Current Events

No Crisis With Different Weather Conditions…

Der Spiegel Online wrote on April 17:

“The eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull has brought European aviation to a near-standstill in the worst disruptions since 9/11… But if the weather had only been a little different, the whole crisis might never have happened…

“One volcano achieved what hurricanes, terrorists and flu viruses never managed — Heathrow, Paris, Frankfurt, Schiphol and all of Europe’s other major hubs came to a standstill on Friday afternoon. Airlines cancelled 17,000 flights [just on Friday]… Losses for airlines are estimated at [1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion), according to Deutsche Welle, April 22]…

“One factor exacerbating this eruption was the fact that the rising magma mixed with ice in the crater. As the blazing hot lava hit the 200-meter (650-foot) thick glacier, the ice turned explosively to steam… Weather also conspired against Europe. Just as the volcano was erupting, the North Atlantic jet stream was passing over Iceland from the northwest, carrying myriad sharp-edged particles on a collision course with Europe’s air fleets.

“‘It’s as if it’s jinxed,’ says Helmut Malewski, who is tracking the ash cloud at Germany’s National Meteorological Service’s central forecasting office. ‘The wind blew from the east all winter. But just now, when the volcano goes active, it blows from the northwest.’ Dryness was another factor. ‘One strong rainstorm over the North Sea would have washed out the ash and helped us dramatically,’ Malewski says…

“The Katla volcano, barely 25 kilometers to the east, has enormously higher explosive power. It also has a rather nasty habit of erupting shortly after Eyjafjallajökull. The last major eruption of Eyjafjallajökull lasted for two years, ending in 1823 when Katla erupted like a massive cannon… So far, Katla hasn’t reacted…

“But there’s still another fire-spewing giant in the area — Heckla. ‘That volcano erupts, with a regularity that astonishes geologists, every 10 years,’ says Thomas Walter of the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam. ‘It is long overdue.’ Such chain reactions are not uncommon for volcanic mountain ranges, especially in Iceland…”

“Escape from Europe”– Wide-Ranging Consequences of Volcanic Eruption…

The Associated Press reported on April 19:

“Stranded travelers are piling into buses, trains and high-priced taxis in a frantic scramble to accomplish an increasingly tricky mission: Escape from Europe. Spain was becoming a dream destination not for its beaches and monuments but simply by virtue of the fact it’s one of the few European countries unaffected by the ash cloud…

“A German rental agency on Sunday was asking more than 1,000 euros — close to $1,400 — for a car one-way from Belgrade, Serbia, to Munich, while another firm demanded 1,850 euros ($2,500) for a Madrid to Brussels rental. In Stockholm… about 50 clients had willingly paid prices of up to 34,000 kronor — nearly $5,000 — to different European destinations from which they had a chance to fly home. Legions of other travelers were simply stranded…

“The ash also caused diplomatic headaches. President Barack Obama was forced to miss the Polish president’s weekend funeral… Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud also delayed bailout talks in Athens on Monday regarding Greece’s economy, leaving the country to watch its borrowing costs hit another record high…”

This shows how difficult it might become in the future to “escape” from dangerous areas. Today, we are talking about just ONE volcanic eruption. Just imagine the additional damage caused by coinciding big earthquakes with huge tidal waves, as well as volcanic eruptions by several volcanoes. Sadly, the Bible prophesies that terrible calamities will strike this planet very soon, combined with outright nuclear war between power blocs and nations having gone mad. Christ spoke of a coming “Great Tribulation”–an unparalleled time of devastation in man’s history or future. He said that if He were not to return, no human being would be saved alive. But He will return, in time, to destroy those who destroy the earth.

War Against Jews With No Borders

The Jerusalem Post wrote on April 19:

“Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke at Remembrance Day ceremonies on Monday, comforting and commending the families of the fallen… President Shimon Peres, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Chief Justice Dorit Beinish were also in attendance.

