The New Coronavirus
The Sun wrote on January 25:
“[Surgeon] Dr Liang Wudong, 62, passed away today after becoming struck down with the deadly virus on January 16… Dr Wudong [was] the 41st person to die from the disease with [almost 6,000] cases reported in China alone [and with 56 million people now on lockdown]. [Internationally, almost 10,000 cases have been reported.] [It was also reported a second doctor, Jiang Jijun died from a heart attack while treating the afflicted. It is not yet known if the infectious disease specialist died as a result of the coronavirus or from exhaustion. Reportedly, a doctor in France died of the disease as well.]
“Vietnam, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong all now have confirmed cases — alongside the US, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. France yesterday confirmed three cases and Australia one – with all patients returning from Wuhan… experts have now warned Britain is on the brink of an epidemic… [In the meantime, at least four cases have surfaced in Germany. The disease has been identified in at least 18 countries. Over 200 people have died so far.]
“And the bleak prediction reveals [that] by February 4, the number of infected people in Wuhan [which has a population of 11 million] could hit [in excess of 350,000]. Preliminary research suggested the coronavirus [originated] at Wuhan’s seafood market… which sold live koalas, snakes, rats and wolf pups to locals to eat. [It]has since been shut down while an investigation is carried out.”
The Daily Mail added on January 25:
“Disturbing footage shows [a] diner calmly dipping a baby MOUSE in a bowl of sauce before eating it alive as part of [a] banned Chinese delicacy known as ‘Three Squeaks’.”
In another article, the Sun wrote on January 25:
“The killer coronavirus was spread from bats to snakes to humans, experts have claimed.
“A new study published in the China Science Bulletin this week claimed that the new coronavirus shared a strain of virus found in bats. Previous deadly outbreaks of SARS and Ebola were also believed to have originated in the flying mammal…
“Meanwhile, scientists at Peking University also claim that the deadly virus was passed to humans from bats – but say it was through a mutation in snakes… It meant that they likely provided a ‘reservoir’ for the viral strain to grow stronger and replicate. Snakes are sold at the Huanan Seafood Market in central Wuhan and may have jumped to other animals before passing to humans, they claim… The expert believes that the new strain was an RNA virus, meaning that its mutation speed was 100 times faster than that of a DNA virus such as smallpox.”
Some irresponsible articles in the mass media try to minimize the dangers of the new virus, suggesting that it only affects older and weak people. This is demonstrably not the case, and such denial is not only unhelpful and ignorant, but very dangerous.
Will 65 Million People Die of Coronavirus Pandemic?
Business Insider wrote January 23:
“Health experts issued an ominous warning about a coronavirus pandemic 3 months ago…
“Eric Toner, a scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, wasn’t shocked when news of a mysterious coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, surfaced in early January. Less than three months earlier, Toner had staged a simulation of a global pandemic involving a coronavirus…
“Toner’s simulation imagined a fictional virus called CAPS. The analysis… looked at what would happen if a pandemic originated in Brazil’s pig farms… The virus in Toner’s simulation… would be deadlier than SARS, but about as easy to catch as the flu.
“The pretend outbreak started small: Farmers began coming down with symptoms that resembled the flu or pneumonia. From there, the virus spread to crowded and impoverished urban neighborhoods in South America. Flights were canceled, and travel bookings dipped by 45%… A year later, it had killed 65 million people. The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, by contrast, claimed as many as 50 million lives.
“Toner’s simulated pandemic also triggered a global financial crisis: Stock markets fell by 20% to 40%, and global gross domestic product plunged by 11%… [Toner said] that the Wuhan coronavirus could also have significant economic effects if the total number of cases hits the thousands…
“In the CAPS simulation, scientists were unable to develop a vaccine in time to stop a pandemic. That’s a realistic assumption: Even real coronaviruses like SARS or MERS… still don’t have vaccines… ‘It’s part of the world we live in now,’ Toner said. ‘We’re in an age of epidemics.’”
The Bible predicts that in the end time, millions upon millions will die of pandemics. See our new Q&A in this issue.
