This Week in the News

USA Pressures the World

moderndiplomacy reported on April 22:

“The recent statement made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the effect that his country has failed to prevent the implementation of the Nord Stream – 2 gas pipeline project provides glaring proof of the ultimatum-type methods used by President Donald Trump’s administration to thwart unwelcome projects, deals or agreements and simultaneously impose their own products, goods and services on partners – from more expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) to passenger and military aircraft and weapons systems. However, such efforts rarely hit success, exacerbating US relations even with its closest allies in Europe and NATO.

“Addressing the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee on April 10th, Mike Pompeo said Washington had done everything it could to talk European partners out of building Nord Stream 2 but these efforts suffered a fiasco. According to the head of the State Department, Berlin is set on pursuing the project and all attempts to dissuade the Europeans from building the gas pipeline have yielded no results…

“While Washington’s attempts to use political pressure to promote its own energy projects intensify differences between the United States and the European Union, and specifically Germany, similar efforts in the area of defense and military technology jeopardize the integrity and unity of the North Atlantic alliance. US Vice President Mike Pence has de facto presented an ultimatum to Turkey, one of the closest American allies in the Middle East. He warned Ankara against purchasing Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, calling on the Turkish leadership to choose between partnership with NATO and the deal…

“Nevertheless, the attempts to use ultimatum to exert pressure in several areas at once may well result in a closer consolidation of Europeans as they unite to defend their own interests, in a further strengthening the economic ties between Russia and China, as well as in a more pronounced and independent policy by Turkey – and not only in defense and military technology. These recent moves on the part of the United States are tying the knot of conflict throughout an increasingly wider spectrum of geopolitical space. And for now, it is not clear where all this could lead to.”

What is clear is that the world is increasingly refusing to be pressured by the United States!

Putin Holds Summit with Kim

Reuters reported on April 24:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin said after holding talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday that he thought U.S. security guarantees would probably not be enough to persuade Pyongyang to shut its nuclear program.

“Putin and Kim held a day of talks on an island off the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok two months after Kim’s summit with U.S. President Donald Trump ended in disagreement, cooling hopes of a breakthrough in the decades-old nuclear row.

“Putin, keen to use his summit with Kim to burnish Russia’s diplomatic credentials as a global player, said he believed any U.S. guarantees might need to be supported by the other nations involved in previous six-way talks on the nuclear issue.

“That would mean including Russia, China, Japan and South Korea as well as the United States and North Korea, in a long-standing format that had been sidelined by unilateral U.S. efforts to broker a deal.”

The world stage no longer belongs to just the U.S.

China and Russia Move In

 msn wrote on April 20:

“With Venezuela in flames, China and Russia are seeking claims in the rubble.

“But the United States has been caught flat-footed, and the Pentagon is struggling to develop ways to blunt the countries’ influence in Latin America since President Trump has antagonized and distanced himself from nations in the Western Hemisphere…

“’The Trump administration’s policy has supercharged China’s increased presence in the region,’ said Benjamin Gedan, former National Security Council official under the Obama administration and a senior adviser to the Latin American program at the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank. ‘It’s entirely counterproductive.’

“For years, China and Russia have sought more influence in the Western Hemisphere, but are increasingly emboldened to bolster their economic and security positions in South America, Central America and the Caribbean.”

China—A Military Titan!

msn wrote on April 23:

“In 1938, in the midst of a long campaign to bring China under Communist Party rule, revolutionary leader Mao Zedong wrote: ‘Whoever has an army has power.’

“Xi Jinping, Mao’s latest successor, has taken that dictum to heart…

“In a series of stories, Reuters is exploring how the rapid and disruptive advance of Chinese hard power on Xi Jinping’s watch has ended the era of unquestioned U.S. supremacy in Asia. In just over two decades, China has built a force of conventional missiles that rival or outperform those in the U.S. armory. China’s shipyards have spawned the world’s biggest navy, which now rules the waves in East Asia. Beijing can now launch nuclear-armed missiles from an operational fleet of ballistic missile submarines, giving it a powerful second-strike capability. And the PLA is fortifying posts across vast expanses of the South China Sea, while stepping up preparations to recover Taiwan, by force if necessary…

“For the first time since Portuguese traders reached the Chinese coast five centuries ago, China has the military power to dominate the seas off its coast. Conflict between China and the United States in these waters would be destructive and bloody, particularly a clash over Taiwan, according to serving and retired senior American officers. And despite decades of unrivaled power since the end of the Cold War, there would be no guarantee America would prevail.

“‘The U.S. could lose,’ said Gary Roughead, co-chair of a bipartisan review of the Trump administration’s defense strategy published in November. ‘We really are at a significant inflection point in history.’

