April 16, 2012- April 22, 2012 
 News In Review
 Vol 7, Issue 14
In This Issue
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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.

 April 5 - Cashless Payments are the Future: How to Implement Convenient Payment Methods for Your Small Business
 Artical: Technology for Global Monetary System

Cash. Credit cards. Debit cards. Customers will soon be leaving home without them, or so we hear. But will the switch to a wallet-less society be as quick as the industry is predicting? Many consumers are still confused as to how this cashless society will work. Pay for purchases with their smart phones? It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. Never mind that just thirty years ago, the idea that we would pay all of our bills without ever writing a check and pay for everything else with one card would have seemed preposterous. We have to pay with everything via currency we carry around in our wallet. Right?

Wrong. According to Gartner Research, mobile payments are on the climb-up 38% from 2010. As businesses battle to see who will be the first to find a way to get your cash without you handing it to them, consumers are still resistant to letting go of plastic. There are several ways your mobile phone can now process transactions, according to VoucherCodes. The company described these "payment wars" in a recent infographic.

  • Mobile card readers. PayPal, Square, and Intuit Go Payment are just three of the many businesses providing credit card readers that plug into the headphone jack of smart phones. This is ideal for small businesses on the go, wishing to allow customers to pay via credit card. It also allows consumers to continue to use plastic, although you may find yourself explaining the security of the devices to your customers. By the year 2015, these mobile point of sale systems are expected to gross $670 million.
  • Near Field Communication. While this capability is still not available on all cell phones, near field communication allows you to pay via your cell phone without ever having to remove a method of payment. One major hold-up is that NFC is still not available on the iPhone, but it is rumored to be included in the next model, expected to be released later this year. To use NFC, you simply store your payment information on your phone, enter your pin when you're ready to pay, and tap your device to any NFC-enabled payment system and payment is done. The merchant can print a receipt but the information will also be stored on your phone. By 2016, payments via NFC are expected to reach $320 billion.
  • Direct Carrier Billing. This uses your cell phone number and a PIN to make purchases. Direct carrier billing already happens when you purchase something via cell phone-this simply allows you to pay for everything that way. Services providing DCB include Zong, Boku, and BilltoMobile. With a transaction fee of 40% to 90%, this payment method will likely never go far.
  • Online Wallets. Since 2000, consumers have been using PayPal to transfer money for online purchases and personal transactions. Amazon Payments and Google Checkout have tried to get in on the action, too-no surprise, since PayPal processes $315 million a day.

Likely the future of payment will be a combination of most of the above. As a small business, you'll benefit from accepting as many payments as you can afford to handle, since consumers will seek out those merchants who accept what they have to offer. As customers toss checkbooks and cash aside in favor of plastic, it's good to know even the smallest business can get a free card reader and begin accepting credit.

Read Full Article.... 

 March 28 - Brazil Wants to Collect Biometric Data on All Its Citizens to Prevent Fraud
 Artical: Technology for Global Monetary System

The Brazilian government hopes to collect about 1.9 billion digital finger prints of its citizens that will be used on biometric identity cards to help cut down on fraud, according to Dom Phillips writing for the Txchnologist.

By 2018, Phillips writes, the 132 million voting the country could be verifying their identity using their thumb. Since 2001, Brazil's voting system has been 100 percent digital and fully automated but officials seem to hope this will secure elections even further.

Since fully automating the system, Giuseppe Dutra Janino, Secretary of Information Technology at the Tribunal Superior Eleitoral, said there has been no fraud and Flesicher said fears of hackers are unfounded. Still, the government plans to move forward with securing the system even more.

According to the security firm Gemalto, Brazil still has a big problem with identity fraud in other areas, which costs government billions of dollars a year. With its plan to collect biometric data and issue smart ID cards with this info, officials hope to also cut back on paperwork saving time and money. Here's an example of how they plan to save with the smart ID cards:

Eliminating things like false driver's licenses would also have a financial trickledown effect. The switch to eDriver licenses in a number of states in Mexico, for example, has reduced traffic accidents by 40 percent. When you consider that road accidents have cost Brazil 28 billion reais (US$16 billion) in 2009, a 40 percent reduction would mean that more than 10 billion reais (US$5.7 billion) could be used for something more productive.

While some have high hopes for the new system, biometric collection has caused a stir in other countries due to the potential for pervasive tracking. What do you think? Is a biometric ID card going too far?

Read Full Article.... 

 April 16 - 'Moment of truth is near:' Israeli Air Force set to attack Iran
 Artical: Wars And Rumors Ot Wars

Israel has once again demonstrated its readiness to launch a massive assault on Iran's nuclear facilities. The Israeli Air Force is geared up and ready to strike as soon as the order is given, a major Israeli TV station reported.

