Current Events

Chaos in Ukraine

Sunday’s presidential elections in Ukraine caused an international uproar which might have repercussions and consequences that could reach far beyond Ukraine. While Russia’s Vladimir Putin congratulated pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovich on his “decisive victory,” most international observers reported widespread fraud.

On November 22, 2004, the EUobserver stated: “EU-Ukraine relations are in turmoil following Sunday’s presidential elections, which international observers said did not meet democratic standards. Meeting on Monday in Brussels, EU foreign ministers expressed their ‘great concern’ that the official results showed pro-government candidate Viktor Yanukovich ahead amid widespread reports of fraud… In a sign of their frustration, EU member states said that they would be summoning all Ukrainian ambassadors to ask them to ‘review procedure and results’ of the elections.” According to Der Spiegel Online, German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, already summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to express to him his great concern regarding the apparently fraudulent election in Ukraine.

Associated Press reported: “A fiery election protest is taking place on a freezing night in Ukraine’s capital. Tens of thousands jammed into downtown Kiev on Monday night, denouncing the presidential runoff as a fraud… A group of international observers described Sunday’s election as severely flawed, with multiple voting reported. One U.S. senator [John Lugar] said there was ‘a concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse.’ …The U.S. State Department is calling on Ukraine’s government to investigate the allegations or risk damaged relations with Washington. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Ukrainian officials must ‘act to ensure an outcome that reflects the will of the Ukrainian people.’ He said that doesn’t mean new elections — just ‘quick action’ to address concerns.”

AFP reported on November 23, 2004 (emphasis added): “Ukraine’s opposition leader declared himself president Tuesday as tens of thousands of his supporters massed in front of parliament, deepening the political crisis in this bitterly divided nation after elections [were] widely condemned by the West as fraudulent. With his hand on a Bible, Viktor Yushchenko swore to ‘defend the rights and liberties of Ukrainian citizens’ at an emergency session of parliament called to discuss the turmoil… Ukrainian parliament speaker Vladimir Litvin refused to recognize the oath of office, and the parliamentary session was attended by too few deputies to make any binding resolution…. Earlier, Yushchenko called on the international community to recognize him as the real winner of an election seen by some observers as the MOST IMPORTANT in Eastern Europe since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. A victory for him would PULL the STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT Eastern European nation of 48 million people OUT OF RUSSIA’S AGE-OLD EMBRACE and eventually put it INTO THE FOLD OF THE EUROPEAN UNION and maybe even NATO, shifting liberal Europe’s center of gravity closer to Russia’s borders… The dispute has split this former Soviet republic down the middle, with the Ukrainian-speaking west mainly behind Yushchenko and the Russian-speaking east backing Yanukovich…

“Ukraine now threatens to ADD TO THE STRAINS ALREADY EVIDENT BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE EU heading into a bilateral summit Thursday in The Hague between Putin and Balkenende, the EU’s current chairman. Putin, who openly supported Yanukovich in the election campaign, contacted the prime minister Monday to congratulate him on his ‘open and honest’ defeat of Yushchenko. Speaking from Lisbon Tuesday, Putin slammed as ‘inadmissible’ the doubts expressed by the EU and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe over the election outcome.”

Reuters added on November 22, 2004: “Putin’s backing for Yanukovich shows the stakes are high for Russia which wants to keep its influence in its former empire after last year’s election of a pro-Western leader in Georgia.”

On November 25, 2004, AFP reported (emphasis added): “Ukraine’s supreme court gave the opposition a glimmer of hope by delaying publication of results of a disputed presidential vote, as Polish Nobel peace laureate Lech Walesa mediated in the escalating political crisis. The court gave the pro-West opposition its first victory by ruling that poll results announced by the central election commission Wednesday, handing victory to the Kremlin-backed prime minister, could not be published until it reviewed an opposition appeal. Official publication would make the outcome final and pave the way for Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich’s inauguration. Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko’s claim will be heard Monday at 0900 GMT… Russian President Vladimir Putin… told EU leaders — who for their part said they could not recognize election results that failed to meet international standards — ‘We have no moral right to push a major European country to mass mayhem.’… The battle for Ukraine has brought back echoes of the COLD WAR STANDOFF between Moscow and the West, with Russia refusing to see its allies lose power in a country that serves as a buffer between it and an expanding European Union, which Moscow views with GROWING DISTRUST. Analysts say the Kremlin further fears that a win by the pro-West opposition in Ukraine could prompt other former Soviet republics to RISE AGAINST pro-Moscow rule.”

Europe Without God?

Arch-conservative German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger claimed an aggressive secularism in Europe threatens even the mention of God. Reuters reported on November 19, 2004, that “Freedom of religion is being threatened in Europe by an aggressive secularism which has made the mention of God ‘almost indecent,’ a top adviser to Pope John Paul said in an interview published on Friday. ‘We have gone from a Christian culture to an aggressive secularism with intolerant traits,’ Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told la Repubblica daily.”

