Current Events

Terror Attacks in Russia

Deutsche Welle reported on January 25:

“Russian security officials suspect militants from the country’s Muslim-majority North Caucasus region in the planning and execution of Monday’s deadly bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport. The state-run news agency RIA Novosti quoted an unnamed security official as saying a female suicide bomber may have carried out the attack, and that the bombing ‘followed the classic scheme’ of terrorists from the North Caucasus… Russia’s Emergency Ministry published a preliminary casualty list on Tuesday, saying eight foreign citizens were killed in the attack… The total death toll stands at 35, while more than 100 were wounded.

“Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday said he held the management of Domodedovo Airport, the country’s busiest, partially accountable for security breaches that allowed the attack to happen…

“The airport bombing recalled another attack in Moscow on March 29 last year, when two female suicide bombers carried out dual bombings on the city’s metro and killed 40. The attack was blamed on so-called ‘Black Widows’ – women from the North Caucasus who volunteered for suicide bombings after their militant husbands were killed in fighting with Russian security forces. Russia has been fighting for stability and control in the North Caucasus for years. Then-President Vladimir Putin launched a war in late 1999 to defeat a rebellious government in semi-autonomous Chechnya.
“Putin succeeded in establishing a pro-Moscow government in the regional capital Grozny, but since then the insurgency has continued and spread to neighboring Ingushetia and Dagestan. Terrorist attacks by rebels from the North Caucasus are causing some concern ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, a resort city located at the edge of the Caucasus and claimed by some rebels as part of its future Islamic state.”

The Associated Press added on January 25:

“Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin vowed ‘retribution is inevitable’ for the suicide bombing… Putin has built much of his reputation on harsh statements, but he did not elaborate on what kind of retribution he had planned…

“Putin rose to power largely on his tough-against-terror image, including a famous vow that Chechen rebels would be hunted down and killed ‘in the outhouse.’ But despite launching the second Russia-Chechnya war and pushing harsh against suspected rebels, he was unable to wipe out the Chechen insurgency during his 2000-2008 presidency.”

As observers may recall, Vladimir Putin’s “war” with Chechnya, including civilians, women and children, was extremely brutal and inhumane. Since war always breeds more war, and violence produces more violence, the current problems are not surprising.  Of course, terrorist attacks against innocent travelers are to be sharply condemned, but so is the hypocrisy of the Russian government’s “reactions” to those actions. Mr. Putin is again placing the world on notice as to his intentions; however, the world is not listening. For more information, you might want to read our free booklet, “Should YOU Fight in War?”

Opportunity for Europe

On January 25, Der Spiegel Online  published an interview with Alvaro de Vasconcelos, head of the European Union Institute for Security, pertaining to the ongoing turmoil in Tunisia. We are bringing you the following interesting excerpts from the interview:

“SPIEGEL ONLINE: ‘The EU hasn’t exactly excelled itself in its handling of Tunisia. The deposed president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, was fawned over for decades as the supposed guarantor of political stability, while the EU simply turned a blind eye to torture and repression. Do you regard Europe as being complicit?’

“Alvaro de Vasconcelos: ‘I have to agree there. The European Union, and especially the member states geographically closest to Tunisia, accepted Ben Ali’s regime for far too long. They saw the status quo as a safer option than experiments with democracy. The underlying reason for this is the Europeans’ fear that Islamists could gain power. Many still consider authoritarian Arab regimes to be the lesser evil… In fairness, we have to acknowledge that nearly all the EU’s members discussed the “Tunisian model,” with its mixture of authoritarian rule and halfway solid economic development, as a model for success… But no one in Europe or North Africa can do this seriously anymore after the revolution in Tunisia…

“’The EU needs to urge its neighbors to pursue both economic stability and political modernization in equal measures… The European Neighborhood Policy is at its core a highly effective tool for bringing the south and east closer to the EU… There’s a real chance for democracy here [in Tunisia], but also the risk that the revolution could fail. The country is in turmoil, and much depends on Europe during this phase. The EU should consider Tunisia its highest strategic priority… There’s a great deal Europe can do. For example, we can help in setting up political parties, just as Germany helped after the toppling of the Salazar and Franco regimes in Portugal and Spain. We can also provide financial assistance. Tunisia is extremely dependent on economic conditions in Europe, which is why it also experienced shockwaves from the euro crisis. One possibility is emergency aid, to be increased depending on progress. Giving such aid might seem a hard sell given the current financial situation, but we shouldn’t forget what is at stake here.’”