Allowing the Alteration of Germs
In light of the recent developments, the following older article by the New York Times, dated December 19, 2017, gains horrible morbid importance:
“Federal officials on Tuesday ended a moratorium imposed three years ago on funding research that alters germs to make them more lethal… Some scientists are eager to pursue these studies because they may show, for example, how a bird flu could mutate to more easily infect humans, or could yield clues to making a better vaccine [that is always the excuse for such horrible conduct]. Critics say these researchers risk creating a monster germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic…
“In October 2014, all federal funding was halted on efforts to make three viruses more dangerous: the flu virus, and those causing Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). But the new regulations apply to any pathogen that could potentially cause a pandemic. For example, they would apply to a request to create an Ebola virus transmissible through the air…
“There has been a long, fierce debate about projects — known as ‘gain of function’ research — intended to make pathogens more deadly or more transmissible… In 2011, an outcry arose when laboratories in Wisconsin and the Netherlands revealed that they were trying to mutate the lethal H5N1 bird flu in ways that would let it jump easily between ferrets, which are used to model human flu susceptibility. Tensions rose in 2014 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accidentally exposed lab workers to anthrax and shipped a deadly flu virus to a laboratory that had asked for a benign strain. That year, the N.I.H. also found vials of smallpox in a freezer that had been forgotten for 50 years.
“When the moratorium was imposed, it effectively halted 21 projects… In the three years since, the N.I.H. created exceptions that funded ten of those projects. Five were flu-related, and five concerned the MERS virus. That virus is a coronavirus carried by camels that has infected about 2,100 people since it was discovered in 2012, and has killed about a third of them, according to the World Health Organization.”
It has been speculated and suggested that the Chinese new coronavirus had been manufactured in Chinese laboratories and then “escaped” by first infecting animals, such as bats or snakes. Sadly, this is a real possibility.
Powerful Earthquakes Strike
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 24:
“A powerful 6.8 [or 6.7] magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey on Friday, killing at least  people and injuring over [1,600] others… Some  aftershocks were recorded in the wake of the earthquake, with one clocking in at 5.4 magnitude…
“Turkey has a history of being rocked by powerful earthquakes. Thousands of people were killed and many more displaced when a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the western city of Izmit in 1999. In 2011, more than 500 people were killed by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in the eastern city of Van.”
The death toll is expected to rise as rescuers search for survivors under the rubble in freezing winter conditions, as the temperature dropped to -8C (17.6F).
The Associated Press reported on January 27:
“An undersea earthquake with preliminary magnitude 5.2 occurred Tuesday off the Aegean Sea island of Karpathos… in an area close to the Greek resort islands of Rhodes and Crete.”
The Associated Press reported on January 28:
“A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and eastern Cuba on Tuesday, shaking a vast area from Mexico to Florida and beyond… the epicenter was… 10 kilometers (6 miles) beneath the surface.”
American Troops WERE Injured by Iran’s Attack
Reuters wrote on January 24:
“The Pentagon said on Friday that 34 service members had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following missile strikes by Iran on a base in Iraq earlier this month, a number higher than the military had previously announced. President Donald Trump and other top officials initially said Iran’s attack had not killed or injured any U.S. service members…
“[Pentagon’s] …handling of the injuries… has renewed questions over the U.S. military’s policy regarding how it deals with suspected brain injuries. While the U.S. military has to immediately report incidents threatening life, limb or eyesight, it does not have an urgent requirement to do so with suspected traumatic brain injury, or TBI, which can take time to manifest and diagnose… According to Pentagon data, about 408,000 service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury since 2000.”
Several articles pointed out that the Pentagon has a “credibility problem,” in that they were very slow to admit these serious injuries. This could also pose a potential problem for Trump as he had said that the USA would retaliate militarily if American troops were to be injured or killed in Iran’s attack.
Newsmax added on January 28:
“The Pentagon on Tuesday raised to 50 the number of U.S. service members who suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iran’s missile strike earlier this month on an Iraqi air base, the third time the number of injuries has been increased.
“The new casualty total belies President Donald Trump’s initial claim that no Americans were harmed.”
Veterans Demand Apology from Trump
Newsmax wrote on January 24:
“Trump referred to the injuries as ‘headaches’ and ‘not very serious.’
“‘In light of today’s announcement from the defense department that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of Iran’s retaliatory strike and President Trump’s remarks which minimized these troops’ injuries, the Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand idle on this matter,’ group national commander William ‘Doc’ Schmitz said in a statement. [Schmitz represents the largest Veterans organization in the USA.]
“‘TBI is a serious injury and one that cannot be taken lightly. TBI is known to cause depression, memory loss, severe headaches, dizziness and fatigue — all injuries that come with both short- and long-term effects. The VFW expects an apology from the president to our servicemen and women for his misguided remarks.’”
