Current Events

Mysterious Deaths of Thousands of Birds

Today’s THV wrote on January 2, 2011:

“Just before folks in Beebe (Arkansas) rang in the New Year, many witnessed an uncanny resemblance to the Hitchcock movie ‘The Birds.’ About 2,000 black birds [actually, up to 5,000, see article below] fell from the sky off Windwood Drive, leaving quite the mess to clean up. Folks Today’s THV spoke with initially thought the birds were poisoned because they are what they call a nuisance around this time every year, but they are surprised to hear it is more of a mystery…

“The mystery is unraveling like scenes from a movie, dozens of U.S. Environmental Services crews spent the day picking up the birds, walking between homes and climbing on roofs with protective hazmat suits and breathing masks.

“Charles Boldrey stands outside watching the crews, ‘Nobody knows, I asked these guys who are out here picking them up and they don’t seem to know anything. Nobody seems to know anything. It just kind of freaked everybody out.’… Game and Fish Commission’s Karen Rowe says poisoning doesn’t appear to be the case and strange events similar to this have occurred across the globe a number of times.”

MSNBC wrote the following  on January 3, thereby only adding to the mystery:

“Preliminary autopsies on 17 of the up to 5,000 blackbirds that fell on this town indicate they died of blunt trauma to their organs, the state’s top veterinarian told NBC News on Monday. Their stomachs were empty, which rules out poison, Dr. George Badley said, and they died in midair, not on impact with the ground. That evidence… suggests they suffered some massive midair collision, he added. That lends weight to theories that they were startled by something…

“Violent weather rumbled over much of the state Friday, including a tornado that killed three people in Cincinnati, Ark. Lightning could have killed the birds directly or startled them to the point that they became confused. Hail also has been known to knock birds from the sky… Rough weather had hit the state earlier Friday, but the worst of it was already well east of Beebe by the time the birds started falling, said Chris Buonanno, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock.”

CNN added the following on January 4:

“Karen Rowe, an ornithologist for the game and fish commission, said the incident is not that unusual and is often caused by a lightning strike or high-altitude hail… Officials also speculated that fireworks shot by New Year’s revelers in the area might have caused severe stress in the birds… ‘Initial examinations of a few of the dead birds showed trauma. Whether or not this trauma was from the force of hitting the ground when they fell or from something that contacted them in the air, we don’t know,’ she said…

“In a seemingly separate incident, some 500 red-winged blackbirds, starlings and grackles were found dead in southern Louisiana in Labarre. The birds showed no evident trauma, according to Jim LaCour, a veterinarian with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.”

On January 5, USA Today reported about another theory explaining the deaths of thousands of birds in Arkansas: “It was someone shooting off professional grade fireworks in a residential district, scaring the night-blind birds out of their roost into a 25-mph flight that ran them into houses, signs and even the ground, says Karen Rowe, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission ornithologist.”

The Local reported on January 5 that “Shortly before midnight on Tuesday, residents found 50 to 100 jackdaws on a street in Falköping southeast of Skövde [Sweden]. The incident echoed a number of unexplained incidents earlier this week across the southern US.” reported on January 5: “A large number of dead birds spotted on the Hwy 155 bridge near Ore City [Texas] is most likely a natural occurrence in the area and not related to the mysterious bird deaths in Arkansas and Louisiana.”

Deaths of Thousands of Fish

There have also been reports of many fish dying. Today’s THV reported on January 2: “Arkansas Game & Fish is trying to figure out why 100,000 fish in Northwest Arkansas turned up dead. They were found along a 20-mile stretch between the Ozark Dam and Highway 109 Bridge in Franklin County.”

The Guardian added on January 4:

“Birds dropping dead from the skies and rivers flowing with tens of thousands of dead fish sounds like a cheesy Hollywood movie about the Apocalypse. Or the ravings of a Revelation-obsessed street preacher. But residents of several US states are coping with the reality of mystery mass wildlife deaths, which have left officials scratching their heads and jumpy members of the public joking (nervously) about the end of the world…

“Today it emerged that about 500 red-winged blackbirds and starlings had been found dead in Louisiana… That would be spooky enough. But the Louisiana bird die-off came just a few days after up to 5,000 blackbirds fell to earth in neighbouring Arkansas in the small town of Beebe…

“In even more grim news, anglers and other members of the public reported that more than 80,000 drum fish had suddenly died in the state’s Arkansas river, about 100 miles west of Beebe. The silvery bodies of the fish floated in the river and washed up on its sides having died at roughly the same time. In another incident, hundreds of miles away on the Maryland coast of Chesapeake Bay, tens of thousands of dead fish also washed up on the shore…” reported on January 5: “Thousands of dead fish were floating in Volusia County Tuesday (in Florida). The fish kill is unusual because it is warm, according to people who live along the creek.”

