1. Terrorists Blow Up Part of Holy Golden Dome Shrine in Iraq - Associated Press
Saboteurs blew up the two minarets of a revered Askariya Shiite shrine in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, early Wednesday, in a repeat of the February, 2006 attack that shattered its famous golden dome and unleashed a wave of retaliatory sectarian violence. Blaming Al Qaeda Sunni extremists, the 30-member bloc of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr threatened to suspend its membership in Iraq's parliament until the government takes "realistic" steps to rebuild the shrine. This move could weaken the Shiite-dominated government and delay adoption of laws needed to build national reconciliation in Iraq.
In a nationally televised address, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki quickly imposed an indefinite curfew on vehicle traffic and large gatherings in Baghdad and ordered security forces to bolster protection of Iraq's religious shrines and mosques. His office also said he had met with the U.S. commander, Gen. David Petraeus, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker to ask that U.S. reinforcements on heightened alert, be sent to Samarra, even though protection of the mosque has been left to Iraqi forces in the past.
The mosque contains the tombs of the 10th and 11th imams -- Ali al-Hadi, who died in 868, and his son, Hassan al-Askari, who died in 874. Both are descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, and Shiites consider them to be among his successors. The shrine also is near the place where the 12th imam, Mohammed al-Mahdi, disappeared. Al-Mahdi, known as the "hidden imam," was the son and grandson of the two imams buried in the Askariya shrine. Shiites believe he will return to Earth restore justice to humanity.
Police said that other bombings included a Shiite shrine blown up north of Baghdad, and two Sunni mosques bombed south of the capital.
*Dear Lord, we pray that in this new round of intra-Muslim bloodshed You will be glorified and that many Muslims and those involved with protection of the area will come to know Your Son, Jesus as their Savior. May this event show the futileness of having faith in dead prophets and imams! May we pray as Jesus prayed: "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:3 NKJV)
2. Palestinian Infighting Reaches New Heights, Literally: 12 Dead And Rising - Israel Insider
Sunday, Palestinian militant groups, Hamas and Fatah, took turns tossing their rivals off tall buildings. Monday, they killed each other in and around hospitals. The inventiveness of Arab cruelty spiralled higher, as the warring factions crossed additional red lines in their bloodletting. In the afternoon, Hamas militants tossed a Fatah activist, handcuffed, from the 15th floor of a Gaza City skyscraper in the afternoon. In the evening, Fatah militants responded by defenestrating a Hamas man from the 12th floor of another building.
Defenestration, a little used word, is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window. It is also a word historically used since the 1400's in connection with Prague, Czechoslovakia and its practice of throwing disfavored public officials out of their windows to their deaths. It now has become an execution method used by Palestinian terrorist groups to kill their own.
* Dear Lord, this increased Palestinian violence against Israel and now themselves, has been a matter of prayer for Israelis, Americans and Middle Easterners for a long time! May this barbaric practice of defenestration and wholesale murder stop and Your Peace take its place! As King Solomon said: " Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter--on the side of their oppressors there is power, but they have no comforter." (Ecclesiastes 4: 1 NKJV)
3. Kosovo: A New Nation With United Nations Recognition? - CNS News and Stratfor Briefs
The Contact Group on the Balkans -- made up of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Russia -- will meet in Paris without Russian representatives to discuss solutions for the Kosovo crisis if it separates itself from Serbia. U.S. President George W. Bush hinted during his visit to Albania on Sunday that Washington is ready to recognize Kosovo even without U.N. consent. Russia, a longstanding ally of Belgrade, has said it will veto Kosovar independence.
Serbian President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica warned the United States and other Western countries against recognizing Kosovo without a U.N. Security Council resolution, adding that it would be a "very harmful" move. Tadic also rejected the idea of offering Serbia membership in NATO and the European Union in exchange for giving up Kosovo.
The Albanian majority of Kosovo are demanding full independence, but the Serbs see the province as their historic heartland and are not willing to let it go. Kosovo, a province in southern Serbia, has been under United Nations administration since 1999. Kosovo borders Montenegro, Albania and the Republic of Macedonia.
* Perhaps Kosovo's new beginnings were foretold by the Apostle Paul when he was visited in a vision by a Macedonian man pleading with him to "Come over to Macedonia and help us." Now, may we visit Macedonia and their neighboring country, Kosovo, with our prayers for their divine help, restoration and salvation! "Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them." (Acts 16: 9-10 NKJV)
4. Wyoming U.S. Senate Hopefuls Step Forward - Casper Star-Tribune (Wyoming)
A lot of Republicans -- maybe 20, maybe more -- want to replace the late Craig Thomas in the U.S. Senate, State GOP Chairman Fred Parady said Monday. Applicants already include recently resigned Wyoming U.S. Attorney Matt Mead, state Rep. Colin Simpson of Cody, state Sen. John Barrasso of Casper, and former state GOP Chairman Tom Sansonetti of Cheyenne. Another potential candidate is Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney.
Next Tuesday is the deadline for the state GOP to submit three nominees for the open seat left by Thomas, who died last week at the age of 74. After that, Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal will have five days to select from the three nominees the successor, who'll serve until the 2008 general election.
* May the evil one who seeks to perpetuate his own agenda of abortion and same sex marriage be finished! In the MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS, we ask You, Dear Father to give Your wisdom to Governor Freudenthal as he selects the next senator from the great State of Wyoming! " The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open." (Isaiah 22:22 NJKV)
5. Most Wanted Indonesian Terrorist Arrested - Stratfor Briefs
Indonesian police have arrested Abu Dujana, the most wanted militant in the country, a police spokesman said June 13. Dujana was arrested along with seven other suspects June 9 at Dujana's house in Banyuwangi, Central Java province. Dujana is a suspected top leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah militant group.
* Praise to God that He is pinpointing the whereabouts of these terrorists for authorities to arrest! May Indonesians rejoice and turn to the one true God, knowing that Jehovah Jirah has provided this release from terror! "Then Jesus said to them, 'A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you, he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.'" (John 12: 35-36 a,b NKJV)
6. Iran Arming Taliban, U.S. Claims - CNN.com
The United States has "irrefutable evidence" that Tehran is transferring arms to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, according to U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, who also noted on Wednesday that NATO forces have intercepted some of the arms shipments.
"Iran is operating against the last Security Council Resolution 1747, passed on March 24, which said that Iran must not transfer arms outside of Iran, and here it is doing it in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq, so Iran is in outright violation of its Security Council commitments," according to Burns.
In late May, U.S. and British officials simply said that weapons crossing the border from Iran to Afghanistan may be winding up in the hands of the Taliban, the hard-line Islamic militia that is battling U.S.- and NATO-led forces in Afghanistan.
A U.S. official who requested anonymity, told CNN last month that the United States believes that Iran's supreme leaders certainly know about these operations and could stop them if they wanted to. Both U.S. officials and outside analysts said that any malicious intentions on Iran's part would only be directed at the United States. The majority-Shiite Iran would not, they said, want the Taliban to gain too much strength. The Taliban are virulently anti-Shiite.
* Father God, our only hope in times of trouble, we ask You to again ferret out the terrorist murderers and bring them to Your justice! May You protect the innocent, and be glorified in Iran and throughout the Middle East! "He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints." (Proverbs 2: 8 NKJV)