“Netanyahu opened his speech with a personal story of his time in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit. He described two young soldiers that served with him: ‘Zohar Link was a handsome and charismatic young man. He was a counselor in the Shomer Hatza’ir youth movement, played the harmonica, loved photography, loved nature. Who knows where he would have gone with his personality? David Ben-Hemo was an intelligent, handsome boy, an excellent athlete, curious, sensitive and modest. He captivated me from the moment I met him. I believe he had a bright future ahead of him.’

“Link and Ben-Hemo were wounded while preparing for a military operation… ‘[David] died in my arms, before we reached the hospital. Zohar died shortly after. I will never forget these moments; both of them remained 19 years old forever.’

“Netanyahu continued with the story of his brother, Yoni Netanyahu, who was killed in the famed 1975 Entebbe rescue operation, which he commanded… ‘We are a nation that seeks peace and prays for peace. Our one hand is outstretched towards peace, we all want peace in our hands, and the other holds the sword of David, in order to protect our nation against those who seek to harm us,’ Netanyahu said…

“Barak spoke concurrently with Netanyahu, at the Kiriat Shaul Military Cemetary in northern Tel Aviv. ‘We stand here, in front of this long row of tombstones, which are the tangible witnesses to the price you paid in blood, dear families, for our nation to live in its land…’ He continued: ‘22,684 fallen is the necessary price, that we did not want, the price of sovereignty in Israel, in this generation…’

“Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky led a ceremony in honor of the 200 Jews killed in anti-Semitic attacks around the world, since the establishment of the State of Israel. ‘Our enemies understand that our strength comes from the… entire Jewish people’s identification with the State of Israel,’ Sharansky said. ‘Therefore, the war against the State of Israel and the Jewish people has no borders. Our enemies attack us not only in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv, but also in Argentina, France, England and Bombay.’”

Israel Celebrates 62nd Independence Day

Haaretz wrote on April 20:

“U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders sent Israel greetings and warm wishes on the occasion of the country’s 62nd Independence Day. The relationship between Israel and the U.S. ‘will only be strengthened in the months and years to come,’ Obama said in a special statement. ‘Minutes after David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence, realizing the dream of a state for the Jewish people in their historic homeland, the United States became the first country to recognize Israel,’ Obama said… Obama also said his administration would continue to work toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

“Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, meanwhile, sent a letter to President Shimon Peres calling for a resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians and the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Other world leaders including Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, Russian President Dmitry Mevedev, German President Horst Koehler, the Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix, Mexican President Felipe Calderon… and Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf also sent greetings to Israel for Independence Day.

“Turkish President Abdullah Gul also wrote to Peres, saying, ‘I would like to take this opportunity to repeat and confirm our desire to advance relations with Israel on a basis of mutual interests and by contributing to peace and stability in the Middle East.’ On Sunday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said… ‘The United States will continue to stand with you, sharing your risks and helping shoulder your burdens, as we face the future together…'”

Nice words, but reality paints a different picture. As we reported in recent Updates, including in Update #438, dated April 16, 2010, the United States of America, Europe and the rest of the world are distancing themselves more and more from the state of Israel. As the next article shows, some in Israel sense this danger, but they really do not have or offer any lasting solution. In fact, there ARE NO human solutions, but the Bible shows that it is GOD who must intervene, which He will.

Jerusalem the Eternal Capital of State of Israel

Haaretz wrote on April 20:

“Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the State of Israel and that it will never be divided – ‘neither directly nor indirectly.’

“Addressing a group of foreign diplomats at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the foreign minister quoted a speech made by former prime minister Menachem Begin, explaining that Begin’s remarks reflected the connection that Jews around the world feel toward Jerusalem – a connection that still exists today…

“The foreign minister also addressed reports of possible future demands on behalf of the U.S. administrations that Israel and the Palestinians make certain moves towards a peace settlement… In response to this, Lieberman said Tuesday that ‘any attempt to force a solution on us without building a foundation of trust between the two sides will only deepen the conflict. Peace can’t be forced – it must be built.’

