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When Russia Money Runs Out, the Real Trouble Starts
Jan 22nd, 2016
Daily News
Categories: Today's Headlines

Stuck in a recession and with no sign of a reprieve in the oil price, Russia could quickly descend into chaos if the money runs out, William Browder, a well-known critic of the Kremlin and chief executive of Hermitage Capital, told CNBC.

"I don't think you can underestimate how bad the situation in Russia is right now, you've got oil below any measure where the budget can survive and you've got sanctions from the West. Russia is in what I'd call a real serious economic crisis," he said on Thursday.

Speaking to CNBC in Davos where global business and political leaders are attending the World Economic Forum (WEF), Browder said the central bank of Russia was "running out of money."

"Let's say that they have $200 billion (in reserve) and they're burning through all sorts of money right now because of the oil prices and sanctions. They just don't have the money to support the ruble and so Russians are just suffering," he said, adding.

"Eventually they're going to run out of that money and when they do, that's when the real trouble begins," he added.

His comments come as the ruble continued its slide against the dollar. On Thursday it hit 85 rubles per dollar.

Browder was a one-time fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin but he became one of the Kremlin's biggest critics following the death of his lawyer and friend Sergei Magnitsky, who was found dead while in police custody in 2009. 

Browder believes the Russian authorities were responsible for the death of Magnitsky, who had been investigating corruption among Russian officials before his death. Browder also wants an international investigation into the killing of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov. Browder himself was expelled from Russia in 2005 after criticizing alleged endemic corruption in the country.

Russia entered recession in 2015 following the dramatic decline in global oil prices (Russia is a major oil producer) as well as international sanctions imposed on it for its annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and role in the pro-Russian uprising in Ukraine in the same year.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its growth forecast for Russia in 2016, predicting that the economy would contract by 1 percent, worse than the 0.6 percent contraction predicted by the IMF in October.

Concerns over Russia have manifested themselves in Russian markets which have continued to experience tumult since the start of the year. The ruble has also continued its slide against the dollar, falling a further 8 percent since the start of the year to currently trade around 81 rubles to the dollar.


Outside the Camp
Jan 22nd, 2016
Art Sadlier
Categories: Exhortation

One of the significant lessons we learn from the Levitical offerings is the importance of separation. The Lamb which was sacrificed as an atonement for sin, was burned without the camp. The significance of that statement is unfolded in the Epistles of Paul. In the Levitical offerings we learn much about Israel’s call to separation. The whole Levitical system marked out Israel as a separate and distinct people and nation. They were separated from the world unto Jehovah.

God called Abraham to come away from the pagans around him: it was a call to separation. Abraham was to leave Ur of the Chaldees and go to a new land that God would show him. The story of Israel is the story of separation. Everything about Israel involves separation. They were given a distinct diet, distinct clothing, a distinct religion and even the haircuts of the men made them appear different from all other men. They were also given a distinct land as their exclusive possession. Three time God took them off the Promised Land because of failure to be separate from those around them. Each time their separation was restored and they were returned to the land (though that present process is now not yet completed).

Today in our world, though very few understand it, the major issue of our time is the separation of Israel from the nations around her. The devil is determined to prevent that separation if he possibly can.

We as followers of Christ are also called to go outside the camp. Hebrews 13:12-13, “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach

The church is a group of called out ones, the word “church” means a group of men and women who are called out of the world, to gather around the Lord Jesus Christ. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).

All of Israel’s major problems have been related to the failure to separate from the nations around them. I believe that the major problems of the body of Christ today are related to the failure to separate apostate Christianity that surrounds her, and from the worldly people who would influence her. This issue of separation far exceeds any other issue in this present hour concerning the body of Christ. If you feel that I am labouring this issue to much, my answer is this issue cannot be over emphasised. New Evangelicalism has literally destroyed the Evangelical/ Fundamental Church.  I have watched this process for over sixty years and we are now witnessing the final stages of the great apostasy.

Something happened to the Church of Christ about sixty years ago. It began a process that has been ongoing ever since, a process that is now climaxing in a great apostasy. The church abandoned its separation with the birth of New Evangelicalism.

We have a telling statement about New Evangelicalism by the man who gave birth to it. Dr. Harold Ockenga wrote, “Neo-evangelicalism was born in 1948 in connection with a convocation address which I gave in the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena. While reaffirming the theological view of fundamentalism, this address repudiated its ecclesiology and its social theory. The ringing call for a repudiation of separatism and the summons to social involvement received a hearty response from many evangelicals... It differed from fundamentalism in its repudiation of separatism and its determination to engage itself in the theological dialogue of the day. It had a new emphasis upon the application of the gospel to the sociological, political, and economic areas of life.”

Notice some the distinctive marks of New Evangelicalism that are revealed in this New Evangelical manifesto. These marks are found in present day New Evangelical churches.

