CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE – U.S.
Questions and much doubt remain concerning the outbreak of chronic wasting disease (CWD) among deer and elk in increasing areas of the western U.S. At an international conference held in Denver, Colorado, the critical issue of whether this disease would cross over into human populations or into cattle herds was discussed. The experts cautiously say “no,” but candidly admit that they simply don’t know.
CWD is compared to mad cow disease that recently took such a financial and human toll in Great Britain. Quoting from The Coloradoan, August 8, 2002, the stark seriousness of this disease comes to light: “Hunters in areas where wasting disease is found are advised to wear gloves while field dressing, to not consume any portion of the central nervous system or meat from a positive-testing animal and to not shoot any animal that appears sick or abnormal.” Many areas such as New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana depend heavily on the out-of-state hunters who pay high licensing fees, thus providing bountiful tourism money to these areas.
These kinds of problems were once only thought to occur in third world populations. As God withdraws His blessings to the descendants of Abraham, more–not less–bad news will erode the pride of our nations — nations who have forgotten their God, and who even now are NOT turning to Him in humility and repentance and in reliance on Him for deliverance.
UPDATE ON PINES FIRE – NEAR JULIAN, CALIFORNIA
As of August 6, the Pines Fire near Julian had burnt over 48,000 acres and destroyed 19 houses and 25 other buildings. By that time, it was 48% contained. High winds of 24 miles an hour and dry weather have made the fight against the fire very difficult. The costs of fighting the fire, excluding damage on the burned structures, have already exceeded 11.5 million dollars.
WESTERFIELD TRIAL – SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
As USA Today reported on August 8, the jurors began deliberations in the trial of David Westerfield, a man accused of kidnapping Danielle van Dam from her home and subsequently killing her. The dead body was later found along a rural road east of San Diego. Westerfield lived two houses away from Danielle. The entire trial, which had lasted for several weeks, had been broadcast on local television and attracted nationwide attention. If convicted, Westerfield could face the death penalty.
Defense attorney Steven Feldmann claimed that the prosecution had only presented circumstantial evidence and never proved that Westerfield was in the victim’s home. He stated that no fingerprints or other traces of Westerfield had been found in the van Dam home. He maintained, based on expert testimony, that Westerfield, due to the time that Danielle’s body had been exposed to the environment, could not have disposed of the dead body, as he was at that time under constant surveillance by police or the press. He finally suggested that the lifestyle of the girl’s parents, which included drug use and spouse swapping, might have exposed strangers who could have harmed her, pointing out that unidentified finger prints and blood found at the van Dam home suggested some other, unknown suspect.
Prosecutor Jeff Dusek argued that Danielle’s DNA, fiber, hair and fingerprints in Westerfield’s motor home and Danielle’s blood on Westerfield’s jacket prove that Westerfield had kidnapped the girl, killed it in the motor home and later disposed of the dead body.
The televised trial revealed the difficult task the jurors will have to face, in reaching a just decision. Many times, the jury was not allowed to hear evidence, due to sustained objections from the attorneys. Undoubtedly, emotions will have a part during deliberation, as they had been in the closing arguments of both attorneys, accusing each other of misrepresentations and worse.
Viewing the Westerfield case strictly on the basis of God’s laws, as revealed in the Old Testament, the accused could clearly not be convicted, as God had required at least the testimony of two witnesses confirming the commission of the crime (Numb. 35:30; Deut. 17:6). God had given those laws to prevent that an innocent person would be convicted and executed.
The laws of this world are not in harmony with God’s. That is one reason why we should not participate as jurors in jury trials. How thankful can we be, that God will send His Son Jesus Christ soon to establish true justice on this earth.
As NEWS-Networld reported on August 8, the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, relating to the conditions of Israel’s withdrawal from occupied territory, have failed. Jordan has issued an alarm of high alert to its citizens at the border between Jordan and Israel. Reputedly, Israel has also lounged another attack on Gaza.
WAR WITH IRAQ?
Der Spiegel reported on August 7 that both Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer have warned President Bush, not to attack Iraq. They have made it clear that Germany would not participate in military actions against Iraq. Mr. Schroeder also declared that an American attack on Iraq might destroy the International Alliance against Terrorism, and it would worsen the economic situation worldwide. Mr. Fischer warned that such a war would have dangerous consequences for Europe, and would constitute an incalculable risk.
Developments like these might very well lead to further alienation between the United States, Great Britain, and continental Europe, as predicted in the Bible.
Joerg Haider has threatened to resign from his party and create instead a European party, consisting of right-wingers. He stated, according to NEWS-Networld of August 8, that a “European right” would be better equipped to be victorious against the left, which “believes that they can prohibit us what to think.” Mr. Haider also defended his visits with Saddam Hussein of Iraq. He stated that former Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky had visited, too, radical leaders like Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi, and that present Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel has declared that he, too, was desirous of a better relationship with Iraq.