The Watchman On The Wall

The Watchman On The Wall
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Verse 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"End Time News" and Gospel Message 28 December 2013

Friends, there are 110 days until the blood moons and solar eclipses begin on 15 April 2014/15 Nisan 5774!
On Passover 2014 the first of a series of Godly astronomical events will occur that will have Christians looking up at the night skies.

Pastor Mark Biltz made this amazing discovery in 2008. Biltz had been studying prophecies that focus on the sun and moon.  These prophecies are God’s signal to his Chosen people and Christians, like 'one if by land, two if by sea' of the American Revolution. "The Hebrew word implies it's a signal for coming or His appearing." Like, Pastor Biltz I believe these signals are divine appointments.

In the YouTube clip below John Hagee talks about the blood moons.

In the book of Genesis chapter 1 verse 14 God states the lights in the sky would be "be for signs, and for seasons." 

Over the last 500 years, blood-red moons have fallen on the first day of Passover three separate times. These occurrences were connected to some of the most significant days in Jewish history: In 1492-1493, the final year of the Spanish Inquisition when Jews were expelled from Spain; 1948-49 the founding of the nation of Israel and 1967-68 the capture of Jerusalem.

Every heavenly body is controlled by the unseen hand of God, which signals coming events to humanity. There are no cosmic accidents in God’s universe.

Friends, take heed and prayfully prepare because the next series of four blood moons occurs at Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015.

In the Old Testament, God's prophet Joel chapter 2 verse 31 states, "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come." 

In the New Testament, Jesus is say this about his second coming, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light. ... And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:29-30) 

In Acts 2 God states: "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes." 

"God wants us to look at the biblical calendar, the reason we need to be watching is because God will signal His 
appearance. But we have to know what to be watching as well” said Pastor Biltz. 
Friends, we need to be watching the Jewish feasts and their correlation to blood moons, solar eclipses and Bible prophecies. 
Blood moons occur during lunar eclipses. In 2014 two eclipses occur one on Passover and the high holy day of Rosh Hashanah/Feast of Trumpets, the first day of the seventh Hebrew month. Two more take place in 2015, also on Jewish feast days. Friends, this is not hocus pocus, these blood moons and solar eclipse are based on NASA projections and recorded celestial history.

Friends, now is the time to accept Yeshua Hamashiach/Jesus Christ as your Lord, Messiah and Savior. Remember, every heavenly body is controlled by the unseen hand of God. Get ready for a roller coaster ride beginning in 2014 because Israel’s and your redemption is drawing nigh.

Below is a 2,600-year old prophecy:
"For behold, in those days and at that time when I shall reverse the captivity and restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and there will I deal with and execute judgment upon them for their treatment of My people and of My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and because they have divided My land." (Joel 3:1-2)

The global elitists are pressing on in their satanically inspired plan to divide the land of Israel! They have been planning this action since 1917!

December 2013 Current events are confirming this satanic plot, for example, Secretary of State John Kerry returned to Israel for the 11th time in 2013, this time going directly to Ramallah for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in what appeared to be an effort to soften him up to US security ideas.

Kerry was joined by retired U.S. Marine General, John Allen. Allen’s team has devised a security plan which will fully protect Israel against the Arabs once the land “grab” takes place and the Palestinian State is formed. Allen’s team is composed of 160 defense and intelligence analysts. The sheer size of this team tells us how serious the “sell out” of Israel is.

Israel has long stated that the IDF cannot protect Israel under this peace plan because it makes Israel militarily indefensible. Allen’s plan provides for a permanent U.S./UN security position in the Jordan Valley to protect Israel.

Of course, the Palestinians rejected this plan on 13 December 2013 because, in my opinion, they want to exterminate all the Jews in Israel. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has said that if Israel insists on maintaining security presence in the Jordan Valley, there will not be a peace agreement. Well, I believe security in the Jordan Valley will be international in order to get Israel out of that area.
God says in Isaiah 34:6-12
6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.
7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
8 For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.
9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.
10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.
11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.
12 They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing.

When we hear the proclamation of a Palestinian State we will know the following:
1.  We will know that Bible prophecy has been fulfilled.
2.  We will know that nothing will come of it.
3.  We will know that the final annihilating war on the House of Edom, the Palestinians, is close at hand.

4.  The Palestinians, who are the ancient House of Esau, will be annihilated by fire, every Palestinian, man, woman and child.

El Hierro Update

Screen Shot 2013-12-26 at 00.10.33

2013-12-25 22:58 UTC
- A very interesting new episode in the current crisis. A calm seismic period but a continued deformation, both vertical and horizontal. In earlier crisis, once the seismic unrest stopped, also the deformation leveled or stagnated. Now the lifting continues in most points as the latest IGN GPS stations are showing. All this means that this crisis is not over yet and that new seismicity is evident when the island is pushed upwards. The Upwards deformation data are really spectacular (U side of the graphs) – In only 3 days HI09 (La Restinga) lifted 6 cm! and HI08 (El Pinar) 5 cm. But not only the South-Eastern side of the island was lifted, but also most of the El Golfo area with an average of 4 cm.

