Current Events

The Mysterious Death of Austria’s Joerg Haider–Was He Murdered?

The British tabloid, The Sun, wrote on October 17:

“Investigators say the Austrian Far Right leader was nearly four times the booze limit and travelling at more than twice the permitted speed when he lost control at 88mph last Saturday (October 11). But the makers of his Volkswagen Phaeton limo insist the motor is one of the safest in the world and should have survived the crash in Klagenfurt. The car giants yesterday sent its own experts to examine the mangled wreckage and search for signs it may have been SABOTAGED.

“The German firm also sparked fury by linking the death of fascist icon Haider, 58, to that of Princess Diana. The neo-Nazi chief careered off the road as he drove home from a boozy party. But the promoter of the party has insisted he was not drunk when he set off. VW spokesman Peter Thul claimed that someone with access to Haider’s car key could have manipulated the limo’s electrics which control the engine’s ‘brain’.  He said: ‘It is a fact that Haider was going too fast, but such a speed on that curve is not a problem for the car’s physics. The Phaeton and Audi A8 are the safest of all. You’d need the key to manipulate the electronics, so someone at a garage would have to tamper with it. Many things bring to mind Lady Diana’s death.’”

Der Spiegel Online added on October 24:

“A day after Jörg Haider’s protégé [Stefan Petzner] stepped down as leader of the far-right Alliance for the Future of Austria — having all but admitted that Haider was gay — reports emerge that the late politician’s widow wants a new autopsy to investigate his death. The body of Jörg Haider… was pulled from a planned cremation last weekend at the request of his widow, Claudia Haider, according to an Austrian newspaper which says Mrs. Haider is unsatisfied with the official version of her husband’s death.

“Haider died in a sudden car accident on October 11, less than two weeks after his party was boosted in a contentious national election. He was speeding, drunk, and had reportedly just seen Stefan Petzner, his political protégé and rumored lover, at a gay bar. Petzner, 27, was abruptly sacked as Haider’s successor on Wednesday after a radio interview all but confirmed the two men were lovers. The Austrian paper Heute reported that Claudia Haider wanted a new autopsy by doctors outside Austria. The paper cited senior members of BZÖ, who suggested that Haider had been drugged.

“Some forensic… experts wondered why there were no skid marks on the road where Haider smashed his VW Phaeton and speculated he was unconscious at the wheel…

“Haider’s affair with Petzner was an open secret in Austria. Still, his death prompted a nationwide outpouring of grief — some Austrians said he was ‘our Lady Di’ — and the apparent confirmation of Haider’s bisexuality this week roiled the BZÖ’s conservative party base. ‘It has been an open secret for years that Haider was gay, and most Austrians would have preferred for it to remain a secret,’ a political science professor called Reinhold Gärtner, at Innsbruck University, told the New York Times.”

“Recession Alarm Rings Around the World”

AFP reported on October 24:

“Giants of the auto, airline and technology industries ordered emergency action against the global financial crisis on Friday as shares took a new hammering amid mounting gloom. Even a 1.5 million barrel a day production cut by OPEC failed to stop oil prices falling amid fears of a deep global recession. Grim news backing those fears came from around the world.

“China, Japan and 11 other Asian nations agreed to set up an 80-billion-dollar war chest to fight what ex-US Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan called a ‘once-in-a-century credit tsunami’… In Britain, official figures confirmed the country was about to enter a recession… The combined impact sent shares tumbling in both Asia and Europe after overnight falls in Wall Street… ‘The best word to describe what’s going on right now is panic,’ said Credit Suisse strategist Satoru Ogasawara…

“The suffering extended to the auto industry with Renault ordering almost all French plants closed for at least one week… PSA Peugeot-Citroen chairman Christian Strieff said he had ordered ‘massive’ production cuts… New figures showed industrial confidence in both France and Italy had fallen to the lowest level since 1993…”

Germany’s Grim Financial Crisis

AFP reported on October 25:

“The financial crisis will last at least until late 2009…  ‘The risk of collapse is far from over. It would be wrong to lift the alarm,’ Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said, offering a grim assessment of the country’s financial health… The 480-billion-euro (610-billion-dollar) rescue package for banks approved last week is to last through next year, ‘and we will certainly need it for that duration,’ he predicted. ‘We won’t know whether the rescue plan will entail real costs until between 2010 and 2013,’ he added.”

