Update 491


How Did We React?


The big news of the past week has been the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.  Many different stories of what exactly happened have surfaced.

Now, I am not here to debate whether he is dead or not; or how he may or may not have died; nor even the ramifications of his death which may be considerable.  Rather, I want to address the reactions of many of those in the US and around the world to his demise.

I was struck, and even a little taken back by the unadulterated joy and happiness of many that bin Laden was murdered.  Of course, I understand the evil that the organization he formed, al-Qaeda, wrought on the world, not only with 9/11 but many other heinous terrorist acts that have caused untold suffering and anguish.

For those affected by Osama bin Laden, here is the hard thing God asks of us in Proverbs 24:17-18, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him….”

Vengeance belongs to God (Romans 12:19) in His time, in His way and for His purpose.  It is not up to us to take matters into our own hands, but rather we are to work and pray that we live according to His Will. 

What God wants and accordingly what we should also want is for “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).  God would rather that everyone would repent and turn away from their evil ways and turn towards Him.  Is this what we want for EVERYONE as well?

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We begin with reporting on ongoing natural disasters affecting the USA and continue with Pakistan’s and the UN’s reaction to the US raid allegedly killing Usama Bin Laden. And while another US attempt to kill one of the perceived new Al Qaida leaders in Yemen failed, it appears that Al Qaida is “alive and well.” At the same time, the chaos in Syria continues, and a power struggle is developing in Iran.

An interesting article by the Economist about Germany’s willingness to employ military force in Libya needs to be read in conjunction with European attempts to strengthen their “defense policy,” and to establish a powerful EU leader, within the confines of orthodox Christianity.

While Germany’s prosperity grows, Greece is in big economic trouble, but speculations that Greece may leave the Eurozone seem to be premature at best–as seems to be the postulation that former German Defense Minister Guttenberg’s political career is definitely over.

We conclude with developments in the USA and Europe, pertaining to homosexuals, and the results of new research regarding the benefits of breastfeeding.

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Natural Disasters in the USA

NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, of the U.S. Department of Commerce]  reported on May 9:

“Historic flooding, a record-breaking tornado outbreak and devastating wildfire activity made April 2011 a month of historic climate extremes across much of the United States…”

According to a report, published by al.com on May 9, “the EF-5 tornado [was the] deadliest in [the] United States in [the] last 56 years.” It explained: “What the National Weather Service calls the Hackleburg Tornado traveled 132 miles, winds surpassing 210 mph, a nonstop scar in the earth running 90 miles from Hackleburg to Huntsville. Of a dozen deadly twisters across Alabama on April 27, this was the only one given the strongest rating of EF-5. This one tornado alone is thought to have claimed 70 lives, by far the deadliest single twister in state history.”

The Associated Press reported on May 9:

“The Mississippi River rose Monday to levels not seen in Memphis since the 1930s, swamping homes in low-lying neighborhoods and driving hundreds of people from their homes…

“Because of heavy rain over the past few weeks and snowmelt along the upper reaches of the Mississippi, the river has broken high-water records upstream and inundated low-lying towns and farmland. The water on the Mississippi is so high that the rivers and creeks that feed into it are backed up, and that has accounted for some of the worst of the flooding so far…”

Reuters added on May 11:

“The swollen Mississippi River set a record high water level at Natchez, Mississippi… The level of the largest river in North America reached 58.48 feet at Natchez on Wednesday afternoon,… above the record of 58.04 feet set in 1937. The river is expected to crest at 64 feet on May 21. The flood… has caused evacuations of thousands of people along the river and its tributaries, swamping river towns and as many as 3 million acres of farmland in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas alone.”

God has prophesied that in these end times, due to America’s sins and rebellion against Him, this country will be plagued by numerous natural catastrophes. But America does not stand alone. Other countries will have to face God’s judgment as well. The next article may indicate that the time is nearer than many may think.

5.3 Earthquake in Spain

CNN reported on May 11:

“Thousands of residents of the southeastern Spanish city of Lorca slept outside Wednesday night, hours after the city of about 80,000 was struck by an earthquake that killed eight people, state radio reported, citing authorities… The 5.3-magnitude quake occurred at 4:47 p.m. (10:47 a.m. ET) and was centered about 50 kilometers (31 miles) southwest of Murcia, near the Mediterranean coast, the U.S. Geological Survey said. That is about 350 kilometers (218 miles) south-southeast of Madrid. It was preceded at 3:05 p.m. by a 4.5-magnitude temblor centered in the same area, the survey said.”

Many Italians were afraid that a major earthquake would hit Rome on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. That unfounded fear was based on a seismologist’s predictions from 1915. As the Telegraph reported on May 10: “For his work [seismologist Raffaele] Bendandi was even given a knighthood by Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini – and ordered not to make any more predictions on pain of exile as officials feared he would create immense panic.” However, no major earthquake hit Rome on May 11, while an unpredicted earthquake hit Spain instead.

Pakistan’s Response to US Raid

Fox News reported on May 9:

“Pakistan’s prime minister [Yousuf Raza Gilani] warned the United States Monday that his country could respond to any future U.S. raids on its soil with ‘full force,’ in the latest escalation of rhetoric in the wake of Usama bin Laden’s death… reflecting concerns that the unilateral strike violated his country’s sovereignty, Gilani sent a clear message to the United States. He warned any ‘overt or covert’ attack would be met with a ‘matching response’ in the future… Pakistani officials are taking a firm stance on the raid, as the United States analyzes the trove of evidence collected from the bin Laden compound. That evidence — described as the largest intelligence find ever from a senior terror leader — could lead the United States to other terrorists on Pakistani soil, once again forcing President Obama to decide whether to go around the Pakistanis to capture or kill a high-value terror target.

