August 22, 2011- August 28, 2011 
 News In Review
 Vol 6, Issue 33
In This Issue
Links Of Further Interest
Quick Links

Join our mailing list!

Dear Ron,

This newsletter is available online by clicking here. The archived newsletter are also available by clicking here.

The News In Review newsletter is a service provided by Understand The Times that is a compilation of the news articles previously posted on our site . Understand The Times does not endorse these events but rather is showing the church the current events.  The purpose of posting these articles is to warn the church of deception from a Biblical perspective.

 August US Concerned Over China Rapid Military Buildup
 Article: Miscellaneous

China appears on track to forge a modern military by 2020, a rapid buildup that could be potentially destabilizing to the Asia-Pacific region, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

Fueled by its booming economy, China's military growth in the past decade has exceeded most U.S. forecasts. Its aircraft carrier program, cyber warfare capabilities and anti-satellite missiles have alarmed neighbors and Washington.

"China clearly believes that it can capitalize on the global financial crisis," said Representative Howard McKeon, adding the U.S. military presence in the Pacific must not be sacrificed in an attempt to control U.S. spending.

The Defense Department's annual assessment to Congress on the Chinese military flagged all the major concerns about China's growing military might, including Beijing's widening edge over Taiwan. It also noted cyber attacks in 2010 -- including those on U.S. government computers -- that appear to have originated in China.

"We have some concerns (on cyber) about some of the things that we've seen. And we want to be able to work through that with China,"
said Michael Schiffer, a deputy assistant secretary of defense.

"Despite continued gaps in some key areas, large quantities of antiquated hardware and a lack of operational experience, the PLA (China's People's Liberation Army) is steadily closing the technological gap with modern armed forces," the report said.

"The pace and scope of China's sustained military investments have allowed China to pursue capabilities that we believe are potentially destabilizing to regional military balances," Schiffer said.

Read Full Article .... 

 August 24 - Duke prof.: American's religious faith waning
 Article: Perilous Times

Despite the prominence of religious believers in politics and culture, America has shrinking congregations, growing dissatisfaction with religious leaders and more people who do not think about faith, according to a new study by a Duke University expert.

In "American Religion: Contemporary Trends," author Mark Chaves argues that over the last generation or so, religious belief in the U.S. has experienced a "softening" that effects everything from whether people go to worship services regularly to whom they marry. Far more people are willing to say they don't belong to any religious tradition today than in the past, and signs of religious vitality may be camouflaging stagnation or decline.

Today, as many as 20 percent of all Americans say they don't belong to any religious group, Chaves found, compared with around 3 percent in the 1950s. Yet, those people aren't necessarily atheists, agnostics or others. Instead, about 92 percent of Americans still profess belief in God, they just don't use religion as part of their identity.

Even signs of robust religious faith may not be what they appear, Chaves found. The strength of religious conservatives in politics, for example, has coincided with a growing disillusionment about faith's role in the public square. Chaves found that between 1991 and 2008, the percentage of Americans who strongly agreed that religious leaders should stay out of politics rose from 20 percent to 44 percent.

Anderson thinks the change is better described as a shift than a decline, as people become more willing to leave the denominations or faiths in which they were raised and look elsewhere for spiritual nourishment.

Read Full Article.... 

 August 25 - Ahmadinejad: Iran is determined to eradicate Israel
 Article: Israel And The Lasts Days

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran was determined to eradicate Israel, ISNA news agency reported Thursday.

"Iran believes that whoever is for humanity should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime (Israel) as symbol of suppression and discrimination," Ahmadinejad said in an interview with a Lebanese television network, carried by ISNA.

"Iran follows this issue (the eradication of Israel) with determination and decisiveness and will never ever withdraw from this standpoint and policy," the Iranian president added in the interview with the Al-Manar network.

Ahmadinejad on Monday said that Iranians and Muslim nations worldwide should hold Qods rallies and show their willingness to dispose of this "infectious tumor and this regime full of rascality."

