Prophecy News Watch - Week In Review/July 20- July 24
Keeping You Informed of World Events From A Biblical Perspective
Prophetic Trends & Headline News
1. Where is the United States in Bible Prophecy?
Commodities Collapsed Just Before The Last Stock Market Crash – So Guess What Is Happening Right Now?
If we were going to see a stock market crash in the United States in the fall of 2015 (to use a hypothetical example), we would expect to see commodity prices begin to crash a few months ahead of time.
This is precisely what happened just before the great financial crisis of 2008, and we are watching the exact same thing happen again right now. On Wednesday, commodities got absolutely pummeled, and at this point the Bloomberg Commodity Index is down a whopping 26 percent over the past twelve months. When global economic activity slows down, demand for raw materials sinks and prices drop.
So important global commodities such as copper, iron ore, aluminum, zinc, nickel, lead, tin and lumber are all considered to be key “leading indicators” that can tell us a lot about where things are heading next. And what they are telling us right now is that we are rapidly approaching a global economic meltdown.
If the global economy was actually healthy and expanding, the demand for commodities would be increasing and that would tend to drive prices up. But instead, prices continue to go down.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index just hit a brand new 13-year low. That means that global commodity prices are already lower than they were during the worst moments of the last financial crisis…
The commodities rout that’s pushed prices to a 13-year low pulled some of the biggest mining and energy companies below levels seen during the financial crisis.
The FTSE 350 Mining Index plunged as much as 4.9 percent to the lowest since 2009 on Wednesday, with BHP Billiton Ltd. and Anglo American Plc leading declines. Gold and copper are near the lowest in at least five years, while crude oil retreated to $50 a barrel.
“This commodity bear market is like a train wreck in slow motion,” said Andy Pfaff, the chief investment officer for commodities at MitonOptimal in Cape Town. “It has a lot of momentum and doesn’t come to a sudden stop.”
Commodity prices have not been this low since April 2002. According to Bloomberg, some of the commodities being hit the hardest include soybean oil, copper, zinc and gasoline. And this commodity crash is already having a dramatic impact on some of the biggest commodity-producing nations on the globe. Just consider what Gerald Celente recently told Eric King…
We now see that the Australian dollar is at a six-year low against the U.S. dollar. What are Australia’s biggest exports? How about iron-ore and other metals.
If we look at Canada, their currency is also now at a six-year low vs the U.S. dollar. Well, Canada is a big oil exporter, particularly some tar sands oil, which is expensive to produce.
We also now have the Brazilian real at a 10-year low vs the U.S. dollar. Why? Because it’s a natural resource rich country and they don’t have a strong market to sell their natural resources to.
Meanwhile, the Indian rupee is at a 17-year low vs the U.S. dollar. This is because manufacturing is slowing down and there is less development. If the Americans aren’t buying, the Indians, the Chinese, the Vietnamese — they’re not making things.
All of this is so, so similar to what we experienced in the run up to the financial crisis of 2008. Just a couple of days ago, I talked about how the U.S. dollar got really strong just prior to the last stock market crash. The same patterns keep playing out over and over, and yet most in the mainstream media refuse to see what is happening.
Something else that happened just a few months before the last stock market crash was a collapse of the junk bond market.
That is starting to happen again too.
I know that I must sound like a broken record. But I think that it is extremely important to document these things. When the next financial collapse takes place, virtually everyone in the mainstream media will be talking about what a “surprise” it is.
But for those that have been paying attention, it won’t be much of a “surprise” at all.
When the stock market does crash, how far might it fall?
During a recent appearance on CNBC, Marc Faber suggested that it could decline by up to 40 percent…
The U.S. stock market could “easily” drop 20 percent to 40 percent, closely followed contrarian Marc Faber said Wednesday—citing a host of factors including the growing list of companies trading below their 200-day moving average.
In recent days, “there were [also] more declining than advancing stocks, and the list of 12-month new lows was very high on Friday,” the publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“It shows you a lot of stocks are already declining.”
Others, including myself, believe that what we are going to experience is going to be even worse than that.
We live in such a fast-paced world, and most of us don’t have the patience to wait for long-term trends to play out.
If the stock market is not crashing today, to most people that means that everything must be fine.
But once it has crashed, everyone is going to be complaining that they weren’t warned in advance about what was coming and everyone will be complaining that nobody ever fixed the things that caused the exact same problems the last time around.
Personally, I am trying very hard to make sure that nobody can accuse me of not sounding the alarm about the storm that is on the horizon.
The world has never been in more debt, our “too big to fail” banks have never been more reckless, and global financial markets have never been more primed for a collapse.
Amazingly, there are still a lot of “experts” out there that insist that everything is going to be okay somehow.
Of course many of those exact same “experts” were telling us the same thing just before the stock market crashed in 2008 too.
A great financial shaking has already begun around the world, and it will hit U.S. financial markets very soon.
I hope that you are getting ready while you still can.
Intel Officer Warns U.S. Of 'Digital Pearl Harbor'
A former U.S. intelligence officer who was involved in efforts to identify terrorists prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the United States is warning China already could have what amounts to Trojan horses embedded inside the software running the nation’s critical infrastructures, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, who today is an intelligence analyst on media outlets including Fox News, told G2 in an exclusive interview that the Chinese already have been conducting espionage on the nation’s critical infrastructures. Shaffer also is a senior fellow at the New York-based-London Center for Policy Research.
“The Chinese already have started,” Shaffer asserted. “Much of what used to be done to hack bulk power systems, SCADA systems, the Internet – it’s already being done.”
SCADAs, or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems, are computer-based systems that monitor and control industrial processes remotely, enabling the automatic functioning of the nation’s critical infrastructures.
They monitor and regulate the national electrical grid system, the flow of oil and natural gas, nuclear power facilities, finance and banking systems, telecommunications, the pumping of fuel, food and water delivery, rail and truck transportation and traffic lights.
As an intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency, Shaffer was involved in the “Able Danger” controversy. There it was claimed the agency failed to properly evaluate intelligence on the 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and two others.
Able Danger was a classified military planning effort under the U.S. Special Operations Command and DIA to develop information on transnational terrorism.
Shaffer said the Chinese, whom current U.S. intelligence has implicated in the hacking of the critical databases of the Office of Personnel Management, did so without detection, raising the prospect that they also could sabotage such critical infrastructures as the national grid, finance and banking system, telecommunications and others which depend on Internet access.
The OPM hack which was only recently revealed publicly had been under way for almost a year, Shaffer said. He said the Chinese will use the information gleaned from the hacking of more than 21 million past, present and prospective federal workers and contractors, many with national security clearances, for espionage purposes.
He sees the Chinese having plans for the data.
“I see them doing a concerted reconnaissance of who can be available to penetrate us,” Shaffer said. “During the Cold War, the Russians spent a lot of time figuring out ways to get moles who have been at the White House or the Pentagon and places like that. Clearly, this information could be used for that and it would be information I would use it for.
“I don’t think that the intent here is to use the information except to use it to increase the Chinese [knowledge] of our government’s activities plus trying to recruit people clandestinely,” he said.
While Shaffer wouldn’t rate the OPM hacking on the level of a Pearl Harbor or 9/11 attack, he said the potential is there for the Chinese with their hacking skills to launch a “digital Pearl Harbor” on multiple critical infrastructures simultaneously.
He said the issue now is how the U.S. can prevent anything from being activated.
Immigration To Swell U.S. Muslim Population To 6.2 Million
According to U.S. Census Data, the United States admits roughly 100,000 Muslim immigrants legally each year, representing the fastest growing block of immigration into the United States.
Tennessee, in fact, is home to one of the fastest growing immigrant populations in the country, causing the President to give a recent speech there in favor of expansive immigration.
The Mayor of Nashville has launched a New American Advisory Council to help facilitate the legally-sanctioned transition from the previous inhabitants of Nashville to the new ones.
Both of Tennessee’s Senators, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), helped pass the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill which would have tripled the number of green cards issued over the next ten years.
Unlike illegal immigrants, legal immigrants invited into the United States with green cards are granted automatic work permits, welfare access, and the ability to become voting citizens.
Pew Research has estimated that immigration will cause the population of U.S. Muslims to more than double over the next two decades—from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030. This demographic change is entirely the product of legal admissions–that is, it is a formal policy of the federal government adopted by Congress.
Another major source of Middle Eastern immigration into the United States is done through our nation’s refugee program. Every year the United Stated admits 70,000 asylees and refugees. Arabic is the most common language spoken by refugees, and 91.4 percent of refugees from the Middle East are on food stamps.
The importation of Middle Eastern immigrants through the nation’s refugee program has led to the development of pockets of radicalized communities throughout the United States.
Minnesota, for instance, which has the largest Somali population in the country, has struggled to stem terror recruiting. The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently reported that six men from Minnesota were arrested and charged attempting to fight alongside ISIS. During the last two years alone, more than 20 Somali-Americans from Minnesota have left the U.S. to fight alongside terrorists under the banner of ISIL.
Similarly, as National Review has reported, “Dearborn, Michigan is home to just under 100,000 people, about 40 percent of whom are Muslim. In 2013, a leaked government document revealed that more people from Dearborn were on the federal terrorist watch list than from any other city except New York.”
The head of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Union, Kenneth Palinkas, recently warned about this very issue: “It is also essential to warn the public about the threat that ISIS will exploit our loose and lax visa policies to gain entry to the United States. Indeed, as we know from the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, from the Boston Bombing, from the recent plot to bomb a school and courthouse in Connecticut, and many other lesser-known terror incidents, we are letting terrorists into the United States right through our front door.”
He listed a number of terror attacks in which the attackers were immigrants voluntarily imported into the United States, including the Boston Marathon Bombing. None of these attacks would have occurred but for immigration sanctioned by the federal government.
News reports show that this is similarly emerging as a problem in Florida. A recent piece in The Tampa Tribune reveals that Florida now leads the nation as the number one state resettling refugees.
As one Floridian community liaison manager with Refugee Services estimated for The Tampa Tribune, Florida settles 27,000 refugees, on average, per year.
According to the federal government, Florida resettled 43,184 refugees in 2013.
While most of these refugees settling in Florida arrive from Cuba, many arrive from Middle Eastern countries. According to the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, the next largest countries to resettle in Florida after Cuba are (in order) Iraq, Myanmar (Burma), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Colombia, Afghanistan, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria, and Palestine.
The Tampa Tribune reports that many of these Muslim refugees are carving out their own Muslim communities within Florida (similar to what refugees have done in Dearborn and Minneapolis): “Many of the refugees finding homes in the Tampa Bay area are Muslim because the region has an established Muslim community.”
The Tampa Tribune also notes that most of these refugees, precisely because they are invited in legally by our government, will go on to seek citizenship. Tampa immigration lawyer B. John Ovink told The Tampa Tribune, “Citizenship is straightforward. Once they enter as refugees or are granted asylum, they apply for permanent residency, the proof of which is a green card. It’s pretty automatic unless something changes in their country of origin and they are forced to go back. But I haven’t seen that happen in the 22 years I’ve been practicing law.”
