Rather Ordinary Miracle

Last night we went down to Grampy’s because his bitch was whelping. We had been planning for the kids to see the miracle of birth.

Trying to lay the intellectual framework, several days ago Mummy had explained to Abby and Aidan that Lucy had puppies in her belly and that they would be coming out through a special opening. This was necessary, because the kids know they were cut out of Mummy. Abby want to know how they got into her belly. Mrs H skirted that one, I believe.

Mrs H was expecting all sorts of uncomfortable questions to accompany the birth. When we got to Grampy’s house, Lucy had already had four pups. She’s a lurcher, so there were plenty more to come. This happened at teatime, so while I was gone to the chip shop, Lucy had two more. No one asked any questions and for Aidan this was only a distraction from CBeebies (the BBC channel for pre-school and early primary kids). So much for the miracle of life.

When the next was born, Abby got down by Grampy to help it out (Grampy did the actual helping), but Aidan couldn’t even be bothered to leave the telly. We had to come home shortly after that, but no one had any questions in the car, or since as far as I know.

Business as Usual in Burma

Even though she’s been the elected leader of Burma since 1990, Aung San Suu Kyi has been outside of her house for a total of one hour since May 2003. Now the junta led by Than Shwe has extended her house arrest for another year.

It’s not often I agree with Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter, but they were among 59 world political leaders and former leaders who signed a letter to Than Shwe calling for Suu Kyi’s release. The US State Department also called for her release.

Not that this matters one bit to the Senior General and de facto head of state in Burma. He has welcomed China’s view that it considers the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi a Burmese internal affair. But then you have to consider the source. It’ s not exactly surprising that an oppressive socialist state with a sorry human right record would support a similar regime.

Than Shwe’s health has not been good. Now 74, he has been been receiving medical treatment regularly in Singapore.  I suppose I’m not suppose to wish him a quick dispatch to hell, but then I don’t always wish for the things I should. I’m not up on Burmese internal power struggles enough to know who is waiting in the wings to keep Suu Kyi under house arrest when Shwe finds out there’s no such thing as reincarnation. I’m sure someone will come to the forefront to also continue oppressing the Christian ethnic groups and maintain the dominance of Bamar people.

No Change in Cardiff After All

Sadly, reports of the demise of the Labour Party in Wales were premature. The rainbow coalition of Plaid Cymru, the Tories, and the Lib-Dems was within a whisker of reality. The national executive committee of the Welsh Lib-Dems deadlocked over the deal, so they vetoed it by not approving it.

So Rhodri Morgan was once again nominated unopposed as First Minister of Wales. Ruling with a minority, he has promised to lead a new “listening” style of government, but since when has Labour ever listened?

It’s just back to politics as usual in Cardiff.

Justice for the Ilois

The Court of Appeal has finally said what everyone has already known for ages. The British Government broke the law when it expelled the Ilois from their homelands in the Chagos archipelago, just so the US could have an airbase at Deigo Garcia.

The High Court said this last year, but the Government was given leave to appeal. This bought the Government and their masters in Washington an extra year. I am not usually particularly critical of US/UK relations, but this is the exception. The US wanted Diego Garcia to safeguard US interests so the British Government, showing the worst face of imperialism, cleansed an entire archipelago of islands of an entire ethnic group. They were forced to leave the only place they had known for generations – their homes, their lands, the graves of their ancestors and loved ones. US documents say the British Government agreed to “sweep” and “sanitize” the islands.

The story of the sanitizing is unbelievable horrible. Read more of this post

Rolling Through a Loophole

I hope I don’t catch any more flak for talking about the handicapped, but this story was just too good to pass up.

A wheelchair-bound German stunned police when they pulled him over for using the road and found he was 10 times over the legal alcohol limit for drivers.

“He was right in the middle of the road,” said a spokesman for police in the northeastern city of Schwerin on Tuesday. “The officers couldn’t quite believe it when they saw the results of the breath test. That’s a life-threatening figure.”

The 31-year-old told police he had been out drinking with a friend and was about 2 km from home when a squad car stopped him as he passed through the village of Ventschow.

Police said that because the man was technically travelling as a pedestrian, he could not be charged with a driving offence.

“It’s not like we can impound his wheelchair,” the spokesman said. “But he is facing some sort of punishment. It’s just not clear yet what exactly that will be.”