A reporter from Israel's Channel 10 TV station has spent several weeks interviewing pilots and other military personnel at an Israeli air base. Dozens of pilots are inspired with the prospect of Israel's first full-scale air campaign in 30 years. Most of the interviewees spoke openly about the "year's preparations" that are now almost over, as the country heads towards a hot and tense summer.

"Dozens if not more planes" are being prepared to carry out an attack on Iran's nuclear sites, the reporter Alon Ben-David said. This includes F-15 fighter jets, escort planes and air tankers to refuel the squadron en route to its target.

Unmanned drones are also expected to play a role in the operation. The all-weather fully-automatic UAV Eitan was designed for strategic reconnaissance but reportedly has assault capabilities as well. "This plane can do all that is required of it when the order is given," one of the pilots said as cited in the report.

When the order is given, the assault will be "short and professional," pilots say.

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan warned earlier that, although IAF has the capability to deliver a crushing blow to Iran's nuclear facilities and wipe out years of research, such an attack would have serious repercussions. He said that such an operation would trigger a war in Gaza - and that in retaliation, Iran would launch hundreds of missiles at Israel.

One of major problem the IAF will be facing is the Russian-made advanced anti-aircraft systems deployed in many countries across the region, including Iran and Syria. Israel's military personnel are aware that by no means will all of them get home safe from the mission.

Moreover, the pilots had already been told where their families would be moved when the assault begins - proof that attack day is drawing close, as the report mentions.

Read Full Article.... 

 April 20 - Ministers ponder creation of EU super-president
 Artical: One World Government

Ideas kicking around in a reflection group of select EU foreign ministers include merging the roles of the EU Council and European Commission presidents.

A senior EU source told this website following a meeting of the club in the Val Duchesse stately home in Brussels on Thursday (19 April) that the new supremo would have more power than either Herman Van Rompuy or Jose Manuel Barroso do today but also more "democratic legitimacy" because he or she would be elected by MEPs. In other reforms, the new figure would "streamline" the European Commission into a two-tier structure.

The new super-president would also chair General Affairs Councils (GACs) - monthly meetings of foreign ministers which discuss internal Union affairs.

The EU Council President post was created by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. But the Lisbon architecture is messy, with Van Rompuy, for instance, overseeing recent debate on EU fiscal reform, while Barroso's commission puts forward its own ideas and implements final decisions.

"I have heard experts who say that it [the Van-Rompuy-Barroso merger] could be done without changing the [Lisbon] Treaty ... there is no appetite for a new Treaty," the EU source said.

The reflection group was formed by German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle in Berlin in March. It plans to meet two more times before the summer recess and to circulate a discussion paper at EU27-level in September. The other countries in the club are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain. The French minister did not attend Thursday's session, however.

The Val Duchesse event also covered debate on "eurobonds" - the idea of mutualising EU government debt, a controversial one in Germany, where voters are hostile to paying more to borrow money so that weaker economies in the south can pay less. "It could be acceptable for new projects but not to guarantee bad ones from the past, or old bad debt," the EU source said.

Read Full Article.... 

 April 19 - Theologians OK With Bible Translation Replacing 'Jesus Christ,' 'Angel'
 Artical: Miscellaneous

Some theologians say the new Bible translation The Voice that replaces words like "Christ" with "Anointed One" and "angel" with "messenger" is acceptable.

Dr. Darrell Bock, professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, worked on the Luke-Acts portion of the translation. Bock told The Christian Post that although the word "Christ" does not appear in the text, the meaning of the word is still present in the form of the term "Anointed One," which was frequently used in its place.

"I do think there can be value in laying out Scripture in a fresh way so people hear it afresh, provided it does not take liberties with the text," said Bock. "Every effort was made to be careful about how this was done. This is not an effort to conform to American audiences, but is simply rendering the text in a way to makes its meaning clear."

Dr. Erik Thoennes, professor of biblical and theological studies at Biola University, told CP that the process of translation "is as much of an art as a science. "Languages are constantly evolving so it is helpful to provide translations that reflect those changes that time invariably brings," said Thoennes. "Translations should never merely conform to modern audiences or transform the meaning to fit contemporary thinking, but they do need to help modern readers understand the intended meaning of the original authors."

Thoennes also told CP he felt that given the art of translation, different versions of the Bible can fulfill different needs.

"If reading for the big ideas and general flow of the stories and dialogues, a less literal approach could be helpful. This sounds like what The Voice is trying to accomplish," said Thoennes.

Read Full Article.... 