“White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has said the president reserves the right to enter Pakistani territory to act against terror suspects if Pakistan will not, and reiterated that message when asked about Gilani’s speech. He said Monday that while the U.S. takes Pakistanis’ concerns seriously, the U.S. does ‘not apologize’ for the raid. ‘It’s simply beyond doubt in [President Obama’s] mind that he had the right and the imperative to do this,’ Carney said Monday… some are calling on Obama to strike again while Al Qaeda and its allies are staggering… But the thought already has Pakistani leaders fuming.”

Ultimately, is appears that Pakistan will sever all ties with the USA and become an ally of Far Eastern nations.

Al Qaida Acknowledges Osama’s Death—UN Demands Further Info from USA

Der Spiegel Online wrote on May 6:

“Al-Qaida on Friday finally confirmed what the rest of the world has known since Monday: the terror group’s leader Osama bin Laden is dead. The announcement was made in a four-page document posted on a website associated with al-Qaida. It is dated May 3…

“The United Nations on Friday also requested that the US release more information about the raid in an effort to determine its legality under international law. Speaking in Geneva, Christoph Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, and Martin Scheinin, special rapporteur on protecting human rights while countering terrorism, said in a statement that while deadly force may be used in certain circumstances, ‘the norm should be that terrorists be dealt with as criminals.’ In particular, the pair demanded details that would reveal ‘if the planning of the mission allowed an effort to capture bin Laden.’”

As the legality of America’s raid in Pakistan is being questioned, new Al Qaida leaders of a well-functioning organization have been emerging, as the next articles show.

Failed U.S. Drone Attack in Yemen

Haaretz reported on May 7:

“The United States drone aircraft attack that killed two midlevel al-Qaida militants in Yemen on Thursday was targeting the leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a U.S.-born radical known for encouraging attacks on the United States, U.S. media reported. CBS News and The Wall Street Journal, citing Yemeni and U.S. officials, said on Friday that Anwar al-Awlaki was not hit when a missile was fired at a car in southern Yemen on Thursday, killing two brothers believed to be al-Qaida militants…

“Washington considers the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch the world’s most active terror cell… some officials believe Awlaki’s group now represents the gravest danger to the United States and other Western nations.”

Al Qaeda in Yemen

USA Today wrote on May 11:

“The leader of al-Qaeda in Yemen is warning the United States of even greater attacks in retaliation for the killing of Osama Bin laden. Nasser al-Wuhayshi, head of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, says in a statement posted today on the Islamist militant website As-Ansar… ‘What is coming is greater and worse, and what you will be facing is more intense and harmful.’”

Al-Qaida Alive and Well…

Der Spiegel Online wrote on May 9:

“Osama bin Laden may be dead, but al-Qaida is alive and well in Germany. Each month, an average of five Islamists leave the country for terrorist training camps in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area. Recent arrests in Düsseldorf show just how dangerous homegrown terror has become…

“Much has changed in the Islamist terrorist scene in Germany in the almost 10 years since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but one constant has remained. Like the 9/11 attackers, the overwhelming majority of militant jihadists in Germany have attended training camps run by al-Qaida or affiliated groups… The Western invasion of Afghanistan did not change that. Neither have countless military offensives or US drone attacks… Al-Qaida today resembles an army whose battalions were torn apart after the invasion of Afghanistan and whose surviving troop units are now operating more or less autonomously. But there are still many soldiers willing to fight, including some from Germany… In the last few years, the threat level in Germany from al-Qaida has actually increased… In the last decade, at least 220 people from Germany have completed terrorist training, with about half returning to Germany…

“Young Turkish-Germans… embark on jihad, filled with hate, and eventually end up with some splinter group. Others escape the notice of the authorities completely as they become radicalized and turn into lone attackers like Arid U., who killed two American soldiers at Frankfurt Airport in March in an execution-style shooting. And then there are people… who were apparently in direct contact with al-Qaida officials.”

The Local added on May 9:

“A 25-year-old German-Syrian dual national was sentenced to four years and nine months imprisonment by a German court Monday for belonging to an Al-Qaida-linked terror cell active in Pakistan…

“The Frankfurt-born Makenesi went to Pakistan in 2009 where he joined an al-Qaida group which gave him weapons’ training. He was also involved in fighting Pakistani troops… he offered to help raise funds for the group in Germany, but was arrested by Pakistani authorities in June before he could make it home. He was extradited to Germany in August…”

Syria in Turmoil

Deutsche Welle reported on May 9, 2011:

“European Union member states are to impose an arms embargo on Syria as well as an assets’ freeze and visa ban on 13 of its nationals associated with a military crackdown against anti-government protests. The ban, officially agreed on Monday by the Council of the European Union, applies to exports of all arms and equipment ‘that could be used for internal repression.’ The freezing of assets would target ‘officials and associates of the Syrian regime who have been identified by the Council as being responsible for the violent repression against the civilian population in Syria…

“Diplomatic sources have indicated that President Bashar al-Assad is not to be among them, with member states divided about his inclusion. However, ambassadors from the 27 member states who had discussed the matter in talks last Friday have agreed to look at additional measures that might include ‘the highest level of the Syrian leadership.’ Cyprus, Greece and Portugal are believed to be reticent about targeting Assad, while Britain, France and Germany favor sending a clear message to Damascus. Human rights groups claim that more than 600 people have been killed and 8,000 either missing or imprisoned during the eight-week crackdown on protesters.”

