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HisDaughter
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« Reply #255 on: May 29, 2009, 11:15:55 AM »

Russia's first Persian Gulf naval presence coordinated with Tehran 

www.debka.com/

Russian warships are due to call Wednesday, May 27, at the Bahrain port of Manama, seat of the US Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf, DEBKAfile's military sources reveal. They will be following in the wake of the Russian vessels already docked at the Omani port of Salalah, the first to avail themselves of facilities at Gulf ports.

Their arrival is fully coordinated between the Russian and Iranian naval commands.

According to our sources, this is the first time a Russian flotilla will have taken on provisions and fuel at the same Gulf ports which hitherto serviced only the US Navy. Moscow has thus gained its first maritime foothold in the Persian Gulf.

The flotilla consists of four vessels from Russia's Pacific Fleet: The submarine fighter Admiral Panteleyev is due at Manama Wednesday, escorted by the refueling-supply ship Izhorai, The supply-battleship Irkut and the rescue craft BM-37 are already docked in Salalah.

DEBKAfile's military sources report that the Russians, like the Iranians, cover their stealthy advance into new waters by apparent movements for joining the international task force combating Somali pirates. While Iranian warships have taken up positions in the Gulf of Aden, the Russians are moving naval units southeast into the Persian Gulf.

Monday, May 25, the Iranian naval chief, Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, announced that six Iranian warships had been dispatched to "the international waters" of the Gulf of Aden in a "historically unprecedented move… to show its ability to confront any foreign threats." He did not bother to mention the pirates.

Russian and Iranian naval movements in the two strategic seas are clearly synchronized at the highest levels in Tehran and Moscow.

Our military analysts find Russia and Iran seizing the moment for supplanting positions held exclusively by the US and other western fleets. They are taking advantage of two developments:

1. The number of US warships maintained in the Gulf has been reduced to its lowest level in two years; President Obama quietly reduced their presence near Iran's shores in order to generate a positive atmosphere for the coming US dialogue with the Islamic Republic. Not a single US aircraft carrier is consequently to be found anywhere in the Gulf region.

2. Monday, May 25, President Nicolas Sarkozy inaugurated France's first naval facility in the Gulf in Abu Dhabi. The Russian and Iranian policy-makers see no reason why Moscow cannot set up a military presence in the region if Paris can.
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« Reply #256 on: June 20, 2009, 01:05:02 PM »

Barak: Mousavi is a fundamentalist too    

jpost.com

A day after US President Barack Obama said that the policies of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and election opponent Mir Hossein Mousavi were similar, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that both Iranian presidential candidates were fundamentalists.

"Whatever happens," he said in an interview with Army Radio, "this is an Ayatollah regime. We should not be confused about Mousavi - these people are fundamentalist Muslims."

Barak called the mass protests by Mousavi supporters "fascinating," explaining that "we must keep in mind that this is an Ayatollah's dictatorship, and the more force is used against the dissidents, the more the regime loses its legitimacy."

The defense minister also called on the world to respond quickly in order to prevent the Iranian government from advancing the Islamic republic's nuclear program.

"Iran is in the midst of a very dangerous process. Short-term plans must be made. We don't have too much time; we decided to leave all courses of action open and we expect others to do the same," Barak told the radio station.

On Tuesday, Israeli intelligence officials said that while the Iranian regime's decision to allow a partial recount of the presidential vote was "interesting," it was "highly unlikely" Mousavi would be declared the winner of last Friday's vote.

Defense officials told The Jerusalem Post there was little chance the Guardian Council would overturn its declaration that Ahmadinejad was the winner since it would be an embarrassment to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who endorsed the results.

The most that could be expected, officials said, was that the results would be changed by a few percentage points in Mousavi's favor.

Khamenei on Monday ordered the Guardian Council, an unelected body composed of 12 clerics and experts in Islamic law closely allied to the supreme leader, to investigate the election results after he met with Mousavi on Sunday. Mousavi also sent a letter to Khamenei outlining his allegations.

