Senate Republicans is limiting Democrats’ ability to set the national agenda, even as they hold unified control of the White House, House and Senate for the first time since 2010.”

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

Starting Saturday, non-U.S. travelers who wish to enter the United States via ferry terminals or land ports of entry at the U.S.–Mexico or U.S.–Canada borders must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced.

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)

Recent wintry weather has put further strain on a supply chain already bogged down by labor shortages, shipping woes and surging COVID-19 cases. The shortages hit home late last week through early this week, when shoppers in areas affected by Winter Storm Izzy went to stock up on groceries, only to find shelves bare in areas including Atlanta and New York. Because of their short shelf lives, perishable goods are most vulnerable when weather disrupts deliveries.

Taxes:  He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Luke 20:25)

The IRS is staring down a tax season that promises to bring complications and potential delays for taxpayers, given an IRS worker shortage, administering millions of stimulus checks and adapting to other pandemic-related tax changes, as well as a massive backlog of unprocessed paper returns. The agency is also grossly understaffed; it has 20,000 fewer staff than it did in 2010, and its budget is roughly $11.4 billion – 20% less than it was in 2010, when adjusted for inflation, according to the Congressional Budget Office. On top of that, more than 20% of the IRS customer service workforce has been unable to work for pandemic-related health reasons over the last two years.

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 number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in three months as the fast-spreading omicron variant continued to disrupt the job market. Jobless claims rose for the third straight week – by 55,000 to 286,000, highest since mid-October, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The jump in claims marked the biggest one-week increase since mid-July.

The percentage of the adult population not working because of Covid-related reasons tripled between December and January, according to the latest Household Pulse Survey of roughly 75,000 respondents from the Census Bureau. The share of adults not working due to virus-related reasons jumped from 1.2% in December to 3.5% in January. That’s equivalent to 12 million people who were not working because they were sick with the virus, taking care of someone who was, or were fearful of getting sick.

With over 4 million job quits last month, in turns out that the “Great Resignation” isn’t just for rank-and-file workers. Corporate CEOs are quitting their jobs in significant numbers amid the coronavirus pandemic, employment experts say.

The average transaction price for a new car was $46,426 in December 2021, according to Edmunds, up $5,850 — or 14% — from a year prior. Used car prices ended the year with an average price of nearly $30,000, up about $6,800 — or 29% — from a year earlier. The median home sales price was $346,900 in 2021, up 16.9% from 2020.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has gone up abruptly in January on concerns that the Federal Reserve could end up raising rates up to four times in 2022. The average 30-year rate was 3.08% back in mid-November last year but had shot up to 3.54% by last week

As an overheated housing market puts the dream of homeownership out of reach of many ordinary Americans, manufactured homes are growing in popularity because their cost is roughly half that of homes built on a permanent site. And these are nothing like the mobile homes or double-wide trailers of yore. Lesli Gooch, CEO of Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), a national trade organization, says, “Today’s manufactured homes are built to a federal building code, are structurally secure and resilient, energy-efficient and include a range of modern features that today’s consumers want.”

Uncertainty around the Federal Reserve’s plans last week drove Wall Street to its worst week since the start of the pandemic. Russia’s impending invasion of Ukraine and rising inflation have also given investors the jitters.

The 10 richest men doubled their fortunes during the pandemic, according to a new report published Monday by economic justice and advocacy group Oxfam. Official data from the report noted that the collective salaries of the 10 richest men, which include Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, increased from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion from March of 2020 to November 2021.

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)

The United States is unlikely to strike an agreement with Iran to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal unless Tehran releases four U.S. citizens Washington says it is holding hostage, the lead U.S. nuclear negotiator told Reuters on Sunday. The official, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley, repeated the long-held U.S. position that the issue of the four people held in Iran is separate from the nuclear negotiations. He moved a step closer, however, to saying that their release was a precondition for a nuclear agreement. “They’re separate and we’re pursuing both of them. But I will say it is very hard for us to imagine getting back into the nuclear deal while four innocent Americans are being held hostage by Iran,” Malley told Reuters.

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)

The United States on Tuesday upped its threat assessment of a potentially imminent Russian attack against Ukraine. “We believe we’re now at a stage where Russia could at any point launch an attack on Ukraine,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. With tens of thousands of Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s borders, diplomatic efforts are intensifying to avert war on Europe’s eastern fringe. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken flew to Ukraine for talks on Wednesday, with subsequent stops in Berlin to meet European allies on Thursday, and Geneva to sit down with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday.

  • NATO is sending more ships and fighter jets to Eastern Europe as Russia continues to mass troops on the Ukraine border. The moves came after the United States on Sunday ordered families of diplomats to leave Kyiv and authorized nonessential diplomatic staff to leave Ukraine.
  • The Biden administration is in the final stages of identifying specific military units it wants to send to Eastern Europe and writing up the military orders in an effort to deter Russia from invading Ukraine.
  • With the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Israeli government ministers met Sunday in a closed-door meeting to discuss strategy for absorbing tens of thousands of Ukrainians of Jewish heritage who qualify for Israeli citizenship.

Syrian fighters backed by American airstrikes struggled to retake control of a prison attacked by Islamic State in northeastern Syria on Sunday, as the militant group’s attempt to replenish its ranks with freed prisoners sparked the area’s worst sustained fighting in years. The prison attack, which began last week, was one of the most complex and brazen Islamic State operations in Syria and Iraq in the past three years. It involved sleeper cells, suicide bombers and an insurrection inside the prison, said the Syrian Democratic Forces, the U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led militia that controls a section of northeastern Syria that is autonomous from the regime in Damascus.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they were behind aerial attacks in the United Arab Emirates that killed three people and injured six on Monday, as intensifying fighting in a 7-year-old civil war spills out across the broader Middle East. The Houthis, who are backed by Iran, said they had targeted Abu Dhabi with ballistic and cruise missiles and a large number of drones in retaliation for a recent escalation by the U.A.E. in Yemen, where Emirati-backed militants last week dealt the Houthis an unexpected defeat in the oil-rich province of Shabwa. The Emiratis have intensified their efforts recently in support of local militants in Yemen in a Saudi-led coalition. The showed that the Houthis are willing to strike in the heart of a country seen as the region’s main hub for international business.

  • In response, the Saudi-led coalition carried out airstrikes in San’a, the Houthi-held Yemeni capital, Saudi state media said. At least 70 people were killed and more than 130 injured when an airstrike hit a detention center in Yemen on Friday, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said, as the Saudi-led coalition continued to ramp up its deadly offensive on rebels in the war-torn nation. Another airstrike early Friday hit a telecommunications building in the strategic port city of Hodeidah, causing a nationwide internet blackout. A coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates launched an offensive in 2015 to restore Yemen’s internationally recognized government, after it was ousted by the Houthis.
    • The United Arab Emirates intercepted two ballistic missiles targeting Abu Dhabi early Monday, state media reported, the latest attack to target the Emirati capital.

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)

Newsmax reports that the Islamist gunman who took four people hostage at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, belonged to a Pakistan-based Islamic extremist group called Tablighi Jamaat, which has ties to ISIS and al-Qaeda. Faisal Akram, a British citizen, on Saturday held Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and three others hostage at the synagogue, located near Fort Worth, for 11 hours before FBI agents shot and killed Akram, who was armed with a gun. The FBI had emphatically claimed neither antisemitism nor terrorism where at play in the attack. But the facts and background of Akram show otherwise.

  • The White House said on Tuesday that security databases failed to flag Malik Faisal Akram. “The U.S. government did not have any derogatory information about the individual in our systems at the time of entry,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday. However, Akram was known by British intelligence.

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)

A relatively minor 3.7 magnitude earthquake was felt throughout Israel’s northern region late Saturday evening. It was followed by a second one less than 12 hours later  in the same vicinity, which measured 3.5 on the Richter scale. The epicenter of the earthquake was some 20 miles southeast of Nazareth, not far from Israel’s border with Jordan. People in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria also said they felt the tremors. Saturday’s tremors came just two weeks after a stronger, 6.6-magnitude quake occurred off the coast of Cyprus, which was also felt in Israel. Although no injuries or damage were reported, for residents of the Jewish State, where earthquakes are uncommon, the quake caused panic.

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)

Tonga could remain cut off from the world for weeks after the recent volcanic eruption. Officials announced Wednesday that an underwater cable connecting the island nation to the outside world could take a month to repair. Tongan Prime Minster Siaosi Sovaleni said all houses on the island of Mango, where 36 people live, were destroyed. Only two houses remain on Fonoifua island, and extensive damage was reported on Nomuka island, home to 239 people, he said.

  • New Zealand warned of further eruptions that may complicate the delivery of aid to remote islands where communications are down.

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)

Indonesia has named its new capital Nusantara, as lawmakers approve the shift from Jakarta to Kalimantan — a jungle-covered area on the east of Borneo island. Jakarta sits on swampy ground near the sea — making it especially prone to flooding — and is one of the fastest-sinking cities on Earth, according to the World Economic Forum. The former capital has been dropping into the Java Sea at an alarming rate due to over-extraction of groundwater. Concerns over the sustainability of the congested and rapidly sinking political center of Jakarta prompted the need for a new capital.

Earth’s interior is cooling faster than we previously estimated, according to a recent study, prompting questions about how long people can live on the planet. There’s no exact timetable on the cooling process, which could eventually turn Earth solid, similar to Mars. But results from a new study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, reported that, “Earth, like the other rocky planets Mercury and Mars, is cooling and becoming inactive much faster than expected.” However, the report also says, “should be hundreds of millions or even billions of years,” till Earth becomes solid rock.

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)

A wildfire that broke out among high winds in California’s Big Sur area late Friday night forced people from their homes and shut down a portion of the iconic oceanside Highway 1. An evacuation order was issued by Monterey County Emergency Services at 9:30 p.m. PST for areas in the fire’s path. The American Red Cross opened a shelter at Carmel Middle School. Local media reports said the fire had burned at least 2 square miles. A wind advisory had been issued in the Bay Area for Friday night and remained in effect through Saturday afternoon. The blaze, dubbed the Colorado Fire, broke out despite heavy rainfall in recent months that has eased drought conditions.

A wildfire in a central Texas state park is no longer growing and no injuries were reported after the blaze charred 783 acres. The fire forced the evacuation of dozens of homes in the city of Bastrop, the site of a deadly blaze more than a decade ago. Fire officials suspect the fire was caused by a prescribed burn.

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)

After a winter storm Friday brought a miserable mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain to parts of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic, authorities were warning people Saturday to stay off icy roads. On Saturday morning, the storm had mostly receded on the Atlantic coast. Ice and snow blanketed coastal areas from South Carolina to Virginia, regions that do not often see such intense winter weather. The storm left as much as six inches of snow in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.

Signs of the Times Update: January 17, 2021

January 17, 2022

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:13-16)

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)

Dr. Alveda King on MLK Day: “Every year, from January 15 – 22, many Americans and people around the world remember the legacy of my uncle The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and many also pause to consider the observance of the issue of the sanctity of life during the first month of the year. As we remember the birthday of my uncle, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this year, it is important that we remember to honor God, remember the American Dream; and value human life from the womb to the tomb.

In a huge blow to President Joe Biden, the U.S. Supreme Court responded to his COVID by striking down the largest of his vaccine mandates. By a vote of 6-3, the justices agreed that the president had zero authority to demand that employers of 100 or more employees be vaccinated or bear the weight of routine testing. the Supreme Court’s six conservative justices ruled the mandate would represent a “significant encroachment into the lives — and health — of a vast number of employees.” The three liberal justices dissented.

  • At the same time, the nation’s highest court allowed a vaccination mandate for health care workers at facilities receiving federal funding to go ahead. The vaccination mandate for health care workers at facilities receiving federal funding was approved in a 5-4 vote, with two conservatives — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh — joining the liberals. “Ensuring that providers take steps to avoid transmitting a dangerous virus to their patients is consistent with the fundamental principle of the medical profession: first, do no harm,” they said in the majority opinion.

Future Built on Lies: You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is facing calls to resign after it was revealed Tuesday that, according to a National School Boards Association official, he had solicited the controversial letter from the NSBA last year that compared protesting parents to domestic terrorists. The NSBA’s Oct. 22 letter, which it has since apologized for, called for federal action to address hostilities toward school boards as possible acts of “domestic terrorism” and suggested using the Patriot Act against parents.

  • This is more than ‘shady business’ as some pundits are calling it. Instead, it reveals the ongoing manipulation of the public by a President and his staff who lie and cheat to try and get what they want.

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)

Just last month, videos were leaked from COVID detainment camps in Australia. Citizens down under are being held against their will in “isolation camps” even if they do not test positive for COVID. To be kept in one of these detention centers, Australian citizens need only to have been in the vicinity of someone who tested positive to be detained for a minimum of 14 days. Citizens are detained in tiny shacks surrounded by barbed wire and guards.