Reuters described Ratzinger as “the powerful head of the Vatican department in charge of safeguarding and interpreting doctrine.” Reportedly, that department was formerly known as the Inquisition. Ratzinger was quoted as saying: “A struggle exists and we must defend the freedom of religion against the imposition of an ideology that presents itself as the only voice of reason.”

Reuters continued: “The censure last month of Rocco Buttiglione, an Italian conservative Catholic politician who came under a storm of criticism by the European Parliament for his views on gays and women, has raised questions about religion in Europe. Buttiglione said homosexuality was a sin and marriage existed so that women can have children and the protection of a male mate. He was eventually forced to step down as a candidate for EU commissioner over the row. ‘In the political sphere it seems almost indecent to talk about God, almost as though it were an attack on the freedom of those who don’t believe,’ Ratzinger said in the interview. He also defended crosses in the classroom in countries with a Christian tradition like Italy, and warned against legalizing gay marriage. ‘If we deem this union more or less equivalent to marriage, we have a society that no longer recognizes the fundamental character of the family,’ he said.”

We might agree with much of what Ratzinger was quoted as saying. However, it is also evident that Ratzinger is identifying Christianity with Roman Catholicism — and herein lies a great danger. The question of history is simply this: Once the Catholic Church’s view of “Christianity” becomes extremely influential in Europe, will it be as tolerant toward other religious viewpoints, as it now demands toleration from “aggressive secularism?” Sadly, history, as well as Biblical prophecy, doesn’t paint a very hopeful picture in this regard.

America Without God?

The following alarming and incredible article was published on November 22, 2004, by “Maryland public school students are free to thank anyone they want while learning about the 17th century celebration of Thanksgiving – as long as it’s not God. And that is how it should be, administrators say. Young students across the state read stories about the Pilgrims and Native Americans, simulate Mayflower voyages, hold mock feasts and learn about the famous meal that temporarily allied two very different groups. But what teachers don’t mention when they describe the feast is that the Pilgrims not only thanked the Native Americans for their peaceful three-day indulgence, but repeatedly thanked God.”

Europe, the U.N. and the USA

On November 19, 2004, reported that “French President Jacques Chirac continued a fence-mending but at times edgy state visit to Britain Friday by reaffirming that the United Nations should decide on foreign interventions. ‘It’s not for any given country to consider that a situation is open to stepping in and interfering,’ he told a question-and-answer session with students at Oxford University, according to the UK’s Press Association. ‘It’s up to the international community to do so and particularly the U.N., which alone has the authority to interfere,’ he said in remarks apparently aimed at the United States. The French president — who backed a U.N. solution over Iraq — added that if countries took such action of their own accord, it would ‘throw the door wide open to hosts of reasons to wage wars under the guise of legitimate interference.’… Chirac stressed the importance of dialogue between Europe and ‘the world’s major poles’ — China, India, Brazil, Russia and various trading blocs.”

CNN continued to report on Chirac’s vision regarding the relationship between Europe and the United States. Considering his former words and actions, some might doubt, however, the sincerity of those comments. Chirac said the link [between Europe and America] is “strong and cannot be challenged by anybody… North America and Europe … I think are predestined to work together because they share history, the same background and values.”

Biblical prophecy reveals that ultimately, Europe and North America will work together in peace and harmony. But this time will be preceded by a terrible, soon-coming war between those two power blocs. We need to watch world news so that these events don’t catch us unawares.

EU Military

“The European Union is expanding plans to set up several elite battle groups for rapid deployment to international trouble spots,” according to the Associated Press of November 19, 2004. AP explained that “the original plan was to have nine such groups of 1,500 troops ready by 2007, but EU military officials said an enthusiastic response from nations wanting to contribute forces meant that at least 12 would now be set up. Of that, four – led by France, Britain, Italy and Spain – should be in place next year… They are also set to expand an EU police training mission in the Congo, widening its role in setting up a 1,000-strong force drawn from various forces previously in conflict with each other in the African nation’s civil war.”

AP reminded the reader that “France, Britain and Germany developed the battle group idea early this year to give the EU more military reach by allowing it to intervene quickly in international crises before they spin out of control. Smaller EU nations will be taking part in joint groups, often with their larger partners.”

US and Germany

An interesting piece of information was published last Sunday by the New York Times. The article stated: “Add another entry to the list of how Americans and Europeans are parting ways. Several German companies, who rushed to list their shares in the United States during the bull market of the late 1990s, are now seriously thinking about abandoning the market. The Germans are disenchanted by the United States as a source of capital, and offended by what they view as oppressive new regulations adopted in the wake of Enron and other corporate scandals. With trading volumes in America that are, in most cases, a small fraction of their level in Europe, they are less willing to bear the legal costs, liability, and red tape of complying with the rules.”

The article continued: “German newspapers reported that Siemens was considering whether to delist its shares from the New York Stock Exchange, where it has traded since 2001. Siemens refused to confirm or deny the report. But the mere suggestion that a household name, with 70,000 employees in the United States, would take such a step has increased the debate.”

The Sinking Dollar

In an article of the New York Times of November 20, 2004, “Alan Greenspan came to the home of the euro on Friday and warned anxious Europeans to expect little relief from the dollar’s relentless decline against their currency. In a speech to a banking congress here, Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, said the persistently high U.S. current-account deficit posed a risk to the dollar’s value, as foreign investors would eventually resist buying more American assets…. Greenspan likened predicting the dollar’s path to ‘forecasting the outcome of a coin toss.’ But the implication of the speech was clear to this audience of European bankers, who laughed nervously at his metaphor: The dollar, which has fallen to record lows against the euro this week – giving fits to European politicians and business executives – is likely to fall further still.”

It was also announced on Tuesday, November 23, and on Thursday, November 25, 2004, that the U.S. dollar hit its all-time low against the British pound and the Euro.

On November 22, 2004, the Christian Science Monitor wrote (emphasis added): “The sinking US dollar in recent weeks has raised what is suddenly a top concern from Washington to Berlin and Beijing… The good news for Americans: It’s getting easier for manufacturers to sell products overseas, and more likely that tourists from Germany will flock to US National Parks. But the DOWNSIDE COULD BE SIGNIFICANT. America, the world’s leading importer of goods, is now buying them at higher prices. And if the dollar’s dive makes foreign investors wary, US interest rates may have to rise to attract buyers of federal debt. More broadly, it’s a shock to the global economy. Sunday in Germany, officials from the Group of 20 industrial and major developing countries called for the United States to cut its federal deficit, which is seen as a key factor in the dollar’s fall… The dollar is now down 50 percent against the euro since October 2000, and hit its lowest level since 1995 against a basket of foreign currencies last week.”

The article continued to describe the worldwide negative effect of the sinking dollar, as follows: “Chinese citizens were lining up outside the Bank of China in downtown Shanghai last week to exchange US dollars for their own currency, the yuan, according to The Wall Street Journal. They fear an official revaluation of the yuan, which if it happens would cut into the value of their dollar savings. Sunday’s statement from the G-20 finance ministers called for more flexible exchange rates in Asia. Europeans, meanwhile, worry that the dollar’s fall will harm their weak economic upturn by making their exports more expensive in the US or in other economies tied to the dollar.”

Major Earthquake in New Zealand

As AFP reported on November 23, 2004, “An earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale has rocked southern New Zealand but there are no reports of serious damage. A Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) spokesman says the quake hit at 7:26am AEDT about 240 kilometres off the south-west coast of New Zealand at a depth of 33 kilometres… A woman in the southern city of Invercargill told Radio Newstalk ZB that the quake hit so hard that her husband was physically thrown from the chair he was sitting on.” A reader sent us the following additional note: “Fortunately the South Island cities are not as populated as the North but Invercargill is of a fair size. 7.2 is a big one and I’m glad it was so deep and far off shore! In 1989 I was sitting in a rocking chair in Foxton (which would have felt this shake because it, too, is on the same faultline) and it began violently rocking with the dog, cat and me in it, and the quake only measured 6.7.”

US and EU on Collision Course?

According to Great Britain’s “Observer” of November 21, 2004, “Washington and [the] European Union [are] on [a] collision course over how to neutralise Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.” The article continued: “Pentagon hawks have begun discussing military action against Iran to neutralise its nuclear weapons threat, including possible strikes on leadership, political and security targets… [Sources] have disclosed that the latest Pentagon gaming model for ‘neutralising’ Iran’s nuclear threat involves strikes in support of regime change. Although the United States has made clear that it would seek sanctions against Iran through the United Nations should it not meet its obligations, rather than undertake military action, the new modelling at the Pentagon, with its shift in emphasis from suspected nuclear to political target lists, is causing deep anxiety among officials in the UK, France and Germany.”

Evolution Out?

Although many scientists aggressively and almost fanatically teach the false “doctrine” of evolution, most Americans don’t believe in it! As CBS reported on November 22, 2004, “Americans do not believe that humans evolved, and the vast majority says that even if they evolved, God guided the process. Just 13 percent say that God was not involved.” Before those who believe in the Biblical teaching of Creation rejoice too quickly, listen to this astonishing position: “But most would not substitute the teaching of creationism for the teaching of evolution in public schools.”

Shocking as this inconsistency appears to be, WHY would not those who don’t believe in evolution prefer the teaching of the truth in public schools? Are they ashamed of the truth? Does it matter to them? Have they become victims of a falsely understood and proclaimed “Separation of Church and State”?

The article continued: “Overall, about two-thirds of Americans want creationism taught along with evolution. Only 37 percent want evolutionism replaced outright.”

But WHY would one want to teach truth WITH error? Are those who don’t believe in evolution not totally CONVINCED that it is wrong? They SHOULD know! YOU need to know! For more information, please read our free booklet, Evolution — A Fairy Tale for Adults!”

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