Deutsche Welle added on May 11:

“Several European countries, including Germany, summoned a clutch of Syrian ambassadors on Wednesday as Europe threatened to intensify sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad if it continued to repress protests against his rule… The European Union has already imposed an arms embargo on Syria as well as an assets freeze and visa ban on 13 of its nationals associated with the military crackdown…”

Reuters reported on May 12:

“Syrian forces spread through southern towns Thursday and tightened their grip on two other cities, broadening a military crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government… tanks advanced in the southern towns of Dael, Tafas, Jassem and al-Harra before Friday — the Muslim day of prayer which has become a major day of Arab protest… Tanks are deployed in areas on the Syrian coast, the central region of Homs, outside the city of Hama to the north and now across the southern Hauran Plain, regions which cover large swathes of the country of 20 million people…

“The uprising against Assad’s autocratic rule erupted on March 18 in the strategic Hauran region, bordering the Israeli- occupied Golan Heights to the west and Jordan to the south…

“In rare public remarks, the head of Israel’s domestic security service, the Shin Bet, said Syria will be ‘soaked in blood’ as a result of the demonstrations… Syria is technically at war with Israel. However, the ruling Assad family has kept its frontier with the Jewish state quiet since a 1974 U.S.- brokered ceasefire, seven years after Israel occupied Syria’s Golan Heights.”

Syria will continue to play a prominent role in the Middle East. For more information, please watch our recent StandingWatch program, “What Is Prophesied for Syria?”

Egypt on Collision Course With Israel

The Wall Street Journal wrote on May 6:

“The leading candidate in Egypt’s presidential race said that if he was elected he would break with former President Hosni Mubarak’s reliably amenable policies toward Israel. Egyptian presidential candidate and Arab League chief Amr Moussa (74)… said he wants to see Egypt’s resurgence in the Arab world.

“Mr. Moussa… also described a political landscape in which the Muslim Brotherhood, outlawed under Mr. Mubarak, is dominant. It is inevitable, he said, that parliamentary elections in September will usher in a legislature led by a bloc of Islamists, with the Brotherhood at the forefront…

“But if Mr. Moussa, who was Mr. Mubarak’s foreign minister from 1991 to 2001, is elected, he is likely to accelerate shifts in Egypt’s foreign policy that have already vexed the U.S. and Israel… Mr. Moussa owes the bulk of his popularity to his trenchant criticism of Israel and the U.S. while he was foreign minister. In recent years, for example, he has said Israel’s unacknowledged nuclear program poses a bigger threat than Iran’s program.

“U.S. and allied governments are, in private, voicing concerns about Egypt’s increasingly confrontational line toward Israel under the current military rule. Officials from these countries said they acknowledge that rhetorical attacks by Mr. Moussa and other presidential candidates could increase as Cairo moves toward elections…

“In a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, 89% of Egyptians said they had a positive impression of Mr. Moussa—far ahead of competitors such as Ayman Nour, of whom 70% approved. Mohammed ElBaradei, the Nobel Peace laureate, rated 57% approval.”

Our Q&A shows that the relationship between Egypt and the state of Israel will drastically deteriorate.

Power Struggle in Iran

The Guardian wrote on May 5:

“Close allies of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being ‘magicians’ and invoking djinns (spirits)…

“On Sunday, Ahmadinejad returned to his office after an 11-day walkout in an apparent protest over Khamenei’s reinstatement of the intelligence minister, who the president had initially asked to resign. Ahmadinejad’s unprecedented disobedience prompted harsh criticism from conservatives who warned that he might face the fate of Abdulhassan Banisadr, Iran’s first post-revolution president who was impeached and exiled for allegedly attempting to undermine clerical power. Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, a hardline cleric close to Khamenei, warned that disobeying the supreme leader – who has the ultimate power in Iran – is equivalent to ‘apostasy from God’.”

Iran—ancient Persia—is another country to watch, and you will find some interesting information on Persia in this week’s Q&A.

NATO’s Airstrikes Against Libya Continue

The Indo-Asian News Service wrote on May 11:

“Nato… denied its air strikes on Tripoli were aimed to kill [Gaddafi]… Fresh sorties by Nato warplanes struck the Libyan capital on late Monday and on early Tuesday in some of the heaviest bombing missions in weeks. The air strikes reportedly targeted a military base and a compound used by Gaddafi.

“Nato earlier rejected claims by Libya on Tuesday that the military alliance attacked the Supreme Court building in Tripoli and various civilian targets. Since the Nato mission in Libya began March 31, its jets have conducted a total of 5,968 sorties, including more than 2,300 strike missions, the alliance said on Tuesday.”

However, Reuters reported on May 12:

“NATO air strikes hit Muammar Gaddafi’s compound Thursday, hours after the Libyan leader was shown on television for the first time since another aerial attack killed his son nearly two weeks ago.”

The Drudge Report commented that “NATO [ Is] Going for the Kill.”

Germany’s Struggle With Military Force in Libya…

The Economist wrote on April 8:

“Germany has a complicated relationship with military force, for reasons that are more than understandable. But what is one to make of its contortions over the intervention in Libya? One moment Germany is Europe’s most awkward critic of the air campaign to save Benghazi; the next it is first to put up its hand to volunteer forces, including the despatch of ground troops if necessary, to deliver humanitarian aid to Misrata. So are we about to see the return of German troops to North Africa for the first time since the defeat of Erwin Rommel’s Afrikakorps in the second world war? Maybe.

“The German government has taken a decision in principle to take part in a humanitarian mission as part of an EU force, should the UN ask for assistance to deliver aid. This is a remarkable turnaround from the country that, rather than vote with its European partners – France and Britain – chose instead to side with China and Russia in abstaining in the UN Security Council vote to authorise military action. Worse, it then withdrew its ships from a NATO mission to enforce the UN-mandated arms embargo on Libya…

“But last week the EU quietly decided to set up a military headquarters in Rome to run a possible humanitarian mission… For now, say senior European officials, this is just a precautionary step, to be ready to act quickly should it be needed…

“This is where German troops may be called upon to intervene. The EU is supposed to have two battlegroups contingents of about 1,500 troops ready to deploy at a few days’ notice. Germany contributes about 800 men to one of the battlegroups currently on the roster. A German military source yesterday said they could be ready to deploy within ten days.