“Lieberman’s remarks echoed the sentiments voiced by several officials who spoke about the capital in ceremonies marking Memorial Day and Independence Day on Monday and Tuesday. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said during a ceremony in Jerusalem on Monday that ‘we won’t apologize for the building of Jerusalem our capital.’ Rivlin dedicated a significant portion of his speech to the ‘attack on Jerusalem’…”

The Bible prophesies that Jerusalem will be attacked–not only with words, but quite literally. Zechariah 12:2-3, 8-9 quotes God as saying: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it… In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem… It will be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”

Gaddafi: “Obama of Arab Sudanese and Muslim Descent”

Israel National News reported on April 18:

“Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi blessed U.S. President Barack Obama as a ‘friend’ over the weekend in a speech published by the London-based al-Hayat newspaper, labeling him ‘an African from Arab descent, from Muslim descent’… The Libyan leader [said:] ‘He knows he is a son of Africa. Regardless of his African belonging, he is of Arab Sudanese descent, of Muslim descent…’

“’The Arabs hate America, there is no doubt. There is not an Arab that loves America,’ he admitted, ‘and even the leaders who the United States considers allies or friends, hate it. The external love is merely hypocrisy or pragmatism.’ Gaddafi blamed ‘Palestine’ for the hatred, saying ‘The Palestinians today are like the Jews of the past – dispersed in exile and persecuted. Now the Palestinians are at a point where they deserve to have the United States on their side and not on the side of the Israelis.’

“The Libyan leader has been campaigning for a one-state solution – to be called ‘Isratine’ – in which the so-called ‘Right of Return’ would be implemented for millions of foreign-born Arabs, descendants of those who fled the area during the 1948 War for Independence. The bi-national state that would be created in Gaddafi’s vision would be a democratic, nuclear-free country populated equally by Arabs and Jews, and would not be a Jewish nation. Israel, in its current form, would cease to exist.”

This is quite an interesting proposal, as it reflects the gist of a prophecy found in Psalm 83, relating to a confederacy of certain nations against Israel, with the goal, as verse 4 states, to “let us cast them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

U.S. Supreme Court Evades Issue of Obama Eligibility

WorldNetDaily reported on April 17, 2010:

“U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told a House subcommittee that when it comes to determining whether a person born outside the 50 states can serve as U.S. president, the high court is ‘evading’ the issue. The comments came as part of Thomas’ testimony before a House appropriations panel discussing an increase in the Supreme Court’s budget earlier this week.

“Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., actually raised the question first amid a discussion on racial diversity in the judiciary. ‘I’m still waiting for the [court decision] on whether or not a Puerto Rican can run for president of the United States,’ said Serrano, who was born in the island territory…

“Yet after Serrano questioned him on whether or not the land’s highest court would be well-served by a justice who had never been a judge, Thomas not only answered in the affirmative, but also hinted that Serrano would be better off seeking a seat in the Supreme Court than a chair in the Oval Office.

“‘I’m glad to hear that you don’t think there has to be a judge on the Court,’ said Serrano, ‘because I’m not a judge; I’ve never been a judge.’ ‘And you don’t have to be born in the United States,’ said Thomas, referring to the Constitution, which requires the president to be a natural-born citizen but has no such clause for a Supreme Court justice, ‘so you never have to answer that question.’

“‘Oh really?’ asked Serrano. ‘So you haven’t answered the one about whether I can serve as president, but you answer this one?’ ‘We’re evading that one,’ answered Thomas, referring to questions of presidential eligibility and prompting laughter in the chamber…

“Justice Thomas had previously resurrected a case challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president not based on his birthplace, but on whether Obama, a child born to a foreign national and admitting dual citizenship, would still be eligible under the Constitution’s Article 2, Section 1 ‘natural-born citizen’ requirement…

“Hints of division within the Supreme Court on the issue existed as far back as December 2008, as Justice David H. Souter had initially denied the case a hearing, but Justice Thomas agreed to bring it back for review. The case did not, however, obtain the required approval of four justices to move it forward to a full hearing. So far, the Supreme Court has not yet heard any case challenging Obama’s eligibility on any grounds.”

