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Book of Exodus

The Book of Exodus is the second book of the Bible and describes the Exodus, which includes the Israelites' deliverance from slavery in Egypt through the hand of Yahweh, the revelations at biblical Mount Sinai, the subsequent "divine indwelling" of God with Israel. Exodus is traditionally ascribed to Moses, but modern scholars see its initial composition as a product of the Babylonian exile, with final revisions in the Persian post-exilic period. Carol Meyers, in her commentary on Exodus, suggests that it is arguably the most important book in the Bible, as it presents the defining features of Israel's identity—memories of a past marked by hardship and escape, a binding covenant with God, who chooses Israel, the establishment of the life of the community and the guidelines for sustaining it; the English name Exodus comes from the Ancient Greek: ἔξοδος, éxodos, meaning "going out", from ἐξ- + ὁδός. In Hebrew the book's title is שְׁמוֹת, shemōt, "Names", from the beginning words of the text: "These are the names of the sons of Israel".

There is no unanimous agreement among scholars on the structure of Exodus. One strong possibility is that it is a diptych, with the division between parts 1 and 2 at the crossing of the Red Sea or at the beginning of the theophany in chapter 19. On this plan, the first part tells of God's rescue of his people from Egypt and their journey under his care to Sinai and the second tells of the covenant between them. Jacob's sons and their families join Joseph, in Egypt. Once there, the Israelites begin to grow in number. Egypt's Pharaoh, fearful that the Israelites could be a fifth column, forces the Israelites into slavery and orders the throwing of all newborn boys into the Nile. A Levite woman saves her baby by setting him adrift on the river Nile in an ark of bulrushes; the Pharaoh's daughter finds the child, names him Moses, brings him up as her own. But Moses is aware of his origins, one day, when grown, he kills an Egyptian overseer, beating a Hebrew slave and has to flee into Midian. There he marries Zipporah, the daughter of Midianite priest Jethro, encounters God in a burning bush.

Moses asks God for his name: God replies: "I AM that I AM", the explanation of the name "Yahweh" as he is thereafter known. God tells Moses to return to Egypt and lead the Hebrews into Canaan, the land promised to Abraham. Moses fails to convince the Pharaoh to release the Israelites. God smites the Egyptians with 10 terrible plagues including a river of blood, many frogs, the death of first-born sons. Moses leads the Israelites out of bondage after a final chase when the Pharaoh reneges on his coerced consent; the desert proves arduous, the Israelites complain and long for Egypt, but God provides manna and miraculous water for them. The Israelites arrive at the mountain of God. God asks, they accept. The people gather at the foot of the mountain, with thunder and lightning and clouds of smoke, the sound of trumpets, the trembling of the mountain, God appears on the peak, the people see the cloud and hear the voice of God. God tells Moses to ascend the mountain. God pronounces the Ten Commandments in the hearing of all Israel.

Moses goes up the mountain into the presence of God, who pronounces the Covenant Code, promises Canaan to them if they obey. Moses comes down the mountain and writes down God's words and the people agree to keep them. God calls Moses up the mountain where he remains for 40 nights. At the conclusion of the 40 days and 40 nights, Moses returns holding the set of stone tablets. God gives Moses instructions for the construction of the tabernacle so that God could dwell permanently among his chosen people, as well as instructions for the priestly vestments, the altar and its appurtenances, the procedure for ordaining the priests, the daily sacrifice offerings. Aaron becomes the first hereditary high priest. God gives Moses the two tablets of stone containing the words of the ten commandments, written with the "finger of God". While Moses is with God, Aaron makes a golden calf. God informs Moses of their apostasy and threatens to kill them all, but relents when Moses pleads for them. Moses comes down from the mountain, smashes the stone tablets in anger, commands the Levites to massacre the unfaithful Israelites.

God commands Moses to make two new tablets on which He will write the words that were on the first tablets. Moses ascends the mountain, God dictates the Ten Commandments, Moses writes them on the tablets. Moses descends from the mountain with a transformed face. Moses assembles the Hebrews and repeats to them the commandments he has received from God, which are to keep the Sabbath and to construct the Tabernacle. "And all the construction of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting was finished, the children of Israel did according to everything that God had commanded Moses", from that time God dwelt in the Tabernacle and ordered the travels of the Hebrews. Jewish and Christian tradition viewed Moses as the author of Exodus and the entire Torah, but by the end of the 19th century the increasing awareness of discrepancies, inconsistencies and other features of the Pentateuch had le

Al Qa'qaa high explosives controversy

The Al Qa'qaa high explosives controversy concerns the possible removal by Baathist insurgents of about 377 tonnes of high explosives HMX and RDX after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The explosives, considered dangerous by the International Atomic Energy Agency, were certified by UN weapons inspectors to be inside facilities whose doors were fastened with chains and the United Nations' seal, at the Al Qa'qaa industrial complex in Iraq in 2003. By October 2004, the facility was empty. In October 2004, the Iraqi interim government warned the U. S. that nearly 380 tons of conventional explosives had been removed from the Al-Qa'qaa facility. The Bush Administration was criticized for failing to guard known weapons stashes of this size after the invasion. Critics of the Bush Administration claimed that U. S. forces were to blame for the looting, which put weapons that were under UN control into the hands of insurgents. The Bush Administration asserted before the 2004 U. S. election that the explosives were either removed by Iraq before invaders captured the facility, or properly accounted for by US forces while White House and Pentagon officials acknowledged that they had vanished after the invasion.