A spokesman for the Guardian Council, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, was quoted on state TV as saying the recount would be limited to voting sites where candidates claim irregularities took place. He did not rule out the possibility of canceling the results, saying doing so was within the council's powers, although nullifying an election would be an unprecedented step.

In Paris, Barak said the council's decision was an indication that the Iranian regime "was not indifferent" to the hundreds of thousands of pro-Mousavi demonstrators.

Mossad chief Meir Dagan told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that "what matters is the position of the [supreme] leader and this has not changed. The riots are taking place only in Teheran and one additional region. They won't last for long." Dagan said he didn't believe the riots would become a full-fledged revolution.

The violence in the wake of the allegations of vote-rigging was not different from "any other democracy," he said, adding that the discussion over the elections currently involved only a small sector of the Iranian population.

"What ultimately determines it is the spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and that has not changed. This is an argument within the Iranian elite. There is an argument regarding sources of influence, but this is an internal matter," he said.

Dagan also warned the Islamic republic could have an operational nuclear bomb ready for use by 2014, and dismissed claims that a second revolution was brewing in the streets of Teheran.

"In terms of the nuclear project, it's no longer a technical issue, because the Iranians have solved their technical problems," said Dagan. "If there aren't any technical errors, Iran will have a bomb ready for deployment by the end of 2014. This is a significant threat to the existence of the State of Israel and we need to distance this threat from us." Israel would actually have an easier time explaining the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons to the world if the country continued to be led by a hard-line, fanatical president [Ahmadinejad] than if Mir Hossein Mousavi, who is seen as a moderate, had won the election, Dagan said.

However, "we mustn't forget Mousavi is the one who started the nuclear program." Also Tuesday, government sources said their curiosity had been perked by European hints over the last few days that its relationship to Iran on the nuclear issue could be linked to how it dealt with the protests sweeping the country.

The 27 EU foreign ministers issued a statement on Monday saying the EU would continue to follow developments in Iran.

"It remains a priority for the EU that Iran engages with the concerns of the world community, above all on the issue of Iran's nuclear program," the statement said. "The [European] Council wishes to engage with the Islamic Republic of Iran on the basis of mutual respect, but it requires Iran to recognize and act urgently on its responsibilities and obligations."

According to government sources in Jerusalem, this was one of a few small hints popping up here and there indicating that an Iranian iron fist clamping down on the protesters could lead the international community to take a more forceful position on the nuclear issue.

The sources noted that both Germany and France on Monday summoned the Iranian ambassador to their capitals to express concern and receive explanations.

The sources warned, however, against overstating the case, saying the situation in Iran was still delicate and fluid, and it was much too early to tell how it would play out regarding the world's relationship with the Islamic republic.

The sources said the international community had for months largely been in a holding position regarding Iran for the past few months, waiting to see how the elections played out. It was quite possible, though again too early to tell, that the pictures coming out of Teheran would leave some kind of impression on the West that would impact on the diplomacy surrounding the nuclear issue, they said.

"When the Iranians are at their worst, the international community tends to pull back from them and sober up regarding any illusions they have that the regime might be more flexible," one source said. "In that case one of the things the Iranians can do is possibly send out 'warm and fuzzies' on the nuclear issue."
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« Reply #257 on: June 27, 2009, 12:43:12 PM »

Russia determined to be a key player in the Middle East - all parties agree to peace conference in Moscow   

jpost.com

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev claimed Tuesday to have secured the support of Israel and all other involved parties for a Middle East peace conference in Moscow.

A "Moscow conference on the Middle East should become an important stage in our actions" toward peace talks, Medvedev said in a speech to the 22-member Arab League in Cairo. "Today we have principal agreement from all parties."

The Russian president also warned against forcing democracy on Arab states and praised US President Barack Obama's address to the Arab world, saying it showed more tolerance.

"There are things to learn from the Arab world and therefore, mentoring, forcing democracy and especially direct interference are absolutely inadmissible," Medvedev said. "Understanding of this is growing in the world. One example is President Barack Obama's speech."

