This Week in the News

No UK Alignment with EU

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 18:

“British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid dismissed calls from British businesses to align with European Union rules once the UK has left the bloc… ‘we will not be in the single market and we will not be in the customs union — and we will do this by the end of the year,’ Javid told the Financial Times

“Javid fired back that businesses should ‘adjust’ to the reality of Brexit and that they’ve had three years to prepare for new trade arrangements… The sectors that are most likely to be impacted are the pharmaceutical, automobile, aerospace and food and drink industries….”

 The relationship between the UK and the EU is bound to deteriorate.

Growing Rift between US and Europe

Business Insider wrote on January 18:

“President Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani has exposed a growing rift between the US and its historically closest allies in Europe. The attack was met with a remarkable level of criticism by European leaders.

“The UK threatened to cut back on its long-standing defense alliance with Trump, and Germany suggested openly that the importance of its relationship with the US was declining. Trump responded by threatening European leaders with a new trade war if they remained committed to the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.

“Yet rather than bring US allies into line, Trump’s threats merely highlighted the declining importance that many European leaders now place in the transatlantic alliance…

“The attack, which damaged Germany’s policy of engagement with Tehran, has triggered open debate about the value of Europe’s alliance with the US. In recent days German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke openly about the declining importance of Europe’s alliance with the US… In response, she said, ‘We in Europe, and especially in Germany, need to take on more responsibility.’… the French government quickly called on the Trump administration to step back from any further conflict.”

The relationship between the USA and the EU is bound to deteriorate even more. Note the next article.

“EU Doesn’t Take Orders from US on Iran”

Politico wrote on January 17:

“European Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan on Thursday defended the EU’s handling of relations with Iran, following a report that the Trump administration threatened to hit EU autos with a 25 percent tariff…

“‘We’re not an extension of the United States of America in the European Union,’ Hogan said… ‘We actually are the European Union and we will make our own decisions in member states about what our policies are going to be, whether that’s in trade or security or what other areas.’”

The leader of German Green Party, Robert Habeck, condemned Trump on January 21 for Trump’s speech in Davos, saying that Trump is the enemy.

European Naval Mission in Strait of Hormuz

Euractiv wrote on January 20:

“The creation of a future European Maritime Surveillance Mission in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH) has now gained the ‘political support’ of Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and France…The Strait of Hormuz is one of the key routes for global oil transit.

“… the eight European countries aim to contribute to the protection of oil tankers and cargo ships…[In 2018:] Tehran… threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz to international shipping… [In 2019:] Two oil tankers were attacked near the Strait of Hormuz while they transited the Gulf of Oman, followed by Iran shooting down an American surveillance drone in the Gulf of Oman.”

Europe is determined to play a much more active role in military matters.

Many Kings Appear in Jerusalem

Breaking Israel News wrote on January 20:

“On Thursday, Jerusalem’s role as a gathering place for kings will appear… The event marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and International Holocaust Remembrance Day…. At least 47 world leaders, including 26 presidents, four kings (from Spain, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg), and four prime ministers will represent their countries that include the U.S., Russia, England, Romania, Italy, Austria, Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Croatia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, Bosnia, Iceland, Armenia, Australia, Canada, and several others…

“The U.S. will be represented by Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The gathering will be addressed by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, French President Emmanuel Macron, Prince of Wales HRH Prince Charles, Russian President Vladimir Putin, a senior leader from the US, and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier… Spain’s King Felipe VI will deliver an address on behalf of the world leaders. The Foreign Ministry called the event the third-largest gathering of international leaders in Israel’s history, after the funerals of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres…

“Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the Sanhedrin, noted:… ‘Many of the nations that will be here in Jerusalem are the very nations that took part in the Holocaust. They are also the nations that want to take Jerusalem out of the world, take it away from the Jewish people. Many of these nations support the enemies of Israel who openly proclaim their intention to continue what the Nazis began.’”

Everyone wants to play a role in or pertaining to Jerusalem. The Bible says that ultimately, all nations will fight against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2).

