Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Daily Brief - Wednesday, May 7, 2008

". . . the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" (Isaiah 30:18)

Today's Daily Brief
1. Oil Price Might Climb To $200

- Washington Times

Crude oil could rise between $150 and $200 a barrel within two years, as growth in supply fails to keep pace with demand from developing nations, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts, reported yesterday. One of the world's emerging oil consumers, China, is increasing refining capacity and boosting imports to meet rising demand for the Olympic Games. China, the world's fastest-growing major economy, has more than doubled its oil use since crude prices dropped to this decade's low of $16.70 a barrel in November, 2001.

Deutsche Bank AG chief energy economist, Adam Sieminski, who forecasts oil averaging $102.50 next year, said yesterday, that Asian demand and limited extra supply will keep pushing oil to record levels. There's a "huge risk" that prices will rise to a level, perhaps $200, "when demand finally collapses because ordinary people can no longer afford to burn as much energy as they are burning now."

· Father, You created oil reserves. Please help America find oil within her borders and allow her a Congress who will approve exploration for these treasures. May Israel and her allies have the same blessing from You. May the whole world that You created, seek You for help and know that You are our only hope. For Your Glory, we pray. Amen.

· "Say to those who are fearful-hearted, 'Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.'" (Isaiah 35: 4 NKJV)

2. Russia, US Sign Civil Nuclear Pact as New Russian President and Prime Minister Sworn In- ABC News and CNN

Russian and U.S. officials signed a key agreement on civilian nuclear power Tuesday, that could give Washington access to Russian technology, and potentially hand Moscow lucrative deals on storing spent fuel. To set the deal in place, President Bush must still send it to Congress. It would become effective unless Congress passes legislation within 90 days to block it. A bill pending in the Senate would block such an agreement unless Russia has stopped cooperating with Iran's nuclear or advanced conventional and missile program, or Iran has stopped enriching uranium. The U.S. has similar agreements with other major economic powers, including China. The nuclear deal, signed on the eve of Dmitry Medvedev's inauguration as president, signals a reversal in policy for the U.S. administration on cooperating with Russia on nuclear issues. Russia's new president named his predecessor Vladimir Putin as his new prime minister two hours after he was sworn in Wednesday, agencies report.

· Gracious Father Who Knows Everything, we humbly ask You to continue to reveal strategic alliances and agreements that may or may not be beneficial to America, Israel and the rest of the free world. May many come to know You as their Savior because of these negotiations, and may You determine this proposed nuclear pact's outcome, and if America and Russia should be nuclear collaborators. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

· "The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty." (Proverbs 21: 5 NKJV)

3. Risk Of Bird Flu Pandemic Probably Growing - ABC News

The risk of a human influenza pandemic remains real and is probably growing as the bird flu virus becomes entrenched in poultry in more countries, health officials warned on Tuesday. Some 150 experts are attending a meeting hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) to update its guidance to countries on how to boost their defenses against a deadly global epidemic.

The H5N1 avian flu virus has infected flocks in much of Asia, Africa and parts of Europe. Experts fear it could mutate into a form that passes easily from person to person, sparking an influenza pandemic that could kill millions. The WHO uses six phases of pandemic alert to gauge levels of threat. The world is currently in phase 3, meaning that a new influenza virus sub-type is causing disease in humans but is not yet spreading efficiently.

· Thank You Lord, that the H5N1 avian influenza virus is not infecting and spreading efficiently, as the health experts report. May these experts realize that You knew this illness would manifest itself before time began, and that they will look to You for sound research and antidotes for this potential pandemic. Again, may this situation bring many more to know You as their Savior worldwide. In Your Name, we pray. Amen.

· "Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter." (Proverbs 24: 11 NKJV)

4. Obama Wins In North Carolina, As Hillary Takes Indiana - NewsMax

Barack Obama swept to a convincing victory in the North Carolina primary Tuesday night, and declared he was closing in on the Democratic presidential nomination. Hillary Rodham Clinton eked out a win in Indiana as she struggled to halt her rival's march into history.

