This Week in the News

“Israel’s Netanyahu Names New Golan Settlement ‘Trump Heights'”

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 16:

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday unveiled a gold-trimmed sign naming a proposed new community on the disputed Golan Heights after US President Donald Trump. The label is a gesture of appreciation for Washington’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the territory which the Jewish-majority state seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day war and later annexed without international recognition. The new settlement will be called ‘Ramat Trump,’ Hebrew for ‘Trump Heights.’…

“Addressing the ceremony, Netanyahu called Trump a ‘great friend’ of Israel and described the Golan, which overlooks northern Israel, as an important strategic asset. ‘The Golan Heights was and will always be an inseparable part of our country and homeland,’ he said… Developing Ramat Trump will not be easy. Ringed by high yellow grass and landmines, it is roughly 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Syrian border and a half hour drive from the nearest Israeli town, Kiryat Shmona, a community of about 20,000 people near the Lebanese border.”

JTA wrote on June 16:

“The name is listed in a bill to establish the community that has been submitted for approval. Since the current government is interim after the dissolution last month of the Knesset and call for new elections, it cannot officially approve the project, which will have to wait for the next government.

“The U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said that the last time Israel named a community for a sitting president was Kfar Truman in central Israel in 1949. He also pointed out that Trump’s birthday had been on Friday and called the new community an ‘absolutely beautiful’ birthday present.”

Donald Trump will continue to play an important biblical role in relation to Israel.

Iran Threatens to Break Uranium Stockpile Limit

JTA wrote on June 17:

“Iran said Monday that it will break the uranium stockpile limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal in the next 10 days… Since the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal one year ago, Iran has pushed the limits of breaching the agreement with world powers. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany and the European Union remain committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“In May, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani set a 60-day deadline for the powers to set new terms for the nuclear deal, including easing restrictions on Iran’s banking and oil sectors. Iran threatened that if the world powers failed to meet the deadline, it would remove caps on uranium enrichment levels and resume work at Arak…

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called on the international community to reimpose sanctions on Iran… ‘Israel will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons.’”

The Iran debacle will increase the hostility between the USA and Europe. It may also lead to war in the Middle East. Note the next articles.

Europe Is Trying to Circumvent USA Sanctions against Iran

The EUbulletin wrote on June 13:

“Instex, [the] payment system designed by the EU to circumvent US sanctions on trade with Iran, will be ready soon, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced earlier this week. Maas was having talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif about saving the nuclear pact with world powers signed in 2015… Instex could protect at least some of Iran’s economy from the sweeping US sanctions in exchange for Iran’s commitments under the deal to cut back on its nuclear program.

“While the US has withdrawn from the deal, France, Britain, and Germany designed Instex as a special-purpose instrument to defuse the rising US-Iranian conflict. Maas also warned the tensions may have an impact on the entire Middle Eastern region which makes keeping the nuclear pact alive an important task for the EU…”

However, Instex has not been implemented so far.

More US Troops for the Middle East

Breitbart wrote on June 17:

“[The USA will send] 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East. Just over two weeks ago, the Pentagon authorized sending 1,500 troops to the Middle East… This was on top of sending the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber squadron to the region.

“Those deployments came after [warnings] there were threats against U.S. troops in the region, the sabotage of four vessels, an armed drone attack on Saudi pumping stations, and a rocket attack in Iraq near the U.S. embassy… two oil tankers — one belonging to Norway and the other to Japan — were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, allegedly by limpet mines deployed by Iran. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo… attributed the attacks to Iran…

“Iran denied carrying out the attacks, but British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also said the attacks were ‘almost certainly’ carried out by Tehran…”

Deutsche Welle added on June 18:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday there is ‘strong evidence’ Iran was behind the twin tanker attacks… Merkel called for a peaceful solution to tensions in the Persian Gulf… ‘It is a very serious situation,’ she said, adding that Germany would tell all sides and especially Iran, ‘that the situation should not escalate.’…

“Merkel warned Iran of consequence[s] if it violated any part of the nuclear accord…”

Iran Shoots Down US Drone…  Tensions Run High

The Associated Press wrote on June 20:

“President Donald Trump declared Thursday that ‘Iran made a very big mistake’ by shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz but suggested it was a foolish error rather than an intentional escalation of the tensions that have led to rising fears of open military conflict. Asked about a U.S. response, the president said pointedly, ‘You’ll soon find out.’