2013-12-24 15:20 UTC A typical phenomenon happened only a couple of minutes ago. A seemingly calm and weaker seismic period ends with another strong(er) earthquake (no details yet but we expect in the M3 proximity). How can this be explained : quiet simple – pressure buildup with almost no release of energy which (within an active period) ens with a stronger than usual earthquake. Also this is a low frequency earthquake! (lucky to have explained it in the 14:13 update.

 2013-12-22 09:21 UTC A sudden increase of seismicity. Too soon to talk about a new crisis, but with 5 2+ Magnitude earthquakes on 13 quakes, this looks to be more than the usual small -M1 quakes we have seen the recent weeks. (Thank You Leona for alerting us). Stronger earthquakes are within reach today. Most epicenters are located in the El Golfo area and some of them may even have been felt by people living in Frontera. The depth is normal for all beginning activity. As long as the hypocenters (breaking point generating the earthquakes) is not below 10 km, looking for an eruptive episode is not realistic. Shaking from earthquakes is starting to be dangerous from M3 on for landslides (steep cliffs area) and from M4 on for structures (mainly cracks in walls and NOT collapsed houses).

Epicenters of the listed earthquakes as plotted by AVCAN, Canary Islands

Below is the Gates of Hades video.........strange

A threat to Hillary Clinton’s much anticipated 2016 presidential campaign appears to be developing in Egypt where that nation’s government is taking steps to criminalize the MB.
A new criminal complaint has been filed with Egypt’s attorney general, Hisham Barakat, alleging that former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton collaborated with Naglaa Mahmoud, the wife of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, by inciting riots and insurrections to topple Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Egyptian general who has been Egypt’s leader since August 12, 2012. El Sisi is the commander in chief of the Egyptian armed forces, as well as minister of defense.
News sources in Egypt have reported in Arabic that criminal charges have been brought against Hillary Clinton and Morsi’s wife.

Transcript from Egyptian Mehwar TV news include comments by Naglaa Mahmoud implicating Huma Abedin, wife of former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner and the former Hillary Clinton chief of staff. Huma Abedin. Huma Abedin has close ties to the MB.

According to Anatolia Press, Mrosi’s wife, Mahmoud said, “I have between my fingers, a treasure trove of secrets from the White House and Mrs. Clinton fears my wrath.” She added, “I will not speak about Huma Abedin.” When asked if she had a close relationship with Hillary Clinton, Mahmoud said, “When my husband returns from his kidnapping, the one who led the coup will pay a hefty price.” Of Mrs. Clinton, she said, “We have a long friendship of many years. We lived in the U.S. and my children learned there. This friendship increased further when my husband became the legitimate president of the country.”
Mahmoud went on to say that her husband and her were recruited by the Clintons from the U.S. and began their friendship in the 1980s. This appears to be a conspiracy that is being hidden.
When asked if they still have friendships with each other, Mahmoud said communications never ceased and that the conversations are all recorded. The wife of Morsi divulged that Mrs. Clinton sought the assistance, both official and unofficial, of several members of the Muslim Sisterhood organization to help with problems in the Middle East. “We also have routine business dealings with the Clintons.”
Continuing with the excerpts from the transcript of the Mehwar TV news video, Naglaa Mahmoud claimed Hillary Clinton is looking for the support of Morsi and the MB in her 2016 run for the U.S. presidency.
Mahmoud further stated that “Hillary depends on us tremendously to help her succeed in the coming presidential elections, just as we helped Obama win twice.”
When asked about her relationship with Michelle Obama, Mahmoud said it is very good but it never developed to the point of close friendship, like with Hillary.
On the ability of women to take the lead in the revolution, Mahmoud said that could indeed happen with the Sisterhood. “I have many wives of Brotherhood leaders with me. Many of their husbands were kidnapped and jailed too. I tell them to be patient, for you will have a great reward in the future. I tell them that if their husbands are martyred, we will see to it that they are married off to other men as soon as their menstrual period is over,” she said.
According to Mahmoud, the police will not touch the women, which is why the women are so effective.
Finally, the Mehwar TV news video excerpts suggest Naglaa Mahmoud was aware the current criminal charges her husband and other MB leaders face in Egypt could be a liability for Hillary Clinton in her anticipated presidential race.
On her concerns that the MB could be identified as a terrorist organization, the wife of the former president said she was not concerned about that. Mahmoud declared that she and her colleagues are in the process of organizing a “coup against the coup.”
“We are under the condition of Jihad,” she said, “and we have a good command of the necessities of war, the ancient and the modern. I will keep the tactics of war secret because in Islam, war is trickery.” She said her conscience will not be eased until all of the traitors are hanged in the gallows.
As one of 63 leaders in the Muslim Sisterhood, Mahmoud is a colleague of Saleha Abedin, another one of those 63 leaders,” Saleha is the mother of Huma Abedin.
The MB goes on trial in Egypt in August. Criminal charges have been filed against Malik Obama, half-brother to President Obama, for his involvement allegedly managing funds for a terrorist organization based in neighboring Sudan as well as for the MB in Egypt.
A criminal trial against former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is scheduled to begin in Egypt in January 2014, with Morsi facing charges that he supported the MB in acts of violence directed against the Egyptian people.
Obama is likely to be a subject in Morsi’s criminal trial given evidence the Obama administration used to U.S. Embassy in Cairo to provide direct financial support to key MB political operatives, with the full knowledge and complicity of the Morsi government.
As Jan. 8, 2014, approaches and Egypt prepares for the next appearance in court of former president Mohammed Morsi and the 14 MB leaders facing charges of incitement to murder. Some Egyptians believe Obama and his brother Malik Obama in Kenya will be implicated in the criminal proceedings because of the support Obama and his brother have shown for the MB in Egypt.
Ebeid was the man who filed last August what in Egypt is known as “Complaint No. 1761″ with the office of Egypt’s Attorney General Hisham Barakat, a complaint that accused Malik Obama of managing investment funds for the MB in Egypt and for the Islamic Dawa Organization, or IDO, in Sudan.
Ebeid stressed that the promptness with which Hisham Barakat responded to the filing of his complaint requesting that Obama’s elder brother, Malik, be placed on the Egyptian terrorist watch list demonstrated the degree to which this case “resonated with the feelings of the majority of moderate Muslims in the Arab world.