On the heels of these developments, two Republican Senators–Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Dan Coats (R-IN)–have announced plans to substantially increase immigration from countries with large Muslim populations as a condition of a new highway bill. They are proposing to attach “highly-skilled” immigration bills from last Congress, which would expand the number of STEM workers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)–large numbers of whom come from countries with large Muslim populations like Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia. The Tennessee killer was himself an engineering student.
Similarly, presidential contender Senator Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has also introduced immigration legislation that would substantially increase opportunities for Muslim immigration by creating an uncapped green card program for foreign students specializing in STEM fields while tripling the number of H-1B visas. One of the fastest growing groups of foreign students are from Saudi Arabia, helping propel the foreign student population to an all-time high.
Senator Rubio’s statement on the terrorist attack in Tennessee did not mention anything about Islam.
2. Israel - God's Timepiece
Why Israel Is Going To Bomb Iran
Thanks to Barack Obama, it is only a matter of time before Israel feels forced to conduct a massive military strike against Iran’s nuclear program. When that happens, Iran will strike back, and hundreds if not thousands of missiles will rain down on Israel. This exchange will likely spark a major regional war in the Middle East, and that could end up plunging the entire planet into chaos. If Barack Obama was attempting to prevent such a scenario from playing out, he failed miserably.
Personally, I think that the deal that was just made with Iran is absolutely horrible. Perhaps you disagree. Perhaps you believe that it is the greatest piece of diplomacy of all time. But it doesn’t really matter what any of us think. If this deal was going to work, it had to be strong enough to convince Israel that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons has been completely stopped. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sworn that he will never, ever let Iran get a nuclear weapon, and he has pledged to use military force if necessary.
So what Barack Obama needed was a deal that would calm Israeli nerves while satisfying the Iranians at the same time. Such a deal may have theoretically been impossible, but that is what it was going to take to prevent war. Instead, Obama has made a deal which has utterly horrified the Israeli government. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even called it “a license to kill“. So now the odds that war will happen have gone way up, but Barack Obama is too busy congratulating himself to notice.
And it isn’t just the Israeli government that has responded very negatively to this deal.
One recent survey found that a staggering 74 percent of Israelis do not believe that this deal will prevent the Iranians from developing a nuclear weapon.
A different survey discovered that 47 percent of Israelis would now support a military strike against Iran and only 35 percent of Israelis are currently against one.
Of course the Israeli government would very much prefer not to have to bomb Iran. Before resorting to military action, the Israeli government will certainly try to encourage the U.S. Congress to derail this deal. And we should probably expect to see more covert action against Iran’s nuclear program.
But in the end, those methods will almost certainly not be enough. At that point, the Israeli government will have a decision to make, and I think that the following exchange between Netanyahu and Steve Forbes gives us some insight into what Israeli officials are thinking right now…
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I think if the deal goes through we’re in danger of war, and it might be the worst kind of war we can imagine. Because this deal will open the way for Iran not to get a bomb but many bombs. Within a decade it will be free to enrich uranium on an unlimited basis. And it will be able to make the fissile core for dozens of bombs–indeed, hundreds of bombs–which it can then put on the hundreds of ICBMs it already has.
Under this deal Iran is going to get $100 billion to $300 billion, which it will be able to use to fund its terrorism and its aggression in the region–its aim being to destroy Israel. Given Iran’s history of aggression, I’d say that this double bonanza of a guaranteed pathway to a nuclear arsenal and a jackpot of money to continue its aggression actually makes the danger of war, even nuclear war, a lot greater.
SF: You make a very important point. Even if Iran sticks to the deal, which is highly problematical, in a decade it will be a major global nuclear power, and it will have ballistic missiles.
BN: Iran is producing them, and guess what? Within a few years they will be able to reach the Eastern seaboard of the United States. And then every point in the United States. But this deal will also enable Iran to tip those missiles with nuclear weapons, with atomic bombs. And I think it’s a huge mistake to allow the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world, Iran, to have nuclear weapons, as well as the capacity to give such weapons to its terrorist surrogates. This is a big, big mistake. Not only endangering Israel and the entire Middle East but the entire world, specifically the United States.
The mullahs, the dictators in Tehran, they call us the little Satan; they call America the big Satan. You are their ultimate target, and you should not give such a terrorist regime the weapons of mass destruction. Because I think the greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. Here you have a militant Islamic state, Iran, arming itself with nuclear weapons and receiving a huge cash bonanza in the bargain. That’s a mistake.
Let there be no misunderstanding – as long as Benjamin Netanyahu is in power the Israeli government will never, ever allow Iran to build nuclear weapons.
This deal that Barack Obama just made with Iran guarantees the Iranians a path to a nuclear weapon, but the Obama administration is apparently hoping that regime change will happen before that time if they are able to kick the can down the road far enough.
But the big mistake that almost everyone in the western world is making when analyzing this deal is that they are assuming that the Iranians will actually keep their promises.
Just like the U.S. government, the Iranians have a very long track record of blatantly lying. And they were caught lying even in the midst of these recent negotiations. The National Council of Resistance of Iran produced evidence that the Iranians were enriching uranium intended for nuclear weapons at a site known as “Lavizan-3” just outside of Tehran. But even after this information came out, the Iranians and the Obama administration just continued with their negotiations as if this facility did not exist.
This is how utterly incompetent the Obama administration is. The Iranians were hiding things and blatantly lying to us before the negotiations were even completed. And the truth is that it is possible that Iran might already have developed nuclear weapons.
Let us hope that this is not the case, but if reports about Lavizan-3 are accurate, the Iranian nuclear program may be far more advanced than any of us have been led to believe.
Sadly, most people in the western world end up believing what they want to believe about Iran instead of what the facts on the ground actually tell us.
Not too long from now, I believe that we will see some sort of “trigger event” which will motivate the Israeli government to finally conduct a massive military strike against the Iranian nuclear program. Israel has a history of conducting these kinds of assaults, and the Israeli military has been preparing for just such an attack for a very long time. The following comes from a recent article by Joel C. Rosenberg…
Israel has used surprise military force twice to neutralize foreign nuclear programs. In 1981, the Israeli Air Force attacked and destroyed Iraq’s nuclear facilities. Then in 2007, the Israelis attacked and destroyed a Syrian nuclear facility being built with the help of the North Koreans. An attack on Iran’s facilities would be far more complex, and the possible retaliatory blowback could be horrendous. But yet, the Israelis certainly have the capability to do what they need to do, and they’ve been preparing for years for that moment. Given Israel’s historic track record, it is possible Israeli leaders will come to the point of feeling they have no choice but to launch attacks on Iran.
And just because Iran has made a “deal” with us, the American people should not assume that we have now become “friends” with the Iranian government.
In fact, the president of Iran recently led a march through the streets of Tehran during which the crowds were chanting “death to America”…
“Even over the weekend, as Iran continued to receive more and more concessions at the negotiating table, Iranian President Rouhani led a march of hatred in the streets of Tehran in which the masses cried, ‘Death to America! Death to Israel!‘” Netanyahu said, describing Iran’s recent “Al Quds (Jerusalem) Day” in an address to the Knesset Monday.
What a horrible thing to want. Even though I am very pro-Israel, I would never wish death to Iran. The Iranian people work hard, they take care of their families, and most of them want peace.
Unfortunately, Iran is run by a cadre of radical Islamic nutjobs that are obsessed with wiping the nation of Israel off the face of the planet.
For a long time, Israel and Iran have been on a collision course, and now time is running out.
War is coming to the Middle East, and it is going to be absolutely horrifying.
Heaven’s Timing And The Nuclear Deal With Iran
The Iran Nuclear Deal was signed on July 14, 2015 by the P5+1 – a group comprised of representatives of the governments of the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – and the Islamic Republic of Iran. This date falls during a particularly significant time in the Jewish calendar known as The Three Weeks.
The Three Weeks are a mourning period that the Jewish people observe each year for the destruction of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem. The period starts on the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz and ends on the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av and always falls in the summer. The 9th day of Av, which this year is July 26, is called Tisha B’Av and is the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. It was the day that both Holy Temples were set on fire.
In comparing the deal with Iran to the Munich Agreement between British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Hitler in 1938, world-renowned lecturer Rabbi Lazer Brody wrote: “Now, 77 years later, during the notorious ‘Three Weeks’ between the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B’Av, the USA has reaffirmed its commitment to hedonism by appeasing Iran and signing a nuclear agreement that is not worth the skin of a garlic clove.”
In an email dated July 16, 2015 and sent to his “Letter from Jerusalem” subscribers, Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, Founder and Director of AZAMRA, an international organization that promotes Torah teachings to all nations, echoes Rabbi Brody’s thoughts about the timing.
“The carefully choreographed timing of the announcement after so many delays could not have been more significant from the Jewish point of view, given that it fell on July 14 / 27 Tammuz, bang in the middle of the ‘Three Weeks’ period from the Fast of 17 Tammuz (4 July) until the Fast of Tisha B’Av (26 July), when we soul-searchingly contemplate our collective past, our present and our future destiny,” he wrote.
Although the White House has pushed the agreement through the United Nations before Congress has had a chance to review the measure, there is another striking connection between the Iran nuclear deal and the Jewish calendar.
The US Congress has 60 days to review and vote to either ratify or nix the nuclear deal. On the Jewish calendar, 60 days from the day the Iran nuclear deal was signed falls on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. Thus, the final decision will likely be announced in the period between the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur known as the Ten Days of Repentance. These are days of judgement for the Jewish people.
Speaking to the confluence of this decision and the Jewish calendar, End of Times author Rabbi Pinchas Winston told Breaking Israel News, “The Talmud says that all punishment comes to the world because of the Jewish people. Sometimes it means the Jewish people are not up to snuff, but other times it means that we did not care enough to use our spiritual gifts, such as Torah learning and prayer, to save a situation. When important decisions ‘hang in the air’ for a time, it is Heaven’s way of giving the Jewish people a chance to use those gifts to get history back on track. The fact that the Iran deal was made during the Three Weeks and will be decided on by Rosh Hashanah should make it clear where our responsibility lies. We don’t want this ‘punishment’ to occur and we certainly don’t want to be responsible for it.”
Red Heifers In Israel Prompt 3rd Temple Speculation
The altar and sacred vessels have been reconstructed. The architectural plans are being drawn up. Now a group is taking another step toward fulfilling the biblical prophecy of a restored Temple by raising a group of red heifers in the land of Israel.
And evangelical Christian leaders are divided about what it means if the Third Temple, prophesied to play a key role in the end times, can actually be constructed in Jerusalem.
Before the Temple can rise, builders must secure a red heifer, or “para aduma,” a three-year-old female cow with totally red hair that is supposed to be able to restore a state of “purity” after ritual slaughter.
The Temple Institute, an Israeli organization dedicated to constructing the Third Temple, has launched a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo to breed such animals and has already succeeded in accumulating almost $15,000 in three days. The group’s previous campaign in 2014 succeeded in raising more than $100,000 to pay for the creation of construction plans that meet both architectural and Scriptural standards.
The group admits red heifers are not uncommon around the world, but claims a “para aduma” suitable for ritual use actually must be raised in Israel and meet painstaking specifications laid out in Scripture.
Therefore, instead of simply waiting for the appearance of a red heifer, the Temple Institute “has joined forces with an experienced cattle rancher” to use modern science to breed cows that meet the requirements.