“The downing of the huge, unmanned aircraft, which Iran portrayed as a deliberate defense of its territory rather than a mistake, was a stark reminder of the risk of military conflict between U.S. and Iranian forces…

“Iran… insisted the drone had invaded its airspace… [Trump] said the American drone was unarmed and unmanned and ‘clearly over international waters.’… U.S. Gen. Guastella [told] reporters that the aircraft was 34 kilometers (21 miles) from the nearest Iranian territory and flying at high altitude when struck by a surface-to-air missile…

“The Senate’s top Democrat [Nancy Pelosi] called the downing of the American drone ‘deeply concerning’…  Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called Iran a ‘murderous regime’ and said, ‘If they’re itching for a fight they’re going to get one.’”

Egypt’s Former President Mohammed Morsi Dies in Court

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 17:

“Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s former president, died Monday after collapsing during a session in court, state television reported. The 67-year-old was the country’s first democratically elected president and a member of Egypt’s most powerful Islamist group, the now banned Muslim Brotherhood.

“Morsi was on trial for espionage and had just addressed the court when he blacked out, reports said. He was taken to a Cairo hospital but could not be revived… The Islamist was democratically elected in 2012, one year after the popular uprising that ended the rule of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak… Morsi, often described as a divisive figure, spent just one year in office. He was toppled by the army in July 2013 following mass protests against his government… His then-defense minister and army chief, current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, took power and was subsequently elected president. Morsi and thousands of other members of the Brotherhood were jailed in the crackdown that followed…

“[Morsi] was also serving a 20-year sentence related to the killing of protesters during 2012 demonstrations, as well as a life sentence for espionage for Qatar. He had denied all charges…

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was a Morsi ally, paid tribute to the former leader: ‘May Allah rest our Morsi brother, our martyr’s soul in peace,’ he said… Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, a key backer of the Muslim Brotherhood, expressed his ‘deep sorrow’ on Twitter…  Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director with the Human Rights Watch, tweeted that Morsi’s death was ‘terrible but entirely predictable’ given the government’s ‘failure to allow him adequate medical care, much less family visits.’”

It is very risky to be in high political positions in dictatorial countries like Egypt.

Hong Kong’s Contentious Extradition Bill

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 16:

“Chief Executive [Beijing-appointed] Carrie Lam has apologized for her handling of the contentious extradition bill after protesters called for her resignation. The city’s leader has put the plans on hold, but won’t withdraw them completely…

“The bill proposed a legal mechanism to allow Hong Kong residents and Chinese or foreign nationals traveling through the city to be extradited to mainland China… critics believe it would tighten Beijing’s grip on the autonomous city, which is governed under a ‘one country, two systems’ policy cemented during the British handover of Hong Kong in 1997…protesters are concerned that an extradition agreement would allow Hong Kongers to be handed over to courts controlled by the Communist Party in mainland China, where a fair trial is not guaranteed…”

Britain lost Hong Kong to China, and here we see the results. Even though the pressure is mounting, Lam has refused so far to resign.

Fox Poll: Voters Say Trump Has Gone Too Far on Immigration

Newsmax reported on June 16:

“Half of American voters say the Trump administration has gone too far on immigration enforcement… a Fox News poll shows. The 50% who say enforcement of immigration laws has ‘gone too far’ is more than double, 24%, those who say actions haven’t gone far enough. About one in five say the measures are about right.

“By a wide majority — 73% to 24% — Americans favor giving legal status to young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, so-called Dreamers. Allocating more agents to the border was a more popular choice than imposing tariffs on Mexican imports or building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. On tariffs, nearly eight in 10 of those polled had concerns that things they buy will be more expensive. More voters say tariffs hurt rather than help the U.S. economy, with 45% saying they hurt and 33% saying they help…”

In time, either Trump will see the handwriting on the wall and change some of his rather extreme positions, or the majority of Americans will accept them, no matter what.