Egyptian lawyers have filed criminal terrorism charges in the International Criminal Court against President Obama, in addition to the criminal terrorism charges previously filed in Egyptian courts against the president’s half-brother Malik.
Specifically, the criminal charges filed in the ICC against President Obama charge that he coordinated, incited, and assisted the armed elements of the MB in the commission of crimes against humanity including the torching, destruction and plundering of some 85 Christian churches, in the period March 7 through Aug. 18 in Egypt.
Middle Eastern expert Raymond Ibrahim wrote on the website of the Gatestone Institute an article entitled “What Happened to Christians in the Middle East this August?,” the attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christians and their Christian churches began with the June 30 Revolution that “saw the ousting of President Morsi and prompted the Muslim Brotherhood to scapegoat and incite violence against the copts.”
Ibrahim reported the attacks became “even more brutal in mid-August after security forces cleared out MB ‘sit in’ camps, where people were being tortured, raped, and murdered.”
He noted the attacks were especially devastating in Minya in Upper Egypt where the large Christian community was hit especially hard, with at least 20 attacks on churches, Christian schools and orphanages.
According to Ibrahim, the goal of the MB in their attack on the Copts in Egypt was “to erase all the traces of a Christian presence.” Even the Christian orphanages were looted and destroyed.
Earlier, in an article titled “Attacks on Christians Escalate in Egypt, Nigeria” published by the Gatestone Institute on Sept. 19, 2013, Ibrahim wrote:
On July 4th, the day after the Egyptian military liberated its nation from MB rule, Christian Copts were immediately scapegoated and targeted. All Islamist leaders, from MB supreme leader Muhammad Badi, to Egyptian-born al-Qaida leader Ayman Zawahiri, to top Sunni cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the MB made it a point to single out Egypt’s Copts as the group instrumental in the ousting of former MB president Morsi, a claim that ushered in a month of slaughter against the nation’s Christian minority.

Once again, we see the tactics of the globalists and the Club of Rome to create division and instability in Egypt. Hopefully, Hillary, Malik and Barack Obama will be successfully prosecuted in Egypt for their crimes against the Egyptian people.  Whether that happens or not remains to be seen because Obama and Hillary control and manipulate the globalist lame stream media. 

Iranian parliamentarians have proposed a bill to increase uranium enrichment to 60 percent in the event of new Western sanctions, the Iranian Press TV reported Wednesday. In addition to raising the enrichment level significantly, the draft, signed by 100 legislators, would resume activity at the Arak heavy water reactor.

“If the bill is approved, the government will be obliged to complete nuclear infrastructure at the Fordo and Natanz [enrichment facilities] if sanctions [against Iran] are ratcheted up, new sanctions are imposed, the country’s nuclear rights are violated and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s peaceful nuclear rights are ignored by members of the P5+1,” Seyyed Mehdi Mousavinejad, an Iranian lawmaker, said on Wednesday.
The new bill would be in direct violation of the November 24 interim agreement forged between Iran and six world powers, under which Tehran agreed to halt work at Arak, cap its enrichment at five percent, and neutralize its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium. That agreement has not yet been implemented, because the sides still have to resolve “technical details.”
The proposal also serves as a message to world powers about the Iranian commitment to advancing the nuclear program, lawmakers said.
“The bill is aimed at giving an upper hand to our government and the negotiating team… It will allow the government to continue our nuclear program if the Geneva deal fails,” Hossein Taghavi Hosseini, spokesman for parliament’s National Security and Foreign Affairs committee, said.
The bill was presented to the parliament’s presiding board and will be voted on at a later date, Iranian media reported.
The drafting of the bill came days after a group of US senators proposed The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act, which would ramp up sanctions against Iran in the event that the Islamic Republic violates the interim deal, or should later nuclear talks fail to produce a long-term agreement.

