Current Events

Thailand Celebrates Its King and Queen

The Associated Press reported on June 9:

“Thailand’s king, the world longest-serving monarch, marked 60 years on the throne Friday, calling for unity in his politically troubled country as hundreds of thousands of adoring Thais cheered and waved yellow flags. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 78, greeted his subjects in a glittering golden gown from the palace balcony in Bangkok, only the third such appearance of his royal career… The monarch is beloved for his projects to help the rural poor and for using his moral influence to keep the country together through political turmoil… The people cried and held hands in reverence, chanting ‘long live the king,’ as Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit waved goodbye from the balcony. Thailand has been mired in a political crisis for months over corruption allegations against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and demands that he resign. The country has been without a working legislature since April 2 general elections boycotted by the opposition and invalidated by the nation’s highest court…

“Although the king is a constitutional monarch with limited powers, he has used his prestige to smooth over several political crises over the years, persuading opposing parties to compromise for the sake of peace and stability. He often mingles with people in remote villages where he has started hundreds of development projects… Thailand has declared a five-day public holiday for the festivities, including fireworks, feasts and a river parade featuring dozens of gilded ceremonial boats. A royal banquet Tuesday closes the celebrations. Heads of state and royalty from 25 countries, including Japan’s Emperor Akihito, Britain’s Prince Andrew and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, were expected to attend the culmination of celebrations next week. King Bhumibol was named king on June 9, 1946, after the death of his older brother. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended to the throne in 1952, is the world’s second-longest serving monarch.”

We like to remember Queen Sirikit’s remarkable visit to the USA in March of 1985; her stay as a guest on the grounds of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) and Ambassador College (AC); and her close friendship with Herbert W. Armstrong, former human leader of the WCG. During her visit, Queen Sirikit made the following remarks about Mr. Armstrong (who was, by then, 93 years old, and who died less than a year later):

“I’d like to devote this event [an exhibition of valuable Thai art] to Mr. Armstrong, a good friend of Thailand, who has a far vision and who has made it possible for the Exhibition of these ancient Asian treasures… I feel I have a debt to pay to Mr. Armstrong and others who are supporting and have given us a chance to exhibit our cultures from the first recorded history of Thailand till the present time in this beautiful Ambassador College.”

In a book commemorating Queen Sirikit’s visit to America, titled, “Royal Moon Rising over America,” the following expressions were made by the Queen about the AC students:

“There are about 600 students attending the college. They do not teach just liberal arts, but also moral values. The purpose is to help the students become people with good morality. We saw the students here dressed better than other teenagers. Men have short hair and wore neckties nicely. There were no punks with long hair–or no hair–or colored hair at all. The ladies were impressively well dressed. No tight jeans were worn. The most important fact is that every one of them had good manners and good speech. When the students saw us passing by, they smiled at us and talked with us. When we asked them questions, they were very helpful to us all… ‘It is not surprising that this college has received three awards… And first of all, which may be the most important value here, is that you produce incredible people–people with good qualities,’ Her Majesty expressed…. ‘This Ambassador College campus is beautiful like heaven.'”

What a terrible tragedy it is that after Mr. Armstrong’s death in 1986, the values and high standards, taught by the WCG and AC, were gradually eroded, until, due to the shortsightedness and lack of vision of the new leadership and their different emphasis on what is important in life, AC was closed and its campus sold. For more information on how doctrinal errors gradually found their way into WCG, make sure to read our latest member letter, as well as our free booklet, “Are You Already Born Again?”

No German Troops in Iraq

Der Spiegel Online reported on June 9:

“The United States remains interested in a greater German involvement in Iraq… According to the Berlin daily Berliner Zeitung, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has asked his German counterpart Franz Josef Jung for help in training the Iraqi military in Baghdad. Germany’s policy of only providing training assistance outside the borders of Iraq, however, will continue, Jung said at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels on Thursday… Germany has consistently refused to become involved directly in Iraq — a policy that has not changed since Chancellor Angela Merkel’s election in the autumn of 2005… a direct German involvement in Iraq would likely be extremely controversial. Schröder’s outright refusal to get involved in Iraq, first voiced categorically during his 2002 campaign for the chancellery, was extraordinarily popular in Germany and led to his re-election that year. Four years later, the US presence in Iraq remains deeply unpopular in Germany.

