Deutsche Welle reported on April 4:
“On Sunday, [Guido] Westerwelle gave in to relentless pressure to resign leadership of the party [FDP] after 10 years at the helm. He announced he would relinquish his post as vice chancellor as well, and said he intended to focus on his job as foreign minister.
“But it is unclear how long Westerwelle will be able to hold on to that post, as his standing has suffered not only with his party but also among the wider electorate. The three opposition parties, the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left, have called for Westerwelle to resign the Foreign Ministry.”
Der Spiegel Online wrote on April 4:
“[Chancellor Angela] Merkel’s junior coalition partner [FDP] has gone from ineffective to being in a shambles. Not only have the recent state elections shown that the party has little support among the German electorate, there would appear to be little chance that the FDP will be able to recover substantially prior to the next general elections in 2013. Indeed, were elections held now, the FDP would have trouble clearing the 5 percent hurdle on the national level.
“In other words, if Merkel hopes to remain in the Chancellery beyond 2013, she will have to quickly find a new political partner to pair up with. And given Germany’s recent tilt to the center-left, that search promises to be a difficult one… Westerwelle’s fall has taken place with almost breath-taking speed. In the autumn of 2009, the FDP received 14.6 percent of the vote in general elections, the party’s best-ever nationwide showing. The problems, though, began almost immediately…”
The Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote on April 4:
“Despite all its failings, the FDP used to have the reputation as a wise, clever party… In its heyday, the FDP was a fertile opposition within government: in the conservative governments of Konrad Adenauer and Ludwig Erhard, the FDP left its mark as a party of democratic justice, and in the center-left governments of Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, it was the guardian of market economics. The FDP was a guarantor of continuity in the changing governments of the republic… One should mourn the decline of every democratic party. Its passing also removes a piece of democratic tradition. If a newspaper folds, it’s a blow to the freedom of the press. If a party dies, as the FDP is at risk of doing, it’s a blow to party democracy.”
The Tageszeitung wrote on April 4:
“The liberal story about guaranteeing personal freedom is looking out of date. Would Germany miss the FDP if it weren’t around anymore?”
Should the FDP disappear, other groups will take its place. But will it be for the better of the country and the entire world?
Westerwelle’s Successor Nominated
Der Spiegel Online reported on April 5:
“Germany’s Free Democrats on Tuesday anointed Philipp Rösler, the Vietnamese-born health minister, as their new leader to replace Guido Westerwelle… The FDP’s executive board agreed that Rösler, 38, should stand for the chairmanship at a party conference in May. He is expected to remain health minister, a job in which he has had only modest success since taking it on as the youngest minister in Merkel’s cabinet in 2009… Rösler was born in a southern Vietnamese village in 1973 during the war, and was adopted by a family in Germany at the age of nine months. He joined the pro-business FDP while he was still a teenager in 1992. He studied medicine in Hanover and Hamburg before becoming a medical doctor in 2002…
“Rösler is affable and eloquent and less confrontational than Westerwelle, who is famous for his outbursts of combative rhetoric… The demands on the mild-mannered Rösler are huge, and there are doubts whether he is resolute and thick-skinned enough for the job… But his career has nevertheless been meteoric. He was 27 years old when he became the FDP’s general secretary for the state of Lower Saxony in 2000. He joined the FDP’s national executive in 2005 and became FDP leader in the state in 2006. In early 2009, he was appointed Lower Saxony’s economics minister and deputy governor.”
Nato and Libya
Sky News reported on April 6, 2011:
“Libyan rebels have accused Nato of being too slow to act – and asked them to suspend operations unless they ‘do the job properly’… Rebel leader Abdel Fattah Younes has complained that the alliance takes hours to respond to events on the battlefield because of an overly bureaucratic process. He claimed the alliance’s inaction was allowing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces to advance and was letting them kill people in the rebel-held city of Misratah ‘every day’.
“He said: ‘Nato is moving very slowly, allowing Gaddafi forces to advance. Nato has become our problem.’ Mr Younes also said if Nato had wanted to lift the siege of Misrata, it could have done it weeks ago… Nato took over from a coalition led by the US, Britain and France on March 31. It puts the alliance in charge of air strikes targeting Col Gaddafi’s military infrastructure as well as policing a no-fly zone and an arms embargo.”
The USA does not want to act and Nato is being criticized for acting too slowly. All eyes turn to Europe—as the next article shows as well.
