Europe Now a Target
On the heels of warnings for American tourists to be more careful in their travels to Great Britain and Europe, European intelligence officials have revealed more details concerning the source of this concern.
CnnWorld reported on October 5:
“The man at the center of an alleged al Qaeda plot to bomb cities in Europe has told investigators the conspiracy was directed by one of the organization’s most senior figures…
“Ahmed Sidiqi, an Afghan German, was detained in Kabul in July and has since been questioned at the United States’ Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, the officials say. They say he has told interrogators that while in the tribal areas of Pakistan he met with a senior Al Qaeda leader, Younis al Mauretani, who was planning multiple attacks on European countries that would be similar to the attack on Mumbai, India, in 2008.”
The article concludes:
“There are around 40 Germans believed still to be with jihadist groups in the tribal areas of Pakistan, according to German intelligence officials. More than 200 militants have traveled from Germany to the Afghanistan-Pakistan since the 1990s, and most of them are believed to have received training, according to German intelligence officials.”
Equality For Islam?
German President Wulff’s recent comment that he is also the President for Muslims has triggered an ongoing debate–in fact, it appears to be THE NO. 1 topic in German media.
On October 5, The Local reported:
“Wulff riled his fellow Christian Democrats by saying Islam had become an important part of German society in a speech commemorating the 20th anniversary of German reunification on Sunday.
“While several Christian Democrats and their Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) allies grudgingly admitted Muslims had earned a place in Germany, they bristled at the idea they were changing the core social fabric of the country.
“‘The speech was easily misunderstood,’ CSU politician Norbert Geis told Bild on Tuesday. ‘If the president wanted to equate Islam in Germany with Christianity and Judaism, then I’d consider that wrong.’
“Christian Democrat Wolfgang Bosbach, the head of parliament’s interior affairs committee, also said Islam could not expect to be put on the same level as the faiths based solely on the New and Old Testament.
“‘Islam has certainly become part of the reality of daily life in Germany, but we belong to a Christian-Judeo tradition,’ he said.
“In his first major speech on Sunday since taking office in July, Wulff extended the hand of friendship to Muslims, saying the challenge of integrating them into society was comparable to reunifying the country after the Cold War.
“‘Christianity is of course part of Germany. Judaism is of course part of Germany. This is our Judeo-Christian history … But now Islam is also part of Germany,’ he said in his speech. ‘When German Muslims write to me to say “you are our president”, I reply with all my heart “yes, of course I am your president”.’
“His comments were welcomed by leading German Muslim groups as an important sign that they were not second-class citizens in Germany.
“But out of 1,008 Germans surveyed by YouGov for a poll published on Tuesday, a whopping 66 percent disagreed with their president’s views on Islam. Only 24 percent of those surveyed believed Muslims were as much a part of the country as much as Christians and Jews.”
Also from The Local on October 7, 2010:
“In the wake of Wulff’s speech, the centre-left parties hit back against conservatives who had previously attacked Wulff’s remarks as undermining the core values and traditions of Germany.
“‘Islam needs a fair chance in Germany,’ Dieter Wiefelspütz, interior affairs spokesman for the Social Democrats’ (SPD) parliamentary group, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. ‘It would be an important signal to the four million Muslims in Germany if the state recognised Islam as a religious community.'”
The article continues:
“Secretary general of the German Jewish Council, Stephan Kramer, also slammed the conservative response to Wulff’s speech as ‘close to hysterical’ and said it showed ‘that apparently many politicians even today are shutting themselves off to the reality of an immigrant community.’
“He added: ‘The Muslims living here are part of our society. So of course their religion also belongs in this country.’
“Ultimately the right to exercise freely one’s religious beliefs was anchored in the constitution, he said.
“Yet the debate within Angela Merkel’s conservatives continued. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Hermann of the Christian Social Union said: ‘Our fundamental values are clearly grounded in the Christian-western tradition. Germany does not want to integrate to Islam but rather to preserve its cultural identity.’
“The acting parliamentary leader for the Christian Democrats, Günter Krings, said Islam was a reality in Germany though he did not want to see the practices of some Muslims incorporated into German society.
“‘There are values represented with Islam that I don’t want to see in Germany culture, such as the position of women in the community,’ he said.
“But Kramer said practical solutions had to be found as to how a pluralistic society could be developed for the future. Wulff’s critics, by contrast, were ‘digging out propagandist phrases to create the impression that Germany was facing an immediate choice between the constitution and Sharia law.’
“CDU Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen also took the more positive view that Wulff’s remarks meant many well-integrated Muslims would see Wulff as their president.
“‘His speech was an acknowledgement to the people of Muslim beliefs who live here and want to live here,” he said. ‘But it is clear – and the president also said this – Germany’s religious and cultural roots lie in Christianity and Judaism.'”
These hotly debated issues regarding Islamic beliefs and even the presence of Muslims in Germany, the German State of Bavaria and other areas of central Europe have been slowly coming to a boil! Following the disasterous handling of the Roma immigrants by the current French government, it appears that the underlying question of Europe’s Christian status is also being drug into the fray, and these overlooked core issues will become even more heated as more disputes arise!