MSNBC News wrote: "Whether Saddam Hussein's forces removed the explosives before U. S. forces arrived April 3, 2003, or whether they fell into the hands of looters and insurgents afterward — because the site was not guarded by U. S. troops — has become a key issue in the campaign."Time Magazine reported the sequence of events: "In late April IAEA's chief weapons inspector for Iraq warned the U. S. of the vulnerability of the site, in May 2003, an internal IAEA memo warned that terrorists could be looting "the greatest explosives bonanza in history." Seventeen months on Oct. 10, in response to a long-standing request from the IAEA to account for sensitive materials, the interim Iraqi government notified the agency that al-Qaqaa had been stripped clean. The White House learned about the notification a few days later."Evidence indicated that the explosives were most removed after invading US forces captured the facility. The looting was witnessed by U. S. Army reservists and National Guardsman from separate units as well as officials of the new Iraqi government.

Frank Rich editorialized in The New York Times: It's because of incompetent Pentagon planning that other troops may now be victims of weapons looted from Saddam's munitions depots after the fall of Baghdad. Yet when The New York Times reported one such looting incident, in Al Qaqaa, before the election, the administration and many in the blogosphere reflexively branded the story fraudulent, but the story was true. It was corroborated not only by United States Army reservists and national guardsmen who spoke to The Los Angeles Times but by Iraq's own deputy minister of industry, who told The New York Times two months ago that Al Qaqaa was only one of many such weapon caches hijacked on America's undermanned post-invasion watch. For a timeline of events resulting in the storage and subsequent loss of the high explosives, please see Al Qa'qaa high explosives timeline. Sami al-Araji, Iraq's deputy minister of industry, noted that besides al Qa'qaa, looters had targeted explosives and other weapons material in the Nida Factory, the Badr General Establishment, Al Ameer, Al Radwan, Al Hatteen, Al Qadisiya.

Some of these factories had WMD significance, such as the Nida Factory and Al Radwan, which were part of Saddam's nuclear program in the early 1990s. The looting of five of these sites were confirmed by the IAEA's satellite reconnaissance. Former U. S. Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith reported two additional incidents of significant looting in post-invasion Iraq, he witnessed U. S. troops standing outside Baghdad's Disease Center as looters attacked the complex on 16 April 2003, "taking live HIV and black fever virus among other lethal materials." At the same time, looters attacked Iraq's nuclear facilities at Tuwaitha, taking "barrels of yellowcake dumping the uranium and using the barrels to hold water. US troops were at Tuwaitha but did not interfere." Galbraith noted that the facilities were all under IAEA seal and that "they remained untouched until the US troops arrived."Former counterterrorism directors for the National Security Council Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon noted the danger of these nuclear materials falling into the hands of terrorists as a result of the U.

S. invasion: "Another potential consequence of the invasion is the spread of weapons of mass destruction to al-Qaeda or other terrorists... he International Atomic Energy Agency certified that there were radioactive materials at the al-Tuwaitha facilities, including enriched—though not weapons-grade—uranium. These materials could be used to fabricate one or more radiological dispersion devices—or'dirty bombs,' as they have come to be known; some of these materials appear to be missing—how much remains unclear—and it seems a fair conjecture that someone... may have'privatized' these weapons with the intent of selling them to the highest biddeer. This material could find its way into the hands of al-Qaeda, it is difficult to imagine a more horrifyingly ironic outcome to the war." Many commentators expressed fears that the explosives had fallen into the hands of terrorists and would be used by the Iraqi insurgency to mount attacks against US and Iraqi troops. Many insurgent attacks have been carried out using improvised explosive devices made from military munitions, most 122 mm artillery shells and landmines.

IEDs made with high explosives are far more powerful and devastating and have been used in some of the most damaging attacks carried out in Iraq, such as the August 19, 2003 suicide atta

Freefall Romance

Freefall Romance is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Hyouta Fujiyama. It is licensed in North America by Digital Manga Publishing, which released the manga through its imprint, Juné, on September 26, 2007. Freefall Romance is the story of a man who gripes to his drinking buddy about his younger brother's gay relationship in Kinsei High; the two men end up in bed together. Mania Entertainment's Danielle Van Gorder said that the "story is well written, the characters are realized and believable, the emotions they display and the actions they take as their own feelings fly out of their control is something that feels authentic", Van Gorder regarded it as the best of Fujiama's work that she'd read. Holly Ellingwood, writing for Active Anime enjoyed the "grounded nature" of the relationship, although she felt it was strange that the brothers were not shown interacting until the end of the manga, the younger brother serving more as a "catalyst". Katherine Farmar, writing for Comics Village, felt the manga was "organic", in that the issues facing the couple and their desire for one another came from their characters.

Shaenon Garrity, writing for the appendix to Manga: The Complete Guide, felt Freefall Romance "takes its time getting to the sex", which gives the author space to develop the characters. Garrity enjoyed the "touch of realism" as the characters adjust themselves to their "new identity as a gay couple". Ordinary Crush - another of Fujiyama's manga set in Kinsei High. Freefall Romance at Anime News Network's encyclopedia