First we see that this new movement intended to hide behind the theology of fundamentalism. “While reaffirming the theological view of fundamentalism,the New Evangelical pastor gives lip service to the same general theology as Fundamentalism. You can go into most New Evangelical churches today and hear what may appear to be the same bible teaching as found in fundamentalism. However, it is filled with the compromises of the New Evangelical movement, it involves easy-believism and it is shallow and carefully crafted to give no offense. It has the form of fundamentalism but it calls for no commitment to separation from the world. All the while the undiscerning Christian is deceived into thinking the message is generally sound.

Second we see a real change in New Evangelicalism in the area separation from liberal Christianity. Okenga said, “This address repudiated its ecclesiology and its social theory.” The position of the fundamental church up to that time was separation from liberal apostasy. The new movement would now enter into dialogue and association with liberal apostasy. The ones who had hitherto gone forth without the camp of false Christianity were now committing to returning to the camp. A few years later the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association invited liberal churches to be involved in cooperative evangelism. The barrier between liberals and fundamentalists was broken down, separation from apostasy was lost.

Ockenga also included the repudiation of the churches social theory. Individual believers would no longer be encouraged to practice separated living. The idea was to get involved in the world and the things of the world in order to show the world that you are really like them. If you appeared to be no different from the people of the world then maybe they would be open to the gospel. This man’s philosophy but it is counter to God’s clear commands. The walls of separated living were broken down.

At that point in 1948, the many in the evangelical church took a 180 degree turn and began a march right back into the camp of the world and the camp of liberalism. It abandoned separation from the world and separation from the apostate counterfeit church.

At that point the Church of Laodicea was born out of the fundamentalism of Philadelphia. Laodicean-Evangelicalism has been on a downward spiral ever since, you can easily trace it.

As we have stated in the 1950’s under Billy Graham, evangelicals and liberals came together in ecumenical evangelism. Separation was abandoned in direct disobedience to God’s Word. But who can oppose evangelism?  That is the deceptiveness of the whole movement.

Following that, theological dialogue began to take place between evangelicals and liberals. When you mix truth with error you get error. Wrap a mud ball in a white sheet and what happens to the mud ball? The mud ball remains unchanged. What always happens to the white sheet? It is so corrupted that it is useless for its intended purpose. The new Laodicean church was making everyone happy and growing in favour and popularity with the world. It did not even notice the real changes taking place within.

By the 1960’s the new ecclesiology and the new social theory were fertile ground for the Church Growth Movement. The methods of the world and the philosophies of the world were used to bring people into the church. It all seemed so good, but it was contrary to God’s plan and purpose for the church. Gradually the church changed. They now had growing numbers of unsaved people, the converts of easy-believism. They had to take care not to offend or discourage this new crowd from returning next Sunday.

By the 1970’s the User-Friendly church came upon the scene. They developed ingenious ways to draw and entertain the crowds that now felt as comfortable in church as in a movie theatre or a rock concert or a night club. The message was still from the Bible but it had to be watered down, made more palatable for the carnal and unsaved.

The church growth gurus stated plainly that if you are to attract the unchurched you must change the way you do church. You must offer them new settings and new and experiences. You must meet their felt needs, (not their real spiritual needs). You must do away with hymns and major on the contemporary music of the world so that they will not feel that they are in church. Remove the pews, do away with the choir and replace it with the worship team. Dress casually and conform the church to the world, if you make the unsaved feel at home in the church they will flood in with their friends, and they did.  The crowds will buy into the gospel of easy-believism because man is religious in nature and is seeking for an easy way to heaven.

By the 1980’s the Purpose driven church came on the scene. Rick Warren credits the spectacular numerical growth of his Saddleback Church to his Purpose Driven Model, an organizational and marketing strategy primarily inspired by a marketing expert, Peter Drucker; a man who professes that he is not a Christian.

Paul Smith, a Calvary Chapel pastor, and author of the book entitled, “New Evangelicalism” states that the Purpose Driven model comes straight out of the business world. It appeals to a wider audience with its common sense approach, seeker friendly, and soft-sell approach. The Purpose Driven model has successfully integrated Drucker’s systems theory into postmodern church theology and practice worldwide.”

New Evangelical seminaries train men to take a traditional church and mould it into a postmodern accommodating mindset that will reach a postmodern culture.

The New Evangelical movement started on a slippery slope that produced the market driven User-Friendly church, out of which came the Purpose Driven Church, out of which the Emergent church has now come. All three are headed together down the road to the apostate church of Revelation 17. That process is now fully underway with the use of mystical contemplative prayer, which is thinly veiled Catholicism. The growing new evangelical left is moving rapidly toward the theology and practices of fathers of the Roman Catholic Church. They are reviving the liturgy and the icons and the eschatology of the ancient fathers, a term used for the medieval Catholic Church.

One recent poll claims that 25 percent of American evangelicals do not believe that Christ is the only way to heaven. Whatever the percentage is, rampant apostasy is sweeping the Laodicean/Evangelical church.