“But what about all those assurances that there would be no boots on the ground? Well, UN Security Council resolution 1973 bans the intervention of a ‘foreign occupation’. This suggests that other types of forces short of occupying troops may be legal, not least because the same resolution authorises the use of ‘all necessary means’ to protect the civilian population… The EU agrees that there is some flexibility in the resolution. Who would judge its limits? The UN, says one EU senior source: if it asks for boots on the ground then the deployment of ground forces must be, by definition, legal.

“The EU has felt sidelined in the military phase of the Libya crisis… It has long wanted to develop more muscular military capabilities, but has been repeatedly thwarted, especially by Britain… ‘Until recently everybody thought European defence was dead,’ says one senior source, ‘But now it may be rising from the ashes.’”

The EU’s ambition to get involved militarily is unmistakable, and Germany will become the most important military leader in the final configuration of ten European nations or groups of nations. This fact might still be quite astonishing for many—given Germany’s current pacifistic feelings—but it is paradoxical that Germany is being pushed into the role of a military leader by its friends and allies. As the next articles show, Europe is becoming a political personality—with Britain finding itself increasingly on the outside, looking in—and calls for a powerful EU leader are being heard, together with the desire to sanctify one the EU founders.

Europe and Britain on Collision Course

Mail On Line wrote on May 8:

“Baroness Ashton puts Europe and Britain on [a] collision course over call to give Brussels a seat on UN Security Council. Labour peer Baroness Ashton, the unelected head of the European Union’s new global diplomatic corps, is poised to threaten Britain’s position and influence at the United Nations. Last week, Baroness Ashton, who was parachuted into her £313,000-a-year Brussels job by Gordon Brown in 2009, convinced the UN General Assembly to give the EU ‘enhanced status’. This means that she and other unelected Eurocrats, including European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, will enjoy nearly all the privileges and powers of the representatives of a sovereign state at the UN, such as addressing the assembly and taking part in debates.

“Ashton is also expected to attend a debate in Strasbourg next week at which members of the European Parliament will call for the EU to be given a seat on the UN Security Council. This puts her on a collision course with Foreign Secretary William Hague, who says he is determined to prevent the EU acting ‘as if it were a nation state with a national foreign policy’. In a major speech in London last week, Mr Hague outlined his plans to place ‘a renewed emphasis on bilateral relations’ – meaning Britain would retain its own policies and relations with other nations independently of its role within the EU.

“However, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, the British ambassador to the UN, voted in favour of giving new powers to Europe in the General Assembly. According to the UN, the EU’s enhanced status is recognition of its new ‘legal personality’ and powers under the Lisbon Treaty, including the power to sign treaties and international conventions… Under the Treaty’s terms, [Ashton] and the 7,000 Eurocrats in her newly created European External Action Service now have the power to initiate a common foreign and security policy. The Treaty also requires EU member states to uphold European policies in international organisations and at international conferences… It also demands member states work towards a common EU defence policy. Britain, therefore, must ‘support the Union’s external and security policy actively and unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity’.”

Call for European Defense Force and Powerful European Figure

The New York Times wrote on May 9:

“Confronted by rising populism and ebbing support for the European Union, one of the bloc’s senior figures made a rare call Monday for a leap forward in integration, contending that the Continent could save itself from second-class status only by more cooperation. The official, Michel Barnier, the European Union’s commissioner for the internal market and services and a former foreign minister of France, called for an E.U. defense policy, consular service and civil defense force.  Speaking in Berlin, Mr. Barnier also argued for the creation of a powerful figure to speak for countries using the euro, and for an E.U. president who would ultimately be directly elected.”

The “Christian” EU Waits for a Miracle…

The EUObserver wrote on May 9:

“With EU personalities over the weekend speaking out on the occasion of Schuman Day, Robert Schuman himself, an early architect of the Union, has hit a hurdle on his way to becoming a Roman Catholic saint due to the lack of a miracle. Schuman, a former French foreign minister, whose declaration on 9 May 1950 that France and Germany should link up their coal and steel industries, was in 1960 dubbed a ‘founding father’ of the Union by the European Parliament in words recalling the ‘fathers’ of the Catholic church such as St Augustine and St Gregory…

“When asked if the situation had changed under Pope Benedict XVI or if any new information had come to light, a contact in the Vatican’s embassy to the EU in Brussels said: ‘We are still waiting for a miracle. One miracle is required for beatification and two for sainthood.’ The leaders of the three main EU institutions – Jose-Manuel Barroso, Jerzy Buzek and Herman Van Rompuy, all Christian democrats – on 1 May in Rome attended the beatification of John Paul II, who is said to have healed [after his death]  a French nun with Parkinson’s disease…

“For her part, Johanna Touzel, a spokeswoman for Comece, a Brussels-based liaison bureau between the Catholic church and the EU institutions, said ‘it has certainly helped’ in past relations that the three top men in the EU capital are Christians. Touzel added that… [it] means to recognise that the universal vocation of the European project is rooted in one major source: the Christian message, which after centuries has been translated into policies’…”

Rich Germany

The Local reported on May 9:

“A pick up in global trade saw Germany post record exports and imports in March, official data showed Monday, while its trade surplus climbed more than 11 percent on a yearly basis to €18.9 billion. Germany recorded exports worth €98.3 billion, a monthly increase of 7.3 percent, and also received a record amount of imports, worth €79.4 billion, for a monthly increase of 3.1 percent, the figures showed…

“Also on an annualised basis, exports by Germany, the world’s second biggest exporter after China, gained 15.8 percent, while imports were 16.9 percent higher, the figures showed. ‘Since the trough of the recession, exports have increased by more than 30 percent, returning to their pre-crisis level,’ ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski noted. ‘Looking ahead, exports should remain a reliable source for growth, even if the pace of export growth is about to slow down,’ he added.”

