World Events and the Bible

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Russia Meteor Was Largest in More Than a Century

The meteor that crashed to earth in Russia was about 55 feet in diameter, weighed around 10,000 tons and was made from a stony material, scientists said, making it the largest such object to hit the Earth in more than a century.

Large pieces of the meteor have yet to be found. However, a team from the Urals Federal University, which is based in Yekaterinburg, collected 53 fragments, the largest of which was 7 millimeters, according to Viktor Grokhovsky, a scientist at the university.

Data from a global network of sensors indicated that the disintegration of the Russia fireball unleashed nearly 500 kilotons of energy, more than 30 times the energy of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

It is the largest reported meteor since the one that hit Tunguska, Siberia, in 1908, according to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The agency’s new gauge of the meteor’s size was a marked increase from its initial estimate.

“We would expect an event of this magnitude to occur once every 100 years,” said Paul Chodas of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office, in a statement. “When you have a fireball of this size we would expect a large number of meteorites to reach the surface and in this case there were probably some large ones.” – Full Read: WSJ

WEB Notes: Article that may be of interest to you:  Meteorite in Russia, Was it Prophecy?

Syrian Islamists meet Hizballah head-on – take in arms from Bosnia, Kosovo

Reports Monday, Feb. 18, that Hizballah has transferred 1,000 fighters to the Syrian district of Homs are a red herring to distract attention from six new major developments in the Syrian civil conflict – revealed here by debkafile’s military and intelligence sources:

1. Contrary to reports of Hizballah attacks on villages in the Homs region, the thousand Hizballah militiamen have moved in to defend the predominantly Shiite villages of the area whose population is loyal to Bashar Assad. They are there to relieve the Syrian army of the burden of defending these Shiites against rebel attack.

Hizballah has also undertaken to guard Shiite holy shrines in Syria.
2.  The Muslim factions of the Syrian revolt have received their first heavy weapons consignments, mostly Kornet and Fagot anti-tank missiles. Their improved armaments account for the new edge they display in battles with Bashar Assad’s army, although reports of their conquests are much exaggerated.

3.  These arms are coming from two sources: radical Islamist organizations in Bosnia and Kosovo, some of them associated with al Qaeda – at least ideologically. It is hard to say who is organizing and bankrolling the new weapons sea route to Syria. According to one theory, it is the Albanian mafia.

4. For the first time, Syrian rebels are taking in arms unsupervised by any of the Western or Arab agencies involved in the Syrian revolt.

5. Most of the incoming weapons are destined for the Islamist Jabhat al-Nusra, the rebel faction identified with al Qaeda.

6. The Jabhat al-Nusra, newly armed with hardware from Bosnia and Kosovo, have pushed across the border into Lebanon, our sources reveal, and are harassing Hizballah in its home bases in the Beqaa Valley. Night after night in the last ten days, small bands of Islamist fighters, weighed down by heavy loads of rockets, are attacking Hizballah strongholds and isolated guard and watch posts and ambushing military vehicles.

Both are designated terrorist groups by the United States government.

The Syrian conflict has indeed spilled over the border into Lebanon. It is also turning more and more into a sectarian confrontation between extremist Sunnis and radical Shiites. – Debka

It’s Started: World War III by Proxy…

Nations of the world are currently fighting indirectly. The stage we are now entering appears to be by proxy for the most part… It’s no secret the US has not only sided with the Syrian rebels, but assisted financially. It’s also no secret Iran and Russia are both supporting the current Syrian government.

Read More

Billionaires Dumping Stocks, Economist Knows Why

Despite the 6.5% stock market rally over the last three months, a handful of billionaires are quietly dumping their American stocks . . . and fast.

Warren Buffett, who has been a cheerleader for U.S. stocks for quite some time, is dumping shares at an alarming rate. He recently complained of “disappointing performance” in dyed-in-the-wool American companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods.

In the latest filing for Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has been drastically reducing his exposure to stocks that depend on consumer purchasing habits. Berkshire sold roughly 19 million shares of Johnson & Johnson, and reduced his overall stake in “consumer product stocks” by 21%. Berkshire Hathaway also sold its entire stake in California-based computer parts supplier Intel.

