Current Events


After the news hit that Austria’s Joerg Haider had visited Iraq, he announced last Friday that he would withdraw from national politics. But only very few were willing to take this announcement seriously.
The Austrian “News” Magazine ran several articles on February 20, pointing out that Mr. Haider will stay as active in politics as ever. “I’m not going to be buried in Carinthia,” he said in an interview (Mr. Haider is presently governor of Carinthia, a southern province of Austria). He also pointed out that he will continue his travels to Iraq, after he promised his party last Friday that he would not do so, according to the “News Magazin.” After all, he said, his recent travel was just for humanitarian purposes. Saddam Hussein did receive Joerg Haider, however, as if he was the leader of another state. At the same time, Mr. Haider alleged that he negotiated with Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, about prisoners of war in Kuwait — a statement that has not been confirmed by the government of Iraq.
In the meantime, the United States and the United Nations are investigating Mr. Haider’s flight to Iraq.The U.S. openly criticized Mr. Haider’s handshake with Saddam Hussein and condemned it as “inappropriate and counter-productive.” The U.S. is waiting what action, if any, Austria is going to impose against Mr. Haider, stating at the same time that they are becoming impatient with Austria’s lack of action.
The Vatican announced that 26,000 Vatican-Euros will be circulated. The coins portray Pope John Paul II. The delay was caused as the Euro version of the Italian government had to be circulated first. As “Der Stern” points out, the Catholic Euros will become very valuable, in time, for collectors. The Vatican is one of the smallest states in the world, with only 500 citizens.
Stemming from a legal battle between Internet publisher Eric Eldred and the Disney Corporation, the United States Supreme Court has agreed to look into the constitutionality of recent changes of the U.S. copyright law. On October 27, 1998, the “Sonny Bono Copyright Act” extended copyright protection of all artworks that had been published since January 1, 1923, for another 23 years, to create a protection of “life plus 70,” rather than “life plus 50.” (In other words, the protection of art works presently lasts for 70 years, rather than 50 years, as before, after the author’s death).
There was a need to fill two vacancies left by the resignation of George Thiessen as Director and Secretary of the Church in Canada. Rene Messier has taken on the responsibility of Secretary, and we are pleased to add to our Directors in Canada Mr. Dan Strathern, a long time member of God’s Church from the Edmonton area. We welcome Dan as a Director and the experience he brings with him. We want to express our thanks to George Thiessen for the services he provided to the Church.

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