WORD WATCH DAILY PERSPECTIVE
85-year-old former prime minister and defense minister, comatose since 2006, suffers renal failure in hospital
Comatose former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s condition has deteriorated, doctors said on Wednesday. A spokesperson for Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer said Sharon’s condition began taking a turn for the worse in recent days.
Doctors said Sharon, 85, who has been in a vegetative state since 2006, was suffering from renal failure that could lead to multiple organ system failure and death.
Hebrew media reports late Wednesday said doctors had told the family that Sharon had, at most, no more than four days to live.
Arriving on Dec. 12, 2013
US Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet separately with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas soon after his arrival Thursday afternoon to discuss his ideas for a framework agreement that would serve as an outline for a final agreement.
A senior state department official said Kerry was not expecting any breakthrough during this trip, his 10th to the region since taking office in February. Rather, he said, Kerry was pushing for the sides to agree on guidelines for what the final deal would look like. Then the job would be to fill in the details.
Kerry is expected to remain in the region through the weekend, though no date has been given for his departure.
This long-duration snow event has begun, as an expansive swath of light snow spreads from the northern Rockies and northern Plains into the southern Great Lakes through New Year's Eve night as we shift from 2013 into 2014. Winter Storm Hercules is also being preceded by heavy but localized lake-effect snows east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario Tuesday night into Wednesday.
Meanwhile, as the body of Hercules moves east, lake-effect snows will set up off Lake Superior and Lake Michigan Thursday into Thursday night. The Lake Michigan snow band will likely target the city of Chicago for a time before swinging into the more conventional Northwest Indiana snowbelts. Additional accumulations from the lake effect could push snow totals past the one-foot mark in a rather small area, but that small area could be home to several million people.
The National Weather Service forecasts many other areas of the United States will have a chilly start to the New Year with lows below zero -- well below zero.
“The two really cold spots will be New England and Wisconsin,” said Bruce Terry, a forecaster with the weather service. Minnesota and North Dakota will also be frigid, he said.
Lows in Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota could reach 40 degrees below zero on Tuesday night, he said. In New England, temperatures will be relatively warmer, with lows near or below zero.
A major snowstorm will reach from across part of the Midwest to the central Appalachians and New England Thursday into Friday. A blizzard will evolve from the storm in parts of the Northeast.
The storm will affect more than 70 million people in the Midwest and the Northeast combined and could have a major negative impact on travel for people returning from holiday destinations, heading back to school or resuming business activities.
It will be far from the worst storm to ever hit the area, but people should be prepared for flight delays and cancellations because of direct and indirect impacts from the far-reaching storm. Some roads may even close for a time.
Explosion reportedly occurs when envoy, Jamal al-Jamal, opens a safe; one other person stricken with shock
The Palestinian ambassador in the Czech Republic, Jamal al-Jamal, died Wednesday afternoon of wounds that he sustained several hours earlier in a mysterious explosion that rocked his Prague apartment.
Prague rescue service spokeswoman Jirina Ernestova said a 52-year-old woman was also taken to the hospital after suffering from shock.
The 56-year-old Jamal was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after the blast, but died several hours later.
President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday vowed to annihilate all "terrorists" following two deadly bomb attacks in the southern Russian city of Volgograd that raised security fears ahead of the Winter Olympics.
The uncompromising remarks in a televised New Year address were Putin's first public comments since suicide bombers killed at least 34 people in attacks less than 24 hours apart on a railway station and a trolleybus on Sunday and Monday.
But after two decades of violence in the North Caucasus, Islamist militants continue to pose a threat beyond their home region. Russia's Olympic Committee chief said no more could be done to safeguard the Games since every measure possible was already in place around Sochi, beneath the Caucasus mountains.
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White House News
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Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither
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|Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 01:45:45 AM EST||Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 01:37:02 AM EST||Tuesday, Dec 31, 2013 01:20:05 AM EST|
|Monday, Dec 30, 2013 01:04:21 AM EST||Monday, Dec 30, 2013 12:53:45 AM EST||Monday, Dec 30, 2013 12:47:58 AM EST|
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Inspired by God
"The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day." - E. M. Bounds
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RAPTURE READY NEWS PERSPECTIVE
02 Jan 14
SOLAR ACTIVITY IS HIGH
2014 began with a bang. At 18:54 UT on January 1st, big sunspot AR1936 erupted, producing a strong M9-class solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the explosion's extreme ultraviolet flash.
