But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
(1 Corinthians 15:10)

I Am What I Am

IF.....

Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;


If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;


If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster


And treat those two impostors just the same;


If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken


Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,


Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,


And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings 


And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,


And lose, and start again at your beginnings


And never breathe a word about your loss;


If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew


To serve your turn long after they are gone,


And so hold on when there is nothing in you


Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,


' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,


If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,


If all men count with you, but none too much;


If you can fill the unforgiving minute


With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,


Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,


And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!


All success is an unmerited grace.” Dr. Timothy Keller

I am what I am...” which Paul spoke in 1 Corinthians, is apparently not true or acceptable to some of the worlds leading scientists, researchers, think tanks etc. as we shall read below.

Transhumanism has gained tremendous inroads into the field of human engineering.

Trans humanism, abbreviated as H+ or h+, is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. Trans humanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as study the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies. They predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label “post human”.

Trans humanism has been condemned by one critic, Francis Fukuyama, as the world's most dangerous idea, while one proponent, Ronald Bailey, counters that it is the "movement that epitomizes the most daring, courageous, imaginative, and idealistic aspirations of humanity". Wiki

King David in the Book of Psalms, said: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139.14

Paul again in 1 Corinthians, said: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

The Book of Jashur also refers to what would appear to be gene manipulation: “Their judges and rulers went to the daughters of men and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the Lord; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon earth, all men and all animals.” Jashur 4:18

And a verse we are all familiar with; “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27

One is also reminded of Romans 1:28; “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”

In the first article below Tom Horn, who is one of the most, (if not the most) publicly recognized Christian critics of trans humanism, discusses trans humanism and its immense possible ramifications upon the entire world. The dangers are so immense that it makes you ponder just how far God will allow this to go before He puts an end to it.

The following article, Genetically Modified Athletes, shows that this is not just something for the future, but is happening right now.

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

***

Raiders News Update

Tom Horn

Unbeknownst to most, a technological revolution is quietly developing in which mankind either will soon experience utopian physical and spiritual transformation, or a dystopian nightmare resulting in Armageddon.

This is not "preacher" talk.

The highest government and social think tanks in the world are currently focused on the timeframe of "2012 and beyond" as an event horizon, during which the first baby-steps in what has come to be known as the "Human Enhancement Revolution" will begin (behind which I see a demonic spirit in the form of a technocratic goddess [i.e., the acronym for "Human Enhancement Revolution" is "HER"]), quickly resulting in a technological, cultural, and metaphysical shift dominated by a new species of unrecognizably superior humans--those born of HER.

The term "transhumanism" has been given to explain how HER emerging fields of science, including genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and synthetic biology, will radically redesign our minds, our memories, our physiology, our offspring, our physical appearance, and even perhaps--as Joel Garreau in his best-selling book, Radical Evolution, claims--our very souls.

How near is HER vision? (Full Article)

In their recently declassified report, "The $100 Genome: Implications for the DoD," the JASONs--an elite group of scientists who advise the U.S. government on matters of science and technology--instructed the Department of Defense (DoD) not to wait even twenty-four months before placing the highest priority on enhanced-human research, which could result, they said, in genotype and phenotype changes (make sure you give thought to that last statement). Genotype is the class to which an organism belongs based on the actual DNA that is passed to it from its parents--its INNER makeup--while phenotype refers to its physical appearance and behavioral characteristics such as size, shape, and pattern of movement--its EXTERIOR makeup. The recommendation from the JASONs to prioritize enhancement studies aimed at changing the genetic makeup of humans including the way we look and behave may seem, at least to the uninformed, as incredible for the near future. However, the JASONs understand that as HER technologies race toward an exponential curve, parallel to these advances will be the increasingly-sophisticated argument that societies must take control of human biological limitations and move the species--or at least some of its members--into new forms of existence. According to the JASONs, the United States and its military will fall "unrecoverably behind in the race for personal genomics information and applications" if they wait beyond 2012 to initiate this process.[i]

The most influential, most quoted, and most trusted think tank in the world, The Brookings Institution in Washington, DC evidently agrees, and papers on the "Future of the Constitution" as it relates to enhanced and genetically modified humans are being drafted now for the legal analysis to extend constitutional protections to human-non-humans. This includes written arguments consisting of a variety of imperative and consensual rules regarding "human" rights and civil liberties such as described in the March 9, 2011 paper, "Endowed by Their Creator?: The Future of Constitutional Personhood,"[ii] and the February 3, 2011 paper, "Neuroscience and the Future of Personhood and Responsibility."[iii]

***

MailOnline (Edited from longer article.)


Genetically modified athletes: Forget drugs. There are even suggestions some Chinese athletes' genes are altered to make them stronger

By JOHN NAISH

PUBLISHED: 31 July 2012

The controversy over Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen’s astonishing gold medal performance this week is no longer confined to just the suspicions of drug abuse, which she emphatically denies.

It has raised concerns about another worrying — and infinitely more sinister — threat to the world of honest competition: the genetic enhancement of athletes.

John Leonard, the highly respected American director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, described the 16-year-old’s world-record-breaking performance as ‘suspicious’, ‘disturbing’ and ‘unbelievable’.


The record-breaking achievements of China's 16-year-old Ye Shiwen in the Olympic swimming pool have caused some to suggest she is taking performance enhancing drugs

‘Any time someone has looked like superwoman in the history of our sport they have later been found guilty of doping,’ he added.

He went on to say that the authorities who tested Ye Shewin for drug abuse should also check to see ‘if there is something unusual going on in terms of genetic manipulation’.

A Chinese anti-doping official, Jiang Zhixue, described Leonard’s claims as completely unreasonable.
The astonishing suggestion seems to be that London 2012 may be the first Olympics in which competitors are attempting to cheat by altering their genes to build muscle and sinew, and boost their blood’s oxygen-carrying powers. 

The chilling comment from one of the world’s top coaches seems to herald the possibility of Frankenstein athletes, of an unbeatable master-race of genetically manipulated super-competitors with enhanced lung-power, or heightened strength, or some other characteristic that enables them to snatch medal after medal from honest competitors.

And while this might appear to belong to the world of science-fiction, scientists are taking the threat seriously.

Dr Ted Friedmann, chair of the genetics panel of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said he ‘would not be surprised at all’ if gene enhancement were not now being secretly used by some competitors.

He has been working to find ways to detect ‘gene doping’ and prevent it from becoming common. ‘The technology is ripe for abuse,’ he warned.

But can athletes — or trainers — really enhance their performance through genetic means? 