Eventually, the cows will be used ritually as part of a “purification” process. The group further plans to train priests in the proper ritual use of the red heifers, identifying and selecting descendants of the “priestly tribe of Aaron” who are qualified to prepare the animals, and undertaking the “documentation and provision of the precise location on the Mount of Olives for the heifer’s preparation.”
However, the group may find more trouble when it comes to actually rebuilding the Temple itself. The Temple Mount is currently administered by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, and the Al-Asqa Mosque occupies the site of the Temple Mount.
Battles over access to the mosque and attempts by religious Jews to visit the site are also a continuing source of controversy. Still, the Temple Institute is ultimately hopeful about literally rebuilding the “Holy Temple.”
Joel Richardson, a filmmaker, evangelist, and New York Times bestselling author of “The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth About The Real Nature of the Beast,” warns the Third Temple is not an easy subject for those who believe in Jesus.
“The issue of the Third Temple is always a controversial matter among evangelical Christians. Some say that after the sacrifice of Messiah Jesus, it is a great offense to God to engage in any further sacrifices. Indeed, the Book of Hebrews says that the sacrifice of Jesus was ‘once and for all.’”
But Richardson, most recently the author of “When a Jew Rules the World: What the Bible Really Says About Israel in the Plan of God,” observes that some “point out that Paul the apostle and the other early believers continued to engage in the ritual temple sacrificial system. One thing is for sure, the Temple will be rebuilt in the days ahead. The Scriptures are quite clear about this.”
Richardson says, “Eventually, we are told that the man the Bible refers to as the Antichrist will invade the city of Jerusalem and set himself up in the temple in what is called ‘the abomination that causes desolation.’”
For that reason, Richardson argues, many Christians assume the forthcoming Temple will be “an inherently bad thing.”
However, Richardson contends: “The problem with this is the Scriptures refer to the abomination as taking place in ‘God’s Temple,’ thus implying that it is not viewed negatively by God Himself. One cannot, after all, desecrate something that this not sacred in the first place.”
Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries, the discoverer of the “Blood Moons” phenomenon, believes the Temple Institute faces formidable hurdles when it comes to executing the ritual correctly. Nonetheless, he was enthusiastic about plans to rebuild the Temple.
“I am all for a rebuilding of the Temple and believe the desire to rebuild proves we are living in the times of the Messiah,” said Biltz, the author of “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs.”
He said, “The importance of the effort [to breed the red heifers] is critical as it is necessary for acquiring the purification necessary for the priests to work within the Temple. It is a sign that man wants a connection to the Creator of the Universe and desires His Presence.”
Yet not all Christians agree the Third Temple will be literally constructed in Jerusalem.
Carl Gallups, a pastor, talk-show host and author of “Final Warning: Understanding the Trumpet Days of Revelation,” says evangelical Christians are divided. While acknowledging many believe Scripture refers to a literal structure when it says the “Temple,” Gallups says there is another school of thought.
“There are others, including many of the classical and highly respected Christian commentators who declare this ‘temple’ is none other than the Christian church (the temple being built with ‘living stones’) of the last days,” Gallups says.
If this argument is true, Gallups claims, it means the Antichrist will “be one who, using his demonically deceptive power, will set himself up as a ruler claiming the authority of God over the church, attempting to direct the affairs of all of last days Christendom.”
While Gallups says there is “strong” biblical evidence for both positions, if the second position is true, “then there is no necessity for a literal Jewish Temple to be rebuilt in order for end time prophecy to reach its ultimate fulfillment.”
Furthermore, Gallups believes there is some evidence to believe the “Temple of God” is already being occupied by forces of the Antichrist – in this case, by a mosque.
“As I elucidate in “Final Warning, there are also those who point to the current Islamic Dome of the Rock as an undeniable and literal fulfillment of the ‘abomination of desolation’ currently standing in the ‘holy place.’ They would also point out that the undeniable ‘spirit’ of Antichrist is attached to the whole of the Islamic message, especially as it relates to the biblical Jesus. Furthermore, they would say, its demonic influence continues to wreak destruction and spread its influence throughout the world in our own historical time frame.”
Richardson argues one of the most important element of all of this is the central purpose of the Temple after the return of Jesus Christ.
“Rising far above all these controversies, is the fact that during the millennial reign of Jesus the Messiah, yet another temple will indeed be rebuilt. And even with Jesus ruling and reigning here on the earth, sacrifices and offerings will continue to take place.”
Yet the fierce debate over the Third Temple and its importance for the contemporary world does not detract from a shared sense among many commentators of prophecy being realized in the modern world. Noting what he sees as the rise of global immorality, ominous signs of war in the Middle East, and the return of the state of Israel, Gallups enthuses, “The solid signs of Jesus’ soon return are all around us.”
And Richardson believes Christians are going to be forced to confront their deepest held beliefs about the end times sooner rather than later.
“If the Christian church seems divided now, imagine the great controversy in the days ahead when the third Jewish Temple is rebuilt. Those days are indeed coming and coming quickly.”
Nuke Deal Could Allow U.S. To Protect Iran From Israel
Ari Yashar of Israelnationalnews.com reports that the Iran nuclear agreement negotiated by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry requires the United States and the other non-Iranian signatories to provide “co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage.”
If Israel is about to take military action against Iran’s nuclear weapons infrastructure and related targets, will the Obama administration use this language in the agreement to claim that the United States is required to warn Iran of the impending attack and provide Iran with sufficient information to thwart it?
One particularly interesting detail: Tucked away near the very end of the deal’s massive text is a section entitled “Nuclear Safety, Safeguards and Security,” which stipulates that the West will train Iran to thwart sabotage against its nuclear facilities.
According to text, Iran will learn how to secure its controversial and covert nuclear program from all threats thanks to training by the “E3/EU+3,” another designation for the P5+1 countries consisting of the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China, as well as the EU.
The section seemingly begins benignly enough, with a clause saying that “E3/EU+3 parties, and possibly other states, as appropriate, are prepared to cooperate with Iran to establish a Nuclear Safety Centre in Iran, engage in workshops and training events in Iran.”
But then things take a turn, with the same world powers obligating to “co-operation in the form of training courses and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to prevent, protect and respond to nuclear security threats to nuclear facilities and systems as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.”
Leaving no doubts about the intentions, the text then promises “co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage.”
Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon adds this:
The language was viewed as disturbing by analysts and experts who said such cooperation could help protect Iran against efforts by the Israelis or other countries to sabotage the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in the future.
“The United States and its partners have just become the international protectors of the Iranian nuclear program. Instead of rolling back the Iranian nuclear program, we’re now legally obligated to help the Iranians build it up and protect it,” said one Western source present in Vienna and who is apprised of the details of the deal.
Long before this agreement was negotiated, it was reasonable to assume that President Obama would warn the Iranians of an impending Israeli attack. The language agreed to by President Obama and Secretary Kerry could be used to justify such a warning.
Although the “co-operation” to protect Iran’s nuclear program is to be “through training and workshops,” we can reasonably anticipate the disingenuous argument that such co-operation is not limited to training and workshops, and that the primary intent of the parties to the agreement was to co-operate with Iran in the protection of its nuclear program. Thus, the argument will conclude, a warning to Iran of an impending Israeli attack is required.
We have seen examples of United States Supreme Court justices, and other judges, perpetrating much more extreme distortions of language in order to arrive at desired outcomes, at the expense of plain meaning. Many lawyers do this every day for the highest bidder. It will not be a surprise if President Obama and Secretary Kerry use the same tactic to stab Israel (and the rest of the free world) in the back.
3. A Revived Roman Empire?
The President Of France Wants Eurozone Members To Transfer Their Sovereignty To A United States Of Europe
The President of France has come up with a very creative way of solving the European debt crisis. On Sunday, a piece authored by French President Francois Hollande suggested that the ultimate solution to the problems currently plaguing Europe would be for every member of the eurozone to transfer all of their sovereignty to a newly created federal government.
In other words, it would essentially be a “United States of Europe”. This federal government would have a prime minister, a parliament, a federal budget and a federal treasury. Presumably, the current national governments in Europe would continue to function much like state governments in the U.S. do. In the end, there may be some benefits to such a union – particularly for the weaker members of the eurozone. But at what cost would those benefits come?
When I first learned that French President Francois Hollande had proposed that the members of the eurozone should create their own version of a federal government, I was quite stunned. But I shouldn’t have been surprised. For the global elite, the answer to just about any problem is more centralization. The following comes from a Bloomberg article that was posted on Sunday…
French President Francois Hollande said that the 19 countries using the euro need their own government complete with a budget and parliament to cooperate better and overcome the Greek crisis.
“Circumstances are leading us to accelerate,” Hollande said in an opinion piece published by the Journal du Dimanche on Sunday. “What threatens us is not too much Europe, but a lack of it.”
So precisely what would “more Europe” look like?
Hollande envisions a central government that has both a parliament and a federal budget…
“I have proposed taking up Jacques Delors’ idea about euro government, with the addition of a specific budget and a parliament to ensure democratic control,” Hollande said.
His remarks touched on what analysts have seen as a major flaw in the euro.
Under the 1992 Treaty of Maastricht, countries which share a common currency must obey rules on borrowing and deficit spending.
But the Greek crisis saw one of the 19 eurozone members notch up successive worsening deficits and amass a mountain of debt. The problems were only addressed by bailouts from the European institutions and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Critics say the problem stems from a lack of centralised control over national fiscal policies, which today are jealously guarded areas of sovereignty.
In addition, this eurozone government would have its own prime minister. In essence, he would be the European version of the president of the United States. The following comes from the Independent…
There would be a eurozone government with its own prime minister, the officials said. This government would have its own budget – separate from the EU budget – to aid and invest in more fragile countries, It would try to harmonise corporation and pay-roll taxes to ensure fair competition in the eurozone.
Of course Hollande is not the only one calling for more centralization. Last month, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem proposed a plan that would create a shared European treasury…
Draghi called for the creation of a shared treasury within 10 years in a joint proposal with politicians including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem last month.
I don’t anticipate that we will see any of these things implemented immediately.
However, what is important is the fact that this is where the European elite plan to take Europe. And when the next great European financial crisis erupts, these proposals will be offered as the “solutions” necessary to end the crisis.
During times of emergency, the elite are often able to push things through that they would never be able to accomplish under normal circumstances. At the moment, it would be extremely difficult to get everyone to agree to a full-blown “United States of Europe”. But if things were to start spinning wildly out of control and people were suddenly desperately clamoring for solutions, the environment would be quite different.
What that time arrives, the key will be to get Germany and France to agree on what a “United States of Europe” should look like. If Germany and France can agree, it is inevitable that most of the other members of the eurozone would ultimately fall in line.
One potential hurdle for the creation of this new government would be the euro. The current treaty agreements concerning the euro are quite complicated and quite restrictive. If Germany and France decided that they did want to create a “United States of Europe”, they might have to create an entirely new currency in order to accomplish that.
I know that sounds kind of crazy right now, but at one time the concept of “the euro” sounded really crazy too.
For the moment, the debt crisis in Europe just continues to get even worse. Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Belgium and France are all drowning in debt. Whether or not we see a “Grexit” in the short-term, I fully expect that European bond yields will continue to rise and European stocks will take quite a tumble in the months ahead.
