(Note: For this HTML emailed-newsletter “posting Test Results,” please see Comments section at bottom of page. Thank you! :)
December 6 – December 12, 2010
News In Review
Vol 5, Issue 35
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.
November 26 – Produce from cloned cattle ‘safe’
Article: Cloning And Genetic Engineering
The conclusion could bring food safety authorities
a step closer to giving the green light for shops to sell foodstuffs from cloned animals.
The controversial practice of using the embryos of cloned animals to breed livestock came under the spotlight in August when it emerged milk and meat from the offspring of cloned cows had reached shops in the UK.
But the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes said there was no evidence of any differences between produce from cloned animals and that from conventionally-bred cattle.
Andrew Wadge, chief scientist at the Food Standards Agency, said: “In considering this hypothetical application, the ACNFP has confirmed thatmeat and milk from cloned cattle and their offspring shows no substantial difference to conventionally produced meat and milk and therefore is unlikely to present a food safety risk.”
Members concluded any potential differences between cloned animals and conventional animals was unlikely to exist beyond the second generation.
November 17 – Holy Land Jews and Muslims pray together for rain
Article: Ecumenical Movement – Misc.Unseasonably dry weather in the Holy Land region, with no predictions of rain in the near future, has led
a group of about 60 local Jewish and Muslim religious leaders, plus one Christian, to join in praying for rain.Rabbi Yehuda Stolov of the Interfaith Encounter Association, which helped organize the gathering, said that the prayers on 11 November were not only a plea to God for much-needed rain but also showed the commonality that the residents of the region shared. The Christian involved was a Roman Catholic priest from Bethlehem.
“They are joint needs. They [the people] need the same things, and they ask for them from the same God,” Stolov told ENInews. “It [the joint prayer session] was a very emotional experience,” said Rabbi Elchanan Nir, coordinator of the Abraham’s Tent group, which brings together rabbis and Muslim sheiks for monthly meetings. Nir said it was the first time such a joint prayer for rain had been held in the Holy Land with rabbis and sheiks, and added, “It was a very strong prayer. We saw them pray, and they saw us pray. I hope it will bring rain, and that it will bring unity.” “The purpose of this joint prayer gathering was to break the boundaries between Jews and Muslims,” Ibrahim Embawi, the Muslim coordinator for Abraham’s Tent, told ENInews. “We both inhabit the same land, and need the same water. We all pray to the same God. If it does not rain, we both will be in trouble.”
November 26 – ‘Tis the Season for Atheist Ads?
Article: Perilous Times
At first glance, the billboard above a New Jersey highway appears to be celebrating the Christmas season, with the iconic images of the Nativity; the manger, the three wise men and the Star of Bethlehem. But this holiday offering is from American Atheists, and it also features the words:
“You know it’s a myth. This season, celebrate reason.”
American Atheists are trying to reach out to what they say are millions of closeted non-believers who are just going through the motions of religious observance during this holiday season.
And the American Humanist Association has launched a television and print ad campaign,
quoting the Bible and the Koran, to show how religion is the root of personal and worldly conflict.
Atheists are boldly acting off recent polls that
show 15 percent of Americans have no religious affiliation and that the number is growing.
But best-selling Christian author and pastor Dr. Timothy Keller says
modern people should exercise a little “cultural humility” when reading the Bible and all ancient texts. He says people need to understand that there are words, idioms, metaphors and cultural norms in the ancient world that offend many people today, and that many of our modes of language today would be difficult to comprehend centuries from now.
Keller also points out that there’s a difference in the Bible between what is descriptive and what is proscriptive, meaning
what the Bible describes as happening, did happen, could happen or will happen is different from what God is actually condoning or commanding.
