Sunday, February 25, 2018

Central U.S. Braces for Major Storms

Central US bracing for bad weather as major storms come

A major storm system is developing in the nation's heartland bringing some rough weather across the central U.S. including the potential for flooding on Saturday. 
Flood watches were posted on Saturday morning from northern Texas to western Pennsylvania including many big cities like Dallas, Little Rock, Nashville, Louisville and Pittsburgh.
Behind the storm system comes cooler air and wintry weather resulting in a number of winter storm warnings and advisories being posted. 

A view from the Central Bridge shows the flooding from the Ohio River. This threat is on top of the ongoing heavy rain, flash flooding and river flooding mess that has been in place the past few days and will persist into the weekend
A view from the Central Bridge shows the flooding from the Ohio River. This threat is on top of the ongoing heavy rain, flash flooding and river flooding mess that has been in place the past few days and will persist into the weekend

Scattered severe thunderstorms are expected from northern and eastern Texas into southeastern Oklahoma, northwestern Louisiana, Arkansas, southern Missouri, northern Mississippi, western Tennessee, western Kentucky and far southwestern Indiana
Scattered severe thunderstorms are expected from northern and eastern Texas into southeastern Oklahoma, northwestern Louisiana, Arkansas, southern Missouri, northern Mississippi, western Tennessee, western Kentucky and far southwestern Indiana

The storm will develop on Saturday morning but the worst of it is expected by midday and evening.
There will be heavy rain and dangerous thunderstorms in the Mississippi River Valley from Little Rock to Memphis, as well as along parts of the Midwest from Paducah, Kentucky to Cincinnati.
At the northern edge of the storm, snow will develop and intensify as it heads towards Minnesota. 
There will be low visibility and the snow will be likely be an issue throughout Saturday evening.
The flooding has already claimed at least three lives this week. A one-year-old girl was found dead in her family's flooded Michigan yard after reportedly wandering from the home on Wednesday, according to the AP. 
Another death was reported Wednesday when 53-year-old Victor French's vehicle was swept off the road as he attempted to drive across a flooded bridge near Stilwell, Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol announced.

7.5 Quake Hits Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea hit by 7.5 earthquake

A magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck in the middle of Papua New Guinea on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The quake struck about 55 miles southwest of Porgera in the Pacific island nation at a depth of about 23 miles, according to the agency.
No tsunami watches or warnings were issued from the quake, and there were no immediate reports of injuries.
The Geological Survey website had 19 reports of feeling the quake, including some saying the shaking was violent.

The quake on Sunday was just the latest spark of activity this year along the volatile "Ring of Fire" seismic fault system.

The region is the location of most of Earth's subduction zones, where oceanic plates slide under the lighter continental plates. Earthquakes tend to happen when those plates scrape or subside underneath each other, and, when that happens at sea, it can trigger tsunamis.
Last month, activity in the volatile region included volcanic eruptions in Japan and the Phillipines, and an earthquake off the coast of Alaska.

'Napoleon 2.0': What Does Macron's 'United States Of Europe' Push Entail?

'Napoleon 2.0': What Does Macron's 'United States of Europe' Push Entail?

In his article, published by RIA Novosti, Russian blogger Ivan Danilov specifically focused on French President Emmanuel Macron's transparent plans to take control of the European Parliament, which he suggested may be followed by the establishment of a "United States of Europe."

Danilov recalled in this regard that it was mostly US journalists who drew parallels between Macron and Napoleon due to the French President's push for "preparing to challenge the whole of Europe," which they warned is fraught with grave consequences.

"The fact is that in order to gain control over EU structures, Macron needs to be in charge of the European Parliament, which, in turn, will give him a serious lever of influence on the European Commission — the structure that plays the role of 'the EU's  government.' Moreover, Macron himself cannot and does not want to leave his presidential post, which means that he needs to 'hack' the EU's political system," Danilov pointed out.

