This Week in the News

Ghosts and Self-Isolation

DNYUZ wrote on May 14:

 “For those whose experience of self-isolation involves what they believe to be a ghost, their days are punctuated not just by Zoom meetings or home schooling, but by disembodied voices, shadowy figures, misbehaving electronics, invisible cats… and even, in some cases… free-floating, full-torso vaporous apparitions…

“In 1999, immediately before Y2K… a spike in reported ghost and poltergeist activity [was reported], as well as U.F.O. sightings… [It could] have something to do with our heightened state of anxiety… Times of great unease…, when there is an increased drive to find meaning in chaos, can lend themselves to perceived hauntings…

 “In quarantine… you are trapped at home… it’s comforting to think that there’s a supernatural agent here with you…”

For important information on this subject, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled “Haunted Houses and Ghosts during Self-Isolation?”  

Boris Johnson Wants to Impose Two Week Quarantine on Air Travelers

Business Insider wrote on May 10:

“[Boris] Johnson… announced plans to, at a future date, impose a two-week quarantine on people arriving in the country by air… ‘To prevent re-infection from abroad, I am serving notice that it will soon be the time… to impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air,’ he said. The prime minister did not explain whether the same restrictions would apply to those arriving in the UK by sea or train.”

In fact, Johnson did not explain anything. Airlines already responded by saying that this would be their ruin, as nobody would want to come to the UK anymore. Express added on May 11 that, due to a special agreement, “Britain will not quarantine travellers coming into the UK from France.”

Germany is facing similar challenges. Note the next articles.

Travel Ban… Some Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 8:

“The European Commission on Friday recommended extending travel restrictions for non-EU nationals at the bloc’s external borders until June 15, saying ‘the situation remains fragile both in Europe and worldwide.’…

“EU officials said frictionless travel within the bloc’s internal borders and the visa-free Schengen area would be prioritized over non-essential travel from non-EU countries. ‘Restrictions on free movement and internal border controls will need to be lifted gradually before we can remove restrictions at the external borders and guarantee access to the EU for non-EU residents for non-essential travel,’ said Ylva Johansson, EU Commission for Home Affairs….

“Going forward, the European Commission said, ‘Any further prolongation of the travel restriction beyond June 15, 2020, would need to be assessed again, based on the evolution of the epidemiological situation.’”

Breitbart wrote on May 13:

“The German government is recommending that a requirement for people arriving from other countries in Europe to self-quarantine for 14 days be dropped. Germany last month imposed a requirement for all people arriving in the country to go straight home and stay there for two weeks, except those who were on very short trips, commuting to their jobs, transporting goods or in some other essential functions.

“A court in the northern state of Lower Saxony suspended the rule for that region this week. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Wednesday he is recommending that state governments, which are responsible for quarantines, drop the requirement for travelers from other European countries but maintain it for arrivals from other nations such as the United States and Russia.”

It will have to be seen what is going to happen after June 15. We hope and pray that travel bans between the USA and Europe will be lifted by then, and that the discriminatory self-quarantine regulations for 14 days especially towards US travelers will be dropped as well.  

German Tourism Industry Suffers with the Support of Many Germans

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 10:

“… every third job in the German tourism sector could be lost… around a million… of the some 3 million people working in the sector in Germany were at risk of becoming unemployed… 70% were already working short-time… [It was felt that] big online companies [would be] dominating the market while smaller travel agencies and tour operators [would disappear].

“The tourism industry in Germany is likely also to suffer under the current unwillingness of Germans to travel amid the uncertainties created by the coronavirus crisis. A recent YouGov survey showed that almost half of Germans (48%) do not want to see European borders reopened for the summer holidays… Some 42% had dropped the idea of taking a holiday at all…”

This happens when fear and panic reigns.

Large Demonstrations in Germany

Deutsche Welle wrote on March 9:

“Over 3,000 people rallied in Munich and thousands more gathered in Stuttgart and across Germany [including Berlin] on Saturday to demand the lifting of restrictions ordered by the German authorities…

“The protesters accuse politicians and medical workers of spreading panic and infringing on the population’s rights with the prolonged lockdown. Some of the rallies included anti-vaccination activists

“Over two-thirds of German residents support the need for social distancing, according to the latest research published by the official BfR Institute. However, this still marks a sharp drop from the numbers reported in March, when 92% supported the restrictions.”

Bild Online reported that over 15,000 demonstrators protested in Germany over the weekend. As governmental restrictions continue, more and more Germans will be found opposing the same. The accuracy of above-quoted figures of alleged approval by the majority of Germans must be disputed anyhow, based on the many comments on social media. 

