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Posts tagged ‘Buenos Aires’

Japan Lied! US Navy Soldiers Dying Of Radiation Poisoning After Fukushima Nuclear Disaster.


Some call it political spin, but others just say the world is being told lies. The epitome of the falsehoods being told about Fukushima comes from no less than the Japanese prime minister himself.

At the final International Olympic Committee meeting in Buenos Aires, the one deciding who would host the 2020 Summer Olympics, Shinzo Abe assured the IOC the “situation is under control.” Abe said there never was nor ever will be any damage to Tokyo as a result of the Fukushima disaster.

When pressed on the issue by Norwegian IOC Member Gerhard Heiberg, Abe doubled down and told the members, “It poses no problem whatsoever.” Abe went on to say that the contamination was limited to a small area and had been “completely blocked.”

The prime minister also stated, “There are no health-related problems until now, nor will there be in the future, I make the statement to you in the most emphatic and unequivocal way.” source – WND

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A historic earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, causing a nuclear power meltdown. The US Navy rushed in to help—but are those sailors now paying the price? Nearly 100 believe that mission ruined their health.

Vic Carter reports a Navy lieutenant from Maryland who can no longer walk is demanding someone take responsibility for what’s happened. On March 11, 2011, one of the largest earthquakes ever shook Japan. It triggered a tsunami. Waves more than 100 feet high slammed into the coast, killing thousands.


When the wall of water smashed into the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, an explosion spewed radiation into the air and water, creating yet another tragedy. The United States military sped into the disaster zone to help, not knowing it was headed into the path of a radiation plume.

Now, three years after that exposure, at least 100 of those first responders are suffering from unexplained illnesses like cancer, leukemia, bleeding and hair loss—and they’re blaming it on radiation poisoning from Fukushima.

“When you’ve got a nuclear power plant that’s melting down, how can you not expect health risks to come from that?” said Lt. Steve Simmons. Lt. Steve Simmons was on board the USS Ronald Reagan, the first ship to arrive for Operation Tomodachi—the Japanese word for friends.

“I don’t think anybody on board really knew the full scope of what was going on,” Simmons said.

Seven months after arriving home to his family in Maryland from his deployment, Simmons’ health started to deteriorate. “One day, I was coming out of the bathroom and my legs just buckled on me and that was pretty much it,” he said.

Simmons and more than 100 others from the Ronald Reagan are fighting back. They’re suing the Tokyo Electric power company, claiming it hid the truth about radiation leaks at Fukushima.

“The TEPCO people who ran the power plant never warned their government. Their government never warned the world. The command never got the order, `Don’t go ’cause you’re going to get cooked,’” said attorney Paul Garner.

WJZ contacted TEPCO at its offices here in Washington and in Tokyo and got a “No comment.” Clearly, Simmons’ health has taken a drastic turn for the worse, but the problem is linking the sailors’ many medical problems to the Fukushima leak.

At the Pentagon, the Department of Defense has been answering numerous questions from sick sailors about what happened at Fukushima, but government reports indicate that radiation levels on board the USS Ronald Reagan were well below what’s considered dangerous.

“Drawing a cause and effect for individuals is exceedingly difficult,” said Johns Hopkins University Prof. Wayne Biddle. Radiation exposure experts say even if there is a connection, it’s hard to prove.

“They’re suffering. Clearly these individuals are suffering but they have no way of showing necessarily that their symptoms are related to that instance of radiation exposure,” Biddle said. “The hardest part is the family because we have three children,” Simmons said. “Our oldest daughter struggles with `Dad’s going to die’ kind of thing.”

Congress is now asking the Department of Defense for information about the medical conditions of crew members who were aboard the Ronald Reagan and what’s being done to treat them. source – CBS News.

by NTEB News Desk

Pope Names 19 New Cardinals, Focusing on the Poor.

Pope Francis on Sunday named his first batch of cardinals, choosing 19 men from Asia, Africa, and elsewhere, including Haiti and Burkino Faso, to reflect his attention to the poor.

Francis made the announcement as he spoke from his studio window to a crowd in St. Peter’s Square.

