Asia: An Arms Race Develops
Spiegel Online wrote on April 20, 2012:
“India added itself to the short list of nuclear-armed countries with ballistic missile capability on Thursday. More importantly, though, the country’s successful test marks a new chapter in the developing Asian arms race. German commentators express deep concern on Friday.
“Asia’s military might appears to be growing by leaps and bounds these days. Just last month, China announced a significant increase to its military spending. Since then, North Korea attempted (and failed) to launch a rocket into space, the United States began a joint military exercise with the Philippines and, on Thursday, South Korea tested a missile whose range includes all of North Korea.
“The biggest headlines, however, have been reserved for India’s testing on Thursday of a long-range ballistic missile. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh praised the successful launch, saying it was ‘another milestone’ in India’s ‘quest for security, preparedness and to explore the frontiers of science.’ Many observers, however, noted that it furthered India’s goal of becoming a counterweight to China’s military dominance in the region…
“Most attention, though, was focused on what appear to be Indian efforts to both catch up to China militarily and to underline its supremacy over neighboring Pakistan, which also has nuclear weapons. Only recently, India ordered 126 fighter jets from the French firm Dassault, one of the biggest arms deals in the recent past. Furthermore, New Delhi has purchased nuclear submarines from Russia and is seeking to modernize its tank fleet. In 2011, the country was the world’s biggest purchaser of arms.”
Africa: Fighting for Oil
German-Foreign-Policy.com published the following on April 26, 2012:
“South Sudan, which, with German support, seceded from Sudan, is provoking a new war. A few days ago, troops from the South Sudanese regime in Juba occupied an oil field, belonging, according to a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, to Khartoum. The oil field accounting for about half of Sudan’s total oil production is vital, because the country has already lost approx. three-quarters of its oil reserves to secessionist South Sudan. Khartoum is counter-attacking to retake control of the oilfield. The fighting threatens to escalate into full-scale warfare. This is significant for Germany, not only because German soldiers are stationed in South Sudan, but also because Berlin, for years, has been pushing to establish a functioning South Sudanese state. The objective is to also link South Sudan, with its enormous deposits of oil and other natural resources, to Kenya and Uganda, which, unlike Sudan, are considered fundamentally pro-western and easier to control.”
Europe: Unifying Its Defense Capabilities
UPI.com wrote on April 20, 2012:
“The European Defense Agency is pushing cooperation among EU members with a series of projects and exercises.
“The agency reports an event focusing on energy and the environment will be in June in Brussels. Military Green 2012 will showcase high level visions on policy beyond 2020 and its impact on defense and crisis management.
“Also in June, the agency will host a land systems workshop at the Eurosatory trade show in France in which procurement options will be explored to give the EDA member states maximum procurement capabilities.
“The European Defense Agency is also leading three major multinational aerial exercises this year for rotary assets: Hot Blade 2012 in Portugal in July and Green Blade 2012 in Belgium in September.
“Its first fixed-wing training exercise for transport forces is being staged in Spain in June.
“The EDU was established in 2004 by the European Union to improve the defense capabilities of member states, promote and enhance cooperation in armaments, and strengthen the continent’s defense industrial base.”
As we have been reporting, the European Union is taking small, if difficult, steps toward a stronger military. In numerous ways, the military and political might of the EU is emerging. The Bible offers many details about what is about to happen as these nations do ultimately unify as the final revival of the ancient Roman Empire. Our free booklets, “Europe in Prophecy – The Unfolding of End-Time Events,” along with “Germany in Prophecy,” are available at www.eternalgod.org.
EU: National Border Controls Sought
The Telegraph reported on April 20, 2012:
“Germany and France are seeking to curb free movement in Europe by demanding the right to reintroduce unilateral border controls to stem the flow of illegal immigrants entering the European Union.
“Berlin has backed a French campaign to give members of the EU’s borderless zone the power to carry out controls on their frontiers when there are influxes of immigrants via weakly policed borders in countries such as Greece.
“Passport-free travel within Europe’s ‘Schengen area’, which does not include Britain and Ireland, is regarded as a major achievement.
“But what applies to European travellers also applies to illegal immigrants, allowing them entry to any EU country without showing identity papers.
“Following demands by Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, and during an election where immigration is a major issue, Germany is now supporting a ‘non-negotiable’ right to start national border controls if a country identifies an ‘exceptional’ frontier problem.
“’If the operation of the Schengen area is compromised, the other member states must have, ultimately, the possibility of reintroducing checks at internal borders for a period not exceeding 30 days,’ said a letter signed by the German and French interiors ministers and leaked yesterday…
“The EU’s passport-free travel zone has been under unprecedented pressure since April last year after Italy gave residence permits to more than 25,000 Arab migrants, allowing them unfettered access to the rest of the continent…
“In March, Britain joined Germany, France, Austria, Holland, Belgium and Sweden to demand EU intervention to plug a hole that is allowing illegal immigration via Greece into the rest of Europe. The Franco-German demand for new controls does not specifically mention Greece but diplomats said Athens was the main concern, especially as European funding was given to the Greeks for border checks.”
French Elections Reveal Far Right Influence
CNN.com wrote on April 25, 2012:
“The success of France’s anti-euro National Front party in the first round of the country’s presidential elections thrust the far right into the headlines.