Ye Shiwen has improved her personal best times dramatically in the last few days, causing some to get suspicious of her methods to win Olympic gold

Laboratory experiments have already shown that the science can work. In 2005, Ronald Evans, a hormone expert working at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, showed how genetic modification can increase the athletic power of mice.

Evans produced a group of genetically modified mice with an increased amount of slow-twitch muscle fibre. This type of fibre is associated with strong cardiovascular muscles and boosts an athlete’s endurance.

Evans’s mice could run for an hour longer than normal mice, were resistant to weight gain no matter what they were fed on, and remained at peak fitness even when they took no exercise. A form of genetic modification is already being tested in medicine, in the form of gene therapy for diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

Most gene modification techniques involve placing genetically modified DNA inside a virus and injectingit into the human body. The virus then enters human cells, and its modified DNA attaches itself to the human DNA inside those cells.

Gene therapy is at a very early stage in development and has become possible as a result of our discovery in 2003 of how to map the human genome.

This meant we could identify specific genes that cause disease — cystic fibrosis is caused by one faulty gene, for example, and the idea is that gene therapy can replace the faulty gene with one that works.

In the same way, it may well be possible for athletes to use a virus to introduce a gene that spurs the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells or muscle-building hormones. And the heightened blood-cell counts or hormone levels might simply appear to the doping agencies to be the product of an extraordinary athlete’s body.

Tests are being developed to detect this kind of manipulation, but at the moment, the World Anti-Doping Agency does not have one.

Anna Baoutina, a senior research scientist at the National Measurement Institute in Sydney, told the Tackling Doping In Sport conference in London earlier this year that no gene test was in place for the 2012 Olympics.

‘The major advantage of gene doping is that it is very difficult to detect compared to drug doping. The doping gene is very similar to natural cells found in the body,’ she told journalists. ‘We are developing methods to fight it.’

Olympics leaders say, however, that they are confident they will soon be able to detect the first generations of genetically super-powered cheats.

For example, Patrick Schamasch, medical director of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has said that the viruses used to smuggle genes into the body leave behind traces which can be detected. But this will probably not be the case for long, he warned: ‘I’m certain viruses will be invented that won’t leave traces.’

Instead, Olympics officials are banking on the success of their newly introduced ‘biological passport’. This keeps track of the athlete’s overall physiological profile, and triggers alarm if anything about it changes in a suspicious manner — for example if their everyday hormone levels take an unusual leap.

***

Before It's News

Scientists Prove DNA Can Be Reprogrammed by Words and Frequencies

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

By Zen Gardner

THE HUMAN DNA IS A BIOLOGICAL INTERNET and superior in many aspects to the artificial one. Russian scientific research directly or indirectly explains phenomena such as clairvoyance, intuition, spontaneous and remote acts of healing, self healing, affirmation techniques, unusual light/auras around people (namely spiritual masters), mind's influence on weather patterns and much more. In addition, there is evidence for a whole new type of medicine in which DNA can be influenced and reprogrammed by words and frequencies WITHOUT cutting out and replacing single genes.

Only 10% of our DNA is being used for building proteins. It is this subset of DNA that is of interest to western researchers and is being examined and categorized. The other 90% are considered "junk DNA." The Russian researchers, however, convinced that nature was not dumb, joined linguists and geneticists in a venture to explore those 90% of "junk DNA." Their results, findings and conclusions are simply revolutionary! According to them, our DNA is not only responsible for the construction of our body but also serves as data storage and in communication. The Russian linguists found that the genetic code, especially in the apparently useless 90%, follows the same rules as all our human languages. To this end they compared the rules of syntax (the way in which words are put together to form phrases and sentences), semantics (the study of meaning in language forms) and the basic rules of grammar. They found that the alkalines of our DNA follow a regular grammar and do have set rules just like our languages. So human languages did not appear coincidentally but are a reflection of our inherent DNA.

The Russian biophysicist and molecular biologist Pjotr Garjajev and his colleagues also explored the vibrational behavior of the DNA. [For the sake of brevity I will give only a summary here.] The bottom line was: "Living chromosomes function just like solitonic/holographic computers using the endogenous DNA laser radiation." This means that they managed for example to modulate certain frequency patterns onto a laser ray and with it influenced the DNA frequency and thus the genetic information itself. Since the basic structure of DNA-alkaline pairs and of language (as explained earlier) are of the same structure, no DNA decoding is necessary.One can simply use words and sentences of the human language! This, too, was experimentally proven! Living DNA substance (in living tissue, not in vitro) will always react to language-modulated laser rays and even to radio waves, if the proper frequencies are being used.

This finally and scientifically explains why affirmations, autogenous training, hypnosis and the like can have such strong effects on humans and their bodies. It is entirely normal and natural for our DNA to react to language. While western researchers cut single genes from the DNA strands and insert them elsewhere, the Russians enthusiastically worked on devices that can influence the cellular metabolism through suitable modulated radio and light frequencies and thus repair genetic defects.

Garjajev's research group succeeded in proving that with this method chromosomes damaged by x-rays for example can be repaired. They even captured information patterns of a particular DNA and transmitted it onto another, thus reprogramming cells to another genome. So they successfully transformed, for example, frog embryos to salamander embryos simply by transmitting the DNA information patterns! This way the entire information was transmitted without any of the side effects or disharmonies encountered when cutting out and re-introducing single genes from the DNA. This represents an unbelievable, world-transforming revolution and sensation! All this by simply applying vibration and language instead of the archaic cutting-out procedure! This experiment points to the immense power of wave genetics, which obviously has a greater influence on the formation of organisms than the biochemical processes of alkaline sequences.

Esoteric and spiritual teachers have known for ages that our body is programmable by language, words and thought. This has now been scientifically proven and explained. Of course the frequency has to be correct. And this is why not everybody is equally successful or can do it with always the same strength. The individual person must work on the inner processes and maturity in order to establish a conscious communication with the DNA. The Russian researchers work on a method that is not dependent on these factors but will ALWAYS work, provided one uses the correct frequency.

But the higher developed an individual's consciousness is, the less need is there for any type of device! One can achieve these results by oneself, and science will finally stop to laugh at such ideas and will confirm and explain the results. And it doesn't end there.?The Russian scientists also found out that our DNA can cause disturbing patterns in the vacuum, thus producing magnetized wormholes! Wormholes are the microscopic equivalents of the so-called Einstein-Rosen bridges in the vicinity of black holes (left by burned-out stars).? These are tunnel connections between entirely different areas in the universe through which information can be transmitted outside of space and time. The DNA attracts these bits of information and passes them on to our consciousness. This process of hyper communication is most effective in a state of relaxation. Stress, worries or a hyperactive intellect prevent successful hyper communication or the information will be totally distorted and useless.

