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Attack shuts Iraq’s largest oil refinery, kills 1

March 3, 2011 Comments off

BAGHDAD— Gunmen attacked Iraq’s largest oil refinery before dawn Saturday, killing a guard and forcing a shutdown that threatened to exacerbate acute electricity shortages that have prompted violent protests.

The gunmen detonated bombs that sparked a fire and forced the facility to halt operations, officials said. A few hours later, a small refinery in the south shut down after a technical failure sparked a fire in a storage unit, an official said.

If not fixed swiftly, the two shutdowns could translate into long lines at fuel stations and even longer electricity outages.

The dearth of reliable electricity — some Iraqis get just a few hours a day — was one of the leading complaints of protesters during violent anti-government protests across Iraq on Friday.

The attack on Iraq’s largest refinery, Beiji, began at about 3:30 a.m. Assailants carrying pistols fitted with silencers attacked guards and planted bombs near some production units for benzene and kerosene, said the spokesman for Salahuddin province, Mohammed al-Asi.

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Luke 17:26-30 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the Day when the Son of Man is revealed.”

Christ was revealing that just as they took no note worthy view of the warnings back in those days of judgment, neither will they do so in these last days of this age. The end will come as a thief in the night to them because they will not heed the healthful urgency of what is about to happen. I know from my own personal experience with Noah that he was laughed and scoffed at like he was a simple minded idiot for even suggesting that the earth could be flooded. You will also be treated in a like fashion by the majority. But fear of dying at Armageddon will not be enough to save a person. They must be sincere in why they seek Father. Otherwise, Christ will still bar them from the kindness of Salvation. He is permitted to judge their true heart conditions.

Unrest in the Middle East and North Africa – country by country

February 19, 2011 Comments off

(CNN) – Two months ago, a Tunisian fruit vendor struck a match that started a fire that has spread throughout the much of North Africa and the Middle East. Muhammad Bouazizi’s self-immolation prompted anti-government protests that toppled regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. Here are the latest developments, including the roots of the unrest, as well as a look at previous events in affected countries.

Friday developments:

LIBYA

Tens of thousands of Libyans took to the streets Friday to air their discontent with four decades of Moammar Gadhafi, the longest-ruling non-royalty head of state in the world, witnesses said. At least 20 people were killed and 200 were injured in the northern Mediterranean city of Benghazi, Libya’s second largest, said a medical source in Benghazi, who was not identified for security reasons. CNN was unable to independently verify the information. U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the outbreak of violence in Libya.

Roots of unrest:

Protests in Libya, ruled by Gadhafi since a 1969 coup, began in January when demonstrators, fed up with delays, broke into a housing project the government was building and occupied it. Gadhafi’s government responded with a $24 billion fund for housing and development. A month later, more demonstrations were sparked when police detained relatives of those killed in an alleged 1996 massacre at the Abu Salim prison, according to Human Rights Watch. High unemployment has also fueled the protests, as have anti-Gadhafi groups

BAHRAIN

Four people were killed in the center of Bahrain’s capital Friday, where shots were fired after demonstrators gathered, an ambulance worker in Manama told CNN. U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the violence. The new protests came a day after a violent police and military crackdown left four dead and scores wounded. What seemed like thousands of people – some chanting anti-government slogans – marched in the town of Sitra to attend the funerals of three of the four people killed Thursday. Two other people died during disturbances earlier in the week. The tiny island nation is a U.S. ally and houses the headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

Roots of unrest:

Protesters initially took to the streets of Manama on Monday to demand reform and the introduction of a constitutional monarchy. But some are now calling for the removal of the royal family, which has led the Persian Gulf island state since the 18th century. Young members of the country’s Shiite Muslim majority have staged violent protests in recent years to complain about discrimination, unemployment and corruption, issues they say the country’s Sunni rulers have done little to address. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights says authorities launched a clampdown on dissent in late 2010. It accused the government of torturing some human rights activists.

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