September 25 - October 1, 2006 
 Weekly News In Review
 Vol 1, Issue 59
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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.

 September 21, 2006 - UN Chief Warns of Global War Over Religion, Says Only UN can Solve World's Problems
 Article: Wars and Rumors of Wars

By John-Henry Westen

NEW YORK, September 21, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On Tuesday, Secretary General Kofi Annan delivered his final address to the United Nations General Assembly before he retires at the end of the year. During the speech, which comes on the heels of the media-generated controversy regarding Pope Benedict XVI's quoting of a text on Islam, Annan said, "insensitivity towards other people's beliefs or sacred symbols -- intentional or otherwise -- is seized upon by those who seem eager to foment a new war of religion on a global scale."

"Moreover, this climate of fear and suspicion is constantly refuelled by the violence in the Middle East", he said, adding: "We might like to think of the Arab-Israeli conflict as just one regional conflict amongst many. But it is not. No other conflict carries such a powerful symbolic and emotional charge among people far removed from the battlefield."

Annan sees the United Nations as the only solution to the world's woes. "Yes, I remain convinced that the only answer to this divided world must be a truly United Nations", he said.

Read More ... 

 September 23, 2006 - Greek Police Recover 'Miracle' Icon
 Article: Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days


Associated Press Writer

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Police have recovered a revered religious icon that was stolen from a monastery in southern Greece, after an intense five-week investigation, authorities said Saturday.

The 700-year-old icon of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus, credited with having healing powers and performing miracles, was stolen Aug. 18 from a cliff-top convent near the town of Leonidio, some 185 miles southwest of Athens.

On Friday, police announced the arrest in Athens of a Romanian man, who confessed to the theft on Saturday morning. The 28- year-old suspect was arrested after he attempted, through a telephone call, to sell the 14th-century icon to a local bishop near Leonidio for $1.28 million.

...He organized the theft himself and tried to sell the icon,'' Greek police chief Anastasios Dimoschakis said. ``This icon is a priceless work of religious art and invaluable not just to local residents but to all Christians ... it was a matter of honor for us to find the icon and the culprits.''

Every year, thousands of pilgrims visit the Byzantine-style icon, which measures 16-by-20 inches.

Read More .... 

 September 25, 2006 - Assad: I want peace with Israel, but failure may lead to war
 Article: Israel and the Last Days

By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service and Reuters

Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview published Sunday that he hopes to achieve peace with Israel, but cautioned that a Middle East deadlocked in conflict could end up in war.

Asked what he thought of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for Israel to wiped off the map, Assad said Syria wanted peace with Israel, not to see it destroyed.

"But my personal opinion, my hopes for peace, could one day change. And if this hope disappears, then war may really be the only solution," Assad told German magazine Der Spiegel.

...Defense Minister Amir Peretz also commented on Assad's statement, saying "the State of Israel is prepared for any threat and will be prepared to respond to any provocation on Syria's part."

Peretz also said that the Syrian president's militaristic statements are highly inconsistent with calls for peace. Peretz said if the Syrian president wants to prove he has true intentions for peace, he should stop backing (Palestinian terrorist) Khaled Meshal and halt arms shipments to Hezbollah.

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 September 25, 2006 - Mexican president says he will thank Virgin of Guadalupe for allowing him to govern
 Article: Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days

President Vicente Fox, a staunch Roman Catholic, said Monday he would go to Mexico City's basilica to thank the Virgin of Guadalupe for allowing him to govern the country for six years.

Fox, who has sparked widespread criticism in the past for using religious symbols and publicly advocating his faith, said he would go to the Basilica of Guadalupe on Nov. 30 at 10 p.m. "to thank the Virgin of Guadalupe for giving me the opportunity to serve a country so marvelous, so full of values."

Fox, who made his comments during a visit to his home state of Guanajuato, went to the basilica on Dec. 1, 2000, the day he took office, to ask for the virgin's help in his upcoming term.

Fox also was criticized for kissing the ring of the late Pope John Paul II during the pontiff's visit to Mexico in 2002.

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 September 28, 2006 - Military Intelligence: Syrian Front Now Cause for Concern
 Article: Israel and the Last Days

Changing its long-time assessment regarding the Syrian threat, military intelligence now believes Damascus might launch a military action against Israel.

For the first time in many years, IDF intelligence officials are signaling concern that President Bashar al-Assad's administration may be contemplating a military offensive across Israel's northeastern border. Officials emphasize that though Syria has not taken any operational steps towards a military action, the situation cannot be ignored.

Meanwhile, Knesset Speaker MK Dalia Itzik (Kadima) says Israel must "not miss the opportunity" to enter into dialogue with Syria. Itzik insists that Assad has repeatedly exhibited a willingness to enter into negotiations with Israel, and that if Jerusalem turns her back on such statements, the opportunity for dialogue could be lost forever.

Peres: The Syrian Administration Opposes Peace

Vice Premier Shimon Peres, currently in London, stated that Bashar al-Assad is providing refuge for a wanted terrorist - Hamas politburo leader Khaled Meshal. It is Meshal who is preventing the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit, Peres explained, adding that even the PA (Palestinian Authority) Hamas-led administration wishes to release Shalit at this point.

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 September 28, 2006 - Pope urges religious tolerance, openness to others
 Article: Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Still under a cloud for recent remarks about Islam, Pope Benedict called on Thursday for tolerance of other religions and cultures and said a rebirth of faith could help foster this openness in western countries.

The German Pontiff told Berlin's new ambassador to the Vatican that the Roman Catholic Church would never force anyone to accept the teachings of Jesus Christ.

..."Tolerance and cultural openness must characterize meetings with other people," he told Ambassador Hans-Henning Horstmann, who was presenting his credentials at the papal summer residence at Castelgandolfo, south of Rome.

...Quoting a sermon he gave during his recent trip to Bavaria, Benedict said the world needed a tolerance "that includes reverence for God, a reverence for what is sacred to others."

"This reverence can only be regenerated in the Western world if belief in God grows again," he added.

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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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