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The Editor, 21/08/2012
An international grouping of evangelical denominations, ministries and academics has written to the Church of Scotland expressing its deep concern for the situation surrounding the Tron Church.
RUSSIA RETURNS TO STRICTER CONTROL
The Kremlin has reverted to its strict policies of 2003-2007, cracking down on its opponents to get the population back under control after a tumultuous year.
As part of this campaign, the last of the Western-backed Cold War radio programs, Radio Svoboda (Liberty), will shut down Nov. 10 when a new law forbidding foreign control of broadcasting licenses goes into effect.
This is just one in a series of laws recently passed by the Kremlin that puts restrictions on the Internet, labels nongovernmental agencies as "foreign agents," and cracks down on the opposition.
Opposition leader Vladimir Ryzhkov called the silencing of Radio Svoboda a "blow to freedom of the media in Russia."
PARENTS KILL DAUGHTER FOR LOOKING AT A BOY
A mother and father in Pakistan-administered Kashmir killed their 15-year-old daughter by dousing her with acid after seeing her talking to a young man, police say.
Local police officer Tahir Ayub told AFP the father, Mohammad Zafar, was already suspicions about his daughter Anvu Sha and became enraged when he saw her with a boy outside their home on Monday.
"Zafar beat her up and then poured acid over her with the help of his wife. She was badly burnt but they did not take her to hospital until the next morning, and she died on Wednesday," Mr Ayub said.
Doctor Mohammad Jahangir of the state-run Kotli hospital said the girl was brought to hospital in a "very critical condition" with almost 70 per cent burns.
Police were alerted by Anvu Sha's married elder sister who demanded they investigate the incident in Khoi Ratta district, 87 miles north of the state capital, Muzaffarabad.
THE RAPE AND MURDER OF CHRISTIAN CHILDREN IN PAKISTAN
The West sighed in relief when Rimsha Masih, the 14-year-old Christian girl arrested in Pakistan on August 16 for allegedly burning pages of the Quran, was finally released. Yet the West remains clueless concerning the graphic abuses—including rape and murder—Christian children in Pakistan routinely suffer, simply for being Christian. Consider two stories alone, both of which occurred at the same time Rimsha’s blasphemy ordeal was making headlines around the world.
On August 14, another Christian girl, 12-year-old Muqadas Kainat (which means “Holy Universe”) was ambushed in a field near her home in Sahawil by five Muslim men who “gang raped and murdered” her. At the time, her father was at a hospital visiting her sick mother.
Similarly, on August 20, an 11-year-old Christian boy, Samuel Yaqoob, went to the markets of Faisalabad to buy food for his family, never to return. According to Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, “After extensive searching his body was found near a drain in the Christian colony, bearing marks of horrific torture, with the murder weapon nearby.
Full story ...
ISRAEL CONSIDERS RESPONSE TO ROCKET ATTACKS FROM GAZA
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held security consultations on Monday night to weigh a military response to the continuous barrage of rockets, as the worried international community urged restraint.
“We’ll take whatever action is necessary to put a stop to this. This is not merely our right, it’s also our duty,” Netanyahu told a large meeting of foreign ambassadors in Ashkelon during the afternoon.
In the middle of the day, Netanyahu invited all the foreign ambassadors in Israel to talk with him in Ashkelon about the Gazan rockets. They met in a large unprotected auditorium along the seashore that was within rocket range, so he could make the case that the violent barrage against Israel’s citizens was intolerable.
To his left as he spoke, laid out on a table was a small arsenal of rockets and missiles that had been launched into Israel, including a Kassam, a Grad and a Katushya of Iranian or Chinese origin.
From the podium, Netanyahu looked out at the ambassadors who sat on rows of folded chairs. To underscore their vulnerability, Netanyahu told them, “If an alarm is sounded, all of us have exactly 30 seconds to find shelter.”
