This Week in the News

New US Sanctions for North Korea… What’s Next?

Fox News wrote on February 23:

“In announcing new sanctions Friday against North Korea, President Trump made it clear that the communist nation will pay a big price for stockpiling nuclear weapons and long-range missiles that pose a threat to the U.S. and other countries… these sanctions will have some bite. They apply to 27 shipping companies and 28 ships registered in North Korea, China and five other nations. The Trump administration says the companies and ships are helping North Korea evade international restrictions on fuel imports and a ban on coal exports. The sanctions are designed to cut off foreign cash that North Korea desperately needs. The action by the Trump administration blocks assets held by the sanctioned entities in the U.S. and bars U.S. citizens from dealing with those entities.

“… With reports Pyongyang could be tapped out of foreign exchange and dollar reserves come October, this is tantamount to bankruptcy for the regime. So where do things turn next?… we are closing in on a spring crisis… I would expect Kim to test at least one more nuclear weapon as well as send long-range missiles into the sky.

“The North could even decide to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile deep into the South Pacific and show off new warhead technology that can pierce the atmosphere and destroy a city. This would make clear to the world that North Korea can destroy an American city and kill millions of our own people. From here it could get worse. The North Koreans could even decide that it’s time to… prove to the world beyond the shadow of any doubt that they can start a nuclear war. Kim could decide on an atmospheric test of a nuclear bomb. If that were to happen… the Trump administration might feel it had no choice but to launch what has been called a ‘bloody nose’ strike on the regime.

“… it seems all but certain all hell is going to break loose in Northeast Asia. Again.”

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem in May?

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 24:

“The US will move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in mid-May, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding [on May 14]. A top Palestinian negotiator has described the timing as a ‘blatant provocation.’… The move will come much earlier than first expected…

“The anniversary of Israel’s founding also marks the Palestinian commemoration of Nakba, the mass migration of some 700,000 Palestinians who fled their homes following the creation of Israel and the onset of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war…”

JTA added on February 23:

“The [US] spokesman said the embassy would be located in a southern Jerusalem neighborhood on the side that Israel held before 1967 but running along the seam of what was then the border. ‘The Embassy will initially be located in Arnona, on a compound that currently houses the consular operations of Consulate General Jerusalem,’ he said.

“Building a new embassy will take at least three years, and the spokesman suggested that at least for now, much of the daily operation of the embassy would remain in Tel Aviv…

“In the first phase, starting in May, Ambassador David Friedman and some staff will begin working out of the consular section… In the second phase, by the end of 2019, an annex on site will be constructed for a more permanent working space for the ambassador, staff and a classified processing site. That will cost $10 million to $15 million, and the security arrangement will cost at least $45 million. The third phase, the site selection and construction of a new embassy, will take up to nine years.”

Jared Kushner’s Security Clearance Downgraded

JTA wrote on February 27:

“Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a top adviser, has had his security clearance downgraded from top secret to secret, which could affect his leadership in trying to bring about Israeli-Palestinian peace… It is not clear what is hindering Kushner’s full clearance. Like his father-in-law, he is a real estate developer. He is known to be in debt, and is reported to have loans out by foreign creditors.

“The Washington Post late Tuesday reported, quoting U.S. officials, that officials in four countries had discussed manipulating Kushner, in part by taking advantage of his financial difficulties. The four countries are Israel, China, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates…

Middle East peace negotiators have traditionally had top-secret clearance, considered critical in understanding the myriad pressures facing the parties as they consider talks. Kushner’s team is believed to be almost ready to release its proposal to return the sides to talks…

“Kushner’s top spokesman, Josh Raffel, is leaving the White House in two months. [His] focus has included the Israeli-Palestinian talks…”

The White House in Turmoil

Axios (as linked by the Drudge Report) wrote on March 1:

“After a crazy 24 hours, sources close to President Trump say he is in a bad place — mad as h… about the internal chaos and the sense that things are unraveling

“Hope Hicks leaving is obviously a huge blow to him. Every time he reads about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his head explodes. The staff is just trying to ride out the storm.

“Everywhere you look inside this White House, top officials are fighting, fomenting, feuding or fleeing

“Hope Hicks — without question, the aide (family aside) with whom Trump is closest — resigned one day after she admitted in closed-door Hill testimony that she told white lies for the president.