In addition, The Star reported on January 5 that “more than 40,000 Velvet swimming crabs have wound up dead on England beaches.”

Parana Online reported on January 3: “A survey… indicates that at least 100 tons of fish (sardine, croaker and catfish) have turned up dead since last Thursday off the coast of Parana (Brazil).”

“Birds and Fish Will Waste Away…”

These incidents remind us of a prophecy in Hosea 4:3 which awaits worldwide fulfillment in the future: “… the land will mourn; And everyone who dwells there will waste away with the beasts of the field And the birds of the air; Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.” In this context, the following article by The Examiner, dated January 4, is quite interesting:

“The incidents have prompted Christian sects to look to the Bible and, most importantly, to the sky, for more alleged signs of apocalyptic happenings… many believe this week’s dead birds and fish are a sign the Great Tribulation talked about in the book of Revelation and Daniel is fast approaching…

“According to the book of Revelation (depending on how one interprets prophetic code), there will be an increase in earthquakes, floods, war, and strange phenomena before God ushers mankind into the Great Tribulation, a three-and-half-year period of poverty, war, persecution, disease and mass death. Most Christians believe God will unleash the wrath while world powers move closer to one final battle between good and evil… 

“According to Christians, Jesus Christ will return to Earth to save mankind from destroying the world… Whether these events will unfold lies with those who believe in Bible prophecy. However, according to prophecy, as many understand it, they will occur before Christ returns.

“According to studies, 41 percent of Americans believe Jesus Christ will return by 2050. The remaining 59 percent make up those who predict other dates and groups who don’t believe in the Second Coming.”

Flood of “Biblical Proportions”?—Hardly!

The Sydney Morning Herald wrote on January 1:

“Queensland was suffering a flood disaster of ‘biblical proportions’ that could cost the state’s economy more than $1 billion, its government declared yesterday. Authorities confirmed that 200,000 people had been affected and 22 cities and towns inundated by the worst floods in Queensland’s history. More than 1000 people were in 17 evacuation centres across the state yesterday. That figure was expected to reach 4000 in the next few days, police said.”

BBC News added on January 3:

“Devastating flood waters across the Australian state of Queensland may not recede for weeks, the state’s Premier Anna Bligh has warned… Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard [said:] ‘This is a major natural disaster and recovery will take a significant amount of time. The extent of flooding being experienced by Queensland is unprecedented and requires a national and united response.’ Approximately 850,000 sq km have been affected, an area equivalent in size to France and Germany…

“The Queensland premier said 75% of operations at the state’s coal fields had been halted, which supply half of the world’s coking coal needed in steel manufacturing. The state is also responsible for almost all the country’s sugar production, and with cane fields drenched, Australia, usually a net exporter, will be forced to import.”

Even though such devastating floods are extremely trying, a flood of biblical proportions would be worldwide–one which would destroy the entire earth. God promises us, however, that such a flood will not occur (compare Genesis 8:21-22). But Christ also said that floods—much bigger than the current one in Australia—will ravage parts of this planet. Compare Luke 21:25: “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring…” At the same time, the Bible does say that certain English-speaking countries like Australia—one of the descendants of the ancient house of Israel—will experience tremendous hardship before certain other countries will, such as those in continental Europe.

2010—“Exceptional Year” for Worldwide Disasters

AFP wrote on January 3:

“The Haiti earthquake and floods in Pakistan and China helped make 2010 an exceptional year for natural disasters, killing 295,000 and costing $130 billion… The last time so many people died in natural disasters was in 1983, when 300,000 people died, mainly due to famine in Ethiopia… A total of 950 natural disasters were recorded last year, making 2010 the second worst year since 1980… And in terms of economic cost, insured losses amounted to approximately $37 billion, putting 2010 among the six most loss-intensive years for the insurance industry since 1980…

“The earthquake in Haiti in January was by far the worst disaster in terms of human cost, killing 222,570 people… Some 56,000 died in a combination of heatwaves and forest fires in Russia… The other most destructive events were an earthquake in China in April that killed 2,700, floods in Pakistan between July and September that cost 1,760 lives and August floods in China in which 1,470 perished… [the] earthquake in Chile… was the world’s most expensive natural disaster last year, with overall losses of 30 billion dollars and insured losses of eight billion dollars. The second most expensive disaster for the insurance industry was a series of earthquakes that rattled New Zealand, which cost an estimated 3.3 billion dollars…

