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End Time News – Updated 3 July 2014 - 4 stories
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earthquake headlines             6.0 quakes            7.0 quakes            quakes in diverse places          quake map

Magnitude 7.9 earthquake rumbles Alaska's Aleutian Islands
by Thomson - Reuters

Undersea quake triggered hundreds of large aftershocks, no injuries or damage reported

A magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck deep under the ocean floor near Alaska's Aleutian Islands, triggering shaking that could be felt for vast distances and briefly prompting a tsunami warning, the National Tsunami Warning Center said.

The tsunami warning, later downgraded to an advisory, prompted the evacuation of about 200 residents of the town of Adak to higher ground, city manager Layton Lockett said. The quake did not appear to cause any injuries or damage.

The earthquake was so large and deep that it triggered dozens of aftershocks within an hour and prompted enough shaking that it will be picked up by seismometers around the world over the next 24 hours, said Mike West, a seismologist who serves as director of the Alaska Earthquake Center.

"When you've got an earthquake that big, it rings the Earth like a bell," West said.

Lockett said he and his staff were in their offices when the earthquake struck.

"Oh, we felt it," he said. "We felt it in length, in duration and in intensity. We were sitting there for about 20 seconds, then we went outside and it kept going and going and going."

The tsunami warning covered coastal areas of Alaska from Nikolski to Attu.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration initially warned of widespread, dangerous coastal flooding and powerful currents in the region for hours in the event of a tsunami. The warning was downgraded about two hours after the earthquake hit.

A tsunami advisory, less severe than a warning, was in effect for coastal areas of Alaska from Unimak Pass to Nikolski.

The quake struck shortly before 1 p.m., about 23 kilometres southeast of Little Sitkin Island, Alaska, at a depth of about 114 kilometres, the USGS said.

Tsunamis are waves resulting from undersea quakes that can measure several metres high and can overwhelm coastal areas near and far, NOAA said. It takes a large quake of magnitude 7.0 or higher to produce a tsunami, the centre said.

In 2004, a tsunami produced by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake struck near Indonesia and 240,000 people were killed, the centre noted.

With files from The Associated Press

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Wars and Rumors of Wars

Russia orders troops to be on “full combat alert”
The Journal

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR Putin has ordered troops in central Russia on “full combat alert” for snap drills, the defence minister said on Saturday.

The order came a day after the Kremlin confirmed it was beefing up its military presence at the border with Ukraine.

“In accordance with his (Putin’s) order, from 11:00 am Moscow time (0700 GMT) the troops of the central military district … have been put on full combat alert,” Russian news agencies quoted Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying.

Shoigu added that the troops were ordered on full combat alert after Putin told the military to conduct unscheduled exercises that will last between June 21 to June 28.

Russia’s fresh military drills came a day after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered a unilateral week-long ceasefire in the troubled east of Ukraine.

The Kremlin late Friday slammed Kiev’s ceasefire announcement, noting it lacked an invitation to east Ukrainian rebels to begin talks.

Putin’s office also demanded an apology from Kiev over the “shooting” of a border post, saying a Russian customs official had been wounded as a result of the incident.

Russia’s chief of the general staff, Valery Gerasimov, said more than 65,000 troops, over 180 planes, some 60 helicopters and some 5,500 units of military equipment would be involved in the new drills.

Among key objectives of the drills will be troop movements over long distances, according to Russian news agencies.

Moscow is concerned Ukraine is stepping up its military operation against pro-Russian rebels despite having called a unilateral ceasefire, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“The fact that the so-called counter-terrorist military operation has intensified in parallel with the advancement of a peace plan is a cause for much alarm and concern,” Lavrov said on a visit to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

Russia’s top diplomat, quoted by RIA Novosti news agency, also said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s peace plan announced on Friday did not go far enough.