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz on Wednesday said that were the sanctions against Iran to continue for another year or two, “it would have brought about the collapse of the Iranian economy.”
Speaking at a conference at Ariel University, Steinitz said that the international sanctions regime against the Islamic Republic were “the greatest political success of the State of Israel” thanks to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts, according to Maariv. As of a few months ago, he said, the sanctions had cost Iran an estimated $100 billion, which he said was “a huge sum compared to the GDP of Iran, which stands at $450 billion per annum.”
The latest P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran, which have been focusing on the details of the interim deal, were postponed for a break over Christmas and are expected to resume before the new year. Iranian negotiators met with representatives from the United States, China, Britain, France, Russia and Germany, from Thursday last week through Sunday in Geneva to discuss the implementation of the guidelines established in the November 24 interim agreement, which has yet to go into effect.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told state television from Geneva on Sunday that the talks have been facing trouble. He said there were “incorrect interpretations” in setting a protocol to implement the deal.
“Priorities should be decided to make it clear what actions should be first and what should be done later,” Araqchi said. “But the principle of simultaneous actions by both sides is a main dominant standard in the talks.”
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed hope that the talks would conclude “sooner or later,” in a joint Tehran press conference with visiting Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino. He said the expert-level talks in Geneva were “slowly” moving forward.

Iraq civilian deaths since 2008

Two bombs in Christian areas of the Iraqi capital Baghdad have killed at least 35 people, officials have said.
One device exploded near a Catholic church when worshippers were leaving a Christmas Day service, killing 24. Another bomb ripped through a market, killing 11 more people.
Christian leaders denied that the attacks had targeted worshippers.
Iraq's ancient Christian community has more than halved in recent years, from an estimated population of 900,000.
Both blasts happened in the Dora area of Baghdad.
The bomb outside St John's Catholic church exploded in a parked car, shortly after a blast at an outdoor market in the mainly Christian al-Athorien district.
No-one has yet admitted carrying out the attacks, which came as Christmas Day services were held across Iraq.
During a service at St Joseph Chaldean church in the Karrada area of the capital, Father Saad Seroub called for peace and security for all Iraqis.
Churches have been targeted across the country since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
An attack by gunmen in 2010 on the Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad left more than 50 people dead.
A surge in sectarian violence this year has claimed the lives of more than 7,000 civilians in Iraq, the highest annual number of fatalities since 2008.
Most of the attacks have targeted Shia civilians and the smaller Sunni population.
The bloodshed escalated in April, after the army raided a Sunni anti-government protest camp.
The conflict in Syria has also prompted a spike in attacks, many involving al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told the BBC on Sunday that the Syrian crisis was "feeding terrorism in the region".