Deutsche Welle reported on October 25:

“Two more German banks seemed set to line up Saturday for a government rescue… One of the banks run by Germany’s 16 states, BayernLB, has already appealed for help, and a second landesbank, HSH Nordbank, run by the states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, said it had decided in principle to apply. Landesbanks, which also have powerful non-government shareholders, have been among institutions hit hardest in the past year by investment in subprime US mortgages… A third landesbank, WestLB, was on the verge of applying for help…”

Will Germany’s Financial Crises Lead to Merkel’s Downfall?

Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 27:

“The financial crisis and the threat of recession are revealing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s weaknesses and could contribute to a dramatic change in her party’s prospects in next year’s election… No one in the coalition government is mentioning a balanced budget these days. Instead of the continued economic upturn economists had predicted for next year, the country is now more likely to fall into a recession. Merkel can no longer campaign as Germany’s feel-good chancellor…

“Merkel has, in fact, been less than convincing in recent weeks. She has hesitated and faltered when the pressure was on. And she has been behaving exactly the way that her critics have always accused her of behaving. The chancellor seemed unsure of herself when it came to preventing the impending collapse of the banking system… Merkel’s clumsiness was especially noticeable…

“Merkel also flip flopped when it came to the political consequences of the economic downturn… In addition to inaccuracies and a lack of decisiveness, the financial crisis exposed another deficit that is just as serious a problem for Merkel: She cannot explain her policies convincingly. She is unable to come up with a clever way to combine a series of individual decisions into an overarching concept. Her address to the German parliament, the Bundestag, in which she explained the government’s emergency bailout package, sounded like she was reading from a legal textbook…

“Another problem for Merkel is that she faces the crisis more or less alone. Her fellow conservative colleagues in cabinet are more of a burden than a boon.”

“Worst Financial Crisis in Human History”

The Daily Mail reported on October 25:

“Sterling took a hammering as economic figures showed the UK approaching full-blown recession. Bank of England deputy governor Charlie Bean warned that the pain is just beginning, calling the situation the ‘largest financial crisis of its kind in human history’.

“On the 79th anniversary of the Great Crash of 1929: Britain’s economic output slid 0.5 per cent – more than twice the decline expected by the City… Markets tumbled around the world, with leading UK shares losing almost £50billion… Sterling had its worst-ever week against the dollar since 1971 and hit a record low against the euro… The oil cartel Opec cut production, a move likely to increase petrol prices up to 5p a litre… Experts warned that hedge funds are facing disaster, with billions likely to be wiped off savings and pension funds… Hundreds of jobs were axed in the insurance, cosmetics, haulage and textile industries.

“The plunge was prompted by the worst set of UK growth figures for 18 years, recording the first time that the economy has officially contracted since 1992… Tory leader David Cameron declared: ‘This is the day the recession became real. We have had ten years of a Government saying no more boom and bust. We have had ten years of a Government not putting aside money for a rainy day. Well, that rainy day has now come.’…

“Foreign investors are less willing to finance the UK because of its record debt burden and slumping economic output… Analysts warned that the nation faces an extended period of austerity, as unemployment soars and families are forced to save on even basic essentials.

“Professor Andrew Clare, of Cass Business School, said Britain has amassed a record debt burden that must now be paid off. The economist added: ‘We are going to have to wear a hair shirt as a nation. If this turns out to be recession lasting five or six quarters, which looks possible, we are not going to see the slightest upturn until 2010. And even then we can expect at least five years of muted growth.’… while all economies are suffering from the banking crisis, yesterday’s ONS report suggests that Britain will be a leading casualty.”

On October 27, The Guardian wrote the following:

“Estimated paper losses from UK banks on mortgage-backed securities and corporate bonds are currently £122.6bn… Gordon Brown insisted yesterday that it was right for the government to increase borrowing in order to fund investment to help the economy through tough times…

“The Bank of England may have put the paper cost of the global crisis at a staggering $2.8 trillion, but how does one come to grips with such a sum? Think of it like this: it could… pay off the last quarter’s public debt 45 times. It is more than three times the sum of UK annual public spending…”The New York Times had already reported on October 3, 2008, that “The American International Group said on Friday that it had… drawn down $61 billion of the $85 billion emergency bridge loan it received from the Federal Reserve two weeks ago, an announcement that startled credit ratings agencies.”

A Way Out of Our Financial Mess?–Hardly!!!