Europe will get more and more involved in world affairs, including the Middle East. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.”

Germany Unmoved by Egypt’s “Demands“

The Local wrote on January 24:

“Egypt’s antiquities chief said Monday that Cairo has demanded that Germany return the 3,400 year-old bust of fabled Queen Nefertiti, 98 years after it was uncovered on the banks of the Nile. Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities head, Zahi Hawass, announced an ‘official request’ for the bust’s return, backed by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and Culture Minister Faruq Hosni.

“The demand was sent in a letter to Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, the governing body of the Neues Museum in Berlin where the piece has pride of place, he said. But the German government, which has always refused to return the bust, unearthed in 1912 by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt, was unmoved.

“’This is not an official request. An official request is a request from one government to another,’ foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke told a regular government briefing in Berlin. He added that the position of the German government was ‘unchanged and not new’…

“Cairo began to demand the restitution of the Pharaonic-era statue back in the 1930s, but successive German governments have insisted the piece was bought legally by the Prussian state, and that there are documents to prove it.

“Nefertiti, renowned as one of history’s great beauties, was the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaton, remembered for having converted his kingdom to monotheism with the worship of one sun god, Aton. The bust is at the top of a ‘wish list’ of five major artifacts exhibited abroad that Egypt wants returned as part of its cultural heritage… Hawass… asked that ‘this unique treasure be returned to the possession of its rightful owners, the Egyptian people.’”

The Bible tells us that Germany will enter into a confederacy with certain Middle Eastern countries, against Israel, but interestingly, Egypt will not be part of that confederacy (Psalm 83:3-8). We also read that a united Europe, under German leadership, will invade Egypt (Daniel 11:42). The relationship between Germany and Egypt is bound to deteriorate.

Ongoing Protests in Egypt

The Associated Press reported on January 26, 2011:

“Thousands of Egyptians vented their rage against President Hosni Mubarak’s autocratic government in a second day of protests Wednesday that defied a ban on public gatherings. Baton-wielding police responded with tear gas and beatings in a crackdown that showed zero tolerance for dissent. Egypt’s largest anti-government protests in years echoed the uprising in Tunisia, threatening to destabilize the leadership of the most important U.S. ally in the Arab world. The ability of the protesters to sustain the momentum for two days in the face of such a heavy-handed police response was a rare feat in this country…

“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called on Egypt to adopt broad reforms and not crack down on the anti-government crowds… Still, there was no indication that Mubarak, who has ruled with an iron fist for nearly 30 years, intends to relinquish power or make democratic or economic concessions, and no sign he would rein in his security forces… Parliamentary elections in November were widely decried as fraudulent, rigged to allow candidates from Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party to win all but a small fraction of the chamber’s 318 seats…

“German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle invoked Tunisia Wednesday, saying the unrest in Egypt ‘underlines the necessity of democratization, of respect for human and civil rights. We are seeing in the last few weeks that a country’s stability is not endangered by granting civil rights. It is through the refusal of civil and human rights that societies become unstable,’ he said.”

Deutsche Welle added on January 26:

“Despite the strong show of defiance, Clara O’Donnell at the Center for European Reform, a London-based think-tank, believes the opposition lacks a unifying leader to rally behind and push for real change. ‘There is a big challenge to bring the opposition together in Egypt as there is no one key leader among them,’ she told Deutsche Welle. ‘So these are headless protests in a way and it makes it hard to imagine these protests leading anywhere, especially a Tunisia-style overthrow.’

“Almut Möller, the head of program at the Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies at the German Council on Foreign Relations, agrees that Egypt is unlikely to follow Tunisia’s lead to the same conclusion. But she believes Egypt is still entering a time of great uncertainty…

‘”The European Union has called the protests “a signal” of the Egyptian people’s “wish for political change” and urged the Mubarak regime to respect and protect the right of citizens to express their aspirations in peaceful demonstrations… There are concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt but there are far more dangerous groups there who could exploit a more open society. The EU is wary of that.'”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on January 27:

“Egypt entered another day of unrest on Thursday, as calls for the end of the authoritarian regime of President Hosni Mubarak continue. Protests against the regime have been raging since Tuesday, and have left at least four people dead and seen over 1,000 people arrested…

“While the US has urged Cairo to implement reform for years, it has tolerated the human rights and other abuses there, due to the country’s strategic importance in the region, particularly its role as an intermediary in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Last year, Egypt received more than $1.5 billion from the US in economic support and military assistance.