He referred to the statements of the so-called European working group "created by the ambitious French President to penetrate the political systems of European countries." Danilov said this indicates that "Macron is preparing to become a pan-European political puppeteer."

Apart from money-related issues, Macron may face the main problem, pertaining to the fact that his plans run counter to those of the German political elite, which is seeking to create a European federation under Berlin leadership, according to Danilov.

"'The European Reich' does not need an ambitious banker with the habits of Napoleon, which means that the new German government will seek and finally find the necessary political and administrative levers to sabotage Macron's attempts to put the European Parliament under his control," Danilov stressed.

He did not rule out reaching a consensus between Berlin and Paris, which Danilov suggested will most likely be clinched after "a serious fight which may unfold in the political and media space in the near future

The French President addressing to the participants of the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos said that the European Union should be changed to be able to compete with China and the US.

The EU needs to reform itself this year to be able to compete with big powers like China and the United States, French President Emmanuel Macron said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, adding that "the less ambitious [countries in the EU] should not block the more ambitious in the room."

Macron also said that the countries that share the euro currency should agree on a "much stronger" and "much fair" system. The French President believes that European countries should coordinate their tax policies "because otherwise, talents will disappear."

Emmanuel Macron also called on the WEF participants to harness the negative effects of globalization.

Ex-imam: Muslim Call To Prayer 'Shows Power And Control Over The Country'

Ex-imam says Muslim call to prayer “shows power and control over the country”

“Ex-Imam about Muslim prayer call: ‘Shows power and control over the country,'” translated from “Ex-imam om muslimska böneutrop: ‘Visar på makt och kontroll över landet,'” by Anna Ernius, Samtiden, February 23, 2018:
Tomas Samuel, a Christian apologist and former Imam, therefore, wants to provide knowledge of what the prayer call stands for.
“By going to the Islamic sources, we can get a foundation that can help decision makers make the right decision,” he says.
“What we discover is that the prayer call states that everyone should submit to Islam, and proclaims power over the area of the ​​prayer.
Tomas Samuel writes that at first glance it may seem that church bells and prayer calls are the same, but that this is a logical error.
“Church bells are not a confession, it’s just a musical sound. They are not trying to assert power and control over the country. In addition, most churches do not use the bells, several do not even have any.”
“The difference is obvious,” writes Tomas Samuel.
The prayer call is called “Adhan” in Arabic and means “information, enlightenment.” 
“The prayer call comes for essentially two reasons: it will remind people of when it is time to pray, and the prayer call will proclaim Islam over a city,” according to Tomas Samuel.
“At that time there were no alarm clocks. As the Muslim population increased in number, there was a real need to remind people of the different prayer times.”
“But that need hardly exists today, because we have wristwatches and clocks on the walls and in our mobile phones.
He quotes “Omdat Al-Ahkam”, one of the most important books for Islamic law:
“Adhan is a very important ritual in the religious practice of Islam, one can liken it to the Muslim flag. Its proclamation shows that the people of the city are Muslims.” 
“It is also important for the proclamation of the word of Allah, thus manifesting the religion of Allah (Islam).”
“The prayer call begins with giving thanks by proclaiming ‘Allahu akbar,’ to show that Allah is the greatest and that everything and everyone should bow to Allah and Islam. The Islamic profession of faith is the second part of the prayer call (‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.'”

“This confirms Islam and proclaims it (Islam) across the country.”
“The prayer call should be done by a man who has a beautiful voice.”
“Women are not allowed to raise their voices, because a woman’s voice could mean a temptation for men,” continues Tomas Samuel.
“The prayer call should be done with a loud voice. There is promise of a reward from Allah for a loud voice that reaches as far as possible.”
“The prayer call will take place at the exact time of the five prayers.”
Tomas Samuel believes that the Växsjö mosque’s application for a prayer call is only the beginning.
“Many other mosques will make the same request, not only to have the prayer call twice a week, but five times a day.”