Trump needs the support and the votes of the Veterans.
Iraq Wants US Troops Out
The Associated Press wrote on January 23:
“Waving national flags and banners denouncing U.S. President Donald Trump, tens of thousands of Iraqis marched peacefully through Baghdad on Friday to demand the ouster of U.S. troops from their country in a protest organized by [Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most revered Shiite cleric]…
“Al-Sadr, whose party won the most seats in the May 2018 parliamentary elections, had called the rally to demand the withdrawal of American troops following the Jan. 3 U.S. drone strike near Baghdad’s airport that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and senior Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The killing drew the ire of Iraqi officials from across the political spectrum.”
It is only a matter of time until America will withdraw its troops from Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries.
Standing Up to Iran
Times of Israel wrote on January 24:
“US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday vowed to maintain pressure on Tehran and announced fresh sanctions against firms based in China, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates that conduct business with Iran… [by] operating in Iran’s oil and petrochemical sectors…
“US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday in Jerusalem called for the world to stand up to Iran, drawing a parallel between the Islamic Republic and Nazi Germany… Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged action against ‘the tyrants of Tehran,’ comparing what he considers the Iranian threat to the one that was posed by the Nazis.”
JTA added on January 23:
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed gratitude for the Allied war to defeat Nazi Germany, even as he claimed the world had ‘largely’ abandoned the Jews during the Holocaust… ‘I am concerned that we have yet to see a unified and resolute stance against the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet – a regime that openly seeks to develop nuclear weapons and annihilate the one and only Jewish state,’ Netanyahu said, referencing Iran.”
The “world” will abandon the Jews once again.
Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan… Dead on Arrival
The Jerusalem Post wrote on January 28:
“Three years in the making, the ‘Deal of the Century,’ US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, has finally been revealed…
“The Palestinians will have a capital in east Jerusalem based on northern and eastern neighborhoods that are outside the Israeli security barrier… Otherwise, Trump said Jerusalem will remain undivided as Israel’s capital…
“Israel will retain the Jordan Valley and all Israeli settlements in the West Bank in the broadest definition possible…
“Israel will be in control of security from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea…
“The plan does not include immediate recognition of a Palestinian state; rather, it expects a willingness on Israel’s part to create a pathway toward Palestinian statehood based on specific territory, which is about 70% of Judea and Samaria… The state will only come into existence in four years if the Palestinians accept the plan, if the Palestinian Authority stops paying terrorists and inciting terrorism and if Hamas and Islamic Jihad put down their weapons…”
This “plan” has not the slightest chance of success.
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 28:
“Massive criticism is expected from Arab and Muslim leaders, even though not all of it will be genuine. Extremist elements, meanwhile, will happily instrumentalize this plan to carry out terrorist attacks and perpetrate violence. None of this will do anything to bring peace to the Middle East.”
Those who worked on this peace plan for three years have been wasting their time. The Bible prophesies that they will say “Peace, peace,” but that there will be no peace.
Russia’s Persecution of Religious Minorities
The Associated Press wrote on January 23:
“A court in northern Russia on Friday fined two Jehovah’s Witnesses convicted of extremism related to their membership of the religious group… [They] were fined the equivalent of $4,850 and $5,600 for ‘carrying out activities of the religious organization by calling and holding meetings’ and ‘collecting money under the guise of fundraising.’
“Russia officially banned Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2017 and declared the group an extremist organization. The Kremlin has actively used vaguely worded extremism laws to crack down on opposition activists and religious minorities… Since 2017, Russian law enforcement have targeted hundreds of Jehovah’s Witnesses across the country, raiding their homes and arresting them on extremism charges. Thirty-four members of the group have been convicted and sentenced to prison terms so far, with almost 300 people currently being investigated…”
And again, the world stands idly by in silence in the face of Russia’s unconscionable atrocities, as it did when witnessing the horrors of Nazi Germany.
Britain to Leave
The Associated Press wrote on January 24:
“Britain’s delayed and disputed Brexit bill became law on Thursday, removing the last UK obstacle to the country leaving the European Union in just over a week… the Withdrawal Agreement Act… received royal assent from Queen Elizabeth II, the final formality in its legislative journey…
“The EU Parliament’s constitutional affairs committee voted by a large margin Thursday to approve the Brexit withdrawal deal, preparing the way for a vote of all European lawmakers in Brussels next Wednesday… [See next article below.]
