Current Events


Zenit News Agency, an independent service in support of the Catholic Church, reported on July 1, 2002, that Pope John Paul II insisted that ecumenical talks and a theological dialogue between Rome and Constantinople must continue and move forward. He added that he does not rule out the hope for unity in the future. He stated that in order to change the world, by reinforcing or bringing peace to it, “we must join forces, be together, act together.” He concluded that we must nourish the commitment to overcome theological obstacles that still divide the Roman Catholic and the Greek Orthodox Churches.

Zenit News Agency reported on July 3 that the Vatican offered a symbolic contribution to the Trust Fund set up by the United Nations to support the establishment of the International Criminal Court. The U.N. adopted the statute creating this court in 1998 in Rome. The United States and Russia are the only two main powers opposing the creation of the Court, as they don’t want their soldiers, diplomats or others caught up in politically motivated persecutions, according to Zenit News Agency.

The San Diego Union Tribune reported on July 10 that Italian police closed down five U.S. based Web-sites that were charged with “blaspheming Catholicism and especially the virgin Mary.” Zenit News Agency added on July 10 that the action came about in response to a denunciation of one of the Web-sites by the Vatican’s semiofficial newspaper, the L’Osservatore Romano, in October of 2000.

Yahoo! News reported on July 11 that the Italian parliament gave final approval to lifting a constitutional ban that kept the male descendants of Italy’s last king out of their homeland, opening the way for their return after 56 years of exile. The male members of the House of Savoy were exiled after World War II as punishment for royal support of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Victor Emmanuel, son of Italy’s last king, Umberto II, was only nine years old when he left the country. His 30-year-old son, Emanuel Filiberto, was born and raised in Switzerland and has never been in Italy. Victor Emmanuel expressed his and his son’s thanks to the government and lawmakers from all parties for “this brilliant success.”

World reported on July 4 that, according to a United States Air Force report, Israel is building a nuclear naval force meant to respond to any nuclear strike by such countries as Iran or Iraq. It is believed that Iran will have the capability to produce a nuclear warhead by 2004. The report allegedly asserts that Israel possesses 400 atomic and hydrogen weapons, which number is twice as high as what was previously assessed. The missiles could have a range of 350 kilometers.

Yahoo! News reported on July 11 that Amnesty International condemned Palestinian suicide bombings and other attacks on Israeli civilians as “crimes against humanity” and unjustified by Palestinian political grievances. The London-based human rights organization had previously accused Israel of violating Palestinian rights in the Mideast conflict. The most recent lengthy report stated that Palestinian violence killed about 350 Israeli citizens, describing those acts as possibly constituting “war crimes.” Palestinian officials dismissed the report as biased and unbalanced.

As Yahoo! News reported on July 10, the United States is capable of launching a rapid attack on Iraq by marshaling 50,000 troops at the Kuwaiti border in roughly a week, airlifting them in and bringing their tanks and heavy equipment on ships through the Strait of Hormuz. That would give Saddam Hussein just a few days’ notice. It might also eliminate America’s need to rely on bases in neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia or Jordan. The article continued, “A risk is that Saddam would still have time to launch missiles – perhaps carrying poison gas or anthrax – toward U.S. troops in Kuwait or civilians in Israel.”

The Jordan Times and Spiegel Online reported on July 3 and July 5 that Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri met with Austria’s Joerg Haider in the absence of any foreign ministerial official. Haider had visited Iraq earlier this year in February. Sabri described Haider as “one of Iraq’s best friends.”
The BBC News Online had quoted on June 28 from an interview, which Joerg Haider gave last week, while in London. He stated that Tony Blair’s stance on issues like immigration and crime make him a right-winger. He added, “I was accused and attacked and labeled a racist and a fascist, but now the EU has taken the stance and taken a similar idea [on immigration] which I maintained 10 years before. It’s a satisfying event for me.” He also added, according to the article, that left-winged politicians could not survive in Europe unless they accepted right-wing ideas.

UNITED EUROPE  reported on July 5 about an anti-Europe 90-second commercial which is being aired in Great Britain, causing anger and an uproar there and abroad. The commercial depicts an actor and comedian, Rik Mayall, appearing twice as Adolph Hitler, giving the Nazi salute and shouting, “Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!” [“One people! One state! One euro!”]. Jewish officials condemned the commercial as “absolutely tasteless” and “as an insult of Holocaust-victims,” according to Spiegel Online of July 4. The magazine added, “The historian Andrew Roberts argued in ‘Daily Mail,’ that Hitler’s plans for a European economic society show alarming parallels with today’s EU.”


Spiegel Online and Bild Online reported on July 7 that several secret agent services fear a series of spectacular attacks against American, Israeli and British targets. It is feared that those attacks by Osama bin Laden’s terrorists will occur on September 11, 2002. One of the targets is allegedly the Statute of Liberty in New York, according to Bild Online. The secret agent services also believe, according to Spiegel Online, that bin Laden lives in a mountain area close to the border between Afghanistan or Pakistan, while many of his followers are operating from Pakistan.

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