“The German military only recently pledged almost 800 troops to participate in a peace-keeping operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo during elections there at the end of July. German troops are likewise stationed in Afghanistan, Kosovo and off the Horn of Africa.”

Otto von Habsburg Warns Of Russia

On May 27, 2006, Austria’s “NtwWorld News” published an article about Otto von Habsburg’s comments at a meeting of the Pan-European Union. Habsburg, son of the last Austrian Emperor, Charles I, was quoted as saying: “There are dangers and Russia is the greatest danger for us.” He continued that Russia’s President Putin is making “exactly the same steps as Hitler.” He stated that the conviction of oil-magnate Michail Chrodorkowski was “a “repetition of the big trials under Stalin.” Dr. Habsburg also expressed his view that the enlargement of Europe is “inevitable.” He said that some politicians make one step forward and three steps backward. “We must prevent this from continuing,” Habsburg was quoted. 

Tony Blair’s Interview: “They Libel Everyone!”

At the beginning of the World Cup, Reporters from Bild Online and The Sun interviewed England’s Prime Minister Tony Blair. Bild Online published the interview on June 10. The following excerpts are quite remarkable:

When asked how he views the relationship between Germany and England,. Blair answered: “Obviously not without complications, because of the known historical reasons. At the same time, many Germans work in England. And most tourists who are visiting Berlin are from England. We are also very close politically.” He also stated that “we never underestimate the Germans–when it comes to soccer.”

When asked why a good relationship between England and Germany is so important, Blair stated: “Especially when looking at big nations such as India or China, the collaboration between European countries becomes more and more important. Europe gives us smaller countries a chance to epitomize our potential and to accomplish the best.”

When asked how Blair would “explain the constant attacks of the English press on the Germans, and the oftentimes war-like language,” Blair responded: “You should hear what they call me. They libel everyone, without making any difference. You must not take this personally.”

Israel and Hamas–and No Peace in Sight

The Associated Press reported on June 9:

“Palestinians fired rockets into Israel Friday and vowed to avenge Israel’s assassination of the Hamas government’s top security chief in an attack that threatened to ignite large-scale violence between the two sides. The security chief, Jamal Abu Samhadana, was a key player in Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel and a close ally of the Hamas militants who now govern the Palestinian Authority and have refused to renounce their commitment to Israel’s destruction. Hours after his death Thursday night, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets into Israel… Tens of thousands of Palestinians flocked to a Gaza Strip stadium for Abu Samhadana’s funeral Friday, some firing in the air and calling for blood…

“Hamas government officials called Abu Samhadana’s killing a direct assault on the Palestinian Authority, and vowed to continue its resistance against the Jewish state. Abu Samhadana’s Popular Resistance Committees faction vowed revenge… Since Hamas was elected to power in January, it has not been directly involved in attacks against Israel, but it does back other factions’ operations… The U.S. and other Western countries imposed the sanctions because of Hamas’ refusal to disarm militants and recognize Israel.”

The Associated Press also wrote the following in a related article on June 9, 2006:

“Hamas militants called off a truce with Israel on Friday after a barrage of Israeli artillery shells tore into Palestinians at a beachside picnic in the Gaza Strip, killing seven civilians. The declaration raised the prospect of a new wave of bloodshed. Hamas militants suspended a campaign of deadly suicide attacks on Israelis with a February 2005 cease-fire, and have largely stuck to the truce. The Islamic group now leads the Palestinian government… The Israeli artillery attack was part of a wider aerial and artillery bombardment of suspected Palestinian rocket-launching sites that killed a total of 10 people Friday. The violence fueled tensions already high over an Israeli airstrike that killed a militant commander in the Hamas-led government Thursday… Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack on the beach as a ‘genocidal crime.’ He called for international intervention and declared a three-day period of mourning. His rival, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, said the shelling was a ‘war crime’ and urged an end to recent fighting between Hamas and Abbas’ moderate Fatah movement.”