Millions to Be Deported?

The Washington Post wrote on June 17:

“President Donald Trump said in a tweet Monday night that U.S. immigration agents are planning to make mass arrests… ‘Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,’ Trump wrote, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement…

“The family arrest plan has been considered even more sensitive than a typical operation because children are involved and Homeland Security officials retain significant concerns that families will be inadvertently separated by the operation, especially because parents in some households have deportation orders but their children – some of whom are U.S. citizens – might not. Should adults be arrested without their children because they are at school, day care, summer camp or a friend’s house, it is possible parents could be deported while their children are left behind…”

The operation will allegedly be targeting Central American families and unaccompanied minors who had turned 18, according to Politico, June 18, 2019.

Trump Staying Longer than 8 Years?

The Independent wrote on June 16:

“Donald Trump has suggested the American people would ask him to stay in the White House beyond two terms… he said he could see himself staying in office beyond 2024. ‘The good news is that at the end of 6 years, after America has been made GREAT again and I leave the beautiful White House (do you think the people would demand that I stay longer? KEEP AMERICA GREAT),’ he wrote…

“Mr Trump… has also previously endorsed suggestions that he should stay in the White House after eight years as president…”

This begs the question: Could President Trump stay in office for longer than eight years?

hiphopdx wrote on February 7, 2017:

“The Twenty-Second Amendment of the Constitution allows for an America president to serve two terms in office, which would come to eight years. The last — and only — president to serve more than that was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was elected to the Oval Office four times. This was before the amendment was introduced in 1947… In order to change the Constitution, there must be approval from two-thirds of both the House of Representatives and the Senate

“However, the Constitution can also be amended by a constitutional congress called by two-thirds of state legislatures. On this front, the Republicans are just one legislature short, currently [in 2017] holding 32 of 50…”

In addition, Bustle explained on April 12, 2018:

“… a two-term president who later became vice president could theoretically become president again if the president they served under resigned.”

This means, the term of office for both the vice president and the president is four years. Neither the Constitution’s eligibility provisions nor the Twenty-second Amendment’s presidential term limit explicitly disqualifies a twice-elected president from serving as vice president. As vice president, he could become president again if the president resigns.

To us, it is a foregone conclusion that Mr. Trump will be re-elected in 2020. And as we strongly believe that he is the last President of the USA, the potential scenarios, as described above, are quite interesting.

India Imposes Tariffs on US Goods 

Axios wrote on June 15:

“India announced it’s imposing higher tariffs on 28 U.S. products from Sunday, after Washington withdrew the South Asian country’s preferential trade status… It’s the latest escalation in President Trump’s trade war, designed to cut U.S. deficits. The tariffs on products including almonds and apples are as high as 70% on some items and are in response to Washington’s refusal to exempt Delhi from higher taxes on steel and aluminium imports…

India was until the U.S. cut privileges on June 5 the biggest beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences scheme, which allowed duty-free exports of up to $5.6 billion…”

The American trade war with China and Europe—and now with India, as well as Mexico—will ultimately see the USA as the loser in this fight.

The Government’s and Doctors’ Fight Against Anti-Vaccines Continues…

arstechnica wrote on June 14:

“Anti-vaccine advocates received a blow in New York Thursday as state lawmakers banned non-medical exemptions based on religious beliefs—and there may be more blows coming.”

“Also on Thursday, the American Medical Association adopted a new policy to step up its fight against such non-medical exemptions. The AMA, the country’s largest physicians’ group and one of the largest spenders on lobbying, has always strongly support[ed] pediatric vaccination and opposed non-medical exemptions. But under the new policy changes, the association will now ‘actively advocate’ for states to eliminate any laws that allow for non-medical exemptions

“In 2015, California eliminated non-medical vaccine exemptions following a large measles outbreak linked to Disneyland visitors. But in the years following, the state saw the number of children with medical exemptions triple… Lawmakers in California are now considering a new bill that would crack down on… bogus exemptions by granting state health officials oversight of any medical exemptions that doctors provide. Prominent anti-vaccine advocates, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr, have opposed the legislation. This week, actress Jessica Biel joined the fray, coming out on the side of anti-vaxxers. In an Instagram post, she… suggested that the additional oversight would make it harder for children who genuinely need medical exemptions to get them.”

