“NATO Summit Fails to Heal Deep Divisions”
On April 4, 2008, Der Spiegel Online reported the following:
“The smiles in Bucharest were little more than show. Politically, the NATO summit was a fiasco. The Western alliance remains deeply divided and faces an identity crisis… The allies didn’t even dare begin the urgent discussions about strategies and plans. They were afraid that by doing so they would no longer be able to conceal the deep division that cuts right across the defense alliance… Instead of just talking about expansion, NATO needs a new concept, a justification for its existence, a guiding vision behind which all members can gather…
“There are completely different conceptions of who is protecting whom against whom and by what means. The alliance is militarily bigger and more powerful than ever — yet politically weaker than it has ever been. There is a deep rift when it comes to all the important questions: On the one side the Americans and their friends in Eastern Europe, on the other the Germans, the French and their neighbors… It was Russia that dominated the meeting in Bucharest. Yet when outgoing President Vladmir Putin arrived in Romania on the last day of the summit, no one really wanted to debate with him.”
Deutsche Welle added on April 4:
“The big enlargement summit that NATO’s leading power and many new eastern European members had wished for has fallen through. Germany and France thwarted US plans and candidates Ukraine and Georgia were sent back to the waiting room. The conflict between the US and western European countries was openly talked about at the summit. That’s a new thing for NATO, since usually decisions are already made beforehand and everything happens according to plan.
“This time, however, the outgoing American president was stymied in his almost missionary expansion zeal. Another unusual aspect of the meeting in Bucharest was the fact that 25 NATO countries were unable to get Greece and Macedonia to agree on a compromise in the bizarre twist over Macedonia’s name. That’s why only Croatia and Albania were invited to become members. George W. Bush, the lame duck, didn’t manage to have his way against Greece, either…
“The summit’s surprise was German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s newly revived close cooperation. They obviously want to shift NATO’s focus towards Europe. France’s return to NATO’s military command structures in the coming year fits into that strategy. It now depends on who will win the race to the White House and what level of importance the new administration will place on the alliance.
“An overly confident Russian President Vladimir Putin has gained astonishing influence over NATO during his last years of neo-nationalistic foreign policy…
“In the short term, NATO will have to send even more troops to Afghanistan to get the security situation under control. The Germans will be called upon in the fall at the latest. In Bucharest, the chancellor cleverly managed to avert a debate on an expanded role for the German military in Afghanistan, but it cannot be avoided forever.”
Bush and Putin Say Farewell, Fail To Overcome Sharp Differences
The Associated Press reported April 6:
“President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin failed to overcome sharp differences over a U.S. missile defense system, closing their seven-year relationship Sunday still far apart on an issue that has separated them from the beginning.
“‘Our fundamental attitude toward the American plan has not changed,’ Putin said at a news conference with Bush at his vacation house at this Black Sea resort. ‘We got a lot of way to go,’ Bush said… Putin said [his hand-picked successor, Dmitry] Medvedev would be in charge, and would represent Russia at the Group of Eight meeting of industrial democracies in July in Tokyo…
“At their 28th and presumably final meeting as heads of state, Bush and Putin sought to emphasize their good personal relations, praising each other extensively. But they also both acknowledged remaining strong disagreements… Putin called the U.S. missile plan – which envisions basing tracking radar sites in the Czech Republic and interceptors in Poland – the hardest of US-Russian differences to reconcile.”
Murder in the Name of Islam?
The Daily Mail wrote on April 4:
“A gang of British Muslims planned to blow up seven planes within hours in the biggest terrorist atrocity since 9/11, a court heard yesterday. Two thousand passengers would have died in the plot by eight fanatics working ‘in the name of Islam’, the jury was told [by the prosecution]. It could have involved up to 18 suicide bombers. And they were almost ready to strike. The jets they targeted would all have been bound from Heathrow to cities in the U.S. and Canada, it was claimed…
“The alleged plot was foiled on August 9, 2006 when two of the key gang members… were arrested by police in a town hall car park in Walthamstow, East London following several months of surveillance. A series of arrests followed including… the alleged third key member of the plot, and led to chaos, cancellation and delays at airports across the UK as a huge security crackdown swung into operation.”
Now France Threatens China With Boycott of the Olympic Games
After Angela Merkel announced that she will not attend the Olympic Games in China, Nicolas Sarkozy followed suit and threatened to boycott the Games as well. AFP wrote on April 5:
“France stepped up the pressure on China Saturday over its handling of the Tibet crisis with a warning that President Nicolas Sarkozy may boycott the Olympic opening following fresh violence… Sarkozy will only attend the opening ceremony if China opens dialogue with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and frees political prisoners… China must also end the ‘violence’ against Tibetans… all three conditions [are] ‘indispensable’…”
“Something is Rotten in the State of” Europe
Reuters reported on April 5:
“Trade unions protested over corporate greed and the ‘poverty wages’ of more than 30 million workers in Europe as politicians and central bankers meeting in Slovenia on Saturday urged wage restraint to combat inflation… Company profits have risen for more than a decade, but the share of wealth going into wages has shrunk and the divide has widened between those at the top and bottom…
“European Central Bank Governor Jean-Claude Trichet said that keeping a lid on labor costs would be ‘absolutely decisive’ in fighting inflation and that a five percent pay rise for German public sector employees in 2008 should not be copied elsewhere. ‘It would be an enormous mistake to imitate Germany,’ said Trichet, stressing that German public sector workers had gone without any pay rise in the past two years and that others had not shown such restraint. More unusually, the euro zone’s chief inflation-fighter got hearty support from politicians too who were at pains to say that the fight against inflation was the best way to defend people’s spending power.”