I believe that we are right on the verge of a very significant European financial crisis. In particular, keep on eye on the big banks. Just like in the United States, the “too big to fail” banks in Europe are massively overleveraged and are tremendously exposed to derivatives.
In fact, the bank with the most exposure to derivatives on the entire planet is Deutsche Bank. It has been reported that Deutsche Bank has a whopping 75 trillion dollars worth of exposure to derivatives, their co-CEOs were recently forced to resign, and there are all sorts of rumblings about troubles going on behind the scenes at the bank.
What do you think would happen if the biggest and most important bank in Germany suddenly became the next Lehman Brothers?
That is something to think about.
Meanwhile, the euro continues to fall. For a long time, I have been repeating my prediction that the euro would fall to parity with the U.S. dollar.
One year ago, the EUR/USD was sitting at 1.35.
Today, it has come all the way down to 1.08.
There will be more ups and downs, but we are almost there.
A time of great chaos is coming to Europe, and the eurozone will be deeply shaken.
But whether or not there is a break up of the eurozone in the short-term, in the long-term the goal of the European elite is even more integration and even more centralization.
So even though there will be significant bumps in the road, I fully expect to see the “United States of Europe” that French President Francois Hollande has proposed.
4. The Gog/Magog War
Russia And Iran Sign Military Cooperation Agreement
Iran and Russia have signed a military cooperation pact, the official TASS Russian news agency reported on Tuesday.
The agreement to intensify military and technological cooperation was made during a Tehran meeting between Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Deghan and visiting Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Russian media reported.
Shoigu, who arrived in Tehran on Sunday, was quoted by sputniknews.com as saying: “We are in favor of long-term and multi-level cooperation with Iran and welcome the Iranian leadership’s attempts to expanding its ties with Russia, including in military defense. We have common challenges and threats in the region that we can oppose only if we communicate."
Shoigu will also reportedly meet General Hassan Firouzabadi, the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, while in Tehran.
Iran's IRNA state news agency described Shoigu's visit as an "outstanding event."
"Iran and Russia are able to confront the expansionist intervention and greed of the United States through cooperation, synergy and activating strategic potential capacities," Dehghan said. "As two neighbors, Iran and Russia have common viewpoints toward political, regional and global issues."
Shoigu did not the mention ongoing controversy over a deal to deliver a sophisticated air defense missile system to Iran. In 2007, Russia signed a $800-million contract to sell Tehran the S-300 missile system, but the weaponry was never delivered amid strong objections by United States and Israel.
Iran has filed a lawsuit with a court in Geneva seeking $4 billion in damages over the breach of the contract, but the court hasn't yet made any ruling. Russia has insisted that its decision to freeze the S-300 delivery was based on the United Nations Security Council's sanctions against Iran.
Iran's state TV reported Tuesday that Iran and Russia have agreed to settle their differences over the missile deal, without offering further details.
Last year, Russian media reports said that Moscow had sought to end the dispute by offering Iran a different, slightly inferior version of the S-300 system, but Tehran had rejected the proposal.
Russia remains a central player in ongoing negotiations concerning Iran's nuclear program between the Islamic Republic and the West. In January, it was reported that Iran tentatively agreed to ship much of its material needed to manufacture nuclear weapons to Russia.
In May 2014, it was reported that Russia planned on signing a contract with Iran to build two more nuclear reactors at its Bushehr power plant as part of a broader deal for up to eight reactors in Iran.
5. Apostate Christianity
Blasphemy Of The "Christian" Left - Seminary Distributes Pro-Gay Condoms That Mock Christ's Second Coming
Much false teaching and false representation of Christianity exists in America today.
One recent example is the distribution of free condoms by Chicago Theological Seminary, an affiliate of the United Church of Christ (UCC). At last week's 2015 Wild Goose Festival attendees received condom packages designed with a colored image of a rainbow flame, an LGBT variation of the UCC's logo.
Printed above the flame were instructions: "Chicago Theological Seminary, Take Two (For the second coming!)" The text blatantly suggests Jesus Christ's second coming relates to one needing two condoms for multiple partners.
In other words, a "Christian" seminary is likening the Second Coming of Christ to gay sex.
Nothing could be further from Biblical truth. But such claims are inherent to blasphemy, heresy and obvious hatred of God and His Word.
Throughout the New Testament Jesus' apostles specifically addressed sexual behavior, identifying specific acts as immoral, evil, against one's human nature, and against God. They witnessed it and repeatedly warned new Christians to stop; ("[of which] I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past (ἅ προλέγω ὑμῖν καθὼς [Receptus, καθὼς καὶ] προεῖπον); even as I did forewarn you").
Speaking directly to churches from Asia, to Bithynia, Cappadocia, Colossi, Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, Pontus, Rome and Thessalonica, Jesus Christ's apostles clearly admonished new Christians to stop participating in sexual depravity, specifically gay sex and orgies, because it was not of God.
To the Corinthians Paul urged, "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body" (1 Cor. 6:18).
To the Colossians, "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry" (Col. 3:5). "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father's wife" (2 Cor. 5:1).
To the Ephesians, "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people" (Eph. 5:3).
The apostles knew what Matthew Henry clarifies, "A man cannot be brought to greater slavery than to be given up to his own lusts. As the Gentiles did not like to keep God in their knowledge, they committed crimes wholly against reason and their own welfare" (commentary on Romans 1:26-32).
Yet the apostles' admonition extended beyond prohibition, but to righteous living through the grace of Jesus Christ. They repeatedly called for self-examination, which hopefully would lead to remorseful conviction of sin and the realization for the need of deliverance, healing and renewal.
Genuine Christians, the apostles claimed, would exude the fruits of the Spirit, not self-destructive and community-destroying behavior (Gal. 5).
To the Thessalonians, Paul encouraged, "Walk worthily of God who called you into his own kingdom and glory" (1 Thess. 2:12).
To the Ephesians, "to live a life worthy of the calling you have received" (Eph. 4:1).
Only an apostate Christian and apostate church could celebrate or encourage gay sex or orgies. Only an apostate Christian and apostate church could advocate being "LGBTQ friendly." Apostasy is inherently anti-God.
Apostasy promotes lies and causes individual and societal harm. Revelation 9 and 21 make quite clear the consequence of sexual depravity (all sorts of uncleanness; not only simple fornication, but adultery, incest, sodomy and all unnatural lusts) at the time of Christ's return: death.
Genuine Christians couldn't promote harmful activities; it goes against their nature. The outworking of the gospel and salvation is healing, restoration and renewal in all areas of life; a desire to cultivate life-giving behavior and positively contribute to the flourishing of society.
Jesus Christ's return is infinitely more important and incomparable to a joke printed on condom package. Genuine Christians, who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, joyfully and anxiously await His return. But Christians are instructed to warn others (Ezek. 33), knowing His return is no laughing matter.
6. The Rise of Islam
Major U.S. city Poised To Implement Islamic law
While some cities in Texas and other Southern states have been adopting ordinances that protect their citizenry from creeping Shariah-compliant practices, cities such as Seattle are taking the opposite approach.
Seattle’s Democrat Mayor Ed Murray was so concerned that Muslims and other residents weren’t buying enough homes in his city that he had a committee investigate how that could be rectified.
One of the committee’s recommendations: Banks need to offer “Shariah-compliant” mortgage loans for Seattle’s growing Muslim community.
Muslims are forbidden by their religious law, Shariah, from paying interest on loans so they must be offered loans structured in such a way that interest is not part of the package.
The 28-member committee recommended the city convene lenders and community leaders to explore options for increasing access to Shariah-compliant loans, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported.
“We will work to develop new tools for Muslims who are prevented from using conventional mortgage products due to their religious beliefs,” said Murray, at a recent press conference.
“More and more lenders are offering Shariah-compliant financing, according to a USA Today report,” the Journal reports. “The sector has grown to more than $1.6 trillion in assets worldwide over the past three decades, and analysts see potential for continued growth as the number of Muslims in the United States and Europe grows.”
The Obama administration, with the full support of Congress, is following an immigration policy that allows at least 100,000 Muslims into the country every year, according to U.S. Census data.
So financial-service companies see that as a business opportunity.
But those who see Shariah law as anti-Western and anti-American see the trend differently than banks and corporations.
“Such dangerously misguided efforts kowtow to, and abet, Islamic supremacism,” said Dr. Andrew Bostom, author of “Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims” and several other books about the history of Islam.
In his 1947 book, “The Economic Problem of Man and its Islamic Solution,” the great 20th century Islamic revivalist thinker Mawdudi conceived of the notion of Shariah-compliant finance as an innovative way to enforce the global supremacy of Islam and Islamic law, Bostom said.
“Mawdudi, who died in 1979, affirmed that the entire economic system had a ‘deep relationship with the political, judicial, legal, cultural and social system of Islam,’” Bostom said. “He further claimed, ‘all these are fundamentally based on the moral system of Islam.’”
Shariah thus applies the tenants of Islam to every area of life, not just religious life.
“Mawdudi concluded with an admonition that demanded Muslim acceptance, and global application of ‘this creed (Islam), this moral system and the whole of this code of life, completely as it is,’ because, he added, ‘the economic system of Islam, divorced from its source, cannot be maintained or administered in its purity for even a single day, nor will any appreciable advantage accrue from it if you take it out of its wider context and then seek to apply [it] to your life.’
“Shariah-compliant mortgages, and all aspects of so-called Shariah-compliant finance, should be rejected because they are vehicles for the promulgation of Islamic law, an integrated religio-political system antithetical to our most fundamental Western freedoms,” Bostom said.
Mayor opening the door to Shariah
Pamela Geller, author of “Stop the Islamization of America,” also said most Americans are not aware that Shariah applies to all of life. She said the mayor of Seattle, like other mayors who kowtow to Shariah, are doing long-term damage to their cities and their country.
“Shariah is a unified whole – a guide to every aspect of human behavior. It doesn’t just involve interest and loans,” Geller said. “The teachings of Islam regarding war against and subjugation of unbelievers is part of Shariah as well. The mayor of Seattle is opening the door to Shariah, and because he has already shown himself to be compliant, he will receive more demands for accommodation of Shariah in the future.
“This is a radical, intolerant, violent, misogynistic, antisemitic ideology, and he should not be kowtowing to it.”
Ed Murray kowtowing to Muslims in Seattle’s housing market is no different than Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges donning a hijab when she met with Somali leaders in her city last year, critics said.
No criticism from establishment media
In contrast to Hodges, mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, has advocated for a new state law that would ban courts from meting out decisions based on any foreign legal system, WND reported in March.
For her efforts, Van Duyne was roundly criticized and mocked by the establishment media. Murray and Hodges, on the other hand, have come under no condemnation in the establishment media for their support of Shariah law.
Irving, Texas, Mayor Beth Van Duyne.
It’s not clear how many Muslims in Seattle would benefit from Murray’s plan, the journal reported. The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) estimates more than 30,000 Muslims live in the greater Seattle area, and chapter Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari said it’s “fairly common” for some not to seek loans.
In “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance,” renowned activist Pamela Geller provides the answer, offering proven, practical guidance on how freedom lovers can stop jihadist initiatives in local communities.