“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly cracked down on Jared Kushner, stripping his top security clearance, and watching anonymous aides leak about and trash him, while offering no public defense of the president’s son-in-law.

“Jared, Ivanka and Don Jr. let it be known to friends they are furious with Kellyand his allies…

“Trump is at war with Attorney General Sessions…

“The people he genuinely enjoys and feels close to are gone (Keith Schiller), leaving (Hope) or getting pounded in the press (Jared).

“The restraints are almost fully loosened, and what staff sees in private is more public than ever. We have never seen top officials this concerned, defeated.”

Arming Teachers?

The Guardian wrote on February 22:

“In the past 24 hours, Donald Trump has thrice backed a plan to arm teachers in US schools… Facing opposition from the country’s largest teachers’ unions, school security guards and military veterans, the president continued to endorse the plan in White House meetings and on Twitter… the president suggested offering bonuses to teachers who are trained to carry concealed weapons

“There are few examples available of armed citizens stopping mass shootings and it is difficult to track, in part because it is difficult to know what a gunman was planning before they were stopped…

“Trump’s suggestion to arm teachers was immediately opposed by the nation’s largest teachers’ unions – the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) – as well as the teachers’ union in Florida’s Broward County, where last week’s shooting took place… The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), the nation’s largest school policing group, also said it opposed arming teachers. They noted law enforcement officers responding to an incident may mistake armed personnel not in uniform as the assailant. They also emphasized how law enforcement officers receive ongoing practice in high-stress and difficult shooting environments.

“… Trump also described a situation where there would simply be more armed people on campus – not just teachers. ‘They may be Marines that left the Marines, left the Army, left the Air Force,’ Trump said…  Veterans disputed this claim on Twitter. Jay Kirell, a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan, said it was ‘extremely difficult’ to shoot under stress. ‘Cops & soldiers literally get paid to do this & most of them can’t shoot accurately under stress,’ Kirell tweeted…”

Cutting Ties with the NRA

ABC News wrote on February 24:

“A growing number of companies are announcing plans to sever ties with the National Rifle Association following the shooting massacre Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida that left 17 students and staff dead. One of the first companies that said it would cut ties with the lobbying group was First National Bank of Omaha, which announced Thursday that it would not renew a co-branded Visa credit card with the NRA.

“A slew of other companies — including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, MetLife Insurance Co., [Symantec which makes Norton Antivirus technology] Hertz [Enterprise, TrueCar, Wyndham Hotels] and Best Western — have followed suit, announcing plans to terminate special discounts and benefits for NRA members.”

One should ask the question as to why in the world NRA members receive special discounts from companies in the first place.

What Does the Second Amendment to the US Constitution REALLY Say?

Much is being said about the convoluted wording of the Second Amendment, allegedly giving private citizens the unrestricted right to own firearms. However, this may not be so.

The Guardian wrote on October 5, 2017:

“The right to bear arms: what does the second amendment really mean? The amendment reads: ‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed’… In 2008, the supreme court decided the District of Columbia v Heller, 5-4 , overturning a handgun ban in the city. The conservative justice Antonin Scalia wrote the opinion in narrow but unprecedented terms: for the first time in the country’s history, the supreme court explicitly affirmed an individual’s right to keep a weapon at home for self-defense

“Lower courts have upheld many gun laws around the country since 2008, and the supreme court has declined to hear any second amendment cases since 2010. Attorneys and activists on both sides expect a looming fight over the right to carry guns in public, which the Heller decision does not address.”

It was also pointed out that even the US Supreme Court decision did not say that there was a right to own and carry EVERY type of weapon.

Gun Violence Rare in Israel

The Washington Post wrote on February 23:

“When students, parents and teachers pleaded with President Donald Trump this week to act against school shootings, they cited Israel, a place where guns are a familiar sight but where school shootings are virtually unheard of…There are no metal detectors or special door locks on classrooms. And, by policy, teachers are not armed

“Israeli security experts… say that gun violence is rare in Israel because privately held guns are so rare… 3.5 percent of the population… have permits to carry firearms. Half of the permit holders are private citizens, and the others work for security firms… Israel has tight age restrictions on private gun ownership… civilians must be over 27 years old to obtain a gun license, although those recently released from military service are also eligible. Israelis serve in the military from age 18 to 21.

