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Is Ebola a Curse from God or a Natural Disaster?

first_imgAs we continue to discuss the divine and human roles in Ebola prevention and care in the series on whether Ebola is a curse or natural/man-made disaster, we will in this second article focus on divine judgment and how it might relate to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. What is divine judgment? What does it entail? Whom does God judge and why does he judge? The introductory article which put the series in context highlighted the following points:The Ebola outbreak in West Africa baffles the countries directly affected and the international community. This is coupled with the hard fact that it has no known cure and vaccine to prevent anyone from catching it. Up to date it has killed at least a thousand and five hundred persons and a lot of people are incrementally being infected!It is good to note that strenuous efforts (though belated in some instances) are being made and measures being put in place by the affected countries themselves and the international community through UN, WHO, Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Samaritan’s Purse, Red Cross and the United States to fight and defeat Ebola. But they warn that the virus is out of control and it will take months to get a grip on it. We are tempted then to ask: “Is this virus a curse from God to punish the citizens of the affected countries for their sins?” Some clergy men and women and ordinary believers have answered with a resounding “yes”. But are they right? In my view Ebola is not a curse. It is a natural virus or possibly a man-made virus that is having devastating effects on lives and human existence and is testing our whole way of life.Now we attend to the question of divine judgment. A divine judgment is simply God’s punishment of sin. When God causes a misfortune or a bad thing to happen to a person or a group because of some offense then divine judgment occurs. A divine judgment is a reward for disobedience to God’s command or instructions. It can take the form of a sickness, a family or national catastrophe or a series of terrible events or situations emanating from God as a result of people’s acts of disobedience. It may affect the offender directly and his/her descendants.The question is “Does God ever curse anybody”? Or mildly put “Does God ever punish offenders”? And the answer is “yes” of course he can and has done so on a number of occasions well attested to in Scripture. He punished Adam and Eve for eating fruit from a tree they were told not to eat (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-15). He caused a number of horrific plagues (ten in all) against the Egyptians for their maltreatment of his people and refusal to let them go at his clear command (Exodus 7-11). Aaron and Miriam, sibling of Moses, were struck with diseases due to their offense against their brother, Moses, the servant of God (Numbers 12), Achan and his whole family and Ananias and Sophia (husband and wife) were killed by God because of disobedience (Joshua 7; Acts 5). Jesus himself cursed a fig tree (Mark 11:12-25).However, we must not be quick to point to every misfortune or disaster as punishment or a curse from God. God can allow sufferings of all sorts to come to people who have done no wrong. The reasons for their suffering may be for other purposes apart from their own sins (Job 1-2; John 9). We better be sure (unequivocally know) before we can describe a particular occurrence or calamity as a curse or punishment from God. In the instances we have cited God’s reliable servants, the prophets, declared them as divine judgments. But even in biblical times there were false prophets who told lies and the leaders and others who followed them bore the evil consequences.There are instances when we suffer due to our own wrong choices or evil deeds. There is what one expert in HIV/AIDS calls “built in judgment”. We stand at the end of our actions. If we refuse to abide by rules given by health experts not to touch the dead bodies of Ebola patients unprotected and instead hold them in all sorts of ways we will contract Ebola. It is not God punishing us. Our foolish actions catch up with us. We reap what we sow, to borrow a biblical parlance. Ebola is a natural or man-made virus that we can, with divine assistance, fight and defeat and learn loads of lessons from about how we relate to one another and manage our affairs, and not necessarily a curse or punishment from God!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Albouystown man remanded on robbery charge

first_imgOrin Mitchell who allegedly choked and relieved a man of his cash was on Monday arraigned for the offence when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Mitchell, 29, of Lot 86 Hunter Street, Albouystown, appeared before Principal Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus and denied the charge which stated that on December 1, 2019, at La Penitence, Georgetown, while being in the company of another, he robbed Ron Ramcharran of $43,000.Police Prosecutor Quinn Harris told the court that on the day in question, the victim was walking along La Penitence Public Road when he was confronted by the defendant and another man.Ramcharran was choked and relieved of his cash after which the men fled the scene.The matter was reported and the defendant was arrested and charged. The court heard that the defendant was positively identified by the victim during an identification parade.Mitchell is slated to make his next court appearance on December 30, 2019.last_img read more