It all started with the abandonment of separation in 1948 and the birth of the New Evangelical movement. The church has moved one inch at a time, no one would contend for the inch, and now much of the church is miles away from where it once was and ought to be.

The source of apostasy is always the failure to separate, the failure to go without the camp. In our personal lives and in our churches, failure to separate is always the source of great problems and failure. There are many symptoms and consequences, but only one source. The basic problem is not the music, though it is a real problem. The basic problem is not the methods, though they are a real problem. The basic problem is not the type of worship, though that is a real problem. The basic problem is not the translations, though that is a real problem. These are all the fruit of the loss of separation.

I think we little realize the full extent of our compromise with the world. We, God’s people, have compromised with the world. The effect of the New Evangelical movement has deeply impacted almost all of us. It has impacted upon our fundamental churches more than we realize. The world has flooded into our lives, into our hearts and into our souls. The love of the world is more pervasive in our lives than we fully realize.

Separation is God’s remedy for apostasy and worldliness. Oh how the flesh nature reacts against the call to separate from the world and all it stands for and all it has to offer. The heart cries out, “ask me for anything, but do not ask me to separate!”

Jesus said,” So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple,” (Luke 14:33). That is separation from the world and death to our own desires. If you redefine those words you do it at the peril of your soul. Jesus says what He means and He means what He says.

Tozer said, “Let us plant ourselves on the hill of Zion and invite the world to come over to us, but never under any circumstances will we go over to them. The cross is the symbol of Christianity, and the cross speaks of death and separation, never of compromise. No one ever compromised with a cross. The cross separated between the dead and the living.

The timid and the fearful will cry Extreme! And they will be right. The cross is the essence of all that is extreme and final. The message of Christ is a call across a gulf from death to life, from sin to righteousness and from Satan to God.

The first step for any Christian who is seeking spiritual power is to accept his unique position as a son of heaven temporarily detained on the earth, and to begin to live as becometh a saint.

The sharp line of demarcation between him and the world will appear at once; and the world will never quite forgive him.

The sons of earth will make him pay well for separation, but it is a price he will gladly pay for the privilege of walking in fruitfulness and power.”

Paul spoke clearly about separation from the world, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty,” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18). Separation from the world is here as a mark of salvation; it is not presented as an option.

We look out at the evangelical church today and we see lukewarmness and apostasy. If you could put your finger on one single thing that has destroyed the church in the last sixty years it would unquestionably be New Evangelicalism.

New Evangelicalism has compromised with the world. It has compromised its life style and its theology and it has compromised with liberal apostasy. Through failure to practise separation New Evangelicalism has all but destroyed the evangelical church.

If New Evangelicalism is the Trojan horse that has destroyed the church we ought to separate from it. We need to go outside the camp of New Evangelicalism.

The Church Walking With the World

The Church and the World walked far apart
On the changing shores of time,
The World was singing a giddy song,
And the Church a hymn sublime.

“Come, give me your hand,” said the merry World,
“And walk with me this way!”
But the faithful Church hid her gentle hands
And solemnly answered “Nay!

I will not give you my hand at all,
And I will not walk with you;
Your way is the way that leads to death;
Your words are all untrue.”

“Nay, walk with me but a little space,”
Said the World with a kindly air;
“The road I walk is a pleasant road,
And the sun shines always there.

Your path is thorny and rough and rude,
But mine is broad and plain;
My way is paved with flowers and dews,
And yours with tears and pain.

The sky to me is always blue,
No want, no toil I know;
The sky above you is always dark,
Your lot is a lot of woe.
There’s room enough for you and me,
To travel side by side.”

Half shyly the Church approached the World
And gave him her hand of snow;
And the old World grasped it and walked along,
Saying, in accents low:

“Your dress is too simple to please my taste;
I will give you pearls to wear,
Rich velvets and silks for your graceful form,
And diamonds to deck your hair.”

The Church looked down at her plain white robes,
And then at the dazzling World,
And blushed as she saw his handsome lip
With a smile contemptuous curled.

“I will change my dress for a costlier one,”
Said the Church, with a smile of grace;
Then her pure white garments drifted away,
And the World gave, in their place,

Beautiful satins and shining silks,
Roses and gems and costly pearls;
While over her forehead her bright hair fell
Crisped in a thousand curls.

“Your house is too plain,” said the proud old World,
“I’ll build you one like mine;
With walls of marble and towers of gold,
And furniture ever so fine.”

So he built her a costly and beautiful house;
Most splendid it was to behold;
Her sons and her beautiful daughters dwelt there
Gleaming in purple and gold.

Rich fairs and shows in the halls were held,
And the World and his children were there.
Laughter and music and feasts were heard,
In the place that was meant for prayer.

There-were cushioned seats for the rich and the gay,
To sit in their pomp and pride;
But the poor who were clad in shabby array,
Sat meekly down outside.

“You give too much to the poor,” said the World.
“Far more than you ought to do;
If they are in need of shelter and food,
Why need it trouble you?

