Sunday, June 25, 2006
FRENCH LEFTIST AGAINST CORE EU NATIONS
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces(Trading blocks I believe).
No hidden agenda, says European Union June 23 2006 at 09:06AM
Abuja, Nigeria - A senior European commission official said here on Thursday that there was no hidden agenda in a European Union plan to develop regionally integrated markets for its goods as of 2008.The European Commission's deputy director general for trade, Karl-Friedrich Falkenberg, was responding questions from journalists about suggestions that the EU initiative was really aimed at looking for a dumping ground for European goods.There is no hidden agenda in terms of early access for European goods, Falkenberg said.The official held talks here with Nigerian and west African regional bloc ECOWAS representatives to assess an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) currently being negotiated between the European Commission and six regions in sub-saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).
This is not what we are negotiating' The EPA seeks to govern trade arrangements and co-operation in trade and economically related matters, focusing on developing regional markets within the ACP states.We are not looking for having free access on January 1, 2008, for European goods into ECOWAS... (and)... we are not looking for that for other regions, Falkenberg said.We are looking for defining the period of time over which reciprocity is going to come in. That reciprocity will have to take into account the spate of development of industries, agriculture, services here in the region, he added.So I think there is no hidden agenda behind this. It is a jointly set target date, we are jointly working towards it... we will like to have in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific stronger trading partners.If EPA was simply about liberalising everything on January 1, 2008, if I were in your shoes, I will be sceptical also, the EU official continued.
The point is that this is not what EPA is all about. This is not what we are negotiating. Nigeria's presidential economic adviser, Osita Ogbu, said the negotiation was for free trade involving some degree of tariff reductions, fair protection, culminating in an agreement that should be completed by January 2008. - Sapa-AFP
'End Times' Religious Groups Want Apocalypse Soon'End times'
religious groups want apocalypse sooner than later, and they're relying on high tech -- and red heifers -- to hasten its arrival.,By Louis Sahagun, (LA Times Staff Writer) For thousands of years, prophets have predicted the end of the world. Today, various religious groups, using the latest technology, are trying to hasten it.Their endgame is to speed the promised arrival of a messiah.For some Christians this means laying the groundwork for Armageddon.With that goal in mind, mega-church pastors recently met in Inglewood to polish strategies for using global communications and aircraft to transport missionaries to fulfill the Great Commission: to make every person on Earth aware of Jesus' message. Doing so, they believe, will bring about the end, perhaps within two decades. In Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a far different vision. As mayor of Tehran in 2004, he spent millions on improvements to make the city more welcoming for the return of a Muslim messiah known as the Mahdi, according to a recent report by the American Foreign Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank.
To the majority of Shiites, the Mahdi was the last of the prophet Muhammad's true heirs, his 12 righteous descendants chosen by God to lead the faithful.Ahmadinejad hopes to welcome the Mahdi to Tehran within two years.Conversely, some Jewish groups in Jerusalem hope to clear the path for their own messiah by rebuilding a temple on a site now occupied by one of Islam's holiest shrines. Artisans have re-created priestly robes of white linen, gem-studded breastplates, silver trumpets and solid-gold menorahs to be used in the Holy Temple — along with two 6½-ton marble cornerstones for the building's foundation.
Then there is Clyde Lott, a Mississippi revivalist preacher and cattle rancher. He is trying to raise a unique herd of red heifers to satisfy an obscure injunction in the Book of Numbers: the sacrifice of a blemish-free red heifer for purification rituals needed to pave the way for the messiah.So far, only one of his cows has been verified by rabbis as worthy, meaning they failed to turn up even three white or black hairs on the animal's body.
Linking these efforts is a belief that modern technologies and global communications have made it possible to induce completion of God's plan within this generation.Though there are myriad interpretations of how it will play out, the basic Christian apocalyptic countdown — as described by the Book of Revelation in the New Testament — is as follows:Jews return to Israel after 2,000 years, the Holy Temple is rebuilt, billions of people perish during seven years of natural disasters and plagues, the antichrist arises and rules the world, the battle of Armageddon erupts in the vicinity of Israel, Jesus returns to defeat Satan's armies and preside over Judgment Day.
Generations of Christians have hoped for the Second Coming of Jesus, said UCLA historian Eugen Weber, author of the 1999 book Apocalypses: Prophecies, Cults and Millennial Beliefs Through the Ages. And it's always been an ultimately bloody hope, a slaughterhouse hope," he added with a sigh. "What we have now in this global age is a vaster and bloodier-than-ever
Wagnerian version. But, then, we are a very imaginative race. Apocalyptic movements are nothing new; even Christopher Columbus hoped to assist in the Great Commission by evangelizing New World inhabitants.Some religious scholars saw apocalyptic fever rise as the year 2000 approached, and they expected it to subside after the millennium arrived without a hitch.It didn't. According to various polls, an estimated 40% of Americans believe that a
sequence of events presaging the end times is already underway.
Among the believers are pastors of some of the largest evangelical churches in America, who converged at Faith Central Bible Church in Inglewood in February to finalize plans to start 5 million new churches worldwide in 10 years. Jesus Christ commissioned his disciples to go to the ends of the Earth and tell everyone how they could achieve eternal life, said James Davis, president of the Global Pastors Network's "Billion Souls Initiative, one of an estimated
2,000 initiatives worldwide designed to boost the Christian population.
8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
Earthquake hits Indonesia's Sulawesi island 9 minutes ago
JAKARTA (Reuters) - A powerful undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 struck off the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Sunday, but the state meteorology and geophysics agency said there were no reports of casualties or damage. An agency official said the quake's epicenter was 72 km (45 miles) beneath the sea bed, about 110 km (70 miles) from the city of Gorontalo in
It did not generate a tsunami.Huge landslides and flooding caused by torrential rains killed more than 200 people in Sulawesi this week, but that was in the southern part of the island. Earthquakes are frequent in Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country. A massive earthquake in December 2004 triggered a tsunami that left 170,000 people killed or missing in Aceh province.A quake with a 6.2 magnitude shook the island of Java late last month, killing more than 5,700 and leaving thousands homeless in and around Yogyakarta.Indonesia's 17,000 islands sprawl along a belt of intense volcanic and seismic activity, part of what is called the "Pacific Ring of Fire.
Strong quake jolts southern Iran Fri Jun 23, 12:52 PM ET
TEHRAN (AFP) - A strong earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale has jolted southern Iran. The official IRNA news agency said no casualties have yet been reported from the quake, which struck at 9:51 am (06GMT), with the epicentre at the town of Lar in Fars province.Iran suffers frequent earthquakes. The worst quake in recent times razed the southeastern town of Bam in December 2003, killing 31,000 people.In late March, a powerful earthquake hit western Iran, killing at least 70 people and leaving thousands homeless.In February 2005, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 on the Richter scale killed more than 600 in Zarand.
French left presidential hopeful opposes core EU plan23.06.2006
10:11 CET By Mark Beunderman, EU Observer
Segolene Royal, the leading socialist candidate for the job of French president, has rejected her centre-right opponent's idea to create a stronger EU core of the bloc's six biggest states. Ms Royal has recently emerged as a popular socialist candidate to take on the centre right's star candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, in the French presidential elections in May next year.
Some opinion polls indicate that Ms Royal and Mr Sarkozy could head for a neck-and-neck race, with the campaign so far primarily focusing on both candidates' tough-on-crime statements. But in an interview with Le Monde on Thursday (22 June), Ms Royal also said she is opposed to the key idea of Mr Sarkozy that the six largest EU states should take the lead in the union's affairs through closer co-operation.
I distrust the domination of some [member states] by the others. We have done much harm, by certain declarations, to so-called small countries, she indicated. Look at the damage caused by Jacques Chirac in the countries of the east, she went on to say referring to the current French president's famous 2003 remark that new EU member states had missed a good opportunity to shut up on Iraq. The socialist frontrunner also indicated that the EU needs a new treaty despite her country voting down the EU constitution in a popular referendum last year. We will need a new treaty and above all a social treaty, she said. The current Europe only has an economic leg.
Without that second, social leg, nothing is possible, she said, signalling that she believes any new treaty should include stronger social protection. Mrs Royal's differences with Mr Sarkozy on the constitution question are less clear than on the EU-six issue. Mr Sarkozy has proposed a step-by-step implementation of the most important elements of the current text of the EU
constitution, but also believes the constitution will not enter into force in its current form.
The two candidates appear to agree however on the need for tax harmonisation in the EU. Ms Royal indicated Still more than any technical rules, we need a true political will to construct what I call the Europe by evidence, which combines stimulating competition, social and fiscal
harmonisation, and shared practices on industrial champions, research programmes and business and social experiences.
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