‘Footquakes’: Messi really does make the Earth tremble

first_imgAsk Jordi Diaz, a researcher at the Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera in Barcelona. He’s got the hard proof.“We put a seismometer inside a building in Barcelona,” he explained at a geosciences conference in Vienna, where he presented his findings.“This allowed us to identify signature vibrations produced by different activities, including traffic or subway trains.”Or football matches.By design or not, the instrument — which measures everything from tremors to full-on quakes — was about half a kilometre from Nou Camp stadium, home to the city’s fabled football team.“We get information every time there is a goal,” he told journalists at a press conference.“Well,” he corrected himself, “every time Barcelona makes a goal. People jump, and the stadium shakes.”Exhibit A: a graphic display of the Champions League knockout tie last month versus English team Chelsea that saw Messi score twice in a 3-0 Barca victory.The inky spike provoked by his first goal, after three minutes of play, looked like the lie detector answer when the murderer swears he didn’t do it.The second goal — an hour later when the game was largely won — didn’t provoke the same level of vertical enthusiasm.– Dancing, not jumping –The historic, come-from-behind, 6-1 victory against Paris Saint Germain last year, which put Barcelona into the Champions League quarter finals, looked like a crescendo of earthquakes ending in the Big One.But a football game is not — seismically speaking — the same as a concert.“Sometimes we have beautiful seismic recordings from rock concerts, particularly Bruce Springsteen or U2,” he said.“You see what we call ‘harmonic structures’, energy localised in a precise amplitudes,” he explained.“This is because people are not jumping, they are dancing.”He recalled a Springsteen concert from last year in which “every single song had a particular pattern.”Marathon races, wind bursts, ocean waves — each has its own seismic signature, he said.Why bother?“At first, it was mainly for outreach, to show people how a seismometer works,” he conceded.But then other applications came into focus.The technique, for example, could be an easy, inexpensive way to do long-term survey of traffic or subway activity.And it could be handy as evidence that transport workers have gone on strike, he added.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000By design or not, the instrument — which measures everything from tremors to full-on quakes — was about half a kilometre from Nou Camp stadium, home to the city’s fabled football team.VIENNA, Austria, Apr 11- It’s a scientific fact: when living football legends Neymar or Lionel Messi scores a goal, the Earth moves and the ground shakes.Don’t believe it? last_img read more

Manchester United goalkeeper in talks over late move to West Brom

first_img Anders Lindegaard West Brom have entered talks to sign Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard.Albion manager Tony Pulis has been in the market for a new goalkeeper all summer and has turned his attention to the United man after failing in a bid to sign Cardiff’s David Marshall, having refused to meet the Bluebird’s £5million asking price.Lindegaard has a year remaining on his contract at Manchester United but it is understood he could move to the Hawthorns in a free transfer.The 31-year-old, who joined United from Norwegian club Aalesund in January 2011 for a £3.5million fee, has found his first-team chances limited, making the last of 29 appearances 16 months ago in a 4-0 victory against Newcastle at St James’ Park.Denmark international Lindegaard would provide competition for Boaz Myhill, with regular number one Ben Foster not expected back until October as he recovers from a knee injury.He would be the third player to move from Old Trafford to West Brom this year, following Darren Fletcher and Jonny Evans. 1last_img read more

Kids burned in car expected trip to movies

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES – A man recently separated from his wife burned their two children to death by setting fire to his SUV in a downtown alley during what was planned as a trip to the movies, police alleged Monday. Dae Kwon Yun, 54, was found near the sport utility vehicle on Sunday with severe burns on his face, hands and legs, authorities said. He was hospitalized in critical condition but was expected to survive, and will be booked for investigation of murder, police said. “Detectives believe the killings were related to the estrangement of Yun and his wife,” a police statement said. Police tentatively identified the dead as Ashley Yun, 11, and Alexander Yun, 10, noting that positive identification was difficult because the bodies were so severely burned. It wasn’t clear if Yun intended to kill himself along with his children and then changed his mind, Detective Vic Pietrantoni said. Police did not know if the SUV doors were locked to prevent the children from escaping. “All the doors were open when we found the car, but the fire may have forced them open,” Pietrantoni said. “We need to talk to the father to find out what he was thinking.” The wife, Ok Ma Sun, owns a T-shirt shop in the downtown Garment District and had been separated for about two weeks from Yun, who was living in his vehicle, authorities said. Court documents show she filed for divorce March 28. Yun may also have been distraught over a gambling debt, his wife told police. “He was always mad,” said Miriam Sandoval, 24, who owns a nearby shop. “He was one of those people who would never even smile at you.” Eunice Kwak, 41, who works across the street, described Yun as angry but said she never witnessed physical violence. “He’s up and down. He didn’t control his anger,” Kwak said. The children had planned to go the movies with their father on Sunday, and Yun’s wife expected them back that evening, police said. Witnesses told police they saw Yun arguing in Korean with his daughter outside the SUV in the alley. The SUV erupted into flames just moments after Yun forced the girl into the vehicle then sat in the front passenger seat, police said. As the car burned from the inside, Yun opened the door and rolled out, police said. Firefighters reached the SUV about 4:45 p.m. and discovered the bodies after extinguishing the fire. Hee Sang Yoon, a spokesman for the Korean Consulate in Los Angeles, said divorce is on the rise in the Korean community. But culturally, when it comes to children, the battles are not vicious, he said. “This kind of event is shocking,” he said. The consulate had no further information on the incident or the family. Yun was arrested in May 2004 for investigation of domestic violence after a woman called 911 and whispered to a dispatcher that her husband hit her and was still in their home, said Monterey Park police Capt. Eric Kim. “Before we were able to get more information from her, the line was disconnected,” Kim said. “Our officers got on the scene and did a preliminary investigation. Then we arrested him for domestic violence.” Kim declined to release the caller’s name, citing a policy of confidentiality concerning domestic violence victims. Police forwarded that investigation to prosecutors, Kim said, but he didn’t know the outcome of the case. Sun’s shop, not far from the vehicle fire, was closed Monday, with white metal screens covering the entrance.last_img read more