Go, take your money and buy rich robes,
Buy horses and carriages fine;
Buy pearls and jewels and dainty food,
Buy the rarest and costliest wine.

My children, they dote on all these things,
And if you their love would win
You must do as they do, and walk in the ways
That they are walking in.”

Then the sons of the World and the Sons of the Church
Walked closely hand and heart,
And only the Master, who knoweth all,
Could tell the two apart.

Then the Church sat down at her ease, and said,

“I am rich and my goods increase;
I have need of nothing, or aught to do,
But to laugh, and dance, and feast.”

The sly World heard, and he laughed in his sleeve,
And mockingly said, aside:
“The Church is fallen, the beautiful Church;
And her shame is her boast and her pride.”

The angel drew near to the mercy seat,
And whispered in sighs her name;
Then the loud anthems of rapture were hushed,
And heads were covered with shame.

And a voice was heard at last by the Church
From Him who sat on the throne:
“I know thy works, and how thou hast said,
‘I am rich,’ and hast not known.

That thou art naked, poor and blind,
And wretched before my face;
Therefore, from my presence cast I thee out,
And blot thy name from its place.”

But out from the side of harlot church,
While she sleeps in indolent shame,
Will be taken the remnant who keep God's Word,
And honor His holy name.

By the word of their testimony, and the blood of the Lamb,
They overcame the world.
For those who keep their garments clean,
Shall walk with Him in white,
In the day when He comes to claim His own,
To make them His jewels bright.  -  Unknown

The above poem tells the story of the evangelical church of our generation in this Laodicean age. New Evangelicalism is the root cause of the disaster which has befallen much of the evangelical church. New Evangelicalism with its inherent neutralism, its refusal to contend for the Faith once delivered to the Saints, and its refusal to separate from error, has spawned the apostasy that Jesus said would be so deceptive in the last days.

When a navigator sets a course by his compass, a small deviation at the beginning of the course will result in his ending up miles from the right destination. Back in 1948; when Dr. Ockenga determined a course for New Evangelicalism, he did not intend to make much of correction. He just intended to repudiate separatism, to add some invigorating social involvement and win over some liberals with erudite dialogue. However that seemingly small deviation from obedience, has led the evangelical church far, far from where it once was.

Now, many New Evangelicals find themselves on a totally different road. Unless fundamentalists obey the Bible by separating from disobedient brethren we will find ourselves with them on a broad road, totally different from the one on which we set out. When the disciples asked Jesus about the days prior to his return, he warned of religious deception, that if it were possible even the very elect would be deceived. It breaks my heart to see so many of God's people deceived by the neutralism and pragmatism of New Evangelicalism in this hour just prior to the coming of Christ.

Some say, don't worry about the church, the Lord will look after the church, the church will be just fine. I am reminded of what Israel said to Jeremiah, just prior to the Old Testament Day of the Lord. They said, “Jeremiah don't worry about us we are the people of God, God is not going to judge us, Jeremiah, you are a false prophet.”

Charles H. Spurgeon gave the following exhortation.

Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. Hebrews 13:13.

JESUS, BEARING HIS cross, went forth to suffer outside the gate. The Christian’s reason for leaving the camp of the world’s sin and religion is not because he loves to be singular, but because Jesus did so; and the disciple must follow his Master.

Christ was “not of the world.” His life and His testimony were a constant protest against conformity with the world. Never was such overflowing affection for men as you find in Him; but still He was separate from sinners.

In like manner Christ’s people must “go out to Him.” They must take their position “outside the camp,” as witness-bearers for the truth. They must be prepared to tread the straight and narrow path. They must have bold, unflinching, lion-like hearts, loving Christ first, and His truth next, and Christ and His truth beyond the whole world. Jesus would have His people “go forth outside the camp” for their own sanctification.

You cannot grow in grace while you are conformed to the world. The life of separation may be a path of sorrow, but it is the highway of safety; and though the separated life may cost you many pangs, and make every day a battle, yet it is a happy life after all.

No joy can excel that of the soldier of Christ: Jesus reveals Himself so graciously, and gives such sweet refreshment, that the warrior feels more calm and peace in his daily strife than others in their hours of rest. The highway of holiness is the highway of communion. It is thus we shall hope to win the crown if we are enabled by divine grace faithfully to follow Christ “outside the camp.”

The crown of glory will follow the cross of separation. A moment’s shame will be well recompensed by eternal honour; a little while of witness-bearing will seem nothing when we are “forever with the Lord."

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2.

Let the Headlines Speak
Jan 22nd, 2016
Daily News
From the Internet
Categories: Today's Headlines

Putin asked Assad to step down
Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly asked his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad to step down, the Financial Times reported Friday.  

Chinese president declares support for Palestinian state
China supports the creation of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday during an Arab League convention in Cairo  

French PM says state of emergency to be prolonged
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday that a state of emergency declared after 130 people were killed in attacks in Paris in November would be prolonged as long as necessary, the BBC quoted him as saying.  

