Global Warming or Another Ice Age? – January 11, 2010 (Telegraph.co.uk)
The world could be in for a spell of cooler temperatures, rather than hotter conditions, as a result of cyclical changes in ocean currents for the next 20 or 30 years. Research by Professor Mojib Latif, one of the world’s leading climate modellers, questions the widely held view that global temperatures will rise rapidly over the coming years. According to Prof Latif of the Leibniz Institute at Germany’s Kiel University, “A significant share of the warming we saw from 1980 to 2000 and at earlier periods in the 20th Century was due to these cycles â�� perhaps as much as 50 per cent.”
1200+ Crimes Against US Churches in 2009 – January 05, 2010 (The Christian Post)
There were at least 1,237 crimes committed against Christian churches and ministries in the United States this past year, according to a report released Monday. Included among the crimes are 12 homicides and 38 other violent incidents â�� including three sexual assaults and three kidnappings â�� 98 arsons and over 700 burglaries, according to the 2009 “Crimes Against Christian Organizations in the United States” report published by the Christian Security Network.The network said the church burglaries resulted in an estimated $24 million in property loss.
The birth mother of a 7-year-old Virginia girl must transfer custody of the child to the woman’s former lesbian partner, a Vermont judge ruled, adding that it seems the woman has “disappeared” with her daughter. Miller and Jenkins were joined in a Vermont civil union in 2000. Isabella was born to Miller through artificial insemination in 2002. The couple broke up in 2003, and Miller moved to Virginia, renounced homosexuality and became an evangelical Christian. Cohen awarded custody of the girl to Jenkins on Nov. 20 after finding Miller in contempt of court for denying Jenkins access to the girl.
88 Teheran University Professors Criticize Khamenei – January 04, 2010 (AP and Jerusalem Post)
Dozens of Teheran University professors appealed to Iran’s supreme leader to halt the ongoing violence against opposition protesters, a pro-reform Web site reported Monday. The letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – signed by 88 professors – was the latest daring challenge to the Iran’s clerical leadership. The letter called the attacks a sign of weakness in the ruling system and demanded punishment for those who beat up students. It also urged Khamenei to order arrests over the hard-line crackdown, which intensified after protesters began chanting slogans against the supreme leader.
Devoted Christians in several areas of Tajikistan faced uncertainty Tuesday, January 5, over the future of their churches after the former Soviet republic introduced a new religion law that the United States has criticized as highly restrictive. The Religion Law, which came into forces on New Year’s Day, empowers the government to impose stricter control of religious groups in the former Soviet republic that tolerates only the state-approved version of Islam.
Landslides and a tsunami unleashed by a major earthquake destroyed some 200 houses on one Solomon island, leaving about one-third of the population homeless, a disaster management official said Tuesday. Visual assessments from the air showed extensive damage on a remote western island after a 7.2-magnitude temblor struck near the Pacific Solomon Islands on Monday,
To try to speed final passage and get the bill to President Obama’s desk, House and Senate Democrats intend to bypass traditional procedures when they negotiate a final compromise on health care legislation, officials said yesterday, a move that will exclude Republican lawmakers who have vowed to block the bill. Democratic aides said the final compromise talks would essentially be a three-way negotiation involving top Democrats in the House and Senate and the White House, a structure that gives unusual latitude to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.
Robert Park, a 28-year-old US citizen of Korean background, reportedly crossed the frozen Tumen river border on Christmas Day. He was carrying a Bible and a letter addressed to Kim Jong-il, appealing for the reclusive North Korean leader to open the impoverished country’s borders to aid, to free political prisoners and close prison camps. In his letter, he says, “I proclaim Christ’s love and forgiveness towards you today. God promises mercy and clemency for those who repent…”
German Hacker Breaks Cell Phone Encryption – December 29, 2009 (The Wall Street Journal)
A German hacker claims to have cracked the encryption that protects most cellphone calls, potentially paving the way for others to eavesdrop on conversations. The hacker, Karsten Nohl, says he and a small team broke the encryption code for networks on GSM technology, which makes up more than 80 percent of the world’s cellular networks, to show how vulnerable they are and to make carriers more serious about security.
Christian Girls’ Abduction And Forced Islamic Marriage in Egypt Documented – December 23, 2009 (Assyrian International News Agency)
The phenomenon of abduction, rape and forced Islamization of Christian girls in Egypt was shown for the first time on the Christian TV channel “Life TV”, which broadcasts from outside Egypt and has nearly 60 million Arab-speaking viewers in Egypt and around the world. The testimonies of the victims and their families came as a shock to many, including Egyptian Christians, since this issue is taboo for the Egyptian media, “Our role is to expose those behind those crimes,” said Rasheed El Maghreby, the program’s moderator.
A Colorado woman and her baby were brought back to life after apparently dying in labor, observers say. Tracy Hermanstorfer’s heart stopped Christmas Eve while she was in labor and so doctors at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs performed an emergency Cesarean section without anesthesia in an effort to save the baby. The tiny lifeless body was handed to his father, who held his son while doctors worked to get him breathing. “They actually got him started right in my hands,” Mike Hermanstorfer he told KKTV. “That is an amazing feeling.”
China Russia And ‘Pipelinestan’ – December 28, 2009 (The National)
With some of the world’s biggest oil, gas and metals reserves, Central Asia has become “Pipelinestan” – the focal point of geopolitical competition among China, Russia, Iran and the West, all seeking a share of the region’s resources and, in the case of oil and gas, transporting them via pipelines. India, too, is expected to become more active in Pipelinestan. But it is China that has rapidly increased its clout in Central Asia in the past few years, as it has in Africa. Through big loans, investments, trade, and a willingness to undertake projects others considered too costly or too difficult, China has enlarged the sphere and scope of its influence.