This Week in the News

German Minister Sees Hope of ‘Soft’ Brexit—But That Won’t Happen

The Associated Press wrote on June 18, 2017:

“German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Sunday’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper that ‘maybe there is now a chance to achieve a so-called “soft Brexit.”’ But he said staying in the single market would require Britain to accept EU workers’ freedom of movement. It also would have to accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice

“For many Brexit advocates, those conditions would be impossible to accept

“[Gabriel] criticized May’s Conservatives, saying that they ‘played with the emotions of citizens in Britain, told fake news about Europe and left people unclear about what consequences this would all have.’ Referring to the ‘difficult, even impossible situation’ created by the indecisive election, he added: ‘Here, those who created such chaos would have long since gone.’ ‘We will negotiate fairly,’ Gabriel was quoted as saying. ‘And fair means that we want to keep the British as close as possible to the EU — but never at the price that we divide the remaining 27 EU states.’”

On June 12, BBC explained the distinction between “hard Brexit” and “soft Brexit,” as follows:

“… they generally refer to the closeness of the UK’s relationship with the EU, post-Brexit. So at one extreme, ‘hard’ (or ‘clean’) Brexit could involve quitting without a deal in place. This would mean no compromise on issues like the free movement of people, leaving the EU single market and trading with the EU as if it were any other country outside Europe… the UK and EU would probably apply tariffs and other trade restrictions on each other. At the other end of the scale, a ‘soft’ Brexit could involve keeping close ties with the EU, possibly through some form of membership of the European Union single market, in return for a degree of free movement.”

It appears that Mr. Gabriel was referring to “soft Brexit” in this way, suggesting that Britain might stay as a member of the EU single market (but not as a member of the EU). It is not foreseeable that such a soft Brexit will occur. The Brexit HAD to happen to fulfill biblical prophecy. And with the Brexit will come an ongoing deteriorating relationship between Europe and the UK.

In this light, the Telegraph wrote on June 18:

“The Chancellor has dismissed speculation the UK could pursue a soft Brexit and remain part of the EU’s customs union and the single market. There have been rumours that Philip Hammond, who backed the remain camp during last year’s EU referendum, will use Theresa May’s weakened authority… to water-down [May’s] Brexit stance. Last week in Luxembourg, he failed to confirm that Britain would depart the single market despite being asked twice by reporters whether the country would stay or go.

“However, the chancellor has now moved to quash speculation that he would push Mrs May to abandon her plan for a hard Brexit… ‘We’re leaving the EU, and because we’re leaving the EU we will be leaving the single market and by, the way, we’ll be leaving the customs union,’ Mr Hammond told the [BBC]…”

Brexit’s First Day of “Negotiation”

Express wrote on June 19:

“Michel Barnier tonight warned Britain he is in no mood to make concessions during the Brexit talks, saying the UK would have to pay the ‘substantial consequences’ of its decision to leave the EU. The usually cool-headed Frenchman showed flashes of anger as he was asked what concessions he had been prepared to make to his British counterpart David Davis during a frantic opening day of talks [on June 19].

“In response Mr Barnier, who is the EU’s chief negotiator, launched into a furious tirade against the Brexit decision… His outburst came at the end of an evening press conference… he warned the UK against expecting some kind of special status outside the EU, saying it would be in the same position as any other third country looking for ties with Brussels… His forceful defence of the EU’s unshakeable negotiating position provided an early demonstration of the monumental task facing Mr Davis…”

The Local added on June 22:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that the EU’s future took priority over Brexit talks, in a rebuke to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to bring the negotiations up at a Brussels summit. ‘For me, the future of the (remaining) 27 member states comes before the exit negotiations with Great Britain’ said Merkel, Europe’s most influential leader, as she arrived for the two-day meeting.”