The Coming Fight for the Al Aqsa Mosque

The Jerusalem Post wrote on January 20:

“Jerusalem will soon become the capital of a global caliphate, a Palestinian preacher has told a crowd of Muslim worshipers at the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, before calling on them to seek martyrdom. Speaking at an event held by Hizb ut-Tahrir to mark the anniversary of the 1453 AD capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Empire, Nidhal ‘Abu Ibrahim’ Siam said the date brought tidings that Rome will soon be conquered in the name of Islam.

“In a video recording of the event uploaded to the Internet on January 17… Siam can be seen telling the enthusiastic crowd that three prophecies would soon be fulfilled: that a rightly-guided caliphate will be established, that Jerusalem will be liberated and established as its capital, and that Islam ‘will throw its neighbors to the ground’ and achieve world domination.

“The real task of the Muslim faithful is to wage Jihad for the sake of Allah and make the word of the infidels inferior to the word of Allah, he said, before calling upon them to become martyrs for Allah. ‘Do not obey the followers of Satan [and] those who collaborate with America, Russia, and the West,’ he urged. In response, the crowd chanted: ‘This Al-Aqsa [Mosque] will be liberated… The caliphate was promised by Allah…”

The Al-Aqsa Mosque will become more and more the object of attention and controversy. The Bible shows that Arab nations will collaborate with Germany against Israel.

Italy’s Salvini to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

The Times of Israel wrote on January 19:

“Italian prime ministerial frontrunner Matteo Salvini has told an Israeli newspaper [the right-wing Israeli daily Israel Hayom] he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital if he were elected… [The next general election in Italy is scheduled for May 28, 2023.]

“Salvini’s interview was published Saturday, a day after Honduras’s President Juan Orlando Hernandez said his government would transfer its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem once Israel opens an embassy in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa. So far, only the United States and Guatemala have moved their embassies to the capital…”

Breaking Israel News reported on January 21:

“On Monday, an Italian senate committee voted to remove Salvini’s immunity in a case in which he stands accused of allegedly illegally detaining migrants at sea last year. The committee decision follows a Sicilian court recommendation to try Salvini for blocking migrants on a coast guard boat last July. Salvini refused to allow 131 rescued migrants off the Gregoretti coast guard boat until a deal was reached with other European states to host them. The immigrants remained on board for almost a week. This was the second time Salvini detained illegal immigrants in this manner. If convicted, Salvini could be sentenced to up to 15 years in jail.”

It is very unlikely that he will be convicted. His party, Lega Nord, is currently polling in the lead with over 30% of the electorate. On the other hand, Hitler was sentenced to jail too, only to emerge much more powerful after his release.

World War II Caused by Anti-Semitism

Times of Israel wrote on January 20:

“World War II and the enormous catastrophe it brought upon mankind occurred ‘probably mainly’ because of anti-Semitism, according to Israel’s preeminent Holocaust scholar. Indeed, Adolf Hitler launched the war to a large extent to prevent ‘world Jewry’ from physically annihilating the German nation, Yehuda Bauer said. ‘Anti-Semitism is a cancer that eats the world, and World War II is proof of that,’ he told The Times of Israel during an hour-long interview in Jerusalem last week.

“Bauer, 93…. [mentioned] a secret memorandum Hitler wrote to Hermann Goering in August 1936, in which he spoke about the need for Germany to be ready for war within four years. Otherwise, Hitler argued, Jewish Bolshevism will ‘replace’ the German nation…”

One must not forget that both Hitler and Stalin were anti-Semitic. They both were preparing for war against each other.

Deutsche Welle added on January 21:

“Naftali Fürst (88) survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald… ‘I think it can happen again,’ he said… He says the situation is currently deteriorating again, and that’s why he speaks as a witness. ‘I have a duty to tell […my story].’ Because people shouldn’t believe ‘that it didn’t happen.’”

The Holocaust DID happen, and as horrible as it was, something similar, but much more devastating, will happen again… and this time, it will be directed against physical and spiritual Jews, as well as the modern descendants of the ancient House of Israel in the USA, the UK, and other English-speaking nations.

