June 1, 2007

News for June 1, 2007

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Solana, Zoellick and the World Bank News With Views: Constance Cumbey (May 31, 2007) - Portfolio now include Robert Zoellick and the World Bank. Newswithviews regular readers may remember my February 21st article. In it, I covered Javier Solana's Valentine's Day speech (February 14, 2007) in New York City. He was addressing the Arthur F. Burns Foundation. He was introduced by Robert F. Zoellick. Today that same Robert F. Zoellick, “a friend for many, many years” of Javier Solana was nominated by President George W. Bush to be head of the World Bank. Perhaps raising their own expected opposition so that they may just as rapidly unilaterally squelch it, the Bookings Institution, another confederate, together with Zoellick for Javier Solana's Global Governance initiative, most disingenuously issued a statement that foreign countries may be unhappy at the nomination. I suspect that at least “The Face and Voice of Europe” in the form of Javier Solana is not. I also suspect that the Brookings Institution itself is not unhappy! At the February 14th New York City event, “dear Javier” was introduced by German Ambassador to the USA, Klaus Scharioth as “The Face and Voice of Europe.” Five weeks later, Javier Solana would with the assistance of New York University, Stanford University and the Brookings Institution all apparently acting with the blessings of the United States State Department would launch a new global security initiative. [4] Javier Solana has evidently had a cozy relationship with both Zoellick and the Brookings Institution. On January 5th, while in the USA, his busy itinerary included a meeting with Brookings Institution representatives. Gingerly, like testing the water, “global constitutionalism” a/k/a “global governance” is being advanced. This is not entirely unlike George H. W. Bush (Bush the elder) mentioning the New World Order and his intentions to advance same in a speech he auspiciously delivered on September 11, 1991. Similar speeches were given other times. That Robert Zoellick is part of that scene is clear. In addition to being a friend of Javier Solana for many years, Robert Zoellick has with equal vigor been a friend and proponent of a “New World Order,” more recently and politely known as “global governance.” As early as March, 1992, Robert Zoellick was speaking of his World Economic Forum inspired epiphanies of a New World Order. They are calling all of this by various names these days. Condoleezza Rice calls it “Transformational Diplomacy.” Fletcher Law School Associate Professor Daniel W. Drezner calls it “the New New World Order.” It appears that although Javier Solana may have his European migraines as reluctance to hand him everything appears among the masses, he has offsetting advantages of global elitist support.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | NewWorldOrder | America |


'Boycott call reminiscent of witch hunt' Ynet News (May 31, 2007) - Responding to UK lecturers' call to boycott Israel, Bar Ilan professor says Israel not apartheid state, shouldn't be held to higher standards than other countries, including US and Britain. "The British lecturers' union is trying to de-legitimize Israel by promoting radical prejudice," Dr Jonathan Rynhold of Bar Ilan University and member of the international Advisory Board for Academic Freedom said Wednesday following a decision by Britain's University and College Union (UCU) to consider boycotting Israeli academic institutions. According to Rynhold, the decision was reminiscent of "McCarthy's witch hunt." The UCU has called on the European Union to cut funding to the Israeli academia until Israel obeys UN Security Council resolutions and withdraws from the West Bank. This is the fourth time since 2003 that British lecturer groups are calling to boycott Israeli universities. Rynhold stated that the UCU's "hypocritical" decision was the result of pressure by the radical Left, which believed Israel had no right to exist. "This isn't anti-Semitism, but it's prejudice, according to which the Palestinians and other nations have the right for self-determination, while the Jews don't. "It's clear to everyone that Israel is not one of the most problematic countries in terms of human rights violations, such as China, Saudi Arabia and even the United States and Britain, which operate in Iraq and whose behavior is much more problematic. And still, it is Israel that is being threatened with this boycott." Rynhold warned of the dangerous link between the academic world and politics. "Only in very extreme cases should academia and politics be bound together, but what goes on in Israel is far from being an extreme case. There is no apartheid here, as some try to portray it. "In an apartheid state there wouldn't be Arab parties or an Arab judge. We have academic freedom and minority rights, and the Israeli academia encourages peace and enables both sides to get to know each other better."
| Israel | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |


Secretive Bilderberg meeting set for Turkey WorldNetDaily (May 30, 2007) - The super-secret Bilderberg Group, an organization of powerful international elites, is set to meet this week somewhere in Turkey – but even the precise location is a mystery. The meeting begins Thursday and continues through Sunday. Those expected to attend include Donald Graham, chairman and chief executive officer of the Washington Post, Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller, John Vinocur, senior correspondent of the International Herald Tribune, Paul Gigot, editor of the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, Nicholas Beytout, editor-in-chief of Le Figaro, George David, chairman of Coca-Cola, Martin Feldstein, president and chief executive officer of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Timothy F. Geithner, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Vernon Jordan, senior managing director of Lazard Freres & Co., Anatole Kaletsky, editor at large of the Times of London and General William Luti, the new "war czar." According to reports from Turkey, Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions and global energy issues will be on the agenda – but only invitees know for sure. Welcome to the mysterious world of secret societies. Did someone say "secret societies"? "Most people don't realize they exist because their minds have been conditioned to reject any thought of such organizations," explains Dr. Stanley Monteith, a medical doctor by training, who set out on a mission to research groups like the Bilderbergers 40 years ago. The results of his startling research is a little book called "Brotherhood of Darkness," in which he exposes the global agenda of organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. How important are events like this weekend's Bilderberg conference? It may not make any difference now, but in 2004, according to the New York Times, it was the standout "performance" of Sen. John Edwards at the super-secret Bilderberg meeting in Italy that sealed the deal on his nomination as John Kerry's vice presidential running mate. Since 1954, the Bilderberg group has convened government, business, academic and journalistic representatives from the U.S., Canada and Europe with the express purpose of exploring the future of the North Atlantic community. The first meeting was held at the Hotel de Bilderberg in the Netherlands – thus the name. According to sources that have penetrated the high-security meetings in the past, the Bilderberg meetings emphasize a globalist agenda and promote the idea that the notion of national sovereignty is antiquated and regressive. "It's officially described as a private gathering," noted a BBC report in 2003, "but with a guest list including the heads of European and American corporations, political leaders and a few intellectuals, it's one of the most influential organizations on the planet." And according to a BBC report on 2004's conference in Stresa: "Not a word of what is said at Bilderberg meetings can be breathed outside. No reporters are invited in and while confidential minutes of meetings are taken, names are not noted. The shadowy aura extends further – the anonymous answerphone message, for example; the fact that conference venues are kept secret. The group, which includes luminaries such as Henry Kissinger and former UK chancellor Kenneth Clarke, does not even have a website." But, counter participants, the secrecy is not evidence of a grand conspiracy, but only an opportunity to speak frankly with other world leaders out of the limelight of press coverage and its inevitable repercussions. "There's absolutely nothing in it," argues the UK's Lord Denis Healey, one of the four founders of Bilderberg. "We never sought to reach a consensus on the big issues at Bilderberg," he told the BBC. "It's simply a place for discussion."
| NewWorldOrder |


Hamas: Islam Will Rule the World, Destroy Israel and the Jews Israel National News (May 30, 2007) - The Hamas terrorist organization is conducting a simultaneous battle against Israel and its coalition partner, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, but not without a "higher" purpose. According to the Palestinian Media Watch, the Hamas charter specifically mandates the murder of Jews in compliance with what it believes is Divine will. Violence and terror, which Hamas refers to as "resistance", are considered legitimate tools to be used for this purpose. Hamas has worked hard to promote this ideology and to train the current and future generations toward this end, using a Mickey Mouse-like character to teach the precepts to PA Arab children and other TV and radio programs to reach the adults. The PA population has, for the most part, responded enthusiastically to this campaign. Others who are frightened by the fanaticism and culture of murder are doing their best to flee. Branch offices of foreign ministries from various Arab countries report they have been besieged with tens of thousands of applications by PA Arabs who are desperate to take their families out of the madness. Islamic clerics, meanwhile, exhort them to remain, resorting even to religious legal rulings that it is forbidden to leave the Palestinian Authority territories and abandon what they insist is their land. It is clear that Hamas has no intention of ever recognizing the State of Israel's right to exist. Nor does it intend to end its terrorism, regardless of international mandates to do so. "We will liberate Palestine, all of Palestine... Palestine will not be liberated by negotiations, committees and decisions. It will only be liberated by the rifle and the al-Kassam [rocket -ed.]. Therefore, prepare yourselves," declared Hamas spokesman Dr. Ismail Radwan in an April interview with the Hamas-controlled Al-Risalah newspaper. Ultimately, states former Foreign Minister and Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar in a March interview with the Arabic Al-Ayyam newspaper, "Our position is the liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine. This is the final and strategic solution for us..Anyone who denies it must check his faith and his Islam." To view the entire report on the Palestinian Media Watch website, click here. | Israel | Islam |