Germany is becoming more and more wealthy, quite in contrast to Greece, but it does not appear that the Eurozone will break apart—even though there might occur some modifications within the configuration of the current Eurozone member states.

Denmark At Odds With Europe

The Local wrote on May 12:

“Germany has slammed Denmark’s unilateral decision to reintroduce tighter border controls, warning that it breaches Europe’s cherished Schengen agreement allowing free movement. In response to pressure from a populist right-wing party, the Danish government has announced it would place customs booths at border crossings with Germany and Sweden, a move it says is necessary to tackle cross-border crime such as drug trafficking. The changes are expected to be implemented in the next few weeks.

“On Thursday, Denmark dismissed claims the move breached the Schengen agreement, a cornerstone of European co-operation that allows people to move without passport checks between 25 European countries, 22 of which are EU states. It insisted it was not reintroducing passport checks but just customs inspections… But German politicians have reacted angrily to the unilateral Danish action.

“‘We see the need for a quick and detailed explanation of this matter,’ Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement. Freedom of movement and the Schengen agreement are essential achievements of European unity and must not be put in doubt.’ Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich and Interior Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger made similar comments, while the centre-left opposition Social Democrats called on the government to take action… Justice Minister Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that the reimposition of permanent border controls would remove ‘an achievement of the European Union’… The SPD’s interior affairs expert Sebastian Edathy said permanent border controls fundamentally breached the Schengen agreement.”

The Bible indicates that Denmark will not be part of the final ten core European nations, as referred to in the book of Revelation.

Greece in Trouble

The Associated Press reported on May 6:

“… the ministry categorically rejected the report by Spiegel Online, which said Athens was considering withdrawing from the EU’s joint currency… The euro dropped to $1.4470 from $1.4530 late Thursday. It had traded at $1.4942 on Wednesday, its highest level since December 2009. ‘The report on an imminent Greek exit from the eurozone, as well as being untrue, has been written with incomprehensible levity despite the fact that this has been repeatedly denied by the Greek government, and the governments of other EU member states,’ the Finance Ministry said. ‘Such reports are a provocation, undermine efforts by Greece and the euro and serve speculative games.’…

“Economists say trying to leave the euro could provoke a huge financial crisis, as investors rush to sell assets before they can be re-denominated in national currency and devalued. It would also open the country that leaves to political retaliation from unhappy fellow EU members.”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on May 9:

“Most German commentators agree that Athens’ departure from the euro zone… could have drastic consequences… The financial daily Handelsblatt writes: ‘… If Greece exits the currency union, the country would go bankrupt…’

“The Financial Times Deutschland writes: ‘… Neither the Greeks nor the euro countries have come up with an answer for how Greece is supposed to get back to economic health. Because of this insecurity, even the most abstruse suggestions can unsettle the markets, like the idea that Greece will exit the euro zone — despite the fact that the country’s situation would worsen because its debts would remain in euros…’

“The left-leaning Die Tageszeitung writes: ‘… An exit from the euro, as has been speculated recently, would be a disaster for Greece and for Europe. … The only real option left is the debt restructuring that experts have been discussing for weeks.’”

Deutsche Welle reported on May 9:

“The credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s slashed the credit rating of Greece once again, downgrading the debt-laden country to B from BB-, meaning Greek bonds have dropped further into ‘junk’ status. The downgrade reflects a higher risk of default for debt-ridden Greece, making investment in its bonds riskier. The move follows a meeting over the weekend between Greece and experts from the International Monetary Fund and European Union. Investors have become increasingly jittery due to Greece’s failure to meet deficit-reduction targets and successfully implement a package of austerity measures. A year ago, Greece accepted a bailout from the IMF and EU but has struggled to pay it back…

“The continuing financial problems plaguing Greece have led to speculation that the country would leave the eurozone and give up the euro. However, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Monday that ‘nobody will abandon the euro… [That] would mean completely ignoring the intolerable difficulties [it would bring],’ he told Spanish reporters.”

Strikes Over Austerity Measures Paralyze Greek Capital

Deutsche Welle reported on May 11:

“Clashes broke out in the Greek capital, Athens, on Wednesday as police fired tear gas at stone-throwing youths and demonstrators marched against the government’s strict austerity measures… some 20,000 took to the streets to voice their disapproval of public and private spending cuts to be voted on later this month worth an estimated 23 billion euros ($32 billion).

“The 24-hour nationwide strike has closed schools and brought public transit to a halt around the country, particularly affecting train and ferry services. Air traffic controllers have also staged a walkout, grounding flights for four hours. The two main Greek operators, Olympic and Aegean, were forced to cancel or delay nearly 50 flights at the start of the busy tourist season.

“Television networks and radio broadcasters also took part in the walkout, cancelling programs and playing back-to-back music. Printing presses also shuddered to a halt as the country’s newspapers decided not to publish until Friday.”

Dollar in Graver Danger Than the Euro

In spite of the situation in Greece and some other European countries, the euro is a much more stable and reliable currency than the U.S. Dollar, says the Financial Times. In its article, dated May 11, it reads:

“Why does it surprise anyone that… the eurozone has a stronger currency than… the US?…

“Think of it this way: in the US, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has testified that going off the gold standard during the Great Depression helped the US recover faster than other countries. Fast-forward to today: we believe Bernanke embraces a weaker currency as a monetary policy tool to help address the current state of the US economy. What many overlook is that someone must be on the other side of that trade: today it is the eurozone, which is experiencing a strong currency, despite the many challenges in the 17-nation bloc…

“Unlike the eurozone, where consumers stopped spending and started saving a decade ago, the highly indebted US consumer may not be able to stomach higher interest rates. The large US current account deficit also makes the dollar more vulnerable to a misbehaving bond market than the eurozone. In the medium term, we are far more concerned about risks to the US dollar than those posed by the Greek drama to the euro.”