Turkey’s Plans for Libya and Israel

Breaking Israel News wrote on January 21:

“A new military incursion into Libya is part of a long-awaited dream by Turkish President Erdogan to return the Ottoman Caliphate, a global Islamic rule that subjugated Jews and Christians for six centuries… Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries have begun arriving in Libya. Approximately 2,400 troops are already in Tripoli while another 1,700 are currently undergoing training in Turkey… Turkey intends to send a total of 6,000 troops to Libya… The Turkish government will pay each soldier a monthly stipend of $2,000, far more than the $50 they earned to fight back home in Syria. The Syrian troops are also fighting against the Kurds in Libya.

“Turkish intervention is a manifestation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s aspiration to establish himself as the leader of a global Islamic nation… Erdogan’s Caliphate aspirations extend beyond the borders of Turkey and target Israel and, most specifically, Jerusalem. At a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul last year, Erdogan called on all of the 57 Muslim member nations to join together against Israel to avenge the deaths of Palestinians killed while charging the southern border with Gaza.

“In 2015, Erdogan gave a speech commemorating 562 years since the Turks captured Constantinople (now known as Istanbul) from European Christians in which he called for the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem… Erdogan has also been suspected of aiding Hamas, allowing the terrorist organization to operate out of Turkey. The terrorist group is also reportedly in contact with the Turkish intelligence agency.

“The key to the Turkish incursion into Libya and the hidden motivation is actually quite straightforward. Two months ago, Turkey signed a maritime borders deal that gave Turkey a claim to parts of the eastern Mediterranean. In addition to its strategic military importance, the eastern Mediterranean has huge natural gas deposits. Turkey’s entrance into the eastern Mediterranean puts it into close proximity with Israel and its offshore natural gas facilities.”

A gathering of world leaders and their representatives in Germany to determine the fate of Libya was only of limited success, as nobody knows how to implement their peace “proposals.” While uncertainty remains, Turkey is stepping in. Ultimately, Turkey will be collaborating with Europe against Israel.

Human-to-Human Transmission of New Deadly Virus

The Associated Press wrote on January 20:

“The head of a Chinese government expert team said Monday that human-to-human transmission has been confirmed in an outbreak of a new coronavirus, a development that raises the possibility that it could spread more quickly and widely… The spread of the viral pneumonia comes as the country enters its busiest travel period, when millions board trains and planes for the Lunar New Year holidays. The outbreak is believed to have started late last month among people connected to a seafood market in Wuhan, a city in central China… The outbreak has put other countries on alert as millions of Chinese travel for Lunar New Year. Authorities in Thailand and in Japan have identified three cases, all involving recent travel from China [One case has now been identified in the USA as well.]

“Coronaviruses cause diseases ranging from the common cold to SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. SARS first infected people in southern China in late 2002 and spread to more than two dozen countries, killing nearly 800. The Chinese government initially tried to conceal the severity of the SARS epidemic, but its cover-up was exposed by a high-ranking physician… Initial symptoms of the novel coronavirus include fever, cough, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath, and those seriously ill developed pneumonia.”

The Telegraph added on January 22:

“As many as 4,000 people in the city at the epicentre of an outbreak of a mystery new coronavirus could be infected with the disease, experts have warned. So far, Chinese authorities and state media say close to 500 people have fallen ill and 17 people have died from the disease, which was first identified in China at the end of last year and has now spread to five other countries…

“Experts say it is also ‘possible’ that a case could reach the UK. But disease modelling experts from Imperial College, London say the true figure in the city of Wuhan alone – the source of the outbreak – could be… as high as 9,700…”

Breaking Israel News wrote on January 23:

 “The deadly coronavirus disease… appears to have been caused by the consumption of a Chinese delicacy – bat soup… The Bible forbids the consumption of birds of prey and specifically mentions bats as one of those species as stated in Leviticus 11.”

Another source claims that the disease has been spread by the consumption of snakes purchased at a wholesale market. Snakes are of course unclean animals too.

The problem is that the symptoms are at first very similar to an ordinary flu, and don’t even show up until five or six days after infection. So, many can pass on the virus to others without even knowing that they are sick.