The Prophet Without Compassion Rapture Alert (May 29, 2007) - Jonah was a prophet without compassion. 2 Kings 14:25

I. Jonah was a prophet that did not want to do the will of God.

  • God was using Jonah. 2 Kings 14:25
  • God gave Jonah a clear directive. Jonah 1:2
  • However, this time Jonah refused to do God's will and ran from His presence. Jonah 1:3
II. God always punishes and tries to correct our disobedience.
  • God sent the storm. Jonah 1:4
  • God put Jonah into the whale's belly.
    1. The smells he had to endure were sickening.
    2. It was claustrophobic in space. He was under constant pressure. Jonah 2:5
    3. There was no food. Jonah 2:5
    4. It was lonely. Jonah 2:4
    5. The affliction brought Jonah to repentance. Jonah 2:1-2
III. Jonah obeyed, but not with his heart.
  • He hated the Ninevites but he went and preached to them anyway. He obeyed. Jonah 3:3
  • They repented in mass. Jonah 3:5
  • Great deliverance was given to Nineveh. Jonah 3:10
  • Jonah was disappointed and grieved that God had forgiven Nineveh and didn't destroy them. Jonah 4:1
    1. In his heart, he didn't want God's will to be done.
    2. He obeyed out of fear for God and not because he loved God.
    3. He never allowed his own will to agree with God's will.
    4. He never caused his heart to have compassion for his enemies.
  • He became bitter at God's gracious forgiveness to his enemies.
    1. He asked to die. Jonah 4:3
    2. God still blest Jonah. Jonah 4:6
    3. Jonah continued in his angry spirit. Jonah 4:9
  • Jonah failed each test God gave him. Jonah 4:9
    1. Will you obey with your heart? Jonah didn't. Jonah 1:17 - 3:3
    2. Will you not be angry about the gourd and learn the lesson I have for you? Jonah was still angry and got smart with God. Jonah 4:9
    3. Then God asked his last question and when Jonah failed to have compassion for sinners, the book ends. There is no more record of Jonah. Maybe God just took him on home through physical death. We know by the abruptness of the book's ending God did something with Jonah and he is never mentioned again. Jonah 4:10-11

As we near the time of Christ's return, I wonder how many of us relate with Jonah's desire to see the Ninevites judged harshly by God. I know I do at times which is why I felt led to post this Bible study outline which a brother in Christ sent me from his church. If there has ever been a time when we need to try - and, believe me, I know it's hard - to look at things from God's perspective, this is that time! It's important for each of us to fully realize that even those we sense are worthy of judgment are loved by God - enough that He allowed Jesus Christ to die a sinner's death on the cross of Calvary for every last one of them, just as He did for us! Do we not, therefore, owe the lost the same compassion that Almighty God had for us when we were lost and didn't know our right hand from our left? Something for us to think on as we await the return of our Lord.


Palestinian Fatah-al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades group splits, with 40 percent defecting to Hamas - DEBKAfile's counter-terror sources report exclusively DEBKAfile (May 29, 2007) - The breakaway Fatah rebel group based in the West Bank has turned its back on Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and his senior adviser Mohammed Dahlan and established a separate suicide terrorist militia. Called the Martyr Abu Amar (Yasser Arafat) Brigades, the rebel group's new commanders are Hamas Gaza operatives Hussein Hijaz and Abu Hilas (Abu Maher). They also take orders, as well as explosive supplies and funds, from the Lebanese Hizbullah. DEBKAfile quotes Israeli military and intelligence sources as rating this split as extremely dangerous. It affords Hamas a prime strategic asset for escalating its violent campaign against Israel. Hamas managed in the middle of its factional war with Fatah to infiltrate the opposition's West Bank strongholds and persuade a large faction to secede from the Fatah group and establish a Hamas-controlled militia. Israel did not prevent this happening. The result, our counter-terror experts report, is a Hamas launching pad on the West Bank, previously controlled by Fatah, for a mass suicide bombing offensive against central Israel, projected by the Iran-backed Hamas as the next stage of its missile campaign from Gaza. The new Martyr Abu Amar Brigades have been given orders to gear up to stage multiple suicide truck bombings, Iraq style, in Israel's main cities. This week, Israeli military and undercover units fanned out across the West Bank to hunt down and capture Fatah defectors to the new Hamas-backed militia. Sunday, May 27, they captured Khaled Shawish, who was important enough in the Fatah terrorist hierarchy to hide for years in the Palestinian Authority compound in Ramallah, after engineering numerous terrorist attacks, including the Dec. 31, 2000 murder of Binyamin and Talia Cahane. Recently, he was involved in shooting attacks in the West Bank. Monday, the brother of Zakariah Zubeidi, the notorious Fatah commander of Jenin, was picked up. He had been acting as intermediary between the al Aqsa Brigades and the rebels; a leading Fatah defector was killed in a village near Jenin. Tuesday, Israel forces detained Jamil Tirawi in Nablus. He is the son of Tawfiq Tirawi, Arafat's faithful lieutenant, who was a co-founder of the al Aqsa Brigades, Fatah's suicide strike force. The revolt against Abu Mazen and Dahlan, instigated by Hamas and backed by Hizbullah, is spreading. The influential Fatah-Tanzim terrorist leader, Marwan Barghouti, has endorsed the defection from his Israel cell, where he is serving six life sentences for murdering Israeli civilians in terrorist attacks. Another supporter is Jibril Rajoub, former preventive security chief on the West Bank, and rival of Dahlan. The Fatah mutiny has awarded Hamas strike force and terrorist networks stretching from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip to Jenin in the northern West Bank. It is described by Israeli security sources as the gravest terrorist threat Israel has faced since its 2002 Defensive Wall operation broke Arafat's terrorist infrastructure. Abu Mazen's rule has never been in greater peril. Israeli prime minister could not have chosen a more unfortunate moment to yield to Washington's pressure and announce talks next week with Abbas. All the Palestinian leader needs now is a meeting with Ehud Olmert as he battles for authority over his increasingly radicalized and mutinous Fatah.
| Islam |


Tehran's Secret 'Department 9000' MSNBC (May 29, 2007) - President Bush said last week he expects a "bloody" summer in Iraq. What he didn't say is that a growing covert war between the United States and Iran may be one reason the conflict is escalating. U.S. intelligence has identified the principal unit behind Tehran's efforts to supply Shia insurgent cells in Iraq. It is a super secret group called Department 9000, which is part of the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to three U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reporting and analysis on the Iraqi insurgency who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive material. Department 9000 acts as a liaison between the insurgents and the IRGC, the Iranian regime's principal internal-security mechanism, providing guidance and support. More recently, says one of the officials, these secret Iranian paramilitaries have even begun to help Sunni insurgent groups in order to keep the Americans bogged down. "The new developments with Sunni groups are more operational in nature and are more direct in terms of their involvement in groups attacking the Coalition," he said. Bush, meanwhile, has raised the stakes in the covert war himself. The president recently approved a secret order, or "finding," authorizing the CIA to use covert methods to harass-but not overthrow-Iran's theocratic regime, according to government sources familiar with the issue, anonymous due to the highly sensitive nature of the subject. The CIA operation that the president OK'd is meant as a response to what the administration sees as an Iranian government policy of arming Shia insurgents with ordnance designed to kill American troops. Precise details of what methods the CIA has been authorized to use to pressure Iran are unclear and highly classified. (A CIA spokesman said the agency never comments on allegations of covert action.) One former U.S. undercover operative (anonymous because of intel sensitivities) who has talked with current agency employees about the new CIA effort said that among the ideas that have been discussed are various methods for trying to extend the range of uncensored Internet service into Iranian border areas. According to the ABC News investigative unit, which first reported on the CIA operation last week, the CIA plan "reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions." more...
| Iran | Islam |


