Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Missionaries Experience Overwhelming Response To The Gospel In Bolivia

Mission Network News

Bolivia (MNN) ― A group of missionaries recently traveled to a remote village in Bolivia to share the Gospel. It was not the first time they had ventured out like that, but it would prove to be a memorable one.

A Pioneers missionary reports that his team hoped to show a film to the community about Jesus' life. The only problem was there didn't appear to be much community.

The road into the town ends at a school, the missionary said, so the team was able to get out and request permission to show The JESUS Film for Children. The school agreed, and 36 children up through fifth grade were able to watch it. The missionaries told the children to come back later with their parents that night.

The missionary reported that in between the time at the school and the outreach that evening, the team ventured into the village to find homes and invite people. In the course of five hours, though, the team discovered a total of seven homes.

The team has done several of these evangelistic outreaches in the past with varying success, and the expectations for this particular one were low with so few people apparently around. The group was in for a surprise.

As the evening began, at least 60 people arrived to watch the full version of The JESUS Film. When the movie was over, a missionary preached the message of salvation and Jesus' atonement for our sins until he was sure the people understood. The Pioneers missionary says that when the leader finished speaking, "many of the people started to weep."

The leader asked those to come forward who wished to give their lives to Christ. A total of 40 people--24 adults and 16 youths--fell on their knees, many in tears. The question heard between tears was: "Why hasn't anyone come and told us this before?"

As the missionary recounted the experience, he said, "My wife and I have been to many secluded villages to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Once in a while, people give their lives to Him, but this trip was overwhelming to me to see how the Holy Spirit had been working in the absence of any Christian presence."

Pray that the Lord would continue to move in this village. Pray that the Holy Spirit would shape and grow the community in faithfulness to Christ, and that they would in turn be able to share the message with many.
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Porn Company Is Buying Up 1-800 Numbers

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New York (AP) - For years, teenagers across the U.S. could call a toll-free hotline if they had embarrassing questions about AIDS and safe sex. Dial the same number now and you get a recording of giggling women offering to talk dirty to you.

The naughty misdials appear to be no accident.

Records obtained by The Associated Press show that over the past 13 years, a little-known Philadelphia company called PrimeTel Communications has quietly gained control over nearly a quarter of all the 1-800 numbers in the U.S. and Canada, often by grabbing them the moment they are relinquished by previous users. As of March, it administered more 800 numbers that any other company, including Verizon and AT&T.

And many, if not most, of those 1.7 million numbers appear to be used for one thing: redirecting callers to a phone-sex service.

Dial 1-800-Chicago and instead of reaching a tourism hotline for the Windy City, you will hear a woman offering "one-on-one talk with a nasty girl" for $2.99 per minute. A similar thing happens if you punch in the initial digits of 1-800-Metallica, 1-800-Cadillac, 1-800-Minolta, 1-800-Cameras, 1-800-Worship or 1-800-Whirlpool.

All those numbers contain messages redirecting callers to erotic chat lines operated by National A-1 Advertising, a company that shares an office building with PrimeTel, has common ownership and lists many of the same people as executives or business contacts.

Many people who mistakenly dial a phone-sex line probably just get red-faced and hang up as quickly as possible. Others apparently respond to the come-on and supply their credit card number.

"I guess enough people go for it that it makes business sense," said Aelea Christofferson, president of ATL Communications, another company that specializes in toll-free services. Capturing callers who have reached the wrong number -- whether because they punched an incorrect digit or dialed a number without realizing it had changed hands -- is a "big new industry," she said.

Founded in 1995, PrimeTel is one of around 400 companies registered as toll-free service providers for the U.S. and Canada. That gives it the same power to reserve and assign unused toll-free numbers as big phone companies with millions of customers. But PrimeTel appears to be amassing numbers predominantly for one closely related partner, National A-1.

There is nothing illegal about using toll-free phone services to promote adult entertainment, and callers aren't charged unless they supply their credit card information.

Over the years, though, PrimeTel has been hit with lawsuits and complaints alleging that it is violating federal rules banning toll-free service providers from hoarding digits. Federal Communications Commission rules say that "routing multiple toll-free numbers to a single toll-free subscriber" is usually considered hoarding.