The Queen’s Speech

Breitbart wrote on June 21:

“Queen Elizabeth II has announced the Government’s two-year legislative programme, with Brexit at its heart. Many contentious policies… to have been dropped…  Instead, the speech put efforts to secure the ‘best possible deal as we leave the European Union’…

“Whilst the Government hopes to establish a ‘deep and special partnership with European allies’, it appears to have committed to leaving the EU’s Customs Union and Single Market, in order to pursue an ‘independent trade policy’

“Potentially controversial plans to make Britain ‘the safest place to be online’ with a new ‘digital charter’ were also confirmed, with concerns that heavy regulation of the Internet will undermine personal freedom and expression…

“Curiously, whilst a state visit by the Spanish royal family was announced, there was no mention of one for U.S. President Donald Trump, previously thought to have been all but a done deal following the prime minister’s own visit to Washington, D.C…”

The Death of Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl

The Guardian wrote on June 17:

“Helmut Kohl, who died on Friday aged 87, was one of a trio of dominant western conservative politicians – along with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher – whose determined ideological and practical opposition to the Soviet Union helped lead in the closing months of 1989 to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent end of the cold war that had gripped Europe since 1945.

“But despite his reputation as a hardliner and his achievement as Germany’s longest-serving chancellor since Bismarck, Kohl… freely admitted… that he did not foresee the sudden Soviet implosion and was as surprised as anyone when it happened.

“The days when Europe was divided between east and west are hard to picture now. But a visitor to West Berlin in December 1988 was confronted by a grim reality…  watchtowers manned by armed East German border guards, snow falling on barbed-wire coils suspended over the river Spree, the forbidding no-man’s land of Checkpoint Charlie, and the burned-out Reichstag building silhouetted against an icy black sky…

Kohl rose to the occasion presented by East Germany’s collapse with a purposeful single-mindedness that shocked and alarmed many in the west, not least Margaret Thatcher. Kohl took literally the injunction in the West German constitution to restore the country’s unity… In a series of bold and rapid moves in 1990, he travelled to Moscow to seek President Mikhail Gorbachev’s acquiescence in German reunification, signed a fast-track economic and social union treaty with the East German leaders who had ousted Erich Honecker’s Communists, and with the help of his able foreign minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, won the backing of the US.

Kohl had luck on his side, too

“For her part, Thatcher remained opposed to reunification throughout, fearing that a resurgent, reviving Germany would once again dominate Europe. She was comprehensively out-manoeuvred by Kohl. But 25 years later, it could be said that Thatcher’s premonition has proved accurate… Reunification, ratified in September 1990, turned out to be an enormously costly business for both Germanys. The eastern states were poor, persecuted and polluted, while the taxes levied in western Germany to pay for the project, and accompanying westwards migration of jobless Ossis (East Germans), caused deep resentment in some sections of German society.

“The fact that Germany has ultimately proved able to afford this epic act of national reconstruction is attributable, in part at least, to Kohl’s other signal political achievement: the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 that brought the European Union into existence and paved the way for the creation of the euro currency. Whatever else they may have done, the EU and the euro (replacing the former, less politically integrated European Economic Community) gave Germany the markets and the means to produce a second German industrial and manufacturing miracle.

“In this ambitious vision for a united Europe, Kohl found a willing partner [in] François Mitterrand, France’s Socialist president. Both men remembered the bad old times. Both reasoned that Europe would only be safe and secure if its two leading powers and its most frequent antagonists, France and Germany, worked in tandem. For Kohl, such cooperation was at one with his instinct for peaceful reconciliation. Early in his second term as chancellor, in 1984, he shook hands with Mitterrand on the first world war battlefield at Verdun, as if to finally bring down the curtain on two world wars.

“In the same year he became the first German leader to address the Knesset in Israel. At the same time, he was not afraid to confront strength with strength, in facing down the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union. West Germany played a full part in the controversial 1980s US deployment of intermediate-range cruise and Pershing nuclear-tipped missiles in Europe, under the banner of Nato…

“And it was Kohl who was happy to play host to Reagan, the hawkish US leader, and sit with him on a platform near the Brandenburg Gate in divided Berlin in 1987 when Reagan issued his challenge: ‘Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’

“Kohl served as chancellor continuously from 1982 to 1998. He retired from public life in 2002. His later years were marred by a scandal over CDU party financing and the suicide, in 2001, of his popular wife, Hannelore. Until he suffered the first of a series of serious illnesses, he continued to air his views, and was sharply critical of Merkel’s pro-austerity policies in response to the global financial crisis. Kohl’s verdict was terse: ‘Die macht mir mein Europa kaputt’ (‘She’s destroying the Europe I built.’).”