Europeans Must Lead
The Financial Times wrote on April 6:
“Transatlantic relations are being tested by the US’s refusal to lead the military mission in Libya, with figures on both sides of the ocean depicting the conflict as a wake-up call for Europe’s military and political establishments. Britain and France are straining to fill the gap left by Washington’s decision to pull back, as Europe’s military ambitions are tested.
“The Pentagon said on Tuesday that it had flown 1,600 sorties since operations began on March 19 and would no longer be involved in air strikes against Libyan targets. It would continue support missions, such as aerial refuelling, and would remain on alert for emergency strike missions, if requested by Nato. Defence experts maintain that the US move has a longer-term significance, since it signals that Europeans cannot rely on Washington to provide security in crises in their neighbourhood.
“’What we’ve seen in Libya is hugely significant,’ said Lord Hutton, a former defence secretary in the last Labour government. ‘The US has been saying for 10 or 15 years that it wants the Europeans to share more of the security burden and we have to heed that lesson. We should be doing much more in Europe. We cannot go on expecting the US to take the leading role.’
“Nicholas Burns, a former US ambassador to Nato, added that a Washington burdened with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq welcomed the Franco-British lead, even though it is the first time in Nato’s 62-year history that the US has not been in a clear leadership role in an alliance operation.”
France Sends Troops to Ivory Coast
Deutsche Welle reported on April 3:
“France on Monday dispatched more troops to protect civilians in Ivory Coast as the battle for control of Abidjan intensified.
“Forces backing the presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara were said to be preparing for a final assault to remove incumbent Laurent Gbagbo. He is clinging on to power and has refused to accept last November’s UN-certified election results which showed that Ouattara had won the disputed poll. Ouattara’s forces marched into Abidjan on Thursday… France was meanwhile considering the evacuation of some 12,000 of its residents from Ivory Coast.
“President Nicolas Sarkozy has already issued an order for French citizens in the country to be brought together in [a] single location ahead of a possible repatriation operation. France estimates that 12,200 of its citizens live in Ivory Coast. The vast majority, some 11,800, are thought to live in Abidjan. The French army took control of the country’s main airport on Sunday to allow the evacuation of foreigners from the country…”
The EUObserver reported on April 5:
“United Nations and French helicopters have carried out strikes against military targets belonging to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo in the Ivory Coast, as forces loyal to president-elect Alassane Ouattara conduct a final offensive to capture the country’s main city of Abidjan… UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the attacks were not a declaration of war against Gbagbo but were ordered instead to defend civilians, citing UN Security Council resolution 1975 of 30 March 2011.”
European countries, such as France, are becoming more and more militarily engaged in other countries, and we observe outright invasions under the pretext of a need to assist their citizens. The Bible shows that European military actions will increase and culminate in an invasion of the entire Middle East.
Portugal May Apply for EU Bailout
Deutsche Welle reported on April 5:
“The Portuguese prime minister announced Lisbon’s intention to apply for a bailout from the European Union in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday… The news comes in the aftermath of the collapse of Portugal’s government last week. Prime Minister Jose Socrates called snap elections for June 5 after the country’s parliament failed to pass austerity measures aimed at reducing its debt burden…
“Portugal is currently being governed by a caretaker government which does not have the authority to make major financial decisions… Portugal would become the third Eurozone member, after Greece and Ireland, to seek financial assistance from Brussels. Should Lisbon apply for financial help, it would have to place its economy under the supervision of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission.”
“Euro-skeptics” will be quick to use Portugal as another example as to why the euro is doomed. However, apart from the fact that they do not understand biblical prophecy, a move which would place Portugal under European supervision and control only shows the strengthening of an autocratic European power bloc over some of the current 17 euro-zone countries.
Severe Drought in the USA
The Associated Press reported on April 6:
“In most years, the dark clouds over western Oklahoma in the spring would be bringing rain. This year, they’re more likely to be smoke from wildfires that have burned thousands of acres in the past month as the state and its farmers struggle with a severe drought. Oklahoma was drier in the four months following Thanksgiving than it has been in any similar period since 1921. That’s saying a lot in the state known for the 1930s Dust Bowl, when drought and high winds generated severe dust storms that stripped the land of its topsoil.
“Neighboring states are in similar shape as the drought stretches from the Louisiana Gulf coast to Colorado, and conditions are getting worse, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The area in Texas covered by an extreme drought has tripled in the past month to 40 percent, and in Oklahoma it nearly doubled in one week to 16 percent, according to the monitor’s March 29 update… While dozens of people in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas have lost homes to the hundreds of grassfires that have torn through the parched landscape in the past month, Oklahoma officials said more fires caused more damage as recently as 2009… Almost all of Oklahoma is covered in some degree of drought.”
Startling prophecies for the USA come to mind. Although recorded thousands of years ago, God said this about our times today, when addressing the modern descendants of the ancient house of Israel, including America: “I will make your heavens like iron [no rain] and your earth like bronze [dried up]. And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the tress of the land yield their fruit” (Leviticus 26:19-20). Also, notice this additional prediction for our time: “The field is wasted, The land mourns; For the grain is ruined, The new wine is dried up, The oil fails… the harvest of the field has perished… All the trees of the field are withered…”(Joel 1:10-12)
“Path of Radiation Leak at Japan Plant Is Unclear”
The Associated Press reported on April 4:
“Workers used a milky white dye Monday as they frantically tried to trace the path of highly radioactive water gushing near Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear plant and seeping into the ocean. A crack in a maintenance pit found over the weekend was the latest confirmation that radioactivity continues to spill into the environment. The leak is a symptom of the primary difficulty at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex: Radioactive water is pooling around the plant and preventing workers from powering up cooling systems needed to stabilize dangerously vulnerable fuel rods.
“Engineers have turned to a host of improvised and sometimes bizarre methods to tame the nuclear plant after it was crippled in Japan’s magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami on March 11… Radioactive water has pooled up throughout the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant because the operator has been forced to rely on makeshift ways of pumping water into plant — and allowing it to gush out wherever it can — to bring down temperatures and pressure in the reactor cores.
“Government officials conceded Sunday that it will likely be several months before the cooling systems are completely restored. And even after that happens, there will be years of work ahead to clean up the area around the complex and figure out what to do with it. The makeshift system makes it difficult to contain the radiation leaks, but it is aimed at preventing fuel rods from going into a full meltdown that would release even more radioactivity into the environment.
“Radioactivity is quickly diluted in the ocean, and Edano said the dump should not affect the safety of seafood in the area… The crisis has unfolded as Japan deals with the aftermath of twin natural disasters that decimated large swaths of its northeastern coast. Up to 25,000 people are believed to have died in the disaster, and tens of thousands lost their homes. Thousands more were forced to flee a 12-mile (20-kilometer) radius around the plant because of the radiation.”
The Associated Press reported on April 5:
“For the first time, Japan is setting a standard for the amount of radiation allowed in fish. The decision comes after radiation more than 7.5 million times the legal limit for seawater was found just off a tsunami-damaged nuclear plant… The move came after the health ministry reported that fish caught off Ibaraki prefecture — which is about halfway between the plant and Tokyo — contained levels of radioactive iodine that exceeded the new legal limit. Cesium was also found just below the limit… officials contended Tuesday that the contamination still does not pose an immediate danger.”
Reuters wrote on April 5:
“India has imposed a three-month ban on imports of food articles from the whole of Japan on fears that radiation from an earthquake-hit nuclear plant was spreading to other parts of the country, becoming the first country to introduce a blanket ban… A number of countries have imposed bans on dairy products, meat, fish and other produce from areas near the crippled nuclear power plant.”
Even though we are told that the dump of radioactive water into the ocean should not affect the safety of seafood in the area, who is really willing to believe this? All the evidence speaks to the contrary.
Muslim Anger Against America
Mail On Line reported on April 4:
“Despite clear evidence that his actions have led to multiple murders and widespread violence in the Middle East, controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones has vowed to step up his provocative campaign against Islam. The radical pastor said that he was considering putting Islamic prophet Mohammed ‘on trial’ for his next ‘day of judgement’ publicity stunt.
“His last, in which he oversaw the burning of a copy of the Koran after a six-hour mock trial, has been directly responsible for a wave of violence that began last night and has left 30 people dead and more than 150 injured.
“The defiant stance has led General Petraeus, the head of NATO forces in Afghanistan, to join international condemnation of pastor Jones. The General urged Afghans to understand only a small number of people had been disrespectful to the Koran and Islam. He said: ‘We condemn, in particular, the action of an individual in the United States who recently burned the Holy Koran. We also offer condolences to the families of all those injured and killed in violence which occurred in the wake of the burning of the Holy Koran.’
