Current Events

Terrorists Strike in Germany

Some thought that Germany might be somewhat protected from terrorist activity. They were wrong. More than two weeks ago, Germany awoke to the cruel reality that fanatical terrorists might strike anywhere–any time. If they had been successful in their foiled attempt to blow up several trains, hundreds of innocent passengers would have been killed. As AFP put it: “The bombs were set to detonate 10 minutes before their arrival in the western cities of Hamm, near Dortmund, and Koblenz, but a technical fault prevented an almost certain bloodbath.” Both main suspects–students from Lebanon–were arrested; one in Germany, the other one, who escaped to Lebanon, in Tripoli. All clues point at a terror cell in Germany, with connections to Lebanon and al-Quida.

On August 19, Bild Online reported that the first captured suspect is a Lebanese student living in the German city of Kiel. The paper said that he is apparently a member of an Islamic network, and the two suspects were not acting alone, but as a part of a group with terrorist background. It is feared that the arrest of the one suspect will lead to retaliation from Islamic perpetrators.

Der Spiegel Online reported on August 19, that two train stations in Kiel, Germany, were closed from 4:00 am until 9:00 pm on Saturday because of suspected terrorist activity. In addition, trains were stopped and travelers were stranded for hours. The magazine also stated that in the past (Mohammed) Atta, the terrorist from New York, had been seen in the German city of Kiel.

On August 22, 2006, Der Spiegel Online added the following comments: “German authorities have identified the second suspect involved in last month’s failed plot to bomb trains. He is believed to be 20 years old and from Lebanon, like the first suspect, a 21- year- old student, who was arrested last Saturday… German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said fears of a possible terror attack were ‘unfortunately very real.’ He added that the motive of the two attackers remained unclear. However, a resident of the student dormitory where [the first arrested suspect] resided in Kiel told SPIEGEL ONLINE the student had told residents that his brother, a member of the Lebanese army, had been killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Beirut Airport.”

AFP added on August 22: “Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel reported that some of [the first suspect’s] relatives had links to the banned Islamic extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir and that the 21-year-old was believed to have been radicalized by the organization, which strives to create an Islamic state.”

Der Spiegel Online reported on August 24 about the capture of the second suspect: “The search for a suspect accused of plotting a terrorist attack in Germany ended on Thursday after he was taken into custody in the northern Lebanese town of Tripoli. While German officials said he turned himself in to police, the Lebanese authorities said he was lured to the city and then arrested… [The] 20-year-old Lebanese citizen who had been living in Cologne [Germany], is thought to be involved in a plot to blow up two trains in western Germany on July 31. According to the Associated Press, the Lebanese anti-terrorism police acted on information from Interpol while searching for [the suspect] for almost a week in northern Lebanon. German federal prosecutors want him for several counts of attempted murder and membership in a terrorist organization.”

AFP added on August 24: “The German government said the plotters… had almost certainly acted with the help of a terrorist group. The plot has put the country on edge, reminding Germans that three of the hijackers in the September 11 attacks, including ringleader Mohammed Atta, lived as students in Hamburg for years without arousing suspicion.”

Lebanon’s Fragile Peace

The Associated Press reported on August 19:

“Israeli commandos raided a Hezbollah stronghold deep inside Lebanon Saturday, sparking a fierce clash with militants that left one Israeli soldier dead. Lebanon called the raid a ‘flagrant violation’ of the U.N.-brokered cease-fire, while Israel said it was aimed at disrupting arms smuggling from Iran and Syria. Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr threatened to halt the army’s deployment in south Lebanon if the United Nations does not take up the issue of the raid. A stop to the deployment would deeply damage efforts to move in an international force to strengthen the cease-fire… The fighting… highlighted the fragility of the 6-day-old truce as the United Nations pleaded for nations to contribute to an international peacekeeping force due to patrol southern Lebanon.