A special hacking unit of the U.S. National Security Agency intercepts deliveries of new computer equipment en route to plant spyware, according to a
More than 19,000 people have been displaced by a volcano in Indonesia that has been erupting for months and shot lava into the air nine times overnight. Mount Sinabung on Sumatra sent hot rocks and ash 7,000 metres in the air last night and this morning, National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
NSA intercepts computer deliveries to plant spyware
A special hacking unit of the U.S. National Security Agency intercepts deliveries of new computer equipment en route to plant spyware, according to a report on Sunday from Der Spiegel, a German publication. The method, called “interdiction,” is one of the most successful operations conducted by the NSA’s Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO), which specializes in infiltrating computers, wrote the publication, citing a top-secret document.
China's Liaoning aircraft carrier completes sea trials
The Chinese navy has completed sea trials for its first ever aircraft carrier, further evidence of expanding sea power as the country's neighbours worry about its military ambitions. The Liaoning was bought from Ukraine in 1998 and extensively refurbished before entering service in 2012. It returned to port on Wednesday after a 37-day voyage in the South China Sea, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Global Terror in 2014 – a Forecast
Terror in Israel will continue as the fact that the “peace talks” with the Palestinians lead to nowhere becomes clear.
Israeli Sources: Palestinian Embassies – “Terrorist Centers”
No Surprise in Israel after the recent “work-related incident” which led to the death of the Palestinian Authority Ambassador to the Czech Republic.
US Government Orders 14 Million Doses of Potassium Iodide
The Department of Health and Human Services has ordered 14 million doses of potassium iodide, the compound that protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents, to be delivered before the beginning of February. The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant has prompted concerns that the purchase is connected to the threat posed by radioactive debris washing up on the shores...
Blizzard to Reach From NYC to Boston Thursday Night
A major snowstorm will reach from across part of the Midwest to the central Appalachians and New England Thursday into Friday. A blizzard will evolve from the storm in parts of the Northeast. The storm will affect more than 70 million people in the Midwest and the Northeast combined and could have a major negative impact on travel...
Japan's population falls 'by record 244,000' in 2013
Japan's population declined by a record 244,000 people in 2013, according to health ministry estimates. The ministry said an estimated 1,031,000 babies were born last year - down some 6,000 from the previous year. Meanwhile, the number of people that died last year was 1,275,000 - a rise of around 19,000 from 2012.
Skype social media platforms hacked by 'Syrian Electronic Army'
The social media platforms of Skype have been hacked by a group claiming to be the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA). The group posted anti-surveillance messages, including a message telling people not to use email services of Microsoft, the owner of Skype. It claimed "they are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments".
Blast kills Palestinian ambassador in Prague
The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic is killed by an explosion at his home in Prague, in what police say appears to have been an accident. Jamal al-Jamal died of his injuries in hospital four hours after the blast. It happened when Mr Jamal tried to open a safe that had been sealed for more than 20 years, officials say.
Cuba leader Raul Castro warns of 'subversive campaign'
Cuban President Raul Castro has warned that Cuba is confronting "ideological and political subversion aimed at toppling its socialist system". In a speech commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Cuban revolution, Mr Castro said "global power centres" were "subtly introducing neo-liberal and neo-colonial thinking" into Cuba.
EU ends funding for Spanish banks, praises austerity
The EU says Spain's banks are back on a "sound footing," but one in four Spanish people are still unemployed. Klaus Regling, the director of the Luxembourg-based European Stability Mechanism (ESM), made the statement on Tuesday (31 December) to mark the expiry of Spain's EU credit line.
RAPTURE READY Nearing midnight PERSPECTIVE
Dec 30, 2013
NSA Spying Is Hurting American Business
It has only been a few months since it was revealed that America has been spying on some of its closest friends. The scandal has already grabbed the title as one of the greatest diplomatic debacles in our nation’s history. It is also quickly becoming one of America’s greatest financial fiascos.