This says a lot about the Germans. They are going to make sure he is punished, even if they haven’ t come up with a charge yet. They won’ t let a little thing like the fact that there is no offence to match his behaviour stand in the way.

Surprise! Welsh Party Running Wales

Labour are the largest single party in the Welsh Assembly – that odd creature that has less power than the Scottish Parliament and more power than a local council. They do not have a majority, with only 26 of the 60 seats.

They had been expecting to hold onto the reins of power, which they had held since the Assembly was first elected in 1999. However, last night Plaid Cymru agreed in principle to a coalition with the Tories and Lib-Dems with a total of 33 members. Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones will most likely become the new First Minister of Wales.

Before the era of David Cameron, it wouldn’t have been thinkable that the Tories could have joined with a hard left party like Plaid.  With Cameron re-invented the Conservatives to the left of Labour, I suppose this isn’t too surprising.

Digging Out Information

In a positive story about the handicapped, albeit a machine, the Mars Spirit rover is dredging up evidence of life-supporting minerals on the Red Planet.

Spirit was built with six wheels, but one of them no longer spins and just drags along. The dragging does something that Spirit was never designed to do. It cuts a deep track into the soil. Spirit can then be turned around to examine the churned up soil.

In this case, the rover’s thermal emission spectrometer has found a high silica content. This would require water to form. And of course water is the stuff of life.

For me, the big question is not whether life once existed on Mars, but rather what it says about how Mars could contribute toward the sustainability of imported life and terraforming. Either way, it is a big development.

The rovers were expected to last about 90 days. They have been working for almost 1,200. And the discoveries just keep happening. I can’t help but think of how rapidly major discoveries would be made with actual eyes and hands (and a well supplied lab) on the planet. They could do in a few weeks far beyond what the rovers have done over the course of years.

Mob Rule

Sometime you have to wonder why we send young men into danger to help people. As reported in the Daily Telegraph:

A cheering mob made victory hand signals yesterday after a British serviceman was killed in an ambush on the streets of Basra.

The Ministry of Defence said the soldier was removed from Al Tuwaysa, central Basra, but died of his wounds later in hospital.

A civilian driver in the convoy was killed at the scene of the ambush. The mob danced as his body was dragged from a burning fuel lorry.

This is further evidence that all cultures are not equal.

The attackers were members of the Mahdi army, the militia of the evil Moqtada al-Sadr. And before any of you anti-war types think that the Mahdi army are just trying to free Iraq from the imperialist west, realise they send out death squads to cleanse the area of Sunni Muslims.

The only answer is to exterminate the Mahdi army and Moqtada al-Sadr.

Wheelchair Access to Crime

I have long been an advocate for equal opportunities for disabled people. For the most part, handicapped people have not had the same access to criminal behaviour. Sure, it’s easy to commit white-collar crime, but the mobility-impaired have not really stepped up when it comes to more traditional felonies.

Anthony Glenn Terry of Lafayette, Indiana has tried to make his mark amongst the criminal element. He rolled into a convenience store and demanded money from the register. News stories do not indicated whether he had weapon, but he must have had some means of convincing the clerk to hand over the cash.

He got about a block away from the scene of the crime before police stopped him.

Terry has previous convictions for drug possession, drunk driving, and remarkably, burglary.

Airlift

The popular image of overweight Americans has not been improved by a man who fell ill on a cruise ship anchored in Scotland.

He could not be removed from the ship and taken to hospital by ordinary means. When the 450 lb man succumbed to stomach problems (wow – there’s a surprise), he had to be winched off the ship by an RAF Sea King helicopter. He was then transported to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

He had emergency surgery and is recovering. Soon he’ll be back to eating at full strength again.

Islamic Obscentiy

If you have been wondering who is really running Pakistan, wonder no longer. A sharia court set up in a radical mosque in Islamabad has issued a fatwa against the Pakistani minster for tourism because she posed in an obscene manner for pictures that appeared in newspapers. I don’t normally post obscene pictures, so if you think you might be offended stop reading here. For the sake of my Muslim readers I’ve put these pictures below the fold.

Read more of this post

Clarkson’s Driving Offence

Where political correctness abounds, thankfully Jeremy Clarkson is there as the antidote. Newspaper commentator and host of the premier car telly programme Top Gear, Clarkson just says what he means. I don’t always agree with him, but I’m glad for his frankness.

