Current Events

G8 Failed?

The EUobserver reported on July 8, 2005: “Though world leaders tried to portray it as a win, in reality US president George W. Bush kept leaders from the world’s eight largest economies from agreeing on ways to slow the effects of global climate change. At the top of the agenda for the two-day summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, heads of state and government (referred to as “G8″) from France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Russia and Japan, led by UK prime minister Tony Blair, worked to get Mr. Bush to agree on climate change policies. But they failed.”

It will have to be seen how long all the influential nations will be tolerant to US politics in such important matters, such as global warming.

The article pointed out that they did agree “to help end extreme poverty in Africa by doubling aid donations to Euro 41.9 bn ($50 bn) per year by 2010, but charities felt it didn’t go far enough.” They also “pledged Euro 2.5 bn ($3 bn) over the next few years to help support the Palestinian government in its independence from Israel.”

Italy Next?

Reuters published an article on July 8, 2005, following the terrorist attacks in London, asking the pertinent question as to what country will be next. According to the article, it appears that it will be Italy, and especially Rome. The article stated:

“Italy is a repeated target of Islamic militant threats… Two different groups claiming affiliation to al Qaeda have warned of attacks on Italy within the past 24 hours alone. One group calling itself the Organization of al Qaeda – Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula described Rome as ‘the capital of infidels’ in a menacing message on Friday… [F]or many Rome residents, an attack seems inevitable… After the United States and Britain, Italy is the third largest Western member of coalition forces in Iraq, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi acknowledged that Italy’s role in Iraq left it ‘exposed’ to attack.”

The German press reported that an attack on the Vatican is anticipated. Allegedly, such an attack with airplanes had been planned for Christmas 2005, but had not been carried out, for unknown reasons.

Perhaps not as “coincidental” as described by Berlusconi, Italy announced that they will be withdrawing their troops from Iraq.

Hurricane Dennis

As The Associated Press reported on July 9, 2005, “More than 1 million people from the Florida Panhandle to Louisiana were under evacuation orders. Landfall was expected Sunday afternoon anywhere from the Florida Panhandle to southeast Louisiana… The storm [was] the earliest to reach Category 4 strength in the Caribbean on record… “

On July 11, 2005, The Associated Press added that “The total insured damage from Hurricane Dennis, which hit parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast over the weekend, will amount to between $3 billion and $5 billion.”

Hurricane Dennis is the first of a series of devastating hurricanes to be expected to strike the US this year.

Sheep Suicide?

The Associated Press reported on July 8, 2005: “First one sheep jumped to its death. Then stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff, Turkish media reported. In the end, 450 dead animals lay on top of one another in a billowy white pile, the Aksam newspaper said.”

Scientists debate whether animals can purposefully and conscientiously commit suicide. Many historical records prove that some animals killed themselves. However, the question remains whether they are influenced by demons when they do so. A classic example of demonic possession of many swine, leading to a mass suicide, can be found in Matthew 8:28-34.

Luxembourg and Malta approve EU Constitution

The Associated Press reported on July 10, 2005: “Luxembourg voters approved the European Union’s proposed constitution in a referendum Sunday… Officials said 56.52 percent of the vote was in favor of the constitution, while 43.48 percent voted against it. Luxembourg is the 13th country to ratify the charter, but rejections by the two larger countries [France and The Netherlands] have thrown its future into doubt… European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Luxembourg’s approval was a ‘strong signal’ that voters still think a constitution can help build ‘a more democratic Europe.’ However, he warned in a statement that its fate remained ‘uncertain.'”

The article continued:

“Luxembourg, a wealthy nation of 450,000 wedged between France, Germany and Belgium, has traditionally been one of the European Union’s most ardent supporters. Many questions remain over the EU’s future, including whether it will give full membership to Turkey and whether it should create the posts of EU president and foreign minister… [Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude] Juncker’s campaign for the charter was bolstered when the tiny country of Malta became the 12th EU nation to ratify the constitution Wednesday by a unanimous parliamentary vote. Luxembourg was the first EU member to go ahead with a referendum following the Dutch and French ‘no’ votes. Britain, Denmark and Portugal have scrapped theirs.”

The EUobersever clarified on July 10, 2005, that “The UK, Denmark, Portugal, Poland [and] Ireland… shelved their referendum plans after the decision of the European summit in June to put the ratification process on ice. The Czech republic, undecided until then, also announced it would not hold a referendum.”

Chinese in Colorado?