After sandstorm, Israel braces for mega snowstorm
Israel is still recovering from the major sandstorm that hit on Monday, bringing with it dust particulates and air pollution for at least two days, but now the country is facing a new storm replete with snow, thunder, howling winds and all the rest of the bells and whistles.  

Exclusive: U.S. weighs making Hawaii missile test site operational - sources
The U.S. military has stepped up discussions on converting its Aegis missile defense test site in Hawaii into a combat-ready facility that would bolster American defenses against ballistic missile attacks, according to sources familiar with the discussions.  

Turkish border on brink of becoming a Russian warfront?
Turkey is "closely watching" Russian troop movements in Syria near its border, a government source in Ankara said on Friday, after reports that Russian servicemen had deployed in the Syrian border town of Qamishli.  

Today, planetary scientists, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown of Caltech announced intriguing evidence for a Neptune-sized planet orbiting the sun beyond Pluto. Sedna and five other objects in the outer solar system are grouped together as if they are being shepherded by a larger body. That body, say Batygin and Brown, is a planet at least 10 times as massive as Earth...  

Dark 'noodles' may lurk in the Milky Way
Invisible structures shaped like noodles, lasagne sheets or hazelnuts could be floating around in our Galaxy radically challenging our understanding of gas conditions in the Milky Way. They figured out this behaviour was the work of our Galaxy's invisible 'atmosphere', a thin gas of electrically charged particles which fills the space between the stars.  

When Russia's money runs out, the 'real trouble starts'
Stuck in a recession and with no sign of a reprieve in the oil price, Russia could quickly descend into chaos if the money runs out... "I don't think you can underestimate how bad the situation in Russia is right now, you've got oil below any measure where the budget can survive and you've got sanctions from the West. Russia is in what I'd call a real serious economic crisis," William Browder said on Thursday.  

Is Donald Trump the Christian Savior Evangelicals Are Waiting For?
Donald Trump has done it again, making bold statements that endear him to his supporters in a style his competition wouldn’t dare mimic. On Monday night, at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, he told 10,000 students, “Christianity, it’s under siege.” He reassured them, “We’re going to protect Christianity. I don’t have to be politically correct.”  

Shallow 5.9 magnitude quake jolts northwest China
A shallow 5.9-magnitude earthquake jolted awake residents of China's northwestern Qinghai province on Thursday, with some choosing to sleep in their cars out of fear despite freezing temperatures of -20C (-4F).  

6.6-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Mexico; No Tsunami Alert Signal Issued
The powerful tremblor, which hit the area at 12:07 p.m. local time, initially registered at 6.9-magnitude on the Richter Scale. However, the U.S. Geological Survey later downgraded the earthquake's intensity to about 6.6.  

Potentially historic blizzard looms over D.C., more than 2 feet of snow projected
Projected snowfall totals have ticked steadily upward, to the point where the National Weather Service — known for its conservative predictions — says more than 2 feet of snow could land on Washington. Residents and elected officials throughout the Eastern United States are heeding the warning.  

Pentagon plans fleet of laser drones to shoot down missiles
The Pentagon has revealed plans to equip drones with powerful lasers to shoot missiles out of the sky. The drones would stay aloft for days at a time, operating at an altitude of 65,000 ft with the power to destroy missiles during their launch phase, before they can deploy decoys or other countermeasures.  

Bizarre birth defect is on the rise, and researchers are baffled
Physicians are seeing more instances of a birth defect in which infants are born with their intestines extruding from the stomach wall, with a particularly sharp rise among babies born to young African American mothers, according to the CDC. Over the 18 years leading up to 2012, the CDC has documented a 263% increase in the birth defect, called gastroschisis, among children born to black mothers under the age of 20...  

Egypt: Cairo bomb blast kills nine during police raid
At least nine people, including six policemen, have been killed in a bomb explosion during a raid on a militant hideout in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. More than 13 others were injured, including the local police chief. Security sources say the blast went off as officers raided an apartment in Giza, near the Pyramids.  

Security forces evacuating Jewish families from disputed Hebron buildings
The Defense Ministry on Friday morning ordered security forces to remove dozens of Jews from a pair of Hebron buildings said to have been abandoned and then purchased legally from their original Palestinian owner. The Jewish settlers initially refused to voluntarily evacuate the premises, and security forces began to forcibly remove them, according to Channel 2.  

At least 19 dead in Somalia Shebab restaurant attack: police
Somalia's Islamist Shebab militants killed at least 19 people when five gunmen detonated a bomb before storming a popular seaside restaurant in the capital Mogadishu, police said on Friday.  

African War Lord Accused Of Ordering Cannibalism
An African war lord is accused of ordering cannibalism among 70 war crime charges. Dominic Ongwen of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was, up until a year ago, one of the most fearsome men in Africa.  

Lawmaker: Obama Admin Fueling ‘Campaign to Destroy Israel’
A leading member of the congressional Israel caucus says the Obama administration is fueling hatred against the Jewish state following comments by a top U.S. diplomat accusing Israel of not upholding democratic rule of law, according to a letter sent Wednesday to the State Department and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.  