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10 Things You Need To Know About The Ebola Epidemic That’s Killing Hundreds In Africa
by Jim Dalrymple II

1. The Ebola epidemic has been growing in western Africa since last year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) began reporting on the epidemic in March, and initial estimates indicated the outbreak began in early 2014. However, subsequent investigation traced the likely origins of the epidemic back even further, to a 2-year-old child who died in Guinea on Dec. 6, 2013. Investigators believe a health care worker then became infected and carried the disease to other parts of the country. By late March, 49 people had been diagnosed, 29 of whom died.
As of July 1, the disease had spread to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. It is affecting both rural communities as well as Conakry, the capital of Guinea.

2. At least 467 people have been killed by the epidemic, according to health officials.

Exact figures fluctuate as authorities improve their counts, but one thing is clear: The death toll is rising. Accounting for all confirmed, probable, and suspected deaths, the count has grown from 330 people in late June to 467 as of July 1. The total number of likely diagnosed victims — including those who have not died — also continues to rise, with 759 confirmed or suspected cases thus far. Guinea has suffered the brunt of the epidemic, with more than three times as many deaths as neighboring Sierra Leone.
The rising death toll may have a small silver lining: Authorities are getting a more accurate perspective on the scope of the disease and fewer people are “dying in silence,” according to officials who spoke with The Guardian. This perspective, in turn, will allow authorities to better prevent future cases.

3. The disease is extraordinarily deadly and kills most of the people who become infected.

By March, 59% of the people who were diagnosed with Ebola had died. That number could rise even higher, with WHO reporting a potential death rate of up to 90%. During the first Ebola epidemic in 1976, the disease killed 88% of the people who became infected.
There are five different species of Ebola, three of which have been seen in Africa. The ongoing epidemic involves the Zaire Ebola virus, which is the most deadly subtype.

4. This is the worst outbreak of Ebola in the history of the disease.

Ebola is a relatively new disease; it was first identified in 1976 near the Ebola River in what was then Zaire (and today is the Democratic Republic of Congo). The first patient in 1976 was a 44-year-old man who was originally believed to have malaria. When scientists realized they were dealing with a new disease they named it after the nearby river.
There have been other outbreaks since — including significant ones in 1995, 2000, 2003, and 2007 — but none that have claimed as many lives as the current one.
The ongoing epidemic has been exacerbated by several factors: geography and distances; movement of both people and bodies; weak health care infrastructure in affected countries; health care workers who lack experience with Ebola; and communities that do not understand the disease and don’t want to cooperate with health officials.

5. There is no vaccine.

Right now there is no vaccine for Ebola, though WHO reports that there are several currently being tested. One of those vaccines has shown promise when given to apes.
For now, however, “raising awareness” is the primary way to fight the spread of the disease, according to WHO. Treating those who have become infected involves using IVs to balance “the patient’s fluids and electrolytes” among other things, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC also emphasizes the use of preventative measures such isolating those who are infected and having health care workers use goggles, masks, and other protective clothing.

6. Ebola is a brutal disease that causes everything from nausea to bleeding from all of the body’s orifices.

The first symptoms of Ebola include the sudden onset of fever, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and other things. As the disease progresses, it can cause kidney and liver failure. Symptoms typically start showing up between 8 and 10 days after exposure, though the can appear sooner or later.
Ebola can also cause bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and rectum. And it can produce swelling in the eyes and genitals, among other things.

7. The disease spreads via bodily fluids.

Ebola can spread either from animals to humans, or from humans to humans. In either case, it spreads via bodily fluids. Most bodily fluids — blood, mucus, semen, saliva, etc. — can spread Ebola, as can objects and surfaces that are contaminated with infected secretions. Due to the way the virus spreads, health care workers are among the most susceptible groups of people.
People have also picked up Ebola after handling the bodies of those who died from the disease. This has been a problem in parts of Africa where burial rituals have put people in contact with infected bodies.
Ebola is not an airborne disease.

8. Ebola likely comes from bats.

Fruit bats are believed to be the natural host of Ebola, though ultimately scientists aren’t completely sure where the disease originated. The first patient who got Ebola in 1976 became ill after handling monkey and antelope meat. People have also become sick after handling dead animals they find in the forest.
Fruit bats are actually a common food source in Guinea. In March, the government banned bat soup in an effort to fight the spread of the virus.

9. Experts believe the outbreak will stay confined to west Africa.

Disease specialist Kamran Khan told NPR last month that it was unlikely Ebola would spread to other continents. While Ebola has come to Conakry, the capital of Guinea, the city is not a significant international hub and is comparatively more isolated than other metro areas that have catapulted diseases from country to country.

10. Officials say more needs to be done to stop the disease.

This week, the U.N. called the epidemic a “sub-regional crisis” that requires drastic action. Doctors Without Borders has previously called the Ebola outbreak an “out of control” epidemic that is taxing its resources. As a result of the worsening situation, officials from WHO and several African governments — Guinea, Liberia, and neighboring nations — are meeting Wednesday and Thursday to discuss a multinational response plan.
Last week, WHO Ebola specialist Pierre Formenty also told The Guardian that the number of recent cases has surged because efforts to contain it were relaxed prematurely.


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Starvation deaths in West Bengal tea estates on the rise
Pinak Priya Bhattacharya, TNN

RAIPUR TEA ESTATE (Jalpaiguri): Starvation deaths are back to haunt the state. At least six deaths have been reported from the closed Raipur tea estate on the outskirts of Jalpaiguri town over the past five days but the Mamata Banerjee government — like the Left Front regime earlier — refuses to acknowledge them.

The garden was locked out in September last year, leaving 645 workers and their families in misery. Many of them are starving, say local sources. The latest victim is Jeet Bahan Munda, 42, who died on Friday. When journalists went to the garden a few hours before his death, Munda looked like a bag of bones. He couldn't even whisper. His ramshackle hut had nothing, save a few empty utensils.

Three of the dead are women — Sarpina Tirkey, 65, Basu Oraon, 50, and Tetri Bara, 35 — and two are newborn babies. One of the infants died at North Bengal Medical College on Thursday. "Her mother was suffering from anaemia," a senior administrative official said — an indicator of malnutrition that plagues the tea garden residents.

Jalpaiguri Sadar SDO Sima Haldar visited Raipur with several officials and denied there were any hunger deaths. "There is no question of malnutrition in the garden," she said.

Jalpaiguri chief health officer Jagannath Sarkar was more guarded, saying that unless they received the "death audit report", they could not make any statement. The Left regime as well had never acknowledged reports of workers dying in closed and abandoned tea estates of the Dooars.

These workers have received heaps of promises from the administration and labour unions but virtually no help.

"Our garden started having problems in 2002 and closed down several times. But this time the problem is more acute as we haven't got our wages in three months. We want the government to find a new owner or take over the garden," said Pratima Baraik, a garden labourer.

She alleged that the foodgrains distributed to them are so rotten that even cattle refuse to eat them. "We are crying for help but received very little. The garden is running out of food and workers are going outside only in an effort to earn money for their families. Pimps are on the prowl and our women are at risk," said another worker.

Earlier the planters used to provide rice and wheat at a subsidized rate of 40 paisa per kg. After the introduction of targeted public distribution system(TPDS), workers had to buy the same at Rs 9 per kg. "But even this is not working now as we are solely dependent on the government supply of food grains," said a worker.

"There is very little drinking water, no electricity, almost no medical assistance, and no food, at all" is how a woman described their living conditions. The management committee that run closed gardens is not able to give workers more than Rs 15-20 a day. Several youths and girls have already left in search of work. The administration does provide them with welfare schemes but it isn't enough, they say. Besides, they cannot avail of the Financial Assistance to Workers of Locked-Out Industries Scheme as the garden reopened twice in 2004 and 2010.

The plantation is in a very bad shape and if water is not sprayed immediately, there will be no new leaves.


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