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eNews For The Week Of August 09, 2005


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In This Week’s Issue

In The News

Featured Product

Articles and Commentary

Memory Verse of the Week

Announcements


In The News

Links to interesting articles elsewhere

Oil Prices Top $64 a Barrel in New High

August 09, 2005

Oil prices jumped to a new high above $64 a barrel in Asian trading Tuesday, reflecting the market's persistent uneasiness about strong demand, tight supplies and a slew of threats to output around the globe.

AP

Iranian Weapons Found in Iraq

August 09, 2005

Some weapons entering Iraq are coming from Iran, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday, though he indicated it was unclear whether they were coming from elements of the Iranian government or from other parties.

FOX News

Palestinian Elections to Be Held in January

August 09, 2005

After repeated delays, Palestinian legislative elections will be held in January. The elections were originally scheduled to take place on July 17.

FOX News

Iran Increased Range, Accuracy of its Shihab-3 Missile

August 09, 2005

Iran said Tuesday it has improved the range and accuracy of its Shihab-3 missile, saying the weapon can strike targets as far away as 2,000 kilometers with an accuracy of within one meter.

Haaretz

Scientists Find Flexible Stem Cells in Placenta

August 09, 2005

Scientists looking for easier and less-controversial alternatives to stem cells from human embryos said on Friday they found a potential source in placentas saved during childbirth.

Reuters


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Articles And Commentary

Gaza Disengagement Marked by Jewish Day of Mourning

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Sunday is the 9th day of the Hebrew month Av. Terrible events have repeatedly happened on that day throughout Israel's history, most notably the destruction of both Temples. This coming Sunday the Jews in the Gaza Strip will mourn the 9th of Av with even greater appreciation; it will be their last full day in their homes. On Monday August 15 (the 10th of Av) the first stage of the Gaza strip disengagement plan is set to begin.

In 587 B.C., Solomon's Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians. In A.D. 70, the 2nd Temple was destroyed by the Romans on the very same day. Emperor Hadrian flattened and plowed Jerusalem on Av 9 (fulfilling Micah 3:12) one year after the last Jewish stronghold in the Bar Kokhba revolt fell to the Romans on Av 9. Edicts were signed to kick Jews out of England and Spain, in 1290 and 1492 respectively, all on the 9th of Av. In 2005, however, it is the Israeli government itself that is forcing Jews from their homes.

Despite massive settler protests and the resignation of finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the government of Israel plans to continue the Gaza withdrawal early next week. The disengagement will take place in four phases, with the communities of Kfar Daron, Morag, and Netzarim slated first for evacuation. A total of about 9000 settlers from 25 settlements will be moved from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.

The Israeli Defense Forces distributed a letter to residents of Gush Katif this week, informing settlers they would be required to evacuate their homes by midnight on Sunday, August 14. Settlers have refused to accept or distribute the letters and many do not know the timeline. The government has promised help for those who willingly leave their homes on August 15. Those who refuse to leave will be forcibly evacuated on August 17, and soldiers will pack their personal property into two freight containers. Any property that does not fit into the containers will be later destroyed.

Along with the settlers go the Israeli security forces that have protected them. Israel will continue to control the borders, coastline and airspace of Gaza. However, Israel is under U.S. pressure to leave the borders somewhat porous and to enable travel between Gaza and the West Bank.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, once a stalwart defender of settlers, has seen the Gaza disengagement as a necessary step to keep Israel secure. The disengagement is also considered demographically necessary. The Arab population is growing, and many Israelis argue that the only way to keep Israel a Jewish state is to separate from the Arab population.

Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Abbas has called on terrorist groups to allow the pullout from Gaza to go smoothly and without attacks. "There is a requirement to ensure the withdrawal takes place in a civilized manner," Abbas said. "We will be able to show the world we deserve independence and freedom." The terrorists have so far ignored Abbas' calls to disarm.

While Sharon and other Israelis see the pullout as necessary to Israel's security, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu resigned from his position as finance secretary on Monday in protest to the plan. He considers the move a betrayal of Israel's settlers and a huge security risk. The withdrawal gives Palestinians the impression, he said, that terror works and that Israelis are running away.

"To my sorrow," Netanyahu wrote in his resignation letter," the security fence has not been completed around the settlement blocs, the Philadelphi Corridor will be handed over to the Palestinians, and worse than that, we will allow the Palestinians to open a sea port that will be open to the terror boats."

"It is becoming increasingly clear," he continued, "that the unilateral withdrawal under fire doesn't give us anything, the opposite; it endangers the security of Israel, divides the Nation, and sets the principle of withdrawal to the '67 lines that are not defendable. This is not the way to achieve peace."

Please continue to pray for Israel.

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Bird Flu Continues to Spread

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The deadly strain of the avian influenza that has infected more than 100 people and tens of thousands of birds in Asia has spread to Russia. Russian government officials have confirmed that the H5N1 strain of the bird flu has infected birds in three regions of Siberia. Russian officials have also said that the continued spread of the avian influenza into Europe seems inevitable.

World Health Organization officials have warned that the avian influenza (also known as the bird flu) could become a global epidemic if a new virulent strain of the virus emerges that can jump readily from human to human. If that happens WHO officials estimate that it would spread rapidly and could infect nearly one-third of the world's population and kill anywhere from 2 million to 50 million people.

Avian has been known to mutate rapidly, and has resurfaced as an epidemic in eastern Asia. There are at least 15 different types of avian influenza that routinely infect birds around the world. The current outbreak (H5N1) is highly contagious among birds and rapidly fatal. Unlike many other strains of avian influenza, it can be transmitted to humans, causing severe illness and death. So far, the virus has only spread to those who came into close contact with infected birds or to people who have had close and prolonged exposure to infected humans. However, infectious disease experts fear the virus will soon mutate within a pig or some other animal which harbors both human and avian forms of the flu virus. The two viruses might then merge, creating an even more deadly virus that could spread rapidly among humans.

Avian flu will likely be the cause of the next pandemic, which experts say will probably happen in the near future. There have been 4 pandemics during the last century, which emerge – on average – every 30 years. Between one and four million people died during the last flu pandemic, which hit Hong Kong in 1968. Health experts at the WHO have indicated that we are long overdue for an outbreak, a WHO spokesman has stated that: "As with an earthquake or any other natural occurring phenomena, we cannot give an exact time but the situation now is particularly concerning in that we are so long after the last pandemic... and we have a virus circulating in Asia [speaking of avian]. We are living perhaps on borrowed time.

Most of us are mindful of the nuclear threat - and, indeed, this is a major cloud that overhangs every strategic decision in geopolitics. But from Revelation 6:8, it appears that about one in four will die from pestilence, and from "the beasts of the earth." With the advent of antibiotics 50 years ago, scientists predicted the end of death and suffering from infectious diseases. During the past 25 years, however, we have witnessed the reemergence and geographical spread of well-known diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, and cholera, often in more virulent and drug-resistant forms. Scientists have also identified more than 30 previously unknown diseases, like HIV and Ebola, for which there is no known cure. The spread of infectious diseases is just one of trends we monitor on a regular basis. For more information on this and other topics see the links below.

Related Links:


Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in these articles, enews and linked websites are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views held by Koinonia House. Koinonia House is providing this information as a resource to individuals who are interested in current news and events that may have an impact on Christian Life and Biblical trends. Koinonia House is not responsible for any information contained in these articles that may be inaccurate, or does not present an unbiased or complete perspective. Koinonia House disavows any obligation to correct or update the information contained in these articles.

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