November 9 – Big Pharma to begin microchipping drugs
Article: One World GovernmentThe age of pharmaceutical microchipping is now upon us. Novartis AG, one of the largest drug companies in the world,
has announced a plan to begin embedding microchips in medications to create “smart pill” technology.The microchip technology is being licensed from Proteus Biomedical ofRedwood City, California. Onceactivated by stomach acid, the embedded microchip begins sensing its environment and broadcasting data to a receiver worn by the patient. This receiver is also a transmitter that can send the data over the internet to a doctor. The idea behind all this is to create “smart pills” that can sense what’s happening in the body and deliver that information to the patient’s doctor. Novartis plans to start microchipping its organ transplant anti-rejection drugs and then potentially expand microchipping to other pharmaceuticals in its product lineup. This same technology could soon end up in pills made by other drug companies, too. Another huge concern with microchips that transmit data is data privacy. If these microchips are broadcasting information, then obviously that information can be picked up by anything nearby, including potentially unscrupulous individuals or organizations who might put it to a nefarious use. Government agents could carry “pharma microchip scanners” that determine what pills you’re taking right now. This could be used to violate your privacy by sharing that data with other government agencies or it could even be sold off to third-party marketing companies. But the really scary part about these microchipped medications is that this technology will be used to make sure people are taking their medication. Drug companies lose billions of dollars a year (in their minds) from patients not remembering to take their pills. So this smart-pill microchip technology will likely be used to track what pills patients have taken so that they can be “gently reminded” to take more pills they may have forgotten. In the marketing business, this is called a “continuity program.” It’s a way to make sure repeat sales happen on a regular basis.
November 26 – Proof Positive that the government rates body scanner resisters as “Non-Islamic Domestic Terrorists”
Article: One World Government
Comment from Understand the Times:Articles posted on the web should be read with an open mind. Readers should always check out the facts for themselves and do not draw conclusions unless research is properly done. This does not mean that all articles on the web are false, nor does it mean that all articles on the web are true. If the following article is true, then one should contact the appropriate authorities and find out if the article is true or false. If the article is true, then one should be concerned about the future, begin reading the Bible and be looking for the coming of the true Savior, Jesus Christ, back to planet earth.My report DHS & TSA: Making a list, checking it twice has apparently stirred a lot of controversy. It has also been met with skepticism and denials about its actual existence. Some find it difficult to believe that our government would actually label
anyone who opposes the use of naked body scanners and aggressive airport pat-downs as “domestic extremists.”
Alternatively, the government has labeled
anyone opposing abortion, illegal immigration, or members of the “alternative media” as “domestic extremists.” Such designations were made infamous by the leaked “MIAC Memo,” a shortened reference to the “strategic report” issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center dated 20 February 2009. Careful research will show that the memo, which was a law enforcement work product that was actually limited in its intended dissemination, was rebuffed by DHS officials and later “retracted.” Government officials downplayed its intent after the publication went “viral.” It was defended as a training aid that was overblown and taken out of context.
To provide insight to those who are concerned over the direction our current leadership is taking our national security, perhaps we should refer to DHS source document IA-0233-09 dated 26 March 2009 titled “Domestic Extremist Lexicon.” It is an eleven page document prepared by the Strategic Analysts Group and the Extremism Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division.
Arranged in alphabetical order, the preface clearly states that that the lexicon
addresses the nature and scope of the threat that domestic, non-Islamic extremism poses to the United States, and specifically names such groups and provides a definition for each.
A perusal of the “threats” identified found the following on page two:
Perhaps one of the more interesting “threats” is listed on page four, which states that any act of “civil disobedience” (including “protests”) is considered a domestic threat to the United States:
To those who remain skeptical that the DHS under the direction of Janet Napolitano, does not classify individuals or groups who would protest the recently enhanced security screening procedures implemented at U.S. airports as non-Islamic domestic terror threats to the U.S. are either in a perilous state of denial or ignorant of the current focus of our “homeland security.” How about right wing “extremism? It’s addressed here:
December 5 – 2G Scam is big enough for JPC UPA obstinacy on mind-boggling Rs 1.74 lakh crore scandal shocks the country
Comment from Understand the Times:Read the Bible first, then read this book. Then you will know how to connect dots. When you connect dots, then you will have many who ridicule you because of who you believe will be true.
December 4 – The Tribe of Young Unbelievers Increases
Article: Misc.Christianity Today recently documented the fact that America’s churches are not only “failing to attract younger worshipers,” but they are also “not holding on to the ones” raised in the church. Research studies indicate that
“70 percent of young people leave the church by age 22” and that figure “increases to 80 percent by age 30.”The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) revealed that the”percentage of Americans claiming ‘no religion’ almost doubled in about two decades” (8.1 percent in 1990 and 15 percent in 2008).
According to Christianity Today, most current unbelievers are, in fact,church dropouts; the “vast majority” are former believers who have quit going to church. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reported in May 2009 that “young Americans are dropping out of religion at a disturbing rate of five to six times the historic rate (30 to 40 percent have no religion today, versus 5 to 10 percent a generation ago).”