“The left-leaning Die Tageszeitung writes: ‘… Egypt is the most important US ally in the region apart from Israel. Representatives from the government in Washington practically have a seat at the cabinet table in Cairo. What is being discussed behind closed doors will be the decisive factor, not the official announcements from Washington…’

 “The left-leaning Berliner Zeitung writes: ‘Egypt has long been regarded as a powder keg. And while Islamists play no role socially or politically in Tunisia, in Egypt they are the strongest opposition force. They control important economic positions and operate a tight network of charitable institutions, which makes them so popular among the poorer sectors of society. It is hard to imagine an united opposition like that in Tunisia. In addition, Egypt has the strongest army in the Arab region, is a regional power and an important pillar of American Middle East policy…

“’Just as the strike by dockworkers in Gdansk in 1980 lead to the founding of Solidarity and the beginning of a process that culminated in the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, so the Tunisian revolution could in a decade be looked back upon as the signal for the emancipation of the Arab world from autocratic rulers. That is the optimistic hypothesis. The alternative: Islamist movements profit from the ossification of the regimes and the paralysis of society.’”

The second less “optimistic” proposal is much more likely to occur, based on biblical prophecy.

Hezbollah Chooses New Lebanese Prime Minister

The New York Times wrote on January 24:

“A prime minister chosen by Hezbollah and its allies won enough support on Monday to form Lebanon’s government, unleashing angry protests, realigning politics and culminating the generation-long ascent of the Shiite Muslim movement from shadowy militant group to the country’s pre-eminent political and military force.

“Hezbollah’s success served as a stark measure of the shifting constellation of power in this part of the Middle East, where the influence of the United States and its Arab allies — Egypt and Saudi Arabia — is seen by politicians and diplomats as receding, while Iran and Syria have become more assertive.

“American diplomats tried to forestall the triumph of Hezbollah’s candidate, Najib Miqati… But the symbolism of Hezbollah’s choosing Lebanon’s prime minister was vast, potentially serving as the beginning of a new era for a combustible country whose conflicts have long entangled the United States, Iran and Syria. A practical impact may be the realignment of Lebanon away from the United States, which treated the government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri as an ally…

“By nightfall, angry opponents of Hezbollah took to the streets in parts of Beirut, Tripoli and other cities, burning tires, shouting slogans and offering at least an image of what many feared Hezbollah’s victory might unleash: strife among communities in a country almost evenly divided over questions of foreign patrons; posture toward Israel; and the relative power of Lebanon’s Shiite Muslims, represented by Hezbollah, and its Sunni foes…

“Israel, with which Hezbollah fought a month-long war in 2006, has warned of the implications of the new cabinet. In a radio interview, Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom described it as effectively ‘an Iranian government on Israel’s northern border.’”

MSNBC added on January 25:

“Hezbollah’s control over the government for the first time will sound alarm bells in Washington and Israel and raise concerns in moderate Sunni Arab states.”

The powder keg in the Middle East is bound to explode soon. It is interesting to see how American influence in that part of the world is more and more decreasing.

No Obama Long-Form Birth Certificate Exists

WorldNetDaily wrote on January 24:

“Former Hawaii elections clerk Tim Adams has now signed an affidavit swearing he was told by his supervisors in Hawaii that no long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate existed for Barack Obama Jr. in Hawaii and that neither Queens Medical Center nor Kapi’olani Medical Center in Honolulu had any record of Obama having been born in their medical facilities…

“‘Senior officers in the City and County of Honolulu Elections Division told me on multiple occasions that no Hawaii long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate existed for Senator Obama in the Hawaii Department of Health,’ Adams’ affidavit reads, ‘and there was no record that any such document had ever been on file in the Hawaii Department of Health or any other branch or department of the Hawaii government.’ In a recorded telephone interview, Adams told WND that it was common knowledge among election officials where he worked that no long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate could be found at the Hawaii Department of Health…

“Moreover, Adams was told that neither Queens Memorial Hospital nor Kapi’olani Medical Center had any records of Obama’s birth at their medical facilities. ‘We called the two hospitals in Honolulu: Queens and Kapi’olani,’ Adams stressed. ‘Neither of them have any records that Barack Obama was born there’…

“Moreover, Adams claims, the Hawaii government was engaged in a cover-up designed to tell the American public through the Obama-supporting mainstream media that Obama was born in Hawaii, even though no long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Obama could be found on record in the Hawaii Department of Health… Nor does Adams feel the short-form Certification of Live Birth is authoritative documentation proving that Obama was born in Hawaii.