Medvedev also said he supports a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital as a result of a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Earlier Tuesday, after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Medvedev told reporters that Egypt was playing a constructive role in attempting to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "to establish mutual confidence on this issue."

"Now the two sides are taking some steps and attempts to resume the peace process and together with the international community we support this trend," Medvedev said.

Russia has aimed to be a key player in the Middle East peace process and has promoted the idea of an international conference in Moscow for the past year and a half. The plans have repeatedly stalled. Israel and the United States had resisted conference participation by Hamas, while Moscow continues engagement with the group.

Mubarak backed the conference idea and said "we consider any Russian effort as the correct way to peace."

Following Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to Israel last year, government sources told The Jerusalem Post that Russia was determined to go ahead with the Middle East conference whether Israel likes it or not.
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« Reply #258 on: June 29, 2009, 04:57:45 PM »

Quote
Russia determined to be a key player in the Middle East

Russia will also be a key player in Ezekiel 38 & 39. Though the destruction of Russian land, and mid-east will make people cry. God's plans will take place, as a warning to mankind. God has already written on this and we know the out come, Jesus wins. Israel will not be harmed by Russia during the war, of Ezekiel 38 & 39.
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« Reply #259 on: June 29, 2009, 06:39:09 PM »

Just think - the entire world could read about what will most certainly happen by just picking up the Holy Bible. The so-called wise of the world don't have a clue. The world just refuses to believe what God has foretold, and the time appears to be growing near. All will take place exactly as God said they would, and no combination of powers can stop a single detail.

Ezekiel 38:14-23 ASV   14  Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: In that day when my people Israel dwelleth securely, shalt thou not know it?  15  And thou shalt come from thy place out of the uttermost parts of the north, thou, and many peoples with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company and a mighty army;  16  and thou shalt come up against my people Israel, as a cloud to cover the land: it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring thee against my land, that the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.  17  Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Art thou he of whom I spake in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, that prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring thee against them?  18  And it shall come to pass in that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah, that my wrath shall come up into my nostrils.  19  For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;  20  so that the fishes of the sea, and the birds of the heavens, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.  21  And I will call for a sword against him unto all my mountains, saith the Lord Jehovah: every man's sword shall be against his brother.  22  And with pestilence and with blood will I enter into judgment with him; and I will rain upon him, and upon his hordes, and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing shower, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.  23  And I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am Jehovah.

Ezekiel 39:1-7 ASV   1  And thou, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal:  2  and I will turn thee about, and will lead thee on, and will cause thee to come up from the uttermost parts of the north; and I will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel;  3  and I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.  4  Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy hordes, and the peoples that are with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.  5  Thou shalt fall upon the open field; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord Jehovah.  6  And I will send a fire on Magog, and on them that dwell securely in the isles; and they shall know that I am Jehovah.  7  And my holy name will I make known in the midst of my people Israel; neither will I suffer my holy name to be profaned any more: and the nations shall know that I am Jehovah, the Holy One in Israel.

Ezekiel 39:17-29 ASV   17  And thou, son of man, thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Speak unto the birds of every sort, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh and drink blood.  18  Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.  19  And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.  20  And ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord Jehovah.  21  And I will set my glory among the nations; and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.  22  So the house of Israel shall know that I am Jehovah their God, from that day and forward.  23  And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they trespassed against me, and I hid my face from them: so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they fell all of them by the sword.  24  According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions did I unto them; and I hid my face from them.  25  Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Now will I bring back the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for my holy name.  26  And they shall bear their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they shall dwell securely in their land, and none shall make them afraid;  27  when I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations.  28  And they shall know that I am Jehovah their God, in that I caused them to go into captivity among the nations, and have gathered them unto their own land; and I will leave none of them any more there;  29  neither will I hide my face any more from them; for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah.

Isaiah 2:1-5 ASV   1  The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  2  And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  3  And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.  4  And he will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  5  O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of Jehovah.