MSNBC reported on October 25:

“Asian and European leaders said Saturday they have reached a broad consensus on ways to deal with the global financial meltdown and will present their views at a crisis summit next month in Washington… Although short on details, the statement, adopted Friday, calls on the IMF and similar institutions to help stabilize struggling banks and shore up flagging share prices…

“Responses to the crisis among participants have been varied thus far. The 15 euro countries and Britain reacted in dramatic fashion, agreeing to put up a total of $2.3 trillion in guarantees and emergency aid to help banks. In contrast, South Korea, China, Japan and the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations have merely recommitted themselves to an $80 billion emergency fund to help those facing liquidity problems — to be established by next June…

“The IMF, whose loans normally include strict provisions, is discussing loan packages with close to a dozen countries from Iceland to Pakistan, and is examining ways to speed up the process.”

Bild Online reported on October 28 that Iceland’s bankruptcy may just be the first of additional national bankruptcies soon to come, involving countries such as the Ukraine, Pakistan, Romania, Hungary, Spain and Greece.

In addition, The Times reported on October 13, “the Royal Bank of Scotland [was] taken under state control at a cost of 20 billion pounds.” It also said that “Reliance on US will never be the same.”

Even seemingly good news in the financial market is not perceived as good these days. The Associated Press reported on October 29:

“Wall Street’s best day in two weeks — and one of its best ever — was a joyless rally. Even a manic, final-hour stampede of buying that sent the Dow Jones industrials soaring almost 900 points did nothing to dispel the feeling that the market could turn on investors in an instant.”

And, the Associated Press reported on October 30, 2008:

“The government reported Thursday the economy shrank in the summer, the strongest signal yet that a recession may have already begun, a day after the Federal Reserve slashed a key interest rate to battle an economic downturn… The classic definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP. Many analysts believe the GDP will decline in the current October-December period by an even larger amount and they are forecasting a negative GDP figure in the first three months of next year… While Wall Street posted its second biggest point gain in history Tuesday in anticipation of the Fed rate cut, the bleak economic reality appeared to ensure that the euphoria was short-lived…

“Analysts also noted that just lowering rates cannot serve as a panacea to overcome a credit crisis. While the goal is to encourage banks to begin lending again, financial institutions are skittish about extending new loans given the huge losses they have racked up in bad mortgages.

“Meanwhile, the administration announced that the spigot had been opened on the $700 billion fund created by Congress Oct. 3 to rescue the U.S. financial system. Treasury issued a report showing checks had been disbursed for $125 billion in payments to nine major banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The goal is to bolster their balance sheets so they will resume more normal lending…

“Besides cutting interest rates, the Fed announced it was extending credit lines worth $30 billion each to the central banks of Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and Singapore in an effort to bolster financial markets in those countries and relieve investors’ anxieties. It brought to 14 the number of central banks that the Fed has entered into so-called swap arrangements for currency as a way to pump more liquidity into global credit markets, part of an effort that the Bank of England estimated has resulted in $5 trillion in support being put forward by governments worldwide.”

“Then Ephraim Went to Assyria…”

The Washington Post wrote on October 25:

“Since Sept. 1, about $16.3 trillion worth of global stock market value has been erased… this could be just the beginning of steep declines in the stock prices of major companies that depend on exports to the United States and Europe for much of their profit…

“Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he wanted the help of other countries. ‘This is a global financial recession, and we’re fighting it every way we know how, working with other countries, trying to get the banks moving here in Britain,’ he said.”

These are interesting comments from Gordon Brown in light of Hosea 7:11-12: “Ephraim [Great Britain] also is like a silly dove, without sense–They call to Egypt, They go to Assyria [Germany]. Wherever they go, I will spread My net on them; I will bring them down like birds in the air; I will chastise them According to what their congregation has heard.”

Note also Hosea 5:13: “When Ephraim saw his sickness And Judah his wound, Then Ephraim went to Assyria And sent to King Jareb [“Jareb” means, “contentious”]; Yet he cannot cure you Nor heal you of your wound.”

For more information, please read our free booklets, “Europe in Prophecy” and “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America.