MAN WHO ‘DROVE LIKE A LUNATIC’ FINED AND BANNED FOR FOUR YEARS

first_imgA Carrigart man ‘drove like a lunatic’ a court has heard.Anthony McGettigan, 20, appeared at Letterkenny District Court where he faced four separate dangerous driving charges on the same day.The court heard that a member of the public had contacted Gardai after spotting McGettigan “driving like a lunatic” on March 7th last year. Gardai interviewed McGettigan of Chapel Road in Carrigart and also charged him with having no tax or insurance, NCT or driving license.He was fined a total of €700 and banned from driving for four years by Judge Paul Kelly.MAN WHO ‘DROVE LIKE A LUNATIC’ FINED AND BANNED FOR FOUR YEARS was last modified: November 10th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Anthony McGettiganbannedCarrigartcourtdonegallunaticlast_img read more

Brahmas honor alumni

first_imgIt will be an unusual sight when the visiting head football coach is on the field for a halftime ceremony at Diamond Bar High School on Oct. 28. But it’s not just any visiting coach, it’s Terry Roche, who coached Diamond Bar to four CIF championships and is now the head coach at Chino Hills. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “This is a great opportunity to recognize these kids,” Diamond Bar principal Denis Paul said. Other players might be honored too, but they’re a little busy. Running back Jason Wright and safety Donte Nicholson, members of the ’98-’99 teams, are in the NFL. Wright is on the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad, while Nicholson is on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ roster. TOP RUNS This weekend is the high school portion of the Mt. SAC Invitational, with a race for just about everybody. The best of the best, however, will be competing in the sweepstakes races Friday and Saturday. On Friday at 4:15 p.m., Bonita and San Dimas will run in the Division 3 girls team sweepstakes, followed by Diamond Ranch and San Dimas in the Division 3 boys team sweepstakes at 4:32. Upland Christian runs in the Division 5 girls team sweepstakes at 5:23, followed by Upland Christian and Webb in the Division 5 boys team sweepstakes at 5:40. On Saturday, Division 1 and 2 sweepstakes races will take place together, although there are team and individual sweepstakes. The boys individual race includes Damien and Los Osos at 9:15 a.m., the boys team race includes Upland at 9:40, Ayala is in the girls team race at 10:05, and Claremont is in the girls individual race at 10:35. POOL CLASH There are rivalries in water polo, too and there are few nonleague rivalries that mean as much to the participants as Bonita-Damien. It’s one of the few sports where the teams play each other, let alone play an annual rivalry game. Those teams will face each other again in the Orange Crate Classic, played at noon Saturday at Damien. TOP 10 SNUB Despite Los Osos’ dominating 52-21 football victory over Rancho Cucamonga last week, the Grizzlies were not ranked in the CIF-Southern Section Division II top 10 this week, while Rancho Cucamonga was included. A big reason why seems to be Los Osos was not listed among the teams for voters to consider. CIF-SS spokesman Thom Simmons said an effort will be made to include more schools for voters to consider. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Diamond Bar wanted to honor its championship teams, and has several players from those teams who will be presented with personalized Diamond Bar jerseys. Roche will be on hand to help honor the players. Those players include: Kraig Washington and Larry Vladic from 1984, Brian Surgener, Lathian Tyler and Deron Tyler from 1995, Anthony Cuccia (current coach Nick Cuccia’s son) from 1998, and Chad Tovar, Blake Lobel, Donnie Sizemore, Ryan Maine, Felipe Garcia and Aric Williams, who were on both the 1998 and ’99 teams. last_img read more