"Tonight we stand less than 200 delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination for president of the United States," Obama told a raucous rally in Raleigh, N.C. - and left no doubt he intended to claim the prize. Clinton stepped before her own supporters not long afterward in Indianapolis. "Thanks to you, it's full speed on to the White House," she said, signaling her determination to fight on in a campaign already waged across more than 16 months and nearly all 50 states.

· Gracious Father, when will man truly know that You are the Creator of Life, and that they should not vote for those who do not respect life? We ask You that someday soon, neither political party in the United States will nominate any candidate who champions abortion, homosexuality as a lifestyle, cloning, euthanasia or other issues that separate America's two major parties. May our nation honor and respect You and Your Commandments and elect officials who will do the same. We pray for a President who will honor and respect You, and for salvation for those candidates and their supporters who do not know Your Son as their Savior yet. We humbly ask this in Your Son's Holy Name, Amen.

· "God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations." (Psalm 67: 1-2 NKJV)

5. Congressman Will Move to Defund War Under Democrat President -

House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), said on Tuesday he will move to end the Iraq War with an immediate termination of funding, if a Democrat becomes president next year. "I will move to cut funding immediately," said Frank. "I have already done that. I voted against the war and voted to cut the funding. I would hope a Democratic president would put in place a plan that would begin a total withdrawal."

So far, neither of the Democratic presidential candidates, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, has been willing to unambiguously commit to a plan to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by 2013.

· Help, Lord. May we not be headed to another international tragedy like Viet Nam where selfish lawmakers defunded the South Vietnamese government and sent them and their countrymen to their slaughter. Please grant us lawmakers who will not "cut and run" for political expediency. May America remain Christ-like and do what Your Son, Jesus, would do...Help the helpless, defend the defenseless, and bring Glory to the Father. And, may many be saved in the Middle East because of America's presence there, just as there were many saved in Viet Nam. In Your Name, we ask this and pray. Amen.

· "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Selah. Our God is the God of salvation; and to God the Lord, belong escapes from death." (Psalm 68: 19-20 NKJV)

The Middle East in Focus

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all His saints. Praise LORD." (Psalm 149:5-9)

1. Senior Kadima source: Olmert probe could lead to new elections - Ynet News

The latest investigation against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert could shake up the political system and lead to new elections, a senior Kadima official said Tuesday night.

2. Olmert: Israel owes fallen a debt of honor - Ynet News

A two-minute siren wailed throughout Israel's towns and cities at 11 am on Wednesday as all paused to remember the country's 22,437 fallen.

3. Israel: Iran could have nukes by '09 - Jerusalem Post

With Iran racing forward with its nuclear program, Israel now believes the Islamic Republic will master centrifuge technology and be able to begin enriching uranium on a military scale this year, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

4. Methodists abandon Israel divestment - Jerusalem Post

Jewish activists are hailing the overwhelming decision by the United Methodist Church to abandon efforts to divest from companies that allegedly contribute to Israel's occupation of the West Bank.


This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"You are My battle axe and weapons of war: for with you will I break in pieces the nations, and with you will I destroy kingdoms; with you will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with you will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider . . . with you will I break in pieces captains and rulers. And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, says LORD." (Jeremiah 51:20-24)

1. Joint Chiefs signal possible Iran strike - World Tribune

Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last week provided the clearest signal to date that the U.S. military is preparing to strike Iran to cut off covert supplies of weapons to Iraqi insurgents.

2. John Bolton: US should bomb Iranian camps - London Telegraph

John Bolton, America's ex-ambassador to the United Nations, has called for US air strikes on Iranian camps where insurgents are trained for war in Iraq.

3. Iran rejects incentives that 'violate atomic rights' - Ynet News

Iran will not agree to any package of incentives offered by world powers that violate Iran's nuclear rights, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

4. Iran completely stops conducting oil transactions in US dollars - AP

A top Oil Ministry official says Iran, OPEC's second- largest producer, has completely stopped conducting all its oil transactions in U.S. dollars. Iran has dramatically reduced dependence on the dollar over the past year in the face of increasing U.S. pressure on its financial system and the fall in the value of the American currency.

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer." (Psalm 66:19)


Muslim extremists and local government authorities last week threatened to tear down a church building under construction in North Sumatra even though church leaders met requirements of Indonesia's draconian law on worship places, the church's pastor said. Emboldened by local authorities' unwillingness to grant a church building permit to Protestant Bataks Christian Church (Huria Kristen Batak Protestan, or HKBP), some 100 Muslim extremists accompanied by government officials on April 29 tried to destroy the building under construction in Jati Makmur village, North Binjai, 22 kilometers (14 miles) from the provincial capital of Medan. (Compass Direct News)


Three men, one of them armed with a gun and wearing gloves, threatened a Protestant church and its pastor in the Turkish capital city of Ankara yesterday. The culprits fled in a car before police could be summoned. The men drove up to Kurtulus Church in Ankara's Cebeci district, and a heavy-set man about 45 years old went up to the locked church building and began to ring the doorbell repeatedly. He threatened to "get rid" of the pastor, and moments later one of the men in his car began walking toward a nearby church member, shouting and waving a pistol at him. The attempted attack marked the seventh incident in the past four months of threatened violence against Turkey's tiny Protestant community, most of whom are former Muslims who converted to Christianity. (Compass Direct News)


An advocacy organization reported this week that Chinese authorities now accuse a Beijing businessman of being a "dangerous religious element" - which a long-time friend dismissed as contrary to Christian bookstore owner Shi Weihan's gentle, patriotic nature. Authorities have been slow to reveal charges against Shi, who after his original arrest for "illegal business practices" on November 28, 2007 was released on January 4 due to "insufficient evidence." Re-arrested on March 19 for printing Bibles and Christian literature, until last week he had been denied a visit by his attorney. Following that visit, China Aid Association reported on Monday (April 28) that authorities were holding Shi as a "dangerous religious element." (Compass Direct News)

Chinese Build Secret Nuclear Base

China has secretly built a major underground nuclear submarine base that could threaten Asian countries and challenge American power in the region. Satellite imagery, passed to The Daily Telegraph, shows that a substantial harbor has been built which could house a score of nuclear ballistic missile submarines and a host of aircraft carriers. Other images show numerous warships moored to long jettys and a network of underground tunnels at the Sanya base on the southern tip of Hainan island. The location of the base off Hainan will also give the submarines access to very deep water exceeding 5,000 metres within a few miles, making them even harder to detect.

Of even greater concern to the Pentagon are massive tunnel entrances, estimated to be 60ft high, built into hillsides around the base. Sources fear they could lead to caverns capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines from spy satellites. The development so close to the sea lanes vital to Asian economies'can only cause concern far beyond these straits. In what will be a significant challenge to US Navy dominance and to countries ringing the South China Sea, one photograph shows China's latest 094 nuclear submarine at the base just a few hundred miles from its neighbors. The US Department of Defense has estimated that China will have five 094 nuclear submarines operational by 2010 with each capable of carrying 12 JL-2 nuclear missiles.

Military analysts believe that China's substantial build up of its forces is gaining pace put has remained hidden from the world in the build-up to the Olympics. China has diverted much of its resources from the huge Peoples Liberation Army to the navy, air force and missile development, expected to build six carriers within the next 5 - 10 years. (The London Daily Telegraph)

. Praise the Lord for satellite imaging that reveals what the enemy thinks it has hidden. Pray that much more information about this naval build-up by China is soon uncovered. Pray that no US traitor passes any more information to the Chinese, for this once - backward country now desires to be a great world power. Continue to pray for the growth of Christianity within China and for protection for the Christians living there.

. "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by fear of the Lord men depart from evil." (Proverbs 16:6)