How Putin ‘probably’ had ex-KGB spy killed with tea and honey
The radioactive poison that killed Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko was delivered in the most civilized of circumstances — at tea time, as he sipped green tea with lemon and honey with two former spy colleagues at a posh London hotel.  

'Absolute Mess': Mid-Atlantic Blizzard Could Make 'Legitimate' History
"Historic" is an overused word, but it applies to the blizzard that's coming for the national capital region, large parts of which could get more than 30 inches of snow over the weekend.  

Twitter erupts after Saudi cleric says chess is forbidden
A video clip of Saudi Arabia's top cleric saying that the game of chess is "forbidden" in Islam because it wastes time and leads to rivalry and enmity among people has provoked heated debate, and widespread criticism, among Arabic Twitter users.  

Israeli police arrest left-wing activist after TV report
Israeli police confirmed on Thursday the arrest of a prominent left-wing activist who was caught on tape boasting that he has put the lives of Palestinians who sell land to Israeli settlers at risk.  

Iran: ‘We Welcome War with the United States’
John Kerry said Monday that “the world is safer today” because of the Iran nuclear deal. Details of how loud and long the mullahs laughed have not been released. In reality, the world is more threatened than ever by an aggressive and assertive Iran, confident and swaggering after besting Kerry at the negotiating table.   

Kerry: Terrorists will Likely Benefit from Some of Iran’s Sanction Relief Billions
Jan 22nd, 2016
Daily News - Patrick Goodenough
Categories: Contemporary Issues

Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged on Thursday that Iran will likely use some of the tens of billions of dollars its receives as a result of sanctions relief under the nuclear deal to sponsor terrorists.

“I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] or of other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists to some degree,” he told CNBC in Davos, Switzerland. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.”

Kerry said there were no indications yet that released funds were being directed “to that kind of endeavor” but that he was “sure at some point some of it will.”

He went on to suggest that the impact in the region of such funding would be limited, pointing to the much larger military spending by Gulf Arab states in comparison to Iran.

“The Saudis alone spend $80 billion a year on defense. The entire Gulf state community spends 130 billion a year on defense,” he said. “Iran spends 15 billion a year on its military activities. So it’s so incredibly disproportionate.”

The U.S., by working with its Gulf state partners, would be able to guarantee their security, he said. It would “stand by them, even as we look for this potential other shift in behavior.”

In Washington, Republican senators responded scathingly.

“Talk about stating the obvious,” the Associated Press quoted Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) as saying, adding that even when Iran’s economy was crippled by sanctions it was funding “guns, not butter.”

“Finally Secretary Kerry acknowledged what all of us who have opposed this [nuclear] agreement from the beginning saw was obvious – that when they got this economic relief and lifting of the sanctions that in fact some of that money was going to support their terrorism in the region,” she said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) disputed that Iran’s use of the freed-up funds for terror was merely likely, saying in words directed at Kerry that it was “certain that they will use this money to support terrorism. You might as well as have written the check to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad yourself; you might as well have funded Hezbollah yourself.”

“So all of this cash going into the ayatollah’s pockets won’t stay long,” Graham said. “It’s not going into roads and bridges in Iran, it’s going into war machines throughout the Mideast and to think otherwise is completely naïve.”

In Davos, Kerry said Iranian President Hasan Rouhani had indicated that he wants to use the nuclear deal “as a departure point for something new” – although he conceded that “just saying it doesn’t make it happen. You have to now test it and see where we’re going.”

Kerry told the network Iran would likely get $55 billion in sanctions relief, not the considerably larger sums sometimes reported.

“It’s not 150 billion, it’s not 100 billion. Iran will get approximately – according to the Treasury Department and all of the analysis of our intelligence community – about $55 billion,” he said.

“Why won’t they get the 100 [billion] that some people refer to? Because a large chunk of it is already committed to China, to other countries through loans and long-term commitments that have been made.”

‘This is a sovereign country that will make their own decisions’

The IRGC which Kerry referred to is not itself designated a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) under U.S. law, despite efforts by Republican lawmakers to prod the administration into doing so. (While in the U.S. Senate, Kerry opposed such a move, as did then-Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden; Hillary Clinton did not.)

Iran is a primary sponsor of violent anti-U.S. Shi’ite militias in Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Iraq (Khata’ib Hezbollah and others). It has also long supported Palestinian terror groups such as Hamas. Hezbollah, Khata’ib Hezbollah and Hamas are all designated FTOs.

Shortly after the nuclear deal was announced last July, Kerry downplayed concerns about sanctions relief money benefitting terrorists, arguing that the Iranian government had more pressing priorities.

“If President Rouhani and his administration do not [use the freed-up funds to] take care of the people of Iran, they will have an enormous problem,” he told the BBC at the time.