  • Now, the state of Washington has written plans for “involuntary detention” within COVID isolation camps for “refusal to voluntarily comply with requests for medical examination, testing, treatment, counseling, and vaccination.”

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)

A lot of people aren’t opening their Bibles today. Instead, they’re looking at social media. Every day, 66 percent of evangelical believers are looking at Facebook, 39 percent are looking at YouTube, and 32 percent are opening their Bibles, according to Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship.

The head of a medical supplies company involved in the distribution and supply of monoclonal antibodies across southeastern and northeastern regions of the nation, said that the government’s takeover of the monoclonal antibody supply chain has exacerbated backlogs and shortages. “The way the products are being distributed right now, relying on the government to determine who gets what, that process can be very lengthy in terms of time,” Dealmed CEO Michael Einhorn said.

  • Whenever the government becomes involved in trying to manage the free-enterprise economic system, you can count on delays, mixups and cost overruns, as well as political interference to enforce an agenda.

With Democrats moving to eliminate the Senate’s requirement of 60 votes to advance legislation, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton took advantage Wednesday of the fact that when the Democrats were in the minority, they warned of grave consequences if the rule were eliminated. Democrats used the filibuster a record-breaking 328 times during the 2019-2020 congressional term when they were in the minority.

  • Both political parties have used the filibuster rule when in power, but then called for its elimination  or limitation when not in power. Politics at its worst which is ruining America.

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

Australian health officials have ordered Hillsong church to cease singing and dancing at its youth camps due to COVID-19 guidelines on public events. In a statement on Friday, Hillsong Church confirmed that they “immediately and willingly” enacted the order. Hillsong added that they implemented strict COVID-19 measures “before and during each camp,” including “professional paramedics onsite 24 hours per day with testing capabilities.”

Thousands of Christian pastors across North America on Sunday warned their congregations about a new movement that includes a new Canadian law that declares biblical morality a “myth.” The fight is over Bill C-4, adopted by Canadian lawmakers with little discussion recently. It establishes a legal ban on “conversation therapy.”     The fast-tracked Canadian law openly defies biblical history and teaching, denouncing those teachings as a “myth,” and imposing a potential five-year jail sentence for failing to align counseling events with the politically correct LGBTQ+ agenda.

Finland’s former Minister of the Interior is facing three criminal charges. Päivi Räsänen, a member of the Finnish Parliament and medical doctor, is being prosecuted under a law that imposes up to two years of imprisonment or a fine for “hate speech.” What was her crime? She shared her deeply held Chrisitan beliefs. Päivi wrote about her beliefs on marriage and human sexuality in a 2004 pamphlet. She also made comments on a 2019 radio show, and posted a tweet directed at her church leadership regarding the church’s official sponsorship of the LGBT event “Pride 2019.”

  • “I will defend my right to confess my faith, so that no one else would be deprived of their right to freedom of religion and speech…The more Christians keep silent on controversial themes, the narrower the space for freedom of speech gets.” Päivi Räsänen

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

President Biden on Thursday called on social media companies to step up their censorship of Americans as it relates to Covid-19 misinformation. “I make a special appeal to social media companies and media outlets: Please deal with the misinformation and disinformation that is on your shows,” the president said. “It has to stop. Covid 19 is one of the most formidable enemies America has ever faced. We have got to work together, not against each other.”

  • Free speech in the land of the free is fading fast at the hands of progressives and Big Tech.

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)

Jewish leaders say the FBI got it wrong after an official said the Texas synagogue hostage-taker’s demands were “not specifically related to the Jewish community,” saying it was insulting and a pattern for the FBI not to recognize an antisemitic incident. A Texas SWAT team responded to Congregation Beth Israel on Saturday after British national Malik Faisal Akram, 44, allegedly entered the building and held four people, including a rabbi, hostage for hours. Investigators said the hostage-taker expressed support for Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist who was sentenced to 86 years in prison in 2010 for attempting to murder and assault U.S. military personnel and was being held at Federal Medical Center Carswell at a prison in Fort Worth. After almost 12 hours of negotiations with the hostage-taker, the hostages were freed when the FBI killed Akram.

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

The New Jersey state legislature gave final approval to a bill that legalizes killing babies in abortions up to birth. Governor Phil Murphy signed the measure into law Thursday, even though he claims he’s a practicing Catholic. The radical measure could also lead to forcing New Jersey residents to fund abortions with their tax dollars. The bill also allows “all qualified health care professionals,” to conduct abortions. Although abortion advocates have said for decades that abortions should be “between a woman and her doctor,” the legislation now allows non-doctors to do abortions — putting the life and health of women at risk.

Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, reported that, “We found that the trend toward the use of chemical abortions expanded in 2021. There was a rise in the number of first trimester abortion facilities to accommodate the increased demand.” “The data from our survey confirms that the current pro-abortion political administration is driving changes within the Abortion Cartel in 2021 that are putting the lives of women and their babies at greater risk,” said Newman.      

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)

The number new Covid-19 cases increased by 98% over the past two weeks, but the 7-day average appears to have peaked at just over 800,000 new cases per day. Hospitalizations are up 61% and deaths up 57%. Much . of the country continues to see explosive case growth, but infection levels seem to have peaked in some of the places that were hit first by Omicron. Puerto Rico, Cleveland, Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C., are among the places beginning to see improvement.

  • Alaska is up 610% over the past two weeks, while Texas is up 428%, Utah up 414% and Oregon 402%. Conversely, Washington D.C. is down 20%, New Jersey down 16% and New York down 14$.

Starting Saturday, January 15, private health insurers were required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for people on their plans. The Biden administration announced the change Monday as it looks to lower costs and make testing for the virus more convenient amid rising frustrations. Under the new policy, Americans will be able to either purchase home testing kits for free under their insurance or submit receipts for the tests for reimbursement, up to the monthly per-person limit. A family of four, for instance, could be reimbursed for up to 32 tests per month. PCR tests and rapid tests ordered or administered by a health provider will continue to be fully covered by insurance with no limit.

  • These home antigen tests are not as accurate as the PCR tests. Several studies show these antigen tests to be about 70%-80% accurate. They are more accurate if you’re symptomatic. Experts say a positive home antigen test should be followed up with a PCR test.

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced his administration would make “high-quality masks” available to Americans for free, as the US struggles to contain the new surge of the Omicron variant and hospitalizations from Covid-19 reach new highs. The President also announced his administration would purchase an additional 500 million Covid-19 tests — on top of the 500 million tests he previously announced — and said the website where Americans can go to get the free tests shipped to them will be rolled out next week. Some experts have said Americans should be wearing N95 and KN95 masks instead of cloth or surgical masks to avoid the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

President Biden announced Thursday that the federal government is sending medical teams of about 1,000 members to New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan and New Mexico in an effort help hospitals overburdened by COVID-19. His remarks come as hospitalizations for COVID-19 are setting records for Covid-19 cases, forcing them to delay surgeries and call on infected healthcare workers to come back and work with Covid patients.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky’s recent remarks characterizing the health of vaccinated people who die from COVID-19 stirred controversy. “The overwhelming number of deaths, over 75%, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities,” she said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America. “So really these are people who were unwell to begin with,” Walensky said. Critics of the federal government’s response to the pandemic pointed out more than one year ago that the data on the CDC website indicated that only 6% of all recorded COVID-19 deaths were from COVID alone, with 94% having an average of 2.6 comorbidities.

As of Sunday, 142,388 people in US hospitals had COVID, breaking the previous record of 142,315 set on Jan. 14, 2021. Disease modelers predict that when the current omicron-fueled surge peaks (which could happen later this month), COVID hospitalizations will be somewhere between 275,000 and 300,000. It’s not clear how many were admitted due to COVID and how many tested positive after being admitted for something else.

The majority of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in New Jersey were actually admitted for reasons other than COVID-19, officials said on Jan. 10. Of the 6,075 people with COVID-19 and hospitalized in the state, just 2,963 were admitted for COVID-19.

The “brain fog” reported by some people after COVID-19 shows striking similarities to the condition known as “chemo brain” — the mental cloudiness patients may experience during and after cancer treatment, according to new research.

International:

New South Wales, Australia, has seen more fully vaccinated patients hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to the number of unvaccinated patients as the Omicron outbreak continues to edge toward its peak. The number of double-dose vaccinated patients in intensive care units surpassed those of the unvaccinated, with 50.3 percent of the vaccinated presenting with COVID-19.

Chinese cities are going on lockdown in response to positive coronavirus tests, with one city aiming to test 14 million people over a 48-hour span. People will only be allowed to ride public transportation until after they receive a negative test. China is aiming to achieve a zero-COVID policy, which comes as the nation’s capital prepares to host the Olympics next month.

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.

The World Health Organization said in a statement that a vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original COVID-19 vaccines is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable. Recognizing the inability of the shots to stop the spread, the U.N. health agency said future vaccines against COVID-19 must “be more effective in protection against infection thus lowering community transmission.” Separately, on Wednesday, the WHO said vaccination status should not be used to disqualify people from traveling internationally, advising governments to implement vaccine mandates only as a “last resort.”

  • On Tuesday, the European Union’s top health agency warned that getting boosted every four months could harm the immune system’s ability to fight off the disease. The European Medicines Agency advised countries instead to mirror the seasonal influenza vaccination strategy tied to the onset of the cold season.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla acknowledged Monday that two doses of the vaccine his company produces with BioNTech “offer very limited protection, if any” against the dominant omicron variant. Adding a third dose, he said in an interview with Yahoo Finance, provides “reasonable protection against hospitalization and deaths.” He said the pharmaceutical giant is working on a new vaccine “that will cover omicron as well.”

Starting Jan. 24, unvaccinated employees or those who haven’t submitted proof of vaccination will need negative Covid-19 tests to enter Apple workplaces.

The C.E.O. of United Airlines, Scott Kirby, said that while 3,000 employees recently tested positive for the virus, zero vaccinated employees were hospitalized. That’s a big change. Before the company enacted a vaccine mandate, an average of more than one United employee each week was dying from Covid.

A “national early warning system to detect possible safety problems in U.S.-licensed vaccines,” called the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, or VAERS was established and managed by the CDC and FDA. When CDC Director Rochelle Walensky appeared before a Senate committee hearing Tuesday, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala, noted that the number of COVID-19 vaccine deaths is “in the thousands.”  As of Dec. 31, VAERS recorded 21,382 vaccine-related deaths and 113,303 hospitalizations among a total of 1,016,999 adverse event reports. Walensky She responded by saying that VAERS is a “mandatory system of any adverse event that happens after being vaccinated.” Meaning that any adverse event after a vaccination, like “getting hit by a car,” gets recorded in VAERS.

  • So, it’s unknown how many of these deaths and hospitalizations are caused by the virus. However, the numbers are still high enough to be a legitimate cause of concern.

International:

Faced with lingering pockets of vaccine hesitancy, or outright refusal, many nations are imposing ever stricter rules and restrictions on unvaccinated people, effectively making their lives more difficult in an effort to convince them to get their shots. In doing so, they are testing the boundary between public health and civil liberties — and heightening tensions between those who are vaccinated and those who are not. Vaccine passports have been in place for months to gain entry to hospitality venues in much of the European Union. But as Delta and Omicron infections have surged and inoculation rollouts have stalled, some governments have gone further.

  • Last month, Austria became the first EU member to announce it would require citizens to get Covid-19 shots. The extraordinary move came just days after it introduced a lockdown for the unvaccinated. Germany has banned unvaccinated people from most areas of public life.
  • European countries with highly vaccinated populations, such as Spain and Portugal, have been less badly affected by more recent waves of infection and have been able to open up their economies.

The official European Union database recording drug reactions have posted troublesome vaccine data The European Medicines Agency has shown that there have been 30,551 fatalities and 1,163,356 adver.se reactions as of November 12, 2021, from all four coronavirus vaccines. All data was recorded through official means using the ADRreport.eu portal that “allows users to view the total number of individual suspected side effect reports (also known as Individual Case Safety Reports.” Individual case report forms are taken from EudraVigilance which is “a system designed for collecting reports of suspected side effects, used for evaluating the benefits and risks of medicines during their development and monitoring their safety following their authorization in the European Economic Area.

Dr. Clive Dix, the former chairman of Britain’s Vaccines Taskforce who played a key role in helping pharmaceutical firms create the COVID-19 vaccines, told LBC radio on Jan. 16: “The Omicron variant is a relatively mild virus. And to just keep vaccinating people and thinking of doing it again to protect the population is, in my view, now a waste of time.”

Senseless 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)

 A 16-year-old girl was shot to death Tuesday night in Houston while walking her dog. The police found the victim lying on the edge of an empty field suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Witnesses reported multiple gunshots heard and the sound of squealing tires as a vehicle sped from the scene. The family reports that prior to her death she had been arguing with an ex-boyfriend.

A Los Angeles nurse who was attacked while waiting at a bus stop died Sunday, authorities said. The nurse, identified as 70-years old Sandra Shells, was attacked at a bus stop near Union Station in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday shortly after 5 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Authorities said the suspect, identified as Kerry Bell who is homeless, struck Shells in the face “without provocation and for no reason,” causing her to fall to the ground and resulting in a fractured skull.

A UCLA graduate student was stabbed to death last week in a random daytime attack while working at an upscale furniture store in Los Angeles, police said. Brianna Kupfer, 24, was working alone inside Croft Furniture on North La Brea Avenue on Thursday about 1:50 p.m. when a man walked in and attacked her with a knife. He fled through a backdoor and was captured on surveillance cameras casually walking down a rear alley behind the store, police said. The suspect is believed to be homeless and there is no known motive for the attack.

  • End-time demonic forces are escalating their fury because Satan knows his time is short (Revelation 12:12)

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)

Thousands of firearms manufactured or bought in the U.S. end up being used in 40% of the crimes in Central America, according to a new audit released last week that found about half of them are illegally smuggled into the region, but the others are legally exported and then “diverted” into criminals’ hands. Florida, Texas and California were the most frequent source of U.S.-purchased weapons that ended up in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, according to the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ chief watchdog. 

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 Justice Department is creating a unit to fight domestic terrorism at a time when the threat of violent extremism has increased, a top official said on Tuesday. The number of FBI investigations of suspects accused of domestic extremism has more than doubled since the spring of 2020, the head of the department’s national security division, Matthew G. Olsen, said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The national security division has a counterterrorism team, Mr. Olsen added. Last year, the Biden administration unveiled a national strategy to tackle domestic extremism, which called for preventing recruitment by extremist groups and bolstering information sharing across law enforcement.”

  • Earlier, the FBI branded angry parents ‘domestic terrorists’ for speaking out and castigating public school board members for allowing pornography and politics to poison the nation’s educational system. While there are indeed some real domestic terrorists, it is likely that this new unit will use a broad definition of the term to stifle resistance to the liberal progressive’s political goals.

The Department of Justice unveiled seditious conspiracy charges against 11 defendants, including the founder and leader of the right-wing Oath Keepers militia group, Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, for their role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia had previously charged more than 700 people across the country for their alleged participation in the riot, including at least 81 current or former service members More than 150 of the defendants have pleaded guilty, and 71 had been sentenced as of Jan. 1. Most of these sentenced Jan. 6 offenders had been convicted of misdemeanors, such as illegally entering the Capitol building, and fewer than half of them have received prison time. The median prison sentence for the Capitol rioters was 45 days, as of Jan. 6, 2022.

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

A record 458 officers died of COVID-19 or were killed in the line of duty last year. That’s up 55% from the 295 officers in 2020 and the highest number since 312 in 1930, according to a report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released Tuesday.    The leading cause of death was COVID-19, which claimed 301 officers, nearly two-thirds of the total and more than twice the next two leading causes combined: felonious assaults (84) and firearms (62).

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.

Thieves are digging through train cargo filled with packages in downtown Los Angeles, creating mounds of trash as a result. Los Angeles photojournalist John Schreiber described “looted packages as far as the eye can see,” including “Amazon packages, UPS boxes, unused Covid tests, fishing lures, epi pens,” he said in a Thursday tweet. Union Pacific, the railroad company that owns the tracks, has its own police department with primary jurisdiction over crimes committed on the railroad, according to its website. “Union Pacific is very concerned about the increased cargo thefts in California, and we have taken several steps to address this criminal activity,” a Union Pacific spokesperson said.

One of the NFL wild-card games over the weekend ended in particularly ugly fashion: Dallas fans peppered the referees with trash as they left the field, and Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott praised the move: “A credit to them,” he said.                  

Fraud: A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight. (Proverbs                    11:1)

Homeland Security’s special visa program to grant legal status to victims of crime is plagued by fraud and mismanagement, according to an inspector general’s audit released this week that found the department doesn’t even know how many of the visas are issued. The review cited evidence that some immigrants were faking crimes to get the visa, which is one of the few concrete ways an immigrant who is in the country illegally can get on a pathway to citizenship. The inspector general found immigrants were forging police certifications or obtaining real certifications and altering them to try to advance their cases by making the crimes seem more serious. USCIS doesn’t track fraud case outcomes, so it can’t say how many people who filed bogus applications were prosecuted.

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)

The Biden administration has begun keeping tabs on those who asks for a religious exemption from the federal government’s list of mandates. The federal entity that helps officers in the District of Columbia courts in formulating release recommendations and providing supervision and services to defendants awaiting trial, has developed “a new records system that will store the names and ‘personal religious information’ of all employees who make ‘religious accommodation requests for religious exception from the federally mandated vaccination requirement.'” The agency has neither said what it will do with the information nor explained why the Biden administration chose to test this policy there.

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)

Some Americans are questioning recent guidance the Biden administration issued stating that race or ethnicity could place patients at high risk of severe COVID-19 infection and more quickly qualify them for monoclonal antibodies and oral antiviral medications. The FDA approved emergency use authorizations of sotrovimab – a monoclonal antibody proven to be effective against the omicron variant – only to patients considered “high risk,” according to a fact sheet the agency released. The guidance, updated in December 2021, said “medical conditions or factors” such as “race or ethnicity” have the potential to “place individual patients at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19.”

Critical Race Theory: 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)

GOP Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Sunday defended his elimination of critical race theory in children’s education, asserting he used Martin Luther King’s own words as the “founding principle” of the executive order. “Martin Luther King’s words, we must ‘judge one another by the content of our character and not the color of our skin’ [is the] founding principle of the executive order.” According to Youngkin, his new orders “went at the tenets of racially divisive concepts.”

Black activists are taking aim at critical race theory as the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day, arguing that the theory that has spread across the country is the opposite of what King fought for during his life. “Critical race theory points out that only one group or race is systematically racist, and that they are irredeemable and can never be forgiven,” Emery McClendon, a member of the Project 21 national advisory council, told Fox News on Sunday. “That concept totally contradicts Scripture and the morals of civilized society.” “Dr. King taught love and the need for mankind to seek to judge one another based on the content of our character, not on the color of our skin,” he continued.

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

National Nurses United, the union that represents nurses at hospitals throughout the United States—including several Veterans Affairs’ hospitals—is holding localized rallies nationwide this week in an effort to alleviate staffing shortages at veterans’ hospitals. The NNU is demanding the VA hire more nurses, including “contract” or “travel” nurses on a temporary basis, and streamline the hiring process. The VA hospitals are so short-staffed that each campus needs at least 15 to 20 new hires, said James Young, an infectious control nurse and the director at NNU. “The facility is expecting nurses to take on more and more responsibility,” said Carissa Coccimiglio at the Brooklyn VA protest.

The American Red Cross warned this week that it is facing a “national blood crisis.” The organization said its “worst blood shortage in over a decade” is “posing a concerning risk to patient care” and that doctors have been “forced to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available. Blood and platelet donations are critically needed to help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments.”

Children who have had COVID-19 are significantly more likely to develop Type 1 or 2 diabetes, according to a study released last week by the CDC. Past studies have shown that adults who have had COVID-19 are at an increased risk of developing diabetes. And research out of Europe suggests that levels of diabetes were higher in children after the pandemic than before.

The American Cancer Society’s 2022 annual report says 3.5 million cancer deaths have been prevented in recent decades, thanks to declines in smoking, advances in treatments and improved early detection. However, longstanding race and geographic inequality continues to plague cancer detection and treatment in America. The risk of cancer death is 33% higher for Black people and more than 50% higher in Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, when compared with White people.

A Maryland man is now living with a pig heart beating inside his chest. The surgery, at the University of Maryland Medical Center, marks the first time a gene-edited pig has been used as an organ donor. Dave Bennett, 57, agreed to be the first to risk the experimental surgery, hoping it would give him a shot at making it home to his Maryland duplex and his beloved dog, Lucky.  “This is nothing short of a miracle,” his son David said Sunday, two days after his father’s life-extending surgery. In the nine-hour surgery, doctors replaced his heart on January 7 with one from a 1-year-old, 240-pound pig gene-edited and bred specifically for this purpose. Bennett is breathing on his own without a ventilator, though he remains on an ECMO machine that does about half the work of pumping blood throughout his body. Doctors plan to slowly wean him off.

Drugs: And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries [Greek: pharmakeia, i.e. pharmacy, drugs]. (Revelation 9:21)

In nondescript commercial buildings in Washington Heights and East Harlem, workers watch people use illegal drugs and step in when they overdose, a solution to the drug crisis once considered too fringe to operate in the open. These new locations could spur a shift toward offering supervised consumption services nationwide, drug policy experts say. But these sites still present a tangled knot of concerns: The federal government has not approved overdose-prevention centers, still considered an untested concept, and neighbors worry about drawing crime to their area.

A 13-year-old Connecticut boy died Saturday, two days after collapsing during gym class in his school’s gymnasium due to a fentanyl overdose. Two other students who came in contact with the drug and were hospitalized at the same time have been released. Just a quarter of a milligram of fentanyl, an amount so small it could fit on the tip of a pencil, can be deadly.

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)

Students are poised to return to Chicago Public Schools after leaders of the teachers union approved a plan with the nation’s third-largest district over COVID-19 safety protocols, ending a bitter standoff that canceled classes for five days. While school districts nationwide have faced similar concerns amid skyrocketing COVID-19 cases, the labor fight in union-friendly Chicago amplified concerns over remote learning and other pandemic issues. The deal approved last Monday would have students in class Wednesday and teachers back a day earlier. The Chicago Teachers Union members narrowly voted to approve the safety agreement Wednesday, 1/12, clearing the way for schools to open.

  • Los Angeles students returned to in-person instruction Tuesday, 1/11 – as long as they produce a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination status..

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.

The scientific community is conflicted over the issue of fairness in women’s sports as trans athletes. Transgender women athletes who go through a typical male puberty during adolescence still hold a competitive edge over their biologically female competitors, even after one year of testosterone suppression therapy as required by the National Collegiate Athletic Association Numerous studies in recent years have shown that requiring only one year of testosterone suppression therapy is insufficient in ensuring fairness in women’s sports.

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)

A Democratic bill affecting voting in the U.S. passed the House of Representatives Thursday, though its chances were unclear in the narrowly divided Senate where Republicans are unified in opposition. The bill is a parliamentary maneuver by Democrats in which the House repackaged and passed the two elections-related bills as one, sending it to the Senate under a special procedure preventing Republicans from blocking debate. The bill was approved 220-203, along party lines.

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)

Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee are probing the “historically low” rate of arrests of illegal immigrants by ICE, saying it appears the Biden administration, unwilling to abolish the agency outright, is instead paring it down through policy memos. They tied the decrease to policies that the Biden team implemented in February and renewed in September that limit the ability of ICE officers to go after illegal immigrants except in the most serious criminal cases, national security threats or recent border crossings.

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

United Airlines and other airlines continue to grapple with employee sick calls due to the latest COVID-19 surge and that means one thing for travelers: more flight cancellations. United CEO Scott Kirby said 3,000 of United’s U.S. employees have tested positive for coronavirus and out of work. That’s about 4.5% of the workforce. Southwest Airlines’ pilots union confirmed last week that it had 600 pilots out sick in one day earlier this month, half due to close contact with someone who was exposed.

  • All of which leads to an ongoing problem of cancelled or delayed flights.

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)

Consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in 40 years in December, increasing 7 percent over the same period a year ago. On an annual basis, 2021 went down as the worst year for inflation since 1982, as broken supply chains collided with high consumer demand. Higher prices seeped into just about everything households and businesses buy. Steep increases in the cost of housing, and used cars and trucks, powered the overall rise in prices. The cost of food was up 6.3 percent, causing empty shelves in grocery stores. The energy index declined in 0.4 percent December, ending a months-long series of increases.

  • Prices at the wholesale level surged by a record 9.7% in December from a year earlier, with inflation evident at all levels of the U.S. economy, slightly higher than the old record of 9.6% set in November.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged Tuesday that high inflation has emerged as a serious threat to the Federal Reserve’s goal of helping put more Americans back to work and that the Fed will raise interest rates more if needed to stem surging prices. Fed rate increases typically lead to higher interest rates on many consumer and business loans and have the effect of slowing economic growth. But Powell made clear that he is now more worried about the damage of rising inflation than on the job market.

U.S. retail sales tumbled in December as Americans struggled with shortages of goods and an explosion of COVID-19 infections. Retail sales dropped 1.9% last month after rising 0.2% in November, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales plunged 3.1%. Sales could weaken further in January as spiraling COVID-19 infections, driven by the omicron variant, limit consumer traffic.

Two of the biggest retail pharmacies in the U.S., Walgreens and CVS, are temporarily closing some stores and pharmacies on the weekends as the latest surge in Covid-19 causes staff shortages.

Foreign Aid: Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17) Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16) 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)

The White House said Tuesday it will provide $308 million in new humanitarian aid for Afghanistan, as the country teeters toward a full-scale humanitarian crisis and economic collapse under the Taliban. In addition, the U.S. will send 1 million additional COVID-19 tests to the country, which has been in a tailspin since the Taliban government took over following the U.S. military withdrawal last August. The new assistance will come from the U.S. Agency for International Development and flow through independent humanitarian organizations,

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)

Iran and the United States have recently engaged in a spiraling escalation of threats and warnings, even as they are progressing in diplomatic talks about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal. On Saturday, Iran’s Parliament placed largely symbolic sanctions on 51 Americans, many of them prominent political and military officials, for “terrorism” and “human rights violations,” in retaliation for the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, two years ago. Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, then warned that Iran would “face severe consequences” if it attacked any Americans, including any of the 51 people hit with the sanctions.

Four rockets targeted the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Thursday night, the latest in a series of aerial attacks amid Iranian threats and political violence as Iraq’s factions struggle to form a new government. The Iraqi military said one rocket had landed inside a school across the street from the U.S. Embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone, with shock waves from the blast slightly wounding an Iraqi child and an Iraqi soldier. There were no immediate reports of casualties or details about damage from the other three rockets.

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)

The last of three meetings aimed at ratcheting down tensions with Moscow over its potential invasion of Ukraine ended without a clear breakthrough, leaving prospects for future diplomacy and de-escalation in doubt as Russian officials warned they could soon turn to military options. Russian officials reacted with frustration and impatience, suggesting they were poised to abandon discussions over the US and NATO’s refusal to entertain Moscow’s key demands: guarantees that Ukraine will never be permitted to join NATO and that the alliance roll back its expansion in Eastern Europe. The US and its NATO allies have repeatedly said such proposals from Moscow are non-starters.

  • The US has intelligence that indicates Russia has prepositioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine, a US official said on Friday, in an attempt to create a pretext for an invasion. The official said the US has evidence that the operatives are trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own proxy forces.
  • A cyberattack left a number of Ukrainian government websites temporarily unavailable on Friday, officials said. While it wasn’t immediately clear who was behind the cyberattack, the disruption came amid heightened tensions with Russia and after talks between Moscow and the West failed to yield any significant progress this week.

For the second time in less than a week, North Korea says it has launched a hypersonic missile. This one “precisely hit” a target 621 miles away, the country says. This is North Korea’s third hypersonic missile launch; its first came in September. This type of missile will increase the country’s nuclear “war deterrent,” according to leader Kim Jong Un. Hypersonic missiles hit speeds more than five times the speed of sound, and are difficult to defend against due to their speed and maneuverability.

  • The Biden administration slapped sanctions on five North Korean officials in response to the totalitarian regime’s latest ballistic missile test. In response, North Korea launched another missile in an apparent reprisal for the sanctions, and then another one Monday.                

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)

A large explosion killed at least eight people and injured nine others in Mogadishu on Wednesday, according to the head of an ambulance service, the latest attack to hit Somalia’s capital as the country grapples with political infighting and a growing humanitarian crisis. The bombing, part of a string of attacks blamed on the Qaeda-linked Al Shabab extremist group that have gripped Somalia in recent months, comes as the country’s leaders struggle to resolve a political crisis that has distracted the government from the deteriorating security situation. The militants claimed responsibility for the attack on Wednesday. It said the group had targeted “a convoy of vehicles carrying white security officers.”

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)

An undersea volcano erupted in spectacular fashion near the Pacific nation of Tonga on Saturday, sending large waves crashing across the shore and people rushing to higher ground. Video posted to social media showed large waves washing ashore in coastal areas, swirling around homes and buildings. The eruption was heard in Alaska, about 5,000 miles away, while an area the size of New England was blanketed by the ashen smoke plume. The fate of thousands of Tongans remained uncertain Sunday as the eruption cut off communications to the outer islands of the Pacific nation.

  • Waves between 1 and 4 feet were reported from California to Alaska Saturday after a tsunami advisory was issued because of the volcanic eruption in the South Pacific. A wave of 4.3 feet was reported in Port San Luis California. Two people were transported to the hospital after being swept into the water Saturday afternoon at San Gregorio State Beach.

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)

The end of 2021 brought another grim milestone for manatees in Florida. Total manatee deaths for 2021 was 1,101, according to data tracked by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. That’s the highest by far in records dating back to 1974. The previous record was 830. Unusually high manatee deaths in 2020 and 2021 are being blamed on starvation. The area’s seagrass – the vegetarian manatees’ main food source – has been killed off in recent years by algae blooms, poor water quality and other environmental issues.

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)

Bitterly cold arctic air invaded the Northeast early last week, sending temperatures and wind chills to dangerous levels on Tuesday,1/11. The National Weather Service has issued Wind Chill Warnings and Advisories from northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York into central and northern New England, where exposed skin could get frostbite in as little as 10 minutes.

At least two deaths are being blamed on a wicked winter storm that barreled through the Southeast Sunday and is now bringing snow, high winds and coastal flooding into the northeastern part of the country. The storm, named Izzy by The Weather Channel, has unleashed snow, ice, wind and frigid temperatures in several states. On Sunday, parts of major interstates were shut down and thousands of flights were delayed or canceled at major airports across the South. Coastal flooding hit Connecticut Monday as the storm roared through the Northeast. More than 110,000 homes and businesses were without power in West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Several locations in Ohio and New York had already measured more than a foot of snow early Monday. And the storm was far from over.

  • Parts of New York state were expecting up to 18 inches of snow before the storm moves away sometime Tuesday. But even that sounded conservative as Lockport, in Niagara County north of Buffalo, already had 16 inches early Monday.         

While extreme cold has gripped parts of the United States in recent days, the very opposite has been true below the equator. In the Southern Hemisphere, summer is in full swing and a heat wave could shatter century-old temperature records in South America. AccuWeather meteorologists say portions of the southern half of the continent will experience temperatures that could rival all-time record highs, which is expected to lead to a massive strain on local infrastructure. Temperatures may approach the highest mark ever recorded on the continent — a staggering 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which was recorded in Rivadavia, Argentina, on Dec. 11, 1905.

  • The power grid failed in Argentina Wednesday leaving millions to roast in the historic heat wave.

Last year was the hottest on record for the world’s oceans for the third year in a row, according to new research, part of a long-term upward trend in ocean temperature. The annual study, published Tuesday in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, found the past five years have been the hottest five on record for the oceans, dating back to the late 1950s.

Signs of the Times Update: January 10 , 2022

January 10, 2022

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)

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)

A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Monday, January 3, stopping the Department of Defense and the Biden administration from punishing U.S. Navy SEALs who object to getting the COVID-19 vaccine on the grounds of religion. Dozens of US Navy SEALs and Special Warfare Command crewmen are taking legal action against the Biden administration and the Defense Department for their refusal to grant religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The Food and Drug Administration was just told by a federal judge in Texas that no, it can’t take 75 years to release documents showing the process of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine licensing approval — that it has to cough up the data within about eight months. That’s a significant win for open government advocates.

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)

One of the most prestigious quarterly peer-reviewed academic journals in political science, American Political Science Review, featured a study in which the author Ross Mittiga, an assistant professor of political theory at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, posits in his abstract that “Climate change poses an even graver threat to public safety. Consequently, I argue, legitimacy may require a similarly authoritarian approach… As the climate crisis deepens, one can find a cautious but growing chorus of praise for ‘authoritarian environmentalism.’… while authoritarianism is in general lamentable, having a government unencumbered by democratic procedures or constitutional limits on power could be advantageous when it comes to implementing urgently needed climate action.”

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 Oregon Health Authority (OHA) proposed four new initiatives for consideration and the comment period is open now. Permanent statewide mask mandate with a $500 fine, per person, per daily occurrence; forced vaccination of healthcare workers; forced vaccination of teachers; and roll out of a digital vaccine health-pass on March 8.

  • Totalitarianism continues to make strides in the U.S. using Covid as an excuse.

Just over 76% of voters believe American society and culture are in a state of decay, according to a new poll released by The Trafalgar Group and the Convention of States Action. Republicans were more likely (86%) to believe America is decaying than Democrats (61%), but majorities of both parties agree that America is declining. About 82% of independents also believe American society and culture are in decay in the U.S.

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

More human beings died in abortions than any other cause of death in 2021. Statistics compiled by Worldometers indicate that there were over 42.6 million abortions world-wide in 2021. By comparison, 8.7 million people died from cancer in 2020, 5 million from smoking, 3.5 million from Covid and 1.7 million died of HIV/AIDS. With 58.7 million people dying last year from causes other than abortion, that means abortions accounted for 42% of every death around the world last year.

The new figures from the National Right to Life Committee show that almost 63.5 million babies have been killed in abortion in the US since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in roe v. Wade in 1973. However, U.S. abortions per year have decline from a peak of 1,429,287 in 1990 to 628,898 in 2021, according to CDC data. Guttmacher data is higher, showing 1,608,600 in 1990 and 866,877 in 2021.

Newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the U.S. abortion rate increased in 2019 for the second consecutive year, marking an apparent statistical reversal of a long-term decline. The CDC’s most recent Abortion Surveillance report indicated that the U.S. abortion rate among reporting states increased by 0.9%, from 11.2 to 11.3 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44 from 2017 to 2018, and also by 0.9%, from 11.3 to 11.4 abortions per 1,000 women from 2018 to 2019.

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 daily Covid-19 cases in the US increased by 215% over the past two weeks, with the 7-day average rising to 677,243 per day on 1/10/22, vastly higher than the previous record peak of 251,232 a year ago on 1/11/21. However, over the past few days, new cases are below the 7-day average indicating that we might be close to a decline in cases. Hospitalizations are up 81% and deaths only up 16% for the milder omicron variant.

  • With many people testing themselves at home, and other infections going undetected, reported cases are an undercount of actual infections, but indicate how the virus is spreading.
  • Mississippi has the highest 14-day increase of 702% while Maine is the only state to report a decrease (-10%) because they peaked earlier than most states.
  • The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that people who are unvaccinated are 6 times more likely to become infected and 13 times more likely to die than fully-vaccinated people.

Deaths among people aged 18 to 49 increased more than 40 percent in the 12 months ending October 2021 compared to the same period in 2018–2019, before the pandemic. That’s equates to more than 90,000 additional deaths in this age group, of which less than 43 percent involved COVID. A chunk of the mortality spike could be likely explained by drug overdoses, which increased from about 72,000 in 2019 to more than 100,000 in the 12 months ending May 2021, the CDC estimated. For older age groups, mortality increased too. For those 50–84, it went up more than 27 percent, making for a total of more than 470,000 excess deaths. Almost four out of five of the excess deaths involved COVID.

  • Across the country, hospitals are grappling with an unprecedented surge of children with Covid-19 — fueled by holiday gatherings and the highly contagious Delta and Omicron variants. Last week, an average of 574 children with Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals every day — a pandemic record.

Tracking Covid cases should be done separately between people who are admitted to the nation’s hospitals for COVID infections and those who are admitted for other reasons and test positive for the disease, Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said Monday. 

  • Acknowledging that the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 has been overstated, New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul announced hospitals now must clarify if patients with the novel coronavirus came to the hospital due to symptoms of COVID-19 or because of another health issue. An example, she said, someone who gets in a car accident, goes to the emergency room and tests positive for COVID.
  • Nearly half the people hospitalized with COVID-19 at a major Florida hospital system were admitted due to “non-COVID reasons.” Jackson Health System, in Miami-Dade County, also tweeted Monday morning that nearly 80% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated.

A South African study led by researchers at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital found that the Omicron outbreak may be signaling the end of the acute pandemic phase of COVID-19, with the endemic phase following suit. The endemic phase of a pandemic is when the number of infections becomes relatively constant. The study found a significant decline in in-hospital deaths in the current infection wave, at 4.5 percent. ICU admissions had also dropped from 4.3 percent to 1 percent, while the length of stay in hospital fell from 8.8 days to 4.0 days.

A crush of patients infected with the omicron variant is sending health systems in some parts of the country into crisis mode. Some states have started triaging medical care as the influx of sick people stretches staff to the limit. Others are halting elective surgeries, reducing the number of nurses caring for patients, or turning some people away. Hospital administrators say hospital staff shortages have been compounded in the last month by medical practitioners isolating or quarantining as they themselves are infected or exposed to the virus.

The California Department of Public Health issued new guidance allowing hospitals and health networks to force COVID-positive healthcare workers to continue working if they are asymptomatic. Hospitals have to exhaust all other options before resorting to this temporary tool. Facilities and providers using this tool, should have asymptomatic COVID-19 positive workers interact only with COVID-19 positive patients to the extent possible. The guidance is in effect until Feb. 1. Positive healthcare workers will need to wear N-95 respirator masks.

  • A health system operating in Arizona announced a “critical staff crisis” and updated its guidance to allow COVID-positive health employees to continue working. COVID positive staff who are improving, mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic do not require isolation but are required to wear N95 masks for up to 10 days of positive symptoms or testing.
  • Two nurses fired for choosing to remain unvaccinated spoke out on Thursday after Rhode Island updated its guidelines with an option for COVID-positive health care workers to return to work.

The White House and Postal Service are finalizing plans to start shipping coronavirus test kits to U.S. households as soon as next week. The administration will launch a website allowing individuals to request tests, according to four people familiar with the plans. The effort comes as the highly contagious omicron variant is fueling a wave of new infections and a scramble for coronavirus tests nationwide.

Omicron is not just less likely to send somebody to the hospital. Even among people who need hospital care, symptoms are milder on average than among people who were hospitalized in previous waves. A crucial reason appears to be that Omicron does not attack the lungs as earlier versions of Covid did. Omicron instead tends to be focused inside the nose and throat, causing fewer patients to have breathing problems or need a ventilator. And the number of deaths is unlikely to be anywhere near as large as the increase last summer, during the Delta wave.

  • As common as cloth face masks have become, health experts say they do little to prevent tiny virus particles from getting into your nose or mouth and aren’t effective against the omicron COVID variant. Health experts are urging the public to opt for three-ply surgical masks, KN95 or N95 masks which offer more protection against the highly contagious variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday updated its guidelines for COVID-19 isolation to include a section on rapid antigen tests, in which it provides guidance for cases where people wanted to take a test. The updated CDC guidance does not say that isolated people have to test negative before emerging from isolation but said that if people want to take a test, “the best approach is to use an antigen test towards the end of the 5-day isolation period.” The move comes shortly after the CDC shortened the isolation period from 10 to five days for people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 who are asymptomatic or are recovering from their symptoms. Isolation is followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others, the CDC advised.

  • The CDC) on Tuesday also recommended shortening the interval between Pfizer-BioNTech’s second COVID-19 vaccine dose and the booster shot to five months from six.

Doctors are bemoaning the limited supply of antiviral pills amid the Omicron surge. Doctors say the limited initial supply of the pills means they are unlikely to alleviate the strain on many hospitals confronting climbing admissions and staffing shortages.

Healthcare experts are warning that new cases of flurona have been detected. While flurona may sound like a new coronavirus variant or a rare tropical disease, it is a simultaneous infection of COVID-19 and the flu. Flurona may significantly disrupt the immune system due to the two viruses invading the human body at the same time. The double illness is troubling, as the omicron variant surges through the nation just as the flu season ramps up into full swing. Since our current flu vaccine appears to be a poor match for this year’s virus, epidemiologists predict this could be a bad flu season on top of the coronavirus surge.

  • A type of cells produced by the body when fighting common cold viruses cross-protect people against infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a study published Monday by researchers with Imperial College London.

The New York Times admitted, sort of, that masks are not all that effective in preventing coronavirus infection. “Masks do reduce its spread, but the effect can be too modest to be visible across an entire community or state,” wrote NYT columnist David Leonhardt Monday, 1/10. In addition, Jennifer Nuzzo, the leading epidemiologist for Johns Hopkins University, tweeted, “I was really worried about Texas’s decision in March to lift its mask requirements. I’m happy to report that cases don’t appear to have increased as I feared they could.”

  • Cloth masks and those thin blue masks are totally ineffective, especially against the omicron variant. N95 masks might still have some measurable level of infection, but there are no N95-specific studies as yet.

International:

Hong Kong, along with mainland China, is one of the few places in the world still pursuing a zero-Covid policy. That means most non-residents are banned from entering, while almost all overseas arrivals must undergo 21 days of quarantine — even if they are fully vaccinated. In recent days, Hong Kong has identified a number of Omicron cases in a cluster linked to aircrew — breaking a nearly three-month streak of no locally transmitted Covid infections. Those confirmed infected have also been sent to the hospital regardless of whether they have symptoms or not and must quarantine there.

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.

A study found that 96% of all omicron cases in Germany were among the vaccinated. Similarly, cases of omicron among the vaccinated in Ontario, Canada, are outpacing cases among the unvaccinated by 28%. The same trend is occurring in Denmark, where 8.5% of all cases are among the unvaccinated, and in the United Kingdom, only 25% of omicron hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated.

  • A recent Danish study found that a fully vaccinated individual in an Omicron-infected household was about as susceptible to get infected as an unvaccinated individual. Boosted individuals were only about half as susceptible.
  • These results differ markedly from what the U.S. Centers for Disease Protection are publishing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study on Jan. 7 which found that every one of 189 vaccinated people who experienced a severe outcome after contracting COVID-19 had at least one risk factor, which included being aged 65 and older, being immunocompromised, or having underlying conditions involving pulmonary disease, liver disease, chronic kidney disease, neurologic disease, diabetes, or cardiac disease. The study defined serious COVID-19 outcomes as hospitalization with a diagnosis of acute respiratory failure, the need for noninvasive ventilation, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, including requiring invasive mechanical ventilation, and death.

  • The study of 1,228,664 vaccinated people said that severe outcomes associated with getting the vaccine are rare, with 0.015 percent of those who were studied having severe outcomes and 0.0033 percent of the people studied dying.

With booster shots being increasingly pushed and many institutions now requiring them, the term “fully vaccinated” is being replaced, according to White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci. “We’re using the terminology now ‘keeping your vaccinations up to date,’ rather than what ‘fully vaccinated’ means,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Tuesday. “Right now, optimal protection is with a third shot of an mRNA or a second shot of a J&J.”

  • Spiking demand for boosters in wealthy countries due to the omicron surge will make it all the more difficult for the less-developed countries to catch up to wealthier nations’ vaccination rates any time soon, experts said.

The U.S. Postal Service is seeking a 120-day waiver from Biden coronavirus vaccine mandate. The request sets up a showdown over pandemic safety measures between President Biden and the USPS, one of the government’s largest agencies. Requiring workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or present weekly negative tests is likely to hurt the agency’s ability to deliver mail, Deputy Postmaster General Douglas A. Tulino said in a request to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration obtained by The Washington Post. The testing mandate is set to take effect Jan. 10, though OSHA has said it won’t cite violations before Feb. 9.       

The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota fired 700 unvaccinated employees just weeks after other nurses pleaded with hospital CEOs in the state to address a staffing “crisis.” The employees had until Monday to get vaccinated. The 700 people fired represents about 1% of the medical center’s 73,000 employees. “If individuals released from employment choose to get vaccinated at a later date, the opportunity exists for them to apply and return to Mayo Clinic for future job openings,” the clinic said. Just ahead of Christmas, nurses represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association held a press conference to plead with various hospital CEOs in the state to address a staffing and retention crisis.

Passengers who filmed themselves partying without masks aboard a chartered flight from Montreal to Mexico face being stranded after three airlines refused to fly them home to Canada. Sunwing Airlines canceled the return charter flight from Cancun that had been scheduled for Wednesday, and Air Transat and Air Canada both said they will refuse to carry the passengers.  Canadian agencies are investigating and said passengers who broke transportation regulations could be fined.

Tragedy: In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

A malfunctioning electric space heater in a bedroom caused the devastating fire that left at least 17 dead, including nine children, in a high-rise apartment building in the Bronx Sunday morning. The fire, New York’s deadliest in three decades, started in a duplex unit spanning the second and third floors of the 19-story building. The fire consumed that apartment that was on two floors, and, unfortunately, the door to that apartment was left open. Because of that, smoke quickly spread throughout the building. Victims were found on every floor and in stairwells, many in respiratory or cardiac arrest, suffering not from burns but severe smoke inhalation.

Divers were searching a Brazilian lake for victims Sunday after at least 10 people died and dozens were injured when a rock formation tore away from a cliff and slammed onto boats packed with tourists. The rock cliff fell because of unusually heavy rains.

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)

More than two-thirds of the country’s 40 most populous cities saw more homicides last year than in 2020. Ten of those cities recorded more homicides in 2021 than any other year on record.

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)

For decades, Asian American immigrants have been pressured to adopt Anglicized names or to downplay Asian aspects of their name. Now, there is a movement for Asian Americans to reclaim and celebrate their full names. “Like many Asian Americans, I have long spurned my full name. A wave of racism made me say: No more.” said Marian Chia-Ming Liu in the Washington Post.

A Utah tech company founder and onetime prominent figure in state Republican politics resigned from the board of the company he started Tuesday after sending an email outlining an antisemitic vaccination conspiracy theory. David Bateman, founder and board chair of the company Entrata, claimed the COVID-19 vaccine is part of a plot by “the Jews” to exterminate people.

The Washington Post has created the first-ever database of members of Congress who were slaveholders, using thousands of pages of census records and other historical documents. Some of these 1,700 lawmakers never publicly acknowledged as slaveowners before.          Today, as America struggles with how to understand its history and which historical figures to honor, many of these lawmakers’ statues stand in town squares, and their names adorn streets and public schools.

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

The U.S. is down 4 million workers, dropping from 152 million pre-pandemic to 148 million post-pandemic.  Where have they gone? At least part of the answer is that working-aged people are dying at an unprecedented rate. The head of Indianapolis-based insurance company OneAmerica said the death rate is up a stunning 40% from pre-pandemic levels among working-age people. OneAmerica is not a minor player in the life insurance industry with about 2 billion dollars in revenue annually, and it has been around for more than 140 years. The pandemic is certainly a factor, but most of the claims for deaths being filed are not classified as COVID-19 deaths, according to CEO Scott Davison.

Three medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently declared a national state of emergency in children’s mental health. They cited “dramatic increases in emergency department visits for all mental health emergencies.” The number of E.R. visits for suspected suicide attempts by 12- to 17-year-old girls rose by 51 percent from early 2019 to early 2021, according to the C.D.C.

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)

Children fell far behind in school during the first year of the pandemic and have not caught up. Among third through eighth graders, math and reading levels were all lower than normal this fall, according to NWEA, a research group. The shortfalls were largest for Black and Hispanic students, as well as students in schools with high poverty rates.

Schools are not only wrestling with how to educate children amid the surge in coronavirus cases. They are also contending with feeding kids as inflation and supply chain problems disrupt their ability to serve meals. That’s why the US Department of Agriculture is pumping an estimated $750 million more into school meals programs nationwide as part of a midyear adjustment to the reimbursement rate. Schools will receive an additional 25 cents per lunch to counter higher food costs and other issues, the agency said Friday.

Leaders of Chicago Public Schools canceled classes all last week after the teachers’ union voted to switch to remote learning due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the latest development in an escalating battle over pandemic safety protocols in the nation’s third-largest school district. Chicago has rejected a districtwide return to remote instruction, saying it was disastrous for children’s learning and mental health. But the union argued that the district’s safety protocols are lacking and both teachers and students are vulnerable.

  • The White House issued a loud call to keep schools open Wednesday, marking a new low point in the clash between Democratic leaders and their union allies. President Biden’s COVID-19 coordinator, Jeff Zients, said the combination of vaccines for children as young as 5, booster shots for ages 12 and older and $130 billion in funding for ventilation and social distancing measures make schools safe environments.
  • As the omicron variant surges, parents are struggling once again with a wave of school and day-care shutdowns.

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)

For drivers in western Kazakhstan, it was not a happy new year when January 1 brought a doubling in the price of liquid petroleum gas. Only a few dozen people took to the streets in the city of Zhanaozen to protest, but within three days their anger was echoed by people across the vast resource-rich central Asian state, fed up with everything from unemployment and inflation to corruption. The security forces had the upper hand to begin with, vastly outnumbering those who braved arrest and sub-zero temperatures to protest. But by January 4, spontaneous unrest had engulfed Almaty, the largest city in this authoritarian former Soviet state.          At least 164 people have been killed and more than 5,000 detained as of Monday, 1/9.

  • Ttroops from a Russian-led military alliance of post-Soviet states began their operations in the Central Asian country Thursday to help quell the unrest.           The government of Kazakhstan resigned Friday after anti-government protesters stormed and torched government buildings. Shots were heard ringing out in several videos of the protests, though it is unclear which side of the action they are coming from.
  • US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said that there has been no breakthrough in ‘frank and forthright’ talks with Russia over Ukraine border crisis.

Population Growth: After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying… “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” (Genesis 15:1,5)

Population growth in the U.S. has begun to turn negative (as it is in many other countries). Last year, the number of deaths exceeded that of births in 25 states—up from five the year before. There are several underlying factors. The marriage rate is at an all-time low, at 6.5 marriages per 1,000 people. Millennials are the first generation where a majority are unmarried (about 56%). In addition, an increasing number of 20-something American women are reportedly undergoing voluntary sterilization, reports the New York Post.

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 southwest border during President Joe Biden’s first year in office reached historic levels of illegal crossings, pulling agents off the front line and leaving large swaths of the border unpatrolled. Drugs, especially fentanyl, flowed in, and overdose deaths are at an all-time high. “We have lost control of the southwest border,” said Mark Morgan, former acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which oversees Border Patrol. During the 2021 calendar year, Border Patrol agents apprehended close to 2 million illegal immigrants from 150 different countries along the southwest border—more than double 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, according to CBP data. Last year, Border Patrol agents detected, but didn’t catch, an additional 600,000 illegal border crossers, known as “gotaways,” Morgan said.

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)

A ransomware attack on software provider Finalsite has affected the websites of about 5,000 schools, most of them in the US, a Finalsite spokesperson told CNN Friday. About 8,000 schools — including boarding schools, high schools and colleges —worldwide use Connecticut-based Finalsite’s software for their websites and public communications, according to Finalsite. The websites of a “majority of our schools are back online this morning,” Finalsite spokesperson Morgan Delack said in an email. “At this time, we do not have any evidence to show data has been compromised.”

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)

Stress on the supply chain due to labor shortages has ultimately come to fruition, wiping out products from store shelves across the nation. Reporters and other shoppers took out their frustration on Twitter by sharing photos of their local grocery stores and tagging #BareShelvesBiden, which has begun trending. The Biden administration has caught flak in recent months for the supply chain crisis and rising inflation that have interrupted Americans’ everyday lives. Yet White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and liberal media pundits have suggested the concurrent economic issues have been overblown.

Treasure: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

The U.S. Treasury Department warned Monday that it will face ‘enormous challenges’ this tax-filing season that could delay refunds. The agency, which had a huge backlog of cases after last year’s tax filing deadline, projects that refunds and other services could be delayed because of budget constraints, pandemic-related problems and other responsibilities tied to recent legislation. The tax filing deadline this year is April 18.

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)

Hiring slowed sharply for a second straight month in December, with employers adding just 199,000 jobs, as the omicron variant began driving COVID-19 cases higher. The unemployment rate fell, which is calculated from a different survey from 4.2% to 3.9%, the Labor Department said Friday. For all of 2021, the economy added a record 6.4 million jobs, or 537,000 a month. So far, the U.S. has recouped 18.8 million, or 84%, of the 22.4 million jobs lost early in the pandemic, leaving it 3.6 million jobs shy of its pre-crisis level.

As America comes down with Covid-19 again, stores, restaurants, airlines and other industries have few other options but to serve customers less — or not at all. Some workers are coming down sick while others are calling out because their childcare plans are in flux with some schools closing down. Some employees are staying home, fearful about catching the virus on the job. The surge has triggered “widespread cancellations and closures, as already short-staffed businesses are hit with a wave of staff calling in sick.

A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November as workers continued to take advantage of higher wages, better benefits. This has been a boon for some workers but led to a frantic scramble for many employers who find themselves short-staffed.

  • In November, job quitting leaped from 761,000 the prior month to 920,000 in restaurants and hotels, the industry hit hardest by job losses and worker shortages during the health crisis. Quits rose from 606,000 to 660,000 in education and health services; from 953,000 to 996,000 in trade, transportation and utilities; from 113,000 to 154,000 in financial activities; and from 730,000 to 798,000 in professional and business services.

American Express and BlackRock are the latest major companies to urge employees to start 2022 by working remotely as Covid-19 cases skyrocket. A number of major companies have revised their back-to-the-office plans in recent days, including New York-based big banks JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Jefferies.

The United States is now the world’s leading exporter of liquified natural gas as Europe’s energy crisis and shortages in China send demand for American shipments soaring. The United States only shipped its first LNG cargo from the lower 48 states in 2016, and has risen to become the world’s top exporter in just six years as a shale gas revolution boosted domestic production and turned the country into a powerful force in global energy markets.

On Wednesday, Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond both announced they would shutter more stores in 2022. Macy’s Inc., which also runs Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury, identified six Macy’s and one Bloomingdale’s Outlet store that will shutter in this round. Bed Bath & Beyond will close 37 stores across the country.

In the latest blow to the multi-billion dollar cruise ship industry, Royal Caribbean International is pausing operations on several ships due to COVID-19, canceling some sailings and pushing back one ship’s return to cruising. While most cruises still haven’t been canceled, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised against cruise travel in the coming weeks. The latest CDC decision was made as COVID-19 cases are increasing on ships, in the U.S. and around the globe. Many U.S.-based cruises at sea have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases on board, even on cruises with all-vaccinated passengers.

Looming interest rate hikes are slamming US tech stocks, which dropped sharply last week as investors reassessed how higher borrowing costs could hit their portfolios. As inflation continues to rattle financial markets, tech stocks fell again Monday, 1/10. But it’s not the only sector to take a beating. The prospect of interest rate hikes, which serve as a crucial benchmark for mortgages, is also shaking things up the home building sector.

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

More than 120 celebrities and entertainment industry professionals have signed a letter condemning the boycott of the Sydney Festival due to Israel’s participation. The three-week festival, which began on Thursday, is a major arts and culture event in Australia. “Twenty-three acts have officially confirmed their decision to boycott the festival in response to the Israeli embassy’s financial support of a Sydney Dance Company performance by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin,” Australia’s ABC News reported.            

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)

Two explosive-laden drones were shot down on Tuesday by Iraq’s air defenses as they approached the Ain al-Asad air base, which hosts U.S. forces, west of Baghdad. U.S. officials in recent weeks had warned that they expected an uptick in attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, in part because of the second anniversary of the killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. A similar attack was foiled on Monday, when Iraqi air defenses downed two drones as they approached a base that hosts U.S. forces near Baghdad’s international airport.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels seized an Emirati-flagged ship, explosive-laden drones targeted the Iraqi capital’s airport and hackers hit two Israeli newspapers on Monday, raising tensions in the Middle East as Iran-aligned militias attacked U.S. allies on the second anniversary of America’s killing of one of Tehran’s top generals. Meanwhile, Iran held a massive memorial for Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in the country’s capital to mark the anniversary of the American drone strike in Iraq that killed the military leader and an Iraqi militia commander on Jan. 3, 2020.

Wars and 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 24:6-7)

North Korea claimed Thursday to have conducted the second successful test flight of a hypersonic missile, days after leader Kim Jong Un vowed to bolster his military forces despite pandemic-related difficulties. Wednesday’s launch, the North’s first known weapons test in about two months, indicates the country will press ahead with plans to modernize its nuclear and missile arsenals rather than return to disarmament talks anytime soon. Hypersonic weapons, which fly at speeds in excess of Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, could pose crucial challenges to missile defense systems because of their speed and maneuverability.

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)

Incited by false information on YouTube, a mob of hundreds of Hindu extremists last month threw stones that smashed through the glass of a Christian-run school in Madhya Pradesh, India where 12th-grade students were taking critical exams. 400 to 500 people with iron rods ransacked St. Joseph School in Ganj Basoda, Vidisha District, incited by false reports that school personnel were converting Hindu students to Christianity. The assailants broke chairs and pots, damaged vehicles and threw stones that terrorized staff members and students during mathematics testing known as board exams that are key in the course of students’ academic lives and careers.

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)

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions roared back in 2021, the latest indicator that the country remains far off track from meeting President Biden’s ambitious climate change targets for the end of this decade. A 17% surge in coal-fired electricity helped drive an overall increase of 6.2% in greenhouse gas emissions compared with the previous year, according to an analysis published Monday by the Rhodium Group. However, emissions were still below pre-pandemic levels.

Several automobile companies have promised to go electric over the next two decades, but stumbling blocks call into question the reality of those ambitions. The transition to EVs requires several significant components: mining of necessary battery materials, charging station availability, and power grid strength. China controls the processing of nearly 60% of the world’s lithium, 35% of nickel, 65% of cobalt, and more than 85% of rare-earth elements – all necessary elements to produce a range of EV batteries, according to Abigail Wulf, director of the Center for Critical Minerals Strategy at Securing America’s Future Energy. America will need to find ways to mine these materials if it does not want to concede its automotive prominence to China.

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)

Ice and snow stranded scores of drivers on Interstate 95 in Virginia last Monday night into Tuesday morning after a winter storm pounded the mid-Atlantic and dumped more than a foot of snow in some places. The storm brought havoc to roadways, left more than 700,000 without power and caused at least five deaths across three states. On a roughly 50-mile stretch of I-95 near Fredericksburg, drivers were stuck in their cars overnight with ice blanketing the freeway.

Travel impacts mounted in the Pacific Northwest as a powerful atmospheric river continued to dump record rainfall amounts into southern Washington and northern Oregon, sending rivers to record levels and now shutting down another major freeway. A 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5 near Chehalis, Washington — about halfway between Seattle and Portland and the main artery between the two cities – was closed Friday due to rising waters on the nearby Chehalis River.

  • Seattle firefighters rescued a man trapped in the basement of his house after it slid 15-20 feet off its foundation during a landslide last Friday.

At least 16 people have been killed in a snowstorm in the northeastern Pakistan resort town of Murree northeast of the capital Islamabad. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said that the government had called army and civil armed forces for emergency rescue operations for “nearly a thousand” vehicles still stranded.

The last seven years have been the seven warmest on record for the planet, new data shows, as Earth’s temperature continues its precarious climb. Though the long-term trend is up, yearly fluctuations in global temperature are expected. Earth’s average temperature is around 1.1 degrees Celsius above average pre-industrial levels, Copernicus reports, 73% of the way to the 1.5-degree threshold scientists warn the planet must stay under to avoid the worst impacts.

Signs of the Times Update: January 3, 2022 

January 4, 2022

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all… The Lord redeems the soul of his servants, and none of those who trust in him shall be condemned.” (Psalm 34:17-19, 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) 

Americans from coast to coast learned about the true meaning of Christmas in recent days thanks to a full-page Hobby Lobby advertisement celebrating the birth of Jesus. Hobby Lobby ran a gospel-centric, Christmas-themed ad in newspapers across the country showing a painting of a toddler boy – representing a young Jesus. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29,” the text reads. “If you would like to know Jesus as Lord and Savior, visit Need Him Ministry at ChatAboutJesus.com.” The ad also contains a website where readers can download a free digital Bible. Hobby Lobby’s name is listed in small print. 

RUN Ministries with rescue teams in Afghanistan reports that they were attempting to move a group of Afghans to safety when the Taliban began closing in. They found shelter in an unlikely place: the home of an Islamic cleric who, according to custom, let them in for just one night. While they slept, he searched through their belongings and found a microSD card which happened to contain a movie about Jesus. He watched it. “I felt the glory of God come over me, and I could feel the Holy Spirit’s power. For 38 years, I have been memorizing the Quran and serving the Taliban, but I have never felt this power!” He awoke them and said, “Your Jesus, your God, came to my heart and soul!” 

Venture capital funding for faith-based, mostly Christian, apps jumped from $6.1 million in 2016 to $175.3 million in 2021, market research firm PitchBook Data reports. According to Forbes Media, the increase may primarily be attributed to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, which closed many churches and forced many to seek virtual means of worship and education. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, about 28 percent of Americans said their religious faith has been strengthened during the pandemic. Church attendance, however, has fallen by about 50 percent, mostly due to the pandemic. 

Two pieces of good news about omicron to take into the new year: It may not be around for long, and people who are fully vaccinated don’t need to worry, as long as they have a healthy immune system. Because omicron is so incredibly contagious, medical experts say its peak isn’t likely to last long. It’s already burned through South Africa since it was first identified the day before Thanksgiving and cases are falling there. Those fully vaccinated who get infected seem to suffer just a bad sore throat and some fatigue and muscle pain for a few days. People who’ve had two shots get somewhat worse symptoms. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton scored what he considered to be a “win for the children of Texas” after a federal judge ruled against vaccine and mask mandates for Head Start programs initiated by the Biden administration.  

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) 

Unvaccinated citizens who tested negative are being held against their will in COVID internment camps. A video has been leaked by an Australian COVID detainee showing inmates howling like monkeys to signal the approach of a guard. The other inmates repeat the howl as the camp guard delivers something to a containment cell a few bungalows down. The chilling video calls to mind stories of Holocaust survivors and their attempts to communicate “inside the wire.” 

  • In February 2020, the CDC published plans and directives for COVID camps on U.S. soil. Those plans remain on the CDC website, although they haven’t as yet been implemented. The globalist New World Order folks and their Great Reset are still using the pandemic to further their goals of a socialistic one-world government. 

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) 

A recent report published by Business Insider reveals that many lawmakers who state they oppose vaccine “mandates” actually own stock in the pharmaceutical companies producing the vaccines. Dozens of Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill have invested in companies that have a direct stake in the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an Insider analysis of federal financial records. In 2020, at least 13 senators and 35 US representatives held shares of Johnson & Johnson, the medical behemoth that produced the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine that more than 15 million Americans have received. At least 11 senators and 34 representatives also held shares in 2020 of another COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer, Pfizer. Congress authorized more than $10 billion to help drug companies develop and distribute vaccines and forced health insurers to cover the cost of getting the shot. 

