Deutsche Welle wrote on April 27:
“On Sunday morning, Pope Francis declared two former popes, John XXIII and John Paul II, saints before a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Vatican City’s St. Peter’s [Square.] The double-canonization, which was attended by Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, was a first in the Catholic Church’s 2,000 year history… In a Latin prayer, Pope Francis said ‘we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be saints and we enroll them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church.’… Relics of the two new saints were then brought to the altar. Blood from John Paul II was brought by Costa Rican woman Floribeth Mora, whose recovery from a brain aneurism in 2011 was declared the miracle required for John Paul’s canonization. The relic for John XXIII was a small piece of his skin…
“Along with the multitudes of pilgrims, leaders from more than 90 nations were due to attend the canonization celebrations, according to the Vatican. These included the Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, former Polish president and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa and the kings of Spain and Belgium… Leading the Catholic Church from 1958 to 1963, John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council, which changed many aspects of church life including allowing Mass to be held in local languages instead of just Latin. He also encouraged greater dialogue with followers of other faiths, in particular Jewish people… John Paul II was pontiff from 1978 to 2005 and became known for helping to hasten the end of the Cold War and bring down communist rule in Eastern Europe. He also established the popular World Youth Days. His canonization will be the fastest declaration of sainthood in modern history… Earlier this week, critics questioned the appropriateness of declaring Pope John Paul II a saint, citing an abuse scandal linked to an order of priests which he and his closest advisors had strongly supported…”
Big Business Sponsors Catholic Church Event
NBC News wrote on April 26:
“He has railed against the ‘tyranny’ of global capitalism and the ‘idolatry of money, but even Pope Francis needs a little corporate coin sometimes – as proven by the list of sponsors for Sunday’s canonizations. An oil and gas giant, several banks and Switzerland—based food megacorp Nestle are among more than a dozen financial backers of the Rome event…
“The Catholic Church sits upon enormous assets – the Vatican Bank manages $8 billion worth of worldwide investments as well as 33,000 accounts for clergy and parishes – but its governing body, the Holy See, made a loss of $18.4 million in 2011.”
Pope Francis’ Clever Move
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 27:
“The two former popes canonized on Sunday (27.04.2014) by their successor represent opposing positions in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis’ move has placed him squarely between the two poles – a clever diplomatic chess move ahead of important decisions he will have to make.
“John Paul II, sometimes called the ‘Pilgrim Pope’ because of his many travels abroad, distinguished himself during the political unification of Europe. At the same time, he set the Church on a conservative track. Pope John XXIII, meanwhile, ‘tore doors and windows open to let a fresh wind into the Church,’ as one Catholic historian put it. He initiated the Second Vatican Council, with all the reforms it brought, and opened the Church to the people.
“Any canonization reflects on the pope who does the canonizing – even if he did not initiate the process himself. It reveals something of his interpretation of his office. The Polish conservative on the one hand, the Italian reformer on the other: Pope Francis is positioning himself between the two… This is clever a move, and it is the only way that Francis can build the bridges so vital to a Church facing a number of expectations. Following the election of the modest but charismatic Francis a year ago, a stubborn tug-of-war between reformers and traditionalists has been going on behind the scenes at the Vatican – and not only there…
“Sunday’s double-canonization shows that Pope Francis remains an ambiguous figure. But as anyone can now see, he has left all his options open.”
Peace Talks Suspended
JTA wrote on April 25:
“President Obama said it may be time for a pause in Middle East peacemaking in the wake of a breakdown in Israel-Palestinian talks… The crisis began March 29, when Israel failed to meet a deadline to release the final 26 of 104 Palestinian prisoners it had pledged to release at the outset of renewed talks last July. It escalated within days when the Palestinians violated their own pledge not to apply to join international agreements while talks were underway.
“The crisis deepened on Wednesday when the Palestinian Authority signed a unity agreement with Hamas, the group controlling the Gaza Strip that has been designated as terrorist by Israel, the United States and the European Union. Israel suspended the talks formally on Thursday… Netanyahu’s security cabinet ‘decided unanimously that it will not negotiate with a Palestinian government that incorporates Hamas, a terrorist organization that seeks the destruction of Israel.’”
John Kerry Blames Israeli and Palestinian Leaders
The Daily Beast wrote on April 27:
“If there’s no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming ‘an apartheid state,’ Secretary of State John Kerry told a room of influential world leaders in a closed-door meeting Friday. Senior American officials have rarely, if ever, used the term ‘apartheid’ in reference to Israel, and President Obama has previously rejected the idea that the word should apply to the Jewish state. Kerry’s use of the loaded term is already rankling Jewish leaders in America—and it could attract unwanted attention in Israel, as well.