In similar comments earlier last year, White House press secretary Josh Earnest conceded that the administration would not be able to prescribe how Iran uses the money its sanctions relief windfall, but said it was “common sense” to expect Tehran would use it to improve the ailing economy, not to increase funding for terrorism or for other destabilizing actions in the region.

“I’m not going to make any predictions about what they are going to do, and I’m certainly not going to be in a position to prescribe what they should do,” he said. “This is a sovereign country that will make their own decisions.”

Is Donald Trump the Christian Savior Evangelicals are Waiting For?
Jan 22nd, 2016
Daily News
Israel News
Categories: Contemporary Issues

Donald Trump has done it again, making bold statements that endear him to his supporters in a style his competition wouldn’t dare mimic. On Monday night, at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, he told 10,000 students, “Christianity, it’s under siege.” He reassured them, “We’re going to protect Christianity. I don’t have to be politically correct.” He was introduced warmly by Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of the university, who compared Trump to his own father, Jesus, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  

For Trump, this endorsement was essential. Liberty University is the largest evangelical university in the world, with over 100,000 students. Evangelical Christians are the bedrock of his support, with a recent New York Times/CBS News poll showing the 42% support the Presbyterian candidate.

He has strong support among the Christian voters and religion is already playing a central role in the run towards the Republican primaries. After eight years of a Democrat president with ambiguous claims to any specific church, the strong reaction from the Republican public is pointedly religious to a degree that is unique to that party.

Though no one has fussed over Bernie Sanders’ Jewish roots and few people are even aware that Hillary Clinton taught Sunday school in her Methodist Church, the Republican lineup is made up of candidates whose religious convictions come through loud and clear.

For the Republicans, religion plays a major role. Candidate Ben Carson, an accomplished neurosurgeon, spends more time defending his beliefs as a devout Seventh Day Adventist than he does his political views. Ted Cruz, a southern Baptist, frequently speaks about religion on the campaign trail, and religious liberty – the concept that a person’s religious beliefs should be protected even if it conflicts with the law – is a part of his platform. His father is an ordained evangelical Pastor and a prominent speaker.

In many ways, Donald Trump’s campaign success is a unique enigma. A businessman who is not dependent on corporate handouts, he is free to say what he wants, often coming out with statements that shock many. So far, these off-the-cuff remarks have propelled him into the lead, indicating that he is merely saying what so many are thinking. His call for banning all Muslims from entering the US as a reaction to the San Bernadino terror attack horrified many, yet solidified his support among Republicans.   

Perhaps the biggest enigma of all is that despite facing off against other Republican candidates who have strong religious beliefs and family values, Trump has trumped them all, gathering in 32% of the votes from white evangelicals. This success seems counter to his personal connection with religion.

Trump is reportedly a Presbyterian and was quoted in the Christian Post as saying, “I think religion is a wonderful thing, I think my religion is a wonderful religion”. His personal church is the same as his parents’, Marble Collegiate Church, but he is reportedly not an active member.

He has stated several times that the Bible is his favorite book, but in an interview last year on On Point, he was hard pressed to quote his favorite verse, giving the excuse, “That’s a very personal thing. I don’t like giving that out to people that you hardly know.”

When asked if he asks God for forgiveness, his irreverent reply was, “I’m not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”

Nonetheless, Trump is a hit with religious voters, Christian and Jewish (but probably less so with Muslims). He is close to several Christian leaders, most notably Tony Perkins and Ralph Reed, and was blessed by Emmanuel Lemelson, a prominent Greek Orthodox priest. He attended Rev. Billy Graham’s 95th birthday party in 2013, and at a political rally in 2015, compared himself to the evangelist minister.

Enthusiasm for Trump’s candidacy among the evangelical crowd may seem illogical, but it may not be all about religion. In a recent article investigating the issue, The New York Times quoted Charles E. Henderson, 61, a disabled veteran from Lexington, Ky., who grew up attending a Nazarene church. Henderson explained, “Spirituality is a big issue, but we need somebody who’s strong.  Lots of times the preachers and everything, they have a tendency to be just a little bit weak.”

For whatever reason, Trump seems to have realized long ago that religious Christians are his bread and butter. In 2015, he said on the Christian Broadcasting Network in his characteristic bombastic manner, “Believe me, if I run and I win, I will be the greatest representative of the Christians that they’ve had in a long time.” His recent remarks in front of a large crowd of evangelists in Virginia are part of a long policy that has brought Trump to where he is, at the head of the Republican campaign. It has worked for Trump so far and since he is a man who pushes to succeed, much more can be expected.

Germany Loses Track of Half Its Muslim Migrants
Jan 22nd, 2016
Daily News
Categories: Contemporary Issues

It seems every day there is a new chapter added to the emerging story of what life is like in the “New Europe” dominated by Islamic migrants.

On Thursday, reports came out of Germany that female volunteers at migrant camps were being routinely threatened and sexually harassed. One woman relayed a story about a Muslim man who said, “I decapitate you,” if she did not help him find better accommodations. Others have complained of death threats if they could not meet demands for high-paying jobs or luxury items, the Express reported.

