News for May 26, 2008

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Lisbon Treaty Unlikely to End the WEU Anytime Soon Fulfilled Prophecy (May 26, 2008) - In 2002, Fulfilled Prophecy began reporting on a 10-nation military alliance, called the Western European Union, that appears to match a 10-nation alliance foretold in Bible prophecy. Now, with ratification of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty underway, some may wonder what effect the treaty, if adopted, will have on the alliance. Guest columnist Mishael Meir answers this question. Although repeated efforts have been made to kill it off, the Western European Union (WEU) lives on as a mutual defense treaty among its 10 permanent members. While the Lisbon Treaty appears to put into place elements that indicate a planned WEU demise, the WEU Ten always manages to survive. To understand what is happening, here’s some helpful background.

The Magic Number ‘10’

The WEU was created in 1954 by the modified Brussels Treaty as a means for Europe to interface with NATO through its own security and defense organization. Any of the 10 permanent members could withdraw after 50 years from the 1948 date of the original treaty or beginning in 1998. None of them has done so. Additionally, all 10 members could choose to terminate the treaty by “denouncing” it. That hasn’t happened either. Since 1998, there have been many calls to terminate the treaty. None has succeeded. Interestingly, in the WEU Council’s Dec. 6, 2000, Reply to Recommendation 666, the Council made clear that the WEU was sticking around, saying:

the collective defence commitment provided for under Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty will remain and there is no intention on the part of its signatories to denounce the Treaty. Source

Beginning in 2001, the European Union absorbed almost all of the WEU’s functions. However, because the modified Brussels Treaty remains in effect, so does the treaty’s mutual defense clause that gave rise to the 10-state military alliance. The WEU’s Council exists only as a formality. It hasn’t convened as a body since November 2000, but the same people now sit within the structure of the EU as its Political and Security Committee, where it exercises “political control and strategic direction” of EU crisis-management operations. The WEU’s arms procurement body has been absorbed into the European Defence Agency, an agency of the EU headed by Javier Solana. In June 2001, Solana, acting in his role as the WEU’s Secretary General, announced that the WEU Ten had capped the number of permanent members at 10, exactly as the prophet Daniel predicted (Daniel 7:24). After all, why continue expanding the WEU when the EU was beginning efforts to replace it internally? The Netherlands apparently agreed. In 2004, on the eve of the draft constitution’s signing, the Dutch tried and failed to get the WEU Ten to terminate the treaty. Other WEU Ten members said no: The modified Brussels Treaty had to stay in place to maintain the binding commitment of mutual defense, given that such a commitment was not contained in the draft constitution. Source

Enter the Lisbon Treaty

After the French and Dutch citizens rejected the constitution in their 2005 referendums, the WEU urged the EU to continue building its security and defense framework using the legal authority of the EU’s existing treaties. The EU opted instead to trot out the constitution again, this time repackaged as the Lisbon Treaty. To ensure its ratification, the heads of state blocked their own citizens from being able to go to the polls, that is, except for the Irish who go to the polls on June 12. All of Europe is holding its breath to see the outcome of this crucial vote. Source So, what happens if the Irish say yes and what happens if they say no? What effect will the Lisbon Treaty have on the WEU if it actually goes into effect? If the Irish vote yes, the Lisbon Treaty, on its face, appears to endorse the continued existence of the WEU. Under Protocol No. 11, the EU and WEU are to make arrangements for enhanced cooperation between them. This is curious considering that the WEU is little more than an empty shell with only its democratic Assembly left. Also, the Lisbon Treaty has something the draft constitution never had: a binding mutual defense provision that embraces all 27 member states. Although that would make the modified Brussels Treaty Article V redundant, the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty would not by itself terminate the modified Brussels Treaty. Only the WEU Ten can do that. Additionally, the Lisbon Treaty contains provisions for “permanent structured cooperation” (PSCoop). It would allow members who meet certain criteria to build their own permanent military framework that the other states could later join, assuming they met the funding and troop level criteria set out in Protocol No. 11. Apparently some EU states have suggested that the WEU Ten would logically form the PSCoop membership. Source If the Lisbon Treaty goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2009, and PSCoop gets underway, look for another call to terminate the modified Brussels Treaty. However, these are very big “ifs.” Even if it plays out as the EU hopes, it may take a long time before the PSCoop club got anything going. In the meantime, the WEU Ten will still exist as a military alliance and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. If the Irish veto the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has no Plan B. The treaty will fail just like the draft constitution failed. Be assured the heads of state will arm twist the Irish into another referendum so they can vote until they get it “right.” This is exactly what happened with their no-vote on the Nice Treaty, which the Irish finally ratified at a second referendum.

‘Man of Lawlessness’

What occurs to me in the analysis of EU and WEU treaties is that the antichrist will be a “man of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Treaties are law and must be followed. The antichrist won’t care what a treaty says. As a pertinent example, consider the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. The Roman Republic built the legal foundation for Western civilization, including the checks and balances system for democratic governance. Once Caesar Augustus transformed the Republic into the Roman Empire in 31 B.C., law turned into whatever the caesars said it was, regardless of what had already been established through the democratic Senate and treaties with foreign states. Why a 10-state military alliance in the revived Roman Empire would suddenly hand the antichrist power can be explained under an endless number of scenarios. One is this. What if disaster happens while the EU is wrangling treaties and the only existing alliance is the WEU Ten? We all know who loves chaos and confusion, and it sure isn’t our God! (See 1 Corinthians 14:33). As Herb would say, “stay tuned.”
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |

ANALYSIS / Price of quiet in Lebanon is Hezbollah in power Haaretz (May 26, 2008) - The smiles, handshakes and congratulations that followed the election of Lebanese President Michel Suleiman yesterday were unable to erase questions and fears over what Hezbollah has in store for the country, and the region as a whole. That is because the lovely principle of "no victor, no vanquished," as the emir of Qatar described the deal reached in Doha that allowed for Suleiman's election, does not reflect reality. Lebanon did manage to engage the emergency brake before spiraling into civil war, and can even look forward to a period of relative quiet. But the price is liable to be Hezbollah's long-term de facto control of Lebanon. Suleiman's election is not the product of a democratic compromise between a majority and an opposition; it is the product of threats and violence. The fancy swearing-in ceremony yesterday could not have taken place without the agreement of Hezbollah, which delayed the selection of a president by seven months. Hezbollah conditioned its acceptance on the establishment of a national unity government in which it and its partners will have 11 ministers. This grants Hezbollah veto power over key government decisions, since the Lebanese constitution requires important decisions to be approved by a two-thirds majority. Hezbollah also won a change in the elections law, which gives its supporters a much greater chance of getting their candidates into parliament in the election planned for next year. In addition, the question of Hezbollah's right to function as an autonomous militia has been removed from the agenda, replaced by a declaration that Hezbollah's guns will never again be aimed at fellow Lebanese. And without the agreement of the Lebanese government, any international attempt to disarm Hezbollah will be seen as illegitimate. Suleiman thanked Arab leaders, especially the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani. But without the agreements reached between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah, Suleiman would not have been elected president. Hezbollah also determined the most convenient place for negotiations - not Saudi Arabia or Egypt, which are allies of the Lebanese government, but Qatar, whose emir was the first Arab leader to visit a Shi'ite neighborhood in Beirut that had been bombed by Israel, and who donated a lot of money to rebuild it. Hezbollah could have celebrated twice yesterday - once to mark eight years since the Israel Defense Forces withdrew from Lebanon, and a second time over having laid the cornerstone of its political domination of the country. Syria is not dissatisfied with this victory, but understands that Hezbollah is not a Syrian organization. Damascus may yet miss the days when it controlled Lebanon directly, without having to rely on a group whose loyalty depends on its own interests rather than being driven by ideology. Now, after Hezbollah's great political victory, it is no longer clear who depends on whom. In the Saudi-Iranian struggle over regional hegemony, Tehran can chalk up another victory.
| Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

It seems to me that if the Magog invasion comes from the North, that Lebanon is the key to funneling the troops that God will destroy in the mountains of Israel into Israel. Keep watching events with Syria as well as Russia, Libya, Turkey and Iran this summer.

Palestinians reject Israeli offer to hand over 91.5% of W. Bank Haaretz (May 26, 2008) - Palestinian officials close to peace talks said Sunday that Israel has offered a West Bank withdrawal map that leaves about 8.5 percent of the territory in Israeli hands, less than a previous plan but still more than the Palestinians are ready to accept. Also Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted as telling backers that the negotiations have achieved no progress since they were restarted last November with a pledge to U.S. President George W. Bush to try for a full peace treaty by the end of the year. The Palestinian officials said Israel presented its new map three days ago in a negotiating session. The last map Israel offered had 12 percent of the West Bank remaining in Israel. Israel wants to keep West Bank land with its main settlement blocs, offering land inside Israel in exchange. The land would be between Hebron in the southern West Bank and Gaza - at least part of a route through Israel to link the two territories. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are being conducted behind closed doors, said Palestinians were ready to trade only 1.8 percent of the West Bank for Israeli land. Israeli officials refused to comment. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that progress has been made in several areas, but he refused to give details out of concern for harming the negotiations. more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Lethal storms kill 8 in Iowa and Minnesota Associated Press (May 26, 2008) - Half of this small town lay in ruins or heavily damaged Monday following a deadly tornado that ripped apart a stretch of northern Iowa. The Sunday afternoon twister killed six people in Iowa, four of them in Parkersburg and two others in nearby New Hartford. In neighboring Minnesota, a child was killed by violent weather in a suburb of St. Paul. "You really are overwhelmed when you see it," Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said at a news conference Monday after touring the Parkersburg area. "You can't imagine this kind of devastation, homes completely gone. And to see people trying to sort through their belongings is very difficult." Rescuers continued picking through the wreckage in search of possible victims but officials said they were hopeful that no one else remained to be found. In addition to those killed, about 70 people were injured, two of them in critical condition. Officials counted 222 homes destroyed, 21 businesses destroyed and more than 400 homes damaged. Among the buildings destroyed were city hall, the high school and the town's sole grocery store and gas station. That's about half of the homes in Parkersburg destroyed or severely damaged, said Butler County Sheriff Jason Johnson. "There's so much hurt here, I don't know where to start," said U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, who owns a farm near New Hartford. more...
| America | Earth Changes |

China aftershock destroys 71,000 homes; 1 killed Associated Press (May 25, 2008) - A powerful aftershock destroyed tens of thousands of homes in central China on Sunday, killing two people and straining recovery efforts from the country's worst earthquake in three decades. More than 480 others were injured. Meanwhile, soldiers rushed with explosives to unblock a debris-clogged river threatening to flood homeless quake survivors. The fresh devastation came after a magnitude 6.0 aftershock — among the most powerful recorded since the initial May 12 quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The China National Seismic Network said the aftershock was the strongest of dozens in the nearly two weeks after the disaster. The new tremor killed two people and injured more than 480 others, 41 seriously, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Some 71,000 homes that had survived the original quake were leveled, and another 200,000 were in danger of collapse from the aftershock that caused office towers to sway in Beijing, 800 miles away. Before the aftershock, the Cabinet said the confirmed death toll from the disaster had risen to 62,664, with another 23,775 people missing. Premier Wen Jiabao has warned the number of dead could surpass 80,000. more...
| Earth Changes |

'Iran to give Hamas more arms, funds' The Jerusalem Post (May 25, 2008) - Iran has promised Hamas new rockets and more funds, an expression of the Islamic Republic's displeasure with recent news of renewed Israeli-Syrian peace talks, the London-based newspaper, Asharq Alawsat reported on Sunday. According to the report, Syria-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who held a press conference in Teheran with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki Saturday, expressed his concern over statements issued simultaneously by Jerusalem, Damascus and Ankara last Wednesday in which a renewal of talks between Syria and Israel under Turkish mediation was declared. Mashaal reportedly told his Iranian hosts that despite commitments he was given by Damascus that peace with Israel would not come at the expense of Syria's ties with Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas, he was still aware of the fact that Syria would have to make some concessions. He emphasized that he understood that Syria could not sign a peace agreement with Israel, exchange ambassadors, end the state of war and make the Golan Heights demilitarized and at the same time continue to allow Iran to use its territory to transfer weapons to Hizbullah, train Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists and help in the financing of those groups. An Iranian source told the paper that in light of Mashaal's fears, Iranian regime officials promised the head of Hamas's political bureau that Iran would continue supporting Hamas financially, materially and morally, even if Syria would turn its back on the organization for the sake of an agreement with Israel. According to the source, the Iranians had even elaborated what that support would be: Newer, upgraded rockets and an increase in the budget allotted to Hamas to $150 million in the second half of 2008. A source in the office of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Mashaal was promised that Iran would supply every support his organization might need, be it weapons, finance, or military training. Iran's defense minister also expressed confidence on Sunday that negotiations would not hamper the strong alliance between Teheran and Damascus, the Iranian FARS news agency reported. Labeling Syria a strategic ally of Iran, Defense Minister Mustafa Mohammed Nejad called on "Islamic states to strengthen their relations in order to defend themselves against the dangers which threaten the region."
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Olmert: We're facing a historic agreement with Syria The question is, will Syria go against their Islamic roots and diplomatic and defensive ties with Iran? Or could this be a ploy to take advantage of a perceived weakness in Israeli leadership looking for some kind of political progress? Could Israel discovering true intentions lead to the destruction of Damascus and that trigger the coalitions to defend Syria?