Isaiah 9:2-7 ASV   2  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.  3  Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased their joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.  4  For the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken as in the day of Midian.  5  For all the armor of the armed man in the tumult, and the garments rolled in blood, shall be for burning, for fuel of fire.  6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  7  Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 65:17-25 ASV   17  For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.  18  But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.  19  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and there shall be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying.  20  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed.  21  And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  22  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree shall be the days of my people, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  23  They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for calamity; for they are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah, and their offspring with them.  24  And it shall come to pass that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.  25  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith Jehovah.

Love in Christ,
Tom

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« Reply #260 on: June 30, 2009, 12:34:25 AM »

Just think - the entire world could read about what will most certainly happen by just picking up the Holy Bible. The so-called wise of the world don't have a clue. The world just refuses to believe what God has foretold, and the time appears to be growing near. All will take place exactly as God said they would, and no combination of powers can stop a single detail.

Love in Christ,
Tom

AMEN!!
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« Reply #261 on: July 04, 2009, 12:50:13 PM »


Russia Is Back on the Warpath   

online.wsj.com/


With President Barack Obama's trip to Moscow on Monday, you might expect Russia to avoid stirring up any trouble. Yet the Russian media are now abuzz with speculation about a new war in Georgia, and some Western analysts are voicing similar concerns. The idea seems insane. Nonetheless, the risk is real.

One danger sign is persistent talk of so-called Georgian aggression against the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Russia recognized as independent states after the war last August. "Georgia is rattling its weapons . . . and has not given up on attempts to solve its territorial problems by any means," Gen. Nikolai Makarov, who commanded Russian troops in Georgia in 2008, told the Novosti news agency on June 17. Similar warnings have been aired repeatedly by the state-controlled media.

Independent Russian commentators, such as columnist Andrei Piontkovsky, note that this has the feel of a propaganda campaign to prepare the public for a second war. Most recently, Moscow has trotted out a Georgian defector, Lt. Alik D. Bzhania, who claims that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili "intends to restart the war."

Yet Russia is the one currently engaged in large-scale military exercises in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and adjacent regions. Russia has also kicked out international observers from the area. On June 15, Moscow vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution renewing the mandate of U.N. monitors in Abkhazia because it mentioned an earlier resolution affirming Georgia's territorial integrity. Negotiations to extend the mission of monitors for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have broken down thanks to Russian obstruction. Now, 225 European Union monitors are the only international presence on the disputed borders.

The expulsion of neutral observers seems odd if Russia is worried about Georgian aggression. But it makes sense if Russia is planning an attack.

What would the Kremlin gain? A crushing victory in Georgia would depose the hated Mr. Saakashvili, give Russia control of vital transit routes for additional energy resources that could weaken its hold on the European oil and gas markets, humiliate the U.S., and distract Russians from their economic woes. Mr. Piontkovsky also believes the war drive comes from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is anxious to reassert himself as supreme leader.

Still, the costs would be tremendous. Last year the Kremlin repaired some of the damage to its relations with Europe and the U.S. by portraying the invasion of Georgia as a response to a unique crisis, not part of an imperial strategy. Another war would cripple Russia's quest for respectability in the civilized world, including its vanity project of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

And after the patriotic fervor wears off, domestic discontent would likely follow. Moreover, Russia would almost certainly find itself mired in a long guerilla war. This would further destabilize a region where Russia's own provinces, Ingushetia and Dagestan, are plagued by violent turmoil.

Given all this, a war seems unlikely. What's more probable is that Russia will seek to destabilize Georgia without military action. This saber-rattling may be meant to boost Georgian opposition to Mr. Saakashvili.

Still, Moscow's actions are not always rational. If the pro-war faction believes that the Western response to an assault on Georgia would be weak and half-hearted, it could be emboldened. In a June 25 column on the EJ.ru Web site, Russian journalist Yulia Latynina writes that the probability of the war "depends solely on the Kremlin's capacity to convince itself that it can convince the world that the war is its enemies' fault."
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« Reply #262 on: July 12, 2009, 02:14:24 PM »

India Joins Russia, China in Questioning U.S. Dollar Dominance     
bloomberg.com/

Suresh Tendulkar, an economic adviser to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said he is urging the government to diversify its $264.6 billion foreign-exchange reserves and hold fewer dollars.