With 70% of the U.S. economy dependent on consumer spending, Buffett’s apparent lack of faith in these companies’ future prospects is worrisome.

Unfortunately Buffett isn’t alone.

Fellow billionaire John Paulson, who made a fortune betting on the subprime mortgage meltdown, is clearing out of U.S. stocks too. During the second quarter of the year, Paulson’s hedge fund, Paulson & Co., dumped 14 million shares of JPMorgan Chase. The fund also dumped its entire position in discount retailer Family Dollar and consumer-goods maker Sara Lee.

Finally, billionaire George Soros recently sold nearly all of his bank stocks, including shares of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs. Between the three banks, Soros sold more than a million shares.

So why are these billionaires dumping their shares of U.S. companies?

After all, the stock market is still in the midst of its historic rally. Real estate prices have finally leveled off, and for the first time in five years are actually rising in many locations. And the unemployment rate seems to have stabilized.

It’s very likely that these professional investors are aware of specific research that points toward a massive market correction, as much as 90%.

One such person publishing this research is Robert Wiedemer, an esteemed economist and author of the New York Times best-selling book Aftershock. – Full Read: MoneyNews

Schmidt to sell nearly half his Google stake
Google Inc. (US:goog) chairman Eric Schmidt plans to sell up to $2.51 billion of his share in the company, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late Friday. Schmidt owns 2.3% of Google’s outstanding shares and has 8.2% of the voting power. Under the plan, Schmidt, who owns about 7.6 million shares of Google stock, plans to sell about 3.2 million shares of his Class A stock. – MarketWatch

US plan for UN to endorse Khamenei’s fatwa? Shock in Jerusalem

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared Iran was a “nuclear state” during his Cairo visit two weeks ago. Saturday, Feb. 16, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shed more light by saying, “Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons but no power could stop Tehran’s access to an atomic bomb if it intended to build it. “

debkafile: Iran’s leaders are therefore quite frank about the state of their nuclear program: the components of a nuclear weapon have been procured – defying Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu red lines – but Tehran has not yet crossed the threshold to assemble it – although this could be done modularly.

And if the Islamic Republic has acquired the components and knowledge for surreptitiously building one bomb, it stands to reason that three or five would be no object.

On Feb. 12, debkafile revealed that Iranian scientists attended the latest North Korean atomic test. Six days later, the Sunday Times repeated the story, naming Mohsen Fakhrizade-Mahabadi, the senior Iranian scientist of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, as the official present. Our Iranian sources strongly doubt that Mahabadi was there because he is too afraid of kidnapping or assassination to ever leave Iran.

We also revealed how the Iranian-North Korean nuclear partnership worked and the division of clandestine labor between them. Their arrangement – to which Washington and Jerusalem prefer to turn a blind eye –assigns to Iran the development of small nuclear warheads for delivery by missiles and to North Korea the development of ballistic missiles able to land a warhead at any point on the planet.
The two governments work smoothly in tandem, regularly pooling the data obtained from advances in their respective programs.

One such advance was Iran’s successful launch of a monkey into orbit at an altitude of 120 kilometers on Jan. 28 and its apparent return it to earth. Washington tried hard to throw cold water on the Iranian feat, but Tehran countered by citing Western sources as confirming the launch.

A gap still remains in their accounts: Washington does not question the launch of a space capsule – only the monkey aboard.

However, the North Korean test of a “miniature nuclear device,” combined with Iran’s ability to launch a capsule with a monkey payload into orbit, add up to their having achieved a nuclear warhead capacity through shared technology.

After registering these menacing strides, officials in Jerusalem were dismayed to learn that instead of planning to cut them short, US President Barack’s Obama’s circle in Washington was studying a bizarre plan for the opposite objective.

It surfaced in an article published Tuesday, Feb. 12, by Ambassador Thomas Pickering, a veteran American diplomat who is influential in the framing of Obama’s Iranian policy.