Earthquake rocks central Colombia BBC News (May 25, 2008) - A 5.7 earthquake has killed at least six people in central Colombia, causing landslides and shaking buildings. Its epicentre was located about 55km (34 miles) from the capital Bogota, near the town of Villavicencio, the US Geological Survey reports. Bogota residents ran outside fearing buildings would fall, then stood around dazed in the rain, correspondents say. The victims are reported to have been killed when rocks from a landslide hit the cars they were travelling in. At least 15 houses and a church were reported to have been damaged, says the Efe news agency. Cololmbian President Alvaro Uribe said the six people, including two children, were killed on the road between Bogota and Villavicencio. They were travelling in two cars that were hit by landslides, he told reporters. At least eight other people were reported injured. Bogota Mayor Samuel Moreno told local radio some buildings in the city were slightly damaged. "The report we have so far is that it was strong and some structures have suffered damage," he said. One government building in Bogota was evacuated after the quake sent a shower of bricks tumbling off one of its walls, Reuters adds. In 1999, a earthquake measuring six struck Colombia's coffee-growing region, killing about 1,000 people. The last comparable death toll from a Colombian quake prior to that was in 1875 when about 1,000 people died near Cucuta.
| Earth Changes |

Iran tells Syria must regain control of Golan YNet News (May 24, 2008) - Syrian Defense Minister Hassan Turkmani arrived in Tehran on Saturday evening as part of Damascus' bid to reassure its Iranian ally after resuming peace negotiations with Israel. General Turkmani is scheduled to meet with his Iranian counterpart, Mustafa Mohammad-Najjar, and additional key figures in Tehran. A possible meeting with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has not yet been confirmed. In a meeting he held earlier on Saturday with Hamas politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki publically addressed the renewed talks for the first time. "The Golan belongs to Syria and must be returned to its control. The Zionist regime must withdraw from the Golan, and we support Syrian efforts to repossess the Heights." The Syrian defense minister's visit to Tehran follow reports of Ahmadinejad's outrage over the contact between Israel and Syria. Sources close to the Iranian president told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat daily that Ahmadinejad has made his discontent over the clandestine negotiations well known. He described the talks as a "flagrant violation" of the mutual commitments between Syria and Iran. Meanwhile, Damascus as reiterated its rejection of Israel's demand that it sever ties with Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas as a key condition of any peace agreement. During a joint press conference Mashaal held with Mottaki after their meeting, the exiled Hamas leader was careful not to criticize the negotiations. He did say however that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lacks the political might to make the moves necessary for peace with Syria. "There is great skepticism concerning (Israel's) seriousness to return the Golan," Mashaal said. "It's maneuvering and playing all the (negotiation) tracks – this is a well known game and besides, Olmert's weakness will not allow him to take this step." He was referring to the current ongoing investigation against Olmert, who has recently been suspected of receiving money unlawfully. Mashaal said he was sure the renewed talks would not come at the expense of the Palestinian track.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Related News: Syria refuses to sever ties with Iran

Mexican homicides jump 47 pct.; 1,378 die in '08 Associated Press (May 23, 2008) - Homicides related to organized crime jumped 47 percent in 2008, Mexico's attorney general said Friday in a rare confirmation of how bad violence has become. Police later made two gruesome discoveries in northern Mexico. Five bodies — two of them decapitated — were found wrapped in blankets in a city on the border with Texas, along with two heads in sacks. In another state, police found four severed heads in ice chests along a highway. Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora told Radio Formula that 1,378 people have been killed so far this year, compared with 940 in the same period last year. The statistic reflected what many in Mexico already knew: Drug-related killings have soared in recent months. But the details were the first official snapshot on the rise in killings. The Mexican government has been reluctant to release homicide statistics, leaving the public to rely on informal tallies by the news media. Medina Mora broke that silence, saying 4,152 people have been killed since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and declared war on drug cartels that controlled entire regions of Mexico. About 450 of those were police, soldiers, prosecutors or investigators. Medina Mora said many of the recent killings have been concentrated along the U.S. border, while homicides in the central part of the nation have subsided. The government says the violence reflects drug gangs' desperation amid the nationwide crackdown, carried out by more than 20,000 soldiers and federal police. "Evidently when they are cornered and weakened, they have to respond with violence," Medina Mora said. Analysts say recent arrests have created a power vacuum and gangs are battling for valuable drug routes and territory. more...

Tornadoes tear up Colorado The Washington Times (May 23, 2008) - Tornadoes touched down in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming yesterday, damaging buildings, flipping vehicles and killing at least one person. The National Weather Service said a large tornado touched down just after noon near Platteville, Colo. about 50 miles north of Denver. It then moved north through or near several towns, tearing the roofs off buildings, downing power lines and crumpling farm equipment. A second tornado touched down later in near Johnstown, Colo. about 10 miles northwest of Platteville, the weather service reported. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Windsor, Colo., a farm town of about 16,000, appeared the hardest hit. Video footage showed a dark gray funnel perhaps a quarter-mile wide near the town with heavy hail and rain. At least one residential neighborhood in Windsor appeared to have suffered heavy damage. Television footage showed several rail tanker cars on their sides in downtown Windsor. more...
| America | Earth Changes |

Rare Tornado Strikes Southern California Fox News (May 22, 2008) - The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for parts of Southern California as the region is being pounded by wild weather including torrential downpours. The weather service said at 4:38 p.m. Thursday that Doppler radar was tracking a tornado moving south near Moreno Valley in Riverside County. A KABC-TV helicopter in the area has shown an overturned big rig blocking a highway and a half-dozen freight cars toppled over on nearby railroad tracks.
| America | Earth Changes |

Congress vs. OPEC: Flexible-fuel cars One News Now (May 22, 2008) - An engineer and energy authority says the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) led by Saudi Arabia wants to drive the world into an economic depression with the eventual goal of establishing a worldwide Islamic caliphate. Dr. Robert Zubrin has a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering and is president of Pioneer Astronautics, an aerospace engineering firm. He recently published Energy Victory: Win the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil. He believes the OPEC cartel has consciously decided to restrict the production of oil in the face of growing world demand, and that this year the U.S. is going to spend $1 trillion on oil, most of which is going into the pockets of the cartel. "They'll use part of it to fund terrorism internationally," he says, "and they're putting the rest into a giant takeover fund called sovereign wealth funds, which they will use to take over the companies that they wreck as they push us into recession. They'll take over these companies at a fraction of their value; 10 cents on the dollar," Zubrin contends. The author argues that the power of the OPEC cartel must be destroyed internationally -- and that the U.S. Congress can help. He urges Congress to make "flex-fuel" the international standard and force gasoline to compete at the pumps. "The United States Congress can effectively destroy OPEC with the stroke of a pen, simply by passing a law requiring that every new car sold in the United States gives the consumer fuel choice. That is, [to] be a fully flex-fueled car able to run not just on gasoline but on methanol and ethanol," Zubrin explains. According to Zubrin, a Senate bill cosponsored by Senators Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) and Kansas Republican Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) would do just that and crash the price of oil to $50 a barrel. Flexible-fuel vehicles, or FFVs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, are designed to run on gasoline or a blend of up to 85% ethanol (E85), and have been produced since the 1980s. The DOE says while FFVs experience no loss in performance when operating on E85, they typically get fewer miles per gallon because an equal amount of gasoline contains more energy.
| Islam | America | Economic Crisis |

Russia's Putin Pledges to Buttress Ties with Libya The Jerusalem Post (May 22, 2008) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday promised Libya's leader Moamer Gathafi that Moscow would buttress economic and military ties with Tripoli, the government news service said. Putin and Gathafi spoke on the telephone and agreed to continue "the useful confidential dialogue between the two countries and noted mutual interest in boosting cooperation in both civil and military spheres," a statement said. Putin "stressed the need to realize the accords cinched during the recent Russo-Libyan summit and affirmed that as prime minister he intended to give it all due attention," it added. Libya has had its debt to the Soviet Union waived in return for important contracts to Russian companies. These include the Russian state railroad company's plans to construct a 600-kilometre (375-mile) rail link between the cities of Syrte and Benghazi, which is estimated to cost over two billion euros. The two countries also signed four accords on economic and financial cooperation, exchange of confidential information and promotion and protection of investments. Libya had been an important ally of the Soviet Union and a faithful client of Soviet arms. However, ties between the two nations cooled after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
| Gog/Magog |

Pilots run out of fuel, pray, land near Jesus sign Associated Press (May 21, 2008) - It seemed like an almost literal answer to their prayers. When two New Zealand pilots ran out of fuel in a microlight airplane they offered prayers and were able to make an emergency landing in a field — coming to rest right next to a sign reading, "Jesus is Lord." Grant Stubbs and Owen Wilson, both from the town of Blenheim on the country's South Island, were flying up the sloping valley of Pelorus Sound when the engine spluttered, coughed and died. "My friend and I are both Christians so our immediate reaction in a life-threatening situation was to ask for God's help," Stubbs told The Associated Press on Wednesday. He said he prayed during the ill-fated flight Sunday that the tiny craft would get over the top of a ridge and that they would find a landing site that was not too steep — or in the nearby sea. Wilson said that the pair would have been in deep trouble if the fuel had run out five minutes earlier. "If it had to run out, that was the place to be," he said. "There was an instantaneous answer to prayer as we crossed the ridge and there was an airfield — I didn't know it existed till then." After Wilson glided the powerless craft to a landing on the grassy strip, the pair noticed they were beside a 20-foot-tall sign that read, "Jesus is Lord — The Bible." "When we saw that, we started laughing," Stubbs said. Nearby residents provided them with gas to fly the home-built plane back to base.