Sludging the Danube!
Reuters wrote on October 7, 2010:
“Toxic red sludge from a Hungarian alumina plant reached the Danube on Thursday and crews struggled to dilute it to protect the river from what the prime minister called an ‘unprecedented ecological catastrophe’…
“Philip Weller, executive secretary to the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), a Vienna-based U.N. body, said most damage was local.
“‘It is clear that the consequences of this are greatest in the local area and that the implications on a trans-boundary level, we understand, will not be significant which doesn’t mean they don’t exist,’ he said.
“‘The Hungarian authorities took a number of measures to reduce the toxicity, they added substances to neutralize the material, they also constructed some underwater weirs to slow the mud and maintain it and contain it as much as possible in the Hungarian territory of the river system.’
“It also helps that the Danube is a large river with a very high volume of water, he added.
“Gabor Figeczky, Hungarian branch director of the WWF environmental group said:
“‘Based on our current estimates, it (pollution) will remain contained in Hungary, and we also trust that it will reach Budapest with acceptable pH values.’
“Downstream from the disaster site, the Danube flows through or skirts Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Moldovan and Ukrainian territory en route to the Black Sea.”
As with other significant issues arising within the EU, calls for more controls are being sounded–especially in light of the possible widespread influence of this spillage. While the European Union continues to solidify its governing role, its member states will have to conform in matters that will influence all aspects of life within the EU.
The Middle East: Talks and More Talks
In the latest round of U.S. sponsored peace efforts in the Middle East, a familiar assessment has come forward–“deadlocked!”
The Los Angeles Times carried this report on October 7, 2010:
“Only a month into a new round of peace talks, the Obama administration is drawing criticism from allies and veteran diplomats that it is giving away too much just to keep negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians from collapsing.
“Administration officials have offered an assortment of inducements to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to extend a freeze on Jewish construction in the West Bank for two months. Palestinian officials have threatened to break off the talks unless Israel extends the freeze that expired Sept. 26.
“The U.S. has been wooing Netanyahu for weeks with offers including a squadron of F-35 fighters, support for a long-term Israeli troop presence in a new Palestinian state, and a pledge to veto any anti-Israel resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council. The U.S. also is offering access to its satellites that could provide early warning of attacks.
“To the Palestinians, the White House is pledging support for their position on the exact location of borders for a future state in exchange for a promise to continue negotiating even if Israel refuses to extend the construction moratorium.
“Although the Obama administration was expected to eventually give out incentives to keep the negotiations alive, diplomats and other observers say they are surprised that it has offered so much, so early for such a small victory: a commitment by both sides to keep talking…
“The White House’s willingness to pay a steep price so early in the game reflects the huge stakes for the administration. Obama has said repeatedly that peace the Middle East is vital to U.S. national security.
“U.S. officials fear that if the talks fail now, it may be months before they can coax the sides back to the table, and by then they might be dealing with a new and less cooperative Palestinian leadership. And collapse of the talks would hurt U.S. prestige in the region.
“‘This has become all about American credibility, and that’s why there’s such an effort to keep it going,’ said one person close to the talks, who was unwilling to be identified by name because of the sensitivity of the subject.”
While the Middle East continues to draw the attention from would-be “peace brokers” from all over the world, the underlying concerns will not be resolved–not until Jesus Christ returns and forcibly institutes the rule of God’s government! Our booklets, available at www.eternalgod.org; globalchurchofgod.co.uk; and churchofgodacf.ca, present the biblical truth of prophecy for our time and explanations about how good news does lie ahead! Also, please watch our regular web videos found at www.StandingWatch.org (postings appear on YouTube, as well); and, in German, www.AufPostenStehen.de, both presented by evangelist, Norbert Link.
Art Gilmore Dies
Wire reports of October 3, 2010, relate the death of long-time announcer, Art Gilmore:
“Art Gilmore, who launched his more than 60-year career as an announcer in the 1930s and became a widely recognized voice on radio, television, commercials, documentaries and movie trailers, has died. He was 98.
“Gilmore died Sept. 25 of age-related causes at a convalescent care center near his home in Irvine, Calif., said his nephew, Robb Weller.
“Among the highlights of his long and prolific career:
“On radio,he was the announcer on shows such as ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy,’ ‘Dr. Christian,’ ‘Red Ryder’ and ‘The Sears Radio Theater.’
“Moving to television in the 1950s, he was the announcer for ‘The George Gobel Show,’ and he began a 16-season stint as the announcer on ‘The Red Skelton Show.’ He was also the narrator on the TV series ‘Mackenzie’s Raiders,’ ‘Men of Annapolis’ and ‘Highway Patrol.’
“On radio and television, Gilmore’s voice was heard introducing and concluding ‘The World Tomorrow,’ a church-sponsored program with Herbert W. Armstrong and later his son, Garner Ted Armstrong.
“Moviegoers also heard Gilmore’s voice on more than 2,700 movie trailers.”