August 14 - 27, 2006 
 Weekly News In Review
 Vol 1, Issue 56
In This Issue
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The Weekly News In Review Newsletter is a compilation of the news articles that have appeared on the Understand The Times website during the previous week.

 August 15, 2006 - Pope: to Mary, Queen of peace, I entrust anxieties of world rent by violence
 Article: Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days

The feast of the Assumption of Mary, a "certain sign of our hope", is an opportunity to entrust to the "Queen of Heaven" the "anxieties of mankind for all places in the world rent by violence". In his reflection before the Angelus, Benedict XVI recalled the Holy Land, Iraq and Sri Lanka. But he mentioned especially Lebanon and Israel, where masses were being celebrated at the same time at the Shrine of Harissa on Mount Lebanon and at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. The pope said: "We unite with our brothers and sisters who at this very moment are gathered in the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa for a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who went to Lebanon as my special envoy to take comfort and concrete solidarity to all victims of the conflict and to pray for the great intention of peace."

And referring to all the ethnic and religious tensions and conflict prevailing in such situations, he said: "May Mary obtain for all sentiments of understanding, a will to agree and a desire for harmony!"

Moreover, said the pope, the feast of the Assumption is the feast in which Christians discern a "certain sign" of hope.

"Mary encourages us not to lose faith in the face of the difficulties and inevitable problems of daily life," continued Benedict XVI. "She assures us of her help and reminds us that the essential thing is to seek and to think 'of things that are above, not of things that are on earth'"

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 August 19, 2006 - Thieves steal "Miracle" icon
 Article: Experience Based Christianity

Police on Saturday set up roadblocks and launched helicopter searches for thieves who scaled a cliff and stole a 700-year-old religious icon from a monastery in southern Greece.

The Icon of The Virgin Mary, which is credited with miracles, was reported missing Friday at the Orthodox Christian monastery of Elona, near the town of Leonidio, about 300 kilometers (185 miles) southwest of Athens.

"This is the worst thing that could happen to us, our church and our religion," said Metropolitan Bishop Alexandros of Mantineia and Kynouria.

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 August 20, 2006 - Revealed: world's oldest computer
 Article: Creation/Evolution - Misc.

It looks like a heap of rubbish, feels like flaky pastry and has been linked to aliens. For decades, scientists have puzzled over the complex collection of cogs, wheels and dials seen as the most sophisticated object from antiquity, writes Helena Smith. But 102 years after the discovery of the calcium-encrusted bronze mechanism on the ocean floor, hidden inscriptions show that it is the world's oldest computer, used to map the motions of the sun, moon and planets.

'We're very close to unlocking the secrets,' says Xenophon Moussas,an astrophysicist with a Anglo-Greek team researching the device. 'It's like a puzzle concerning astronomical and mathematical knowledge.'

Known as the Antikythera mechanism and made before the birth of Christ, the instrument was found by sponge divers amid the wreckage of a cargo ship that sunk off the tiny island of Antikythera in 80BC. To date, no other appears to have survived.

'Bronze objects like these would have been recycled, but being in deep water it was out of reach of the scrap-man and we had the luck to discover it,' said Michael Wright, a former curator at London's Science Museum. He said the apparatus was the best proof yet of how technologically advanced the ancients were. 'The skill with which it was made shows a level of instrument-making not surpassed until the Renaissance. It really is the first hard evidence of their interest in mechanical gadgets, ability to make them and the preparedness of somebody to pay for them.'

But many experts say it could change how the history of science is written. 'In many ways, it was the first analogue computer,' said Professor Theodosios Tassios of the National Technical University of Athens. 'It will change the way we look at the ancients' technological achievements.'

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 August 22, 2006 - North Korea threatens attack due to war drills
 Article: Wars and Rumors of Wars

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it was considering a pre-emptive attack to counter a U.S.- South Korean joint military training drill that Pyongyang sees as a "war action," its official media reported on Tuesday.

In its official media, North Korea said the drills were "an undisguised military threat and blackmail against the DPRK (North Korea) and a war action."

The drills were a violation of the truce that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War, it said.

...The annual exercise has been held without incident since they began in 1975 and the North usually brands them as a prelude to invasion and nuclear war.

But the drills this year are being held with tensions high on the peninsula after North Korea test-fired a barrage of missiles on July 5 and reports last week it may preparing to test a nuclear weapon.