Israel: Russia may be selling Syria arms The Jerusalem Post (May 21, 2008) - Fearing that Damascus is acquiring advanced military platforms, Israel is closely following meetings being held in Moscow this week between a high-level Syrian military delegation and Russian Defense Ministry officials. Senior government officials in Jerusalem said they have been aware for several days of the Syrians' upcoming visit to the Russian capital but that it was not yet clear which military platforms Damascus was requesting. According to reports in the Russian media, the delegation, led by Syrian Air Force commander Gen. Akhmad al-Ratyb, will be in Moscow for five days and meet with Russian Defense Ministry and Air Force officials, as well as visit several military bases and units. According to the reports, the talks will focus on arms sales - including submarines, anti-aircraft missiles, the latest model MiG fighter jets and advanced surface-to-surface ballistic missiles. Israel is particularly concerned with a Syrian request for long-range S-300 surface-to-air missiles that could threaten IAF jets flying on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights. The S-300 is one of the best multi-target anti-aircraft-missile systems in the world and reportedly can track 100 targets simultaneously while engaging 12 at the same time. Syria recently received 36 Pantsir S1E air-defense systems from Russia. Iran is believed to have already procured several S-300 systems to protect its nuclear facilities. Israeli defense officials expressed grave concern over the possibility that Syria would obtain these new military platforms. Damascus, the officials said, had dramatically increased defense spending recently. In the past three years, Syria has spent more than $3 billion on weapons, up from less than $100 million in 2002. Officials said that Israel was working diplomatically with Moscow to prevent the sales, but that for the right amount of money, Russia would likely approve the sales in any case. Israel is also extremely concerned about a possible sale of the Iskander surface-to-surface missile system. The Iskander, Israeli weapons experts said Tuesday, was the heir to the Scud and was far superior to the ballistic missiles currently in Syria's arsenal. The Iskander is propelled by solid fuel and has a range of 300 kilometers, with accuracy of about 20 meters. "This would without a doubt be a major threat to Israel," one Israeli expert said. Lastly, Syria is also reportedly interested in buying two Amur-1650 submarines from Russia. The Amur 1650 is a diesel-electric operated vessel and reportedly can strike salvo missile blows at multiple targets simultaneously. Syria has a navy but does not have operational submarines. more...
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Keep watching!

Ethiopian millions 'risk hunger' BBC News (May 20, 2008) - Six million children in Ethiopia are at risk of acute malnutrition following the failure of rains, the UN children's agency, Unicef, has warned. More than 60,000 children in two Ethiopian regions require immediate specialist feeding just to survive, Unicef says. The situation is expected to worsen in the next few months as crops fail. Aid agencies in Ethiopia say they are short of funds as donors concentrate on the emergencies in China and Burma. Paulette Jones, of the World Food Programme (WFP), said a combination of events had led to the situation. "We have drought - a really poor rainy season - and, of course, we have high food prices worldwide." The UN estimates it currently has a shortfall of 180,000 tonnes of food - and presently has no promises to meet this target. more...
| Economic Crisis |

What Holly Thinks: Mistakes People Make When Studying the End Times Fulfilled Prophecy (May 19, 2008) - End-times prophecy is a difficult subject, especially if you don’t know where to start. Avoid these four common pitfalls.

Mistake 1: Not focusing on Israel. Many Christians forget that, in prophecy, the geographical focus is always Israel. For example, some U.S. Christians will speculate endlessly about the United States’ role in prophecy, although there is no clear reference to it in the Bible. From God’s point of view, Jerusalem is the center of the world. He said through the prophet Ezekiel, “This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her” (Ezekiel 5:5). God chose to work through the nation of Israel to reveal Himself to the world. Jewish prophets penned the Scriptures, and Jesus, the Messiah came from Jewish lineage. During the Millennium, Jesus will reign for 1,000 years from Jerusalem. So, Bible prophecies focus mainly on Israel and His dealings with Israel through the surrounding nations.

Mistake 2: Ignoring the Old Testament. Many Christians try to figure out the meaning of the symbols in the book of Revelation without looking at the clues given in the rest of Scripture. For example, many Christians have attempted to identify the great harlot – or Babylon the Great – in Revelation 17. Their suggestions have ranged from the Roman Catholic Church to the United States. But they forget that the Word of God must be taken as a whole. The prophecies in the New Testament can’t be correctly understood apart from the Old Testament. So, to correctly determine what Babylon represents, they must go back to where ancient Babylon had its beginning – at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. The Tower of Babel was humankind’s first attempt at coming together to build a government without God. So, Babylon the Great appears to involve the nations’ final and most powerful attempt at uniting apart from God. Today, this might be best seen in the efforts of the United Nations.

Mistake 3: Not studying the book of Daniel. Many Christians don’t realize that the book of Daniel holds the keys to understanding the book of Revelation. So, they try to understand Revelation without studying Daniel. Yet, many of the symbols contained in the book of Revelation are first introduced in Daniel. For example, Revelation 13 speaks of a beast with 10 horns. Many people wonder who this beast could possibly be, but they don’t know that this same beast made an appearance in Daniel 7, where the interpretation is given.

Mistake 4: Not seeing the forest for the trees. Some Christians watch for the details of prophecy to be fulfilled and lose site of the larger fulfillments. For example, the Bible tells us that, before the end comes, there will be an increase in the frequency of earthquakes and famines (Matthew 24:7). So, some Christians point to every earthquake or famine as evidence that Christ is returning soon. Yet, they don’t remember that Christ said these are “merely the beginning of birth pangs” (Matthew 24:7-8). It’s true that the Bible gives us many amazing details of the future, but we must keep our eyes on the clear road signs so we don’t go off course. Some of these road signs include the return of Israel as a nation in 1948 and the revival of the Roman Empire in the form of the European Union, beginning with the Schuman Declaration in 1950.

Spain to run America's 1st superhighway? WorldNet Daily (May 19, 2008) - Stretching through the rural countryside with limited access and no speed limit in 1940, the Pennsylvania Turnpike was built to resemble Germany's autobahn. Now thanks to a $12.8 billion dollar offer, it may soon become Spain's. According to a report in the Philadelphia Daily News, Gov. Ed Rendell has announced that Abertis Infraestructuras of Barcelona has offered the top dollar bid to the state of Pennsylvania for the rights to manage the toll road under a 75-year lease. The highway could become just the latest in a string of U.S. infrastructure landmarks to be operated by foreign companies. In 2004, management of the Chicago Skyway, a stretch of elevated road connecting I-90 and I-94, was granted to Cintra, another Spanish operation that outbid Abertis at $1.83 billion. Abertis lost out to Cintra again when the Indiana Toll Road was taken over in 2006 for $3.8 billion. This time, Abertis beat out Cintra and other firms, hoping to add the Pennsylvania Turnpike to its list of operations including toll roads in Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Chile, Colombia and Argentina. Abertis also operates airports, including the airports in Orlando, Fla.; Burbank, Calif.; and one concourse of the Atlanta airport. Even though the controversial Dubai ports deal was squashed by public outcry in 2006, foreign firms have nonetheless purchased long-term leases on other American transportation networks. The Chicago Skyway is tied up for 99 years. The Indiana Toll Road is leased for 75. As WND reported earlier this year, Chicago is seeking a more than 50-year lease on Midway Airport. Among the potential suitors for Midway are 6 international firms, including Abertis. The leases are being made possible through an increasingly common practice of establishing "public-private partnerships" (PPP's), contracts between public agencies and private entities that enable private sector participation in public transportation. Many of the PPP's implemented in the U.S. bring large up-front cash infusions. In both the proposed Midway and Pennsylvania Turnpike offers, the billions in cash are touted as a quick solution to shoring up under-funded government employee pension funds. Many, however, see an imminent threat in turning over U.S. infrastructure to foreign companies. "The USA is up for sale," an attendee of a conference in Colorado to discuss PPPs told WND. "Whatever the public now owns – roads, ports, waste management water systems, rail lines, public parking facilities, airports, even lotteries and sports stadiums – are up for grabs and the only requirement is that the foreigners have the cash." Even William Capone, the director of communications for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, told WND in a telephone interview earlier this year, "We don't favor turning the Pennsylvania Turnpike into a private entity through a PPP lease. If we keep the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the hands of a public entity, we believe we can actually invest more dollars into roads than a private corporation could do." The proposal still has to go through the Pennsylvania legislature, a decision that is likely to be hotly contested. Many in the capital are hoping Act 44, a law passed by the state legislature in 2007 to make I-80 a toll road as well, will stem the financial crisis and deflate the impetus for accepting the Turnpike proposal. According to the newspaper report, the toll road plan with Abertis allows the newcomer to raise tolls 25 percent year and 2.5 percent or the rate of inflation every year after that. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | America |

31,000 scientists reject 'global warming' agenda WorldNet Daily (May 19, 2008) - More than 31,000 scientists across the U.S. – including more than 9,000 Ph.D.s in fields such as atmospheric science, climatology, Earth science, environment and dozens of other specialties – have signed a petition rejecting "global warming," the assumption that the human production of greenhouse gases is damaging Earth's climate. "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate," the petition states. "Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth." The Petition Project actually was launched nearly 10 years ago, when the first few thousand signatures were assembled. Then, between 1999 and 2007, the list of signatures grew gradually without any special effort or campaign. But now, a new effort has been conducted because of an "escalation of the claims of 'consensus,' release of the movie 'An Inconvenient Truth' by Mr. Al Gore, and related events," according to officials with the project. "Mr. Gore's movie, asserting a 'consensus' and 'settled science' in agreement about human-caused global warming, conveyed the claims about human-caused global warming to ordinary movie goers and to public school children, to whom the film was widely distributed. Unfortunately, Mr. Gore's movie contains many very serious incorrect claims which no informed, honest scientist could endorse," said project spokesman and founder Art Robinson. WND submitted a request to Gore's office for comment but did not get a response. Robinson said the dire warnings about "global warming" have gone far beyond semantics or scientific discussion now to the point they are actually endangering people. "The campaign to severely ration hydrocarbon energy technology has now been markedly expanded," he said. "In the course of this campaign, many scientifically invalid claims about impending climate emergencies are being made. Simultaneously, proposed political actions to severely reduce hydrocarbon use now threaten the prosperity of Americans and the very existence of hundreds of millions of people in poorer countries," he said. more...
| Earth Changes |

China says quake killed 12.5 million farm animals, will hurt rice production International Herald Tribune (May 19, 2008) - China's devastating earthquake killed 12.5 million farm animals — mostly chickens — and wrecked vegetable crops and irrigation systems needed to grow rice, the government says. More than 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) of vegetables and more than 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) of wheat were destroyed by the May 12 quake in Sichuan province, according to the Agriculture Ministry. Damage to irrigation systems could prevent farmers from growing rice on as much as 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) of rice paddies, the ministry said. But it said that land might be used for alternative crops while the damage is repaired. Most of the farm animals killed were poultry, said Wei Chao'an, a deputy agriculture minister, in comments reported by the official Xinhua News Agency. He said the losses should not affect food supplies, because they account for a small share of the 1.5 billion birds that Sichuan province was expected to produce this year. Sichuan usually supplies about 6 percent of China's grain and 5 percent of its vegetables, according to Wei.
| Economic Crisis |

High food prices forcing millions of Filipinos into poverty (May 18, 2008) - Soaring food prices are forcing millions of Filipinos into poverty, the Asian Development Bank said in a study released here Sunday. "Increases in food prices have enormous impacts on poverty" in the Philippines, where poor people spend nearly 60 percent of their income on food, the Manila-based lender said. The Philippines is one of the world's biggest rice importers and the government estimates a third of the country's 90 million people live on a dollar a day or less. Inflation spiked to a three-year high of 8.3 percent last month due mainly to surging prices of rice and petroleum products, which are at all-time highs. A 10-percent rise in food and non-food prices "will lead to an additional 2.3 million and 1.7 million poor people, respectively," the ADB study said. Between January 2007 and March 2008, rice prices have risen at an annual pace of 22.9 percent, the study said, urging Manila to "direct government policies toward stabilizing food prices." "Monetary policy may not be an effective tool to combat rising inflation," it said, adding, "such policies may push the economy into recession, which will hurt the poor even more."
| Economic Crisis |