Controversial Horst Seehofer New Bavarian Premier

Deutsche Welle reported on October 25:

“Horst Seehofer… has promised his party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), he will exert heavy pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel… The CSU was replacing its leadership after a state election debacle last month in which the CSU lost its absolute majority and must enter a coalition. Delegates blamed the poll loss on Merkel, who leads the CSU’s ‘sister party,’ the Christian Democratic Union. Though both parties are broadly conservative, the CDU has rejected a CSU plan to offer a larger tax rebate to commuters, bigger exemptions for heirs from inheritance tax and other tax cuts…

“[The CSU delegates] approved with a huge majority [Seehofer’s] agreement with the smaller Free Democrat Party (FDP) to rule Bavaria jointly… For the first time in 46 years, the CSU is unable to rule the largely Catholic state of Bavaria without a coalition partner… Seehofer said his objective as premier replacing Guenther Beckstein would be to restore the CSU’s old strength, with 50 to 60 per cent of the popular vote.”

Seehofer resigned his post as the German minister of agriculture, to be able to become the new Bavarian premier. He came into the limelight recently due to his marital infidelity, his fathering of a child out of wedlock, and his subsequent denial of his ongoing extramarital adulterous affair, causing a temporary split-up within his family. However, according to Bild Online, when he was sworn in as the new Bavarian Premier on Tuesday, his wife and his two adult children were present during the ceremony.

Seehofer has the reputation of a controversial and unreliable politician. In an article, dated October 9, 2008, the German daily, Rhein-Neckar Zeitung, called him a “chameleon.” It continued: “Reliability does not count for him, but rather clever political tactics.” The paper stated that even his friends describe him as “fickle and as a political crank.” One Bavarian minister was quoted as saying in the past, “If Seehofer meddles one more time in my affairs, I’m going to slap him.”

Incredible… How America Is Losing its Way

WorldNetDaily reported on October 25:

“A Wisconsin pastor has been charged with felony physical abuse of a child after he spanked his 12-year-old son for lying and a teacher notified social services… [The minister] is free on a $10,000 bond, but he could face up to three years in prison and fines for disciplining his son… The boy said his father gave him two ‘swats’ that ‘hurt a little’ on his rear end in June…

“One of his siblings mentioned the spanking to a teacher, who called social services, according to the report. A June 7 report from the Divine Savior Healthcare emergency department indicated that the boy had slight bruising on his buttocks, but it said there was no swelling and he was not experiencing pain. The medical paperwork said the boy told physicians he didn’t think he was abused and he loves his father. The documents show the boy’s doctor does not believe he was abused, and he called the event a ‘social services fiasco.’…

“A judge ruled Thursday that the case will head to trial. Now jurors at the Columbia County Courthouse will decide whether the spanking constituted ‘reasonable discipline’ permitted under state law. The pastor’s 21-year-old daughter… stood outside with a sign that read, ‘Thank you for spanking me dad’ as a showing of support for her father.

“District Attorney Jane Kohlwey told the Portage Daily Register the spanking was not reasonable, because it left bruising, though [the pastor’s] attorney claims photographs only reveal red marks… [The charged pastor] has been forbidden from spanking any child as part of his bond.”

Medical Scandal–About Half of U.S. Doctors Knowingly Prescribe Useless Drugs

The Associated Press and USA Today reported the following on October 24:

“About half of American doctors in a new survey say they regularly give patients placebo treatments — usually drugs or vitamins that won’t really help their condition. And many of these doctors are not honest with their patients about what they are doing, the survey found… Placebos as defined in the survey went beyond the typical sugar pill commonly used in medical studies. A placebo was any treatment that wouldn’t necessarily help the patient… Half the doctors reported using placebos several times a month…

“In some cases, placebos were given to patients with conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors also gave antibiotics to patients with viral bronchitis, knowing full well that a virus is impervious to antibiotics, which fight bacteria. Experts believe overuse of antibiotics promotes the development of drug-resistant strains of bacteria.”

U.S. Raid in Eastern Syria Incurs Arab Wrath

The Time wrote on October 27:

“Sunday’s surprise raid by helicopter-borne U.S. troops in eastern Syria raises at least three key questions. Given that the U.S. is saying the number of volunteer fighters infiltrating Iraq from Syria has dwindled significantly in the past 18 months, why was this action deemed necessary? Does the raid signal a shift in U.S. tactics in the region? And with just over a week before the U.S. presidential election, why now?