It is also recommended by doctors that all US travelers flying abroad to any country should be vaccinated. For a “recommendation” to a “mandate” is sometimes only a small step. When will this nonsense ever cease? Note the next article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding measles.

AAP News wrote on June 17:

“Federal health officials are warning U.S. travelers to protect themselves from measles outbreaks in Europe…

“Measles is highly contagious, and the record number of measles cases in the WHO (World Health Organization) European region not only puts unvaccinated and inadequately vaccinated travelers at risk, but also increases the risk for nontraveling US residents who come into close contact with returned travelers who are ill,’ researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote in a new article ‘Spread of Measles in Europe and Implications for US Travelers.’…

“Some of the WHO European region’s 53 countries are among the most popular destinations for U.S. travelers but may be incorrectly perceived as safe from infectious diseases, authors said… Since May 2018, the European countries with the most measles cases have been Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Italy, France, Romania and North Macedonia…

“International travelers should carry a copy of their immunization records…”

Hysteria rules…

Interim Austrian Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein’s Partner under Attack

Brigitte Bierlein, the president of Austria’s constitutional court, became Austria’s first female [transitional] chancellor until new elections in September.

JC wrote on June 3:

The life partner of Austria’s new chancellor Brigitte Bierlein was the judge who, in 2006, freed Holocaust revisionist David Irving from prison. In 1989, Irving made two speeches in Austria in which he denied the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz. In November 2005, having entered Austria to attend a meeting of far-right students, Irving was arrested under the law that forbids ‘re-engagement in National Socialist activities’ including Holocaust denial.

“He was sentenced to three years imprisonment in February 2006. Released on appeal in December of that year, Irving returned to Britain to serve out his sentence on probation. Ernest Maurer, the presiding judge in the appeal case and the new chancellor’s partner, said at the time that Irving committed the offences an ‘extremely long time’ ago and that the defendant had undergone an ‘unprecedented change’ in his views on the Holocaust…

“Once back in Britain, Irving told the BBC he did not feel the need to show remorse for what he had said about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. The decision to release him was condemned by Vienna’s main Jewish community group, the IKG, which called for his verdict to be examined and dismissed him as someone ‘close’ to Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ). Mr Maurer has a reputation as a very conservative jurist and someone who, as the political columnist Hans Rauscher told the New York Times, was ‘known for very lenient opinions toward right-wing extremism.’…

“The Wiener Zeitung has called Mr Maurer an ‘intimate friend’ of [late former Chancellor Joerg] Haider…”

Austria’s Strache Won’t Take Up EU Parliament Seat

The EUObserver reported on June 17, 2019

“Austrian far-right ex-leader Heinz-Christian Strache, who quit as vice-chancellor over a video showing him offering to fix state contracts to someone who posed as a Russian oligarch, said Monday he would not take up a European Parliament seat.

“He stepped down as the Freedom Party’s leader last month after German media published the secretly filmed 2017 footage. Strache got enough preferential votes to get a seat in the parliament.”

He might have other plans pertaining to Austria itself.

“Ten Thousand People Are Praying for Sebastian Kurz”

Der Standard wrote on June 16:

“During his non-election campaign tour of Austria, former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz found time during the ‘Awakening Austria’ event to pray together in the sold out… Wiener Stadthalle. [Australian missionary] Ben Fitzgerald, the ‘passionate lover of Jesus and leader of Awakening Europe and GODfest Ministries’, as it says on the organizational club’s website, held a ‘blessing prayer’ for Sebastian Kurz.”

Fitzgerald prayed for Kurz, “Father, we thank you so much for this man. For the wisdom you gave him. For the heart.”

