Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wheat Breaches $12 A Bushel For First Time Ever

Curt Here.....

Revelation 6:5-6

5. When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature call out, "Come!" I looked, and there was a black horse! Its rider held a pair of scales in his hand,

6. and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's pay, and three quarts of barley for a day's pay, but do not damage the olive oil and the wine!"

Please don't misinterpret my intentions, I am not saying that third seal has been broken, but I find it quite interesting that the price of wheat is currently skyrocketing. We are obviously not at the point where a quart of wheat cost the same as a days wages as it will someday, but it is alarming to see the wheat market move in such an upward direction. (See article below)

Keep Watching.

Wheat Breaches $12 for First Time After Biggest Gain Since 2002

By Jae Hur and Danielle Rossingh

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Chicago wheat prices rose the most in more than five years, breaching $12 a bushel for the first time as investors poured money into agricultural commodities on signs that global crop production isn't keeping pace with demand.

Global wheat stockpiles will probably fall to a 30-year low this year, while corn inventories are headed for the lowest since 1984, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Feb. 8. Almost $1.5 billion flowed into farm commodities in the week to Feb. 19, investment bank UBS AG said in an e-mailed report yesterday. The UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity Commodity Index of 26 raw materials has jumped 15 percent this year.

Wheat, soybeans, corn and palm oil are among commodities that have touched records this month, stoking prices of bread, pasta and noodles worldwide. The gains have driven up costs for food companies from Kellogg Co. to Premier Foods Plc and complicated efforts to curb prices in China, India and Malaysia.

``Agricultural commodities such as wheat are the place to be right now,'' Eugen Weinberg, a commodities analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in an interview today. ``Production may be rising, but not at the pace necessary to keep up with increased demand.''

Wheat for May delivery rose by the daily limit of 90 cents, or 8 percent, to $12.145 a bushel in after-hours trading on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest one-day percentage gain since October 2002. It was at $11.615 as of 10:20 a.m. in London.

The exchange expanded its daily limit after the contract surged by the previous 60-cent limit yesterday.

Milling wheat for May delivery in Paris rose as much as 2.4 percent to 290 euros ($431) a metric ton. The contract traded at 289 euros as of 11:30 a.m. local time. Milling wheat has more than doubled in the past 12 months.

Jumping In
``Speculators keep jumping into the market as supplies are very tight globally, especially spring wheat,'' Takaki Shigemoto, an analyst with Tokyo-based commodity broker Okachi & Co. Dry conditions in some wheat-producing areas in northern China also lent support, he said.

``These kinds of rises are not sustainable,'' Commerzbank's Weinberg said, adding that wheat may fall as low as $10 a bushel next month. ``It's overdone for the short-term, however still a good investment for the long term.''

Wheat's 14-day relative strength index, used by some investors to guide trading, was at 75.395 today. A reading of 70 or more indicates prices may fall.

Stockpiles Shrinking
Record prices, led by scarce high-protein varieties, haven't deterred buyers. Export sales from the U.S., the world's largest shipper of the grain, are up 56 percent since June 1 compared with the same period a year earlier.

Global wheat stockpiles may fall to 109.7 million metric tons by May 31, while corn inventories may decline to 101.9 million tons as of Oct. 1, the U.S. government estimated Feb. 8.

U.S. inventories of wheat will drop to 272 million bushels, or 7.4 million tons, the lowest for the end of the marketing year since 1948, according to the USDA. Hard-red spring varieties, traded in Minneapolis, are in short supply as dry weather curbed output last year in the U.S. and Canada.

On the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, wheat for May delivery advanced $1.35, or 7.9 percent, to $18.4325 a bushel. The March contract, which has no limit because it is the closest to delivery, rose as high as $24.26 a bushel, after yesterday becoming the first U.S. wheat contract to top $20 a bushel.

Rising Costs
Rising prices for edible commodities are slicing into cash flows across the food industry. Fourth-quarter earnings at Kellogg Co., the largest U.S. cereal maker, fell 3.3 percent as price increases failed to keep pace with the higher expense of making Eggos, Frosted Mini-Wheat cereal and cookies.