This what he wrote: “In years past, he (Khamenei) issued a fatwa condemning nuclear weapons. Washington could take advantage of this fact by drafting a UN Security Council resolution endorsing the fatwa. This could be a small step toward boosting Khamenei’s international profile while simultaneously pressuring Iran to follow its own religious decree.”

Instead of dismantling these rogue nuclear programs, Pickering was proposing to legitimize Iran’s possession of a nuclear bomb capacity that only stopped one step short of assembling a bomb.

For the Shiite republic, UN endorsement as a nuclear power would be an epic triumph with ramifications for many years to come on its standing and the shape of the Middle East and Persian Gulf.

It would also endow Khamenei’s fatwa with false religious value – and not just for Sunni Muslims. Khamenei has neither the authority nor the erudition for issuing a binding Shiite fatwa either. Yet Pickering proposes extending the supreme leader a religious honor denied him by the leading Shiite clerics of Qom.

This fatwa has always been dismissed until now as a piece of propaganda designed to disguise the military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program and support Tehran’s claim that it was purely for peaceful use and research.

The stratagem floating around the White house for buttering up Khamenei and granting his edict international legitimacy just weeks before President Obama’s March 20 visit to Jerusalem is causing consternation among his Israeli hosts. It is a worrying pointer to the direction in which his Iran policy is heading. – Debka

Is the Dollar Dying? Why US Currency Is in Danger

The U.S dollar is shrinking as a percentage of the world’s currency supply, raising concerns that the greenback is about to see its long run as the world’s premier denomination come to an end.

When compared to its peers, the dollar has drifted to a 15-year low, according to the International Monetary Fund, indicating that more countries are willing to use other currencies to do business.

While the American currency still reigns supreme — it constitutes $3.72 trillion, or 62 percent, of the $6 trillion in allocated foreign exchange holdings by the world’s central banks — the Japanese yen, Swiss franc and what the IMF classifies as “other currencies” such as the Chinese yuan are gaining.
“Generally speaking, it is not believed by the vast majority that the American dollar will be overthrown,” Dick Bove, vice president of equity research at Rafferty Capital Markets, said in a note. “But it will be, and this defrocking may occur in as short a period as five to 10 years.”

Bove uses several metrics to make his point, focusing on the dollar as a percentage of total world money supply.That total has plunged from nearly 90 percent in 1952 to closer to 15 percent now. He also notes that the Chinese yuan, the yen and the euro each have a greater share of that total. Full Read: CNBC

WEB Notes: We wrote about the collapse of the dollar some years back. It’s no secret it’s on it’s way out. What many don’t realize is the rest of the world’s currencies will crumble with the dollar. This may appear to be a collapse of the dollar and a rise of another currency but that is not going to happen. This is an engineered destruction. This collapse of the financial system is by design.

MSNBC Anti-Gun Propaganda in Full Swing

Obama is orchestrating and staging an anti-gun push in Chicago’s South Side. It is his way to build an emotional basis for gun legislation. Several MSNBC commentators are making highly emotional pitches against guns as they cover this event.

Naturally this elicits counter-reactions from those many, many millions who oppose the government on the gun issue and hear the coverage. Among his gun opposition, Obama’s push reduces respect for him, his office and all government authority. Clearly, against these millions upon millions of gun owners, he would use raw power to get his way if he could, and not authority gained from their cooperative consent. They recognize, if only implicitly, this substitution of power for authority. Obama would use executive orders if he could. He’d issue bans if he could. He’d twist the gun issue into a public health, safety and welfare, or even terrorist issue, if he could. He would have the agencies of government issue constraining rules. He would use many means to disarm Americans, and they’d all be means of POWER.

A state that relies upon power to govern, not authority bestowed on it from those it governs, is illegitimate. It loses its justification to govern. This is the case today in America on the gun issue and many other issues. The government has again and again legislated against the wills and support of millions and millions and millions of Americans. It has relied on power to enforce its laws. – LewRockwell

Russian Bombers Over Guam

Two Russian nuclear-armed bombers circled the western Pacific island of Guam this week in the latest sign of Moscow’s growing strategic assertiveness toward the United States.