On an episode of the show last year, Clarkson opined that the Daihatsu Copen was “a bit gay.” He actually only repeated the words of a member of the studio audience, but then he added, “Yes, very ginger beer.” This is apparently Cockney rhyming slang for queer. So Ofcom, the media watchdog (whatever that means), have ruled that he criticised the car by describing it as homosexual. Apparently you cannot describe a car as homosexual. I can only guess this is because same-sex attracted cars are offended by this.

Ofcom said, “In the context, there was no justification for using the word in this way.” That’s because in this country you aren’t allowed to just say what you think. You have to justify your choice of words to the PC police.

And cars not being able to speak for themselves because of their lack of, well, speech mechanisms, gay people special interest groups have had to come to their defence.   A spokeslesbian for Stonewall said, “We’re glad to see that Ofcom has censured Jeremy Clarkson for the use of the word gay, in what was clearly meant in a derogatory way.”

“There was no doubt that it was being used in the sense of ‘homosexual’ and was capable of giving offence,” said Fraser Steel, the BBC head of editorial complaints.

Clarkson’s reported response shows just how seriously he takes this: “It wasn’t a gay car – it was actually a bit lesbian.”

Digital Detection

HM Treasury could see a boost of an additional £120 million per year, thanks to upgrades in speed cameras.

The Government indicated some time ago that they weren’t inclined to increase the number of cameras on the road, due to public unhappiness at the prospect. However, they never said they wouldn’t increase the capacities of the existing cameras.

The traditional cameras can only shoot about 200 violators before needing the film replaced. The new cameras are digital. The old ones can only be pointed at one lane of traffic. The new ones can monitor four lanes at a time.

All of that additional money will go to central government. This is because as of last month all money from speed cameras goes to the Teasury. The local portion has been taken out of it.

The proliferation of camera has gotten so widespread that many insurers are no longer taking tickets into consideration when setting premiums. Some will let drivers accumulate nine points (three speeding tickets) without increasing the annual rate.

No X Rating For the Bible

The Television and Licensing Authority (TELA)  in Hong Kong has declined to classify the Bible as an indecent publication. It has made this decision in the face of over 2,000 complaints.

The complaint were made to protest against an article in a student newpaper being labels indecent after it mentioned incest and bestiality. Some students set up a website which apparently cites biblical passages that allegedly have more sex and violence content than the offending article. I looked at the website, but it is all in Chinese, so I’ll just have to take the word of The Sunday Telelgraph. The website apparently also has a downloadable form to complain about the Bible to TELA.

Can’t Apologise for the Truth

The Venezuelan dictator Huge Chavez has demanded that the Pope apologise for comments he made in Brazil.

I haven’t seen the exact words the Pope said, but news reports indicate that he opined that the Roman Catholic Church had purified the South American Indians and that a revival of their pre-Christian religions would be a backward step. Whether Chavez likes it or not, the Pope can’t take back his words. He simply spoke the truth.

The Catholic Church brought the Gospel to the Indians. Without Christ they were in sin. Reverting to non-Christian religion is to reject the Gospel of Jesus, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Jecinaldo Satere Mawe, chief coordinator of the Amazon Indian group Coiab, said, “It’s arrogant and disrespectful to consider our cultural heritage secondary to theirs.” It’s nothing about cultural heritage. The Gospel cuts across cultures. It’s about salvation.

Indian leaders rely on the revisionism of leftist historians who have tried to portray the conquistadors as evil, genocidal maniacs. There certainly were many deaths – more from disease because of the lack of understanding about this in the 16th century – but the priests who accompanied the expeditions did not do this just to pronounce blessings upon the European soldiers. They were in the business of saving souls.

There were mistakes made and the previous pope apologised for those in 1992. But this doesn’t change the spiritual reality of evangelisation. Nor does it mean that Indians should reject Christianity for demon-inspired pantheistic or polytheistic religions.

Okay Then

As every Orthodox reader already knows (all most non-Orthodox readers wouldn’t care to know) ROCOR has reconciled with the Moscow Patriarchate. While I’m always glad to see a schism end (though I’d really like to see the end of the one between Rome and the rest of the Patriarchates), I just haven’t gotten all that excited about this.