Guttenberg’s Ongoing Troubles

Der Spiegel wrote on May 6:

“Former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg always insisted that he had never meant to plagiarize portions of his Ph.D. dissertation. On Friday, however, the University of Bayreuth said that he copied intentionally… It is a sentence which completes one of the most rapid and stunning political downfalls Germany has ever seen. Prior to the questions about his doctoral thesis, the member of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democrats, had been among the country’s most popular politicians. Many had even tipped him as a possible successor to Merkel in the Chancellery.

“But in late February, the University of Bayreuth revoked his doctor title pending an investigation and on March 1, Guttenberg resigned from Merkel’s cabinet. He went on to step down from all other political offices… Ultimately, it was found that well over half of the pages contained passages that had been reproduced one-to-one from outside sources. Furthermore, German lawmakers were particularly outraged that several pages contained passages that had been produced by the German parliament’s research service. Parliamentary rules forbid the private use of this service. The university noted that several of the passages in question contained apparent efforts to cover his tracks…”

The Wall Street Journal wrote on May 6:

“The charismatic 39-year-old politician, a conservative aristocrat from Bavaria, still has legions of fans in Germany who hope he will make a political comeback. The university’s ruling is likely to make that more difficult, observers in Germany said.”

The Local wrote on May 11:

“The chances for former defence minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to return quickly to German politics seemed effectively buried on Wednesday after his alma mater said his thesis was full of other people’s work that he had deliberately copied…

“Although Guttenberg has consistently received backing from Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer, who has repeatedly said he expected to see Guttenberg return to politics for the conservative Christian Social Union, this was ruled out on Wednesday by the party’s general secretary Thomas Goppel. He said… that any hopes Guttenberg might have had of a quick political comeback were effectively sunk.”

Deutsche Welle stated on May 6:

“Commenting on the case, Ulrike Grote, a spokesperson for university affairs for the Green Party, said that Guttenberg’s assertion that the plagiarism was accidental was ‘particularly deplorable.’ ‘This shows that until the last, Guttenberg has developed no guilt or insight into his actions. This has discredited him as a candidate for future political office,’ she added.”

The German conservative magazine Focus agreed, stating on May 6, that this was now “the final out” for Guttenberg. It continued, “With this blemish, his return to a political office is unthinkable.”

Others are not so sure. On May 6, the conservative paper, Die Welt, quoted law expert of the CSU, Norbert Geis, as saying that Guttenberg’s intentional plagiarism is “not that critical that his return would be impossible.”

Whether Guttenberg’s political career is really over will remain to be seen. Stranger things have happened in politics.

Victories for Homosexuals

USA Today wrote on May 11:

“Non-celibate gays and lesbians will become eligible for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) following ratification of a constitutional amendment that reverses decades of official policy… Some said the church must follow biblical prohibitions on homosexuality… Others said sexuality is part of a person’s core identity, rather than a lifestyle choice, and that the church should follow in its tradition of being ‘inclusive’ of all races and genders… The denomination is the latest of a cluster of more liberal Protestant denominations to approve gay ordination, following such groups as the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America…”

The EUObserver wrote on May 10:

“Members of same-sex civil partnerships should enjoy the same pension rights as heterosexual married couples, EU’s top court said on Tuesday (10 May) in a ruling which sets an important precedent for the lesbian and gay community… The case had been brought forward by Jurgen Romer, a German national who claimed he was discriminated against when his former employer, the City of Hamburg, refused to grant him a tax break available for married couples to his pension after he entered a civil partnership with his long-term partner. EU judges found that Romer had been discriminated against under German law… Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden recognise gay marriage, whereas eleven other countries have legalised same-sex civil unions.”

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

The Toronto Sun reported on May 11:

“New research shows that children who were breastfed for more than four months as babies are less likely to be anxious, restless and antisocial by the time they turn five… Breastfeeding is already associated with higher IQs, lower levels of infection and lower rates of obesity… But the study’s authors warn other factors might be in play. For instance, moms who breastfeed tend to be older, richer and better educated — all factors that could contribute to their children’s behaviour. Still, adjusting for age, education and socio-economic background, the researchers found breastfed babies were 30% less likely to have behaviour problems.”

The Herald Sun added on May 11:

“The study, published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, suggested that the composition of breast milk or the close physical interaction between mother and baby during breast-feeding could be significant explanations for the researchers’ findings.”

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Does the Bible say anything about the future of Egypt?

The Bible contains quite a few Scriptures dealing with Egypt’s past, present and future conditions. However, there is also much speculation being circulated, which is not necessarily in agreement with Scripture, or which cannot be proven by Scripture. For instance, some say that in the end time, Egypt will be the king of the South, as mentioned in Daniel 11. Of course, Daniel 11 does not specifically identify the king of the South, and it says nowhere that it is Egypt.

In his booklet, “The Middle East in Prophecy,” copyright 1948, 1972, Herbert Armstrong wrote this:

“Ethiopia, the King of the South!

“Ethiopia was the only country in all East Africa that continued independent, and had a government and kingdom dating back before the Roman Empire. It was the southern part of the kingdom of the south. So it is the only possible government that could be the king of the south. At the time of the end — our time — this king of the south was to push at the king of the north, now at Rome!

“In 1895 King Menelik, of Ethiopia, sent an army of 9,000 to 10,000 men against General Baratieri’s Italian army. North of Ethiopia was Eritrea, belonging to Italy. And southeast was Italian Somaliland. In 1896 General Baratieri with 13,000 men tried to defend Eritrea against the Ethiopians. They lost 4,600 whites and 3,000 native troops, and more than 3,500 were taken prisoner. In a later engagement the Italians were cut to pieces because of their inexperience in fighting in mountainous country and because they were greatly outnumbered. This defeat was disastrous to Italian expansion in Africa.