He explained that they were not the only ones in danger. “This is the situation in which one million Israelis find themselves.That’s families, old people, children, babies,” he said. They are targeted on a daily basis by those who took over the area that Israel vacated in 2005 when it withdrew from the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu continued, saying that those who launch the rockets hide behind civilians in Gaza so they can target Israeli civilians.
“I don’t know of any of the citizens of your cities, who could find that acceptable and something that could proceed on a normal basis. The whole world understands that this is not acceptable,” Netanyahu said. He added that neither he nor the people of Israel would continue to tolerate it. “Any fair-minded person in any fair-minded government in the world would understand that it’s our right to defend our people, and this is what we shall do,” Netanyahu said.
LONDON AND THE LARGEST MOSQUE IN EUROPE
A radical Islamic group has applied for a permit to build one of the largest mosques in the world, in London.
The East London super-mosque, known as the Abbey Mills Riverine Center, would hold up to 10,000 worshippers. It would be the largest religious building in Britain and the largest mosque in Europe.
By comparison, Britain's largest cathedral, the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool, can hold no more than 3,000 worshippers, and St. Paul's Cathedral, one of the iconic features of the London skyline, has a capacity of 2,500.
The 16-acre site near the Olympic Village in West Ham in the London Borough of Newham would include two 40-foot minarets, an Islamic library, a dining hall, tennis courts, sports facilities, eight apartments for visiting Muslim clerics and hundreds of parking spaces (photos here).
Much of the funding for the super-mosque, which will cost an estimated £100 million ($160 million), is expected to come from Saudi Arabia.
BILLIONAIRES DUMPING STOCKS
Despite the 6.5% stock market rally over the last three months, a handful of billionaires are quietly dumping their American stocks . . . and fast.
Warren Buffett, who has been a cheerleader for U.S. stocks for quite some time, is dumping shares at an alarming rate. He recently complained of “disappointing performance” in dyed-in-the-wool American companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods.
In the latest filing for Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has been drastically reducing his exposure to stocks that depend on consumer purchasing habits. Berkshire sold roughly 19 million shares of Johnson & Johnson, and reduced his overall stake in “consumer product stocks” by 21%. Berkshire Hathaway also sold its entire stake in California-based computer parts supplier Intel.
EGYPT'S MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD CALLS FOR JIHAD TO 'FREE PA'
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is calling for a jihad (“holy war”) to liberate the Palestinian Authority areas. "Jihad is obligatory” for Muslims, top Islamic cleric Mohammed Badei said, adding that peace deals with Israel are a “game of grand deception".
Badei added that there have been enough negotiations and that the “enemy knows nothing but the language of force.” The Muslim Brotherhood and its members – of which Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is one – do not recognize and refuse to hold direct talks with the State of Israel.
The call came just one day after the Brotherhood's former presidential candidate, who won the national election in June, sealed a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza's ruling Hamas terrorist organization.
PROTESTS AGAINST 'EGYPTS NEW PHAROAH'
Opposition to Egypt’s Islamist president is mounting, with large-scale protests against recent moves that have been denounced as “a coup against democracy”.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets, first against a decree issued on 22 November in which President Morsi granted himself sweeping powers, and again following the approval by his Islamist allies of a draft constitution that was rushed through on 30 November.
Opponents have accused Morsi of becoming a dictator. Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, a leading figure in a new opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front (NSF), said Morsi and his allies were “staging a coup against democracy” and the president had "usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt's new pharaoh.
EGYPT: TWO PRESIDENTIAL AIDES RESIGN
Two of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's aides have resigned as clashes and protests continue outside the presidential palace, Al Arabiya and Ahram Online reported Dec. 5. According to one of the aides, the resignations came in protest of the harm the Muslim Brotherhood has done to the country and the revolution.
Meanwhile web-based news outlet Ahram Online has declared its full support for the strike action undertaken on Tuesday by a large number of major Egyptian newspapers and TV stations in defence of freedom of the press, freedom of expression, civil liberties and the rule of law.
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