“After the royal assent was announced, Scottish National Party lawmaker Ian Blackford said the UK was in a ‘constitutional crisis’ because the legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland did not back the Brexit bill… Guy Verhofstadt, the leading EU lawmaker on Brexit, said the bloc’s parliament would continue to scrutinize the way Britain implemented the divorce agreement — especially to ensure that the rights of EU citizens living in the UK are protected after Brexit.”
All of this will clearly create more trouble for the UK’s unity and its already fragile relationship with Europe.
Brexit Done—“History Made”
Express wrote on January 30:
“THE European Parliament last night brought the curtain down on Brexit, paving the way for Britain to leave the bloc on Friday.
“Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage celebrated the UK’s divorce… Of the deal, Mr Farage said: ‘… The most significant point is what happens at 11pm this Friday marks the point of no return. Once we’ve left we are never coming back and the rest frankly is detail. We’re going, we will be gone.’”
How Europe Threatens the UK
The Independent wrote on January 22:
“The UK’s access to the single market will be weakened if it does not continue to sign up to EU rules after Brexit, Ursula von der Leyen has said… the European Commission’s president warned of ‘more distance’ between the UK and EU if such a state of affairs came about… Her comments came as the chancellor, Sajid Javid, said there was ‘no point’ in leaving the EU unless the UK was going to ditch the Brussels rule book…
“The prime minister, Boris Johnson, has set himself a deadline of reaching a trade deal by the end of the transition period in December. If one is not secured by that point, UK firms will face tariffs and quotas that could wreck their businesses…”
The relationship between the UK and the EU will become much more hostile.
A Look Back at the Rocky Relationship between Europe and Britain
The Guardian wrote on January 26:
“Last week, with the end of the UK’s 47-year membership of the club of European nations just days away, I looked back at some newspaper cuttings from my time as a Brussels correspondent… ‘British beef banned in Europe. Cattle prices fall. School meals hit. EU “rules” broken.’ Among the many crises in British relations with the EU down the years – from Margaret Thatcher’s bust-up over the European budget in the early 1980s to the UK’s exit from the ERM in 1992 – the beef war between London and Brussels ranks among the biggest.
“It was 29 March, 1996, and the European commission had just announced a worldwide ban on the export of British beef. The EU’s executive opted for decisive action after the Tory government admitted there could be a link between ‘mad cow’ disease and the mutant strain of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which could kill humans…
“When the European commission dropped its bombshell, France and Germany had already imposed their own unilateral bans on British beef. UK ministers had announced that millions of cattle across the UK would have to be slaughtered. Thousands of schools took meat off their lunch menus. Beef prices tumbled. Inevitably, in those testy post-Maastricht days of Tory rows over Europe, Eurosceptic MPs blamed the Europeans. The late Sir Teddy Taylor, a hardline anti-EU campaigner on the Conservative backbenches, urged retaliation in the form of a ban on French wine and French beef, while Bill Cash, still a Tory MP to this day, wanted to take the European commission to court.
“Throughout that spring and summer, the crisis widened. This was a time when the ambitions of the EU’s true believers in Brussels, Bonn and Paris were at their height. Helmut Kohl and Jacques Chirac were planning the launch of the euro… leaders were preparing also to admit several countries of former communist eastern Europe. The enlargement project was one of which the UK thoroughly approved…
“But John Major, who had launched his premiership in 1990 with a promise to put Britain ‘at the heart of Europe’, found himself trapped politically as the BSE disaster worsened. The rightwing tabloids were in full anti-EU cry, demanding he fight the beef ban… In an editorial at the end of March, the Sun warned that the survival of an independent UK, no less, was at stake: ‘If Brussels has the power to stop Britain from selling a product anywhere in the world, then we are no longer an independent sovereign nation with control over our own affairs,’ the paper said…
“On 21 May, Major… announced that the UK would refuse to co-operate in EU meetings until further notice. British non-co-operation with Europe – and its policies – had become official policy… In areas where British ministers had a veto in council meetings, non-co-operation meant they would effectively be blocking EU decisions, thwarting European plans for deeper integration…
“Non co-operation quickly took relations between London and Brussels to a historic low. For the first time in more than two decades serious questions were being asked about Britain’s membership, publicly, by senior British and European politicians. The beef crisis in itself was an isolated, very specific issue. But the way it had spiralled had highlighted deep faultlines in a relationship between a member state determined not to cede powers, and much of whose media was virulently anti-Brussels, and the proponents of a postwar European project that had as its entire purpose the unification of Europe, and the necessary surrender by participants of ever more sovereignty to the centre.