Germany Bans Conversion of Gays who are Minors

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 8:

“German lawmakers voted to pass a law on Thursday banning so called ‘conversion therapies’ that are aimed at suppressing sexual orientation or gender identity. ‘Homosexuality is not an illness,’ said Health Minister Jens Spahn who is openly gay. ‘Therefore the term therapy is already misleading.’

“Under the new law, advertising or offering conversion therapy will be prohibited for children up to the age of 18. Violators can be fined up to up to €30,000 ($33,000) or sentenced to up to one year in prison. Parents and guardians who force their children to undergo the programs can also be charged for violating their duty of care… the new law… carries punishments as well if an adult consented to the therapy after being deceived, coerced or threatened…

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and their Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners voted in favor of the ban, as well as the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP). The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) largely abstained, except for one vote against the law. The Left Party and the Greens also abstained from the vote, but argued that the law didn’t go far enough to protect young adults…”

We agree with Jens Spahn that homosexuality is not an illness. According to the Bible, it is an abomination.

New Controversial Law in France

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 13:

“Legislation that passed the National Assembly on Wednesday gives platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat a [24 hour] deadline to remove… ‘manifestly illicit’ [posts] — such as hate speech, racist comments, or religious bigotry

“The law also sets up a prosecutor specialized in digital content and a government unit to observe online hate speech… The law has been severely criticized…

“Arguing against the law on Wednesday, conservative lawmaker Constance Le Grip warned of a danger to ‘in a way, entrust the policing of thought and expression’ to private businesses mostly based in foreign countries. Populist leader Marine Le Pen said the law was ‘a serious violation of the freedom of expression.’”

In this, Le Pen is absolutely correct. In addition, the definition of hate speech and religious bigotry is open to arbitrary interpretation and discrimination.

“The US Government Is Failing Us”

Reuters wrote on May 7:

“Since losing her position at the makeup counter at the Macy’s department store in Orlando, Florida, on March 28, Alejandra spends her days trying to secure the unemployment benefits that should have arrived weeks ago, sometimes placing more than 100 calls a day.

“The online application, a 10-hour ordeal of error messages, ended with a notice that her identity could not be verified. If she’s lucky, she’ll reach a representative who will say there’s nothing they can do to help. Otherwise, it’s a busy signal, or an hours-long wait on hold, followed by a sudden hang-up…

“In the past six weeks, states have struggled to process over 33 million jobless claims, more than they typically see in a year. That figure does not capture those who have been unable to even file a claim due to bureaucratic hurdles — up to 14 million more, according to an Economic Policy Institute study released last week.”

There is no question that our entire system is breaking down.

Unemployment in the USA MUCH WORSE than Previously Announced

In a related article, Reuters wrote on May 8:

“Millions of U.S. residents were counted as employed in April despite having no job, suggesting April’s true unemployment rate was closer to 20%, much higher than the official 14.7% reported, the Labor Department said Friday. The jobless rate should have included people on temporary unpaid leave, furloughed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the government said.

“But responses to the survey by which the data was collected show 11.5 million people were categorized as employed but absent from work because of vacation, parental leave or other reasons, but including 8.1 million absent for ‘unspecified’ reasons, a group that usually numbers about 620,000… The jobs report probably also undercounted the unemployment rate in a second way – by missing people who wanted work but weren’t looking for it because of near-ubiquitous stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“The Labor Department excludes people who are not in an active job search from its count of the unemployed, classifying them instead as out of the workforce. But in April, 9.9 million people who were not in the labor force – one in every 10 – also said they wanted a job, the highest number since the Labor Department began keeping track.”

Another 2.98 million Americans filed jobless claims last week. Taking the last two articles together, the actual number of unemployed workers is even much higher than 20%. This is astronomical.

Katie Miller Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

JTA wrote on May 8:

“Katie Miller, the wife of presidential adviser Stephen Miller and the spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence, has tested positive for the coronavirus… the news has big implications: her husband, who handles speechwriting and immigration policy duties, is one of Trump’s closest advisers…

“Stephen Miller and Katie Waldman married in February at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, a senior adviser to David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, officiated.”

We are very sad about anyone who contracts the coronavirus, and that includes of course Katie Miller. But that her husband Stephen Miller is Jewish (his great-grandmother escaped the 1903–06 anti-Jewish pogroms in Belarus and other parts of the Russian Empire to immigrate to the USA) and still pursues the terrible immigration policy of his (note articles on immigration in our Update, Number 922, from May 1, 2020), is even more shameful in light of the appalling atrocities the Jews had to suffer when similar immigration policies prevented them escaping from Nazi Germany.

