Kingdom against Kingdom:
WND.com reports in a story by Leo Hohmann : That a 1650 year old monastery in Northern Iraq- one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world is in danger of falling to ISIS. Now little more than 3 miles from the front lines of battle St. Matthews monastery founded in 363 AD has survived the Ottomans, and Persian Empires, Mongol invaders and Kurdish invaders. Today it is threatened by ISIS and only 3 monks remain in residence.
Some of the earliest Christians sought safety there. And, when Islamic hordes stormed Mosul 20 miles away last June the monasteries’ thick stone walls again became a safe haven. “We can see the battles and airstrikes from here in front of us, especially at night. The sky lights up at night but we of course, are not scared. God protects us,” Father Yousif Ibrahim one of 3 monks who still resides at the monastery. There are also 6 students. Before it felt into chaos the monastery was home to thousands of nuns, priests and students with the Syriac Orthodox Church. The ancient church traces its foundings back to the time of Jesus Christ and some of its earliest founders may have personally known Jesus. They still speak Aramaic-the language of Jesus. St. Matthews, houses one of the most ancient Christian libraries in the region. Many of the oldest manuscripts have been removed and taken to Kurdish controlled areas.
More than 125,000 Christians have been forced from their homes over the past 12 months. They now live as refugees, most of them in the semi-autonomous state of Kurdistan. ISIS has vowed to destroy all Christian historical sites in the area that fall under its control.
In March, it destroyed the ancient Christian Mar Benham Monastery in the predominant Christian town of Qaraqosh in Northern Iraq. Jihadists have desecrated Christian cemeteries, seized Christian girls for sex slaves and killed other kids in front of their parents eyes. ISIS destroyed Jonah’s tomb in Mosul last July and destroyed countless Assyrian artifacts in Nimrod in March. ISIS believes Christian relics represent a religion of polytheistic infidels and are an affront to Islam.
St. Matthews is built like a fortress into the side of a mountain Al-Faf. Kurdish soldiers pushed the ISIS fighters back last summer to about 4 miles from St. Matthew’s. But the monastery is again in danger of falling to the Islamic Jihadists.
In March CBS 60 minutes interviewed Father Ibrahim and he told Lara Logan the worst part of this was the uncertainty. “We don’t know exactly, but we are expecting the worst.” Mosul has been completely emptied of its 10,000 Christians. Nicodemus Sharaf, the archbishop, now lives as a refugee in the Kurdish capital of Erbil along with 60,000 of other Christian refugees. ” I don’t have time to take anything,” he said of the five minute evacuation warning. ” I took just 5 books- they are very old.”
ISIS uses the Arabic letter N for Nazarene to mark the homes of Christians. When they use red paint to put the N on a home, the occupants can expect a visit soon by ISIS fighters. They are given a choice: Convert, pay the Islamic head tax or die.
In other ISIS news: Fox News is reporting that captured ISIS weapons show that the black clad militants are developing an arsenal of sophisticated arms Kurdish fighters told Fox new.com They fear the terrorist forces expanding manufacturing capability is making it more formidable by the day. This is of course in addition to the thousands of Humvees and arms that ISIS has gleaned from fleeing Iraqi forces who dropped their new US provided weaponry at the sight of ISIS troops.
Isis news closer to home: Miller Elementary School in Salem Oregon is reporting that graffiti vandals spray painted on a concrete wall under a play structure on their school playground ” ISIL- WE R HERE!” Salem police assume that it is errant kids but add that there is no known ISIL activity in the area. However, the FBI director did recently acknowledge that FBI is monitoring ISIS activity in all 50 states.
Because sometimes you just have to laugh!
A reader in Broomfield, CO sent me this short video of an Egyptian political talk show…enjoy!
Economic Rising Storm:
New York Times by Liz Aldermare and Niki Santonis: As the Greek Government faces a looming debt payment top European leaders met in Berlin on Monday night to reach a consensus over what to do about Greece, signaling the urgent need to unlock emergency financing for the cash-starved country and avoid a devastating default. But a growing political backlash in Greece adds to the uncertainty about whether a deal can be sealed. PM Alexis Tsipras faces increasing dissent within his leftist Syriza party over creditors’ demands for austerity terms as a condition for releasing the aid. Greece’s main creditors, the IMF the Euro Central Bank and Eurozone countries- have refused to release 7.2 Billion euros in bailout funds until Athens agrees to a series of economic reforms and spending cuts. They have been at an impasse for months.
The unexpected gathering of top reps of the Greek creditors is an urgent bid to move the talks forward. The Assembly includes German chancellor, Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of European Commission, Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director and Mario Draghi, Pres. of the European Central Bank. There is concern worldwide as these meetings progress, that a total Greek economic collapse could have negative repercussions worldwide in economic markets. The creditors did not comment publically on the meeting or detail any options.
Wars and Rumors of Wars:
In a follow up story which I first reported on earlier this week www.independent.co.uk by Donald Kirk is reporting further US action in the South China Sea.
The Philippines Senate has dropped its objection to US return to waters threatened by China’s new insistence on its right to rule almost all the South China Sea- including the Spratly Islands claimed by Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei.
US Missile cruiser, Shiloh has docked at Subic Bay. In the increasingly tense relations between Beijing and Washington the US proclaimed Monday the right of US ships and planes to move unmolested in waters and airspace claimed by China. Ash Carter, the US Defense Secretary was in H Hanoi declaring to the Vietnamese “We are both committed to deepening our defense relationship.”
The Chinese Admiral told regional ministers in Singapore that the controversial island building was “justified, legitimate and reasonable and “well within the scope of China’s Sovereignty.” the US and other nations say that China aims to build airstrips and station aircraft on the islands, vastly increasing Beijing’s military reach.