Russia: A totalitarian regime in thrall to a Tsar who's creating the new Fascist empire Daily Mail (May 17, 2008) - As ex-President Putin settles in to his new role as Prime Minister, he has every reason to congratulate himself. After all, he has not only written the script for his constitutional coup d'etat, but staged the play and given himself the starring role as well. Of course, he has given a walk-on role to Dmitry Medvedev, his personally anointed successor. But the transfer of power from Putin to his Little Sir Echo, Medvedev, and the show of military strength with those soldiers and clapped-out missiles in Red Square on Victory Day which followed it last week, made it clear who is really in charge. No decision of any significance for the Russian people or the rest of us will be made in the foreseeable future without the say - so of Medvedev's unsmiling master. Just before he stood down as President, Putin declared: "I have worked like a galley slave throughout these eight years, morning til night, and I have given all I could to this work. I am happy with the results." As he surveys the nation today he reminds me of that chilling poem by Ted Hughes, Hawk Roosting, in which the dreaded bird sits at the top of a tall tree musing: "Now I hold all Creation in my foot - I kill as I please because it is all mine - I am going to keep things like this." In a way he is right to be so self-satisfied. He has told the Russian people that life is much better than it was before he took over - and, after a journey of some 10,000 miles across the largest country in the world for a new book and BBC TV series, I am in no doubt that the majority of his subjects believe him. I travelled from cities to towns to villages by road, rail and boat and met a great diversity of people - from St Petersburg glitterati to impoverished potato-pickers, from a witch who charms the sprites of the forest to the mountain herdsmen who worship fire and water, from oilmen to woodcutters. It was an exhilarating and revelatory experience in a land of extremes. But it was also deeply disturbing. Despite the fact that Putin's Russia is increasingly autocratic and irredeemably corrupt, the man himself - their born-again Tsar - is overwhelmingly regarded as the answer to the nation's prayers. In a nation that has not tasted and - with very few exceptions - does not expect or demand justice or freedom, all that matters is stability and security. And, to a degree, Putin has delivered these twin blessings. But the price has been exorbitant and the Russians have been criminally short-changed. Putin boasts that since he came into office investment in the Russian economy has increased sevenfold (reaching $82.3 billion in 2007) and that the country's GDP has risen by more than 70 per cent. Over the same period, average real incomes have more than doubled. But they started from a very low base and they could have done far better. Nor is this growth thanks either to the Kremlin's leadership or a surge of entrepreneurial energy. On the contrary, it is almost solely down to Russia's vast reserves of oil and gas. Stricken with an epidemic of AIDS and alcoholism which both contribute to a male life expectancy of 58 years, the population is projected to shrink from 145 million to 120 million within a few decades. So where has all the oil wealth gone? According to an Independent Experts Report, written by two former high-level Kremlin insiders who have had the courage to speak out, "a criminal system of government [has] taken shape under Putin" in which the Kremlin has been selling state assets cheaply to Putin's cronies and buying others assets back from them at an exorbitant price. Among such dubious transactions the authors cite the purchase by the state-owned Gasprom (run until a few months ago by Dmitry Medvedev) of a 75 per cent share in an oil company called Sifnet (owned by Roman Abramovich, the oligarch who owns Chelsea Football Club). In 1995 Abramovich, one of Putin's closest allies, paid a mere $100 million for Sifnet; ten years later, the government shelled out $13.7 billion for it - an astronomical sum and far above the going market rate. The threat of prosecution for tax fraud is the Kremlin's weapon of choice against anyone who dares to challenge its hegemony. When Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once the richest man in Russia, used his oil wealth to promote human rights and democracy, Putin detected a threat to his throne. The oligarch was duly arrested and convicted of fraud. He now languishes in a Siberian jail where he is in the third year of an eight-year prison sentence. None of this is a matter of public debate in Russia where the media has been muzzled by the Kremlin, their freedom of expression stifled by the government. Almost every national radio and television station is now controlled directly or indirectly by the state, and the same applies to every newspaper of any influence. In the heady days immediately before and after the collapse of the Soviet empire, editors and reporters competed to challenge the mighty and to uncover scandal and corruption. Now they cower from the wrath of the state and its agents in the police and the security services. That diminishing number who have the courage to investigate or speak out against the abuses perpetrated by the rich and powerful very soon find themselves out of a job - or, in an alarming number of cases, on the receiving end of a deadly bullet. Some 20 Russian journalists have been killed in suspicious circumstances since Putin came to office. No one has yet been convicted for any of these crimes. Putin calls the system over which he presides "sovereign democracy". I think a better term is "cryptofascism" - though even the Kremlin's few critics in Russia recoil when I suggest this.
| Gog/Magog |

Thousands flee China quake area over flood fears Associated Press (May 17, 2008) - Two rivers blocked by landslides threatened to flood towns shattered by China's massive earthquake, sending thousands of survivors fleeing Saturday in a region still staggering from the country's worst disaster in 30 years. A mountain sheared off by the mighty tremor cut the Qingzhu river and swallowed the riverside village of Donghekou whole, entombing an unknown number of people inside a huge mound of brown earth. Compounding the horror for survivors, a lake rising behind the wall of debris threatens to break its banks and send torrents cascading into villages downstream. Pannicky residents streamed out of the entire county on the northern edge of the quake zone, spurred on by mobile phone text messages sent en masse by local government officials warning that the water level was rising and people downstream were being evacuated. In the town of Beichuan, 60 miles to the south, thousands fled as the reports circulated. Rescue work resumed later in the day and experts were monitoring the river above Beichuan, the People's Daily newspaper said on its web site. The swift exodus underscored the jitters running through the disaster zone. A strong aftershock — the second in two days and measured by the U.S. Geological Survey at magnitude 5.7 — shook the area early Sunday for 45 seconds, causing people to run into the streets. In all the devastation wrought by the quake, little looks as bleak as Donghekou. The road to the village ends in a tangled twist of metal and tar. In the small valley below, the village itself has disappeared when the mountain collapsed. Locals said two other villages further upstream, Ciban and Kangle, had suffered the same fate. The three villages were home to about 300 families, locals said. more...

Opponents to Fight Gay Marriage Ruling AOL News (May 16, 2008) - Even as same-sex couples across California begin making plans to tie the knot, opponents are redoubling their efforts to make sure wedding bells never ring for gay couples in the nation's most populous state. A conservative group said it would ask California's Supreme Court to postpone putting its decision legalizing gay marriage into effect until after the fall election. That's when voters will likely have a chance to weigh in on a proposed amendment to California's constitution that would bar same-sex couples from getting married. If the court does not grant the request, gay marriages could begin in California in as little as 30 days, the time it typically takes for the justices' opinions to become final. "We're obviously very disappointed in the decision," said Glen Lavy, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which is pushing for the stay. "The remedy is a constitutional amendment." With a stroke of a pen Thursday, the Republican-dominated court swept away decades of tradition and said there was no legally justifiable reason why the state should withhold the institution of marriage because of a couple's sexual orientation. The 4-3 opinion written by Chief Justice Ronald George said domestic partnerships that provide many of the rights and benefits of matrimony are not enough. "In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation," George wrote for the majority in ringing language that delighted gay rights activists. Gay marriage opponents, meanwhile, derided the ruling as an example of judicial overreaching in which the opinions of a few justices trumped the will of Californians. "It's about human dignity. It's about human rights. It's about time in California," San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom told a roaring crowd at City Hall after the ruling was issued. "As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation. It's inevitable. This door's wide open now. It's going to happen, whether you like it or not." California's secretary of state is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors of the anti-gay marriage ballot measure gathered enough signatures to put the amendment on the ballot. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has twice vetoed legislation that would have granted marriage to same-sex couples, said in a statement he respected the court's decision and "will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling." more...
| Signs of the Times | America |

The California Supreme Court Rewrites the Definition of Marriage - California voters may have the last word Liberty Counsel (May 15, 2008) - Today, the California Supreme Court abandoned the rule of law and common sense when it handed down a 4-3 decision that rewrote the definition of marriage, allowing "marriages" between same-sex couples. This ruling will unite the people of California and will propel their efforts to amend the state constitution. In the meantime, we will ask the Court to issue a stay on its decision until November when the voters have a right to decide the fate of marriage. California residents have submitted petitions to place a state constitutional marriage amendment on the November ballot. If the requisite number is certified in the next few weeks, California voters will have the opportunity to amend their state constitution so that it expressly defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Such an amendment is necessary to protect marriage from being undermined by a mere majority of four justices of the California Supreme Court. On March 4, 2008, Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, presented oral argument at the California Supreme Court in defense of the marriage laws. Liberty Counsel has been involved in the case from the beginning, in February 2004. Read the Court's opinion: PDF or MSWord. We have been working diligently to defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Those working on the opposite side to radically change the definition of marriage include the City and County of San Francisco, the ACLU, pro-homosexual activist groups, and several same-sex couples.

A Brief History of Marriage - "Like most other social institutions, marriage as we know it today has evolved over the centuries. As the joining of man and woman, it has increased in complexity as societies have become more sophisticated and civilized. Heavily steeped in both custom and tradition, religion and civil law, many practices have died away as new ones replaced them. Marriage has Judeo/Christian biblical roots and was instituted by God when he declared, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." (Genesis 2:18) So God fashioned woman and brought her to man. On seeing the woman, Adam exclaimed, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (Genesis 2:23) God’s ideal is for man to be the husband of one wife and that marriage is to be permanent. "A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24)"

Leviticus 18:22
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Leviticus 20:13
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Romans 1:20-27
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

So if marriage originated in the Bible, and the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality, why then would homosexual couples wish to engage in a tradition based on the Word of God, which also condemns their relationship in the first place? Why follow a tradition set up by a God they don't follow? God gave everyone free-will, but let's not forget that there are always consequences for actions as well. It's not a popular warning to give, but if it is the truth then it is out of love I warn about it. Judgment is not mine to give, but God will judge just as He will forgive the repentant, the choice is always ours to make - it's not like we haven't been warned.