Premier Foods, the maker of Hovis bread, fell for a second day in London trading. Premier shares slid 12.5 pence, or 13 percent, to 84.5 pence at 10:24 a.m., the steepest decline in Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index.

The rise in wheat prices has prompted some governments, including China, to impose export taxes on grains to ensure adequate domestic supply and curb price increases.
Kazakhstan, the world's fifth-largest wheat exporter, plans to impose export tariffs from March 1, Agriculture Minister Akhmetzhan Yesimov said today.

Corn in Chicago declined as much as the daily price limit, falling for the first time in eight days, and soybeans fell for the first day in four after they reached records yesterday on signs that global crop production isn't keeping pace with demand.

Corn futures for May delivery, which reached $5.55 a bushel yesterday, fell as much as 3.7 percent to $5.27 and traded at $5.3575 as of 9:35 a.m. local time in London. Corn is up more than 17 percent this year.

Soybeans for May delivery, which rose to $14.855 a bushel yesterday, declined as much as 1.8 percent to $14.4275 and stood at $14.5575 as of 9:36 a.m. in London. The futures have gained almost 87 percent in the past year after U.S. farmers planted the fewest acres in more than a decade.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Iranian Official: Countdown To Israel's Destruction Has Begun

Curt Here.....

If you have been following the news over the last few years then you are well aware of the fact that Iran has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel. When I first head their threats I found it quite alarming, and in view of the prophecy of the Gog/Magog war as described in Ezekiel 38-39 I believe there was good reason to be alarmed. Over time, as the threats continued and the rhetoric sounded the same, my alarm bells somewhat quieted.

Recently, over the last month or so the threats and rhetoric has increased and in my opinion the threats have become even more pointed (if that were possible). I believe this increase is tied directly to the assassination of Hezbollah's second-in-command Imad Mugniyah that occurred earlier this month in Syria. Although it is unclear who committed this assassination it is clear that most within the Iranian regime, blame Israel. (Please see article posted below)

After studying the scriptures of Ezekiel 38-39, it is clear that Iran (Persia) is part of the group of nations that suddenly attack Israel. When all seems lost God will divinely intervene and save the Nation of Israel from certain destruction.

So with this new increase in threats are we getting closer to the Gog/Magog war? Are we getting closer to Iran actually acting out on their ongoing threats of destruction against the Nation of Israel? If so when does it happen in the prophetic calendar? I have to admit, I am unsure on the exact timing of this event and am not sure that I can answer these questions accurately. Some say this war occurs prior to onset of the 70th week and some say that it occurs at beginning of the 70th week. Some even make a good case for it happening towards the end of the week.

Whenever it occurs, it is obvious we are getting closer and closer to our Lord's return. Keep watching for our redemption draws nigh.


Iranian official: Countdown to Israel's destruction has begun

By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service and News Agencies

Iranian Parliament Speaker Gholam Hadad has warned that the "countdown to Israel's destruction has begun," in an interview published Thursday in an Iranian newspaper.

Hadad's comment was one of a number of scathing remarks made by Iranian officials regarding Israel this week, a trend apparently escalated by the assassination of Hezbollah's second-in-command Imad Mugniyah earlier this month.

Also Thursday, an adviser to Iran's most powerful figure said Mughniyah's assassination would accelerate Israel's demise at the hands of outraged followers of the Shi'ite Lebanese group.

Yahya Rahim Safavi, a former commander-in-chief of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, Mughniyah's killing in a car bomb in the Syrian capital Damascus had angered thousands of young members of Iran-backed Hezbollah. "With such anger, the definite death of Israel will arrive sooner," Rahim Safavi told the official IRNA news agency. Rahim Safavi was appointed as a military adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say in all state matters.

Western analysts say the Revolutionary Guards, an ideological wing of Iran's armed forces, has given military support to Hezbollah. Tehran denies this, saying it only provides moral backing to the Lebanese group.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday called Israel a "filthy germ" and "savage beast" established by Western states in their bid to dominate Middle East nations.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon promised Wednesday to respond "firmly" to Ahmadinejad's verbal attacks on Israel, which he called "intolerable." Ban made the promise in a meeting with Israel's Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman, who requested the meeting with the UN chief.