Everything You Need to Know About Layer Styles in After Effects

first_imgGradient OverlayThe Gradient Overlay style enables you to use multiple colors to create a smooth transition from one color to another across your title. Be sure to click on “Edit Gradient” to adjust the colors.Color OverlayThis is a very simple Layer Style — the Color Overlay option transforms the color of the title from one color to another.StrokeVery straightforward: the stroke Layer Style creates an outline around titles and objects.Bevel and EmbossThe best method for quickly creating 3D titles is using the Bevel and Emboss style. This Layer Style gives you the option to increase and control the depth of your title.Drop ShadowThere’s a Drop Shadow effect under the “Effects” tab. However, you can easily group your Layer Styles together by using the Drop Shadow as a style rather than an effect. The Drop Shadow applies a nice shadow behind your title.Inner ShadowSimilar to the Drop Shadow style, the Inner Shadow produces a thin shadow within your title. Using the Inner Shadow creates depth and contrast in your title elements.Inner Glow & Outer GlowThe main difference between the shadow and the glow Layer Styles is the blending mode option. The Inner Glow and Outer Glow styles allow you to create a glow around your title using using blend modes.SatinLastly, the Satin effect darkens the interior portion of titles and objects and helps create undefined contrast.Overall, Layer Styles allow After Effects users to create detailed titles and objects that stand apart from regular design. Each Layer Style is uniquely organized to stack among the other styles. So, there’s no need to worry about organization, like you would need to with effects.Looking for more video tutorials? Check these out:7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Blackmagic’s URSA Mini ProFree Practical Lighting Techniques for a Cinematic LookVideo Tutorial: What Does “Dirtying the Frame” Mean?Video Tutorial: Creative Video and Photo Ideas using Fireworks3 Visual Effects You Can Create with a Whip Pan Transition In this video tutorial, learn how you can use the Layer Styles menu in Adobe After Effects for your next film or video project.If you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop, then you may be well acquainted with Layer Styles. However, in After Effects the Layer Styles menu often goes unused because there are so many effects and parameters available. Each Layer Style offers a unique solution for your titles and layers. In this After Effects video tutorial, learn the purpose of each Layer Style and how to use them.last_img read more