The paper also mentioned that Kurz describes himself as belonging to the “Church portion“ of his party, the ÖVP, and that he went at times to the monastery Göttweig for meditation practices.

Kurz, after having received his blessing, thanked Cardinal Schönborn and Ben Fitzgerald for their prayers for Austria. It was explained that the Catholic Church and Cardinal Schönborn also participated in this charismatic event which was conducted by “Awakening Europe.” The paper also explained that Ben Fitzgerald claims of having had spiritual visions and of having received the command from God to reclaim or bring back Europe. It was pointed out that Fitzgerald spoke in Nürnberg on the very field where Hitler had given one of his speeches in front of 150,000 people.

Austria’s Hapsburg Family and a United Catholic Europe

Catholic Herald wrote on May 30:

“A little over a hundred years ago, Emperor Karl of Austria, his wife Zita and their small children were forced to leave their last refuge in Austria for Swiss exile. Two abortive attempts to regain the Austrian throne led to their exile and his death in Madeira.

“Over the following decades the imperial exiles made the best of things, with the heir, Archduke Otto, trying first to catalyse resistance to Hitler on Austria’s part, and then with more success to ensure that the victorious Allies would treat Austria as a victim rather than a perpetrator… 800 years of Habsburg rule left a strong imprint on Austria – not just in the still very Catholic and conservative countryside.

“… when elected a Member of the European Parliament, Archduke Otto [as] Chief organiser of the so-called ‘Pan-European Picnic’ of 1989 – which helped bring down the Wall –… was foremost in calling for the rapid integration into the European Union of Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia and the once partly Habsburg Poland.

“But in the aftermath of their liberation and incorporation into the EU, a strange phenomenon emerged: they found they had more in common with each other (and in recent years with Sebastian Kurz’s Austria) than with the Western nations. Not only did they share scepticism toward Western Europe’s embrace of abortion and sexual licence, their national cultures – despite the nationalisms that tore them apart – have much in common.

“Sociological studies have found that in Poland, Ukraine, Romania and Serbia –­ those areas that were once part of Austria-Hungary – have a much higher rate of trust in police and courts and less corruption than those that were not. The test-runners have dubbed this ‘the Habsburg effect’…

“The growth of the common cultus of Emperor Karl since his beatification in 2004 has also played its part. There are – not too surprisingly – 26 shrines to him in Austria. But there are eight in the Czech Republic, 16 in Hungary, three in Slovakia and two in Croatia…

“And what of the House of Habsburg itself in all of this? Otto’s elder son, Karl, ably assisted by younger, Hungary-based brother Georg, is certainly keeping the flag flying through the Paneuropa Union, the Knightly Order of St George, and a host of cultural, political and religious activities throughout the former empire chronicled on his informative eponymous website. Their sisters are also plugging away at similar tasks. Cousin Michael, of the Hungarian branch of the family, is head of the group working for the beatification of Cardinal Mindszenty, while his son, Eduard, is Hungary’s envoy to the Holy See. It is now a large clan, scattered across the globe, but by and large an extremely hard-working one.

“The website of the Austrian branch of Paneuropa declares: ‘The soul of this continent is Christianity. Whoever takes it out of political action, makes Europe a soulless body.’… In any case, considering how many tourists flock to see the mere relics of Habsburg rule in Central Europe’s capitals today, one can only guess at the flood that would pour in to see the revived rituals of an imperial and royal court in such varied settings…”

We should keep a watchful eye on the Habsburg dynasty.

Britain’s New Advertisement Rules

Daily Mail wrote on June 14:

“Adverts which show men struggling with household chores are now banned under new gender stereotype rules. Scenarios likely to be problematic under the new rule include a man with his feet up while a woman cleans up her family’s mess or a woman unable to park a car.

“Advertisements must not include gender stereotypes which are likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence from today. Advertisers will also have to tread carefully when, for example, contrasting a daring boy with a caring girl, or if they belittle a man for carrying out stereotypically ‘female’ roles or tasks, the Committee of Advertising Practice warned.”

The craziness of this world is mind-boggling.

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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