“The American continent suffered the most disasters — 365 in total — with 310 in Asia. A total of 120 natural disasters were recorded in Europe, 90 in Africa and 65 in Australia and Oceania…”

New Laws in California

The Los Angeles Times reported on December 31:

“Californians will welcome 725 new laws on Jan. 1. Here’s a glance at some of the laws taking effect when you ring in the new year:

“AB 119 prevents insurance companies from charging different rates for men and women for identical coverage. SB 782 prevents landlords from evicting tenants who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse or stalking. AB 1844… will increase penalties, parole provisions and oversight of sex offenders, including a ‘one-strike, life-without-parole penalty’ for some.  AB 1871 allows people to lease out their cars when they are not being used—alleviating the need to purchase additional insurance… SB 1411 makes it a misdemeanor to maliciously impersonate someone via a social media outlet or through e-mails… SB 1317 allows the state to slap parents with a $2,000 fine if their K-8 child misses more than 10 percent of the school year without a valid excuse. It also allows the state to punish parents with up to a year in prison for the misdemeanor… SB 1399 allows California to medically parole state prison inmates with physical incapacitating conditions…”

Some of these new laws are good (for instance, AB 119, AB 1844 and SB 1411), but some are very bad, as they open up possibilities of terrible abuse (such as SB 1317). As always, this proves that man—in spite of good intentions—is really incapable of ruling justly and fairly.

New Governor in California—Same Old Same Old

BBC News reported on January 3:

“Jerry Brown is set to be inaugurated as the new governor of the US state of California, taking over from outgoing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mr Brown, a Democrat who also served as California’s governor from 1975 to 1983, will be only the second person to lead the state for three terms. He has warned California residents to expect ‘shared sacrifice’ as the state struggles to overcome a fiscal crisis… The state faces a $28bn (£18bn) budget shortfall over the next 18 months. Voters may be asked to agree to the extension of temporary taxes that were brought in in 2009 and are due to expire in July. Mr Brown, 72, will need the backing of some Republicans in the state legislature if he is to put any tax measures to voters.”

The Telegraph added on January 3:

“Having taken the helm of the troubled state declaring ‘failure is not an option’, Mr Schwarzenegger, 63, leaves with an approval rating of just 22 per cent and a tripled $28 billion budget deficit. His decision to focus on tackling climate change was criticised by opponents and commentators who said he should have prioritised fixing the state’s economy, the eighth largest in the world. His departure, which comes amid fears California could become insolvent, has prompted headlines in the US media such as ‘Hasta La Vista, Failure’.”

We have seen a steady decline in California’s economy—notwithstanding all of the usual (but failed) promises from past and present politicians, regardless of whether they belong to one of the two major parties or whether they are independent. And so, it would be extremely naïve to expect that the new administration were to improve California’s status.

Why the Euro Will Not Fail

Bloomberg wrote on December 31:

“French President Nicolas Sarkozy said today that an end of the euro common currency would signal the end of Europe.  ‘Europe held strong, Europe protected us’ in the economic crisis, Sarkozy said… ‘I will oppose this backlash with all my strength,’ he said… France will hold the rotating chairmanship both of the Group of 20 nations and of the Group of Eight in 2011…”

Reuters reported on December 30:

“’Europe stands, in these months, in the middle of a great test. We must strengthen the euro. It’s not just about our money. The euro is far more than a currency,’ [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel [told] the country… ‘The euro is the foundation of our prosperity. Germany needs Europe and our common currency. For our own well-being and in order to overcome great worldwide challenges. We Germans assume our responsibility, even when it is sometimes very hard.’”

President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel are absolutely right. The end of the euro would be the end of Europe, and since the Bible clearly says that Europe’s unification (the last revival of the ancient Roman Empire) will continue until shortly before Christ’s return, we know that the euro will also continue to be the common currency for the major EU countries—including the ten nations or groups of nations which will arise out of the current EU. Far from abandoning the euro, more and more European countries are adopting it, as the next article shows:

The Associated Press reported on December 31:

“Estonians are preparing for historic New Year’s celebrations as the tiny Baltic country begins phasing in the euro on Jan. 1. Estonia will become the 17th nation in the euro area and the first former Soviet republic to adopt the common currency.”

