Signs of the Times


Key Scriptures
Current Events
Excerpts From The Prophecy Puzzle

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Fearful Events

Key Scriptures

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Current Events and Links

Check the World Population Clock for an estimate of current population. It passed the 6 billion mark in July, 1999!

Go to stories after Dec. 31, 2008

Future is nuclear war and famine - US intelligence

Nov. 21, 2008 - A new report called "Global Trends 2025 - a Transformed World," has been producedby the National Intelligence Council (US). It warns that by 2005 the world will be tense and unstable, and shadowed by war.
"The world of the near future will be subject to an increased likelihood of conflict over scarce resources, including food and water, and will be haunted by the persistence of rogue states and terrorist groups with greater access to nuclear weapons."
The report does not take the recent global financial crisis into consideration. said the report.
Source: The Australian

Red Cross: Somalia facing severe famine

June 4, 2008 - The Red Cross warns that Somalia is facing life-threatening food and water shortages leaving millions at risk for starvation.
Somalia's last severe famine, from 1991 to 1993, devastated crops, killed between 240,000 and 280,000 people and displaced up to 2 million,

Food costs strain efforts to save starving Ethiopian children

May 22, 2008 - Severe famine in Ethiopia has caused food prices to soar. As a result, millions of children there are in danger of starving. The U.N.'s children's agency is appealing for $50 million to pay for emergency needs.
UNICEF estimates that 6 million Ethiopian children under the age of 5 are at risk and that more than 120,000 have only about a month to live.
Source: CNN

Food Shortage Update

5/13/08 - Thousands of Egyptians resort to violence because of food shortages - Al Jazeera
5/10/08 - U.S. sees record world food crops easing crisis - Reuters
5/7/08 - Cyclone could cause long-term food shortages in Myanmar - AP
UN alert: One-fourth of world's wheat at risk from new fungus - World Tribune

World Food Program warns of 'silent tsunami' of hunger

Apr. 22, 2008 -
Source: Breitbart

Global food riots turn deadly

Apr. 10, 2008 - Higher costs for food has led to deadly clashes in Egypt, Haiti and several African countries.
"World food prices have risen 45 percent in the last nine months and there are serious shortages of rice, wheat and [corn]," Jacques Diouf, head of the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said ....
In some countries 50 to 60 percent of income is spent on food. There is fear that the panic will spread in these countries.
Source: Washington Times

Global Food Crisis Expected to Produce Social Unrest

Apr. 5, 2008 - A growing global food crisis demands immediate attention of world leaders. World Bank President Robert Zoellick says the prices of staples have jumped 80 percent since 2005. Corn, rice and wheat prices have all reached new highs.
"As financial markets have tumbled, food prices have soared," Zoellick said in a speech on Wednesday. He said the situation is not expected to get better any time soon -- and he is pushing what he calls a "new deal for global food policy."
Without immediate action by The United States, the European Union, Japan, and other donor countries, the UN's World Food Program will not have the $500 million of additional food supplies to meet emergency calls. The result will be that many more people will suffer and starve.
Source: Crosswalk
Corn Hits $6 a Bushel on Tight Supplies - ABC News
Huge job losses set off recession alarms - Yahoo

U.N. makes 'emergency' call for food aid

Mar. 25, 2008 - An unbelievable 40% rise in the cost of fuel and commodities such as grain since mid-2007 has led to severe shortages among the 3 million people fed by the U.N World Food Program.
A U.N. food agency on Monday announced an "extraordinary emergency appeal" to donor countries to help close a gap of at least $500 million blamed on soaring prices for fuel and food.
Source: USA Today


Feb. 28, 2008 - February 28, 2008 -- Wheat prices are rising rapidly!
At Coney Island Bagels in Brooklyn, a plain bagel with nothing on it has reached the one-dollar mark - up from 60 cents last year.
Source: NY Post

Food shortages loom as wheat crop shrinks and prices rise

Feb. 24, 2008 - The falling stock market has pushed food prices to an all-time high. Experts say that the world is only ten weeks away from running out of wheat supplies.
Source: Times - UK

'Millions more starving' by 2015

Feb. 17, 2006 - The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) warns that, at the current rate, there will be 100 million more hungry people by 2015. During the 1960's and 1970's improvements were made in food availability, but the trend is reversing now, and without new technologies and greater financial investment the situation will get progressively worse.
Ten pre-school children die every minute from malnutrition and this number has not changed since the early 1980s despite global promises.
Source: BBC

Famine threatens 11 million in Horn of Africa

Jan. 6, 2005 - The two usual causes of famine: wars and drought have produced a great famine which threatens the lives of 11 million people in the Horn of Africa. Nations affected include Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia. Some have already died in Kenya. Relief agencies are trying to supplyfood aid, water, new livestock and seeds to the people of the area.
Source: MSCBC

One in six countries facing food shortage

June 30, 2005 - UN scientists say that severe draughts in Africa, central America and south-east Asia in the past year are part of an emerging pattern that could result in food shortages in one out of every six countries in the world this year.
Source:Guardian U.K.
Special Report: Famine