“The major part of Indian reserves is in dollars -- that is something that’s a problem for us,” Tendulkar, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, said in an interview yesterday in Aix-en-Provence, France, where he was attending an economic conference.

Singh is preparing to join leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized nations -- the U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Russia -- at a summit in Italy next week which is due to tackle the global economy. China and Brazil will also send representatives to the summit.

As the talks have neared, China and Russia have stepped up calls for a rethink of how global currency reserves are composed and managed, underlining a power shift to emerging markets from the developed nations that spawned the financial crisis.

“There should be a system to maintain the stability of the major reserve currencies,” Former Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan said in a speech in Beijing yesterday, highlighting China’s concerns about a global financial system dominated by the dollar.

Fiscal and current-account deficits must be supervised as “your currency is likely to become my problem,” said Zeng, who is now the head of a research center under the government’s top economic planning agency. The People’s Bank of China said June 26 that the International Monetary Fund should manage more of members’ reserves.

Russian Proposals

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has repeatedly called for creating a mix of regional reserve currencies as part of the drive to address the global financial crisis, while questioning the dollar’s future as a global reserve currency. Russia’s proposals for the Group of 20 major developed and developing nations summit in London in April included the creation of a supranational currency.

“We will resume” talks on the supranational currency proposal at the G-8 summit in L’Aquila on July 8-10, Medvedev aide Sergei Prikhodko told reporters in Moscow yesterday.

Singh adviser Tendulkar said that big dollar holders face a “prisoner’s dilemma” in terms of managing their holdings. “That’s why I’m telling them to do this,” he said.

He also said that world currencies need to adjust to help unwind trade imbalances that have contributed to the global financial crisis.

“The major imbalances which led to the current situation, the current account surpluses and deficits, have to be addressed,” he said. “Currency adjustment is one thing that suggests itself.”

Emerging-Market Dependence

For all the complaints about the dollar, emerging markets such as India remain dependent on the currency of the U.S., the world’s largest economy and a $2.5 trillion export market. The IMF said June 30 that the share of dollars in global foreign- exchange reserves increased to 65 percent in the first three months of this year, the highest since 2007.

Tendulkar said that the matter needs to be taken up in international talks, and that it emphasizes the need for those talks to go beyond the traditional G-8.

“They can meet if they want to,” he said. “The G-20 has a wider role, has representation of the countries that are likely to lead the recovery process.”
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« Reply #263 on: August 01, 2009, 12:23:47 PM »

For the first time, Russia and Iran will hold a joint naval maneuver in the Caspian Sea    

jpost.

For the first time, Russia and Iran will hold a joint naval maneuver in the Caspian Sea, The Iranian Mehr News Agency reported Wednesday.

According to the report, the maneuver will include 30 Russian and Iranian ships, as well as helicopters.

A senior official in the Iranian ports authority was quoted by the report as saying that the maneuver would increase the coordination between the two countries, and focus on search and rescue operations and the prevention of pollution.

Russia enjoys extensive trade ties with Teheran and has been opposed to imposing further sanctions on Iran over its uranium enrichment program.

Moscow is building Iran's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr, has provided Teheran with weapons and needs Iranian assistance on the Caspian Sea and other regional issues.

In April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained that Iran is "our neighbor, it's a country which can play a very important role in solving a number of acute international issues, such as the situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and different aspects of Mideast peace settlement."

In June, a Russian news agency reported that the completion of Iran's first nuclear plant was being delayed by Russian banks refusing to work with Iran.