The United Press International reported on July 11, 2005, that “Canadian oil giant EnCana is considering bringing in Chinese companies to construct and operate drilling rigs in the Colorado Rockies… EnCana, a major player in the Piceance Basin of western Colorado, said Chinese labor is cheap and the workers are well-educated. The move would be scrutinized in Washington, where politicians are uneasy about allowing Chinese workers to acquire access to U.S.-based oil and gas facilities… Although China’s increased participation in the U.S. oil and gas industry is a prickly issue in Washington, the EnCana spokesman predicted that U.S. policy-makers would concede because Chinese companies would fill a dire need… The cost of drilling in Colorado has nearly doubled since last year, EnCana officials said. Rates increased from $8,500 per day to $14,000 per day in one year.”

This development is in line with a prophecy in the Bible, declaring that because of the sins of the nation, “the alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail… Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the LORD will send against you…” (Deuteronomy 28:43-44, 47-48).

Barrier Around Jerusalem

Reuters reported on July 11, 2005, that “European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana criticized Israel on Monday for a barrier it is building around Jerusalem, and the Palestinian prime minister said it made a farce of efforts to restart the peace process. Israel faced new pressure over its controversial network of walls and fences a day after giving final approval to a segment it said would eventually separate 55,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem from the rest of the holy city… The World Court declared it illegal a year ago, but Israel has ignored the ruling.”

It was also reported that the Bush Administration has stated reservations against the barrier. The article continued:

“[Solana] said the Jerusalem barrier would also have a symbolic effect. The city is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie responded harshly to the Israeli decision, calling it ‘theft in broad daylight’ of land Palestinians seek for the capital of their future state.”

The Associated Press added:

“Israel’s separation barrier in and around Jerusalem is meant to ensure a Jewish majority in the disputed city, a Cabinet minister acknowledged Monday, contradicting government claims that the divider is solely a temporary security measure… Also Monday, Israeli officials said they would seek $2.2 billion in additional U.S. aid for the summer’s withdrawal from Gaza and four West Bank settlements.”

According to an opinion poll conducted by CNN on Tuesday, July 12, 90% of participants voted AGAINST such an additional U.S. aid.

Euro Rises Slightly

As AFP reported on July 11, 2005, “The dollar came under pressure after a mixed report on US jobs and Luxembourg’s approval of the European Union constitution… The euro rose Monday to 1.2018 dollars in early European trading, from 1.1970 late on Friday in New York… The US unit ‘has weakened across the foreign exchange market after Friday’s employment report for June failed to meet market expectations’, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi economist Derek Halpenny said. A government report showed the US unemployment rate had fallen to a four-year low point of 5.0 percent last month.”

Germany’s Uncertain Future?

The Associated Press reported on July 10, 2005, that “Germany’s opposition aims to oust Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder with a program to boost Europe’s largest economy and ‘reinvigorate’ relations with the United States… The program, to be formally endorsed Monday by the Christian Democratic Union [CDU] and its Bavarian sister party [CSU], includes an increase in sales tax and looser rules for companies to hire and fire staff. It also rules out Turkish membership in the European Union. The parties are also trying to win back voters by invoking Germany’s strained relations with Washington. Schroeder ran for re-election in 2002 on a platform opposing the U.S.-led war in Iraq, and Bush pointedly refused to offer the traditional congratulations to him on his victory. Germany’s conservatives have been careful not to back the war–sending troops to Iraq would be deeply unpopular–but insist only a change of government can heal the rift with Washington.”

However, new elections in September are not yet a certainty. Germany’s President Koehler sent Chancellor Schroeder a catalogue of questions pertaining to the recent “no-confidence vote” in Parliament, in order to be able to decide whether or not he will allow new elections, by dissolving the German Parliament. Also, the CDU and CSU are facing opposition from their potential coalition partner, the Free Democrats [FDP], over their highly unpopular proposal to increase sales taxes. The FDP has announced that they will NOT support such a tax increase.

The Catholic Church and The Philippines

The Associated Press reported on July 10, 2005, about interesting events in The Philippines, and the POLITICAL role of the Roman Catholic Church in the process. The article stated:

“The Philippines’ Roman Catholic bishops, who have played a major role in toppling two presidents, gave lukewarm support Sunday to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as she faced calls to resign over an election scandal. The long-awaited statement by the nation’s Catholic Bishops Conference may ease the pressure on Arroyo, who looked increasingly isolated after 10 Cabinet members quit Friday and urged her to step down… The bishops in the predominantly Roman Catholic country played a key role in the 1986 ‘people power’ revolution that ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the 2001 repeat which forced out Arroyo’s predecessor, Joseph Estrada… As the influential Catholic leaders debated what position to take, Arroyo went on a new charm offensive, praying in church, strolling along a Manila Bay promenade, holding babies and chatting with fishermen during a rare public appearance.”

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