Raymond Ibrahim wrote the following article. Watchman comment: please pray that Yeshua returns today so that our brothers and sisters around the world stop suffering persecution in His name.
Christians in the Islamic world today are suffering attacks motivated by the very same diabolical animus as a thousand years ago under Hakim [the Egyptian caliph who ordered the destruction of reportedly 30,000 churches in the 10th –11th century].
Proof of this is that some of the most terrible assaults occur precisely on Christian holidays — Christmas, Easter, and New Year’s Eve (which is a major church day in the Middle East). And no wonder, considering that some Muslim clerics insist that “saying Merry Christmas is worse than fornication . . . or killing someone.”
After some fourteen centuries of church attacks and other persecution — punctuated by a brief Christian Golden Age — Egypt’s Copts began the new year in 2011 once again under assault, at one of their largest churches: during midnight Mass in the early hours of January 1, 2011, the Two Saints Coptic Church in Alexandria, crowded with hundreds of Christian worshippers, was bombed, leaving at least twenty-three dead and approximately a hundred injured.
According to eyewitnesses, “body parts were strewn all over the street outside the church. The body parts were covered with newspapers until they were brought inside the church after some Muslims started stepping on them and chanting Jihadi chants,” including “Allahu Akbar!”
Witnesses further attest that “security forces withdrew one hour before the church blast.” And a year earlier, radical Muslims shot and killed six Christians as they were leaving church after celebrating the Coptic Christmas Eve midnight Mass in Nag Hammadi.
December 25, 2011, was called Nigeria’s “blackest Christmas ever.” In a number of coordinated jihadi operationsIslamic terrorists bombed several churches during Christmas liturgies, killing at least thirty-eight people, “the majority dying on the steps of a Catholic church after celebrating Christmas Mass as blood pooled in dust from a massive explosion.”
Charred bodies and dismembered limbs lay scattered around the destroyed church. This attack was simply a reenactment of Christmas Eve one year earlier, in 2010, when several other churches were set ablaze and Christians were attacked, also leaving nearly thirty-eight dead.
There was no reprieve for Nigeria’s Christians when the next religious holiday came; some fifty Christians were killed “when explosives concealed in two cars went off near the Assemblies of God’s Church during Easter Sunday services” in April 2012 in a predominantly Muslim region.
According to the pastor, “We were in the Holy Communion service and I was exhorting my people and all of a sudden, we heard a loud noise that shattered all our windows and doors.”
December 25, 2012, saw a repeat of the last few Christmases: in two separate attacks, Islamist gunmen shot and killed twelve Christian worshippers who had gathered for Christmas Eve church services, including one church’s pastor.
The violence in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, was not so bloody, but Muslims’ hostility was equally clear. In December 2012, more than two hundred Muslims threw rotten eggs at nearly one hundred Christians desiring to hold a Christmas Mass in empty land outside Jakarta, since their church, the Philadelphia Batak Protestant Church, had been illegally closed.
A photographer saw angered Muslims — men, women wearing the hijab (the Muslim headscarf), and children — blocking the road and hurling rotten eggs at those attempting to worship. According to the Reverend Palti Panjaitan, the incident followed a Christmas Eve attack when “intolerant people” threw not only rotten eggs but also “plastic bags filled with urine and cow dung” at the Christians. “Everything had happened while police were there. They were just watching without doing anything to stop them from harming us.”
The attack was a repeat of what had happened several months earlier, during an Ascension Day church service in May 2012. Then, some six hundred Muslim extremists threw bags of urine, stones, and rotten eggs at the same congregation. The mob also threatened to kill the pastor. No arrests were made.
The church had applied for a permit to construct its house of worship five years ago. But pressured by local Muslims, the local administration ordered the church to shut down in December 2009 — though the Supreme Court overruled its decision, saying the church was eligible for the permit. Regardless, local Muslims and officials demand the church cease to exist.
In the Philippines, during Mass on Christmas Day 2010, a bomb exploded inside a packed Catholic church in the “Muslim-dominated” island of Jolo, injuring six worshippers including the priest. The bomb was planted by the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group, which according to the Daily Mail “has been blamed for several bomb attacks on the Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo since the early 2000s and for kidnapping priests and nuns.”
While many more examples of church attacks on Christian holidays could be given, the four examples above demonstrate an important point. Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, and the Philippines have very little in common.
These countries do not share the same language, race, or culture. What, then, do they have in common that explains this similar pattern of church attacks during Christian holy days? The answer is Islam. All four countries have large Muslim populations.
If Islamic jihadis target churches during Christian holidays, Islamic governments exploit the law to oppress Christian worship during those same holidays.
For example, in December 2011 in Iran, several reports appeared indicating “a sharp increase of activities against Christians prior to Christmas by the State Security centers of the Islamic Republic.” Local churches were “ordered to cancel Christmas and New Year’s celebrations as a show of their compliance and support” for “the two-month-long mourning activities of the Shia’ Moslems” (activities which culminate with a bloody exhibition of self-mutilation and flagellation during Ashura).
Two days before Christmas 2011, state security raided an Assemblies of God’s church. Most of those present, including Sunday school children, were arrested and interrogated. Hundreds of Christian books were seized.
As one reporter put it, “Raids and detentions during the Christmas season are not uncommon in Iran, a Shi’a-majority country that is seen as one of the worst persecutors of religious minorities.”
Indeed, such oppression of Christians during Christmas is not uncommon throughout much of the Islamic world. In Iraq, some Muslim school teachers in Mosul’s elementary and high schools scheduled exams for December 25, 2012, forcing Christian students to attend school on Christmas Day and miss Christmas Mass, “even though authorities had identified the 25th of December as an official holiday for Christians.”
In December 2011 in supposedly moderate Malaysia, priests and church youth leaders were required to obtain “caroling permits” by submitting their full names and identity card numbers at police stations—always a harrowing experience—simply to visit their fellow church members and sing carols like “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night.”
In Pakistan in 2011, Christians lamented that “extreme power outages have become routine during Christmas and Easter seasons.” In Indonesia, December 2011, after “vandals” decapitated the statue of the Virgin Mary in a small grotto days before Christmas, the “embattled” church of GKI Bogor, another Christian church that local Muslims want eliminated, was forced to move its Christmas prayers to a member’s house after Islamic groups warned Christians not to meet at the site of the church.
Whatever you are doing this Christmas, do not forget what so many have to endure in order to celebrate the simple act of showing faith and allegiance to their Christian heritage, traditions, and beliefs.