Iran is paying Russia more than $1 billion (€630 million) to build the light-water reactor and has already received several shipments of enriched uranium for its operation.
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« Reply #264 on: August 01, 2009, 09:43:17 PM »

Ezekiel 38:1-23 KJV  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  2  Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,  3  And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:  4  And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:  5  Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:  6  Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.  7  Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.  8  After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.  9  Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.  10  Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:  11  And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,  12  To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.  13  Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?  14  Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?  15  And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:  16  And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.  17  Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?  18  And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.  19  For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;  20  So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.  21  And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother.  22  And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.  23  Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.
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« Reply #265 on: August 07, 2009, 01:01:34 PM »

Why Are Russian Subs Patrolling Off East Coast of U.S.?     

nytimes

A pair of nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines has been patrolling off the eastern seaboard of the United States in recent days, a rare mission that has raised concerns inside the Pentagon and intelligence agencies about a more assertive stance by the Russian military.

The episode has echoes of the cold war era, when the United States and the Soviet Union regularly parked submarines off each other’s coasts to steal military secrets, track the movements of their underwater fleets — and be poised for war.

But the collapse of the Soviet Union all but eliminated the ability of the Russian Navy to operate far from home ports, making the current submarine patrols thousands of miles from Russia more surprising for military officials and defense policy experts.

“I don’t think they’ve put two first-line nuclear subs off the U.S. coast in about 15 years,” said Norman Polmar, a naval historian and submarine warfare expert.

The submarines are of the Akula class, a counterpart to the Los Angeles class attack subs of the United States Navy, and not one of the larger submarines that can launch intercontinental nuclear missiles.

According to Defense Department officials, one of the Russian submarines remained in international waters on Tuesday about 200 miles off the coast of the United States. The location of the second remained unclear. One senior official said the second submarine traveled south in recent days toward Cuba, while another senior official with access to reports on the surveillance mission said it had sailed away in a northerly direction.

The Pentagon and intelligence officials spoke anonymously to describe the effort to track the Russian submarines, which has not been publicly announced.

President Obama spoke by telephone with President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia on Tuesday, but it was not clear whether the subject of the submarines came up, although another source of friction between the two countries did. Mr. Medvedev called Mr. Obama to wish him a happy birthday and the White House said the president used the opportunity to urge Russia to work through diplomatic channels to resolve rising tensions with Georgia.

The submarine patrols come as Moscow tries to shake off the embarrassment of the latest failed test of the Bulava missile, a long-range weapon that was test fired from a submarine in the Arctic on July 15. The failed missile test was the sixth since 2005, and some experts see Russia’s assertiveness elsewhere as a gambit by the military to prove its continued relevance.

“It’s the military trying to demonstrate that they are still a player in Russian political and economic matters,” Mr. Polmar said.

One of the submarines is the newer Akula II, officials said, which is quieter than the older variant and the most advanced in the Russian fleet. The Akula is capable of carrying torpedoes for attacking other submarines and surface vessels as well as missiles for striking targets on land and at sea.

Defense Department officials declined to speculate on which weapons might be aboard the two submarines.

While the submarines have not taken any provocative action beyond their presence outside territorial waters of the United States, officials expressed wariness over the Kremlin’s motivation for ordering such an unusual mission.

“Anytime the Russian Navy does something so out of the ordinary it is cause for worry,” said a senior Defense Department official who has been monitoring reports on the submarines’ activities.

The official said the Navy was able to track the submarines as they made their way through international waters off the American coastline. This can be done from aircraft, ships, underwater sensors or other submarines.

“We’ve known where they were, and we’re not concerned about our ability to track the subs,” the official added. “We’re concerned just because they are there.”
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« Reply #266 on: August 07, 2009, 01:15:58 PM »


Iran is ready to build an N-bomb - it is just waiting for the Ayatollah's order     

prisonplanet

Iran has perfected the technology to create and detonate a nuclear warhead and is merely awaiting the word from its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to produce its first bomb, Western intelligence sources have told The Times.

The sources said that Iran completed a research program to create weaponized uranium in the summer of 2003 and that it could feasibly make a bomb within a year of an order from its Supreme Leader.

A US National Intelligence Estimate two years ago concluded that Iran had ended its nuclear arms research sources have told The Times that Tehran had halted program in 2003 because of the threat from the American invasion of Iraq. But intelligence the research because it had achieved its aim — to find a way of detonating a warhead that could be launched on its long-range Shehab-3 missiles.