“Under the cease-fire terms, Israel has said it will conduct defensive operations if its troops are threatened. But the raid took place far from positions of Israeli troops in southern Lebanon. The cease-fire resolution talks about an end to weapons shipments to Hezbollah as part of a long-term end to the conflict–but does not immediately require it…”

It was also reported by the Arab paper, Aljazeera, on August 19 that “Israeli soldiers have detained the Palestinian deputy prime minister, the latest step in a continuing crackdown against the ruling Hamas party… An Israeli army spokesman confirmed that troops had taken al-Shaer into custody, saying it was ‘due to his membership of a terrorist organisation’… With al-Shaer’s arrest, four members of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian cabinet and about 28 Hamas members of parliament are in Israeli custody.”

Please make sure to tune in to our StandingWatch program, titled, “What’s Next for Lebanon?”

Situation in Lebanon Explosive

The Associated Press reported on August 23:

“Israel’s foreign minister on Wednesday called the situation in Lebanon ‘explosive’ and urged the international community to work quickly to deploy peacekeeping troops there… Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora urged the United States to help end Israel’s sea and air blockade… France and other European countries have been demanding a clear mandate from the U.N. mission that gives their soldiers the right to defend themselves without dragging them into the conflict… Meanwhile, the shaky cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah was tested Wednesday as the Israeli army fired artillery into a disputed border region in response to what it said was an attack from inside Lebanon. An Israeli soldier was killed in a separate incident, the army said…”

The Associated Press reported in August 24:

“Israeli forces crossed into the Gaza Strip early Thursday in a raid that captured a local Hamas militant leader and left his brother dead near a Gaza border town… As the forces–backed by tanks and helicopter gunships–moved into the area of Abasan and took up positions on rooftops, militants began firing at them, sparking gunbattles that wounded two militants… The violence came as Israel continued its offensive in the Gaza Strip, which it began June 28, three days after Hamas-linked militants tunneled into Israel, attacked an Israeli army post and captured a soldier… Israel said it would maintain its offensive until [the soldier] was released and militants ceased firing rockets into Israel.”

Syria Rejects UN Forces at its Border

Der Spiegel Online reported on August 23:

“As one of Hezbollah’s strongest international supporters, many had hoped that Syria could be a partner in delivering peace between Israel and the Lebanon-based Islamic extremist group. But comments made by the country’s president, Bashar Assad, muted those hopes on Tuesday. Speaking in harsh tones, Assad said his country would not accept the stationing of troops from a United Nations security force along the border between Syria and Lebanon… Assad described the plans as a ‘hostile act.'”

AFP added on August 24:

“Syria has threatened to close its border with Lebanon if UN peacekeepers are deployed there, further complicating the struggle by world powers to agree on the makeup and role of a force to police a fragile ceasefire. The warning came as EU diplomats met in Brussels for a second day Thursday… A partial breakthrough seemed to emerge Thursday, when officials in Paris announced that France might send ‘hundreds more’ troops to join the 400 it already has in Lebanon. Following talks Wednesday in Helsinki with Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem, Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said ‘they will close the frontier for all traffic (if) the UN troops will be deployed’ along the border.”

Did Israel Commit War Crimes?

Der Spiegel Online reported on August 23:

“… the human rights organization Amnesty International on Wednesday accused Israel of having committed war crimes by deliberately destroying Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure and indiscriminate bombing that led to a high number of civilian casualties. ‘The scale of destruction was just extraordinary,’ Amnesty Researcher Donatella Rovera said, according to AP. ‘There is clear evidence of disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks.’ The organization encouraged the UN to investigate whether Israel or Hezbollah had violated international law.

“Israel denied the charges. ‘Unlike Hezbollah,’ said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev, ‘we did not deliberately target the Lebanese population. On the contrary, under very difficult circumstances, we tried to be as surgical as is humanly possible in targeting the Hezbollah terrorist organization.’ The Israeli army has also defended itself, issuing statements that it warned civilians in Lebanon that bombings would take place. Israel also accused Hezbollah of firing rockets at locations near civilian institutions.