The FCC has never taken formal action against PrimeTel or National A-1, although federal authorities have expressed renewed interest lately in companies that handle toll-free numbers. In the fall, authorities sent subpoenas to several, including PrimeTel, asking for information on how they acquire numbers and why.

And in October, federal agents and Philadelphia police spent two days removing records from National A-1's office suite, although it is unclear if the action was related to the phone business.

The man listed on many government records as the top executive at both PrimeTel and National A-1, Richard Cohen, declined interview requests. A lawyer for both companies, Charles Helein, would not discuss their business dealings in detail but said PrimeTel isn't breaking any rules or engaging in prohibited practices such as selling numbers or obtaining ones it doesn't intend to use.

"They are extremely sensitive to the FCC. ... They wouldn't have them if they didn't need them," Helein said of PrimeTel's huge pool of numbers. He said the company's large share hasn't caused any shortages: "Everybody's got all the numbers they need."

Helein said the raid last fall was not aimed at PrimeTel. National A-1 and its owners have a variety of business enterprises headquartered at the same address, including a website sometimes used by prostitutes to advertise their services.

According to a database maintained by an industry organization, PrimeTel was listed as the administrator of record for at least 1,667,000 out of around 7.87 million active 800 numbers as of this March. Industry experts said PrimeTel also holds a dominant share of numbers with other toll-free codes, like 888 and 866, giving it several million numbers overall.

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Minnesota Looking To Test 'Mileage Tax" As More Fuel Efficient Cars Hit The Roads

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- The Minnesota Department of Transportation is looking for 500 people to test technology that could someday be used to collect a mileage-based user fee.

Mn/DOT anticipates a fee on road usage might someday be necessary as more fuel efficient and hybrid cars are on the road, decreasing revenue from the gas tax.

"This research will provide important feedback from motorists about the effectiveness of using technology in a car or truck to gather mileage information," said Cory Johnson, project manager.

"We are researching alternative financing methods today that could be used 10 or 20 years from now when the number of fuel efficient and hybrid cars increase and no longer produce enough revenue from a gas tax to build and repair roads."

Recruiting for the Minnesota Road Fee Test will begin in May, with research starting in July. Volunteers must be from Hennepin or Wright County. Drivers will be given smart phones with a GPS application that has been programmed to allow them to submit information. Volunteers will get a small stipend for expenses associated with the test.

The research is scheduled to end by December 2012.

The state of Oregon completed a similar study in November 2007. Iowa, Nevada and Texas are currently researching mileage-based user fees.

Mn/DOT says that if a mileage-based user fee were implemented, motorists would pay a fee based on how many miles they driver, rather than how much gas a vehicle uses, which is how Minnesota's gas tax is currently designed.

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Police Search For Driver Who Ran Over 3 People At McDonald's National Hiring Day

Police continue to search for the woman they say was responsible for striking three people with a car during a fight that broke out during McDonald's "National Hiring Day".

It's an event aimed at hiring thousands of local people, but police say a fight between two women got out of control.

"I was filling out my application when I saw two girls fighting," said Joseph Shores, an eyewitness. "I don't know their names, but they were fighting over drama, hood stuff."

The fight went down at the McDonald's located on East 105th and St. Clair.

Police say the fight was over a boy, and it started verbally and escalated into a physical fight that spilled into the crowd.

After that, witnesses say, the unthinkable happened.

"One girl was on top of the driver, beating her. Then the driver went forward, somehow it kicked into reverse, and the car went backwards, hitting three people. It was crazy!" said Arnecia Patterson.

Another eyewitness, Antoine Grey, captured the incident on his cell phone and showed it exclusively to Fox 8 News.

"Someone got into a car, backed up a car, and pummeled like four or five people," said Grey.

Three adults and one 17-year-old juvenile female were taken by EMS to MetroHealth Medical Center.

Their injuries do not appear to be serious at this time.

Among the injured was the owner of the McDonald's, as well as a manager.

"We are cooperating with police. There is nothing more important than the safety and well being of the people who go in and out of our restaurants," said McDonald's spokesman, Joe Woods.

The restaurant was immediately closed and hiring was suspended temporarily. The closure disappointed the people who came up and waited in line.

"You know, we are trying to get people jobs and this us the way people act? It makes it bad for people like me who can't get a job," added Patterson.