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 August 22, 2006 - Perfumed water from Virgin Mary statue
 Article: Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days

Hundreds of devotees belonging to various religious faiths thronged a house in a village near Kochi in Kerala after reports said perfumed water was dripping from the statue of Virgin Mary. It is true. I touched the water that is dripping from the statue. "It is true. It is a miracle from Mother Mary," Alexander Jacob, a shopkeeper who went to the house told reporters.

He said hundreds of people have gathered to witness "the miracle".

According to reports, the "miracle" began on Monday evening, when water began dripping down from the statue stationed in a Catholic family's house at Velli village.

The house members alerted the neighbours and as the news spread a large number of people gathered in to pray before the statue.

People are bringing their rosaries and touching the statue with the same, those who witnessed it said, claiming it as a miracle.

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 August 21, 2006 - Hezbollah rearming, returning to positions
 Article: Israel and the Last Days

By Aaron Klein
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

JERUSALEM - Hezbollah has returned to many of its strongholds in south Lebanon and is capable of launching another round of attacks against the Jewish state, Israeli and Lebanese officials tell WorldNetDaily.

The statements follow scores of reports Iran and Syria are attempting to rearm Hezbollah one week after a cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon went into effect following 34 days of confrontations that began when Lebanese militia ambushed an Israeli patrol unit, kidnapping two soldiers and killing eight others.

"Hezbollah has undoubtedly returned to their positions," Walid Jumblatt, Lebanon's Druze leader and head of the country's Progressive Socialist Party, told WND. "They were victorious against Israel and now they are regrouping for another round, which is inevitable."

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 August 11, 2006 - Indian judges OK 'Hindu Taliban' - Police given unlimited power to jail those talking of Christ
 Article: Perilous Times

The Supreme Court in India has given police across the nation unlimited power to arrest and detain anyone who has been accused of talking to another person about Christianity...

Hindutya is a militant Hinduism that seeks political and religious dominance.

"Nuns, pastors, bishops and evangelists, as well as Christian aid workers, teachers and social workers, are all immediately at risk of arrest and imprisonment because of their Christian witness," Kendall's report said...

"In fact, every Christian, actively witnessing or not, is at risk from hostile elements that may exploit the opportunity to bring false charges against them, inspired by a variety of motives, in the same manner that the blasphemy law is exploited for personal gain in Pakistan," Kendall wrote.

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 August 21, 2006 - Company trying to get under soldiers' skin
 Article: Technology for a Global Monetary System

WASHINGTON - A microchip company with powerful political connections is lobbying the Pentagon for the right to implant chips under the skins of the nearly 1.4 million U.S. military personnel...

Now the company is "in discussions" with the Pentagon, spokeswoman Nicole Philbin said. She added that VeriChip wants to insert the chips under the skin of the right arms of U.S. servicemen and servicewomen. The idea is to be able to scan an arm and obtain that person's identity and medical history.

"The potential for this technology doesn't just stop at the civilian level," Philbin said.

VeriChip hopes that the chips will replace the metal dog tags that have been worn by U.S. military personnel since 1906.

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 August 23, 2006 - Interreligious Meeting Planned in Assisi
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Misc.

Twenty years after the World Day of Prayer for Peace, the Italian city of Assisi will again be a point of interreligious meeting and prayer on Sept. 4-5.

The World Day that Pope John Paul II convoked in St. Francis' city in October 1986 was unprecedented. It saw, gathered alongside the Pontiff, representatives of the great world religions, from the Dalai Lama to the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury.

A process got under way there, which the Community of Sant'Egidio took especially to heart, engendering in turn the International Encounters of Religions.

These meetings have progressed, year after year, across Italy's main cities and European capitals -- and recently Washington, D.C. -- offering an opportunity for dialogue and for religious differences to be surmounted.

The theme of the next interreligious world meeting and of the day of prayer for peace, which the Sant'Egidio Community and the Umbrian bishops' conference are promoting, is "Religions and Cultures in Dialogue for a World of Peace."

The Rome-based ecclesial movement explained that "At a time marked by terrorism and war, as well as by efforts toward dialogue and reconciliation, religion has assumed a prominent role in public life and in the conflict of identities. Religions are ever more exposed to the danger of becoming instruments of extremism."

Therefore, from Assisi, the reflection of the world's great religions on dialogue between cultures will be highlighted as key to defuse the conflict of civilizations and to provide an axis of a globalization that is not merely market-driven.

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 August 21, 2006 - On Benedict XVI and Ecumenism
 Article: Ecumenical Movement - Protestants Uniting With Roman Catholics

Interview With Professor Manuel González

CORDOBA, Spain, AUG. 21, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI's pontificate has been "intensely ecumenical," says a professor who specializes in ecumenism.
Manuel González Muñana, professor of ecumenism at the San Pelagio Seminary in Cordoba, is author of "Ecumenismo y Nuevos Movimientos Eclesiales" (Ecumenism and New Ecclesial Movements), recently published by Monte Carmelo.

In this interview, the author points out how the new ecclesial movements are committed, at various levels, to the promotion of Christian unity.

...Q: Do you think it is evident that Benedict XVI is an ecumenical Pontiff? What do you expect from him, ecumenically speaking?
González: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's election as Pope is an enormous gift of God to the Church at this time.

His close to two years of pontificate, one can say without the fear of being mistaken, have been two intensely ecumenical years with Orthodox, Lutherans, Protestants and Anglicans; they have been so habitual, that they are a strong appeal for Christian unity to many consciences which are somewhat inactive ecumenically.

Along with many other ecumenists, I hope that, in the course of his pontificate, the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, will make an important ecumenical decision, given that ecumenism, which progresses at a good pace at theological levels, needs, as I see it, at the more popular levels, a salutary shock that will have a positive impact.

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 August 24, 2006 - Holy shell? Family sees Mary's image on turtle
 Article: Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days

BY DAN LAVOIE Daily Southtown

She has appeared on a grilled cheese. Then, a highway underpass.

Now, behold, the Virgin Mary has descended upon the belly of a Burbank pet turtle.

In a shallow plastic tank on Lotus Drive, the chocolate brown vision beams from the pink gut of a sand turtle named Mary.

...McVane shouldn't be expecting a visit from her priest to bless her turtle, though. The Archdiocese of Chicago doesn't typically send out investigators to debunk or authenticate such sightings, spokeswoman Dianne Dunagan said.

"If something like that causes people to think about God and pray, that's a good thing," Dunagan said. "Time usually takes care of these things. If it gets to the point where people are flocking to this thing, the church will call in experts. If people forget about it, it may just fade away."

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 August 16, 2006 - Turkey builds ties to Arab countries
 Article: Wars and Rumors of Wars

By Andrew Borowiec

NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Turkey's moves to increase economic ties with the Persian Gulf countries are seen by diplomats as yet another indication of Ankara's waning enthusiasm for the European Union.

Some Turkish analysts feel that in view of the slow pace of accession talks with the European Union, Turkey's interests would be better served by improved relations with the Arab countries of the Middle East, an area for centuries ruled by Ottoman sultans.

At the same time, diplomats in Ankara and Athens discern a low ebb in Turkey's relations with the United States, attributed to Turkish opposition to U.S. policies in Iraq and Washington's unconditional support for Israel during the war against Hezbollah guerrillas. "U.S.-Turkish alliance is crumbling," Kathimerini, a conservative Greek daily, headlined recently.

...At this time, however, Turkey's political and economic attention is centering on the Arab world, particularly after a three-day visit last week by Saudi King Abdullah and the announcement by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of plans to double trade with the Saudi kingdom.

UTT Note: In order for the Gog/Magog war of Ezekiel 38 & 39 to play out (see map), Turkey (Meshech) must be alligned with Russia and the Arab world, rather than with the EU. Could this article point to an allignment of Turkey with the Arab world? Keep a close watch on Turkey.

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 August 28, 2006 - Pope prepares to embrace theory of intelligent design
 Article: Creation - Evolution Debate

Philosophers, scientists and other intellectuals close to Pope Benedict will gather at his summer palace outside Rome this week for intensive discussions that could herald a fundamental shift in the Vatican's view of evolution.

There have been growing signs the Pope is considering aligning his church more closely with the theory of "intelligent design" taught in some US states. Advocates of the theory argue that some features of the universe and nature are so complex that they must have been designed by a higher intelligence. Critics say it is a disguise for creationism.

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We hope the Weekly News In Review has been a blessing to you.

In Jesus,
Roger Oakland

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