Ahmadinejad's comments came just days after a top commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guard called Israel a "cancerous germ" which would be wiped out by Hezbollah.

Guards commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari was quoted by the Fars News Agency on Monday as saying: "In the near future, we will witness the destruction of the cancerous germ of Israel by the powerful and competent hands of the Hezbollah combatants." Jafari made the remark in a letter to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, offering condolences after the killing of terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyah, which Iran has blamed on Israel.

The Foreign Ministry sent a letter of protest to the United Nations over Jafari's remarks, Army Radio reported earlier this week.

Last month, Ahmadinejad called on the West to acknowledge Israel's "imminent collapse" and to "stop supporting the Zionists, as [their] regime reached its final stage." "Accept that the life of Zionists will sooner or later come to an end," the Iranian president said in a televised speech. He added, "What we have right now is the last chapter [of Israeli atrocities] which the Palestinians and regional nations will confront and eventually turn in Palestine's favor."


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Barkat: Secret Agreement To Divide Jerusalem Reached

Curt Here....

According to Jerusalem municipal opposition leader Nir Barkat there has been a secret agreement reached between Israel and the Palestinians to divide the City of Jerusalem. It is hard to confirm if this has really happened. Barkat claims to have "senior sources" within the administration, but he has refused to reveal their identity.

Israel foreign minister Livni denies that this has occurred, but doesn't deny that these talks are ongoing. It is clear from her comments that all core negotiations are continuing including Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

So who is telling the truth? Well it is hard to say, but where there is smoke there is fire and to me it is getting pretty smoky.

On another note my friend framer has posted a very interesting article about the EU and the key issues for a lasting settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians. Check it out.

Barkat: Secret agreement to divide Jerusalem reached

Jerusalem municipal opposition leader accuses Prime Minister Olmert, Vice Premier Ramon of 'deceiving Israeli citizens'. Ramon aide: This is nonsense

Roni Sofer

Israeli and Palestinian representatives have reached an agreement to divide Jerusalem, the capital's municipal opposition leader Nir Barkat said Wednesday.

"(Vice Premier) Haim Ramon and the prime minister are deceiving Israel's citizens," Barkat added after exchanging letters with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on the negotiations with the Palestinians.

Barkat based his accusations on information from "senior sources" which he refused to reveal, claiming that Ramon and Palestinian tycoon Muhammad Rashid had agreed in secret talks on Jerusalem's division.

"Livni refuses to reveal the fundamental information she has, according to which there is a secret channel which is not being led by the Foreign Ministry. Knowing this makes her an accomplice in this political deceit, which is really aimed at dividing Jerusalem behind Israeli citizens' backs," said Barkat.

In his letter to Livni, Barkat wrote, "I was amazed to learn that a senior and official Palestinian source was quoted as saying that 'we can say that Israel is ready to pullout of all the Arab villages and neighborhoods in Jerusalem.'"

He went on to demand that "the secret agreements" be revealed or that denied.
"I would like to remind you that if this is true, it constitutes a complete deviation from Kadima's basic principles, a blatant violation of Basic Law: Jerusalem, a breach of the voter's trust and an undermining of the Knesset's sovereignty," he wrote.

'Groundless conspiracy theory'The foreign minister replied in a letter, "In Annapolis (peace conference) it was decided that Israel and the Palestinians would hold negotiations in which all the core issues would be discussed, with no exception," confirming that negotiations are being held on the Jerusalem issue, contrary to Prime Minister Ehud Olmer's remarks in Berlin that the Jerusalem issue would be postponed to the end of the process.

Livni noted in her letter that "the negotiations are being conducted according to an agreement between the parties, which states that until everything is agreed upon there will be no agreement, and that the contents will not be made public."

An official at Ramon's office said in response, "This is nonsense. These remarks are unfounded and nothing of this kind took place."

Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem said in response to Barkat's claims, "This is a groundless conspiracy theory. The prime minister and the Palestinian president meet face to face and do not need anyone's mediation.