“… once an Israeli finishes military service, it becomes difficult to obtain a gun. Applicants must submit extensive paperwork, provide their military records and medical reports. They also must justify their need to be armed. Residents of Tel Aviv, for example, are unlikely to receive gun licenses, whereas Israelis living in border areas or in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, places where they could be targets for Palestinian militants, are more likely to be approved for gun licenses.

“In addition, retired army officers above a certain rank, former police officers, firefighters, ambulance technicians, special forces veterans and licensed public transportation drivers can also qualify for permits.

“The requirements after permits are approved also are strict. Owners are subjected to an array of restrictions on the types of guns they can own, on the amount of ammunition they can possess, as well as guidelines on where to keep their guns – in locked safes – and a process of checking weapons in with police if leaving the country for more than a week.

“Janet Rosenbaum, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the State University of New York Downstate in Brooklyn, examined the difference in homicide rates between Israel and the United States. Writing in the New York Post, she said her research showed that Israel ranks 81st in the world for per capita firearm ownership, with fewer than 1 in 10 Israelis owning firearms. The United States, with one firearm for every person, ranks first.”

This is not a statistic to be proud of.

ISIS Defeated? Far From It!

The Sun wrote on February 24:

“Since declaring its caliphate in June 2014, the terror group has carried out or inspired more than 140 terror attacks in 29 countries outside Iraq and Syria. Those bloody attacks – including several high-profile mass murders in Europe – have left more than 2,000 people dead and injured many more. It now seems nowhere is safe from the threat of Islamic extremists. In the last two years, they made headlines for a series of atrocities in cities including London, Manchester, Barcelona, Nice, Berlin and Stockholm.

“However, away from the cameras the terror group’s bloody tentacles have quietly spread to some of the most unlikely corners of the planet…

“ISIS has made no secret of the fact it sees China as its next major global target – after securing a recruiting foothold in the country’s badlands…  Fears are growing the idyllic tourist destination of Trinidad and Tobago could face a new wave of terror attacks from returning ISIS jihadis. Incredibly, the beautiful Caribbean nation, home to just 1.3 million people, has the highest rate of ISIS foreign recruitment in the Western hemisphere…

“ISIS remains the major terrorist threat to New Zealand as spy agencies reveal the number of people with links to the extremist is rising… The kidnapping of two Brits in KwaZulu-Natal spurred the British government to issue a travel advisory‚ warning of possible terror attacks on South African soil

“Nearly 200 ‘foreign’ jiahdis who fought alongside ISIS in Iraq and Syria are known to have returned to Canada in recent years. Terrorism now remains the most immediate threat to national security…”

The Daily Mail wrote on February 24:

“A legion of nearly 1,000 jihadi brides are set to return to the West… A report by EU border agency Frontex warns the threat is ‘evolving’ and that it is hard to assess the long-term threat of widowed wives and orphaned children… Several women were involved in a plot to attack Notre Dame cathedral in September 2016, while there have been numerous high-profile cases of British women fleeing to Syria to marry IS fighters.

“Frontex says: ‘An estimated 30 per cent of 5,000 foreign terrorist fighters who resided in Europe, and left to Syria, Iraq or Libya have come back to the Continent… former director of global counter-terrorism at MI6 Richard Barrett said last October that from the start of 2017 to May women were involved in almost a quarter of all terror plots in Europe.”

The infiltration of terrorists from foreign countries is a legitimate concern. How to handle it is another one. To prohibit entry of EVERY person from ANY particular country—including the ones mentioned in the articles above—does not seem practical, successful or even legal, nor would it be helpful to demonize ALL immigrants from particular regions.  

Trump’s Fight Against Immigrants—The Snake!

The Evening Standard wrote on February 24:

“Donald Trump has treated his supporters to yet another recital of a sinister poem comparing immigrants to treacherous snakes. On the campaign trail, the US president repeatedly read the lyrics of Al Wilson’s 1968 song ‘The Snake’ and since the election has continued to recite it at rallies. It tells the story of an ill snake that gets taken in by a kindly woman, only for it to bite her once it has recovered.”

