Elad Benari – June 23, 2017
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday warned Israel against attacking Lebanon or Syria, claiming that “hundreds of thousands” of Arab and Muslim fighters would be ready to strike back.
“The Israeli enemy should know that if it launches an attack on Syria or Lebanon, it’s unknown whether the fighting will stay just between Lebanon and Israel, or Syria and Israel,” Nasrallah declared, in comments quoted by the AFP news agency.
“I’m not saying countries would intervene directly — but it would open the door for hundreds of thousands of fighters from all around the Arab and Islamic world to participate in this fight — from Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan,” he said.
Nasrallah made the remarks in a speech broadcast on television to mark the Iranian Al-Quds Day, an annual show of solidarity with Palestinian Arabs which Iranians use to threaten Israel and call for its destruction.
The commemoration was first launched by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late revolutionary leader of Iran, which is Hezbollah’s main benefactor.
Sean Martin – June 22, 2017
THE global population is to reach almost 10 billion by 2050, according to revised projections which are increasing the fears of global famine.
Previous predictions had estimated the global population would hit nine billion by the middle of the century, but a report from the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division forecasts now puts it at 8.6 billion by 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100.
The report says roughly 83 million people are added to the global population each year, and although birth rates are on average slowing across the globe, so too are death rates, leading to an older population.
The report, titled ‘The World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision’, says that the population of over 60s will more than double from the current 962 million to 2.1 billion by 2050 – putting a strain on healthcare.
Africa is leading the charge in terms of population growth, and the research states India will take over China as the world’s most populous country by 2024.
Margi Murphy – June 22, 2017
A ROCK hurtling through space will make a close encounter with Earth on Saturday, according to NASA.
But don’t cancel the BBQ just yet – it’s unlikely to smash into our planet.
If it did, it could potentially wipe out life as we know it.
So NASA is keeping an eye on it just in case.
The asteroid – named 441987 (2010 NY65) – is marked as a concern because it’s 230 meters in diameter and traveling just 7.9 lunar distances (that’s about three million km) from us.
If it were to strike, its weight could impact with a force 300 times greater than the Hiroshima bomb, scientists have predicted.
2010 NY65 was discovered on July 10, 2010 by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft and is expected to make yearly close approaches to Earth until 2022.
Goins-Phillips – June 23, 2017
Several Christian organizations well known for their defense of traditional marriage have been labeled “hate groups” by GuideStar, one of the United States’ leading charity research groups.
GuideStar, which touts itself as a “neutral” database containing information on more than two million charities, has adopted the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center’s nonprofit designations. The charity site pointed to the “hateful rhetoric” during this “highly politicized moment” in American history as its reason for making the decision, The Associated Press reported.
Profiles for Christian organizations such as the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Counsel, and the American Family Association now each feature a banner warning they were “flagged as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
Retired Army Gen. Jerry Boykin, vice president of the FRC, told Christianity Today that the new GuideStar policy is “another attack on conservative Christian organizations and individuals.”
Zaz Hollander – June 20, 2017
Patrick Cooper died Sunday as the 16-year-old came down Bird Ridge near Anchorage following a mountain race, the victim of an unusual fatal attack involving a black bear.
A day later, a Pogo Mine contract employee in the Interior was killed — also by a black bear.
Experts say fatal maulings by black bears in Alaska are rare.
Until the past few days, only six deaths had been linked to black bears in 130 years, according to a biologist compiling a report on Alaska bear attacks since 1880.
The sequence of events leading to Cooper’s death is unknown beyond a text message he sent to a relative, saying he was being chased by a bear as he descended after finishing the 1.5-mile juniors division course of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb.
A state park ranger shot a black bear found near Cooper’s body but the animal ran off.
