EU Publishes Plan to Regulate Press

EU Publishes Plan to Regulate Press

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The European Union wants to be able to regulate the press and even fire errant journalists, according to a report by the High Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism, published January 22. The report is designed to be a guideline to be used in drafting new regulations.

The report says that all nations should set up “independent media councils.” The report states: “Media councils should have real enforcement powers, such as the imposition of fines, orders for printed or broadcast apologies, or removal of journalistic status.” These councils “should follow a set of European-wide standards and be monitored by the Commission to ensure that they comply with European values.”

The High Level Group was set up by European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes last year.

There’s no doubt that the press needs improving. But that regulation must come from a moral public discerning what they choose to buy and read. The idea of the EU regulating what can and can’t be said is scary. As Conservative MP Douglas Carswell said: “This is the sort of mindset that I would expect to find in Iran, not the West. This kooky idea tells us little about the future of press regulation. It does suggest that the European project is ultimately incompatible with the notion of a free society.”

Freedom of speech is not a European value. Authorities are constantly trying to pump their propaganda into schools. Now they want to pump it into the papers too.

Future unrest sparked by mass unemployment in Europe will give EU officials further temptation to regulate what newspapers say.

Europe is on its way to becoming an undemocratic superstate. Restricting the press is an important part of this trend. For more information on this, see our article “Democracy and the Palace of Europe.”

Daniel 11:40 About to Be Fulfilled

Inaugural Address: Decade of War Ending?

President Barack Obama took the oath of office for his second term on Monday. Standing before nearly 700,000 people, he placed his hand on two Bibles and pledged to guide America through an “uncertain” future.

President Obama: “We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully—not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.”

President Obama: “A decade of war is now ending.”

Despite what President Obama said, America’s war on terrorism remains far from victory. Radical Islam has spread farther than before the war on terrorism began. Iraq, Afghanistan and much of the Middle East bow to Iran—not democracy. America now retreats from war. Its foreign policy consists of nothing more than treaties and alliances. Yet history proves that war is never won by negotiation.

The Bible prophesied of the disappearance of America’s “man of war.” As President Obama calls more troops home, watch the countries we leave behind fall into the hands of our enemies.

To learn more, read “Why We Cannot Win the War Against Terrorism” by Gerald Flurry.

Cameron Pledges ‘In-Out’ Referendum on EU

British Prime Minister David Cameron offered Britons the vote to leave the European Union. The vote hinges on his party winning the next election, expected in 2015. Cameron spoke in central London on Wednesday, saying Britons should have a say in their EU status.

Cameron said, “[W]e will give the British people a referendum with a very simple in or out choice. To stay in the EU on these new terms; or come out altogether.”

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Cameron was trying to change the rules of the game mid match. He warned that a British withdrawal from the EU spelled danger for both the bloc and Britain. The possibility of a referendum is expected to further rattle business leaders and frustrate EU member states trying to stem the eurozone debt crisis.

Fabius told British businessmen recently that if Britain wants to leave Europe, France would, quote, “roll out the red carpet for you.”

Herbert W. Armstrong prophesied for decades of a German-led United States of Europe comprised of 10 nations or groups of nations. He also forecast Britain’s exit from this union.

In 1956, Mr. Armstrong said, “The stage is all set! All that’s lacking now is the strong leader—the coming führer! The Germans are coming back from the destruction of World War II in breathtaking manner. Germany is the economic and military heart of Europe. Probably Germany will lead and dominate the coming United States of Europe. But Britain will be no part of it!”

Sorry, Mr. Cameron, the ‘Europe Question’ Is Not Going Away

Sorry, Mr. Cameron, the ‘Europe Question’ Is Not Going Away

Reuters/SUZANNE PLUNKETT

Chances are, Britain’s place in Europe will be decided long before 2017.

After months of promises, Prime Minister David Cameron delivered his keynote address on Britain’s future with the European Union on Wednesday. The speech was deft and nimble, smartly created to placate both Euroskeptics and Europhiles—and to buy time. It was, by virtually all reports, a smashing success.