Storms Cause Chaos Across Europe Herald Sun (May 29, 2007) - HEAVY storms, landslides, flash floods and lightning killed at least 23 people in Europe and Turkey, officials said. Nine people died in eastern Turkey, including six killed in severe flooding in mountainous Agri province near the Iranian border, where river waters were swollen by melting snows. Two more people were missing. In nearby Van province, a two-year-old child died when landslides triggered by heavy rain demolished a house. Two other girls also died and another person was injured after being struck by lightning. Six hikers died in Greece while trying to cross a river in the south. They were in a group of 18 people swept away by a flood wave in the rain-swollen Lousios river. Prosecutors charged the hike's organizers with involuntary manslaughter. In France, two divers and a yachtsman drowned yesterday off the western coast of Brittany in extreme weather. The yachtsman fell into the sea from his 21-metre boat in heavy seas. The two divers were part of a group of six who were caught up in strong waves. The others made it safely to shore. In northern Bosnia, two 11-year-old children, a boy and a girl, died after being struck by lightning on Saturday, local media reported. In Germany, three construction workers building a windmill in the eastern state of Brandenburg were killed yesterday when lightning hit a tractor they were sheltering under, police said. In Russia, by contrast, meteorologists said today was the hottest May day in Moscow since records began with temperatures hitting 32.7 degrees Celsius. The city's electricity system shifted into emergency mode to cope with demand, largely from people using air conditioners. Extreme weather - including drought, heavy storms, flooding and flash frost - have wreaked havoc across Europe this spring. Aside from the human toll, it has also destroyed crops and damaged infrastructure in France, Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Turkey and other countries.
| Earth Changes |


Taxpayers on the hook for $59 trillion USA Today (May 29, 2007) - The federal government recorded a $1.3 trillion loss last year - far more than the official $248 billion deficit - when corporate-style accounting standards are used, a USA TODAY analysis shows. The loss reflects a continued deterioration in the finances of Social Security and government retirement programs for civil servants and military personnel. The loss - equal to $11,434 per household - is more than Americans paid in income taxes in 2006. "We're on an unsustainable path and doing a great disservice to future generations," says Chris Chocola, a former Republican member of Congress from Indiana and corporate chief executive who is pushing for more accurate federal accounting. Modern accounting requires that corporations, state governments and local governments count expenses immediately when a transaction occurs, even if the payment will be made later. The federal government does not follow the rule, so promises for Social Security and Medicare don't show up when the government reports its financial condition. Bottom line: Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006. That amount is equal to $516,348 for every U.S. household. By comparison, U.S. households owe an average of $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined. Unfunded promises made for Medicare, Social Security and federal retirement programs account for 85% of taxpayer liabilities. State and local government retirement plans account for much of the rest. This hidden debt is the amount taxpayers would have to pay immediately to cover government's financial obligations. Like a mortgage, it will cost more to repay the debt over time. Every U.S. household would have to pay about $31,000 a year to do so in 75 years. more...
| America |

So do we trust the governments of man or God to provide for us. Learning from Israel's past failures in scripture to trust God, we're much better off in His hands than any man, let alone the beaurocratic mess we now have. I choose God.

Russia Hits Target In ICBM Debut Test RIA Novosti (May 29, 2007) - Russia successfully test-launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia Tuesday, a press spokesman for the strategic missile forces said. The RS-24 with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) warheads was launched from a mobile missile system at 2:20 p.m. Moscow time (10:20 a.m. GMT). "The targets have been reached and objectives achieved completely," Vadim Koval said, adding that the ICBM's destination was a testing ground in Kamchatka, in the Far East. Koval said the new ICBM met all international requirements in terms of strategic offensive arms reduction and was capable of avoiding missile defense systems and, consequently, would enhance Russia's nuclear deterrent potential when deployed. The test comes against the background of growing tensions between Moscow and the West regarding plans by the United States to deploy elements of its global antiballistic missile defense system in Central Europe. Although Washington claims the move is needed to counter possible attacks from "rogue states," Moscow has condemned the plans as a threat to its national security and a destabilizing factor for Europe.
| Gog/Magog |


Jihadists moving into Lebanon from Syria The Washington Times (May 29, 2007) - Heavily armed foreign jihadists have been entering Lebanon from Syria from around the time Western authorities noticed a drop in the infiltration of foreign fighters from Syria to Iraq, Lebanese officials say. Syrian authorities, hoping to disrupt Lebanon so they can reassert control of the country, "have stopped sending [the jihadists] to Iraq and are now sending them here," charged Mohammed Salam, a specialist in Palestinian affairs in Lebanon. "They sent those people to die in Lebanon." Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi, commander of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces, said about half of the militants who have been battling Lebanese forces in the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp outside Tripoli for nine days had fought previously in Iraq. "They are very dangerous," he said in an interview. "We have no choice, we have to combat them." Officials traveling with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said before Miss Rice's meeting with her Syrian counterpart in Egypt early this month that Syria appeared to be taking "positive" steps to guard its border with Iraq, resulting in a reduced number of jihadists crossing the border. But U.N. officials running the Nahr el-Bared camp told The Washington Times that a large band of foreigners carrying mortars, rockets, explosive belts and other heavy weapons entered the camp in a group several months ago. That is near the time that infiltration of militants from Syria into Iraq fell off, according to Lebanese authorities, who suspect the jihadists were simply redirected by Damascus. Several thousand residents have been trapped in the Palestinian refugee camp since fighting broke out May 20 between the army and several hundred militants of a group called Fatah Islam, which includes a large number of foreign fighters. Palestinian leaders tried yesterday to negotiate an end to the standoff, in which Lebanese army forces are ringed around the camp, but Prime Minister Fuad Siniora insisted that the militants surrender and face justice. Gen. Rifi said the foreigners began arriving in Lebanon during the war between Hezbollah and Israel last summer, when between 60 and 70 jihadists were integrated into Fatah al-Intifada, a group set up by Syrian intelligence in the 1980s. In November last year, a Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship named Shaker Youssef al-Absi broke with Fatah al-Intifada and set up a new group, Fatah Islam, based in the Nahr el-Bared camp. Gen. Rifi said Fatah Islam has about 250 fighters, of which about 50 have been killed so far. "They are parasites," the general said. "Even in Nahr el-Bared, there are not a lot of Palestinians with Fatah Islam." more...
| Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |


Four children, mother found hanging in Texas Reuters (May 29, 2007) - Three children and their mother were found hanged in a mobile home west of Fort Worth and a fourth child, an 8-month-old baby, was also found hanging but survived, police said on Tuesday. "We have four deceased in a mobile home out here, three children and one adult female who is the mother of the children and then we have an 8-month-old child who has survived," said Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler. He said the deaths at first glance appeared to be a murder-suicide but authorities needed to investigate. "We're not prepared to say exactly what happened here yet," Fowler told Reuters by telephone. The incident occurred about 25 miles west of Fort Worth. Local media reported that all of the victims were female and that the deceased mother and her husband were separated. The condition of the surviving infant was not immediately clear but she had been taken to a hospital in Fort Worth. Fowler said "horrendous" was the only way to describe the grisly incident which was given saturation coverage by local and national news networks, underscoring the horror it inspired in a country hardened by high rates of violent crime.
| Signs of the Times |


Pope reinstates Islam department BBC News (May 28, 2007) - Pope Benedict XVI has reversed a controversial decision he took a year ago to downgrade the Vatican department which deals with the Islamic world. The Council for Interreligious Dialogue will be restored to its former position as a department in its own right. It is not clear if the department's former head, British archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, will also be reinstated. His removal was seen as a sign the Pope was more interested in improving ties with other Christian denominations. The BBC's David Willey in Rome says that by reversing his decision, which was interpreted negatively in the Muslim world, the Pope has tacitly admitted that this was a mistake. Relations between the Vatican and Muslims have deteriorated over the past year, particularly over remarks made by the pontiff during a visit to Germany last September, in which, some thought, he appeared to equate Islam with violence. The Pope insisted his words had been taken out of context and that he meant no offence to the Muslim religion. In a rare about face, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone told the Italian newspaper, La Stampa, that the Council for Interreligious Dialogue would again become "a dicastery in its own right". In March 2006, the Pope had downgraded the office by merging it with the Pontifical Council for Culture. "The change highlights the importance of inter-religious dialogue," Cardinal Bertone said. The cardinal did not, however, identify who would be asked to lead the council after its reinstatement. The last president, Archbishop Fitzgerald, an expert on Islamic affairs, was appointed papal nuncio to Egypt and the Vatican's representative at the Arab League in Cairo. Our correspondent says the archbishop, a fluent Arabic speaker, is much respected as a negotiator for the Vatican within the Muslim world.
| Islam | RCC |


University OKs pagan festival, bans Christian event WorldNetDaily (May 27, 2007) - Scotland's University of Edinburgh, after proposing a ban on Bibles and denying a Christian campus group the right to hold a conference on the immorality of homosexuality, has extended the welcome mat to the school's Pagan Society to hold its annual meeting on campus next month. The pagan conference will feature presentations on a variety of topics, including Magic and Witchcraft in the 21st Century, Pagan Parenting, Pagan Marriage, Pagan Symbolism and Practice and Ancient Greek magic. A workshop in tribal dance will be held at the university Student's Association. "It will be an opportunity for people to listen to talks on various aspects of modern paganism and socialize with like-minded people in a relaxed, tolerant atmosphere," said John Macintyre, presiding officer of Pagan Federation Scotland. "Most people now recognize that the old stereotypes about witches and witchcraft are way off the mark and there is nothing remotely sinister about it." "Remotely sinister," it seems, is reserved for Christians at Edinburgh. In 2005, WND reported plans to begin banning Bibles from Edinburgh student halls of residence due to concern they are the source of discrimination against students of other faiths. The ban was a response to student association protests as well as an agenda to equally support all faiths, a university spokesman told the Times of London. While a Gideon Bible had traditionally been placed in the room of all new students, officials decided they could be offensive to some. Removal, advocates said, was about "respecting diversity," not attacking Christianity. The previous year, Edinburgh removed prayer from graduation ceremonies. The decision to allow the Pagan Society to hold its meeting on campus comes a year after university officials denied the same privilege to the university's Christian Union. Officials banned a course on the dangers of homosexuality the group wanted to teach, saying it was in violation of the university's guidelines. A compromise offered by the university allowed the course to be taught if posters offering differing views were prominently displayed. more...