***

Activist Post

You Think GMO Is Scary? Nano Tech is Here, In Your Store

Anne Gordon, RN, Contributor

July 30, 2012

Nanotechnology is measured in billionths of a meter, encompassing all aspects of life from food to medicine, clothing, to space. Imagine hundreds of microcomputers on the width of a strand of hair programmed for specific tasks....in your body. Sound good?

Engineering at a molecular level may be a future corporations' dream come true, however, nano-particles inside your body have few long-term studies especially when linked to health issues. Despite this new huge income-generating field there is a growing body of toxicological information suggesting that nanotechnology when consumed can cause brain damage (as shown in largemouth bass), and therefore should undergo a full safety assessment.

It is possible for nano-particles to slip through the skin, suggestive of a potential unnatural interaction with the immune system, or when micro particles enter the blood-stream. Some sunscreens on the shelf today, for instance, have nano-particles that might be able to penetrate the skin, move between organs, with unknown health effects. Nano-particles in cosmetics have few regulations done by FDA.

Thomas Faunce, of the Australian National University, who holds an Australian Research Council fellowship that looks at public nanotechnology health issues, said study's findings are significant and strengthens the case for mandatory labeling, and that stringent safety data should be required from manufacturers.'' Research is showing that nano-particles have the capacity to damage living cells and the precautionary principle should be applied,'' he said.

In 2005, The Helmut Kaiser Consultancy Group, global leaders in pro-nanotechnology, stated that about 300 nano-food products were available on the market worldwide estimating that market alone was worth 5.4 billion dollars in the USA. That was then.

By 2015, (just a few years away) they predict that nanotechnology will be used in 40% of the food industries. According to these consultants, by 2040, nano-produced food, with correct nutritional composition, maintaining the same taste and texture of organically produced food, will be commonplace, the norm.

It is clear that nanotechnology is already in the in some food and cosmetics, (including anti aging products and sunscreens). 'Smart' packaging and tracking, is ubiquitous. Invisible, (to the naked eye and some microscopes), edible nano-wrappers, complete with bar codes can track not only early spoilage, but improve the taste of food, or, whatever is called food. Manufacturers are excited because the availability of food would no longer be affected by limited resources, bad crop weather, water problems, etc. A modern way to feed the world.

Oh, don't expect an informative label on nano-particles in your products. Although marketers are thrilled to present benefits to make wrinkles vanish, or illuminate skin flawlessly, there are health and unknown downsides. Where is the public debate, on the labeling of nano particles in your foods, or cosmetics, or the risks? Probably no where...Political leaders are still arguing on requiring GMO (genetically modified) labeling, it seems.

When lab rats are starved, and given a choice to eat organic potatoes or GMO, they go right to the organic. When only given the GMO potato they will eat it, or starve to death ... (studies have shown severe damage subsequently). What do rats know?

So the next time you reach for something that say's 'smart'...think about what that means. Learn what you can about the source of what you put in, or on your body. Smart mini micro computers to control your skin and body fluids?

***

NaturalSociety

Ireland Allows Iconic Potato to be Genetically Modified

Anthony Gucciardi - -

July 30, 2012

In a monumental move that signifies the truly terminal state of the international food supply, Ireland's government officials have given the green light to begin genetically modifying the iconic potato. Met with severe resistance from both citizens, watchdog organizations, and political figures, the decision allows for the genetically modified potatoes to be planted within Ireland by the Irish food development authority Teagasc.

Starting off with a trial within the nation's borders, Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authorized Teagasc to plant the GMO crops throughout a two hectare land plot. While supports continue to assert that the relatively small size makes the process 'safe,' experts from within the Emerald Isle say otherwise. In response to the idea that starting the trial with a 'small' land plot is safe, The Organic Trust in Dublin explains that once you unleash genetically modified seeds into the environment, the consequences that may follow do not depend on how many acres of land is modified -- only the fact that genetically modified seeds have been planted.

WND

IT'S HERE! 'D-DAY' FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

'Our most cherished liberty was thrown in a government dumpster and hauled away'

Published: 8/1/12

by CHELSEA SCHILLING

It's a case of a massive, bullying Goliath government versus a God-fearing David company.

And David just won the first round.

Federal district Judge John J. Kane of Colorado has granted a Christian-owned company a temporary injunction blocking Obamacare's mandated coverage of sterilization, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs from being applied to the private business.

Nonetheless, the Obamacare contraception mandate goes into effect today - a day that's been dubbed "D-Day for religious freedom in America."

Hercules Industries of Denver, Colo., a company that manufactures air conditioning products, filed suit against the government in April, arguing Obama's mandate conflicts with the Christian faith of the business' owners.

The government fought back, claiming Hercules is not a faith-based organization. It threatened the company, which employs 265 people, with millions of dollars in fines if it refused to comply.

Hercules sought the injunction in federal court and received one July 27.

In a radio interview with WND's Greg Corombos, Hercules Vice President Andy Newland said, "We realized we had a choice nobody should really have to face. That's the choice to do business according to our faith, which we think is really important, or pay onerous crippling fines. And nobody, we believe, should be forced to make that decision."

Newland added, "We believe in providing generous benefits to the employees and operating our business in accordance with our moral beliefs and faith, ultimately, as a recipe for success."

Matt Bowman of the Alliance Defending Freedom represents Hercules Industries in court. He said the government mandate on contraception is blatantly unconstitutional, and he expects the case to be watched very closely by the Catholic Church and other challengers to the mandate.

"This case does not involve stopping anybody from doing anything in terms of employees," Bowman told WND. "What it involves is using Obamacare to impose mandates on families who are just wanting to earn a living, forcing them to violate their faith and to facilitate things that violate their faith simply because they're Americans who want to have a business and follow their religious values."

Bowman said the Obama administration's argument that Hercules is not a religious organization - and, thus, not exempt from Obamacare's contraception mandate - is a clear case of religious discrimination.

"That was their argument," he said. "If you listen to it, what the government is doing is it is picking and choosing what faith is, who the faithful are and where and how that faith can be practiced. That's not compatible with principles of religious freedom in America.

"The Constitution and federal law both protect every American, including family business owners, with the freedom to live and do business according to their faith.

"Ultimately, what the judge did in this case is he granted an injunction against the Obamacare mandate for this family because he said the interest the government was proposing 'pales in comparison' to the infringement of religious freedom for a family."

Newland applauded the judge's recent decision and said he expects more victories.

"Frankly, the injunction that we received is an example of how our great system can work, and we're confident in how things are going to move forward," he said.

Where does the Hercules case go from here?

"This is an injunction that is going to stop the government's mandate against faith for this family as long as this case lasts," Bowman explained. "That can happen in a period of months or years, depending on how things go. Alliance Defending Freedom is committed to protect the Newlands, as well as in other cases we're handling, because every American - including family business owners - should be free to live and do business according to their faith."

He said this is will be a precedent-setting case in future battles against the mandate.

"This is a case that all the other cases are going to look at and consider," Bowman said. "They're really going to face the same question: Can Washington bureaucrats force families to abandon their faith just to earn a living or serve their community? The first court to rule on that question ruled in favor of religious freedom."

The Obamacare contraception mandate is now officially in effect as of Aug. 1, 2012.

Today, The Catholic Association, or TCA, released a statement warning, "August 1, 2012, indeed marks a seismic shift in the world of religious liberty in America. Once the mandate goes into effect, the government has codified into law the notion that employers may be required to violate the teachings of their faith if they are a for-profit employer. ... August 1 is D-Day for religious freedom in America."

TCA noted that the penalty for noncompliance is $100 a day, per employee.

At least 24 lawsuits have been filed across the nation to stop the contraception mandate from applying to various businesses.

Earlier this month, Wheaton College announced it had joined the Catholic University of America in filing suit before District of Columbia federal court.

Other organizations filing similar lawsuits include the University of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New York and the Catholic University of America.

On July 17, a federal judge dismissed lawsuits against the contraception mandate by Republican attorneys general from Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. Other plaintiffs included three Nebraska-based employers affiliated with the Catholic Church, a nun and a missionary. U.S. District Judge Warren Urbom wrote, "The plaintiffs face no direct and immediate harm."

Several leaders of religious-advocacy groups are warning of the Obamacare contraception mandate consequences for business owners of faith:

Larry Cirignano, president of Faithful Catholic Citizens: "Give up your religion or go bankrupt. This is not a mandate; it is an ultimatum. Buy insurance and kill babies or go bankrupt fighting us. Not all of us can afford lawyers to fight this 'mandate.' None of us can afford to pay the fines $100 per employee."

Matt Smith, president of Catholic Advocate: "Aug. 1 will be remembered as the day our most cherished liberty was thrown in a government dumpster and hauled away. A day when family owned small businesses were forced to abandon their religious beliefs to provide products and services for free. And if they don't, they will be taxed and fined at a time when job creators are struggling with enough costs and bureaucratic red-tape at every level of government just to stay in business. While the courts have provided a reprieve for one family business in Colorado, the government will never be able to repair the broken conscience of thousands of others until this mandate is removed."

Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica: "August 1st is a day that will live in infamy for the First Amendment and the fundamental freedoms and rights we as a people have enjoyed since the founding of our nation. The HHS mandate imposed on the American people is the beginning of the end of freedom as America has known it and loved it. August 1st marks the day when many family owned and operated businesses lose their rights to exercise their faith in their daily lives. The government has told them - either comply with this mandate in violation of your faith and do what we tell you, or you will pay crippling faith fines to the federal government. With the stroke of a pen, the Obama Administration has shredded the First Amendment and the Constitution right before our eyes."

Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute: "The Obama administration's assault on religious liberty is taking root ... Failure to comply with the mandate will result in penalties that could cost business millions of dollars. The administration clearly did not reach a much-vaunted 'accommodation' with business owners who strongly oppose the mandate and believe it is a clear violation of their constitutional protection of religious liberty. The HHS mandate forces business owners to choose between following their religious beliefs or obedience to the federal government. The Obama administration clearly believes the government is supreme and that individuals and businesses must bow to its dictates or suffer severe consequences.  We know that Obamacare is wrong for America.  The HHS anti-conscience mandate is clear evidence of why the law violates the most fundamental principles upon which our country is founded."

Gary Marx, executive director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition: "Confidence in the system and hope for religious liberty was mildly restored when a federal district judge issued a temporary injunction blocking Barack Obama's health-care mandate from compelling a business to provide insurance coverage of sterilization, contraception, and abortion-inducing drugs. This is certainly a victory, but the fact that it only applies to one company means the federal government is still going to force millions of Americans to choose between having health insurance or their conscience and faith. With an administration intent on suppressing religious liberty, we can expect a historic turnout of voters of faith show up in November."

Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America: "The only solution that has been provided to the majority of Americans is to stand up and fight for their religious rights by refusing to comply or battling in court. ... We must remember the wise words of Thomas Jefferson, 'All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.' To force religious groups to deny their deeply held convictions is not called balance; it is called tyranny."

Jeanne Monahan, director of the Family Research Council's Center for Human Dignity: "Today as a result of this initial implementation of the HHS mandate, the relationship between the separation of church and state is critically changed. Americans can no longer follow their consciences or religious dictates on issues as critical as abortion-inducing drugs. Organizations such as Wheaton College, or businesses such as Weingartz Supply of Ann Arbor, Mich.,will be forced to violate their consciences. On this sad day Americans have no 'choice' in this matter."

David Stevens, MD and CEO of the Christian Medical Association: "What will stop this administration, with its radical pro-abortion agenda, from further undermining conscience rights and pursuing policies that effectively force out of medicine physicians with life-honoring convictions? Who will keep government panels from effectively denying physicians and patients choice about what are the most effective and appropriate medicines, surgeries and treatments? We call on Congress to turn back this law's assault on our freedoms and restore American values and constitutional principles in health care."

Paul E. Rondeau, executive director of American Life League: "History tragically teaches us that if our government can abolish one constitutional right, then all constitutional rights are put in jeopardy. This path sets a dangerous and foolish precedent that First Amendments rights such as freedom of speech, association, freedom of the press and the rights to assemble and petition the government may be just as easily curtailed in the future. We call on all citizens to tell their elected representatives that this erosion of rights must not stand."

Kristin Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America: "Today marks the beginning of the end of religious and conscience rights in America. As an employer, I am forced to make a false choice between providing a vital service to my employees and violating my conscience and values. The abortion-pill mandate is an egregious attack upon my rights, as well as the rights of all people of values and faith in America."

WND

CLAIM: U.S. FORCES ON SYRIAN BORDER

Assad considering putting military on highest alert

Published: 31/7/12

by AARON KLEIN

Bashar al-Assad

Russian intelligence has information that U.S. troops are in Turkey near the country's border with Syria, a senior Syrian official told WND today.

The official said the Russians observed American forces taking part in Turkish military measures to secure the Syria-Turkey borders.

The official said the information about a U.S. military presence in Turkey has led to a debate within the Syrian leadership about whether to move the Syrian military to its highest alert level.

Currently, the Syrian army is on its second highest alert.

While the presence of U.S. forces in Turkey could not be immediately verified, it is not the first time the American military has been accused of aiding the insurgency targeting Bashar al-Assad's regime.

In February, WND was first to report the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country's northern desert region, according to several knowledgeable Egyptian and Arab security officials speaking to WND.

The security officials also claimed Saudi Arabia was sending weapons to the rebels via surrogates, including through Druze and Christian leaders in Lebanon such as Druze leader Walid Jumblatt; Saudi-Lebanese billionaire Saad Hariri, who recently served as Lebanon's prime minister; and senior Lebanese opposition leader Samir Farid Geagea.

The U.S. repeatedly has denied directly arming the rebels, stating it is only providing non-lethal aid.

Any aid to the rebels is highly controversial.

WND reported in May there is growing collaboration between the Syrian opposition and al-Qaida as well as evidence the opposition is sending weapons to jihadists in Iraq, according to an Egyptian security official previously speaking to WND.

There are now widespread reports of al-Qaida fighters among the ranks of the opposition, with some jihadist branches reportedly officially joining the U.S.-supported Free Syrian Army.

The opposition is currently intensifying the fight against Assad's forces in the key city of Aleppo amid claims, denied by the rebels, that the Syrian military has retaken the city.

WND reported that Assad held a meeting last week in which he set the goal of entirely quelling the opposition targeting his regime by October, according to a senior Syrian official.

The official, speaking to WND on condition of anonymity, said Assad ordered his military to rid the Damascus region, including Aleppo, of rebels by the end of Ramadan on Aug. 18. He said Assad believes he can clear the opposition from the region of Homs by Sept. 10 and end the insurgency by October.

The official admitted the coming weeks will be "bloody." He affirmed Russia stands squarely in the Syrian camp.

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WND

IRAN PREPARING MAHDI'S SPECIAL FORCES

Army of operatives planning for terror, destruction of the West

Published: 7/31/12

by REZA KAHLILI

The Quds Forces, a special Iranian unit of thousands of operatives tasked with exporting Iran's Islamic revolution, are being told to step up preparations for terrorism for the coming of the last Islamic messiah and the destruction of the West.

Ali Saeedi, the Iranian supreme leader's representative to the Revolutionary Guards, emphasized during a Friday sermon in Tehran that the Islamic republic must directly confront America so that the necessary environment is created for the reappearance of Mahdi, the Shiite's 12th imam, who will kill all infidels and raise the flag of Islam in all corners of the world.

"In three points of history, God directly confronts the will of unruly humans in which, of course, the Right will overcome the False," Saeedi said, according to the Sepah News, the Guards' official publication. "The first point in history was during the era of pharaoh, the second era was Bani Abbas, and the third is our current era in which it seems that God has willed us to enlighten the world with the coming of Imam Mahdi."

Saeedi, "Many of the signs [necessary] for the coming have taken place during the previous years; however, the main sign will take place right before the coming."

There are five levels of readiness that have to be prepared for the coming, he said: "Individual readiness, the readiness for creating the environment, systematic readiness, the readiness in the region and the international readiness. This means Occupy Wall Street must take place, the Americans must lose hope with the Democratic Party and others, and lose faith in the U.N., while at the same time the unraveling in the Middle East, which was not ripe before, must have taken place before the coming."

This is the first time a high-ranking Iranian official has stated on the record that the Quds Forces are not only involved in the region, but also internationally for a final confrontation with the West.

"The Revolutionary Guards are one vehicle for preparation for the coming, and in the current Islamic Awakening [the Arab Spring] in the region and on international arena, the Quds Forces play a major role in preparing the readiness of the human force needed for such an event," Saeedi said. "The chief commander of the Guards and the supreme leader's representative are tasked for preparing the individual readiness, regional readiness as well as international readiness for the coming."


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Quotes From Two Of Putin's Recent Speechs.

....We are forced to admit that no reliable solution for overcoming the global economic crisis has been found yet. Indeed, the prospects are looking more and more worrying. The debt problems in the Eurozone and its slide towards recession are just the tip of the iceberg as far as the global economy's unresolved structural problems go. The traditional powerhouses of global development - the USA, the EU, and Japan - are seeing their leadership erode, but the absence of new development models is putting a brake on global growth. There is increasing competition for access to resources, and this provokes abnormal fluctuations on the raw materials and energy markets. The traditional Western economic powers are being weakened by the crisis, which has exacerbated social and economic problems in the developed economies, and by the multi-vector nature of global development today. We can already see this for a fact now.

Colleagues, this is no cause for joy. We should not take delight in this turn of events, and much less feel malicious glee. On the contrary, we cannot but worry over these developments, because the consequences of these tectonic shifts in the global economy are not yet clear, nor are the inevitable shifts in the international balance of power and in global policy that will follow.

We are all the more worried when we see attempts by some actors in international relations to maintain their traditional influence, often by resorting to unilateral action that runs counter to the principles of international law. We see evidence of this in so-called 'humanitarian operations', the export of bomb and missile diplomacy, and intervention in internal conflicts.

We see how contradictory and unbalanced the reform process is in North Africa and the Middle East, and I am sure that many of you still have the tragic events in Libya before your eyes. We cannot allow a repeat of such scenarios in other countries, in Syria, for example. I believe that we must do everything possible to press the parties in this conflict into negotiating a peaceful political solution to all issues of dispute. We must do all we can to facilitate such a dialogue. Of course this is a more complex and subtle undertaking than intervention using brute force from outside, but only this process can guarantee a lasting settlement and future stable development in the region, and in Syria's case, in the country itself....

Vladimir Putin.

"It's a whole new game,

We have more aces up our sleeve that would push our Western colleagues and partners to a more constructive dialogue than we have seen before. What do I mean by this?
Just a few years ago, as I know, they used to speak of us among their fellow allies as follows: 'Russia could tinker with its military as much as it wants, we are not the least interested in what's happening there. All they have is rusted-out junk.' But this is not true. Ha ha. Today it's a different game."

***

Reuters

Euro Zone Crisis Heads For September Crunch

July 30, 2012 -

Over the past couple of years, Europe has muddled through a long series of crunch moments in its debt crisis, but this September is shaping up as a "make-or-break" month as policymakers run desperately short of options to save the common currency.

Crisis or no crisis, many European policymakers will take their summer holidays in August. When they return, a number of crucial events, decisions and deadlines will be waiting.

"September will undoubtedly be the crunch time," one senior euro zone policymaker said.

In that month a German court makes a ruling that could neuter the new euro zone rescue fund, the anti-bailout Dutch vote in elections just as Greece tries to renegotiate its financial lifeline, and decisions need to be made on whether taxpayers suffer huge losses on state loans to Athens.

On top of that, the euro zone has to figure out how to help its next wobbling dominoes, Spain and Italy--or what do if one or both were to topple.

"In nearly 20 years of dealing with EU issues, I've never known a state of affairs like we are in now," one euro zone diplomat said this week. "It really is a very, very difficult fix and it's far from certain that we'll be able to find the right way out of it."

Since the crisis erupted in January 2010, the euro zone has had to rescue relative minnows in Greece, Ireland and Portugal as they lost the ability to fund their budget deficits and debt obligations by borrowing commercially at affordable rates.

Now two much larger economies are in the firing line and policymakers must consider ever more radical solutions.

If Spain, the euro zone's fourth biggest economy and the world's 12th, loses affordable market financing the next domino at risk of falling is Italy--the euro zone's third biggest economy and a member of the G7 group of big wealthy nations.

A bailout of Spain would probably be double those of Greece, Ireland and Portugal combined, while Italy's economy is twice as large as Spain's again.

The European Union has already agreed to lend up to 100 billion euros to rescue Spanish banks. One euro zone official said Madrid has now conceded that it might need a full bailout worth 300 billion euros from the EU and IMF if its borrowing costs remain unaffordable.

European officials have spent the past few days issuing a series of statements declaring they will act to halt the crisis.

In the latest, issued on Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Mario Monti "agreed that Germany and Italy would do everything to protect the euro zone".

The wording was similar to remarks by European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi last week prompted buying in financial markets on the expectation that the bank would take steps to lower the cost of borrowing of Spain and Italy.

The euro zone does not seem to have enough cash in the current setup to deal with a scenario of Spain and Italy needing a rescue, and a sense of doom is growing among some policymakers. Fighting the crisis, said the euro zone diplomat, is like trying to keep a life raft above water.

"For two years we've been pumping up the life raft, taking decisions that fill it with just enough air to keep it afloat even though it has a leak," the diplomat said. "But now the leak has got so big that we can't pump air into the raft quickly enough to keep it afloat."

Compounding the problems, Greece is far behind with reforms to improve its finances and economy so it may need more time, more money and a debt reduction from euro zone governments.

If Greek debt cannot be made sustainable, the country may have to leave the euro zone, sending a shockwave across financial markets and the European economy.

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MailOnling

Having seen the evidence, I don't touch fizzy drinks any more. Frankly they're evil, says leading biologist

Consumption of soft drinks has more than doubled since 1985 - from ten gallons per person a year to more than 25 gallons

Sugary drinks lead to alterations in muscles similar to those in people with obesity problems and type 2 diabetes

By John Naish

PUBLISHED: 31 July 2012

Biological scientist Dr Hans-Peter Kubis, who's just led a study into what soft drinks do to our bodies, has reached some shocking conclusions. When you read what he discovered, you may well choose never to touch the fizzy stuff again.

Once upon a time, fizzy drinks were an occasional luxury treat.

Now, many of us think nothing of having at least one every day -- maybe a lunchtime can of cola or a 'natural' lemonade from Pret.

We use them as instant pick-me-ups, and even as 'healthy' sports aids bought from vending machines at the gym.

No trip to the cinema is complete without a supersize soft drink, either.

It's no surprise to learn, then, that our consumption of soft drinks has more than doubled since 1985 -- from ten gallons per person a year to more than 25 gallons.

We know this is not entirely good for us -- but could sugary soft drinks be so dangerous that they should carry health warnings?

This may sound alarmist, but new medical studies have produced worrying results.

Even moderate consumption -- a can a day, or just two a week -- may alter our metabolism so that we pile on weight.

The drinks also appear to increase the risk of heart disease, liver failure and hypertension.

In children, soft drinks have been linked to addict-like cravings, as well as twisting kids' appetites so they hunger for junk food.

Already, countries such as Denmark and France are introducing soft-drink taxes to cut consumption.

In the U.S., around 100 medical and consumer organisations are now calling on the Surgeon-General to investigate the health effects of soda and other sugary drinks.

Should we in Britain follow suit?

Sugary soft drinks come in numerous guises -- from 'innocuous' fizzy elderflower to 'health' drinks such as Lucozade and 'sports' beverages like Gatorade.

Last year, we swallowed an astounding 14,585 million litres of soft drinks, an increase of more than 4 per cent in 12 months, according to the British Soft Drinks Association.

Our spending rose by nearly 6 per cent to £13,880 million in 2010 -- the fastest growth in the past seven years. 

We clearly like our soft drinks. But the medical evidence is stacking up against them.

Last week, a study suggested they can cause weight gain and long-term health problems if drunk every day for as little as a month.

The research, by Bangor University and published in the European Journal Of Nutrition, reported that soft drinks actually alter metabolism, so that our muscles use sugar for energy instead of burning fat.

It seems that exposure to liquid sugar causes genes in our muscles to change their behaviour, perhaps permanently.

Not only do we pile on weight, but our metabolism becomes less efficient and less able to cope with rises in blood sugar, say the researchers.

This, in turn, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

'Having seen all the medical evidence, I don't touch soft drinks now,' says Dr Hans-Peter Kubis, a biological scientist and expert in exercise nutrition who led the research.

'I think drinks with added sugar are, frankly, evil.'

In fact, the Bangor study is only the latest in a long line of reports warning of the link between soft drinks and serious health problems.

A study in March, for example, warned that men who drink a standard 12oz can of sugar-sweetened beverage every day have a 20 per cent higher risk of heart disease compared to men who don't drink any sugar-sweetened drinks.

The research published in the American Heart Association's journal, Circulation, followed more than 42,000 men for 22 years.

Blood tests found soft-drink fans had higher levels of harmful inflammation in their blood vessels, and lower levels of 'good' HDL cholesterol.

Energy drinks such as Red Bull have boomed in popularity in the past ten years. The regular version contains seven teaspoons of sugar per 250ml

The study suggested this may be a result of the sugar rush these soft drinks cause.

This increased sudden sugar load on the body may also explain research which found just two carbonated drinks (330ml each) every week appears to double the risk of pancreatic cancer, reported the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Meanwhile, soft drinks with high levels of fruit juice may cause severe long-term liver damage, according to an Israeli study.

People who drank two cans of these drinks a day were five times more likely to develop fatty liver disease -- a precursor to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

In the Journal of Hepatology, the lead investigator, Dr Nimer Assy, warned high levels of fructose fruit sugar in the drinks can overwhelm the liver, leading it to accumulate fat.

Perhaps most disturbing is the picture emerging from various studies that suggest sugary drinks expose children to a perfect storm of obesity threats.

Four years ago, researchers at University College London's Health Behaviour Research Centre discovered a powerful -- and lucrative  -- effect sugary soft drinks have on youngsters.

The study of 346 children aged around 11 found drinking soft drinks makes them want to drink more often, even when they're not actually thirsty -- and that their preference is for more sugary drinks.

Children who drank water or fruit juice in the tests didn't show this unnecessary need to drink.

The researchers expressed concern that this may set the children's habits for life -- in particular, giving them an 'increased preference for sweet things in the mouth', without compensating for the extra calories by eating less food.

More recent research suggests fizzy drinks may sway children's tastes towards high-calorie, high-salt food.

Part of this worrying phenomenon was revealed earlier this year by Oregon University investigators.

Their study of 75 children aged between three and five found those given sugary soft drinks avoided eating raw vegetables such as carrots or red peppers, but went for foods high in calories, such as chips.

This did not happen when the children were given water to drink.

The researchers said this wasn't about simple fussiness. Instead, our tastes for food and drink seem to be shaped in a like-with-like manner.

This discovery comes on top of an earlier finding, by heart experts at St George's, University of London, that children and teenagers who consume sugary soft drinks are far more likely to prefer foods high in salt.

Dr Kubis believes that liquid sugars not only alter our bodies, but also foster addict-like responses.

'The body absorbs liquid sugars so much faster because they are more easily taken into the stomach lining, and this rapid intake fires up the body's pleasure responses,' he says.

Coca-Cola in the U.S. has reduced levels of one of its ingredients following fears that it could cause cancer

'At the same time, your brain reduces its desire for the taste of nutrients such as vitamins or minerals,' says Dr Kubis. This is what makes these sugary drinks so habit-forming.

'There is a huge overlap between what is addictive behaviour with drugs and the use of sweet food,' he adds.

'In lab experiments, even rats who have been made addicted to cocaine will prefer to have a sugary drink instead of cocaine.'

He says sugary drink habits aren't necessarily an addiction 'because not all of us suffer withdrawal symptoms when we cut out sugary drinks'.

The story may be different with children, however. 'With children, there is more evidence of addictive behaviour,' Dr Kubis says.

'You get tantrums, restlessness  and distress if you stop their soft-drink consumption.'

This may be because children's developing brains are more prone to developing sugar cravings, or because children's desires are simply more transparent.

Sadly, there's little point shifting from sugary soft drinks to 'healthy alternatives' such as fizzy real-fruit lemonades or fruit-juice drinks, says Dr Kubis, because the liquid sugar problem still remains.

'Posh soft drinks with real fruit might be marketed as healthy, but this may be rather cynical, as such drinks can be just as dangerous,' he explains, adding that some fruit drinks contain more sugar than a can of fizz.

SUGAR: THE BIGGEST DANGER HIDDEN IN A CAN OF COKE

Doctors are in no doubt - the biggest danger from cola doesn't come from the hidden additives, flavourings  or colourings, but from sugar.

Too much sugar leads to obesity, the major cause of cancer in the western world.

It also increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, causes heart disease and increases the risk of stroke.

The over-consumption of sugar has been linked to depression, poor memory formation and learning disorders in animal experiments. And it rots teeth.

Each regular can of  cola contains eight teaspoons of sugar. When you drink that much sugar so quickly, the body experiences an intense sugar rush. 

The cane and beet  sugar used in Coca-Cola is used up quickly by the body,  which soon experiences a  rapid drop  in energy, leading to cravings for more sugar.

     - Even when it comes to 'healthy' sports drinks, the evidence is that they're not only a waste of money, because you don't need them, but they could also be harmful.

An investigation by the universities of Oxford and Harvard warned that popular brands such as Lucozade and Powerade contain large amounts of sugar and calories which encourage weight gain, the British Medical Journal reported earlier this month.

On top of all this is the damage fizzy drinks can wreak on teeth. A study in the journal General Dentistry in June found that cola is ten times as corrosive as fruit juice in the first three minutes of drinking.

One of the chief culprits is citric acid, which gives tangy drinks their kick.

A study in the British Dental Journal found four cans of fizzy drink a day increased the risk of tooth erosion by 252 per cent.

The drinks industry, of course, has spent countless millions of pounds bombarding us with sophisticated and expensive marketing in order to weld their products in  our minds to images of healthiness and fun.

Few who lined the streets of Britain for the Olympic torch procession could have failed to notice the role of Coca-Cola.

The company paid more than £100 million for the exclusive rights to be the official provider of soft drinks at the Games.

The late Coca-Cola chief executive, Roberto Guizueta, said: 'Eventually, the number-one beverage on Earth will not be tea or coffee or wine or beer. It will be soft drinks -- our soft drinks.'

Today, however, there is a growing backlash against soft drinks.

Earlier this month, a group of leading health organisations, including the American Cancer Association, the American Diabetes Association, Yale University's Rudd Centre for Food Policy and Obesity, and the American Heart Association, called on the U.S. Surgeon-General to investigate the health effects of soda and other sugary drinks.

Soft drinks play a major role in the U.S.'s obesity crisis, the campaigners say, and they want a study into them similar in scale and impact to the Surgeon-General's landmark report on the dangers of smoking in 1964.

Kathleen Sebelius, the former Governor of Kansas, who campaigns on behalf of the American Cancer Society, declared: 'An unbiased and comprehensive report on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages could . . . perhaps begin to change the direction of public behaviour in their choices of food and drinks.'

Legislators are already starting to act. In May, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, announced a ban on serving cartons bigger than 16oz (a pint).

Last year, the Hungarian government imposed a tax on unhealthy drinks and foods.

CITRIC ACID: HELPING FIZZY DRINKS ROT YOUR TEETH

Citric acid gives lemons, oranges and grapefruit their kick and cola its bite, helping to make the drink nearly as corrosive as battery acid when it comes to teeth.

Prolonged exposure to cola and other fizzy drinks strips tooth enamel causing pain, ugly smiles and -- in extreme cases -- turning teeth to stumps.

A study in the journal General Dentistry found that cola is ten times as corrosive as fruit juices in the first three minutes of drinking.

The researchers took slices of freshly extracted teeth and immersed them in 20 soft drinks. Teeth dunked for 48 hours in cola and lemonade lost more than five per cent of their weight.

A study in the British Dental Journal found that just one can of fizzy drink a day increased the risk of tooth erosion. While four cans increased the erosion risk by  252 per cent.

    - And, earlier this year, France imposed a tax on sugary soft drinks after a study found that more than 20 million of its citizens are overweight.

Health campaigners here are pressing for a similar tax. Researchers at Oxford University calculate that a 20 per cent tax on soft drinks would reduce obesity and overweight in Britain by 1 per cent -- roughly 400,000 cases across Britain.

'We don't get anything like that  level of success from trying to educate people about healthy eating,' says researcher Dr Mike Rayner.

'I am not suggesting that people should never have soft drinks,' he stresses. 'I myself like drinking them. But they really should be restricted to weekends and  holiday treats.'

Understandably, the idea of a tax has met stiff opposition from the British Soft Drinks Association.

Its spokesman, Richard Laming, argues that 'soft drinks, like any other food or drink, can be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, and there is no reason to tax them'.

On top of that, he says, UK soft drink manufacturers are producing more low-sugar products.

'About half of the soft drinks market in the UK is made up of reduced or zero calorie drinks nowadays.'

Nor is Mr Laming impressed by last week's Bangor University findings.

'The study lasted only four weeks and had only a tiny sample size of just 11 people. That is no basis on which to make claims about effects that last a lifetime.'

Dr Kubis acknowledges the study's limitations and says that he is working to produce a much larger trial to see if the findings are confirmed in people who start consuming large amounts of sugary soda.

In this, he faces one significant problem.

'It is difficult to find young people who have not previously been exposed to a lot of soft drinks,' he laments.

***

New York Times

Half of India Crippled by Second Day of Power Failures

By HEATHER TIMMONS and SRUTHI GOTTIPATI

NEW DELHI -- About 600 million people lost power in India on Tuesday when the country's northern and eastern electricity grids failed, crippling the country for a second consecutive day.

The outage stopped hundreds of trains in their tracks, darkened traffic lights, shuttered the Delhi Metro and left nearly everyone -- the police, water utilities, private businesses and citizens -- without electricity. About half of India's population of 1.2 billion people was without power.

India, however, has an unofficial power grid in the form of huge numbers of backup diesel generators and other private power sources. That kept electricity flowing in everything from private residences and small and large businesses to hospitals and major airports.

Manoranjan Kumar, an economic adviser with the Ministry of Power, said in a telephone interview that the grids had failed and that the ministry was working to figure out the source of the problem. The northern and eastern grids cover 11 states and the capital city of Delhi, stretching from India's northern tip in Kashmir to Rajasthan to West Bengal's capital of Kolkata.

The failure happened without warning just after 1 p.m., electric company officials said.

"We seem to have plunged into another power failure, and the reasons why are not at all clear," said Gopal K. Saxena, the chief executive of BSES, an electric company that services South Delhi, in a telephone interview. It may take a long time to restore power to north India, he said, because the eastern grid has also failed, and alternate power sources in Bhutan and the Indian state of Sikkim flow into the east first.

About two hours after the grid failure, power ministry authorities said some alternate arrangements had been made. "We are taking hydro power from Bhakhra Nangal Dam," in northern India, said Sushil Kumar Shinde, the power minister, in a televised interview.

India has struggled to generate enough power of its own to fuel businesses and light homes, and the country relies on huge imports of coal and oil to power its own plants. But supply and demand may not explain away this week's grid failures, power executives said.

The failure on Tuesday affected roughly twice as many people as the massive power outage the previous day, when the northern power grid failed and left more than 300 million people without power for several hours. No official reason for the Monday's failure has been given, although some local news reports pointed fingers at state governments which were overdrawing power.

That assessment is too simplistic, Mr. Saxena, of BSES, said. There are controls in place on India's electricity grids that override an outsized power demand. "We have one of the most robust, smart grids operating" in the world, he said. It would "not be wise" to give an assessment of what happened at this time, he added.

Institutions without a private backup system were shuttered. All trains stopped in the Delhi Metro, which carries nearly 2 million passengers a day. Trains were pulled to the closest stations using battery back up, and then evacuated, a spokeswoman for the Delhi Metro said, and the stations have been locked. "We had never anticipated such a thing," the spokeswoman said.

A trade body, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, or Assocham, said that Monday's power problem "totally disturbed the normal life and has severely impacted the economic activities."

"While on the one hand it is a pity that over 26,000 megawatts of power stations are idle due to the nonavailability of coal, on the other one grid failure has brought the system collapsed," said the group's secretary general D.S. Rawat, noting that "the entire power situation at present is headed for disaster."

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INNOVATION BY DESIGN

How A Foot-Powered Washing Machine Could Change Millions Of Lives

DEVELOPED BY TWO PRODUCT DESIGN STUDENTS, GIRADORA COULD BE THE NEXT BIG SOCIAL INNOVATION.

Their revised concept, developed on-site in the slum, is much the same as their current prototype. GiraDora is a blue bucket that conceals a spinning mechanism that washes clothes and then partially dries them. It's operated by a foot pedal, while the user sits on the lid to stabilize the rapidly churning contents. Sitting alleviates lower-back pain associated with hand-washing clothes, and frees up the washer to pursue other tasks. It's portable, so it can be placed nearby a water source, or even inside on a rainy day. It reduces health risks like joint problems, skin irritation, and mold inhalation. Most importantly, it uses far less water and cleans clothes faster than conventional hand-washing. This equates to more free time, explains Cabunoc, and the opportunity to "break the cycle of poverty."

GiraDora could have easily become another forgotten student project, left to languish at the back of a portfolio. But Cabunoc, who is clearly a budding entrepreneur, has spent the last six months pitching the idea to scholars and investors. He and You took GiraDora to Chile for a second test run, integrating user feedback into a second prototype. They were invited to pitch the device at a number of conferences, winning accolades from Dwell, Core77, Dell Social Innovation Challenge, and the International Design Excellence Awards.

Then, this spring, the team received a NCIIA E-Team grant of $19,500--a sum that will take GiraDora from a pitch deck to a real-world pilot program. Over the next year, the duo will travel back to Chile and Peru twice more, to test their business model and carry out long-term durability research. If all goes well, they could be rolling out a pilot program as early as next year, with plans to expand to India after that.

There's still a long way to go, explain the designers, who say their five-year goal is to reach "at least 15%" of their ultimate goal of 1 million users. What's the simplest metric they'll use to gauge GiraDora's success? "Ironically, when a family has outgrown their GiraDora by moving up economically."


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Have a great week ahead and keep on believing.
Almondtree Productions

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”
(Proverbs 19:17)


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When you claim the power of the keys, My light, love, energy, and force become a part of your very being.