The Iranian president provoked international condemnation in 2005 when
he said that Israel should be eliminated from the map of the Middle East and transferred to Europe or North America.

Read Full Article.... 

 August 25 - Group of United Methodists try to change church's position on gays
 Article: Perilous Times

Hundreds of United Methodists trying to make their 12 million-member, worldwide denomination more gay-friendly are meeting in Huron this week for a national conference.

They hope to soon change their church's official position that homosexuality is a sin -- an issue that has caused a raging debate among the laity and clergy for decades.

"The practice of homosexuality is incompatible to Christian teaching," reads a section in the Methodists' Book of Discipline. But the nearly 700 people expected to attend the four-day conference at Sawmill Creek Resort, beginning Thursday, are working to rewrite the Book.

To do that they will call on the denomination's General Conference in April in Tampa Bay, Fla., to vote on new language that would allow openly gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions.

Previous conference votes showed the movement prevailing in the United States but failing in Europe and Africa, said Plummer, noting that Methodists in those two continents tend to be conservative.

He said the vote in 2008 lost by less than 5 percent of the 1,000 votes cast. "We have the votes in the U.S.," he said. "Now we're working to get the votes worldwide."

Read Full Article.... 

 August 28 - Irene Wreaks Havoc on East Coast: $8 Billion in Damage, 18 Dead
 Article: Signs Of The Last Times

Hurricane Irene roared through the Northeast today like a rude, unwelcome guest, leaving at least 18 dead, millions without power, paralyzed cities, and an estimated $8 billion to $15 billion in damages.
Emergency officials said the storm knocked out power to more than 4 million people in six states and the recovery bill is still climbing.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday flooding in his state is widespread and advised residents to remain indoors.

Irene's storm surge reached 4 to 5 feet along the New Jersey and New York coastline. At Battery Park, it was the sixth-highest water level ever recorded at 9.5 feet above mean low water level, according to emergency officials.

More than 270,000 in New York lost power, while in New Jersey at least 460,000 statewide are without power. The National Grid reported that 19,000-plus homes in Rhode Island lost power, and 6,000-plus homes are already without power in Massachusetts, according to utility records listed in The New York Times today.

Extremely heavy rain will continue to hit northern New England and upstate New York as Irene plows north through this afternoon, which will cause the area impacted by flooding to expand. Flood watches and warnings are in effect for this entire area.

In North Carolina, the state that took the first hard hit from Irene, residents woke up to a soggy state after rain saturated the state for more than 30 hours. The hurricane hit the coast Saturday morning with sustained winds of 85 miles per hour.

"We are battling massive rain events, huge power outages, rising waters, and paralyzed cities at the same time. This will take weeks to overcome and get a sense of normality back in the lives of Americans."

Read Full Article.... 

 August 26 - PayPal founder Peter Thiel funding a plan to build new societies in international waters
 Article: Miscellaneous

PAYPAL billionaire Peter Thiel doesn't have a hideous facial scar, a white cat or a diabolical plan to take over the world. But his desire to build floating countries in a bid create a new world order run along libertarian ideals does scream Bond villain.

According to The Sun newspaper, Thiel, 43, has given $1.19 million to the Seasteading Institure, which believes the ocean is the "only option to create new societies on Earth". The first floating nation could be built off San Francisco as soon as next year.

The new countries would be a "kind of floating Petri dish for implementing policies that libertarians, stymied by indifference at the voting booths, have been unable to advance: no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage and few restrictions on weapons".

Thiel, 43, who is worth $1.6 billion, admitted that many saw the idea of creating societies in the ocean as a crackpot scheme. "There are quite a lot of people who think it's not possible. "That's a good thing. We don't need to really worry about those people very much, because since they don't think it's possible they won't take us very seriously. And they will not actually try to stop us until it's too late."

Read Full Article.... 

We hope the Weekly News In Review has been a blessing to you.

Roger Oakland

Forward email

This email was sent to ronpierotti@volcano.net by understandthetimes@cox.net |  

Understand The Times, International | P.O. Box 27239 | Santa Ana | CA | 92799