Hundreds of Thousands of Fish Dead in Australia

The Guardian wrote on January 17:

“Hundreds of thousands of fish are dead in northern New South Wales as bushfire ash washed into in the Macleay River…

“Rains have washed ‘tonnes and tonnes’ of debris into the Macleay River…  Species seen dead and reported… were Australian bass, eels, bullhead mullet, yellow-eye mullet, herring, gudgeons and catfish.”

Also, rain and dust have made a bad situation even worse.

The Guardian added on January 22:

“Temperatures have soared in New South Wales bringing renewed emergency bushfire warnings, while Melbourne has brown rain from dust in the air, causing pools to close and the Yarra River to turn brown. Despite heavy rain in parts of NSW over the past week, residents were warned the ‘bad old days’ of bushfires could return… The fire danger was classified as extreme in the southern ranges on Thursday, and severe in much of the rest of the state, including the fire-ravaged far south coast…

“Temperatures in parts of the south coast, Hunter, mid-north coast and Sydney were expected to pass 40C on Thursday, with 65 fires burning and 19 uncontained… There were still 12 fires burning in Victoria on Thursday morning…  The rain brought little relief to bushfire-affected regions; there was barely any east of Bairnsdale. The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has said that the rains could bring new dangers for firefighters, including landslides.”

Breaking Israel News wrote on January 22:

“In the midst of raging wildfires, hailstones the size of baseballs pounded Australia in a mix of elemental opposites echoing the Egyptian plague. As if that reminder of the Exodus were not enough, a massive dust storm turned day into night… This year, a stark drought brought on devastating wildfires that have, so far, burned an estimated 46 million acres of land. The fires destroyed over 5,900 buildings including approximately 2,683 homes, and killed at least 30 people. An estimated one billion animals were also killed and some endangered species may be driven to extinction.”

Humans Responsible for US Wildfires

The Daily Mail wrote on January 22:

“The number of human-caused wildfires has increased in recent decades… The new study of wildfires in America between 1984 and 2016 has found that the leading cause is ‘shifting away from lightning and towards human activity’. In the past, the strongest fires were caused by natural ignition types, like lightning strikes or El Niño winds, which also tended to be seasonal and easier to predict. Human-caused, or anthropogenic, fires can be caused intentionally, by arson, or accidentally, for example by dropped cigarettes, fireworks or other negligence…

“Looking to the future, researchers say that regular fires caused by humans are likely to become even more frequent. Some of the most high-profile fires in recent years have been caused by humans. Last year, the Kincade Fire that swept across 78,000 acres of Sonoma County in California started when a faulty PG&E power line ignited the unusually dry landscape surrounding it and quickly spread. A report from the Wall Street Journal found that faulty PG&E equipment was responsible for starting more than 1.500 wildfires between 2014 and 2017 alone. In Oregon, a teenager started a wildfire in the forest around Eagle Creek when he set off some fireworks. The resulting fire burned over 48,000 acres and was actively smoldering for nine months, between September 2017 and May 2018.

“85% of wildfires in the US are caused by humans. Lightning is the next most common cause of wildfires… California has more than 2 million homes exposed to wildfire risk, almost three times more than any other state. Texas has the highest number of wildfires per year, with 10,541 in 2018…”

German Cardinal Reinhard Marx: Don’t Spread Fear of Hell

Life Site News wrote on January 10:

“Cardinal Reinhard Marx – the archbishop of Munich-Freising and the head of the German Bishops’ Conference – just made a statement, in which he argued against spreading fear, saying: ‘wherever someone spreads fear – of hell or whatever else – the Gospel cannot have an effect.’… His Protestant counterpart, the head of the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD), Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm,… added that, while in former times, the church had blessed weapons, but she is now, instead, known for her work for the protection of the environment. ‘I prefer the latter,’ he added…”

It is unclear whether Marx denies the existence of hell, or whether he is just saying that no fear should be spread… The German magazine Focus reported on January 21 about allegations that Bishop Marx and Bishop Ackermann prevented a meaningful investigation of thousands of cases where the clergy sexually abused children, in order to protect Marx and Pope Benedict. The fact is that several years after the revelation of the abuse cases in Germany, still no charges have been filed against any accused priest, according to the magazine.

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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