“EU leaders were beginning to wonder if the UK could continue as a full member if it was prepared to put spanners in the works of integration whenever it had a grievance…
“This coming Friday, 31 January, at midnight in Brussels, and 11pm UK time, it will all be over. The worst fears of the pro-Europeans here and on the continent will have been realised… The UK will be out… Could it have worked? If so, was the EU or the UK, or were both, to blame? Which British and EU leaders fell short? Or was it always doomed to failure?…
“As we prepare to leave, I asked diplomats, politicians, journalists on both sides of the channel why they thought Brexit had come to pass and they cited a multitude of reasons. The deep differences in postwar attitudes between the UK and its European partners; poor leadership in the EU and UK; a constantly hostile British media, and sheer bad luck and timing… The German MP Norbert Röttgen, who chairs the foreign affairs committee in the Bundestag, suggested the idea of the UK leaving was always so alien and nightmarish for EU leaders that they blinded themselves to the warning signals. By the time of the 2016 referendum the chance to find compromise had been lost… Röttgen knows, as does everyone, that it was the entire European political class that failed to stop the ‘unimaginable’ happening… These are perilous times…”
Brexit was inevitable. It had nothing to do with “sheer bad luck” or “bad timing,” but it was preordained to happen. The EU-UK cooperation was “doomed to failure.” The Bible says so, and we have been proclaiming this for decades.
For much more information, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “BREXIT DONE! The UK GONE! Was It Inevitable?”
Billions of Locusts Devastate Parts of Africa
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 24:
“A locust invasion in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia has left crops devastated. It is the biggest swarm in decades, with  billions of the ravenous insects nibbling their way through the already climate-ravaged region…
“For Ethiopia and Somalia, the infestation is the biggest in 25 years, and for Kenya it is the greatest swarm in 70 years… A locust consumes their own weight in food every day… The insects could ‘reproduce rapidly and, if left unchecked, their current numbers could grow 500 times by June,’ spreading to Uganda and South Uganda…
“In an already vulnerable region with high levels of poverty, the locusts can further devastate crops, resulting in ‘a major food security problem’… The locusts… were the latest symptom of extreme weather conditions that also saw a 2019 drought end in one of the wettest rainy seasons in four decades in parts of East Africa, with mass floods killing hundreds. The year 2019 witnessed eight cyclones, the most in a single year since 1976.”
This most recent event has been described as an “unprecedented plague.”
No Carnival for Children in Germany’s Protestant Church
Bild Online reported on January 24 that Bishop Otfried July who is responsible for 1,200 congregations of the Protestant Church in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, cancelled carnival celebrations for their Kindertagesstätten (day-care centers), questioning the “compatibility between carnival and Christian values.”
Many parents were upset, and the Catholic Church voiced opposition to the prohibition, stating that they will continue celebrating carnival. Carnival is of course a Catholic invention based on pagan beliefs and practices.
Pope Francis vs. Pope Benedict
Express wrote on January 24:
“POPE FRANCIS has once again faced significant opposition after Benedict XVI slammed a new Vatican policy in a co-authored book before trying to remove his name from the text. Now, the current head of the Catholic Church is aiming to diminish his predecessor’s influence as he replaces a high-profile Benedict ally with one of his own backers… The New York Times reported yesterday that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, who was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011, has stepped down from his role.
“Archbishop Chaput has long been known as a traditionalist in the Catholic Church, and represented one of the many critics of Pope Francis in the US. The Argentine Pope announced this week that he had accepted the resignation and would take the opportunity to promote one of his backers in Philadelphia.
“Archbishop Chaput became a key figure in the traditionalist half of the Church, supporting the denial of communion to Catholic politicians who back abortion rights and opposing legalisation in support of gay marriage.
“Anti-Francis figures have launched numerous offensives on both his policy and his character, with one group of traditionalists even penning a book titled ‘The Dictator Pope’. Pope Francis also came under fire from Catholic Church critics when he welcomed Amazonian bishops to the Vatican last year. Following the visit, a letter was published by conservative rivals who scathingly referred to the Pope’s actions as ‘sacrilegious’. His critics took opposition to his proposed policy of allowing married men to become bishops in the Amazon.
“It read: ‘We respectfully ask Pope Francis to repent publicly and unambiguously of these objectively grave sins and of all the public offences that he has committed against God and the true religion, and to make reparation for these offences.’”
The Associated Press wrote on January 25:
“A Vatican cardinal [Cardinal Robert Sarah who heads the Vatican’s liturgical office] at the center of a storm over a book about celibacy and the Catholic priesthood is denouncing the ‘brutality’ of criticism directed at him and his collaborator, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI…
“Sarah, a Guinean prelate who is a hero to the church’s conservative and traditionalist wing, has insisted he remains obedient to Francis. But the two have clashed repeatedly, and the Vatican under the progressive Francis has found itself in the unusual position of issuing public corrections of Sarah’s positions. The Holy See, for example, intervened in 2016 after Sarah told a London liturgical conference that it was ‘very important’ for the church to return ‘as soon as possible’ to its old practice of the priest celebrating Mass facing east, with his back to the faithful… A year later, Francis publicly reprimanded Sarah for misinterpreting a new instruction giving bishops’ conferences the right to translate Mass missals…
“Sarah is due to offer his resignation to Francis in June when he turns 75, the mandatory retirement age for Catholic bishops.”
The controversy in the Catholic Church will not end any time soon, and it might contribute to explosive events mirroring occurrences which happened in the past.
The Local wrote on January 24:
“Italy is still seen as one of Europe’s most corrupt countries… Italy ranked alongside Saudi Arabia and Rwanda… when it comes to perceived corruption in an annual index by Transparency International… the study ranks perceptions of official corruption levels around the world… [Italy improved slightly since 2018, but] analysts say they’ll be watching Italy closely as they say the trend could easily go into reverse… the list does not make any claims as to the actual level of corruption in a given country, but rather how much corruption people believe there is…
“According to the report, Italians believe the two most corrupt institutions in the country are political parties and parliament itself. Italy once again comes in far behind its northern European neighbours in the corruption stakes. Scandinavia dominated the top spots, with Denmark once again considered the world’s least corrupt country. Together with New Zealand, Denmark received 87 points, making the two countries the best placed on the list. Finland is 3rd on this year’s list, with Nordic neighbours Sweden and Norway in joint 4th and 7th respectively. The United Kingdom came 12th and the United States 23rd. Neighbouring Spain also outdid Italy with a score of 62, as did Portugal (64), and Malta (54). At the bottom of the European table, Hungary scored 46, Greece 45, and Bulgaria came in last with 42…
“The index… does not relate to corruption in the private sector, including money laundering and tax fraud.”
The perception of Italy’s corruption might lead to the rise of a strong political figure who will falsely claim to bring back honesty and reliability to the people.
Right-Wing Extremism in the German Army
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 26:
“The head of Germany’s military intelligence service has confirmed hundreds of new investigations into soldiers with extremist right-wing leanings. Germany’s elite special forces unit appears to be a particular hotbed. Numerous cases of extremism in the German military and among other security forces have been brought to light in recent years…
“An additional 360 cases of suspected right-wing extremism were registered in 2019… Cases of suspected extremism were particularly concentrated among an elite unit known as Special Forces Command or KSK… The number of cases in the KSK also doubled in comparison with the start of 2019, he added.”
These are alarming developments which should wake everybody up.
Learning from History?
Times of Israel wrote on January 23:
“German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Thursday that his nation had not fully learned the lessons of the Holocaust, as Jew-hatred was still growing… Steinmeier expressed concern over continued anti-Semitism, noting a pattern of attacks on Jews in Germany, highlighting a shooting in October on a synagogue in the German city of Halle.
“‘I wish I could say that we Germans have learnt from history once and for all. But I cannot say that when hatred is spreading,’ he said. ‘I cannot say that when Jewish children are spat on in the schoolyard. I cannot say that when crude anti-Semitism is cloaked in supposed criticism of Israeli policy. I cannot say that when only a thick wooden door prevents a right-wing terrorist from causing a bloodbath in a synagogue in the city of Halle on Yom Kippur.’…
“Steinmeier vowed to combat anti-Semitism, as well as ‘the poison that is nationalism.’…
“Speaking before Steinmeier, French President Emmanuel Macron praised world leaders for coming together to remember the Holocaust… The French leader said: ‘After all that has passed, anti-Semitism and the scourge of anti-Semitism has returned, and with it, xenophobia and intolerance have also raised their ugly heads.’”
The German conservative mass tabloid Bild Online published a biting editorial stating that Germans have not learned anything at all from history, and that the silent reaction to Steinmeier’s words proves that.
Further, that it is a shame and manifestation of total disinterest that after all these years, we still do not know the names of most of the preparators who were responsible for the horrible Holocaust.
Doomsday Clock Moves within 100 Seconds of Midnight
npr wrote on January 23:
“Two years after moving the metaphorical minute hand of its Doomsday Clock to within two minutes of midnight — a figurative two-minute warning for all humanity — the science and security board… revealed Thursday that it has moved that minute hand another 20 seconds closer to the midnight hour. ‘It is 100 seconds to midnight,’ declared the [board’s] president and CEO… Never since the clock’s 1947 Cold War debut has it come so close to the putative doomsday annihilation represented by the 12 a.m. hour.
“[There are] 13 Nobel laureates on its board. [It was] founded by scientists who worked on the atomic bomb-building Manhattan Project during World War II…”
We are much closer to the end of this present evil age than most people think.
March of Life
Breaking Israel News wrote on January 26:
“On Friday, President Trump stood before a crowd of an estimated 100,000 people and became the first U.S. president to address the 47th annual March of Life in Washington D.C., invoking ‘God’ eight times in his speech. His address was emphatically faith-based as he opened his speech by declaring that he and all those attending the March were there ‘for a very simple reason: to defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential.’
“‘Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God… When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation. When we hold a newborn in our arms, we know the endless love that each child brings to a family. When we watch a child grow, we see the splendor that radiates from each human soul… Every person is worth protecting… And above all, we know that every human soul… is made in the holy image of Almighty God.’
“The address marks a personal turning point for the president as he used to support abortion in his pre-presidential days…
“The annual March of Life began in 1974 on the first anniversary of the controversial Supreme Court Case of Roe v. Wade which is cited as protecting a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. Based on questionable jurisprudence that is still debated today, the decision infringed upon the rights of the states to set their own legislation as well as the humanitarian rights of the unborn. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush addressed marchers remotely and Mike Pence became the first sitting vice-president to attend the rally in 2017.”
It is hoped that Donald Trump stated his honest opinion and that he did not adopt his revised position on abortion just to gain votes. However, even now, he is clearly not defending the right of EVERY child, as he still allows abortion in certain circumstances, and we must also point out that his immigration policy (see article below) belies his statements regarding the protection of every human soul.
Let us say very clearly that abortion is always wrong. It is always murder in the eyes of God. This means, a Christian must not support or engage in abortion of an unborn child for ANY reason.
Trump’s New Public Charge Rule Confirmed by US Supreme Court
Politico wrote on January 27:
“A narrowly divided Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to begin enforcing a rule making it harder for poor immigrants to gain green cards. The justices in a 5-4 vote along ideological lines said they would let the controversial immigration rules go forward even as lower courts wrestle with multiple legal challenges against them.
“The policy in question would expand the government’s ability to refuse green cards or visas for legal immigrants determined to be a ‘public charge,’ or dependent on public assistance. Those using or likely to use Medicaid, food stamps and other safety net programs would face greater scrutiny from immigration officials.
“The rules… represent one of Trump’s strongest efforts to restrict legal immigration. Multiple federal judges blocked the rules before they were slated to take effect last October, after states and immigrant rights groups filed challenges. Federal judges in California, Maryland, and New York blocked implementation, but appeals courts later lifted all but New York’s freeze. That was removed by the Supreme Court on Monday, allowing the policy to take effect almost everywhere.
“Justice Neil Gorsuch… criticized federal judges who issue nationwide blocks on administration rules… Lower courts are expected to hear lawsuits on the public charge rules in the coming months. It’s possible the Supreme Court, which did not rule on the merits of those lawsuits Monday, will review the issue again…
“An analysis from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found applications for about 42 percent of legal immigrants could see their green card applications ‘weighed negatively’ as a result, while 94 percent could face extra scrutiny after using at least one of the public programs targeted by the Trump policy. Public charge denials of poor immigrants have spiked under the Trump administration even without this sweeping policy in place. The State Department disqualified more than 12,000 visa applicants on public charge grounds last year…”
ABC wrote on January 27:
“The rule is expected to have a broad impact on those applying for permanent legal status in the U.S. An analysis from the Migration Policy Institute last year found 70% of recent green card applicants would have been impacted had the rule been implemented earlier.”
It was to be expected that the Republican judges who are in the majority would rule in favor of the public charge rule. This is an entirely political decision with serious consequences for many immigrants and legal residents.