AFP reported on June 11, 2006:

“Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has expressed regret over the death of eight Palestinian civilians who were killed by shelling of a beach in the northern Gaza Strip. ‘We regret the death of innocent civilians,’ Olmert told ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. The prime minister pledged that the exact circumstances behind the deaths on Friday afternoon would be brought to light. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has denounced the deaths as a ‘bloody massacre’ while there has also been widespread international condemnation of the killings… Britain’s Foreign Minister Margarget Beckett has been among those to voice their condemnation of the incident, saying that ‘the killing of innocent civilians is utterly unacceptable.’… The eight civilians killed included three children and their parents.”

State and Catholic Church Against Sects?

The Catholic news agency, Zenit, reported on June 8:

“A bishop [Bishop Gestori] says that the Catholic Church should collaborate with the state in order to keep the phenomenon of sects from triggering public interference in religious life… The 70-year-old bishop [tried] to specify the limits and ways within which the state and Church can intervene to oppose the spread of sects… Special laws… would be dangerous, because there would be the risk of state interference ‘in an area that is not of its competency. The state cannot define what a sect is and cannot judge a religious doctrine,’ he added. ‘The state must take an interest in sects and, in general, in religion, when it is a question of public order, but it has no right to interfere in the internal affairs of a religious group,’ he clarified. From this point of view, the problem of the regulation of sects remains an open question and its evolution merits the careful attention of the Catholic Church in order to collaborate with the state. The foregoing might also serve to ‘avoid the objective problem of sects becoming an occasion for interference in religious life… It might reveal itself as a threat to religious freedom and the profession of faith, of any faith.'”

These comments are to be looked at very seriously. The history of the Catholic Church and of the powers of the European states is one of collaboration against non-Catholic beliefs. Many times, these beliefs were forcefully and brutally suppressed. And it was often the Catholic Church which told the European states what and who was “heretical” and had to be eradicated. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.”

Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp Illegal?

AFP reported on June 11:

“The Guantanamo Bay prison camp for US war on terror suspects faced renewed scrutiny and criticism after three inmates hanged themselves. A top Republican senator criticized the policy of prolonged detentions of hundreds of terror suspects without trial at the Cuba facility run by the US Navy. ‘Those people have to be tried,’ said Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. ‘There are tribunals established, and they ought to be tried. Where we have evidence they ought to be tried, and if convicted they ought to be sentenced,’ said Specter, who said some inmates have been detained based on ‘the flimsiest sort of hearsay.’ A senior Senate Democrat, Jack Reed, called for the detention center to be permanently shuttered… The suicides Saturday represent a new challenge for President George W. Bush’s administration, which is under strong pressure to close the camp from critics that include the United Nations, international human rights organizations, European governments and Britain’s top legal advisor… Some 460 prisoners are being held at the military-run prison. Only 10 have been formally charged since the camp opened in early 2002, and none has gone on trial.”

Space Man’s Only Hope for Survival?

On June 13, 2006, The Associated Press reported:

“The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there’s an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy the Earth, world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking said Tuesday.

“The British astrophysicist told a news conference in Hong Kong that humans could have a permanent base on the moon in 20 years and a colony on Mars in the next 40 years… ‘It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species,’ Hawking said. ‘Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of.'”

Sadly, the Bible predicts that in a few years from now, great disasters will strike the earth so that mankind would be totally annihilated, if it weren’t for God’s intervention. But God WILL intervene and prevent man’s cosmocide. Man’s survival depends on God alone–and not on colonizing space.

For more information, please read our free booklets, “Evolution–a Fairy Tale for Adults,” and “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”

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