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Daily Scriptures – April 30, 2006 April 30, 2006

Posted by notapundit in Daily Scriptures, Main.
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Third Sunday of Easter

Both Scripture readings today and the Gospel hammer home the very important message that Jesus Christ would fulfill what was written in Scripture – He would die for the expiation of our sins. So long as we believe, repent, ask forgiveness of our sins, be baptised and obey His commandments we have eternal life.

Notice also how Luke makes it known that Christ’s would reveal all of Scripture to those who have ears to listen and believe. Just as important is that this is the same message being preached by Peter, in today’s reading from Acts. Christ commanded the disciples to testify the Truth. Peter does just that. Peter the rock of our Church. Praise be to God Almighty.

Psalm: Sunday 19

Reading I
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19

Peter said to the people:
“The God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus,
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
Now I know, brothers,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9

R. (7a) Lord, let your face shine on us.
R. Alleluia.
When I call, answer me, O my just God,
you who relieve me when I am in distress;
have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
R. Alleluia.
Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
R. Alleluia.

O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
You put gladness into my heart.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
R. Alleluia.
As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep,
for you alone, O LORD,
bring security to my dwelling.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
R. Alleluia.

Reading II
1 John 2:1-5a

My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep
his commandments.
Those who say, I know him, but do not keep his commandments
are liars, and the truth is not in them.
But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.

Luke 24:35-48

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
and how Jesus was made known to them
in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.

Russia Lawmaker: Russia,China May Back UN On Iran April 29, 2006

Posted by notapundit in Main, World News.
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MOSCOW (AP)–A senior Russian lawmaker closely allied to the Kremlin said Friday that Moscow and Beijing may have to acquiesce to a tough U.N Security Council resolution on Iran because of Iranian defiance of international demands to stop enriching uranium, the Interfax news agency reported.

Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, said that any resolution would be unlikely to contain any threat of economic sanctions or still less military action, but he conceded that punitive measures could be adopted at a later stage.

Kosachev said it would be “logical” for the Security Council to issue a resolution that would be “obligatory rather than recommended for Iran,” according to Interfax.

“This will be a step that Russia and China have been trying to prevent. But unfortunately, since Iran has in fact ignored the Security Council’s position of March 30, this step appears to be more and more likely,” he said.

“If Iran continues to ignore the international community’s position, I do not rule out at that some more distant stage – I’d like to stress that – the matter could involve the imposition of economic sanctions on Iran,” Kosachev was quoted as saying by Interfax.

Russia, which is a major weapons supplier to Tehran and is building an $800 million nuclear power station in Bushehr, southern Iran, has sought to avoid sanctions against its commercial partner. China, which also has strong economic ties with Iran, has also opposed sanctions.

But Moscow and Beijing are under intense pressure from fellow-members of the Security Council, the U.S., Britain and France, to shift position after Iran ignored a 30-day informal deadline to meet council demands to suspend all activities linked to enrichment.

IAEA Report Seen Fueling UN Council Divisions On Iran April 29, 2006

Posted by notapundit in Main, World News.
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By George Jahn

VIENNA (AP)–The unequivocal finding by the International Atomic Energy Friday that Iran continues to defy the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear program doesn’t mean there will be council consensus on what to do.

That’s because the report does little to resolve fundamental differences between Russia and China and the other three permanent council members on how to proceed.

For weeks, Moscow’s and Beijing’s mantra has been “no to sanctions” – as well as to any firm step moving in that direction. The two powers – both with strong economic ties to Tehran – continue to question publicly whether the Security Council should even be taking the lead on the question of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Iran has consistently rejected the main request made a month ago by the Security Council – that Tehran suspend all uranium enrichment and related activities because of fears they could be misused to make weapons grade material for warheads. So it was not as if the world had to wait for the IAEA Friday finding that Iran has refused to comply.

Yet as recently as Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the IAEA – the U.N. nuclear watchdog – should continue to play a central role in the Iranian nuclear dispute. “It mustn’t shrug this role from its shoulders and pass it on to the U.N. Security Council,” Putin said.

But the U.S., France and the U.K. think otherwise.

In the most recent reiteration of the Western standpoint, a top French diplomat Thursday said the Security Council should not only have the leading role in dealing with Iran but it should also start looking ahead to using the council’s ultimate tool – punitive measures.

France wants any U.N. resolution on Iran’s nuclear program to come under a provision allowing for sanctions or possibly military force, said the diplomat.

While he said that such a resolution would not “automatically” mean resorting to military action, he didn’t rule it out, saying only: “We are not yet at that stage.”

U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, a strong advocate of firm action, played down the differences Friday – while acknowledging they exist.

“We would prefer to have continued unanimous action by the council,” he told The Associated Press in a phone call to Vienna. “But we are prepared to go ahead even without a unanimous council.”

Concretely, Bolton said he could envisage Moscow and Beijing abstaining on a resolution threatening sanctions and backed by the possibility of military action.

“We hope they would vote yes, but the next most likely option would be for them to abstain,” he said.

In any case, said Bolton, the next step would probably be a less threatening resolution basically turning the council requests issued a month ago into binding demands – freeze enrichment and cooperate with IAEA inspectors.

Still, there is potential for conflict even over such a move once Chinese U.N. ambassador and current Security Council President Wang Guangya transmits the ElBaradei report to the four other permanent and 10 temporary council members.

Reflecting expectations of contentious times ahead, the world powers have set a series of meetings in the next two weeks focusing on Iran.

Political directors of the U.S., Russia, China, the U.K., France and Germany – who report directly to their foreign ministers – meet in Paris Tuesday to discuss strategy.

Wednesday, the council is expected to meet informally on the report, before the foreign ministers of the Security Council’s five permanent members plus Germany meet at U.N. headquarters in New York May 9. The council will meet on Iran formally after those talks.

Venezuela’s Chavez: No Plans To Halt Oil Exports To US April 29, 2006

Posted by notapundit in Economic News, Main, US News, World News.
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CARACAS (AP)–Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday that his government would not cut off oil exports to the U.S. because such a move would cause chaos in the U.S. and disrupt world energy markets.

“We don’t have a plan to destabilize that country nor any other,” he said.

Earlier Friday, Chavez blasted a U.S. State Department report accusing him of having an “ideological affinity” for Colombian rebel groups, saying the Bush administration – not his left-leaning government – has a clear record of protecting terror suspects.

“The one who has a deep affinity with terrorists is George W. Bush. He is a terrorist, a terrorist who became head of state and wants to terrorize the whole world,” Chavez said during a televised speech.

US Army Charges Ex-Head Of Abu Ghraib Interrogation Unit April 29, 2006

Posted by notapundit in Main, Military News, US News.
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WASHINGTON (AP)–The U.S. Army on Friday charged the former head of the interrogation center at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq with cruelty and maltreatment, dereliction of duty and other criminal offenses for his alleged involvement in the abuse of detainees at the notorious prison in 2003.

Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan was charged with seven offenses. He is the highest-ranking officer at Abu Ghraib to face criminal charges.

A preliminary hearing will be held when Jordan’s defense counsel is ready but no date has been set, according to an announcement of the charges by the Military District of Washington.

Officers above Jordan’s rank have been reprimanded and relieved of command, including Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who was in charge of the U.S.-run prison system that included the Abu Ghraib compound. But none of those have faced criminal charges.

The much-investigated abuses at Abu Ghraib included sexual humiliation and physical abuse of Iraqi detainees, and their disclosure two years ago triggered a firestorm of international protests and calls for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to resign. He offered his resignation twice but President George W. Bush refused.