“’My basic assumption is that he wasn’t born there,’ Adams said. ‘Certifications of Live Birth were given to people who were born at home, or to people who were born overseas and whose parents brought them back to the islands. If his parents were U.S. citizens, or if one parent was a U.S. citizen, as was the case with Obama, the family would apply for a Hawaiian birth certificate when the parents came back from overseas. That’s normally how you would have gotten on [a Certification of Live Birth] in the 1960s.’”

The White House is anxious to belittle and ridicule “birthers” who question the constitutional legitimacy of President Obama’s presidency, as it has not been established that he is a naturally-born citizen. For instance, Politico 44 reported on January 24:

“[During] Monday’s White House briefing with press secretary Robert Gibbs… Gibbs snuck a jab at the so-called birthers who don’t believe Obama was born in Hawaii. ‘I think rational people have — have long ago, many when they first heard and saw the president, come to the conclusion of his citizenship,’ he said.”

Really? The truth is, pertinent nagging questions regarding Mr. Obama’s eligibility as President are not going away.

Ongoing Torture in the USA?

Regarding Bradley Manning’s incarceration for allegedly disseminating classified documents to Wikileaks, the Guardian wrote on January 24, 2011:

“Amnesty International has put out a statement protesting Manning’s treatment in pre-trial detention. ‘We’re concerned that the conditions inflicted on Bradley Manning are unnecessarily severe and amount to inhumane treatment by the US authorities. Manning has not been convicted of any offense, but military authorities appear to be using all available means to punish him while in detention. This undermines the United States’ commitment to the principle of the presumption of innocence’…”

Der Stern Online added on January 24: “This sounds like Guantanamo. Manning is allegedly deprived of sleep. More than 30,000 people have signed an Online petition, protesting against the manner of Manning’s detention.”

Those reports do not help to establish President Obama’s and America’s reputation as being fair, democratic and law-abiding. The ghost of Guantanamo is again raising its ugly head.

The Spirit of Antichrist Is Everywhere…

Newsmax wrote on January 21:

“Franklin Graham says just mentioning the name Jesus Christ in the public square is increasingly frowned upon and warns: ‘The spirit of anti-Christ is everywhere.’ The… son of beloved evangelist Dr. Billy Graham voiced his dismay at the rapid secularization of society… Graham, who was banned from a Pentagon national day of Prayer event last year for expressing his opinions about Islam, told students: ‘Even in our government today, you can’t pray to Jesus in many public meetings. You can pray to God or a god. You can mention Buddha or the name of Muhammad — but you can’t pray to Jesus Christ.’

“The president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association criticized the recent memorial service for the Tucson shooting victims. Unlike the memorials held after the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11, he said, the Tucson program did not include an official prayer or mention of God… The one religious dedication on the program came from a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, who delivered a peroration that among other things called out to ‘Father Sky, where we get our masculine energy’ and ‘Mother Earth, where we get our feminine energy’…

“’How sad,’ the Graham op-ed stated. ‘Father Sky and Mother Earth can do nothing to comfort Capt. Mark Kelly, who had been at the bedside of his wife, Rep. Giffords, wondering if she’d ever leave her bed. Or Mary Stoddard, who was only alive because her husband sacrificed his life by shielding her with his body. Or the family, classmates, teammates and friends of little Christina, whose life was snuffed out before she could play another season of Little League’… Graham predicted the persecution of Christians will get worse in coming years…”

For more information, please listen to our new StandingWatch program, “Arizona’s Real Murderer.”

Adventists “Pro Choice”

The Washington Post wrote on January 24:

“Christians of all denominations are gathering on the National Mall today to protest the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. But one denomination that may be sparsely represented is Seventh-day Adventists whose large worldwide network of 170 hospitals allows elective abortions… Adventists resemble many conservative Protestant denominations as they believe in divinely inspired Scripture, six literal days of Creation, justification by faith and baptism by immersion.