In his Weekly Standard review of Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell’s “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us,” Joseph Bottum finds that the “massive increase” – from five percent to 25 percent – of those with “no religion”
is because of a “fear of religion’s apparent lack of tolerance.” In Bottum’s view, Putnam and Campbell see the source of intolerance as sex: “[T]he percentage of Americans who held that premarital sex was not wrong leapt from 24 percent to 47 percent” in the early 70s and “has continued upward ever since.” Indeed, the divisiveness of “libertines and prudes” fighting over sexual morality is what prevents the Putnam and Campbell ideal of a “gentle, get-along religion” that would attract and keep young people in the fold.
Drew Dyck, author of the Christianity Today article, concluded that most young people leaving
the church “had been exposed to a superficial form of Christianity that effectively inoculated them against authentic faith.”
We have failed to “meaningfully share the core content of the Christian faith” with our young people; is it any wonder that they see the church as insignificant and our God as unimportant? No wonder they shrug off that insignificant faith and ignore that irrelevant God when they enter college.
Such banal, faux Christianity is unlikely to bear up under scrutiny and highly unlikely to survive into adulthood. There is a tremendous price to be paid if we do not teach and model the “real thing” for our young people.
November 29 – Cancun climate change summit: scientists call for rationing in developed world
Article: One World Government
Comment from Understand the Times:The 666 plan is getting closer and closer and closer. When the World Government forces Saskatchewan farmers to stop feeding cows feed that causes bad gas and rations the amount of fuel they can use at harvest time because large amounts are being exported to the USA because of the FREE TRADE AGREEMENT,
not even farmers that farm 20,000 acres will be able to survive, ay!What is next? No more smoking cigarettes. What are these world leaders smoking, anyway?In a series of papers published by the Royal Society, physicists and chemists from some of world’s most respected scientific institutions, including Oxford University and the Met Office, agreed that current plans to tackle global warming are not enough. Unless emissions are reduced dramatically in the next ten years the world is set to see temperatures rise by more than 4C (7.2F) by as early as the 2060s, causing floods, droughts and mass migration.
As the world meets in Cancun, Mexico for the latest round of United Nations talks on climate change, the influential academics called for much tougher measures to cut carbon emissions.This would mean a drastic change in lifestyles for many people in countries like Britain as everyone will have to buy less ‘carbon intensive’ goods and services such as long haul flights and fuel hungry cars.
This could mean a limit on electricity so people are forced to turn the heating down, turn off the lights and replace old electrical goods like huge fridges with more efficient models. Food that has travelled from abroad may be limited and goods that require a lot of energy to manufacture.
September 27 – Scanner Vans Allow Drive-By Snooping
Article: One World Government
Privacy-conscious travelers may cringe to think of the full-body scanners finding their way into dozens of airport checkpoints around the country. Most likely aren’t aware that
the same technology, capable of seeing through walls and clothes, has also been rolling out on U.S. streets.
American Science & Engineering ( ASEI – news – people ), a company based in Billerica, Mass., has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter X-ray scanners
mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles or cargo containers to snoop into their contents. And while the biggest buyer of AS&E’s machines over the last seven years has been the Department of Defense for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the company says law enforcement agencies have also been using them domestically, deploying the roving scanners to search for vehicle-based roadside bombs in American cities. “This product is now the largest-selling cargo and vehicle inspection system ever,” says Joseph Reiss, AS&E’s vice president of marketing.
Good news, perhaps, for shareholders–and a nightmare for privacy advocates. “It’s no surprise that governments and vendors are very enthusiastic about [the vans],” says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of Electronic Privacy Information Center (Epic).
“But from a privacy perspective it’s one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable.”
Rotenberg sees the ZBVs as mobile versions of the same full-body scanning technique that has tested Americans’ tolerance for intrusion as it’s been deployed in airports around the country.
Though Reiss admits that the scanners “to a large degree will penetrate clothing,” he points to the lack of features in images of humans like those above and on the previous page, pictures he says show far less detail than is captured in the airport scans. “From a privacy standpoint I’m hard-pressed to see what the concern or objection could be,” he says.
Epic and others like the ACLU say a scan from a moving vehicle on a public road is even more likely to violate the Fourth Amendment than those used in the airport. “Without a warrant the government doesn’t have a right to peer beneath your clothes,” says Rotenberg.