Listening to the “Experts”?

The Ron Paul Institute wrote on May 12:

“Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared before a US Senate Committee today to warn Senators against opening the country after the coronavirus outbreak. Opening too soon – before a vaccine – will bring needless death and suffering, he said.

“No mention of the needless death and suffering caused by the lockdown itself – cancer treatments cancelled, surgeries cancelled, Depression-level economic collapse, depression, suicide, abuse. How long must we continue listening to this ‘expert’ who has gotten everything wrong thus far?

Fauci’s fascination with and interest in a global vaccine is quite remarkable.

Fox News Moderators Attack Fauci

The Huffington Post wrote on May 13:

“Fox News’ prime time personalities lashed out Tuesday [against] Dr. Anthony Fauci…

“[Tucker] Carlson, in a lengthy monologue, ranted about Fauci being an unelected official, asked whether he should be entrusted with the power to make long-term health recommendations and called him out for what the host said were past contradictory statements… ‘This is not the result of any kind of democratic process at work at all,’ he continued. ‘Yet, in the last four months, Fauci has become one of the most powerful people in the world… Carlson also appeared to call Fauci the ‘chief buffoon of the professional class.’…

“[Laura] Ingraham also seized on Fauci’s unelected status, claiming Democrats want to ‘keep this panic parade going’ until the 2020 election. [Sean] Hannity, meanwhile, accused Fauci of siding with ‘the left’ to favor ‘massive restrictions with no end in sight… It’s time to reopen our country and our economy safely… Americans are a free people. It is up to all of us to calculate the risk and make our own decisions.’”

President Trump needs to be careful not to appear to turn over too much authority to Fauci, given the strong opposing voices of his influential supporters, such as Carlson, Ingraham and Hannity. Trump might be sensing this himself, calling Fauci’s caution on schools reopening “not an acceptable answer” (CNN, May 13). The Independent added on May 13:

“Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has struck down Governor Tony Evers’s stay-at-home order… The court declared that the order was ‘unlawful, invalid and unenforceable’ in its ruling.”

The Danger of Draconian Measures

The Ron Paul Institute published on May 13 the following article from the Rutherford Institute, dated May 12:

“COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on the nation emotionally, physically, and economically, but there are still greater dangers on the horizon… Now there’s talk of mass testing for COVID-19 antibodies, screening checkpointscontact tracing, immunity passports… and snitch tap lines for reporting ‘rule breakers’ to the authorities…

“This war on COVID-19 will be yet another war on the American people, waged with all of the surveillance weaponry at the government’s disposal: thermal imaging cameras, drones, contact tracing, biometric databases, etc. So you see, when you talk about empowering government agents to screen the populace in order to control and prevent spread of this virus, what you’re really talking about is creating a society in which ID cards, round ups, checkpoints and detention centers become routine weapons used by the government to control and suppress the populace, no matter the threat.

“… in Germany, the Nazis required all Jews to carry special stamped ID cards for travel within the country. A prelude to the yellow Star of David badges, these stamped cards were instrumental in identifying Jews for deportation to death camps in Poland…

“In South Africa during apartheid, pass books were used to regulate the movement of black citizens and segregate the population. The Pass Laws Act of 1952 stipulated where, when and for how long a black African could remain in certain areas…

“Through the use of identity cards, Ethiopian authorities were able to identify people with Eritrean affiliation during the mass expulsion of 1998. The Vietnamese government was able to locate ethnic Chinese more easily during their 1978-79 expulsion. The USSR used identity cards to force the relocation of ethnic Koreans (1937), Volga Germans (1941), Kamyks and Karachai (1943), Crimean Tartars, Meshkhetian Turks, Chechens, Ingush and Balkars (1944) and ethnic Greeks (1949). And ethnic Vietnamese were identified for group denationalization through identity cards in Cambodia in 1993, as were the Kurds in Syria in 1962.

“And in the United States, post-9/11, more than 750 Muslim men were rounded up on the basis of their religion and ethnicity and detained for up to eight months. Their experiences echo those of 120,000 Japanese-Americans who were similarly detained 75 years ago following the attack on Pearl Harbor…

“In the case of a national identification system, it might start off as a means of tracking COVID-19 cases in order to ‘safely’ re-open the nation, but it will end up as a means of controlling the American people…”

Many will not agree with such sentiments, perhaps thinking that they are overblown and based on paranoia. But even among those who might be willing to give them a more serious thought, who will really heed those warnings and contemplate the dangers involved? Note also the next article.