NOTE FROM THe AUTHORThe above excerpts are drawn from my book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (pgs. 42-45), which provides a glimpse at the horrors and humiliations Christians throughout the Muslim world are exposed to whenever they try to meet and worship in church on Christmas and other Christian holidays.
On this day in 2004, a huge earthquake off the coast of Indonesia - the second most powerful ever recorded - created a giant tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
The tsunami struck the coastlines of India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, Thailand and other countries as far away as Somalia and Kenya. Hundreds of thousands of people died and billions of pounds of damage was caused.
Scientists later reported the waves unleashed a force equal to a 100-gigaton bomb. The disaster prompted the biggest aid operation ever.

South Sudan is colored green

The United Nations' humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan said Tuesday that he had "absolutely no doubt" that thousands of people had been killed in violence that threatens to tear the world's newest country apart a little more than two years after it won independence. 
Toby Lanzer made the remarks quoted by Sky News after U.N. investigators discovered two mass grave in the rebel-held city Bentiu in the oil-rich Unity state. Human rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told the Associated Press that one grave contained 14 bodies and a site nearby contained 20 bodies. Originally the U.N. said 75 bodies had been seen but later corrected that statement to 34 bodies seen and 75 people missing and feared dead.
In New York, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to beef up its peacekeeping force in South Sudan. It condemned targeted violence against civilians and ethnic communities and called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities and the immediate opening of a dialogue."
A U.S. military spokesman said Tuesday that a platoon of Marines and an aircraft had been moved from Camp Lemmonnier in Djibouti to the Entebbe airfield in Uganda in order to respond more quickly if they are asked to evacuate any Americans remaining in South Sudan. 
The government, meanwhile, announced that its military forces had taken back another key city, Bor, from the rebels who held it over the last week.
The government minister of information, Michael Makuei Lueth, said Bentiu is under the control of rebels loyal to the country's former vice president, Riek Machar, indicating they were responsible for the killings.
The dead in Bentiu reportedly were ethnic Dinka who belonged to the Sudan People's Liberation Army, said Shamdasani, referring to government military forces.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir is Dinka, the country's largest ethnic group, while Machar is Nuer, the second-largest ethnic group.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke on the phone Tuesday with Machar, who said he told Kerry he is ready for talks with Kiir, likely to take place in Ethiopia.
"The United States urges all parties in the crisis in South Sudan to implement an immediate cessation of hostilities," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement released on Tuesday.  "This will offer critical humanitarian access to populations in dire need and open a space for a mediated political dialogue between the opposing sides." 
"The ability of the parties to implement the ceasefire will send a strong signal to the citizens of South Sudan and the world that as leaders they have the courage to accept compromise and work for the best interests of all of the people of this young nation," she added.
Machar said, also on Tuesday, to Radio France Internationale; "I will form a high-level delegation, to which I will give full power to negotiate an accord. We want Salva Kiir to quit power. We want a democratic nation and free and fair elections."
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, reiterating his call for Kiir and opposition leaders to end the crisis, said: "Whatever the differences, nothing can justify the violence that has engulfed their young nation."
"There is no military solution to this crisis," Ban stressed. "This is a political crisis which requires a peaceful political solution."
Violence began spreading across South Sudan after a fight among Kiir's presidential guards late Dec. 15, pitting Nuer against Dinka.
Some 20,000 people seeking safety have crowded round the U.N. base in Juba, the capital, where at least two other mass graves are reported to have been found, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said.
The U.N. humanitarian office said 45,000 people have taken refuge in and around U.N. bases in the country, and 81,000 people have fled their homes as a result of the fighting.
However, a U.N. report quoted by Sky News said "Given the limited access to civilians outside population centres, the number is likely to be significantly higher."
The Security Council voted to temporarily increase the number of U.N. military personnel in South Sudan from 7,000 to 12,500, and the U.N.'s international police contingent from 900 to 1,323.
To reach the new levels, the resolution authorizes the temporary transfer of troops, police and equipment from the U.N. missions in Congo, Darfur, Abyei, Ivory Coast and Liberia.
Ban recommended in a letter to the council on Monday that the peacekeeping mission be beefed up and asked for three attack helicopters, three utility helicopters, and a C-130 military transport plane as well as other critical equipment.
After the vote, the secretary-general cautioned that strengthening the U.N. mission "will not happen overnight" — and even with additional manpower and equipment "we will not be able to protect every civilian in need in South Sudan."
"The parties are responsible to end the conflict," Ban stressed.
The United States, Norway and Ethiopia are leading efforts to open peace talks on the 10-day-old crisis. Officials say Kiir and Machar have agreed to meet but specifics, including the status of Machar's imprisoned compatriots, are holding up talks.
South Sudan's U.N. Ambassador Francis Deng assured the Security Council after the vote that the government "is doing as much as it can, under very difficult circumstances, to restore calm and stability to the affected areas in the country."
"South Sudanese do not want to fall back into the abyss of war from which they have suffered for over half a century," he said.
Deng repeated a statement from Kiir on Tuesday calling for an end to violence and ethnic targeting, and calling on Machar and the forces supporting him "to rise to the challenge of peace, unity and nation building."
South Sudanese troops, meanwhile, advanced on Bor on Tuesday, said military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer. The government said on Twitter later that it was clearing out remaining rebel forces.
The U.N. has staff in the country investigating mass killings, said Pillay, the U.N. rights chief. It is unclear who is responsible for the deaths, she said. Two other mass graves were reportedly found in Jebel-Kujur and Newside, near Eden, she said.
The country's top U.N. humanitarian official, Toby Lanzer, said Monday that he believes the death toll from 10 days of violence has surpassed 1,000 but added that there are no firm counts.
A top European Union official, Catherine Ashton, said political dialogue must include all groups, including those whose leaders are currently imprisoned. The use of force, she said, will achieve nothing.
"I am extremely concerned that South Sudan risks spiraling into a disaster for both its own people and the region. Such a situation can, and must, be avoided," Ashton said.
Hilde F. Johnson, head of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan, called the scale of the crisis "unprecedented" for the mission, and urged more resources to help people in U.N. camps across the country.
She also called on all those in South Sudan to refrain from "any community motivated violence."
The Security Council condemned "reported human rights violations by all parties, including armed groups and national security forces" and called for those responsible to be held accountable.
South Sudan, the world's newest country, peacefully broke away from Sudan in 2011 following a 2005 peace deal. Before that, the south fought decades of war with Sudan. The country, one of the world's least developed, still has pockets of rebel resistance and sees cyclical, tribal clashes that result in hundreds of deaths.
Friends, let me preface the following news by saying that the U.S. cannot build a long term, successful economy built on gambling. It is immoral and debilitates both people and our economy. Gambling will never replace good, old fashioned capitalistic manufacturing.

