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July 2, 2012- July 29,2012 
 News In Review
 Vol 7, Issue 22
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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.

 July 23 - Bill Gates dumps another $10 million into researching new GM crops for agricultural takeover of Africa
 Article: Cloning And Genetic Engineering

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is once again busy funding efforts to promote the spread of the agricultural cancer that are genetically-modified (GM) crops, this time in the form of a $10 million grant it recently issued to a group of British scientists working on new GM crops that require no fertilizer. According to the U.K.'s BBC, the justification behind the need for such research is that the GM crops will supposedly benefit African farmers that are unable to afford fertilizer.

Researchers from the John Innes Centre (JIC) in Norwich will specifically use the grant, which happens to be the largest single investment into GM crops ever made in that country by a private organization, to create novel varieties of corn, wheat, and rice that pull nitrogen out of the air rather than from material fertilizers. Certain crops, including beans already do this naturally, which is what led scientists to begin a process of trying to artificially splice nitrogen-pulling genes into various other crops.

"We believe if we can get nitron fixing cereals we can deliver much higher yields to farmers in Africa and allow them to grow enough food for themselves," said professor Giles Oldroyd from JIC, lead author of the new study. Sounds great, right? Except that the genetic alterations will plunge even more African farmers into a vicious cycle of having to purchase licenses every year from corporate giants like Monsanto, which prohibit the saving and reusing of their proprietary seeds. And if the new crops fail to deliver as promised, which has happened time and time again with GM crops in the past, the farmers that adopt the patented technology will be in worse shape than if they simply continued on with their traditional crop systems.

"If you look in America, yields haven't increased by any significant amount and often go down,"
said Pete Riley, Campaign Director at GM Freeze, an alliance of organizations that is raising awareness about the deception of GM technologies, about the overall failure of GM crop systems to produce more food than conventional and organic crop systems. "Now we're seeing real, major problems for farmers in terms of weeds that are resistant to the herbicides which GM crops have been modified to tolerate," added Riley.

Africa's best bet; in other words, is to stick with trying to implement more organic polyculture crop systems that utilize what the natural environment has to offer rather than what Monsanto's marketing department claims to offer. Organic crops are still the safest, most nutritious crops available to mankind, and they come with none of the many health and environmental problems caused by GM crops.



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 July 23 - Bugs like it hot: Record heat kicks insects into high gear
 Article: Signs Of The Last Times

As if this summer isn't bad enough already, the unusual warmth is turning bugs extra frisky. "We're calling it a breeding bonanza," says Missy Henriksen of the National Pest Management Association.

Across the country, as a result of record heat, pests from grasshoppers to crickets and ants to bees are arriving earlier and in greater numbers than usual, entomologists at HomeTeam Pest Defense say. "We're seeing an increase in a lot of different pests right now," company entomologist Russ Horton says.

Pest controllers are battling grasshoppers in Texas, ants in Florida, and crickets and bees across the country, he says. "Insects develop more rapidly with higher temperatures," says entomologist David Denlinger of Ohio State University. He adds that insects did well this past winter given the lack of intense cold. Through June, the USA was sweating through its warmest year on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

Insects such as grasshoppers and crickets can be a nuisance to homeowners, but they are "very devastating" in the agricultural world, Horton says. As harvesting season nears, the ongoing hot, dry weather could have grasshoppers and similar insects feeding in greater-than-normal numbers on alfalfa, tobacco and some vegetable crops, says Lee Townsend, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky.

Forty-seven human West Nile virus infections, which mosquitoes spread, have been reported this year to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One man in Texas died from the virus. Drought can drive insects into homes: Ants, for instance, Henriksen says, will come into homes to find water. "If they're not finding it outside, they'll come inside," she says.



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 July 19 - Facial recognition tech is rocketing ahead of laws that can control it
 Article: One World Government

"Many Americans don't realize they're already in a facial recognition database," Jennifer Lynch, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Wednesday in a hearing on the technology. Addressing Senator Al Franken and the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, Lynch pointed out that there is a painful disconnect between how little personal action is required to capture a face and how much personal information can be associated with it. All that, thanks to the Internet. As it is, Lynch said, "Americans can't take precautions to prevent the collection of their image."

Senator Franken called the hearing out of concern for the speed at which facial recognition technology is progressing as its use remains unregulated. Dr. Alessandro Acquisti, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said facial recognition could soon become a casual pursuit as computers get smaller, more powerful, and cloud computing costs come down. "Within a few years, real-time, automated, mass-scale facial recognition will be technologically feasible and economically efficient," Acquisti wrote in a statement; for companies, for friends, and for law enforcement.

Facial recognition has two characteristics that alarmed most members of the panel. First, faces (unlike other common information gatekeepers like passwords or PIN numbers) can't be changed for protection. Second, neither permission nor interaction is required for one person to capture the face of another. If they're in public, their visage is fair game. Facial recognition "creates acute privacy concerns that fingerprints do not" because of the ease of collection, Franken said.