World Leaders Mourn Loss of Helmut Kohl

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 17:

“World leaders are paying tribute to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl… The EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker said flags would fly at half-staff in Brussels to honor a ‘great European’ … as a tribute to the man who ‘filled the European house with life.’

“Former US President George H. W. Bush…  described Kohl as ‘a true friend of freedom,’ saying that he considered him ‘one of the greatest leaders in post-war Europe.’… Gorbachev, the last leader of the USSR, said Kohl was an ‘outstanding person’ whose impact on world history would stand the test of time…

“German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel… lauded [Kohl’s] legacy of helping Europe grow closer… German Chancellor Angela Merkel… described her mentor as a ‘stroke of luck’ for Germany… Russian President Vladimir Putin [described Kohl as] ‘one of the patriarchs of European and global politics.’

“French President Emmanuel Macron [praised] Kohl for paving the road to [a] ‘united Germany and German-French friendship’… [German] President Steinmeier said Kohl ‘was deeply convinced that Europe was our destiny’

“Merkel’s Social Democratic challenger in this year’s German federal election, Martin Schulz, said that…’Helmut Kohl was the chancellor of German reunification… Kohl’s vision of a European Germany… is a legacy to the German nation and to all of Europe.’…

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Kohl as a ‘friend of Israel’ who was ‘fully committed’ to the security of the Jewish state. British Prime Minister Theresa May called the German politician ‘a giant of European history.’…

“US President Donald Trump hailed the former German chancellor as a ‘friend and ally of the United States’…”

Helmut Kohl was the man of the hour for his time, bringing about German and European unification with a new currency, the euro. There was no “luck” involved, but this HAD to happen, and we can clearly see God’s hand in this to bring about the fulfillment of prophecy—the final revival of the ancient Roman Empire in continental Europe, under German leadership.

Massive Victory of Macron’s Party

AFP wrote on June 18:

“French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party won a massive [absolute] majority in parliamentary elections on Sunday, dominating the country’s traditional forces in a dramatic re-drawing of the political map… [giving] Macron one of France’s biggest post-war majorities, strengthening his hand in implementing his program of business-friendly reforms.

“… Just months ago, Macron was given little chance of becoming president, never mind controlling parliament, but he and the movement he founded 16 months ago have tapped into widespread desire for wholesale change. His party dominated France’s traditional parties, the right-wing Republicans and Socialists, but also the far-right National Front (FN) of Marine Le Pen — whom he defeated in the presidential run-off — which fell far short of its target…

“Despite the zest for political renewal, the vote failed to generate much excitement. Official statistics showed turnout at a near 60-year low, revealing a high degree of election fatigue after four votes in under two months.”

Mr. Macron is another interesting “surprise” figure who became president with a big majority in parliament for a reason… to help bring about stronger military EU unification and a Europe with two speeds.

Make Europe Great Again

Newsweek wrote on June 16:

“French President Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump don’t have many obvious parallels… But… Macron’s… plans for European trade have a distinctly protectionist flavor. You might even say he wants to ‘make Europe great again’ and ‘put Europe first.’… Macron is seeking… a Europe that ‘concentrates on major challenges and dares to defend its interests and values in the world.’

“Macron’s proposals include a ‘buy European act’ that would make it harder for non-EU companies to get public contracts in Europe…”

“German Defense Commissioner Vows: ‘In the End There Will Be a European Army’”

Breitbart wrote on June 20:

“As negotiations between Britain and the EU over Brexit get underway, a senior German politician has declared that a ‘European Army’ is inevitable. Hans-Peter Bartels, the parliamentary commissioner for the Armed Forces, insisted: ‘In the end, there will be a European Army.’ Bartel alleged the age-old system of national armies accountable to national governments was ‘disorganised, technically fragmented and duplicate structures unnecessarily’.