This is not to say that the world, including Europe, won’t face for a while dire or “expensive” times in the future, including financial hardship. Jesus speaks in His famous Olivet Prophecy of “expensive times,” in addition to wars and “earthquakes here and there” (Matthew 24:7, revised Luther translation from 1964). In this context, please see the next article:

Expect Sharply Rising Oil Prices

Deutsche Welle reported on January 3:

“Oil prices closed out 2010 at a 26-month high of $92 (69 euros) a barrel… there is widespread agreement that consumers and industry can expect sharply rising prices due to soaring demand…  some experts are predicting… a surge to levels never seen before – possibly as high as $200 a barrel…

“Werner Zittel, an oil expert… told German public broadcaster ARD on Monday that ‘the hour of truth’ had arrived. ‘Can global oil production keep up with the growing demand or not? I tend to think: no, game over,’ he said. Zittel is convinced that 2011 will be a fateful year for worldwide oil supplies. He believes that the price shock of 2008 was just a harbinger of what’s to come…

“Economists are worried that rising energy prices could stifle the fledgling economic recovery. If manufacturers are forced to charge more for goods due to rising production costs for energy, consumers will cut back on purchases which, in turn, would put another dent in sales and profits.”

Russia-China Oil Pipeline Opens

BBC News reported on January 1:

“The first oil pipeline linking the world’s biggest oil producer, Russia, and the world’s biggest consumer of energy, China, has begun operating… Concentrated in western Siberia, Russia’s network of pipelines for oil exports has so far run towards Europe… Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer in 2009. China surpassed the US as the world’s largest consumer of energy last year.”

As prophesied, Russia and China are moving closer together, and farther away from Europe. What impact the new pipeline will have on overall oil prices for the rest of the world will have to be seen.

Europe Concerned Over Egypt

Deutsche Welle reported on January 3:

“Chancellor Merkel said in a message to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday that she experienced ‘horror and revulsion’ when hearing the news of the New Year’s Day bombing in Alexandria, Egypt, in which 21 people died and dozens were injured. ‘The German government condemns this barbaric terrorist attack, in which Christians – but also Muslims – lost their lives, to the utmost,’ Merkel wrote. The deadly attack has prompted widespread condemnation across the political spectrum in Europe.

“In a letter to Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, French President Nicolas Sarkozy wrote that ‘nobody should be worried or afraid for their life in exercising their fundamental right to freely practice their faith.’ Italy’s foreign minister Franco Frattini urged his European Union counterparts to respond forcefully to the attack and to discrimination of Christians throughout the world… ‘The moment for a powerful and clear political response by all governments that cherish human rights, of which religious freedom is a basic part, has come’…

“The parliamentary human rights spokesman of Germany’s Green party, Volker Beck, said ‘the condemnation of such attacks is not enough. Egypt and other states must effectively combat the demons of religious intolerance.’ Contemplating measures that could be taken, Stefan Mueller, the parliamentary leader of Germany’s Christian Social Union, said it was time to tie development aid to the question of whether or not Christians are persecuted by the state or groups in a particular country. ‘There can be no financial aid to countries in which Christians cannot practice their faith unhindered,’ Mueller said…

“The deputy party leader of Germany’s governing Christian Democrats, Annette Schavan, called on Islamic leaders around the world to take a clear stand against religious violence. ‘Muslim authorities in Cairo and elsewhere must clearly distance themselves from all forms of violence in the name of religion,’ she said…”

Die Tageszeitung wrote on January 3:

“So the new year has brought al-Qaida’s insanity, as we know it from Iraq, into Egypt… the Egyptian government needs to finally stand up against the creeping Islamization of the country…”

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote on January 3:

“… America’s war in Iraq has increased pressure on Christians in the region. But the errors and dubious nature of Western politics alone cannot ‘explain’ this new terror. The jihadists believe that they have to ‘cleanse’ Islam of Western influence…”

The Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote on January 3:

“Egypt was long seen as the anchor of stability in a region which, for decades, has been synonymous with political violence. But the human rights situation is a catastrophe, the regime is corrupt, the superficial democracy is a farce. That all fuels the popularity of… Islam. Given the fine line between militant and non-militant Islam, violent attacks could soon return to Egypt.”

The Bible predicts a confederacy against Israel (the state of Israel, as well as USA and Great Britain) between nations such as Germany (biblical Assyria) and Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq (Psalm 83:5-8; note, however, that Egypt is not listed there; nor is Iran). Daniel 11:42-43 also shows that in these last days, Europe (the king of the North) will invade the Middle East and the Glorious Land, and “Egypt shall not escape.”

