News Briefs From Planet Earth
EU Leaders' Goal?Becoming Global Superpower
(AgapePress) - In what Bible prophecy watchers will say is another sign of the times, leaders of the European Union gathered in Belgium to take further steps toward their goal of becoming a "global superpower."
The belief among the leaders is that the European Union is well on its way to creating a federated Europe that could govern more than half a billion people before the end of this decade. According to The Washington Post, Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair and the other EU leaders noted that this enlarged European Union, with its own currency and military force, will be bigger and richer than the United States.
The Post notes the leaders are already showing an increased willingness to snub the United States on several policy issues.
In December, the European Parliament passed a resolution saying it will refuse extradition of any terrorists to the United States unless the U.S. reverses its policy on capital punishment and military tribunals. And the EU leaders also broke ranks with President Bush's recent tough stand against Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Recently, they issued a statement of support for Arafat and even voted to increase EU funding for the Palestinian Authority.
Human Embryo Cloned
(AgapePress)...Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback is leading the charge to ban human cloning. He says it is a very dangerous field in which to delve. He points to the fact that other nations have seen this danger and acted upon it. He noted as hearings are being held in the U.S., similar hearings are being held in the European Union and in capitals throughout the world. He says some 28 countries have already "wrestled with" and passed laws to some degree dealing with the issue of human cloning - yet the research itself is occurring in the United States. A Massachusetts bio-tech firm recently announced it had successfully cloned a human embryo. Supporters of the research say the medical benefits could be great, while Brownback's supporters claim it is nothing more than creating a human embryo, experimenting on it, and then killing it.
UN Promotes Terrorism
(AgapePress)...The announcement that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize has angered many in Washington, D.C.. Cliff Kincaid of the group America's Survival says the UN under Annan promotes terrorism, not world peace. Kincaid says the attitude of the United Nations regarding terrorism is "terrorist, si - yankee, no." He says the September attacks demonstrate the UN and its treaties cannot be relied upon to protect America's national security. One-third of the UN members recently blocked an anti-terrorism statement from the organization because it would have included the actions of the Palestinian Liberation Organization under the definition of terrorist activities.
Report Says Implantable Chips for Humans on Horizon
(AgapePress) - A Florida company says it expects federal approval within six months to start selling microchips designed to be implanted into human beings.
The move by Applied Digital Solutions of Palm Beach is being heralded as opening the door to new systems of medical monitoring and ID screening. It comes on the heels of a series of reports in recent days about the growing push for national and even universal identification cards. For end-time prophecy watchers, it is further evidence that technology advances are coming to the forefront that allow for the marking system talked about in the Book of Revelation.
According to the L.A. Times, officials with Applied Digital say that although implantable chips have been denounced by those who object on religious and other grounds, that resistance has weakened in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks. As Keith Bolton, the company's chief technology officer, puts it, "When people are trying to regain their peace of mind, they're open to new approaches."
The Times article quotes an official of another high-tech company who calls the chip implant "a glorified bar code" - and he says a lot of people are going to want it.
Scholars Find City of Emmaus
JERUSALEM (EP) - Scholars claim to have found the original site of the city of Emmaus, a place mentioned in Luke 24 as the destination of two travelers who encountered the resurrected Christ on their way there. German historian Carsten Peter Thiede told United Press International that Emmaus was a "wealthy suburb" about seven miles west of Jerusalem. Thiede and Israeli scholar Egon Lass head up a joint project sponsored by the Ben Gurion University at Beer Sheba and the Independent Theological Seminary (STH) of Basel. The scholars conclude that the biblical Emmaus is also known as Ammaous, described by the Jewish historian Josephus. According to Thiede and Lass, this Emmaus was a second home to many wealthy people who lived and worked in Jerusalem. The scholars also believe their site to be the authentic Emmaus because it is within walking distance of Jerusalem. It would have taken people about four hours to reach the city, Thiede estimated.
Millions Saved LAST NOVEMBER
IBADAN, Nigeria (EP) - Almost four million people gathered in Ibadan, Nigeria to see and hear German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke at the Great Gospel Crusade on Nov. 7-11. The meetings took place at an old airport. "We have seen the Spirit of God working wonders in our city, the capital of the Yoruba people," said the Rev. Dr. Moses Avansiola. Gov. Lam Adesina, a Muslim, welcomed Bonnke to the city with an official gathering at his office on Nov. 6. He asked the evangelist to pray for the peace and prosperity of Ibadan in these difficult times. The largest of the five evening crusade meetings stunned local authorities as a crowd of 1.3 million gathered at the site to hear the Gospel. In all, over 4 million people attended the event over the five days with 2,650,190 filling out decision cards to acknowledge that they had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. The thousands of participating local churches and 150,000 trained counselors are handling the immense follow-up task.
Prayer Power Baby!
NEW YORK, N.Y. (EP) - A study reported in the September issue of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine found that women receiving fertility treatment are more likely to conceive if they are being prayed for than if they are not. The study involved 219 women being treated in a South Korean hospital. Without their knowledge they were randomly divided into two groups; one group received regular prayer by Christian intercessors and the other did not. The women receiving prayer were nearly twice as likely to become pregnant as those not receiving prayer, and at rates higher than the normal rate for the treatment at the same hospital. The results were reported by Rogerio Lobo, chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University in New York City.
Activist say homosexuals should lie to Red Cross
CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (EP) - A homosexual activist at Harvard University is urging homosexuals to lie to the Red Cross when they volunteer to give blood. Clifford Davidson, head of a homosexual group called BOND, noted that the Red Cross seeks to screen out sexually active homosexuals because of the threat of AIDS. He told homosexuals, "You should lie." He later insisted that he meant only that homosexuals who have been tested for AIDS should lie to get past the Red Cross screening procedures.
Bush Reference to 'Palestine' No Slip of the Tongue
(AgapePress) - Secretary of State Colin Powell says President Bush gave a clear signal last November that the U.S. is moving to accept a Palestinian state.
During an interview with NBC's Meet the Press, Powell noted that during Bush's speech on Saturday November 10th to the United Nations the President deliberately used the word "Palestine" to indicate U.S. support for a Palestinian state. In fact, the Washington Times reports it is the first any U.S. president has ever used that term in reference to the Middle East conflict.
According to Powell, "If one is moving forward with a vision of two states side by side, it's appropriate to call those two states what they will be, Israel and Palestine."
Even PLO leader Yasser Arafat picked up on Bush's reference. Despite being upset over the fact the President refused to meet with him in New York, Arafat expressed his "deepest appreciation" for Bush's endorsement.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said that if Arafat declares a Palestinian state without negotiations with Israel, the Jewish nation will seize large chunks of the West Bank and Gaza and annex them to Israel.
In a related statement, pro-family activist Gary Bauer says the ongoing war on terrorism, cloaked in Islam by Osama bin Laden, is really a battle between right and wrong - a situation he says should never be viewed by the United States as an excuse to turn its back on Israel, which many are advocating.
"These are not two morally equivalent sides," Bauer says. "One side is consumed by hatred of Israel and of the United States, and the United States needs to stop second guessing our friend Israel and make it clear that we will stand behind her, because she is subjected to this sort of outrage every day of the week."
Bauer believes America must stick by Israel's side in this effort and not bow to pressure from those who oppose God's chosen people.