Last-days 'birth pains' have begun WorldNet Daily (May 16, 2008) - The world has endured an almost mind-numbing series of shocks in recent weeks, from the unprecedented swarm of tornadoes across the American Midwest to the death and destruction wrought by Cyclone Nargis as it tore a path through Myanmar, better known as Burma. There were 368 documented tornadoes in the U.S. in January and February of this year, shattering the previous record of 243 over that two-month period, set in 1999. February's total of 232 tornadoes also shattered previous records. Cyclone Nargis ripped Burma apart, killing at least 128,000, according to Red Cross estimates, and creating some 2.5 million refugees. Al Gore was quick to blame global warming. In an interview on NPR to plug his appropriately named book on global warming, "Assault on Reason," he told host Terry Gross: "And as we're talking today, Terry, the death count in Myanmar from the cyclone that hit there yesterday has been rising from 15,000 to way on up there to much higher numbers now being speculated. . … And last year a catastrophic storm last fall hit Bangladesh. The year before, the strongest cyclone in more than 50 years hit China – and we're seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming." Maybe. But Germany's Institute of Marine Scientists says we're in for a 10-year period of global cooling. There sure seems to be a lot of opposition to what is supposed to be "settled science." Global warming can't explain away the devastating earthquake that all but flattened a huge portion of western China. The death toll from Monday's quake is approaching 20,000, with twice that number still listed as missing. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Monday's earthquake was the 25th "significant" earthquake registered so far this year. Back in 1969, the year I wrote "The Late, Great Planet Earth," the USGS identified a total of seven "significant earthquakes." I had noted in 1969 that there was a slight but discernible increase in worldwide earthquake activity since Israel's rebirth in 1948. During the entire decade of the 1970s, the USGS recorded a total of 44 earthquakes it classified as "significant." The following decade, from January 1980 to December 1989, the USGS recorded 47 significant earthquakes. That is for the entire decade. From 1990 through the end of 1999, the USGS records 57 significant earthquakes. From 2000 thru to Monday's earthquake in Sichuan, China, the USGS recorded an astonishing 109 earthquakes of at least magnitude 7.0 and 13 earthquakes measuring between 8.0 and 9.9 on the Richter Scale. On the other side of the world, the long-dormant Chaitan volcano erupted May 2 for the first time, say geologists, in more than 7,000 years. The BBC reported that a government volcano expert warned there could be a big eruption at any time. "There could be a major explosion that could collapse the volcano's cone," said Luis Lara of the National Geologic and Mining Service. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warned that Iran had "detected" a new highly pathogenic strain of wheat stem rust. The U.N. said the fungal disease could spread to other wheat-producing states in the Near East and western Asia that provide one-fourth of the world's wheat supply. The new strain, called Ug99, is capable of infecting up to 90 percent of the existing strains of wheat worldwide – and once infected, crop losses range between 70 percent and total loss. Coupled with the losses already sustained as a result of the typhoon-related flooding in Java, Bangladesh, and India and from agricultural pests and diseases in Vietnam, it starts to add up. Last year, Australia suffered its second consecutive year of severe drought and a near complete crop failure; heavy rains reduced production in Europe; Argentina suffered heavy frost; and Canada and the U.S. both produced low yields. Food riots have broken out in Egypt, Haiti and several African states, including Mauritania, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Senegal. Meanwhile, the drums of war continue to beat around the planet. Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad renewed his threat to destroy Israel this week. Hezbollah took over West Beirut, while the Arab world mourned the catastrophe of Israel's 60th birthday with threats of annihilation of the Jewish state. In Israel, President Bush again warned that allowing the Iranian regime to obtain nuclear arms would be "unforgivable," signaling a continuation along a path that can only lead to an eventual war that will engulf the whole Middle East. When Jesus was asked by His disciples to tell them what "signs" would precede His return at the end of the age, He warned that "nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines, plagues and earthquakes in various places," He said (Matthew 24 and Luke 21). Using an analogy immediately understandable to all peoples in all nations, he said of these signs, "All these are the beginning of birth pains." Jesus used a Greek word for the labor pains of a woman about to give birth. Jesus knew that every generation could understand the illustration. His meaning is clear. Just as a woman experiences birth pains that increase in frequency and intensity just before giving birth, so ALL the signs of His return would increase in frequency and intensity just before His return. Hey, for he first time in history, all of the signs have appeared together in the same time frame and are increasing in frequency and intensity. That, coupled with the fulfillment of the great predicted sign that Israel became a nation again after 2,000 hopeless years of worldwide dispersion, indicates that Jesus Christ is already at the door ready to return. Are you ready?
| Earth Changes |

Hezbollah in dangerous territory BBC News (May 16, 2008) - Hezbollah's lightning offensive against West Beirut and the Druze mountains brought home violently what everybody already knew: that it is far stronger than any other force in the land, including the Lebanese Army. Its advances on the ground, and the Western-backed government's humiliating capitulation over its two rescinded decisions, were hailed in the Shia areas as glorious victories, and celebrated with jubilation. In one way, the Hezbollah escalation and the ensuing crisis has helped to unblock the deadlock that has paralysed Lebanese politics for the past 18 months. It triggered an Arab League initiative, led by Qatar, to defuse the crisis. The initiative provided the vehicle for an agreement on the immediate start of a political dialogue, something that has been absent for quite some time. But the full consequences of the worst violence since the civil war in the 1970s and 1980s have yet to be gauged. So too has the extent to which Hezbollah's undoubted supremacy on the ground can translate into political gains. The onslaught unleashed by the Hezbollah leader, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, just minutes after his televised address on 8 May, saw his movement plunge along a bloody and dangerous course he always vowed it would never follow. Hezbollah crushed all opposition in West Beirut from Sunni supporters of the government in a matter of hours on that Thursday night. On 11 May, it pounded the hills south-east of Beirut until the Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, agreed to lay down arms and hand over to the Lebanese Army. But Hezbollah had turned its guns against fellow-Lebanese, something Hassan Nasrallah said would never happen. It also stirred up a hornets' nest of sectarian hatreds and very real fears of another outbreak of uncontainable civil strife. Hassan Nasrallah always reassured those anxious about Hezbollah's growing power that he would never allow that to happen. During the brief period when his fighters and a motley array of allied Syrian-backed militias left over from the civil war erupted into the streets of West Beirut, they burned a television station and a newspaper office, and ransacked and closed down other media outlets owned by their adversaries, especially the Sunni leader Saad Hariri. That led to fears among many Lebanese that what was under threat was not just the political balance, but a way of life - the strong Lebanese tradition of media freedom and social liberalism that somehow survived all previous upheavals, and made Lebanon for decades a haven for the region's political exiles. So Hezbollah and its allies now enter the political contest hoping that the message of their military "victories" against vastly inferior forces will mean a greater chance of getting what they want - at least veto power in a new national unity government, an issue that has snagged all previous efforts to reach agreement. Hezbollah won two elements in the current package agreement mediated by the Arab delegation:

  • The western-backed government formally retracted the two decisions it had taken on 6 May, outlawing Hizbollah's private communications network and reassigning the chief of security at Beirut airport over the alleged deployment of Hezbollah spy cameras overlooking the main runway
  • The government side also agreed to an immediate dialogue, as insisted on by Hassan Nasrallah

But those immediate gains for Hezbollah and its allies were balanced by two elements in the Arab-mediated agreement positive for the government side, possibly implying that Hezbollah's political position has been damaged by its use of resistance arms in the domestic arena and the Pandora's box that swung open as a result. These were:

  • A pledge to refrain from resorting or returning to violence in pursuit of political gains - a clear reference to Hezbollah's behaviour over the previous week
  • Agreement on a parallel dialogue on spreading state sovereignty throughout the country, and defining the state's relationship with "all organisations" - a reference to Hezbollah and its armed presence

So the issue of Hezbollah's weaponry, which it - unlike all other militias - was allowed to keep at the end of the civil war on the grounds that it was a resistance movement against Israeli occupation, is now centre-stage, as a result of its being turned against fellow-Lebanese. After the bloodshed, hatred and sectarian tensions of the past week, many Lebanese are fearful that a breakdown of the dialogue now starting could see Hezbollah and its allies back on the warpath in search of a clean political sweep. The consequences, already foreshadowed by the convulsions which triggered the Arab initiative, could be disastrous. more...
| Iran | Islam | Gog/Magog |

World economy on thin ice - U.N. CNN Money (May 16, 2008) - The world economy is "teetering on the brink" of a severe downturn and is expected to grow only 1.8% in 2008, the United Nations said in its mid-year economic projections Thursday. That's down from a global growth rate of 3.8% in 2007, and the downturn is expected to continue with only a slightly higher growth of 2.1% in 2009, the U.N. report said. The mid-year update of the U.N. World Economic Situation and Prospects 2008 blamed the downturn on further deterioration in the U.S. housing and financial sectors in the first quarter, which is expected to "continue to be a major drag for the world economy extending into 2009." But the U.N. said developing countries will suffer as badly: They should grow by 5% this year and 4.8% next year, compared to a robust 7.3% in 2007, the report said. The U.N. economists said the deepening credit crisis in major market economies triggered by the U.S.-led slump in housing prices, the declining value of the U.S. dollar, persistent global imbalances and soaring oil and commodity prices pose considerable risks to economic growth in both developed and developing countries. "The baseline forecast projects a pace for world economic growth of 1.8% in 2008," the U.N. report said. However, it said the final figure will largely depend on developments in the United States. Global growth this year could fall to 0.8% if the U.S. subprime mortgage market turmoil has a more serious impact on developing countries and countries in transition, the U.N. report said. But if the monetary and fiscal measures the U.S. government has taken to stimulate the economy - including tax refunds and lower interest rates - boost consumer spending and restore confidence in the business and banking sector, the world economy could only slow to 2.8% growth this year and 2.9% in 2009, it said. The report, prepared by the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, forecast that U.S. economic growth will decline from 2.2% in 2007 to -0.2% this year, with only slight recovery in 2009 to 0.2% growth. "At issue is how deep and long this contraction will be," the report said. "As the housing slump continues and the credit crisis deepens, a broad array of ... indicators are already hinting at a recession." more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | America | Economic Crisis |

Israel firm on refugees after Bush dismays Arabs Reuters UK (May 16, 2008) - Israel ruled out all debate on letting Palestinian refugees return in any peace deal, as U.S. President George W. Bush ended a visit on Friday that left Arabs dismayed by his outspoken support for Israel's "chosen people". As Bush flew out after three days of celebrations of Israel's 60th anniversary, an Israeli government spokesman said Palestinian insistence on the right of return for 4.5 million refugees and their descendants was "the ultimate deal breaker". Six months into negotiations sponsored by Bush in the hope of a deal before he leaves the White House, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman used some of the toughest Israeli language yet to insist that President Mahmoud Abbas abandon 60-year-old refugee claims if he wants to establish a Palestinian state. "This demand, which does not exist under international law, for right of return, is the ultimate deal breaker. You cannot have peace and this demand at the same time," Mark Regev said. Some 700,000 people, half the Arab population of Palestine in May 1948, fled or were driven from their homes when Israel was created. Letting them and their families live in Israel now would undermine its nature as a Jewish state, Israel argues. It also disputes the legal basis of the right of the return first set out in a United Nations resolution of December 1948. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters: "He should have told the Israelis that, 1 mile from where he was speaking, there is a nation that has lived in disaster for 60 years. He should have told the Israelis no one can be free at the expense of others. He missed this opportunity and we are disappointed." Bush called Israel a homeland for God's "chosen people" and pledged Washington would remain its "best friend in the world". As Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and in camps abroad held protests on the 60th anniversary of their exile from cities and farmlands that are now in Israel, Bush spoke of European Jews in 1948 "arriving here in the desert". In the Palestinian newspaper al-Ayyam, columnist Samih Shabib wrote: "Bush is blind to the right of return. "The U.S. administration's attitude towards Israel inherently promotes hostility and deepens hatred towards the United States and its policy. Is this hostility, and its consequences, in America's interest? I don't think so." Olmert's spokesman Regev acknowledged the suffering of Palestinian refugees but insisted Abbas must abandon their claims if he wanted a Palestinian state, 60 years after Arabs rejected a U.N. plan to partition Palestine into two states. "We are not insensitive to suffering that the Palestinians or the Arabs have gone through," he told reporters. But he added: "The so-called right of return is antithetical to a two-state solution ... I would question someone's commitment to peace and reconciliation if they believe that the so-called right of return must be implemented." more...
| Israel | Islam | America |

Some thoughts upon reading this article. The Palestinians are further disenchanted with the prospect of peace as Israel denies the right of return. With further conflict possibilities coming from Syria and Iran through Hezbollah and continued rocket attacks, a pre-emptive attack on Damascus could trigger the spite building and bring Russia, Turkey, Iran and Libya against Israel through Lebanon. Considering this Report: Israel threatened to target Syria if Hezbollah attacks, could we be heading to a retaliation on Syria for the continued aggression from Hezbollah and Hamas? The question is also if the strong stance being taken now against any peace with the right of return as a part of it, which won’t help the peace process, is meant to provoke a reaction. Iran’s president Ahmadinejad has made statements that Israel’s time is coming to an end and the perception is that Israel is weakened currently. Could this contribute to an attack being planned for this summer? And would Israel’s catching wind of this plan trigger their attack on Damascus? I believe this would then trigger the response foretold in Ezekiel 38,39.

If that is the case, then following the destruction of those attackers with fire and brimstone from heaven in the mountains of Israel, the more radical elements will be temporarily quieted and Israel’s morale and confidence will go through the roof as they turn to the ways of their fathers.

The more subdued part of Islam that does not participate in the attack will still have the destruction of Israel in mind, but will also be working for integration into the West too. In the end, Islam must participate with the final kingdom just like everyone else and I believe the false prophet may be the key. I would expect the 12th Mahdi to surface sometime soon after this failed attack to unite Sunni and Shia Islam.