Britain’s swelling anti-Europe movement will get the opportunity to vote the United Kingdom out of the EU in a straightforward “in/out” referendum. However, the referendum will take place only after Britain has renegotiated a new relationship with the EU. This gives the Europhiles the opportunity to concoct an agreement with Brussels that is palatable to Britain’s public. In short, an in/out referendum will happen, but not till 2017.

And there’s the rub.

This world, particularly Europe, is so fragile, so uncertain and volatile—financially, politically, socially, you name it—it’s impossible to plan five months ahead, let alone five years!

Mr. Cameron delivered his speech with such authority and confidence, as if he’s in total control of the United Kingdom’s future with Europe. To be sure, a leader must project sureness and authority, and responsible governments do plan long-term. But the world is undergoing historic challenges and momentous changes right now. In particular, Europe’s political and financial landscape is rapidly transforming. The Continent, as Trumpet columnist Ron Fraser recently wrote, will look radically different by the end of 2013.

Chances are, the question of the United Kingdom’s future in Europe will be decided not in 2017, but this year!

Perhaps the most significant issue that will have bearing on Britain’s relationship with Europe is the financial crisis, which is far from over. Paolo Manasse, professor of macroeconomics at the University of Bologna, wrote recently, “Despite apparent calm on the financial markets, no illusions that the storm is ending soon should be entertained. Indeed, we may well be in the eye of the hurricane.”

Don’t listen to European leaders proclaiming that the crisis is finished. Their words are hollow. Many of Europe’s economies continue to shrink. Unemployment in many countries is dangerously high and still rising. In Spain, the unemployment rate of under-25s is now 60 percent! Debt, national and private, looms ominously over prospects of new growth. The euro remains on its deathbed. “The longer-term prospects for the survival of the euro not only are not improving, they are actually getting worse,” concluded Manasse. This crisis will radically change the way Europe looks and operates, financially and politically.

Not in three or four years’ time, but within weeks and months!

“How this will end is anybody’s guess but it is hard to believe it can go on for five more years because the ruling parties of the victim nations [mostly southern states] are losing legitimacy month by month,” wrote the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard this week. The crisis is spreading to northern Europe too, “where bailout fatigue is turning into something deeper,” he wrote. “The Dutch Freedom Party is already demanding a referendum in The Netherlands, and premier Mark Rutte has to deal with a euroskeptic electorate that is not so vastly different from UK voters these days.”

This crisis will have massive consequences for Britain. Each week, European nations draw closer to making a decisive choice: Abandon the euro and let the dream of European unity die, or surrender more national sovereignty and integrate further. The way events are moving, it’s clear Europe, or at least a significant contingent of states, is choosing the latter. Under Germany’s direction, a tighter, more integrated, more federalist and controlling entity is emerging. Meanwhile, Mr. Cameron has promised to renegotiate the treaty to make Britain more independent.

This country is on course for a messy and painful clash with Germany and the EU!

“The United Kingdom’s push to renegotiate its status in the European Union threatens the European project,” wrote Stratfor analyst Adriano Bosoni this week. “At no other time has a country tried to dissociate itself from the bloc in this way. The decision not only challenges the Franco-German view of the European Union but also makes a compromise extremely difficult and risky between France and Germany and the United Kingdom.” If Mr. Cameron is to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with Brussels and somehow persuade Germany and the EU to relinquish power back to Britain, he’s going need a Red Sea-sized miracle.

Sadly, miracles of this magnitude stopped happening to Britain many years ago.

The reality is, by demanding the renegotiation of the United Kingdom’s relationship with the EU, Mr. Cameron has made Britain as large a threat to the future of the EU as the financial crisis is. Think about it: How can Europe integrate further with one of its largest and most influential member states demanding more independence? What if other EU states demand similar concessions? Or want to hold referendums? Depending on the extent of the changes Mr. Cameron demands—and they’ll have to be serious and significant to mollify Britain’s public—the renegotiation of London’s relationship with Brussels threatens to unravel the entire European project.

By announcing a referendum five years from now, Mr. Cameron hopes he bought himself time and chance. Time to renegotiate a new, more palatable relationship with Europe, and a chance for the “Europe question” to quiet down, at least for a year or two. It appears many of his political counterparts, both allies and opponents, are content and will leave the subject alone for now. Even Fleet Street, for the most part, looks as if it will oblige.

The problem is there are too many circumstances beyond Mr. Cameron’s control. World events, and events in Europe in particular, are chaotic and uncertain, and moving extremely fast and dangerously. The financial crisis is transforming the Continent, historic changes are already afoot. Britain wants independence and distance, Germany and others want further integration, and more power and influence given to a centralized European government. It’s a recipe for tension and conflict. Try as he may, there’s no way Mr. Cameron can get around this reality.

As the Trumpet has explained for years, using Bible prophecy as our guide, Britain will leave or be cast out of the EU, and more than likely, much sooner than 2017.

Coup Attempt Reveals Eritrea’s Instability

Coup Attempt Reveals Eritrea’s Instability

PETER BUSOMOKE/AFP/Getty Images

The short-lived tumult carries deep implications for Iran’s desire to lock down the Middle East.

Dissident Eritrean soldiers seized the country’s Ministry of Information on Monday, and briefly took over its state-run television service in an apparent attempt to overthrow the government. Though the attempt ultimately failed, it indicates the instability permeating the small nation, and sheds light on its future direction.

The dissidents—around 200 soldiers backed by tanks—demanded the release of thousands of political prisoners, in a signal of the deepening rift between some elements of the military and the nation’s president, Isaias Afewerki.

In the aftermath of the attempt, Afewerki downplayed it, saying it was not actually an effort to overthrow his regime. But tensions between political groups and religions continue to intensify in the nation that is split almost 50-50 between Muslims and Christians. On Thursday, for example, government officials arrested the leaders of 10 Christian churches.

These rising tensions—added to the fact that Afewerki’s health is rapidly failing—mean that Eritrea will likely experience a transition of power in the near future.

This transition will present an opportunity for Iran to expand its power in the region, and, more specifically, its influence around the Red Sea. The Trumpet has long predicted that Iran-led radical Islam would come to dominate the entire Red Sea. With Egypt now firmly embedded in the radical Islamist camp, the Suez Canal portion of this control is already solidifying. In July of last year we explained what to watch for next: “Iran … already controls the Strait of Hormuz, and with the radicalization of Egypt now in full swing, you can be sure its sights are set on the Suez Canal as well. Throw in Eritrea and eventually Ethiopia, and Iran will have devoured the Red Sea. When that happens … Iran will then have the power and resources to lock down virtually the entire Middle East!”

In August, we wrote: “Pay attention to … Eritrea! Tehran will not resist the opportunity to exploit to its advantage the growing social and political uncertainty—as well as the Islamist dissatisfaction and potential uprising.”

A number of factors contribute to this growing unrest in Eritrea:

  • Almost half of the population lives below the poverty line.
  • The majority of the nation’s working population wears a uniform (Eritrea has more soldiers per person than any nation except for North Korea).
  • It is among the chief sponsors of the Islamist al-Shabaab militia.
  • An increasingly youthful population is dissatisfied with shrinking job opportunities.
  • Torture and summary executions are carried out routinely.
  • Transparency International ranks Eritrea among the world’s most corrupt nations.
  • Eritrea is in Iran’s crosshairs because of its instability and because it occupies a strategic strip of terrain at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden, which is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Monday’s attempted coup shows that social and political upheaval is on the rise in the nation, and, whether directly or through its influence over Egypt, Iran is sure to exploit this turmoil to obtain control over Eritrea and that vital shipping lane.

    To understand more about the rapid Islamization of the Middle East and parts of Africa—and how it will affect your life—download our online booklet Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy.