Mother earth given "human rights"
CANADA.COM, 4/11/2011: UN document would give 'Mother Earth' same rights as humans [Excerpts]--Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving "Mother Earth" the same rights as humans--having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.
The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to "dominate and exploit"--to the point that the "well-being and existence of many beings" is now threatened.
The wording may yet evolve, but the general structure is meant to mirror Bolivia's Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, which Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted in January.
That document speaks of the country's natural resources as "blessings," and grants the Earth a series of specific rights that include rights to life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.
It also establishes a Ministry of Mother Earth, and provides the planet with an ombudsman whose job is to hear nature's complaints as voiced by activist and other groups, including the state....
In a 2008 pamphlet his entourage distributed at the UN as he attended a summit there, 10 "commandments" are set out as Bolivia's plan to "save the planet"--beginning with the need "to end capitalism."
Reflecting indigenous traditional beliefs, the proposed global treaty says humans have caused "severe destruction . . . that is offensive to the many faiths, wisdom traditions and indigenous cultures for whom Mother Earth is sacred." It also says that "Mother Earth has the right to exist, to persist and to continue the vital cycles, structures, functions and processes that sustain all human beings."
In indigenous Andean culture, the Earth deity known as Pachamama is the centre of all life, and humans are considered equal to all other entities.
Russia aiding sworn enemies of Israel
AP, 4/8/2011: Russia resumes fuel loading at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant [Excerpts]--The Russian company that built Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant...has started reloading fuel into the reactor, more than a month after the fuel was ordered removed because of contamination concerns.
The Atomstroyexport company said in a statement that the reactor will be reassembled "shortly," but did not give further details.... Fuel rod insertion began in October , at which time Iran said that the 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor would begin transmitting electricity to Iranian cities by December.
But in late February, Russia ordered that fuel be removed because of concerns that metal particles might be contaminating fuel assemblies....
The United States and some of its allies believe the Bushehr plant is part of a civil energy program that Iran is using as cover for a covert program to develop a nuclear weapons capability....
The Bushehr project dates back to 1974, when Iran's U.S.-backed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi contracted with the German company Siemens to build the reactor. The company withdrew from the project after the 1979 Islamic Revolution toppled the shah and brought hard-line clerics to power.
In 1992, Iran signed a $1 billion deal with Russia to complete the project and work began in 1995. Under the contract, Bushehr was originally scheduled to come on stream in July 1999.
Foreign intelligence reports have said the control systems at Bushehr were penetrated [and operations delayed] by Stuxnet, a malicious software designed to infiltrate [selected] computer systems.
"Believers'" battle for votes begins
Ministry Today, 4/19/2011: 2012 Candidates Talk Faith [Excerpts]--Recognizing the power of Christian voters, 2012 presidential hopefuls are already beginning to stake out their territory in the religious landscape.
In March, likely Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who converted to Catholicism two years ago, spoke at CornerstoneChurch, a San Antonio megachurch pastored by John Hagee. The thrice-married former house speaker told his audience that he was concerned his grandchildren could eventually find themselves "in a secular atheist country" that is potentially dominated by "radical Islamists."
More recently, billionaire Donald Trump appeared on CBN News to express his religious convictions and confirm his newly-embraced pro-life credentials. "I believe in God. I am Christian. I think the Bible is certainly, it is the book, it is the thing," he said.... Trump, who noted that he always goes to church on Easter and Christmas, also weighed in on Islam, describing the "negative vibe" he receives from the Qu'ran....
Other potential candidates who have been open about their Christian faith include Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Michelle Bachmann.
Former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney (a Mormon), is expected to throw his hat in the ring for the 2012 race, but faces the liability of his Mormon faith--considered by many evangelicals to be a cult....
Wars and rumors of wars
According to the March 31 report, Hezbollah has been busy in southern Lebanon for the past five years. The terror group has built more than 500 bunkers armed with various weapons, 300 underground facilities, and 100 storage units for rockets, missiles, and other weapons.
Many of these facilities are located near hospitals, homes, and schools.
Uzi Rubin, Israel's foremost missile and rocket expert, told CBN News the threat to the Jewish state was "severe."
"Those bunkers are not in population centers just by mistake," Uzi Rubin noted.
"The idea here is to attack Israeli population centers from Hezbollah population centers, to attack our population centers in order to terrorize and discourage us to fire from their population centers in order to use their own population as a human shield," he explained.
Rubin said Hezbollah's arsenal has quadrupled since 2006 to more than 40,000 rockets and missiles. He explained that for Israel, there is a bigger concern than the number of weapons.
"I think the most significant thing is that some of the rockets are accurate," he said. "They actually are guided rockets. They added guidance systems and control systems."
"Now, instead of spreading it around kilometers away from the target, they can put them within 500 meters of a target," Rubin explained. "Now they are becoming not just a terror threat, they are becoming a military threat."
This means Israel's national infrastructure, including power plants or BenGurionAirport in Tel Aviv, could become targets.
With Hezbollah's rockets now capable of reaching central Israel, the northern border isn't the only danger zone. Add the rockets from Hamas in the south and all of Israel is in range of its Islamic enemies.
These recent developments prompted Israel's new Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz to hold military drills last week. The IDF simulated a war with Hezbollah and Syria on its northern border, Hamas on its southern border, and the involvement of Iran.
An Israeli general explained the exercise was meant to prepare the IDF for a future war in light of the recent changes in the Middle East.