Roughead is no armchair theorist: A retired admiral, as former Chief of Naval Operations he held the top job in the U.S. Navy until 2011. His alarm reflects a growing view across the American defense establishment. In their report, he and his colleagues issued a dire warning. The United States faces a ‘national security crisis,’ principally arising from growing Chinese and Russian military power. ‘U.S. military superiority is no longer assured and the implications for American interests and American security are severe,’ the panel concluded.

It is clear that Xi wants to bring the era of U.S. dominance in Asia to an end. ‘In the final analysis, it is for the people of Asia to run the affairs of Asia, solve the problems of Asia and uphold the security of Asia,’ he said in a 2014 speech to foreign leaders on regional security.

Zelenskiy Wins in the Ukraine

 jpost reported on April 22:

“Ukraine entered uncharted political waters on Sunday after exit polls showed a comedian with no political experience and few detailed policies had easily won enough votes to become the next president of a country at war.

“The apparent landslide victory of Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 41, is a bitter blow for incumbent Petro Poroshenko who tried to rally Ukrainians around the flag by casting himself as a bulwark against Russian aggression and a champion of Ukrainian identity.

“Zelenskiy was born in 1978 to Jewish parents and seems set to become Ukraine’s first Jewish president. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman is also Jewish…

“Zelenskiy, who plays a fictitious president in a popular TV series, is now poised to take over the leadership of a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and support for a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine.”

Will Ukraine’s New President Deal with Russia?

EURACTIV wrote on April 19:

“Ukraine’s new president could regain control over the separatist-controlled east of his country within months and get cheap gas and major investment from Russia if he does a deal with Moscow, the Kremlin’s closest ally in Ukraine said.

“Viktor Medvedchuk, a prominent figure in Ukraine’s Russia-leaning opposition, outlined the prospect in an interview before a presidential election runoff in Ukraine on Sunday which polls show political novice Volodymyr Zelenskiy should easily win.

“He said the Kremlin was keen to know more about Zelenskiy, a 41-year-old Russian-speaking TV comedian who has no political experience, to understand if he is someone it could do a deal with, something it failed to do with incumbent Petro Poroshenko.

“‘They don’t have any expectations in Moscow,’ he said. ‘They want to see what happens afterwards, who will be in his (Zelenskiy’s) entourage, and what he will do and with whom.’”

Bible prophecy indicates the Ukraine WILL fall under Russia’s sphere of influence!

Europe Wary of Russia

dw reported on April 20:

“General Eberhard Zorn says he’s disturbed by the American and Russian withdrawal from the INF nuclear missile treaty. He warned that Moscow remains ‘a big threat’ to peace in Europe.

“The inspector-general of Germany’s Bundeswehr, General Eberhard Zorn, has called for a new arms treaty to replace the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) which both Washington and Moscow have suspended…

“Zorn added that a new arms treaty would be essential to ensure the safety of Germany and Europe.

“Although he pointed to several world powers as being responsible for the current escalation in global politics, he singled out Russia as a “big threat” to peace in Europe…

“’As far as Europe is concerned, the facts speak for themselves,’  Zorn said, detailing several Russian infractions — the annexation of Crimea, its involvement in eastern Europe, the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, cyberattacks, and the suspension of the INF Treaty.”

Europe’s Far-Right Merging

dw reported on April 20:

“Marine Le Pen has thrown her weight behind Salvini’s new pan-European right-wing bloc. So far the group has garnered support from nationalist parties in Austria, Germany, Denmark, Estonia and Finland.

“France’s right-wing National Rally party formally joined a new alliance of far-right forces in Europe on Friday. The populist coalition, spearheaded by Italy’s anti-immigrant interior minister and deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, was formed to unite and strengthen disparate right-wing parties ahead of critical EU elections next month…

“Salvini, the leader of Italy’s League party, announced the launch of the pan-European far-right faction earlier this month at a press conference where he called the EU ‘a nightmare, not a dream’ and vowed to reform the bloc…

“European far-right parties are currently split between three different groups in the European Parliament. If the parties were to merge, they would hold 173 out of 751 seats in the EU parliamentary assembly, or 23%, which would make them the second-largest bloc in the European Parliament, according to the latest poll of polls released by the EU assembly.

Temple Institute Sacrificed a Passover Lamb

israeltoday wrote on April 22:

“In accordance with the biblical commandment, priests from the Temple Institute sacrificed a Passover Lamb this year overlooking the Temple Mount in the ancient City of Jerusalem…

“Today, in the absence of the Temple, the commandment to offer the Passover Sacrifice is memorialized in the form of a roasted shank bone placed on the Passover Seder Plate.

“The Temple Institute is dedicated to rebuilding the Temple on Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount) in Jerusalem and its ceremonies in accordance with the biblical commandments. The Jerusalem-based group are preparing every aspect of Temple worship and ‘restoring the central role it fulfilled in the spiritual well being of both Israel and all the nations of the world,’ according to the group’s mandate.

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