They said that, should Ayatollah Khamenei approve the building of a nuclear device, it would take six months to enrich enough uranium and another six months to assemble the warhead. The Iranian Defense Ministry has been running a covert nuclear research department for years, employing hundreds of scientists, researchers and metallurgists in a multibillion-dollar program to develop nuclear technology alongside the civilian nuclear program.

“The main thing (in 2003) was the lack of fissile material, so it was best to slow it down,” the sources said. “We think that the leader himself decided back then (to halt the program), after the good results.”

Iran’s scientists have been trying to master a method of detonating a bomb known as the “multipoint initiation system” — wrapping highly enriched uranium in high explosives and then detonating it. The sources said that the Iranian Defense Ministry had used a secret internal agency called Amad (“Supply” in Farsi), led by Mohsin Fakhri Zadeh, a physics professor and senior member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Council.

The system operates by creating a series of explosive grooves on a metal hemisphere covering the uranium, which links explosives-filled holes opening onto a layer of high explosives enveloping the uranium. By detonating the explosives at either pole at the same time, the method ensures simultaneous impact around the sphere to achieve critical density.

“If the Supreme Leader takes the decision (to build a bomb), we assess they have to enrich low-enriched uranium to highly-enriched uranium at the Natanz plant, which could take six months, depending on how many centrifuges are operating. We don’t know if the decision was made yet,” said the intelligence sources, adding that Iran could have created smaller, secret facilities, other than those at the heavily guarded bunker at Natanz to develop materials for a first bomb. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency only keep tabs on fissile material produced at monitored sites and not the number of centrifuges that Iran has built.

Washington has given Iran until next month to open talks on resolving the nuclear crisis, although hopes of any constructive engagement have dimmed since the regime’s crackdown on pro-reformist protesters after June’s disputed presidential elections.

Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defense Minister, last week reiterated that a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities was still an option, should the talks fail. Israeli officials estimate that a raid on Natanz and a nuclear facility at Arak, in central Iran, would set Iran’s nuclear program back by two to three years.

An Israeli official said that Iran had poured billions of dollars over three decades into a two-pronged “master plan” to build a nuclear bomb. He said that Iran had enriched 1,010kg of uranium to 3.9 per cent, which would be sufficient for 30kg of highly enriched uranium at 95 per cent. About 30kg is needed to build one bomb.

British intelligence services are familiar with the secret information about Iran’s experiments, sources at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said. Although British agencies did not have their own “independent evidence” that Iran had successfully tested the explosive component of a nuclear warhead, they said there was no reason to doubt the assessment.

If Iran’s leader does decide to build a bomb, he will have two choices, intelligence sources said. One would be to take the high-risk approach of kicking out the international inspectors and making a sprint to complete Iran’s first bomb, as the country weathered international sanctions or possible air strikes in the ensuing crisis. The other would be to covertly develop the materials needed for an arsenal in secret desert facilities.

Last week, during a series of high-level US visits to Israel, officials outlined Washington’s plans to step up sanctions on Iran, should Tehran fail to agree on talks. Robert Gates, the Defense Secretary, and General James Jones, the National Security Adviser, said that Iran had until the end of next month, when the UN General Assembly is to meet, to make a positive move towards engagement.

If Tehran fails to respond, Washington aims to build a tough international coalition to impose harsh sanctions focusing on petroleum products — an area where Iran is particularly vulnerable because it sends almost all of its crude abroad for refinement.

Experts believe that the unrest of the summer will make Iran particularly vulnerable to sanctions. They would also hit the Revolutionary Guards Council, which finances its operations by running a huge conglomerate of international companies, rather than drawing directly from state coffers.
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« Reply #267 on: August 07, 2009, 07:00:40 PM »

It's terribly naive to think that anyone can negotiate with "ImANutJob". Kindergarten graduates would know this is a waste of time. "ImANutJob" has already boldly announced what he wants to do and will do MANY TIMES. Was anyone listening? Should we all say "DUH!"?
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« Reply #268 on: September 06, 2009, 12:34:04 PM »

'Russia confirms MiG jet sale to Syria'     

wnd

Russia has a contract to provide Syria with powerful MiG fighter jets but has not begun delivering the planes, according to a Russian newspaper report.