“Amnesty International claims that more than 1,100 Lebanese were killed during the five-week war. One-third were reportedly children. An estimated 160 Israelis were killed in combat or as the result of Hezbollah rocket attacks.”

How To Respond to Iran?

Der Spiegel Online reported on August 23 about the reaction of the German press to Iran’s nebulous response to the UN’s demands to stop its nuclear program. The magazine wrote: “Iran says it’s ready for ‘serious negotiations’ about its controversial nuclear ambitions. But the country’s hard-liners aren’t prepared to give up uranium enrichment. What should be the international community’s next move?”

It continued:

“The conservative daily Die Welt has considerable doubts that Tehran is honestly willing to negotiate. ‘Suddenly Iran is in a hurry. And what have they done up till now? Correct: They have not been serious about talks, they have stalled for time, and they duped the international community,’ writes the paper. The West will now have to quickly determine if Tehran truly wants to return to the negotiating table. ‘If not — and nothing yet has shown that Tehran can be convinced to give up its uranium enrichment program — then the Security Council will have to place sanctions on the country.’ Failing to do so, argues Die Welt, would harm the UN’s credibility. ‘But the Council isn’t united. China’s and Russia’s interests are in conflict with Washington’s uncompromising course. Iran has always successfully exploited just that,’ writes the paper…

“The left-wing Berliner Zeitung places blame for any impasse on both Tehran and Washington, calling Iran’s response a ‘tactical answer to a tactical offer.’ The paper — no friend of the Bush administration — argues that the United States has put something on the table that Iran cannot agree to by making stopping uranium enrichment a condition and not a goal of further negotiations. ‘The political intention is clear. Iran should be able to be blamed for any coming escalation,’ opines the editorial after cynically implying that Washington only sees the Middle East as a vast market for oil and natural gas.

“The business daily Handelsblatt believes the dispute has reached a key turning point. ‘Until now the goal was to keep (Iran) from building a nuclear bomb with economic and political incentives,’ writes the paper. ‘Moving forward, however, the Europeans and Americans will have to discuss sanctions.’ Since Tehran doesn’t appear willing to give up its enrichment activities, the international community has little choice but to respond with the possibility of meting out punishment… Though the paper argues that the mullahs need to be firmly shown just how far they will be allowed to go, it is also concerned that the dispute could create divisions between the European Union and America…”

Ahmadinejad’s Thirst for Destruction

On August 22, the British paper, The Daily Mail, published an eye-opening article, titled, “Why this man should give us all nightmares.”

The paper explained what motivates Iran’s President to engage in his well-documented irate behavior. The answers are frightening and justify, indeed, the headline of the article.

It was stated:

“Why shouldn’t Iran have nuclear weapons? We [in Great Britain] have them, so has America, France, Russia, Israel, China, Pakistan, India and possibly North Korea. So why make such a fuss about Iran?… The mullah-mafia lied through their teeth for 18 years, denying they had a nuclear programme, despite their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. And all the evidence shows that they are lying now when they say they only want nuclear power for ‘peaceful energy purposes’, despite sitting on some of the largest oil reserves in the world. But, alas, there’s nothing which we would recognise as ‘reasonable’ about President Ahmadinejad, the small, bearded blacksmith’s son from the slums of Tehran–who denies the existence of the Holocaust, promises to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ and who, moreover, urges Iranians to ‘prepare to take over the world’. The UN gave him until August 31 to reply to its package of proposals designed to stop his nuclear programme. Significantly he chose yesterday to, in effect, reject the UN ultimatum because yesterday was a sacred day in the Islamic calendar. It is the day on which the Prophet Mohammed made his miraculous night flight from Jerusalem to heaven and back on Buraq, the winged horse.

“As one Iranian exile told me yesterday: ‘The trouble with you secular people is that you don’t realise how firmly Ahmadinejad believes–literally–in things like the winged horse. By choosing this date for his decision, he is telling his followers that he is going to obey his religious duty. ‘And he believes that his religious duty is to create chaos and bloodshed in the “infidel” world, in order to hasten the return of the Mahdi–the Hidden Imam. So don’t expect him to behave, in your eyes, “reasonably”.’