Breitbart wrote on February 23:

“The lyrics, adapted in 1963 by songwriter Oscar Brown from Aesop’s Fable ‘The Farmer and the Viper,’ ends with an altruistic woman who saves a dying snake being fatally bitten… Trump used the poem frequently as an allegory for the Syrian Refugee Crisis and ‘generous’ immigration policy that puts the interests of foreigners above that of Americans.

 After reading the poem, Trump said, as reported by Breitbart:

‘”And that’s what we’re doing with our country folks. We’re letting a lot of people in, and it’s gonna be a lot of trouble. It’s only getting worse.’”

Inasmuch as the poem and the way in which Trump uses it has received so much attention, we are setting it forth below in its entirety [with one abbreviation of a curse word], as it was published by Breitbart and the Evening Standard. We leave it to the reader to draw his or her own conclusions (even though it is shocking when reading some of the absolutely hateful “supportive” comments in response to President Trump’s reading of the poem):

On her way to work one morning

Down the path alongside the lake

A tender-hearted woman saw a poor half-frozen snake

His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew

“Oh well,” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you”

“Take me in oh tender woman

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake

She wrapped him up all cozy in a curvature of silk

And then laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk

Now she hurried home from work that night as soon as she arrived

She found that pretty snake she’d taken in had been revived

“Take me in, oh tender woman

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake

Now she clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful,” she cried

“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died”

Now she stroked his pretty skin and then she kissed and held him tight

But instead of saying thanks, that snake gave her a vicious bite

“Take me in, oh tender woman

Take me in, for heaven’s sake

Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake

“I saved you,” cried that woman

“And you’ve bit me even, why?

You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”

“Oh shut up, silly woman,” said the reptile with a grin

“You knew d… well I was a snake before you took me in.”

In addition, Donald Trump spoke out against chain immigration and the lottery system. The following article is interesting in this regard.

Chain Migration for Melania Trump’s Parents?

CNN reported in February 22:

“The Slovenian parents of first lady Melania Trump are legal permanent residents [green card holders] of the United States, according to the lawyer representing them in the process — raising questions about whether they are living in the US by the very means President Donald Trump has strongly criticized and sought to end

“There are only a handful of ways that immigrants to the US can obtain green cards, and the largest share of them each year are given out based on familial connections [In other words, American CITIZENS can apply for or support green cards for their close relatives]. A smaller number go to immigrants based on their employment, and other categories include refugees and other special cases…

“In order to become citizens, legal permanent residents must live in the United States continuously and hold their green cards for at least five years…  The likelihood that the Knavs could have been sponsored by Melania Trump or another family member raises the issue of what the President has called ‘chain migration,’ or family-based migration.  The US allows a number of ways for US citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor family members to come to the US permanently, including categories for parents, adult siblings and adult children, married and unmarried.  Trump and his congressional allies have fought to slash that dramatically, limiting sponsorship to spouses and minor children, including dropping the threshold for minor children from 21 to 18…”

To be clear, we in no way oppose the concept that Melania Trump’s parents might have received their green cards through “chain immigration.” What is interesting is the apparent hypocrisy behind the push to stop chain immigration altogether in the future, thereby excluding the possibility of parents joining their adult children who are American citizens, coupled with the ungodly concept of tearing families apart.

No Meeting Between Trump and Nieto

The Week wrote on February 25:

“Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto scrapped plans to visit Washington in February or March after an argumentative phone call with President Trump on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported Saturday night, citing officials from both countries.

“Trump reportedly ‘lost his temper’ in a discussion of his unrealized pledge to build an extensive wall along the United States’ southern border with Mexican funding. ‘Trump believed it was unreasonable for Peña Nieto to expect him to back off his crowd-pleasing campaign promise of forcing Mexico to pay for the wall,’ American officials reportedly told the Post.”

The Associated Press added on February 25:

“Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto spoke for 50 minutes Tuesday, but reached a deadlock when Trump said he wouldn’t publicly acknowledge Mexico’s refusal to pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, Reuters reported.”

It is obvious that Mexico will never pay for the wall.

Trade War Coming?

Deutsche Welle reported on March 1, 2018:

“US President Donald Trump said Thursday the United States would impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and tariffs of 10 percent on inbound aluminum shipments next week… The European Commission said it would take action, should EU producers become the target of higher tariffs…

“The Federation of German Industry (BDI) said Thursday the announced tariffs were wrong. ‘Donald Trump is risking global trade conflicts and a spiral of protectionism, which in the end will also cost American jobs,’ BDI President Dieter Kempf told the DPA news agency in Brussels…

“China for its part has been investigating US imports of sorghum and is considering restricting soybean imports.