“Ever since, Italy demanded revenge! In 1927 Mussolini set the time, at just 40 years from that defeat, or 1935, when he would be ready ‘finally to make our voice heard, and see our rights recognized!’ 1935 came. The hour struck! Mussolini attacked! Now notice verse 40: ‘… and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.’ A whirlwind comes in the air, sweeping all before it. Mussolini did send a great air force into Africa! Also many modern ‘chariots’ — trucks, tanks, etc. — and ships, loaded with soldiers. More than 100,000 sailed to Ethiopia. And, notice it, Mussolini’s forces were to pass over — in the air! It is at this precise point in this astounding prophecy that Mussolini’s struggle in Ethiopia and in World War II ended. Mussolini did not finish the prophecy. There is yet another leader to arise in Europe! Notice what will next happen!

“Verse 41 — ‘He shall enter also into the glorious land … ‘ — the Holy Land. This is yet to be fulfilled. When the coming revival of the Roman Empire takes the Holy Land, then the nations will be plunged into the initial phase of the great, last and final crisis at the close of this age! Other prophecies reveal that this revival of the Roman Empire will bring into subjection the U.S. and Britain!…

“‘And,’ continues verse 41, ‘many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon’ — the modern land of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The coming dictator will unite many others with him — 10 in all (Rev. 17:12) — reviving the ancient Roman Empire. Verse 42 says Egypt shall not escape, proving Egypt is not now the ‘king of the south.’

“Verse 43 says the Libyans and Ethiopians (observe that after its conquest by Mussolini, Ethiopia is not again referred to as the king of the south) shall be at his steps — and he will then control them. Italy lost control of Libya and Ethiopia after the war. Verse 44 — but news out of the east and out of the north — Russia and the Orient — shall trouble the revived Roman Empire. Russia will enter the war! Verse 45 — the coming Roman Empire shall establish its palace, as capital of the revived Roman Empire, and eventually its religious headquarters, at Jerusalem! Zechariah 14:2 says the city shall be taken! ‘Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him’! This language signifies the end of the ‘beast’ and the ‘false prophet’ at the hand of God! You will find this end described in Revelation 19:19-20 and Zechariah 14:12! And now what is the time of this end, at the close of this marvelous prophecy? The next verse, Daniel 12:1, says at the time of the resurrection of the just — at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!

“This prophecy [in Daniel 11] begins with the kingdoms of Syria and Egypt, soon after the death of Alexander the Great — 2,300 years ago. But it ends at the time of the resurrection and the Second Coming of Christ to bring peace at last to the region — and to the entire world! It is so plain, there can be no doubt of its right application!”

What Herbert Armstrong suggests in his booklet, and also in other writings, is that the prophecy in Daniel 11, referring to the king of the South, has already been fulfilled—so that there is no biblical need for another king of the South to arise. But if there is still another king of the South to come, according to Herbert Armstrong, it would NOT be Egypt.

We read in Daniel 11:40, that in the end time, the king of the South will “attack” or more correctly, “push” at the king of the North (compare Authorized Version). The king of the North can be identified as a succession of emperors of the ancient Roman Empire, and its revivals, culminating in the final resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire, in Europe. The last king of the North is identified in other passages as the king of Assyria, “King Jareb,” or the beast—the military leader of Assyria or modern Germany, but he will also lead a confederation of ten European countries or groups of countries. (For proof, read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy”). By the same rationale, it could be possible that the king of the South (if there is still another final king of the South to arise) would be leading a confederacy of Middle Eastern nations.

But rather than speculating as to what the future may or may not hold for Egypt, let us focus on what the Bible reveals in that regard:

We want to focus first on the book of Isaiah.

We read in Isaiah11:11-16 that in the end time (the reference in verse 11 is to “in that day,” speaking of a time beginning about one year before Christ’s return), God will free the enslaved remnant of His people—the descendants of the modern houses of Israel and Judah—from countries such as Assyria, Egypt and Cush. This means that they will be slaves in these countries, when Christ returns. We understand that the modern descendants of the house of Israel can be found today in the USA (descendants of Israel’s grandson Manasseh), Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (descendants of Israel’s grandson Ephraim), while Judah or the house of Judah designates the Jews today. Assyria represents mainly modern Germany. Cush designates Ethiopia. We also read that the remnant of the people from the houses of Israel and Judah will be held captive in Pathros, which is the land of Egypt’s origin (compare Ezekiel 29:14, which also tells us that Egyptians will become captive themselves, see below).

Further information on the future of Egypt is provided in Isaiah 19:1-4, 14, 16-25.

First, we read in verse 2 that Egyptians will be fighting against Egyptians—a development which we are already observing today in that country. We read in verse 4 about the captivity and slavery of Egypt, and that a fierce king will rule over them. This is a reference to the king of Assyria, who is also referred to in Scripture as the beast and the king of the North.

Verses 16 and 17, 20, tell us that “in that day” Judah will be a terror to Egypt. This refers to the time when Jesus Christ, the Savior, has come; and verses 23-25 prophesy that when Jesus Christ rules on this earth during the Millennium, the nations of Egypt, Assyria and Israel will live together in cooperation and peace.

Isaiah 27:13 also explains that when the great trumpet sounds “in that day”—designating the resurrection of the just from the dead in the end time–captives from the houses of Israel and Judah will be released from slavery. We are also told that prior to their freedom, some will perish in the LAND of Assyria, and some will be outcasts in the LAND of Egypt.

Let us turn now to the book of Ezekiel.