“So who is this Hidden Imam? He was a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed who, at the age of five, disappeared down a well around AD 940. He will only return after a period of utter chaos and bloodshed, whereupon peace, justice and Islam will reign worldwide. When I was in Tehran, Ahmadinejad was its mayor, and an Iranian friend with links to the city council told me: ‘He’s instructed the council to build a grand avenue to prepare for the Mahdi’s return’…

“On coming to power, in order to hasten the return of the Hidden Imam, the Iranian President allocated the equivalent of £10m for the building of a blue-tiled mosque at Jamkaran, south of the capital, where the five-year-old Hidden Imam was said to have disappeared down the well… the President’s apocalyptic mindset ‘makes you very strong. If I think the Mahdi will come in two, three, or four years, why should I be soft? Now is the time to stand strong, to be hard’… nuclear-weapon technology in the hands of an Iranian President obsessed with ‘ fruitcake theology’ and the destruction of all ‘infidels’ is something which should keep us all awake at night.”

The REAL Federal Deficit

On August 4, 2006, USA Today published an alarming and thought-provoking article about the REAL federal deficit. The article claimed that the official figures published for the public are intentionally kept far too low, stating:

“The federal government keeps two sets of books. The set the government promotes to the public has a healthier bottom line: a $318 billion deficit in 2005. The set the government doesn’t talk about is the audited financial statement produced by the government’s accountants following standard accounting rules. It reports a more ominous financial picture: a $760 billion deficit for 2005. If Social Security and Medicare were included… the federal deficit would have been $3.5 trillion… Last year, the audited statement produced by the accountants said the government ran a deficit equal to $6,700 for every American household. The number given to the public put the deficit at $2,800 per household…

“The government has run a deficit of $2.9 trillion since 1997… Congress and the president are able to report a lower deficit mostly because they don’t count the growing burden of future pensions and medical care for federal retirees and military personnel. These obligations are so large and are growing so fast that budget surpluses of the late 1990s actually were deficits when the costs are included. The Clinton administration reported a surplus of $559 billion in its final four budget years. The audited numbers showed a deficit of $484 billion…” But it gets even more frightening. USA Today continued to explain the rationale WHY the retirement programs, Medicare and Social Security, are not included in the official government publications. But this reason is not in any way good news:

“The retirement programs do ‘not represent a legal obligation because Congress has the authority to increase or reduce social insurance benefits at any time,’ wrote Clay Johnson III, then acting director of the president’s Office of Management Budget, in a letter to the board in May… Social Security chief actuary Stephen Goss says it would be a mistake to apply accrual accounting to Social Security and Medicare. These programs are not pensions or legally binding federal obligations, although many people view them that way, he says. Social Security and Medicare are pay-as-you-go programs and should be treated like food stamps and fighter jets, not like a Treasury bond that must be repaid in the future, he adds…”

America’s Power Pushed Back

New America Media reported on August 18:

“American power is being pushed back on several fronts. Both the nuclear deal [with India] and the American setbacks in world politics are aspects of a breakdown in the post-1989 unipolar order…

“America remains tied down in Iraq. The drain of American capabilities and prestige in Iraq has rendered it unable to prevent adverse trends elsewhere. The jihadis are rising in Afghanistan, and America has no reserves available to throw into the battle. Iran is gaining confidence in its ability to pursue its nuclear program, and North Korea is defying America and Japan with its missile tests. What makes these last two trends possible is the growing power and assertiveness of Russia and China. Their refusal to bow to Western pressure in the UN Security Council has disabled the United States, European Union, and Japan from mobilizing pressure on Iran and North Korea…”

America in Need of Marines

CNN reported on August 23:

“President Bush has authorized the U.S. Marine Corps to recall 2,500 troops to active duty because there are not enough volunteers returning for duty in Afghanistan and Iraq… The recall was authorized last month, and will begin in spring 2007 to fill positions for upcoming rotations… there is a shortfall of about 1,200 Marines needed to fill positions in upcoming unit deployments… Tours for recalled Marines could last 12 to 18 months… Though the initial recall is for 2,500 troops, there is no cap on how many could be called up in the future… The Marines recalled more than 2,600 troops in the early days of the Iraq war. The Army has recalled about 10,000 soldiers since September 11, 2001, the majority of those coming in 2004 to help in Iraq.”