Woods said the incident will not affect those who were hired prior to the accident.

Police are still looking for the driver of the car. The passenger, Natasha Grayer, 22, of Cleveland, was arrested for felonious assault.

Read more from Fox 8 Cleveland

British Troops Set To Hit Ground In Libya To Fight Gaddafi

BRITISH military officers are set to hit the ground in Libya to bolster rebels fighting tyrant Colonel Gaddafi.

The advisors will go into the country's second city of Benghazi — the stronghold of the pro-democracy opposition.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said today: "The National Security Council has decided that we will now move quickly to expand the team already in Benghazi to include an additional military liaison advisory team.

"This contingent will be drawn from experienced British military officers."

Mr Hague said the move was needed to help protect civilians in Libya and was compatible with the United Nations resolution which authorised a no-fly zone.

He said in a statement: "The United Kingdom is strongly committed to the effective implementation of the provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973.

"With the Libyan people still faced with continuing attacks by Gaddafi's forces, the need to protect civilians in Libya is our highest priority.

"UNSCR 1973 authorises member states to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack from Gaddafi.

"The UK's substantial and early military contribution to the enforcement of UNSCR 1973 has helped saved the lives of thousands of civilians threatened by Gaddafi's murderous regime.

"As the scale of the humanitarian crisis has grown, so has the urgency of increasing our efforts to defend civilians against the attack from Gaddafi forces."

Mr Hague described the rebels' political body, the National Transitional Council (NTC), as "legitimate political interlocutors".

Britain has supplied body armour and telecommunications equipment to help them take on Gaddafi's forces.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell yesterday pledged £2million to help stranded civilians flee the war-torn city of Misrata by boat.

Read More from The Sun

Parents Allowing 8 Yr Old Daughter To Dress "Sexy" Disturbs One Reporter

Mid-April Violence In U.S History Remembered

Nearly 20 years ago, 76 people lost their lives during an FBI raid near Waco, Texas. CNN's Drew Griffin looks at those events at 8 ET/PT and 11 ET/PT Saturday night in "Waco: Faith, Fear & Fire."

(CNN) -- Mid-April marks the anniversaries of several horrendous attacks in recent U.S. history:

-- April 19, 1993: the FBI's siege of the Waco compound leaves 76 dead.

-- April 19, 1995: the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma Citykills 168 people.

-- April 20, 1999: A mass shooting at Columbine High School leaves 15 dead.

-- April 16, 2007: The Virginia Tech massacre kills 33.

The Oklahoma City bombing was timed to coincide with the Waco anniversary. And it's unclear whether the Columbine shooters timed that attack to mark Adolf Hitler's birthday or possibly Waco.

Is there something about this time of the year that makes these types of attacks more prevalent?

For an answer, CNN spoke with Robert Blaskiewicz, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He teaches a course examining conspiracy theories and runs a blog, called Skeptical Humanities.

CNN: Is there any evidence or are there any theories that suggest attackers are more likely to strike around this time of the year?

Robert Blaskiewicz: I have seen nothing to suggest that anything about April itself makes people violent.

That said, the reason why we see certain types of political violence in mid- to late April is because of a few unhappy coincidences: that Waco happened to fall on the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles in a war against a tyrannical oppressor.

For many people who labor under the idea that the federal government is a tyrannical foreign oppressor like the British monarchy, Waco symbolizes a war of a government against its people.

[Timothy] McVeigh chose to bomb the Murrah Building [in Oklahoma City] on the anniversary of Waco because of that symbolic importance (indeed, the forged drivers license he rented the truck with had the date of issuance as 19 April 1993, the date of the Branch Davidian fire).

If you want to squint, you might also lump in the opening of the Civil War to this part of the year, but the timing of that was chronologically tied to events following Lincoln's election, not the Revolution.

Regarding the Virginia Tech shootings, my first impression is sheerest coincidence.

Now, by raising this question, I think that you illustrate an important principle behind the conspiratorial mindset (something that actually undergirds even normal psychology), and that is seeing patterns in unrelated events.

Seeing a cluster of completely unrelated events fires up the conspiracy theorist's mind. I have recently seen speculation about four different television personalities who recently have displayed incoherent speech during taping (including a news reporter and Judge Judy).