Syrian Democracy: Assad runs uncontested for new term Reuters (May 27, 2007) - Syrians went to the polls on Sunday to re-elect President Bashar al-Assad for a second term in a ballot for which he was the only candidate allowed to run. With Iraq plunging into sectarian strife and instability in Lebanon, state media and the ruling Baath party have emphasised Assad's command of a strong state, economic reform and his vision of upholding Arab rights in the struggle with Israel. "With Bashar, Syria is the homeland of security and stability," the government said in a message to mobile phone subscribers in a million-dollar campaign launched along with businessmen close to the ruling class. Parliament unanimously chose the 41-year-old as the sole candidate for president earlier this month. At least one other contender, a lawyer, said his application was ignored. The presidential term is seven years. Baath Party functionaries, public sector employees and members of the large security apparatus were among the first at polling booths when they opened. "I voted yes because Bashar means that we don't have to worry about violence ruining our lives," said Mayada al-Halabi, who heads a government department. "Stability is paramount, but the president has also promised to improve living standards," said Mohammad al-Sinn, who also ticked yes on the simple ballot. Bashar won 97.29 percent of the vote last time when he succeeded his late father, Hafez al-Assad, in 2000. Similar margins were normal in such votes during the elder Assad's rule. Campaign films showed Assad with Western officials who have visited Damascus lately to emphasise what Syria views as its success in defeating U.S.-led attempts to isolate it. more...
| Islam |


Is China trying to poison Americans WorldNetDaily (May 27, 2007) - While Americans are still recovering from a scandal over poison pet foods imported from China, FDA inspectors report tainted food imports intended for American humans are being rejected with increasing frequency because they are filthy, are contaminated with pesticides and tainted with carcinogens, bacteria and banned drugs. Last month, like most months, China topped the list of countries whose products were refused by the FDA - and that list includes many countries, including Mexico and Canada, who export far more food products to the U.S. than China. Some 257 refusals of Chinese products were recorded in April. By comparison, only 140 were from Mexico and only 23 from Canada. Refused by the FDA in April because they were "filthy": salted bean curd cubes in brine with chili and sesame oil, dried apple, dried peach, dried pear, dried round bean curd, dried mushroom, olives, frozen bay scallops, frozen Pacific cod, sardines, frozen seafood mix, and fermented bean curd. Among the foods rejected because they were contaminated with pesticides: frozen eel, ginseng, frozen red raspberry crumble, and mushrooms. Frozen catfish was stopped because it was laced with banned antibiotics. Scallops and sardines were turned away because they were coated with putrefying bacteria. Toothbrushes were rejected last month because they were improperly labeled. And last week the FDA found Chinese toothpaste contaminated with a chemical used in antifreeze - the same chemical that killed people in Panama last year when it turned up in cough syrup. Just three days ago, the U.S. warned consumers not to buy or eat imported fish labeled as monkfish, which actually may be puffer fish, containing a potentially deadly toxin called tetrodotoxin. Two people in the Chicago area became ill after consuming homemade soup containing the fish. One was hospitalized due to severe illness. The FDA is also on the lookout for vegetable proteins contaminated with melamine - the chemical that killed American cats and dogs when it was imported from China in pet food. In the past year, the FDA rejected more than twice as many food shipments from China as from all other countries combined. Most of the time, the reason listed is simply "filthy," the official term used when inspectors smell decomposition or gross contamination of food. Officials say FDA inspectors examine only a tiny percentage of the food imported from foreign countries - about 1 percent -- meaning most of the contaminated products make it inside the country and to the shelves of retailers. In the age of globalization, food imports in America are big business and getting bigger. In 2006, they represented $64 billion - a 33 percent increase over 2003. No country is increasing its food exports faster than China - about 20 percent in the last year alone. China has become America's leading supplier of apple juice used as a food sweetener, garlic and garlic powder, sausage casings and cocoa butter. China has also attempted to export hundreds of thousands of pounds of chickens and poultry products to the U.S., even though it is not yet certified to do so. Chinese exporters disguise the meat by labeling crates "dried lily flower" or "prune slices" or "vegetables." Despite the deliberate deception, the U.S. government is about to certify the Chinese to export poultry legally. more...
| America |


No Jobs for US Citizens Without Homeland Security Approval Press ESC (May 26, 2007) - US citizens who apply for a job will need prior approval from Department of Homeland Security under the terms immigration bill passed by the Senate this week. American Civil Liberties Union pointed out that the DHS's Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS) is error plagued and if the department makes a mistake in determining work eligibility, there will be virtually no way to challenge the error or recover lost wages due to the bill's prohibitions on judicial review. Even current employees will need to obtain eligibility approval from the DHS Within 60 days of the Immigration Reform Act of 2006 becoming law. "EEVS would be a financial and bureaucratic nightmare for both businesses and workers," said Timothy Sparapani, ACLU Legislative Counsel. "Under this already flawed program no one would be able to work in the U.S. without DHS approval - creating a 'No Work List' similar to the government's 'No Fly List.' We need immigration reform, but not at this cost." The act allocates US$400 million for the implementation of the EEVS, but the Congressional Budgeting Office estimates the system to cost in excess of a billion dollars.
| America |

I'm not good at reading political documentation to find the details of this story, but it wouldn't surprise me given the state of the world and where it's headed soon. Things can change quickly and have been slowly happening already under the radar of most who aren't looking. Read the excerpt from They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45.

Increasing number of rabbis are allowing Jews to enter Temple Mount Haaretz (May 26, 2007) - An increasing number of religious Zionist rabbis are allowing their followers to enter the Temple Mount, contrary to the religious consensus on the matter. This weekend, the rabbis Haim Druckman and Avraham Zukerman, of the Bnei Akiva youth movement, and Tzafania Drori, chief rabbi of Kiryat Shmona, are set to join this growing group with an ad in the Orthodox media. The rabbis, who are major figures in the religious Zionist movement, will call on Jews wishing to enter the Temple Mount "in purity, to ascend at this time to the to the places permitted for Jews to enter." The three rabbis are known for their principle support for letting Jews on to the Temple Mount. But they had not yet expressed their stand formally, because of the religious sensitivity of the issue. Now, in honor of the 40th anniversary of Jerusalem's unification, with many right-wing movements placing the Temple Mount on their agenda, the rabbis have decided to call publicly on Jews to go to the Mount. In publishing the ad, they will be joining dozens of other rabbis of the religious Zionist stream, among them rabbis in West Bank settlements, who in recent years have allowed Jews to go to the Temple Mount within the bounds of Jewish law. Currently, rabbinic consensus in the religious Zionist and the ultra-Orthodox world prohibits Jews from entering the Temple Mount. This is because the exact location of the Holy of Holies is not known, and therefore Jews who have not properly purified themselves may accidentally walk there or through other prohibited places. Rabbis who allow their supporters to ascend to the Temple Mount set stipulations for entry, including the mandating of ritual immersion beforehand, the wearing of cloth shoes, the keeping to areas permitted to Jews under Jewish custom, and the studying of relevant religious regulations. There are two Islamic shrines on the Mount, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Over the years, successive Israeli governments, backed by the High Court of Justice, have allowed Jews to visit the Temple Mount, but have prohibited them from praying there.
| Israel | Temple Mount |