 April 24 - Is there a drone in your neighbourhood? Rise of spy planes exposed after FAA is forced to reveal 63 launch sites across U.S.
 Artical: One World Government

There are at least 63 active drone sites around the U.S, federal authorities have been forced to reveal following a landmark Freedom of Information lawsuit. The unmanned planes - some of which may have been designed to kill terror suspects - are being launched from locations in 20 states.

Most of the active drones are deployed from military installations, enforcement agencies and border patrol teams, according to the Federal Aviation Authority. But, astonishingly, 19 universities and colleges are also registered as owners of what are officially known as unmanned aerial vehicles.

It is thought that many of institutions, which include Cornell, the University of Colorado, Georgia Tech, and Eastern Gateway Community College, are developing drone technology.

However, the FAA is yet to reveal what kinds of drones might be based at any of these locations. The agency says it will release this data later.

While few would object to vast open areas being monitored for wildfires, there are fears of privacy violations if drones are used to spy over cities.

Other drones - likely to be operated only by the armed forces - might include the MQ-9 Reaper and the MQ-1 Predator, which was used to kill American Al Qaeda boss Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen last September.

The FAA has confirmed that there were about 300 active COAs and that the agency has issued about 700-750 authorizations since the program began in 2006. But this information does not reveal how many are owned, for example, by Miami Dade Police Department.

While the use of drones in the U.S. is little known, American operations overseas have been well documented. As well as high-profile terrorists, campaigners claim hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in the border regions of Pakistan, where they are most active.

Read Full Article.... 

 April 24 - Scientists clone sheep using 'good' fat from worm
 Artical: Cloning And Genetic Engineering

Chinese scientists have cloned a genetically modified sheep containing a "good" type of fat found naturally in nuts, seeds, fish and leafy greens that helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.

"Peng Peng," which has a roundworm fat gene, weighed in at 12.6 pounds when it was born on March 26 in a laboratory in China's far western region of Xinjiang.

Du and colleagues inserted the gene that is linked to the production of polyunsaturated fatty acids into a donor cell taken from the ear of a Chinese Merino sheep. The cell was then inserted into an unfertilized egg and implanted into the womb of a surrogate sheep. "The gene was originally from the C. elegans (roundworm) which has been shown (in previous studies) to increase unsaturated fatty acids which is very good for human health," Du said.

But there are concerns about the safety of genetically modified foods and it will be some years before meat from such transgenic animals finds its way into Chinese food markets.

"The Chinese government encourages transgenic projects but we need to have better methods and results to prove that transgenic plants and animals are harmless and safe for consumption, that is crucial," Du said.

The United States is a world leader in producing GM crops. Its Food and Drug Administration has already approved the sale of food from clones and their offspring, saying the products were indistinguishable from those of non-cloned animals.

U.S. biotech firm AquaBounty's patented genetically modified Atlantic salmon are widely billed as growing at double the speed and could be approved by U.S. regulators as early as this summer.

Read Full Article.... 

 April 25 - Proposed Law Would Force Churches to Host Gay Weddings
 Artical: Perilous Times

Religious liberty groups are blasting a proposed ordinance that would force churches in Hutchinson, Kan. to rent their facilities for gay weddings and gay parties.

The Hutchinson City Council will consider adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes in the city's human relations code. They are expected to vote on the changes next month.

According to the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission, churches that rent out their buildings to the general public would not be allowed to discriminate "against a gay couple who want to rent the building for a party."

Meryl Dye, a spokesperson for the Human Relations Commission confirmed to Fox News that churches would be subjected to portions of the proposed law. "They would not be able to discriminate against gay and lesbian or transgender individuals," Dye said. "That type of protection parallels to what you find in race discrimination. If a church provides lodging or rents a facility they could not discriminate based on race. It's along that kind of thinking."

Matthew Staver, chairman of the Liberty Counsel Action, told Fox News the proposed law is "un-American." It is a collision course between religious freedom and the LGBT agenda," Staver said. "This proposed legislation will ultimately override the religious freedom that is protected under the First Amendment." He argued that churches cannot be forced by the government to set aside their religious convictions and their mission. And, he warned, some churches could even be forced to rent their buildings for drag parties.

"They (churches) could not deny renting space to a gay couple if they want to have a party," he told Fox News. "This is just another example of government creating a law imposing upon the freedom of religion and basically telling churches what they can and can't do."

"This is an opportunity for the LGBT community to cram their belief system down on our community," Ridge said. "It may look like a small step, but it's not the end. Before you know it they will be able to shut down churches for preaching Romans 1:26-27. We'll be sued for refusing to have homosexual weddings."

Read Full Article.... 

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

Roger Oakland

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