Deafening power looms muffle desperation in India’s textile hub

first_imgUdhiya Behera sat in a windowless room in the Indian textile hub of Surat, staring blankly at a small television as the ground shook with the noise of power looms on the floor below.For Behera, though, this was a moment of late-evening calm in a room he shares with 35 others, just off a lane crammed with frenetic, sleepless looms.“I operate 12 power looms through the day and the sound bothers me a lot. My head hurts,” Behera, 45, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, speaking loudly to be heard over the din that enveloped the room. “It is quieter here.”Nearly 8 million people, mostly migrants from the eastern state of Odisha, like Behera, work on 600,000 power looms in the Western city of Surat in conditions that damage their hearing and often ruin their health.While the workers said they choose to work here due to a lack of jobs at home, campaigners also suspect that some are trafficked across India.“The older workers become the recruiters. These are poor people hit by crop failure and cyclones and need work,” said Umi Daniel, a migrant rights activist with Aide et Action in Odisha.The fabric they weave is durable, easy to care for and low cost, which has led to its popularity in both the Indian and international markets.India exports $6 billion worth of synthetic fabric per year. This is used worldwide — in Europe and the United States for “wrinkle-free” school and hotel uniforms, and by the garment hubs of Bangladesh and Vietnam in high-street fashion.Hearing lossTextile weavers are exposed to around 102-104 decibels of sound according to a study by India’s National Institute of Occupational Health, much more than the legally permissible 90 decibels and putting them at severe risk of hearing damage.Sanjay Patel of migrant labour rights group Aajeevika Bureau said: “Those working here for 10 to 12 years are not able to hear well. Many are unable to work beyond the age of 45, and return to their villages.”Patel said that many mill units do not fulfil basic safety guidelines such as giving out ear plugs.Most units register as shops or other establishments rather than factories, which would mandate them to limit exposure to high noise levels to eight hours and pay extra for overtime.Yet labour department and local government officials said they had not received any noise-related complaints from workers.“We only get complaints of non-payment of wages that we settle,” said P.D. Patel, an inspector with Surat’s civic body, which is responsible for checking the units.The penalties for exploitation offer little deterrent however. Nearly 200 employers were penalised with fines between 25 and 750 rupees ($0.40 to $11.60) in 2016 for violating guidelines on work hours or not giving lunch breaks, Patel said.Disease and deathBikes, trucks, vans and cars ferrying around colourful fabrics are a common sight on Surat’s streets.But just a few miles from the bright, bustling markets are soot-covered buildings, surrounded by piles of rotting waste and filth, where the workers live.Poor nutrition, a lack of basic hygiene, long work hours and unsafe sexual habits have made thousands vulnerable to a cocktail of diseases — from HIV/AIDS to tuberculosis.A local government office in Surat has received more than 40 death compensation applications from families of power loom workers over the last two years.“The deaths were recorded as natural. Those who died were in the 40-59 age group,” an official said.Officials in Surat said most cases of tuberculosis involve migrant workers, who work on the looms until they fall ill.“There are no deaths in the power loom units. They occur only when workers go back home,” said Gagan Sahu, a professor at South Gujarat University and textile industry specialist.Moving goalpostsWhen Vipra Padhyali, 40, started work in a loom unit 25 years ago, he worked four machines and found it manageable.“But about a decade ago, they told me if I operated more machines, I would produce more cloth and earn more money. So I agreed,” Padhyali said, who now walks up and down all day between the 12 looms that he operates.Power loom workers here are paid less than Rs.2 for every metre of cloth they produce. They make roughly Rs.500-Rs.600 a day.“When I worked on three machines, I was paid 80 paisa per metre, but when they increased my machines to six, they cut the price to 70 paisa,” said Debakar Behera, who is also a migrant from Odisha.Debakar quit and he now drives an auto rickshaw. But most people cling to their jobs out of desperation.“We found workers who had worked 72 hours at a stretch as they were covering for an unwell friend or a roommate,” said Sahu. “Workers hardly have any bargaining power – their payments, working hours and living arrangements are compromised. They are leading miserable lives.”Officials said power looms without shuttles, which generate much less noise and produce better quality fabric, are available but are unaffordable to most unit owners.Padhyali blames his work for hearing loss and constant exhaustion. “I cannot sit as I have to ensure the thread on all the machines remains straight, that there is no fold in the fabric,” he said.In his dim room, surrounded by images of Indian gods that he prays to daily, Behera said he longs to go home to his village healthy, find work and escape the numbing sound of this life.last_img read more

Rain pounds Gujarat, throws life out of gear

first_imgHeavy rains hit normal life in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, while 10,000 people from rural and urban areas here were shifted to safer places after the Sabarmati river swelled. Officials said the number of people who had lost their lives due to the downpour in the State stood at 123 till Wednesday.In the last 24 hours, Ahmedabad alone has received 200 mm of rainfall, according to official figures.The Kalol tehsil in Gandhinagar received 370 mm of precipitation, including 240 mm between 8 a.m. and 12 noon on Thursday, according to the data.The district administration has ordered the closure of schools and colleges. Many private offices and shops did not open till late in the afternoon due to heavy rains.Following the release of water from the Dharoi dam into the Sabarmati river, teams of the district administration and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) shifted around 10,000 people, including nearly 2,500 from 11 locations within the city, during the morning hours, collector Avantika Singh said.“The release of water from the Vasna barrage into the river has also caused inundation of low-lying areas,” she said.Portions of at least 20 buildings collapsed due to heavy rains and water-logging. Three persons were injured when a building crumbled in the Gaekwad Haveli locality in the early hours, Ahmedabad Chief Fire Officer M. Dastoor said.“Three persons were injured when a building collapsed in the city. Parts of nearly 20 buildings collapsed since midnight, while 64 trees have been uprooted. Eleven instances of fire were reported due to short-circuits,” he said. “Our teams are also working in neighbouring Gamdi and Vanch villages to rescue the people stranded there due to water-logging,” Mr. Dastoor said.Runway floodedThe Ahmedabad airport runway was partly flooded due to heavy rains, though it did not affect the air traffic, its director Manoj Gangal said.Chief Minister Vijay Rupani toured the affected areas in a boat to take stock of the situation.The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation issued a warning to people not to venture near electricity poles and street lights as it might prove fatal due to the water-logging.Apart from Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Kheda also received heavy rainfall in the last 24 hours, affecting thousands of people who had to be relocated to safer areas.Meanwhile, rescue and relief operations are on in Banaskantha and Patan districts which were flooded due to heavy rainfall and the water released into the Banas and Sipu rivers from the Dantewada and Sipu dams a few days ago.last_img read more