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Eye on the World: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

- Eye on the World

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NEW: Earthquakes in northern Italy 

Two earthquakes – one a magnitude-5.8, the other a 5.1 – hit the northern Italian region of Emilia on Tuesday, killing at least ten people and damaging buildings. It came just 9 days after a magnitude-6 quake in the same region, which destroyed hundreds more buildings and forced nearly 7,000 people to sleep in tents outdoors. Emergency crews are working to free several people trapped under rubble from the twin quakes.

In “Prayer in an earthquake,” one author shares how he was led to pray for his own and others’ safety when he found himself in a powerful earthquake in South America. He affirmed that the hand of the Divine is the only legitimate force governing people’s lives.  

UPDATE: Syrian massacre in Houla

More than a hundred civilians were killed in Syria’s Houla region on Friday. Details were sketchy at first, but now the UN human rights office says that most of the killings were executions carried out by pro-government militias. UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, who is meeting this week with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s capital, said the government had to take “bold steps” to stop the country from descending into civil war.

This editorial, “To preserve life,” talks about how we can support Syria and other nations in the grip of conflict. The editors argue that a discouraging picture of violence doesn’t tell the real story – and that far from ignoring cruelty and bloodshed, a prayerful insistence that God is present helps to dissolve and prevent these atrocities. 

NEW: Driverless cars

Engineers have been working on driverless cars for years now. But it’s only recently that the technology, which promises to reduce vehicle accidents, has begun to make its way onto public roads. This weekend, a convoy of self-driven Volvo cars completed a 125-mile trip on a motorway in Spain as part of a European Commission project on road safety. The convoy –three cars and a truck – was led by a professional driver; wireless communications allowed the following cars to react to the lead vehicle and to other traffic.

We can certainly support all those working to reduce traffic accidents and improve efficiency, but in the meantime – while most cars are still driven by people – it’s worth affirming each individual’s ability to hear God’s direction on the road. In “On the road again,” a teen shares how she regained a sense of freedom, confidence, and safety after being involved in a fender-bender.

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