This Week in the News

The revolution in the Middle East has reached Libya, but Libya is not Egypt, and Gadhafi is not Mubarak. The Libyan dictator has been responding to the demonstrators with brutal and ruthless violence, and even his son, who has been hailed before as a moderate friend to the West, has uttered radical speeches. In the meantime, protests have engulfed the strategically important island of Bahrain, and the West is concerned, and so is Saudi Arabia.

All said, the USA and Europe have been rather uninvolved helpless by-standers, and their lack of influence and incapability have been sorely felt. Especially the EU is unhappy about its apparent paralysis, and even though words of condemnation have been given, the lack of unity among some of the member states has been sadly recognized. The EU understands more than ever that is must unite politically and militarily, to be able to intervene forcefully in trouble spots, because it realizes that it is right now in no position to do so, and German Foreign Minister Westerwelle’s words are just idle talk. (He said Tuesday night: “We can’t stand by and watch people be murdered.”)

The USA vetoed and thereby killed a UN resolution condemning Israel for its settlement policy, and it is in turn accused of hypocrisy.

Germany’s Angela Merkel suffered a huge defeat in the first of several state elections, and the country’s favorite politician, Theodor zu Guttenberg, is in big trouble over charges of plagiarism—or is he? At the same time, Mikhail Gorbachev speaks plainly about the dictatorship of President Putin and Russia’s false pretense of being a democracy.

The Church of England declared the marital or “partnership” status of their clergy as being irrelevant, while two Protestant churches in the USA do not see any problems with allowing Muslims to use their church buildings for the worship of Islam.

We are told by astronomers that a massive space storm is overdue, and “that the planet should prepare for a global Katrina-style disaster.” We report on the recent earthquake in New Zealand; mention some weird pagan customs in Northern Germany and Denmark; and conclude with a tribute to the “White Rose”—an anti-Nazi “resistance group committed to non-violence.”

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