“The call comes after a third day of violence in Afghanistan saw at least ten deaths, 78 injured and at least 17 arrests as protesters clash with security forces in Kandahar…
“[Jones’] March 20 burning stunt received little press in Afghanistan at first. But after President Hamid Karzai condemned the burning of the book and religious leaders called for justice in sermons yesterday, thousands poured into the streets in several cities to protest. At least eight UN staff and around a dozen locals were murdered after a mob killed the UN guards, stole their weapons and opened fire…
“Thousands of demonstrators marched through the western Afghan city of Herat. There, protesters burned a U.S. flag at a sports stadium and chanted ‘Death to the US’ and ‘They broke the heart of Islam’.
“Last week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a statement calling the burning a ‘crime against a religion’. He denounced it as a ‘disrespectful and abhorrent act’ and called on the U.S. and the UN to bring to justice those who burned the holy book and issue a response to Muslims around the world.”
Again, the world has it all backwards and upside down. Of course, there is no need to burn the Koran, but is Afghan President Hamid Karzai equally eager to bring to “justice” those who burn the American flag and shout, “Death to the U.S.”? It is interesting that General Petraeus “condemns” those who burn the “Holy Koran,” but have he or other Western leaders been equally indignant and outspoken against those who have burned the Holy Bible or circulated cartoons ridiculing Jesus Christ? Of course, “political correctness” would prevent that from happening, it seems. And why would a professing Christian call the Koran “holy”? In fact, why do Muslims call it “holy”?
The “Holiness” of the Koran?
The following article was published by WorldNetDaily on April 2:
“[Former Muslim Al] Fadi says that an important detail in understanding Islam is that all Muslims are taught from childhood that the Quran is a perfect book. The Quran Dilemma author’s assessment is backed up by the Islamic site, IslamiCity.com, that says that the Quran is, ‘a record of the exact words revealed by God by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. It was memorized by Muhammad and then dictated to his companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad fourteen centuries ago.’ The host of TheQuran.com adds that Muslims are taught that every detail presented in the Quran is without error…
“[Fadi] discusses the serious teachings of Islam like jihad and relationships with non-Muslims. ‘In one part it will say, “Christians are your closest friends,” yet in another chapter it says, “Christians and Jews are infidels and your enemies, enemies of God and you must kill them,”’ Fadi pointed out… ‘Radical Muslims, for instance, will tell you that the commands to kill are active and valid right now… I personally want to say that the radicals are truly following the teaching of the Quran. They truly understand what the Quran is teaching,’ Fadi added…
“Fadi says Sura Nine is a key element of understanding Quranic doctrine and teaching. That emphasizes the Islamic reality that Quranic teaching should be taken literally. ‘Certainly if we study the history of Islam, we’ll see that they’ve followed it to the letter. That’s why we have invasions by Muslims to other countries. They have occupied Northern Africa, Southern Spain, went all the way to the borders of India, basically because they were following this mandate,’ Fadi further explained.”
A Christian could not possibly accept the claim that the writings of the Koran were revealed, word for word, to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel. The Koran does contradict the Bible, which is, in truth, God’s HOLY BOOK and His divine revelation to man. Therefore, the Koran cannot also be God’s “holy” book, and neither is any other book (for instance, the book of Mormon), which contradicts the Bible in any way.
Protestants to Re-Adopt Catholic Traditions?
On April 3, 2011, CNN published an article by a leading Protestant Pastor in Washington D.C., stating as follows:
“… many Protestant churches have a very short-term memory. For them, church history only goes back to the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther. While we may have our theological differences, we share a long history, and I believe there are things that Protestant and Catholic churches can learn from each other in ways that don’t compromise their core beliefs.
“I for one am thankful for the Lenten tradition that has been cultivated, celebrated and cherished within the Catholic church. I think more Protestant churches will re-adopt some of those traditions that are part of our common church history from before the Protestant Reformation.”
This pastor recognizes what many Protestants today would like to forget—that the Protestant churches are daughters of the mother church of Rome. Even though they may have rejected some concepts of the Catholic Church, they have maintained their core teachings, which are, sadly, not found in the Bible. For instance, Sunday, Lent, Easter or Christmas are merely human traditions, adopted from paganism, which were enjoined by the Catholic Church; while at the same time, God’s weekly Sabbath or His annual Holy Days were rejected and at one time expressly forbidden by the Catholic Church to be kept. The Bible clearly shows that in the not-too-distant future, the Catholic Church and most Protestant churches will merge into one big “Christian” Church.