Conspiracy theorists made the leap that they were all related and that there was probably some mind-control weapon being used. Go figure.

CNN: How strong are the beliefs/outrage surrounding the Waco disaster, nearly 20 years after the siege?

Blaskiewicz: I don't have a sense of the strength of the feelings about Waco specifically; however, after Oklahoma City, the numbers of militia groups dropped.

Following the election of [Barack] Obama, however, there was a steep rise in the number of hate groups, which has been ably tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Political Research Associates.

Interestingly, last year on the 19th of April, gun advocates had a rally in Washington (a sort of "bring your guns to the Capitol day") to rally behind the Second Amendment, even though the Second Amendment has not really been on the Obama administration's radar at all.

For a while, it was difficult to even buy ammunition, since terrified gun owners started stockpiling it.

Nonetheless, in the mythology that has grown up around Waco and Oklahoma City among self-identified patriots, the 19th has become a sort of high holiday for those who think that they live under the thumb of a tyranny.

CNN: What do you think is behind the need to see patterns in unrelated events, such as several attacks that happened all around the same time? In other words, what purpose do conspiracy theories serve?

Blaskiewicz: There are several possible answers, and I'm not sure any one answer is better than any other answer.

People are extremely social critters, and part of what makes that possible is the ability to perceive others as deliberately acting in the world, in other words to detect agency.

It's extremely useful in building respectful communities. Sometimes that faculty doesn't turn off when it should, and you associate "agency" with events and ideas that are unrelated.

When a responsible agent is not easily discernible, that sense that something is still deliberate endures, and you are left wondering, "Well, who caused it, then?" You fill in the blanks.

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3 Kindergarten Students Injured When Gun Accidentaly Discharges In School

April 19, 2011

(CNN) -- A loaded handgun fell out of a student's pocket onto the lunchroom floor and discharged Tuesday, wounding him and two other kindergartners in a Houston elementary school, the school district said.

None of the injuries was considered life-threatening, Houston Independent School District spokesman Jason Spencer told CNN.

The school district and Houston police are investigating how the 6-year-old who brought the gun to school obtained the weapon, Spencer said. "It's a crime to make a gun available to a child."

The weapon discharged once, and the children may have been hit by bullet fragments, Spencer said.

Five-year-old Jarneshia Broussard, a student who witnessed the incident, told CNN Houston affiliate KTRK the gun "fell, and then it shot."

"We were by each other and then it shot and the little girl started crying," Jarneshia recalled.

The two boys and one girl, all of them kindergarten students at Ross Elementary School, were taken to a hospital and their parents were notified, Spencer said.

He did not know their specific conditions, but said "the prognosis is good for these kids."

The boy who reportedly brought the gun and a girl were wounded in the foot, Spencer said. The third student, a boy, was struck in the leg.

Concerned parents flocked to the school to check on their children, CNN Houston affiliate KTRK reported.

"We made a recorded call to every parent," Spencer told CNN.

In 2006-2007, the latest year in which statistics are available, nearly 2,700 students nationwide were expelled or disciplined for bringing a gun to school, said William Modzeleski, associate assistant deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.

About 15% of them were elementary school students, Modzeleski told CNN. Those numbers track the previous year's numbers, he added.

"It's a school, community and a family problem," the official said. "If you bring a gun to school, this is a crime."

In elementary school situations, the student might bring a gun in for "show and tell" or it might have been left in a backpack by a parent or stepparent, Modzeleski said. Parents must ensure a weapon is secured at home, and not simply hidden, he said.

The problem can be found in schools everywhere, he said. "We have to get kids on board" to solve the problem, Modzeleski said.

According to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, from 1993 to 2003 there was a decrease in the percentage of high school students who reported carrying a weapon on school property at least once in the past 30 days. There was no significant change between 2003 and 2009.

Read more From CNN

Texas Wildfires Continue To Rage On Creeping Closer To Dalleas Fortworth Area

ARLINGTON, Tex | Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:58pm EDT

(Reuters) - Wildfires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres in Texas crept closer to the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Tuesday, razing some upscale homes near a lake and threatening hundreds more homes.

The fires started in sparsely populated west Texas and have moved east, helped by bone dry conditions and winds whipping up the flames.