The US returning in force to Subic Bay once American’s largest overseas naval base has increased tensions. The Shiloh, on of US most advanced cruisers is expected to ply the South China Sea after taking on fuel and supplies. Other vessels, including at least one destroyer, are likely to join in a mini flotilla, posing an immediate challenge as China builds airstrips and other facilities on the 2,000 acres of reclaimed land.
Philippinos are looking forward to an economic boom of having the US Navy back in the islands.
More Rumors of War:
According to a New York Times article this week: Contrary to the Obama administration’s claims that Iran has frozen its nuclear program, IAEA international inspectors discovered recently that the Islamic Republic stockpile of nuclear fuel has increased by about 20% over the course of the last 18 months According to the New York Times
The revelations have confounded Western officials who are unsure as to why the Iranians have increased their stockpiles during the course of the negotiations. According to the Ne York Times, analysts speculate that the Iranians may be seeking a contingency plan should the talks fail to produce an agreement. There is also the possibility that Iranians may have encountered technical problems that have rendered its enriched uranium unusable for weapons. If accurate, this could prove to be yet another obstacle to the Obama Administrations efforts to convince a skeptical Congress to support a final nuclear agreement with Iran. ***Author’s note: I don’t understand why the Obama Admin. is pursuing this ill conceived treaty. The Iranians are clearly cheating already while openly and publically calling for death to America and making regular threats against our Ally Israel.
Disease and Pestilence:
Reuters is reporting that Bird Flu H5N1 is now confirmed on 2 different farms in Ghana. One of them in the Capital city of Accra. This is in addition to the outbreak of H5N1 on the Ivory Coast of Africa among back yard birds in the Central town of Bonke. The outbreak started April 9 and was confirmed in positive lab test results last week. Bird Flu has affected more than 35 countries thus far according to the Word Organization for Animal Health. America’s mid west has been hard hit resulting in the culling of millions of chickens, ducks an turkey flocks. Expect prices to rise exponentially.
Science Daily cites research out of Kansas State University that states Researchers have developed vaccines for H5N1 and H7N9, two new strains of avian influenza that can be transmitted from poultry to humans. The strains have led to the to the death of 100’s of people as well as the decimation of commercial flocks of birds.
EBOLA news. Congolese expert Jean-Jacques Muyembe may be little known to the public, but he has been on e of the top world’s Ebola investigators since the first epidemic erupted in central Africa in 1976. Now amid the decline in a West African outbreak that has taken more than 11,000 lives, Muyembe warns that Ebola will strike again in the future and that the deadly virus poses “a threat to the whole world.” Even after decades fighting the deadly virus, Muyembe said that he was “surprised by the sheer size of the resurgence in Guinea in late 2013″ : We thought Ebola epidemic could be brought under control quickly,” he said. ” These countries in West Africa believed that Ebola was a central and East African problem. They weren’t prepared,” he added. This epidemic has now ended in Liberia and is declining in Sierra Leone. However, in Guinea “new cases continue to appear,” Muyembe said.
“We need to find the most recent cases, even if they are hidden deep in the forest, because if the disease becomes endemic, it would be terrible for the whole world,” he warned. “Ebola can strike anywhere and we need to be vigilant. The US and Europe must understand that Africa is their shield.
West Nile Virus: Author Rhodi Lee reported yesterday in Tech Times That in North Dakota July and August are the riskiest months for contracting the mosquito borne Virus. North Dakota is a state with high incidence of West Nile according to CDC data. Us Air Force Reserve will be helping to get rid of mosquito populations boosted by the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. by flying planes that will spray a pesticide targeting the larvae of these mosquitoes. West Nile is now found in 43 states.
In the We are Surrounded by Blithering Idiots Category….Anthrax: USA today’s Tom Vanden Brook and Allison Young report that the Pentagon has learned that additional samples of live anthrax were sent to 3 labs in Canada, two defense officials confirmed Monday evening.
That means that specimens of the deadly Bacillus Anthracis have been sent to labs in 12 states, the District of Columbia and 3 countries. The samples all came from US Army lab at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. Scientists there thought they had been shipping inactive strains of the deadly spores for research purposes.
If inhaled- anthrax spores can be lethal even with treatment, sparking a high fever and other flu-like symptoms. Biosafety expert Richard Ebright at Rutgers University has branded the blunder, “gross negligence” Military investigators are continuing to comb thru the Anthrax samples and records to determine if more potentially deadly vials have been shipped. Thus far, no one has been sickened but more labs may have received anthrax samples.
Quaking and Shaking:
Extremely deep 4.9 earthquake near Japan’s previous 8.5 revised down to 7.8 Magnitude epicenter location. At a depth of 428 miles this is one of the deepest earthquakes to occur in the recent past. Just a few miles less than the original Japan 8.5 event. According to Dutchsinse.com The Area below Pacific plate, where these quakes are occurring is called Asthenoshpere. A deep layer of semi melted magma on which the plates rest atop. Deep Earthquakes cause shallow earthquakes in nearby adjacent areas within days or less of the deep event occurring. The shallow earthquakes are usually 1-2 magnitudes higher tan the deep earthquake and usually strike at a shallow level to the West/ NW of the deep epicenter. We will continue to monitor these developments.
Indonesia has raised alert status for Mount Sinabung which is set to erupt again.
Arizona: Today in Visible satellite images steaming plumes events are coming from the long dormant Sunset Crater in the Crater Volcanic Complex in Central AZ which has not erupted in nearly 1000 years!
Additional swarms of small quakes along the US west coast are indicating building pressure there. I encourage you to go to Dutchsinse.com to check out all the recent activity.
That will do it for this time! Keep looking up!