Morning-After Pill Kills Innocent Human Life!

The Catholic news agency, Zenit, reported on August 21:

“President George Bush said he supports restricted access to the ‘morning-after’ pill for minors, disturbing some pro-lifers who want the potentially abortion-causing drug banned altogether… LifeSite… quoted Father Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, as saying: ‘President Bush’s implied support for the abortion-causing drug… is completely inconsistent with his recent veto of the embryonic stem cell research [ESCR] funding bill. What the president apparently fails to realize is that [the drug] kills the same innocent unborn children that the ESCR process does.’… The U.S. bishops’ conference opposes making [the drug] available over-the-counter on several grounds, including its abortifacient potential and its implications for informed consent.

“In a statement today, Judie Brown, president of American Life League, lamented Bush’s comments. ‘It is no secret that [the drug] can and does take the lives of newly conceived babies in the days immediately following fertilization,’ said Brown. ‘The drug’s own manufacturer recognizes this fact; so why can’t the rest of the pro-life community and our self-professed pro-life president recognize it as well? President Bush is showing inconsistency in his support for life.'”

Catholic Church vs. Madonna

The controversial British mass tabloid, The Sun News, reported on August 22 about pressures by the Catholic Church to prosecute singer and entertainer Madonna for alleged attacks on the Catholic religion. The tabloid stated:

“Prosecutors in Germany said they have decided against opening an investigation into the mock crucifixion scene performed by Madonna at her weekend concert. A crowd of about 45,000 packed Duesseldorf’s LTU Arena on Sunday night to watch the first of two German concerts on the singer’s worldwide ‘Confessions’ tour. The scene–in which Madonna rises from the stage on a mirrored cross while wearing a crown of fake thorns to sing ‘Live to Tell’–drew criticism from religious leaders in Italy earlier this month, who condemned it as an act of hostility toward the Roman Catholic Church.”

Recently, Bavaria’s leader, Edmund Stoiber, demanded in relationship to another alleged attack on the Catholic religion in Germany, to enact German laws which would make it easier to prosecute those vocally opposed to the Catholic religion.

Dark Matter–Yes or No?

On August 22, The Register reported the following:

“NASA says it now has the first direct evidence for the existence of dark matter, thanks to observations of a huge, intergalactic collision. Researchers… have been watching two galactic clusters collide, an event they say is the most energetic in the universe, ever, apart from the Big Bang… Most of the matter in the universe is thought to be so-called dark matter. It gets its name because it is effectively invisible, and until now its existence could only be inferred from its gravitational effects. The term was invented to account for the fact that despite not having enough mass to hold themselves together under their own gravity, galaxies still spectacularly failed to tear themselves apart. Astronomers reasoned that something invisible, but massive, must be holding things together. Hence, dark matter. However, not all scientists agree (and when do they ever?). Some alternative theories have been put forward, but NASA says only dark matter can explain the observations here.”

Scientists have come forward with all kind of scientific explanations as to how the universe came into being, and how it is sustained. Most of those ideas are wrong. The Bible, however, gives us very clear answers, but most scientists are unwilling to consider those. Hebrews 1:1-2 explains (New International Version):

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”

Verse 3 continues (Revised English Bible): “… he sustains the universe by his word of power.”

Doesn’t an active Creator and living Sustainer of the universe, who is identified as the “light” shining “in the darkness” (John 1:5), sound much more plausible to explain the continued existence of the universe, than some kind of dead dark matter?

For more information, please read our free booklet: “The Theory of Evolution–a Fairy Tale for Adults.”

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