Meanwhile, there is more evidence that the sheer number of migrants is overwhelming authorities. The Daily Mail reported that the German government admits it can’t account for 600,000 of its 1.1 million asylum-seekers from the Middle East and Africa, and many are thought to be using multiple identities to travel across Europe.

WND first reported on Germany’s “missing” migrants back in late October.

The admission by the German government comes as police in Munsterland in North Rhine-Westphalia today carried out a series of raids as part of the ongoing investigation into the Cologne New Year sex attacks.

Officers say they have so far recorded 821 complaints of criminal incidents including hundreds of sexual assaults.

The raids targeted two refugee centers, seizing 150 asylum seekers for questioning.

They found that many claimed to be from Syria but were mostly from North Africa, confirming the suspicions of government critics who have been silenced by German police. But they also found that every second person had been registered at least twice on Germany’s EASY processing system.

EASY stands for Erstverteilung von Asylbegehrenden, which translates as Initial Allocation System for Asylum Seekers.

The system, operated by the German Ministry For Migration And Refugees, aims to provide urgent first assistance to new arrivals by spreading them around the country based on a quota system.

Once the applicant’s county of origin has been taken, officials assign the refugee a place where they are to be cared for, and where they can then make an application for asylum.

Europe on the brink

Meanwhile, the migrant crisis has been a hot issue of debate among leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Thursday that Europe has “six to eight weeks” to get a handle on the influx of “refugees” from the Middle East and elsewhere.

“We have 6-8 weeks,” Rutte told a panel on Europe at the World Economic Forum in Davos, adding that he believed the Schengen borderless travel zone in Europe could be saved but that first the bloc must agree on a mechanism to replace the failed Dublin system, which says that migrants must seek asylum in the first E.U. country they enter, Reuters reported.

Soros gives dire warning

Billionaire investor George Soros also weighed in with a dire warning, saying the European Union was “on the verge of collapse” due to the migrant crisis.

Soros, in an interview with Gregor Peter Schmitz of the German magazine WirtschaftsWoche, sang the praises of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“She was perhaps even more farsighted when she recognized that the migration crisis had the potential to destroy the European Union, first by causing a breakdown of the Schengen system of open borders and, eventually, by undermining the common market,” Soros said. “She took a bold initiative to change the attitude of the public. Unfortunately, the plan was not properly prepared. The crisis is far from resolved and her leadership position – not only in Europe but also in Germany and even in her own party – is under attack.”

Schmitz said Merkel, once a deliberate and cautious politician, has acted impulsively and risked her political future on the migrants. “Her leadership style has changed, and that makes people nervous.”

Soros again defended her.

“That’s true, but I welcome the change. There is plenty to be nervous about. As she correctly predicted, the E.U. is on the verge of collapse. The Greek crisis taught the European authorities the art of muddling through one crisis after another. This practice is popularly known as kicking the can down the road, although it would be more accurate to describe it as kicking a ball uphill so that it keeps rolling back down. The E.U. now is confronted with not one but five or six crises at the same time.”

Soros was referring to Greece, Russia, Ukraine, the coming British referendum on whether to abandon the E.U., and the migration crisis.

Yet, in co-authoring an introduction to the just-released “Future of Europe” report, Soros said Europe needs more migrant labor, not less, to compete with for economic growth with the United States. The report recommends an additional 1.8 million migrants be allowed into Europe annually over the next 10 years.

Soros, in the interview with the German magazine, referred to the Nov. 13 jihadist attacks on Paris that killed 130 people as having an “unfortunate effect” on European public opinion.

Belgium mother’s horror story

In another tragic report out of Europe this week, a Belgium woman wrote a letter to anti-Shariah activist Pamela Geller to describe what has happened to her 14-year-old daughter. She was coerced into child prostitution by a gang of Muslim immigrants.

The mother writes:

“My 14-year old daughter has become the victim of human trafficking by Muslim migrants in Antwerp, Belgium. In Dutch we called them, a misplaced name by the way, ‘loverboys.’ They force young girls into child prostitution. Almost all of the traffickers are Muslims, but that’s a public secret here in Belgium; the media is not allowed even to mention the nationality of the offenders.

“Instead of finding the offenders, authorities placed my daughter in a youth prison to keep her safe. This has gone on for more than 7 months. Next week, she will finally be released and can start on a program at a private clinic for all the psychiatric help she needs and didn’t get in prison.”

The woman said she was desperately trying to raise enough money to leave Belgium “and all the other Islam-loving-multiculturalism countries and move to a safe place for both my daughters.”

“Europe is collapsing before our very eyes, but European Union officials and the international media are too busy wringing their hands over ‘islamophobia’ to notice,” Geller wrote. “[A]s unbelievable as it may seem at first glance, this is what the New Europe is like. This mother’s story will be the story of millions of mothers in Europe, in a very short time from now.”

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