Militant atheists topping best-seller lists The Washington Times (May 26, 2007) - The time for polite debate is over. Militant atheist writers are making an all-out assault on religious faith and reaching the top of the best-seller list, a sign of widespread resentment over the influence of religion in the world among nonbelievers. Christopher Hitchens' book, "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything," has sold briskly ever since it was published last month, and his debates with clergy are drawing crowds at every stop. Sam Harris was a little-known graduate student until he wrote the phenomenally successful "The End of Faith" and its follow-up, "Letter to a Christian Nation." Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" and Daniel Dennett's "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" struck similar themes -- and sold. "There is something like a change in the zeitgeist," Mr. Hitchens said, noting that sales of his latest book far outnumber those for his earlier work that had challenged faith. "There are a lot of people, in this country in particular, who are fed up with endless lectures by bogus clerics and endless bullying." Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, a prominent evangelical school in Pasadena, Calif., said the books' success reflect a new vehemence in the atheist critique. "I don't believe in conspiracy theories," Mr. Mouw said, "but it's almost like they all had a meeting and said, 'Let's counterattack.'" The war metaphor is apt. The writers see themselves in a battle for reason in a world crippled by superstition. In their view, Muslim extremists, Jewish settlers and Christian right activists are from the same mold, using fairy tales posing as divine scripture to justify their lust for power. Bad behavior in the name of religion is behind some of the most dangerous global conflicts and the terrorist attacks in the United States, London and Madrid, the atheists say. As Mr. Hitchens puts it: "Religion kills." The Rev. Douglas Wilson, senior fellow in theology at New Saint Andrews College, a Christian school in Moscow, Idaho, sees the books as a sign of secular panic. Nonbelievers are finally realizing, he says, that contrary to what they were taught in college, faith is not dead. Signs of believers' political and cultural might abound. Religious challenges to teaching evolution are still having an effect, 80 years after the infamous Scopes "monkey trial." The dramatic growth in home schooling and private Christian schools is raising questions about the future of public education. Religious leaders have succeeded in putting some limits on stem-cell research. And the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding a national ban on partial-birth abortion -- the first federal curbs on an abortion procedure in a generation -- came after decades of religious lobbying for conservative justices. more...


The March to War: Syria Preparing for US-Israeli Attacks Global Research (May 25, 2007) - "To the east there is the Resistance in Iraq, to the west there is the Resistance in Lebanon and to the south there is the Resistance of the Palestinian people. We, in Syria, are at the heart of all these events!" -Basher Al-Assad, 10th President of Syria (April 30, 2007) Syria was in the sights of the White House and Pentagon since the advent of the "Global War on Terror." Attacks on Lebanon and Syria have long been expected as a phase in the American-led war march unfolding in the Middle East and Central Asia in the wake of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The U.S. government itself has clarified that it was considering invading Syria after the fall of Baghdad in 2003. [1] The U.S. Congress in 2003 also started to re-evaluate strengthening the Syrian Accountability Act. The Guardian, a major British newspaper, reported during the initial days of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in April of 2003 that Syria was a potential military target: In the past few weeks, the U.S. defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, ordered contingency plans for a war on Syria to be reviewed following the fall of Baghdad. Meanwhile, his undersecretary for policy, Doug Feith, and William Luti, the head of the Pentagon's office of special plans, were asked to put together a briefing paper on the case for war against Syria, outlining its role in supplying weapons to Saddam Hussein, its links with Middle East terrorist groups and its allegedly advanced chemical weapons programme. Mr. Feith and Mr. Luti were both instrumental in persuading the White House to go to war in Iraq. Mr. Feith and other conservatives now playing important roles in the Bush administration, advised the Israeli government in 1996 that it could "shape its strategic environment... by weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria." [2] The 2006 Israeli war against Lebanon was also initiated for strategic reasons, which included the subjugation of Syria, as a continuation of the Pentagon's plans to strike Syria. This has been acknowledged by Israeli and U.S. government officials and there are numerous international press reports to validate this. In fact on October 8, 2003, months after the fall of Baghdad to U.S. tanks and soldiers, Israeli fighter jets made air raids inside Syrian territory. The Syrians restrained themselves, refusing to be baited into a war. The Syrian President gave a rare public response to the Israeli air strike in Syria accusing Ariel Sharon and the Israeli government of trying to drag Syria and the entire region into a "new war." [3] Syria is now the subject of intense covert and overt diplomatic U.S. and E.U. pressure as the Anglo-American war machine is running out of time. Attempts are also underway to create a wedge between Iran and Syria. Military provisions are additionally underway on the immediate borders of Syria for a possible war in the Levant and a broader Middle Eastern war that would stretch from the borders of Egypt and Turkey to the frontier of Western China. Israel is also making preparations for yet another war, while the U.S. and British militaries continue to marshal their armed forces into Afghanistan, Iraq, and the broader Middle East. Controlling Syria can heavily influence the geo-strategic realities and environment in the Middle East. The geo-strategic position of Syria places it at a critical juncture between Lebanon, Palestine, and Anglo-American occupied Iraq; three fronts that the U.S. and its allies are actively engaged in. Three intertwined wars of intelligence, proxy, public relations, civil, covert, and military dimensions are being waged in Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq. The conquest of Damascus is a prerequisite to winning these fronts and would greatly strengthen the American-led position in a possible showdown against Iran and its allies. Although, it should be mentioned that after the strategic 2006 defeat of Israel in Lebanon, it seems that preparations are now being made for a simultaneous war against both Syria and Iran. more...
| Israel | Islam | America |


Hezbollah to Lebanese army: Stay out of refugee camp CNN (May 25, 2007) - The leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has warned the Lebanese army not to enter the Palestinian refugee camp north of Tripoli where it has been confronting Islamic militants. Nasrallah -- in a televised address to mark the seventh anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon -- said that to enter the camp would be crossing a red line, and the Palestinians should not be touched. "Suppose that the government is having a war on terror, that doesn't mean they should kill half of the people on the street," he said in a reference to Palestinian civilians crammed into the Nahr el-Bared camp. (Read about Lebanon's warning to militants) He also criticized the militants of Fatah al-Islam, who are holed up inside the camp, accusing them of an aggression against the army that was an aggression against all of Lebanon. Hezbollah, a Shiite organization, views extremist Sunni groups such as al Qaeda and Fatah al-Islam as enemies. Nasrallah said that a negotiated political settlement according to the rule of law should be reached to preserve the integrity of the Lebanese army. The Lebanese military stays out of the Palestinian camps under a 1969 agreement that allows the Palestinians to run them. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora told CNN's Brent Sadler he considers the battle part of the war on terrorism, not a conflict between Lebanon and the Palestinians. "To the contrary, I believe strongly that this war is targeting Lebanon on the one hand and the Palestinians on the other," he said. "Either they will surrender, or the Lebanese government and the Lebanese army is going to really pursue the matter to the end," Siniora said. "If left, I can assure you, this is going to be very contagious. It's like cancer. It has to be really removed completely, otherwise it's going to expand. ..."I believe that what we are doing, it is in the interest of the Palestinians, it is in the interest of the Lebanese," Siniora said. (Watch Lebanese PM Fouad Siniora say the army are not killers Video) Nasrallah was also critical of the Lebanese government's request to the United States for military aid during the crisis. "We should be aware of the American interference," he said. "[As for] the American intervention in this incident there should be an investigation into who took the decision." The Hezbollah leader also said that Lebanon must not be allowed to become a battleground between the army and groups affiliated with al Qaeda. He said this would tempt the United States to bring the war on terror to Lebanese soil, as it had in Iraq. "Are you willing to fight the wars of others inside Lebanon?" he asked his audience. "I want to warn that we should not be dragged by the Americans to fight their battle in Lebanon." Nasrallah also called for the formation of an emergency government of national unity to tackle Lebanon's political crisis. Hezbollah has long been critical of the Siniora's government.
| Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam |

Given what we know about the Gog/Magog invasion coming from the North, it seems convenient that Islamic militants are digging in to the North of Israel in Lebanon while Russian and Turkish "peacekeeping troops" are present as well. Since Russia, Turkey, and Iran are the three main players in this future prophesied attack on Israel, and given the HIStory, Our Future Bible studies, I'm looking for something to happen this summer, perhaps another Yom Kippur attack?

