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'Apocalypse Noah': Dutch Christian readies escape Ark
by Staff Writers
The Hague (AFP) Dec 20, 2012

A Dutch Christian has painstakingly prepared a lifeboat in his garden capable of saving 50 people ahead of biblical floods he expects to accompany Friday's Mayan-foretold 'doomsday.'

"The Mayans weren't crazy, and if you also look at biblical prophecies, the mountains will melt like wax," Pieter Frank van der Meer told the left-wing Volkskrant daily on Thursday.

A fervent Christian, Van der Meer bought the orange totally enclosed lifeboat for 13,000 euros (around 17,000 dollars) and has installed a toilet, a sink, a child's car seat and food supplies.

Around 35 people have reserved seats in the Norwegian-built boat, which currently sits in Van der Meer's garden in the central Netherlands village of Kootwijkerbroek, around 20 kilometres (14 miles) from the sea.

Passengers include his children and grandchildren, Van der Meer told the Dutch Protestant television programme "De Vijfde Dag" ("The Fifth Day").

Van der Meer's son, Pieter, has obtained a roughly one-metre cubed plastic container reinforced with metal bars for the family's two dogs, complete with hay and food inside.

"Here, they have a reasonable chance of survival," Van der Meer senior said.

The family's goats will unfortunately be left to their fate.

He said that the alignment of the Solar System's planets on December 21 will generate and release huge amounts of cosmic energy.

"This will activate the sun," he said. "It's difficult to say what exactly will happen with the sun, but you can expect an enormous solar flare," which could cause a tsunami or a second Flood.

Alternatively, there may be a huge earthquake, and so he has bought a second-hand army Jeep with which to drive at speed to a location in a field where he and his family can pitch tents.

"The end of the world is serious," Van der Meer's wife told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper.

"But what comes afterwards is magnificent."


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Zuckerberg donates $500 mn to charity
San Francisco (AFP) Dec 19, 2012
With Christmas just days away, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced a donation of about a half-billion dollars worth of his company's stock to charity in Silicon Valley. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla, gave 18 million shares to a foundation to orchestrate grants for local causes focused on education and health, according to a post on his Facebook page. "Two years ago, Pr ... read more

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