The Malaysian Airline plane that vanished from radar screens during a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 aboard remained missing Saturday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said.
Search operations midway between Malaysia and Vietnam’s southern coast were being intensified for the aircraft carrying 239 passengers and crew, and Vietnamese air force planes reported spotting two large oil slicks off the southern tip of Vietnam that could indicate a crash.
Relatives of the 154 Chinese nationals on the flight gathered at a hotel in Beijing to await news, CNN reports.
Flight MH370 departed from the Malaysian capital about 12:40 a.m. Saturday local time and was scheduled to arrive in Beijing at 6:30 a.m., the airline said in statements today. A search is under way for the Boeing Co. 777-200 aircraft, the airline said. Passengers are from 13 countries, it said.
“We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts with flight MH370,” said Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, chief executive officer of Malaysian Airline System. “Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crew.”
China’s aviation authority said that the Malaysian flight hadn’t made contact, the Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the authority. The authority said that the flight-radar signal was lost with Ho Chi Minh City air control, Xinhua reported.
Faud Sharuji, vice-president of operations control for the airline, said that there was no idea where the aircraft was, CNN reported in an interview with the executive.
At least 158 passengers were Chinese, according to Xinhua.
“We’re closely monitoring reports on Malaysia flight MH370,” Chicago-based Boeing said in a statement on its Twitter feed. “Our thoughts are with everyone on board.”
Western journalists who have descended on Sochi, Russia for the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics have taken to Twitter regaling followers with tales of unfinished and substandard hotel rooms and posting amusing photos.
Tens of thousands of tweets have been sent using the hashtag #SochiProblems, and the Twitter account @SochiProblems has more than 61,000 followers.
One journalist tweeted, “My hotel room has no internet, no hot water, no curtains and no furniture. On the plus side, three of the four lights work.”
Another Twitter user posted a photo of orange-colored tap water, adding, “Water restored, sorta. On the bright side, I now know what very dangerous face water looks like.”
International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams addressed the issue at a news conference.
“It’s a bit premature to say it’s been a failure. They have delivered 24,000 rooms,” he said, according to NBC News. “Surely there have been some issues, but we are really doing our best.”
New Year’s Day is a good time to do something most of us never do—set some goals. Most of the time we call them “New Year’s Resolutions” and we abandon them within a few weeks. Yet I believe God wants us to do more than that. We must determine God’s purpose for our life and for this New Year.
I’ve done this for nearly four decades by setting long-range and short-range goals. Maybe you can learn from my experience in writing goals and letting God use that to set priorities and to accomplish more than you would without them.
Most people spend more time planning their annual vacations than they do planning their lives. My observation is that even most believers drift along in life with no clear direction. It’s been documented that the people who actually write down and work on the goals they set are the most successful in life. I believe they are usually the happiest too, because they have a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Myles Munroe believes that God wants us to become people who have plans. He believes that plans are documented imagination. If we can document an imagination, we’ve developed a plan for action.
“If you are having real problems in your life, you probably don’t have a piece of paper on which you have documented your plans for the next five years,” he says. “You’re just living from day to day in the absence of a concrete, documented plan. You’ve been dealing with the same issues and habits and struggles for years. You slide forward a little only to slide backward again. Whenever things get hard, you start reminiscing about ‘the good old days’ and fall back into habits you had conquered. Progress requires a plan of action. Ideas must be put down if they are to influence the way you live.”
It’s important to know how to set goals.
Are your goals written down? Do other people know about them? Does your spouse? Do your friends?
Begin with general goals. I set written goals every week. In the “notes” portion of my iPhone, I have goals for the year—spiritual, family, physical, professional.
Break your general goals down into specific daily tasks. Mine are written in my iPhone so that I have them with me wherever I go. Each month I make the general goals specific and break them down to daily tasks. I probably only finish 80 percent of them because as I complete them, I set more.
The times I get away from fulfilling my goals are the times when I drift. Goals give me a sense of direction, boundaries and priorities.
Set some life goals. I like to talk with people about theirs. One of my favorite ways to relax is to get a bite to eat with a friend and ask them about their goals. I might ask how much money they want to make in five years, or what career path they want to take. I’ll ask what they want people to say in their obituary.
Most people have an opinion about these things, but few actually have a plan.
Establish a personal mission statement. Many people go through a difficult mid-life period, which may rob them of goals or make them feel as if what they have achieved is ephemeral. Patrick Morley, author ofThe Man in the Mirror, says that midlife is like a lake.
“Early in our lives we run swift like a river, but shallow. As we put years behind us, though, we deepen. Then one day, we enter the opened jaws of midlife,” Morley says. “Where once we felt direction and velocity, suddenly we find ourselves swirling about, sometimes aimlessly, or so it seems. Each of us, like individual droplets of water, will take a different path through this part of the journey. For some of us it will only be a slowdown. Others will feel forgotten and abandoned by the father of the river. Some, unable to see where the waters converge and on again grow strong, will despair.”