Russia captures 'Georgian spy' (May 16, 2008) - Russia has said it has captured a Georgian spy allegedly operating in southern Russia to destabilize the region. Georgia immediately rejected the allegations as "absurd" and called it part of a Russian "policy of provocation'' aimed at Tbilisi. Russian news agencies quoted unnamed sources in Russia's FSB security service as saying they had caught a 34-year-old Georgian who had been living in southern Russia's war-torn Chechyna region. The man was said to have been recruiting among rebel fighter groups and security forces there. Speaking to Russia's Interfax news agency, an FSB source said: "An agent has been exposed, a Russian citizen, a native of Georgia. [This] confirms the involvement of Georgian secret services in disruptive terrorist activity in the North Caucasus." The claim comes as tensions between Georgia and Russia have dramatically escalated, centering on Abkhazia, the Russian-backed separatist region of Georgia. The Interfax source said the suspect's work was "to organise contacts between Georgian secret services and active members of illegal armed groups on Russian territory" in order to provide financing and "organise armed resistance". The source said: "For fulfilling his tasks the agent several times received financial rewards from Georgia's special services in American dollars. Some of these were handed over in personal meetings, some by... money transfer." Shota Utiashvili, a Georgian interior ministry spokesman, said: "It is an absurd accusation. Russia's provocations are becoming more and more aggressive." Tensions between Russia and Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgia's president, have risen as Georgia pursues membership of the Nato military alliance. Georgia received a promise of eventual Nato membership, at an unspecified date, at a summit of Nato leaders in Bucharest last month. Saakashvili has also sought to retake control of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a second separatist region, which are both backed by Russia. Tbilisi and Moscow have traded spying accusations before, notably in September 2006, when Georgia arrested four alleged Russian spies. Amid Georgian hopes of an easing of tensions under Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's new president, a Georgian interior ministry official said his country was "astonished that the new head of the FSB has begun his first day with the discovery of so-called Georgian spies". Last month, Russia announced it was establishing formal ties with Georgia's two separatist regions, even though it claims to recognise Georgia's territorial integrity. In an example of the growing ties, a Russian Olympic official and the governor of the neighbouring Russian region of Kuban held talks in Abkhazia on Friday on building plans for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, the Interfax news agency said. Moscow has increased its peacekeeping force in Abkhazia, a force long seen as giving de facto backing to the Abkhazians. In recent weeks, Abkhaz separatists claim to have shot down a string of Georgian reconnaissance drones. Tbilisi has denied those claims, saying that just one drone has been destroyed by a Russian fighter jet.
| Gog/Magog |

New rumbling from Chilean volcano worries experts Reuters (May 15, 2008) - Chile's Chaiten volcano groaned, rumbled and shuddered on Thursday, raising new concerns among authorities, as lightning bolts pierced the huge clouds of hot ash hovering ominously above its crater. Chile's National Emergency Office, ONEMI, said heavy ash kept shooting from the volcano in southern Chile as it generated small tremors. On the ground, heavy flooding hit the area around Chaiten as falling ash swelled rivers, overflowing their banks. "There's been additional volcanic activity that we're really worried about," regional governor Sergio Galilea told reporters. The Chaiten volcano, 760 miles (1,220 km) south of the capital Santiago, started erupting on May 2 for the first time in thousands of years, spewing ash, gas and molten rock into the air. The government on Wednesday declared the town of Chaiten, only six miles (10 km) from the erupting volcano, off-limits for three months and reported that about 90 percent of the town had been flooded by the Blanco and Raya Rivers. "The flooding has receded in terms of water. But there's a lot of material left, more mud than water," Galilea said. Rains are normal during the southern hemispheric winter in Patagonia, but the deluge of volcanic ash has caused nearby rivers to breach their banks. No deaths have resulted, but thousands of people have been evacuated within a 30-mile (48-km) radius, including the 4,500 residents of Chaiten. The column of ash above the volcano, kept aloft by the pressure of constant eruptions, rose as high as 20 miles (32 km) early in the eruption but has since fallen back to about 4.5 miles (7 km). more...
| Earth Changes |

The gathering storm, and beyond The Jerusalem Post (May 15, 2008) - The incendiary hate language emanating from Ahmadinejad's Iran - in which Israel is referred to as "filthy bacteria" and a "cancerous tumor" and Jews are characterized as "a bunch of bloodthirsty barbarians" - is only the head wind of the gathering storm confronting Israel on its 60th anniversary. Indeed, we are witnessing, and have been for some time, a series of mega-events, political earthquakes that have been impacting not only upon Israel and world Jewry but upon the human condition as a whole. These include:

  • state-sanctioned incitement to genocide in Ahmadinejad's Iran (and I use that term to distinguish it from the many publics and peoples in Iran who are themselves the object of massive state repression) dramatized by the parading of a Shihab-3 missile in the streets of Teheran draped with the emblem "Wipe Israel off the map";
  • symmetrical terrorist militias confronting Israel, in particular Hamas in the south and Hizbullah in the north. These are not simply - though that would be threatening enough - terrorist in their instrumentality, but genocidal in their purpose as they openly and avowedly seek the destruction of Israel and anti-Jewish in their ideology. Both, by their own acknowledgement, demonize Judaism and Jews, not just Israel and the Israeli, as "the sons of monkeys and pigs" and "defilers of Islam";
  • the globalization of a totalitarian, radical Islam that threatens not only Jews and Israel but international peace and security, while warning Muslims who seek peace with Israel that they will "burn in the Umma of Islam";
  • the fragility, even erosion, of the Lebanon-Hizbullah divides, aided and abetted by the Iranian-Syrian pincer movements and further exacerbated in the present Lebanese-Hizbullah warfare;
  • the phenomenon of radicalized home-grown extremism, fuelled by Internet incitement, threatening the security of Jewish communities in the Diaspora;
  • exploding energy prices, with oil at $120 a barrel - six times what it was just six years ago - with the windfall billions of petrodollars encouraging and financing rogue states like Iran. Every $1 increase in the price of a barrel of oil represents millions more in the coffers of Iran;
  • the ugly canard of double loyalty, where the Jewish and Israeli lobbies are accused of acting in a matter inimical to the American and European national interest, as if it is somehow "un-American" or "un-European" to petition government for redress of grievances, an Orwellian politics of intimidation that chills free speech and public advocacy;
  • the trahison des clercs - betrayal of the elites - of which the UK is a case study, exemplified in the calls for academic, trade union, journalist, medical and intellectual boycotts of Israeli and Jewish nationals;
  • the singling out of Israel for differential and discriminatory treatment in the international arena, as when the UN Human Rights Council,, the repository for human rights standards-setting, adopted 10 resolutions of condemnation against one member state of the international community, Israel, in its first year of operation alone; while the major human rights violators - Iran, Sudan, China - enjoyed exculpatory immunity; and
  • the emergence of a new, escalating, global, virulent and even lethal anti-Semitism.

WITH ISRAEL'S 60th anniversary, these mega-events have not only intensified but congealed into what might be called a "gathering storm," finding expression in the two theses that underpin this article. First, that this gathering storm appears to be without parallel or precedent since 1938, suggesting thereby that 2008 is reflective and reminiscent of 1938. The second thesis, which reflects my own position and is not inconsistent with the previous notion, is that whatever 2008 may be, it is not 1938. Simply put, there is a Jewish state today that is an antidote to the vulnerabilities of 1938. There is a Jewish people with untold moral, intellectual, economic and political resources. There are non-Jews prepared to join the Jewish people in common cause, seeing the cause of Israel not simply as a Jewish cause, but - with all its imperfections - as a just cause. Nor is Israel is isolated or alone. It has important friends and allies: for example, the United States, Canada, Germany and France, to name a few; and it has diplomatic relations with the two emerging superpowers, China and India. There are peace treaties, however imperfect, with Egypt and Jordan. In a word, if one looks at Israel at 60 in this global configuration, 2008 is, even with an admittedly gathering storm not unlike 1938, nonetheless very different from the Thirties. more...
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | America |

Deal seeks to end Lebanon strife BBC (May 15, 2008) - Arab League mediators in Lebanon say they have clinched an agreement to end the recent fighting, which raised fears of a second civil war breaking out. They said the opposition would end sit-in protests in Beirut and allow the city's airport and port to reopen. Fighting between pro-government groups and the Hezbollah-led opposition broke out last week leaving at least 65 dead. The breakthrough came a day after the Lebanese government withdrew plans aimed at curbing Hezbollah. In what correspondents called a climb-down, ministers rescinded decisions to shut down of Hezbollah's private phone system and to remove a head of airport security. These moves last week triggered the worst violence since Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war. The head of the Arab League delegation, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Hamad al-Thani, announced a breakthrough on Thursday after two days of peace talks in Beirut. The mediators said the rival parties would go to Qatar on Friday to try to elect a president - Lebanon has had no president since November - and form a national unity government. The two sides have already agreed to appoint Lebanese army commander Gen Michel Suleiman as president, but must resolve the other issues first. Lebanon has been suspended in political crisis since late 2006 when the Hezbollah-led opposition left a national unity coalition cabinet, demanding more power and a veto over government decisions. As news of a deal broke, mechanical diggers began removing roadblocks set up last week by militants on the route to Beirut's international airport, paving the way for the first commercial flight to land in a week. Naim Qassam, the deputy leader of Hezbollah, a mainly Shia political and militant movement, earlier pledged it would return the situation in Lebanon back "to normal". The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says the Lebanese know that issues like the make-up of a new government have defied all previous efforts to reach agreement. But they will cautiously welcome the improved situation on the ground, while keeping their fingers crossed that the dialogue will produce a stable political situation, he says. Lebanon's Western-backed governing coalition said last week's violence was a coup attempt by Hezbollah aimed at restoring the influence of the two regional powers, Syria and Iran.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Commentary: Tax-free hypocrisy from higher education CNN: Glenn Beck (May 15, 2008) - There is an industry in this country that is making billions in profit while average Americans are struggling to fill up their gas tanks. It's an industry that made an average profit of nearly 17 percent in 2007 while most Americans could barely keep up with inflation. It's an industry whose members paid a grand total of zero dollars in tax on their endowments last year. Are you outraged? Are you ready to call on Congress to investigate or demand that a "windfall" tax be placed on these egregious profits? Well put down the phone because the industry I'm talking about is Higher Education. And make no mistake, it is an industry. The top five college and university endowments reported a combined value of over $100 billion at the end of 2007. That's five funds, a hundred billion in cash. Not a nickel in tax. Not an ounce of outrage. Harvard University, which has the largest endowment in the country, has a total of $34.6 billion. To put into perspective just how much money that is, consider that the largest charitable foundation in the world, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has a total endowment of $37.3 billion. But while their financial statements may look similar, their missions aren't. The Gates Foundation is working to cure malaria, develop new tuberculosis vaccines, and stop the spread of AIDS. Most of our colleges and universities are only working to spread the radical political views of some of their professors. Let me be clear: I have absolutely no problem with Harvard or any other school having billions in cash. In fact, good for them! I have no problem with Harvard posting an unbelievable 23 percent rate of return on their money last year. The truth is, I'm jealous of it. I have no problem with the fact that if you project Harvard's endowment out using their historical rate of return they would have over half a TRILLION dollars in 20 years. I don't even have a problem with Harvard not paying one dime of tax on any of that money. What I do have a problem with -- and it's a big one -- is how Harvard spends that money. Or, maybe it would be more accurate to say how Harvard, doesn't spend that money. Schools with large endowments (at least $500 million) reported spending an average of 4.4 percent of their stockpiles in 2007. Meanwhile, those same schools made an average of over 19 percent on their money. But I also have another problem, and that is how these sanctimonious institutions who are so good at complaining about the injustices of our government are nothing but really highly educated hypocrites. For what's been estimated to be about $300 million a year (less than 1 percent of their endowment's value) Harvard could completely waive tuition, room and board for every single one of their students. Instead, they announced an increase in those fees of about 3.5 percent for next year. Being a student at Harvard will now cost a staggering $47,215 a year. Doesn't Harvard know how many millions of Americans are struggling to afford college? Don't they want to pay their fair share and help those who are less fortunate? more...
| America |

What isn't addressed in this article that was on the TV show that directed me to this article was the government subsidies on top of these great profits.

PMW: Hatred of US a Pillar of PA Ideology Israel National News (May 14, 2008) - The Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) watchdog group has released a report warning that hatred of the United States is a pillar of the Palestinian Authority’s ideology. As US President George W. Bush lavished praise this week on Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the latter broadcast on the TV station which he controls a stinging message: the US is “the greatest Satan in the world.” --Palestinian Legislative Council Member Najat Abu-Bakr (Fatah), PA TV, March 3, 2008. The full 30-page PMW report examines statements made in the PA media over the past several years regarding the PA’s affinity for countries such as North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela, which are all openly anti-American. “Significantly,” the report warns, “the affinity that is felt for such geographically distant non-Muslim countries... is precisely because these states publicly challenge and express loathing for the US.” The report also examined statements showing PA officials’ loathing for the United States, such as a Fatah legislator’s recent claim that the US is “the greatest Satan in the world.” PMW staff found that the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001 was a frequent theme of anti-American cartoons in PA newspapers. Each year, the papers print cartoons, often on or shortly before September 11, depicting the Muslim world, particularly Iraq and “Palestine,” as the true victims of the attacks. America is depicted as the aggressor. One frequent subject of praise in the Fatah-controlled media was former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Following Hussein’s execution PA papers referred to him as “the general Shahid [Martyr] leader, Saddam Hussein,” and the Fatah group that currently rules the PA dedicated a terrorist cell to his memory. Schools, streets, and sporting events were named after him, including the main road in the village of Yaabid, which was paid for by USAID. PA papers and television reports praise terrorist groups fighting the US in Iraq and Hizbullah arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, who until his death was wanted by the United States for the murder of hundreds of US citizens. Researchers found frequent praise for Syria and Iran as well. Among the statements quoted in the report:

“Allah, take hold of the Americans and their allies… Allah, count them and kill them to the last one and don’t leave even one.” --Ahmed Bahar, speaker of the PA legislative council, on PA TV in April 2007.

“The U.S. and Britain [forces]… stormed Iraqi cities with the participation of military forces from different countries and Baghdad fell. The Iraqis did not surrender to this occupation but succeeded in organizing themselves and a brave resistance to liberate Iraq began.” --Grade 12 textbook used in PA schools.

“To Bush, the Pharaoh, the despot, the terrorist of this period... [we say] that victory is for Islam.” ---Announcer on PA TV, June 2006.

“No Arab land is safe from the grand American conspiracy, and there is no Arab nation that is not threatened either internally or externally with slaughter…” --Al-Hayyat al-Jedidah, November, 2006.

The report also found much hatred of US President George Bush, who was referred to in PA media outlets as “racist,” “terrorist,” “devil from Hell,” and “worse than the German Fuhrer.” “In the past,” the report warns, “US support has not been able to prompt changes in deeply-ingrained hate ideology.” In Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, providing support for groups resisting the ruling power did not win their loyalty to the US, researchers said. “In the case of Abbas's Palestinian Authority, this is even more striking. Palestinian alliances with these states, and enmity of the US, are deep, explicit and declared throughout the PA’s Arabic discourse... Judging by the tone and scope of the Palestinian Authority’s anti-American hate promotion documented in the report, this hatred by Palestinian Fatah and its closeness to these enemies of the US are not a result of any specific US policy, but are reflective of a deep and sincere ideological affinity to those enemies of the US,” the report concludes. more...
| Israel | Islam | America |

Egyptian culture minister: I would burn Israeli books myself YNet News (May 14, 2008) - Diplomatic tensions have arised between Israel and Egypt due to a harsh statement made recently by Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni. In a conference that took place in the Egyptian Parliament last week, the minister said that he “would burn Israeli books himself if found in Egyptian libraries.” Israeli Ambassador to Cairo Shalom Cohen defined this statement in a classified report that he submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem as “harsh and especially blunt, in a way which makes it impossible for Israel and for the international community to continue a regular agenda with Egypt.” The anger in Israel over Hosni’s statement is especially emphasized due to the fact that the Hosni is Egypt’s candidate for the UNESCO position, as the United Nations’ education, science and cultural organization secretary-general, and he has good chances of being chosen. Israel is weighing the option of bringing the case to the attention of the international community and thus harming his chances of receiving the position. Hosni is considered one of the strongest opposition leaders in the Egyptian government to stand against normalization with Israel. In the past, he accused Israel of trying to steal Egyptian culture, and he adamantly opposes any cooperation with Israel. Moreover, he opposed an initiative presented by the American-Jewish Committee to establish a museum of Jewish antiquity and culture in Cairo. more...
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Solana welcomes appointment of EU civilian operations commander WorldNet Daily (May 14, 2008) - THE EUROPEAN UNION S167/08 Javier SOLANA, EU High Representative for the CFSP, welcomes the appointment of Kees Klompenhouwer as EU Civilian Operations Commander. Javier SOLANA, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), congratulated Mr. Kees Klompenhouwer today on his appointment as EU Civilian Operations Commander and Director of the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) at the Council of the European Union: "I would like to congratulate Kees Klompenhouwer on his appointment as the Civilian Operations Commander and Director of CPCC. In this capacity, he will exercise command and control at strategic level for the planning and conduct of all civilian crisis management operations. Mr. Klompenhouwer brings considerable expertise to his role as Civilian Operations Commander. In the accomplishment of his tasks, he will have my full support and that of the European Union as a whole." Mr. Klompenhouwer addressed today the Ambassadors of the Political and Security Committee for the first time and presented the main priorities of his new function. Mr. Kees Klompenhouwer, whose appointment took effect on 1 May 2008, will exercise command and control at strategic level for the planning and conduct of all civilian crisis management operations, under the political control and strategic direction of the Political and Security Committee (PSC) and the overall authority of the Secretary- General/High Representative for the CFSP (SG/HR). He will also direct the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) which was established in August 2007 in the General Secretariat of the Council. CPCC currently totals 60 staff including Council officials, senior police, rule of law and support services national experts. The Director of CPCC also has functional authority over planning capabilities and expertise contributed by the European Union Military Staff (EUMS) through its Civil/Military Cell and over the Watchkeeping Capability as far as their support to civilian operations is concerned. CPCC has a mandate to plan and conduct civilian European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) operations under the political control and strategic direction of the Political and Security Committee; to provide assistance and advice to the SG/HR, the Presidency and the relevant EU Council bodies and to direct, coordinate, advise, support, supervise and review civilian ESDP operations. CPCC works in close cooperation with the European Commission. The following civilian ESDP missions have been launched or are planned: EUPM (Bosnia and Herzegovina), EULEX Kosovo, EUPOL RD Congo, EU SSR Guinea Bissau, EUBAM Rafah (Palestine), EUPOL COPPS (Palestine), EUJUST LEX (Iraq) and EUPOL Afghanistan.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana |

Bush urged to address Muslim 'hate' in books WorldNet Daily (May 14, 2008) - A Republican leader of Congress has urged President Bush to press the Saudi government to reform its textbooks during his visit tomorrow with Saudi King Abdullah. In a letter to Bush, Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., founder of the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, warned that the kingdom is still "spreading a dangerous ideology that attacked us on 9/11 and continues to threaten the United States and its allies around the world." "I strongly urge you to raise my concerns regarding the use of textbooks that are sanctioned by the Saudi government for use within the country and around the world that preach hatred and violence toward non-Muslims and Western ideals of liberty," she said in the May 5 missive. Despite Abdullah's post-9/11 promises of reforms, Saudi school texts used for Islamic studies still encourage violence and hatred toward "infidels," according to a recent comprehensive review by the Freedom House. The nonprofit group says indoctrination begins as early as first grade and expands each year, culminating in a 12th-grade text teaching teens that their religious duty includes waging "jihad" against the infidel to "spread the faith." Here are relevant passages from the Saudi textbooks, by grade level:

  • First Grade: "Every religion other than Islam is false."
  • Fourth Grade: "True belief means ... that you hate the polytheists and infidels but do not treat them unjustly."
  • Fifth Grade: "It is forbidden for a Muslim to be a loyal friend to someone who does not believe in Allah and His Prophet."
  • Sixth Grade: "Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavor to evict the Christian crusaders from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, Allah willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for Allah, for this is within Allah's power."
  • Eighth Grade: "The apes are the Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus."
  • Ninth Grade: "The clash between this (Muslim) community and the Jews and Christians has endured, and it will continue as long as Allah wills."

Myrick worries the hateful religious indoctrination could translate into violence against the West. Of immediate concern, she notes, are the thousands of young Saudi men scheduled to immigrate to the U.S. on student visas. The State Department plans to double the number of student visas issued to young Saudi men from 15,000 to 30,000 – despite the fact that nearly all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals who immigrated to the U.S. on visas. "We aim to increase their numbers to 30,000 over the next five years," U.S. Ambassador Ford Fraker last month told Saudi officials at the Al-Jouf Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In the past, a large number of Saudi students have failed to show up for classes, coast to coast, and have overstayed their visas. Many of them have been caught up in terrorism investigations. "As more young Saudi citizens take part in the scholarship student visa program, we must be sure that we are not permitting Saudi citizens into our country who seek to do us harm, as we saw with the 15 hijackers from Saudi Arabia who attacked us on 9/11," Myrick said. more...
| Islam | America |

Jim Deeds. Hyperinflation: Are We There Yet? McAlvany Weekly Commentary (May 14, 2008) - 65% of American Dollars are circulating outside of the United States. At the moment they trust the American Dollar. 85% of the debt in the last five years has been sold to foreigners like the Russians and the Chinese.
| America | Economic Crisis |

Global hyperinflation just around the corner? How would this affect peace in the earth? What about combined with increased food problems?

Violence in Mexico Spills Across US Border Associated Press (May 14, 2008) - Three Mexican police chiefs have requested political asylum in the U.S. as violence escalates in the Mexican drug wars and spills across the U.S. border, a top Homeland Security official told The Associated Press. In the past few months, the police officials have shown up at the U.S. border, fearing for their lives, according to Jayson Ahern, the deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. "They're basically abandoned by their police officers or police departments in many cases," Ahern told AP. Ahern said the Mexican officials -- whom he didn't name -- are being interviewed and their cases are under review for possible asylum. In the most recent high-level assassination, a top-ranking official on a local Mexican police force was shot more than 50 times and killed. Drug-related violence killed more than 2,500 people last year alone in Mexico. "It's almost like a military fight," Ahern said Tuesday. "I don't think that generally the American public has any sense of the level of violence that occurs on the border." As the cartels fight for territory, this carnage spills over to the U.S., Ahern said -- from bullet-ridden people stumbling into U.S. territory, to rounds of ammunition coming across U.S. entry ports. U.S. humvees retrofitted with steel mesh over the glass windows patrol parts of the border to protect agents against guns shots and large rocks regularly thrown at them. At times agents are pinned down by sniper fire as people try to illegally cross into the U.S. Mexico's drug cartels have long divided the border, with each controlling key cities. But over the past decade Mexico has arrested or killed many of the gangs' top leaders, creating a power vacuum and throwing lucrative drug routes up for the taking. President Felipe Calderon, who took office in December 2006, responded by deploying more than 24,000 soldiers and federal police to areas where the government had lost control. Cartels have reacted with unprecedented violence, beheading police and killing soldiers. In general, violence along the U.S. border has gone up over the years. Seven frontline border agents were killed in 2007, and two so far in 2008. Assaults against officers have also shot up from 335 in fiscal 2001 to 987 in fiscal 2007. There have been 362 assaults against officers during the first four months of 2008, according to Border Patrol statistics. The pattern has been that when more security resources are deployed along the U.S. border, violence against officers spike in response. Most assaults are along the San Diego and Calexico, Calif., border, as well as the Arizona border near Yuma and south of Tucson. Now, about 14,000 U.S. border agents work on the southern border, up from more than 9,000 in 2001. The Bush administration has requested $500 million to fight drug crime in Mexico. Congress is currently considering the proposal.
| Signs of the Times | America |

Vatican: It's OK to believe in aliens (May 13, 2008) - The Vatican's chief astronomer says that believing in aliens does not contradict faith in God. The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, says that the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones. In an interview published Tuesday by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Funes says that such a notion "doesn't contradict our faith" because aliens would still be God's creatures. The interview was headlined "The extraterrestrial is my brother." Funes said that ruling out the existence of aliens would be like "putting limits" on God's creative freedom.
| RCC | UFO |

There are extraterrestrial beings that were created before mankind, the Bible calls them angels. They were not created from the earth are they meant to dwell here. 1/3 of them rebelled against God and have been working to deceive mankind since the fall. Genesis 6 even speaks of them taking wives of earth women and producing Nephilim, bringing the judgment of the flood through which only Noah and his family were saved. They were "perfect in their generations," and not tainted by this genetic manipulation by fallen angels. Now scientists today are dabbling with genetic manipulation and corrupting God's creation once again. What is OK is to have a Biblically founded understanding of what is coming to prevent deception because that's the enemy's m/o, deception. He is an angel of light, yet full of darkness and looking to deceive mankind. Be aware of Biblical history, truth is stranger than fiction and things are going to get stranger during the end times!

