Hundreds of Christians were under siege inside Cairo’s Coptic cathedral last night as security forces and local residents, some armed with handguns, launched a prolonged and unprecedented attack on the seat of Egypt’s ancient Church.
At least one person was killed and at least 84 injured as Christians inside the walled St Mark’s cathedral compound came under a frenzied assault from their assailants in the main road outside.
The fighting erupted after a mass funeral for five Copts who were killed during violent clashes in a north Egyptian town on Saturday. A Muslim man also died in the clashes, which happened after an Islamic institute was daubed with offensive graffiti.
Following yesterday’s service thousands of Christians poured out on to the street and began chanting slogans against Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian President and long-time member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“The Muslim Brotherhood and extremist groups here want us to leave. They don’t accept Copts. But this was our country, ever since the time of the pharaohs.”
Late last night President Morsi issued a statement in which he said he had spoken to Pope Tawadros II, the leader of the Coptic church, and had given orders for the cathedral and citizens to be guarded. He said protecting the lives of Muslims and Christians was a state responsibility and added: “I consider any attack on the cathedral as an attack on me, personally.”
The man killed in the clashes outside the cathedral was named by the state news agency, MENA, as Mahrous Hana Tadros, a Christian name. MENA said 11 of the 84 injured were police officers.
Earlier, witnesses described how they were attacked by locals from Abbasiyya, the north-east Cairo neighbourhood where the cathedral is located. After being hit by rocks from the roofs of nearby buildings, the mourners were reportedly forced back into the cathedral compound.
Wael Eskandar, an Egyptian blogger who attended the funeral, said he saw people being showered with broken bottles from the roof of an apartment block opposite. After being attacked, he said, the people “started racing out of the side street and destroying the nearby cars”. He added that he was not sure if those attacking the vehicles were mourners. As night fell the streets around St Mark’s were echoing to the sound of gunshots and exploding tear gas canisters. Young men on either side of the 18ft-high compound wall exchanged a continuous hail of rocks and broken masonry. Others hurled Molotov cocktails and let off fireworks.
The security forces positioned outside the cathedral launched volley after volley of tear gas into the compound. Some of the thousands of onlookers gathered in the road cheered as the canisters rocketed towards Christians perched on the walls overlooking the main street.
One young man, his right hand clasped around a shiny steel handgun, clambered on top of a petrol station alongside the cathedral and blasted a single round at those trapped inside. He was helped down by a friend who was also carrying a handgun, before they both jogged off through a nearby line of riot police who had been watching the young man take aim. Soon afterwards there was a flash from inside the compound as a young man stepped up on to the perimeter wall and fired a weapon towards the thousands of onlookers below.
A second later a number of people recoiled as they were hit by birdshot. Handguns and other weapons, many of them homemade, are becoming a more common feature of the violence which has regularly convulsed the country since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.
“Only God can save us from what is happening right now,” said Mina Zakaraya, a 25-year-old Coptic seminarian who was positioned inside the compound. At the cathedral’s rear entrance, panicked young men ushering people inside demanded to see the cross which most Copts have tattooed on their wrist.
“I’m worried about the situation in Egypt,” said Makram Girgis as he sat on the steps leading up to the imposing cathedral building. source - Independent UK
Friday, April 5, 2013, Dave Hunt drew his final breath and entered into the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His beloved wife Ruth was at his side.
As a young man, he served in the military toward the end of World War II. Afterward, he attended UCLA and received a degree in mathematics. It was during that time that he met the love of his life, Ruth Klassen. In 1950, they were married, and since both loved the outdoors, they enjoyed a beautiful honeymoon hiking in the High Sierras—perfect for two young people madly in love and with very little money to their name. Marriage was soon followed by the birth of two sons and two daughters. Ruth was a busy mother and also a gifted writer herself. She had a tremendous interest in and knowledge of history, a gift that would help Dave further down the road. Dave’s own career path led him into a position as a CPA/management consultant and later as the manager of several corporations.
Along with church-related activities, Dave initiated and became involved in numerous campus ministries and meetings in their home, with a special outreach to Jewish young people and foreign students. Many of these have stayed in touch with Dave and Ruth through the years, fondly recalling their times spent in Bible studies at the Hunts’ house.
Dave and Ruth also traveled abroad, spending time in various locations throughout Europe, meeting with believers there and ministering in many ways while raising their own family. Dave also brought Bibles and other materials into the Soviet Union during a time when it was very difficult to do so. Throughout his later years, he and Ruth traveled extensively as he was invited to speak in churches and fellowships, large and small, all over the world. Often they stayed in people’s homes, dining with them, learning their customs, and sharing God’s Word and God’s love.
The desire of Dave’s heart was ultimately to be involved in fulltime ministry, especially since he saw firsthand everywhere he went the breaking down of the true church as the world began to work its way into her midst. He began to write in 1973, warning believers about the incursion into Western culture and into the church itself of Eastern religion, psychological and selfist philosophies, ecumenism, and other unbiblical teachings.
The ministry of The Berean Call was founded by Dave in 1992. It grew out of a previous organization, of which Dave was also a founding member since 1986. With T.A. McMahon working alongside him at The Berean Call, Dave was able to share his love for and defense of Christ in the subsequent newsletters, books, videos, and speaking engagements that resulted from this ministry. Dave and T.A. wrote three books together, including the best-known The Seduction of Christianity , which was groundbreaking in its boldness, exposing false teachings in the church and daring to identify the names of the ones behind the deception.
By the early 2000s, Dave’s love for Christ and his desire to defend the name of the Lord had grown even stronger, and his concern over Islamic politics and religion are reflected in many of his articles, lectures, books, and interviews.
Then Richard Dawkins and the “new atheists” came onto the scene with a vengeance, seeking to destroy the very concept of God in the minds of everyone. Dave began to write and teach and speak more passionately than ever about the absolute truth that is in the Word of God and our need to immerse ourselves in it daily in order to prevent being taken up in the evolutionist delusion that is sweeping the world.
One of Dave’s favorite activities was to see whom God would seat next to him on airplanes as he traveled and spoke. He often said that he “could prove the existence of God” just by these providential occurrences. While writing about Islam, he would end up seated next to a Muslim who didn’t really understand what Islam was about but was eager to hear the difference between the Bible and the Qur’an. When writing about creation vs. evolution, the Lord would bring him, as a seat companion, an atheistic scientist who thought he had all the answers and was very surprised that there was another verifiable explanation to this universe.
Dave’s bold yet loving approach to any situation allowed him entrance into these conversations where many others would have been shut out. His love for Jesus, for Israel, and for people in general was obvious to all. His enthusiasm for the truth, along with his anger over the sin and wickedness that he knew was robbing people of what God wanted for them, flamed his desire to share the Lord with anyone with whom he had contact.
At least 4 million copies of his books have been sold, many of them translated into more than 50 languages. They include: The Cult Explosion; The God Makers (with Ed Decker); The Seduction of Christianity (with T.A. McMahon); Global Peace and the Rise of Antichrist; Peace, Prosperity, and the Coming Holocaust; The New Spirituality (with T.A. McMahon); Whatever Happened to Heaven?; Occult Invasion; A Woman Rides the Beast; A Cup of Trembling; In Defense of the Faith; An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith ; To Russia with Love (with Hans Kristian); What Love Is This?; Countdown to the Second Coming; Seeking and Finding God; Honest Doubts; Judgment Day!: Islam, Israel, and the Nations; Yoga and the Body of Christ; and his final book, Cosmos, Creator, and Human Destiny.
He also wrote two novels, The Mind Invaders (formerly The Archon Conspiracy ) and Sanctuary of the Chosen, along with a children’s book called The Money Tree , illustrated by his daughter Karen.
This is by no means a complete listing of all of Dave’s works. One of his videos, Israel, Islam & Armageddon, has become a tremendous tool for churches and for anyone interested in helping to spread the truth about events prior to and since the attack on the World Trade Center. His video A Woman Rides the Beast is a favorite among those who are witnessing to Catholics, a group for whom Dave had a deep love and sorrow, desiring to see them come to the knowledge of the truth.
Dave Hunt’s own drive to find and then deliver the truth is evident in everything he did. His impeccable research and recognized scholarship were based on in-depth studies of original documents and publications, interviews with key experts from around the world, and extensive travel—including to South America, Australia, Europe, India, and throughout the Middle East.
Dave has left us a legacy of inestimable value. We are blessed to be able to see and hear and read what he has taught about the evidence for God in a breathtaking number of materials. From explaining about the history of Christianity, to exposing the deception that has crept into the church, to teaching about the prophecies that are being fulfilled even today, this humble, brilliant man will go on teaching us for a very long time. We look forward to the day when we will see him again. source – Berean Call
North Korea tells foreigners to ‘get out’
All government embassies have been instructed to evacuate staff from Pyongyang after dictator Kim Jong-un warned he could not ‘guarantee the safety of foreigners.’ The rogue communist state issued a deadline of April 10 to every government that is represented in North Korea in a dramatic new escalation of the nuclear crisis.
Today the British Foreign Office confirmed it had been told its staff were at risk while Russia said it was in ‘close contact with the U.S, China and South Korea’ about airlifting workers out. Advice for tourists is set to change after North Korea moved a second missile to its east coast, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
About two dozen countries have embassies in North Korea – the U.S. doesn’t currently have diplomatic relations with North Korea and the State Department told MailOnline it doesn’t have a figure on the number of Americans who may be in the country.
