WORLD NEWS HEADLINES
COLORADO DISASTER AREA
This has been a long, long week for the fire ravaged west–especially Colorado. As new fires sweep up acres of wilderness in Arizona, California and the state of Colorado, the up close and personal cost is settling in as families numbering in the thousands first evacuate their homes then anxiously await the outcome.
Words such as apocalyptic are being used to describe these out of control fires. There is even talk of these fires lasting for months with the only hope for dousing the flames being from snowfall! This week has seen a few welcomed rainfalls, but most of the moisture was falling only on the exterior boundaries of the largest fires. Continued low humidity and historic dryness throughout western forest areas portends even more sweeping destruction during the summer ahead.
HOME GROWN TERROR
A stunned public learned that the so-called Hayman Fire in Colorado was started by a U.S. forest Service employee. Motives as to why she did this have become the grist mill of the media while angry and displaced home owners in the affected area voice outrage and a deep loathing for the actions of one who should have been the first to protect the public.
This tragic occurrence magnifies poignantly the utter breakdown in societal traditions and values. More and more, societies are not only suffering wrath from outside their own borders, but now terror reigns from within national confines. Expensive and devastating acts have whole populations reduced to shocked awareness that we are now living in a very different kind of world than the more comfortable times of the recent past.
ANTI-ISRAELI VIEWS IN GERMANY
Germany’s “spokesman” and Second-in-Command of the Free Democrats, Juergen Moellemann, does not seem to give in to pressures to retract certain of his statements which have been interpreted by some as anti-Semitic. He continued his criticism this week of Ariel Sharon, stating that Sharon should not be surprised when Palestinians retaliate, even with suicide bombings, for Israel’s attacks on them. Der Spiegel ran an analysis on June 7, 2002, pointing out that, although the official figures show a decline of popularity of the FDP, there remain concerns that a majority might agree with Moellemann, but remain silent during polls. Allegedly, Moellemann received 11,000 email messages supporting his policy and position. Scientists were quoted by Der Spiegel, stating that up to 30% of the German population might be supporting anti-Semitic concepts and might therefore vote for Moellemann and the FDP in September. Others feel that this figure is far too high, as it is based on studies in the 80’s.
US HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS?
In an unusually strong article, Der Spiegel accused the United States on June 20 of engaging in violations of human rights of its citizens and legal residents in its fight against terrorism. In citing several examples, the German magazine concluded that flagrant constitutional violations might lead soon to a new form of civil resistance in the U.S., even though 64% of the U.S. population are presently willing to give up individual liberties, and 80% would be willing to endorse detentions of U.S. citizens (without the benefit of granting them certain constitutional rights) in order to gain security. At the same time, according to Der Spiegel, Amnesty International speculated that the U.S. participates in or at least tolerates torture in foreign countries in their fight against terrorism, stating that Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Pakistan do use torture in order to obtain confessions from prisoners.
As pointed out in the booklet, Evolution – A Fairy Tale for Adults, this world will soon experience devastating collisions with asteroids, meteors or comets. Now, perhaps as a warning and a foretaste of what could have been a terrible disaster, an asteroid, approximately a hundred meters in size, almost hit the earth on June 14. It came within 120,000 kilometers of Earth. According to Der Spiegel in its on-line article of June 20, scientists tell us that if there had been a “deep impact,” devastating damage would have been the result. It is almost certain that the effect would have been at least the same as if an atomic bomb had exploded. Especially discomforting and frightening is the fact that the asteroid was only discovered on June 17 — three days AFTER the impact almost took place.
More information on the asteroid can be found at http://skyandtelescope.com/news/current/article_641_1.asp