Just west of the major city of Fort Worth, the towns of Strawn, Bunger and several communities around Possum Kingdom Lake have been evacuated and Graham, the county seat of Young County, is now threatened, according to Texas Forest Service officials.

The wildfires in that area alone have covered almost 150,000 acres so far, officials said.

Those fires threaten more than 600 homes and have destroyed dozens of residences, officials said. The wildfires pushed into the area on Monday, razing upscale homes along Possum Kingdom Lake.

The fires also closed the Possum Kingdom Fish Hatchery, located just below the lake's reservoir dam, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The 103-acre facility near Graford is where fingerlings are produced for stocking Texas waters.

Possum Kingdom State Park was evacuated last Friday ahead of wildfires that burned 90 percent of the 1,500-acre park on the south shore of Possum Kingdom Lake and slightly damaged two buildings and two of three sewage treatment system liners. No one was injured, parks department officials said.

U.S. Forest Service firefighters, joined by 14 Texas State Park firefighters, continued today to monitor the park for flames within the thick stands of juniper trees and to help fight fires near the fish hatchery and nearby communities.

Two other state parks that have been threatened by the wildfires in north and west Texas in past days -- San Angelo State Park and Lake Arrowhead State Park -- remain open.

Read More From Reuters

Obama Administration Unveils Plan to Fight Prescriptionj Drug Abuse Epidemic In U.S

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama's administration unveiled on Tuesday a plan to fight what it calls a prescription drug abuse epidemic.

Between 2002 and 2009, the number of Americans aged 12 and older abusing pain relievers increased by 20 percent, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

"Unintentional drug overdose is a growing epidemic in the U.S. and is now the leading cause of injury death in 17 states," Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Thomas Frieden was quoted as saying in a statement from the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The Obama administration's plan entails a government-wide public health approach to reduce drug abuse and asks an additional $123 million for drug prevention and an additional $99 million for treatment programs in the 2012 fiscal year, according to the statement.

"Today we are making an unprecedented commitment to combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse," the statement quoted Vice President Joe Biden as saying.

"This plan will save lives, and it will substantially lessen the burden this epidemic takes on our families, communities, and workforce," he said.

The plan focuses on requiring drug makers to educate the medical community about the safe use of prescription drugs, beefing up prescription drug monitoring programs, recommending responsible disposal methods for unused medications, and reducing the prevalence of pill mills and doctor shopping through enforcement efforts.

The plan aims for a 15 percent reduction over five years in nonmedical use of prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs among people 12 and older, and a similar decrease in the number of unintentional overdose deaths.

As a part of the plan, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered painkiller makers to provide educational materials to help train physicians about the correct use of the drugs.

The federal regulator has sent letters to drugmakers manufacturing opioids asking them to prepare materials that physicians or prescribers can use while counseling patients about the risks and benefits of opioid use.

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Arizona Govenor Vetoes "Birther" Bill

PHOENIX (Reuters) – Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer on Monday vetoed two controversial bills, one mandating proof of U.S. citizenship to run for president, the other allowing guns on college campuses, in a clear setback for conservatives who control the state legislature.

Brewer, who grabbed headlines a year ago when she signed a get-tough state law cracking down on illegal immigrants, vetoed the bills in an announcement late on Monday.

The so-called "birther bill," would have made Arizona the first state in the nation to require presidential candidates prove U.S. citizenship by providing a long form birth certificate, and other forms of proof including baptismal or circumcision certificates, to be placed on the state ballot.

"I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for president of the greatest and most powerful nation on earth to submit their 'early baptism or circumcision certificates' ... This is a bridge too far," she said..

A former Arizona secretary of state, Brewer said she did not support designating one person as "gatekeeper to the ballot for a candidate," as it "could lead to arbitrary or politically motivated decisions."

he Republican-controlled state legislature passed the measure at a time when some foes of President Barack Obama, a Democrat question whether he is a native-born U.S. citizen. Real estate mogul and television reality show host Donald Trump is among those questioning Obama's birth in Hawaii.

Brewer also vetoed a bill that would have made Arizona the second state in the nation to allow an individual to carry a firearm -- either concealed or not -- in the public rights of way on higher education campuses, because it was "so poorly written."

Brewer said shortcomings in the bill included a failure to define "public rights of way" and the inclusion of state schools, where firearms are prohibited by federal and state laws.

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