U.S. citizens in the country are likely to include adventure seeking tourists and some defectors and prisoners who remained following the end of the Korean War in the 1950s. Sweden acts as the protecting power of U.S. interests in North Korea for consular matters.
The range of the missile is unknown – yesterday the rogue state moved a missile with a range of 3,000km (1,800m) to the same area which is within firing distance of Japan – and claimed it would be ‘merciless’ against its enemies.
Both missiles have been loaded on to mobile launchers and hidden in special underground facilities, according to a government official. ‘The North is apparently intent on firing the missiles without prior warning,’ he added.
Today South Korea deployed two warships with missile-defence systems, reports say, a day after the North apparently moved a missile to its east coast. Military officials said the two warships would be deployed on the east and west coasts.
Russia’s foreign minister says Moscow doesn’t understand why North Korea has suggested that Moscow and other countries close their embassies in Pyongyang, and he says he’s concerned about the high tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted Friday during a visit to Uzbekistan as saying that Russia is in touch with China, the United States, Japan and South Korea – all members of a dormant talks process with North Korea – to try to figure out the motivation.
‘We are very perturbed about the supercharged tensions, which for now are verbal. We want to understand the causes of this proposal,’ Lavrov said, according to the Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti. source – Daily Mail UK
Obama is rapidly destroying the Second Amendment
The Second Amendment got attacked this week from three sides, leaving gun owners scrambling to find safe ground. President Obama has picked up victories with his allies in blue states and at the United Nations.
After Thursday, Connecticut should consider changing its state nickname from the “Constitution State” to the “Unconstitutional State,” as Gov. Dannel Malloy signed an extremely restrictive gun-control law. The bill passed the state House Thursday morning and the Senate on Wednesday.
Before the Newtown tragedy, the Brady Campaign determined that Connecticut was the fifth highest-rated state for restrictive gun-control laws. Adam Lanza ignored those laws — such as including stealing the guns, carrying them without a permit and violating the federal “gun free” school zone — in his evil mission to murder school children and teachers.
Connecticut lawmakers decided that its current “assault weapon” ban, which had a two-characteristic test, was not severe enough, so all semi-automatic rifles with one scary-looking feature are illegal. The bill cites 100 specific makes and models that are banned, such as the AR and AK.
There is a new eligibility certificate required before purchasing or receiving a long gun, which is defined as any firearm that is not a pistol or revolver. These certificates cost $35 and are issued by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, but there is no time limit on how long the application process can take.
Also, buying or even transferring a long gun — such as a father passing down his shotgun to his son — requires a background check and registration. The penalty for violating this provision could be a felony. Connecticut expanded the category of citizens who are permanently prohibited from having a rifle or shotgun to include those who have been convicted of misdemeanors including possession of as little as one-half ounce of marijuana or “unlawful restraint.”
Starting Oct. 1, a gun permit or a new “ammunition certificate” will be required to buy ammunition and magazines. Standard magazines that are considered “large capacity” — which is over 10 rounds — will be illegal. The penalty for a first-time offense of possession of this magazine, purchased before Jan 1., 2014, will be a $90 fine. The penalty will be a class D felon for subsequent offenses or for magazines obtained after that date,
Below the Mason-Dixon line, Maryland may have to change its state nickname from the “Free State” to the “Disarmed State” since only the law-abiding will be affected by its new gun-control law. After months of intense pressure from Gov. Martin O’Malley, the state House passed Wednesday a radical new gun-control law. The Senate is expected to pass it Thursday, and it will then be signed by Mr. O’Malley. source – WashTimes
Welcome To “Forward!”
America, we begged you to listen to us. We implored you to stop and consider the consequences of returning Obama and his cronies to occupy the White House for another four years. We told you, in great detail, what his plans were. And this story today is merely the tip of the iceberg, just the very beginnings of what you can expect in Obama’s America. He is working to poison the food supply, ban guns from honest citizens, preparing to declare martial law, and now you can see he has full control of your healthcare, and is turning off the flow of live-saving medicine.
America, this is what you asked for. This is what you voted for. Trust in Jesus before it’s too late…
From Wash Post: Cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of Medicare patients, blaming the sequester budget cuts. Oncologists say the reduced funding, which took effect for Medicare on April 1, makes it impossible to administer expensive chemotherapy drugs while staying afloat financially.
Patients at these clinics would need to seek treatment elsewhere, such as at hospitals that might not have the capacity to accommodate them.
“If we treated the patients receiving the most expensive drugs, we’d be out of business in six months to a year,” said Jeff Vacirca, chief executive of North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates in New York. “The drugs we’re going to lose money on we’re not going to administer right now.”
After an emergency meeting Tuesday, Vacirca’s clinics decided that they would no longer see one-third of their 16,000 Medicare patients. “A lot of us are in disbelief that this is happening,” he said. “It’s a choice between seeing these patients and staying in business.”