Plan calls for $3.5M Katrina memorial Associated Press (May 25, 2007) - Tucked inside a $14.4 billion blueprint for the rebuilding of New Orleans is a proposal for a Hurricane Katrina monument on a grand, "Homeric" scale, like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The idea is to honor Katrina's victims and the spirit of New Orleans, and create a tourist attraction. But with many sections of the city still in shambles and only about half the population back 21 months after the hurricane, some question the need for a $3.5 million memorial, even if it is paid for mostly with private money, as proposed. "What will it memorialize? How many people came back?" said Angele Givens, president of the Gentilly Civic Improvement Association. The rebuilding plan is making its way through city approval processes. While the memorial is a far lower priority than upgrading drainage and reconstructing neighborhoods over the next decade, it is still listed among the top projects. Troy Henry, project manager for the Unified New Orleans Plan, said planners believe - and the local arts community seems to agree - that a memorial would create a place where people could reflect on Katrina. "It's something that's with us everyday, the remnants of it anyway, and I think it's affected so many people, not only the city and its fiber - its architectural and structural fiber - but also the fabric of the people living here," said Mary Len Costa, director of public art for the Arts Council of New Orleans. more...
| America |


Mosques awarded Homeland Security grants WorldNetDaily (May 25, 2007) - While the European Union investigates mosques for ties to Islamic terrorism, the U.S. government is giving mosques security grants that are designed to protect churches, synagogues and other nonprofit groups from Islamic terror. Most recently, the Islamic Society of Baltimore landed a $15,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to upgrade security at its Maryland mosque. The Council on American-Islamic Relations since April has been urging leaders of mosques and Islamic schools across the nation to apply for the DHS grants, even though the agency's program was set up to help protect nonprofit facilities that are at high risk for attacks by Islamic terrorists. In a recent "Action Alert" posted on its website, CAIR encouraged its Muslim members to take advantage of $24 million in federal funds DHS has made available - specifically, DHS says, for nonprofit organizations "deemed high-risk for a potential international terrorist attack." Organizations in 46 urban areas designated high risk for Islamic terror attack are eligible to participate in the new Nonprofit Security Grant Program. The CAIR alert issued April 29 to Muslim members reads as follows: "ACTION REQUESTED: All eligible 501(c)(3) American mosques and other Islamic institutions are urged to begin the application process to receive training and to purchase equipment such as video cameras, alarm systems and other security enhancements." Several Islamic institutions already have applied and are receiving government approval. U.S. officials who spoke to WND on condition of anonymity expressed dismay that CAIR would drain limited federal funds away from higher risk targets for terrorism. They argue mosques are among the lowest risk for such attacks. In fact, a number of mosques across the nation actually have promoted Islamic terrorism and have been tied to Islamic terrorists, including the large Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Washington, where some of the 9/11 hijackers received spiritual guidance, as well as help obtaining housing and IDs. Terrorism experts note some 80 percent of U.S. mosques are funded and controlled through the Saudi Arabian government. more...
| Islam | America |


Officials: Hamas ready to halt rockets The Jerusalem Post (May 24, 2007) - Israel's threat to target senior Hamas leaders in response to the Kassam rocket attacks from Gaza has prompted the group to agree to a unilateral cease-fire with Israel, Palestinian Authority officials said Wednesday. "Hamas wants to stop the Kassam rockets. They are especially worried about reports that Israel may assassinate [PA Prime Minister] Ismail Haniyeh and [Hamas chief] Khaled Mashaal," the officials told The Jerusalem Post. The officials were speaking shortly after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Haniyeh met in Gaza City to discuss the possibility of declaring a unilateral truce with Israel. Journalists were not allowed to cover the meeting, which was held under tight security. "At first, Haniyeh did not want to attend the meeting because of Israeli threats to kill him," said one PA official. "The venue and time of the meeting were only agreed upon at the last minute for security reasons. Hamas is taking the Israeli threats very seriously." Muhammad Nazzal, a senior Hamas official in Syria, said his movement was taking the Israeli threats "in a very serious manner," adding, "These are real and dangerous threats. The Zionist entity has long been practicing state terror. This is a bloody and murderous entity that wants to assassinate an elected prime minister." Hamas legislator Salah Bardaweel also expressed concern over the Israeli threats against Haniyeh and Mashaal. He confirmed that Haniyeh had postponed his meeting with Abbas several times because of the threats. "We don't have Arab or Western assurances that Israel won't try to assassinate the prime minister," he said, warning that the Palestinians' response would be "very painful." According to another PA official, Haniyeh made it clear during Wednesday's meeting that Hamas was prepared to halt the firing of Kassam rockets "if Israel stops its aggression on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank." Abbas, for his part, urged Haniyeh to do his utmost to avoid providing Israel with an excuse to launch a massive military operation in the Gaza Strip. Abbas and Haniyeh agreed to form a joint Fatah-Hamas force in the Strip to implement a cease-fire with Israel and to enforce law and order. more...
| Israel | Islam |


Outrageous Homosexual Bill Passes California Senate Christian Newswire (May 24, 2007) - The California State Senate voted today (23-13) to pass SB 777 (Kuehl), legislation that will ban textbooks and teachers from any instruction that "reflects or promotes bias against" homosexuality, transgenders, bisexuals or those with perceived gender issues. SB 777 is similar to last session's highly controversial SB 1437, which passed the legislature but was vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "SB 777 is designed to transform our public schools into institutions that disregard all notions of the traditional family unit," said Karen England, Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute. "This reverse discrimination is an outright attack on the religious and moral beliefs of California citizens." Earlier this month homosexual advocacy group Equality California attacked CRI's opposition to the bill. A board member for the radical group sent an e-mail and video to CRI declaring that they would "bury" CRI if we "continued our efforts" in opposing this outrageous legislation. CRI also received hate mail from the so-called "tolerant" supporters of Equality California and the homosexual "tolerance" agenda. "The shocking hate mail we received shows that those behind this legislation do not promote true tolerance," stated England. "Only politically correct speech will be tolerated. Those with religious or traditional moral beliefs will not be allowed to express their opinions in public schools." SB 777 not only affects textbooks and instructional materials for kindergarten and grades 1-12, it also affects all school-sponsored activities. School-sponsored activities include everything from cheerleading and sports activities to the prom. Under SB 777 school districts could potentially be prohibited from having a "prom king and queen" because that would show bias based on gender and sexual orientation. "Los Angeles Unified School District has already implemented the policies in this bill," said Meredith Turney, Legislative Liaison for Capitol Resource Institute. "In that district, boys who perceive themselves as girls may enter the girls' locker room and restroom. Teachers and school officials are required to hide the gender identity of a transgender student if the parents are unaware of what's taking place at school. This astonishing policy will be expanded to every school in the state if SB 777 becomes law."


Continental currency all the rage WorldNetDaily (May 24, 2007) - On Monday, Bank of Canada Gov. David Dodge told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs that North America could one day move toward a euro-style currency. Dodge's comments add to a growing list of comments from Canadian economists, academics and government officials supporting the idea of creating the amero as a North American common currency. Dodge argued a common North American currency would help buffer the adverse effects of exchange rate fluctuations between the Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar. Currently, the Canadian dollar has surged to a 30-year high against the U.S. currency, a move Dodge noted makes Canadian products a lot less competitive for export to the U.S., Canada's major foreign market. "In the past two months alone," Dodge told the group in Chicago, "the Canadian dollar is up about 8 percent against the U.S. dollar, and is now worth more than 91 cents (U.S.)." In October 2006, El Universal, a Mexican newspaper published in Spanish, reported in a little-noticed article the then-president-elect of Mexico and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in their first meeting together shared a vision of a future North America united under a common currency. El Universal reported Gilles Duceppe, the leader of the separatist party Bloc Québécois commented at the October 2006 Calderon-Harper meeting in Ottawa that a unified North American currency might be necessary to compete in a global economy. The Canadian, a progressive Canadian newspaper that supports preserving Canadian sovereignty, expressed surprise at Duceppe's support of what the paper characterized as "the amero." The paper commented, "Mr. Duceppe and other elites of the so-called 'Québec sovereignty' movement view selling-out to U.S. based neo-cons to be much more commercially profitable than forming a new Québec nation." more...
| America | NewWorldOrder |


Global Agenda: Kuwait can't wait The Jerusalem Post (May 24, 2007) - Last Friday, Kuwait announced that it was abandoning the "peg" linking the value of its currency, the dinar, to the US dollar, replacing it with a peg to a basket of currencies. Kuwait was the first country in the Middle East to make such a move, but it is unlikely to be the last. Why did Kuwait take this step and why are other countries expected to follow? The simple answer is that the fall in the value of the US dollar is pushing up the cost of Kuwaiti imports. In other words, being linked to the US dollar when the dollar is declining can create problems. If so, the Kuwaiti decision was perfectly rational and, indeed, should have come much earlier. The Kuwaitis are, in this respect, no different from apartment owners in Israel whose dollar-linked prices have been eroded by the dollar's fall against the shekel. Since the same logic applies to oil producers generally, because oil prices are quoted in dollars - it is hardly surprising that Kuwait is likely to start a fashion. But is there some deeper significance to this development? Probably - but just what depends on how you want to look at it. As noted, from a purely rational economic perspective, the only remarkable feature of the Kuwaiti decision is why it was so long in coming. No country that trades with all the main regions in the world should link its currency to one other currency; a basket approach is the most logical and the most theoretically correct. But rational economics is not the sole, or even main, criterion to be applied. more...
| America | NewWorldOrder |