Why Famine Stalks Africa
Nov. 27, 2002 - Droughts and other conditions threaten some 30 million Africans with famine in the coming months. The worst areas are the Horn of Africa, South Africa, and the Sahel region of West Africa.
Other factors are at work, including: armed conflict, corruption and the mismanagement of food supplies, environmental degradation, trade policies that harm African agriculture and the long-term economic effects of Aids.
Famine: In Depth - BBC

Zimbabwe Faces Famine
Oct. 11, 2002 - Zimbabwe will face "major famine" if government bureaucracy there continues to block food imports.
An estimated 6.7 million Zimbabweans, slightly more than half the nation's population, are in danger of going hungry this year, according to the World Food Program.
Source:Yahoo (Story no longer online)

Zimbabwe Food Crisis
July 30, 2002 - Millions of Zimbabwe citizens are affected by famine in Zimbabwe, caused by drought. On the black market, a bag of maize meal sells for 1000 Zimbabwe dollars (about $20 US dollars).

Sudan famine warning
Mar. 29, 2001 - Up to 3,000,000 Sudanese are at risk if the U.N. can not raise the $135 million they need to provide food there. Donor countries have lost interest in helping because the civil war there has gone on so long. Drought has also contributed to the problem. Food warehouses are empty, and large-scale deaths are expected by July.
Source: BBC

2001 will be a ''tough year'' for the world's hungry, UN food agency warns
Jan. 9, 2001 - At present there are about 830 million people worldwide who go hungry as a result of conflict, natural disaster or extreme poverty. A U.N. official said that
the world's poorest nations are often hit simultaneously by both natural and man-made emergencies, as has been the case in the Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Tajikistan.
Source: WeekEnd News - from U.N. (Story no longer online)

Caring For The World's Children
First of a three-part series on the horrors of neglected children in our world. There are 100 million homeless children, starving, stealing, selling drugs, or prostituting themselves to survive. They are victims of poverty, war, natural disaster, and disease. Source: Religion Today (Story no longer online)

Famine in Africa
May, 2000 - BBC Current News site about the famine in the Horn of Africa which threatens starvation for more than eight million people. Source: BBC (Story no longer online)

Celebration, introspection as India's billionth citizen is born
May 12, 2000 - A baby girl, named Astha, which is Hindi for "faith", became India's 1 billionth person on Thursday.
The government projects that if India continues at its current rate of adding 15.5 million people a year, it could overtake China to become the world's most populous country by 2045.
Source: CNN

Millions of people near starvation in Ethiopia
Apr. 19, 2000 - Update on the previous story about famine in Ethiopia, the lack of supplies to aid the starving, and the difficulty of getting the food to the right people.
Source: Religion News Today

UN warns of new Horn famine
Mar. 31, 2000 - Drought in the Horn of Africa threatens to cause a repeat of the mid-1980s famine that left nearly one million people dead. More than 12 million people in seven African nations may be affected, and one million could die if relief agencies are not able to get sufficient supplies to the affected areas in Ethiopia and adjacent countries.
Source: BBC

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Dec. 17, 1999 - An interesting and informative series from BBC's award winning world affairs editor, John Simpson, on threats to the Earth's well-being. NOTE: The author's description of some of these "horsemen" is different from our interpretation of the first four seals of Revelation 6.
First Horseman - Environmental Disaster
Second Horseman - War
Third Horseman - Organized Crime
Forth Horesman - Disease

India's Malnutrition Crisis
Nov. 19, 1999 - According to a World Bank report about India, " half of all children under four are malnourished, it says, and 60% of women are anaemic." Source: BBC

'3.5m North Koreans starved to death'
Aug. 30, 1999 - Isolated because of its threats of war, and ravaged by floods, North Korea is unable to feed its people. A Buddhist assistance agency has estimated that three and a half million people have starved to death there since 1995, and the rest of the population is undernourished and sickly. Some think North Korea would be willing to halt its military missile development in exchange for food. Source:BBC News

Ten Million Hungry In Africa
Aug. 10, 1999 - According to The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, nearly 10 million people in sub-Sahara Africa need emergency food. One million people in Somalia alone face food shortages, and 400,000 of them are at risk of starvation.
The Rome-based agency lists 16 nations, most in the east of Africa, as "facing exceptional food emergencies" blamed on population displacement, civil conflicts, weather, poor harvests and localized food deficits.
Source: Virtual News (Story no longer online)

Emerging Water Shortages Threaten Food Supplies, Regional Peace
July 17, 1999 - A new book from the Worldwatch Institute shows that spreading water shortages threaten to reduce the global food supply by more than 10 percent. Left unaddressed, these shortages could lead to hunger, civil unrest, and even wars over water.
Today, irrigation problems are widespread in the grain-growing regions of central and northern China, northwest and southern India, parts of Pakistan, much of the western United States, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Arabian Peninsula.
Water tables are dropping steadily in several major food-producing regions as groundwater is pumped faster than nature replenishes it. The world's farmers are racking up an annual water deficit of some 160 billion cubic meters-the amount used to produce nearly 10 percent of the world's grain. The overpumping of groundwater cannot continue indefinitely.
From Sandra Postel's, Pillar of Sand: Can the Irrigation Miracle Last?