Britain Opens Up Secret UFO Files Fox News (May 13, 2008) - The men were air traffic controllers. Experienced, calm professionals. Nobody was drinking. What they saw has never been explained. And they were so worried about losing their jobs that they demanded their names be kept off the official reports. No one, they knew, would believe their claim that an unidentified flying object landed at the airfield they were overseeing in the east of England, touched down briefly, then took off again at tremendous speed. But that's what they reported happening at four in the afternoon on April 19, 1984, at an unspecified small airport near the eastern coast of England. Their "Report of Unusual Aerial Phenomenon" is one of more than 1,000 pages of formerly secret UFO documents released Wednesday by Britain's National Archives. The air traffic controllers, each with more than eight years on the job, describe how they were helping guide a small plane to a safe landing on runway 22 when they were distracted by a brightly lit object approaching a different runway without clearance. "Everyone became aware that the object was unidentified," the report on the incident said. "SATCO [codename for a controller with 14 years' experience] reports that the object came in 'at speed,' made a touch and go on runway 27, then departed at 'terrific speed' in a 'near vertical' climb." The incident is one of the more credible in the newly public files because it was reported by air traffic controllers, said David Clarke, a UFO expert who has worked with the National Archives on the document release. "They were absolutely astonished," he said. "It was a bright, circular object, flashing different colors, and after it touched down it disappeared at fantastic speed. The report comes from very qualified people, and it's one of the few that remained unexplained." He said other incidents were at times reported by aircraft crews whose members also asked to remain anonymous because they did not want to jeopardize their careers by seeming to believe in UFOs. Although there are some unexplained cases, there is no reported instance in which Britain's Ministry of Defense found any evidence of alien activity or alien spacecraft, said Clarke, who nonetheless expects conspiracy theories about a UFO coverup by the British defense establishment to persist. "The Ministry of Defense doesn't have any evidence that our defenses were breached by alien craft," he said. "They never found one, no bits of one, that's all we can say." Clarke said the documents released Wednesday, dealing with the late 1970s and early 1980s, are the first batch of a series that will be made public in the next few years. The National Archives is releasing the files now because of numerous Freedom of Information requests seeking information about the government's UFO reports. more...
| UFO |

Hamas says rejection of truce will lead to blow-out YNet News (May 12, 2008) - Senior official from Islamist Palestinian group accuses Israeli defense minister of 'trying to prove he is a bigger hero than his predecessors,' says Israel will end up 'counting casualties' if it does not accept deal. “If Israel rejects the agreement it will carry the burden of compromising its citizens’ security,” said a senior Hamas official to Ynet, referring to the message relayed to the Egyptian Chief of Intelligence Omar Suleiman in Israel. Gaza is threatening that if Israel rejects the agreement presented by the factions for a calm an escalation in the clashes will be unavoidable. The Hamas senior official claimed that “Barak wants to prove that he is a bigger hero than the defense ministers who preceded him, but he will also fail and will be compelled to count the Israeli casualties when we reveal the strength prevalent in the Palestinian resistance.” According to him, Hamas demands that each agreement will include the opening of crossings: “An agreement that doesn’t contend with this issue is not an agreement and as far as we are concerned will not be carried out at all or in part. The significance is that we are able to use all our cards, or part of the ones at our disposal. Rejection of the initiative will bring Shalit a lot of playmates from the ‘army of occupation’” The same Hamas official also expressed a fear that the recent affairs concerning Prime Minister Olmert will contribute to the escalation. “According to reports from the Zionist media, Olmert is in distress. "History has proven that every time a Zionist leader is placed in internal distress, he tries to avert the fire in the Palestinian’s direction and to change the public’s point of focus. Rejecting the agreement, in our estimation, is a sign of preparations for an all-inclusive clash in which Israelis will raise militancy levels,” he said. Even threats on the lives of the movement’s leaders don’t affect Hamas’ tone. A senior official said that “if one hair falls off the head of one of our leaders, the gates of hell will open for the Zionists and I am not only referring to Sderot and the surrounding areas. All of Palestine will be under fire and filled with our martyrs.” In the meantime, Hamas is preparing to flood the Gaza crossings with Palestinians protesting the blocks. Most of the effort will be directed toward the Rafah and Erez crossings, in a plea to break the siege on the Gaza Strip. On Monday, a senior Hamas official Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar said that “the siege on the Gaza Strip is failing and will continue to fail.”
| Israel | Islam |

Hezbollah 'redrawing' Mideast map Washington Times (May 12, 2008) - Hezbollah's dramatic gains in Lebanon last week are just part of a regional process that began last year in the Gaza Strip and will continue in Jordan and Egypt, a Hamas official in the West Bank told The Washington Times. Sheik Yazeeb Khader, a Ramallah-based Hamas political activist and editor, said militant groups across the Middle East are gaining power at the expense of U.S.-backed regimes, just as Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from forces loyal to U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. "What happened in Gaza in 2007 is an achievement; now it is happening in 2008 in Lebanon. It's going to happen in 2009 in Jordan and it's going to happen in 2010 in Egypt," Sheik Khader said in an interview. "We are seeing a redrawing of the map of the Middle East where the forces of resistance and steadfastness are the ones moving the things on the ground." His remarks highlight how a growing alliance linking Hamas, Iran and Hezbollah straddles the Shi'ite-Sunni rift. The notion of new countries falling under Islamist influence reflects a goal of Hamas' parent group, the Muslim Brotherhood, of replacing secular Arab regimes with Islamist governments. In the same way that Hamas' victory over the Palestinian Authority security forces in Gaza fighting last June profoundly disturbed neighboring Arab states, fighting in Lebanon yesterday and last week has sent shock waves throughout the Middle East and spurred an emergency meeting of the Arab League. The Arab League is sending Secretary-General Amr Moussa to mediate among the Lebanese government, Hezbollah and Sunni supporters of the government. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Hamas government in Gaza, took a different approach to the standoff in Lebanon by saying that the fighting primarily served Israel. Mr. Abu Zuhri called on each side to engage in dialogue instead of fighting. But several supporters of Hamas in Gaza were comparing Hezbollah's advances into Sunni neighborhoods of Beirut to Hamas' overrunning of security forces loyal to Mr. Abbas. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | America |

Experts: Twisters Getting Larger, Deadlier ABC News (May 12, 2008) - As communities rebuild after deadly tornadoes bulldozed their way from Oklahoma to Georgia and North Carolina over the weekend, experts say that this tornado season is bigger and deadlier than last year's, with little relief in sight. Seventy-seven tornadoes tore through the country the past few days, according to preliminary reports at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Storm Prediction Center. In Georgia, more than 180,000 people were left without power, while 15 fatalities were reported in Missouri. This year's count is already twice the number of tornadoes logged during last year's U.S. tornado season, which generally runs from mid-spring to early summer. "So far, in terms of the number of tornadoes, this is one of the most active years to date," said Harold Bloom, a meteorologist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla. Tornadoes develop from large, powerful thunderstorms known as super cell thunderstorms. "One super cell thunderstorm can move many miles and can produce several tornadoes, a family of tornadoes," said Henry Margusity, a meteorologist at Accuweather. "These thunderstorms will produce one tornado. It will develop, mature and dissipate and another will fall right behind it. & You're getting a lot of these very large thunderstorms developing." The larger thunderstorms are producing more families of tornadoes earlier than before and the tornadoes themselves are staying on the ground longer than ever before in regions outside of "tornado alley," Margusity said. Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Texas officially make up this area, although the southeastern United States experiences its fair share of tornadoes during the season. With more tornadoes have come more deaths. So far, 96 people have died this year. Last year, the entire tornado season end with 81 fatalities. "This year everything's been shifted to the east, & which is why we've seen a higher death toll," he said. "They're happening in very highly populated areas of our country." "The damage that you see is just incredible," he added. more...
| Earth Changes | America |

EU plans international embassies Telegraph.UK (March 5, 2008) - The European Union will open its own embassies under a plan critics fear represents a "power grab" by Brussels officials pushing for a federal superstate. The secret plan represents the first time that full EU embassies have been discussed seriously. The "Embassies of the Union" would be controlled by a new EU diplomatic service created by the Lisbon Treaty. The Daily Telegraph has seen a high-level Brussels document discussing plans for a "European External Action Service" (EEAS) which was proposed under the new EU Treaty, currently being ratified in Westminster. Talks have so far remained behind closed doors. Officials fear political fallout over plans to implement the new Treaty before it has been fully ratified. Working papers circulating in Brussels suggest that more than 160 EU offices around the world, including in member states, would become embassies. The new service would rival established diplomatic services. Britain, with one of the world's largest, maintains 139 embassies and high commissions in capital cities. Equally controversial is a proposal for EU ambassadors who would be accountable to the European Parliament. "Parliament should aim for proper hearings of special representatives and ambassadorial nominees in the tradition of the US Congress for nominations of a clearly political nature," says the document. Plans for the new foreign service have raised highly sensitive political issues by giving trappings of statehood to the EU and by fusing, for the first time, national diplomats with existing "eurocrats". A vicious battle over who should control the diplomatic corps has broken out between national governments and the European Commission. Countries such as Britain are alarmed that the EEAS, which is expected to take on some consular activities, would be a stepping stone to a single "supranational" euro-diplomatic service. Meanwhile, Brussels officials fear that, if controlled by national governments, the new EEAS would draw power from "Community" bodies, such as the Commission, to inter-governmental institutions such as the Council of the EU, which represents member states. "Any inter-governmentalism of policy areas under Community competence has to be avoided," states the confidential document. "The EEAS will have to be in a specific way administratively connected to the European Commission." The EEAS will number between 2,500 to 3,000 officials at its inception in January next year. It is then expected to grow to 7,000, or even up to 20,000, according to different estimates. Britain, which loses its veto over the EEAS after it is created by a European summit decision expected in October, is expected to contribute around 20 to 30 senior diplomats to the EU service. William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, said yesterday: "As predicted the renamed EU Constitution is forming the basis of a power grab by the EU. It exposes Labour's stupidity in giving up the veto on an area key to Britain's interests." A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The UK opposes and will argue against naming EEAS offices embassies.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |