Culture

Ariel Sharon Dies

Israel’s ex-PM Ariel Sharon dies. The BBC:

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died aged 85 after spending eight years in a coma following a stroke.

He was a giant of Israel’s military and political scene, but courted controversy throughout his long career.

The head of the Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv said Mr Sharon had died on Saturday afternoon of heart failure.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu said he was a great warrior but a senior Palestinian said his path was war and aggression.

Ariel Sharon’s life was intimately entwined with the life of the country he loved from the moment of its birth.

He fought in its war of independence in 1948 and from that point until he slipped into a coma in 2006 it seemed there was hardly a moment of national drama in which he did not play a role…

“His memory will live forever in the nation’s heart”, the Israeli leader’s spokesman said on Twitter…

The BBC’s Kevin Connolly, in Jerusalem, says Ariel Sharon’s life was intimately entwined with the life of the country he loved.

He fought in Israel’s war of independence in 1948, and from that point until he slipped into a coma in 2006 it seemed there was hardly a moment of national drama in which he did not play a role, our correspondent says.

The 85-year-old became PM in 2001 and in 2005 completed a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, months before he suffered a massive stroke.

His health had declined for the past week and a half, Sheba Medical Centre Director Professor Shlomo Noy told reporters.

Over the past week he struggled with surprising strength and determination against the deterioration in his condition. Today he departed peacefully with his loving family at his side.”

One of his two sons, Gilad Sharon, said outside the hospital: “He has gone. He went when he decided to go.”

He had been in a persistent vegetative state since a stroke in 2006 and Professor Noy said he had suffered “ups and downs” throughout that period.

Ariel Sharon died during the Jewish Sabbath and the BBC’s Yolande Knell said a ministerial committee would meet in the coming hours to decide what steps to take in the coming hours.

It is believed Mr Sharon’s body may lie in state at Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, before a big state funeral is held. He will finally be buried at his ranch in the Negev desert, our correspondent says…

More here.

Ariel Sharon (R) with Shimon Peres in 1975 in Egypt

 

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Church

Nigerian Pastor Tries to Walk on Water Like Jesus, Then Drowns…

… in in front of his congregation! Yesterday, we had the South African pastor making his members eat grass. Today, this:

Walking on water is not easy. Not too many people have the ability. Let’s see, there’s Jesus, and well, that’s about it. Unfortunately for one pastor on the West Coast of Africa, his attempt to become the second man to make this impossible feat a reality cost him his life.

Pastor Franck Kabele, 35, told his congregation that he was capable of reenacting the very miracles of Jesus Christ. He decided to make it clear through way of demonstration on Gabon’s beach in the capital city of Libreville.
Referencing Matthew 14:22-33, Kabele said that he received a revelation which told him that with enough faith he could achieve what Jesus was able to.

According to an eyewitness, Kabele took his congregation out to the beach. He told them that he would cross the Kombo estuary by foot, which is normally a 20 minute boat ride.

Sadly by the second step into the water Kabele found himself completely submerged. He never returned.

This is not the first incident of this nature in Africa. At Ibadon zoo in south-west Nigeria, a self-proclaimed Prophet claimed to be able to do what the Daniel of the bible did by walking into a den full of lions.

Though he was warned numerous times by zoo keepers, according to NG Newspapers, the Prophet thought of them as nothing more than enemies of progress. The Prophet, with a crowd of people watching, put on a long red robe and proceeded to enter the cage full of lions.

Within seconds of opening the door, the lions ripped the Prophet from flesh to bone. The bible should come with a warning label, “Don’t try this at home.”

 

Church

Archbishop of Canterbury to Meet Ecumenical Patriarch

OCP

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will travel to Istanbul on Monday 13 January 2014 to visit Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

As Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, the Ecumenical Patriarch is primus inter pares (first among equals) in the Eastern Orthodox communion.

Responding warmly to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s invitation to visit, Archbishop Justin noted the important contributions he had made to the world church and to society at large, and “recognised all that unites the Anglican Church and the Orthodox Church”.

The intensive two-day visit will include a private meeting with His All-Holiness, an official reception in the Chamber of the Throne, and a discussion with the Synodical Committee for Inter-Christian Affairs.

Archbishop Welby says he hopes that the visit will help to develop greater fellowship between the two churches and contribute to the wider goal of Christian unity.

The meeting takes place not long before the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) on 18 January 2014.

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