Arizona House Requires Obama’s Birth Certificate for Re-Election

The Associated Press reported on April 20:

“The Arizona House on Monday voted for a provision that would require President Barack Obama to show his birth certificate if he hopes to be on the state’s ballot when he runs for re-election. The House voted 31-22 to add the provision to a separate bill. The measure still faces a formal vote. It would require U.S. presidential candidates who want to appear on the ballot in Arizona to submit documents proving they meet the constitutional requirements to be president.”

The issue of President Obama’s eligibility will not go away, even though Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike wished it would, for different reasons. But as the pressure intensifies to get some clearance and closure, so will be the verbal attacks and scoffing remarks from politicians and newscasters from the left, the middle and the right, feeling very uncomfortable with the entire issue. Whatever the truth, it is becoming an embarrassing testimony to the world that the USA is not even able (or willing) to establish the eligibility of its own President.

Germany’s Afghan Dilemma

Der Spiegel Online wrote on April 19:

“The presence of German troops in Afghanistan has never been popular back home but with the deaths of seven soldiers in two weeks, public opposition to the mission looks likely to grow. Berlin is now facing increasing pressure to justify the eight-year deployment…

“Yet the German government is not only contending with the public’s distrust of the mission which began in 2002. There is also increased pressure on Germany from its NATO allies to become even more involved in Afghanistan…

“The Financial Times Deutschland writes: ‘With every dead German soldier in Afghanistan, the calls for an immediate withdrawal grow louder. This reflex shows that the German public is still not clear about the character of the mission. The politicians are largely to blame. Since the beginning of the mission eight years ago they suppressed a realistic description of the situation… Deaths, injuries, battles and heavy weaponry — none of these suit the picture that was painted back then…

“‘New heavy weaponry is unlikely to do much against the Taliban… They are too imprecise to use against insurgents who operate under the cover of the civilian population… These weapons increase the risk of civilian casualties. And that does not suit US Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s strategy of giving priority to the protection of the civilian population…

“‘There are very good grounds for arguing that the entire Afghanistan mission is wrong. However, those who decided to send soldiers have to equip and arm them adequately for such a mission. And anyone who backs McChrystal’s concept has to send more troops rather than howitzers. However, politicians find it easier to talk about war and send heavy weaponry than to actually explain what this is all about: a war-like situation, in which there will be a high number of casualties…’

“The left-leaning Berliner Zeitung writes: ‘Why are German soldiers in Afghanistan at all?… As the chancellor and her government are still sticking to the military mission there it is their duty to explain it. But she has failed to do so…’

“Former German government spokesman Thomas Steg, a member of the SPD, writes a guest editorial for the Handelsblatt business daily: ‘… The majority of Germans cannot see what the purpose of the mission is… A premature withdrawal would damage NATO credibility, and that of Germany within the alliance. The warning that Germany may isolate itself must be taken very seriously…'”

Deutsche Welle added on April 22, 2010:

“Defense Minister Guttenberg said… sacrifices would have to be made… ‘The new strategy is as dangerous and risky as the entire Afghanistan mission,’ he said… Guttenberg also confirmed that Germany would continue operating in a position of leadership in Afghanistan, adding that Berlin remained committed to the mission despite dwindling public support at home… With over 4,000 troops, Germany has the third largest military contingent in Afghanistan behind the United States and Great Britain.”

In a related article, Deutsche Welle reported on April 22 about Chancellor Merkel’s questionable and weak attempts to justify continued German participation in the Afghan war:

“Thursday’s plenary session in the Bundestag opened on a somber note, as tributes were paid to the 43 German soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan… Chancellor Merkel… used her address to reiterate the importance of the German mission in Afghanistan. She said ‘no one was underestimating’ how dangerous this mission is for Germany’s soldiers… She urged the people and parliament to support the mission… The chancellor also said the mission conformed with both international law and the German constitution. She said to withdraw would be ‘irresponsible’ as Afghanistan would sink into chaos and anarchy…

“Chancellor Merkel said the German soldiers killed in Afghanistan had paid the ultimate price trying to bring democracy and security to the country. She called on parliamentarians to support their efforts, so that ‘girls can go to school, the streets are safe…That’s our mission in Afghanistan’…

“Merkel’s address was met with sporadic applause from her parliamentary colleagues, although several members shouted out dissent during the speech. This dissent in the chamber reflects the unpopularity of the war in Afghanistan. The government has been under increasing pressure to justify efforts in Afghanistan to a skeptical German public. In the most recent public opinion poll, 62 percent of those asked said they wanted Germany to withdraw troops from NATO’s Afghanistan campaign.”