Many Muslims work in Seattle’s tech industry, such as the 1,000 Muslims who work for Microsoft and another 500 employed with Amazon. They often enter the U.S. on the H1-B temporary guest-worker visa for skilled workers. The H1-B lasts for three years and can be renewed once for a total of six years, but after that many are eligible for permanent green cards.
They could easily qualify for home loans but opt not to apply “simply because they don’t want to pay interest,” Bukhari told the Journal.
Seattle in a sanctuary county
Seattle is in King County, which is one of more than 200 sanctuary cities and counties in the U.S.
The mayor, Murray, said he will send legislation to the Seattle City Council for consideration. During a press conference, he said he wants to help Muslims.
United Nations floods Seattle area with refugees
Another portion of Seattle’s Muslims has been brought into the nation compliments of the U.S. taxpayer, which foots the bill for the U.S. State Department’s refugee resettlement program. The program costs more than $1 billion a year, not including the cost of welfare benefits that refugees are immediately signed up for upon arrival in American cities and towns.
According to State Department data, about 5,500 “refugees” from Muslim countries have been permanently resettled in the Seattle area since 2002. State Department data prior to 2002 has not been placed online.
More than 95 percent of the refugees sent to the United States are selected by the United Nations high commissioner for refugees. Many of them come from countries hostile to the United States, such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
About 70,000 refugees enter the U.S. every year, about half of them from countries where Islam dominates.
Muslims also enter the U.S. through the skilled guest-worker visa program, the student visa program, the annual visa lottery program, a visa program for entrepreneurs, and other programs.
Chicago also on board toward Shariah loans
Chicago already offers some options for Sharia-compliant Muslims, as well as the Bank of America. But the special treatment in Seattle isn’t sitting well with everyone. Critics say the idea opens the door to financing for Islamic radicals and even terror-tied groups, via money laundering. Critics also say the plan, which could extend to small business owners, is discriminatory against those who aren’t Muslim.
In 2008, some in Congress opposed the American International Group’s provision of special insurance programs for Sharia-compliant Muslims.
In a letter dated Dec. 18, Rep. Frank Wolf and then-Rep. Sue Myrick wrote: “You may defend your decision to offer Sharia products and will probably state that they have no real ties to Sharia law, and therefore pose no threat. You are wrong, Like Britain, the way to America’s legal code is through its wallet, and if Sharia law gains a strong footing in the United States, it will be through Sharia finance and Sharia products.”
Fox News reported Seattle’s plan to help Muslims could lead to banks outright buying the home and holding the title. The bank would then contract with the buyer to purchase the home at marked-up price. The buyer could then pay in a lump sum or in payments over time. Some financers in Seattle are already offering such options.
Halal Inc. has a website ad that says “instead of starting with a flawed system and trying to ‘make a fit,’ we took the perfect system ordained by Allah and created a legal framework for it,” Fox News found.
Isis Plotting To Use Drones To Bomb Crowds At Major British Events
Terrorists want to use the unmanned machines - available for as little as £100 on the high street - to drop explosives on large crowds at popular sporting and cultural gatherings.
Defence chiefs fear they could launch a multi-drone attack carrying several bombs, even using airborne cameras to film the bloody carnage below for twisted propaganda videos.
Senior MI5 figures believed that Isis has already tested how much plastic explosive the flying machines can carry, getting as far as experimenting with detonation devices.
A counter-terrorism source said: "Islamist plotters have been trying to launch a drone-borne bomb attack for some time, as these machines are getting more hi-tech every year.
"They want the spectacular devastation of such a raid, which would cause murder and maiming in a crowd, while filming it for a sick video.
"Isis is obsessed with re-creating the horror of 9/11 and believes this may be possible by launching a multi-drone attack on large numbers of people in a synchronised attack."
Toy drones, which are popular with amateur photographers, are available from mainstream retailers like Amazon and Maplin and cost as little as £100.
Each agile machine could carry enough explosive to kill or maim a person if detonated nearby, and the effects of a fleet of drones dropping bombs on a crowded area would be bloody and devastating.
It is thought that evil Islamist fanatics could be looking to target crowds at open-air music festivals and Premier League football grounds for maximum effect.
Colonel Richard Kemp, who has advised the Government on terrorism, told the Mirror: "There is a genuine threat from Islamists wishing to deliver high explosives by drone to crowded areas. The effects could be devastating."
It would be easy for Isis to get its hands on cheap drones, with more than 127,000 being bought and sold on online auction site eBay in the last year alone.
Alternatively, it is thought the terrorists may attempt to build a copycat drone of their own to avoid having to buy one and potentially raise the suspicions of police and security services.
More worryingly still they could attempt to buy commercial drones like ones used by the military. These machines would be able to carry enough explosive and shrapnel to kill scores of people in a single attack.
Exploding Muslim Immigration Overwhelms FBI
The FBI failed to stop another terror attack, this time in Chattanooga, and the pressure building on the bureau from President Obama’s reckless immigration policies may be reaching a boiling point, say security experts.
And the problem goes far beyond a loose border, where some 400,000 illegal aliens enter each year.
It’s also the ease with which someone from a hostile Middle Eastern country can get a visa.
Under current U.S. immigration policy, an ISIS terrorist doesn’t need to hop a fence or swim a river to reach America. He can enter the U.S. legally as a student, as a skilled guest-worker, as a refugee, as an entrepreneur, or as a tourist – and fly here in the comfort of a jumbo jet.
According to U.S. Census data, the U.S. welcomes about 100,000 Muslim immigrants legally each year. This represents the fastest growing segment of immigrants coming to America.
While some may enter with questionable backgrounds, the chances are greater that they will get radicalized after they arrive.
Take the case of Chattanooga terrorist Youssef Mohammad Abdulazeez.
He arrived with his parents from Kuwait in 1996 at the age of 6. He attended U.S. schools, and by all accounts was a fully assimilated U.S. naturalized citizen.
Abdulazeez was a success story just waiting to be told by Obama’s newly created White House Taskforce on New Americans, which collaborates with community-organizing groups like Welcoming America to convince Americans that expansive immigration brings only good things to their cities and towns.
But something happened over the last two years of Abdulazeez’s life that changed him. Last year, at the age of 23, he traveled to Jordan and Yemen for seven months, and U.S. intelligence agencies aren’t sure who he visited or what he may have been taught while visiting the Middle East.
When he returned home, he grew his beard out and started writing a Muslim blog in which he made philosophical statements that could easily be interpreted as anti-Western. His father was also investigated for a questionable donation to an Islamic charity a few years ago and placed on a watch list. Abdulazeez Sr. ended up being cleared of any wrongdoing.
A prophetic statement
FBI Director James Comey’s dire warning to Congress several weeks before the Chattanooga attack now seems prophetic because it applies perfectly to young Muslims like Abdulazeez.
The message of ISIS to Western recruits is this: “Come to the so-called caliphate, and if you can’t, kill somebody. Kill somebody where you are,” Comey said.
“He told them, with obviously deep concern, that his agency is simply incapable of managing the threats now proliferating across the entire country,” said Clare Lopez, vice president of research and analysis for the Center for Security Policy and a former CIA analyst.
“Even there, Comey was holding back on what he must know is the reality of this situation: We have living among us some percentage of a sub-set of Muslims, who may be legal or illegal immigrants, refugees or, like Abdulazeez, a naturalized American citizen, who feel zero allegiance to this country – and instead identify above all with the global Islamic ummah,” Lopez told WND.
And with the U.S. so liberally allowing more Muslims into the country – about 800 new refugees a month come from one country, Somalia, arguably the most jihadist-rich country in the world – there is no telling how many have become radicalized or are in the process of being radicalized.
“We have no idea if there are hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands across America today who decide to pledge their allegiance instead to the Shariah doctrine of jihad,” Lopez said.
And where do they go to feed on the poison of Islamic jihadism?
“Family influence, Muslim Brotherhood-dominated mosques, Islamic centers and online indoctrination all play some role,” Lopez said. “But neither Comey nor the FBI nor local law enforcement currently has the legal or investigative tools to identify and stop such individuals before they take the next step on the pathway to violent jihad.”
Burden falls to local cops
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. is one of the local law enforcement officials that Lopez says will have to take up the slack from a White House administration that shows no interest in seriously addressing either the immigration issues or the national security problems related to Islamic terrorism.
“I can’t go through an airport without getting pulled aside for pre-check scans and searches. And while they’re doing that to a guy in law enforcement they can let a guy like Mohammad Abdulazeez spend seven months traveling the Middle East … are you kidding me?” Clarke told WND. “That’s a red flag. Just like the Boston bombing, the older guy was traveling through Chechnya before the attack. That’s a hotbed of terrorism, Chechnya, so you see why I say we suck at intelligence? We don’t have a strategy.”
Clarke said immigration must be cleaned up and specifically Muslim immigration.
“We have got to force this issue. That’s why I’m glad Donald Trump is in the race. He’s probably not going to win, but he’s going to make this Republican field talk about some issues they would rather not discuss,” Clarke said. “Our immigration policy is a disaster. Multiculturalism is a disaster, and it failed miserably when European countries all opened their borders and now they’re all tightening up. France demands assimilation now. So now, yes, we do have to look at immigration as a national-security threat.”
More attacks predicted
Clarke said he fully expects that Obama will continue to do everything in his power to muddy the waters and disassociate the Chattanooga killings from Islamism.
“You see where this is going to go with this administration for the next 72 hours,” he said. “We’ll hear from him that it has nothing to do with Islam when it has everything to do with Islam.”
Clarke, who recently earned his master’s degree in security studies from the Center of Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School, said the Obama administration has no strategy for protecting the homeland against Islamic terror.
The FBI notoriously scrubbed its training manuals of all reference to Islam and terrorism in 2011. That concession was made in response to complaints by the Council of American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, to then-National Security Adviser John Brennan, who is now in charge of the CIA.
“And that’s why it’s just going to get worse,” Clarke said. “You’re going to see more attacks, where they target two different sites and expand across the nation in different states. I think we have to find a role for U.S. citizens in this as well but until we get a strategy, that’s not going to happen.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions issued a statement Friday that connects the growing threat of terrorism to record levels of legal immigration.
“More details will need to be collected in coming days, but from what we know so far the (Chattanooga) terrorist in question appears to be an Islamist radical who immigrated to the United States from Kuwait, and who reportedly later applied for and received U.S. citizenship,” said Sessions, chair of the subcommittee on immigration and the national interest.
‘The visa clearinghouse of the world’
Sessions cited a recent warning by the Citizenship and Immigration Council that declared, “Our government cannot effectively track these foreign visitors and immigrants … Applications for entry are rubber-stamped. We’ve become the visa clearinghouse for the world.”
Sessions provided a list of 21 terrorist attacks and foiled attacks involving immigrants allowed into the United States from hostile Islamic countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Morocco, Uzbekistan and Yemen.
The list includes the two Boston Bombers from Chechnya in 2012, the six Somali-Americans from Minnesota charged in April this year with trying repeatedly to leave the country to join ISIS, an Uzbek refugee in Idaho arrested for planning an attack on military installations and recruiting others to make bombs, an immigrant from Syria who applied for and received U.S. citizenship and was accused of planning to “go to a military base in Texas and kill three or four American soldiers execution style.”