But facial recognition itself is less of a concern than the supplementary data that drives it. Several panelists described scary and intrusive applications of facial recognition: a random person takes a photo of another and an app pulls up their address and the names of family and friends; a camera in a pharmacy recognizes your face and asks loudly whether you need more Imodium-and here's a dollar-off coupon toward your purchase. "It's the aggregation that frightens people," said Dr. Nita Farahany, a professor at the Duke University School of Law. "We don't stop the flow of information, or say certain applications are limited or permissible."

All parties at the hearing agreed that facial recognition can be used to both benefit and take advantage of consumers. But right now, there is little to prevent the advantage-taking. Data sharing settings put in place by aggregation companies have lately been coercive, positioned as take-it-or-leave it scenarios to consumers. Google, for instance, created a broad new privacy policy that gave it much more flexibility in how it collects and uses user data, where users' only way out was deleting their accounts. Facebook also changed its privacy policy in May, adding points like one that allows third-party apps to keep users' information even if the app had been deleted, unless explicitly asked to delete it.

While the hearing was heavy with concerns, solutions or suggestions for legislating facial recognition were not forthcoming. Should it be policed like wiretaps? Should its use be limited like medical information? Franken asked the Federal Trade Commission's representative, Maneesha Mithal, if she could compel the FTC to mandate that companies make facial imprint-related services an explicit opt-in service only. All Mithal could promise was that she would take the request back to her committee for further consideration.



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 July 24 - Tony Blair: 'The West is asleep on the issue of Islamist extremism'
 Article: One World Religion

The Westminster Faith Debates, chaired by his former home secretary Charles Clarke, will close with a conversation tonight between Mr Blair, the Archbishop of Canterbury and me. The subject is religion and society.

The nation's most famous Catholic convert set up his Faith Foundation to tackle such questions. He speaks of the future. The "fundamentalist doctrines of politics", such as fascism and communism, he says, went out with the 20th century. In the 21st, when globalisation has pushed people ever closer together, the disputed territory and, he warns, the "dominant security threat", relate to religion and culture. He wants to provide the "platform" where people of different faiths can together find out what unites them.

Mr Blair cites a meeting at the Davos Economic Forum a few years ago. There were representatives of four different faiths on the platform, each with what he calls ''an exclusive truth claim'' for their religion. He asked them if they thought that only their faith led to salvation. ''It was interesting to see them reacting as politicians react. I spotted all the techniques of walking round it.''

He can't answer his own question fully, he admits. As a Catholic convert, he ''accepts the doctrine of the Catholic Church'', but ''I'm not a doctrinal ideologue''. He feels ''no great revulsion, quite the opposite'' for the Church of England, which he left. He became a Catholic because of his Catholic wife, Cherie, and their family: ''I didn't really analyse a great deal. I just felt more at home there.''

Under the benign influence at Oxford of the Anglican priest Peter Thompson, young Tony came to believe that faith and reason could be reconciled. From this he concluded that different faiths, especially the ''Abrahamic'' religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, could build on what they have in common. Now he reads the scriptures of other faiths, and finds his own enriched. In particular, he reads the Koran.

''I see the Koran very much as an outsider. It stands in the great prophetic tradition of trying to return people to the basic principles of spirituality. Taken for its time, it was an extraordinarily progressive declaration of principle. It is also extraordinary for a Christian to read: for example, there are more references to Mary than in the Gospels. The tragedy is that it has been so warped and misapplied.''

But have you considered, I ask, that you might be wrong about Islam? What if it is not, at root, a religion of peace? He has thought about this but doesn't accept it. He makes a comparison with Christianity. ''At Mass, at the end of the Bible readings, we say 'This is the word of the Lord'. We now take it as the spirit of Biblical teaching. We don't take every element of it as literal. That process took us a long time.'' Islam is wrestling with the same process today.

Very well, then, I say, look at gay marriage, a proposal that troubles many adherents of all the main religions. No comfort for the faithful here: Mr Blair is out of line with his adopted Church. ''I understand why people take a different view,'' he says, but he is in favour of gay marriage. Indeed, it is not really possible to find a public policy issue where he takes a specifically religious view against the prevailing secularism. It is, rather, a broader point: he thinks religion is a benign force in a modern liberal order, not a hostile one.



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 July 25 - Face to face with the 'human barcode'
 Article: Technology For Global Monetary System

Sure, it's cool and easy to pay for stuff with the wave of a smartphone - but why bother when you could just use your face? Fast-evolving biometric technologies are promising to deliver the most convenient, secure connection possible between you and your bank account - using your body itself in place of all of those wallets and purses stuffed with cash, change and plastic cards.

Biometrics is the science of humans' physiological or behaviourial characteristics and it's being used to develop technology that recognizes and matches unique patterns in human fingerprints, faces and eyes and even sweat glands and buttock pressure. Its applications in the financial realm are a potentially huge time and effort saver, but that's just a beginning for the technology's usefulness.

The next generation of fingerprinting is being developed to go beyond simple recognition to incorporate pressure sensors that can determine if a device is being touched by a live object or not, which helps with fraud detection.