  • Corporations have a strong voice on Capitol Hill, not only through their donations to election campaigns, but also through profitability of their stock. 

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

China long has tried to control its citizens’ religious thoughts. Mandatory registration for churches, pastors who must deliver government talking points, the suppression of any dissent, and more has been standard procedure for years. But now it’s getting much worse. Bitter Winter, an online magazine that focuses on religious faith in China, reports that the Chinese Communist Party has adopted new measures to control the publication of religious material on the internet. The measures require an Internet Religious Information Service License,’ which can only be granted to organizations part of the five authorized religions. Any other reference to religion on the web is declared illegal. 

  • Even the five authorized religions are subject to surveillance and limitations. They can broadcast sermons and lessons, but these would be checked by the authorities to make sure they promote socialist values and support the party and are not intended as proselytization tools. 

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

Twitter again blocked the personal account used by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. – this time permanently. The account “@mtgreenee,” was cited for repeated violations of the social media platform’s COVID-19 misinformation policy, Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy told USA TODAY, The New York Times and The Hill, among other media outlets. Greene was banned for a lengthy post on Jan. 1 comparing American life before and after the pandemic in which she stated masks were unhealthy for children and ivermectin was effective against Covid, positions that Twitter labeled ‘misinformation.’ 

  • In the land of free speech, public social media sites should not violate our rights to free speech and definitely should not sit in judgment of what is misinformation or not.

Twitter has issued a suspension to Dr. Robert Malone, a key architect of mRNA technology that has helped catapult COVID vaccines into early use who has become a vocal critic of COVID-19 mandates and regulations, The Epoch Times reported Wednesday. Malone is a physician-scientist who has worked in the field of infection disease countermeasures. Epoch said he had more than a half-million followers. “We all knew it would happen eventually,” he added about the Twitter account action. 

  • Those who speak out against the mainstream narrative run the risk of being censored by Big Tech. 

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) 

Two Mexican cardinals, a bishop and three priests were found guilty of violating the Mexican constitution for urging Catholics to pray for guidance before voting. They also warned that the ruling socialist party was a threat to life and the family and was trying to turn the nation into Venezuela. The decision was handed down by Mexico’s national Electoral Tribunal in response to complaints by the ruling party. Sentences handed down by the nation’s Secretariat of Governance could include fines as high as the equivalent of 150,000 USD. 

A Jewish college student was assaulted in Brooklyn, NY Sunday, 12/26, when his attacker saw his army-style hoodie with the IDF emblem emblazoned on it. Blake Zavadsky and his friend, Ilan Kaganovich, were outside a shoe store around 11 AM when they were approached by two men who asked them what they were doing in “their” neighborhood. “They called us ‘dirty Jews,’” Zavadsky said. “The one who punched me said if I don’t take my sweatshirt off, he’s going to rock me.” When he refused the demand, the man punched him twice in the face and dumped an ice coffee over him before the pair fled. 

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)  

Due to the surge of Omicron cases across the U.S., the number of new Covid-19 cases has risen by 204% over the past two weeks. The seven-day average of 405,470 new cases on January 3, 2022, is far above the previous record high peak of 252,232 cases on January 11, 2021. The good news is that hospitalizations are up only 35% over the past 14 days while deaths are actually down 3%. 

  • Urban areas in the Northeast are seeing the most explosive case growth. In Washington, D.C., reports of new infections are up about 800% over the last two weeks. In New York City, new cases have increased 600%. California is up 395%, while Arizona is only up 71%. Colorado counties that include the ski resort towns of Aspen and Breckenridge have the country’s highest rates of recent cases. Both those counties have high vaccination rates. 

The emerging evidence suggests that Omicron really is milder than earlier versions of this coronavirus (either because of intrinsic biological reasons or because of higher levels of population immunity). In South Africa and England, as well as New York, San Francisco and other parts of the U.S., hospitalization numbers are lower than doctors had feared. 

  • People infected with Omicron were about half as likely to be hospitalized as those with the Delta variant, according to a report from British health officials, and they were only one-third as likely to need emergency care. Several studies show that Omicron often concentrates in the nose, throat and windpipe rather than damaging the lungs, as previous variants did. 
  • However, Omicron will still do substanntial damage in both the U.S. and worldwide. Many hospitals face the risk of being overwhelmed in coming weeks. 

White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said that hospitals are now overcounting COVID-19 cases in children. If a child goes in the hospital, they automatically get tested for COVID. And they get counted as a COVID-hospitalized individual,” Fauci remarked. “When in fact, they may go in for a broken leg or appendicitis or something like that. So it’s overcounting the number of children who are, quote, ‘hospitalized with COVID,’ as opposed to because of COVID.” 

In a conference call with several Republican governors, President Biden said Monday that ”there is no federal solution” to COVID-19. ”This gets solved at the state level,” he added. The comments come as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have attempted to enact employer vaccine mandates as well as the production of 500 million rapid tests that will be distributed by the federal government. But Biden did not clarify what he expected states to do. 

  • Sounds like an attempt to ‘pass the buck’ and shift public perception away from his administration. Both Republicans and Democrats bashed Biden over these remarks. 

On Monday, 12/27, the CDC halved its recommended isolation time for people with asymptomatic infections to 5 days. Top U.S. health officials said the decision was driven by a growing body of research about when people are most infectious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also cut the time those exposed to the coronavirus should quarantine to five days if they are not boosted, saying they should wear a mask around others for an additional five days. 

  • CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday that her agency’s newly updated guidelines don’t require testing at the end of isolation because PCR tests can remain positive for up to 12 weeks after infection. 
  • Officials said the change was primarily driven by concerns that tens of thousands of police officers, firefighters and other essential workers could be sidelined with minor infections as the omicron variant pushes caseloads to new heights. 

Experts warn that despite the first antiviral pills for COVID-19 promising protection for those at risk of severe disease, Pfizer’s or Merck’s new medications may not be safe for everyone. One of the two drugs in Pfizer’s Paxlovid antiviral cocktail could cause severe or life-threatening interactions with commonly used medications, including statins, blood thinners and some antidepressants, and the FDA does not recommend Paxlovid for those with severe kidney or liver disease. In addition, due to concerns about the potential side effects of Merck’s Molnupiravir, the FDA has restricted its use to adults and only in cases in which other treatments are inaccessible or are not ”clinically appropriate.” 

Emergency rooms in Vermont are being overwhelmed with people who have tested positive for COVID but have no symptoms, bolstering the criticism that mass testing amid a pandemic is counterproductive. Vermont, with about 77% of the population vaccinated, has the nation’s highest rate, but Vermonters who take the rapid tests and test positive for COVID-19 are “clogging up emergency rooms.” Dr. Rick Hildebrant, medical director of the emergency department at the Rutland Regional Medical Center, said people should go to the ER only if they have a positive test and are very sick. 

The Texas state health department on 12/27 said they had run out of monoclonal antibody sotrovimab, a key treatment to fight the omicron COVID-19 variant, which now makes up 90% of the virus cases in the state. That antibody has been shown to be effective against the omicron variant. Other monoclonal antibodies have not been shown to be effective against omicron. The state does not expect to receive another shipment of sotrovimab from the federal government until sometime in January. 

After implementing a coronavirus mandate for health care workers this fall, Rhode Island has now opened an option for COVID-positive health care workers to continue working if their facility is facing a staffing crisis. For example, a facility may opt for a COVID-19 positive worker to only care for COVID-19 positive patients, 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday that people should avoid cruise travel regardless of their vaccination status after an increase in COVID-19 cases on cruise lines in recent days. The CDC on Thursday increased its COVID-19 risk level for cruise ships to four, which is the agency’s highest warning level. Several cruise ships with supposedly fully vaccinated passengers have experienced Covid-19 outbreaks and are being denied entry to many ports. 

International: 

An Australian man was charged with ignoring health orders after allegedly going to a nightclub despite testing positive for COVID-19. The 19-year-old was arrested on Tuesday but has since bailed out. He faces up to a $20,000 fine or up to two years in prison if convicted. 

Israel has recorded what is widely believed to be the first case of “flurona” disease, a double infection of coronavirus and seasonal flu in an unvaccinated pregnant woman, according to local reports. The unnamed woman displayed mild symptoms of the virus at Rabin Medical Center in the city of Petah Tikva on Dec. 30, Hamodia reported. She is doing well and was expected to be discharged from the hospital later on Thursday, according to officials. 

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. 

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorized booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, an effort to bolster protection as schools reopen amid a surge of infections caused by the omicron variant. The agency also cleared booster shots for children 5 to 11 with compromised immune systems. And it said anyone eligible for a booster could get the shot five months after receiving the second Pfizer-BioNTech shot, down from six months. Critics said that the FDA bypassed it’s scientific advisors in making a hasty decision. 

  • Some people are getting unapproved fourth or fifth Covid-19 shots, despite uncertainty about their safety or effectiveness. 

The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, or VAERS, reports 19,886 deaths, 102,857 hospitalizations and a total of 946,461 adverse events due to COVID-19 vaccines through Dec. 3. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services points out that a VAERS report is not documentation that a link has been established between a vaccine and an adverse event. However, HHS also notes that VAERS is a “passive” system of reporting, and it “receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events.” Many health care workers have disclosed they are instructed by their superiors not to report to VAERS any harm caused by COVID vaccines. 

Breakthrough infections are common with Omicron, but vaccinated people have protection against severe illness and death. Overall, 62% of all U.S. residents have been fully vaccinated, 71% of those over 12 years of age, and 88% of those over 65. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in a policy reversal, announced on Dec. 28 that it would start enforcing its COVID-19 vaccine mandate to facilities in half of U.S. states in states where the mandate isn’t judicially enjoined. Facilities that received Medicaid or Medicare funding have to comply with the mandate’s first phase, meaning that all health care staff have receive the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Jan. 27, 2022 

People in the U.S. are being denied urgent medical care if they are unvaccinated. The 16-year-old daughter of a Liberty Counsel staff member was denied medical service because of her religious exemption for the vaccine.   
Rachael* has been suffering from suspected asthma symptoms. For weeks, she has struggled to breathe as she waited for a doctor’s appointment time to open. When the day finally came, Rachael sat patiently in the waiting room with her parents waiting to be examined. But after a long wait, staff informed Rachael and her parents that the doctor refused to see the child because of her religious objection to getting the COVID shot. 

The Marine Corps has separated 206 Marines for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine, the military branch announced Thursday. Active-duty Marines had a deadline to get fully vaccinated by Nov. 28, while for reservists, the deadline was Dec. 28. By the deadline, 95 percent of all active-duty Marines had received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 86 percent of the Reserve force had received the first shot. That means around 8,000 active-duty Marines and 5,000 Marine reserve personnel may face separation for refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Starbucks is requiring its workers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or undergo weekly testing, the company recently told employees. Approximately 220,000 U.S. employees they must disclose their vaccination status by January 10. 

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) 

Nearly two years after the pandemic began, reports of abuse have spiked around the globe. Nearly 7 in 10 women said domestic violence increased in their community since the pandemic began, according to a survey by the United Nations agency for gender equality of 13 countries. One in four women said they feel less safe at home during the pandemic. 

Two men stepped off a San Diego trolley Saturday morning and, police say, one of them then pushed the other into the path of an oncoming train. The victim died at the scene, and the suspect fled on another trolley, reports. There was no provocation before the push, which took place on a platform at the Old Town Trolley Station, police say. 

A shooting spree has left six people dead, including the shooter, and three others injured, including a police officer, following a running gun battle across Denver and a neighboring suburb late Monday. Police believe the unnamed suspect fired a firearm in at least seven different locations across Denver and Lakewood, Colorado, Monday evening. Authorities in Colorado are investigating a motive behind the shooting spree. Denver police said they are “aware” of a series of books published by a company once owned by the gunman that eerily foreshadow the deadly shooting rampage – even naming two of the victims. 

The deadly violence that set a record high in Philadelphia last year spilled over into the new year on Saturday after shootings across the city killed at least three people and wounded several others. 

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) 

President Biden is stocking the federal judiciary with liberal judges at a faster pace than former President Trump filled the bench with conservatives, as he tries to appease a progressive base unhappy that he abandoned a plan to pack the Supreme Court. The Senate has confirmed 40 of Biden’s judicial nominees this year, including 11 judges on the powerful federal courts of appeals. In 2017, the Senate confirmed 19 of Trump‘s judicial nominees, including 12 on the courts of appeals. 

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) 

New York physicians will now have to take a patient’s race into consideration when prescribing hard-to-come-by coronavirus treatments under a new policy that’s drawn the ire of doctors and legal experts who argue the new guidelines could violate the Constitution. To receive the treatment, a patient must meet certain criteria including having a “medical condition or other factors that increase their risk for severe illness,” according to the document. One of the listed risk factors: being nonwhite. 