The Russian Tu-95 Bear-H strategic bombers were equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and were followed by U.S. jets as they circumnavigated Guam on Feb. 12 local time—hours before President Barack Obama’s state of the union address.

Air Force Capt. Kim Bender, a spokeswoman for the Pacific Air Force in Hawaii, confirmed the incident to the Washington Free Beacon and said Air Force F-15 jets based on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, “scrambled and responded to the aircraft.”

“The Tu-95s were intercepted and left the area in a northbound direction. No further actions occurred,” she said. Bender said no other details would be released “for operational security reasons.”

The bomber incident was considered highly unusual. Russian strategic bombers are not known to have conducted such operations in the past into the south Pacific from bomber bases in the Russian Far East, which is thousands of miles away and over water.

John Bolton, former U.N. ambassador and former State Department international security undersecretary, said the Russian bomber flights appear to be part of an increasingly threatening strategic posture in response to Obama administration anti-nuclear policies.

“Every day brings new evidence that Obama’s ideological obsession with dismantling our nuclear deterrent is dangerous,” Bolton said. “Our national security is in danger of slipping off the national agenda even as the threats grow.”

Defense officials said the bombers tracked over Guam were likely equipped with six Kh-55 or Kh-55SM cruise missiles that can hit targets up to 1,800 miles away with either a high-explosive warhead or a 200-kiloton nuclear warhead. – Full Read: Free Beacon

Russia: Town Hit by Meteorite Injuring 1200, Caught on Film

UPDATE: Meteorite fireballs streak across skies over Cuba and San Francisco

Updated article here: Meteorite hits Russian Urals: Fireball explosion wreaks havoc, up to 1,200 injured (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

A terrifying meteorite shower left more than 500 people injured, buildings devastated and the mobile network wiped out when it hit Russia this morning.

Brightly burning rocks could be seen for miles as they crashed at around 9.20am local time and one bystander described it ‘like a scene from the Armageddon movie.’

The meteorite is believed to have landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a town in the neighbouring Chelyabinsk region.

The city of Chelyabinsk, 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border, took the brunt of the super sonic impact.
Many of the injured had bloodied faces and one child’s back was seen covered in blood.

However, there were no reports of fatalities and it was not immediately clear if any people were struck by fragments.

A six metre wide hole was found in the ground close to Lake Chebarkul, said Russian military sources cited by RIA Novosti news agency.

Earlier it was thought the main body of the meteorite had hit the lake.

‘The meteorite that passed over the Chelyabinsk region fell into a body of water 1km from the city of Chebarkul,’ said a statement posted on the website of Chelyabinsk governor, Mikhail Yurevich.

According to an unconfirmed report in Russia Today, the meteorite was intercepted by Russian air defense.

The strike came on the same day that Asteroid 2012 DA14 is due to skim the orbit of the Earth tonight.

But astronomers say that it is probably just a coincidence – Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society told MailOnline: ‘As I understand it, the Russian meteorite(s) were travelling from east to west whereas 2012 DA14 will be travelling from north to south.’ – Full Read and Photos: Telegraph

WEB Notes: Related, NASA to Chronicle Close Earth Flyby of Asteroid today, 2/15/2013 @ 2:34PM EST, here.

Iran Commander Assassinated in Syria

General Hassan Shateri was killed on Tuesday in an ambush on the way from Damascus towards the Lebanese capital, the Iranian authorities said. They blamed the attack on Israel.

Gen Shateri was also in charge of the Iranian of the Iranian Committee for the Reconstruction of Lebanon, set up after the devastating war in 2006 between Israel and the Iran supported Shiite Hezbollah militia.

He died “at the hands of Zionist regime mercenaries and backers,” the force’s spokesman, Ramezan Sherif, said in the statement.

The circumstances of his death and the purpose of his visit in Syria were still murky yesterday. The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir claimed Mr Shater had been “in Aleppo, to study projects to reconstruct the city”; a claim that was rejected as “laughable” by opposition figures in the city that is currently in the grip of full-scale war.