And the list goes on. WND has reported on many other cases of Muslim immigrants and the children of immigrants who went on to commit terrorist acts or provide material support to terrorist groups, including a Somali cab driver in Washington, D.C., who recruited members for al-Shabab in Somalia and now sits atop the FBI’s “most wanted terrorist” list. There is also the case of Hoda Muthana, the 20-year-old Yemeni-American, daughter of immigrants from Yemen, who left her comfortable life in her parents’ suburban Birmingham, Alabama, home in November 2014 to become an ISIS bride in Syria.
Lopez said that with so many Islamic immigrants in the U.S. and the Obama administration not taking the threat of Islamic terrorism seriously, more of the burden will fall to state and local law enforcement.
“To meet this threat, our security and law enforcement officers need better and more honest leadership from the top,” she said. “We are engaged in a great civilizational jihad with the forces of the global jihad movement.”
Local cops ‘must understand what jihad is’
Local sheriffs and police chiefs are in desperate need of information that will help them understand the growing threat of Islamic terrorism, but they’re not going to get it from Obama’s Department of Homeland Security, the FBI or any other federal agency.
“Local police and sheriffs need to understand for themselves what jihad is, where it comes from, and what indicators and warnings they must look for to keep their communities safe – because this jihad is asymmetric, decentralized, and dependent on jihadis who already are living among us, just like Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez,” Lopez said.
The Abdulazeez family weren’t refugees from a war zone on whom a proper background investigation might be very difficult, if not impossible. This was a family with a known history, proper documents, and presumably Americans who could vouch for them when they came to the U.S. in 1996.
“The problem is the refusal of this White House and our national security leadership more broadly to confront the reality of the global jihad movement,” Lopez said.
She said State Department officials are forbidden to even query an immigrant’s ideological position on jihad and Islamic law before approving his visa application.
“They are not allowed to find out whether they are good fits to live in our Republic, to pledge unreserved allegiance to our Constitution, to live under rule of man-made law, and to assimilate into our Judeo-Christian-based society,” she said.
Then, when events occur that should raise red flags – like the father’s possible financial donation (zakat) to a questionable Islamic entity, the shooter’s trip to Jordan, or his visibly increased Islamic devotion – they just don’t. Our federal officials are forbidden to know the meaning of the indicators and warnings like these – they will lose their jobs if they even suggest such obvious signals ought to constitute probable cause to trigger an investigation.
Clarke said U.S. taxpayers are not getting a lot of bang for their buck in the way of effective intelligence gathering. That’s because too much is wasted on non-threats.
“This country spends an estimated $58 billion a year on our intelligence services. They missed 9/11, they missed Fort Hood, they missed the Boston bombing and what I think we’ll find here with this one (in Chattanooga) is that they missed some red flags, too.”
Bachmann’s voice echoes from halls of Congress
Former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has long been concerned by the developing trend: Rising immigration from hostile countries and rising incidents of Islamic terror. When she served in the House, few listened to her warnings.
“Terrorism is real, barbaric and will continue on American soil until the U.S. determines to get serious about prevention,” she said. “Across the world, wherever Muslim immigration has been allowed to flourish, a connection to terrorism has flourished also.
“No one has a right to immigrate to America. It is our choice as to who we allow to gain entrance to our great land.”
Bachmann lays much of the blame for today’s failed immigration system at the feet of former Sen. Ted Kennedy.
His “devious experiment” with the 1965 Immigration Act “fundamentally transformed” America’s immigration system into one that now allows 1.1 million immigrants to enter the U.S. legally each year, far beyond the scope of what any other country would consider wise.
“America is our country. It is time the politicians listen to us, the people who support this nation,” Bachmann said. “Not to the international business conglomerates who demand a continuous supply of cheap labor and pass on the true negative social costs to us.”
And those socials costs, as America is now finding out, extend well beyond the cost of providing welfare benefits. Sometimes, those costs can be paid in blood.
Inside ISIS Training Camps For Terror's Next Generation
The children had all been shown videos of beheadings and told by their trainers with the Islamic State group (ISIS) that they would perform one someday. First, they had to practice technique. The more than 120 boys were each given a doll and a sword and told, cut off its head.
A 14-year-old who was among the boys, all abducted from Iraq's Yazidi religious minority, said he couldn't cut it right. He chopped once, twice, three times.
"Then they taught me how to hold the sword, and they told me how to hit. They told me it was the head of the infidels," the boy, renamed Yahya by his ISIS captors, told The Associated Press last week in northern Iraq, where he fled after escaping the ISIS training camp.
When ISIS overran Yazidi towns in northern Iraq last year, they butchered older men and enslaved many of the women and girls. Dozens of young Yazidi boys like Yahya had a different fate: ISIS sought to re-educate them. They forced them to convert to Islam from their ancient faith and tried to turn them into jihadi fighters.
It is part of a concerted effort by the extremists to build a new generation of militants, according to AP interviews with residents who fled or still live under ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The group is recruiting teens and children using gifts, threats and brainwashing. Boys have been turned into killers and suicide bombers. An ISIS video issued last week showed a boy beheading a Syrian soldier under an adult militant's supervision. Last month, a video showed 25 children unflinchingly shooting 25 captured Syrian soldiers in the head.
In schools and mosques, militants infuse children with extremist doctrine, often turning them against their own parents. Fighters in the street befriend children with toys. ISIS training camps churn out the Ashbal, Arabic for "lion cubs," child fighters for the "caliphate" that ISIS declared across its territory. The caliphate is a historic form of Islamic rule that the group claims to be reviving with its own radical interpretation, though the vast majority of Muslims reject its claims.
"I am terribly worried about future generations," said Abu Hafs Naqshabandi, a Syrian sheikh who runs religion classes for refugees in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa to counter ISIS ideology.
The indoctrination mainly targets Sunni Muslim children. In ISIS-held towns, militants show young people videos at street booths. They hold outdoor events for children, distributing soft drinks and candy -- and propaganda.
They tell adults, "We have given up on you, we care about the new generation," said an anti-ISIS activist who fled the Syrian city of Raqqa, the extremists' de facto capital. He spoke on condition of anonymity to preserve the safety of relatives under ISIS rule. With the Yazidis, whom IS considers heretics ripe for slaughter, the group sought to take another community's youth, erase their past and replace it with radicalism.
Yahya, his little brother, their mother and hundreds of Yazidis were captured when ISIS seized the Iraqi town of Sulagh in August. They were taken to Raqqa, where the brothers and other Yazidi boys aged 8 to 15 were put in the Farouq training camp. They were given Muslim Arabic names to replace their Kurdish names. Yahya asked that AP not use his real name for his and his family's safety.
He spent nearly five months there, training eight to 10 hours a day, including exercises, weapons drills and Koranic studies. They told him Yazidis are "dirty" and should be killed, he said. They showed him how to shoot someone from close range. The boys hit each other in some exercises. Yahya punched his 10-year-old brother, knocking out a tooth.
The trainer "said if I didn't do it, he'd shoot me," Yahya said. "They ... told us it would make us tougher. They beat us everywhere."
In an ISIS video of Farouq camp, boys in camouflage do calisthenics and shout slogans. An ISIS fighter says the boys have studied jihad so "in the coming days God Almighty can put them in the front lines to battle the infidels."
Videos from other camps show boys crawling under barbed wire and practicing shooting. One kid lies on the ground and fires a machine gun; he's so small the recoil bounces his whole body back a few inches. Boys undergoing endurance training stand unmoving as a trainer hits their heads with a pole.
ISIS claims to have hundreds of such camps. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented at least 1,100 Syrian children under 16 who joined IS this year. At least 52 were killed in fighting, including eight suicide bombers, it said.
Yahya escaped in early March. Fighters left the camp to carry out an attack, and as remaining guards slept he and his brother slipped away, he said. He urged a friend to come too, but he refused, saying he was a Muslim now and liked Islam.
Yahya's mother was in a house nearby with other abducted Yazidis -- he had occasionally been allowed to visit her. So he and his brother went there. They travelled to the Syrian city of Minbaj and stayed with a Russian ISIS fighter, Yahya said. He contacted an uncle in Iraq, who negotiated to pay the Russian for the two boys and their mother. A deal struck, they met the uncle in Turkey then went to the Iraqi Kurdish city of Dohuk.
Now in Dohuk, Yahya and his brother spend much of their time watching TV. They appear outgoing and social. But traces of their ordeal show. When his uncle handed Yahya a pistol, the boy deftly assembled and loaded it.
And he will never forget the videos of beheadings ISIS trainers showed the boys.
"I was scared when I saw that," he said. "I knew I wouldn't be able to behead someone like that. Even as an adult."
7. Increase in Knowledge/New Technologies
Surveillance Creep: New Google Timeline App Tracks Everywhere You Go
The internet giant has revealed its Timeline feature that shows users all the places they've been to on any given day in the past.
Timeline allows people to retrace their steps and even see the pictures they took on the particular day out.
The application also works out the most popular places you visit and aims to keep track of particular restaurants and bars
But, the controversial service has come under fire for being "terrifyingly cool but terrifyingly scary".
Many users felt uncomfortable at the thought that Google is stalking their every step.
Some are "creeped out" after realizing just how much information Google held about them.
Richard Angel (@richangel) said: "Little bit scary to see that Google knows everywhere I've been"
'Eeyore' (@eeyore94) had words of warning for those avoiding people or skipping work: "If you decide to bump someone off don't tweet afterwards - Google knows EVERYWHERE you've been".
Many users did not realize just how much data Google was collecting
Logical Campaign (@LogicalCampaign) tweeted the widely held sentiment that the new tool was "both convenient and creepy".
Google has defended the opt-in Timeline service. It insists the feature is private and visible only to the user and that history can be deleted at any given time.
Google says it will help people remember where they went on their nights out or even simply their favourite running routes.
Google's Product Manager Gerard Sanz said: "Have you ever wanted a way to easily remember all the places you’ve been - whether it’s a museum you visited during your last vacation or that fun bar you stumbled upon a few months ago?
"Your Timeline allows you to visualize your real-world routines, easily see the trips you’ve taken and get a glimpse of the places where you spend your time."
New Biometric Payment Options On The Horizon
When payments pundits start talking mobile payments, there’s always two hot topics that are top of mind: biometrics and authentication.
Authentication, of course, has always been the “hot-off-the-press” type of buzzword that industry experts have debated. This includes the best methods — and technologies — to achieve the top security measures to ensure that identities are properly verified when it comes to mobile payments. That’s where the concept of TouchID, passwords and PINs came into the mix, but it didn’t take long for tech and payments companies to realize there’s probably more sophisticated ways to authenticate a payment.
Fingerprints? “So 2014,” some say. Iris scanning? Getting closer. But it seems, at least from the interest from Alibaba with Alipay, and more recently from MasterCard, more companies are throwing their hat into the biometrics ring to discuss how facial scanning authentication might be the next big thing in mobile payments.
Alipay’s “Smile To Pay”
Alibaba made it clear last year that it wants to have the selfie be the new way to pay. Perhaps the next wave of big “Pay” players might have “Smile Pay” in their names.
“Online payments are always a big headache. You forget your password … you worry about security,” said Alibaba founder Jack Ma at an event in March, speaking to a group of tech enthusiasts. He even pulled out his phone to take a selfie to show how easy it was to pay via facial scanning.