“It wasn’t the only controversial comment on the Middle East that Kerry made… Kerry also repeated his warning that a failure of Middle East peace talks could lead to a resumption of Palestinian violence against Israeli citizens. He suggested that a change in either the Israeli or Palestinian leadership could make achieving a peace deal more feasible. He lashed out against Israeli settlement-building. And Kerry said that both Israeli and Palestinian leaders share the blame for the current impasse in the talks.”
The New York Times added on April 28:
“Secretary of State John Kerry issued an unusual statement Monday evening expressing his support for Israel after a controversy erupted over a politically charged phrase [see above] he used in a private appearance… During his push for a comprehensive peace agreement, Mr. Kerry has repeatedly warned that Israel could face economic pressure from European nations as well as Palestinian violence and a demographic time bomb at home — meaning Jews could become a minority in Israel and the territories they control — if Israel did not negotiate an agreement that led to an independent Palestinian state…
“[Kerry] said that he had been a staunch supporter of Israel during his years as a senator and had spent many hours since working with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials… Mr. Kerry added that he did not believe that Israel was an ‘ partied state’ or intended to become one. Mr. Kerry did not dispute he had used the phrase but said it had led to a ‘ misimpression’ about his views. ‘If I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way in the long term to have a Jewish state and two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two state solution,’ he said.
“J Street, a pro-peace Jewish organization, defended Mr. Kerry. ‘Instead of putting energy into attacking Secretary Kerry, those who are upset with the secretary’s use of the term should put their energy into opposing and changing the policies that are leading Israel down this road,’ it said in a statement.”
Regardless, the Bible indicates that Israel WILL become an “apartheid state”; that is, it will become more and more isolated and without any true supporters.
Rise of the Hungarian Far-Right
Reuters reported on April 27:
“Tens of thousands of Hungarians joined a protest march on Sunday against anti-Semitism, three weeks after the far-right Jobbik party won nearly a quarter of votes cast in a national election.
“Budapest’s annual ‘March of the Living’ has drawn an increasing number of participants in recent years to commemorate the deaths of around half a million Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust in World War Two.
“The marchers, many holding European Union and Israeli flags, attended the inauguration of a Holocaust monument on a bank of the Danube where Jews were executed during the war. They then marched in silence through the city to an old railway station from which trains departed 70 years ago for Nazi death camps…
“Jobbik denies being anti-Semitic but does little to dispel its reputation for intolerance. Its followers are often openly hostile to Jews and other ethnic and religious minorities.
“‘Anti-Semitism has risen. You can feel that in all segments of society: in politics, in media, in schools and in social intercourse,’ said another marcher, Gyorgy Burjan, a retired engineer, adding that Jobbik had capitalized on that.”
US and EU Sanctions of Little Consequence
The Washington Post wrote on April 29:
“The sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle were supposed to roll back the chaos besetting eastern Ukraine. But here in Russia’s blossoming capital, such a retreat is nowhere to be seen. Some targets of the sanctions are sitting down for softball interviews on Kremlin-controlled TV channels. Moscow’s stock market rebounded Tuesday for the second day in a row after the latest round of sanctions turned out to be weaker than expected. Chaos is spiraling in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists stormed a regional government building in the roiling city of Luhansk on Tuesday. And tens of thousands of Russian troops remain arrayed on Ukraine’s border… some of the targets have rolled their eyes, saying the United States and Europe are only inflicting wounds on themselves…
“But sanctions targeting individuals rather than industry sectors are unlikely to have a big effect on behavior, said Kirill Rogov, a senior researcher at the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy in Moscow. ‘No one will stop buying oil or gas because of these sanctions,’ he said.”
In Germany, the mood of the German people is sympathetic towards Mr. Putin, while the official newscasts and the mainstream press struggle to paint a somewhat negative picture. The embrace of former Chancellor Schroeder and Putin and their celebration of Putin’s birthday have caused some initial consternation among politicians, but they were quick to put a spin on it, indicating that Schroeder might have spoken in private to Putin to encourage him to pursue a more peaceful action… which appears rather doubtful.
Merkel Says No War!
The Globe and Mail reported on April 30:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday ruled out military intervention in the dispute with Russia over Ukraine and said she was counting on a diplomatic resolution to Europe’s worst crisis since the Cold War ended.
“In a speech to about 1,200 people in Frankfurt, Germany’s financial capital, ahead of the European parliamentary elections next month, Merkel said the lessons of two world wars in the last century could not be forgotten…
“’I’ll continue working towards a good partnership with Russia,’ said Merkel.
“’We will not resolve our conflicts in Europe with military means. Military solutions can be excluded,’ she added to loud applause.
“Germany, which relies heavily on Russia for natural-gas supplies, has been trying to defuse tensions over Ukraine and is seen in the West as reluctant to ratchet up sanctions against Moscow.”