Morley’s crisis started at 36. He says that it can occur well into your mid-50s. (Remember, in our diverse culture there is no singular mid-life experience anymore). “You come to a point that you feel somehow imbalanced—like something is missing,” he says, “like it’s not enough. All the years of pressure deadlines have taken a toll. You have discovered a vacuum in your soul for meaning, beauty, and quiet.”
He recommends writing a life mission statement that includes four elements:
1. A life purpose: Why you exist
2. A calling: What you do
3. A vision or mental picture of what you want to happen
4. A mission: How you will go about it
Morley takes us full cycle through the birth of one vision, the implementing of that vision, the setting of goals to attain it, the commitment to a personal mission statement and on to the birth of a new vision that is greater than the first.
“A new vision must spring up from a foundation of gratitude for what God has already done to use us and make us useful,” Morley says. “The motivation cannot merely be wanderlust; not more for the sake of more. Rather, one chapter has closed and another beckons to be opened. A vision is a goal—a big one. Visions are not the work of today or tomorrow or even next month. Rather, a vision has a longer term.”
He reminds us that visions rarely turn out exactly as planned. The apostle Paul had the vision of going to Jerusalem and then to Rome. He didn’t consider that he would make those visits as a prisoner, but that’s how it came about. Often, God must delay the fulfilling of a vision or desire until He has prepared us to be people who can handle it with grace and humility. It is not God’s nature to give us greater visions and accomplishments if they work to our destruction. Instead, God allows us to be hammered into the shape of a vessel that can gracefully contain the vision.
What God-inspired goals do you have for your life? Are you a scientist or doctor who can set a goal of finding a cure for a disease? Are you an entrepreneur who can pledge to give several million dollars to a credible missions organization? Are you a board member or pastor who can start a program for the poor in your city, or network churches to meet the need?
What would do you if there were no boundaries on your imagination or budget?
If you haven’t had big goals and dreams before now, I pray you will learn to set goals for 2014 and give them deadlines. Keep in mind that when you stand before the Lord, He will hold you accountable for the talents, resources and dreams He bestowed upon you. You stand to lose nothing by going for God’s highest plan for you. On the day when He says to you, “Well done, you good and faithful servant,” you will know that you attempted and accomplished much for your Savior.
Please leave your comments. Do you agree with me? Did I motivate you to set some goals? What is a goal you achieved because you wrote it down? What are the biggest things you hope to accomplish in 2014?.
I always tell people that when you define some terms, always know that for every term that exists, there’s a separate Nigerian definition. It’s in Nigeria that you fight inflation by producing 5000 notes. It’s in Nigeria that you want to reduce child mortality rate and you’re not building hospitals. It’s in Nigeria that you want to reduce crime on the streets and you’re taking people’s means of livelihood. It’s in Nigeria that you want your schools to be among top schools in the world and you’re not funding education.
In the same vein, when people talk about APC and its attempt to revamp Nigeria’s democracy, I can only laugh. APC? They want to evolve our democracy? The same people label themselves progressives yet they wine and dine with agents of backwardness. Do they even know what it means? Abegiiii…
You can only call APC progressive if progressive means bringing together strange bedfellows. APC can only be progressive if progressive means accepting every tom, dick and harry all in an attempt to build strength. I say APC can only be progressive if progressive means inviting enemies of the masses to join up and lead them.
If anybody thinks APC is taking us anywhere good, I say dream on. The only place APC will take Nigerians is to push more people down the poverty line. Using LASU as case-study, the only place APC is taking Nigerians is a place where only the rich can afford to send their children to school. Using Lagos state as example, the only place APC is taking Nigerians is a place where you will all be told to go back to your villages and live in the forest if you can’t meet up with their pace? Using 2011 Presidential election (where Tinubu betrayed Ribadu and sold South-west to Jonathan) as case study, the only place APC is taking Nigerians is a place where leaders betray their followers when juicy deals come their way. Using Senator Yerima (and the overwhelming support of the defunct CPC senators for child marriage) as case-study, the only place APC is taking us is a place where we marry off our daughters from the cradle. Using Alli Ndume as case-study, the only place APC is taking us is a place where sponsors of terrorist organisations are granted bail even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
Other countries may have passed through this stage and now enjoy ‘democracy’ today, but Nigeria won’t. The mistake people who refer to this make is that they forget that those countries differed on policies; their disagreements weren’t about who could loot the most, their wranglings weren’t about taking in every enemy of the masses in the name of building strength. Their disagreements bordered on policies, their disagreements bordered on agenda and its workability. That is why they scaled through. The only thing Nigerians will be left with after ignorantly experimenting with APC is disappointment and a taste of defeat at having been used to achieve selfish aims.