A New York-based technology company says its patented sweat-gland recognition technology will help add even more security to existing biometric devices that may be susceptible to fraud. "With most of the biometric technologies, there are ways around most of those technologies - you could lift somebody's fingerprint and create a Latex copy, you can create a contact lens to copy somebody's iris and so on and so forth. We think we'll be the only technology that's 'spoof-proof,' " says Scott McNulty, president and chief executive of

BIOPTid Inc., which owns "the human barcode" technology. The company's One Touch cube, set to be on the market within a year, is an external device that users can hook up to their computers and mobile electronics to replace passwords for Internet logins and banking. The cube reads a personal sweat gland barcode to verify identity from the moisture on a user's fingertip. "With one touch, you can log right into your social networking site, right onto your page. You can instantly purchase something without having a credit card or form of ID," he says.

The move to digital tech for travel is happening in Canada too, which started unrolling e-passports this year. Travellers who want to avoid long border-crossing lines can also sign up for the Canadian Border Services Agency's Nexus program, which uses kiosks to scan the iris of a person's eye and verify their identity.

Thanks to Japanese researchers at the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology, a car seat is being developed that aims to identify a driver by reading body pressure - technology dubbed "butt biometrics" by some tech press following its introduction last year.

Beyond simple identification, biometric situational awareness tools can also help make a judgment call. For example, facial expression recognition is not just about identifying a person, but drawing conclusions about their emotional state.

Thermal monitoring technology has already been used at airports to detect travellers with elevated body temperature that may by carrying diseases, Ms. Yanushkevich notes.



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 July 23 - J.C. Penney's Latest Leap: Retailer to Ditch Cash Registers, Cashiers
 Article: Technology For Global Monetary System

Cash registers could join the ranks of pay phones and typewriters sooner than you think.

J.C. Penney (JCP) will say farewell to cash registers, checkout counters and cashiers by 2014, said Ron Johnson, the chain's CEO, during the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, reports Time.

His plan is to eliminate cashiers, cash registers and checkout counters, replacing them with a patchwork of technology solutions, such as WiFi networks, mobile checkout, RFID (radio frequency identification) technology tracking systems for merchandise, as well as self-checkout options.

"Think of a physical store without a cash wrap," Johnson told the audience, according to Time. "About 10% of all the money we spend, half a billion dollars a year, goes to [checkout] transactions." The money saved by replacing checkout stations with new technology could be invested in improving customer service, he said.

Ryan Taft, managing partner with OnSpot Social, an iPad app for retailers that collects Facebook "likes," Twitter followers and email addresses in-store, believes the retail industry is at the early stages of the end of the widespread use of cash registers.

"In-store marketing through technologies like iPad, RIFD, WiFi, etc, is the future of retail,"
he tells DailyFinance. "Some retailers may do away with cash registers altogether, while others may simply cut down on the number of cash registers, and only use them for larger purchases."

"Retailers still need cash tills because a large percentage of their customers use cash, especially the unbanked consumers," he tells DailyFinance. Still, in the future, "All other transactions can, and will be, conducted using either the retailer's mobile device or the customer's," Fry predicts.
 


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 July 30 - The Happy Priest Reflects on the Miracle of the Eucharist
 Article: Roman Catholic Church And The Last Days

A casual glance at the daily news provides ample evidence of the worldwide chaos caused by many who have rejected God. Rapidly accelerating violence, unbridled hedonism, heedless consumption of resources and rampant corruption, now exceeding previously unimaginable dimensions have resulted from the actions of those who have foolishly tossed aside the truth of Jesus Christ to indulge in their own insatiable proclivities.

Jesus remains with us in the tabernacle of every Catholic Church. His Real Presence is celebrated and adored in the monstrance placed in every chapel dedicated to Perpetual Adoration. He is with us, not just spiritually, but sacramentally as well. This is the miracle of the Eucharist.

When a Catholic priest takes a little piece of unleavened bread and repeats the words that Jesus spoke at the Last Supper, "This is my body," and when he takes a small of amount of wine in a chalice and says, "This is my blood," the bread is no longer bread and the wine is no longer wine.

At every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we participate in a marvelous miracle, the miracle called, in the Latin or Western Catholic Church, Transubstantiation. Belief in the truth of this Mystery of the Faith dates back to its instituion by Jesus Christ Himself. It is affirmed by the unbroken witness of the Apostolic Fathers and the magisterium of the Church.

"The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend. In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really and substantially contained.
This presence is called real - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be real too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1374).

Transubstantiation means "change of substance", or "change of reality." When the priest repeats the words that Jesus spoke at the Last Supper, the bread is no longer bread, and the wine is no longer wine. Instead, the entire substance of the bread and the entire substance of the wine have been changed into the substance of The Body and Blood of Christ.

The Fathers of the Church give witness to the fact that Jesus did not give us a symbol of himself, but rather he empowered his Church to continue his presence throughout the world.

In every Catholic Church or chapel we can come to Jesus as we are: weak, small, sinful and limited because he is truly and really there waiting for us. If Jesus can feed the crowds with the loaves and the fish, if Jesus can change bread and wine into himself, just think what he can do with you if you bring him what you have.



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