Sixteen of the appointees are younger than 80, meaning they are eligible to elect the next pope, which is a cardinal’s most important task. The ceremony to formally install them as cardinals will be held Feb. 22 at the Vatican.

Some appointments were expected, including that of his new secretary of state, the Italian archbishop Pietro Parolin, and the German head of the Vatican’s watchdog office for doctrinal orthodoxy, Gerhard Ludwig Mueller.

But some names were surprising.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the pope’s selection of churchmen from Haiti and Burkino Faso, which are among the world’s poorest nations, reflects Francis’ attention to the destitute as a core part of the church’s mission.

Also chosen to become a “prince of the church,” as the cardinals are known, was Mario Aurelio Poli, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, a post Francis left when he was elected as the first Latin American pope in March.

His selections also came from Managua, Nicaragua; Santiago, Chile; and Rio de Janeiro. The appointees included churchmen from Seoul, South Korea, and the archbishop of Westminster, in Britain, Vincent Nichols.

In a sentimental touch, the three men too old to vote for the next pope include 98-year-old Monsignor Loris Francesco Capovilla, who had served as personal secretary to Pope John XXIII. The late pontiff will be made a saint along with John Paul II at the Vatican in April.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Blogging Gays Urge Murder, Castration of Christians.

Matt Barber
Matt Barber

It happened Dec. 2, 2013, in Buenos Aires, broke the story with the headline: “Violent Mob of Topless Pro-Abort Feminists Attacks Praying Men Defending Cathedral.”

The raw footage is disturbing to the extreme. (Warning: viewer discretion advised for nudity, lesbian lewdness and violence. A censored version isavailable here.)

Both the video and the story have since gone viral. WND summarizes the attacks as follows: “Chanting, ‘Get your rosaries out of our ovaries,’ a mob of pro-abortion feminists—many of whom were topless with Nazi swastikas on their chests and foreheads—attacked and sexually molested a group of Roman Catholic men who were praying as they stood outside a cathedral in Argentina to protect it from threats of vandalism.”

WND Managing Editor David Kupelian called the siege a “display of demonic fury.”

Indeed, it’s hard to watch the footage without discerning the palpably dark spirit that possesses many of the estimated 17,000 lesbian, pro-abortion and feminist assailants (but I repeat myself).

Thousands of painted, topless pagans prancing a ring around the pope burned in effigy—for the chief purpose of celebrating a right to sacrifice, alive, their own children to the goddess abortion—is eerily redolent of ancient Baal worshipers dancing about the inferno and live-roasting, in burnt offering to Moloch, their own children.

For liberals, although the means may change, the ends remain the same.

Equally disturbing are a number of comments posted about the incident on at least one award-winning gay activist blog. Ironically, the site, “JoeMyGod,” a serial Christian-defaming cyber-rag, won the awardfor “Outstanding Blog” in 2011 at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards.

While Joe Jervis—the blog’s militant atheist and gay sadomasochist founder—refuses to denounce the Argentinian hate crimes outright, he at least begrudgingly admits, “I really can’t see how this advances the cause of abortion rights.”

Ya think?

Even so, Jervis, whose blog has a long history of anti-Christian extremism and violence-charged rhetoric, nonetheless permitted several of his regular posters to not only condone the feminist attacks but to illegally call for a steep escalation in anti-Christian violence in general (up to and including church bombings and both the castration and even murder of Christians in the U.S.).

(Update: Jervis has now scrubbed his blog of the post. Screenshots have been taken.)

Poster “mike moore” kicked off the bloodlust: “BRAVA! I wish this happened all the time, particularly here is the U.S. … It’s LONG past time for women to violently react to [being] … denied birth control and then forced to carry a never-wanted child to term.”

Jeff Chang” offered specific suggestions as to what such violence might look like: “How about destroying the oppresive regims [sic] of the church. To that end would you support firebombing a church? How about removing the clergy [sic] from power? Perhaps a ultra radical [sic] hit squad can use lead pipes and beat the clergy to death. How about just creating FEAR for all male Catholics? A bomb during there [sic] planning meeting would work, do you support that?”

Chang then answered his own questions: “As far as I’m concerned, those quasi-religious, hypocritical bastards should have been castrated on the steps of the cathedral they so pompously took it upon themselves to ‘protect’—talk about your bulls–t grand-stand plays. That’s right. We should get rid of ALL of them in one fell swoop. I say that we firebomb the next planning meeting.”

A user named “Hands off my uteris!!” agreed: “They should have burned their f–-ing church to the ground!”

So did “Rolf”: “They were lucky they didn’t start castrating them.”

Poster “Seamus Ruah” justified the violence and sexual assault, comparing it to the similarly violent Stonewall Riots of 1969. Stonewall is largely credited for launching today’s increasingly aggressive gay rights movement. “When you push a segment of the population too far,” wrote Ruah, “they have a tendency to fight back. /Stonewall.”

In the aforementioned WND report, David Kupelian recalled a similar “1989 attack on New York City’s famed St. Patrick’s Cathedral in which hundreds of ‘gay’ activists stormed the church and terrorized its parishioners during Mass.”

JoeMyGod’s “BudClark” recalls it too: “I HAD a problem with Act Up’s ‘Die-In’ in the middle of High Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC, back in the day. I DON’T, anymore. The Catholic HIERARCHY deserve [sic] anything and everything they have coming to them, including JAIL.”

Poster “Vel” had a suggestion for Christians and conservatives: “I hope the right wingers come here and take note of these comments. … Assaulting and humiliating people and interfering with their nonviolent expression is OK if done for the right political cause. So the right wingers should note all of this.”

Rather than lamenting the anti-Christian violence itself, poster “zhera” instead worried: “My only problem with this video is that the Catholics are now able to use it as proof for how they are victims.”

Proof indeed, zhera. And with the burgeoning success of radical LGBT and pro-abortion legislation worldwide—especially in countries like Argentina and the good ‘ol USA—we can expect a rapid increase in similar such proofs of systemic anti-Christian persecution both at home and abroad.

In its story, LifeSite reports that “some of the women chanted a song, with the lyrics: ‘To the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, who wants to get between our sheets, we say that we want to be whores, travesties and lesbians. Legal abortion in every hospital.’”

Nice. There you have it: The heart of gay rights activism, left-wing feminism and pro-choice savagery distilled in one angry rant.

“During the attack some men were visibly weeping,” continues LifeSite. “None of them retaliated against the abuses heaped on them.”

Indeed, to borrow from Madonna’s depiction of Evita, it seems Argentina has much to cry for.

And so does America.

But as for “JoeMyGod,” the question is this: Will GLAAD now publicly disavow Joe Jervis for allowing (and perhaps tacitly condoning) such violent (and very likely illegal) rhetoric? Will this self-styled anti-defamation group rescind its “Outstanding Blog” award?

Don’t hold your breath.

Even still, a bigger question remains: Will federal authorities investigate these threats? If it were Christians threatening gays, Eric Holder himself would kick in the door with MSNBC in tow. Every newspaper in America would give it above-the-fold coverage.

But it wasn’t Christians threatening gays. It was gays threatening Christians.

And that just doesn’t fit the false “gay victimhood” narrative.


Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war.   

Rev. Gahl: Pope Francis Not Leftist or Conservative.

The Rev. Robert A. Gahl Jr.’s perspective: Pope Francis has ascended and rapidly bypassed his German predecessor, now ranking the fourth most powerful person in the world, according to one recent study.

Crowds continue to grow at his audiences in Rome. In the first eight months of his Pontificate alone, he has already drawn more people to his audiences and feast day Angelus addresses than Benedict did in eight years.

The political left cheers Francis, while claiming that he is a progressive man of the people ready to break with years of Vatican traditions, including such touchy subjects as sexual morality.

The political right has also applauded the Pope, but has begun to complain, usually in hushed tones, which are constantly growing more public.

Pope Francis is revolutionary.

No one can sit easy while listening to such shepherds of the spirit who prophetically challenge the self-righteous pharisee in us all. Like Jesus, the Pope speaks of a Kingdom that is much bigger than impending inflation rates, growing national debt, and strife between political parties.

Loved for his short, pithy statements that show sensitive compassion and deep understanding of timeless truths, Francis is followed by more than 10 million Twitter and holds records for the most re-tweets.

But his longer statements, two extensive interviews with journalists and his exhortation on the new evangelization, have provoked contrasting interpretations and confusion, stoked of course by talk radio, like Rush Limbaugh‘s initial discussion of “The Joy of the Gospel.”

In fact, it should be no surprise that the Pope debate has intensified in reaction to the publication of “The Joy of the Gospel,” Francis’ first programmatic personal statement on the Church and evangelization of the world. From the left, Hans Küng, the dissident Catholic theologian and priest, celebrates what he calls Francis’ intensifying “critique of capitalism”.

From the right, Kishore Jayabalan and Sam Gregg, Catholic proponents of free market economics at the ecumenical Acton Institute, complain about Francis’ “tirades against the market economy” and “facile and plainly false accusations” against global capitalism.

Should proponents of a free market fear Francis, the first Pope to have worked under a Marxist woman, when, prior to entering priestly formation, Jorge Mario Bergoglio worked in a chemical lab in Buenos Aires?

Francis has expressed his deep respect and fondness for his former boss — even how much he learned from her.

But the key to understanding Francis is now in black and white. The apparent ambiguities should be easily resolved, unless the reader is so rushed that he takes a few lines out of context. Francis is well aware of the temptation to read Church teaching in the facile framework of economics and politics, the dominant themes of the twenty-four hour news cycle.

In “The Joy of the Gospel,” while introducing the section that deals most extensively with the poor and economic structures, Francis clarifies that his task is one of evangelical discernment for the missionary disciple not one of “detailed and complete analysis of contemporary reality.”

So, look to “The Joy of the Gospel” to learn how to evangelize, not for economic theory.

Moreover, Pope Francis wants to reassure his reader that he writes in continuity with the Popes who preceded him, John Paul II, with his Centesimus Annus and its defense of the human freedom expressed in a regulated market economy, and Benedict XVI, with his Charity in Truth, the most recent full account of the Church’s social doctrine.

Francis builds upon John Paul II’s defense of economic liberty and Benedict XVI’s development of the doctrine that the freedom to seek profit within a market economy must be embedded within the context of love and truth: love for one’s neighbor and the truth regarding development in accord with authentic human dignity.

Francis succinctly recapitulates his papal predecessors: “I take for granted the different analyses which other documents of the universal magisterium have offered.” Regarding his own political theory and its application to papal governance of the universal Church, he states “I am conscious of the need to promote a sound ‘decentralization'”.

Francis then proceeds to focus on the core of the new evangelization: conversion of the human heart and the personal encounter with Jesus Christ, especially in the poor. Francis’s compassion for the poor is revolutionary, not utilitarian.

His compassion is radical but not infected by communism. Francis defends private property while clarifying that the rich have a responsibility to care for the poor. Francis follows Jesus’s proclamation of salvation in heaven, not in an earthly utopia achieved through the destruction of capitalism and forced redistribution.

In fact, despite the leftist applause lines and the conservative critics’ claims that the Pope needs to learn more about economics before he criticizes capitalism, those who actually read “The Joy of the Gospel” will discover that Francis nowhere uses the word “capital” or “capitalism”.

Like all of his predecessors, he criticizes consumerism and idolatry, especially the idolatry of money, finance, and the market for its own sake. “In effect, ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside the categories of the marketplace.”

Indeed, when man serves money he succumbs to the slavery of idolatry. Money must serve man, because the children of God, all men and all women, are to be loved for their own sake.

To address the scandalous inequalities like those he saw up close in the slums of Buenos Aires, Francis challenges the wealthy to compassion. As an Argentine archbishop, Bergoglio once railed against corruption, especially the rackets of drug and human trafficking and abusive government power.

Now as Pope he prays for politicians capable of promoting the common good, rather than usurping it. To address inequality and marginalization, Francis doesn’t propose socialist redistribution, but mercy, compassion, and individual responsibility.

To define himself, Francis simply said: “I’m a sinner.” He publicly states that the papacy itself is in need of conversion.

The first Pope from the Americas is not from the left or from the right. He is a revolutionary, and his aim is reform of the most radical kind.

The Rev. Robert A. Gahl, Jr. is Associate Professor of Ethics at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By The Rev. Robert A. Gahl Jr.

Pope’s Odd Jobs as Young Man: Bar Bouncer, for One.

Image: Pope's Odd Jobs as Young Man: Bar Bouncer, for One

By Cathy Burke

Pope Francis says among the several odd jobs he held as a young man was working as anightclub bouncer.

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reported the Pope told a group of parishioners at the church of San Cirillo Alessandrino about his earlier jobs, which also included sweeping floors and as an assistant in a chemical laboratory, according to Catholic News Service.

Latest: Pope Francis: His Real Agenda May Surprise You 

The Pope told one group of parishioners that although he used to kick troublemakers out of nightclubs, he later learned how to woo people back to the church, crediting years of teaching literature and psychology, the report noted.

Pope Francis’ job as a bouncer was first reported in March by the Italian paper Gazzetta del Sud and the British newspaper The Telegraph, which wrote that he worked in a bar in Buenos Aires while he was a student.

In his latest revelations, the Pope also told parishioners he discovered his vocation to the priesthood after confession with a priest he had never met before — and then joked the best confessors are priests the penitent doesn’t know, and priests who are deaf.

And he confessed that he never dreamed he’d become Pope — and was just a little nervous celebrating his first Mass after being elected pontiff.

“Was I anxious? A little, yes, but everyone was nice,” he said, according to the newspaper. “But it’s true, having a lot of people in front of you is a bit scary.”

Now, he added, “Thank God I feel really good. The Lord helped me be a priest, to be a bishop, and now to be the Pope.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Pope Slams ‘Throwaway Culture’ That Discards Unemployed Youth.

Image: Pope Slams 'Throwaway Culture' That Discards Unemployed Youth

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Pope Francis took on the issue of high youth unemployment in his first interview aired exclusively in his home country of Argentina on Wednesday, warning that today’s “throwaway culture” had discarded a generation of young Europeans.

A day after issuing an 84-page platform for his eight-month-old papacy that blasted unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny,” the pontiff used the interview aired on the TN TV channel to link high European unemployment to its twin problem of neglecting older people who are past their earning prime.

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“Today we are living in unjust international system in which ‘King Money’ is at the center,” he said in the interview.

“It’s a throwaway culture that discards young people as well as its older people. In some European countries, without mentioning names, there is youth unemployment of 40 percent and higher,” he added. “A whole generation of young people does not have the dignity that is brought by work.”

European leaders pledged earlier this month to make fighting youth unemployment a priority but came up with no new ideas to tackle a problem that risks fueling social unrest.

Nearly 6 million people under the age of 25 are without work in the European Union, with jobless rates among the young at close to 60 percent in Spain and Greece.

Francis’ skepticism of free markets and concern about the lack of ethics in finance were shared by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. But Francis’ unassuming style and rejection of the traditional trappings of office lend his words particular weight.

“A people that cares neither for its youth nor for its older people has no future,” the Pope said. “Young people take society into the future, while the older generation gives society its memory, its wisdom.”

Previously archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis in March became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years. He is the first South American Pope.

Francis has called for a more austere Church that sides with the poor, and has promised to clean up the murky finances of the Vatican bank.

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© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


Benny Hinn: The Anointing Is Still in Operation.