A party that accepts everybody and brings in people who destroyed their own party, a party that brings in sworn enemies of the masses is a party that has nothing good to offer.
My only prayer for Nigerians is that we will awake on time and free ourselves from the web of deceit that APC has weaved before we mortgage our future and that of our children and before we sacrifice our survival on the altar of power play and greed.
The way forward? We begin to plan towards a people’s revolution. We begin to put platforms in place. We begin to educate the masses. We begin a vigorous campaign to rid the ignorant of their ignorance. We begin a reeducation drive aimed at changing the orientation of the masses. A recycling of politicians won’t take us anywhere; only a total overturn of the current system of governance can bring a lasting change to Nigeria, reclaim the nation from those who have made it their birthright and give Nigerians back their nation.
Down with failed politicians! Down with parties of deceit! Onward to a people’s revolution!
Ogunjimi James Taiwo
Follow me on Twitter: @hullerj. Google +: James Ogunjimi
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters
On Nov. 20, he pleaded guilty to the charges against him and entered a voluntary rehabilitation program for treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse.
“My recovery is under way and ongoing,” he said. “I have and will continue to build a support system to rely on for the rest of my life. While in a voluntary rehabilitation program, I began a step-by-step process that will aid me in recovery one day at a time.”
He said his main struggle is with alcohol.
“To be clear, alcohol is the problem for me,” the Florida Republican said. “It was selfishly fun, but became an issue when it led to poor choices and missed opportunities.”
While he made it clear in his Facebook post that he plans to remain in office, Florida Republican leaders have said they want Radel to resign.
At least two Republican candidates have said they are ready to run in a special election if needed.
As airports around the world move to more automated airport security functions, concerns are increasing over whether computers will rise to the challenge of actually identifying potential terrorists.
“If you’re sweating profusely, for example, the person checking your ID would notice,” says Arnold Barnett, an aviation-security expert and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor. “But that computer taking an iris scan wouldn’t.”
Part of keeping travelers safe is “looking at all kinds of things that can’t be captured by an algorithm,” Barnett told The Wall Street Journal.
About 28 percent of airports around the world are using biometric technology as part of their airport security, which allows airports to streamline the screening process using machines that can verify identities by scanning faces, irises, or fingerprints. Advocates say the technology could make boarding passes obsolete.
London Gatwick Airport conducted an experiment this year with 3,000 British Airways passengers using biometric scanners instead of boarding passes. The machines scanned the irises of the passengers’ eyes when they first checked in, which allowed cameras to identify the travelers at security checkpoints and gates automatically.
While advocates of the technology say that automating some of these processes would free up security personnel to focus on monitoring travelers for suspicious behavior, other experts like Barnett worry that screeners will become too dependent on the technology and it will only serve to dull their senses.
European airports have been much quicker to embrace the biometric technology than American airports, the Journal reported. However, the Transportation Security Administration does currently use the technology for checking employees into some areas and for travelers enrolled in its PreCheck program. It is also used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at U.S. airports.
Coburn described the launching of Obamacare as one of the most devastating blows to the rule of law and he accused President Barack Obama of changing his signature achievement “according to whim” without regard to any legal or constitutional constraints that might be involved. He also wrote that the most troubling aspect of the president’s behavior in pushing the law on the American public was his promise that people would be able to keep their current insurance plans and doctors.
“We now know that the administration was aware that these claims were false, yet Mr. Obama continued to make them, repeatedly,” Coburn said.
Even though the president “apologized in part for his statements,” it sent a message to politicians that “message discipline” is the name-of-the-game if it helps “to win an election or achieve a short-term political goal.”
“When a misleading message ultimately clashes with reality, the result is dissonance and conflict,” the Oklahoma senator argued. “In a republic, deception is destructive.”
Coburn took a hard swipe at Democrats in Congress as well, calling Senate Majority LeaderHarry Reid‘s successful effort to do away with the 60-vote threshold for moving most presidential nominations an outright power grab “to undo 200 years of precedent that requires a supermajority to change Senate rules.”
“To speed the approval of executive appointments and judicial nominations, Sen. Reid resorted to raw political power, forcing a vote (52-48) that allows the Senate majority to change the rules whenever it wants,” Coburn complained. “In a republic, if majorities can change laws or rules however they please, you’re on the road to life with no rules and no laws.”
Coburn concluded by noting that if Americans are truly fed up, as he is, with the way Washington works these days, then they should make use of the elections this year to make some changes.
“If you don’t like the rulers you have, you don’t have to keep them,” he wrote.
That’s the place we’re in as a church. I’m not getting any younger, and it seems we are losing Kingdom ground on a national and international level. The only answer to reversing that is building and growing Kingdom and mission minded leaders who will do the same.