Wall Street stocks fell sharply during midday trading, with the Dow down more than 2 percent on worries of a trade war following the announced tariffs.”

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 28:

“European Union trade ministers have agreed they may retaliate if the US slaps import tariffs on steel and aluminum. The EU is reportedly drawing up a list of US products to target, including orange juice and bourbon.”

Merkel Proposes Jens Spahn as Health Minister

AFP wrote on February 25:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to give a cabinet role to an outspoken critic within her conservative party, as she looks to quell surging discontent in the right wing of the group… Merkel is tipped to name 37-year-old Jens Spahn as health minister in her new cabinet…

“Spahn has been at the forefront of the backlash, slamming Merkel’s centrist policies, particularly on immigration, and advocating a sharp conservative shift, as the country’s major parties face pressure from the far-right AfD party which has railed against a mass influx of refugees that peaked in 2015. The potential inclusion of Spahn in her cabinet line-up could help to defuse the internal rebellion…

“The SPD still needs to approve the arrangement, with the results of a crunch membership ballot due to be announced on March 4th…”

Deutsche Welle added on February 25:

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. That quote, attributed alternately to the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu and the Renaissance writer and philosopher Machiavelli, might have been on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mind on Sunday evening as she announced the six members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) whom she would like to serve in her next cabinet…

“Of the six names on her list, the one that stood out most was Jens Spahn… The 37-year-old not only represents a new political generation. He was also heavily critical of Merkel’s welcoming policy toward refugees…

“Spahn is something of an oddball in the Merkel-led CDU. He is far more conservative than the chancellor. His nomination drew immediate criticism from the opposition Left party and Greens, who say he’s far too close to Germany’s mighty pharmaceutical industry.

“Among conservatives under 40, Spahn is seen as having the best chance to lead the party some day, and his nomination is being viewed as a concession by Merkel to the party’s youth wing, the Young Union, which hasn’t always been happy with her centrist policies. It is the first time that Spahn has been offered a job at the ministerial level, usually seen as a precondition for higher political functions such as party chair or chancellor candidate…”

Who Is Jens Spahn?

Handelsblatt Global wrote on September 2, 2017, about Jens Spahn:

“Germans have been responding to an essay published by German Deputy Finance Minister Jens Spahn, in which he complains that English-speaking hipsters in Berlin are eroding German national identity… anxiety about national identity is still alive and well in Germany, especially since the arrival of more than a million refugees since 2015. This explains why Mr. Spahn, a rising star in the governing Christian Democratic Union (CDU), could write an article for the influential German weekly Die Zeit attacking ‘elitist hipsters’ for speaking English, and bemoaning the proliferation of English-language menus in restaurants and coffee shops.

“According to Mr. Spahn, older Germans such as his parents will soon feel like ‘strangers in their own land.’ The spread of English among the cosmopolitan ‘Easyjet generation,’ he writes, will lead to a ‘parallel society’ in which ‘cultural differences’ have been negated, and German national culture has been destroyed. How can Germans demand that refugees and immigrants integrate themselves into German society, he asks, if Germans won’t even speak their own language?…

“As a 30-something, gay member of the Berlin political class, Mr. Spahn may seem like an odd mouthpiece for an attack on cosmopolitanism. But Mr. Spahn is an ambitious political strategist with an eye on his electoral future, and he is no stranger to controversy… he has been a vocal critic of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy; and he has called for laws to regulate what can be preached in mosques, and to create a registry for Muslim clerics…”

AFP wrote on February 26:

“He’s 37 years old, openly gay yet staunchly conservative and one of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s loudest critics within her own party…A gay Roman Catholic, he played a vocal role in the fight to legalise gay marriage in Germany and tied the knot with his journalist partner Daniel Funke in December.

“With a self-belief that some observers say borders on arrogance, Spahn has never hidden his ambitions. One oft-quoted anecdote recalls how a high-school French teacher once asked a teenage Spahn what he wanted to be when he grew up. ‘Chancellor,’ he replied.”

Somebody to watch for sure.

Comeback for Italy’s Berlusconi?