Last month, US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford accused Iran of fighting alongside Syrian president Bashar al-Assad against the Sunni-majority insurgency. “They are sending arms, they are sending other kinds of experts, and in fact we know that they are sending Iran Revolutionary Guard members,” said Mr Ford.

Israeli jet planes were reported to have bombed a military base on the outskirts of Damascus last week. Western diplomats told the Daily Telegraph they believed that the Syrian regime may have been transferring surface to air missiles to Lebanon, into the hands of the Iran-backed militia Hezbollah, with whom Israel is still at war. Full Read: Telegraph

WEB Notes: Keep this scripture in mind. “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.”Isaiah 17:1

Bankia investors fear stock will be declared worthless

Small retail clients who invested in Spain‘s nationalised Bankia face substantial losses, with the bank’s shares temporarily suspended on the Madrid stock exchange on Thursday morning amid rumours that existing stock would be declared almost worthless.

The Frob, the country’s bank restructuring fund, was forced to admit that the price it will set for swapping debt into shares at the bailed-out bank would be low – but denied reports that it would value shares at just 1 euro cent each.

Spain’s Expansión newspaper had reported that the Frob had set the 1 cent level for shares that, when floated amid an aggressive marketing campaign in 2011, were valued at €3.75 (£3.23) each.

About 350,000 retail investors are thought to have bought at up to that price. A valuation of 1 cent would in effect wipe out their investments.

“The worst is going to happen,” the newspaper said in an editorial. “This cold dose of reality, partly a result of the obligations acquired with the European Union when it was rescued, contrast with what has been happening to Bankia’s share price.” The share price fell by more than 22% after a trading suspension was lifted on Thursday morning following the media report, though it later rose again. By late in the day it was trading at €0.41 – still more than 40 times the value reported by Expansión.
Bankia asked to be rescued last year as it drowned in a sea of toxic real estate left over from a residential construction bubble that burst five years ago, leaving a million new properties unsold.
The bank took €18bn of European aid, which went via the Frob and was added to Spain’s national debt.

Formed by the merger of seven provincial savings banks, Bankia was devastated – along with many of its Spanish peers – by the property market collapse, and a government-enforced clean-up of real estate exposures left it short of capital last year.

The complex recapitalisation of Bankia will see parent group BFA, now controlled by the Frob, subscribe to €10.7bn of Bankia-issued bonds that will then be converted into shares.
But the Frob insisted on Thursday that, although Bankia’s debts outweighed assets by €4.2bn in December, the conversion price had not yet been fixed.

“The entity’s negative valuation and its end-2012 projected results indicate that the price at which the Frob [will participate in Bankia] via BFA will entail a big reduction in the shares’ nominal value,” it said in a statement.

Bankia has forecast a €19bn loss for 2012. – Guardian

FAA official: No armed drones in U.S.

An official with the Federal Aviation Administration reassured the public Wednesday that no armed drones will be permitted in U.S. airspace, but he acknowledged the agency can do little about privacy fears associated with the unmanned craft.

In an address to the drone-industry’s leading trade group, which is meeting this week in Northern Virginia, Jim Williams said existing rules already bar aircraft from using weapons and “we don’t have any plans of changing [those rules] for unmanned aircraft.”

“We currently have rules in the books that deal with releasing anything from an aircraft, period. Those rules are in place and that would prohibit weapons from being installed on a civil aircraft,” said Mr. Williams, who heads the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, formed last year to shepherd drones into already-crowded American skies and integrate drone use with the manned-aircraft system.

The FAA has cited “privacy concerns” as one reason it has fallen behind the congressionally mandated integration schedule, but Mr. Williams said the agency actually can’t do much of anything about those fears.

“The FAA has no authority to make rules or enforce any rules relative to privacy,” he said. “We can ask [the industry] to take into consideration the privacy issue. … There aren’t any rules to date on that.”

More than a half-dozen bills have been introduced in Congress to address those Fourth Amendment and personal privacy issues. At least 11 states, including Virginia, are pursuing similar measures. – Full Read: Washington Times

WEB Notes: Just the fact that the question is arising is troubling enough not to mention the fact that we already have surveillance over our head.

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