December 7 – Science: NASA Records Solar Blast of Epic Proportions On Tuesday December 07, @05:00PM
Article: Signs Of The Last Times“As predicted, the ‘mega-filament’ of solar magnetism erupted on Dec. 6th, producing a blast of epic proportions. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatoryrecorded the action as the 700,000-km long structure lifted off the stellar surface and–snap!!–hurled itself into space. The eruption produced a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) observed by the STEREO-A spacecraft: video. Earth was not in the line of fire; the cloud should sail wide of our planet. Earth-effects might be limited to pretty pictures.”
November 11 – Is Your Videogame Machine Watching You?
Article: Mics.Microsoft Corp. officials are considering
using the camera on their new Kinect videogame system to target ads to people watching the games.Kinect is a camera peripheral that plugs into the Xbox 360 console and allows players to control games with only body movements. The system uses facial recognition technology to sign in players and match them with their avatars and profiles.
But the technology can also be put to use beyond those purposes, Durkin said in a presentation at an investors conference sponsored by BMO Capital Markets.
“We can cater which content we present to you based on who you are,” Durkin said. “How many people are in the room when an ad is shown? How many people are in the room when a game is being played? When you add this sort of device to a living room, there’s a bunch of business opportunities that come with that.”
Such a system also could raise questions about privacy. In the past few months, targeted online advertising has been facing increasing scrutiny, and the use of cameras and facial recognition would push such technology into a new realm.
December 7 – #25: How To Make Sex Better
Comment from Understand the Times:Has the world gone mad? What are they going to think of next? This site is only for adults. It is postmodern who ha! Open the site at your own risk.Sex, on its own, in the wild, natural and unadorned, is still complicated. Sex isn’t alone in being affected by these things. But for everything that isn’t sex, we apply “lifehacks” to increase our productivity, organization, mood, and leisure time. We read monthly manuals on what to eat to lose weight, how to stay fashionable, what entertainment we might like, and news about our favorite hobbies. Yet we constantly mystify sex. Our culture treats it as this untouchable, morally ambiguous, thing-that-is-not-mentioned that EVERYONE talks and thinks about. We are at the beginnings of an era wherein sex and sexuality will become both more liberated and more complex than any previous era by orders of magnitude.
Transhumanism, as a philosophy and the technologies it embraces, may offer us a chance to finally take some of the stress and mystery, and hence create more enjoyment, over this taboo part of our lives. When Ben Goertzel and I had our little exchange on sex (he mostly ignorned my critique and tsk tsked me), I said “If sex is messy and imperfect, we need to improve it, not get rid of it.” These are just a few ideas working with what we have and what we could accomplish in the near future. In the long term, ideas are absolutely mind bending.Synthetic skin could allow a person to amplify nerve endings all over the body, making every sexual experience otherworldly. Anti-aging might radically alter just how long our “hedonistic” youth is while simultaneously letting us have long term monogamous relationships that don’t have to suffer from the libido dampening effect of aging. Telepresence and virtual reality could help make long distance relationships easier and less taxing. Radical but safe and effective body modifications might allow for entirely new forms of sex and sexuality and gender to emerge.
As with everything transhuman, the goal is not to reduce the very things that make us human, like our sexual drive,
but to open them to new and exciting possibilities. The goal isn’t to guide sex and sexuality towards some version of perfection, but instead to create orders of magnitude more options, to allow better control and safer conditions. Transhumanism is about diversity and choice, why not bring that to sex? Sex can be mystical and is perhaps ultimately ineffable, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it better with technology, knowledge, and freedom.
December 6 – 1984 Arrives in America
Article: One World GovernmentDepartment of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the expansion of the Department’s national “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign to hundreds of Walmart stores across the country-
launching a new partnership between DHS and Walmart to help the American public play an active role in ensuring the safety and security of our nation.Homeland security starts with hometown security, and each of us plays a critical role in keeping our country and communities safe,” said Secretary Napolitano. “I applaud Walmart for joining the ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign.
This partnership will help millions of shoppers across the nation identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to law enforcement authorities.”Over the past five months, DHS has worked with its federal, state, local and private sector partners, as well as the Department of Justice, to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign and Nationwide SAR Initiative to communities throughout the country-including the recent state-wide expansions of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign across Minnesota and New Jersey.
Partners include the Mall of America, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, sports and general aviation industries, and state and local fusion centers across the country.In the coming months, the Department will continue to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign nationally with public education materials and outreach tools designed to help America’s businesses, communities and citizens remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the county safe.
December 5 – Iran Claims Full Control Over Making Nuclear Fuel
Article – Wars And Rumors Of WarsIran claimed Sunday it could now use domestically mined uranium to produce nuclear fuel, giving the country complete control over a process the West suspects is geared toward producing weapons.