“Their distinctive rites include worshiping on Saturday, the seventh day of the week as opposed to Sunday, an emphasis on the Second Coming of Christ and an emphasis on following Jewish dietary laws concerning abstinence from pork, shellfish and other foods proscribed as ‘unclean’ in the Old Testament. The denomination is known for its emphasis on health. Alcohol and tobacco are prohibited and many Adventists are vegetarians. But the denomination may be the only theologically conservative Protestant group that allows elective abortions. Many of their own members didn’t know that their worldwide hospital network performed the procedure…”

This is indeed a sad testimony. Elective abortion is wrong. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Are You Already Born Again?”

Celibacy a “Great Good” or a “Great Evil”?

Deutsche Welle reported on January 25:

“A handful of Catholic German politicians have sparked renewed debate over the ordination of married priests. Eight members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) urged the German Bishops’ Conference to consider allowing married men into the priesthood… The letter – signed by Bundestag President Norbert Lammert, Education Minister Annette Schavan and former state premiers Bernhard Vogel, Erwin Teufel and Deiter Althaus – stated it was ‘of urgent importance, in light of the worrying and growing shortage of priests, that Germany’s bishops take on the ordination of “viri probati” [“established men”] as their own cause.’ The letter continued: ‘The reasons for adhering to the long-standing tradition, though it was not irrefutably decreed by Christ, are in part justified, yet they do not weigh as heavily in our consideration as the dire needs of priestless congregations, which are no longer able to hold Sunday Mass.’…

“Meanwhile, CDU parliamentarian Patrick Sensburg, along with several other CDU politicians, expressed opposition to the letter and support of priests’ celibacy. Sensburg, who called celibacy a ‘great good’ said it would be ‘quite a pity’ to burden Pope Benedict XVI’s September visit to Germany with a ‘separate path for Germany.’

“German [Catholic] lay groups did show their support for the proposed reform, despite a less than enthusiastic response from the Bishops’ Conference… Since 2009, the Catholic Church has allowed the ordination of some married Anglican priests who decide to convert to Catholicism.”

Forced celibacy is wrong and unbiblical. It is also partially responsible for the ongoing sexual abuse of boys, being perpetrated within the Roman Catholic clergy. In this context, make sure to read the next article. Also, for more information, please read our free booklet, “The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families.”

Vatican Covered Up Crimes by Pedophile Priests

The Associated Press reported on January 18:

“A 1997 letter from the Vatican warned Ireland’s Catholic bishops not to report all suspected child-abuse cases to police — a disclosure that victims’ groups described as ‘the smoking gun’ needed to show that the church enforced a worldwide culture of covering up crimes by pedophile priests.

“The newly revealed letter, obtained by Irish broadcasters RTE and provided to The Associated Press, documents the Vatican’s rejection of a 1996 Irish church initiative to begin helping police identify pedophile priests following Ireland’s first wave of publicly disclosed lawsuits. The letter undermines persistent Vatican claims, particularly when seeking to defend itself in U.S. lawsuits, that Rome never instructed local bishops to withhold evidence or suspicion of crimes from police…

“Child-abuse activists in Ireland said the 1997 letter demonstrates that the protection of pedophile priests from criminal investigation was not only sanctioned by Vatican leaders but ordered… Today, the Vatican’s child-protection policies remain in legal limbo. The Vatican does advise bishops worldwide to report crimes to police — in a legally nonbinding guide on its website. This recourse is omitted from the official legal advice provided by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and updated last summer. That powerful policymaking body continues to stress the secrecy of canon law.”

Natural Disasters… Worse to Come…

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 24:

“Natural disasters killed almost 300,000 people and harmed nearly 208 million others in 2010, a report by a UN agency has found. It was the deadliest year in at least two decades, and the report warns of worse to come… The Americas headed the list of the world’s worst affected continents for the first time, as Haiti’s earthquake caused 75 percent of the deaths with about 222,500 fatalities. Europe was next with Russia’s heat wave claiming some 56,000 deaths in 2010.

“Other extreme climate events in Europe included storm Xynthia in February, heavy floods in France in June and the extreme weather conditions all over Europe in December. Asia was hit by fewer disasters but was the most-affected region, accounting for 89 percent of all people affected by disasters in 2010. Five out of the top ten disasters happened in China, Pakistan and Indonesia. Altogether, the disasters and disaster relief cost nearly $110 billion (81 billion euros).”

Jesus spoke of terrible natural disasters prior to His return, calling them the beginning of sorrows. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Is That in the Bible?—The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation.”

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