America’s Local Economy Keeps Shrinking
Axios wrote on January 24:
“Growth slowed for local economies virtually everywhere in the U.S. last year, and is declining again at the start of this year as consumers pare back spending and business growth stalls… So says business directory service Yelp, which used data from its more than 100 million users to track the number of businesses opening or closing and consumer demand…
“‘Yelp has information not only on millions of U.S. brick-and-mortar businesses but on the consumer demand expressed by the millions of consumers who view, review, and post photos of businesses on Yelp every day,’ the company said in a release accompanying the analysis…
“If Yelp’s data is correct, it shows economic prospects are deteriorating for brick-and-mortar businesses of all kinds. Even among the strongest major metro areas in Yelp’s report, eight of the top 10 show declining growth year over year. Retail, food and automotive businesses almost across the board fared poorly, with stores selling mobile phones, shoes and appliances seeing the worst losses. Food and nightlife businesses had declining business in every state except Wyoming, Nevada, the Dakotas and Vermont. Large states and metropolitan areas like California, Texas, Florida, New York City, Chicago and Seattle saw some of the worst scores.”
The US economy is BY FAR not as good as many are told to believe.
Unstable Worldwide Economy
Project Syndicate wrote on January 27:
“With the benefit of full-year data, only now are we becoming aware of the danger the global economy narrowly avoided in 2019… world GDP grew by just 2.9% last year – the weakest performance since the outright contraction in the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009 and far short of the 3.8% pace of post-crisis recovery over the 2010-18 period.
“On the surface, 2.9% global growth doesn’t appear too shabby. But 40 years of perspective says otherwise. Since 1980, trend world GDP growth has averaged 3.5%… For global business-cycle analysts, the 2.5-3.5% growth band is considered the danger zone. When world output growth slips to the lower half of that range – as it did in 2019 – the risks of global recession need to be taken seriously…”
Additional articles have pointed out that the situation in China pertaining to the coronavirus is threatening the already fragile world economy. Make no mistake—a worldwide economic crash IS coming. The question is, are you prepared for it?
Surprising Revelations about Muslims and the Third Temple
Breaking Israel News reported on January 27:
“On Sunday night, the Sanhedrin hosted a conference to discuss the role of the Arabs and Muslims in the Third Temple. The conference featured a lecture by Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. Dr. Kedar has frequently referred to the claim that Jerusalem is holy to the Muslims as ‘fake news.’ ‘Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran and there is not a basis to believe that Jerusalem had any significance for Muhammad,’ Dr. Kedar explained to Breaking Israel News. ‘In early Islam, we see that assigning holiness to the Temple Mount was criticized as an attempt to introduce Jewish concepts into Islam.’
“‘Jerusalem only took on any significance in Islam in the late 8th century when the Bedouin Muslims prevented the Damascus Muslims from making Haj (pilgrimage) to Mecca. As an alternative destination for Haj, the Damascus Muslims decided on Jerusalem, adding a Hadith (oral commentary) shifting the scene of Muhammad’s Night Journey to Jerusalem in order to justify their decision.’
“The source of the Muslim holiday of ‘Isra’ (journey) and ‘Mi’raj’ (ascension, literally ‘ladder’) and the entire Muslim claim to Jerusalem as a holy site is based on a story in the Quran. According to the Quran, Muhammad traveled from Saudi Arabia to ‘Al-Aqsa’ (the far mosque). From there, he ascended to Heaven, returning to Earth the next day. Some Muslims claim Al-Aqsa is the silver domed mosque on the southern end of the Temple Mount compound…
“‘The entire area of the Temple Mount is known as al-Haram al-Sharif – “the holy and noble site”- but a change came about after the Six-Day War, when some Jewish leaders began calling for the establishment of a synagogue on the Mount. It was felt that the Muslims would not object, since al Aqsa was on the southern edge of the compound and the synagogue would not be nearby. The Muslims decided to announce that the al Aqsa mentioned in the Koran refers not only to the mosque on the southern end of the compound, but is the name for the entire Temple Mount area, abandoning the original name, al-Haram al-Sharif.’…
“Rabbi Hillel Weiss, the spokesman for the Sanhedrin [said:] ‘There are those from the Sons of Ishmael who recognize that the gold Dome of the Rock was built upon the once and future site of the Jewish Temple. It is part of the Muslim tradition…’”
And so, the Third Temple will be built on the Temple Mount at the exact place where the First and the Second Temples once stood.
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.