“In what is thought to be the first such incursion from the Iraq side since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, at least four U.S. helicopters crossed Iraq’s western border with Syria and attacked what officials in Damascus said was a half-constructed building in Sukkariyeh Farm, 5 miles from the Syrian frontier town of Abu Qamal. Eight people were reported to have been killed in the raid. Damascus ‘condemns this aggression and holds the American forces responsible,’ said the Syrian government in a statement that went on to demand that the Iraqi government launch an investigation into ‘this serious violation.’…

“This is not the first such raid into Syrian territory in recent years. In September 2007, Israeli jets bombed a site in northeast Syria suspected of being a nuclear facility…”

AFP added on October 27:

“US forces in Iraq staged a ‘successful’ raid into Syria against foreign fighters, an American official said on Monday, as a furious Damascus accused Washington of ‘terrorist aggression.’ Among those believed killed, the official said, was Abu Ghadiya, ‘one of the most prominent foreign fighter facilitators in the region.’… It was the first confirmed US action of its kind into Syrian territory and signalled that Washington is moving to the kind of aggressive tactics against insurgent sanctuaries along Iraq’s borders that it has been using with increasing intensity in Pakistan’s tribal border areas.

“‘We consider this criminal and terrorist aggression,’ Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told a news conference in London after talks with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. ‘Killing civilians in international law means a terrorist aggression,’ added Muallem, whose country’s official media said eight civilians were killed, including children. Asked if Syria would use force if the Americans mounted a similar operation again, he said: ‘As long as you are saying if, I tell you, if they do it again, we will defend our territories.’…

“The official press in Damascus blasted the attack as a ‘war crime’ by Bush’s administration. Damascus summoned the official US and Iraqi representatives in protest… The Arab League condemned the assault as a ‘violation which does nothing to help stability in the region and can only lead to new tensions,’ calling for those responsible to be held to account. In neighbouring Lebanon, Prime Minister… Siniora said the raid ‘constitutes a violation of Syrian sovereignty and thus is a dangerous, unacceptable attack that we condemn.'”

Der Spiegel Online reported on October 29:

“In Paris, the office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy released a statement Monday expressing ‘serious concern’ and calling for ‘the strict respect of the territorial integrity of states.’ Javiar Solana, the EU’s top foreign policy official, said that he was ‘worried’ and hoped matters would quickly return to normal. The foreign ministries of China and Russia both joined the chorus, focusing their criticism on US violation of Syrian territory… In Germany, responses to the attack have been fairly muted. Neither Chancellor Angela Merkel nor Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier have released statements on the incident. Some German commentators take a look on Tuesday.

“Left-leaning Die Tageszeitung writes: ‘Whether the US action was a snafu or not, the question still remains: Why now? Nobody would deny that there has been a problem for years with jihadis streaming into Syria from all over the Arab world so that they can be smuggled into Iraq. But the fact is that, in the summer, it was the Americans themselves who announced to their relief that infiltrations in 2008 had already gone down by 50 percent. And the Syrians are becoming increasingly more aware of how the demons they have awoken have been turning back against them. Last month’s al-Qaida attack in Damascus, in particular, reinforced that lesson. By now, even the Syrians have become more interested in tightening up their border with Iraq. So why the current escalation? Is this the Bush administration’s way of waving goodbye to Syria?… To launch an attack on Syrian territory is also a shot across the bow of the Europeans who have been laboring for months both to strengthen ties with Syrian politicians and to encourage them to follow more constructive policies.’

“The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: ‘As tasteless as it may sound given the deaths of eight people, the US attack on Syrian territory was a political warning… The question now is: How will the Syrians react? For President Assad, the American action has to be rather humbling in that his country’s sovereign territory has been breached by the US military and, in the process, not only alleged terrorists were killed, but also innocent civilians. The fact is that Syria’s 1980s army can’t provide a military response [to] the US operation. As things stand, Assad can only swallow his pride and increase efforts to keep underground fighters away from his borders. But he could also do the opposite and ratchet up the Iraq war to a new level. If that were to happen, the American[s] will have brought about the exact opposite of what they had meant to accomplish.'”

Iran’s “Preemptive Strike” Against Israel?

On October 10, 2008, reported the following:

“Senior Tehran officials are recommending a preemptive strike against Israel to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear reactors, a senior Islamic Republic official told foreign diplomats two weeks ago in London. The official, Dr. Seyed G. Safavi, said recent threats by Israeli authorities strengthened this position, but that as of yet, a preemptive strike has not been integrated into Iranian policy…

“Safavi said a small, experienced group of officials is lobbying for a preemptive strike against Israel… Safavi said Tehran recently drafted a new policy for responding to an Israeli or American attack on its nuclear facilities. While the previous policy called for attacks against Israel and American interests in the Middle East and beyond, the new policy is to target Israel alone. He added that many Revolutionary Guard leaders want to respond to a U.S. attack on Iranian soil by striking Israel, as they believe Israel would be partner to any U.S. action.”