Tehran made the claim a day before a new round of nuclear talks with world powers that want to rein in Iran’s uranium enrichment – a process that can be used either to make fuel for nuclear energy or nuclear weapons.
The nuclear chief said Iran had for the first time delivered domestically mined raw uranium to a processing facility – allowing it to bypass U.N. sanctions prohibiting import of the material. Four rounds of U.N. sanctions have targeted Iran’s uranium enrichment program.
Salehi, who is also the country’s vice president, said the step meant Iran was now self-sufficient over the entire nuclear fuel cycle – from extracting uranium ore to enriching it and producing nuclear fuel.
“No matter how much effort they put into their sanctions …
our nuclear activities will proceed and they will witness greater achievements in the future,” he said in an interview with state-run Press TV after the announcement.
Iran’s nuclear chief said
a bigger uranium mine at Saghand, in central Iran, will be inaugurated “in the not too distant future.”
News Alert – December 9 – One World Religion Commercial
Article – One World Religion
Comment from Understand the Times:Rick Warren has called for all religions to work together for PEACE. So has the pope in Rome. So has the Queen of Heaven, also known as the Queen of Peace also known as “Mary” the mother of Jesus, to Roman Catholics.Jesus Christ said there is only one way to peace. The present road map to peace authored by George Bush Jr. is a plan by the New World Order that was promoted by his father, George Sr. and also the pope in Rome, which is now history that has been recorded.WHY IS IT THAT FEW PEOPLE CAN SEE WHAT IS GOING ON? WHY IS IT THAT WHEN SOME SEE WHAT IS GOING ON THEY ARE CONSIDERED CRACKPOTS OR JUST STUPID FARMERS? PLEASE WATCH THE FOLLOWING SHORT VIDEO CLIP ON THE COMING ONE WORLD RELIGION FOR PEACE HEADED UP BY THE COMING ANTICHRIST
December 7 – Hamas: Kill Christians and Jews “to the last one”
Article – Signs Of The Last Times
Comment from Understand the Times:The Bible teaches that we should love your neighbors as yourselves. Something is wrong with the way some religions think and act because they do not love others. As a result, the Bible also states:Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
November 29 – Cancun talks start with a call to the gods
Article: Misc.With United Nations climate negotiators facing an uphill battle to advance their goal of reducing emissions linked to global warming, it’s no surprise that the woman steering the talks appealed to a Mayan goddess Monday.
Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change,
invoked the ancient jaguar goddess Ixchel in her opening statement to delegates gathered in Cancun, Mexico, noting that Ixchel was not only goddess of the moon, but also “the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you — because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools.”
She called for “a balanced outcome” which would marry financial and emissions commitments from industrialized countries aimed at combating climate change with “the understanding of fairness that will guide long-term mitigation efforts.”
Excellencies, the goddess Ixchel would probably tell you that a tapestry is the result of the skilful interlacing of many threads,” said Figueres, who hails from Costa Rica and started her greetings in Spanish before switching to English. “I am convinced that 20 years from now, we will admire the policy tapestry that you have woven together and think back fondly to Cancun and the inspiration of Ixchel.”
Delegates from 193 countries are gathered in Cancun for the two-week meeting, which kicked off today at 10:20 a.m. local time, or 11:20 a.m. Eastern. Mexican President Felipe Calderon, a major proponent of action on climate change, attended the opening. Two weeks from now, we’ll have a sense of whether Ixchel — and the delegates — were listening to Figueres’s appeal.
December 5 – Ted Turner urges global one-child policy to save planet
Article: One World GovernementClimate change and population control can make for a politically explosive mix, as media mogul Ted Turner demonstrated Sunday when
he urged world leaders to institute a global one-child policy to save the Earth’s environment.Mr. O’Neill’s study concluded that a rapidly rising global population is contributing to an acceleration of emission growth, and that
widespread availability of family planning could reduce the amount of emissions reductions required in 2050 by as much as 30 per cent.Mr. Turner –
a long-time advocate of population control – said the environmental stress on the Earth requires radical solutions, suggesting countries should follow China’s lead in instituting a one-child policy to reduce global population over time. He added that fertility rights could be sold so that poor people could profit from their decision not to reproduce.“If we’re going to be here [as a species] 5,000 years from now, we’re not going to do it with seven billion people,” Mr. Turner said.“If we do it the wrong way, we can divide the world,” Ms. Robinson said. “A lot of people in the climate world could communicate this very badly.”But critics contend it has not only interfered with reproductive choice, but contributed to high levels of female infanticide and abortions.For his part, Mr. O’Neill said he was not advocating any particular policy, although he noted that global surveys suggest there is a vast, unmet demand for family planning, and just making contraception universally available on a voluntary basis would drive down the birth rate.
December 10 – Let Designer Kids Be Kids
Article: Cloning And Genetic EngineeringCould it be that genetic engineering might be part of what cures us of the hyper-parenting pandemic? Katie Roiphe over at Slate is worried about helicopter parents screwing up their kids by trying to perfect them:
You know the child I am talking about: precious, wide-eyed, over-cared-for, fussy, in a beautiful sweater, or a carefully hipsterish T-shirt. Have we done him a favor by protecting him from everything, from dirt and dust and violence and sugar and boredom and egg whites and mean children who steal his plastic dinosaurs, from, in short, the everyday banging-up of the universe? The wooden toys that tastefully surround him, the all-sacrificing, well-meaning parents, with a library of books on how to make him turn out correctly – is all of it actually harming or denaturing him?
Instead, Roiphe was referring to parents obsessing over every aspect of their child’s lives, as if some misstep in the minutia would produce an invalid. These parents seem to accept the nature/nurture divide and, realizing there is nothing they can do to improve the genetic make-up of their little bundle of joy, attempt to overwhelm nature with nurture.
Yet in the process parents are inhibiting the, ahem, natural ways in which children learn and develop: unstructured play, exploration, discovery, and getting hurt. How can we get helicopter parents to back off? Maybe with genetic engineering?
December 10 – Murdoch and the Middle East
The juiciest U.S. embassy cable leaked this week, from a media perspective, was this one, from the American embassy in Saudi Arabia. Broadly, it describes the way American programming on Saudi-owned satellite broadcasters like MBC and Rotana is winning war of ideas in ways that American-funded Al Hurra never could.
But that’s not really news. The New York Times has done a fair amount of reporting on this, including a big profile of how popular Oprah, broadcast on top-rated MBC, is in Saudi Arabia. It’s only interesting that this unignorable cultural phenomenon was taken so seriously at the diplomatic level.
The newsiest nugget, Howard Kurtz rightly points out today, is the item revealing that Rupert Murdoch’s son had been in talks with the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, the country’s biggest publisher, about launching an Arabic-languge edition of the Wall Street Journal. Prince Waleed bin Talal, a part owner in News Corp, also owns about a third of SMPG. That Saudi publisher was also trying to score a contract to publish the International Herald Tribune.
The talks didn’t appear to go anywhere, and News Corp wouldn’t comment on them to Kurtz. But the May 2009 cable is useful as yet another piece of evidence of News Corp’s early interest in doing business in the Middle East at a time when other major media companies were dipping a tentative toe in, at best
December 10 – Conference on Emerging Christianity held at Texas Christian University
Article: Emerging ChurchChristians emerging into an age of vast cultural change are exploring new ways to attract people disenchanted with the established ways of church life, speakers said at a conference this month.
“God is doing
a new thing among us, whether we like it or not,” said author Phyllis Tickle, who spoke at Emerging Christianity: New Ways of Thinking and Following Christ, held at Texas Christian University.
Tickle told about 450 Methodists, moderate Baptists, Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Disciples of Christ that many churches are becoming revitalized by adopting new methods and returning to Jesus’ basic message of loving God and other people and reaching out to the poor and disenfranchised. “Protestantism is not dying,” Tickle said. “We ain’t dead.
We are just going through a new emergence of Christianity.”
Speakers at the conference are identified with the sometimes controversial Emerging Church movement, which calls for new ways of worship and thinking about the Bible and theology. It champions accepting all people and practicing Jesus’ teachings of helping the oppressed. Emerging churches also use new media technology, said Tony Jones, author of The New Christians: Dispatches From the Emergent Frontier. He conducted a pre-conference workshop on how church leaders can better use the Internet, including webcasts, Twitter and Facebook.
“We took out the pews and put in couches so we could see each other face to face,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we are not doing church.” The conference, for most people, was a wake-up call to seek better ways to practice faith at their own churches.
We hope the Weekly News In Review has been a blessing to you.
Roger OaklandUnderstand The Times, International
Understand The Times, International | P.O. Box 27239 | Santa Ana | CA | 92799