Terrorism in Australia

An Islamic terrorist took over a coffee house in Sydney, holding 17 hostages for 16 hours until police moved in.  Two hostages and the gunman were killed.  The terrorist was an Australian of Iranian heritage, though he was reportedly a Sunni activist.  Authorities believe he acted alone and was not part of a larger plot.  (Though, arguably, foreign threats may be easier to counter than those of domestic origin.) [Read more...]

Australia thwarts ISIL beheading plot

Islamic State jihadists planned to kidnap two random people off the street in Australia and then behead them, showing the video online as a way to demonstrate their worldwide reach.  But Australian authorities discovered the plot, arresting 15 people in the country’s largest counterterrorism operation.

Do you doubt that ISIL (I’m just going to start calling them that) would like to do something similar in the United States?  I predict that instead of the large-scale mass killings favored by al-Qaeda, the new ISIL-flavored terrorism will aim at smaller-scale attacks that are easier to carry out but that still have a maximum horrific impact.  Think, beheadings. [Read more...]

Armwrestling and vocation

A Lutheran pastor, Guntars Baikovs, originally from Latvia but a St. Louis seminary Ph.D., has become the Super Heavyweight champion armwrestler–in both arms–in Australia.  After the jump, read a news story about him.  Notice how he works in a plug for vocation:

“In our society we celebrate achievements. That’s good, we need to nourish our gift and be proud of them. But for so many of us, it makes our lives difficult. Our value and dignity doesn’t depend on our achievements,” he said.

“In reality, what is much more important than our extraordinary achievements in our hobbies, are the ordinary things we all do on a daily basis – how we serve people around us.”

[Read more...]

How bad is the flooding in Australia?

Sharks spotted swimming through flood-hit streets of Australian town.

I worry what the flooding will mean for the habitat of Queensland’s salt water crocodiles–affectionally known as “salties”–one of the most dangerous creatures on earth.

And we mustn’t forget the even deadlier floods in Brazil, which have, by last count, killed more than 500 people.

“Apocalyptic” floods in Australia

The Australian state of Queensland is half again as big as Texas, the size of France and Germany combined.  A third of it is under water.  The flooding is being described as “apocalyptic.”  Now the waters are threatening Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city.  Efforts are being made to evacuate its 2 million people.  To date, 14 people have died, and 90 are missing.

The city of Toowoomba was hard hit.  That is where the late Rev. Kurt Marquart, the sainted professor at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN, served for awhile.  My son-in-law received a call to a church in Toowoomba, but came to the states to pursue his doctorate instead.

Here is a remarkable video from Toowoomba.  It shows water flowing in what looks like a drainage ditch by a parking lot.  Before our eyes, the water gets higher and runs faster, overflowing the banks and sweeping away the parked cars.  Then the camera turns to the city itself, which is inundated.  (If the video isn’t showing up on your browser, hit “comments” and you should be able to see it.)

See Challenge For Future Tourism Queensland floods reach apocalyptic proportions – eTurboNews.com.


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