U.S. trade partners fully realize they are at risk of being spied on if they buy any communication technology made by U.S. firms. Our government passed laws requiring companies to install secret backdoors allowing the NSA to secretly gather information.
IBM, the largest computer-services provider, was one the first to report a sales drop. The firms’ China branch, reported a 22 percent drop in sales. The Chinese government is very tight-lipped about it its daily activities, so going forward, IBM would be the last company the Chinese government would chose to supply their data processing needs. A Louisiana Pension fund is suing IBM claiming the tech giant defrauded investors by concealing the sales decline after Edward Snowden leaked information that the company was cooperating with the NSA.
Cisco Systems is another company impacted by the NSA scandal. Cisco’s November sales were down 21 percent because of an instant problem with the Internet’s ability to trust its encryption products. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) told companies not to use cryptographic standards that may have been undermined by the NSA’s BULLRUN program. One of Cisco analysts admitted that cryptography was compromised: “It would be a critical blow to the trust required across the Internet and the security community.” Since Cisco is required give crypto keys to the NSA, its technology can never be trusted.
The bid by AT&T to acquire the European company, Vodafone, may be in danger due to the company’s well-documented involvement in the NSA data-collection programs. European officials are now saying the telecommunications giant will face “intense scrutiny” in the effort to purchase Vodafone. There may be so many restrictions placed on the combined company that AT&T may decide it is unprofitable to proceed with the venture.
Telenor, Norway’s largest telecom provider has reportedly halted its plans to move its customers to a U.S. based cloud provider. It will likely choose to go with a European firm.
The fallout is not just related to communication technology. Brazil has just decided to award a $4.5 billion contract to Swedish company, Saab AB, to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets. Boeing had been of the favorite to win the deal, but America’s spying voided its chances. “The NSA problem ruined it for the Americans,” a Brazilian government confirmed on condition of anonymity.
We have also damaged opportunities for foreign investments by giving everyone that comes to this nation, the Big Brother treatment. I’m sure many entrepreneurs have decided against opening a business in America because it meant being treated like a potential terrorist every time they visited our shores.
For American companies all this bad blood amounts to a huge shortfall in sales to other nations. Forrester Research, a technology and market research company says the lost trade could reach $180 billion by 2016. Since America already has a $500 billion annual trade deficit, adding tens of billions to this figure will only make matters worse.
There is very little concern in Washington about American companies losing their competitive edge due to NSA surveillance. Even when Angela Merkel called President Obama to compare the NSA to the Stasi that she faced growing up in East Germany, he offered no guarantee that the spying on her personal phone conversations would stop. I did find one U.S. Senator who understands the problem. Senator Ron Wyden recently remarked, “If a foreign enemy was doing this much damage to the economy, people would be in the streets with pitchforks.”
Before Obama left for a Christmas vacation, he had a meeting with leaders of this nation’s biggest technology firms, and they complained very “loudly” over what the NSA is doing to their business. Even if they managed to convince Obama that something needs to be done, I see only a small chance the tide will turn. Just as the military-industrial-complex has become an impossible beast to manage, the NSA has had a dozen years to become equally entrenched.
I think our spying problem will eventually fix itself. The economic base of this nation is being eroded so rapidly by incompetent policies that the day will soon come when we can no longer afford to snoop on the rest of the world. The Bible’s lack of clear reference to America in prophecy may indicate our downfall is close at hand.
2014 Prophecy Prospectus
The upcoming year invites a look into its major prophetic potentialities, based upon the way 2013 is ending. If this was a prospectus on any number of the general matters on which a prospectus is normally issued, it would be directed only to those who have invested interests or potential investment interests in the financial possibilities presented.
In other words, the prospectus would be highly limited in scope to but a relatively few people. For example, stockholders of a publicly held company would want to know the potential economic advantages that holding stock in that company offers. The analysis within a prospectus would be to inform potential investors about products and or services, now or in the immediate future, and probable company performance before they determined whether to buy new stock being offered.
Our prophecy prospectus differs in a couple of major ways from that just described:1) Those investors potentially affected by future performance are neither limited in scope nor in numbers involved. Bible prophecy involves, literally, every person alive on planet Earth. 2) The prophecy prospectus literally involves investment potentialities--not of meager, earthly dollars and cents—but things that determine future dividends for investors throughout all of eternity.