Some who have been pushing the federal government to spend less on health care say this is not the right approach.
“I don’t think there was an intention to disrupt care or move it into a more expensive setting,” said Cathy Schoen, senior vice president of the Commonwealth Fund, which recently released a plan for cutting $2 trillion in health spending. “If that’s the case, we’re being penny-wise and a pound-foolish with these cuts.”
Legislators meant to partially shield Medicare from the automatic budget cuts triggered by the sequester, limiting the program to a 2 percent reduction — a fraction of the cuts seen by other federal programs.
But oncologists say the cut is unexpectedly damaging for cancer patients because of the way those treatments are covered.
Medications for seniors are usually covered under the optional Medicare Part D, which includes private insurance. But because cancer drugs must be administered by a physician, they are among a handful of pharmaceuticals paid for by Part B, which covers doctor visits and is subject to the sequester cut.
The federal government typically pays community oncologists for the average sales price of a chemotherapy drug, plus 6 percent to cover the cost of storing and administering the medication. Since oncologists cannot change the drug prices, they argue that the entire 2 percent cut will have to come out of that 6 percent overhead. That would make it more akin to a double-digit pay cut.
“If you get cut on the service side, you can either absorb it or make do with fewer nurses,” said Ted Okon, director of the Community Oncology Alliance, which advocates for hundreds of cancer clinics nationwide. “This is a drug that we’re purchasing. The costs don’t change and you can’t do without it. There isn’t really wiggle room.”
Okon’s group has sent letters to legislators urging them to exempt cancer drugs from the sequester or, as a back-up, only shave 2 percent off the money they receive to administer the medications. source – Washington Post
SEOUL — The North Korean army said Thursday it had final approval to launch “merciless” military strikes on the United States, involving the possible use of “cutting-edge” nuclear weapons.
In a statement published by the official KCNA news agency, the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) said it was formally informing Washington that reckless US threats would be “smashed by… cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means”.
“The merciless operation of (our) revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified,” the statement said. “The US had better ponder over the prevailing grave situation,” it added.
North Korea had threatened a “pre-emptive” nuclear strike against the United States a month ago, and last week the supreme army command ordered its strategic rocket units to combat status for strikes on the US mainland and US bases in Guam and Hawaii.
“The moment of explosion is approaching fast,” Thursday’s statement said, adding that a war could break out on the Korean peninsula “today or tomorrow”.
“In view of this situation, the KPA General Staff in charge of all operations will take powerful practical military counteractions in succession,” it said.
Despite a successful long-range rocket launch in December, most experts believe North Korea is years from developing a genuine inter-continental ballistic missile that could strike the mainland United States.
Hawaii and Guam would also be outside the range of its medium-range missiles, which would be capable, however, of striking US bases in South Korea and Japan.
The army statement said responsibility for the current crisis “entirely rests” with the United States, citing the participation of nuclear-capable US B-52s and B-2 stealth bombers in ongoing joint military drills with South Korea.
“Never has the whole Korean peninsula been exposed to such danger of a nuclear war as today,” it added. source – Google
The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday signed off on a sweeping, first-of-its-kind treaty to regulate the international arms trade, brushing aside worries from U.S. gun rights advocates that the pact could lead to a national firearms registry and disrupt the American gun market.
The long-debated U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) requires countries to regulate and control the export of weaponry such as battle tanks, combat vehicles and aircraft and attack helicopters, as well as parts and ammunition for such weapons. It also provides that signatories will not violate arms embargoes, international treaties regarding illicit trafficking, or sell weaponry to countries for genocide, crimes against humanity or other war crimes.
With the Obama administration supporting the final treaty draft, the General Assembly vote was 154 to 3, with 23 abstentions. Iran, Syria and North Korea voted against it.
American gun rights activists, though, insist the treaty is riddled with loopholes and is unworkable in part because it includes “small arms and light weapons” in its list of weaponry subject to international regulations. They do not trust U.N. assertions that the pact is meant to regulate only cross-border trade and would have no impact on domestic U.S. laws and markets.
Critics of the treaty were heartened by the U.S. Senate’s resistance to ratifying the document, assuming President Obama sent it to the chamber for ratification. In its budget debate late last month, the Senate approved a non-binding amendment opposing the treaty offered by Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, with eight Democrats joining all 45 Republicans backing the amendment.
“The U.S. Senate is united in strong opposition to a treaty that puts us on level ground with dictatorships who abuse human rights and arm terrorists, but there is real concern that the Administration feels pressured to sign a treaty that violates our Constitutional rights,” Mr. Moran said. “Given the apparent support of the Obama Administration for the ATT, members of the U.S. Senate must continue to make clear that any treaty that violates our Second Amendment freedoms will be an absolute nonstarter for ratification.”
Mr. Inhofe likewise said Mr. Obama should take the Senate vote seriously.
source – Washington Times