The letter is entitled “Strike Their Necks and Strike Each One of Their Sons.” It says: “Let every Muslim know that the blood of those combatant Christians and their money is permissible and that taking any of them as hostages for ransom or to swap with a Muslim prisoner is also permissible.”
Strike their necks? Kill them or take hostages for ransom? Where did the Islamic State get these ideas? Could it be from this? “So when you meet those who disbelieve, strike necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either favor afterwards or ransom until the war lays down its burdens.” (Qur’an 47:4)
In what way is ISIS hijacking or misinterpreting that passage? Could some moderate Muslim spokesman in the U.S. explain it for us? Or maybe Pope Francis or H.R. McMaster or some other learned imam? No?

“ISIS Tells Muslims to Kidnap and Murder Christians in Russian-Occupied Areas,” by Cristina Maza, Newsweek, February 23, 2018 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

The Islamic State has urged its followers to kidnap and murder Christians in “Russian-occupied Muslim areas,” according to a letter published by an intelligence group that monitors the terrorist organization’s online communications.
Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan are all Muslim-majority republics in Russia. ISIS says Russian rule there is an occupation.
The letter, titled “Strike Their Necks and Strike Each One of Their Sons,” claims that Russia has intentionally occupied Muslim-majority areas in the Caucasus and Central Asia to convert Muslims to Christianity or forcibly displace them. SITE Intelligence Group published the document Thursday. 
Five women were killed when a man fired at a church in Dagestan on Monday. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack, although the group often claims responsibility for terror attacks even when there is no evidence.
In its letter released Thursday, ISIS cited the church attack in Dagestan as an example of what its followers should do. The killer, who the ISIS letter describes as an “extraordinary mujtahid,” used a hunting rifle to kill people attending the Russian pre-Lent festival Maslenitsa. The man reportedly donned a beard and yelled, “Allahu akbar.”
“Allah permitting, this will be the spark for more bloody attacks that will destroy a larger number of the Christian combatants in all the Russian-occupied Muslim areas,” the letter reads. “Many of them will be killed as a punishment for their disbelief in Allah the Great, and it will plant fear and horror inside the hearts of hundreds of thousands of their brothers and make them flee with fear.”…
“Let every Muslim know that the blood of those combatant Christians and their money is permissible and that taking any of them as hostages for ransom or to swap with a Muslim prisoner is also permissible. So let the good deed be for everybody,” the letter reads….

Likud Gaining Strength Despite Netanyahu Allegations

Poll: Likud gaining strength despite Netanyahu graft allegations

A poll published Saturday showed the ruling Likud party gaining strength despite the graft allegations surrounding its leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and well placed to win elections should they be held today.
The survey, which was aired by Hadashot TV news, said Likud would win 28 seats if elections were held today. While down from its current 30, the poll result was the best yet for the right-wing party since police recommended earlier this month Netanyahu be indicted in a pair of corruption investigations. Polls over the last two weeks have shown it on 27 seats in the 120-member Knesset.
In the last few days, there have been a series of reported developments in another criminal case linked to Netanyahu; Saturday’s poll suggested these have not dented Netanyahu or his party’s popularity.
Netanyahu has reportedly indicated to his various coalition partners in recent days that he might call early elections if they seek to oust him amid the corruption probes, apparently assessing that they are less ready for a return to the ballot boxes than his Likud. Elections are not due until late next year.
Trailing Likud in the Saturday poll was Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party, which would win 24 seats, up from its current 11.
Yesh Atid’s showing in the poll, as well that of other parties, was similar to other recent surveys, with the Zionist Union falling from 24 seats to 15; the Joint (Arab) List dropping one seat to 12; the Jewish Home increasing from 8 to 9 seats; Kulanu dropping from 10 to 7 seats; and Meretz adding one seat to win 6 from its current 5.
Meanwhile, United Torah Judaism would add one seat to gain 7; Shas would drop to 5 from 7 seats; and Yisrael Beytenu would gain two seats, giving it 7.
The poll, which was conducted for the network by the Midgam Research Institute, was made up of 538 respondents and included a 4.3 percent margin of error.