I feel a great sense of urgency that we have to equip and empower an entire new army of leaders, younger leaders that have incredible passion for the mission of the church to multiply. In response to that, we have revamped our leadership development process.
At its core our new process has four parts:
1. A pre-process. It’s important that potential leaders know you are serious about multiplying leaders. That it’s not just another “program” they can sign up for. Make your leadership process by invitation only, and where some pretty high standards must be met prior to being allowed in.
2. A basic beginning. Start all at the same point. It’s important that all those with you know the vision, passion and direction of your church. Don’t make any assumptions! Remember what they used to say, “Assumption is the mother of all _________.”
It will be difficult to build on a foundation if you didn’t lay it from the beginning.
3. A measurable middle. You can’t manage what you can’t measure. You will never know where people are in their abilities if you don’t measure their progress.
Some will complete a portion of your process, and not have the gift set to continue to the next level. It’s better to know that in the middle, and release them to use what they have learned, than to frustrate them and waste unproductive resources and time.
We can’t nor should we expect that all those in our process will become level-five leaders. We have a tremendous deficit of level three leaders as well.
4. A clear call. Leaders that complete all parts of your leadership process should be equipped and have a clear call to go and multiply themselves into others. Your leadership culture must be one of calling leaders to multiply.
The end of all can’t be just completion, but one of a deep sense of call. Empower and equip your leaders to reproduce themselves. If this last step is neglected you will have only succeeded in producing a tribe of new Pharisees that will guard their territory rather than seeking to enlarge it.
It’s time to make time count.If you don’t have a leadership process, start one, a simple one. Change it as you go, but have a process! You have no right to complain about loyalty, the lack of volunteers, that no one is giving or no one is “stepping up” if aren’t imparting that to potential leaders.
It was explained that quite often, an organization or department can add to its effectiveness by actually taking someone off the team (not replacing them). I understand the genius of less is more, but addition by subtraction? … awesome idea!
Here are 3 things you may need to subtract (take away) from your church if it’s not moving…
1. Subtract a Ministry. Too many ministries and not any operating at full capacity is dangerous. We need to systematically measure the success of all we do, and subtract those that are sub par.
Not that they aren’t good. We just need to subtract them until we have the energy and resources to do them passionately well.
Which ministry are you going to pray about shelving?
2. Subtract a Meeting. Can I get an Amen?? O yeah, Glory! Unproductive and unnecessary meetings are draining and they kill passion. Only gather together when needed, not necessarily scheduled.
A meeting mentality feeds the need to talk and not do. What regularly scheduled meeting will you reduce or eliminate?
3. Subtract a Member. Yeah, sometimes we just have take someone off the team. That means you have to be willing to make the difficult call. If that one staff, volunteer, leader or whatever isn’t contributing, they are draining! If you don’t subtract them, your team will begin to dwindle.
What member of your team (if any) should you seriously consider subtracting?.
Written by Artie Davis
Artie Davis is the pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, S.C. He heads the Comb Network and the Sticks Conference. He speaks and writes about leadership, ministry, church planting and cultural diversity in the church. You can find his blog at ArtieDavis.com or catch him on Twitter @artiedavis.
The mockery came during Sunday’s Melissa Harris-Perry show, on which she hosted a panel of entertainers commenting on photos of the year.
The selection included a picture of the Romney family, and Harris-Perry solemnly remarked: “Everybody loves a baby picture, and this was one that really a lot of people had emotions about this baby picture this year.”
“This is the Romney family,” she went on. “And, of course, there on Gov. Romney’s knee is his adopted grandson, who is an African-American, adopted African-American child, Kieran Romney.”
Panelist Pia Glenn then started singing in the background: “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same,” as other members guffawed.
“And that little baby, front and center, would be the one,” Glenn said.
“And isn’t he the most gorgeous?” Harris-Perry said. “My goal is that in 2040, the biggest thing of the year will be the wedding between Kieran Romney and North West [daughter of reality star Kim Kardashian and singer Kanye West]. Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?”
Story continues below.
As panelists again burst into laughter, comedian Dean Obeidallah snarked: “I think this picture is great. It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person,” the Washington Times reported.
Howe hit back with his own snide observation of the panel.
“It’s funny because Romney is white and his grandson isn’t, which is obviously hilarious. Because as everyone knows, the races should not mix,” he wrote.
“He’s not a child adopted by loving parents prepared to provide him with a better life in keeping with the family’s values. Nope. He’s just a token. A punchline, not a person. But it’s funny, because Republicans are racist, see? So, it’s all fine!”
The panel’s comments drew strong criticism on Twitter and from MSNBC’s cable competitors.
Conservative commentator Ana Navarro said if the comments were made on Fox: “Jesse Jackson would be protesting and tied to a tree somewhere.”