Middle East Peace Talks on Hold

AFP wrote on October 28:

“Israel’s political parties decided on Tuesday to hold early elections on February 10, a decision that will leave US-backed Middle East peace talks in limbo for at least three more months… Both Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s centrist Kadima party and the right-wing Likud party of hawkish former premier Benjamin Netanyahu, the two frontrunners for prime minister, had pressed for holding elections as soon as possible. President Shimon Peres formally initiated the election process on Monday after Livni failed to assemble a new government coalition.

“Livni, 50, was elected as Kadima leader last month and hopes to take over as prime minister from Ehud Olmert, who stepped down in September over graft allegations but remains as caretaker premier.”

Russian-Chinese Cooperation

AFP wrote on October 28:

“Russia and China on Tuesday signed a long-awaited deal to build an oil pipeline from Siberia to China after talks between Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The leaders watched as Chinese state energy major CNPC and Russian state pipeline monopoly Transneft signed the deal to build the pipeline from the Siberian town of Skovorodino to the Chinese border. The pipeline agreed on Tuesday would have a capacity of 15 million tons of oil per year and would be a branch of the main East Siberia-Pacific Ocean trunk pipeline, which is still under construction, officials said.”

Arabs Like and Dislike Obama

The New York Post wrote on October 28:

“‘OBAMA! Inshallah!’ – Obama! Allah willing! That slogan, scribbled on walls in Gaza, indicates the hopes that Barack Obama has inspired among Arabs. While Obama has tried to push his origins into the background, his ‘Islamic roots’ have won him a place in many Arabs’ hearts. One columnist, Mohamed Al-Menshawi, hails Obama as ‘the candidate with Muslim roots’ and as the ‘harbinger of solidarity between Americans and the Muslim world.’

“Another, Al-Jazeera’s Aala al-Bayoumi, notes: ‘Had it not been for Obama, Arabs would not even bother to follow the US presidential race.’ What makes the difference is Obama’s ‘Islamic and African roots.’…

“While radical Arabs, including the Hamas leadership, favor Obama, most Arab officials are wary of him. They fear his inexperience and leftist connections might destroy all that has been gained in Iraq, provoke a bigger mess in Afghanistan, trigger a war with Pakistan and open the way for Khomeinist hegemony in the region…

“Obama… has retained his Arabic-Islamic names. (Barack means ‘blessed’ and Hussein means ‘beautiful.’) His family name is Swahili, an East African lingua franca based on Arabic. Arab commentators note that his siblings also all have Arabic Muslim names. His sister is called Oumah, Arabic for ‘the community of the faithful’ [and] his older daughter, Malia, bears the name of a daughter of the Caliph Othman, who commissioned the compilation of the first edition of the Koran. That Obama’s stepfather was also a Muslim (from Indonesia) strengthens the empathy that many Arabs feel for him…

“Arabs welcomed and widely commented on Colin Powell’s assertion that, even if Obama were a Muslim, it should not be held against him… Not all Arab commentators are struck by Obamania, however. His flip-flops on issues – including the future of Jerusalem, withdrawal from Iraq and dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat – have prompted some to counsel caution.

“Tareq Al-Houmayed, editor of the daily Asharq Alawsat, warns Arabs not to expect too much: ‘Every American president would be governed by American interests…’ Abdulrahman al-Rashed, a Saudi commentator, also notes that no president can radically alter US global policies. He advises Arabs to neither have exaggerated hopes nor be dispirited when Obama tells the Israelis ‘more than they hoped to hear’ to win Jewish support.”