Three Reminders from the Bill of Rights

The Ron Paul Institute published on May 13 an article from the “Future of Freedom Foundation”:

“As a condition for accepting the Constitution, the American people… wanted a Bill of Rights to make it clear that the federal government was prohibited from doing the things that are listed in the Bill of Rights…

“First, the Bill of Rights, does not give people rights. Our ancestors understood that rights come from nature and God, not from government. People’s rights preexist government.

“Second, the Bill of Rights consists of prohibitions and restrictions on the federal government… our ancestors knew that the federal power would inevitably attract people to public office who would do the types of things that were being restricted. They would criminalize speech, especially speech that was critical of federal officials. They would ban protests against government. They would force people to subscribe to a certain religion. They would seize people’s guns. They would punish any malefactor by simply having civil or military agents take people into custody, incarcerate them, torture them, or execute them, all without trial by jury and due process of law. The Bill of Rights was to serve as a reminder that federal officials had no legitimate power to do any of these things.

“Third, the Bill of Rights contains no emergency or crisis exception… our ancestors knew that historically crises and emergencies were the time-honored way by which people lost their liberties at the hands of their own government. During such times, people become afraid and their natural tendency is to look to the government to keep them safe and secure. They forget that the biggest threat to their liberty is their very own government, as reflected in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Thus, they eagerly trade away their liberty for ‘security.’ Later, when the crisis or emergency has passed, they discover that the government is unwilling to give up the power it has acquired over them.”

 Americans who are far too willing to unquestionably embrace and agree with draconian governmental restrictions limiting our freedoms would be well advised to remember the contents and the purpose of the Bill of Rights.

Mobilizing the Military

Reuters wrote on May 14:

“President Donald Trump is mobilizing the U.S. military to distribute a novel coronavirus vaccine when one becomes available and will focus first on older Americans… ‘Our military is now being mobilized so at the end of the year, we’re going to be able to give it to a lot of people very, very rapidly.’ …

“The White House has set a target of having 300 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020. No such vaccine for this pathogen has been approved though a number are under development…”

So, will Americans be forced by the military to take that vaccine, however unsafe, if one were to be developed and delivered by the military? 

According to Homeland Security Today, dated May 12, “the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announce[d] a $138 million contract with ApiJect Systems America for ‘Project Jumpstart’ and ‘RAPID USA,’ which together will dramatically expand U.S. production capability for domestically manufactured, medical-grade injection devices starting by October 2020… the contract will support ‘Jumpstart’ to create a U.S.-based, high-speed supply chain for prefilled syringes beginning later this year… ‘Jumpstart’ will enable the manufacture of more than 100 million prefilled syringes for distribution across the United States by year-end 2020…”

Warning Rejected

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 10:

“Catholic bishops in Germany have dissociated themselves from a letter in which several prominent Catholic clergy question the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken by governments across the world to stem it…

“The vicar general of the city of Essen, Klaus Pfeffer, said on Facebook that he was ‘simply speechless at what was being published there in the name of the Church and Christianity: crude conspiracy theories without facts or evidence, combined with aggressive right-wing populist rhetoric that sounds alarming.’

“The letter, signed by such Catholic notables as the German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller [and] Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano from Italy… claims that the pandemic is being exploited to restrict basic rights ‘disproportionately and unjustifiably.’ It also maintains that the contagiousness of the novel coronavirus has been overstated by authorities…

“It strongly criticizes governments around the world for the lockdowns imposed in a bid to stem the spread of the virus, saying that ‘the imposition of these illiberal measures is a disturbing prelude to the realization of a world government beyond all control.’

“In one strongly worded sentence, it claims that ‘centuries of Christian civilization’ could be ‘erased under the pretext of a virus’ and an ‘odious technological tyranny’ established in its place…

“The German Bishops’ Conference had earlier stated that the restrictions in Germany, which also led to the temporary cancelation of church services, were ‘sensible and responsible,’ while urging a ‘responsible and proportionate’ relaxation of the measures when appropriate.”

Actually, the above-quoted article by Deutsche Welle ignores the fact that the appeal was signed by over 80 signatories, including prelates, physicians, lawyers, journalists and academics. One of the signatories is environmental lawyer Robert Francis Kennedy Jr., son of the late Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of John F. Kennedy. The appeal also warned that a vaccine might be developed and manufactured from aborted fetuses.

Schism in the Catholic Church?