We will try to analyze some of the primary issues and events at this year’s end and project the prophetic trends, based upon that analysis as we move into 2014 and beyond.
Admittedly, this will offer only the very slightest look at these things. We will do so, not with hubris or self-aggrandizement; only the God of Heaven knows the future. But, our Lord has indeed given us–and in many cases, in considerable detail—an overview of things to come. We are told by Him to “watch” (Mark 13:37) for those things to come that He promises us we can know, at least in general terms:
“Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me” (Isaiah 45:11).
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13).
The Holy Spirit, God in His omniscience, gives those who are in His family (all born again through belief in His Son, Jesus Christ) both the ability and the command to watch for prophetic signals in discerning the times in which we live. Therefore, let us look at the prospects for 2014, with the confidence that we can achieve at least a certain degree of understanding about things to come.
The bottom line in considering things to come at this juncture is that the time of Tribulation is no longer just a faint rumble of distant thunder on the prophetic horizon. Every major element of Bible prophecy leading up to Christ’s Second Advent can be discerned by anyone with a futurist viewpoint of biblical eschatology--that is, everyone who believes that there are major prophecies yet to be fulfilled. As the year 2013 closes, we very briefly analyze those key elements of prophecy yet future and consider the prospects for 2014 and thereafter.
Israel: Israel is at stage center for the final act of Satan’s war against God to play out. The American president has exerted his power and authority, to considerable extent, in putting the Jewish state’s prime minister on notice that Israel will be given U.S. support only if Israel complies with the stipulations Secretary of State John Kerry and the so-called Palestinian leadership contrive. Chief among these matters of compliance is, apparently, the cessation of construction within Israel’s sovereign territory. On the other hand, the Palestinians do not have to agree to even recognize Israel as a legitimate national entity. Certainly, for the immediate future, there can be no peace arrangement under this broad area of disagreement. If the dreadful peace of Isaiah 28 is to be made, there will likely have to develop even more severe potential for war in the region, with the Palestinian leadership perceiving they will lose any chance to achieve statehood, I believe. Then, that leadership–like all good Islamists—will lie to agree to some of Israel’s demands. Whether this government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, will buy those lies is another matter. It seems to me that a much broader peace scheme must be in play for it to come up to the dimension of the Isaiah 28:15, 18 covenant, so look for the current peace efforts to limp along for quite awhile.
Iran: This nation that comprises most of ancient Persia smugly senses a weak U.S. administration, I suspect. It will play the game of Middle East chess until it is right back to doing within its mountainous underground nuclear laboratories what it has been doing since setting its sights on building a weapon that can carry out the mullahs’ designs of hegemony over the entire region and the elimination of the hated little Satan --Israel.
Russia: Russia will continue to demonstrate it is resuming superpower status in its climb back from the fall as the U.S.S.R. Prophetically, Russia’s ties to Iran can only grow stronger, even though the two nations will likely attempt to show, publicly, a marked independence from each other. I believe that Israel’s increasing capabilities in the area of natural gas production and its growing gas industry’s inroads into European and other markets greatly disturb Putin. Look for Russia to keep strengthening its military position and influence to the south.
Electronic control technologies: Electronic control technologies in the U.S. and on a global scale look to be growing ominously as the weeks roll on. Despite the NSA and other scandals, with the divulgences by Snowden and other revelations of privacy-destroying snooping by governments, the world-wide system of control is progressing geometrically and, perhaps, is already of sufficient strength and ubiquity to give Antichrist what he needs to subjugate most of the world’s populations once he takes the reins of power as indicated in Revelation 13:16-18.
These are the areas of most particular prophetic relevance while we finish this year and look into the next, in my opinion. Other areas, such as economy, religion, and cultural matters are only slightly less critical in considering prospects for 2014. We will continue to look at these aspects of life as well through the prism of God’s prophetic Word.
The most profitable investment any of us can make for the upcoming year is to pray, study God’s Word, and put our efforts and resources into His kingdom for reaching souls of men, women, and children. We at Rapture Ready solicit your help in investing in that mission in 2014. Your "heavenly bank account" will increase beyond measure.