We read in Ezekiel 30:1-9, 18-19 that at the time of the “day of the LORD” (another reference to the end time), the sword will come upon Egypt, as well as additional countries like Ethiopia (Cush), Libya (Put), and Lydia (or Lud; compare Jeremiah 46:8-9, showing that Egypt, Ethiopia, Lydia and Libya will be allies at that time of the end). Verses 4-5 refer to Chub, which is nowhere else mentioned in Scripture; the passage could also read, “and ALL (Chub) the men of the lands who were allied…” We also read specifically in verse 18 that at that time of the “day of the LORD”, Egyptians will go into captivity.

We might want to note that none of these countries referred to in this passage in Ezekiel 30 are mentioned in Psalm 83:1-8, which describes a confederacy between Middle Eastern nations and Assyria. It appears, then, that the countries mentioned in Psalm 83, which are allied WITH Assyria, are different from the countries, mentioned in Ezekiel 30, which are apparently allied AGAINST Assyria.

But notice also that modern Babylon or mystical Tyre—which refers to the end-time resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire in Europe–is described as an economic power in Ezekiel 27, with whom all nations have been dealing up to a point, including Russia, Persia (modern Iran), Syria and Israel. And it does say in verse 10 that at one time, those from Persia, Lydia and Libya were or would be in Tyre’s army as men of war. (Persia or Iran, together with Ethiopia and Libya, are also listed in Ezekiel 38:5, describing an attack under the leadership of Russia, China and other Asiatic nations, against the modern house of Israel, AFTER Christ’s return). For more information on mystical Tyre, please read chapter 3 (“Ancient and Modern Tyre in Prophecy”) in our booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”

Ezekiel 32:11-15 explains and confirms again that the king of modern Babylon—the king of Assyria or the king of the North, i.e. the beast–will ultimately rule over Egypt, just prior to Christ’s return.

Turning to the book of Daniel, we read in Daniel 11:41-43 that the king of the North (the king of Assyria or the beast) will conquer many countries in the Middle East, including Egypt; and that Libya and Ethiopia will also be in subjection to him, but that countries such as Edom (modern Turkey, and perhaps also Palestinians), Moab (Jordan and West Iraq) and the prominent people of Ammon (Jordan) will escape—note that these countries which will not be enslaved by Assyria are some of the countries that had entered into a confederacy WITH Assyria, pursuant to Psalm 83. (You will find more information on the modern identity of biblical nations in one of our Q&As).

We obtain further pertinent information on the future of Egypt in the book of Hosea.

Hosea 7:11-12 tells us that Ephraim will try to get help from Assyria and Egypt, but will not receive it, and we are also told that the very fact of that occurrence will be announced in the last day. Technically, Ephraim designates Great Britain and perhaps countries of the British Commonwealth, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, but since Ephraim was the leading tribe over the ancient house of Israel, the reference to Ephraim includes in all likelihood other major tribes of the modern house of Israel, including Manasseh or the USA.

Hosea 9:3 elaborates on the prophetic concept that Ephraim shall return to Egypt and eat unclean things in Assyria. On the other hand, Hosea 11:5, 10-11 informs us that Ephraim shall not return to the LAND of Egypt; rather, it will go into the kind of “Egyptian” slavery which ancient Israel experienced when it was in Egyptian captivity. As we have seen, the modern king ruling over the modern house of Israel will be Assyria. Deuteronomy 28:68; 17:16 confirms as well that “Egyptian” slavery is decreed over both the houses of Israel and Judah. But according to Isaiah 27:13, a part of the enslaved remnant will return from the LAND of Egypt. Since Ephraim (and at least some within the modern house of Israel) will not be enslaved in the LAND of Egypt, it follows that those who will be enslaved in the LAND of Egypt will be mainly those from the house of Judah. This fact is supported in Joel 3:19, which tells us that Egypt will become a desolation, because of their violence against the people of JUDAH or the Jews. For more information, please read chapter two (“The Modern House of Israel in Prophecy”) in our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”

Finally, in Zechariah 10:10-12, we read again that some (apparently referring to Judah) will be freed from slavery and brought back from the LAND of Egypt, while others (Ephraim and some, if not many modern tribes from the house of Israel) will be freed from Assyria.

Zechariah 14:16-19 concludes by telling us that Egypt will slowly learn to accept God and His way of life in the Millennium, but it will take time. Ultimately, however, as we have seen before in Isaiah 19, Egypt will be blessed, together with Assyria and Israel.

In conclusion, when we take all the passages together, as quoted above, we should realize that developments in the Middle East are leading to the end-time crescendo of an outright war in the Middle East, and Egypt will play a prominent part in those developments. However, it is not altogether clear, for example, as to how and exactly when the different stages of slavery and captivity will come about for the houses of Israel and Judah, as well as for Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. We should be careful to view all Scriptures on the subject, lest we pick and choose to create our own prophetic scenarios which might or might not be in accordance with the inspired Word of God. We should be patient enough to allow God to show us how these end time events will come about, rather than jumping ahead with our own imaginations, lest we be found wanting in our postulations and proclamations. Rather, we need to follow Christ’s command to watch world events, knowing that in His due time, God will reveal to His true servants exactly how the prophetic Scriptures will be fulfilled, and when the LORD has spoken, THEN His servants will proclaim it (Amos 3:7-8).

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

Two new StandingWatch programs were posted on our Website (www.standingwatch.org) and on the Internet.

They are titled, “What is Prophesied for Syria?” and “How Did Osama Bin Laden Really Die, If He Did?”

Norbert Link’s video-recorded sermons, “Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, Part 5,” and “Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, Part 6,” were posted on the Internet.

A new AufPostenStehen program was posted on the Internet and on our German website (www.aufpostenstehen.de). It is titled, “Trier Viel Aelter als Rom?” (“Trier Much Older Than Rome?”).

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How This Work is Financed

This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.

Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.

While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198

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United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom

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