UN Troops Traded Guns for Gold With Militias, Says Report The Independent (May 24, 2007) - Scandal is engulfing the United Nations once again after allegations that peacekeepers stationed in Congo traded guns for gold with militia groups that they were meant to be disarming. Meanwhile, a trial got under way in New York of a former UN official accused of taking bribes. The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said in a statement that an investigation into the guns-for-gold claims had begun and was continuing, adding that it had a "zero-tolerance policy for misconduct and will remain vigilant in preventing egregious and unacceptable behaviour". At the heart of the investigation are allegations that, in 2005, Pakistani soldiers sent by the UN to restore peace in Ituri province around the north-eastern mining town of Mongbwalu began returning guns to militia groups, receiving gold in exchange. Witnesses confirmed the existence of the trade to the BBC. One Congolese officer "repeatedly saw militia who had been disarmed one day but the next day would become rearmed again. The information he could obtain was always the same, that it would be the Pakistani battalion giving arms back to the militia." Human Rights Watch said it had its own information on the case which it had passed to the UN. "Pakistani officers were involved in illegal smuggling of between $2m-$5m in gold out of Ituri. We have very solid information on this," said Anneke Van Woudenberg, a researcher with the group. The Congo force of almost 18,000 soldiers is the largest UN deployment in the world. It has been credited with helping the country's transition to a fragile democracy after a vicious civil war from 1998 to 2003 that killed as many as four million people and drew in forces from several neighbouring countries. The UN has been accused of burying the initial findings of the investigation to avoid embarrassing Pakistan, the largest peacekeeping troop contributor. The UN's special representative in the DRC, William Swing, emphatically denied the guns-for-gold claims. A spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Tasnim Aslam, said yesterday that it had been informed by the UN peacekeeping department, the DPKO, on Tuesday of the media exposure of the case. "The DPKO also informed our mission that, at this stage, these were mere allegations, which have to be looked into," she said. "On our part, our relevant authorities will look into the matter to ascertain facts." more...
| Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |


Council on Foreign Relations Pushes for Three Regional Currencies in the World Raiders News Network (May 24, 2007) - Create a global lending institution that weakens the economy of wealthy nations, enslaves Third World countries, and prevents those nations from rising out of their impoverished conditions. Blame that institution for creating a plethora of global financial crises over the past fifty years. Then offer a solution of consolidating all of the economies of the world into three different regions, each of which will use one type of currency. Were that scenario to be played out in the latest issue of Mad Magazine, it might be good for a laugh or two. But when it is published by the most influential foreign policy journal in the world, it is cause for more than a little concern. Foreign Affairs is considered by many to be the "playbook" that our nation's leaders use in creating foreign policy. It unabashedly promotes the concept of "globalism," which is a softball term used to describe a utopian one world government. Regardless of the political party in power, our government has worked to implement the journal's agenda for many years. Benn Steil, the CFR's Director of International Economics, argues that the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) practice of "lending" money to poor countries causes them to give up a portion of their sovereignty. The IMF is funded by the wealthy nations of the world, the U.S., Britain and Japan, to name a few. However, since the dollar is the currency of choice for much of the world, the lion's share of funds in the IMF and World Bank are made up of U.S. dollars. The United States, having the fortunate position of possessing the money that the rest of the world has faith in, will then sell government bonds to foreign governments that have just borrowed from the IMF to offset the deficit spending (such as funding the IMF) that Congress approves. To use an analogy, it is like buying a suit from a tailor and then receiving that same money back the next day in the form of a loan. Because of this process, he rightly calls the dollar an absurdity supported only by blind (or stupid) faith in man's wisdom. The logical answer from the perspective of a free marketer is for the U.S. to return to the gold standard, which is what gave the dollar a worldwide prominence in the first place. Not according to Steil, who says: "A revived gold standard is out of the question. In the nineteenth century, governments spent less than ten percent of national income in a given year. Today, they routinely spend half or more, and so they would never subordinate spending to the stringent requirements of sustaining a commodity-based monetary system." There we have it. Since those governments have become more socialist in nature, they must be emancipated from the restraints a hard metal currency would place on them from spending us all into paradise. more...
| NewWorldOrder |


American Christianity -- Laodicean church in the making, says Barna OneNewsNow (May 23, 2007) - More than 20 years of research, says The Barna Group, has revealed a disturbing trend among Americans' spiritual beliefs and behavior: their commitment to orthodox biblical perspectives is "slipping." The director of a recent Barna study says the findings reflect a "spiritual profile" among Americans similar to that of the early church at Laodicea -- a church which Jesus admonished for being "neither hot nor cold" and called to repentance. Every year, The Barna Group explores the "state of America's faith," examining such factors as people's spiritual activity, faith identity, commitment, and religious perspective. This year's poll of more than 1,000 adults (conducted in January) indicates that while Americans are remaining spiritually active, the percentage of those who hold orthodox biblical views has fallen to its lowest level in decades. "They've actually become less orthodox, less traditional," Barna's David Kinnaman tells Associated Press. "[M]any of their core biblical perspectives have changed." A report released by Barna summarizes this year's findings. Among them -- two-thirds (66%) of Americans believe that God is best described as "the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe who rules the world today." That is down five percent from one year ago and represents the lowest percentage in more than 20 years of similar surveys, notes the report. In addition, says Kinnaman, "they are less likely to reject the notion that Jesus sinned (37%), and they're less likely to believe that Satan is a real spiritual entity (24%)." Both of those percentages are lower than last year and are among the lowest during the two decades Barna has tracked Americans' views in those areas. The research organization observes that such revelations call into question the sincerity of people's commitment to orthodox biblical perspectives. Kinnaman puts it this way: while millions of Americans feel personally committed to God, they are apparently "renegotiating" the definition of God. "They lack a consistent and holistic understanding of their faith," he says in the Barna report. "[They] say they are personally committed to Jesus Christ, but they believe he sinned while on Earth. Many believers claim to trust what the Bible teaches, but they reject the notion of a real spiritual adversary ...." The survey director says most Americans seem to have one foot in the "biblical camp" and one foot outside it -- placing themselves in what Kinnaman refers to as a "squishy middle." "They say they are committed, but to what?" he asks. "They are spiritually active, but to what end? The spiritual profile of American Christianity is not unlike a lukewarm church that the Bible warns about." (Revelation 3:14-22) more...
| America | Apostasy |


Regional currency to replace dollar in Argentina-Brazil trade RIA Novosti (May 23, 2007) - Argentina and Brazil, South America's two largest economies, will drop the U.S. dollar in favor of a regional currency in their bilateral trade starting in October 2007, Argentine Economics Minister Felisa Miceli said. The countries' transition to a new currency, as yet unnamed, is part of a pilot project by the South American continent's major trade alliance, Mercosur, to replace the U.S. currency in internal transactions with money of its own, Miceli said. Speaking ahead of a Mercosur ministerial session in Paraguay, she said the new currency should eventually spread throughout the bloc, which also includes Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have associate member status. Argentine-Brazilian commerce topped $20 billion in 2006, with Argentina running a deficit of $4 billion. Since its foundation in 1991, Mercosur's primary objective has been to remove obstacles to internal trade. But the recent admission of Venezuela made experts wonder whether the country's anti-American leader, Hugo Chavez, would try to turn Mercosur into a political weapon to undermine U.S. influence in the region.
| America |


South Africa: Weather breaks records Cape Times (May 23, 2007) - THE icy weather of snow, hail and heavy rain that has swept across South Africa over the past few days has set 54 weather records. The South African Weather Service said 34 new records were set on Monday and another 20 yesterday. Almost all records were for the lowest maximum and minimum daily temperatures in towns across the country. Plettenberg Bay and Tsitsikamma both recorded their highest daily rainfall, at 68mm and 71.2mm respectively, on Monday. Plettenberg Bay recorded its lowest minimum temperature, 5.6°C, yesterday. Tsitsikamma had its lowest maximum temperature on Monday, 12.1°C, and its lowest minimum yesterday, 6.3°C. The lowest minimum temperature recorded was -6°C in Welkom, while the lowest maximum temperature was a mere 1.7°C in Barkly East. Both were recorded on Monday night. None of this week's records reached the lowest temperature yet recorded in South Africa - -18.6°C recorded at Buffelsfontein in the Eastern Cape in 1996. more...
| Earth Changes |