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

The U.S. flu season has arrived on schedule after taking a year off, with flu hospitalizations rising and two child deaths reported. Last year’s flu season was the lowest on record, likely because COVID-19 measures — school closures, distancing, masks and canceled travel — prevented the spread of influenza, or because the coronavirus somehow pushed aside other viruses. The most intense flu activity was in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., States with the highest flu activity are New Mexico, Kansas, Indiana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Georgia and North Dakota. 

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) 

Millions of American kids will head back to classrooms in the coming days — just after new pediatric Covid-19 hospitalizations reached an all-time high. Rules for returning students vary widely across the country, from no change to some cities and school districts taking aggressive new measures. Several Atlanta-area school districts are delaying in-person classes and starting 2022 with remote learning. In Washington, DC, all public-school students and staff must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before returning from winter break. In New York City, public-school students who test positive will get a week’s worth of at-home tests so they can know when it’s safer to return to school. 

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) 

Protesters tossed bottles and fireworks at police in eastern Germany on Monday night in some of the most violent demonstrations against public health measures in Europe since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Hundreds of people gathered in various cities and towns on Sunday and Monday to voice their opposition to stricter social distancing rules that went into effect Tuesday across Germany. Scuffles broke out in several parts of the state. Twenty-three people were criminally charged and another 183 were hit with less-serious administrative violations. 

Thousands of people in the Netherlands capital of Amsterdam gathered Sunday to demonstrate against the Dutch government’s COVID-19 lockdown measures before police cracked down. Photos and video footage uploaded online showed what appeared to be police releasing dogs on anti-mandate protesters. Netherland’s authorities also deployed water cannons. 

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

A new law in the state of Washington will require that insurance companies pay for transgender procedures, just as they already do for other surgeries. The “Gender Affirming Treatment Act” takes effect this weekend. Senate Bill 5313, passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this year, prohibits health insurers from denying or limiting coverage for gender-affirming treatment provided that it is consistent with a protected gender expression or identity, is medically necessary, and is prescribed under accepted standards of care. 

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

Nearly 3 in 4 American adults believe there only are two genders, a new Rasmussen Reports survey found. The Rasmussen poll found that 63% strongly agreed when asked, “Do you agree or disagree with this statement: There are two genders, male and female?” Another 18% disagreed. Although majorities in every political category agreed that there are only two genders, Democrats (47%) were less likely than Republicans (82%) or the unaffiliated (60%) to say they strongly agreed. 

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) 

Voting irregularities—including potentially thousands of votes cast by non-citizens and the dead—were reported during the first phase of the Texas Secretary of State’s forensic audit of the 2020 general election. The Texas Secretary of State’s office released its findings on Dec. 31, but they said the issues found are not enough to significantly impact 2020 election results of the four counties involved in the audit. 

Population Growth: After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying… “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” (Genesis 15:1,5) 

The world’s population is projected to be 7.8 billion people at the end of 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That represents an increase of 74 million people, or a 0.9% growth rate from a year ago..Starting in the new year, 4.3 births and two deaths are expected worldwide every second, the Census Bureau estimated. Meanwhile, the U.S. grew by almost 707,000 people over the past year, and the nation’s population is expected to be 332.4 million residents on New Year’s Day, a 0.2% growth rate. Starting in the new year, the U.S. is expected to grow by one person every 40 seconds from births, minus deaths, as well as net international migration. The U.S is projected to to experience a birth every nine seconds and a death every 11 seconds, as well as an additional person from international migration every 130 seconds.  

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

The U.S. State Department is “actively impeding” efforts by volunteer groups to rescue American allies stranded in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime, according to U.S. veterans. National Review reported that as winter sets in and Afghanistan is on the brink of mass starvation, the efforts of dozens of private groups focused on trying to save people who typically don’t have the paperwork for a direct path into the U.S. have slowed to a crawl. Leaders of some of those groups point a finger at the State Department, telling National Review the U.S. is doing little to help them rescue American allies. And in some cases, the State Department is actively blocking their efforts, they claim. 

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

The holiday travel season has racked up more than 15,000 flight cancellations with airlines pointing to weather, staffing woes amid the COVID surge. Thousands more flights were canceled across the United States on Monday amid the ongoing nationwide surge in Omicron variant cases. On Tuesday, almost 1,300 flights were canceled and over 7,400 were delayed. More than 2,500 Wednesday flights across the nation were either canceled or delayed before the day barely got started. Airlines are grappling with wicked weather across parts of the West and staffing shortages due to the latest surge in coronavirus infections. More than 2,000 flights were canceled on New Year’s Day and another 1700 Sunday as the omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to upend airline operations during the holiday travel season.4000 on Monday and 2300 Tuesday. 

A Delta Air Lines flight originating in Seattle and heading to Shanghai last week turned around midair because of a change in cleaning rules at the China airport, the airline said. If it had landed in Shanghai, Delta said the new rules would have caused substantial delays. “The new cleaning procedures require significantly extended ground time and are not operationally viable for Delta,” a spokesperson said of the December 21 flight. Details of the new cleaning rules remain unclear. 

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 Biden administration’s child tax credit program, which helped keep millions of children out of poverty during the pandemic, has ended. 

Used car prices have soared during the pandemic. Since the pandemic started, used vehicle prices have jumped 42% “What used to be a $5,000 car,” one dealer said, “is now $8,000. What used to be $8,000 is now $11,000 or $12,000.” Including taxes, fees, a 10% down payment, and an interest rate of around 7.5%, the average used vehicle now costs $520 a month, even when financed for the average of nearly six years, Edmunds calculated. Monthly payments for the average used vehicle, he noted, were $413 two years ago, $382 five years ago and $365 a decade ago. 

  • Bleak as the market is for used-car buyers, the computer chip shortage has also driven new-vehicle prices higher. The average new vehicle, Edmunds.com says, is edging toward $46,000, up nearly 20% since the pandemic started. 

The average number of weekly jobless benefits claims over the past four weeks fell to 199,250. That’s the lowest four-week moving average since October 1969, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The number of continued claims, counting workers who have applied for benefits for at least two consecutive weeks, stood at 1.7 million in the week ended December 18, the lowest level since March 2020. 

Less than 20% of the world’s population has managed to stockpile more than half of the globe’s maize and other grains, leading to steep price increases across the planet and dropping more countries into famine. The hoarding is being perpetrated by China. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, China is expected to have 69% of the globe’s maize reserves in the first half of crop year 2022, 60% of its rice and 51% of its wheat. 

  • With famine rampant in less-developed countries and food prices rising worldwide, what is prompting China to hoard these essential foods? Do they perceive a worldwide famine on the horizon? Or, are they trying to strengthen their position in the world by weakening other strong countries like the US?  

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

The IDF carried out airstrikes on the Gaza Strip late Saturday night in response to the rocket attacks on the Tel Aviv coast shortly before 7 a.m. that morning, which surprised the Israelis. Anticipating a military response, Hamas claimed that the morning rocket launch that landed in the sea “happened accidentally, due to the weather conditions.” Fighter jets and fighter helicopters recently attacked a series of targets in the Hamas terrorist organization’s rocket-making compound. In addition, tanks attacked Hamas military positions on the Gaza Strip border. 

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) 

Satellite imagery of the Syrian commercial Mediterranean port at Latakia shows the aftermath of an alleged Israeli strike last Tuesday, and of “astonishingly precise” attacks, The War Zone reported on Wednesday. Analyzing images provided of the port from Planet Labs, the report noted that the strikes, which targeted arms and munitions shipments, sparked a large fire at the facility, which required several hours to bring under control by local firefighters. “The satellite image shows damage to multiple shipping containers, seemingly as the result of four separate weapons impacts in different parts of the facility,” the report stated. 

Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces have thwarted two attempts to burn down Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus in recent days, a PA official confirmed to the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. Some 50 Palestinians, many carrying firebombs, marched towards the tomb. PA security forces using tear gas and batons prevented the Palestinians from reaching the site. A second attempt to torch the site was made on Sunday with 200 Palestinians from the nearby Balata refugee camp seeking to storm Joseph’s Tomb. Again, they were blocked by PA security from reaching the holy site. The official said that the attempts to torch the holy site came on Friday and Sunday nights. He also said the PA has been heavily criticized for “serving as guards for Jewish settlers.” PA security forces have “clear and firm” orders to prevent any damage to the holy site. 

  • The holy site is revered as the resting place of Joseph, the son of the Biblical Patriarch Jacob as described in the Book of Joshua (24:32). Palestinians have claimed that the tomb is the burial place of medieval Sheikh Yusef Al-Dwaik. Palestinians ransacked and burnt down the holy site in 2000 and in 2015. Jewish pilgrims visiting Joseph’s Tomb must do so in armored buses with IDF protection. 

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) 

The Marshall Fire in the Boulder County suburbs broke out Thursday, and by Friday morning and had left behind vast swaths of smoldering ruins. Officials estimated as many as 1,000 homes might have burned, but also called it a miracle that no one died and only seven people were injured, although three people are still missing.. Dry conditions and winds in excess of 100 mph fueled the flames that caused more than 30,000 people to flee on roads choked by smoke and fire. The fires burned through strips of neighborhoods in Superior and Louisville, suburbs about 20 miles northwest of Denver. Months of drought and exceptional warmth created extremely dry conditions ripe for fire. 

  • Two days after the most damaging wildfire in Colorado’s history, residents outside of Boulder confronted nearly a foot of snow and single-digit temperatures. With thousands of surviving homes still without power and gas on Saturday, the 7-degree temperatures and 10 inches of snow touched off a frantic new battle to keep pipes from freezing and food from thawing. 

Overall, wildfires in the U.S. were close to the 10-year average in 2021 with 58,288 fires over 100 acres compared to the ten-year average of 60,091. Acreage burned was up slightly to 7,819,070 acres vs. 7,410,408.  

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) 

Beaches in Los Angeles and Orange counties were shut down after a sewer main line failed, leaking millions of gallons of untreated sewage into the Dominguez Channel, which empties into Los Angeles Harbor.  After the 48-inch sewer main line located in the city of Carson failed Thursday afternoon, as many as 7 million gallons of sewage may have been discharged into the waterway. 

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 western U.S. has improved somewhat with early winter rain and snow. Overall, 72% of western states are in severe to exceptional drought, down from 81% three months ago. There is wide diversity among the individual states; Utah 94%, down from 100%; Nevada 89%, down from 95%; Montana 86%, down from 100%; Oregon 76%, down from 96%; New Mexico 76%, up from 49%; Colorado 67%, up from 26%; Idaho 64%, down from 91%; Wyoming 61%, down from 70%; Washington 32%, down from 55%; Arizona 26%, down from 40%. 

Lake Tahoe broke the record for December snowfall set 50 years ago. December snow totals reached 193.7 inches, eclipsing the 1970 record of 179 inches. After months of extreme drought that triggered water shortages and stoked wildfires, heavy snow is falling in the Sierra Nevada — enough to break decades-old records. As of Tuesday, more than 202 inches of snow — nearly 17 feet — had fallen so far this month. High-elevation snowpack serves as a natural reservoir that eases drought, storing water through the winter months and slowly releasing it through the spring melting season. 

Despite warnings to avoid travel after a massive snowstorm that started Christmas weekend closed major highways, thousands of people insisted on trying to drive into or out of the socked-in Sierra Nevada. Some needed to get home. Some wanted to visit family. Some just wanted to play in the snow. Some were led astray by poor judgement. Many were led astray by Google Maps, which offered alternate driving routes that sent drivers to snowy dead ends. The net result? Many got stuck. Hundreds of cars piled up on the roads over the weekend, eventually driving the California Highway Patrol to post “STOP TRYING TO USE THE BACKROADS TO GET TO NEVADA!” on social media. 

As 2021 came to a close, a city in Texas had one last unexpected event: it was raining fish. Residents in Texarkana – about .200 miles from Dallas – saw fish fall from the sky on Wednesday, 12/29 and land in their yards or sidewalks. The city said raining fish is a phenomenon called “animal rain” that happens when small water animals such as frogs, crabs or small fish are swept into waterspouts (mini tornadoes over water), which then pass onto land. 

A potent winter storm packing heavy snow moved across the South and mid-Atlantic on Monday, snarling traffic, causing nearly 850,000 power outages and shutting the federal government in Washington, D.C.  In the core of the storm’s heavy snow, there is the potential for 6-12 inches and locally higher amounts to pile up by the time the storm winds down later Monday. The Weather Prediction Center said 2 inches of snow per hour could fall in some areas, and thundersnow was reported in at least five states. 

Kodiak Island in southern Alaska set a record for the warmest December day at 67 degrees. 

A total of 116 cities in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia are in a state of emergency because of flooding due to heavy rains that have been pounding the region since the end of November, leaving thousands homeless.