Benny Hinn
Benny Hinn
Healing evangelist Benny Hinn is back with a passion. After restoring his marriage, Hinn is once again traveling the world—this time with his wife, Suzanne—and holding crusades where miracles are manifesting.
Charisma News caught up with Hinn to get the latest report from the field.
Charisma: I hear God is restoring your ministry.
Hinn: The ministry is coming back. The anointing is still in operation. People are seeing that.
Number two, they are coming because of the deep hurt, deep pain, deep need. Sickness is still there. And thirdly, I think they come because they say, “OK, the Lord has done something for him. We’re happy for him and Suzanne.” They want to support this, and they show up. So, it’s been very exciting. I don’t know what the future holds, but we’re all excited about it, and I’m happy to see the Lord do it. This is real. Sue and I have never been happier.
Charisma: You’ve been ministering in packed-out auditoriums around the world these days. What’s going on there?
Hinn: Well, since my remarriage I have seen an upsurge. The crowds have come back in most places, especially in the Far East. I was in Manado, Indonesia, in July. We had 200,000 people show up for the crusade. I have not seen crowds like that in three years. It was stunning. We were only expecting 80,000. They told my team it was the largest crowd they have had—ever—in that part of Indonesia. I was in Madrid last week; the stadium was jammed. People were just ecstatic.
There just seems to be a lot of excitement out there about my reunion to Suzanne. It’s just a very, very exciting time in our lives. Sue and I are doing incredibly, marvelously glorious. Really, I’ve not had such contentment in my life. It’s like this is our time of peace and recovery. I think sometimes when somebody is healed, it heals everything else around them.
Charisma: Tell us about the miracles in London.
Hinn: I was in London at Westminster and rented the Westminster Hall across from Parliament. It was jammed out. It was magnificent. While I was in London, three miracles stood out which were just so amazing. One girl—I’ll be showing it on TV in two weeks—was flown in from Pakistan with three holes in her heart and crippled. God healed her. Two friends in their ’60s who were born deaf were both healed. And it just stunned the crowd. It actually stunned me more than anyone else, I think. My son is now working with me. During the divorce, I saw him become so angry and bitter. And there he was last week, standing, crying and worshipping God on the platform as he saw the miracles and was helping his daddy. It’s a precious thing to see your family healed also when God heals you.
Charisma: What’s next for Benny Hinn?
Hinn: Doors are swinging open. I’m going to China, by the way, if you can believe it. I’ve been invited to preach in two cities, Shanghai and Guangzhou, in January. India has opened up big. I’m going to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December, and they’re expecting massive crowds. And Africa. Dear God! The invitations I’m getting now for Africa can keep me there probably the whole year. So it’s like a resurrection, a resurgence. I’m beginning to do some big meetings again in the U.S. I don’t know that I’ll ever go back to the stadiums because it’s very, very expensive. But I am doing convention halls and centers. In fact, I’m coming to Orlando to the convention center early next year.
Stay tuned for part two of this exclusive interview.

Argentina Rape Victim Stunned by Phone Call From Pope.

Alejandra Pereyra, 44, said she felt she had been “touched by the hand of God” after receiving the phone call from Pope Francis.
Pereyra wrote to the Pope, who was archbishop of Buenos Aires before being elected pontiff in March, about 10 days ago. She said that after she had been raped by a policeman, Argentinean  authorities tried to suppress her complaint and that the perpetrator had received a promotion.
She was amazed to hear from the 76-year-old Pope personally when he called her on Sunday using a landline from the Vatican.
“My mobile phone rang and when I asked who it was, he responded, ’The Pope’,” Pereyra told an Argentinean television network. “I just froze.”
They talked for approximately 30 minutes, during which time they discussed issues of “faith and trust,” according to the London Daily Telegraph.
“The Pope listened to what I said with much attention,” she said. “He told me that I was not alone and that I must have faith in the justice system.”
 The Pope “told me that he receives thousands of letters a day but that the one that I wrote had touched his heart,” Pereyra added.
She said she would “do everything possible” to travel to Rome to meet the Pope in person.
“He said he would receive me,” said Pereyra, who comes from Rio Segundo, located about 450 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Joel Himelfarb

Iran Is Recruiting Young Adults From Latin America.

Iran is recruiting young adults from Latin America, including foreign students for special study inside Iran, direct outreach to countries through the construction of mosques and cultural centers, and a new cable network that broadcasts Iranian programming in Spanish.
In some cases, Iranian officials have sought to enlist Latin Americans for espionage and hacking operations targeting systems, U.S. and Latin American law-enforcement and intelligence officials told The Washington Post.
A report issued in May by an Argentinean prosecutor cited evidence of “local clandestine intelligence networks” organized by Iran in several South American countries. The document accused Tehran of using religious and cultural programs as cover for a “capability to provide logistic, economic and operative support to terrorist attacks decided by the Islamic regime.”
Singled out in the report is an Iranian cleric and government official Mohsen Rabbani, who runs several programs in Iran for Latin American students, according to the Post..