Alibaba’s vision for using facial scanning as the next big biometrics tech in the payments space hasn’t seemed to progress much in the past few months, at least what’s been publicly discussed. Reports also indicate that Alibaba and Ant Financial’s facial scanning tech would need approval from Chinese regulators, which could cause another hurdle in itself.
Meanwhile, Face++, the startup behind the facial recognition technology that would power that service, recently raised $25 million, which shows there’s a least some investors who believe in the concept, too. And that’s not all that shocking since figures from the Biometrics Research Group project the biometrics market is expected to grow to $15 billion in 2015 alone.
MasterCard’s Facial Scanning
And just in the past week, MasterCard has shown up in the headlines as being interested in implementing technology to its mobile payment option that enables users to snap a photo with their phones at checkout. Scanning a photo, some suggest, is easier than remembering a password.
And in a world where selfie sticks and smartphones are becoming increasingly popular, there’s a population who’s more likely to embrace the new way to pay. At least one MasterCard executive thinks so.
“The new generation, which is into selfies … I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise safety and security for MasterCard, in an interview.
But cutting down on fraud, of course, is the ultimate goal.
A CNNMoney report on the development said MasterCard’s biometric-based ID option is likely to debut this fall, but company representatives indicated the technology is still in testing mode. MasterCard is also working on developing its voice recognition tech — suggesting that MasterCard is staying afloat on the biometrics trend.
In addition to facial recognition, fingerprint scanning will also be an option. With a limited test run of about 500 customers, it’s too early to tell what the full rollout might entail. MasterCard is reportedly teaming up with every smart device maker, ranging from Apple and Google to BlackBerry and Samsung.
So how would the technology work?
Reports suggest that individuals would have to download the MasterCard app. The company will then ask via a popup message for authorization after a payment is made. The user can choose a fingerprint scan, which takes a simple touch on the device. The fingerprint-based payment uses a code that resides within the device. Alternatively, if the facial recognition feature is chosen, the user must blink at the device.
MasterCard’s tech wouldn’t involve taking an actual picture, rather it works by scanning the features of a person’s face, which is transmitted to MasterCard’s servers. As for fingerprint scans, that data is stored on the device.
The move toward biometrics comes even as MasterCard has a successful shopping security program in place that is known as SecureCode. This program requires users to supply passwords when they shop online, a move that is billed as effective against credit card hacks. SecureCode was used across 3 billion transactions last year, the company said.
But not every cybersecurity expert is on board with MasterCard’s interest in biometric facial scanning. MasterCard’s user biometric information would remain on its servers, which is what sparked the concern from one cybersecurity consultant who suggested the data stay stored in the devices.
“I understand why they’d want that data, but no, I do not like it,” said Robert M. Lee, cofounder of Dragos Security, a consulting firm. “From a privacy aspect, it’s awful, but from a business perspective, I don’t understand why they’d accept that risk.”
Another authentication expert, however, disagrees.
“They’re storing an algorithm, not a picture of you. And I’m sure they’re doing the appropriate stuff to guard it,” Phillip Dunkelberger, CEO of Nok Nok Labs, which creates technology that authenticates people, told CNNMoney.
Samsung’s Iris Authentication
Samsung has been getting serious about biometric authentication, too. And with its new mobile payment option, Samsung Pay, rolling out soon, it makes sense the company would be investing in new tech.
In April, Samsung revealed new plans to launch its own fingerprint scanning technology in its digital payment efforts. During that time, Samsung’s IT service unit Samsung SDS said it is working with South Korean payment gateway firms KG Mobilians and KG Inicis to introduce a fingerprint digital payment service. While the tool will first launch in South Korea, reports said Samsung is planning an eventual global rollout.
The technology, a biometrics authentication solution, is certified by the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance and thus complies with international standards for online identification, reports said. Microsoft, PayPal and Google are all also FIDO Ready members.
This, of course, is just the start of biometrics authentication tools for Samsung. Biometric authentication, the company said, is the way of the future as traditional online authentication mechanisms like passwords and certificates reduce their presence and become replaced by FIDO-approved innovations.
“Going forward, we plan to not only target hardware manufacturers that make smartphones but also provide our biometric solutions to online service and security companies,” said a spokesperson for Samsung in an interview. “We plan to offer clients that need biometrics solutions with various business models and offer differentiated authentication services.”
While Samsung hasn’t divulged exactly how the technology works, reports suggest the tool will use fingerprint, voice and iris recognition.
In early May, Samsung announced that it had signed an exclusive licensing agreement with SRI International to introduce iris recognition technology, called Iris on the Move, into Samsung mobile devices for B2B apps. Its new biometrics ID technology, however, is reportedly meant for digital payments technology, meaning it will likely be integrated into the company’s expected new Samsung Pay service.
'Artificial Intelligence Is As Dangerous As Nuclear Weapons': AI Pioneer Warns Smart Computers Could Doom Mankind
Artificial intelligence has the potential to be as dangerous to mankind as nuclear weapons, a leading pioneer of the technology has claimed.
Professor Stuart Russell, a computer scientist who has lead research on artificial intelligence, fears humanity might be 'driving off a cliff' with the rapid development of AI.
He fears the technology could too easily be exploited for use by the military in weapons, putting them under the control of AI systems.
Leading artificial intelligence pioneer Stuart Russell has compared artificial intelligence to the development of nuclear weapons. He particularly fears what will happen if AI is used in weapons and military systems. Films such as Terminator have given what some believe is a glimpse of what could happen
He points towards the rapid development in AI capabilities by companies such as Boston Dynamics, which was recently acquired by Google, to develop autonomous robots for use by the military.
Professor Russell, who is a researcher at the University of California in Berkeley and the Centre for the study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University, compared the development of AI to the work that was done to develop nuclear weapons.
Google has set up an ethics board to oversee its work in artificial intelligence.
The search giant has recently bought several robotics companies, along with Deep Mind, a British firm creating software that tries to help computers think like humans.
One of its founders warned artificial intelligence is 'number one risk for this century,' and believes it could play a part in human extinction.
'Eventually, I think human extinction will probably occur, and technology will likely play a part in this,' DeepMind's Shane Legg said in a recent interview.
Among all forms of technology that could wipe out the human species, he singled out artificial intelligence, or AI, as the 'number 1 risk for this century.'
The ethics board, revealed by web site The Information, is to ensure the projects are not abused.
Neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, 37, founded DeepMind two years ago with the aim of trying to help computers think like humans.
His views echo those of people like Elon Musk who have warned recently about the dangers of artificial intelligence.
Professor Stephen Hawking also joined a group of leading experts to sign an open letter warning of the need for safeguards to ensure AI has a positive impact on mankind.
In an interview with the journal Science for a special edition on Artificial Intelligence, he said: 'From the beginning, the primary interest in nuclear technology was the "inexhaustible supply of energy".
'The possibility of weapons was also obvious. I think there is a reasonable analogy between unlimited amounts of energy and unlimited amounts of intelligence.
'Both seem wonderful until one thinks of the possible risks. In neither case will anyone regulate the mathematics.
'The regulation of nuclear weapons deals with objects and materials, whereas with AI it will be a bewildering variety of software that we cannot yet describe.
'I'm not aware of any large movement calling for regulation either inside or outside AI, because we don't know how to write such regulation.'
This week Science published a series of papers highlighting the progress that has been made in artificial intelligence recently.
In one, researchers describe the pursuit of a computer that is able to make rational economic decisions away from humans while another outlines how machines are learning from 'big data'.
Professor Russell, however, cautions that this unchecked development of technology can be dangerous if the consequences are not fully explored and regulation put in place.
He said: 'Here's what Leo Szilard wrote in 1939 after demonstrating a [nuclear] chain reaction: 'We switched everything off and went home. That night, there was very little doubt in my mind that the world was headed for grief.'
'To those who say, well, we may never get to human-level or superintelligent AI, I would reply: It's like driving straight toward a cliff and saying, 'Let's hope I run out of gas soon!'
In April Professor Russell raised concerns at a United Nations meeting in Geneva over the dangers of putting military drones and weapons under the control of AI systems.
He joins a growning number of experts who have warned that scenarios like those seen in films from Terminator, AI and 2001: A Space Odyssey are not beyond the realms of possibility.
He: 'The basic scenario is explicit or implicit value misalignment - AI systems [that are] given objectives that don't take into account all the elements that humans care about.
'The routes could be varied and complex—corporations seeking a supertechnological advantage, countries trying to build [AI systems] before their enemies, or a slow-boiled frog kind of evolution leading to dependency and enfeeblement not unlike EM Forster's The Machine Stops.'
EM Forster's short story tells of a post-apocalyptic world where humanity lives underground and relies on a giant machine to survive, which then begins to malfunction.
Professor Russell said computer scienitsts needed to modify the goals of their research to ensure human values and objectives remain central to the development of AI technology.
He said students needed to be trained to treat these objectives much in the same way 'as containment is central to the goals of fusion research'.
In an editorial in Science, editors Jelena Stajic, Richard Stone, Gilbert Chin and Brad Wible, said: 'Triumphs in the field of AI are bringing to the fore questions that, until recently, seemed better left to science fiction than to science.
'How will we ensure that the rise of the machines is entirely under human control? And what will the world be like if truly intelligent computers come to coexist with humankind?'
8. Christian Worldview/Issues
Obama To Force Charities To Promote Abortion Or Lose Funding
Religious and other pro-life charity organizations that aid sex trafficking victims will longer be awarded federal grants if they are unable to offer abortion counseling services due to religious convictions come this fall after the Obama administration passed a new Department of Health and Human Services grant requirement last month.
According to the Washington Examiner, a change to HHS guidelines passed in June explains that the department is now disqualifying aid organizations that do not offer "the full range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care," which also includes abortion counseling and referrals.
The report adds that groups that refuse to offer abortion counseling services to trafficking victims have the option to ensure that abortion counseling is provided through a third-party in order to remain eligible for the grant funding.
Pro-life opponents of the new guidelines say this is just another instance in which the Obama administration is trying to force abortion at the cost of women in dire need of assistance.
"The Obama administration is staunchly pushing its radical pro-abortion agenda at the expense of women who have been traumatized by sex trafficking," Arina Grossu, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, told The Christian Post in a statement. "Forcing charities to promote abortion or lose funding ultimately hurts the women served by these charities. Abortion is not healthcare. By prioritizing abortion above real healthcare, the Administration is endangering both the well-being of women and religious liberty."
The money provided to these charities comes from the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement and cannot be used to discriminate against pro-life and religious groups, according to the Weldon Amendment.
Under the amendment, federal agencies and state and local governments that receive federal funds are not allowed to discriminate "on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions."
Jeanne Mancini, president of the pro-life advocacy group March for Life, told CP in an interview that in her mind, this new human trafficking directive is against the law.
"The law that I am aware of is the Hyde-Weldon Amendment that is included in the HHS labor appropriations bill every year," Mancini explained. "That prohibits discrimination against pro-life health groups from getting funding so that these non-profits and these religious groups that would be applying for this kind of funding would have the capacity for health services. So to me, it seems like it is against the law."
Mancini said the federal grant goes a long way in helping organizations provide these victims with legal services, health services, vocational training and places to stay.
"These are hugely important grants," she said.
Mancini added that she believes that this is the administration's way of saying that Christian charities and pro-lifers "need not apply" for the funding.
"Essentially, they have created a barrier for groups that are pro-life to receive funding to provide services for trafficking victims," Mancini said. "I think Christian groups that are pro-life need not apply and I think that is the message that they are trying to send here."
"I would liken it to the HHS abortion-inducing mandate and how they have the accommodation," Mancini continued. "They need to come up with a plan for another group to be able to provide counseling and services for abortion."
Up until 2011, the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops Migration and Refugee Services was a primary recipient of the sex trafficking relief grants. However, the organization lost its contract after HHS reshaped its request for proposals to give "strong preference" to applicants that make available "family planning services and the full range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care."
"Despite the fact that the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops received the most technically high score in the grant review by an independent review board, they were not awarded the grant," Mancini explained. "So absolutely what is happening here is they are putting a block. They have changed the language in this funding announcement instead of saying that they were giving preference, they are saying that this is a criteria and you won't be eligible to apply. It's a disqualifier if you don't provide this whole range of legally available services."
Christian Universities: Will They Obey God or Man?
It’s by design. As I, and others, have repeatedly warned, the establishment of so-called “gay marriage” as a newfangled federal “right,” and the free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment simply cannot coexist in harmony. Things diametrically at odds cannot possibly occupy, with any coherence, the same time and space.
The secular left is tripping over itself right now to prove my point. In the wake of last month’s Obergefell v. Hodges opinion – an opinion that somehow divined a top secret “constitutional right” for Patrick Henry to “marry” Henry Patrick – liberals are now demanding, as both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito predicted, that Christian university’s immediately abandon recognition of, and obedience to, God’s unequivocal natural sexual order, and adopt, instead, the new pagan orthodoxy.
In a July 14 article in The Atlantic headlined, “Gay Marriage and the Future of Evangelical Colleges,” University of Tampa professor David R. Wheeler asks, “Now that same-sex couples have the right to wed, will higher-ed institutions that condemn LGBT students still be eligible for federal funding?”
Wheeler is not alone in asking. “As cultural evolution on the issue of LGBT rights continues to accelerate, it’s inevitable that some Americans will start asking hard questions about whether it makes sense to allocate scarce public resources to institutions that are not only anti-gay, but proud of it,” opines anti-Christian bigot Barry Lynn, of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “For starters, can federally supported educational institutions bar married same-sex couples from living together in student housing? I doubt it,” he adds.
In other words, Christian universities must together embrace and facilitate homosexual sin, or lose, at once, both tax-exempt status and access to all students who choose to fund their education via federal loans and grants (which is most of them).
This presents quite a conundrum. It’s also a test. Christian universities must either obey God, disobey man and suffer unsavory temporal consequences, or obey man, sell their souls for mammon and suffer a-little-more-than-unsavory eternal consequence.
This is where faith comes in.
German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a man who faced the gallows for faithfully opposing the Nazi Holocaust. He once wrote, “For faith is only real when there is obedience, never without it, and faith only becomes faith in the act of obedience.”
It’s really not that complicated. The Christian university that chooses the path of least resistance and conforms to the world – that is, disobeys God and adopts the world’s morally relative (read: unbiblical) standards (or lack thereof) on sex and sexuality – immediately becomes at enmity with God. The Christian university that intentionally turns a blind eye to sexual immorality of any kind, or otherwise allows and recognizes sin-based “same-sex marriage,” ceases to be a Christian university and, instead, becomes an apostate university – a university better identified as “Christian in name only.”
As Jesus admonished, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Indeed, on the question of whether Christian universities will capitulate on sodomy-based “marriage,” the path of least resistance is the broad road that stems from the wide gate and leads to destruction.
By way of example, and to its shame, formerly Christian Baylor University, located in Waco, Texas, has chosen the path of least resistance. This hits especially close to home for me. I was born in Waco and my parents both attended Baylor. Two of my uncles graduated from Baylor Law, and my grandfather, J. Dell Barber, was a Baylor benefactor. In fact, he has a room in the law school named after him and, before he died, set up the Bertha J. Barber memorial scholarship fund in honor of my great grandmother.
Reports Baptist News Global: “Baptist-affiliated Baylor University has quietly removed a ban on ‘homosexual acts’ from its sexual conduct code. …”
“Lori Fogleman, assistant vice president for media communications, said the change is part of an ongoing review ‘to ensure that the university has the necessary policies and processes in place to comply with the many legal and ethical mandates to which universities are subject as institutions.’ She said a review of the sexual conduct policy was contemplated for a couple of years, because officials didn’t believe the language in the old policy ‘reflected Baylor’s caring community.’”
And so, under Baylor University’s new apostasy, it is somehow “caring” to affirm students, faculty and staff in a mortal sin that, in the absence of repentance, will lead them to eternal separation from God – to destruction.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.
It breaks my heart to be so closely affiliated with a Christian university that has so lost its way.
A colleague of mine once praised yet another for being a person who “applies biblical ethics in ways both faithful and nuanced, both orthodox and relevant.” I’m not exactly sure what that means, but, in my experience, and in the context of biblical exegesis, the term “nuanced” is usually invoked to rationalize some unbiblical behavior or otherwise cave on some fixed biblical principle.
“Nuance” is the bucket of dirt used to muddy crystal clear living waters.
And how does the faithful, Bible-believing Christian remain “both orthodox and relevant”? How can a Christian be both in the world and of the world? To the world, biblical orthodoxy is, in every way imaginable, irrelevant. Biblical orthodoxy represents absolute truth, who is Christ, and the world denies that Truth.
It hates Him in fact.
Pastor Brian Houston, founder of the popular Hillsong movement, recently said, “It can be challenging for churches to stay relevant. … Many mainstream churches upheld what they would believe is the long established view of what the Bible says about homosexuality. But the world has changed around and about them. …
“So the world’s changing and we want to stay relevant as a church,” he continued. “So that’s a vexing thing. You think, ‘How do we not become a pariah?’”
Pastor Houston, respectfully, you have it exactly backwards. We, as Christians, are obliged to become pariahs. We must pick up our cross and follow Christ, the ultimate pariah – the one and only God-man who was such a pariah, in fact, that he was scourged, mocked, spat upon and tortured to death on a tree so that all who are willing to become pariahs right along with him, might have eternal life.
No, to remain faithful, Christian universities must abandon efforts to become “nuanced” and “relevant.”
It’s a fool’s errand.
If Christian universities wish to remain faithful, they must, instead, become pariahs.
They must obey God.
9. Other Events To Watch
New Financial Order Inevitable? 24 Nations Are Currently Facing A Debt Crisis
There has been so much attention on Greece in recent weeks, but the truth is that Greece represents only a very tiny fraction of an unprecedented global debt bomb which threatens to explode at any moment. As you are about to see, there are 24 nations that are currently facing a full-blown debt crisis, and there are 14 more that are rapidly heading toward one.
Right now, the debt to GDP ratio for the entire planet is up to an all-time record high of 286 percent, and globally there is approximately 200 TRILLION dollars of debt on the books. That breaks down to about $28,000 of debt for every man, woman and child on the entire planet. And since close to half of the population of the world lives on less than 10 dollars a day, there is no way that all of this debt can ever be repaid. The only “solution” under our current system is to kick the can down the road for as long as we can until this colossal debt pyramid finally collapses in upon itself.
As we are seeing in Greece, you can eventually accumulate so much debt that there is literally no way out. The other European nations are attempting to find a way to give Greece a third bailout, but that is like paying one credit card with another credit card because virtually everyone in Europe is absolutely drowning in debt.
Even if some “permanent solution” could be crafted for Greece, that would only solve a very small fraction of the overall problem that we are facing. The nations of the world have never been in this much debt before, and it gets worse with each passing day.
According to a new report from the Jubilee Debt Campaign, there are currently 24 countries in the world that are facing a full-blown debt crisis…
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Marshall Islands
- Sri Lanka
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
And there are another 14 nations that are right on the verge of one…
- Cape Verde
- Sao Tome e Principe
So what should be done about this?
Should we have the “wealthy” countries bail all of them out?
Well, the truth is that the “wealthy” countries are some of the biggest debt offenders of all. Just consider the United States. Our national debt has more than doubled since 2007, and at this point it has gotten so large that it is mathematically impossible to pay it off.
Europe is in similar shape. Members of the eurozone are trying to cobble together a “bailout package” for Greece, but the truth is that most of them will soon need bailouts too…
All of those countries will come knocking asking for help at some point. The fact is that their Debt to GDP levels have soared since the EU nearly collapsed in 2012.
Spain’s Debt to GDP has risen from 69% to 98%. Italy’s Debt to GDP has risen from 116% to 132%. France’s has risen from 85% to 95%.
In addition to Spain, Italy and France, let us not forget Belgium (106 percent debt to GDP), Ireland (109 debt to GDP) and Portugal (130 debt to GDP).
Once all of these dominoes start falling, the consequences for our massively overleveraged global financial system will be absolutely catastrophic…
Spain has over $1.0 trillion in debt outstanding… and Italy has €2.6 trillion. These bonds are backstopping tens of trillions of Euros’ worth of derivatives trades. A haircut or debt forgiveness for them would trigger systemic failure in Europe.
EU banks as a whole are leveraged at 26-to-1. At these leverage levels, even a 4% drop in asset prices wipes out ALL of your capital. And any haircut of Greek, Spanish, Italian and French debt would be a lot more than 4%.
Things in Asia look quite ominous as well.
According to Bloomberg, debt levels in China have risen to levels never recorded before…
While China’s economic expansion beat analysts’ forecasts in the second quarter, the country’s debt levels increased at an even faster pace.
Outstanding loans for companies and households stood at a record 207 percent of gross domestic product at the end of June, up from 125 percent in 2008, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
And remember, that doesn’t even include government debt. When you throw all forms of debt into the mix, the overall debt to GDP number for China is rapidly approaching 300 percent.
In Japan, things are even worse. The government debt to GDP ratio in Japan is now up to an astounding 230 percent. That number has gotten so high that it is hard to believe that it could possibly be true. At some point an implosion is coming in Japan which is going to shock the world.
Of course the same thing could be said about the entire planet. Yes, national governments and central banks have been attempting to kick the can down the road for as long as possible, but everyone knows that this is not going to end well.
And when things do really start falling apart, it will be unlike anything that we have ever seen before. Just consider what Egon von Greyerz recently told King World News…
Eric, there are now more problem areas in the world, rather than stable situations. No major nation in the West can repay its debts. The same is true for Japan and most of the emerging markets. Europe is a failed experiment for socialism and deficit spending. China is a massive bubble, in terms of its stock markets, property markets and shadow banking system. Japan is also a basket case and the U.S. is the most indebted country in the world and has lived above its means for over 50 years.
So we will see twin $200 trillion debt and $1.5 quadrillion derivatives implosions. That will lead to the most historic wealth destruction ever in global stock, with bond and property markets declining at least 75 – 95 percent. World trade will also contract dramatically and we will see massive hardship across the globe.
So what do you think is coming, and how bad will things ultimately get once this global debt crisis finally spins totally out of control?