Obama and McCain — “Become Honest”…

The German daily, Rhein Neckar Zeitung, wrote on October 11/12, 2008:

“Obama and McCain continue to build more air castles… An almost impossible task waits for the victor of the presidential elections… And still, both candidates insist on maintaining plans that would cost tax payers trillions of dollars… Critics ask the candidates to become honest… The question for the next president is how quickly hopes of the voters will change into disappointment…”

The Associated Press wrote on October 28:

“Democrat Barack Obama’s ‘closing argument’ speech Monday included a sweeping accusation against GOP rival John McCain: ‘Senator McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he’d do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy.’ But the charge is debatable — McCain has several ideas that are different than Bush’s policy, which he touched on as recently as a Sunday interview on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’… The Obama campaign says the key word of Obama’s statement is ‘major,’ and the differences that McCain points to are minor details…”

On October 30, The New York Post wrote:

“Two leading infomercial stars agree: Barack Obama’s half-hour self-promotion last night was a flop. ‘I don’t see enough smiling. Doom and gloom totally,’ said Anthony Sullivan, one of the biggest names in infomercial history… He and AJ Khubani, who has produced infomercials for 25 years, said Obama also fell short of offering solutions to the dire problems he laid out… ‘We always spend much more time on the solution than the problem and he did the opposite,’ Khubani added.”

The Associated Press reported on October 28:

“A week from the presidential election, Republican John McCain is persisting in exaggerating and misrepresenting rival Barack Obama’s tax and health-care plans… McCain’s central claim — that people will be ‘forced’ into a new government-run [health-care] plan under an Obama presidency — is not true. In fact, Obama broke with many Democrats and others who advocate universal coverage when he announced his plan would be mandatory only for children, and voluntary for everyone else…”

Human-Animal Hybrids in the Making

AFP reported on October 23 about the following despicable developments in England:

“The lower house of parliament approved legislation Wednesday allowing scientists to create animal-human embryos for medical research, in the biggest shake-up of embryology laws in two decades… MPs in the House of Commons backed the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Bill by 355 votes to 129. It will now go to a vote in the House of Lords, and could be law by November.
“The wide-ranging bill… [also] gives lesbians and single women easier access to in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment by removing requirements for clinics to consider a child’s need for a father… Hybrid embryos [are] created by inserting the nuclei of a human cell into an animal egg…”

How the Abominable PAGAN Custom of Halloween Overtook Germany

Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 30:

“In the mid-1990s, few in Germany had ever heard of Halloween, and even fewer celebrated it. Now, it’s a €150 million a year industry… Most in Germany have never heard of Dieter Tschorn… but if one is looking for an explanation as to why millions of… Germans will be carving pumpkins, putting on costumes and begging for candy door-to-door, Tschorn is a good place to start. After all, more than anyone else, he is responsible for Halloween’s existence — and growing popularity — in Germany…

“Tschorn is a public relations consultant who went into business for himself in 1982. More to the point, however, he is also the spokesman for a division in Germany’s toy-making industry association responsible for Carnival, that annual season of costumed mayhem that culminates 40 days before Easter.

“Back in the early 1990s, Carnival was cancelled in Germany as a result of the first Gulf War — and those who make their living selling costumes and party supplies took a major hit. But the industry also had another important design flaw. Whereas the Carnival season always begins on Nov. 11, the timing of Easter can vary widely. Last year, for example, Easter fell on March 23, making the Carnival season just 87 days long, the shortest it had been since 1913.

“‘The shorter Carnival is, the lower our turnover — each week less represents a 5-percent drop in sales,’ Tschorn said. ‘We needed some consistency, which led to the idea to introduce Halloween in Germany.’

“It seems to have worked. In 2007, 4,600 tons of pumpkins were sold in Germany, says Tschorn. One can buy Halloween bread at the baker’s, Halloween sausage at the butcher’s, Halloween cocktails at the bar and, of course, Halloween candy in the nation’s supermarkets. Tens of thousands of German children now go door-to-door, holding out their bags and saying ‘sweet or sour,’ the German version of trick-or-treat.

“The Halloween promoter says that the holiday has become an industry worth around €160 million in Germany, in third place behind Christmas and Easter. In 1994, that number was close to zero. This year, the costume industry expects Halloween-related consumption to be 5 percent more than last year. ‘By the end of 1998, Halloween had become something of a cult,’ Tschorn said…

“Nevertheless, many in Germany aren’t nearly as excited as Tschorn is about the place Halloween has managed to carve out for itself in the country’s social calendar. The Evangelical Church is particularly irked that October 31st, the day on which Martin Luther launched the Reformation, is now more associated with a PAGAN HOLIDAY imported from Ireland via America than for Germany’s own contribution to religious history.”

For more information on Halloween, please read our free booklet, “Is That in the Bible?–Man’s Holidays and God’s Holy Days.

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