A former cultural attaché in Buenos Aires, Rabbani was accused by Argentina of aiding the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in that city that killed 85 people, the country’s deadliest terrorist attack.

Rabbani helped start Iran’s largest Spanish-language website and was instrumental in launching HispanTV, a cable network that broadcasts Iranian programs and commentary in Spanish.

Rabbani would boast in a 2011 interview of having shattered “the American myth” by helping drive Latin American opinion away from the West and towards Iran’s vision of revolutionary Islam. An estimated 1,000 students have undergone training, supervised mostly by Rabbani, since 2007.

Carlos, a Mexican recruited into the program, knew nothing about Rabbani, his ideology, or his alleged involvement in terrorism when he met Iran’s top diplomat in Mexico at a party two years ago.

Within months, he had a plane ticket and a scholarship to attend the Oriental Thought Cultural Institute in Qom, where Rabbani serves as director.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Joel Himelfarb

Catholic Youths Travel to Rio to See ‘Slum Pope’.

Thousands of young Roman Catholics from around the Americas are traveling to Rio de Janeiro, taking dayslong bus trips or expensive plane flights that were paid for by baking cookies and holding garage sales, running raffles and bingo tournaments and even begging for coins in public plazas to see their beloved “slum Pope” on his first trip outside Italy as Pontiff.

Pope Francis tweeted on Saturday: “Dear young friends, I know that many of you are still traveling to Rio. May the Lord accompany you on your way.”

On Friday he met for more than 30 minutes with former Pope Benedict XVI, who had originally been scheduled to make the trip, and gave him a copy of a program of the trip in case he wanted to watch events on television, the Vatican said.

Some of the poorest traveled from so-called “misery villages” in Argentina‘s capital, thanks to donations from the Buenos Aires archdiocese. Their agenda at World Youth Day includes meeting with other disadvantaged youngsters in Manguinhos, a favela Pope Francis plans to visit, and sharing stories about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the subway-riding Argentine Jesuit they now affectionately call their “slum pope.”

For Buenos Aires priest Father Mario Miceli, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio used to be only a phone call away. Now Miceli embarked on a 40-hour bus ride to join 2.5 million Catholics gathered in Brazil for Bergoglio’s first visit to Latin America as Pope Francis.

Miceli, 36, planned to travel in a convoy he helped organize to carry some of the 42,500 Argentines he says plan to be in Rio de Janeiro to see the Pope at next week’s World Youth Day celebrations.

Road trips can be fun, but many have been expressing more profound emotions, excited by the changes they see in the church since Francis was elected in March. His first months as Pope have already renewed their faith, many say, by showing how church leaders can get closer to their people and relate to their real-world problems with humor and a common touch.

“Like anyone else, there have been times when I haven’t had this faith at 100 percent. Now I have more faith than ever, very high. I have my heart completely with God and no one can take me away from there,” said Valentina Godoy, who traveled from Santiago, Chile, and shared her feelings from Brazil on a video her local church group posted on YouTube.

The Catholic Church in Brazil is one Francis knows well, aware that it is losing legions of adherents to Pentecostal churches and secularism. But Catholic youth festivals are meant to reinvigorate the faithful, and Francis, a soccer-loving native son, is expected to rally young people with his humble and unconventional ways.

The Pope’s visit to Brazil also comes at a time when a near decade-long economic boom gives way to slower growth and the country is still roiling from popular protests. More than 1 million people hit the streets in June to protest against everything from rising prices to bad government and poor public schools and hospitals.

The biggest demonstrations subsided, but small protests continue, occasionally turning violent. Late on Wednesday, police clashed with looters and vandals who smashed windows and burned garbage in two upscale Rio neighborhoods.

The initial protests successfully used a major international soccer event as a backdrop, contrasting the billions of dollars needed to host the 2014 World Cup with shortfalls in public services. Authorities hope the Papal visit will not provide a similar stage.

“Pope Francis isn’t to blame for the sins of Brazilian government officials,” said Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes this week.