"The negotiations are being held in a responsible manner by the prime minister opposite the Palestinian Authority. There is no need for a secret channel, and therefore all attempts to invent secret chancels are doomed to fail."

Barkat's remarks joined voices from the coalition by members of the Shas faction, who threatened to quit the government once negotiations on Jerusalem are launched.

Last week, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai called on the government to cease the negotiations with the Palestinians following the terror attack in Dimona.,2506,L-3506539,00.html


Friday, February 8, 2008

French Lawmakers Say Yes To EU treaty

Curt Here....

A couple of years ago the French people in a national referendum voted down the EU Constitution. Since all 27 nations of the EU had to approve the Constitution in order for it to go into effect this vote pretty much buried any chance that the Constitution would get passed as written.

So over the last couple of years the EU lawmakers went back to the drawing board, but you can guess that they would not make the same mistake twice. This time after very minimal changes to the overall context of the original document they tried again. They renamed the agreement from the "EU Constitution" to the "Reform Treaty." They also took out the provision that allowed the people of each country to vote on the document. Instead each national parliament will vote to ratify the document with a stated goal of implementing the treaty by January 1st, 2009.

In the news article posted below you will see that France became the 5th nation to officially ratify the Reform Treaty. I think that France's ratification of this document is significant, due to the fact that the lawmakers have successfully circumvented the will of the people of France. What was once a document declared dead by the people is now alive and kicking by the power of a few and now there are only 22 parliaments left across the EU that have any chance of stopping the final reunification of the Roman Empire.

Exciting times.


French lawmakers say yes to EU treaty

By EMMANUEL GEORGES-PICOT, Associated Press WriterThu Feb 7, 6:51 PM ET

French lawmakers, mending wounds left by a national referendum that helped bury the proposed European Union constitution in 2005, voted Thursday to ratify a slimmed-down treaty meant to get the EU moving again.

French approval of the treaty — a revised version of the proposed constitution — is seen as crucial to restoring France's reputation as a strong backer of the EU.

"All of Europe is waiting for this signal from France," Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told lawmakers before Thursday's vote in the National Assembly, which was the first step toward ratification.

Adoption would make France the fifth country — and the largest so far — to ratify the treaty, which would give the 27-nation union a long-term president and streamline its decision-making process.

The treaty abandons provisions of the rejected constitution calling for an EU anthem and sensitive language about free competition in trade. It allows the union to engage more swiftly and decisively in foreign policy, and allows more decisions to be made by majority voting instead of unanimous consent.

The National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, approved ratification 336-52. The Senate was expected to approve it as early as Thursday night. President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has championed the treaty, was likely to sign the ratification soon.

Communist and other far-left lawmakers voted against the treaty, saying it threatens France's generous social protections. Other opponents fear it surrenders too much French sovereignty to EU officials in Brussels, Belgium.

The proposed constitution had been heralded as opening a new era in European integration.

In 2005, then-French President Jacques Chirac championed the constitution — written by former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing — and put it to a referendum, expecting to win. The rejection was an embarrassment to a nation that once saw itself at the heart of the European project.

Sarkozy decided that this time, the parliament — not the people directly — would vote on the treaty, diminishing the risk of rejection.

Sarkozy has been eager for France to ratify the treaty before the country takes over the rotating EU presidency in July.

Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and Malta have already ratified the treaty. The other 22 EU nations must approve it for it to come into force. EU leaders hope to see that happen in 2009.;_ylt=AqNp13e.awxr5ekcvF6em3JvaA8F


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Goes Live

Curt Here...

If you are familiar with Bible Prophecy then you are aware that towards the middle of the 70th week, the False Prophet will require all to take a mark on their right hand or forehead, and without this mark they will not be able to buy or sell. Who ever does not take this mark and worship the beast will be killed. Many have speculated over the years as to what this will be and what it will look like. Here is a scriptural reference to review.

Revelation 13:15-17

15. And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
16. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,
17. and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

A couple of days ago the Single Euro Payments Area or SEPA went live. This could be highly significant. You see SEPA is a brand new way to conduct cashless transactions throughout the EU. Not only is this another step in the integration of the EU but it is a huge step towards a single market. If the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet were able to be in charge of this future single market, it would make implementing the mark of the beast that much easier.