Maybe it has something to do with having been a member of the Moscow Patriarchate stuck under the Office for External Affairs because we were ethnically Russian. Since ROCOR is very Russian, I’m sure they won’t mind that Alexy and the Holy Synod believe in the use of strong-arm tactics to get their way. Alexy has promised to let the ROCOR hierarchy do their own thing for the “foreseeable future”. That’s probably true. It’s just that Moscow lacks prognosticatory powers.

That being said, we’ve traded Comrade Ridiger for Black Bart who appoints pro-abortion legislators as archons and whose theological contribution to the Church is to be the ecclsesiastical equivalent of Al Gore on the environement.

I know that there are some great and good hierarchs out there. Fortunately, the Church keeps going despite the others.

What’s Mine is Yours

The rate of property crimes in this country would shock most Americans. Now incidents of shoplifting are increasing even more.

Since 2004, shoplifters have not had to worry about getting a criminal record. A theft of goods worth less than £200 results instead in an on-the-spot penalty notice. It’s like a traffic ticket. Just pay the fine in time and it’s all done.

Shoplifters took £2 billion worth of goods in 2006.

British Retail Consortium spokesman Richard Dodd told the BBC, “At government level sentencing is so weak that people are just not put off stealing from shops. A lot of these are people who are repeatedly stealing in order to fund a drug habit and they believe, unfortunately rightly, that there will be no serious sanction on them if they are caught.”

Earlier this month Lord Falconer, the head of the judiciary in this country, called for further reduction in the sentences for property crimes.

The Politics of Sin

We tend to think of Republican administrations as being more beneficial for big business. This is not always the case. There is at least one industry that wants Hillary in the White House.

Making Sense of It All

I’ve been waiting to see a newspaper front pages that doesn’t have a picture of, or story about, Madeleine McCann.

In The Times, David Aaronovitch finally says the sensible things no one else will say.

Labour Favours Hybrid Humanoids

The Government in this country is now no longer opposed to the hybridisation of humans and animals.

The Human Tissue and Embryos Bill was published this morning. It will allow Parliament to review whether there is a good case for manufacturing human-animal embryos. The initial use would be for advancing stem cell research.

Health Minister Caroline Flint insists this isn’t a shift in policy from the proposal for an outright ban last year. “Our position was not to stop this research but to be clear that it’s sensitive research, and we have to be sure about what we’re going to permit to happen in the future.” Ministers expect Parliament to permit the creation of the embryos.

Of course the humanoids would be killed at 14 days for now, just as humans who are experimented upon. But that limit is up the to fiat of Parliament as well. All that has to be made is a good case for letting them live a little longer.

There are scientists out there like Panayiotis Zavos pushing for more license in this area. They will take anything governments will allow and stretch it to the limit. Professor Zavos has already cloned three embryos from dead people.

The thing about humanoid hybrids is that it can be argued they are non-human and therefore not entitled to human rights. If they can eventually be grown to birth, they could be considered chattel, yet able to do all the work of a human. They would look human, so it is likely that they would reproduce and eventually a significant part of the population of the planet would no longer be human. Isn’t this supposed to be the stuff of science fiction?

In the Gutter

Crawley Borough Council wardens are just a tad ticket happy. They recenly fined the grandmother of a two-year-old who dropped a packet of crisps. The bag was retrieved quick enough, but two Quavers fell out of the bag.

Wardens watched in disbelief as Barbara Jubb kicked the crisps into the gutter. Springing into action, they may have even gotten to her before the ephemeral puffed snacks disintegrated into oblivion as a gutter-kicked Quaver would invariably do.

Now let me tell you, there is no Quaver kicking in Crawley. Mrs Jubb was slapped with an £80 fine. Onlookers at a bus stop couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

Fortunately, someone a little further up the ladder recognised that this was just a little over the top. A spokesperson said, “We have apologised to the family for being overzealous and are happy to have cancelled the fine.”

Reality Check

As is the custom with most bedtime prayers, after the fixed bit, the kids as God to bless various grandparents, uncles, cousins, and pets. Tonight Abby included Spiderman and the Green Goblin. I told her we really shouldn’t pray for them because they aren’t real.

With that sound of disappointment that drops by about a fifth at the end (or sounds like a race car passing), she said,  “Oooooooooh.”  She perked back up and said, “They’re only real on the telly.”

Governing on Eggshells

A minority government is a fragile thing. Nonetheless, the leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party, Alex Salmond, has been eleced First Minister of Scotland.