It seems as if the reasons for the very existence of Atlantic City and Las Vegas are in serious jeopardy.

Beginning in the late 1940s, Las Vegas became known as the 'adult playground of the world.' Celebrities knew they made the big time when their names graced the billboards of ‘Sin City.’ Gamblers hoping to make money would flock there all year and families looking for a nice getaway would enjoy relaxing by the extravagant swimming pools under the hot desert sun, seeing the various shows and concerts, and whenever possible, sneaking away to the blackjack tables while their kids slept. nIt was paradise.

On the other hand, Atlantic City, once a major vacation spot during the roaring 20s and 1930s, as seen on HBOs Boardwalk Empire, collapsed when cheap air fare became the norm and people had no reason to head to the many beach town resorts on the East Coast. Within a few decades, the city, known for being an ‘oasis of sin’ during the prohibition era, fell into serious decline and dilapidation. New Jersey officials felt the only way to bring Atlantic City back from the brink of disaster would be to legalize gambling. Atlantic City’s first casino, Resorts, first opened its doors in 1978. People stood shoulder to shoulder, packed into the hotel as gambling officially made its way to the East Coast. Folks in the East Coast didn't have to make a special trip all the way to Vegas in order to enjoy some craps, slots, roulette and more.

As time wore on, Atlantic City and Las Vegas became the premier gambling spots in the country. 

While detractors felt that the area still remained poor and dilapidated, officials were quick to point out that the casinos didn't bring the mass gentrification to Atlantic City as much as they hoped but the billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs for the surrounding communities was well worth it.

Atlantic City developed a reputation as more of a short-stay ‘day-cation’ type of place, yet managed to stand firm against the 'adult playground' and 'entertainment capital of the world' Las Vegas.

Through-out the 1980s and 1990s, these two places would become an integral part of American pop culture as the place to gamble and have fun no matter which coast you lived at.

However in the late 1980s, a landmark ruling considered Native-American reservations to be sovereign entities not bound by state law. It was the first potential threat to the iron grip Atlantic City and Vegas had on the gambling and entertainment industry. Huge 'mega casinos' were built on reservations that rivaled Atlantic City and Vegas. In turn, Vegas built even more impressive casinos. 

Atlantic City, in an attempt to make the city more appealing to the ‘big whale’ millionaire and billionaire gamblers, and in effort to move away from its ‘seedy’ reputation, built the luxurious Borgata casino in 2003. Harrah’s created a billion dollar extension and other casinos in the area went through serious renovations and re-branded themselves.

It seemed as if the bite that the Native American casinos took out of AC and Vegas’ profits was negligible and that the dominance of those two cities in the world of gambling would remain unchallenged.

Then Macau, formally a colony of Portugal, was handed back to the Chinese in 1999. The gambling industry there had been operated under a government-issued monopoly license by Stanley Ho's Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau. The monopoly was ended in 2002. Under the one country, two systems policy, the territory remained virtually unchanged aside from mega casinos popping up everywhere. All the rich ‘whales’ from the far east had no reason anymore to go to Las Vegas to spend their money.