Along with expected protests by feminists, gay-rights groups and others who oppose the Church’s stance on social issues, authorities fear demonstrators will focus on the 350 million reais ($158 million) that organizers say the event could cost. Most of that will be paid by participants and sponsors, organizers say, but millions more will be needed from public coffers to ensure security, transportation and readiness.

Francis plans to travel around the city in an open jeep, not the bullet-proof vehicles used since a would-be assassin shot and wounded Pope John Paul II in 1981.

Francis joked when he first emerged on the balcony over St. Peters Square that the cardinals had chosen a Pope “from the end of the world.” But for many Catholics on this side of the Atlantic, he’s not only the first Latin American pope. With his history of community outreach, many younger Catholics are saying that he’s the first Pope they can relate to in a more personal way.

“We were concerned after Benedict resigned, but when a Latin American Pope emerged, so close to young people, it really changed the situation and our numbers grew. A little while ago we thought that there would be 5,000 Chileans and now we see that 9,100 of us are going, more than double what we expected,” said Alonso Molina, the 21-year-old coordinator of a group visiting from Chile’s Vicarate of Youthful Hope.

Brazil has more Catholics than any other country in the world and its church has struggled to compete with Latin America’s vigorous evangelical Christian movements, so it’s a logical destination. And while many Argentines were disappointed that Francis didn’t choose his native Argentina for his first papal trip outside Italy, they were making the best of it: More than 30,000 Argentines were making the pilgrimage, the largest foreign delegation.

That includes President Cristina Fernandez, who cast aside her political rivalry with the former Buenos Aires cardinal after he became Pope, and plans to make more displays of affection next week. While Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff invited South American leaders to the final Mass on July 29, Fernandez also plans to attend Monday’s opening ceremony, Argentina’s Catholic News Agency reported.

Hundreds of young Catholics left Buenos Aires cathedral Friday night in a caravan of buses on the 40-hour, 1,500-mile (2,500-kilometer) trip to Rio. Many others left earlier from provinces around Argentina. About 9,500 signed up from the United States; 5,000 from Paraguay and 4,500 from Mexico.

In all, 350,000 young Catholics signed up, similar to previous World Youth Days that later attracted much larger crowds. In any case, Brazilian authorities prepared to receive a million or more visitors during the Pope’s weeklong stay.

Many Argentines had already planned to attend last year, “but everything got bigger after March 13, with the boom that was generated by the news that the Pope is from our land and our city,” said the Rev. Marcelo Miceli, trip coordinator for the Buenos Aires archdiocese.

The diocese channeled contributions and was able to subsidize all-inclusive trips for $500 a person, Miceli said. “We’ve received a lot of help from the community, many donations. It has generated an incredible wave of solidarity.”

But despite months of lobbying by the Vatican’s top diplomat in Argentina, Emil Paul Tscherrig, the church got no reprieve from Argentina’s tax agency, AFIP, which refused to loosen currency controls so that pilgrims might be able to trade their devaluing pesos for Brazilian reals at favorable official exchange rates.

Pilgrims wanting to buy Brazilian currency in Argentina were forced to turn to illegal traders, getting about half as much money in return for their pesos. Those wealthy enough to have credit cards can use those in Brazil, and later pay a 20 percent penalty to the Argentine government for each purchase.

AFIP’s press office refused to comment on the controversy, which prompted an official public complaint from the church: “We made many appeals to various government agencies, but we have not received official responses about the possibility of changing money,” the statement said.

Paraguay doesn’t limit currency trading, but poverty is a grim reality for many members of the Catholic church in that country.

“To put together the money necessary for the trip and our stay, since we’re so poor, we had to ask for help from others and organize food fairs, selling noodles with chicken sauce, hamburgers, sodas and other fast food,” said Ismael Diaz, who organized a group of 300 young people traveling from the Virgin of Rosario parish in the city of Luque.

Chilean youths told similar stories of bake sales, raffles and shaking cans in the streets to raise money for the trip.

“It’s something I have always wanted to do. It’s important for any young Catholic person to attend and to reconfirm their faith,” Ezequiel Sanchez, a 28-year-old small business owner, said before he and 18 others from his church boarded their flight from Mexico City.

The Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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