Kommersant cited the head of Russia's state-run United Aircraft Corporation, Alexei Fyodorov, as saying that a 2007 contract to sell MiG-31E interceptor fighters to Syria has not entered into force.

The paper said Russian arms sales officials have denied that such a contract exists.

The speedy MiG-31E can fire simultaneously at several targets up to 180 kilometers away. Deliveries to Syria would be liable to alter the balance of power in the region.

Kommersant cited Fyodorov as saying a contract to provide Syria with Mig-29M fighters is being implemented.

State arms sales company Rosoboronexport declined to comment on the report.

In May, outgoing head of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency Lt.-Gen. Michael D. Maples told the Senate that Damascus will take receipt of advanced MiG-31E fighter jets in the near future.

Reports of the sale surfaced in 2007 but were quickly denied by Moscow and the official state arms-trading monopoly Rosoboronexport, which issued a statement saying "Russia has no plans to deliver fighter jets to Syria."

In his "annual threat assessment" testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Maples provided the first official confirmation that the advanced fighter jets will be delivered to Damascus soon.

"With regard to its external defense, Syria's military remains in a defensive posture and inferior to Israel's forces, but it is upgrading its missile, rocket, antitank, aircraft and air defense inventories," Maples told the committee. "Recent Syrian contracts with Russia for future delivery include new MiG-31 and MiG-29M/M2 fighter aircraft."

Israeli defense officials said they were not surprised by Russia's intention to sell Syria the advanced jets but expressed concern that if the deal went through it would alter the balance of power in the region.

"Syria currently has an obsolete air force based on outdated MiGs," one official explained. "If Syria gets new MiG-31s then this will pose a definite threat to our air force."
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« Reply #269 on: September 09, 2009, 12:25:30 PM »

Russia oil production overtakes Saudi Arabia    
globalresearch.ca/

Russia is extracting more oil than Saudi Arabia, making it the biggest producer of "black gold" in the world, figures show.

The statistics, from the oil cartel OPEC, reflect a trend that has seen the Russians periodically surpass the Saudis as the world's biggest oil producers on and off since 2002.

These latest figures are being hailed in Russia as evidence that such periodic production spikes are not one-offs though and that Moscow really does have a right to lay claim to the No 1 spot.

According to OPEC, Russia extracted 9.236 million barrels of oil a day in June, 46,000 more than Saudi Arabia.

The statistics also showed that Russian production in the first half of this year increased to 235.8 million tons, a year-on-year improvement of 2.3 per cent.

Traditionally, Saudi Arabia has been regarded as the world's undisputed primary source of oil and Russia has had to settle for second place.

But in recent years Russia has renationalised and modernised much of its industry and that policy now appears to be paying off.

Even Russian analysts concede that Moscow's cause is helped by the fact that Saudi Arabia is subject to Opec output restrictions.

The Saudis are famous for their ability to access spare capacity and raise production at short notice and if they really wanted to reassert their leadership role the feeling is they could do so easily.

Unconcerned by such "details", Russia's "toppling" of the Saudis was welcomed domestically yesterday.

The populist Komsomolskaya Pravda daily newspaper ran a story headlined "Russia takes first place in oil output rankings".

With oil prices hovering above $70 a barrel for London Brent crude because of uncertainty over Iranian supply and BP's pipeline crisis in Alaska, Russia is enjoying an unprecedented bonanza.

But analysts say its oil industry is already working close to capacity and that it will be able to manage output increases of up to only 2 per cent a year between now and 2009.

There are also fears that Russia is becoming too addicted to what politicians call "the oil needle" and is doing too little to develop future revenue streams.

Money from oil and gas accounts for 52.2 per cent of all revenues to the state treasury and more than 35 per cent of Russia's exports.

Such riches can make a country complacent,according to Alexei Kudrin, the Russian Finance Minister.

"At present, we are in a dangerously carefree zone," he said recently.
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