Core Europe in the Making…

The Guardian wrote on January 4:

“2011 could turn out to be the year that a multispeed Europe starts to look more like a two-speed Europe, with an inner core impelled towards closer political and economic union by the need to rescue the single currency.

“The UK risks becoming a marginal voice, as European decision making is increasingly centred around the euro area. The French and allies are pushing hard for summits restricted to euro area leaders, who would meet to discuss ‘European economic government’ within their inner core… Britain is the least powerful of the three most powerful countries that between them dominate the EU. On its own, it cannot make the EU bend to its will…

“The single market’s creation, nearly two decades ago, required an unholy alliance between European federalists and free market liberals… calling for a free-trade Europe without a supra-national regulator at the top is so much empty talk, you don’t get one without the other.

“As EU leaders struggle to save the euro in 2011, the danger is of a different bargain between federalists and corporatists. In concrete terms, rich paymaster countries like France and Germany may accept pleas to guarantee the debts of insolvent nations on Europe’s periphery only in exchange for economic harmonisation on their terms. The numbers would be on their side: assemble the countries that use the euro – with such free-market advocates as Britain, Sweden, Denmark or the Czech Republic absent from the room – and the balance of opinion swings towards interventionism.

“…any creation of a formal inner core around the single currency… could change the very nature of the European project, in ways that make it far less congenial to the free market… If 2011 does see a leap towards a two-speed Europe, securing a place in the slow lane will only mark the start of Britain’s worries.”

The Bible clearly prophesies the emergence of a core Europe, consisting of ten nations or groups of nations, and countries like Britain, Denmark and Sweden will—in all likelihood–not be part of core Europe.

Russia Laughs at Europe

The EUObserver wrote on December 30:

“Commentators have warned that polite diplomacy alone will have zero impact on an increasingly wayward Russia as EU leaders lined up to criticise the jailing of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Thursday…

“’There’s nothing anyone can say outside of Russia that has any effect on the Russians. They just laugh as we condemn their actions,’ Bill Browder, the CEO of US venture capitalist firm Hermitage Capital, whose lawyer, Sergey Magnitsky, died in suspicious circumstances in a Russian prison last year, told this website shortly after the Khodorkovsky sentence.

“’The only action that has any effect on their behavior is targeted sanctions taken outside Russia against specific Russian officials. When they see that they could be personally punished for violating human rights or abusing their own people, they get scared,’ he added. ‘If they behave like cannibals at home, we shouldn’t invite them to our dinner tables in Europe.’

“Andrew Wilson, a UK-based Russia expert at the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR) think-tank, noted: ‘Definitely, there is no rule of law in Russia. There is the opposite: the trial shows that everyone is fundamentally prosecutable.’…

“…the EU is currently finalising its approval of Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organisation. EU member France this week clinched a €1.4 billion arms deal with Moscow, while Germany is the lead EU investor in a new Russian gas pipeline. Beyond the Union, the International Olympic Committee aims to hold the 2014 winter games in Russia and the international football authority, Fifa, recently awarded it the 2018 world cup…

“Mr Browder added: ‘My advice to the big companies in the West is to avoid Russia entirely because investing there is like a game of Russian roulette and you should be prepared to literally have your head blown off if things go wrong… if you do have problems, as my company did, you don’t just risk losing money, people get killed.”

However, greed and the desire to make a profit will override Mr. Browder’s warnings. And sadly, political and economic interests seem to be much more important to the rulers and the mighty of this world than individual liberties and freedom.

“When the Messiah Comes…”

On January 6, 2011, Haaretz wrote the following:

“When the Messiah comes, rabbis will treat him like Jesus. They will brand him disloyal… In wall posters, Sabbath sermons, ritual decrees and signed petitions, careful not to use his title, chief rabbis of cities and towns will warn of an existential threat to the essential Jewish character of the state… The rabbis’ declarations will divide the Jewish people and bring wrath and dishonor upon Israel…

“When the Messiah comes, the Right will crucify him… ads and billboards [will show] him with a tail to go along with his horns…

“When the Messiah comes, an Israel political party… will propose legislation declaring him a delegitimizer of Israel and the army…, a blasphemer of Zionism… and rendering him ineligible for citizenship unless he signs a loyalty oath stating that even if Israel did practice crucifiction, it did so in a democratic and Jewish manner… [They] will take out a Facebook page headed ‘Mavet L’ Mashiach’ – Death to the Messiah.”

Sadly, when the Messiah comes, the nations of this world will not recognize Him and even try to fight Him in war.

©2024 Church of the Eternal God