“He added: ‘Every step in the right direction [towards an EU army] is important.’ Bartel’s comments follow European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announcing a European Defence Action Plan, amongst other measures to deepen EU military integration…”

Indeed, a mighty and powerful European army is inevitable, as it is clearly prophesied to occur in the near future.

Germany and Austria Blast New US Sanctions on Russia

AFP wrote on June 16:

“Germany on Friday lashed out at Washington over new sanctions against Russia… The new penalties, approved by the US Senate on Thursday, include a paragraph that threatens to penalise European companies that push ahead with energy export programmes with Russia. Those include the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which would pump Russian gas under the Baltic Sea directly to Germany.

“‘It is strange that in the sanctioning of Russia’s behaviour, with regards to the US elections for instance, that the European economy should become a target of American sanctions. That must not happen,’ said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert. He added that Merkel shared the concerns raised by Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern who charged in a joint statement Thursday that the measure brings a ‘completely new and entirely negative quality to European-US relations’.

“In a hard-hitting statement, the German and Austrian said they ‘cannot accept the threat of extra-territorial sanctions against European companies that participate in the expansion of European energy supplies’, adding that this would ‘violate international law.’”

“They accused Washington of using the sanctions to squeeze Russian gas supplies out of Europe in favour of US energy exports… ‘Political sanctions should not be mixed up with economic interests,’ they warned, stressing that ‘Europe’s energy supply is Europe’s business and not that of the United States’. ‘We decide who delivers energy to us and how, according to rules of openness and economic competitiveness,’ said Gabriel and Kern.

“The bill as originally introduced was exclusively about slapping new sanctions on Iran. But lawmakers attached a bipartisan amendment on Russia to it early this week. The addition came with the White House deeply embroiled in crisis over whether Trump’s campaign team colluded with a Russian effort to sway the 2016 election…”

Insofar as a criminal investigation against Mr. Trump regarding obstruction of justice is concerned, there have been conflicting reports. After the Washington Post reported that Mr. Trump was under investigation, Mr. Trump admitted the same on Twitter, but subsequently one of his personal attorneys denied the same in several rambling and quite hostile TV interviews. However, in the course of the interviews, he kept contradicting himself, by first admitting that an investigation had begun, and then subsequently denying it, while finally saying that he had not been “informed” that an investigation was being conducted. In addition, ABC claimed that special prosecutor Robert Mueller had not yet started a full-scale investigation, but that he had begun some preliminary planning. Both the Washington Post and ABC backed up their stories through “anonymous sources.”

Much more importantly, not a week or maybe even a day goes by when disagreements don’t surface between Europe, under Germany leadership, and the USA under Mr. Trump. As we have been pointing out, Mr. Trump came to power, not as an accident, but because of God’s hand… to contribute to the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy of destroying the USA from the outside and domestically.

Syrian War Could Escalate

The Hill wrote on June 20:

“The United States is inching closer to involvement in the Syrian civil war after U.S. forces shot down a Syrian fighter jet on Sunday… it carries the potential for further escalation — particularly with Russia threatening to target U.S. aircraft that fly into parts of Syria. It was the first time the United States has shot down a Syrian plane, and the first time a U.S. military jet has shot down any manned aircraft since 1999.

“On Monday, Russia responded by saying its surface-to-air missile systems in Syria would begin to track [and shoot down] manned and unmanned aircraft from the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition if they go west of the Euphrates River… Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria, said there is real danger to the U.S. as tensions flare.

“… experts worry about the U.S. military attacking pro-Assad forces without a larger Syria strategy from President Trump.”

Why is America Meddling in Syria?

The Week wrote on June 20:

“Open conflict between Russia and the United States is heating up in Syria…

“An all-out nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia is one of the few things that could threaten human extinction. Hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, would be killed in the immediate attack, blowing the world economic system apart, and beginning what would probably be several years of nuclear winter, devastating agriculture. People might survive in remote locations — perhaps Australia and New Zealand — but it’s not at all guaranteed in such an extreme scenario. It would be the worst disaster in history, by several orders of magnitude…

“Ultimately a nuclear conflict would be the worst imaginable strategic outcome for both nations…

“So what are we doing in Syria to justify ratcheting up tensions with Russia?… In Syria there is not only no strategic threat, there is not even a realistic American objective of any kind…

“Remarkably, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson does seem to grasp the need for diplomacy, with the construction of a new diplomatic framework for handling tensions with Russia… But there is little sign Trump is even capable of paying attention to such things…

“In any event, it’s worth emphasizing that not only is America pouring money and lives down the drain in Syria for virtually no reason, we are also increasing the chance of extremely risky confrontation with Russia — during the presidency of the most inept person ever to hold the office. (The mind reels at the idea of this president attempting to navigate a serious diplomatic crisis.)

If Congress had any sense at all, they would be asserting their constitutional duty to oversee the use of military force — remember there has never been any congressional authorization of Syrian intervention— and liberals would be a bit more careful with anti-Russia diatribes.”

We know from biblical prophecy that no nuclear war will take place between Russia and the USA… but tragically, the USA and the UK WILL become targets of nuclear attacks, leading to their total destruction—and that from a power very few seem to be able to acknowledge and identify.

More American Confusion over Qatar

The Guardian wrote on June 20:

“The US state department has issued a stinging rebuke to Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies saying they had failed to come up with a justification for the embargo they imposed on Qatar earlier this month.

“The public and blunt criticism of Riyadh and the United Arab Emirates marked a sharp about-turn from Donald Trump’s wholehearted backing for the embargo, and his accusations of terrorist funding against Qatar. It follows an increasing pattern in which the state and defence departments have pursued policies abroad that are far removed from Trump’s rhetoric.

“‘Now that it has been more than two weeks since the embargo started, we are mystified that the Gulf states have not released to the Qataris, nor to the public, the details about the claims they are making toward Qatar,’ Heather Nauert, the state department spokeswoman said. ‘The more that time goes by, the more doubt is raised about the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE,’ she added. ‘At this point, we are left with one simple question: were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism? Or were they about the long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries?’

“Trump was feted by Saudi Arabia when he made Riyadh the destination of his first trip abroad as president, on 20 May. Riyadh declared its embargo on Qatar just over two weeks later and Trump made repeated statements in support of the move, appearing to take at face value Riyadh’s justification that it was to punish Doha for its backing of terrorist groups. In a tweet on June 6, Trump even appeared to claim credit for the blockade, suggesting it showed that his trip to Riyadh was ‘paying off.’ ‘The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level,’ Trump said in the Rose Garden three days later. ‘We have to stop the funding of terrorism.’

“But last week, the defence secretary, James Mattis, signed an arms deal in which the US sold Qatar 36 F-15 fighter planes, worth $12bn

“The Gulf dispute is just one of several issues on which the state and defence departments appear to follow a different tack from the president. The divergence is particularly evident in matters connected to Russia. Tillerson and Mattis, supported by most congressional Republicans, have insisted sanctions on Russia for its military intervention in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, remain in place until the Kremlin withdraws its forces. Trump has quietly sought to have the sanctions lifted.”

The Trump Administration manifests a picture of total and utterly hopeless confusion, inconsistency and apparent in-fighting in high places. America’s allies must be bewildered, and America’s enemies must be cheering.

“Trump Betraying All His Health Care Promises BIGGEST SCANDAL of All”

Vox wrote on June 16:

“Candidate Trump… was going to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security from cuts and replace the Affordable Care Act with a ‘terrific’ new system that would ‘cover everyone’ and offer the lower premiums and deductibles the American people wanted… The only problem is that it’s all lies. Trump’s health care plan doesn’t protect Medicaid, it loots it to finance hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts. The new ‘flexibility’ it gives to states will ensure that the most vulnerable are the most hurt. In addition to slashing the Medicaid rolls by millions, the Trump health care plan will see millions more lose coverage, and the remainder will face higher premiums for plans that cover less

“The centerpiece of the Trump-endorsed American Health Care Act… is a $600 billion tax cut. Families with incomes below $208,500 per year will see their taxes fall by an average of $0 per year, receiving none of that money. But members of the top 0.1 percent of the income distribution — households with an annual income of more than $3.75 million — will see their taxes fall by an average of $165,090 per year…

“Specifically, under the House bill, about 14 million more people would be uninsured in 2018, according to the Congressional Budget Office, increasing to 23 million in 2026. On the regulatory side, one-sixth of Americans live in states that CBO expects to pursue broad waivers from Obamacare regulations prohibiting insurers from charging sick people more than healthy people and requiring certain services to be covered. The analysts predict that the individual insurance markets in those states would start to destabilize after 2020, as insurance becomes unaffordable for people with high medical costs

“The savage cuts to Medicaid — reducing enrollment by a staggering 14 million — are particularly cruel in light of Trump’s explicit promise not to do this. But what’s truly shocking is that the Trump administration thinks this isn’t enough. His budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes even more Medicaid cuts that, paired with AHCA, would cut the program nearly in half.

“To make things even more disturbing and outrageous, not only is Trump breaking his promise on this score, his administration is simply in an ongoing process of lying about it….

“Voters ought to consider the credibility of Trump’s other promises in light of his willingness to promise not to cut Medicaid… Already his administration has piloted a thin edge of the wedge by proposing large cuts in Social Security Disability Insurance and claiming that’s consistent with his pledge to avoid Social Security cuts on the theory that Social Security Disability Insurance isn’t really part of Social Security (a theory that would come as news to the Social Security Administration)… Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) is already laying the groundwork for a big Medicare-cut-bill that he believes he can get Trump to sign. After all, if Trump sold out his promises on Medicaid and Social Security, why wouldn’t he sell out the Medicare promises too?

“… on health care [Trump] is mounting a… campaign of political deception. He knows that the American people are, rightly, dissatisfied with the fact that the Affordable Care Act left most of us with premiums and deductibles that are higher than we’d like and has fallen short of its promise of universal coverage. He would like us to believe that his health care initiatives would alleviate or solve these problems, when in reality they will do the opposite — sucking money out of the provision of health care and using it to finance a large tax cut for affluent families.

“And as far as political deception campaigns go, Trump’s health care lies are breathtaking in score… But at the same time, Trump has succeeded in persuading the media and the political system to process these highly public lies as a kind of banal non-story… Trump’s decision to build his approach to one-sixth of the economy on a foundation of enormous lies is a huge scandal.”

It makes your blood boil when you read about the horrendous corruption of America’s political system; the continuing bold and blatant lies of the leadership; and the indifferent and willfully ignorant media. God abhors lying, and those who are guilty of it will have to pay a costly price. Continued lying is one of many reasons why God will proceed soon to punish the USA in unparalleled ways.

Confusion over GOP Health-Care Draft and President Trump’s Mixed Signals

The Washington Post wrote on June 20:

“After weeks of secret deliberations, Senate Republicans are in the final stages of a sweeping rewrite of the nation’s health-care laws amid growing frustration among the rank and file over how to fulfill the party’s top campaign promise over the past seven years. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that GOP leaders will produce a ‘discussion draft’ on Thursday and hinted that a final vote could come next week… McConnell’s strategy for achieving that goal — writing a bill with a handful of aides behind closed doors — has come at a cost that reached new heights on Tuesday: anger among Republicans who feel shut out of the process…

Trump has sent mixed signals to Capitol Hill and has played a more hands-off role in Senate deliberations than he did in the House. While the president has pushed for swift action on health care and celebrated the passage of the House bill in May, he also ‘wants a bill that has heart in it,’ press secretary Sean Spicer said at the White House on Tuesday. And at a private meeting with senators recently, Trump called the version that passed the House ‘mean’…”

Incredible! The House bill which Mr. Trump publicly applauded and celebrated was criticized by him as being mean and without heart, which in fact it is. And it appears that the contemplated Senate bill will be even meaner…

Senate GOP Bill in Jeopardy Upon Arrival

Newsmax reported on June 22, after, as the Washington Post put it, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced draft text — crafted behind closed doors among a small circle of lawmakers and aides — of the Senate GOP bill in a private meeting with Republican senators on Thursday morning”:

“Four Republican senators [Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee and Rand Paul] say they are not ready to vote for the GOP health care bill, putting the measure in jeopardy… The four say there are provisions that are an improvement to the current health care system. But they add that the measure fails to accomplish what they have promised to their constituents, ‘to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.’

“GOP leaders hope to vote on the bill next week and can only afford two defections from the 52 Senate Republicans.”

However, it must be said that some of their “concerns” might make the Senate bill even much worse…

“California May Have Just Boosted Trump’s Chances of Winning in 2020”

CNBC wrote on June 19:

“The Golden State has decided to take its opposition to President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration beyond defending sanctuary city policies. The Democrat-dominated state legislature has just approved nearly $50 million for a program that will provide legal services and representation for illegal immigrants… this is how you get 8 years of President Trump instead of just 4… California isn’t likely to go from blue to red in the next election over this. But as the rest of the country learns about how far Democrats and liberals are willing to go in using other people’s money to support illegal immigration, there’s likely to be a significant push back.

“You wouldn’t know this just by listening to Democratic politicians and the mainstream media, but illegal immigration is unpopular with most American voters. A recent Gallup Poll showed that 59 percent of Americans (79 percent of Republicans and 48 percent of Democrats), ‘worry’ a great deal’ or a ‘fair amount’ about illegal immigration. This level of worry has remained steady over the last 17 years that Gallup has polled on the issue.

“… For all the talk about how President Trump takes major political gambles, it’s hard to call his move to deport more illegal immigrants a gamble in a country where a rare 59 percent majority continues to consider illegal immigration a real and serious problem… One of the great disconnects in 2016 was the fact that so many experts thought candidate Donald Trump’s focus on illegal immigration was political suicide. Instead, it’s clear it was a major boost on the way to his election.

“Now, California has given him and his supporters a new punching bag that should resonate in the red and swing states across the country. The tin ear of the left has struck again, and once again it’s a self-inflicted wound.”

Whether or not the California move on supporting illegal immigration would be a decisive factor in 2020, we strongly feel that Donald Trump will not be replaced during his term in office (whether for four or eight years).

Fronleichnam—“The Body of Christ”— Another Wrong and Damaging Catholic Festival

The Local wrote on June 15:

“Thursday (June 15)  is yet another public holiday in the Catholic states of southern and western Germany. The celebration of Fronleichnam (Corpus Christi) is one of the more obscure… Catholic celebrations…

“The word comes from the Middle High German vronlicham meaning ‘the body of God.’ In English the festival is known by the Latin name Corpus Christi, which also means body of Christ. On Fronleichnam, Catholics celebrate the belief that Jesus remains with us in the flesh through the bread and wine consumed during communion… Catholics believe that Jesus created the sacrament of the Eucharist when he told his disciples that the bread ‘is my flesh’ and the wine ‘is my blood.’ The first Fronleichnam procession was held in the year 1270…

“Fronleichnam is always celebrated on the second Thursday after Whitsun… In Fritzlar in north Hesse, the celebrations start on Wednesday night with the so-called Katzenkoppschießen. During this ceremony, the eight bells of the town cathedral are rung and a canon is fired, a ritual that is repeated three times. In Cologne, there is a procession involving over 100 ships, while in Bamberg 18 men carry a huge cross through the town.

“… the processions have often had a subversive element. The extrovert and bombastic character was meant to show Protestants how great it is to be a Catholic. Luther, for his part, described the holiday as ‘the most damaging of all festivals.’”

Luther had a point, even though celebrations of Christmas and Easter are equally damaging. The whole concept of “Fronleichnam” is wrong and totally unbiblical that “Jesus remains with us in the flesh through the bread and wine consumed during communion.” When Christ said that this IS my body and this IS My blood, He meant that the bread and the wine SYMBOLIZED His broken body and His shed blood. Only those who are properly baptized are to participate in the ceremony ONCE a year… during the annual Passover. Christ was offered only ONCE… to believe that the bread and the wine change into His body and blood would mean that Christ is being sacrificed continually. Also, we are clearly forbidden to eat blood. So, Fronleichnam is celebrated at a wrong time and for the wrong reasons. It is altogether unbiblical and contrary to biblical truth.

For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Meaning of God’s Spring Holy Days.

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.

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