Red Cross predicts climatic super disasters
June 23, 1999 - Changing weather and population pressures brought the worst weather year on record, with 60,000 disaster-related deaths. It is thought that tlhe situation will continue to worsen.
Source: Yahoo - International Disasters Report 1999 - Red Cross and Red Crescent
See also: The Misery of '98- BBC News (Story no longer online)

North Korea 'loses 3 million to famine'
Feb. 17, 1999 - A survey, from North Korea's news agency Yonhap, indicates that their population fell by between 2.5 million and 3 million people from 1995 to March 1998. This means that droughts and floods have left the country in a far worse situation than previously believed. Source BBC News

Hunger Even In America
Nov. 25, 1998 - According to this Religion Today report, Bread for the World says one of every eight American families is on the edge of hunger this Thanksgiving. This is due, in part, to Congressional cut-backs on help for the poor.
...The demand for emergency food assistance increased by 26% in the first half of 1998, Catholic Charities said. About 40% of those seeking food aid in 1997 were members of families in which at least one person was working. The wealthiest 1% of U.S. citizens had more money than the bottom 90% combined in 1996, the Internal Revenue Service says.
Aource: Religion Today (Story no longer online)

Shortage of Fresh Water Predicted
Aug. 27, 1998 - In an AP article by Donna Abu-Nasr, the next generation will bring severe shortages of good water to as much as 1/3 of the world's population, and will probably lead to wars for water rights.
To reduce demand for drinking water in the future, the report from The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health recommended that countries conserve water, pollute less, manage supply and demand of water better and slow population growth.
Now, nearly half a billion people don't have enough drinking water. That number is expected to increase to 2.8 billion people by 2025 - or 35 percent of the world's projected 8 billion people, the report said.
Today, 31 countries, mostly in Africa and the Near East, are facing water stress or water scarcity. By 2025, population pressure will push another 17 countries, including India, onto the list. China, with a projected 2025 population of 1.5 billion, will not be far behind, said the report.
Source: Yahoo (Story no longer on line)

Sudan Famine Gets Worse
July 31, 1998 - CNN reports on the sad plight of Sudanese refugees who, in spite of world aid efforts, are dying from malnutrition. Food delivered to Sudan is not easilly distributed because of the breakdown of roads and transportation during the past 15 years of civil war. The problem is compounded now because of the rains which threaten to spread disease and unsanitary conditions.
A news report from Sudan.Net claims that 200 people per day are dying at present, and that 1.2 million people are at risk.
See the related article about persecution of Christians in Sudan.
Source: CNN (Story no longer online)

Serious Famines in Various Places
April 14, 1998

North Korea - UN Aid is helping the approximately one-third of the population of North Korea which is suffering from severe famine. A meager harvest, flooding, drought and years of communist mismanagement, combined with the loss of Soviet aid have all contributed to this country's food crisis. (Source: MSNBC - Story no longer on line.)

Sudan - War between the Muslim government and the struggling Christians has resulted in severe food shortages threatening the lives of 350,000 people. This number is expected to rise to 1.6 million by August 1999 when there may be an adequate harvest if fighting does not continue. 1.3 million people have already died from fighting and famine. (Source: CNN- Story no longer on line.)

Ethiopia - Drought and a poor harvest have left 800,000 people in need of famine relief in Ethiopia. (Source: CNN - Story no longer on line.)

The Philippines - 300,000 families are hungry because of severe drought. 36 people have died recently from eating poisonous wild yams. (Source: Weekend News Today - Story no longer on line.)

Iraq - The infant mortality rate has risen to 6500 per month in Iraq because of the shortages of food and especially of medical supplies. (Source: CNN - Story no longer on line.)

Critical Famine in North Korea
Mar. 13, 1998 - Despite severe rationing, it is feared that the country will run out of grain by mid-March. Three million have died of starvation according to reports, and another three million are at risk. (Source: Yahoo - Reuters - Story no longer on line.)

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Excerpts from The Prophecy Puzzle

Famines and Plagues

The above verses mention famines and plagues (pestilence) as one of the factors that would characterize the end times.

Famine is usually the result of changes in weather patterns or of war. Both of these are characteristic of our times. For most of our generation there have been great numbers of deaths, especially of the young because of famine. At times this problem reaches staggering proportions: 40,000 babies starve to death every day. (Time, 1/2/89, p. 66)

There have always been plagues, but they do seem to be increasing in our times. Cancer is an ever-growing threat, AIDS is a new disease or the most sobering proportions. So far there is no cure for this plague. Alzheimer's is a new, incurable ailment of the elderly. We are constantly hearing of serious outbreaks of such diseases as the Ebola Virus which can destroy whole towns. Terrifying reports are surfacing of a rare Flesh-eating Strep disease which disfigures or even kills its victims in a matter of hours. Resistant strains of "conquered diseases", such as tuberculosis are now appearing. Some people are even wondering if some of these problems are the result of genetic engineering.

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Last Updated: 5/21/09
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