“A day later in the Netherlands, the refusal of the far-right Freedom Party to back austerity measures led the Dutch government to collapse.
“Two very different scenarios, but with a common thread: the efforts of extremist parties to win support by plugging into popular discontent over the financial crisis, against the backdrop of a wider social unease and anti-immigrant sentiment.
“Across Europe, anger at a perceived mismanagement of the economic crisis, and accompanying high unemployment, low growth and painful cuts, has seen the fall of half a dozen governments.
“Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Finland and Italy are among them — and unless President Nicolas Sarkozy pulls a victory out of the bag in the second round of voting on May 6, France may be the next to see power change hands, this time in a shift to the left…
“Europe’s far-right parties are definitely seeing a resurgence, according to Dr. Matthew Feldman, director of the Radicalism and New Media Research Group at the University of Northampton, but the austerity crisis is only one part of the picture.
“He says the far right movement has been gaining ground for years, thanks partly to efforts to revamp its previously overtly racist and fascist image.
“This doesn’t mean that those racist or Nazi-sympathizing elements don’t still exist within different countries’ far right groups, he said, but those at the top have often learned to present a more acceptable public face.
“Instead of open racial attacks, they play up a threat to national identity and criticize multiculturalism, Feldman said…
“Dr. Michael Minkenberg, a professor of political science at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) who has also taught at New York, Cornell and Columbia universities, said concern over immigration, law and order ‘and the feeling that things aren’t what they used to be any more’ are at the heart of support for Europe’s radical right.
“Euroscepticism, as resistance to greater European political integration is known, is also on the increase, he said, and ‘there’s this anxiety about what will happen, a growing complexity and not much reassurance from either national governments or the European Union.’
“Coupled with a mistrust of the political elite, this has also led to a swell of support for the far right in Austria, Belgium and Scandinavian countries, Minkenberg said…
“Farther east, a different strand of far-right thinking dominates in countries like Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, he said. There, far-right groups poll around 10% but tend to be more nationalistic in tone, he said, with anti-Semitism and anti-Roma views seen as more legitimate there than elsewhere in Europe.”
Britain’s Economy Staggers
BBC News wrote on April 25, 2012:
“The UK economy has returned to recession, after shrinking by 0.2% in the first three months of 2012.
“A sharp fall in construction output was behind the surprise contraction, the Office for National Statistics said.
“A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction. The economy shrank by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2011.
“BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders says it ‘adds to the picture that the economy is bumping along the bottom’.
“She said economic output was slightly smaller now than it was in the autumn of 2010.”
Israel: The World Watches
The Los Angeles Times wrote on April 24, 2012:
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that his Cabinet has decided to retroactively legalize three West Bank outposts that previous governments had conceded were built without permission, marking the first step toward what critics fear will become Israel’s first official new settlements since 1990.
“The decision late Monday by a Cabinet committee begins a long administrative process to authorize the small settlements of Rehalim, Sansana and Bruchin.
“The move infuriated Palestinians and frustrated the international community, which has been pushing Israel to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank and refrain from taking actions that might hinder efforts to restart peace talks.
“Government officials said it was inaccurate to characterize the legalization process as establishing new settlements, noting that the three outposts were founded in the 1990s, reportedly with the government’s blessing. Officials said the outposts lack only certain technical authorizations and planning permits, which now will be given.
“‘This decision does not change the reality on the ground whatsoever,” said a government official who was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue. ‘It does not establish new settlements or expand existing ones.'”
Little that happens in the State of Israel goes unnoticed by the world at large. Israel–and especially Jerusalem–remain a focus in the news. What is happening in this area of the Middle East is also central to many prophecies in the Bible! Our booklet, “The Book of Zechariah–Prophecies for Today!,” offers real insight into the future of this troubled land.
The Book of John
Time.com reported on April 16, 2012:
“The British Library has paid 9 million pounds (US$14.3 million) to acquire the St. Cuthbert Gospel, a remarkably well-preserved survivor of seventh-century Britain described by the library as the oldest European book to survive fully intact.
“The palm-sized book, a manuscript copy of the Gospel of John in Latin, was bought from the British branch of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), the library said Tuesday.
“The book measures 96 mm (3.8 inches) by 136 mm (5.4 inches) and has an elaborately tooled red leather cover. It comes from the time of St. Cuthbert, who died in 687, and it was discovered inside his coffin when it was opened in 1104 at Durham Cathedral.
“The British Library said the artifact is one of the world’s most important books.
“‘To look at this small and intensely beautiful treasure from the Anglo-Saxon period is to see it exactly as those who created it in the seventh century would have seen it,’ said the library’s chief executive, Lynne Brindley.
“‘The exquisite binding, the pages, even the sewing structure survive intact, offering us a direct connection with our forebears 1300 years ago,’ she added.
“Cuthbert’s coffin arrived in Durham after monks had removed it from the island of Lindisfarne, 330 miles (530 kilometers) north of London, to protect the remains from Viking raiders in the ninth and 10th centuries.”
While this is a remarkable example of the preservation of one of the books of the Bible, the even more astounding truth is that God has caused His entire Word, the Holy Bible, to be preserved throughout generations, centuries and millennia. Our booklet, “The Authority of the Bible,” presents proof that the Bible is and remains to be the inspired Word of God!