While European politicians and governmental leaders are giving themselves pay raises and other benefits on a continuing basis, “average workers” are refused such benefits “to fight inflation.” This incredible proposal is probably one of the more abominable testimonies of an incompetent and evil world ruled by Satan the devil. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Angels, Demons and the Spirit World.”
More Injustice in Europe–With Interesting Potential Consequences for the Superstate
The EUObserver wrote on April 4 about another outrageous decision of the EU Court, which flies in the face of social justice, equity and fairness, contradicting and overruling local German law:
“European trade unions have strongly criticised the latest EU court judgement on the right of member states to set minimum wages for foreign workers saying it is an ‘invitation to social dumping.’ The judgement, delivered on Thursday (3 April) by the bloc’s highest court, concerned a Polish subcontractor of German company Objekt und Bauregie which paid employees only 46.5% of the minimum wage prescribed by Lower Saxony for work on a public site. The court found in favour of the company on grounds of the freedom to provide services, one of the core principles of the EU’s internal market. It argued that Lower Saxony’s law on the awarding of public contracts, which states they may only be awarded to companies which promise to pay their employees the minimum wage for the sector concerned and promise to impose that obligation on sub-contractors, breached an EU law on the posting of workers to other member states…
“The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) said ‘this is another destructive and damaging judgement. [It] underlines the need for urgent action by the European authorities to confirm that the EU is not just an economic project but has as its main objective the improvement of living and working conditions of its populations’…
“Trade unions are still smarting from a recent EU court ruling in a Swedish case with similar implications. Known as the Laval case, the Luxembourg-based court in December found that Swedish unions cannot force a foreign company to observe local pay deals. ‘The EU must improve peoples living conditions, not reduce them. Politicians ought to put their feet down and clarify the rules to change the practice of the Court,’ said Wanja Lundby-Wedin, head of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation. ‘We want to see an open Europe, not a Europe that risks creating hostility towards foreigners and demands for closed borders,’ she continued…
“Meanwhile, Britain’s largest trade union Unite has said the ruling has implications for the construction of the London Olympics to be held in 2012, meaning the infrastructure may be built using workers who are paid very low wages. ‘This decision effectively means that foreign companies working here in the UK, or in any other European country, can flout domestic laws and collective agreements with regard to pay,’ said Derek Simpson, joint secretary general of Unite. ‘This is a recipe for disaster and, if applied here in the UK, will cause massive industrial unrest and threaten the delivery of major infrastructure projects including the Olympics site.'”
Unfortunately, it can be expected that the coming European Superstate WILL become hostile to foreigners. AND–that countries like Great Britain and perhaps Sweden will ultimately NOT be part of the prophesied ten nations or groups of nations which will RULE Europe, under the leadership of a powerful charismatic political personage. For more information, please read our free booklets, “Europe in Prophecy – The Unfolding of End-Time Events,” “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord,” and “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America.”
Worldwide Financial Crisis–USA and Britain Hit the Hardest
The Daily Mail wrote on April 10:
“The world is facing the biggest financial shock since the Great Depression, warns the International Monetary Fund. And the IMF warns that Britain could be the country hit hardest by the global credit crunch as it has bigger debts than anywhere else… Analysis by the IMF reveals British banks will lose more than £20bn from the international mortgage meltdown, equivalent to three per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). For the first time the IMF also predicts that the American economy is heading for recession and will shrink by 0.7 per cent this year, sending shock waves across the globe. American banks, which it was thought would be worst affected, will lose £72 billion, or 1.4 per cent of US GDP.
“Despite healthy growth in the Far East, it now believes there is a 25 per cent chance that the whole world could follow the Americans into recession. ‘The financial markets crisis that erupted in August 2007 has developed into the largest financial shock since the Great Depression,’ the report says. It estimates that the losses from American mortgages will reach $945billion (£500billion) – more than twice previous estimates. The U.S. housing collapse is far from over, with the fund economists expecting a further 10 per cent decline in 2008, on top of a similar fall in prices in the previous years. Such declines, it believes, are way beyond anything seen in the previous American experience.”
More American Airlines Shut Down
Airline Business wrote on April 7:
“More trees are falling in the forest that is the US airline industry, chopped by the ever sharper edge of the fuel price cleaver. The latest carriers to fold their wings and shut down are ATA Airlines and Skybus Airlines, both of which ceased operations in the first week of April. ATA lost a key charter contract, making futile its search for new funding to meet the demands of the pump. Skybus, which plans to file for Chapter 11 today, also blamed rising fuel prices and a slowing economy. The death of these two airlines comes just days after another carrier with a long history and a well-known name, Aloha Airlines, shut down suddenly. All have blamed the rising spire of oil prices as well as competitive pressures.”
In addition, as The Associated Press reported on April 10, “American Airlines canceled more than 900 flights Thursday to fix faulty wiring in hundreds of jets, marking the third straight day of mass groundings as company executives offered profuse apologies and travel vouchers to calm angry customers. Other carriers operating similar aircraft also left passengers scrambling for alternatives as they too canceled flights to inspect the wire bundles at the heart of a renewed safety crackdown by the Federal Aviation Administration.”
Family Breakdown in Great Britain
The Daily Mail reported on April 4:
“Family breakdown is a ‘cancer’ behind almost every evil affecting the country, a senior judge will declare today. Mr Justice Coleridge blames youth crime, child abuse, drug addiction and binge-drinking on the ‘meltdown’ of relations between parents and children. He warns that the collapse of the family unit is a threat to the nation as bad as terrorism, crime, drugs or global warming… The 58-year-old judge, who is married with three grown-up children, will say family breakdown is an epidemic affecting all levels of society from the Royal Family down. It is ‘on a scale, depth and breadth which few of us could have imagined even’ a decade ago. It is a never-ending carnival of human misery. A ceaseless river of human distress.
“‘I am not saying every broken family produces dysfunctional children but I am saying that almost every dysfunctional child is the product of a broken family… Families are the cells which make up the body of society. If the cells are unhealthy and undernourished, or at worse cancerous and growing haphazard and out of control, in the end the body succumbs… Single parents often do a fantastic job, but a great many, perhaps through no fault of their own, do not. A large number of families now consist of children being brought up by mothers who have children by a number of different fathers, none of whom take any part in their lives or support or upbringing… Almost all society’s ills can be traced directly to the collapse of family life. We all know it. Examine the background of almost every child in the care system or the youth justice system and you will discover a broken family.’… Latest figures show marriage rates at a historic low and divorce at a historic high.”
The Pope on Abortion and Divorce
AFP reported on April 5:
“Divorce and abortion are offences in the sight of God, Pope Benedict XVI charged Saturday, while calling on the Catholic Church to be merciful to those who had experienced such events. ‘The ethical judgement of the Church on divorce and abortion is clear and well-known,’ he told participants in a Catholic congress on marriage and the family. ‘They are serious offences… which violate human dignity, inflict deep injustice on human and social relations and offend God himself… Divorce and abortion are choices… which sometimes develop in difficult and dramatic circumstances… and are a source of profound suffering for those who take such decisions. They also affect innocent victims, the barely-conceived and unborn infant, the children caught up in divorces.'”
Hollywood Legend Charlton Heston Died
The Associated Press reported on April 6:
“Charlton Heston, who won the 1959 best actor Oscar as the chariot-racing ‘Ben-Hur’ and portrayed Moses, Michelangelo, El Cid and other heroic figures in movie epics of the ’50s and ’60s, has died. He was 84… Heston revealed in 2002 that he had symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s disease, saying, ‘I must reconcile courage and surrender in equal measure’…
“The actor assumed the role of leader offscreen as well. He served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and chairman of the American Film Institute and marched in the civil rights movement of the 1950s. With age, he grew more conservative and campaigned for conservative candidates. In June 1998, Heston was elected president of the National Rifle Association, for which he had posed for ads holding a rifle… [In 2003] he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. ‘The largeness of character that comes across the screen has also been seen throughout his life,’ President Bush said at the time…
“The Hestons’ newborn, Fraser Clarke Heston, played the role of the infant Moses in the film [“The Ten Commandments”]… He railed at suggestions the race [in “Ben Hur”] had been shot with a double…
“Charles’s parents divorced, and [his mother] married Chester Heston… [He called] himself Charlton Heston from his mother’s maiden name and his stepfather’s last name… In 1944 he married [a] drama student, Lydia Clarke… They had been married 64 years when he died.
“In [later] years, Heston drew as much publicity for his crusades as for his performances. In addition to his NRA work, he campaigned for Republican presidential and congressional candidates and against affirmative action. He resigned from Actors Equity, claiming the union’s refusal to allow a white actor to play a Eurasian role in ‘Miss Saigon’ was ‘obscenely racist.’ He attacked CNN’s telecasts from Baghdad as ‘sowing doubts’ about the allied effort in the 1990-91 Gulf War. At a Time Warner stockholders meeting, he castigated the company for releasing an Ice-T album that purportedly encouraged cop killing. Heston wrote… that he was proud of what he did ‘though now I’ll surely never be offered another film by Warners, nor get a good review in Time…'”