This means he probably won’t be in power very long – at least not without another election. The SNP is have to negotiate hard for every piece of legislation. They are is a kind of issue by issue coalition with that flakiest of parties, the Greens. I’m guessing they won’t even be hinting that anthropogenic global warming is load of anti-capitalist propaganda.

Not that the SNP would ever decry anything as anti-capitalist. They are to the left of Labour. Strange as it may seem, Scotland had to ditch Labour to get a socialist government.

Malice Aforethought

There was a police action shooting in London yesterday. 

A statement was released by the Independent Police Complaints Commission: “The Metropolitan Police Service notified the Commission that a man had been shot, following a pre-planned operation.”

Are the Met sending out hit squads now?

Odd One Out

Okay, let’s play “Odd One Out” (familiar to those who watch Have I Got News For You) or “One of These Things is not Like the Others” (for those more familiar with Sesame Street):

symbols.jpg

Yes, that’s right. The odd one out is the cross. Headteachers in Croydon schools have been instructed by the council to ban the wearing of crosses in schools.

The only religious items allowed to be worn are (clockwise from the bottom left) a rakhi, the cotton bracelet worn by some Hindus; a taweez, the religious locket worn by some Muslims; and a kara, the Sikh metal bracelet. This is because schools need to be sensitive toward those of other faiths. According to a council statement, crosses are not to be allowed in schools because “it is not compulsory to wear a cross, it is a personal preference and it can be taken off”. A taweez isn’t compulsory either, but no matter.

Once again, the Muslims are on the side of the Christians. The Muslim Council of Britain education spokesman Tahir Alam said, “I support my Christian colleagues on this point. If these items are important to children and have religious significance for them, there should be no issue at all about that.”

What disturbs me further is that these guidelines were issued by the Croydon’s Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education (SACRE). Every local authority has a SACRE which sets the curriculum for RE in that area. If the SACRE don’t want students in schools wearing crosses, what must they be doing to the RE syllabus? I wonder if Croydon has a real problem with the legislation that requires the RE curriculum to be at least 50% Christianity.

Because they are not exempted from the jewellery ban, it would seems that chastity rings are forbidden as well. There is already a case before the High Court involving a girl at a school in West Sussex who wears a purity ring as a symbol of her religious faith it’s in role in her decision to not follow the lifestyle choices of her peers.

This is no doubt offensive to those who teach that sex is for when you feel ready, not when God says it is appropriate.

How to Create a Memorable School Trip

We were planning Activities Week for Years 7, 8, and9 after school today. This is a great idea that someone came up with to take Key Stage 3 off timetable during the week Year 10s are in work experience (something all Year 10s in the country do for a week in the summer term). I know it’s not practical to do it very often, but I think kids need a occasional change of pace to shake out the cobwebs.

Some of the week involves some school trips. However, no one thought of the idea used during a sixth-grade (same as our Year 7) camping trip to a state park in Tennessee. Some parents were just a little upset that teachers decided to tell the kids there was a gunman shooting in the park and that they had better crawl under tables and keep quiet.

I’m not sure what they teach in teaching certificate classes in Tennessee, but this is not one of the tactics we learned in behaviour management sessions for quieting a class. It was, however undoubtedly quite effective.

To make the situation more realistic, a teacher disguised in a hooded top pulled on a door like he was trying to force his way into the building. Someone slammed open a door in an adjacent room and simulated the sounds of a struggle.

To be fair, some of the kids weren’t surprised, because this same thing had been done on a previous sixth-grade trip. It seems many parents weren’t upset about the incident itself, but only because it happened so soon after the Virginia Tech massacre. I’m not sure what is says about them that they more outraged at the tastelessness due to poor timing than their little darlings soiling in their underpants.

This was not done by some inexperienced young teachers. It was led by the assistant principal of the school. There was even teaching and learning going on, because afterward they discussed what they would have done in a real situation.

Parents at our school need not worry. Our plans for Activities Week will not involve any gunmen, simulated or otherwise.

The Price of an NICE English Postcode

The postcode lottery strikes again.

One of the advatages of devolution for Scots is that they may no longer be tied to England for the worst cancer survival rates in Western Europe. The approval of drugs available on the NHS is down to the Scottish Medicines Consortium. England and Wales is governed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The Scots have approved the use of cetuximab and docetaxel for head and neck cancer. Drug trials have shown that cetuximab (also know by the brand name Erbitux) plus radiotherapy survive for an average of just over 4 years, compared with less than two and a half years for those treated with radiation alone. Nice says it costs too much for what you get. Tough luck.

As I mentioned back in January, Erbitux has already been rejected by NICE for use in bowel cancer. It seems that Nice and the NHS have found a good way to keep the socialised medicine fiscally viable. All you have to do is let all the cancer patients die off and there are fewer people putting a drain on resources.

When I hear about how much more compassionate enlightened British socialism is when compared with the big bad USA, I just think of all the people here who die due to rationed health care. And if you are in the US, remember that this is what Hillary wants for you, too.

Right to Eat

Apparently Government ministers are considering introducing laws to give women the right to breastfeed in public in England and Wales. This came as a bit of a shock because I never knew they didn’t already have that right.

There have been complaints from mothers that they have been accused of indecency and barred from breastfeeding when they have attempted to do so in public. It is already an offence in Scotland to stop a woman breastfeeding in public. The proposed legislation would just extend this protection southward.

I initially thought it hard to believe this was necessary until I read the comments from readers of the The Times. Though most of them were equally incredulous about this being an issue, there were a significant number – almost all men- who thought babies were best fed in the toilet. Some equated it with urinating in the street.

The legislation would also give working women the right to breastfeeding breaks during the day, though this is really only practical if there is an on-site daycare facility.

Lack of Conscience

I wish I was shocked when I read about the case of the murderers of Eliza Davis in Australia. Her two “friends” crept up and garotted her with a wire while smothering her with a chemical-soaked cloth the morning after a sleepover at the house of one of the murderers.  The killers were 16 years old at the time, so they cannot be named for legal reasons. And yes, that’s ridiculous.

“Sunday morning me and [the other accused] woke up, and we were just talking, and for some reason we just decided to kill her,” one of the girls said in a police record of interview read at the trial.

The other accused girl told police: “We just did it because we felt like it. It’s hard to explain. I knew we had wanted to kill someone before. We knew it was wrong, but it didn’t feel wrong at all. It just felt right.”

I am not surprised, because I have come to accept that many teenagers in this country are simply devoid a conscience. It is not even a word in the vocabulary of many 15 years olds, which I discovered this week during a quiz – even though I’m pretty sure everyone in that lesson had one. But many do not – or it has been supressed so far that it would take an awful lot of digging around to find it.

Because they are constantly shown that anything goes, this development is not surprising. The ethics they see is purely situational ethics. They are told sex is okay, as long as they are old enough. When they get pregnant, they can choose when life begins, and even if it has, whether to keep it depends on the situation. When granny gets old, they can choose whether she has an acceptable quality of life. Nothing is absolutely right and nothing is absolutely wrong. There is no such thing as truth and everyone is entitled to thier opinion.

Is it any surprise that a world like this produced the killers of Eliza Davis?

Blood Money for Nothing

Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were tortured into confessing that they infected 426 Libyan children with the HIV virus. They have been sentenced to death.

Why would the Libyans try to put the blame on foreign nurses? HIV principally transmitted through homosexual or non-marital heterosexual acts. This is not the sort of thing a fundamentalist Islamic country like Libyan would want to admit. That being said, the scientific evidence indicated that much of the infection was transmitted throughout the hospital by unsanitary practice.

The death penalty isn’t absolute. There is a way out. The Bulgarian government can pay $13.48 million in blood money for each for each family. That’s only a bit over $7.42 billion. But since the entire Bulgarian government’s annual budget expenditure is $12.16 billion (with revenues of only $13.28 billion) it might be just a little hard to scrape the cash together. The Libyans originally offer to trade them for Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Pan Am 103 (Lockerbie) bomber, but they withdrew this offer.

It’s not surprising that folks in Bulgaria have turned to prayer. Thousands attended a prayer service led by Patriarch Maxim at the Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia. They’ve even brought in the big guns with three miracle working icons of the Theotokos brought in from monasteries in Troyan, Rila and Bachkovo with the cathedral open throughout the night.

I don’t know if there is a traditional patron for nurses, but if you do, please add a comment.

Pray for Ashraf Ahmad Djum’a al-Hadjud, Kristiyana Vulcheva, Nasya Nenova, Valya Chervenyashka, Snezhana Dimitrova and Valentina Siropulo.