Euractiv wrote on February 27:

“Silvio Berlusconi has revealed that he is ‘available” to be Italy’s prime minister in 2019 if next week’s election yields a hung parliament and a re-run of the vote… Berlusconi is banned from holding public office thanks to a tax fraud conviction in 2013. But that punishment expires next year and the Forza Italia leader would be free to reign once more as prime minister if the opportunity presented itself…

“A hung parliament is one of the outcomes that have not been ruled out, in which case a fresh vote would most likely be scheduled for next year… Voters are casting their ballots for the first time under a new electoral law, which dictates that a coalition must garner 40% of the vote in order to form a majority government. Should Forza Italia and Berlusconi get their way and receive the biggest slice of the pie in the vote, the former PM will effectively become a kingmaker and decide who should be appointed to the position.

“Berlusconi said once again… that current European Parliament President Antonio Tajani is still his number one choice for prime minister… But the Parliament chief has remained coy about his chances of getting Berlusconi’s nod or even wanting the post at all. During an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, Tajani said he would like to keep his current job.

“Tajani, a former European Commissioner, also said that Berlusconi was ‘the last great statesman’ that Italy had, praising the way he dealt with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his time in charge. He also reiterated his support for an EU reform along the lines of French President Emmanuel Macron’s ideas, saying Europe needs its own finance minister and a completed banking union.

Rise of Racism and Fascism in Italy

The Guardian wrote on February 21:

“Many foreign observers are baffled by the return of Silvio Berlusconi to the forefront of Italy’s politics… he is busy campaigning for his Forza Italia party in the run-up to the 4 March elections…

“In the darkest period of our history, Mussolini’s regime tried to force upon the people a love for their country as defined by a totalitarian and murderous ideology. Italy’s military frenzy alongside the Nazis ultimately destroyed our cities and created massive poverty…

“Italians inherited from the war a collective sense of shame – which was, alas, quickly forgotten. The shame grew from having allowed the extermination of their Jewish fellow citizens and for having murdered Mussolini and his mistress instead of holding the pair of them to account in a court of law…

“Today, what’s most worrisome is the rise of anti-migrant racism. We’ve reached a point where even well-educated people agree with the rhetoric spread both by the right and the Five Star Movement (M5S). The latter’s capacity to spread fake news, including through links with propaganda websites connected to Russia, has been well documented. But what M5S has mostly achieved is to… rekindle a fascist mindset.

“More than 75 years on, the allure of the far right survives among parts of the population. After the horrors of war, no one could dare express fascist ideas but, over time, it seems that people forgot. Politicians started voicing hateful and intolerant views, with no shame whatsoever…”

Demonic Possession on the Rise in Italy

Newsmax wrote on February 25:

“With demonic possessions rising, even tripling in recent years, the Vatican is… setting up new training for exorcists,  according to Sicilian priest Benigno Palilla.

“… There are now 500,000 alleged cases of demonic possessions annually in Italy, according to Palilla, who claimed it was due to increased popularity of fortune tellers and tarot card readers which ‘open the door to the devil and to possession.’ ‘Spiritual or psychological problems’ are the root of many apparent possession cases, according to Palilla, Newsweek reported.

“Rome’s Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum is going to run an international course on exorcism in April ‘to offer a rich reflection and articulation on a topic that is sometimes unspoken and controversial,’ Palilla told Vatican Radio, per Newsweek.”

Satan is alive and VERY active.

Judge Takes Transgender Teen Away from Her Parents

The Washington Times wrote on February 20:

“A Hamilton County, Ohio, judge took a transgender teen away from her parents on Friday because they refused to allow the 17-year-old to undergo hormone treatments as part of a female-to-male transition.

“Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon awarded custody of the teenager to her grandparents, who will be allowed to make medical decisions for the minor and legally change her name. The parents objected to the transition procedures because of their religious beliefs and refused to call their daughter by her chosen, male name, court records show.

“‘It is unfortunate that this case required resolution by the Court as the family would have been best served if this could have been settled within the family after all parties had ample exposure to the reality of the fact that the child truly may be gender-nonconforming and has a legitimate right to pursue life with a different gender identity than the one assigned at birth,’ Judge Hendon wrote in her decision.”

Please watch our new StandingWatch program, “Sexual Relationships—Everything Goes?”

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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