Breaking Israel News wrote on May 12:

“A schism is taking place that is tearing the Vatican apart…

“Pope Francis differs from his predecessor in many ways. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century…

“‘The Church is at a crossroads, trying to figure out what is the future for them,’ [a] source said…”

The Coronavirus Dilemma

Breaking Israel News wrote on May 10:

“… many health systems are requesting that higher-risk patients voluntarily sign an agreement that allows doctors to withhold attempts at resuscitation. In some cases, parents are being asked to sign a form telling the doctors to allow… their children to die.

“… official guidelines for doctors in Italy stated that only patients ‘deemed worthy of intensive care’ should receive such care and decisions based on a ‘distributive justice’ approach balanced the demand for care versus available resources. At the height of the crisis, some regions of Italy were using a cut off of 65-years-old in case of pre-existing comorbidities…

“In the UK, patients with illnesses that are considered ‘life-limiting’ are being asked to sign ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders (DNR). Incurable cancer, motorneurone diseases, untreatable heart and lung conditions, are considered to be at especially high risk if they contract COVID-19 and are being asked to sign DNRs while still uninfected. The DNR notes that people with these conditions will be ‘unlikely to be offered hospital admission if they become unwell and certainly will not be offered a ventilator bed.’…

“But it is not just the elderly and sick who are the focus of selective health care. In the UK, parents of vulnerable and sick children are being asked by physicians to sign a DNR if their children catch Covid-19. The order instructs medics not to perform CPR if a patient stops breathing or their heart stops…

“… all of the countries that have legalized euthanasia (Netherlands, Belgium, Columbia, Luxembourg, Canada, Switzerland, and Germany) have universal health care. There are currently six states in the U.S. with legalized euthanasia.”

Doctors have pledged an oath to save life, not to destroy it. How can they practice under the circumstances as described above?

Will Europe Sanction Israel?

The Times of Israel wrote on May 12:

“Reportedly led by France, European nations seek to warn Israel of sanctions from its largest trading partner if it declares sovereignty over parts of territory (Judea and Samaria).

“According to the Haaretz daily, the proposed steps include announcing that Israel would be prevented from entering into trade agreements with the bloc, receiving EU grants or participating in other forms of cooperation with the union….

“A slight majority of Jews — 51.7% — support annexation… while only 8.8% of Arab Israelis were in favor…”

Israel will go ahead with annexation, and it will be interesting to see how Europe will react.

Being Micro-Chipped by Israeli Government?

Breaking Israel News wrote on May 12:

“Several of the victims, who reportedly represent hundreds of others, came forward… claiming that they have been micro-chipped by Israel’s intelligence community and even have the X-rays to prove it.

“… the chips, which are engineered using state-of-the-art technology, can be injected and cause people pain at the push of a button. [Victims claim] that these chips can ‘enact mind control including emotions like fear’

“[It is claimed that] this chip can cause its victims to suddenly urinate in the middle of the street and cause epileptic seizures.”

This would be absolutely disgusting and appalling, if true.

Churches Still Closed on Pentecost?

The Huffington Post wrote on May 12:

“Several California pastors have pledged to reopen their churches on May 31 ‘or sooner,’ regardless of whether their plan lines up with a schedule put forth by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“The pastors released a letter… arguing… that people of faith have a right to worship in person

“In their open letter to Newsom and California’s public health officer, the pastors ― who are mostly evangelical Christians and claim to represent 1,500 churches in the state ― say the mandated shutdown of houses of worship has been detrimental and argue churches should be considered ‘essential.’…

May 31 is the Day of Pentecost, which commemorates a Bible story about Jesus’ followers gathering together after his death and being given the gift of the Holy Spirit. Some consider this to be the moment when the church was formed…

“The pastors are being represented by… the Advocates for Faith & Freedom and The National Center for Law and Policy… Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based conservative Christian law firm, is backing a call for churches across the country to resume in-person worship. Other conservative religious legal groups have signed up to represent churches that want to reopen….”

The opposition by churches and their lawsuits against the governmental restrictions and prohibitions against religious assembly in person won’t go away any time soon, until they are being lifted.

Restrictions During Fall Holy Days?

The Times of Israel reported on May 8:

“[Anthony Fauci] said the risk was likely to carry over into the High Holidays this fall, and that pandemic risk mitigation should continue to apply to worship at that time.”

In other words, continue with prohibitions against assemblies in churches and synagogues even during the fall festivals of Trumpets, Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles? We should clearly understand that none other than Satan is behind these efforts.

 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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