Mainstream German politicians–excluding the extreme Left–support a continuation of German participation in the Afghan war, for fear that otherwise Germany might become isolated. But as Der Spiegel wrote on April 22, US General Stanley McChrystal, who was visiting Germany this week, “revealed a refreshingly realistic view of the Afghanistan conflict. His message: We can win the mission, but that’s not a given.”

In spite of this uncertainty and the lack of public support, German Defense Minister von Guttenberg has promised further equipment and weaponry (but not yet more troops), thereby pushing Germany further and further into continuing military engagement in foreign lands, and that not (just) for “defense” purposes. As the Bible prophesies, this development will backfire and it will have terrible repercussions for the entire world.

Demands for a United States of Europe

The Daily Mail and the EUObserver reported recently about two radically different imagined scenarios regarding the future of the euro.

The Daily Mail wrote on April 16:

“Germany may be poised to quit the euro to set up a smaller monetary union because of the Greek crisis, according to a leading City economist… Joachim Fels, co-chief global economist at investment bank Morgan Stanley in London, warned the Greek rescue proposal sets a ‘bad precedent’ for eurozone member states and makes it more likely that the euro area ‘degenerates into a zone of fiscal profligacy, currency weakness and higher inflationary pressures’. Mr Fels suggested Berlin may be ‘better off with a harder but smaller currency union’.”

However, the EUObserver, while pointing out the dangers regarding the survival of the euro, discussed a totally different scenario. The EUObserver wrote on April 21:

“A Citigroup note to clients has warned that the eurozone is likely to fall apart unless the European Union’s member states fuse both on the fiscal and political level. ‘Europe needs to stand up and decide if it is going to be a “United States of Europe” or a “patchwork quilt” of independent states,’ reads a note by Tom Fitzpatrick, chief technical analyst at Citigroup in New York.”

As the Bible prophesies that continental Europe–modern “Babylon”–will become for a while the most powerful economic bloc on earth, the common currency of the euro for entire Europe is necessary. The creation of a new additional and separate currency for ten European nations or groups of nations (which are described in Revelation 17 and Daniel 2), is just not feasible in the light of biblical prophecy. Consequently, the proposal, as discussed by the EUObserver, has some interesting and convincing merit; namely, that the present crisis pertaining to Greece and perhaps other European countries will FORCE Europe to totally unite as an economic and political (and military) power bloc.

German Bishop Mixa Tenders Resignation

On April 22, Der Spiegel reported about German media reactions to the announcement of German Bishop Walter Mixa’s resignation:

“Embattled German Bishop Walter Mixa submitted his offer to resign to the Vatican on Wednesday amid allegations that he physically abused children and misappropriated church funds… His move followed a highly publicized request from two German bishops, urging him to temporarily step down from his position until the investigations have run their course. In Thursday’s newspapers, German editorialists welcomed news of Mixa’s offer to resign, saying his role as a representative of the church had become untenable among the flurry of accusations.

“The conservative daily Die Welt writes: ‘Right now, Mixa is ill-suited to play the role of pastor and head of a large diocese. He has continued to refuse to give candid explanations, preferring to hide behind vague pleas for forgiveness for everything and nothing…’

“The center-left Berliner Zeitung writes: ‘These days, in real life, the word “Catholic” stands for physically abusive or lustful priests. People are leaving the church in droves…’

“The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes… ‘Finally. Finally, Walter Mixa, the bishop on the edge, is stepping down. He is clearly not resigning because he has realized that he cannot reasonably perform the duties of his office as long as it is unclear how violently he … struck children in his care and how deeply he dug into the coffers of the local orphanage foundation. Rather, he is stepping down because the pressure on him has become too great… That — and not his individual deeds — is the reason why Mixa is resigning. Anyone who thinks this way should not be a bishop.”

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