Michael Snyder – June 20, 2017
After a bit of a lull for the past couple of months, the march toward war appears to be accelerating once again. On Monday the U.S. military shot down yet another Syrian aircraft, and it appears that President Trump’s patience with North Korea’s nuclear program may have run out. Unlike our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the situations in Syria and North Korea both have the potential of sparking a much wider conflict. If we end up in a war with Syria, it is very likely that we will ultimately be fighting the Russians and the Iranians as well. On the other side of the globe, a war with North Korea could also potentially draw in China. This happened in the first Korean War, and it could easily happen again. It is understandable that the Trump administration wants to be tough with both Syria and North Korea, but we need to be extremely careful about the use of military force because one wrong move could potentially spark World War 3.
For the last couple of months, the Trump administration has been relying on China to put pressure on North Korea to end their nuclear weapons program. But now it appears that Trump has given up on that. On Monday, he posted the following message on his Twitter account…
While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!
That certainly sounds quite ominous.
TruNews – June 20, 2017
(WASHINGTON, DC) Germany’s parliamentary defense commissioner, Hans-Peter Bartels, made the comments while discussing the disorganization and fragmentation of national defense structures in the European Union.
Speaking to the German Press Agency on Monday, Hans-Peter Bartels called on the 28-nation bloc’s militaries to unite into a single armed force.
“We are currently disorganized, technically fragmented and duplicate structures unnecessarily,” Bartels said, as quoted by the Telegraph. “We do not want to go down the solitary national path anymore. Not in Germany, not in the Netherlands, not in the Czech Republic and not in Italy.”
“In the end, there will be a European army,” he stated.
Stoyan Zaimov – June 21, 2017
The Roman Catholic Church has reported that as many as 3,383 people have been slaughtered in the ongoing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo since October, with disturbing reports emerging of soldiers burning and mutilating toddlers, and stabbing pregnant women.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that Church officials cited their own sources on the bloodshed in the central Kasai region, stemming from the conflict between anti-government militia and the government’s army.
The United Nations and other human rights groups have said that both sides have been committing atrocities, with the Church noting that the army destroyed 10 villages in its attempts to put down the insurrection.
The anti-government militia, on the other hand, has killed hundreds of people, destroyed four villages and attacked church property.
Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that children and women have suffered greatly in the chaos.
“Refugees from multiple villages in the Kamonya territory indicated that the Bana Mura have in the past two months shot dead, hacked or burned to death and mutilated hundreds of villagers, as well as destroying entire villages,” Zeid said in a statement at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Strange Sounds – Jun 22, 2017
A strong M6.8 earthquake, centered near Puerto San Jose, has struck just off Guatemala’s Pacific coast, causing some minor damage on June 22, 2017.
The earthquake was widely felt across the region, including El Salvador and Mexico. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a tsunami.
One week after a M6.9 earthquake hit the Guatemala-Mexico border, killing at least 5 people, another powerful quake struck the country at a depth of just 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) at 6:31 a.m. local time today. It was centered about 39 kilometers (24 miles) southwest of Puerto San José, or 75 kilometers (46 miles) southwest of Escuintla.
The earthquake was strong and long. People went out to the street to protect themselves. Residents in the capital, Guatemala City, also reported feeling the earthquake. A spokesman for CONRED said there are no early reports of injuries.
MICHAEL CASEY and LISA RATHKE – June 21, 2017
MARSHFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Tick numbers are on the rise across New England, raising the prospect of an increase in Lyme and other diseases associated with the blood suckers.
Much of the region got a respite last year as the drought took a toll on ticks, whose numbers drop as the humidity falls below 85 percent. But the drought is largely gone from the region and ticks are taking advantage.
Residents in Maine are complaining they are finding as many as 30 ticks at a time on their clothes, and public health officials in Vermont are reporting an above-average rate of emergency room visits for tick bites in the last three weeks.
“All of sudden everybody you know has got them,” said George Africa, owner of Vermont Flower Farm. He’s found two black-legged ticks on him in the last several weeks.
Alan Eaton, a tick expert with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, said the high numbers he has seen in New Hampshire are in line with what was expected, considering the high moisture levels and short dry periods.
“It’s a really bad year,” Eaton said.