Then came their biggest threat. As revenue from dog and horse racing tracks around the United States dried up, government officials needed a way to bring back jobs and revitalize the surrounding communities. Slot machines in race tracks started in Iowa in 1994 but took off in 2004 when Pennsylvania introduced ‘Racinos’ in an effort to reduce property taxes for the state and to help depressed areas bounce back. As of 2013, racinos are legal in ten states: Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Tracks like Delaware Park and West Virginia's Mountaineer Park, once considered places where local degenerates bet on broken-down nags in claiming races, are now among the wealthiest tracks around, with the best races. The famous Aqueduct race track in Queens, NY, once facing an uncertain future, now possesses the most profitable casino in the United States. From June 2012 to June 2013, Aqueduct matched a quarter of Atlantic City's total gaming revenue from its dozen casinos: $729.2 million compared with A.C.'s $2.9 billion. It has taken an estimated 15 percent hit on New Jersey casino revenue and climbing.

And it isn't just Aqueduct that's taking business away from them.  Atlantic City's closest major city, Philadelphia, only 35-40 minutes away, and one of the largest cities in America, now has a casino that has contributed heavily to the decline in gamers visiting the area. 

The situation in Vegas isn't much better. The great recession of the late 2000s hit Las Vegas hard. As the recession wore on, and as gambling received approval in various jurisdictions throughout the United States, folks realized they didn't need to travel thousands of miles just to gamble. Casino revenues and the price of real estate plummeted. Unemployment went as high as 14 percent, however unofficially, local officials said it may have been as high as 30 percent. More than half of all home owners with a mortgage in the entire state of Nevada owe more than their homes are worth. One local bought his condo in 2006 for $209,000, and as of 2012 it was worth barely $60,000. However, in mid 2013 housing prices started to bounce back in what many are calling a new bubble. But according to this so-called bubble is simply from banks completing their foreclosures and holding onto inventory.  The increased value of properties has been attracting various investors and speculators, which is helping fuel this latest rise in real estate prices. Experts say once banks start releasing the foreclosed homes into the market to start selling them, the prices may begin to get depressed again. In Las Vegas alone, more than half of properties with mortgages are still underwater, or worth less than the loans against them, according to Zillow Inc., a real estate data firm. 
Trendy hotels like SLS Las Vegas are set to open in 2014, in an effort to reinvent the city as purely an entertainment paradise. One local said “The reality is, people just won’t fly to the middle of a desert to play some slots, watch shows and sit down for some blackjack when they can drive right near their town or city, or play legally online.”

And now it looks like the feds may soon allow online gambling across the United States. Last May, the American Gaming Association called on Congress to enact federal legislation that would allow states to license and regulate online poker so Americans who play can do so safely using responsible, law-abiding operators. The Department of Justice made a decision that the Federal Wire Act only prohibits the transmission of communications relative to bets or wagers on sporting events or contests. It also clarifies that intrastate lottery tickets sold online are legal, so long as the lottery games do not involve sport wagering, even if the transmission crosses state lines. Officials say this has opened up the possibility that online gambling may get approved on a federal level. New Jersey is the third state in the U.S. to have authorized internet gambling.  However, these online casinos are owned and controlled by Atlantic City casinos in an effort to boost profits in the face of fierce competition. California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Texas are hoping to join Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and the U.S. Virgin Islands in offering online gambling to their residents. Nevada also enacted modifications to their internet gambling law to allow for interstate compacts, among other provisions in hopes to draw higher stakes jackpots, similar to the Mega Millions and Power Ball lottery games that are played in multiple states.

With this in mind, it seems the niche that Las Vegas and Atlantic City once offered as a gambling and entertainment hub is heading toward the dustbin of history. Time will tell if these two cities will end up like Detroit. However, the fact that they are losing their biggest industries to major competition, much like Detroit did, with depressed housing, casinos bankrupting/closing and businesses fleeing, makes their fate seem eerily similar.

A motorist said he felt violated when a private contractor working for the federal government forced him and other motorists off an eastern Pennsylvania street to try to survey them about their driving habits and ask for a swab of their mouth. Reading, PA. resident Ricardo Nieves complained about the checkpoint to City Council saying he felt it was a “gross abuse of power.”
The voluntary checkpoint was conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation as part of a survey for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the newspaper reported. It was one of a series of roadblocks nationwide to study alcohol and drug use by motorists. The survey has been conducted periodically since the 1970s.

Police Chief William Heim said the checkpoints were voluntary and that motorists were under no obligation to take part in the anonymous survey or the swab. He defended the use of Reading police to perform site security, saying they did not pull motorists over, nor ask any questions. But Nieves said, “A federal survey with local police help violates my rights.” Earlier this year, Alabama’s governor and attorney general announced a review of similar roadblocks in which motorists were asked for breath, blood and saliva samples. In that case, off-duty officers in two Alabama counties were used to set up the roadblocks for the study by the Pacific Institute.

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