Russia Accuses West of Wanting to Control Ukraine
The Associated Press reported on April 25:
“Accusing the West of plotting to control Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared Friday that the pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine will only lay down their arms if the Ukrainian government clears out the Maidan protest camp in Kiev. ‘The West wants — and this is how it all began — to seize control of Ukraine because of their own political ambitions, not in the interests of the Ukrainian people,’ Lavrov said. He added the pro-Russia insurgents will disarm and vacate buildings ‘only if Kiev authorities get down to implementing the Geneva accords, clear out that shameful Maidan and liberate the buildings that have been illegally seized.’
“Ukraine’s reaction was swift. ‘The world has not yet forgotten the second World War, but Russia is already keen on starting a third world war,’ acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk retorted.”
Gauck vs. Errdogan
The Local wrote on April 29:
“Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Errdogan on Tuesday rejected criticism from Germany’s president who said he was ‘scared’ by the Turkey’s recent spate of rights abuses. ‘I think he still thinks of himself as pastor,’ Erdogan told parliament, a day after he met with German President Joachim Gauck who is on a four-day visit to Turkey.
“Gauck, an outspoken former Lutheran pastor, gave a harsh indictment of recent actions by the Turkish government during speeches in Ankara on Monday – particularly efforts to ban Twitter and YouTube and increase control over the judiciary in response to protests and a corruption scandal. ‘I must confess that these developments are scaring me,’ Gauck said in a speech at the Middle East Technical University.
“He added that the rule of law was in danger from efforts to muzzle the opposition. ‘I ask myself if judicial independence is still guaranteed if the government purges so many prosecutors and police, and prevents them from shedding light on crooked developments… or manipulates decisions in its favour,’ Gauck said during his four-day visit to the country. But Erdogan said Gauck’s approach ‘upset’ him.”
That Turkey has become a dangerous country regarding personal liberties and freedoms, there can be no doubt. President Gauck’s criticism was more than justified, and Errdogan’s reply was more than weak. What diminishes Gauck’s credibility substantially is his personal lifestyle—living together with another woman, while still being married.
Britain No Longer a Christian Country
BBC News wrote on April 27:
“Britain is now a ‘post-Christian’ country, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has said… Lord Williams said Britain was not a nation of believers and that the era of widespread worship was over… It comes after Prime Minister David Cameron said people in Britain should be confident of its status as ‘a Christian country’…
“Lord Williams, who retired from being the leader of the Church of England in 2012, said: ‘If I say that this is a post-Christian nation, that doesn’t mean necessarily non-Christian. It means the cultural memory is still quite strongly Christian.’
“He added: ‘But [Britain is] post-Christian in the sense that habitual practice for most of the population is not taken for granted. A Christian nation can sound like a nation of committed believers and we are not that. Equally, we are not a nation of dedicated secularists. It’s a matter of defining terms. A Christian country as a nation of believers? No…”
Don’t Quote Churchill in Britain
The Washington Times wrote on April 29:
“Quoting Winston Churchill’s opinions on Islam contributed to a U.K. politician’s arrest — and possible imprisonment of up to two years. Paul Weston, chairman of the party Liberty GB, was making a speech Saturday outside the Winchester Guildhall in Hampshire, when he quoting the famous prime minister, the Independent reported.
“After a member of the public complained, Mr. Weston was subsequently arrested for religious harassment when he did not comply with officers’ orders to leave the area. The text that contributed to Mr. Weston’s arrest came from Churchill’s book ‘The River of War: An Account of the Reconquest of the Sudan,’ written by the former prime minister in 1899 during his time as an Army officer in Sudan.
“Mr. Weston read the following passage, among others, by Mr. Churchill, the Blaze reported: ‘The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities – but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.’”
To get arrested for quoting Winston Churchill’s comments on Islam is another example for the inevitable downfall of Great Britain.
1 In 7 Americans Couldn’t Survive a Week Without a Job
Newsmax wrote on April 26:
“Fourteen percent of Americans, or about one in seven, say they would experience ‘significant financial hardship’ within a week if they lost their job, a Gallup survey reveals. Another 29 percent say they would face financial troubles within a month if they no longer received a paycheck, while 26 percent wouldn’t survive financially more than four months without a job. Just 17 percent could survive for up to one year, and 14 percent could last more than a year, according to Gallup’s poll of adults employed full-time or part-time in all 50 states.
“And among those with an annual household income of less than $50,000, 45 percent could not last one month and 25 percent could not last even a week… More than 60 percent of adults ages 18 to 34 could go only one month or less before experiencing hardship…
“Gallup concludes: ‘With long-term unemployment a serious problem in recent years, many U.S. workers are not in a position financially to go a month, or even a week, without finding a new job if laid off. That underscores the economic hardship that unemployment of any length can bring on U.S. families, particularly for younger and lower-income workers.’”