Is SEPA the beginning or the framework for the Mark of the Beast? Well, time will tell, but one thing is for sure, it is worth watching.

Please take the time to read the article below.

SEPA goes live
Speech by Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB
Launch event organised by the European Commission,
the European Central Bank and the European Payments Council
Brussels, 28 January 2008
The countdown is over! Today, 28 January 2008, SEPA goes live!

I am pleased to welcome you all to the launch of SEPA. First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the European Commission for hosting today’s event and for its cooperation over the last few years, the fruit of which can been seen today as SEPA comes to life.

Those who have made SEPA a reality, the banks and the service providers are here tonight and I would like to congratulate them all. Let me also mention the work of the Council and the European Parliament that has contributed to making SEPA a reality.

Nine years ago we introduced the single currency. Today, we launch SEPA – another important step in European integration. But let me assure you: today is only just the beginning!

SEPA is all about integration, harmonisation and modernisation. It is a natural consequence of the single currency and a major step in the creation of the Single Market. That is why the ECB has supported the project closely over the past six years. Today’s launch is the first visible result.

A single currency – with a single set of payment instruments – in a single euro payments area. With SEPA, this becomes a reality. And we, as euro area citizens, will be able to make euro payments as cheaply, as easily and as safely as we do national payments. All euro payments will be “domestic”; finally, there will be no difference between sending a payment from Rome to Dublin or from Brussels to Antwerp. We can now make payments not only with euro notes and coins, but harmonised electronic payments by European credit transfer, direct debit and payment card as well.

An important milestone has been reached today with the launch of “SEPA Credit Transfer”. We are now able to send euro payments quickly, and in the same way, to any beneficiary in Europe.

This will be followed by “SEPA Direct Debit” before the end of 2009. As a result, we will be able to make direct debit payments across Europe, as if no borders existed.

With the “SEPA Cards Framework”, extensive changes await the European cards market. The ECB expects a new European card scheme to emerge, harmonising card payments across Europe. That said, efficient national card schemes should not vanish, leaving the cards market entirely to international card schemes. Let’s work together and use the experience of the national schemes to devise a new European card scheme.

Together, these three payment instruments make up SEPA, our key to a door behind which many opportunities lie. Once the door is open we will still have a mountain to climb. But if we are willing to take up the challenge and use SEPA with innovative thinking, we can reap the full benefit.

Let me stress: we do not envision opening the door only to sit back and admire the great many opportunities on the other side. Let’s climb the mountain, discover the opportunities and progress onwards and upwards. Let’s complement the SEPA instruments with innovative services, such as online and mobile payment initiation, e-invoicing and e-reconciliation. By combining these services with SEPA instruments, we eliminate paper and the payment process becomes fully electronic. End-users will spend less time on payments – and, as we all know, time means money.
But how will you benefit from SEPA?

Corporates – make fast European transactions, simplify your payment handling and consolidate your liquidity management.

SEPA’s harmonised services can optimise your payment process. So, request these services from your banks and service providers.

Public administrations – you will experience the same benefits as corporates. But that’s not all. SEPA can help drive e-Government and e-procurement, thereby promoting efficient public services. By adopting SEPA at an early stage, you will extend its benefits to society at large.

Consumers – one bank account and one set of payment instruments is all you need. As with euro notes and coins, there will finally be no difference between payments across Europe – all euro payments will be ”domestic”.

And banks – you have developed and will form the basis of SEPA. And SEPA can help you expand your business, as integration and harmonisation will encourage competition. It is now up to you to use the opportunities SEPA brings.

The launch of SEPA today is a major step in creating the Single Market and represents a significant contribution to the Lisbon agenda and a more competitive Europe. It has not been easy to arrive at where we are today – SEPA has been a formidable challenge, but formidable challenges make us stronger. It is not time to sit back in admiration; it is time to use SEPA.

So, let’s rise to the challenge; let’s use SEPA, our key; and let’s discover the great many opportunities that lie on the other side of that door.