Congressman issues dire warning about amnesty fallout OneNewsNow (May 22, 2007) - A Virginia congressman says the so-called "comprehensive immigration reform" proposal in the U.S. Senate is an "awful" bill that will encourage more illegal immigration and eventually turn the U.S. into a Third World country. Hear This Report The bill being debated by the Senate would grant legal status to the approximately 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens currently living in the U.S. It also includes provisions that would "accelerate" the Security and Prosperity Partnership, a Bush administration plan to merge the U.S. with Mexico and Canada in a North American Union. Representative Virgil Goode (R-Virginia) hopes the bill's backers will be unable to obtain cloture in the Senate and the bill fails. He says the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. "They recognize what many in Washington do not recognize," Goode asserts, "and that's the street parlance for saying, 'If we can get to the United States and stay for a few years, they will give us amnesty.' That's exactly what's happening here, and this is just going to be more of the same; it will increase, not decrease illegal immigration." And with regard to the Security and Prosperity Partnership, the Virginia congressman believes such a merger with Mexico and Canada would only serve to undermine the sovereignty of the United States. "It will lead us on a path to likely have a North American currency, will further break down the borders between our countries, and it really undermines the concept of the United States of America in favor of something called North America," Goode predicts. "And it will harm the lifestyles and the status and standing of most American citizens," he says. Congress should have learned its lesson from the 1986 Reagan-backed amnesty and the amnesties of the 1990s, Goode contends. He says if the U.S. had a strict no-amnesty policy, criminalized and enforced it, illegal immigrants would not try to slip into the country as they do now.
| America |


Bilderberg 2007: Welcome to the Lunatic Fringe Daniel Estulin (May 21, 2007) - In 1954, the most powerful men in the world met for the first time under the auspices of the Dutch royal crown and the Rockefeller family in the luxurious Hotel Bilderberg of the small Dutch town of Oosterbeck. For an entire weekend they debated the future of the world. When it was over, they decided to meet once every year to exchange ideas and analyze international affairs. They named themselves the Bilderberg Club. Since then, they have gathered yearly in a luxurious hotel somewhere in the world to decide the future of humanity. In more than fifty years of meetings that brings together unprecedented power and money in the same time and place, never has any information been leaked as to what subjects were debated during the Bilderberg Club meetings. Bilderberg, one of the world's most powerful secret organizations is run out of an 18m2 offices, staffed by one person, using one telephone line and a single fax number. There is no web page and no brass name plate on the door. The independent press has never been allowed in, and no statements have ever been released on the attendees' conclusions nor has any agenda for a Bilderberg meeting been made public. How, in God's name, can this be possible when Bilderberg´s elite membership list includes all of the most powerful individuals who run the Planet? Leaders of the Bilderberg Club argue that this discretion is necessary to allow participants in the debates to speak freely without being on the record or reported publicly. Otherwise, Bilderbergers state, they would be forced to speak in the language of a press release. Doubtlessly, this discretion allows the Bilderberg Club to deliberate more freely, but that does not respond to the fundamental question: What do the world's most powerful people talk about in these meetings? Any modern democratic system protects the right to privacy, but doesn't the public have a right to know what their political leaders are talking about when they meet the wealthiest business leaders of their respective countries? What guarantees do citizens have that the Bilderberg Club isn't a centre for influence trafficking and lobbying if they aren't allowed to know what their representatives talk about at the Club's secret gatherings? Why are the Davos World Economic Forum and G8 meetings carried in every newspaper, given front page coverage, with thousands of journalists in attendance, while no one covers Bilderberg Club meetings even though they are annually attended by Presidents of the International Monetary Fund, The World Bank, Federal Reserve, chairmen of 100 most powerful corporations in the world such as DaimlerChrysler, Coca Cola, British Petroleum, Chase Manhattan Bank, American Express, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Vice Presidents of the United States, Directors of the CIA and the FBI, General Secretaries of NATO, American Senators and members of Congress, European Prime Ministers and leaders of opposition parties, top editors and CEOs of the leading newspapers in the world. It is surprising that no mainstream corporate media outlets consider a gathering of such figures, whose wealth far exceeds the combined wealth of all United States citizens, to be newsworthy when a trip by any one of them on their own makes headline news on TV. more...
| NewWorldOrder |


'Peacemaker' Solana heads to Mideast Jerusalem Newswire (May 21, 2007) - European Union foreign policy czar Javier Solana arrived in the Middle East Monday in his latest bid to reduce tension between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs after a week of spiraling violence. Eight Arabs were reportedly killed Sunday evening as Israel continued efforts to stop the firing of Kassam rockets from Gaza at civilians in southern Israel. Dozens of missiles have fallen on and around the Negev town of Sderot in the past week, injuring Israelis and damaging buildings - including a school classroom, kindergarten and petrol station. Solana, whose "solution" to the decades' old conflict sees Israel surrendering more Jewish lands to Arab control, plans to visit Jerusalem, areas Israel has given to the "Palestinians," Egypt - which is also able to exert pressure on Israel, and Lebanon. According to a statement from his office, Solana will let Israel know that the EU backs the Arab League's "peace" plan. He will tell the Arabs in Samaria, Judea and Gaza that it is important for them to stop fighting among themselves so that they can get a "State of Palestine" as soon as possible. And he will likely convey to the Israeli government Europe's displeasure at the IDF's defensive actions against the terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | 1st Seal |


Lebanese army pounds Palestinian camp Associated Press (May 21, 2007) - Lebanese troops blasted a Palestinian refugee camp with artillery and tank fire again Monday, seeking to destroy a militant group with al-Qaida ties. The barrage smashed buildings and sent plumes of black smoke towering over the crowded camp on the Mediterranean. The fierce, two-day battle has killed nearly 50 combatants and an unknown number of civilians, raising fears that Lebanon's worst internal violence since the 1975-1990 civil war could spread in a country with an uneasy balancing act among various sects and factions. Refugees in the Nahr el-Bared camp, on the outskirts of the northern port city of Tripoli, hid in their homes as fighting raged, and Palestinian officials in the camp said nine civilians were killed Monday. Reports from the camp could not be confirmed because officials and reporters could not get inside. "There are many wounded. We're under siege. There is a shortage of bread, medicine and electricity. There are children under the rubble" of damaged buildings, Sana Abu Faraj, a resident of the camp, told Al-Jazeera television by cell phone. All day, automatic gunfire and explosions rocked the camp - which is more like a small town, with more than 31,000 people living in two- or three-story white buildings on densely packed narrow streets alongside mosques, schools and businesses. Raging fires sent large clouds of black smoke into the sky, and shells could be seen thudding into some of the taller buildings. Hundreds of Lebanese troops surrounded Nahr el-Bared, staying outside in accordance with a nearly 40-year-old agreement with the Palestinians. The troops pounded the camp with artillery and tank fire, and militants responded with gunfire and mortar rounds. The army is seeking to uproot a militant group called Fatah Islam, which arose in the camp late last year. The group touts itself as a Palestinian liberation movement, but many view it as a nascent branch of al-Qaida-style terrorism with ambitions of carrying out attacks around the region. more...
| Islam |


End EU constitution stalemate: Solana The Peninsula (May 18, 2007) - European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana urged the bloc yesterday to resolve the two-year-old stalemate over its stalled constitution, arguing the deadlock was undermining EU's influence in the world. Receiving a prestigious German peace prize in the border city of Aachen, Solana backed efforts by Chancellor Angela Merkel to launch a blueprint for reforms of EU structures that would be in place from mid-2009. "Just when we should be at our most alert, just when the world's demand for Europe is at its highest, the Union has turned inwards, immersed in a sterile institutional crisis," Solana said. "We cannot go on like this. This must be resolved as soon as possible, if possible in 2007," he told an audience packed with past and present European dignitaries. The bloc's 27 capitals disagree on how to revive a charter all but killed off in 2005 by rejections in Dutch and French referendums. Diplomats say some consensus is, however, emerging around a slimmed-down "mini treaty" proposed by new French President Nicolas Sarkozy. It is not clear how much will be salvaged of the original text, which would have streamlined EU voting structures, created a more permanent presidency and a single foreign minister. Spanish Socialist Solana would have been the first holder of such a post, giving him control over EU instruments such as its vast overseas aid budget. Yet with his mandate expiring in 2009, any attempt to restore the position come too late for him. "We can only develop a genuine foreign policy if we give ourselves the necessary structures," said the 64-year-old former NATO secretary-general. "In the last few years, we have come a long way ... But today, we are very close to the limit of what can be achieved in this way." Solana, who has mediated in conflicts from the Balkans to the Middle East, received the Charlemagne Award.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana |